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Giratina ♀
October 4th, 2009, 04:35 PM
WARNING: THIS STORY MAY CONTAIN JOURNEY FIC

...Yes. Well.

My name is Giratina. This is my third story posted on PokéCom, the second of which was not a one-shot. As the disclaimer states, this is really, truly Pokémon journey fanfiction. It's my first time trying something like this, and even though the beginning is somewhat deceiving (and long |D) please bear with me.

This story's name has been changed; it used to be called Delta Species! So don't freak out!

The PM List is...

Luphinid Silnaek

...and that's about it. If you want to join, you can PM me, VM me, post in this thread, or toss a rock through my window. Either one is fine.

wings have we



{0} the beast of the sky stirs

Somewhere out in the vast reaches of space, a levitating red Pokémon was attacking empty air.

Well, at least, it looked like empty air. What this Pokémon was clearly aware of was that there was really something there – it was a sort of force field, a barrier designed to prevent that very same red creature from entering the range of the funny blue-and-white planet down below. And yes, the red monster with multicolored tentacles and a jewel in its chest certainly wanted to be there! Even though it had no idea what ‘there’ was called, he was receiving distress calls from fellow members of his species, and that was reason enough to go down and save them.

What this torn Pokémon did not know was that the distress calls from his comrades were not distress calls from his comrades at all. Instead, they were the (mostly) harmless byproduct of a machine so enormous it required a room the size of the average school gymnasium to house. This machine was referenced by its owners and creators as merely “The D-Cannon” (give or take a few ‘mrrrrr’s), and its existence was very much unknown, even to those who lived in relatively close proximity and who saw the results of its existence every day of their lives.

Where The D-Cannon was located, it was causing no harm. The D-Cannon and its immense housing made their home inside what seemed to be an obnoxiously large tower, out in the middle of the desert within an area with no other traces of life for miles and miles every way around. Indeed, even the usual Trapinch and Cacturne who tended to dwell around these rough areas weren’t present.

Those stupid enough to venture into the desert and find The Cannon’s holding area were simply told that it was nothing they should be concerned with and were booted out into the sand-coated wilderness (but not before a meal and good night’s sleep – what desert-dwelling building owner would deny that to idiotic travelers?).

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

For what those morons were not informed of was that the absolute worst calamity to ever occur in that particular Region could be blamed upon the scary big building in the desert. When the building absolutely had to be brought up, people would insist that “Oh, it’s just an old government building. You know the government officials – always making things and not using them.” The belief was held.

But, then again, these people weren’t exactly known for their independent mindsets.


{1} fate knows where you live

A young boy sat slumped in his seat, watching the rain continue its attempt to be as loud as it could while crashing against the window. Limp brown hair flopped against the glass, letting gravity take over entirely. His face was set in a thoughtful frown, and though dull blue eyes watched water pound upon glass he never really paid it any mind. He had average height and build, though it was difficult to tell from his current scrunched-up position. Overall, the sort of boy you expect to be cautious and unwilling to try new things. Of course, he was actually something like that, but his thoughts were upon clearly more important things.

Like Pokéballs, for instance.

‘Come on, Casey,’ the boy silently scolded himself, ‘quit thinking about that! It’s over! It’s going to get found and I never even touched that thing and nobody can possibly link its appearance to me!’

Casey, you see, was a kid with a dilemma. That morning, while waiting for this very bus to arrive to drive him to school, he had found an extremely disturbing object sitting underneath some nearby shrubbery. It was an object about the size of a softball, colored red and white with a black stripe running around the center. Commonly known as a ‘Pokéball’ or ‘Poké Ball’, it was a manmade object designed for the capture and control of animals known as Pokémon.

Both Pokémon and the objects that tame them were fully and entirely illegal in the fine land of Calda.

Without getting into specifics, quite a while ago (before he was born, in fact) the local regional government had decided it was better for the region and its human inhabitants if super-powered monsters weren’t running around the cities and nearby land. Pokémon and the spherical things that share almost the same name were no longer allowed, and hunts immediately ensued to catch and destroy all remaining wild Pokémon (which, seeing as Calda is an island surrounded entirely by water, is slightly easier than it sounds).

As a matter of fact, the only reason anyone even knew about the Pokémon anymore is because children were having a message constantly drilled into their heads that Pokémon are very dangerous – which usually leads into brief explanations on how dangerous they are. For many people, excluding those who have lived in a different and more Pokémon-friendly region for some part of their lives, this was all they knew. Many also shared the mindset that Pokémon were far too dangerous to be interacted with.

Casey was among them, being a victim of the common juvenile method of determining an opinion: their beliefs were a direct offset of their parents’.

This Pokéball that seemed to have spawned from a bush should have left his memory by now – but despite his brain’s pleads to wipe it away, the small object kept nagging at the fringes of his conscious mind.

Thankfully, the bus came to a final, screeching stop just as he concluded this.

Following the stomping masses of kids trailing into the massive building they called a ‘school’, being surrounded by the familiar buzz of people talking and subsequently being late for class helped to clear his mind of all illegal phenomena. After retrieving all necessary textbooks for the morning, Casey did his best to mask a loud yawn (it didn’t work very well) and set off for the ever-important class known as Social Studies.

Slipping in a seat just as the final bell tolled the fanfare of glory for some students and the screech of death for others, a middle-aged man with slick black hair stood up from his previous sitting position. He was wearing a rather formal white shirt and black pants, as well as thick glasses that caught the radiance of the fluorescent strips of lights that shone above him.

“You have five minutes to review your notes,” droned The Teacher, otherwise known as Mr. Thomas. He taught in almost every subject in the school for a year or two, and those unfortunate enough to be landed with him for more than one year quickly dubbed him The Teacher according to that criteria. “The tests will be handed out when that time is up.”

The usual shuffling of papers ensued as almost everyone whipped out one notebook or another to review one of the briefest chapters in the course: Pokémon Studies. Casey’s eyes glazed over the small amount of notes he had been provided with – the reasoning behind this strange topic was something along the lines of ‘if you’re ever presented with a situation in which Pokémon interaction is required, you must know at least something about them’.

“Time is up. The tests are being passed out now. Please put away any notes, textbooks, and cell phones you may have on your person.” His eyes fixed on one girl in the back of the class, who looked up with makeup-caked eyes from her previous position of hunched over a small machine. She gave a petite frown and shoved the object in her purse.

The papers were slowly passed around the room, and once everyone had a test The Teacher said blankly, “Begin.”

The first question was, ‘Name all types of Pokémon.’

Casey heard a resounding moan echo from some other people. How were they supposed to remember that?

Sighing, Casey tapped the eraser end of his pencil against the desk. 'It's probably a question meant to catch us off-guard,' he thought. 'We barely even skimmed the types...' Finally, he bit his lip and decided that if he was going to screw up the question, he would at least screw it up with an attempt at an answer. The boy began to write.

‘Normal, Fire, Water, Grass, Flying, Steel, Dark, Dragon, Ice, Rock, Ground, Psychic, Bug, Fighting, Poison’. He was fairly sure that was correct.

Satisfied with his handiwork, Casey moved to the next question.

-

“I don’t believe it. I just don’t believe it.”

Somewhere in a vast stretch of white, there stood a large and imposing-looking wooden desk sitting on what seemed to be air, but was in fact a floor the same color as the surrounding area: white. All of it was fully and entirely white. Upon this imposing wooden desk was a computer (quite blatantly labeled ‘Dea Procol Machina’ in black marker ink) with an oversized keyboard and a giant monitor, with smaller monitors springing off at various points to create the sort of thing you would expect a French boy genius to have in his dorm room while he converses with his friends who are all running around in cyberspace, slaying monsters.

Of course, there was no French boy genius sitting at the computer. For one thing, there is no France. Ha ha, what could have ever put such an absurd thought in your mind? No, there was something much more impressive than a boy genius from a surely made-up land called ‘France’.

There was the highly brilliant, attractive, intimidating, and very fearsome Giratina the most wonderful and incredibly skilled ringleader of the best Alternate Universe ever crea-

Oh, forget it.

Sitting at the Dea Procol Machina in a large swivel chair was I, Giratina The Celestial Librarian Of Arceus’ Archives and The High Goddess of Never-Turn-Back The Interdimensional Bus Terminal (or Giratina for short).

If you have ever seen me before in my two more often-used forms, which you probably haven’t, I look like some sort of cross between those two. My body is long and gray, with the only thing breaking the serene gray-ness being a black-and-red stripe that goes down the lower part of the body, Gyarados-style. Upon my head is a strangely shaped golden head ornament that looks almost exactly like the one in my Earth Fo- oh, wait, you silly mortals have never seen it before. Well, it’s very hard to describe, but on the forehead of my black, muzzled face lies a golden sideways-crescent dealie, and to the side of that two large gold horns that twist oh so slightly, and to the side of THAT, sticking straight out, is two thicker golden horns that don’t twist at all and make my head look like a, how you say, ‘football’. Oh yes, and I have no arms. Instead, I have black wings that have transformed themselves into three-clawed hands.

What? You’re wondering why you’ve never heard of this awe-inspiring third form in your feeble studies of Legendaries?

Well, because only four human beings have ever seen it. One of them isn’t allowed to leave this place and is no longer human at all, one of them probably forgot about me entirely, one of them is smart enough to know bringing me – and therefore this form – up in conversation would be a VERY bad idea, and one would probably rather not think about me ever again as long as he lives.

So that’s why you puny mortals have never seen it.

In any case, I was monumentally peeved.

“What’s wrong with you?” asked a slightly high-pitched voice from behind me. From somewhere else in the vast whiteness of Never-Turn-Back appeared the first person I spoke of – the one who is no longer mortal, and therefore no longer human. By now, he’s more of a… biologically advanced Aipom… assuming humans evolved from Pokémon in a different way than normal… thing.

Well, in any case, he looked human and his name was Zero. Dressed up in a baggy yellow suit with matching boots and gloves, one half of his white hair fell over yellow eyes that were now staring at me, intent to know what irritated me and possibly send the person responsible some flowers in gratitude.

This was my used-to-be-human assistant, Zero, rescued from a glacier after he tried to kill me and was subsequently ‘forcibly nominated’ to assist me in all of my Legendary duties as Head Librarian and Goddess.

My eyes quickly glanced over to him, but they soon shut in irritation. “I go through all the trouble to put that Pokéball exactly where he was supposed to see it… and worse, convinced Palkia to make him see it…he was supposed to… oh, when I get my claws on that pink fate-weaver I’m going to…” I gritted my teeth, as the fate that I intended to lay upon Palkia should probably not be revealed lest he suddenly disappear from his post one day.

“What’s gone wrong this time?” Zero asked again, this time slightly irritated (presumably from my lack of response).

“Well…” I said, wishing Zero could keep his mouth shut so I didn’t need to repeat the tragedy, “…I went to the trouble of doing something extremely difficult and doing something else hugely, incredibly, mountainously difficult. And then someone goes it and WRECKS IT ALL! PALKIA, I AM GOING TO—“

At that point a deafeningly loud moaning drowned out exactly what I was going to do to Palkia, courtesy of some Pokémon racing in levitating buses over our heads. I felt tempted to tell them off for misuse of equipment, but couldn’t be bothered. Instead, I banged my wing-fist on the computer monitor, and quickly made it levitate into the air once the giant machine threatened to fall over.

“So ‘Palkia’ did something bad, then,” said Zero dryly.

“Oh yes,” I said. “You’ve never met my relatives, have you, Zero?”

“I didn’t know you had relatives, Gi- um, Goddess.”

“Oh, just stop trying to call me ‘Goddess’, you’re going to look stupid when you mess up.”

“Fine.”

“And yes, I have relatives. I have a lot of relatives. They’re… strange, and I don’t think you’ll be able to swallow all of their personalities and even existences at once.”

“So will you introduce them one at a time or something?”

“I’m hoping you never have to see them…” I said distantly, and then let my mind fly off in various directions. “There must be some way to get the Mewforsaken Pokéball to him!” I slumped my head in my claw-hands, making sure not to skewer something with the multitude of pointy things sticking off of it. “Think, Giratina, think…”

“Why don’t you just go down there and give it to him?”

“I can’t do that! I’d be noticed immediately!”

“What if you went at night?”

“Can’t do that either! There’s still too big a risk of someone seeing me!”

“There is not. Just cloak yourself in shadow or something.”

“Cloak- I can’t do that!”

“You could a few years ago in Sinnoh…”

“Th- that never happened! You have no proof I ever did that! I erased it from the Archives and from the memories of the mortal masses! And I don’t trust your judgment, because I’m the only other person here! Though… it’s not a bad idea…”

“See? I was right. There IS a way to do it.”

“Be quiet, you. I need to think. Go frolic in the Reverse World or something.”

-

That night, Casey was having sleeping difficulties.

It wasn’t like him, really; usually he was lying awake for a few minutes before conking out and awakening the next morning, refreshed and ready to take the world head-on. And tonight… tonight was something different. The shadows squirmed and moved ever so slightly with the shifting of other shadows outside, an action that Casey was accustomed to by now. And… it still wasn’t helping the boy’s cause.

And then there was a ‘thunk’ at his window.

Now, thunks at his window were not unheard of; there was occasionally some nut or branch or something that had decided to deviate from the tree or other place of origin in favor of toppling to the ground, occasionally making contact with his glass in the meantime. For this reason, Casey ignored it and turned around in his bed.

And then there was another thunk. And another.

The boy frowned, but didn’t move.

And another thunk. And another one. They simply did not stop.

Deciding that he could never fall asleep with this constant bombardment of his only source of moonlight, Casey grudgingly got up and opened the window. Sticking his head out irritably, the eleven-year-old looked around the yard below searching for the origin of the thunking. There were dents on the glass, and that much told him that it was somehow forceful enough to toss hard objects at such a height. This meant it was probably another person.

Though, the only thing that showed from the darkness below was a black blob shaped like a sort of six-footed dinosaur, with two arms it was using to presumably toss rocks with. The creature apparently didn’t notice he had opened the window, despite turning what looked to be its head up to gaze at him. Without any time to do anything but blink, Casey could only watch as another object went soaring…

…and came in direct contact with his forehead before landing on the carpeted floor with a light ‘thump’.

When he ran back to the window to check for the dinosaur-shadow, it had disappeared.

Casey was sufficiently creeped out by now. What was this snake doing outside his house, of all places? It couldn’t have been a trick of his mind, because that thing definitely looked like it was throwing rocks… and one of those rocks was now lying on the ground under his feet. He reached down to retrieve the rock, and found to his surprise that it did not feel at all what a rock was supposed to feel like. Suddenly suspicious and a little bit scared, Casey held the object up to the light.

And promptly dropped it again.

“I… I don’t…” he spluttered under his breath. Finally, he closed his eyes and attempted to compose himself. Failing that, Casey braced his mind for looking at the Pokéball one more time. Unfortunately, it was still there and was not a trick of his imagination.

The boy gulped. Reaching out one shaky hand for the object, he took it as if it were an explosive device. Slowly walking back to his bed with the red-and-white ball in hand, Casey turned the object slightly. “This is bad…” he breathed. “Really bad… but what can I…” Casey didn’t know what that snake had against him to want to get him arrested; as a matter of fact, he knew only one thing.

He wanted nothing to do with this Pokéball.

Gulping again and trying not to think about the consequences of what he was about to do, Casey unceremoniously dropped the Pokéball behind his bed and fell asleep, ignorant of the red glow that was being sprawled on the wall behind him.

D. Lawride
October 4th, 2009, 05:10 PM
"Mewforsaken" as in Mew IS the original? That's one of the theories I definitely will support! Arceus is blasphemy! xD

“Can’t do that either! There’s still too big a risk of someone seeing me!”

Perhaps reformulating to "The risk of someone seeing me is still too big!"? Maybe I'm just being picky, though.

Without any time to do anything but blink, Casey could only watch as another object went soaring…

…and came in direct contact with his forehead before landing on the carpeted floor with a light ‘thump’.

This part is the perfect description of an action I thought to be hard to describe and STILL make it worth a laugh!

All in all, the story looks great! I especially liked the opening - and the quotations above, too.

I was actually relunctant at reading it at first - I mean, its LARGE. - but then it started catching the eye.

Keep it up now!

Giratina ♀
October 4th, 2009, 05:27 PM
Actually, Arceus just created Dialga, Palkia, and Mew. The latter was responsible for everyone else. So... we still say 'Mewforsaken' because Mew is technically the Origin of Species (capitalized because 'The Origin of Species' was one of the beta names for this story, hee hee), and is therefore the equivalent of - excuse my religion-specific examples - God and 'Godforsaken'. God made all living things, and so did Mew to the Pokémon. So yeah.

I (no offense intended) don't see anything wrong with the way it was worded, and seeing as Giratina is pretty much a shameless self-insert and that's the way I would say it...

Thank you for reading and commenting! :D It really does mean a lot. I know it's long, but in all honesty there's so many necessary-to-the-plot events that I need to cram in before settling down to the eventual storyline... it has to be done, and I don't want to drag this out too much longer chapter-wise than it already is. My plan was just to get it all out of the way in two or three tidy little chapters, but that's just the way I am with stories. ANYWAY. Enough of my rambling, thank you again! :3

Sgt Shock
October 5th, 2009, 04:15 PM
What an interesting story. You have such a personal touch to your story, I can see that you wrote it. Opposed to some people (not featured on this forums) who has a style that seemed like they copied and pasted from another person. Alas, I am liking Casey.

By the way, the quiz section with naming all of the types. I tried to do it without looking. :P I forgot some. :P I knew it was like sixteen or so though. ha ha.

I can't wait until the next chapter Giratina.

Giratina ♀
October 5th, 2009, 04:38 PM
Thanks, Shock! =D I hear you on the C+P'd story argument. I feel like a lot of the stories have no personality to the way they're told, no matter what the subject matter/rating/genre is or who writes them. It's honestly kind of creepy (for me, at least) to read an entire story that goes on with no personality in the non-dialogue narration, to an extent where you've basically established it as the person's way of writing and speaking (it happens), and then read the author's notes at the end of the book/chapter/fic and see them spewing out words as animatedly as anyone would in regular conversation. I don't know if other people share that notion, but to me it's not a pleasant one and I try to avoid it. Not to mention I find stories like that kind of boring. (Why 'alas'? I think he's a fascinating little kid, if I do say so myself. >3)

I tried the quiz from memory, too - didn't get Fighting or Poison. Bah. > .>

Sgt Shock
October 5th, 2009, 04:44 PM
When it comes down to it, the narrator's personality can lighten the mood when the mood is dreary. Kind of lighten things up during a time when the character's themselves cannot. O_O It's fun hearing the personality of the narrator from time to time. On a side note, I missed Poison and Ghost for some reason (Gengar is both so I don't know why that it didn't come to mind XD).

Anyway, I'm be looking forward to your next chapter. Geez I'm reading a lot of fan fiction. :o It's fun though.

Giratina ♀
October 5th, 2009, 04:56 PM
Poison and Ghost? Huh.

I've already got it written, I just don't want to dump too many chapters on you poor readers at once. >3

Sgt Shock
October 5th, 2009, 04:58 PM
Poison and Ghost? Huh.

I've already got it written, I just don't want to dump too many chapters on you poor readers at once. >3

The two types I forgot in the quiz. lol. Lack of clarity for the lost.

and yeah, I know the feeling. I have most of my fan fiction done but I don't want to eat the readers with overflow. I might have already had. >_>

Giratina ♀
October 5th, 2009, 05:01 PM
Most of the story? Whew. I tried that once with a different story... I lost interest about nine chapters into posting it (I hadn't written any new ones since) and realized I simply had no idea where the plot was going. It was mostly running in circles. > .> Thank goodness I didn't post it here. But enough of my rambling about fics gone past - I couldn't even bring myself to plan ahead on chapter summaries! Organizing never seems to work out with me, for some reason.

Giratina ♀
October 6th, 2009, 11:18 AM
{2} you should watch this transformation



Casey was woken at about one in the morning by a noise.

Unable to register that there was some sort of mysterious noise-maker in his bedroom (and thinking the noise was his alarm clock) thanks to his half-awake state, Casey merely performed the standard morning ritual: moan, grumble, flail his arm around near where the bedside table was, search by touch for the black box known as an alarm clock, and hope his poked the part that made it shut up.

And then he heard giggling.

“Whoz’sere?” he grumbled, seemingly unable to speak clearly.

“Me, silly,” replied a high, childish voice.

Now, Casey didn’t expect a reply; when he got one, it took him by surprise and successfully woke the kid up. He straightened in his bed, and kept his eyes firmly clamped shut. “And who is ‘me’?”

“You’re you…” said the voice. “And I’m me!”

“Who’s speaking?” he asked, becoming annoyed with the carefree way this person was taking his (very serious) conversation about waking him up.

“You were, but now I am…”

Casey sighed irritably and opened his eyes, mentally bracing himself for whatever horrors surely laid in the room beyond. All seemed normal except for a strange red glow coming from somewhere above him.

When Casey lay on his back, a large orange-and-blue mass that was giving off a bright red glow was beaming back at him.

The orange things were what looked to be metal half-circles, with two smaller ones cut into the front. Both of the half-spheres were identical, but one was turned upside down and attached so that they looked like eyes. Visible from inside the sphere was a blue orb of energy. It seemed to be what was keeping the two orange parts together, and looked a lot like irises in the ‘eyes’. All together, it looked like the face of a Duskull, except it was a sphere of its own accord, and it glowed red.

The Duskull-thing had a mouth. It was opened ever so slightly, and from that point – almost as if it were coming out of its mouth – came a glowing red stream of jagged red energy, which then widened out and turned into a very canine-looking head.

The orange thing was staring at Casey blankly, mouth open, but the dog head had its mouth open and was lolling around a red plasma-tongue. It seemed to be the one speaking.

The Caldan boy was about an inch away from screaming very, very loudly. He nearly did that before trying to halt the impulse with a shut mouth (the result was a strange guttural noise that sort of hurt his throat). When Casey had compiled himself enough to speak somewhere close to properly – and had pushed the creature a few feet backwards in the process – he spat out a few words.

“Who… what… are you?”

“I’m Rotom!” chirped the dog head. Casey took it to mean both the glowing appendage and the orange-and-blue ball, since the latter seemed to be preoccupied with keeping the former visible.

“Rotom…” Casey breathed. It sounded familiar somehow, but he couldn’t quite place a finger on it…

“Oh JEEZ!” To heck with keeping quiet – this was a Pokémon talking to him. But Pokémon weren’t supposed to talk, were they? And they weren’t supposed to appear out of thin air either.

Unless…

The force of the matter hit Casey like a freight train. No way! How did it not occur to me that the Pokéball might not be empty? What do I do with it? Do I get the Pokéball and try to make it go back in? That’s what happens, right?

Casey peered down the dark, small crack formed between the bed and the wall. He couldn’t make out much in the lack of sufficient lighting, and a graze of the perimeter with his fingers resulted only in a small cut on his finger. But that wasn’t the most important matter at hand – there was a bigger problem going on.

Like where the way he was supposed to hide that thing went.

“But… that thing you were in… Pokéball, that’s it… where did it go?”

“It’s right in front of you!” sang Rotom.

Casey looked down at himself and all around the immediate vicinity, but there was no sight of the red and white sphere.

“No, really!” it laughed. “The Pokéball is right in front of you!” The dog head then commenced to curl in close to the ‘body’ before springing back out, saying, “Grr, I am a big ferocious Mightyena! I have come out of my Pokéball to tear you to shreds! Grr!”

It took a few seconds for Casey to understand this (mostly because he had no idea what a Mightyena was), but once he did the rest soon followed. “So…” he said, face paling considerably. “So you just…”

“One of the things that make Rotoms a cut above other Ghost Pokémon!” said Rotom proudly. “We’re able to possess some other electronic equipment and turn into a new form! This one spawned the second head, and guess what I took over! Guess!”

“You…” Casey spluttered. “…can you get out of it?”

Rotom faltered. “Well…” it hesitated, “…um… that’s the thing. I tried and… no.”

“No?”

“No. I really can’t come out. I tried before, because it’s really weird having my energy in a form that looks like a Mightyena and I didn’t like it, but I think maybe the Pokéball thinks I’m in it and out of it at the same time.”

“In and out of it at… so you can’t come out because it won’t let you de-possess it. Have you tried entering the Pokéball entirely? They… Pokéballs can do that, right? They’re for storing Pokémon?”

“I tried that too. But there’s no way I can, because a Pokéball has to touch a Pokémon to catch or return it.”

“Oh…” Casey had not known this. The ‘Rotom’ was becoming something of a problem, and he could think of only one way to rid himself of it.

“I have an idea,” he said tentatively.

“What? What?” asked Rotom, voice getting higher in pitch from his excitement.

“You have to… well…” Casey hesitated for a second, and pointed at the window.

Rotom was devastated. “Why? Why can’t I stay with you?” asked the little Pokémon, the blue energy core in the center of his body getting wider from fright.

Casey gulped. It wasn’t going to be easy to explain to this Rotom – who seemed to have the mental capabilities of a six-year-old – that he was an illegal specimen that needed to be disposed of at all costs.

“Umm… the short of it is, you’re sort of illegal here.”

Rotom gave out a little gasp, but didn’t respond for a while.

“But… but you’re going to help me, right?” it said after a few minutes, staring at Casey with an enormous glowing core that somehow managed to make it look cute. “You’re going to… change it, right? Aren’t you?”

Under different circumstances (such as not being stuck with three other people currently sleeping and unknowing about the fugitive he was hiding in his room), Casey would have laughed out loud at this thing’s stupidity. But alas, he couldn’t, so he boy merely settled for staring at him.

“Change them?” he asked. “Change them? I can’t do that. Either you get out of here and never come back or we find some way to hide you.”

-

Thump.

Thump.

Scream.

Repeat.

Casey had been aware since square one that Rotom was a bad idea, and he had originally tried to hide it somewhere in his room until he could decide how to dump the small electric Pokémon without being tracked down again (and there was still the matter of that dragon). However, it was evident after roughly an hour that stashing a hyperactive Pokémon in one’s drawers and expecting it to lie still was not going to settle well. And once Casey had simply returned to bed, promising Rotom that it could sleep with him (providing it stayed under the covers at all times and didn’t move), he had figured that he had the rest of the weekend to mull over it – at least he had until his mother woke him, demanding for the boy to go pick some things up for her.

Cut to Saturday morning, about eleven AM. Casey was now running as quickly as he possibly could in an attempt to get as far away from the highly-unpleasant-looking group of cops trailing behind him as he could.

All could be blamed upon Rotom.

Because that thing felt the need to possess its own Pokéball, and is apparently incapable of getting itself back out, Casey had to hide him somewhere at all times. And because Rotom doesn’t quite understand how vital it is that he keep still, by the end of the day his hiding place is either physically or metaphorically up in smoke.

Among the ‘physical’ category was Casey’s backpack.

So when a nearby policeman happened to notice that his book bag was on fire, he ran over to Casey and demanded to know what was inside. When the boy refused to show him, the cop simply pulled it off his body and practically ripped it open… to come face to face with Beast, Rotom’s talking dog head’s new name.

Well, Beast gave the policeman a toothy grin as the latter dropped the backpack in surprise. Rotom wormed out of it before the bag hit the ground, however, and much to Casey’s dismay he began hovering around the boy’s head, giggling madly. Not having enough time to even moan loudly before the policeman began calling up all of his blue-suited pals to catch the ‘troublemaker’, he grabbed Rotom’s solid form and ran.

And here we find our little protagonist, running and cursing all of the nameless creatures that wander on and above the Earth (particularly that dragon) for bestowing him with such a hyperactive, childish, and defiant little Rotom that he couldn’t get rid of. Meanwhile, Beast dangled from Rotom’s body like a pendulum, his exact position equivalent to the position of Rotom’s mouth at the time.

Within minutes, one man had multiplied to two, then four. Casey’s eyes flickered backwards to get a decent idea of how far away he was, but he quickly returned his focus to the road – just in time to hop over a trash can that had fallen down at some point in time prior to the chase.

He was dragged to the side with great force before his feet even touched the ground. Rotom squirmed his way out of Casey’s lightened grip before the latter fell to the ground, unconscious.

-

“Shut up,” said a deep female voice. “He’s moving.”

“Well of course he’s moving,” said another voice, this one more masculine and high-pitched. “If he had died here, I would have had it in my records, now wouldn’t I?”

“Hey! Don’t talk about those! What if he heard you?”

“Well then he’d-“

The voices faded. I descended into sleep again.

-

Once Casey was quite sure he was going to remain conscious, he opened his eyes. However, the boy quickly shut them again. The dragon-thing was returning (though she had a different body shape, the spiky head-dress was the same), and she had brought along a buddy just as scary and imposing as she was.

I recoiled with a rather feminine squeak, surprised at him actually waking up again. My body was long and gray, with red-and-black stripes in a horizontal pattern running down the center. The face was black with large red eyes, and upon my head was a complex gold headpiece with six horns in total. Huge, broad paws (actually shape-shifting wings, but whatever) , black as ink and tipped with blood-red claws, jutted out from my back.

Standing a bit farther away was my ‘accomplice’, a pink and-white dragon thing that stood on two legs, had wings that looked like a Skarmory’s. Wings that looked like they were ripped off a Skarmory and spray-painted white before being stuck on his back. There was also pearls embedded in his shoulders, and what looked like a silver Mohawk running down his spine.

“Howdy,” said I. “My name is Giratina. This guy over here is Palkia, Rotom’s just fine, and I’m really hoping you’re not unconscious because… well…” I trailed off. “Well? Are you conscious?”

(Before you ask, ‘I’ was Giratina the Celestial Librarian of Arceus’ Archives, High Goddess/Conductor Lady of Never-Turn-Back the Interdimensional Bus Terminal (or just Giratina for short). If that wasn’t a clear enough description, I’m the person (Pokémon?) who chronicles everything everyone does and writes it down on a Word document, which is then processed into book form and added to the Archives. I put the best ones here for the heck of it.)

“Yes,” said Casey, sounding quite scared.

“Hey, now,” I tried to reassure him. “We’re not going to kill you or anything like that.”

“So… why are you here, then? And how do you talk? Do all Pokémon all of a sudden talk now…?”

I blinked for a second, thoroughly confused by his barrage of questions. Finally, I sorted the answers into some sort of order and responded. “No, not all Pokémon talk. Palkia and I are speaking in the Unown Dialect, which is very similar to your own language. As for why we’re here, well… there’s some stuff we need to explain.”

“Well, yeah, there’s some stuff you need to explain! Like...”

“Um, guys, we should really get this over with soon, we’re not all supposed to be here.” A small, almost whiny voice chimed from in the dark. Out floated Celebi, the small Forest Spirit who was apprentice to Dialga the Time God. She also had a head shaped like an onion with antennae.

“I have permission,” I said to Celebi, “and if it helps with the prophecy then Arceus should have no problem with it and will be very happy that we’re all here to smooth it out! And yeah, we sort of are all supposed to be here, because we’re needed for different things.”

Celebi pouted and sat down on a trash can.

“Now then...” said I. “I believe Palkia has something to say to you?”

Eager as Casey was to learn what Palkia wanted to tell him, the natural instinct to get the heck out of that place took over. He tried to scoot backwards towards the exit, but I noticed and blocked the escape with my wings.

“Fate Knows Where You Live,” I said sagely. “You, of all people, should know that.”

“Yeah, well Fate isn’t exactly here right now, is it?” Casey snorted.

Palkia cleared his throat loudly.

“Oh.”

“Now, I know you must be scared out of your wits, and it probably won’t help telling you that the police probably have you on file by now,” said I. “Hey, they’re just trying to keep Pokemon away from defenseless pedestrians. Can’t blame ‘em. Anyway, you happen to have a very lovely little Path. And the first thing to realize to follow this path is…” I paused, presumably for dramatic effect. “You don’t need this place anymore.”

“My… path?”

“Another word for ‘fate’, or ‘life’s direction’ or whatever you call it these days,” said Palkia from the corner.

“Oh.”

“Right,” I said, trying to get this back on track. “You would be better off out of this region… and out of that skin.”

“Out of my SKIN?” Casey practically screamed.

“Shh, shh!” I said, waving one arm to silence him. “How are you supposed to move on in life if you’re stuck in the appearance of a law-breaking kid? You’d never be able to get off this island region, and especially not with Rotom along!” I gestured to Rotom, who was on the floor and sleeping soundly with Beast curled protectively around him. It might have been kind of cute in a different circumstance.

“What makes you think I’d go off this pla-“

“Would you rather be on the run for the rest of your life? Stuck like that?” I asked. “Or would you rather start fresh under an entirely new persona, in an entirely different region, with nothing anyone can hold against you?”

“Second option,” Casey mumbled. “But…”

“See my point?” I smirked. “So we’ve got to change almost everything about you. The only thing you can keep is your first name.”

“Why?” he asked. “Why do you want me at all? Why do you have to change me? Why am I even here? And don’t give me any of your ‘fate’ garbage, eith-“

“If you don’t help us,” said Celebi weakly, “then a horrible fate will befall all Pokémon…”

“I don’t care about your horrible fate!”

“Nor do you care about all of the Pokémon, the creatures that make up the vast majority of this world’s population…” I sighed. “What a terrible mindset for a young human to have…”

“With all the Pokémon gone, this place would be a lot better off, now wouldn’t it?” Casey snapped. He was being forcefully ejected from his comfort zone, and Casey planned on flailing to the end…

“Oh, so now he thinks everything in the world will just proceed as normal if I was dead, too,” said Palkia sarcastically. “And he thinks that time would still flow correctly, and that the waters of the Earth would remain clean enough to live off of, and that the very fibers that make the Universe itself would all surely stay in their rightful positions and even remain intact… Yes, you can go ahead and leave now. Celebi, Giratina, let’s go start designing our graves or something.”

…until that happened.

Palkia began to flap his wings, as if he were going to fly away right then and there. He actually got a few feet off the ground before Casey's instinct kicked in.

“Wait!” Casey yelled. “Fine! I’ll do it!”

“Good!” I chirped. “It’s not like you had any choice anyway, so accepting the inevitable makes everything run so much smoother! Now, we’re going to have to knock you out again…”

“Why?”

“I was just getting to that.”

“Oh,” said Palkia flatly, “do you want to be awake to experience the thrilling sensation of your body going through complete, speeded-up metamorphosis and, even more so, changes to it that shouldn’t ever be experienced by a human being? Trust me, I’ve had to change shape before, and it isn’t pretty.”

Casey sighed, defeated, as I slowly progressed towards him with my wing-hands spread wide.

Giratina's notes: I'm surprised nobody noticed that Casey skipped Electric and Ghost in the quiz...

D. Lawride
October 6th, 2009, 12:44 PM
To tell the truth, I didn't really try the exercise, but did feel tempted. ._.


You know, for some reason, this chapter gave an idea I was trying to assimilate yesterday when I reviewed this same story. Its kinda what give it its unique look. At least from this start, I mean. From the eradication of all Pokémon from that island to the, quoting, "mindset" of all people there, its actually worth thinking of such an isolated island in the middle of a world where all those creatures roam freely. So, that's what makes the story interesting to read, I think. [/philosophic]

The Rotom's behavior was, in one word, appropriate to the species aspect (wait, that's more than one.)! That grin always seems to be up to something, and you gave it a hyperactive personality instead, matching the character perfectly. ^^

To me being picky now:

You actually repeated this twice or thrice before correcting yourself in some of the last paragraphs:

...said I.

There was also a "Wig" instead of Wing" somewhere, but that's a minor error, especially because people tend to read specific letters only.

And that was my short review. *looks up*
...Kind of. I tend to drift off. <.<

Giratina ♀
October 6th, 2009, 01:01 PM
'Said I' is technically correct, because 'I' happens to be a pronoun for 'Giratina'. ' "Blah blah blah kittens," said Giratina.' does make sense after some dialogue, and 'said I' does as well.

...According to my English teacher, at least. |D And shoot, I thought I fixed the wigs-wings thing. Let me get to that.

Anyway, I sort of do understand what you're talking about, but unfortunately Calda probably won't be explored for much longer in this part of the story. x3 There's no underground Pokémon league, though now that I think about it that would be a pretty cool idea... anyway. Yes. There is still more kooky regions to explore (well, explore further, I should say) in Delta Species, so don't get your hopes down yet. I probably will explore Calda more later on, if not in another story, because honestly I find it very interesting too. As for Rotom, he was like that before I even got the idea to make him a sparkly new form, back in the early days of devopment, where Casey was a very srs-bzns kind of guy who seemed slightly too mature for his age, and I needed something to oppose that... and Rotom's personality never really left me, even though Casey's did.

...That was longer than expected. xD

Sgt Shock
October 6th, 2009, 01:34 PM
Great chapter. Giratina posed some points about starting over again. :P If I had that choice, I would have opposed to be an outlaw for having a illegal pokemon. Anyway, good explanation in the middle about explain "I" and "Giratina" it was better there than anywhere else. I'm curious where Casey is going to go and what he is going to go by.

Vigilante
October 6th, 2009, 07:10 PM
(the spiky head-dress was the same)Forgot the parenthesis, where it is red.

“It he had died here, I would have had it in my records, now wouldn’t I?”If I'm correct that it should be if.

Those where the only two I noticed, then again I wasn't actually looking for them.

Giratina ♀
October 7th, 2009, 11:13 AM
(though she had a different body shape, the spiky head-dress was the same)

Though you must have missed the first parenthese (what's the singular form of that?!?), the second has been fixed. Thank you! :3

Vigilante
October 7th, 2009, 03:03 PM
Though you must have missed the first parenthese (what's the singular form of that?!?), the second has been fixed. Thank you! :3
Parenthesis is the singular one. Also, your story is somewhat confusing, or it could just be me.

And ah, sorry about that :\

Rotom faltered. “Well…” it hesitated. “…um… that’s the thing. I tried and… no.”That period should be a comma

I like the story overall, keep up the good work.

Giratina ♀
October 7th, 2009, 03:26 PM
Mmm, good point. That was fixed as well. Thanks!

What confuses you about it, though? Is it the transaction from third to first person, or the characters, or what? I'd be happy to explain.

Giratina ♀
October 7th, 2009, 04:56 PM
THESE CHAPTERS
THEY COME OUT OF MY MIND TOO QUICKLY

...but at least this one is a moderate length.

{3} it's enough you're growing up in such a hurry

“Oh, you’re up,” said Celebi. “I must say, you look much more interesting now.”

It hadn’t taken long for the plan to be executed, and we finally got to sit back and admire the fruit of our many labors. ‘The fruit of our many labors’ was referencing, in this case, a person who looked nothing like he did yesterday. Naturally, the first thing Casey did when he woke up was look downward – but my wings were in the way to block his view.

“Palkia wants to unveil it for you,” I explained before he had time to complain (as he was probably going to do).

“I do,” said Palkia, “and I must say it looks better than I thought it would.” He turned back to his work, which was currently in the process of making obnoxiously loud whooshing sounds. Shards of light flew in every direction, illuminating the silhouette of Palkia (for he was blocking the view between us and the work) quite well.

“Watch in awe,” I instructed Casey. “You probably won’t see this again.”

He didn’t need to be told.

“Done!” sang Palkia happily a few seconds later. “Are you ready?”

“Go ahead,” I said to Palkia. He moved out of the way, and I whipped my arms away from Casey – and wisely relocated them to his mouth. The muffled scream still rang loud and clear in my ears, but at least it was soft enough to keep all of the nearby residents of Calda City (these humans can be SO original…) asleep and ignorant of approximately a million illegal things happening in their beloved safe-haven.

In Casey’s defense, though, it was a pretty drastic change.

The first, and most noticeable, difference was that he was quite a lot taller. This was thanks to Celebi, who used her time-travel-tweaking abilities to simply age Casey while she traveled forward into the future and retain that age when they made the return trip. This provided the effect – well, not the effect, because it actually happened – of kicking his age up from eleven to fourteen.

“What in the…” Casey spluttered after I had cautiously removed my wing from his mouth. He didn’t say anything more, and seemed to reflect upon the fact that his voice was deeper than he was used to. “This is going to take getting used to…” He shook his head slowly, and noticed as he did so the flops of hair that dangled in front of his face. They were crimson in color, and his entire hairstyle looked rather like mine. It was a multi-spiked masterpiece that I had convinced the Unown (otherwise known as the Gravity Gods and watchers of the Ancientpowers, the things which gave Legendaries their otherworldly skills) to lift – no pun intended – it from their standard rules of gravitational logic. Two of the spikes were limp and dangled on either side of his face, while the ones behind it weren’t so much ‘spikes’ as ‘thick cone-shaped wads of hair’. Two more stuck out at an upwards angle, and finally one spike poked out the back.

It was strange, I tell you. Palkia was entirely to blame, not me, so you can go and complain to the shrines of him if you want to.

In any case, his hair was really odd. The eyes had changed color too – what was once a rather dreary blue color had turned stormy gray. His face had grown narrower (probably an after-effect of Celebi’s ‘artificial’ aging process), which made the funky hair all the more noticeable. His outfit was a purple one-piece rubbersuit similar to the one that hyperactive Kanto Champion… ah… Lance. Yes. His rubbersuit was similar to that of Lance, down even to the boots (which pushed up the legs of the suit, and were black with red stripes and soles). The only exception was that Casey’s was roughly the shade of a Sableye. He was also wearing blue gloves, which basically limited the amount of exposed skin to his face and part of his neck.

Casey was evidently too shocked to speak. He slowly slid his eyes downward to stare into his palms, while Palkia and I (after sharing a glance) took the moment into our own hands.

“Do you like it?” we chorused.

Silence. Then…

“N… NO!”

I dove for his mouth a third time, but it was too late.

“Okay, nice job breaking the secrecy, hero. We’ve gotta speed this up,” I sighed in Casey’s direction before turning to Palkia. “The object, Palkia, if you will.”

“Certainly.” Palkia held out his arms once again, and in another small flash of light there laid a small square of red-and-gray striped fabric in his hands. I prodded the cloth tentatively, to make sure it wasn’t still hot or prone to falling apart due to the fact it was composed almost entirely of converted air molecules, and after it proved safe I picked it up and presented it to Casey.

“Tie it around your neck, making sure the rock tied in there is near your mouth.”

“Why?”

“Because that particular rock is not just any old rock. It happens to be a chip off of the Rock Megaphone, my personal instrument of choice…”

“A megaphone isn’t an instrument!”

“Um, yeah, it is. It makes noises. Heck, we’re playing instruments right now, just by talking. Anyway, by being tied into that particular bandanna it makes said bandanna indestructible. When you need to talk to me, duck your head down and hold Rotom in your lap or something. Speak into the Megaphone and, if you’re quiet enough, it’ll look like you’re speaking to Rotom.”

“Ah, I see…” he said absentmindedly, fumbling with the bandanna.

Celebi perked up at that point, scared. “Um, guys,” she said meekly, “there are people coming.”

“Noroi!” I hissed. Palkia and Celebi looked at me, startled. “Gah, stop looking at me like that and go back to Oort! They’re coming, you know!” Celebi nodded and disappeared in another flash of dim light, but Palkia hung around.

I turned back to Casey, who had gotten to his feet by now. “You need to get off of this island,” I said.

“To where?”

“Go head to the nearest airport, and find a young man with funny white hair waiting around in front of the entrance. Talk to him, and he should give you the ticket and directions on where to go. Now hide Rotom and scoot!” I pointed to the edge of the alleyway (not that anyone could see in the dim moonlight) and the voices became more obvious.

“But…” he began.

“If you have questions, just speak into the Megaphone Rock,” I said, as the light began to envelop me as well. “See ya.”

And I disappeared.

“Wonderful,” he mumbled as I left.

Palkia spread his wings to leave too, but before he did turned his head to face Casey with quite a serious expression on his face. “Fate knows where you live, kid,” he said. “Try to evade it, and sooner or later it’s going to come chasing after you and hunt you down. And it’s not always going to be as forgiving as Giratina trying to get you to face the facts.” The light soon enveloped him too.

“Trust me on this one.”

-

I reappeared in Never-Turn-Back quite weary.

Not feeling like wandering around to find the Dea Procol Machina today, I simply teleported there. You see, those – and only those – who have been touched by the Ancientpower-G (brought to you by the Unown G, of course) may warp almost anything in Never-Turn-Back to their will. Basically, two creatures out of the entirety of them could do almost anything in here.

The other creature who could do almost anything in here was Zero, but since he’s rather new to the concept his abilities are more limited than mine…

…Oh, look. Here he comes now.

“‘Funny white hair’?” was the first thing he said. I knew that was going to come back and bite me.

“Well, there’s really no other way to describe it…” I started, shifting my red-eyed gaze of doom in Zero’s direction. He got my hint and dropped the subject.

“Right. Well, I suppose I’m supposed to go give that kid the ticket?”

“Well, I’m not, and the bus drivers are…” I paused to wave at a nearby Primape, who was eating Chestnuts on the job— “pretty much illegal, so you’re the only one left. Go give it to him. Here.” I conjured some ‘dollars’ (the currency used in Calda), which then fell into his hands.

“But the time limit…”

“…doesn’t apply when I give you a mission. You’ve still got your hour of roaming.”

Grumbling about something involving laziness and glaciers, Zero disappeared.



He appeared in front of me a few hours later.

“I delivered them,” Zero said flatly. “Happy now?”

“Quite. Thank you, Zero.”

“Hmm.” He turned on his heel and stalked away, probably itching to get to the Reverse World or something. I watched him for a few seconds, afraid he was going to trip or something skulking like that.

…And if he tripped, he would, um, be on my case about how dangerous Never-Turn-Back was. Yes. That was it. No end to the complaining on that one.

Delta Species Plus (haha, I forgot to post the first one, what a moron I am |D)

salutations, mortals! (http://fc08.deviantart.com/fs24/f/2009/250/4/1/DS__1_by_Rentoraa_the_Luxray.jpg)
for ease of imagination (http://i35.tinypic.com/24bq25t.jpg)

D. Lawride
October 8th, 2009, 05:29 AM
When you said b]moderate[/b] length, I assumed something like half the usual length, but this didn't reach nearly half. ._.

Still, nice job on the description, along with the comparasions between Pokémon and some other characters to the outfit and such.

hint you down

Perhaps hunt you down? I think.

So, there ain't much to say other than we can consider this the real start of the "journey", per say?

Good luck on the Plus part, too. I see you've got two jobs at hand. :p

Giratina ♀
October 8th, 2009, 02:17 PM
Yep. The chapters will probably become shorter from here on out, because the lengthy explanation of how Casey got into this mess has been pretty much resolved and he's about to be booted into the wonderful new world that he doesn't care about very much in the first place but should save anyway (what a great way to get someone moving). So yes. Rejoice, as let me assure you that my chapters usually aren't as long as Chapters One and Two of Delta Species; there were a lot of gritty details to be explained. The comparisons to other characters were courtesy of the original writing of the story; Delta Species was first intended to be written in Casey's POV, and there was much stuttering as he tried to remember what a Skarmory or who Lance actually was. Giratina is obviously not as ignorant about these sorts of things, but I still liked the comparison; therefore, the 'um, uhh... what was it called...' was removed but the core concept stayed the same.

Darn those typos! You're a real help for these sorts of things. 8DD

Giratina ♀
October 9th, 2009, 05:05 PM
{4} the way the universes go


Dawn was breaking.

Somewhere farther along the horizon than Casey cared to look at the moment, the sun was just barely scraping the visible sky. This painted a rather nice-looking blast of colors upon Calda City, as the rays of overly-described radiance slowly squirmed out from the other side of the world.

Of course, it was still just as frigid as the interior of a frozen Metagross.

It was then Casey found himself very fortunate to be in an airplane, where there were some body-heat generators at the least. One of these body-heat generators (otherwise known as human beings) was sitting next to him, staring vacantly out the window. Fortunately, Giratina hadn’t made his hair look too stupid to be sticking straight up, though the part that was out behind him was sort of irritating when he happened to be in a seat with a back taller than his own. The odd glances did not stop, but they were something to be expected; after all, he wasn’t out of Calda yet.

Once he touched ground at… wherever he was landing at, Solun or something, then he should be in the clear. After some further interrogation of Giratina, she had said that the island region was used for scientific research in the distant past but had made a return as one of the Regional Leagues entered under the giant listing of them kept somewhere in the Orange Islands (this, at least, he knew of). This meant a lot of Trainers running around – and, by extension, a lot of people in stupid clothes.

According to Giratina and his own immensely limited experiences, anyway.

Of course, someone was bound to mis-label Casey as a skilled Trainer based entirely on the stupidity of his outfit, but the woman sitting next to him made him feel slightly better. Her skin was somewhere between light and dark, about the shade of chocolate milk. Her trench-coat, which seemed to reach down to her knees, was roughly the shade of a paper bag. Wearing a gray shirt and some khaki pants, she had her legs crossed to show off the rather unimpressive black-and-green sneakers on her feet.

Like most people Casey had met since this whole thing started, the most fascinating thing about the woman was her head. Her eyes happened to be an emerald green, and though her face was positioned away from Casey and towards the window, he noted in the reflection her eyes flicking around nervously every once in a while. Her hair was yellow-blonde and tied into a ponytail, with the tips of her bangs and ponytail dyed a mint green slightly lighter in shade than her eyes.

Overall someone who, going on appearances alone, would look more like a teenager than a woman in her early twenties. But, alas, a twenty-something was what she was. She had one hand constantly in her pocket. Casey noticed her arm moving ever so slightly, and his brain set to work wondering what she had stored in her longcoat that was so immensely important that she couldn’t let anyone else see.

He noted the look of relief showing on her features as the plane landed, and she shuffled down the line with not much more than an “excuse me”.

‘Interesting,’ he thought. ‘I wonder what other abnormalities I’m going to see on this trip?’

As he found out upon exiting the plane, terminal, and finally airport, quite a lot.

The entire city he was in seemed to all twirl around a central point – a giant tower poking above the skyline in the distance, with three shorter ones at strategically-placed points to form a sort of triangle. It looked rather imposing against the blue sky, but was either one of two things: one, it didn’t have a purpose (but it looked far to complex and un-stylized for that) or two, it did have a purpose and wasn’t being used right now.

That, or it was doing something invisible. Casey preferred option number one.

After some impressed wandering around the metal-coated city (the place looked so stylized and hi-tech that it was easy to jump to conclusions), he finally came across some sort of open park in what appeared to be one of the city’s many cobblestone squares. Checking out a map, he found (much to his dismay) that a certain arrangement of city, country, and remarkably straight waterways basically made the entire place look like an enormous Pokéball. He also found something more comforting: the people who named this city had no sense of originality. It shared a name with the region it was in.

The region it was in was called ‘Holon’.

“Holon?” Casey wondered aloud. “Why would someone name a region Holon?”

“Because,” said a voice from behind him, “whoever was stupid enough to name the region and city the same thing also noted that ‘holon’ means – in some form or another, I don’t remember which – something that’s a part or a whole at the same time.”

Casey turned around, only to look into the smiling face of a fifteen-year-old boy – presumably the owner of the voice.

“Do I understand how that’s possible?” he continued rhetorically, snorting and seemingly unaware he was talking to a complete stranger. “Nope.”

“Um… hello,” said Casey awkwardly, not sure what this kid was up to. Was it some sort of Holon custom to walk up to people and ramble about the meanings of stuff?

He was relatively tall for his age, though his exact frame was hidden by the baggy clothes he was wearing. (‘At least,’ thought Casey, ‘there were no spikes or bandannas.’) He was wearing an orange hoodie and a red shirt – either the hoodie was too short or the shirt was too long, because the bottom of the shirt went below the hoodie’s hem as well as behind its deep V-neck. The hoodie was splattered with yellow periodically – on both elbows there was a round dot, and a half-oval coming up from the bottom hem. There were also two black triangles on either side below the armpits, dipping downwards rather steeply.

The hair was the same color as his eyes – chestnut brown. It was evidently remarkably spiky; some stuck a little into the air, and some fell into his eyes as bangs. Compared to the rest of his get-up, the bottom half was decidedly less impressive; somewhat worn blue jeans and brown leather boots were nowhere near as exotic as everything else, but Casey – growing up in the closest region to ‘normal’ that most people knew of - had never seen someone dress like that before.

As he fished around in the pockets of his pants for something, the boy turned his head and Casey got both a profile view and a shock – instead of more spikes on the back of his head, he had it tied back in a rather short ponytail. Finally, the boy found what he was looking for, and passed Casey a small mechanical object. On the screen was what looked like some sort of license.

It was difficult for Casey to stop himself from wearing an expression of utter confusion. ‘Who in their right mind would name a child ‘Caro’?’ he wondered.

“My name is pronounced Cay-roe, not Car-oh. It’s a common mistake, really, but accents are just such a pain to type into a computer that most people ignore it on registration sheets.” He snickered. “So, who are you?”

“Ah,” Casey replied, “my name is Casey.”

“Hey, cool, we’ve both got the first two letters in common. It’s pretty clear you aren’t exactly native… so what’re you doing in Holon this fine day?”

Casey bit his lip. Had Giratina told him what he was supposed to do?

Just as he was pondering this, a whisper was emitted from the rock settled in his neckerchief. “You need to sign up to be a Trainer,” Giratina’s voice mumbled.

His eyes shot upwards ever so slightly at finding out that the rock actually did what it promised to, but Caro seemed too preoccupied to notice his reaction. “Did you hear something?” the boy mused.

“What? No,” said Casey quickly, hoping to cover up the blunder. “Um, anyway, I’m here to sign up as a Trainer.”

