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View Full Version : [Pokémon] The Retelling of Pokémon Colosseum


bobandbill
March 1st, 2008, 09:13 PM
Rated - PG. Warning - There is a high possibility of a random person possessing a large flamboyant afro.

I am writing this as after playing through Colosseum (and XD), I felt that there were too many plot gaps in the storyline.

For example, why did Wes destroy the Team Snagem hideout in the first place? Why did Rui just ‘accept’ the fact that Wes was part of Team Snagem in the first place as if it was a minor detail? How come do the NPC’s whom you snag shadow Pokemon off not give a second thought about the loss of their Pokemon? What’s up with Miror B’s hair anyway? And why, oh why do several characters have the inability to change facial expressions???

…Anyway, I shall attempt to answer at least most of those questions - and more - with my own retelling of the Pokemon Colosseum storyline, as well as try to make the story, well, funnier. If anything, the comedy factor is the main part of the story, combined with the whole retake on the missing elements of an otherwise good game.

I have posted this work (currently 10 chapters long...) on Serebii Forums and Fanfiction.net, but have decided to expand on the number of places that it can be seen, so that I can amass an army of followers and conquer the world with my fic. ;) I shall get the story up to speed here, which will be then followed by slow, infrequent updates. ;)

This is my first Pokemon fic that I've written (only have done one other one-shot that is Pokemon-related as well). I have however written some comedy scripts before.


If you want to know how the story goes in the first place, the setting, etc, you could either play the game Pokemon Colosseum (more details in this should make more sense) or at least read a brief walkthrough of the game. It's not nesserary to enjoy the story, but if you have, you will undoubtedly 'get' more things in this story, including jokes.

Also, after each chapter, I shall include a 'summery' of how the events and/or characters in thiat chapter relate to the game. Consider it a reminder of the game's events, and an 'explanation' for certain things in the chapters.

If, by any chance, you want something 'explained', just drop a line along with a review (hint hint), and I'll try to come up with a sutiable explaination.

Anyway, that's probably enough rambling on about the story.
Enjoy!




***

The Retelling of Pokémon Colosseum

Prologue - Rebellion



Somewhere in the middle of the vast expanse of the Orre desert, a wild Skarmory was flying back to his nest, battling against the harsh, howling wind which carried with it clumps of sand, tumbleweed and small children. The bright grains of sand which gave the air a yellow hue pelted the Skarmory's hard body but he ignored it, being used to such conditions. Once again, he had been hunting for his breakfast, and once again, he had been unsuccessful in his never-ending quest for food.

It was not because this silvery, metal-plated bird was no good at looking for food. On the contrary, it was an achievement that he had survived for so long in the barren region. However, the population of wild Pokémon had recently decreased even further below the modest number it had been, and all due to one newcomer.

Team Snagem.

In Skarmory’s humble opinion, all the trouble started when that good-for-nothing, stupid man with funny, pointy hair coming out from around his nose and eyes showed up near his nest and started constructing that big, grey building. And then he brought in Pokémon and…

No, that didn’t bear thinking about. The wild Skarmory tried to focus his mind on other things. Like how to impress that female Skarmory near his territory…

Suddenly the bird spotted something. A small and almost insignificant bright-orange object was wandering around below, sticking out against the pale-yellow sand. Skarmory grinned, his eyes suddenly gaining a glint of triumph. Circling once, he suddenly dropped like a stone towards the object, his steel body making it all too easy for him to accelerate towards earth and his target.

“Skarr!” (You’re mine!)

With a quick couple of jabs with his razor-sharp beak, he made quick work of the baby Trapinch which had strayed too far from its nest. The Skarmory then scooped up the squealing Pokémon in his mouth, and with another cry of ‘Skarr!’, he flew off with renewed energy towards his nest, pausing every so often to retrieve the Trapinch he kept dropping clumsily.

***

Meanwhile, two people stood inside a plain building hidden inside the mountains and rocks that made up the tall and narrow passageway called Eclo Canyon. They were well protected from the persistent wind that threw itself at the windows. They ignored the sounds it made though, choosing instead to focus on the other.

One towered over the other in stature, with the facial expressions one might expect to see on a rampaging Tauros rather than a person. This alone prompted many of the members of Team Snagem to address the man with ‘Sir Honourable and Super-Smart Leader-Guy Gonzap please don’t hurt me’ – it was hard to disagree with a man built like a weightlifter and with a personality like Gonzap’s. More noticeable though than the muscles the man sported was the lack of hair he possessed on the top of his head, which seemed to have migrated down for unknown reasons. A large pair of eyebrows and moustache jutted out from his face for quite a rather remarkable distance. Nobody made jokes about that though. Leastways, nobody would have dared when Gonzap was around – the members of Team Snagem considered it fair game when he was elsewhere, and so did the teenager who was currently talking to Gonzap.

"So that's all you could muster? Two Voltorb? First Jacob comes back and brings a Dunsparce of all things – who honestly trains or wants one of those things? - and now this!" Gonzap bellowed at the adolescent. The youth grimaced slightly as he scratched his silver-tinged hair, and then brushed off some sand his blue trench-coat had gained before he came inside the building to report back to Gonzap. An annoyed glare aimed directly at Gonzap was hidden behind a pair of blue glasses.

"Sorry, but that's all I could find in the house. The trainer must have left a while ago, and those were the only Pokémon there," replied the teenager. "I can't snag something the trainer has when he and his Pokémon simply isn't there, you know. Something for free has got to be better than nothing." He then proceeded to wipe sand from his face now, away from long, white streaks of white sunscreen were clearly visible below his sunglasses. The teenager was of the opinion that it made him look cool.

“But I specifically told you to snag that Charmander! Or didn’t you know the difference between those two?” sneered Gonzap, ignoring any logic offered up by the teenager. The teenager’s Umbreon - a black fox-like creature - started to growl at Gonzap.

"Umb, Umbreon!" (Shut up, Mr Moustache Eyebrow man!)

“Quiet, Umbreon,” the teenager said softly. Meanwhile Gonzap looked thoughtfully at the Dark-type Pokémon, twirling his moustache between his fingers.

“Hmm... on second thoughts, they can be the new Shadow Pokémon.”

“Huh - what?” the other replied, unsure by what Gonzap meant.

“Espeon and Umbreon. They certainly would do better than a couple of Voltorb that probably don’t even know Spark.”

“But, but…” the teenager stuttered, frowning at Gonzap. The Umbreon stared at Gonzap as well, wondering if biting his leg or his eyebrows would prove more effective in defending himself if he needed to.

“I expect to see you hand them in to my desk in ten minutes when I finish my lunch - plenty of time to say farewell,” Gonzap said with a smirk. “You can dispose of the Voltorb, Wes. Unless you want to keep them!” With that Gonzap laughed and departed towards his office.

How could he do this to me? thought Wes. After my years, well, months of service, after all the things I helped them with, he still insults me! True, I don’t snag that much, and I’m not much of a criminal here, but I’m honestly better than the rest of the lot, and now he simply expects me to give up my two and only Pokémon to become Shadow Pokémon? And for what? I don’t even know what they do with these Shadow Pokémon! He clearly doesn't know me well...

Wes angrily punched a wall, then winched in pain as his hand throbbed. He gazed at Umbreon, and then through the window at his other Pokémon, Espeon. He was outside sitting in one of Team Snagem's few methods of transport - a motorcycle-looking object that everyone just called a 'Zoomer'. Team Snagem got it at a bargain price as nobody understood its rather odd infrastructure - it had one wheel and the rest 'hovered' with the machine when used. But since it was cheap, and it didn't break down… well, that's all that mattered to Team Snagem.

No way I’m giving up my Pokémon. They’re the ones I’ve had from the beginning, and I’m sticking with them. Even if Espeon’s tongue is sharper than a knife, and Umbreon’s... well, ditzy at times. I guess I can just leave...

Then Wes looked at the Voltorb, the Pokémon often mistaken for Poké Balls, only these were more common than that rare item - for the region of Orre, anyway. It said something about the land when many people relied on the Pokémon for electricity to power their homes, despite the risk of the Voltorb exploding. They looked back with frightened eyes.

Wes smiled. He had an idea.

***

Meanwhile, the Skarmory landed in his nest after a long struggle with the surprisingly heavy Trapinch. This one was plumper than the others he had managed to find over the last few months, its stubby legs waving frantically about as it tried to run away out of the Skarmory's grip. Skarmory unceremoniously dropped it with a small thud into his nest; it wasn't much more than a rough bundle of sticks put together, hidden by a small, spiky bush perched on top of a steep cliff. The Skarmory didn't mind though - the sharp thorns in the bush did nothing to his steel hide. And it kept out the majority of intruders. Settling down to eat, he glanced around to make sure that nothing else was to come to try to steal his meal, before it grinned at the young, flailing Trapinch.

KA-BOOM!

The Skarmory fell out of the nest, and had to flap hard to pull out of his descent to avoid hitting the ground or the cliff's face. Startled, he flew around his nest several times, screeching about the indignity of being so greatly disturbed before he could eat his meal.

After he recovered from his shock and returned to his nest, he glanced towards the source of the sound, and cocked his head. In the distance, a thick cloud of dark smoke flew into view, billowing upwards above the canyon, closely followed by the harsh smell of the smoke and fire.

Hmm. That's somewhat different from usual, Skarmory thought. He cawed and then flew in the general direction of the smoke cautiously to investigate, leaving the Trapinch where it was, upside-down and still flapping its legs about in a ridiculous attempt to walk upside-down away from the nest.

***

Wes waltzed back into the room he had been standing in only minutes ago, having hidden to protect himself from the blast. He looked around quickly, admiring the ‘renovation rescue’ of sorts he had given Team Snagem, such as the large gaping hole where a wall used to be. Blazing clusters of flames were materializing around the area, and spreading as they licked at the remaining pieces of the section of the building. Smoke billowed out of the building. Alarms went off.

“If you can hear this alarm, then something has gone wrong. Current analysis – the building is currently: ‘ON FIRE’. If you can hear this alarm...” one above Wes’ head blazed uselessly.

“Thanks, Voltorb,” said Wes, kneeling down and glancing at the pair of Pokémon, but they didn’t reply - they had fainted as a result of using Selfdestruct to aid Wes.

Wes quietly stood back by the large, new opening the building now sported to appreciate the damage he racked up, as a smile steadily widen upon his face. Walls were crumbling before his eyes as they failed to hold up any longer. A small section of the ceiling suddenly gave way and landed near Wes, piling up and forming a heap of rubble.

Serves them right, thought Wes. Although I better watch out that nothing falls on my head... Meanwhile, Umbreon looked inside, softly gasping with amazement at the damage.

Wes quickly grabbed a few items lying on some broken shelves near him and stuffed them into his bag; mostly healing items for Pokémon, such as a couple of Max Revives, and a packet of Full Heals. In an afterthought, Wes turned to the Voltorb and administered the Max Revives.

“You can leave now,” smiled Wes. The Voltorb didn’t wait around, hastily rolling through a door and off into the distance, glad to escape from the place.

Wes looked at his watch and glanced outside. He never planned on blowing up the hideout when he had joined up - he was just in it for the money after all - but no doubt it was as good a way to quit as any other. Firstly, though, he had something else to do.

I might as well go the full distance, but if so I better act now.

He hurriedly ran off towards another room, one which he knew was restricted from most Team Snagem members. Wes ignored the large sign upon the door stating that the penalty for anyone caught in there would be a two hour lecture on basic reading skills - such warnings didn’t seem to apply to him anymore.

Another minute of work, and he was ready for his grand exit. His heart pumping, and with a newly-acquired device in his pocket, he made his way back towards the scene of the explosion, and approached the door that led to the way out.

Then he noticed something out of the corner of his eye.

In one small, ruined area of the room, the big Snag machine, made especially to steal Pokémon from other trainers that Team Snagem used for major operations, was in ruins. It was basically used to fire Snag Balls by the dozen at the target. But the smaller Snag machine – which was made to fit on a person’s arm – was right where he had left it before talking to Gonzap, and was still, amazingly enough, intact as far as he could tell.

Why not? I might as well take it…give them something else to worry about. Wes picked up the Snag device and placed it upon his arm, clipping on the shoulder pad to his left arm and attaching the rest down his arm, the ending extending a touch beyond his wrist. The colour suited his coat, being a similar dark-blue. Red lines spiralled down the machine, masking the wires between the control pad hidden within the shoulder pad and the slot for putting Poké Balls in.

Seems to still fit more or less too... Wes pondered, as he held his arm out for Umbreon – and himself - to admire. Although it’s not much use without any Poké Balls – but is there enough time to grab some of those as well?

Just then, Gonzap showed up, granting Wes the answer to that question. For once the man looked uncertain and indecisive. When he caught sign of Wes that changed however, as he quickly put two and two together.

“WES! What is the meaning of this?!?” he shouted in fury.

Wes paused for a moment, pretending to think about his actions. Finally, he smirked. “Let’s just say that I’m leaving, and I’ve left you a farewell present.”

***

A strange and glorious scene greeted the Skarmory as he came upon the ruins. Flames were everywhere, people were pouring out of the building and the stupid man with pointy things was chasing a smaller man and an Umbreon.

Many others were in the chase, but the younger man kept himself a good distance from the rest. He jumped into a strange object with an Espeon sitting in it, which then made a large noise and shot off at an incredible speed. The pointy man still kept chasing despite his sudden disadvantage.

KA-BOOM!

“SKARRRRRR!”

The Skarmory shot up faster than he ever had; flying up and away while crying in pain and surprise as the flames from the explosion scorched his body. Meanwhile, the smaller man was happily waving a black object with a bright-red button in the centre of it at the stupid man.

The Skarmory was very confused by the events - after all, it wasn't often that a building would suddenly burst into flames once, let alone twice. But he knew that if something bad happened to Team Snagem, and it certainly was judging by the reaction of the stupid man, it must be good.

“Skarr! Skarr!” proclaimed the Skarmory to the world, despite his injuries, spreading nonsensical celebrations with his shrill calls.

Shoomp!

Suddenly, the Skarmory experienced a weird sensation - as if he was being sucked into something. He looked below, and with a sinking feeling realised what was happening to him. He struggled but the explosion had already weakened him to the point that his efforts were in vain, and so was forced to submit to the force and shrink into oblivion.

***

Gonzap grimly picked up the Great Ball and glared at it.

”You thought you’d laugh at me, would you? I’ll show you who’s laughing.... when I’m in the mood for it,” he muttered, before he stuffed it in his pocket. He glanced at the base, which was now blazing wildly as people poured out of the building. Twisted metal rained upon the ground, appearing like bright mini meteors against the smoky background of the sky. The second explosion had caused even more widespread damage than the first, and it was clear that short-term repairs would be futile.

That's the last time I'm letting just anyone attend a 'How to Use Explosives' class, Gonzap thought grimly. And it’s the last time I ever put off fixing the lock on that room to next week and letting some fool of a grunt tell everyone about it as well.

In the distance, a faint siren sounded. The police were on their way. Not that was surprising; nobody would possibly miss such a large explosion. It felt like it had the force of a minor earthquake behind it. It had thrown him off his feet when he had been pursuing the dratted boy. And the smoke given off would be a dead giveaway to where the source of the explosion was.

There's nothing else I can do, Gonzap decided quickly. The hideout is gone, but if we linger, we'll all be caught. Pocketing the Great Ball, Gonzap turned and shouted orders at his incompetent gang - many which were now running around madly in circles - and then ran for it.

Very smart, Wes.

You’ve destroyed our main Snag machine, and stole the other one. You took our Zoomer. And to boot, you used those explosives we had been planning to use as well to utterly destroy our base.

AND half my moustache has burnt off, and I don’t have any eyebrows anymore.

You’ll pay for this.

***



Hope you enjoyed that.

And the list for what the characters/events in the prologue are based on:

Orre - region which the entire game is based in. The majority of it is comprised of desert, and no wild Pokémon can be caught in the game, mostly due to the arid landscape of Orre. No grass or anything - a pretty grim place for the standard Pokémon world. Which is what makes it so interesting!

Opening scene starts off in Eclo Canyon, which is what the name says - a canyon! (Only without any water or the such).

Skarmory - in the opening cutscene in the game, this Skarmory is seen, as well in the final few seconds flying around as well. Why remains a mystery to all - it makes for a rather random start. HOWEVER, Gonzap turns out to have a Skarmory - one and the same? In this story; yes!

Wes - main character of the game. Unlike most main characters in Pokémon games, he is NOT a generic 10 year old that catches legendaries and breaks up criminal syndicates for fun. Nope - he's a teenager who blows stuff up and works/ed for criminal gangs! Instead of a starter Pokémon, such as Charmander or Turtwig, he already has in the game an Espeon and an Umbreon. (Which are already above level 20 as well!) He also, for some reason or another, decides to steal the Snag Machine (which fits on his arm) in the opening part of the game. Plot device!

Gonzap - head honcho of Team Snagem. Very large, and has very long eyebrows and a moustache that stick out several feet from his face, which makes up for his lack of hair where hair normally goes. Team Snagem themselves do as their name suggests - they steal (snag) other trainer's Pokémon.

Shadow Pokémon - Pokémon turned 'evil'. Not really explained how, but why: so certain people get world domination/power/money or the sort (obviously). They will feature more as the story goes on, as well as an 'explanation' for them as well.

Explosion - in the opening scene, Wes blows up the base with two explosions in a similar manner portrayed here, steals a Snag machine, and runs off. Why is never revealed, although you find out he worked for Team Snagem later on. The game never does tell you, so I worked from the idea that Wes cares for his Pokémon a fair bit (as established in the game - Espeon and Umbreon are 'an old friend' of Wes's on their stat screens, and Espeon also knows 'Return' in the game which has the maximum power already), so when he's told to hand them in, he decides 'hell no' and leaves with a bang. Heh, bang.

As a side note, you also start the game with a number of items - here in the Chapter, Wes took them from Team Snagem before he left.

Jdawg26
March 3rd, 2008, 07:48 AM
I like it ^_^ not like other FFs out there with short chapters, and the charecters acually have some depth to them. Good job!

Minos Yewman
March 3rd, 2008, 12:25 PM
I loved colloseum, this looks great. Can you also explain why at the end everyone yells for someone to stop Evice from escaping when they are standing in a circle around him?

Elite 4 Sam
March 11th, 2008, 09:24 PM
I'd have to say, this is one the best i've read. you should make support banners.

Mr. Roboto
March 11th, 2008, 09:36 PM
This is awesome, start this up!

bobandbill
March 11th, 2008, 10:21 PM
ARRGH! POSTS DISAPPEARED! TWO CHAPTERS GONE! FORUM DIED! DAMN YOU DIALGA!!!

...

Anyway, I shall now repost the chapters again... oh, and for the two comments made that I hadn't replied to before deletion - I appreciated them. I shall regive shorten responses, as well as responses to new reviews...

I like it ^_^ not like other FFs out there with short chapters, and the charecters acually have some depth to them. Good job!

Thanks.

I loved colloseum, this looks great. Can you also explain why at the end everyone yells for someone to stop Evice from escaping when they are standing in a circle around him?

I shall, when I get up to that, that is. Thanks for the second respnse as well that never was...
I'd have to say, this is one the best i've read. you should make support banners.
Thanks. Although, support banners? Care to elaborate a tad more please - as in other people having them? Hmm...
Anyway, thanks for the compliment!
This is awesome, start this up!
Thanks, and I shall. Right now. :)


Anyway, a thing to note - in each chapter (not including the prologue), there shall be a 'pastry/pastry-related item' to find! Just a random thing that I've done. Sometimes it is obvious, other times hidden. So enjoy!




***

Chapter 1 - A New Beginning




After driving through the desert for an hour, having emerged from the rocky walls of Eclo Canyon a good while back, Wes decided he had put enough distance between himself and the remnants of Team Snagem's base. Former base, Wes thought to himself as he cautiously tested the brakes, slowly bringing his vehicle to a halt. It had taken him a while to figure out the controls of this Zoomer which hadn't been helped by Umbreon trying to chew them. He disembarked tenderly, checking that his footing was steady after such a bumpy ride.

"Umbreon Umb!" (We sure left that place with a BANG!) Umbreon said happily from a side seat on the Zoomer, only to quieten as Espeon who was sitting next to him glared silently at him. Wes merely grinned as he stretched his arms and legs, pondering what would happen now.

Right... if anything, I did this region a good turn. Snagem at worst will be out of action for a while, but they may come after me. Gonzap isn’t about to forget this, and sadly I doubt I’ll be forgetting his face anytime soon. I’ll have to watch my back, but I doubt they’ll come looking for me today.

Wes then turned back and looked back towards Eclo Canyon. A satisfying cloud of black smoke sat at the edge of the horizon, prompting another smile from Wes. After the recent event, he felt…. free.

Free from Team Snagem. Free from having to sneak around towns to steal Pokémon. Free from the guilt he felt whenever he had to hand in a Pokémon that he knew would end up becoming a Shadow Pokémon. Free from Gonzap’s ugly face. And free from the poor quality food that Team Snagem could muster. Whoever heard of sandwiches that actually contained sand?

Wes’s stomach rumbled at the relief of not having to eat such poor fare. Speaking of which...

“How about some dinner, Espeon and Umbreon?” asked Wes.

“Espi!” (About time you said that!) acknowledged the Psychic Pokémon. The elegant light-purple cat gave a small sniff of disdain, as if Wes should have suggested it earlier. He then yawned, and twitched his forked tail. A small crimson ruby situated in the middle of Espeon’s forehead sparkled in the scorching sunlight, also seemingly in agreement.

“Umbri!” (Bacon for me!) cried Umbreon, in a more enthusiastic manner. The pitch-black Pokémon was sillier than Espeon, and also far more easygoing. His tail was of an ordinary size and shape compared to Espeon’s elegant forked one, and unlike his brother, he didn’t possess any psychic powers – only an immunity to it, being a Dark-type Pokémon. Upon his body were numerous yellow rings, which mysteriously faded out and reappeared again, over and over.

"Ok, then. I guess the Outskirt Stand should be the closest place," Wes replied. He had a decent idea on what his Pokémon said; he had known them for a good while now, and his Espeon also helped out a fair bit with translations if it was ever needed.

“Umbri! Umbreon!!” (I don’t care where, just get there NOW! I’M HUNGRY!)

“All right, calm down, calm down,” Wes said as they clambered onto the Zoomer again. Wes gunned the odd engine and continued on the same route. As they travelled, irregularly shaped rocks sprung out of the sandy ground as they navigated through them. The region of Orre was for the most part desert, and the only objects of interest to see in parts like these were the rocks and cacti.

“Umbre!” (Are we there yet?) Umbreon asked presently.

“Oh, quieten down,” grumbled Wes. “At any rate though, I can see it now.”

Espeon and Umbreon looked into the distance and made questioning growls at the sight of a dull red train - of all things - standing in the desert. Wes merely grinned at their bewilderment and pulled up by the train. It had been the beginnings of a grand transportation scheme set up for Orre, which fell apart after a few weeks. The only part of the railway system ever created was the train itself, which had now turned into an inn by the current owner. It served as a rare sight-seeing object for tourists who got lost and found themselves in Orre somehow, an event which occurred every now and then.

Parked by the train there was another smaller vehicle, resembling a ute and far closer to a car than the Zoomer. Wes glanced at it. A large sack was sitting on the back part of the pale-green vehicle. Two men - one had a flame-like colour-schemed hair that was spiked up, while the other had dark blue hair - were by the car, clearly bickering to each other.

“So you’ve done securing that knot, Folly?” asked the blue-haired one. He brushed some sand from his bright orange jacket, hunching over to check the bag within the car.

"Yes I have, Trudly," responded Folly. Wes noted that this one seemed to have a slightly better sense of style – his hair looked somewhat cool to the teenager, as did his blue singlet and glasses.

“Good. Let’s go now! We’re in a rush, remember?”

Wes observed them enter the vehicle curiously, as Umbreon glanced up at the train with confusion, ignoring the activity from the strangers. Espeon did the same; it was a rare action for the Psychic type to mimic his brother, but an announcement that suddenly rang from a loudspeaker hanging from the train informing them it was due to depart in ten minutes for Hoenn helped hold his attention.

How does a train with no train tracks get to a region an ocean away? Espeon pondered. This region sure is broken...

“Umm, Folly? Why aren’t you driving?” asked Trudly from inside after a lengthy pause.

“I, um, seemed to have misplaced the car keys...”

“WHAT!?!”

Wes quietly laughed to himself, and turned to the train. As he went to enter it they snuck in close behind his heels. Inside the train, a large man behind a counter noticed Espeon’s and Umbreon’s cautious looks and laughed merrily.

“Never seen a train in the middle of the desert, have they? Oh, where are my manners? Welcome to the Outskirt Stand. What can I do for you, sir?” he asked.

“Any chance of dinner perhaps?” asked Wes. The man chuckled again enthusiastically, his warm personality spreading like a blanket.

“Of course! Sit down, sit down. By the way, people call me Kirk.” Kirk promptly pulled a hamburger out of nowhere and two food bowls for Wes’ Pokémon. They quickly forgot their worries and began consuming their meals.

Wes took a moment to observe his surroundings before consuming the burger. It was a unique place, with a mini-shop set up by the counter, and a few people sitting around watching the small, dusty television and chatting about the velocities of different Swellow. Nearby a man was playing a harmonica, the simple tune seeming to loop over and over without any sign of ending.

Wes stopped eating to look upon the man further. The entirely bright-pink hair looked disturbing to say the least, and the sideburns didn’t help the matter either.

“Oh never mind him,” said Kirk. “That’s just Pinky.”

“Don’t call me that!” exclaimed the person with annoyance, ceasing playing to glare angrily at Kirk. “My name is Willie and before you ask, this hair came about from a hairdressing accident…”

Umbreon looked upon the person with a questioning look.

“Someone’s Kecleon freaked out the hairdresser and she spilled this dye in my hair,” Willie explained. “So I guess I’m stuck with it until it fades out - it doesn’t wash out for some stupid reason…”

“Man that’s unlucky, Pinky…” muttered Kirk with a grin. Willie just glared at him and resumed playing, as the wind outside picked up.

***

Later that night, Wes was settling down to sleep on a cushioned seat like the rest of the people inside. He had been watching a boring news investigation about a coffee shop, which was typical of the average television programs only available in Orre.

It was starting to get interesting when one of the reporters, Mary, was ‘assaulted’ by a random old man. He had started shouting about how he couldn’t get coffee and how that was such a tragedy. He wasn’t letting Mary past into the shop to interview the owner and was about to start throwing coffee mugs everywhere, when suddenly the investigation got interrupted.

“We interrupt this, eh, interesting news investigation with a special bulletin with some, uh, news. News, people! Police has confirmed that the notorious criminal gang Team Snagem has had their base destroyed in an explosion.”

Willie stopped playing his harmonica as everyone clambered around the T.V. Images of the building - or what was left of it - were shown in quick procession, as Wes watched from his seat, remaining quiet.

“E...Espi…” (Wow... didn’t think we did that much…) Espeon quietly commented to Wes, in awe of the destruction.

“Umbre Umb!” (Ha, it looks cool! Go us!)

“The location of Team Snagem’s hideout was previously unknown but now police have gotten into the act and have made arrests. They are currently interrogating these people. The cause for the explosion is currently unknown, but we assume that something explosive is at fault there. We will now return to our program.”

With that, the T.V program returned to Mary running away from the man who was yelling “WHERE’S MY COFFEEEEE!” as he gave chase with surprising speed, stopping only to throw a coffee mug at the camera.

Kirk broke the silence that followed by opening a bottle of champagne and announced that the drinks were on him. Everyone cheered in response, moving to the bar counter with astonishing speed, as Wes quietly smiled to himself before joining in the celebrations.

***

The next morning after a small breakfast, Wes departed the Outskirt Stand and stood on the ramp leading from the train’s entrance, with no real idea on what he should do next. Deciding to not worry about it for the moment, he decided to look at Folly and Trudly who to his amusement had seemed to have been unsuccessful in their search for the car keys as the two were still scrambling around in the sand muttering under their breathe. Suddenly Wes heard a soft cough from behind him - Willie had followed him out.

“Hey, Wes - want to have a battle?”

Wes thought for a moment. He didn’t really like Willie as he wouldn’t stop playing the same annoying tune over and over again on his harmonica throughout the evening. But it would be good practice for Espeon and Umbreon, and Wes loved nothing more than a good battle.

“Sure, you’re on."

They quickly moved off the ramp and onto a dusty clearing in front of the train as Wes’s Pokémon hopped down from a window and raced in front of Wes, eager for the battle to begin.

“Right, I’m pumped!” Willie began, grinning as he adopted a pose.

“That’s... good, I suppose,” Wes responded. “But maybe you should-”

“Yeeeeeeaaaah! I’m burning now! I’m on fire!” Willie continued, as Espeon exchanged glances with Umbreon. “It’s full-throttle time! Vrum! Vrooom!”

Silence followed, save for an encouraging shout from Kirk of ‘Go get him, Pinky!’.

“Stop calling me that!” shouted Willie. “Go! Moltres and Mewtwo!” he called as he sent out two Pokémon.

Wes stared. Surely…he didn’t call his two Zigzagoon after Legendary Pokémon.

“Um, ah… oh dear...” muttered Kirk in disbelief, looking on to the two identical brown-and-white striped raccoons. They stared back at Espeon and Umbreon with small, black, beady eyes.

Quickly recovering from that oddity, Wes flew into action. “Espeon, attack with Confusion on, eh, Moltres, and Umbreon, Bite on Mewtwo…”

“Ok, Moltres and Mewtwo, Tackle the both of them!”

Right, thought Wes, this will be over soon, as he watched the two Zigzagoon take heavy hits. Espeon shrugged off one of the Zigzagoon’s Tackle attacks, and responded by staring intensely at it, sending a wave of psychic energy at his opponent. It cried in pain as it crumpled under the mental strain. Meanwhile Umbreon evaded the other Zigzagoon’s Tackle with ease, before counter-attacking by biting the side of the body of the other unfortunately named Zigzagoon.

“Finish off with Return and Secret Power!” commanded Wes. Before Willie could shout at his Zigzagoon to dodge, Espeon rapidly charged in and struck his Zigzagoon with his body, sending it flying straight into the train. It gave a pathetic whimper as it fell, and promptly fainted. Umbreon merely moved away and sent a ball of electricity at his opponent, which succumbed to a similar fate as its friend.

“Aw, man…return,” said Willie sadly in defeat as returned his two Zigzagoon to his Poké Balls. “You’re pretty good!” he conceded with a grin.

“Yeah, you made quick work of Pinky!” exclaimed Kirk. But Willie was too busy playing the same old tune on his harmonica again to notice.

Suddenly, Trudly give out a shout of delight, as all turned to look at him.

“I found them!” he said happily, holding up the keys in the air.

“Great, and about time! Let’s go!” said Folly gruffly as they hopped in the vehicle. “Oh, by the way, where were they?”

“Umm, it doesn’t matter,” said Trudly quickly. Folly frowned - he answered a little too quickly for his liking.

“No, really, where were they?” he asked.

“Well, they were…” Trudly paused, then in a much smaller voice continued, “in my pocket...”

“What the…”

A loud onslaught of words flew out of Folly’s mouth, as everyone moved outside to look at what the commotion was about.

“You’re telling me that we spent more than AN ENTIRE DAY looking for those keys, when they were…” screamed Folly in frustration, as his words started to disintegrate into unintelligible shouting.

As Trudly drove off while trying to ignore Folly’s shouting, Wes noticed something odd – as he continued watching, it appeared that the sack in the back part of the vehicle was moving.

Hmm, there’s something odd about that, thought Wes. And given the size of the bag and all...well, I’ve nothing better to do, so I might as well follow them. Wes climbed onto the Zoomer along with his Pokémon, and with a hasty ‘bye’ to Kirk and Willie, he followed the tracks of the car.

***

After a while of driving and following the strange loop-the-loops the tracks seemed to make – Wes assumed that the two men hadn’t really known where to go - Wes pulled up next to their vehicle by the region’s artificial oasis in the form of a town. Both the men and the strange sack had disappeared, but footsteps made in the sand led towards and into the town’s front entrance. Wes hurried inside, noticing that water was an evident theme of the town - troughs of water could be seen flowing within the white walls of the town. A large fountain took up a large part of the town’s square, placed symbolically in the middle of the town. The architecture was rather astounding, with magnificent, pure-white buildings arrayed symmetrically around the fountain, and with stones arranged simply yet effectively for the patterned pavement. Towering palm trees dotted the settlement as well, accompanied with various other water features, such as small waterfalls, and a cascading spherical building near the rear of town, spouting the wet substance - probably the town’s well-renowned Colosseum, Wes pondered. It all looked modern and sophisticated - overall the city was a sight to behold, especially for desert-dwellers who didn't see much of water anywhere else.

“Umbreon!” (This must be Phenac City by the looks of things!) declared Umbreon.

“Esp…” (Well duh…) Espeon said tiredly, noticing a large sign stating ‘Welcome to Phenac City - the town of water, water and… well, water!’ by the entrance.

“Well, what’s happening here?” Wes murmured as he approached a group of people. Among them was Trudly and Folly. It seemed that the two men were trying to bring the sack – which was now shaking violently - within the city, and were failing in fantastic style. A lady and a man, the latter dressed like a marathon runner and with a small, gray Castform floating behind him looked on worriedly.

“What’s… in there?” she asked nervously.

“We’re not robbers, I swear! We’re just kidna-” Trudly began, before stopping himself.

“Um, ahh…” stammered Folly, sweating from more than just the heat.

“It’s a, um, a rabid crazy wild Pokémon! Stand back - it’s vicious and needs to be taken to the Pokémon Centre now!” claimed Trudly hurriedly, before he tried to walk onwards.

“Get me out of here!” shouted the thing inside the bag. Wes and the others glared at Trudly, who scratched his head nervously.

“Um… it’s so crazy it can… talk?” offered Trudly weakly.

“You’re a kidnapper!” shouted the lady.

Folly winced. “Yeah, well, you never stop us. We’ve got Pokémon ready for battle!”

“Well actually you only have Pokémon, I left mine with…” began Trudly, as he and Folly clumsily set the bag down.

“Shut UP!” Folly shouted, anxious to quieten down his inept teammate.

“I’ll take you on!” cried the athlete, as the Castform floated forward and gave an attempt at a terrifying squeak with little success.

“Are you serious? Your Castform against…” Folly paused for a moment, thinking. “Aha! TWO Pokémon? You’ll never win!” he boasted.

Wes decided to take action, as nobody else in the town seemed to register the fact that there was a kidnapping occurring despite all of the shouting going on. “I’ll battle,” he said as he signalled to Espeon and Umbreon to get ready.

“Ah…you… will?” Folly asked, sounding amazed. He probably hadn’t had to deal with someone actually accepting a battle before, Wes noted.

“Sure.”

“Well… fine then! Prepare to lose!” said Folly, trying to sound confident. “Go, my Whismur!” He fumbled for his Poké Balls and sent out two cute-looking pink Pokémon. They were minute in size compared to Espeon and Umbreon, had large, adorable ears and didn't look capable of putting up a good fight any more than the Castform.

Right… he thinks he can beat me with those? thought Wes. This’ll be a piece of cake.

***

A mere piece of cake later, Folly and Trudly were running out of town in defeat. Espeon and Umbreon growled at their retreating backs, ready to take them down as well if needed. As Wes watched them leave, the athlete got to work on the knot of the sack.

“Huh… this knot is tough to undo…”

Wes frowned. Why bother with untying a knot when you could do it the easy way?

“Umbreon, Bite the rope!” he ordered, as his Pokémon leapt at the bag and bit the rope into pieces. A moment later a girl struggled out of the sack, breathing in large amounts of fresh air. She was small and dainty, and had the odd combination of blue eyes and orange hair.

“Now then, are you all right?” asked the woman.

“Yes… I think so,” said the girl, stretching her arms and grimacing in mild pain. The teenager then brushed dust off of her clothing – a blue jacket with pink trimming which covered up a purple shirt, a white skirt and pink Ugg boots. Wes raised an eyebrow, noticing this odd sort of choice of footwear for the desert.

“Good. After being tied up in a sack, you're lucky you didn’t suffer any mild…”

Suddenly the girl smiled oddly and waved her arms about, and shouted “MY NAME’S ROMARIO AND I LIKE CHOCOLATE PIE!”

“…It seems I spoke too soon…” said the woman.

“Hey - where did she go?” asked the athlete.

“ZROOM ZROOM!” shouted the confused person, who was aboard Wes’s Zoomer. She then attempted to drive the Zoomer, but looked confused by the various handles and the absence of a steering wheel.

“Don’t touch that!” cried Wes.

Fortunately the girl abruptly fell out of the Zoomer in comical fashion. She lay on the ground and started spinning around and around, smiling idiotically.

“I’m scared,” muttered the athlete. “Being in that bag without much oxygen mustn’t have done much good on her…”

Wes considered this. “I have an idea. Espeon! Use a gentle Confusion on her to get her...acting normal! Be careful though…” he warned, before realising how odd his command must had sounded.

Espeon stared into the girl’s eyes, and focused his mind onto hers. After a moment, the girl seemed to calm down.

“Wha… what happened to me?” she asked, seemingly confused as to why she was lying on the ground in a strange position.

“Oh, good, you’re all right now,” soothed the lady, helping the girl to her feet. “You were being kidnapped by two men, but this young man saved you. You were a bit, well, out of it a moment ago though…”

“Why, what did I do?” she queried.

“Umm… never mind,” said the woman hurriedly. “Anyway, what’s your name?”

“It’s… Rui,” she said quietly.

“Any idea why they kidnapped you?” asked Wes, as he wondered that very thing. She looked rather harmless – leastways, when she hadn’t been running about screaming nonsensical words. And oddly, despite having being just kidnapped and rescued, she seems less panicked than Wes imagined she would have been.

“Well, actually…” began Rui.

***




That's the chapter - comments and so forth appreciated, naturally.

And here is the spoiler containing what characters in the chapter are like in the game:


Outskirt Stand - Train in the middle of the desert. Very unexplained why it is in the form of a train, but hey, it's cool! It's a shop and rest place for travellers of Orre. Apparently it is popular in-game too.

Folly and Trudly - Two underlings of a character called 'Miror B'. Very stupid in the game, and not the best battlers. Have unique hair-styles (not up to Miror B's standards however) and kidnap the girl Rui in the game. They are also pathetic and have little bravery. They're pretty much the same in the games as they are here - stupid. They feature a fair bit in the game, and some more in particular in a few chapters time.

Kirk - Owner of the Outskirt stand. If he had a name in the game, I don't remember it... Friendly guy who sells you items.

Willie - one of the people in the Outskirt stand, and he is the first trainer battle as well, who randomly gets his own specific battle music! Has two Zigzagoon, and strange unsettling pink hair, and a strange opening battle speech. Note that the background music for the Outskirt stand is played by a harmonica - that borders on enjoyable to near-annoying at times if listened to for too long.

T.V. report - they feature occasionally in the game, and in this instance, it tells of Team Snagem's loss. Hurrah - you're on the news! However T.V. reports are boring after a while and don't change often. Decided to make it more 'interesting' by referencing the 'coffee man' in R/B/Y/FR/LG, that obstructs you because he didn't have any coffee...

Phenac City - despite being in a desert, it has water flowing all over the place. Talk about luxury. A rather pretty town with a large fountain in the middle of the place.

Rui - a 'sidekick' in the game which follows you all over the place and got kidnapped by Folly and Trudly. Features heavily in the game how shall be explained soon. The specifics of how she does that is never explained in the game...

Bystanders - two bystanders during the kidnapping that actually react to the event. Everyone else ignores the event... They talk to you at times - one of them always runs around a fountain and claims that it is his 'role' in the city, and has a Castform that follows him around.

Umbreon Ruler
March 13th, 2008, 03:02 PM
Yay, I can review this now. Hm... I'll start with the Prologue.

Let's see... I've never played the game, so I can't compare anything, but I really liked it. The Skarmory at the beginning was a very interesting way to start the chapter, expecially including its point of view about Snagem and the "pointy mustache man." Even though it was a little short, the occasional touches of humor kept me reading. The only thing I might suggest is that you could use a little more description for the people and places. Other than that though, very nice.

Now, Chapter 1. The beginning with the Outskirt Stand was a little foggy, since at first you mentioned a train and I imagined them boarding it, but then they were eating and battling. The problem might just be my assuming things, so take it with a grain of salt. Hm... good plot develepmont (although it might be moving a TINY bit too fast) and I quite liked the bits with Trudly and Folly. I hope to see more of them. Rui seems... interesting to say the least, lol. Can't wait for the next chapter.

Sorry this review is so short, but I'm on a cheap, old laptop that I found in the attic, and it's not really all that comfortable.

UltimatePIkachuFan
March 13th, 2008, 05:45 PM
Great fic! It goes into more detail then the game's storyline. Hope to see your next chapter soon.

DubHalo
March 13th, 2008, 10:16 PM
Now if only they stopped the current pokemon show and put this as the new series

bobandbill
March 13th, 2008, 11:57 PM
Yay, I can review this now. Hm... I'll start with the Prologue.

Let's see... I've never played the game, so I can't compare anything, but I really liked it. The Skarmory at the beginning was a very interesting way to start the chapter, expecially including its point of view about Snagem and the "pointy mustache man." Even though it was a little short, the occasional touches of humor kept me reading. The only thing I might suggest is that you could use a little more description for the people and places. Other than that though, very nice.

Now, Chapter 1. The beginning with the Outskirt Stand was a little foggy, since at first you mentioned a train and I imagined them boarding it, but then they were eating and battling. The problem might just be my assuming things, so take it with a grain of salt. Hm... good plot development (although it might be moving a TINY bit too fast) and I quite liked the bits with Trudly and Folly. I hope to see more of them. Rui seems... interesting to say the least, lol. Can't wait for the next chapter.

Sorry this review is so short, but I'm on a cheap, old laptop that I found in the attic, and it's not really all that comfortable.
Thanks! Glad you liked the Skarmory introduction - occasionally I will sift to other people's (maybe even Pokemon later on) POV's in chapters. Prologue was short cause... well, it's the prologue - only a set-up scene based on the first... 40 seconds of the game (a cut scene, which ends up raising more questions then answers).

On description - in this story, I kinda go easy on it, as it's not really about the description, but me makinga game funnier and explaining the various plotholes and more. It is better that you'd have played the game, as you would 'get' more things here (jokes, what characters are based on, etc), but it isn't nesserary.

Outskirt Stand - hmm, though I had mentioned it was an inn to begin with - 'only part of the railsystem ever created was the train, which was now converted into an inn' - so there. ;) It is odd however, esp. when you play the game.
The next chapter' plot pace is shorter - fair bit of 'filler', that's still funny however. Towards the second half there will be some things to watch for however. The plot pace in the game is also quick - that's the first 5 or so minutes, factoring in the slow battles that are dead easy.

Folly and Trudly will be appearing occasionally for the next few chapters as well. They're fun to write. Rui will definately feature heavily in the story, as she always does in the game...

Anyway, thanks for the review - greatly appreciated.
Great fic! It goes into more detail then the game's storyline. Hope to see your next chapter soon.
And that's the whole point of the story, well, part of the point at least... thanks.
Now if only they stopped the current pokemon show and put this as the new series
I'd have quite a big job then. ;) And produced not as regularly as well (enjoy these fast chapter-releases while you can...)

Anyway, let's get onto chapter 2! For those who've played the game - the Pre Gym features a fair bit, as well as a short scene with an important character...




***


Chapter 2 – The City of Water

]“…It’s hard to explain,” Rui began, frowning as she recalled the incident. “I was on my way to Agate Village when our bus stopped for an hour or so in this smelly town called Pyrite. When I was walking about I saw a… peculiar Pokémon. It was shout and stout and chasing another Pokémon, and then it attacked a person. Then, when I shouted out for help… I was suddenly chased, grabbed and thrown into a sack,” she explained, smoothing out her small ruffled jacket. “Hey, did those kidnappers use an odd Pokémon themselves?”

Wes looked at Rui with puzzlement as he pondered her words. She saw a peculiar Pokémon that was attacking people? Could she have seen a Shadow Pokémon? Maybe she got kidnapped because Team Snagem didn’t want her spilling the beans... but those people didn't look like Team Snagem members to me, he continued to muse grimly.

“You saw a Pokémon attacking people?” questioned the athlete. He wiped his brow and left his mouth a little too open wide, and tapped his foot on the pavement as he considered her words. “But why would they kidnap you because of that? And no, they didn’t have any odd Pokémon… just incredibly weak ones.” The man snickered at the thought of two Whismur being a threat to anyone over the age of five.

“I have no idea what they wanted to kidnap me for. Maybe they didn't want to have people knowing about that Pokémon,” Rui said. “But the important thing is that I got rescued.” Rui turned to Wes and beamed at him. “Thanks you, my gallant prince!” she exclaimed loudly, making Wes cringe. He quickly tried to hide his reaction by turning around and acting nonchalant.

“Espeon!” (The girl seems to be embarrassing Wes…) remarked Espeon.

“Um, Umbre.” (Heh, it seems he has a weak spot.) Umbreon silently wondered if it was due to the fact Rui was female. After all there hadn’t been many female people at Team Snagem, and the ones that were there also had to have their hair shaved as per the team’s outfit policy.

“Ah, can you escort me for now, please?” Rui continued suddenly.

Wes was surprised by this question, and the suddenness of it. “Umm, no, I’m busy and have… um, no idea about this city. I don’t know where things are…”

“Only I’m a bit worried, what with being kidnapped and all. Please, Mr…?” Rui pleaded, ignoring Wes’s protests before giving him the infamous puppy dog look.

“Oh jeez…” muttered Wes to himself. He glanced around at the two onlookers but they didn’t seem forthcoming in offering help themselves. He sighed before giving up. “Ok, I will, although I won’t be much of a guide. My name’s Wes, by the way." Not like I have much better to do now than this anyway.

“Yay! Thank you!” Rui said with a smile. “I thought you’d say that.”

“Espi…Es,” (She’s… persuasive,) Espeon said, scrutinizing the conversation as Wes groaned quietly.

“Umbreon,” (This could get interesting,) replied Umbreon.

“I know what you can do!” said the lady, destroying the uncomfortably silence that had followed to Wes’ relief. “You should see the mayor. He’ll know what to do!”

“Okay!” said Rui happily. It seemed that she already forgot about her ordeal - she was smiling more than ever before. “Only, I don’t know where it is…”

“Oh it’s…” began the athlete. But Rui had already run off into the distance, singing happily.

“Hurry up, Wes!” she called as she ran into a nearby house.

“Oh dear… she's energetic, isn’t she? Well, you better catch up to her then. I’ll go back to practicing for my race!” said the athlete as he ran off back to the fountain in the middle of the town before beginning laps around the magnificent water feature.

“You look like an attractive couple,” smiled the lady, who also seemed to have forgotten the recent kidnapping. She walked off as well, leaving Wes alone with his Pokémon. He scratched his head and muttered to himself about the whole situation. A kidnapped girl who didn’t seem affected all that much by her ordeal, odd people who had Shadow Pokémon – which the girl saw - and Whismur, and an athlete which seemed to have a liking for running around fountains. Bewildered by that and the sudden presumption that he and Rui, whom he had just met, were a couple, he stumbled off to find Rui. At least the house Rui had gone into appeared to be the right one as there was a large sign proclaiming just so outside it.

But when Wes got inside the house, he found Rui was already talking to the people inside who appeared to be merely regular citizens.

“This isn’t the mayor’s house… is it?” asked Rui. “Only I need to talk to him about a kidnapping that was occurring here.”

“No, but one day... one day, I shall be the mayor!” proclaimed a woman in reply. Rui stepped uneasily away from her before she continued. “But wait - a KIDNAPPING?!? Huh - wait - come back!” she shouted in dismay as Rui decided it was a good idea to leave.

“Sorry about that,” muttered Wes as Rui ran past him and nearly trampled on Umbreon in the process.

“Well, just make sure she votes for me!” the woman replied, throwing a pamphlet at Wes before walking off into a separate room. A teenager, seemingly oblivious to the recent occurrences within the house, turned to Wes and started commenting about the lack of anime programs around recently.

“I mean, there’s all these news reports about a person blowing up Team Snagem’s base… it’s not THAT interesting…” he said, as Wes decided to leave.

What a very odd place this is, he thought, before silently bemoaning the fact that nobody knew it had been him who had blown up the base. He then scanned the city and caught sight of Rui who had already run off a fair distance; she was approaching a large building in the centre of the town. Sighing once more to himself, he ran to catch up to her.

***

Rui burst into the building, with Wes panting shortly behind her. “Is this the mayor’s house?” she asked.

“No. This is the Prestigious And Highly-Esteemed Preparation Training Facility. Or Pre Gym for short,” answered a person standing by the door.

Rui and Wes looked around to observe their surroundings. There was an elevated, rectangular platform in the middle of the room which appeared to be the battle arena, albeit a small one by usual standards. By the battling arena there was a glass lift leading to a level below. On their right, there was a control room with a man clad in a clean, white uniform sitting by a large panel of buttons and switches, and to the left was another room in which a lesson on Pokémon appeared to be proceeding. Given the fact the teacher appeared close to tearing out her hair it didn’t appear to be going well. Naturally, Espeon and Umbreon trotted off to satisfy their curiosity while the man at the controls noticed Wes and Rui’s arrival and marched down to greet them.

“Hello there!’ he said warmly, as he offered a handshake. “My name’s Justy. Interested in taking part in a Pokémon battle challenge? It’s four trainers in a row in the usual double battle format.”

“I WOULD LIKE TO BATTLE!” shouted Rui happily causing Justy to flinch at the unexpected enthusiasm. “But… I have no Pokémon,” she added, suddenly downcast. Wes raised an eyebrow at her; her mood swings were unsettling to say the least – maybe Espeon’s Confusion was still having minor effects on her.

“You have no Pokémon?” Wes inquired. “You should get some, if only for protection...”

“Yes, I guess you’re right,” sighed Rui. “It probably would have helped me out in Pyrite after all.”

“Well,” said Wes to Justy, “I guess I will take part in the challenge – unlike her I have a couple of Pokémon of my own. The mayor can wait, Rui,” he told her. His legs already were feeling sore from the running about after her.

“I guess so,” answered Rui. “I can watch after all, and see how you saved me!” she added with a grin.

“Great!” replied Justy. He grinned widely. “It’s been a good while since someone has come to try out some battles here so I’m afraid all the trainers here have been pretty bored with battling each other. When you’re ready, step up to the battle area. I look forward to watching some enthralling battles.” Justy smiled and walked back to control room. Wes realised it must have external controls for the lift as well as a viewing platform – it certainly wasn’t a bad set-up for a battling faculty given it was Orre.

“Okay, Umbreon, Espeon, get ready! ...Where are they?” Wes said suddenly, looking around.

“I’ll get them,” said Rui, as she marched off towards the room they had walked into. Wes sighed and followed her.

Meanwhile, Espeon and Umbreon were observing an interesting class in maths. Espeon was entertaining himself by levitating some pieces of chalk above Umbreon’s head while the two regarded the teacher with a look of pity.

“Now then,” the teacher began with a strong hint of exasperation in her voice. “Pokémon battles are an important part of life because unlike people they can do amazing things like breathe fire. However, if you want to be a good battler, you must be able to do a bit of simple mathematics.” Collective groans were made at the last remark but the teacher continued on. “Now, we’ve been at this for the last week, and we need to make some progress. Jimmy! Here’s an addition question. If I had two Pokémon, and then got two more Pokémon, how many would I have?”

Jimmy blinked at the teacher as he attempted to understand what she had asked, mouthing the words to himself before answering.

“Umm… you would have some Pokémon.”

“Yes… and no. Look here,” she said as she drew some circles on the blackboard to resemble Pokémon. “Now, one, two, three, four. So how many are there?”

“Let me think..." answered Jimmy. “There are three…and that one.”

“Three and that one,” repeated the teacher with a sigh. “So if I add THAT one to the other three, what will I have?” The teacher went as far to hold up four fingers in front of Jimmy’s face in a desperate attempt to have him get the answer.

“OH! Um… Some fingers.”

“Espeon…” (He’s rivalling the two idiots we saw before in stupidity...)

“Umbre!” (And winning!)

“Ah! There you are!” shouted Rui. She quickly scooped the pair up and handed them to Wes.

“ESPI!” (Put me down!) Espeon cried, surprised that Rui would simply pick him up like a lost toy.

“Hello!” greeted the teacher. “Don’t worry, those Pokémon were well behaved. And what fine evolved Pokémon they are! Jimmy! What do YOU think of these Pokémon?

“Um… well behaved, fine evolved Pokémon?” answered Jimmy, struggling to keep up with the sudden subject change.

“No, that’s what I think. What do you think? Try to have a thought of your own, Jimmy, thinking is so important. What do you think?” explained the lecturer patiently.

“I think...thinking is so important,” replied Jimmy.

The teacher sighed and turned to Wes. “Never mind Jimmy, he’s been like this for years. Hmm, do you have a P*DA?”

Wes frowned. “Yes. I am a trainer, as you can see.” He held his P*DA – Orre’s somewhat less-than-inspiring equivalent of a Pokédex - for the teacher to see. It was a small gadget that could fit in one’s pocket but it didn’t give much in the way of detailed information beyond moves known by Pokémon in the trainer’s possession, and wild speculative rumours about the species. Nobody was quite sure why the star needed to be mentioned in its name but everyone just went along with it.

The teacher frowned a bit upon seeing the P*DA set up. “You don’t have a Strategy Memo, do you?”

“No, I don’t,” admitted Wes. Personally he thought he could rely upon his own memory and knowledge to know which Pokémon were good against others. He also felt confident about knowing that water beat fire and ice moves tended to be rather cold without the help of the add-on.

“Tell you what, if you beat the Pre Gym challenge, I will upgrade your P*DA,” said the tutor. “It’s a typical reward we give out, although I can’t say it’s very, uh, extensive.”

“Well... I guess if I ever have to lend this to a young child who doesn’t know his left hand from his right it may be useful, so might as well. I better get started then…” Wes said with a shrug before walking back to the battle arena, deciding to take his position on the left hand side. Espeon and Umbreon trotted out in front of him, prepared for battle.

“I’ll cheer for you, Wes!” shouted Rui loudly.

“OK! First challenge is… Botan! You’re up!” shouted Justy from the control room, before pressing a button and summoning the lift. Another teenager walked out and took his battle position.

“Wes, Wes, beat Botan, if you can’t do it, no-one can!” cheered Rui.

“Rui, could you please pipe down during the battle?” Wes yelled back.

***

All in all, the pre-gym challenge was a cinch. Even Jimmy would have beaten it, Wes reflected, despite the enthusiastic and somewhat distracting shouting from Rui.

After Botan proclaimed his love for all things green and grass types, he sent out a Sunkern and a Hoppip. However, when his Pokémon caught sight of the far larger Espeon and Umbreon who towered over the tiny creatures, the small pink Hoppip jumped back into Botan’s Poké ball while shrieking in fright with its squeaky voice. Its partner however could not dive into its own Poké ball, due to being a small, weak seed lacking legs or the ability to jump. Left without any other options, it resorted to waving its leaves as viciously as it could at Espeon. Shortly before Wes even ordered an attack, the Sunkern fainted out of pure fear.

The second battle was against a girl by the name of Liqui, who boasted that nobody liked water types as much as her. Wes suspected by this point the trainers’ names weren’t real but then again, strange names were common for citizens of the region. Her Pokémon were at least considerably better than Botan’s (consisting of a Marill and Surskit) in that it required an attack from Wes’ Pokémon. However it only needed one; Espeon’s powerful Return had struck Marill right into the small water spider which was squashed by the other’s weight, knocking both out instantly.

The third battler was a posh looking boy with the slightly less classy name of Dugo. He had a Trapinch and a Swinub, the former being quite fond of dancing about as soon as it was sent out. This seemed to help it, as while its partner had dug underground Wes’s Pokémon were unable to target it and so they focused on the Trapinch instead. They failed to land a hit on it as it successfully evaded both Espeon’s Return and Umbreon’s Bite attacks, swaying its body just out of reach. Unfortunately, instead of attacking Espeon and Umbreon from below, the Swinub ended up burrowing underneath and hitting the dancing Trapinch, knocking it upside down. In the confusion (which hadn’t been helped by Dugo shouting at his Pokémon about docking their salary for their mistake) the two Pokémon were both promptly jumped upon by the two Eeveelutions and a mere moment later they had also been defeated.

The last battle was a relatively straight-forward one. The final battler, an uppity Lady Gwin, sent out two defensive rock-typed Pokémon in Geodude and Ryhorn. The Geodude begun with a Magnitude attack which shook the room slightly and sent all nearby onto the ground. Rui gave a sudden shriek when she fell, while the teacher muttered a bit as she scrambled to recollect pieces of chalk and blackboard dusters while ignoring any fallen children. However the attack dished out severe damage to its partner in Ryhorn thanks to the type disadvantage, causing it to bellow in pain before charging straight ahead right out of the door. With the departure of the rhino, Geodude stood no chance against the combined forces of Bite and Confusion. Oddly enough, Lady Gwin after the battle huffed at Wes distastefully.

“Uh... well, my battle style must have been too sophisticated for you!” She struck her nose to the air, and walked off towards the stairway to search for her Ryhorn.

Odd comment to make after losing, thought Wes. Meanwhile, Rui ever so causally stuck out her foot, resulting in the woman giving a startled shout and acquiring a squashed nose.

“Great work!” smiled Justy, commenting upon the battles as he made his way to the arena. “You beat the Pre Gym Battle Challenge!” He tried to make it sound like a fantastic accomplishment, but both Wes and Rui felt that Justy knew how ‘challenging’ it really was. Nonetheless, the man continued on. “As an award, you win… this WHITE HERB!” Justy handed a small white herb to Wes, with the same level of fake enthusiasm, if not more.

“Ah… thanks…” said Wes as he scrutinised the small white leave, wondering if Justy had been joking by offering this as a price. Justy’s wide beam suggested it wasn’t, and so he stuffed the small object to the depths of his bag, figuring that he would probably forget about its existence by tomorrow.

“I would like you to battle me, Wes. But only when you get a full party of six Pokémon,” Justy continued in a similar fashion.

“If you insist I suppose,” Wes said, thinking that wasn’t too likely he would get himself any more Pokémon any time soon – he was quite content with his current small party. On his way out, he got the upgrade for his P*DA from the teacher, who seemed to be using this as an excuse to stay away from her students. Wes didn’t blame her. She even gave Rui a P*DA, even though she wasn’t a Pokémon trainer, or have any Pokémon in the first place.

***

The moment they walked out of the Pre Gym, Rui started to rush off again into the depths of the white stone city towards a long alley, eagerly eying the numerous water features crowding the street. Wes however grabbed her jacket before she could progress.

“Stop running off!” he said sternly. “If you want some help from me, you’ll have to stop rushing off into every house. From now on, just follow behind me. OK?”

“Yes…” said Rui somewhat reluctantly.

“Good,” said Wes, confident that he got the hyperactive Rui under control for now. He started walking towards a house to the left. He had talked to someone upon leaving the Pre Gym, so he now hopefully knew the location of the mayor’s house. Rui started walking directly behind him.

“Rui…” he said at length.

“Yes?” replied Rui innocently.

“Can you please stop walking directly behind me?”

“But you said to follow behind you,” answered Rui mischievously.

As Wes went to say something impolite to Rui, he suddenly bumped into a man who had walked out of the mayor’s house.

“Hey!”

“Oww! Sorry…” apologised Wes, before stopping short as he gazed at the man. Rui let out a gasp and Umbreon looked up uncertainly.

The man was a tall, skinny person, who didn’t have much of a dress sense – his cold eyes didn’t do much to distract from his long, white hair and unattractive purple clothing, save for a red, skirt-like piece of garment which gave him the appearance of an ugly, poisonous flower. The man smiled oddly at Wes, causing him to shiver on impulse.

“You are a travelling trainer?” he asked. He smirked at Wes and Rui’s looks of bewilderment. “I like your expression. Fufufu, I have a feeling we will meet again somewhere.” The man then abruptly turned around and walked off.

“Well…” said a bemused Wes as he scratched his head. Normally people would say ‘that’s all right’ or more likely say something rude at being walked into rather than say... well, that, before leaving suddenly. “That was… odd.”

“And… scary,” added Rui.

“Umbreon, Eon?” (People in this town are strange, aren’t they?)

“Espeon Espi.” (Change ‘town’ to ‘region’ and I’ll agree with you on that one.)

“Well, I hope you don’t have to meet him again,” Rui said uncertainly before giving a small shrug. “Let’s go in,” she added, not one for waiting around.

As they entered, they saw the complete opposite to the man they just encountered. The person seated before them was a fat, short rounded figure, with a brown suit that somehow managed to contain his entire mass within. This, along with possibly having to talk with his previous visitor, didn’t seem to detract the mayor to welcoming them with a wide smile.

“You must be travellers! Welcome!” greeted the man. He waddled up to Wes and Rui. “I am Es Cade, the mayor of this town. Is anything the problem?”

Why do they keep assuming we’re travellers anyway? Wes thought to himself. Rui took the opportunity to step forward, banging her hands on the table as she began her recount.

“I saw… IT!” she answered.

The mayor looked blankly at Rui.

“Oh… sorry. Well, I saw a peculiar Pokémon, no, that’s not quite right,” Rui said quickly, somewhat grasping for words.

“Well, what was peculiar about it?” asked the mayor.

“Well," began Rui hastily, "I was walking around Pyrite Town when I saw two people having a Pokémon battle, and one of them had this Pokémon and it was giving out a black aura, and it was very odd, and then the man told it to use a strange move that sounded something like ‘shadow rush’, and I didn't think that was a real move, and then the Pokémon attacked the other Pokémon, and it looked very evil and I said ‘why does it have a black aura’, but nobody could see the black aura, and the Pokémon attacked someone, and they ran away screaming, oh and I like cake, and it looked like a fighting machine, not a Pokémon and then the man asked me what I saw and I ran away but then I was kidnapped by the man and this other man, and they put me in a bag took me here, and then I was rescued by Wes who had very strong Pokémon, and I’m really scared, and yeah.”

The mayor blinked at Rui. “I think you need to explain that again, slowly, and more clearly… much more clearly…”

***

“Well, then. So basically, you saw a scary Pokémon with a black aura? And it attacked people, and some shady characters kidnapped you because you could see it. If that is true, it would be scary. But I do admit I find it hard to believe at face value…" The mayor said a good ten minutes later. Wes smirked silently to himself - the mayor didn’t seem so disbelieving of the idea of Shadow Pokémon to himself, but then again it was a known problem within the region, or at least worse parts than Phenac. There was no doubt that that was what Rui had seen after all given her descriptions.

“But it’s true! MISTER MAYOR! It’s the truth!!” protested Rui rather loudly.

“No, no, I didn’t say I DON’T believe you,” said the mayor hastily, holding his hands up to stop Rui’s outburst. “I’m just saying that it is quite the story… anyway. I will investigate this…”

“Thank you!” gushed Rui.

“Don’t thank me! It’s my job and I cannot allow this,” the man assured the teenager in a soothing voice as he offered her a glass of water. “Give me time to investigate and I will get back to you with information on how we are going later via those P*DAs of yours! By the way, you are Pokémon trainers, no?"

Wes nodded. “Well, I am anyway.”

“Well then, while you’re here, why not go to our Colosseum, and take up a challenge? It’s state of the art, and the pride of our town. We also have our highly esteemed Pre Gym!”

“Well, all right. I already beat the Pre Gym challenge but I’m always up for more battles,” Wes answered with a grin as his Pokémon nodded in agreement. “Thanks for your time – we might as well check it out now.”

“Sure thing,” the mayor continued, standing as they left to leave. Wes turned and left the building with Rui following him happily behind him, pausing only for a moment to turn back. Wes swore that that he had seen something in the mayor’s face - a look of contempt? Anger? Hate?

But the mayor simply beamed back at him happily with a wave.

Nah, I probably was just imagining it, thought Wes. Too darn jumpy after the whole Team Snagem business I suppose...

***



Please reply on your thoughts! And I hope you enjoyed it! From here-on in, the chapter do start to get longer as well...
Oh, and in the next chapter, everyone's favourite afro-wielding music-loving Ludicolo-fanatic guy will make an appearance as well.

Chapter 3 may come on Sunday (my Sunday - live in Australia so for some Saturday...) as well, depending on time and availablility of internet.

And here is the spoiler on characters and such in the game:
Rui - in the game, after revealing that she can she Shadow Pokémon, then requests you to take her to the Mayor’s house (never mind you just saved her, and that you don’t know the place, but at least she asks nicely), and follows directly behind you all the time. If you played the game, you’d know just how annoying it gets - especially as she does so for the ENTIRE GAME! Yes, in the game, you’re stuck with her through thick or thin. Even if when you snag loads of Pokémon, and she never gets one. Anyway, her and various issues concerning her shall be addressed in due chapters.

People in house - random people in a house in Phenac City. Your average dim-witted NPC - note that the guy that comments on the T.V. broadcast moans about the such for the entire game. Never mind that it’s all about you saving the world, and that he misses out on his likely boring show because of it.

PRE-GYM - short for ‘Preparation Training Faculty’, as a NPC tells you. Looks good - has a mini-multi-environment underground for the NPC’s to train in (desert, forest, grassland, lake and sea rolled into one…) and a small lesson with teacher and students by the side.

The trainers in it however suck - all four have the same names and Pokémon as in the game and it’s pretty much serving as more tutorial battles. Exp is exp though.

Jimmy - what do you get when you mix a bland NPC that is one of the students at the Pre-gym, and a comical scene from the great show ‘Blackadder II’ - episode II? You get Jimmy. Otherwise he and his fellow students (and the teacher) aren’t anything remarkable.

‘Random-guy-by-mayor’s-house’ - also known as ‘Nascour’ in the game. Doesn’t look very… human, has strange and unsettling dress sense, and what he says in the game (same as what he says in this chapter) is… odd. Hints that he knows who you are then - escapee from Team Snagem - but, that doesn’t fit in the storyline. For this fic, he doesn’t, and more on that will show up later.

Mayor - short happy obese mayor called Es Cade. He comes from the land of fairies and elves and will do anything to help you...Ok, the last sentence I made up. He does have happy theme music, and acts more or less as he did in this chapter. Note that Wes is still on edge.

CrystalGlaceon
March 15th, 2008, 06:30 PM
It's real good and super funny! XD Rui is crazy! Colosseum was a good game. It's nice to see such an interesting fic about it. Keep up the great work!

bobandbill
March 16th, 2008, 12:08 AM
It's real good and super funny! XD Rui is crazy! Colosseum was a good game. It's nice to see such an interesting fic about it. Keep up the great work!
Cheers.

And here's the next chapter - including everybody's favourite guy from Colosseum, Miror B! (guy in avatar).


***

Chapter 3 – Enter the Afro


“What do you mean, no challenges?” asked Wes, drumming his fingers on the desk.

“Sorry, but the current challenge is already underway. I guess you will have to come back later if you want to try the Phenac Colosseum challenge,” the receptionist said in a matter-of-fact manner.

“Alright then... thanks anyway,” Wes grumbled. “Odd, isn’t it?” he said to Rui as they walked out, with Espeon and Umbreon following behind. “You’d think the mayor would have remembered that the challenge started a day ago…”

“I guess he just… forgot,” offered Rui as an explanation, admiring the architecture of the Colosseum which had even more water features than the town itself within the white structure. “It IS a nice stadium though, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, I guess so…” Wes said, taking one last glance of the interior of the vast Colosseum before they left. It truly was the highlight of the town, with water clinging from the spherical ceiling and flowing down to the moat surrounding the building rather than falling onto their heads. The building was simply staggering in beauty, but Wes wondered how much money could have been saved on other parts of Orre, which from what he had seen while working with Team Snagem was struggling in retrospect. As they stepped back outside onto the bridge over the moat, Wes squinted his eyes at the blazing sun before putting on his shades.

“So, what do we have here?” a sinister voice…voiced, bring Wes out from his musings.

“Hey, Wes!” another cried. “We found you, you filthy, double-crossing traitor! You wrecked Team Snagem’s base, and stole the Snag machine as well? You have some nerve!”

Wes frowned as his looked across the bridge to confirm the sources of the voices - a pair of Team Snagem grunts.

Had they been in a town they would have stuck out like a sore thumb to anyone. Nobody else wore that attire composed of jet-black jeans and gloves, a dark-red jacket, and even the same kind of odd hairstyle - a ring of hair at the back of their heads was all that remained from the free haircut that Team Snagem offered to new members. Wes had declined this sort of outfit, choosing to stick with his appearance, not being a fan of Gonzap’s choice of uniform. In turn Gonzap wasn’t a fan of Wes’s sense of fashion - Wes thought that Gonzap didn’t appreciate his clothing but hadn’t cared, instead pointing out that the fact he went on operations not dressed up like Team Snagem tended to help him remain unsuspicious. Not that it mattered anymore anyway.

“Who are they?” asked an oblivious Rui, failing to notice the words ‘We’re Team Snagem!’ stitched upon their jackets, or their menacing tone of voice. Espeon rolled his eyes - even he and Umbreon knew that Team Snagem’s outfit was recognised across the region, despite having only arrived in Orre a few months ago. Rui had a lot to learn.

“Err, don’t you know?” asked one, confused. He scratched his head. “We’re Team Snagem!”

“Team Snagem?” Rui shouted as her eyes widened.

“Yeah, that’s-” the other continued before Rui proceeded to kick the nearest one in the shin.

“Arrgh! What was that for?” asked the criminal, grabbing his leg in anguish. He looked in bemusement at the girl who glared angrily at him; he was clearly not used to having people stand up for themselves.

“For kidnapping me!” cried Rui.

“Kidnap you?” asked the member, blinking with surprise. “Pttf. Why would we waste our time kidnapping some nobody? No, our beef is with Wes.”

“Umbre…” (Mmm… beef,) Umbreon muttered. Espeon rolled his eyes again at his partner’s comments before lightly slapping his head with his tail and mentally conveying to him to be prepared for a battle.

“But I was kidnapped!” Rui cried. “And what do you mean by traitor…” she added as an afterthought as she turned to Wes. “Wes, you mean…”

“Yep! He was from Team Snagem! Not only that - he was a Snagger! He was snagging Pokémon without fail! Well, okay, he wasn’t perfect, but he sure was one of the better ones!” he said, leering at Wes. “And then he went and blew up our base and stole our Snag Machine.”

Rui looked astounded and chose not to speak straightaway, opting instead to catch her breath before turning her glare at Wes.

“IS THIS TRUE!?!” she demanded, glaring at Wes.

“Umm… yes?” answered a nervous Wes. Rui’s face at this answer made him wince - it was a mixture of anger and sadness rolled into one.

“Well, well, look what you did now, Wes, breaking people’s hearts,” the first member sneered. “I’d love to stay and chat, but we need to get going. Give us the Snag machine now!”

“What’s a Snag machine?” asked Rui, seemingly on auto-pilot now.

“Oh, a Snag machine is that mechanical contraption on Wes’s arm,” said one of the Team Snagem members, pointing at the object Wes had stolen. Wes wondered why Rui hadn’t noticed the snag machine in the first place, nor anyone else for that matter. It was clearly situated upon his arm and would have been one of the first things people noticed about him, he imagined. Then again, she probably hadn’t been paying attention, what with her running off in every direction. Furthermore, Orre was filled with oddities, and several residents of Orre had stranger things than a machine on their arm. No wonder she didn’t mention it - she probably knew at least that much about Orre.

“...It converts Poké Balls into Snag balls, which overrides a trainer’s possession of the Pokémon within the Pokémon’s original Poké Ball data, and thus allows it to be stolen…” continued the Team Snagem member.

“Shut up!” warned another.

“Oops.”

“Enough talk! We’ll take it by force!” shouted the first Team Snagem member. “Get him, Corphish and Koffing!” he continued as he hurled two Poké Balls at Wes and Rui’s feet as the two Pokémon materialised. The former - a small, orange crab-like Pokémon - quickly jumped forward and tried to latch onto Umbreon’s snout but the Dark type was alert and twisted his body to deflect the attack. The Koffing merely watched and waited for a command as gasses emitted from various crater-like bumps upon its body.

Wes smirked upon noticing the poison-typed Pokémon; he had dealt with these Pokémon before. “Espeon! Use Confusion on Koffing!”

“Espi!” (This is going to be fun!) Espeon said, looking sadistically excited before staring at the ball of gas. As he applied his psychic powers on the Koffing, it began shivering violently.

“Koffing...” (I don’t feel well...) the Pokémon said before burping out purple sludge.

All at once, the Koffing started expanding, before Umbreon joined in and applied his own attack which gave rise to sparks which engulfed the Pokémon.

“What the…” said the Snagem member, taking a tentative step back. The others decided to do the same, worriedly looking at his partner’s Pokémon which was now several times its previous size. Satisfied, Wes quickly ordered his Pokémon to summon up a quick wall of light around them which they did promptly.

Then the Koffing exploded.

The two Team Snagem members were sent flying several metres down the stairway leading from the Colosseum. Their outfits were covered in black sludge while the Corphish flew through the air and landed in the moat, clearly fainted from the explosion. Some sludge fell harmlessly on Espeon’s and Umbreon’s barrier of light and slid to the ground.

“Blast you! Don’t think this is over! We’ll get the machine!” shouted one of the Team Snagem members, before they limped off into the distance, one dragging the Corphish with them. Watching them leave, Rui then turned to Wes.

“What do you know, Wes. You’re from Team Snagem,” said Rui.

Wes sighed as he put his hands in his pockets. “Well... yes, I am; no point denying that fact.”

“Well, that’s okay.”

“It is?” replied Wes, surprised.

“NO! WHY DIDN”T YOU TELL ME?” shouted Rui, stomping a foot on the ground.

“Esp.” (Oh dear.)

“HOW COULD YOU HAVE BEEN A SNAGGER?!? DIDN’T YOU STOP TO THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WERE DOING TO THOSE POKEMON?”

“Umbreon, Umb?” (She has a good Screech attack, doesn’t she?) Umbreon remarked to Espeon quietly.

“That’s why I quit! Well, partly, anyway. Besides, I can’t be all that bad - I did rescue you…” countered Wes.

“Well… I’ll give you that,” admitted Rui, who began pacing back and forth, “But still… for all I know, you could be stealing Pokémon for yourself!”

You know, that’s not a bad idea in itself if it didn’t increase my chances of getting caught by Team Snagem or landing in jail, Wes mused for a moment, but he wisely decided against voicing that line of reasoning. For some reason, he didn’t feel like upsetting this girl any further.

“If I was stealing Pokémon I would have taken those guys’ ones instead of...”

“Espeon,” (Exploding them,) Espeon offered.

“That. At any rate, I wouldn’t say that- WATCH OUT, RUI!”

However it was too late - Rui, while interrogating Wes, didn’t notice that she had walked close to the flight of stairs nearby.

Too close.

Wes, Espeon and Umbreon observed Rui bounce down stair after stair until she came to a stop at the bottom. Startled, Wes ran down to her.

“Umbre…” (Ouch.)

Rui groaned and looked to Wes, looking a bit confused at first before her thoughts gathered.

“I’m...all right.”

Wes breathed a sigh of relief.

“Let’s go rest at the Pokémon Centre. Here, I’ll help you,” Wes offered, taking her hand and pulling her up gingerly to her feet.

***

“All your Pokémon are healed to perfect health. And your friend, besides a few bruises, is going to be all right.”

“Thanks,” acknowledged Wes. He was a bit bewildered about being in a Pokémon Centre again. He hadn’t entered one for years, and he couldn’t help but wonder why everything was so strange. Each nurse seemed to look just like each other, and most of them seemed intent on spoiling Espeon and Umbreon non-stop with a pet or treat. Not that they minded much. Espeon constantly gave a look whenever one of the nurses had to pause and stop petting him, while Umbreon simply walked up to every staff member that entered the room.

And then there were the people who seemed to live inside the centre. There was an old man that earnestly kept telling Wes that he could use the PC for storing his Pokémon, and the girl who asked every person whether they were Pokémon trainers or not. She even asked a bemused Justy, who had entered the Pokémon Centre to pick up some Pokémon. It was obvious, thought Wes, that the best trainer in town, picking up Pokémon from the Centre built around Pokémon, WAS a Pokémon trainer.

There was also a kid who seemed obsessed with the 3-D holographic map of Phenac City displaying from a table. What disturbed Wes was that he was seemingly to be drooling over it, muttering senseless technical terms.

Shaking his head at the group of weirdos, Wes sat down next to Rui.

“By the way? It’s... it’s okay, Wes,” Rui begun in a quiet voice.

“Huh?”

“I’ve thought for a bit, and... it doesn’t matter to me who you were. After all, you’re my gallant price who rescued me…” she added with a smile. “Besides, you quit, so can’t be so bad anyway.”

“Well... okay then…” Wes said with a shrug.

Umbreon gave Espeon a glance.

“Umbreon? Umbre?” (You didn’t have anything to do with Rui’s sudden acceptance about Wes’s past, did you? Especially not when she fell down those stairs?) he asked quietly.

“Espi…” (Well…)

“Anyways, Rui… something is rather odd about this…whole thing,” he began.

“What is it?”

“Well, firstly… didn’t you think it odd that those Team Snagem members didn’t know anything about your kidnapping? And those people who did kidnap you… well, they didn’t look like Team Snagem. For one, they weren’t wearing the generic ‘I’m-from-Team-Snagem!’ uniform.”

“Yes…” mused Rui. “That is… odd. But then who kidnapped me?”

“I’m not sure… maybe those people somehow got possession of a Shadow Pokémon, and didn’t want you spilling the beans.”

“That’s an idea… that poor Shadow Pokémon…” added Rui to herself. “I mean it looked so… unlike how a Pokémon should be like. Really angry.”

“Which reminds me - what do you mean by seeing a black aura? I never saw any aura around a Shadow Pokémon. In fact, nobody I know who worked at Team Snagem could distinguish Shadow Pokémon from normal Pokémon easily, beyond the whole ‘they’re trying to kill you!’ fact. Which makes me fairly interested as since I was fairly new, I didn’t really know much yet about how they made Shadow Pokémon and all. I was just told to steal them.”

“I honestly don’t know. I guess nobody else could see it… but I’ve seen loads of Pokémon before, so I was pretty spooked when I saw the aura around this one. Besides, I came up with an idea,” smiled Rui.

“Okay… what’s that?” Wes asked, raising his eyebrows.

“Well, you have a stealer thingy from there, don’t you?”

“Yes, I do...” Wes said, already suspicious of the way the conversation was going.

“Well, we get ourselves some Poké Balls, and then steal back that Shadow Pokémon with them! And then we help them!”

“Um… Rui, remember, you bumped your head on the stairs. Your ‘great idea’ may need some reconsideration…”

“Why, what’s wrong with it?” Rui asked, somewhat disappointed. Wes sighed and counted off a bunch of reasons on his fingers.

“Firstly, that Shadow Pokémon could be anywhere. Secondly, it is unlikely Trudly and Folly will show up again so we can find the one they have. And thirdly - where will we get Poké Balls? None are kept anywhere I know in Orre as there’s rarely any wild Pokémon anyway, and Team Snagem imported them from other regions, as far as I know. And they weren’t cheap.”

Rui blinked. “Well… it’s still a good idea,” she answered adamantly.

Wes sighed as he leant on the desk. Well... it’s not like I have anything else to do, he thought silently to Espeon.

No, I assumed that blowing up their warehouse isn’t something that means you can still keep your job, Espeon thought back drily. After all... to be frank, Umbreon and I were never keen on the whole Shadow Pokémon thing anyway, and who knows, finding out more about this whole deal could be... interesting.

“Ok, whatever. I’ll help you, but I don’t think we’ll get far. Where do you propose we go looking for Poké Balls?” Wes asked Rui.

Rui smiled. “Let’s go SHOPPING!"

***

“No Poké Balls?” repeated an anguished Rui.

“Sorry, but we haven’t had any in the last few years - there’s been no need for them,” answered a young shop assistant. “You know, with the whole lack of wild Pokémon thing.”

“Well, where can we get some?”

“Umm, try Silph Co. It’s only in Kanto,” suggested the assistant with a roll of his eyes. This proved to be a fatal mistake as the assistant received a slap to the face, before Rui marched out in a huff as Wes followed.

“I did say,” Wes pointed out.

“Psst!” said an old man to Rui as she walked by, ignoring Wes’s comment. “They may have some Poké Balls in the Outskirt Stand…” he offered, before tapping his nose exaggeratedly and abruptly walking into the Poké Mart.

“Huh… um, thanks?” Rui said to thin air.

Wes merely shrugged. “He acted the same way when I asked him where the Mayor’s house was.”

***

A bumpy ride on the Zoomer later, they arrived at the Outskirt Stand. Rui had complained about making the trip by the machine in the first place, but soon got accustomed to the transportation vehicle. Espeon and Umbreon had been annoyed that she had taken up a lot of space in their usual seat. When they arrived Willie greeted Wes as they jumped out of the loud machine, running up to the two.

“Oh, I was worried about you…” he said, panting slightly.

“Why?” asked Wes, surprised that the pink-haired person would have worried about him.

“Well, recently some tough-looking characters came asking around about you. They had a Koffing, and it looked like they were from Team Snagem… hey, who’s the chick?”

“Excuse me!” exclaimed Rui as she glared at the man. “And… why is your hair…”

“I’ll explain later,” said Wes hastily, as he dragged Rui into the train, ignoring Willie’s cries of ‘Wait!’ - after all, he already had dealt with these Team Snagem people, if they had a Koffing with them. Still, he’d have to be on his guard so that the same thing didn’t happen again.

“Hello there, Wes! Brought a stranger?” asked Kirk as they entered the train with his usual wide grin.

“That’s right,” Wes nodded.

Rui smiled. “My name’s Rui, sir,” she told him.

“Well, what can I do for you today?” Kirk asked warmly.

“Well, sir… we heard you may have some Poké Balls…”

“Poké Balls? There’s been no call for these things around these parts for ages… where’d I put them?” he mumbled as he walked off to look in the storage. He immediately came back with a whole box full of them to their surprise.

“Here they are! They are a bit dusty, but they should work fine.” Kirk blew the dust off the red and white orbs into Wes and Rui’s faces, causing a mass coughing fit.

“Umm...sorry. I’ll give you some for free for that. How about five?” offered Kirk as he winced at their response.

“Thanks... I think I’ll buy another ten, for safety’s sake,” Wes said after he recovered. And so with a significantly heavier bag full of Poké Balls and a considerably lighter wallet, Rui and Wes made their way back to Phenac City for lunch.

***

Outside the mayor’s house, an old lady stood, observing the happenings in the city. She was well known for being a gossip, and spent most of her time spying upon others. People went to her if ever they wanted a chat about the latest in the town, such as news about any interesting newcomers or whether anyone had fallen in the fountain again.

Recently she had turned her attention to the mayor’s house. She could tell something interesting was happening there. She had the same feeling she was having now as well before; the sort that itched at you and refused to go away until it was attended to. The last time that happened, it turned out Jed’s overcooked apple pie HAD been the source of the burning smell that had caused a mass evacuation of Phenac City.

But what was up? The old veteran was thoroughly perplexed by the recent events around the Mayor’s house. First, that man (if he deserved such a title; he had looked more like an alien with poor dress sense) showed up in the Mayor’s house, and then the young man and that girl went in too… it was all very odd.

Then the lady had observed an explosion of sorts from near the Colosseum during a confrontation between that same boy and girl and a group of other people. After that, three people looking remarkably like Team Snagem members had ran past, looking the worse for wear and covered in black goo. Then the girl fell down the stairs without warning… all very peculiar. And then there was the gossip going on about a girl being saved from a kidnapping only hours beforehand, one of the many stories springing about every since news about Team Snagem’s hit on their base reached the media. There was a smell of change in the air, what with the reputed criminal gang suffering badly - and as a result that was all that was being talked about on Orre’s TV stations currently.

The senior sighed. Whatever it was, she sensed it wasn’t good, and probably won’t go away as easily as Jed’s apple pie had. Not that anyone else in town seemed to notice much, if at all. Recently she heard a man discussing that he ‘heard that a scuffle was going on at the town’s entrance’, but that he ‘couldn’t be bothered to find out what happened’…

That man is as naive as a Slakoth at times, deliberated the old woman to herself. I bet he didn’t notice the explosion either… then again, he wouldn’t even know the time of day. Either way… kidnappings and explosions don’t seem right when Team Snagem should have by all rights gone on the back foot. Something else is up.

Suddenly, the lady saw a strange shadow upon the ground. It jolted her out of her reverie and back to the present. She blinked at the shadow - it looked like it belonged to a rather large circular object… with a head attached to it.

Shakily, she turned around, to face… it. The ‘it’ in question gave a dazzling smile and bowed to the lady.

“Hello madam! Is this the mayor’s house?” it asked.

Unfortunately, ‘it’ received no answer as the woman gave a soft moan and promptly fainted in shock.

“Umm… Sorry? These poor citizens aren’t accustomed to my grace I fear...” it said to itself.

***

As Wes and Rui entered Phenac City, their attention was grabbed by the lady who was with them during Rui’s kidnapping.

“Oh! It’s you two! Something terrible is happening!” she said, panting as she ran to them and waving her arms about as if she was on fire, looking flustered and flurried. “Some scary looking men came here - including the two people who kidnapped you!”

Rui instantly tensed up at this news. Wes glanced at her before looking back at the lady.

“Where did they go?” asked Wes.

“Towards the mayor’s house, I think. Maybe the mayor is in trouble!” answered the lady.

At this Wes nodded. “Ok, I’m going to see what’s going on. Rui, you stay in the Pokémon centre till I come back.”

“No! I mean… I’m going with you,” said Rui.

“What?” Wes asked, surprised. “I man... it seems odd you want to go and risk yourself after these folk, and the same who had kidnapped you to boot.”

“I’m not letting those two away, and I’m certainly not letting you have all the fun,” smiled Rui. “So there.”

“Umm, ok then. Be careful though,” answered Wes. Didn’t expect her to be this confident.

She certainly did look more confident than before as she walked along with Wes towards the mayor house, up a set of white stone stairs flanked by a pair of small waterfalls. Wes hoped that all was well, and that the mayor was safe, but it didn’t seem to be good news that the two people had reappeared again and went about that area.

As they drew close to the mayor’s house however, they noticed a still figure by the mayor’s house.

“Hey… that’s an old woman! She’s unconscious!” shouted Rui as she poked the body with her foot.

“Shh! Can you hear that?” Wes chided, ignoring the lady for now. Something else had caught his attention. Rui, Espeon, Umbreon and Wes stood quietly for a moment and listened. There was a noise coming from the mayor’s house. It sounded almost like…

“Music?” asked Rui incredulously.

“Umbre!” (And from the sounds of it, good music too!)

“Maybe… the mayor’s having a party?” offered Rui, but even she didn’t believe that idea.

“Only one way to find out,” said Wes, barging into the house. Espeon and Umbreon ran in afterwards.

“Wait for me!” cried Rui. She too followed in, only to collide straight into Wes as soon as she came in.

“Hey, what gives…” asked Rui as she stood back up and looked at the still form of Wes. Then she realised what Wes was looking at and gaped at the sight.

“What is that?” she whispered.

The strangest scene was in front of them. Wes quickly recovered from his shock and surveyed the room just like he had been taught to while he had been with Team Snagem, mentally telling himself to keep focused on the task at hand.

There was no short chubby mayor to be seen, but both Folly and Trudly were present in the room. Three other men stood at the side of the room - one clad in green, one blue, and the last in red flashy uniforms. Not one looked like a member of Team Snagem.

But the strangest oddity was in the centre of the room. A tall man was dancing to very loud salsa music, clearly having fun as he spun and grooved across the carpeted floor. The man was in bright yellow, had odd disco-styled glasses, and looked like a relic from the seventies. But most noticeable was the fact that his considerable height was increased due to the large orb-like thing on his head. Wes first took it to be a Voltorb but quickly realised that it was actually an afro - and a very odd one at that. One side was dyed red, the other half white - rather like a Poké Ball.

“Espeon!?” (All right, who the HELL is this!?)

Umbreon however was the only one to take the look of the strange man in his stride, still nodding his head in time to the music.

“Master Miror B! It’s him! He’s the one that took the girl from us!” shouted Folly, pointing at the two as he noticed Wes’s and Rui’s appearance. Suddenly the man also seemed to take notice of the recent entrance of the two and ceased dancing, assuming a straight posture as he looked down at the newcomers. Luckily, the ceiling was just high enough to accompany his hair.

“Oh, aren’t you two pathetic!” he said to Folly and Trudly. “You couldn’t beat these infants? Trudly, song change! Something more suitable for the situation, if you will!”

Trudly grabbed a nearby radio and hit a button, changing the jovial music to a more grim, sinister tune.

“Umbre!” (Hey, I was enjoying that!) Umbreon cried in protest.

“Darling, did you say your name was Wes?” the man asked.

“Well, I didn’t actually say that it was my name, but yes, it is Wes,” he replied uncertainly. “And you are… Miror B?”

“Correct. And, well, I don’t like saying this, but we’re not at liberty to keep you lady friend at liberty,” he replied with an unfitting, dazzling smile.

Rui frowned at both the meaning implied behind the sentence, and the poor wording of it. Nevertheless, Miror B continued.

“She sees… things that ordinary people aren’t supposed to see. That won’t do… not at all.”

“Why not?” Rui demanded, but Miror B just turned to Folly and Trudly.

“Boys! Oh boys! I shall return to Pyrite town. Remember, I will wait for you with the little lady, and Wes as well. Am I making myself clear? I won’t accept failure from you two…”

Folly and Trudly gulped. Maybe it was strange that a man with a giant Poké Ball-themed afro and a snazzy, bright, yellow outfit with matching shoes was threatening them, but it worked to perfection.

“Ye…Yes, sir,” stammered Folly.

Clearly this…person holds power of some kind, thought Wes.

“Good!” Miror B sung happily as he then struck a dance pose that made all in the room cringe. “Let the music play! Let’s get it on!”

At this, Trudly obediently picked up the radio and changed the grim tune back to the previous salsa song. With that, Miror B ducked down and danced out as he took the radio with him, so that his afro could fit through the door. The three coloured men glared at Wes, before following Miror B as well. Slowly the music faded away.

Wes gave a questioning look to Folly and Trudly.

“What…who was that, exactly?”

Folly smirked. “Why, none other than Miror B, an administrator of none other than the Team Cipher!”

Wes grinned. Then Folly realised that he just revealed classified information.

“Damn it! You, you... you! You caught me off guard…”

“…Again…” added a frustrated Trudly.

“…but that won’t happen again! Go! Whismur and Lotad!”

“Oh no, you’re not going to kidnap me again!” Rui yelled angrily.

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry too much about that,” Wes said with a grin. “Remember; I’m here!”

“Espeon...” (Not very modest of you...) Espeon drawled.

One of the small pink Whismur that had been sent out last time Wes and Folly battled appeared, accompanied with a small blue creature that wore a deep-green lily pad upon its head. It let out a tired yawn and glanced at its trainer.

“Whismur!” (I hope I win… not you two again,) it added, catching sight of its opponents, Espeon and Umbreon.

“Lo...tad...” (Yawn… I was sleeping…)

“Umbreon! Attack the Lotad with Bite!” commanded Wes. Umbreon quickly darted forward and chomped on the small Pokémon’s leaf. It was seemingly attached to it as it was lifted into the air along with the lily pad.

“Lotad!” (Arrgh! Hey, what gives?) it cried in protest.

“Umbre!” (Hey, it’s like a Frisbee!) Umbreon proceed to toss the Lotad through the air to Espeon. His brother grinned before applying his Psychic powers to the Lotad, spinning it around in circles through the air and ignoring the further protests from the Pokémon to put it down so it could go back to sleep. Suddenly, the Lotad’s continuous path around the room took a sudden change and ended abruptly as it hit the Whismur directly in the face hard, knocking both out.

“Return…” said Folly sadly, summoning the two Pokémon to their respective Poké Balls. “I failed… again.”

“See?” Wes said to Rui, who smiled back weakly.

Trudly stepped forward. “Oh no you don’t! It’s my turn now! I’m not going to end up like Folly - and NOW I have my Pokémon! Go! Duskull and Spinarak!” Two new opponents appeared before Wes’s Pokémon, one a black floating skull-shaped ghost, the other a small green spider that started scurrying around straight into a wall.

“Espi…” (What, we have to beat these two as well? What a waste of energy,) Espeon smirked as he made this comment understandable to all in the room. Wes managed a grin.

“Okay, Spinarak! Attack with Spider Web!” Trudly shouted, trying to ignore the sarcastic comment.

“Spinarak!” (Web power for the win!) said the Spinarak as it dashed at the Eeveelution and spat out a large clump of sticky web at Espeon, only for Umbreon to quickly dart behind it and knock it flying back with a strong Tail Whip. The spider found itself colliding with its own attack in midair, and then the wall as Espeon ducked his head away from the attack. While it struggled to break free, Umbreon pounced once with another Bite attack which was enough to knock it out.

“Uh,” Trudly managed as Folly face-palmed. “Duskull, do... something!” His Pokémon glanced uncertainly at his trainer before waving itself at its two opponents.

“Dusk! Skull! Duskuuuul!” (Oooooh! I’m a ghost! Ghosts are scarrrrrrry!) it shouted.

The Eeveelutions exchanged glances before they sprang forward and struck the Pokémon simultaneously, and despite Duskull’s best attempts at continuing to scare them away it was predictably knocked out as well.

“Looks like you lost again,” grinned Wes, his grin widening. To his surprise, however, Trudly also grinned.

“Not quite. Go, Makuhita!” At this, a short, fat fighting-type Pokémon was sent out. Upon seeing his opponents, he brandished two large blue gloved hands in the air at them and waved angrily.

“Makuhita!” (Prepare to DIEEEE!) he shouted loudly as it stomped its feet.

“Espi?” (Come again?)

Wes frowned. This Pokémon, unlike the others that Folly and Trudly had offered up beforehand, looked rather capable, and also a little mad. But a two-on-one battle shouldn’t be too hard, thought Wes.

“Espeon! Attack with… what is it Rui? Stop tugging at my coat!”

Rui’s eyes however startled Wes - they were wide open - wider than before, if that was at all possible. She pointed a shaking finger at the Makuhita.

“Sh… sha…SHADOW! IT’S A SHADOW POKEMON” she screamed.

“Well… you didn’t have to shout in my ear,” winced Wes. “Hang on… shadow?” Wes gazed at the Makuhita. “Let’s see...yes, of course! I remember this Makuhita!”

“You do?”

“Espeon! Esp,” (Yeah, we have seen this one before! It was the one who had nearly escaped about a month back,) Espeon explained to the two.

“Umbreon!” (He gave Gonzap a sore leg!) Umbreon added with some respect.

“Yes, someone at Team Snagem stole it, and it was meant to made into a Shado-”

“Watch out!” cried Rui. Wes brought himself back to the present only to see Makuhita attack him with an Arm Thrust attack. Startled, Wes could only tense himself and cover himself with his arms to lessen the impact but was nevertheless sent flying towards a wall, remembering all too late that Shadow Pokémon didn’t mind attacking trainers. Fortunately, his crash was softened considerably - unfortunately for Rui.

“Umm, thanks Rui…” he said sheepishly.

“Gfttham frmhth nefhte!”

“What was that?” he asked.

“I said get off me!” Rui yelled.

Wes jumped off the somewhat squashed Rui, and mumbled an apology. Umbreon and Espeon glanced at the two worriedly for a second, and then glared angrily at Makuhita.

“Anyways, Wes… That’s the Pokémon I encountered earlier. And I can see a black aura! Can you see it?”

“Well… no, I can’t,” answered Wes.

“Oh, shut up with the yapping. Makuhita! Use Shadow Rush on Umbreon!” ordered Trudly.

“Shadow Rush?” inquired Rui.

Wes grimaced. “It’s a Shadow move… well, basically the only one there is. Shadow Pokémon can use it, and it hits - hard. Umbreon! Dodge and counter with Bite!”

“Umbreon!” (Easy!) Umbreon replied, and as the Makuhita charged at Umbreon, he nimbly jumped to the side just as the Fighting Pokémon swung a fist and bit Makuhita’s arm.

“Maku!” (Oww how dare you! You must die!)

“Makuhita! Use Arm Thrust!” Trudly shouted.

Makuhita primed its other arm to attack Umbreon, who was oblivious to the impeding danger, still clinging on to Makuhita’s arm.

“Espeon! Confusion!” Wes shouted in defence, prepared for this counter with his own. With a cry Espeon let lose a blast of energy at Makuhita. Shouting in response, Makuhita stoped focusing on hitting Umbreon, and clutched his own head. Umbreon realised something was up and released his hold on Makuhita’s arm, jumping away as the angry Pokémon started bashing his own head in.

“Hita! Hita! Hita!” (Die! Die! Die!) he shouted with each successive strike.

“Espeon…” (He must have anger management problems or something…)

“Damn! It’s confused… stop that! You stupid Pokémon!” shouted Trudly. At that, Makuhita glared at Trudly, and punched him.

“Oww!’ Trudly cried in pain, finding himself the target of Makuhita. He started running around the room, with Makuhita chasing him ferociously.

“You know, this is pretty amusing when he isn’t punching me,” Wes said as he watched.

“Wes… look! It’s getting tired!” Rui said.

Wes glanced at Makuhita, who was taking deep breathes in-between shouting insults as his running slowed.

“Good point. I guess now is as good a time as any!” With that, Wes grabbed a Poké Ball from his bag, and put it into the Snag Machine on his arm.

“What the… NO!!” cried Trudly, realising what Wes was about to do. With the grace of an experienced Pokémon veteran, Wes threw the Poké Ball at Makuhita which struck the preoccupied Pokémon in the head and proceeded to suck his form inside of it. Within a second Makuhita was gone from sight and all that remained was the Poké Ball as it landed on the floor.

All in the room stared at the lone capsule in the centre of the room. It wobbled once. It wobbled twice.

It wobbled a third time.

“Come on,” Wes said under his breath.

To be continued…





























…right now.


The Poké Ball… wobbled a fourth time.

And a fifth time.

“Huh?” everyone said.

Then it stopped. Umbreon trotted over to the Poké Ball, picked it up between its teeth, and walked back to Wes, dropping it at his feet.

“You… you snagged Makuhita!” gasped Rui.

“My Pokémon!” whinged Trudly. “You’re too good! And now I lost my Shadow!”

“What are we supposed to do now?” lamented Folly. “Miror B will punish us for sure…we won’t even get that salsa lesson he promised us!”

A pause followed as the two pondered their options. Wes raised an eyebrow at the last comment.

“ESCAPE!” shouted the pair suddenly, and they blitzed past Wes and Rui out of town faster than a raging Tauros.

“Yes! You did it, Wes!” cried Rui happily as she jumped in excitement. “You snagged it! And you defeated the kidnappers again!”

“Espeon? Esp!” (What about us? We did all the fighting, and all he did was chuck a Poké Ball at it!)

“Umbreon!” (Keep quiet, and we might get a pat on the head!)

“Espeon…” (Well, a good point, I’ll give you that…) Espeon conceded.

“But I’m sure there are others like it… Let’s get them all from the baddies!” added Rui. She beamed at Wes who looked at her questioningly.

Great. NOW she wants us to snag all the Shadow Pokémon?

***




I hope you enjoyed the chapter. Please post your comments, and anything thing you would like to see me 'explain' about the Pokemon Colosseum storyline.

Reminds me - soon Wes will be up against one of the Johto starters (2nd evo - part of the game for those who don't know). Which one will it be? Find out next chapter!

And, the spoiler for this chapter's characters:

Team Snagem attack - in the game, after leaving the Colosseum due to it being closed (just as well - the Pokémon there are at higher levels than what you have at the time), three Team Snagem members ambush you, revealing to Rui that you are a Team Snagem member. Naturally, Rui is shocked - unnaturally, for only a few seconds - after the battle and after they escape, she says 'you're ok' and continues to follow you around, after telling you to get some Poké Balls. This came off as pretty unrealistic to myself. If I knew the guy I was following was an ex-criminal, I'd be a bit more worried and less easy-going than that.

Pokémon Centre People - your typical collection of NPC's in Colosseum. All three mentioned in the chapter are in the game, and only say the same things. PC guy in particular is annoying.

The Poké ball fiasco - oh dear, no Poké Balls in Phenac City Mart! Never mind, a random old man in the mart 'secretly' tells you that they sell them in the Outskirt Stand. Yes, there is an NPC that does that.

Kirk also manages to find the Poké Balls in his store in record time in the game, despite saying that he hadn't sold any for ages, and gives you 5 for free. What a nice quick serving guy in the game...

Old lady - in the game, she stands outside the Mayor's house. She notes the strange going ons, but lets you do all the work. Gave her more of a personality in the chapter. And after all, someone else in the town has to respond to the kidnapping and Team Snagem coming... there is actually a guy in Phenac City which remarks on the kidnapping, but that he didn't know much and couldn't be bothered to find out more. Hurray for lazy NPCs!

IT - Miror B

Miror B - an ‘Administrator’ of Team Cipher. Commands Folly and Trudly and some others as well, but is not normally threatening or serious. Possibly the ‘scariest’ he gets in the game.

In the game, he is normally easy going, although he does scare the heck out of many a player when they first see him. I mean, tall man in bright yellow suit + giant Poké Ball-themed afro + salsa theme music is a pretty startling combination…

He has an obsession with Ludicolo, music and dancing, and prefers doing that over being ‘evil’.

He’s generally considered by many as the best Pokémon trainer ever, and if you’ve played the game, you might well agree. He has the best theme music in the game IMO - very addictive - and is quite mysterious in other ways. Why the hair, for instance? More on him in later chapters.

Makuhita - the first Shadow Pokémon in the game - naturally, being Shadow, it is angrier and more violent than most. It actually attacks you in the game - watching Wes do his ‘take damage’ visual is quite funny actually, without the game intending to amuse. Rui sees it has an aura (all purple and flowy), tells you it is a Shadow, and thus you can try to snag it with the snag machine and the Poké Balls you conveniently bought before. Afterwards, Rui jumps up and down, saying that now we can stop Cipher (seems suddenly you know all about Cipher in the game, and Team Snagem have no importance) and snag all the Shadows.

I’ve altered a few things from the game and added a few too for that scene.

