View Full Version : Come Hellgar or High Water

April 13th, 2008, 12:11 PM
EDIT: This story is rated PG. There are a few moments of language, bully/scare tactics, and mild blood-drawing violence.

This is my first fanfiction ever, and it's based off of a relatively new RP character I developed for another site. I hope I at least avoid screwing myself for the prologue...

Prologue - Hoenn's Heroes

Verdanturf Town. Home of Hoenn's finest Pokemon Contests and a halfway mark to many a greenhorn trainer's journey. Especially now, in the throes of a spring afternoon, the foliage cast upon the soft blue sky calms the soul and excites the imagination. What will I see next? How will I do in the Contest Hall? How good will today be for Pokeblock making? Is there a lucky someone - or something - I'll happen upon here? These questions - and more - seem to be on the mind every person, trainer, child, child-at-heart, adult, and even every Pokemon that resides in this quiet recluse.

However, today is surprisingly quiet. People and Pokemon alike are going to the town gate, not to leave but to observe. It appears to be a respectable gathering, perhaps a vernal festival of some sort; is it the equinox? No, today is different; it is a day of memorial and prayer.

Looking at the entrance from the wilderness of Route 117, the first visible objects (besides the flourishing fauna) are two statues - both look as though they were made out of silver, painstakingly forged, re-forged, and painted, shaped, and touched-up until every detail was perfect down to the tiniest speck.

On the left side is a carefree-looking Breloom, her left leg raised about an inch off the ground, tucked ever so slightly inward. Her head is leaned gently to the right, a peaceful, charmed look on her face, a half-smile of sorts. Her tail flower gently streams against the soil behind her left leg, acting as a balance to prevent the statue from falling. Every detail is nearly flawless; the baby blue eyes, the greens, the slightly-faded reds, and tans all seeming to bring the statue alive. Standing at 3'11", it appears tame yet gently unnerving.

On the right side, there looks to be a Houndoom, though at first glance it can't be right. The bottom half of the statue appears to be accurate, Houndoom's four paws, double-banded at the ankles, the skinny, triangle-tipped devil's tail bent into an "S" shape. But the upper half appears to be the same Houndoom, only this time human-like and bent slightly forward, horns ready to pierce, jaws opened about an inch, jagged teeth looking ready to sink into the nearest living thing. The arms extend forward and bend at the elbows. It has claws with opposable thumbs, prickly to the touch, yet fortunately immobile and therefore - thank the legendaries - harmless. The black fur is painted exquisitely and even carries several realistic strokes, as though a breeze were in the air. The pumpkin orange underbelly - both upper and lower halves - look warm and gentle against the black coldness. The white bands, horns, and claws look as if someone carved ivory and stuck it there. At 5'10", it appears to be ready to beat the crud out of poor little Breloom...

There is a legend that goes with these statues, and explains why once a year, the living beings in Verdanturf aren't at their usual hustle and bustle, relaxation, contests, and pass-throughs. It resolves the tourist's confusions about the prayers and inactivity in contests. It tells simply of two unlikely friends, not only because of type but because of their fates...

April 15th, 2008, 10:11 AM
Chapter One: I Can See Dreary Now

A young man, looking no older than sixteen, lay on his back under the golden leaves, the sun peeking through the gaps to cast shadows of the foliage. The man's azure eyes blinked gently as the autumnal winds flitted through the air, not to mention his bowl-cut blonde hair. Surrounding him were two oak trees, standing mightily as guardians flanking his front and backside, subverting any unannounced threat that were to befall him. The trills of Swablu, Altaria, and even Swellow pierced the skies of the peaceful Hoenn villa. Many days here were spent with overzealous races, tree-climbing contests, and taking to the skies on the back of faithful Flying types. The man smiled softly as the arboreal plumage did a sort of warm-colored hula dance in the breezes. Leaves crunched as he sat up and looked to his left, seemingly hearing something in the distance.

"Avinarti." The voice rang out clearly to the man's right, a gentle female tone filling the air. Turning around, he saw a young girl of around seventeen. It was a face he recognized quickly, the lime-green eyes and two-toned violet hair, strands of lilac color and a darker, magenta hue to balance it. He stood up, reaching 5'10" from the bottom of his jet-black shoes to the tip of his corn-yellow hair. Brushing the leaves off of his white, long-sleeved shirt, and dusting off the sides of his khaki dress pants, he nodded to the girl with a smirk.