“Oh, signing up to be a Trainer! Cool. Well, I know where you’ll need to go to get that done, then.”

“Really?” asked Casey. “Where?”

“I’ll tell you…” Caro started. “…but there’s a condition.”

Casey bit his lip, but didn’t respond. There was always a condition.

“Assuming that you are actually accepted into and listed in the Holon Trainer Database, I want permission to come along with you on whatever journey you choose to tread.”

“Um… what?”

An exasperated sigh echoed from the rock. “You’re going on the Holon League Challenge, Casey,” said Giratina’s voice. “Tell him that; he’s not deep enough to ask more.”

‘How does she know what Caro is like?’ Casey wondered, but relayed what she said anyway. “I’m taking the Holon Challenge, actually. Sorry, blacked out there for a bit…” But Caro didn’t seem to be listening. His features had taken on the same confused expression, and he was looking off into the distance at an angle.

“Wow, that is really weird. There must be something wrong with my ears…” He snapped out of the trance suddenly, and turned back to Casey. “Oh, so you’re following the Challenge. You know, a lot of people say it’s easier here than in other regions. You know, because of there being six Gyms and whatnot.”

Casey nodded, not knowing any of this but pretending he did.

“Most of the gyms – and their Leaders – are harder, creepier, stranger, or just more off-beat than what they’re used to, and it’s not a really big region in the first place.”

“Really?” Casey replied. “I wasn’t aware of that.”

“There are,” said Caro as he began walking. “Come on, you’ve got to follow me or we won’t get to the Lab.” After Casey fell into step beside him (Rotom having realized that Planet Casey had merged with Planet Caro to become the Groupies Galaxy, and hovered around both of them), the new acquaintance continued with his speech. “Yeah, sure. There sure aren’t any other Gyms or Leaders like ‘em, I’ll give you that. Say, Casey. Have you entered any regional tournaments before this one?”

“Um, no.”

“Oh, I see. Don’t be surprised when you move up to Kanto or Sinnoh or something and find some pretty mediocre opponents compared to these guys…”

“Are they really that weird?”

“So I’ve heard.”

“Mhm.” Casey dragged out the first syllable slightly.

“Right! So we should be getting to the Lab now. Let’s go.” Caro pivoted on his heel and started strolling in the opposite direction. Now, normally this is a (mostly) normal thing for a person to do, but Casey couldn’t help notice that he actually turned on one heel and didn’t seem to lose his balance in the least.

Casey was, by this point, slightly confused. Hadn’t Caro pointed him in this direction a few minutes ago? Feeling incredibly foolish, Casey tailed after his tour guide.



Eventually, they came to the city’s limits. Caro stopped and stared at a building in front of him, smiling proudly with his arms crossed. Casey (who had fallen behind as Caro continually picked up the pace until he was practically running) caught up to him, panting, and looked up at the building as well.

It was a two-story building, wider than it was tall, with a forest green paint job. There were multiple windows, but only one door – it was on the right side, and painted a lighter green than the rest of the place. Caro explained that this was Professor Driftwood’s (not Dawn’s, as he was quick to point out, but her elder sister Delilah’s) laboratory, and was one of the certified locations in Holon where one could sign up as a Trainer and receive a starter.

“But you need to receive a starter, even if you have a Pokémon on hand already,” explained Caro in reference to Rotom, who was still floating around inside the Groupie Galaxy. “It’s so that while most people are starting out with Bidoofs and whatnot, nobody can walk in with their Gible and be all, ‘I’m here to sign up with this immensely powerful Pokémon!’ Of course, they could just keep the other Pokémon and trash their starter, but a freebie is a freebie.”

Casey’s head was whirling at all the indecipherable words, and so he merely changed the subject in the smoothest way he knew how. “At least this building isn’t covered with metal like everything else back there.” He glanced backwards at the more urban part of the city where skyscrapers did exactly what their name implied, with a pointy iron edge to boot.

“Yeah, I know what you mean,” said Caro with a hint of sadness in his voice. “You know, that big metropolis used to be some small scientists’ village when work was still centered on the Magnet Tower.”

“’Magnet Tower’? Was that the big metal structure in the center of the city?”

“The very same. A while back the people started messing around with electromagnetic… um… things, generated by something very hush-hush – people assume it’s a magnet of some sort, since the place is called ‘Magnet Tower’ and it has something to do with electroMAGNETism.” Caro put emphasis on the ‘magnet’ part. “But we know it was at the top of that Tower. Of course, after the scientists got pestered one too many times by Pokémon rights activists who were complaining that the electro-things were having a negative effect on the Pokémon in the area, the project was dropped. And then Holon – the city, of course – became used more for other things, and so the world continued to turn and eventually nobody was allowed in the Magnet Tower again.”

“Fascinating,” said Casey flatly, not having picked up much of it at all.

Rotom seemed interested, though, and halted his orbit to perch near Caro’s head about half way through his explanation. It was the first time (to Casey’s knowledge) anything had kept him occupied for more than five seconds.

Caro coughed loudly to signify the end of his rambling, and Rotom returned to orbit. “Well, um, we should, you know, get in there, then.”

for those of you who recognize our dear 'new' character...

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS IT'S CARO

...also, i should really decide on a font

D. Lawride
October 10th, 2009, 11:49 AM
For some reason, I checked this topic this morning and was no chapter, and now there is. Creepy.

Anyways, I'd be repeating myself about the quality of the chapter, but I'd like to point out some things.

First, I found it a perfect example for a chapter for having no errors at all. Except for one small thing:

"...having not picked up much of it at all."

"Not having picked up(...)" is the correction I'd make, but that's just me.

Secondly, I smoehow found these paragraphs interesting:

“But you need to receive a starter, even if you have a Pokémon on hand already,” explained Caro in reference to Rotom, who was still floating around inside the Groupie Galaxy. “It’s so that while most people are starting out with Bidoofs and whatnot, nobody can walk in with their Gible and be all, ‘I’m here to sign up with this immensely powerful Pokémon!’ Of course, they could just keep the other Pokémon and trash their starter, but a freebie is a freebie.”

Casey’s head was whirling at all the indecipherable words, and so he merely changed the subject in the smoothest way he knew how. “At least this building isn’t covered with metal like everything else back there.” He glanced backwards at the more urban part of the city where skyscrapers did exactly what their name implied, with a pointy iron edge to boot.

Maybe its because it applies to many people who haven't played Pokémon since it came out in 96? I do that association for some reason. =p

So, keep up the good work, especially on the descriptions!

Vigilante
October 10th, 2009, 02:46 PM
Mmm, good point. That was fixed as well. Thanks!

What confuses you about it, though? Is it the transaction from third to first person, or the characters, or what? I'd be happy to explain.
I copied that floppy.

But, I dunno, Its not the transition, its just that I was speed reading, and probably missed some things, when I red it a second time it was good.

But I'd suggest writing a bit more per chapter.

Luphinid Silnaek
October 11th, 2009, 04:38 AM
Palkia spread his wings to leave too, but before he did turned his head to face Casey with quite a serious expression on his face. “Fate knows where you live, kid,” he said. “Try to evade it, and sooner or later it’s going to come chasing after you and hunt you down. And it’s now always going to be as forgiving as Giratina trying to get you to face the facts.” The light soon enveloped him too.I'm sure it's 'not'.

“Yeah, I know what you mean,” said Caro with a hint of sadness in his voice. “You know, that beg metropolis used to be some small scientists’ village when work was still centered on the Magnet Tower.”

Your loopy font choices are messing with my post now. >.< This could be a phonetic misspelling but I think you meant 'big'.

Anyway, this is not a little convoluted, surprising and occasionally indecently shocking about its abuse of writing conventions (blatant self-insertion and fourth-wall-ravaging oh my), reasonably bizarre at points, and for all that surprisingly entertaining. I think what makes all the unorthodoxy (is that what you call it?) actually amusing is that it is rather well-put-together. Giratina is a character in her own right (or otherwise your own life is a good bit more interesting than other mortals'), the funky narration style--though grammatically awkward at points--gets down to describing the scene well, and all in all I get the impression of something unusual but not, at any rate, internally shoddy.

Fun. I'll say something useful in my next review, when I've got one chapter to focus on. *waves the lame excuse shamelessly around*

Giratina ♀
October 11th, 2009, 06:50 AM
I'm just having some difficulty with pasting stuff from Word. |3 I have just now discovered the 'switch text editor' button, so that should stop in the future chapters, but... still. Silnaek, your typo points have been taken and shall be fixed.

Giratina... well, she's a difficult thing to explain. After I figured she'd simply be a minor character in Metal Coat and never seen again, I found another use for her and the self-insert thing sort of snowballed. She's a self-insert in personality and alias only - I am, speaking from outside of a joking context, entirely human. x3 And by 'grammatically awkward' do you mean a strange way of saying things with a bit more... erm... personality than most people's narration, or is it just the strange way things are formatted (thanks primarily to the goofy perspective swapping and other things), or what?

And I thought reading the post was fun. :<

Luphinid Silnaek
October 11th, 2009, 11:29 PM
By grammatically awkward I mean, uh, probably both. The sentence structure at a basic level sometimes gets oddly lopsided; I remember some other reviewers pointing bits out. ...And of course actually looking at the reviews fails me as no one seems to illustrate what I was trying to say, and neither do I really remember my point for that matter.

Hm, upshot probably is your prose has more personality than other kinds of sentence structure. It's very conversational at points, but you're still holding together a detailed narrative, so the combination is... unusual.

Oh, and you forgot the Delta Species Plus this time, too. Unless there is none for this chapter? *gratuitously points at the TWEWY reference in the second chapter and walks away*

Giratina ♀
October 12th, 2009, 04:24 PM
Eh? There was no The World Ends With You reference in the second chapter... was there? The only thing that looked like a reference was 'fate knows where you live', and I'm pretty sure I heard it somewhere other than from TWEWY. |D I'll need to play through it again. And nope, there was no DS+ for this one. I'll need to include one with the next, lazy me. Kukuku. I see what you mean about the strange story structure, though... the way I write is most definitely NOT standard, so I guess funky structure happens too. Whiny and demanding as I must sound, do you think you could maybe point out some instances? I think it'll be a while before I realize that this story was worded very, very badly... like what always happens in every story I've ever written, ever. D'hurr.

EDIT: Oh. You meant in the title. Duh. [brick'd]

Luphinid Silnaek
October 14th, 2009, 08:41 PM
*looks around* Hm. It's more complex than that simple explanation I offered. Let me see... Description is often a little more effusive or unconventional than perhaps actually useful. See?

Somewhere in a vast stretch of white, there stood a large and imposing-looking wooden desk sitting on what seemed to be air, but was in fact a floor the same color as the surrounding area: white. All of it was fully and entirely white. Upon this imposing wooden desk was a computer (quite blatantly labeled ‘Dea Procol Machina’ in black marker ink) with an oversized keyboard and a giant monitor, with smaller monitors springing off at various points to create the sort of thing you would expect a French boy genius to have in his dorm room while he converses with his friends who are all running around in cyberspace, slaying monsters.

What I can only understand to be the description of Never-Turn-Back morphs into a digression about a place called France (what an imagination you have, dreaming up a country like that!) and boy geniuses. It's not necessarily bad, per se, and very entertaining, but it is unusual and therefore perhaps what you wanted to see.

Plus more complex points sometimes pass over the reader's head because you don't out and explain them, encyclopedia-style, but get your characters to try and describe them in conversation.

“One of the things that make Rotoms a cut above other Ghost Pokémon!” said Rotom proudly. “We’re able to possess some other electronic equipment and turn into a new form! This one spawned the second head, and guess what I took over! Guess!”

“You…” Casey spluttered. “…can you get out of it?”

Rotom faltered. “Well…” it hesitated, “…um… that’s the thing. I tried and… no.”

“No?”

“No. I really can’t come out. I tried before, because it’s really weird having my energy in a form that looks like a Mightyena and I didn’t like it, but I think maybe the Pokéball thinks I’m in it and out of it at the same time.”

“In and out of it at… so you can’t come out because it won’t let you de-possess it. Have you tried entering the Pokéball entirely? They… Pokéballs can do that, right? They’re for storing Pokémon?”

“I tried that too. But there’s no way I can, because a Pokéball has to touch a Pokémon to catch or return it.”

You didn't, for instance, explain the beginning of all this. Presumably the rotom possessed the pokeball exactly as the mightyena was coming out, but no one mentioned that and the matter was a little hazy until I sat down and thought. Not bad, again. Different from other styles of exposition.

That should get you started. The more pedantic parts of narration (description, exposition) are twisted a little because such an informal narrator is describing them. (Anyway, I don't have to time at the moment to hunt for more.)

And yes indeed, you should watch this transformation. I'm still trying to work out what Dea Procol Machina means. The Goddess's Faraway Machine? The Goddess of Far-Away's Machine?

Caliban
October 14th, 2009, 10:37 PM
What I can only understand to be the description of Never-Turn-Back morphs into a digression about a place called France (what an imagination you have, dreaming up a country like that!) and boy geniuses. It's not necessarily bad, per se, and very entertaining, but it is unusual and therefore perhaps what you wanted to see.


I tend to do that, too. It's called Going On Tangents Just Cause. :D


You didn't, for instance, explain the beginning of all this. Presumably the rotom possessed the pokeball exactly as the mightyena was coming out, but no one mentioned that and the matter was a little hazy until I sat down and thought. Not bad, again.

AH! I just thought that Rotom'd accidentally spawned a virtual Mightyena head. XD

Oh, Casey. If only you knew what we know about Giratina's twisted sense of humour. >:D
And that you were talking to Caro Caro. You need to spend more time on teh internetz, boi!


Anyway, good work! I'm enjoying this!

So... I never knew the back story to the Delta Species, and I'm enjoying this. :D

*disappears in a splash of goo
as Orson Scott Card comes out of a loo*

Giratina ♀
October 15th, 2009, 08:38 AM
Dea procol machina = screwed-up Latin for 'goddess at the machine'. Apparently, upon checking it a second time, Giratina misspelled 'procul' (at the) for 'procol' (brash). How appropriate.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the Mighyena head thing. |D Here's how it went down:



Casey dropped the Pokéball containing Rotom behind his bed and fell asleep on Friday night.
The Pokéball landed, and released Rotom.
Rotom, not finding much room to move around in, got scared and possessed the Pokéball.
As part of Pokéball-Rotom's design, the canine-energy head was spawned.
The next morning, a few scenes pass before Rotom (who speaks through Beast) has Beast impersonate a Mightyena (meant to be as a general example for all Pokémon, by the way) for Casey to understand that Rotom did, in fact, possess his own Pokéball.

There was never any Mightyena in the equation. It was merely a canine head that is always with Rotom; the canine head looks more like a Mightyena than anything else (http://i38.tinypic.com/2s0oeo4.png). Rotom was having Beast impersonate a Mightyena because the canine head looked similar to one and he needed to convey the message of 'Pokémon coming out of its Pokéball'.

Why he couldn't just say it? Well, that wouldn't be much fun, now would it?

Oh, Casey. If only you knew what we know about Giratina's twisted sense of humour.I BLAME PALKIA.

Caliban
October 15th, 2009, 10:07 AM
Casey dropped the Pokéball containing Rotom behind his bed and fell asleep on Friday night.
The Pokéball landed, and released Rotom.
Rotom, not finding much room to move around in, got scared and possessed the Pokéball.
As part of Pokéball-Rotom's design, the canine-energy head was spawned.
The next morning, a few scenes pass before Rotom (who speaks through Beast) has Beast impersonate a Mightyena (meant to be as a general example for all Pokémon, by the way) for Casey to understand that Rotom did, in fact, possess his own Pokéball.

There was never any Mightyena in the equation. It was merely a canine head that is always with Rotom; the canine head looks more like a Mightyena than anything else (http://i38.tinypic.com/2s0oeo4.png). Rotom was having Beast impersonate a Mightyena because the canine head looked similar to one and he needed to convey the message of 'Pokémon coming out of its Pokéball'.

Why he couldn't just say it? Well, that wouldn't be much fun, now would it?

I BLAME PALKIA.

That makes a lot of sense, and it's what I thought before I read Luphinid's ideas, whereupon I wondered about Beast getting stuck half out of the ball.

Maybe there's another unknown legendary at play here?


DOCTOR OCTAGONAPUS BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!! http://bbs.studio-revolution.net/images/smilies/shoop.gif

:D

Giratina ♀
October 18th, 2009, 08:03 AM
I come with chapterzorz. :D

{5} hyakugojuuichi

“Wow.”

Casey was unable to say anything other than that. Upon entering the large building that was supposed to be a Pokémon laboratory, he hadn’t expected much – some bookshelves, a desk with a computer, maybe one or two Pokémon in cages, with the rest of the room being vacant space. Of course, he had clearly never met Professor Delilah Driftwood.

“Can I help you two?” asked a voice from somewhere in the darkness. Speak of Darkrai, here was the Professor herself.

She was a woman with black hair (which almost looked navy blue in the light), whose only apparent uniform consisted of a hanging white lab coat that was buttoned in the bottom half, but loose on the top. It was a strange look, and combined with the woman’s apparent fondness for deep V-neck shirts, it wasn’t surprising that some males felt uncomfortable (or quite the opposite) around her. However, Delilah makes up for this strange appearance with her straightforward attitude.

“You seem surprised,” she said in a rather flat tone of voice. “Is there something about my laboratory that surprises you?”

“U-um… no, not really,” stuttered Casey, who was currently recovering from having a woman in a lab coat hop out from the inky shadows. Most of the laboratory was either covered by complicated machines, books, or assistants. For, indeed, some people (also clad in lab coats, albeit ones that were buttoned normally) were squirming around inside the maze-like, dark mess of a lab.

“Good. So I repeat my previous question – what are you here for?”

Casey didn’t seem inclined to speak for the first second after Professor Driftwood had finished her own sentence, and this was enough for Caro to take the non-existent hint. “My friend here,” he said (seeming remarkably calm in the face of the Professor’s apparently stoic demeanor), “is here to receive a starter Pokémon and a Trainer’s License. He already has befriended a Rotom, as you can see, but the thing is not really a fan of battles. It likes hovering around things more.”

Driftwood did not look impressed. “So you were simply carrying around a Pokémon without proper authorization?”

Casey felt his stomach lurch, and figured that he might as well get it over with. After swallowing once, he replied. “Well… yes.”

The woman looked him over for a few minutes under severe hazel-colored laser beams, and then nodded. “Fine. Come with me, mister…”

“Casey.”

She merely nodded again in reply (though Casey realized a second too late that she wanted a last name), and set off. Swerving calmly through the stacks of mazelike clutter, she gave off the impression that she knew this labyrinthine place like the back of her hand. The duo, of course, didn’t know very much about it at all; they kept their heads down to make sure they didn’t accidentally walk into some of the woman’s research.

“For a lady so uptight you wouldn’t think she has this much stuff lying around,” whispered Caro, sidestepping a scale model of a Luxray.

“It is sort of weird,” replied Casey in equally hushed tones, “but you can’t blame someone for acting differently than you thought they would.”

Caro looked at him, slightly puzzled. “How old are you again?”

“I never told you. I’m…” Casey hesitated. How much had Celebi aged him? Until he was fourteen years old, right?

Caro wasn’t amused. “You alright?”

“Yes, I’m okay. I just sort of blanked for a minute. I’m fourteen years old.”

“Fourteen? Really?”

“Yeah.”

Caro blinked and stepped carefully over an overturned stack of heavy books. “It doesn’t seem like it from the way you talk, I guess. Most people your age… I think they would act differently.”

“You ‘think’?”

“Yeah. More like…” Caro had unintentionally raised his voice at this time, and looked upward to see the glowering face of Delilah Driftwood.

“Is there a problem?” she asked without any concern for whatever their problem may be.

“No, ma’am,” the other two chorused.

The Professor didn’t respond except for a raised eyebrow. Instead, she stopped walking at the back of the enormous laboratory in front of a desk. After shuffling and reordering the papers on the table, she finally seemed to find what she needed and turned back around to Casey and Caro. Trying to put on a warm smile that only served to make it more obvious that she really ought to stick to blank expressions, the woman in the lab coat began to speak.

“Refresh my memory,” she said. “Who here has come to be a Trainer?”

Caro stepped back at once, leaving Casey a step closer to Professor Driftwood. The youngest of the pair considered saying that he was the one to get a Trainer’s license, but figured it would probably look redundant after Caro had gone to all the trouble of isolating him. So instead he merely nodded.

Professor Driftwood returned the gesture and turned around briefly to snatch some things from the desk. After this was done she swiveled back to face Casey, a clipboard (with appropriate forms) and pencil in hand.

“You need to fill this out,” said the Professor in practiced cheeriness. “It’s not too long. Sit anywhere you like, or stand; just try not to knock too many things over. Arceus only knows what would happen if something else crashes into this mess.” She giggled, and Casey smiled meekly, but it was clear to everyone present that she didn’t find it funny at all.

Taking the objects he was being handed slowly, Casey scanned the first line. The shadow of a grimace appeared on his face.

“What’s wrong?” asked Caro and Professor Driftwood at the same time.

“Oh? Uh, nothing.” Casey, startled by the synonymous question, looked up from where he was standing. Walking over to a chair that (miraculously) wasn’t covered with vitally important clutter, he crossed his legs and began writing.

‘Even at the first question it’s difficult for me,’ he thought. ‘What am I supposed to say to ‘List your full name, first and last’? Hadn’t Giratina said to make one up?’

Casey chewed the inside of his cheek; any lip-biting would signify that he was either thinking hard or panicking, and the act of writing down one’s name shouldn’t fall under either of those criteria. Finally, he cleared his head and wrote down the first surname he could think of.

The date of birth was next – changing the year a few notches fixed any of those problems easily. Home region was a little harder, but he decided to give the actual answer (albeit twisted slightly). ‘Region of Calda – moved to Hoenn at a young age.’ Casey was fairly sure he had spelled ‘Hoenn’ correctly – it was, after all, the only Pokémon-populated region other than Holon that he knew of that didn’t end in a long O.

Then the questions got a little nosier. They began to feature such wonders as “WHAT POKÉMON DO YOU HAVE AT THIS TIME? LIST ALL OF THEM AS WELL AS ANY NOTES OF INTEREST.”

‘Oh, lovely,’ Casey thought. Quickly, he scribbled down, “Rotom. Accidentally took control of his own Pokéball and is unable to get out. Obtained before entering Holon.’ No way was he going to admit he got a Pokémon in Calda, after all.

-

Finally Casey looked upwards.

Caro didn’t notice the movement at first, and was in deep conversation with and what seemed to be his Raichu. Figuring the Pokémon was just playing with his Trainer and the two different species didn’t know what each other were saying, Casey diverted his attention toward the Pokémon professor. She had grown bored of waiting for him to finish up, and had sat down in a computer chair. In her hands was a thick, well-worn volume entitled in gold lettering ‘The Care and Keeping of Dragon-Types’.

“Are you finished?” she asked, apparently forgetting to put on the ‘kind female Professor’ mindset. Caro and Raichu looked up from their thrilling discussion. Casey nodded and handed the Professor’s things back to her, which she took (tossing Care and Keeping back on the pile of books in the process) and began to read.

And read.

And read.

Finally, the woman looked up from the desk and looked at Rotom curiously, who was now sitting on top of her computer and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. Beast looked back at her and smiled toothily.

“Yes, he really did that,” said Casey before the Professor had time to open her mouth.

She cleared her throat and regained any lost composure she had shown in the act of gawking at Rotom. “Yes. Well. I believe this application is acceptable. Hold on a few minutes longer, please…” She pulled a clean sheet of paper out from under the mess upon her desk, picked up the pencil that Casey had used to fill out the application, and wrote some things down.

Silently, she handed the note to Casey and in the same motion made a waving motion with her hand.

Casey got the memo and Caro understood a second after; they both turned and walked out of the lab, saying about as much as the Professor did.

“Were you a little scared by her, too?” asked Casey the moment the duo got out, Rotom having returned to his normal orbit.

“No,” said Caro nonchalantly. “Not really. I must be used to creepy people by now or something… I’ve met far more than I should have.”

“Really?” It was at this point Casey realized that he didn’t know much about Caro at all. Steeling himself for the probable answer, he continued before Caro could give another reply. “You know, you never really told me about your history, did you? Since it looks like you’re not intending on leaving any time soon, you might as well tell me.”

“My… my history?” Caro seemed caught off-guard by this, as he stopped walking and blinked at Casey (the guy almost looked a little scared).

Casey nodded. “Mhm. I’ll need to know this stuff sooner or later, won’t I?”

The older boy gulped. “Um, yeah, I guess you would…” He didn’t go on any further. It was clear to Casey that he had just poked a rather unpleasant nerve, so he dropped the subject.

Caro rescued it from the ground and dusted it off. “Well, truth is, you’ll never have heard of where I came from,” he explained, losing the grim undertone and returning to his normal optimism level.

“Would I now?” Casey challenged light-heartedly.

Caro nodded, smiling. “I’m sure of it. It’s a place called Treasure Town, and… it’s not around here, that’s for sure.”

Casey raised an eyebrow. “Oh, please. Just ‘not around here’? I thought you knew better than that when trying to stump someone!” It was clear that they were both having a good time on this subject, despite Caro’s constant fumbling in the beginning.

“That place… it’s practically in a different universe.” Caro snickered. “‘Not around here’ is an understatement, that’s true.”

“Different universe? I wouldn’t go that far, Caro.”

Caro shook his head. “Another way you and I are different, then. Though it really is something like that!”

“Right…” said Casey. He meant to ask Caro more about the Holon League… whatever he was supposed to be doing, but then remembered that all of his information had been obtained by Giratina. She hadn’t bothered to tell him what the League challenge actually was.

“Right now, we need to get to a Pokémon Center,” said Caro out of the blue as they returned to the city square. “You do know why, don’t you?”

“I’m guessing it has something to do with this paper,” replied Casey uncertainly, holding up the paper in question.

Caro nodded. “See? You’re getting it already. What you need to do is turn in that note from the Professor for a JAWS.”

“A what?”

“Journey-Aiding Worldwide System, commonly shortened to JAWS. It’s sort of like the Pokémon Digital Assistant thing they carry around in Orre, except this one has a map, Pokémon identifier, e-mail system, Trainer ID, and it plays music when you shake it very, very hard.”

“Music? What’s the point of that?”

“Well, see, it’s a certain song, and the JAWS are manufactured by a company whose logo is a Sharpedo…”

Oh, the JAWS. Man, I got a kick out of that when I made it up a couple years ago... still do, actually. And now for the DS+ that's a chapter late!

ds+ (character profile #1 - caro) (http://i36.tinypic.com/mkfcly.png)

D. Lawride
October 18th, 2009, 10:15 AM
Orre PDA omgz! :o
(^These simply caught my heart x3)

Anyway, nice work with the professor's personality and the description of the place, and extra nice work for making a simple quiz that hard! xD

By the way, I didn't find any errors. Horrays :p

After that reference, the JAWS got me curious enough to get another reason as to why to keep reading the fic! Keep up the good work!

Giratina ♀
October 18th, 2009, 11:12 AM
Well, the P*DA was the closest comparison I could think of in the Pokémon world. My obsession with Gale of Darkness doesn't help. : D Well, the professor was originally going to be a big goofball like her younger sister Dawn, but then I figured that having them as opposites would be more amusing for readers who actually remember who Dawn Driftwood is. Ooh, extra-nice work! Yay~

Ohh, the JAWS. That one was actually an immigrant from DS' predecessor, a roleplay site titled Pokémon Sol. Of course, the Sol equivalent of the JAWS was actually shaped like a Sharpedo...

Giratina ♀
October 25th, 2009, 03:54 PM
{6} we're gonna head down to the forest

“Krooow! Mur-mur-KROW!”

Casey grimaced. Who knew that merely walking through a forest path could irritate Pokémon to such an extent? He certainly didn’t. It hadn’t happened when he was walking through some of the other foliage-lined paths to and from Holon. However, as soon as he and Caro had stepped onto the path (Casey fiddling with a machine in his hands) a couple of black Pokémon felt the need to greet them in a rather loud and unpleasant manner.

Instead of turning tail and fleeing like any sensible person, Caro had perked up at the sight of these black crows.

“Casey!” he said excitedly. After he got no response, the boy turned around to see Casey backing away slowly, not wanting to startle the creatures into getting any closer.

Caro would have spoken, but apparently the look he shot in Casey’s direction summarized any expression of confusion and irritation Caro wanted to convey. He sighed and returned to Caro’s side, still looking at the Murkrows as if they were going to explode at any moment.

“So we’re not supposed to be escaping?” he asked.

“Nope,” said Caro. “We’ve gotta fight them. And now would also be a good time to deliver some good old-fashioned tutorial wisdom, wouldn’t it?”

“What are you going to tutor me on?” asked Casey. “Don’t we just tell our Pokémon to kill the other Pokémon or something?”

Caro stared at him as if the boy had suggested they run up to the Murkrows and tear them limb-from-limb. “Um, hey, let’s not get into the whole ‘killing’ business until you know how to go about knocking them out.”

Casey realized a little too late that killing the Murkrows was not standard procedure. Instead of dwelling on it, however, Caro took out a Pokéball from his left pocket. It was a teal blue one, with a black grid pattern on the top surface where the red was supposed to be. The bottom half was still white. He tossed it in the air and turned away from the Murkrows, now jeering immaturely (but not before pulling a disgusted expression at them).

“Net Ball,” Caro explained to Casey, who was staring at it. “A variation of the modern Pokéball that’s more useful for catching Water-types. Such as…”

“Azumarill! Azu-azu!”

Rotom noticed that there were a couple of Pokémon invaders of the Groupie Galaxy and immediately set to work trying to make them leave in true Pokémon World fashion – with a seemingly turn-based brawl to the knockout. Azumarill squeaked in Rotom’s direction, and he soon understood that it was not a three-on-one battle and floated into position. The Murkrow jeered loudly and…

…didn’t do anything else.

Everything was at a complete standstill.

“Um, Caro?”

“What?”

“Aren’t the Pokémon supposed to be… you know… fighting?”

“Well, yes they are, but we need to give them commands first.”

“Commands? Why don’t they just start duking it out themselves?” The Murkrow were beginning to get restless, and it appeared that this was precisely what they wanted to do.

“The Pokéballs, Casey. Hey, the Murkrow are getting ticked off, they’re saying they’re gonna get out of here soon if we don’t make it worth their while. So… Azumarill! Water Gun on either Murkrow!”

Casey barely had time to object as he watched the rabbit-eared Pokémon open its mouth and simply fire a jet of water at the Murkrow on the left side, in front of Rotom. It cawed and gurgled angrily, but didn’t fall to the attack.

Rotom turned around. “Why aren’t you telling me stuff?” it asked, confused.

“I, um, don’t know what your… er… attacks are.”

“Oh! Oh! Right, right, there’s Thundershock, and Uproar, and Shock Wave, and Ominous Wind…”

“Um, okay, hold on… use Shock Wave, then.”

“I can’t do that!” Rotom laughed as if messing with Casey’s head was the most amusing thing in the world. The rather bewildered Trainer noticed the Murkrow sharing glances out of the corner of his eye, and it was obvious that they were amused by this incident.

“Well… what can you use, then?”

“Thundershock an—”

“Thundershock! On the wet one!” Casey-logic prevailed once more in its owner’s head.

Rotom snapped to attention and immediately began charging a Thundershock attack. The red plasma around it grew fuzzy, and even Beast seemed to buzz with the static being generated in Rotom’s blue-glowing core. Finally the ball of electric energy was released by way of simply discharging it all at once and using Beast to aim.

The Murkrow did not fall quietly. It howled and cawed until it couldn’t remain airborne any longer, and it fell through the ground.

Yes, through the ground.

“What?” Casey-logic had failed the boy again (though he really should have learned by now that his logic is simply not all fit for a world inhabited by Pokémon), and he was completely amazed by this recent development. “It just went right through the ground! What on Earth happened there?”

“Oh, right,” said Caro nonchalantly. “They don’t do that in other Regions. You must not know they do that. I don’t know how it happens either, ask any Trainer and they’ll probably say the same thing, but a lot of ‘officials’ on the subject say they’re all safe and are being transported for healing or something. Trainers' Pokémon don't do it, though, only wild ones do.”

“Focus on the fighting, please!” wailed Rotom. “I wanna get this scary Murkrow away from me!”

The Murkrow seemed to take offense to that comment and decided to aim its first attack of the session in Rotom’s direction. The crow Pokémon beat its wings a couple of times before cawing loudly, flying a little higher into the air, and swooped back down, subjecting Rotom to the full extent of Peck’s wrath.

Rotom wailed as the sharp beak came in contact with his orange shell. Beast, being after all a shaped glob of energy, failed to protect its origin from such a quick, pointy strike, and merely passed through the Murkrow as it sailed on the desired downward path.

Needless to say, the shock made Rotom crash to the dirty ground.

Part of Casey wanted to rush in to the fight, snatch Rotom, and run the other way very fast. But after catching a glance from Caro (which somehow managed to convey the messages ‘Don’t you dare go in there, you’ll get yourself really hurt’ and ‘Don’t wimp out now’ at the same time) he kept his feet firmly where they stood and watched with relief Rotom springing up again.

The thing that scared him about that scene was that he was watching Rotom with relief.

‘Relief?’ thought Casey. ‘Am I really relieved to see that Rotom is still alive?’ The thought, no matter how he looked at it, seemed to scare him. Was Rotom – a Pokémon, of all things – really so important that he felt relief when the thing survived an attack by a kamikaze bird?

Noticing Casey’s scared expression, Caro (who had now mentally fit himself in as Casey’s mentor) decided to help him out again.

“Catch it!” he yelled, pointing at the Murkrow. “Catch it!”

Obviously, the good intentions of the statement were all but lost. “Um… what?”

“You do know how to catch a Pokémon, don’t you?” Caro asked dubiously, before registering the severity of the glare Casey was sending back in his direction. Shaking his head sadly, Caro slowly walked over to his friend and self-proclaimed apprentice (keeping an eye on the Murkrow just in case), and handed him a small red-and-white object not too different from what Rotom was contained in.

“A Pokéball,” he said matter-of-factly. “P-O-K-accent-E-Ball. You should know what it is by now. Throw it at the Murkrow!”

Shrugging and figuring that it was going in the opposite direction than he was (and therefore posed no immediate threat to his forehead as Rotom's had done a few days ago), Casey chucked the ball in the black bird’s direction. It turned around just in time to see the Pokéball clock it clean on the base of its three-pointed crest. The Murkrow was slurped up in a flash of red light, and what was left to fall to the ground was a Pokéball, shaking like no tomorrow (and it hopped once or twice). Finally, it stopped quaking and stood still as a rock on the grassy ground.

And then opened again, leaving the Murkrow to be sent out again in a red glow and the cracked shell of a Pokéball to be lying on the floor.

“It… it broke!” Casey said in great alarm.

“Yeah,” said Caro. “Dangit. Well, throw another one, then.”

“I… uh… don’t think I have another one.”

Caro sighed. “I’m going to lose my entire stock on you, aren’t I? Well, let’s hope that some overkill gets the job done. Remind me to force you into the Pokémart when we get to the next city and buy some stuff.” He fished around in his pockets for a few seconds and surfaced with yet another type of Poké Ball, this one a bright blue with red streaks down the sides. “It’s a Great Ball; more likely to catch a Pokémon than regular old Pokéballs do. Chuck it!”

Casey flung the sphere in Murkrow’s general direction just as he had done before. And the scene began the same way too; Pokémon goes into Pokéball kicking and screaming, Pokéball shakes maniacally… and it stays intact.

The duo basked in their brief moment of glory, until…

“So is it going to not come out or what?” asked Casey.

Caro smiled. “It comes out only if you want it to. That Murkrow that was bombarding us a couple of minutes ago? You can use it in Pokémon battles just like Rotom now, because guess what? As immoral as it sounds, that Murkrow is yours! Just try not to listen to it too much, though, because that thing has something of a foul mou—” He paused mid-statement. “Um, I mean, it looked like it would have one. If I understood it, of course, which I most definitely don’t.”

Casey heard snickering flowing out of the Megaphone Rock.

Gulping, he looked at Caro with a dubious expression. “So how do you know that, then?”

Averting his gaze from the young ‘escort’, Caro looked upwards. “Hey…” he said distantly. “I think that we should be nearing the next… aha!”

He pointed. Casey followed his gaze, thinking that it was some sort of distraction to get off the subject of Caro’s supposed inter-species communication. He was quite wrong. What they were staring at was a large slab of land, flanked on all sides by a deep moat of water except for a small path. Upon the peninsula was a large group of what were undoubtedly buildings.

“Casey,” said Caro proudly, “Rhoter City is upon us!”


There's not going to be much in the Delta Species Plus department for a while; my scanner has been deemed off-limits because some Australian cousin of a friend of my parents is now occupying the room it's in, and will continue to be there for a few weeks and thus severely restricting the use of the scanner for DS+ and related artistic activities. Yay?

Giratina ♀
November 10th, 2009, 12:50 PM
{7} pokémon hunter s


Rhoter City was, indeed, upon them.

It was a peninsula, connected only to the mainland by a remarkably fragile thread of land that was partially dipped in water. Fortunately, the city council had taken mercy on foot travelers and built a large elevated bridge that the pedestrians could opt to walk across instead, to save their feet from being the temperature of a frozen Metagross for the rest of the day. However, there was actually another perfectly legitimate reason for building such a bridge.

The view from it (as Casey and Caro soon realized) was also very pretty.

Caro actually stopped about halfway across, walked to the railing-lined edge, put his hands in his pockets, and whistled in appreciation. “It’s nearing sundown, you know,” he told Casey. “Good thing we got here when we did.”

“Yeah,” replied the younger boy, stepping alongside him and leaning on the railing. His red hair lost its gravitational properties for a few seconds and drooped over the edge. “Running around a route at night doesn’t sound very inviting.”

“No, no, I don’t mean that! I mean if we were still walking along on that route right now, we would never see the sun setting over the water like this. Not that trekking at night sounds particularly inviting – I’d had more than enough of that a couple of years ago – but still…”

“Wait… what?” Casey had, in actuality, been thinking the same thing. But after briefly considering if Caro would care about a sunset, Casey had said the more practical thing that came to his mind. His tutor in the art of Pokémon travel didn’t seem like the type to linger on things that involve beauty or other simple pleasures.

Caro didn’t do much but smile. “You do think it looks good, don’t you?”

“Oh, sure I do.”

They stood there for a few minutes longer, and soon the wind began pushing their hair lightly in various directions. They remained standing there, letting the breeze whip their faces as non-threateningly as it could. Before long the sun plunged below the horizon, and Casey began to stir.

“It’s over,” he remarked softly to Caro, elbowing him.

“Huh?” The boy seemed to be lost in thought. “Oh. Right. I see. Alright, then, we should get going soon.” He backed away from the edge and began walking towards Rhoter, Casey following suit while trying to hold down a yawn.

They continued in a similar formation until they stepped off the bridge, at which point Casey slowed down somewhat. When Caro turned around to inquire what on earth he was thinking trying to delay his mentor’s rest, he found the younger one simply standing in the middle of the street, looking around at the scenery.

“We’ll have time for that tomorrow!” Caro called from a few yards away. “Come on, I’m tired!”

Casey looked back at him – startled for a second, but then understanding – and walked back over to Caro. His eyes were still on a point on the horizon. “Hey, Caro, what’s the deal with that building over there?”

“I don’t know. There are loads of buildings.”

“No, I mean the huge one on the edge of town. Is it another professor’s lab?”

“Um, not that I know of…” Caro followed Casey’s gaze and soon found what had captivated the red-haired kid’s attention. It was a building taller than most of the ones closer to him, which made it stick up from the rest. Atop it was a single antenna – it was a thick one, not bending to the forces of nature like some other building-toppers Caro could see. “Oh, that. I don’t know what that is, actually. We’ll go check it out tomorrow.”

Casey’s personality switched abruptly. “Wha… check it out? What does ‘checking it out’ entail?”

“Oh, you know. Going around the perimeter, sneaking in if it looks cool, that sort of thing.” Caro shrugged as if it was the most natural thing in the world to be sneaking into a mysterious building with no permission or supervision by someone with a maturity level similar to their age.

“Sneaking in if it looks cool?” hissed Casey as he followed Caro’s eccentric path cutting through the city and into the Pokémart. “Are you insane? Who knows what could be in that place?”

“That’s the point, duh,” snorted Caro as he walked up to the counter. “I need to restock some things; go find a backpack and we’ll check out, alright?”

“Oh, okay. You’re paying, right?”

“Naturally. You’re flat broke.”

Reminded of this unfortunate circumstance and feeling considerably worse than he did coming into the city, Casey turned away and began to dive into the jungle that was the Rhoter City Pokémart. After grabbing one at random (they really all looked the same once you got past the colors and tags) he returned to Caro, who was loitering around near the counter, talking with the person manning it. Casey coughed loudly, and watched in amusement as Caro jumped in surprise before turning around and acting as if nothing had happened.

“Oh, hi. You ready to buy stuff?”

Casey nodded and handed over the backpack.

-

“Hey, give her Rotom and Murkrow.”

Rotom, upon hearing his name called, chirped happily. “Yaaa-” Casey’s warning glare cut off the exclamation of happiness. Rotom looked away, and Beast began to flicker before their eyes. Naturally, some wandering eyes in the Pokémon Center looked their way, but after realizing that there was nothing immediately entertaining they turned back to what they happened to be doing: eating, relaxing, or spending some quality time with their (‘Ugh,’ thought Casey) Pokémon.

The Joy, however, simply smiled at them as if it were an entirely normal occurrence to watch a talking Rotom argue with its Trainer. “Please give me all of your Pokéballs so I may heal them and your JAWS as well so that I may verify that they belong to you.”

Casey coughed. “Um, Rotom actually possessed his Pokéball… can he still be healed?”

“Of course.” The Joy smiled (it made Casey feel slightly uncomfortable).

After fishing around in his backpack to find the JAWS he had shoved in there at random a few minutes earlier, he removed Murkrow’s Pokéball from a handy strip of leather sewn onto the wall of the backpack that held up to six of the red-and-white spheres. Handing both of the objects to the Joy with Rotom following along with them, he caught sight of the other objects on the table.

Another JAWS, a Great Ball, Azumarill’s Net Ball, two yellow-and-black Pokéballs, and one that seemed a lot more intricate than the others. It was purple with two pink blotches on both sides and a white M in the middle.

Caro followed Casey’s gaze and jumped again. “Oh, hey! That doesn’t have a Pokémon in it. Oops.” He took the purple Pokéball and returned it to his pocket before putting another yellow-and-black one in its place. He shot an apologetic smile at the Joy, who simply retained her wide grin.

Casey, however, bit his lip. “What was that purple one, Caro? You seemed quick to put it away.”

Caro shifted his weight uncomfortably. “Oh, um, you know, it’s pretty rare. There’s only two people who make them. One of the guys gives ‘em to the lottery to make ultimate prizes, which are really hard to get, and the other guy… he’s…” Caro’s voice faded into nothing. “Well, I try not to strut that I have one too much, okay?”

“Sure.” Casey wasn’t particularly convinced.

“Your Pokémon have been taken to the healing rooms,” said the Joy, cutting into their conversation. “Please return in two hours to claim them.”

-

“Well, we have two hours to kill and we can’t leave the city…” noted Caro. “Wanna get some dinner? It’s, like, six PM now.”

Casey nodded slowly. “I think there’s not much else to do that won’t occupy our time for another- Oof!”

The boy had seemed to be lost in thought while walking. While lost in his miniature dreamland, Casey had failed to realize that he was on a collision course with another person in the busy town square until he was shown the hard way. Naturally, ‘the hard way’ was the two crashing into each other with great force.

“Oh, I’m sorry!” laughed the woman he had rammed into after she recovered from the blow. “I wasn’t looking where I was… Hey, don’t I know you?”

Casey got his senses under enough control to send a message of what the woman looked like and what she said. After a few seconds, exactly who this woman was registered itself in his mind. “Oh! Yes, I saw you on the plane.”

“Right.” The woman smiled. “I think I was sitting next to you.”

Caro raised an eyebrow. “So you know this chick, then? Not bad, I say.”

Both of them turned on him, glaring.

“Anyway,” sighed the woman in a firm voice, “my name is Sheridan o’Reilly. I’m a traveling Trainer and rare Pokémon hunter. Who might you be?”

“My name is Casey. I’m a traveling Trainer and… well, just a traveling Trainer, I suppose.” Casey shrugged apologetically, as if he was ashamed to not be counted with a shiny title like Sheridan was.

“You’re also taking the Holon Gym challenge,” noted Caro. Casey inclined his head in the boy’s direction as if to say, ‘That too.’

Sheridan’s face lit up at once. “Oh, the Gym challenges! Hey, I did that when I was younger. There’s only six Gyms here, you should know that, but each and every one of them has an eccentric little twist to it that makes the entire experience vastly different than any other’s…” Sheridan laughed. “Some say that Holon is best for beginning Trainers trying to get up to the big Leagues. They’re out of their minds.”

Casey laughed weakly. “Um… yeah. Well, this is actually my first Region, but only because it was the most convenient.”

“Oh yeah? Are you from Holon?”

“No… um, I was born in Calda then moved.”

Sheridan nodded understandingly. “I see. Well, I was born and raised in Hoenn, and eventually got lovingly booted out into the world to do something. Rare Pokémon hunting was my profession of choice.”

“So, if you’re a rare Pokémon hunter, why were you in Holon?”

She laughed. “I can’t be plagued by the constant phobia of missing a Shiny all the time, you know!” Caro snorted in amusement too, as if he actually knew what a Shiny was, but Casey was (as always) left in the dark.

The woman sighed. “No use beating around the bush. Would you mind if I joined you in your growing posse? Not that I’m in it just for the nostalgia, I’d like to see some more of this place too, and maybe catch up on what I had missed back in the days when a Sandshrew was all the rage for me. So what do you think? May I join in?”

Casey flicked his gaze to Caro, who nodded eagerly. ‘Somehow I doubt that had much to do with whether she would be a good addition or not,’ he mentally grumbled, and then tackled the brain job on his own. Looking her up and down, Casey took a few steps back before remembering something very important to this woman’s story. “So, if you’re a rare Pokémon hunter, where’s your rare Pokémon?”

“I thought you’d never ask,” said Sheridan proudly. “Here.” She fished a Great Ball out of her pocket and released it. After the red light faded, there stood a round, purple creature. The top half was a light lilac purple, the bottom a bit deeper and closer to violet. On its head were two ears, twitching constantly, small and beady eyes, and a short but wide trunk. This was all well and good, but the thing that really took the cake was the brief flash of white sparks that came out as the Pokémon did.

“See, this is Kaeo,” explained Sheridan. “He’s a Shiny Drowzee.”

“Now, what most people don’t know about Shiny Pokémon is that the alternate coloration is truly a malfunction in their DNA, like albinos are to humans. It’s also considered a disease, though, because the skin, fur, or feathers of the creature is discolored and as such tend to shed off a fine, flaky, but very glittery powder.” She rubbed a finger along what appeared to be Kaeo’s arm and displayed one glitter-covered finger out to the impressed teenagers. “What goes on when a Pokémon with such coloration when it’s released from a Pokéball is unknown, but it has a mysterious tendency to send out a shower of this shining stuff in an enormous burst. Usually, the shine-powder isn’t noticeable.” She took a deep breath. “These Pokémon are called ‘Shiny’ because of this powder, and are regarded as a sort of collector’s item among trainers. Regular ones don’t really care about them because they don’t have any statistical advantages over regular ones, but some – like me – are different.”

The only word that Casey and Caro could say was, “Whoa.”

Sheridan and Kaeo basked in their awestruck stares for a few moments before snapping back to reality. “So that’s my story. Mind if I come with you?”

“Uh… sure. Go ahead, I guess.” Suddenly, looking at Kaeo sparked a thought in Casey’s mind. “Hey, do you know what time it is?”

“About…” Sheridan checked a watch on her right wrist. “Seven-thirty. Why?”

“We need to be back at the Pokémon Center at eight to pick up our Pokémon – they got in a pretty bad fight with some foul-mouthed Murkrows and…” Caro stopped short, eyes wide and scared. “Uh, I mean, yeah. They got in a fight with some Murkrows and got pretty hurt.” He nodded. “So we sent them to the Pokémon Center and intended to get some food.”

“Hey, I know a place!” Sheridan’s eyes brightened as she returned Kaeo. “Hey, Rhoter isn’t a big city, and it’s my hometown to boot. Do you want the grand tour?”

“’Kay,” they said in perfect unison.


...Okay, so I lied about the 'actually going to finish NaNoWriMo this year' thing.

Sgt Shock
November 10th, 2009, 03:43 PM
Wow. I need to catch up. lol. I'll do that as soon as possible. :)

Giratina ♀
November 25th, 2009, 09:18 AM
You should have a while yet to do that. :D

Giratina ♀
November 27th, 2009, 12:41 PM
{8} we're not nosy, we're just concerned


The advent of Sheridan and her arrival did not help Casey’s attempts to convince Caro that sneaking into a mysterious building with no authorization was a really, really stupid idea.

Hence why the ‘leader’ of the trio – and also the youngest compared to Caro and Sheridan (twenty-five years of age) – had found himself being dragged along in the wake of Caro and Sheridan after a good night’s sleep at the Pokémon Center. They were currently leaning against the west wall of the building in a frail attempt to look as inconspicuous as possible, formulating a plan to get in.

How such a preposterous thing stemmed from a totally innocent, ordinary, legal tour of the city Casey didn’t actually know.

“I still don’t see why we have to go in at all,” said Casey. “I mean, really, it’s just a building. Surely you’ve seen that before?”

“Yeah, but there’s something about that building that I don’t like,” said Caro. “It seems… suspicious, somehow.”

Sheridan frowned. “Hey, have either of you two kids ever heard of Team BDV?”

Both eyes turned to her. “No,” they said in unison.

“Is that sort of like those… um… not-really-teams in other regions, like Galactic and Magma and those guys?” added Caro.

Sheridan seemed to wince at something he said, but nodded nonetheless. “Yes, like those guys. Well, uh, Team BDV runs along the same lines. They seemed to like thinking that nobody knew they were much more than an innocent company of unknown production earlier on, but eventually things about them leaked and they haven’t tried so hard to cover up their tracks. You still don’t see their underlings around here very often, though – from what I’ve heard, their ranks are small.”

“Small?” asked Caro. “Does that mean none of them, uh, Grunts populate the place?”

Sheridan shrugged. “They still have Grunts, just in smaller numbers. I’m surprised you’ve never heard of them before… you seem to be something of an expert on evil teams?”

This apparently struck a nerve. “They aren’t ‘evil’,” defended Caro, crossing his arms. “Just… you know… unconventional in nasty ways.”

“…Which basically means ‘evil’,” noted Casey.

Caro harrumphed and turned the other way.

“Anyway, if we’re going to go in, we’d better,” noted Sheridan. “Well, Caro? Since you seem to be the most knowledgeable here, what’s your say in the matter?”

“Let’s go in,” he said in reply.

“Don’t I get a choice in the matter?” asked Casey.

“No,” the other two replied in chorus.

“We’re going to get in so much trouble for this,” he reminded them. He was returned with a couple of confused stares.

“Stop thinking like an eleven-year-old,” said Sheridan (who, naturally, didn’t quite understand yet that Casey still had the mental disposition of a boy exactly that age).

Casey grimaced, but didn’t respond as the trio slunk around the back of the building. Caro very nearly stepped on a particularly large piece of dry wood, but Sheridan held him back by the hood (they were in single-file order; there wasn’t much else she could do). He shrugged in her direction and hopped over the branch a little more dramatically than was absolutely necessary.

After making quite sure that there was no convenient back door that could possibly make entrance easier, they walked away from the building and held a kneeling conversation on what to do next in the nearby foliage.

“I still think this is a bad idea,” noted Casey helpfully. He was ignored.

“The only way in is through the front entrance,” noted Caro. “There was one really suspicious-looking door in the lobby – I saw it through the window, stop looking at me like that – and since there was really no other door that I saw in there and there must be some purpose for the rest of the building…” All of their eyes flew up towards the top of the building.

“There must be a key,” mumbled Sheridan more to the air than to anyone else.

“Yeah,” said Caro.

“I certainly hope not,” sighed Casey. “I’m the one on the journey, don’t forget that…”

“Yeah, but we’re the ones who are helping you. So we need the ability to make some decisions on what to do.” Sheridan crossed her arms as she switched from kneeling to sitting Indian-style. “You’d be lost without us, don’t forget that…”

“Well, there’s a way in there, and I intend to find it!” cheered Caro complete with fist pumped in the air, a little louder than was absolutely necessary. As the other two leaned in closer to shush him for being so loud in such close proximity to clearly evil people, a distinctly human-shaped shadow fell over all three of them. Its body language didn’t look happy.

“Hey!” boomed a voice from the general direction of the shadow. “Don’t you people know this place is off limits? Scram!”

Sheridan was the first to look up from Caro’s shocked expression, whether at the intruder or his friends it wasn’t clear.

“Grunt,” she whispered to Casey and Caro.

Oh, yes, it was definitely a Grunt.

Now, Team BDV grunts dress oddly, but any evil-team Grunt worth his salt does, anyway. This guy was covered primarily in a sleeved cloak with no middle hem, but seemed to convey the message of ‘dress’ more than anything else for a few seconds. The hood was up and over the BDV Grunt’s head, plunging the top half of his face into shadow, save for the eyes. A diamond-shaped pattern of insignia with a few lines and three dots inside it was embedded onto the front hood of the robe-thing. Overall, it was a pretty normal BDV Grunt except for two things: one, BDV grunts don’t often wear gray gloves.

