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View Full Version : Bonds-An OT Fic... again...


iLike2EatPiez
March 15th, 2008, 09:33 AM
Don't have any idea what happened to the last one, but I can't find it and the link in my sig's gone, so let's try this again, if I might do so...

It's an original trainer fic, and it revolves around not just the trainer, but her Pokemon as well. And, it's not intended to be the usual "Collect all the badges and beat the league" OT fic, either. There's more of a deep emotional level involved, and the main character is more concerned with enjoying herself with a Pokemon journey than becoming a Pokemon master.

So, since I got to chapter three I believe last time, I'll post the first three chapters and prologue in three posts now.

__________pie____________________________

..BONDS..

~Growlithe~

I... I couldn't believe what I had just seen. Nor could I understand it. Why did the two-legged creature do what it did? Why did Mother fall to the ground and stop moving? Why was Father nowhere to be seen? All this and more swirled through my mind, uncontrolled and confused. It came with horror, fright, terror, all the strongest expressions of fear out there. Every individual fur on my body was raised with this fear, and my eyes were wide and forming wet droplets over their surface.

Mother lay on the earth, still motionless. As I put my paw to her shoulder, trying to wake her, I found it to be cold and stiff, like the prey-food Father always brought to us. The prey-food I had long since recognized to be dead; lifeless, gone, asleep forever, doomed to never breathe again. My mind mad the simple connection instantly, and if my appearance could look more terrified I knew it would have.

A noise split the tragic silence. The crackling of leaves underfoot. I knew that sound always. And I also knew what it was: the two-legged creature.

The connecting tug toward my dead mother was not strong enough for my terror. Nothing was. And despite the way I was torn in two between instinct and bond, I ran. Trees and brush and leaves flew past me, all around, blurred flashes of brown and autumn mixtures of red, yellow, and orange. Had it not been for the fact that it was autumn, perhaps I would not be alive now. Perhaps I would not be giving you this story, telling you the tale of my life. Perhaps I too would now be only decayed material on the floor of the Ilex Forest, just like my mother is today. But, it was autumn, and my fur blended perfectly into the orangish medley of colors, and the two-legged creature never caught me.

I have no idea how long I ran. All I know was that when I toppled over from exhaustion, and was unable to go any longer, everything drifted into black unconsiousness, and I was asleep. When I woke from this state of darkness, I was in a place I'd never been, a part of the forest more thin than what I would later know to be the deepest reaches of it (where I lived before all this). Trees were more spread out, as was other foliage. I was alone, but the smell of the two-legged creatures hung heavilly in the air. I could not go anywhere else, for I feared the creature who killed my mother would find me again. I would end up just like my lost guardian and caretaker. Yet, without her, how could I survive on my own with little knowledge of hunting, terrible fear of return, and no way of defending myself against the two-legged creatures who were so cruel as to kill without reason?


.:Chapter One:.
Three More Weeks

~Phoebe~

"Gabite, try to dodge it! Now!!"

The navy-scaled reptile uttered a small growl, just loud enough to let me know he'd understood my command, and just soft enough to sound gentle and not ferocious. My heart pumped fast with the excitement of battle as Gabite coiled his muscles and prepared for an agile sideways dash. I could tell though that he was perhaps just a bit too tense...

All of this happened in a matter of about two seconds. And yet, it still did not happen in time. The lightning-fast streak of tan and brown fur that was our foe struck before anything could be done in defense. Razor-sharp claws met a tough hide. Not tough enough, apparently. Just as soon as the attack had begun, it was over, and Linoone was whipping back across the smooth concrete floor to her master (at least for this battle).

I glared up at her, the trainer-in-training. Outside of battle, we were inseperable friends. On the field, we were fierce and fiery rivals, bound by companionship as well as competitive spirit. Our eyes met for a moment, as they often did in battle. I'm just getting started, Emma's eyes seemed to whisper. To her, my eyes were probably shooting back a similar phrase. That was good, in my opinion.

"Linoone, before he can attack again! Do the same thing!" cired Emma, pointing sharply in the direction of Gabite. The lengthly rodent charged without hesitation. She had always been known for being one of the more obedient Battlers the school had to offer. Emma made a good choice simply because of that.

Once again, Gabite was unable to dodge before the blow. And, once again, Linoone gracefully bounded like a boomarang in return to Emma. Now "my" Pokemon had two wounds sliced into its body: one on a shoulder and the other on the opposite flank. These wounds were dripping with small trickles of red blood, but that wasn't anything new to any Pokemon who's experienced battles before. Claws caused cuts. That was the way they worked. The way they were designed by nature.

Suddenly, I realized with slight horror what was happening. Emma's sly smile at the discovery of a strategy was the main thing that convinced me of this. Linoone could keep going, I acknowledged to myself, And Gabite would keep failing to dodge. Linoone lunged again, having no less energy in her assault than the first time she had performed the act. Unless...

"Sand Tomb, Gabite-- on yourself!" I called from the trainer's box. For a split second the dragon seemed surprised. Then it made sense, as if my idea had connected with his mind and lit up like a light bulb.

Just before Linoone reached her striking point, Gabite summoned up a whirl of Sand from... from who knows where! It was a commonly questioned and not-very-understood subject, the way Pokemon could simply call forth and control certain elements in a flash. But they did it all the same, and this was a perfect example of the act. A million tiny golden-brown specs danced around Gabite, forming a cloud that swirled and expanded, growing larger and larger, until it was impossible to actually see the conductor within its center. Linoone had no chance to reverse its quick steps as it flew, bewildered, into the sandy vortex, only to be ejected harshly onto the floor in a furry heap.

A slight glow was penetrating through the sand-shield now. No, a large glow. It was growing brighter. Or, was the sand growing weaker? Indeed, it was miraculously seeming to disappear in just the same manner as it had come. Now what was causing the light was clearly visible. In fact, it was not light at all, but fire. Raging, bright blue fire, that streamed from Gabite's open jaws as readily as air out of a baloon. The flames were fanning out and pulling themselves back in, in a pulsating way that I knew strengthened them, rebuilding and recreating and reusing their already-formed energy. I not only knew the science and design of this technique; I also knew its name. Dragon Rage.

Linoone shrieked in a high-pitched rodent-wail of pain and surprise mingled together as the dragon fire licked across her fur and flesh. She struggled to rise, fight back, escape, anything, but could only manage to continue its cries and spasms of loud outbursts. Despite all this, at which most could easily feel sympathy, I nor Gabite felt a moral guilt or a crushing need for apology to the helpless creature. It wasn't dieing. It wasn't going through anything cruel. This was just the way battles worked. I knew I could never expect to get anywhere without knowing that Pokemon are trained for this. They have miraculous powers beyond our true control. If they wanted to, they could always attack and punish their humans for causing them such pain. Yet they do not (well, most don't). So they are satified with the hardships as long as they get their victories. That much worked for me, and for everyone, and this explained reasonably and logically why Pokemon training was not cruel. It explained why I did not feel any guilt as Gabite, whom was under my command, lashed his blue fury over Linoone.

"That's it!!" yelled the refferee, splitting all my burning thoughts and tense atmosphere of the battle right open. "Linoone is unable to battle! The victory goes to Phoebe!"

There was a small and short-lived series of applause afterwards, coming from the stand where other "trainers-in-training", as I called us, had been watching the whole battle with the instructions to watch and gather information. I saw a teacher walk over and begin speaking with them from the corner of my eye as the weak and defeated Linoone was absorbed in a flash of light by her Pokeball. Emma held the now-closed red and white orb in her hand still as she ran hurriedly to me, each foot landing with a hard thud on the floor.

"I thought I really got you there for a sec," she said once she stopped beside me.

"Did you actually think I wouldn't look for a way to get out of that though?" I asked with a hint of laughter. Emma waited while I pushed open the gate-like door of the trainer-box to speak with her. Garchomp was staring up at me expectantly, knowing that he should have already been recalled into his Pokeball. Then again, though, I was his favorite student, and he was my favorite Battler Pokemon.

"Bai?" growled the bipedal dragon in a tone of interrest and question.

"Yes," I replied, kneeling down just enough to pat Gabite gently on the head, "You did great! I didn't even tell you to use Dragon Rage in the first place, but it worked, I guess."

"Bai!" he exclaimed.

"Phoebe?" a man called. I immediately turned. It was the Training School's prncipal, Mr.Finch. By the time he reached me, he was standing high over me, so that I had to look up a bit to be speaking with his face and not his stomach, despite how tall I was for my age. Emma and Gabite stood a little ways back, watching but not wanting to be too closely involved.

"Yes sir?" I asked, forcing back my normal responce of 'Yeah? Whazzup?'

"As you know the summer break is fast approaching, and you've been with this school for what? Two, theree years?"

"Four."

"Right. Well, as always your gradesin your classes have been exceptional, and you haven't lost a training-battle in how long?"

"Uh... About two weeks, I think."

"I was considering giving you your Trainer's School Completion Badge at the end of this semester. That is only three weeks away, mind you."

At once my emotions clogged with pride. The Completion Badge! Every trainer needed one to be considered an official trainer. To collect Gym Badges and the like. Personally, I'd never cared so much for that, but the four years I'd spent going to thsi Trainer's School were intended to increase my knowledge of Pokemon and raising them. After all, how could someone go about doing something well without a good idea of how? Since I was eight, I'd done this. I'd worked hard and absorbed all I could, learning about everything from type advantages to the complex ways in which moves operate. Sometimes other kids would be told of their Completion Badge, and everyone else would ask about it. Apparently they were given when someone seemed ready to move on as a trainer and had learned as much as they'll need. This honor, now given to me, was surprising, wonderful, and frightening.

"You seem speechless," laughed Mr.Finch.

"I think I am..." I managed to murmur.

"Your recent battles have shown that you're prepared. There's not much more this school can teach you."

"Thank you, sir..."

"Oh, thank you, for being so dilligent in your studies here. I wouldn't be surprised to see you one day become one of the great Pokemon trainers. Of course, I'm not sure that's really what you intend on achieving, no? ... By the way, will we need to handle the issue of a starter Pokemon, or is there any way you know of that you will obtain one yourself?"

I hand't thought of this. But the school could always have starter Pokemon ready to be given to new trainers, so I supposed there was no reason. I shook my head quickly though, seeing as there was no Pokemon I owned that I could take with me on a journey. Sure, my family had many Pokemon, but they were all pets. None of them would have the interest or capabilities of the rough lifestyle a trainer's Pokemon led.

"Very well. We will be able to arrange that. But for now, let's just worry about the weekend. Speaking of which, the last bell could ring any-"

BRIIIIIIING!!!

Almost every kid in the building grabbed a backpack and rushed toward the doors, forming a very large wave of human traffic in the halls. Emma waved and walked off as well (normally she'd stay and talk, but she had some important things to do at home apparently today), not without handing Mr.Finch the Pokeball containing the Linoone the school owned. I turned down to Gabite, who looked back at me with his round, yellow-gold eyes. In the next second, he was converted into a red glow and sucked into the confines of his Pokeball, which I also handed to Mr.Finch. With that, I left.


The walk home was quiet and peaceful, as usual. I always took a path that went alongside the nearby woods, enjoying the open land of nature being so close. Close enough to touch, I inquired, rubbing my hand against the bark of a tree as I passed it. Three more weeks, I thought. Three weeks, and I'd be off. What would it be like? Hopefully it would be as exciting as I'd imagined it. What would my starter Pokemon be? I could hardly guess.

For no particular reason at all, I turned to the right, away from the trees, toward the calm little houses that lie on the opposite side of the street. Each one was different; each one looked cozier than the next. But then, something caught my eye. At first I though I was only imagining it. I stopped and took a better look, straining my eyes to grasp what it was.

A small, helpless figure, with an orange puppy-face and one orange paw held over the knocked-down trash can it rested on. The other paw... Was that really its paw? It was red and swollen, like some crazy wound had infected it. That's probably the case, I realized with horror as I looked into those eyes. They were staring right back at me; wide with cold fear, like those of a beaten animal.

Deep within my chest, I felt my pounding heart. I knew I could never just leave the poor Growlithe here to starve. Battling was one thing, but this was something completely different. Sympathy was welcome and encouraged when dealing with these kinds of situations, as with it one would be more likely to do something to help. And so I did. As I walked across the street, I didn't even care whether that Pokemon was owned by someone or not. It did not run away.

iLike2EatPiez
March 15th, 2008, 09:37 AM
.:Chapter Two:.
The Pup

~Growlithe~

The two-legged creature was steadily coming closer. With each step, my sensitive ears caught a light pound on the black path. The same black path that had torn open my foot when I ran on it. That foot still stung and burned worse than anything I'd felt before. Yet now, my mind was off of it. Every muscle, nerve, and instinct I had was screaming. Run. Run. Run. And I wanted to. Truly, I did. But I was not capable of doing so. Too much energy had been wasted on running and fruitless scavenging. My stomach was empty for at least the second day in a row, and if it wasn't tryng to eat itself from the inside, I'd be surprised. And worst of all was the fear. It froze me, bound me to the earth, keeping my body too tightly packed to move. And it was coming closer...

My eyes never moved from hers. I never blinked, and neither did the two-legged creature. I could tell it was female, like me. Like mother. She approached me, and held out a paw. One of those strange, strange paws, with the many appendages that stuck out and bent slightly. I did not move at first. Then I began to notice something in her atmosphere, her face, her gently-held paw. This creature was different from the others. She did not ignore and shout at me. She did not try to kick me away. She did not hold one of those black sticks toward me, like the one who killed mother did. Actually, she seemed friendly, an attitude only mother had given me. But... this wasn't mother. This was anything but mother. So why... and how...

The next thing I knew, those irregular paws were around me, grabbing me on both sides, lifting me above the ground. I tried to growl, to bite her or spit embers onto her flesh. All that it created was a small yelp, which sounded terrified and helpless. Which was indeed what I was. Those footsteps carried me on. I don't know how long I remained in her arms, paralyzed with fear, shivering with the last strength my body had to offer. What I do know is that before it was over, my world slipped into unconsious darkness.

~Phoebe~

The rest of the day passed too quickly. I called my parents on my cell phone and explained the situation. Dad came in his car to get me, and the Growlithe. As quickly as possible, we got to the city's Pokemon Center. By the time everything calmed down, and time seemed to stop racing by, I was in my room, laying in my bed after eating dinner.

Apparently the Growlithe was either abandoned or born wild. Judging by how underweight she was, she'd not eaten in well over a few days, and her foot had been wounded and infected. The vets were sure she'd live, but it would take the whole weekend before they could figure out what to do with her. By then they hoped she would be much better.