"Hey, Flora," Avinarti said in a level tone; this was his normal voice, one that seemed almost too mature for a sixteen-year-old. He walked over and gave the girl a gentle hug, patting her on the back.

"Avi, I... I have to tell you something," Flora said, drawing deeper and deeper into a whisper. She pushed Avi away softly, then finished, "I'm going off to Team Magma."

Avi's eyes widened as he backed away. "What!?" he yelled disdainfully. He had always hated Team Magma; he thought about his father with a grimace, the memory of him being forcibly taken from his home and enslaved to do bizarre experiments involving DNA extrapolation and infusion. Avi's father hadn't been home in ten years, an eternity to a boy who never once had a Pokemon under his belt. Why did he never go on an adventure like Flora or mostly every other child his age? Perhaps it was his father's capture, but Avi never really let on much about the reasons... Pokemon in general seemed to be evokers of his father's memory.

"I don't have a choice." Flora's words grew silent and shaky; her face scrunched slightly as she fell to the ground crying. "They'll be here any second now... I shouldn't even be saying this. AIII!" Suddenly her voice broke off as a masked, muscular man, covered from head to toe in a stealth black jumpsuit, wrapped his left arm around her mouth, yelling "What the hell are you doing! I said no talking to your brother, stupid wench!" The man turned to Avi and yelled, "What are you looking at? Go play with your Pokemon plushies, kid." And he stormed off, his left arm forcibly dragging Flora off with him.

Avi turned away, hanging his head as he stormed off to the east, stopping once he reached the gates to Route 120. Looking upward, he saw an Altaria flutter weakly in the air. In an instant, the cottony Dragon type spiraled to the ground in a terrifying nosedive. Avi quickly recognized the predicted landing spot twenty feet to the north and broke into a sprint, diving with arms extended to catch the sputtering Pokemon.

However, he overshot his target, instead catching the beak right between his shoulder blades. It dug in, causing Avi to let out a small yip as he lay on his stomach. The dragon-bird flipped off Avi's body and trilled gratefully. Getting up onto his knees, Avi smiled and patted the Altaria's head. It trilled again and hopped up a couple of inches. The dragon-bird then nuzzled Avi's left arm lovingly.

"Well, thank you," Avi said with an endearing smile. "You're quite beautiful," he commented, much to the Pokemon's pleasure. It trilled a quick aria of the Verdanturf Town theme, apparently signaling its former location. Avi smiled and clapped, somewhat engrossed by the wonder of his new friend. Itching slightly at the spot between his shoulder blades, he sat down to watch the Altaria's next move. It didn't budge, appearing quite happy in Avi's company...

May 7th, 2008, 3:26 PM
Chapter Two: A Boy and His Prob

The Altaria trilled happily, and suddenly began to choke incessantly. Avi panicked, but, unsure of what to do, stood still, biting his upper lip.

"Do something, you insolent whelp!" a woman cried from the distance, her face red with anger. Her grayish-lavender hair, poking out from under a blue pilot's helmet, signified the female as Fortree's own Winona. Her blue/gray jumpsuit rustled as she ran to the Altaria's side, only reaching the Pokemon in time to hear its last breath. "Altaria... no...." she said weakly, tears welling up in her eyes. "You killed her!" she seethed, pointing at Avi with a vengeance. "What's wrong with you?"

"What are you talking about?" Avi said flatly, his blond locks rustling in the sudden breeze. "She came over to see me. I can't imagine why she would just choke up like that."

Winona pushed on the Altaria's stomach. "No, don't fetter out on me! Damn it!" She collapsed beneath the fading sunlight, her hands clutching the faithful dragon-bird for all its service. "Wait, you're the Imalurra boy," she uttered quickly, seething the words through clenched teeth. "I should've known you'd take after your father... this is a poisoning. As far as I can tell, this is a highly dangerous, unlisted toxin."

"How can you tell all that just from looking at her?" Avi's eyes blinked curiously, trying to absorb all of the goings-on.

"So you did do it. I was bluffing, you little bastard. As far as I'm concerned that's as good as a confession. I'm taking you in to Officer Jenny. I love it, I know you Imalurra kids were no good..."

Avi began to run east, heading to Route 120 and therefore out of the Fortree Justice Department's jurisdiction. "I didn't do anything! That Altaria was about to nose-dive and I saved its life. You'll thank me later!" He continued to sprint east until Winona was just a speck in the horizon.