Nor do they typically carry around blunt weapons.

The blunt weapon in question was a thick metal pipe, which was currently slung over his left shoulder like a baseball bat. The man’s other hand was on his hip, and he was frowning at them. Nobody moved.

The grunt turned his head to look both ways before acting, and then he kneeled down, holding the metal pipe like a staff. “No, seriously, you need to go,” he whispered. “This is still considered BDV turf, and I’m not kidding when I say nobody else would care about what you were doing here.”

“We’d better,” muttered Casey. “Thanks. Come on, guys, let’s go.” The group nodded in agreement and got to their feet. They all took a brief pause to dust themselves off calmly before running away very, very fast, with the BDV Grunt feigning some yelling act to attempt to chase them off.

-

“And finally,” said Sheridan after they had gone through a tour of the rest of the city, “this is the Rhoter Gym. The Leader here trains Water-types. I think there used to be a Rock-type Gym Leader, but he passed on before I took on the challenge. The second in the line of Water Leaders runs it now.” Rotom took the opportunity to flick from the Casey Orbit to the newly-established Sheridan Orbit, which snatched him with one hand and proceeded to observe for a second before returning the struggling Ghost to its natural motions.

“So do we go in?” asked Casey.

Sheridan nodded, waving off the last of the ectoplasm Rotom had spilled onto her from his blue-glowing core. “We do.”

As they pushed their way through the revolving door, they were immediately greeted with a waterfall.

Oh, it was a nice waterfall. Yes, a very nice waterfall. But it was also a big waterfall, and practically the only thing in the room as far as they could see. Oh yes, the rest of the room had a very nice shade of blue on the walls, but the calming effect was sort of diminished by the big waterfall roaring like an angry Ursaring that cut the room in half. The trio weren’t amused by the sight.

“Do we have to walk through it?” asked Caro.

“I hope not,” added Casey.

“I think so,” said Sheridan, walking up to the waterfall with one hand over her eyes to block the spray of water now emitting from it. “And there’s got to be some sort of trapdoor on the other side. There’s not any other way around it. Do you see one? I mean, it’s an empty room with a waterfall crashing through i-”

And then the waterfall stopped.

Yes, it just suddenly stopped flowing. The last bits of water crashed to the grate as gravity called to them, and now that the room beyond the waterfall was revealed it was made quite obvious how they were going to progress.

Well, they were going to walk right over the grate.

Shrugging and smiling, the group stepped over the grate; Sheridan, being the closest, walked past the grate and no-longer-roaring waterfall. She turned around on the other side and beckoned with her hand for the two boys to follow. Caro, wise in the ways of Gym Leaders and their Gym traps, scrambled across quickly. Casey, on the other hand, hesitated a few seconds before walking back across.

As a result, the back-facing tips of his hair got dripping wet as the waterfall resumed its course.

Badly startled, Casey gave a little squeak and had to be pulled out of the way by Sheridan while he was willing his heart to return to a normal beat. After that had been accomplished, they turned around and faced… two more waterfalls, these separated with a wall in between them.

A few seconds passed, as the trio (and Rotom too, admittedly) waited for the water on one side to stop. Because clearly the one that stopped first was the right answer to go down (well, okay, it wasn’t and they knew it, but what choice did they have?). However, a few seconds of surprise were scavenged up when both waterfalls stopped at the same time and they each had to pick a waterfall to look down. As soon as they had committed the scene to memory and looked over to the other side, the waterfalls started crashing again.

“Okay,” said Casey. “So the one on the left led to a path that looked like it wound to the right.”

“And the one on the right,” added Sheridan slowly, “went to the left.”

“So does that mean they both connect with each other?” wondered Caro. “It must, since they both bend the same way, right?”

“Sure it does!” chirped Rotom, who surprised everyone with his presence.

“Not necessarily,” said Casey. “For all we know, one of them could be a trap!”

“A trap?” asked Caro in disbelief.

“Well… they do put traps in these places, don’t they?”

“Yeah, yeah,” said Caro, “but what I was wondering about was how do you know that?” He crossed his arms and stared down upon Casey, using his half a foot of height advantage to its fullest. Casey looked up at him for a second and then diverted his attention towards the waterfall.

“Well, if they’ve got kamikaze waterfalls, then there must be traps too, right?”

“…He has a point,” admitted Sheridan after looking at the waterfall as well for a few seconds. Caro shrugged and returned to his normal posture.

“Well, okay then. We split up. Sheridan and you go this way, I’ll go the other. And if one of them leads to something bad, we wait for the waterfalls to stop and walk back out and go in the other way.” Caro accentuated his directions with a pointing of the finger in the given direction. “Are we all in agreement then?”

“Okay,” shrugged Sheridan, picking Rotom off of his orbit and observing him again like a Sableye would a particularly delectable piece of diamond.

“Um…” mumbled Casey, thinking it over and trying to repair the various parts of his Casey-Logic which had been shattered in the last five days (was it five? Casey was beginning to find it hard to keep track) he had been pulled into this journey. “What if we can’t get out of it? What then?”

Caro waved Casey’s worry away with a few flicks of the hand. “No Gym Leader would do something that evil.”

Casey gave an unconvinced grunt as the group split up. ‘Would they really not?’ he wondered, trying to take his mind off of the fact that he was worrying far more than was absolutely necessary. Though this was a boy wandering around in a mysterious Gym with none of the guiding light that Sheridan and Caro had projected onto him, and he was at least expected to be slightly unnerved…

…Well, that’s just the way Casey was, and that was also why he jumped roughly a foot in the air when a face – and, a few seconds later, a whole entire body – materialized in front of him.

“Watch it,” grumbled the boy as he slipped past Casey, practically at a sprint and carrying an orange monkey-ish Pokémon in his arms. “Oh,” he backtracked and noted as Casey swiveled around to investigate, “watch your feet. There’s something down that path there and you won’t be getting out easily.” And then he was running off in the direction of the waterfall that Casey had just passed, seemingly swerving back and forth as if he was fighting off some sort of blackout.

Gulping and quite unnerved by this spontaneous event, Casey shuddered and got back on his scheduled path. However, he very soon felt quite alone, and so vouched for the companionship of his increasingly-silent partner. “So, Rotom,” asked Casey to the air, “what do you think is past here?”

No reply. ‘Oh, well, that’s nice,’ thought Casey grimly. ‘Not even a hyperactive little Pokémon wants to talk to me right now…’ And he turned his head upward, intending to grab Rotom out of the air and maybe hold a forced conversation (but hey, if he wasn’t holding one with himself, then it was an improvement, right?).

And he found oxygen. Plenty of oxygen. But he could have all the oxygen in the world concentrated in that one building and he wouldn’t give a Ratatta’s tail about it because Rotom was not with him.

However, a young woman in a bikini and a sea blue flower-patterned (was that a flower?) towel wrapped around her waist was.

And she was wielding a Pokéball like it was a weapon. And a girl in a bikini, even one holding a Pokéball, was more than enough to push Casey’s sanity ever closer to the hypothetical edge.

“Oops, did you take a wrong turn?” snickered the bikini-clad lass. “And get your hair wet too? Aww! Ah, well, guess what? Our eyes met, didn’t they?”

“Uh… no…”

“They are right now! And that means you’ve got to battle me.”

Casey silently cursed his manners for dropping him into that trap. “Fine, but can we make it a one on one match?” He thought of adding ‘please’, but manners didn’t get him very far a few seconds ago.

“Ooo, one on one match! I like a guy who knows what he’s doing! But… I have two Pokémon… and I want them all to be seen by everyone! So we’ll make it a two on two!” The girl snickered at Casey’s face (which had swiftly turned to a shade of pink) and tossed the Pokéball into the air. It whisked back to her hand cleanly, and what came out was a slightly disturbing but remarkably cute sight in and of itself.

It was almost entirely rounded, except for a few protrusions for flippers, feet, and ears. The top half (which tilted backwards along the creature at about a 180-degree angle) was a sky blue, while the lower half was beige. It had a huge, grinning mouth, and a pair of disproportionately small, beady eyes to boot.

The JAWS gave its name after some fumbling, shaking, and dunduhdunduhdunduhdunduh-ing, and at that point Casey was quite convinced that the Spheal was going to haunt his nightmares for however long they cared to last.

Gritting his teeth at the unfortunate double-whammy of staring at that thing and the thing he was about to send out, Casey practically flailed Murkrow’s Pokéball out of his hand. Naturally, this led to the black bird being sent out (quite literally) on a crash course to the ground, which in turn triggered a bout of very angry squawking.

Casey wasn’t quite sure what it was saying, but the nightmare-Spheal was losing its scarily idiotic expression for some legitimate (and intelligent) fear.

‘Yes,’ thought Casey. ‘Please keep on doing that.’ The nightmare-Spheal wasn’t quite as horrifying when it was horrified. The girl simply snickered.

“Oh, by the way!” she called. “My name is Marianne!”

“N… nice to know.” Casey blinked as the fog in his brain cleared. “Alright, then, let’s start the battle.” Did he know why this random girl, Marianne, had challenged him to a fight? Nope. But he knew that this was probably another one of the Gym Leader’s tricks, a powerful Trainer sent to a corner of the waterfall-maze to knock out Trainers who might actually get to them.

Murkrow’s irritated squawking (and the downright hilarious expression of horror on nightare-Spheal’s face) brought him back to the present day. After briefly scanning Murkrow’s moves on the JAWS, Casey returned the small Sharpedo-stamped object to his backpack and stared down the Spheal. (It was too busy cowering in fear to notice.)

“Alright, then,” he said with a sudden courage that he wasn’t quite sure he had a couple of minutes ago, “let’s do this! Murkrow, use Haze!”

Murkrow gave a loud, booming caw. As the crow Pokémon gulped in air afterward, though, out of his mouth spewed a large amount of black smoke which them proceeded to settle comfortably over the battlefield. Giving another hooting screech, Murkrow plopped to the ground and struck a pose that will be familiar to anyone with a younger sibling: he held his feathers over his head and stuck his tongue out from an open beak.

Spheal whined loudly.

“Powder Snow!” called Marianne’s attack from the dark.

After a brief caterwauling fit, a few specks of snow began to fly through the dark barrier that the Haze created. They simply drifted lazily for a moment before seeming to realize that they were actually there for a purpose, and that they needed to fulfill it. The entire group of snowflakes then proceeded to slam themselves into Murkrow as one snowy entity. As Murkrow screeched loudly and flapped his wings, even more flying snow particles simply washed the Mist away with the wind they were carried on.

The haze swept away into nothingness, as Murkrow tried to shake off the clingiest cold goop that had stuck to him.

“Fine,” said Casey, “so that didn’t work. Well then, Murkrow, use Pursuit!” Did he know what it did? Nope. But it was a damaging attack – that much he knew – and Murkrow could use it. So he watched with arms crossed as Murkrow spewed another screech (the Spheal cringed) and dove towards the big, round target.

The big, round target rolled out of the way without its Trainer telling it to and fired an Ice Ball in Murkrow’s direction. Having already set a course for the Spheal, Murkrow had no time to swerve out of the way before the frozen wad of ice clocked it in the face. Spitting what Casey could only assume to be some unpleasant words in Pokémian, Murkrow shook its head to dislodge the remaining shards of ice from its crest and stood back up, poised to continue the fight.

“And again!” cheered Casey, pointing at Spheal in true anime fashon.

Murkrow cawed his approval and took to the air again, this time making quite sure to hone in on Spheal before attacking. He made a nosedive for the little creature, and though the Ice-type squealed and scrambled it simply couldn’t evade Murkrow’s attack.

Diving lower to Spheal, bringing himself parallel to the ground, Murkrow screeched again and practically speared Spheal with his beak. The bird turned his head to the side and clamped down on Spheal’s ear with his beak before clutching the tail with his talons, henceforth leaving the Spheal to ride around in the dirt while Murkrow performed a victory lap that he assumed would be truthful.

“Murkrow! Put him down!” snapped Casey. Murkrow obliged to his Trainer’s wishes, albeit grudgingly.

Grumbling angrily, the Murkrow soared back to its usual position in front of Casey and resumed much the same pose it took at the beginning of the match: glowering at Spheal with all of the wickedness it could muster. Murkrow grumbled something at Spheal before following Casey’s next order.

“Peck it.” Casey didn’t quite recall whether this was on the Pokédex listing either, but Murkrow was in possession of a beak and should therefore be able to hit something with it. Fortunately, the Pokémon seemed to respond to his call, and Murkrow took to the skies once again. This time, though, he didn’t bother with any fancy flying; instead, the crow Pokémon simply dropped on its feet in front of Spheal and pecked it hard in the nose before pushing off into the open air once more.

Spheal whined and fired another Ice Ball.

“What? You didn’t tell it to do that!” objected Casey.

“Oooh, someone didn’t read up on their move descriptions,” cooed Marianne in that sickeningly high-pitched voice of hers. “When it makes contact, Ice Ball will keep on hitting the target for five turns until it’s at its biggest and strongest, and then…”

She was cut off as the Ice Ball soared into the ceiling of the Gym and shattered into many pieces, which rained down on the entrance of the waterfall maze. Screams were heard as other people trekking through the maze watched a clump of frozen water fly over their heads.

“Mmm,” said Casey, turning around with one gloved hand on his hip to look at the damage that Spheal’s Ice Ball caused. “Doesn’t look like that quite made contact.”

Marianne simply huffed angrily as she turned to her Spheal. “Okay! Teach that mean Murkrow a lesson! Fire a Water Gun!”

Spheal screeched in reply and opened its mouth wide. This ended up taking up about half of the front part of his body. Casey was a little creeped out by the huge grin, but Murkrow didn’t seem to be dazed by it and simply waited for the attack to come.

“Astonish!” called Casey. Upon looking at Murkrow again, Casey could have sworn he saw an energy in the Pokémon’s eyes that he definitely didn’t have before. The Murkrow bobbed his head slowly up and down as he flew towards Spheal in an eccentric fashion, bobbing and weaving from one side to the next. Casey had no clue what was going on, but Murkrow seemed to be convincing Spheal that something was very wrong, and that was nice. He skirted away from the Water Gun with ease, and finally drifted towards Spheal, mumbling and humming things under his bre-

“MURRRRR-KROOOOOOOOOOOW!!!”

…Okay, so Casey didn’t know that was going to happen. He, along with everyone else in the area, jumped at least three inches in the air at Murkrow’s sudden outburst of raw sound. Murkrow had dropped from the air and landed onto Spheal at the exact same moment. And this time he didn’t even have to drag the Pokémon around the ring; it was quite obvious that Spheal was knocked out.

Murkrow counted the seconds on his feathers, holding up one clump after the next to form five finger-like appendages. One… two… three… four… five.

“Aw, boo, you won! Fine! Hmph!” Marianne tossed a few things in a random direction, recalled Spheal, and stormed away. Casey caught the objects and peered down at them curiously for a second before realizing just what they were.

Murkrow gave a cry of triumph.

Consider it repayment for the horrendously short chapters I've been spewing out lately.

ds+ (character profile #2 - marianne) (http://i46.tinypic.com/2nk59vc.png)

Giratina ♀
December 12th, 2009, 04:48 PM
{9}the meanness of resistance

“She’s still in Holon. I sense it.”

On the top floor of the Rhoter BDV Building, making up the entirety of one of the walls, was a glass panel. It was extremely strong and reinforced glass, not likely to shatter without a long fight, and yet was also perfectly transparent. The only frequent occupant of the top floor found this glass panel very pleasant to look out of when he was feeling particularly… devious, which wasn’t really quite often considering his position. But that brief little feeling did flicker to life in his mind, and so he decided to ride the cliché wave to its fullest. Crossing one leg over the other, the man in the chair leaned his head on one arm, slouching in the armrest-endowed swivel chair.

“Oooh? Really? Think so? Mrrrhrrrrhrrrr. I don’t think She can leave, can she? Mrrr?”

His chair, which was facing opposite the desk in front of his and the rest of the room, suddenly took weight from the back.

The occupant of the chair turned his head to look over at his new acquaintance. He didn’t need to look at him to know who had invaded on his space; there was nobody else he knew who spoke in a pitch like that – and nobody else period who said ‘Mrrr’ on such a frequent basis.

“She must be able to, Juan, or else I think we would have found Her by now.”

The man got up from his chair, leaving Juan – who was still leaning on the back of the chair – to correct the balance of his companion’s perch (and himself) before both tumbled into a mess on the floor.

“Oh, but Hikaru, mrrrrhrrrr, you know how She hates people.” Juan picked himself up easily – ‘Honestly,’ thought Hikaru, ‘that man’s a real acrobat even if he does walk like a Spinda’ – and wandered to his side once again. “Mrrrr… we learned that from the other guys, right?”

Hikaru shook his head, letting the blue-and-red bangs that framed each side of his face like a Cloyster shell wave how they would. He ran his spindly fingers over slicked-back blond hair so silvery it was practically white, sighing daintily as he did so. “The trouble with Her,” said the man, crossing his arms under the white poncho (with triangular red and blue patterns on it), “is just what you said. She hates people; apparently she learned from the last group’s efforts to locate Her. This makes our job harder, and that spire back in the capitol isn’t making matters any easier what with the… things it makes.”

“Ooooh, mrrrr, like us?”

“No, not like us. It stopped making things like us a while ago, didn’t it?” A moment after he asked this question, Hikaru realized that Juan probably didn’t know the answer. Not mentioning it, the man listened to Juan’s ‘Mrrr-rrr’ (he intoned it like anyone else would say when they’re shrugging). He turned to the window and placed a hand on it, letting the twinkling lights of Rhoter illuminate tiny fragments of the inky sky. “I can’t help but feel bad for the Pokémon… not just Her, but all the others being affected by that thing…”

“I guess you should,” said Juan. “It’s not hard to see why, I think. Some sort of… mrrrrr…” He thought for a second, trying to think of the right word. “Oh! Some sort of retained fragment… piece… thing. Of back then. Mrrrr. But don’t let the Boss hear you talkin’ like that, mrr?”

“So, you don’t?”

“Me? Mrrrr. No, not much.”

Hikaru shook his head again. “Juan, you can be so strange sometimes.”

“And you’ve just figured that out, mrrrr?” Juan laughed loudly, catching Hikaru by surprise and making his jump, startled.

Hikaru – who, it should be noted, seemed to have the patience of a martyr, if not a saint – simply continued to look out the window, and spoke more to the window than to his companion. He talked softly, as if mourning a deceased loved one. Even though Juan’s eyes weren’t visible, Hikaru could tell he was blinking in surprise. “I’m sorry for them. Only five will be commonly seen, and She may be in danger too, but there are more. And I feel for them.”

And then the door slammed open.

<---

“Didn’t I tell you guys to keep out?”

‘Well,’ thought Casey, ‘that was unexpected…’

Indeed, after claiming the Tide Badge from Marianne (who was, as it appeared, the Rhoter Gym Leader), the trio had returned to the Pokémon Center. Trekking through the Gym had apparently taken up the entire day, and you couldn’t do much in a small town like Rhoter at six at night. That night, Caro had come up with an idea with a competence level to rival the average invention of Dr. Kaminko (or, in other words, absolutely moronic) – why don’t they all go back to the evil Team’s base which that had been forcefully ejected from just a few days ago to see what was going on in there?

Why, it was perfect. Clearly, nothing could go wrong.

Except, of course, being caught again by the same person they had seen last time they attempted to break and enter the Rhoter BDV building. But they had gotten inside the ‘employees only’ part of the building this time, so that was an improvement, right? Perhaps.

But Palkia just wasn’t on their side today.

“Umm…” said Caro, averting his eyes from the man who had found them twice now. The Grunt was still holding that metal pipe, and he looked about ready to make use of it, too. “Yes, about that.”

The Grunt sighed, clearly exasperated. “Listen, twe- eh, pests, you seriously need to get outta here! If you don’t…”

Casey crossed his arms and scrutinized the Grunt. “Help us get to the bottom of this.”

“…wait, what?” The Grunt had apparently gone on a brief rambling spree on what, exactly, would be done to them if they didn’t comply to his demands. He apparently didn’t expect to be interrupted – especially from the guy who, he had realized last time, was a total wimp.

“You know, the bottom of it,” he continued. “What’s going on in here. Come on. Please?”

The Grunt snorted, clearly not impressed. The kid had started off strong (and had even gotten him worried for a moment there) but then was blown back into territory usually only reserved for ten-year-olds. “Okay, I don’t know who you’re trying to fool with that ‘please’ act, but it certainly isn’t me. So unless you’ve got some sort of crouching-moron-hidden-persuasive-genius thing going on I suggest you—”

It was at that point that Caro interrupted with an irritable sigh. “Do you want us to get your sorry tail out of here or don’t you?”

This froze everyone in their tracks.

“No,” said the Grunt with a tone about as firm as a wall made of Jell-O.

“If you did, you would have called… whoever you call on us by now, right?” continued Caro with a slight smirk. It seemed (to him, at least) that he had won the fight.

“You know what? That’s a wonderful idea. I think I’ll do that right now.”

Apparently not.

The Grunt reached slowly for his pocket, as if daring Caro to snap out suddenly and wrestle his arm from its proper position. But no, Caro did not dive for him, and the Grunt actually pulled out the small machine and held it to his mouth, one finger hovering about half an inch away from a button that very clearly implied ‘On’. Everyone – including the Grunt – held their breath for what was clearly about to happen.

They knew he was going to press it. He knew they knew he was going to press it. And he didn’t.

“You know what? Again?” he said. “You’re right. I don’t want to press it. You three did a better job of sneaking in here than I did; you escaped once. Leave it at that, won’t you?”

“No way,” said Caro and Casey in unison.

He sighed. “Oh, come on, really, I’m not kidding. Just go, okay?”

Sheridan crossed her arms and delivered the first of many Death Glares to one of the rest of the unsuspecting inhabitants of the world. Death Glares, as the rest of the world would soon learn, were clearly not to be trifled with.

“And we’re not kidding either,” said Sheridan with an iciness in her voice that none of the others had heard before. “We’re here to get to the bottom of this, and we also intend to do it. So help us up to the top of this Mewforsaken building and get your tail outta here or be stuck doing… this for however it takes for another chance like this one to kick you in the gut.” She crossed her arms. Overall, even though the Grunt was taller than her by at least three inches, she came off as remarkably scary. “It’s all your choice, of course.”

Casey was relatively sure that Sheridan was just as surprised by this outburst as everyone else.

“Um. Well.” All scary or otherwise imposing presence the Grunt had generated for himself dissolved in a matter of seconds. And he didn’t say a lot for the next few minutes – neither did anyone else, for that matter. They mostly just stood around and looked at one another, not really knowing what to do. Sheridan was firm in her assumption that the Grunt had finally cracked, and was right now waiting for him to sigh dejectedly and think of a way to get them up to the top of the building without a particularly large punishment.

And that’s exactly what he did… well, the first part, anyway.

For, at that time, a staticky noise came from somewhere in their general area. “Hey? Hey! RT-102, what’s the holdup? You’re supposed to be at the Sixty-Sixth Junction by now! …Mrrr!”

The Grunt, instead of sighing again as he was expected to, brightened considerably and put one gloved finger to his lips. He then leaned casually on the metal pipe he seemed to carry around and whipped out a walkie-talkie with his other hand. “Ah, yes, sorry about that. Well, there was a problem, but it’s all resolved now. On my way.” He shoved the walkie-talkie back in his pocket and turned back to the group.

“Okay. So. Right now, the guards will probably be staying in their assigned positions because my monitoring spree was interrupted by your dropping in. So you’re going to follow me and hide somewhere – like a side closet or something – and let me go on my way. The shifts change every five minutes, so it will take about half an hour for me to return to your place again, but when I do I’ll knock on something and point you in the direction of the next floor.”

He didn’t wait for a response, but rather started walking.

After a brief silent consultation with each other, the trio shrugged in unison and followed him down the hallway.

-

A knock.

The three had found themselves stuffed inside a relatively cramped little room, with Casey and Caro pressing themselves against the wall and Sheridan attempting to do just that with a big broom in her way. They were all getting rather bored (as a matter of fact, Caro had begun to fall asleep), but finally the sacred noise rang out to them. Everyone looked up happily, but the door opened for them.

“Across the hall. Quickly!”

The three slipped past the Grunt with relative ease (it was soon decided that Sheridan would go first) and they made a beeline for the staircase at the other side of the long room. It had a lock on it, but that had been disarmed and now dangled uselessly from the hole in the door handles.

Sheridan glided up the stairs like a ghost, Caro acted like he was wearing lead boots (which earned him an irritated ‘Shhh!’ from the others), and Casey found himself somewhere in between.

They emerged on a small landing shaft. Walking over it and through a door to the room beyond, they found themselves in the middle of a long hallway; it formed a T, where they just came from being the vertical line and the rest of the floor spreading out on each side.

“Do you remember the place being rounded like this from outside?” asked Caro to nobody in particular, walking a few paces to the left and peering down the appropriate hallway. Everyone else answered with a shake of their heads. Making a ponderous ‘hmm’ sound, Caro walked further down the hallway while the other two hadn’t even made a move. Casey soon noticed that the boy had darted off, and scrambled after him.

Finally, after a (very) brief chase, Casey caught the older boy by the back of his hood. “Whaddya think you’re doing?” he hissed. “We’re not supposed to be here! Don’t just run off!”

Caro reached behind his back and moved Casey’s hand away from him, frowning as he did so. “Jeez… you’re starting to sound like Kris in here…”

“Eh?” asked Sheridan, walking up behind him. “Chris? Who’s he?”

“Not Chris with a CH, but Kris with a K.” Caro turned around. “When I went around Sinnoh, I traveled with her for a lot of the time. Dunno where she ran off to now, though.”

The red-haired boy smiled and seemed on the verge of laughter. “Oh. I thought that you meant ‘Chris’ and that he was like… a not-blood-related sort of older brother or something.”

Caro shook his head. “Nope. My not-related-sort-of-mentorly-detachedish-older-brother was named something else. Anyway, let’s move.”

The other two followed him, trying to collect and register what the word ‘not-related-sort-of-mentorly-detached-older brother’ meant. They proceeded relatively unscathed down the hallway – the guards were lesser in number and considerably more drowsy up here, since the honchos probably didn’t expect as many infiltrators really getting to the second floor.

Finally, after slipping into and out of a couple of doors to evade the shifty and quite guardly eyes of the BDV Grunt who happened to be running their sector of the rotation at the time, the small band of ‘explorers’ slipped into the stairwell across the hall and stormed up the first staircase, past a landing with a door, up another flight, and onto the next floor of the building. They didn’t notice the window sticking out from the door, nor its incredible usefulness as a stakeout spot.

And that was where they picked up their first three stalkers.

delta species plus: character profile #3 (sheridan, finally) (http://i50.tinypic.com/2cdc2ug.png)

Giratina ♀
December 19th, 2009, 09:16 AM
{10} no boundaries


Hiding, for a lot of creatures of Earth, was a rather difficult task. There was all that business of squeezing in tight spaces, or climbing to high vantage points to peer down on below (and maybe get in some target practice), and the terrible bother of actually keeping yourself there. Of course, some of the residents could bypass this issue; some had camouflage, or others were just too fast to be caught. And some had both, such as the little ball of fuzz now flicking between the trees, looking around constantly…

…she wasn’t labeled as the Mirage Pokémon for nothing.

Yes. Amarachi was still hanging around this place, even though she was well aware that people were looking for her and that it was dangerous to stay here. Even though she was being constantly harped by the other Mewkizuu she knew so well. Even though making a concrete home for herself somewhere was just asking for trouble of the most uncomfortable kind. But Holon was her home, and no… person was going to take that from her with their cold and merciless grip.

They had already taken enough without.

The small pink creature slipped up a tree, looking around for any potential danger which might have arisen. Eventually, her ears picked up a faint buzzing noise, coming from the human settlement – ‘City’, was it called? – near her hiding spot. It was most definitely an irritating buzzing noise, it was coming from the city – specifically at the oversized tower where Those People tended to hang around, and it would… not… stop.

Amarachi was a member of the Mewkizuu, a fancy word for the multiple Earth-dwelling ‘Mews’ spawned from a rather uncomfortable incident involving the only original Mew (fondly referred to by the Mewkizuu as ‘Mother’ or respectfully as ‘Origin of Species’ or just ‘Mew’) and some electromagnetic torment on the part of humanity. Mew had accepted the almost-clones as another species in her great line of descendants, and proclaimed them the ‘Mewkizuu’ from an old Pokémian word of the Mew Dialect which meant ‘in spirit’.

And, truth be told, Amarachi couldn’t help but think that maybe there was something distinctly unpleasant about that tower over there.

-

“There they go,” mumbled one voice.

“Moving a little fast, are we?” noted another.

The third just giggled.

The closet which Casey, Sheridan, and Caro had just passed was not empty as they had assumed (and was, indeed, actually there) in the rush of quietly scrambling across the floor as fast as possible. Of course, it was pitch-dark in there, so the ignorance was somewhat justified.

Despite the fact that three distinct voices could be heard, only two of them were human.

Kidd Summers readjusted herself uncomfortably; she was in a rather strange-looking position (considering her partners Billy and Aerith – yes, really, Aerith – had occupied most of the floor space in the already-cramped room) of a sort of suspended pirouette with one foot against the back wall and both hands trying to balance herself. This left nothing free to move from her face the strands of brown hair that had evidently come loose from her far-too-perilous haircut. Trying to remove the strand by blowing on it, Kidd’s attempt failed and the innocent lock of brown hair fell in front of her face again.

Kidd glared daggers and laser beams at it.

“Yeah, I see you,” mumbled the woman under her breath. “Off of my face, please? It’s important.” She tried to push the hair away by waving her head, but all that did was make the two other oversized buns on both sides of her head wave uselessly.

Pouting, Kidd turned back to Aerith as she spoke.

“Would you stop fidgeting? We need to get them! Find your costumes!”

Everyone straightened up immediately, and Kidd began shuffling around in the junk for the ‘costume’ that was required sporting for the big guys higher up in the Team. It was as if this strange Chinese shirt-thing and black leotard wasn’t enough to satisfy their strange outfit fetish! But, then again, Kidd did wear a pretty funky outfit on recon missions, so not all the blame went to them. Fastening the midnight-blue cape around her shoulders with a brooch shaped like a round blue gem, Kidd waited in the semi-corner for Billy to compose himself.

Well, of course, he was already wearing his outfit.

Fitted over the man’s bulky frame was one of the Grunts’ robes, except his was unbuttoned and looked more like a longcoat than anything else. The hood wasn’t up either (Arceus forbid anything restrict the enormous mess of green palm-tree tangles that was his hair). Under the blue ‘coat’ was a white shirt and dark pants. He was wearing old, beaten-down sneakers.

And Aerith was a Delcatty, so she never really needed to worry about that sort of thing. Because, you see, Pokémon aren’t really required to wear outfits because they really don’t look as good in them as people d—

Oh, yes, about the whole talking Delcatty thing.

Well, Aerith was rather unique as far as Delcatties went. After some… er… ‘experimentation’ with magnetic energy, it left the Pokémon (then a Skitty) to speak English… but not Pokémian. Any attempts at speaking her native tongue would inevitably fail. It wasn’t pleasant and at all useful to lose one language and gain another, but it was an English-speaking Pokémon the scientists had on their hands… so why not fork it up to one of their best agents? Why, yes, that was a wonderful idea. And besides, Kidd was saddled with Billy already, so it couldn’t get much worse.

Well, Kidd was hardly ecstatic to learn that she had gotten yet another tagalong dumped on her, but regardless of this feelings of kinship grew among the three and upon evolution the Skitty earned a name.

And so was born the trio of Billy, Kidd, and Aerith, super-stealthy-slippery-seekers and current ninja guards. They watched on (mostly) silently as the trio of intruders waltzed by completely unaware of their presence. After sharing a few glances and mumbled words, the BDV operatives opened the door while praying it wouldn’t squeak, and slipped out after them before skipping back into another door. This remarkable stealthiness only worked for about a minute before they decided it was too dangerous and should take it the Old-Fashioned Way, but it was relatively nice while it lasted.

One of the intruders (the one with the red hair) wandered over to the side for a few seconds, examined the blue wall in front of him curiously, and then called the other two over. They came, curious as to what he was harping about, and the redhead reached into a rather dark hole that protruded from the wall. He groped around for a few seconds in the hole, and finally pulled out a small dark stone, ovular and about the size of a peppermint candy.

The Raichu-hoodie intruder whistled, impressed at his find.

The blondie intruder gave a little gasp and practically pranced over to him, examining the object with great delight and proclaiming that Casey now had in his possession a Dusk Stone. Which he could use to…

“Oh dear,” said Kidd.

Redhead had a Murkrow, apparently, and Dusk Stones were a wonderful way to evolve one’s Murkrow. He asked something about how evolution works (‘What is this kid,’ thought Aerith, ‘Caldan?’), looking at the stone in Blondie’s hands. She and Raichu Boy begin to explain just what it is, and after a few notes that there was a possibility the Pokémon’s personality could change (Redhead looked pleased with this) he whipped out a Pokéball.

Within a few seconds a Murkrow was on the floor, taking a karate stance.

Redhead sighed exasperatedly and told him that he was going to evolve soon if he wanted to. The boy put emphasis on the ‘if he wanted to’ part (‘Yes,’ thought Aerith, ‘either Caldan or just a rookie. No experienced Trainer would ASK their Pokémon to evolve, for Deoxys’ sake!’), and after the Murkrow nodded its head and pumped a few wings in the air, Redhead took the stone and…

…didn’t do anything.

He was just looking at the stone and the Murkrow, wondering what to do with it. After touching the small, dark thing to various places on the Murkrow’s body (crest, chest, tail, beak, etc.) the Dark-type seemed to grow tired of its Trainer’s stupidity and displayed how to properly use an Evolution Stone.

He popped it in his mouth and ate it.

Redhead’s jaw fell open as the Murkrow let it sit in his mouth for a moment before swallowing. A few seconds passed, a swirl of light filled the room, and where the foot-tall Murkrow had been sitting was perched such a threatening and sleazy bird that it looked like the appropriate housepet of a Mafia boss.

Its chest seemed to puff out naturally, and the bulky appearance was only made more obvious by the obnoxiously large tuft of white feathers that set out against the red and midnight-blue draping the rest of its body. Small, beady eyes peered out from a crest which was now more of a fedora than a mutated witch hat, and its wings had blood-red feathers on the inside. The tail had morphed to the same color.

The Honchkrow gave a grating caw. Blondie and Raichu Boy admired it for a few seconds – Redhead didn’t look so pleased at his Pokémon’s new look. The newly-evolved Honchkrow flew around the room once, cawing like a maniac.

Aerith got the distinct impression it was some sort of demented victory lap.

The three BDV ops shared a worried look – more evolved Pokémon meant more powerful Pokémon, and more powerful Pokémon meant harder-to-dispel Trainers – but then all decided at the same time that it wasn’t really too much of a problem. After all, their Heads – the two BDV Admins who lurked in this building – would wipe them out easily. (Or at least Mr. Hikaru would.)

And then, out of a side door, slipped Grunt CD0000. He looked surprised at the Honchkrow.

Billy, from his much more comfortable position in the new closet, elbowed Kidd softly. She put a finger to her mouth in response and kept looking on. CD0000 moved closer to the intruders, and Aerith smiled a little; maybe he was going to turn them in, or even better: whack them around the head a few times with that wad of metal he carried around like a child’s blanket before turning them in! The Delcatty gave a toothy grin at the thought, but she was soon set straight.

No, he wasn’t turning them in, or whacking them around the head. No. He was… talking to them. Politely. In sane conversation.

Aerith’s eyes slid over to meet Kidd’s (which looked worried) and Billy’s (which were unreadably goofy as always). “This means trouble,” mumbled the Normal-type to her ‘coworkers’. She sounded excited.

“Follow ‘em,” said Billy. He was a man of few words, but a few of these words held infinite knowledge disguised in slang terms. This phrase was not one of them. However, it was decent advice and (as Kidd could tell Aerith was going to point out) just barging out and yelling at him was really no fun and they would all be caught in due time anyway (the trespassers for trespassing and the turnrobe for double-crossing) and so the three decided to watch and follow. They nearly missed CD0000 walking away again.

They followed him leaving through the same door he had came with a renewed eagerness to catch someone in the act. And when they looked back at the three trespassers they were gone.

-

Indeed, the trio had left Billy, Kidd, and Aerith’s field of vision. Instead they were walking up a spiral staircase which wound around another one, and directly into a lot of trouble. For at that moment, a man was walking up the other staircase, seeing as Hikaru had gone to all the trouble to call him up. And since Hikaru had done that, well, Hikaru was sort of the superior officer between the two Admins, and Juan didn’t enjoy disobeying superior officers.

They tended to get mad when you did that. And even though Hikaru is very difficult to irritate, when you do it’s… not pretty.

Juan wasn’t turning his head to the three, and considering his eyes were veiled by a very strange deep hoodie with goggle lenses cut into it where his eyes were, it wasn’t hard to understand why. He wasn’t looking at them (even though the man often came across as scatterbrained, her certainly wasn’t stupid), since looking at them would mean that they might have a subconscious urge to look at him, which would certainly not turn out well.

And so it came as no surprise to him when he slipped off into a side passage that wasn’t there and they didn’t notice.

Well, alright, it was there. But it was hidden so well behind one of the multiple dangling strips of colorful cloth that hung two apiece on one of the ridiculous amount of landings and a few on the walls. And so Juan slipped behind a blue-and-orange cloth and nobody noticed the man in the Swampert suit.

‘Yes,’ thought the man as he found himself in pitch darkness and began navigating the room as if it were in broad daylight, ‘I think that Hikaru won’t be happy about this.’

“But should I tell him?” wondered the man out loud. “I don’t think so. I can always deny I knew anything.

“…Mrrrrr!”

He scampered up another abandoned elevator shaft (it had taken a lot of insisting to the Boss that he would feel a lot better climbing up and down himself, and Juan liked to respect the rare scrap of kindness given by the Boss) which wound up and around the walls of the building. Indeed, this place was a lot stranger and larger on the inside than on the out, but that’s what happens when two of the owners know nothing about architecture and the third was insane.

Juan gave off a little mrrring sound as he climbed, dangling from metal frame to metal frame, never really losing his balance despite the strange and very dangly outfit he was wearing.

It looked for all the world like an inappropriately-sized hoodie, with the drawn-up hood dangling well over the eyes (that’s where the goggle lenses came in) and two blue fin-like structures spurting up from them and around the back of the hood. Two spiky strands of orange hair hung down from under the hood, framing his face which was now twisted into a wicked, deranged smile. The opening in his hood hung on him as well, giving a view of the black shirt underneath down to around the top of the chest. Down the middle of the aqua-blue hoodie was a wide, light-blue strip, and on the outside of either arm orange spots. They appeared again on the knees of his navy-blue pants.

Overall, a very dangly, strange-looking outfit for someone in such a lofty position to wield. But Juan liked it that way, and he wasn’t about to change this either.

…It reminded him of things long-gone, after all.

He continued to scamper up the pseudo-ladder as Caro, Casey, and Sheridan continued to stomp up the staircase. (Billy, Aerith, and Kidd had given up on ever finding them and keeping their heads totally intact after the twin staircases were brought into the equation.)

Juan climbed up and into a short tunnel which eventually led to Hikaru’s office with a soft ‘mrr’. A few seconds after he slipped in, the trio of intruders reached the top landing. Before Casey could do anything, Sheridan wormed to the front of the procession and walked up to the door. She took hold of the handle and signaled for the boys to keep quiet.

And then she turned.

And the door slammed open. She stepped into the room, sending death glares in many different directions. “So what are you suckers doing?” she asked in a very different and more intimidating voice than the two other travelers were accustomed to.

But – just in this one instance – it actually sounded an awful lot better than her normal one.

“Juan,” responded Hikaru, nodding to the man in question as he did so.

“Hi-ka-ruuuuuuuuuu,” taunted Juan, elbowing him slightly. “Come on, just this once, mrrr. I haven’t seen you battle in awhile. Wouldn’t want you to get rusty, now would we, eh?”

Hikaru pouted and turned to the three intruders. “Well. Fine.” He took a few steps closer and tried to contort his feminine face into something relatively scary. Whipping a Luxury Ball out of his pocket, the BDV Admin took a few breaths and tossed out his Pokémon. The Togekiss flapped his wings happily, and gave a singsong chime as a few feathers dropped to the ground. Everyone except for Hikaru (including Juan) looked on in disbelief for a few seconds, until Sheridan took a step back.

And then another.

And then another. And then she retreated into the doorway and pushed Casey and Rotom in as she did so.

“What—”

“Go on,” the twenty-something assured her. “Just use Rotom. It’ll be a breeze, and I don’t think you’ve even used him that much yet.”

Sighing in defeat at the hands of Sheridan (and with Caro not looking like he was going to object) Casey walked forward and, with a wave of his hand, sent Rotom out onto the battlefield. “Okay, use—”

“Ah-ah!” called Hikaru, shaking his head. “I’m not going to let a battle take place in here, foolish boy. Far too many delicate and personal objects, you’ll understand, yes? I assure you, there is a perfectly good formal battlefield we can use instead. Come along.” Hikaru walked right past Rotom, Casey, Sheridan, and Caro, Togekiss and Juan following right behind. The latter looked quite unimpressed with his superior’s decision to prolong a decent fight even longer, but Togekiss was just as beaming and radiant as when he had just come out.

“Might as well,” observed Casey.

Caro shook his head and mumbled something about ‘this is not how raids are supposed to go’, but followed anyway.



“It shall be a three-on-three battle,” said Hikaru with an inappropriate amount of pleasure in his voice. “I’m afraid there’s a pressing matter I need to attend to and don’t have time for much more. Is that alright with you?” He didn’t seem to notice the slightly-confused expression currently ‘gracing’ Casey’s features and the bemused glares of the young Trainer’s comrades (and Juan).

Casey blinked. “Er, I’ve only got two Pokémon.”

“Three-on-two, then!” Hikaru smiled as if this were the most normal thing in the world.

“Is that even fair?” asked Casey in disbelief as he walked onto a bright red, railing-rimmed platform that looked like it should probably be where he stood (considering Hikaru had a blue one on his side of the field). “Oh, yes. Since you only have two Pokémon, I’m sure they both must be trained up to wondrous levels, yes?”

“Um.” Casey shifted his weight uneasily. ‘How am I supposed to survive THIS?’ he thought while batting down the increasingly powerful wave of panic that threatened to eat him up entirely.

Much to his surprise, aforementioned platform began to rise into the air, slowly at first. Casey realized with a jolt just what the railings were for as he clung onto them in surprise (after jumping about three inches off the ground).

Hikaru did the same thing, without all of the startled reactions, and waved his hand to signal that Togekiss go onto the battlefield. The white feathered Pokémon did so happily. Rotom, sensing Casey’s gaze on him, had Beast nod vigorously and zipped down to the appropriate position. He chirped happily, eager to do something cool, and practically bounced around on the small area where he was to wait.

“Not one for taking things by the book?” asked Caro to no one in particular, sliding into one of the five spectators’ seats that mysteriously found their way into Hikaru’s stadium. “Of battles with evil teams, I mean?”

“Not ‘evil’!” corrected Juan and Sheridan at the same time, Sheridan mockingly and Juan insulted somewhere behind the stupid outfit. “…Just unorthodox in a potentially nasty way,” added Sheridan with a grin. Juan nodded with a soft ‘mrrr’ and slid into the seat on the end of the row of stadium seats, while Sheridan took the one in the middle.

“No, I mean…” Caro drifted off for a few seconds, trying to gather his thoughts. “It’s just not what you’d expect a battle with a guy like… um…”

“Hikaru-mrrr,” added Juan.

“Yes, thank you, Hikaru. It’s not what you’d expect someone like Hikaru, who’s in Team BDV – er, well, duh. But. People in Teams like this aren’t often big fans of interrupting important fights to find a proper place to stage them. I mean, a lot of them happen in random caves, for crying out loud! You know what I mean?”

Sheridan said, “No.” Juan didn’t respond, but simply crossed his legs and looked intently at the battlefield.

Everyone previously mentioned had thought that, except for the others that they could see, they were alone in the room. Of course, they were wrong; what sort of stalkers (and one concerned not-stalker) would allow their targets to get away so easily? Not Casey, Sheridan, and Caro’s stalkers, that’s for sure.

In the cockpit a little under the left side of the battlefield, two people and a Delcatty stood watching intently. Both humans wore a cape – the Delcatty wore an expression that reflected quite clearly that it seeked to watch some Pokémon get their tails handed to them.

On the right side’s cockpit there was a man wielding a rather intimidating metal pipe. He didn’t look happy.

delta species plus: character profiles 4, 5 [hikaru & juan]
(http://i47.tinypic.com/o5ck90.png)

D. Lawride
December 22nd, 2009, 05:58 PM
“Not ‘evil’!”(...)“…Just unorthodox in a potentially nasty way,” added Sheridan

Evil, in many cultures, is a broad term used to describe what are seen as subjectively harmful deeds that are labeled as such to steer moral support.
^From the almighty Wikipédia. RAWR.

Me thinks Sheridan is wrong right.

It's a good addition to the fic overall, because it's a funny bit that keeps happening in those situations you expect it but don't see it coming (that made a lot of sense... <_<).

So, the first battle against the "evil" team, huh? Is it gonna be epic unlike like the game battles? :>

About that, another funny bit is how Hikaru took them to a stadium instead of, well, anywhere. "Far too many delicate and personal objects"; that sounds like some of the game's admins. xD

Also, this reference:

average invention of Dr. Kaminko
Is epic win.

Also, that Gym Leader didn't last long. Well, she's the first one of the region, but still xD

I missed some 5 chapters (that I somehow read in two hours o_O) and it looked pretty good as far as I could see. Keep going! :D

Giratina ♀
December 23rd, 2009, 09:25 AM
About the Gym Leader thing... she really only had one Pokémon at the time. The second one was just a bluff. xD So when there's two low-levelled Pokémon duking it out, it's not going to be a championship battle or anything. Hopefully, though, the Hikaru fight will be a little lengthier and more exciting. I'm no good at Pokémon battles, as you saw with the Marianne fight, but... we're working on it, okay? xD Hikaru is very protective of his stuff and doesn't like things getting hurt (sounds familiar somehow...), and so he built a stadium - ignoring Juan's complaints - for whatever battle-inducing problem may arise. Because really, not battling in a stadium is sooo uncivilized.

Giratina ♀
December 24th, 2009, 05:34 PM
Merry Christmas, everyone who celebrates it. And to those who don't, Merry Superholiday. (And you better be thankful for this - I wrote the whole thing in less than twenty-four hours!)

{11} i'll come flying like a spark




WARNING: THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS ONE (1) WORD WHICH MAY BE INAPPRORIATE FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. IT’S NEAR THE VERY END OF THE CHAPTER, THOUGH, SO MAKE OF THAT WHAT YOU WILL.



Rotom looked pumped up to battle, while Togekiss just looked pleased with the whole entire wonderful world.

“Caaaaa~seeeeeey~” cooed a voice from somewhere around the boy in question’s head. He looked around confusedly before recognizing the voice and looking downward into the Megaphone Rock. “So how are you getting on?” I asked in the most pleasant voice possible. “Oh, no, don’t tell me. I see you’re having a fight with Togekiss… Boy. Yes. Togekiss Boy. He certainly is a stickler for rules, eh?” I chuckled. “Well, I said that I wouldn’t help you any more, but Rotom’s got a critical advantage over Hikaru’s flock. It’s up to you to find out what it is. Have fun, now!” And the words fizzled out.

‘Well,’ thought Casey, ‘at least there’s some hope of survival in this.’

It was faint, granted. It was faint and flickering and extremely jumpy and probably prone to scare itself into futility at any minute, but that was enough for our dear friend Mr. Blair. And so he frowned slightly and thought about the situation. There was something Rotom had over the enemy…

Waitaminute.

There was something that Casey remembered… from school… sort of… it involved Electric-type Pokémon (Casey knew Rotom was one of these) and one other type…

…so what was it?

Yet again, Casey cursed the Casey-logic that led him to ignore all Pokémon Studies classes because he highly doubted he would be needing them. Casey-logic did seem to be acting up these days. As Casey racked his brain for that one piece of information, he tried watching Togekiss.

Togekiss beat its wings happily and gave a (very cute) little chirping noise as it waited for Rotom to move (Casey suspected that it was on his owner’s orders that he hesitated and allowed the opponent to move). As a matter of fact, the thing was… flying. Like, beating wings and remaining up in the air. It seemed tall, almost. Tall like… a lightning rod. And what did lightning rods do? Well, they caught electricity for one thing, of course, like trees and other high pla—

“Oh,” said Casey. “Oh.”

Rotom had Beast turn around and beam at him. Much to both of their surprise, Casey smiled back. “Use Thundershock, Rotom,” he said with a rarely-present firmness in his voice. Rotom, sensing this, turned back around with a chirp and promptly released a sparkling, cracking wad of electric energy directly at Togekiss. The Pokémon set up a Protect on his master’s orders (“Protect yourself, please.”) and watched in admiration as the electric ball made mini-fireworks on the energy barrier.

Casey ground his foot into the floor a few times and remarked, “And again!”

Rotom obeyed obediently and released another Thundershock at the now-sputtering Protect. It gave a little moan and fizzled out literally a second before the Thundershock made contact with Togekiss – the thing didn’t even have time to change his expression to something appropriately scared.

Togekiss flew back from the blast and crashed into the wall, and gave a distinctly un-fabulous croaking noise. It then flew back onto the battlefield, ruffled considerably but still able to hold its ground.

“See?” asked Hikaru. “If we had done this in my office… well, our office…” He shot a glance at Juan, who seemed to be looking at him expectantly under the goggle lenses, “then bang! There would go the wall cabinet containing all sorts of important files. Now do you see the importance of—EXTREMESPEED!”

Everyone jumped as Hikaru barked an order in the middle of his small speech, and jumped again as a second later Rotom was sent flying into the opposite wall. Togekiss had zoomed right in front of the surprised Pokémon, and left the tiny creature (unable to contend with the wind) spiraling out of control. Incapable of controlling its body, Rotom twisted around and fell to the floor.

Rotom screeched, slowly staggering out of its position in the dirt and wobbling around in the air. His shell was cracked and core flickering, but nonetheless the small Pokémon remained floating. Floating, however, does not equal floating well – our tiny friend was still shaking all over and staggering around in the air, as if it were dizzy.

“Oh,” said Sheridan. “Oh Mew. Casey doesn’t know about status conditions, does he?”

“I don’t think so,” replied Caro, looking worried.

Juan overheard this and laughed. Down in one of the pits below the battlefield, the Groupie Galaxy’s stalkers were snickering too, if only because Rotom looked so stupid whirling around like that. CD0000 fought to contain a loud groan.

“Eh? But Rotom is a ghost… doesn’t Normal-type just…”

“Oh, the attack wouldn’t have hit him,” said Hikaru nonchalantly. “But if you had been watching, you would have seen that the turbulence caused by my dear Togekiss flying around was powerful enough to send our little friend spinning.” He waved an arm in the direction of the Rotom-shaped dent in the wall. “Logic never fails, boy…”

Casey frowned.

“Oh! That reminds me, boy. What’s your name?”

“Casey,” he replied through gritted teeth.

Hikaru didn’t respond, but merely grinned and nodded as he waved his hand from Togekiss to somewhere else on the battlefield. The Jubilee Pokémon flew back to his side of the battlefield, shook the fog out of his head, and gave another cute little grin. (Casey resisted the urge to stick out his tongue in disgust.) Rotom was still whirling around, moaning. Both sides knew who the likely victor was right now, and Team Casey wasn’t too happy about the chances.

“Lovely!” Hikaru beamed. “Now, please use Sky Attack.”

“Thundershock,” said Casey flatly. Rotom didn’t respond.

Togekiss was waggling one wing frantically.

“Thundershock,” Casey said again. Still no response.

Togekiss was beginning to gather whirling, angry air about its wing.

“Thundershock!” The volume rose higher. Zilch from Rotom.

The air had formed into a long, pointy-looking, and probably very painful rod.

“Thundershock!” Casey boomed, having finally lost his temper. All odds were against him. This Hikaru person probably had extremely powerful Pokémon, more so than his. He also had one more Pokémon than Casey did. He knew how to communicate well to his Pokémon, which Casey didn’t. And not to mention Togekiss wasn’t staggering around like it had too much to drink. And Togekiss was releasing the rod of air, it was flying towards Rotom and whirling angrily it was—

Well, actually, it fell apart about halfway to Rotom.

Apparently, Casey’s yowling had caused Rotom to clear his head, and in that time he had generated a Thundershock. It flew directly through the Air Slash, severing it in multiple places, and was now on a crash course for Togekiss. The Pokémon, yet again, had no time to dodge the Electric attack before it hit him. The Jubilee Pokémon looked everything but jubilant as it yowled in a way that miraculously still managed to sound like church bells, and watched horrified as small electric sparks flickered across the feathery surface of its skin.

“Air Slash, again,” said Hikaru.

Togekiss tried to move but apparently cramped up. His wings stopped beating and the Pokémon fell to the ground, writhing but otherwise quite immobile.