The weekend... Then I go back to school, I thought. Suddenly, I realized that in the issue with the pup, I'd forgotten to tell anyone about my Completion Badge. This wasn't a problem; I could do it tomorrow. Along with a new idea... If that pup was going to be okay soon, and I was to start my journey in three weeks, then maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't need a starter Pokemon from the school...
~Growlithe~

I was horror stricken. The outside world of the two-legged creatures had been frightening enough, but this was almost too much. It wasn't outside. This wasn't real air. And these silver ivy-like webs weren't real plants. How was any of this possible? The two-legged creatures had so far shown themselves to be nature-defying, but this was incredible (in a terribly disturbing way). Where were the trees? Where were the leaves? Where were the sounds of insects all around? All I heard was loud barks, like the ones mother used to make, and the ones I can make, but different still. Some were higher. Some lower. Some frightened. Some aggressive. No two barks were the same; not even similar. And the air was... different. It reeked of other Pokemon. Pokemon like me, but not. And of the two-legged creatures and their unexplained unnatural constructions.

And despite all this fear, and how sinister this place seemed, I was alive. Two-legged creatures wrapped in white took me, and brought back the unconsiousness, and covered me in a large square of thin, fuzzy material, and yet they did not once do anything to hurt me. They were gentle, like the female one had been. And my paw didn't hurt so much any more. Perhaps something good was going to come of all this.

My mind flicked to my mother, and I slumped down in sorrow. Her death was hard to comprehend after all that time I'd been with her. She taught me. She raised me. She took care of me. And all in one flash, that life was over and ripped away from me. How was it possible? Ever since, things have been unexpected, cold, and lonely. Things I knew but was not truly familiar with before. Now I knew them as well as myself. I was always aware of that strange sense that there was a much bigger world out there, but I never knew it could possibly be so cruel.

~Phoebe~

I don't know how it worked out. Really, I don't, but somehow it worked. One day I was just another trainer soon to start another new journey. The next, I had a starter. Well, not much of a starter at this point. The Growlithe was still a pup, and a terrified one at that. Luckilly, I had plenty of experience with Pokemon. One summer I'd volunteered at a zoo. At school I'd befriended more than one of the Battler Pokemon. And all my life, I'd had pets. So this was no problem really.

She was skittish from the day we brought her home, which was Sunday. However, it took no longer than a few minutes, while we were still in the car driving from the Pokemon Center, for her to realize that I was not a threat. For the first time, someone held out a hand to touch her, and she didn't flinch back. She just sat there, wide-eyed but perhaps a bit relaxed, as my hand rubbed tthrough the soft crest of white-tan fur on her head. The Growlithe was much more groomed than when I first found her; she must've been given a bath.

At dinner that night, she laid beside me on the couch where we ate, while I fed her bits of my food every few minutes. My dad never objected to this, though if I'd done that with any of our pets he would have had something to say. By the end of the day, was in bed again, this time with the Growlithe nestled under the covers right against my chest.

She needs a name, I realized. That was obvious from the start, but it was only now that it seemed to matter more than anything else. A few thoughts were pikced through and discarded; Xin, Phay, Niealu (I usually came up with pretty weird names). Then, I began thinking of characters from books I'd read; Lyra, Arya, Hazel. Nothing seemed to fit right for the Growlithe. Then, a small thought came to my mind. At first, it seemed wrong all over, but then, I sort of found that I liked it. It seemed somehow fitting, as if it really could work. It was the name of my mother, who had died long before.

"Roxy," I whispered, the name coming off of my tongue lightly. The Growlithe's ear twitched slightly at the sound, though she wasn't woken. Yes, I thought, It is perfect. And I soon drifted off to sleep with that content feeling in mind.


.:Chapter Three:.
The Last Days of School

~Phoebe~

Though you wouldn't think it, Roxy actually had a taste for battling. It surprised me, and possibly even her, but she really seemed to have an idea of what she was doing. Of course, the first few days her paw hneeded a rest, as the vet had said. Afterwards though, she picked up on it faster than I would think possible. It started as an after-school thing with Emma, since I could bring Roxy with me to the school (it was Pokemon School after all). I'm not too sure how, but at the word 'ember', it went through to her mind like magic. And, perhaps most interesting of all, the Growlithe was no longer a nervous and shivering wreck when she knew it was battle-time. She was a real beast.

Wild Starlies served as game while I conducted my Pokemon through the drill. Emma watched and joined us with enthusiasm. And with these simple practice-sessions, it wasn't long at all before every Starly around knew to stay away from the little puppy with the orange fur, or else get burned. This was only by the end of the first week I'd had Roxy though. With shocking skill like that, we knew it was time for something real. Something like school battles.

I spent the weekend with Roxy. Nonstop. Playing, petting, training... We were getting to know each other well. She was growing less and less skittish and more and more trusting every day. From the beginning, she'd always trusted me though. Ever since that day we took her from the vet's. At this point, she knew her name, and was learning mine, but would usually only respond to me. No one else, not even Emma, who she knew fairly well by now, could get her to obey. If Emma said "Bite", Roxy would stare at her vacantly with her brown-black, almond-shaped dog-eyes. If I said "Bite", Roxy would immediately dart for the nearest Starly and sink her fangs into its feathers. No hesitation. No question. That was what I knew of her loyalty. Even years later, that loyalty would never break, and would always grow firmer, and firmer still.

Nevertheless, that loyalty would be put to the test next Monday, and the tweo weeks to come. I was more ready than I'd ever been in my life. Two more weeks until I set off was longer than it seemed, and I was ready to use those weeks as best as possible. No more using the Battlers every time. I had my own Pokemon now.

~Roxy; two weeks later~

All the anticipation I'd been feeling was finally about to break here. At first, it started as a light feel in the atmosphere of everything, especially at the place Phoebe called "school". Then, she told me about it. Though I was new to two-leg language, I was quickly picking up. Apparently, today was the day of a "Last-Day Double-Battle Tournamnt Bonanza". And from what I'd been through so far, that meant lost and lost of battles. The "Last-Day" part was explained to me long before. School would only last so long. Then Phoebe and I would be off. Where to? All I know is somewhere else. "To see the world," Phoebe had told me. But now, my concerns were on this battle. It was supposed to be the last. If all these battles we'd just run through were part of one huge battle alltogether, than we were winning. But there was one final test before we could claim victory.

Phoebe beside me, I walked out onto the gym floor, where my paws had so often stepped by this point in time. And who was our opponent? Who else? Emma, or course. Phoebe's friend, as I'd learned on my own. Often I had seen her, "hung out" with her and Phoebe after school time was over, et cetera. But never had I battled against her. I did not know if Phoebe had either. If she'd also won through as many battles as we did though, then she would definately prove to be no easy trainer to beat.

"This is the final match of the semester!" called the refferee over the talking voices of other young two-legs, like Phoebe, and Emma. "It will be a double-battle! Both of the so-far victorious students have received one starter Pokemon, so they will be battling with one Battler. The Battlers have been selected. ... Let the match begin!"

"Go, Gabite! Roxy!" called Phoebe. My whole body was ablaze with energy, a ball of fie, ready for anything, as I darted from her side. Gabite appeared in a flash of light from one of the captive-orbs that the two-legs kept their Pokemon companions in. I had never been in one, and was thankful. Our foes flashed from similar orbs, materializing onto the gym floor. One was a blue reptile ceature with red spikes lining its back. I'd never seen anything like it. It stood on its hind legs and glared at me. That oversized mouth opened just a bit to reveal several razor-sharp teeth. The other, I also had never seen before, but it was anything but formidable. It was a tiny creature, even smaller than me, with a white-skinned body. But most awkward of all was that I couldn't see its face. A large green cap that resembled a mushroom with two of thin hornlike things on it covered the eyes. Its head was tilted down though, and somehow, I could feel its shy, quiet nature in the air. This one would be no problem.

It all bursted into action in the next split second. On Phoebe's command, we were off and charging, Gabite beside me with his rather long neck holding his head out toward the foes. I had been told to go for the white one with the mushroom-cap. This would hardly be a challenge.

'Bite' had been the order. I was familiar with this attack. All it consisted of was a crunch of my fangs onto the opponent. So far, it had only been enough to scare off the Starly-bird-Pokemon we battled with after school. If Phoebe thought that was all it took to harm this thing, then I would not question her. After all, it did look weak enough for this to work.

The thing yelped as my body charged into it, my teeth snapping viciously. It was pathetic! Yelping before I even really attacked it! ... But I noticed then that my teeth were just clipping empty air. Where was it? When I stopped to look around, it was nowhere to be seen. I hadn't landed a single Bite! How did it do that?! How was it possible?!

"Go on, Roxy! It used Teleport! It's over there!"

"Croconaw! Water Pulse!!"

All of a sudden, I was buffetted by a blast of freezing cold water. It wasn't just water, like the kind I drank. It was attack-Water. I'd never experienced that in my whole life, but I instinctually knew it had been created by a Pokemon, and thus had special properties. Special properties that led to advantages over me.

I frantically tried to escape the cold, watery rush that rippled through my body. Barking, yipping, spitting, kicking. Anything to get away. But nothing worked. Not even the embers I'd summoned before from my throat would emerge. Everything was beginning to go black. No... no... Not this again! Mother! Phoebe! Someone save me!!

~Phoebe~

I had lost. For the first time, I had fialed to win a battle. Gabite's body was frozen and helpless due to the Croconaw's Ice Fang. And Roxy still lay weakly on the ground, breathing in short, raspy pants. She was my top concern though. Gabite could be recalled. He wasn't my Pokemon. He was used to this sort of battling. Roxy, on the other hand, was not. She had never been beaten, and likely did not know what it was like to lose. Deep inside, I had the feeling that I had let her down. Then, I shoved it away.

Everyone loses at some point, I assured myself, And besides, we can learn from it. But that'll come later.

"Great battling!" I called to Emma as I pressed down the button in the center of Gabite's Pokeball and the navy dragon-creature faded into the familiar ray of red light. Roxy had still not moved or made any sound. Without hesitation, I raced over to her limp body and lifted her into my arms. She was light and easy to hold, warm like a very young animal that had just entered the world. The vets said she was six months old at the very least though. A runt, I had confirmed to myself. That was a logical explanation.

"You too," my friend answered. Instantly my mind flicked back to my surroundings. There were rippled clapping and cheering sounds in the background, not quite too loud or quite too soft. I suddenly noticed a hint of self-pride within myself. This wasn't really a loss. I'd done my best, as did the Pokemon I had commanded.

"That was excellent!" cried one of the teachers who had been watching the tournament. "And great sportsmanship, you two! Absolutely wonderful battle!"

"Indeed," added Mr.Finch, who was now walking onto the gym floor as he had only three weeks before. In one hand, he held a small trophy, which gleamed as light hit its bronze-gold surface. This was handed to Emma, who seemed so excited that her smile could have been from ear-to-ear. The crowd cheered even louder, their shouting and clapping echoing through the whole room. Once all that calmed down, he held out his other hand, just enough, to reveal something I found far more special than a trophy. It was not made of gold, and did not describe my victory in engraved letters. It was simply a peice of paper, with a nice border and elegant cursive writing. I already knew what it would say.

"Our tournament victor for this semester is... our very own Emma!" the principal called out in a booming voice. Emma held her trophy proudly in her hands, eyes gleaming with joy.

The crowd's resulting cheers died down after a few seconds. Suddenly, everything became eerily silent, and it seemed that for some reason, all was focused on me, the girl in the center of the gym, with a Growlithe in one hand and Pokeball in the other.

"In honor of this student's diligent studies," Mr.Finch began, "their hard work, and effort... We, the Pokemon Education Board of Hearthome City, present to the student, the Pokemon Trainer's School Completion Certificate. With this Certificate, we entitle this student to the rights of the Training School Completion Badge. May this student be permitted to begin a Pokemon journey, if he or she desires. May he or she be given the freedom to explore the world by the side of his of her Pokemon companions. This Certificate declares that this student is now a full-fledged Pokemon Trainer, and may pursue whatever dreams he or she may have."

Everyone cheered once more, for what seemed like the hundredth time. But this time, it was a special cheer. It meant more to me than a simple win at a battle or anything like that. It marked the beginning of the greatest years of my life.

~Phoebe; after school~

"So, you're leaving tomorrow?" Emma asked me.

"Yeah..." I answered quietly. It had just started getting to me that I was about to leave behind all I knew; my hometown; my firends; my life.

"Well, good luck..."

There was a short and awkward silence, only disturbed by the shrill chirping sounds of the insect Poekmon which lived on every tree; every peice of foliage. They sung their songs every night, giving the world a calm, soothing atmosphere. Roxy was laying beside me, curled into an orange-and-tan ball of fur. She had been healed since the battle, and now she was just sleeping off the last of it.

"You... You have your starter too," I said, nodding to the tiny Ralts that sat in Emma's arms. The Ralts, realizing that she had been noticed, gave a soft "kyruuu", tilting her head to the side just enough to notice.

"Yeah, but I started later than you. And I'm a year younger. Even if I have my Ralts, I still have to wait for my Completion Badge."

"True... D'you give her a name? Your Ralts?"

The innocent and fragile little Pokemon was now murmuring the "kyuu" sounds to herself slowly, in tune with what we were talking about. Emma stroked a finger over the Ralts' caplike head.

"Her name is Cosmo," Emma answered. I smiled. Many people were known to just call their Pokemon by their species name. Personally I found it strange. A Pokemon was a companion, much like a family member or close friend. I would never just call Emma "girl" or "human", and likewise I would never call Roxy "Growlithe". Apparently most Pokemon were okay with being called by their species name, but I just felt that if you were going to care about something, it would need a proper name.

"I'm gonna miss this place," I sighed, thinking of the city I grew up in.

"What, the school?" asked Emma. Indeed, we were sitting on the stairs at the front of the school building.

"No!" I laughed, "The city. Home. All the people I know."

"You do get a Pokedex that can call people when you become a trainer," replied Emma, "... You're gonna call me, right?" Her last words were in a sarcastic, joking tone rather than a serious one.

"When I can, I guess. It's supposed to be tough being a trainer."

We went on for a while, about random and pointless things, laughing every now and then and pausing every now and then. I would always remember that evening. Never would it leave my mind. Sometimes I even think of it as the best evening I ever had. Other times, it only comes to me as a sad conversation to hide the real truth that we likely would not see each other much any more.
______________________

Also, mods, if my last one somehow got deleted because of something I did wrong, or if the old one still exists, or anything like that, please close this one. I was gone for about a week and now the old Bonds thread is gone (at least I can't find it), so if anything happened without my notice, I'm completely unaware. Sorry if there's any problem here, and if ther isn't, then great!

BakingBluePotatoe
March 15th, 2008, 12:28 PM
that's deep, girl... that's real deep...

another GREAT story by the Pie-person!

iLike2EatPiez
March 15th, 2008, 02:49 PM
Thanks! If you think that was deep, just wait 'til you meet Luna... I mean, uh, *cough cough*!

The next chapters will come up probably some time tommorrow...

CrystalGlaceon
March 15th, 2008, 03:28 PM
That was great! You're really good at describing battles in an exciting way. Poor Roxy... Keep it up!

New Age Retro Hippie
March 15th, 2008, 06:21 PM
Now, this story seems like it'll be nice and gentle. I've always liked Growlithe :D At times it seems a little bit rushed, like you wanted to glaze over that part of the story to get to the more interesting aspects. Though understandable, it'd be nice to experience Phoebe's emotions s Roxy was cared for, etc. Another iffy bit is that Phoebe and Roxy both narrate a little more maturely than their age suggests they should. And though your grammar and spelling is really neat, there are a few typoes throughout.