*********Meanwhile, on an unnamed island off south of Pacifidlog...*********

A large building loomed on the north coast of the isle. Its sign read, "Team Magma HQ... we're not stupid enough to locate ourselves in an actual city like Team Rocket. Still, what the hell are we doing surrounded by water? I'm firing that real-estate agent. :)"

*********In the HQ, 4th floor...**********

A blond, brown-eyed, middle-aged man, 5'11", wearing a white lab coat and khaki jeans, stood in front of an advanced chemistry set, appearing complacent about a plan of his... or whatever he felt like being complacent about at the moment...

"Tekari?" a voice sounded from across the room. It was a laboratory-like facility, filled with various large machines, bubbly chemicals, and the whirrs of various electric devices.

"Yes, Elune." The man smiled and took a test tube in hand.

"We have a new recruit... I think you'll know who this lovely young lady is?"

Flora entered the room slowly... in an instant she recognized exactly who Tekari was. They had met several times before...

*********On Route 120...*********

Avi began to stop in his tracks. She's gone, he told himself reassuringly between pants of short breath. What the hell did I just pull; I always sucked at running.

The youth looked at the tall grass around him; the blades reached at least a foot higher than him. This was the real stuff; all the pictures from the areas around Verdanturf, Petalburg, and the other cities from his mother's postcards were simply a foot or two tall. Out here, Avi was pretty much looking at a veritable jungle. Between blinks he saw a Linoone frolic on its back, the floral entities seeming to tickle its belly. "Noon noon!" it cried, not noticing anything, rather enjoying the evening for what it was: a calming sedative to many a Pokemon in the wild.

Lucky jerks, Avi thought. All they worry about is having fun, making merriment, and making sure they calm down before the storm of night befalls them. Erf, I'm tired. Suddenly Avi passed out, more likely than not injured in his narrow escape from Fortree...

*********In a nearby grove of trees to the north...**********

Seven Breloom sat in an organized circle, smiles on six of them, yet one seemed somber, and unusually so.

{Flora, will you relax?} a male chastened in Pokespeech. He was slightly larger than the rest, maybe two inches taller and an extra ten pounds. Though not completely discernable in the waning light, he seemed to cast a darker shade of green. {There's more pressing matters on our minds.}

{Says you,} the smallest female chimed with a disdainful tone. {You didn't watch your love killed in front of your eyes, did you, Father?}

{I told you to never mention that again, Flora! You know that if I had been there, I wouldn't have watched. It was... a disgrace to my name that Viola could not be saved. Her screams of, (Petal, help!) echo inside of me to this very moment. I was not there... though her screams ring clear forever. I know that Johnny was dear to you, but he knows you were paralyzed by its Thunder Wave. There was nothing you could do, dear.} His words were interrupted by the crude sound of a thunk! to the south.

{Father! What was that? Shall I go see?} Flora offered.

Petal smiled gently, kicking his left leg slightly into the oncoming breeze. {Yes, my daughter... I'll await word of what you find.}

Flora sauntered toward the noise, and came across what looked to be a normal Houndoom. It uttered growls at it lay unconscious, a side effect of what seemed a highly toxic affliction. Her short arms did little to help her, but Flora managed to drag the Houndoom by its tail to her Breloom brethren. Petal jumped back with a shriek, yelling incoherently about what apparently could be deciphered as something similar to, {It's not a normal Houndoom! Put it back, Flora!}

The dog's neck seemed to grow, and what appeared to be appendages grew midway up the newly forming body. Flora stood there in shock while Petal had already fainted from an overdose of shock. The remaining five Breloom gathered behind Flora, unsure of the canine's next move... though it lay deathly still, it breathed. Heavy as it was, each breath was a sure sign of life... though perhaps not what was intended...

The Beast
May 8th, 2008, 12:07 PM
Wow, this story is quit ironic for a rated pg thoery.

May 8th, 2008, 2:34 PM
Wow, this is quite ironic for a PG-rated story.

Translated, and thanks. Though I can't help but wonder if this is a mere comment spam based on the amount of posts you have on the first... It's not that important, I just wonder what your other comments look like. :p

PS: I'm sorry that I'm not as good at these name puns as I'd like to be. :)

Chapter 3: Forest Frier

Flora stared at Tekari, though her eyes averted when he looked over at her. Daddy, she pondered, I had wondered where you went all those years ago. All those postcards you sent me and Avi... Were they... No, I won't go there yet... But...

