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View Full Version : [Pokémon] Deeds of Darkness


Haruka of Hoenn
August 30th, 2009, 09:35 AM
I haven't been here in a while D:
But for those of you who remember me, I had a fic on here... It wasn't that great... but I've made a LOT of changes to it. Well... here it is. Rating is PG-PG13 at some points.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=5072668&postcount=7)
CHAPTER 2 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=5129457&postcount=15)
CHAPTER 3 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=5158041&postcount=19)
CHAPTER 4 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=5209441&postcount=23)
CHAPTER 5 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=5255732&postcount=27)
CHAPTER 6 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=5318720&postcount=29)
CHAPTER 7 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=5354849&postcount=33)
CHAPTER 8 (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=5425558&postcount=38)


PROLOGUE
A few miles off the Sinnoh west coast, nestled amongst hissing waves and weather-beaten rocks, is an island. It is remotely located near the northern peninsula, where its rocky shore is the only speck of land seen for miles. A constant cloud of black hovers over the landmass, completely blocking out the light from the outside world. It gives the island its name: New Moon Island. Few have ever seen it, and those who dare to venture out in its direction usually don't come back. There used to be an old myth that told about how the evil of the night retreated there so it wouldn't get burned by the sun. But of course, people know better now. What actually lives there is ten times worse: the pokémon Darkrai.

Even now, no one knows how Darkrai came to be. There were a few legends, but they were slowly forgotten as time went on. At first the people of Sinnoh overlooked the pokémon, deeming it of little importance. It peacefully lived on its own for a few centuries, until the silent treaty of peace was broken. The people of Sinnoh noticed how their crops were pulled from their roots, how their fences were destroyed, how entire colonies were wiped out by a single attack, and how these things always happened overnight. And so, Darkrai was blamed...


January 2nd, 2000


On a chilly winter morning, the president of Sinnoh stood before 50,000 people in one of the most important press conferences of his life. Dr. Berry's eyes surveyed the silent crowd for a few moments, then he picked up his papers and began to speak. An array of microphones amplified his soft voice.

“People of Sinnoh. Ladies, gentlemen, and children. As many of you are well aware, we are faced by a threat. And, without proper action, it could turn into a very formidable foe for us. We have received your complaints, and we have received your pleas for action. And I am here to tell you that those calls will be answered. Darkrai will be extinguished.”

The crowd stirred at his words. The bright flash of cameras blinded him for a moment, and he could no longer see the gentle falling of snow outside the window.

“Mr. President, how exactly do you plan on achieving this?” asked someone from among the crowd, holding up a tape recorder. Its plastic coating gleamed in the light.

The world became silent as Dr. Berry prepared for his reply. His gaze flickered down to his papers before he answered. “I have been discussing the matter with the Sinnoh Department of Defense, and we have reached an agreement. Though I will not speak of our plans, I assure you that we have everything under control. In the meantime, you are advised to go about your daily activities, and not trouble yourself with Darkrai.”

He could tell that the press was pleased. Reporters stood to applaud him, and there were more flashes of cameras. The rest of the conference went by smoothly, discussing lesser things like the environment issues and taxes. But Sinnoh's main question had already been answered. Within a few months, Darkrai would be dead.


...


In the next few days to come, this particular conference will be all over the news. The people of Sinnoh will heed to their president's words, reassured that everything will be all right. And so, life will go on. Peacefully, at first, for just as the President of Sinnoh stepped down from the podium, a shiver ran through the region. The wind direction altered ever so slightly, and the ground gave a slow budge. The change was too subtle to be noticed by humans or pokémon, who paid no attention to the chill in their spines.

At that very moment, something was awakened. For the first time in thousands of years, it was... alive.

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
August 30th, 2009, 09:48 AM
I've reviewed it before elsewhere, but, I like the new prologue. Mysterious, suspenseful, and it has a way of drawing the reader in and shows the great promise these rewrites have:) It really casts Darkrai in an air of mystery, like it's the secret shame that nobody wants anything to do with... except some secret government operation to "take care of" it. It really makes you wonder what their plans are, how Darkrai will react, and what consequences those actions will have.

Can't think of much more to say at this point, but I can't wait to read more, especially when a certain math nerd makes her debut:)

Haruka of Hoenn
August 30th, 2009, 09:51 AM
Hey! And it's okay, I don't mind horribly short reviews :P
But I'm glad you liked the new prologue!

I'm being very precise about this, people. New chapters will be posted exactly 1 week apart, since I already have some of them done.

Esper
August 31st, 2009, 08:42 PM
Poor Darkrai gets blamed for everything.

The first part has a nice flow to it, although I think it could do with a little less exposition on the night and darkness. The press conference was worded nicely. Well done on that. The dialogue is spot on realistic. You've got a nice mythology brewing. It seems, perhaps, a little too straightforward. An island of perpetual darkness where a pokemon of darkness slumbers and bad things are happening to people? I can't help but think to myself "Yes, and what else?"

"This island has no name, since no one is really in a hurry to give it one."This sentence does not jive with the rest of the paragraph. Either it has a name because it's so well know, or it has no name because it's just that mysterious and no one is sure why it has no name. I feel similarly about the line with "deciding that it was just there for no apparent reason." It's so clearly the observation or opinion of the narrator that it takes you out of the story. For most of the prologue the narrator remains more impersonal and unseen than that.

Apart from those bits I mentioned I have no real complaints. I'll look for more (writing, not complaints) when more gets posted.

Bay Alexison
September 1st, 2009, 10:49 AM
I told LeSabre I would review this as he told me a lot of great things about the original version of this fic. :) Wished I read it while you were posting it at Serebii, but I guess a rewrite will give me the chance to read at the beginning without trying to play catch up. :P

I like the dark tone you’re going for in the beginning. Very dark and haunting and also relates to the island and Darkrai. However, like Scraf, I feel you went a bit too much explaining night causes this and night causes that. I’m left wondering where you’re going with this or when some sort of conflict/action will take place.

The press conference scene and the ending lines are awesome, though. Yeah, like LeSabre, I too wonder what plans the government has for Darkrai and also what causes Darkrai to do mischief.

Well, you have me hooked already. :) Can’t wait for next chapter!

Haruka of Hoenn
September 1st, 2009, 01:33 PM
Scarf: The paragraph ab out the night and stuff is actually a big theme in my story, but now that you mention it, I think that could use some trimming. Your comment helped me a lot, I'll be working on this some more.

Bay: I remember when I posted it for the first time on SPPF... I actually still have some of the old chapters; that's what I'm working off of. But yeah, it's good that you came in time for the rewrite.

Glad you guys liked my story so far! Your advice was appreciated. Chapter 1 will be posted in a few days. See ya then :)

Haruka of Hoenn
September 3rd, 2009, 02:30 PM
Sorry guys, this one's long. I won't have time to post on my regular date, so I just decided to post it now.

CHAPTER 1



“Buneary, use Jump Kick!”


Sadie's neck stiffened as she watched Buneary sink to one knee, preparing for a jump that would end the match. Its beady eyes glinted like the eyes of its trainer, Rena. She stood fifty yards away, posed with a hand on her hip, smiling as her pokémon acted on her orders.


Half a second later, Sadie blinked. Buneary was no longer there. All she could see was a blur of brown hurling towards her at breakneck speed, dispersing the blades of grass. Buneary's spring was weightless, and carried it several yards into the air where it carefully took its aim.


Sadie's Luxio stood firmly by her side, its large yellow eyes glazed and unfocused. Its slender blue tail flicked back and forth lazily, almost as if it knew that this was just another battle. A trip to the Pokémon Center would follow soon afterward, just like it always had...


Sadie bit her lip.“Come on Luxio, you can do it! Quick, dodge the attack!” Her words were shaky and forced, just like her determination. Luxio's pointed ears flicked backward, catching the sound of her voice. But the rest of its body remained still. Through her eyelashes Sadie saw Buneary descend to the ground, a speeding bullet. She felt the world slowly blur before her.


But then...


Bolts of white electricity began to gather from within the spiky tufts of fur, a deep-throated growl mixed in with their crackling. It took Sadie a few moments to comprehend what was happening.


We just might pull it through this time! Sadie wrapped a black strand of hair around her finger.


“Come on, there's still a chance!” Sadie shouted, and she realized that she was speaking to herself.


And just like that, the two pokémon collided. Luxio didn't even have time to fire a single bolt. The force of Buneary's kick sent it flying, and finally landing, at Sadie's feet. Luxio lay still for a moment, then began to twitch. She cupped her hand over her mouth as her scarred pokémon struggled to get up.


How could Luxio survive that? Sadie was too stunned to speak.


“Buneary, use Quick Attack!”


Before Sadie could look up, Buneary was already running.


“No!” The involuntary cry had barely escaped her lips as Buneary knocked into Luxio full-force. It began circling it, throwing fast kicks and hard punches. Sadie watched in horror as a dazed Luxio tried to locate Buneary, but was unable to single it out in the tornado of grass and gravel it was picking up. The final punch threw Luxio a few feet into the air, then finally hurled it towards the ground. The battle was over.


“Oh, Luxio!” Sadie said aloud as she rushed to her fallen pokémon. She lifted Luxio up into her arms, took the pokéball out from her pocket, and watched as Luxio's red outline disappeared inside the capsule. Sadie sighed, holding the pokéball at eye level.


There goes another loss... it's your fault Luxio. You didn't listen to my command. No, it's not your fault, it's mine. I barely even said anything... Sadie sighed, for she had heard it all before.


Ever since she was young, pokémon never seemed to listen to her commands in battle. And, coming from a family of coordinators, that was almost disgraceful. Her mother had always tried to cheer her up with comments like “Don't worry, sweetie. You did your best!” but over the years they began to lose their effect. Sadie had always dreamed of living up to her grandmother's reputation of being one of the top 50 in Sinnoh and Hoenn, or at least have her contest pokémon's photograph hanging in Hearthome like her mother. Her grandmother always told her that to become a coordinator you needed three things: “Pokémon that love and trust you, an unshakable desire to be a coordinator, and the ability to take risks.”


Well, I'm almost certain that I have the first two things... but what about the third? Why? Why can't Luxio just listen? Shaking her head in dismay, Sadie finally dropped the Pokéball into her green backpack.


“Hey, good game!” someone called from behind. Sadie turned to see Rena walking towards her, slinging her tote bag over her shoulder. Strands of orange hair were sticking to her smudged cheek, but her lips were pulled back into the widest of grins. Buneary skipped happily along by her side, its large ears bouncing to the rhythm of its footsteps.


According to her parents, Sadie was the complete opposite of her best friend. In their eyes it was a good thing, since she usually stayed out of trouble. But Rena possessed the very thing Sadie longed for- the power to influence others. Rena noticed Sadie's dilemma with commanding pokémon, so she decided to help out. During the school year they didn't have as much time to battle, but now that summer vacation was once again upon them, they had more time to spend together. Rena's training sessions were supposedly free of charge, but Rena asked Sadie to lend her some money when she became a millionaire. Sadie had laughed along to that joke, secretly not sure if she would ever get that far. And with this loss, her goal seemed to be getting farther and farther away from her.


“You actually did a lot better this time, Sadie,” Rena said as she took out Buneary's pokéball. The rabbit pokémon vanished into the capsule with a flash of red.


“You think?” Sadie replied, honestly surprised.


“Uh, duh! Did you see Luxio getting ready for that Spark?” Rena giggled.


Sadie shrugged. “I don't know... I think he just got scared or something. I told him to dodge the attack, not to use Spark...”


Rena imitated Sadie's one-shoulder shrug. “Well, at least he did something. I remember our first battle! He totally - ”


“Fell asleep, I know.” Sadie giggled, blushing from the memory. “Do you remember how we first met? You told everyone that your mother gave you a Steelix for your first day of kindergarten! And I confronted you and said that I didn't believe you.”


“Yeah, and we got into an argument over a bunch of crayons, and you started crying when I challenged you,” Rena laughed.


“And when we battled after school, I found out that you didn't have a Steelix, you were still using your mother's Stunky! And while we were battling, you scared Luxio away.”


“Yeah, my mom got really mad at me for that! She made me sit outside for an hour to 'think about what I had done'.”


“And I saw you outside!” Sadie finished. “And we completely forgot that we had been arguing in school, and you asked me if you wanted to pull a prank on your mom... You haven't changed at all since then.”


“Nope,” Rena giggled. “Neither have you!” Sadie turned away for a moment, and surveyed their battlefield with a cringe. What was once a simple, lush meadow now looked as if a bulldozer had gone through. Most of the grass was trampled, and there was a large empty patch where Luxio's Spark had hit. The sidewalk was littered with dirt and debris from Buneary's Quick Attack, and the strip of white fence to Sadie's left was smeared with dirt. The potted plants that once stood in a neat row beside it were knocked over, their contents spilled on the sidewalk.


“Whoever owns those is gonna be mad! Let's get out of here,” Rena sighed.


“Way to go, Rena. I told you that battling here would be a bad idea!” Sadie exclaimed, pulling on her hair. “If my mom finds out...”


“Aw, forget about that! No one is gonna care. The idiot who decided to put up a garden in Route 202 is, well... an idiot!”


“Okay, fine, but we should at least clean up a li-”






BANG!






The sudden roar of thunder sent shivers down Sadie's spine. She looked up slowly at the sky. It had been a light, warm gray only minutes ago, but was now darkening rapidly. A group of storm clouds was gathering a few miles north, where Jubilife City was. She felt something cold drop on her cheek.


“Aw no, it's raining!” Rena shouted, wiping her tote bag. “My mom will kill me if I get this wet! And I mean kill! She thinks this is real leather!”


“But it's not,” Sadie raised an eyebrow.


“That's not what Mr. Henley said. He just wanted to get an extra buck out of her! Damn, this is why you should never trust garage sales... I swear, you and me, we'll egg his house one day.”


Sadie couldn't help but laugh. “Maybe we will. But right now, we have to get back to Sandgem before it starts pouring! Let's go,” she said, picking up her lumpy backpack. It was nearly weightless, the only objects inside being two pokéballs, and a notebook. Sadie didn't pack an umbrella however, which she began to regret as the drops of rain became more frequent.


The two girls walked briskly down the path, trying to outrun the oncoming storm. The trees surrounding them bent and twisted in the strengthening wind, and the girls were soon forced into a sprint as the rain began to pour. Sadie's backpack, which had been hoisted onto her head to shield her from the rain, wasn't doing much good anymore. Strands of long hair were sticking to her face and neck like slimy worms, and she frequently had to stop and wipe them off of her eyes. It was times like these that made her jealous of Rena's short hair, which could easily be tamed with a headband. On top of it all, the wind was howling so ferociously that she could barely hear her own footsteps.


“This is so weird!” Sadie shouted. “The weather guy – said – nothing – about – a – storm!”


“I know!” came Rena's reply. “The weather guy's – probably a – phony!”


“No – it can't be – him! The weather – never – changes – this – fast – around here!”


“Look, I really don't care why the weather's like this!” Rena's voice was strained. “I just wanna go home! And my mom's bag is ruined! Gaah!”


Another roar of thunder rippled through the sky, this time louder and definitely closer. Whatever had been going on over by Jubilife had finally reached them. Suddenly, with a wet snap, a thick branch broke off of a tree, missing the two girls by an inch. Sadie screamed, her fist curled around Rena's sleeve.


“My gosh, this is like a hurricane!” Rena shouted. Sadie was too stunned to speak.


When they reached the open, flat expanse of Sandgem, the wind seemed to reach its peak. Walking became difficult, and the girls had to grab onto fences and signs to keep their footing. As Sadie's house neared, she could see only one light that was on - in the living room.


My mom's probably so worried about us! Sadie bit her lip as they climbed the stone steps.


“We're here!” the girls shouted in unison, pounding on the door.


The door was opened by Regina, Rena's mother. Her eyes narrowed as she gave the girls a quick once-over. She made no comment about the tote bag, which Rena had cleverly hidden behind her back.


“Katherine, they're home,” she called over her shoulder. Sadie recognized her tone immediately. This wasn't going to be fun.


The girls were led into the living room, where the television was tuned in to the weather channel. A remote control silenced the reporter's frantic words, and Sadie's mother slowly rose from the couch. Her forehead was etched with lines. After a long, painful silence, she spoke.


“Where... were you girls?”


“I... uh... we were just... battling...”


“Good gracious, battling? When there's a tornado outside that's destroying half of Jubilife City as we speak, you girls are battling?”


“Whoa whoa whoa! That was a tornado?” Rena exclaimed. “There are never tornadoes in the South!”


“That's what got us so worried about you girls,” Regina finished. “You could have been killed!” Sadie's mind immediately flashed back to the falling branch, and she swallowed a mound of bile.


“Well we weren't!” Rena countered. Sadie nodded sheepishly, though she knew that it wouldn't make much of a difference.


“Rena, I'll let your mother decide what she wants to do with you, but Sadie is forbidden from leaving this house alone!”


Sadie gasped. “What? Mom, come on!”


“Don't try to worm your way out of this! Sadie, do you know how dangerous - ”


“Katherine, please!” Regina said, finally turning away from the girls. “Don't you think the girls had enough for one day?” She leaned forward and whispered something to Katherine. A few moments later, both women turned to their daughters. Katherine stepped forward.


“Girls, go upstairs to Sadie's room. Rena, you'll spend the night here -”


“All right, sleepover!” Rena grinned at Sadie.


“- but you two are to immediately go to bed! And I mean it. No talking after the lights go out. Okay? And leave your wet shoes by the door. I don't want them all over the carpet.”


Rena's smile faded into a scowl. Sadie sighed in a what-can-you-do sort of way as they both took off their wet shoes. Sadie wiggled her numb toes and wrung her hair dry. When she and Rena were well up the stairs, the whispering resumed. The mothers were well out of earshot, and Sadie could make out little of their conversation.


“I wonder what they're talking about,” she said to Rena. Her friend simply shrugged.


“Beats me.”


The girls did not speak for the rest of the night. After they brushed their teeth, Sadie took out a spare sleeping bag out of the closet for Rena, then got into her own bed. Listening to the steady plip plop of rain on the window, Sadie quickly drifted into unconsciousness.




...




A few miles away, well beneath the crags and craters of Mt. Coronet, a small military squad was finishing its dinner in the confines of an empty cafeteria. The soldiers sat at metal tables and leaned over plastic trays, their brown and green uniforms standing out against the pale color of the walls. The environment overall was a quiet one, since most of the room's attention was directed towards a large TV monitor hanging directly above the food line. Usually this monitor displayed what the men referred to as 'The Military Channel', which was basically a more complicated form of government news.


But on this particular night, the TV had been tuned to the Sinnoh Weather Channel, where a bald reporter was doing a frantic live coverage of a storm. Almost everybody in the room seemed engrossed by this report, talking in hushed voices so as to not talk over the weatherman. Even the lunch servers on duty had paused in their tasks, spaghetti sauce dripping off their ladles as they watched. The only person who was visibly not watching the TV was Dalton, a man in his late twenties. Though he sat in full view of the monitor, his gaze remained on his plate of uneaten food.


“Seriously Dalton, are you gonna just sit there staring at that apple or are you going to share?” Bret chuckled after a few minutes of silence.


Without hesitation, Dalton pushed his tray over to his friend. “I'm not hungry today,” he shrugged.


“Suit yourself...” Bret said, swallowing a spoonful of his spaghetti. Dalton cringed as the watery noodles disappeared into his puckered lips.


Only a month has passed since he had been assigned to Squad 6 – one of twelve special squads stationed across Sinnoh. Only soldiers with at least ten years of experience would be assigned to them, so of course Dalton would be picked. He, including Bret, had been in the Sinnoh Armed Forces since the age of sixteen, though they had started out with much smaller jobs. The years went by pretty quickly, with many broken bones. And suddenly, Dalton found himself involuntarily placed in a special operations group whose goal was to capture and kill Sinnoh's most wanted - Darkrai. Just as their squad commander, Hart, kept repeating daily: 'You men are doing this region a service! And you better be damn proud of it!”


If that's so, then would it be too much of a hassle to give us better food? Dalton thought as he watched Bret devour a chunk of bread.


A long gap in their conversation soon followed, allowing Dalton to direct his attention to the TV. A darkening sky was shown from a shaky camera angle. The tornado was a thick funnel that dropped down to the earth, as black as the sky itself. A thick cloud of dust spun around its bottom, making it almost impossible to see what was going on in that miserable patch of land. Through it all, the reporter droned on.


“... currently in Jubilife City. While the source of this tornado is still unknown, it has grown stronger since it was first sighted near Route 203. Its winds are currently at speed of 160 miles per hour, and are predicted to reach 200 miles per hour by ten o'clock. Residents of nearby areas are urged to stay in their homes, preferably in a room with no windows. If anybody is injured, dial 911 immediately. This tornado has been predicted to go through Sandgem Town and Twinleaf Town, but you are advised to stay in your shelters until the end of the storm is announced. Stay tuned for more live coverage...”


“That tornado is gonna make a mess of the city,” Bret said, his voice lacking any particular emotion. “Good thing we're underground, eh?” He chuckled to himself.


“Yeah. It's a shame, though, with people losing their homes and stuff... I never did get to visit the TV station either,” Dalton laughed along.


Another silence fell upon them as Dalton watched the TV, trying to ignore Bret's chewing noises. The reporters had been talking nonstop for an hour, and by their tone of voice, things weren't getting any better. Dalton sighed as a tree was sucked into the swirling vortex.


“Man, this sucks...” he murmured absentmindedly.


“What do you mean?” Bret asked between bites of bread. Dalton jumped, suddenly aware that he had been speaking out loud.


“Uh... sorry, what?”


“What 'sucks'?” Bret looked at him quizzically. He had paused in his meal.


Dalton ran his fingers through his unkempt blond hair. “I don't know... have you ever just gotten the feeling that this whole thing is a waste of time?”


At this, Bret raised an eyebrow. “I'm still not following, dude.”


Dalton puffed out his cheeks. “Just this entire Darkrai thing. I really don't think we're gonna get anywhere with this. How long has it been, a month? Seriously, Darkrai hasn't been sighted since we started. I would bet anything that Darkrai finally got a brain, and left.”


Bret shrugged, returning his attention to his food. “Well, what can you do? At least sitting around doing nothing is better than being sent on a life-threatening mission,” he said nonchalantly.


Dalton chuckled. “Yeah, that's really pissing off the commander. He loves it when we bust our backs...” Almost by instinct, Dalton's eyes scanned the crowd for Commander Hart. “Speaking of which... where is the guy?”


“No clue. He was right by the food line a few minutes ago... maybe he died.” Suddenly, Bret gasped. “Oh no, I told you my birthday wish!”


The two men burst into laughter, their voices louder than usual. A few soldiers looked up in annoyance, but their interest gradually went back to the TV monitor. Dalton's gaze once again fell on the TV, and what he saw shocked him. The black storm clouds that had spiraled into a tornado were now gone, replaced by a flat gray sky. Most of the eastern part of the Jubilife was ravaged by the tornado. The western section however, was still sound and whole. Dalton leaned in closer to get a better view. It was nearly impossible for him to make out the reporter's words through the static and sound of pouring rain.