However, this story is quite nice for an OT fic. It reminds me of cup of tea: nice and soothing.

iLike2EatPiez
March 15th, 2008, 10:19 PM
Now, this story seems like it'll be nice and gentle. I've always liked Growlithe :D At times it seems a little bit rushed, like you wanted to glaze over that part of the story to get to the more interesting aspects. Though understandable, it'd be nice to experience Phoebe's emotions s Roxy was cared for, etc. Another iffy bit is that Phoebe and Roxy both narrate a little more maturely than their age suggests they should. And though your grammar and spelling is really neat, there are a few typoes throughout.

However, this story is quite nice for an OT fic. It reminds me of cup of tea: nice and soothing.

Thanks for a decent review! About the typos, the best I've got is Word Pad, so I usually have to make do with it and come throgh with a few bits here and there (or many bits all over, sometimes).

And, it's likely to only be "gentle", as you put it, for the beginning. I've got a lot planned, and a lot could happen that I haven't yet planned at all; possible betrayal, dark histories, maybe some revenge, and I'll stop myself now before I start giving away spoilers. Anyways... Chapter duo! (I need to catch up to chapter eleven <that's where I'm at with the actual typing of it>, so I can actually put some advice to use!)

___________pie_______________________

.:Chapter Four:.
Travel Plans

~Phoebe~

The cool morning air surrounded me as my shoes padded through the dew-covered grass, one confident step at a time. Roxy tagged along beside me, seeming to enjoy the moist feeling on the pads of her paws. I had merely wanted to start walking now, though I had no idea where I was going. Northeast of Hearthome, at least. That would work for me. Soon I'd stop and decide where to go from here, but for now I was merely savoring the feeling of incredible freedom.

We were in the middle of a grassy plain. To the far right was a stretch of forest, which I knew to be a little-known section of the Eterna Forest. Of course, it wasn't little-known to me. I had never been to the real Eterna Forest, the part that was located right beside the city that shared its name, but it was a place I'd always longed to see. of course, that meant crossing Mt.Coronet...

I realized that I was now sitting down on a rock. Somehow I'd done that without noticing. Roxy was staring up at me with a look of curious confusion in her wide brown-black eyes.

Why'd we suddenly stop? she seemed to be asking.

"I was wondering where we should go," I replied, "I've always wanted to see the Eterna Forest, but that means we'd have to cross a mountain..."

My Growlithe's small whine implied distaste for that idea.

"Aw, come on, Roxy! We can manage. It's not even that long of a stretch inside the mountain. Let's see..."

I pulled from my backpack a silver-colored electronic device. It was the Pokedex the school had given me before I left on Friday. Still I had not yet opened it. As I did now, it turned on automatically, light-screen flashing up brightly. Roxy climbed onto the rock and put her paws on my shoulder to examine the technology.

"Please enter the following information," the machine said in a completely emotionless, electronic voice that could not be described as male or female. A list of boxes appeared on the screen asking for various things such as 'trainer name', 'region', and 'current Pokemon'.

"What?" I growled, "All I wanna do is look at a Sinnoh Map! This is crud!"

Quickly and frustratedly I pecked in the data letter-by-letter with the touch screen and a stylus. It seemed to be taking forever, though really it was probably closer to five minutes. Finally, I selected the "ENTER" option at the bottom-right corner of the screen. A chiming sound that was supposed to be welcoming chanted through a circle little holes in the plastic, and a black background came into view with several options and icons displayed. I'd always had a thing for advanced technology, and this was no exception. In fact, I was fascinated.

Looking through the little programs, I suddenly caught one that caught my interest. I selected it and held up the Pokedex above my face.

"Look at me, Roxy!" I cried cheerfully.

"Grow?"

"CHI-CHING!"

An exact image of the doglike Pokemon flashed onto the screen. It was perfect! Her whole face showed up perfectly with no red-eye and a very adorable expression of interest and curiosity. I selected the "Set as Wallpaper" option. Instantly, the screen flicked back to the main menu, where now, instead of the bland and boring black background, Roxy's face stood out behind all the icons.

"What is it? Let me see", Roxy's soft growl asked as she lifted hherself up using her paws and my shoulder. Her eyes widened at the sight of the image.

"That's you. I took your picture."

"How'd you do that?"

"Electronics can do a lot of cool things. Now, let's see where we are," I replied, tapping the stylus onto a 'Region Map' option. The screen went black for a few seconds. At first, I thought it had shut off. Then, it flashed back on again. I was amazed.

There, on that few-inch-wide screen, was a birds-eye view of where I was standing now, in perfect detail. I recognized everything. The Eterna Stretch was shown at the top of the screen, and the rest was all parts of the plain I had passed, including, in a few tiny pixels, the rock I was sitting on now. On the left of the screen was a menu of more options. One of which was 'Plan a Route'. I tapped it.

I entered in the information it asked for quickly. I was starting here and going to Eterna City, as quickly as possibly with no detours. As soon as I had finished, the Pokedex showed a map tracking the whole journey, and some information on it.

"The trip will take approximately 4 days. Your walk should be easy until you rech Mt.Coronet. The way you wish to go, there will be no way to go directly into and through the mountain. But, you can hike over it, which could ad anywhere between six hours and a day to your journey. Eterna City lies a ways off from where you will be getting off of the mountain. The road is rough, but not impassable. Once you get to the city, a day or so of rest is highly reccomended, for you and your Pokemon. Continue Northwest if you wish to proceed with this route."

That was all it said. I relawed the information to Roxy, who wrinkled her nose in slight disgust.

"It sounds tiring."

"Well, we've gotta do it. I became a trainer to do stuff like this. Better get used to it now. And, there's a gym in Eterna. A Grass one too. That should be easy with your Ember."

"What if we have to face any Water Pokemon like that Croconaw along the way? I didn't stand a chance then."

The Pokemon's point made sense. That would be a problem. A sudden thought hit my head though. "Growlithe is one of the few Pokemon that can learn a move to counter its greatest enemy; in its case, the Water Type. This move is called Thunder Fang. All Growlithes and Arcanines have the capability to master it, but the earlier you train them to use it, the less time it will take to sink in."

"Thank Arceus for school lessons," I laughed, "Roxy, we're gonna do some training on the way. You can learn an Electric move, which'll save you from that threat. Sound good?"

"What is it?"

"A move called Thunder Fang. I think you charge up some electricity in your fangs and then bite."

"Are you sure? I could do that?"

"It's true! What do you say?"

"What else can I say? I'll do it!"

"Alright!"

And with that, the two of us set off.

.:Chapter Five:.
The Stone

~Roxy~

"Are you really not feeling this heat?" Phoebe asked in amazement, looking down at me.

"I'm feeling it," I growled back softly, "It just doesn't bother me very much."

"Well, your state of mind is lucky," Phoebe replied. I'd always found it interesting how we were learning to understand each other's speech. We didn't even try to, really. It just sort of happened. Eventually every grunt I made could be depicted by her as a word, and every one of her awkward vocalizations could be translated into actual meanings rather than just jibberish.

We'd been hiking over Mt.Coronet for a while now. This was our second day of tavelling, and judging by the falling sun that dyed the sky orange and pink, soon to be our third. The rocks all around were a deep shade of brownish-gray, and they each were filled with heat from the beating rays of the sun they'd endured all day. Nothing new. The only way we knew which way we were going was the compass Phoebe carried. I sighed as my paws kept on going. At least we had food and water.

Phoebe came to a stop and sat down. I padded by to sit alongside her without hesitation. We needed a break. She set her backpack down and pulled a shiny plastic bag from a now-unzipped pocket. I stared anxiously up as she pulled the plastic at the top open. Instantly the scent of salty, greasy food came to my nose, and I began to crave for a taste to match the smell. Phoebe pulled a small golden yellow crisp from the mouth of the bag and tossed it to me. Up to the challenge, I raised my head and snapped my jaws in a flash of a second, and the crisp was being broken apart in my mouth. Though the thin, crunchy texture was rather uncomfortable and strange, it tasted good enough to make up for that.

"Good catch!" laughed Phoebe.

"What is it?" I asked as soon as I'd swallowed the treat.

"Potato chip," she replied, pulling another from the bag and putting it into er own mouth, "Want another one?"

I nodded, curling my lips into a smile. Another chip was flung, and we soon made a game out of it. One time the chip was falling at an angle I wouldn't be able to reach, and in confusion I spat a puff of fire which burnt it into a tiny pile of ashes. We both got some laughs out of that. Finally though, the bag was empty, save for a few crumbs and bits of salt wedged into the very bottom corners as if to hide away (I had to look inside the bag to confirm this), so Phoebe folded it up and shoved it in the bag again, saying something about leaving it on the mountain would be wrong.

"Well, now that we've eaten, how about some more training?" she asked after a friendly silence.

"Why not? Of course, I don't think we'll be seeing many wild Pokemon up here."

"That's okay. We'll just try to do without."

I shrugged (as best as my shoulders would allow), and leapt in front of her so that she could tell me what to do.

"What should I try to attack though?" I asked.

Phoebe yet again unzipped her backpack. When her hand came up, it held a square cloth. I tilted my head to one side slightly with wonder.

"Why a cloth?"

"It's an insulator. Electricity won't flow through it. So I can hold it without getting shocked if you actually pull the Thunder Fang off."

"Lith," I replied in simple understanding, not really meaning anything that could be understood as a word.

With that explained, I closed my eyes and focused, as I had the first time I breathed fire. Gosh, that really was a long time ago. Back when I was with mother... I stopped myself. Now was time for training, not mourning. My teeth seemed to tingle with energy, perhaps the energy of the attack. Come on... Come on...

My eyes split open and I bit down into the fabric of the cloth. Phoebe's hand kept completely still; she knew I'd never bite her, even on accident. While it really was a ferocious bite, nothing seemed to happen. When I let go, my felt as if they were violently shivering from the inside. Yes, something had to have happened there. Maybe if I just--

"Hey!"

I tilted my head in the direction where Phoebe's hand was now held out. She had a frantic look about her, and the cloth was flying off with the wind. She darted after it determinedly, and I followed, not without warning her to be careful of her footing. While she chased the cloth, I was driven by worry to make sure her feet didn't trip over a rock or anything. For once I could be thankful for my small, low-to-the-ground size. I saw her shoes hit the ground in a repetitive cycle until she stopped, quite suddenly. As soon as she froze, I froze, and I looked up to see what had caused her to quit chasing the cloth.

We were both left breathtaken. There, right beneath our feet, lay an endless expansion of land. It was black in some parts, gray in others, and witha hint of brown all over. This was the rough terrain that Phoebe's Pokedex had spoken of. Only, it wasn't just part of it. It was all of it. We could even faintly see the rim of the forest, far, far away, just before the dark expanse dipped beneath the horizon. And soaring above this miraculous scene was the cloth, slowly floating downward every few moments before being thrust up in a spiralling dance by the wind.

"Well... There goes out training cloth," murmured Phoebe. She turned her head down to me, and opened her mouth to say something else, but her eyes flicked away as soon as she did, leaving her mouth to hang open.

"What is it this time?" I asked.

"What the..."

She rushed off toward a craggy section of stone, staring down at a strange fiery light that rested in the center of it. At first, this glow made no sense to me, until the setting sun's light caught my eye. It was reflecting the light. But since when was there something shiny on this mountain? After all, we'd travelled on it for a day and seen nothing but rocks...

In a few seconds I was beside her, looking at the strange stone as well. It seemed to be ablaze with every color of the sun: gold, yellow, copper, orange, red, crimson... And that was all just the shiny surface. In its center was somthing far more peculiar. It looked like a strand of fire, and when the sunlight moved against the surface, the flame seemed to move with it like a burning flare. Curiously, I touched the pad of my paw to it for only a split second. The next, I had pulled it away. A strange energy lived inside that sone. I knew it immediately.

"A... A Fire Stone," Phoebe breathed. My eyes instantly widened.

"What?"

"A Fire Stone, Roxy! It'll make you evolve!"

"W... Woah..."

"Here. I'll pull it out..."

Phoebe reached her hand into the crevice of the rock that encased the stone, and got a firm grip on her target. After a fierce tug, it came out with a slight crack as a peice of the rock flew off and blended with the rest of the mountain. A grin was on Phoebe's face as she held up the stone.

"Wait, Phoebe," I insisted, "What if I don't feel like I'm ready to evolve? Not now, at least."

"Hm? Well, yeah..." she replied, seeming a bit embarrassed. There were some moments of silence as she thought. Apparently she was trying to devise some sort of a plan. How she could do that with this situation, I was completely clueless. "I got it!" she cried suddenly.

"Got what? What more is there to it? Just keep it with you until it's time."

"Better idea: My bag's got a netted pocket. If I shove it in there, you can use it whenever you want. All you have to do is touch it, right? So..."

"That is a good idea," I replied.

"Right. I won't have any say in when you evolve. You don't even have to ask me. Just use the stone whenever you'd like."

"Thanks..." I said through the lump in my throat. I felt almost like crying, just from the wave of emotion that was flying over me. She really wasn't going to force it upon me. Evolution was a thing that made a lot of sense for most trainers. They evolve their Pokemon and then they're stronger. And with strength seeming to be such an important thing for Pokemon battles, it was hard to imagine any trainer wanting to let evolution wait. The Pokemon, though, is supposed to grow more mature in evolution. Their mind changes. They might even become more like a different person. It seemed that humans, not being Pokemon, could so easily overlook this. Yet, Phoebe was not that kind of trainer. She had taken my wants over hers, and even allowed me to decide when I wanted to evolve. The feeling that produced was undescribable.

"Let's go back. We'll need a fresh start for tomorrow," Phoebe reccomended.

"Race ya'," I replied, suddenly not feeling so worried about her falling. And so we ran off, me with my wonderful feeling in mind.

CrystalGlaceon
March 16th, 2008, 08:26 AM
You're really good at description-I can easily imagine where they are. There were a few typos, but nothing serious. I liked how descriptive and creative you were with the Pokedex. As futuristic as the Pokemon world is, the Pokedex probably can do more besides just be a talking encyclopedia! And your foreshadowings sound interesting... I bet Roxy's past will play a big part.

iLike2EatPiez
March 17th, 2008, 11:44 AM
We'll see...

More chapters!

______________pie_________________

.:Chapter Six:.
Lufa

~Phoebe~

We were now coming very close. It has been two nights since we made it off of Mt.Coronet, and at this point Eterna City was likely appear within any given hour. My excitement burned as we walked on under the trees, morning sunlight slanting through the gaps in their leaves like golden bars. This was a section of the Eterna Forest. Not quite the actual forest, but a very close area. My love for nature kicked in as I inhaled the crisp air, set down my bag, and slumped against a tree, feeling somehow connected with it simply by touching its hard surface.