“Whuh-oh,” giggled Juan. “Togekiss is pa~ra~lyyyyyzed!” He sang this as if he were quite enjoying Hikaru’s Pokémon being subject to this torment. Sheridan tried to inch her chair away from his as quietly as possible.

“And again,” said Casey, grinning and with hands on his hips. Rotom happily obliged. Togekiss received an extremely accurate Thundershock, gave another moan, and promptly fainted. Hikaru didn’t look too pleased with this outcome, but Casey was strangely relieved that the man wasn’t giving his usual calm happiness in the face of a fallen Pokémon.

“That was good, dear Togekiss,” said Hikaru. He recalled his Pokémon, nodded to the Pokéball he contained it in, reduced it, and placed the object in his pocket. In the same stroke he whipped out another Pokéball, this one a Great Ball, and tossed it into the ring.

“Have you ever seen one of these before? Many Trainers I’ve talked to expressed disdain when I mentioned these… Golbat, come here, please.”

Aforementioned Golbat was a blue creature, with ears twitching constantly and mouth gaping open. Blue wings with purple skin stretched between the spindly fingers batted at the air, and its legs looked very underdeveloped. Casey waited until after the Pokémon screeched a response for it to close its mouth – because really, Casey couldn’t imagine how the Pokémon would look when it did. By the looks of things, its wings were attached to its jaw!

The Pokémon’s mouth never closed.

Casey, who was a bit more accustomed to the stranger sides of Pokémon design, didn’t fall back on his Casey-logic this time but merely nodded to accept the mysterious anatomical outcast. However, what he did think about was the fact that Golbat had wings… this would mean he was a Flying-type too, right? So Rotom should be effective against him as well.

Satisfied with his New-Casey-logic, Casey took a glance over at his friends.

Caro was frantically pointing to an object in his hand. It was what looked like a plastic spray-bottle, with a purple base and white nozzle. He remembered that a sales associate back at the Rhoter Pokémart had noted he really ought to get some of them, and had actually handed one to Casey before scampering off to assist someone else in purchasing the right kind of tent for traveling the old-fashioned way. Casey had pretty much forgotten about the object… until now.

Fishing the object out of his backpack, Casey observed it more closely. The front of the bottle said “POTION”, and that was about it. Flipping the object over to the back, he quickly scanned the contents. As usual, half the things seemed to be ripped directly from an Ancient Rotan Dictionary, and since Casey was not fluent in most dead languages he looked to the other side. It proclaimed, in slightly smaller lettering, ‘For use on wounded Pokémon. Do not bring into contact with humans.’ Casey looked at the rather beaten-up Rotom, then at Caro, who was nodding enthusiastically.

“Well,” said Casey, “I’d like to use a healing item on Rotom…”

“Oh, that’s no problem,” said Hikaru cheerfully. “Here. GQ1995, please heal this Rotom with the Potion that Mr. Casey will provide you with.”

Out onto the battlefield strutted a young woman in some rather crazy clothing. It was a deep purple dress (marked with the BDV team logo on the chest, naturally) that went halfway down her thigh, made of very thick, warm fabric. It had very wide sleeves, and the girl was wearing black-and-blue striped leggings under it down to some gold-buckled, black leather boots. On her head was a helmet with a narrow spike down the middle and two more on either side, with the tree connected by an arching black visor. She looked remarkably like a witch.

The female BDV Grunt calmly waved for Casey to toss the Potion down to her. After he carefully dropped it and the Grunt caught it perfectly, she walked over to Rotom and sprayed it on him. Within a few minutes the bruises and scratches seemed to melt away, and the little Pokémon looked like he had just come out of a Pokémon Center.

“We may continue now, I presume?” asked Hikaru.

“Uh,” said Casey after the Grunt had left the arena, “I guess so.”

“Good,” said Hikaru with a grin. “In that case, Golbat, please use Toxic.”

Caro groaned loudly and lolled his head over the back of his chair. Sheridan frowned, whether from the move or Caro acting like a child it was uncertain. Golbat made a few spluttering noises, until a violent purple liquid started to pour from its gaping mouth. Casey felt his stomach turn in disgust. More gurgling, a bit of shaky flying, and Golbat sent a whole raincloud full of the stuff upon Rotom.

Rotom’s Trainer threw up a little in his mouth.

“Toxic,” explained Hikaru. “Its use is far rarer than typical Poison’s, so allow me to describe it for you.” He smiled warmly. “It’s different from Poison in that Toxic’s condition worsens as time goes on, as opposed to Poison which will leech a certain amount of damage each turn. It’s truly horrible.”

While before Casey had found Hikaru’s politeness pleasant, it disturbed him somewhat now.

Beast grimaced as Rotom didn’t want to move his mouth any wider than it had to be. And besides – the small Pokémon was already trying to prevent the Toxic sludge from pouring into his core.

“Rotom, Thundershock!”

As the rain of goop finally stopped, Rotom looked up into Golbat’s eyes. The Mewforsaken Bat Pokémon* flew back to its proper position and awaited the move tauntingly, and when Rotom sent the attack flying Golbat simply flew higher and dodged it. The Thundershock-blob flew harmlessly into a wall.

Golbat stuck out its tongue tauntingly and, in accordance with its Trainer (“Golbat, if you could use Air Cutter on Rotom, that would be nice”), beat its wings so hard that slices of air started flying towards Rotom. The small orange Pokémon took them, shrinking its energy core as it did so, but finally endured the attack. It was then that the poison began to burn.

Rotom staggered as if he had just taken another hit.

Casey ground his teeth. Golbat looked rather beaten-up; if Rotom could deliver another Thundershock and wipe it out, then Casey would return his own Pokémon on the turn after that. Besides, the small Electric-Ghost didn’t look like it was going to fall just yet.

“And again, you know what to do! Don’t worry about it, this will be over soon…” He noticed the worried look on Beast’s face and responded accordingly.

Rotom obediently sent another wad of electricity towards Golbat, who was now in the clearly strenuous process of bobbing up and down frantically.

“Why, Golbat, you read my mind!” said Hikaru, apparently delighted. “You knew I wanted you to use Rain Dance!” He put his hands on his hips and looked on in no less than sheer amazement as stormclouds began to swirl around the roof of the stadium. “See, Casey? This is why I like stadiums. Just imagine the damage that my office would cause.”

“What?” breathed Sheridan, leaning forward in her chair. “He’s using Rain Dance, increasing Rotom’s power? What’s that man up to?” Caro nodded in agreement, a few fingers on his chin as the boy wondered just what Hikaru was up to. A few seconds passed before her expectant eyes turned to Juan.

He merely snickered and gave off a few ‘mrrhrrhrr’s.

“Th-Thundershock,” said Casey, with less force than he had in earlier repetitions of the word. “And – just for the record – I never asked about your office.”


Rotom gathered its energy into one large, pulsating blob, and flung it towards Golbat with an unforeseen amount of force. (As a matter of fact, Casey could have sworn he heard Rotom groan with the effort.) It flew towards Golbat faster than the clunky Pokémon could retaliate, and sent the Mewforsaken Bat Pokémon* hurtling towards its Trainer. Hikaru, recognizing Golbat was down for the count, returned it before over 120 pounds of Pokémon meat was flung onto him.

As Hikaru returned his second Pokéball and Casey allowed himself a smug grin, Rotom gave a last little moan and tumbled to the ground. Needless to say, the smile was soon wiped off Casey’s face.

Sheridan bit her lip.

“Well,” said Caro, trying to find some sort of upside to the situation, “at least Honchkrow and Spectri-hair’s last will be on equal ground. I bet it would have wiped out Rotom in a single turn anyway…”

“Honchkrow!”

“Fearow!”

Both Trainers realized what the others had said almost immediately. Casey looked surprised and sort of afraid as usual, and Hikaru looked rather triumphant. And the rain poured down on a black bird and a brown bird, both staring at each other like they’d just been ripped out of a Hoennian desert flick. Fearow was a towering brown Pokémon with tan-colored wingtips and a red crest that reminded Casey of a Mohawk. Its feathers were jagged and stuck out at odd angles, and there was generally just an air of alien-ness about it that no member of the Groupie Galaxy could recognize.

Juan leaned back in his chair, wormed his arms behind his head and used them as a pillow, crossed his legs, and laughed out loud.

The Fearow gave a grating caw. Honchkrow cawed in return. They were both trying to impress and scare the other. Hikaru looked at Casey’s Pokémon with a sort of appreciation in his eyes for a second, before returning to Earth and continuing the battle. “My boy,” noted the poncho-clad man chipperly, “you’re dead meat.” And he smiled. And he watched Fearow glow, watched the feathers around it quiver and wave like it was in the middle of a rainstorm (which it was). And he allowed the Pokémon to beat its wings and fly up in the air, past Honchkrow, past Casey and Hikaru, and up into the raincloud itself. And he watched the cloud react to Fearow’s arrival. And he said:

“Thunder.”

He also watched the wicked thunderbolt descend from the sky. He watched the surprise in Honchkrow’s eyes turn to fear. He then watched them close. He watched the charred, singed bird fall to the floor. He watched his opponent recall the bird shakily, try to find a handrail to hold on to on the raised platform. He watched Casey fail in that attempt.

And he watched the boy crumple to the floor and black out.

Hikaru looked up to the raincloud. And he saw the most wonderful symbol in the world appear in the swirling clouds. He knew that the boy was seeing the same image burned into his closed eyelids. That’s what they always saw. At the very same moment he heard the synonymous voices of CD0000, William, Kidd, and Aerith saying two words that rang loud and clear in his ears.

“Holy crap.”



* ‘Mewforsaken Bat Pokémon’ is not Golbat’s species name, but it really ought to be.

delta species plus: . . . (http://i50.tinypic.com/u8182.png)

Giratina ♀
December 31st, 2009, 10:03 AM
{12} let's make tracks


Lounging in swivel chairs was surprisingly amusing.

Despite himself, the man sitting in such a swivel chair gave a very sinister chuckle. He was alone in a dark room on top of the highest tower on the eastern side of the Earth; who was going to hear him except his own conscience? However, he soon grew tired of acting childishly sinister (if that was even possible), and the man’s only visible eye drifted down to the computer screen sitting in front of him, a bright box of light with Mew-knows-how-many recording… doohickeys hiding in the wings.

The man frowned at the possibility of this, took his arms out from their previous position of pillowing his head, and returned to the proper seated position. The computer was a sleek desktop computer which he had ordered for himself earlier that year, and right now it showed nothing but a generic desktop (he didn’t care what it looked like).

Prodding the mouse with his right pointer finger, he raised his eyebrows at the text box that had appeared on screen.

“Oh look,” he noted with a devious little smirk. “An update. I was getting bored here.” With a few keystrokes expertly executed by his left hand, the Notepad program started up and… there. Waiting for him was a lengthy summary of events, written in his underling’s trademark elegantly-scripted font. He swept the hair out of his right eye and pushed it behind his ear – reading on the computer one-eyed was not an easy task.

He poked the down key a couple of times and finished reading. Something at the end seemed to have displeased him, and by the frantic workout he was soon giving the keyboard and tracking mouse it looked like he intended to resolve it. After pulling his finger along a skinny gray wire attached to the web-camera now perched upon the monitor, he switched a few USB cables and finally reclined in his chair again as the unmistakable face of his accomplice showed up in yet another window.

“I’ve received your note,” he began, interlacing his fingers and speaking in a way that would make a Bond villain green with envy. “Perfectly composed as per usual, Mr. Hikaru.”

“That’s wonderful,” replied the man on the other end. “I trust that…”

“Sir!” called a voice from somewhere off-screen.

The fedora-clad man in the tallest building on the eastern side of the Earth raised his eyebrows as (after a brief confirmation of entry from the man on the other end) a BDV Grunt stormed in the room, panting and looking up at Hikaru worriedly.

“What is it?” asked Hikaru.

“Sir,” said the Grunt after he had caught his breath, “there’s just been a terrible discovery. More than one. They’re terrible, they really are, I…”

“Calm down,” said Hikaru, “and tell me what’s happened.”

Fedora Man watched on in silence.

“One, another one of the Grunts has possibly escaped. I don’t know who, but we’ve just counted now and found a lack of one Grunt past the usual suspects to not show up, avoid counting, or tossed their tracking device out the window. Two, one of the Files has gone missing. It’s Briefcase A, only basic information and a few profiles on the less dangerous specimens, but it still contains important information that should not be leaked. And three…” He paused and shuddered. “The Karmada are getting rambunctious.”

Hikaru’s eyebrows rose to match Fedora Man’s. He stared at the Grunt for a few minutes, apparently deep in thought, and then drummed his fingers on the side of his head.

“The Karmada are hungry, you say? Good.” Upon seeing the Grunt’s confused expression, Hikaru chuckled and continued. “We can use this to our advantage, you see. Let them track down the escaped operative. Place the beta trackers on them, and specify for them to hunt down the person fitting all details we know about…”

The Grunt waved a hand to signal Hikaru to pause. (Fedora Man frowned.) He whipped out a standard-issue BDV Communication Machine (often referred to as a ‘Mech’) and listened to the message sent to him like a walkie-talkie partner. Finally, he smiled weakly and brought the Mech down from his ear.

“We have finished the inspection,” he said. “CD0000 was reported missing, and his Mech tracking signal could not be found anywhere. It must have been destroyed…”

“Wonderful,” replied Hikaru cheerfully. “Then send the Karmada to seek out a man carrying a very silly-looking hollow metal rod. Bonus points if he is holding a File. It shouldn’t be too hard for them to hone in on him…”

-

Caro, being the (arguably) strongest member of the group, wound up carrying Casey on his back. Rotom hovered behind – originally he had tried to lie on Casey’s back, but an irate and worn-down Caro had soon told him that the extra weight was definitely not appreciated.

The group, counting the unconscious Casey, now had four members. Both Caro and Sheridan kept casting anxious glances at the skulking figure in the background, a scrawny twenty-something with overgrown, messy brown hair and a rather narrow face shape. Over his shoulder was heaved a three-foot-long rod of metal, and in the opposite hand a very impressive-looking leather briefcase. He wore a long, billowing blue coat with a turned-down hood. Truth be told, his robe-ish jacket looked like it was exactly that: a robe.

CD0000’s arm eventually got tired of wielding the pipe over his shoulder, and so (after taking a few steps back so as not to hurt anyone) swung it down from the previous position and vouched for the much easier option of simply holding it in his right hand.

They were currently wandering through the Holon Forest, Rhoter District – the mess of trees covered so much of the Region that it needed to be fenced off into Districts to avoid such cases as people coming in on the eastern side and out somewhere in the west. The Regional Government had recently had the wonderful idea to construct paths that cut right through the trees and over the water. One of these paths was what the Groupie Galaxy (and CD0000) were trekking along right now.

Eventually Caro settled on ignoring the shady twenty-something, and focusing more on keeping all available strength that could be used to haul Casey and himself. Sheridan, on the other hand, simply couldn’t get his presence out of her head and attempted to learn more about him.

“So…” she said, backing up to fall into step with CD0000. “What’s your name?”

CD0000 flicked his eyes towards her. (Sheridan found herself almost scared by the nearly-black shade of brown they held.) “Why are you asking me this?”

“Because,” said Sheridan matter-of-factly, “if Casey does decide to let you join our little group, we’ve got to know something about you.” Internally, she smiled; whether he should join the party was still under mental debate, but she did know next to nothing about him. She had expected some surprise on his part after she asked, but (even though she hated to admit it) his response caught her off-guard.

He looked at her wide-eyed and said, “You were serious about that?”

“Well, yes,” said Sheridan, herself surprised at his response. “Why would we not be? After all, you clearly didn’t want to be there, and considering you didn’t have that suitcase earlier and you stomped on that little walkie-talkie in your pocket it doesn’t seem like you intend on going back.”

“No, it’s not about the whole leaving thing,” he responded. “Of course I wanted to leave. What I didn’t think you were serious about was me… um, going. You know. With you guys. I didn’t think you all would want a criminal escapee in your group.”

Sheridan frowned back at him in response. “I don’t care if you’re a criminal escapee, alright? I don’t think Casey would care that you’re a criminal escapee. Caro can be easily convinced of your innocence. You’re coming with us.” Sheridan looked at him in a way that suggested that this was an order.

“Er,” replied CD0000, taking a step away from her as he walked. “Um… alright… Wait. You wanted to know my name, right?”

Sheridan nodded.

“Please don’t laugh; it’s not really that funny when you think about it. I’ve had quite enough of people making fun of it. But… I’m Grant.”

Caro cracked up.

Loudly.

“I told you not to laugh!” snapped Grant.

Sheridan, having foreseen this happening based mostly on instinct, held out her arm to prevent the blunt weapon Grant was carrying from making contact with Caro’s head. She did well.

His eyes flicked to her outstretched arm for a second before he returned the metal rod to its previous position of resting on his shoulder, kept in place by his right hand. “Sorry ‘bout that. Just… yeah.” He didn’t finish the sentence.

Caro grinned. “Sorry… it was funny.”

Grant gave a defeated sigh.

-

Caro opened the door to the four-person Pokémon Center room the newly-expanded group had rented for the night. Casey (whose eyes were cracked open, but who didn’t respond to any prompting) was lying on the small red-colored couch, Sheridan was scouring the small bookshelf in the corner for a time-waster that looked promising, and Grant seemed to have not moved from his spot in one of the two armchairs (both the same color as the couch) since they arrived. He was currently occupied with staring at a briefcase in his lap.

Without a word, Caro dropped a Pokéball and a JAWS on Casey’s stomach before crashing into the other armchair, making it groan loudly and causing Grant to wince (without looking away from the briefcase).

“Hello,” said Sheridan airily, selecting a lengthy volume with a Rapidash on the cover and walking over to Caro’s chair, frowning at his stealing of her perch and sitting on the floor to read. “Everything went alright at the lobby?”

“Yeah, nobody tried to pester me once I said I was healing the Pokémon for Casey over here.” He nodded to the boy, who was just then pushing himself to a sitting position. “Hey, you’re back. Nice to see you again!”

Casey rolled his eyes and put his head in his hands. “What was that?”

“Oh, it’s nothing to worry about…” said Caro breezily.

“I suppose you’re going to tell me that Trainers always pass out when they lose battles,” snorted Casey, reaching up to catch Rotom (who didn’t seem to notice that his Trainer was right below him). “It would figure, what with all of the other crazy things you’ve got going on in this whole business!”

Grant peered over at him, one eyebrow raised. “You are new to Trainerdom, then?”

“You could say that,” said Casey. “But what’s in that suitcase you’ve got there?” He stood up and walked over to Grant’s armchair, leaning on the back of the chair and looking down at it curiously. Caro turned around from his previous position (legs sprawled over the right arm of the chair, head and arms leaning off the left) and actually sat properly, so as to get a better look at the mysterious object.

“Things they won’t need anymore, and that you all shouldn’t be looking at,” he grumbled, with a scathing glance around the room.

“‘They’?” asked Casey, looking down at him quizzically.

“Aw, let me see it,” said Caro, craning his neck.

Grant frowned, drumming his fingers on the ever-elusive case as he wondered just how much Caro would damage the things within. “Well… fine. Here.” He slipped onto the floor. After carefully placing his metal pipe he dragged around onto the chair, Grant then concerned himself with standing on one knee as he fumbled to open the case. Soon, he had done that as well, and everyone else in the room moved to see what was inside. Within the ever-special briefcase was quite a lot of…

…papers.

Yes, papers. Certainly they were somewhat important-looking papers, documents even, but papers nonetheless. Caro – who no doubt thought it would be a cool super-weapon Pokémon or something – looked disappointed.

However, he soon got over it and snatched a paper from the top of the pile. “Lemme see this!”

Grant reached out a hand to stop him, but found only air in his grasp. With yet another defeated sigh (he seemed to be very well-practiced with these) the man waved the hand he had out in a motion to get Caro on with reading it and focused back on the ‘case’* before him.

Caro settled back into his chair slowly, all distinguishing characteristics of a modern hyperactive teenager lost in the urge to further observe the thing in his hand.

It wasn’t particularly frilly, and was in fact hand-written. Caro had to look a bit closer to make sense out of the squiggly handwriting the creator had used, but once he had he found the true purpose of the paper and it interested him quite a lot. ‘Hm,’ thought the brunet in his mind, ‘imagine that. This is all some notes on those old Delta Species Pokémon who used to run around the region… everyone should know about those.’ His eyes flickered to Grant.

“Where’d you say you got these again?”

“I didn’t say where I got them,” replied Grant distantly, still rummaging through the case.

“Oh. Cause this is all about the Delta Pokémon, and I didn’t know who would really care about ‘em these days.” Sheridan plucked the papers handed to her out of aforementioned man’s hands, sitting back into the chair to read them. She, after hearing that Caro’s paper involved a rare variation of Pokémon, was now looking at them with renewed interest and vigor.

Casey, on the other hand, took one of the papers at random, scanned over it lazily, handed it back to Grant, and yawned.

“Guys?” he asked. “I’m getting tired. Can we get to bed now?”

“It’s only eight, Casey,” said Sheridan, not looking away from the papers. “You can go if you want, but we’ll still be up.”

“Fine.” The young man placed the paper he was just holding in Grant’s lap and plodded into one of the bedrooms. It wasn’t long before he called out again: “Hey, guys?”

“What is it?” asked Grant, replacing the papers that hadn’t been distributed back into the case. He left it on the floor as he entered the room now occupied by Casey, knowing Caro and Sheridan would likely tear it apart again as soon as he left. “What do you need?”

“Um,” said Casey, flushing pink, “do I just sleep in my clothes or…”

“Yeah, if you weren’t dumb enough to pack extra stuff, that’s usually what you do. You are wearing something under that, right?” Grant was, of course, regarding Casey’s pratically-alien outfit.

“Oh. Um. Yeah. Thanks… uh…” Casey paused.

“Grant,” said the man himself, backing out again. “Now you go crash somewhere. We’ll continue the research.” As he closed the door and turned on his heel back to the common room – where Sheridan and Caro had, indeed, opened the briefcase again and were still poring over the letters inside – the man made an observation that was closer to truth than he thought.

“How old is that boy? He acts like a kid.”

“Hmm,” replied Sheridan, sounding decidedly unimpressed.

“Yeah.” Caro nodded. “He does that sometimes.”

“You’ve both found yourself with a pretty strange traveling partner,” noted Grant, opening the window to let a rather large gust of cold air enter the room. (Sheridan quite enjoyed the chill, while Caro and his hoodie didn’t seem to notice.)

Now, the room was definitely quite stuffy. And in any other situation, opening the window would have been a perfectly acceptable and quite wise thing to do. Unfortunately, though, this was not ‘any other situation’; for zooming towards the window was an invisible horde of extremely quick Ghost-type Pokémon, all honed in on a certain man who was currently in the ownership of a blunt weapon and The Briefcase. And if Grant hadn’t opened that window that night, he might have saved himself an awful lot of trouble and a considerable amount of pain in the future.

But, of course, he had to go ahead and do it.

And as Grant turned his back to the window and kneeled down to continue fishing through the (extremely strange) files with Caro and Sheridan, the aforementioned Ghost-types shot into the room. Without a second thought, they all wormed themselves nearer to him and eventually slipped into his brain.

There, they would lay dormant for an inexplicable amount of time, wearing no useful tracking devices. Beta anythings are prone to developing uselessness.



*Yes, that was terrible. Sorry.

delta species plus: character profile #6 (http://i45.tinypic.com/1zcivkg.png)

Zephyr+
January 5th, 2010, 06:01 PM
Did I mention how much I like this fanfiction? Because I do. It's one of the best ones I've read in a while. The characters are memorable, and from the premise and onward it's a highly enjoyable OT fic in every way-- you don't resort to cliches or anything, you have fairly efficient characterization, and your plot is gripping.

Grant cracks me up because I know someone in real life named that. xD I don't exactly get how it's humorous in-universe though; sure, it's a bit undignified to have it in place of a cool codename like CD0000, but it's fairly normal otherwise. Unless it isn't, in which case you should probably explain that.

One thing that bothers me a little is how hard it is to follow the plot; I might have skimmed over the part when you explained WHY they were infiltrating the BDV hideout, and since the characters didn't really discuss what was happening, I got confused. Although I commend you for plummeting straight into the action without dawdling around with unnecessary sidequests and the like. Good show.

I like your DS+ material, too. There's lots of characters to keep track of, and while you provide adequate description most of the time, some of them are still hard to hold down (in particular, the BDV Admins' costumes). You might be better off simplifying, or just explaining it in vague terms and pointing readers to the DS+ at the bottom. Picture's worth a thousand words, after all, especially when it comes to fakemon and intricately-designed OCs. (And don't get me wrong; I love fakemon. Lovelovelove fakemon.)

Will be watching this eagerly for updates!

Giratina ♀
January 5th, 2010, 07:00 PM
Hey, thank you! : D That means quite a lot to me, to know people are really enjoying it.

On the subject of Grant... I don't quite see what you're trying to say. 'Grant' is really just his name. There's actually no intended comedic value behind it, except for maybe the fact that it's only one letter away from 'grunt'. Since he's obviously merged with the group by now and gave his name, there was no further reason to use CD0000. Is there something wrong with it being fairly normal? D:

I agree with your comments on the description, though I can't really say much on the whole difficult-to-follow thing considering I'm the author and have everything mapped out in my head, even if it's not very well-explained. xD I know that I'm not the greatest in describing things, but I do try to keep it easy to understand... |3 I don't really like to tell people, "Okay, I got lazy on the description, so here's a picture instead! C:" because I really see it as being equal to shoving pictures of Pokémon into the story as they appear and saying "The Pokémon looked like this: [image]". But thanks for reviewing anyway! c:

Giratina ♀
January 14th, 2010, 05:18 PM
{13} dancing ludicolo dance
(don't ask about the title)

“Sir, the tracking devices…”

“There’s no reason to recount it. I know now what happened.”

So, proclaimed Fedora Man, sitting once again in his little office at the top of the world. He was in yet another digital conversation with Hikaru, and was watching his Admin’s surprised expression upon learning that he didn’t need to break the news after all. “I have my methods, Hikaru, methods which will be revealed to you when they must be. You do understand that, I hope…”

“Of course, sir.” Hikaru regained his composure and dipped his head in respect.

He had no idea that Fedora Man was lying through his sharp teeth.

“Thank you, Hikaru,” replied Fedora Man with a chuckle, flipping the red hairs out of his eyes yet again. He leaned on the desk in front of him with fingers interwoven and said, “If you don’t mind, I’d like to end this conversation now.”

“There was nothing else I was to report, sir,” said Hikaru. “Farewell.”

Fedora Man wasn’t one for goodbyes. Without giving Hikaru a second thought he jabbed a few buttons and the Admin’s face disappeared. Fedora Man removed the headphones from his ears and replaced the telltale blue-and-yellow fedora; wearing it and listening to his Admins speak was a difficult task. Not to mention those sound systems that clipped to one’s ear; they were just a waste of money.

Fedora Man shook his head at the unfortunate existence of those money-grabbing wares and continued to stare at the screen, which was now showing the usual program that his computer ran. Almost on instinct his eyes scanned over the green radius display, even though he knew that the Holon Tower’s energy detector would come up with nothing as it usually did.

It’s easy to imagine his surprise when it didn’t do that at all.

There was a faint reading of Her skittering around the boundaries of the tower’s range, moving closer in slowly but steadily. Fedora Man broke into a pleased smile which, considering the lighting in the room and his general air of dastardliness, came across as simply nasty. ‘Shouldn’t dive for Her too early,’ thought Fedora Man. ‘She might get frightened and run away again. And goodness knows how many times she’s run away.’

He watched as the next video-chat request popped up on screen. Fedora Man pressed another button and waited with something like interest for the identity of his next caller (confound the lack of identification!). “Yes?” he asked as soon as he thought the line had been made.

“Hello,” said a voice with a Snowpoint* accent. “I am calling you from a public video-phone… transmitter or… whatever this communication object is. I am also calling from what you call a Pokémon Center in the middle of the night. I’ve heard you are searching for my mother.”

Fedora Man’s jaw dropped.

It was not his Mew… it looked sort of like a Mew. It floated like a Mew. It had the same psychic signal as a Mew. Why, it even sounded like the little pink Pokémon. But if he was looking for this not-Mew’s mother, then it was definitely not Mew. It must be… some sort of spawn of Mew. As Fedora Man realized this, he suddenly remembered the meeting that had occurred a few months back. The memories returned as if a floodgate had been opened.

“Amarachi of the Mewkizuu,” he said with a smile that seemed much more imposing thanks to his pointy incisors. “Hello. How are you?”

“I’m fine, thank you,” said Amarachi coldly. Fedora Man could see she was all business. “I’ve called about something extremely important.”

“I would assume you would, considering that most of the time your kind are not inclined to use the human technology of today,” said Fedora Man. He leaned his head on one arm and gazed with great boredom at the digital, ever-moving image of Amarachi. “So enlighten me. What does this extremely important something concern?”

“It concerns your tower.” Amarachi noticed the man’s expression and continued. “Oh, yes, it’s a fine, big tower. An exquisite tower. Please, I am not at all insulting your tower. However, the Mewkizuu have had a meeting. An ambassador of The One was present… you’ll know who The One is, or else I mist say you’re disrespecting your roots greatly.”

“I know who The One is,” said Fedora Man. “Continue.”

“Lovely,” said Amarachi bitterly. “Now, we the Mewkizuu had a meeting. We discussed with The One the problems your tower was causing… a colleague of The One reported a mysterious presence in his realm that we all believe has strong connections to your tower.”

“And how is it connected?” asked Fedora Man, frowning.

“Are you aware of the Pokémon recently named ‘Deoxys’?”

-

“Blair!”

“Good morning to you too, Professor.”

Morning had dawned on Our Heroes, and Casey was right now in the middle of a truly gripping conversation between him and Professor Delilah Driftwood. Casey had been woken prematurely and as such was not in the greatest of moods, and was therefore a hypothetical blind man in a minefield. He was now holding his JAWS (plugged into the video-phone PC) in the lobby of the Pokémon Center. Caro and Sheridan were off to hold discussions with random Trainers, while Grant (who found himself with nothing better do) was now sitting in an armchair, staring at his Pinsir in its transparent Pokéball (imported from the region of Moga).

“Blair, you walked out without claiming a starter.” Professor Driftwood didn’t sound or look pleased.

“Oh. Sorry about that.”

Professor Driftwood sighed. “You cannot just ‘oh, sorry about that’ your way out of this, Blair. Did you know the starter Pokémon I give out changes daily? Because you simply walked out before I could remind you that you needed to stay, I gave out all the rest of the starters. I hope you enjoy Poliwags.” The PC made a whirring noise and, a second later, a Pokéball appeared on one of the red platforms within the PC visible only by a sheet of clear plastic.

The Pokéball dropped into another holding dock like returned change in a vending machine. Casey took it, looking at the red-and-white Pokéball curiously. “Poliwag?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Professor Driftwood. “Now, before we get any farther, when will you be returning your Pokémon and JAWS?”

He looked up. “What?”

“You’re surely wanting to reconsider your decision to be a Trainer by now.”

“Uh… no, sorry, I’m not.”

“Oh, really?” said Professor Driftwood, her disapproving stare morphing into one of surprise. “I would think that someone born in Calda wouldn’t be quite so persistent. Well… have you made any headway, at least?”

“One badge from Rhoter,” he replied. “Do you want to see it?”

“I don’t need to,” said Professor Driftwood with visible disgust. “Just wanted to make sure you weren’t floundering around like a Drifloon in a tornado. Well, as long as you’re doing something, fine. I’m signing off.” And the screen went blank.

Casey didn’t like Delilah Driftwood. There, he admitted it. He found her grumpy and hard to deal with. But as usual there were grumpy and hard-to-deal-with people in his universe, and after a moment Casey mentally concluded that this was just part of life.

‘I shouldn’t let it get to me too much,’ he thought. ‘It’s probably just-’

“Hey! Casey!”

He blinked. Was that… ‘Oh no.’ Sighing, the boy ducked his head and spoke into the Megaphone Rock. “What do you want, Giratina?”

“Heya!” I chirped through the Megaphone Rock. “How’s it going so far? I see you found a Water-type. That’s nice. A good Water-type rounds out the team. So, anyway, even though you don’t need it now that you’ve got a full team of shiny new Pokémon, go check your PC. I forgot to tell you earlier, but I’ve got some freebies. Though they aren’t all that good – you’re lucky I scrapped up Rotom for you, getting a Pokémon from His Royal Zoo isn’t an easy feat – maybe you’d find some comfort in knowing I do sort of care about you.”

“Gee, thanks.” Casey pressed the necessary buttons on his PC and observed the small pictures of the three Pokémon stored inside. Frowning at them, Casey had to agree about the ‘not all that good’ part, but he decided to make sure, just in case. “Hey! Caro!” he called, turning around to look for him.

The hoodie-wielder in question wasn’t engaged in epic conversation at the moment, and darted over quicker than Casey thought possible. “Yeah?”

“I got these Pokémon from… a friend of mine. Could you check ‘em out, see if they’re any good?”

Caro stood up to his full height and frowned at Casey. “Now, Casey, whether a Pokémon is good or not depends not on its species, but the Trainer who raises it. In fact, one of the most powerful Trainers in the world once said, ‘Strong Pokémon. Weak Pokémon. They’re only the false perception of people’ or something. But anyway, you shouldn’t be…”

“Yes, Caro, thanks for that,” said Casey. “But could you please look at them anyway?”

“Oh yeah, man, sure.” Caro stepped to Casey’s side and peered over his shoulder at the Pokémon onscreen. “Hey, Casey…” he said after a few minutes of extremely concentrated staring.

“Yeah?”

“I don’t know if this friend of yours is the best person to be accepting gifts from. I mean… a Sentret and Taillow really aren’t the most stellar choices you could have made when choosing Pokémon.”

“Oh,” said Casey. “Figures Giratina would give me something useless…” he muttered in a lower voice. He had meant to only think that, but evidently his miserable early-morning mind had different plans. The damage was done.

“Whoa, whoa!” said Caro, turning around to gaze at him in awe. “Did’ju say that Giratina gave these to you?”

“Um…”

“Man, that Pokémon is a total nut case! I hosted a discussion with her once with some of my friends. It was in her dimension, and she was changing the color and making loud music play and flinging people around and writing in the air and everything!” He laughed. “I’m surprised you lived through receiving a gift from her with your sanity intact.”

And worse than that, Casey heard snickering coming from his bandanna.

Caro listened for a second, and then looked surprised. “Hey, where have you got some sort of walkie-talkie from her from? ‘Cause she has a tendency to not really mind her manners, and I coulda sworn I heard her back in Holon the city. So I guess she got you to do something stupid.”

Caro. Do not insult your author. That is seriously not a good idea. So maybe when you’ve discovered the Internet and end up reading you finally get a clue.

…Wait. Ahem.

“Well…” said Casey, stalling for time. But Caro persisted on the subject, and eventually Casey figured that since Caro already knew about Giratina then it couldn’t hurt to explain. “Actually, yeah. She does have a walkie-talkie thing on me. Very near my mouth… see? It’s actually jammed somewhere in that handkerchief around my neck. Evidently she ripped it off something that does the same thing…”

“Sounds like her,” said Caro with a nod. “Well, anyway, man, that’s seriously really cool that you met a Legendary. I mean, like, I would have never met one at all if I hadn’t gotten this real one-in-a-million chance with going on a trip with these two friends of mine – yeah, remember, Kris and the not-really-big-brother-mentor-guy – and I used to live around with Pokémon literally all over.” Caro waved his hands in the appropriate motions, including a grand sweeping motion right after his last words. “So when people ask if you’ve seen a Legendary yet, they’re probably like joking or something. Only either really cool people or really boring people – or occasionally really crazy people – see Legendaries in their lives.”

“Er… Legendaries?”

Caro blinked.

“So… what are these Legendaries, then? Are they like Giratina? She was hanging around with some other Pokémon… Palkia and a little green pixie thing with a head like an onion. Were those…?” Casey cut his sentence short.

Caro was slack-jawing at him.

“Um…” said Casey, in a frail attempt to fill in the silence between the duo.

“Dude…” said Caro after a minute.

“Yes?”

“You’re… you’re sure you haven’t broken any intergalactic laws or something? ‘Cause that’s a lot of Legendaries you saw. I mean, other than Kris and—well, aside from my friends, I’ve seen the highest Legendary count. And that’s two. But you’ve seen three! How do you do it? Is there like… some sort of Legendary-attracting ancestry you’ve got?”

“I should hope not,” said Casey with a frown, recalling where exactly his ancestry came from. (It quite scared him that his thoughts hadn’t strayed back to Calda in an exceptionally – for him – long time.)

“Well, whatever. Just… don’t go strutting that you’ve seen ‘em, okay? Especially not to Sheridan. No offense, but I think that with all her rare Pokémon hunting she’d… well, you’d never get an ounce of sleep until you’ve learned to channel out her voice.”

Casey snickered. “Yeah, sure.”

Caro pressed a button and turned off the PC.

Perfectly timed, Sheridan appeared out of thin air to Casey’s left. “So you’re on the Badge course, right? If so, I think you’ll be looking for Rhion.” Sheridan gestured to something on the wall.

Caro walked a few paces to the left and checked out one of the millions of region maps plastered on the almost sickeningly-sweet cream and pink walls. “Looks like the next stop is Rhion City as Sheridan said, better known as Fort Rhion. Electric-types…” He turned back to Casey. “What Pokémon do you have on hand?”

“Um… Rotom, Honchkrow, and that one Poliwag…”

“Kid,” said Caro, slinging an arm on his shoulder and sighing dramatically, “I think you’re going to get a lesson on getting your Pokémon’s carcasses handed to you on a silver platter. …In other words, you’re at a serious disadvantage here.”

“Because of Types?”

“Yessir. My recommendation: get out there and find a nice, shiny Ground-type. Or at least something that won’t dig up old memories of the whole Fearow issue.”

“I’ve been thinking about that, you know,” said Sheridan almost randomly. “Research has been performed. And all results I’ve found point to one answer.”

“Which is?” asked Casey.

“That Fearow shouldn’t exist,” Sheridan replied simply.

“I thought so,” said Caro after a few seconds of vacant gawking. “Um, I mean, it doesn’t make much sense for a Pokémon to learn a move with a type that’s powerful against it. Except for Dragon-types, because they’re powerful against themselves and stuff.”

“Right,” said Sheridan grimly. “I don’t know how he got that Fearow to use Thunder, but I’m pretty dubious on its legitimacy.”

“How do you get an illegitimate Pokémon?” asked Casey. “I mean, they’re Pokémon, living creatures. They can’t be changed, right?” He ignored the giggling that spouted from the Megaphone Rock.

“Well,” began Sheridan. “Do you know of the Delta Species? They’re Pokémon who received a type change and power increase and so on that were generated by the tower over west of here. The builders of the tower – the scientists – changed Pokémon. Some men in Kanto made a Pokémon with a full evolution line and everything out of some computer data. And some other men in Kanto – who I don’t recommend you speak of too much, I might add – took a Pokémon’s eyelash and used it to build a totally new one, with form and powers and being. They made a Pokémon. So yeah, if you’re messed up and well-funded enough to do it, I guess you could make a Fearow use Thunder.”

“Legit points,” said Caro.

“Alright, thank you,” said Casey, who was trying not to make it too obvious that he had been swamped by information. “So… next city. Rhion, was it?”






*think northern New Jersey. ‘Snowpoint accents’ are actually used across most of northern Sinnoh, stopping around the line created by Eterna Forest’s southern border. The Unown Dialect and Snowpoint accent sound extremely familiar.

bobandbill
January 21st, 2010, 08:06 AM
For now, a review on chapter 1 and 2!

So far I'm enjoying this fic, I must say. =) Interesting and fun to read thus far. I quote like the not-too-serious sort of style you've gone here (or so it seems to me). It suits the story, I feel. Casey makes for an interesting protagonist, as you refer to him from time to time amusingly, and Giratina's part in chapter one was quite amusing as well.

I also like the idea with setting it in a region which has actually gone and banned Pokemon due to the realistic look on how problematic they could be and all. On top of that there's Rotom (I like the characterisation of it, kinda how I imagine Rotom to be like actually), some nice exchanges in dialogue and amusing/cool chapter titles, and you've got a good beginning. Plot seems fine to me thus far - you've made the 'person who will save the world' sort of story this is seemingly going to be a rather interesting one, in part due to the writing style.

My main qualm with the fic thus far is that the many changes of POV with the scene changes is somewhat unsettling for me - it seems every time there's a scene change the style changes once again (mostly with this instance in chapter 2): He was dragged to the side with great force before his feet even touched the ground. Rotom squirmed his way out of Casey’s lightened grip before the latter fell to the ground, unconscious.

-

“Shut up,”..............................The voices faded. I descended into sleep again.

-

Once Casey was quite sure he was going to remain conscious, he opened his eyes. However, the boy quickly shut them again. The dragon-thing was returning (though she had a different body shape, the spiky head-dress was the same), and she had brought along a buddy just as scary and imposing as she was.

I recoiled with a rather feminine squeak, surprised at him actually waking up again.I though until the last line there that it was back with the previous style/POV, so the fact you suddenly started the sentence there with 'I recoiled' surprised me slightly. It was a minor thing and not that unsettling truth be told, but still something that occurred to me when reading at the time.

I also admit that the Mightyena-head-thingamajig that Rotom had there confused me as well, although I found the explanation and figured it out after a bit of re-reading then as well. However maybe you should consider looking at that part and maybe tweak it slightly for clarity's sake? (Part of the confusion I suppose was also the mentions of 'Duskull' to describe, which led me to being confused partly, I believe.

The writing style at times sounds somewhat odd, although I suppose it's the result of the fact you've chosen to go for this and the run-on-tangents way you tend to go on occasion (such as here: Somewhere in a vast stretch of white, there stood a large and imposing-looking wooden desk sitting on what seemed to be air, but was in fact a floor the same color as the surrounding area: white. All of it was fully and entirely white. Upon this imposing wooden desk was a computer (quite blatantly labeled ‘Dea Procol Machina’ in black marker ink) with an oversized keyboard and a giant monitor, with smaller monitors springing off at various points to create the sort of thing you would expect a French boy genius to have in his dorm room while he converses with his friends who are all running around in cyberspace, slaying monsters.

Of course, there was no French boy genius sitting at the computer. For one thing, there is no France. Ha ha, what could have ever put such an absurd thought in your mind? No, there was something much more impressive than a boy genius from a surely made-up land called ‘France’.) and the such amuses and fits - I suppose it both seems a bit awkward due to it running on tangents, and fits because it feels like you're going for this anyway and it's funny to boot. =P
A young boy sat slumped in his seat, watching the rain continue its attempt to be as loud as it could while crashing against the window. Limp brown hair flopped against the glass, letting gravity take over entirely.The last part of this sentence sounds odd somehow... I can deduce you're talking about the hair which is 'letting gravity take over entirely', but I think it could be worded a bit clearer... maybe 'attempt to be as loud as it could while crashing against the window. Limp, brown hair let gravity take over it entirely as it flopped against the glass.' ? Speaking of which, a comma may fit in-between 'Limp' and 'brown', although I quickly realise it's not the best time to think this for me. >_< I go by a 'if-you-can-put-an-'and'-in-between-the-two-a-comma-probably-fits rule, so 'Limp and brown hair let gravity...' seems to fit...to me leastways. <_<
Without getting into specifics, quite a while ago (before he was born, in fact) the local regional government had decided it was better for the region and its human inhabitants if super-powered monsters weren’t running around the cities and nearby land. Pokémon and the spherical things that share almost the same name were no longer allowed, and hunts immediately ensued to catch and destroy all remaining wild Pokémon (which, seeing as Calda is an island surrounded entirely by water, is slightly easier than it sounds).Again, I liked the premise of this - quite an interesting one to actually be used in a fic, methinks. The 4th-wall-breaking-esque style is normally somthing I'd warn against as well, but you do it right I feel, so good job with this. =)
Slipping in a seat just as the final bell tolled the fanfare of glory for some students and the screech of death for others, a middle-aged man with slick black hair stood up from his previous sitting position. He was wearing a rather formal white shirt and black pants, as well as thick glasses that caught the radiance of the fluorescent strips of lights that shone above him.I don't believe you need the comma there after pants. (Heh, pants. -_-) I'm also unsure about the usage of 'rather' formal there - it seems a touch odd. Maybe just go without the word 'rather'? Doesn't appear to make much of a difference either way though, but it strikes me as unnecessary.
“Time is up. The tests are being passed out now. Please put away any notes, textbooks, and cell phones you may have on your person.”Random thought - with my exams it's usually the case that even with reading/prep time cell phones are to be put away before even entering the room...heh.
Of course, there was no French boy genius sitting at the computer. For one thing, there is no France. Ha ha, what could have ever put such an absurd thought in your mind? No, there was something much more impressive than a boy genius from a surely made-up land called ‘France’.
There was the highly brilliant, attractive, intimidating, and very fearsome Giratina the most wonderful and incredibly skilled ringleader of the best Alternate Universe ever crea-There isn't? D= But Giratina's part here was quite amusing and fun to read - my favourite part thus far of this.
By now, he’s more of a… biologically advanced Aipom… assuming humans evolved from Pokémon in a different way than normal… thing.One of the many awkward yet amusing sentences. XD
“There is not. Just cloak yourself in shadow or something.”

“Cloak- I can’t do that!”

“You could a few years ago in Sinnoh…”

“Th- that never happened! You have no proof I ever did that! I erased it from the Archives and from the memories of the mortal masses! And I don’t trust your judgment, because I’m the only other person here! Though… it’s not a bad idea…”

“See? I was right. There IS a way to do it.”

“Be quiet, you. I need to think. Go frolic in the Reverse World or something.”And an amusing end to the scene.
But alas, he couldn’t, so he boy merely settled for staring at him.the, I believe.
Cut to Saturday morning, about eleven AM. Casey was now running as quickly as he possibly could in an attempt to get as far away from the highly-unpleasant-looking group of cops trailing behind him as he could.

All could be blamed upon Rotom.XD I liked the way you did this time-skip here. You do comedy well, I feel.
“No, not all Pokémon talk. Palkia and I are speaking in the Unown Dialect, which is very similar to your own language.I like this explanation, here - nice.
“Fate Knows Where You Live,” I said sagely. “You, of all people, should know that.”

“Yeah, well Fate isn’t exactly here right now, is it?” Casey snorted.

Palkia cleared his throat loudly.

“Oh.”Stuff like this in the scene was rather amusing. XD
Anyway, you happen to have a very lovely little Path. And the first thing to realize to follow this path is…” I paused, presumably for dramatic effect. “You don’t need this place anymore.”Only instance where the capitalisation of words/phrases (like in the previous quote!) within the scene seemed odd - Path and path struck me as slightly odd, is all - maybe it would be best to be consistant and stick to one for the word Path/path?



Overall I like this thus far, and have no complaints (rather praise) for the characters, and the plot is interesting thus far - certainly am looking forward to reading the next chapter, only I need sleep. >_< Comedy is a highlight as well thus far - again, you carry that factor well. I feel a bit iffy with the changes in POVs between scenes, but it was mostly in the aforementioned instance, and the change in chapter 1 to Giratina's scene.

Hopefully I'm more coherent with my next set which'll be in a couple of days I predict? >_<



EDIT - CHAPTER 3!Another entertaining chapter there - short but amusing with Casey's transformation there. (BTW I liked the added picture in the author's notes about it, heh). The group of legendaries are an interesting bunch to read about, and Zero intrigues me as well - I wonder about his hour of roaming... his indigiance about being called the guy with 'crazy white hair' was amusing as well. XD

I do wonder a bit on why they can't just teleport Casey out of danger there after they could change his appearance (although I suppose I'd have to complain to Palkia about that. ;P) However I wouldn't mind seeing an explanation for it int he story, if there isn't one in future chapters, that is.
Naturally, the first thing Casey did when he woke up was look downward – but my wings were in the way to block his view.I suppose one must have priorities, huh? *shot*
The muffled scream still rang loud and clear in my ears, but at least it was soft enough to keep all of the nearby residents of Calda City (these humans can be SO original…) asleep and ignorant of approximately a million illegal things happening in their beloved safe-haven.I'm unsure about 'safe-haven' there - maybe 'safe haven' would work (slightly) better there.
It was a multi-spiked masterpiece that I had convinced the Unown (otherwise known as the Gravity Gods and watchers of the Ancientpowers, the things which gave Legendaries their otherworldly skills) to lift – no pun intended – it from their standard rules of gravitational logic.At times the long sentences still confuse slightly, even if it is in Giratina's nature to go off in tangents. Maybe some slight re-wording wouldn't hurt though just to clarify things a bit more. (There was not much of this problem in this chapter though). Maybe, for instance, shifting 'no pun intended' into another sentence following this one (e.g. '...to lift it from their standar rules of gravitiational logic. ...No pun intended with 'lift' there, honest.') is a way to keep in the tangents, but clarify what is being said some more by Giratina. (As I really like Giratina as a character and hence the tangents as well. XD)
The eyes had changed color too – what was once a rather dreary blue color had turned stormy gray.stormy-gray, perhaps?
In any case, his hair was really odd. The eyes had changed color too – what was once a rather dreary blue color had turned stormy gray. His face had grown narrower (probably an after-effect of Celebi’s ‘artificial’ aging process), which made the funky hair all the more noticeable. His outfit was a purple one-piece rubbersuit similar to the one that hyperactive Kanto Champion… ah… Lance. Yes. His rubbersuit was similar to that of Lance, down even to the boots (which pushed up the legs of the suit, and were black with red stripes and soles). The only exception was that Casey’s was roughly the shade of a Sableye. He was also wearing blue gloves, which basically limited the amount of exposed skin to his face and part of his neck.Here in the middle, three out of four sentences (and one a one-word sentence) started with 'His' with the description of his new form there. It tends to make it feel more like a detailed list as a result (His ____. His ____. His _____.). I'd reword slightly and replace one of the 'The's with another word to avoid that. Minor though.
“Fate knows where you live, kid,” he said.I do wonder if the titles shall continue reappearing within the chapters, heh.

BTW The text size of chapter 3 was rather large compared to other ones - maybe adjusting it would be something to keep in mind presentation-wise, is all, even if it's pretty minor.


Chapter 4 - another interesting one, this. Introduced to the Holon region which sounds like an interesting place (or leastways thus-far the city). I like the mentions of other leagues and regions and so forth there - I enjoy seeing such stuff like this here. =) Rotom is continuing to be amusing in the background there, and it's interesting to see Casey get around without really knowing what he's meant to do, even with Giratina interject every so often. I wonder what starter Pokemon he'll end up with (assuming he gets one =P)?

I noticed that whenever a new character is introduced, you do description in the same way by getting it out almost as soon as possible in the next paragraoh or few, with a good deal of attention to clothes. It's not bad (and some of it is quite enjoyable to read), but it begins to get a bit repetitive after a while. Maybe some re-organising of it by spreading out the description of new characters - maybe shifting in some dialogue or actions in-between said description - would be something to consider if you wish to edit it, so it's comes off as slightly less blocked-out, and as mentioned less repetitive and predictable in structure.
It was then Casey found himself very fortunate to be in an airplane, where there were some body-heat generators at the least.This sentence struck me as a bit odd when I read it...seems a rare-occurance, but it just sounds off to me. Maybe consider rewording to something like 'As a result Casey found himself very fortunate to be in an airplane, surrounded by some body-heat generators.' ? Up to you on how you do it, if you do it.
It looked rather imposing against the blue sky, but was either one of two things: one, it didn’t have a purpose (but it looked far to complex and un-stylized for that) or two, it did have a purpose and wasn’t being used right now.Last the sky was mentioned it was of the sunrise set of colours instead of blue..although it's implied some time has past between the two, maybe you could spell it out a bit more that it was no longer dawn, or later in the morning? Not really necessary though, I feel, but it could be something to think about, I suppose. *shrugs* Maybe more importantly though - too over that 'to' there.
Caro pivoted on his heel and started strolling in the opposite direction. Now, normally this is a (mostly) normal thing for a person to do, but Casey couldn’t help notice that he actually turned on one heel and didn’t seem to lose his balance in the least.XD Sounds like quite the amusing feat. (Or is that feet?) I continue to like the bit sof comedy every now and then. =)
Casey was, by this point, slightly confused. Hadn’t Caro pointed him in this direction a few minutes ago? Feeling incredibly foolish, Casey tailed after his tour guide.



Eventually, they came to the city’s limits. Caro stopped and stared at a building in front of him, smiling proudly with his arms crossed. Casey (who had fallen behind as Caro continually picked up the pace until he was practically running) caught up to him, panting, and looked up at the building as well.For some reason there was this larger-than-normal gap in-between these two paragraphs - if not intentional, I'd shorten it to the normal size for presentation's sake.
It was a two-story building, wider than it was tall, with a forest green paint job.forest-green, methinks?
Rotom seemed interested, though, and halted his orbit to perch near Caro’s head about half way through his explanation.Pause created by the first comma there sounds a bit odd there - you could go without it, methinks. Halfway as one word as well.

That'll do for me today - again good work with this - the plot seems to be progressing nicely, and the description is nice (bar the little bit about describing people I mentioned before). Fvoruite part for me though are the (sometimes eccentric) characters though, heh. I look forward to reading more. =)

Giratina ♀
January 25th, 2010, 06:47 PM
{14} but who can name the face?
(whoever gets the reference gets a cookie; also, sorry about the short chapter and the long wait)

Six people (and a computer) sat around a table.