“... simply incredible! What could have been the most powerful storm in Sinnoh has mysteriously vanished, moments after sweeping East Jubilife. As you can see, towards the left, the city's completely destroyed. The storm was predicted to go through Sandgem and Twinleaf, along with their respective routes. But just before it reached the heart of Jubilife City, it exhausted itself out. This mysterious event was captured right here on camera! Here, we're replaying it now... The weather station is still getting a tremendous amount of phone calls about the incident. The authorities have not yet declared it safe to leave your homes, and you are advised to avoid any electrical appliances until a rescue crew has arrived to clean up...”


“Whoa, did you see that?” Dalton said to Bret, who had been munching on chips the whole time.


“What?” He twisted around to face the monitor. “Whoa...” he said after a few seconds, then turned back to face Dalton. “So the tornado's really gone? Just like that? That's not normal...”


Dalton was about to reply, but was distracted by a slamming door. Commander Hart stood in the doorway, his face contracted in a grimace he was famous for. He whispered something into his walkie-talkie, then turned to face the room, which had fallen silent upon his entry. All eyes were on him.


“All right men, dinner is over! Everybody is to head back to the barracks immediately!”


The room was suddenly abuzz with the clatter of trays and shuffling feet as the men got up from their tables. Dalton and Bret rose together, tossing out the remainder of the food in a nearby trash can.


The cafeteria was connected to the rest of the base by a series of wide tunnels. Dalton had always described them as unbearably stuffy, and found the flickering of fluorescent lights distracting. But tonight he was too exhausted to care. All questions and worries about the tornado were left behind upon his exit, leaving only one urge – sleep. The heated conversation about the storm had already ceased to interest Dalton, the voices of his fellow soldiers fading as he struggled to keep his eyes open.






The last drop of rain fell at midnight, long after the squad had drifted off to sleep. By then, the storm had finally reached its end.






Or was it really just the beginning of a new one?




...



In a sea of darkness, all that is visible is a pair of piercing blue eyes. All is silent for a few moments. Then there is a faint rustle of leaves as it takes off, a black shadow tearing its way through the sky.

Esper
September 4th, 2009, 09:33 AM
I know that this does sometimes happen with friends, but I groaned a little when I read “Do you remember how we first met?" You want the reader to know this background info, I get it, but it might be better if it was written as Sadie thinking back to when they met rather than the two of them informing each other about something they both already know. I'm glad it's there, though. It gives them a history which makes them more rounded and interesting.

This Dalton character, though, he confuses me. He seems to jump from apathetic to outraged and back to apathetic in no time. If that's his character then I can't says I care for him. If that burst of why-are-we-doing-this? is how he really feels then I think you first need to establish somehow that even though he's been a soldier for ten years his current mission has caused him to feel uneasy. He also seems to know what's "really" going on even when everyone around him is taking it for granted that Darkrai is the cause of all the problems. This isn't the image I have of someone who's been a soldier for ten years, at least not when I don't know anything about him.

One other thing that caught my attention was the dialogue between Sadie and Rena. It could also be toned down a bit. You have an overabundance of exclamation points.

Haruka of Hoenn
September 4th, 2009, 01:47 PM
I know that this does sometimes happen with friends, but I groaned a little when I read “Do you remember how we first met?" You want the reader to know this background info, I get it, but it might be better if it was written as Sadie thinking back to when they met rather than the two of them informing each other about something they both already know. I'm glad it's there, though. It gives them a history which makes them more rounded and interesting.Writing it out was how I first tried it, but it didn't really work out for me. The scene didn't flow with the rest of the chapter. My best friend and I often reminisce on how we met, even though we both know the story, so I just based it off of that.

As for Dalton, I haven't revealed all the aspects of his personality just yet, but it's in his character to be like that. He's mainly passive unless he feels strongly about something. I'm not sure how he confuses you though, because in all honesty, I think I described him as best as I could for his introduction. If I missed a big point you were trying to make, please say so. I want to make these rewrite chapters as best as I can.

Well, thanks for giving your honest opinion of my chapter! I appreciate it ;)

Next week, I won't have time to be online due to a series of tests I have to take... yay. If anyone posts a review then and I don't reply to it, don't think I'm ignoring you :P

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
September 4th, 2009, 06:06 PM
I personally liked the little pieces of dialogue between Sadie and Rena really helps to develop their character, as the difference in personality between the girls becomes apparent. And I do sometimes talk with my friends about "the good old days" too.

I'm sticking to my opinion that the second part of the chapter, with Dalton, might have been better tacked on to the next chapter, as it seems like his introduction is a bit random considering the bulk of the chapter is devoted to Sadie and Rena. I don't know why, but in my opinion, introducing new characters seems less random when it's done at the beginning of a chapter. Might be just me, and if you did it this way to make the chapters more equal in length, I understand that too. :)

In any event, it'll be interesting on how these elements (Darkrai, Sadie+Rena, Dalton and the army platoon) come together as the story unfolds. I'm looking forward to it! ;)

Bay Alexison
September 4th, 2009, 08:37 PM
“That's not what Mr. Henley said. He just wanted to get an extra buck out of her! Damn, this is why you should never trust garage sales... I swear, you and me, we'll egg his house one day.”
Yeah, go egg his house! :P

Anyways, like DarkPersian, I actually like the girls' conversation too. I don't think you need to do a flashback or go further with their first meeting and such. Yeah, shows their personality a lot and also I'm a sucker for conversations of the good ol' days. XD Another thing is the exclamation points didn't bother me. I talk like that with my friends sometimes. :P

One thing I'm worried about is the mention of Pokemon not listening to Sadie since she's little. Sorry, but comments like that make me think as if you're mentioning all Pokemon and that they somehow revolved around her. And when I mean revolved, it can go either way- everyone likes her or hates her. Something like that moves to Mary Sue territory. I'm not saying Sadie is a Mary Sue, but watch out for that. However, I might misinterpret something here, so don't hesitate to let me know my mistake. ^^;

Hm, for Dalton, I kinda have to agree on Scraf, at least on him fear of Darkrai being a more logical reaction. True, Dalton and the army had been trying to find Darkrai and so far, nothing. However, Dalton could have worried also that maybe Darkrai is hiding somewhere, waiting for the opportunity to strike, etc. However, unlike Scarf, I wasn't confused by his character. I too am mostly passive but I can have strong opinions on certain topics. Can't wait to see how you'll develop him, though.

All in all, nice chapter here to set up more things coming in our way.Can't wait for the next chapter!

Haruka of Hoenn
September 5th, 2009, 08:30 AM
LeSabre: I'm sticking to my opinion that the second part of the chapter, with Dalton, might have been better tacked on to the next chapter, as it seems like his introduction is a bit random considering the bulk of the chapter is devoted to Sadie and Rena. I don't know why, but in my opinion, introducing new characters seems less random when it's done at the beginning of a chapter. Might be just me, and if you did it this way to make the chapters more equal in length, I understand that too.
I understand your point there. I felt that I should introduce all the major characters in the first chapter, then describe how their fates are intertwined. zomgspoiler.
Anyways, thanks for stopping by!

Bay: One thing I'm worried about is the mention of Pokemon not listening to Sadie since she's little. Sorry, but comments like that make me think as if you're mentioning all Pokemon and that they somehow revolved around her. And when I mean revolved, it can go either way- everyone likes her or hates her. Something like that moves to Mary Sue territory. I'm not saying Sadie is a Mary Sue, but watch out for that. However, I might misinterpret something here, so don't hesitate to let me know my mistake. ^^;
I think I get what you're saying. When I say 'Pokemon don't listen to Sadie' technically I'm talking about her Pokemon. There's just something 'missing' in her that makes her all uncertain when giving commands. It's an important part of her character; I guess you could call it 'lack of confidence' or something. I see what your point is, and I'll keep it in mind when I'm writing.

Now I think I understand what you and Scarf were mentioning about Dalton. At first, I wasn't sure what you guys meant, but now I do. I'm not going to explain his meaning, however. You'll understand his views more as the story goes along.

Next chapter might be delayed a day or two. It's written and all, but I have to see what work my teachers have in store for me... D:
See you next chapter!

Giratina ♀
September 5th, 2009, 10:09 AM
If short reviews with few quotes are not your style, please forgive me, but that's just what I find easier and quotes are usually used more for grammar checking than anything else. There may be a few, but I'll mostly be talking about the story in general, not specific parts.

Now that I've got you sufficiently bored with my rambling, let's go!

Well, from reading the prologue, I agree with what most have said: the beginning dwelled a bit too much on the darkness and how totally dark it is, which unfortunately made me skip to the next paragraph. :C I do that more than I should, so don't let it get you down too hard, but... aw, never mind. Moving on. Second half of the prologue, with Sinnoh's President, was a lot more interesting. I've never seen Darkrai portrayed quite like this, and there's something about your brand of 'Darkrai is a common enemy and is thought to be evil' that doesn't seem quite so cliché. Props on that.

First chapter, then. I think the reason that Sadie's Pokémon don't obey their Trainer has something to do with them being too powerful for Sadie's assumed-badgeless credentials to control easily. Of course, this is just me recognizing the signs - falling asleep, wrong attacks, and so on - though I could be wrong. The reflection-laden conversation between the duo seemed pretty good except for the last sentence, where it was stated they were friends ever since... shouldn't they both know that already? It seemed very out of the blue for two people who were thinking about things that so obviously defined their relationship as buddies. Also, you didn't need to put in the 'do you remember how me met' part - just having them jump right into the funny early parts of their friendship would have been enough. Just my opinion, but it still seemed sort of jarring.

Also sort of interesting is the use of cursing and their more family-friendly counterparts - for example, Rena uses 'damn' and Sadie, about the same age, used 'gosh'. A miliary commander uses 'darn' and Dalton used 'suck'. While the first example could be excused as Rena being slightly less strict about that sort of thing, two adults in the military, with one addressing other adults in the military... it'd be better to make up your mind. ^^

I am done. C: Keep going - this looks like it has potntial to turn out pretty nicely.

Haruka of Hoenn
September 6th, 2009, 07:38 AM
If short reviews with few quotes are not your style, please forgive me, but that's just what I find easier and quotes are usually used more for grammar checking than anything else. There may be a few, but I'll mostly be talking about the story in general, not specific parts.
I really don't mind which, to be honest. I like a lengthy no-quote review every now and then!


Well, from reading the prologue, I agree with what most have said: the beginning dwelled a bit too much on the darkness and how totally dark it is, which unfortunately made me skip to the next paragraph. :C I do that more than I should, so don't let it get you down too hard, but... aw, never mind. Moving on. Second half of the prologue, with Sinnoh's President, was a lot more interesting. I've never seen Darkrai portrayed quite like this, and there's something about your brand of 'Darkrai is a common enemy and is thought to be evil' that doesn't seem quite so cliché. Props on that.
Most of you guys have mentioned this, so I took a look at the prologue and shortened the darkness paragraph a bit. I was too lazy to put it up, so I probably should do that today... Don't worry about hurting my feelings or anything. It's all good :P

Also sort of interesting is the use of cursing and their more family-friendly counterparts - for example, Rena uses 'damn' and Sadie, about the same age, used 'gosh'. A miliary commander uses 'darn' and Dalton used 'suck'. While the first example could be excused as Rena being slightly less strict about that sort of thing, two adults in the military, with one addressing other adults in the military... it'd be better to make up your mind. ^^
Yeah... I'm kinda mixed up about that. I don't like swearing personally, but I try to fit in character's words with their personalities. You're actually the first person who mentioned this, and I'm glad you pointed it out. I'll have to be more consistent throughout the story.

Thanks for the review! I'll clean up the prologue and first chapter, then I'll look over the second before posting it. That will be in exactly 1 week so stay tuned everyone!

Haruka of Hoenn
September 18th, 2009, 12:58 PM
Bit short for a chapter, but it shouldn't be too bad. I already had this one written, and I was very busy with other work. That's why it was sorta delayed :/


CHAPTER 2


The members of Squad 6 left the base camp early the next morning, while the lazy sun still hovered over the horizon. The heat of the day had not settled in yet, leaving the air cool and fresh. The soldiers marched in perfect synchrony, wet soil crunching as it gave way beneath their boots. Guns were clutched tightly against the left side of the body, and eyes stared straight ahead. If it had been any other way, the unlucky soldier would soon be forced to regret it. Commander Hart had watchful eyes and a tendency to give out unfair punishments. It was risky to sneak even a yawn, regardless of what row you were in, and Dalton was surprised when he felt Bret nudge his shoulder.

“ What?” he whispered, slightly annoyed. His voice blended in with the sound of rustling leaves, and he wasn’t sure if Bret had heard him.

A few seconds later came his reply. “I think I know why they’re sending us to Route 203!” he said.

“ What?” Dalton repeated, risking a turn of the head as a flock of Starly few by.

“ I know why we’re going to Route 203!”

“ Why?”

“ They spotted Darkrai there. I overheard Hart talking about it with the General.”

“ I heard that we’re doing cleanup duty!” said Harvey , a dark-haired man who stood on Bret’s left side. “Those people have totally lost their minds! Why would we need guns for cleanup duty?”

“ We are cleaning! We’re doing pest control!” said a second soldier on Dalton ’s right. “Now shut up or he’ll hear us!”

“ Who’s that talking back there?” came a gruff voice from somewhere in the front.

Oh great… Dalton thought with a grimace. The squad came to a halt.

All heads turned to the fourth row. The man next to Dalton shifted uneasily under the stares of his comrades, but held his tongue. Nobody ever confessed to Commander Hart. For a few minutes, the only sound that could be heard was the faint rustle of leaves. With each passing second the tension grew, until Commander Hart finally spoke.

“ So… nobody knows who was talking… I should have expected as much from this bunch of little girls. If it happens again, you’re all doing push-ups! March!”

That’s weird… Dalton thought. Usually he’d make us all do a hundred for something like that…

Dalton could feel the nervousness emanate from the rest of the squad. He exchanged questioning glances with Bret, who appeared to be just as confused as he was. Nobody dared to break form for the remainder of the march. They passed through the rest of the town and through the rocky interior of the Oreburgh Gate. At exactly 9:00, they stood before the tattered remains of Route 203. Only then did somebody say “Whoa!”

The dirt path ended here, so it seemed. Almost everything before them was covered with twigs and dried leaves, and the only hints of a path were patches of displaced dirt scattered here and there. A sign stood off to the side, the board hanging from its support by a thin strand of wood. The surface was scarred and weathered, but the words were still visible: ROUTE 203. Its ruined state represented that of the route it labeled. Dalton had been to this particular route many times in his life, and found his mouth hanging open at the sight. The trees that once bordered the route now lay on the ground in a heap of splintered logs. Their absence left a gaping hole in the horizon, exposing miles of bare, twisted land. The towering city of Jubilife was visible far off in the distance.

Dalton's gaze lingered on the city, and he raised his arm so that it was at eye level, blocking out everything except for a tall city against a painted sky. The glass windows of buildings reflected the weak sunlight and scenery below. It was a peaceful sight, and for a moment, Dalton forgot the destruction that lay below. His mind began to trail off for a moment, then a loud, scratchy voice brought him back to reality.

“ ... station to Commander Hart...” it said, and Commander Hart raised his walkie-talkie.

“ This is Commander Hart,” he said into the mouthpiece.

“ We have received word of - and - the route...” Frequent outbursts of static interrupted the man's speech, making his words nearly incomprehensible.

“ What was that?” Commander Hart said, this time louder. “I can barely hear you!” He pulled the radio's antenna out to its full length.

“ I said to - agh! This static is too - I can't hear -”

“ I can't hear you either! Dammit! Battery's probably dead.” Commander Hart clipped the walkie-talkie back onto his belt and turned back to his squad.

“ Now, you're all probably wondering why you're here. The answer is very simple: to clean up after the storm. You are to collect all the small things like branches and break apart big things like logs, so when the truck comes the workers won't bust their backs. Any questions?”

“ But why do we need our guns - ” Harvey began, but the Commander silenced him with a mere lift of his hand.

“ You ask me that every single time, Dawson! Doesn't that big mouth of yours ever get tired? I want fifty pushups, right here and now!”

Harvey hesitated, then knelt to the ground. “Yessir...” he mumbled. Dalton felt sympathy for Harvey as he watched the soldier lower himself to the ground, and push himself back up with trembling arms. Harvey was one of the newer additions to the squad, and was not yet used to the Commander's brutal ways.

About fifty grunts later, Dalton heard the buzz of Commander Hart's walkie-talkie.

“ This is Commander Hart,” he answered at once. There was no static this time, and the man's words were perfectly clear.

“ Get out of the route! Get out of there now!” he said. There was a frantic edge to his voice, and Dalton felt a chill run through his body.

“ What? Why?” Commander Hart said. “Hello?” The red light near the antenna went out as the walkie-talkie turned off. Commander Hart stared at it for a few moments, then clipped it back to his waist.

In the squad, nobody moved. Even Harvey had stopped doing his pushups, and was now dusting off his pants. Commander Hart let this go unnoticed, and his eyes scanned the faces of his men.

“ Should we leave or not, Commander?” Bret spoke up.

Commander Hart crossed his arms. “Bah! Probably just another alternate mission... But who am I to defy the 'higher' authority? Harvey, you'll resume your pushups when we return. March!”

With much mumbling the soldiers all turned around, neat rows fragmenting into a disorganized cluster. For little more than a second, Dalton's eyes alighted on the rising sun. Then everything became dark.

A shadow, a black void, had descended upon them in the blink of an eye like the falling curtains of a stage. It encased the squad on all sides, blacking out everything around them except the grass on which they stood. Their surroundings emitted an eerie glow, illuminated by an unseen light source. Dalton didn't even have time to scream. A twisting hole appeared in the fabric of the void, and through it passed Darkrai. Its form, hazy and distorted at first, became more and more pronounced as it drew nearer. Its body was entirely black, and for a second, it seemed to be nearly one with the shadows. A vertical veil of white billowed around its head, and round its neck hung a red necklace that glowed with a bloody hue. Centuries of cold, silent hatred were trapped behind a single blue eye. They penetrated deep into Dalton's brown ones, sending shivers down his spine. Dalton's grip tightened on his rifle.

“ It's Darkrai! Shoot, shoot!” yelled the Commander, and a chorus of thunderous gunshots followed. Dalton pointed and fired, the force of the blast nearly making him stumble. But just as the bullet was about to meet its target, it passed through the pokémon as if it were made of air. Only then did the true danger of the situation dawn upon him.

“ WHAT?!? The bullets just pass through!” another soldier's cries echoed his own thoughts. The vertical pupil turned. Darkrai raised a slender arm, and a ball of black matter materialized between twitching fingers. The attack was fired in a fraction of a second and was now speeding towards them.

“ Move!” Dalton lunged to the side to avoid the oncoming Shadow Ball. The soft material of his vest gave a bounce to his fall. Dalton heard two more bodies crash beside him.

“ We're not gonna make it! This thing is unstoppable! We're totally unprepared!” Harvey's voice sounded.

“ Shut up, Harvey! We'll find a way to get out of this!” yelled Bret.

“ But the bullets just pass right through!”

“ SHOOT, SHOOT!” Commander Hart yelled.

“ Why is he telling them to shoot? The bullets have no effect!” Dalton lifted his head to get a better view. Commander Hart was standing at the back of a disorganized squad, pointing a menacing finger to the floating Darkrai. A few men obeyed his orders, but most were running away. Those who weren't so lucky now lay in motionless heaps, the grass around them blackened and smoking.

“ Why is he telling them to shoot? The bullets have no effect!” Dalton hissed.

“ It doesn't matter right now, let's just get outta here!” Bret said, and Dalton rose to his feet. He held onto his gun, even though he knew it wouldn't do any good.

“ Go!” he shouted, and the three began to run. Dalton risked a backward glance, and realized that Commander Hart had been watching them.

“ What the...? Where are you going? Get back here NOW! That's an order! ROGERS, SANDERS, DAWSON! DO YOU HEAR ME?”

Seeing Harvey's grimace, Dalton nudged his shoulder. “Run, just run!” Harvey remained silent, but did not slow. The black edges of the enclosure neared.

“ NO!” the sudden cry forced Dalton into a halt. He turned back, and saw Darkrai preparing for its next, biggest attack. Black and red matter swirled angrily within a large disc. It began to expand, until it extended far beyond Darkrai's armspan. An unexplainable wind picked up, forcing the blades of grass to bow away from the pokémon. Its eye glinted with satisfaction as the disc broke, blasting and twisting through the meadow with a force so strong, the very air seemed to thin. It swept through the meadow, knocking the men down like bowling pins. Dalton shuddered as he saw Commander Hart, usually so tough and strong, be swallowed by the torrent of red and black. The final waves of the attack ebbed a few feet away from where Dalton stood, Bret and Harvey shaking beside him. A black haze lifted then faded, exposing what was left of the squad. Dalton felt something break inside of him as he beheld the motionless bodies of his former comrades. Every year they had spent together in Squad 6 seemed golden to him. Every silly request, every brutal command, they had survived together. And just like that, the gold was gone. All Dalton could feel now was... black.

Darkrai had paused in firing, apparently satisfied with its work. Its eye scanned the area for any signs of survivors, then locked on the three men. Dalton felt a chill creep through his body, and he braced himself for the attack. But it did not come. Instead Darkrai was now gliding over to them, grass rippling from the slight gale it left behind.

“ Is it gonna spare us?” Bret whispered.

“ I don't know, man, maybe it wants to kill us personally...” Harvey shuddered.

Dalton opened his mouth to reply, but nothing came out. Darkrai descended until its eye was level with theirs. Its gaze was hypnotizing, and Dalton felt his grip slacken on his rifle. Darkrai held its gaze, and for a moment, the silence of the world was broken by a whisper. The voice was quiet, yet it echoed within the walls of Dalton's mind.

Sleep, human... sleep... Darkrai's will was overpowering, like a hammer pounding on a rusty nail. Dalton felt a great weight force him down to the ground. His knees met the soft grass, then his arms, then his cheek. Behind his eyelids, all he could see was black.



Black...



Red...



Black...



And then, he was being pulled upwards on a roller coaster. Then downwards. Then nowhere at all. Dalton felt as if he were slowly coming to from a long, long dream. In the distance, he could see the blurred outlines of trees. They were indistinct at first, then became more and more clear until Dalton found himself lying on cold soil, facing upwards towards a thick canopy of palm trees. The forest was silent, but he felt a strange sense of presence...

From somewhere far away, a pokémon let out a soft cry. Before Dalton had time to make out what it was, or if it was even there, everything was gone.

Bay Alexison
September 18th, 2009, 09:31 PM
“ We have received word of ---- and ------ ------ ---- the route...” Frequent outbursts of static interrupted the man's speech, making his words nearly incomprehensible.



“ What was that?” Commander Hart said, this time louder. “I can barely hear you!” He pulled the radio's antenna out to its full length.