Roxy padded along beside me without complaint. So far she hadn't complained at all, in fact. Apparently she was enjoying this adventure as much as I was, despite the sore feet and exhaustion that came with it. She sat alongside me and lazily dropped her head into my side. I responded by wordlessly reaching my hand over and scratching the tuft of fur on her head, fingers rubbing gently through the smooth, tan hair. Her heavy breathing matched mine, and we sighed together at the glory of this natural paradise.

Now we could listen to the sounds. Starlies and Pidgies and who knows how many other kinds of bird Pokemon were singing their morning songs as every now and then a bush or canopy or grassy patch rustled with movement. A nearby brook bubbled along, its calm and timeless flow making it all seem so much more peaceful. All was well in the forest, it seemed. Until, that is, there was a loud and disruptive chattering sound.

Roxy was the first to notice it. She stood up quite suddenly and barked, glaring in the direction or a bush near the brook. I stood up as well, following her line of sight with my own eyes. Both of us had heard the sound.

"Chrrna-Chhh!"

There it was again. It sounded like a rabid rodent attacking something, and for all we knew, it could have been. Then, the culprits of the sound appeared. They stood out, in the middle of the stream, fine orange fur obvious at first sight on the green background (somehow the Eterna Forest seemed unaffected by seasons such as Autumn, or any time for that matter, hence the name). I didn't even need to check what they were with my Pokedex, as I had when I first came across a Shellos earlier near the mountains. I knew these were Buizels.

They noticed us, too. They both tried to run away, but when the one on the left noticed the other one running, it snarled and hissed at it, following with the same furious chuttering we had heard before. It ran into the bushes after this repremanding, leaving the other alone with us, looking hurt and abandoned. Would it be wrong of me to catch it... or... should I?

Roxy answered that question for me, as if she had read my throughts. She bolted across the earth of the forest floor and headed for the Buizel aggressively. I knew she wanted a battle, and if she was gonna fight it, then I was gonna catch it.

"Alright then, Roxy!" I cried out, "Fire won't hurt a Water Type enough, especially in the stream, so try to use Thunder Fang!"

I expected her to give me a dumbfounded look; we hadn't practiced since the rag was lost. However, she merely obeyed, biting the wild Pokemon sharply in the shoulder. Up until now, the Buizel had seemed oblivious to the action around it. But now, it was ready to fight back.

A small jet of water fired from its mouth, but Roxy managed to nimbly dodge. Judging by how the Buizel was still standing and looked only bitten, the Thunder Fang didn't seem to have worked. But, that didn't mean it wouldn't.

"It's okay Roxy. Try it again!"

This time though, the Buizel was ready. It lunged out of the stream, throwing Roxy off guard, and darted with incredible speed at her flank, ready to ram into the Growlithe. Roxy was in no position to dodge, and the headbutt left her surprised and on the ground.

Water once again shot from the Buizel's open jaws, and yet again Roxy leapt away just in time to avoid it. There was no doubt that this wild Pokemon was good at fighting. It would make a good edition to my newly-forming team.

The next series of events was a dodging game. While Roxy continuously tried to get in an attemped Thunder Fang, the Buizel tried to take advantage of her close-combat with headbutts. However, for a few moments, nobody ever hit the other. Then, the Buizel jumped back in a huge lunge. Just by the way it did that, I could tell it was preparing for something.

A particularly strong water stream flew from its mouth. Roxy was not used to Water attacks, obviously. In fact, it would surprise me if she managed to withstand this one. And, she was tired from dodging so much. Another dodge would be too tough to manage. All in one split second, I came to the realization that there was but one way for her to pull this off. And luckily, I didn't even need to give the command.

Just as the water stream approached her, Roxy opened her previously closed eyes, gave a growl, and clipped her fangs into the liquid. It stopped instantly. And in what I considered to be a miracle, lightning-yellow electricity charged up and circles the long white jet of now-frozen-in-space water. The Buizel, who bore a shocked look on its face, did not move any more than its attack, as the electricity tore up and released itself into it. There was a horrid, stomach-wrenching moment as the Buizel was electricuted, cbody flailing and convulsing helplessly, and then it simply fell. The battle was over.

I stepped forward, as if I was half certain of what to do. A Pokeball was already clutched in my had, but I was so nervous as to if I should throw it. I'd be stripping away its freedom. It would be forced to fight in stupid sport-like battles for me, rather than remain here with its family and life...

I never knew what made me throw that ball. Maybe it was the way the other Buizel had spat at this one. Maybe it was my own greed. But all I fully recall was that when I reached Eterna City, I had a Growlithe at my side and a Pokeball containing a new partner in my palm.

~two hours later~

Until I got into a hotel room, I tried to ignore my conscience. Tried to just get Roxy and the Buizel to the Pokemon Center, head to a cheap hotel, and then deal with it all. In the back of my mind, it had all been nagging at me violently. What if it doesn't like you? What if it misses the forest? What if it breaks into tears as soon as you send it out of the ball? So many horrible thoughts came to me, but I tried as hard as I could to shove it all back and make it another hour or so. And finally, there I was, sitting on the edge of the bed of my hotel room, holding the red and white sphere that contained the Buizel in two cupped hands, while Roxy looked up at me anxiously from my side. Here goes nothing...

I pushed in the button on the ball, and a flash of white light erupted from it, landing on the floor and eventually materializing into a small orange shape. I wanted to cry, even before I saw it look around. The Buizel stared around the room and shivered slightly upon realizing its surroundings.

"Chrrr... Bui-Bui!" Where... Where am I? The voice was high and definately female.

"I..." I choked out. I couldn't do it. Couldn't bring myself to tell her that she had been caught.

"Rrow, Grrowwl-lith... Grow." My trainer captured you... Well, my companion, I should say.

Good old Roxy. Without her, I don't know how I would have managed at all.

"Trainer? Then... I'm a human's Pokemon now?"

"Yeah. But it's not so bad! Trust me! I've only known her for about a month, and I can say that."

"Oh, no. I... I meant it in a good way. I was exiled from my clan. They'd never let me back to join them. Actually, if not for you two, I probably would be left to die."

"W... Wow," I breathed, shakilly finding my voice again, "Really?"

"Yeah. I just hope you're not the kind of human who beats their Pokemon or anything. Don't expect me to take that." The Buizel's words came with a sharp and defiant glare, reflecting that she had an inner toughness depite her cute and feminine irst impression. From the way she had battled Roxy, I couldn't say it was all that hard to expect.

"Do you... Are you okay with it then? I can take you anywhere you'd like an release you. It's no trouble!"

"No way! Buizels are group Pokemon! Without a Clan, I'm dead for sure, living wild or not. Besides, you don't seem that bad."

My spirits were rising as I began talking with her. I told her about what we were doing here and what we were going to do. She listened intently and told me about herself some. Apparently she had been exiled because she offended the Clan's leader more times than allowed. The idea of being dominated did not seem to appeal to her at all. Hoefully that would not be a problem when training. Roxy added in a bit every now and then as well. By the time we were done, I saw that it was growing dark outside through the window.

"Well, you can sleep outside of the ball," I told the Buizel, "Roxy always does, considering she doesn't even have a ball, and it wouln't be all that fair to make you do it."

"Thanks," was all she said in reply.

"Wait, Phoebe." It was Roxy.

"Huh?"

"What about a name? I know you gave me one the day you really met me."

"Oh yeah. How about..." My head reeled with seemingly random ideas of weird-sounding names. It was like naming a character in the short Pokemon-related stories I always wrote and typed up at home. I always managed to do really well with that though. Much better than naming human characters at least. "How about Lufa?" It was the first thing that seemed to fit.

"I can live with that," the Buizel answered, with a tone of approval in her voice. And thus ended our long talk.

As I slumped onto the bed, Lufa sleekly moved across the covers and lay right against my neck. I had not expected this much trust from her so soon, but I welcomed it all the same and reached a hand over to pet her. It was a bit interesting; I'd never felt a Buizel before. I'd always wondered if the crest on their heads was actually a lump of flesh and bone or just tightly compacted long hairs. Then, my manners caught up with me for once and froze my hand over her head.

"Do you mind if I..."

"Go ahead."

And that night I slept with not just Roxy at the foot of my bed, but a new friend who already seemed to be getting a liking for me.

-Note that I've kind of changed the appearance of Buizels to appear more realistic. They really aren't all that different, but in this story, they have a more lengthy, actual-weasel-like stance, and aren't quite so large. This allows them to easily be carried, or draped across a shoulder or neck.


.:Chapter Seven:.
The Leaf-Fox and the Water-Weasel

~Phoebe~

Eterna City Gym was not far from the hotel. Just about a block and a half away, actually. Back at home, a walk like this would have been boring. I was so used to everything about Hearthome: the trees, the buildings, the homes... But this place was incredible! There were skyscrapers, yes, but they were made of wood. Yes, wood, like the kind that comes from trees. Supporting this wood to such great heights were giant painted metal poles that rose to the sky. The road was paved with brick, and yet there were small shops scattered about between the skyscrapers which had normal glass windows, and if you looked through those windows, people in normal clothing, and an occasional flat-screen television held up on the shop's wall with something like a football game or popular comedy playing. It was as if Eterna was a city build in both old and modern times. The thought astounded me.

Both Roxy and Lufa, who were walking along beside me, seemed in awe as well. Lufa, however, looked a bit nervous. I guessed that she wasn't used to actually entering the city. In the wild, most Pokemon probably tried to avoid it at all costs. Courteously, I reached my arms down to her and lifted the Buizel onto my shoulder. She seemed satisfied. Why was I trying to be so pleasing to her? Probably still felt some guilt like I had the day before.

There it was, at last. The Gym. We stared up at it, excited and prepared. This was it.

"Welcome to the Eterna Gym!" a voice rang out over an intercom just as we entered, "I will be waiting for you to battle me, but first you have to find where I am!"

"Wha?" I asked. But no reply came, and so I began devising a plan. The Gym was covered in trees and plants, making it like a lively rainforest. It was like a greenhouse! It probably was, otherwise there wouln't be enough plants growing to cover over the windows. Plants... There was agood idea!

"Roxy, use Ember! Burn all the plants you find!" I shouted. The Growlithe nodded and turned to the nearest bush. But just as she opened her mouth, the voice came back from the intercom.

"No, wait! Don't do that! The plants are there so trainers have to find their way through them to get to me! But it was a good strategy... I'll be straight ahead of you."

With a slick smile, I nodded to my two Pokemon. We then pushed through the green would-be maze, until it began to clear unexpectedly. There, standing on a platform large enough for a battle, was the Gym Leader, holding a microphone. Her clothing was just the same as this city, half-old and half-modern. While it was dyed and styled somewhat like most clothes I knew were, it had that olden and worn look to it that clothes from the past bore.

"Well, there you are," she greeted cheerfully, "Got two Pokemon? We'll make it two-on-two. I'm Gardenia, by the way."

"I'm Phoebe," I replied, stepping unsurely into the red-outlined trainer box on the opposite side of the arena from Gardenia. This battling platform was just like the arena back at school, but this was my first Gym Battle as well.

"Okay, Phoebe. I'll send out... Grotle!"

She flung a red-and-white Pokeball into the air, and in a burst of white light, a green-colored turtle appeared. It looked up at me challengingly, shaking the bushlike plant growths on its back and uttering a mild snarl. It was obviously a Grass-Type (not hard to imagine, as this was a Grass-Gym). Roxy would do better than Lufa for sure. She seemed to feel my thoughts, and barked as she darted onto the field. Gardenia's grin curved into a sneaky smirk. Had I made a mistake? I wasn't keen to find out.

"Roxy, quick! Try, um... Flare Blitz!" I called. I knew Growlithes could learn that, but I wasn't sure if Roxy could use it yet. All I was aware of was that it was a Fire move that was probably stronger than Ember.

My loyal canine turned to me and nodded, and I saw a fiery glint in her eyes. Was that some sort of hint of determination? I thought it was, until this flare was clear as daylight, and both eyes were very visibly glowing with fire. The next second she was darting across the field, fire blazing across her body. Grotle looked tough, but not at all fast. It merely stood there as if knowing a dodge wouldn't work anyways as the Growlithe rammed it head-on. Orange flames licked at its hide, and despite that hide's thickness, it was dull and blackened when Roxy's fire cleared away. Gardenia's Grotle looked very wounded, but ready for a counter blow. Roxy seemed tired out from her first time using Flare Blitz as well. I gritted my teeth and only hoped that this wouldn't be that bad.

"Okay, Grotle! Show 'em what we've got and use Earthquake!" commanded my foe. Her Pokemon didn't hesitate to obey. It growled deeply and pounded its forepaws into the ground powerfully, sending a wave of earth-shattering ripples straight at Roxy. I was aware that Earthquake was a Ground-Type move, and would thuse deal a harsh blow to Roxy if it hit. I had to prevent that...

"Roxy, jump over it!"

Roxy leapt over the first passing tremor with a frantic bark, but the next hit her as soon as her paws touched the ground. I watched in horror as my tiny companion fell victim to the attack. The floor was in broken tatters around her, slashing up and slamming into her, bringing up several helpless yelps from her throat. What could I do? now Roxy was out for sure, and Lufa wouldn't manage against Grotle. Of course, maybe I could still get it out somehow.

"Come on, Roxy! Use Ember! You can do it!"

The Growlithe managed to summon forth a flurry of fire and spit it across the field at the unsuspecting Grotle. the flames apparently did a lot of damage, as they burned right into the leafy bushes on its back. The turtle-creature screamed in pain and the Earthquake ripples faded away and the floor sealed back up like magic, freeing Roxy.

Grotle collapsed to the ground, its bush-crested back still ablaze with the weak flames. While Gardenia recalled it, Roxy attempted to stand, but I could see the fatigue in her eyes. She simply could not handle the force of that Earthquake. I pulled a Pokeball from my belt; the one the Pokemon Center had given me upon taking Roxy. She'd never been inside it. In fact, she'd never been inside any Pokeball as far as I knew. But I couldn't just leave her hurt and unable to fight out here. That was for sure.

"Roxy... return," I weakly said. She didn't even seem surprised. Red light enveloped her form, and she was then absorbed into the orb I held in my hand. Strange, how Pokeballs worked. I was now holding my first Pokemon in my palm. Quickly I shoved the ball back down and hooked it onto my special Pokeball-belt, before realizing what I had to do now. Gardenia would definately send out another Grass Pokemon, and all I had left was the Water-Type Buizel, Lufa. Damn it, I cursed to myself.

The Pokemon that appeared in front of Gardenia next stood tall and proud. Creamy-colored fur covered its foxlike body, and its eyes were a deep brown. Most peculiar about it though were the leaves that grew out of its body; a few on each heel, and three larger ones to form its ears and a tail. It had a sassy look about it, as if to say, I know I'm cool.

"Lufa... Do you wanna do this? It'd be your first battle, and against a Grass Pokemon. If you want I could just--"

"Yeah right! Leave this to me. I know what I'm doing."

The Buizel lunged forward, her lithe form seeming to flow through the air as she moved. All that grace would likely mean nothing though in a battle like this. Did she really stand a chance?

"Leafeon," began Gardenia, addressing her foxlike Pokemon, "Energy Ball! Let's go!"