It was a rounded table, large and intricately carved out of wood. At the six areas of the table where the points of a pentagon would be was a chair, one person sitting in each chair. One of the people, a woman sitting on the bottom left spot, had an opened laptop computer next to her. She was currently in the process of pressing certain keys on the computer, occasionally speaking into it with short phrases like “Um…” and “Can you hear me?”

After a few minutes of this, there was a reply. “Yes, Anima, I can hear you perfectly fine. There are no communication errors whatsoever. Now can we please get this over with?”

“Wait!” said another woman, sitting to the left of Anima (who was now staring at the computer and blinking). “How do we know it’s you? Is someone tapping into our computer systems?”

An irritated sigh spilled from the computer speakers. “Mina, it is ME. In case you had forgotten, you have asked whether it was me speaking every time that we got together for one of these, and it has always been me! Must I spell it out for you?”

“Rodney—” protested Mina, pulling the headphones previously around her ears down to dangle around her neck. She flicked some auburn hair out of her already quite short-cut hairstyle, and leaned over to stare into the computer screen.

“Evidently, yes I do,” said Rodney. He did not sound happy. “I. Am. The. Gym. Leader. Of. Raxi. City. And yes, Anima, I know, don’t say it again. Shall I continue?”

“Yeah, thanks. We get the point,” grumbled another man, sitting on Anima’s other side. He adjusted the pale blue beanie hat on his head and scowled at the camera. “You’re Rodney. Good. Peachy. Now be quiet, can’t you? Like you said yourself, we’ve got business to attend to.”

There was a sharp intake of breath from Rodney’s side of the line, implying he was about to raise his voice, but he evidently thought better of it and released the air soon after. “Fine.”

“Thank you,” said Mina with a frown once everyone present had died down. “With no further interruptions, I’m quite sure we are ready to begin the meeting properly. Any objections?” Nobody objected. “Good. First order of business: Pokémon. Marianne, I have your missing Pokémon right here.” Mina pulled out a red-and-white Pokéball and handed it across the table to the young lady now beaming wildly.

Marianne snatched the Pokéball and cuddled it tightly, singing in a high pitched tone, “Cloysterrr~ Coysterrrr~ my baaaa-by~…” The two people on either side of her – a well-muscled man with a red shirt and a skinny white-haired guy who had an electric guitar sitting in his lap – tried to inch away from her as inconspicuously as possible.

“Buck. Garret.” Mina sent them a warning glare. The two men shared a quick wide-eyed glance and returned their chairs to the proper position, mumbling apologies under their breath.

“Thank you,” said Mina with false cheeriness. “Now then… we’re fortunate enough to have a few words from the Champion for us all to listen to. It was a typed-up letter directed specifically to us, and I expect that you’re all going to listen quietly while I read his letter out loud… and no, Anima, you can’t read it this time.”

There was a unanimous groan from the rest of the people at the table.

Mina ignored the whining and whipped out a piece of paper, folded into thirds. She pulled the paper apart so the text on it could be read, and began to read the Champion’s letter to his subjects.

“Members of the Holon gym circuit—Hello! I haven’t contacted you in quite a while, and I apologize for that, but some difficulties on my side of the fence have prevented me from composing letters in time for those monthly meetings I know you’re all so fond of.” There was more general scowling; not many of them truly enjoyed seeing (or hearing) each other on a constant basis. “However, I have found time in my busy schedule – which is currently overflowing with projects to make our Region better for everyone – to compose a letter in time for your meeting…”

“He managed to contain his ego-stroking to only a few sentences,” said Rodney flatly. “Quite an accomplishment.”

Mina scowled at the laptop and continued to read.

-

Casey sidestepped a ditch in the ground.

The foursome was right now walking along a well-beaten path, surrounded entirely by particularly large trees. Sheridan, seeing an opportunity to go into tour guide mode, happily pointed out, “This forest has been here for ages, and it’s been specially protected by the Holon government. It was a stretch just to get established paths out here, if I recall correctly.”

“Right,” said Grant absently, not bothering to pull his head down from the clouds before responding. He was still carrying his pipe and The Briefcase.

A silence descended over the group, having come to a stopping point in their admittedly not-quite-riveting discussion. For a while, the only sound was shoes crunching against stray twigs and the occasional cough or yawn. Sheridan stopped to look around for a moment, and the entire procession crashed to a halt as the others turned back to look at her quizzically. After a few seconds of remaining frozen in that pose, Sheridan shook her head and continued to walk.

However, she turned around at exactly the wrong time.

“Sorry,” she said, completely unaware that her entire group was being watched, “I thought I heard a little sound.”

“Probably just a wild Skitty,” replied Grant with a shrug.

“Though why anything would be hanging around here is beyond me…” said Casey with a hint of weariness in his voice. “We’ve been walking all day, and if we don’t find a way out of here before nightfall we’re probably going to freeze to death or something.”

“Don’t forget, you signed up for this!” called Caro.

The boy scowled and continued walking.

Some ways behind them, trailing along after the group in the underbrush, was a… well, a something. It was perhaps a human something, or maybe a human-shaped Pokémon something, but it was hard to tell considering almost all of the body was covered by fabric in one way or another. Every so often, someone would stop and look around, and their reasoning was always the same – they could have sworn they had heard a little voice, or a crunching noise that didn’t come from the others, or had just gotten the feeling that something else was there. This would cause a chain reaction, urging the others to stop and look around too. After they had convinced themselves that nobody was hiding in the dark, the procession would continue.

This pattern repeated itself until about noon.

Sheridan had just finished concluding that it was probably a curious Pokémon looking to find out what people were doing in their forest. By now, nobody looked convinced, and all residents of the Groupie Galaxy were looking around nervously for anything that was too out-of-place in the light-sucking woods.

And then, as they turned a corner, they were staring into the mask of a little girl.

This girl was standing in the middle of the trail, standing no higher than four and a half feet. She was wearing a very heavy pink cape that went down to her waist, and under that was a purple shirt and pants. On her hands were pink gloves, and she wore leather boots. This was all pretty distracting in its own right, but without a doubt the creepiest thing about her was the face. Framed by long red hair was a big, pale pink mask with lots of spikes on the side and three tiny black dots – two where her eyes would be, and one near her nose. Her mouth was pulled up into a tight pout.

The girl and the adventurers stared at each other in silence.

“Um,” said Casey, “excuse us…”

“Yeah, we were just getting through the forest…” mumbled Caro, who – despite his immense experience with decidedly scary people – was quite unnerved by this mute little thing. “Sorry ‘bout that. If we were, you know, intruding or anything.”

“Do you know if we will be out of here soon? Where the forest ends and the road begins and that sort of stuff?” asked Grant.

Sheridan blinked.

The girl stared back at them, not moving and remaining mute. She didn’t even flinch when Rotom zoomed up directly into her face and chirped, “Hi! Who’re you?”

“What’s your name?” asked Sheridan gently, walking towards her and swatting away Rotom in the same motion. “Are you lost?”

The girl’s mask stared. She didn’t move.

Sheridan looked at her for a few minutes, then reached out again. “Poor kid. You’re lost, aren’t you? Here, let me take off that mask for you. You probably can’t see anything with it on, right?” She took a step forward and reached for the mask.

The girl raised her gloved hands and held the mask to her face.

“Or not,” said Sheridan, straightening up again. “Okay, then.”

“Give it up, Sheridan,” called Caro from behind. “She’s not gonna talk. Let’s go.”

Sheridan turned around and frowned at him before returning her gaze to the girl. “You’re sure you’re going to be okay out here by yourself?”

No response.

“Um…” she mumbled, sidestepping a few paces and continuing to walk. “Okay then. Bye.”

The others followed suit. Grant, though, stopped as he passed the girl and looked down at her. “What’s your name?”

The girl twisted her head to stare up at him, but her face didn’t change. Grant nodded as if this was an acceptable answer and looked to the road again; he broke into a run once he had realized the others had disappeared from sight.

She turned her entire body around and watched him scramble off in silence, until she was quite sure he had left. And then she said, in a meek little voice that sounded like the chirping of a young Skitty:

“Amarachi.”

She stood there for a few moments, thought, and then ran after them.

Not too far behind where Amarachi had been standing there were three other creatures, these ones with distinctly more malevolent ideas in mind for the Groupie Galaxy. One was a bulky man in a blue coat, another a lithe woman of about thirty, and the third was a Delcatty. They had been lurking in the shadows and watching the adventurers, but once the new kid came into the picture…

“She looks familiar,” said Aerith.

“I do think I’ve seen her around before,” replied Kidd.

Billy shrugged.

“Do we investigate it?” wondered Kidd.

“We do,” said Aerith with a sneaky little grin.

And the three got up from their hiding place of scrunched behind a bush and, after a brief pause to dust themselves off (no self-respecting member of Team BDV would be caught in such a scruffy outfit) they ran ahead to find the kid.

She was gone.

“Well, whatever,” said Aerith almost immediately, shrugging off the loss of the creepy girl with a toss of the head. “We weren’t looking for her anyway. We’re just out here to get back The Briefcase and pummel the turncoat to a pulp, right? So they’re both ahead on the trail. If anything, she’ll be protecting Mook and The Briefcase, and we can’t have that.”

The two humans nodded their agreement and walked forward. Kidd did not see it appropriate to mention that she really did think the girl was familiar somehow.

Amarachi, who was sitting in a tree watching them, waved her arm and hopped away in between the trees. Three hours later, Billy, Kidd, and Aerith would wake up collapsed in the middle of the forest being sniffed by a bunch of Mightyena currently in the process of wondering whether they were dead food already or if they ought to be attacked again before being eaten.

ds+ character profile #7 (http://i47.tinypic.com/2vtciyx.png)

Giratina ♀
February 1st, 2010, 01:23 PM
Aaaaand once again I fail to notice you posted. XD Sorry!


My main qualm with the fic thus far is that the many changes of POV with the scene changes is somewhat unsettling for me - it seems every time there's a scene change the style changes once again (mostly with this instance in chapter 2):Good point there. Giratina's tense-switching tendencies (not all authors are perfect, heh heh) do seem to mess with the flow of things, don't they?

and the such amuses and fits - I suppose it both seems a bit awkward due to it running on tangents, and fits because it feels like you're going for this anyway and it's funny to boot. =PWell, at least it's not completely awkward, which suggests I'm going on tangents at least somewhat well. |D However, I can't agree with that last bit: I don't actually 'go' for writing that way - it's just the way I write!

I do wonder a bit on why they can't just teleport Casey out of danger there after they could change his appearance (although I suppose I'd have to complain to Palkia about that. ;P) However I wouldn't mind seeing an explanation for it int he story, if there isn't one in future chapters, that is.Actually, the reason Casey was walking it out on his own was because I had a little problem with transportation scenes in Metal Coat. Remember? Going everywhere with the help of a Pokémon (flying on its back, being teleported, whatever) is certainly an accurate portrayal of the series, but it sure is boring. And besides, I needed to get that scene in there - otherwise, Sheridan would never have seen him, and they would never have noticed each other in Rhoter, and so on and so forth.

Random thought - with my exams it's usually the case that even with reading/prep time cell phones are to be put away before even entering the room...heh.Rules are made to be broken.

I do wonder if the titles shall continue reappearing within the chapters, heh. Since a lot of the titles are song lyrics, unless there's a spontaneous karaoke night I doubt that I'll specifically try to put them in again. Unless, of course, it's said by a 'comedic effect' fourth-wall-attacking character like the more laidback Legendaries.

(bar the little bit about describing people I mentioned before)So true. I do have a mysterious tendency to screw up on whatever attempts at description I make. There's no other way I know how to do it, unfortunately! However, just so this post has a purpose...

{15} i've got something to confess
yeah, it's in italics now. why not?

“Um,” said Casey, “hi.”

The sun had long since fallen below the horizon, and the time read about nine o’clock. Mr. Blair was taking a leisurely nighttime stroll around the outdoor botanical garden attached to the back of the Pokémon Center (he suspected it was there to make up for the abundance of metal everywhere else) when the kid from earlier showed up once again in his path, sitting in the middle of the road staring up at him. This time, though, she actually made an attempt to talk.

“Hello,” said the masked girl.

Casey, who due to the late hour and his own failure to think, couldn’t come up with a way to ease into his intended subject casually. “So why are you stalking me?”

“I’m not stalking you,” she replied, unmoving.

“Uh, yeah, you sort of are. I mean, wherever I went you were always somewhere near me and watching, right? I felt you looking at me all day. That’s stalking to me.”

Though Casey couldn’t see it, she raised her eyebrows. “I’m not stalking you,” said the girl. “I don’t even know your name.”

“Casey Blair,” he replied. “Now you do. So who’re you, then?”

“Who was your friend in the blue coat?” asked Amarachi innocently.

“Grant. Now what’s your name?”

“Does he work for a bunch of Pokémon?”

“What the… no! What gave you that idea?”

“He smelled like Pokémon. Lots of them.”

Casey sighed. This girl clearly wasn’t all there in the head. “Listen. He probably smells like Pokémon, but so do I and everyone else. We had just got out of a place infested with Pokémon, okay? I don’t know what you’re here for, so if you could just give me your name or get out of here, either one of those would be just fine with me.”

“I won’t leave,” said Amarachi.

“Well, then…” Casey’s patience was being tested for the fiftieth time since The Giratina Incident. “If you’re not going to leave, then what’s your name? At least tell me that.”

“If I told you what I am then I would be lying because I’m not that,” she replied.

Casey opened his mouth to reply, and then noticed the problems with the question ‘So what ARE you, then?’ according to his masked companion. “That makes no sense! If you’re something, then you’re that thing… but I’m not asking what you are. I mean, you’re human. Anyone can see that. I’m asking who you are. Who are you?”

Amarachi stared.

“Name?” he repeated impatiently.

Amarachi stared.

“What do you go by?” The boy was sufficiently steamed by now.

Amarachi stared.

Casey was about to begin shouting when he heard a sigh emanating from somewhere in the general area. He turned his attention (and rage) on the owner of that sigh.

“Giratina, what do you want?” he snapped into the Megaphone Rock.

“Whoa, whoa, watch it there,” came the reply from the Goddess of Never-Turn-Back. “Sorry I called at a bad time… but I just needed to tell you that resistance is futile.”

“What do you mean?” he snapped. “Are you playing alien now?!?”

“No,” the voice from the Megaphone Rock replied icily. “I’m just saying that she’s not easy to crack. Unless you just want to make your temper worse, back away from the girl and run back to your room, okay?

“Do you know her? Is she another one of your… Legendary buddies?”

“Hmm…” Giratina mused. “Um, no, I don’t think she’s considered a Legendary. Sorry, kiddo. But I do know what she’s like and how she acts – I’m the Goddess of Never-Turn-Back, remember, I see everything – and you’re not going to make her tell you anything.”

“So how do I make her tell me her name?” demanded Casey.

“You know, that’s a good question,” she mused. “I’ll need to get back to you on that.” There was a short noise that sounded like static, and then the connection fizzled out. Casey was left to yell briefly at the Megaphone Rock before returning the conversation to the little girl, who was still sitting there. The mask was staring at him and she had a confused frown on her face. It took a moment for him to realize what that meant.

“Why are you talking to your necklace?” asked the girl.

“Bandanna,” Casey said, gritting his teeth. “And I was talking to someone.”

“How? Magic?”

“I don’t know. Probably is some sort of stupid magic that woman cooks up.” Casey snorted, shaking his head. “I’ll never understand her. But seriously… why won’t you tell me your name? You only need to give me a first name, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

Amarachi shook her head. “No,” she replied.

“No what?”

“I’m not worried about you hurting me by knowing my name. I can stop you if you do.”

“So will you tell me your name now?” asked Casey, who had passed the ‘anger’ stage and was now sinking into weariness from this bantering with a six-year-old. “I swear – I just want to know who you are. Then I’ll leave you alone and you can leave me alone and this will never come up again, okay?”

“But you don’t need to know who I am,” she said.

“Well, no, I don’t…” muttered the teenager, looking to the right at a swarm of Oddish rampaging around in the night. “But I do want to know who you are.”

“Why?”

“Because your parents must be worried sick. If you spent all day stalking me, then…”

“My parents are fine,” she huffed. “They can see me right now. They’re right over there.” And she pointed upwards to the clear sky. Casey’s eyes followed her, and his mouth opened slightly.

“You don’t mean…” he spluttered.

“No, not like that.” She crossed her arms. “Not like that. They’re okay. But they’re watching me from up there, and they know I can take care of myself.”

There was a silence. And then…

“How old are you, kid?”

She looked up at him as her frown and raised eyebrows (visible above the mask) suggested the girl was startled. “Huh?”

“If you won’t tell me your name, I just want to know how old you are. Surely you can tell me that.”

“You wouldn’t believe me.” She crossed her arms.

“I’ve probably heard stranger than whatever you’re going to tell me…” he sighed.

“Oh really? Like what?”

Casey frowned thoughtfully and looked the little girl up and down. He was pondering something with the potential to be extremely dangerous or embarrassing. Casey did not particularly enjoy being embarrassed or in danger, and it was for this reason he employed a very elaborate scheme to see if the girl was worthy of being in on it. “Well…” he sighed. “Hey. Are you good with secrets? Keeping them?”

“Oh yeah,” she replied with a grin.

“You mean it?”

“Yep!”

Casey glanced downward at the Megaphone Rock and coughed into it softly. A grunt of acceptance echoed back out to him. Having obtained permission from the only person (or, indeed, Pokémon) that would have a true answer, he walked a few paces forward and plopped down on a bench. “Did you know I’m a Trainer? Come on, sit down.”

She plodded over next to him and sat down on the bench, making sure to get her cape out from under her before she did so. “You were traveling with people and Pokémon, so I thought you were.”

“Good. You’re pretty observant. But…” He gave a short burst of laughter. “Wow. Truth be told, you’re the first person I’m telling this stuff to, and you’re a young girl who I barely even know. Hard to imagine, especially for me…”

“How come?” asked Amarachi, sitting cross-legged on the bench and letting her mask stare up at Casey with her mouth twisted into a rather uncomfortable-looking upside-down V. “Tell me, okay? I have time!”

Casey glanced upward at the moon. It was almost directly overhead. “Must be about… eleven PM right now,” he sighed. “Okay, fine. So I was born in a region called Calda – do you know where that is? It’s an island way off on the other side of the world, and some time ago the regional government had a big idea. Now, keep in mind that I don’t understand a lot about this since I never really learned much about it, so I can’t answer your questions if you have any. Since it’s so isolated from other landmasses, and there haven’t been many living cargo-toting ships going to and from it anyway, they figured that they really ought to get all of the Pokémon off of the island, in order to make it more appealing to those who weren’t exactly fond of Pokémon.”

Amarachi’s mouth hung open. “What? How could they… who doesn’t like Pokémon?”

Casey sighed heavily. “Well…” He looked only mildly contemplative on the outside, but the various parts of his brain were in an epic battle to decide whether he ought to say the word ‘me’ or not. Finally, they came to a decision, and he spoke. “I was born and raised there, so for a big part of my life I didn’t… well, it’s not like I didn’t dislike them… but…”

The kid’s mouth opened.

“Wait… hey! Note my use of the past tense! Opinion changed!”

He was too late. The girl hopped off the bench, stuck her tongue out at him, and briskly walked away.

Casey sighed melodramatically and stood up, walking back towards the glinting lights of the Pokémon Center. Now, this Pokémon Center’s apparent goal was to be in as direct contrast as possible as the rest of Fort Rhion; what parts of it weren’t coated in potted plants or some sort of ivy, there was a very homely feel about it, with soft lighting and the perpetual scent of Rotan onion soup lingering around the entire place. However, there was nobody present to enjoy this true spectacle of nature and humanity combined, seeing as the time read about 4:30 AM.

Except, of course, for Casey, who did everything in his power to get through there and into the elevator at the far end of the room as quickly as possible.

He heard a few distinctly musical sounds echoing from one of the other rooms for rent. This confused him considerably; up until now, Casey had honestly thought that he was probably the only one in the city who wakes up any earlier than seven on Saturday. Pondering this, he reached the right door and turned the doorknob very slowly.

As he was soon to find out, everyone who came within a one-mile radius of Casey Blair automatically had their mood turned sour.

It was now about five in the morning, and Casey had tried to sneak into the Pokémon Center room as quietly as possible. Not quietly enough, however, because once he had gone in the tired boy was met with three definitely awake people. None of them looked all too happy, and all of their faces were ‘graced’ with a bemused glare in his direction. Grant was sitting in an armchair, legs crossed and arms playing with his metal pipe. Caro was leaning on the back of said armchair, arms pressing down upon the chair almost directly above Grant’s head. Sheridan was staring with her hands on her hips.

“Care to explain where you’ve been?” she asked.

“I was on a walk,” yawned Casey. “Didn’t wanna wake you… good night.” And he made a beeline for the door to his bedroom.

Caro took a few steps to the left and blocked the entrance to his companion’s solace. “What took you so long, then? Did you go start playing with an Oddish or something?”

“I’ll tell you in the morning,” he grumbled, slipping past Caro and into the doorway. The door shut and locked (loudly) behind him, which created a silence amongst the rest of the group. There was a soft scratching noise coming from outside outside, as if some Pokémon were having a midnight scuffle. Sheridan’s eyes flicked toward the window, but she found nothing unusual.

However, what she found and what actually happened were two very different things.

Because, at that moment, there was a little girl running frantically through the streets of Fort Rhion, dodging the early risers now on their way to… somewhere else. All early risers’ eyes turned on her as she passed, due in no small part to the undeniable strangeness about her. They would all admit that yes, sometimes their morning commutes were eventful, but never again would they see a little girl in a heavy pink cloak and carrying a briefcase run down the street.

Later, there would be a very chaotic late morning at Pokémon Center room 4-28. That morning would involve plentiful amounts of yelling, anger, pointing fingers, begging, and the occasional threat of being hit over the head with a heavy metal pipe. Thus accomplished, everyone would sit down at a cute little café in the town square and discuss twice-stolen goods and Gym Badges over coffee and pastries.

“So,” said Caro through a mouthful of cookie, “what brilliant plan have you got for this Gym?”

“I don’t know,” admitted Casey, shrugging and poking inattentively at a piece of pound cake. “I can’t make any strategy for battling a person I know nothing about, you know.”

“Well then find out more about the Gym Leader and make a plan for him,” laughed Sheridan, putting down her coffee. “I think back when I took this challenge the Gym Leader was a young man – a really young man, I mean, like twelve years old – named Stathis. He trained Electric-types, and I’m guessing he came from Slateport or something.”

“Slateport?” asked Caro, Casey, and Grant in unison.

“How do you figure that?” tagged on the latter.

“Well, the Pokémon pretty much didn’t listen to his commands, and the only other place where they do that in a respected battling ring is the Battle Tent in Slateport City.”

“Didn’t listen to his commands?” asked Casey doubtfully. “How on Earth did he get to be a Gym Leader with disgraceful Pokémon?”

“Oh, they’re not disgraceful,” said Sheridan with a smug little grin. “As a matter of fact, they seemed to like him very much.” She was hiding something, and made no effort to hide that fact.

“Well, if they don’t listen to him or whatever it makes it easier for you to win, right, Case?” said Caro, standing up dramatically and swallowing the last of his cookie. “Let’s get moving! Daylight’s burning, right?”

“Have you ever seen him get that excited before?” asked Grant in an undertone. “Or call you ‘Case’?”

Casey shook his head.

bobandbill
February 8th, 2010, 07:59 AM
The next two chapters before I disappear on a short trip over the edge of the world!Well, at least it's not completely awkward, which suggests I'm going on tangents at least somewhat well. |D However, I can't agree with that last bit: I don't actually 'go' for writing that way - it's just the way I write! Far enough. XD I will note that with the next two chapters I read today did not have this awkwardness problem (but a lack of Giratina so that may explain part of it).
Actually, the reason Casey was walking it out on his own was because I had a little problem with transportation scenes in Metal Coat. Remember? Going everywhere with the help of a Pokémon (flying on its back, being teleported, whatever) is certainly an accurate portrayal of the series, but it sure is boring. And besides, I needed to get that scene in there - otherwise, Sheridan would never have seen him, and they would never have noticed each other in Rhoter, and so on and so forth. Hmm, maybe some more stating of that fact in the story subtly would be something to consider then, to clear it up.
So true. I do have a mysterious tendency to screw up on whatever attempts at description I make. There's no other way I know how to do it, unfortunately! However, just so this post has a purpose...Hmm. Well, consider trying to spread out details like the ones you tend to give rather than give an immediate paragraph detailing it (which as I said is a decent way to do it anyway, but less so if it's the only way you choose to do it in). Such as this part from the next chapter:
She was a woman with black hair (which almost looked navy blue in the light), whose only apparent uniform consisted of a hanging white lab coat that was buttoned in the bottom half, but loose on the top. It was a strange look, and combined with the woman’s apparent fondness for deep V-neck shirts, it wasn’t surprising that some males felt uncomfortable (or quite the opposite) around her. However, Delilah makes up for this strange appearance with her straightforward attitude.(btw makes is out of place there given the rest of it - was, felt, etc - made fits better IMO). A good bunch of this could be spread between stuff like actions of her doing something or the such so it's not just description, but description with something happening at the same time. As a quick + rough example, she has black hair tha looks nearly navy blue in the light - you could introduce his fact by having her run her hand through her black hair which...(etc). Rather than telling us that she had a straightforward attitude as well you could have someone mention it in dialogue ("She's rather straightforward, isn't she?" remarked Mr X.) or shoe it to us, which you already do with a good characterisation of her in the chapter anyway. That way you can just remove parts of the-paragraph-of-description and weave it more into the story.
‘Even at the first question it’s difficult for me,’ he thought.I feel it might sound better as 'Even the first question is difficult for me'.
Caro didn’t notice the movement at first, and was in deep conversation with and what seemed to be his Raichu.'and' doesn't seem to be necessary there.
He meant to ask Caro more about the Holon League… whatever he was supposed to be doing, but then remembered that all of his information had been obtained by Giratina.Might sound better if you replace the ellipse with 'and'? (...about the Holon League and whatever he was...)
“Well, see, it’s a certain song, and the JAWS are manufactured by a company whose logo is a Sharpedo…”

Oh, the JAWS. Man, I got a kick out of that when I made it up a couple years ago... still do, actually. I also got a kick out of it. XD Humour like this really 'makes the fic' I feel - it's good fun. XD
Casey grimaced. Who knew that merely walking through a forest path could irritate Pokémon to such an extent? He certainly didn’t. It hadn’t happened when he was walking through some of the other foliage-lined paths to and from Holon. However, as soon as he and Caro had stepped onto the path (Casey fiddling with a machine in his hands) a couple of black Pokémon felt the need to greet them in a rather loud and unpleasant manner.And takes on the Pokmon game mechanics and all do amuse as well (along with the turn-based jab later on XD).
It howled and cawed until it couldn’t remain airborne any longer, and it fell through the ground.

Yes, through the ground.O_o
But after catching a glance from Caro (which somehow managed to convey the messages ‘Don’t you dare go in there, you’ll get yourself really hurt’ and ‘Don’t wimp out now’ at the same time) he kept his feet firmly where they stood and watched with relief Rotom springing up again.It reads a bit awkwardly, the last part I feel (maybe with suddenly ending with the word 'springing' as opposed to managed and kept and stood before it?)... unless you were to move 'with relief' to the end of the sentence -then it sounds right magically to me. XD
“A Pokéball,” he said matter-of-factly. “P-O-K-accent-E-Ball.Points for quoting the rival in Platinum. =D

These two chapters amused and entertained again and as I mentioend had less of the tangents and s a reult was easier for me to follow throughout with the minor details - nothing confused me here. The becomeing--legal-trainer part was al interesting to read, and I like the scene overall set up in the lab, and the jobs at the games are win. I shall return...later!

Giratina ♀
February 8th, 2010, 05:03 PM
Might sound better if you replace the ellipse with 'and'? (...about the Holon League and whatever he was...)

The term he was looking for was 'Holon League Challenge', and since he couldn't quite remember the last word it came out as 'Holon League... Whatever'.

Points for quoting the rival in Platinum. =D

Doubly so since in personality, Rival-Boy was one of the models for Caro. =D

{16} a little birdhouse in your soul


“You know,” said Casey bitterly, “finding this place would be a lot easier of we knew where it was.”

“I told you,” replied Sheridan. “The building has been vacated since I last entered – the Gym must be somewhere else in the city now. I can’t help you on that count. We’ll have to ask someone in the street where it went.” She looked around, apparently searching for someone who looked enough like a Trainer or an in-the-know native to point them in the appropriate direction.

Instead of finding a useful source of information, though, her eyes lit up almost immediately and she began to walk. The other three, still confused about just what she was going towards, looked around until they found Sheridan’s assumed destination. It didn’t look good for their goal of dealing with Stathis by the end of the day.

“That is not the Gym,” said Grant.

“No, doesn’t look like it…” Casey remarked in utter confusion, listening to the unmistakable squealing of a woman who has just found something absolutely wonderful at a bargain price.

“Did she catch sight of some sort of Shiny?” wondered Caro. “Hey, Sheridan, what’re you doing?” Not bothering to discuss Sheridan’s (or his own) odd behavior with the others, Caro set off at a brisk walk, slipping past members of the current throng in order to find out what Sheridan was actually squealing about. Once he had gotten within arm’s reach of her he tapped her on the shoulder softly. This was considerably easier than it had been; Sheridan had stopped walking and had joined an especially large crowd around some sort of caged Pokémon.

Casey and Grant watched in awe as Sheridan swiveled around and immediately began gushing about something. They couldn’t hear what she was saying over the muttering of the rest of the crowd, but Caro had put his hands on his hips and was now shaking his head in disbelief.

Sheridan then proceeded to… oh dear.

“I think she’s… pleading.” Grant turned to Casey worriedly.

“This won’t end well, will it?”

“Probably not.”

The two descended into conversation.

Meanwhile, amidst the mass of people and after a lengthy discussion of the group’s funding, Sheridan cuddled an Ultra Ball affectionately and practically pranced over to the other side of the corridor of Pokémon stands. Caro followed behind, not wanting to say anything for fear of his head being bitten off. After all business there had been taken care of, Sheridan actually did prance back over to the other two. Caro remained in his spot of walking behind Sheridan, separated a few feet so as not to give off the impression that he actually knew this crazy woman.

“Casey!” she chirped as soon as he was in earshot. “I’ve got some thiiiiings~!”

“Yeah,” he replied. “I can… I can see that, Sheridan. What have you got?”

“Oh, just a few things.” Sheridan was beaming from ear to ear. “Only two. One for you, and one I’ll show you all later!” She held out two Pokéballs, an Ultra Ball and a Great Ball, and handed the latter to Casey. “Consider it a… late expression of gratitude for inviting me on your quest, okay?”

“Um, sure.” All of the other members of the Groupie Galaxy were feeling nervous and embarrassed to varying degrees, ranging from Rotom’s curiosity to find out what’s wrong with Sheridan to the flush of red now spreading across Casey’s face. “So… what’s in it?”

“Well, considering it’s in a Pokéball, I think it might be a Pokémon. Why don’t you just release the thing and find out?” Sheridan placed the Ultra Ball in her jacket pocket and smiled.

“Release it!” said Caro enthusiastically. “Yeah! When someone gives you a Pokémon, you ought to use it! …Usually,” he added on, recalling the Taillow and Sentret that Casey had received at the beginning of his adventure.

“We should go somewhere less crowded,” said Casey. “The Pokémon might freak out if there are too many people around, right?”

“That’s true too,” said Caro. “Should we go to some sort of park? It probably won’t be so busy again for a few hours. Come on!” And without another word he swiveled on his heel (once again, Casey noticed, with perfect balance) and began walking back towards the red-roofed building. It was now Caro’s turn to have someone trail around in his wake.

Grant and Casey shared a confused glance before Sheridan called for them to hurry up.

Casey shrugged at the Great Ball and set off at a run with the last remaining members of the Groupie Galaxy – Rotom and Grant – in hot pursuit. They both weaved through the complaining crowd, squirming into the smallest holes they could find in order to catch up to Sheridan and Caro. And although the concept wasn’t on Casey’s mind at the time, what with the whole plowing through a crowd of people thing, there was a small part of him that did want to know what this new Pokémon was going to be. And though he didn’t linger upon (or indeed consider) the matter, he honestly wanted to see a Pokémon.

For the first time in Casey’s life, he wanted to see a Pokémon. And had Casey somehow been reading this and have realized that he honestly did want to see a Pokémon, he would have shrugged it off, once again for the first time.

There was definitely a shifting of position in Casey Blair’s brain. Watching him through the magical computer screen on the Dea Procol Machina, I realized this, and a satisfied grin spread across my face. Goodness knows why he was sent on this prophetic quest of peril and not, say, some aspiring young man in Kanto, but there was no doubt in the world that it was doing the boy some good.

And when a good queen’s subjects are happy, she’s happy, too.



Whoever came up with the concept of Trainer-and-Pokémon bonding clearly had never met the newest addition to Casey’s team.

It had been agreed upon soon after the small brown Pokémon was released into the open that it had the cutest little scowl ever, but unfortunately that was all Larvitar had going for it. Oh, sure, at first he looked acceptable (if a little rowdy) – no taller than two feet, with about a fourth of that height courtesy of the large spike that stuck up from his head, the new arrival was a small green dinosaur with a tail like a pinecone and two hollow holes on either side of its torso. There was a red diamond-shaped pattern on his stomach, in between the holes (which were now beginning to trickle sand out onto the ground).

“Imported directly from Sinnoh,” said Sheridan with obvious pride in her voice.

“Hmm,” said Casey, fishing out his JAWS from the pack slung over his shoulder. “Let’s see what you do.”

“Larvitar, the Rock Skin Pokémon,” said the JAWS flatly, while Casey blinked. He hadn’t realized that the thing actually talked. “They feed on soil, and must eat their way out of nests underground. After eating, they usually fall asleep.” Information about this particular Larvitar flashed on the JAWS’ screen.

Larvitar coughed and stared up at Casey with small, beady eyes. Before the boy could react, Rotom had zoomed out of Sheridan’s arms and right up into Larvitar’s face, grinning. His mouth was open, ready to be filled with hyperactive greetings.

Instead, it was filled with Larvitar’s fist.

“Mmph!” yelled Rotom, backing away at once and cowering against his owner’s chest. In the same moment Larvitar scowled at his hand, which was now covered with glowing blue plasma, and wiped it off on the grass. Casey closed his arms around the small Ghost-type and fixed a disapproving stare at Larvitar.

“That,” he said firmly, “was uncalled for.”

Larvitar rolled his eyes.

Casey’s glowering slid to Sheridan, whose pleased expression had quickly deteriorated to one of heavy consideration.

Larvitar crossed his stubby arms, now completely free of Rotom’s glowing gunk, and began to speak. “Lar. Larvitar, tar, lar-vi-lar-tarrrrr. Lar, lar, lar-vi-tar!” The small Pokémon continued to ramble – his body movements made it quite apparent that he was trying to lay out ground rules for how he was to be treated and exactly what sort of pain was going to ensue of they weren’t followed.

Caro’s expression got steadily more irritated as Larvitar continued.

Larvitar didn’t seem to notice, but instead went right ahead with his demands until Caro silently excused himself from the group to slam his head against a tree. Brushing the debris out of his hair as he returned, Caro said flatly, “Casey, do you intend to keep this Pokémon safe and comfortable at all times?”

“Yeah.”

“And do you intend to feed it twice a day?”

“Don’t Pokémon not need feeding while they’re in their Pokéballs?”

“Do you also intend to keep Larvitar out of his Pokéball so that he can truly see the rest of the world in full, living color? And to make sure that whenever he is too tired to walk, he will be carried? And see to it that he will not be used more than your other Pokémon just because he’s already out? And ensure that he will be remembered at all times, and never, ever, EVER deposited into the PC?”

There was an extremely uncomfortable silence that ensued.

Caro’s arms were crossed, and Casey realized with some concern that this was the most bemused facial expression that he had ever seen his friend and semi-mentor pull. “You might want to talk it over with him on that.” Caro ignored Larvitar’s irritated protests.

The distinct lack of noise didn’t just surround the Groupie Galaxy – it seemed like the entire park had stopped making noise, people and Pokémon alike. (Well, they were still making noise, but everyone’s brains were too busy trying to analyze what had just gone down to notice.) And then Caro said, “Just thought you’d need to know if you wanted to keep him. And since Larvitar here doesn’t seem to realize that you’ve got no stinking idea what he’s trying to say, I took it upon myself to translate.”

Larvitar looked up at him with a shocked and angry expression. “Lar-lar?!?”

“How did I do that?” he replied, looking downwards. “Oh, you know. I’ve done it all my life, the talking to Pokémon thing. Remember when I said that growing up I was around Pokémon literally all the time?” He looked back up at Casey. “I meant it.”

Grant’s head was the first one to crack under the pressure. “Wait. Wait… so you can talk to them?”

“Of course I can talk to them,” Caro replied with a shrug. “And since nobody else could and I didn’t think Casey was going to oblige to Larvitar’s commands without him knowing what he was doing, I was just trying to save us from any further pain – physical pain, I might add, Larvitar went into detail on that – down the road.”

“You, sir,” said Sheridan, “have some explaining to do.”

“Not now,” replied Caro. “Right now we need to get this Larvitar situated with our ground rules, am I right?”

“No,” said Casey. “You’ve gotta explain first.”

“What’s more important – making sure your Pokémon doesn’t beat you up or playing Let’s Learn About Caro?” he asked. “I’ll get to that part later on, I promise. But right now we need to get some training done, and the only place to do that is in the plentiful amount of forest right over there.” Caro pointed to a large wooden arch, under which seemed to be a path into the forest. “There’s about a million entrances and exits to Holon Forest, and the different areas are blocked off. Good place to spend some time training if you ask me.”

“So what about Stathis?” asked Sheridan.

“He’s got a Rotom, a Poliwag, and a foul-mouthed Honchkrow,” said Caro flatly. “The Gym will be crawling with Electric-types, won’t it? He’ll get squashed.”

“You have a point…” muttered Grant. “…but why are you being so testy about it?”

Caro pointed to Larvitar, who seemed to have recently found a deep hatred for the boy and was now snarling ferociously at him.

“Oh,” said Grant. “I see.”

Larvitar objected. Loudly.

“You were the one who started pushing things on us!” Caro protested back.

“Larvi-vi-tar! Tarlarlar!”

“Wh—what do you mean, I started it by buying you? I didn’t do it!”

“Lar lar,” said Larvitar firmly, crossing is stubby arms.

“What did you say?” Caro hissed back.

Indeed, Larvitar’s attitude and mere presence did seem to make Caro feel a lot worse. Casey wisely decided to simply recall the little thing before a scuffle broke out and somebody lost an eye.

“Your point has been made,” he said to Caro, returning Larvitar’s Pokéball to his backpack. “But you’re gonna have to deal with him later once we get into the forest and wild Pokémon start popping up. Let’s go.” Sheridan, upon recognizing the highly unpleasant edge to his voice, nodded silently and followed. Caro snorted in contempt and started walking, until Grant was left standing alone with The Pipe slung over his shoulder.

“What’s with you all today?” he wondered out loud.



The Pokémon count, contrary to the Groupie Galaxy’s popular belief, had been remarkably low. Sure, there had been plenty of Ratattas and Weedles squirming around (and even the odd Slakoth), but after they passed a certain point all of the Pokémon activity just… stopped. The wildlife all suddenly ceased to exist. Everything went silent. This unsettled the group immensely…

“Where did the Pokémon go?” wondered Sheridan, looking around at the suspicious lack of fauna.

“Beats me,” replied Caro with his hands in his pockets. “But if it keeps that thing in its Pokéball they can stay where they are.”

Casey rolled his eyes. “Can’t you just get along?”

“No.” Caro looked away. “But… the sky is getting dark. Are we just going to camp out in the dark or what?”

“If we don’t get out, we’ll work on that,” said Casey. “Besides, I’m sure we can find some sort of shelter somewhere in this forest… even if it’s just a big tree.”

“Or a cave,” remarked Sheridan with a shrug.

“Or a spontaneously-abandoned campsite,” suggested Caro.

“Or a creepy, dark house,” piped up Grant.

“Yeah, good luck with that,” snorted Sheridan with her hands on her hips. “Where did you come up with something like that?”

“From up there.” Grant pointed with one gloved finger through the trees and to a few window-shaped, faint pinpricks of light. On the spot above them, smoke from a fire chimney billowed up into the moonlit night.

“Point taken,” said Sheridan, amazed.

Casey began walking towards the house, in a very different direction than they had been moving previously. When Sheridan raised her voice to object, he turned back around with eyebrows raised.

“It’s worth a shot, right?” asked Casey. “I mean, whoever lives in the middle of the forest must be used to Trainers losing their bearings and running to their house for a place to sleep the night… just like us.” He turned to face the others – their expressions didn’t show any dislike towards the idea, but nobody was particularly happy about it either. “Come on, you guys. I’m sure it happens to the owner all the time.”

“Well, yeah, but would he take four people?” wondered Grant, swinging his unarmed hand in an arc to reference the quartet.

“Maybe,” Casey replied over his shoulder. “But at least we can say that we tried… besides, who’s the one heading the quest here?”

“You are,” came the grumbled (but unanimous) reply.



Caro banged on a heavy wooden door.

“Coming!” yowled a distinctly female voice from inside, seemingly ignoring the cacophony of Pokémon trying to tell her that someone was on the front steps (but had done so a little too late). A few minutes later, the door creaked open to reveal a woman with long, dark hair that fell into clumps near the tips.

“Can I help you?” she asked, pulling the waist strings on her bathrobe.

“Sorry to bother you so late,” said Casey, “but we got sort of lost in the forest and…”

“Oh, you all are travelling Trainers? Don’t worry; living here I’ve heard the story plenty of times before. Come on in, and do your best not to tread on too many tail feathers.” She chuckled to herself as the door swung open completely to let the group in.

She wasn’t kidding about the tail feathers. Lurking in the rafters was an unnaturally high number of Murkrows, red eyes glinting in the light given off from bare-bulb lamps. These same lamps illuminated the old wooden walls and floor – despite their obvious age and the amount of Pokémon who seemed to inhabit the house, they seemed to be in good condition. “I’m sorry about the dinginess of the place,” the woman continued. “I don’t go for elaborate stuff… and besides, the other residents up there would have it ripped up in an instant.” She pointed upwards.

Casey was the first one to speak. “Thank you,” he said politely, looking around.

“No problem, no problem. The guest rooms are up the stairs and all along the right hallway; let me get into some proper clothing before I do anything else. It’s nearly supper.” Nobody felt like reminding her that it was about seven PM.

There was a general mumbling in the direction of ‘yes’ as the foursome scaled the staircase across the room. There was, indeed, a long hallway at the top, with doors all along both sides. Caro dove for the nearest available room on the right. Sheridan watched him sprint with great amusement before entering the next bedroom, letting Grant and Casey occupy the last two.

They weren’t, noticed Casey, very elaborately decorated – neat, yes, but not heavily furnished. There was just a bed, a set of drawers, and a table lamp on a nightstand to designate the windowed room as anything more than unused storage space. Casey placed his three Pokéballs on the table and turned to Rotom, who had settled himself by snuggling on the bed’s comforter.

“Don’t destroy anything,” he warned.

Casey left the room to the high-pitched affirmative of Rotom.

Giratina ♀
February 11th, 2010, 08:38 AM
{17} the skeletons are catching up

The table, as everyone noticed at the same time, was big.

It must have seated at least eight, despite the fact that there were only five people present to eat. The house’s owner had apparently failed to realize this, as she ushered everyone in and let them chose a seat. Shortly afterward she slipped into the kitchen via a rather unnoticeable door, called out to tell them that she’d only be a minute, and then returned from the same unnoticeable door carrying a large plate and ceramic bowl. One was filled with mashed potatoes, the other strips of meat. Grabbing five plates and the appropriate cutlery from a drawer in the dining room, she placed them out on the table with an abundance of clattering and finally sat down.

She smiled as her eyes came to Caro, who was already busy shoveling food onto his plate.

“So,” she said, looking around at the group. “I’m Amelia. Tell me your names, won’t you?” Amelia had put on simple clothing – a gray shirt and some blue jeans.

Caro went first (as usual) and introduced himself, before returning to filling his plate. Sheridan snickered and went next, and the others followed in turn. Amelia nodded and welcomed them all, before turning to the subject she suspected would be on everyone’s minds: the Murkrows.

“Don’t mind the Flying-types, guys,” she said, nodding to one as it zoomed down onto the table next to her and stared at the new arrivals. “As you can see, Murkrows and Honchkrows are personally my favorite Pokémon…”

“Ah, I should’ve let Honchkrow out earlier,” remarked Casey, observing the staircase in the next room from his chair. “He’d certainly have lots to do.”

Amelia’s face brightened. “Oh, you’ve got a Honchkrow? Wonderful! Actually, come to think of it, you guys can let all of your Pokémon out after dinner. The flock here will give them a tour of the house.” She nodded to the black-feathered birds lurking in the rafters. “Like I said before, don’t mind ‘em; I guess you could call me a crazy bird lady of sorts. Living in the forest like this I find a lot of them around, most of whom had fainted but for some mysterious reason failed to sink into the ground.”

“So you take them in?” asked Caro.

“Yes I do, and a few decide to stay with me… well, alright. More than a few.” She looked around. “So how have you been, Caro?”

The small conversation screeched to a halt.

“Uh… do you know her?” asked Grant confusedly. “You never mentioned…”

“No, I don’t think I do,” said Caro, tapping one finger on the side of his head and knitting his eyebrows. “Sorry. Where do I know you from?”

“Well,” said Amelia with a grin. “You’d forgotten? Only after this long? That’s quite something, Caro… though I do suppose you knew me a little differently than this. Hold on.” She got up, motioned for Caro to stay, and scampered out of the room. A few seconds later she swooped back in, now decked out in a tattered black overcoat and Murkrow-crest hat. “Ringing any bells?”

Caro didn’t respond. His jaw was too busy trying to close itself.

“So you do know her,” remarked Sheridan dryly, crossing her legs. “From where, might I ask?”

“Hmm…” Amelia took off the coat and hat and stowed them on a nearby coatrack before returning to her seat. “Really? He didn’t tell you about the tour through Sinnoh yet? I’m surprised; you always seemed like the sort of kid to go boasting about things.”

“Well, uh, not really,” spluttered Caro. “I didn’t tell them. Yet. Well, I mean, I was going to… eventually. But, you know… with the whole…”

“I see, I see,” said Amelia sadly, nodding her head. “Didn’t want to mention him too soon, right?”

“I didn’t mean to insult you or anything,” said Caro quickly.

“Ah, no, no offense taken. It’s understandable.”

The conversation had now become completely lopsided, and those not in on what they were talking about were now utterly and visibly lost. Amelia noticed the confused expressions on their faces, and seemed to come to her own senses about the whole thing. “Oops! Hey, Caro, we’d better fill them in before we continue the discussion any further, right?”

“Oh,” he said, considerably less jubilant all of a sudden. “Right. Um… well… like she said, I went traveling a couple years ago. In Sinnoh, with a couple of friends of mine I knew from my old home. Remember I told you about that, Casey? Where I was surrounded by Pokémon literally all the time? I meant it. There were seriously no humans in Treasure Town. Not even me. ‘Cause… back in the day, I was a Pikachu. Born and raised.”

A general cacophony of interruptions rose up at this point.

“Hey, whoa, cool down,” he continued. “I’ll get to that, I mean it. So anyway, yeah, I was a Pikachu. And my best friend Kris, she was a Meowth – or a Persian, depending on what time period you’re talking here – and my other best friend Helio… he was a Magnemite or Magneton, same deal as with Kris. So anyway, we three were in an Exploration Team – that’s a group of Pokémon who not only go rescue other Pokémon but also explore these ever-changing Mystery Dungeons too – and at the time we were on this mission to go explore a strange Dungeon near Treasure Town, where our base was.

“So when we got there, we were running around inside the dungeon and eventually, we found a funny shining rock that sucked up light. Helio could identify it for whatever reason; he called it the ‘Dementia Key’ or something. Kris and I both went to touch it, but then there was this big flash of light and… well, a lot of stuff happened after that, but there were definitely no Badges involved. We were taken to the human-Pokémon world – that’s this one – and we pretty much spent the next few weeks trying not to get ourselves killed by a lunatic Legendary named Mesprit.”

There was a squeal that was far too fangirlish for comfort that echoed from Caro’s right. “You… saw… a Mesprit?” gasped Sheridan, who had stood up with wide eyes. “Really? D-did you talk to it? Was it nice?”

“He just said that this ‘Mesprit’ was nuts,” said Casey flatly.

“Oh,” she responded. “Right.” She sat down and cleared her throat. “Well… go on, then, I guess… but there’s one thing I don’t quite get.”

“What’s that?” asked Caro.

“Why did… why did Mesprit want you dead?”

Caro averted his eyes. He clearly wanted to slip over this subject as smoothly as possible while giving away the least amount of information – and he had failed. Miserably. “Well, um, you see…” he muttered trying to find a way to put it that wouldn’t make them all scoot their chairs away from him very, very fast. “It was mostly because of Helio… See, he had been born in the human-Pokémon world, as a human and stuff, but then he sort of got sent to the Pokémon-only world for… um… something…”

“What?” was the resounding echo from four other mouths. Amelia in particular was staring at Caro with much intensity, leaning forward in her seat. She had apparently not learned this part.

“For… well… something. He was sent there by… y’know… Arceus. Because he did some… you know… bad things…”

“Just tell us the man’s name,” said Grant.

Caro looked around. “Okay. But you guys… you’ve got to promise not to hold this against me – or him – in the future, okay? Because he’s sorry. I know he is.”

“We won’t, we won’t,” said Sheridan. “What’s his name?”

Amelia was now scowling. She did, apparently, know this part.

Caro sighed and muttered one word to everyone else, who had leaned in to hear him better after he ducked his head…

All it took was one word.

One word and they were all shaken up, sitting stock-still in their seats, frantically trying to piece together what he had just said within their brain. Three brains – those of the people who didn’t already know what was going on – sorted their clues out furiously, and when three people tried to think very hard at the same time… it was not a pretty picture.

He clearly thought pretty highly of the man, but… but… him?

Was that… was that even possible?

The only one who didn’t seem to feel the full meaning of this – indeed, even Amelia had sniffled and turned away – was Casey. His face turned to one of blank confusion. “I’m sorry…” he said shakily, watching as everyone’s eyes turned on him. “I’m sorry if I’m missing the significance here…

…But who cares if Caro traveled with a man named Cyrus?”



Any thoughts that had been building up in the minds of Sheridan o’Reilly, Grant Sternberg, Caro (who didn’t have a surname for obvious reasons), and Amelia “Yami” Wolfe simply fell away in that moment. Every single one fell out into the even-more awkward silence present in the room. Even the Murkrows had halted their game time, in order to watch in confusion. Why, even the Pokémon knew about him – well, living with Amelia they had to – and even their thoughts blanked at that moment and joined the silence. And then all that vacant brain space was filled at the same time, with only one unanimous thought: ‘He seriously doesn’t know?’

“Casey,” said Sheridan slowly, “are you perhaps somehow suggesting that you seriously can’t attach any significance to the name Cyrus Wolfe?”

“No, I really can’t,” said Casey, suddenly feeling like he had done something very, very wrong. “What… what did he do?”

This brought another wave of uncomfortable silence over the group, while Casey’s unanswered question lingered above them. It was amazing how just one person not understanding a problem could make it so much more painful for everyone else.

Everyone was hoping that someone else could explain to Casey just what he had somehow missed. None of them were any the wiser of the true reason: his upbringing’s touchiness on the matters of Pokémon and the lunatics who somehow got it in their heads that they could control them. However, the one who stepped up to fill the silence was quite possibly the next best thing aside from Cyrus himself.

That ‘next best thing’ was his sister, Amelia.

“Well…” she stuttered. “Casey, Cyrus did something terrible. It was perhaps thirteen years ago, when he was the driving force behind a criminal behemoth known as ‘Team Galactic’. After a few years of making his team’s presence known, Cyrus went ahead and made his own presence known – for perhaps the first time in his life, I might add. He went up to the top of Mt. Coronet in Sinnoh and made some sort of foolhardy attempt to reset the universe.”

There was no response, so she continued.

“Yes… really. Using the combined power of the guardians of two basic elements of a universe – Time and Space – he tried to bring the universe to a new beginning, deleting almost everything and everyone who ever existed. His intention was to bring it to a complete standstill, and somehow claim the throne of nothing and rule over… nothing. He summoned Dialga and Palkia, the guardians I spoke of, in order to bring the universe to its roots. He was stopped, primarily, by three beings – though there was an undocumented mention of a young girl named Dawn Driftwood – who were guardians of a different sort. They were guardians of the three basic components of the human mind. Knowledge was watched over by Uxie. Willpower was watched over by Azelf. And Emotion was watched over by…” Her gray eyes flickered through the web of tears to Caro. “…Mesprit.”

“But that was…” Casey began.

“Right, the psycho Legendary,” said Caro shakily, looking in even worse condition than Amelia. “Look… guys, I really don’t want to talk about this…” He turned away from everyone else, making a valiant attempt to make them think that drops of water weren’t threatening to stream down his face. “…I’m… I’m going to go to bed. See you.”

He got up stiffly and ran out of the room.



The rest of the night moved by in a haze – and it had nothing to do with the Pokémon. Everyone in the house either drifted around vacantly or locked themselves up in their room, and eventually all humans present slipped into their rooms.