“ I said to ------ -------- agh! This static is too ------ I can't hear -------”
I don’t know, but it’s kinda weird you would use dashes to show interruptions. You don’t have to change this, but I recommend using something else to make this part more “professional.” For instance, ellipsis or hyphens.



A shadow, a black void, had descended upon them in the blink of an eye like the falling curtains of a stage. It encased the squad on all sides, blacking out everything around them except the grass on which they stood. Their surroundings emitted an eerie glow, illuminated by an unseen light source. Dalton didn't even have time to scream. A twisting hole appeared in the fabric of the void, and through it passed Darkrai. Its form, hazy and distorted at first, became more and more pronounced as it drew nearer. Its body was entirely black, and for a second, it seemed to be nearly one with the shadows. A vertical veil of white billowed around its head, and round its neck hung a red necklace that glowed with a bloody hue. Centuries of cold, silent hatred were trapped behind a single blue eye. They penetrated deep into Dalton's brown ones, sending shivers down his spine. Dalton's grip tightened on his rifle.
I quite the entrance of Darkrai there. Very spooky and intense. However, you don’t have to stuff how Darkrai looks like in one paragraph. You could have scattered the description of Darkrai throughout the rest of the chapter. Heck, I don’t think you need to really describe Darkrai at all, considering we’re Pokemon fans and we would already know how that legendary looks like. I like the “Centuries of cold, silent hatred were trapped behind a single blue eye” part, though.

So Darkrai comes, ey? Nice portrayal of his attacks and also dang that he’s able to wipe out most of the Squad. However, kinda wonder why he spared Dalton and his friends (at least, that’s what I assume O.o).

Darkrai’s appearance starts out with a bang, which I like. :) Can’t wait next chapter!

Haruka of Hoenn
September 19th, 2009, 07:55 AM
I don’t know, but it’s kinda weird you would use dashes to show interruptions. You don’t have to change this, but I recommend using something else to make this part more “professional.” For instance, ellipsis or hyphens.I dunno, when it comes to writing radio static, I automatically think of dashes. I'll experiment with other things to see if I get a better effect.

I understand what you mean by the description. Even if I know that you know what Darkrai looks like, I still feel the need to describe it all over again :P

So Darkrai comes, ey? Nice portrayal of his attacks and also dang that he’s able to wipe out most of the Squad. However, kinda wonder why he spared Dalton and his friends (at least, that’s what I assume O.o).
Yes, something like that >:0
You'll find out later. Danana.

Thanks for the review, Bay! Chapter 3 is in the works.

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
September 22nd, 2009, 01:08 PM
This version is greatly improved over the previous one. I like the sense of confusion and fear among the troops as they march toward their destination without really knowing all the details. Oh, and Commander Hart reminds me of my old summer camp counselor:/ XD

Also notable is how you slowly build the tension. The soldiers see the route in shambles, and it only makes them more fearful of what lies ahead. And then...

Darkrai descends. I really like the effect here, as its shadow eclipses and envelopes the platoon before it makes its full form visible. It's described in excellent, horrifying detail, and the fear and desperation of the troops is also well described.

I believe I mentioned this in the original, but at this point I'm thinking there's something special about Dalton - some reason why his life was spared, and some reason why he found himself holding this mysterious object...

Well, needless to say, it was suspenseful, and I'm wanting to find out what happens next:) Well done!

Haruka of Hoenn
September 26th, 2009, 01:52 PM
LeSabre: Thanks for replying! I'm really surprised at how I first wrote this chapter. And yes, I remember my exact thought process when I first wrote it :P

I described the Darkrai scene like this:

Sure enough, he could see a pitch black pokemon up in the sky.After?

A shadow, a black void, had descended upon them in the blink of an eye like the falling curtains of a stage. It encased the squad on all sides, blacking out everything around them except the grass on which they stood. Their surroundings emitted an eerie glow, illuminated by an unseen light source. Dalton didn't even have time to scream. A twisting hole appeared in the fabric of the void, and through it passed Darkrai. Its form, hazy and distorted at first, became more and more pronounced as it drew nearer. Its body was entirely black, and for a second, it seemed to be nearly one with the shadows. A vertical veil of white billowed around its head, and round its neck hung a red necklace that glowed with a bloody hue. Centuries of cold, silent hatred were trapped behind a single blue eye. They penetrated deep into Dalton's brown ones, sending shivers down his spine. Dalton's grip tightened on his rifle.
Manymanymany sentences difference. >:0


Anyways, enough of Dalton, we'll be catching up on the epic adverntures of Sadie and Rena in Chapter 3. Which will be coming... right now.

________________



CHAPTER 3



By Saturday, most of the hype about the tornado had died down. The media hung on to the subject for a good week, bringing new theories about the storm's mysterious disappearance and riveting tales told by eye witnesses. But eventually the public lost interest, agreeing that Sinnoh simply got 'lucky'. Without a fresh story, news reporters were forced to go back to lesser things like supermarket scandals and political talk shows.

Sandgem Town and its surrounding routes weren't greatly affected by the tornado and, except for the occasional fallen tree, cleanup was easy. Roads were restored to working order and shops reopened. Sadie's neighborhood had lost power for a few days, during which she was forced to sit idly in her house. But eventually, that too was fixed.

The following Tuesday morning found the two girls sitting in Rena's living room, watching a game show titled 'Who's that Pokémon?' The show featured nine contestants, all of which were given clues as to what pokémon was behind the red curtain. The only catch was that the clues were very vague, and contained information few people would know. The program was already three hours in. During that time, three contestants had been eliminated and the snack bowl's supply of potato chips had been replaced twice. Sadie was beginning to sink into the too-soft sofa, and Rena was constantly interrupting with loud groans and shouts of 'You idiot!' whenever someone got a question wrong. It was Sadie who decided to finally break the monotony of it all.

“Rena, let's just face it. There is nothing good on TV today. We've been watching this show for hours, and this dude still can't figure out that that's a Chimchar behind the curtain.”

Rena opened her mouth to reply, but her train of thought was apparently broken. She turned to Sadie with a quizzical expression. “How do you know it's a Chimchar?”

“Because the host said 'Its body is small, but agile. The fire on its tail will never go out.' How many pokémon have fire on their tails and are small but agile?”

“I don't know!” In one swift motion, Rena jumped to her feet and landed facing Sadie. “I'm sick of watching TV too, but there's just nothing else! And our parents are both at work, so they can't drive us anywhere...” Rena trailed off at her last few words, seemingly lost in thought. She emerged from the minute-long silence with an expression Sadie knew too well.

“Sadie...” she began slowly, thin lips forming a smile. “I have an idea!”

“Rena, you and I both know what your ideas usually mean: big trouble. Remember what happened last time? At Lake Verity?”

“But that wasn't my fault! How was I supposed to know that that Bidoof belonged to someone?”

“All right, all right, just tell me your idea and I'll decide if I want to do it or not.”

“It's a surprise!” Rena teased. “But you'll need your bike. Let's go.” Rena turned off the TV and made for the front door where she laced up a weathered pair of sneakers. With a few moment's hesitation, Sadie went to join her. She slipped on her flip-flops and followed Rena outside, making sure to close the door behind her.

The sudden rush of heat left a burning sensation on Sadie's bare shoulders. She could feel the harsh sun on her skin, even through her tank top.

“I hate it when its hot like this,” Rena mumbled over the crunch of their footsteps. “It makes me want to fall on the ground and go to sleep.”

“I know, right?” Sadie sighed. “If our parents were home, we could've asked them to take us to the beach...”

“We'll go by ourselves once we get back.”

“Back from where, Rena? Why won't you just tell me?”

“I told you, it's a surprise! Just get your bike and meet me at my house.” The rustle of grass faded as Rena ran off.

Sadie rounded the corner of her house and approached the garage door. It was operated by a keypad, in which Sadie entered the code to her house. The door began to groan and screech as it was pulled open, and the interior Sadie's garage was revealed. Sadie entered the rubble and emerged with a dirty red bike. The seat was torn and the spokes were slightly rusty, but a bike was a bike. Sadie felt a tinge of jealousy as she saw Rena in the distance, mounting a much cleaner green one.

“Come on, Sadie!” she waved, and pedaled off. “Route 202 away!”

“Wait, Rena!” Sadie called, rushing to mount her bike. The pedals turned slowly at first, but Sadie was soon zooming along the road as easily as Rena was. Her friend was a good few yards ahead, her form vanishing behind passing branches. By then, Sadie had given up all attempts to worm their destination out of Rena, and decided to just go with the flow, but still paid close attention to the 'Now Leaving Sandgem' sign that whizzed by.


...


A few minutes later, Sadie could see the shining tips of buildings emerge from behind the trees.

Jubilife? she immediately thought, biting her lip. Why would Rena want to take us here?

“Here we are!” Rena shouted so Sadie could hear, suddenly braking. Sadie gasped as she beheld the city. Its many structures towered high above her head, and Sadie fount a silly worry nagging her – that the buildings might fall down against the slightest of winds. As Rena started forward, Sadie hesitated.

“Well, are you coming or not?” Rena asked over her shoulder.

“Rena, we're going to get lost!”

“No we aren't! I have a map.” Rena patted the front pocket of her shorts. “Trust me, Sadie.”

Sadie sighed. “All right... if you say you have a map, then we should be fine... But we shouldn't go too far into the city.”

“It's okay, we're not even gonna go past the train station. The place we're going to is really close by.”

But it turned out that 'close by' wasn't enough. As they entered the city, Sadie found herself engulfed by sound, light, and large clusters of people. It became increasingly harder to stay together with Rena, who was constantly pulling her bike off to the side to refer to her map again. Over the course of ten minutes, Sadie could have sworn that they had passed by the same building three times. Several times during the excursion, Sadie felt as if she were about to explode. The soles of her flip flops were thin, and unsuitable for walking great distances. Her foot ached when she brought it down upon the pavement. Her side bangs left one corner of her forehead cool, and the other sticky with sweat. Somehow she found the strength to suck it all up, until finally, Rena gasped and pointed.

“There it is!” she exclaimed, and Sadie saw the glory of the Jubilife T.V Station directly in front of her. The face of the building was covered by a flashing banner depicting ads for new movies. A circle of palm trees surrounded the building, making it stand out from the others. Completing the scene was a mock red carpet that led to the ornate rotating doors. Sadie found herself smiling.

“Well what are we waiting for? Let's go in!” Rena said, and both girls rushed forward as fast as the weight of their bikes would allow. Like most Sinnoh cities, Jubilife was bike-friendly, and there were complimentary bike rails and chains at almost every building. After they parked, Sadie and Rena pushed the revolving doors and entered the building. Sadie was immediately thankful for the rush of cool air, and walked slowly to take in her surroundings.

The first thing Sadie noticed about the lobby was the enormous plasma screen televisions that were spaced evenly against the right side of the room, each displaying something different than the next. People sat in front of the TVs on mini sofas, drinking coffee and taking notes. The same red carpet extended all the way to the other side of the room, where the front desk was. Behind it stood a lady in full black, who stared energetically at everyone who entered the lobby. She now focused her beaming smile on Sadie and Rena as they approached her.

“Welcome to the Jubilife T.V Station! We take pride in being the largest T.V station in all of Sinnoh, producing over 50 different shows and sponsoring over 100 channels. You are free to roam floors one and two, but floors three and four are for members only. If you would like, you can enter the daily lottery at the second desk on the right, on the second floor. It costs only twenty dollars to participate!”

Neither Sadie nor Rena had accepted the offer, but she was already handing them a sign-up form. Sadie pushed it away as politely as she could.

“Thank you, but we're just visiting.”

The lady's smile did not falter. “All right! Let me know if you change your mind. Have a nice day!”

“God, she's creepy!” Rena whispered as she led Sadie away from the counter. “Well, let's explore the station!”

“I have to say, Rena, for once you picked a good place to go!” Sadie admitted, staring at the glittering floor with wide eyes. “This place is so high-tech!”

Suddenly, a loud voice sounded from all four corners of the lobby. Sadie could not identify the source, but people everywhere turned away from their occupations at once.

“Attention, JTS members! We are now giving away five free tickets to see our new movie 'The Tenacity of a Trainer', which will be featured in theaters everywhere in two weeks. Here's your chance to see it before anyone else! Please go to the fourth floor to sign up for your chance to win!”

Several people jumped to their feet at the same time, crowding around the two elevators, each person desperately trying to pry open the doors to make room for them. Rena turned to Sadie, her expression frantic.

“I want to see that movie so freaking bad!” she said. “We have to get those tickets!”

“I want to see it too! But we're not members...” Sadie groaned at the last word. “And it's not like we can sneak in.”

“Can't we?” Rena eyed Sadie with a kind of hopeful pleading in her soft brown eyes. Sadie responded with a shrug.

“Be realistic, Rena. They'll probably have to check our cards or something, and when they realize we don't have any, they'll kick us out!”

“Well, it's better to have tried and failed then to never have tried at all!” Rena said with finality, and grabbed Sadie's arm. She pulled her to the elevators, where a few unlucky people were still waiting for the next ones to arrive. With ease, the two girls pushed their way to the front of the small crowd. When the red doors finally opened, Sadie felt herself being pushed forward by a force so strong that she had to hold on to the railing for support. She felt Rena squeeze in beside her, along with another twenty people. Those who remained outside now stood with their arms crossed, and some turned to leave.

“We made it!” Sadie whispered as the doors of the elevator slid closed. She felt a rush of dizziness as the ground beneath her began to rise. The lights on the inside wall indicated that they were now passing floors two and three. The elevator came to a smooth halt at the fourth floor. Sadie let herself be dragged by the force of the crowd, and she was led into a brightly lit hallway. From the back of the group, Sadie could barely make out what was going on, except for a few words from someone in the front.

“All right, ladies and gentlemen! Who wants to be a winner?” a cheer erupted at the man's words. The next person who spoke was a female. “If you would please form a neat line, I will check your Member I.D cards.”

From beside her, Sadie heard Rena whisper “Crap!”

As the people slowly formed a line, the two people were now examining Member cards held out by each person in line. The tremors in Sadie's hands and back grew until the woman turned to look at her, palm outstretched. Barely two seconds had passed when the woman withdrew her hand, and shook her head in dismay.

“Non-member. There's always the one who tries to be sneaky... Come with me.”

Sadie stepped forward, her cheeks flushing with embarrassment. She turned to face Rena and grabbed her arm.

“This is your fault!” she whispered as she followed behind the woman. Rena opened her mouth to speak, but apparently recognized defeat when she looked into Sadie's eyes.

“In here.” The woman stopped at the end of the hallway and directed them towards a small office. One person was already inside, though – a female in tightly-fitting clothes sitting on the wooden desk. She held a telephone in one hand, a pen in the other, and balanced a clipboard on her legs.

“No... wait, no! It's really important! Please don't hang up, all I want to do is ask a few questions -” but before her sentence was finished, she slammed the phone down onto its receiver and turned to the woman.

“May I use the phone, Claire? I have two girls who need to call home.”

Sadie shuddered at the word home, but decided it was better to suffer in silence.

She's gonna kill me! Mom flipped out when I came home late, but this? She'll forbid me from ever seeing Rena when shes not there to supervise! It's even worse now that I'll have to tell her myself... what am I gonna say? 'Mom, uh, Rena and I are kinda in Jubilife now.' No, that's stupid... Aww, crap! I'm dead!

The lady on the desk, Sadie figured she was a reporter, turned to face the lady who brought Sadie and Rena inside. With a snort, she lowered herself off the table.

“Hmph! No one stays on the line for reporters anymore... they assume we're all just telemarketers and hang up. I'll never finish my story! Never!”

“What story is it this time?”

Claire sighed. Clearly she had been asked the question many times before. “I'm researching the link between the tornado and Darkrai. I've been given space on next month's issue of Journals of Jubilife, so apparently they think I'm onto something! But if I can't get an actual story, they'll give the spot to someone else!”

The woman chuckled at Claire's answer. “A link between the storm and Darkrai? That's a bit odd, don't you think?”

“Odd? How can it be odd when even some meteorologists are beginning to debate about it! A tornado like that simply can't disappear in a matter of seconds. There has to be something supernatural behind it. And if my story raises public awareness, think of what good it will do!”

The woman chuckled, Sadie found herself wondering if she was distracted enough for them to sneak out. But before she could catch Rena's eye, she spoke again.

“What good could possibly come out of that, Claire? Honestly, I have to tell you this every single time you try to go out-of-bounds to write. Remember what you wanted to write about last month? It would have made you a public disgrace if I hadn't stopped it. Now, can I please have the phone?”

Claire seemed reluctant, but finally groaned and left the room. Sadie's shoulders sagged even lower as the woman picked up the receiver.

“All right, what number am I dialing first?” she snapped at Sadie without turning around. Before she could open her mouth, however, Rena nudged her from behind.

“Five, five, three, seven, seven, four, two. Just do it.” Sadie could barely make out Rena's words, but was relieved when the woman did not flinch.

“Well?” she demanded.

“Uh... f-five, five, three... seven seven four two,” Sadie repeated the number Rena had mentioned, wondering what in the world her friend was plotting this time.

The woman dialed silently, then lifted the phone to her ears. “Come over here, girls,” she said, and they obeyed. Being this close, Sadie could hear the phone ringing faintly from where she stood. Form the corner of her eye, she saw Rena's lips form a smile. After several painful seconds, the ringing stopped and a low voice answered “Hello!” The woman tried to return the greeting, but she was cut off as the voice continued.

“You have reached The North Pole. This is where my fellow elves and I are hard at work, making presents for all the good boys and girls. We also make lists and decide who has been good and who has been bad this year. Unfortunately, your call has confirmed that you are on the 'bad' list. Our monitors have video evidence of you not saying 'God bless you' when someone sneezed at your birthday party, and cheating in a Pokémon battle. On top of that, your call has distracted one of our elves from his work, therefore making him drop a toy train. Do you know who that toy train was for? Do you even give a damn that the little boy who was going to get that train was homeless? Of course you don't! Your spoiled ass doesn't deserve any presents. I'll give you a lump of damn coal for all I care!” The voice soon shifted into more colorful swear words, making the woman's cheeks flush an angry red. She didn't even notice as the two girls slowly backed out of the room.

But, despite the hallway now being empty, Sadie didn't relax until she was hidden by the doors of the elevator. Once the hallway was completely hidden by the golden doors, Sadie breathed a sigh of relief.

“That was brilliant, Rena! What number did you get her to call? There was some guy impersonating Santa Claus!” Through her trembling, Sadie found herself laughing.

Rena shrugged. “It's this prank number that this guy created. He bought a cell phone and gives out its number on the Internet for anyone who wants to prank someone. He changes the voice mail each month. But I guess he forgot to or something, because he still has the one from last Christmas. Anyways, we better get outta here! I don't want to run into her again...”

“Me neither.”

The floor beneath Sadie trembled as the elevator came to a halt at the ground floor. As soon as the doors opened, she and Rena rushed to the exit, avoiding eye contact. The revolving doors took Sadie out of the building and into the heat of the outside world. Her giddy sense of freedom hadn't lasted long, though, for just as she stepped out of the building, she felt herself collide with someone.

An involuntary “Ow!” escaped her lips as she fell onto the pavement. She found herself looking up into the face of a tough-looking police officer. His brow furrowed for a moment, but he didn't seem too mad.

“Some people are in such a rush to get out of there... Is the movie preview really that bad?” he chuckled, and extended a hand. “Here, get up.” Sadie muttered a quick “Thanks” as she brushed off her shorts.

The officer studied her and Rena for a moment. “What are your two girls doing here alone? It's not safe to wander around Jubilife. How did you get here?”

“Bike,” Rena said, pointing to the rails where their bicycles stood. “We live close by, in Sandgem. We just had to run a few errands for our parents. They're probably wondering where we are, so we better get going.”

“And you came here just by yourselves?”

Neither of the girls said anything. The police officer scratched his chin.

“Well, I suppose I should at least get you girls home. All right, get your bikes, and bring them over to my patrol car. I'll bring you home, because it's not safe to wander around, especially at this time.”

The girls were given no other choice, so they obeyed. Sadie watched the officer hoist their bikes on the special bars of his car. Then he opened the door for Sadie and Rena, and, without a word, they got inside. Just as the officer closed the door behind him, Sadie felt a tap on her shoulder.

“If we can just get home before either of our moms come back from work, we'll have nothing to worry about!”

Sadie bit her lip, hoping all would go to plan.

Bay Alexison
September 26th, 2009, 09:40 PM
Haha, nice on the prankcall, especially one that is to the North Pole. :P Man, now I want Christmas to come already! :P

Not much happen in this chapter, but that’s cool. We’re able to get a better picture of both Sandie and Rena, so it’s all good. Heh, Rena seems to be the type that will just go with the flow and doesn’t worry about anything much while Sandie is totally opposite and has more common sense. :P

Have to say though Claire wanting to write a story connecting Darkrai and the storm would make a great one. I would believe here. :3

Just one minor thing, though. The girls didn’t do anything else but watch TV right after the power is back on? Surely they could just do a battle or two in the backyard. I probably miss something though, like always. ^^;

Overall though, good chapter there. Can’t wait for next one!

Haruka of Hoenn
September 27th, 2009, 04:46 AM
Yes, the prank call scene was the most enjoyable to write :P It's actually based off of a real prank voicemail thing that my friend showed me.


Just one minor thing, though. The girls didn’t do anything else but watch TV right after the power is back on? Surely they could just do a battle or two in the backyard. I probably miss something though, like always. ^^;
Nah, it's not your fault. The chapter starts in the middle of the girls' day, so they *supposedly* did everything they wanted to before going to the TV as a last resort to kill time. And then, Rena gets one of her ideas :)

Glad you liked the chapter! The next one will take me about a week to do. Just the usual time span. See you next chapter!

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
September 28th, 2009, 08:44 AM
Well, looks we have another good chapter on our hands. The scene at the TV Station was an interesting little excursion, and actually gave the girls a reason to head to Jubilife this time :P And more than last time, it shows Rena's impulsiveness and tendency to get the girls in trouble. But the prank caller guy totally took me by surprise in an lmao sort of way. Leave it to Rena to know somebody like that :P

And this Claire person discussing the connection between Darkrai and the tornado... methinks the mere fact that Sadie and Rena overheard that is going to link them somehow with Darkrai... just my gut feeling ;)

Now the girls are headed home in the back of a police car... betcha Sadie's mom would freak out if she happened to be home when they arrived :P But I kinda have an idea of what happens, so I won't spoil :P

Again, the addition of the TV station adds a lot to their little trip to Jubilife. And of course, now they're in the back of a police car...

Looking forward to the next chapter!

Haruka of Hoenn
October 11th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Thanks for reviewing, LeSabre! Glad you liked the chapter! And thanks for not spoiling :P You still have the patience to reread my fic even though you know most of what happens.


Chapter 4 will be coming... immediately.

_______________________________________

CHAPTER 4


As time passed, the haze clouding Dalton's vision receded. As he slowly drifted into consciousness, he became aware of two distinct voices. He could not tell where they were, or who they belonged to.