The Pokemon called Leafeon closed its eyes and began forming a green glowing sphere right above its head. Judging by its color, I was guessing that it was a Grass move, which wouldn't agree with Lufa any more than Earthquake had with Roxy. Yet, unlike in Roxy's situation, Lufa could easily dodge it. In fact, the way I'd seen her dodge with Roxy, she'd likely have no trouble at all.

Leafeon's "Energy Ball" was about the size of a basketball when it suddenly was flung forth by an ear. Yet Lufa, without command, effortlessly bounded to the side, letting the attack pop like a bubble on a nearby wall. Leafeon bared its teeth and growled sharply. Lufa merely glanced back. I'm even cooler.

I was about to tell her an attack, but she moved before I had the chance, headed straight for Leafeon. It wouldn't have time to charge another Energy Ball, but surely it could use something else...

Lufa jumped at her foe and bit it square in the shoulder. What is she thinking?! I asked myself, Putting herself in danger just for a lousy Bite? She could attack from afar at least!

But then Leafeon started to freeze up, eyes wide, as if its muscles were locked. I caught a glimpse of Lufa's teeth embedded in the fur then. They were shining with crystal-blue energy. Of course. Not Bite. Ice Fang. And it had struck right on the back, which was connected to the spinal cord, which controlled signals to the whole body. As long as Lufa had her teeth in Leafeon's fur, it couldn't do anything to stop her.

"Okay, Lufa!" I called, "Let go and use Headbutt!"

The Buizel shook herself loose and obeyed, ramming Leafeon with the crest on her head glowing slightly, just as she had with Roxy in the woods. This must've knocked the fox back to its senses, because as soon as she attacked it was able to stike her with the leaves on the heel of its right forepaw, leaving a cut on Lufa's flank. Leaf Blade. These Pokemon knew more advanced moves than expected.

"Ice Fang, again!" The attack had stunned Leafeon for a moment before. This was a strong advantage against Gardenia, and even if Leaf Blade had hit and clearly hurt Lufa, the trick was worth using.

But before Lufa could strike again, Gardenia recalled her Pokemon. Leafeon vanished in a flash, and the Gym Leader was holding a badge in her hand.

"What?" I asked, confused.

"That was another good trick," she told me, "But maybe a bit dangerous. You see, Leafeon, as a Grass-Type, is extremely weak to Ice Moves. So, Ice Fang hitting her spine like that repetitively might actually cause some permanent damage... Anyways, I forfiet, and that gives you a badge. Just be a bit more careful. Lighting a Gym full of plants on fire and using Ice Fang like that might get you in some trouble in the future..."

"Uh... thanks," I said, taking the tiny, gleaming piece from her hand. Lufa bounded over to me and lunged back onto my shoulder. I left the Gym the way I'd come.

"What was that for?" I asked Lufa, "You could've actually hurt Leafeon!"

"I didn't really know. All I knew was Ice beats Grass. And you're the one that told me to do it again."

"But..." I stopped myself. She was right. It was only a mistake. That and my plan with Roxy back when Gardenia was hiding. Roxy... "We need to get to the Pokemon Center," I stated.

"Wow. You think? I've got a green gash in my side and Roxy probably can't even stand..." replied Lufa sarcastically. I gave her a glare that eventually broke into a laugh. I was beginning to like her personality, somehow.

"Hey, girl!" a childish voice called from behind me. I turned to see a group of three kids standing on the sidewalk, looking at me admiringly.

"Uh... yeah?"

"We saw your Gym battle through the windows! That was tight!" said one of them, a young boy with a Pichu by his side.

"We've been tryin' to find a trainer to dare," said the one who had called me.

"What's the dare?" I asked. Why do I care? Wel... what could it hurt to find out?

"Old Chateau. Stay the night up in there."

"Old Chateau?"

"Yeah, you know. That old house up by Eterna Forest. Everyone says it's haunted, and that people die when they go in there at night. We're tryin' to find out if that's true, but we're too scared to go in there."

Eterna Forest... The challenge-ready competitive spirit rose inside me. This was juvinile. A stupid dare by little kids. Yet, it seemed so inviting. Haunted houses? I didn't believe such things existed. So why not just humor them? It would be no problem. And I was headed for Eterna Forest anyways...

"Alright," I replied.

"Wha?"

"I said alright. I'll do it."

"No way."

"I said I'll do it, okay?" I growled. Lufa snarled a bit on my shoulder, which shut him up. He' obviosouly seen what she'd done to Leafeon. To these kids, I was probably a truly tough and great trainer. The thought felt a bit odd, so I discarded it quickly.

"See you there then. Eight-o-clock. And you'd better show up," one of them said. And then they left.

BakingBluePotatoe
March 17th, 2008, 01:13 PM
oh, wow... Buizel defeated Leafeon? Wow...

this is STILL my fave fic so far.

New Age Retro Hippie
March 17th, 2008, 06:27 PM
Oh well. Deception and revenge are always good >:D

Now... These four chapters. You're being a bit rushy, huh? Allow people some time to have a good look and decide if they want to continue reading and review. And by the time chapter eleven comes, you'll be hard-pressed to continue at this rate.

I like the fact you made the Pokémon more realistic than their, say, anime counterparts. The anime ones have a scent of bubbly 20's cartoon on it. Lufa seems to be a good mix, indeed, Buizels are awesome (I even have one in an URPG story on PE2K... The Orange). Again, it feels a bit rushed, particularly the getting to Gardenia bit. But, I'll still be readin'~!

(You can find spellcheckers on the net)

iLike2EatPiez
March 21st, 2008, 02:03 PM
I did notice how rushy it all came out... Not sure why it was going by like that, but thanks for pointing it out. Anyways... This pair of chapters is rather long, so it'd probably be best to read 'em if you've got a lot of time on your hands...

______________pie_________________

.:Chapter Eight:.
The Dark Night

~Phoebe~

Indeed all three of the kids were there when I approached the Old Chateau, which was just touching the welcoming lips of the Eterna Forest. Half of me was longing to keep walking, straight into the wilderness, and forget all about this. But the other half, the part of me that obsessed over challenges and proving others wrong, was stronger.

"I'll bet you're real scared," sneered one of them. I glared at him. He was the one with the Pichu, which had its big diamond-shaped ears tilted down and a worried look in its round eyes. Pokemon were supposed to take on the feelings of their trainers or owners, no matter how concealed those feelings may be.

"Don't be hypocritical and say you're not," I replied. I didn't expect any of these kids to know what 'hypocritical' meant, but it seemed that the message had gotten through.

"Well, we'll be back in the morning. How about... eight?" he asked, changing the subject.

"Fine with me."

"Good. We'll see if you really are such a kickass trainer when- and if -you come outta there!"

I hadn't expected him to curse; sure, kids back at school did it all the time, but they were older. These three looked about seven or eight. It wasn't all that surprising though, all the same.

I began walking toward the Old Chateau. Now that I got to see it, it really did look a bit haunted. The walls were made of blackened wood, which looked as if it had been lit on fire and plagued by mold. Creaky shutters moved ever so slowly on the windows, creaking back and forth, back and forth... A single gnarled tree in the front of the house seemed to be reaching out at me, greedy fingers just daring me to go on. Despite all this though, I simply kept on going, until I came to a door which hung half-open, and entered the house. It slammed behind me; it could have been the kids or the wind. No going back now.

The place was pitch black, but otherwise unfrightening. I didn't hear strange sounds or anything at least. But, since I couldn't see anything, I knew it was time to send out my Pokemon.

"Roxy, Lufa!" I called as I pulled out their Pokeballs. The two of them apeared with a bright flash, and looked up at me anxiously as darkness came back to everything.

"Yeah?" asked Roxy.

"Use Ember to light this place up a bit. Just a steady and weak flame."

She obeyed as Lufa took her position on my shoulder. The cackling flare of yellow flame revealed what looked like a house that had been plowed through by a rampaging Charizard. Some bookshelves were standing or on the floor, eaten away if not just broken, and the books they once held lay in tumbled piles all scattered about. A staircase went up some ways away, and a doorway through which I could see no more seemed to be embedded into a wall. There were one or two broken windows with the creaking shutters. Not to mention the dust. It coated everything, quite visibly. This was an aged house if anything was.

"You can let it up now," I told Roxy, not wanting to exhaust her, "You don't seem upset about the Pokeball thing..." This was the first time I'd let her out of the ball since she entered it.

"It isn't so bad. Really. It's just like going to sleep. Besides, you needed to do it then. Feel free to use it whenever you'd like."

"Well... cool, then," I replied.

"Where are we though? And why, exactly?"

I explained the situation to her, and she listened intently. When I finished, she gave me a courageous look.

"Well, I'm up for it if you two are."

Lufa nodded. I knew I didn't need to. She would know I was. And so, with Roxy's flames lighting the way, we walked on into the black doorway and into a wide dining room. There, we slumped down and waited, not knowing what in particular we were waiting for.

~Lufa~

By now it was really starting to get to me: why the heck were we here? Sure, I'd seen and heard the whole situation, but it all was starting to seem so stupid to me. What did Phoebe care if some little kids thought this place was haunted? Why would we want to go out of our way to worry about it? I shrugged the thoughts away though. What's it matter? I asked myself, It's better than straggling through the woods alone. In fact, it's a bit fun.

The adventurous side of me was taking hold now. If I'd stayed in the wild, I'd never be able to do this kind of thing. Sure, sitting in a dark and dusty old human-nest wasn't exactly that great as far as the concepts of fun or excitement went, but it was a unique experience.

Since when did I look at anything like that? Two days with a human and I'm already starting to think like one!

I was about to laugh to myself when Roxy suddenly bolted up. Phoebe, upon noticing, turned as well, and I was tempted to do the same. The instinctual feeling of an ominous presense rose. I felt it. Roxy obviously felt it. Phoebe probably did too, but being a human, it couldn't be nearly a strong in her as it was in us. According to the old tales that elders in the clans told, humans lost their instinct long ago, and though it still speaks to them, its voice is merely a whisper.

"What is it?" I asked.

"Something bad," growled Roxy.

Then, from out of nowhere, it came. Phoebe didn't seem to notice, but we did. We couldn't see, hear, touch, or smell it, but we knew it was there. Roxy's flames lashed from her mouth in its direction, and it darted to the side. It was a purple-black ball of floating gas, only, it had huge eyes and a fanged mouth. The sight unnerved me, but I bravely looked up. No way a puny Ghost Pokemon was gonna get to me!

"GASTLY," an electronic and emotionless voice chimed. I looked down to see Phoebe with a silvery metallic device, from which the voice was coming. "These Pokemon's bodies are completely composed of gaseous matter. While they appear hostile, they can merely be blown away by a small gust of wind. They are also often frightened by light."

"Well, if light'll mess with it..." Phoebe thought aloud, "Roxy, use Ember! Just flare it up to scare it off though."

Fire flashed from the Growlithe's mouth, and the Gastly cowered back, groaning with irritation. A few moments of silence passed as we stood there, never letting our guards down. It could easily come back.

Just as we suspected it was okay, the sense of dark presense came again. Only this time, it was incredibly immense. Roxy's flames lit, and we saw a whole troop of the Gastlies, at least fifteen, swarming and cricling above, each glaring at us with agitated expressions.

"What do you want?" shouted Phoebe. They did nothing in reply. Roxy spat a stronger flame and they all scattered about, only to return in a few minutes as they had before.

"Take this, then!" I cried, shooting a jet of white water from my mouth. The stream flew through the air and dispersed the watchers, leaving them fluttering about pathetically, though the water never actually touched any of them. Back into the darkness they fled, only to return later and repeat the process.

"Whadda we do?" Roxy asked after frightening off another fleet of Gastlies.

"Well, we're all gonna need sleep," Phoebe replied, "Let's scare 'em off in shifts. The Pokedex has an alarm setting. Two of us can sleep while the other scares them off. Sound good?"

"Fine by me."

"Me too," I added.

And so Roxy decided to take the first shift. Phoebe and I drifted into discomforting dreams whilst she fended off the armada with her fire. When Phoebe's Pokedex woke us with a loud ringing sound, I took Roxy's place. My shift was over before too long, leaving Phoebe to pull off her jean jacket and flap it violently at the Gastlies, creating a wind that discouraged them in their watch. But, they weren't going to give up easily. The shifts kept on changing, and never did the Gastlies stop coming. We managed to last long enough though.

~Phoebe~

Arms were growing tired... I couldn't keep it up much longer with this jacket... Before I could control myself, I fell over. The Gastlies' eyes turned from a shiny white to a crimson red... and they swarmed at me...

I was unexpectedly woken from my dream by a loud noise. At first, I noticed that Lufa wasn't resting at my neck anymore. Then, I realized that the sound hadn't been the annoying ring of the Pokedex alarm. It had been a bark, actually. Not the half-ferocious, half-yappy bark of a Growlithe either. This bark was deep-throated, powerful, and all-ferocious.

My eyes flicked open immediately to a dazzling display of flames. They were immense! They danced through the air in their many-colored blaze of orange, red, yellow... More flames than I'd ever seen from Roxy, but that was the only place they could have come from...

Then the flames hissed out and the room became dark again. Why had they stopped? They were burning so brilliantly only a second ago. I saw it at that moment. A sillhouette so dark that it was even blacker than the pitch-black of the Old Chateau. A pair of eyes like those of the Gastlies, but like the eyes in my dream, a glowing, crimson red... And then I saw fangs, such large and demonic fangs, as the pupils of those alarming eyes became slit and white.

Flames lit again, with a flutter of movement from their creator. I finally saw what a beast this was in the light of its fire. An angry growl rumbled in its throat as the orange and black-striped fur seemed to glow in the blaze. A great mane, covering its head, its shoulders, its chest... Larger than any living creature I'd known in my life... And a fiery glint in its eye that showed me everything. The it was a she. And she was my dear Roxy.

"Gyenngarrr!!" hissed the red-eyed moster, holding up its clawed hands despite the fire swarming around it. An orb formed quickly in the hands, only instead of glowing, it emitted darkness. The fire around it seemed more dull and gray; the hands that held it were blacker than ever. It tossed this orb, straight at Roxy, and it forced her down in a second. She'd obviously been previously hurt. Now I saw the beast looming over her. fanged grin wide and menacing, as it raised an arm, a hand, an arsenal of dark claws...

"Stay away from her!!!"

From out of nowhere, a lithe shape burst into the scene, propelled by a wave of water. I knew it was Lufa. She flung herself at the creature, ready to strike, and crunched into it with her fangs. And no, she didn't Bite. She Crunched. She wasn't supposed to be able to use that tecnique for some time now.

Somehow, that beast shrunk down into the darkness, and was no more. And as it did, a faint hint of light broke into the room through what I found to be a window. That could only mean one thing: Morning was coming.

I forced myself over to the Pokemon who now lay on the floor. My Pokemon. My Roxy. Lufa stood up nearby, and appeared relatively unharmed. Roxy had to be my top priority.

An eye opened as I approached, showing me that she was alright. With incredible thankfulness and relief I let myself sink into that creamy mane of fur, so warm and welcoming. She was beautiful. Larger and redder and more powerful in appearance than any Arcanine I'd ever seen, be it in a picture or on television or in real life.