Crystal Shaymin
March 16th, 2008, 05:51 AM
awsome. lol'ed at the part about team snagem, and rui...lol...then umbreon and espeon all th way through. this was a funny chapter, especially when mirror B. was there. great chapter!

edit, did you make a typo here: gallant price who rescued me. did you mean to say prince?

CrystalGlaceon
March 16th, 2008, 06:07 AM
I like how you put what the Pokemon are saying in battle-it's really funny! I especially liked the frisbee Lotad part. (They DO look like frisbees!) And Miror B FTW! On XD, I never snagged all the shadow Pokemon from him, just so I could continue to see him! There's nothing like battling in Miror B's music... Oh, and I also liked the "To be continued... ...right now" part. I actually thought it was the end of the chapter until I scrolled down and noticed the end part! Keep it up!

Incinermyn
March 16th, 2008, 03:06 PM
I love your idea, bobandbill, but there was a little thing that stuck out in chapter two... For the battles against the Pre-gym trainers, from what I read, it looked like you just gave one-paragraph synopses (summaries) of each battle... I really would've enjoyed reading more about them than just that... Try to avoid that stuff in the future, cause it opens up a little potental for slapstick stuff... Good job overall though. I'll check back as you add more.

bobandbill
March 16th, 2008, 09:13 PM
awsome. lol'ed at the part about team snagem, and rui...lol...then umbreon and espeon all th way through. this was a funny chapter, especially when mirror B. was there. great chapter!

edit, did you make a typo here: gallant price who rescued me. did you mean to say prince?
Thanks. :)
Price... uh, yeah, of course it's meant to be price... ;) Thanks for that. *edits*

I like how you put what the Pokemon are saying in battle-it's really funny! I especially liked the frisbee Lotad part. (They DO look like frisbees!) And Miror B FTW! On XD, I never snagged all the shadow Pokemon from him, just so I could continue to see him! There's nothing like battling in Miror B's music... Oh, and I also liked the "To be continued... ...right now" part. I actually thought it was the end of the chapter until I scrolled down and noticed the end part! Keep it up!
Thanks again.
Miror B music is probably the best Pokemon music IMO. I prefer Colo over XD, incidently.
For those who may 'recognize' the 'to be continued... right now' joke from the Simpsons - in actual fact had written that part before hearing of the joke, let alone seeing the movie (did so a couple of weeks or so later. Was interesting to see the same thing...).
I love your idea, bobandbill, but there was a little thing that stuck out in chapter two... For the battles against the Pre-gym trainers, from what I read, it looked like you just gave one-paragraph synopses (summaries) of each battle... I really would've enjoyed reading more about them than just that... Try to avoid that stuff in the future, cause it opens up a little potental for slapstick stuff... Good job overall though. I'll check back as you add more.
Thanks for that. I migth as well 'explain' mu summaries:
Well, if you've played the game (or any Pokemon game), you'd know about the huge amounts of battling that occurs... and had decided to 'summerise' that part to save time, and keep the pace moving. And after all, if I actually went ahead and did every single battle in 'real-time' that occured in the game... it'll be a while before I finished this. :)

Have already done the next so-and-so chapters previously (up to chapter 9), but you'd be plaesd to here that the next few battles also occur in 'real-time' and all, including a big-ish one. I do use the 'summary' technique once more later on (chapter 7), although in generally greater detail than here, and that part basically warrents the use of that (and would have resulted in the chapter being twice as long if I had the brain capacity and time to make them all long, and still funny battles - and it ended up being nearly 18 pages...). Good point however, and a fair one to make. I like those sort of things - helps me improve.

In other words, there's not many summeries that will occur anytime soon, and a fair few 'proper' battles.

Thanks for reviewing all!

Minos Yewman
March 17th, 2008, 11:35 PM
Hey, a new chapter! I like how these are being updated quickly, which starter will Wes catch though?? Quilava was my first shadow as I fainted Mahuita with confusion. All the battles still make me laugh out loud, keep up the good work!

bobandbill
March 18th, 2008, 12:39 AM
Hey, a new chapter! I like how these are being updated quickly, which starter will Wes catch though?? Quilava was my first shadow as I fainted Mahuita with confusion. All the battles still make me laugh out loud, keep up the good work!
Thanks.
It's been updated quickly as I've already done these chapter - posted elsewhere (like Serebii Forums), so am getting them up to speed here - like a chapter every few days. After that it will be slow... especially thanks to my schoolwork, that I do first, and I also can get off-task...

As for which starter - well, you'll see in this chapter! As in, right now! It also involves a change of setting - Pyrite, which will feature quite a lot from now on...


***
Chapter 4 – The Wonders of Pyrite




As Wes stared at Rui and regarded her statement, the mayor walked into the house.

“Hello... what happened here?” he asked with a soft, painful moan as he observed the overturned flowerpots. He poked at a painting lying against the base of the wall which had snapped clean from its hinge. It promptly broke into two and clattered on the battered carpet.

“Umm… well, there was this thing inside with a Voltorb - I mean hair, and some random people in colours, and then the two men that kidnapped me were there as well and a Shadow Pokémon-” began Rui, before the mayor cut in.

“Mi…ah… who were here? And what’s this about Shadow Pokémon again?”

“Oh, Wes has it now,” answered Rui, grabbing the Poké Ball containing Makuhita from Wes’ hands.

“Hey!” retorted Wes.

“I wonder what this button does…” wondered Rui, examining the object in her hand curiously. Upon pressing it, Makuhita came out of the Poké Ball, to Rui’s surprise and Wes’s bemusement that Rui was unfamiliar with the workings of a Poké Ball.

The Makuhita glanced at his surroundings, then back at Wes, only to realise that he no longer belonged to Trudly. Not that he cared - Trudly had been too dumb to know his left hand from his right. Stupid Trudly. Makuhita glared at his new owner and a girl with big fat eyes and a bewildered expression as she examined a Poké Ball, before his eyes widened.

“Maku…. ta!” (Who are you…DIE!) he exclaimed, catching sight of the mayor. He gave a loud bellow and charged at him. However, the short fat mayor nimbly dodged Makuhita’s attack just before contact was made, with unusual grace for one of his size and shape. Makuhita collided headfirst with a bookshelf which then fell down and tipped a large number of books upon the floor, distracting the Shadow Pokémon from his intent.

“Maku!” (Stupid books! You must suffer!) he cried, before proceeding to tear the pages of a particularly expensive-looking book. Wes shakily grabbed the Poké Ball off Rui, and directed it at Makuhita.

“Return, Makuhita!” he commanded, before a ray of red materialised around Makuhita, sending the angry Pokémon back into the Poké Ball.

“Umm…Sorry?” apologised Rui.

“That’s… a Shadow Pokémon,” offered Wes. “As you can see, it’s unusually angrier than normal Pokémon.”

“I see…” answered the mayor, blinking at the further mess that Makuhita had caused. He then glared at Wes and Rui.

“Please leave,” he said evenly to them. Wes didn’t blame him - he too would be angry if someone trashed their office.

Poor guy - he’s got a lot to deal with at the moment, thought Wes, as he walked out the door with Rui and Espeon, as Umbreon trotted behind with a book in his mouth. They ignored the fainted woman outside the mayor’s office.

***

After a delayed and slow lunch in a small takeaway joint, Wes and Rui headed to the Pokémon centre. Ignoring the girl who yet again questioned him on whether or not he was a trainer, Wes sat down at a table and looked at Espeon.

Well... what do you and Umbreon think? Wes thought to Espeon, deciding it would be best to ask silently. About going and snagging other Pokémon and helping them, I mean.

Well, Espeon communicated back, you DID help steal them in the first place. We just got one we saw earlier, no?

Yeah, but... Wes began.

Could have been one of us, Espeon added mildly.

Especially me! Umbreon added.

...True, you have a point, Wes admitted. And I’ve nothing else to do... Guess you’re going to get some new friends then.

But that one is all...punchy, Umbreon complained back.

“So…” said Wes to Rui, “what do you make of what happened there, anyway? Or this?” he added, holding up the Poké Ball containing Makuhita.

“I’m thoroughly confused by the recent happenings…” confessed Rui, tugging at one of her ponytails. “Especially that man, with the hair…”

“Ah, yes, the Man with the Hair,” repeated Wes. He moved towards a nearby PC and started typing. “What was his name…Mirror B? What kind of name is that?”

“And Cipher? I never heard of them,” Rui said.

“No, neither have I,” answered Wes after a few minutes. “And I can’t find any information on them anywhere… very secretive. However, there is some on Miror B - and his name is spelt M-I-R-O-R… odd. Maybe his parents couldn’t spell or something…”

“Really?” exclaimed Rui excitedly as she leaned over. An article was displayed on the computer screen written few years ago featuring a large picture of the man with an enthusiastic Ludicolo in the background. Accompanying the article was the headline “Weirdo Wins Dance Competition”. Nothing much was available in the article about Miror B himself - only that his addictive Salsa music and unique dance style had taken the competition by storm. After a few more searches, which pulled out similar articles about Miror B winning dance competitions and contests, Wes gave up, seeing that he wouldn’t find much more about the enigma.

“Festive sort of person,” commented Wes as he logged off the P.C., and turned to Rui. “So, the big question is… why is…Cipher - whoever they are - interested in you?”

“Well,” began Rui, “either Cipher could have something to do with Shadow Pokémon, or those three just didn’t want me ratting on them having a Shadow Pokémon.”

“I’m leaning towards the second option,” said Wes. “Firstly, it’s tough to keep a large criminal syndicate secret - and I’ve never heard of this group. Team Snagem is known by nearly everyone and they deal with stealing and then making Shadow Pokémon. This may just be some small wannabe team that did a deal with Team Snagem concerning Shadow Pokémon."

“You may be right… but to kidnap me? And raid the mayor’s office?” Rui frowned slightly and wrangled her hands.

“Maybe they knew that if news about Shadow Pokémon got leaked, then Team Snagem would come after them. So they got desperate, and went for desperate measures. And between you and me, Folly and Trudly ain’t that bright…"

"Espeon!" (Understatement of the year!)

“What gets at me,” continued Wes, “is that why would Team Snagem give out a Shadow Pokémon…”

“Umbre!” (To celebrate Christmas!) Umbreon offered, earning a slap from Espeon’s tail.

“I think what may be more likely is say doing it as a test to see how it would act outside of their control with normal people, but then I wouldn’t know.”

“I thought you worked with them?” inquired Rui.

“I did. But I was simply a Snagger - they wouldn’t tell me what they did with the Pokémon I stole. I honestly have no idea how they even made Pokémon Shadow - only that they ‘closed the heart’ or something…”

“I think we should go to Pyrite Town,” butted in Rui bluntly. “We have the Shadow Pokémon, but no real idea why I was kidnapped…”

“Aren’t you a bit worried for your own safety?” asked Wes once again struck by how brave Rui acted in the region of Orre, despite already getting kidnapped in what must have been record time.

“…Nope!” answered Rui with a smile. Not with you near me, she added silently to herself.

“Alright then,” Wes said. “Let’s go investigate. It’ll be an interesting trip - never been there myself yet although I’m fairly sure I know the way. We’ll take the Zoomer if you’re ready to go now.” When Rui nodded Wes stood up only for the old man by the PC to leap out at Wes and grab his arm.

“You can use that PC, you know,” he began.

“Oh not again,” moaned Wes, smothering out his blue trench coat that the man had wrinkled. “Didn’t you see me just use it five minutes ago?”

“Did you know that you can save the game by using the PC as well?” the man continued enthusiastically, ignoring Wes’s comments and grinning up at the tall teenager.

“Save… the… game?” repeated Rui blankly.

“Why yes! Better save often, otherwise you could lose your game data!”

Right, he’s crazy, Wes decided.

“Save the game,” prompted the man.

“Um… I have to go now…” said Wes, desperately searching for an escape route past the man, but the only one was blocked by the persisting figure.

“Save the game NOW!” demanded the man in a deeper, more serious tone, as his grip on Wes’s arm tightened. Wes looked at Rui with worry who shrugged.

“Uh...Umm, look! A distraction!” said Wes, pointing in a random direction.

“Where?” asked the man, turning to stare at a wall, but before realising his error Wes and Rui had made a dash for the exit successfully, knocking over the “Are you a Trainer?” girl on their way out.

“Stupid region,” Wes grumbled as they ran towards the entrance. “Full of... flaming weirdoes... Arrgh!” he shouted as a man clad in a blue similar to Wes's coat from head to toe jumped out at them from the pool of water by the exit.

“Sorry to break it to you, but you may not pass!” he yelled over-dramatically as water dripped from his clothes onto the tiled pathway.

“Sure, whatever, blue man…” muttered Wes. He walked on past the man. Blue’s a good colour, but there’s such a thing as too much blue.

“Do you have any idea who I am?” the man said slowly but loudly, beginning to pace about. “You dare to walk by and insult the wonderful colour of blue by ignoring it? You bear the same colour, yet you scoff at it? You ruined our plans for now, but I, yes, I will seek redemption for us! Yes, there is no getting out of this town now! The only way that you will be allowed past is if you can beat me in a battle… HEY!” shouted the blue man. He only realised now that Wes and Rui had already gone a good hundred metres out of town, blatantly ignoring him.

“Damn,” muttered the man to himself. “This always happens. I start to trail off, and then I get onto a totally unrelated subject, like when will I get a pay rise, or when it will rain. It’s an interesting dilemma for Orre as the annual rainfall for the last ten years has not been lower since… well, ever, but nevertheless if the drought doesn’t end soon… damn, I’ve done it again…” he muttered to himself. He quickly ran up to Wes and Rui, who were already by the Zoomer.

“Hey! Stop there, and prepare to be… stopped!” he shouted. He then grabbed a Poké Ball from his pocket, and chucked it in front of the Zoomer. A purple creature with the appearance of a deranged kindergarten’s attempt at making something out of play-dough materialised.

“Grimer!” (Everyone hates me, so I hate you!) it shouted at Wes and Rui.

“Ugh!” said Rui, gagging slightly as a wicked stench hit them from the small Pokémon.

“Grim…” (See what I mean?) it sadly said, placing an arm on a small nearby plant that had denied the harsh desert conditions to reach the modest height of a couple of inches. Upon contact with the Grimer’s arm, the plant instantly withered and died.

“Grim! Grimer!” (OH NO! Sorry plant, sorry!) it cried.

“Espi-Espeon…” (Is it just me, or is it odd that a Grimer cares for the environment?) Espeon pondered sarcastically, amused by the irony of it.

Wes frowned at the newcomer, thinking for a moment before realisation set in. “Weren’t you in the mayor’s house?”

“Yes! And now we shall do battle, because otherwise I may get a pay cut if I let you get away, and that wouldn’t be good, because I don’t get paid enough as it is…”

Wes and Rui exchanged glances.

“Whatever,” said Wes. “I’ll battle you. I’ve had it with Cipher as it is.” And by the looks of that Grimer, this will be a pushover, much like the other Pokémon they have, he thought.

“Umbre? Umbreon?” (We have to battle AGAIN? Are we getting paid for this?)

“Aha! So battle we shall! Yes, I the mighty Bluno shall take you down!” he shouted, before glancing at his Grimer who was crying murky tears which dissolved the ground they landed upon. “Oh, you’re feeling blue again!?” the man said to it before pausing for a moment. “Get it? Depressed... feeling blue...?”

The Grimer continued to cry.

“Well, uh...go, Spoink and Croconaw!” proclaimed the blue man, tossing two Poké Balls towards Espeon and Umbreon.

“Bluno?” asked Rui incredulously. Wes ignored the name though and focused on the new arrivals. One was a gray pig-like creature with a pearl on its head, and a notable absence of a body or legs. Instead it had a spring, of all things. It started bouncing up and down upon it in a repetitive rhythm. The second Pokémon was a fat yet ferocious-looking blue crocodile Pokémon; large teeth exposed as the Pokémon open its mouth and chomped on air aggressively.

“Spoink!” (Bouncing is fun!)

“Croconaw!” (You shall die!)

“Umbreon!” (Bacon!) he cried upon seeing the pig-like Pokémon. Before Wes could issue a command, he had already charged forward excitedly, preparing for a Bite attack.

“Spoink!” (Oww!) cried the Spoink as Umbreon bit hard, before leaping a good twenty metres into the air. Umbreon was left dangling on, desperate not to let go. Espeon decided to watch on, amused.

“Espeon! As funny as it is, don’t just sit there! Attack with…” started Wes.

“Wes!” Rui cut in. “I’m afraid…" Rui gulped. "Croconaw is also a... SHADOW POKEMON!!! ARRGH!” Rui was clearly scared out of her wits, although she seemed to be acting a bit overdramatically with expansive arm movements synchronising with her shouting.

“WHAT!?” said Wes. This can’t be right… This Cipher has two Shadow Pokémon? Why...

“Use Shadow Rush!” commanded Bluno. At his request, the Croconaw charged at Espeon with surprising speed, with Espeon giving a sharp cry before leaping to the side and diving into the dust as Croconaw narrowly missed his target. Espeon attempted to hit back by throwing itself at his adversary with a Return attack, but he instead bounced off Croconaw’s body upon contact. Espeon charged at Croconaw again, with similar results to the previous effort.

“That’s one tough Pokémon,” Wes said quietly, tugging at his ear while trying to think up a battle strategy.

Meanwhile, Spoink kept on bouncing up to extreme heights and back down to Earth, with Umbreon still hanging on and repositioning himself so he wouldn’t hit the ground. Then Spoink suddenly jerked its body, causing Umbreon to lose his grip and fall a considerable distance – only for him to land right on top of Croconaw’s head. Umbreon bounced off and landed clumsy with a squeak before springing back up to his feet. The Croconaw groggily looked around to see what hit him so suddenly and rubbed his head.

“Espeon and Umbreon, use Return and Tackle on Croconaw now, simultaneously!” shouted Wes. The two Pokémon dashed forward and hit Croconaw high into the air as it gave a groan and flailed its arms in surprise.

“Oh no,” Bluno said. Everybody watched Croconaw approach Spoink’s path of movement, the pig Pokémon still bouncing in relief of having survived Umbreon’s Bite. Too late, it realised the danger.

“Oink… ” (This is gonna hurt.)

It was right. The two collided in midair, and unsurprisingly, Spoink came off second best and fainted, falling to the ground. Croconaw then plummeted towards the ground as well, still conscious but rather dazed.

“Croc!” (Bugger!) it moaned, crashing just as a Snag Ball struck it and instantly engulfed the Pokémon. After such a big fall giant hit Wes was unsurprised when after a few shakes the Poké Ball quickly pinged in announcement of the successful Snag.

“Oh no! You snagged by Croconaw - my Pokémon which had been a team-mate ever since I got it. Which wasn’t for very long but anyway… damn you!” shouted Bluno. “Get ‘em, Grimer!” he commanded, pointing squarely at Wes.

However Grimer was still too distressed over the dead plant to attack, as it sat there and continued to bemoan the loss of life he had caused. Wes nodded and got to leave, climbing onto the Zoomer along with Rui. Casting one last look to the oasis of water in Phenac City, Wes turned around and headed out to the parched dry desert that awaited them.

Bluno sighed. “Folly and Trudly can’t be blamed for losing…you won convincingly! But just because you have my Shadow Pokémon, it doesn’t mean that this is over! No, I will take my revenge on you, and it shall be sweet, like candy! Sweet, sweet candy! But for now I must begin plotting. Or maybe I should first find someplace to sleep…”

Bluno, yet again absorbed in his own words, failed to notice that Rui and Wes had long gone, leaving him outside Phenac city chatting to a fainted Spoink and a depressed Grimer.

***

In the meantime Wes and Rui sped towards Pyrite Town, dust clouds forming behind them as Wes learnt how to make the Zoomer move faster.

“So what do you think about Bluno and him having another Shadow Pokémon?” shouted Rui over the roar of the Zoomer.

“It’s left me confused,” admitted Wes. “It is possible the Team Snagem gave them two Shadow Pokémon, but… something doesn’t seem right. Anyway, what’s Pyrite Town like?” inquired Wes.

“Smelly,” answered Rui. “And rather messy as well. Nothing like my home town – but it’s my first time in Orre, after all. I was on my way to Agate Village to visit my grandparents.”

“Explains a few things,” Wes said. “Well, no surprises about Pyrite being messy; surely shouldn’t be all that different to where I came from. What were you doing there in the first place anyway? Before you got kidnapped?”

A long pause ensued, as Wes waited for an answer while making sure he didn’t direct the Zoomer into any rocks that popped up in the trail to Pyrite every so often.

“Rui?”

“Espeon!” (Can’t you see that she’s having flashbacks?) asked the psychic Pokémon.

“Well you could tell me next time...” Wes grumbled.

***

“Alright, get off de bus! We’re gonna refuel it, so get outta da way!” shouted a disgruntled and uneducated bus driver. A tired group of people wandered off the bus as Rui bounded after them.

“When’s dinner?” asked Rui curiously, twirling a finger through her orange hair.

“Later,” answered the bus driver.

“What’s your name?” persisted Rui.

“Umm…” began the bus driver, trying to remember.

“You’re boring,” announced Rui, and with a grin, hopped off the bus. It was fun to annoy that bus driver, and doing so had provided her entertainment for the long trip to Agate Village. It had been her parents’ idea for Rui to go alone to Agate this time, and Rui was looking forward to meeting her grandparents.

Rui walked around town, wondering what to do to make time go by. She didn’t think much of Pyrite Town personally and hoped that Agate was still better than this place - it stunk, and in more ways than one. Although she had to admit that the buskers by the side of the street did play some pretty catchy music.

“Hey look! Is that Tailow… wild?” someone exclaimed. Wild Pokémon were rather rare for the harsh Orre desert, so a wild Pokémon was a find indeed.

That someone was Folly.

“Out of my way - I’m going to catch it!” cried Trudly, as he pushed Folly out of the way. “Go Makuhita! Shadow Rush!”

Trudly threw the Poké Ball at the Tailow as Makuhita materialised from it, pumping his arms in the air angrily and glaring venomously at the tiny bird with squinty eyes.

“Maku!” (I will eat you up, little bird!) it shouted. It was at this point that the Tailow decided to fly off, not at all appealed by the statement made.

“That was your fault, Folly!” blamed Trudly despite the fact that Folly hadn’t done anything, walking up to his friend.

“Bah. The Tailow was probably scared off by your own face…” said Folly. “Hey, what are you looking at?” Folly asked Rui, noticing her look aghast at Makuhita start to chase a random passer-by. Trudly noticed what Makuhita was doing and started yelling at it to stop.

Rui meanwhile gaped. Despite not having a Pokémon or any sort of Pokémon item for that matter, she knew enough about them, and she knew that an angry-looking Pokémon giving off a violent violet aura wasn’t right.

“Why… why does it have that… aura?” she asked.

“Aura? What are you talking about?” said Trudly, before realization appeared on his face.

“Umm… nothing,” said Rui, walking quickly back to the bus. However Trudly and Folly quietly followed her just as quickly. Rui broke into a run - maybe if she could reach the bus, she’d be safe -

It was then when she ran headfirst into a lamppost.

She lost consciousness, and Trudly and Folly quickly put her into a conveniently nearby sack without anyone noticing or caring – after all, in Pyrite, it was important to look out for yourself and yourself only. Trudly grabbed a phone from his pocket and dialled a number.

“Boss? We seem to have caught a girl who recognized our Shadow Pokémon without knowing it was one … whoops, wrong number, damn,” he said, hurriedly hanging up on a confused pizza delivery service man.

As they slunk out of town, the bus driver called back the passengers, not noticing that Rui was missing.

***

“What’s that?” asked Rui, snapping out of her flashback and noticing a large white tower near them. She blinked at it, having not expected to have seen this in the middle of the desert.

“That? That’s… um, some new Colosseum,” answered Wes, deciding to ask Rui about Pyrite Town at some later date. “Want to go have a closer look?”

However, there wasn’t much to see there - although the tall, state-of-the art proud tower was visually stunning against the clear blue sky, the mess around it wasn’t. Nor were the lazy grubby workers, who at first were intent at keeping them away.

“Get out of here! This is a construction site, not some tourist attraction!” protested one worker. Wes and Rui blinked at the outburst.

“Oh, I give up,” said one worker, as Rui and Wes peered at the clutter of bricks, wheelbarrows, steel frames and half-eaten remains of sandwiches.

“I’ll be glad to go home after this,” sighed one of the workers, rubbing a cloth over his dirty sweaty face. “It’s been a long time since I was home - but we’re nearly done.”

“Who exactly owns the tower?” asked Rui.

“Oh, he wouldn’t reveal who he - or she - was. We got approached by some people ‘representing’ him,” replied the worker. “But whoever the person is, that person had a lot of cash…” he added as he grinned, happily thinking of the large bag of money given to them.

“Well, let’s get going,” interrupted Wes, put off by the sight of the worker’s rotting teeth. “Better go to Pyrite and find somewhere to sleep - it’s getting dark.” The sun was getting closer to the horizon, and due to the lack of urban build up and thus pollution in the sparsely populated Orre region, the sunsets were nice to watch, one untainted feature Orre had to offer over the larger regions.

That was until they reached their destination. It wasn’t without reason than Pyrite Town attracted the fewest tourists to it for any part in Orre.

Pyrite Town only looked marginally better than the mess outside the new tower, albeit the appearance was spread around the entire city. The town could only boast of having the worst waste management system, a sole shop that smelled like cheese, a shabby Colosseum and a few low-profile houses. The ‘highlight’ of the town was the large windmill that was the town's only source of power. Random artefacts littered the faded, cracked concrete ground, and the buildings looked rather small - smaller than what houses normally were at any rate, but there was evidence that these were residential buildings.

By the entrance a police officer was interrogating an aloof man. Wes grinned – he knew of the man as Officer Johnson, infamous for being the village idiot of Pyrite around the region, and few came close to stripping that title from him. Not that Johnson shared that opinion; he truly believed the opposite, and displayed his navy blue uniform proudly as he yapped to the man about the importance of not breaking windows.

“Aw, Mr Johnson, give a man a break here. I tell you - I don’t know anything!” protested Cail, before glancing at his watch and showing it to Johnson. “Look, I got to go and do some, uh, lawful stuff. Real lawful, and I’m going to be late.”

“That better be true - if you are trying to con me, I’ll know about it!” claimed Johnson, in an overly-loud voice. A distant cry of ‘shut up!’ could be heard.

“I wouldn’t think about lying to you! You’ve got to believe me!” Cail said, in an overly-fake voice, complete with eye roll. Johnston seemed oblivious.

“All right, fine… I’ll let you off easy today. But don’t forget… if you find out anything about the...” Johnson then paused, trying to remember what he had been talking about. “Yes, the... theft of the cookie from the cookie jar, to tell me about it!” With that Johnson nodded and left, chanting ‘Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar’ to himself, looking for some opportunity to be the town’s hero.

Cail chuckled to himself. “Heheh, what a nitwit. Of course I haven’t got a thing to tell him! And the fact that he ended up believing that a cookie was stolen…” Cail continued chuckling until he noticed Wes and Rui.

“What are you looking at? Are you tourists or what? If you don’t want to get hurt, get lost, and quick, for the good of your health,” he addressed, before walking off arrogantly.

An old man came up to the bemused pair. “Never mind him - he gets all protective of his turf. Welcome to Pyrite - town of earth, wind and money.”

“It’s also smelly…” added Rui, wrinkling her nose at the smell.

“Oh, you’ll get used to it in a few days,” replied the old man brightly. “Though beware - there are ne’er-do-well sorts here,” he warned, as Wes and Rui delved into the town to find a place to sleep, navigating through various pieces of garbage. Wes quickly located a hotel, and walked in.

The place looked mildly decent – it was markedly cleaner than the street outside for a start, although the person behind the counter had an obvious drinking problem, and looked at them with bloodshot eyes.

“Hello,” began Wes cautiously. “We’d like a place to stay…”

“$100,” interrupted the man. “Each.”

“What?” demanded Wes. “$100 each? That’s crazy! Nobody charges that much!” Wes shook his head at the high price – it more suited a five-star hotel in a tourist destination in the Pokémon world, rather than a humble motel in a slum like Pyrite.

“Well I do,” slurred the drunken hotel keeper. “Seeing as I own the only hotel in this dump!”

“Well, we’ll see about that!” announced Wes, walking out. Rui followed behind. As Wes walked out, he noticed the large neon sign over the hotel. It read:

Pyrite Hotel - the ONLY hotel in town!

“Doesn’t that say…” began Rui.

“Probably a typo. It can’t be the ONLY hotel in town,” reasoned Wes.

However an hour later, Wes admitted that there was a lack of hotels in Pyrite. Wes had even tried asking some people for a bed for the night, but they had all declined. One particular occupant had chased Wes and Rui out with a broom, thinking that they were trying to sell her a hotel instead.

“Shall we go in and pay? I’m sleepy, and I’ve had enough of being chased by crazy residents,” Rui said.

“But I’m stingy, and proud of it!” declared Wes, who was giving evil stares through the window at the hotel keeper, who was on his fifth bottle of wine. “Besides - I think I’ve found a way in,” he added with a grin.

A minute later, the innkeeper ran out of the hotel and out of town screaming, with various floating objects following him.

“Nice work, Espeon,” Wes, said, kneeling down to give Espeon a pat.

“Espi!” (It’s fun to scare people!)

“Umbreon…” (How come I didn’t get psychic powers…)

“I don’t quite agree with your methods… but I guess they work,” admitted Rui, as they walked in, and looked for a bed of their choice. Satisfied with a room nearby the entry, they settled down into two low-lying beds. “’Night,” she added.

“Goodnight,” replied Wes. “Hopefully we’ll resolve this whole thing tomorrow,” he added with a yawn, before settling down to sleep.

***



And the spoiler of spoilerness on characters and events:
Mayor’s house turmoil - in the game, nobody notices what’s gone on in the mayor’s house, and the mayor doesn’t come back and remark on what happened… Especially odd given there’s usually someone upstairs too, as well as that old lady outside.

Bluno - one of the three coloured men in the fated Miror B scene shortly before snagging Makuhita. After you leave the mayor’s house and try to go to Pyrite, you’d have to battle either one of these as they are each blocking on exit point. They also have one Shadow Pokémon each - a 2nd evolved form of a Johto starter according to their colour. In this case, Bluno’s Pokémon is Croconaw.

Rui’s flashback - not much is revealed on exactly how Rui got herself kidnapped. It is mentioned that she was to see her grandparents, but beyond that it’s unclear why she was in Pyrite town of all places, nor how Folly and Trudly actually managed to kidnap her. It is a mystery.

Construction site - a messy scene outside the newly-constructed ‘Realgam Tower’, that has been recent built by non-mentioned rich people. You can’t explore it yet, but it’s going to be a fancy Colosseum place. Yay for battle arenas!

Pyrite town - features heavily in the game. Your typical slum, with not much to offer in the tourist department. All features described in the story are in there.

Pyrite hotel - in the game, this is the Pokémon Centre - unless you either deposit your Pokémon into the PC and withdraw them, thus healing them, or use a healing machine in Pyrite Colosseum. However Pyrite Hotel is closer to the exit and quicker than depositing Pokémon - only it costs money. But given Wes’s personality, why pay?

The hotel has a few residents as well - most notably, a person who talks while sleeping and dreaming about a battle.

Minos Yewman
March 18th, 2008, 08:38 AM
I laughed out loud again! This fanfic is GOOD. You switched font right at the end for some reason though.

The Miror B. battle is next...I want to see what Wes makes of the Ludicolo extravaganza.

Jak
March 20th, 2008, 08:05 AM
Ok, the bell's about to ring(I snuck on here at school) and read the prologue and part of chapter one. Really nice...I like how Willie named his Zigzagoon after Mewtwo and Moltres...I think I might just do that myself.

Great so far...I'll try to read the rest when I get home.

bobandbill
March 23rd, 2008, 12:48 AM
I laughed out loud again! This fanfic is GOOD. You switched font right at the end for some reason though.

The Miror B. battle is next...I want to see what Wes makes of the Ludicolo extravaganza.
Cheers again. The 'change of font' was probably a 'transfer' mishap when I used the good lod 'copy and paste' method from one forum to this one - the other uses a different text font, so for some reason or another the last bit remained so... only smaller...

As for Miror B - well, that's not for a good while yet. Haven't even gotten up to him yet after chapter 9 (although pretty close now) - I've gone more in-depth into other aspects (meaning more jokes! and explanations!) and Miror B isn't until the end of the events of Pyrite... never fear, there are a few scenes involving him here and there for exta measure. :)

Ok, the bell's about to ring(I snuck on here at school) and read the prologue and part of chapter one. Really nice...I like how Willie named his Zigzagoon after Mewtwo and Moltres...I think I might just do that myself.

Great so far...I'll try to read the rest when I get home.
Thanks. Good that you've enjoyed it thus far.

Here's the next chapter people - that shall 'explain' a few events and devleop a few more NPC's. Also, everyone's favourite Officer Johnson shall reappear. Let's get to it.

***

Chapter 5 – The Stench of Pyrite Town



Wes yawned as he woke up, groggily sitting up as his bed creaked nosily in response and stretching his arms out. Unknown to him, he had bumped an alarm clock off the desk besides him onto Umbreon who yelped and jumped a metre into the air as the clock rung obnoxiously loud.

“What’s wrong with you?” asked Wes sleepily. Umbreon glared at Wes.

“Hungry?” asked Wes. He rummaged through his bag and pulled out a can of food for his Pokémon he had picked up at the shops back in Phenac. “Here you are,” he offered, placing it by Umbreon.

“Um... Umbreon!” (Um… that’s not it, but good enough!) he said happily, as he deftly bit open the can and started eating. Meanwhile, Rui also sat up and rubbed her eyes as she looked at Wes from her bed on the other side of the room.

“Sleep well?” asked Wes.

“Sleep well?” she asked back with an eye roll. “What with you snoring and that bloke next door talking in his sleep…”

“Umm… sorry…” Wes apologised. He scratched his head and tried to remember the last time someone commented on his sleeping behaviour. “But what do you mean someone was talking in their sleep?”

“Uh huh. Something about a Zigzagoon using Tackle… but I took care of him,” grinned Rui.

“Espeon!” (You bet she did! Poor guy…) yawned Espeon, waking up and slowly stretching out his legs. Seeing Umbreon eating, he used his psychic powers to get a can of Poke food from Wes’ bag to float to him. He neatly separated lid from can, and discarded the lid in a nearby bin.

“Sure whatever, serve yourself…” mumbled Wes. He decided that he really didn’t want to know what Rui did to the sleep talker next door for the moment. He was simply too tired at the moment to worry about that.

“What’s the time?” he asked Rui.

”Well, it’s…” Rui began, consulting her watch, “almost eleven o’clock,” she answered mildly.

Wes sat upright. “Eleven o’clock?”

“Uh huh. Guess yesterday’s… occurrences really took it out of us.”

“Fair enough. Man, I’m hungry…” muttered Wes, watching Espeon and Umbreon chow down their food. “I guess Makuhita and Croconaw are also hungry. What say you give them a formal welcome, Espeon and Umbreon?”

“Umbreon…” (Fine… hope they’re not all crazy like before,) said Umbreon, as Wes took two Poké Balls off his belt and glanced at them for a short moment. He then directed them towards the ground, and pressed the button on the red-white colour split that decorated the spherical capsule. Multicoloured beams of light shot out of the Poké Balls, travelling in a jagged line towards the ground, illuminating the room. Upon contact with the ground, the beams of light diverted into two separate 3D shapes. Almost instantly, Makuhita and Croconaw emerged from the kaleidoscope of coloured illuminations that had materialised on the floor.

“Esp?” (Why does he always try to make that process exceedingly spectacular?)

Wes ignored this comment and observed the two Shadow Pokémon. He was still uneasy about them, especially as Makuhita had attacked him before he was snagged. Then again, Makuhita didn’t seem that aggressive against him right now. Perhaps attacking trainers was a concept that Shadow Pokémon didn’t disrespect in their altered state. Wes shuddered. Just how did Snagem make Shadow Pokémon anyway? And where?

Meanwhile, Makuhita glared around at his surroundings. Upon seeing Croconaw, it gave a low grow. The blue wide crocodile stared coldly down at the stouter Makuhita in response.

“Strange…” muttered Rui.

“What is?” asked Wes.

“Makuhita’s aura seems slightly smaller than before… or maybe I’m just imagining it.”

“Maku! Hita Hita!” (How dare you glare at me! I am far stronger than you!) shouted Makuhita loudly, waving his arms in the air menacingly.

“Croc-naw,” (I have no interest in what you say,) sniffed Croconaw disdainfully.

“His aura is smaller? Maybe… I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but one never knows…” Wes trailed off uncertainly.

“What do you think… could they become… normal again?” asked Rui.

“Maku!” (You’re just jealous of my strength!)

“Croc? Croconaw?” (What’s there to be jealous of? Your stupid squinty eyes, or your exceedingly large mass?)

“MAKU!” (That’s IT!) cried Makuhita, launching himself at Croconaw. Croconaw deftly dodged the attack, but Makuhita anticipated this and quickly changed direction, charging at Croconaw. Just before a full-on brawl ensured, both Pokémon found themselves frozen on the spot.

“Espeon…” (Behave, you two,) warned Espeon sternly.

“Maybe… but it’s probably too early to tell. However there’s the fact that you can discern Shadow Pokémon from normal ones, which means the shadow process is imperfect. And who’s to say that the shadow process is permanent?” said an oblivious Wes.

“I hope that’s the case,” replied an equally ignorant Rui, not noticing the scuffle between Wes’s new Shadow Pokémon.

“Maku!” (Stupid Espeon! Can’t you let me finish him?) Makuhita said. He tried to shake his fist at the Psychic type.

“Croc…” (Quiet, you annoying incompetent thing,) Croconaw said with a sniff.

“Umbreon, Umbreon?” (Why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends…?) the Dark type tried to reason. The off-key singing from the Pokémon did attract Wes’ attention again, who knelt down and turned to them.

“Hello, you two. As you may have guessed, I’m your new trainer. This is Espeon and Umbreon,” he said, nodding to Espeon and Umbreon. He tried a smile, but it fell slightly when Makuhita responded by giving Espeon a death stare, and Croconaw folded his arms and looked the other way. Espeon gave Wes a look of mild amusement.

“Umb...Umbreon!” (Oh calm down... you’re all acting like new born Bonsly!)

“Croc!” (You can talk, Mr. Moan-a-lot!) retorted Croconaw. Umbreon growled in response.

Wes sensed something was not right. He knew his own Pokémon well enough to get the gist of what they were saying - Espeon in particular was quite the translator being a Psychic Pokémon. And although he was unfamiliar with Makuhita and Croconaw, he knew that his new Pokémon wouldn’t be winning the Nobel Prize for Peace anytime soon.

“I guess I’ll have to resort to the language of all Pokémon then,” he said, grabbing his bag. “Hungry?” he asked Makuhita and Croconaw, as he pulled out another couple of cans of food. Immediately the tension in the air evaporated, as Croconaw and Makuhita promptly forgot about their argument.

“Maku? Hita hit!” (Food? Stupid Trudly never fed me!) Makuhita exclaimed, grabbing the can and squeezing it until the lid popped off. “Makuhita,” (And he wondered why I kept punching him,) he added.

“Croc Naw!” (Finally somebody’s talking sense here!)

Wes smiled. He knew just how to solve a quarrel between Pokémon. He turned to Rui as Makuhita and Croconaw quickly finished their meals.

“How about we go for a late breakfast?” he asked.

“I was waiting for you to say that,” said Rui. “Although wouldn’t it be an early lunch?”

“No, I still say it’s called breakfast,” claimed Wes, recalling his Shadow Pokémon into his Poké Balls, not quite trusting them to walk the streets of Pyrite without causing mayhem. After all, they were Shadow Pokémon, and he didn’t want the goons from Cipher to see either of them in his possession.

“What’s wrong with calling it lunch? It’s late enough as it is,” queried Rui, as they left the abandoned hotel.

“What about… ‘brunch’?” offered Wes.

“‘Brunch’? That doesn’t sound appealing at all!”

***

Yet again, Pyrite town presented problems to Wes and Rui. Wes resorted to using his Pokémon to help search for a place to eat. They had split up with Rui and Espeon one way, and Wes and Umbreon the other way. They met up outside a closed Poké Mart with a sign on the door proclaiming that the owner had ‘Gone Fishing’ - where the owner would fish in the desert Wes had no idea. It didn’t seem that he would be back yet at any rate.

“Any luck?” asked Wes.

“No,” replied Rui. Wes noted that Rui was strangely distracted by a tall nearby lamppost randomly placed in the middle of town.

“What’s up with this place?” grumbled Wes. “No restaurants, no fast food takeaways - heck, there’s not even a shoddy kebab stand in sight!”

“Let’s ask,” decided Rui, walking towards a bystander with his hands in his pockets. “Excuse me…” she began.

“ARRGH! Get away from me!” the man shouted, running several paces away from the girl. “You’re trying to hit me up for money, aren’t you?” he accused.

“Umm… no, I just want to know…” continued Rui, slightly frightened by this outburst herself.

“Well I’m NOT giving anyone any more money!” declared the man, running off. Rui blinked.

Just then, the old woman that had chased them the night previous opened her door to her house, shouted “Stop trying to sell me money!” and slammed the door shut.

“This town is… weird,” exclaimed Rui.

“Espeon,” (This region is weird,) Espeon corrected.

“It seems most people here are on edge. I don’t particularly blame them - judging the mess this town is in - and the police service…” Wes said, referring to Johnson. “Is there anyone who is in charge here?” he wondered.

“Hey! I found a place!” declared Rui, reading a sign by a house near the town’s entrance. Wes went up to the notice which stated in large print:


PYRITE’S MOTHER’S FORTUNE TELLING
Have your future told - if you dare…

Special deal - free meal* with first reading
*meal may be of questionable quality and variable quantity


Wes scrutinised the sign. Frankly he did not go into the mysteries of the future all that much - especially after Espeon had once told him he would have been a good violinist. How very wrong was he. He also didn’t like the sound of the disclaimer at the bottom of the sign, but a meal was a meal.

“Espeon…” (I HAD told him ‘guitarist’, not ‘violinist’, but how he misunderstood me…) moaned Espeon, reading Wes’s thoughts, but commenting to no one in particular.

Rui was much more positive about the find, taken in by the mysterious dark interior of the house she could see through the windows.

“Doesn’t this look great? A meal and entertainment!” exclaimed Rui excitedly.

“Umm, yeah, sure - seems, um, ok…” muttered Wes, unable to cover up his lack of enthusiasm. Rui ignored this as she entered the house.

“GADZOOKS! Who dare enters this place?” demanded an elderly lady, clad in a brown cloak and overly-large glasses.

“Great, another weirdo…” muttered Wes. The woman noticed Wes, and stared at him, before letting loose a few profound metaphors.

“To find what you seek, you must first stop looking,” she declared.

“Uh-huh…” said Wes, unconvinced. “What about an Itemfinder?” challenged Wes.

“Umm… And to be truly strong, one must be truly weak!” stated the woman, avoiding Wes’s question.

“Uh-huh. Sure…” said Wes, with a look of disbelief on his face. Personally, he thought, to be strong, it takes a lot of training and perseverance. Or have a really powerful Pokémon. That also works.

“Night is day, and gravity pulls things up,” continued the prophetic woman.

“What?” retorted Wes.

“Shh, Wes, she’s a clairvoyant - she knows what she’s saying,” whispered Rui. “We’re here for the special deal…” she said, more loudly to the woman.

“Indeed. Welcome to my humble house. Please, sit down and eat.” The woman nodded to two chairs, which Wes strangely did not remember seeing before. He shrugged off that fact and sat down and devoured the offered meal of eggs and bacon, followed by a few croissants. The food was sufficient enough for both the hungry teens.

“Yes, you see, one seems to get more customers in this town if you offer food…” said the woman. “And one gets a more accurate reading if the customer is satisfied.”

“Sounds about right,” agreed Rui, feeling better already.

“Hmm… do any of you have any psychic Pokémon?” queried the woman.

“Espeon!” (That’s me!) exclaimed Espeon, who trotted forward and jumped elegantly onto the table with an air of superiority. Umbreon merely glared.

“Aha! I knew I felt some other presence here…” mumbled the woman, holding her forehead dramatically. “Now before we begin…” the woman coughed and made the ‘give-me-money’ hand sign.

At least she has her priorities set straight, reflected Wes, slightly amused as he paid the wrinkled hag, who scrutinised the amount given to her. Satisfied, she promptly pulled a crystal ball out of nowhere and set it on the table.

“Is that a giant pearl?” asked Rui, amazed at the size of the colossal shiny object.

“Yes. It was found nearby here with a deceased Spoink - works better that way,” stated the woman mildly. “Now, both of you, hands on the pearl. Do you mind if I, ahem, use your Espeon for this? Only one gets a better reading with one’s psychic Pokémon helping and all.”

Wes shrugged - he didn’t particularly mind. He and Rui placed their hands on the smooth cold pearl.

“Through the power of the great Mew, I utter the words of great magical power: Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam!” cried the woman. Wes raised an eyebrow at the choice of words claimed to be words of ‘power’. Then he jumped - the pearl’s see-through surface was suddenly clouded with swirling shapes.

“Hmm…” muttered the woman. She suddenly gave a loud gasp.

“What is it?” asked Rui curiously.

“Umm… oh, you will meet a tall dark stranger,” said the seer weakly. “Umm… that is all… you may leave now.”

Outside, Wes and Rui looked at each other. “That was a waste of a ‘reading’, but at least we ate well!” declared Wes.

“I’m a bit disappointed with it,” agreed Rui, as they went into town to explore, and hopefully solve the trouble with Cipher.

Inside the diviner’s house however, the woman was still staring at the pearl, seemingly trying to recover the secrets it held.

“So, they stand a decent chance to clear up this nasty business in this town,” muttered the woman to the empty air. “So be it - and I do hope they succeed…”

***

Unaware of the fortune-teller’s knowledge of their quest, they walked on back through the town to their hotel rooms for a short rest. The hotel keeper was still absent.

“What shall we do now?” asked Rui. “Ask people about Team Cipher?

“Are you crazy? Nobody marches up to someone asking if they know anything about a criminal gang! What if they are part of Team Cipher? We might as well tie ourselves in a sack, paint it bright orange and go up to them shouting ‘Look at me! We have your Shadow Pokémon!’”

“All right, all right then!” interrupted Rui. “I get the picture. But how are going to find out about them?” she demanded.

“By being subtle and not arousing attention,” answered Wes. “We’ll just go sightseeing in the town-” Rui smirked at the thought that Pyrite had much to ‘sightsee’ “-for now, and see what we can pick up about Cipher the safe way. Listen to talk on the street, and lie low for the time being. Besides, I’ve worked with Team Snagem - I know how to do these things,” stated Wes.

“Fair enough - but what are we going to ‘sightsee’ today?” she said, raising an eyebrow.

“I guess we could have a look at the windmill and the Colosseum here. That should take up whatever is left of the day,” offered Wes.

“Ok then - lead the way, Wes,” commanded Rui jokingly. They walked out only for the two to be met by a shapely female teenager who eyed Wes approvingly.

“Look what we have here. You’re quite the hottie! Why not lose that wallflower with you and be my sweetie?” drawled the female. Wes with unease stepped back at this sudden approach, when Rui charged forward glaring at this newcomer.

“Wait a second! Who are you to call me a wallflower? What makes me a wallflower?” she demanded.

“Aha! She’s all serious! Uncool! I’m only teasing out of boredom. A guy like him - not my taste,” mocked the teen.

Hey, not your taste? Wes thought impulsively.

“Gah! What is it with you? He’s my… I mean Wes! Be a man - stomp her down!” shouted Rui.

“Stomp? Who, me?” retorted the newcomer. “Ahaha! That’s a laugh! I’ll go easy on you... Hang on, where’d he go?” asked the girl. Rui turned - there was no sign of Wes, who had evidently chosen this moment to leave the dispute. Frowning furiously, she turned around, abruptly kicked the girl in the leg and marched off through a Pokémon battle, ignoring the cries of protest from the trainers and Pokémon alike.

“Hey! What’s that for?” demanded the girl, but Rui was already well on her way to the windmill.

***

She perfectly intercepted Wes at the entrance of the windmill, both of them arriving at the same time.

“Why did you leave then?” asked Rui, grabbing Wes’ arm.

“Umm… well, you see…” began Wes, wondering if Rui would let go or kick him if he said something else had caught his interest. He had a feeling it would be the latter.

Luckily for Wes they were suddenly interrupted by some off-key singing emitted from the windmill. Wary of the slow-moving blades of the windmill, they entered.

“Thirty long years I’ve spun these gears! Thirty more years I’ll spin some more!” sung an aged grey-haired worker. His clothes were dirty and in tatters. Behind him a large arrangement of gears were spinning in an almost hypnotic fashion, the man controlling them with grubby hands.

“Umbre…Umbre…Umbre…” (Round and round and round…) muttered the Dark type Pokémon, moving his head in circles while trying to keep up with the speed of the gears.

The off-key singing worker then noticed the two newcomers and literally jumped at them in greeting.

"Hello! They call me the Chief around here! I monitor the gears here in the windmill!” boomed the employee.

“Erm, hello,” Rui said uncertainly.

“Come on, put some ‘oomph’ in that ‘hello’!” demanded the man. “And remember, it’s CHIEF!” He then turned to Wes, cutting off any protest from Rui. “Welcome to the windmill!” he repeated, and he offering his hand for a handshake. Almost instantly, he pulled the hand back giving Wes no time to move.

“Hahaha, TOO SLOW!” laughed the man heartily, as if that was the most original and funniest joke in the world. Wes and Rui exchanged glances, and Espeon tilted his head as he regarded the so-called Chief. He then glanced at Umbreon, who was still observing the moving gears.

“Espi Espeon?” (Don’t you pay attention to anything that happens?) scorned Espeon.

“Umbreon,” (Hey, simple minds are easily amused,) Umbreon said, before turning back to the gears. Espeon sighed and gave Umbreon a push. With a squeak of surprise, Umbreon found himself seated upon the gears and rotating at an incredible speed.

“Umbre!” (Arrgh! Getmeoffgetmeoffgetmeoff!) cried the Pokémon. Espeon merely laughed to himself and watched in amusement.

“Hey, are you interested in a job here?” asked the man suddenly.

“Not really,” admitted Wes.

“Chief,” added Rui hastily.

“Of course not! It takes a real expert to control these gears!” boasted the man, pointing at himself with an air of pride. “If you change your mind ‘bout having a career in gear spinning though, try for this job after twenty years of experience or so!” boomed the worker. To Wes’s and Rui’s dismay, he began to sing again.

“Thirty long years of cranking gears, thirty more years I’ll spin some more…”

Covering their ears, Wes and Rui walked out, with Espeon trotting behind.

“Umbre!” (Hey, don’t leave me!) cried Umbreon. Just then, the Chief increased the speed of the machinery. With a cry, Umbreon went flying off the gears, through the door, narrowly missed one of the blades of the windmill, and mercifully had his landing softened by an unknowing Espeon.

“Espi!” (Arrgh! Get off of me!) cried the startled Pokémon, as Umbreon staggered to his feet.

“Umbre-Umbreon!” (Well it’s your fault… ah, look at all the colours! Wee!) replied the dizzy Pokémon, stumbling into Espeon again. Wes heard the commotion, and seeing the two Pokémon, laughed.

"Oh dear, you two keep getting tangled up in something don’t you? Well, I’m not letting you cross the bridge in that state,” Wes told them, tilting his head in the direction of a shaky looking bridge of dubious quality. With that, he pulled out two Luxury Balls and returned Espeon and Umbreon to them, to the protests of both Pokémon.

“Where did you get those?” asked Rui in awe of the glittering Luxury balls. They were the image of comfort for Pokémon belonging to trainers – basically a better version of the Poké Ball - but these were rare for any part of the Pokémon region, let alone Orre.

“I got them a while after I got those two,” responded Wes. “I had to… well, I mean, it cost me a fortune,” he added quickly, catching himself; he wasn’t keen on getting lectured on things done in the past again. “Come on, let’s go see the Colosseum - with luck maybe we can catch some battles,” urged Wes, never one for waiting around too long.

***

The bridge was in fact rather stable, if only a bit wobbly. Wes strode confidently across it with Rui following, with a bit less poise.

“Scared?” asked Wes, smiling at Rui’s worried look.

“Well I wouldn’t be if I could at least see what’s underneath me!” confessed Rui, as she safely reached the other side. She was right - whatever was underneath the bridge was hidden in the pitch-black void. Wes peered down the crevasse in awe of the sheer depth of it.

“There’s a town down there,” said a person standing nearby, approaching the two curious travellers.

“A town?” repeated Rui doubtfully.

“No, no, I’m not crazy,” denied the man hurriedly, seeing Rui’s and Wes’s faces. “There really is a town down there - it’s called ‘The Under’.”

“Pretty bad name,” observed Wes.

“Makes sense though,” said Rui, risking a look down the crevasse.

“You see, Pyrite was an old mining town,” explained the man. “But that was years ago - now there’s nothing left down there. However some people decided to stay down there. What’s it like down there is anyone’s guess…” he muttered, before walking off.

“Do you think there is a town down there? Who would live there?” Rui asked Wes.

“Hobos,” Wes absentmindedly answered. After a moment of staring at the invisible crack in the ground, he raised his hands to his mouth and hollered ‘Echo!’. The sound bounced off the rocky walls, giving a ghostly feel as the word came back to them and faded into the darkness below.

Echo.

Echo.

Echo.

Then a new sound emerged from below.

Shut up…

Shut up…

Shut up…

“Guess he was right,” said Wes.

***

They next explored the town’s Colosseum. Inside the run-down building was a small reception area blocking off the entrance to the main battle arena. At least the floor was tiled, but the colour of them appeared to have faded away, and through the entry to the Colosseum Wes spied a run-down battle arena with patches missing from the roof of the building.

“Seems it’s closed for the day,” said Wes dejectedly.

This was confirmed a moment later as Wes overheard a conversation between a receptionist and a large towering man.

“So the next tournament will be on in three days, right?” asked the lady.

“I guess so. But I don’t like this business. What with all the rumours and all… Well, I’d better be going,” replied the muscular man with a grim frown plastered on his face.

“So will I. See you later, Duking.”

The man named Duking turned around and seeing Wes gave an even bigger frown before leaving. Wes returned the favour despite the man’s superior size. He would have matched Gonzap in stature, Wes mused. The lady left a moment later, leaving Wes and Rui alone save for a random bystander left in the reception area.

“Nothing here - I think we’ll go back for now,” offered Rui. Just then, the bystander approached them. The tall ungainly man stumbled over to them, a large grin upon his face.

“Ya knowy that big guy there? Yah, he’s Duking,” he slurred.

“Are you drunk?” asked Rui, as the smell of alcohol reached her.

“That’s a silly-hilly question. I never drinks da stuffs,” denied the man, before he staggered and crashed into a wall. “Okay, maybes a littles bits…” he confessed.

“Yeah, well, good for you,” replied Wes.

“Yar, Duking runs the colomesum thingy,” added the man.

“Really?” asked Wes. “That’s interesting… do you think I should try this tournament? After all, they did mention that something strange is going on…” he questioned Rui.

“I hope we don’t have to stay in this dump for so long,” replied Rui.

“Yar know, if you zoant to comply - I mean compel - I mean compliss… compete! That’s the word… anyways, you sees Duking, and he’ll makis it alls,” stuttered the drunk.

“Well, thank you,” said Wes politely.

“No problem-ey. Yes, Duking is da owner, and he had somnething to do with weighthifting as well. He could mift an entire Snorlax!” insisted the man.

“Somehow I doubt that… strong as he seems,” answered Rui.

“Well maybe a Pichu… I wish I could wins this… you know, the the the thingy…the…”

“What?” asked Wes, slightly annoyed now.

“Ah yes, the liage cash prize but espicallys the strongily Pokémon they gave you…” blabbed the man, still unable to form words properly. His face suddenly brightened up. “Do you livey in a house? I livey in a house.”

“Pokémon?” asked Rui, ignoring the man’s ramblings.

“Cash prize?” asked Wes.

“Oh yess, they gvve pokemans to winners recently. They was said to be straighter and butter... Cail won it last. Stupid Cail and his win-win Mc victories...”

“What?” asked Rui, confused.

“I think he meant ‘stronger and better’,” guessed Wes. “What about the money?” he added, before getting a poke from Rui.

“Oh, it’s three grand… or four grand, or something-and-rather.” Wes’s eyes light up. “’Coursa, the entry cost is five hundred smazzules…” added the man, to Wes’s dismay, who assumed ‘smazzules’ meant ‘money’.

“Well let’s go,” said Rui. “Cail is that guy by the town’s entrance, right? Let’s ask him about it.”

“Ok. Thanks, man,” said Wes as he bade the drunken man goodbye. “I doubt it could be a Shadow, but it might mean something big is going on…”

“Hey, I know who you are!” proclaimed the drunk. Wes froze. If he knew what he did to Team’s Snagem’s base then it’s bad news for me.

“…You’re what’s-his-face… I nows! Superman!” stated the drunk, still finding it hard to walk or talk straight.

“Okay…” said Wes relieved and annoyed at the same time. He and Rui continued on their way back to the entrance of the town to confront Cail.

“Bust gets meself hime,” said the man, before falling unconscious on the spot - alcohol had gotten the better of him. It was just as well, as in his past state he would have never been able to cross the bridge without falling.

***

“Hey look, the shop’s open now,” remarked Wes as they neared the Poke Mart on their way back to the hotel.

“Better go there later though,” commented Rui, noticing the long line of customers by the shop.

‘Hey, HEY! You two! Stop walking through the square!” shouted a bystander.

“Oh, sorry,” apologised Wes. He and Rui had walked right through the middle of a large painted circle were some Pokémon trainers were jeering at each other, occasionally having battles. Rui noticed that she had earlier walked through here as well after she had kicked that girl in the shin, and blushed slightly at the memory.

“Yes - sorry for that. I’ll try to pay more attention,” vowed Rui.

“Hey, come on now - that isn’t how you apologise here!” retorted the man. Seeing Wes’s and Rui’s faces, he continued, “Are you new here?”

Wes nodded. “Yes - we’ve come for - umm, for a short while. Just arrived yesterday…”

“Oh well. Well, this is what we call Pyrite Square - or Duel Square. Here is where the Pokémon battlers turn up. And if something happens that somebody doesn’t disagree with something - it’s resolved with a wager and a battle,” explained the man.

“And interrupting our battles by walking through the middle is one of those disagreeable things,” added another nearby person, none too friendly.

Wes grinned - he was familiar with the ways of street life, especially the ‘codes of law’, as they were commonly known as in such towns across various regions, especially in Orre. He hadn’t encountered it for a while, as he had been with Team Snagem until recently and so had avoided towns like Pyrite, but it came rushing back to him.

“What can I say?” Wes shrugged. “I’ll battle then - how much are the wagers here?”

“Oh, about three hundred - plus any extra from the crowd if they’re impressed,” answered the man with a grin.

“You’re on,” said Wes. When wagers and battle were concerned, he didn’t care about the price, especially as he ended up winning more often than not. Noticing that Rui was confused, he moved to reassure her. “Never mind - it’s just a battle,” he reassured. “Better just stay to the sides and watch - I’ll win soon enough. Then we’ll use the winnings for dinner,” he instructed confidently. Rui nodded and moved off as Wes walked into one half of the circle - the man into the other.

“My name’s Vant by the way. Yours?” asked his opponent, taking off a gray jacket.

“Wes.”

“Ok. I’ll even give you an advantage - three Pokémon for you, two for me, though you can only have two out at one time. Double battle. Agreed?” challenged Vant.

Wes grinned even more - clearly Vant was confident of a win. “All right then, your loss. Go, Umbreon and Espeon!” he cried, sending out his respective Pokémon.

“Nice Pokémon,” remarked Vant. “Go, Zigzagoon and Misdreavus!”

Zigzagoon, the ever-so-common normal type gave a small growl anticipating the battle. However, Wes surveyed the Misdreavus, which would normally be considered more of a threat. Ghost-types were generally tough fighters, and as a rule they were not to be underestimated. This particular Pokémon was made up of a levitating black and purple head and neck - the typical scary look ghost types had. It oddly enough also had a necklace around its neck, which twirled around the neck of the Pokémon.

“Zigza!” (We’ll beat you smelly Pokémon!)

“Es? Espeon, Es?” (Smelly? You’re original with your taunts, aren’t you?) ridiculed Espeon.

“Misdreavus.” (You have no chance of winning…) giggled the Misdreavus softly in a bone-chilling way.

“Umbre…” (Ok-ay then… you might be disappointed though,) retorted Umbreon.

“Zigzagoon, start off with a Tackle on Espeon!” declared Vant after the Pokémon had finished taunting each other. The small Pokémon charged forward at a quick speed towards Espeon, or as quickly as its short stubby legs would allow it at any rate.

“Block it, Umbreon!” countered Wes, without missing a beat. Umbreon intercepted Zigzagoon’s run with ease, and roughly bumped it back into the opposite direction. Wes decided to go quickly on the counter-attack, when suddenly he and Vant were interrupted by Rui.

“Wes - the Misdreavus - it’s… it’s… SHADOW!!!” cried Rui, to the dismay of the spectators who covered their ears in pain at the volume of Rui’s screech.

“Shadow? What?” asked Wes. Another Shadow Pokémon? What’s going on?

“Bugger - how did you know it was a Shadow?” asked Vant. “I was planning on giving him a surprise…Never mind - I’ll win anyway! Misdreavus, Shadow Ball on Espeon!”

The black and purple ghost type gave a hiss and gave a midair somersault, summoning a black sphere of energy. In a matter of seconds the black blob had grown to the size of the ghost Pokémon, spinning in front of Misdreavus. Suddenly it flew at an astonishing pace towards Espeon.

“Quick, dodge!” cried Wes, still distracted by the news that Misdreavus was a Shadow Pokémon. However Espeon was caught out by the attack before it could jump to safety and cried out in pain as the ball of dark energy engulfed him, before dissipating away.

“Misdreavus!” (Haha, direct hit! No chance!) Rui gave out another gasp.

“Wes, Misdreavus’s aura… it’s turned… red?” shouted Rui confused at this change.

Vant smiled. “Zigzagoon, use Tackle again!” he commanded.

“Umbreon - block it!” shouted Wes. Umbreon dived right in front of the smaller Pokémon and blocked it again.

“Now - Misdreavus - Shadow Rush!” yelled Vant. With a sense of despair, Wes realised that Zigzagoon’s attack was a trick - with Umbreon pulled in, Espeon was left exposed.

“Espeon, Confusion!” ordered Wes, hoping to make Misdreavus reel back in pain of the psychic attack. Espeon tilted his head and directed its psychic power at the charging Misdreavus, scoring a direct hit. Despite this however the Shadow Misdreavus continued and made direct contact with Espeon with its charge, knocking it out.

Wes was shocked. “But it was… Espeon damaged it…”

“Ah yes, but it was in Hyper state,” pointed out Vant. “You may not know it, but if a Shadow Pokémon enters that state, it gets stronger and doesn’t notice much, such as an attack. That’s why she went going, and as she was in Hyper State; its attack was more powerful. You’ve got a long way to go to beating me!” taunted Vant. “All in this instruction manual,” he added, waving a ‘How to Care for Your Shadow Pokémon’ pamphlet at them.

Wes frowned - he remembered now. Shadow Pokémon tended to do that sometimes. But Vant seemed to know too much about Shadow Pokémon, and the fact he had one was frankly suspicious. Team Snagem people knew about such technicalities, but the general public should – by all rights – know only that Shadow Pokémon existed. Wes decided to venture the dangerous option.

“Do you work for Cipher?” Wes asked. The crowd began jeering, bored by the conversation and eager instead to watch a battle.

“Cipher? Who are they? No, my Shadow Pokémon was a prize. Since I won the Colosseum challenge and all,” explained Vant.

“Wait, hang on a second… the Pokémon prize you get… is a Shadow Pokémon?” asked Wes.

“Oh sure. Most of us have one now though,” claimed Vant. Many of the bystanders nodded their agreement. Rui looked shocked at this new development. “But hey - stop talking, and get on with it!” urged Vant.

“Um… sure,” answered Wes. So Team Cipher has multiple Shadow Pokémon… and they give them away to strong trainers? Something’s wrong… very wrong… Wes thought, before shaking his head. Snap out of it… I need to win this and get that Misdreavus… who should I use? Makuhita may hurt someone in his rage. Like myself. And I don’t want that…and the Croconaw isn’t much better but at least it wasn’t trying to punch the first thing it saw.

"Go, Croconaw!” he commanded. He threw the Poké Ball out onto the field, and Croconaw emerged, giving a rough growl and kicking up dirt.

“Croc!” (A Zigzagoon? Pfft!) stated Croconaw, glaring arrogantly at the opposition.

“Okay, Croconaw… try a Water Gun!” ventured Wes.

Croconaw stared at Wes blankly.

“Umbre…” (Oh dear - you can’t do that?)

“Cro! Croconaw! Naw!” (Quiet! I cannot remember such a move! Your trainer’s probably crazy!) Croconaw yelled as it made a rude gesture at Umbreon.

“Umbreon!” (Don’t you DARE insult Wes!)

“Calm down, you two! You don’t know Water Gun?” asked Wes. Croconaw shrugged as he dodged an attack from Zigzagoon and managed to swipe it with its claws.

“Okay then, follow up with another Scratch!” urged Wes. Croconaw gave the same blank look.

“But you…” began Wes, glancing at his P*DA to see Croconaw’s attacks. The gadget quickly scanned Croconaw with a red ray, and returned the results of the analysis as Croconaw blinked in annoyance. “Hey - only one attack? Oh well… Croconaw, Shadow Rush on the Misdreavus, Umbreon, Bite on Zigzagoon!”

“Dodge it, Zigzagoon!” cried Vant, but Umbreon’s attack was too quick as he bit Zigzagoon in the leg and tossed him away into a wall. Meanwhile, Croconaw lumbered forward and charged right at Misdreavus. His target gave a ghostly laugh and disappeared, reappearing behind Croconaw before it used a Shadow Rush of its own. Laughing, it gave a wicked grin as Croconaw fell down from the impact.

“You have a Shadow Pokémon too?” asked Vant, confused. “Never mind - it’s doesn’t seem to know anything but Shadow Rush, so it’s no match for my one! Misdreavus, finish it!” instructed Vant. Misdreavus gave another ghostly laugh as it fired up another pulsing Shadow Ball.

“Umbre!” (Get up, Croconaw!) cried Umbreon. Noticing that Croconaw was too limp to move, he shook his head and decided to take matters in his own hands. He charged at the Zigzagoon head on.

Wes realised what was going on. “Ok then. Croconaw! Jump up and get near Zigzagoon!” he urged desperately.

At Wes’s order, Croconaw struggled and jumped a short distance into the air and landed clumsily on his feet, lumbering towards Zigzagoon unsteadily. The movement distracted Misdreavus, and delayed its attack as it turned directly towards Croconaw. Meanwhile the hurt Zigzagoon tried its best to limp away from Umbreon, but Umbreon anticipated the Pokémon’s weak effort and picked it up between his teeth like a rag doll. It then in one movement sprang in front of Croconaw.

“Croc…” (You’re risking yourself to protect me?) asked Croconaw in surprise, stopping short.

Umbreon gave a muffled response, due to Zigzagoon’s leg being in his mouth, but Croconaw got the gist of the reply. Croconaw nodded his head and assumed a battle pose.

Vant nodded his head in acknowledgement of the move. “Nice idea. Misdreavus, hold back the attack!”

But Misdreavus was too enraged as it fired the ball of energy. It struck Zigzagoon directly, narrowly missing Umbreon. The raccoon Pokémon gave a small weak yelp of pain - normal types could survive ghost-typed attacks, but from such close range from an angry Shadow Pokémon, it didn’t stand a chance. Misdreavus gave a look which might be interpreted as a twinge of regret, but it quickly vanished as it glared angrily at Umbreon and Croconaw.

“Zigza…” (But why…) it moaned, before fainting. Vant shakily returned it to its Poké Ball.

“Wes… now Croconaw’s aura turned red!” said Rui warningly.

“Must be in hyper state then…” muttered Wes, making the link. “Umbreon! Croconaw? Ready to win?”

“Umbreon!” (Oh yes - this’ll be revenge for hurting Espeon!)

“Croc Naw!” (Gonna smash that ghost!)

“Good - Croconaw - Shadow Rush!” instructed Wes. Misdreavus laughed, and merely relied on its previous tactic of disappearing once the Croconaw got close. It soon emerged behind it as Croconaw snorted angrily and turned around.

“Now, Umbreon!” shouted Wes. Misdreavus felt the teeth of Umbreon in the back of its neck and shrieked in pain. He held on for a few seconds, before letting go, just a split second before Croconaw clashed with Misdreavus head on with a Shadow Rush attack from the opposite direction. The Ghost Pokémon gave another cry of pain as it fell to the crowd limply, losing its levitating ability. It was still in the battle, but only just as it struggled to rise from the ground.

“I think that’s enough…” began Vant conceding defeat, but stopped mid-sentence as he noticed what Wes was doing. A few of the more attentive members of the crowd also looked puzzled as Wes removed a Poké Ball from the machine upon his arm, and then gasped as he threw the Poké Ball…

…right at Misdreavus.

As the ball made contact, Misdreavus was sucked into the small capsule and the ball started wobbling. A few seconds later, it stopped and as the ball gave a small flash, it came to rest.

Wes moved to bend down and pick it up. As he stood up, he noticed that all of the audience were staring at him, especially Vant who had an angry scowl on his face. It dawned on Wes that maybe snagging someone’s Pokémon in a public place was not the best idea - especially an innocent person’s Pokémon. He smiled weakly at the crowd.

“Guess the wager’s off, then?” he asked. Then, to Rui, he added “Run!”

***

Johnson was glad with himself. He had successfully kept Pyrite in order single-handedly for another day, defeating numerous ruffians and scoundrels alike – he didn’t even have to fight them, as they had cowered away in fright of his sparking blue police uniform. Not to mention that he had told off that small kid who had dropped a small apple core. Oh, that boy sure did get a good lecture on money and littering…

The police officer walked up to a small statue lying in disarray by the sides of the main pathway. He looked around carefully before speaking to it.

“So, do you know what happened yesterday in the Poké Mart at five pm?” he demanded.

The statue unsurprisingly was silent.

“Oh yeah? Nothing to say?” persisted the officer. A person walking past glanced at him, rolled his eyes, and walked off.

The statue remained quiet.

“Well, I’ll let you off. I’m watching you though!” said Johnson, brushing his hands. Yep, I sure am the best policeman around here, he thought to himself. He began to walk off to harass another piece of rubbish, when he noticed a pebble shaking on the ground.

“What’s wrong with you?” asked Johnson. The pebble to his horror ignored him and started shaking harder, and even jumped a few centimetres from the ground. Johnson realised that the ground was shaking as well, before falling to his knees.

Then he heard a noise from behind him - quiet at first, before it grew louder. He turned to see two people being chased by a mob down the street. Unintelligible words were shouted in his direction - something about ‘stealing’, ‘Snagem’, and ‘kill him’.

Johnson put on a brave face and stood up straight, facing the angry mob which had been gaining on the two victims. He raised a hand towards them.

“Stop!” he shouted.

A moment later, the mob collided with him, and the world went topsy-turvy.

***

“Sorry for causing the mess and all. It’s my fault,” began Wes.

He and Rui were now in a prison cell. They had been caught by the crowd, who had gone mad in anger and outrage at him. If there was a golden rule in the Pokémon world it was this - never, ever get caught stealing someone’s Pokémon. That’s why Rui and Wes had been chased, mistaken for part of Team Snagem. And, as Wes grimly thought, who would believe that they had done it for a good purpose, not a bad one?

They had been in the lead but already that had been shortened significantly. Wes had recalled his Pokémon to his Poké Balls - he knew that they would be no match for an angry mob after that battle. They were caught by the crowd near the entrance - Wes vividly remembered that the inept Johnson had been caught up by the mob as well, and unsurprisingly was also a victim of the mob’s rage.

He and Rui had gained a few bruises in the first few seconds, but luckily before it got any worse, Wes faintly recalled a man commanding ‘Stop!” in such a way it had froze everyone in their tracks. Then everyone had shifted away quietly and quickly. Wes didn’t remember much after that, only that now they were imprisoned, and would now have a criminal record added to their names. It looked like it was all over.

“Never mind - it’s not your fault,” sighed Rui softly. “Remember - we’re in this together,” she added more firmly, giving a weak smile to Wes. Wes returned it and squeezed her hand - more to comfort her than himself, of course.

Wes’s Pokémon had been confiscated and placed in the police force’s hands - Wes was surprised that there was actually a ‘force’ that kept the town in order. Seems it had finally made itself evident – just as well for them then, but maybe not for the not-so-distant future.

“Well, looks like it’s all over, unfortunately,” Wes sighed. “So much for us stopping Team Snagem and Cipher… man,” Wes chuckled. “If one heard our story…”

“Oh, I’m listening,” a voice sounded from the darkness of the shadows surrounding the cell. Wes jumped up in surprise, trying to make out the shape before him. “So, you know something about Snagem and Cipher, eh?”

***





That's it for the chapter.

For those who have played the game - did you expect the last part to happen? Hehe, I’m somewhat deviated a fair bit from the game’s plot now. :)

Anyway, the spoiler on events, characters, and all that jazz:
Drunkard - He was merely a person outside the Colosseum in Pyrite, who conveniently tells you that they give away 'strong Pokémon like Cail's (read: Shadow Pokémon), before hurriedly telling you to 'forget what he just said'. I thought nobody is that stupid, so in order to keep it amusing and 'explain' this event, I came up with that explanation.

Gear Chief - The guy in the windmill is a NPC in the game, who sings a lot. He has a tiny part in the game plot, which you will see later in this fic. Works for Duking, who is a muscled man how features a LOT in the game, as well as XD.

The windmill in the game only powers up the Colosseum, but I thought that that was a bit of a waste considering there was a whole town - hence, the town depends on the windmill. Minor tidbit I suppose.

Fateen - An NPC who sits in a house in Pyrite. She occasionally 'reads' your future which has something vaguely to do with a future event. Pretty bland character in my books in the game.

Johnson - he's a random irrelevant and dumbly-portrayed character in the game. He also collides with you at times, mistakes you for someone, and proceeds to tell you a LOT of classified information, before realising his mistake. He’ll feature a fair bit more.

Vant and Cail - two of the many trainers in the town that battle you if you talk to them. Cail's a bit more important in the game than Vant, but not by much. In both Colosseum and XD, none of the trainers react in any way if you steal their shadow Pokémon. Needless to say (yet I’m going to say it anyway), this is VERY unrealistic. Here we get a mob chase instead.

Other NPCs – there’s the guy who 'refused' to give Rui money - in the game he does reveal a bit more than his woes with having to give people money – along with the 'Stop Selling Me Stuff' lady. She stays in a house and asks why you want to sell her stuff if you talk to her, before asking 'Why would I want that?'. Pretty amusing at times.

Reply on thoughts, and I'll be back soon!

BREAKINGBEN
March 23rd, 2008, 10:21 AM
I love reading this fanfic (as I am a HUGE fan of the Colosseum/XD games). It's great that you gave each pokemon their own personality. Also, I liked that Croconaw was the first Johto pokemon Wes saw (it was mine to in the game :)). I hope you put up more soon!!

Minos Yewman
March 24th, 2008, 07:19 AM
That chapter was good too, I liked the mob chase lots and I also like it how all the different pokémon have their own personality. However there are 48 shadow pokemon and plusle so if they are each going to have a unique personality, it could get confusing.
The only mistake I spotted was this:

encountered it for a while, as he had been with Team Snagem for a while

You used 'for a while' twice in a short sentance. This doesn't sound good. Try something like:

encountered it for a while, as he had been with Team Snagem until recently

Other than that, very good! Keep it up!

Jak
March 25th, 2008, 07:31 AM
Very nice. ;D It's so funny...I'm funny at school, but that's only cause I can do funny voices and accents...and I can't put that into writing, so I think I'll stick to dread. xD


Anyway...I found some little things...

“What’s up with this place?” grumbled Wes. “No restaurants, no fast food takeaways - heck, there’s not even a shoddy kebab stand in sight!”

Do you mean 'kabob'? Of course, if you're in Australia then maybe it's something over there. X.x But...just something I wondered about. Same with shoddy...I don't know what that means either.

“Gah! What is it with you? He’s my… I mean Wes! Be a man - stomp her down!” shouted Rui.

“Stamp? Who, me?” retorted the newcomer. “Ahaha! That’s a laugh! I’ll go easy on you... Hang on, where’d he go?” asked the girl. Rui turned - there was no sign of Wes, who had evidently chosen this moment to leave the dispute. Frowning furiously, she turned around, abruptly kicked the girl in the leg and marched off through a Pokemon battle, ignoring the cries of protest from the trainers and Pokemon alike.

I notice you use 'stomp' when Rui is talking to the chick, but when that girl repeats it, she says 'stamp'. Try keeping it the same word...especially if someone is quoting another person. ^^

Ha, I'm still at school. -sneaky-

Espreon
March 25th, 2008, 07:46 AM
Same with shoddy...I don't know what that means either.


Shoddy is not exactly exlusive to Australian English, its a synonym for poor quality.

Back on topic and to the author: I love how this is unfolding but I was dissapointed with Wes going up to the blue guy, but its just a personal preferance as I like the Cyndaquil line the best. Other than that great work! In fact its so great once I find my iPod I will copy these as text files and put them on my iPod so I can read it on the go!

Jak
March 25th, 2008, 08:04 AM
Shoddy is not exactly exlusive to Australian English, its a synonym for poor quality.

Back on topic and to the author: I love how this is unfolding but I was dissapointed with Wes going up to the blue guy, but its just a personal preferance as I like the Cyndaquil line the best. Other than that great work! In fact its so great once I find my iPod I will copy these as text files and put them on my iPod so I can read it on the go!

Oh, ok then.

Yeah, I was hoping for Quilava, but I like Croconaw just as much. <3

My first file...I walked out of the mayor's house and said, "Hey! A green guy! LETS TALK TO HIM!!!" xD So I ended up with Bayleef...and I've only done Croconaw once. He always died. X.x So I haven't chosen him ever since. Always Quilava. ;D

Back on topic, I think I might do the same thing Espreon is doing with the iPod. Luckily, I know where mine is. 8D

bobandbill
March 25th, 2008, 09:49 PM
I love reading this fanfic (as I am a HUGE fan of the Colosseum/XD games). It's great that you gave each pokemon their own personality. Also, I liked that Croconaw was the first Johto pokemon Wes saw (it was mine to in the game :)). I hope you put up more soon!!
Thanks. Probably will put the next chapter up tomorrow.
That chapter was good too, I liked the mob chase lots and I also like it how all the different pokémon have their own personality. However there are 48 shadow pokemon and plusle so if they are each going to have a unique personality, it could get confusing.
The only mistake I spotted was this:

You used 'for a while' twice in a short sentance. This doesn't sound good. Try something like:

Other than that, very good! Keep it up!
Cheers once again, and also for pointing out the mistake.
On the 'personality' thing - I'm not going to give every Shadow Pokemon a personality in this. Would be confusing for yuo the readers and me as well, hard to keep track off, and not sure I could come up with 49 differing personalities so easily... plus there's no point. As a result, only some will get some personalities, or more 'minor' roles in the story. There will be a fair few by the end of it neverthelessl however...
Same goes for the battles - am doing a fair few of them, but a fair bit later, I will... sidestep the task of doing twenty or single battles in a row, without 'summerising' them to boot (in a few chapters time yet mind). It'll take too long, too much and would get repetetive...

Very nice. ;D It's so funny...I'm funny at school, but that's only cause I can do funny voices and accents...and I can't put that into writing, so I think I'll stick to dread. xD

Anyway...I found some little things...

Do you mean 'kabob'? Of course, if you're in Australia then maybe it's something over there. X.x But...just something I wondered about. Same with shoddy...I don't know what that means either.

I notice you use 'stomp' when Rui is talking to the chick, but when that girl repeats it, she says 'stamp'. Try keeping it the same word...especially if someone is quoting another person. ^^

Ha, I'm still at school. -sneaky-
Thanks again! Glad you liked it.
Shoddy has already been mentioned, but kebab seems to be another way of saying 'kebob' - it's how it's spelt in Australia. (insert Wikipedia entry here saying so (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kebab) :) ). Only really known as Kebab in Australia...
I am writing this in 'Australian-English'... for instance, 'centre' = 'center'. So if you're not Australian... too bad. ;) Good that you point out things like this though, if I do get the spelling wrong. Such as stomp =/= stamp - thanks for that.

I did also, in my first go, talk to the green guy, because he was there and all... silly position of the mayor house right by the exit...
Shoddy is not exactly exlusive to Australian English, its a synonym for poor quality.

Back on topic and to the author: I love how this is unfolding but I was dissapointed with Wes going up to the blue guy, but its just a personal preferance as I like the Cyndaquil line the best. Other than that great work! In fact its so great once I find my iPod I will copy these as text files and put them on my iPod so I can read it on the go!
Yeah, thanks for clearing up 'shoddy', Espreon. :)
I'm a Totodile-line fan over Cyndaquil line IMO, though I like them all. Thanks for the comments everyone!

In the next chapter, there will be a character rarely touched upon in the game which will get more of a role in this story. A fair bit of 'original' (ie not in the game) stuff in there, as well as a 'retake' of a cutscene, which is info-giving and plot advancing somewhat and all that jazz... oh, and a reference to Pikmin 2. :) As well as a pastry/pastry-related-item.

Minos Yewman
March 26th, 2008, 02:33 AM
I went for Quilava too. My friend gave me the game as he had got stuck on Evice. Therefore, I was determined to beat the game. With my friends well of knowledge, I discovered that the three troops had different ones so I went for my favourite: Quilava (not actually my favourite, but its cute before it evolves to Quilava and Typhlosion is cool)
Anyway, I think I'd better start looking for these pastrys.

On an unrelated note, I know it as 'Kebab' even though I'm English. I don't know why, I've always called it that :)

bobandbill
March 26th, 2008, 10:43 PM
Here's the next chapter.

This chapter is somewhat more serious than previous ones - mostly a plot setting chapter. It's advisable to read everyting in detail, as a few rather subtle jokes may be missed...

***


***

Chapter 6 - Prison Cells



“Who… are you?” asked Wes, still peering at the man to get a better look. Suddenly the room was flooded with light. Wes covered his eyes and grunted a little as the pain of burning retinas slowly subsided. His eyes recovered in due course, and a moment later he was able to look up to see the stranger’s face.

The man before him was aged. Wes guessed that he was in his fifties, maybe even his sixties. The evidence that the man had passed his use-by date was evident in his gray, disappearing hair and a thick bushy pale-gray moustache that looked as though a thunderstorm had recently passed through that region. However, this man’s frame did not in the slightest suggest that he was old and frail - everything about his posture said that here was a man not to be messed with.

“Err... hi there,” Rui said as she fiddled with her fingers subconsciously.

“So, what’s with this stuff you’ve been talking about Team Snagem, eh?” replied the man gruffly, ignoring Rui’s attempt at a friendly greeting. “You do know that stealing other people’s Pokémon is a criminal offence, hm?”

“Well, you see…” began Wes, only for Rui to intervene.

“Well, two days ago I was walking in Pyrite town because I was on a bus trip and I was to see my grandparents - they live in a tree - and then I saw this Pokémon and it had an aura and it was scary and purple and then I said something and then two people chased me and I collided with a- well never mind about that - they caught me and kidnapped me and put me in a sack and they took me to Phenac city where Wes - that’s him - he rescued me and he used to work with Snagem but he’s good now and then we saw the mayor of Phenac city and we said he would help us and then later we saw Team Snagem people and then Wes beat them and their Pokémon went boom and then I was angry at someone - funny, I don’t remember much then - and then we went back to the mayor’s house and we saw a crazy man who had a lot of hair and he danced a lot and had salsa music and he said we worked for team Cipher and then the two people who kidnapped me were there and they battled Wes and he won because he’s a wonner - I mean winner - and then Wes snagged a Shadow Pokémon - they are the Pokémon with the funny aura - and then we left for Pyrite and battled some guy who spoke random things and…”

“Slow down Rui…” interrupted Wes.

“… and then Wes battled him as well and he also had a Shadow Pokémon and Wes snagged it too and it was odd that Team Cipher - whoever they are - have two Shadow Pokémon so we went to Pyrite and the next day - that’s today - we walked around and then Wes battled a trainer and he also had a Shadow Pokémon and I went ‘SHADOW!!!’. And Wes snagged it and then they chased us and now we’re in jail and please don’t reprehend us because I hate getting reprehended and what would my parents say and we didn’t want to steal Pokémon but it was Shadow and we’re trying to stop Cipher, and… yeah.”

Wes sighed as Rui panted after her long speech. The man’s face was warped into confusion as he tried to figure out what Rui actually said. Wes would have laughed at the situation were they not in a jail cell that smelt worse than Pyrite’s streets.

“All right then…” said the man at length. “Might as well give you a chance to properly tell me your side of it,” he said, as Rui blushed at this remark, “because from what I can make out of that tale, it’s an interesting one. Not to mention that the fact that you having the Snag machine that’s gone missing from Team Snagem’s base is intriguing. Come to my office.” He unlocked the jail door, and motioned for Wes and Rui to follow him.

“Name’s Sherles, by the way. I’m the sheriff of this dismal excuse of a town,” he added.

***

After a lengthy interrogation involving a lot of talking, questioning and the occasional toilet break, Sherles was satisfied with the tale.

“Well,” he began, sticking his head into the room after having left for a coffee, “looks like your story holds. I’ve contacted some, ahem, people in Phenac and the Outskirt Stand, and it seems that there’s truth in it. Ah, who did you say kidnapped you, young lady?”

“Oh, their names were Folly and Trudly,” she answered.

“Yes, that’s right. My memory sometimes fails me…” trailed off Sherles. Wes doubted that there was anything wrong with his memory, and his thoughts were confirmed when two men walked through the door, with Sherles in tow.

“I’m telling ya, we didn’t do nothing…. YOU!” gasped Folly, seeing Wes and Rui. Trudly and Folly were escorted by Sherles into the room. Sherles gave Folly an amused look.

“I mean… YOU…. Um… aren’t you on T.V. or something?” stuttered Folly weakly.

“Hello, Folly,” replied Rui, grinning. Folly frowned, and then winced as Trudly whacked him in the head.

“Why couldn’t you keep your trap shut…” began Trudly.

“Quiet!” commanded Sherles in a no-nonsense voice. Trudly and Folly immediately fell silent. “Now,” he continued, “I want you to tell me all you know about Snagem and Cipher. Spill the beans!”

“Um… but we don’t have anything to tell you about Cipher or Snagem or Miror B…” began Trudly.

“Aha! So Miror B’s on this, is he?” advanced Sherles. It was Trudly’s time to receive a knock on the head.

“You know of Miror B?” Wes asked Sherles suddenly, confused. “But I thought…”

“Well, that’s where you’re wrong, son. And from your story, it seems much worse. However,” said Sherles, turning to Folly and Trudly with a small smile appearing on his face, “we can start fixing things by turning these two in. I guess Miror B will be displeased to hear that you have failed him.”

“OK WE GIVE IN!” cried Folly and Trudly as one.

“Please don’t do that!” pleaded Folly in desperation.

“All right, alright, calm down…” reassured Sherles. “You’ll be kept here and we’ll keep it quiet - only you’ve got to tell us about Cipher and Snagem, and anything else relevant. Or else,” he finished. Folly and Trudly nodded. They may have the intellectual capabilities of a Magikarp between them, but they understood a threat when they heard one.

With that, Sherles led Folly and Trudly out of the room back into their cells. He returned a few minutes later.

“Interestingly enough, those two had turned themselves in for stealing a vehicle. Despite the fact it belonged to them, they insisted upon being arrested so it was obvious they were frightened of failing Miror B... so, where to begin. You know that Snagem steal Pokémon, and that they turn them into Shadow Pokémon, right?” began Sherles, wasting no time.

“Yes, although I don’t know how or anything like that,” Wes said.

“Well, here’s a shock for you - it’s actually Cipher that does the whole shadowing process.”

It took a moment for the news to sink in for Wes. “But that can’t be right…” he begun, scratching his head as he mulled this news. “I mean… even Gonzap said…”

“Ah, that’s the thing,” continued Sherles. “You see, the police service near Team Snagem’s base actually caught one of the higher-ranking officials of Snagem - partly thanks to you, might I add. Didn’t want to talk much, from what I heard - although after getting some truth serum, he opened up pretty quickly.”

Wes raised an eyebrow. Truth serum potion was known to be created from acids produced by the poisonous plant Pokémon Gloom. It was also known to be only used for high-profile cases, due to the possibility of side effects taken place, such as nausea, loss of bone density and uncontrollable episodes of impromptu break dancing.

“Anyway,” continued Sherles, “it turns out that instead of acquiring Pokémon themselves to make into Shadow Pokémon, this Cipher group had a partnership with Team Snagem who did that job for them. You didn’t know, because you were just a… grunt, let’s say, and Snagem kept this information from all but the most trusted.”

“Who the hell are Cipher anyway, then?” Wes asked.

“Unfortunately, we don’t know,” sighed Sherles. “They’ve just... appeared out of the blue. However it seems that they’ve been biding their time and only chose to appear now, giving Shadow Pokémon left right and centre. Why I don’t know, and how they managed to hide resources from us is also a mystery. And all this time we’ve thought that Snagem were doing small-time stuff - oh sure,” he added, seeing Wes’s face grow in puzzlement, “we thought they might be making Shadow Pokémon – and everyone suspected it, but we couldn’t find any evidence. Seems that it had lied with Cipher all this time.”

“Fair enough,” began Rui, “But why do innocent people have Shadow Pokémon?”

“Well, recently, Team Cipher moved into Pyrite, along with Miror B, who might be a high-ranking official, or even the boss, I don’t know. Things changed then.” Sherles’ face was for a moment sad. “Cipher hides somewhere so we can’t find them, yet they’ve practically taken over the town. And Duking’s never been the same since as the Colosseum’s gone out of his hands, and all I’ve got is that idiot Johnson.”

Just then, ‘that idiot Johnson’ burst into the room and collided with Sherles, Rui and Wes - an impressive effort considering they had been in different parts of the rooms. Johnson leapt to his feet and turned to Wes.

“Owowow… I’m sorry boss, but there’s trouble afoot! There’s talk of thieving of Pokémon and Shadow Pokémon and I hurt my head because people ran over me…. HUH? You’re not the chief…” commented Johnson, realizing that he was talking to a complete stranger. He stared at Wes in astonishment, who stared back in annoyance as he picked himself off the ground.

“I’m right here Johnson… I’ve heard it over and over again already. Where were you anyway?” said an annoyed Sherles.

“Oh chief, there you are! You’re such a kidder. Ahaha. Well, I had been talking to a stat… I mean, the Poké Mart owner, when…” began the officer uncertainly.

“Quiet, Johnson.”

“Sorry, sir.”

“Now, these two people are the ones who got arrested over the alleged stealing. But they’ve been cleared.”

“Who?”

Sherles sighed.

***

“So, they’re good guys. Or are they bad?”

“NO! I told you for the twelfth time!” cried Sherles. Wes and Rui were currently watching the whole conversation from a couch for the last half-hour, seeing just how far Johnson’s thinking capabilities stretched. It wasn’t very far; Wes mused that had one compared it to a gap between a train and a station platform, Johnson would have tripped long before he managed to get out of his house.

“So they are bad?”

Sherles slapped his own head in exasperation.

Eventually though, after another pain-stalking hour filled with sock puppets and verbal threats, the man soon comprehended the situation to a satisfactory level.

“So… what’s going to happen with Wes and Rui?” asked Johnson.

“Wow, Johnson. I’m impressed. An intelligent question,” muttered Sherles under his breath.

“What was that, boss?”

“Err, nothing. Anyway, it is a big dilemma… on the one hand; Wes did destroy the Team Snagem building, putting many people’s lives at risk, and was caught in the act of stealing someone’s Pokémon, a high court offence no matter which way you look at it. Pity that Pyrite has no real legal system to speak of.”

Wes gulped.

“However… we may drop charges, IF he and Rui agree to help us on this case regarding Cipher. After all, they did get told some classified information.” Sherles gave Wes a long deep stare, which Wes matched.

“Oh, no need to bother, boss. Me and my trusty Magikarp will save the day!” Johnson announced loudly. Needless to say, neither Sherles nor Wes bothered to point out that a Pokémon that only knows Splash would probably not be able to stand up to a single ruffian, let alone two criminal syndicates.

“Well, I guess that we have no other choice, do we?” answered Wes at length.

“Good. Welcome aboard,” replied Sherles, glancing through the small window. “We do have one glaringly large problem however. It seems that the townspeople want justice of some sort… we can’t just simply drop charges and set you free, as you’ll won’t be much help here if half the town wants to kill you… I mean, just run you out of town,” he added, seeing Rui’s horrified face.

“Maybe... they should give everyone a BIG hug and say sorry over some hot chocolate? Usually works,” offered Johnson.

“Johnson?” Sherles sighed.

“Yes?”

“Shut up.”

“Maybe…” Rui said. “Maybe we can convince them that we’re innocent.”

“How?”

***

Outside the prison, a large crowd was gathering despite an impending storm cloud looming over Pyrite. News of the theft of Vant’s Pokémon had spread and soon enough everyone who had heard the story had come to the initial hearing.

Initial hearings in Pyrite town involved a summary of what the offending party was charged with, often accompanied with overly loud booing from the audience. Then the audience would decide what the harshest penalty could be given for the offender if proven guilty. The person would be sent to court in a few days time, and in the meanwhile kept in dull shabby prisons with nothing to accompany them but the occasional Rattata which scourged the town for scraps. Leastways, it was intended that they would go to jail for a few days – sometimes the people who had been convicted of harsh crimes didn’t make it there directly.

To the dismay of some who lived in Pyrite, the death penalty was considered null and void but many older ones still remained.

“I hope they get all that they deserved,” muttered Vant to someone who was the kind to be only seen when something interesting was happening.

“What’s the maximum punishment?” he asked.

“Loss of a limb,” replied Vant.

“Ouch.” A moment of reflection insured. “Which one?”

“Oh… probably the left arm, since it’s the one with that strange machine upon it.”

“Hmm, I see. In that case, I call dibs on it.”

“No way - I called for it first!” cried another. Soon enough, the whole crowd was arguing over Wes’ left arm - not even a loud cry of ‘Stop selling me arms!’ from the paranoid lady down the street calmed them down.

The appearance of Sherles did however. Wes, looking from a window within the police station, noted that Sherles held the town’s respect, which was further proof that the old man knew what he was doing as sheriff.

“People, lend me your ears,” he said gruffly as he looked down at the crowd from the front steps.

“Eh, wot?” asked one. “Tis’ attached to me, they are.”

“It was a figure of speech, son,” said Sherles coldly. The man mumbled something and then shut up as Sherles continued to stare at him.

“Now then, I know why you are here. The answer to why and how this injustice came to be,” several cheered for a few seconds, and then piped down, “is right…there.” Sherles pointed to two Pokémon which walked out of the prison office next to him. The whole town stared intently at the two in confusion.

“Now!” said Sherles, but the crowd ignored his sudden command. Instead they found themselves staring at the Pokémon themselves, before their eyes were forced towards the heavens. As the two Pokémon merged powers, they directed their own focus towards the sky. Gradually, distortions of the air dissected the hanging clouds, resulting in giant waves of colour rippling across the dark night sky. The stars glistened in the light show, enhanced by a drizzle of rain which resulted from the merging of clouds.

“Ohhhhh… shiny…” droned the crowd as one. Sherles observed the light show in silent awe. A few minutes later, the rippling slowly ceased as the two Pokémon collapsed to the ground out of exhaustion. Soon after, the large crowd broke out of its trace.

“Wha… where am I?” muttered one.

“Strange… I feel that I should be… angry about losing something…” said Vant. “But that’s silly - hmm, I don’t remember anything since this afternoon…”

“I have a strange lust for someone’s left arm…” remarked another.

After a few murmurs of confusion, the crowd fell silent as they tried to figure out where they were, and then why they were gathered around the prison in the rain. They mused over this while Sherles ushered the two Pokémon by the prison back inside.

“Hey, let’s go eat some quiche,” one suggested at length.

“I like quiche!” agreed another.

The crowd soon wandered off to get some quiche - an idea that greatly appealed to the citizens of Pyrite. Quiche was the town’s emblem, as the original founders of the town hadn’t been able to think of anything more relevant to use.

Meanwhile, Wes recalled his Espeon, while Sherles recalled his Psychic Pokémon, an Alakazam.

“I must say, your Espeon was quite good at holding out for so long. Must have been quite a drain on them to convince the whole town that you and Rui never existed,” commented Sherles with respect.

“I can say the same thing about your Alakazam,” replied Wes. “I think they’ll just need a good night rest.”

“Wasn’t my idea great, Wes? To wipe the town’s memories? I hope they’re all right but… both the town and Espeon, I mean,” Rui said.

“Um, yeah, great idea. I’m sure they’ll be fine,” comforted Wes, as Rui beamed happily.

“Umbre…” (They don’t know half of it…) commented Umbreon to himself, recalling that Espeon had done the same thing to Rui, who did not seem to recollect the event. He looked over Espeon until he was satisfied to see that the strain had not been too much on his brother.

***

“Strange… did you see that?” comment a young woman from a window in a tall building. She rubbed her eyes and stared at the sky, certain that she had seen a glimpse of bright lights fade away a mere moment ago.

“What? No, I didn’t. Be quiet, Ferma - you might interrupt… him, and we want that promotion, remember?” hushed the other. They glanced to see if he heard, but Miror B was too absorbed in his dancing. From a nearby radio a loud salsa beat played, which it had done for the last hour. However neither minded; in fact it strangely hadn’t even come close to sounding bland yet.

Suddenly, a large TV behind them that occupied the width and length of one of the walls gave a few beeps, and then flickered.

“Great! That’s probably him!” cried Miror B. “Quick - song change!” Silently, the second female by the name of Reath walked over to the nearby radio and with a sigh changed the song to a tune that was a mix of meditation and typical elevator music. It strangely gave a peaceful yet catchy sound compared to the once upbeat party-like atmosphere.

Miror B nodded his appreciation at the song change. He grabbed a remote from a table and selected a button which turned the television screen red for a brief flash before it faded away into a blurry transmission of a man. He wore a red, skirt-like thing, had long white hair and had the appearance of an ugly, poisonous flower.

He was the same man who Wes had bumped into outside the mayor’s house in Phenac city.

“I trust things are going according to plan, Miror B?” he asked with a frown.

“Oh yes, Master Nascour,” answered Miror B, nodding enthusiastically in time to the music. “Our plan is coming along in a lovely peachy-lemon way.”

“Eh, what was that? And what’s with the happy music?” asked Nascour. He shifted uneasily, while Miror B continued to groove slightly.

“Honestly, don’t you ever have to not have things spelt out to you in a means other than depressive?” replied Miror B. He used the remote to change the music to something more suiting to Nascour’s taste, a darker tone of music engulfing the room. Ferma and Reath shivered, but Nascour seemed to enjoy it more.

“We have broken Duking’s spirit. We can do as we please at the Colosseum without his meddling. And now we’ve given Shadow Pokémon on the sly to challenge winners for gathering data,” translated Miror B in a bored drone.

“Good. Others also appear to be doing their part to implement their plan. Our Shadow Pokémon plan is falling to place quickly, and the final phase is not far off. Ein for instance has managed to turn even more into Shadow Pokémon. Oh, and your Shadow Pokémon is due tomorrow - I hope you… enjoy it.”

“Fwhohoho - this is perking up my spirit, baby! Oh, I almost fell like… dancing! It’s afro-tastic!” cried Miror B, before pulling of a dance move, making Reath, Ferma and Nascour cringe. Worse yet, he even began to hum the tune of ‘You should be dancing’ by the Bee Gees - many a person who heard a rendition of that song by Miror B ended up having the tune stuck in their head for days.

“Save your dancing and your singing until our plan succeeds, please,” interrupted Nascour hastily. “Besides, we’ve had a minor setback, as I’m sure you know.”

Miror B snorted. “If you call Team Snagem’s base blowing up a minor setback, I suppose you’re right…” he muttered. “All over the news! It even replaced the regular culture section I liked to listen to...”

“Anyway, reports are that he was a former Team Snagem member, by the name of Wes. He destroyed one Snag Machine, and stole the other, so until we regain it, we basically cannot rely on Team Snagem. A major problem, as I’m sure you’ll agree.”

“Oh, whatever. I actually encountered him,” continued Miror B to himself. “But what about my-”

“WHAT!?” shouted Nascour, making every hair in Miror B’s almighty afro quiver in fear. “Why did you not capture him? You stupid, music obsessed…”

“Erm, when I said ‘I’, I meant ‘Folly and Trudly’, sir,” said Miror B hurriedly. “I wouldn’t let him walk away, knowing how dangerous he is to our project, of course.”

Nascour scrutinised Miror B for a moment, then seemed to accept his explanation grudgingly.

“But what of them? Were they successful? I’m guessing not, considering otherwise you would have mentioned it by now.”

Miror B smiled uneasily. “I do not know - I have not heard back from them since yesterday. I did, um, hear, that that girl they said they had had, um, escaped with Wes…”

Nascour’s face was one of displeasure and distaste, as if he had bitten into an overly-bitter Durin berry. “This will not do. Firstly, the man who destroyed Snagem’s base has escaped, and worse, that girl who can somehow see shadow Pokémon is with him? What if they discover us next? What’s more, I have not heard from Bluno either…”

“Well, I - I mean, my assistants - have told me an accurate description of the two…”

“Really? That’s something I suppose…” growled Nascour. “I likely won’t get a good one from Gonzap for a while unless I’m lucky after all. Do share.”

“Well... what did they say...” Miror B put a hand to his chin and pretended to try to recall what he knew perfectly well. “He’s kinda thin... if he is then he should use a bit of food - who can dance when they’re so undernourished? Okay, okay…” muttered Miror B as Nascour shot a warning look. “Well, he’s got the Snag machine, he’s a teenager - probably in his later teens. He had white streaks on his face, has a stylish blue coat - I don’t think it would rival my snazzy outfit, wouldn’t you think? ...Nascour, are you alright?”