“Is he awake yet?”

“No, he's still asleep...”

They were muffled, as if they were separated from him by a wall of glass. Dalton could barely differentiate between them. There was a moment's pause in the conversation, then the deeper voice spoke.

“I'm telling you, he's been asleep for too long. We should wake him now.”

“And disturb his peaceful rest? Hmmm... no, we should give him more time to heal.”

“Heal what, exactly? All he had was a sprain in his wrist and some bruising! He didn't need that strong of a medication...” At this, Dalton suddenly became aware of a series of dull pains across his body. Most of the pain was gathered in his head, throbbing in unison with his pulse.

“Argh...” an involuntary groan escaped him as he struggled for control of his eyes.

“Look Abraham, he's waking up! He's waking up!” said the first voice. The second man, Abraham, did not respond, but Dalton thought he heard him mumbling in the distance.

A white room slowly came into focus as he opened his eyes. He was evidently lying on a bed, but most of his surroundings were still blurry. Dalton blinked away the tears, and he finally identified the source of the voices. The man who stood at his bedside was tall, thin, and smiling. His frizzy black hair stuck out in strands from underneath his white hat, and green eyes shimmered behind his glasses. According to his name tag, this was Dr. Christopher Sanchez.

The second man, Abraham, sat in a chair on the other side of the room, looking utterly bored with his life. He was plump and balding, and his gaze remained focused on the shimmering object he was flipping around in his hands. In about five steps, he crossed the room to where Dalton was.

“What's your name?” he asked simply. His voice was rather deep, and held a constant tone of sarcasm.

“Dalton Rogers.”

“All right. You can call me Abraham. His name is Dr. Christopher Sanchez.”

“But, you can call me Dr. Christopher, Chris, anything will do,” Dr. Christopher said merrily.

All Dalton could do was nod. His gaze fell on the object Abraham was holding.

“What's that? Abraham?”

Abraham snorted. “You should know. It was in your pocket.”

“My pocket?” Dalton repeated in disbelief. “I've never seen that thing before in my life!”

Abraham was about to reply, but Dr. Christopher cut in. “Neither do I! But I must say... it looks like something that would be found in the Oreburgh Mine. Probably a type of new crystal that shimmers like water! I must say, where did you find it?” He took the object into his hands, and have it a tap. The resulting peal was clear and loud.

“Like I said, I don't know!” Dalton sighed. “It wasn't there before... oh my God, the Darkrai attack! Am I the only one who made it out? Did you get anyone else from my squad?” Dalton felt a rush of excitement as he sat up, then a sudden pain in his back forced him to lie back down.

Dr. Christopher's smile faded for a moment. “Sadly, no. You were the only one the police found when they were at the scene. They thought you were dead, too, but I guess they were wrong! You started mumbling in your sleep, and they brought you here.”

“Oh.” Dalton sank back into his pillow, the last bits of hope draining away. Dr. Christopher patted his shoulder reassuringly.

“Don't worry, we'll take good care of you! You're not too bad off for someone who survived an ambush like that. All you have is some bruising and a sprained wrist. We took the liberty of wrapping it in a cast for you, but you might want to be careful with that hand.”

The doctor's reassuring comments did nothing to help Dalton, however. His mind was still spinning with the details of his mysterious survival.

What happened to the rest of the squad? Surely they couldn't have all died. Where are Bret and Harvey? Dalton couldn't help but wonder. Maybe they were taken to a different hospital, and they were found earlier than I was... yeah. Dalton decided to settle on this one happy thought.

Now all I need to worry about is what I'll do when I get out of here...

“Excuse me, Doctors? Where exactly am I right now?”

It was Abraham who answered this time. “You're in the Oreburgh Central Hospital, in Oreburgh City. And he's the doctor, not me. I'm his intern.” He did not seem too proud of this.

“Aww, no need to be a party pooper, Abraham. Sometimes I wish I were still an intern at the Sunyshore Main. Good times, good times...” they all stood in silence for a moment, then Dr. Christopher seemed to snap out of a long daydream. “All right! Let's get down to business! Are you hungry Dalton?”

Dalton shook his head, pain shooting through his neck. “No, not hungry. Water would be great, though.”

“Alrighty then! Abraham, bring him some water while I fill out these forms.” Dr. Christopher grabbed a clipboard on a nearby counter and began writing furiously.

Abraham took a few steps towards the door, then stopped to look over his shoulder. “Do you want it, Dalton?” he asked, holding up the strange object. It glimmered under the fluorescent lighting. “I can throw it away for you if you want.”

Dalton considered it for a moment, but decided to keep it. After Abraham left the room, Dalton found himself unable to put it down. It was shaped like the crescent moon, and was thin as paper. Depending on how it was angled to the light, it would alter between shades of pink, soft yellow, blue, and green. He had never seen anything like it before.

“Hey, do you really think something like this could be found in the Oreburgh Mine?” Dalton asked, suddenly aware of Dr. Christopher's presence.

“Why, of course! People find wacky things in there all the time. It looks awfully sharp, too. Maybe you picked it up on the ground to defend yourself at some point during the ambush? I hear stress can have an effect on your memory. Apparently, so can your mood and dental health.”

Dalton looked up, momentarily distracted from his train of thought. “Mood and dental health?”

Dr. Christopher shrugged innocently. “You'd be surprised at what you can find on a science website. People write about all sorts of things. Abraham even calls me the ultimate source for useless facts. As a matter of fact, I say you read a book or two on mining history. There's a library not far from here, I could check out a few books for you on my way home!”

“Uh... sure,” Dalton said, putting the crescent on a glass table at his bedside. “Thanks.”

“No problem!” Dr. Christopher smiled cheerfully, just as Abraham reentered the room.

“All right, here's your water. Drink it, then get to sleep. You have about a week's recovery ahead of you.”

“Mmhmm,” Dr. Christopher nodded in agreement over the last few strokes of his pen. “Gotta get this to Greg. See you later!” Dr. Christopher exited the room, Abraham following.

“Night night,” he chuckled as he closed the door.



...



The hospital room was streaked with sunlight when Dalton woke up the next morning. The first thing he noticed was a weathered book waiting for him on the table beside the bed. A note was taped to the spine:

Dalton -

The library had exactly what I was looking for! This book was recently published, and is very detailed. The last chapter is devoted entirely to mysterious artifacts, and your object is one of them! Look it up. It's called the Lunar Wing. Oh, and I had breakfast made for you already. If you don't want it, just leave it on the table.
A day without laughter is a day wasted :)

- C.S.


Next to the books was a tray of food. It wasn't much – just a few crackers, an apple, and a cup of milk. Dalton was grateful for it, though, and forced it down to his growling stomach. Then, he lifted the book up off the table. The title read: The Mysteries of Sinnoh, and the book looked as if it had never been opened before.

Immediately, Dalton flipped to the table of contents, which was organized into chapters. He found the heading titled 'Lunar Wing and other Artifacts' and flipped to the indicated page. It was almost at the end of the book. He began reading the first paragraph that caught his eye.


Experts agree that the Lunar Wing is one of the oldest Sinnoh artifacts. It was discovered in the late 1800s by a group of hikers who wandered into the Spear Pillar of Mt. Coronet. They described it as having a “surface smoother than glass” and being “as unbreakable as diamond”. Scientists later identified it as being as old as Sinnoh itself. Carbon dating puts it only a few years after the region's estimated formation. But despite intensive testing, its origins are unknown.

“It's really just a piece of colored rock,” said Dr. E. Rann, Department of Archeology at the University of Sunyshore, and the scientist in charge of the study. “There's nothing special about it, at least nothing we can find.”

The Lunar Wing was locked in the laboratory until it was stolen in 1960. The estimated value of the Lunar Wing back then was less than one hundred dollars, due to its uncertain use and quality. So why would anyone want to steal something virtually worthless? The answer came in the news one week later.

The thief's identity was still unknown, but a news report featured a doctor who was treating a patient hospitalized with hallucinations and strange nightmares. The doctor admits to treating him with the Lunar Wing, which made his condition disappear in less than a day. But before further investigation could be conducted, the object vanished mysteriously. Its current location is unknown.



The paragraph ended there, and a new section began. Dalton closed the book and put it back on the table, once again picking up the Lunar Wing.

So it was used to cure someone's hallucinations? What good is that? Dalton's shoulders sagged as he looked at his blurry reflection. Maybe it was an accident that I found this. Not everything in life has to be a coincidence. Just as he was about to put the Lunar Wing back on the table, the door to his room opened.

“Good morning!” Dr. Christopher said as he entered. “I see you've been reading that book I got you. How'd you like it?”

“I only read the part about the Lunar Wing,” Dalton confessed. “Apparently it was used to cure someone's hallucinations a long time ago.”

“Interesting, very interesting! Who knows, someday if you or someone you know has hallucinations, that might come in handy!” Dr. Christopher lifted the tray off of the table and checked Dalton's IV.

“Well, I gotta run!” he said as he turned for the door. “Someone came in with a concussion a few hours ago... not good! Have to check up on him. See you later!”

Dalton lazily waved and watched the doctor slam the door. For a few minutes, he was in total silence. The room's door did a good job of muffling the sounds in the hallway outside. For all he knew, there could be a fire.

Dalton's back pains were slowly going away, so he was able to sit up and watch T.V. The monitor was irritatingly small, and its position on the far corner of the room made it hard to see. Nevertheless, he found the remote on the bottom shelf of the nightstand and began watching a random channel. Apparently, a special news group was interviewing the Sunyshore Gym leader about a new addition to his Gym. For a while, nothing could be heard except for Volkner's words, then a tapping noise. At first, Dalton thought it was just a part of the program. But even as the program went into commercial break, the tapping continued. In the corner of his eye, Dalton saw something move. He turned sharply, and saw a pokémon sitting on the outside windowsill, tapping the glass with its narrow beak. It was a Starly, and its eyes were red. But before Dalton could get a better look at it, the pokémon flew off.


Its hollow screech left an echo in his mind long after it was gone.

Bay Alexison
October 17th, 2009, 11:17 AM
Honestly, I find it weird someone professional as a doctor would use a smiley. XD

Anyways, gotta say interesting info on the Lunar Wing. Like Dalton though, am confused how he even got that thing. O.o Also, why he didn't just ask the doctor what happened with his other friends?

One other thing I want to mention is I like the contrast between Dr. Christopher and Abraham. I always thought the mentor is more grumpy and the intern cheerful. XD;

Overall nice chapter here, though not much happening, but that's all right. XD

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
October 17th, 2009, 01:05 PM
Nice chapter overall. A bit quiet, but after the chaos of last chapter, it's a needed change. And we're introduced to Doctor Christopher, who I like for his random changing of topics and fascination with the local mining industry. Then, of course, there's intern Abraham, who is more down-to-earth and just has to put up with the doctor's quirks.

But there is one major revelation, and that is the fact that Dalton survived the assault and found the Lunar Wing in his possession. This is significant, as out of all the soldiers in the platoon, he was singled out to survive and be given this rare item. Perhaps some unseen force or creature sees him as a key part of stopping the Darkrai massacre, and so granted Dalton with the Lunar Wing. It's an important development to be sure, and one to keep my eyes on in the future as things unfold.

Haruka of Hoenn
October 17th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Thanks for the replies, Bay and LeSabre!

This was one of the most enjoyable chapters for me to write, mostly because of the two doctors :P Chapter 5 will be coming next week, so stay tuned!

Haruka of Hoenn
October 24th, 2009, 02:03 PM
I've been neglecting this thread :(



CHAPTER 5


That day, the ride home was long and bumpy. Sadie remained silent most of the time, listening to the hard rock music Officer Garrett was playing through the car's radio. She had never been a fan of rock, but Rena seemed to be enjoying it. Her best friend was mouthing the lyrics and snapping her fingers to the beat in a matter of minutes. Unlike Rena, Sadie preferred to stare out the window and watch the passing world. The windows of the car were tinted, which meant that Sadie could stare at someone with an unusual hairstyle or clothing for long periods of time without being noticed.

The thing Sadie liked about Officer Garrett was that he seemed like a good-natured guy. He wasn't the type to cause uncomfortable silences and gaps in conversation. Most of all, he didn't address her or Rena like two criminals, but rather like two normal young ladies. He occasionally paused the music to mutter a few words into his police radio, but other than that, he remained peacefully silent.

“Almost there,” he grunted as they passed the 'Entering Route 202' sign. At this point, Rena leaned over to whisper to Sadie.

“It's almost 3:00. We're actually gonna make it!” Rena's excitement was obvious. Sadie sighed.

For once, will we actually get through without getting in trouble? The very thought gave her hope.

Up ahead, Sadie could see the iron gates that guarded the northern entrance to Sandgem. But the gates were closed, and Sadie immediately knew something was wrong. Rena seemed to be catching on as well.

“What idiot closed the gates?” she shouted over the music. Officer Garrett paused the CD, and scratched his chin. “So they're not usually closed at this time of day?”

“No...” Sadie said. She tilted her head as far to the side as the window would allow, but she could not see past the trees that blocked the view. “How do we get in?”

“We could climb a tree!” Rena suggested. “Wait, no we can't. Our bikes won't fit up there.”

It looked like Officer Garrett was preparing for a reply, but a sudden burst of static interrupted him. He lifted a walkie-talkie from his belt.

“Hello? Officer Garrett here.”

“Officer Garret!” said a frantic voice. “This is the chief. We're in Sandgem right now and I need you here immediately!”

The policeman chuckled. “I'm actually in front of the gates right now. But they're closed and there's no way for us to get in.”

“Sorry about that. We had to close them for security reasons. I'll have a few city officials open them right now, and I'll give you all the details,” said the chief. Sadie exchanged a nervous look with Rena, but remained silent. All she could do was wonder.

About a minute later the gates slid open, revealing the aftermath of some terrible disaster. Police cars were everywhere, their flashing lights reflected by shards of broken glass sprinkled on the ground. Fire trucks were stationed here and there, their crews dousing the last bit of flames on crumbling buildings. People and their pokémon were being led out of their houses by paramedics. Gardens, signs, and paths were completely destroyed.

What happened here? Sadie cupped her hands over her gaping mouth.

Officer Garret made a sharp right turn, and entered a dead-end lane, stopping in front of Sadie's house. There stood a small group of officers along with a team of dogs. Officer Garrett stepped out of the care, and opened the door for the girls. Without a word, Sadie exited the car. The tears that welled up in her eyes had nothing to do with the smoky air. Her house was a ruin. Its windows were shattered, and the door hung loose from its only hinge.

A tall man distanced himself from the crowd to wave at Officer Garrett, who saluted immediately.

“Hello, Chief.”

“All right, Officer, I need you to...” his voice trailed off as his gaze fell on Sadie and Rena.

“Who are they?” he asked.

“I was driving these two girls home from Jubilife. They live here.”

The chief's eyes widened. He did not speak for a few seconds. “Well! Aren't you two lucky.”

“What... what exactly happened here?” Sadie asked, her voice soft at first.

“We don't know,” the chief shrugged. “Around noon, we got a call about a robbery in North Sandgem. Apparently the robber stole the person's pokémon and set fire to their house. Then, two minutes later, someone called about a robbery in South Sandgem. Same thing. Pokémon stolen, and fire. Then, another two minutes later, someone called about two missing girls.” There was a twinkle in his eye at the last sentence. “I see we have one of our problems solved.”

Sadie felt her cheeks flush as she thought of her mother. How can she be back from work so early?

“Unfortunately,” the chief continued, “The caller was cut off before she could finish the conversation. We heard glass breaking, and then the phone falling to the floor. Our CSIs are still working on it.”

“WHAT?” Sadie shouted with involuntary astonishment. “My mother! What happened to her?”

The chief shrugged sympathetically. “We got there in time. She suffered a head injury and a few broken ribs. But she should be fine now, she was airlifted to Oreburgh Central about an hour ago.”

Sadie shoulders sagged. What was I doing an hour ago? Enjoying myself with Rena while my mom was worried sick! And now she has to pay for my stupidity. Her vision was blurred by warm tears.

“Sadie... I'm sorry,” Rena said slowly, but Sadie turned away.

“Here, I'll show you the damage inside. Follow me,” said the chief. He turned to lead the way, but Sadie stepped ahead of him. The interior of her house was a mess. The furniture was dirty and displaced, and the TV screen was cracked. The carpet on the stairs was splattered with mud, and so were the walls.

This isn't my house... Sadie sighed. I don't care what they say... this isn't my house...

Sadie entered the kitchen, her fingertips sliding over the surface of the counter. The refrigerator was knocked on its side, and so was the table. The potted plants that stood near the small window were all over the tiled floor. The sink was still running. Gently, Sadie stepped over a fallen chair and shut off the flow of water.

Behind her, Rena was also exploring the scene. She was sitting in the exact same spot she had been in hours before, with a curious expression on her face. Sadie walked over to her, and Rena rose from her seat.

“I'm really, honestly sorry about this Sadie. Maybe if we were there, we could have done something...”

Sadie sighed. “It's not your fault. Mom wouldn't have wanted us to be there when the house was being robbed. She'll be glad that we weren't hurt. At least, not physically.” Sadie allowed herself a smile. “I want to go see my room. To find out what they stole.”

Rena followed her to her room, where more destruction lay. Papers were scattered all over the floor, and her bed looked like someone had repeatedly jumped on it. Her books lay on the floor, most torn to pieces. The soft green paint of the walls was chipped and blackened. But Sadie's gaze remained fixed on the windowsill.

“My pokémon!” she cried out, rushing to the opposite side of the room with her arms spread in front of her. A scream escaped from her lips when she realized that no pokéballs were there.

“They took your pokémon!” Rena cried. “Wait... maybe they didn't check in your backpack! It's over there, look!”

Immediately, Sadie rushed to her backpack, which was carelessly thrown against a wall. She withdrew a single pokéball from the inside pocket and tossed it into the air.

“Go!” she shrieked, nearly hysterical. The silhouette of her Luxio emerged with a flash of red light. The electric pokémon growled in confusion, darting back and forth across the room. Just before it reached the wall, Sadie returned him and withdrew another pokéball.

“Go!” she yelled, and out came her Roselia. Just as the last bit of red light faded from its slender body, the pokémon was called back in. With a confused cry, Roselia was sucked back into the pokéball. Defeated, Sadie let her backpack fall in a lump beside her.

“That's it,” she whispered.

“Oh no, Sadie...” Rena was biting her lip. The two girls met in a hug.

“I only have Luxio and Roselia left...” Sadie sobbed. “Cherubi, Wingull... all g-gone!”

Rena said nothing, but hugged her tighter. Before leaving the room, Sadie packed a few more things that were spared from the robber's attack. The only photo that wasn't smashed was on the very top of the wooden shelf, which made it difficult to grab. It depicted her at a young age, smiling next to her mother. Once she removed it from its frame, she put the photograph into her backpack.

Sadie opened her jewelry box, which was kept a shelf lower. The robber obviously wasn't interested in her accessories, since the box didn't seem to be tampered with. Her fingers dug into the pile of necklaces and bracelets and withdrew a silver chain with a heart hanging from it. It was a gift from her grandmother, and it was one of her most treasured possessions. She fastened it around her neck, then led Rena out to the hallway.

Her mother's room was in a similar state. The wallpaper was peeling, the curtains were torn, and the carpet was flattened. Her possessions littered the floor in a messy heap. The only thing left untouched was the safe her mother kept her pokéballs in. Though it was dented from many blows, the safe remained intact. It comforted Sadie to know that there was one thing the robbers couldn't get.

“You're taking them?” Rena asked as Sadie knelt down before the safe. Sadie nodded as she turned the knob.

“I don't want any policemen getting them. These pokémon are really special to Mom, and I'm not letting them out of my sight.” Sadie placed each pokéball into her backpack gently, separating them from her own. Then she rose to her feet. “Let's go. There's really nothing to do here anymore, and I can't look at this place anymore. It's too painful.”

Rena nodded silently, and the two girls exited the room, later the house. They met with Officer Garret outside, who was talking with another officer.

“Hello girls. Sorry... eh, about the house. We're doing everything we can.” He nodded to Sadie.

“Is there a way for us to quickly get to the Oreburgh Central Hospital? I'd like to visit my mother,” Sadie said.

The officer seemed surprised. “Well, I suppose once this mess has been cleared up, I can drive you on my way home. But I won't be there to pick you up, so you'll have to find other means of transportation.”

“Thank you!” Sadie nearly screamed.

“Hold your horses, we're not going anywhere yet. I have a lot of things to do, so you're probably looking at three more hours here. I'm afraid you'll have to stay close to me for the time being.”

Sadie nodded. “It's okay, we don't mind.” She noticed the police chief making his way over to Officer Garrett. He held a clipboard, and was writing furiously.

“Anything new, Chief?” Officer Garrett asked.

The chief did not look up from his writing. “Yes. The CSIs recovered DNA from the homes, and there's a pattern of the same four individuals. But the thing is, they were reported missing months ago. And some of the homes they broke into were theirs. This doesn't add up. Why would you steal your own stuff?”

“Maybe to cover their own tracks? What did they take from the homes, exactly?”

“They did a good job of wrecking things, but all they really took were pokéballs.”

“So a group of people who steals other people's pokémon. That's not unheard of.”

“I hope it'll be as simple as that. Crime gangs aren't too hard to capture these days. We already have a profile of the people. Now all we need to do is find their whereabouts.”

“Do you need my help with anything, sir?”

“Not really. We have everything covered already. The residents are begin evacuated, and the paramedics have taken care of everyone. Tell the other officers that they can go home. The CSIs and I do all the work from here,” he chuckled.

Officer Garrett saluted once more, then made his way over to his car. Sadie stepped inside, ready to see her mother.

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
October 27th, 2009, 10:51 PM
BTW: This is Chapter 5, not 6 :P

Wow. You drop a bombshell this chapter. Needless to say, getting in trouble with her mom is now the least of Sadie's worries. Her town and home are in shambles, her mom is hospitalized... a simple trip to the next town over results in this chaos?

And the description of the devastation and Sadie's reaction to the mess is much improved this time. There's definitely a heightened sense of despair and hopelessness this time around, and that makes the chapter all the more intense.

This is the chapter, IMO, that draws the girls into the main plot, and it's carried out very well. Can't wait for the next chapter, and I think you know why ;P

Haruka of Hoenn
November 14th, 2009, 06:33 AM
I'm terribly sorry. Chapter 6 will be delayed for the next few lines.

CHAPTER 6


“Come on plane, land!” the girl muttered to herself. Next to the other passengers, who were lazily gathering their things, her fidgeting was strangely out of place. She frequently took out her cell phone to check the time, following with a quick glance out the window and a pause to adjust her position. Her gold necklace bounced with her motions.

“Calm down,” the man sitting next to her said between gulps of soda. “The pilot said we'll be on the ground in a few minutes.”

Completely ignoring his comment, she continued to groan. “Man! I told that pilot to go west to avoid the headwind! He's wasted so much time!”

“Do you ever stop complaining?” the man continued, opening a bag of potato chips.