It had been ten years since thet day Tekari left with Elune on a classified adventure. Neither could tell the youths why they were going away, or where their travels would take them. Perhaps it had been a matter of age; Avi was a mere six and Flora not much older at seven... of course, Flora quickly reasoned that this one sight: her father in a lab coat at Team Magma HQ... this had to explain it all.

"Flora, my daughter..." Tekari began. "You've grown into a beautiful young woman. Elune!"

"Tekari?" the female voice rang from the opposite hall. "Hold your freakin' horses, I'll be right there! No, you mollusk, measure first and then combine! For legendaries' sake, I won't be responsible if you burn down this place. Even though I'm well capable..." An Arcanine, pure snow white in color, standing at 5'11", only eclipsing Flora by around three inches, padded over and rubbed its head against Flora's right hand, which lay hanging by her hip.

"Well!" the Pokemon said in clear English, eyes closed in an anime-like look of happiness. "Look who tumbled in the door... Tekari, are you about to send this little lass back out with a map? She looks lost, doesn't she?"

"Yipe!" Flora jumped back, slightly unsettled by the talking canine. "Daddy, who is this..."

"Flora, don't you recognize this charming gal? You don't remember the name Elune? My stars, it's been too long." Elune gleamed at being called a 'charming gal.'

"Mom!?" the girl spat quickly. It didn't seem right; though the pure ivory shade was a perfect match of hair color... It can't be... unless... Mom, you must have a reason to look like that...

"Elune, be a dear and show Flora around the building... unless your liege is planning an arsonist attack still..." A chuckle and smirk escaped Tekari's lips, amused by his notice of yet another bumbling employee.

"It'll be fine, Tek. However, Gleason appears completly incompetent of even taking measurements, so I'll leave that up to you. I personally think we need to axe him, but Boss hasn't seen enough idiocy from him to make a judgment."

Gleason... Flora thought with a frown. The name seemed familiar, but nothing came to mind at the moment.

*********In a shallow grove, northern Route 120********

Five Breloom slept peacefully behind a sixth, fully awake one. The alert Pokemon watched as the Houndoom-creature opened its eyes, slowly yet surely, and, with fully formed arms, slithered its six appendages until it was on four legs. The being was tentative, yet relieved and scared at the same time. The Breloom quickly kicked each of the five sleeping Pokemon in the jaw to wake them up.

{Flora, what's your problem!?} one said with a hint of sleepiness in its voice. {I told you not to wake us until... oh!} Its voice wavered as it saw the Houndoom-ish entity. {So... its metamorphosis is complete...}

{Yes,} Flora answered with a soft tone. {It appears to be... thankfully, unaware of its new form.}

"New form?" The Houndoom morph looked menacingly at the six Breloom. "What are you talking about!?"

{Oh! It seems to have retained comprehension of the Speech. Quite fortunate... though it seems to be speaking in a different manner as well. Do you remember, Iris? We heard one of the humans speaking like that.}

{Yes,} the shortest of the six replied flatly. {If I remember correctly, they use it to communicate with one another. The humans have no ability to speak in the Speech, so of course they needed something to use.}

"Hey!" the morph yelled impatiently. "Why are you yapping about English like that!? What in the name of Moltres is going on here??"

{You can't tell?} Iris responded unknowingly. {Flora found you unconscious out near the tall grass... she used her mouth to drag you by your tail... I was worried you would stop breathing...}

{It was breathtaking...} Flora continued passively. {You changed right in front of our eyes. I don't know what happened to you, but... this was all so crazy...}

"What happened... to me?" The morph looked at its body, jumping at the sight of its lower body. "Wha... what'd you do to me!? Why do I have four legs and all this fuzziness?"

{You're shocked at those things? I would think you'd be more enraged by your two new arms...}

"I only had two legs when I passed out... um, didn't I? I don't remember much about this."

The elder Breloom returned, racing toward his daughter, fainting halfway when he saw the Houndoom transformed. {What... Flora, you idiot! It'll kill you!}

{Father, it won't kill us...} Flora said gently. {Look at its eyes... those aren't normal eyes... I've never seen a shade of blue that looked so... skyward...}

{It's a Fire type, Flora... do you not recall that fire was the bane of our kind? It's the reason your mother and betrothed are no more!}

{It's not a dragon, though... I remember Johnny fell at the claws of... what looked to be a cross of human and dragon... Urf, it was... a Salamence?}

"Salamence..." the morph chimed in. "A... cross? I've heard... rumors of such a being."