Nascour’s face had turned white, and his lips trembled slightly. I saw someone just like that outside the mayor’s office myself, he thought. And that girl that was with him would have been…

“Damn it!” Nascour said aloud, before realising Miror B was still listening. If he had known, he would have had the rebel imprisoned instead of deciding to say some stupid sentence to keep up the illusion of being intimidating and save himself from speaking to others unnecessary… no, Nascour had the opportunity to turn him in and have Cipher’s problem’s averted. A chance gone begging.

“Oh, never mind Miror B… carry on…” he stammered, before aborting the televised transmission to Miror B’s bemusement.

Well, obviously the boss couldn’t have done anything about it - I assume he realized who they were, Nascour thought to himself as he breathed deeply to collect his thoughts. After all, it would have raised a few eyebrows - too many eyebrows. That girl would have no doubt cried about being kidnapped, and although people may not question arrests in say Pyrite, they do in blasted Phenac. Still, I must warn the others, and make measures for myself… I’m not going under, and neither is Team Cipher, not now!

Meanwhile, Miror B was continuing staring at the screen in bemusement.

Oh well, he shrugged. Not my problem that he’s weird. Probably not in the position to call anyone else weird, but he certainly is.

“Ferma! Reath! I shall soon return to my hideout with my Pokémon. You keep things in order for then - make sure you give out the next Shadow Pokémon for the upcoming Colosseum battle. But first… we dance!”

Ferma and Reath sighed as Miror B turned on the music to full blast, and started tapping away. They retreated to another room quietly, so not to disturb the man.

“At least those two fools are out of the picture for now!” whispered Ferma to Reath. “I bet they did something stupid like drive off a cliff.”

“Yes, great news. At this rate, promotion to their position will be a cinch!”

“Indeed... although this Admin is quite strange, it’d be no doubt useful to be his most useful underlings...”

Miror B, meanwhile, twirled one of his many Ludicolo about the room, ignorant of his two whispering underlings.

Who cares about that silly boy and girl anyway? Or the project? he thought to himself, trying to dispel his fears. They’ll never find us here… and even if they were, they’re not going to stop me dancing.

And so he danced.

***



There's the chapter. Anyone spot the Pikmin 2 reference? (Assuming you've played it...)

As for the characters not seen before:

Sherles - he is the Sherriff of Pyrite town in the game. He is old but does his duty - despite that in the game, most of his help is off-screen. He randomly appears at the end of the game to help you without any indicator he would do so beforehand, and the fact you save the town and he does nothing conflicts with how he is portrayed in the game.

Here, he has a much more active role in the story, and I've added to his personality. However, just like in the game, he dislikes Johnson (in the sequel of Colosseum in XD for instance, after Johnson stuffs something up, Sherles locks him up so he cannot mess up anything else).

Ferma and Reath - two women that you battle and then can rebattle after the story mode. They work for Miror B, look up to him (or maybe just look up to his afro?), and... well, the game gets kinda fuzzy about their role in the game. The only clear part of it is that they work for Cipher. They get arrested in the game, and have a tiny role in the story, but that's about it. As they didn't fit in without any sort of explanation, I gave one - that they want Folly and Trudly's jobs. Will they succeed?

Nascour - major head honcho of Cipher, with creepy outfits and white hair. Doesn't even look fully human (though that may also be partly due to the animation work). Portrayed as cold, and when you first encounter him, he says a weird thing to you (what he says in chapter 2 of this fic). A rather mysterious character.

As for the Miror B and Nascour scene - it's a scene that occurs in the game after you talk to a specific NPC. Nascour talks to Miror B about the plan coming along nicely, only they don't mention Team Snagem's loss in the game which is a questionable omission at best. Here they do talk about it, and also acknowledge the existence of Wes.

Espreon
March 27th, 2008, 08:29 AM
Anyone spot the Pikmin 2 reference? (Assuming you've played it...)


Uh no, and I have played it numerous times (but not recently), same with the original Pikmin. Nice chapter.

To anyone who did not understand what impromptu means: It means unschedueled, unexpected.

Bobandbill, maybe I should be your dictionary for the people who don't know what certain words mean.

bobandbill
March 29th, 2008, 01:47 AM
Uh no, and I have played it numerous times (but not recently), same with the original Pikmin. Nice chapter.

To anyone who did not understand what impromptu means: It means unschedueled, unexpected.

Bobandbill, maybe I should be your dictionary for the people who don't know what certain words mean.
Yep, that's what impromptu means. From now on, you shall be known as 'Espreon the unoffical dictionary'. ;)
Anyway good that you liked this chapter as well. :)

As for the Pikmin reference - well, let's just say it isn't the most obvious one. If anyone thinks they know - take a stab!
Next chapter in the 'fast posting' process shall come in 2-3 days, just so you people know.And if you want anything 'explained' - post away!

Espreon
March 29th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Yep, that's what impromptu means. From now on, you shall be known as 'Espreon the unoffical dictionary'. ;)
Anyway good that you liked this chapter as well. :)

As for the Pikmin reference - well, let's just say it isn't the most obvious one. If anyone thinks they know - take a stab!
Next chapter in the 'fast posting' process shall come in 2-3 days, just so you people know.And if you want anything 'explained' - post away!

Yays! I am the unofficial dictionary! Could you tell me who said the Pikmin2 line in Pikmin2?

bobandbill
March 31st, 2008, 11:20 PM
Well, I'll sit on the refernce for a bit longer - up until the posting of chapter 8 if someone else can get it. Oh, and there is another one in this chapter as well, just so you know.

Anyways, here it is!


***


***

Chapter 7 - Gotta Snag Them All



Wes was in one of the drab streets of Pyrite. He glanced about as he walked through. He didn't know what it was that he wanted to find, but still he looked. Not watching where he was going, he walked straight into a lamppost. Wes looked at it - strangely, the light bulb looked just like Miror B's afro, and the lamppost was covered in a purple and black aura.

"Gah," spoke the lamppost grumpily. Wes took an uncertain step backwards, and suddenly he was falling, the ground parting behind his feet. Pyrite was gone and replaced by nothingness, save for the pastries floating around him.

"What the…" began Wes, before he felt something hit him in the head. "Ow!"

"Naughty words are bad," said the lamppost which had somehow joined Wes in his descent. Seemingly it was the one which had hit Wes.

"I guess I must be dreaming. Ow! What was that for?" cried Wes, as the object hit him again. The teenager rubbed his aching head and gazed at the attacker.

"Silence - you will bow down to me instead of being aware of being in a dream!" the lamppost boomed.

"What are you?" tried Wes, careful to choose his words.

"Luke, I am your Father!"

"But wait, I'm not Luke…" began Wes. "And don't tell me that you're my father!"

"Oh, yeah." A moment of silence followed. "I'm not your father… because YOU DON'T HAVE ONE!"

"No…no…" mumbled Wes, before he paused in thought. "Wait, I don't care about that."

"You don't?" the lamppost asked.

But Wes did not answer, for suddenly a large bear which had appeared wearing a top hat was shaking him, yelling 'wake up'...

***

"Wake up, youngster! How long do you sleep in bed for?" shouted Sherles in his rusty, gruff voice, as he roughly shook the startled teenager out of his slumber. Wes moaned before getting up. He rubbed his head, trying to get the remnants of what remained of his dream out of his memory.

"I was having a dream… what time is it?" he mumbled.

"5:30! Come on, look sharp!" replied Sherles, before marching off to his office. "We've got work to do!"

For crying out loud, it's 5:30! Nobody's supposed to be awake at this time! thought Wes grumpily to himself as he dragged himself out of a makeshift bed. After a quick check on Espeon who looked fully rested, he walked into the office where Sherles and Rui were waiting. Does 5:30 even exist?

"About time, you two…" huffed Sherles.

"Oh calm down," replied Rui. She clutched a mug filled with frothing, brown liquid in her hand. "Not everybody wakes up at the same time as you, and I'm sure we don't have to rush right now… Arrgh!" she cried, as she took a sip.

"What is it? Too hot?" asked Wes curiously.

"No - I thought this was hot chocolate!" cried Rui, turning to Johnson with a scowl.

"Er, sorry?" Johnson offered feebly.

"How the heck can you mistake coffee for chocolate… but wait - it smelled like chocolate!" she added, smelling the cup of questionable contents.

"Maybe I used both…" Johnson muttered as Rui took another sip.

"And it's salty! Don't tell me you didn't… oh." Rui trailed off upon seeing two identically sized and shaped tubs of white, grainy substances. "Never mind, I'll make myself another one…"

"Anyway," interrupted Sherles, "we have a lot of work to do with regaining those Shadow Pokémon."

"But aren't you forgetting something?" asked Wes, taking a bite from an apple. "We were kinda chased by the whole town, and stealing - I mean, snagging another Shadow Pokémon will just get the same result. And I'm not sure we want to go through that again…"

"Espeon!" (Too right! I still have a headache!) agreed Espeon, trotting through the door. He sniffed in distain at the thought of having to do the same again – even Psychic Pokémon had limitations.

"I haven't forgotten about that. No, after we go meet someone who may help us, you two are to try to regain as many Shadow Pokémon as you can, and see if you can locate Cipher's hideout, wherever that may be. Unfortunately, it seems that Folly and Trudly genuinely cannot remember where the hideout is located – my Alakazam made sure of that… Now, let's go!" ordered Sherles, before marching off outside with a spring in his step.

"Well, at least he's enthusiastic about the whole thing. Not really surprised about Folly and Trudly's forgetfulness… they don't seem much like criminals," remarked Wes. “Good ones, anyway.”

"Espi Espeon! Espeon!" (They don't even know what Cipher's trying to do! A bit like how you didn't know anything about what Team Snagem were doing!)

"…Shut up," Wes retorted, feeling tired. He gave a sigh, and rubbed his forehead. What did I get myself into this? First I was with Team Snagem, and now I'm fighting two criminal syndicates!

"Hey, Wes, you're looking glum. Everything all right?" asked Rui.

"What? Oh, yes, just had a… bad dream," replied Wes tiredly.

Rui suddenly sprang forward and gave Wes a quick hug to comfort him, surprising both him and herself in part – she hadn't planned on doing so, but she felt it was the right thing to do.

"Suddenly, I feel much better now…" Wes mumbled.

"And Johnson, you come along too! You're helping Wes and Rui!" Sherles called from outside the door.

"Ok!" exclaimed Johnson happily as he followed Sherles out.

"What did he just say?" queried Wes. "Because I could have sworn that he said that Johnson was helping us."

"….Damn it!" remarked Rui.

***

"Want a blueberry muffin?" offered Johnson to Wes as they walked through Pyrite.

"…Yes," accepted Wes reluctantly. To say the least, Wes still felt rather dismayed by the fact that he would be stuck with Johnson for a while. He looked around carefully to check that a repeat of what happened in his dream was avoided, no matter how strange it was, and gave the lamppost a wide berth.

"Hey, what's going on over there?" called out Rui suddenly. Wes looked ahead. The man named Duking they saw at the Colosseum and a young teenager seemed to be arguing outside a house.

"Duking! How much more are you going to take from those people?" shouted the young man. He was short, yet he had a pose and stance that expressed power, and his head held high. His loud voice carried through the town and got the attention of the few others outside at this hour.

"That's… unexpected. There's trouble at the Colosseum - right? So who's causing it?" whispered Rui. "And who's that young fellow?"

"Oh, that's Silva," replied Johnson with a smile. Wes frowned – he still hadn't gotten quite used to the fact that Orre's citizens had odd names, or bluntly obvious ones. Silvia's name seemed to be of the latter kind give the boy’s uncombed, silver hair.

"Look, it's not what you think…" replied Duking. Surprisingly, he looked meek despite his towering stature, and appeared intimidated by the average-sized Silva who looked as if he was about to explode in a rage of sheer fury.

"How can it not be how it seems? They're using you and the Colosseum! What's the matter with you? They suck the spirit out of you?"

Duking offered no reply, choosing instead to look at the ground.

"Tch. So you just clam up. I've lost faith in you!" shouted Silva, before running off past the group, ignoring Johnson's good-natured offer of a blueberry muffin. Sherles sighed and walked to Duking, then put a hand on his shoulder.

"Duking, I know that something's up, and in all honesty this just confirms it. Do you need any help?"

Duking sadly looked down at Sherles. "N…No, I… can't…I have to go to the Colosseum now. Don't… need help," muttered Duking, putting on a weak smile, before walking away with his head bent towards the ground.

"Oh dear…" began Rui. Sherles shook his head.

"I don't like this one bit. Normally Duking would not even let anyone intimidate him. But as Silva said, it seems the spirit has been sucked out of him. And I wouldn't be surprised if Miror B has something to do with this. Maybe they know a thing or two…" Sherles said, trailing off as he fell into deep thought.

"Who?" asked Rui.

"Oh, you'll see in a moment," replied Sherles, before approaching a locked door of the nearby house and began picking at the lock.

"Umm… sorry to intervene right here, but… what are you doing?" asked a worried Wes. He wasn't against picking locks in general, but a sheriff doing the sort didn't seem quite right.

"Relax. It's Duking's house," replied Sherles with a grin.

"Err… okay then?" Rui said, scratching her head.

"Espi!" (Let me help you with that,) offered Espeon, before making the lock click and the door open for Sherles.

"Why thank you," said Sherles, motioning for Wes and Rui to enter. They exchanged glances and peeked in. The main room greeted them - and strangely enough it was the only room in the house as well. Cramped walls ensured the size was modest at best, and dozens of pieces of furniture littered around the floor only served to add to the already-excessive 'cosiness' factor. There were a dozen mattresses laid next to each other; a sink, fridge, desk, bookshelves and even a toilet in the corner. Wes pinched himself as he looked around nervously.

One being was inside - a small child leaning against a bookshelf nearby, seemingly asleep on his feet.

"Aww, isn't he cute…" Rui said.

"Esp…" (Shh, you'll wake him,) warned Espeon, a bit unsure of the situation himself. Suddenly the kid woke up.

"Halt! Begone!" shouted the kid, alarmed to see strangers in his home.

"Espeon." (My bad.)

"You'll never get past me and find the secret switch upon the side of this bookshelf which is labelled 'secret switch' and enter the secret room behind it!" continued the kid, before he realised his error. "Not that there would be a secret room with anything of importance… oh, it's you," he added after trying to cover up his blunder, spotting Sherles.

"Young scallywag, don't you know anything about the art of concealment? The very fact that you positioned yourself by the secret entrance raises suspicion over why you would do such a thing! Tactics, child, tactics!" lectured Sherles.

"Yes, Sherles," said the child, not really sure what Sherles just said, but going along with it.

"What's going on?' asked Rui.

"Es, peon! Esp!" (Yeah, who the hell built such a bad house? And what's with the kid?)

"You'll see in a moment," replied Sherles mysteriously, looking at the side of the bookshelf. "Ah, here it is." Sherles pressed something on the side of the bookshelf, and stepped back as the bookshelf shifted to the right revealing a dark hole where it had been.

"Espi!" (Now that's high-tech! And odd too…)

"Umm… okay then… this is a weird house…" muttered Wes as they walked through. The narrow passageway was only mildly brightened up by the occasional lamp, each lamp mounted together with a picture of a Plusle. After a while the number of both lights and pictures added up into double figures.

"You like… Plusle?" asked Rui.

"Oh yes," replied the kid enthusiastically. "We all like him as he's daddy's Pokémon and he's very lovable and cute and cuddly and huggable and he's very sweet and his favourite food is potatoes and I love him and my father loves him the most and his name is Plus."

What an original name - Plus the Plusle, thought Wes to himself sarcastically. And that's why I stay as far away from nicknames as I can. Still, I've seen worse – I once met a Golduck called 'Yellow', because it had been called that as a Psyduck...

"When I grow up, I want to be a Plusle," continued the child.

"That's nice," said Rui absentmindedly.

"Espeon…" (He's going to be bitterly disappointed then...) Espeon remarked.

"Umbreon? Umb. Umbreon?" (Yeah, who wants to be a Plusle? That's stupid. Why not an Umbreon?)

Suddenly the passage brightened up considerably as it expanded outwards. A small cave-like room greeted them, a lower ceiling making them have to stoop to avoid bumping their heads. A small waterfall trickled down a wall into a pool of water at the end of the cosy cave.

Wes ignored the unique room however, and focused his attention on the occupants of the room - a bunch of kids. Two girls, maybe eight or nine years old at the most were chatting to each other, one in a light-blue dress, and the other in white. A boy with geeky-looking glasses, a few years older than the females, was seated in front of a computer. His eyes quickly darted from the screen to survey Wes and Rui, before they returned back to the computer.

"Hang on, Sherles - you've got kids helping you?"

"Hey, what's wrong with us?" retorted one of the girls, returning Wes's glares right back at him indignantly. "Who are you anyway - a friend of papa's?"

"No, they don't really know your father - nevertheless, they're here to help. Remember about the Team Snagem's base blowing up?" Sherles asked.

"Who doesn't? It's still all over the news," said the boy at the computer, sounding bored. “I wish the network people were better at their jobs...”

"Well, Wes here was the one who caused it all."

"He did?" exclaimed the boy with sudden interest, letting his attention of whatever was upon the computer screen lapse for now. "Wow!"

"Can I have your autograph?" asked one of the girls.

"Err… ok…" said Wes, unsure how to act with this sudden interest. The girl quickly tore a page out from a magazine about railway tracks and held it up, beaming brightly.

"Anyway," interrupted Sherles, "Rui here can actually identify Shadow Pokémon from normal Pokémon, and both she and Wes have got a few Shadow Pokémon."

"Oh, my. That's… amazing! But…" trailed off the boy, seeing the Snag machine on Wes's arm. "Is that…."

"Yes," answered Wes.

"Oh, that's great! Now we can hit them back!" he said.

"Calm down, Secc," said one of the girls. "And... what are Shadow Pokémon anyway?" Secc sighed.

"I've told you, Marcia, that they're Pokémon turned… bad by Cipher. And if we can get them back, we can make them good again... somehow… so how did all of this happen?”

Another long recount of the story began again for Wes and Rui, briefly going over what had happened over the last few days for the benefit of the children.

"So, you have - how many Shadow Pokémon?" Secc asked.

"Three - two from Cipher, and one from a civilian of Pyrite - Vant, I believe," Sherles said.

"Wait, you actually got one that had been given to… but how?"

"Well, luckily they escaped the wrath of Pyrite - with a bit of assistance from me, of course - we wiped their memories!" said Sherles, with more than a hint of pride in his voice.

"I see - with that Espeon here, you mean?" asked Secc, raising an eyebrow. Espeon also snorted, giving Sherles a confronting stare.

"Yes. Only, that's the problem - we can hardly expect to get all of the Shadow Pokémon in the same way, as the strain will be too hard on him and my Alakazam."

"And that's why you came here?" asked Secc.

"Yes."

"Ok, I'll see what I can do. You'll have to wait, though. Wes, can I see those Shadow Pokémon to check up on them? And Espeon too - I have an idea."

"Um, sure," answered Wes, surprised at the kid's sudden role of authority.

A long wait ensured, with Secc scrutinising every detail of Wes's newly gained Shadow Pokémon one by one, much to their displeasure.

"Maku! Hita Hita!" (Stop poking me! Stop it or I'll… OW!)

"Espi Espeon? Espeon," (Does being a Shadow Pokémon make you stupid as well as moody? Behave - he's trying to help you,) Espeon said as he gave Makuhita a short, sharp headache.

"Hita…" (Stupid Espeon and his psychic thingy…) grumbled Makuhita.

"Croconaw. Croc..." (Stop moaning, you fat lump. This is annoying though…)

"Misdre!" (Shut up, both of you!) cried Misdreavus in frustration at hearing the two bicker.

"Maku!" (You shut up!)

"Mis!" (No, you shut up!)

"Maku!" (You shut up!)

"Mis!" (You shut up!)

"Croc!" (Shut up, the both of you!)

"Maku!" (You shut up!)

"Mis!" (You shut up!)

"ESPEON!" (Everyone just SHUT THE HELL UP!) shouted Espeon suddenly, losing his patience. All the Pokémon fell silent and kept still obediently, as Secc analysed them and entered data into a computer.

"Esp." (Thank you,) added Espeon, surprised that his demand worked.

Meanwhile, Wes and Rui were forced to wait and be entertained by the two younger girls, as Sherles left to retrieve something from the police station.

"I want to play house," demanded Marcia, folding her arms and pouting.

"But I want to play shops!" argued the other girl.

"Aren't they basically the same game?" asked Rui quietly.

"No!" exclaimed both girls, turning simultaneously to gape at Rui.

"Ok, ok…I didn't play those games…" Rui hurriedly backed down.

"Wes, what do you want to play?" asked Marcia. "House or Shops?"

"I don't know, it's an impossible choice. House or Shops. I'll just have to hope that when I flip the coin it somehow explodes and kills me," replied Wes sarcastically. "Okay, Shops it is…" he continued, catching Rui's warning glare.

"Marcia, where's the thing?" asked Secc suddenly.

"It's on top of the thing next to the other thing!"

"…Where?" asked Secc. "Never mind, I see it," he remarked, rummaging through a pile of black books.

Sherles walked in at that moment, carrying a large cardboard box.

"Lots of Poké Balls here. Got a large supply too."

"But where did you get them?" asked Rui as she eyed the small red and white capsules. Wes’ eyes widened as he ran to the box.

"Well, I am the Sherriff of Pyrite. I simply ordered some from Silph Co., and they came via the PC. There's some Great Balls there as well, which should make snagging even easier."

"That's great!" Wes said, holding them and peering at each one closely.

"And good timing too," added Secc. "I'm just about done now. Come over here - I'll explain. Wes, you might as well take back your Shadow Pokémon."

"Right," answered Wes, as he recalled his three Shadow Pokémon into their respective Poké Balls.

"Good," answered Sherles. "Sit up straight," he added to Marcia.

"Okay, first the Shadow Pokémon. From my observations, they've seemed to have been put under a lot of stress - maybe due to the process that made them into Shadow Pokémon. It's hard to pinpoint exactly, but I think that the door to their heart has been shut."

His statement received blank stares from all.

"Well, what I mean by that is, they've been pushed to their mental limits - maybe stressed out, or tortured," - Rui gave a gasp – "or something like that. Badly treated. Pokémon can be quite sensitive creatures and if ill-treated, can change their personality, mood or even their movesets."

"Too right," whispered Wes to Rui. "Espeon once didn't talk to me for three days after I had accidentally used the wrong type of shampoo on him…"

"Espeon!" (That shampoo smelled like rotten lemons! I stunk!)

"Umbre," (Yes, you certainly did,) snickered Umbreon.

"I think that's how they became Shadow Pokémon. These Pokémon have literally forgotten their normal moves, as Wes's P*DA shows, and instead only seem to know Shadow Rush - which is quite a powerful move actually. I guess it is what you could call a side effect of becoming a Shadow Pokémon…"

Man, that Secc knows his stuff... Wes thought to himself. What a nerd.

"Those poor things. I wonder what they went through," said Rui. "What about their auras?"

"Ah, good question. I guess Shadow Pokémon are more prone to anger - you could see how they behaved when I was examining them. As a result of being Shadow Pokémon, their emotions are easier to show themselves. In truth, all Pokémon - and people - give out an aura, only we can't see them. However, as Shadow Pokémon's auras would be bigger, it would be easier to notice."

"But why can I only see them?"

"I'm guessing that you are a, well, a rare case. I've heard that people have been able to see the auras of regular Pokémon, although they are few and far between. You probably can also, but not as well - and thus, why you can only see Shadow Pokémon's auras as they would technically be more visible and easier to see. It's only an educated guess, but it's the best I can come up with. I think it's the same deal when they enter 'Hyper State' - their emotions go off the edge, Shadow Rush gets stronger and they get even more dangerous. And as such their auras would be affected - hence the red colour."

Yep, he's a Pokémon nerd all right, Wes thought again, smiling slightly at the kid’s rambling explanations.

"That's sounds about right - it was as if they went on fire," said Rui. "And when Misdreavus and Croconaw's auras went red, they seemed… angrier."

"Sounds feasible," offered Johnson. Wes was surprised that he comprehended all that information of all people, before realising that Johnson had been commenting on a book on UFO sightings he held in his hand.

"Anyway, I've checked all three, and I've managed to get a program up and running that checks to see how their emotional state is. It seems that Makuhita's and Croconaw are actually better than Misdreavus - maybe because you've had them for longer, and travelled with them. Some Pokémon thrive on just spending time with people - maybe Shadow Pokémon can make a recovery, provided they get treated well again."

"Aha!" cried Rui. "So if we get them happy, they'll recover?"

"That should be the case. It might be different for each Pokémon though, depending what they like, and how long it takes for them to recover. Maybe battles would help too? Pokémon tend to like battling... Anyway, I've added the program to your P*DA Wes, so you could get a rough judgement on how they are going in that respect. I wouldn't be surprised to see them slowly regain their moves as well."

"Ok then. I might have to use them in some battles and see if it makes a difference for them."

"Now, for snagging the other Shadow Pokémon without raising attention. As the memory-wipe thing worked, I think we might as well stick with that - and make it easier in the process."

"How?" Wes asked.

"Well, firstly, I took this Itemfinder here - we have dozens," said Secc. He picked up one of the objects which were commonly used to find items in a nearby radius. Trainers often used them to find objects dropped by other careless travellers, while they had a use to the general public of Pyrite in looking for stuff in trash. "I took it apart, gave it way more power, and changed the way the signal is transmitted. Now we attach it to Espeon here…" Secc put on a strap to the machine and attached it to Espeon's neck like a collar. "And he's good to go!"

"Wait, that's it?" asked Sherles curiously.

"Yep. All he has to do is focus on the transmitter with what he wants people to forget, and it should be transmitted in roughly a 200 metre radius around him, affecting everyone within that radius. I think you may have to battle for those Shadow Pokémon without Espeon however, Wes."

"What about us?" asked Wes. "Wouldn't we also get affected?"

"Not with this," responded Secc. "As you know, dark-type Pokémon share a sort of… 'immunity' to psychic powers, so you would say – their fighting style and tactics just outwit Psychic types."

"Umbre Umbreon!" (And being immune to psychic stuff annoys Espeon.) He stuck out his tongue at his brother who sniffed and turned away in reply.

"So, Umbreon, could you please assist me? Use Secret Power on these." Secc gestured at another bunch of Itemfinders.

"How did you know he knew that move?" asked Wes.

"Checked your P*DA."

"Fair enough."

"Umbre…" (Here goes…) Umbreon said, before focusing on the machines intently. For those who paid attention (which didn't include Johnson), small sparks seemed to travel from Umbreon into the Itemfinders, which shook for a moment before falling silent.

"Umbre?" (Did it work?)

"Only one way to find out - Espeon, try to communicate with one of us," commanded Wes, quick on the uptake. He grabbed one of the Itemfinders.

Espeon stared intently at the Itemfinders for a while, but nothing happened.

"Try using the transmitter," offered Secc. Espeon started to comment and it was only until Wes removed his Itemfinder that he could understand what Espeon was saying again.

"Espi! (That was what I was doing!)

"Great - it works!" exclaimed Secc once Wes relayed the answer. "For these I've made the signal weaker - it should only protect you if you are within a radius of a few metres. I'd suggest you'd stay away from people that you want to be affected. There's one for each of you," he added, giving one to each person in the room. "Now don't lose them!"

"Well, thanks for that, son," said Sherles sincerely. "You've done a good job, and with luck we can take down Cipher. By the way... what's happened with Duking?"

Secc's smile faded. "I don't know. But I think that it's Cipher that's making him act all different. I heard Silva shout at him about it too just before you came - normally Duking would have done something about it. That's why I'm helping, you know," he added.

"Well the sooner we can find where Cipher's hiding, the sooner we can help your dad. For now though, let's get those Shadow Pokémon!"

"Great! Let's go already!" cried Rui.

"What's the deal with Duking's house?" asked Wes as they stepped back outside.

"The same thing with everyone's house in this town," answered Sherles. "Yep - most people's homes in Pyrite are like this - it's all thanks to the Loan Sharks."

"The Loan Sharks?" Rui asked, interested.

"Yes - a bank business that also loaned money. Pyrite by all accounts should be better off than this - there was a lot of money to be made from the mining business back then. Many people when building their homes here needed to borrow money, and most chose the 'Happy Friendly Money Lenders' as the source."

"What went wrong?" asked Rui.

"They went under new management, and thus they changed to the name of Loan Sharks. Clearly the interest rates and conditions changed - by the end of it most could only afford their house by slapping everything together in one room."

"But wouldn't that be illegal to do that?" asked Wes. "Change the rates like that?"

"Yes, but we haven't been able to pin them down as of yet. It's one of the things that Duking has been fighting against. I remember him telling me that he had borrowed at something like five percent, only he found out that the interest rate was basically triple that, and that he could only make payments yearly - no earlier. When he went to them to tell them otherwise, they said 'no, you can't do that', and began to eat every part of his body."

"What?" Rui frowned.

"Not literally - it's a figure of speech."

"Oh." She grinned sheepishly.

"Anyway, good luck with getting those Shadow Pokémon. Johnson, you might as well make yourself useful - you watch for people acting suspiciously, and help Espeon if you can."

"Ok!"

"Espeon! Esp!" (I don't need help! Especially from him!) Espeon insisted.

"Well, I'm off - still have to see if there's a way to get into Team's Cipher's hideout."

"Ok Sherles - see you soon!" Wes called.

***

Over the next two days, Wes' Pokémon were hard at work as Wes went into battle after battle to root out a Shadow Pokémon. He stuck to a simple plan of finding someone who wanted to battle, luring them to a quieter place in town so that they would have less people to 'memory wipe', and commencing with a battle, usually pairing Umbreon with a Shadow Pokémon of his own. Meanwhile, Rui watched from the sides, keeping her eye on the opponent's Pokémon, while Johnson and Espeon also looked on.

Most of the town's trainers did not have a Shadow Pokémon, as they discovered while Wes tore through their Pokémon teams time and time again. They made the occasional trip to the Colosseum's healing machine to allow his Pokémon a rest every so often, ignoring Duking's suspicious stares while feeling sorry for the man. Wes mused as he watched Duking; if he could help people like this through his actions, well, maybe it would be worth the trouble and be a neat bonus to not being in jail.

The first Shadow Pokémon that Wes encountered was a Quagsire which belonged to a trainer by the name of Divel, who wore a classy bandana around his head. Wes had begun with Umbreon and Makuhita, the latter being the one to pulverise Divel's Psyduck with little effort as it spent most of the battle waddling about clutching its head and moaning. Rui had pointed out that Quagsire was a Shadow Pokémon the moment it had been released, as well as that it looked 'dumb and ugly too'. Even Wes had not been prepared for the Pokémon's look - a light-blue Pokémon with a blank stare, and extremely tiny eyes which gave it the appearance of someone born with the same amount of brain cells as Johnson.

"He's a Shadow Pokémon? Well, have a look at mine!" Divel cried in dismay as Quagsire took a heavy hit from Umbreon. "Quagsire - use Shadow Rush!"

"Quagsire!" (Dah, no, water is better!) Quagsire responded in a dumb voice before summoning water from the ground.

"What? No - not Surf!" cried Divel in despair as the Shadow Pokémon purposefully disobeyed him and formed the mass of water pouring from the ground into a wave, knocking over some spectators who were too slow to react.

"Espeon - use Light Screen!" ordered Wes. With everyone ducking for cover, nobody noticed Espeon summon a wall of light in front of Wes' Pokémon and divert the wave back onto Quagsire. Wes quickly slotted a Poké Ball into the Snag machine, and then successfully caught the weakened Quagsire. Espeon immediately focused his psychic prowess onto the transmitter, and in half a minute, part of the town of Pyrite was standing dazed and confused, no longer knowing who Wes was or what he did - nor for that matter why they were gathered around a battle area, hiding behind buildings and soaking wet.

The next Shadow encounter occurred soon afterwards, this time the opposing trainer being a young kid on roller blades continuously singing about how battles gave him a lot of joy and calling Wes a 'little boy'. Wes was bemused to why Cipher had given such an odd kid a Shadow Pokémon - despite having a decent Swablu that gave Makuhita a hard time with his flying-typed attacks, when commanding his Shadow Slugma to use Shadow Rush, he left his Igglybuff wide open to a powerful attack which sent the blob high into the air.

"Igglybuff!" (Help!) it cried, as a breeze picked up the light balloon-shaped Pokémon and carried it away from his trainer.

"Oh no - come back!" cried the boy as he ran after it. Espeon made sure that he didn't come back for his Slugma, as the sluggish flame waste of a fire-type charged at Umbreon at a surprisingly and ridiculously slow pace. The snag was relatively easy as the dim-witted Pokémon had nobody to instruct it.

Another Shadow Pokémon encounter occurred within the hour as a female trainer revealed her Shadow Skiploom which proved to be a far more formidable Pokémon this time around. The grass-flying type Pokémon lasted for far longer than the trainer's Oddish and Dustox, as Skiploom fired off Leech Seed in every direction it could, causing Wes's Pokémon to have a tough time as they were continuously drained of energy (along with a few unfortunate onlookers). Eventually though, Skiploom incredulously managed to accidentally Leech Seed itself. This was soon followed by Misdreavus Biting Skiploom's head, and Umbreon firing a Secret Power, and so Wes took the opportunity to snag the Pokémon. His opponent found herself congratulating Wes on his victory instead of strangling him for stealing her Pokémon, which she had promptly forgotten had ever existed.

Every so often, Wes made frequent trips with Rui, Johnson and Espeon to Duking's house and Secc, who analysed Wes's new Shadow Pokémon and uploaded them to Wes's P*DA's new program, dubbed the 'Shadow Metre'. It became increasingly clear that the more battles the Shadow Pokémon had with Wes, the happier they became as they slowly accepted Wes. Some started to regain their previous moves, which gave Wes more options to use in battles. As Wes's Pokémon count went past six, he was forced to leave some behind to be examined by Secc, and then put into the PC systems for the time being.

The rest of the Shadow Pokémon were quickly dealt with by Wes the next day with all of them seemingly severely angry with everything. The first obtained a Shadow Flaaffy. The normally mild-tempered Pokémon was much more vicious than what the sheep-like Pokémon would normally be like but this had made the battle easier as Flaaffy in its rage failed to look where it was charging and took out its own partner in Shroomish. It in turn released dust pollens which landed on the Shadow Pokémon, promptly making it fall asleep and allowing the snag to be a much simpler task.

Another Shadow Pokémon was a Noctowl - an overgrown bird Pokémon of the owl species - which had tried attacking several of the spectators during the battle. It then turned on its own trainer who clearly was unable to control his own Pokémon. He chose to run off. While he recalled his Ledyba and Wingull to their Poké Balls, he abandoned the angry Noctowl after it deflected his ball and swooped at the trainer. Wes after a long struggle managed to catch the violent Pokémon without having to use the Snag machine, but Espeon still gave the frightened onlookers a memory wipe, just in case.

The last Shadow Pokémon Wes could find was a Shadow Furret. It belonged to Cail, the aggressive individual who had been standing by the front of the town's entrance when Wes and Rui arrived. Unlike the other trainers, Cail had seemed accepting that his Pokémon was snagged by Wes, saying that it was a waste of a Pokémon. Wes personally disagreed with this - the elongated white and brown ringed Pokémon had put up a decent fight, slashing at Wes's Pokémon with long, sharp claws. Cail had also confirmed that Cipher was indeed the people supplying Shadow Pokémon to winners of the Colosseum challenge, but refused to reveal more after seeing Wes snag the Furret.

Unfortunately for Cail Espeon still gave him a necessary memory wipe - Wes didn't want news of him and Rui’s actions to leak.

Fortunately Wes also found out that only seven people had been given Shadow Pokémon thus far - meaning that for now he had all the Shadow Pokémon in Pyrite belonging to innocents.

"Well, that's a relief. So many battles… and some of the trainers believed that battling was a turn-based thing! What kind of a battle is it when you take turns? Almost like some game, not a battle!" Wes told Rui as they relaxed in Duking's cave-like room.

"Umbreon... Umbreon..." (You don't say… at least most of the battles were easy…)

"Espeon!" (At least it only took a couple pages of summarising!)

"Hita? Maku! Makuhita!" (You've had enough of battling? I want more battles! I shall defeat many more Pokémon!) shouted Makuhita in protest.

Suddenly, the power went out in the room, leaving all in pitch black.

"Power failure… that's never happened before," muttered Secc. "I'll get some candles going."

“Maku!” (I’ll punch the darkness!)

"Help me!" a distant voice suddenly called from outside.

"Did you hear that?" asked Rui.

"Someone's in trouble!" cried Johnson. "I'LL SAVE YOOOUUU!" he shouted, running out of the room and straight into a wall, forgetting that he couldn't see anything. "Oww!"

"Guess we should go after him, make sure he doesn't do anything stupid, right?" asked Wes.

"Probably."

"I hate babysitting that guy…" Wes sighed as he got to his feet.

"Espi esp..." (At least you didn't have him following you offering dumb advice all the time…) grumbled Espeon.

***

It turned out that the commotion had occurred inside the windmill. Wes immediately noticed that the windmill was not in operation when he walked in. He heard Rui gasp as they saw both a worker and 'Chief' - the gear spinning man – lying on the ground wheezing for air.

"What happened?" asked Sherles, who had reached the windmill first. Wes was amazed that the old man could run so fast. The Chief took a moment to catch his breath before launching into his explanation.

"I was spinning the gears, as I always do, when suddenly I was attacked, and knocked to the ground! When I came to, one of the gears were gone! Now I can't spin my gears anymore! I WANT MY GEAR BACK!" cried the 'Chief'. "Oh, and both the Colosseum and the town would be without power, I guess," he added as all stared at his outburst, "but what about ME?"

Duking then appeared, looking even more worried than usual. "What's going on?"

He slammed an arm against the door frame after the news was relayed to him. "I'm sorry I let this happen. Now the town and Colosseum suffers! Who did this?" he shouted, before catching notice of Wes standing next to Sherles. "Was it you, you suspicious runt?" he growled.

"No, he's innocent - Wes here is working for me," added Sherles hastily.

"It was… Silva, I'm afraid," said the Chief.

"It was - what? How could he?" cried Duking.

"I saw him with my own two ears," garbled Chief, frightened of Duking's face of rage. "He came in, attacked me, and took the gear while shouting anti-war slogans, and trying to explain himself."

"Such as?" prompted Sherles.

"He was ranting on about how the Colosseum can just close down or something, and that this is for the good of the town…"

"But why do this? This affects the whole town, damn it! And I'll be put under a lot of pressure if the Colosseum challenge can't go ahead tomorrow…"

"Since when?" asked Sherles curiously.

"Er… since recently," Duking answered, looking at his feet and shuffled them uneasily.

"Well, I think," began Chief, "that he wouldn't have done it unless he thought it was the right thing to do…. Silva wouldn't ever do such a thing normally, especially to you. No, I reckon he agonized over this and did it 'cause he thought it right. Why though is beyond me, and maybe he could have done it a bit less roughly… would you know why?" he asked Duking.

"Um, no…." began Duking, looking more nervous by the second.

"Err, Chief?" began Wes, piping up. "What if we just used one of the gears lying around the town? There's dozens, and some would probably fit…"

"NO!" shouted Chief, jumping up and down and making wild gestures. "I want MY gear back, not some crummy substitute!"

"Does it... really matter, Chief?" asked Sherles.

"YES!" he screamed.

"Ok, ok, calm down, I know how upset you are about losing your… gear, but sometimes we have to make… hang on, I'm getting a phone call," Sherles said, taking his P*DA out of his pocket and putting it next to his ear.

"What if… you spun the windmill by hand?" offered Johnson, trying to impress. Wes took one look at the heavy metal gears, and recalled how slowly the windmill had spun even with the help of machinery. It would be impossible to make the windmill's blades budge an inch.

"Johnson, who's using the family's brain cell at the moment?" asked Wes.

"Uh huh, who's this?" said Sherles through the P*DA. "The construction site...? What, oh that's good, we need that…. No, I know that your place isn't a tip… I know, I know. Someone will come to pick it up right away." At that, Sherles switched off the P*DA.

"It's the gear - seems that Silva let it roll all the way down the hill from Pyrite to the construction site. The guy there wants it out of there ASAP, and saw that the gear had some writing on it stating that it was the property of Pyrite."

"Hurrah! Let's go get it!" cried Chief.

"It's not going to be that easy…" said Sherles. "After all, it's a long trip uphill from there, and it'll take ages to get it back up here. It's rather heavy, remember?"

"I'll lug it back if it takes me all day!" Duking said confidently.

"Hey, Sherles, suppose I went to get it with the Zoomer? I'll just drag it back carefully. It'll be quicker and easier as well,” Wes suggested.

"Good idea, Wes," replied Sherles.

"Really? You'd do that for me?" asked Duking. He paused for a moment. "Well… thanks."

"Think nothing of it," answered Wes. "I'll be back soon."

***

After a few hours of lugging the gear back to Pyrite, Wes tiredly unattached the gear from the Zoomer and rolled it back to the windmill. It had taken longer than he had expected - the Zoomer had been reduced to a far slower pace than what it could normally go at and the gear was enormous. It has been boiling hot in the desert too - the ground had shimmered in front of his eyes only a few metres before him. It was a wonder Silva managed to get it out of town in the first place.

However he was surprised to see that Duking was once again angry when he had arrived, glaring angrily at two new arrivals - two females of average height. One had an aggressive posture, while the other looked meeker.

"Look, we're just curious about when this windmill will get fixed. I know that some… people may not be happy if it doesn't get fixed," said a woman, with a hint of menace in her voice.

"Oh good, you're back!" exclaimed Rui, who a moment ago had been staring daggers at the two.

"There you are!" cried Duking happily. "See, I told you it's under control," he said to the two women. "Now you may leave."

"…Fine, whatever," said the woman. "Come, Ferma." They both began to leave. Ferma looked somewhat puzzled while Reath pretended to look laid back but failed to suppress the sense of annoyance showing through her forced smile.

"Hey, where's the gear?" asked Wes suddenly, noticing it was no longer next to him. Then the windmill started up - Chief had in his excitement already taken and fitted the gear.

"Woohoo! Thanks man - now I can spin these gears!" cried Chief happily, as he manned the machine that controlled the gears.

"Well, all's well that ends well," summed up Sherles, as Wes wondered how Chief had managed to lift such a heavy object by himself, never mind the fact that it had surely been too hot to handle by hand.

"Yes, the brave Johnson has solved the case of the Missing Gear!" boasted Johnson.

"Johnson, you didn't do anything."

'Um, well…"

"Even though the Chief was knocked out, I'll be spinning gears some more! Thirty long years of cranking gears, Thirty more years I'll spin some more…" began Chief with his off-key singing. "OH YEAH BABY! This is the way it should be! Thirty long years…" he continued, singing louder this time.

"Oh dear - once he's started, he'll never stop…" muttered Duking. "At least he's happy. I'll ask you to excuse my behaviour - you can be trusted. You have my sincere thanks."

"No problem," answered Wes, although he felt that it had been a bit of a trouble bringing back the gear. It was odd to be helping people, instead of helping Team Snagem, or helping only himself before... but the change felt nice.

"Anyway, I have a… favour to ask of you. You too, Sherles. Maybe it's best we go to my house…"

***

Outside the windmill, Ferma tugged Reath's arm. "Did you notice that guy with the gear?"

"Um, yes. Good looking or what?" Reath replied, distracted by some flies buzzing around her head.

"No, not that!" cried Ferma. "That guy was Wes!"

"Who?"

"The one who blew up Team's Snagem base!"

"Really? Are you sure?" Reath hissed. Ferma nodded. "Oh god… this is bad news… we've got to go to Miror B about this right away! We can't let the Shadow…."

"Shadow?" asked Johnson, popping up suddenly.

"Go away, nitwit," replied Reath.

"Not without making you forget!" Johnson waved his arms at the pair.

"…Whatever are you talking about?" asked a confused Ferma. "Can you let us go now?"

"Espeon - they know something! Wipe their minds!" Johnson ordered, now pointing at the Psychic type.

"Espi!" (Okay!)

"But you don't have an Espe…." began Reath, before her face went blank, as did Ferma's, as they found themselves staring into Espeon's glowing eyes.

"Espeon! I know it must be fun, but stop erasing people's minds!" shouted Wes from afar.

"Esp…" (But Johnson… oh, never mind…) Espeon said.

"Coming!" shouted Johnson, racing Espeon to Duking's house. As he left, Reath and Ferma came back to Earth.

"Reath… what are we doing here?" asked Ferma, confused.

"I don't know… something about the windmill, although it appears to be fine… whatever, let's go back," said Reath, not as worriedly as Ferma. "Hey, look, Johnson's dropped something," she pointed out as she went to pick it up. She shook the object and peered at it curiously. "A weird looking Itemfinder…"

“Maybe he tried to invent something smarter than himself,” Ferma remarked, and laughed.

***

"So, what's the problem?" asked Sherles. Duking's children were seated next to Duking on the floor, while Wes, Rui, Duking and Sherles had seats. Johnson had been relegated to the floor as well by unanimous vote.

"I think you may know already," said Duking with a sigh. "I've been pressured by Miror B and his stooges. They've been… taking control of the Colosseum."

"I knew it!" exclaimed Sherles. "But… why have you done nothing about it yet? You're not the kind to be pushed around."

"It's because of Plusle," explained Duking, with a heavy sigh.

"Plusle?" asked Secc. "But what…"

"They took Plusle…" finished Duking.

***




Hope you enjoyed that. Sorry about the end - couldn't resist. :) The next chapter shall include a character that has featured once thus far before as well.



As for the events and characters in this chapter:

Duking – he’s a large and heavily muscular man who features a lot in this part of the game and even in XD. He also has a neat ‘stache. He has some standing in the town, and runs Pyrite Colosseum.

Silva – you see him yell at Duking in the game as well, before he nicks off. He’s a short person, likely a young teen. He also later steals the gear as well. Strange how they both ignore you in the first of those scenes – after all you just walked into Duking’s house as a total stranger and all.

Silva is rather stubborn in the game, and acts before he thinks at times. Certainly appears time and time again in the game.

Duking’s house - there’s really a secret back room that you can get into via the bookshelf. Pretty neat! Duking’s kids are in there and they seem eager to have Cipher out of the town. That said, while they seem to know a bit about what’s going on regarding Cipher, they don’t help you. Only to then they help you much later in the game, as if they have done so for ages.

The kids - you only learn of two of the kids names here - Secc - a boy you seems by far the smartest in the game (and in XD, but that’s another story), and Marcia. Then there’s the kid ‘guarding’ the bookshelf, and the girl who is bored and wants to play house.

The Missing Gear – stolen by Silva, who somehow managed to beat up the Gear Chief as well as haul it out of town, all the way to the construction site. I merely had him roll it out of town. There’s gears lying around Pyrite and other locations too (such as the Outskirt Stand), but you need the gear from the construction site to be able to progress. I suppose the Gear Chief really is particular about his gears. In the chapter, Wes pulls the massive gear back with the Zoomer, which is far more realistic than simply putting the gear into the ‘key items’ pocket of Wes’s bag, never mind that the gear is bigger than Wes.

When this (short) arc starts in the game, a guy stumbles out and falls over in front of the windmill, implying that Silva beat him up. Curiously enough, he constantly shakes, due to an animating glitch that makes the scene kinda humorous. Creepily, his head still turns to watch you as you walk past like most other NPCs, which... really doesn’t work well for a guy lying down face-first.

Duking’s request - Duking asks you after helping retrieve the gear removed from the windmill to enter the Colosseum battle for him. In the game, you can’t refuse this, so battle you must. However it is only revealed that Plusle was kidnapped later on. ‘Oh by the way, this Plusle you never heard about is kidnapped!’ Doesn’t really make sense.

Jak
April 1st, 2008, 08:07 AM
“OH YEAH BABY! This is the way it should be! Thirty long years…”

xD Oh my gosh.

I'll have to finish reading later, but this is great!

“Fair enough,” began Rui, “But why do innocent people have Shadow Pokemon?”

Enough...

Oh, have you noticed...we're all moderators? I don't like April Fool's Day. X.x

Espreon
April 1st, 2008, 10:26 PM
OK for those who did not know glum is a synonym for gloomy.

Nice chapter and I did see a couple of Pikmin 2 refrences this time.

bobandbill
April 1st, 2008, 10:36 PM
xD Oh my gosh.

I'll have to finish reading later, but this is great!



Enough...

Oh, have you noticed...we're all moderators? I don't like April Fool's Day. X.x
Enough mistake must have been a result of me changing a full stop to a comma via transferring... fixed. :)
Pity being a moderator = no powers... ah well.
OK for those who did not know glum is a synonym for gloomy.

Nice chapter and I did see a couple of Pikmin 2 refrences this time.
I'd think people would know what glum is... but maybe I'm wrong.
What Pikmin 2 references did you see? EDIT - yep, that's it. :) Now... any takers on the on in chapter 6?
Glad you both liked the chapter...

Espreon
April 1st, 2008, 10:40 PM
I'd think people would know what glum is... but maybe I'm wrong.
What Pikmin 2 references did you see?
Glad you both liked the chapter...

The Loan Sharks thing and the Happy loan thing

In addition I did not know what glum meant, I originally guessed its meaning judging by the context it was used in and that the first 2 letters were the first 2 letters of gloom. When I looked it up to confirm it my guess was right. In fact your fanfic was the first time I saw/heard the word "glum" in it.

Jak
April 3rd, 2008, 07:23 AM
Ok, now I finished the chapter.

It's so great how you think outside the box. I've always wondered about the Gear, too. You can't fit that in a bag. X.x Backaches!

Anyway, I love it...and I can't wait for Miror B.! Everyone has weird names...I thinked for most of my Colosseum files, my name was Seth and my partner was Anca. That's only cause I saw it in Nintendo Power and I thought they fit the description for the names, anyway. O_o

Can't wait to read more!

-Silver

Espreon
April 3rd, 2008, 01:01 PM
How many more chapters should it be until we get to fighting Miror B.? And for that matter I can't wait til we get to purify Croconaw (Which should mean instant evolution into Feraligator), snag Entei and I also can't wait til we get to Lady Venus.

You don't intend to implement D/P evolutions of Wes' Pokes do you? Like if Wes finds a Dusk Stone and decides to use it on his (eventually to be) purified Misdrevous and have it evolve into Mismagius? I mean if Colosseum took place the time G/S/C and D/P (they occurred at around the same time) then Mismagius and other evolved forms of Gen 1 and Gen 2 and Gen 3 Pokes (that were introduced in D/P) would exist. I highly suggest you do this as it allows more originality to be produced.

Jak
April 4th, 2008, 07:33 AM
You don't intend to implement D/P evolutions of Wes' Pokes do you? Like if Wes finds a Dusk Stone and decides to use it on his (eventually to be) purified Misdrevous and have it evolve into Mismagius? I mean if Colosseum took place the time G/S/C and D/P (they occurred at around the same time) then Mismagius and other evolved forms of Gen 1 and Gen 2 and Gen 3 Pokes (that were introduced in D/P) would exist. I highly suggest you do this as it allows more originality to be produced.

Aside from me falling in love with Honchkrow, I've fallen for Mismagius, too. :3

But, considering that's not a part of the gameline...I dunno. D/P wasn't released when Colosseum came out...which would make it...akward. But, it's bobandbill's story, so whatever he so chooses, I'll like it anyway. ^^

And now I'm supposed to be making a vid about the state government. What the heck? I hate movie maker so far...X.x

Espreon
April 4th, 2008, 12:05 PM
Aside from me falling in love with Honchkrow, I've fallen for Mismagius, too. :3

But, considering that's not a part of the gameline...I dunno. D/P wasn't released when Colosseum came out...which would make it...akward. But, it's bobandbill's story, so whatever he so chooses, I'll like it anyway. ^^

And now I'm supposed to be making a vid about the state government. What the heck? I hate movie maker so far...X.x

-Well it really does not matter when the games were released in the real world, it only matters if those games' story line occurs around the same time or before/after the story line of other games. So if we were writing a fan fic about G/S/C we could write about the extra evolutions added in D/P (D/P's story line was around the time of G/S/C's story line) or Hoenn Pokes (because R/S/E's story line was around the time of R/B/Y/FR/LG). If Colleseum's story line was around the same time/afterwards of the story line of G/S/C or D/P then it would work.

-Yeah we will wait for bobandbill to decide

-And get real video editing software

Shinobitrainer
April 4th, 2008, 12:12 PM
I tried to be critical as I read this story, but I could only find two grammatical mistakes, other than that it's a great story.


Wes was bemused to why Cipher had given such a kid a Shadow Pokemon - despite having a decent Swablu that gave Makuhita a hard time, when commanding his Shadow Slugma to use Shadow Rush, he left his Iggybuff wide open to a powerful attack, sending him high into the air.

Uhm, it's IGGLYBUFF, not IGGYBUFF.

and

the girl who could somehow see Shadow Pokemon are together?
Together with who? I get what you meant, but the sentence was misworded.

bobandbill
April 6th, 2008, 01:06 AM
The Loan Sharks thing and the Happy loan thing

In addition I did not know what glum meant, I originally guessed its meaning judging by the context it was used in and that the first 2 letters were the first 2 letters of gloom. When I looked it up to confirm it my guess was right. In fact your fanfic was the first time I saw/heard the word "glum" in it.
Fair enough then.

Anyways - it had been the loan sharks one - the reference in the previous chapter... well, you had mentioned it in your post! 'Twas the side-effects from the truth serum - breakdancing, loss of bone density and what not. It's in the information for some plants such as clover if you look in the 'pokedex' equilvelent of the Pikmin world *coughEarthcough*.
Ok, now I finished the chapter.

It's so great how you think outside the box. I've always wondered about the Gear, too. You can't fit that in a bag. X.x Backaches!

Anyway, I love it...and I can't wait for Miror B.! Everyone has weird names...I thinked for most of my Colosseum files, my name was Seth and my partner was Anca. That's only cause I saw it in Nintendo Power and I thought they fit the description for the names, anyway. O_o

Can't wait to read more!

-Silver
Thanks a lot then. I had named my characters 'Hungry', and Rui... well, I was feeling random, so called her 'Romario'... (see chapter one).
How many more chapters should it be until we get to fighting Miror B.? And for that matter I can't wait til we get to purify Croconaw (Which should mean instant evolution into Feraligator), snag Entei and I also can't wait til we get to Lady Venus.

You don't intend to implement D/P evolutions of Wes' Pokes do you? Like if Wes finds a Dusk Stone and decides to use it on his (eventually to be) purified Misdrevous and have it evolve into Mismagius? I mean if Colosseum took place the time G/S/C and D/P (they occurred at around the same time) then Mismagius and other evolved forms of Gen 1 and Gen 2 and Gen 3 Pokes (that were introduced in D/P) would exist. I highly suggest you do this as it allows more originality to be produced.

Aside from me falling in love with Honchkrow, I've fallen for Mismagius, too. :3

But, considering that's not a part of the gameline...I dunno. D/P wasn't released when Colosseum came out...which would make it...akward. But, it's bobandbill's story, so whatever he so chooses, I'll like it anyway. ^^

And now I'm supposed to be making a vid about the state government. What the heck? I hate movie maker so far...X.x

-Well it really does not matter when the games were released in the real world, it only matters if those games' story line occurs around the same time or before/after the story line of other games. So if we were writing a fan fic about G/S/C we could write about the extra evolutions added in D/P (D/P's story line was around the time of G/S/C's story line) or Hoenn Pokes (because R/S/E's story line was around the time of R/B/Y/FR/LG). If Colleseum's story line was around the same time/afterwards of the story line of G/S/C or D/P then it would work.

-Yeah we will wait for bobandbill to decide

-And get real video editing software
Well, my views are this - the storylines were not made at the same time (Colosseum came before Diamond and Pearl) - but doesn't mean that Sinnoh came after Orre - it's like saying there was no land where America was before it was discovered (for lack of the better example). So basically, there would be those 4th gen evolutions running around - but probably more so in Sinnoh than other places (e.g. more Dusk stones in Sinnoh mayhaps?)

As for what I'll do... well, you'll have to wait and see. ;) Truth be told - haven't quite decided yet - regarding evolution and purification, I might even go against the expected and not have, say, Makuhita and Croconaw evolve (who said they have to be at level 30 anyway?). Don't see any reason not to have 4th gen Pokemon involved - but am undecided on what to do - I'll worry about it when I get to it.

Nice discussion but - nice to see. :)
I tried to be critical as I read this story, but I could only find two grammatical mistakes, other than that it's a great story.
Uhm, it's IGGLYBUFF, not IGGYBUFF.

and
Together with who? I get what you meant, but the sentence was misworded.
Thanks for those - have been fixed... (stupid IggLybuff... :P) . Glad you liked the story as well.

Anyway, here is the next chapter. The 2nd last of the quick-posting spree (although no ten may not be far after :) ).

With the new chapter comes a new pastry, and a re-call of a character that has featured once thus-far in the story. And of course, a lot of comedy thrown in as well. Enjoy!




***

Chapter 8 - Shopping for Victory


There was a short pause before everyone reacted to the news. Even Johnson looked astonished - he actually seemed to have understood what Duking had just said.

“So... Plusle isn’t at Super Happy Fun Time Camp?” one of the children said quietly.

"So that's why you've been acting so restrained!" Sherles said before a loud wail stopped him from continuing.

"You m-mean… P-P-Plusle is… gone?" stammered Marcia.

"NO!" bawled the other girl. "THEY TOOK PLUSLE!"

"Oh dear…" Rui said moving to try and comfort the girls with hugs. "But how could Miror B use such a dirty trick? Somehow, he doesn't seem the kind to do that."

"Yes, but we've only encountered him briefly…" said Wes. "Can't really judge him on one encounter."

"Umbreon..." (Poor Plusle…) muttered Umbreon.

"Yes, you see what kind of a situation I'm in," Duking said. "I couldn't even appear to be investigating the Colosseum, as otherwise they could…" Duking trailed off, leaving the sentence unfinished.

Everyone fell silent, pondering the dim situation.

"Could what?" Johnson finally said.

"Espeon?" (How dumb can you get?) Espeon cried out in frustration.

"Oh yeah, sorry, Duking," apologised Johnson. "But don't worry, I'm sure it's fine."

"Plusle was a 'she', not an 'it'," corrected Nett, looking glum.

"Sorry," Johnson said, before he realised that the children seemed to him somewhat upset by Plusle's disappearance. "Don't look so sad! Hey, I have some advice that'll help cheer you up!" he added.

Wes looked at Johnson, wondering what advice the children would have to suffer.

"Be on the lookout for things that make you laugh," he recommended. "If you see nothing worth laughing at, pretend you see it, then laugh."

"Maku," (Sounds about right,) Makuhita exclaimed, looking around the room for something. Seemingly unable to find it, he turned to Johnson and gave him a punch in the gut, causing Johnson to cringe in pain.

"What was that for?" asked Johnson.

"Maku!" (Hahaha!)

"Anyway…" continued Duking, somewhat distracted by Johnson's gems of wisdom, "I've decided to take action, instead of letting Miror B and his goons walk all over me. That's why… I need your help. I can't do anything - but maybe you can."

Ws thought for a moment, before nodding. I’m still not used to this helping business, but I would want help if my own Pokémon were kidnapped. He then tried to ignore his brain helpfully remind him he had helped steal Pokémon himself. "Ok… but how?" asked Wes.

"I want you in the Colosseum challenge, and then to find out what's going on - how, when, anything. Even better would be if you actually won the challenge - then you could get some Pokémon that's rumoured to be given out to the winners. I’m fairly sure they are behind it, and something crooked is going on with that."

"Not a bad idea. But Pokémon get given out? How do you know?" asked Sherles. Wes noticed that Sherles was trying to appear as if he hadn't been helping out Duking behind his back. Makes sense, Wes thought as he looked at the large man. Wouldn't want to make Duking angry.

"Sherles, I know perfectly well that you already know that," replied Duking. Sherles looked slightly surprised, but took it in his stride, shrugging his shoulders in reply.

"Well, then… you do?" asked Sherles.

"Why yes," answered Duking. "And I also know that my children have been helping too," he added, turning to them. "I do have at least some idea on what you do back in that cave. Not to mention that you've left a file open on the computer."

"Dad…" began Secc, but Duking held his hand up for silence.

"And for that, I'm proud of you. The fact that you decided to act - something I should have done a long time ago. So, Sherles," said Duking with a slight tone of happiness and pride in his voice, twisting his head to him, "anything else I should know?" he queried, with a wry smile.

"Yes, I'm afraid so," responded Sherles.

A long and lengthy summary of the present situation followed, detailing Cipher's and Team Snagem's growing power, which had been averted by Wes and Co. To say the least, Duking was shocked.

"I'm shocked!" said Duking. "All this has been happening in our town? And they've been making Shadow Pokémon - those lousy, low-life… loafers… they'll rue the day that they dared enter this town…"

"Calm down, Duking," warned Sherles as Duking picked up a stress ball and gave it a run for its money.

"Don't worry, I'll try and find out what I can through the Colosseum challenge," assured Wes.

"Yes… you're right. I can tell from a glance you are no ordinary trainer, Wes."

"So," coughed Sherles, "I've been thinking - you sure that with the more time spent with a Shadow Pokémon and the correct treatment given to it, the less… Shadow-like it becomes?" asked Sherles.

"Yes - there's no doubt about that," answered Secc.

"Well, the thing now is that Wes has… nine Shadow Pokémon. So how can he purify them at the same time? I think it's best that we purify all the Pokémon as soon as possible."

"Well, I can't, can I?" answered Wes. "Unless you can bend the law saying that I can be excluded from having more than six Pokémon at a time, but I doubt that," he continued. A shake of the head from Sherles confirmed this. All in the room fell silent, pondering this dilemma.

"Ahem," coughed Rui quietly.

Still the room was silent. Rui coughed again, slightly louder.

"You have a sore throat?" asked Wes.

"Espeon! Espi Esp," (I'm thinking that Rui wants to suggest that she should take care of the other Pokémon-)

"Oh, be quiet, Espeon, can't you see we're trying to think?" asked Secc.

"What about me?" asked Rui eventually, slightly annoyed that nobody had caught her drift yet.

"What about you?" asked Johnson, confused.

"What about if I took care of the Pokémon? Seeing as I don't have any and can take up to another six and so then all of the Shadow Pokémon can be purified at once until we get some more?"

"What a good idea!" said Wes at length. "Why didn't you say so before?"

"But I…"

"But Rui, wouldn't you need a trainer card or a P*DA to authorise you with the right to have Pokémon for training?" asked Sherles.

"But I have one!" cried Rui. "The teacher at the Pre Gym gave me one - remember, Wes?"

"Well, that's great!" said Sherles with a smile. "Might as well give her some of the Pokémon now, Wes."

And so within a few minutes, Rui officially became a trainer and the new owner of Quagsire, Flaaffy, Skiploom, Furret and Slugma.

"Wow… I have Pokémon! And five to boot!" Rui said happily. "I wonder if I should nickname them?"

"Um, maybe later, Rui," Wes said quickly, not sure that the Shadow Pokémon deserved nicknames that Rui could come up with. “Besides, they’re hard to command as it is and may have had nicknames before – best to address them by species name for the time being.”

"Well, now that's sorted out, I'll just give you a free ticket to the Colosseum challenge," said Duking. “Don't lose this - just show it to the receptionist tomorrow and you'll be good to go. Best of luck!" he called, as Wes and Rui departed.

"Thanks!" replied Wes.

***

Wes and Rui decided to head over to the Poké Mart to stock up on supplies and buy some food for the next day. To their dismay, Johnson followed them, still eager to 'help', but Wes thought that at least shopping would distract him.

However, Wes immediately regretted stepping into the shop. The moment he stepped in the teenager wrinkled his nose at the overwhelming smell of cheese. The state of the shop reflected the state of the town. Food was stacked in illogical order, with the store seemingly housing multiple climates within it - one side of the store was producing cold air from the fridges storing the refrigerated stock, while the opposite side of the store was overwhelmingly hot, like a humid rainforest.

"Weird things they sell…" said Rui, eyeing some of the products."Hey, look, books!" she cried, spotting a tray of books. She ran to examine them.

"Hey, Wes, I've been wondering," Johnson began.

"What is it, Johnson?" Wes sighed.

"Is it true that when you die in your dreams, you die in reality?"

"No…"

"Ok, only I heard it from someone, and I had a dream in which I died, but I hadn't really died…" explained Johnson.

It's true that you should die… considered Wes.

"Oh dear…" Rui said, still glancing at the books.

"What?" asked Wes curiously, craning his neck to look at them.

"These books seem rather odd…" muttered Rui as she picked up a few. "Look at this one - 'The Adventures of Rondam and Fiends'?"

"Ok then… that IS an odd title…" agreed Wes.

"'The Official Game Guide to Pokémon Colosseum'? That's odd, didn't think Pyrite could have any games, let alone game guides - hey, it looks like Espeon is on the cover! And look that this one - 'Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence'…" Rui's voice trailed off as she reread the title of the last story.

"Wonder what happens in that story?" Johnson asked.

"Johnson… how about you go look for some ice cream?" said Wes.

"Yay!" shouted Johnson, bounding over to the refrigerated section.

"However did he get to that age with such a small amount of brain cells?" said Wes, scratching his head.

"I don't know."

"Neither do I. But I'm sure he'll go far one day."

"You sure?" asked Rui.

"Yes - and the sooner he goes, the better," Wes added, causing Rui to laugh.

"Aha! Ice cream!" cried Johnson triumphantly, before opening a fridge door and stepping instead to get some. He failed to notice the fridge door close behind him until he tried to get out.

"Hey! Little help here, people?" a muffled voice sounded from the fridge, as Johnson tried to open the door – unfortunately, it wasn't budging one bit.

"What's that? Sorry, can't hear you," replied Wes, blatantly ignoring Johnson's dilemma. "Hey!" he added, as a bystander tapped him on the shoulder a bit too hard. He rubbed his shoulder and frowned. Right in a pressure point too...

"Psst, guy!" the stranger whispered to Wes and wiggling his eyebrows.

"Um, what is it?" asked Wes while glaring at the earnest old man, who didn't seem to have noticed what he had done.

"If I was to offer you ten Poké Balls for ten dollars, would you take it?"

"Umm, yes?"

"If I knew of such a deal, I'd keep it to myself!" the man chuckled.

"Oh, very funny…" muttered Wes, not at all impressed by the joke. Meanwhile, the man went over to view Johnson struggling to break free from his icy prison.

"How about if I offered you ten Poké Balls for ten dollars?" asked the man, ignoring Johnson's pleas for freedom. Johnson then resorted to banging on the door to get the man's attention.

"Hmm, you seem to be of the suspicious sort," the man finally remarked, before walking off.

"You done yet, Rui?" Wes called.

"I guess so," she answered, appearing from an aisle with a large number of items in her arms. Wes's eyes burgled at the sight of the pile, which appeared to be several food items with a pair of legs. Even the shop keeper looked surprised that Rui could ruffle out so much food in so little time, and fresh normal content at that.

"Ok, we'll just have some bread, butter, ham, this yellow cheese, tomatoes, lettuce… potatoes, three Super Potions - actually, make that four - a couple of carrots, a packet of peas, , a bunch of bananas, an orange, apple juice, a pineapple, some rice - ahh, Uncle Ben's rice - biscuits, pretzels, two packets of chips - I believe they're on special - some food for the Pokémon, window cleaner, more bananas, a box of chocolates, a turkey, this stylish toaster…”

"What next, the kitchen sink?" murmured Wes.

"Hey, look, baklava!" cried Rui, spotting a small packet of the aforementioned item of food on a nearby shelf. She immediately dropped everything and went to examine it - unfortunately for the shop keeper, Rui had dropped the majority on his head.

"Hmm, I'll think we'll just take this actually," Rui said. She then jumped back in surprised upon seeing the owner's angry face. "What?" The shop keeper just gave her a furious glare as he went to put every item back from where Rui got them, as Wes and Rui waited patiently. As the shopkeeper came back, he noticed Rui staring intently at the baklava.

"What is it?" he asked.

"I think we'll pass on the baklava actually. Could you please bring everything back?" asked Rui sweetly.

"You mean to say," began the shop keeper none too happily and in a slow, annoyed voice, "you dropped stuff on my head, decided to make me take all of that stuff back, and now you've changed your mind? You seriously want me to go back and get all of those things?"

"Err… pretty please?" tried Rui.

"OUT!" commanded the shop keeper.

"Stupid shop…" grumbled Rui as she and Wes walked out of the store. "At least I still have the baklava," she added, producing the packet of pastries from behind her back, causing Wes to slap his head in sheer bemusement. Meanwhile, the shopkeeper returned to his counter fuming angrily about dumb customers, only to get struck by a fridge door. Johnson stumbled out of the fridge, shivering cold and the worse for wear.

"I see," he muttered, "I was opening the door the wrong way… hey, why are you sleeping?" Johnson asked the shopkeeper who was out cold on the dirty shop floor.

***

Ferma and Reath - please report to Master Miror B's office immediately.

"Oh great," complained Reath as she heard the announcement in her communicator. "Now we have to see the crazed man now!" she continued. "There are two things that I hate - people who are constantly late, and people who have giant afros and strange obsessions with Ludicolo, dancing and music that just loops!"

"Well, personally I like the music…" mumbled Ferma as they walked into Miror B's office, with the aforementioned music blazing in the background.

"Can you explain why you are late yet again for the report I requested?" asked Miror B as they entered.

"We're not late…" began Reath.

"Actually, we are," Ferma said, glancing at her watch.

"Well, whatever," hurried Reath. "What is it?" she asked Miror B.

Miror B frowned slightly and turned down the music. "What do you mean?" he asked.

"What is this about?" asked Reath, impatient. "Has the music gone to your head?"

"Well, correct me if I'm wrong," began Miror B, "But didn't you say that there was something wrong with the windmill, which is required to power up the Colosseum?"

"What do you mean, something wrong?" retorted Reath. "When did we say that?"

"Okay…" muttered Miror B, a small frown growing on his face. "Let's see. The power went out all over town for several hours - luckily this radio can run on batteries - and you came in saying that the windmill had stopped working, and that you were going to investigate only a few hours back. Clearly it's working now, but I got no report, did I not?"

"Uh...when did we say that?" asked Reath again, clenching her fists as she spoke faster. "Are you trying to mess with our minds? We never said such a thing - you're out of your mind."

Wordlessly and with an expressionless face, Miror B pulled out a tape recorder, re-winded it, and played. Reath's voice was clearly recognizable.

"And it seems the windmill has stopped working… me and Ferma are going to investigate this," Reath's voice sounded from the machine.

"…Ok, maybe I did…" conceded Reath, scratching her head in confusion.

"Honestly, believe us, Miror B - neither she nor I remember that conversation, sir," stated Ferma.

"Oh, whatever, the important thing is - is it going to work tomorrow for the Colosseum challenge?" asked Miror B.

"I… guess so," answered Ferma.

"Good - that's what I wanted to hear," said Miror B with a stunning smile. "Reath, what's that you have there?" he asked curiously, spotting Reath twist the black altered Itemfinder in her hands.

"Oh, some junk," she answered. "That fool Johnson dropped it. And it doesn't seem to work… and I really think that that music is not good for you," she added.

"Why, what's wrong with the tune, don't you know that I need to, listen to my music, even if you hate it!" retorted Miror B.

"Well, for starters, you just said that sentence to the song's tune!" pointed out Reath.

"No I didn't do that… hang on, I did…" admitted Miror B.

"Anyway, see ya!" Reath finished, placing the Itemfinder on a desk, only too eager to leave the office that had been recently turned into a dance floor by Miror B. "Come, Ferma," she commanded. Ferma sighed and followed her out of the room.

"Hey, I don't want it!" shouted Miror B, but they had already left. "Oh well, off to the bin it goes," he conceded, picking up the Itemfinder and throwing it over his shoulder towards the bin. The object never made it though - instead it collided with Miror B's afro and sunk into it, disappearing from sight. Miror B strangely seemed not to notice this. Instead he gave a sigh and thought to himself.

The man, who had been once considered the greatest dance prodigy since John Travolta, was having second thoughts over the whole deal. Sure, he got his own dance floor, and having a town under his control was nice, but he missed the shows and the contests he had partaken in with his Ludicolo. He wasn't particularly keen on the whole Shadow Pokémon thing either, and secretly hoped that he didn't have to resort to going ahead with dealing with the Plusle. The whole business reeked of something smelly, like the fish he sometimes fed his Pokémon. And being a criminal certainly wasn't what he had wanted to be in the first place.

I guess that's what you'd expect if you work for a guy with world dominance as one of his primary aspirations, Miror B conceded to his distrust. But that's why we're on his side, is it not? However Miror B knew that it was not quite right. And to boot, the Shadow Pokémon that he had received couldn't even perform a simple dance move! No amount of music or help from his Ludicolo helped in the slightest. Some Shadow Pokémon - the other Administrators got way better Pokémon than him.

Oh well, at least I have my music.

***

The following day it dawned on Rui that the Colosseum Challenge was a popular event for the vast majority of the town. A flood of people of all shapes and sizes flocked up to the old run-down building that housed the battles frequently made there. Most lined up for a seat in the audience, while only a few were gathered separately around the reception area. Wes concluded that this was where the participants were meant to assemble.

"Ok Rui, you go get yourself a ticket and a seat, and enjoy my victory," joked Wes. "I think I'll use Espeon for battle - if there is a Shadow Pokémon being used, I don't think that it'll be wise to try wiping everyone's minds and snagging it there and then after all. We might as well do it later on the off-chance that we encounter a Shadow," he added, taking the Itemfinder - now dubbed the 'Mind Wiper' - off of Espeon.

"Espeon... Esp, Espi, Es…" (But I liked using that… oh well, battling is still fun, I guess…) Espeon sadly said.

"Good luck!" called Rui as she promptly ran to the end of the line. However in her haste she bumped into the last person, who in turn bumped into the person in from of him, causing a domino effect as a wave of falling people collided with the reception desk.

"Oh dear…" murmured Wes to himself. He shook his head and suppressed a laugh before he joined the small group of participants and started paying attention to the receptionist's instructions.

Half an hour later, the Colosseum was filled to the brim with spectators, all priming to cheer or boo the trainers set to compete. A few ordered greasy foods from the occasional passing hot dog man, and took to their seats gingerly. Many a person had fallen after the seat had simply collapsed underneath their weight; once a battle had been held up as a person had landed right on top of a Pokémon.

Rui looked around as she walked through an aisle, searching for a seat. She spied one next to a group of people, and happily bounded towards them.

"Is this seat taken?"

"Well, yes actually…" began one of the people.

"Oh, good, thanks!" exclaimed Rui, clearly not having waited for an answer as she sat down in the seat. "Do you like Pokémon?" she asked.

"Uh…"

"I love Pokémon! I got my own yesterday and I'm so very happy! Anyway, are you cheering for anyone, any friends in the Colosseum challenge?" Rui asked. The man looked uncertainly at her for a moment, waiting to see if she would go on. Rui simply stared right back, seemingly waiting for a response this time.

"Well, my friend is…"

"MY friend is in it too! His name is Wes and he's going to win!" announced Rui.

"Right…"

Duking just then walked onto the middle of the hard, dusty battle arena, causing all in the Colosseum to erupt in cheers.

"Ladies, Gentlemen, Children and Others, I welcome you to the 428th Colosseum challenge!" Duking's voice boomed across the massive building, not requiring the assistance of a microphone. The crowd responded with even more cheering.

"This time we have scrambled up enough competitors for a four round competition - that is, sixteen competitors to try and impress you in Pokémon battles for you to enjoy! First up, we have…" Duking fell silent as he looked at a palm card, "…Hoks? What kind of a name is that? Anyway, we have 'Hoks', and Wes!"

"Woo! Wes! Go Wes!" shouted Rui, causing the person next to her to cover his ears.

"Ok folks, this will be a simple two-on-two battle," concluded Duking, walking off to the side as Wes and Hoks walked on. "Best of luck," he muttered to both, with a wink to Wes as they both assembled at opposite sides of the stadium.

"Ok, release your Pokémon!" commanded Duking.

"Barboach and Sandshrew! I choose you!" shouted Hoks, who was bizarrely dressed as a hunter of some sort, threw two Poké Balls at centre stage. He released both a Barboach - a small blue worm-fish-like Pokémon that started wiggling in the dirt- and a Sandshrew - a small shrew with thin lines crossing all over making patches upon its yellow parched back.

"Oh, come on - that phrase is so overused it's not funny," replied Wes, eager to get on with the battle. "And your Pokémon are a little on the small side. Come on, Espeon and Umbreon! Make this quick!"

"Espeon!" (This will be easy!)

"Umbreon!" (This'll be a walkover!)

"Oh yeah?" retorted Hoks. "You're just jealous that I said it first!"

"Yeah, whatever," mumbled Duking, glancing at his watch. "This battle will now begin!"

"Ok, Sandshrew - use Sand Attack!" commanded Hoks.

"Sandshrew!" (I like sand! Sand Sand Sand!) the small shrew Pokémon shouted, sending a bundle of sand towards Espeon and Umbreon with his arms and legs as it dug up the grainy substance from the ground. However the majority of the clumps of sand fell short of the two Pokémon.

"Pttf. That's all?" asked Wes. "Espeon - show them your Sand Attack!"

"Espi!" (Will do!) acknowledged Espeon, before he concentrated his psychic powers on the ground. Slowly, millions upon millions of grains of fine sand rose from the ground and wobbled in the air.

"Es…pi…on!" (Here...we...go!) shouted Espeon, and with a flick of the head, the sand particles all zipped right back at the Sandshrew.

"Shrew!" (I hate sand!) protested the small Pokémon as the particles started merging into bigger clumps just before they collided with the unfortunate shrew Pokémon. Some grains on the other hand remained separated, giving shorter yet sharper stinging sensations to Sandshrew's body. A few hit the Barboach on the way too, but it simply wiggled deeper into the ground, safe from the onslaught.

"Arrgh!" shouted Hoks as some sand inadvertently hit him as well.

"And what a Sand Attack from Espeon!" Duking said grandly, invoking cheers from the impressed crowd that hadn't also received some of the attack in their faces and food.

"Oh yeah? Try this for size!" shouted Hoks. "Barboach - use Surf!"

The tiny Pokémon summoned up a small trickle of water from the ground, water seeping from the ground. Adding some burst of water from its mouth as well, it then sent the liquid as a wave towards its opposing two Pokémon, waving its antennae threateningly.

"Umbre!" (That's… it?) asked Umbreon incredulously, as the small wave of water reached his and Espeon's ankles in height.

"Espeon…" Wes began.

"Espeon!" (Way ahead of you!) Espeon said, already sending the water right back at Barboach. The small Pokémon was carried high into the air by the water, before being submitted to an accurate Secret Power from Umbreon, the attack combining with the water and inflicting further pain to the small Pokémon. Umbreon follow up by charging at the Sandshrew, who had also been flung up by the water and Tackled it. The Eeveelution’s opponents, like so many Pokémon fought before, succumbed to their attacks and fainted.

"And the victory goes to… Wes!" announced Duking, as the crowd cheered.

"Yay! Wes won! I told you he was good!" cried Rui.

"Yes, you did…" mumbled the person next to her, still rubbing his ears.

Soon enough, the first round of battles was over and the second round - the quarterfinals - commenced. Once again Wes was in the first battle of the round, and waited for his opponent to come onto the arena.

"Next up, we have… Tom!" shouted Duking. "A normal name for a change," he added to himself as he slipped the paper containing the draw into his pocket. After a moment, Duking looked around.

"Hey, Tom? You're up!" he called.

"I'm a coming!" a voice sounded from the entry point.

Is that who I think it is? thought Wes. His fears were confirmed as the person stumbled out of the tunnel.

"Yus…Yis…. Yes! Yes, I'm heard, I mean here!" shouted Tom. "Hey, I knows you! It's Superwoman…. Thing!" he remarked upon seeing Wes.

"Oh dear, it's you - and you seem intoxicated again…" muttered Wes.

"But… you were perfectly sober in the previous battle!" remarked Duking.

"Well, a lot cun happeny in a wek," defended Tom. "But didn't worry - I con still battle - yes, old Tommy-tom-tom boy… Tom can win!"

"Somehow I doubt that…" said Wes.

"Well, whatever," conceded Duking with a shrug. "Being drunk isn't breaking any rules here! Again, this shall be a two-on-two battle! Begin!"

"Ok, go, Croconaw and Makuhita!" Wes shouted, sending both Pokémon out respectively.

"Ohh, they look putty…" remarked Tom.

"They're… putty?" asked Wes, confused.

"Maku! Hita Hita!" (Where's the other Pokémon! I want to bash their heads in!) shouted Makuhita as he waved a fist about.

"Croc?" (Or do we attack that thing?) Croconaw asked Wes as he tilted his head and looked at Tom who was now inexplicitly doing a little dance.

"No. Leastways, not yet," answered Wes.

"Oi! Drunk guy! Get on with it!" shouted Duking.

"Whas? Oh, rightio!" said Tom who had now progressed to Morris dancing. "I'd bun sund out mi Pokeymans, right? Lets sees…." he mumbled, rummaging through his pockets.

"Whee...Why were them?" he muttered. "Oh dearilys, I think…"

"What?" asked Wes impatiently.

"I forgot my forgot something."

"What?"

"Oh, waity, it's in the mother rocket, no, clock, no, my pocket! That sit!" Tom announced, pulling out two Poké Balls from his other pocket. The crowd was already booing at the delays, and some of the audience pondering whether to throw their food at Tom or not.

"Go, Spinydah, and Spineti!" stuttered Tom as he sent out two Spinda - panda-like Pokémon with many red spots randomly placed on its head and body. The two Pokémon, identical if not for the spots, swayed uncontrollably upon being released.

"Espeon!" (They seem drunk too!) exclaimed Espeon, who was sitting on the side of the match, watching on.

"No, Spinda are often like that - they do some sort of swaying motion that can be used to confuse you. Don't get caught in the motion, Croconaw and Makuhita!" warned Wes. Espeon however sniffed the air cautiously.

"Espi…" (No, they really are drunk…)

"Umbre…" (I wonder what beer tastes like…) Umbreon wondered.

"Ok, my mini, min, midgetions!" slurred Tom. "Try Teetering Dance!"

The two Pokémon tried to obey, but ended up fall over upon one another as they stumbled. Almost instantly, sounds of snoring could be heard from the Pokémon.

"Er… I guess, Wes wins then," announced Duking, seeing that the Spinda were in no state to battle.

"Oh noes, I'm lost!" conceded Tom with a dazed look on his face.

"Don't you mean 'I lost'," asked Wes.

"No, reallys, I don't now where I be…" sniffed Tom. "But you're a wonner! Now I can't win all of the smazzules and the… thingy! Oh, it's ok, you're alllll riiiiggghhhttt…." started Tom, before falling unconscious.

"Maku!" (I wanted to battle!)

"Croconaw!" (Now can we hit him?) asked Croconaw as two men came and dragged Tom off the ground. Tom was still muttering in his sleep on the way out.

"Yes, I wiuld luke some orange sheeerrrbeeeet…" he garbled.

A few more battles of little consequence followed before the semi-final round. Wes ended up having a bye into the final, with his opponent found in the bathroom unconscious. Tom had ended up in an argument with him and got into a fight, strangely coming out as the winner.

"I shossed him! Nowsy he won’t never mever call me a catfish again, if myn ame's nit… Kevin!" shouted Tom at the organisers of the tournament in protest as they dragged him away.

"Yay, Wes is in the final!" celebrated Rui upon hearing the news that Wes had a bye. "He's going to win, I know he is, and then we're going to save the world - oh, I shouldn't have said that - it's classified information," she finished.

"Ok then…" acknowledged the man, before he turned to his friends. "You want to switch places?" he whispered to them. They all responded by shaking their heads vigorously.

"So, do you like stuff?" interrupted Rui.

"Ok folks, the final battle awaits!" announced Duking. "Musicians, if you please?" he asked, and a band on the side started into a flowing piece of music.

"Umb, Eon!" (Oh, epic!) remarked Umbreon.

"The final battle is between Wes and Mirez! This will be a four-on-four battle, two Pokémon out at one time! Let the battle begin!" shouted Duking.

"Nothing's going to stop me!" shouted Wes's opponent. He was overly buff and had an unfitting stylish choice of clothes to match his girth.

"Go, Bagon and Goldeen!" Two Pokémon were sent out from the towering opponent. One was a Bagon, a small blue dragon Pokémon which waved its short arms and legs. The other in Goldeen instantly summoned a small pool of water from the ground so that it wouldn't be left flopping on dry land helplessly.

"Ok, go Makuhita and Croconaw - now you can have a good battle!" commanded Wes. "Hopefully, anyway..."

"Maku!" (Prepare to suffer!) Makuhita cried - Croconaw merely sized up his adversaries with his eyes and snorted with disdain.

"Ok, Makuhita, give Bagon a Shadow Rush!" commanded Wes. "Croconaw, Bite the Goldeen!"

"Bagon, stop it with Headbutt! Goldeen, Water Gun!" shouted Mirez. As Makuhita charged at the Bagon, it ran back with surprising speed with its head tilted towards the chubby fighting Pokémon. However it never noticed Makuhita change direction, and after it missed Makuhita sent it flying into the air with a powerful hit with his fist.

"Bagon!" (I can fly!) it shouted, before colliding head-first into the audience. As shouts of protest came from the crowd, Croconaw ducked to dodge the Water Gun attack from the Goldeen and lunged forward to Bite it viciously, before tossing it onto dry land. Makuhita then followed up with an Arm Thrust attack, striking the poor fish multiple times until it gave in and fainted. Meanwhile Bagon was subsequently sent flying from the throng of people after it had been whacked by multiple pieces of food and landed head-first in the dust, also fainting after the fall.

"What? You fainted them both so quickly?" gasped Mirez in amazement, his arrogant demeanour somewhat diminishing. "Now I'm angry! Go, Delibird and Magnemite - use Supersonic!" he shouted. He sent out a red and white penguin which strangely held its tail over its shoulder as if it was a sack, and a small levitating magnet-like Pokémon. Upon its appearance it rotated its magnets and emitted shrill, sharp sounds, causing both Croconaw and Makuhita to cover their ears and wince, along with the crowd.

"Ok, Delibird, use Present!" yelled Mirez, and on cue the Delibird grabbed a wrapped-up box from her sack-like tail.

"Delibird!" (Merry Christmas!) the penguin squawked, as it threw the present at Croconaw's feet.

"Croc…onaw?" (For me?) Croconaw asked, staring at the present. Then it exploded in his face. Croconaw clutched his head for a moment, before falling to the ground and fainting.

"Damn," commented Wes quietly as he returned the fainted Croconaw to his Poké Ball. "Still, it's three on two… Makuhita - take it easy out there," Wes instructed.

"MAKU!" (DIE!) shouted the Makuhita angrily, charging at the Delibird furiously. Before either trainer or Pokémon could react, Makuhita was hitting the bird in rage with an array of vicious punches.

"Oh, Makuhita's aura is red. Must be in Hyper-mode," Rui said to herself, getting a strange look from her neighbour.

"Maku! Hita Hita Makuhita!" (Dirty trick! Exploding presents must suffer!) Makuhita shouted, smashing the bird in the head before grabbing the presents out of the bird's tail and throwing them away right onto the Magnemite. The impact caused the multiple wrapped boxes to explode. Normally the magnet Pokémon would have been able to withstand the attack but the resulting flames engulfed it and so it beeped loudly before it too fell, losing its levitation abilities.

"Deli…" (My presents…) Delibird moaned before Makuhita resumed punching the bird before it fainted. This didn't stop Makuhita from continuing to thrash it until it had been recalled.

"Well, that ended with an explosion! Wes is the winner!" Duking announced, the crowd getting to their feet to applaud the victorious trainer.

"…Nice work, Makuhita," praised Wes.

"Maku!" (Presents go boom!) said the Pokémon proudly.

***

"Ok, here are your prizes for winning, Mr… Wesley," stated the receptionist. "You get a coupon for dance lessons at the newly opened dance school, a key ring promoting anti-drug messages, and this bag of money containing a total of $4949."

"Ok… thanks!" Wes responded, grabbing the money bag first. Odd amount of prize money… but, whatever!

"Wes, you won!" shouted Rui, coming through the door and hugging Wes tightly.

"Yes, I know…" Wes weakly said when Rui let go of her.

"Ahem," coughed a person, suddenly sliding up to Wes. He was dressed in black, and wore an odd helmet upon his head. "I take it that you were the winner of the Colosseum challenge?"

"Um, yes, I am," Wes answered slowly. He smiled slightly as he realised who this might be.

"Brilliant. My… boss is the kind of person who likes to reward strong battlers. Could you please follow me to obtain an extra special prize?"

"Certainly."

"Excellent. Follow me, please," ordered the thin man, and so Wes and Rui followed him out.

"Ok, let's prepare for anything," whispered Wes to Rui. "I have a feeling that things are going to get rough soon…"

***



I hope you enjoyed that, including Miror B once again, and the re-inclusion of ‘drunk-guy’, aka Tom. Please review, and adios!


Here be the spoiler for people and events in this chapter:

Shopping - somehow the Poké Mart looks like any other nice-looking shop would look like - which doesn’t make sense considering it’s in Pyrite, hence the altered state of it in the chapter, and the dubious items on sale.

Poké Ball deal guy - he stands in the shop, making up random deals, such as ‘ten Poké Balls for ten dollars’. If you like the deal, he tries to be funny, and if you say no, he calls you the ‘suspicious sort’. Yet another random NPC. The shopkeeper isn’t as angry as he is in the chapter, just generic.

Ferma/Reath/Miror B scene – an addition I made up, just to justify a few other things (such as why Cipher never get worried about the windmill failing considering their operation is based upon it). And it was also a chance to show more about Miror B’s standing in the whole operation, or at least my interpretation of it.

Colosseum challenge - the first and last battlers are exactly as they are in the game, and the description of the colosseum is accurate - it’s a run-down old thing. Each battle in the four round competition comes with different music. The money prize is also the same as what Wes claimed, and one can also get TM’s by winning multiple times.

However, the 2nd battle is NOT against drunk-guy (aka Tom), nor is the third battler absent. So that they are not entirely ignored, let’s pay tribute to Tisler, who had a Natu and Meditate, and Bandana guy Vilch, with his Cacnea, Electrite, and Vulpix. Lest we forget.

Espreon
April 6th, 2008, 04:10 AM
Great chapter, having Rui as a Pokemon trainer brought some originality into this.

"Curious George and the Electrical Fence" LOL!

Oh and BTW its Magnemite not Magnetmite.

Actually Croconaw evolves at level 36.

Jak
April 6th, 2008, 10:04 AM
I didn't find too much wrong with this chapter. It was really funny, though! ^^ You're so original!

“‘The Official Game Guide to Pokemon Colosseum’? That’s odd, didn’t think Pyrite could have any games, let alone game guides - hey, it looks like Espeon on the cover! And look that this one - ‘Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence’…”

Loved that! xD

"I love Pokemon! I got my own yesterday and I’m so very happy! Anyway, are you cheering for anyone, any friends in the Colosseum challenge?”

I'll assume you forgot to hit the shift key. ;D

“Espi…” (No, they really are drunk…)

“Umbre…” (I wonder what beer tastes like…) Umbreon wondered.


Oh my gosh. xD I was rolling here. It's great to know my favorite Pokemon wants to know what beer tastes like. :3

Can't wait for the next chapter!! ;D

Shinobitrainer
April 7th, 2008, 11:53 AM
Espeon and Umbreon are my favorites as well!

Anyway, bobandbill, I finally finished reading up to now and guess what? It's still awesome--although the mods seemed to have removed my story!

bobandbill
April 7th, 2008, 02:33 PM
Great chapter, having Rui as a Pokemon trainer brought some originality into this.

"Curious George and the Electrical Fence" LOL!

Oh and BTW its Magnemite not Magnetmite.

Actually Croconaw evolves at level 36.
Thanks. Rui being a trainer will be refered to in the next chapter as well. :) Hehehe...
I've had a problem with the t in Magnemite... fixed now. Must have missed some before.
I didn't find too much wrong with this chapter. It was really funny, though! ^^ You're so original!

Loved that! xD

I'll assume you forgot to hit the shift key. ;D

Oh my gosh. xD I was rolling here. It's great to know my favorite Pokemon wants to know what beer tastes like. :3

Can't wait for the next chapter!! ;D
The shift key in challenge? Hmm... I check to see if I did that eariler... cheers once again.
Espeon and Umbreon are my favorites as well!

Anyway, bobandbill, I finally finished reading up to now and guess what? It's still awesome--although the mods seemed to have removed my story!
Thanks. Many have liked Espeon and Umbreon. :)
As for your story... well, I actually think that it's because the forums here had a problem, and lost a week of data. I believe you posted yours then, so it got wiped, rather than deleated by the mods... it took out two of my chapters as well.

Shinobitrainer
April 7th, 2008, 07:15 PM
I have now reposted it. It's under "Roy's Pokemon Quest" again, so if anyone wants to, go read it please!

Minos Yewman
April 8th, 2008, 02:28 AM
I'll say what everyone else has said as well as the fact that you set up (I think) for the Miror B. radar from XD.

Keep up the good work!

Shinobitrainer
April 8th, 2008, 11:28 AM
I'll say what everyone else has said as well as the fact that you set up (I think) for the Miror B. radar from XD.


*slaps self in face* How did I miss that?!

bobandbill
April 11th, 2008, 01:40 AM
I'll say what everyone else has said as well as the fact that you set up (I think) for the Miror B. radar from XD.

Keep up the good work!
Hello again. It is similar to the Miror B radar in XD, although not quite the same radar yet... but good pick there.

Last chapter that has been done here now. After that, the next chapter shall be... in the next two weeks... I shall be on holiday from tomorrow until a week after that... so probably won't be up and done then unless... well, we'll leave it at that.

Enjoy!



***

Chapter Nine - The Music-Man’s Fortress


“Yes, you will get a fine prize indeed,” the man muttered quietly as they crossed the bridge over the gorge. “Miror B, our boss, the town’s true mover and shaker, wishes you to have a gorgeous gift.”

Aha! So Miror B is in this! Wes thought to himself smugly.

“Wes, look,” whispered Rui, as the man led them down some dark alleys. Leastways, darker than most streets in Pyrite, Wes mused. After some wondering around a maze of lanes, they came up to a large building with an enormous metal roller door the only visible sign of entrance. Above the door was a sign titled:


Dance House - Learn to Dance!
Free teddy bear for every membership purchased!


“Now I’m positive that we’re on the right track,” Wes muttered as he recalled Miror B’s dance moves when they had encountered him. Miror B must be using this place as his cover.

“So, we stay here until Johnson or Sherles show up?” Rui asked quietly.

“Yep, that was the plan… but where the hell are they?” replied Wes, looking around for any sign of them. Meanwhile, the man knocked on the door.

“Open up!” he called.

“First say the password,” said a voice from inside. It seemed to be feminine but it wasn’t easy to tell due to the barrier between them. The guide for the two teenagers stared at the door for a moment.

“What password? There is no password!”

“There is now. I thought there should be one, so I made it up about five minutes ago.”

The man sighed. “So how the hell would I know it then?” he growled.

“…Fair enough,” conceded the voice. “It’s ‘open sesame’,” it added. A long pause followed the statement.

“Well, are you going to let me in, or what?” he asked, tapping a foot.

“Are you going to say the password?”

“Oh, for crying out loud… OPEN SESAME!” shouted the man. At that, the door opened wide for him.

“Well, why didn’t you say so?” queried the person. It had indeed been a woman, who was dressed in a remarkably similar style as the man.

Cipher must be a big team to have outfits like that, Wes thought, looking them over quickly. Team Snagem only gave you a crummy red jacket - which I never really wore - and a free haircut.

“What the hell was with that password nonsense, Sema?” the man demanded, tapping his head to indicate his opinion of the idea.

“Well, I thought it was a good idea, Nore…” began Sema. “We had an intruder come in not so long ago… some kid with silver hair.”

“What, really?” His voice dropped noticeably.

“Yep - he was spouting some stuff about how we were jerks or something and that he wouldn’t allow us to take control of this town. Anyway, Ferma and Reath have him taken care of.”

Wes and Rui exchanged glances. Silva is here? That may change things… Wes considered.

“Well, that’s good,” answered Nore. “I’ve got the Colosseum Challenge winner here. Let’s present him with another Shadow Pokémon, and watch chaos be unleashed upon this pitiful town!” With that, the man laughed melodramatically. Wes raised his eyebrows. Clearly these Cipher agents weren’t above announcing their plans in front of bystanders. It seemed that they had forgotten all about him and Rui.

“Hang on…” began the woman, frowning at Wes. “That’s… that’s that Wes guy that Miror B has been harping on about!” she accused, pointing at Wes.

“It is?” asked Nore. He regarded Wes and scratched his hair.

“Um, surely there’s some sort of mistake…” Wes said, raising his hands. Rui anxiously eyed the door.

“YES! And you were stupid enough to let him in here!” cried Sema, grabbing a piece of paper from a nearby desk with Wes’s picture upon it. The words ‘WANTED BY CIPHER’ were printed underneath the image.

“Uh-oh,” Wes managed, slowly moving his hands to his belt where his Poké Balls.

“EVERYONE! GET DOWN HERE! WE HAVE A SITUATION!” Sema screamed. At this, a wave of people stumbled down a nearby flight of stairs.

“We have an intruder here!” shouted the female. “He brought down Team Snagem! Take him down!” she ordered.

“What, you hired all these guards?” Wes asked, trying to delay the inevitable. Where the hell is Johnson? Or Sherles for that matter? “I thought this was a dance school!”

“So you’d think!” exclaimed the woman. “But these are no customers – despite Miror B’s efforts, nobody here wants to learn how to dance! No, these are just a bunch of guards that we’ve employed so that this wouldn’t happen. Until someone let him right in!” Sema added, glaring at Nore.

“Hey, it’s not my fault!” retorted Nore. “I was just doing my job!”

“But… I’m here to learn how to dance…” one of the newcomers mumbled. “What’s going on here?”

“Silence!” she ordered, assuming charge. “If you get him, you can get a free lifetime membership!”

“Okay!”

“I’m afraid to say, Wes, that you aren’t going to get very far,” she concluded confidently, turning back to Wes.

“I’m not too sure about that,” replied Wes. “Go, Espeon and Umbreon!” he said, tossing two Poké Balls into the space in front of the crowd.

“Umbre!?” (Umm… why all the people?) Umbreon asked as he materialised and glanced about, recoiling slightly at the sight of all the people glaring at him.

“Never mind that,” said Wes. “Espeon – wipe their –”

Just then, Wes’s command was cut out by a shout and a person running straight into the room.

“There you are, Johnson! And about time too.”

“Yes, I’m here to save the da-” cried Johnson, wrecking the moment as he tripped over one of his shoelaces. As luck would have had it in these sort of moments for the heroes, almost as if fate was attempting to create more drama out of the scene, the incoming Johnson clattered directly into Espeon.

“Esp-!” (What-) Espeon said, before Johnson’s knee hit his head. Espeon slumped to the ground in pain, and gave a small surprised moan before passing out.

“Oh, sorry, Espeon…” Johnson said, staggering to his feet. A few guards stepped backwards slowly, unsure what to do about the sudden police presence; even if it was Johnson.

“For crying out loud, you knocked him out!” cried Wes, grabbing Espeon and pulling him away from Johnson. “That’s just great.”

“Sorry…” apologised Johnson.

“What took you so long? And where’s Sherles?” Rui yelled.

“Sherles… I don’t know where he is,” began Johnson. Wes slapped his head in frustration as Johnson tried to explain himself. “I got held up – I had to tie up my shoelace,” he insisted, pointing at his shoe. “Hang on, it’s untied again!”

“…Hang on, why the heck is Johnson here? Wait… first you turn on Team Snagem, and then you join the police?” cried the woman. “Absolutely bloody fantastic. We’re stopping you now – I’ve had it with all of these intruders! Guards, send out your Pokémon!”

They all obliged on that command, instantly making the otherwise large room appear cramped. A few dozen creatures faced Wes, who in turn sent out the remainder of his party. Wes gave a quick count – five against twenty-odd creatures of varying size and shape. This was looking like a very one-sided affair.

“Great, I love a challenge,” Wes sarcastically announced. “Rui, try to get Espeon awake.”

“Okay,” answered Rui, as she knelt down next to Espeon and pulled out a Revive out of her bag.

“Oh, I’m having none of that!” cried the woman. “And that’s our Shadow Pokémon you’ve got there as well!” she declared, recognizing the extra Pokémon Wes had sent out. Croconaw looked up at the woman and glared.

“Croc!” (And you’re the annoying person who kept on whinging!) he remarked, seemingly recognising the woman.

“Makuhita!” (Prepare to die!)

“Ready guards? Att-”

Just then, a silhouette of a tall ungainly man appeared by the door. All looked at the newcomer as he sung in an overly loud and off-key voice.

“The wheelys on the busy… busier… bus goey mound and round…”

“…Tom?” Wes asked incredulously.

“Hey-hey, dis isn’t my hiuse…” Tom stated, confused. Then he noticed the tension between all in the room, and noticed the full-scale Pokémon battle about to start. “Did I com at bad time?”

***

“So, Gonzap, finally decided to explain yourself?”

The image of a large man with the lack of any sort of facial hair scowled back at Nascour. The fool looked exhausted, and seemed to have set up camp somewhere far away from where Team’s Snagem’s base lied... or leastways, what was left remaining of Team Snagem’s former base.

“I told you before – it’s not my fault!”

“Oh really? I’m under the impression that your organisation - which you are in charge of - let one of your recruits single-handedly destroy your entire base. Not to mention that the vast majority of your group are either arrested or running for their lives, while both Snag machines are destroyed.”

Gonzap growled. “Only one is destroyed – the other is simply in possession of that blasted boy.”

“Which is as good as destroyed, if not worse!” shouted Nascour. The tension between the two men was incredible. It was lucky they were communicating over a televised relay, as otherwise more than just strong words would have been exchanged.

“Do you know that the boy has weakened our stranglehold on this miserable land, because of your team? Because of your mishaps, our plan is now being delayed! You’re lucky that Cipher has decided to keep our ties with you, else you would no longer be functioning.”

“I’m well aware about your losses, Nascour. Believe me; I didn’t exactly plan to have my base blown up. We suffered far worse than you,” Gonzap replied, subconsciously rubbing his head where his eyebrows used to be. “At least they’re starting to grow back…” he muttered to himself.