“Do you ever stop eating?” she countered, her nose crinkling as the man swallowed. “In a span of five hours, you've burped forty seven times, spilled your soda five times, and talked with your mouth full twelve times! Including now!”

For a moment, the man's tiny eyes fell on his stained shirt, then back to the girl. “It's none of your business how I eat!” As he said this, he opened a can of soda.

“You better not get any of that on my dress!” the girl threatened, then turned away. According to the small TV screen on the seat in front of her, the plane had lost 500 feet, and was now making its way to the Jubilife Airport. The girl's fist tightened around the skirt of her dress, which had been a nervous habit of hers for as long as she could remember.

I'm not gonna make it in time! I'm not gonna make it! Lindsay better be okay! What if something did happen to her? I can't imagine the guilt!

Her thoughts were scattered and frantic. When the plane skid to a stop, she was the first one up. She shot the pilot a glance as she passed by the cabin, then ran to the terminal as fast as her flats would allow her. But to her dismay, the building was packed to such extent, she could not get past the entrance. There appeared to be some sort of holdup within the building. People were gathering around one point, murmuring behind cupped hands.

“Outta my way, MOVE!” The girl yelled, shoving her way through the crowd. She pushed herself to the front of the crowd, ignoring the abuse others yelled at her. The commotion was coming from two police officers who were wrestling with a teenage boy. He didn't look like a criminal to her, however. His attire was that of a plain city boy, dressed in a simple white shirt and baggy jeans. The only thing that seemed out of place were his glasses, their dark lenses making it nigh impossible to see his eyes.

Maybe he's an undercover fugitive... She watched as the officers continued to wrangle, but the boy was surprisingly tough. He seemed to be overpowering them, slowly but surely.

“Backup, I need backup!” one of the men yelled into his walkie-talkie. A few seconds later, three more officers rushed to the scene. The crowd gasped in shock as they overwhelmed the boy, and bound his hands with a pair of shiny handcuffs.

“Thought it would be a good idea to sneak a knife onto the plane, eh?” Lisa caught an officer say the boy was led off.

And just like that, the day resumed as if nothing had ever happened.

“Hmph!” the girl snorted to herself as she continued her walk. “Criminals... at such a young age, too.” She was momentarily distracted with opening her purse, so she did not anticipate what would happen next. As she brought down her left foot, she felt something give way beneath her. She screamed as she fell to the floor, hands flailing. The force of the impact stung her knees and palms, and jarred her vision. A few people gathered around her as she scrambled to her feet.

Then, she heard a woman's voice exclaim, “You stepped on my daughter's... brand... new... BACKPACK!” Several gasps followed, and a small crowd began to gather.

“I'm sorry, I'm sorry!” she cried, and broke into a run. She exited the airport building and entered the blistering heat of Jubilife City. As she stood in the parking lot, she zipped open her purse. She withdrew her purple cell phone and began to dial a number.

“Hello? This is Lisa Northwood. I'm at the Jubilife National Airport, 1117 Buck Street. I need a taxi to drive me to Oreburgh Central Hospital pronto!”

A few minutes later, a large brown car pulled up to the parking lot. The driver was a tired-looking man wearing a fancy black cap. He appeared nervous as he pulled up to the girl.

“Sorry, ma'am,” he said in a thick accent. “We would have gotten you a more luxurious car, but it broke down and we had to get a Buick LeSabre instead.”

But her smile only grew wider. “It's perfect!”



...



By the end of his first few days at the hospital, Dalton was finally getting the hang of things. His wrist was almost fully healed, and Doctor Christopher or Abraham would drop by at least once a day to check up on him. The hospital itself was very fast-paced. Occasionally, Dalton caught bits and pieces of conversation between the staff. There was an unexplained rise in patients lately, all of them afflicted with the same condition – Darkrai nightmares. When he learned this, Dalton reacted with a gasp.

The first time he had heard the term was a year ago, when the Darkrai conflict was just beginning. Apparently, Darkrai possessed an unearthly power to inflict any living thing with eternal sleep, tormenting them with nightmares of their greatest fears. The victim would appear normal on the outside, but would occasionally mutter things and shake violently depending on what they were dreaming. Once someone was asleep, there was virtually no way to wake them. All you could do was watch them suffer. Such cases were extremely rare, though.

When Dr. Christopher next entered his room, Dalton posed the question to him.

“So, you overheard some of our other doctors talking?” the doctor had replied, raising an eyebrow from his latest paperwork.

“Yeah, and I've heard that Darkrai nightmares are extremely rare. So what's up with all these sleepers?”

Dr. Christopher sighed, preparing his reply. “Well, we have been getting a lot of sleeping patients lately... they've been given the entire second floor too. We get about three new cases per week, which is a very shocking amount! Can you believe that before all this Darkrai stuff started happening, people never even knew what a Darkrai nightmare was? Darkrai has finally found a way to harm the citizens.” His expression turned somber as he gazed out the window. “I fear that things will take a turn for the worse...”

The next few days were dark and rainy. Dalton was always woken in the middle of the night by a clap of thunder, then lulled to sleep by the rush of falling rain. During his waking hours, he occupied himself with The Mysteries of Sinnoh. The book wasn't very interesting, despite the promising title. Apparently, 'mysteries of Sinnoh' could mean anything from ancient ruins to weather patterns. Many of its topics were left open, as if the author was asking the reader to tell him more. One chapter, titled 'Did you know that Mt. Coronet is a chain of volcanoes?' barely extended down to a page.

Every once in a while, Dalton's gaze would fall on the Lunar Wing. It lay in the exact same spot he had left it a few days ago, but it looked different somehow. At night, it seemed to glow with the light from the window. Sometimes Dalton would just sit and stare at it, wondering where it came from and how he had attained it. Though he never saw the mysterious red-eyed Starly again, his mind flickered to it every so often, triggering thoughts such as, Am I really hallucinating? Or was it really there? Could it have something to do with the Lunar Wing?

The morning before his checkout date, Dalton woke in a relatively good mood. He was well-rested, and was finally able to finish his entire breakfast when it was given to him. The storm clouds had begun to clear, allowing streaks of sunlight into his room. Greg, the receptionist, entered his room with a cheerful “Good morning!”

“Morning, Greg,” Dalton said as the man handed him a clipboard.

“Just some papers giving consent to your release tomorrow, and your bill,” Greg explained with a yawn. “Barely got any sleep last night... I'm no good in all this wet weather.”

“Mhmm,” Dalton murmured absentmindedly, skimming through the tiny black print.

“Just hand those in to the front desk when you're ready.” Greg trudged to the door and slammed it behind him.

Dalton rather liked the silence – it gave him peace of mind and time to think. And now, with the tip of his ballpoint pen inches away from the signature line, he began to wonder for his future.

After I get out of this place... where will I go? I can't be in here forever... I can't go home either. Go back to the military? Maybe...

During his time at the hospital, Dalton had been pondering his mysterious survival. Had it been a miracle of some sort? Was it meant to be this way?

Maybe it's a message for me to ditch the military... Dalton wondered, the paper covered in marks from his tapping pen.

In truth, the past year was definitely his worst in the army. The president had announced the Darkrai mission at the beginning of the year, and divided the squads among sections of Sinnoh. They were trying to track down Darkrai and kill it once and for all. The instructions were vague, for Dr. Berry had not mentioned exactly how it was to be done, or what to do after it had been done. The result was utter chaos, with each of the squads executing their own interpretation of the plan. One of his buddies had already dropped out, deciding that it was finally time to return home and 'get a real job'. Dalton was contemplating the same, but bit down the idea for a good month. Was this finally the time to act?

But they can't possibly kill Darkrai like that! Dalton realized with a burst of silent rage. Bullets have no effect, and Darkrai can wipe out an entire squad with one attack... how does it do that? The other squads will be helpless! I can't let all those soldiers die...

And then, he knew what he had to do.

I'll go to Snowpoint City... Somehow, I'm gonna get to the President and tell him that he needs a new plan of action.

In about five minutes, Dalton had signed all his papers. Clipping the pen back to the clipboard, he rose from his seat and left the room.

His room was at the end of a long, bright hallway. His bare feet felt strange on the cold floor, and Dalton suddenly wished for a thick pair of socks. Taking a deep breath, Dalton started walking. The entire hospital was like an extension of his room - neat, orderly, and identical. The hallways all looked the same, except for the numbering on the walls that indicated the various rooms. Dalton soon found himself lost in a sterile white maze, jumping from elevator to elevator in a panic. Twice he tried to ask for help, only to be silenced by someone who was “On the phone!” or otherwise occupied. As his frustration began to build, Dalton began to walk faster. But everywhere his head turned all he could see were more doors.

What kind of place is this? he cried out in his mind.

When he reached the nearest elevator, Dalton jammed his fist into the button on the wall, muttering angrily under his breath. Dalton stepped into the elevator, overcome by a rush of cool air. The rows of buttons on the doors were blinking simultaneously, and Dalton selected the lowest floor option: Floor 2. As the elevator jerked downward, an old pop song began to play from the single speaker on the ceiling. As he waited, Dalton found himself transfixed by his own reflection in the mirror walls.

Dalton could not place it, but something about his appearance had changed. As he peered into his own eyes, which had dulled in color ever so slightly, he saw a mysterious new emotion hidden behind them. The very thought made him feel detached somehow, as if the person in the mirror wasn't him. His face appeared sunken and hollow under the light, as if something were missing. But before Dalton could begin to wonder, there was a loud screech.

The elevator doors slid open, revealing a long hallway ahead. To Dalton's surprise, it was completely deserted. Dalton just stood there for a moment, unsure of whether to proceed. He stepped out of the elevator cautiously, the low hum of the radio replaced by screaming silence. There was a final beep as the elevator doors closed behind him, their low thump echoing through the empty space. Just then, Dalton began to feel very dizzy.

Suddenly, a muffled scream sliced through the air. Dalton felt himself jerk to a stop, his blood cold in his veins. His palms were sweating with the same anticipation he usually felt before he was about to venture out on a mission with his squad.

Slowly, Dalton turned to the door to his left, his head still spinning. His surroundings blurred ever so slightly, but he could still read the brass numbers on the wall: '209'. The door stood slightly ajar, giving him a glimpse of the room behind it.

Dalton could see the side of a bed where a figure lay, thrashing violently. The creature gasped and shivered, its motions in time with a faint beeping noise. Dalton's hand closed around the knob as he slowly opened the door. He did not know what prompted him to do this, but he found himself standing inside the room, beside the bed. The creature was a young girl, about five years old. She was flinching and squealing, her eyes tightly closed. Frequent spasms wracked her frame.

Darkrai nightmare... The words slipped through Dalton's thoughts, and he wondered what this girl had been seeing behind her closed lids.

And then, almost as if by impulse, his hand found the Lunar Wing nestled in the pocket of his gown. He slowly withdrew it, and held it near the girl. The Wing began to glow, its light filling the entire room. The girl's shivers lessened, and she let out a sigh. Her grimace was replaced by the face of a silent, peaceful slumber.

“Oh my God...” someone said, and Dalton jumped. He turned to see a wide-eyed doctor standing at the doorway, gripping the knob with a pale hand. She eyed the Lunar Wing with wide eyes.

“I... There was a scream, and she was having some sort of seizure... And I held this in front of her, and it... stopped,” Dalton managed.

The doctor blinked twice, and stepped forward, her slick ponytail swishing behind her. Dalton placed the Lunar Wing into her outstretched hand. The doctor began examining it under the light.

“This poor little girl was having a Darkrai nightmare... but this - this stone, you say, cured her?”

Dalton nodded. “The Lunar Wing.”

When she turned back to him, her cheeks were wet with tears. “I must inform the staff of this! With this... Lunar Wing, we could heal the entire second floor!” her voice had a hysterical edge to it, as if she didn't believe her own words. She turned for the exit, then shot Dalton a glance over her shoulder.

“Are you... a patient here?”

“Yeah, I was trying to get to the first floor... but this place is like a maze! I have to get these papers over to Greg, the guy at the front desk. I'm checking out tomorrow.”

“I'll lead you to the front desk then. Follow me.”

-----------

Author's Notes: If you haven't guessed already, Chapter 6 features Lisa from LeSabre's fanfiction, which can be found here (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=116075). Thanks to LeSabre for helping me out with Lisa's personality!

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
November 14th, 2009, 07:39 AM
Okay, first I need to say to everyone else that I do approve of the inclusion of my character here.

Keeping my character in, well, character (lol)isn't much of a problem here. Lisa's done very well in this chapter and displays her typical charms and quirks. I like to see when someone can take your character, give them their unique spin, and still keep them true to form. And she does indeed become a nervous wreck sometimes.

“You stepped on my daughter's... brand... new... BACKPACK!”
Uh, oh, someone's in trouble :P But ah, yes, the crowded airport scene. Anyone who's ever been there has probably had to deal with a crowded terminal sometime...

“We would have gotten you a more luxurious car, but it broke down and we had to get a Buick LeSabre instead.”

But her smile only grew wider. “It's perfect!”
Buick LeSabre... the car of choice for teenage math nerds and 84-year old PC members alike :)

I also think that the nature of the Darkrai nightmares was described in more detail this time around, like the sudden increase in incidents over the past year and the president's haphazard "plan" for dealing with it. Against a foe that powerful, and with instructions that ague, I would've dropped out of the military in the first place. Not that I'd enlist in the first place XD

And we get to see the Lunar Wing in action as it cures a nightmare victim. Though Dalton may be sticking around the hospital a little longer than he planned...

Well, that's about all I had to say. I'll be looking forward to the next chapter, and to see how everybody eventually meets up. Good work on the chapter!

Bay Alexison
November 15th, 2009, 12:47 AM
Chapter Five doesn’t have much going on. For now the robbery seems to be random to me, but I’m sure there’s a reason for the robbery. Have to say though you did the emotions of the two girls well on their thoughts and reactions of the destruction they saw.

Chapter Six I thought has more stuff dealing with the plot here, like the Lunar Wing and people getting nightmares as LeSabre mention. Also, like how you expand Dalton’s personality a bit there with him thinking about the military. Nice job there.

As for Lisa in this story…:3 Yeah, I thought you did well with her character there. You showed her nervousness, rashness, and quirks there (like the LeSabre Buick :P

Yeah, sorry for the short review. LeSabre bugged me to get this review soon and I’m supposed to study! Also, he pretty much already said my thoughts on your chapters D: However, I really enjoyed the last two chapters and looking forward to what’s going to happen next!

(urgh, now LeSabre is going to bug me trying to get a review for his fic, but I’m busy at the moment D: lol)

Haruka of Hoenn
November 15th, 2009, 07:22 AM
Keeping my character in, well, character (lol)isn't much of a problem here. Lisa's done very well in this chapter and displays her typical charms and quirks. I like to see when someone can take your character, give them their unique spin, and still keep them true to form. And she does indeed become a nervous wreck sometimes.
Don't forget that you helped me with Lisa too :) Glad I did a good job, though!


I also think that the nature of the Darkrai nightmares was described in more detail this time around, like the sudden increase in incidents over the past year and the president's haphazard "plan" for dealing with it. Against a foe that powerful, and with instructions that ague, I would've dropped out of the military in the first place. Not that I'd enlist in the first place XD
Yeah, by now you know what that plan is. Don't reveal anything to anyone else though :P

Chapter Five doesn’t have much going on. For now the robbery seems to be random to me, but I’m sure there’s a reason for the robbery. Have to say though you did the emotions of the two girls well on their thoughts and reactions of the destruction they saw. The robbery actually plays a big role later on, but I can't say what without revealing a part of a future chapter...

Thanks for the reviews, guys! I really apreciate them! Chapter 7 will be in a week, just like usual. (The reason this one was delayed so much was because I was busy with non-writing things. Hopefully it won't happen again)

Haruka of Hoenn
November 27th, 2009, 08:17 AM
CHAPTER 7


In contrast to the outside temperature, the lobby of the Oreburgh Central Hospital was cool and refreshing. An involuntary 'Ah' escaped Sadie's lips upon entering. The lobby was empty except for a teenage girl in an expensive-looking dress. She sat in a chair near the doorway. A clerk sat behind the counter, face obscured by a computer screen.

“Names please?” the clerk asked, tilting his head so he could see her. He was a small man, appearing to be in his late thirties.

“Sadie Catherwood and Rena Bradford. We want to visit someone named Katherine Catherwood, but I'm not sure which room she's staying at.”

Once again, the man's face disappeared behind the screen. After a while, he replied, “Miss Catherwood is staying in Room 361... but she's in critical condition. I'm sorry ladies, but no visitors are permitted.”

“We get that! That's why we want to visit her! To see if she's okay!” Rena snapped, placing both fists onto the counter. Sadie was about to pull her back, then the man responded.

“I'm sorry again, but I can't let you or anyone else visit her. Hospital rules.”

Rena made a face, and Sadie was immediately glad he could not see her.“...Okay,” Rena said, her voice upbeat and cheerful. “Thanks for the help.” With that, Rena turned away and walked over to a nearby chair. She motioned for Sadie to follow.

“Aren't hospitals supposed to have those family-friend rules?” she mumbled as she sat down next to Rena. Her voice seemed unusually loud in the quiet lobby.

“Sadie, calm down. Your mom's in good care. But if we can't visit her, then it's not worth getting upset about,” Rena said, her voice just a bit louder. Then she leaned closer, and her voice dropped to a whisper. “We can't act like we're upset! That guy will think we're a couple of mental teenagers, and then he'll kick us out of here. All we need to do is ask directions for the bathroom, then we go to Room 361 when that nutcase isn't looking!”

She glanced over to the clerk, who had remained still the entire time. Obviously, he hadn't heard Rena's last words. Sadie bit her lip.

Well, what harm could it do?

“All right,” she whispered to Rena. “But this better work.”

“Don't worry, people do this all the time!” Rena winked, then swiftly rose from her chair.

Her smile was erased as she approached the counter, replaced by a businesslike expression. “Excuse me, do you know where the bathroom is?” she asked innocently, playing with the edge of her shirt.

A sigh came from behind the computer. “If you're trying to sneak past me to see Mrs. Catherwood, then you might as well give up. There's a bathroom over there.” He pointed to a narrow hallway across the room, in the opposite direction from the main hallways.

Rena made no attempt to hide her frustration. Sadie stifled a laugh as Rena stomped back to her chair, mumbling to herself all the way.

“Stupid clerk,” Rena said through gritted teeth. She let herself fall into the chair, and groped a nearby table for a magazine.

“You too?” said a new voice, and Sadie turned. The teenage girl was looking at them now, her brown eyes narrowed with interest. It was only now that Sadie noticed her unusual outfit – fancy blue dress partially concealed behind a green blouse, and straight brown hair underneath a white hat. Sadie had never seen anyone in Sinnoh dress like that, and immediately assumed this girl was foreign.

“What?” Rena asked defensively, looking up from her magazine. “A girl can't read Championship Battling?”

The girl giggled. “No, I was actually referring to you guys getting sent back from the clerk's desk. The guy won't let me see my sister!”

“That's terrible!” Sadie exclaimed. “What happened to her?”

“I don't know... Yesterday I get a call from her, saying that she's about to go up against Roark. He's the Gym leader here apparently. And a few hours later, I get a call from the paramedics, saying that something bad has happened to her and she's being hospitalized.”

“Yeah... something like that happened to my mom too. Rena and I weren't home at the time, but we came back and found an entire investigation going on in our town,” Sadie found herself saying.

“Was it Sandgem?” the girl asked, catching Sadie by surprise.

“Well... yeah, how did you know?”

“I was listening to the radio when I took the taxi here. They said that there was some sort of raid on Sandgem Town. Something about a crime gang setting fire to people's houses and stealing their pokémon...” her voice hardened at the last sentence. “I've had enough of crime gangs, trust me.”

“But the police said that most of the houses that were robbed belonged to the robbers. You wouldn't steal your own pokémon, because you already have them. And you wouldn't burn down your own house even if you were in a crime gang,” Rena replied, not taking her eyes off the pages.

The girl shrugged. “You'd be surprised at what kind of people live in this world. I've met a man who barks more than he talks!” Sadie couldn't help but laugh at the thought.

A long gap in conversation followed, during which Sadie let herself fall into a daydream. She sat in content silence, observing the day through the glass doors. She watched as the landscape outside dimmed and brightened with the steady movement of clouds, and how the plants swayed with the breeze. The only sounds she could hear were the tapping of the clerk's keyboard and the flick of turning pages.

“I'm Lisa, by the way,” said the girl. “Lisa Northwood.”

It took Sadie a moment to find her voice. “Nice to meet you. I'm Sadie Catherwood.”

“Rena Bradford.”

Lisa nodded slowly. “So where do y'all plan on going now that your hometown is a crime scene, and your mom is in the hospital? It sounds like a pretty bad situation.”

Sadie was about to answer, then she realized that Lisa was right. Rena's parents, along with the other inhabitants of Sandgem, would be forced to go live in another city while the crime was being investigated. Meanwhile, she and Rena were at the hospital, with no money and no means of getting home.

“...This sucks,” Sadie said after a while.

“We could always call my mom,” Rena put in. “We can find out where she is, and after she's done screaming at us, we could stay with her for a while. Until your mom gets better.”

“Good idea, but we don't have a cell phone. It wasn't in my backpack when we were battling in Route 202, and I guess I forgot to pack it when I was in my room...” Sadie's cheeks burned with her own shame. Her mother had always told her to never leave her house without her cell phone. And now, the day she needed it most, she didn't have it.

“You could borrow mine,” Lisa suggested, handing them a small purple phone.

“Uh... thanks!” Sadie said, sheepishly taking the phone. She passed it to Rena, who began dialing immediately.

“Hello?” she said loudly, bringing the phone to her ear. She remained silent for a few seconds, biting her lip and staring at the ceiling. But after a few seconds, she snapped the phone shut.

“That's weird... No answer. She always answers, especially when I'm calling...”

“We'll try again another time,” Sadie said. “Right now, we have to get a place to stay. We can't sit here forever.”

“But where are we gonna go? Mom's not answering.”

“I'm staying at a Quality Inn not far from here,” Lisa spoke up. “It's a very good hotel, and it's pretty cheap too. Y'all can get a room there!”

“We don't have any money,” Rena groaned. “We can't go anywhere.”

“We could always get a free room at the Pokémon Center,” Sadie realized. “They're funded by the Pokémon League, so the rooms are free.”

An expression of horror crossed Lisa's face. “A room at the Pokémon Center? For free? I haven't seen the Pokémon Center rooms in Sinnoh, but one time I had to stay in one back home... and let me tell you, it wasn't exactly five-star quality. The doors were literally falling off their hinges, and the bathrooms were disgusting! The toilet was overflowing and the tiles were covered in mold. The pillows were hard and the blankets made me itchy. The windows wouldn't open, so I couldn't get any fresh air. The air condition apparently 'wasn't working' at the time, so I had to breathe in stinky bathroom air. The first hour in there, I felt like I was going to puke! So I left after the first day and drove all the way to the next town, where there was a Quality Inn.”