"I guess you won't be considered the little runt of the litter anymore," I laughed slightly, still uncertain if this was all another stupid dream.

"I had to use the Fire Stone," she whispered, "The Gengar... It was coming for you. I could just feel it... I had to save you."

"Well, you and Lufa did a good job with that," I replied. And we all drifted into exhausted sleep then. We were left undisturbed by the Ghost Pokemon.


.:Chapter Nine:.
Eterna Forest and the Blissey Trainer

~Roxy~

Luckilly Phoebe had some Potions in her bag to use on me when we woke up. They were strange things, merely containers made of hard plastic material. Yet when a trigger button was pushed in, a spray of clear liquid shot out. As soon as it touched my skin I felt relief. The cuts, gashes, and bruises I'd received from the full extent of the battle sealed up almost instantly, leaving the blood they'd leaked in tiny puddles on the groun that could not be explained by looking at me now. Lufa needed a few sprays as well, but she was far better off than I was.

More importantly though was my evolution. I initially had intended to wait a while longer to use the Stone, and my rasons were the same as they had been back on the mountain when we found the fiery treasure. But this situation called for it, as a Growlithe and a Buizel simply could not fight off a Gengar, yet an Arcanine and a Buizel had much more of a chance. I include Lufa because, quite obviously, without her I probably would not be awake and well right now. Surely I would not have died, but...

Now I felt so much more mature though. I was not a pup anymore, and never again would I be one. Now more than ever, chasing wild Starlies (an activity I'd once enjoyed) seemed incredibly juvinile, and being there for Phoebe and Lufa, my only two companions, seemed like the most important task I'd ever been faced with. So important, in fact, that if the opportunity had been necessary, I would have given my life to save them from the Gengar. Now that I had evolved, I realized the importance of them in my life. Without Phoebe, where would I be? If she'd never found me, I'd be dead on the streets. If she were to die suddenly, as mother had... I... I don't know what I would do.

"Roxy," Phoebe said, still leaning against my now-large body. I didn't mind. In fact, I felt that I was protecting her.

"Yes?"

"What happened to you? I mean, before I found you. You didn't seem like an ordinary stray. You just... didn't."

"My mother was... We were in the woods. A man with a strange weapon killed her. I ran as fast as I could... I thought he was after me as well. Then I got lost on the streets. And then you found me..."

"That's... That's terrible..."

"Ever since I have had a nervous wariness around humans. But I've grown used to you. As long as you don't seem afraid, I will remain calm. And if you don't feel right around someone, I will make sure they stay away. I can't lose you like I did mother..."

Phoebe seemed too moved to speak. And, she didn't have to. Because a particular ringing sound erupted from the calm and quiet. It was eight-o'-clock.

"Lufa," Phoebe cooed to the Buizel that slept peacefully beside her. Lufa half-opened one eye with a soft "Chr-r-r...", stirring just slightly. "Come on. It's time to get up."

"Alright, alright... Actually... Could I just sleep some more on your shoulder? I'm still so tired..."

Phoebe nodded with a laugh, pulling up her Pokemon, who hung limply in her hands as if she were dead. Finally, it was time to leave.

~Phoebe~

Those kids were definately surprised to see us come out of that house. That or, maybe they'd just never seen an Arcanine before. Even if they had, Roxy was huge, even for an Arcanine. Very odd considering how small she had been as a Growlithe. But whatever the case, all three kids (and the Pichu) were there, and all three kids (and the Pichu) had an amazed expression on their faces.

"H-How'd you do it?"

"Your Growlithe evolved!"

"What happened?!"

Roxy quieted them all with a deep and rumbling growl. I just kind of enjoyed the pleasure of seeing them all close their mouths in fear because of my Pokemon. Heh. What a sick and power-loving fool I was!

"Well, I can't tell you," I lied, wanting to have a bit of fun with them, " The leader of the Ghost Pokemon told me never tell anyone about it, no matter what, or he'll hunt me down and kill me. The only way you'll ever find out is if you someday decide to spend the night in the Old Chateau. All I can say is, it's real scary, and real dangerous."

The kids now seemed more frightened than ever, their eyes wide and bodies shivering visibly. Except for the kid with the Pichu.

"You're lying!" he cried.

"Well, why don't you go on in there tonight if you're so sure it's a lie?" I asked. And while the boy seemed bold, he definately wasn't bold enough to risk that. He stepped back in humiliation.

"Where ya' goin' now?" asked one of them.

"Into the forest, never to return," I replied, still wanting to mess around. I wasn't sure why I was so tempted to tell light-hearted lies to these innocent and all-believeing children, but it was fun, at least.

"Never?"

"Nuh-uh. Not even in a hundred years."

"Why?"

"Can't tell you that either."

"Why not?"

"Just because. That's the way it is."

And with that, I left, not waiting for their reply. The green opening in the trees called to me, daring me to explore its world. And then, in the next few seconds, I had disappeared into the Eterna Forest.

~Lufa~

All around were the trees, so green and brilliant. I'd heard myths about this place. In the Clan, it was told of as a place of legend; one that few ever saw because of the human settlement in its path. Those that did find it though, were said to be granted eternal life. I remember when I believed that legend. Back whan I had hopes of finding the Eterna Forest and coming back to the Clan, never to fall victim to death's cold jaws. That now seemed so stupid. Had I really matured this much already?

Phoebe's hair covered my back as I bobbed back and forth on her shoulder. From this height I could see a bit better than I would have been able to down below with my belly against the ground. This place was interesting. Dark-feathered, yellow-beaked birds hung in the shadows of some tree canopies. Most were sleeping, but the occasional one had open eyes and a red glare that seemed to follow me. Oh yes, I recalled these Pokemon as well. The Clan called them Dusk-Talons, the Birds of the Night. Sometimes they came from the forest and preyed upon the youg cubs. Supposedly they were supposed to--

No, I stopped myself. What was going on in my mind, really? I... Do I miss the Clan? ... They wouldn't let me back anyways. But it was... home... Bah! I need to stop thinking about it! Who needs them? Soon I'll be stronger than even the Leader.

"And then what?" asked a voice in the back of my head. My mind was silent for a moment or two, only disturbed by Phoebe's steps and the crimson stare of a Murkrow overhead.

... And then I'll return and show them all. I'm no weakling. I'm no immature fool.

"How do you think Phoebe will take it? There's more to your story than you told her, and you know it."

Perhaps I will let her know later. But for now... I'll focus on whatever she needs me to do. It's her who's gonna make me the best I can be, not myself.

And we continued into the woods.

~Phoebe~

This really was the place of my dreams. I loved nature, and this was like a haven of it. Life was everywhere, the insects, the birds, the trees, even the air... It all seemed to be one organism, and we were merely some sort of bacteria passing through its inner systems. Every time it breathed, I felt it with a pulse from its being. Every time I breathed, I knew I was inhaling oxygen that was crisp fresh from the plants that surrounded all.

I sighed with pleasure. The journey here had been worth it. Who cared where I went afterwards? Maybe I really would just stay in the Eterna Forest forever...

"Hey. You," someone called. I opened my eyes and looked up, suddenly uncertain of the time (perhaps I'd dozed a bit). There stood a woman, somewhere in her twenties, with a tough appearance, though her face was kind and gentle. I could tell just by looking at her (not even seeing the Pokeball-belt at her waist) that she was a trainer. And a trainer probably meant a challenge.

"Hm?" I asked, as if speaking too loudly would disturb the peaceful rhythm of the forest.

"If you don't mind, er, I've just finished a bit of training with my Pokemon and I'd like to see how it performs in battle," she replied. Then, with a slight widening of her eyes, "Oh, and I've got the best healing Potions too! I wouldn't want you to have to rush to the nearest town with no Pokemon for protection. Especially at night here..."

"Thanks," I said, thankful for the hospitality, "Whaddaya say, guys? Up for a battle?"

"Bui!" squeaked Lufa. Roxy merely nodded her great maned head.

"Excellent!" the woman said, "Well... Come on out, Fey!"

She tossed a black Pokeball with intrecate red and yellow markings on it (a kind of ball I'd never seen before) into the air. It split open, but instead of the usual white light that burst out of most balls, a flash of pink and gold poured from the device, followed by a spiralling flurry of hearts that danced in the air a bit before fading away. The Pokemon revealed was a strange one indeed, light pink in color with some white areas, and a pouch on its tummy which contained a rather-large egg. It opened its pair of oblong eyes and smiled sweetly. I had to admit, it was rather cute.

"What kind of Pokemon is it?" I asked, deciding to just find out with the trainer than to pop out my Pokedex.

"He's a Blissey. Don't be fooled; he may look cute, but he won't be cute at all when your Pokemon are worn out and he's still got plenty of energy left!"

I smirked at this. "We'll see about that, then. Go on, Lufa!" She needed the training more than Roxy did.

With an eager chutter, the weasel flung herself into action, taking an aggressive pose and glaring across the grassy clearing at her foe.

"Not too reckless, now," I cautioned, remembering the events in the Eterna Gym.

"Oh, I don't think that would make a difference," the other trainer replied, "Fey, get ready! Remember what we trained for!"

The Blissey nodded and stood up, making himself appear quite sturdy and planted to the ground. Lufa growled with fierce readiness.

"Go! Aqua Jet!" I commanded suddenly.

My Buizel cried out as a hovering puddle of water bgean forming behind her. Within a second, she was darting at Blissey, and the water splashed and spun behind her in a trail of propelling power. She rammed into the pink Pokemon, who swayed with the force of the blow. However, Fey didn't appear to be hurt at all. Lufa, clearly upset by this, used the air and speed she'd gained in her Aqua Jet attack to strike with Bite, Headbutt, and then Ice Fang. Yet the Blissey seemed to merely absorb them all, and when Lufa fell to the ground with exhaustion, he gave an energetic smile.

"Get up! Quick, before he attacks!"

"Thunderbolt, Fey!"

Before Lufa could as much as rise from the ground, Fey had lifted his short, stubby arms, and a wave of yellow-tinted electricity flew from the tiny paws. This hit Lufa hard and left her electricuted and shivering on the grass below her attacker. At first, I thought she was done. After all, so far all the super-effective hits I'd seen had pretty much wiped out the Pokemon they hit. But I guess I underestimated Lufa's toughness. She rose. It was with quite an effort, but she managed anyways.

In an unexpected burst, she shot a blast of water from her mouth and onto Fey, which shot her all the way backwards, where she landed in front of me. Quite clearly though, she was weak and breathing raspilly. She wouldn't be able to keep this up much longer.

"Lufa, try another Water Gun. That thing does't look like it can shoot its Thunderbolt too far, and I don't want you having to deal with another one," I told her.

The Buizel growled sharply at Fey, and tried to raise her head for the attack, but suddenly snapped down, wincing with pain. My head reeled with bits of information I'd learned in school. What was this?

"Paralyzis is a common aftereffect of Electric attacks. It keeps the Pokemon from moving easily, and slows them down greatly. Be wary of it, as it could spell disaster for the fate of the battle."

I cursed to myself in fury. How am I gonna handle this one?!

"Fey, she's paralyzed! You know what to do when she attacks again!" called the Blissey-trainer. Fey nodded with a confident glint in his eye. Whatever they were planning, I had to merely guess and try to think around it.

"Lufa, do you think you can attack?" I asked.

"I'm feeling weak but... I'm pretty sure I can pull it off," she growled.

"Good. Then use Water Gun from this distance."

This time there was a bit of strained effort, but Lufa managed to pull herself together and fire the attack. The jet of water flew through midair toward its target, who merely stood there looking vacant. Could this blow really matter? They sure didn't seem concerned enough...

"Seisemic Toss!" the trainer suddenly called. Fey once again raised his arms, but this time no sparks flew from them. Instead, they lit up with a white glow, and then slammed down into the Water Gun.

Apparently this attack of Lufa's was a prime conductor for all sorts of other attacks. Thunder Fang, and now Seisemic Toss, had fluttered and rippled through it, as if it were a clear-shot path back to Lufa. This blow was too much. It came back at Lufa, right in her jaw, and flung her back and at the ground, where she fell and did not rise. She was out.

"You did great," I said to the limp Buizel as she faded away in the red gleam of the Pokeball I held in my hand. "I'm proud of you."

"I guess it's time to see what your Arcanine can do, then," said my opponent.

"We will see," Roxy murmured as she walked in front of me. Now I really got a grasp on her size. I was over five feet tall, and she, on all fours, stood about just as high at her shoulders. What an immense beast. It was incredible that only yesterday she had been so small I could carry her in my arms with ease.

"You mean, my two Pokemon just against Fey?" I asked, "Is that fair?"

"Oh, it might even be unfair to you. But I'm enjoying this battle so far. Let's just find out what happens."

"Alright, then. Roxy, Flamethrower!"

Yet again my Pokemon surprised me with a Fire attack I'd never guess she could use at this point in time. Sun-shaded flames poured from her open mouth and licked across the air, eventually coming to Fey's body and lashing hungerly at him. They soon cleared away, however, as Roxy's first Flamethrower was a young and inexperienced one. In their place stood Fey, who still did not appear in the least bit fatigued. Perhaps a bit singed, but seemingly unaffected by it. This was odd. I knew Roxy had much to learn about her Flamethrower's abilities, but surely it would have done more damage than that. Then, it hit me.

"No more Special attacks, Roxy! Use Flare Blitz!"

She was up and running beofre Fey could react. Her flaming body hit him, and as she dodged back, he had a different look about him. For the first time, Fey was showing signs of pain. His eyes were half-closed, and his teeth were gritted tightly together. Not to mention the furious burn-mark on his side. It began to grow more and more intensely red suddenly, visibly weakining him, and then it dulled back to a cloudy gray.

"You're burned, Fey!" my opponent yelled, "We'll need to finish this fast! Try a Safeguard!"

"Don't let him get it up quick enough! Thunder Fang, Roxy!"

The Blissey closed his eyes in focus, but Roxy was yet again too fast for him. I was beginning to take advantage of my Pokemon's speed and his inability to move at all quickly. Soon I saw the electricity charging through his body, and for a moment I thought he was paralyzed. Perhaps he was. But when his Safeguard flew up, it was as if all Roxy's efforts and her chain of attacks were ruined. A blue-tinted transparent orb surrounded Fey, blasting Roxy back a bit and keeping her from further damaging him.

A few moments of time dripped by. A light whizzing hum could be heard from Fey's forcefield, like some sort of electrical device. No one said anything. Just waited...

Then, there was a flicker in the Safeguard. Then another. I looked closely at Fey, and realized almost instantly that it was his burn. The wound sapped at his strength and weakened his protective shield. Roxy could attack again. I didn't even need to command her.

"Damn! I knew I should've taught him Aromatherapy!" hissed Fey's trainer. Fire and electricity hissed about, and finally, it was over. Fey fell to the ground in a weak and crippled heap. I had won the battle.