“Did you at least manage to get the rest of the Pokémon out of there, or did they get lost too?” sneered Nascour.

“Of course! Mind you, maybe they would have been better off dead, considering where they’re being sent. I’ve sent the last batch we got to Ein – including a Skarmory that I got. That’s to be my Shadow Pokémon, understand?”

“Sure, whatever,” Nascour answered dismissively. “Talk to Ein about that. At least you didn’t let one teenager destroy everything. Just your base, and the Snag machines, and your reputation. Well, whatever reputation there was to begin with…”

“Now look here, you’d better pipe down,” responded Gonzap, shaking a fist.

“And what position are you in to say such things? It’s not me who’s struggling, it’s you. And you’d better hope that he doesn’t come back to finish his job.”

“If I were you, I’d be worried about him too,” snapped Gonzap.

“Oh? How so? In all likeliness, that Wes fellow has no idea about the existence of Cipher, let alone where our hideouts are located. I think we don’t have to fear much from him.”

“So how come he had been interfering with your operations in Phenac?”

That hurt. Stunned, Nascour’s confident attitude changed into one of shock, much like one a Wingull would give if it had been hit with an electric attack.

“But...well, how did you know about that?”

Gonzap chuckled. “Oh, I have my ways. I also know that you still have no idea on his whereabouts, and that he rescued that girl that you were after as well,” Gonzap summarised, enjoying the look on Nascour’s face. “The thing is, I wouldn’t dismiss the kid - he may be as thin as a stick, but he thinks well on his feet, and it doesn’t take much to push him into retaliation.” Gonzap winced as he thought back to the lead-up of the moment that his base had been destroyed. He had misjudged Wes, and had suffered the worst consequences imaginable.

Well, sure, he could have died, but life without Team Snagem at its former glory, or his prized eyebrows, just wasn’t the same.

“Right. I’ll be sure to think of that the next time he blows up one of our hideouts,” Nascour said dryly, trying his best to cover up his surprise at Gonzap’s knowledge of Cipher’s going-ons. “Bye.”

With that, Nascour closed the transmission. He had enough of talking to Gonzap. Cipher had placed their trust in Team Snagem, and they had let all hell break loose within their base, allowing a mere teenager take them down in one fell swoop. And that same teenager had been messing up with Cipher’s doings.

And it didn’t sit well with him. Cipher’s very beginnings had been similarly hampered by such an event, with a group used for support by Cipher being brought down from an equally, if not more unlikely, source. It had taken Cipher a good while to recover from such an incident. But what happened to Team Snagem wasn’t going to affect Cipher this time, let alone occur to Cipher – such an outcome was too terrible - and probably too unlikely - to occur.

He’d make sure of that.

***

Meanwhile, in a certain building in Pyrite that belonged to Cipher, all hell was breaking loose.

Tom’s arrival had surprised Cipher’s guards, not to mention his drunken behaviour which resulted in him hiding behind a nearby chair.

“ARRGHH! INNA WORLD WAR FIVE!” he screamed, startling Cipher’s agents with the shouting and the act of attempting to throw a table into the air. Wes, being somewhat more used to Tom’s antics, recovered the quickest, earning himself a few valuable seconds to command his Pokémon team sans Espeon.

Makuhita started off the proceedings. He charged in fearlessly, and with a cry of ‘Die!’ punched the nearest opponent to him in the gut. The man doubled over in pain; surprised by the fact a Pokémon had attacked him.

“Good work, Makuhita,” acknowledged Wes, not minding whether human or Pokémon were taken out for the time being – either way, both were against him. He could worry about the consequences later. “Rui, can you send out your Pokémon?” he asked, as Umbreon and Croconaw caught on and sprang forward into attack, exploiting the distraction that Tom had provided. Misdreavus gave a ghostly giggle and joined the battle, latching onto a Hoothoot’s head. The unlucky bird Pokémon hooted in surprise and tried in vain to shake off the Ghost type’s Bite attack.

“Sure, just a sec,” Rui called, applying the Revive to Espeon. She reached down into her bag and pulled out a handful of Poké Balls.

“Go, get them!” she called, before pulling off one of the most uncoordinated Poké Ball releases ever performed. Five orbs flew wildly in the air in random directions. Wes instinctively ducked one that was centimetres from taking his head off.

“Fools! I’ll annihilate you myself with my Tyranitarrgh!” screamed the woman as a Poké Ball hit her square in the nose. “Hey, watch where you’re throwing that!” she cried, before she stopped short, noticing a form materialise from the Poké Ball that had just hit her.

Right above her head.

“Arrgh!” she managed, before a large overweight Quagsire found itself standing on top of a struggling and unfortunate person, with a furious battle occurring around it. Try as she might, Sema could not budge the fat blue Pokémon off of her, nor reach for her Poké Balls.

“Quag…sire” (Dah, you smell like peanuts,) Quagsire stated, leaning forward to examine the peon’s face. One look at Quagsire’s beady eyes and blank face, added to having it sit on top of her was simply too much for Sema, and she promptly passed out.

“Err… just stay there Quagsire,” Rui advised, peering at the woman’s downfall before turning back to Espeon. “Sorry about that!” she called to Sema.

“Quag!” (Okay!) Quagsire responded, before deciding to take a little nap where it was, paying no attention to the battle around it.

Meanwhile, Johnson had decided to join the fray himself. As Croconaw barged an unfortunate guard out of the way, Johnson strode up to him and two Pokémon that had moved in to check if he was okay after the attack.

“I’ll beat you!” he cried confidently. The man looked up and smiled.

“Right. You think you, Johnson, can beat me? Attack, Magnemite and Remoraid!” he commanded, as a small Magnemite beeped in response, and a thin blue fish, nestling in a small puddle it had summoned up, glared at the foolhardy policeman.

“Oh yeah? Go, Magikarp!” replied Johnson. A fat flimsy-looking fish came out of Johnson’s Poké Ball and flopped on the ground. The orange Pokémon appeared to be a sad excuse for any sort of Pokémon battle.

“Whe… it Karpador!” exclaimed Tom, still somewhat confused by the whole situation. He has somewhat recovered from his initial fear that the end of the world was nigh, but had decided to stay behind the safety of the chair. That didn’t last long however as a Pineco that had been thrown to the side by Makuhita flew right into the chair and reduced it to pieces.

“Oh no! It’s a…. thingy!” cried Tom before vigorously kicking the poor helpless Pokémon back in the opposite direction into someone’s head. “Why fighting dis on fis go?” he wailed nonsensically in fear.

“Erm, Johnson?” Wes began, noticing Johnson’s somewhat bold move of using a Magikarp in battle. “Eh, whatever. Try to hold him off for a few seconds at least…” he continued, seeing Johnson’s determined face to do something right. Wes turned back to his Pokémon and rallied them.

“Okay, that’s ridiculous - a Magikarp? Remoraid, use Water Gun!” shouted the guard, as the small Pokémon shot out a ball of water straight at Magikarp.

“Magikarp, use Splash!” commanded Johnson. Magikarp flopped even harder than before as the heavy ball of water approached. Within a split-second of impact, Magikarp randomly jumped up high into the air, surprisingly evading the attack.

“What? Oh, you just got lucky. Remoraid, again!”

Once more a Water Gun attack was fired, and again Magikarp completely avoided it.

“Now that’s not possible… Fine then, Magnemite, use Supersonic!”

The Magnemite emitted a sharp array of sounds and focused the waves of reverberations right at the Magikarp. Whether they had any effect or not was unclear, as the Magikarp seemed oblivious to the attack and continued to flop on the ground.

“Okay… oh, whatever. Use Thundershock!”

“Magnet!” (Destroy, Destroy!) beeped the small Pokémon, unleashing an impressive orb of electricity at Magikarp. It zipped right at the fat fish Pokémon, but once again Magikarp evaded the attack with another sudden show of Splash.

“What the… Thundershock again!”

“Now, Magikarp, use Tackle on Remoraid!” Johnson shouted.

It was unclear whether Magikarp actually used Tackle and had charged at the Remoraid, or that it simply had randomly flopped forward at a surprisingly fast speed at the right time to knock Remoraid into the path of the Thundershock attack. The opposing trainer didn’t take to this outcome too kindly, letting loose half a dozen profanities that were appropriate for one who was getting beaten by a Magikarp.

Meanwhile, Umbreon faced down three of one of the guard’s Pokémon at once - a small olive-coloured Larvitar and two water types in a Carvanha and Barboach.

“Carvanha!” (I’m going to eat you!) announced the red-and-blue fish, baring its teeth.

“Larvitar!” (I’m going to poke you!) the Larvitar shouted. He stomped his feet in a show of confidence with the three-on-one advantage, despite Umbreon’s size compared to the trio.

“Barboach!” (I’m going to…shake my tail at you!) said the Barboach, earning a glance from the other two Pokémon.

“Umbreon!” (We’ll see about that!) retorted Umbreon. “Umb!” (Take this!) he cried, before firing a Secret Power attack at Carvanha. Still distracted by Barboach’s comment, it gave a cry of surprise as the sparks sent from Umbreon’s glowing rings made contact. Electrical pulses spread across the fish’s body, and as it shook them off, it got hit by Umbreon’s charging Tackle and slapped straight into a wall. The impact knocked it out.

“Umb!” (One down!)

“No way! Larvitar, Bite! Barboach, distract Umbreon with Water Gun!” commanded the Pokémon’s trainer. Larvitar snarled and charged at Umbreon, as Barboach charged up a Water Gun attack.

“Umbreon!” (Oh, too easy! Maybe you’d want to not announce your tactics to me,) drawled Umbreon. He then responded by running to the side, forcing the stubborn Larvitar to change routes but unwittingly move into the line of attack.

“Bar Barboach!” (Hey, get out of the way! I’m charging my Water Gun here!) shouted Barboach.

“Lar?” (I am?) asked Larvitar, glancing back to see that Barboach was right. When he turned back to Umbreon however, he was gone.

“Lar…” (Where is he?)

“Umbreon!” (Right behind you!) answered Umbreon, before striking the Pokémon headfirst. He followed up with a crunching Bite attack to the Pokémon’s lower body, leaving Larvitar down for the count.

“Umb!” (Two down!) announced Umbreon, before jumping to the side to avoid the rushed Water Gun attack from Barboach. “Umbreon!” (You’re mine!) he shouted, suddenly charging at the trembling Barboach.

“Makuuu!” (Dieee!) shouted Makuhita from nearby. From nowhere, Makuhita sprinted at Barboach first and punched it, knocking it out in one hit.

“Umb!” (Hey, that was my one!) cried Umbreon in protest as the Pokémon’s trainer sadly returned his Pokémon to their Poké Balls, defeated. Then he cried in pain as Makuhita punched him in the shin.

“Maku! Hita Hita!” (You were too slow! Now, OUT OF MY WAY! MUST KILL!) shouted Makuhita, charging at another Pokémon.

“Umbreon…” (Well, I’d give him an ‘A’ for enthusiasm, that’s for sure,) murmured Umbreon, before joining the fray once again. The battle continued, and although Wes’s Pokémon were outnumbered, they were steadily wearing down their opposition, while desperately trying to avoid taking any more major hits.

“Good work, Croconaw!” cried Wes, watching as an unfortunate Taillow succumbed to a tremendous Shadow Rush attack, the small swallow squawking in pain as it fell.

“Croc?” (Really? Wow…) replied Croconaw, surprised at the compliment he just received.

“Yep - that was great. Keep it up!” encouraged Wes. Croconaw stared at Wes’s unexpected praise, ignoring the battle around him for the moment. Bluno hadn’t said such things to him - instead, he talked about interest rates and lawyers. Bluno always got easily distracted… Suddenly Croconaw’s mind was made up. Wes wasn’t so bad. But the other Pokémon... they were far more irritating right now.

“Croconaw!” (This is for making Wes angry!) cried Croconaw.

Suddenly, the ground started shaking as a rush of water erupted from deep below the ground. Wes glimpsed a large hole in the floor appearing before his view of it was obstructed by water flowing freely from it, spreading across the floor and merging into a massive wave. Wes’s Pokémon either noticed the looming danger or were alerted to it by Wes, and quickly scampered to the other side of the room, as the wave built up size and speed from behind Croconaw. Luckily, Makuhita was busy tormenting a Cacnea behind the wave, for otherwise he probably wouldn’t have noticed the impeding danger. A few other Cipher agents and their Pokémon were also safely out of the way, including Johnson’s rival, but the majority were in the wrong place in the wrong time, and were too tired to move out of the way.

“Croc…o….naw!” (Water!) Croconaw shouted, before the wave caught up to him and swelled in size. Croconaw comfortably rode it, before letting the wall of liquid fall straight on top of Cipher’s goons.

“Umbreon!” (Now that’s a Surf attack!) commented Umbreon, watching the swirling mass of fluid drench all within range of the attack. Most of the remaining Pokémon that hadn’t fainted from the battle lost consciousness right then and there.

“Oh no! It’s a…. a… watery mortery… wet!” cried Tom as he too got caught by the water. “Splish splash sploshy!” he cried. Just then, the door opened once again.

“I have a delivery of extra-glazed raspberry-flavoured jam doughnuts here… oh c-” began another newcomer. The delivery man was cut short as the mass of water escaped through the opening right into him.

“Fantastic!” cried Wes. “That was… brilliant!” The battle field had been practically cleared up now, with all of the guard’s Pokémon defeated. Croconaw beamed with pride at his new attack, although something told him that he knew it beforehand.

“You can stop punching things now, Makuhita,” Wes said, as his weary Pokémon regarded a still enthusiastic Makuhita.

“Maku…” (Do I have to?) Makuhita asked, as he slowly ceased punching a defenceless door.

“How… dare you!” cried Nore who struggled to his feet coughing out water, interrupting Wes’s thoughts. “You may have won the battle, but… well…” trailed off Nore, realising that there wasn’t much of a way to put a positive spin on things. “Well, damn you! I’ll go to my last resort - go, Yanma!”

Nore managed to send out a Pokémon, spitting out water as he did so. It resembled a giant overgrown dragonfly, with massive bug-out eyes. It darted quickly from side to side very rapidly - it was astonishing that a thing that size could move so quickly.

“Yanyanayanma!” (I-must-win-I-must-win-win-win-win-win-win!) it jabbered.

“Umbre?” (What did you say?) asked Umbreon, unable to catch on to what Yanma just said.

“Maku!” (I’ll destroy you!) cried Makuhita, charging at it before realising that it was gone. “Maku!” (Where’d you go?)

“Yanma!” (I-go-fast-so-I-can-win-win-win!) buzzed the Yanma, as it zipped around the room bumping into Wes’s tired Pokémon one at a time.

“Umb!” (Ow!)

“Croc!” (Ah!)

“Maku!” (Ouch! Stupid buzzy thing!)

It’s so quick… thought Wes. It’ll be hard for my Pokémon to hit it…

“Wes!” called Rui suddenly. “It’s a Shadow Pokémon - I can see its aura flying around!”

“It is? Well, that makes things even harder…”

“Oh, you won’t be snagging that Pokémon for a long while,” laughed Nore. “See, I had given it some coffee beforehand. It’s so hyper, you’ll never catch it!”

“Yanma!” (Coffee-coffee-coffee-coffee-coffee!) confirmed Yanma, flying even faster than before. It literally looked like a blur moving from one end of the room to the other, striking Wes’s Pokémon with each new cry of ‘coffee!’.

“Get them Yanma!” called Nore. “Wait… don’t stay in one place… what?” Nore wringed his hands and squinted heavily, trying to make out why Yanma seemed to be stuck in a small confined space, bouncing off an invisible wall.

“Yan? Yananyanyanyan!” (Oh-no-it’s-like-a-force-field-I-hate-force-fields-maybe-now-ow-maybe-now-ow-maybe-now-or-now-or-now!) Yanma jabbered, bouncing off in every direction.

“What the… that’s odd,” commented Wes. “Who did that?”

“Espi!” (I’m feeling better now! No thanks to Johnson though…) exclaimed Espeon, getting to his feet.

“It took him a while to come to, but he’s been okay for a while now,” Rui said. “Johnson must have hit him rather hard on the head with his knee there.”

“Esp…Espeon!” (Too right… it was like a super-effective hit!)

“Oh, you’re better now! Well, good work on trapping that Yanma,” complimented Wes, watching Yanma bounce off the Reflect attack over and over again. Within half a minute it slumped to the ground, exhausted.

“Yan…” (Coffee…) it moaned in pain.

“Esp! Espeon!” (Well, what are you waiting for? Snag it!) urged Espeon, as he tiredly removed the field, still feeling a faint reminder of Johnson’s knee.

“Okay then,” Wes said, inserting a Poké Ball into the Snag machine.

“No!” cried Nore, but it was too late – a straightforward throw and three shakes of the Poké Ball later and the Yanma was in Wes’s possession.

“Yes!” Rui yelled. “We’ve done it!”

“Not if I can help it!” shouted Nore, diving to grab the Poké Ball. Just before he grabbed it however, it moved out of his reach, hit him firmly on the head, and travelled straight into Wes’s grasp.

“Esp!” (I’m definitely feeling better now!) announced Espeon.

“Now that is cool…” muttered Wes, impressed with the trick. Nore however wasn’t, as he clutched his head and moaned.

“Hang on,” interrupted Rui, “is Johnson still battling?”

Wes looked into one deserted corner of the room - Johnson indeed was still battling the same trainer he had been before.

“Why won’t you just die!?” shouted the guard in frustration. “I’ve had enough of this! Magnemite - Spark! Remoraid… just try to hit it!”

Both Pokémon, looking rather battered, charged at Magikarp with their respective attacks.

“Now, Magikarp - jump up and use Flail!”

Impossibly, Magikarp again jumped at the right time to evade both Magnemite’s and Remoraid’s simultaneous attacks as they collided with each other.

“Magnet! (I am error!) beeped Magnemite as Remoraid’s tail struck it.

“Rem!” (Pain!) cried Remoraid as the electrical pulses on Magnemite’s body transferred to Remoraid.

As Magikarp returned back to the ground and landed on top of the two Pokémon, it flailed its entire body vigorously, slapping both Remoraid and Magnemite multiple times with its tail. Whether it was the pain, or the sheer humiliation of being bested by a Magikarp that did it remained a mystery as both Remoraid and Magnemite succumbed and fainted.

“Johnson… did you just…” began Wes, his mouth gaping at the remarkable victory.

“I told you that I’d save the day,” boasted Johnson. “Good job, Magikarp!”

“Magikarp!” (Flopping is fun!)

“Oh, that’s beyond ridiculous!” cried Nore. “You’re telling me that we got defeated by a Magikarp? And JOHNSON’S Magikarp to boot? I’m outta here!” he exclaimed, making a run for the door. Unfortunately for Nore, he found the door blocked and ran straight into a person. Before he knew what had happened, he found himself firmly handcuffed.

“Err… well, hello there, Sherles,” Nore began uneasily.

“About time, Sherles,” greeted Wes. “What took you so long?”

“Well, Duking and I had lost sight of you two for a moment, but Johnson spotted you. The trouble was that he ran after you so quickly that we lost sight of him too. He didn’t even tell us where you went! We had no idea where you where,” confessed Sherles, with an occasional glance to a blushing Johnson.

“How did you find us then?” Rui asked, quietly rummaging through her bag to pick out a few items, and gradually healed Wes’s Pokémon one by one.

“Oh, just a hunch,” Sherles said, glancing through the door. Wes followed his gaze and saw where Sherles had gotten his ‘hunch’ from. A bunch of Cipher guards and Pokémon had been spewed outside by the Surf attack, which had created a mini-lake just by the door. Duking was outside, dragging the Cipher guards to their feet and none too kindly handcuffed them all himself.

“Oh dear…” whispered Rui, realising at some were more than a bit ruffed up.

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about them,” Duking said. “After they kidnapped Plusle, they deserve everything they get, the dirty foul smelling…”

“Yes, yes, that’s enough,” hurried Sherles. “Get them safely into the cells. We can question them later. Me, Johnson, Wes and Rui will move on, and try to clear out the whole bunch.”

“Okay then,” Duking gruffly responded. “Just make sure that Plusle… doesn’t get badly hurt or anything.”

“We’ll try our best,” answered Wes.

“Appreciate it, Wes. Hope to see you soon,” said Duking, as he frog-marched the bewildered and battered Cipher guards.

“So… what did happen here?” Sherles asked. “Decided to renovate Cipher’s place as well as Team Snagem’s?”

“You could say that…” Wes shrewdly smiled.

“Ah! It’s you, Sherlock!” cried Tom suddenly, appearing from behind a staircase. He ran up and hugged Sherles in relief that the Sheriff of Pyrite had arrived.

“Err… hello there,” Sherles responded, somewhat surprised.

“Oh, it wis horribles! There wus a lotto persons, and a lot of Pokeypeople as well, and their was flighting and hen her was a giant pineapple as well! Lots of… thingys happened! And then wet stuff mappeared! It made me very berry wet,” sobbed Tom.

“Yes, that’s very nice,” interrupted Sherles “but what are you doing here?”

“He just… randomly walked in,” answered Wes.

“Wait - he just walked into Cipher’s hideout - just like that?”

“Oh, Sherley, it was the wurst tim of me life! I swear, I’ll never mever hever kever sleaver mrinky drink again! Ever! I swore it on all of teh smazzules in da world!”

“Espeon!” (Oh, I wouldn’t make a promise I can’t keep…) Espeon muttered. “Espeon!” (Hey, did you hear that?) Espeon added suddenly.

“Umbreon!” (Yes, we heard your ever-so-intelligent comment,) Umbreon answered.

“Espi…” (No, not that… listen closely!) Espeon urged. The room fell silent, with the exception of Tom who kept moaning about his terrible time that he had just experienced. Wes frowned - a faint cry of ‘Help!’ could be heard several floors above.

“Hey,” began Sherles, “that sounds like… Silva?”

“Oh no - he must be in trouble!” cried Rui, as she sprinted off and up the staircase.

“…Guess we’d better follow her,” shrugged Wes, doing just so after giving his Pokémon one last check-up. Sherles followed, with Tom right behind him, seeking safety behind the gruff sheriff. Tom stopped for a moment however when he approached the stairs, grabbing a bottle of alcohol from his pocket and grinned at it happily.

“I’m coming too!” called Johnson, before scooping down to pick something up. “What’s this... a CD? An Ein File? Eh, whatever,” he mumbled as he wiped off the water from it and stuffed it in a pocket before continuing up the stairs.

***



I hope you enjoyed that. I’ve put a fair bit of time into thinking out this chapter, and planning the events. And yes, Tom reappeared again. http://www.serebiiforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

Now for the spoilers about how this relates to what occurs in the game:

Hideout - Cipher’s Hideout isn’t too hard to find in the game - it’s the only building that you can’t go inside, and a cut-scene shows Miror B talking to Nascour inside that building. It’s got dozens of people within it, so how does one get in? By having one of their guards take you right in, that’s how! Nothing like NPC stupidness to not recognize you… however, only AFTER they bring you in do they realize their mistake.

The battles/battlers - the guy you brings you in (Nore) first battles you, and has the Shadow Yanma. Sema simply goes away, although you can battle her further within the ‘hideout’. She doesn’t have a ‘Tyranitarrgh’ however… but let’s not let the facts get in the way of a joke.
The other battlers will battle you one by one, when you walk directly past them. Which is incredibly unrealistic. Hence why they all battle Wes at once. However, more trainers are within the hideout than the bunch that appeared in this chapter.

After the first battle, Duking and his children will run in, talk to you, and run out again, letting you save their Plusle. How nice of them. At least Duking has something to do in the chapters.

Shinobitrainer
April 11th, 2008, 12:05 PM
One grammatical problem--but it may be the Aussie English thing--


Gonzap summarised, enjoying the look on Nascour’s face.

In America, we spell it "summarized".

Minos Yewman
April 12th, 2008, 07:02 AM
One grammatical problem--but it may be the Aussie English thing--


In America, we spell it "summarized".

That's actually an American English thing. American English spells it with a 'z', while it is spelt with an 's' in normal English. There are several other words like this.

About the chapter: I love how Johnson beats them with just a Magikarp. On the downside: Two weeks!!!! I can't wait that long!

Astinus
April 13th, 2008, 01:56 AM
So, guess who finally got around to review? I had a few brief minutes to read a chapter, and so this review will only cover the first chapter. Sorry. At some point (perhaps in the summer), I can get caught up faster.

First of all, let me just say that I like the fact that you're exploring more of Colosseum with a humorous twist. Colosseum had a good storyline, but as you noticed, there certainly were some plot holes!

Now for a few things that I noticed.

The Skarmory: You say that the Skarmory is male, and then whenever he's mentioned, the pronoun you use is either "it" or "he". If he has a gender, then use the correct pronouns all the time for him. Like here:

Startled, he flew around several times screeching about the indignantly of being so greatly disturbed before it could eat its meal.
Those "its" should be "hes", since it seems as if you want to give Skarm a gender.

And I spotted just two small mistakes:
Serves them right thought Wes.
Forgot the comma after "right".

a couple of Max Revives here, some full heals there
Since you had capitalized "Max Revives", I would figure that you would do the same for "Full Heals", since that is the name for a particular medicine.

The best part about this chapter? Gonzap and his burnt mustache and eyebrows! I can just picture him using that as the main excuse for chasing after Wes for revenge!

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
April 13th, 2008, 06:11 AM
Because you're officially at the same place with your fic on both Sppf and here, I took all my reviews from the green place, took out the grammar parts (because I figured you had corrected them), smushed them together, and came up with this extra-long review below. Because I'm lazy xD

Prologue:
all the trouble started when that good-for-nothing stupid man with funny pointy hair coming out from around his nose and eyes showed up
Best. Gonzap. Description. Evar.

Chapter 2:
Meanwhile Rui ever so causally stuck out her foot, resulting in Lady Gwin having a squashed nose.
The snob deserved that XD

Chapter 3
The ‘IT’ in question gave a dazzling smile.

“Hello madam! Is this the mayor’s house?” ‘IT’ asked.

Unfortunately, it received no answer - the old lady had fainted in shock.
ZOMG Miror B. used Faint Attack!

Maybe it was strange that a man with a giant Pokeball-themed afro and a snazzy bright yellow outfit with matching shoes was threatening them, but it worked to perfection.
Meh, I wouldn't say "threatening" as much as I would say "weirding them out." I'd be worried what kind of bizarre punishment someone like him would dish out...

Chapter 4:
Not that he cared - Trudly had been too dumb to know his left hand from his right. Stupid Trudly.
Boy, ain't that the truth. Unfortunately he seems like an honor student when compared to Johnson...

Chapter 6:
Half an hour of explaining later…

“So, they’re good guys. Or are they bad?

“NO! I told you for the 12th time!” cried Sherles. Wes and Rui were watching the whole time, seeing how far Johnson’s thinking capabilities stretched. It wasn’t very far.

“So they are bad?”

Sherles slapped his own head in exasperation.
“Oh, no need to bother, boss. Me and my trusty Magikarp will save the day!” announced Johnson confidently. Needless to say, neither Sherles nor Wes bothered to point out that a Pokemon that only knows Splash would probably not be able to stand up to two criminal syndicates.
...See what I mean? XD Too bad Sherles can't find someone of decent intelligence to replace him...

but Miror B was too absorbed in dancing to a salsa beat that played itself over and over again, yet never seemed boring
Does the Miror B. theme ever get boring? I think not.

“Fwhohoho - this is perking up my spirit baby! Oh, I almost fell like… dancing! It’s afro-tastic!” cried Miror B, before pulling of a dance move, making Reath, Ferma and Nascour cringe. Worse yet, he even began to hum the tune of ‘You should be dancing’ by the Bee gees' - many a person who heard a rendition of that song by Miror B ended up having the tune stuck in their head for days.
Afro-tastic FTW! I bet the guy's a huge hit at disco karaoke parties too!

Chapter 7:
“When I grow up, I want to be a Plusle,” continued the child.
I think the kid needs to aspire to something greater- like maybe replacing Johnson when he gets older?

most chose the ‘Happy Friendly Money Lenders’ as the source.”
Oh, there's a name I can trust *dripping sarcasm*

a young kid on roller blades continuously singing about how battles gave him a lot of joy and calling Wes a ‘little boy’.
That kid ticked me off too. Especially since Wes is clearly bigger than him.

“Someone’s in trouble!” cried Johnson. “I’LL SAVE YOOOUUU!” he shouted, running out of the room and straight into a wall, forgetting that he couldn’t see anything. “Oww!”
Ah, good 'ol Johnson. He never ceases to amuse with his unmatched stupidity.

Heck yeah, this is enjoyable! Not only brings back some nice memories of my days playing Colo (before my brother went and forgot his Gamecube somewhere), but it's as funny as heck. And with Johnson, you have done what I thought was impossible- create a character even stupider than Ash Ketchum!

Yeah, descriptions are a bit lacking in parts, but, really, this fic's not about that, it's about taking a fresh, unique look at an existing game and exploiting its plotholes in humorous fashion. And in that regard, it does a very good job at that. For some reason I really look forward to your portrayal of Ein, with him being my favorite admin (of both Colo and XD). Miror B. comes in second, BTW.

Chapter 8:
“Hey! Little help here, people?” a muffled voice sounded from the fridge.
Wait, Johnson actually has the brains to want to get out instead of mistaking it for Santa's workshop or something?

“There are two things that I hate - people who are constantly late, and people who have giant afros and strange obsessions with Ludicolos, dancing and music that just loops!”
Hey, the afro is awesome. So's the music. And the dancing. As for the Ludicolo obsession - well, I'll give her that.

“Why, what’s wrong with the tune, don’t you know that I need to, listen to my music, even if you hate it!” retorted Miror B.

“Well, for starters, you just said that sentence to the song’s tune!” pointed out Reath.

Catchiest. Villain. Theme. Evar.

No amount of music or help from his Ludicolos helped in the slightest. Some Shadow Pokemon - the other Administrators got way better Pokemon than him.
Well, it is true that his Shadow Pokemon sucks compared to the others (and it mostly sucks in general, to be honest.) However:
The legendary dogs/cats/gerbils can't dance all that well, either:)

“Shrew!” (I hate sand!) protested the small Pokemon as the particles started merging into bigger clumps just before they collided with the unfortunate shrew Pokemon.
I find it quite ironic that a SANDshrew would say that it hates sand XD

“Next up, we have… Tom!” shouted Duking. “A normal name for a change,” he added to himself.
ZOMG Not a normal name in a Colosseum game! :O

“Espi…” (No, they really are drunk…)

“Umbre…” (I wonder what beer tastes like…) Umbreon wondered.
Remember kids, alcohol abuse is bad. It makes you lose battles and look like a n00b while losing.

“Maku! Hita Hita Makuhita!” (Dirty trick! Exploding presents must suffer!)
LOL the stupid bird got what was coming to it.:)

Yeah, everybody loves Miror B and Tom the random drunk dude (well, except maybe that guy Vilch who got beaten up LOL). Another awesome chapter. I probably could've quoted all of Tom's drunken ramblings as LOL highlights, but I figured I quoted enough as it is. I also liked having the Colosseum game guide on sale at the store- wonder what would've happened if Wes DID buy it (OMGMAJORSPOILER)

Don't know what else to say, except great work and I actually blasted the Miror B salsa theme from my computer's speakers. Oh, and I almost fell out of my seat when Tom made his not so grand entrance.

Chapter 9:
Well, I was hoping that we wouldn't have to see every single hideout battle, so thanks for the big ambush. Plus, with Cipher's oh-so-convenient healing machine right there, it makes no sense to wait for Wes, as he would then just be able to refresh his team before every battle.

And everyone's favorite town drunk once again stumbles his way into a fine mess of a situation.
Then he noticed the tension between all in the room, and noticed the full-scale Pokemon battle about to start. “Did I come at a bad time?”
Drunk as he is, at least Tom realizes that something bad IS about to go down...

subconsciously rubbing his head where his eyebrows used to be. “At least they’re starting to grow back…” he muttered to himself.
See, Gonzap, always look on the bright side xD

“Oh, you won’t be snagging that Pokemon for a long while,” laughed Nore. “See, I had given it some coffee beforehand. It’s so hyper, you’ll never catch it!”
Coffee+Pokemon=Hilarity+Trouble. Nore's probably got the thing addicted to coffee now, so I can see Wes either putting up with Yanma's coffee withdrawal, or having to give it the caffeine and putting up with the ensuing hyperness. Nice going, Nore.

At least it explains Speed Boost, lol.

“Oh, that’s beyond ridiculous!” cried Nore. “You’re telling me that we got defeated by a Magikarp? And JOHNSON’S Magikarp to boot?
Methinks we have a new winner for "Most Pathetic Way to Lose a Pokemon Battle." Even worse than having Tom beat you up in the restroom beforehand.

“Oh, Sherley, it was the wurst tim of me life! I swear, I’ll never mever hever kever sleaver mrinky drink again! Ever! I swore it on all of teh smazzules in da world!”

“Espeon!” (Oh, I wouldn’t make a promise I can’t keep…)
Have to agree with Espeon here. besides, if Tom didn't have his Jack Daniels/Captain Morgan's/whatever the heck he drinks, well... he just wouldn't be the same Tom we all know and love.

I repeat, TOM CANNOT GO SOBER! EVAR!

The battle did go by a bit quickly, and with any other fic I would have a problem with a single Surf pwning almost everyone. But in this case, I don't mind, especially since it means Miror B. will appear that much faster.

One thing I would like an explanation for is how Remoraid/Carvahna/etc can hover in midair. It's always struck me as weird in ALL the N64/GCN games (and PBR as well).

And yay on the Gonzap/Nascour conversation. It nicely shows that already Wes is causing tensions between Cipher and Snagem (and this would eventually bite Cipher in the butt in XD ).

Don't really know whether the highlight for this chapter was Tom's drunken ranting or Johnson pwning with Magikarp. Either way, I enjoyed the frantic free-for all and Miror B.'s next appearance now excites me.

Espreon
April 13th, 2008, 03:34 PM
Chapter nine was grand. I think the teddy bear offer was hilarious. The battles against the guards were also hilarious.

Shinobitrainer
April 14th, 2008, 11:33 AM
Again, keep the greatness coming. And btw:

One thing I would like an explanation for is how Remoraid/Carvahna/etc can hover in midair. It's always struck me as weird in ALL the N64/GCN games (and PBR as well).


He makes a good point. I too would like to see that.

Sebastien Loeb
April 14th, 2008, 11:44 AM
nice job, congratulation for your fiction

Shinobitrainer
April 14th, 2008, 11:53 AM
If you wouldn't mind, can you check out my fanfic as well, called Roy's Pokemon Quest?

bobandbill
April 18th, 2008, 01:46 AM
Now back from my crazy week-long holiday... and now some time to get back to work. Firstly, some responses to reviews for now (as you've all been waiting):

One grammatical problem--but it may be the Aussie English thing--
In America, we spell it "summarized".
As Minos Yewman said - it be an Aussie-english thing... of sorts. Both z and s are known to be used for words such as this, we use the 'proper' english way of the s. Convert or else! ;)
That's actually an American English thing. American English spells it with a 'z', while it is spelt with an 's' in normal English. There are several other words like this.

About the chapter: I love how Johnson beats them with just a Magikarp. On the downside: Two weeks!!!! I can't wait that long!
Thanks a lot. I had thought up the Magikarp victory part a fair bit beforehand that chapter. One the two weeks - too bad. ;) It's been more than a month already... just been thogh for me - no time, and for some reason or another the hardest for me to write. Oh well - within a week I shall hopefully have it donw - certainly before the end of holidays.
BTW - how is your fic going (or have I missed it...)
So, guess who finally got around to review? I had a few brief minutes to read a chapter, and so this review will only cover the first chapter. Sorry. At some point (perhaps in the summer), I can get caught up faster.

First of all, let me just say that I like the fact that you're exploring more of Colosseum with a humorous twist. Colosseum had a good storyline, but as you noticed, there certainly were some plot holes!

Now for a few things that I noticed.

The Skarmory: You say that the Skarmory is male, and then whenever he's mentioned, the pronoun you use is either "it" or "he". If he has a gender, then use the correct pronouns all the time for him. Like here:


Those "its" should be "hes", since it seems as if you want to give Skarm a gender.

And I spotted just two small mistakes:

Forgot the comma after "right".


Since you had capitalized "Max Revives", I would figure that you would do the same for "Full Heals", since that is the name for a particular medicine.

The best part about this chapter? Gonzap and his burnt mustache and eyebrows! I can just picture him using that as the main excuse for chasing after Wes for revenge!
Thanks a lot! I need critique for the first few chapters, as I didn't get that much for the first few compared to the last few. So yeah, thanks. There will be more comedy for you to enjoy later on, I assure you... one the first few chapters, am considering changing it a bit more, adding more depth and description perhapes as my fic doesn't focus on them, but I have been pondering on adding a bit more to it... after I've done the next chapter but.

The 'it and he' issue is a good one - thanks for that in particular. It has been changed after a fair bit of finding and replacing manually to make sure I didn't screw it up further. There may be some mistakes on punctuation on thoughts later on as well... but I'm not sure - have been unable to find them. Or I've missed them upon transferring them over here... and have capitilised the item. Bleh, inconsistancy.

I look forward to another one in due course - as I said before, don't rush it - I can wait easily.
Chapter nine was grand. I think the teddy bear offer was hilarious. The battles against the guards were also hilarious.
Thanks a lot - glad you liked it again, as usual.
Again, keep the greatness coming. And btw:
He makes a good point. I too would like to see that.
That one... is a though one for me actually - am stuck on that one... is a thing consistant in all games anyway (bar Magikarp and maybe some others), but still noticable... have mentioned that barboach in 8th chapter summeded a small pool of water, but might again use that in more depth, or come with something new... if I can.
nice job, congratulation for your fiction
Thanks. :)

Shinobitrainer
April 18th, 2008, 11:28 AM
Still funny as hell, though.

bobandbill
April 21st, 2008, 06:33 PM
Well I've done the next chapter - came quicker than I expected. Here we go!

***

Chapter 10 - Singing Galore!

Doken woke up with a jolt, and looked around anxiously, before relaxing against the wall that he had leaned on. He had been taking a quick power-nap, but had been interrupted from a dream – which strangely enough involved giant slabs of cheese wanting to teach him the polka – by loud noises from the lower levels.

Stupid dancers… why do they have to make so much noise? One would think that they were having a massive Pokemon battle, not a dance lesson… pondered Doken as he glared downwards, as if he could see through the multiple floor levels below.

The set-up here was very odd. After all, what kind of dance school needed guards? Doken knew at least twenty other people had been given the same job as him - to guard the premises and make sure that nobody without ID were allowed past into the cave.

The guy (at least, Doken assumed it was a guy) that employed them was strange as well, and that was putting it mildly. He always walked with some music playing out loudly from a radio, often sung out instructions to the tune, and possessed a large ball of hair on top of his head. Talking with him was very odd, as Doken found himself talking to the tune of the music as well if he didn’t try to resist, and the afro that Miror B - what the guy insisted was his real name - sported was somewhat distracting.

At least the weirdo had a good choice of music.

And more importantly, he paid generously as well. That was the golden rule of business, as Doken had learned in his days as working as a guard - if you wanted your employees to keep quiet, give them money. There was no arguing with that sort of logic, and Doken stuck by that rule - no point finding out things that you didn’t want to know.

He had even been given a special ‘Shadow’ Pokemon as a ‘bonus’, although Doken wasn’t all that impressed by it. It was a Qwilfish - a small ball-shaped fish Pokemon that instantly puffed itself up at any sign of danger, revealing a large array of small yet sharp and poisonous spikes. However, it was just too aggressive - the Pokemon insisted on trying to attack any Pokemon that it saw; including Doken's own Pokemon during the battles that he and the other guards had during the breaks, with bets made to make it that much more interesting. Which was somewhat annoying, as having your own Pokemon attack themselves wasn’t much of an advantage in battles. Already Doken had earned a nickname amongst his work mates, thanks to Qwilfish’s contributions: Moneybags.

Not that it particularly mattered – Doken’s pay far exceeded his losses, as he had a higher role than most of his fellow workmates – he had control of the lower part of the building’s guards. It was so much easier to let them do the work instead of doing it himself.

The guard’s thoughts just then were interrupted by the sound of people racing up the stairs. Sounds like the dance class is over, thought Doken.

“I.D. please,” said Doken in a bored tone. He was surprised however, instead of seeing one of his workmates appear, see a young yet determined teenager stomp up the stairs and face him down.

“Where’s Miror B?” demanded the girl.

Oh dear, this isn’t good… thought Doken worriedly. Whenever someone asked for someone in that tone of voice, they also meant ‘or else’. But coming from such a person as this girl…

“How did you get through here? Halt, or we will take action if you come past this point!” Doken said, as he moved his hand to his back pocket where an object that each guard had was in, and pressed the ‘silent alarm’ button upon it.

Heh, soon a whole bunch of guards should show up and do the work for me, thought Doken confidently, leaning back against the wall. I love modern technology. The girl didn’t seem all that intimidated by Doken's self-assurance however, and continued forward.

Yep, they’re going to show up any second now.

...Anytime time – I mean, now.

Still the girl kept coming.

Um… where the hell are they?

“Out of my way!” she yelled, suddenly striking out with her foot and making contact with the guard’s shin.

“Oww! Hey, stop that!” cried Doken. How dare she attack me! he thought furiously, reaching back and pressing the silent alarm button a few more times for good measure, keeping his eye on the crazy girl all the while. Doken decided that it would be wise to stand a bit back from her – his throbbing shin wholeheartedly agreed.

“I’m warning you – you’d better leave now, or the rest of the guards shall show up and give you a reason to!” he tried, trying the good-old scare tactic again. The girl just frowned at this however.

“Um... there are ghosts ahead!’ he tried. “Oohhh!” He backed up his statement by making wild scary gestures.

The girl didn’t look convinced.

“Maybe, you should be the one that should leave,” she retorted with a smile.

“I doubt that,” snapped Doken, but deep inside doubt began to creep in. His contingent was never this late for anything, even if half of them were lazy slobs. And anyway, how did this girl get past them without being noticed?

Then Doken heard more running steps come.

“Aha, I told you… you!?!” Doken exclaimed in surprise as Tom came up the stairs and into view.

“Ayeiei… look at all the antsys!” slurred Tom, looking over the edge of the building to Pyrite Town below, pointing at the people walking around minding their own business.

Ignoring Tom’s comment, Doken continued to gape at him, as he took a swing from a bottle.

Tom. The town drunk - well, one of them anyway - had come here. But how… surely the other guards wouldn’t have failed to notice him, the loud rambling fool. Unless…

Doken's fears were confirmed as another figure came into view as well, approached him, and flashed the police badge.

“You’re under arrest.”

“Oh, breadcrumbs.”

***

Meanwhile, Silva was starting to rethink his plan on taking on the criminals.

Basically, it had consisted of walking in and kicking those people’s butts. In slightly more detail - he had planned to come in, shout at them, beat them up, go in further, take on ‘The Leader’ (whoever he was), own him, tell him to leave Duking alone, and then help Duking bring the town back into order again.

Unfortunately, it hadn’t gone quite as he had hoped it would have.

He got in easily enough all right – he had slipped through the door when one of the guards went in. He got past him as well effortlessly, and had succeeded in breaking a random machine by kicking it.

However, it seemed that shouting at them to stop taking over the town hadn’t been one of the smartest things to do. All it had achieved was getting their attention, which turned out to be a bad thing.

And falling over a vengeful and badly-beaten machine, and twisting his right ankle, hadn’t help matters in the slightest.

In the end, Silva had been captured in far less grace than what he had envisioned it to be like – two guards ended up carrying him up and throwing him in this room with two stupid women who kept on asking him questions.

“I asked you - why did you come in here?” asked one of them for the umpteenth time.

“Because you’re stupid,” answered Silva. He knew that the key to surviving interrogations was to deny everything.

“Fine then, Silva, what are we going to have to do with you?” continued the woman.

“That’s not it,” retorted Silva.

“What’s not it?”

“My name’s not Silva,” said Silva with a grin.

“Oh, I give up!” exclaimed the woman in exasperation.

“No you don’t,” Silva said.

“He’s so annoying!” said the woman, trying to ignore him.

“Maybe we should let him go,” suggested the other woman. Silva’s heart lifted – maybe he would get off scot-free.

“No way!” the first woman shouted as she glared at the other is if she was a dim-witted fool, causing Silva’s heart to sink right back down again. “If we do that, he’ll just blab out all he knows, and the whole town will know we’re here then! And personally, I don’t fancy being captured by Sherles and thrown in jail.”

Suddenly the door flew open as a bunch of people charged into the room. Silva and the two women turned around to face Sherles and a few other people – notably one clad in a blue coat.

“…Well, this sucks,” muttered the first woman.

***

Wes quickly took in the features of the room subconsciously. The room was of a medium size, with a large bookshelf spanning a wall of the room, and a large T.V. screen covering another. There were a few pieces of furniture around the room, and a set of stairs. The main thing that caught his attention however was Silva wrapped up tightly with a rope, with two women beside him.

“I told you that something was going on downstairs, Reath…” one of the women began.

“Oh, shut up, Ferma!” Reath retorted angrily.

“I think I’ve seen you somewhere,” said Wes. “Weren’t you two at the windmill?”

“What do you mean, at the windmill? And who are you, anyway?” Reath demanded, staring angrily at Wes.

“Yeah, you look familiar…” mumbled Ferma.

“Um… I’m Wes.”

“…Who?”

What - they don’t know who I am? Despite that I had disrupted their plans, to put it plainly? Wes contemplated.

“Eh, whatever,” shrugged Reath. “Take one step further and Silva gets it.” With that, Reath grabbed Silva and held him close, a smile of pure malice growing upon her face.

“Reath, isn’t this too far…” Ferma began.

“Shut up!”

Wes tensed at this piece of news - one move and Reath could severely hurt Silva.

“D…dee… do whatsi?” asked Tom, walking into the room while throwing an empty bottle behind him.

“What are you doing here?” asked Reath in surprise.

“I thaught it is was me hise!” Tom indignantly said, not realising the threat to Silva. “See, I wis... was... no wis! I wemp into this door and them the was lots of…” he said, approaching Reath.

“Hey… get back!” Reath said. Tom however was oblivious.

“…but thenss the was this hig duck called Simon! And le wemp ‘quack mack dack’ and…” he slurred.

“Reath, please, let’s not… a duck called Simon?” questioned Ferma.

“… and then I said ‘Let mer be… jammy tarts! And then there there there was… there something, and I was happy,” concluded the rambling Tom.

“I said get back!” shouted Reath. Deciding that Tom had crossed the line, she started to move her fist back and curled it, preparing to strike Silva.

“Espeon – stop her!” bellowed Wes suddenly, spurring into action.

Reath’s fist started moving at an increasing velocity towards Silva’s face, only to suddenly freeze in mid-air, only centimetres from Silva’s head, who gave an exasperated sigh of relief.

“Hey, what the…” began Reath, before her fist moved again and connected with her own face.

“Espi Espeon!” (Why don’t you pick on someone with psychic powers!) said Espeon, before lifting Silva forcedly away from Reath and placing him next to Rui and Wes. Next, Espeon began focusing his influence into the transmitter upon his neck and built it up. The transmitter started humming, and began glowing a dark blue. In an afterthought, Espeon also moved Tom towards the group.

“Espeon!” (Keep Silva next to you!) he shouted. Understanding what was about to happen, Rui grabbed Silva and pulled him close. Noticing this, Espeon put a bit more energy into the transmitter and released it, as a glowing wave of energy pulsated from the tiny device and engulfed the room.

“What are you doing now, you little-” snarled Reath, until the wave hit her. Her face of anger was promptly frozen into that expression. Ferma too was affected, only her face was plastered into a look of shock, her mouth gaping open.

“What… just happened?” asked Silva finally in awe, having watched all of these events unfold before his eyes.

“Wiped their minds,” answered Sherles gruffly, as if such an event was a common, everyday part of being a sheriff.

“Pineapples,” commented Tom. Wes sighed – it didn’t seem that the drunk had really noticed the event, nor being transported by Espeon to a different part of the room in the process. But he seemed unaffected by the memory-wiping wave – Tom must have been within range of the transmitters he and the rest had. And at least Johnson seemed silent for once.

“So, Espeon,” began Sherles, ignoring Silva’s confusion over the turn of events, “any way to be able to get them to talk about the whereabouts of Miror B?”

“Esp! (Sure!) Espeon said.

“Good. So then,” Sherles began, turning to Ferma and Reath, “where is Miror B?”

“I don’t know,” answered Johnson suddenly, in a monotonic voice. Sherles sighed.

“I know that you don’t know, you idiot. That’s why I was asking them. So shut up. And use your brain for once.”

“That’s not possible,” answered Johnson.

“What – you’re capable of making a joke about yourself?” enquired Sherles, confused at this. “Whatever, just pipe down. So, where is Miror B?” he asked, turning to Reath.

“He is in the cave,” answered Reath.

“What cave? The one outside this room? Is it easy to get there?”

“Yes. No.”

“You spokes funnis,” said Tom suddenly. “Ikes a Robert.”

“Well, Tom, could you please-” began Sherles, before the blank television screen occupying a wall flickered on into a blurry, multi-coloured image. Slowly, the pixels upon the monitor rearranged themselves to form a more definite shape. Sound started to filter through as well – a faint salsa beat could be heard.

“It’s you,” muttered Wes, observing the revelation of the figure. “Miror B.”

“What’s going on here?” Miror B crossly asked. His eyes behind his yellow disco-styled glasses widened as the afro-wielding man realised that something wasn’t quite right.

“Bla… shud… swha?” cried Tom in fear, noticing the newcomer on the screen. “It’s…. arrghh! Scary wary! SAFE ME, MUMMSY!” he screamed, diving for cover from the abomination into a wall, before running out of the room.

“Um…” sounded Miror B, at a loss for words. “Why did… what scared him?”

“Umbre…” (Talking about ignorant…)

“Ferma, Reath, tell me what’s going on!” Miror B demanded.

“They won’t answer – we’ve got them under our control,” Sherles said, when they simply stood and blinked at the mass of hair in front of them.

“What… but how, and why…. Oh, this is bad, bad, bad!” cried Miror B. “Sherles shows up, they’ve taken over the building, and…” he muttered, before stopping as his eyes picked out Wes. “You’re here! That explains it! And you too!” he cried, spotting Rui as well. “Oh man, Nascour is going to chew me out!”

“Who’s Nascour?” asked Sherles.

“...Pretend you didn’t hear that. Ah, whatever, I’m already in dire straits,” said Miror B.

“Serves you right! Now, what have you done to Plusle?” said Rui angrily.

“I haven’t done anything to him!!” cried Miror B in protest.

“How could you… wait, what? So why did you kidnap him?” Rui asked, surprised.

“Look, I didn’t want to get involved in this! I just wanted a place to be able to dance in peace! All those people in the other regions kept on bugging me for autographs, and free hugs, and a piece of my hair… it was too much! I travelled to this region, ended up with this job here, and before I knew it, I was in charge of all this! Then I was ordered to get the upper hand over Duking all of a sudden, and what could I do? I was told to kidnap that Plusle, to keep Duking quiet.”

“Wait, you didn’t really want to be a part of this?” asked Wes.

“Well, not initially, no,” admitted Miror B, “and I still don’t. But the set-up was oh-so-lovely!”

“So then,” Sherles said, scratching his head, “if you want out of this, why not turn yourself in? We can get you a greatly reduced jail sentence if you come willingly and help us,” he offered.

“What? No no no no no! I still think I have a chance!” defended Miror B. “After all, first you’ll have to find me within the cave! And I assure you, you’ll have a hard time getting through there with all of my guards to get by!”

“Whatever – your loss,” said Wes.

“Oh, confident are you?” asked Miror B amusedly. “Maybe this will make you think twice!” Miror B danced off the screen for a moment, and appeared again with a radio in hand.

“W-What are you going to do?” asked Rui nervously.

Wordlessly, Miror B opened a slot in the radio, inserted a tape, and closed it, before he hit the play button. Music blazed from the radio instantly, with an all-too-familiar tune. Smiling mischievously, Miror B began singing.

I want to be the very best,
That no one ever was,

“Es. Pi. On.” (Oh. GOD. No.)

To catch them is my real quest,
To train them is my cause!

“Make it stop!” shouted Rui, clutching her head to try to block out the sound, but to no avail.

I travel across the land,
Searching far and wide,
Each Pokemon to understand,
The power that’s inside!

Just before Miror B got any further with the song however, Tom came charging into the room.

“More any not mich too fir stood up with hiss I not will! Die singing this!” he shouted, as he picked up a book titled ‘Dancing and You! How to dance the steps to the top!’ from a bookshelf and hurled it at the screen.

“NO! That’s my book – no, not the tel-” Miror B shouted, just before the book made contact and split the screen into a million glistening fragments, the music breaking off into a violent shatter. Rui slumped to the floor and gave a sigh of relief.

“Tom, I don’t usually say this,” Sherles said, “But… thanks – I’ll buy you a round for this!”

Tom’s face brightened up at this, seemingly forgetting his terror just moments ago. “Goody! Maybes cans I haves the stuffis froms… heoptin? They hive a verys good wine there…”

“Um, sure,” answered Sherles.

“It tastes like yellow!” Tom continued brightly. “It had a name.... I knows! It was called Jimbo the hippotootomas. No, what, it was...” struggled Tom, trying to get his tongue around the difficult yet irrelevant word. “Hi... hip... hippietopotnyus! Hyperjelotomus! No, th it’s nit sit...”

“Anyway,” Wes said, recovering from the recent ordeal. “We’d better move on then and stop him. And get Plusle too,” he added.

“Yes, let’s,” Sherles agreed. He turned to Reath and Ferma. “You two – you are to lead the way to Miror B’s hiding place.”

“Yes,” they droned.

“H...H...Hypotenuse!”

“Ok then – Wes, Johnson and Rui, you go ahead and confront him with Espeon. Brainwash any guards and send them up here, I’ll arrest them.”

“Espeon.” (Fair enough.)

“Hang on Sherles, I’ve just had a thought,” interrupted Wes. “Ferma and Reath, do you have any Shadow Pokemon? If so, hand them over.” To Wes’s delight, the two nodded, and handed two Pokeballs from their belts to Wes.

“Good thinking, Wes,” praised Sherles. “We better do the same for any other guards we encounter - after I arrest them, of course.” Sherles then turned to Silva. “Silva... just stay there for the time being.”

“No fair! I want to help!” protested Silva, getting to his feet, only to clutch his ankle and give a grimace of pain. “Fine then,” he grumbled.

“Hyperbolela! Heppolehitutas!”

“Tom, go home,” Sherles ordered shortly.

“Yay! Homey, tasty hippo! Hi hose, Hi hose, it’s off to home I go!” he chanted, walking out the door.

“Sherles, are you sure…” began Rui, as distant shouts of ‘Home!’ could be heard from below.

“Oh, he’ll be fine. I end up dealing with him a couple of times a week,” Sherles said offhandedly. Wes had his doubts about Tom’s ability in getting home - after all, he had stumbled here mistaking this place for his house. But now wasn’t exactly the time to worry about that.

“Let’s keep moving,” said Sherles. “The sooner we get Miror B, the better. Besides, we don’t want him to hurt Plusle. We need to bring him down as well - he knows something about some Nascour guy, so it’s of utmost importance!”

“Yes, let’s get a move on,” agreed Rui, thinking back to the singing she had just experienced. The four turned to make for the cave, with Ferma and Reath left to follow against their will. Just as they approached the door however, a large figure appeared by the door frame.

“Ok, I’ve thrown those rascals into jail now,” began the figure. “There was the drunk stumbling down the stairs as well, shouting about going ‘ova da Mountain’ or something. I let him be. Anyway, any more for me to… Silva?”

“Oh, hi Duking,” began Silva weakly.

***

“Hey there! Yes, you! Stop now, or I’ll-” began a guard, before he conveniently lost the ability to speak. Or the ability to remember who he was as well.

“Yes, very nice,” Wes said offhandedly. “Please proceed to the cave entrance, and get arrested by Sherles. Then follow his instructions.”

“Yes,” droned the now tame guard as he obeyed Wes’s commands.

“Good work, Espeon,” Wes said as two more guards they passed followed suit.

“Espeon,” (Oh, it’s nothing, you’re welcome,) Espeon replied offhandedly as they ploughed deeper into the cave, following Ferma and Reath who were forced to lead the way. Umbreon merely rolled his eyes.

“Well, luckily for Silva, Duking didn’t bite his head off,” said Rui.

“He had been trying to help him,” agreed Wes. “Just… maybe not quite in the right way. Wonder what would have happened if we didn’t find the gear anyway? Oh, you - cave entrance - get arrested - obey Sherles,” Wes told to another immobilized guard.

Wes, Rui and Johnson - still oddly quiet, Wes noted - continued on their way down a steady slope into the maze of large winding cave paths, following the two women lead the way to Miror B. The pathway was illuminated by many small torches hung on the wall, lighting up even the furthest corners of the hideout. Occasionally Wes and Rui encountered a staircase, some which they went down, and some which they ignored. All the while Wes ordered guards back in the opposite direction to Sherles and Duking with Espeon’s assistance. This process went on for a good twenty minutes or so - Rui began to wonder if they were going the right direction.

“Oh look - water now,” commented Wes as they climbed up a staircase, to have an array of bridges - some broken - greet them. The bridges spanned over a large underground lake of surprisingly blue, clear water – Wes guessed it was the town’s water supply.

“Umbreon!” (There’s more water here than Phenac City!) remarked the Pokemon. Wes had to agree - despite the large resources of water the city had to boast to run over fifty-odd water features, there was a mass of the stuff right here as well. It must have been how Croconaw had been able to get the water to use for a Surf attack as well earlier.

“Hang on - can you hear that?” Wes asked. Rui stopped for a second, and then grinned at Wes.

“That’s Miror B’s music!” she exclaimed. Wes nodded absentmindedly.

She has a nice smile, he thought.

“Wes?”

“What? Oh, yes, let’s, ah, move on,” Wes swiftly said before moving on.

As the two moved onwards, crossing the bridges and sending more guards back the way they came, the music slowly got louder, and before long they found themselves in front of a lone cave entrance, the music louder than ever.

“Al right - you two can go back to Sherles now,” Wes said, as Ferma and Reath obediently turned and left.

“Espeon?” (Couldn’t we have had some fun and give them a quick swim beforehand?)

“There’s no time for that, Espeon - it’s time to deal with Miror B,” answered Wes, before taking a big breathe. “Ready Rui?”

“Yep.”
“Well, let’s go.” With that, the two walked in, approaching a large door. Wes peered through a keyhole - although hard to see, he could make out the shape of Miror B dancing upon a raised platform in the middle of a large spacious room. Dancing with Miror B were two other forms that appeared to be the duck-like Pokemon Ludicolo. The Pokemon had wide beaks, a yellow-and brown zigzag pattern on a large part of their bodies, and sporting festive-looking hat upon their heads, similar to the leaf that Lotad bore. They were keeping up to the pace of the music and seemed to dance effortlessly, despite having short, stubby, green legs and a chubby, pineapple-like body.

“The door’s open!” Miror B said suddenly, continuing to dance.

“Eh, how did you know we were here?” Rui asked as they warily walked in.

Miror B motioned to a small screen by a wall, showing Espeon and Umbreon strolled in. Wes turned around to see a video camera pointing at their previous position.

“Oh.”

“Where’s Plusle?” Rui asked.

“He’s fine, I assure you! I must admit, you kept me waiting for a frightfully long time, my darlings! So I decided to work up a little sweat while dancing,” he said, as he pulled out a remote from his pocket and reduced the volume of the salsa music that was previously blazing from a radio. He ushered the two Ludicolo near to him, as they quacked in response and took a protective stance around him. “I must say: I do wonder how you got here with such ease, and how you persuaded Ferma and Reath to help you… I’m disappointed in them - I was going to give them a raise as well, despite their ineptness at dancing!”

“You want to know what we did to them?” Wes asked. “This. Now, Espeon!” he shouted.

“Espeon!” (Your mind shall be wiped!) he said grandly and confidently, before using the transmitter and sending out a wave of energy. It dissipated around the room and hit Miror B, who looked surprised at this move. A moment passed.

“What was that?” Miror B asked finally.

“What?” asked Wes in shock. “How come you aren’t… any idea why, Espeon?”

“Espeon! Espi…” (It doesn’t make sense! Hang on, give me a sec…) Espeon said, before sending out a much smaller wave of energy that once again engulfed the room.

“Espeon! Espi… Esp?” (Hang a tick… Miror B has something that’s blocking the signal! And it seems to be coming from… his hair?) Espeon asked incredulously.

“Something from his hair is blocking the signal?” Wes asked blankly.

“Umbre!” (I told you - there’s something about his hair!)

“Something in my hair? Never! It must be something odd with your Poke- hang on,” Miror B mumbled as he stuck a hand in the aforementioned afro. “Hey, what’s this?’ he asked, as he pulled out a black object.

“That’s the Itemfinder Secc made! But how does he have one?” wondered Rui.

“Espeon, Espi!” (It appears that Johnson’s one is missing - but that means he’s been under my control all this time to a degree!) Espeon suddenly cried, before sending another pulse of his Confusion attack into Johnson. Johnson suddenly sprang up straight, and looked generally confused at suddenly being in a cave.

“Johnson, where’s your Itemfinder? Did you lose it?” Wes asked, dreading the answer he though Johnson would give.

“Oh course not! It’s in my pocket, right…” Johnson started, rummaging into a pocket. Then he froze. “Oops.”

Wes hit his head in annoyance. “So you’re telling me that you lost it, and now Miror B has it?”

“Wait - you’ve been brainwashing my guards?” asked Miror B, putting the pieces together. “How frightfully… awful!”

“Hey look - it’s Miror B! I, Johnson, shall take him out!” Johnson proclaimed, charging at Miror B who was upon the platform. Just before making contact, Miror B stylishly gave Johnson the slip, and sent him flying off the platform with an elegant sway to the side.

“Fufufu… nobody is going to get at me with my dance steps!” remarked Miror B.

“Great,” muttered Wes. “If he gets past us he can make a run for it! Espeon, have you tried taking out the Ludicolo?”

“Espeon! Espi Espi! Espeon.” (You think I haven’t already? Unfortunately, I think Secc set the frequency on this so that only people get affected, rather than Pokemon! Plus, I think the music is powering them up, and giving them a sort of protection from my attempts.)

“Well, I can tell you, if you want to arrest me, you’ll have to challenge me to a Pokemon Battle. Seems fitting - your Pokemon against my Ludicolo. It’ll be a lo-ver-ly finale, that I can assure you!”

Well, we’ll just have to beat him the old fashioned way, Wes thought. “So,” he began to Miror B, “may I ask before we battle - what is with your hair anyway? And your name?”

Miror B laughed at the question. “Fair enough - I got that a lot already. Well, my name came about as a typo when it was written by some inept person on my birth certificate - instead of ‘Mirror Ball’, it ended up missing an ‘r’ in ‘mirror’, and ‘Ball’ - my family’s last name, was shortened to B. For some reason or another, it never got changed back.”

“But… why would your parents name you Mirror Ball?”

“That… I still don’t know. I think they thought it funny or something. As for my hair - well, strangely enough - it’s natural.”

“N-Natural?” asked Rui uncertainly, eyeing the red and white ball of hair.

“Yes, even the hair colour, and the equal divide of the two colours. It’s true!” he cried, noticing that Wes and Rui didn’t quite seem to believe him. “It’s a rare hair condition I was born with - so I decided to make the most of it and turn it into an afro! It is, as you can see, plainly afro-tastic!” Wes and Rui cringed at the joke - Johnson on the other hand, laughed at it.

“Please don’t say that again… and what’s with the music?” Rui asked.

“Umbre.” (Good music, may I add.)

“Well, it all began a long time ago, when I was little. See, I had…. Hang on, I feel a song coming on!’ Miror B exclaimed.

Wes and Rui quickly backed off towards the exit.

“No, it’s not the song I did before!” pleaded Miror B as he inserted a tape into the radio and began switching songs. “That was just me warning you not to take me lightly - this is a spur of the moment thing - hopefully it’ll come off.”

“Oh… fine,” gave in Wes, before leaning to Rui. “If it’s that other song, cover your ears and run - I’ll rather he gets away than endure another rendition,” he whispered.

“Good,” answered Miror B happily, finding the song he wanted and pressing the play button. Wes immediately recognised the tune, as a worker in Team Snagem used to play it over and over again while Wes was working there. It started to get annoying after a while, but the song was pretty good, despite the treatment it received at being played over and over again, much like the over usage a song often got on the Orre Radio station - the only working and active station which took to playing the same three songs repeatedly.

However, the words were different this time, as Miror B started to sing and incorporate a dance routine to boot - even his two Ludicolo joined in.

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I bumped my head,
When I tripped and fell down a flight of stairs.
I had been running to get to dinner,
in record time.

And, at the time,
when I fell,
From my dad’s stereo,
This addictive salsa beat was playing through the house,
And then I blacked out.

Mum rushed like crazy,
She thought I’ll turn crazy,
Would I become crazy?
Possibly.

Luckily I awoke but there was something not quite right,
For I needed, to hear a marvellous beat.
I’m afraid, said the doctor, that you have, that you have, that you have an sickness,
What? What? What? Asked my mum - he said,
He can’t endure no music.

Now,
Normally I’m not crazy,
Music stops me turn crazy,
I have not turned crazy,
Music is my remedy.

My heroes were the kind, that break-danced on T.V,
And all I remember is thinking, I wanna dance like them,
Ever since I was little, ever since I was little I’ve been dancing for fun,
And I’ve been listening to these tunes since I bumped, my head,
And I can dance when I'm done.

But maybe I'm crazy,
Maybe you're crazy,
Maybe it’s just me,
Probably.

At the end of the song, Miror B spun thrice, and struck an unorthodox pose, with his two Ludicolo joining with a loud ‘quack’.

“That was… good!” remarked Rui in surprise.

“And I came up with it on the spot!” claimed Miror B, before quickly changing the song to a quiet and calming tune. Wes wasn’t sure if Miror B’s song had been inspired right then and there, as the choreography was a bit too good to be true.

“So, basically, you bumped your head, and developed another rare condition, meaning that you have to listen to music, or you start acting up.”

“Yes, that’s another way of putting it… and because of it, I decided to get by with it the best I can, with music, dance and my precious Ludicolos.”

Like dance contests, mused Wes, thinking back to the news article about Miror B that he found.

“I too, bumped my head at a young age,” declared Johnson unexpectedly. “Only, I don’t think I suffered any ill effects…”

All in the room exchanged glances.

“But that’s enough of this stalling - I shall proceed with my last frantic dance. I say - let the music play!” cried Miror B, changing the song and hitting the play button, before striking a pose.

A different, yet still enjoyable disco-themed music started playing.

“What, wait, that’s the wrong song…” mumbled Miror B, fixing his error. Soon enough, the previous and familiar salsa music blazed from the radio. “Aha! That’s it! Let the music play!”

***


AHA! That’s right - the Miror B battle is in the next chapter! AHAHA FOOLS!
…anyway, hope you liked it. Please review with comments and the such.

With Miror B’s song (the second one), it’s a song parody of ‘Crazy’, by Gnarls Barkley. I believe a quick Google search can lead you to a listen of the song. It’s quite a good song - if there’s anyone familiar with it, any opinions on how I did? Wasn’t easy…

Ok then - Here be a spoiler now of how this links in with the game:

Doken - ah, Doken. Such a forgettable character, with a more forgettable Shadow Pokemon (Qwilfish is one of the more forgettable Pokemon out there). The guard with the standard weird name takes you for a Cipher agent/s when you com up (naturally), and tells you to go inside and help Ferma and Reath deal with a problem (Silva). Doken stands in front of a cave entrance when you do just that.
After dealing with a slightly different problem, you have to go into the cave - here Doken challenges you (strangely enough, the battle scene is in Pyrite Square rather than atop of a building). Beat him, and he will ‘respect you’, and let you past. Me, I found having him arrested easier.

Ferma and Reath - instead of using Silva as a threat or something, they will take you on in the only way they know - a Pokemon battle! They have a Shadow Pokemon - Remoraid and Mantine. When you win, they run off, and then the awesome Miror B appears on the TV screen in the room.

Miror B - he talks a bit with you - Rui asks about Plusle, he laughs, the usual conversation. He challenges you to find him first in the cave, before signing off (no, he doesn’t sing) He says that Plusle is a nice bargaining tactic, despite that not being used, so I’ve changed it that Miror B is really a kind-hearted soul who didn’t want to hurt Plusle - fits in.. Then you talk to Silva, who has conveniently twisted his ankle. Duking doesn’t appear then, but then, he’s not helping in the game, is he?
Interestingly, the books on the bookshelf are said to be ‘books on dance’ with you examine them.

The cave maze - good for levelling up your pokes against the many many trainers about, and generally annoying you. It’s nothing too hard, but takes some time. Luckily there’s a PC and healing machine along the way. The guards only battle you if you walk past them (must be darker in the cave than what it appears to be like), and then… stand there, beaten down by Pokemon. For shame. Some guards can be bypassed if you walk far away enough from them - they just turn their head. Tad unrealistic.
After a while, the cave turns into a set of bridges over a large mass of water (one wonders where the Under comes into this then…). Eventually though, you’ll get to Miror B.

Miror B again - when you enter the room, cue pro cut scene with Miror B dancing with several Ludicolo. Very nice to watch, especially with the salsa music going on. He’ll say that you took your time, so he decided to dance (instead of doing something with Plusle, who seems forgotten by this stage) - and then strikes a pose before challenging you to a battle.

Miror B's name - Actually does more than likely derive from Mirror Ball - after all, just look at his afro, clothing and lifestyle. But even that is an odd name for Orre… isn’t it? Some NPC’s seem to think so, and say the same for his appearance (which they have a point with). BTW - his Japanese name is Mirabo, his French name is Bouledisco.


One other thing - due to the likely longer delays, I’ve done a PM list on Serebii for notifying people when the chapter is done - so I might do one here as well. Tell me if you want in, so that you can be PM’d when I’ve done a chapter, rather than be filled up with false hope to see that I’ve posted to reply to reviews and say it’ll be a while yet. ;)

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
April 23rd, 2008, 03:49 AM
Including Doken's own Pokemon during the battles

The girl didn’t seem all that intimidated by Doken's self-assurance however

Doken's fears were confirmed as another figure came into view as well,

“Um…” sounded Miror B, at a loss for words.

as they quacked in response and took a protective stance around him.

Now, some highlights:
At least the weirdo had a good choice of music.
That he certainly does, though I can't decide if his salsa or disco theme is better - both are in heavy rotation on my MP3 player:)

“…but thenss the was this hig duck called Simon! And le wemp ‘quack mack dack’ and…” he slurred.
I would actually like to meet Simon the Duck - could he be one of Miror B.'s Ludicolo? xD

“I know that you don’t know, you idiot. That’s why I was asking them. So shut up. And use your brain for once.”

“That’s not possible,” answered Johnson.
Despite his inability to use his brain, he somehow got this right LOL! Then again, it DOES take a certain amount of skill to win a battle with a Magikarp...

“It’s…. arrghh! Scary wary! SAFE ME, MUMMSY!” he screamed, diving for cover from the abomination into a wall, before running out of the room.
I suppose that, in a drunken stupor, seeing some guy in a sparkling gold suit and a giant Pokeball afro on his head could scare the living daylights out of you... Now if Tom can make it home...

“But… why would your parents name you Mirror Ball?”

“That… I still don’t know. As for my hair - well, strangely enough - it’s natural.”
That's his natural hair color? LOL Also, Mirror Ball would be a name just as strange as Miror B., IMO.

One thing I need to bring up - a number of the guards in the cave have Shadow Pokemon, yet Wes doesn't take any of theirs away when he takes control of their mind. So I'm wondering if Sherles is the one who retrieves the Shadow Pokemon when they all arrive at the entrance, as you don't explain how Wes gets hold of those Pokemon.

And remember:
If Wes goes back to fight Mirakle B., all the guards except for Reath and Ferma are back. Do they stage some sort of mass prison outbeak?
Overall, great chapter with more of Johnson's stupidity and Tom's random slurring. But next chapter's what I'm looking forward to - the big Miror B. showdown! I'll be sure to play the Miror B. salsa theme on repeat as I read the battle xD

Shinobitrainer
April 23rd, 2008, 11:32 AM
I agree, I can't wait to see more! Oh, and Miror B's "origin" is hilarious. God I love that song....XD

bobandbill
April 26th, 2008, 06:02 PM
*insert mistakes here*

Glad you picked those out for me. Three of them were practically the same... I blame it on Doken's odd name (which I had forgotton, and had while writing referred to him as 'Guard's name' for a large part... stupid Doken. :) )
That he certainly does, though I can't decide if his salsa or disco theme is better - both are in heavy rotation on my MP3 player:)
For me, the salsa is better. :) Although I like both.
I would actually like to meet Simon the Duck - could he be one of Miror B.'s Ludicolo? xD
That actually is an in-joke between me and friends as well - there's a guy at my school called Simon who is called a 'duck' at times...
That's his natural hair color? LOL Also, Mirror Ball would be a name just as strange as Miror B., IMO.
Indeed. Wonder how his life was at school... but it does fit in with the weird Orre names. And as the name is based on Mirror Ball... that's one part of Colosseum canon I'm sticking with.
One thing I need to bring up - a number of the guards in the cave have Shadow Pokemon, yet Wes doesn't take any of theirs away when he takes control of their mind. So I'm wondering if Sherles is the one who retrieves the Shadow Pokemon when they all arrive at the entrance, as you don't explain how Wes gets hold of those Pokemon.
*Grabs quote*
“Hang on Sherles, I’ve just had a thought,” interrupted Wes. “Ferma and Reath, do you have any Shadow Pokemon? If so, hand them over.” To Wes’s delight, the two nodded, and handed two Pokeballs from their belts to Wes.

“Good thinking, Wes,” praised Sherles. “We better do the same for any other guards we encounter - after I arrest them, of course.”
So basically, it does kinda hint that Sherles is the one who does when he arrests them beforehand, as they have to, as Wes tells them, to obey Sherles. Also makes more sense as Wes already has a full team. See where you're coming from though.
And remember:
If Wes goes back to fight Mirakle B., all the guards except for Reath and Ferma are back. Do they stage some sort of mass prison outbeak?
Ah, Mirakle B. Well, in the game they never got arrested (only Ferma and Reath in fact), so it is a dilemma... but one I think I can explain away, and in a humourous fashion as well. :) You are on the right track...
Overall, great chapter with more of Johnson's stupidity and Tom's random slurring. But next chapter's what I'm looking forward to - the big Miror B. showdown! I'll be sure to play the Miror B. salsa theme on repeat as I read the battle xD
Glad you liked it. :) I'm planning to request people to play it before I release the chapter as well. :) (Oh, this reply is also the same to yours on serebii...)
I agree, I can't wait to see more! Oh, and Miror B's "origin" is hilarious. God I love that song....XD
Thanks for that. :0

And...that's all? Where is everybody? All well, I'll just wait then.

Espreon
April 26th, 2008, 06:52 PM
I am right here bobandbill!

I vastly enjoyed this spectacular chapter and as usual I cannot wait for more. I wonder what you will do with the sublime Lady Venus when we get to her...

Shinobitrainer
April 28th, 2008, 11:29 AM
You couldn't go without an "I'm your Venus" reference!

The REAL Shadow Chaos
April 29th, 2008, 05:21 AM
“Hello!” greeted the teacher. “Don’t worry, those Pokemon were well behaved. And what fine evolved Pokemon they are! Jimmy! What do YOU think of these Pokemon?

“Um… well behaved fine evolved Pokemon?” answered Jimmy.

“No, that’s what I think. What do you think? Try to have a thought of your own, Jimmy, thinking is so important. What do you think?” explained the teacher patiently.

“I think...thinking is so important,” replied Jimmy.

Lol awsome.

Shinobitrainer
April 29th, 2008, 11:28 AM
I wish there'd be more....or that people would reply to MY story for once.

bobandbill
May 3rd, 2008, 08:16 PM
I am right here bobandbill!

I vastly enjoyed this spectacular chapter and as usual I cannot wait for more. I wonder what you will do with the sublime Lady Venus when we get to her...
Glad you liked it. Thanks - but note it will be AGES when I get to the Under (but maybe Venus eariler? We'll see).
You couldn't go without an "I'm your Venus" reference!
True.. I guess - or could I? (dun dun dunnn).
“Hello!” greeted the teacher. “Don’t worry, those Pokemon were well behaved. And what fine evolved Pokemon they are! Jimmy! What do YOU think of these Pokemon?

“Um… well behaved fine evolved Pokemon?” answered Jimmy.

“No, that’s what I think. What do you think? Try to have a thought of your own, Jimmy, thinking is so important. What do you think?” explained the teacher patiently.

“I think...thinking is so important,” replied Jimmy.

Lol awsome.
Thanks. Unfortunately, that joke you mentioned wasn't quite original - somewhat off a show called Blackadder (as I specified in the spoiler in that chapter). mBut still, thanks. :)
I wish there'd be more....or that people would reply to MY story for once.
...don't keep on advertising your fic here.

ALSO - I am going to, prior to the next chapter, go through this all and add more description throughtout the whole thing. More on Wes, Umbreon and Espeon, Phenac city, for instance. Should look more like the last chapter which had more descriptionthan usual, as a comparison - ain't going to go overboard, but I feel more can be done, and some also want it. :)
The minor changes should make this feel more like a 'proper', 'fleshed-out' fic, as this project of mine has gone much further than I anticipated, so I figured, why not go a bit more?

This fic's main focus shall still be comedy, pointing out flaws and fixing them in Colosseum, and putting Colosseum in a different light however - and description would still be lighter than some other fics, probably. Shouldn't take too long but - and hopefully the next chapter shall come about without major delays.

Acrutheo
May 4th, 2008, 01:05 AM
Comments on the prologue:

As someone who has never played Colosseum before, I'm fortunate enough to enjoy this as if it was a from-scratch fanfiction. n_n And I must say, I like it. I do however have one suggestion:

The Skarmory shot up faster then he ever flew up and away as the flames coming from the explosion scorched his body.
This sentence would probably be rewritten better as: The Skarmory shot up faster than he ever had; flying up and away as the flames coming from the explosion scorched his body.

Shinobitrainer
May 5th, 2008, 11:30 AM
...don't keep on advertising your fic here.


Sry, didn't realize I was doing it so much....I'll stop now.

Jeffery111
June 8th, 2008, 06:37 AM
Im on Chapter 3 at the moment, and its really good so far! Havent played Colosseum in a while, so expecting some surprises ;)

razorsfire
June 8th, 2008, 11:44 AM
Hello...
I've been actually following this story...
and now I have time to post this
this story is great...
nice description and such...

keep up the good work...
I shall now be following this...

delongbi
June 29th, 2008, 11:30 PM
Hello! I decided that I should return the favor since you review my fic and now I actually have time to read!

Alright- First off, I've never actually played Colosseum so I really did not know what it was until I read this.

I think so far you have done an excellent job with the plot and explaining concepts like shadow Pokemon. Your story is both exciting and hilarious!

Some of my favorite parts-

In chapter 4:
[S-HIGHLIGHT]
"From the depths of Rui’s mind, we proudly present:
Flashback - Rui vs. Pyrite"

[/S-HIGHLIGHT]Very creative and amusing. I could definately immagine an announcer at a sports game saying that.


In chapter 7 (I think):

[S-HIGHLIGHT](He wants to be a Plusle? That’s stupid. Why not an Espeon?)[/S-HIGHLIGHT]

That was particularly funny to me. I definately expected the obvious humans can't turn into Pokemon.


I loved the Magikarp!!!!!!

And I think my favorite part would have to be:

[S-HIGHLIGHT]

Wordlessly, Miror B opened a slot in the radio, inserted a tape, and closed it. Then he hit the play button. Music blazed from the radio instantly, with an all-too-familiar tune. Smiling, Miror B began singing.

I want to be the very best,
That no one ever was,

"Es. Pi. On." (Oh. GOD. No.)

To catch them is my real quest,
To train them is my cause!

"Make it stop!" shouted Rui, but to no avail.

I travel across the land,
Searching far and wide
Each Pokemon to understand
The power that’s inside!

[/S-HIGHLIGHT]

Did not see that coming.


And of course, I really liked this one:


[S-HIGHLIGHT]"I too, bumped my head at a young age," declared Johnson unexpectedly. "Only, I don’t think I suffered any ill effects…"

All in the room exchanged glances.
[/S-HIGHLIGHT]
LOL

Overall your story is very comical! I like the randomness (is the game that random too?!) Your humor is awesome.

Now for the criticiem... =P

First a small thing... in chapter 3, you write:

"keep you lady friend at liberty."

I think you should be your.

Now more general, in the beginning of the story I felt like there was a lack of character development of the humans- specifically Wes. It got better as the story went on, but I still believe Wes's development could improve. I feel like I don't know Wes very well, and it kinda bugs me that he has experienced very little struggle thus far. Everything seems to work out immediately (for instance, when he is put in prison, he is released shortly after).

The other thing that kind of bothered me was in this last chapter Espeon seemed a little too powerful. It had just been revived after being knocked and then proceeded to use its psychic abilities a whole bunch. I thought it would be a little more tired.

Otherwise, I think your story is great, and I will definately keep up with reading it. Sorry I never commented before, and keep up the good writing!

bobandbill
June 30th, 2008, 01:03 AM
Well, it's occured to me it's been too long a while since I've done the last chapter, so I'll just say that this fic has NOT died, only time for writing the chapter has, thanks to school and all that jazz. ;) Plus, Brawl now offers a very presuassive distraction. :)

Although - have updated a few chapters here, and some others which need putting up here as well. Have had some nice ideas for future chapters (but not as many for this one - BUT this one is partly done, and next two chapters planned to a degree). Also have been working on a SECRET project that is SECRET, but not so much on Serebii. ;)
So yeah, I haven't been doing NOTHING all this time. Please believe me. Anyway, chapter will still be some time, just so anyone following this story knows and doesn't think I've given up on it or anything.

Now, some (mostly delayed) replies to reviews.

Comments on the prologue:

As someone who has never played Colosseum before, I'm fortunate enough to enjoy this as if it was a from-scratch fanfiction. n_n And I must say, I like it. I do however have one suggestion:
*insert aforementioned line here*

This sentence would probably be rewritten better as: The Skarmory shot up faster than he ever had; flying up and away as the flames coming from the explosion scorched his body.
Cheers for that - any more on the other chapters. ;) BTW, I have fixed that mistake now to your suggestion, which does sound better IMO.
Glad you liked the prologue. :)
Im on Chapter 3 at the moment, and its really good so far! Havent played Colosseum in a while, so expecting some surprises ;)
Thanks. There are some, as you'll (or have by now methinks) seen.
Hello...
I've been actually following this story...
and now I have time to post this
this story is great...
nice description and such...

keep up the good work...
I shall now be following this...
Thanks - hope you won't be waiting too long for the next chapter. :P
Hello! I decided that I should return the favor since you review my fic and now I actually have time to read!

Alright- First off, I've never actually played Colosseum so I really did not know what it was until I read this.

I think so far you have done an excellent job with the plot and explaining concepts like shadow Pokemon. Your story is both exciting and hilarious!

Some of my favorite parts-

In chapter 4:
[s-highlight]
"From the depths of Rui’s mind, we proudly present:
Flashback - Rui vs. Pyrite"


[/s-highlight] Very creative and amusing. I could definately immagine an announcer at a sports game saying that.

In chapter 7 (I think):

[s-highlight](He wants to be a Plusle? That’s stupid. Why not an Espeon?)[/s-highlight]

That was particularly funny to me. I definately expected the obvious humans can't turn into Pokemon.
I loved the Magikarp!!!!!!

And I think my favorite part would have to be:

[s-highlight]

Wordlessly, Miror B opened a slot in the radio, inserted a tape, and closed it. Then he hit the play button. Music blazed from the radio instantly, with an all-too-familiar tune. Smiling, Miror B began singing.

I want to be the very best,
That no one ever was,

"Es. Pi. On." (Oh. GOD. No.)

To catch them is my real quest,
To train them is my cause!

"Make it stop!" shouted Rui, but to no avail.

I travel across the land,
Searching far and wide
Each Pokemon to understand
The power that’s inside!

[/s-highlight]

Did not see that coming.
And of course, I really liked this one:
[s-highlight]"I too, bumped my head at a young age," declared Johnson unexpectedly. "Only, I don’t think I suffered any ill effects…"

All in the room exchanged glances.
[/s-highlight]
LOL

Overall your story is very comical! I like the randomness (is the game that random too?!) Your humor is awesome.

Now for the criticiem... =P

First a small thing... in chapter 3, you write:

"keep you lady friend at liberty."

I think you should be your.

Now more general, in the beginning of the story I felt like there was a lack of character development of the humans- specifically Wes. It got better as the story went on, but I still believe Wes's development could improve. I feel like I don't know Wes very well, and it kinda bugs me that he has experienced very little struggle thus far. Everything seems to work out immediately (for instance, when he is put in prison, he is released shortly after).

The other thing that kind of bothered me was in this last chapter Espeon seemed a little too powerful. It had just been revived after being knocked and then proceeded to use its psychic abilities a whole bunch. I thought it would be a little more tired.

Otherwise, I think your story is great, and I will definately keep up with reading it. Sorry I never commented before, and keep up the good writing!
Well, thanks a lot for the review! Greatly appreciated. Glad you liked the comedy in it. :)
Only one mistake that you can find. Well, maybe for once my editing did something! Thanks for that - should be fixed now. Ironic - there I was poking fun at the... overusage of the word liberity and all, and made a mistake there. Although, my suspisions are that it occured when I was editing - not the first time... well, it's fixed now.

I also guess that it's rather true that character development is small in quantity at the beginning of the story, including of Wes - only recently have I been expanding upon it. Only started a fair bit in..., chapter five methinks when my story started to become more 'proper' and longer and more indepth, methinks. Over the next few chapters, some more on Wes WILL be given, I swear, and if I go over the previous chapters again I'll keep that in mind. Things to watch out for I guess.

Good point on Espeon too - didn't realise that... I'll think of something to make it more realistic when I get to brushing over the last chapter a bit more (or maybe a short bit in the previous chapter, as he does use Reflect there as well).

Thanks for the nice review - helpful and all. :)

Thanks for the reviews all!

Blue Angel
July 17th, 2008, 04:28 PM
I've read through chapter 4(can't remember everything I want to say - sorry),and I really like the idea. That way you also have a plot line to go off and you can still make the story your own style.

I am enjoying it. Especially the humor you put in. I kept laughing at the part with the "PC Man" getting tricked and the "Are you a Trainer? Girl" getting knocked over. I couldn't help imagining the girl saying "Are you a --" and getting knocked over. Reminds me of the scene from "Around the World in 80 Days" where the old lady jumps over the wall screaming "You stole my purse!" and then falling flat on her face. I don't know why put other people's pain is normally funny(normally not real life)

bobandbill
July 17th, 2008, 07:00 PM
I've read through chapter 4(can't remember everything I want to say - sorry),and I really like the idea. That way you also have a plot line to go off and you can still make the story your own style.

I am enjoying it. Especially the humor you put in. I kept laughing at the part with the "PC Man" getting tricked and the "Are you a Trainer? Girl" getting knocked over. I couldn't help imagining the girl saying "Are you a --" and getting knocked over. Reminds me of the scene from "Around the World in 80 Days" where the old lady jumps over the wall screaming "You stole my purse!" and then falling flat on her face. I don't know why put other people's pain is normally funny(normally not real life)
Well, thanks! Hmm, I really should update the chapters I've gone through (I know here I've got a fair few mistakes here...)... 4 to 7 I believe. Oh well, I'll do so later. :P Maybe today though.

Glad you've liked the story, and the humour as well. Laughing at someone else's pain is fun to do as well. ;) But, that NPC had it coming - quite annoying in the games - one of those NPCs which you'd forget what she'd say when you talked to her, then you realize too late as you press the A button. Then you are forced to go through the same long annoying dialogue... revenge is sweet. :)

Blue Angel
July 17th, 2008, 07:15 PM
Lol! I thought the same thing going through Pokemon Colosseum, and Pokemon XD, and well... all the pokemon games i've tried.

I haven't noticed that many errors. I mean, there was one story soo bad that I just merely gazed at his writing and was like," I'm not cleaning that up!"

He had a sentence like this(sentence after sentence with amateur or worse mistakes): "Take your seat:"Miss Calaway said,

I was annoyed and decided not to read it. As long as you don't slip into that sort of thing, I don't think you need to worry ;)

P.S. If you love humor/ funny or pain that is funny, obviously watch the scene I listed in my last post. There is one in Twitches Too (part 6 on youtube - I won't tell you what the maid says but it is funny - not cussing - nothing like that - just repetitive and funny, put it gets old sooner than the old lady hitting her face and the next one) and in "Legally Blonde"(the first one) when Paulette does the Bend and Snap, the look on her face cracks me up(plus she hits the guy she likes).

Now back to your story:
I have read Chapter 6, 7, 8, 9 and finally 10. I really enjoyed the many twists you put into your story and of course, also the humor. It was nice to see you filling in the "gap" of how a Goldeen can manage to "float" in the air. It was nice to see that Espeon could use his "area effects" AKA the weak surf used against her; to turn it against his enemies. The little pokemon humor was cute, and Rui and Jonhson being idiots was expected and also funny. Yeah, the number of dollars they give you is strange... Despite the fact that for my story, I want the Pokemon to actually speak, I like your (method!) =]

BTW You spelled "organization" wrong. You used an s, instead of a z. and also "stronghold" in the same section, you used an a, and added an "le", after the g. (Chapter 9, Nascour talking to Gonzap)
I really enjoyed the battling style, especially without the limitations a game would have, or doing 1 attack at once. i could learn a lot from you. I loved how Crocanaw learned an attack just by receiving a compliment. Wish the game was like this :p Then I would be able to use the Espeon to just steal the Shadow Pokemon too XD
Lol, loved espeon's reaction to the hated "pokemon theme song"
After waiting awhile I realize I am addicted to this story. :P Can't wait for the next chapter, but I'll have to.

bobandbill
July 18th, 2008, 05:52 PM
Thanks for the (edited in) review, and glad you liked the story. You will ahve to wait, and usually a long time, BUT I have made progress recently on the next chapter...

As for your two mistakes, they aren't actually mistakes (although could seem like it). See, I use the good old Australian-English, meaning we tend to use 's' over 'z'. Other examples include Pokemon 'Centre' over 'Center'. And for the 'stronghold' part, was actually writing 'stranglehold', which is a word that basically means the same thing as stronghold (or strong hold...). Might not be a commonplace word though... bit it is a word. Leastways, Microsoft Word Spell-check agrees. :)

But thanks for the review nevertheless. :) I try to make the battles enjoyable, and although there are people who do them better than me I try to aviod the game's turn-based way, which isn't really enjoyable to read. Thanks, and hope you won't have to wait long for the next chapter!

Blue Angel
July 18th, 2008, 06:36 PM
You are very welcome.

I get it know. I can totally understand the "organisation" but the "stranglehold" will be harder to get used to. XD (BTW, my spell check agrees too - besides on "organisation") Stranglehold sounds strangely german. You are 100% right on the battling style. I need to learn to do that in my writing. I certainly don't have a good knack for that department. If I manage to do battling more like your side then - Hallelujah! I also like how your style seems to be more dialogue than description. But with all the humor and interest you put into the dialogue you certainly don't have any complaints here.

What is your view on having to describe a Pokemon everyone knows? Do you think it is annoying, and you can just avoid it?

bobandbill
July 28th, 2008, 02:03 AM
Well, here is, finally, the next chapter! After too long a break, I've finally done it. My writing may be a bit off after the break, but we shall see.

I've also gone over the prologue and chapters 1 to 7 thus far, only I haven't updates many of them here as of yet. probably will over the next few days, but recently my focus has been on this chapter. No real changes to anything plotwise or anything, albeilt that I've done a bit more on Wes as a character and have mentioned that he has come from another region into Orre.

Last chapter we were up to Miror B's battle - and now we continue with it about to begin. I'm afaraid I haven't done enough justice to how awesome Miror B really is...

ANYWAYS, here is the next chapter. Enjoy!

ATTENTION SUPER IMPORTANT AUTHOR’S MESSAGE OF DOOM PASTRIES!
I request that you, prior to reading this chapter, to get hold of Miror B’s salsa music and play it during the battle. Google search a download of it, or find a Miror B battle on YouTube or something, but do try to do so. Heck, here's a link! (http://video.aol.com/video-detail/pokemon-colosseum-music-miror-bs-retro-dancegroove-music/2662273217) For Miror B’s music makes everything that much more awesome.


***



Chapter 11 – Who needs a Chapter title? It’s Miror B!


“Let’s begin, my Ludicolo! We’re inside, so start off by using Water Sport! Spray the cave with it!” Miror B said, kicking off the battle in a musical way, singing his command to the salsa music.

“Ludicolo!” (Water time!) said the pair of Ludicolo, quacking in response as they started dancing before expelling large amounts of water all over the cave floor. A small section around Miror B’s feet however remained dry, so he could dance without slipping on his mini-stage in the middle of the room.

“Right, Umbreon, try a Bite attack on the Ludicolo to your left, Espeon, you too with Confusion,” Wes said, as his two Pokemon obliged. Umbreon charged at the Ludicolo only for it to side-step gracefully while dancing elegantly with stubby legs, causing Umbreon to miss and receive a jet of water to the face from the Ludicolo for his trouble. Espeon merely stayed where he was and sent a wave of psychic power into the Ludicolo – it recoiled in pain, but managed to keep in time with its dancing.

“Again, another Water Sport! Then Water Gun!” Miror B sang. Again the two Ludicolo shot out water everywhere, dousing the cave with water. Then the Ludicolo directed their aim at Umbreon and Espeon – Umbreon slipped on the damp ground but managed to regain his balance and spring out of the way just in time. Meanwhile Espeon merely threw up a Reflect, the water rebounding off the wall of light he conjured up and hitting the Ludicolo instead.

“Counter with Bite and Confusion!” Wes commanded – Umbreon charged forward again only to be forced back with a flurry of Fury Swipes attacks from his target Ludicolo, the Pokemon swinging out its arms haphazardly in defence. The other was not so lucky, unable to defend against the Confusion attack. It held his head in pain but still managed to incorporate it into a dance move.

“Well, Wes, here we go – ready?” taunted Miror B. “I want to know – have you ever seen the rain?” he sung suddenly, before the two Ludicolo started a different dance.

“Ludi Ludi Ludicolo!” (Dance Dance Revolution!) they quacked, and while stepping together in unison, they did a dance somewhat reminiscent of the Mexican Hat dance. Strange energy seemed to radiate off of them, as suddenly the water splattered on the ground started to rise as water vapour towards the ceiling of the cave, before it started condensing and fell to the ground again as rain. In a short moment it was a continuous cycle of rain, and a carpet of cloud covered the ceiling.

Man, that’s a nice Rain Dance, Wes thought in admiration. Miror B had first made the water readily available, before getting his Ludicolo to make a mini-weather pattern to occur - and inside a cave of all places!

“Espi!” (I hate rain!) the Pokemon cried, as his fur coat shortly became damp, then wet as the rain started to fall harder. Umbreon didn’t seem to mind as much, ignoring the rain as he avoided a Water Gun attack from a Ludicolo. Rui quietly stepped out of the range of the rain to avoid getting wet herself, and Johnson looked questioningly at the shower, confused at how it could be raining inside. Wes however remained absorbed in the battle, not noticing his coat had become heavy and drenched with water. He was racking his brain to remember what he knew about Ludicolo – he faintly recalled that in rain, Ludicolo regained health – that ability was called Rain Dish or something - and they were faster in rain. The Ludicolo’s dancing confirmed Wes’s thoughts, as water landing in their ‘hats’ seemed to be absorbed into their bodies, and they started dancing at a more frantic pace, only to still stick in time to the music.

“Yes, I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain...” Miror B started singing joyfully.

“Wes, how does he manage to sing that to the tune of his salsa music? And - WHAT THE HELL?” Rui asked, noticing Miror B take a pink umbrella out of nowhere, unfurl it and stick it in his afro. Wes merely gaped at Miror B’s technique of keeping himself dry, and so did Wes’s Pokemon.

“Yes, I feel like a - Water Gun now!” Miror B shouted suddenly, as the two Ludicolo abruptly blasted two jets of water from their mouths at Umbreon, who gave a wail of surprise.

“Espeon!” (No fair! You distracted us!)

“Now, Leech Seed everywhere!” Miror B commanded, ignoring Espeon’s comment, and in response the Ludicolo fired out multiple seeds from their beaks. Many landed on the ground and started to sprout into small plants, but a few landed on Espeon and Umbreon. They instantly grew and started wrapping up Espeon and Umbreon, tangling their legs up and making them fall over. The two Pokemon gave cries of pain as the plants started sucking energy from them.

“Now, Mega Drain on them!” Miror B shouted, and the two Ludicolo started sucking energy from all of the Leech Seeds, green pulses of energy seemingly flowing from the sprouts into the Ludicolo, including the plants entwining Espeon and Umbreon. Slowly, they were losing strength, while the Ludicolo gained it.

“Quick, Espeon, blast them with a wide-spread Confusion!” Wes commanded, regaining his composure despite Miror B’s large distracting umbrella in his afro. Espeon emitted a wave of psychic energy, distorting the air and engulfing the cave. Instantly all the sprouts on the cave’s floor and walls withered and died, and the ones on Espeon and Umbreon followed suit. With a sigh of relief, the two Pokemon struggled to their feet, free from the tangle of roots but with less health then what they had started with.

“Nice, you stopped that tactic. But that’s not all I can do! Another Water Gun attack on Umbreon, my lovelies!” Miror B said, as the Ludicolo fired off another pair of powerful blue jets at Umbreon. Umbreon quickly darted to the right to dodge one, but ended up getting hit by the other, unable to move quickly enough.

“Now, Fury Swipes!” At this, the two Ludicolo danced forward and swatted at Umbreon with their arms, striking repeatedly at him as he tried to escape the two. Espeon ran in to help, only to find himself on the receiving end of the attack instead.

Great, he’s really good at this, Wes thought. He’s got us on the defensive as those Ludicolo are too quick for us, and while the battle goes on, the Ludicolo keep getting health back while it rains! We’ve got to attack back!

“Another Confusion, Espeon, on both Ludicolo! Umbreon, Tackle one of them!”

Espeon responded by sending out two waves of his Confusion attack, holding the two Ludicolo back while Umbreon successfully hit one with his Tackle. The Ludicolo responded to the combination, blasting the two again before they could dodge with another dual Water Gun attack.

“Umbreon and Espeon, Tackle and Return!”

“Ludicolo – do your Evasion Dance!” Miror B countered, as Umbreon charged forward once more with another Tackle, and Espeon brimmed with positive energy before charging forward himself. The Ludicolo however began a new dance, and with graceful sidesteps easily dodged both Umbreon and Espeon, before striking them with another Fury Swipes attack, throwing the two against the wall. Umbreon and Espeon gingerly got up to their feet, with little energy left in them.

Great, now I can’t hit them with them dancing like that! Wes pondered, frowning furiously at the feebleness of the situation. The only thing that hits them is the rain which keeps healing them… wait, hang on, I’ve got it!

“Espeon, throw up a Reflect! Protect yourself and Umbreon!” Wes shouted.

“Stop them with Water Gun!” Miror B sang, but as the two torrents of water flew at the two, Espeon conjured up a wall of light in the last second, protecting him and Umbreon as the Water rebounded harmlessly off into a cave wall.

“Hold it up, Espeon! Umbreon, charge up a Secret Power, and get it as large as possible before firing!” Wes yelled over the music, as Miror B sang out encouragements to his Ludicolo, who tried to take down the barrier with more Water Guns. It held, but shakily as the radiant barricade shimmered uneasily, Espeon throwing his concentration at keeping it up. Meanwhile Umbreon charged up a large, bright ball of electricity – a Secret Power attack.

“Espeon, get ready to split it in two when it’s fired! Wait for it…” Wes said, looking for the moment to attack as Water Gun upon Water Gun rained upon the wall.

“What are you planning?” Miror B asked.

“Now! At the clouds right above their heads!” Wes shouted, spotting a short gap between the attacks, and with that, the wall of light fell down, and two streams of electricity jutted towards the rain cloud occupying the ceiling. The section of cloud absorbed the attack, and then spat down rain brimming with electricity at the Ludicolo. They quacked loudly in pain and stopped dancing, clutching their heads as raindrop upon raindrop of water and electricity struck them, their Rain Dish ability now a vice as they absorbed the shocks.

“Now Espeon, Confusion!” Wes shouted, and as the wave of energy hit the two Ludicolo they feebly quacked and slumped to the ground, fainted.

“Yes! We beat them!” Wes cried happily, glad to have overcome the long and tedious battle.

“Fufufu… you got me with great balls of thunder!” Miror B sung as he recalled his two Ludicolo into their Pokeballs. “But… Go, and Water Gun them now!” he shouted. Sending out two more Ludicolo, they promptly fired two Water Guns, hitting Espeon and Umbreon squarely in their heads.

“Espi…” (Oh dear, there we go…) he moaned.

“Umbre!” (Umbreon’s going down!) cried Umbreon, as the two also slumped to the ground, tired out by the direct hits.

Wes shakily recalled them, and examined the two new Ludicolo. “Good grief… more Ludicolos? But I just beat them!”

“Hahaha, you’ll never overcome my Ludicolo army! Now, Rain Dance again!” he cried. Quacking in response, the pair joined hands and started a different dance.

No, Wes thought. They’re surely not… they’re doing the Can-Can? Wes thought in shock, as the Pokemon began to do just that.

“Ludi!” (Dance dance!) chanted one, kicking out enthusiastically as the rain began to pick up again, the threat from Secret Power having dissipated by now.

“Ludicolo Ludi!” (Yes we do a dance dance!) The other Ludicolo sung.

“Ludicolo Ludi!” (Now we do a rain dance!)

“Ludi Colo Ludi Ludi Ludi Ludi!” (Can you do a dance dance dance dance dance dance dance dance!)

“Too many Ludicolo….” Rui muttered worriedly, looking at Miror B and his Ludicolo with bemusement. The rain was falling harder than ever now, pouring down up all underneath the clouds that occupied the roof of the cave.