“Wow,” Sadie said. “Was the Pokémon Center room really that bad?” To this, Lisa nodded.

“Sinnoh Pokémon Centers aren't that dirty,” said Rena incredulously. “My cousin stayed at one before. He said it was a little musty, but it wasn't any worse than a cheap hotel was.”

“Well, if it's the only option then we might as well get going. Come on, Rena.” Sadie rose to her feet and turned to her friend. Rena remained where she was for a moment, skimming through the last of the magazine page. Soon, she stood to join her.

“I should probably go too,” said Lisa, rising along with them. “I don't wanna spend any more time here than I have to.”

“Have a nice day,” the clerk called after them, right before Rena slammed the door shut.

“Now he's acting all nice...” Rena murmured.

The girls started down the dirt path slowly, the beat of their footsteps drowned out by the sound of passing cars. There was really no need for paved roads in Oreburgh, since the soil itself was flat and smooth. The city had always appealed to Sadie, mainly because it was surrounded by snow-topped peaks. Trees were a rare, but beautiful sight. She especially loved how the green of the grass and leaves stood out against the rich brown of the soil. In Sadie's eyes, every inch of it was picture-perfect.

They walked for several minutes, occasionally conversing with one another. But most of the walk was spent in silence, with each girl looking in a separate direction. Lisa had a habit of muttering to herself, and frequently paused to examine her shoes. To the questioning glances Sadie shot at her, Lisa replied “Well I can't get dirt on my flats!”

Oreburgh's Pokémon Center was a few blocks away from the hospital. Like the standard, the building was large and square, and topped with a red roof. Here, amongst historical buildings and worn-out landscapes, the smooth glossy building seemed out of place. Sadie had always assumed that this was done on purpose, to make sure trainers from around the world could recognize the building. Rena had once said that all this 'modernization' was ruining the cultural identity of the cities, and Sadie agreed wholeheartedly. She cringed as the door slid open, swallowing them into a brightly-lit lobby.

The interior was a bright pink, with slippery tiles and bright wallpaper. Like most Pokémon Centers, this one was equipped with a row of computers, where trainers could contact their relatives and friends for free. A row of chairs lined the walls, in which trainers sat feeding and grooming their pokémon. A booth off to the side sold pokémon food, water, and travel equipment.

“Wherever you go, the only thing that remains the same are Pokémon Centers,” Lisa said, taking a few steps into the room. “While you guys get a room, I'm gonna go. Have to get back to my hotel for lunch. It was nice meeting you, Sadie and Rena.”

“Nice to meet you too,” Sadie said. “See you around!”

“Yeah, see you around. Bye!” Rena said. Lisa gave a final wave, and her blue dress disappeared behind the door. Sadie's gaze remained on the closed door for a moment, then she turned to face the front of the room. The lady behind the counter was clad in all white, a red cross adorning the cap on her head. She nodded to Sadie and Rena as they approached.

“How may I help you?” she asked plainly, pursing her glossed lips.

“We'd like to rent a room please,” Sadie said.

“For how many nights?” her questions came in a monotone, as if given by a telephone operator.

“We're not sure yet... can you put us down for three? We'll tell you if we need to stay longer.”

“Are you girls trainers?”

“No, not really...” Rena shrugged.

“Well there's a non-trainer fee for renting a room. You also have to be a trainer to benefit from our pokémon-healing center, pokémon battling rooms, and massage therapy. If you're not a trainer, you have to pay twenty dollars plus an extra fifteen for full services.”

“But we're two unaccompanied minors whose hometown has been burned down! We don't have a place to stay and our parents are either hospitalized, or vanished off the face of the Earth! We're flat broke!”

“I'm very sorry, but I can't give you a free room unless you're a trainer!” There was a honest trace of sympathy in her tone.

“All right, we are trainers! Now will you give us a room?”

The nurse smiled wryly. “Let me see your Trainer Identification.”

Sadie immediately turned to Rena, who simultaneously turned to her. Sadie stiffened. “I... I have my Contest pass. Does that count?”

“No,” the nurse sighed.

Rena rolled her eyes and let out a groan. Several people turned their heads for the source of the sound, but she did not appear to notice. “Look, all we need is a roof over our heads! We don't care about the fancy room service or toe massages! Just give us the cheapest room you have, and we promise to keep it clean!”

The nurse appeared to be ready to rebuke, but something made her pause. She took a step back and considered them for a moment, her blond curls shifting with her movements. “If you're really that desperate, I could give you room O-16. It's the smallest room, and everyone's been complaining about it. I'll give it to you for free for one week as long as you don't cause a nuisance for the other trainers staying here. You also won't be able to benefit from our trainer-only services.”

“Deal,” Sadie said, before Rena could utter a protest.

The nurse nodded again and handed them a laminated card key. “The room is the fifth door down the hallway to the left. Have a nice stay.”

Sadie followed the nurse's directions to room O-16. The hallway was several meters wide, and packed with trainers of all sorts. Sadie caught words like 'badges' and 'PokéDex' from their conversations, very much unlike those of regular teens she saw. They all wore colorful outfits, all bearing the official pokémon insignia. She recognizes trainers from Hoenn, Johto, and Kanto. Some mingled amongst themselves, and others stood back in groups of three or four.

A few daring trainers were having full-blown battles in the middle of the hallway, shouting commands over their peers. A few bystanders cheered them on, recording the events with strange blinking devices. Others were exchanging money in a frenzy, betting on the opponents.

This... Sadie concluded, is an entirely different culture.

“Hey you!” the sudden shout caught her off guard. Sadie turned to see a boy of no more than eleven years old standing in front of her, his features pulled back into a grimace. He was dressed in a blue jacket, a plain T-shirt, jeans, and a brand-name hat – clothes from the Trainer Department Store. He clutched two pokéballs in his hands, and four more were attached to his belt.

“I challenge you to a battle, right here and now!” He pointed a twitching finger to Sadie. She had never been confronted in this manner before, and was unsure of how to respond. As always, Rena beat her to it. She crossed her arms and stepped forward, until her face was inches apart from the boy's.

“Look kid, we don't have time for your battling nonsense! What we're doing is ten times more important. So tell that poor little Chimchar that he's not gonna get any today!” Rena met the boy's grimace with her own, causing him to step back. He looked at her for a few seconds with tearful eyes, then ran away sobbing.

“You didn't have to make that poor kid cry,” Sadie teased, watching as the boy's cries grew into screams. He tripped a few times on his untied shoes, then disappeared behind a corner.

“Trainers have no dignity whatsoever!” Rena said as they resumed their walk. “They just go up to any random person and challenge them to a battle right then and there!”

“You want to be a trainer one day, if I remember correctly.”

“Yeah, but not like them! They're idiots! Or, as they say it, noobs.”

“Noobs? Is that even a word?” Sadie giggled.

Rena shrugged. “Trainers, like I said before.” They entered a quieter part of the hallway, in which the roar of the trainers was considerably muffled. The door labeled O-16 was right next to a broom closet. A card slot was attached to the area where a handle should have been. Sadie slid the card key into the slot, and the door opened.

The room, just like the nurse had said, was rather small. It was built in a rectangular style, with two beds separated by a glass table. The floor was shiny and reflective, and the curtains matched the soft pink of the walls. They were drawn to reveal a beautiful slice of the Oreburgh landscape. Sadie dropped her backpack onto one of the beds and sat down, eager to rest her tired feet. A small TV stood on a table in front of her bed, with the remote perched on top.

“This seems like an okay place,” Rena admitted, taking the bed beside Sadie's. The room was in good condition, and there was a constant breeze of cool air from the vent on the ceiling. The only damage Sadie could detect were the walls, which bore the signatures of countless trainers who had stayed here before. They wrote things like 'Number one trainer!' and 'Pokemon League, Dec. 1992'.

“Why do you think people complained about this room?” she asked, leaning against the backboard of the bed.

“No clue... hey, let's try calling my mom again.” Rena lifted the black receiver and quickly dialed her mother's number. She held the phone to her ear for a few moments, only to slam it down again. “No answer again! This is getting really annoying.”

“Let me try.”

Sadie took the phone into her own hands and dialed again, paying attention to every key her finger touched. She brought the phone to her ear, and gave a satisfied smile when she heard it ring.

“See? You just have to dial slower.” Rena remained silent, and lay back down on the bed.

Sadie twiddled with the phone cord as it rang, anticipating Regina's merry 'hello' any second. She crossed her legs, and uncrossed them. She looked around the room, sighed, and played with her hair. For a long time, all she could hear was ring ring... ring ring....

Then she finally came to her senses. A minute had passed, and the phone was still ringing. Evidently, Regina would not pick up. With a groan, Sadie slammed down the phone and leaned back against the headboard.

“Well?” Rena asked.

Sadie had to collect her thoughts for a moment before answering. “It's really weird... it just kept ringing. There was no operator voice or anything. Just... ringing,” Sadie shrugged. “It's like she's getting the call, but she's not around to answer it.”

“She probably lost her phone again,” Rena groaned. “We'll call tomorrow, okay? I'm starving!”

“We can't get lunch. We have no money...”

“So? We can't starve! Let's go back to the hallway and battle that poor kid. I hear trainers give you money if you win their battles.”

A few seconds passed before Sadie answered. “Okay.”

The girls rose in unison, putting on their shoes and gathering their pokéballs. Sadie locked the door behind them, leaving the room silent and empty.

Bay Alexison
November 27th, 2009, 12:32 PM
I enjoyed Lisa’s appearance there. Oh gosh, I soooooooo remember Lisa freaking out when she went in the Pokemon Center. Priceless. XD;

Hm, the disappearances got more interesting with the disappearances with Lisa’s sister and Rena’s mom (or so it seems). Trouble afoot! D:

I find it weird the Pokemon Center won’t allow coordinators to use the services for free. I think coordinators should have the same privileges as trainers since they have to travel for contests (heck, in the games and anime contests are somewhat farther than gyms) and train their Pokemon for them. Also, shouldn’t Sadie and Rena be technically registered trainers already, considering both have Pokemon and having contest passes? In the anime and games, you registered as a trainer, but in anime, May and Dawn went the contest route.

I enjoyed this chapter a lot due to the mystery behind it and Lisa’s appearance. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

Haruka of Hoenn
November 28th, 2009, 07:47 AM
I find it weird the Pokemon Center won’t allow coordinators to use the services for free. I think coordinators should have the same privileges as trainers since they have to travel for contests (heck, in the games and anime contests are somewhat farther than gyms) and train their Pokemon for them. Also, shouldn’t Sadie and Rena be technically registered trainers already, considering both have Pokemon and having contest passes? In the anime and games, you registered as a trainer, but in anime, May and Dawn went the contest route.
The way I write the Pokemon world, I give it a more real world-like description. As in, you don't have to be a trainer to have Pokemon. Trainers in my fic-world are people who are serious about Pokemon and raise them competitively. Sadie and Rena are the 'regular teenagers', and aren't really competitive yet. Sadie isn't a full-time coordinator; she's just aspiring to be one. I didn't really get into detail in the first few chapters, but I'l have more of that along the way. Glad you mentioned it, though.

Thanks for the review, Bay!

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
November 28th, 2009, 10:31 AM
Yeah, when I was proofreading it, I didn't pay attention to the whole "coordinators can't use Pokemon Centers" thing. But since a Contest Hall would probably have their own Pokemon healing stations within it, that could make sense. Plus, in my own fic, coordinators are looked down upon by trainers and vice versa *coughcoughCristinParmercoughcough*

Love how Lisa freaks out at the mere mention of a Pokemon Center :P Mind you, she doesn't mind healing her Pokemon there, but the rooms terrify her.
but one time I had to stay in one back home
Actually, since home for her is Anderson County, South Carolina, there wouldn't be any there. There were some in the region she traveled in, though (even though I spared her the horror of staying there :P )

Rena's mom is missing... I don't recall that in the original version, and I think it adds a bit of added suspense to the whole situation... Yet another mystery that needs to be solved.

And rude hospital employee is rude.

Well, I enjoyed this chapter, as it brings Lisa together with Sadie and Rena for the first time. I look forward to seeing what roles each will play as the crisis that looms over Sinnoh plays out.

Till next chapter!

Haruka of Hoenn
November 28th, 2009, 11:59 AM
Since a coordinator's Pokemon doesn't really get hurt, there's no need for Pokemon Centers for coordinators.


Rena's mom is missing... I don't recall that in the original version, and I think it adds a bit of added suspense to the whole situation... Yet another mystery that needs to be solved.
In the first version, I didn't even mention Rena's parents :P Major plot hole ftw.

In the next chapter things will get a bit more complicated... but like I said, I have a really good plan for how things should work out. See you next chapter! :)

Haruka of Hoenn
December 27th, 2009, 08:33 AM
CHAPTER 8


After the incident with the Lunar Wing, life in the hospital seemed to speed up. Dalton was no longer in his hospital room for most of the day. Instead he was on the second floor, rushing from room to room, waking patients by the order of the doctors. Just like the first girl he saw, the patients' bodies were wracked by convulsions. Occasionally, they murmured incoherently. As the Lunar Wing glowed, they were eased into a peaceful sleep and woke within a few hours.

Dalton was allowed into the ultra-clean laboratory from time to time, where the Lunar Wing was under constant observation and testing. The hospital halls were teeming with scientists from around Sinnoh, all carrying stacks of data and papers.

Just a few days ago, the Lunar Wing was just a piece of colored rock. Now it was a hot topic.

Dr. Christopher dropped by occasionally, keeping him up to date with the news about the Lunar Wing. Apparently, the lab had fully and completely analyzed its properties, and even managed to derive a good-sized sample. Still, they hadn't been able to make a medicine from it yet, which Dr. Christopher mentioned with sagging shoulders.

One morning, he entered Dalton's room in a joyous mood, scribbling something on a clipboard while humming to himself. He ended the line with a flourish, and turned his smile onto Dalton.

“That's it! You're set to go!” the doctor said, snapping the clipboard shut.

This caught Dalton by surprise. “What do you mean, I can go now? Like, check out?”

The doctor smiled brightly. “Yep! Greg has your backpack at the front desk. Let's go!”

The lobby was still empty and quiet. The noise of the hospital was significantly muffled here, which Dalton liked. Greg's chair was turned away from the computer, so the man sat facing them.

“Here are your things,” Greg said, lifting Dalton's backpack with a grunt.

“We have your rifle, a bottle of water, and an energy bar as a little gift. Oh, and we also put the Lunar Wing in there. We've taken care of all the sleeping patients, and the lab can't get anything else from it,” he said.

“There might be more sleepers outside of this city. It'll be up to you to find them, Dalton,” Christopher said from behind.

Dalton nodded in thanks as he was handed his backpack. It was considerably light, and he hoisted it onto his shoulders with ease. He looked around the empty room, suddenly unsure of what to say.

“Well... I guess that's it. Thanks for everything, guys.”

“You're the one we should be thanking! Because of you, half the patients in here are cured!” Dr. Christopher beamed. “Before, we had absolutely no way of taking care of them. We couldn't let them out of our sight because their hearts were still beating, and we couldn't ease their pain because we weren't sure if they were feeling any! We were in quite a pickle.”

“Where are you planning on going now?” asked Greg, his face once again visible from behind the computer screen.

“Snowpoint City,” Dalton answered, and both men raised their eyebrows.

“That's pretty far away. I must say, good luck on your travels, Mr. Rogers.”

“Thanks. Good luck to you guys too.” Dr. Christopher smiled slightly as Dalton backed out of the room. He gave them a final wave before turning around. The figures of the two men vanished behind the doors, and that was that.

These people have really done a lot for me. I should have at least brought them a present or something... but what would they have wanted anyway? A new stethoscope? Heh.

Calm, easy thoughts settled in Dalton's mind as he walked down the path. The hospital was bordered by thick trees that mostly sheltered the area from light. The air in the town was fresh and cool, despite its reputation for being a strict mining town.

The sun was shining high overhead when Dalton came across Helix Avenue, the street nearest to the hospital. He was surprised to see that there were no paved roads in Oreburgh, and that the cars and pedestrians were content to move across plain dirt paths. No one seemed to notice that he was dressed in a military uniform and had a gun clipped to his belt, for there were people who were dressed even more heavily. Hikers walked amiably with large pickaxes and thick vests. Others were clad in mining boots, their hard hats still clipped to their necks.

Dalton walked past several blocks of trees and earthquake-resistant buildings, until something familiar caught his eye – a Pokémon Center.

I might need a place to stay before I can get a good train ticket out of here... these Pokémon Centers are free, I think.

But the nurse on duty wasn't as kind as Dalton had hoped. The second he entered the room and made to approach the front desk, she called out, “There's a fee for non-trainers, sir.” She had said this rather loudly, causing several bystanders to snicker.

“I just need a place to stay. How much will it be?”

The nurse sighed. “Twenty dollars for the room, and an extra fifteen if you want to benefit from our trainer-only services.” She barely paused for breath before continuing, “And no weapons are allowed inside the Pokémon Center.”

“I'm a soldier,” Dalton said, pulling out his military I.D from his backpack. He slapped it on the surface of the table, and immediately followed with a sum of twenty dollars.

The nurse examined the card under a special light, then handed it back to him. She bent down under the counter for a moment, then drew herself up with a card key. “Your room is O-23. They've been having some air conditioning problems in that part of the building, so the windows are open. Have a nice stay.” For some reason, he found it hard to thank her.

Dalton's room turned out to be rather modest, with clean floors and a coffee maker sitting on a table near the beds. The only thing that bothered him was the wallpaper – bright pink with white polka dots. The colors flashed and throbbed in his peripheral vision, and his head began to ache as he set down his backpack.

As he further explored the room, Dalton became aware of a slight breeze blowing through an open window above the beds. The curtains billowed around the area, as if affected by some unearthly force. While it remained open, he could hear everything that was going on outside, from chatter to car horns. Dalton made to close it at first, but then remembered the words of the nurse.

“How the hell am I supposed to sleep with that?” he mumbled to himself, sinking down into the mattress.

...

That night, Sadie tossed and turned. Behind her closed eyes, her dreams were hazy and distorted...


A field of tall grass stretched out as far as the eye could see. Overhead, a black sky...

And then, out of nowhere, Rena appeared. Her red hair was twisting and writhing in the wind, covering her closed eyes. Her Buneary stood at her side, expression blank and unknowing. For a moment, Rena's body remained suspended in the air. Then, her eyes opened, and Sadie was gripped with unearthly fear. They seemed to penetrate to Sadie's soul, and shake her being.

“Coward! Coward! Look at you, your pokémon doesn't even listen to you!” Rena mocked, lips curling into a wicked smile.

“That's not true!” Sadie heard herself say. Her voice was hoarse and cracked. Just then, she became aware of something pressed against her leg. She turned, and saw the blurry image of her Luxio. Yellow eyes narrowed with spite. Slowly it bared its teeth.

“You're a coward, little girl! Give me a command! Do it!” Luxio urged in human tongue.

Her lips struggled to form words, but none would come. Would she stand there forever before she could muster an answer? Her body was entirely immobilized. She watched in agony as the scene slowly dissolved before her...

It was immediately replaced by a lonely road. She saw the scene from high above, two girls on their bikes pedaling furiously, as if to run from something. Then, she was on her bike, with Rena on her immediate left, and her path stretching out before her. It was filled with twists and turns. Ups and downs. But mostly downs.

“Sadie, hurry! She'll catch up to us!” Rena screamed.

“I don't want to! I don't want to go!” Sadie screamed. But for some reason, her legs kept turning the pedals. They pressed on, though she urged herself to stop. The force of her will was crumbling, leaving only an unknown destination. They rode faster and faster, until her surroundings were reduced to an indistinct blur.

“She'll catch us, Sadie! She'll catch us! We have to make it home!”

“No! Rena, no!”

And then she saw it. She had been fearing it all along, the final drop. There was no turning back. She had made her choice.

The road, the landscape, everything ended here. It was a fine line, separating her word from... that one. A white sky then a black sky. As the space between them closed, the bike sped up. Evil machines, carrying her to her doom...

The last image was of her mother. Broken, on a hospital bed. The anger was etched forever into the lines on her face.

“NO RENA NO!” The bike tipped forward.



When Sadie opened her eyes, she saw a dark room. Her mind went blank for a moment, then slowly eased into awareness.

It was only a dream... thank God...

The memories and emotions from the dream faded and blended, until Sadie could only recall a few short snippets. She slowly lifted herself into an upright position, and was affected with a slight dizziness. The digital clock on the table read 1:45. She let out a soft groan, then glanced towards Rena's bed. She was sound asleep, her breathing slow and relaxed.

I should try and get back to sleep... Sadie thought to herself, letting her head sink back into the pillow.

But before she could close her eyes, her motions were cut off by the slightest of sounds. It was a long, quavering note that was too deep for any human to utter. As the sound progressed, cold fear crept up her spine.

“Rena, Rena!” Sadie hissed, nearly hysterical. She leaped out of bed and gently nudged her on the arm.

“Rena!” she continued to whisper, until Rena stirred at the sound of her name.

“What is it... what do you want?” she mumbled, slowly lifting her head.

“Rena, wake up! I heard something...” Sadie whispered. Rena met this with a scowl.

“Oh great. Another premonition... What did the noise sound like?” she finally said.

“It was really deep, and it sounded kinda like... eep.”

Rena was silent for a few moments. Sadie could almost picture her expression at the moment, blank and incredulous. Then, Rena sank back into her pillow. “I'm not in the mood for a horror story right now, Sadie.”

“But it sounded so weird! It was like... eeee-eeee-eeep, and it echoed and stuff!” Sadie did her best to recreate the sound, but Rena didn't seem interested.

“Sadie, I'm friggin tired! Go deal with the sound yourself, I want to sleep.”

Sadie was prepared to reply when the noise cut her off, that same ominous vibrato. It was louder this time however, and sent a rattle through the building. Sadie could feel it through the carpet – a steady rumble that suggested a shifting world.

“There! There it is!” she exclaimed. “And it's louder than before! That means it got closer!”

Rena did not respond this time, but pulled the covers over her head. Sadie sank back into her own bed in dismay, her head tilted slightly in the direction of the window. The sky was pitch black, but she could still see the faint outlines of trees and buildings in the background. A quiet night. Then, far off in the distance, something shifted. It was subtle yet clear, like a single leaf displaced from a group. Sadie felt her skin go numb.

“There's something outside... I mean it, I saw something!” this time, she couldn't stop the words from leaving her mouth.

“It's probably some idiot trainer who thought it was a good idea to let his pokémon out at night. It'll go away. Now let me sleep!”

But soon, the silence was sheared with another inhuman screech. It was like a spear through the walls of Sadie's mind, a hair-raising screech that made her grit her teeth. Through the disturbance, she could barely hear the rustle of blankets as Rena got to her feet.

“You have got to be kidding me!” she nearly screamed, throwing a glance at each of the windows, then to Sadie. “Where did you say you saw the person?”

Sadie pointed a shaking finger to the window above her bed, where the night remained as still as ever. Her gaze lingered on the window for a moment. When she turned back around, she was surprised to see Rena already at the door with her shoes on and the card key in hand.