{Really?} Flora seemed happy to hear this. {What do you remember about it?}

"Well, they say that... a research team on a little-known island began experimenting with Pokemon. First it began as a simple 'steal them from other humans' operation... next the employees were subjected to... inhumane tests and forced to drink Pokemon blood as part of these tests... my former human... his whole family is believed to now be in this group."

{Oh, dear!} the Breloom said with a hint of tears in her eyes. {What is it called?}

"I'm afraid I... don't remember. The boy mentioned a name... sounded like a Fire-type name... Um... Lava? No.... I'm afraid nothing's coming to me."

{I see.} Flora began to look sobered to the fact that perhaps, no vengeance would be had by anyone.

{Flora!} Petal yelled, his voice crackling like lightning. {Get that freak of nature out of here, NOW!!!}

"I... should go..." the morph explained with a smile and a wave. Good to meet you, Flora. My name's Shade, by the way... should we ever meet again, please remember that. I promise not to forget your name."

{Goodbye, Shade.} Flora turned away as the dog-morph padded south, away from the nestled grove...

Flora... the morph thought as the Breloom became dots in the distance. Why does that name seem so familiar...

May 9th, 2008, 2:28 PM
Chapter Four: Out of the Brew

*********Magma HQ, 5F*********

"I've missed you, Flora." The white-furred Arcanine nodded gently as she turned to the left. "This will be your room, my dear. It has a mini-refrigerator, microwave oven, walk-in closet, computer desk with massage chair, queen bed, and a phone to all your fellow employees. No outside line, naturally; sadly the police are quite good at tracing phone calls down to a point on a GPS system. GPS being your Global Positioning System, of course. That comes standard issue to you. It's a special model."

"Special... model?" Flora sat down on the chair, its power off at the moment thankfully.

"Yes. This was my brainchild, though I had no paw in making it. Erm... excuse me." Elune had broken off a quick chortle at her reference. "I suggested it two years ago, however by then I had already become an Arcanine. I'll explain what happened eventually... but for now I'll tell you about that GPS in your hand. It runs similarly to a Pokedex, but instead of pointing it at the person you wish to find, you say their name. It shows precise coordinates, and vocalizes the town nearest the location. It makes, um... headhunts... much easier to perform successfully. Best of all, if you say 'Go get!' to a flight-capable Pokemon you own, it will fly straight there. It also allows for surfing Pokemon to near the target, and updates dynamically as the target moves."

"Thanks, Mom. Woof, I feel so strange saying that to an Arcanine..."

Elune barked back in a slightly feral response. "Yes... you should relax for the moment; your father will be here shortly to conduct your testing-site tour." The Arcanine bounded out of the room, and Flora waited for the galloping footsteps to recede before saying, "Avinarti Imalurra."

The GPS system hummed and chirred as it conducted a search for her brother. Thirty seconds passed before 'No match. Perhaps this person is already dead? Or did you make a pronunciation error?' flashed on the screen. It spoke suddenly, advising that 'Avinarti Imalurra could not be found. Check to confirm this is whom you wish to find and try again.'

What!? Flora thought in devastation. No... I... he has to be out there somewhere... Where...

*********Magma HQ, 4F*********

"Elune, you've returned." Tekari turned away from the bumbling scientist Gleason. "I presume she's in her room at the moment?"

"Yes, Tekari." The Arcanine nodded and hummed several octaves as she walked to the opposite end of the mixing laboratory.

She's already tried her GPS... too bad she doesn't know that Avi was locked away. Beta v1.9 made it so incarcerated humans no longer show up on there. Winona, you've made me proud.

*********Southern Route 120*********

{Ferra!} A male Linoone cried out to a lagging Zigzagoon to the west. {Hurry up; your mother said to be back by the time the sun peaked!}

{Daddy? Where are you?} The young Pokemon seemed lost, as though blinded. {Daddy, why did it get so dark...}

{Ferra!? What are you... it's not even midday! Quit straggling and get over here!}

As the Zigzagoon regained her vision, she saw a Mightyena roaring at her, yet... something was odd about this one. It seemed... similar to a certain other Pokemon Ferra had heard about. {Daddy... I think that nasty dragon is around again...} she cried out, hoping her father could hear.