“Go, try your best, Makuhita and Croconaw,” Wes said, sending out his next two Pokemon. They immediately assumed battle positions, staring down the Ludicolo.

“Makuhita?” (Rain in a cave?) Makuhita questioned upon being sent out.

“Croconaw? Croc?” (Dancing Ludicolos? And Afro-man?) Croconaw said, equally as confused as Makuhita at the situation before him.

“…Yes, I’d admit it seems odd,” said Wes, conceding the fact. “But first, open with-”

“Ha, Wes, you did well!” Johnson suddenly shouted, beaming as he stepped forward into the ring and interrupted Wes’s command. Both Makuhita and Croconaw glanced at Johnson curiously. “But I, the brave and wonderful Johnson, shall win! Go, Magikarp!” he said, sending out his flopping fish Pokemon.

“…Eh, he might win again,” Wes mumbled, stepping away to let Johnson try his luck with his surprisingly powerful Magikarp.

“A fishy like Magikarp?” Miror B asked dubiously. “Well, I’m not about to take any chances! I’m going to test your lovelies – with this!” Miror B sang, picking up another radio lying around the floor. He then stopped the music playing on the radio, took out the tape and inserted it into the other. Music blazed out of the radio, louder than ever.

“But… you’re still playing the same song!” Rui cried, confused. “What’s the point of… hey, what the heck!?!” she shouted in shock, noticing that her feet had stopped obeying her, as they started tapping to the beat.

“Makuhita! Maku!” (Stupid feet, stop dancing!) Makuhita shouted, threatening to punch his legs, as they too started moving to the music.

“Croconaw!” (I can’t stop it!) Croconaw cried, finding himself in the same dilemma. Wes too found himself joining in, helpless as he started dancing in the rain.

“So, you think you can dance?” Miror B chuckled, amused at the group as he placed the radio by his mini-stage. “This is my special radio that my dear friend in Cipher made me! Instead of merely playing the song, it sends out suggestive waves that force you to dance! So, try fighting me while you jive to the music! I assure you, it’s the only way to battle – with dance!” he sung. Meanwhile, Johnson’s Magikarp flopped along to the music – and started flopping out of the cave as well, unable to control where it could go.

“Hey, come back!” Johnson cried, dancing an Irish Jig after his Magikarp and out of the cave. Soon after the sound of shouts and splashes could be heard.

“Ah great, so I have to do the work,” Wes complained, guessing that Johnson may have fallen into the underground lake of water outside the cave. Wes tried unsuccessfully to stop dancing, but his feet seemed to have a mind of their own. He spied Rui from the corner of his eye not having any more success either at getting her feet to obey her.

“My feet are uncomfortably energetic!” Rui cried in dismay.

“Now, my Ludicolo, keep the Rain Dance going and Water Gun away!”

Wes frowned – if his Pokemon were to win they’d just have to do it with dance, as strange as that was. There didn’t seem to be any way getting around it.

“You’ll have to dance out of the way of the attacks, instead of just dodging as normal! Just… try to go with the flow, I suppose. Croconaw, dodge their Water Gun attack and strike back with your Water Gun! Use the rain to gain power with it! Makuhita, just dodge for now!” Wes shouted, as the two new Ludicolo charged up dual Water Gun attacks.

“Croconaw!” (Whatever you say, sir!) Croconaw responded confidently, as he danced out of the way of an incoming Water Gun and fired back, hitting one of the Ludicolo square in the face with his attack.

“Hita!” (Die!) Makuhita cried,and ignoring Wes’s orders he tried to charge forward. His attempt failed however as his dancing feet didn’t agree with his sudden change of pace and direction, tripping him up and leaving him vulnerable to a Water Gun attack, which struck him hard.

“Maku!” (Stupid feet!) Makuhita cried, gingerly getting to his feet. He once again tried charging at one of the Ludicolo in anger, but tripped up again, face planting right in front of one of the Ludicolo. Once more he was blasted by a Water Gun attack, sent skidding across the cave floor.

“My Ludicolo! Take these!” Miror B called, procuring two pairs of maracas out of nowhere and tossing them to his Ludicolo. “Hit them with your rhythm sticks!”

“Ludi Ludi Ludi!” (Hit you hit you hit you!) they chorused, shaking the maracas madly and wildly as they used Fury Swipes. Croconaw successfully evaded one of the Ludicolo’s attacks and returned a Scratch attack of his own, but Makuhita refused to let his feet do the moving for him, and ended up on the receiving end of the maracas.

“Croconaw! Help Makuhita and get rid of the maracas!” Wes called, as Croconaw hurriedly danced in and collided into the Ludicolo attacking Makuhita, the Pokemon releasing a surprised quack as it was sent flying, dropping his maracas as it sped through the air and crashed into a cave wall. The other Ludicolo quickly danced to its aid, trying to help the other to its feet as it flailed its arms and legs in the air, as it attempted to dance while lying on the ground. Makuhita looked surprised at Croconaw’s act of help, before glancing at Wes.

“Makuhita! Listen to me!” Wes said pleadingly. “If you don’t dance to the music, you won’t be able to hit them!”

“…Maku,” (Oh, fine,) Makuhita conceded.

“Good – try to remember that,” Wes said, noticing that the two Ludicolo still trying to regather themselves – the other got knocked over as well by one of the stubby legs of the thrashing Ludicolo, losing hold of his maracas as well. “Now, Croconaw, go in and hit with one with Scratch, Makuhita, you strike the other!”

“Stop them with Water Gun! And get to your feet quickly!” Miror B called, noticing his two Ludicolo still struggling to their feet. Both managed to aim their beaks at Croconaw and Makuhita and send out two Water Gun attacks, but both Croconaw and Makuhita managed to dance out of the way while building momentum. They rammed into the two Ludicolo, Croconaw savagely striking out with his claws at one, while Makuhita started punching the other. Both Ludicolo found a few more reasons to get to their feet, as they did so while getting pummelled and tried to run away from their assailants.

“That’s it!” Wes called over Miror B’s cries of protest. “Charge at them again!”

Croconaw obliged, sensing his Ludicolo was on the back foot. He chased it down, this time biting its sombrero. Makuhita danced menacingly towards the other, who confidently stood ready to counter-attack.

Suddenly, Makuhita changed direction, and instead of trying to punch the Ludicolo before him he made a beeline for the radio.

“MAKUHITA!” (Die stupid music!) he cried, and with that started punching and kicking the poor radio. The music started to waver, and then abruptly stopped as the radio gained many dents and lost various pieces of its machinery.

“NO!” Miror B cried in shock, diving for the radio as he swatted Makuhita away, who looked surprised at this retaliation from Miror B. “My radio! My salsa tape!”

“Yes!” cried Rui. “The music’s stopped! I don’t have to dance any more!” She was right - as the music ceased to play, so did their impulse to dance. Their feet reluctantly stopped dance, as all besides Miror B and his Ludicolo heaved sighs of relief.

“Thanks goodness - hey, look!” Wes said, pointing at the Ludicolo. Although they were still dancing, the lack of music seemed to affect them, the dwindling tempo of their dance and looks of dismay all too evident.

“Great - now is the time to strike! Makuhita and Croconaw - move in and get them! Finish them off!” said Wes.

“Croconaw!” (Feel my wrath!) Croconaw said, striking out with sharp claws at one of the Ludicolo - startled, it quacked out and held its hands out in a dismal attempt to protect itself.

“Makuhita!” (Die dancers die!) cried Makuhita, as he marched up to a Ludicolo, who tried to attack his with a Fury Swipes attack. Makuhita merely raised his arms across his head, crossing them over and blocking the attack with ease. Smiling with mischief, he then waved off the Ludicolo’s arms and then viciously struck the Ludicolo with both arms.

“Wow… that’s a good attack there, Makuhita!” Wes called out, impressed at the damage seemingly dished out to the Ludicolo. As Croconaw and Makuhita ran rampant against their two opponents, Miror B ignored the events around him, his focus currently lying on the radio.

“Aha! It’s still intact!” cried Miror B, producing a music tape from the badly beaten radio. Somehow, it had remained intact. Miror B scampered to his other radio, and hurriedly thrust the tape in, and hit the play button. He sighed as music flooded through his ears - music was sweet relief.

“Yes, it still works. Now, you shall feel my vengeance at breaking my special radio, and almost destroying my tape! Get them, my lov…” Miror B shouted, before realising that his Pokemon lay fainted on the group, with a victorious Makuhita and Croconaw before them.

“…Great. You beat them as well? Maybe I should have paid more attention to the battle…but my condition wouldn’t allow it, unfortunately,” Miror B muttered.

“Finally!” said Rui, exhausted by the battle - it wasn’t often that she had to dance while merely watching a Pokemon battle.

“Ah, but I have yet one more Pokemon! Go, do me proud!” Miror B said, pulling a Pokeball from his pocket and tossing it out.

Please, PLEASE not another Ludicolo, Wes thought grimly, watching the Pokeball land and produce a Pokemon. Wes was spared however, as a different form took shape. From it appeared a small brown Pokemon, looking extraordinarily like a tree with legs, complete with green leaf-like objects upon its branches. A small, almost unnoticeable mouth and two small, beady eyes indicated where its head was. All in all it was shorter than one of the Duking’s kids in height - however, it roared loudly, and shook its branches threateningly, trying to intimidate and going a good job of it too.

“What is that? Even I haven’t seen such a strange-looking Pokemon before,” Wes said.

“Whatever it is… it’s Shadow!” Rui said. “A dark aura and everything!”

“Come on now, my Sudowoodo!” Miror B cried. “Beat those Pokemon down, and try to dance just like we’ve practised!” Miror B commanded; however Wes couldn’t help notice a slight hint of pleading in his voice.

“Sudowoodo!” (I’m going to be… huh?) The Pokemon shouted, before noticing that it was raining - although the intensity of the downpour had dwindled with the fainting of the Ludicolo, it was still going. With a cry, the Sudowoodo started to panic and run around in frantic circles, its intimidating demeanour now gone.

“Err, what?” Rui asked.

“Hmm,” Wes said, glancing at his P*DA. “It seems that Sudowoodo are Pokemon that look like trees so they can hide in forests… they are rock types however, and they don’t like water,” he said, looking back at the panicked Sudowoodo, who was now shouting madly while still running in circles. “I think that confirms it.”

“No, you stupid thing! Oh, what kind of dance is that?” Miror B moaned, face palming himself. “I knew I should have brought some more Ludicolo… hey, don’t do that!” Miror B cried, noticing Wes prime his Snag machine. It was too late however - within a mere moment Wes had chucked a Snag Ball at the Pokemon, and offering little resistance, the Snag Ball soon pinged a successful capture.

“Finally, NOW we’ve beaten you,” Wes said, glad the ordeal was over.

“Now, give us back Plusle!” Rui added.

She received blank stares from both Miror B and Wes for a few moments. Then a few faint Pokemon cries suddenly sounded, from the room connected to the cave.

Oh, THAT Plusle, Wes thought, remembering what they had come for.

“Right, yes, Plusle,” Miror B said. “Well, you’ve beaten me, so I shall return him to you… great, now I have to go to jail,” he conceded with a sigh, walking over to his radio and changing the salsa music to a mournful, sad tune, while removing the large pink umbrella from his hair. “He’s in the next room; just press that button there to open the door.

“Well, maybe you should have given up before when we offered you the chance,” Rui said simply as she walked over to the door, while Wes kept an eye on Miror B. She approached a small, red button on the door, pressed it -

- and salsa music blazed loudly from the door as it opened. Rui and Wes cried out in pain as they clutched their ears.

“Aha! You didn’t think I didn’t have a back up plan, did you?” Miror B shouted over the clamour, putting on some earmuffs, then moving to pick up his radio. He then observed Wes and Rui with a smile on his face, watching them unable to do anything but cringe at the noise. “With these earmuffs, I still hear the music, but not as loudly! I’m sorry I had to put you through this, but I’d much rather not go to jail, my darlings. Now, it’s time for me to be off!” With that, Miror B ducked down and ran through the opening leading to freedom with surprising speed. Wes made to follow him, then changed his mind, resuming his previous action of trying to block out the sound from his ears.

“MAKUHITA!” (I HATE MUSIC!)

After an eternity, the music then stopped almost as suddenly as it had started, as Wes and Rui slumped to the ground. Tired out, Wes picked Espeon’s and Umbreon’s Pokeballs, and sent out his two Pokemon again, who also looked tired after their battles.

“Umbre! Umbreon!” (Hey, I could hear music from the… hey, where’s Miror B? Don’t tell me you lost…) Umbreon exclaimed, looking at Croconaw and Makuhita.

“No, I won, but he had a trick up his sleeve. Espeon, check if he’s near!” Wes said with a sense of urgency in his voice. Espeon checked quickly with his psychic powers, then shook his head. All in the room fell silent.

“It’s no use…” Wes said quietly a short while later. “He probably got away by now…”

Then, more faint cries were emitted from behind the door.

“Well, we got Plusle, didn’t we?” Rui smiled, as she got up to her feet. “Let’s go get him, then.”

“Yeah, you’re right. It’s wasn’t all for nothing,” Wes said, managing a small smile. “How… weird was that though? We battled some crazy guy with a giant Pokeball-themed afro with a Ludicolo fetish, and halfway through it we were forced to dance during the battle! And the Ludicolo did the Can-can and had maracas, for crying out loud! It’s almost like some bored guy with nothing better to do came up with this crazy battle…” he said as he and Rui walked into the separate room.

“Espeon…” (Well, um, sorry to break it to you…) Espeon began, before Umbreon cut him off.

“Umbre?” (Wait, what do you mean, you were forced to dance?)

“Croconaw!” (Afro-man had a crazy radio which made us all have to dance. It was weird!) Croconaw explained, as the group of Pokemon followed Wes and Rui. Espeon looked puzzled, while Umbreon pondered this piece of information.

“Umb! Umbre…” (Cool! Aw, I missed out, I would have liked to have danced to cool music…)

“Croconaw! Croc…” (No, you wouldn’t have, believe me! Although it was fun for a while…) Croconaw exclaimed, shaking his head as he relived the experience through his mind.

“There’s Plusle!” Rui said excitedly, as the Pokemon joined her and Wes. The connecting room was a small and drab space, only brightened up by various lamps shining on the centre of the room. All aimed at a small, almost insignificant figure.

The small mouse Pokemon was rather small small - similar in size to one of Rui’s boots. He was a light yellow in colour, save for red ears, cheeks and a plus-shaped tail. Upon seeing Wes and Rui, he began to jump up and down, giving small cries as he jumped, glad that he was safe for now.

“Aww… isn’t he cute?” Rui said.

“Espeon…” (Rather energetic for a kidnapped Pokemon if you ask me…) Espeon sniffed, noting how high the Pokemon was jumping as it jabbered.

“Plusle Plusle Plusle!” (Yay you rescued me I’m so happy now I can go home and eat some potatoes!)

“There, there, it’s ok,” Rui soothed, kneeling down to scoop up the small Pokemon. Unfortunately, Plusle got a bit ahead of himself, and let loose an excited charge of electricity, which travelled to Rui.

“Arrgh!”

“Espi…” (Yes, a bit too energetic…)

***

A few hours later, the group was back at Sherles’ office. Wes and his Pokemon lied down on a couch along with Rui, exhausted by the battle, dancing, and in Rui’s case, being zapped by Plusle. The small rodent Pokemon was jumping around the room overcome by joy, as Duking and his children smiled, glad at being reunited with their Pokemon again.

“Espeon…” (When will that blasted rodent stop bouncing off the walls?) Espeon said tiredly, observing the small Pokemon do just that. As Sherles walked in through the door with a tray of food for all, the small Pokemon jumped on his head and chattered excitedly.

“Plusle Plusle Plusle!” (Hi there you’re a person I like persons I also like potatoes I’m hungry where are they!) he demanded hyperactively.

“Hungry, eh? Well, here you go,” Sherles said, handing him a small puff pastry from the tray. Plusle pounced on it excitedly, devouring it while proclaiming its love for pastries.

“Great idea, Sherles,” Wes proclaimed, grabbing a handful himself, and stuffing them down his throat. “I’mph starmphving,” he mumbled through a mouthful of food.

“Really? Couldn’t tell,” Rui said, giggling at Wes as she too grabbed a couple.

“Well, even if Miror B got away, it’s not as if we haven’t done a lot. Cipher gone from Pyrite in one fell swoop! It’s fantastic!” Sherles said happily. “We’ve arrested dozens of their people - we barely have any space left in the cells now to fit them into - and we’ve got helps to nail Cipher with. Leastways, that’s what I make out from the evidence.”

“Thphat’s mreat!” Rui mumbled, her mouth also full with food. This time it was Wes’s turn to laugh at her.

“By the way… where’s Johnson?” Sherles asked.

“Johnson?” Wes repeated. “Oh, he’s…hmm, that’s a good question…”

“I’m h-here,” a voiced called out, as Johnson walked in dripping wet, and a light shade of blue.

“What the…” Sherles began.

“I h-had t-t-to rescue M-m-m-magic-c-c….” Johnson mumbled, shivering uncontrollably. Rui went out of the room and quickly returned with a towel, handing it to Johnson who covered himself with it.

“Magic? What are you blathering about?” Sherles scolded, as Johnson kept shivering.

“Magikarp,” he managed, before collapsing into a chair, looking faint from his ordeal. He accepted a cup of warm drink from Rui before continuing. “I had to go swimming for him, you see.”

“But Johnson,” Wes interjected, “Why didn’t you just use your Pokeball to return him?” Johnson blinked at Wes, considering the question.

“Yeah, I probably should have done that in the first place…” Johnson said after a while, causing all in the room to face palm themselves.

“Well done, Johnson,” Wes applauded sarcastically. “Well, I’m assuming you don’t know about it, but Miror B got away in the end. Apparently some people saw him running off out of town, but he had somehow slipped by Sherles and Duking.”

Sherles’s tired nod confirmed this. “He must have used another escape route or something - but neither Duking nor I heard him, or his music. Was all that stuff about him having to hear music and his hair being natural really true?”

“Well, he said so.”

“Oh, Miror B got away.” Johnson said quietly. A moment later, he continued. “Is that a good, or a bad thing?”

“Oh, for goodness sakes, Johnson! Why did I employ you?” Sherles asked. “It’s bad! And that’s not all as well,” Sherles added, deciding to ignore Johnson for the moment. “Firstly, I think it’s safe to say that Cipher is by far larger than what we thought. And that Miror B was only a small part of a much bigger operation. And so far the database is coming up with nothing on that Nascour fellow he mentioned… and take a look at this!” Sherles went outside for a short moment, before bringing inside an innocent-looking book titled ‘Team Cipher’s guide to being evil and stuff’. However, the thing that caught Wes’s attention was a small logo brandished on the dusty cover - a simple red ‘C’ situated on the middle.

“That looks rather familiar, oddly enough,” Wes said.

“What does the C stand for? Citrus?” Johnson asked.

“Indeed - wait, no, Johnson.” Sherles hurriedly said with more than a hint of annoyance in his voice. “It stands for ‘shut the hell up, you imbecile’!”

“…But that doesn’t start with ‘C’,” Johnson said simply. Sherles sighed, giving up on the lost cause.

“It stands for Cipher - but that’s not all. In fact, it bears a rather striking resemblance to… this. Just printed it out,” Sherles said, pulling out another small logo, this time on a sheet of paper. Rui broke the silence, a puzzled expression on her face.

“But… that’s Team Rocket’s logo! And… they look similar!” Rui cried, comparing the letter ‘C’ to the letter ‘R’ for Team Rocket’s logo.

“Yes, they do. Confusing… I doubt Team Rocket are in this too, to be honest though. It may be that Cipher simply stole the design of their logo. Oh well, won’t be up to me to solve that.”

“Wait,” Wes interjected. “What do you mean?”

“Well,” Sherles began with a smile, “it seems that this bust up was big enough to attract some attention from the other bigger regions. Because of that, we can be expecting some help from their law forces. They’ll be over here in a couple of days.”

“Wow!” Rui said, astounded.

“Hey, I could impress the other police people as well!” Johnson added enthusiastically, looking better after his swimming ordeal.

“But what about you?” Wes asked.

“I don’t really know yet, to be honest, but at the very least I’ll be busy here in Pyrite anyway,” Sherles answered. “Well, I’ve got some work to do - so I’ll be off,” he added, heading for the door.

Wow, Wes thought. Maybe I won’t have much more to do then with the whole shadow business? Somehow I doubt it, though.

“Oh yes, one other thing,” Sherles added before he left. “You two need to get those crumbs off of yourselves and make yourselves look smart,” Sherles said, noting the two teenager’s messy method of eating. “And Johnson… try to look smart, and preferably don’t speak.”

“Why?” Rui asked.

“Your television interview, of course. You go live in half an hour.”

“WHAT?”

***

Man, sometimes being high up in a criminal syndicate takes it out of you, Nascour thought to himself, slumping into his chair.

Today, after having to talk with the fool Gonzap, he had to shout at three separate grunts for incompetence, talk to Ein who was behind on his duties, and he just now had moved into his new office. And the moving part had been no fun at all.

But, admittedly, well worth it, Nascour added to himself smugly.

The place was simply stunning, and the prime of Pokemon technology. And the view was absolutely stunning as well - everything a criminal mastermind could ask for - a high quality office with views. Admittedly, the surrounding environment could have been something better than endless desert - maybe headquarters in Gateon Port would have been a better location choice. Oh well - what he got was still fantastic. And well worth the moving part.

Not too bad a day after all, despite all the shouting I had to do, Nascour reflected, allowing himself a rare smile. All the same, I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

Just then, the computer screen in front of him beeped. Leaning forward to examine it, Nascour lazily noticed a request from Gonzap for a live transmission.

Gonzap wants to speak again? Whatever does he want now? Nascour thought as he accepted the request, irritated. He had quite enough of Gonzap, but Cipher’s links with Team Snagem would remain intact for now. However, his relationship with Gonzap was quite the opposite. The computer screen flickered, before the desktop image of a simple red ‘C’ was quickly replaced by a smiling Gonzap.

“Why, hello there, Nascour,” Gonzap said, performing a small mock bow.

“Quit with the courtesy, Gonzap,” Nascour snapped. “Tell me what you want to say before you lose your eyebrows - oh, wait, that’s an empty threat,” Nascour added, returning Gonzap’s smile.

“Oh, nothing much, Master Nascour,” Gonzap replied, although his smile seemed more notably forced than before, his eyes subconsciously flickering upwards. “I just thought that you would be particularly interested in the news report coming in a few minutes.”

“Oh really? Why would I? You know as well as I that Orre’s television programs are of a low standard,” Nascour said warily.

“Oh, no real reason - just a hunch. Say, I think it’ll be particularly fun to watch on that high definition television you got there,” Gonzap noted, spotting the object get moved into the room by two Cipher grunts behind Nascour’s scowling face. “But I do insist that you do so, while you enjoy your mansion.”

“Whatever, Gonzap. I swear, the desert is frying your brains. Or, are you a tad jealous maybe? Well, maybe Team Snagem will get a new hideout that’ll keep the sun out of your face. Until you get it blown up again, that is,” Nascour responded, and before Gonzap could reply Nascour cut off the transmission.

Weird, that Gonzap. Maybe the sun did fry his brains? Eh, whatever. I’ll see what he got so excited about, Nascour thought, seating himself down in front of the television and shooing away the grunts who had finished setting it up with a wave of his hand.

This is the life, Nascour thought contently. Total control.

Nascour grabbed the remote and turned on the television, the enormous flat screen responding instantly, displaying a desk with Orre’s generic newsreader.

“Before our main story,” she began, clearly reading her lines from a giant script somewhere off-screen, “We shall start with the weather. Alex?” she said, as the camera moved slowly away from her and to a frayed map of Orre sticky-taped to the wall.

They start with the weather? That’s odd for any news show, Nascour thought, already confused. There didn’t seem to be a weatherman present either.

“…Alex?” the newsreader called. After a few noticeable mutters, Alex appeared finally, look flustered and very nervous.

“Ah, here is our new weatherman… on work experience….” the newsreader muttered.

“Um, yes,” Alex muttered quietly, look down at a sheet of paper. “Despite the recent showers, Orre will be returning to…”

“Camera!” someone hissed from off stage. Startled, Alex looked at the camera for a few seconds, and smiled uneasily.

“Yes, well, Orre would be returning to the typical weather pattern of…” Alex mumbled, before his gave returned to his piece of paper. “Of… torrentially rainfall and destructive storms, briefly interrupted by harsh periods of sunlight… no, wait, that’s Hoenn’s weather forecast,” he said quietly. Sounds of face palms could be heard offstage.

Gonzap was right, Nascour thought. This is quite entertaining.

“Weather will be sunny with no rainfall, and hot all round. Pyrite will be very hot and sunny,” Alex continued, pointing at a small blob on the map. “Gateon Port will be very hot and sunny, and… and…”

“Camera!” someone hissed again at Alex.

“Oh yes, hot and sunny in Camera,” Alex concluded, before walking off. After a short moment, the camera slowly moved back to an exasperated newsreader.

“Well… now for our main news story. Unfortunately, those people following the coffee crisis in Viridian City will have to wait for updates to that, for we have a breaking news story!”

A cheesy and seemingly unnecessary sound effect played following the sentence.

“Now we have William standing by in Pyrite town to deliver the breaking news.”

What breaking news? Haven’t heard anything about the sort, and this is Orre. Unless they are still raving on about Team Snagem’s hideout blowing up. Hmm, maybe the whole moving business is due to it… well, we shall see, Nascour thought.

The show cut to a young man, standing outside Pyrite’s Police station, a light breeze blowing some rubbish around behind him.

“Here we stand at the scene of this most extraordinary event,” William began.

Oh really? Nascour thought. Someone stubbed their toe or something?

“Like the feeling one gets when they stub their toe in the morning, the people of Pyrite are amazed by the recent happenings that have occurred.” The camera panned to show a few citizens of Pyrite, most walking around as if nothing extraordinary had happened in the town in the first place. Only one person was currently intrigued by the presence of the camera, waving a large sign saying ‘Hi mum!’ around madly.

Maybe this is a comedy show, instead of the news - the badness of it is so amusing, Nascour thought, chuckling at the poor level of the show.

“Earlier today,” William continued, unfazed, “the police force of Pyrite has done the town proud.”

What, they rescued a kitten or something?

“Today, a mass conspiracy has been uncovered, with a criminal syndicate with aspirations for world domination believed to be at the bottom of it. Many arrests were made…”

No, Nascour thought.

“…with a secret hideout uncovered by Sherriff Sherles and Officer Johnson, whom were also assisted by two teenagers. Here is a live interview now of the two heroes.” The camera cut to another inside the Police station now, a female interviewer standing by a girl with crimson hair, and a tall lanky teenager, with a rather distinguishable blue coat.

“No!” Nascour said. “No! The kid from Snagem shouldn’t have done this to us…”

“What was it like to go and uncover the criminal syndicate of Cipher?” the woman asked, shoving a microphone in front of Wes’s face.

“NO!” Nascour screamed at the television, jumping up and down. “THIS! IS! BAD! CIPHER! ISN’T! SUPPOSED! TO! BE! UNCOVERED!"

“Erm…” mumbled the teenager, looking lost for words and unsure of what to say. Luckily, the girl grabbed the microphone off the interviewer and started talking.

“It was scary, but fun at the same time, but mostly scary! And fun! And we walked around and we had a big battle and then Wes’s Croconaw made a big Surf attack, and we snagged some Shadow Pokemon and Sherles arrested everyone!”

“NO!”

“Shadow Pokemon?” the interviewer interrupted.

“Yes, see, Team Snagem aren’t the only people in the plot, and Cipher are really the main bad guys. Then we went and battled this guy called Miror B, and we beat him!”

“NO!”

“…Only, he managed to escape,” Wes said, able to get a word in.

“…something good!” Nascour moaned to a grunt who had just walked in, curious to see why Nascour had been hitting the television in a rage. “But it’s still all bad! It’s terrible! What shall we do?” Meanwhile, the television screen cut back to Williams halfway through another of Rui’s long speeches.

“Well, due to the significance of this event, Pyrite, and even dare I say the whole of Orre can expect big things! Recently in a press release from Kanto, it was confirmed that part of the police forces there would be sent to Orre to, I quote, ‘stamp out this injustice to the citizens of Orre and Pokemon once and for all’. It is also expected that the police forces from Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh will follow suit.”

"NO! THIS! IS! BAD! BAD! BAD! TERRIBLE! ARRGH!” Nascour shouted, flying out of the room in a temper. The grunt unsteadily stepped out of his way, before sitting down in the seat to see what the fuss was about.

“Let’s talk to some people now on their opinions of this incident,” William walking off as the camera followed him. Deliberately ignoring the excited person with the sign, he got the attention of a passer-by.

“What do you think of this?” Williams asked.

“…This?” The person replied blankly. William smugly shook his head, turning to face the camera.

“Shocked beyond belief,” he concluded, before approaching an old woman this time. “Madam, what do you think happen to the man called Miror B?”

“Eh? Miror B? Why would I want to buy a Miror B?” the woman shouted angrily. “You stupid salesmen, with your cameras.”

“Um, no, we’re not trying to sell you anything…” William began, but the old woman was well on the here, ranting crazily. Luckily for William though, another person approached him, tugging at his arm.

“I’s…I’s… I’s a wityness!” he said.

“Oh good!” William gushed. “What is your name, sir?”

“It’s a me, Tom!”

“…Ok then, Tom. What happened?”

The stranger’s face contented into a frown of concentration. “They’re were phisy torunenementy thingy, sis, and I losts my smazzules. Sos I wents backs homes bit thers a wide world goings on, see!”

The grunt watching burst into laughter, noticing the bemused look William had as he tried to decipher what Tom was saying.

“Thens, thens… wet!” Tom shouted. “tehn that…. That supermany guy, him used win sos we wemp upstars and the was fis guy and two pother girl guysis! Thens a mcary thingy ith hairs EVERYVERYWHERES!”

William looked blankly at Tom.

“So so I so wis sarced, butter I met Simon ind wends and stoppered the greevil siunds! Thens I wents high homes! Then beforwords I mome back herey and sees hat hair thingy ru…ran…swimmning off with some…” Here Tom’s face wrinkled into a further state of concentration. “Theys were… Lu…lud… liducolo…lo…lolololololololos!”

“I think that’s enough there,” William mumbled, stepping slowly away.

“Ludimefudilololololos! Heys, come backs!” Tom cried. “I dehands respict! I wis vitted bestyestest drunken… thingy here!” However, Tom was left behind by Williams, who wisely decided to leave. Meanwhile, Nascour marched into the room, and shouted at the grunt to get off his couch. The grunt reluctantly obliged, standing up and off to the side of the couch. Scowling, Nascour watched the last bit of the news report.

“Yes, well… hopefully, the town of Pyrite shall soon return to its former glory of being a proud town of vagabonds and rogues. Oh, and this just in - Johto police forces have just confirmed that a top squad will be sent over to assist in the take-down of Cipher.”

“ARRGH! HOW COULD THINGS GO SO WRONG SO QUICKLY!” Nascour screamed, hurling the remote at the television, breaking it. Surprised by his actions, Nascour turned around, and pointed an accusing finger at the grunt cipher agent.

“This is all YOUR fault!” he cried.

“But… I didn’t do anything!” he cried. Noticing the look on Nascour’s face though, he quickly slipped away, and closed the door behind him.

Nascour didn’t get much sleep that night.


***

That concludes that long chapter. The longest thus far.Worth the wait, maybe?

And the characters and events in the chapter/game:


Miror B battle - four Ludicolos and a Sudowoodo. It’s usually a long, drawn out battle, with the Ludicolo always trying to keep a Rain dance going (never mind that the battle takes place inside a cave). And despite Sudowoodo apparently hating water…It’s well worth it just to listen to Miror B’s salsa music however. IMO the most entertaining boss music ever.

Plusle - after you beat Miror B, he’ll tell you off for beating him, and then run off in comical fashion with his Ludicolo following him. Only then is Plusle remembered to exist in the game, with Rui commenting on him after you hear his cries.
He is in the separate room (that you conveniently can’t go into until you beat Miror B), and jumps up and down to extraordinary heights in happiness. Hurrah - you saved the day!

Duking will come now (without, one can assume, meeting up with Miror B on the way and asking why the hell did he kidnap Plusle), and thanks you before you all go back to his house for a cup or tea, or something.

Cipher’s reaction - never detailed in the game. In fact, the earlier Miror B and Nascour scene is the only time they discuss their plans, or discuss your progress. I was sure that they would react in some way to you getting rid of them in Pyrite…

Television reports - finally it changes, with the new news being that you saved Pyrite. But, they are horribly bland reports, so I added some comedy in, and also a few interviews with some previously-met NPC’s of Pyrite.


And, just for fun, here is an awesome picture, or award, made by PinkParkaGirl of serebii forums. I quite like it. :)

http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u156/lennyshanks/beermeister.jpg

Please review. I hope I did well after my break, and hope you enjoyed it!

MudMast
July 28th, 2008, 01:28 PM
I liked that fanfic, it was again well written, and with me almost falling off my chair reading it.

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
July 28th, 2008, 09:30 PM
quacking in response as they started dancing

causing Umbreon to miss and receive a jet of water hit him from the Ludicolo for his trouble.
This sentence just sounds awkward. Removing the "hit him" helps somewhat, but...

not noticing his coat had become heavy and drenched with water.

Both managed to aim their beaks at Croconaw

“No, I won, but he had a trick up his sleeve.

A few hours later, the group was back at Sherles’ office.
Even though there are multiple people, the term "group" is singular.

Enough grammar! Onto the rest of the review!
And - WHAT THE HELL?” Rui asked, noticing Miror B take a pink umbrella out of nowhere, unfurl it and stick it in his afro.
LOL, you SERIOUSLY need to get someone to draw/sprite this.
WHAT THE HELL, indeed.

“No, you stupid thing! Oh, what kind of dance is that?” Miror B moaned, face palming himself.
It's the new frantic flailing dance craze that's taking Orre by storm! I would've thought that the dance master himself knew that one XD

It’s almost like some bored guy with nothing better to do came up with this crazy battle…
Quoted for truth.

“Oh, Miror B got away.” Johnson said quietly. A moment later, he continued. “Is that a good, or a bad thing?”
I'm voting "good thing," if only because now he, his Ludicolo troupe, and his delightful music will strike again:)

Hi there you’re a person I like persons I also like potatoes I’m hungry where are they!
I like potatoes in french fry form XD

“NO!” Nascour screamed at the television, jumping up and down. “THIS! IS! BAD! CIPHER! ISN’T! SUPPOSED! TO! BE! UNCOVERED!"
Yay for Nascour temper tantrum! It's funny because the guy seems so cold and calculating in the cutscenes where he's dealing with the admins.

If I had one complaint it would be that Sudowoodo was caught a bit too easily, weakness to/from the rain notwithstanding. I would've liked to get a taste of its power in battle.

Other than that, though, awesome battle. Nice strategy with Miror B. forcing Wes and co. to dance. And an even nicer strategy having Wes use the dancing to his advantage by dodging Water Guns. And maraca-wielding crazed dancing Ludicolo FTW. I hear that the maracas increase Ludicolo's attack by 10%. Seriously, that should be a held item for 5th-gen.


wends and stoppered the greevil siunds!
Within all of Tom's random ranting, a subtle hint, perhaps? XD (And is that "XD" there a subtle hint itself?)

Excellent chapter, and having the salsa theme playing (I have an MP3 file of it) really does add to the atmosphere. And... Don't. Mess. With. The. Salsa. Music. Tape. Ever.

Minos Yewman
August 1st, 2008, 05:42 AM
Hmmmm.... it was worth the wait, but I don't want to have to wait that long for a chapter again, but I still want good chapters....

The whole chapter was so funny I had to stop reading at some points to stop myself laughing so much. Bring on chapter 12!

P.S. Sorry, I'm not much of a long detailed review person.

bobandbill
August 1st, 2008, 06:12 PM
One thing before I respond to these reviews - I must give mac-credit! For, the part with Miror B and the umbrella and the afro? Well, upon discussing my fic with a friend of mine at school, he came up with the idea of an umbrella coming out of the afro, somewhat inspector gadget style I suppose. It was too good not to put in, but as Miror B is IMO not quite a robot, it's merely stuck in manually.
SO, credit to my friend for that joke, who goes under the name of Hype_chao.

I liked that fanfic, it was again well written, and with me almost falling off my chair reading it.
Thanks. Too many people nearly fall off their chairs though while reading my fic apparently, I might need to put in a warning - don't want to get sued... ;)

LOL, you SERIOUSLY need to get someone to draw/sprite this.
WHAT THE HELL, indeed.
Firstloy, thanks for the grammer picks, should be fixed now. :) If only I was able to proo-fread my own work...
I'd sprite it myself, only I don't have the slightest clue. Oh well - any volunteers? :P
It's the new frantic flailing dance craze that's taking Orre by storm! I would've thought that the dance master himself knew that one XD
But you see, Sudowoodo was doing it wrong. :P
Quoted for truth.
That's not very nice... ;)
I'm voting "good thing," if only because now he, his Ludicolo troupe, and his delightful music will strike again:)
Indeed - expect returns from Miror B - and maybe not even in the parts where he does so in the game? We shall see...
If I had one complaint it would be that Sudowoodo was caught a bit too easily, weakness to/from the rain notwithstanding. I would've liked to get a taste of its power in battle.
Yeah perhaps. Probably has to do with my small dislkie for Sudowoodo... I might add a bit more later on then.
Other than that, though, awesome battle. Nice strategy with Miror B. forcing Wes and co. to dance. And an even nicer strategy having Wes use the dancing to his advantage by dodging Water Guns. And maraca-wielding crazed dancing Ludicolo FTW. I hear that the maracas increase Ludicolo's attack by 10%. Seriously, that should be a held item for 5th-gen.
I agree wit the maracas thing. I better e-mail Nintendo or something. ;) Glad you like my take on Miror B's awesomeness.
Within all of Tom's random ranting, a subtle hint, perhaps? XD (And is that "XD" there a subtle hint itself?)
More subtle hints even in the reviews? Never!
I was wondering how he would mis-say 'evil', and greevil randomly came up in my purposeful misspelling-fest. Amused me when I looked at it, and kept it in.
Excellent chapter, and having the salsa theme playing (I have an MP3 file of it) really does add to the atmosphere. And... Don't. Mess. With. The. Salsa. Music. Tape. Ever.
Thanks. And typing the battle to Miror B music might help with the atmosphere to it as well - at times I was typing to the music!
Cheers for another awesome review. My reply on serebii shall be the same thing again as well, probably. :)
Hmmmm.... it was worth the wait, but I don't want to have to wait that long for a chapter again, but I still want good chapters....

The whole chapter was so funny I had to stop reading at some points to stop myself laughing so much. Bring on chapter 12!

P.S. Sorry, I'm not much of a long detailed review person.
Well, understand that I too didn't want the long wait. Parts of the second half was force-typed initally, and I spent quite some time on Miror B's battle as I wanted to make it ASAP (as awesome as possible). :) That and me having majority of ideas for other chapters, other stories, etc, instead of this one.
That and I was working on pervious chapters - and ultimately I didn't have much time at all. I got caught up in too many things at once, simply. Don't worry - I don't plan to take forever next time, but sometimes it's out of my control.

Glad you like the chapter though, and that it was worth the wait. Hopefully the next one will be good, too. :)

Thanks for the reviews, all!

Saltare.
August 1st, 2008, 06:28 PM
I've never played colleseum before, what console is it for? and I read the first few chapters and it didn't make sense so that might be why. so can someone brief me?

bobandbill
August 1st, 2008, 07:02 PM
I've never played colleseum before, what console is it for? and I read the first few chapters and it didn't make sense so that might be why. so can someone brief me?(Bah, second attempt at replying to this... silly forums)
Colosseum was for the Game cube - an RPG, along with its sequel in XD: Gale of Darkness.

On 'it didn't make sense' - well, what do you mean? As in, it's different from the handheld games, or in terms of writing? If the former, Colosseum is set in a different, small region that is mostly desert - towns don't have gyms, no wild Pokemon, Shadow Pokemon... it's basically a fair bit darker than the handheld games, and as it was on Gamecube different in varying aspects as well.

Wiki/Bulbapedia/a quick google search would tell you more on it, and I also have info in the spilers...

But again - what do you mean by 'it didn't make sense'? Elaborate, as I'm unsure and if I can from it improve my writing...

Skip Shot
August 2nd, 2008, 12:40 PM
This reply took me 30 minutes to write. I was dying out there reading your story. Dying of Laughter, that is. This is probably the most hilarious story I've ever read.
I can't quote my favorite parts cause it would take wayyyyyyyyyyyy too long. I can really imagine this becoming a great movie, for example, take a minute to picture two ludicolos doing the can-can. Can't wait for the next chapter!

Saltare.
August 2nd, 2008, 02:10 PM
(Bah, second attempt at replying to this... silly forums)
Colosseum was for the Game cube - an RPG, along with its sequel in XD: Gale of Darkness.

On 'it didn't make sense' - well, what do you mean? As in, it's different from the handheld games, or in terms of writing? If the former, Colosseum is set in a different, small region that is mostly desert - towns don't have gyms, no wild Pokemon, Shadow Pokemon... it's basically a fair bit darker than the handheld games, and as it was on Gamecube different in varying aspects as well.

Wiki/Bulbapedia/a quick google search would tell you more on it, and I also have info in the spilers...

But again - what do you mean by 'it didn't make sense'? Elaborate, as I'm unsure and if I can from it improve my writing...

Just me reading it, cuz I've never played the game before. It has nothing to do with your writing teqnuiqes or anything. And Thanks! :)

The Bringer!
August 2nd, 2008, 03:05 PM
I just read through the entire story, and am amazed. Not only was the humor amazing and the plot holes filled, but it was afro-tastic! I can't rely do a huge review or anything, but I just wanted to let you know that this story has another reader who is very impressed.

Blue Tomoshibi
August 4th, 2008, 11:31 AM
I love how Nascour yelled at the random grunt that it was the grunts fault.

Blue Angel
August 4th, 2008, 07:14 PM
LOL!
I was gasping for air during the last part.

Another well written chapter.
The battle was extremely creative.
The battling was much, much more thought out than most battles I've seen.
I was surprised but in a deeply good way.

bobandbill
August 8th, 2008, 08:29 PM
This reply took me 30 minutes to write. I was dying out there reading your story. Dying of Laughter, that is. This is probably the most hilarious story I've ever read.
I can't quote my favorite parts cause it would take wayyyyyyyyyyyy too long. I can really imagine this becoming a great movie, for example, take a minute to picture two ludicolos doing the can-can. Can't wait for the next chapter!
Thanks a lot, then. Hope you won't wait too long... and that I didn't quite kill you. ;)
Just me reading it, cuz I've never played the game before. It has nothing to do with your writing teqnuiqes or anything. And Thanks! :)
Ah, ok. Cheers.
I just read through the entire story, and am amazed. Not only was the humor amazing and the plot holes filled, but it was afro-tastic! I can't rely do a huge review or anything, but I just wanted to let you know that this story has another reader who is very impressed.
Heh, another reader that used the term 'afro-tastic' in a review. Interesting...
Thanks a lot then, and glad you liked it.
I love how Nascour yelled at the random grunt that it was the grunts fault.
Yeah. I decided to show more of Cipher's side on the game, expecially that you only see it once - and they aren't talking about you blwing up Team Snagem's base or anything. And Nascour should be annoyed that you just got rid of them in Pyrite... hence that reaction. :)
LOL!
I was gasping for air during the last part.

Another well written chapter.
The battle was extremely creative.
The battling was much, much more thought out than most battles I've seen.
I was surprised but in a deeply good way.
Thanks. Some aspects here would be visible (somewhat...) in some of the updated chapters (I'm doing that today), but this chapter I worked on a lot. And I wanted to make the Miror B battle as awesome as possible, given he's one of my favourite characters in the game, if not it. Actually, he is it. It took me a long time to think it out though, admittedly. And it ended up being 8-9 pages minimum as well... not quite sure of the page count but certainyl the longest by a long shot.

Thanks all for the reviews again!

DarthWaffles
August 9th, 2008, 11:10 PM
Well, I just read through all of this and it really brings a whole new aspect to the game. Excellent humour, though I managed to stay on my chair, barely. ;)

There's way too many things I like about this, so I'll just be useless and say:

RITE MAOR.

Pikalover10
August 27th, 2008, 06:26 AM
I loved the game and I was actually thinking about something like this but mine wouldn't have been anywhere near as good as yours!!! Very awesome. I hope you have a good day!

SailorShadow
August 31st, 2008, 12:06 PM
*falls off chair laughing and gasping for breath* I... love... it...
I loved how Miror B starts singing the original pokemon theme and Espeon's like "Oh. GOD. NO." and Rui's like make it stop!
I listened to Miror B's salsa music as advised; awesomeness. It was afro-tastic! xD I love the story overall, and IMO very few mistakes and they were caught already.

Ruphire
September 18th, 2008, 06:22 PM
Love them absuletely love them sorry for spelling. But those just make so much sense I hope you keep on making these.

Opposite Day
September 20th, 2008, 03:34 PM
“Oh, confident are you?” asked Miror B amusedly. “Maybe this will make you think twice!” Miror B danced off the screen for a moment, and appeared again with a radio in hand.

“W-What are you going to do?” asked Rui nervously.

Wordlessly, Miror B opened a slot in the radio, inserted a tape, and closed it. Then he hit the play button. Music blazed from the radio instantly, with an all-too-familiar tune. Smiling, Miror B began singing.

I want to be the very best,
That no one ever was,

“Es. Pi. On.” (Oh. GOD. No.)

To catch them is my real quest,
To train them is my cause!

“Make it stop!” shouted Rui, but to no avail.

I travel across the land,
Searching far and wide
Each Pokemon to understand
The power that’s inside!

Just before Miror B got any further with the song however, Tom came charging into the room.


This was just fantastic. I could not stop laughing.. And the part when Johnson actually wins with a Magikarp.. HILARIOUS! :D

Ruphire
September 20th, 2008, 03:35 PM
If it couldn't get any better i'd say just stop right there. But they're getting better so keep on making them please they're awesome!

bobandbill
September 20th, 2008, 06:21 PM
Just a reply to reviews here, and other things.
Well, I just read through all of this and it really brings a whole new aspect to the game. Excellent humour, though I managed to stay on my chair, barely. ;)

There's way too many things I like about this, so I'll just be useless and say:

RITE MAOR.
Cheers, glad you enjoyed the humour. I intend to 'rite moar' as well. :)
I loved the game and I was actually thinking about something like this but mine wouldn't have been anywhere near as good as yours!!! Very awesome. I hope you have a good day!
Thanks as well. :)
*falls off chair laughing and gasping for breath* I... love... it...
I loved how Miror B starts singing the original pokemon theme and Espeon's like "Oh. GOD. NO." and Rui's like make it stop!
I listened to Miror B's salsa music as advised; awesomeness. It was afro-tastic! xD I love the story overall, and IMO very few mistakes and they were caught already.
How many people fall off their chairs, seriously? :P
Cheers for the review, and mentioning your favourite part so far. Was an idea that just popped into my head one day. And yes - Miror B's salsa is awesome. Now, if I made less mistakes...
Love them absuletely love them sorry for spelling. But those just make so much sense I hope you keep on making these.
If it couldn't get any better i'd say just stop right there. But they're getting better so keep on making them please they're awesome!Thanks. Unfortunately I don't think the next chapter will be as good as the last (as nothing is more awesome then Miror B's battles XD), but I intend to keep making more, and hopefully finish this fic...eventually as well.
*insert quote here*
This was just fantastic. I could not stop laughing.. And the part when Johnson actually wins with a Magikarp.. HILARIOUS! :D
Thanks as well - another who liked that part.

Ok, two things - firstly the next chapter. It's not done yet - in fact I haven't had much time at all to actually write much (however I do know what i want to have happen, which is something I guess). I've been working on fixing minor errors and polishing previous chapters as well - for insatce any 'older' reders will note a few extra paragraphs here and there in the eariler chapters, albeilt nothing of major importance. Maybe however the introduction of the fact Wes came from a different region, but that's all I think.

I've also been polishing off another unrelated fic as well, and being in the middle of examsand other things to attend to doesn't really help matters. But hopefully I will be able to get some progress done soon after exams. So have patience. :)

And the other thing - the one-liner reviews. I do not mind you giving me a visitor message or PM of one-liner reviews or the such, but I would prefer if you review here to have them longer, or not at all. Why? Bacuase new fanfiction rules (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=153563) state to not post one-liners, so I advise it if you want to avoid an infraction. Plus it's always nice to read longer reviews on what you liked/didn't like, and anything that may need fixing so I can improve in writing.

bobandbill
November 5th, 2008, 11:42 PM
Aha! I return with a new chapter!

Ok, the next chapter. It's been a good while, but I was busy pretending I had a life outside of here, etc, etc. :P But I suppose there's some good news - this one is a giant of a chapter (yep, far longer then any other >_<). Length's partly also put down to some fairly new stuff that you'll see, such as fun fun fun plot set-up (so there's less later :P), and some stuff regarding characters as well. Some explanations as well.

Chapter is IMO tad less funny then the previous (no opportunity as good as a Miror B battle), and I was being experimental and went with something... different for the last scene. Whee. But still plenty of jokes (hopefully http://www.serebiiforums.com/images/smilies/wink.gif ), a fair few being small. Plus ye pastry/pastry-related food item of sorts. And I swear - any resembalence to past occurances/comedy ideas or other people's characters are entirely co-incidental. Honest. http://www.serebiiforums.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Oh, and yay for posting this on my birthday! Hurrah for good timing.





***


Chapter 12 – Attack of the Interviewers


“Sir! Mr Wes man! Wait up!” an interviewer called as Wes exited the police station, the anxious man marching up to him.

Oh no, not another one, Wes thought in dismay, regarding the interviewer who was currently waving his microphone in Wes’s face with great enthusiasm with a look of despair. Espeon and Umbreon looked on with an equal look of anguish; not looking forward to another interview.

Over the last few days, Pyrite Town had come under invasion of a mindless army of reporters, anxious to make a name for themselves, and confuse as many people as possible with their euphemisms and constant requests for anecdotes in the process.

“What did you think when you had to...” the man began in a bright smile and voice, before Wes cut him off.

“Oh for goodness sakes, don’t you have anyone else better to annoy? Family relations, perhaps?” Wes asked sourly.

The news reporter remained where he was, the smile still plastered upon his face and the microphone still mere millimetres away from Wes’s face.

“So then, what’s your favourite brand of toilet paper?”

Wes sighed, running a hand through his hair in exasperation.

“Oh... hey, is that a Gym Leader over there?” Wes suddenly interjected, glancing over the man’s shoulder into the distance. The man gave a loud gasp and turned around, stumbling over to where Wes had looked. Then he stopped short.

“But where...” he muttered before turning back to Wes; but by then Wes and his Pokemon had taken the opportunity and had slipped away out of sight.

Wes walked quickly, anxious to get away from the reporter – he had enough of being pestered all day. Soon enough he reached a small, quiet street. He half-heartedly kicked a stone along the ground, and sighed to himself as Espeon and Umbreon went over to amuse themselves somewhere; he had managed to lose the attention of the residents of Pyrite town, and was content for the rare piece of solitude.

There was just something about the fact that everyone in town now gaped at him, and whispered that he had single-handedly brought to their attention the presence of Cipher, and had brought them down for good – attention had never been something Wes had had before, and it made him uncomfortable to suddenly have so much of it over the last several days.

“Hello, Wes,” a squeaky voice piped suddenly from behind him. Wes jumped up, startled by this, and frowned.

Great – another resident, he thought grimly to himself.

“Can I have an autograph?” the person continued, already brandishing a piece of paper – oddly with small love-hearts dotted upon it - and a pen. Wes sighed and took them, anxious to scribble his name on it quickly and be done with the person.

‘Could you address it to, um me?”

“Oh, fine... what’s your name?”

“Oh, it’s ‘Phillar Caractor’,” the man said. Wes stared – But then again, it seems most people in this region had strange names, he mused, as he wrote down the name as Phillar spelt it out. Handing it back, Wes sat down on the kerb again, before turning around a minute later to find the man still there. He was staring creepily and intently at Wes’s left arm, and appeared to be drooling slightly.

“Yes?” Wes asked, somewhat unnerved by the man’s stares.

“Oh... um, sorry,” the man said, seemingly confused himself and catching himself out of his trance. “But now, I was thinking – we can be friends!”

“…Um, sure…” Wes said, not very keen on this random friend request from a person he never met before.

“Yay! We are the best of friends!” the man proclaimed happily and loudly. “Now, can you lend me some money?”

“What- no!” Wes shouted.

“Oh, ok…” the man said sadly, before he quietly walked away towards the northern end of town, clutching the piece of paper in his hand.

Wes sighed once more, before returning to the peace and quiet he currently had the opportunity to enjoy.

I wonder what’s there’s left to do now… Well, frankly, ever since the business regarding Miror B, there’s been nothing to do, Wes thought glumly. All but Miror B had been seemingly accounted for, and suddenly all that was of interest in Pyrite – besides the odd Pokemon battle – was the challenge of trying to keep interviews with the reporters below five a day.

Admittedly though, the whole Shadow Pokémon business seemed far from over. It appeared that Pyrite was only part of the dealings that Cipher had done, and that their grasp extended far further than had been anticipated. It was also confirmed that the criminals captured had no idea where was Cipher’s main base, although apparently Miror B had known this. Wes sighed – if they hadn’t let him escape, they would have been able to find out so much more about Cipher’s doings.

“Hello again!”

“Arrgh!” Wes jumped to his feet again and turned, to see Phillar greet him again with a wide smile. How did he return from the opposite direction? Wes wondered, confused as to how Phillar had seemingly returned from the south side of town. “What do you want now?” he asked.

The man seemed to ponder the question for some time, before simply shrugging and smiling even more brightly at Wes.

Wes sighed. “Then why are you here?”

“Can I have some mon-“

“NO! Go away!” Wes ordered.

“…Well then, do you want to see my inventions?”

“Not really, no,” Wes said.

“But look! This is a fabulous thing I have here!” the man said, pulling out another piece of paper, which had a large, bold question mark written in the middle of it. “This thing is what I call… the ‘Question mark!”

“You invented the question mark,” Wes repeated blankly. This man must be mad… or maybe Espeon affected his mind with his mind wiping…

“Yes indeedy, friend!” the man confirmed. “You can use it in sentences that involve a question being asked! Like, for instance…” the man then turned the paper over, to reveal a message ‘Would you like to see an example?’.

“See?!” the man said excitedly. “I’m so clever, because it’s really an example! See the question mark there?”

Wes sighed, as the man continued rambling, trying to convince Wes that he desperately needed funds to develop a friend for the question mark that he would call the ‘exclamation mark’. He had enough of these annoying crazy people, and decided to try to get rid of him.

“Hey, listen, there’s a Gym Leader by the exact opposite side of town...” he said, but he didn’t bother to finish his sentence as Phillar happily bounded off to investigate this piece of information. Wes this time waited a few extra minutes, before sitting down once again upon seeing Phillar not return, before he returned to his thoughts.

Yes, it’s a shame that there’s nothing to do, and that Miror B got away… But still; we did rescue Plusle, and arrest all those people as well... Wes mused. And the extra people from the Police force from those fancy-pants regions came yesterday as well, meaning we may have less to do, he added to himself as he sat down on a somewhat clean piece of kerb, remembering the group of people which had arrived in style to Pyrite town. They hadn’t seemed very impressed by the town of Pyrite to say the least – Wes didn’t blame them for that, given they must have come from far better places, nor had to work in a slum like Pyrite before. Being shouted at by the old lady who mistook everyone for salesmen hadn’t left a good impression on them either. Sherles merely frowned at them when they waltzed in, muttering that not nearly half the number that he had expected had been sent over. All four regions had ended up sending over at least a couple of policemen each, but Sherles had been disappointed in the end result of support. Still, it was certainly better than nothing. Sherles was talking to the group right now; no doubt they would have to get used to the veteran’s rough ways quick.

Wes’s Pokémon had more or less recovered from the dancing ordeal they had had – and he and Rui were fine as well, although still rather surprised by the fact that Miror B had had a radio that made people dance. Clearly Cipher has some people capable to making such a device, and that fact was somewhat worrying. Croconaw had also had sudden urges now and then to dance for a moment or two, before quickly pulling himself out of it and glancing around to see if anyone had noticed. Makuhita seemed unaffected however, and for the most part was still his old aggressive self, attacking defenceless gates and walls to amuse himself.

As for the Shadow Pokemon obtained, the number had grown to seventeen. In addition to the Yanma and Sudowoodo Wes had snagged, they had collected some more in the raid in a Remoraid, Mantine, Qwilfish, Dunsparce, Meditate and a Swablu. They were being gradually purified by Wes, Rui, Secc and Johnson (who was currently complaining that they seemed to get irritated by his mere presence). The Pokemon all varied in size and nature, yet all were generally easy to unsettle, and quick to anger.

One exception to this seemed to be the Yanma, who remained as hyperactive as ever, partly due to it seemingly to have had a drawback to the coffee Nore had evidently given it. Every time it caught sight of the brown substance, it would dart right for it. Residents of Pyrite were now keeping a closer eye on their supplies of coffee, after one nasty incident resulting a frightened child, overturned bins, and bizarrely enough minor explosions in the Colosseum - all caused by an overly eccentric Yanma which had flown around for hours on end, before collapsing out of tiredness onto an unsuspecting interviewer. The interviewer had been seemingly unfazed by it though, having promptly started to try to interview it.

Slowly yet surely however, their aura was slowly diminishing according to Rui, who seemed more at ease at being able to see such things; and Secc’s daily analysis of them confirmed that their emotional levels were steadily returning to a normal state.

What was curious was that for a fair few Pokemon now, their Shadow Metres were fully depleted and showed that their emotional states had almost returned to normal – yet some still showed hints of their Shadow personality, and all still had, Rui claimed, a dark aura to them. Secc concluded that although they had have improved, they still had more of their Shadow selves to dispel. He was currently researching for any hint on how to truly turn them back, but for now was only able to guess that they needed more time for now.

“Wes?” a voice called suddenly, breaking Wes out of his reverie – he looked up and looked at Rui, who approached happily and plonked herself down next to Wes.

“Hey,” Wes said. So much for peace and quiet, he thought with a small twinge of disappointment. But to be honest, I don’t mind her company, he continued to himself. And at least it’s not that other guy. Heck, Gonzap was less annoying than him at times!

“What’s up, Wes?” she asked.

“Oh, nothing. Just these darn people that keep bothering me… and interviewers.”

“Really? Where were they?” Rui asked suddenly, looking around curiously. Wes laughed slightly at Rui’s enthusiasm.

“Why do you enjoy them so much? I find them somewhat annoying, after they ask the same question for the millionth time on what brand of sunscreen I use, because they can’t find anything decent to ask.”

“True,” Rui chuckled. “I don’t think they’ve had much reporting or interviewing practise before. But I just find it fun to talk about... stuff. And it’s fun to see them get confused and all by talking longer than they expected,” she added with a mischievous smile.

“Umbreon!” (I get rid of them by eating their microphones!) Umbreon said proudly, returning with Espeon who rolled his eyes at Umbreon’s way of getting rid of people.

“Espi. Espeon!” (That’s a lousy way, and it gave you indigestion. Simply confusing them on who they were meant to interview is much simpler…) Rui laughed, and petted Espeon – one such reviewer had annoyed Espeon enough that the end result was the reporter giving a three hour long interview with himself. It ended up being aired on television as well, bringing much entertainment to all.

“Well, wouldn’t your parents see you on T.V. by now?” Wes asked. Rui gave a sudden gasp, and then burst out laughing.

“Oh god, they would have! And I had spent half an hour talking about laundry detergents just to annoy that one guy who kept shoving his microphone up my face, and then it was on T.V. the next day!”

“Espeon!” (I TOLD you not to overdo it...)

“My dad would be so embarrassed, I’m sure about that...” she said, before shrugging. “What about your father, Wes?” Rui asked, still giggling. Wes paused for a moment before answering.

“I...don’t have one,” he said simply.

“Well, that’s... wait, what?” Rui said suddenly. “No... father? Oh... “

“No mother either,” Wes continued.

“But... that’s horrible!” Rui exclaimed, shocked. I’ve known plenty of people – who were mostly Pokemon trainers, come to think of it - in my town that don’t seem to have a father... but to have no parents at all? Poor guy! Rui thought.

“But... what...” Rui began. Wes gave a small, sad smile.

“I never knew them, actually,” Wes said. “I was in an orphanage for a while, in a different region which was, believe it or not, worse off than Orre is. After a while I simply escaped, and ended joining some gang for a while – I don’t think anyone from the orphanage really bothered to look for me when I left – they were probably glad. We did some pretty crazy stuff...”

“Espeon. Espi...” (Yeah... like graffiti walls with maths slogans, or terrorise abandoned shopping trolleys. Totally radical...) Espeon drawled.

“Then less than a year or so ago,” Wes continued, ignoring Espeon’s comment, “I stole myself away on a ship, which ended up taking me here. Looked for work, had trouble doing so, before Team Snagem came along and I joined them. And the rest is history.”

Silence started after Wes stopped talking, both him and Rui in deep thought. Then Rui drew closer, and gave Wes a tight hug.

“I’m sorry...” she mumbled, before letting go.

“Well... um, there’s no need to be. All in the past,” Wes said, surprised but not minding Rui’s actions.

“Umb Umbreon...” (You didn’t mention me or Espeon in your ever-so-detailed history there...) he began. Wes laughed, and gave Umbreon a thoughtful pet on the head.

“No... I met these two when they were just Eevee shortly after leaving the orphanage – they were simply sitting in some alley, looking frightened and confused. They decided to just follow me, despite the fact that I had no idea where I was going.”

“Espi, Espeon...” (Hey, we were merely wondering what the hell you were doing in an alley...) Espeon began.

“And what you were doing there yourselves, exactly?” Wes asked, raising his eyebrows.

“...Espeon...Esp,” (...exploring or something or rather... oh fine, we too were lost,) Espeon admitted.

“Umbreon!” (I was playing battleships!) Umbreon remarked happily.

“Well, I just took care of them, and they kinda grew on me. We’ve been friends for years now, and I’ve also had fun training them – they seem to enjoy it too.”

“Espeon!” (Too right! Wes does know how to command a battle!)

Rui gave a small grin then. “Well, Wes, maybe you’ll teach me how to battle then?” Rui asked.

Wes smiled. “Sure.”



***


Wes grimaced at the sound of yet another window shattering into a million fragments, and the yells of angry neighbours that followed.

“Espeon...” (Rui... half of your Pokeball releases have ended up breaking something!)

“Oops...” Rui said quietly, for what Wes thought had been the umpteenth time.

“Espeon!” (You’re the worst thing the town has seen since Cipher!) Espeon drawled sarcastically, observing the scene of destruction that stood before them.

“Never mind Espeon,” Wes advised. “Look, there’s no need to throw the Pokeball so hard or so far – just a small throw will do it.”

“Ok,” Rui said, preparing yet another throw as she took another spare Pokeball out of her bad. Trying to concentrate harder this time, she aimed the ball, and threw it.

Shortly afterwards, Wes grimaced at the sound of yet another window shattering.

“...Umbreon?” (How did you manage to throw that backwards of all directions?)

“I think we might move on from throwing Pokeballs,” Wes added hastily, noticing Rui reach for yet another Pokeball. “Maybe you should just, err, practise sending out Pokemon by just pressing the button on the Pokeball as opposed to throwing it.”

“Ok then,” Rui said, reaching for a Pokeball, aiming it to the ground, and pressing the small white button situated on the equators of the ball. A white beam shot out, and Quagsire popped out, looking dazed and confused.

“Quag...?” (Duh...what?) it said sleepily, before Rui then returned it to its Pokeball.

“..Well done,” Wes said, pleasantly surprised that Rui hadn’t broken anything this time.

“Come on out again!” Rui cried, sending out Quagsire another time. Quagsire looked visibly more confused and dumb folded then usual at being sent out again – which is a sight indeed, Wes thought, given what it normally looks like with those tiny eyes. Meanwhile, Rui returned Quagsire to its Pokeball before it had time to respond, before once again sending it out.

“Umb...Umb...” (So... shiny...) Umbreon said as he watched the lights from the Pokeball constantly materialise into Quagsire, then suck it back into the Pokeball. Wes thought it was becoming a bit too much for Quagsire by this stage – it now had the annoyed expression one usually got when they had to listen to Johnson for too long – albeit Quagsire’s face still maintained the somewhat vacant look it always seemed to have.

“I think, Rui...” Wes said, before a sudden shout from the Police station caught his attention.

“Wes!” a gruff voice called. Wes turned and looked – the sight of Sherles advancing in his slow steady way confirmed who Wes had thought called him. He waited patiently as Sherles came up to him, while Rui gave a wave to him in-between further practise of using a Pokeball.

“Ok then, I’ve just had a talk with the new recruits. Bunch of know-it-alls,” Sherles muttered, before spying Espeon, and the ‘mind-wiper’ machine still attached to his neck. “Firstly, that’s got to go, I’m afraid,” Sherles remarked, yanking it from him.

“Wait, what?” Wes asked, confused.

“Espeon!” (No, my mind wiper! That thing was fun!) Espeon shouted, disappointed that his toy was gone.

“Unfortunately, those good-for nothing youngsters insisted that actually controlling people in such a way is against the law, according to some ‘Section 56 624.27, Catch 22’ or something from the law book. Never mind that it actually stopped those criminals,” Sherles said bitterly.

“But, seeing as you knew it was against the law, given you know what law it was,” Wes began, who was wondering why they had decimal points in the law numbers, or that they had so many laws to begin with, “why did you tell them?”

Soundlessly, Sherles pointed to an approaching Johnson.

“Ah,” Wes said.

“Not again, Johnson...” Rui remarked, why still absent-mindedly sending and returning Quagsire. However with her attention now partly on Sherles and his information, her aim no longer remained at the ground, as Quagsire suddenly found himself perched on the roof of a house, before again being forced to return to the Pokeball.

“Espeon! Esp...Espeon?” (But I want it back! But Sherles... why couldn’t we just mind-wipe the new people into forgetting about it?)

“It came to mind,” Sherles said, “but firstly, if we were to do such a thing and get caught... well, it wouldn’t be worth it frankly. Everyone in the know within the Police headquarters would know anyway now, given that I, and Johnson, wasn’t only talking to the group here, but their respective heads of Police across each region via live telecast. Not to mention Johnson even gave a couple of them the Itemfinders we used to protect ourselves from the Mind reader for them to examine!”

“...I said I was sorry,” Johnson muttered.

“Still, Johnson, there goes a good way to win our battle with Cipher! I’m already now caught up in some red tape, although luckily I was able to shut Johnson up before he DID tell them we wiped minds and all – told them we just used some very mild mental persuasion, which is luckily good enough for them, as long as none of that business continues goes on.”

“Not with them knowing though,” Wes added, not in the least bit happy he was seemingly expected to have to obey some obscene rule now – his Pokemon, he thought, were allowed to do what they wanted.

“True,” Sherles admitted, “but remember, if you do it’ll have to be without these items providing Espeon assistance, it’s only to be used if given ‘clearance’ by the powers that be, or if not, then without anyone knowing, thanks to Johnson,” Sherles said, with annoyance emphasised on Johnson’s name. “Honestly, you haven’t helped out much at all since I’ve hired you.”

“Hey, I helped out with my Magikarp in the battles and all,” Johnson defended.

“True,” Wes added. “His Magikarp actually won in a two-on-one battle during the initial battle we had in the hideout bust.”

Sherles stared at Wes for a moment, and then burst out laughing, guffawing at the absurdity of that statement.

“That’s a good one, Wes!” he wheezed.

“But...it’s true! I spent ages EV training my Magikarp and all to have it that strong...I had so many battles against other Magikarp to have it as fast as it is for instance...” Johnson insisted, but his words were lost on a disbelieving Sherles.

“Quag?” (Help?) Quagsire managed to call, finding himself now on top of a lamppost temporarily, before Rui returned him to his Pokeball without looking, still absentmindedly pressing the button on the capsule.

“But it probably won’t matter much though,” Sherles added. “We do have the police force here to help us, even if smaller numbers… They’re also, by the way, pretty amazed however with Secc and how he manufactured them, calling him some super whiz at technology and whatnot. But let’s go inside; there’s some stuff I want to show you. After these people finally leave, that is,” Sherles said, observing the last of the newcomers slowly walk out of the Police station and embrace the stench of Pyrite.

“Ok then, just after I practise sending out Quagsire one more time,” Rui said, before turning around to locate Quagsire, who was trying to dizzily waddle away from Rui now, and returned him to the ball. Meanwhile, one more person emerged from the Police station as Wes and Sherles approached, a scowl furrowed on his face as he sipped from a mug he clutched, clearly not happy to be here.

“Hurry up, youngster,” Sherles snapped as he continued to linger by the entrance. “Andrew, was it? Shouldn’t you be going over those boxes found in the hideout?”

“What’s it to you? And I’ll do it soon enough; never you mind, old man,” he replied coolly, seemingly disinterested in what Sherles said. Wes frowned – he had thought that police officers – especially those from the big regions – would have had more manners than that.

“What’re you looking at?” the man continued, glaring at Wes. “Think you’re some big-shot, huh?” Wes flared at the comment, and the man grinned, knowing he had riled up Wes. “You’re just some guy who moved to the winning side at the right time, aren’t you?”

Luckily for Andrew, before Wes moved to respond with more than a few sharp words, a mournful grunt was sounded by Andrew’s feet, who suddenly jumped backwards in shock.

“What the hell is that!?” he cried, somewhat startled in the least at the sight of a dizzy Quagsire trying to keep steady, with his stupid gaze looking up at the man.

“Quag…sire?” (Where am I… are you food?) Quagsire asked suddenly, looking up brightly at what he thought was a pile of walking food as opposed to a person. He stepped forward happily, while the man stepped back uncertainly, unsure how to deal with the Quagsire.

“Sorry about that!” Rui called from afar. “I’ll just recall him…” she said, before pressing the button and directing the Pokeball at Quagsire. A small ‘click’ sound followed, and a pause; then nothing. Frowning, Rui tried again, and again, but all that happened was the appearance of a small trail of smoke now seeping out of the Pokeball. “It’s not working!” she cried.

“Don’t tell me you broke the Pokeball by using it too many times…” Sherles muttered to himself. Wes meanwhile grinned at Andrew – it seemed that he was unfamiliar with Quagsire, and looked like he had had the shock of his life.

“I’ll just try this one,” Rui said, pulling out another Pokeball. “Come here, Quagsire,” she called, directing it at Quagsire who was currently attempting to bite off the man’s shoe, dawdling after him with his short flippers outstretched. Rui pressed the button, and white light ejected out of the ball – only now Andrew found himself facing a curious Yanma as well.

“Arrgh!” he screamed, Yanma’s huge bug-out eyes regarding him.

“Yanma Yanma Yanma!” (Hi how are you I’m a Pokemon look at me I can fly whee!) Yanma buzzed at him as it darted around him, before stopping short and hovering by his hand, sniffing at the mug Andrew was holding.

“Oh dear, that was Yanma’s ball, not a spare one...” Rui said quietly, realising another blunder of hers.

“YANMA!” (COFFEE!) it shouted, knocking the mug out of his hands and licking at the spilled substance. Meanwhile, Quagsire had taken this moment of Andrew’s distraction and bit his foot, trying to overcome his rubber boots.

“Arrgh! What is with these Pokemon!?”

“Quag…” (Tastes like chicken…) Quagsire said, while Yanma gave a shrill screech of happiness as his eyes seemed to grow larger.

“Yanma-Yanma-Yanma-Yanma-Yanma-Yanma-Yanma! (Yay I got coffee I like the coffee it makes me go faster and faster and faster and faster and faster and hungrier and faster again and look at me hehehe I like you Mr coffee giver man I’m going to follow you!) Yanma said with glee, zooming even faster around and around Andrew, who gave a cry of confusion and ran away with Yanma following with ease, leaving Quagsire to continue chewing his boot.

“…Let’s go inside before the Yanma comes back, and deal with what it does later,” Sherles finally said. The others wholeheartedly agreed.

***

“Ok then, we have some more info here on Cipher that also regards Shadow Pokemon. We’ve found these,” Sherles said, producing two CD disks, with the words ‘Ein File H’ and ‘Ein File P’ written on them. “One we found by the place you battled Miror B, and this other one apparently Johnson had picked up. There’s information relating to Shadow Pokemon here, and we suspect there might be some more as well, which we’re still searching for, just in case.”

“Yes, I found it after the first fight and put it in my pocket,” Johnson interjected, anxious to establish it was him who had found it.

“Plus we now have a new name to go on who’s connected to Cipher,” Sherles added.

“Who?” Rui asked, curious.

“Oh, I know! Miror B, of course,” Johnson said.

“Johnson?” Sherles responded.

“Yes?”

“You’re an idiot.”

“Oh...someone new... well then, was it that Andrew guy?” When Sherles didn’t respond, Johnson continued, “Oh, I know! It’s Rui, isn’t it?”

“No, she’s on our side! No, it’s a man called Ein, hence the name written on the CDs. He is, I’m guessing, the guy who compiled these disks, and he also seems to have had a large part in making Shadow Pokemon, judging by how he writes about them. Unfortunately, our database returned multiple results for a person named Ein, so it’s firstly a matter of shifting through them. Also, most of this information is stuff we already know, really – some stuff about Hyper State and what it can do – there’s a printout of it for you by the way,” Sherles added, handing Wes a large bundle of papers. “But there’s some interesting stuff there as well – apparently, according to this Ein person, one CAN purify Pokemon, although how is not mentioned... and that they plan to try to make... unpurifiable Pokemon.”

“Really?’ That’s rather interesting… so it sounds as if it is possible to purify them,” Wes said.

“But if they were able to make it impossible to purify them...” Rui added, shivering at the thought.

“Indeed. It’s quite a fair bit of mixed news here, although I think-” Sherles began, before being cut off by the sound of the door opening and a reporter barging in.

“On reporting business,” the man explained, waving his microphone at the group, and before Sherles could respond, he had waltzed into the prison – currently full with the people they had arrested – and waved the microphone at a prisoner’s face.

“So, what’s prison like?” the interviewer asked, pulling out a tape recorder as well. Meanwhile another person walked in – Sherles move to stop him, and then relaxed upon seeing Duking enter the room, with Plusle bouncing happily besides his towering master.

“Hello there,” Duking spoke in his booming voice. The large man had been much more upbeat ever since Plusle had returned to him, already having regained a more assertive posture and exuded happiness. He then frowned slightly, hearing questions come from the prison cells. “What’s going on there?”

“Oh, just a reporter,” Sherles muttered, as a persistent ‘Do you think working for Cipher had been a good career move for you?’ sounded, accompanied by angry and annoyed responses from the prisoners. A faint reply from one could also be heard, mentioning that the person had only wanted to join a dance school in the first place.

“Poor them,” Rui said. “Now the reporters seem to want to interview them...”

“Serves them right for kidnapping Plusle,” Duking said. “It’s good to have him back; even if I can’t understand him well for he jabbers too quickly for me to understand him – my hearing’s been a bit off today. But, I’m glad to have him back and all.”

“Plusle Plusle Plusle!” (I wonder what time lunch will be I’m hungry and want to go for a walk and then play with the children whee children!)

Duking smiled, and knelt down and petted Plusle. “That’s right; I love you too,” he said, as Wes stared. He’s right – he doesn’t understand Plusle that well... he thought, having a sneaking suspicion Plusle had been talking about other things.

“Rui,” Sherles said, “out of curiosity; what did bring you to Pyrite town again in the first place?”

“Well, I was going to Agate Village to visit my...” Suddenly Rui gave a small gasp.

“What is it?” Wes asked.

“Oh man... all this time I’ve been here, and I’ve supposed to have been in Agate Village visiting my grandparents... I guess I just... forgot,” she added sheepishly.

“You... forgot?” Wes asked, raising an eyebrow. Is such a thing possible?

“Espeon! Espeon...” (I swear, she isn’t that much better than Johnson! Being that forgetful doesn’t make sense...)

“What’s Agate Village again?” Johnson asked suddenly.

“Well, I did have it in my mind when you rescued me... but I somehow kept forgetting about it ever since I bumped my head in Phenac City... to be honest, I don’t remember much at all around then.”

“Umberon, Umb?” (Maybe a certain use of one’s powers in Phenac City had to do with that, eh, Espeon?) Umbreon whispered to Espeon, an amused and knowing look in his eye.

“...Esp...” (...Shut up...) Espeon responded, his eyes shifting around.

“I only remember something about being angry at... something, and I forgot about getting back to Agate for the most part, what with all these events...” Rui continued. “They’d probably know I’m safe, as I was on T.V., but I think I should head up there then.”

Sherles nodded. “I agree. You did your part with this, and they are probably worried about you, Rui.”

“Ok then, I’ll get my things soon. But how will I get there? I don’t even know where it is...”

“I’ll go,” Wes offered, speaking up suddenly.

“Really?” Rui said, sounding pleasantly surprised. Wes shrugged, with a light smile on his face.

“Why not? Nothing much to do here now, and with the Police now taking over... might as well take you there. I can just drive the Zoomer there...”

“Yes, I agree,” Sherles added. “There isn’t much you have to do here now; even if the majority of these young simpletons aren’t the most co-operative crew I’ve had the pleasure to work with, they’ll do fine, and I suppose you can keep purifying those Shadow Pokemon in Agate Village as well. Secc can keep in touch with you as well.”

“Hey, would ya stop bugging us?” someone shouted loudly from the prison cells – it sounded a lot like Folly, Wes thought to himself.

“And keep that microscope out of my face as well!” another added; this time Trudly was the one who shouted.

“...It’s a microphone.”

“Whatever. It’s bloody annoying!”

“You two are almost as annoying as the reporter – shut up already!”

“No, you!”

“Can someone remind me how the hell did I get here again?”

“Hey, give me back my microphone!”

“Anyway...” Sherles said, interjecting in-between the shouts from the prison cell, “you better pack your things, Rui, and get ready to leave. No point to spend any more time here. Now, if you’d excuse me, I must be off,” he said, departing from the room.

“Plusle Plusle Plusle!” (Have fun in Agate then you two I heard it has lots and lots and lots of trees I don’t know what trees really are but they sound tasty!) Duking suddenly looked surprised, and glanced down at Plusle.

“What’s that?” Duking asked. “You want to go to Agate village with Rui and see trees?”

“Plusle...” (No, I don’t...) Plusle said, wondering how Duking had arrived at that conclusion to what he had said.

“Oh... ok then. If you’re sure you want to go some sight-seeing, I guess its ok,” Duking said.

“Plus-Plusle!” (Ok- wait, no no no!)

“Duking...” Rui began, meaning to tell him that Plusle had probably meant otherwise.

“You’ll take good care of him, I’m sure,” Duking said, smiling. “I’ll go and tell the kids then,” he said, and with that left as well. Plusle looked at his departing back confused, then shrugged and jumped onto Rui’s shoulder.

“Plusle…Plusle Plus!” (Well, a trip might be fun… and maybe they’ll have potatoes there as well!)

“Well, he’s not going to be too much trouble, seeing he’s so small… ouch!” she cried, as Plusle accidentally dispelled some electricity and zapped Rui out of excitement of going for a trip, and the possibility of potatoes.

“Plus!” (Sorry I just like potatoes!) Plusle said, now jumping up and down on Rui’s head.

Sherles ducked his head back in through the door just then, and looked at Rui and Wes. A small smile could be seen below his moustache as he regarded Plusle’s antics, before speaking. “Oh, yes, before you do, you need to see someone, you two... a ‘Fateen’ wants to see you. A fortune teller, I believe.” With that, Sherles left the building.

“...Her?” Wes asked. “That crazy woman? Bah, I don’t think we should...”

“Why not?” Rui asked.

“Because she was rubbish! I don’t believe in things like fortunetelling...”

“Well, she said we would meet a tall dark stranger... and Miror B was tall...” Rui began, not so eager to discount her.

“Oh, come off of it. Miror B was firstly only tall because of that ball of hair he had. And a dark stranger? Heck, with his outfit he nearly made my eyes bleed with all those colours...”

“Well, that’s one way to put it...” Rui admitted. “Ok then...”

“Oh, fine, we’ll go,” Wes then said.

“Well – wait, what?”

“Might as well, would only take a few minutes I guess...” Wes said. “Come on; we’ll get your things.”

“Hey... um, can I come too?” Johnson asked suddenly. Wes seemed to ponder this question for a split second, before answering.

“No. Besides, you may have to... um, show those new Policemen around. Especially that Andrew bloke,” he added as an afterthought. With that, the two left, as Umbreon glanced at Espeon and shook his head.

“Umbreon?” (You went and did the same thing again, didn’t you?)

“Espeon,” (Oh, come on; it was only a small nudge of persuasion,) Espeon said innocently.



***


Shortly after, the two were more or less ready to go. Taking their belongings, they departed the police station and headed to the front of Pyrite town, dodging the occasional reporter anxious to ask them their opinion on whether Pyrite should be renamed ‘Ultimate Utopia of Ultimateness’ or ‘Borrisville’ to attract new tourists. Rui found Yanma weakly hovering around Pyrite hotel, the coffee’s effects already wearing off on the tired Pokemon who had evidently had fun chasing Andrew around town. After returning him to his Pokeball - with Wes making sure there were no mistakes with the process this time around - they placed their bags by the Zoomer, and headed into Fateen’s house. She was seated in front of her crystal ball, with another man standing anxiously before her.

“You have... RETURNED!” Fateen spoke over-dramatically, adding in overly-eccentric hand gestures to her comment.

“Well, we’re here to see you…” Rui said, before the man stepped forward.

“Oh, no no no! I was here FIRST!” he shouted suddenly, causing all in the room to jump slightly. “Sorry,” he continued, “but I really do need to hear my fortune!”

“Ok then…” Wes began, before the man cut in again.

“IT’S MY TURN!” he shouted again, before turning and facing Fateen. “My turn… yesss...” he muttered under his breathe. Rui and Wes exchanged looks.

“But, dear sir,” Fateen began, “you’ve been here all week! And... umm...” she continued, looking desperately around the room. ‘the words... they... not good!” she tried.

“You said that yesterday!” the man retorted.

“But I told you all that any sane person would want to know! From the incident that’ll happen to you involving your wife and your handsome friend…”

“…Yes, well,” the man mumbled.

“…and even how much you will lose after you bet your life savings on a horse that will lose because it ran the race in the wrong direction… AND let’s not forget that incident resulting in that law suit…”

“Enough! Just tell me something else – please!” the man said, pleading to Fateen. “Something... good!”

“Oh, fine,” Fateen grumbled, moving things away from her crystal ball. “But there’s just one thing I want to tell those kids – and it’ll only take a moment.”

“But-“

“But nothing – you will wait, or you can forget about your fortune telling!”

The man stared for a moment, then mumbled and walked to the side of the room, amusing himself by glancing at a bookshelf and mumbling to himself about his fortune.

“He’s been this way all week... and he scares the other customers away,” Fateen grumbled quietly to Wes and Rui. “Threw my crystal ball at them and everything. Lucky it didn’t break. But anyway – I have some information that’ll be of help to you regarding those Shadow Pokemon you have...”

Oh man, not another person trying to help out... Wes thought. Fateen must have noticed his sceptical look, as she addressed him. “Oh, I can offer you some advice,” she said simply, “Team Snagem boy.”

“But...” Wes said. It was odd that she seemed to have known about him having worked for Team Snagem – that information had been kept under wraps away from the reporters, and hence the general public - but maybe the reporters had found out.

“And, I know you are on your way to Agate Village – which may be fate working, actually,” Fateen added. Wes stared – she couldn’t have possibly known that. He shifted uneasily.

“Ok then,” Rui said, intrigued. “What is it you want to say?”

“Well, you have a problem purifying them, do you not? All I want to say is that I had a vision!” Fateen exclaimed, suddenly throwing sparkles into the air from a small box on the desk.

“Espi...” (Maybe you did, but why the sparkles?) Espeon asked, eying them with scepticism.

“Umbre!” (Shiny!)

Then an uncomfortable pause followed.

“...Yes?” Rui said finally.

“Huh... oh yes. I lost myself there for a moment,” Fateen said, shaking herself out of a gaze at a particular interesting-looking wall. “The vision!” she cried, throwing more sparkles in the air.

“...And?” Wes prompted.

“Well... the key to freeing them is in the north. More specifically, Agate Village.”

“Oh, ok...” Rui said, pondering this. “Is that all?”

“Of course!” Fateen said, sounding a little bit offended. “What do you want, me to tell you how to do everything to beat this ga- err, I mean, my visions aren’t always clear,” she said, seemingly catching herself from saying something.

“Well, thanks...I guess,” Wes said. “We’ll, ah, keep that in mind. Rui, let’s go – we’ll be on our way in... two or three minutes.”

“No, you won’t,” Fateen suddenly said.

“Wait, what?”

“Don’t you know? Outside looms the biggest danger of all – the invisible pixies!” Fateen continued, waving her hands mysteriously with a dramatic edge to her voice. Wes simply sighed and walked out, with Rui and his Pokemon following. Meanwhile, the man stepped up to Fateen.

“TELL ME MY FORTUNE NOW! PLEASE!” he shouted pleadingly, causing Rui to jump slightly at the question as she stepped outside.

“Oh, all right,” she said. She turned to her crystal ball, gave it the quickest of glances, and then turned back to the man. “You will die.”

“Oh, ok- wait, WHAT?”

“Twenty dollars, please,” she said, ignoring his reaction and holding her hand out. But the man simply ran out past Wes and Rui, howling with sadness and heading straight for the pub.

“Pity...” Fateen said quietly. “I forgot to tell him he’d die due to old age...” she added to herself with a wry smile, satisfied she was rid of him.

Meanwhile, Rui sat down in the side seat of the Zoomer, as Wes retuned his Pokemon to their Pokeballs, and hopped into the driver’s seat. Giving Pyrite town one last look, Wes gunned the Zoomer, and they started off north for Agate Village.

***

bobandbill
November 5th, 2008, 11:44 PM
Nascour let out an irritated sigh, as he observed a grunt walk out of his office and close the door. A temporary television had been just set up, so he was finally able to watch shows again, but he wasn’t really in the mood for it. All they showed now, apparently, were constant reports on how they had found Cipher out in Pyrite, exposing their hideout, their plans and their identity. It was a relief that the people working there had not been well informed about things other than their role in Pyrite, but it had been a major loss nonetheless.

Plus, the television was just not the same. The previous one had been a real thing to behold, and had countless functions. Many hadn’t much to do with televisions or were utterly pointless – Nascour himself did not comprehend how nor why a television that could display shows in brilliant detail would also be able to sharpen pencils, and have a bagel-making unit at the side of all things – but it was the principle of the matter. Nascour would have dearly loved to have boasted about his bagel-making television. Boasting about such things gave him a rare satisfaction, like the kind he got upon seeing a particularly cunning plan work to perfection. But instead; he had this sad excuse of a television, which constantly sounded as if there were angry wasps inside of it, whether it was off or on. And it was ridiculously small as well!

Yes, things had gone pear-shaped recently for him, and for Cipher. Things were in disarray, and instead of having the luxury of being able to work at a slow yet safe pace, they now had to scurry just to conceal themselves.

And it was all because of that blasted former Team Snagem boy.

He had started the loss Team Snagem had suffered, and it turned out that he had helped continue that process as well in Pyrite, inflicting unconceivable damage to Cipher. Plus that girl too… if Miror B’s peons had done their job with her in the first place, then the events of Pyrite wouldn’t have occurred, and Nascour would have probably not have broken his bagel-making television either.

Yes, the boy would pay for what he caused when the opportunity arises; I’ll see to that, Nascour thought, frowning as he adjusted the long streaks of white hair he had, then smothered the purple clothes he liked to sport. Nascour knew it was a particular bad choice of clothing, but he didn’t really care – there were bigger and more important things to think about. Plus having the grunts scurry at the mere sight of him was always handy.

Suddenly, the voice of the reception lady sounded outside his office, with her sounding a bit overcome by something. “Nascour, sir – there’s, umm, someone who wants to see you.”

“And who is it?” Nascour asked, irritably. The lady was new on the job – the old receptionist had been sacked after overusing the intercom system to whinge loudly about his failed marriage and how not as many people read his fanfics – fanfics of all things – as he would have liked – so she wasn’t familiar with who was who yet.

“Well, it’s…”

“You don’t know who I am, lady?” another voice added suddenly. Nascour grimaced sourly – he knew who that was.

And the salsa music faintly playing outside his office in the background was a telltale sign as well.

“I know him – I’m coming,” Nascour called, before leaving the office. Closing the door behind him, he turned and saw Miror B set down an oversized radio by the receptionist’s desk.

“Why, I’m the fabulous Miror B!” he exclaimed, with a dazzling smile.

“…Who?” the seated woman managed, looking intimidated by Miror B’s afro, which towered over her.

“I’m only the most famous dancer in the land!” he boasted.

“Miror B, that’s enough terrorizing my receptionist,” Nascour ordered. Miror B however raised a hand, waving him off.

“Nonsense – and I’m surprised she’s not put off by your constant unappealing choice of clothing as well!” he retorted, sniffing in disdain at Nascour’s grim and odd attire while taking out the tape from the radio, and inserting another. A song started playing, as Miror B then jumped on the desk and started dancing, then singing to the song.

Don't blame it on sunshine
Don't blame it on moonlight
Don't blame it on good times
Blame it on the boogie!

“That’s enough, Miror B,” Nascour started, but Miror B ignored him, continuing to dance, and sing louder as well, losing himself in the music.

Don't blame it on sunshine
Don't blame it on moonlight

“For goodness’s sakes, stop singing so loud!” someone shouted from down the hall, as the receptionist wisely decided to leave the room.

Don't blame it on good times

Then, Miror B pulled off a back flip from the desk and landed on the floor perfectly, while suddenly singing extremely loudly and with enormous enthusiasm:

Blame it on the BOOGIE!

“SHUT UP, MIROR B!” Nascour cried. Miror B suddenly looked around, seeming breaking out from his trance.

Oh, I do hate it when he starts shouting... Miror B thought. It’s terribly off key as well! “Hey, where did she go?” he added to his thoughts, noticing her absence.

“This is not the time!” Nascour shouted, grabbing Miror B by the arm and dragging him into his office, while Miror B yelped musically in surprise, and grabbed his radio just before he was hauled out of reach of it.

“Now, explain yourself! How the hell did you screw it up! I bet you’ve even lost those important files that Ein gave you, didn’t you!?” Nascour shrieked, slamming the door shut and glaring venomously at Miror B. He gulped, as the song stopped playing from the radio, and a new one started.

Help!
I need somebody!
Help!
Not just anybody!
Help!
You know I need someone! Help!

When I was younger so much younger than today...

“And turn that thing off!” Nascour said angrily over the song.

“But... I can’t. You know that. And it’s the Beatles!” Miror B said simply.

“Oh fine, put it on headphones, or something, so I can’t hear it,” Nascour conceded. Miror B grabbed some out of his pocket, and plugged it in, while trying to find his ears through his afro as he mumbled about people unable to appreciate good music.

“Now, explain yourself!” Nascour said, When Miror B was satisfied he could hear the music and Nascour as well.

“Ok, well, quite simply, they found us out, that boy battled me, I escaped, but everyone else got arrested...”

“I KNOW THAT ALREADY!” Nascour screamed, before forcing himself to continue in a slightly calmer voice. “How did this happen, though?”

“Oh, they, umm, used some mind-wiping thing.”

“They what?”

“Oh, Wes – the teenager – he had an Espeon which was controlling my minions. They couldn’t do a thing. By the way, I want to complain about them! They simply refused to even try one of my dance lessons! Then those awful people broke my special radio!” Miror B complained.

“But... how did you escape then?” Nascour asked, curiously.

“Oh, I, err, somehow got my hands on a mind-protecting... thingy. They had some objects which protected themselves from that Espeon, and he had something which enhanced his powers...”

“Really?” Nascour suddenly said, his voice not as angry as before. “Do you still have it? If so, we could possibly reverse-engineer it, then from that even possibly employ mind-controlling ourselves... it’ll take too long to make by itself, with all our technical resources are now solely focused on Shadow Pokemon and maintaining them in that state, but if we had it...” Nascour began rambling on to himself excitedly, while Miror B forced himself to ignore the music for once and ponder this.

He still had it, all right – he could feel the cold metal of the altered Itemfinder against his skin through his pocket, the object suddenly feeling very heavy. If he handed it in, then Nascour might stop shouting at him...

...but no. I won’t, Miror B thought after a moment. I’ve had enough of this. I never really wanted to be a villain in the first place, and now, with me no longer having my dance studio... there’s no gain! And I don’t want Cipher to brainwash people either! If I have an opportunity to quit, I shall. But for now... an excuse!

“Well... I don’t. I, err, lost it while making my escape,” Miror B said. Nascour frowned for a moment, then sighed, accepting the lame excuse.

“Oh well. If only... but it’s odd that the Orre Police force would have gone with using it themselves... no wonder they overcame the hideout.”

Miror B sighed – he was forgiven, for now. Smiling, he focused back on the music. Oh yeah – ‘Getting Better’! he thought happily to himself, enjoying another Beatles song.

“Well, at least the new police forces might bring something helpful – they at least will not be happy with any mind wiping techniques, and they might just stop those brats from continuing to do so. How dare they use such dirty tactics...”

“Well, you are kinda making Pokemon... well, evil and all...” Miror B pointed out.

“Oh, that’s besides the point! We’re meant to be the ones resorting to heavy-handed techniques, not them!” Nascour said angrily. Suddenly, a loud knock was heard on the door.

“Hello! Is there anyone there? Only the reception person seemed to have nicked off, man...” a booming voice asked.

“Ah! Dakim! The door’s unlocked!” Nascour said. The man behind the door responded by opening it – only, the sound of ripping metal pieces clinking and squeaking in protest accompanied the door being cleanly removed from the doorway. A towering barefooted man stepped in, looking bemusedly at the door. He was dressed in a simple white gi not unlike one a martial artist would wear, which failed to conceal the outline of muscles that he had, with a simple black belt hanging from his hips. A necklace made of Pokeballs also hung from his neck. He was by far the tallest and largest in the room by far – even bigger than Miror B despite his giant afro, and Nascour was not lacking in height by any means as well.

“Dude, I think you need a new door...” Dakim said simply, the red-haired man looking confused as to how simply opening the door resulted in it breaking so.

“I knew I should have gone with the automatic doors...” Nascour mumbled in distaste, not impressed with his lumbering minion.

“Hey, Miror B!” Dakim suddenly exclaimed, dropping the door as it made a wooden cluck as it hit the floor. He went and shook Miror B’s hand enthusiastically. “Long time no see!”

“Uh, yes, the same for you,” Miror B replied, rubbing his arm when Dakim released it.

“Yeah, man! I really appreciated that music you gave me as well!” Dakim boomed. “Really helps me get in a mood for a workout!”

“Dakim, could you, um, use your inside voice?” Nascour asked.

“Oh, sure thing, man!” he said, clearly not knowing what an ‘inside voice’ meant. Glancing around, he then spotted the small humming television. “Hey, man – where’s that awesome television you had? Don’t tell me that’s it! I wanted to try some of those bagels!”

“Yeah, you did mention it... did it come with that surround...sound...” Miror B agreed, before stopping himself, observing Nascour’s facial expression, which was currently looking more frightening than a rampaging Tyranitar.

“Oh, calm down, man!” Dakim said, ignoring Nascour’s response. “You’ve gotta relax! C’mon, meditate with me! Breathe in-” Dakim sudden inhaled very loudly, and held it for a long moment, before exhaling even louder than before for an extended period of time. “...And breathe out. Now you try it!” Dakim then turned to Nascour, who glared at him.

“Fine, whatever, dude,” Dakim said, disappointedly. “I’m just here to say that I’m ready to make my way to Mt Battle.”

“Good,” Nascour finally said. “But a slight change of plan. I want you to send a small group to Agate Village as well.”

“Why?” Dakim asked. “Man?” he added.

“Well, for a similar reason as to why you are to go get that thing from Mt Battle, of course! There’s a Relic stone, or something there, which apparently would have a negative effect on Shadow Pokemon.”

“Negative? You mean, it makes them more angry or something?” Dakim asked.

“Of course not! Negative for us! It might turn them normal again! That’s why I want you to send a small group to break it.”

“But, isn’t that a stone in tribute of... Celebi or something?” Miror B asked, not appealed by the idea to destroy a monument, especially not of a legendary Pokemon. Surely it wouldn’t be very happy about it?

“Indeed! That’s why we have to destroy it!” Nascour said happily, misinterpreting Miror B’s comment. “I don’t want any more risks – it’s time for swift action! We shall eliminate all threats that stand in the way of keeping our Pokemon Shadow!”

“Ok then, man! I’ll send my top assistant and some grunts along to do the job!” the man boomed simply, not really as concerned about it as Miror B was. He moved to depart the room, but then stopped.

“Oh, by the way, dude – how is Ein getting on?” he asked.

Nascour allowed a smile to creep upon his face for a moment, a rare satisfaction he had not been able to enjoy in recent days.

“He’s doing his job, that’s what he’s doing,” he said.

***

A young man sat in his seat by a desk, which was covered by more papers than the number of tails a group of one thousand Ninetales would have, each one containing ridiculously long hypotheses and mathematical proofs. He was finalising one of them right now, hastily scribbling down the final lines. It had taken him a long while to get the problem out, and it didn’t help that the people working on the problem before him had made several mistakes. One person’s working even seemed to somehow prove successfully, yet impossibly, that three wasn’t a number. He had to go over it all again, but he was now right at the end. It would, hopefully, prove to be a handy result that they could use to improve the process.

Ein double checked the last few lines of the problem before adding in the final line. He made sure that he had not committed any silly mistakes – it had cost him dearly in one test when he had gone to school. One little mistake had been the difference between full marks – and as a result he had finished second. This was in some insignificant test, yes, but it was the only one he had not come out on top. Instead, he came second to some girl who, albeit having an admittedly good grasp of maths, had an annoying obsession with clothes and vintage cars. How she raved on and on about them that day, as he sat staring in disbelief at his test paper. He had made a fatal mistake – he had forgotten to add the one to his final equation.

He had hated that day, but ever since he had learned from his mistake. Satisfied with the answer his previous lines of working led to, he wrote it down, dropped his pen down, and then adjusted his glasses.

“Ok, you,” he said, pointing at one of his assistants that stood in the gray, expansive lab. “Take this, and send it directly to him.”

“Yes, sir,” the man answered quietly, taking the bundle of papers from the grandly white-clothed scientist and walked out.

“The rest of you can leave too,” Ein added as an afterthought. “Go on,” he urged as the others hesitated. “I wish to work on the next subject.” At this, the other assistants silently departed, leaving him alone to the set of rooms he worked in. He took a sip of coffee from a mug of his, clutching it with a pale-skinned hand, and swallowed a pill with the liquid, sitting in quiet satisfaction. Besides his desk, the rest of the lab was sickly clean, without a single thing out of place, the floor a dull, undisturbed grey. He was surrounded by state of the art equipment – one of the perks of working here – and all in all he was happy with the place, if not necessarily his bumbling assistants.

This is all going to plan here, at least, he thought, while stifling a yawn. He silently reprehended himself with a mental telling-off– now was not the time to be sleepy. Cipher was enduring a rough patch, and now all had to be done as quickly as possible. And if he had to remain awake for a further week to do so, then so be it.

After all, he had more than enough anti-sleeping pills - that he had developed himself – to keep him going for now. The side effects weren’t pleasant – one morning he had awoken with green hair, another more facial hair that he had thought possible, and yesterday he had been working so fast after taking an extra-strength dose that his computer had nearly exploded, unable to keep up with his typing – but he would tolerate this to see his experimentation bring success.

Ein got up to his feet, and began walking towards the room where he knew the next subject would have already been waiting for the beginning of the process.

And I had specifically instructed those two peons of Miror B to do the job right and deliver the girl safely, Ein thought, knowing quite well why he had to work quickly now. But no – they completely and utterly screwed it up, and now she identified my Shadow Pokemon, and they got snagged by some former Team Snagem member. How this occurred is a travesty, but I’ll just have to work harder now. They better not screw up the elimination of the other threats.

And, he added to himself, that Miror B fellow dances too much and hasn’t the slightest clue on calculus. No wonder his assistants failed their duty so miserably. His music is extremely distracting as well... Still, he did indirectly inspire that new way to perform the process... Ein walked through a passageway, turning his thoughts to what he would monitor.

I hope they’ve already administered the formula as well; apparently the new version will make the Pokemon more open to the process, and hopefully quicken the experiment. Time is currently of the essence. Pity we can’t work on more than one at the same time yet – the results just don’t work as well. They insist on trying to support each other during the process...

Ein approached a room – a large spacious one that he had had specially constructed for the purposes of the project. Inside was his next subject – he could hear it, making small, trill cries. Ein smiled coldly, as he placed some earmuffs on his head, and took another pill, one which would temporary reduce his capacity to hear things. He didn’t particularly enjoy the noise the process he was using now would cause – leastways this one far more than others - and he wished to work further while overseeing it without having to get distracted by it. The pill did a lot, but the earmuffs provided an extra level of silence.

Hopefully it won’t take too long, he thought.

***

Where... where am I? Help!

The Skarmory let out a small screech, but knowingly in vain – his cries for help weren’t bringing anyone or anything to rescue him from this place. He had sat in a dark cage, surrounded by other Pokemon for a long time earlier on, before being brought to this place, in the very centre of the expansive room, dim lights unable to illuminate the dark corners.

Somehow, he had a sneaking suspicion that he was no longer near his nest.

He couldn’t escape either – he was held by some metal not unlike the kind that his body was plated by. Moving any part of his body even a mere bit took a fair amount of effort; yet he still tried to move and fidget as much as he possibly could, as three men who were currently around him tried desperately to jab him with a large sharp object with strange liquid floating inside of it.

“Stop resisting, you pest of a Pokemon,” one of them grumbled.

“It can’t be that hard to give some Skarmory an injection...” one replied.

“Bah, it’s harder than it looks – it has that darn steel hide as well which there’s no point trying to jab through, and I can’t get it through the gaps without it trying to claw my face off!”