“I'm giving this dude a piece of my mind,” she explained, each syllable carrying the weight of her frustration. “What kind of deranged moron lets his pokémon out at night?”

Sadie sighed, trying to calm the quakes that still wracked her body. “N-no. Not a good idea, Rena. What if it's... you know... something dangerous? I don't want to risk it... Look, I'm sorry for waking you up, but we should really tell someone about this. The management should know! They can deal with it!”

“Put on your sneakers, and lets go!” Rena demanded, and Sadie began to slip on her sneakers with shaking fingers.

The door opened to a silent hallway. There were no windows here, which left her surroundings almost pitch black. Sadie could barely distinguish Rena's outline as she slowly locked the door.

“We'll use the back door,” she hissed, and Sadie felt her arm jerk forward.

Sadie made a silent rule to remain two paces behind Rena the entire time, and listen to the faint echo their steps made in the narrow passage. Her shoulder brushed the wall, as an anchor to keep her from getting lost. They finally came across a single door, which was labeled as the emergency exit. Rena pushed on the bar, and accompanied it with a forceful kick that opened the door to its full extent.

When Sadie stepped out of the building, she found herself in an empty lot bordered by an iron fence. The still air was frequently disturbed by a bone-chilling breeze that carried with it a sense of danger. Or maybe she was just imagining it.

The second they got outside, Rena began pacing around the bare terrain, hands on hips and mouth moving with inaudible words. She frequently stared out at the surrounding buildings, waiting for something to happen.

Several moments passed by in silence, but the scenery remained unchanged. Rena returned with a shrug.

“Well, the noise is gone. See, I told you it was just some idiot trainer and his pokémon. And you were going all paranormal and stuff...” Rena began to turn around, but something stopped her.

“Was that... a person?” she asked, slowly turning to face the backyard. She slowly approached the picket fence, and Sadie was immediately by her side.

“What, what did you see?” she demanded, no longer able to control her shivering.

Rena's eyes narrowed as she surveyed the landscape. “I don't know, but it looked like a -”

BANG!

The sound of a gunshot rang in Sadie's ears, making her jump with surprise. Instinctively, her eyes darted from left to right, but she could see no change in her surroundings.

“What was that?” her friend exclaimed, eyes widening.

“It sounded like a gun... I told you someone was here!” Sadie shrieked. Then, in a much lower tone, she added, “We have to get back inside... what if there's a mass murderer out there or something?”

Rena did not respond. She was leaning against the fence, her grip tight around the bars. Her gaze remained fixed on a location off in the distance.

“Rena...” Sadie began, but she immediately silenced her.

“Look!” Rena pointed. Sure enough, Sadie could see a silhouette amongst the trees. It was unmistakably a human. Sadie drew in a breath, and felt Rena tense next to her. Though she wanted to run, Sadie found herself rooted in place, unable to move and unable to scream.

The figure drew closer, until its features became more pronounced. First came the tips of black flats accompanied by a pair of white pantyhose. As the legs walked on, Sadie saw that they were connected to the hem of a blue dress. Through the overhanging branches, she could make out a green cardigan and long brown hair.

When the girl approached them, her expression was marked with surprise.

“Lisa?”

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
December 27th, 2009, 01:38 PM
Interesting chapter with the whole dream sequence and everything... very creepy and bizarre, but in a good way :P And then the mysterious noises outside... where are they coming from and what do they mean? I don't think Lisa's the cause, knowing her character firsthand, but who knows... Dalton's got a gun and he's still in town... maybe he was the one who went BANG!

Wow, a lot of suspense here, with the weird going-ons here in Oreburgh, and they've awakened Sadie. Rena, Lisa, and who knows who else. What's the cause of all the commotion?

Needless to say I like the spooky aspect of the chapter and the many questions it raises. Maybe next chapter will have the answers..

Great chapter!.

Haruka of Hoenn
December 27th, 2009, 01:45 PM
I got very good help with my dream scene on SPPF. And yes, the next chapter definitely will have all the answers :) I love writing all these spooky scenes. They're just really fun to write, with Sadie's scardiness and Rena's stfu faces... The next chapter will be intense, but I'm not telling you anything else >:0

Thanks for the review, DP!

Bay Alexison
December 29th, 2009, 02:25 PM
BANG!

The sound of a gunshot rang in Sadie's ears, making her jump with surprise. Instinctively, her eyes darted from left to right, but she could see no change in her surroundings.

“What was that?” her friend exclaimed, eyes widening.

“It sounded like a gun... I told you someone was here!” Sadie shrieked. Then, in a much lower tone, she added, “We have to get back inside... what if there's a mass murderer out there or something?”
In this part the mentions of gunshot sounded repetitive. Maybe get rid of “sound of a gunshot” and put “noise.” That’s just me, though.

I have to say, I thought you did well with the dream. Very dark and creepy images there. As for the ending…I’m a bit confused. Did Lisa use a gun, then? If so, she’s cool now. XD

Dalton’s scene not much action or development going on, though it’s pretty interesting we know a little bit more about the Lunar Wing, or at least it’s working. :P

In short, the second part you did the suspense quite well with the dream and the ending. Can’t wait for next chapter!

Haruka of Hoenn
December 29th, 2009, 02:50 PM
No, Lisa didn't use a gun :P I have no idea what LeSabre would say if she did, lol.
You'll find out who used the gun in the next chapter, and why...

It's really weird, since most of my chapters start all happy and carefree and end with suspense and terror. I have the first two pages of the next chapter done. Expect it sometime this weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Haruka of Hoenn
January 21st, 2010, 04:02 PM
Egads! Sory this oen took me so long. I was pelted with homework for most of the week, and I barely found any time to write. Hopefully no one's ditched me :P
CHAPTER 9

“Sadie, Rena!” Lisa cried, and broke into a sprint. When they met on the other side of the fence, she was still gasping for breath.

“What – are you guys – doing – here?” she breathed. “And did you hear that shot?”

“Yeah!” Rena exclaimed. “This is so weird! I mean, first Sadie wakes me up in the middle of the night because she's hearing strange noises, then we hear a noise -”

“Wait.” Rena seemed to be getting started in a riveting tale, but Lisa held up her hand slowly. “What kind of noise did you guys hear? What did it sound like?”

“Uh... it was sort of like... eeeeeeeep, only it was a lot deeper than that.” Sadie mimicked the note as best as she could. A flash of recognition appeared in Lisa's eyes.

“That's exactly the noise I heard! My Quality Inn isn't too far from here, and I heard the exact same thing! I couldn't sleep for some reason, and then I heard the noise. So I went outside to check it out.”

“There was a second noise, though,” Rena cut in. “It sounded like someone scraping their nails against a chalkboard.”

“Yeah, that one too! I heard it while I was walking down the street, and by that time I was really scared! I started to turn back in the direction of the hotel, and along the way, I saw you two.”
The conversation eventually simmered down to a silence. Lisa's presence added an air of calm to the situation, but nevertheless, Sadie could not keep from stealing a quick glance around. Beyond the trees and buildings, she had an awful feeling that they were not alone.

Finally she asked, “What should we do now?”

Lisa shrugged. “I guess there's really nothing else to see here. We should go back inside.”

“Still, what if there's a gunman here? Shouldn't we let someone know?”

“Sadie, I really don't care what's out here anymore. It's much safer inside anyway,” Rena said, turning for the door.

Sadie was about to do the same, when something in the corner of her eye made her stop cold. Somewhere within the shadows, she saw a flash of red.

“Whoa whoa whoa, what was that?” she said aloud, immediately rushing back to the fence. When she turned the light was gone, the streets empty.

“What? What did you see?” Rena groaned, approaching the fence.

“There was something red... off in the distance...”

“Ugh. Where?”

“There!” Sadie pointed. She was still staring at that same spot, a larger-than-normal gap in between two office buildings. Beyond that was a large cluster of trees, where two red dots were once again visible amongst the shadows.

Upon her indication, Rena squinted and leaned forward. She turned back with a snort.

“Well? Open the door.” Rena eyed Sadie expectantly.

It took a few seconds for the message to sink in. Sadie's eyes widened. “Rena, no! I am not leaving this Pokémon Center! That's like walking right into our deaths! Rena, we can't! What if... what if it's something dangerous? Really Rena, think!”

Rena shook her head. “It's okay. I slipped a couple of pokéballs into my pocket. We'll be fine.”

Rena pushed her way through the gate, her grip painfully tight on Sadie's arm. She closed the gate behind them, and turned to Lisa. She had been standing by the fence the whole time, her arms folded across her chest.

“Are you coming or what?” she called.

After a few silent moments, Lisa nodded. “But I'm sending my Weezing out just in case.” She began to rummage through her purse until she pulled out a pokéball. The container opened, revealing a chunky, spherical pokémon. Black smoke emanated from its pores, saturating the air around it and making Sadie's eyes water.

"All right, I'll send out mine too." Rena lifted two pokéballs out of her pocket, and tossed each of them in turn. They opened to reveal her Buneary and her Cranidos. Both pokémon staggered lazily, evidently annoyed that they had been aroused.

"Let's go. The sooner we get to the bottom of this, the sooner we can get back to sleep." With that, Rena skipped forward.

Aside from the crunch of their footsteps, the town was silent. The streets were illuminated with circles of orange light, the rest being left in the shadows. Nevertheless, there was a definite confidence in Lisa's step. The pokémon huddled by her side, grunting and squealing to each other. Rena remained at least five paces ahead of the group, swinging her arms actively.

As they walked, Sadie found herself staring up at the sky, to the point where the city skyline was well out of view. Up above was a black veil. New moon. No stars. Sadie was the only one who was shaking.

They entered the alley. The grass was more frequent here, and tickled Sadie's bare ankles as she walked. Up ahead was a large clearing that formed the boundary between city and forest. Rena took the first step, followed by Lisa, and finally Sadie. Her gaze immediately went to the circle of trees that loomed in the center of the area. From the safety of the Pokémon Center, they seemed so tiny, so innocent. Now, as they approached, Sadie felt a sense of danger. A low growl rumbled in Cranidos's throat. Buneary began to shift its position, her large ears perking at a sound Sadie could not hear.

“Maybe... maybe we should go back...” she whispered, pressing her fingertips to her lips. Her hands were ice cold. The trees surrounded her in a wide arc, closing off all means of escape.

Rena did not respond, her gaze locked on the patch of trees. Over the steady whistle of the wind, Sadie could make out a low rumble.

"What is that?" Lisa hissed, instantly drawing closer to her Weezing. Her body had begun to shake as well.

"It's the noise again..." Rena said. Her tone was surprisingly calm.

The wind began to howl. The branches writhed and twisted, until they opened wide enough to give them a view of what lay within. Sadie could see the beginnings of a large, angular silhouette perched somewhere within their depths. She traced the contours of a large arm, neck, back, and sloping tail. Sadie stiffened. The creature was almost as large as the tree itself.

A wide, purple head slowly separated itself from the shadows, to look at them with a pair of angled eyes. A bloody red hue spilled out from where the whites should have been. Sadie clamped her hands over her mouth.

In the blink of an eye, the pokémon had uncoiled itself from the tree trunk. It drew itself up to its fullest height, nearly as tall as the trees themselves. It arched its neck in a snakelike motion, and lunged forward.
Sadie jumped aside just as Drapion's jaws struck the ground. In that second, she had documented each razor-sharp point in the Drapion's mouth, the awful stench of decaying flesh that reeked from its mouth, and most of all, the pure, unadulterated hatred in its eyes. This pokémon was fighting to kill.

Sadie was scrambling to her feet just as Lisa appeared beside her.

"Weezing, use Sludge Bomb!" she cried, her voice shaking. Weezing drifted forward, and launched a jet of purple matter at the Drapion's face.

The pokémon staggered under the volume of liquid, giving them time to turn for the alley. But the Drapion regained its balance quickly, and with a single swipe of its tail, struck down a tree. A scream of despair sprang from Sadie's lips as the trunk crashed in front of her, cutting off the view of the alley.

"We're trapped! We're dead!" she yelled, throat searing with pain. Beside her, Lisa was on the verge of tears.

"No!" Rena groaned, throwing her arms into the air. "No! We're not gonna die here! Who does that Drapion think he is anyway? I'll tell you what! I'm gonna kick his ass! Cranidos, Buneary, come on!" Without pausing to hear Sadie's protests, Rena charged towards the Drapion, her two pokémon by her side.

At her command they sprang forward, proceeding to circle the Drapion's feet in a blur of color. At first the Drapion was unaffected, but it was soon swallowed in a whirlpool of dirt, grass, and leaves. Sadie watched all the while, her back pressed against the tree.

"Brilliant..." Lisa muttered, almost inaudibly. Squaring her shoulders, the teen stepped forward.

"All right Weezing, let's help them out! Use Sludge Bomb!"

A jet of purple sludge shot from Weezing's open mouth to meet the Drapion full in the face. The pokémon staggered, but regained its balance. With a single screech, it sent a twisting Shadow Ball hurling towards Weezing.

"Watch out!" Sadie called, almost by impulse. But her warning was not needed, for Weezing had dodged the attack with perfect form. It sent another stream of mucus for the Drapion's face.

Lisa emitted a triumphant yell when the Drapion staggered. The effort Rena's pokémon were making was just enough to send the Drapion spinning. Its neck twisted and craned over to the land below as it tried to locate its target. Sadie caught a glimpse of Rena, watching her pokémon from the sidelines. She was staring up at the Drapion intently, as if trying to decipher a difficult problem. Her arms hung loose at her sides.
The dust cloud began to settle as Cranidos and Buneary slowed. Their punches and kicks grew less frequent, and soon stopped altogether. They were reduced to the point of mindless, ceaseless jogging. Their defenses were low, and their breathing was labored. With a single swipe of its armored tail, the Drapion struck them upon the ground, where they lay twitching and convulsing. A jolt of pain, and Sadie realized she had been biting her lip through the entire time.

"We can't let it win!" Lisa said. "Weezing, use smokescreen to block that Drapion's vision!"

"Weez Weez!" the chunky pokémon huffed in approval. Sadie watched as a cloud of black smoke spewed from Weezing's pores, invading the air around them. Sadie's surroundings were entirely obscured by smoke, though the sounds were as clear as ever. Her coughs were drowned out by the Drapion's agonized wails, and Weezing's deep bellows. The volume was so great that Sadie found herself on her knees, palms pressed against the sides of her throbbing head. Hot tears streamed from her eyes, and her tongue was dry and sticky in her mouth.
And just like that, it stopped.

The screams had vanished without warning, as had the sounds of attacks and roaring wind. The ringing silence was all that remained; that cold, dreadful silence that follows a bloody battle. Sadie slowly opened her eyes.

Without warning, she felt a body collide with hers. Sadie fell on her side, stomach paining and head spinning. A few feet away, Sadie saw the silhouette of the Drapion's tail, which had missed her by a few feet.
Beside her, Lisa's outline was barely visible. Slowly, she raised a finger to her lips. For a few terrible, silent moments, they sat against the tree. The Drapion's form became visible occasionally, accompanied by the rustle of grass and foliage.

It's only a matter of time before it finds us... The very thought made her shiver. Would it hurt to die?

The Drapion's footsteps grew softer over time. Its form faded off into the distance. All of a sudden, Sadie heard a piercing screech.


BANG!


The familiar sound seared through the silence, drowning out the Drapion's screams. Someone had fired a gun. The shot was followed by a groan and snapping wood. And then, silence.

Sadie risked a whisper. "What the hell just happened?" Beside her, Lisa shrugged.

They slowly rose to their feet. Sadie's heart was thumping furiously, to the point where it almost hurt.

"Who's there?" said a voice. It was definitely male.

"W-we're right here!" Sadie called out, her voice hoarse. There was no answer, but a rush of heavy footsteps. Out of the haze, a rough outline of a person was nearing them. The form became clearer and clearer until Sadie locked eyes with a tall man, looking to be in his late twenties. He wore a soldier's uniform, which stained from hours in the dirt. A beat-up rifle was clutched in his hands.

"Who are you?" Lisa asked.

"My name is Dalton Rogers," the man said. "I stay at the Pokémon Center not too far from here. I heard a noise, and came out to see this huge Drapion lurking around the edges of town. I missed it with my gun though, and it escaped. I hunted it for a few minutes, and it led me here. And the next thing I know, I enter this meadow and see you two being mauled."

"Wait." Sadie said slowly. "You said two. There were three of us. Me, Lisa, and Rena."

Dalton raised an eyebrow in confusion. "I only saw you two. And a Weezing."

"But where's Rena?" Sadie said, taking a quick glance around. "And Cranidos? Buneary?"

"I don't know..." Lisa said. Sadie scanned the area. The grass was flattened from where the two pokémon had ran, and there were two distinct skid marks where she guessed they had fallen. yet, there was no sign of them anywhere.

"Oh my God! Sadie!" She jerked at Lisa's sudden outburst. Sadie turned to see Lisa standing before a particular spot in the meadow, not too far from the Drapion's body. One arm was pointing to a spot on the ground, and the other was clamped over her mouth. Sadie hurried to her side and saw a trail of footsteps in the dirt. She recognized the shoe mark at once - Rena's favorite pair of sneakers, which she had received for her birthday a few months ago. The trail continued to the edge of the meadow, where it was unexpectedly cut off.

"Rena's... Rena's... gone..." the words felt strange on her tongue. Their weight was let down upon her slowly, gradually. The first tears began to fall.

"Who is Rena?" there was a trace of impatience in Dalton's voice. "What happened to her?"

"She disappeared!" Sadie blurted. "She was running towards the Drapion with her pokémon, and there was so much smoke from Weezing's attack that I... that I couldn't see what was happening! And she's gone!"

"Sadie... calm down. I don't think Rena's dead. If she was, then there would be a body, right?" Lisa's voice was quiet, reassuring. "She probably went deeper into the forest to hide. The worst that could have happened was that she got lost. We'll go to the police station first thing tomorrow and look for her, okay?"

Through her tears, Sadie saw Lisa's face, contorted to show her sympathy.

The words of Rena echoed through Sadie's mind. It had been nearly three years since she had spoken them, yet their truth had a lasting effect upon her mind. She could almost picture her friend's scowling face as she said 'Sadie, you're so dramatic! Can't you just think before you yell like that?' Sadie felt a wave of shame.

"All right..." she sniffed loudly.

"Listen... if there's anything I can do, I'll do it. I'll help you find your friend if you want," Dalton said. Sadie nodded in thanks.

They stood in silence for a moment. Without thinking, Sadie turned to look at the Drapion. Slowly she approached it, listening to the disturbance made by her every step. The grass around the area was entirely flattened from where Cranidos and Buneary had ran. Their blows had left a number of scars and bruises on its legs. Dark blood seeped through several bullet wounds in its abdomen, which Sadie guessed must have killed it. Sadie continued along its length, her eyes sweeping over the heavy damage the pokémon had taken. Its chest was sandwiched in between two fallen trees, partially crushed by the weight. Blood oozed down its arms. Despite its obvious evil intentions, she could not help but feel pity for the Drapion.

Lisa and Dalton joined her in the silent inspection. No one uttered a single word, whether it was from fear or amazement. All of a sudden, Lisa emitted a gasp.

"Look!"

Sadie turned just in time to see a murky black cloud evaporating from the Drapion's head. The entity passed through the tree leaves and branches, and eventually vanished somewhere in the sky. At that moment, Sadie felt a great weight lifted from her shoulders. Deep inside her mind, she felt something shift.

"What is that?" she whispered.

"It looked like steam!" Lisa exclaimed.

Dalton remained silent. He stared at the Drapion's face for several long moments.

"Something's not right," he said. "I saw a Starly with the exact same eye color a few days ago..."

"Really?" Sadie said, her eyes widening. "How is that possible?"

"I don't know. But there's something weird going on here. I'm getting the feeling that this attack wasn't an accident."

"How do you know?"

"Just a feeling. I've been having this feeling for quite a while now. Look, I can help you find your friend. But I need your help too."

Dalton slowly reached into his pocket and pulled out a mysterious, shining object. It was paper thin, and was molded into a crescent shape.

"What is that?" Lisa said.

"I haven't told you this yet, but I'm a soldier for the Sinnoh Armed Forces. My squad was ambushed by Darkrai in Route 203, and I'm the only survivor. I woke up in the hospital to find this in my pocket. It's called the Lunar Wing. And there's been an awful lot of strange things happening since I got it. I saw a red-eyed Starly near the hospital window, and now I see this red-eyed Drapion. It's weird. But I want to get to the bottom of this."

"You mean that there might be more of these ravenous red-eyes monsters out there?" Sadie asked, her voice rising.
Dalton nodded.

"Then we need to do something about it! We can't just let another mauling happen!" Lisa said. "I for one want to get to the root of this. There has to be some scientific explanation for those... things..."
"Well, I guess it sounds like a plan... only wait," Dalton paused. "Where's your family?"

"Mine's in another region," Lisa declared.

"My mom's in the hospital..." was all Sadie could say.

Dalton sighed. "Great. A couple of orphans. You're lucky I'm over eighteen. Anyways, like I said before, I'm staying at the Pokémon Center. You do whatever you want, but we'll meet in front of the building at nine o'clock. Deal?"

"Deal," the girls said simultaneously.
...
When Sadie reached her room in the Pokémon Center, she found it exactly the same as she had left it. Rena's blanket was still on the floor from when she had tossed it off, and her things were untouched. The alarm clock was slightly askew from when Sadie had reached out to check the time. Her backpack was in its usual spot beside her bed. She bent down beside it and took out her pokéballs, lost in thought.

If I had my pokémon with me... would things have been different? Would I have been any help?

The silence was deafening. After a quick shower, Sadie pulled the covers over her body. She closed her eyes, wishing she had never opened them.

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
January 22nd, 2010, 02:10 PM
Ah, the attacking red-eyed Drapion. I have to say that you did a much better job of handling it this time around. The way you build the suspense as the girls see something strange and creepy in the night, how Sadie's fears build as they look for the unknown entity, and then, as Drapion reveals itself as an unusually vicious creature out for blood. Very well done.

Rena's disappearance is more mysterious too... A cloud of smoke, and when it clears, both her and her Pokemon are gone... And in typical Rea fashion she races headlong into the fray right before it happens XD

There is definitely some connection between the Lunar Wing and those creepy, red-eyed Pokemon. (Yeah, I know what it is already, but I'm not gonna spoil it)

Just one issue (and I apologize for not picking it up during proofreading) :
"Weezing, use Sludge Bomb!" she cried, her voice shaking. Weezing drifted forward, and launched a jet of purple matter at the Drapion's face.
Poison Attacks against Dark/Poison Drapion = not very effective. Weezing also has Fire Blast as an attack. And it's a female :)

Other than that, very good job on a very suspenseful and creepy (in a good way) chapter. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with Sadie, Lisa, and Dalton as they prepare to depart to investigate this matter :)

Haruka of Hoenn
January 22nd, 2010, 02:22 PM
It's chapters like these that make me thankful that I did a rewrite :P This one was, for some reason, hard for me to write. I rewrote Drapion's appearance three times. But, I'm happy with the final draft, and I'm glad you are too!