Pinsir, who took the trouble of going around and spying on people in the middle of the night, lost his nerve and stopped halfway through. This primarily happened after he nearly received a nasty Thundershock courtesy of Caro’s Raichu, who seemed to be standing guard over his Trainer’s slumbering body. After this he merely scuttled out and back to his owner’s room, where he was surprised to find Larvitar and Kaeo staring at Grant curiously.

<Uh…> said Pinsir.

Larvitar turned his head quickly, but returned it to the original position. <Oh,> he said. <Just you.>

<Yeah, ‘just’ me,> said Pinsir, walking in the room. <So what are you guys doing staring at the Boss like that?>

<’Boss’?> snorted Larvitar. <Why’re you calling him that?>

<I don’t know,> said Pinsir, moving to join them. <I guess I’ve always been used to calling people who own me ‘Boss’. But seriously, what are you doing?>

<Kaeo over here says that he felt a really strange vibe comin’ off of your boss,> said Larvitar, pointing in the proper direction in case Pinsir didn’t quite know who Kaeo was. (He did, of course, but Larvitar evidently failed to realize that.) <So he went and sneaked in here to try and find out what was going on, and I found him. So now we’re just trying to sort it out together, you know?>

<Oh,> said Pinsir. <Well… Kaeo, what do you think is wrong with him?>

<Nothing’s wrong with him, technically,> said Kaeo with a shrug, <and I can’t pinpoint anything right now because it was faint, but in his mind readings I think I sensed a little bit of… hostility. Grant here is usually a good-tempered guy, right?>

<Usually,> said Pinsir.

<Right. So his mind readings ought to be pretty calm as well. And mostly they were. But I did feel a little bit of turmoil somewhere in there, hidden among the totally normal readings. Anger, frustration, that sort of thing. But the thing is it didn’t even feel like his – more like someone else’s.>

<Are you sure it was coming from him?> asked Pinsir, now considerably worried about the well-being of his Trainer.

<Definitely,> said Kaeo, crossing his arms. <It was definitely coming from him. But at the same time it felt alien, like it was someone else entirely…>

<These ‘mind readings’…> said Pinsir, looking at Kaeo curiously. <Do they change with someone’s personality, or are they set in stone from the moment of their birth?>

<They can change as the person does, but it would need to be a very drastic change in outlook for the mind-readings to change as well. For example, if someone had been using a certain new personality that they weren’t like naturally, their mind waves would remain in the configuration of the old personality unless they’d been using it constantly for a certain period of time. However, if they just mature with age, the mind waves stay the same.> Kaeo looked away from Grant and focused on the brown Bug-type. <Why do you ask?>

Pinsir waved his arm nonchalantly. <No particular reason.>

Even Larvitar could see that he was lying, and the knowing smile on Kaeo’s face suggested that the Stag Beetle Pokémon had more of a reason than that. But the purple Drowzee nudged Larvitar with his arm and shook his head at the small Pokémon, who doubtless wanted to inquire further.

Larvitar pouted, but obeyed.

Oh, Metal Coat, how I love you so.

Giratina ♀
February 16th, 2010, 06:01 PM
{18} a name once heard...


The atmosphere among the Groupie Galaxy had improved significantly from the previous night, but there was still a strange silence hovering over them, only making itself known when conversation seemed to die down and making those times that much worse. They had left Amelia Wolfe’s hospitality earlier that morning.

“Um, Casey…” said Grant, looking around.

“Hm?” he replied (somewhat absently).

“You are looking for Pokémon to train on, right?”

Casey paused for a moment. “Yeah, I suppose I am.”

“Well, it doesn’t look like there are many around here. Do you think we should go back to Rhion and try a different forest entrance?”

“No,” he replied. “I think we’re okay here. It’s morning; a lot of the Pokémon are just waking up or just going to bed, right? If we wait a couple hours, the forest should be swarming with Pokémon as usual.”

“Right.” Grant didn’t sound particularly convinced, for he pulled the Pipe down from its previous position of slung over his shoulder and instead opted to carry it in his hand like a club.

“Larvitar, keep looking for any early risers, okay?” Casey took out Larvitar’s Pokéball and released the Ground-type again. He initially did not look too pleased to be out in the open (Casey had woken him up, the little Ratatta), but upon hearing that they were in a forest with potential victims to be had, all hard feelings were forgotten.

…Well, except for the ones directed towards Caro.

Sheridan, noticing the arrival of Larvitar, shot a glance in Caro’s direction lest she need to block any more physical assaults. Fortunately, though, the boy had simply tried to ignore Larvitar and kept his eyes fixed on the forest ahead. Sheridan wanted to say something, she really did, but comforting those in a bad mood was definitely not her strong suit.

Casey, sensing the rather unpleasant silence once again, turned back Larvitar with an inquisitive expression on his face.

“So are you ready to do some training?” he asked the Pokémon.

Larvitar nodded with a smirk and a glint in his eye. Training induced getting stronger, and Larvitar was always one for getting stronger.

‘If I get stronger,’ thought the Pokémon for the sixth time since he came under the ownership of Casey, ‘then maybe I can evolve into something actually good. And when I evolve into something actually good I can ditch this kid and…’ The Larvitar was unaware that he was now grinning maniacally, and only the calling of his Trainer returned him to something resembling a calm state.

“Larvitar!”

The Pokémon looked up at Casey, blinking innocently.

“Don’t daydream,” said the redhead, stopping to look around. “This is serious business.”

Larvitar saluted his Trainer, cheered even further by the concept of the Casey kid finally growing a spine. <Yeah!>

Both Pokémon and Trainer took a good look around at the surrounding forest, hoping to find some sort of Pokémon to begin their training session on. (In the meantime, Grant, Sheridan, and Caro gawked with unrivaled amazement at the sudden initiative their friend was showing.)

“Ssssssssr.”

Everyone in the area straightened up at once. Even Caro popped out of his funk temporarily to look around with a confused expression on his face. “Who just said that?” wondered the boy.

“It sounded like someone snoring,” observed Grant helpfully.

“And who would be asleep in the middle of a forest?” asked Sheridan with raised eyebrows. “No, it’s probably not someone camping out for the night, unless they’re really outdoorsy types. It must be a Pokémon of some kind… but you might be onto something with the snoring thing. Look over there!”

Indeed, there had been a rustling noise from directly in front of them. Out from under the bush squirmed a small brown Pokémon with half-open eyes and sharp claws. It had its stomach to the ground and stared up at the group dopily before giving off a loud yawn.

Larvitar perked up almost immediately afterward. <Opponent!> he shouted. <Yes!>

Caro rolled his eyes and returned to sulking position – hands jammed in his pockets and staring out at everything under a mess of spiky hair that seemed to have lost all power over gravity that it once held. “Your Larvitar’s found his next target,” he told Casey flatly.

“Right. Thanks.” Casey had definitely sensed some hostility in the boy’s words. He clearly hadn’t recovered entirely from the rather unpleasant stay at Amelia’s house. “Larvitar, use… uh… hold on.” He fished the JAWS out of his backpack again and checked Larvitar’s moveset, ignoring the Pokémon’s bemused expression. Meanwhile, the newcomer Pokémon squirmed into what could perhaps be called ‘battle position’, somehow sensing the hostility emanating from Larvitar in waves.

“…Okay, now use Rock Slide!”

Larvitar stomped on the ground a few times. A nearby boulder became dislodged from its position and, with some body language coaxing by Larvitar, hovered above the Slakoth’s head. The Normal-type didn’t bother to look up at it, but rather shivered as it yawned again. With a loud battle cry, the tiny Ground-type brought the rock crashing down on his opponent.

<Hopefully,> yelled Larvitar, <this will teach you to respect your opponents!>

Caro snorted.

The Slakoth screeched and climbed out of the wreckage. It took a few steps away from the crumbled boulder and yawned, scratching itself behind the ear.

“Isn’t it going to do anything?” asked Casey.

“Slakoth are exceptionally lazy,” said Sheridan matter-of-factly. “In battles, they don’t even do anything half the time.”

“So we attack again. Larvitar, Rock Slide aga—”

“Hold on just a minute, twerp!” yelled an irritated voice from somewhere in the forest.

Before any members of the Groupie Galaxy had time to question this mysterious intonation, the presumed origin of the noise stormed out of the nearby underbrush. This presumed origin was a tall, slightly heavy man who looked to be about thirty, with white hair sticking out in two separate directions on his head. “Don’t you know not to go stomping around attacking other people’s Pokémon?”

“I thought it was wild,” said Casey, crossing his arms. “Does it belong to you?”

“Yes it does!” snapped the man, before turning to his Slakoth and saying in a considerably less irritated voice, “Return.” He held out a Pokéball, which sucked up the Pokémon instantly.

Sheridan gave out a pondering “Hmm.” She was ignored.

Cramming the red-and-white object in his pocket, the man frowned at the sight of Casey’s traveling companions. “You’re a League Challenge trainer, aren’t you?”

“Well, yes,” replied Casey. “I’m getting Badges, so…”

“I know what you’re doing,” he snorted, arms crossed impatiently. “Why do you think I guessed you’re chasing after a spot in the Hall of Heroes or whatever? No, I know what you guys do. Only Badge twerps run around with three other people in toe behind them. Seriously… I don’t know what gets into you people, just following the kid around and begging to be—”

“Clyde!”

The man recently identified as Clyde stopped in mid-sentence in favor of letting his eyes widen considerably and letting a surprised expression wash over his face. Clyde turned around to face a woman’s head that had recently popped out from behind a tree, much to everyone else’s surprise. His body language (slumping his shoulders and sighing melodramatically) suggested he was not pleased to see her, and she didn’t exactly look hyped up about finding Clyde, either. This woman’s head happened to have a lengthy mess of very light pink hair, and it was not looking amused.

“Clyde,” she continued. “You’re supposed to be looking for Slakoth, not having a little chat with strangers!”

“This ‘stranger’ was trying to beat up my Pokémon,” said Clyde in his own defense, holding out the Pokéball to prove it. “What was I gonna do, just return it and leave?”

“Certainly sounds like something you would do,” said the woman primly.

“Tiffany, just shut up,” Clyde grumbled. He turned his head to the group so that the woman behind the tree couldn’t see him, rolled his eyes, and mouthed the word ‘Sisters’. Thus accomplished, he turned back to Tiffany with a frown on his face. “Alright, whatever. I’m coming…”

“Well surely you’re not going to just leave them here!”

“Sure I am.” Clyde disappeared among the trees, long blue coat flapping weakly as he moved. “Whatever happened to not conversing with strangers, hmm, sis?”

Tiffany shrugged at the travelers. “I’m sorry. My brother Clyde has a total lack of manners, among other things… I feel like I need to make it up to you somehow.”

“No, that’s really not ne—” began Casey.

“Oh, I know!” continued Tiffany, not seeming to notice Casey’s words in the least. “Would you four care to join us for some lunch today? Billy was being an idiot and packed way too much food again.”

There was a unanimous, if somewhat delayed, nod. Free grub was not to be declined.

-

{A few days previous…}

“Sir, there seems to be a… development.”

Fedora Man looked at his computer screen, which now displayed the cold but feminine features of a relatively plump twenty-something on the other end. She had steel-gray hair pulled up into a ponytail, but this didn’t stop a mess of it from falling down into her face.

“With what?”

“Nami was just getting to focus the Beam. She was going to use it on… you know, the Rhyperior. Well, she had Juan here in order to help her – evidently, her immense knowledge was not quite immense enough to keep the Beam working. She needed to get everyone’s favorite mechanic over from Rhoter City. Because, sir, you see…”

“It broke?” interrupted Fedora Man. “Solana, are you trying to tell me the Beam broke?”

“In basics, yes, sir,” said Solana with a blank tone. “It broke.”

There was a long silence.

“That would be a problem, wouldn’t it,” said Fedora Man. It was presented as a statement.

Solana nodded. “Nami told me to tell you about it.”

“Why? It’s a simple malfunction, isn’t it?”

“Not exactly, sir,” remarked the woman on the other end, frowning slightly. “Because, sir, you see, we’ve actually found out something quite unnerving about the side effects of that Beam.”

“We know about the side effects of the Beam, don’t we?” asked Fedora Man, standing up. “Potential mutations and power increases. That’s it, that’s all it’s been showing for years, even when the previous residents were using it to track the creature… to track Her.”

“Yes, but the scientists didn’t have any arianite around when they were tracking Her.”

“What’s the significance of arianite in this?”

“Well, sir, without going on too long…”

“Oh, heavens forbid you did that,” said Fedora Man. “Just be sure to get all the details in, won’t you?”

“Of course, sir! Anyhow, you are aware that arianite was discovered in Kanto… the shards of a rock originating from outer space, makes Clefairies evolve and whatnot?”

“Yes, I know that,” said Fedora Man. “I’ve known that since I was a—since I was in high school. Go on.”

“There’s no need to hide that, you know. In any case, we happened to have a sizable hunk of arianite on hand. It was being transported to another room for use in our… other project. Well, the arianite reacted strangely to the Beam. Just by being around it, just by letting the free-roaming waves get near it, that arianite began to emit power. And by placing it down near the Beam and retrieving a small chip of the other project material… well, we now have a little flicker of light hovering around the labs.”

“A what?”

At that moment, the door behind Solana (which had previously been closed) creaked open. Fedora Man watched in awe as a small diamond-shaped light hovered in to the room. It had a faint orange aura about it.

“That thing, sir,” said Solana bemusedly.

“I see it, Solana,” said Fedora Man in a similar tone. “And… and what has the good professor said about this?”

“Upon consultation after the incident, he said that it was perfectly normal and that he would be quite surprised if it didn’t appear. However, we seem to have come across a specimen different than what he has encountered in the past… he said that he had never heard of this small glowy friend being orange. Only green ones have been discovered. Of course, he also says this could be a side-effect of certain types being studied and others not, so…”

“What’s your point, Solana?”

“Our friend the professor has been dubious about giving out all of his information,” said Solana. “He never seemed to mention this previously, did you notice that? However, he seems to be a bigger help than we previously predicted. Should we remove him as you suggested?”

“No,” replied Fedora Man. “That won’t be necessary… Oh, by the way. How is the Mime Jr. doing?”

“She was perfectly healthy, so we sold her.”

“Good, good. To who, though?”

“A rare Pokémon dealer. A large amount of them had crowded around our city in order to partake in some sort of yearly street festival. He was interested in her due to her strange coloration, and offered up a hefty sum for such a shady character…” Solana grinned wickedly. Certainly a change from her previous blank expression, but it worked just as well in the given situation. “No need to worry about her, sir.”

“She went to a street festival? And… will she be sold again?”

“To some fortunate passerby of the stall? Of course she will. We can have someone make sure she is, if you’d like.” Solana leaned her head on one arm.

“Not necessary,” said Fedora Man, just realizing he had stood up and returned to his seat. He then continued the conversation as if nothing had happened, causing Solana’s eyebrows to rise and the grin to fall from her face. “Whatever she does with her reformed life isn’t ours to decide, is it? We’re done with her.”

“That’s true as well, sir.”

Fedora Man dusted himself off and stared at Solana as only Fedora Man could. “So is that all to report?”

“Yes, si—”

Fedora Man cut the connection there.

-

“Oh, so you brought friends, did you?” asked a laughing voice from the clearing ahead.

“Yep,” said Tiffany. She had drilled everyone in the group individually on the way there; she also failed to notice (or was that ignored?) Clyde, who had been moving back to the camp ahead of them and left a trail of ecological destruction in his wake. Having done this, she also took the trouble of introducing them all by name. “We found them running around in the forest, and since you were kind enough to carry supplies for the next three years, I figured we ought to invite them over for some lunch. Alright with you, Billy?”

“I’ve got no problem with it,” said the man sitting on a tree stump. He was similar to Clyde in some respects – about thirty, tall, white hair pointing in two opposite directions – but he was also thin as a stick, and the hair was much, much larger and less obliging to gravity. “Mr. Moody over there is a different story.” He snickered again and pointed to Clyde, who had taken up residence leaning against a tree.

Suddenly, there was a little gasp from Sheridan’s direction.

“I knew I recognized you… and then your names…” Sheridan put her hands on her hips and smirked in triumph. “Of course. You could be nobody else. Billy, Tiffany, Garret, and Clyde – the Go-Rock Quads!”

There was a silence.

“Well, at least the chick isn’t completely worthless,” grumbled Clyde. “She remembers us.”

Tiffany grinned. “You’re sharp, Sherry, you know that? I was waiting for someone to notice that! Good…” She paused mid-sentence when she caught the glare Sheridan was directing at her.

“Never. Call. Me. ‘Sherry’,” the woman growled. “Ever.”

“Um, alright,” said Tiffany, all jubilance gone from her voice. “You got it… um… yeah. Okay. No ‘Sherry’. Sure.”

“Thank you,” replied Sheridan, hostility lost from her tone but certainly not back to her previous triumphant self. The male members of the group stood in silence – none of them had ever considered calling her Sherry, even Rotom, and right now they were all very pleased with themselves that they didn’t. Billy didn’t seem to be fazed by this outburst, as he simply smiled knowingly and whipped out a large amount of food seemingly from thin air.

“Sorry about that, guys. Tiffany doesn’t take hints too smoothly, if you see what I mean.”

“Hmm?” Tiffany asked, turning to Billy. “I heard my name called…”

“Nothing, nothing,” the man mumbled, simply reaching out his hand and letting a multitude of foodstuffs fill them up as he did so. “Okay, sit down, I think we have everything we need… Clyde!” He raised his voice to be heard by his brother, who was now in the process of seeing how long he could stare at the forest before he got sick of it. However, upon prompting from the black-coat-donning man, he returned to standard walking position and slouched over.

“Finally,” he said out loud as he sat.

Everyone else took the hint, and Billy climbed down from his wooden perch to sit upon the ground with the rest of them.

There was a few minutes of silence broken only by frequent chomping, until finally Grant decided to bring up the subject a lot of them had been pondering up until that point. “So how did you start conjuring food out of thin air like that?”

Billy froze up for a second, but then relaxed again. “Oh! You were talking about that! Sorry, I didn’t quite get what you were thinking about for a minute. Anyway, have any of you guys heard of Hammerspace?”

Giratina chose the worst possible time to intervene. “Oooh, I’ve heard of it~” she sang softly through the Megaphone Rock. Casey gritted his teeth and ignored her.

Since nobody else could really answer that except with a shake of the head, Billy continued. “Oh, boy. I’ll need to explain it now, won’t I? Well, I don’t know if you know this, but there are different dimensions in the universe. Lots of them.” Minds temporarily switched to Caro, who fortunately did not feel all of the mental attention his case was getting. “One of them is typically called Hammerspace, because back when it was first discovered people used it to carry weapons around easily. Basically, what happens is you can store almost every item in the universe in your own specific part of Hammerspace, where you can later refer back to it and take out whatever you need.”

This news impressed all of them, and the sounds of devouring had all but stopped. Even Tiffany and Clyde had paused their meals in order to listen to (and potentially correct) Billy. “It takes years in order to manipulate Hammerspace somewhere close to well, and fortunately all… all of us have been doing that since we were kids, upon request of our parents. Recently people have come up with some strange ways to use Hammerspace with just some machinery, but they don’t work as well as if you’ve been training yourself and learned to Traverse – that’s the name of the art so it’s capitalized, person who does that is a Traverser – naturally. And that’s my lengthy speech on the art of Hammerspace manipulation.” Billy sat back and resumed eating. “Well?”

“He actually covered the basic points for once,” remarked Clyde.

“As if you could do much better, Clyde? I think he did a good job.” Tiffany hopped to the leaner brother’s defense.

“Hmph, sure,” replied the man in question with a shrug. “I thought he did a good job too, remember?”

“So…” said Billy, eager to divert the subject away from Clyde’s numerous sibling rivalries. “You guys are running the Holon gym circuit, huh?”

“That’s right,” said Casey. “I’m the one doing a lot of the collecting. These guys came along for their own reasons.”

“I see, I see.” Billy nodded. “The reason I ask is that we’ve actually been traveling around for our own reasons. Sheridan, you’ve noticed that there’s only three of us here, right?”

“I was wondering about that,” she confirmed.

“Right. That’s because Garret pretty much left with not much more than a note. It said something about how he was coming to Holon in order to pursue a profession that didn’t involve the rest of us, because he figured that we were doing okay as it was and he wanted to do it for a while. Never told us what it was he was chasing, though…” Billy’s smirking gaze turned to his brother. “Oh, and because he wanted to get away from Clyde, of course.”

The Go-Rock Quad in question harrumphed.

“And so now you’re trekking all over the region just to find him?” asked Grant, impressed. “That’s dedication to your family there.”

Tiffany and Billy basked in the good words in a perfectly-practiced fashion, while Clyde said nothing.

“Yes, we’ve been around,” said Tiffany after a few seconds of almost-rehearsed beaming. “Garret has no idea, of course, so when we do find him then he’ll be pleasantly surprised with our…”

“However.”

Everyone looked around and finally realized the single word had come from Caro, who had been pretty much ignored up until now in the conversation. Evidently, he just didn’t have uch t say…

“Are you quite sure Garret wants all of you around?”

There was a lot of surprised blinking before Sheridan turned on him, glaring. “That was totally uncalled for!”

“Yes it was,” replied Caro icily, “but so was his disappearance, wasn’t it? I’m not saying this is definitely what happened, but frankly his explanations for going off on his own sounded a little vague. And since he also wanted to get away from Clyde, who clearly returned the viciousness in full…”

Despite the unorthodox and absurdly out-of-character way Caro was bringing them up, everyone agreed (in varying degrees) that maybe he had a couple of points there. But there was a lot of worried glancing between siblings, and finally Billy (as the most talkative and least temperamental of the group) nodded his head. “That’s all true, and you bring up a lot of good points. But even if Garret were trying to evade us on purpose, we ought to at least go out there in order to find out if he really did, right? And if he does then we can nod and go our separate ways. If not, we can see just what he’s been doing all these months.”

“I suppose so,” said Caro before he lapsed back into his cloud of silence. It certainly unnerved everyone else; how long was their normally borderline-hyperactive companion going to keep this up?

“That’s a good idea,” seconded Casey in considerably lighter spirits. “You ought to do that.”

“But first we need to find Garret, and we haven’t covered much ground,” pointed out Tiffany.

Billy smiled. “Exactly.” He then turned to the newcomers with an almost pleading expression on his face. “Guys, I hate to push this on you when we’ve only just met each other today, but I don’t know how many more opportunities like this one we’re going to actually get. So… would you mind taking one of us with you as you go through the region? You know, just to find Garret? When we do, we’ll leave you, I promise.”

This was met with more surprised silence, even from his siblings.

Eventually, though, Clyde decided to finally take notice of the conversation. “A-are you serious?”

“Completely,” said Billy. He sounded the part.

“Well, it’s a good idea and all, Billy, but…” Tiffany hesitated, and eventually her sentence faded into nothing. “I mean, that’s still a tall order, pulling us apart further…”

“Is it too tall for finding out what happened to Garret?” asked Billy, in a not quite accusing but mildly peeved tone of voice. “I don’t think so. Besides, we can talk to each other whenever we want, right?”

Tiffany nodded. She had been silenced.

Clyde didn’t object. This was perhaps because his face was doing all of the objecting for him; the glowering he was delivering to Billy was certainly not a glare to be trifled with. However, Billy apparently failed to realize that, as he took Clyde’s lack of response as an acceptance and smiled. “We’re all agreed on our side, guys. What do you think?”

“Casey should choose,” said Grant almost immediately. “It’s his journey, after all.”

The other two members of the Groupie Galaxy, and Rotom (previously cuddled up in Sheridan’s arms) squirmed free and had Beast nod his enthusiasm. “Yeah!” chirped the Pokémon. “Let someone come along, Casey! Pleeeeeeease?”

Casey realized with some concern that his Pokémon was acting like a little girl whose parents were contemplating letting her get a pet.

“Well,” he said, “as a person I’ve got no problems with one of you coming along, but there’s still the issue of funding to think about, right?”

“You think we’re going to join your troupe and not give you anything for it?” snorted Billy. “Casey, that’s not how we roll. …Anymore. In any case, though, no. We’ve got plenty of money we’re not going to use for the rest of our lives, so seriously, that’s not so big a deal anymore. Of course, Dad is still watching us, and trying to explain something to him would be like… well, reasoning with a sleep-deprived Primeape. So we can do what we can, which should probably fix all serious issues, but no over-spending to whoever ends up going with them. Got that, you two?”

“Right,” the other two said in unison.

“Okay then!” said Billy, getting up and standing on the tree stump. “Let’s do this!” He pumped his fist in the air, expecting to be met with a rallying mess of cheers.

Clyde just shifted his gaze towards Casey and mouthed ‘He does it all the time’.

See? It really is a name once heard and never forgotten! Or is that a motto once heard? Hmm. Well, anyway, as soon as you read the title all of you who played Ranger knew what was going to be coming up, right?

...Right?

Anyway, stay tuned for the next chapter. There will be a big ol' battle, I swear. >:3

Phantom Kat
February 16th, 2010, 08:33 PM
Do you know for how long I've been itching to read your fic? xD God I hate being lazy.

I read up to Chapter Four so far, and I was surprised that I was finding myself laughing here and there. Normally, I dislike comedy fics, but your fic is very well-written and entertaining to read. I love Giratina's pompous, "Grr, I'm the librarian, and Zero is my immortal assistant forever," attitude. xDD Poor Zero, but hey, his misery is our pleasure.

Caro is weird. :o But cool. I love how he just popped out and became Casey's unofficial Holon tour guide.

This confused me, though:

The voices faded. I descended into sleep again.

Unless I missed something, Casey is the one who's falling asleep again, but you put "I".

After Casey fell into step beside him (Rotom having realized that Planet Casey had merged with Planet Caro to become the Groupies Galaxy, and hovered around both of them),

One of my favorite parts. That got me laughing. It was a "lolwut" moment. xDDD

I'll be sure to leave another review when I read more chapters! :3

- Kat

Giratina ♀
February 17th, 2010, 06:25 AM
Unless I missed something, Casey is the one who's falling asleep again, but you put "I".

You're not mistaken. Somehow, in the transfer of that scene to first-person Casey to first-person Giratina (the original story was written by Casey's POV), I forgot to change that 'I' to a 'he'. |D Fail editing, much? Anyway, thanks for reading. It's good that the comedy is actually funny, because if it's not I don't think I could write any other way. xD

bobandbill
February 17th, 2010, 08:08 PM
^ Oh the comedy is definitely something that works and amuses. ^^ You're writing too faaasssssssssst ;P

Read the next four chapters - not much to say on them really bar that it's getting more and more interesting. There seems to be less minor mistakes and the plot's moving nicely. I liked the battles thus far and I feel the 'tangents problem' so called earlier hasn't appeared here so that's...well, good. =P The level here is certainly the way to go.

Also like your additions (such as of the Murkrow falling THROUGH THE GROUND [yes the caps were necessary =P] as part of the explanation to what happens to wild Pokemon when they're fainted and gym puzzles, and so forth. Makes for good reading and I like this sort of thing in fics. =)

I'd note that the paragraph-of-description-after-someone-is-introduced tends to happen often still, and particularly it focuses mostly on clothing only - granted a lot of people have strange clothing (especially as your [awesome] pictures show XD) but again try to work it more into the story and events, and maybe consider some more than just about the clothing on occasions. However the other instances of description is just fine and is well done.
“See, this is Kaeo,” explained Sheridan. “He’s a Shiny Drowzee.”

“Now, what most people don’t know about Shiny Pokémon is that the alternate coloration is truly a malfunction in their DNA, like albinos are to humans.Don't feel you need to start a new line here and have a closing and opening set of quotation marks as well as it seems to be the same person speaking there? But as mentioned, I like the explanations such as about the shiny Pokemon, heh. But my favourite was the method for using the evolution stones as the then-Murkrow demonstrated. XD
They were all getting rather bored (as a matter of fact, Caro had begun to fall asleep), but finally the sacred noise rang out to them. Everyone looked up happily, but the door opened for them.The wording of the last sentence seemed a bit odd to me - 'but the door opened' for the most part; doesn't quite seem to me with following 'Everyone looked up happily'. Maybe 'as the door opened for them.' rather?
was most definitely an irritating buzzing noise, it was coming from the city – specifically at the oversized tower where Those People tended to hang around, and it would… not… stop.Comma doesn't feel it works there - maybe make a new sentence, or add in an 'and' after it?
Much to his surprise, the aforementioned platform began to rise into the air, slowly at first. Casey realized with a jolt just what the railings were for as he clung onto them in surprise (after jumping about three inches off the ground).I suggest adding in that 'the' there - feels like it's missing the word without it otherwise.
That night, Caro had come up with an idea with a competence level to rival the average invention of Dr. Kaminko (or, in other words, absolutely moronic) – why don’t they all go back to the evil Team’s base which that had been forcefully ejected from just a few days ago to see what was going on in there? I see what you did there. XD Yay for the references.

Looking forward to reading more of the next chapters, and I'll get around to it sooner or later. =)

Giratina ♀
February 18th, 2010, 12:27 PM
You're writing too faaasssssssssst ;P

Well, my computer has just been fried and I may or may not retrieve the next chapter, so you'll have some time to catch up, at least. |D

(such as of the Murkrow falling THROUGH THE GROUND [yes the caps were necessary =P] as part of the explanation to what happens to wild Pokemon when they're fainted and gym puzzles, and so forth. Makes for good reading and I like this sort of thing in fics. =)THROUGH THE GROUND???
(I love doing that. >3)
Anyway, if you like Gym puzzles, I've got quite a collection coming your way. Heh heh heh.

Don't feel you need to start a new line here and have a closing and opening set of quotation marks as well as it seems to be the same person speaking there?It is, but the next aragraph was utterly enormous and... I didn't know what else to do, I suppose. |3

But as mentioned, I like the explanations such as about the shiny Pokemon, heh. But my favourite was the method for using the evolution stones as the then-Murkrow demonstrated. XDThe Evolution Stone method is also an old gag - though with TMs last time - but at least it's still enjoyable.

Comma doesn't feel it works there - maybe make a new sentence, or add in an 'and' after it?No, because Amarachi was listing things about that buzzing - it's loud, it came from the city, and it wouldn't stop. Though the formatting was a little funky, I admit.
I suggest adding in that 'the' there - feels like it's missing the word without it otherwise. I don't use 'the' before 'aforementioned' because it sounds wrong to me, but point taken.[/QUOTE]

bobandbill
February 22nd, 2010, 03:16 AM
*punts reads the rest of the chapters on page 2 - i.e. up to and including chapter 14* Well there's a bit of catching up. =) Good luck with retrieving the last chapter though... D=

Anyways this continues rather strongly still, as I expected, and dare I say the weak point with the descriptions seem to have improved as well gradually. =) The plot is interesting - mentions of Deoxys, a Delta Pokemon shows up (based from a card, that Fearow I believe? =/) and whatnot, and some nice insight into the bad-guys' side of things as well. Certainly seems to be building up nicely, and I wonder how Grant will turn out later down the track, heh. However it seems a bit odd that they waltzed into the base, got beaten, waltzed out... and little else happened to them (besides the 'trackers'). I'm not too sure that I exactly follow what happened with getting beaten, unless it's just normal mechanics that fainted trainers get ignored - but if so maybe point it out a bit more, or clarify some more?

The battles are good - you're managing the turn-based format with aplomb (and maybe a plum as well) - they're still interesting and entertaining. I like some more incorporations of the game elements as well, such as the losing trainer blacking out and returning to the Pokemon Centre one way or another. XD And it still amuses as well - stuff like 'new-Casey-logic' and the many 4th-wall-breakages are amongst those things. XD


“Caaaaa~seeeeeey~” cooed a voice from somewhere around the boy in question’s head.I'm wondering if a comma or ellipse or something should be before the quotation mark, even if there's the risk it might look a little odd with the '~' as it's meant to be there anyways...
Togekiss flew back from the blast and crashed into the wall, and gave a distinctly un-fabulous croaking noise.XD Sound...unfabulous. =P Speaking of which my online spell-check thinks unfabulous is a word so maybe consider losing the hyphen?
“Lovely!” Hikaru beamed. “Now, please use Sky Attack.”
Apparently, Casey’s yowling had caused Rotom to clear his head, and in that time he had generated a Thundershock. It flew directly through the Air Slash, severing it in multiple places, and was now on a crash course for Togekiss.It seems the move itself changed either side of the attack...
Casey ground his teeth. Golbat looked rather beaten-up; if Rotom could deliver another Thundershock and wipe it out, then Casey would return his own Pokémon on the turn after that.I's beaten up, but nothing before has given any indication on why it is beaten up, or whether it had been beaten-up beforehand... seems a bit confusing, this - maybe add in a bit earlier? (But I like the jibs at Golbat- err, Mewforsaken Bat Pokémon).
“Th-Thundershock,” said Casey, with less force than he had in earlier repetitions of the word. “And – just for the record – I never asked about your office.”


Rotom gathered its energy into one large, pulsating blob, and flung it towards Golbat with an unforeseen amount of force. (As a matter of fact, Casey could have sworn he heard Rotom groan with the effort.) It flew towards Golbat faster than the clunky Pokémon could retaliate, and sent the Mewforsaken Bat Pokémon* hurtling towards its Trainer. Hikaru, recognizing Golbat was down for the count, returned it before over 120 pounds of Pokémon meat was flung onto him.Presentation-wise - there's an extra line gap between these two paragraphs which shouldn't be there.
(whose eyes were cracked open, but who didn’t respond to any prompting) was lying on the small red-colored couch,The 'who' there doesn't seem necessary as you've already established who is being talked about.
{13} dancing ludicolo dance
(don't ask about the title)I'll just say that it's awesome then. =P
Casey had been woken prematurely and as such was not in the greatest of moods, and was therefore a hypothetical blind man in a minefield.Maybe 'metaphorical' rather then hypothetical, as a suggestion? *shrugs*
In fact, one of the most powerful Trainers in the world once said, ‘Strong Pokémon. Weak Pokémon. They’re only the false perception of
people’ or something.Heh, I recognise that line. XD
Caro. Do not insult your author. That is seriously not a good idea. So maybe when you’ve discovered the Internet and end up reading you finally get a clue.

…Wait. Ahem.XD again the 4th-wall-breaking moments do amuse.
Hang on a moment...HOLD IT!
Any objections?” Nobody objected.OBJECTION! sorry I had to do thatAlthough on a side note objection is kinda repeated twice there - it's ok, but maybe consider changing the latter (e.g. 'Nobody spoke'.)
Marianne snatched the Pokéball and cuddled it tightly, singing in a high pitched tone, “Cloysterrr~ Coysterrrr~ my baaaa-by~…” The two people on either side of her – a well-muscled man with a red shirt and a skinny white-haired guy who had an electric guitar sitting in his lap – tried to inch away from her as inconspicuously as possible.XD Probably the funniest part in these set of chapters, seeing I visualised that very easily. XD

Onwards to the next chapters for me in a few days! =) Still enjoying this.

Giratina ♀
February 22nd, 2010, 01:30 PM
Good luck with retrieving the last chapter though... D=

Fortunately, Chapter 19 lives. But there's still a big ol' battle in there, which makes me unhappy. I hate writing battles. |3

Anyways this continues rather strongly still, as I expected, and dare I say the weak point with the descriptions seem to have improved as well gradually. =)

Woohoo!

a Delta Pokemon shows up (based from a card, that Fearow I believe? =/)

Yes, that Fearow was based off a card, but he's definitely not the first Delta Species Pokémon you saw. ;D

and some nice insight into the bad-guys' side of things as well.

Considering my uncanny ability to like the villains more than the heroes, of course I go into detail on my own troupe of baddies. :3

and I wonder how Grant will turn out later down the track, heh.

There's still some stuff to dig up about him, heh heh...

However it seems a bit odd that they waltzed into the base, got beaten, waltzed out... and little else happened to them (besides the 'trackers'). I'm not too sure that I exactly follow what happened with getting beaten, unless it's just normal mechanics that fainted trainers get ignored - but if so maybe point it out a bit more, or clarify some more?

Yeah, that was pretty odd. But considering Grunts only patrol certain areas on the floor, and only see the other parts when they alternate... It's no efficient method, but it's the one they employ. I'd be willing to bet Juan was behind it just to mess with the organization's head...

The battles are good - you're managing the turn-based format with aplomb (and maybe a plum as well) - they're still interesting and entertaining.

Hallelujah. I think battles are very hard. XD

And it still amuses as well - stuff like 'new-Casey-logic' and the many 4th-wall-breakages are amongst those things. XD

You ought to be used to those by now.


I'm wondering if a comma or ellipse or something should be before the quotation mark, even if there's the risk it might look a little odd with the '~' as it's meant to be there anyways...

Yeah, I use the ~ as another sort of punctuation mark.


XD Sound...unfabulous. =P Speaking of which my online spell-check thinks unfabulous is a word so maybe consider losing the hyphen?

My spell-checker online and on Word says it isn't, and besides, un-fabulous is funnier anyway.

Presentation-wise - there's an extra line gap between these two paragraphs which shouldn't be there.

That's probably because I copied the chapters from PE2K when that chapter was posted, and they have a ridiculously short post length. That means I had to keep cutting parts out and re-pasting them. Of course, sometimes I get it wrong and forget to correct the paragraphing...

I'll just say that it's awesome then. =P

It was both an inside joke and a semi-'normal' chapter title, because it was a variation on "Dance Magic Dance".


Maybe 'metaphorical' rather then hypothetical, as a suggestion? *shrugs*

Y'know, I think it's metaphorical. Hrm.


OBJECTION! sorry I had to do thatAlthough on a side note objection is kinda repeated twice there - it's ok, but maybe consider changing the latter (e.g. 'Nobody spoke'.)

The repetition was done on purpose.

TAKE THAT!

XD Probably the funniest part in these set of chapters, seeing I visualised that very easily. XD

Yeah, those meetings are pretty fun, if only because that certain set of characters doesn't get along well (read: Rodney vs. everyone else).

And again, thank you for the review! =D

Giratina ♀
February 27th, 2010, 06:03 PM
I hate writing battles. I hate writing battles. ...Did I mention that I hate writing battles? XD

{19} defeat means unity, not friendship

There had been a private discussion between the three remaining Go-Rock Quads over who was to be going with Casey and company on the rest of their trek. While the four not in on the action loitered around the campsite, they had all scurried into a large (and surprisingly soundproof) tent in order to determine the victim.

Judging from the loud moaning now spilling from that very tent, everyone realized it was going to be Clyde.

This was confirmed when, a few minutes later, the same man climbed out of the tent with a very sour expression on his face. He retained the same frown as he stormed up to Casey.

“Okay, kid,” he said. “Here’s how it’s going to go down. I don’t enjoy traveling with a swarm of weaklings, alright? So as the leader of the group, you’re gonna pit all of your Pokémon against all of mine. If you beat me, I’ll come along on your stupid journey with you or whatever. If you lose, we forget all of this even happened.”

“And there’s no way to convince you otherwise? Or get the others to go?” he asked.

“If Billy’s got his mind set on something it’s pretty much final.” He put his hands on his hips. “Deal?”

“I suppose so… yeah. Deal.”

“Good. We’re pretty close to the edge of the woods now, so maybe one of your Pokémon Center things might have an open battlefield out back..”

As the group turned as one and began trekking towards the edge of the forest – with Billy leading the procession, naturally – Tiffany drifted towards the back of the group and tapped Casey on the shoulder. “Hey. Um, I need to tell you a few things about Clyde, okay? It’s just so that nothing, um, especially crazy happens when you’re around him. He’s sort of…um, weird with his quirks and stuff.”

Casey looked up. He was initially quite surprised to see a good-looking woman spouting the word ‘um’ a mile a minute almost directly in his face, but after a second cleared his head and confirmed her intention. “Okay. What about him?”

“Well, there’s actually only two things I need to warn you about, but, um, they’re pretty serious.” Casey nodded as a signal for her to continue. “Okay. Um, first thing is, I just needed to tell you, that he really, um, really hates Garret. So if you do find him you’ve got to, um, remind Clyde that he needs to get in touch with us. He has our Pokégear numbers, so, um, that shouldn’t be too hard.”

“Okay,” said Casey. “We can do that.”

“But, but, um,” continued Tiffany. “That’s, um, not all, and that’s like the least serious, okay? So, um, the next most serious is that he’s kind of…” She looked up and made sure Clyde was out of earshot before leaning even closer (unnerving Casey even further in the process) and whispering, “…um, he’s kind of lazy.”

Casey was about to shout out the last word in surprise, but only the ‘L’ got out before Tiffany quickly slapped her hand over his mouth with a small squeak. Clyde turned around and shot them both a hostile glare, but a second later he had returned to what he was doing and continued to walk forward while looking at the ground.

“That connects with the last thing, um, see,” said Tiffany, now visibly unnerved. “He… um… try not to let him hear, you know, that word. And never, ever, EVER call him that.”

“Why? What happens then?”

“Um…” Tiffany looked away. “Omigawd (um), you really don’t want to know, but (um) if you do he’s definitely not going to be in your good books, and (um) he doesn’t react well to being called (um) the L word. I mean it. It’s like… it’s like… oh, what’s that literary thingy that people (um) give book characters when they… um… oh yeah. It’s like his berserk button. It’s bad. Seriously (um) bad. Okay. So don’t call him that.”

Still struggling to make sense of her detached speech, Casey said, “Um… okay.”



Clyde’s prediction had been correct – when they arrived back at Fort Rhion’s Pokémon Center, the Joy cheerfully informed them that a battlefield had just been vacated and that they could enter right away.

Casey bowed his head respectfully and said, “Thank you.”

Clyde grunted his acceptance.

The Joy was not at all unfazed by these two very different competitors; after all, there were a lot of adults who still held the mindset that their age automatically puts them over younger Trainers. She didn’t ask to watch the match; that would be invasion of privacy, and she had Pokémon to attend to anyway. However, she made a mental note to find out how it ended when they left. Despite the friend-to-all-living-things outlook universal to all Joys worth their salt, watching someone get their just desserts was also a sport she didn’t mind.

Grant was nominated to be the referee, and he stepped into the field in the appropriate position. “The battle between Clyde Gordon of Wintown and Casey Blair of Calda City will now begin. Trainers, send out your first Pokémon.” He took a few steps backward as both of them flung Pokéballs high into the air. Casey didn’t look particularly pleased with having to fight who he (sort of) hoped to be his new traveling companion, but Clyde betrayed no facial expression beside that of utmost boredom.

Unsurprisingly, Clyde released his Slakoth first. He didn’t bother to initiate any flashy “Pokémon GO!” sequences, but simply took the Pokéball out of its previous residence – his large pocket – and said “Slakoth” while tossing the Pokéball to the ground.

The Pokémon gave a little grunt and pulled itself up onto a four-legged position, almost like a dog.

Casey, on the other hand, released a Pokémon none of his traveling companions had remembered he had – a small blue Pokémon with a wide tail and a giant white circle on its stomach, with a black swirling line in the middle of that. It had two small legs, but no arms, and little beady eyes.

“Poli-wag!” chirped the Water-type in question.

Clyde gave a little smirk. “Oh, come on. You’re gonna give me that little blob to fight against? Your funeral, I guess… Slakoth, use Yawn!”

The Pokémon almost immediately opened its mouth and took a huge intake of air, making its small body quiver – and making Poliwag quiver, too. The Pokémon staggered back a bit, but Casey (who could only see the back of its body) didn’t quite realize that the Pokémon’s eyelids were quickly getting heavier. It was for this reason that he continued to act as if nothing was wrong – and, of course, nobody wanted to yell out the effects of Yawn. (If they did, Tiffany and Billy would definitely shush them.)

“Use Water Gun!” This time, Casey had taken the trouble to learn his Pokémon’s attacks beforehand so as not to set up another Larvitar incident.

The Tadpole Pokémon gave a small “wag” of acceptance and took another deep breath, this time returning Slakoth’s favor by delivering a steady jet of water directly into his face. The Normal-type gurgled and flailed, falling over in the process, but eventually he dragged himself to another canine position. He did this, apparently, exclusively for the pleasure of watching Poliwag collapse and begin to take very slow breaths. At that point, the reality of Yawn dawned upon Casey.

He scowled. “Oh… Poliwag’s asleep, isn’t she?”

“Yep,” replied Clyde with a smug smile. “I did tell you my Pokémon is capable of beating yours into next week, right?”

“Yeah, maybe if it bothers to,” remarked the young man, pointing to Slakoth. He had flopped down from his sitting position until he was laying belly-down on the floor, watching the antics with its head over its outstretched, fuzzy arms.

“Oh, that,” said Clyde nonchalantly. “Sure, whatever. It’ll respond eventually. Slakoth, whenever you’re done loafing, use Scratch.”

A few seconds passed as Slakoth scratched itself behind the ear and Poliwag snoozed on, but soon enough the Normal-type returned to puppy position. Almost immediately he began scampering across the dirt-covered field at a speed very unnatural for a Pokémon of his physical determination, and eventually skidded to a halt before Poliwag – sending a spray of dirt into the sleeping Pokémon’s face. She merely moaned, as if her mother was waking her up from a particularly nice sleep, and rolled over. Slakoth found much enjoyment in this, and promptly began raking the snoozing Poliwag with its claws. The Pokémon twitched and winced in its sleep, but failed to wake up.

Seeing that the Poliwag had responded, Slakoth gave a sound of satisfaction and plodded to its proper place, where it laid itself down again to watch. Yet again, Poliwag simply snoozed on.

Casey was beginning to get fed up with this. “Poliwag!” he yelled to the Pokémon in question. “It’s been four turns, and he’s only attacked you for one! This could be easy if we keep ourselves away from that Yawn!”

Much to his surprise, the Pokémon stirred. Poliwag soon pushed herself to her feet, looking around and blinking. “Poli…?”

“Good morning, sunshine,” grunted Clyde, staring down the small yellow Pokémon. “Slakoth, she looks a little tired, doesn’t she?”

“Slaaaaah.”

“Mhm, yeah, I thought so too. You know, I heard Toxic does wonders for groggy minds… Slakoth, be a gentleman. Help her out.”

“Slaaah.” Slakoth was considerably more pleased with this attack; all that moving and arm-flailing really got tedious. He simply hunkered down on the ground and opened his mouth, letting a rather unsanitary-looking black smoke pour out of its open jaw and zoom towards Poliwag. Before her Trainer could even make a command for her to get out of the line of fire, she began coughing – and breathing in the smoke. Somehow sensing its objective had been completed, the rest of the smog lowered to the ground and eventually disappeared.

When Poliwag breathed, a few purple bubbles spilled out of her mouth and she began another coughing fit.

“Oh, that’s not good,” said Sheridan, cringing. “If Poliwag is coughing all the time…”

“…She might not be able to move as well,” finished Grant bemusedly. “Yeah.”

Casey, by now, saw that something was going very wrong in his battle so far. What had Tiffany said? That Clyde was hopelessly lazy? Unless someone else had trained his Pokémon for him and drilled all of the strategies into his head mercilessly, right now he didn’t seem to fit the description – the strategies seemed perfectly legitimate (and perfectly useful), and he even went so far as to make degrading comments in the middle of the match.

Poliwag continued to wheeze bubbles. Slakoth shuffled around to find a comfortable position, and simply watched her from there, content with lying in the sunshine in the middle of battle.

Casey put his hands on his hips and thought. If he had Poliwag use Water Gun or Bubblebeam, what would happen to the poison erupting out of her mouth in a bubbly mess? Would it screw up her summoning of water and make the Pokémon choke, or would it mingle in with her Water attacks and make some sort of hybrid Water-Poison attack? As Casey pondered the possible after-effects of using another Water move, Clyde’s eyebrows furrowed.

Then he frowned.

Then he shifted his weight.

Then he crossed his arms.

Then he said, “Slakoth, use Scratch.”

Slakoth obliged with another “Skaaaaa” and began plodding towards Poliwag again at a rather leisurely pace, taking his sweet time to make a move. He had actually gone ahead and raked Poliwag’s swirl-shaped gut again before Casey came to a decision.

“Poliwag, Water Gun.”

Poliwag opened its mouth to unleash another small flood of water upon Slakoth, and just as Casey had (sort of) predicted, along came lots of tiny purple droplets with it.

Now, water doesn’t cause any pain when it comes in contact with eyes of any variety, including the eyes of Pokémon. Usually all it does is get in the way and make the victim blink a lot, and complain about itchiness and maybe even a little bit of swelling. All in all, nothing too serious.

Unfortunately, though, the same could not be said for poison.

Slakoth backed off, paws over its eyes, and began bawling like a little child. The loud noise caused Poliwag to whimper, but she eventually got over it and stared down the Pokémon.

Slakoth staggered to a halt in his crying, dropped to all four paws, and eventually collapsed. Clyde sighed and returned his Pokémon, pocketing the red-and-white Pokéball like the failure of his Pokémon to defeat the other had simply been a bother to him. He went to reach for another one when, much to all spectators’ surprise (this includes the Trainers in the fight), Poliwag took a giant gasp of air and fainted on the spot.

“Poison got to her,” said Casey, biting his lip. “Well… good job, Poliwag.” Casey tried to ignore how strange that sentence felt coming out of his mouth.

“Poliwag is unable to battle,” said Grant in an uncharacteristically firm voice. “On the other hand, so has Slakoth. That leaves the match in a draw! Trainers, send out your next Pokémon.”

Both Trainers had recalled their fallen Pokémon, and neither one of them wanted to be the first to follow Grant’s instructions.

“Come on,” said Clyde impatiently. “Pick someone.”

Casey paused for a second before responding: “Not before you do.”

“Look, I know who I’m gonna use, alright? So just send out your stupid Pokémon and let’s get this over with.”

“Fine by me.” Casey turned to Rotom, who was hovering next to him and beaming like a crazy person, and gave him a look that implied, ‘Get out here’. Rotom understood his expression and floated out onto the field without a word, having Beast rear up and roar ferociously. (Unfortunately, Beast could only make the movements and so Rotom had to do the roaring. It ended up coming out as “Rrooooooooooooorawr!”, only serving to make Clyde snicker.)

When the man realized that Casey was actually serious about sending out Rotom, he rolled his eyes and released another Pokémon. It was somewhat like Slakoth, but stood on two legs and bore white fur. The most important difference, though, was that it was quickly hopping from foot to foot as if it was preparing to fight even then.

“Meet Vigoroth,” said Clyde with a wave of his hand. “I think you’ll find him much, much worse.”

Vigoroth shot his opponent a toothy grin.

“I’d be right in assuming he’s not—” Casey stopped himself halfway through the sentence, remembering Clyde’s mysterious but distinctly bad reaction to the word ‘lazy’. “...assuming he’s not going to lie around so much in the middle of the fight, right?”

“Yes you would,” said Clyde. “Brick Break!”

Vigoroth immediately dived for Rotom, bearing a speed none of the opposition had expected, and promptly began a barrage of punches. Rotom was squealing in pain almost immediately, but Vigoroth paid it no mind and only hopped away after Rotom had been slammed once with each fist. He had hardly returned to his battling position when Casey’s command made itself present:

“Thundershock!”

Rotom gave a little grin and let Beast perform another of his mute roars before charging up a considerable amount of electrical energy. Once that had been accomplished, Beast’s jaws opened and fired the stream of electricity directly at Vigoroth. The Pokémon in question gave a booming laugh and promptly leaped out of the way, landing on all fours and quickly returning to a two-footed stance.

A few of the onlookers bit their lips, Go-Rock Quad or not.

“And again.” Vigoroth leaped in again, dropping to all fours in order to scramble towards Rotom but quickly springing up into the air. This time around, he could only get in one punch before the Wild Monkey Pokémon received a faceful of Beast and sprang back in surprise. While it wasn’t exactly an Astonish attack, the toothy and glowing jaw of a not-quite-canine head was certainly good at making the Pokémon retreat.

Vigoroth hopped back to its position with a yowl – and then another yowl. For, you see, Vigoroth had just realized that he was being surrounded by glowing balls of electricity, sending thin streams of the same sort of energy between them. The wads of energy then proceeded to get slowly closer to him. The Pokémon looked around for help and then jumped up in the air, finding no other way to avoid the Thunder Wave. However, that too was in vain; the fence of electricity moved with him and eventually consumed the Pokémon, leaving jolts of electricity to flicker across the wild fur and its owner to moan in pain.

Vigoroth got over it quickly, though. Upon its Trainer’s request, the Wild Monkey Pokémon screeched and hopped towards Rotom again – it was running on three legs, with the fourth held high in the air. Truth be told, the entire thing looked pretty strange until you took into account the fact that Vigoroth was using Fury Swipes and brought that high-held claw down on Rotom’s body with a roar of triumph.

Rotom smiled widely as the claw passed right through him.

“What the…” Clyde spluttered. “What on Earth did you do?”

Casey shrugged. “I don’t know.”

Clyde scowled at his opponent’s lack of knowledge, while Sheridan had descended into a giggle fit. She could be vaguely heard gasping the word “Immunities!” between bouts of laughter.

Clyde rolled his eyes and said, “Whatever. Vigoroth, just use… just use Brick Break or something.”

His Pokémon didn’t attack, but instead turned around and gave his Trainer a look that practically screamed “I am very disappointed in you”. Of course, this unexpected act of humanity in a Pokémon character was promptly cut short from another Thundershock, courtesy of Rotom.