{Ferra, that's it, I'm gonna drag you by your neck if I have-} The Linoone's words broke off with a piercing scream.

*********Central Route 120*********

Shade padded away from the Breloom he had just met, still contemplating one name: Flora. It seemed so distant, so indistinct, but something rang a bell in the morph's brain. Was that... no...

His thoughts were interrupted by a scream, panicked and breaking in pitch from mid-high to girlish. What!? That's coming from the south... His tail flicked as he broke into a clumsy sprint; something about his four legs didn't quite register full control...

*********Southern Route 120*********

The Linoone began to totter with uneasiness. {Ferra, get away from-}

"Shut up!" The Mightyena morph barked at the poor, uneasy Pokemon. Now where is Drake!? Tell me!!!"

{Daddy... he won't stop talking about this Drake...} the Zigzagoon squeaked with fear. {I don't know him but...}

"Damn it, shut up!! You're lying and when I find Drake you're going to p-" The bully's speech stopped in its tracks as Shade belted him with a right hook to the nose. Shade's legs seemed uneasy and restless, yet his arms remained in a controlled heave, along with his breathing.

"Are you two okay?" the Houndoom morph asked gently, getting only a quick nod from Ferra and incoherent stammering from the Linoone. Shade stomped on the Mightyena's nose, sending it running with several yips and growled swear words. "I hate this. First those Breloom tell me to go away and now there's... he looked like me? He mentioned Drake right before I whomped him. Could that be... the Salamence morph?"

{Salamence... morph?} Ferra asked, tilting her head to the left. {What's a... morph... mister?}

"Apparently... that Mightyena was one... and so am I... and Drake. Whoever he is..." Shade began to think back to Flora mentioning Johnny. "Wait. He's more likely than not... the one that murdered Flora's betrothed, and I hesitantly say her mother as well. Petal mentioned that just after I woke up. I fear that Drake and that Mightyena are partners. This world's getting full of bullies. Are you... scared, young Zigzagoon?"

{No, sir,} Ferra said cheerily. {Now Daddy is but that was really cool what you just did! Haha, right in the nose! Love it!} The Zigzagoon hopped up and down, excited about her rescuer. {What's your name, mister?}

"Shade," the Houndoom morph said quickly. "Look, I better get going... I'd hate for your daddy to yell at me. Besides, I should look for this Drake fellow." And Flora, too. I know Petal told me to never see her again but I feel as though that cheerful Breloom knows something I don't...

May 10th, 2008, 1:42 PM
Chapter Five: A Real Chatot-Box

*********Team Magma HQ, 5th Floor*********

"Avinarti Imalurra," Flora said clearly to the GPS for the eighth time.

Once again, the 'No Match, etc.' message showed on the screen. In a sudden display of humanity, the oral reply was 'You stupid girl, how many times do I have to tell you I can't find him! Give up!'

"Knock knock," Tekari warned. "Flora, it's time for you to tour the testing facilities. Elune, are you ready?" The Arcanine barked and nodded, galloping over to Flora. "Get on, my daughter."

"Get... on?" Flora replied in confusion. "Er, ok." She got on Elune's back, the Arcanine more than happy to allow herself to be a mount. She yipped happily as Tekari motioned her to the stairway up. Flora jumbled her body, not quite eased into it yet calmly planted on the canine. Elune began to trot over to the stairs, going up with a thoomp, thoomp upon every step. Upon reaching the sixth floor, there were no longer stairs going up. "Um, Daddy, is this the top floor?"

"Yes." Tekari nodded as he headed for a Ninetales encased in a glass shield. "This is our latest strain carrier, Flora. We've harnessed a strain that turns Pokemon into morphed versions of themselves, bringing about a somewhat human vibe yet, by looks, is mostly Pokemon. The original strain bearer dies shortly after passing on the bug to other beings, human or not. The virus changes its code once outside the main host. The afflicted is able to transmit the code via bite. So far we have successfully sent over 100 of these alpha specimens out to the main reaches of Hoenn. We've been working in conjunction with other branches in Johto to hopefully make this a true pandemic."

"Pandemic!? Daddy, that's crazy!! You haven't put that inside Mom, have you??" Flora was shocked at what was going on.