“Let me try, then,” the second said, grabbing it off the first and moving in. Shortly after, the Skarmory gave a trill of triumph as he pecked hard at the man’s fingers as they foolishly entered his range, resulting in loud aggravated shouting by the man. Tripping backwards, he fell into the third man, who himself stumbled into what appeared to Skarmory to be a table with strange and unusually sharp objects scattered upon it. The man’s cries of anguish seemed to confirm this fact.

“Skar? Skarmory!” (Beaten by a restrained Skarmory? Give up, you smelly... stinky humans!)

“I told you so...” the first man said simply as the other jumped around clutching his hand.

Then, another man walked in. This one, Skarmory thought, looked bad – there was something cold in the way he cast his calculating gaze he cast upon him as he removed his glasses. Frightened, Skarmory stopped celebrating his minor victory, distracted by the newcomer; then gave a sudden cry as he felt a light prick between his steel-plated wings.

“Got him,” the first man said, relieved he had managed to inject Skarmory.

“Good,” Ein said. “Now you three can leave, I’ll do the rest. Gonzap wants the most effective method we have available, and I’m intending to try it.” The three obeyed, one of them holding his hand while muttering under his breath, the other trying to relieve himself of pain in multiple parts of his body, while the third cast a quick, pitying look at Skarmory before trailing behind the other two.

Skarmory was not at all comforted at this. And they had punctured him with the sharp thing – what was going to happen? All around him were strange and terrifying objects. The man was grinning with a malicious smile, staring at him behind his glasses.

“Skar? Skar!” (Ok, could you, um, let me go now? I’ll promise to be good!)

“Now... now is when the fun begins for you,” the man said, ignoring the bird as a small, twisted smile slowly grew on his face.

“Skar?” (Please?) the Skarmory said, gulping at the man’s reaction. What was going to happen to him? Would he indeed become like those other Pokemon he saw? The man was slowly walking towards one of the tables near the back of the room. Skarmory could not look away – he couldn’t tilt his head much at all. He was forced to look straight ahead. Strange objects were piled on it – he didn’t like the look of them. He was already there, adjusting an odd rectangular thing. Clicking and whirring sounds began. This was it. The Skarmory braced himself–

- and then squawked in surprise, as a blaze of trumpets deafened him.

“Skar!?” (What the!?) he cried. The trumpeting continued, before suddenly the sounds currently being pumped out of the rectangular box changed to softer, but still incredible loud human singing.

Love, love, love,
Love, love, love,
Love, love, love...

Skarmory continued to caw in confusion – why, of all things, was music being played at such a loud volume? Meanwhile, the man had taken a small object and pressed a button, and one of the walls suddenly burst into colour. Images attacked him – images of sunshine and lollypops and bright, colourful flowers.

“Skar!?!” (What’s happening!?!)

There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game,
It's easy!

The music continued without a hitch. Skarmory was still dazed by the recent events – the music was too loud, but it was strange. Strange and beautiful. And the colours in front of him...

“Skarr...” (Pretty...)

There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be in time,
It's easy!

All you need is love,
All you need is love,
All you need is love, love,
Love is all you need.

“Skar...” (I’m confused, but I’m not complaining!) the Skarmory finally said, beginning to caw with the music. Suddenly he was starting to feel a little bit dizzy, but he paid it no heed, engrossed in the pretty pictures. Meanwhile, the man quietly smirked, then approached another table. With a look at something strapped on his wrist, he then started another machine.

***

Ein was now seated by the side of the room, mulling to himself over a particularly tough problem. The earmuffs he was wearing, combined with the pill he took earlier, drowned out the vast majority of the sound, but faint cries from Skarmory could now be heard, who was now fidgeting violently, trying to get out of his prison.

“Skar! Skarr!” (Help! I’ve had enough! I don’t likes them flowers!) he screamed shrilly. Ein ignored him.

There's nothing you can know that isn't known-

All you need is love-

“SKARR!” (HELP! I CAN SEE THE MUSIC NOW!)

Ein looked up again, and then smiled evilly. The potion administered had indeed sped it up – it shouldn’t be long now. And this process has its advantages – less physical injuries gained by the Pokemon during this process over others, leaving them requiring less recovery time.

All you need is love-

Nothing you can see that isn't shown-

Love, love, love-

It was a simple ploy, really. Ein had deduced that no matter what, anyone or anything would get annoyed by a constant repetition of extremely loud sound. Ein had learnt that with Miror B – trying to work with him around if that music of his had been a nightmare - and now used this as a process. The song choice was merely a touch of irony. Ein liked irony.

And the Skarmory was right at breaking point. And no wonder. Eight radios, positioned all around the room played the same song; all starting at different intervals, all at an incredible volume. The same song played over and over again. Frequent burst of trumpeting had a particularly good effect as well, it seemed. And the room was measured precisely that the song waves would rebound off the walls and collide into the subject in the centre of the room again, like hyperactive Spoink bouncing inside a closed box.

Love is all you need-

And the radios have been playing for several hours now.

It's easy-

All you need is love-

Torture was a simple way to break a Pokemon, but this was something different. Something more. Not only was it a physical torture to the hearing of the Pokemon, it simply demolished their mental well-being. Clearly evident by the Skarmory’s dazed reactions – he probably didn’t know what was happening anymore now.

“Skar Skar Skr!” (I am a happy little birdy birdy birdy....) the Skarmory sung to the song, while banging his head as much as he could, despite being limited in his actions.

No one you can save that can't be saved-

Love, love, love-

The added factor of the video playing what was considered good, pure things helped too, combined with the potion. The potion was very handy, although long-lasting. It was made up of a combined mixture of brews, which coincidently happened to have the same effect as an extremely concentrated amount of alcohol.

A mere shot left the Pokemon helpless to resist any process used and subdued their minds; and it occasionally had amusing results to boot, leastways for his colleagues. Ein had no time to laugh, and hadn’t shared the enthusiasm they had when a subject, after undergoing a particularly vile process, had tried afterwards to fight back, only to stumble and flail its arms in a drunken and confused fashion, striking thin air more than anything else. In the end it had ended up punching itself out.

This concoction too was mixed with another one especially for this process, which rendered the Skarmory unable to blink – a clever invention that Ein had created after studying Pokemon anatomy. So it had to watch the video.

All you need is love-

The subconscious revulsion and dislike projected by the subject’s mind due to the experience generated by the music would transfer to the images it saw, and this would work for the Skarmory too. Soon, he would hold a severe dislike for the things he viewed – all good, ‘happy’ and nice things.

“Skarrr!” (Shut up, mister floooowweerrrrs! I will defeat you!) Skarmory cried, trying to peck out at the video screen ahead of him. There was something about the way the flowers just sat there that made them seem extremely sinister to him.

It’s easy-

All you need is love-

He would forget a lot as well, consumed by hate. Pokemon were such emotional things; it was of little surprise to Ein what results this method had on the first subject it was applied too. It was working now as well – even better than before, Ein noted, as Skarmory violently tried to break free but failed. Major changes in the subject’s emotional levels was paramount to achieving success in the process, along with a few other minor procedures here and there that had to be carried out on the odd subject.

“Skar! Skarmory SKAR!” (You all stupid now! All of you! Especially that thingy! EVERYBODY SHUT UP!) the Skarmory moaned, despairing against the music. He wasn’t able to concentrate clearly anymore, the music simply swamping his dazed and subdued mind. Instead it moaned, half pitifully, half angrily at the images floating before him.

All together now-

Yes, on the whole it was a good process. And it left the subject less withdrawn after the process than others, such as forcing them to watch looping award acceptance speeches, or surround them by thousands of Mr-Mime-in-a-boxes, each with a different yet equally disturbing giggle.

All you need is love-

Soon it would only be able to attack by concentrating its power and hate into one attack – Shadow Rush. And it would not hesitate to attack others. It would become a Shadow Pokemon, just like all the others had before it. Of that there was no doubt. The problem was, they could recover from this – in time all wounds would heal at least to a point, the subject’s emotional wellbeing returning to a healthier state. But Ein hoped that this would not be the case after further developments.

Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game-

All you need is love-

Ein then got up to leave. He would send for an assistant to turn off everything soon enough, once it was done. After all, he was a busy man – he had things to do, and other subjects to prepare for. He left the room, leaving behind the ceaseless noise, and the Skarmory’s fading pleas.

All you need is love-

Everybody!-

All you need is love-

Love, love, love-

All you need is love, love-

Another success.

Love is all you need.

***

Hope you enjoyed the long chapter of chapterness. Now, for the spoiler of characters/events in this chapter and the games (or for a large part, NOT in the game):
Phillar Caracter – TBH, he’s not based on anyone (although I’m sure there are other random NPCs in Pyrite I haven’t touched on... maybe). Just someone who was suggested by a friend at school, (who is known as ‘Chris the Com’), and I expanded on. You can say that he is quite the filler character. :P

Wes’s past – well, that is never revealed in the game whether he is a native of Orre, or came from another region, and so forth. Maybe it has something to do with that in the game, like so many other unfortunate protagonists, he doesn’t have the ability to talk. Just my possible idea on him – and like so many Pokemon protagonists, he doesn’t have any parents either. (Most tend to have at least a mum...). Which means no Pocket money. Oh no! D:

Andrew – another original character that doesn’t appear in the game. Just someone I made up, using the basis of a character from a script I did before. Like him, there is no extra police force either (ironically, Pyrite seems to have the bulk of the force – Sherles and his trusty assistant in Johnson). Clearly a correlation between crime-rates in towns and that fact, no?

Duking and Plusle – ah, yes. After you battled all those people, and navigated your way through the annoying maze, Duking will thanks you for rescuing Plusle, before the darn thing then apparently (leastways to Duking) decides that it wants to join you. AND Duking doesn’t mind in the slightest. Not that’ll many use it, seeing it’s rather under-levelled compared to the rest, but never the less it joins you on the adventure. Here just had Duking misunderstand Plusle. For misunderstandings are fun. -_-

Reporters – well, there is a new news update on your dealings in Pyrite – surely that’s where they’d go, right?

Fateen – Fateen is the next go-to point in the game – she instructs you that you must go north, as that will help you purify the Shadow Pokemon. Never mind she seems to know everything all of a sudden. Rui will then exclaim that she had meant to go to Agate all along. Why she hadn’t? She forgot. Convenient amnesia much?
...oh, wait, it is, but not without it being a side-effect from Espeon’s mind-persuading to somewhat explain it. =) (And on that fact – the ‘banning’ of the mind-wiper is to let the fic not become too repetitive and cheap and questionable and whatnot. After all, if stealing Pokemon is against the law, then messing with people’s minds can’t be any good either).

Man in Fateen’s house – a random NPC who seems to live there, and keeps moaning about various things he was told by her. Such as his wife breaking up with him (yes, he tells you this, and it happens too), and getting hit on the head... yet he still wants to know more.

Nascour-Miror B-Dakim scene – not in the game either. But Miror B surely does SOMETHING in-between escaping from Pyrite and to when you next see him... and they evidently have planned their next move in-between certain events in the game.

Dakim – he is another admin. of the game, and an intimidating one as well. He is extremely huge, and seems to do martial arts as well, judging by his clothing. He appears later on.

Ein – another character of importance of Ciphers – the writer of the Ein Files (CDs containing info on Shadow Pokemon around the region), and the one who plays the major hand ion Shadow Pokemon. Portrayed as a dark, evil and cunning character in the game, so kept him consistent with this. And now he’s working overtime, thanks to Wes’s help. (There are also rather notable problems with his 3D image when you do first encounter him in the game, which isn’t until much later, but that’s another thing altogether).

Shadow Pokemon – the game gets rather sketchy on how Shadow Pokemon become Shadow Pokemon. All they really say is that their hearts are closed. Probably so the little kids who played the game didn’t asked their parents too many questions. :/ My version – there are a number of ways, all however requiring a torture of some kind on the Pokemon, music being played over and over being one of them *shakes fist at local radio stations*. Idea partly inspired as well by having watched a nice dark film called ‘Clockwork Orange’, good old Beatles music, and an engineering lesson.

(BTW – songs mentioned/used in the chapter – ‘Blame it on the Boogie’ by ‘The Jackson 5’ (?), and ‘Help’, ‘Getting Better’ and ‘All you need is love’ by the Beatles. And I had referenced 'Lisa' from DarkPersian479's fic as well ('cause her fic also deals with Shadow Pokemon and is just that awesome :P), if anyone has read it they'd have caught it... hopefully :P)


Thus, it is concluded. Hope it was enjoyed, and hope to be quicker and having less plot/character-set up with the next chapter. Starring a new setting in Agate Village! Lots of fun characters to use there...

Skip Shot
November 7th, 2008, 07:41 PM
Chapter is IMO tad less funny then the previous

I actually laughed a lot more reading this chap than I did the Miror B battle chapter. You did a pretty amazing job.

Here's a grammar mistake I found:

As for the Shadow Pokemon obtained, the number had grown to seventeen. In addition to the Yanma and Sudowoodo Wes had snagged, they had collected some more in the raid: in a a Remoraid, Mantine, Qwilfish, Dunsparce, Meditate and a Swablu.


Just a small nitpick, but I don't want to get slammed by Astinus *shot*

Some funny lines that I found:


“Oh, fine... what’s your name?”

“Oh, it’s ‘Phillar Caractor’,”

This one really got me laughing at what it is supposed to be.

I spent ages EV training my Magikarp
Wait a second, Johnson is actually smart enough to understand the concept of EV training?

a television that could display shows in brilliant detail would also be able to sharpen pencils, and have a bagel-making unit at the side of all things
BAGELS!!!! THIS TV IS WIN! GIVE ME SOME BAGELS!

Great job with this fic. I really have enjoyed reading it. I hope you come up with antoher chapter soon!

P.S. Happy belated b-day!

Blue Angel
November 12th, 2008, 09:30 PM
*Blink, blink* My post disappeared.
Oh well, back to the drawing board...

I finished read both of your new chapters. I am glad to say I saw no errors - grammatical, spelling, or otherwise.

It took me a couple seconds to fully understand the name "Phillar Caractor" but I was glad when I did. Nice to be able to chuckle at the staged stupidity of a "phillar" character. I love how your work always has so much humor fit into it.

One thing you mentioned before seemed very true - Rui isn't much smarter than Johnson(but she isn't as annoying)

Glad you managed to write something after a long break ^^

Gars129
November 18th, 2008, 06:54 PM
Nice story, something different from the typical "setting of on a pokemon trainer journey". You've brought so much life to the story.

bobandbill
January 14th, 2009, 05:02 AM
Yes, it's up. First, a reply to reviews:
I actually laughed a lot more reading this chap than I did the Miror B battle chapter. You did a pretty amazing job.

Here's a grammar mistake I found:


Just a small nitpick, but I don't want to get slammed by Astinus *shot*

Some funny lines that I found:


This one really got me laughing at what it is supposed to be.


Wait a second, Johnson is actually smart enough to understand the concept of EV training?


BAGELS!!!! THIS TV IS WIN! GIVE ME SOME BAGELS!

Great job with this fic. I really have enjoyed reading it. I hope you come up with antoher chapter soon!

P.S. Happy belated b-day!
Cheers for the review, and good that you liked the chapter despite an absence of an epic Miror B battle. Each to his own after all. :D
*Blink, blink* My post disappeared.
Oh well, back to the drawing board...

I finished read both of your new chapters. I am glad to say I saw no errors - grammatical, spelling, or otherwise.

It took me a couple seconds to fully understand the name "Phillar Caractor" but I was glad when I did. Nice to be able to chuckle at the staged stupidity of a "phillar" character. I love how your work always has so much humor fit into it.

One thing you mentioned before seemed very true - Rui isn't much smarter than Johnson(but she isn't as annoying)

Glad you managed to write something after a long break ^^Thanks to you too for the review. :) I did have a few mistakes before though (luckily I could edit my posts here right away unlike other places...)
Nice story, something different from the typical "setting of on a pokemon trainer journey". You've brought so much life to the story. And thank you as well. Glad you liked it too. =)

Yay for chapters with more set-up and filler stuff! And a change of setting as well! Some actual action shall be occurring after this chapter though, so enjoy this in the meantime while I take forever in writing the next chapters. :P

***

Chapter 13 – Agate Village

Hours had passed since they had departed Pyrite Town and the foul stench that had accompanied it. Instead, they flew past the fresh, yet sand-polluted air under a blazing Orre sun towards their next destination. Wes had donned his goggles to combat the oncoming sand from coming into his eyes, while Espeon had a small Reflect going in front of Rui’s, Umbreon’s and his seats on a side-section of the Zoomer, protecting them from getting sand in their faces.

“How much longer will it take, Wes?” Rui asked, staring ahead gloomily at an endless stretch of yellow sand surrounding the Zoomer.

“Umb, Umbreon?” (Yes, are we there yet?) Umbreon asked sleepily.

“A few more hours,” Wes said. Rui sighed.

“So... what’s Agate Village like, exactly?” Wes asked Rui. “I know that it tend to be a retirement place of sorts for people who were good trainers back in their day, but I don’t know anything about what the place looks like.”

“To be honest, I’m not really sure...” Rui said. “I was there only once before, and that was when I very young. I do remember though that it was very, well... green.”

Wes glanced at Rui blankly. “Green? Green in what way? They painted their houses green and decorated them with avocado skins or something?”

Rui giggled. “No... it was just that they had all this grass and trees and everything. Which is quite unlike the rest of Orre, it seems...”

“Indeed. Besides the port I arrived at when I came here, the rest of Orre is rather barren.”

“Umbreon?” (Are we there yet?) Umbreon repeated.

“Espeon Espi Espi; Espeon?” (Judging by the fact we’re still in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but sand wherever you look, and combined with the fact that Agate Village reportedly has trees and grass instead of sand; what do you think?) Espeon asked pointedly.

Silence befell the group, except for the raspy vibrations made by the Zoomer.

“...Umbre?” (So... are we there yet?) Umbreon asked finally.

“Hey, is that a radio?” Rui asked suddenly, pointing to a small set of buttons amongst the numerous dials and meters occupying the Zoomer’s display; most of them indicating that the engine was set to explode any moment (Wes had noticed it had been indicating this for the past hour), and that it was currently running low on lemonade.

“Yes, it appears so,” Wes confirmed. “Odd. I didn’t think this piece of junk had a radio.”

“Well? Switch it on already!” Rui prompted.

“Espeon...” (Yes, do; so we don’t have to listen to Umbreon again...) Nodding in agreement, Wes searched for an on button; then looked at the messy array of knobs with puzzlement.

“How does one turn it on?” he mumbled. Then he caught sight of a small narrow slot with words written next to it.

“What’s wrong?” Rui asked, noticing him blinking at the sign.

“It says ‘Please insert money’... this piece of junk takes money from you just so you can listen to the radio?”

“Umbreon!” (What a rip!)

“Hang on...” Wes said, returning to the wheel while he rummaged through his pockets.

“You’re not actually going to put money in there, are you?” Rui asked, surprised.

“Of course not. Whatever made you think that?” Wes replied. “Aha, got it!” he remarked soon after, pulling out a paperclip, and ramming it into the slot. The Zoomer gave a few groans of protest, before the radio crackled into life.

“And now, it’s our man Kevin with the finance report. Kev, what’s the outlook for Hoenn given the recession sparked by the recent bad weather in Hoenn?”

“Well, it’s not looking good at all. All experts are predicting things are set to spiral out of control in a spiralling motion. This is set to plummet matters into another downward spiral ...”

“Umbreon!” (Not the finance report!) Umbreon cried, covering his ears to try to protect himself from the monotonic, nauseating voice Kevin seemed to have.

“...millions are set to lose their homes, businesses and tin-can openers as a result, and as described, this is set to be the ‘worst crisis Hoenn will have to deal with since the epidemic of Eevees in 1727, although perhaps not as bad as the infamous ‘Mudkip Plague’ in 1930’.”

“Esp; Espeon,” (Yes, change it please; it’s a little bit mind-numbing, thank you,) Espeon said, glaring at the radio.

“...I can’t – it’s stuck on this frequency,” Wes said, currently trying to bang the radio into obeying his wishes.

“So in short, the people of Hoenn are advised to stay calm, positive and not to worry, and ride out this terrible, terrible weather and recession.”

“Thank you, Kevin. That concludes the financial report. Say, we might even squeeze in a bit of music now for you folks...”

All aboard the Zoomer gave a sigh of relief at this news.

“...no, sorry – we’re out of time now. That concludes our show, and now we begin our daily ad marathon! That’s right - five hours of non-stop ads! We’ll be back at a quarter to six as usual with more finance – now it’s our lunch break!”

“Umb! Umbreon!” (No not ads! That’s even worse!) Umbreon moaned.

“Quick, turn it off!” Rui shouted with a look of horror.

“Do YOU need a LOAN!?!” a man shouted from the radio. “If that’s the case, come on down to the Loan Sharks! Friendly advice and reasonable rates given to all!”

“Espeon!” (That’s it; I’m going to sleep!) Espeon said in frustration, before settling down to do just that, trying to ignore the uproar coming from the radio. Wes moved back to banging the radio while trying to drive in a straight line, as Rui shouted advice.

“We’ll even throw in... a pineapple! Here’s what our customers had to say!” the voice bellowed, before more joined in.

“Lost...lost... all is lost...”

“READ MY FANFIC!”

“The rates suck, but at least we got a pineapple!”

“Shut up... shut up...” Wes growled at the radio, before he moved to trying to remove the paperclip from the slot.

“If that doesn’t convince you to try us instead of the other numerous money-stealing agencies out there, don’t worry! We’ll be sure to come to your door with our friendly persuasive pamphlets!”

“Disclaimer: you may be held accountable by any injuries that may befall you from any pamphlets or oversized mallets involved in our free door-to-door visits,” a professional voice suddenly said, quietly and quickly.

“...What did he say?” Rui asked Wes. Wes shrugged, and then winced as another person shouted at him.

“Listen to this radio station! Sure; we’re the only radio station in Orre – but that makes us the BEST radio station!”

“Turn down the volume so we can’t hear it then,” Rui suggested.

“Good idea,” Wes said, looking at the various knobs. Finding one next to a ‘Volume’ sign, he hastily turned it, only for the radio to get louder. “Sorry, wrong way,” he said, before turning the other way.

The radio got even louder.

“Umbreon!?!” (WHY DID IT GET LOUDER!?!)

“Come eat at Joe’s Joint! We’ve got tacos and chicken and tacos and even more variety to choose from! We’re even offering combo meal deals! Buy two tacos for the price of three! ISN’T THAT EXCITING!?”

“Umbre?” (Wait – tacos?)

“Disclaimer: Joe’s Joint will not be held responsible for any cases of food poisoning or rare foreign diseases that you may get upon consumption of our food, beverages and ash trays. Maximum of one taco made per hour.”

“Now what are they saying?” Wes asked, unable to understand what was being said – this speaker was muttering very quietly and quickly unlike the otherwise loud radio.

“Maybe they’re speaking in tongues?” Rui said, leaning closer as well, trying to make out a coherent word.

“DISHWASHERS!”

“ARRGH MY EARS!” Wes cried, temporarily letting go of the steering wheel, clutching his head as a new ad began, offering record-breaking deals on dishwashers.

“Wes! Watch out for that cactus!”

“OUR MANAGER HAS GONE CRAZY! NO, LITERALLY, HE HAS! HE THREW HIS MONEY OFF A CLIFF AND THEN THREW HIMSELF OFF BELIEVING HE WAS A BAGON AND NOW WE NEED TO SELL! ALL STOCK MUST GO!”

***

“...Umbre?” (...Are we there yet?) Umbreon asked tiredly, hours after Wes had run over three cacti and nearly crashed the Zoomer into a surprised Cacturne. The radio was still going as loud as ever, much to their annoyance. Rui sighed and squinted into the distance, before giving a shout of triumph.

“Yes, we are! I can see it! Look, Wes!”

“Wow, you’re right! And about time too!” Wes said, looking ahead. The mountain that had been steady looming over the last half an hour now revealed small buildings standing upon the rare sight of green grass clinging to the mountain side. A small river ran at the base – the seemingly-natural water a rare sight for Orre, as a small, wooden bridge came into view over it, leading to what appeared to be an entrance to the town.

“COME ON DOWN TO OUR WAREHOUSE! WE’RE OFFERING SPECIAL DEALS ON OUR PREMIUM, MANUAL DISHWASHERS TODAY!”

“Oh, shut up!” Wes cried, parking the Zoomer near the river. He then turned off the Zoomer frustrated at it, and then heaved a sigh of relief as the radio too stopped along with the coughs the engine gave. He then removed his goggles and looked at the town before him, pausing only to remove a few spikes he had collected from the cacti sticking from his trench coat.

“We’re here!” Rui proclaimed, happily reading a nearby sign by the bridge.


Welcome to Agate Village!

Proud home of numerous old folk

Warning – Hungry Carvanha live in the river.


Wes frowned at the extra message, while Espeon sceptically looked at another sign right behind it, which read ‘Beware of Invisible People’.

“Espeon...” (Stupid sign...) Espeon muttered, before he shook his head at another sign, which read:


CAUTION!

This sign has
SHARP EDGES!

Please refrain from touching the edges of this sign!


"Umbre, Umb-” (Watch out, Espeon, that sign has sharp-)

“Esp.” (I know.)

A fourth sign rounded out the group, which Rui went to investigate.

“In the interest of the environment, please refrain from making signs here,” she read out. “But...”

“Well, we know we’re still in Orre after all, judging by the stupidity of those signs,” Wes said, rolling his eyes. “Well, let’s go see those grandparents of yours,” he said, taking Rui’s bags from the Zoomer, and walking with her over the bridge, Espeon and Umbreon following behind as well as Plusle who had hopped out of the Zoomer, now observing the small, sparkling stream below them. A light breeze greeted them as they crossed, carrying a rich fragrant smell down a gentle slope which welcomed the group. They strolled up the hill, with an endless carpet of trimmed grass leading up to a maze of houses and trees.

“Plus...le...” (It’s so... green...) Plusle said quietly, lost amongst the absence of any pavement or rubbish on the ground, which he was so used to having lived in Pyrite Town.

“Umbre,” (Green,) Umbreon agreed. Suddenly, an old man wheeled around a corner from behind a house, and spotted them.

“Rui!” he cried, rushing forward and taking her hand, shaking it vigorously.

“Umm, hello,” Rui said uncertainly.

“Oh, I remember when you were only this tall! My, how you’ve grown!” he shouted, ignoring Rui’s puzzled look. “Eagun and Beluh will be glad to see you, after hearing about what happened,” he added.

“Can you please stop shaking my hand?” Rui asked quietly, but the man didn’t seem to hear.

“Hello!” another person shouted, this time an old woman who walked out of a house to investigate the old man’s enthusiastic greetings. “My, how you’ve grown!” she proclaimed, before rescuing Rui from the man’s handshake.

“Thank you-” Rui began, before the woman embraced her in a tight hug.

“Hello!” cried another elderly person, appearing from nowhere with a Taillow anxiously following him, the man eagerly greeting an overwhelmed Rui as well. “Have some berries!” he added, giving her a bunch.

“Taillow! Tail Taillow?!” (Hey, those were for my lunch! Why do you keep stealing my berries and giving them away?!) it berated, as it landed on the man’s head and began to peck him on the head. Rui merely looked in confusion, before another person sprung up and greeted her as well.

“And look at those cute Pokemon!” another arrival said, moving in to greet Espeon, Umbreon and Plusle as well.

“Umbre!” (Arrgh, old people!) he cried, suddenly finding himself being picked up and surrounded by a mass of veterans. Then he relaxed, realising that they only wanted to give him a pet.

“Plusle!” (Where are my potatoes?) Plusle asked, happily jumping around the newcomers, believing they had all come to say hello to him.

“Ok, ok, you’ve welcomed me already!” Rui said with a hint of annoyance in her voice, managing to escape another member of the swarm of old people that had appeared suddenly to greet her.

“You’re Eagun’s granddaughter, you know!” he replied happily.

“Yes, I know. You’ve mentioned five times now-”

“Welcome to our town! Here, have a pineapple!”

“Hey, get off my lawn!” someone shouted from a house nearby loudly. People started to move away, before realising that they hadn’t been on the man’s lawn.

“Hey! You! Get off my lawn! Why, if my name isn’t Duncan, I’ll...” he continued ranting.

Why is he shouting if there’s nobody on his- oh, Wes thought, realising that the man was shouting at his letterbox.

“Hey, who’s that?” asked one of the aged people suddenly, pointing at Wes, interrupting someone else who had been ranting to Rui about how she had been kidnapped.

Wes cautiously backed away slowly.

“He’s... Wes,” Rui offered. “He was the one who-”

“Oh yes! I saw him on the old cornflake box!” one piped up, while others nodded.

“Meet my boyfriend!” an old woman said eagerly to Wes. Seeing his bemused expression, she chuckled and winked. “It’s my Mightyena!” she exclaimed, pointing to a bored, dog-like Pokemon who rolled his eyes, clearly having heard that remark before.

“Hey, are you Rui’s-” the woman continued.

“Wait - are these your Pokemon?” an old man asked suddenly, pointing at them.

“Umbreon and Espeon are mine, but Plusle’s somebody else’s – he’s just travelling with us,” Wes said, glad that the topic had shifted.

“Then you’re a trainer! You will do battle with me!” the man said enthusiastically. “Why, this takes me back to my younger days... I’ll beat you with my years of experience!”

“...Ok, we’ll battle,” Wes said, also glad that he wouldn’t be engulfed by the veterans like Rui had, as they moved to make space for the battle. Espeon and Umbreon also moved to Wes’s side, Umbreon bemoaning the fact that he was no longer getting petted.

“Ah yes. I remember when I got my starter Pokemon. Yes, I was one excited youngster back then. I was to get my Pokemon from the local professor that day, but would you believe it, I had slept in! I had rushed to get to the lab, only to find out that he had run out of starter Pokemon too! But then it turned out that apparently he had one more Pokemon left, and that it was a rare, shiny Pokemon...” the man said, with a smile.

“Um... are we going to battle?” Wes asked, wondering why he was reciting his life story.

“Oh, he’s always like that – once he starts he never stops,” an old woman advised to Wes.

“Unfortunately, it turned out that the Pokemon he had had run off, so I went back home and watched television all day.”

“...I see,” Wes said. “So, are we going to-”

“The next day,” he continued, “I was going down to the shops when I ended up encountering another Pokemon. The poor thing had been severely injured by running at full speed into a tree. Being the good Samaritan I was, I took the Pokemon to the local Pokemon Centre and made sure it fully recovered.”

“Espeon, Espi!” (Whoop-de-do, old man – get on with it already!) Espeon rudely interjected.

“I then asked it if it wanted to join me on my journey as I needed a Pokemon. But it declined.” The man paused for a moment, then looked at Wes and smiled. “My name’s Skof! Hey, you want a battle?”

“I’m not sure anymore...” Wes began, before Skof scoffed at him.

“Nonsense – everyone wants to battle me! Look at my Pokemon!” Skof said, before producing two Pokeballs. Then he paused, looking at them curiously. “This Pokeball,” he said, raising one in the air, “I had bought a long time ago from the local shop. It was exactly thirteen years ago to the day. Oh maybe it was fourteen... or fifteen...” he muttered, as Wes shook his head in annoyance.

“AHA!” Skof shouted suddenly, causing Wes to jump. “It was twelve years ago!” he said triumphantly. “Ah yes, those were the days... I believe I had originally gone to buy some blue cheese, but-”

“Can you send out your Pokemon already?” Wes asked loudly. The man looked curiously at his Pokeballs.

“But I hadn’t told you how I got this other Pokeball,” he said simply. “You see, this was a curious tale. I got up in the morning that day and made myself a piece of toast. I set the toaster to three, medium brown...oh, all right, I’ll send them out,” he said, noticing that the group of elderly people watching the battle becoming impatient. “Go, Machop and Seedot!” he shouted, finally sending out two Pokemon. Both looked tiredly at Espeon and Umbreon – the gray, humanoid Machop which seemed out of battle practise lazily waved an arm at them, perhaps trying to look intimidating, while the Seedot – which looked like a large, fat acorn – yawned at them.

“Now, this Seedot here fell on top of my head one day when I went for a walk,” Skof said, falling back into his ranting.

“Um... Espeon and Umbreon, take out the Machop!” Wes commanded.

“Yes, he sure did, the little rascal,” Skof said, not noticing the Machop begin to succumb to Espeon’s and Umbreon’s well-co-ordinated attacks, while the Seedot merely sat there and observed. “I had just been walking, enjoying the sunshine, musing to myself about the time I had entered a fishing contest. Oh, that had been a grand time. First, I went to buy a fishing rod. I walked all of twenty miles to the next town just to find a suitable fishing shop to buy it from. I didn’t like the local one because the building had too many windows. I wrote a long letter to the council about it, but they ignored me. So I wrote a really long letter about how there was too much rain that year and sent that to them as well. But the lazy buggers didn’t do anything about it, of course.

"Anyway, I made the trip, only to find that I had not brought enough money to buy the fishing rods there. So I went to the bank. It turned out to be closed however, which was very disappointing...oh, what – you fainted my Machop? Eh, return, you lazy thing...” he said, noticing his Machop had fallen to Espeon and Umbreon. “Yes, it sure looks like you beat my Machop. I gave her a nickname, I believe. Yes, good old Julio Pfalzgraf…”

“Umbre?” (Julio?)

“Espeon?” (Pfalzgraf?)

“Yes, there’s an interesting story behind that name…”

“Maybe next time,” Wes said hurriedly. “Can we finish the battle? Please?” he added, pleadingly.

“You young people, always wanting to finish things now. The slow and steady win the race! Go, Furret!” he said sending another Pokemon out. It looked around, only to cry in surprise to see Umbreon and Espeon already jump on it and attack it. Wes just watched, shaking his head – there was no need for him to even give advice to his Pokemon. They knew enough after all those years how to battle by themselves, and Skof’s seemingly slow Pokemon were no match at all; especially without any guidance from their trainer.

“Now, where was I? Ah yes. I stood outside the bank for three days waiting for them to open. Finally they did, so I went inside, but it turned out that it had been a cunning trap set by my rival. Everyone then had a rival – it was some sort of tradition for trainers to have one. Back then nobody used the word ‘rival’ because it hadn’t been invented yet, so we called them ‘the enemy’ instead. ‘I’ve gone to have some orange juice with the enemy’ we’d say to our mothers. Anyway that term fitted my rival quite well for he was always out to get me. I suppose it was due to the time when I had declined to share my crayons with him in pre-school, and we were rivals ever since. Why, one time he had tried to overcome me by tricking his Zangoose into believing I was a Seviper! I believe he had confused it somehow. But I overcame it in the end, with nothing but a garden hose and an orange.

“Anyway, he had trapped me inside the bank. I knew it was him because of the way the door had closed behind me. It wasn’t just locked, you see – it was really locked. Inside the bank was nothing save for his rampaging Tyranitar, but I defeated it with my bare hands. Then I exited through the back door, and went back home. The next day I went to my local fishing shop and bought myself a fishing rod. Ah yes, it was a fine rod. I believe I had been reminded of it when I had been going on a walk. That was when I met my Seedot. I was merely walking, minding my own business, when all of a sudden – DONK! – it hit me right in the head! Didn’t you, you stupid acorn!” he shouted, pointing at his Seedot. “What, you’ve fainted already?” he asked it, before he realised his Furret had already fallen to Wes’s Pokemon as well.

“Right, maybe we can go now, Rui, and meet your grandparents...” Wes yawned as he turned away from Skof, feeling somewhat tired by the battle, despite not having had to do anything. Even Plusle had fallen asleep, as well as a number of the old people who had been watching.

“Hey, can I battle you, Wes?” an old woman asked, emerging from the group suddenly.

“...No, thank you,” Wes said, frowning at this suggestion. Skof was currently telling off his Seedot, and Wes had had enough of listening to anecdotes.

“But I really want to battle you-”

“Hey look – is that a Gym Leader?” Wes said suddenly, peering into the distance with a smile, pretending to see someone in the distance. His smile faded however as she remained where she was.

“So what? I was a Gym Leader myself back in the days. Yes, that was a fine life...”

“Umm,” Rui interjected, also anxious to avoid another delay. She had enough of having her arm nearly shaken off by over-friendly people telling her she was much taller than what she had been years ago. “Look... it’s...” she began, trying to come up with a name. “It’s... Ash Ketchum!” she finally said, saying the first name that came into her head.

“ARRGH!” screamed the woman, running away with seemingly genuine fear. The other veterans who weren’t asleep followed suit, with shouts of ‘Not him!’ heard from the departing swarm.

Wes blinked. “Why did they...”

“I don’t know,” Rui said quietly, confused by this. “It’s just the name of some character from a kids' show I watched... but we’re rid of them, right?”

“Esp. Espeon!” (Yes, that’s right. Let’s go to your grandparents’ house before they return!)

“Plusle!” (And then let’s eat some potatoes!)

“Ok,” Rui said. “I’m not quite sure exactly where they live though...” Rui said, looking around.

“Hmm. This may take some time,” Wes said.

“Oh, wait – there it is!” Rui cried, running off into the distance. Wes sighed, and ran after her, lugging her heavy bags with him up several hills, while noticing that it was beginning to get dark.

“See?” Rui said, stopping suddenly by a level clearing after some minutes, near a towering tree. Wes looked around.

“Umm, Rui... where’s the house?”

“It’s the tree, silly!” she said, beaming. Wes blinked and gazed at it; now that he looked at it properly, at the base of the gray, colossal tree, there was a door and some windows cut through it revealing a hollow interior. Upon looking up through the thick branches and leaves that spanned endlessly towards the darkening sky, he also noticed an insignificant television antenna jammed into one of the topmost branches.

“Espeon.” (Wow.)

“Umbreon...” (So Rui’s grandparents DO live in a tree...)

“Plus!” (Do potatoes grow up there?)

“But... why do they live there?” Wes asked, astounded.

“According to my parents, they used to live in this place called Fortree City, where people lived in trees as well. And apparently they didn’t have to pay to buy the tree rather than a house.”

“Well, it’s hard to argue with financial benefits,” Wes conceded.

“Let’s go inside,” Rui said. “It’s about time I got here.” Rui opened the door and held it open for Wes to come in, noticing his hands were full with the bags he had to carry. Grateful, Wes moved for the entrance, before his Pokemon rushed in before him.

“Beluh! Eagun! I’m home!” Rui called, while Wes frowned at his Pokemon. He then continued once more, only to have the door slam in his face as Rui lost hold of the door, as her grandma suddenly arrived and hugged her.

“Oh, it’s been so long! How are you? Are you ok after that kidnapping?” she said, while Wes rubbed his nose in annoyance. Recovering from this set-back, he managed to open the door himself and come in. He stopped short however, seeing Rui’s grandparents.

Beluh looked normal enough as far as grandmothers went, or leastways how Wes supposed they would look generally. She was similar to the other old women Wes had saw before – she had the typical gray hair, small pair of glasses and a number of wrinkles upon her kind face women her age tended to have.

But her grandfather was a sight to behold himself, although he seemed to fit into the setting of the inside of a hollow tree, which although was otherwise a normal-looking interior for a house, had a large array of teapots and cups scattered around the house. None of the walls were shaped vertically either, but followed the curves of the trunk and roots.

Eagun’s look suited the unique and unorganised interior of their house. He had the appearance of one who had not discovered the razor – an impressive white beard was spouting off the bottom half of his face, which matched the equally white and long hair he had, gave him the appearance of an overage hippie. His choice of dress - a flowing robe in a striking deep purple – only helped to enhance this.

“Welcome, Rui! Great to see you finally here, safe and sound! And who are you?” he asked Wes in a curious voice.

“I’m Wes,” he replied. Is that beard... real?

“You’re the man who rescued our Rui?” Beluh asked. “Yes, you are the one who did – we watched saw him on the television, didn’t we?” Beluh continued, nudging Eagun who now looked confused.

“Why yes! You must be quite the trainer!” Eagun exclaimed, grabbing Wes’s arm and shaking it thoroughly.

“Espeon!” (Hey, it was us Pokemon who did the hard work!) Espeon said, noticing that Eagun hadn’t even noticed him and Umbreon. He hadn’t noticed Plusle too, but Espeon didn’t think much of Plusle. Annoyed, Espeon gave Eagun a small, almost unnoticeable shock with his psychic powers.

“Umbre!” (Don’t do that, Espeon!) Umbreon warned, noticing Espeon’s actions.

“Esp,” (Be quiet; I can do what I want,) Espeon retorted. Umbreon shrugged, and then looked worryingly at Eagun who had begun to smile oddly. Beluh didn’t notice however, as she motioned for Rui and Wes to sit down on a sofa by a small wooden table and a television.

“Maybe we should sit down and have some tea,” Beluh suggested. “And thank you, young man for your actions. If there’s anything at all we can...”

“Umm, that’s ok,” Wes said. He wasn’t feeling very comfortable sitting inside a tree to begin with, and he didn’t really want anything from these strangers. Being away from the reporters in Pyrite – and the radio from the Zoomer – was enough for him anyway. And they’d probably be only able to give me some of those teapots lying around as well, he added silently to himself.

“I’ll go get the teabags then!” Eagun eagerly said, nodding excessively and moving towards what Wes took to be the kitchen.

“Lots of things excite him these days,” Beluh said. Rui was observing the house, Wes’s Pokemon and Plusle were carefully trying to find a place to sit without knocking over any of the clutter around the house, and Wes was looking with bemusement at Eagun, unable to ignore his beard, nor the fact that he appeared to be juggling teapots instead of getting the teabags.

“Umbreon...” (Look, he’s gone mad, Espeon...) Umbreon said quietly to Espeon, also noticing Eagun’s actions.

“Espeon Espi- Esp,” (Calm down, I wouldn’t have affected him with such little- oh dear,) Espeon responded.

“So, what do you think of Agate Village so far, Rui?” Beluh asked.

“The people are very...um, welcoming,” Rui managed, resisting the urge to add ‘too welcoming’ as well.

“Found the teabags!” Eagun said loudly, before he started making the tea by tossing all of the teabags he had found into a teapot.

“You’ve grown a lot since you were last here...” Beluh continued, while Rui sighed to herself. I heard that a lot today, she thought. I hope they won’t bring that fact up too often...

“Anyway, Rui,” Beluh continued, “why did you get kidnapped – do you know? All we heard was something about Team Snagem and Shadow Pokemon some other people called Cipher... those interviewers didn’t seem very professional.”

“Well,” Rui began, “when I was coming over originally, I saw some people using this really angry Pokemon, which turned out to be a Shadow Pokemon-”

“Pokeyman?” Eagun interrupted suddenly, his eyes suddenly lighting up as he threw the teapot behind himself haphazardly, which luckily landed upright into a sofa, miraculously not spilling any tea. “Pokeyman!?”

Uh oh, Wes thought, wondering what Rui’s grandfather would do next.

“You mean the ‘pokey’ and the ‘man’ and the thing where the guy comes out of the thing and then he...” Eagun raved loudly, before he started mumbling incoherently.

“Dear, I don’t think you had your medication...” Beluh said quietly, while Rui stared.

“Umbreon!” (Undo whatever you did, Espeon!) Umbreon shouted.

“Espeon, what did you do?” Wes asked suddenly, overhearing Umbreon.

“Espeon!” (Shut up, I’m fixing it already!) Espeon said hurriedly, preparing to do just so.

“Oh ah ah ah ah!” Eagun replied in a deep voice, starting to flap his hands behind his ears, seemingly imitating a Pokemon.

***

A short time afterwards, Eagun had calmed down, Beluh proclaiming that he had also had too much sugar, unaware that Espeon had a hand in it. Wes knew however, silently giving Espeon a look that communicated to him that he probably wouldn’t be eating his favourite food for a long while. Eagun had seemed to put his actions behind him though, as if he had forgotten all about them, and he was now sitting down with Wes, Rui and his wife. Wes and Rui had just recounted their own versions of the recent events they had gone through, as they drank tea from cups, and Eagun directly from the teapot. Wes was bemused by his eccentricity that he seemed to have even when not affected by Espeon - but he’s no longer throwing teapots around at least. And isn’t nearly everyone in this region crazy anyway? he dismissed after a while. However, he found that Eagun’s beard was almost as distracting as Miror B’s afro had been.

“So... Cipher made these Shadow Pokemon, and you happen to have snagged some, young man,” Eagun said, thinking about what he had just heard.

“Yes, that’s right,” Wes said, still distracted by the beard. “We’ve beard – I mean, been... purifying them for a while now, and they’re getting less and less like Shadow Pokemon. But we can’t get over that final hurdle just yet,” he finished. I wonder how long he’s been growing that for?

“And,” Rui added, “we also got some news from a fortune teller. She said that apparently the key to purifying them for good is here, in Agate.”

“Really? Interesting...” Eagun mused.

“Plus...Plusle?” (Sorry to interrupt and all, but... where are my potatoes?)

“Espeon,” (Be quiet – you’re not the only one hungry here,) Espeon muttered, lying down on the ground and eyeing the small Plusle, while Umbreon muttered something about bacon in his sleep.

“Plus! Plus!” (But I’m hungry now! And the tree tastes horrible!) At this, Espeon sat up.

“Esp?” (You tried to eat the tree?) he asked.

Then abruptly, Eagun snapped his fingers, causing all to suddenly sit up.

“Aha! I think what you should do is talk to Senilor! See, I believe what might be the key is nothing other than the Relic Stone here.”

“The Relic Stone?” Rui asked. Wes meanwhile was still absorbed by Eagun’s beard. Did it just move? he thought, frowning.

“Yes. It is a shrine to the great legendary Pokemon Celebi. It’s a pretty important icon we have here in Agate, and whenever I visit it...” Eagun’s voice trailed off for a moment. “I just get this feeling of calm. There’s definitely something in that, but Senilor would know far more about it than I.”

“Well, why not?” Rui said. “Let’s go and see him right now!”

“Then it’s decided,” Eagun proclaimed, getting up. “He always goes out to eat at the local restaurant, so we’ll meet him there.”

“Plus! Plusle!” (Yay food! Food is tasty I like food!)

“Umm, Eagun?” Wes asked suddenly, in a somewhat strained voice.

“Yes?”

“What is that inside your...beard?”

“This?” Eagun asked, suddenly pulling a fat, yellow object out of his beard, to Wes’s horror. “This here is my starter Pokemon! A Pikachu!” The Pokemon in question yawned, not seeming to find a beard a strange spot to sleep in at all. Wes merely stared, wondering if there was anything else inside of Eagun’s beard, while Plusle suddenly jumped up and studied the Pikachu.

“Plus Plusle!” (You’re old and you look fat!) Plusle concluded after a while.

“Pika! Pi...” (No I’m not! I just... umm...) Pikachu defended. Espeon merely rolled his eyes, muttering to himself about electric rodents.

“Plus!” (You ate all my potatoes, didn’t you?)

“That’s your starter Pokemon?” Wes asked disbelievingly.

“I think it gained weight since I last saw her,” Rui said, poking Pikachu’s belly.

“Plusle!” (Fatty fatty fat fat!)

“Pikachu!” (Hey, that’s not fair!)

“She’s in retirement, like me,” Eagun declared. “But in her day she won me many a match.” Eagun then pulled a small box out of his pocket, and opened it. Wes peered into it, as Eagun chuckled.

“See? Look at all of these badges!” Eagun boasted.

“But grandpa,” Rui said, “those are bottle caps.”

“Oh. So they are,” Eagun mumbled, closing the box. “Where did I put it... umm... hey let’s go to that restaurant! It’s getting late!” With that, Eagun walked out of the room with Beluh following. Wes and Rui exchanged glances.

“Yes, I know. They’re odd and all...” Rui began, before Wes grinned.

“Heck, I bet they’re better than no grandparents at all. Although I hope I never see someone pull a Pikachu out of the beard like that again,” Wes said, shuddering.

“I suppose you’re right,” Rui acknowledged. “Anyway, we better go now...” They made to leave, wondering what they’d learn from Senilor.

“Oh, and Espeon?” Wes said to him as they left.

“Esp?” (Yes?) Espeon asked innocently, which Wes smiled lightly at.

“Look – be careful with your psychic powers, is all. No point using it on people just for fun.”

“Espeon...” (Clearly you’ve never experienced the fun of it yourself then...) Espeon pointed out.

‘Maybe – but let’s only do it when we have to. And not when some innocent bystanders get affected by it as well – Eagun took it... weirdly.”

“Esp,” (Fine,) Espeon conceded.

“Oh – and you’re not allowed to eat that brand of food you like... whatever the name of it was – for a month.”

“Espeon.” (Bugger.)

***

The restaurant was rather busy, and it took a while for the group to find a table. Gradually though they were ushered to one, while the Pokemon were also directed to a separate area where they could eat as well. Plusle was currently happily eating a large plate full of potatoes, as Espeon tried to block out its squeaks of pure, giddy happiness.

“Maku!” (Die!) Makuhita shouted loudly, punching his food as he ate.

“Croc!” (Do you have to do that?) Croconaw asked sceptically, as some of the food splattered onto him.

“Umbreon?” (Maybe he likes his food mashed?) Umbreon suggested, noticing that Makuhita hadn’t paid Croconaw’s question any notice.

“Espeon,” (I think it’s more he likes punching his food more than eating it,) Espeon remarked.

“Plusle!”(Hey, that’s my food, fatty!) Plusle suddenly shouted at Eagun’s Pikachu, who having already finished her meal had come to sniff Plusle’s potatoes.

“Pikachu,” (But I’m still hungry,) Pikachu moaned.

“Croc!” (Then get some more from elsewhere, you silly, fat thing,) Croconaw sniffed.

“Pika!” (Stop calling me fat!) Pikachu cried, picking up one of Plusle’s potatoes and throwing it at Croconaw clumsily, only for it to hit another Pokemon nearby, who grunted and returned it back at Pikachu with interest.

“Plusle!” (No! Potatoes are for eating, not throwing!)

“UMBRE!” (FOOD FIGHT!) Umbreon shouted suddenly, flicking a piece of food at Plusle.

“Makuhita!” (I fight for my friends!) Makuhita agreed with a sudden grin, throwing some of his food at Croconaw. Soon, all the Pokemon around joined in, as Plusle hopped around his plate anxiously trying to defend his other potatoes. Espeon rolled his eyes at them all before using a small Reflect attack so he wouldn’t be hit while he ate, and Pikachu quietly ate some of the thrown food in a corner, content.

Unknowing of the chaos occurring on the other side of the restaurant, Wes and Rui were currently observing Eagun and another man – Senilor – talk. Senilor had an odd look, with a bright blue Hawaiian shirt and an awkward-looking hat, matching his equally awkward-looking smile.

“Anyway, Senilor...” Eagun said, “we were wondering if you had any more information on the Relic stone? Only they are interested,” he concluded, motioning to Rui and Wes.

“Ah, yes. Your name was... hmm, what was your name? Are you Eagun’s Treecko?” he asked Rui with a smile. Rui and Wes sighed – it hadn’t been the first time that Senilor displayed a poor memory, having introduced himself as a Wobbuffett earlier on, then forgetting that he was a customer, having tried to have served the waiter his food. The poor waiters, Wes mused, looking at one with pity who was currently dealing with a person by a nearby table.

“I’m telling you, there is too much meat in this meat pie!”

“...I see,” replied the waiter.

“And there’s a fly in my soup too!”

“...No, there isn’t,” the waiter said, observing the man’s soup.

“You think you’re smart, don’t you, sonny-Jim?”

“Or are you Treecko’s Eagun?” Senilor said.

“My name’s Rui,” she said patiently.

“Rui? That’s a funny name for a Treecko,” Senilor mused. “But anyway; the Relic Stone! I don’t remember names all that well, but I’ll never forget something as important as that!” With that, Senilor stood up, and left the table, before walking out of the door.

“...Wait – where are you going?” Rui cried, surprised by this action by Senilor. Even Eagun looked confused by this behaviour. However Senilor promptly returned, with a large book in his arms. Triumphantly, he dropped the book on top of Rui’s plate of food with a loud thump, and then gave another lopsided smile. Wes peered at the spine of the book, trying to make out the words through the dust that clung to it.

“‘A Thousand and One Useless Facts about the Relic Stone’,” Wes read out loud.

“It’s a good book,” Senilor insisted. “It should tell you all you need to know. Plus, I don’t have to remember what it says!”

“Well, we’ll take a look...” Wes said uncertainly. Then he glanced sideways, noticing the man who had been complaining was now demanding more salt and pepper shakers, despite already having half a dozen of each.

“My food is now squashed,” Rui complained, lifting the heavy book.

“Eagun, I didn’t know your Wurmple could talk!” Senilor said, surprised.

“Hey – what’s that?” Wes asked, looking across the room. The food fight was spreading beyond the Pokemon’s section now, potatoes and other food filling the air.

“Maybe we should leave,” Beluh suggested.

“That’s a good idea,” Rui said, agreeing as she picked up the book and then ran for the exit with the others, ducking once to avoid a piece of food.

“I demand satisfaction!” the customer who had been complaining shouted, before the potato Rui had avoided hit him square in the face.

***



And that's the chapter. As for the stuff in here and the game (or not):

The Zoomer - it seems to have the magical ability to travel halfway across the region in the space of five seconds in the game. Methinks not, hence a longer trip for Wes. It doesn't necessarily have a radio either (radio stations don't feature in the game), but if there's a television station, and vehicles tend to have the radio - even weird, hovering ones like the Zoomer.

Agate Village - one of the nicer places in the game - well, better than Pyrite Town in that it's neat and tidy. A lot of green grass everywhere you look, and a lot of hills too. It also has its fair share of wacky NPCs. In the game it's a place where retired, elderly people who were trainers in their prime (apparently) live.

Old welcoming people - just took into account Agate would have a lot of people like the others in the game who gladly welcome you, like the first guy Wes and Rui sees (who is in the game and says similar things). A fair amount of those aren't based on anyone, what with their one-liners.

That guy with the berries - there is an NPC who'll give you a berry - sometimes the odd rare one - to you each time you come to Agate Village and talk to him. He says his Taillow brought them from away, while the Taillow in questions sits on the ground looking at the man. Possibly none too happily either. Heck, I'd be annoyed if someone kept giving my lunch away.

Woman with Mightyena - yes - there is an NPC who tells you that his Mightyena is her boyfriend. If you talk to it, it growls - possibly annoyed, maybe?

Skof - a trainer in Agate who battles you the moment you talk to him. He has a Machop, Seedot and a Furret, and I expanded on him a tad, giving him a tendency to speak a lot. (Credit to Zadros who discovered the name 'Julio Pfalzgraf').

The tree - yes - Rui's grandparents, unlike everyone else, DO live in a tree, which is in the centre of the town. And why not live in a place that is essentially for free?

Rui's Grandparents - Beluh and Eagun. The former isn't that notable - she thanks Wes for saving Rui, and frets about her husband, but that's about it. Eagun is the more interesting, who does have impressive white hair and a beard. Which I might have slightly exaggerated... :P He also does have a Pikachu, which does actually look fat. (Thank Genius Sorority for reusing the same model for him since Stadium!). It also says 'Biggah' when you talk to it... a few other things seem to suggest that Pikachu is a bit old as well.

Senilor - a character who consistently forgets things, calling you things like Treecko and so forth. Yet oddly, it is this NPC who is entrusted to tell you important information which he remembers. Hmm. Hence the book - all he needs to remember is that all the answers on the Relic stone are there, rather than all that info on said Relic Stone.

Relic Stone - you'll learn more next chapter. :P

Hope you enjoyed it - until the next chapter, farewell!

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
January 16th, 2009, 07:30 PM
Caution: This review may contain sharp edges.

The one grammar thing that caught my horribly bloodshot eye:
(Calm down, I wouldn’t have affected him with such little- oh dear,)
Onward!
If that doesn’t convince you to try us instead of the other numerous money-stealing agencies out there, don’t worry!
Other money-stealing agencies, huh? Like Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC for example? Wow... if you can't trust a seemingly nice guy like Bernie, I guess you certainly can't trust guys with oversized mallets.

HE THREW HIS MONEY OFF A CLIFF AND THEN THREW HIMSELF OFF BELIEVING HE WAS A BAGON AND NOW WE NEED TO SELL!
I guess desperate financial times drive people to do crazy stuff like that.

Hey! You! Get off my lawn! Why, if my name isn’t Duncan, I’ll...” he continued ranting.
Wow, I didn't realize he was old enough to be living in Agate, lol

before Skof scoffed at him.
Ah, nice pun on the guy's name XD

‘I’ve gone to have some orange juice with the enemy’ we’d say to our mothers.
Wow... there's something wrong with that statement. "Yeah, I'm gonna have some juice with my enemy, then maybe later we'll try to blow each other's brains out. Hopefully I'll make it back before curfew."

Inside the bank was nothing save for his rampaging Tyranitar, but I defeated it with my bare hands.
Admittedly, I would have liked to have seen that. There may be more to Skof than meets the eye.

Trust me, Eagun acts bizarre enough without Espeon's interference. I mean, pulling a Pikachu out of his beard? That sounds like something some oddball magician might do.

Oh, yes, fat Pikachu FTW. Her diet might explain why she gets pwned by Skrub's Hitmontop despite the level advantage.

I'm not a big fan of food fights (blame it on having too many of 'em during school lunch way back when) but seeing Plusle trying to protect the precious potatoes is full of win as well. Even though it failed to protect said potatoes.

Well, I can't think of any good way to wrap up this review, so I'll just say "great chapter" and
But I’m hungry now! And the tree tastes horrible!

bobandbill
January 26th, 2009, 02:35 PM
Caution: This review may contain sharp edges.Thanks for the warning.
Other money-stealing agencies, huh? Like Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC for example? Wow... if you can't trust a seemingly nice guy like Bernie, I guess you certainly can't trust guys with oversized mallets.Depends... is this Bernard available in Orre?
I guess desperate financial times drive people to do crazy stuff like that.It sure does, I suppose. XD
Wow, I didn't realize he was old enough to be living in Agate, lolHe's crazy enough. -_-
Ah, nice pun on the guy's name XD Was wondering if someone would comment on that. Nice pick.
Oh, yes, fat Pikachu FTW. Her diet might explain why she gets pwned by Skrub's Hitmontop despite the level advantage.Yeah, that needs some explaining. Although in the game it always does darn Quick Attack, so it's no wonder.

Anyways, thanks once again for the great review. =)

Ninja Caterpie
January 26th, 2009, 04:15 PM
Dang, that's awesome. Made me laugh the whole way. :D

Awesome stuff, 'specially the signs. :D

Blue Tomoshibi
February 21st, 2009, 09:22 AM
Personally I loved the radio bit. I wished the radio stations I have in my town would play such entertaining advertisements.

But what I'm wondering is who gets the money that's put into the radio? Is there some guy who at night, finds the Zoomer and takes the money out of it?

Incinermyn
February 21st, 2009, 11:47 AM
Okay, I finally got caught up with your fic (here since I've had enough of bulbagarden), b&b. And, damn this thing's so freaking awesome! It's far better than when I first read it last March; I'm surprised how much more refined your skills have gotten, dude!

Sorry I can't give a little bit more thorough review, but I'm a little pressed for time right now... Just loving how its turned out, seriously!

drifl00n
March 20th, 2009, 12:20 AM
Rated - PG. Warning - There is a high possibility of a random person possessing a large flamboyant afro.

^ i am highly offense, i have a big flamboyant afro that looks like a pokeball ;] hahahaha im just joking, but this is really really good. keep up the good work

Bay Alexison
March 26th, 2009, 08:14 PM
I say, this is quite a comedic piece you got there. There were many parts that I laughed a loud a lot. Since you’re able to do a big review of NE after reading nineteen chapters of it, I’ll try my best to do the same. :) However, there are going to be a few times I’ll talk about, say, Chapters 4 and 5 at the same time (you’ll know what I mean). Sorry, don’t think I’ll be able to cover everything, and also want to play catch up. ^^;

Prologue, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2
I’ll just say overall strong and funny beginning. From Gonzap’s moustache to that coffee man to Pinky’s battle to Rui, there’s not much I can say here, heh.
The only thing is the beginning battles seemed a bit too easy and Wes over himself. Then again, you did say the battles at first were easy (yes, I hadn’t played Colosseum ^^; ).


Chapters 3 and 4
Pretty much my favorite parts in Chapter 3 are when Rui at first got mad at Rui, but then all of sudden is okay with him (thanks to Esperon ;) ) and also the suspense of the catch.

Chapter 4, first off gotta love flashbacks. :P Also, love that scene where the man told him to save the game. How can you do that? :P

“But you know me - I’m stingy, and proud of it!” declared Wes, who was giving evil stares through the window at the hotel keeper, who was on his fifth bottle of wine. “Besides - I think I’ve found a way in.”
Hah, I’m proud to be one too! XD


Chapters 5 and 6
“Umbreon,” (Hey, simple minds are easily amused,)
So true. :P

“Hobos,” Wes absentmindedly answered. After a moment of staring at the invisible crack in the ground, he raised his hands to his mouth and hollered “Echo!”. The sound bounced off the rocky walls, giving a ghostly feel as the word came back to them and faded into the darkness below.

Echo.

Echo.

Echo.

Then a new sound emerged from below.

Shut up…

Shut up…

Shut up…

“Guess he was right,” said Wes to himself, surprised by the outcome. “Guess I annoyed someone… let’s go into the Colosseum for now…”
Great answer. XD

Love the windwill scene pretty much . Poor Umbreon being thrown there. XD Also, thirty years of experience until you can get Chief’s job? *sighs*

All I gotta say at the end of Chapter Five is the people’s reaction to Wes stealing the Pokemon is priceless. XD

Chapter 6- I feel sorry for Sherles. I do wonder why he hired Johnson…:p

The scene where Esperon and Alakazam wiped everyone’s memory is funny. Guess the heat is making them crazy or something. XD

And oh, I just LOVE both Mirror B and Nascour’s reactions when they realize they just missed Wes. :P


Chapters 7 and 8
“Even though the Chief was knocked out, I’ll be spinning gears some more! Thirty long years of cranking gears, Thirty more years I’ll spin some more…” began Chief with his off-key singing. “OH YEAH BABY! This is the way it should be! Thirty long years…” he continued, singing louder this time.

Chief’s a bit too excited about his gear. XD;

On that dream, at first I thought you put there randomly, but now I can’t help but see the resemblance of the line, “I’m not your father… because YOU DON’T HAVE ONE!” to Chapter 12. Um…yeah. ^^;

The battles I liked how you didn’t say every detail about them but just go for the most important (and comedic) parts. Would be a pain to try to describe them all, especially with the battles turn based. :P I do believe though you could have put more emphasis on Cali’s battle, with him knowing a bit about Cipher and all, but that’s probably just me.

On the gears scene, I wonder why Sherles or Duking didn’t really do anything when Ferma and Reath came. Then again, I guess they didn’t know they’re part of Cipher yet.

The shopping scene and the battles in Chapter 8 are quite funny and enjoyable. My favorites are when Rui got all of those items (so may pastries :P) and of course Tom during AND after the battle. XD


Chapters 9 and 10
Chapter 9 I thought you did the battle well. Lots of comedy there, like Magikrap able to defeat his opponents and Tom. XD However, it was a bit confusing as there were a lot of guards Wes and the others had to go through and hard to keep track on what’s going on.

Chapter 10 I thought you did well parodying “Crazy” and incorporating it as Mirror B’s backstory. Also, that theme song brought back memories. XD


Chapter 11
“So, you think you can dance?” Miror B chuckled, amused at the group as he placed the radio by his mini-stage. “This is my special radio that my dear friend in Cipher made me! Instead of merely playing the song, it sends out suggestive waves that force you to dance! So, try fighting me while you jive to the music! I assure you, it’s the only way to battle – with dance!” he sung. Meanwhile, Johnson’s Magikarp flopped along to the music – and started flopping out of the cave as well, unable to control where it could go.

“Hey, come back!” Johnson cried, dancing an Irish Jig after his Magikarp and out of the cave. Soon after the sound of shouts and splashes could be heard.

Yes, I think I can dance. When is the next season of that show coming? XD *gets shot*

Also, love that Magikarp just flopped out of the cave and I can imagine Johnson doing an Irish Jig.

No, Wes thought. They’re surely not… they’re doing the Can-Can? Wes thought in shock, as the Pokemon began to do just that.

“Ludi!” (Dance dance!) chanted one, kicking out enthusiastically as the rain began to pick up again, the threat from Secret Power having dissipated by now.

“Ludicolo Ludi!” (Yes we do a dance dance!) The other Ludicolo sung.

“Ludicolo Ludi!” (Now we do a rain dance!)

“Ludi Colo Ludi Ludi Ludi Ludi!” (Can you do a dance dance dance dance dance dance dance dance!)
Gotta love the Can Can.

“Yeah, you’re right. It’s wasn’t all for nothing,” Wes said, managing a small smile. “How… weird was that though? We battled some crazy guy with a giant Pokeball-themed afro with a Ludicolo fetish, and halfway through it we were forced to dance during the battle! And the Ludicolo did the Can-can and had maracas, for crying out loud! It’s almost like some bored guy with nothing better to do came up with this crazy battle…” he said as he and Rui walked into the separate room.
Or a creative bored guy did that battle. XD

The battle and Nascour’s reaction are win, enough said. :)


Chapter 12
“Espeon. Espi...” (Yeah... like graffiti walls with maths slogans, or terrorise abandoned shopping trolleys. Totally radical...) Espeon drawled.

Ein double checked the last few lines of the problem before adding in the final line. He made sure that he had not committed any silly mistakes – it had cost him dearly in one test when he had gone to school. One little mistake had been the difference between full marks – and as a result he had finished second. This was in some insignificant test, yes, but it was the only one he had not come out on top. Instead, he came second to some girl who, albeit having an admittedly good grasp of maths, had an annoying obsession with clothes and vintage cars. How she raved on and on about them that day, as he sat staring in disbelief at his test paper. He had made a fatal mistake – he had forgotten to add the one to his final equation.
Lisa references! XD

Have to say, nice selection of songs you put in that chapter. :) I so can imagine “All You Need is Love” being the torture song though if one is to hear it many times. XD;
Quite a few things going on with the characters there. I like how you took the time to give the readers a look of what’s going on in Wes, Mirror B, and Ein’s thoughts.

One minor thing is it seem Sherles forgot what he was about to say to the gang before those interviewers and Duking came.

“Really?’ That’s rather interesting… so it sounds as if it is possible to purify them,” Wes said.

“But if they were able to make it impossible to purify them...” Rui added, shivering at the thought.

“Indeed. It’s quite a fair bit of mixed news here, although I think-” Sherles began, before being cut off by the sound of the door opening and a reporter barging in.

“On reporting business,” the man explained, waving his microphone at the group, and before Sherles could respond, he had waltzed into the prison – currently full with the people they had arrested – and waved the microphone at a prisoner’s face.


After the reporters and Duking…

Duking smiled, and knelt down and petted Plusle. “That’s right; I love you too,” he said, as Wes stared. He’s right – he doesn’t understand Plusle that well... he thought, having a sneaking suspicion Plusle had been talking about other things.

“Rui,” Sherles said, “out of curiosity; what did bring you to Pyrite town again in the first place?”


First he was talking about those Ein files and then after the interviewers, he ask about where Rui came to Pyrite Town in the first place, changing the subject.


Chapter 13

“Hey, get off my lawn!” someone shouted from a house nearby loudly. People started to move away, before realising that they hadn’t been on the man’s lawn.

“Hey! You! Get off my lawn! Why, if my name isn’t Duncan, I’ll...” he continued ranting.

Why is he shouting if there’s nobody on his- oh, Wes thought, realising that the man was shouting at his letterbox.

You’re right that Duncan is crazy enough to be sent to Agate Village. :P Oh, one fun fact. You’re not the only one that portrayed him as an old man. Draco Malfroy did the same with his fic too, but I forgot the name of it. ^^;

“Plusle!”(Hey, that’s my food, fatty!) Plusle suddenly shouted at Eagun’s Pikachu, who having already finished her meal had come to sniff Plusle’s potatoes.

“Pikachu,” (But I’m still hungry,) Pikachu moaned.

“Croc!” (Then get some more from elsewhere, you silly, fat thing,) Croconaw sniffed.

“Pika!” (Stop calling me fat!) Pikachu cried, picking up one of Plusle’s potatoes and throwing it at Croconaw clumsily, only for it to hit another Pokemon nearby, who grunted and returned it back at Pikachu with interest.

Now I’m feeling sorry for that Pikachu. ;_; *hugs Pikachu*

I enjoyed this chapter a lot. Have to agree that the financial reports are getting a bit repetitive now (and I’m studying financial economics as my concentration :P). I like the other ads too, especially the tacos one. XD

Have to say also, those people at Agate are crazy. However, Ash isn’t that bad of a person. :P

Only thing is I think you went a bit too long on Skof’s story. I know you want to emphasis how his story is all nonsense, but I think you could have ended that part sooner so that you can get the plot of this chapter go faster.

Now, to sum it all up...
Overall, lots of funny parts in this story and I enjoyed it a lot. Again, haven’t played the game, but read most of the walkthrough and your explanation and you did well dealing the plotholes in the game. There’s actually this one other Serebii that also talked about the plotholes and mechanics of the Pokemon games, but in a more dramatic way while yours you did it in comedic fashion (and good at it too *thumbs up* ).

Also, lots of great characters, even if many of them are from the game. :P Wanna say my favorite noncomedic character is Sherles, cause he actually want to get this Cipher/Snagem case over with . As for comedic, have to say Tom cause of his druken slurs XD. Also, my favorite Pokemon character is Esperon, because he always like to mess around with people’s minds. :P And of course, Miror B wins. ;)

Guess the only overall criticism I would say is Misdreavus should have more screentime. I love Croncraw and Makuhita, but we weren’t able to get to know much of Misdreavus’ personality.

Nothing much to say but great work here and keep it up! :)

bobandbill
April 24th, 2009, 08:05 AM
And about time too! First, review replies:Dang, that's awesome. Made me laugh the whole way. :D

Awesome stuff, 'specially the signs. :DCheers - glad you liked it, and hope it continues to entertain.
Personally I loved the radio bit. I wished the radio stations I have in my town would play such entertaining advertisements.

But what I'm wondering is who gets the money that's put into the radio? Is there some guy who at night, finds the Zoomer and takes the money out of it?
Maybe. But I wouldn't try to question how exactly Orre works. =P At least Orre's ads are more entertaining than ours though, certainly.
Okay, I finally got caught up with your fic (here since I've had enough of bulbagarden), b&b. And, damn this thing's so freaking awesome! It's far better than when I first read it last March; I'm surprised how much more refined your skills have gotten, dude!

Sorry I can't give a little bit more thorough review, but I'm a little pressed for time right now... Just loving how its turned out, seriously!Heh, thanks, guess I've improved somewhat. Hope you keep enjoying it too.
Rated - PG. Warning - There is a high possibility of a random person possessing a large flamboyant afro.

^ i am highly offense, i have a big flamboyant afro that looks like a pokeball ;] hahahaha im just joking, but this is really really good. keep up the good work
Thanks as well - I intend to continue as well. Are you Miror B?
I say, this is quite a comedic piece you got there. There were many parts that I laughed a loud a lot. Since you’re able to do a big review of NE after reading nineteen chapters of it, I’ll try my best to do the same. :) However, there are going to be a few times I’ll talk about, say, Chapters 4 and 5 at the same time (you’ll know what I mean). Sorry, don’t think I’ll be able to cover everything, and also want to play catch up. ^^; Thanks for reviewing, and no problem, any review is nice to read. (But yours is certainly one of the better ones to read, no offence to you other reviewers =P). Much appreciated.
Prologue, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2
I’ll just say overall strong and funny beginning. From Gonzap’s moustache to that coffee man to Pinky’s battle to Rui, there’s not much I can say here, heh.
The only thing is the beginning battles seemed a bit too easy and Wes over himself. Then again, you did say the battles at first were easy (yes, I hadn’t played Colosseum ^^; ).Yeah, battles are probably quite simplistic, and probably evidence of my somewhat noobie beginnings. On the other hand though the battles really are easy - the game's way of settling one into the fact of starting with evolved, level 20-something Pokemon in double battles, I suppose.
Chapters 3 and 4
Pretty much my favorite parts in Chapter 3 are when Rui at first got mad at Rui, but then all of sudden is okay with him (thanks to Esperon ;) ) and also the suspense of the catch.

Chapter 4, first off gotta love flashbacks. :P Also, love that scene where the man told him to save the game. How can you do that? :PYep - suspenseful stuff, that catch. =P And as the man said, you just have to use the PC to save your game. Somehow...
Hah, I’m proud to be one too! XDBeing stingy FTW!
Chapters 5 and 6
Great answer. XD

Love the windwill scene pretty much . Poor Umbreon being thrown there. XD Also, thirty years of experience until you can get Chief’s job? *sighs*

All I gotta say at the end of Chapter Five is the people’s reaction to Wes stealing the Pokemon is priceless. XDEven in Orre, work experience is a highly regarded thing. Pity hardly anyone has it, which is why hardly anyone can get a job...

Chapter 6- I feel sorry for Sherles. I do wonder why he hired Johnson…:p

The scene where Esperon and Alakazam wiped everyone’s memory is funny. Guess the heat is making them crazy or something. XD

And oh, I just LOVE both Mirror B and Nascour’s reactions when they realize they just missed Wes. :POne does wonder about Sherles keeping Johnson, and whyhe keeps him hired as well to boot. And as mentioned, I felt them actually talking about the guy they met and who also messed up their plans as being something important to talk about, unlike in the game. >_<
Chapters 7 and 8

Chief’s a bit too excited about his gear. XD;

On that dream, at first I thought you put there randomly, but now I can’t help but see the resemblance of the line, “I’m not your father… because YOU DON’T HAVE ONE!” to Chapter 12. Um…yeah. ^^;

The battles I liked how you didn’t say every detail about them but just go for the most important (and comedic) parts. Would be a pain to try to describe them all, especially with the battles turn based. :P I do believe though you could have put more emphasis on Cali’s battle, with him knowing a bit about Cipher and all, but that’s probably just me.

On the gears scene, I wonder why Sherles or Duking didn’t really do anything when Ferma and Reath came. Then again, I guess they didn’t know they’re part of Cipher yet.

The shopping scene and the battles in Chapter 8 are quite funny and enjoyable. My favorites are when Rui got all of those items (so may pastries :P) and of course Tom during AND after the battle. XDHurrah for 'vague' foreshadowing! =D And yes - going through each battle would not have been fun for myself and readers. Cail though...maybe, although I never treated him as that important - seems the game only wanted you to find one guy to tell you info on Shadow Pokemon, although the way the game does it, everyone else would probably know as well if they have a Shadow Pokemon.
As for Sherles + Duking not doing anything about Ferma/Reath – well, Sherles doesn’t know about them for sure working for cipher, and they aren’t doing anything wrong by being there (besides blackmail, but that isn’t known at that stage). And Duking – well, aforementioned blackmail of the Plusle is what keeps him at bay.
Chapters 9 and 10
Chapter 9 I thought you did the battle well. Lots of comedy there, like Magikrap able to defeat his opponents and Tom. XD However, it was a bit confusing as there were a lot of guards Wes and the others had to go through and hard to keep track on what’s going on.

Chapter 10 I thought you did well parodying “Crazy” and incorporating it as Mirror B’s backstory. Also, that theme song brought back memories. XDHmm, maybe - might have to look at that then for the confusion and making it clearer. Price of trying to mix all of the battles in one, I suppose. And yay for more postive feedback on my parody of Crazy. And the theme song as well. -_-
Chapter 11

Yes, I think I can dance. When is the next season of that show coming? XD *gets shot*You can't dance like Miror B though. =P
Also, love that Magikarp just flopped out of the cave and I can imagine Johnson doing an Irish Jig.


Gotta love the Can Can.


Or a creative bored guy did that battle. XD

The battle and Nascour’s reaction are win, enough said. :)Heh, fair enough. =P
Chapter 12

Lisa references! XDIndeed!
Have to say, nice selection of songs you put in that chapter. :) I so can imagine “All You Need is Love” being the torture song though if one is to hear it many times. XD;
Quite a few things going on with the characters there. I like how you took the time to give the readers a look of what’s going on in Wes, Mirror B, and Ein’s thoughts.

One minor thing is it seem Sherles forgot what he was about to say to the gang before those interviewers and Duking came.


After the reporters and Duking…


First he was talking about those Ein files and then after the interviewers, he ask about where Rui came to Pyrite Town in the first place, changing the subject.Hurrah for Beatles music, is all I can say. =P It was more of a character-based chapter as well - thought it would go well with the long gap the game has in-between events. And...whoops. >_< Shall edit once I...well, look and polish that chapter then. *makes note of it*. (Although he could have always have been talking about something else, just not clearly enough - can't remember for the life of me though - needs editing regardless.)
Chapter 13

You’re right that Duncan is crazy enough to be sent to Agate Village. :P Oh, one fun fact. You’re not the only one that portrayed him as an old man. Draco Malfroy did the same with his fic too, but I forgot the name of it. ^^;Indeed. Crazy duncan. =P And...really? Never knew. Heh. (Was it that parody one of serebii I heard of which was short-lived?).
Now I’m feeling sorry for that Pikachu. ;_; *hugs Pikachu*

I enjoyed this chapter a lot. Have to agree that the financial reports are getting a bit repetitive now (and I’m studying financial economics as my concentration :P). I like the other ads too, especially the tacos one. XD

Have to say also, those people at Agate are crazy. However, Ash isn’t that bad of a person. :P

Only thing is I think you went a bit too long on Skof’s story. I know you want to emphasis how his story is all nonsense, but I think you could have ended that part sooner so that you can get the plot of this chapter go faster. Financial stuff gets on my nerves at times, especially when they only seem to talk about it when things are going bad - never mind when the economy gets stronger on the day...

And maybe. Although I question there being much of a plot to that chapter. =P Shall investigate though.
Now, to sum it all up...
Overall, lots of funny parts in this story and I enjoyed it a lot. Again, haven’t played the game, but read most of the walkthrough and your explanation and you did well dealing the plotholes in the game. There’s actually this one other Serebii that also talked about the plotholes and mechanics of the Pokemon games, but in a more dramatic way while yours you did it in comedic fashion (and good at it too *thumbs up* ). Hurrah for enjoying it then. And what exactly is this fic you mention on? At any rate, we know that applying logic to Pokemon game mechanics doesn't quite work out...
Also, lots of great characters, even if many of them are from the game. :P Wanna say my favorite noncomedic character is Sherles, cause he actually want to get this Cipher/Snagem case over with . As for comedic, have to say Tom cause of his druken slurs XD. Also, my favorite Pokemon character is Esperon, because he always like to mess around with people’s minds. :P And of course, Miror B wins. ;)Yeah, vast majority are on the game, although many are not expanded upon character-wise (especially various NPCs) that they make for nearly a blank slate to use.
Guess the only overall criticism I would say is Misdreavus should have more screentime. I love Croncraw and Makuhita, but we weren’t able to get to know much of Misdreavus’ personality. Misdreavus I suppose has the misfortune to have a very minor role - never really did give it much screen time. (Partially due to the fear of eventually having too many characters to deal with before long). Maybe it could stand getting a bit more....but I shall see.
Nothing much to say but great work here and keep it up! :)Thanks once again, Bay - much appreciated.

And now the chapter. Stuff actually happens now in the game and hence the story, so huzzah for that! If you think there are many references to various things in this chapter, you're not wrong. =P

Thanks to a friend from school (known as Sky Fyre) for beta reading.

Disclaimer – no Pokemon were hurt in the making of this chapter.

Much.

***

Chapter 14 – Flying Pikachu, Magic Stone


Wes groaned as he staggered down a set of stairs, while trying to fit himself into his blue coat. He was still unaccustomed to living inside a giant tree, let alone spending the night there; and he also wasn't used to living somewhere with so many randomly-placed teapots to boot, as he tripped over one and came down the stairs faster than he had wished to.

“Good morning, Wes! Did you sleep well?” Rui said as she appeared into sight, clad in pyjamas and clutching a particularly oversized teapot, while Wes collided with a heavy clump at the bottom of the staircase. Dazed, he accepted Rui’s help to get him back onto his feet, only being able to make an unintelligible grunt in return as Wes noticed that Rui’s pyjamas were patterned with numerous Pokemon in chibi form. Wes frowned as he rubbed his head.

“I didn’t sleep very well,” he said eventually.

“Why not?” Rui asked worriedly. “And... where did you sleep anyway? I slept on the sofa, and I didn’t see any other bedrooms...”

“That’s because there are no other bedrooms,” Wes said flatly. “No – instead, I had the pleasure of getting to sleep outside on some giant branch...”

Rui stared, as Eagun walked past the two into the kitchen. “Well,” he said, while shrugging, “I told you we were a bit short on spare beds and all.”

“Yeah, I know...” Wes muttered. “Nevertheless, it’s rather hard to sleep when you know that your bed is sitting on a branch a good twenty or so metres in the air! Even if the branch was wide enough to nearly have a Pokemon battle upon it.”

“Ah well. Maybe you’d want some porridge?” Rui said.

“Something – anything will do...” Wes acknowledged, before he paused. “Rui?”

“Yes?”

“By any chance, was the porridge cooked in that teapot you’re holding?”

“Yeah...” Rui said. “There were no pots anywhere, but it should still taste good! I hope...” Wes glanced at Eagun, who again shrugged.

“The teapots were all at half price,” he said flatly.

“Fair enough then,” Wes grinned tiredly, as he accepted the teacup of porridge from Rui and moved to the table, sitting down before looking for a spoon. “Can’t argue with a good bargain I suppose... although you could have bought at least one pot...”

“Anyway, Wes, a bit before I went to sleep yesterday after that fiasco at the restaurant...” Rui said, also sitting down, “I had a look at that book Senilor gave us.”

“Anything useful in there, or just gibberish about how the Relic Stone is actually a stone, chiselled by some nobody?”

“Well, admittedly, some of this info seems to be bogus... like for instance...” Rui said, flipping over some pages before seemingly finding what she was looking for. “‘Useless Fact 797: The Relic Stone can also be used as a football!’”

Wes blinked at Rui. “Am I just still too sleepy, or was the writer just a bit... eccentric?”

Rui laughed sadly, before continuing on. “‘Useless Fact 798: It’s just a stone. Useless Fact 799: You didn’t make it!’” Rui said, turning the page. “‘Useless fact 800: This is... the 800th fact about the Relic Stone!’” she read, before grimacing.

“So... the whole thing is filled with nonsense?” Wes asked. “Great.”

“Not quite, though, Wes,” Rui said, turning to the back of the book. “There actually is something of note written here, on some page titled ‘Give me money’...”

“Ok then...” Wes said, as Espeon and Umbreon slowly stirred, awaking.

“Umbre...re...eon!” (Wazza...what’s that....arrgh!) Umbreon shouted as he opened his eyes, only to be greeted by the sight of Eagun’s face and beard.

“What’s wrong with you?” Eagun asked Umbreon. “But anyway, look at this!” he continued, waving a newspaper at Umbreon, who looked blankly at it.

“Can’t you read?” Eagun asked, disappointed over the lack of reaction. Before Umbreon or Espeon could protest, he started waving the newspaper. “I tell you what cooks my goose – newspaper headlines! It says right here ‘Specialist Claims Electric Chair Can Be ‘Extremely Painful’’! Whoever came up with the idea for an electric chair if it’s so painful then? And who needs different kinds of chairs anyway? What next, thermal chairs? Nuclear chairs? I won’t be able to decide which chair to sit in then!”

Umbreon merely blinked blankly, while Espeon made a small sound of confusion.

“Oh, never mind him,” Beluh said. “Dear, I told you not to read the morning paper, it excites you.”

“But look at this ad right here! It’s RIDICULOUS! They need to make some sign-making course! Now I at least know how to make a sign! Just look at the ones at the entrance of this town!”

“...You made those signs?” Wes asked.

“Yes. Impressive, aren’t they? The ones they tried to put up instead were terrible. Now a stop sign – that’s a sign with oomph!”

“Anyway,” Rui continued, ignoring her grandfather educate Wes’s Pokemon about the intricacies of signs, “it says here... ‘According to ancient lore, the Relic Stone holds power of time travel for the legendary Pokemon Celebi. It is said that Celebi can help one to revive their most pleasant, enjoyable memories, which has been known to cause darkness to flee from the hearts of any Pokemon. To meet it however, you must use an item called the ‘Time Flute’ which is all that one needs to bring Celebi to the Relic Forest. The tune to play to summon the Celebi is ‘I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts’'... wait, it suddenly went weird again...” Rui said. “Why that song?”

“Maybe Celebi has odd tastes?” Beluh offered. “Hmm, that reminds me...”

“It says some other stuff here too...such as that Celebi can also travel into other worlds – ones that don’t have any Pokemon in them? I think that’s still the random ramblings though.”

“Espeon... Espi?” (Celebi – a legendary Psychic Pokemon! But... who’s heard of a world without Pokemon?)

“Umbreon?” (How could anyone live in such a place?)

“But that sounds too ridiculous,” Wes protested. “I mean, Celebi? That’s...” Wes searched for words, but struggled. “It’s...super-duper rare! More rare than a... talking Meowth!”

“I know, but it states here that this information comes from bulbap-”

“I knew it!” Beluh announced triumphantly, pulling out an irregularly-shaped stone tablet from behind a leaning tower of teapots. “All that talk about Celebi reminded me we had this... here, it’s an ancient tablet on the Relic Stone.” Beluh then held out the tablet for all of them to see.


In AGATE’s mystic RELIC,
CELEBI’s power shelters.
The heart imprisoned by shadows
Its last door shall be opened
By THE power withIN.

-The ancient words of Masto-


“...Who’s Masto?” Rui asked, confused. “And why are some words entirely or just partly capitalised...”

“Never mind the guy’s name or the capitalisation; look at what it says!” Wes exclaimed. “From the book’s ranting and that, it sounds that the Relic Stone must hold Celebi’s power...and could purify our Pokemon. The last door... maybe it only does so when the Shadow Metre is empty for them! If that’s the case...”

“That’s great!” Rui said happily, as Beluh smiled.

““We can head there after breakfast and see if it works. By the way; Eagun, where are the spoons around here? Only I’ve checked every teapot I could find for them...”

“Spoons are too expensive,” Eagun replied. “But anyway, I’ve always wondered about this,” he continued, turning back to Espeon, Umbreon, and now Plusle, waving the newspaper once more at them, pointing at a headline ‘Manned Spacecraft To Moon Launched To Investigate Possible Presence Of Cheese’ which took up two entire pages. “If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they just leave him there?!”

“Plusle...” (Why can’t you just talk about potatoes?) Plusle asked tiredly.

“Espeon!” (Or just shut up entirely – stones sound more interesting than you!)

“But then,” Wes said uneasily, “how am I supposed to eat this porridge?”

“We... have paddle-pop sticks!” Eagun offered.

Suddenly, the front door flew open as a man stumbled in, gasping for breath.

“Great galloping fiddlesticks!” Eagun cried, suddenly getting to his feet and throwing his teacup full of porridge in the air in surprise.

Uh oh... Wes thought, cautiously eyeing the flying teacup that thankfully wasn’t heading in his direction. I hope he doesn’t start talking about his ‘pokeymans’ again...

Beluh also rose to her feet, looking concerned. “Duncan, what’s the matter?”

Oh great – it’s the guy who was shouting at his letterbox, Wes remembered, as he exchanged glances with Rui.

“It’s... well, there were some strange-looking people that came into town, and they walked all over my lawn!”

Eagun jumped into the air, threw his arms out, and shouted “NO!” loudly, looking at Duncan with a face of pure horror. Then he paused, realised what Duncan had actually said, and quietly got back into his seat.

“Don’t get worked up, dear,” Beluh said calmly. “Now then, Duncan... did they do... anything else?”

“...I don’t know, I just saw them walking on my lawn, and I had this strange urge to tell you about it. So I came right over after I waved my stick at them good! Oh, they got the stick-waving of their lives!”

“...Right,” Wes said, before he resumed his search for a spoon. He then gave a start as another person burst through the doorway.

“Help! Some people just came into town and walked over my lawn too!”

“Whatever is the world coming to?” Eagun said sadly. Then another person came in.

“Not another one...” Rui said.

“Urrgh... a group of people just barged through the entrance of the Relic Forest yelling about how they’d smash the Relic Stone apart!”

“...Ok, that’s not good,” Wes said quietly. “Smash the Relic Stone? But...who’d...” Then he noticed Eagun get up to his feet again, his eyes starting to expand, and stepped backwards uneasily.

“Oh no!” Beluh said worriedly. “Did they hurt you?

“No... well, I tried to stop them, but they just looked at me so I decided I’d run off and tell you guys about it,” he replied sheepishly. “And they walked on my lawn too!”

“So they walked right into the forest?” Beluh asked.

“WHO? WHAT? WHERE? WHAT? HOW? WHY?” Eagun shouted as well.

“Well... yes. But Steve’s in there, so he might stop them,” he added uncertainly. Suddenly, Eagun slapped the table with his hand loudly.

“RIGHT! I’m going to stop them! I’m running real fast out!” Eagun shouted, before he sprinted out of the room at an extraordinary speed, ignoring his rushed and mixed-up speech.

“...Wait – where is he going?” Wes said, confused.

“And how can he run so fast?” the man who had just entered murmured.

“No, come back!” Beluh shouted worriedly. “You’re in no shape to run – you know that it’s no good for your heart!”

“Don’t run on my lawn!” Duncan yelled as well.

Distant shouting from outside seemed to suggest that neither of those comments were being heeded.

“Oh dear... Wes, we’ve got to go after him!” Rui said, before she ran off too.

“Um... arrgh! Everyone’s either running off or complaining about their lawns...” Wes grumbled, before getting to his feet, promptly returning his Pokemon to their Pokeballs, and running outside as well. I hope we can stop those people though – so much for peace and quiet...

Despite his tiredness, he quickly reached Rui and began to overtake her, while searching for where Eagun had run off to.

“Where…did….he…go…” Rui panted, anxiously searching around.

“There he is!” Wes cried, rounding a corner and disappearing.

“Where?” she asked, looking around, before she tripped and face-planted into the ground. Sighing, she got to her feet.

“Hey, Wes…” she began, before realising that he too had disappeared from sight.

“Aww…great. Where the heck do I... go now?” Rui said to herself.

Meanwhile, Wes was pursuing Eagun, bemused by the fact that he didn’t seem to be gaining any ground on the old man despite running as fast as he could. Eagun was solely focused on where he was going, jumping fences and rushing through defenceless daffodils, heading in the direction of the town’s Pokemon Centre which was situated on the outskirts of the town. A young man stood outside, glancing confusedly at Eagun.

“Umm, what’s the rush? You look like you saw a talking gingerbread man- OW!” he cried, as Eagun ran right through him and took a hard left, running down a set of stairs by the Pokemon Centre. Without a second thought Wes followed, taking every third step down. As he got to the bottom, turning just in time to avoid falling into the river surrounding the village, he saw Eagun disappear into a cave; Wes sprinted inside.

He stopped short for a moment – the cave was lightly illuminated from the occasional hole that punctured the soil ceiling. A simple yet overrun path lay in front of him, weeds and in particular an enormous entanglement of roots from a large tree above ground concealing most of it, while a small, simple bridge interrupted the trail over a slow-moving stream.

Ahead, Eagun was still running ahead, as two people jumped out of the shadows at him.

“Hey, stop, you old man! Our boss up ahead told us nobody is to get past...is that a beard?” one asked, pointing at it in confusion.

Cipher people! Wes thought, noticing their purple uniforms. This can’t be good.

“Yeah...hey – come back!” the second shouted at Eagun who just ignored him and ran onwards.

“That’s right – you’re supposed to have a Pokemon battle with us! Don’t you know anything? Wait up! That’s what the boss told us...Ah great, he’s gone already,” the first muttered, admitting defeat.

“Boss won’t be happy, will he?”

“Nope. Hang on – who are you?” the man asked, pointing at Wes.

“Stop! I saw you, so we must battle!” the other added.

Ah great – I can’t afford to be held up! Wes thought furiously. This boss of theirs must be off to destroy the Relic Stone himself, and I doubt Eagun can hold him up for long at all... if he even catches up, that is...

“Go, Spheal!” the first person cried, sending out a spherical, blue-and-crème coloured Pokemon that glanced up at Wes with puppy-like eyes.

Then again...those Pokemon hardly look intimidating... Wes added to himself. He knelt down, smiling at the Pokemon, which looked at him with confusion, as did the two cipher agents.

“Now, I don’t really do these sorts of things, normally,” Wes began, “but I really don’t have time for this right now. “ With that, Wes stood up again and struck his leg out, punting the surprised Spheal across the cave.

“Oh no, my Pokemon!” cried its trainer, running off after it as it helplessly rolled away into the darkness. As the other followed him, Wes turned to continue after Eagun.

“Aha! I’ll stop you! Once I get down from here, that is!” a voice cried from above. Wes glanced up, before quickly running to the side of the cave as someone fell from above, giving a small shriek of pain upon landing. “I think I sprained my ankle...” she muttered softly.

“Where did you come from?” Wes managed after a moment, glancing upwards and back to the new, uniformed person that had landed right in front of him, getting up a bit gingerly. Cipher hire ninjas that fall from the ceiling now?

“If you must know, I was searching for my, uhh, Pokemon. I misplaced her...” the woman huffily replied, before wincing in pain.

Wes stared even further. “So naturally, you thought you got it lost up there?”

“...Shut up! It’ll turn up later – I’ll use this one instead! Now: go, Ralts!” she cried, as a small, miniature Pokemon was sent out. Wes stared once more at the white-bodied Pokemon that possessed a green, mushroom-shaped head that looked as big as the rest of its body, and laughed.

These Cipher people are pushovers...it’s the size of my shoe!

“Wes!” someone called suddenly – Wes turned around to notice Rui come in.

“What took you so long?” Wes asked, before noticing a man stand behind Rui.

“Hey, stop ignoring me! Ralts, attack that man with Psychic!” the woman yelled angrily, as the Ralts glanced back with a confused look, coupled with a small, timid cry.

“What do you mean, you don’t know any psychic moves yet?” the woman asked.

“I got lost!” Rui said. “But I got help from this man in the Pokemon Centre.”

“Hiya!” the man said, stepping forward and grabbing Wes’s hand, shaking it. “I’m Enpea Sea!”

“...Yeah, nice to meet you. Thanks and all,” Wes said quickly. “Rui, we’ve got to hurry up and get moving!”

“Ok...” Rui said, “but why is there a Ralts trying to attack your shoe at the moment? Is that that person’s Pokemon?”

“Why are you so useless!? I knew I shouldn’t have brought newly-hatched Pokemon!” the Cipher woman cried in anguish, as the Ralts tried to swat Wes’s shoes with its small arms. “And get away from me!” she added, as the old man who had assisted Rui tried to introduce himself to her.

“Umm... never mind that! Hey, um... Enpea Sea! You can take over this Pokemon battle here for me! Will you?” Wes asked. The old man gave a pondering look in return, before answering.

“...Well, I like battles and all, but I must go back to my spot and get my Pokemon checked up upon beforehand, and tell people about this. It’s my job, you see!”

“...It’s your job? Oh, whatever – never mind about that – just take the battle here for me, please,” Wes insisted.

“But standing in the same spot is more than a job. It’s an obligation – nay, destiny! And I prefer it over my last one - my back's never been the same after it. That job involved standing in the middle of the desert telling people about these discount shoes I got here-”

“Bye!” Wes said, before dragging Rui and running off again, leaving Enpea Sea with the woman and her Ralts behind.

***

On the other side of the underground passage, Eagun rushed out into the soft sunlight, and squinted, worriedly looking for a good sight to reassure him that the Relic Stone was fine. He continued down the stony path, knowing that soon he would reach it. It was the monument, the highlight, of this village – the object that he and many came to visit during walks through the forest by the village, during many a quiet, peaceful morning.

It was hard to explain why - perhaps nobody ever could, but it was as if this very spot radiated tranquillity and peace. A great calm would often fill him... but now it was different – despite the location there, it was obvious that there was trouble afoot. Those goons had tried to stop him from getting to the Relic Forest, and that was supposed to be closed to all but the villagers only! Not that they appeared to do a good job of stopping him. That was something to be thankful for – now he could only hope that Steve had managed to find this other person here and stop him from reaching the Relic Stone and doing... something or rather.

Hmm... what was it again? Eagun thought to himself, as he scratched his head in puzzlement and ploughed onwards. Something about raspberry jam...no, that was yesterday’s breakfast. Ah, I hate it when I forget stuff...

“Curse you, amnes...aminesa... ah, whatever you’re called!” Eagun muttered to himself.

Ah well, maybe I’ll make myself a sign about it next time, he thought more positively to himself. He was aware of the occasional memory loss he tended to have – in fact, most of Agate Village’s residents shared the same problem, all of them getting in age. It was essentially a retirement village, really. He probably shouldn’t have drunk so much tea – it tended to make him sleepy – maybe that was why he wasn’t quite thinking straight.

Concentrate! Eagun thought. Have to concentrate. Now...they mentioned that their boss was up ahead. How far ahead is he though? Is he already there? Did Steve find him? If so, maybe he stopped him. Or maybe he didn’t? And maybe he just slept in today? And where the heck am I again? he mused.

Suddenly, shouting and a cry of ‘Zig!’ broke Eagun out of his trance. He looked around, and spotted a middle-aged man, who gaped at Eagun.

“Steve! How are you! Nice overalls there, by the way. Oh look, the Relic Stone’s ok too!” Eagun said happily, pointing at it. It was of a slightly irregular, yet cylindrical-like shape, and was a simple stone-gray in colour, with the path having now encircled the sculpture.

Yes...I never did think that it was a good replica of a Celebi, personally... Eagun considered, observing the slabs of stone that made up the statue. Artistic license, I suppose.

“Oh, it’s ok – but not for long.”

Eagun turned around to face another man, this one immersed by a gray uniform and helmet, save for a bright-blue scarf. Through the visor, Eagun saw the man smirking smugly to himself, and frowned.

“Who are you?”

“I’m Skrub. And thanks for helping me by the way – I’ll just destroy the Relic Stone now, seeing as you took out my pitiful opposition without me having to even use a Pokemon!”

Eagun looked confusedly at him, and then at Steve, who wordlessly pointed at Eagun’s foot. Eagun looked down, and jumped back in surprise, noticing that he had been standing upon a distressed Zigzagoon. The small racoon Pokemon gave a sigh of relief as he did so, before falling unconscious.

“Oh...I’m sorry?” Eagun said to Steve. Meanwhile, Skrub snickered.

“Pathetic, I’m telling you. You old people shouldn’t try to stop me – it’s bad for your bones. At any rate...” Skrub drawled, turning towards the Relic Stone, grinning all the more now. “Come on out, my Hitmontop.” With that, Skrub held out a Pokeball and pressed the button upon it.

Frowning with bewilderment, Eagun regarded the humanoid Pokemon – it was peculiarly standing upon a spike on the top of its brown head, having landed upside-down. It hissed angrily at Eagun, striking the air with its fists and legs.

“I wouldn’t want to be hit by those attacks...” Steve said quietly to Eagun, who nodded worriedly.

“Hehe...don’t let it fool you – it fights better while upside-down like this!” Skrub boasted. “...Somehow. At any rate – step aside, unless you want to take on my Hitmontop.”

“Then it’s a battle it’ll be!” Eagun shouted, trying to hide his uncertainty.

“Fine then – Hitmontop, attack his Pokemon with Rapid Spin! Or if he has none, attack him!” Eagun stopped for a second and stared at Skrub, and then at the Hitmontop, who grinned at him. The grin looked more like an angry frown though from Hitmontop’s inverted position.

“I’m off,” Steve whispered, picking up his Zigzagoon before he ran off. “HELP! ANGRY UPSIDE-DOWN THINGS ARE GOING TO KILL ME!” he screamed, disappearing into the forest.

“Uhh...” Eagun said uncertainly. “Umm...go, Pikachu!” Eagun said, as he reached into his beard, pulled a surprised Pikachu out, and threw it at Skrub.

“What the-” Skrub said, covering his eyes, as the fat rodent came flying at his face.

“PEKA!” (Arrgh!) Pikachu shouted, landing on Skrub’s helmet, before hanging on for dear life with her short, stubby arms as Skrub strived to swat her off.

“Hitmontop!” (Something to attack!) the Hitmontop said, suddenly turning itself rapidly on the spot. As it became a blur, it suddenly shot off and followed Pikachu’s flight path, and collided with Skrub, who cried in pain. The Hitmontop growled angrily, disgusted that it had missed its quarry, and then swung a leg at the Pikachu, which jumped off just in time from Skrub’s head. Fortunately for Skrub, his view was finally unobstructed, but that only gave him a perfect view of Hitmontop’s attack.

“ARRGH! NOT ME, THE RAT!” Skrub screamed.

Meanwhile, Eagun racked his brains, trying to think of what moves his Pikachu knew.

“Pikachu! Use Quick Attack!” he finally decided. Pikachu looked up at Eagun and nodded, and then ran at the Hitmontop determinedly.

The Hitmontop turned around, and observed the lumbering, overweight Pikachu with mirth. As she reached the Hitmontop, it merely spun again with amazing acceleration and struck the rat with its feet one after the other, sending the rodent flying into the Relic Stone. Eagun gasped and watched, as the Relic Stone shook, and then steadied itself once more, as the Pikachu moaned a cry of ‘Peka’ and fell to the ground.

Skrub grimly got up to his feet. “Right, you’ll pay for that, old man. But first I will deal with business. Hitmontop, you idiot of a Pokemon, Rapid Spin on the Relic Stone now, and then I’d let you have some fun.”

The Hitmontop growled, but then grinned, realising what Skrub meant, and spun itself once again before he flew at the Relic Stone.

“No!” Eagun cried.

“Quick – go and use Reflect – stop that...thing!” someone shouted suddenly.

The Hitmontop came within centimetres of the Relic Stone – and then harshly rebounded from a wall of light that appeared just before it. Espeon then appeared, jumping on top of the Relic Stone, and proudly stared at the hissing Hitmontop.

“Espeon! Esp!” (You’re not about to get past!)

“Good work, Espeon,” Wes said, appearing, with Rui in tow. “Now, focus on that Reflect – keep it up, for that Pokemon gave it a beating already!” Espeon nodded, and then focused his mind, the jewel in his forehead shinning brighter than before as the Reflect he had summoned glimmered brighter in turn.

“You came!” Eagun said, wiping sweat from his forehead before he quickly moved to swoop up his Pikachu.