Vigoroth swiveled back around and immediately bounded in for more Fury Swipes, but this time Rotom simply giggled and levitated out of the way. The white Pokémon was now at the stage where it would be snorting steam out of its nostrils – Vigoroth was just that angry. And it showed as the Pokémon began jumping up and down, screeching angrily and shaking its fists up at the floating form of Rotom. (Caro scowled.)

Rotom seemed insistent on staying up there, so Clyde rolled his eyes. “Your idiot Pokémon just made this an awful lot harder,” he told Casey with the tone of someone completely missing the point of a Pokémon battle. Which he was. “Vigoroth, use Uproar!”

Vigoroth immediately set to work carrying out its Trainer’s command, doing so by stomping its feet and waving its arms in a sporadic little dance and screaming like a maniac. Casey took a step back, covering his ears. ‘How on Earth is that… that noise an actual move?!?’

Regardless of how Uproar got into the ranks of Pokémon moves, Vigoroth used it, and with a yell Rotom’s presence up in the air faltered. Casey could see that Rotom wouldn’t stay up there much longer, despite the fact that he had managed to keep himself levitating up until this point, and decided to make good use of the opportunity while it presented itself. “Rotom, use Thundersho—”

“VIGAAAAAAA! VIGAAAAAARAAAAAAROOOOOOOOOOOOTH! VIGARAAAAAHRARRRRRARRRRRARRRRRR~!”

Sheridan blinked and said, “Oh dear.”

Before Rotom could make a movement, Vigoroth continued on its one-man rampage on everyone else’s eardrums. With the combined pressure of charging a Thunderbolt and trying to ignore Vigoroth’s Jigglypuff impersonation (though it wasn’t doing any damage, Rotom could still hear it), the Ghost-type simply stopped floating. Casey realized exactly what would happen to Rotom’s metal coating were it to hit the ground at its current speed, and shoved his hand in the side pocket of his backpack in a frantic search for Rotom’s Pokéball.

He realized exactly where Rotom’s Pokéball was as the creature hit the ground with a stomach-lurching crunch.

The red glow surrounding Rotom dimmed until it was barely visible, and Beast was sucked back into the core.

“Oh,” said Casey. “Um… should I carry him?”

“Return him to his Pokéball, stupid.”

“I can’t do that!” retorted Casey, clenching his fists and very much wishing he hadn’t gotten into this battle with Clyde at all. “His Pokéball…” The boy suddenly realized that there was no easy way for him to explain just what caused Rotom to turn into its current form, and he simply settled with an immensely pathetic “…can’t actually be used right now.”

Clyde rolled his eyes. “Well, toss him up in the air for all I care. If you were stupid enough to make his Pokéball malfunction, then there’s—”

“Be quiet, will you?” snapped Casey as he trudged onto the battlefield, scooping up Rotom. “I didn’t do anything to Rotom’s Pokéball. If you had noticed the shape it’s been taking this entire time then maybe you would have bothered to…”

“Trainers!”

Grant stopped the argument with great speed. Neither of them were actually aware his voice was even capable of reaching this level of intensity.

Clyde put his hands in his pockets. “Whatever.”

Casey shot him a warning look and then sent out yet another Pokémon, this one being the small green dragon known to many as Larvitar. His Trainer wasted no time in commanding the Pokémon to use Rock Slide, for which it happily obliged. The Pokémon put its claws to the ground, ripping out two disproportionately large boulders in each hand, and flung them at Vigoroth.

Unfortunately, Vigoroth was in the middle of running towards Larvitar with Fury Swipes at the time, and failed to notice. For that reason, the already severely winded Vigoroth got a faceful of boulder.

It dropped on the spot.

There were a few beats of silence, then…

“Vigoroth is unable to battle! Clyde, do you have another Pokémon?”

The man shook his head numbly.

“In that case, victory goes to Casey.” He gestured towards the young man with his hand. “The match is over, and due to the bargain set at the beginning of the match, Clyde now has to come along with us.” He walked out of the battlefield and took the long way around, eventually passing the others (who were sitting on benches constructed to hold onlookers) and stopping to stand behind them. “My work here is done.”

Clyde mumbled a few words that would make Honchkrow blush and returned his Pokémon.

Giratina ♀
March 10th, 2010, 02:20 PM
Okay.

So, a few days ago, my laptop got slammed with a virus.

The good news is, my computer has come out of it unharmed, and my file for Chapter 20 is perfectly fine. But the bad news is, it hit when I only had three pages' worth of chapter, about a third of my usual length. For that reason, it's going to take even longer for the chapter to be up. But because I know you've all been waiting for a long time, and because I had a part of the chapter that... really didn't fit, I've made a prologue for Delta Species. It's on the first page, but for those of you who don't want to bother:
{0} the beast of the sky stirs

Somewhere out in the vast reaches of space, a levitating red Pokémon was attacking empty air.

Well, at least, it looked like empty air. What this Pokémon was clearly aware of was that there was really something there – it was a sort of force field, a barrier designed to prevent that very same red creature from entering the range of the funny blue-and-white planet down below. And yes, the red monster with multicolored tentacles and a jewel in its chest certainly wanted to be there! Even though it had no idea what ‘there’ was called, he was receiving distress calls from fellow members of his species, and that was reason enough to go down and save them.

What this torn Pokémon did not know was that the distress calls from his comrades were not distress calls from his comrades at all. Instead, they were the (mostly) harmless byproduct of a machine so enormous it required a room the size of the average school gymnasium to house. This machine was referenced by its owners and creators as merely “The D-Cannon” (give or take a few ‘mrrrrr’s), and its existence was very much unknown, even to those who lived in relatively close proximity and who saw the results of its existence every day of their lives.

Where The D-Cannon was located, it was causing no harm. The D-Cannon and its immense housing made their home inside what seemed to be an obnoxiously large tower, out in the middle of the desert within an area with no other traces of life for miles and miles every way around. Indeed, even the usual Trapinch and Cacturne who tended to dwell around these rough areas weren’t present.

Those stupid enough to venture into the desert and find The Cannon’s holding area were simply told that it was nothing they should be concerned with and were booted out into the sand-coated wilderness (but not before a meal and good night’s sleep – what desert-dwelling building owner would deny that to idiotic travelers?).

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

For what those morons were not informed of was that the absolute worst calamity to ever occur in that particular Region could be blamed upon the scary big building in the desert. When the building absolutely had to be brought up, people would insist that “Oh, it’s just an old government building. You know the government officials – always making things and not using them.” The belief was held.

But, then again, these people weren’t exactly known for their independent mindsets.

Giratina ♀
March 15th, 2010, 03:56 PM
{20} i am a passerby
(Finally!)


Night had come, and the traveling party (now upped to five) had found themselves struggling to sleep. As a group, though, their minds were all on very different things.

Clyde, whose eyes typically closed the moment he touched the bedsheets, was staring at the small fragments of moonlight coming in from the Pokémon Center window. Sheridan was sitting up in bed, holding a discussion with a very mysterious Mime Jr. with a yellow headdress. This Mime Jr., amazingly, was holding up her end of the conversation in perfectly legible English; there was lots of squealing. Casey was trying to take every possible viewpoint on what torment the looming Gym battle would hand him. Caro was lying in bed silently; he seemed to have recovered from the uncomfortable resurfacing of water under the bridge that had occurred a few days ago, and his thoughts were now on that funny briefcase Grant did a great job of losing. The ex-Grunt himself was the only one even close to falling asleep.

His dreams were fitful.



Black.

…Really. All there is around me is black. I must be dreaming.

This is a dream, right? I am able to watch all of this going on, and I’m also able to see that yes, this IS black all around me, but I don’t know anything else. Nothing is moving – I feel detached. So it must be…

Wait.

What’s that?

In the center there?

I see something.

It’s… fading in, and floating. Like a ghost. It’s small and grayish-blue, with oversized eyes and dangling arms. There’s a wispy thing coming off of its head, like a Drifloon’s cloud. And then… attached to its tail… is that… a lock?

Yes. A lock. There’s a padlock attached to the ghost’s ringed tail. That’s… a little strange.

And ah, hold on. It’s multiplying. The same lock-tailed ghost monster is appearing in all sorts of different places, quickly filling up and blotting out any traces of black that had been left behind. The things were also giving off a convenient soft glowing, meaning that I could no longer see anything except floating ghosts and lights. Eventually, one of them – the first one to appear – stepped forward. When its mouth opened, so did all the other mouths, and they spoke as one.

(I noticed with a jolt that the area inside their mouths was pitch black.)

“WE ARE THE KARMADA.”

The tone was deafening, frankly – so many things speaking at once, even though their voices were relatively low, accumulated and rose to a freakishly loud pitch.

“Um, hi.” I realized a second later that it was an utterly stupid thing to say to this bunch of floating lightbulbs, but there was really no choice in the matter. After all, dreams cannot be controlled very easily. The Karmada didn’t seem to take too badly to this response, for there was no cacophony of screaming a few seconds after that. There was only the voices’ chanting.

“WE ARE INSIDE YOUR MIND.”

“Okay.”

Well, what else was there to say?

“WE ARE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING.”

“And what are you looking for?”

“…SOMETHING.”

“Oh. I don’t mean to be rude, but you’re all sort of creeping me out, so if there’s anything I can help you with…”

“OH, NO, YOUR ASSISTANCE IS NOT REQUIRED.”

“So why are you here?” These Karmada were a handful to follow, even if they weren’t speaking strangely.

“WE SIMPLY WANTED TO INFORM YOU. THERE MAY BE… SIDE EFFECTS.”

“What kind of side effects?”

“WE DON’T KNOW. BUT THERE WILL BE SOME.”

“Alright… um, thank you for letting me know.”

“OUR PLEASURE.”

I looked around, seeing only the eyes boring back into my head. “So… why are you inside my mind, then?”

“WE WERE TOLD TO,” said the Karmada matter-of-factly.

“By who?”

“WE CAN’T TELL YOU THAT.”

“Has the person forbidden you from telling me?”

“NO,” replied the Karmada. “WE REALLY DON’T KNOW WHO TOLD US TO DO IT.”

“But someone did?”

“YES. GOODBYE FOR NOW, GRANT STERNBERG. YOU ARE NEVER WITHOUT US. AS WE ARE NEVER WITHOUT YOU. UNTIL WE FIND WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR, THIS PRINCIPLE WILL HOLD TRUE.”

Then I woke up.





Everyone stared in surprise as, the next morning, Sheridan stepped out of her room with a tiny pink Pokémon curled in her arms. (Grant, especially, seemed startled by this – though he calmed down quickly once he got a better look.) It had a giant red nose and a similarly-colored dot on its stomach, as well as a fuzzy mess of fur that seemed to curl out like a skirt near the Pokémon’s feet. Indeed, if its head had a blue swirly thing on top of it, it would have been a Mime Jr.

Instead, the swirly thing was yellow.

“Guys,” said Sheridan happily, “this is Saffron. She’s my sister.”

Due to the fact that it was really quite early in the morning, everyone’s reaction time was a little delayed, but they all eventually heard what she had said and looked between human and Pokémon in utter confusion.

“Oh, pleeease,” sniffed Saffron. “Don’t look at me like that!”

Except for Caro, who was one of the people not quite used to waking up early and therefore was unable to realize what the Mime Jr. had just said, everyone’s expressions got even more confused. There was a general cacophony that ensued, before Sheridan (with the glaring help of a few young Trainers from the next room) was able to silence everyone.

“Come on, you guys,” she said after they had quieted. “I can explain, I promise. And I’ll do it – but outside.” There was a moan of acceptance as everyone – still in their half-awake states – turned around and went down the stairs, Sheridan and Saffron jabbering in their wake.

“So let me get this straight,” said Casey dubiously after the two had concluded their tale. “This Mime Jr. used to be human, and she’s your sister. Then somebody kidnapped her and knocked her out, and when she woke up she was a little pink Pokémon? And then she got sold to someone who apparently owned one of those festival stalls, where she got sold back to Sheridan?”

“You say that like you don’t believe me,” pouted Saffron.

“No,” he said. “I don’t know if I believe you. But it sure is a lucky coincidence.”

“That still doesn’t explain why she can talk,” pointed out Grant.

Caro raised his hand; he, as one of the few members of the group who had experience in switching bodies, stepped in. “You remember why I can talk to Pokémon? ‘Cause I was a Raichu. And Mime Juniors must have pretty similar vocal capabilities to humans or something, because she remembered how to speak English, and now lo and behold she’s a little Pokémon and still doing it!”

Clyde just watched, utterly confused.



“There’s… a box.”

Casey had finally gotten around to insisting to everyone else that yes, he did need – but not necessarily want, of course – to get this Gym Badge, and they were right now standing inside the first room of the Rhoter Gym. Indeed, attached to the wall fuse-box style was a metal box with a few wires and metal rods inside it, and on top of that box was a pair of rubber gloves. The rods were attached to the wall in various positions on the right-hand side, whereas the wires came out on corresponding places on the left.

“What are we supposed to do with this?” asked Clyde.

“I guess we have to… um…” Casey stared from the metal box to the rather secure-looking sliding door next to it. “Well, I don’t know. But I think it might have something to do with moving on.”

“Yeah, like there’s a current coming from here…” Caro pointed to the left side of the fuse box. “…and if we can connect it right then the current would go along here…” He moved his arm in time with the movements, eventually stopping at the door. “…then it might trigger something over here!”

There was silence for a few heartbeats.

“That’s actually not a bad idea,” noted Sheridan.

Casey pulled off his own gloves and donned the silly-looking, but quite protective, rubber ones. “Since we have no other leads, I think that’s the best we can do.” With that, he picked up one of the wires carefully and pinched the metal tongs on the end of it, attaching the wire to the metal rod directly opposite it. After he had done this three times in total, everyone turned to watch the door.

There was a buzzer sound – ‘Wrong’.

“Doesn’t look like it helped,” observed Clyde intelligently.

“Hold on a minute…” Caro applied force to Casey’s shoulder, effectively making him stumble out of the way. “So what’s the point of this big black X scribbled onto the yellow wire?” He reached out towards the wire in question and unclasped it.

Casey found his balance again and reached for the yellow wire. “Let me see.”

“No, no!” replied Caro. “I almost got it.” He kneeled down so that he could stare into the box better, and finally reached one arm in. “If I’m right, then there’s got to be another wire in this box to connect. Because the X stands for something to be left out, right?”

“It could mean that it’s the only one to be left in,” offered Sheridan dubiously. “Or it could mean that it needs to be…”

“Shush!”

Sheridan blinked as Caro peered into the box, reached in, and made a triumphant ‘Aha!’ as he apparently found something. Caro stood up and slowly brought his arm back into the light room, away from the inky darkness of the back of the box. He had something in his hand, and everyone craned their necks or peered closer at it.

It was a wire, longer than the others, curled up at the back. And it was…

“But that wire is black!” protested Casey. “That’s a dirty trick…”

Indeed, it was a black wire. It had been coiled up tightly, tied together, and shoved unceremoniously in the darkest part of the metal box. It was obviously designed to blend in perfectly with the box’s walls due to a lack of light. Caro plugged the sneaky wire into the port where the yellow wire had just been, and with a pleasant chirping noise the door promptly opened.

“Yes, well,” said Sheridan. “I guess the Gym Leader likes dirty tricks now. Back when I came through it was just an easy maze. As a matter of fact…”

Sheridan then realized that she was alone, and scrambled through the door.



Casey stopped cold in the next room, and everyone else followed suit.

Because, right in the center of the room, was what could only be described as a scrap-metal throne. It had obviously been formed into the very rough shape of a chair from other metals of various kinds, and sitting atop it (in what must be the most uncomfortable seat ever) was who could only be the Gym Leader. He had his blue beanie cap pulled far over his face, sending his eyes into perpetual shadow.

“Hey.” He jumped down from the junkheap and onto the ground with remarkable ease, letting his orange jacket flap around as he did so. Everyone watched him move with varying amounts of interest (save for Sheridan, who seemed to be looking at him curiously). “Y’here for a Gym match?”

“Yes.” Casey’s tone did not betray his unease.

“Oh, ‘kay.” Casey took a breath of relief, happy that he was going to get this done with at last, but it died in his throat at the man’s next words: “Then you’d better be coming back, like… next week or sumthin’.”

“Next week?” he muttered. “No way! I can’t stay here any longer… we’ve been too distracted as it is.” He raised his voice so that the Gym Leader could hear the next question: “What’s so bad that you’ve got to stop taking challenges anyway?”

“Oh, well.” He sighed. “M’dudes ran away.”

“All of them?” asked Grant.

“No, just one, but he’s my main dude, and my other dudes aren’t really all that strong. And the PIA would have my head if they found out that my main Pokémon is lost somewhere in the city – and they hate all of us Holon Leaders’ guts anyway – so I’ve been trying to find him.”

“You didn’t look like you were looking for your Pokémon,” grumbled Clyde.

“So, until I find my dude, I can’t just let you slide past by beating my other dudes, so…” he paused for a moment, apparently deep in thought. “Oh! Wait a minute, man! I got an idea that can work out for both of us!” He shot a crooked, admittedly sleazy-looking grin at Casey. “See, you’re here for a Gym Badge fast, aren’t you? And I’m down a dude, and really not in the mood for a battle right now. So if you can go out and find and defeat my dude, then I can come over to wherever you are and give you a Gym Badge because we can say it was… um, a one on one battle or something. Except, you know, all of my other Pokémon happened to have fainted and stuff.”

Casey’s head whirled just trying to get past his lingo, much less understand what the man was saying. Finally, he had sorted it all out in his brain, and as usual he had a question.

“How will you know where I am?”

“Y’have a JAWS, right?”

“Yeah.” Casey took it out of his backpack and held it up. “What about it?”

“It’s just like a PokéGear, man. You can use it like any old cell phone, as long as you got the other guy’s number. Here, lemme see it.” Stathis held out his hand expectantly, obviously wanting to take the machine. Casey handed it over slowly and dubiously, and watched in confusion as he almost immediately started poking around on the interface. After a few minutes in which the only sounds was the Gym Leader’s button-mashing, Casey was holding his JAWS once again and blinking confusedly down at the screen. The considerably taller redhead slid over to peer over his shoulder, pointing to prove a point.

“See, dude? You just gotta press this button here on the main screen and then select my name with the center button – that’s Stathis, duh, I’m the only one on there – and then y’hold it up to your ear like any old cell phone.” He stood back. “Cool, huh?”

“Oh,” he replied. “Um… thanks. Guys, I guess we should be going no—”

“Excuse me for interrupting,” said Sheridan with a bemused tone, “but I have a question.”

“You do? ‘Kay. Shoot, babe.”

Sheridan scowled at the way Stathis had referenced her, but made no mention of it and instead made a much more sensible response. “What species is this Pokémon of yours?”

Stathis faltered. “Oh.” He took a slouching position, mouth set into a thoughtful frown. “You know, that’s a good question. I don’t actually know. But it’s a Pokémon, you know, with four legs. Mostly red fur, like its whole body is red, you know, but over that there’s lots of yellow fur all over it too.”

‘That’s helpful,’ thought Casey miserably as the group nodded, gave a few mumbled comments to Stathis, and set out through the wire-infused maze. They soon arrived outside and began looking for Stathis’ missing Pokémon at once, the mid-day sun beating on their backs.

DS+ (I really need to do something with this part past character profiles): character profile #8 (http://i39.tinypic.com/2ymvpxt.png), character profile #9 (http://i42.tinypic.com/k0hlpc.png)

Also, if anyone wants to be added to the PM list, give me a holler.

Giratina ♀
April 1st, 2010, 09:04 AM
{21} catch! catch! catch!


“Sir?”

“Sir?”

Fedora Man jumped from surprise. Was it even possible to hold a conversation with two people at once? Curse this infernal newfangled technology! Fedora Man looked between the two screens, at the two people who intended to deliver their reports. …How do you close these windows again?

He gave a very short message to one of the people attempting to contact him and cut the connection, instead turning onto the other one with renewed bemusement.

“What is it, Solana?”

The gray-haired woman coughed. “Well, there have been more recent developments involving the floating orange thing and Professor Lund, the Mime Jr. girl, and Electrium.”

“Have there now?” he asked. “Start with the Pokémon-girl.”

“Right. Well, you know how that woman we caught… you recall how she was silenced? By being focused upon by the Beam?”

“It went just like Her operation did,” he said. “Are you trying to tell me otherwise?”

“Well… there were a few developments concerning the Mime Jr. we weren’t previously aware of,” continued Solana with an extremely uncharacteristic shakiness to her voice. “For one thing, the creature seems to have retained the ability to use human speech. She was apparently just pretending to be a normal Pokémon while our studies had been conducted on her…” Fedora Man scowled, but didn’t interrupt his companion’s explanation. “…which means she could still be capable of relaying what had happened to her to—”

“—the person she was sold to,” finished Fedora Man.

“Yes, and that brings me to my next point.” Solana paused again, but the expression on Fedora Man’s face prompted her not to irritate him any further. The person who she was ultimately sold to… we had done some research into her, sir. We had previously dismissed her as another mere Pokémaniac, interested only in the Shiny and the rare. Which she was.”

“So what’s the problem?” Fedora Man was not a happy camper. “The woman was interested in rare Pokémon, and she purchased a rare Pokémon. We simply retrieve the Mime Jr. and be done with it.”

“That was… not all, sir.”

Fedora Man’s eyes narrowed. “So what about her, then?”

“Her name is Sheridan o’Reilly, sir…” Solana paused. “…whereas the Mime Jr.’s name was Saffron o’Reilly. They were of similar build with exactly the same color hair. It’s hardly a common surname, either, and Saffron has admitted to growing up in this region.” She stopped again. “Sir, I believe that it’s possible – or, dare I say, probable – that Saffron has been sold to her sister.”

“What?”

Well, that was just peachy. The Mime Jr. could spill everything that had happened to her, and she was among people who would definitely treat her nicely to keep her around! Fedora Man, needless to say, was not amused.

“I-it will require much more research before we can make any concrete assumptions, sir—”

Fedora Man slammed his fist on the desk, missing his laptop’s keyboard by inches. “Well then research it!” he snapped, ignoring Solana’s frantic nodding, before taking a few deep breaths in an attempt to calm himself. “…Well, continue, then.”

“Yes, sir,” said Solana dutifully, having apparently recovered from her nervous state. “There have been reports of a strange red-and-yellow Pokémon roaming the streets of Fort Rhion, spewing electric bolts at random passerby. We have not used an Arcanine in any of our experiments yet, and no other red-and-yellow Pokémon tosses around electricity as far as we know, so the most likely bet is that Electrium is on the loose…”

“Electrium? Wasn’t that the Pokémon that was stolen?”

“Yes, sir… it’s possible that the Pokémon had either escaped from its kidnapper and has taken to the streets or had simply run off from the ‘zoo’ – for lack of a better term – by itself. Shall I deploy some operatives to retrieve it?”

“Please do. We need to keep all specimens under a tight leash…” He hesitated. “With the sightings of Electrium, and with the recent disappearance of Tervalve, that means we still have to locate four of the recent group…” He drifted off, and Solana nodded her head solemnly.

“Yes, sir. I will send out a patrol to hunt for it immediately after I’m done here. However, I do have one more thing I need to cover with you, remember?”

“Yes, yes,” grumbled Fedora Man. “Torsten. Go on.”

“Right,” said Solana, regaining her composure. “Mr. Lund. Well, things have been continuing at a steady pace with him, but it seems that the good Professor’s conscience is catching up to him. He’s started spewing some nonsense about how he’s very worried about how the project will affect the small glowing thing, which still hasn’t disappeared… actually, it seems insistent on hovering over Torsten’s shoulder at all times. He doesn’t object.” Solana grimaced. “Tests on it are impossible at this stage, Lund or no Lund. But anyhow, he’s beginning to have second thoughts, and it seems he’s begun to grow a spine as well, if you know what I mean.” Solana frowned disapprovingly. “I’ve talked it over with Nami – Iskra, as usual, proved to be no help at all – and she’s agreed that the matter should be brought to your attention.”

Fedora Man looked at her disapprovingly. “Solana, if he has any information we may have possibly let slip, it will need to be obtained one way or another.”

“Well, he’s obviously not going to let it go easily,” grunted Solana as her patience wore thin. She almost left it at that until another thought crossed her mind, and the expression on her face lifted considerably at this new option.

“…Unless you mean the LEM?”

“If that is what it takes,” said Fedora Man, “then yes. The LEM.”

He cut the connection.

-

“How hard can it be to find a stupid dog?” grumbled Clyde.

The expanded Groupie Galaxy had been wandering through Fort Rhion for hours now, hunting for the vaguely-described Pokémon that Stathis had lost track of. They had determined that none of them had any idea which Pokémon the Gym Leader was talking about, but from asking various people on the street a very wispy, vague trail had led them closer and closer to the volt-spewing monster. And now they were sneaking down a dark street as silent as can be (so as not to scare off the, ahem, ‘prey’) in pursuit of a mysterious electrifying force.

Rotom, as usual, was screwing it up.

“I’m up here!” he called down to Casey, who had long before noticed him hover up above everyone’s heads.

“We get it!” his Trainer called up. “Now don’t make any noise!”

“Why?” Rotom sunk down to eye level immediately.

“Because you’re going to scare off the Pokémon,” explained Caro in a considerably more patient tone.

“Oh, okay!”

Rotom made some sort of salute with his Beast head and returned up to the previous altitude, this time making a lot less noise. (The rest of them were visibly relieved that someone had shut him up; even if the Pokémon was on the other side of the city, that didn’t stop the searchers from being unsettled by his blathering.) With that obstacle out of the way, the group walked on in silence for a few minutes before conversation gradually began to emerge.

“Wait,” said Casey suddenly. “Why are just we looking for this thing? We’ve been hunting this city for hours. Surely there must be some way we can… I don’t know, have us and our Pokémon split up or something?”

“I’m sure we can,” remarked Grant, “but how will we return them? It’s obvious this place is huge; the Pokéballs don’t have that big a range.”

“Well then, we have Kaeo go with them and he can inform me where we are.” Sheridan released the purple Drowzee – showering herself and everyone else with glitter – in order to prove her point. “After all, it’s not like all of the Pokémon need to stay in one group and all the humans in another, otherwise we’d be defenseless if and when we find Stathis’ Pokémon.”

“Well, since I’m the one who’s supposed to fight it, then I should keep all of my Pokémon with me.” Casey tapped one string of his backpack for good measure. “If anyone else wants to send their Pokémon out, they can stick with Kaeo.”

The Drowzee grunted.

Suddenly, from some dark alley, there came a rustling. Everyone looked around, thinking it was the Pokémon they were looking for – but it wasn’t. Nope. What walked out of the shadows was a man in a telltale BDV cloak, holding a rather heavy-looking suitcase.

“Have fun, kids,” the grunt said, setting down the suitcase and running away.

There was barely time to express confusion before Fort Rhion and everyone inhabiting it blew up.

Giratina ♀
April 8th, 2010, 04:27 PM
{21} catch! catch! catch!

“Sir?”

“Sir?”

Fedora Man jumped from surprise. Was it even possible to hold a conversation with two people at once? Curse this infernal newfangled technology! Fedora Man looked between the two screens, at the two people who intended to deliver their reports. …How do you close these windows again?

He gave a very short message to one of the people attempting to contact him and cut the connection, instead turning onto the other one with renewed bemusement.

“What is it, Solana?”

The gray-haired woman coughed. “Well, there have been more recent developments involving the floating orange thing and Professor Lund, the Mime Jr. girl, and Electrium.”

“Have there now?” he asked. “Start with the Pokémon-girl.”

“Right. Well, you know how that woman we caught… you recall how she was silenced? By being focused upon by the Beam?”

“It went just like Her operation did,” he said. “Are you trying to tell me otherwise?”

“Well… there were a few developments concerning the Mime Jr. we weren’t previously aware of,” continued Solana with an extremely uncharacteristic shakiness to her voice. “For one thing, the creature seems to have retained the ability to use human speech. She was apparently just pretending to be a normal Pokémon while our studies had been conducted on her…” Fedora Man scowled, but didn’t interrupt his companion’s explanation. “…which means she could still be capable of relaying what had happened to her to—”

“—the person she was sold to,” finished Fedora Man.

“Yes, and that brings me to my next point.” Solana paused again, but the expression on Fedora Man’s face prompted her not to irritate him any further. The person who she was ultimately sold to… we had done some research into her, sir. We had previously dismissed her as another mere Pokémaniac, interested only in the Shiny and the rare. Which she was.”

“So what’s the problem?” Fedora Man was not a happy camper. “The woman was interested in rare Pokémon, and she purchased a rare Pokémon. We simply retrieve the Mime Jr. and be done with it.”

“That was… not all, sir.”

Fedora Man’s eyes narrowed. “So what about her, then?”

“Her name is Sheridan o’Reilly, sir…” Solana paused. “…whereas the Mime Jr.’s name was Saffron o’Reilly. They were of similar build with exactly the same color hair. It’s hardly a common surname, either, and Saffron has admitted to growing up in this region.” She stopped again. “Sir, I believe that it’s possible – or, dare I say, probable – that Saffron has been sold to her sister.”

“What?”

Well, that was just peachy. The Mime Jr. could spill everything that had happened to her, and she was among people who would definitely treat her nicely to keep her around! Fedora Man, needless to say, was not amused.

“I-it will require much more research before we can make any concrete assumptions, sir—”

Fedora Man slammed his fist on the desk, missing his laptop’s keyboard by inches. “Well then research it!” he snapped, ignoring Solana’s frantic nodding, before taking a few deep breaths in an attempt to calm himself. “…Well, continue, then.”

“Yes, sir,” said Solana dutifully, having apparently recovered from her nervous state. “There have been reports of a strange red-and-yellow Pokémon roaming the streets of Fort Rhion, spewing electric bolts at random passerby. We have not used an Arcanine in any of our experiments yet, and no other red-and-yellow Pokémon tosses around electricity as far as we know, so the most likely bet is that Electrium is on the loose…”

“Electrium? Wasn’t that the Pokémon that was stolen?”

“Yes, sir… it’s possible that the Pokémon had either escaped from its kidnapper and has taken to the streets or had simply run off from the ‘zoo’ – for lack of a better term – by itself. Shall I deploy some operatives to retrieve it?”

“Please do. We need to keep all specimens under a tight leash…” He hesitated. “With the sightings of Electrium, and with the recent disappearance of Tervalve, that means we still have to locate four of the recent group…” He drifted off, and Solana nodded her head solemnly.

“Yes, sir. I will send out a patrol to hunt for it immediately after I’m done here. However, I do have one more thing I need to cover with you, remember?”

“Yes, yes,” grumbled Fedora Man. “Torsten. Go on.”

“Right,” said Solana, regaining her composure. “Mr. Lund. Well, things have been continuing at a steady pace with him, but it seems that the good Professor’s conscience is catching up to him. He’s started spewing some nonsense about how he’s very worried about how the project will affect the small glowing thing, which still hasn’t disappeared… actually, it seems insistent on hovering over Torsten’s shoulder at all times. He doesn’t object.” Solana grimaced. “Tests on it are impossible at this stage, Lund or no Lund. But anyhow, he’s beginning to have second thoughts, and it seems he’s begun to grow a spine as well, if you know what I mean.” Solana frowned disapprovingly. “I’ve talked it over with Nami – Iskra, as usual, proved to be no help at all – and she’s agreed that the matter should be brought to your attention.”

Fedora Man looked at her disapprovingly. “Solana, if he has any information we may have possibly let slip, it will need to be obtained one way or another.”

“Well, he’s obviously not going to let it go easily,” grunted Solana as her patience wore thin. She almost left it at that until another thought crossed her mind, and the expression on her face lifted considerably at this new option.

“…Unless you mean the LEM?”

“If that is what it takes,” said Fedora Man, “then yes. The LEM.”

He cut the connection.

-

“How hard can it be to find a stupid dog?” grumbled Clyde.

The expanded Groupie Galaxy had been wandering through Fort Rhion for hours now, hunting for the vaguely-described Pokémon that Stathis had lost track of. They had determined that none of them had any idea which Pokémon the Gym Leader was talking about, but from asking various people on the street a very wispy, vague trail had led them closer and closer to the volt-spewing monster. And now they were sneaking down a dark street as silent as can be (so as not to scare off the, ahem, ‘prey’) in pursuit of a mysterious electrifying force.

Rotom, as usual, was screwing it up.

“I’m up here!” he called down to Casey, who had long before noticed him hover up above everyone’s heads.

“We get it!” his Trainer called up. “Now don’t make any noise!”

“Why?” Rotom sunk down to eye level immediately.

“Because you’re going to scare off the Pokémon,” explained Caro in a considerably more patient tone.

“Oh, okay!”

Rotom made some sort of salute with his Beast head and returned up to the previous altitude, this time making a lot less noise. (The rest of them were visibly relieved that someone had shut him up; even if the Pokémon was on the other side of the city, that didn’t stop the searchers from being unsettled by his blathering.) With that obstacle out of the way, the group walked on in silence for a few minutes before conversation gradually began to emerge.

“Hold on,” said Casey suddenly. “Why are just we looking for this thing? We’ve been hunting this city for hours. Surely there must be some way we can… I don’t know, have us and our Pokémon split up or something?”

“I’m sure we can,” remarked Grant, “but how will we return them? The Pokéballs don’t have that big a range.”

“Well then, we have Kaeo go with them and he can inform me where we are.” Sheridan released the purple Drowzee – showering herself and everyone else with glitter – in order to prove her point. “After all, it’s not like all of the Pokémon need to stay in one group and all the humans in another, otherwise we’d be defenseless if and when we find Stathis’ Pokémon.”

“Since I’m the one who’s supposed to fight it, then I should keep all of my Pokémon with me.” Casey tapped one string of his backpack for good measure. “If anyone else wants to send their Pokémon out, they can stick with Kaeo.”

The Drowzee grunted.

“Everyone should have at least one member of their team with them in case trouble arrives. I’ll keep Pinsir with me.” Grant crossed his arms, brow furrowed in thought. “So… the leftovers can go look with Kaeo, then, I guess?”

There was a general muttering of agreement as many, many Pokémon were sent out at once. The two Raticates (Grant’s and Caro’s) sniffed at each other curiously, then decided that the other was fine and immediately started up an… ahem… riveting discussion about the finer points of Dumpster diving. Slakoth looked around, yawned, and then started pulling on Clyde’s leg until, with an irritated grunt, he picked the Pokémon up. Kaeo looked around calmly, not letting any of the other Pokémon talk to him until Caro’s Azumarill tapped him on the shoulder and asked the question that has graced millions of kindergartners the world over: “Wanna be friends?” There was a whole mess of other Pokémon communication, and after a brief rousing speech from Caro the two parties separated.



“What?” muttered one figure.

“They’ve split up?” hissed another.

“Dumb,” noted a third.

Unknown to any member of the Groupie Galaxy, hiding on a nearby rooftop crouched two humans and a Delcatty. They were all watching their prey intently, and so when said “prey” became a lot harder to round up, the division was not missed.

“Follow?” mused Billy.

“Of course we follow them,” said Kidd. “We were sent to find Electrium, weren’t we? And since Aerith over here was sneaking around where she shouldn’t have been…”

“I do whatever I like,” snapped the Delcatty in response.

“Let me finish!” growled Kidd before continuing. “But because Aerith and her big head felt like sneaking around where she shouldn’t be, something good actually came out of it – you got that, Aerith? Something good – and we found that those guys…” She pointed at the Groupie Galaxy, “…are looking for it too! Plus CD0000 decided to stick around, which means they must still have the missing information, and they have that Saffron girl… Mime Jr. …thing cuddled in their arms! This is a perfect opportunity!”

“We do what?” asked Billy, frowning at them.

“Here’s what we do,” said Aerith, lashing her tail. “We take the pink fluffball, we abduct CD0000, we drive the others out, and then we catch Electrium.”

“You forget the Pokémon,” noted Kidd. “They must have plenty of strong ones, right? And when we have a whole mob of strong Pokémon walking around and they’re not ours, it’s not always good. They do look strong, you know, even if that’s the most pleasant adjective they have…” She shuddered at the state of the blonde woman’s hair. Tips dyed green? Really? “…And for all we know, they could all be a pack of…” She paused. “…Mightyenas…”

All three of them cringed in unison.

“Well, whatever!” barked Aerith in a very un-Delcattylike way. “Our mission is to capture stragglers!”

“That’s right!” gasped Kidd. “And we’ve got to do it!”

“Uh-huh,” remarked Billy.

The three all sprang to their feet and began a very complicated series of jumps, leaping up and on a wide variety of storefronts and Dumpsters to find the ground again. There was a general maniacal giggle for good luck, and then the two cloaked humans and the Pokémon ran off to do their masters’ bidding. They were swooshing capes and making very large bounds and generally making fools of themselves, but really, who cares? There was an actual job to do now!



Azumarill’s head turned sharply to the left.

“Did you hear that?” he asked.

Zephyroth and Hal (Caro and Grant’s Raticate, respectively, named to prevent confusion within the group) looked at Azumarill dubiously.

“No,” they said in unison.

“I didn’t,” confessed Vigoroth. “But I’ll listen harder!”

“Right,” muttered Crobat. “We’ll leave you to that.”

“Well,” noted Zephyroth, “We do have the biggest ears here…”

“But then again, so does Azumarill, and he heard…” said Hal without skipping a beat.

“This could be a problem!” the two concluded at once.

“Wow,” whispered Azumarill to Kaeo. “They’ve only just met, right? And already they’re perfectly in sync!”

“It’s interesting,” replied the Psychic-type in hushed tones. “I suppose they realized that their brains work very much the same.”

“OHOHO.”

Everyone jumped in unison as two comparatively tall figures (and one short one) hopped out from behind a Dumpster, silhouetted against the dark alleyway in some sort of dramatic entrance. A few seconds later they all stepped into a position where it was considerably easier to see, and the ever-persistent Billy, Kidd, and Aerith emerged.

“We’re here to catch you,” explained Aerith, much to the surrounding Pokémon’s surprise. “So, you see, if you could just relax and allow us to go about our business, nothing gets broken.”

Vigoroth growled. Zephyroth and Hal skittered into what could possibly be called ‘battle position’. Kaeo raised his arms and Azumarill’s ear twitched. It was obvious they weren’t going to leave easily; the three realized this at once, and didn’t even bother making a short quip about how intelligent they were before hopping into attack mode.

Aerith bounded forward at once, landing on Kaeo. He took a step back, not realizing that he would be the one targeted despite being the leader of the group. Hal pounced, trying to whack Aerith off but only managing to scratch her. The Delcatty lashed her tail in anger and sprang off of Kaeo, now intent on catching her latest victim, and failed to notice the mob of Manectrics which had assembled behind her.

“Hello,” they said before shoving Aerith back into her teammates and chasing them off in a barking rage.

“Dogs not like us!” wailed Billy.

“Apparently,” grunted Crobat.

There was a general silence then, as the group wondered who should imply that they really needed to get going. As a result of this, the entire group was visibly on edge. And then…

“Hm?” Kaeo’s eyes widened.

“What is it?” came the general cacophony that was supposed to be the rest of the Pokémon.

“We should return to Sheridan and the others quickly,” said Kaeo in an eerily calm voice. “Like, now.”

delta species + (character profile 10) (http://i41.tinypic.com/99gvfp.png)

Giratina ♀
April 16th, 2010, 09:01 AM
{22} irresistible force, immovable object


Well, it was red. And yellow. It was a Pokémon, certainly (it was not animal and definitely not human). With spiked fur crowning its head on either side. By all means, it was exactly what Stathis had described. The only problem – aside from that, none of them had any idea what it was.

“Um, Caro,” said Casey. “I… don’t believe I’ve seen that before…”

“Neither have I.”

“Oh.” He blinked. “That’s… that’s a problem, then?”

Sheridan, on the other hand, was far from being deterred from the fact that it was completely unidentifiable. Instead, she gave a little squeal normally reserved for overly-ambitious fangirls and practically pranced up to the mysterious red lion, who in turn growled ferociously. Everyone else then proceeded to watch in bewilderment as Sheridan began cooing to the monster like a mother to her child, hopping back and giggling when it lashed out at her. (It didn’t work as well when there were lightning bolts involved.)

“Hey, be careful!” yelled Grant. “That thing could… could paralyze you or something!”

Sheridan didn’t seem to hear – though Caro did.

“Oh, come on, now you’re just getting paranoid,” he snorted. “Only Luxrays do that.”

Finally, Clyde found himself fed up with her acting like an obsessive idiot and strode up to the woman, pulling her back to the rest of his group by the ponytail. “Stay,” he told her, wagging a finger like she was some sort of misbehaving pet. Sheridan pouted. (Despite the seriousness of the general situation, Caro had to fight to keep down a snicker.)

“Eliiii!” snapped the Pokémon. “Electri-um!”

“Electrium, is it?” muttered Casey, whipping out the JAWS and pointing it at the lion Pokémon. A few seconds passed.

Casey scowled.

“Hello?” he said, shaking the JAWS and pointing it at Electrium again. “There’s a Pokémon in front of you! Get its entry!”

It didn’t.

“Forget this,” he grunted, tossing the JAWS back in his backpack in favor of a Pokéball. “You’re an Electric-type, aren’t you?”

Electrium hissed violently.

“I think that’s his ‘yes’ hostile roar,” noted Caro.

Within seconds the Pokéball’s telltale sucking sound had played, and on the ground stood the small green dinosaur we call Larvitar. He almost immediately noticed the growling four-legged Pokémon in front of him; instead of being surprised at not recognizing it, he simply spread his weight out in characteristic “Let’s fight!” style.

Electrium took notice and immediately dove for him, mouth open for a Thunder Fang.

“Rock Slide.” Casey addressed this calmly and almost without emotion, quite unlike many of the flashy attack commands the normal Gym challengers threw out. Though Casey could hardly be considered a normal Gym challenger… and, then again, this could hardly be considered a normal Gym challenge. Regardless, Larvitar held up a paw in agreement and set to work summoning a few obnoxiously large boulders to lob at Electrium.

The Pokémon’s eyes widened, but momentum kept it going – directly into a boulder. Electrium closed its jaws on the rock, crunching it, but there went its attack. It stopped and ducked its head down, right in time to get hit by another giant wad of earth hot on the trail of the first. It screeched and fired up another Thunder Fang, dashing towards Larvitar again. This time, though, Electrium was too close to be swatted off with some rocks, so our green dinosaur friend took a step back and held his arms out like someone in a green tunic trying to halt a bull.

Electrium ducked to get closer to the ground and opened its mouth wide, flickers of static illuminating the pointy teeth inside with striking contrast. Electrium was almost right over Larvitar now, and it went in for the attack…

…which didn’t do anything.

Larvitar held up his arms, an almost bored expression evident from his frown, and let the electricity pass through his body without batting an eye.

Electrium blinked, dazed for a second but seeming to understand what had happened. It lashed its tail and nodded; having gained some useful information about this new challenger, it would be able to modify the strategy accordingly. Caro raised his eyebrows, having found a nice place to sit on a relatively clean crate.

“The Pokémon knew about type advantages… not many of them do.” Clyde turned his head to Caro, confusion evident on his face. After a brief silence, Caro started laughing. “Oh! Right, I didn’t tell you, did I? Haha, no, you weren’t here…” He snickered again before returning to what could be called a serious expression if one was standing a few feet away with their back to him. “Ahem. I’m a Pokémon.”

Clyde opened his mouth to respond, thought better of it, and merely shook his head.

Meanwhile, back on the more exciting part of the wide but secluded street, Larvitar was staring Electrium down with a high-quality death glare. A few seconds later, Electrium whipped its head around ferociously and lunged for Larvitar yet again, jaws open.

“He’s not going to try that again, is he?” asked Saffron.

“No,” replied Sheridan. “See? No electricity. Actually, that energy seems to be red…” She leaned closer towards the battle, squinting.

“Fire Fang,” concluded Grant helpfully.

Larvitar whipped his tail in Casey’s general direction, implying that now would be a lovely time to give him a command.

“Sandstorm.”

The sand that had been trickling out of Larvitar’s body at a slow but steady pace since the battle started almost immediately rose in frequency, until the stuff was practically flying out. Larvitar waved his arms around a few times, sending the mounds of dirt and rock up into the air. It allowed just enough time to shoot Electrium an evil grin before the flakes flew.

Electrium yowled a couple of times and lunged at a spot he thought was Larvitar.

Throwing your body weight onto a Dumpster is not a pleasant experience; Electrium learned this the hard way, having missed the Ground-type Pokémon completely. It turned and pointed one claw at the Electric-type, giving a raspy laugh. (Caro was frowning disapprovingly.) Electrium scampered away from the Dumpster, eyes glinting maliciously, and launched right back into his Bite.

Larvitar, in his amusement, had failed to notice this – not a wise decision in the heat of battle, obviously, and yet he had failed to get the memo. And so Larvitar was still laughing at Electrium’s previous misfortune when a bunch of extremely sharp fangs bit down on his extremely tough skin.

Had this been a more, ahem, ‘official’ entry, now would have been the time where everyone were to be subjected to a glorious explosion of dust and sound. Or maybe just an oxymoron. Either one would have sufficed.

Regardless, Electrium bit down harder. And harder. And harder. Larvitar had started out by gritting his teeth, but it soon became apparent that the Electric-type had no intention of letting go, and he began to squeak (adorably). Casey noticed almost immediately, and he wasn’t pleased. He began to walk forward, thought better of it, and stopped where he was. It wasn’t necessary to mention that he was glaring daggers and laser beams the ferocity of which had never been previously documented. He had even gotten a syllable out of his mouth before a much more commanding voice barked out of nowhere.

“STOP!”

Out of a side alley stormed an absolutely furious Stathis, glaring daggers and laser beams under his low-rimmed blue beanie. Electrium apparently heard him and released his jaws just slightly; Larvitar, being the crafty little monster he was, slipped out and scuttled away. Electrium made a move to follow, but that notion was quickly shut down.

“NO.”

Electrium froze.

Still boiling (as was made perfectly clear by his actions), Stathis held out a Pokéball. At the same time, Casey did the same exact thing. Within moments the feuding Pokémon had both been recalled, with their owners staring at the other.

“Sorry, man,” he grunted. “I should’ve told you before.”

“It’s alright,” Casey sighed. “The Pokémon Center should be able to handle it…”

“No, it isn’t.”

“What?” Casey blinked. “You really think he was hurt that hard?”

“Not the Pokémon!” Stathis ground his boot into the road. “Yeah, I should have told you about his temper tantrums… I was all caught up in the idea of getting him reined in again and didn’t explain. Maybe wanted him to let off some steam an’… never mind, never mind.” He shook his head, slinging the wire jump-rope over his shoulder. “Here, follow me… I’m going back.”

“You mean you can actually find your way out of this place?” Clyde grumbled.

“Sure I can,” remarked Stathis, his mood suddenly improved. “Lived here since I was a kid, you know. I ran around these backstreets here all m’life… a lot of people have compared them to the Labyrinth, you know.”

“Labyrinth… that sounds familiar,” pondered Casey.

“It’s over in Raxi City,” continued Stathis. “Almost half the Slums are eaten up by it. The whole place is, like, made up of windy side alleys, and it’s pitch black all times of day. A Venomoth could get lost in there. Of course, this place isn’t as famous or as dangerous as the Raxi Labyrinth, but… it’s pretty similar.”

“Where is this Raxi place?” asked Casey, whipping out his JAWS to scour the ‘map’ function. “Sounds interesting.”

“It’s the next Gym on the circuit. You won’t miss i—” Stathis halted suddenly. “Oh!” He whirled around to point a finger at Casey again. “You was able to find my dude until I could control him. That means you did all the stuff for the Gym Badge! …Sorta.” He fished around in his jacket pocket and pulled out a small metal object. It was interesting, to say the least – a red circle inside of a black one, with a lightning bolt pattern laid over both of them. “Have fun with your Voltage Badge, dude.”

Casey took it with a smile and a “Thank you,” holding it up to look over his newest piece of official League shiny.

The procession continued with Stathis leading the way proudly, not stopping to check direction once. Within a matter of minutes the group found themselves standing right back in front of Fort Rhion’s Gym.

“This is where we part, peeps,” the red-haired Gym Leader remarked. “Personally, I’d just go back to the Pokémon Center for now; going into Holon Forest after dark is like a death wish. Good luck on your challenge, man.” With a final nod he disappeared into the darkness of the Gym, leaving the Groupie Galaxy in the streets.



The group had finally found their way back into the Pokémon Center, and later their rooms, and Casey was ready to flop on the bed and simply sleep.

Of course, Amarachi would have none of that.

Casey entered the room to find the little pink-clad girl plopped on his bed, sitting cross-legged and apparently waiting for him to enter. Too tired to put up much of a fight, Casey threw his stuff on the floor and tried to swat her out the window in a half-awake stupor. When Amarachi resisted, he finally committed a sizable part of his brain to dealing with her and asked, “What do you want?”

“I’m here to tell you my name,” she said.

“So after you’ve told me your name you’ll leave?” Casey set to work stuffing his few belongings into various chests and drawers.

“Amarachi.”

“Huh?” The teenager looked up from his work.

“Amarachi. It’s my name.”

“Oh,” he replied. “Okay. Nice name.”

Amarachi nodded. “Do you know what the Delta Species are?”

“Vaguely,” he replied. “They’re Pokémon who were scientifically enhanced to have new powers and stuff.”

“They used to be that.” Amarachi frowned, her mask’s eyes boring into Casey’s skull. “Recent developments suggest otherwise.”

“Oh yeah?” he replied. “So why do I care?”

“’Cos you’ll be seeing a lot of them. You saw a lot of them.” Amarachi stood up on the bed then, turning towards the open window. Casey (who was facing the other way) failed to notice this – at least until she made a move towards it, suggesting that the girl was going to actually leap out.

“Wh—hey!”

He swiveled around and scrambled across the room, planning to catch Amarachi before she scampered off. He found, much to his dismay, that he was too late…

Biting his lip, Casey peered down to the ground, not particularly enjoying the concept of a kid-sized corpse under his window. Instead, though, he watched as the caped enigma darted off into the trees.

“This is wrong,” sighed the Trainer as he flopped onto his bed again. “So, so wrong.” Suddenly, though, he paused. The mattress under his head felt very hard, quite unlike the rest of the bed. Sitting up again with some mental prompting, he fished around under the pillows for quite a while until he found the source of the unusual firmness.

It was a briefcase.

Pokeyking
April 17th, 2010, 06:35 PM
Ma, just when I put my fic that I've been writing for over a year up, BAM! Regardless, I really like it. It has a great narritive, developed characters, and you actually have LONG chapters! i have to commend that. Good work, you have a new reader.

Giratina ♀
April 17th, 2010, 06:41 PM
I was actually going to go review your fanfic and have the first line mention that I mistook it for my own. (I actually did a couple of times.) |D I'll go and review that tomorrow when my computer isn't acting up. Anyway, thank you for the compliments! :3

And I've been plotting this for almost a year now, so we're on the same track.

Pokeyking
April 17th, 2010, 06:42 PM
I'm just happy we have a different plot XD Mines about a parallel universe, your holon.

Giratina ♀
April 17th, 2010, 06:45 PM
True, true. And yours is Pokémon-centric, right?
/hasn't read it yet

(Psst, we ought to continue this in a VM chat or something)

Giratina ♀
April 21st, 2010, 02:37 PM
{23} dna strands in my hair


Having once again come into possession of The Briefcase, Grant immediately vouched to carry it again – however, when reminded of what had happened the last time he made that proposal, the man huffily gave up and let Caro (who had mentioned that “it looked better on him anyway”) carry the thing instead.

“However!” Grant remarked. “Don’t even think about looking in there without my permission!”

“Who nominated you God of Briefcases?” snarked Clyde from behind him. Grant held up the Pipe as an implication that it would be used; this shut him up very quickly.

“Guys, stop arguing,” said Casey from the lead. He was in the process of checking and re-checking his JAWS, figuring out exactly what they were supposed to do from there on out. “…Here, look at this. Stathis said we had to go to Raxi City next, but we’ve got another town just a little way off the path.” He stopped to let the others catch up, and they all huddled into a meeting of sorts (Rotom having trying to hog the view but was pushed away by a multitude of hands).

Casey pressed a button after peering at it for a second, and the JAWS made a whirring noise. A second later a 3D map of Holon, seemingly ripped right out of a futuristic space cruiser, popped up.

After a brief “ooh-ahh” session, Casey used his finger to trace out the plan. “Okay, so we should be somewhere around here right now. A lot of the way is pretty much farmland, so that’s no problem, but look at this – it’s a long way around, and there’s a small town over here. Just a slight detour, see? So I was thinking that when we get there we take advantage of the rest of the day or night off and continue going in the morning – if we go fast this part should take us around a day.”

“I see,” remarked Sheridan. “So what of the part that isn’t farmland?”

“Well, I guess we’ll handle that when we get to it.” Caro switched The Briefcase from one hand to the other. “Sounds like a plan to me!”

“This is a detour, the town we’re going to?” asked Clyde.

“Yeah,” muttered Grant, still tetchy about The Briefcase. “Weren’t you listening?”

He moaned, but made no further comment.

They had just put away the JAWS and began walking again when it occurred to Casey that maybe the others would like to know that he had a stalker in a little pink mask. “Hey,” he said as they walked. “You remember the kid in the cape we saw in the forest that time?”

“No,” was the unanimous deadpan.

Casey sighed. “Okay… here. Pink cape, red hair, stupid mask…”

“Oh, right!” chirped Sheridan. “The mute girl!”

“Yeah, her,” Casey grumbled, a little put off by her choice of words. “She’s actually not mute – but she poofed into existence in the Pokémon Center last night.”