And thanks for not spoiling the connection. Haha.

Haruka of Hoenn
April 24th, 2010, 03:50 PM
Sorry for the painfully long wait. During these past few weeks, I've sort of rekindles my interest in this fic. I've been busy with school, projects, and life in general. But the school year is almost over, so I'll have more time to write.


Onto the chapter!



Chapter 10

Just outside of Snowpoint City, nestled deep in the forest of Route 217, is a snowy clearing known as the Acuity Lakefront. The actual lake is rather small, spanning only a few hundred meters. Its surface reflects that of the sky above - white and bleak. The quiet location is made famous by the building that stands at its head, what is referred to as Sinnoh's northernmost point. Through a cloak of trees, one would see the tip of a domed ceiling, followed by several standing pillars and a tall, wrought-iron fence. The building is cloaked with an everpresent layer of snow that hides the beautiful architecture underneath. To the locals, it is known as the Snow Cottage. To everyone else, it is simply the president's mansion.

The conference room is located in the very back of the building, guarded by soundproof walls and a fingerprint scanner. The room itself is modern and spacious, with walls lined with bookshelves and a snack table in the corner. A long glass table takes up most of the center, surrounded by twenty identical chairs. The seat at the head of the table is reserved for the president himself. Though it appears similar to the rest of the chairs in the room, this one is stuffed with memory foam and an extra layer of padding, for those hard days when one's head feels heavy on his shoulders. The morning of July 19th was one of those days for Dr. Berry.

It had begun, just like any other, with a hunt through his wardrobe for a comfortable suit. Dr. Berry finally settled on his favorite - a smooth black coat, with a stark white polo shirt and a solid color tie. After getting dressed, he would make his way to his personal kitchen, where he would quickly prepare a bowl of cereal and an apple. Then, with his cup of coffee in hand, he would go down to his office, and answer phone call bombardments from several political groups asking for his opinion on 'pressing issues'. Dr. Berry simply referred to them as 'spam'; nothing a personalized recording couldn't solve. Later, he would meet with his personal advisor to find out what would await him that day.

"Sir, you have an important meeting with several governors of Sinnoh, along with the navy and military generals. They will arrive at the conference room at precisely 11:20 A.M to discuss recent events," the man had said, reading off from a large planner.

Thus his headache.

Dr. Berry made it a personal policy to appear as a stoic - to not show any particular excitement or disdain towards any task. Yet he could not help but cringe as he continued to listen to the ramblings of the governor of Jubilife City, a particularly temperamental woman named Mrs. Stein.

"... my city is running low on water. There are protests going on in the streets, and the phone lines are overflowing with emergency calls. Three hospitals have already gone bankrupt. Jubilife cannot last another day without extra funding! Please, Dr. Berry, don't focus all your attention on Darkrai! The people should come first!" She pounded her fist on the table to show emphasis, sending a fresh wave of ripples through Dr. Berry's drink. He let the silence hover over them for a few moments before answering.

"Mrs. Stein, please calm yourself. I've already ordered the shipment of food, medical supplies, and other necessities to your city, but I'm afraid that's all we can do. If we don't take action against Darkrai now, it won't just be your city. I understand that to solve this problem, some things must be sacrificed - "

"We are talking about human lives! Hundreds of people have died already because of this storm! And you think it's perfectly acceptable to ignore that, all for the sake of stopping this insignificant pokémon?"

At this, a gasp ran through the room. The murmurs stopped, however, when a beefy, bespectacled man rose to his feet.

"Insignificant? Oh, so you think wiping out an entire military squad is insignificant?" he countered. "The most important thing to focus on right now is Darkrai. Just as Dr. Berry said, it's not just your city that is suffering. We're all taking the heat here! We should strike Darkrai while we still have something to strike it with!"

“And how exactly are we supposed to strike it, Golgorov?” the man next to him interrupted. “The damn bullets will go right through! Are we forgetting what happened in Route 203?”

There was another outbreak of chatter. Several people rose from their chairs simultaneously, each trying to upstage the other. The next few moments became a blur of white noise - shrill voices, screeching chairs, and pounding fists. Dr. Berry fought the urge to rest his head. Suddenly -

"STOP!" The sudden shout rang above all others.

Heads turned immediately to the source of the sound. The door to the conference room had been opened, and on the threshold stood a tall man with smooth purple curls. Behind his silver-rimmed glasses, his eyes shone with a determination that betrayed his youth.

"Lucian?" Dr. Berry voiced his surprise. "I'm very sorry, but this is a private conference."

"I understand, sir. But I have important information to relay to you. Permission to speak?" With Dr. Berry's approval, Lucian stepped into full view. Behind him trailed the rest of the Elite Four team - happy-go-lucky Aaron, the knowing Bertha, casual Flint, and finally, the champion Cynthia. They carried themselves proudly, with a certain precision in their steps.

Lucian reached the end of the table opposite Dr. Berry, and sat in the empty chair. The Elite Four crowded around him. He began speaking immediately, his eyes darting from face to face.

"All right. By now, I assume you are all aware of what happened in Route 203. Unfortunately, such tragedies can't always be avoided. The best we can do is hope and plan for the future. And if there's anything to be learned from Route 203, it is that the current military plan is a failure. Right now, the army is broken off into separate squads that lie in wait for an attack, and there is no guarantee that there will ever be one. If Darkrai attacks a specific area, the squad there will suffer while the others won't know what to do with themselves. Instead, I propose that we have a single large group lying in wait in one specific location, while a second party lures Darkrai in."

It took a few moments for Lucian's words to sink in, during which the room was thoughtfully silent. A smile tugged at Dr. Berry's lips, but he did not speak, giving Dr. Golgorov enough time to rise from his chair.

"Your plan is interesting, Lucian, but how are we supposed to lure Darkrai?" the man asked.

Before Lucian could answer, a loud clank interrupted him. Dr. Berry had brought his mug down on the table with force, causing all heads to turn.

"Luring Darkrai will be a big operation. We must proceed with haste and caution," Dr. Berry began. "I do have an idea how to bring this about, however, it will require time and patience on everyone's part."

"Well? What is it?" Mrs. Stein said.

"Are you all aware that Mt. Coronet is a chain of volcanoes?" The question clearly startled Mrs. Stein, for she narrowed her eyes and looked around in confusion.

"What does that have to do with anything? The volcanoes have been dormant for thousands of years."

"But if an eruption were to happen then it would cause a great disturbance, no? Pokémon flee from disturbance. It is their nature."

Lucian's eyes widened. "No... it's monstrous! Stimulating an actual eruption would be deadly. Celestic Town and Eterna City would be destroyed!"

"Of course, we will do all the necessary evacuations before proceeding."

"The entire point of this operation is to do it with as little interference with the Sinnoh people as possible! Mass hysteria is the very thing we have to avoid!" Lucian protested.

"The entire point of this operation is to eliminate Darkrai before it gets out of hand!" Dr. Golgorov rose to his feet, looking Dr. Berry in the eye. "I support your plan, Mr. President. In my opinion, we must do whatever is necessary to ensure the long term safety of Sinnoh."

Once again, the room erupted in chatter. Some stood to praise Dr. Berry's plan, and others stood to challenge it. The volume climbed as each person tried to outspeak the other. Lucian's voice was lost among them, leaving his flailing hands the only sign of a moving speech.

Dr. Berry's eyes moved past the reddened faces of his colleagues, his ears tuning out the sound of their debates. His gaze settled on a tall man standing in the corner, the only one who wasn't talking. He wore a pressed gray suit, and his eyes were hidden behind coal black glasses. Too quick for anyone to notice, Dr. Berry gave him a slow nod. The man returned it, and appeared at his side a few seconds later.

"Any news?" Dr. Berry asked, leaning closer to make his whisper heard.

"The radiation has stopped. It has been found." The words were spoken softly, too quiet for anyone else to hear. Dr. Berry felt the color drain from his face.

"After all this time... it's finally happened."

For a few painful moments, the man was silent. "What now?"

"I want you to go to the general and tell him to enact my plan. Then report directly back to me. Every second counts. Go!"

With a final nod, the man slipped away from Dr. Berry. He cut through the crowd and disappeared behind the door. Dr. Berry closed his eyes for a moment, running through the previous twenty seconds like a tape recording.

Could it really be? Is this happening all over again?

When Dr. Berry opened them again, the debate was still in full force. No one had noticed the strange, silent man who had been at his side only moments before. But something in Lucian's guarded, calculating expression told him otherwise. With his lips lightly parted, he turned away from Dr. Berry a bit too quickly.

...

That same morning, in the chilly confines of the Oreburgh Town Library, Sadie sat beside a large reading table with her head propped up by her arm. In the few short minutes they had been there, Dalton had scanned most of the shelves in the Nonfiction section, stepping away from each one with a spiteful sneer.

"Mining.... mining.... and more mining..." Dalton said, running his fingers across the books' spines. "Doesn't this library have anything else?"

"Well, I have to admit, it has a good fiction section," Sadie said. She had been reading a book titled The Lone Torch, which was about a coal miner (no surprise there) who got lost in the mine. She had picked it up out of boredom, and after their first hour at the library, she had blown through the first thirteen chapters. Her eyes were beginning to grow sore, and her wrists were throbbing.

"This book is interesting," Lisa said, finally breaking her silence. She sat across from Sadie, a large book propped open in front of her. It as the same book she had been reading for almost half an hour. "It talks about the history of humans in Sinnoh. Apparently, the region was first settled over a thousand years ago. The first humans settled in what is now the Eterna Forest and Route 205. Then, some sort of... crisis extinguished the population. They know this because over the years, as they dug up bones and carbon dated them, they noticed a huge gap in the timeline. During those years, pokémon mainly dominated the region... then, the human population came back. Newer skeletons were found all of a sudden. It's amazing what you can find from bones."

Sadie's eyebrows perked in interest. She looked up from her own book to meet Lisa's eye. "Does it say what happened?"

Lisa shook her head. "It just says 'crisis'. When the humans were gone, their artifacts went too. So did their villages and farms."

"What could be so destructive as to destroy an ecosystem to that extent? As if the humans had never even existed?" Sadie pondered, her eyes drifting to the ceiling.

"No clue," Dalton said, approaching the table. "It couldn't be a disease, because that's just not the natural order of things. No matter the odds, there's always at least one survivor..."

"The Lunar Wing survived," Sadie said, snapping her fingers. "If every trace of the humans was eliminated, and the Lunar Wing wasn't, then maybe it wasn't made by human hands!"

"Wow... that makes sense!" Lisa said.

"Well, it's kind of obvious too," Dalton added. "I mean, from all the mining books I've been reading, there's no stone that is paper thin, shaped into a crescent, and heals people's nightmares."

Sadie found herself chuckling.

"The topic is interesting, though. What we really need now is something on legends, or folklore. A book that might be able to tell us about ancient artifacts," Dalton continued.

Sadie rose from her seat, closing her novel. "I'll go check. But first I want to put this book back."

"I'm gonna keep reading this," Lisa said, not moving from her spot.

Sadie left the reading area, and began pacing through the aisles. The green carpet muffled her footsteps as she walked past a maze of shelves, dodging the library's other patrons. Finally, she came across a shelf bearing a plaque labeled 'Fiction'.

In contrast to the musty Mining section, where covers were dusty and sand lodged in between pages, the fiction books were shiny and colorful. She quickly returned her novel to its designated place, dodging the library's other patrons, and made to exit the section. But just as she reached the exit, she came across something unusual - a thick volume lying on its spine, wedged messily into the shelf. Its end was sticking out noticeably, and the surrounding books were displaced from lack of space.

Well that's no way to treat a book! she frowned. It took considerable force to pull the book out, and when she did, several more fell to the floor. Its previous reader had to be either very careless... or in a hurry.

After returning all the fallen books to their place, Sadie turned her attention to the one in her arms. She flipped the book over, careful not to strain the nearly broken binding. The front cover read 'The Complete Creation Myth'. The pages, she noticed, were very yellow. Sadie cocked her head slightly to the side. She found the nearest table, sat down, and began to read.

The silence that followed lasted nearly half an hour, during which Sadie's hand became sweaty against her cheek, and her wrist numbed from lack of movement. The text on the pages was tiny, and Sadie had to squint to decipher most of it. Pictures were common, depicting colorful scenes of rising mountains, churning oceans, and pokémon Sadie had never seen before. A particular picture made a lasting impression on her mind, though she couldn't guess why - it depicted a strange, blue pokémon with a graceful neck and beady pink eyes. Its face, tiny and angular, was wedged in between two crescent-like shapes that came together at the top of its head. On its back was a banded ring, colored many different shades of pink. The caption read Cresselia arcus.

Soon, Sadie became so immersed in the book that the ticking of the wall clock became mute to her, as was the hushed chatter that surrounded her. It was only when a loud slam on the table shattered the silence that Sadie snapped out of her trance. She now found herself face-to-face with Lisa, who apparently had skipped over to her table only moments before.

"Sadie! Yoo-hoo!" Lisa said, waving her hand in front of Sadie's face.

Immediately, Sadie noticed how heavy her head felt. Her first response was to yawn. "Mmm?"

"We were wondering where you went," Lisa said. "Anyways, Dalton thinks we should leave. he can't find anything else, and neither can I."

"Wait, wait." Sadie shouted, as loud as the library regulations would allow. Lisa paused in mid-step. "This book is just what we need! The Complete Creation Myth." Sadie beamed. "We have to show Dalton!"

Lisa carefully took the book into her hands, wincing as her palm ran over the dusty, ripped cover. "My gosh, this thing is a mess! Where did you find it?"

"Right here, in Fiction. It was shoved right into a shelf. Someone must have left it here."

"This sounds like a good book!" Lisa said. She turned, and the two made their way back to the Mining section, here Dalton was waiting at a table.

"Where were you?" he asked.

Lisa placed the book carefully onto the table. "Sadie found what we need. It's the complete Sinnoh creation myth. It includes stuff about other regions, but it's mainly about this one."

Dalton leafed through the pages. He turned to Sadie. "How much did you read?"

"It's talking about how some poké-god called The Original One created all the regions we know today. Its power was very immense, but it couldn't directly run the planet itself, because it was trapped in a different dimension. So it created pokémon to keep balance. Kind of like Lugia and Ho-oh for Johto, and Mew for Kanto."

"What about Sinnoh?" Dalton asked.

"I just started that chapter. It says that Sinnoh was the last region it created, and it rose from a chain of volcanoes. The tallest one became Spear Pillar, and that's as far as I could get."

Dalton looked away from the book, rubbing his chin. "My doctor gave me a book on artifacts while I was in the hospital... It was a crappy book, but it said something interesting about the Lunar Wing. It was discovered in the 1800s, at the top of Spear Pillar.

"And there's more," Sadie said. Dalton and Lisa both turned to face her.

"I saw this really strange pokémon in the book..." Sadie began leafing through the pages. "It had the same exact colors as the Lunar Wing. There!" She exclaimed. Lisa and Dalton leaned in to look at the picture.

"Cresselia arcus..." Dalton read. "Pokémon of the moon, supposedly. One of the First created by the Original One. Represents the crescent moon. Served as a vector for The Original One's power, and has never been seen since. Its Wing, the only object it can be summoned with, was lost with its disappearance."

The three exchanged glances.

"The Lunar Wing," Sadie said, her heartbeat quickening with the excitement of discovery.

"So this is where it came from..." Dalton said, his eyes never leaving the pages. "It makes sense... I mean, they are the exact same color."

"And according to this book, the Lunar Wing summons Cresselia," Sadie pointed out. "But why summon it?"

"Apparently The Original One will channel its power through it," Lisa replied.

"And why do we need that?" Dalton asked, strumming his fingers on the table. "Maybe to help wake more people afflicted with nightmares?"

There was a prolonged silence.

"We have to get this book," Lisa finally said.

Sadie sighed. "That's going to be a problem."

"What do you mean?"

Sadie flipped back to the inside cover, showing them the 'PROPERTY OF CANALAVE LIBRARY' stamp on the pages.

Sadie watched Lisa's smile wilt. "What kind of idiot..." her voice trailed off as her fingers ran across the stamp.

"Shouldn't there be an Oreburgh copy here, though?" Dalton asked. "If Canalave has it, then this place should too. We probably didn't see it because someone checked it out."

"Well, Sinnoh's libraries are 'themed' by their location," Sadie explained. "This library deals with mostly mining because we're in a mining town. And Canalave is the main port city of Sinnoh, so they get all kinds of tourists there."

"So we have to go all the way to Canalave to legally get this book?" Lisa said, her voice rising.

"Of course not," Dalton said simply. "That'll take too long. We'll just sneak it out."

Sadie's eyes widened. What shocked her even more was the nonchalant tone he used.

"No!" Sadie's exclamation came out louder than she intended. She scanned the area for any onlookers, then dropped her voice down to a whisper. "We can't sneak this book out! First, they'll assume that we want to take it without checking it out, but when they see the label... They'll fine us! Fine us for a book we didn't smuggle!"

"It's not like this book will be missed," Dalton shrugged. "We need this information more than anyone here does." Before Sadie could make a move, Dalton lifted the book from the table, opened a flap of his jacket, and zipped the book inside. Surprisingly, it was barely noticeable due to the jacket's bulky material.

"But..." Sadie said, her voice reaching a frantic edge. "Can't we just put it back and come back for it tomorrow?"

"We can't risk someone else taking it," Dalton said. "Walk slowly, and we won't attract attention."

Sadie looked to Lisa for support, but was shocked to see her rising at Dalton's command. She approached Sadie and gently pulled on her arm. "Let's go."

With both of them looking at her expectantly, Sadie had no choice but to get up. With Dalton leading the way, they exited the reading area, passed all the major sections, and came to the lobby. The clerk on duty, nodded at them as they passed.

"Have a nice day," she said with a smile.

Dalton nodded. "You too."

"See ya," Lisa waved.

Sadie had to clench her fists to keep her hands from shaking. One by one, they filed through the tall sensors that stood by the doorway. Her breath froze as Dalton stepped on the mat. She braced herself for the alarm, but nothing came. Lisa went next, then Sadie followed suit. When they had all safely exited the building, Sadie heard Lisa let out a sigh of relief. They had made it.

But despite their victory, Sadie could still feel the clerk's gaze bore into her back as they left the library, even as they crossed the street onto a different city block.

"Will you relax already? We made it." Dalton said. "When we're done with the book, we'll sneak it back in."

Sadie nodded, but maintained silence. They made their way through the rest of the town, stopping when they reached the familiar Pokémon Center.

For a few seconds, no one spoke. A few trainers shoved their way past them, and entered the building. Finally, Sadie stepped forward. "I guess I'll take it. I've read the most, and I really want to finish it." Sadie narrowed her eyes. "I don't want to see anything happen to this book - I'm not letting it out of my sight!"

Dalton handed the book over, chuckling. They said their good-byes, and went their separate ways - Lisa to her own hotel, and Sadie and Dalton to their respective rooms.

When Sadie closed the door to hers, she was momentarily overwhelmed by its silence and emptiness. Through the windows, she caught a glimpse of a peaceful, happy world. After a brief pause, she plopped down onto her bed, her book in her hands. It didn't take her too long to open it up to Cresselia's page. For a few minutes, Sadie stared at the picture, taking in every detail. Cresselia, was floating against a blue-black background, the colors of its body standing out in contrast. Its eyes were perfectly round and defined, staring out at Sadie's face almost as if they could see it.

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
April 24th, 2010, 10:04 PM
I must say, I'm a bit on the fence over the whole "volcano eruption" plan. On the one hand, it's gonna displace a whole lot of citizens and probably is going to cause mass chaos. On the other hand, Darkrai appearances and attacks have been random, and it's been impossible thus far to predict where it will strike next. Should Darkrai react instinctively, at least this gives the army a definite location where they can confront it. Of course, this still leaves the question, "What do they do about Darkrai once they've cornered it?" One thing I do know is, if Dr. Berry does go through with this plan, there will be no margin for error. He will emerge from it either as a hero or as a mass murderer. Certainly it's a plan which cannot be undertaken in haste - careful considerations and precautions must be considered.

Not a lot of action this chapter, but it's not really needed. The story itself, in just two scenes gets some major developments. First was the revelation of Dr. Berry's plan for drawing out Darkrai and the split opinions about it among the other leaders (as well as my own divided thoughts on it). Second was the old library book and the myths contained within. Perhaps a closer study of it will reveal why the Lunar Wing has suddenly reappeared in Dalton's hands.

And that Dalton... always willing to take the sort of risks that Lisa and Sadie wouldn't even consider trying, lol

Haruka of Hoenn
April 25th, 2010, 05:32 AM
I must say, I'm a bit on the fence over the whole "volcano eruption" plan. On the one hand, it's gonna displace a whole lot of citizens and probably is going to cause mass chaos. On the other hand, Darkrai appearances and attacks have been random, and it's been impossible thus far to predict where it will strike next. Should Darkrai react instinctively, at least this gives the army a definite location where they can confront it. Of course, this still leaves the question, "What do they do about Darkrai once they've cornered it?" One thing I do know is, if Dr. Berry does go through with this plan, there will be no margin for error. He will emerge from it either as a hero or as a mass murderer. Certainly it's a plan which cannot be undertaken in haste - careful considerations and precautions must be considered.

Not a lot of action this chapter, but it's not really needed. The story itself, in just two scenes gets some major developments. First was the revelation of Dr. Berry's plan for drawing out Darkrai and the split opinions about it among the other leaders (as well as my own divided thoughts on it). Second was the old library book and the myths contained within. Perhaps a closer study of it will reveal why the Lunar Wing has suddenly reappeared in Dalton's hands.

And that Dalton... always willing to take the sort of risks that Lisa and Sadie wouldn't even consider trying, lol
I'm glad I revised how Dr. Berry came up with his plan. This one makes him seem more... forceful and knowing rather than just another person proposing something.
I'm also happy with my revisions with the book part. Glad you liked it :)

Collen
April 25th, 2010, 08:38 AM
I'm seeing some serious connections here:
First off, the Drapion attacked during a New Moon, which is when Darkrai is said to appear. Second of all, Cresselia (in the games, at least) can wake people from nightmares.
Perhaps Cresselia gave Dalton this item in order to save Sinnoh from Darkrai, and the Drapion came from a nightmare, and escaped when Dalton used the Cresent Wing.
Either way, the story is good, so far.

Haruka of Hoenn
April 25th, 2010, 09:28 AM
I'm seeing some serious connections here:
First off, the Drapion attacked during a New Moon, which is when Darkrai is said to appear. Second of all, Cresselia (in the games, at least) can wake people from nightmares.
Perhaps Cresselia gave Dalton this item in order to save Sinnoh from Darkrai, and the Drapion came from a nightmare, and escaped when Dalton used the Cresent Wing.
Either way, the story is good, so far.

It goes a bit deeper than that, but you're on the right track :)
Glad you like it so far, and thanks for commenting!