“Be careful, Grandpa...” Rui warned. “And no wonder, Wes – it’s a Shadow Pokemon!” Rui said, noticing a dense, purple aura surrounding the Hitmontop. Skrub glared at the new arrivals, before he bitterly laughed.

“Oh, so the renegade and the seeing-girl turn up out of nowhere,” he spat. “Looks like I’ll have to rely on the rest of my pathetic Pokemon – at least I brought some more! Go and try to destroy that stone, then, and at all costs!”

“Come on out then, Umbreon and Yanma! Protect that stone no matter what!” Wes hurriedly shouted, grabbing two Pokeballs out at once, while Skrub haphazardly threw out three. Suddenly the stone was surrounded by six more Pokemon.

On Skrub’s side was a Geodude, the levitating rock Pokemon roaring and flying straight at the barrier, its two arms swinging at it. It held however, but uneasily as the Hitmontop also moved in and also began attacking it. Umbreon however appeared from Wes’s Pokeball, and jumped on the Hitmontop, teeth latching onto its limbs. The Yanma however did not pay much attention to the fight.

“Yan-Yan-Yanmamama!” (Oh-look-a-battle-hey-I-smell-coffee-someone-is-drinking-coffee-somewhere!) it said suddenly upon sniffing the air, and with that it zoomed out the way Eagun and Wes had came, disappearing into the forest.

“Oh, how pathetic...” Skrub laughed as his other two Pokeballs hit the ground and his Pokemon materialised. “I’m sure the Pokemon I brought here are better than that!”

Another of Skrub’s Pokemon was a Clamperl; a small, blue shell that merely sat on the ground. Next to it was a Wynaut – a blue Pokemon that was human shaped, although it was the size of a small toddler, and had stubby feet. It happily wagged its long ears and tail, and then suddenly hopped on the Clamperl and merrily danced upon it, appearing not to be in the least bit interested of attacking.

At least that’s good, Wes thought to himself. The Clamperl will be easy as heck even if it ever moves, and the Wynaut line are purely counter-attack Pokemon, so it won’t pose any danger if I leave it alone for now, he quickly concluded.

“None of the other Pokemon are Shadow Pokemon,” Rui said. “Hang on; I think I brought one of my Pokemon with me too...”

“Urgh! Why did I have to bring you?” Skrub shouted, overcome with annoyance at how the situation had escalated. The Wynaut looked at his trainer, and merely shrugged happily, exclaiming ‘Wynaut’. A moment later, Skrub realised the comment made in relation to the Pokemon’s name.

“Touché...”

“Ok then – go, Quagsire!” Rui said, managing to aim her Pokeball and release her Quagsire more or less in front of the Relic Stone. “Ok, just...stand there and don’t let anyone past!”

“Qu...aag,” (Uhh...duh, ok,) the Quagsire responded, before he sat down and stared blankly into space. As the Hitmontop span past it, trying to find a weak point in Espeon’s Reflect, it suddenly waved its flipper out to the side and struck it, before staring at it with its tiny eyes, maintaining the same expression.

“Eagun, just in case...get somewhere safe,” Wes said, grabbing two more Pokeballs. “Go and defend the Relic Stone, Makuhita and Croconaw!”

“Come with me, Pikachu,” Eagun said quietly, hurriedly running off with his prized Pokemon in tow. Meanwhile, Wes’s Pokemon materialised from their respective Pokeballs, and faced off their more intimidating opposition in Hitmontop and Geodude.

Then they suddenly paused, and turned their backs on their opposition and faced the Relic Stone.

“W...Why are you-” Wes began, before Rui grabbed his arm, gasping in surprise.

“Look, Wes! Something’s happening with the Relic Stone!”

Wes, Skrub, and all of the other Pokemon observed the Relic Stone.

“...Rui, it’s just...sitting there,” Wes said finally. But Makuhita and Croconaw certainly think otherwise too, he added to himself, frowning at the two. They were seemingly in their own world, only focusing their attention to the stone. Wes then glanced at the stone, half expecting it to fly up and away, or do something else that was interesting.

“But...can’t you see the green light surrounding the Relic Stone? It’s...”

“Rui, we can’t see auras, remember?” Wes said.

“Oh yeah...” Wes quickly glanced at Espeon, who was looking with bewilderment at the Relic Stone. He senses something’s up too, Wes thought. Hang on...

“And... now the green aura is...engulfing your Pokemon’s auras!” Rui said excitedly.

“What? Damn it!” Skrub swore. “Oi, keep attacking! Either that stupid piece of rock or those Pokemon of his – just don’t let it do whatever it’s doing! We can’t let it!”

“Wynaut?” (Why not?) queried the small, hyper Pokemon.

“Stop saying that! Geodude, try flying over that Reflect and attack the stone from above for starters!”

The Geodude roared once again, and then flew straight up. Espeon frowned worriedly, but then simply shrugged. As the rock Pokemon flew back to earth after bypassing the wall of light, letting gravity quicken its fall, Espeon shifted the shape of it, so that it now formed a dome-like shape over the Relic Stone, just as the Geodude struck it and went rebounding off, as the Reflect attack wavered in response.

Wes winced. Maintaining such a large force field isn’t going to be easy for Espeon, and a few large attacks like that would probably break it! He then quickly glanced at Makuhita and Croconaw, as the Hitmontop spun itself once again and began charging at them.

“Umbreon, quick – stop him!” Wes ordered. Umbreon barked and jumped at the Hitmontop, forcing it to make a detour away from its target for several valuable seconds. Hissing with rage, the Hitmontop came back, as Umbreon braced himself to take the hit – but he didn’t see the Geodude crash into him from above at the same time.

“No! Hang in there, Umbreon!” Wes cried. An unexpected yawn suddenly caught his attention though.

“Maku...TA!” (I feel so...HAPPY!) Makuhita said slowly, stretching his arms. Croconaw followed suit, as he grinned at Makuhita.

“Yes! Wes, I think they’re purified! Their shadow auras are gone!”

“...Are they? They look the same to me... Umbreon, just keep dodging; it may be fine for now!” Wes called.

‘I’m sure,” Rui confirmed, beaming. “Has to be. I can...I can just sense it.”

“Umb, eon! Umbreon! Umb!” (Stop standing and grinning, you two! Arrgh, stop being so happy! It’s like you got a personality change!) Umbreon shouted at the two, as he tried to avoid both Hitmontop and Geodude’s attacks. He then looked at Quagsire for help, who merely glanced back, blinking at Umbreon.

“Ok then-” Wes said.

“CROC!” (WATCH OUT, BRO!) Croconaw suddenly shouted, pointing in the direction of Hitmontop who was charging at them. He then scratched his head, trying to remember why all of a sudden a Hitmontop was charging at them. He felt different – at peace with himself... but this was somewhat surprising for him.

“Ma? MAKUHITA!” (What, a fight? TIME TO DIE!) Makuhita yelled, charging back at the spinning top and punching low, square in the face and sending it the way it came.

“Are...you sure they’ve changed much?” Wes asked Rui, before turning to Croconaw. “Croconaw, I think we’ve purified you for good! But we’ve got a battle first – just help keep that oversize stone safe!” Croconaw nodded, grinned and saluted in response, before also charging into battle, following Makuhita’s lead.

“Maybe not,” Rui said, “but I suppose they were always like this... Croconaw being loyal, and Makuhita being... punch-happy? I don’t think the Relic Stone changed much – it just helped them overcome the final step through Celebi’s power...”

“Hitmontop – just aim for the horn- err, stone! You too, Geodude! Wynaut and Clamperl...can you do something!?” Skrub screeched. The Geodude flew away from Umbreon at that and charged at the Reflect attack once more. Wes grinned.

“Ok then – Croconaw – Water Gun that Geodude! And Makuhita, try a Cross Chop attack on that Hitmontop!” To his delight, Croconaw shot out a powered ball of water at the Geodude, while Makuhita instantly obeyed as well.

“Quick – Defense Curl – dodge – something!” Skrub said worriedly. ‘And Hitmontop, hurry up and get moving!”

“Hitmon...Top,” (I’m feeling dizzy now...I don’t want to attack anything right now,) Hitmontop complained however, looking tiredly at his trainer.

“Wynaut?” (Why not?) Wynaut chanted once more, still dancing on the spot.

“Hit!” (Shut up!) Hitmontop shouted, suddenly looking keen to attack something again. Glaring at Wynaut, it flew at it and threw a punch. As it did so though, Wynaut unexpectedly glared back, stopped dancing and frowned, before it began glowing a deep blue.

“No, Wynaut! Don’t use Counter now!” Skrub shouted helplessly, but it was too late – as Hitmontop punched Wynaut, it suddenly lashed out at Hitmontop, unleashing the attack it had received right back upon Hitmontop. While the two exchanged blows, Makuhita walked up, grinned, and then struck Hitmontop as well.

Meanwhile, the Geodude looked up, suddenly noticing the Water Gun attack. Crying with surprise, it covered its face with its arms.

“Geodude!” (If I can’t see it, it’s not there!) it cried. A moment later it wailed in pain as the Water Gun attack made contact regardless of its actions.

“Geodude!” (I’m MELTING!) With that, the Geodude crashed into the ground, as the water began to mix with the rock and dirt it was made up of. Skrub hastily recalled Geodude to its Pokeball, scowling.

“Piece of junk...HEY!” he shouted, noticing Wes chuck a Pokeball into his Snag Machine and then prepare to chuck it at a dazed Hitmontop, who was reeling from an equally dazed Wynaut and a triumphant Makuhita. “You can’t do that!”

“Wy...naut...” (Why...not...) the Wynaut muttered one last time, before it fell off of the Clamperl it had been standing on. The Clamperl seemed not to have noticed at all, as it still sat motionlessly.

“Thank goodness it won’t say that anymore...” Rui muttered. “I’ve had enough of bad puns...”

“Nrrgh!” Skrub managed, unable to say anything meaningful as he grabbed his Pokeball. “You can’t get my Hitmontop if I return him- what?” he added, as the Pokeball flew out of his hand, struck him in the face, and then crashed suddenly into the ground, shattering into pieces.

“Nice work, Espeon,” Wes said, before throwing the Snag Ball at Hitmontop. It struck and sucked the dizzy Pokemon into its confines, before the Ball landed on the ground. It wobbled once.

Twice.

And thrice, before it stopped, giving a small ‘ping’ of success as it did.

“Too easy,” Wes said, grinning as he picked it up. “Now,” he continued, facing Skrub who has currently venting his rage on an unfortunate tree branch, having returned the rest of his, “I’d advise that you run off now.”

“I...I failed... no!” Skrub shouted, charging at the Relic Stone. Espeon hastily threw up his Reflect attack once more, and it held – but only just, as Skrub bounced off. Fists clenched, he went at it again.

“Makuhita, stop him please,” Wes said simply. Makuhita grinned, simply striking the air in front of Skrub’s leg with one of his arms, causing him to trip and land face-first in front of Quagsire.

“Quag!” (Duh!) Quagsire moaned, surprised, as it swatted Skrub with his flipper before resuming his motionless pose. Skrub slowly staggered to his feet, muttering to himself.

“Fine.... bah, the luck of it. Beaten by the renegade, and some girl in pyjamas.”

Rui looked at her clothes and noticed that she was still dressed in her chibi-Pokemon-patterned clothes, and then recalled that she had run though town – and the Pokemon Centre – in them.

“Whoops...”

“But don’t think you’ve won just yet!” Skrub shouted. “I can always come back! With other people who have better Pokemon than mine!”

“Oh no you don’t.”



(continued in next post)

bobandbill
April 24th, 2009, 08:07 AM
Skrub turned around, and gasped. In front of him, Eagun stood, tall and proud.

With the rest of the town’s elderly citizens behind him.

“You’re leaving town now,” Eagun said simply, pointing to the exit. “Your friends already chose to leave peacefully – I suggest you do too.”

“Oh yeah?” Skrub tried once more, his voice however noticeably lacking the arrogance it had beforehand. “Just...just make me!”

“Ok then,” Eagun replied, “we will. Everyone?”

Wordlessly, Eagun reached into his beard and pulled out another Pikachu from it, while each other person brought out theirs as well, some from equally random sources. Skrub, Rui and Wes stared.

“What; didn’t you youngsters know that Pikachu’s the town’s mascot? We’ve got millions of these things!” Eagun said. “Now everyone – attack!” With that Eagun threw his Pikachu, which screeched with surprise at it landed on Skrub’s head. Noticing everyone else start throwing their rodent Pokemon at him, he turned and ran for it, while trying to swat off the Pikachu on his head.

“Get him!” one called, as the elders gave chase.

“That’s what you get for walking on my lawn!” another added.

As the crowd disappeared, yelling threats at Skrub and throwing Pikachus at him, Umbreon trotted forward to Wes carrying a small object in his mouth as Espeon dropped his Reflect attack and hopped off of the Relic Stone.

“Umbre!” (I found something shiny!) Umbreon said proudly, dropping the object at Wes’s feet. Wes picked it up.

“It’s another CD... another Ein File then,” Wes said, before pocketing it. “We’ll send it to Sherles later then, I suppose...” Wes sighed and smiled at Rui. “Well...that was unexpected. We know Cipher are still at large then... but we stopped them once again,” he said.

“We did! And Beluh was right! She said we would purify the Shadow Pokemon here, and the Relic Stone here did!”

“Indeed...” Wes grinned and turned to Makuhita and Croconaw. “So then...” Wes stopped suddenly.

Makuhita was staring at Croconaw, who no longer could be seen, a bright, white light in his place instead. Gradually though, a shape could be made out through the light.

“What...what’s happening?” Rui asked, confused.

“He’s evolving,” Wes said, grinning.

As time passed, the light began to dissipate, Croconaw’s new form coming into clearer view. He was of a more limber shape than his previous, plumper shape, the fat now replaced with an impressive set of muscles and covered with scales on his arms, legs and belly. He was far taller too – at least double the height now, and the red spikes - which there were more of now - upon his head and back were more pronounced.

And suddenly it was over – the light was gone, and in Croconaw’s place was a Feraligatr.

“Fera...?” (I evolved...?) Feraligatr said slowly, testing out his new jaw, before he slowly walked forward. He stumbled slightly, but stayed upright.

“Maku...hita!” (Hey, hang on... I think I’m evolving too!) Makuhita suddenly remarked. Espeon and Umbreon regarded him for a moment or two, before turning back to admire Feraligatr’s new form.

“Maku...Makuhita! Hita...” (Ok, I was wrong...but I gained all of those experience points! Unless I lost them...)

“Quagsire?” (There’s a strange smell...duh,) Quagsire noted, before it shrugged and promptly decided it was a good idea to fall asleep.

“Awesome!” Rui said, beaming. “Although I always thought evolution would be all... I don’t know. More dramatic, with music or something...” she mumbled to herself, before disregarding her thought. “I bet you evolved because you’re purified now!” Feraligatr thought about it for a moment, before smiling smugly, and nodding.

“Well then,” Wes said with a yawn. “We can worry about what happened just now later. I say we go and get some breakfast...” he concluded, walking with Rui and his Pokemon back to the village.

And I better go and find that coffee-obsessed Yanma too, Wes thought to himself suddenly.

***

And that's the chapter! Hope you enjoyed. Now for how it links to the game itself:



Relic Stone - a stone which has held in high regard by citizens of Agate Village, and is situated in the forest. It looks like... well, a bunch of stones put on top of each other, really. A lot of the information on the Relic Stone is given to you by characters in the game. However, the way the game does this, you are unable to purify Pokemon until you beat Skrub, and THEN find out information about the Relic Stone. Even though you can go there at any time and with ready-to-be-purified Shadow Pokemon as well - you need to know more about it before being able to do so. Because apparently, pressing A on the Stone and then choosing a Pokemon to stand next to it for 5 seconds requires knowledge on the stone!

As for the stone tablet's message about the Relic stone - that's in the game, although they do insist on capitalising some words, like RELIC and AGATE. Needlessly. (Ah, capitalisation in Pokemon games...). As for the 'Masto' - well, he was a teacher made of awesome at my school and requires mention. Not necessarily for his teaching skills - just for his awesome.



Eagun - he does a fair bit around here. Someone comes into the house just when you arrive with Rui and greet her grandparents, yelling that people have barged into the Relic Forest. He suddenly dashes out at speeds that are amazing for someone his age, as many NPCs agree.



Enpea Sea - based on a (nameless) NPC who stands in the Pokemon Centre, talking about checking the health of his Pokemon, before complaining about his back problems. I thought the name was fitting – ‘twas suggested by 'Chris the Com' - friend at school. Here he also helps Rui, who in Agate Village can actually get separated from you (people who get annoyed by her constantly following you take advantage of the weird angles and hills Agate Village has to do so). But walking into a house or leaving, etc will have her instantly reappear, despite being lost.



Cipher agents - there's an underpass to the Relic Forest, on which there are three battles with Cipher agents. Nothing tough though, but they take a bit of time - but not enough to stop you from reaching the Relic Stone just in time, of course. And one of them really DOES fall from the ceiling to battle you. Throwing a large stone at Wes Cipher - hiring ninjas since yesterday.



Steve - an NPC who stands on the spot by the Relic Stone while you defend it, just shaking. Not very helpful...



Skrub vs. Eagun Battle - the most epic of showdowns this side of Victory Road. A level 38 shadow Hitmontop against the poorly-reused-fat model of Pikachu from the days of Stadium... who is at level 50. Yet, Skrub always wins this battle which you are forced to watch - apparently, someone didn't tell Eagun the legendary trainer that Pikachu knows moves outside of Quick Attack, which is all it ever does. At least here, Eagun adds in the throwing of Pikachu from his beard... well, I don't see no belt or pockets for his Pokeballs on his robe, so I went for the next logical place. =P



Skrub - he's a higher up, but not an Admin of Cipher. His aim here is to destroy the Relic Stone, but he fails to Wes and his superior trench-coat. He has the same team in this chapter - unfortunately for him, outside of Hitmontop his team isn't exactly good. Clamperl is hardly about to pose a threat, and to try to destroy the Relic Stone with a Pokemon in Wynaut who has no attacking moves bar countering ones...



After losing, he rants a bit and...runs off. And no cipher agent is ever seen again. Threw in the whole town chasing him with Pikachus there for a touch more eventy-ness. (After all, in XD, Eagun has multiple Pikachu...)

Have patience, and until the next chapter....dance!

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
April 24th, 2009, 09:54 AM
First review. Fwee.

Ah, the much-anticipated showdown with Skrub. Good 'ol memory loss - so THAT'S why Pikachu never used Thunderbolt. In the battle, I enjoyed how Skrub tried to get his Pokemon to destroy the Relic Stone as well as battle with Wes. I also liked how they failed epically in doing so. Suppose you can't expect much more from a Clamperl that just sits there, and a Wynaut that only makes bad puns and lashes out at its teammate.

Major lesson learned: Do not walk on Duncan's lawn. He doesn't like that and he'll wave his stick at you until you succumb to its awesomeness.

“Spoons are too expensive,”
In these hard financial times, what isn't too expensive?

But standing in the same spot is more than a job. It’s an obligation – nay, destiny!
Truer words were never spoken.

Hitmontop – just aim for the horn- err, stone!
Now, now, everyone and their old man knows that only works in the anime universe, and only with one specific Pikachu...

she was still dressed in her chibi-Pokemon-patterned clothes,
KAWAII!!!

“What; didn’t you youngsters know that Pikachu’s the town’s mascot? We’ve got millions of these things!”
A truly terrifying sight indeed. My retreat would have been even faster than Skrub's, if I happened to be the Cipher agent in charge of destroying the Relic Stone

A level 39 shadow Hitmontop against the poorly-reused-fat model of Pikachu from the days of Stadium
Huh... I could've sworn it was at Lv. 38.

Anyway, great chapter, and it's always nice to see Skrub get pwned. And, as closing remarks...

Eagun, I love your signs! They rock my world!

Bay Alexison
April 24th, 2009, 08:46 PM
Just real quick, yes the one fic I mentioned in which Duncan was mentioned as an old man is the parody story we talked about and the other fic that also explain the plotholes in the games is called, “The Awakening” by Quackerdrill. The latter fic is old, though, back at 06.

One other note is to not worry too much about the battle in Chapter 9. Again, part of the reason is cause too many Pokemon were involved and it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening unless I read that chapter a couple more times. However, I understand why you went with that route. So yeah, don’t sweat it too much.

‘kay, to the review! Ha, Duncan again! Have to agree with DP on that. XD

One of my favorite parts is actually when Wes kicked the Spheal. More trainers should actually kick Pokemon instead of battle them. :P

I love how you give some emotional description to Crowncraw/ Feraligatr after being purified. Nice touch there and shows how the Pokemon feels after not being a shadow anymore.

I thought you did this battle way better than in Chapter Nine, in terms of comedy and also having a lot of Pokémon being involved. I’m able to track what’s happening better and also I want to kick that Wynaut. XD And yeah, Pikachu overload FTW!

One thing is I’m confused is if Himontop has been purified or not. If he did, there’s no mention of that, unless I missed something. Another problem is I’m wondering if Wes will try to find Yanama again. That chapter seems like he won’t, which I guess so.

Once again, I enjoyed this chapter a lot. Keep it up! :)

Ninja Caterpie
April 25th, 2009, 03:44 PM
Fwoot. That was awesome. =D

Nothing more to say, I guess, but that was really awesome, and godly funny.

Hah, I'll keep in mind that spoons are too expensive. =P

bobandbill
May 5th, 2009, 04:17 AM
Cheers for the reviews, people. =)First review. Fwee.

Ah, the much-anticipated showdown with Skrub. Good 'ol memory loss - so THAT'S why Pikachu never used Thunderbolt. In the battle, I enjoyed how Skrub tried to get his Pokemon to destroy the Relic Stone as well as battle with Wes. I also liked how they failed epically in doing so. Suppose you can't expect much more from a Clamperl that just sits there, and a Wynaut that only makes bad puns and lashes out at its teammate.

Major lesson learned: Do not walk on Duncan's lawn. He doesn't like that and he'll wave his stick at you until you succumb to its awesomeness.I also found it silly that the stronger Pikachu only ever used Quick Attack, and that although he was there to destroy the Relic stone, he seemed more interested in battling Eagun and than you. And then he just walked off, upset that his normally overpowered Camperl proved ineffective. XD

And one must always watch out for duncan's lawn. -_-
In these hard financial times, what isn't too expensive?
Teapots, apparently. XD
A truly terrifying sight indeed. My retreat would have been even faster than Skrub's, if I happened to be the Cipher agent in charge of destroying the Relic StoneTrue, that. I know your like - or lack of - for Pikachu well. XD
Huh... I could've sworn it was at Lv. 38.I claim typo. =P
Anyway, great chapter, and it's always nice to see Skrub get pwned. And, as closing remarks...

Eagun, I love your signs! They rock my world!Thanks for the review once again. =) And indeed, it is fun to beat Skrub - the guy that's a bos... but actually isn't. Game kinda went meh on his importance. XD[QUOTE]Just real quick, yes the one fic I mentioned in which Duncan was mentioned as an old man is the parody story we talked about and the other fic that also explain the plotholes in the games is called, “The Awakening” by Quackerdrill. The latter fic is old, though, back at 06. I see then. And Quackerdrill... familar name, indeed.
One other note is to not worry too much about the battle in Chapter 9. Again, part of the reason is cause too many Pokemon were involved and it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening unless I read that chapter a couple more times. However, I understand why you went with that route. So yeah, don’t sweat it too much. BUT MY CHAPTERS MUST UNDERGO SUPREME EDIT YES ;]
‘kay, to the review! Ha, Duncan again! Have to agree with DP on that. XD

One of my favorite parts is actually when Wes kicked the Spheal. More trainers should actually kick Pokemon instead of battle them. :P

I love how you give some emotional description to Crowncraw/ Feraligatr after being purified. Nice touch there and shows how the Pokemon feels after not being a shadow anymore. Shpeal punting should become a national sport. Incidently, partly inspired by the animation it has whenever Speal gets attacked - it rolls pack into postion. Thought it'd be amusing if someone kicked it like a ball. XD
I thought you did this battle way better than in Chapter Nine, in terms of comedy and also having a lot of Pokémon being involved. I’m able to track what’s happening better and also I want to kick that Wynaut. XD And yeah, Pikachu overload FTW!Might be slowly improving on my battles then... hmm. Admittedly though as you mentioned, here as opposed to Chapter 9, there was only one trainer compared to...something like 10. XD Gave me more time to do stuff like that, I suppose, but yay for the comment.
One thing is I’m confused is if Himontop has been purified or not. If he did, there’s no mention of that, unless I missed something. Another problem is I’m wondering if Wes will try to find Yanama again. That chapter seems like he won’t, which I guess so.

Once again, I enjoyed this chapter a lot. Keep it up! :)Hitmontop is not purified - hence the lack of mention over it. ;) But he remains a Shadow Pokemon, and as mentioned (and within the game as well), one only gets purified by the Shadow Pokemon once their 'shadow metre' is fully depleted, or rather when they're ready for it (through love and friendship and food and massages and what-not) - hence why it is not purified. A stone can only do so much. XD And haven't forgotten about Yanma just yet either. (Hmm, maybe should give it a mention...). But cheers for the review again!
Fwoot. That was awesome. =D

Nothing more to say, I guess, but that was really awesome, and godly funny.

Hah, I'll keep in mind that spoons are too expensive. =PGlad you liked it, and hurrah that after all the time it took you liked it. =)

Mind you, the plastic spoons can be bought cheaply in bulk, I believe... =P

bobandbill
September 21st, 2009, 06:42 AM
And after months of procrastination and school, I return on a pogo stick and with a new chapter in hand.

Thanks to those who did review after my latest reply - but they seem to be deleted to the no-fic-bumping rule, oh well. I've seen them though (thanks to Astinus =D), so cheers. Particularly to 'Pich_u' - I'll get to those mistakes you pointed out soon, so thanks for that. =)

OK THEN. Time for the chapter. As a quick reminder of what went down the previous chapter - Wes and Rui saved the Relic Stone from a small gang of Cipher memebers, notably a man called Skrub who was run out of town upon his defeat (by an angry town throwing Pikachu at him, no less). The Relic Stone is discovered to purify Shadow Pokemon at the end, as demonstrated as Croconaw and Makuhita becoming normal Pokemon again, and Croconaw evolves into Feraligatr upon purification.

Plenty of thanks to Chris_the_Com for beta-reading this with the power of awesome faces. (Also to some guy called Rowan). =P Enjoy!

***

Chapter 15 – The Battle of Battles At... Mt Battle



The group slowly made their way to the Pokemon Centre by the top of the hill sloping down to the Relic Stone forest. Feraligatr had already become somewhat more accustomed to his new form, no longer tripping over or stumbling while he walked.

“Umbreon...Umbre!” (About time you got the hang of walking again – I’ve had enough of you falling on me!)

“Croc-Fe, Feraligatr,” (Jumbo jets- err, I mean, I said I was sorry, you old slowcoach,) Feraligatr replied with a grin after mixing up his words.

“Umb!? Umbre- eon!” (Slowcoach!? I hardly think that you can call me- hey, wait up!) Umbreon cried at the group, realising they were well ahead of him. As he caught up, Feraligatr shot him another cheeky grin, which Umbreon pretended to ignore.

“Oh good, you caught up,” Wes said absentmindedly, further adding to Umbreon’s frustrations with Feraligatr. “Anyway...Rui, this is really fantastic. Looks like we’ve now found a cure for the Shadow Pokemon.”

“I know! All we have to do is cure them some more, then have them visit the Relic Stone, and we’re done! Maybe only a few more weeks, if that!”

“True, true,” Wes pondered. “Oh hey, it’s Yanma,” he added, spotting Yanma’s tail poking out of a bin.

“Yanyanyanyanmamamamama!” (Oh-dear-I’m-stuck-oh-well-it-was-tasty-coffee-hey-look-a profiterole!) the Yanma squealed nonsensically inside. Wes grabbed his Pokeball and recalled the nuisance, and then followed Rui as the mechanical doors of the Pokemon Centre slid open with a clang allowing them to step inside.

“Oh, you’re back,” Eagun greeted the two, grabbing both by the arms and shaking them with glee. “That was fantastic battling, Wes! You saved the Relic Stone, and now you can help those silhouette Pokemon of yours.”

“Shadow Pokemon,” Rui said.

“Whatever,” Eagun said, as Rui returned the Pokemon to their Pokeballs and handed them to the assistant behind a counter. “We drove that nasty lot out of town, at any rate. Some are now busy retrieving their Pikachu – a good dozen or so ended up in a tree, it appears – and some are tending to Duncan’s poor, poor lawn. Those flowers... they’ll never be the same,” Eagun sniffed.

“...There there,” Wes consoled Eagun uneasily.

“Could you please heal our Pokemon? They’re a bit tired since they were fighting to save this stone, you see.”

“...Stone?” the man said.

“Yep. It helps make the Shadow Pokemon happy and all, although I don’t really get how it can be used as a football...” she added, glancing at her book on the Relic Stone and shrugging. She then returned to Wes and Eagun, leaving the assistant scratching his head.

“Hey, we better tell Sherles about this,” Rui said.

“Good idea... I’ll send him an e-mail and wait for him to reply – we’ve got the whole day ahead of us to wait for that.” Pulling out his P*DA, Wes quickly typed up a message and hit send.

“Pity we’ve got so many Shadow Pokemon to purify – we’ve only done two after all, and even with them helping out in Pyrite, it might take a while, especially if more Shadow Pokemon are found...I guess we could always use some more help.”

“I could help!” Eagun offered, smiling brightly.

“...Um, yeah, sure,” Wes said, unsure if Eagun’s ways would terrify some of the Shadow Pokemon or not.

Suddenly a woman walked into the building, and started shouting, waving her arms in the air like a drowning swimmer desperate for attention. “Right, the Day Care Service needs clients! Who wants to give us money to take care of your Pokemon and make sure of their well-being and happiness?”

“Well, that was quick,” Rui said quietly.

“Indeed. Pity she said ‘who wants to give us money’...” Wes sighed, before catching Rui’s frown. “Ok, ok, I was kidding,” he continued, motioning for the woman to come, glad that Espeon was being healed so that he couldn’t mention that he hadn’t been joking.

“Oh, you’re interested?” the woman said, gleaming as she eyed Wes’s wallet.

Oh great, someone else who seems to like money as much as me, Wes thought grimly. “Firstly, may I ask a few questions? Such as the place, and so forth...?”

“Wes!” Rui hissed. “Just give her the money and Pokemon already.”

Wes winced. “But... shouldn’t we find out some more first about where we’re putting these Pokemon? I’m not exactly one to trust a complete stranger... Are you, Rui?”

“...Yeah, you’re right. Odd, I just thought for a moment that the Day Care centre would be completely trustworthy.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that,” the woman said quickly. “We have respectable grounds – lots of, um.... grass! Yes, grass. Also...” she struggled. “We have...air! Lots of healthy air.”

“That’s...nice, I suppose?” Rui said slowly.

“Actually, maybe you should take a look at the grounds for yourself? We’re also a certified Day Care service. It’s got a stamp and everything,” she added, pulling out a piece of paper. Wes glanced at it – it had the words ‘Day Care Service No 34’, and a stamp with the word ‘APPROVED’ encircling an awesome face.

“Sounds good to me,” Wes said finally. “We’ll go take a look in a moment. How many Pokemon can you take, by the way?”

“Oh, well, we have space for four large Pokemon, but we’re currently only taking one at a time now, so your Pokemon has plenty of space!”

“Back up a second – why only one?” Wes asked, frowning.

“Oh... well, a while back we had a few problems. There were these two Pokemon, you see, who weren’t getting along with each other.”

“I see – just trying to keep the Pokemon happy, fair enough,” Rui said.

“No, there’s more... the next morning when I went to check on them there were a number of strange oval-shaped rocks about the place. Most unusual.”

“Odd. Do you know where they came from?”

“No, but this phenomenon only happens when we have more than one Pokemon with us. We even had one of them sent to this really fancy-pants professor. Elm or something. He seemed confused by it too, though when we told him about it so he got started on examining it... and then that story started about how he went insane, so we never found out about his findings. ”

You’re kidding me, Wes thought. Clearly those were eggs, and this eluded a Pokemon Professor? I’m betting he realised though when it hatched, and… that’s what made him go crazy, like those newspapers had reported? Oh boy.

“We had to have the owners of the Pokemon take them away because the neighbours started complaining. Something about how they can’t sleep at night and that the rocks were too spotty for their liking.” The Day-Care woman shrugged. “It gives a bad reputation for some reason, so it’s a new rule. It's along with the 'No giving the Pokemon candy' , and the 'Strictly, under no circumstances, are Wailord allowed' rule.”

“Wow, what a mystery!” Rui said.

“Yeah,” Eagun interjected. “We never could figure out where those rocks came from. The best theory going around is that they came from Clefairy from the moon. I don’t really like that idea, but then again, you just can’t trust those Clefairy. Crafty buggers, they are.”

Wes facepalmed himself, groaning slightly. What’s wrong with this entire region? It’s like they all swallowed daft pills at birth or something...

“It’s one of two mysteries this town has,” Eagun continued.

“Oh? What’s the other one?” Rui asked.

“The Pikachu, of course. It was some time after another bunch of those rocks appeared – only one day, they were gone, and all of these Pichu were running about eating all of the trees, or so the story goes. And that’s why we have so many Pikachu now.”

“Any idea where they came from?” Rui asked. Eagun shook his head.

“Wes... are you alright?” Rui asked, noticing Wes continue to facepalm himself some more while muttering a word to himself with each one.

“Why. Is. Everyone. So... oh... um, never mind, I’m just...tired,” Wes said tiredly, giving up.

“Me too,” Rui said, yawning louder. “It’s tired, and I’m early...”

“You don’t say,” Wes acknowledged.

“Ahem,” the woman said, still eyeing Wes’s wallet. “Shall we go and let you check out the place, then?”

“Oh, fine. We’ll come... in a second, gotta look at this first,” Wes said, as his P*DA began beeping, indicating Sherles had sent a reply to his e-mail. “Eagun, it looks like the Pokemon are healed up as well – could you get them for us, please?”

“No problem,” Eagun said, moving towards the assistant.

“Hello. Your Pokemon are restored to their full health. We hope to see you.” A pause followed, before the assistant looked at a small palm card in his hand. “Again. Arrgh, I keep forgetting what to say...” he mumbled, as Eagun took the Pokeballs and walked back to Wes and Rui.

“Oh, it’s a live call actually,” Wes said, taking the P*DA and holding the large, clunky device it next to his ear.

“Oh good – you can tell him more about the good news then,” Rui beamed, as the Day Care woman sighed and moved towards the door, choosing her vantage point well so she could still admire Wes’s wallet.

“I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet though...” Wes said darkly. “Cipher’s still active, for one. For instance, Cipher did just make that attack on the Relic Stone – they’re probably going to try to attack this place again, or try something else.”

“We could always build a fort,” Eagun suggested.

“Out of what?” Wes countered, still waiting for a connection with Sherles.

“Good question... the Pikachu, maybe?”

“...I think we’re better off just asking Sherles to send some of the Police force that came to Orre to come and help out over here,” Wes said. “Oh, here we go! Hello, Sherles. Did you get our message?”

Sherles’ unmistakable gruff voice crackled through the P*DA. “We sure did. You sure we can purify the Shadow Pokemon properly now?”

“Yes, positive!” Rui shouted into the P*DA.

“Rui, not so loud. My ear is there as well...” Wes said, wincing.

“Oh...sorry.”

“Good work, then,” Sherles continued. “I trust you’ll be wanting to celebrate... however, we’ve got a bit of a problem. You see... we got an anonymous tip-off, that said that Cipher are about to attack a man named Vander.”

“Vander? Who’s he?” Rui asked worriedly. “And why are they interested in him?”

“We’re not sure. Our records of Vander state that he’s an Area Leader of Mt Battle – it’s a place where trainers testtheir Pokemon in a 100-battle challenge, to try to get to the top of the mountain. It’s rather dangerous, apparently... Vander also likes to boast about some Time Flute of his. It’s drawn unwanted attention to him in the past, so it seems going by this record...”

“A Time Flute?” Wes asked. “That sounds kinda familiar...”

“I know what it is!” Rui shouted. “Sorry,” she added, seeing Wes wince once more at her shouting at his ear. “But it was in this book, remember?” She quickly turned a couple of pages, before reading.

“‘According to ancient lore, the Relic Stone holds blah blah...It is said that Celebi can blah blah blah...’ basically purify Pokemon, I suppose, like the Relic Stone... Ah, here we go. ‘To meet it however, you must use an item called the ‘Time Flute’ which is all that one needs to bring Celebi to the Relic Forest.’”

“So they mean to take the item which can summon Celebi,” Wes concluded. “Well, that sucks.”

“Quite,” Sherles said quietly. “We also know that they’re preparing to make an attack on Vander as we speak. It’s going to happen at Mt Battle itself, and it’s to happen in a few hours.”

“In a few hours, an attack on someone at Mt Battle is going to occur?” another voice asked suddenly through Sherles’ end of the conversation.

“Who the hell are you?” Sherles barked. “Get out of here! Johnson, do you have a reason for letting this interviewer in when I specifically told you to not let anybody in?”

“But this guy said he was somebody, so I thought it’d be ok...” Johnson began. Rui and Wes exchanged glances.

“You idiot! Now everyone will know and we’ll have interviewers jumping at the scene. I just know it,” Sherles said tiredly.

“Interesting information – who would give it though?” Wes interrupted.

“Maybe a disgruntled employee or something,” Sherles said. “It frequently happens – probably someone not paid enough or something stupid like that. At any rate, we’ve sent a task force to deal with them, and another to Vander’s home just in case. Andrew’s in charge of them and despite his obvious disgruntlement with this whole thing he should be capable, but I’d like you to go and see if you can help out. Just head to Mt Battle, and hopefully there’s nothing behind this. I’m thinking otherwise, though.”

“Ok, Sherles, I’m on my way there,” Wes said, closing his P*DA and terminating the call. He sat down for a moment, rubbing his head in his arms.

“I hate it when I’m right,” Wes finally said. “Cipher’s just going to keep attacking us, and we’re going to have to keep defending, and they’ll tire us out and we’ll all be very very...I don’t know, sad,” he concluded.

“You really are tired, aren’t you?” Rui said with a weak smile.

“I guess. Oh well. I’ll take some coffee with me or something. In which case, I’ll be keeping Yanma in his Pokeball then... anyway, I’m off. You stay behind-”

“No, I’m coming,” Rui said quickly. “There could be Shadow Pokemon there, and...”

‘Ok, fine,” Wes conceded. Hmm, I gave in rather easily... eh. Wouldn’t mind someone to talk to – it’s a few hours drive or something to get there, I think, and we do need her seeing ability, I guess. “Just...be careful.”

“Will you be fine?” Eagun said worriedly.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got Wes to protect me!” Rui said positively, hugging Eagun quickly as Wes shuffled uneasily on the spot. Meanwhile, the woman waiting stepped forward.

“Aren’t we going to check out the centre, or...”

“I’m sorry – we’ll give you your money soon enough – we’ve got to run-” Wes said irritably, before noticing Rui zip out of the room, yelling ‘Onwards to justice, Wes!’ As Wes shrugged, and ran towards the door himself, she reappeared, looking sheepish.

“Um, Eagun... which way is Mt Battle, anyway?”

Eagun quietly pointed through a window, towards a grey, giant mountain, sitting in plain view from where they sat.

“Oh. Thanks. Let’s go, Wes!” Rui said. The two grabbed their bags and Pokeballs and ran out, ignoring the citizens of Agate village who began asking them for a handshake or help with retrieving their Pikachu, running over the bridge by the town’s entrance, and jumping into the Zoomer.

“Right, let’s go – we may not have much time,” Wes said, gunning the engine as it came to life noisily.

“DISHWASHERS! BUY ONE AND GET ONE AT A SLIGHTLY REDUCED PRICE!” it blazed, as the radio also came back on.

“Arrgh!” Wes cried, covering his ears. “I forgot about that...”


***

Behind a small hill of jagged, dusty rocks, a small contingent of Cipher agents stood in a row, looking up at the giant man before them. Behind them, the entrance to the Mt Battle facility stood – the location of their target. They had never worked with the large man before – all they knew was that he had been highly rated by Master Nascour, who had scouted him out as a fantastic muscle-man, or hit-man, so to speak. It wasn’t hard to see why – the red-haired Master Dakim easily towered over them all, built like a Rhydon.

Unfortunately it appeared he also had the attention span and brains of one, never seeming to be one to care about the job at hand. Not to mention, his outfit was rather unusual - not many walked about the desert in a karate gi.

“He was a great man. Yes, he sure was. He taught the man who taught the other guy, who taught the other guy who taught me the art of fighting, man!” Dakim said, beaming enthusiastically at the group.

“Excuse me...” one piped up.

“Quiet, you. He basically invented the art of fighting, he did, and I think he knows a little bit more about it than you do, man!”

“Oh dear, here we go again... I hate this story,” the Cipher grunt muttered to the one next to him in annoyance.

“Then he used his fight money to buy two of every animal,” Dakim continued, grabbing two small rocks and miming them as animals. “And then he put them on a boat, and then he beat the heck out of them, man!”

“Yeah, totally cool, keep talking about your stupid make-believe story,” the man continued to whisper. “Seriously, I hope he can fight as well as how badly he thinks, for if that’s the case then I might forgive Master Nascour for lumping him with us.”

“And that’s why they call it a zoo!” Dakim declared, pausing for effect. “Unless it’s a farm!” he added. “Ok, let me ask you a question. Now, does anyone think they can beat me in a fight?”

The annoyed and talkative Cipher grunt raised his hand up irritably, and got promptly hit on the head by one of Dakim’s oversized fists.

“Wrong! None can defeat me! See?” Dakim pointed out, as the man slumped to the ground.

“Um... Master Dakim?” another said, uneasily eyeing his fallen comrade. “With all due respect, it probably would be a better idea to go over the battle plan, rather than telling us stories and asking us questions unrelated to the plan... and knocking us out, I might add,” he finished quietly. Dakim flashed a wide grin at this – the grunt smiled back worriedly, wondering if Dakim was going to knock him out too.

“Good thinking, soldier! I like a good thinker – I can appreciate that, man. You see, I may not be smart, but I sure can lift up heavy objects!”

“...I’m sure you can,” the grunt replied, unable to keep his eyes away from Dakim’s large and menacing arms.

“Just for that, I’m going to promote you to... Super-Admin!”

“Isn’t that, if such a rank does exist, that is, a higher rank than yourself?” the grunt asked.

“Good point. I’m...going to have to demote you now. Sorry. Now about our plan... Oh, I know. How about this – you go in, and start attacking people with your Pokemon, and I’ll go in and punch stuff, man! Then I’ll find that guy and get that Space Saxophone off of him, and we’ll go back!”

“Time Flute,” another corrected.

“Whatever. Some sort of musical...sound maker thingy. Sound like a good plan, man?”

All of the grunts nodded, happy that Dakim was happy and not hitting them. After all, they probably didn’t need a complex plan for this anyway – it was a pure hit, grab and run operation, and there didn’t seem to be any point arguing with him at any rate.

“Um... may I ask a question, Master Dakim?” one asked quietly. When Dakim nodded, he continued. “I can see you have Pokemon of your own...” he said, pointing to the necklace of Pokeballs Dakim was wearing, “but are you going to use them?” Dakim laughed heartily, and slapped the guy on the back lightly, which caused him to start gasping for breath.

“I don’t think I’ll need them for this job! I usually save them for opponents I deem worthy – for the rest, I’ll just use my fists, man,” he grinned, as he glanced around. “All right, men – you can go on – I’ll be around in a second.” With that, Dakim took a few strides forwards in the wrong direction towards the dead remains of a cactus about as large as himself, the vast majority of the spikes usually found on them gone missing bar on the ‘arms’ of the plant, and began uprooting it.

The grunts stood and stared, dumb-folded.

“Yeah... maybe... we should...move in before he starts hitting us with that for being too slow,” one suggested quietly. The rest agreed, running towards Mt Battle.

***

Meanwhile, a large convoy of cars pulled up by the Mt Battle reception area, from which policeman began pouring out of. The policeman Andrew sighed, getting out of one of the convoy cars they had been sent in to combat Cipher, only to immediately have a gust of wind blow, the sand attacking his face.

“Bleh,” he managed, spitting out some of the grains. Lovely place, this is, he thought drily to himself. Nothing but sand, sand, and more sand. Oh, and those boulders over there.

“Looks like that’s the entrance to Mt Battle,” another said, pointing behind Andrew. It stood out from the rest – suddenly the yellow, gritty sand turned into patches of disorganised green and black to resemble a poorly-made garden, with a pathway intersecting and a few benches scattered about, one right in the middle of a pathway for some unknown reason. Behind it, a small, simple building stood – it was the reception area for the place. Behind it, the ashen-coated mountain towered, the top part disappearing into some low-lying clouds, with glowing bright-orange lava visible from beyond, indicting roughly where the top was – it was well known in Orre that Mt Battle was actually an active volcano. A man was jogging around the place, and upon noticing the sudden arrival of the police contingent, ran over.

“What’s going on? Is anything the matter?” he asked worriedly, while still jogging on the spot.

“Oh good – nothing to worry about yet,” Andrew said loudly to the rest, before turning back to the jogger – it appeared all was fine for the moment. “Well, we have reason to believe that there may be some trouble heading over here, so we’re here to prevent that if anything happens... um, could you stop running like that?” he added irritably.

“I would,” the jogger replied, “but I was hungry so I ate something I found and now I think if I stop running, I’ll die!” With that the man ran off and started running around a patch of grass again.

Andrew shook his head. How stupid can this region get? “Well... looks like we’ve just got to wait. Nothing will probably come from this tip-off and we’ve come all this way for nothing,” he spat, sitting down on a bench. It started creaking loudly in protest, causing Andrew to stand up quickly, afraid it would break.

Stupid region. It’s all so...stupid, Andrew decided with a sigh. Too much sand, nothing to do, and it is rifled with criminal activity. Bah, why did all of the criminal gangs these days have to have aspirations for world domination, seriously? Couldn’t they just go for something less dangerous once in a while, such as trying to eat everyone’s berries from their trees, or aiming to steal everyone’s left shoe?

...no, that’d be rather problematic. I like my left shoes.

I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. No, I’d have had my holiday with my family back home. I had my plan all set up – five weeks in the sun, drinking... something nice, I suppose. And it would have worked as well, if it wasn’t for those meddling kids, Wes and what’s-her-face.

Andrew frowned some more, his face beginning to resemble a scowl Geodude tended to have whenever someone stepped on them when they were sleeping. Oh, sure, it’s not like it’s all that bad that by the end of this Pokemon will stop being made in Shadow Pokemon, and crime could cease in this forsaken place – goodness knows how long Orre has suffered in silence - but if that guy hadn’t had the bright idea to stand up and do something by blowing up that building, then I wouldn’t be over here, away from home standing in the middle of the desert!

It sucked how things seemed to always affect me for the worse. Worst of all, that fool Johnson keeps talking to me, as if he was told to or something. At least Sherles seems to be able to get a handle on things, but Johnson? If I ever hear him talking about how powerful his Magikarp is, or asking me if I knew where milk came from, I’ll...

Suddenly, a gang of people emerged into view from behind a hill of rocks only a few hundred metres away from them. They were all clad in purple, and were heading straight for them – suddenly though, they stopped, noticing the police force.

Both groups looked at each silently, the only noise coming from the footsteps of the jogger, and the howling wind blowing up sand in-between the two.

“It’s Cipher! Get them!” Andrew shouted suddenly, as he and his convey charged forward and threw a large number of Pokeballs at the ground ahead.

“No, we’re innocent!” a woman from the group cried as the police force’s Pokemon materialised, mostly comprising of Growlithe and Arcanine, dog-like Pokemon which began growling furiously, priming themselves for battle, with a few Psychic Pokemon such as Kadabra amongst the group. “We didn’t do nothing legal. I mean, illegal!”

Andrew frowned, and then put up a hand to show the others to wait for a moment. “Then who are you?”

“We’re a fundraising group for charity! We sell cookies!” she added, waving boxes in the air clearly marked ‘Cookies – Buy One To Raise Funds For The Defenceless Magikarp’ in large letters.

“Oh,” Andrew finally acknowledged.

Suddenly, another group emerged behind the charity group, also clad in purple, singing a chant as they approached.

“We are Cipher, we are here, something something we like beer! Gonna go kick up a fuss, all your base are belong to us...” they sung, before trailing off into silence, noticing the Police force.

“Oh, bugger,” one of them added quietly. ‘I told Dakim we should have saved the singing for later...”

“Ok, that’s Cipher!” Andrew cried. “GET THEM!” With that, the charge resumed, the army of police Pokemon moving in, while the Cipher agents grabbed their own Pokeballs and chucked them as well, their own Pokemon quickly joining in the fight. Noticing they were in the middle of the beginning battle, the charity group screamed and ran for cover, frantically throwing cookies about to try and protect themselves.

“Organise yourselves, men!” Andrew bellowed. “Get your Pokemon into formation! Psychic Pokemon, move to the rear and begin those defence fields – Reflect and Light Screen, now! Growlithe and Arcanine, charge forward and begin with Heat Wave!”

“Kill them all!” shouted one of the Cipher grunts bluntly. Their Pokemon met the oncoming wave of red, as the Growlithe and Arcanine began firing off Heat Wave attacks.

“Now focus on taking down one Pokemon at a time!” Andrew commanded. Everyone else began shouting commands to the psychic Pokemon, who took part of their focus off the barrier of light they were creating to convey the commands clearly to each Pokemon, organising them into a dangerous pack.

Andrew smiled. Looks like this will be over quickly – as the Heat Wave attacks hit each other as well as our opponents, their fire attacks will merely get stronger thanks to their Flash Fire ability! I do love a good strategy, he thought to himself, observing Cipher’s Pokemon begin to crumble under the siege of fire. The mass of red would converge onto a Pokemon and take it down, while the others had trouble fighting back, as the heat generated by the group made it nigh impossible for a direct approach to be made.

“Doesn’t anyone of us have a water Pokemon!?” a Cipher grunt cried in anguish, watching his Pokemon fall, as Andrew’s grin grew.

“The guy who Dakim knocked out did, I believe...” another replied.

Then he frowned. From behind the group, a large figure appeared – unlike the rest, he was clad in white – they looked like pyjamas. He was far away, but strangely he seemed almost double the height of the rest as he came closer, if not more. It was almost as more startling as the fact that he appeared to be wielding a cactus.

What the hell? Andrew thought.

A Growlithe also took notice of the man, and charged at him, but he only smiled.

“Aha! Some action! I always like a good fight,” he bellowed, before using the cactus like a baseball bat, hitting the Growlithe into the air back the way it came, as it yelped in surprise.

Oh my god! He swatted that Growlithe like a toy!

Suddenly the tide turned – the Cipher agents seemed to gain confidence with the man’s arrival and began fighting back, as he walked right through the battle, swinging the cactus.

“Quick, focus your attacks on him!” Andrew decided, realising the newcomer was an unusual threat. The Psychic Pokemon dropped their wall and began hurriedly sending messages to the rest of them before beginning.

“Have your Pokemon make it easier for me, men!” Dakim shouted, and they responded, throwing themselves against the new concentrated wave of canines, who suddenly found themselves on the back foot as Dakim moved forward.

“Oh look, there’s the entrance,” Dakim suddenly announced, and with that he broke into a run, catching everyone unawares by bursting toward through the defence line. With the barriers down he had no trouble running past, and as the rest of Cipher’s Pokemon pushed forward, the Psychic Pokemon found themselves under pressure, having to abandon any plan to contain Dakim.

This can’t be possible...suddenly some giant came here and is fighting against our Pokemon with a cactus, and is winning? Have I gone mad? Andrew wondered to himself, in-between shouting orders at his Pokemon. And that sound... who’s that shouting in the background? Very faintly, he could hear....advertisements?

“DISHWASHERS! IF YOU HAVENT BOUGHT ONE YET, YOU MUST BE MAD! MAYBE NOT AS MAD AS THE MAD HATTER BECAUSE HE’S JUST MAD! BUT YOU’LL BE CRAZY NOT TO BUY OUR CHICKEN-FLAVOURED DISHWASHERS!”

Yep, I’ve gone mad, Andrew thought to himself. Oh well. He turned around, and scowled – a vehicle was approaching the battle, which was blazing ads of all things. Within it was that annoying guy in blue, and the girl who could see whether a Pokemon was Shadow or not. Right, this is just too strange. Why the hell are they here!

“We’re here to help!” the girl cried, frantically throwing out Pokeballs at people. “Go hit them... and stuff!” Rui ordered, as new Pokemon joined the fight.

Well, that’s useful, I suppose... but why is she wearing pyjamas here? Chibi-Pokemon-patterned ones at that?

“Hey, look at that...” the girl said slowly, pointing to the large cactus-wielding person, as Wes slammed the brakes and hopped out of the Zoomer.

“Yikes... he’s a giant... and he’s heading towards the entrance there! We better follow him, although if it came down to it I doubt we could stop him... C’mon, Rui!” he said, running off. “Go and punch everyone you can see, Makuhita!” he added, tossing a Pokeball which landed at Andrew’s feet, Makuhita springing forth.

“Wes, why are there cookies on the ground?” Rui yelled as they ran.

“No idea!” he shouted back.

“Maku!” (Can do!) Makuhita cried, before he turned around and punched Andrew in the gut.

“Not me – I’m on your side, idiot!” Andrew gasped, doubling over. Makuhita frowned.

“Mahuhita. Maku – HITA!” (He said ‘punch everyone you can see’. I can see you – so DIE!) Makuhita reasoned, punching Andrew again before running off to attack everyone else.

***

Dakim calmly strode up the steps and ducked his head so he would fit through the door into the building, ignoring the jogger outside who stared at his size. He quickly surveyed the room – only a few people were in the room, with a nurse manning the healing machine to the left who seemed to have awoken from her slumber when he arrived. Noticing another door straight in front of him with a sign stating it led to the challenge area for Mt Battle, he moved onwards, pushing aside the man who stood there and went in, walking right through the closed door.

“Oi! You need to register before going there! Why the hell did you break our door? We paid good money to have that installed, you know!” the nurse snapped. “Get back here, you deaf oaf! No cacti are allowed – it’s against the rules!” Meanwhile, Wes and Rui burst in.

“Man...he’s... fast... where did he go...” Wes panted, also looking around. The nurse quietly pointed to the door, and Wes began again, running through with Rui close behind.

“Hey! Don’t you two go running off as well without filling out this form!” she shouted, but to no avail. “Bloody people these days, don’t they ever know to follow the rules? And why the hell is it so noisy outside, anyway?” she said to herself, moving to the window to peer outside. “Oh, for goodness sakes...” she opened it and hollered out.

“Look, I know you all like to practise and all, but keep it down, will you? Some of us are trying to sleep here!” With that, she retired to her desk with a scowl.

Wes proceeded onwards through a long corridor, grabbing two Pokeballs and sending out Espeon and Umbreon.

“Umbreon...” (Something tells me we’re no longer in Agate...) Umbreon said, breaking into a quick run to keep up with Wes.

“Espeon,” (You don’t say,) Espeon responded dryly before running himself, while focusing his powers on Wes’ thoughts and relaying them to Umbreon so they knew what was going on.

“Umbre, Umbreon- Umb?” (Right, we’re chasing a giant man with a cactus to stop him stealing a Time Flute from a guy called Vander- wait, what?) Umbreon said.

“I’m guessing you already found out why... we’re here, huh?” Wes said, still a bit lost for breath. “Well, it’s certainly true, so don’t go about thinking I’m crazy... look, there he is!” Wes shouted, pointing at Dakim as they rounded a corner, who seemed to be out of the corridor, outside and approaching a person standing on a circular platform.

As they came towards the end of the corridor, Rui gasped at the sight before them. The pathway narrowed, only extending every so often whenever it reached a large circular platform – but the main feature of the place was that it was impossibly suspended several feet in the air above the foot of the mountain, the platforms kept up by a giant propeller spinning rapidly underneath.

“How the...” Wes began, before catching sight of a sign by the end of the corridor.


PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF THE PLATFORMS – NO RUNNING OR BREAKDANCING PERMITTED

BE CAREFUL NOT TO LET YOUR POKEMON FALL DOWN – HAVE YOUR POKEBALLS AT THE READY SO YOU CAN RECALL THEM

Thinking about how the platforms stay up in the air is severely discouraged.


“Umb, Umbreon...” (I’m sorry, my mind already broke...) Umbreon said, gazing at the infrastructure and then at the gray, jagged rocks of Mt Battle below them.

“Espeon,” (Even this confuses me...) Espeon admitted, before they continued forward after Dakim, who was currently talking to the man on the first spacious platform.

“Hello, and welcome to the Mt Battle challenge...” the young boy on the platform began, stopping when he looked up and saw Dakim, who was currently comparing the boy’s face with a photograph.

“I don't think I'll need this any more," Dakim declared, throwing away his cactus before pulling out a photograph with a name written on it. "Are you the first area leader of this place, first name ‘Vander’, second name... what does that say?” Dakim asked, trying to read out the surname.

“You’re...big,” the boy responded.

“...nah, man – you look too fat,” Dakim concluded, before grinning.

“Hey – I’m not fat-” the boy began.

“If you’re not, then show me your moves!” Dakim challenged. As the boy looked back at Dakim blankly, Dakim suddenly brought his fist back, and threw it forward.

“You’re too slow! Out of my way! DAKIM PAWWUNCH!” Dakim yelled, connecting with his punch before running onwards.

“Holy...” Wes said. “He just... Espeon, do something!” Wes said, as the boy went into the air.

“Help! I’m flyinggggggggggg!” he cried.

“Espeon!” (I’m on it!) Espeon said, making use of his Psychic powers to stop the boy from moving any closer towards the edge of the platform, lowering him down gently.

“He’s just going up and punching random strangers! How can he?” Rui wailed, feeling helpless about the situation. Meanwhile, Dakim’s voice bellowed from the next platform.

“Is your name Vander?” Dakim asked of the next person.

“No, it isn’t. First, you have to battle me, because it’s the rules,” he added as Dakim turned to leave. Dakim turned around at that, and grinned.

“DAKIM KICK!” Dakim shouted, this time kicking the person.

Squarely in the face.

“YES!” Dakim said, proud of his strength, moving onwards as the other man fell down, luckily staying on his platform as well.

“Whoever designed this places deserves to be shot, seriously,” Wes muttered as they desperately ran forward, trying to catch up to Dakim, who was at the third platform. Luckily, the person there had noticed his actions, and had caught on.

“Don’t hurt me! Vander is on platform ten!” he cried, before sprinting past Dakim and Wes’ group back to the reception area.

“Thanks, man!” Dakim shouted back, before noticing his pursuers. “Hmm, I better get a move on...” With that, Dakim took a run up, and jumped a gap to the next platform, leaving Wes and Rui to gasp in awe.

“Great, it turns out we’re chasing after Spiderman,” Wes commented dryly. I don’t think even a professional long-jumper would be able to clear that gap with ease...and now he has a clear lead on us. Great.

“Umbreon,” (Man, imagine if I dropped an egg off from here,) Umbreon muttered.

“Esp.” (Shut up.)

“Umbreon, umb-” (But seriously, if I dropped an egg from here, it’d just go ‘SPLAT’, just like that-)

“Espeon! Esp!” (I said SHUT UP! Or you’ll go splat!) Espeon warned.
The group and Dakim moved forward, approaching the tenth platform as everyone else evacuated, careful to avoid Dakim and stay out of his way. A mere two minutes later, Dakim had reached the tenth platform, to meet a lone figure, while the rest were hurriedly following, only at the eighth one.

“This was the tenth...no, wait, ninth. Wait... what number platform is this?” Dakim asked, scratching his head. “Oh, I see,” he added, noticing the large number ‘10’ written onto the tiling of the platform. “Is your name Vander?” Dakim begin, again taking a look at the photograph he had in his hand.

“Yes, I am. I mean, yes, it is,” Vander confirmed, quickly but quietly. He was of a small frame, and looked up at Dakim uneasily, observing his muscles and martial art attire.

“Ok. Now, hand over the Money Piano,” Dakim demanded, holding out one hand.

“...I think you mean the Time Flute?” Vander said, confused.

“Whatever, man. I’m kinda in a rush here, so please hand it over,” Dakim said with a smile. “Otherwise, I may have to punch you, and I don’t really like punching people if I can avoid it... the two who did were too slow, and as I said, I’m in a rush.”

“Yes... well... unfortunately, I don’t believe I have it here.”

“...what? That’s not allowed. You’re meant to have it here,” Dakim complained, as Wes and Rui finally caught up, careful to keep their distance for the moment to catch their breath and observe the conversation.

“It’s... at home, you see,” Vander said. “I’m not about to take such a precious item here every time I come for battles, you know...”

“I guess you have a point...” Dakim said.

“And by now there would probably be a police presence there too,” Vander added nervously. “I gather that’s why all those police sirens were blazing only some minutes ago outside of here... so if we can talk this out calmly-”

“No calm talking! Only rage!” Dakim shouted. “DAKIM PAWWUNCH!” he yelled, once again raising his arms and punching out.

“Espeon, use Reflect!” Wes ordered, as Espeon quickly summoned up a shimmering barrierin front of Vander -

- only for Dakim’s punch to go straight through it as if it hadn’t been there at all, and connect with Vander’s chest. He gasped, and then fell down.

“No!” Rui shouted, unsure whether to go and help or not. Dakim then turned around and observed the newcomers.

“Umbreon!” (Oh no, the man knows Brick Break!)

“Don’t worry, lady,” he said softly. “It’s nothing bad, actually – my punch merely struck him so that he would have trouble breathing. He’ll feel better in a while... but if you rather not...hey, I know you!” Dakim cried, noticing Wes who took a frightened step back.

“Look, I don’t want to fight you or anything-” Wes began.

“Umbreon!” (Yes, we have to go... um, buy a dishwasher!) Umbreon exclaimed hurriedly, not noticing that the advertising from the Zoomer’s radio had affected him.

“You’re Wes, man! The guy who blew up Team Snagem! Man, that must have been cool!” Dakim then struck out a hand, offering Wes a handshake.

Wes blinked. “Umm...”

“No, it’s ok! Anyone that could have made Master Nascour fret about so much has my respect! You’ve made yourself quite the worthy opponent for us – even defeating Miror B! You’re pretty cool, man!” Wes cautiously shook Dakim’s hand for a short moment, carefully watching. Seems this guy holds a good deal of respect for me, even though I’m his enemy... well, I guess I just won’t question it, Wes thought quietly.

“But this brings about a dilemma,” Dakim said quietly. “It looks like this whole mission is a lost cause... yet I have Vander here, who I could kidnap and hold ransom for the...flute thingy.”

Thanks for telling me your ideas, then... looks like he’s brawn over brains as well, Wes noted.

“But seeing as it appears you are my current obstacle, and although my enemy, the most worthy of them... I think this calls for a Pokemon Battle.” With that, Dakim grinned. “I do not believe you will win, but perhaps you could entertain me. Only Master Nascour has been able to defeat me – but if you do, I shall leave without Vander. And if I win-”

“I...understand,” Wes interjected, jumping at the offer. He had faith in his Pokemon, and although he had gotten into a few street fights years before, he knew that he stood as much chance beating Dakim in a fight as a Sunkern with paralysis had against an army of Crobat whose sole purpose in life were to beat up Sunkern. “If you insist, we’ll battle with our Pokemon.”

Dakim grinned. “Then it’s agreed! May the best man win. Needless to say...” he added, “that person is me, man.”

***

END CHAPTER YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


I hope you enjoyed that, particularly after my break... well, comment away!

And as for how this relates to the game:


The Day-Care centre - there's one in the game in Agate Village, which unlike others only takes one Pokemon at a time for unknown reasons. But it does take Shadow Pokemon, which will slowly become purified if you have the time to leave it there. And the money. The stuff about the rocks eggs and nobody realising what they were is a jab to all of those NPCs in the Pokemon games not realising where Pokemon came from. INCLUDING ELM.

Mt Battle request - in the game, once you save the Relic stone, instead of being urged to purify Pokemon first, you're told to go straight to Mt Battle as there's an emergency there. All of a sudden the game throws a million events at you after that lull in activity setting up the plot some more.

Mt Battle - the front of the place is a garden with a small reception area, leading to the mountain itself. It's quite a neat-looking place - it's a 100-trainer battle challenge where you have to beat the next person to get closer to the top of the mountain - at stages you go inside it and observe lava flowing within, and the last battle occurs on top, upon a platform floating on lava. Cool stuff. The platforms are rather un-safe looking though - if your Pokemon (or yourself) were to be pushed off the edge, it'd be goodbye, and SPLAT. (Of course that never happens in the game).

Cipher - they come and invade Mt Battle. In true game-style, rather than battle any police forces (which, if you recall, I added into the story along with Andrew), you battle them on Mt Battle, one by one - 9 battles to get up to Dakim. Not very realistic. -_-

Dakim - the first time your character meets him - in fact, the first time he is seen in the game. Makes for a scary sight - an intimidating face, height, and all. Plus, in the opening scene with him, he punches Vander out because he won't hand over the Time Flute. When you show up rather than punching you out too, he challenges you to a battle. An interesting one at that... His Captain Falcon-inspired antics were suggested by Chris_the_Com.

Vander - the first Area Leader of Mt Battle, who also happens to have a Time Flute, which is an item you can use to summon Celebi to completely purify any Shadow Pokemon at any stage. He has the fun role of getting punched out and lying on the ground for the time being.

Minos Yewman
September 21st, 2009, 10:10 AM
Great! You started this again! Excellent writing as always. Also congrats on your promotion (not sure when it was, but it was after I was last here.)

Bay Alexison
September 21st, 2009, 11:15 PM
“Whatever,” Eagun said, as Rui returned the Pokemon to their Pokeballs and handed them to the assistant behind a counter. “We drove that nasty lot out of town, at any rate. Some are now busy retrieving their Pikachu – a good dozen or so ended up in a tree, it appears – and some are tending to Duncan’s poor, poor lawn. Those flowers... they’ll never be the same,” Eagun sniffed.
Oh Pikachu and Duncan. :P

“In a few hours, an attack on someone at Mt Battle is going to occur?” another voice asked suddenly through Sherles’ end of the conversation.

“Who the hell are you?” Sherles barked. “Get out of here! Johnson, do you have a reason for letting this interviewer in when I specifically told you to not let anybody in?”

“But this guy said he was somebody, so I thought it’d be ok...” Johnson began. Rui and Wes exchanged glances.

“You idiot! Now everyone will know and we’ll have interviewers jumping at the scene. I just know it,” Sherles said tiredly.
Dang Johnson! D:


“I hate it when I’m right,” Wes finally said. “Cipher’s just going to keep attacking us, and we’re going to have to keep defending, and they’ll tire us out and we’ll all be very very...I don’t know, sad,” he concluded.
Sad indeed. ;_;

“DISHWASHERS! BUY ONE AND GET ONE AT A SLIGHTLY REDUCED PRICE!” it blazed, as the radio also came back on.
Urgh, false advertisements! >.>

“We’re a fundraising group for charity! We sell cookies!” she added, waving boxes in the air clearly marked ‘Cookies – Buy One To Raise Funds For The Defenceless Magikarp’ in large letters.

*donates*

“DISHWASHERS! IF YOU HAVENT BOUGHT ONE YET, YOU MUST BE MAD! MAYBE NOT AS MAD AS THE MAD HATTER BECAUSE HE’S JUST MAD! BUT YOU’LL BE CRAZY NOT TO BUY OUR CHICKEN-FLAVOURED DISHWASHERS!”
I’m more mad than Mad Hatter! :P

Anyways, another funny chapter here. I really do have to question the intelligence of the Orre people (and everyone else in the Pokemon fandom) :P

Andrew I thought you did his thoughts well. Shows a bit of his personality. Sorry, haven’t played the games, so I wouldn’t know if he was a character or not. ^^; However, there are a couple of times I felt his thoughts are long winded. I know that’s his personality and all, but it’s a bit too much going deep into his thoughts. Perhaps you could have done some of them in the narrative instead of in his POV. That’s just me, though.

Dakim…been a while since the readers last met him, huh? The first bit where he’s with the Cipher grunts I chuckled a couple of times. Heh, the grunts are better than him. :P However, his stupidity and “DAKIM KICK!” got repetitive at the end.

Pretty much another great chapter here. Iffy about Andrew’s thoughts in his POV too much (though not such a big deal ^^; ) and also Dakim’s scenes a bit repetitive. Try to not have the next update be this long. :P

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
September 22nd, 2009, 08:22 AM
1000th post, whoo!

Ah, since I left Sppf I was hoping I could continue reading this here:P

So, Elm went insane, Duncan continues to have lawn issues, Pikachu continue to run amok, and the daycare knows nothing about eggs. Yeah, sounds about right for Orre.

You see, I may not be smart, but I sure can lift up heavy objects!
Sums up Dakim quite well. Also reminds me of Chuck, for some reason.

“Doesn’t anyone of us have a water Pokemon!?” a Cipher grunt cried in anguish, watching his Pokemon fall, as Andrew’s grin grew.

“The guy who Dakim knocked out did, I believe...” another replied.
Ah, the irony of it all.

“Aha! Some action! I always like a good fight,” he bellowed, before using the cactus like a baseball bat, hitting the Growlithe into the air back the way it came, as it yelped in surprise
Dakim might have a good idea for a new sport here :P

Now, hand over the Space Saxophone... err... the Money Piano before I show you my DAKIM KICK!

Ooh, I think this battle that's coming up between Wes and Dakim is gonna be epic... cactus or no cactus. I can't wait :)

Jak
September 22nd, 2009, 03:45 PM
Oh my dear Lord, b&b, how I love you to death for actually adding in the Dakim PAWWWWNCH!! And the dishwashers were great and and and...<3 It gets all my lovin'. I'm inspired to actually draw the Dakim PAWWWWWWWWNCH! now.

I can't wait to see how you portray Entei.

bobandbill
October 2nd, 2009, 11:35 PM
Cheers for the reviews - much appreciated. =)Great! You started this again! Excellent writing as always. Also congrats on your promotion (not sure when it was, but it was after I was last here.)Indeed - I have returned! *dons sunglasses and hopes on the Zoomer and drives off into the sunset*
I’m more mad than Mad Hatter! :P No you're not. =P

Anyways, another funny chapter here. I really do have to question the intelligence of the Orre people (and everyone else in the Pokemon fandom) :PThey're not a bright bunch, these Pokemon people.

Andrew I thought you did his thoughts well. Shows a bit of his personality. Sorry, haven’t played the games, so I wouldn’t know if he was a character or not. ^^; However, there are a couple of times I felt his thoughts are long winded. I know that’s his personality and all, but it’s a bit too much going deep into his thoughts. Perhaps you could have done some of them in the narrative instead of in his POV. That’s just me, though. Andrew came in before where I mentioned he was an original character - so no, not in the games. (No police force outside of Johnson and Sherles, actually. D= )And long winded... hmm, maybe. I didn't feel it would fit anywhere later however, given by then there was a battle going on and all, so he would be unlikely to be thinking about that and rather more on the job at hand, but maybe I shall see if I can't integrate it into the narrative some more.Dakim…been a while since the readers last met him, huh? The first bit where he’s with the Cipher grunts I chuckled a couple of times. Heh, the grunts are better than him. :P However, his stupidity and “DAKIM KICK!” got repetitive at the end.Truth be told, in the game this is the first time you meet him/hear about him, where he begins by...punching people in the face. XD I can see how DAKIM PUNCH/KICK may be repetitive (although the third was the most necessary given that happens in Colo and I didn't see the trainers there simply letting him just walk away like that), but with his stupidity... well, personally characterising him as a smart guy after people stupid before might have made him out of character, IMO. =/ Hmm... idk, again might have to look at it again. But heck, it's good hearing differing opinions and all, especially n stuff that may need working. =)
Try to not have the next update be this long. :PWell, I can always try... =P
1000th post, whoo!

Ah, since I left Sppf I was hoping I could continue reading this here:PNever fear - going to post this both here and there at my normal slow pace. =P
Sums up Dakim quite well. Also reminds me of Chuck, for some reason.Hmm, I can see how it might remind you of Chuck. XD
Ooh, I think this battle that's coming up between Wes and Dakim is gonna be epic... cactus or no cactus. I can't wait :)Hopefully it will live up to expectations then... *whistles* Cheers for reviewing.

Oh my dear Lord, b&b, how I love you to death for actually adding in the Dakim PAWWWWNCH!! And the dishwashers were great and and and...<3 It gets all my lovin'. I'm inspired to actually draw the Dakim PAWWWWWWWWNCH! now.

I can't wait to see how you portray Entei.Glad you liked all that. =D It was rather fun writing it all, have to say. And DO IT! Otherwise Dakim may punch your drawing utensils, and we don't want that. =P

bobandbill
December 24th, 2009, 07:27 AM
It's Christmas, everybody! (Well for me it is =P) And I have a chapter here! Co-incidence? ...maybe.

If anyone wants a brief reminder of what happened last chapter without reading it - Wes and Rui informed Sherles they could purify Shadow Pokemon via the Relic Stone, Makuhita and Croconaw-evolved-into-Feraligatr being the ones purified so far. They get told to help out at Mt Battle and leave for there. The police force brought into Orre to help out against Cipher end up intercepting the Cipher agents and a brawl between them breaks out. Dakim appears and hits Pokemon with a cactus before he enters Mt Battle to find Vander and get the Time Flute from him (which can summon Celebi who can purify Pokemon). Wes and Rui arrive in the Zoomer, Wes lets Makuhita help out in the ongoing battle and the two chase Dakim. Dakim punches out Vander + other people (who doesn't have the Time Flute on him) and then challenges Wes to a POKEYMANZ BATTLE because that's the cool thing to do, yo. AND THAT ABOUT SUMS IT UP.



And now the chapter in question! Enjoy! Many thanks to Chris_the_Com for beta-reading this.




***


Chapter 16

*Insert relevant chapter title here*




“Ok then, man,” Dakim shouted as Wes, his Pokémon and Rui made their way to one side of platform number ten. “We’ll go with standard Orre battles rules – two Pokémon out at any one time! And if you cheat, I’ll just come over and punch you, man,” he added with a grin.

Wes watched Dakim grab the unconscious Vander and set him down on his side of the platform like a ragdoll, and grimaced.

“I’m sure you’ll hold me to your word,” he muttered to himself, before he shook himself mentally. No point focusing on his PAWWWWWUNCH or the fact I’m about to battle him on a platform with no fences and sharp stones of doom below us; I have to instead focus my thoughts on the battle and calm down.

Wes breathed in and out slowly for a few moments as he walked, his breaths hidden by the wind which battered at Mt Battle’s rocks below and sent a large carpet of clouds above their heads flying around the top of the mountain. I bet it sometimes rains over here... anyways, focus. In, and out. In, and out. Yes. Pawunch. Damn, I thought about Dakim punching me again. In, and out. Wes’ eyes then fell down to the ground as he approached the edge of the platform, and saw the gray, jagged mountainside of Mt Battle gleaming up at him.

I hate this place, Wes decided.

“Umbre...Umbre EON!” (I wanna go home... I don’t want to go SPLAT!) Umbreon said with a shudder, noticing Espeon smile slightly.

“Wes, why has every single battle- well, every normal battle anyway...why have they been all double battles anyway?” Rui asked quietly.

“Just the region standard, I believe,” Wes said. “Other regions just leave it up to the trainers to decide how battles go, but in Orre, some crazy person went and made it a law that if both opponents have two Pokémon or more it’s a double battle or else... some weird sort of punishment involved if anyone is seen not to go with that format. I believe part of it was involved being forced to work in a puppet show while yodelling or some stupid thing like that...”

“That can’t be true,” Rui objected.

“Rui, do you by chance recall seeing any puppet shows advertised in Pyrite Town’s theatre after we battled all those people who fought our Pokémon at the same time?” Wes pointed out. “Or any strangled screams coming from that theatre?” Rui pondered this for a moment, before wincing.

“And I thought this region couldn’t get any weirder...”

“I was greeted with such a sight when I first came here,” Wes continued. “And heck, they did want my left arm when we got caught snagging Pokémon in Pyrite...” Wes said. “But anyway, we have to worry about this Pokémon battle. Unless you have any ideas on how to avoid it, and looking at Dakim,” Wes said, as the two turned to see Dakim having assumed a fighting stance, “I don’t believe there are many options beyond having a Pokémon Battle. We’ll just have to hope Vander hangs in there and I can win this.”

“Are you ready, man?” Dakim bellowed over the wind.

“Ok, Dakim,” Wes shouted back, before turning to Rui again. “Rui, you’d better move to platform nine just in case...an attack could go astray or something. Do you have any Pokémon on you?”

“I have Quagsire...”

“In that case, if all goes to hell just run for your life,” Wes said. Rui nodded slowly, and walked off to platform nine, making sure the wind didn’t push her off the narrow pathway between the two levitating stages. Save for the wind, the only noise came from below each platform from the constant jittering of gears and propellers that kept each platform up. Somehow, Wes added to himself.

“Since I’m so thoughtful, I’ll let you send out your two Pokémon first, man,” Dakim said, as he took a necklace off of his neck, which was made out of five Poké Balls. One of them was larger than the others – an Ultra Ball, which had one half black and yellow rather than red like the usual Poké Ball, and the other white.

“Right, come on Wes, you can do this,” Rui said, leaning back onto a small pole that stuck out of the side of the platform she was on, only to give a small shriek when it began spluttering out weird noises, before a loud tune made mostly of a drum beat overshadowed by several trumpets and string instruments began to play. Vander seemed to be able to hear it, mumbling to himself while still within his unconscious state.

“No... not the Mt Battle theme music... days of standing on end... that same tune... change it...” he said quietly in-between strange snorting sounds. Rui leaned closer to the pole. “This is some sort of...miniature jukebox?” she declared uncertainly.

“Man, what’s wrong with you, man?” Dakim said, inspecting Vander by beginning to poke him.

“Rui, you better change it. We don’t want to give Vander any, err, further brain trauma after being punched by Dakim...” Wes told Rui with a wince as he uttered the last few words. Rui hurriedly gave the small pole a whack, and the music changed to a softer tune.

“Yes... better...” Vander muttered, before he fell silent again. Wes and Rui glanced at each other, before exchanging shrugs.

Well, I guess Miror B is not the only person in this region affected by music, Wes thought. Well, whatever. It’ll just be yet another distraction, and luckily I won’t have to dance during this battle.

“All right – you’re up, Espeon and Umbreon!” Wes said, as the two Pokémon trotted forward. “Be wary, keep your guard up, and work together.” So... I have those two, that crazy Yanma, Feraligatr, and that’s it, with Makuhita being in that fight at the front of this place. Great. Why didn’t I bring another Pokemon?

“Umb! Umbreon! Umbreon...” (About time! Why couldn’t we just have started this chapter by battling! All this waiting made me just think more about SPLAT and I don’t like going SPLAT anymore...) Umbreon moaned to himself, as Espeon rolled his eyes.

“Esp... Esp, Espeon.” (Calm down, it’ll be all right. Firstly, Wes can just recall us to our Poké Balls if we fall off, and we should be able to smash Dakim’s team easily enough.) At that, Umbreon grinned softly.

“Umbreon!” (Gee, thanks, bro!)

“Esp.” (Just don’t ever bug me again.)

“Oho! The... purple and black one, I see,” Dakim acknowledged. “Your best ones, I presume...Well, man, I’ll keep my best until last! Come out...blue one made of metal and that other one made out of rock!” Dakim shouted, throwing two Poké Balls out onto the field.

He doesn’t remember the names of his Pokémon? And the best until last...that may be his Shadow Pokémon, if he has any. But for now... Wes mused, looking at Dakim’s Pokémon begin to materialise. The one made out of rock... that’s a Golem. I’ve beaten its pre-evolutions before... Looks like a large boulder with stubby arms and legs. Hmm, good defences, but those limbs? Not much speed or reach, surely. And that other one must be a Metang... never saw that one before. It’s a robotic Pokémon, so it’s a Steel type... and also Psychic type as well? I think. And those arms-

“Dodge it, quick!” Wes yelled, as the disc-shaped Metang levitated forward with one of its aforementioned blue arms at Umbreon, who jumped to the side but without avoiding a quick hit to the side of his body.

“Metang Tangtangtangtang. Meta Ang. Meta,” (Rules: Sleep Clause, Freeze Clause, OHKO Clause, Evasion Clause, Species Clause, Strict Damage Clause, Awesome Clause, Pastry Clause, Paid Overtime Clause. Battle prediction: Victory. Metang used Bullet Punch. Umbreon lost 18% of its health,) the Metang said in a computerised voice, before continuing to list even more technical terms and statistics. Its red eyes glared straight ahead, from behind a rectangular screen of sorts.

“Umbre... eon?” (Hey, we didn’t get the, err, um, whole description-err, analysing business done yet...wait, what you say?) Umbreon lamented dizzily, before leaping back at Metang, only for his opponent to fly back out of harm’s way.

“Espeon; Espi...” (Wes and I were doing that; you were humming away happily to the music instead...) Espeon pointed out.

“Umbre!” (Well it’s epic!) Umbreon protested.

Damn, that was quick, Wes pondered, before his mind helpfully transferred the image of the sharp metal spikes that were attached to the ends of Metang’s two arms onto Dakim’s fists. I really ought to stop thinking such things...

“Dodge quicker next time!” Rui offered in an attempt to be helpful.

“Not on my watch, man!” Dakim laughed. “Bullet Pawwunch again, bluey! And rocky, Hammer Arm on the purple one!”

“Metang,” (Affirmative) Metang hummed in response as it came at Umbreon again, but Dakim’s Golem instead looked at Dakim with a confused expression.

“Golem...” (I’m colour blind...)

“Oh yeah, man, I forgot!” Dakim acknowledged, while Umbreon, now more aware of Metang’s attack this time, managed to dodge the attack.

“Umb, reon! Reon!” (Aha, I dodged it, go me! Now suffer!) Umbreon said, before charging at the Metang with a Tackle attack, only to bounce off comically with a loud clang.

“Meta. Met. Ang. Ta. Ang. Ang. Ta: Ang.” (Bullet Punch missed. Umbreon used Tackle. Metang lost 0.001% of its health. Umbreon lost 3% of its health in recoil damage. Does not compute. Recalculating. Verdict: Umbreon is stupid.) Metang continued.

“It’s a Steel type, Umbreon!” Wes called. “Think, you can’t hit it with physical attacks... but if it acts like a computer to such an extent, then a good electric shock might bring it down rather quickly,” Wes continued.

“Umb... Umbreon....” (Ouch... ouuuuuuuccccccch...) Umbreon groaned loudly, as Espeon sighed, leaping into the fray himself. Ignoring Dakim’s attempts to explain what purple was like to the Golem, Espeon leapt onto the Metang and began channelling a Confusion attack into Metang’s mind in an attempt to overpower his Psychic opponent. Metang responded and pushed back mentally against Espeon’s attack, the two locked in combat as they tried to overcome the other.

“You see, purple is... a fruit. No, it’s... well, purple is purple, man,” Dakim said to Golem, who sighed in response.

“Good work, Espeon!” Wes said. “Now, Umbreon – Secret Power on Metang!” Umbreon responded with a small nod, concentrating his own thoughts as a small yellow orb began to come into shape, emitting sparks outwards.

“Look, you see... man, never mind, use Rock Throw on that Pokémon!” Dakim commanded to Golem suddenly, pointing at Umbreon. Realising that he could have pointed to tell Golem who to attack in the first place, Dakim muttered ‘man’ to himself as Golem stepped forward and grabbed one of its arms with the other and removed it from its body, before he flung it at Umbreon. The attack made contact, hitting Umbreon in the head.

“Umb... Umbreon?” (Oww... an arm?) Umbreon said with surprise, his concentration lost as his Secret Power attack dispersed away into the air, as Metang suddenly broke out of his mental arm-wrestle with Espeon, flying to the side suddenly in an effort to fling Espeon off the edge of the platform. Espeon leapt off hastily and landed on the platform with ease though, and shot a glare at Metang.

“I’d admit, that was a very...unique version of Rock Throw,” Wes admitted.

“Yeah, normally they just pull the rocks out of hammer-space or something,” Rui agreed.

“Metang. Tang. Metang Ang. Ang. Ang,” (Espeon used Confusion. It hurt. Metang lost 11% of its health. Reconfiguring circuits. Umbreon is now confused,) Metang rattled off.

“...Umbre!? UM!?” (Why did it throw its arm at me? WHAT!?) Umbreon yelled at the arm, somehow expecting answers from it. The Golem meanwhile walked slowly towards Umbreon, seemingly intent on continuing the attack.

“Espeon?” (How are you going to fight having thrown an arm away though, you stupid thing?) Espeon asked curiously.

“Gole,” (‘Tis only a scratch,) Golem said as it continued, while Espeon suddenly went on the defensive, Metang launching Bullet Punch attacks at him now, Espeon moving from side to side rapidly in an attempt to make it hard for Metang to make contact.

“Umb? Eon!” (A scratch? Your arm’s off!) Umbreon wailed, eyes shifting from side to side.

“Golem.” (No it isn’t.)

“Snap out of it, Umbreon!” Wes shouted. ”Keep on the defensive until Umbreon gets some sense, Espeon!”

“Esp.” (Stupid Umbreon.)

“Umb!” (Well, what’s that then?) Umbreon cried, ignoring the others as he jerked his head at the arm.

“Golem,” (I’ve had worse,) Golem said, as it reached Umbreon. It then grabbed its arm again with its other one and started hitting Umbreon on the head with it. Umbreon’s eyes suddenly widened, as he growled in protest before latching onto Golem’s other arm with his teeth...

...only for the other arm to come off surprisingly easily. Umbreon glared at the pieces of rock within his mouth – one arm with Golem’s other one held within its grasp – before Umbreon shrugged and ran off with them to the side of the platform.

“Umbreon!” (Ok, Espeon, go and attack Metang again, and soon I’ll try to hit it again!) Umbreon called, as Espeon shrugged and jumped onto Metang again, once again attacking him with his mind.

Good, so being hit on the head again brought Umbreon to his senses, Wes thought with relief.

Umbreon meanwhile leaned his head over the side of the platform, eyes clenched shut so he didn’t have to see what was down below, and dropped Golem’s arms below. He then turned around and began to charge his Secret Power attack once more, while noticing Golem waddling forward.

“Golem!” (Have at you!)

“Um? Umbreon!” (What? You stupid rock, you’ve no arms left!)

“Golem,” (Just a flesh wound,) Golem said, still persisting forward, albeit still rather slowly. “Gol,” (So what if I don’t have any arms,) it continued. Umbreon sighed, seemingly over the fact it threw its own arms at him now, returning to focus on his attack, the ball of electricity shining more brightly then the previous time.

Dakim looked on, scratching his head. “Why have I not beated him yet?” he said to himself, oblivious to the fact that he mispronounced ‘beaten’. “Blue thing, punch that purple one again instead of floating and thinking like that!” Dakim commanded. “Rocky, punch that black Pokémon as well!”

Golem looked at Dakim with exasperation.

“Oh, right. Then use Rollout!” Dakim said. “And then punch it!” he added.

“Ok, now Umbreon, Secret Power and jump to the side, quick!” Wes shouted. Umbreon nodded and sent the attack at Metang, while Espeon jumped off just as it hit. Sparks surrounded the metallic Pokémon and spread across its body.

“Metanganganganganganganganganganganga...” (Umbreon used Secret Power. It’s super effective! Does not compute. Secret Power is not of a super effective type. Circuits failing. The server is down, try again later. Error 404 page not found. Re-calibrating gerbils. The cake is...aaaaaaaa...) Metang stammered quickly, before it suddenly fell to the ground, its red eyes fading out.

“Aha! Direct hit!” Wes said happily. I thought a direct hit of that attack would fry that Pokémon up pretty fast, although that was somewhat easier than expected...

Umbreon cheered as well, wagging his tail as he turned around and taunted Golem.

”Umbre-EON!” (And now look, you have no legs either- ARRGH!) Umbreon cried, jumping to the side as Golem rolled past, narrowly missing Umbreon. Espeon then walked to where Umbreon was and looked over the edge.

“Esp,” (Well, that was easy,) Espeon commented as he observed Golem slowly become smaller and smaller as it fell down towards the rocks below. Dakim also ran over, holding a Poké Ball in his hand and aiming it at Golem.

“Return to me, my rock!” Dakim shouted, as he tried to recall it, as he threw another Poké Ball at the platform. “Attack with that wet liquid thing...water, that’s it! You... err, other blue Pokémon, man!” Dakim continued, as a Marshtomp came out from the Poké Ball. The Pokémon immediately sprayed jets of water at Umbreon and Espeon from its mouth, but the two ducked and jumped to the side respectively, avoiding the attack.

“While there’s only one Pokémon there, attack with Return and Tackle, Espeon and Umbreon!” Wes shouted. The two grinned and charged at the mud fish Pokémon, Marshtomp looking with disappointment at the fact he was currently outnumbered.

“Marshtomp marsh!” (But I herd you liek Marshtomp!) it wailed as he tried to swat at them with his flipper-like arms, but missed as the two collided with him. Rui cheered as she and Wes watched his Pokémon dominate Marshtomp with ease, the two ramming the light-blue Pokémon again and again.

“Espeon!” (Nobody likes you or your pre-evolution!) Espeon jeered, charging in once more. Desperate, Marshtomp thrashed his body violently, hitting both Espeon and Umbreon away a short distance more by luck than skill, the two falling over in surprise.

“Aha, got you!” Dakim called, as he managed to make contact with Golem with the Poké Ball and recalled him, before he sent Golem out again onto the platform near Marshtomp. “But you don’t look very well, man,” he mused with a frown as Golem looked tiredly at its opponents again. Then Dakim’s mouth broke into a sudden grin. “Aha! I’ve had a great idea! Marshtomp, use Rock Throw!”

Rock Throw? Didn’t expect Marshtomp to know that move, Rock Tomb maybe... wait, they're nearly the same thing, Wes thought.

“Ma, Marsh... Marshtomp!” (Oh, that’s when I throw rocks at them...aha, a rock!) Marshtomp exclaimed upon noticing Golem, picking it up clumsily with his arms before hitting Golem with his two fin-like tails towards Umbreon and Espeon, who were getting to their feet.

“And now, rock,” Dakim said as Golem flew through the air, “use Explosion!”

“Umbre? Umb!” (Explosion? Hey!)

“Arrgh great, hit the ground!” Wes yelled to Rui before he took his own advice and practically threw himself at the platform’s floor.

”Esp Esp Esp-” (Bugger bugger bugger) Espeon stammered, hurriedly throwing up a wall of light around himself and Umbreon. Golem however flew through Umbreon’s Reflect and found itself right above Umbreon. Realising the opportunity, it grinned.

“Golem,” (Boom,) it said, before it blew up, its smile fading when Golem realised it too would faint from the attack.

Why do I always end up using this attack? it thought, as it emitted a flash of light as a result of the Explosion attack. Bits of rock flew everywhere and everyone was momentarily blinded, before being deafened by a loud bang that echoed off the mountainsides below and around them. The music that was still playing in a loop from Rui’s platform stopped abruptly, and silence began to descend.

Espeon was the first to move, his Reflect attack saving him from most of the force. He had still been all too close for comfort to the attack, his fur standing on end and covered in bits of dirt and rock from Golem. He glanced around and felt about with his mind to see what happened. It’s all right – I’m still alive for one, Espeon thought. Wes and Rui were getting up to their feet, Dakim was recalling his fainted Golem – or what was left of it - and Metang to their Poké balls, seemingly unfazed whatsoever by the attack, and Vander was still out of it, surprisingly. Marshtomp, despite being far away from the attack, was also hurt, apparently being hit by one of Golem’s legs that must have come off during its Explosion attack. The platform was intact, but something about the sound made by the propeller underneath, which was perpetually moving to keep the platform up, seemed a bit odd now. And Umbreon was still standing.

Wait, what?

“Esp...eon?”( You’re... all right?) Espeon asked.

“U-Umb...” (Yeah, I’m fine,) Umbreon replied with a grin.

“Esp,” (Oh,) Espeon said. How did he survive that? Maybe he’s more thick-headed then I thought.

Suddenly Umbreon sighed. “Umb, Umbreon...” (No, I lied, I’m very much ouch now...) Umbreon said, slumping to the ground and promptly losing consciousness.

Ok, maybe not, Espeon continued. Wes returned Umbreon to his Poké Ball, as Dakim struck a pose.

“YEEESSSS!” Dakim shouted as he withdrew his fainted Golem. “You beat one of them!”

“Are you crazy, Dakim?” Wes shouted. “Sure, you made Umbreon faint, but I wouldn’t say this place is such a great place for explosions.”

“Sorry, man, I forgot,” Dakim said sheepishly.

Man, he is rather dumb, Wes thought with disbelief. But he didn’t move an inch from that explosion, and he just stood there perfectly still... dumb he may be, but that’s just scary. And Umbreon’s fainted as well.

“Anyways, go and fight, my orange one!” Dakim shouted, while throwing another Pokémon out onto the platform. A Camerupt came forth, the large orange Pokémon taking up significantly more space than the other Pokémon. The camel-like Pokémon grunted, and stared into space as smoke came out of the miniature volcanos that were on its back.

“Espeon.” (Oh cool, someone related to Quagsire.)

“Cam,” (Moo,) Camerupt responded.

“Blue one, you look tired, man. Use Rest, and orange thing, protect it!” Dakim shouted.

“Marsh!” (Nap time!) Marshtomp said wearily, before it closed its eyes and fell asleep, while still standing. Camerupt stepped forward in front of it and made another grunt.

Ah, so he wants to protect Marshtomp, meaning he feels it’s still some sort of threat to my Pokemon – maybe it knows a strong move or something. But if I can outnumber it later on again it’ll be easy judging by before, so then... “Go, Yanma!” Wes called, sending out the Pokémon. It immediately buzzed about, seemingly more concerned with whether it could smell any coffee than the situation or location.

“Espeon, begin by attacking Camerupt with Confusion!” Wes said.

Espeon grinned. “Espi!” (I’ve a better idea!) Espeon said, as he closed his eyes and focused. Suddenly, a ray of multi-coloured light came out of the red gem in Espeon’s forehead and struck Camerupt in the eyes, the beast grunting in pain and stumbling about, only to step on Marshtomp’s tails and wake it up.

“Marsh!” (Arrgh!) it cried, instinctively spraying water to protect itself, managing to hit Camerupt who bellowed in pain.

“Ah, good work there – Psybeam,” Wes grinned. “Yanma,” Wes continued quickly, “if you focus and battle now, I promise I’ll give you some coffee afterwards!” Yanma enthusiastically spun around and shrilled in response.

“Yanmayanyanyanyanyan!?” (Yay-for-coffee-I-like-coffee-do-you-like-coffee-can-I-have-coffee-now!?) Yanma demanded, now flying around Wes’s head.

“Err,” Wes said uncertainly, unsure what Yanma was saying. “I’d give you some coffee now, but that Camerupt drunk it all...” he tried, pointing at the large Pokémon which was currently glaring at Marshtomp angrily. Dakim was trying to yell at it to calm down, but to little avail.

“Yan? YANMAMAMAMAM!” (That-drunk-my-coffee? You’ll-pay-for-this-how-DARE-you-drink-COFFEE-its-MY-coffee-coffee-coffee!) Yanma cried in outrage, suddenly charging into Camerupt from behind again and again with incredible speed, appearing only as a blur to all.

“Now, Espeon, use Return!” Wes called, surprised at the reaction he caused in Yanma. Hmm, well Yanma is still a Shadow Pokémon, so no wonder that made it go so crazy... Espeon meanwhile charged into Camerupt as well, the hit too much for the orange Pokémon.

“Cam,” (Meh,) the Camerupt muttered, as it fell to the ground with a loud whump. The platform groaned uneasily in response, as Dakim looked on in amazement.

“Man, you sure know about battling... nobody even reached Camerupt before, let alone knocked it out, man!” Dakim said in awe. “Although maybe the fact most of my opponents decided to run away instead of battling had something to do with that, so they just lost to my fists,” he added with a grin.

Then that explains why Dakim isn’t that good with battling with Pokémon and can’t even remember their names, if they all ran away – most likely from the sight of him if anything, Wes thought. Can’t blame them for that. And that’s why I’ve only lost one Pokémon and he’s lost nearly four! It’s clear he’s better at hitting things himself...

“Then clearly they weren’t very good,” Wes muttered. “As it is, you only have that tired-out Marshtomp over there...”

“And one more!” Dakim grinned. “Sure, it’s only one Pokémon and one I’ve never used, but it’s my best!” he boasted.

“A Pokémon you’ve never used before? Why the confidence?” Wes asked, raising his eyebrows.

“Oh, you’ll see. I even remember what it’s called! Go and finish this, Entei!” Dakim called, sending out his last Poké ball – the large Ultra Ball.

“Espeon-” (Oh, I think you got its name-) Espeon began, before stopping short. Before him, Yanma and Wes, a lion-like creature, covered in brown fur appeared. A thick, black cuff-like ring occupied each of its legs, and a cape of fur billowed out from behind its head flapping in the wind, looking like smoke was comfortably sitting on its back. It stomped its front feet as it glared at its surroundings with pitch-black eyes which stared from its volcano-shaped head. The top of its head sported a bright yellow flame-like crest with marks the colour of magma on the side of its face, which was partially obstructed by a white, handlebar moustache.

“Wes,” Rui said finally, “is that...”

“Yes,” Wes said softly, eyes wide. “That’s a legendary Pokémon. Entei. A real Entei.”

“Espeon...” (Ok, maybe you were right...) Espeon conceded, slapping his face with one of his paws in shock.

“Yanmamama!” (I-bet-you-drunk-my-coffee-too-suffer!) Yanma raved, charging forward and paying no heed to the fact his next opponent was an Entei. Dakim smiled, and pointed at the blurred form of Yanma.

“Fire Blast, man!” he shouted. Entei leaned his body back slowly, and then opened its mouth, unleashing a large fireball that engulfed the unfortunate Bug-type. Wes grimaced as he hurriedly grabbed at Yanma’s Poké Ball and recalled Yanma as it shrilled in pain – even though he stood well away from the attack, he could feel the sheer heat generated from the attack. Entei roared loudly, and then looked around to face Espeon, who gulped.

“You see, Rui,” Wes continued, looking at the almighty Pokémon, “basically – we’re screwed.”

***

Meanwhile, the nurse in Mt Battle’s reception area glowered at the people who had retreated from the Mt Battle area.

“You miserable people! Since when were you allowed to leave so early?” she demanded.

“That large man, he was beating us up!” one of them protested. “And he carried an entire cactus with him as well – we were afraid he’d impale us with it or something. Luckily he threw it away once we all left...”

“Well thank goodness for that,” the nurse snapped. “The last time someone brought in a cactus, he ended up having his head stuck in the darn thing and then those Cactuar came to try to take it back as well, god knows why.”

“Don’t you mean Cacturne?”someone piped up.

“Whatever. They were big, green and smelly. And stupid, but at least they’re smarter than everyone else around here. Why the hell are you standing here then if you want to leave? And,” she continued moving to the window and looking outside at the battle between the Cipher agents and the police which was still going on, some of the people resorting to trying to punch each other out at this point, “can’t you lot shut up?”

The yelling continued, with a distant shout of ‘Hita!’ added in from somewhere in the fray.

“That’s why we can’t exactly leave,” another by the reception desk pointed out.

“Well, not on my watch! I just want all of you to leave so I can sleep! Of all days for Samantha to take a sick day...” she grumbled walking outside. Ignoring the shouts and yells of protest from inside, she strode down the steps. Andrew, frantically shouting orders at his Growlithe, noticed her and looked with bemusement as she sent out a Chansey into the middle of the front yard.

“Look what you’ve done, you fools! It took us ages to plant all of these flowers!” she yelled, fists clenched. “Punish them all, Chansey!”

“Please go back inside, miss, us policemen have everything under control-”

“Egg Bomb that annoying guy in the suit first!” the nurse yelled, and the next thing Andrew saw was a large egg collide with his face.

“Now everyone else!” the woman yelled triumphantly, as the Chansey waddled over and launched another Egg Bomb attack, this time at a Cipher agent.

“Oh, great- someone call the helicopter to get us out of here!” he cried, before he succumbed to the exploding egg.

***

Wes continued staring at the Entei, wondering what would happen.

“Ma, Marsh. Tomp...” (Yeah, I’ll just stand here on the side and get some rest. You can finish them off...) Marshtomp muttered, shifting to the side and again falling asleep.

“No wonder Dakim was so confident to begin with – I’ve got little chance against that thing. So many things can go wrong...” Wes grumbled. He frantically examined his P*DA for more info on Entei.

“Maybe not... but I’m afraid-” Rui began quietly, before Wes continued.

“According to this, whenever it barks, a volcano is said to erupt. Great! It’ll probably cause Mt Battle to erupt and the resulting eruption will kill us and... and all of our faces would melt and we’d be very dead and have never discovered the meaning of Christmas and we’d never get to eat Christmas cookies or mango pudding and that would be very, very bad.” He glanced some more at the P*DA further, and then sighed. “Oh wait, it’s just a rumour... and he already roared and nothing happened so I don’t think he’s interested in mass murder yet. Maybe. We just have to worry about the fact it ‘blasts fire that consumes all that it touches’.”

“And that’s not all!” Dakim boasted.

“Yeah, he’s right,” Rui said. “You see, it’s... a Shadow Pokémon. I can’t even see it properly, its aura is that thick.”

Wes sighed, before he paused. “Wait, a Shadow Pokémon... well, Cipher are really scaring the hell out of me, but here goes!” he yelled, suddenly throwing a Snag Ball at Entei. Entei merely smirked however, and fired another ball of flames at it which disintegrated the Snag Ball into ash, which somehow fell in such a way the particles spelt out the word ‘Fail’ on the ground. Entei then chased after Espeon, who hastily started running away.

“Hey, don’t try snagging my Pokémon, man,” Dakim said. “Try it again, and I’ll come and punch you!”

“Well, that’s not going to work,” Wes concluded quickly. “Time for plan B!”

“Is that to run away?” Rui asked.