There was no hesitation with the Potions. She pulled them out of her bag faster than I would have thought possible, and demanded to see Lufa and Roxy. Finally, when all of that was taken care of, we could talk for a bit.

"How can Fey do that?" I asked.

"Do what?"

"Last for so long. I mean, he looks stocky and tough, but not that tough. Most Pokemon can't take near as many hits as he did. And what's with his weakness to Physical attacks but not Special attacks?"

"Well, for one, he's a Blissey. They're known for their high enduarance, but for some reason they simply cannot take a decent Physical hit. And, I trained him specially for that purpose."

"How?"

"It's a newly-researched method of Pokemon training. You see, every time a Pokemon battles, its mind collects fighting skills the opponent used, whether it knows it or not. It's simply part of their mental programming. So, if you pick and choose the Pokemon you battle, you can devise a Pokemon suitable for any purpose you'd like."

"What did Fey battle then for training?"

"If you must know, Bidoofs and Tentacools. Seemingly weak Pokemon, yes, but if you closely analyze their instinctual battling behavior, they tend to be more on the defensive than the offensive. Not to mention their endurance. Add that on top of the already-enduarant Blissey, and you have one heck of a hard-to-beat Pokemon."

I pondered upon this in awe for a moment. This meant Roxy and Lufa had developed fighting skills from all the many of their foes. Roxy battled Cosmo, Emma's Ralts. Gardenia's Grass Pokemon. Gengar. Now even Fey. It was an impressive concept, but to train by it... I couldn't help but feel a little strange about that.

"Why not just train them against many different Pokemon?" I asked, "They'd gain varied experience and learn how to battle with multiple tactics."

"Not quite," the trainer replied, "Take your Arcanine for example. If you raised her offensive ability and her speed, she'd be great at effectively handling Pokemon that have a hard time taking hits. But even if you aimed for her to have high defensive ability, she's an Arcanine. They aren't built to take hits. They're predatory Pokemon built to kill, and thus deal damage. No matter what, she'll have decent offense, but you can't possibly balance it out with her other abilities."

"I see. So, are you saying I should be training the way you are with Fey? Would that make her the best she can be? More importantly, what do Pokemon think of it?"

"Most people make it by fine without ever training like I do. Fey enjoys it; don't know what Roxy'd have to say about it though. I'd say do what you'd like..." She was quiet for a moment, as if deep in thought. "You know what? There's someone you should meet. He lives on an island north of Canalave City. You know where that is, right?"

I nodded, recalling a certain location on the far western edge of Sinnoh. It was a port town. A city of sea and stone. A place I'd wanted to see on my journey, not quite like Eterna Forest, but interesting all the same.

"Who is this exactly?"

"No one famous or anything. Just a guy you should meet. May learn a thing or two," Fey's trainer replied. She seemed by now in a hurry to be off, so I did not want to bother her much more.

"Okay, then. Thanks for the battle!"

"No problem. I'm the one who should be thanking you, actually, seeing as I asked for it"

"I guess so," I laughed. As she walked away into the woods, I pondred on what she had said. Canalave City... Well, sounds like a new destination for us!

New Age Retro Hippie
March 21st, 2008, 03:13 PM
Ah, again good. I do think Roxy's evolution was a little premature, perhaps a new move could've handled that. The wave of Gastly attacks, though an original concept, became a little repetitious over time. Perhaps throw in some Haunters and Misdreavouses to the mix. I really liked how Phoebe messed with the kids' minds, that induced a chuckle. One major problem is... I do not believe there are male Blissey or anything in that line ^.^;;

iLike2EatPiez
March 25th, 2008, 01:49 PM
Oh yeah! I meant to change that as soon as I remembered it (which was, of course with my luck, when I finished the chapter), but somehow I must have forgotten... Oh well. Hopefully it's getting better. Roxy's evolution was intended to be surprising, but I did notice how soon it seemed. Thanks again for the chapter-review.

Also, here's chapters Ten (eleven's got a bit of adding to do), meaning I need to get back to writing! Hopefully I'll manage to put all that good advice to use. Here's where a bit of the dark side of the fic comes in...

________________pie_____________________________

.:Chapter Ten:.
Rescued

~Orion~

How can these people do what they do? They hurt... They steal... They destroy... They're no better than pirates! So much less than predators, like the ones back at home, in the woods, yet so much more evil and twisted...

Why must I obey them? Why, oh why do I have to do their sick, sick bidding?! Well, I know why. That's obvious. But why can't I be more resistant to pain, or they be more sympathetic? I was torn from my trainer and beaten until I bled every time I disobeyed them. They still do it every day to unsuspecting Pokemon living wild and with trainers of their own. They take people's Pokemon. They take people's friends. It is the worst crime I can imagine. And then they put us through what is worse than death.

Damn, damn, damn! I would give anything to evolve, just so I'd have the claws to slash my own throat! So I'd be able to end this and stop helping these disgusting people! But no... I'm stuck as I am, too helpless to commit suicide and too weak to win a battle. It's pathetic.

Just as I began thinking I'd never come out of the Pokeball, a familiar sensation overcame me. Consciousness was given a body. Darkness was turned to light. I found myself standing on grass and facing a determined-looking Buizel. Her fur was bristling up as she growled threateningly. This was my foe. It was time for to battle. Arceus damn it!*

"Chrrrna-chk!" she chuttered in a rodent-like voice. You're never gonna take us!

You're probably right, I sighed. At this, I saw the confusion in her eyes, but she remained in an attacking position, all the same. She had focus. Even better. I wanted to lose.

At a command from her trainer, the Buizel lunged at me and bared her now-glowing teeth. Ice Fang. Of course.

"Dodge it, you stupid plant!" roared my so-called "trainer". Why should I obey that? Besides, I could get away with it this time and make it look like an accident; Shroomish aren't exactly very fast Pokemon, especially not in comparrison to a Buizel. So I made it look like I was trying to run on my rediculously pathetic excuses for legs (which were really just feet attatched to my body). Then, I felt her fangs sink into my thin flesh. Terrible, mind-shattering cold erupted all through my body, spreading faster than sound from the bite, to the blood, to everything else. It almost made me want to fight back. But as soon as she bit me, she let go, coughing and spitting madly. I had something else in my body other than just blood. I had Effect Spores, a useful thing in the wild, but not here. Damn it, again!

"Lufa, hang in there!" the Buizel's trainer called. Lufa. So she had a name. I remembered when I had a name. That was also when I had a trainer, but now it was all meaningless. So depressing...

"I said Bullet Seed, for the love of Mew! Attack it! Now!" my trainer barked, along with a stream of cursewords.

Coming back to my senses, I realized what I was doing again. Oh yeah. Trying to beat up a trainer's Pokemon so they could be stolen. Of course. And unlike in the dodging issue, I was fully capable to using Bullet Seed. No choice but to obey.

A fury of seeds hit her, and she winced helplessly, but it was apparent that the Effect Spores were taking effect as she drifted into unnatural, uncontrolled sleep. I sighed. There went another trainer's Pokemon. Maybe I'd see Lufa again sometime, being beaten, or forced to obey as I was. Perhaps she would be able to take it well. Or, perhaps not. On second thought, I'd never met any Pokemon who'd taken it well.

"Lufa, return!" the trainer of the Buizel called as her Pokemon vanished with a pang of light. My eyes widened. She was recalling her Pokemon! I would be forced to attack her! But... why wasn't I given that command immediately? Soon I saw why. The reason was stepping right from the trainer's side in the form of a gigantic foe. It took Lufa's place in front of me and roared loudly, spitting a small jet of flame from its mouth. The reason was an Arcanine. I didn't know whether to be overjoyed or terrified.

Hey, I told her weakly, You can... You can take it a bit easy on me, right?

Listen, she growled, in a cooperative tone to my surprise, I can tell you're not fighting for this guy because you want to. You don't have a love for him. There's no friendship. There's no bond.

Your point?

That's what a real trainer - like mine - should give their Pokemon. I'll battle you for a while, but I promise I'll be as light on you as possible. Then I'll figure out some way to get you freed.

My heart skippd a beat. What?

You heard me! Now start attacking or it'll seem suspicious!

"Stun Spore!"

I obeyed.

"Flamethrower!"

She obeyed.

Of course, my little yellow puffs of powder were fried instantly upon contact from the Arcanine's orange flame. The fire burned toward me. I felt its heat beating against my flesh. Every nerve in my body demanded that I run. But I knew I couldn't, and I had to resist.

"Shruuuu!" I screamed, lit up in flames. The pain was immense. Everwhere, my whole body, my whole being... If this was taking it easy on me, then I'd hate to fall victim to a real Flamethrower attack! Despite the urges that now told me to give in to exhaustion... No. Not despite them. I wanted to obey them. What could stop me? The Arcanine said we just needed to look like we were battling and I needed to take some damage. Then she'd figure out the rest...

"Damn! You stupid bastard Pokemon! I'm trading you in for something stronger!" hissed my trainer. From the corner of my eye, I saw him hold up the Pokeball... My Pokeball... I never should have believed this could work. Already it was all lost. A flash of red...

~Roxy~

No. No! He couldn't do that! We were so close for my plan to work! Too close to give up... I realized that I could still do something though. It was the Shroomish's only hope of freedom.

"Grrr-ARK!" I snarled, lunging between the trainer and the Pokemon at the last second. I felt the red beam touch my fur, and then lazily retreat back from whence it came upon noticing that I was not the Shroomish, leaving its captive weak on the ground. The trainer glared at me ferociously, but I could read the fear in his eyes.

"Get!" he shouted.

"ARK!" That doesn't work with me!

"Go back to your stupid trainer! Get!"

I readied my muscles, readied my mind, and pounded him down to the earth. No other way to do it. With him pinned down and struggling, the ball came out of his hand easily. I took it from him and ran, Pokeball between my teeth, back to Phoebe. She nodded and received the ball. And then she, not he, recalled the Shroomish.

~Phoebe~

"What happened back there, Roxy?" I asked once we made it to a lake near the forest's edge. Here it wasn't so miraculous; just normal trees and hints of autumn-winter yellow on every leaf. But the Eterna Forest feeling still hung in the evening air.

"I saw that he was a Pokemon in need. When I was in need, you came for me. I wanted to do the same for a fellow Pokemon."

"Hmph," Lufa growled from a branch just above us. At first I was concerned, but then I decided it would be better to let her be, for one reason or another. Now the Shroomish's ball was held in my hands, red-and-white surface gleaming, begging to be tossed at the ground.

"Well, I guess I should elease him now," I suggested.

The Pokeball lit up and flashed with white light, which hit the ground instantly. This light began to materialize into a mushroom-like shape, tan and speckled with green spots. A pair of curious black eyes looked around from beneath a furrowed brow. The burn markings were still apparent on his body, so I grabbed a Burn Heal from my bag.

["I]Where is this? And what happened back there[/I]?" the Shroomish askd.

"One sec," I replied, spraying the medicine onto him, "This'll help your wounds."

The Shroomish seemed to relax for a moment, and he gave a sigh that was full of nothing but relief. When I was done with the Burn Heal, I put the bottle back in my bag (I'd only needed half of its contents).

"Okay. We sorta 'rescued' you from that guy back there. Who was he?"

"They call themselves Team Galactic," the Shroomish answered solemnly, suddenly not quite so concerned with his new setting, "Not so big anymore, but they used to have this whole plan to destroy the world or something like that. Now only a few members still run about, trying to steal Pokemon and stuff like that. I was taken from my trainer a long time ago, and they've forced me to battle with beatings ever since, so that I could help them steal yet more Pokemon."

"That's... messed up!" I said, disgusted by the idea. "How can people do that to Pokemon? The whole thing is just sickening. But, what matters for now I guess is that you're safe. So, would you like me to release you here?"

"Release me? And what would I do? Wait for that bastard to come and find me again? I'm safe with you. Actually, I used to wish for a real trainer. Guess that wish came true."

"Okay..." I replied, "Do you want a name? I always name my Pokemon, like Roxy and Lufa here."

"... Call me Orion. That's what my old trainer came up with for me, and I liked the name. If you came up with another one, it would just feel like a replacement to make me forget about him."

"I see. Well, Orion, we're spending the night here. Do you wanna stay out of the Pokeball?"

"He might come looking for me. I mean, I was pretty useless to him, but still. It would be risky..."

"Alright, then. Good night."

I recalled Orion into the ball with a slight hesitation. As soon as I did, Lufa came swiftly down from the tree and glared at me.

"I don't trust him."

"What? How can you not? He needed to get away. Roxy noticed before she even battled him!"

"What if he's a liar? What if he's really working with that guy to steal us? Then what'll you do?"

"Lufa, you're being stupid. Just because he used to be with this 'Team Galactic' doesn't mean he wanted to be. In fact, you heard how he spoke about them! Forced to battle. Beaten if he didn't."

"He could have made it all up."

"For crying out loud, Lufa, he's just a Shroomish!" roared Roxy, fur bristling with frustration, "You saw that sorry excuse for a trainer battled with him! He was screaming at him! If his so-called-trainer wanted to take us away, he could have used stronger Pokemon in the battle!"

"Say what you want. Try to convince me as you will. I still don't trust him," Lufa growled before racing back up the tree and lying down on one of its branches.

"Fine," I said, "But when we need him or hen he tries to do something for us in return, don't say we didn't try to prove it to you."

And with that, Roxy and I slumped on the ground and fell into broken and discomforted sleeps.

iLike2EatPiez
March 30th, 2008, 07:35 AM
Well, I have chapters eleven and twelve now, so I'm gonna post 'em. I realkly don't like the way Chapter Twelve came out, but it'd probably be even worse if I tried to rewrite it now, so I'll just hope it's not too bad.

Note: The computer I'm on won't let me use the Center, italics, etc. I'd rather post it now than bother with waiting any longer, as the story's only going to get more chapters, and I don't want to be behind on chapters again. So... Thoughts, Pokemon speech, and that kind of thing are just going to be shown like normal text.

______________________pie__________________________

.:Chapter Eleven:.
An Old Friend

The Eterna Forest was now behind us. It had been a shame to leave it, but we had a new destination that I was too curious to ignore. Now it was just me and Roxy; Lufa must've found her ball and recalled herself last night because I found it by the tree she'd been in, and the tree was Buizel-less. Now that she was in her ball, I thought it would probably be a good idea to send out Orion as soon as we stopped for a break.

"Hey," I said, "A town."

Indeed, there was a town here. Flowers sprouted into view, and I noticed that there must have been thousands of them. Everywhere, they moved with the wind, in all their tiny yet beautiful glory. A few small buildings stood here and there, and I saw that there was a bit of a dirt-road path moving through the town. This place seemed to have never been crossed by a car. Pure and natural, this was Floaroma Town.

"Good thing, too," replied Roxy, "We need a rest."

I nodded to her, pulling out the Pokeball she'd rarely been in and watching her be absorbed into it. There was still a small pang of guilt, but it wasn't too strong, and I walked toward the nearest building: a Pokemon Center following the same color scheme as a Pokeball.The letters "PC" were lit up by a white neon light on a metallic red background. The feeling of artificial electric heating was beyond welcoming. After all, I'd just spent about half a week travelling through the woods and open landscape. As soon as I'd left the true section of the Eterna Forest, there was no timeless-state of being that prevented the effects of the oncoming winter frost.