"No, that was simply an accident. She got bitten by an Arcanine that carried an entirely different DNA code. See, it's not easy for us to capture humans so many times we will send out these "changers" to turn the prey into a Pokemon. From there it's simply a matter of beating the tar out of it in battle and wearing it into submission. Elune, however, was fortunate enough to not exhibit the aggression side effects usually found in victims."

"I've no regrets, nor any malice toward Tekari or anyone else involved," Elune said calmly, looking back at her rider. "Flora, this was an unfortunate mishap, but it was unavoidable."

*********Three years ago, same location...*********

"Elune? Get up here, please."

"Coming, dear." A white-haired woman, around 5'3" with frosty blue eyes, appeared on the top step dressed in a black sleep robe. Her feet were covered by velvety black slippers the made a shuffling sound with each step she took. She walked slowly to the eastern wall, standing back from the western side where her husband was observing a large Arcanine, about seven feet tall, surrounded by a glass bubble to prevent its escape

"Elune, our latest Arcanine changer is ready... could you come here and-" Tekari's words broke off upon the shattering of the glass around him. A shard lodged deep in his left arm, and blood splashed to the ground as he turned toward Elune. "Get out of here!" he yelled, but it was too late. By then the Arcanine had pinned Elune against the wall and bitten her on the right hand. The feral Pokemon leapt through the window about a foot away, bringing about more broken glass. Elune fainted as her hand dripped red upon the nearby ground...

*********Magma HQ, 6th floor, present day**********

Tekari pulled back a small portion of his left sleeve to reveal a jagged gray scar against his peach skin, shaking his head. "I had thought about suggesting plastic to the Boss later that week..." he said somberly. "I paid dearly for that delay."

"Where did the Arcanine go?" Flora asked curiously.

"I wish we knew," Elune explained peacefully. "We haven't seen a single sign of any escape in the past three years. It's either dead or still on this island."

"Daddy." Flora turned to her father, dismounting the snowy Arcanine. "When humans are changed... do they still show up on our GPS?"

Tekari nodded, puffing his sleeve back over the scar. "Of course they still appear. It would be extremely difficult to track them otherwise. They do, however, appear with a distinction that we transmogrified them. If our prey were to get nipped by a morpher, though... no, as far as the GPS would know, they'd be dead and gone."

Avi... please be safe... Flora nodded in acknowledgment, not wanting to look like she had drifted off. I'll find you somewhere... I won't care what you look like.

*********Souther Route 120, near the boundary to Route 121*********

Shade had made a resting point within the tall grass, nestled deep in hopes that no trainer would catch glimpse of him. He sat on his lower body's left side, alert but in meditative thought. A voice broke his silent trance, a familiar voice, origins to the north, that put rare fright in the Houndoom morph...

"I'm telling you, he went this way!!!" Winona had been chasing Avinarti all the way out on Route 120, coming up fruitless in her quest.

"Winona... I don't think he's out here." The voice of Fortree City's Officer Jenny called back to the enraged young woman. "I've heard witnesses claiming he passed out dead about halfway down the route."

"No!!!!" Winona yelled in disgust. "Damn it, I'm not giving up! He killed Altaria and I won't rest until he's locked up forever!"

"Winona... let it go. Do you really think Avinarti would kill your Pokemon? He's completely clueless about them. I'd think if anything, he just sat and observed it. You said you thought it had been poisoned... does he sound like someone who would even know how to make poison?"

"I'd heard he saved that dragon-bird's life," Shade muttered in a low voice. "Poor kid... no wonder he's dead, having to run from a total ***** like you..."

"What did you call me!?" Winona shouted to Officer Jenny. "If you weren't a cop I'd make you drink those words through a straw!"

"...Winona? All I said was that I don't think Avinarti's guilty. I didn't call you anything."

"...Hm. Right. Sorry, Jen." Winona shook her head. "Did you hear a growling voice just then?"

"Yes, I did." Jenny looked to the south, only seeing tall grass blocking the horizon. "And you're forgiven, I think I heard the same word you did."

The pair walked into the grass, Shade paralyzed with fear. His legs wouldn't move; some unseen force kept him planted to the spot...

"Huh? Oh, it's just a Houndoom..." Jenny said, only seeing Shade's head through the brush. "Never mind, Winona..."

Winona tore apart the brush separating the three, and Shade's face contorted into a mixture of shock and a gasp when he saw the Gym Leader's red-flushed face as her teeth grated against each other. Me and my big maw... Shade thought as he stared back at Winona...