“...no, that’s plan C for now. Plan B is to try and somehow overcome it. Go, Feraligatr!” Wes said hurriedly, sending out the large reptile onto the battle field. Think Wes, think. It’s a legendary Pokémon. It’s also a Shadow Pokémon. One mistake means my Pokémon are basically fainted, and I only have two left. I’ll just have to try my best, is all.

“Ok, Feraligatr, help out Espeon, buy him some time. That Entei’s very dangerous, fire-happy, and also it’s a Shadow Pokémon. Rile him up, get him to focus on you for now. And don’t fall off the edge...” Wes warned. Feraligatr nodded, and sprang to all fours and charged forward. ”Maybe try that new move as well!” Wes added as an afterthought.

“New move?” Rui asked, confused. Wes grinned back.

“Maybe we’re not that doomed after all if this works – I checked him up at the Pokémon Centre in Agate before we left,” Wes explained. “He learnt one more move when we purified him.”

“You purified him?” Dakim asked, scratching his head. “But Ein said that was not possible...”

“Fera!” (Oi, you overweight thing!) Feraligatr taunted, drawing a reaction from Entei who turned his head from Espeon and into a Water Gun attack. Roaring with pain, he charged straight at Feraligatr, who hopped out of the way as Espeon caught his breath. Grinning, Feraligatr sent another jet of water at Entei as Feraligatr continued to move awkwardly about.

“Ok Espeon, your turn to distract it!” Wes called. Espeon, catching on to Wes’ plan, glared at the Entei and attacked with another Psybeam. Entei howled in response as it struck him and fired another Fire Blast attack at Espeon, who darted away from the flames which left a large scorch mark on the platform’s floor, and began running for his life again. In his mad scramble, Espeon suddenly encountered Dakim, but quickly ran through Dakim’s legs as Entei gained ground.

“No, man, not at me!” Dakim shouted at the charging legendary, but realising Entei was paying no heed, he hurriedly punched the beast in the face. It roared in pain as it reeled from the punch, as Dakim then tried to convince it that Espeon had hit it somehow – as tall as Dakim was, Entei was just as big as him height-wise.

Good work, Espeon, but...Dakim just punched a legendary Pokémon there. His legendary Pokémon, Wes thought, lost for words.

“Wes, Feraligatr seems to be almost dancing...oh,” Rui said, noticing that the clouds from the summit of Mt Battle had suddenly moved a lot closer and were above their heads, casting a shadow over the platforms they stood on. A moment later, a few raindrops fell down. Then some more. And then a downpour began, puddles already forming on the platform’s floor.

“So he learnt Rain Dance!” Rui exclaimed, as Entei then accepted Dakim’s claims and turned to target Espeon once more, shooting another Fire Blast attack at Espeon, but this time the rain drastically reduced the attacks’ power.

“Espeon!” (Now you’re looking rather pathetic for a legendary!) Entei growled, and then leapt unexpectedly and kicked Espeon with one of its large legs. Espeon wailed, staggered about, and then fell, unconscious.

“No...” Wes said, recalling his Pokémon. “Damn damn damn. It got him so easily in the end... One left now...at least Marshtomp is still using Rest.”

“Fera. Gator!” (It took you that long to take one of us down. Pathetic!) Feraligatr shouted at Entei, as it ceased dancing and sprang forward, slashing at Entei’s large body. As Entei roared, Feraligatr then raised its arms, and the rain and water on the platforms flew at Entei and drenched it thoroughly with a Surf attack. As Feraligatr retreated, Entei, instead of immediately responding by charging at Feraligatr, stood still and summoned flames to envelop its body, the water on it and rain around it beginning to evaporate due to the heat created.

It doesn’t look tired at all – just mad. And angry. Even with a type advantage, I doubt I can win this.

“Wes, it’s in Hyper mode! Its aura’s gone dark red!” Rui cried.

“Yay,” Wes remarked sarcastically.

“Now, Entei,” Dakim said uncertainly, unsure what to do. Entei’s eyes had turned red, as it glared at Feraligatr, shaking with sheer rage. “Calm down, man. Chill.”

“ENTEI!” (ROAR!) Entei said instead, and with that it ran at Feraligatr, and only a few metres away from it, jumped in the air like it had when it had knocked out Espeon.

“DODGE!” Wes yelled, as Feraligatr ducked underneath Entei’s Stomp attack, Entei’s paws missing by mere centimetres. It then landed behind Feraligatr, and tried to turn straightaway but slipped on the wet surface and skidded away as the platform shuddered with the impact. Wes meanwhile had loaded a Snag ball from the Snag Machine and chucked it at Entei, but it missed its target, the orb bouncing off the platform’s floor and away, beginning to descend over the side. Meanwhile, Entei continued sliding along the ground at an all too rapid pace and fell off the edge, disappearing from sight along towards oblivion with the Snag Ball next to it as it let out a surprised howl.

“No, man!” Dakim yelled, grabbing his Ultra Ball and heading to the side again, as his Marshtomp suddenly began to wake up, fully rested. “Retu-”

“Blast that out of his hand, now!” Wes shouted, Feraligatr responding by shooting a jet of water which hit Dakim’s hand, and knocked the ball away and off the platform as well.

“You...did it,” Rui said softly. “Entei fell off...”

“No! It’s... it’s gone, man! No more Mr Nice man!” Dakim yelled, frowning.

Uh oh.

“Plan C, Rui!” Wes yelled, rapidly backing off with Feraligatr preparing for another fight, stepping in-between the two.

“But Wes!” Rui protested.

“No, get away, and I’ll follow soon when it’s safe! Go!” Wes shouted, Rui nodding reluctantly and moving away, glancing back every so often as she moved towards platform one and the reception area.

“Oh no you don’t! I’ll take you both down!” Dakim screamed at Wes and Feraligatr. “Blue one, Earthquake the two of them!”

Wes paused for a moment at this, having expected Dakim to charge at them first, and then did a double take. “What? No, don’t use Earthquake! You’ll break the platform if you did that!”

“Oh yeah,” Dakim said, considering this. “Blue one-”

“Marsh!” (Yay Earthquake!) the Marshtomp shouted, crouching down and focusing before stomping its feet, ignoring Dakim as the platform began to shudder.

“Err... goodbye,” Wes said quickly, recalling Feraligatr and sprinting off after Rui.

“Uh-oh, man, this isn’t good, man,” Dakim said quietly as he quickly recalled his Marshtomp but it was too late, as the platform suddenly shook violently and a large crack appeared. Pieces of machinery underneath groaned in protest, when suddenly platform number ten rose rapidly in the air, separating itself from the neighbouring platforms with a loud crack. Dakim crouched down and looked over the edge uncertainly at the rapidly shrinking landscape, Mt Battle looking smaller and smaller by the second.

“No, not good at all, man...” Dakim gulped, looking to see if there was anything he could punch to get him down safely, spotting instead a black helicopter zoom towards him. ‘Cipher’ was printed on the side, the pilot looking with astonishment at Dakim and the platform.

“Aha! Good timing!” Dakim shouted, waving cheerfully at the helicopter.

***

“Ah, there’s Mt Battle,” Sherles said to himself, pulling his police car into the facility’s parking lot next to the other police vehicles, and hopping out. He paused, observing his surroundings.

The front garden was a mess, full of policemen, Cipher agents and a few fainted Pokémon sprawled all over the grounds, groaning in pain. All were covered in eggshells and yolk, with some cookies, for some reason, scattered around as well on the grounds. A lone nurse and her Chansey stood on the steps of the entrance, with a bunch of people inside staring through a window with awe, their jaws hanging.

“Madam,” Sherles began slowly, walking to her, “what exactly happened here?”

“These ruffians,” the woman began, “were causing a huge mess and wouldn’t shut the hell up. So I shut them up myself,” she explained simply.

“With that Chansey? But... some of these are Cipher agents. Criminals,” Sherles said, pointing at one.

“You don’t say.”

“And the rest of them are – well, supposedly – the best of the police forces from other regions,” Sherles said quietly, still looking around.

“Well they did a damn poor job at keeping the peace! Now if you’d excuse me, I’m going to sleep.” With that, the woman went inside, leaving Sherles to himself. He looked up to the sky, and then frowned – it appeared a helicopter was flying away, with a rather large man in white hanging from the side. Further away, a circular platform was flying away into the distance.

UFOs? Sherles thought with confusion.

“Sherles!” a voice said suddenly. Sherles turned, to see Rui and Wes emerge from inside. Both looked out of breath and visibly shaken.

“Do you mind, maybe, shedding some light on what happened?” Sherles asked finally.

“Well... it’s a long story...” Wes began.

***

“Well, that was a long story,” Sherles said as Wes finished reciting what happened, the three of them now inside. The nurse was grumbling to herself, as she set to work on healing all of the fainted Pokémon, both Wes’ and the ones from the battle between the police and Cipher. Makuhita had been among those fainted; the woman’s Chansey had clearly made a huge impact on all involved. The Mt Battle people were running in and out, carrying the Pokemon and people inside, Sherles frequently putting handcuffs on the egg-covered Cipher agents and gave disapproving glares at the policemen.

“Yeah, it was crazy... and to think, Cipher had a legendary Pokémon they made Shadow!” Rui exclaimed. “What else could they-” She was suddenly interrupted by a tap on the window, made by Sherles’ bird Pokémon, a Xatu.

“Right, the search for Entei... or what’s left of it... is over then, I presume. I’ll go talk to Xatu and be right back,” Sherles said. “And then we’ll have to clean this place up before anything else.”

“Yeah,” Wes said as he departed. “Well, that was...crazy. According to what Sherles saw, Dakim escaped somehow by that convenient helicopter...”

“Yes, although he worked for Cipher, he did have some decency to battle us,” Rui said.

“I still don’t get why, but maybe that was just his way of life,” Wes shrugged. “Those he thinks strong he respects and everyone else, he just punches. Not that bad a philosophy in theory...”

“The poor Entei,” Rui said softly. “There’s no way it could have survived that fall. We didn’t end up getting killed, and Cipher can’t use it anymore, but...”

“I suppose it is a shame it ended like that,” Wes agreed with a sigh. “After all, a legendary Pokémon. How did they get their hands on it, I wonder.”

“And it was so angry,” Rui continued. “It was made Shadow by them. It can’t have been happy like that...” her voice trailed off. A pause followed.

“You know... if it’s any comfort to you-” Wes began, when Sherles walked in and interrupted the two.

“I believe this is yours,” Sherles said gruffly, tossing a Poké Ball at Wes. “Xatu found that, and a busted-up Ultra ball as well below where platform ten used to be.”

“Ah, this was a Snag Ball I threw at Entei just before it fell off, only I missed... and the other was the original ball it belonged to. Good thing this Poké Ball survived the fall – they build them pretty well, I guess. And did Xatu...find...” Wes said, growing quiet.

Sherles paused for a moment, and then shook his head. “No, she didn’t,” he said.

“She didn’t?” Rui asked, confused. “But... but... Entei fell... I don’t think it could fly or something, surely...” Rui turned to Wes, only to see him staring at his Poké Ball, with a strange smile on his face. “What are you smiling about?” she demanded.

“Rui,” Wes said finally, “This Poké Ball... there’s a Pokémon inside of it. When Entei fell, it must have somehow come into contact with it, and...”

“No way,” Rui said.

“Yes way,” Wes countered, his grin growing.

“You mean...”

“We have a legendary Pokémon in our possession. Sure, it’s a Shadow Pokémon, but it’s ours.” Another pause followed, before Wes spoke again.

“That’s awesome.”

***









And that’s the end of the chapter-

“Wait,” Rui interjected, as her face became pale. “I think we forgot something.”

“Really? What?” Wes asked, gazing with pure happiness at his Poké Ball, as Sherles also realised what was wrong, running outside with his Xatu following. “Well, what is it?” Wes continued.

***

“Hello?” Vander shouted out to the empty surroundings. “Anyone?”

What the hell happened? I got punched, lost consciousness, and then when I woke up, everyone was shouting, so I tried to get away... then platform ten flew off somehow... and now I’m hanging on for dear life, Vander mused, as he dangled from the broken walkway between platform nine and where platform ten used to be, holding on with his two hands. He wasn’t slipping away – he had a decent hold, but it was hardly a fun position to be in and his arms were beginning to get somewhat sore. I have the strangest feeling I’ve been forgotten... this is not my day. I’m confused as heck, but all I know is that I’m very sore, and the sun will set in a few hours.

“Little help?” he shouted again. “Please?”

***









...Ok, that’s the end of the chapter.

For how this relates to the games!


Music - Mt Battle has a pretty good tune actually, IMO - fun to listen to, but seeing it plays whenever you're not in a battle when you take the challenge throughout the entire mountain, one would think that people would start getting sick of the tune, like how stuff overplayed on the radio starts sounding bad. Hence Vander's reaction to the music that plays (and the explanation for where the music comes from).

The other tune that played afterwards (for a while anyways) is the Cipher Admin battle tune, btw - plays whenever an admin who isn't called Miror B battles you. Fun times.

Dakim + battle - the battle goes like that, basically, only Dakim does have a touch more strategy in-game, with earthquake + protect combos going. However I have seen him use Earthquake after sending his own Entei out, which is not really bright of him, especially considering the platforms you're standing on in the first place - thy never really look all that safe to one. And speaking of which:

Shadow Entei: out of nowhere, the game throws you, instead of a shadow Sudowoodo or Dunsparce, an Entei of all things. Much joy for the player who manages to snag Entei right then and there as they can then use it (but it takes a good while for Entei to use moves other than Shadow Rush). It's not that easy to catch though, and considering one's battling on a platform many feet above the mountains, it's not a safe place either (hence me bringing in that aspect into play). By far the toughest challenge the game throws up thus far.

Feraligatr + Rain Dance: - he does larn this move when purified. Perhaps the battle against Miror B helped a fair bit with this move... higher up Mt Battle you can also see the clouds that Feraligatr summons in the chapter.

Vander: in the game, once you beat Dakim he recovers and gives you the Time Flute in the reception area - the game isn't that cruel to him to have you forget about him. =P

Dakim's exit - his exit in the chapter is rather odd, but the game also does it weirdly. When you win, Skrub (from Agate Village) shows up, Dakim says some stuff (along the lines of 'hey I lost too, Skrub! never mind, yes is too good for us). Skrub then leaves by running off, and so does Dakim... BY JUMPING AWAY LIKE A FROG. WUT. You're standing on some questionable levitating platforms high above a mountain side, and he just jumps away off-screen. It makes little sense, but is amusing to see. Here I took away his ridiculous jumping skills. =P


Hope you enjoyed that, and Merry Christmas to all of you!

Ninja Caterpie
December 26th, 2009, 03:06 AM
I lol'd to Kingdom Come when I read the Monty Python references.

Win.

Absolute, sheer and utter win.

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
December 26th, 2009, 05:37 PM
Yeah, I never thought those little platforms were safe for battling, especially for someone who uses Earthquake/Protect... Then again, Dakim can't even remember the names of his Pokemon, save for Entei, so I guess you can't expect much from him in the way of common sense. Even if his DAKIM PAWWNNCH! makes up for it XD

And I love Metang's manner of speech :) Better than Metang/Metagross in my fic, that's for sure, though I still try to go the "mechanical" route.

We all learned what happens when you disturb Mt. Battle's nurse when she wants a rest... utter chaos with little regard for who's officer and who's Cipher ;P

Epic battle against Wes and Dakim, complete with color-blind Golem who rips off his own limbs to attack. Can't beat that :)

Bay Alexison
January 4th, 2010, 04:01 PM
“Umbre... eon?” (Hey, we didn’t get the, err, um, whole description-err, analysing business done yet...wait, what you say?) Umbreon lamented dizzily, before leaping back at Metang, only for his opponent to fly back out of harm’s way.
*snickers* I already said how I’m a Business Administration major concentrating in finanical economics, right? *gets shot for being too prideful* IfUmbreon needs help eith business analysis, I’m the gal! :P


“Meta. Met. Ang. Ta. Ang. Ang. Ta: Ang.” (Bullet Punch missed. Umbreon used Tackle. Metang lost 0.001% of its health. Umbreon lost 3% of its health in recoil damage. Does not compute. Recalculating. Verdict: Umbreon is stupid.) Metang continued.
Best analysis evar. XD

“Metanganganganganganganganganganganga...” (Umbreon used Secret Power. It’s super effective! Does not compute. Secret Power is not of a super effective type. Circuits failing. The server is down, try again later. Error 404 page not found. Re-calibrating gerbils. The cake is...aaaaaaaa...) Metang stammered quickly, before it suddenly fell to the ground, its red eyes fading out.
*kills PC’s lag and mentions of cake being a lie*

“Marshtomp marsh!” (But I herd you liek Marshtomp!) it wailed as he tried to swat at them with his flipper-like arms, but missed as the two collided with him. Rui cheered as she and Wes watched his Pokémon dominate Marshtomp with ease, the two ramming the light-blue Pokémon again and again.

“Espeon!” (Nobody likes you or your pre-evolution!) Espeon jeered, charging in once more. Desperate, Marshtomp thrashed his body violently, hitting both Espeon and Umbreon away a short distance more by luck than skill, the two falling over in surprise.
Aw, I like their pre-evolution forms. :<

”Esp Esp Esp-” (Bugger bugger bugger) Espeon stammered, hurriedly throwing up a wall of light around himself and Umbreon. Golem however flew through Umbreon’s Reflect and found itself right above Umbreon. Realising the opportunity, it grinned.
Isn’t it supposed to be Espeon’s Reflect? Also, if I remember correctly, Umbreon hadn’t used Reflect in this story yet.


“Are you crazy, Dakim?” Wes shouted. “Sure, you made Umbreon faint, but I wouldn’t say this place is such a great place for explosions.”
“Place” twice in this sentence sounds repetitive. Maybe get rid of the first “place” to make the sentence sound less awkward and flow better.

Wes sighed, before he paused. “Wait, a Shadow Pokémon... well, Cipher are really scaring the hell out of me, but here goes!” he yelled, suddenly throwing a Snag Ball at Entei. Entei merely smirked however, and fired another ball of flames at it which disintegrated the Snag Ball into ash, which somehow fell in such a way the particles spelt out the word ‘Fail’ on the ground. Entei then chased after Espeon, who hastily started running away.
Well, this is what you get trying to get an Entei! You fail at being a Pokemon trainer. D:

Favorite parts and quick suggestions aside, this is a great battle scene you did there. I really love some interent references you thrown there, my favorites I already quoted. I also have to say cool Rain Dance is being shown and not just to power up water attacks and lower the power of fire attacks. Yay for slip ups! :P

You know, the nurse scene reminds me of Saffire Persian’s one shot “The Ties That Bind.” In it, the Chansey/Blissey (forgot which ^^; ) used Egg Bomb too. XD

There is one thing I want to mention, though, and it's the way you did the thoughts of the characters. I know you’re trying to have the readers get into the characters’ heads, which is a good thing, but if you go to their perspective too long, it’ll sound too much like a first person POV and you’re doing a third person POV. For instance, these two:


He doesn’t remember the names of his Pokémon? And the best until last...that may be his Shadow Pokémon, if he has any. But for now... Wes mused, looking at Dakim’s Pokémon begin to materialise. The one made out of rock... that’s a Golem. I’ve beaten its pre-evolutions before... Looks like a large boulder with stubby arms and legs. Hmm, good defences, but those limbs? Not much speed or reach, surely. And that other one must be a Metang... never saw that one before. It’s a robotic Pokémon, so it’s a Steel type... and also Psychic type as well? I think. And those arms-
What the hell happened? I got punched, lost consciousness, and then when I woke up, everyone was shouting, so I tried to get away... then platform ten flew off somehow... and now I’m hanging on for dear life, Vander mused, as he dangled from the broken walkway between platform nine and where platform ten used to be, holding on with his two hands. He wasn’t slipping away – he had a decent hold, but it was hardly a fun position to be in and his arms were beginning to get somewhat sore. I have the strangest feeling I’ve been forgotten... this is not my day. I’m confused as heck, but all I know is that I’m very sore, and the sun will set in a few hours.

Again, the way you did the thoughts here is a bit long winded. It may be true in real life we think like that, but considering you’re doing this story in thrid person POV, you don’t want to have the thoughts be in first person POV for a long time. One way you can overcome this if you're going to have the characters be thinking for a long time is have their thoughts both in first person POV, but in a couple of sentences here and there, and third person POV rest of the way. To show you what I mean, an example from my fic:

Back inside the police station, Lucas was close to the water cooler. He sighed and shook his head, his mind thinking about the man that almost shot him. It was still shocking to him that the old man would do that. At least electricity scared him, or so Lucas assumed. One thing troubled him, though. The image of that man flashed before his very eyes.

Could that man be Jacob Alexison?

Maybe Timmy was right. Lucas began putting the pieces together. A couple days ago Jacob was not home and he instantly got a call of an incident dealing with Bunny, Jenny, and an unidentified man. Another call then came that dealt with the girls and that accomplice at Solaceon Town.

Not one hundred percent sure why Bunny needs another accomplice. She has a Psychic Pokémon with her!

Lucas felt his heart skip a beat. He began thinking about how Jacob and his Xatu, a dual Psychic-Flying type, went down and then pink light emitted—

—just like back at Canalave City.

It made sense, Professor Alexison being Bunny’s former mentor and all. So he might have been an accomplice since the beginning. Conclusions like that could lead to chaos in a case, so he sighed. He knew that the answer would have to wait.

Basically, you got the thoughts of the characters are logical, but it's the way you presented them that bothered me. Reason I brought this up is LeSabre actually mentioned the way I did the thoughts of the characters too. ^^;

Overall I enjoyed this chapter a lot and you did well on the comedy again. The thoughts you should work a bit though to make the story more third person POV, though. Keep up the great work!

bobandbill
January 12th, 2010, 07:32 AM
Whee late replies to reviews, go me. -_- But cheers for leaving a comment or plenty! =DI lol'd to Kingdom Come when I read the Monty Python references.

Win.

Absolute, sheer and utter win.Heh, glad you enjoyed that part then. =)
Yeah, I never thought those little platforms were safe for battling, especially for someone who uses Earthquake/Protect... Then again, Dakim can't even remember the names of his Pokemon, save for Entei, so I guess you can't expect much from him in the way of common sense. Even if his DAKIM PAWWNNCH! makes up for it XDYeah, Mt battle must be terrible for those people there. And Dakim isn't that smart, although Entei makes up for a lot. XD
And I love Metang's manner of speech :) Better than Metang/Metagross in my fic, that's for sure, though I still try to go the "mechanical" route.Really? I liked Metagross' way of speech...
We all learned what happens when you disturb Mt. Battle's nurse when she wants a rest... utter chaos with little regard for who's officer and who's Cipher ;P

Epic battle against Wes and Dakim, complete with color-blind Golem who rips off his own limbs to attack. Can't beat that :)Glad you liked it then. =)
*snickers* I already said how I’m a Business Administration major concentrating in finanical economics, right? *gets shot for being too prideful* IfUmbreon needs help eith business analysis, I’m the gal! :PI already replied to this via a chat but...I'll do so again! XD Umbreon is interested in said business analysis... first he needs to get a business though.
Aw, I like their pre-evolution forms. :<Consider it from the Pokemon's view though - they must get tired of all the popularity Mudkip get. XD
Isn’t it supposed to be Espeon’s Reflect? Also, if I remember correctly, Umbreon hadn’t used Reflect in this story yet.Yeah, it is Espeon's - need to reword to make it clearly it's Espeon's Reflect attack around Umbreon. >_< And oddly Umbreon can't learn Reflect at all (and Espeon only via TM, although in the actual game he starts off with the move), despite Umbreon being the defensive Pokemon.
“Place” twice in this sentence sounds repetitive. Maybe get rid of the first “place” to make the sentence sound less awkward and flow better. Indeedy - shall do so when I edit. =)
You know, the nurse scene reminds me of Saffire Persian’s one shot “The Ties That Bind.” In it, the Chansey/Blissey (forgot which ^^; ) used Egg Bomb too. XDOnce you mentioned it I thought so too... heh. (Only that fic's better than mine =P). Chansey, I believe as well.
There is one thing I want to mention, though, and it's the way you did the thoughts of the characters. I know you’re trying to have the readers get into the characters’ heads, which is a good thing, but if you go to their perspective too long, it’ll sound too much like a first person POV and you’re doing a third person POV. For instance, these two:




Again, the way you did the thoughts here is a bit long winded. It may be true in real life we think like that, but considering you’re doing this story in thrid person POV, you don’t want to have the thoughts be in first person POV for a long time. One way you can overcome this if you're going to have the characters be thinking for a long time is have their thoughts both in first person POV, but in a couple of sentences here and there, and third person POV rest of the way. To show you what I mean, an example from my fic:



Basically, you got the thoughts of the characters are logical, but it's the way you presented them that bothered me. Reason I brought this up is LeSabre actually mentioned the way I did the thoughts of the characters too. ^^;Interesting point, and as I said I'll have to look back some and consider this. The first example was actually purposeful in particular (tried for a different method in describing opposing Pokemon XD), but I believe I can see how it can be improved, for instance - shall have to just experiment around, I believe. (Anyone else, if you agree with this please say so, would be appreciated since I do tend to do this a lot in the story on purpose - so the best delievery possible is something I'd like to achieve).

Anyways cheers for the review, Bay. =D

-Jake
January 29th, 2010, 08:47 PM
I'm printing out chapters 1-3 to read tonight. From what I've read it's awesome. :D

-Jake
February 3rd, 2010, 05:50 AM
I finally finished chapter 3 (working on another book too) and your story retelling has been amazing. x) Keep it up.

xRaVeNx
February 7th, 2010, 06:41 AM
I loved Pokemon Collo I WANT A REMAKE!!!!
Anyway nice work on the story

bobandbill
August 22nd, 2010, 02:24 AM
Yes, a new chapter. Amazing, I know. Uni and procrastination and other projects were very distracting. This only took me 7+ months after all. ^^ But hey I'm still keeping it going eh? ;p

Just quickly thanks again to the other reviews I forgot to respond to - nice to know you've read and enjoyed. =) XD Thanks also to those who voted this fic + Miror B in the sppf fanfiction awards again and all. =) Also thanks to the person who made a tvtropes page of this what.

Thanks to Chris_the_Com for beta-reading most of this. =)

And with that, gogogo chapter full of plot development and not much else! =D Need a lot of set up with lots of people joining the story some more so this is more a quiet chapter, but I hope it's enjoyable anyways.


***

Chapter 17: Minor Adjustments


“No,” Nascour said, putting his head in his hands in a face-palm motion.

“No no no no no,” he added. “Why, oh why, does everything have to go so… wrong?” He gazed dismally at the grey wall, as if hoping that it would console him as walls do. Heck, I still don’t have my television either, Nascour thought to himself. Darn it all – I want things to work properly around here, and I want my own tv. My own darn bagel-making television. Is that too much to ask for?

He was temporarily jolted out of his depression when a knock came on the door.

“Come in,” he said finally. Unfortunately for Nascour, instead of a television being brought in, it was Miror B instead who waltzed into the room, singing out loud as usual with his radio in tow.

“…Refrigerator! We’ve gotta move his colour teee-vveeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

“Miror B, not now. Anytime but now,” Nascour replied wearily, as he scrunched up the report he had been reading into a ball and threw it at Miror B, only to observe it go into the eccentric man’s afro.

“Why, what’s the matter? Bad day?” Miror B said, reducing the volume of his radio. The action had distracted him so he didn’t notice the ball of paper falling into his afro.

“I suppose that’s one way to put it,” Nascour said quietly, staring.

“Oh, I see,” Miror B said, setting the radio down on the table and changing the song, before bursting out into tune again.

“Because you had a bad day
You're taking one down-” Miror B stopped abruptly in response to Nascour kicking him in the shin. “Fine, I take it you don’t want me to sing anymore...” he said as he rubbed his leg and turned down the volume of his radio slightly. After noticing Nascour continue to glare he thought better of it and plugged in a set of headphones and hurriedly put them on, the room falling quiet once again. “So… what’s the matter?”

“What’s the matter?” Nascour repeated, staring at Miror B. “Where should I begin... maybe with the failed attack on the Relic Stone? Or the failed attempt to get the Time Flute. Which failed. Spectacularly!” He took a breath and looked back at the papers on the floor which told of all of these events. “And now a large amount of our force is gone! That’s also a failure! It’s probably a matter of time before they find our hideout, and arrest us all...”

“Oh? But I thought you said that we were safe here?” Miror B replied, frowning a bit.

“Oh, sure, the builders know nothing besides that they’re building a grand new colosseum and so forth, and we have some...friends in high places, as you should know. But even with that I’m doubtful on how long we’ll survive. That, and given that the police force intercepted our group, it looks like we have a traitor in our ranks.”

Miror B blinked and scratched his ear. “A traitor? How un-delightful! But how sure are you about this?”

Nascour sighed. “Very sure. A large police force doesn’t just show up out of nowhere and in the right place and time to do what they did. The only good thing is that Dakim wasn’t caught himself, and that in itself-” Nascour stopped, as a loud knock on the door came, followed by the door falling down and hitting the ground with a very loud bang. Dakim walked in with a sheepish smile, with Skrub following, distracted from his silent cursing of his failure with destroying the Relic stone by Dakim’s entrance.

“Man, your door broke again.”

“Yes, I’ve noticed,” Nascour said coldly. “Now, how about you start explaining yourself?”

“Well, man,” Dakim began, “His purple and black and blue Pokémon were-” Dakim couldn’t get another word in however, as Nascour stood up, glaring daggers at the large man.

“I hardly expected you would just march up like that and get all of your men arrested, and worst of all you lost Entei! The Pokémon that we went to so much trouble to capture and shadowfy, and you let it fall off into Mt Battle! That’s also a failure!”

“Sorry, man,” Dakim said quietly, as Skrub merely kept quiet, trying to appear extremely interested in the floor. Miror B sat down and looked on, humming ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ to himself quietly.

“A total failure,” Nascour repeated redundantly. “As it is, we’re now going to pull into hiding ourselves, I’ve decided. And by that, I mean we’ll be pulling Ein’s group back in once he can finish up his work, and begin operating solely here and Venus’s area.”

Dakim raised his hand. “Venus? I didn’t know we were to operate in outer spac-”

“Venus! As in the woman Venus as in she’s called Venus! As in a women rather than a planet! As in the other Admin you forget about every week!” Nascour shouted tiredly.

“Oh yeah, man.”

“So then….ok. Dakim I’ll forgive you this once, but consider yourself lucky. I’ll be moving you to do what you are best at - bodyguard duty here within the premises seeing there’s no point sending out people now.” Dakim was pleased by this – whenever he was on bodyguard duty, he usually got to punch people up in the end. “Skrub, you’re demoted – consider yourself lucky to remain aboard. And-“

“Man, that ain’t no fair,” Dakim interjected, for once frowning at his superior as Skrub glared with silent rage at Nascour. “It’s not Skrub’s fault he failed – I’m telling you man, that Wes man is very good at battling. And he beat me, so that Skrub man hardly had a chance himself. Man.” Skrub hastily nodded agreement.

“Dakim, I said he’s going to be demoted and that’s that.”

“But-”

“Enough.”

Silence fell for a moment, save for Miror B’s continued oblivious humming as the three men stared at each other.

“Sadly, Dakim,” Nascour continued, “whether he is capable or not doesn’t change the facts – he failed to destroy that Relic Stone, which supposedly is detrimental to maintaining the Shadow Pokémon’s state. And once we can eliminate all other routes of recovery for them, that one would have been the sole problem – and now it’s unlikely we’ll be able to make a second strike at it. And since he failed, he’ll have to suffer the consequences, fair or not. He’s only demoted after all – he’ll just be transferred to Ein’s quarters to help them move back for now.”

“Bah,” Skrub said finally under his breath, stomping out of the room.

“Anyway,” Nascour continued without batting an eye at the response. “Dakim, I advise you keep your thoughts to yourself next time, or you may also lose some power, no matter how useful you’ve been before... Speaking of which, I suppose you can start by instructing the rest of the group currently off-duty how to actually beat up people themselves as well as training their Pokémon – I want in the event that this place does get raided for us to be able to hold off an attack.”

“That’s more like it, man,” Dakim said. With that he promptly left the room by walking through the wall, deep in as much thought as he could muster in an attempt to come up with a training regime. “EVERYONE GET IN THE HALL, MAN!” he shouted to nobody in particular, despite the fact that nobody else was currently on the higher floors of the tower – everyone else worked on the ground floor, which was a long elevator trip down. Yet, pondered Nascour as he sat there gaping at the large Dakim-shaped hole in the wall, considering how loud he can get they’d probably be able to hear him anyway.

“...Well, look at it this way,” Miror B said to Nascour, “at least he’s super keen on helping out!”

“Yeah, well, that doesn’t change the fact every time he comes to my office he breaks something,” Nascour replied bitterly. “Now, I want you to go down to Ein’s lab with Skrub – I think he can work there for now – and...help out there. And tell Ein about how he has to pull out as soon as he’s done and leave the place as discretely as possible. I’m sure his pay cheque would have given him enough of an idea about keeping quiet about things though...”

“But Nascour, why not just send him a message?” Miror B asked, only for Nascour to shake his head.

“I’m only going to make one more message in case someone tries to intercept them from now on, and that’ll be in a second, and to someone...more important than Ein. Or Gonzap for that matter...hmm. In case Gonzap calls, I want you to quickly make up a voice message for him to get so that he knows the situation and that we're not just ignoring him on purpose - best for us to still keep a good relationship with Team Snagem... whatever, just read everything here," Nascour explained, quickly writing down some details on a sheet before handing it to Miror B. “I'll be shutting off the system after this call so that's all he's getting for a while. After that we’re keeping quiet, so you-” Nascour continued, lightly pushing Miror B out of the damaged doorway, “will go with Skrub via the underground railway to pay Ein a visit!” Returning back to his seat, Nascour then chucked Miror B’s radio at him and turned back to his desk, glancing up only to see if Miror B was leaving, which to his relief was exactly what Miror B was doing.

Thank goodness – as if I need even more buffoons to annoy me today. I can only pity Ein, Nascour thought to himself, as he set up a transmission call. Now it’s time to see if we can’t confuse the police, and wipe a smile off of that blasted Wes fellow so he doesn’t go about purifying our shadow Pokémon.

***

Wes grinned widely as he walked back from the Relic Stone. It was odd, but he couldn’t help but feel at peace with the world each time he visited the poorly-made structure in the underground forest. He hadn’t been one to think much about legendary Pokémon but it certainly seemed that the shrine for Celebi held a deep, powerful force behind it – maybe Celebi had indeed something to do with it.

And purifying Pokémon on a daily basis by bringing them to this sanctuary made it all the better.

“Another success!” Rui sung happily, as they walked out of the underground tunnel that led to the forest, and approached the path near the river, as Umbreon eyed the steep ascent back to Agate Village with a sigh. “And to dinner as well – Belah’s making waffles tonight, so that’ll be good. And then I guess I’ll try to teach Eagun to use his P*DA properly, although I can’t say I’m too enthusiastic about that,” Rui added, biting her lip slightly.

Suddenly Wes stopped, noticing bubbles coming from the slow-flowing river in front of them. Before he dwelled on it though, a young woman suddenly jumped out of the river and struck a pose, pointing at the group. “I demand an interview with you!”

“Umb! Eon!” (Argrarjghh! Darghraugh!) Umbreon yelped in surprise at the woman.

“…What were you doing there!?” Wes demanded. She didn’t seem to acknowledge the group’s surprise at her appearance though, putting away her camera that hung from her neck and pulling out a clipboard along with a pen and paper (which remarkably seemed to be completely dry). Wes sighed – it seemed this was yet another reporter, and this one seemed to have decided to come to Agate to talk to them some more.

“I was taking pictures of Pokémon,” the reporter replied as water dripped from her clothing and hair to the ground – she didn’t seem to mind a bit however. “But as you are here, I need to ask you a few questions so our readers know what has happened regarding the plot since the last chapter which has been all too long ago.”

Wes and Rui blinked in confusion.

“Err, I mean regarding the Shadow Pokémon plot since the last incident,” the reporter hurriedly corrected herself.

‘Fine…” Wes said, thinking the reporter as just another citizen of Orre who wasn’t completely right in the head. “Well…as you know, we’ve begun purifying Pokémon now, such as this one,” Wes said, motioning to the Quagsire. Rui petted the blue, fat blob on the head as it sat there happily, the only noticeable difference about the Pokémon from it being a Shadow Pokémon was that he was drooling more often than before – regardless, the reporter gasped loudly, pulled an apple out of nowhere, and threw it at the Quagsire before snapping some pictures.

"...why did you throw an apple at my Pokémon?" Rui asked timidly, as Quagsire continued to stare into space showing no sign of having noticed that an apple had hit him on the head in the first place.

"Don't you know anything?” the woman said impatiently. “That's the only way to take pictures - throw an apple at something to get its attention, and take a picture of it! That's what we learnt in training anyways. Now," she said, throwing an apple at Wes this time who managed to dodge the projectile, "what other Pokémon are purified?"

“...um, my Yanma and a few others have also been purified, although it may be a bit of a wait before the next one is purified,” Wes said quickly. ‘We also ended up getting given this Time Flute which supposedly summons Celebi…” At this the reporter’s eyes lit up. “But we’re not going to use it yet – we’ll wait first,” Wes continued, causing the reporter to look downcast.

“Espi Espeon,” (I still don’t get why it’s made out of plastic though…) Espeon mumbled to himself.

“What about Sherles?”

“What about Sherles?” Wes repeated blankly – when he realised that the reporter was getting ready to throw another piece of fruit at him though he hastily continued. “Well. I guess Sherles should have gotten back to Pyrite Town by now after spending all that time dealing with the Mt Battle area, and with a lot more Cipher agents to interrogate as well, so hopefully that means less for us to do now with this whole mess.”

“And what about- who are you?" the reporter cried, noticing a young woman walk past.

"...Who, me?" the woman replied with confusion. "I just massage Pokémon with this cologne case with the colognes sold in this town. Actually," she continued, turning to Wes and Rui and waving the white box at the two, "I thought I'd give you one since it could make some of the Shadow Pokémon happier and all..." Wes frowned as he thought about this - sure, it was a known thing that Pokémon liked massages, but some of the Pokémon they had that were still in their Shadow forms weren’t easy to control in the first place. Furthermore a number didn’t seem suitable for such a treatment - and he wasn't that fond of trying to massage one of those only to risk getting a Qwilfish slap him in the face, or the Noctowl try to peck him on the head.

"Hey, maybe Entei could use one of those," Rui suggested quietly to Wes. Wes blinked as he pulled out Entei's ball from his bag - the only thing he could currently imagine from that idea involved it going horribly wrong via a lot of fire. And pain.

"Well, it's worth a try-hey!" the woman cried as the reporter threw an apple at her which bounced off her head and rolled back to the reporter's feet.

"Have you had any dealings with Cipher?"

"...What?" the woman managed, before running off as the reporter picked up the apple again. As the woman ran off in fright the reporter gave chase, demanding answers for every apple she threw.

"...oh hey, she dropped this," Rui said, picking up the cologne case.Wes paid the box no attention however, too busy gazing at the small Poké Ball in his hand.

“Wes, are you still looking at that?” Rui laughed, noticing.

“Rui,” Wes sighed with exasperation, “you don’t understand yet, do you? This isn’t just a rare Pokémon – it’s Entei. A legendary Pokémon. I didn’t even think they really existed! And I was incredibly lucky to end up with it. He avoided the ground completely when he fell off of that platform – if that Poke Ball didn’t hit though he’d have gone...”

“Esp,” (SPLAT,) Espeon summed up.

“Umbreon! Umbre...” (And he has a handlebar moustache! I wish I had one...) Umbreon added enthusiastically. Espeon glanced at his brother and tried to picture him with Entei’s moustache, and then shuddered at the thought.

“Still,” Rui said, “it’s worrying that Cipher had it in the first place.”

“Yes...the few times I have tried to train him he...hasn’t listened to a word and just tried to set me on fire,” Wes agreed. “And his Shadow Bar hasn’t decreased a bit it seems...But I’m sure I’ll manage to get his trust eventually – it’ll just take a while and work.”

“Who knows where they got it from? And what they did to make it of all Pokémon a Shadow Pokémon...” Rui continued to muse. Her words fell on deaf ears though, as Wes merely smiled as he yet again envisioned him using Entei in a gym battle in a region of note, this daydream involving Entei punting all of his opponents’ Pokémon over the horizon as an adoring crowd threw money at him.

“By the way,” Rui continued, “is Entei…a he or a she?”

“…That’s a good question,” Wes acknowledged. “Let’s see what the P*DA has to say about that…” Pulling the gadget out of his bag, he pressed a few buttons and examined the screen. “It…says it’s ‘Unknown’? But I’m sure that all of the data would have been updated to it…” Wes mused.

“Well maybe we should ask Entei,” Rui said, grabbing the Poké Ball from Wes’ hand and shooting out Entei from the capsule. For once her aim wasn’t too bad, but nonetheless Entei appeared on the front lawn of a house a small distance away from the two trainers.

“Hey you! Get off of my lawn!” a man shouted from inside the house, and out came Duncan, waving a rake at the Entei.

“Hey, Entei, what’s your gender?” Rui shouted, oblivious to Duncan’s shouts of dismay at Entei who also seemed to ignore the old man, until the man jabbed at one of his legs with the rake.

“Entei!” (ROAR!) Entei shouted, and turned. Leaning forward, he stared at the senior’s face, before he grabbed the rake with his mouth and proceeded to chew on it angrily.

“Hey! That’s my rake!” Duncan shouted. Deciding he disliked the taste of rake, Entei set it on the ground, and then shot a ball of flame at it. The fire succeeded in reducing the rake into little more than ash, but it also had the side-effect of setting Duncan’s lawn on fire.

“My....my beautiful....lawn...” Duncan moaned quietly, failing to realise that his shoes had also caught on fire for a moment or two, at which point he started shouting loudly again and ran back inside in a wild panic. Wes hurriedly took the Ball off of Rui and recalled Entei.

“For goodness sake, Rui, you’ve got to stop doing that!” Wes cried. "Besides, it's better that we don't go around parading an Entei to people just like that, especially if it's a Shadow Pokémon! Even Sherles told us that!" Besides there’s every chance Cipher don’t know Entei survived as well.

“Sorry! Sorry! I didn’t expect he would...do that!” Rui shouted, before turning to her Quagsire. “Quagsire, go use Water Gun to put out those flames!”

“Quag!” (Duh!) Quagsire responded, before shooting out water from his mouth with a blank expression on his face, quickly putting out the fire and leaving a wet, blackened lawn and the strong smell of smoke and burnt grass. Satisfied the fire was out, they hurriedly retreated elsewhere in case Duncan returned.

“Good work, Quagsire,” Wes said, cautiously petting the Quagsire on the head, only to quickly retract his hand when he turned to stare at Wes with his beady eyes and smiled unnaturally.

“Yes, well done,” Rui said. “Maybe you should get a nickname...”

“Again, Rui?” Wes said with a hint of annoyance in his voice. “Do we have to name half of these Pokémon which we may not even end up keeping? First Yanma became ‘Coffee’, then you called that Skiploom ‘Not Jerry’...”

“Quag!” (Name Peanuts!)

“...Espeon,” (...He says his name is Peanuts,) Espeon translated for them telepathically.

“Peanuts it is then!” Rui said happily, before she returned Quagsire to his Poké Ball as Wes sighed. The trainers turned a corner and approached Rui’s grandparent’s giant tree house, with Wes’ two Eeveelutions following.

Guess even in a normal day when we’re not fighting Cipher we have to do something ‘different’ like, say, set fire to someone’s lawn, Wes mused to himself as they walked inside. Duking’s Plusle ran up to them happily, telling them about all the potatoes he had eaten and how lazy Eagun’s Pikachu was. Oh well, at least these last few days we’ve had some peace and quiet, I suppose... Eagun quickly stood up when he saw the pair and waved his P*DA at them, which was playing an obnoxiously loud tune.

“Hey, you know how I don’t know much about this P...star...gameboy or something of yours,” Eagun started sounding rather flustered, “but it started beeping loudly at me and I’ve tried everything! I tried pressing buttons on it and then asking it nicely and then showing my beard off to it to try to make it be quiet but-”

“Here, let me,” Rui said, taking it off of her grandfather’s hands and pressing a single button, which silenced the device. “It’s simply a few e-mails that we’ve gotten....I wish you could turn off that option on this thing,” she grumbled, as she sat down and examined the list of emails. “First one is titled ‘Spam’. Huh.” Pressing another button, Rui begun reading. “spam spam spammy spammy mc spam spam. lols u just got spammed i is so hardcores! but no seriously i think u should go to inky mustys GO TO INKY MUSTYS or u will be CURSED with bad luck for 9 weeks! 9! SPAM ha see wut i did there?”

“How informative,” Wes remarked as Rui deleted the email and moved onto the next few emails.

“This one’s advertising dishwashers... this one tells us to repent before Dunsparce eats our children... oh, this one here is from Sherles!” Rui said loudly, interested again in the emails. “Says ‘Wes, I need you two to get to Pyrite City as soon as you can. You see, Johnson managed to screw things up again and we have more information as well about...’”

Peace and quiet? Easy come, easy go I suppose, Wes thought with a sigh. And how typical of Johnson as well...

Beluh frowned. “Well, Sherles can wait for you another half-an-hour I suppose – I’ve already cooked dinner so you might as well eat it!”

“Well I have no objections to that,” Wes said, grinning as he quickly read up on the rest of the message. “I’ll eat and then I’ll head back, I suppose, and see what’s going on over there. After all Sherles did strike a deal with me, so I guess I kinda have to help out until it’s over.”

“Hey, I’m coming too, you know!” Rui said hurriedly, almost automatically. Wes stopped reading and looked at her, confused.

Beluh frowned. “Dear, are you sure? Pyrite isn’t very, uh, nice and all, and shouldn’t the police deal with it now?”

“…I-I still want to help out, Grandma,” Rui stammered. “After all, I can recognise Shadow Pokémon…”

That is if they don’t try to punch the heck out of you first, Wes thought.

“Fair enough,” Beluh said. ‘Just be careful – we were worried more than enough when you said you were kidnapped, and we want you to be safe.” Rui nodded. “And of course, if Wes is ok with taking you back as well,” she added.

“...uh, yes, of course,” Wes acknowledged, before leaving the conversation as he moved towards the kitchen. How odd – she’s back with her grandparents and all here in Agate and yet…she wants to go to Pyrite. Eh, I guess she just wants to help stop Cipher still. It IS Rui, after all…

***

Miror B sighed as he took the elevator down to the ground floor after having prepared the phone message for Gonzap, idly observing the numbers on the display fluctuate randomly as he adjusted his headphones – there were only two floors that the elevator stopped on here but it seemed nobody had told the elevator this. Maybe when Nascour told me to upgrade the elevator system, I should have done more than just add music to the whole building, Miror B pondered. Oh well, music is too groovy for numbers, he decided cheerfully to himself, as the display informed him they were on the negative 509th floor.

So far, so good, Miror B continued to muse. I do wonder when Gonzap ends up calling - I hope he enjoys the music I put in that special message for him, not to mention the message! Ah, everything’s remaining peachy for me. Such a shame I have to take some dusty old train to a boring lab because of Nascour being worried about a traitor spilling all their secrets, and it’s a shame they found that out as well.

Miror B then smiled to himself as the elevator continued to descend slowly to the bottom of the tower, now nearly halfway down. Of course, I guess I can’t complain, seeing they don’t know that I’m the traitor, fufufu. I just have to be more careful I suppose, more subtle, although I did stop them from…doing whatever they were going to do. I know it didn’t involve getting me back Trudly and Folly though!

Frowning slightly now, the musical man thought back to a few days ago. I still can’t believe Nascour refused to send out some grunts to bust them out of Pyrite Jail! Sure, he had a point about how it would be a foolish waste of resources I suppose, but the way he talked about them like objects rather than people… and I’m sure they want to get out too. How else can I teach them new dances and how to be as groovy as me? After all I’ve done for them... I don’t want to just leave them abandoned like that. Oh, there were those two other women as well - they also probably want to get out! And then he raised the question of giving me another Shadow Pokémon by sending off one of my Ludicolo to Ein's Lab - I don't know how they make them evil and all but it can't be nice, and I'd never let that happen to one of my darlings! Their dancing ability could be hindered by that!

...But that was a spot of luck, to have Nascour just walk out of the room and leave his computer unguarded like that – he allowed me to do as I please and send a message about their plans at Mt Battle to the police. Good thing they don't check them! Things like that make me feel just dandy! It still seems that the best way for me to get off scot-free and have them out of trouble as well is to try and make their job of bringing down Cipher that much easier.

“Yes, I spoiled the secr-” Miror B begun happily in a burst of song, but just then the elevator stopped at the first floor and the doors opened wide. Startled, Miror B quickly begun again.

“~I...shot the sheriff! But I did not shoot the deputy!~” he managed, before falling quiet as the grunts wandering around the corridor disregarded him as usual. Yeah, I must be more careful than this, Miror B concluded to himself, mentally kicking himself. He briskly walked through the hallway towards another set of stairs, pausing only as he heard Dakim’s booming voice sound from the reception area.

“What do you mean it’s your job to sit there and not fight, man?” he asked loudly. “You’ll get fat! C’mon, if you get moving and start training, I’ll teach you how to kick people in the face! Ah, that always makes me feel good! You haven’t lived until you’ve done that, man!”

Miror B looked around the corner to observe Dakim lecturing the new receptionist. It didn’t seem like she would not last any longer than the previous people who had held her position, all six others either being fired for being too weird, or quitting because they declared Cipher to be too weird. This instance appeared to be destined to end up being a case of the latter, although Miror B decided against going there to help calm down Dakim’s excitement – Nascour had forbade him from talking to receptionists himself, for some unexplained reason. Instead Miror B moon-walked onwards, eager to leave and see what Ein was up to, and if there was anything else he could do there.

A few minutes later he had reached the train, which resembled more a large, white box with wheels attached to it haphazardly - it seemed one side had near twice the number of wheels on it than the other - and more scorch marks and dents then Miror B thought was possible. Skrub poked his head out a window, and nodded to Miror B.

"Lovely job Orre did with its splendid transportation system, eh?' he said bitterly, referring to the plans Orre had of revitalising the region only a decade ago, which had included the railway system. That had fallen though very quickly though, and all that remained was the few underground tracks that hardly anyone else was privy to its existence, and the Outskirt Stand's train. "You might as get on now - the sooner this ride is over, the better for both us and our stomaches." With that Skrub ducked his head back inside, and Miror B sighed and walked into the train carriage.

“Passengers,” a feminine voice came from the PA system within the train, “the train on platform…” Here the voice trailed off, before a deep masculine voice jumped in to add “insert platform number here,” before another pause followed. It then switched back to the woman’s voice. “…Will depart in…*insert generic number here*…Please refrain from putting your feet on the seats or smoking as this train is extremely…*flammable*. Have a nice day, and go Cipher!” Almost immediately the train groaned loudly in protest, before its wheels began squeaking loudly as the train gave a sudden, uneasy lurch forward, nearly causing Miror B to fall over as he hurriedly moved into a seat opposite Skrub. Slowly the train started to reach a more consistent speed as it rumbled through the underground tunnel.

The two men sat in silence for a while, save for the occasional quiet grumble from Skrub. Miror B observed the man - he was very clearly still annoyed about his demotion. In fact,Miror B pondered,I'd say right now he's more dissatisfied than me.

"Ever been to Ein's lab before?" Miror B asked.

"No, and I don't particularly want to either," Skrub replied bitterly, tugging unconsciously at the blue scarf around his neck.

"Annoyed at Nascour, eh?" Miror B said.

'Well of course I am! Pay cut, boring guard duty, and all because I failed the impossible. That Wes guy..." Suddenly, a thought came to Miror B.

"Oh, indeed. He's quite the battler - I had no chance against him myself despite my dance-off, and neither did Dakim it seems. And Dakim had an Entei with him as well."

Skrub stared, distracted from his initial thoughts on why Miror B was having a dance-off. "Wait, Dakim had...that? And you lost too - seems odd to me two Admins would lose like that-Entei? Are you serious?" he questioned, frowning angrily.

"Well... of course. Nascour got them for his favourite Admins - he likes to play favourites. Why else did he give one to Dakim then, who’s not that...well, smart? And why did Dakim not receive a demotion? He's still got work to do." Miror B knew this was not true - he himself had been offered the chance for a legendary but had decided to wait it out for Cipher to get one who could actually dance. Not that it seemed that the Shadowfication process helped in that manner at all...

"Well, he's a great leader, isn't he?" Skrub spat.

"Yeah, I know - he's quite un-fabulous. Doesn't even allow me to get my two colleagues back, and I'm also now off to nowhere land.”

Skrub began muttering darkly to himself some more, as Miror B smiled to himself. Maybe I can ally myself with this fellow and help further my cause! The sooner I can get out of Cipher, the sooner I can get my own dance studio again! I just need to keep him thinking that way for a while first, let him dwell on it, and everything will be just dandy! And I have just the thing...

"But I don't see much point dwelling too much on that... say, do you mind me playing some music out loud?" Skrub shrugged, which Miror B took as a yes. Removing his headphones, he set up the radio he had carried with him to play the next track, knowing well what song was coming up next. A string of notes from an electric guitar begun, before a singer joined in.

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world...

Miror B observed Skrub think to himself as the music played, while tapping his foot in time to the music. Ah, it's nice to have someone else see the bad side of this in some sort of way, and even nicer to see they don't have a half-bad taste in music as well!he thought to himself. Now to just keep him thinking like that...ah, the power of music.Miror B began searching for his tapes to look for relevant songs. "Fight The Power... Uprising..." he mumbled to himself.

***

Meanwhile, Gonzap was sitting about in a make-shift hideout in a little-known section of Eclo Canyon. Only he and a handful of loyal grunts remained for now, the rest having been picked up by the police when Wes had blown that darned hideout up. He planned to move back in a good while after the Police presence left and begin repair work, but for now there was little for him to do but wait.

But right now he was scowling for a different reason.

"What the hell did they do to this Skarmory?" he shouted to nobody in particular, as the Skarmory in question flew around haphazardly. "I thought Shadow Pokémon were supposed to listen to you and be stronger, not have a fit whenever someone mentions the word flowers!" At that, the Skarmory reacted.

“Skarrrr!” (I hate the flowersssss!) he cried and gave a loud screech, before he started flying faster. Unfortunately for the Skarmory, he flew into a canyon wall beak-first, and ended up getting it stuck firmly into the clumpy wall. Sighing, Gonzap recalled his new Shadow Pokémon which he had received straight from Ein's lab the day previous, and took out his phone.

"Well, whatever. I'm going to give Nascour a call, both to complain about my Shadow Pokémon, and to find out what he wanted us to do in the meantime. Hard to stay in hiding efficiently without..." Gonzap mumbled, starting to mutter darkly under his breath. Dialling an extraordinarily long number – Cipher insisted that the more numbers it had in its phone number, the harder it would be for someone to find it out - he then held the phone to his ear. After a few rings, the tone cut off suddenly, as obnoxiously cheerful music blazed out. A few grunts looked with curiosity as Gonzap shouted out loud and jumped a bit.

"Hello, dear!" the voice of Miror B chimed in time to the tune, as Gonzap recovered from the surprising intro and turned down the volume on his phone. "This is just a voice recording message here... But I've gotta get this message to you, hold on!' Miror B sung suddenly, before reverting back to speech as if nothing had happened. "Nascour said to tell you this, so... ahem, well, Cipher has decided to cut ties with Snagem. Not sure why myself; something about having to cut losses and run?"

The onlooking grunts frowned a bit, noticing Gonzap fall silent. He quietly turned up the volume on the phone again so that everyone else could hear the message.

"Yeah, I don't know, Nascour seems to be acting rather strange at the moment," Miror B's voice continued, "but he said he simply wasn't able to help you guys out anymore, that that was just as well because he had enough of watching you fail or something? Seemed odd to me, as I thought you guys did a pretty good job before Wes made things very un-cheery for all of us - Cipher's been taking hits too now! Anyways, Nascour says he hopes you understand. Oh, he also asked about your eyebrows-"

At that point the message stopped, but not because Miror B had finished speaking, but because Gonzap had thrown the phone at the rocky wall, breaking it into pieces. Everyone stood and looked to their leader, silence engulfing the cavern.

'Right, men," Gonzap said steadily. "Cipher seems to have screwed us over, but I figure we might as well take matters into our own hands. Priorities change, boys! We'll worry about paying Wes back later - Cipher seems to have just outdone him somehow," he continued, as he patted his eyebrows, now starting to slowly grow back - but it would be months before they returned to their former glory. "Even if we're wanted, I'm sure the police force would be less inclined to chase us down if we, say, lend them a helping hand..."

***

Wes sighed as they pulled into Pyrite Town again. The several hours of advertisements courtesy of the Zoomer's radio - which he still hadn't been able to fix - was bad enough – he wasn’t keen about hearing the same advertisement about someone selling the exclamation mark a hundred times. Gazing into town, he suddenly caught sight of a horde of reporters who, having noticed him and Rui arrive, quickly move forward to greet them, brandishing their microphones and cameras.

"Man, what I would give to be able to set Entei on them," he muttered to Rui who laughed. She had been oddly quiet during the trip back. Not that Wes minded - it just struck him as a bit odd of Rui.

"Pity we're supposed to keep his existence hush-hush," Rui said.

"Yeah, I guess we'll just have to distract them with something else," Wes said. "Espeon, if you'd do the honours...?"

"Esp, esp," (Sure, sure,) Espeon replied. Focusing on the sandy ground in front of them, Espeon levitated a bunch of sand particles and sent them flying around them. As the reporters recoiled from what appeared to them to be a sudden sandstorm, the group made a run for it through an alleyway leading to the police station.

“Where did they go?” they heard one reporter shout from afar.

“Let’s ask the sandstorm!” another shouted, before loud shouting began from the reporters attempting to get the sandstorm’s name.

"Nice work there," Wes said as they ran, grinning. Just like the old days before I was caught up in stopping Cipher - my Pokémon helping me get past obstacles...although they never before involved reporters. Normally just angry shopkeepers or gangs.

Within a few minutes they were there, the police station looking much busier now with the extra police force - some had already recovered from their part in the clash at Mt Battle, and Wes noticed that the prison cells seemed somewhat overcrowded - one was even holding a sign through the window which read 'Will dance for escape!'.

Sherles greeted them as they walked in. "Hello, you two. Hmm, didn’t expect you’d come as well, Rui,” Sherles added, as he took his seat. Rui shrugged quietly, as Wes pondered. True – he only asked for me to come, he thought, thinking back to the email. “Anyways, it’s a right mess this town is in right now, and we may need further assistance thanks to a…recent event."

"Oh? What's up?" Wes said as he and Rui sat down in a pair of chairs.

"Just ask Johnson..." Sherles said tiredly, before he leaned his head around a corner. "Johnson, get over here!" After a moment Johnson walked in.

"Oh...hello, Wes and Rui! How's everything-"

"Johnson, mind explaining to them what happened?” Sherles said, busy examining a video screen on his desk.

“Oh…well, somehow a couple of people broke out of prison,” Johnson said sheepishly. “Only those two women – Ferth and Reama-”

“Ferma and Reath,” Sherles corrected.

“They got out, as well…as…” Johnson said, trying to remember. “…George and Fred?”

“Folly and Trudly!”

“Oh, yeah, chief. Anyways, whoever broke them out was like a ninja! I heard nothing!” Johnson insisted, before Sherles coughed gruffly.

“Well, maybe you want to see this then – I’ve found the moment of the break-out on this video footage,” Sherles said, holding up the screen for all concerned to see. All observed a strange-looking man with an odd-looking helmet and in cipher-like gear walk down a corridor and wave at the four people who were seemingly ignoring each other.

“Hang on…he looks kinda like…Miror B…?” Wes said, noting his yellow clothing.

“Only less…well, cool-looking,” Rui added. “Well, it’s true – he does look lame,” she said as Wes looked at her. Well, she has a point, Wes agreed to himself.

The man then summoned a Sandslash, which quickly broke the jail lock for him. Ferma and Reath walked out slowly and confused, while Folly and Trudly seemed to shout at the man and run off instead. Suddenly, someone spoke loudly off-screen.

“Hey, who’s there!” Johnson’s voice sounded. “What’s going on!?”

Seeming to panic, the strange man on-screen shouted back “Nothing!” After a pause, Johnson’s voice replied back “Oh, ok,”, and the three escaped.

“…Johnson, how can you be so stupid?” Sherles said after a moment of silence.

“What do you mean? You saw what happened – nothing was going on, so I didn’t suspect a thing!” Johnson said quickly.

“…Oh for… whatever!” Sherles said finally, seemingly having had more than enough of Johnson for the day, or for that matter his lifetime. “Anyways, we ended up recapturing Ferma and Reath – they had been at Miror B’s old hideout oddly enough, so we assume the man is there too – however we fear he may have some Shadow Pokémon, so…” he trailed off, handing them a sheet of paper describing the man in further detail.

“We’ll be right on it!” Rui said quickly, as Wes nodded. “But what do you make of…his appearance, and did you find Folly and Trudly?”

“Well, it does appear that his helmet is painted like Miror B’s afro would be there,” Sherles said, “and he’s also dressed in yellow like Miror B was, but he can’t be the same person. Another piece of footage we’ve found earlier showed him attempting to dance…he wasn’t good. Maybe he’s a dedicated follower? As for those two men, we haven’t found them yet, and to be honest they weren’t exactly on top of our priority list. It is odd that they decided to run away from him, so we won’t mind asking him about that as well. That’s not all – Wes, we’ll need to go over some other details on Team Snagem so we can stand a better chance of finding Gonzap…”

“Sure,” Wes said. “I guess first Rui and I will go investigate...” With that the two left the police station. Just then, the phone rang. Sighing, Sherles moved to pick it up, only for Johnson to quickly get it first.

“Hello, madam, this is Officer Johnson, the officer of this Police station, madam!” he quickly babbled, before pausing to listen. “…oh sorry, madam-I mean, sir! This is officer- ok,” Johnson said, handing it to Sherles. “It’s for you,” he whispered with a wink.

“Yes, I know, Johnson,” Sherles said. “It is my phone.”

“Oh,” Johnson said, taking the phone back suddenly. “This is Officer Johnson again, wishing to say ‘I’m sorry, sir, for that is not my phone and I picked it up by accident!” he shouted, before he continued. “…I’m sorry, sir, for this is-” At that Sherles snatched the phone back.

“Yes, sorry about that,” he said with a sigh. “Who is this?”

***

Miror B grinned tiredly as he and Skrub hopped off the train, which had finally reached their destination. That train is most un-dandy, Miror B decided, as the PA system activated again with the same changing voices problem.

“The train on platform…*insert platform number here*… has arrived at… *insert station here*... Thank you for helping us help you help us all.” Skrub glared at the train, and walked ahead as Miror B followed.

Ah, but now this groovy fellow is on my side, he thought happily. Although he seemed a bit doubtful on learning about dance from me after this is over, he’s very keen to bring Cipher down from the inside! For now though, I must greet Ein. With that Miror B placed his headphones on again quickly and attached them to his radio, and resumed walking.

They walked through a pair of doors and up a flight of stairs to be greeted by a sterile environment of clean metallic rooms populated by a group of scientists hard at work, who ignored the two people arrive. Miror B frowned at them all.

“Darlings, where’s the fun? The music?” he said with dismay, getting their attention. As they stopped working and gazed at his appearance, and before Skrub could advise Miror B to keep quiet, he was off, leaping on the table, setting down his radio and beginning a dance to the song that was currently playing.

“Oh lordy, Oh lordy, you know I need some loving!” he sung. The scientists stared, save for the few which were trying to protect their work from Miror B’s shoes trampling over them.

“Move me, touch me!”

“…what?” one responded. Miror B ignored this as he continued to dance.

“John, I’m only dancing!”

“My name’s not John!” the scientist cried in protest. “Can you please…not do that? Whoever you are?”

“Gosh, you’re all so unfun,” Miror B complained, opting to stop dancing upon noticing that nobody had joined in. “Don’t you even know this song?”

“Oh, I didn’t…realise…” the scientist replied, only now noticing the giant, pink set of headphones around Miror B’s large, distracting afro.

"Hey, maybe I should set up some music for you to work to then-” Miror B began.

“No, please don’t,” Ein said quickly, as he emerged from an office. “Anything but that. Now, what are you doing here?”

“Hello,” Miror B said, shooting his most dazzling smile as Skrub stood still, wondering if Miror B was always like that or if he was simply trying to put off the group with his antics. Somehow he felt that it was the former. “We came here…oh, whenever did you get yourself that unstylish beard?” he queried, noticing Ein’s new facial hair with disapproval. “Last week you didn’t have anything-”

“Side effect from a coffee I’ve been drinking,” Ein explained as he stroked it, yawning. “Been keeping myself up from a special batch I made up and it’s been keeping me awake rather well – unfortunately it turns out it has a few side effects. Although a similar version worked wonders on a Yanma as I recall,” he grinned. “Anyways, again – why are you here?”

“Essentially,” Skrub piped up, “Nascour says that stuff is going badly, so he’s shut off the communication system and sent us to contact you instead. You’ll need to finish up what you are doing for the time being and shut up shop here.”

Ein frowned. “Well, I wish to finish up what I am doing properly, you know – I’d need another two days at the very least-”

“Then take three or four,” Skrub said with a smile. “It’s not that urgent, I’m sure – just take your time, and when you are done, we’ll sit tight,” Skrub explained. Miror B frowned at first until he saw Skrub give him a small wink. Ah, he’s delaying them further, Miror B smiled to himself. Yes, he is a delightful ally indeed! All he needs is his own theme music and a dance.

Ein nodded. “Fair enough. I suppose I’ll need you to come with me then so that I can find a place for you to sleep – heck, you can take my room, I’m not sleeping for a while yet,” Ein said, motioning for them to follow them. Miror B however stood still, hearing a faint tune come from a side room.

“What’s going on…there?” he asked quietly, peering inside. A Pokémon appeared to be tired up to a horizontally spinning wheel, as several speakers blared loudly at it.

You spin me right round, baby
Right round
Like a record, baby
Right round, round, round!

“You’re…”

“Yes, using music to shadowfy them,” Ein explained. “It works rather well.”

“But that’s…that’s…” Miror B cried, at a loss for words.

“And yet,” Ein continued, not seeming to detect the music-man’s anguish, “it also works too well – I suppose this’ll be the last time I try this method if it doesn’t work well. For instance, it ruined a perfectly good Skarmory! I underestimated its effectiveness – it left the specimen in a state of rage and little else, so it won’t make for much of a battler. Now then, let’s go,” Ein ordered. Miror B slowly did so, while silently fuming to himself.

It’s worse than I thought! he thought. Heck, that song isn’t even good – it has no soul, just....spinning!

Well, this un-fabulous place isn’t going to last! I’ll see if I can’t do anything about that! I’ll give them a taste of their own medicine!

...But first I need to give my Ludicolo a dancing work-out. They need all the fitness they can get, the darlings!

***

“Ok, we’ve been wondering around for a good while – if he’s not at the end of this god-forsaken tunnel then he can’t be here anymore,” Wes mumbled as he walked along the familiar underground tunnels of the cave Miror B had hidden in, Espeon leading the way acting as the guide having recalled the twist and turns of the place thanks to his psychic abilities. Umbreon was quietly walking about examining the surrounding underground water.

“Espeon...” (What’s with you?) Espeon asked curiously.

“Umb. Umbreon,” (I don’t trust water at the moment. Reporters may jump out at us,) Umbreon said simply. Espeon shrugged.

“Espeon...esp,” (Unfortunately that is a valid fear... and all this water does seem odd as well,) he acknowledged.

“Well, there doesn’t appear to be anyone back from where we came from...” Rui said softly as they turned a corner.

“Umb,” (Wait,) Umbreon said suddenly, as his ears perked up. Pausing for a moment, he then nodded. “Umbreon!” (I definitely hear something!) Espeon quickly communicated telepathically with Umbreon and then focused his psychic energy towards the end.

“Esp, Espeon,” (Yep, someone’s at the end where Miror B was before,) Espeon confirmed as they started moving quickly to the end of the pathway – soon enough, the door of the small cavern where Miror B had battled them was lying in front of them

“Right, I guess it’s time to get ready for another battle then,” Wes said to himself. Opening the door silently, a loud blast of off-key music greeted his ears – much like Miror B’s salsa, only playing at twice the tempo. The man they had been looking for was standing on the stage which had been seemingly left behind by Sherles and the police force, attempting to dance with the music but with little success. Gazing about, Wes noticed the room was now filled with what appeared to be a lot of Miror B themed merchandise, from fake afros to books and videos on dancing covering a large amount of the floor. The overwhelming sights and sounds prompted Wes to hurriedly close the door.

“I have a feeling he likes Miror B,” Wes said after a moment. “Do we have to apprehend him?” he added jokingly. “You know, in the case we have to dance again or something…”

“Espeon,” (Or in the case we go deaf,) Espeon added.

“Umbreon! Umb, eon!” (Let’s just take him down already! Sooner we do that, the sooner we’re out of Pyrite!) Umbreon said enthusiastically.

“Yeah, you have a point,” Wes said. Opening the door again and walking in with the others following while covering their ears, Wes shouted at the man. “Hello!” he tried. This seemed to get the man’s attention, as he jumped off the platform.

“Umbreo-” (Hey, do you mind if we arrest yo-) Umbreon started, before Espeon wacked on the head to shut him up.

“Espeon esp? Es-esp espeon!” (Have you forgotten I’m not exactly allowed to go about ordering people to walk into jail? This fic-err, whole thing with Cipher would have ended by now if that was the case!)

“I suppose you want this key these two women had!” the man shouted. “Well, you’ll never take it from me! ...Fine, take it,” he said, quickly changing his mind and throwing a key at the group before he went back to his attempts at dancing.

“…ok…” Rui said, picking up the key and looking at it in confusion. “Elevator key,” Rui read out loud.

“…Well…thanks?” Wes said, equally as confused by the random offering. “I suppose… you like Miror B then…” he said, glancing around the room.

“You know of the great Miror B!?” the man shouted. “Maybe you know more than those two women! They weren’t true Miror B lovers so I let them get caught again...but maybe you are different! Quickly! I, Mirakle B. command you to lead me to him!” he ordered. Wes looked at him – he wore a helmet which was painted in the same colours and way Miror B’s afro had, but the result just looked rather lame. And…Mirakle B? That’s an even stranger name…

“Um…we don’t know where he is at the moment,” he answered. “But…”

“Well maybe you have a better copy of his music then I can have?” Mirakle B asked. When the two shook their heads, he gasped loudly. “So…you are trying to find out where he is and claim his awesomeness for yourself like those two women who claimed to be his true followers!” the self-proclaimed Mirakle B declared, posing as the off-pitch music continued to blaze.

“...No, I’m-”

“None shall stop me! I’m the true heir of Miror B! But as he’s not here, I’ll prove that to you, and then grow me an afro, and then find Miror B! Go, my Pokémon!” Mirakle B cried. With that, the man sent out a Furret and Seaking, and then attempted to dance – but only managed to fall over in the process.

“Seak-ing…” (Seaking- eff-blub,) the fish Pokémon managed as it fell straight onto the ground and flopped about, feeling rather down about the lack of water and beginning to breathe awkwardly. Meanwhile the Furret decided to go and investigate why Mirakle B had fallen over rather than contribute to the battle.

“…Fine, I’ll just bring you down,” Wes said confidently. After all if he is any good at battling, I have an Entei to fall back on – I’ll leave him in here with an angry pyromaniac. “Espeon and Umbreon, bring down the Seaking!” he commanded.

“Espeon,” (No need to,) Espeon remarked, tilting his head at the Seaking which had already fainted thanks to a lack of air.

“I really ought to get it a fish tank or something,” Mirakle B mused as he stood up and recalled his Pokémon.

“But…don’t fish Pokémon normally manage just fine out of water breathing-wise?” Rui questioned.

“He’s allergic to air,” Mirakle B explained matter-of-factly as he tried to push the Furret off of himself. “No, go and attack them,” he tried to explain. “And go, Electrode! Do…an Explosion!” he instructed, throwing out a Poké Ball.

“Get back!” Wes shouted to his Pokémon, only to notice that nothing came out of the Poké Ball – squinting at it, he noticed that it had a smiley face drawn on it. After a moment, Mirakle B sighed.

“Come on - do something, Electrode!” he shouted at the empty Poké Ball. “Oh wait, maybe you’re upside-down again...try Double Kick then, Voltorb!” he shouted at the object enthusiastically, as the Furret cocked his head at his trainer.

“I think he’s not quite right in the head…” Rui said to Wes quietly.

“That’s probably an understatement,” Wes replied.

***

Andrew stood outside Sherles’ office, quietly watching the sheriff barely seem to control himself from having a shouting match with whoever it was he was speaking to on the phone. Poor guy – stuck alone with Johnson at the best of times, and still busy as heck even with us about, he thought. He’s a gruff fellow, but he’s certainly putting the region in front of himself given what I’ve seen him do the last few days. And anyone who can survive over a week of Johnson deserves a medal.

...maybe he’s talking to Johnson on the phone? That’d explain his mood.

Right on cue to disprove that theory, Johnson walked in and grinned. “Hello, Andrew!” he said, as he groaned. “Say – I’ve always wondered about this – what was the best thing before sliced bread? I think it’s cheese, and my Magikarp seems to think jam.”

“Why do you keep talking to me so much?!” Andrew said bluntly, as Sherles finally finished his phone call and put down the phone before sighing to himself.

“Oh, Wes said something about giving you company,” Johnson replied.

“…he did, did he?” Andrew said, frowning.

“Yep!” Johnson said happily, oblivious to Andrew’s sudden change in attitude from distress to silent anger. “So, what do you think is the…” Johnson began to ramble again.

He told Johnson to talk to me!? How dare he! How sneaky of him!

“Johnson, stop talking about bread and listen up,” Sherles said, walking out of his office. “Here’s the deal – I just spoke to the mayor of Orre, and he…demanded some changes to the way we handle things.”

“Oh? What’s that?” Johnson asked. Andrew barely registered Sherles’ words, too caught up in his thoughts.

I’ll make sure he suffers as much as I had to, somehow, Andrew decided.

“First off, he says the police force brought in from the other regions is to stop working on Cipher and Snagem and just help restore peace to the towns. Claims that after our bust-up he does not feel that ‘Cipher is a threat any longer and that we’ve essentially broken them up,’ so they ‘might as well clean up the towns before we send them back’.”

Hours of talking to Johnson! Question after question of stupidity!

“I have to disagree with him – I can’t believe that we’ve done everything – we still don’t know anything about where they made Shadow Pokémon and so forth!” Sherles grumbled.

But how do I get back at him? Ask Johnson to talk to him now?

“And he also wants Wes to be thrown in jail for the time being until we get his doings with Team Snagem properly straightened out,” Sherles added with a sigh. “Well done, Mr Mayor – let’s jail the person who has helped us the most!”

Bingo!

“Well, maybe we should,” Andrew said. “How can we take his word? And didn’t he blow up a building? Could have killed people, regardless of if they worked for Team Snagem or not! Plus…there’s his previous crimes as well to consider, surely,” Andrew said quickly. Sherles frowned at him.

“A sticker for keeping to the letter of the law, aren’t you? Just like our fine mayor,” Sherles said bitterly. “Unfortunately his authority overrides mine, so I’ll be doing just that – you do have a point.”

“…So Wes is a bad guy after all? I thought he was good,” Johnson said, seemingly confused.

“…Well, let’s say he’s good but may need some talking to about things beforehand,” Sherles tried to explain.

“Maybe I should ask Magikarp about this,” Johnson pondered aloud.

Yes! Then he can have fun sitting in jail while…Johnson talks to him all day! Andrew thought to himself happily. “So who’s bringing him in? Shall I?” Andrew asked eagerly. Sherles frowned as he took out a pipe and begun to smoke, considering the question and situation.

No, something is up, Sherles mused. Why would the mayor want this to happen now? And out of the blue like this? Even if he’s just stupid Wes doesn’t deserve this – he’s been what I needed to start cleaning up this town. I don’t like it…my police senses are tingling. But if I must- wait. I have just the ticket.

“No, I think I’ll send Johnson to pick him up,” Sherles answered. “Johnson, get over to Miror B’s old hideout – that’s where Wes will be. Bring Wes back here along with that other fellow Wes was meant to bring in, and if otherwise report back,” Sherles ordered. “Obviously, don’t let him on to the fact that he’ll be arrested as well, because…well.”

After considering upon asking ‘why’, Johnson decided against it and instead settled for answering with “Sir, yes sir!” before he hurriedly ran off. Andrew looked at Sherles questioningly.

“Oh, I figured I’ll give him half a chance to succeed first – if not, then your police force can deal with it,” Sherles explained. “After all, he needs to improve sometime. Unless you wish to go help him out now?”

“…no, Sheriff – I see your point,” Andrew said hurriedly. No way I’m going to volunteer myself to go with Johnson, he shuddered to himself. “I’ll inform the others of their new duties then, I suppose,” Andrew said, leaving the room. Sherles smiled to himself.

Knowing Johnson, he’ll screw things up. That’ll buy me a bit more time to look into things, and for Wes to hopefully realise something is up…

***

Meanwhile, Wes and Rui were carrying an unconscious Mirakle B back to the police station, emerging from the cave and heading back down the building – Wes holding the head and Rui the legs. The strange man had ended up stomping on the Poké ball he believed was a Pokémon and then apologised profusely to it, stating that he’d help give it an afro. Wes merely during the distraction sent out Makuhita to do what he did best – punch people in the head, and he did just so, the attack resulting in Mirakle B fainting. They hastily left the noisy room carrying the man with them, with Duking’s Plusle following them, Rui thinking a bit of exercise would do the Pokémon some good. Mirakle B’s Furret was following them curiously – it didn’t seem in the slightest bit worried that they had just knocked out his trainer.

“Espeon…” (Curiously, why aren’t you…doing anything?) Espeon asked the Pokémon as they walked back.

“Fur! Furret!” (But I am! I’m following you!) Furret explained happily.

“…Espeon…” (…Silly me, I didn’t realise…) Espeon said, rolling his eyes.

“Plusle?” (Well why are you doing that then?)

“Ret…Furret!” (Well he once told me to follow him…so I’ve done just that ever since!) Furret explained.

“Plusle! Plus plus pluuuss!” (Same with me and potatoes! Duking once said ‘eat this’, and so I did and now I like to eat all of the potatoes in the world!) Plusle squealed, jumping about excitedly on top of Mirakle B.

“Aww, it’s cute when he gets excited,” Rui said. “But I suppose we better take you back to Duking when we return…whoever this guy is to Sherles… why do people have to be so heavy?” Rui complained as they navigated their way down the stairs.

Suddenly, Johnson appeared as they reached the bottom floor and pointed at them. “You!” he shouted.

“…Yes, me,” Wes confirmed. “Mind helping us carry him back?” he asked, as Johnson nodded.

“Yes, I will take you back to the police station and not tell you that you’re going to be arrested as Sherles was told to tell me to do,” Johnson said as he took Rui’s position.

“Wait, what?” Wes said, dropping Mirakle B on his head and staring at Johnson. “Arrest me?”

“Um…don’t worry, I didn’t tell you that,” Johnson explained. Wes sighed slowly.

“…Espeon, I no longer care about what I’m supposedly not allowed to do – just get him to tell us what happened,” Wes instructed. Before Johnson could realise what had happened, he was suddenly explaining to Wes what had happened at the police station.

“…So the mayor wants you in prison…? But why?” Rui said to Wes finally after Johnson finished. Deciding that Johnson told all he knew that was relevant, Espeon released his mental hold on Johnson, who blinked and then looked at Wes.

“I’ve no idea,” Wes said to Rui. “Sure, the reasons mentioned made sense…but Sherles had gotten us off the hook if we helped out back when we were initially put in prison. I guess the mayor doesn’t know of that, and so thinks me a threat. Despite my help…”

“Wes, I may need you to come with me to be arrested, but I won’t tell you that last part,” Johnson said, not seeming to realise that he had blabbed only a moment ago.

“Johnson, Sherles changed his mind – you to help us get us out of here,” Wes said. “He also advised that you help out by speaking as little as possible.”

“Can do!” Johnson said, accepting this with a slight nudge of persuasion on Espeon’s part. “So…what do I do again?”

“Try thinking, I suppose,” Wes suggested.

“Actually,” Rui said, realising that Johnson’s thinking skills would probably be more a hindrance than anything, “try and see where this elevator is that this key opens access to, apparently,” she said, handing Johnson the key Mirakle B had thrown at them. Johnson nodded and walked off to begin his investigation.

“Espeon espi...” (Every time I encounter that man’s mind I feel like I’ve gotten stupider...) Espeon whinged.

“Well, I doubt I can just walk out of town, as probably the rest of the police force knows about me…” Wes mused.

“Found it!” Johnson shouted by a nearby door, waving the key triumphantly at them before looking at a sign on the door. “See, it fits! Allows you to take an elevator to The Under...”

“Wait, The Under?” Wes said, thinking about the name and recalling a person tell him about it by the bridge over Pyrite Town’s canyon. “Isn’t that the underground mining town or something?”

“Yes,” Johnson said. “Some people have direct access to the place in their homes, so I guess this building does too.”

‘Well that fixes things! I’ll hide out there for now and see how things go. Johnson...” Wes began, quickly thinking up a hasty plan. Well I can’t have him go talking to the police that he let me escape – and from what I heard it is a rowdy place so maybe some sort of police presence will help me further…even if it is Johnson. Maybe they don’t know about him? “You can come help me out there, I suppose,” Wes said. Johnson nodded and walked through the door toward the elevator, with Espeon and Umbreon quickly hurrying behind as well, sensing their trainer’s sudden urgency.

“I’m coming too!” Rui said as per usual. Wes however shook his head at the teenager.

“No… not this time. I’m quite sure The Under isn’t exactly…well, safe – it’s supposed to be worse than Pyrite! And I don’t…want you to risk even further trouble for my neck,” Wes said, feeling a bit awkward.

“But-”

“You did agree to Beluh to take it easy and be careful,” Wes said. “And after all… you can still help me out if you must – I’d need you to mislead the police for a while as well if you can,” Wes said, as he walked onto the elevator himself. “And I suppose someone has to return Mirakle B as well,” he added, looking at the temporarily forgotten man and shaking his head. “Maybe they can put him in a home or something...”

“…Ok,” Rui answered eventually, sounding rather uncertain of her answer. Confused at her reluctance even now, Wes shrugged.

“Hey, if it blows over I’ll make sure to say hi again back in Agate,” he offered, as he pressed a button on the elevator, causing the elevator to begin descending. “But the sooner I get moving the better! See you again!” he called. “Maybe,” he added softly to himself.

“Why aren’t we going up? Is this the right way?” Johnson yelled out looking rather confused, as Wes face-palmed.

“Plusle…” (I wonder if there are potatoes down there…) Plusle wondered aloud, managing to ignore Rui’s sad frown as the two men disappeared from sight, and as Mirakle B groaned in pain from his slumber.

***


Right, hope you enjoyed that. Here's the spoiler of doom linking things from here to the game and vice versa:

Cipher be a-plotting - the game still doesn't show much of what is happening behind the scenes of Cipher so to speak but looking at things they do adopt a more defensive strategy after the failed Mt Battle attack, even to the point of the lab people working under Ein finishing up their work. At the same time a certain friend in high places does help out later down the track.

Team Snagem - however, one does get the feeling that Cipher half-forgot Team Snagem around then (and in Pokemon XD certainly something has happened between the two teams). About the only thing that becomes apparent is that Gonzap still hates Wes, and later is trying to put Snagem back together in the game... So I added a little link there.

Miror B's back flip - Miror B also disappears from the story until the end, and yet in XD features very largely, seemingly acting against Cipher, so I kept with that and made Miror B to be the instigator. After all, what self-respecting person would be satisfied with a lack of a dance floor in a high-ranking position of a criminal syndicate? ;p

Colonge Case - figured this item deserved a mention at least once. It's another method to purifying Pokemon in the game - buy some scents from the Agate Village Mart and massage your Pokemon, which makes them happier and helps to purify them. Of course you need a bit of money for that... you get the item from an NPC after going to Mt Battle.

Sherles' request - in the game you are asked by Sherles via email (who note had in the game been twiddling his thumbs with Johnson the whole time for the most part until now and somehow gotten your number in-between) to go back to Pyrite. Firstly though you're meant to visit a place for a short bit, but that's an uneventful occurrence and so I dropped it for the time being. The problem? They found Reath and Ferma in the hideout and arrested them, so they thought...you'd like to know that. That allows you to talk to them though and get a key (which one hints in their sleep opens a door to an elevator in the hideout). Exciting! As for Folly and Trudly - they also escape jail but later on in the game - not that it affects anything.

Underground train systems - it turns out Orre has transport!...well, for Cipher's advantage at any rate. Not much to say about these, but at least one links from the Pokemon Lab Ein is in.

Skrub – he’s actually a more-significant character in the game...slightly – you do fight him twice and he’s distinguished from the rest of the characters with a blacker suit and a blue scarf. Here though I gave him more of a role by building on his dislike of Wes netting him a boring guard job and had him hate Cipher’s higher ups for his demotion as well.

Mirakle B - an odd character, even by Orre standards, and something of an easter egg in that not many find out about him - he's entirely optional! He can be found in the same spot Miror B was in his hideout after beating Miror B (and leaving town iirc) and before beating the main storyline which is rather selective - it also involves fighting everyone in the hideout again. He claims to be growing an afro and being Miror B's heir of all things. The game gives you no more on him than that, and he never appears again (not even in Colosseum's sequel). He also has an altered version of Miror B's theme... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iiOSTvwJsk) He can be challenging if you take him on early enough, but otherwise nothing of note. Oh, and apparently he's a Cipher Peon (?).

The Under - the next destination Wes goes to (only in the game it's with Rui and not Johnson). Literally underneath Pyrite hence the name...

Bay Alexison
August 22nd, 2010, 10:44 AM
Breaking the fourth wall again, huh? :P

“I was taking pictures of Pokémon,” the reporter replied as water dripped from her clothing and hair to the ground – she didn’t seem to mind a bit however. “But as you are here, I need to ask you a few questions so our readers know what has happened regarding the plot since the last chapter which has been all too long ago.”
Oh, reporters.

“Espeon esp? Es-esp espeon!” (Have you forgotten I’m not exactly allowed to go about ordering people to walk into jail? This fic-err, whole thing with Cipher would have ended by now if that was the case!)
Maybe it would be better that way so that you don't go updating the fic again in eight months time. :P *gets shot*

Have to say, interesting developments of Miror B there. Looks like he's really going to take manners in his own hands now. Very sly of him to lie Skrub about the favorites part, haha. Also I love his reaction to that Right Round song. I hate that song too. XD

The part where the reporters came and Entei burned Duncan's lawn I love it. Also, today (well my time at least) is the real Duncan's birthday, so unlucky his lawn got on fire. :P

I actually feel sorry for Mirakle B there. Not able to land a hit there. Furret could have battled though, but I guess it didn't because it was clueless? XD

Real quick, there's one mistake I saw:

“Skarrrr!” (I hate the flowersssss!) he cried and gave a loud screech, before flying faster than before.
I think the first "before" should be ridden of. :P

Well, things are getting interesting now. Looking forward to the Underground segment of this story!

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
August 23rd, 2010, 09:53 AM
Dakim raised his hand. “Venus? I didn’t know we were to operate in outer spac-”

“Venus! As in the woman Venus as in she’s called Venus! As in a women rather than a planet! As in the other Admin you forget about every week!” Nascour shouted tiredly.
And why did Miror B. not start singing, "I'm your Venus, I'm your fire at your desire" right here?

Deciding he disliked the taste of rake, Entei set it on the ground, and then shot a ball of flame at it. The fire succeeded in reducing the rake into little more than ash, but it also had the side-effect of setting Duncan’s lawn on fire.
Aww, poor Duncan. And his lawn. And his rake. What will our resident cranky old curmudgeon do now?

“Skarrrr!” (I hate the flowersssss!) he cried and gave a loud screech, before he started flying faster. Unfortunately for the Skarmory, he flew into a canyon wall beak-first, and ended up getting it stuck firmly into the clumpy wall.
Gonzap better keep that Skarmory away from Lisa and all her floral print outfits :P

Ooh, I like this development with Miror B. He did seem like the admin least devoted to Cipher, and there's much more to him than meets the eye But for the intents and purposes of my fic, Skrub remains faithful to Cipher *whines* It definitely adds to his personality while still keeping him true to his character in the games.

And yay for Mirakle B! I always thought that guy was a bit flaky and not quite right in the head. Gotta love the smiley face Pokeball/Electrode/Voltorb that can somehow use Double Kick xD

Awesome chapter, even if it's way late. And I should think of more to write, but that would involve consulting Johnson's Magikarp for advice and that idea can't possibly end well.

bobandbill
September 2nd, 2010, 04:17 PM
Whee reviews.

Breaking the fourth wall again, huh? :PYep, as usual. =p
Maybe it would be better that way so that you don't go updating the fic again in eight months time. :P *gets shot*Better late then never, huh? ;p
Have to say, interesting developments of Miror B there. Looks like he's really going to take manners in his own hands now. Very sly of him to lie Skrub about the favorites part, haha. Also I love his reaction to that Right Round song. I hate that song too. XDI detest that song. =( But I guess you know my feelings to a lot of music about already. ;p Anyways I'll note that Miror B has a much greater role now than what he does in the game (if he ever did anything in the game around now it's never mentioned) - so I thought my favourite character should have something to do. XD

The part where the reporters came and Entei burned Duncan's lawn I love it. Also, today (well my time at least) is the real Duncan's birthday, so unlucky his lawn got on fire. :PHa, I was quite unaware of the timing there - talk about awesome coincidence. XD

I actually feel sorry for Mirakle B there. Not able to land a hit there. Furret could have battled though, but I guess it didn't because it was clueless? XDYeah. He is more of a challenge in the games, I'll give him that and he has more Pokemon too (none of the Ludicolo line though =( ) - especially if you fight him as early as possible. (That is if you actually know about him - he's quite unlikely to find).
Real quick, there's one mistake I saw:


I think the first "before" should be ridden of. :P

Well, things are getting interesting now. Looking forward to the Underground segment of this story!Said mistake has been decimated. ;p Cheers for the review again Bay. =)

And why did Miror B. not start singing, "I'm your Venus, I'm your fire at your desire" right here?I guess there's plenty of opportunity for that next chapter. ;p Heck, NPCs in the game mention 'You're my Venus' and so forth. XD
Aww, poor Duncan. And his lawn. And his rake. What will our resident cranky old curmudgeon do now?Start growing a new lawn, I presume!
Gonzap better keep that Skarmory away from Lisa and all her floral print outfits :PFair point - it might not end well at all. =o
Ooh, I like this development with Miror B. He did seem like the admin least devoted to Cipher, and there's much more to him than meets the eye But for the intents and purposes of my fic, Skrub remains faithful to Cipher *whines* It definitely adds to his personality while still keeping him true to his character in the games.Heh, glad you like it, seeing it's basically all made up (only going on the change in his ways with Cipher between Colo and XD). And my version of Skrub I guess will have to be different to yours. Miror B does that to people. He makes them....change. ;p
And yay for Mirakle B! I always thought that guy was a bit flaky and not quite right in the head. Gotta love the smiley face Pokeball/Electrode/Voltorb that can somehow use Double Kick xDIndeed - he has that 'flaky' feel despite his very short airtime. =p
Awesome chapter, even if it's way late. And I should think of more to write, but that would involve consulting Johnson's Magikarp for advice and that idea can't possibly end well.As said to Bay - better late than never. ;p And it probably wouldn't be a good idea, no... =( Cheers for the review as well! =D

bobandbill
January 25th, 2011, 09:02 PM
I have a chapter to post! Hurrah for equaling my chapter post rate last year already. ;p On the plus side I will probably do more than one chapter this year! Yay! The next ones will have more in the ways of events as well probably too! Yay slow plot set-up and the odd more-serious conversation here!

Beta-read by the ever-dependable Chris_the_Com!





***

Chapter 18: The Land Down Under





As the platform they stood on descended, Wes blinked while he tried to make out the graffiti painted on the walls in the dim lighting. He was somewhat impressed that at least half was legible considering how hard it should be to write stuff on a makeshift elevator that didn’t appear to have a stop button on it.

It doesn’t seem that much of it makes any sense though... he thought to himself, catching eye of one message that read ‘Magikarp are gonna kill uz all!’. Meanwhile, Umbreon worryingly regarded another wall which was covered by multiple misspellings of ‘dishwashers’ in red.

“So, Johnson,” Wes said, “what is The Under like?”

“Well, it’s underneath Pyrite,” Johnson began. Wes looked at him for a while before realising that that was all Johnson had to say on the matter and sighed – the officer had likely never been here. He gazed downwards as the town slowly came into view. It was initially hard to make out anything due to the glow the whole town seemed to have – it took Wes a moment to realise there were neon lights populating every building, many of the signs written in Japanese for some unknown reason. The houses did not match the allure they gave off however - the town was composed of crumbling structures that seemed to have been placed about haphazardly. Directly in front of them was a large fenced-off enclosure that seemed to contain little more than scrap metal.

It was then that the smell hit the group.

“Espeon!” (Good grief that smells worse than Umbreon!)

“Umb!” (Hey!) Umbreon retorted.

“Yes, I forgot about that...” Johnson said. “You know, it reminds me of the time I tried washing Sherles’ hat.”

Wes looked at Johnson blankly. “Why does the smell of this place remind you of that?”

“Well, I couldn’t find any detergent so I went to look for something else to use instead and then-” Johnson started, before Wes held up a hand.

“On second thoughts I think I would probably regret knowing,” Wes said as the platform came to a sudden stop half a metre above the bottom of the shaft. He shrugged and hopped off as his two Eeveelutions and Johnson followed suit.

“Right, so we’re in hiding in a town that somehow makes Pyrite seem like Phenac and I have a feeling I will not be able to stop smelling like old cheese when I get out of here either,” he murmured to himself, observing a pipe sticking out of a wall nearby, red liquid dripping out into a large puddle below it. Espeon walked up to it and sniffed at it, before gazing at it with confusion.

“...Espeon?” (...Tomato soup?) Wes frowned and decided that they might as well look for a place to sleep, only to be stopped by a woman who jumped out at them from behind a dumpster.

“Hi! Wanna watch my performance and give me money because I’m that impressive!?” she said quickly, spinning a cane about in her hands. Wes looked at her for a moment and pondered her request.

“No,” he said, attempting to walk past, but the woman moved to the side in an effort to block his path.

“But...but...I have a top hat!” she protested, taking said object off her head and waving it about. “You can’t say no to the top hat!”

“Why not?” Wes asked.

“...You’ll make him sad!”

And it appears this town isn’t short on its weirdos either. I bet they all have weird names too, Wes thought as he sighed to himself. The woman then took out a pack of cards and jumped about excitedly.

“This trick will amaze you so much you’ll... gasp!” she proclaimed. She then threw the cards in the air and watched them fall to the ground with such a grin of utter amazement on her own face that it looked like she was about to explode. She then picked up a card from the ground and waved it at Umbreon’s face. ‘Look, the ACE OF SPADES!” she cried.

Umbreon blinked at the piece of cardboard, looked at the woman’s expression of happiness, frowned with confusion, looked at the card again, and then shrugged and took it out of her hands with his teeth. Shouting loudly at this, she yanked it out of his mouth and cuddled it.

“NO! You cannot do that! This is the ACE OF SPADES!” she lectured, waving the somewhat soggy piece of paper at the bemused Pokémon. “That was incredibly SILLY!”

“I don’t see any spades on that card,” Johnson murmured to himself as Wes tried to stop the lady angrily swat at Umbreon with her top hat.

“Esp Espeon...” (But all of these cards are the ace of spades...) Espeon said to himself, looking at the remaining cards on the floor instead of aiding his brother.

Luckily for the dark-type Pokémon, a large television that had not warranted any sort of mention until now suddenly turned on and played an obnoxiously loud news jingle. The noise distracted his attacker who suddenly stopped trying to fit the Umbreon into the top hat and grinned at the screen. Wes looked at her with confusion, and then turned around to notice a number of people nearby who were currently giving the television the same level of attention. Suddenly a woman with a smile that took up half of her face appeared on the screen.

“Hello, citizens of The Under! It’s time for our hourly rendition of ‘Everyone’s Venus’!”

“Umbreon!” (What’s happening arrrgh stop smiling everyone!) Umbreon cried, looking about in a daze from the unexpected attack. Wes meanwhile chose to observe the screen to see what the fuss was about. The camera then moved to the side to reveal a shapely, young woman in a skin-tight white dress, with long, brown hair falling to the sides of her face. Pink, transparent silk covered the lower part of her face and below, while a strange golden protrusion in the shape of a crescent moon stuck out from behind her, seemingly attached to her clothing. She also grinned at the screen through her veil.

“Espeon...” (This ‘Venus’ seems to be why everyone is staring...)

“Hi, everyone!” Venus said in a surprisingly deep voice that would have fitted Dakim far more than a woman. Wes frowned, noticing that this voice didn’t appear to put off anyone else watching whatsoever, bar Johnson who scratched his head in confusion, and his Pokémon.

“It’s me, Lady Venus! Everyone’s Venus, that’s me!” Venus continued.

“Good, I wasn’t sure for a moment on the Venus part...” Wes said to himself, as the word ‘VENUS’ flew about the screen accompanied by sparkles. “Unfortunately this place just makes me feel even more uncomfortable by the minute.”

“There’s something terribly important I want to share with you today. It’s... simply horrid! There’s spies right here in The Under! Can you imagine?”

...Spies? Of what?

“We don’t know all the details, but if you see anyone suspicious, please let us know! And now onto the more important segment – MAKEUP TIME WITH VENUS!” And with that, Venus then pulled out several tubes of lipstick and started applying them. Wes looked about – everyone eyes were still firmly fixated on the strange woman – and sighed.

“Johnson, who are ‘us’ exactly?” he asked.

“Well, you and me, I think,” Johnson answered.

“...No, I mean, who does that woman,” Wes said with exasperation, pointing to Venus who was currently instructing the audience that eye shadow was essential and could also be used as face paint, “mean when she said ‘let us know’? Do you know who runs the show here?”

“Oh,” Johnson said. “Well, by show I guess it’s that lady with the cards! She had a show!”

“...Espeon...” (...Your stupidity never fails to amaze...) Espeon said after some thought. Johnson merely grinned stupidly, pleased with his amazing ability of deduction.

“And that concludes ‘Everyone’s Venus!’” the host of the show said with an even wider beam as the camera panned to her and away from a winking Venus covered in twenty-seven different varieties of lipstick, eye-shadow and beauty cream. “Another update within the hour – next is ‘Nap Time with Venus!’” With that, a screen began to fade, save for a small logo.

“Espeon...” (Hey, that looks familiar...) Espeon muttered, squinting at the screen. Umbreon sighed and looked as well, only to gasp in response.

“Umb!” (Gasp!)

“Ok, I guess we know who really runs the show...” Wes murmured, observing the simple red ‘C’ that sat in the centre of the display, with the words ‘Cipher – Not Evil at All!’ written below.

“So that woman with the cards doesn’t run the show? Who do we report suspicious people to then!?” Johnson asked with confusion.

“Johnson, I’m sure Sherles has said this before, but...” Wes said, feeling all the more sorry for Sherles for having to put up with the man.

“Yes?”

“Shut up. Now, here’s the thing. Cipher runs the show here... and it was right underneath Pyrite the whole time... man it makes sense now!” Wes said, pacing about a bit as he pieced things together. “Nobody came here for a while because Cipher controlled this place with... some woman that everyone likes? But that’s odd – why do they advertise themselves here when they were unknown everywhere else? And were they referring to us by ‘spies’? No, you don’t answer,” he added as Johnson attempted to offer his input.

“Espeon...” (Whatever the reason, I think someone wants to speak to you...) Espeon said, tilting his head at an approaching group of people.

“Hey you, newcomers! Are you suspicious?” one of the men said roughly as they swaggered towards them. Wes frowned – it was clear they hadn’t come to extend a warm greeting – he knew enough about such street mannerisms. The man who spoke was probably the self-appointed leader, and no wonder given his build... but I reckon we could handle him if needed – not too bright if he has to ask if we’re suspicious. I’ll just say we don’t have any evil moustaches and when he mulls that over, I’ll hit him. And if that fails there’s always my favourite ‘run away’ tactic... Wes thought, tensing his shoulders, as did Umbreon and Espeon out of old habit.

“Well hello there! Do you run the show here?” Johnson said happily, extending his arm for a handshake. The man looked confused at the gesture, having expected anything but that, particularly from a well-dressed officer.

Hey, they wouldn’t know what Johnson is like, would they? Wes silently thought.

No, Espeon thought back to him, they haven’t seen any sort of officer here for a while in fact. And yes, I think you should try saying that. Mention Venus by the way.

Have I ever mentioned how awesome it is to have a Psychic-type like you to tell me what people think? Wes said, unable to stop himself from grinning.

Yes, but you need to do it more often, Espeon replied back, smiling himself.

“Umbreon... Umbreon!” (You’re having a conversation through telepathy again... stop talking in private all the time!) Umbreon complained.

“Yes, hello,” Wes said to the group of men who were still wondering if they should shake Johnson’s hand or rip it off instead. “As th-uh, the stunning Venus mentioned, there are spies here, and we’re hired to specifically to stop them from...uh, cancelling her television shows! Why, there’s even talk they might try to kidnap her! And we wouldn’t want that, would we?” Wes asked.

“No!” the leader said, looking rather distraught by the mere concept as he shuddered in fright.

...I’m not sure how this Venus person captures everyone’s obsessive attention, but at least I can use that to my advantage.

“Well in that case we’ll just need your cooperation in investigating and looking for spies. I’m... Leo, and this is Officer Johnson.”

“But We-” Johnson began, before Espeon hastily mentally persuaded him to continue talking about something else.

***

Meanwhile, Rui sat in Sherles office, trying not to look at him or his bushy moustache too much. Sighing to herself slightly, she wondered if she should have spent more time thinking up her story to cover for Wes.

“So, you say that once you entered the building, this man,” began Sherles, “chased you away from Wes in an attempt to profess his love for Miror B for reasons unknown to you.” He gestured to a motionless Mirakle B who was currently lying on the ground next to his desk with a Furret sitting on his head, chattering away excitedly.

“Yes...