"Hello," a friendly yet almost robotic voice chimed, "Welcome to the Floaroma Pokemon Center. How are you today?"

"Great, thanks," I replied, holding up my three Pokeballs. The red-haired nurse, who's siblings and self were all famously known as "Nurse Joy", game a soft smile as I walked up to the red-pink counter and handed her the orbs. She bowed and walked off through a door in the back.

"Phoebe?!" cried a very familiar voice. I whirled around.

"Emma?!" I shouted out, in a tone that perfectly mimmiced hers.

"How'd you end up here?" she asked, astounded.

"How'd you end up here? That's gotta be the biggest coincidence!" I replied, "Don't tell me you're already on your Pokemon journey, too!"

"Yep," she replied, holding up a pair of Pokeballs, "Just started about half a month ago. I travelled straight here though. No detours, other than the Eterna Gym Badge."

"Excuse me," Nurse Joy said, "but your Pokemon have been healed."

I raced over to the counter and recieved my Pokeballs. Amazing, how technology worked these days. A few minutes and just like that Pokemon could come out of a machine good-as-new. It was just as impressive as it was convenient.

"We hope to see you again," the nurse chimed with a bow. I noticed what this implied, but held back a sarcastic remark and a laugh. Instead, I simply thanked her and walked outside with Emma.

The town smelled strongly of a flowery, sweet aroma. It was as if someone had dumped a gigantic tank of Fabreeze over everything here, but even nicer. Snapping back to reality, I turned to my friend.

"So, what Pokemon'd you find? I'll show you mine."

"Sounds good," she answered without hestiation, "Go, Cosmo! Buneary!"

In front of her, two Pokemon appeared, both jumping up and landing perfectly as one. The first was very similar to the Ralts I'd known her to have before, but much more feminine, and standing on thin-yet-balanced legs. A pair of pink-red eyes looked up at me with new interest, much in contrast to the shy little creature she had once been. The other Pokemon was a rather small and cute rabbit, brown in color with cream tufts of cloudlike fur puffing out on the tips of its long ears, its belly, and its tail.

"Roxy, Lufa, Orion!" I called, clumsily tossing three balls at once. They all hit the ground and exploded with light to reveal all of my companions, all looking prepared and ready for anything. A thoughtful look came over Emma's face.

"How about another double battle now that we're actual trainers?" she asked.

"Yay," I replied in a half-hyper, half-sarcastic tone. She understood that though as a yes.

"I'll volunteer not to battle," Roxy suggested, "After all, I'm fully evolved, and neither of her Pokemon are."

"No," Lufa said stubbornly, "I'm not battling with him."

Roxy and I knew exactly who she was refferring to, and Orion probably got the hint as well, seeing as he was the only "him" she could be battling with here. Lufa turned around, twin-tipped-tail lashing up into the air, and went to go lie down in a nearby flowerbed.

"Okay, then," Emma began, "Buneary, try an Ice Punch on the Shroomish! Cosmo, keep Roxy occupied!"

The Kirlia raced over the grass toward Roxy, waving her small hands about with her eyes closed. Then, all of a sudden, a burst of psychic energy flashed up and slammed into her foe. Even the Arcanine could not resist the impact, and she found herself being flung backwards a little ways. However, she managed to rise and turn to the side. Orion! And Buneary was almost at him...

"Shroo!" Orion cried, making a sudden jump to the right.

"Good! Now use Stun Spore!" I commanded, recalling the fact that most Grass Pokemon used powder-attacks well and remembering the battle with the Galactic guy.

I barely needed to say it. A flurry of yellow-tinted powder flew from the top of Orion's head and began to sink , ever so slowly, back down to earth, right over Buneary. While she clearly was trying not to inhale it, I could see that was tougher than it seemed, and she soon fell to the ground with a slight shiver. Paralyzed!

"Buneary!" Emma called to her Pokemon. The rabbit looked up at her with clear pain, but confidence as well. The trainer gave a nod. "Try Ice Punch again! I doubt it can manage another dodge!"

Buneary's paw lit up more slowly this time, but it was just as bright as before when it finished. Orion seemed to be in a position that wouldn't allow him to escape. Only one thing could save him...

"Roxy, Flamethrower!" I cried.

My loyal Arcanine spat a tongue of golden flames toward Buneary, namely her Ice Punch paw. As soon as the fire made contact, the blueish glow faded, and Buneary yelped with fright. She tripped in an attempt to run, and failed to rise. I guessed it was the paralyzis.

The one thing I'd mistakenly forgotten about came back to haunt me in the next second. Both Roxy and Orion were struck by a beam of bright psychic energy. Cosmo.

"Kirli-ya!" she cried, gracefully leaping up and sending an electrical charge at Roxy. This paralyzed her it seemed, for her feet failed to lift her to her next attack. Orion, in the meantime, was too stunned by the Psychic attack. Something about him seemed to be taking it harder than he should have...

Buneary suddenly jabbed an ear at him, a move only their species could use. This apparently took quick effect, in the form of Effect Spore. While Orion was beaten down by the blow, Buneary was put to sleep, which was a good way of going out of battle.

"Return," both Emma and I muttered simultaniously as I recalled Orion and she her Buneary. But this battle wasn't over yet. Both Pokemon still on the field were tired out, but still ready for more.

"Cosmo, Confusion!"

"Roxy, try a Crunch!"

While I knew Roxy was fully capable of a strong Bite, I wasn't sure if she could pack the dark energy behind a Crunch. Lufa had managed it, but that was when we were in danger. This was just a regular battle...

"Ark!" she snarled, striking with her fangs just befoe Cosmo could summon forth the energy of her attack. I saw a flash of purplish ara, so dark it was almost black, appear where Roxy had embedded her teeth and still held on. Bit didn't normally do that, at least, not that I knew of. When Roxy leapt back, Cosmo fell over, defeated. Emma recalled her beaten Pokemon in defeat, but had a smile on her face as she did so.

"That was pretty fun," she said to me as we met back up at the center of our 'battlefield'. Roxy was only Pokemon from the battle still outside of the ball, and I'd kept her out for a reason.

"I'd have to agree," I replied to Emma, "Hey, Roxy? Was that a Crunch you used against Cosmo? I didn't really expect you to pull it off, but that didn't look like an ordinary Bite attack to me."

"No. It wasn't Crunch. Dunno how I could tell, but it wasn't Bite either. Just somewhere in-between. The two are so alike that the only difference is one's stronger, the other's weaker. With moves like those, I would guess a Pokemon who's training with them could easily hit a halfway point, too strong for Bite and too weak for Crunch."

"Cool," I said, "It seemed to be pretty strong to me though, knocking out Cosmo who hadn't suffered much if anything at all in a single blow."

"That's because she's a Psychic Type," Emma cut in, "Duh. Not to mention that the Ralts evolution line is known for having very low physical defenses. Whether it was Bite, Crunch, or something in-between, it was bound to do a lot of damage."

I nodded in understanding. That would be useful information for the future, most likely.

Roxy was soon recalled, followed by a silent Lufa. Afterwards, we decided to spend some time around the town, catching up on things and getting some food. Both of us had plans to leave tomorrow, and coincidentally, we were both headed for Canalave City. We decided not to travel together though, at least not for now, as Emma wanted to do some special training and catch some Pokemon along the way, and I already had my mind set toward Iron Island. She'd probably fall behind, while I wanted to go on ahead in my journey. So, with that worked out, we made the most of our day, visiting the local attractions (such as the Valley Windworks and the Flower Fields), hanging out, and eventually going to our seperate hotel rooms and getting ready to leave in the morning.



.:Chapter Twelve:.
Dark Memories and Firey Rivalries

~Phoebe~

Morning came in the form of yellow shafts of light that slanted through the blinds of the window, bright and welcoming my consciouness. It took me a few moments to recall the events of the past few days. So quickly, it had all gone by. Am I really a Pokemon trainer? Already? a voice in the back of my mind questioned. Indeed, it seemed amazing. And Emma, too. Already I had a Gym badge. Already Roxy had evolved. Already, it was time to get going again.

After eating a sorry excuse for a breakfast in my rush to head out, I checked out of the hotel and found my way out of Floaroma Town. According to my Pokedex, I was headed directly Southeast, and Canalave was about a day or two's journey ahead this way. I would narrowly miss Jubilife City, but that was fine with me; I'd left Hearthome to get away from the noisy, busy city life that seemed to haunt me when I needed it least. Now it was just me and my Pokemon. Again.

Roxy was the first one I sent out. We walked through the half-woody, half-rugged terrain, passing hours in friendly silence, not saying anything and not needing to. How strange, that we were so close. Even after what happened to her mother and how I saved she herself from eventual death, it was surprising that we could have such a strong bond so soon.

After some time with Roxy, I decided it would be best to walk with Orion for a while. Why I thought of him before Lufa, I was unsure, at it sort of scared me. She had been caught before him, and though the Buizel wasn't as friendly with me as Roxy, she was still closer than Orion. Still, something made me want to spend more time with him, get to know him better...

We spoke some and told of past experiences, just me and my newest Pokemon. Communicating with someone so much smaller and different from me began to bother my mind a little. It just didn't seem right, as if it wasn't meant to be. Yet another part of me growled, Don't be rude, as if it believed he could hear my thoughts. It made the most sense to simply conclude that emotions had little sense about them, and to continue talking.

When it seemed to be a fitting time to send out Lufa, Orion gave me a look that insisted attention. I looked down at his tiny form, suddenly worried.

"I want to talk to her," he requested, not aggressively, but sternly.

"Why?" I asked, trying to pretend I didn't have the slightest idea.

"Don't play stupid and think I'll fall for it. I hate to be patronized," the Shroomish replied. This made me feel a bit guilty; he was right. He was probably more mature than even Roxy, in several respects. I had no right to treat him any differently.

"Well, she's... She's pretty stubborn, I think. She won't listen. It might be better if--"

"Just give me the chance."

The way he said that somehow clicked in my mind. It was his choice. Pokemon are not like young children, as I'd learned and been told. They are far more intelligent, and capable of putting that intelligence to good use in making their own descisions and opinions. This is what makes them so important to humans, and what allows connectiosn between human and Pokemon to be formed. All this seemed to be realized at once, and before I could even think, I had pushed the button on Lufa's Pokeball to release her from it.

The Buizel emerged, and as soon as she saw Orion, she snarled and backed away, the fur on her back rising.

"Traitor," she growled, sending a fiery glare toward the Shroomish. Orion merely stared back with a questioning gaze.

"What did I ever do to make you think badly of me?"

"I don't trust you. You were fighting for that sick Pokemon thief."

"Do you honestly believe it was by choice?"

Lufa closed her eyes and made a noise that sounded like a bark, spitting furiously on the grass as she did so. I was about to recall both of them, but something froze my arms to the spot. No. This is their issue, not mine.

And then, from out of the blue, Lufa attacked him. She flung herself forward, jaws open and teeth glittering slightly with the hint of an Ice Fang. Orion let loose a cloud of colored powder, and after that, I'm not so sure exactly what happened. There was a huge scuffle, and I remember seeing blood, fury, and violence before finally I somehow managed to stop it all.

Both Pokemon looked up at me, and that moment remains clearly in my memory as if I had taken a photograph of it. The two of them were brusied and beaten, staring at me, their trainer, with wide eyes. What was going on here? None of it made sense... Everything seemed to be flipping by, too fast to keep track... Why were they fighting again? Moreover, why was Lufa so enraged? There had to be more to it all...

"So, you want to know?" cried an enraged version of Lufa's normally-calm voice. All attention was on her. I found that my heart was throbbing so hard it hurt.

"I do not trust anybody easily. Ever. The only reason I trusted you was because I had little choice after being exiled from my Clan. All my life, I have known betrayal. When I was just a kit, my mother abandoned me. She was a lone Buizel, living away from a Clan. When the Clan took me in, I thought my life's pain was over, but it was far from the truth. They knew I was not of Clan blood, and because of that, they despised me..."

She pressed her eyelids tightly shut, fighting tears and shivering.

"They... They would intentionally do little things, like deny me the right to hunt for a day, or strongly discipline me for the smallest of errors. I grew upset with the Clan's leader, and soon after, I was taken to a stream just out of our territory to be exiled... I thought they rescued me because they wanted me... But I was wrong... So horribly wrong..."

I wanted to cry. How had I dared to feel even the slightest bit of anger toward her for mistrusting Orion? Of course she didn't trust him! She likely wouldn't have trusted him even if he wasn't taken from that trainer! All that mattered was that he was not someone she knew to be kind, like Roxy and I, and that he would probably cause her pain, just as everyone else in her life had. How had I been so stupid as to not expect a reasonable solution!?

Orion split the silence with his words.

"And how would you like it if you were torn from Phoebe, the only trainer you've ever known, and trade your life of fun and battles for one of beatings and cruelty? To be forced to commit crimes and ruin lives just to be kept alive? How would you like to be put through what I was put through? I understand that you've had a hard life, but trust me, I've seen worse. Far worse. "

"Exactly," Lufa hissed, giving him another fiery glare, "You've been around such evil for so long, that you could easily cause more without intention!"

"Do you not realize how hypocritical you are being?"

In that instant, rage seemed to pulse through Lufa's being. Her throat filled with a low growl, and she bent down, half-shivering and half-snarling. It was clear that her mind was in a chaotic fit. She had to except her flaw, after living in a place where everyone had the same flaw and used it against her. It was an undeniable, inevitable truth. Yet that didn't mean she couldn't fight it.

Lufa's body suddenly became wrapped in a warm, white glow. Both Phoebe and Orion stared in awe as her form melted into a moldable mass of light, which began to shift in shape immediately. Her back legs shifted to a standing position for the evolution, and she grew taller from there. Her paws, her muzzle, the crest of fur on her head, all grew more narrowed, while the rest of her body assumed an interesting build; somewhat stocky, yet quite lithe at the same time. This change went on for almost a minute before finally, the light began to fade. Lufa reappeared with her eyes wide, but she was no longer the small Buizel she had once been. She was a fully-grown, tough-looking Floatzel.

"I... evolved...?" she gasped in a new and slightly more mature voice.

I'd read that strong emotions of any kind could help trigger evolution, but I'd never actually imagined what it would be like. Now that I'd seen it myself, and that it had happened to Lufa, now, I wasn't sure it was a good thing. A Floatzel had much more physical strength than a Buizel, and I already knew of her powerful Ice Fang. That single move could spell disaster for Orion now.

Suddenly, in a horrible nightmare-come-true, Lufa lunged herself at the Shroomish. He winced away. I tried not to look, but my eyes were locked open, and I couldn't move a muscle. She was going to kill him. Oh, Mew, no!

And then, in a surprising second, Lufa stopped herself. Somehow, she froze in mid-run, and stood there with a terrified expression. What have I done? her eyes seemed to ask.

Slowly, Orion stepped closer to her, but she acted as if she could not see him. Then, she fell over, unconscious.