“Don’t tell me you’ve been on another one of your midnight treks,” said Clyde.

“No!” replied Casey defensively. “I mean… no, no I haven’t. She just magicked herself into being in the center of my bedroom, told me her name, and then left.”

“She also left the Briefcase on your bed,” pointed out Grant, indicating the accessory in question.

“We don’t know that she did that.” Casey shrugged. “Anyway, I think she said her name was Amarachi.”

“Weird name,” said Caro distractedly.

Clyde raised an eyebrow. “Look who’s talking!”

Letting the two others continue their jabs at each others’ identities, Casey craned his neck to get a good look at the territory beyond. It was the same boring farmland he had been looking at for the past day or two, with absolutely no sign of the elusive Epsil Town to speak of. Casey sighed and drummed his fingers on his hip as he walked.

“Oh, you want to get to Epsil that bad, don’t you?” asked Saffron.

The procession froze.

“…Did I say that out loud?” squeaked the little Pokémon from Sheridan’s arms. “I’m sorry… Um, I was just sort of… well, I heard you talk and… was that just thoughts out loud?”

“I didn’t say that…” said Casey slowly.

“Oh… sorry.” Saffron sweatdropped. “I guess I must have—”

“…I thought it.”

“Eh?!?”

Sheridan looked down at her younger sister in Mime Jr. form and smiled. “Looks like your psychic powers are beginning to kick in, doesn’t it?” Saffron shrugged her petite shoulders but didn’t say much else.

“Well, in any case, yes. I want to get there quickly.” Casey looked ahead again; no luck this time, either. He said the next line in a considerably lower tone, almost inaudible.“Sooner we start, sooner we end…”

Saffron frowned pensively, but wisely said nothing.



Finally, after scampering up a hill that nobody seemed to recall being on the map, the Groupie Galaxy had Epsil Town in sight. As soon as they reached the top, the white-haired member of the group let out a sigh of relief and turned his head to the sky.

“Thank. You. Arceus.” Clyde said each word as its own sentence.

“Come on,” grumbled Caro, pulling him by the arm in order to get him moving and later hopping out of the way as Clyde attempted to regain his balance from being pulled down a hill.

Clyde huffed, brushed himself off, and continued walking at a brisk pace. “Let’s just go to town already.”

“Right!” Caro scuttled down the hill after him, leaping and skipping like a Stantler down a cliff. Clyde wisely decided to pause and let him pass instead of try to keep ahead of the agile young man.

Once everyone had hopped, skipped, or skidded to the bottom, they all could see Epsil Town plain as day in front of them. Instead of pondering what they would do while just standing around on the outskirts of the town, the group sat down at a cute side café to plan their next few days over a multitude of fun little sandwiches.

“Hey, look at that!” said Caro, apparently unaware of the Mime Jr. stuffing her face directly next to him. “This whole town just clings to the Route. It’s like Solaceon Town but… smaller.”

“I guess not every settlement can be a metropolis,” said Casey in response, turning to gaze at the fields and farms that dotted the rest of the visible landscape. (In truth, he had only just recently wrapped his head around the fact that not every settlement took up half of the Region.) He watched a shape flicker across the sky – it looked like a messy blob, but then again his observation point was very far away. A plane of some sort? Casey was pondering this when Sheridan’s voice broke into his head.

“So, Casey…”

“Huh?” He blinked. “Oh. Uh, what is it?”

Sheridan put down the sandwich she was holding, and leaned on the table like she was some sort of interviewer.

“For viewers who have just recently joined us,” she continued to much snickering, “we were talking about growing up and whatnot. So what was it like over in Hoenn? Sweaty, right?”

This caught him off guard.

Casey was about to open his mouth to object with something to the tune of “But I’ve never been to Hoenn!” when he recalled what he had scribbled down on the obnoxiously long Trainer registration form so long ago. According to that cursed little piece of paper, Casey Blair grew up in Hoenn, not Calda…

“How did you find out about that?” he asked. “I don’t think I ever told any of you.”

“Didn’t you notice?” asked Caro. “Everyone who signs up as a Trainer is asked if the Holon League can display their information publicly, instead of just on the personal log. You did give them permission, didn’t you?”

…He had skipped that section.

Ugh.

“Oh, right,” he said. For a few seconds he sat, rapidly trying to piece together every useless fact about Hoenn he had ever learned. After that few seconds had passed he realized that doing that was generally a stupid idea and, unless he intended to spend at least the next week becoming a scholar/traveler of Hoenn, then maybe fessing up would be a better idea.

And then he said: “Beats me. I’ve never actually been to Hoenn in my life.”

This statement was greeted with the clattering of silverware, sandwiches, and four people (as well as a Mime Jr.) struggling to make sense of what he had just said. Failing this, they all settled on one word:

“What?!?”

“Yeah,” sighed Casey. “I didn’t grow up in Hoenn. Just Calda.” He averted his eyes from the rest of the group to settle on Rotom, who had made himself comfortable floating above them all and making Beast jab at invisible, extraterrestrial enemies trying to attack the Groupie Galaxy’s main planet.

It was then he noticed that all five confused expressions had turned into Death Glares.

“Explain,” deadpanned Sheridan. “Now.”

And explain he did – everything from that bus to Rotom and the lovely Back Alley Incident to what he actually looked like without Palkia’s magic worked on him (“Pretty lame, to be honest,” he confessed, “short with brown hair and eyes.”). It was all there. Rotom sometimes plopped down to everyone else’s level in order to make some sort of hopelessly adorable comment, but soon returned to his imaginary game. In the end, though, the effect went through the same way – exactly the way he hadn’t wanted it to.

They were all staring at Casey as if they had never met the boy before.

He sat back in his chair, took a deep breath, and held up his hands as if showing that he was now unarmed. “And that,” he concluded, “is the truth.”

The silence that ensued could suffocate a Probopass.

“Wait,” said Caro slowly. “So you… you sneaked Rotom out of…”

“Yes,” he said. “Out. Of Calda. Didn’t I just get done explaining that?”

“Well… yes, but…” Caro hesitated. “…You??”

Very tactful, Caro.

“Yes, me,” grumbled the boy in response. “Why do you find that surprising?”

“Well… I mean…” Caro was obviously trying to find better words for the expression he wanted to convey, but unfortunately it didn’t seem like that was happening. Finally, he seemed to find something and explained. “You don’t seem like the kind of the guy who would be a… you know…”

Casey grimaced. “Trust me, I didn’t like it any more than you did.”

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Sheridan relayed sagely. “It certainly sounded like a difficult ordeal…”

The redhead leaned back in his chair and sighed. “Yeah, but I’ve dug my own grave now.” He remembered something and turned to Saffron, who had finished leeching the sandwich supply and was now lying on the table, sunning herself. “Well, now you see why I want to get this done so badly, don’t you?”

It was then he realized that she was asleep.

“Never mind,” he grunted, turning back to the others. “Anyway, yeah. I was planning to get this whole thing over with so that Giratina can’t complain anymore and I can, hopefully, get back to Calda somehow. Not much about me is the same; nobody will ever be able to guess.”

“And what of your team?” asked Grant.

“Um…” Casey paused. He hadn’t actually thought of that. “I don’t know. I would probably release them or something.”

“You’d release them?” Caro looked at him as if the idea had never struck him before. Interestingly enough, it hadn’t.

“Well, yeah.” Casey leaned his head on one arm. “There’s really nothing else you can do with them once you’re in a Region where they’re outlawed, and it would just be stupid to leave them in a PC for the rest of their existence…”

“Oh, I see,” said Clyde in dark tones. “So you’re just doing this to please that Giratina chick and then you’re going to run off back to your safehaven like nothing even happened? Have you even realized how serious this is?”

“You go around a Region collecting Badges, and then you’re finished.” Casey said this as if he were explaining how two plus two equaled four.

Clyde facepalmed. “No, you idiot! For one thing, you’ve got to fight the Pokémon League Champion before you can run off doing…” He stopped for a moment, thought (this impressed everyone greatly), and then stared at Casey again. “…oh, of course. You haven’t seen any of the really strange stuff yet, have you?”

“I’ve seen plenty of ‘strange stuff’ in this Region already, thanks.”

“No,” continued the ex-villain, standing up. “Not the people, but the journey itself… here, let me see your JAWS.” Casey handed over the amusingly-named contraption and Clyde pulled up the 3D map again. He held out a finger to aid his explanation. “See here? So far, you’ve seen Fort Rhion, Rhoter City, and now this place. It’s only about a third of the Region. Do you know what this part of the Region is called?” Casey shook his head, slightly unnerved by this sudden display of competence. “‘The Flatlands’. The topography here has been completely boring, but Mirage Forest has been pretty much pushed back to make way for more farmland..” He slid his finger downwards and to the left, stopping over another settlement. “As a matter of fact, Talwing Town over here is pretty much the only place with the Forest still intact. Omicropolis is very industrial, Sigmon’s a volcanic mess. Raxi’s ecosystem is… not inspiring.”

He sat down again and crossed his legs. “So don’t take this whole thing as fields and fantasies, even if you just want to get out of it.”

The only thing Casey could think to say was, “And you know this… how?”

“It’s old information, mostly,” he grunted. “Probably changed a lot. Wouldn’t be surprised if Omicropolis is a jungle and Raxi is a fluffy meadow of butterflies.” He crossed his arms. “Well, whatever. You just can’t take this like it’s some sort of easy task, alright?”

“Okay.” Of all the people Casey expected to give him a lecture, Clyde was most definitely not one of them.

Apparently trying to direct the conversation away from its current topic, Caro pointed at a comparatively mammoth building a short ways away. “Hey, what’s that?”

Sheridan turned in her seat to look; she was able to identify it. “Oh, that’s the Epsil Museum. It’s pretty huge, right?” She leaned in closer and said her next words with a hushed undertone. “Honestly, I think it’s the only thing keeping this place on the map…”

The others nodded their agreement.

“Well,” said Grant, turning back to the map. “We’ve got the rest of the day to eat up, and taking the long way around Lake Heta could take a while. Should we go check it out?”

“Yeah, sure.” With that, Casey stood up and stretched before beckoning for the others to follow him.

After paying the surprisingly cheap fee, the group formulated a tried-and-true plan: everyone ran off in a separate direction and met up at the same place in a few hours. Nobody ended up running in the same direction as any of their peers, so Casey and Rotom found themselves with an interesting lack of groupies as they went wandering around.

Casey had wandered about for a bit before stopping to observe a section of the museum aptly named “Pokémon: Mysterious Monsters”. Not for any particular reason – well, okay, maybe he was kind of curious about that flying blob – except that it had simply been the one he walked to.

Eventually he had wandered to one of the largest areas of the exhibit room, centered around an extremely strange series of Pokémon native primarily to the Kanto and Johto Regions. They were referred to as “Glitches” primarily; according to the small tsunami of plaques hovering around him, many scientists believed that they were prototype Porygon (a digital Pokémon, apparently – Casey wasn’t aware that they could do that) which had run rampant from the Cinnabar laboratory they were developed in.

“Rotom, look at this,” he said distractedly, still focusing on the strange Pokémon concept.

“Ah, you’ve found the Glitches?” called a voice from behind him.

Casey turned his head to find, standing next to him, a man wearing brown pants over what could only be called an olive-green cloak, assembled from two different colors of fabric and being long-sleeved on only one arm (the other was a white color). This was all well and good, but no matter how silly it looked, this newcomer’s outfit dwarfed in comparison to the juggernaut which was apparently his hair – immense black spikes flew out in all directions, with more than a few of the bangs and a stripe down the middle being white.

Casey couldn’t help but be reminded of an old medical comic.

“Apparently so,” he said, turning back to them. “Not very hard, considering the size…”

“Oh, yes, the size.” The man chuckled. “I’m afraid I’m the one to blame for that; as the curator of this museum I have more than a little say in what goes on in the exhibits, and I must admit that the study of these so-called Glitch Pokémon is one of my… ah… pet hobbies.”

“Oh,” said Casey. “I see. Well, it’s certainly an interesting topic…”

“That it is!” The curator’s yellow eyes began to take on a vaguely sparkly quality. “I frankly can’t explain why it’s so, but I find the subject absolutely fascinating!” The gushing continued for a minute or so after that, eventually descending into a mix of blabbering which Casey was relatively sure he had heard on the Internet somewhere. Despite himself, the young man zoned out there, seeking not to either agree or disagree with his apparent borderline-obsession for fear of his life and/or eardrums.

Eventually he calmed down, though, and cleared his throat. “Anyhow, my name is Alonzo Daly. Who might you be?”

“Casey,” he replied, shaking the man’s hand. “Casey Blair.”

Oh, Alonzo, you wonderful little eccentric you.

ds+ (character profile 11) (http://i564.photobucket.com/albums/ss87/breloomasaurus/alfonso-1.png)

bobandbill
May 1st, 2010, 07:59 AM
So I see you went and changed the title of the fic. =P

Anyways, this is to inform you that I HAVE CAUGHT UP FULLY and have finished re-quoting a few things to say. Yay. I guess that means I can start betaing. =P

Overall this is still as good (or better!) as the other chapters. The comedy in particular is very entertaining still, as are the incorporations of game-logic stuff into the fic, and also things from the side games as well to boot. Plot is remaining entertaining (and there's been a lot of developments as well, I might add...). Descriptions continue to be better here than in earlier chapters as well so good work there. Actually apply that comment all over in general. =P

And have a bunch of aforementioned quotes where I go into a bit more detail I suppose at occasions.
Mr. Blair was taking a leisurely nighttime stroll around the outdoor botanical garden attached to the back of the Pokémon Centernight-time I believe.
“No,” the voice from the Megaphone Rock replied icily. “I’m just saying that she’s not easy to crack. Unless you just want to make your temper worse, back away from the girl and run back to your room, okay?"Missing quotation mark there.
“I don’t know. Probably is some sort of stupid magic that woman cooks up.” Casey snorted, shaking his head. Could technically be one sentence by switching that full stop to a comma...but it *is* ok as-is. Up to you.
Casey glanced upward at the moon. It was almost directly overhead. “Must be about… eleven PM right now,” he sighed.

(...)

However, there was nobody present to enjoy this true spectacle of nature and humanity combined, seeing as the time read about 4:30 AM.This time-skip struck me as odd as very little seemed to have happened there - a little bit of talking an a walk back to the Pokemon Centre - .certainly not 5-and-a-half hours of events there I believe. =P Could use some changing.
Meanwhile, amidst the mass of people and after a lengthy discussion of the group’s funding, Sheridan cuddled an Ultra Ball affectionately and practically pranced over to the other side of the corridor of Pokémon stands. (…)
“Casey!” she chirped as soon as he was in earshot. “I’ve got some thiiiiings~!”

“Yeah,” he replied. “I can… I can see that, Sheridan. What have you got?”

“Oh, just a few things.” Sheridan was beaming from ear to ear. “Only two. One for you, and one I’ll show you all later!” She held out two Pokéballs, an Ultra Ball and a Great Ball, and handed the latter to Casey.Besides the XD I can give to the 'I got some thiiiiings~!' comment (oh wait I just did), the fact that an Ultra Ball is held is mentioned twice there... I'd remove the first occurrence of it here.
For the first time in Casey’s life, he wanted to see a Pokémon. And had Casey somehow been reading this and have realized that he honestly did want to see a Pokémon, he would have shrugged it off, once again for the first time.
Heh. I quite liked this development and change in Caro’s thinking - nice moment of character development and all. =)
Brushing the debris out of his hair as he returned, Caro said flatly, “Casey, do you intend to keep this Pokémon safe and comfortable at all times?”

“Yeah.”

“And do you intend to feed it twice a day?”

“Don’t Pokémon not need feeding while they’re in their Pokéballs?”

“Do you also intend to keep Larvitar out of his Pokéball so that he can truly see the rest of the world in full, living color? And to make sure that whenever he is too tired to walk, he will be carried? And see to it that he will not be used more than your other Pokémon just because he’s already out? And ensure that he will be remembered at all times, and never, ever, EVER deposited into the PC?”

There was an extremely uncomfortable silence that ensued. XD nice ones, here.
“Lar lar,” said Larvitar firmly, crossing is stubby arms.
his.
“Hmm…” Amelia took off the coat and hat and stowed them on a nearby coatrack before returning to her seat.coat rack, rather than it as one word I believe? Not 100% sure but word also agrees. =P
“Oh,” he said, considerably less jubilant all of a sudden. “Right. Um… well… like she said, I went traveling a couple years ago. In Sinnoh, with a couple of friends of mine I knew from my old home. Remember I told you about that, Casey? Where I was surrounded by Pokémon literally all the time? I meant it. There were seriously no humans in Treasure Town. Not even me. ‘Cause… back in the day, I was a Pikachu. Born and raised.”

A general cacophony of interruptions rose up at this point.
This was not too dissimilar to my reaction either =P Interesting in linking MD into this as well with Caro (amongst other things), I daresay. Such as, say...
“I’m sorry if I’m missing the significance here…

…But who cares if Caro traveled with a man named Cyrus?”Ho boy.
“Larvitar, keep looking for any early risers, okay?” Casey took out Larvitar’s Pokéball and released the Ground-type again. He initially did not look too pleased to be out in the open (Casey had woken him up, the little Ratatta), but upon hearing that they were in a forest with potential victims to be had, all hard feelings were forgotten. ‘The little rattata’ expression sounds odd to me… I assume it's Casey being referred to as 'the little rat' on Pokemon terms but even then it sounds a bit odd for me. Maybe consider changing it? *shrugs*
“I know what you’re doing,” he snorted, arms crossed impatiently. “Why do you think I guessed you’re chasing after a spot in the Hall of Heroes or whatever? No, I know what you guys do. Only Badge twerps run around with three other people in toe behind them. Seriously… I don’t know what gets into you people, just following the kid around and begging to be—”tow.
“A rare Pokémon dealer. A large amount of them had crowded around our city in order to partake in some sort of yearly street festival. He was interested in her due to her strange coloration, and offered up a hefty sum for such a shady character…” Solana grinned wickedly. Certainly a change from her previous blank expression, but it worked just as well in the given situation. “No need to worry about her, sir.”
I guessed pretty quickly that this Pokemon would turn up again/already made a hidden appearance… ;P
Billy froze up for a second, but then relaxed again. “Oh! You were talking about that! Sorry, I didn’t quite get what you were thinking about for a minute. Anyway, have any of you guys heard of Hammerspace?”

Giratina chose the worst possible time to intervene. “Oooh, I’ve heard of it~” she sang softly through the Megaphone Rock. Casey gritted his teeth and ignored her.XDDD. Again love the explanations.
Everyone looked around and finally realized the single word had come from Caro, who had been pretty much ignored up until now in the conversation. Evidently, he just didn’t have uch t say… much to say.
See? It really is a name once heard and never forgotten! Or is that a motto once heard? Hmm. Well, anyway, as soon as you read the title all of you who played Ranger knew what was going to be coming up, right?

...Right?Having played Ranger 2… maybe? XD I do like the characterisation of the new characters that keep joining the crew though, big and small. You're doing well in keeping everyone in track and introducing them steadily - the personalities are certainly established decently. I like that the Pokemon are slowly getting more of a role as well. Larvitar I'm already liking a lot for instance, as well as the other new arrivals (and the odd mention of Rotom also amuses).
“Good. We’re pretty close to the edge of the woods now, so maybe one of your Pokémon Center things might have an open battlefield out back..”Choose between an ellipse or full stop – not in-between (so i.e. 1 or 3 dots =P).
“Why? What happens then?”

“Um…” Tiffany looked away. “Omigawd (um), you really don’t want to know, but (um) if you do he’s definitely not going to be in your good books, and (um) he doesn’t react well to being called (um) the L word. I mean it. It’s like… it’s like… oh, what’s that literary thingy that people (um) give book characters when they… um… oh yeah. It’s like his berserk button. It’s bad. Seriously (um) bad. Okay. So don’t call him that.”

Still struggling to make sense of her detached speech, Casey said, “Um… okay.”(Um, XD)
Slakoth staggered to a halt in his crying, dropped to all four paws, and eventually collapsed. Clyde sighed and returned his Pokémon, pocketing the red-and-white Pokéball like the failure of his Pokémon to defeat the other had simply been a bother to him. He went to reach for another one when, much to all of the spectators’ surprise (this includes the Trainers in the fight), Poliwag took a giant gasp of air and fainted on the spot.
I suggest you add that 'in' there. Also I found the battle here rather enjoyable...
“Yes you would,” said Clyde. “Brick Break!”

Vigoroth immediately dived for Rotom, bearing a speed none of the opposition had expected, and promptly began a barrage of punches. Rotom was squealing in pain almost immediately, but Vigoroth paid it no mind and only hopped away after Rotom had been slammed once with each fist. He had hardly returned to his battling position when Casey’s command made itself present:Considering a normal-type move passed through the ghost Rotom... technically so should fighting type moves as ghost-types have an immunity to those as well. =P Maybe re-consider this part of the fight then - it is my only real qualm with it though. =P
“WE ARE INSIDE YOUR MIND.”

“Okay.”

Well, what else was there to say?

“WE ARE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING.”

“And what are you looking for?”

“…SOMETHING.”
XDDD this made me laugh a lot, this interchange. XD I can so envision this.

I will note that towards the end of the last so-far-written parts that there were a few jumps between scenes - stuff moved a touch too fast. Namely, when it was revealed that the Mime Jnr. was not just a Mime Jnr (gasp!) but someone's sister as well, I felt there was a lack of time spent on reactions from the characters when they found this out, and a all-too-sudden jump in scene from that to the beginning of the gym building scene - I feel more could be done with the former part.
After a few minutes in which the only sounds was the Gym Leader’s button-mashing, Casey was holding his JAWS once again and blinking confusedly down at the screen. The considerably taller redhead slid over to peer over his shoulder, pointing to prove a point.were.
Suddenly, from some dark alley, there came a rustling. Everyone looked around, thinking it was the Pokémon they were looking for – but it wasn’t. Nope. What walked out of the shadows was a man in a telltale BDV cloak, holding a rather heavy-looking suitcase.

“Have fun, kids,” the grunt said, setting down the suitcase and running away.

There was barely time to express confusion before Fort Rhion and everyone inhabiting it blew up. I’ll admit this threw me for a loop seeing the following chapter be the same, etc, so forth, until I thought ‘oh hey this may have been posted around april fool’s and I was right. =D

To me, the arrival of Mancentric to scare off the stalking group seemed too sudden/random an event to occur - they appeared out of nowhere it felt and seemed a bit too abrupt (a bit like the problems I mentioned early in the fic). But this was the only instance of that in the last 7 or so chapters I believe. =P
Well, it was red. And yellow. It was a Pokémon, certainly (it was not animal and definitely not human). With spiked fur crowning its head on either side.The last sentence sounds a bit choppy there - I'd reword slightly to remove that feel from the paragraph (even if it was intentional I'd still advise to do that).
“Well, in any case, yes. I want to get there quickly.” Casey looked ahead again; no luck this time, either. He said the next line in a considerably lower tone, almost inaudible.“Sooner we start, sooner we end…”needs a space.
“Oh, I see,” said Clyde in dark tones. “So you’re just doing this to please that Giratina chick and then you’re going to run off back to your safehaven like nothing even happened? Have you even realized how serious this is?”Safe and haven as two words, I believe. And I thought it an interesting mov to have Casey explain all that happened to his fellow travellers now, although the others had made other strange confessions of their own as well.
“‘The Flatlands’. The topography here has been completely boring, but Mirage Forest has been pretty much pushed back to make way for more farmland..” Should either be a full stop 91 dot) or an ellipse 9three dots).



And that concludes the quote section. =P Not that much wrong with the last parts, really - this is really going well. Keep it up!

Giratina ♀
May 2nd, 2010, 06:03 AM
So I see you went and changed the title of the fic. =P
Fun fact: Wings Have We was the original title of the fic, before it was even posted. When the concept of Holon popped up, I changed it to Delta Species, but I kept on thinking of it as Wings Have We and... yeah. XD

Could technically be one sentence by switching that full stop to a comma...but it *is* ok as-is. Up to you.Yes, it was meant to be two sentences. C:

I quite liked this development and change in Caro’s thinking*Casey. ;D I know their names (and Clyde's, for that matter) are similar, but it's totally unintentional, I swear! XD

XD nice ones, here.What can I say? Larvitar is a cruel master.

coat rack, rather than it as one word I believe? Not 100% sure but word also agrees. =PHrm. I always thought of it as coatrack, but that may just be my thing for compound words.

This was not too dissimilar to my reaction either =P Interesting in linking MD into this as well with Caro (amongst other things), I daresay.

Ho boy.There are times when having a totally clueless protagonist pays off - that was one of those times.

(Um, XD) All credit for that gag goes to Terry Pratchett. |D

Considering a normal-type move passed through the ghost Rotom... technically so should fighting type moves as ghost-types have an immunity to those as well. =P Maybe re-consider this part of the fight then - it is my only real qualm with it though. =PClyde's only Pokémon at that point were Slakoth and Vigoroth. All of Slakoth and Vigoroth's moves are either Normal or Fighting. Guess which two types Rotom is immune to?



To me, the arrival of Mancentric to scare off the stalking group seemed too sudden/random an event to occur - they appeared out of nowhere it felt and seemed a bit too abrupt (a bit like the problems I mentioned early in the fic). But this was the only instance of that in the last 7 or so chapters I believe. =PI admit, it was pretty random. That chapter was written veeeeery late at night and I wasn't all there. XD But it was also a very complicated nod to one of my oldest and most-loved (even if it doesn't seem like it) characters in the story, who we should be meeting in a rather short time.

Safe and haven as two words, I believe. And I thought it an interesting mov to have Casey explain all that happened to his fellow travellers now, although the others had made other strange confessions of their own as well.Again, compound word fetish. :p Anyway, it was an explanation long overdue anyhow...

Should either be a full stop 91 dot) or an ellipse 9three dots).My keyboard has serious issues. D:

Giratina ♀
May 11th, 2010, 05:02 PM
{24} high above

It had come seeking nothing but a friend.

What it found was all manner of clatter and hassle dumped upon it, capture and containment. And now… and now this. And yet, this species was one he was very well-acquainted with – as a matter of fact, he had made a little joke to himself that despite all of the animalistic qualities his superiors possessed, they couldn’t break the communication barrier nearly as much or as well as he could. The silver-haired scientist gazed into the glass pod in front of him, looking at the crystal inside almost lovingly; in response, the crystal sparkled in a way that could be compared to an acknowledging but disappointed nod.

They had communicated this way for quite a few weeks now, much to the confusion of their coworkers and the Classifications. The term ‘Classifications’ was another one of this scientist’s personal in-jokes about his superiors, achieved by taking an aspect of their apparent personality and shoving that adjective in with the classification of the long-gone animals. (For the curious: “Kingpin, Filer, Clash, Disorder, Frailty, Genius.”)

The scientist found himself humming a tuneless little song as he nodded to the crystal once again and turned back around – and just in time, too. Someone else had entered the room.

“You’re… Torsten Lund?” Great, it was an underling. Just what he needed – inexperienced morons prancing around his laboratory. He flicked a lock of white hair out of his ice-blue eyes; dangling strands of hair were not pleasant in his line of work, and goodness knows he needed more grounds for being nagged, ridiculed, and fired.

“I am.” He let none of this spite show in his voice.

“Good,” said the Grunt, scribbling a few things down on a clipboard she toted around. “We’ve gotten a few reports that your team has been slacking off…”

“I don’t have a team,” said Torsten bitterly. “They’ve all disappeared on me.”

“Ouch, that must be tough…” cringed the Grunt, considerably less businesslike with this extremely un-mundane news. “Sorry about that. We’ll, uh, work on rounding them up for you.”

“Thank you,” he grunted, turning away to continue his work. “Though it would probably be better at this point to bring in an entirely new flock.”

“We can’t afford that,” said the Grunt.

“You can afford, four times over, to build a whole maze of spacious hallways that nobody uses,” continued Torsten. “Surely you could scrape together a group of scientists for the team of your, ahem, ‘important’ project?”

“That’s what we did last time – and they ran off, like you said. It sounds like you’re not very happy with them?”

“I wasn’t, but knowing how much you cared about them explains it.”

“We’ll work on finding your group.” The Grunt disappeared.

Torsten rolled his eyes. Unresponsive and unhelpful, per the apparent standard.

He turned back to the crystal, letting out a breath as he did so. “What will they do with you?” he asked the crystal, putting his hands on his hips. “You’re so misused here. And then… and then there’s that thing…” He turned around and regarded something large and glowing on the other side of the room. The tube of illuminant fluid held a figure floating inside, but it was all but a silhouette among the neon green.

“It’s you,” he said to the crystal, “but it’s artificial. You know that, right?”

The crystal whirred sadly and, just like that, a little cloud of sparkle-dust appeared in the air next to him. The sparkle-dust quivered next to Torsten’s ear.

“I thought you would… just making sure.”

-

After nodding and smiling to Alonzo and responding helpfully to his questions – Where do you live, why are you traveling, have you seen a mysterious multi-colored blob floating around the shoreline lately, etc. – the two had somehow relocated themselves to the “living room” of Alonzo’s admittedly-lofty home, floating somewhere between the outskirts of Epsil Town and the cliffs dangling over the giant nearby lake. Sheridan, Grant, and Caro had distracted themselves by staring in awe at his personal group of Pokémon; many of them were either jaw-droppingly rare or jaw-droppingly Shiny, which naturally had Sheridan plastered all over it.

While they gushed over the Pokémon and Clyde wandered off to do something that didn’t involve any actual brain work, Alonzo elaborated on exactly why he found himself here in the first place.

It eventually led into a very simple confession.

“What? Oh, no… you heard that again?” Alonzo chuckled softly to himself. “No, Casey. Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m really not the curator… how did you get that idea?”

“You told me,” he replied uncomfortably.

“No I didn’t.” He looked genuinely confused.

“Yes you did,” Casey continued. “When you were going on about how much you liked Glitches.”

“When did I do that? It happens all the time…”

It was at that moment that Casey realized, completely out of left field and with nothing to do with the situation at hand, that Alonzo’s eyes had changed color.

“You know, back in the museum… you were talking about how big the exhibit was and how it was your fault because it was something you were interested in?”

“I… don’t believe I recall,” he replied confusedly.

‘You definitely said it,’ thought Casey, but instead he opted for another subject on the vocal front: “What color are your eyes?”

Alonzo gave him a funny look. “Violet. What’s your point?” True to his word, the man’s eyes were quite purple.

“Earlier they were yellow,” Casey observed blankly.

“Ah.” He put one gloved finger to his chin, leaning back in his armchair and looking quite deep in thought. “…You know,” he continued after a few minutes, standing up and walking over to the window in his drifting gait. “I’ve had a couple of people tell me things like that have happened.”

“Really.” Casey didn’t pose it as a question.

“Yes, really,” he sighed, putting his hands on his hips. “They tell me that I told them things that both of us know aren’t true, or that they saw me doing something I had never done in my life. There’s definitely something wrong here, though try as I might I can’t find any way to get to the bottom of it…”

“Weird,” remarked Casey, who was now occupied with preventing Rotom from getting himself killed.

Alonzo peered out the window. “Oh, it seems your travelling companions have gotten their fill of Pokémon.” There was a brief silence. “…Well, thank you for coming in.”

The boy nodded and stood up. “And thanks for having me… um, us.”

At that moment Sheridan burst in, wearing an expression that the others had long since learned to run away from very, very fast.

She had the Fangirl Eyes.

“That was amazing!” Sheridan practically squealed, prancing over to Alonzo. She would have barreled him right over, too, if Casey hadn’t held out an arm and snatched her coat to stop the woman from proceeding any farther. Regardless, Alonzo was startled and took a few steps backward. “I can’t believe you have all of those Shiny Pokémon!” continued Sheridan, now in full-tilt gushing mode. “It must have been so hard to get your hands on them all! I’m envious… sooo envious!”

Alonzo chuckled, apparently having composed himself since Sheridan’s initial appearance. “I’ve gotten that quite a lot from others. They’re always asking what I had done to my Pokémon to make them look that way…”

Sheridan huffed. “Oh, I know! I can’t count the times I’ve been accused of harming Kaeo just because he’s shiny and purple! The nerve of some people!” Her expression suggested that Sheridan intended to continue (possibly with much less acceptable vocabulary), and so Clyde took the opportunity to nod briefly to Alonzo and drag Sheridan out by the arm. Saffron, noticing that her steed had been dragged away, plodded hastily afterwards.

Clyde having (rather rudely) cut the whole discussion short, the remaining three muttered repeated thanks to Alonzo and scrambled out after their companions hoping to reduce the casualties.

Casey had failed to notice that Alonzo’s eyes had turned yellow again.



Sheridan was still walking on the clouds when the Groupie Galaxy had hiked down the cliff that Alonzo’s house hung precariously upon. Her excitement had dampened slightly – slightly – when they returned to Epsil Town in general, but she was still babbling gaily about all manner of green Zubats the whole way through. Sooner or later the others grew tired of her antics, but didn’t really do much to silence her (they much favored the continued utilization of their left hands) until Clyde, again fed up with her acting like an idiot, clapped a hand over her mouth.

Everyone gave him a smile of gratitude. He didn’t respond.

Sheridan gave an irritated “mmph”, but took the hint.

Eventually, though, the Groupie Galaxy returned to the Pokémon Center relatively unscathed. There they spent a short time organizing their small number of things (Grant yet again taking the job of threatening foreman) and finally managed to get themselves back into the street carrying… well, nothing, thanks again to Clyde.

“You’re sure this is safe?” asked Saffron.

“Yeah,” remarked Clyde. “It’s Hammerspace. Can’t be entered by anyone not authorized for that part.”

“And who’s authorized for your part?” prodded Saffron.

“Billy, Tiffany, and me.”

“Nobody else?”

“No.” His voice was firm (and quite scary). “Anyway, all your stuff is totally fine, okay? Absolutely nobody will ever have any access to your things except two of my siblings. No matter how technology advances it will never be touched by anyone whose last name isn’t Gordon. Anyone.” This last part was directed at Grant, who apparently did not trust Hammerspace with the well-being of The Briefcase and insisted on carrying it again.

He merely frowned. “I’d feel better with it in my hand, thanks.”

One of his hands was occupied by The Briefcase, the other by The Pipe.

“Uh-huh,” remarked Clyde, eyeing the ex-Grunt and his amusingly-capitalized luggage with a similar expression. “Suit yourself if you want to drag around that stuff.”

“I will, thanks.”

Sensing the obvious tension between them, Caro cleared his throat – and immediately regretted it. All eyes turned on him, two pairs of them not looking all too pleased for interrupting their bickering. This forced Caro to look around, trying to find some way to justify his minor outburst – fortunately, he found it in the form of a giant thing in the sky.

“What’s that?” he asked, pointing.

Sheridan looked up. “It’s a Pokémon, duh.”

“Sure doesn’t look like any Pokémon I’ve seen.” The body of the unidentified flying object looked thin as a twig, with long and short spikes sticking out on either side. The wings were mere lines, like someone took a Zubat’s wings and removed the skin from them. “Looks like a skeleton to me.”

“Well then maybe it’s a skeletal Pokémon!” gasped Grant in mock surprise.

“Name one moving skeletal Pokémon with wings,” retorted Clyde.

“Aerodactyl!”

“Aerodactyl doesn’t move when it’s just a skeleton, moron.”

“Guys, cut it out,” grumbled Caro. “I’m more interested in that not-Aerodactyl than you arguing.”

This actually worked – primarily because both parties had stopped arguing and were now glaring at Caro with fierce intensity. The teenager didn’t respond to this, and instead directed his attention back towards the flying thing. It had been going in the opposite direction than they had, back toward Epsil Town. He simply turned and watched as the thin creature soared above the town, circled a certain area, and made a steep descent.

“What was that?” asked Casey.

Rotom chirped almost immediately. “I’ll go see!”

“No, Rotom, you don’t have to…”

Casey cut his sentence short. It was too late; Rotom had already disappeared in pursuit of the mystery Pokémon.

“He won’t be coming back for a while, will he?” asked Sheridan.

“No,” sighed Casey. “Probably not. Let’s go.”

And with an unspoken agreement everyone trudged back towards Epsil Town, with only Grant moaning that they were already off schedule.



After scrambling down a few ridiculously steep cliffs, the Groupie Galaxy found Rotom again. He was floating above a lake, gazing across it in a way that could perhaps be called deep had this not been Rotom we’re talking about. He noticed their presence almost immediately and swiveled around, plasma-eye wide in awe.

“It went into the lake!” the Pokémon screeched worriedly.

“Into… the lake.” Casey’s eyes drifted out to the water. It seemed relatively skeletal-monster-free. “Did it come out?”

“No!” wailed Rotom. “It just… went under the water and never came out! It was freaky!” Beast’s eyes and mouth – much like Rotom’s – were wide open in panic, making the whole thing look absolutely ridiculous.

Clyde grumbled something about how “some people would find YOU freaky”. Rotom didn’t seem to notice, though, as he had occupied himself by pleading to Casey to deal with the situation at hand.

“Do something!” he wailed. “Fix it!”

Casey stared back at him. “…You should’ve learned by now that I can’t fix everything by willing it, you know.”

“You can try!” Rotom pouted.

His Trainer felt the waterworks – plasmaworks? – coming on, and so before Rotom had a chance to douse him with a gallon of likely-toxic plasma tears, Casey sighed and said, “Alright, I’ll try.”

“Yay!” Rotom returned to hovering around his head.

“Well, that wasn’t unusual at all,” said a voice from behind them. Upon turning around, they all discovered that it was Alonzo again. Most of the group chirped greetings, but Casey remained silent. This was primarily because he was the only one who even faintly recognized the significance of the man’s eye color.

They were yellow.

Today's installment is a Very Special Chapter.
Do you know whyyyy?
Well, because for the first time ever, this fic right here is being beta'd. So everyone go and send virtual flowers to our very own bobandbill. C:

Giratina ♀
May 25th, 2010, 11:26 AM
{25} any way you’ve got to


Alonzo’s expression wasn’t at all the warm smile many of them had become accustomed to; it was very much emotionless, with the vaguest possible shadow of a frown. The Groupie Galaxy’s overall cheery disposition was quickly snuffed out at the sight of his serious-business face, though, and the bemused posture wasn’t helping all that much either. As if that wasn’t enough to suggest that something was off, there was another air of unnaturalness about him that Casey didn’t believe was a good thing. Indeed, every aspect of Alonzo Daly suggested exactly the opposite of what they had seen of him up until that point.

Casey had no doubt in his mind that it was because of the eyes.

“What are you doing here?” he asked.

All thought processes turned on Casey, and he realized almost at once that he was the person expected to speak. It was his Pokémon, after all. Instead, the boy said: “I could ask you the same thing.”

“I live around here,” he grunted. “What of you all?”

“Rotom followed a strange thing in the sky back here,” said Casey. “We all agreed – well, most of us agreed – that it looked like a skeleton.” He paused. “Interesting, isn’t it?”

Alonzo faltered. “Wh-where did you see this?”

“Ask Rotom.” Casey pointed to the Pokémon in question, who was now floating aimlessly around having lost all will to search for the strange new thing. Upon noticing that he had been referenced, the Pokémon stopped in his tracks and said, “Huh?” in the cutest possible way.

It didn’t work.

Alonzo sighed. “No matter,” he said, shaking his head. And then: “I’m afraid I must ask you to leave.”

This made everyone hesitate, but almost immediately someone objected to his idea. “Why should we?” insisted Caro and Casey in tandem. (Clyde was a little late to the punch.) They were all sufficiently unnerved by this strange man’s double-sided personality, and following orders from him was totally out of the question.

“Because,” he said matter-of-factly, “I told you to leave.”

Nobody wanted to sound childish by retorting “You can’t tell me what to do!”, but then again, the common protest did have a good point. For that reason, everyone thought the phrase as hard as they could and took up a pose that implied that he most certainly was not the boss of them. Regardless, Alonzo put his hand on his hip and looked at them as if to say “I’m waiting”, and the stalemate commenced from there.

Saffron coughed.

Immediately all eyes turned on her; each one was set to “Glare”. Saffron made a little whimpering noise and fell silent.

Attention returned to the opposing side in the argument, and they continued to watch one another stubbornly until Alonzo pointed a finger in the general direction of “out”. His expression (and the excessively violent pointing motion) suggested that it would be an extraordinarily good idea to comply.

“Leave,” he repeated.

Casey opened his mouth.

“Just for your records, this is private property. Mine.” The Groupie Galaxy deflated quickly from there, and after some more of Freakazoid Hair’s prompting, they left in a procession of grumbling.



“Jerk!” concluded Saffron as soon as they were out of earshot.

“There had to be something wrong with him,” said Grant. “Otherwise why would he be acting so differently today than yesterday?”

“It’s the eyes.” Casey said this under his breath, barely loud enough for he himself to hear. Regardless, Caro caught it, and gave him a funny look.

“The eyes,” Caro repeated.

“Yep,” said Casey, having given up trying to hide what he said. “The eyes. See him once he’s got purple eyes, see him again and they’re yellow. He can’t remember what he did in each eye color when he’s in the other, to boot. That sounds pretty strange, doesn’t it?”

Saffron didn’t look particularly convinced, and perhaps even worried. “Are you sure?” she asked, even though the question she wanted to ask was, “Are you insane?” When Casey shook his head, she felt a little better, but not by much.

“Oh, come on,” snorted Clyde. “It’s a trick of the light or something.”

“Doesn’t explain his identity as museum curator one minute and random Epsil Town resident the next.” Casey had apparently forsaken his unsure thoughts within the last three minutes – they were replaced with the diabolical thoughts of an idea so ridiculous it might actually be insane. Maybe.

Grant and Sheridan shared a look.

There was a short pause, and then Caro said, “You really think so?”

“Yes.”

“Well then we’re going to turn around right now and investigate.” Caro stopped in his tracks and crossed his arms, giving everyone else a grin that suggested that if they enjoyed feeling like they had no relevance in the world, then sure they could oppose him. Otherwise, though, they might as well suck it up and follow him, because when you give a Caro an objective he’s gonna get it done.

This attitude, unfortunately, was not infectious.

“What?” everyone else chorused.

“You said there’s something wrong,” said Caro. “So go see if there’s something wrong.”

Casey blinked.

“Oh, come on!” he huffed. “You’re not going to run off knowing there’s something wrong here, are you?” There was silence there – but Casey didn’t object, regardless if everyone else did, so Caro saw it as a personal victory. “Yeah, that’s right,” he continued. “Go. Turn around. Fix it, won’t you?”

Casey, much as he hated to admit it, was stumped.

There was a silence, in which everyone else inched slowly away from Caro. He either didn’t notice or didn’t care, because his cocky grin remained focused on the startled expression now taking up Casey’s face. It remained that way for a second. A minute. Then… oh, hey wait, it was changing. Twitching, more like.

…No, here comes the changing. His lips were turning up at the edges, and within a matter of minutes he was giving Caro an incredulous grin. And he said:

“You are an idiot.”

And then:

“Let’s go.”

At that moment, Caro didn’t notice the death glares that the rest of the group were giving him. People always glared at you when you get a personal victory against something, yes? So he said:

“So are you.”

And then:

“Awesome.”

Within the hour they were sneaking around Alonzo’s basement.

Casey was sitting in a counterproductively dark corner, reading a book. Actually, so were Caro, Grant, and Sheridan (Saffron perched on her shoulder). Regardless of how silly this seemed in contrast to the epic pep talk that Caro had delivered a while earlier, they were all searching for some scribbled margin comment, some forgotten reminder note, anything that was going to help them get to the bottom of Alonzo Daly. It was increasingly easy, Casey noticed, to forget that he was trespassing into the basement and library of a random adult who he barely knew, because Mewdangit he was going to get to the bottom of this.

He placed the book he was just holding and had consequently deemed empty onto the floor, making quite sure to set it down on a very fluffy area of carpet so as to make as little noise as possible.

“I’m not getting anywhere,” he whispered.

“Agreed,” breathed Clyde, who was standing in the corner with his arms crossed and a disapproving look on his face.

With that sour note tossed into the budding conversation, everyone was silenced again, and the arduous task of reading through a year’s worth of books in a much shorter period of time commenced. Everyone except Sheridan was speed-reading – the woman in question was apparently reading through a purple book with great gusto, and she certainly didn’t look like she was speed-reading.

And then she said, “I found something.”

Everyone perked up immediately at the thought of some ticket out of here (for one reason or another) and scampered over as silently as they could. Sheridan was pointing proudly to a certain paragraph in her book, which was one of the tomes whose print was so tiny that only someone with unusual eyes could read it. After squinting and looking closer, everyone got the general meaning, and when they had did that they looked at Sheridan like she was some sort of god.

“He did say he was interested in MissingNo., didn’t he?” she asked.

“Yeah,” replied Casey. “He did.” He continued to look at the few sentences.

MissingNo. is unusual compared to many other Glitch-types for quite a few reasons, among them being a vaguely plausible form (similar to that of a Haunter), but perhaps the strangest is its ability to enter others’ minds and manipulate them. Unless MissingNo. has been observing the subject for a while before entering their minds in their sleep, he has no way of recalling what their previous mannerisms or memories are, so he tends to make things up out of whole cloth. Aside from the previous mention, there is practically one way to tell if one has been manipulated for this Glitch Pokémon’s own ends, and it is one you can only notice over time. The subject’s eyes are prone to change color, alternating between their normal hue and a startling yellow. Not “hazel”, but “yellow” – regardless of how this sounds in a book, you will know it when you see it.

Sheridan was grinning. She was alone in that respect.

“Um,” said Casey.

There was a unanimous, worried glance to the ceiling.

Then Caro said, “We’ve got to do something about this.”

“Do we really?” asked Clyde.

“We do.” Casey answered him with a glance almost hidden by his remarkably large bangs, then returned to reading. “Does it say anything about getting it out?”

Sheridan shut the book and gulped. “Well, yes…”

“What is it?” whispered everyone else in unison.

The blonde woman sighed and looked down at the tome in her hands. “…Hey, have any of you ever performed an exorcism?”

“An exorcism,” repeated Clyde with a raised eyebrow.

“Are you serious?” hissed Grant worriedly. “We’ve got to perform an exorcism on this man? But that’s… how do we even do that?”

“Quiet.” Sheridan stood up, dusted off her coat, and handed the book to Clyde. “We’ll figure out the details later, but for now, I think we have some work to do. Clyde, put this in Hammerspace for me. We need to formulate a plan.”

“This is unbelievable,” moaned Casey in as quiet a voice he could, being quite possible the only one who remembered that they were hiding out in a brain-controlling fiend’s basement. “Was there ever any mention of an exorcism in the job description?”

Caro looked down at him. “Of course there was,” he said with a sort of wily amusement. “It was under the part that said ‘Anything can – and will – happen’.”

“Oh! Right.” He did not remember that part at all.

The group scrambled out of Alonzo’s basement via the same open window (his home was built on unlevel ground – who knew?) they had come in through without any further hitches. As a matter of fact, they were all back in the sacred Epsil Town Pokémon Center before somebody – in this case, Clyde – sat up in their wonderfully cushy armchair and asked the forbidden question.

“…How are we supposed to do an exorcism?”

Casey heard a giggling originating from somewhere in the area of his throat. He glanced downward and then, immediately and without questioning why, he knew. He was going to do an exorcism, because the almighty Giratina – the only creature he knew with a readily accessible means of contact with Arceus – was going to help.

I sat back in my swivel chair of destiny and cackled once again into the Megaphone Rock.

Zero was standing (er, levitating) beside me. He was not staring at me with the stare of someone who has just realized his co-worker was insane; he was staring at me with the stare of someone who had realized his co-worker was insane a long, long time ago. He had overheard the entire conversation just as loudly as I had, and when I looked at him out of the corner of my eye he put up his arms in a frail attempt to keep out of it.

“I refuse to take part in this,” he offered.

“We may need you.”

“Regardless, I refuse.”

I turned on him, giving the assistant a disappointed frown. “Zero,” I said seriously, “you also refused to take part in deleting the Megarig, and look where that got you.”

He scowled. “…Shaddup.”

I made a sarcastic grunt and turned back to the Dea Procol Machina, and in extension the Megaphone Rock. “Listen up, kiddo,” I informed Casey. “What time is it?”

“Oh,” said Casey, looking up at the sky on my monitor. “Hm. Maybe around five?”

“Close enough,” I remarked. “Just look around and wait a while in there. I’ll send help, and when she comes just explain the situation.” I paused, and then added: “She likely wouldn’t listen to me.”

“What’s her name?”

“You’ll know her when you see her,” I confided. “Sheridan will, at least.” I dropped the Megaphone Rock to the lovely sound of Casey protesting. I smirked as a gray fedora spontaneously appeared on my head, covering the ornate golden headpiece already on it with only minor casualties.

“Trust me here.”

I then grabbed a very odd-looking metal object from a hook hanging from the Dea Procol Machina. Zero, once again, looked confused; in his defense, though, it did bear a remarkable similarity to a key-ring. Fiddling through the various little charms on it – a volcano, then a pink flower, then a lightning bolt – I finally settled on the right one, a cute little crescent moon, held it between two of my fingers, and swiped a hole in the air.

Zero watched silently (having grown accustomed to this sort of thing) as the tear turned slowly rounder until it was a perfect circle.

“Yes?” inquired the figure on the other end.

“I’ve got a favor for you,” I replied coolly. “It’s for a friend, you’ll understand…”

She listened silently while I explained the situation, after which she regarded me with a highly bemused look in her eyes. “Giratina, this is a large undertaking,” she said. “It will not be easy, even for somebody such as myself. It is dangerous and has potentially lethal consequences for all involved. It may just move the parasite to some other host where he will continue to wreak havoc, it may anger Arceus that we performed this operation without his consent, and quite frankly, I just got back from Canalave and I am very tired.”

“I know, but you’re the only one who can do it and he won’t shut up until I help.” Okay, so I was stretching the truth. A little. But it was all for a good cause anyway!

“…Fine,” she grumbled.

A few minutes later, Casey was standing nose-to-nose with the extraordinarily pointy muzzle of Cresselia.

Giratina ♀
June 7th, 2010, 03:19 PM
{26} who you gonna call?

Despite the gasping and hasty dropping-to-knees of the other witnesses to Cresselia’s appearance, Casey didn’t do anything immediately. He didn’t do anything later on, actually; all he did was stare into the glistening and somewhat beady eyes of the Legendary opposite. Through the lack of distinct irises and pupils, Casey could see that she wasn’t amused.

“I was sent here on behalf of the Celestial Librarian*,” said Cresselia, and then, “You may get to your feet.”

The other four got up and dusted themselves off, each in varying degrees of embarrassment. A few of them shot surprised looks at Casey, but then realized that he probably failed to understand that he was standing in front of the sacred personification of the Moon and not just another silly-looking monster he’d never seen before. Cresselia herself didn’t seem to get this, and her (inappropriately) stoic expression took on a small hint of confusion.

“Do you not know who I am?” she asked.

“I know you’re a friend of Giratina,” Casey offered, having already realized that it was the wrong answer by process of elimination – she had a name (probably something silly like Vilkodaz the Radiant), since evidently she was quite happy to kill her throat for the sake of sounding important.

Cresselia stared at him. “…You know who she is and not me? You are a straaange young man.”

Casey decided that it wouldn’t be wise to comment on this.

The Harbinger of the Beautiful Dreams continued. “Upon the request of the Celestial Librarian – Giratina, as you call her – I have been sent here to help with… an exorcism.” She looked around. “According to her, the demon in question possesses humans through their dreams…?”

“That’s right,” said Sheridan, stepping forward with a small bow. “MissingNo. is its name.”

“MissingNo.!” gasped Cresselia. “Not the one who we imprisoned on Cinnabar Island?”

“Are there any others?” asked Clyde.

“No!”

Clyde made a gesture with his head to indicate that she had answered her own question. The concerned Lunar Levitator backed up a few inches, looking around worriedly. “Where is MissingNo.? How did he—how did it escape?”

“We don’t know,” said Casey. “But however it did that, it’s come here and caused mayhem under the identity of the person who lives in that house.” He pointed to the dwelling in question, which was still dangling nearly over the cliff face as it had always done. “The guy’s name is Alonzo Daly.”

“Alonzo Daly,” repeated Cresselia musingly, following his finger. “I see. Well, if you’ll excuse me…”

She backed up some more and, without further explanation, turned into a human being.

She was now a woman in her mid-fifties, wearing a kimono with plenty of dangling strips of multicolored cloth and an extensive collection of yellow beads (shaped primarily like circles or crescent moons). Some of the beads seemed to have fallen off, noticed Casey, leaving their silver tops without a bottom. (It made one wonder why she wore such a beautiful outfit and leave the beads out.)

“We Legendaries are capable of taking human forms, you’ll understand,” she said, flipping a lock of gray-streaked lavender hair from her face. “In case we need to handle business with mortals… how is you put it? Margorito?”

“Incognito,” pointed out Saffron.

“Yes, incognito. Thank you, dearie.” She gave the Mime Jr. a little smile, and everyone else felt slightly cheated that she was acting so reserved and impassive due to their species. “As I was saying,” continued Cresselia with an extravagant roll of the head, “Legendaries do need to hold discussions with human beings while not being openly displayed as Legendary, and so of course we all had to choose genders for that…” She laughed. “So of course I am female now and was genderless then.”

“Understandable, um…” began Casey, who suddenly failed to remember her name. He had a feeling it had something to do with her thing for stressed syllables.

“Oh!” said Cresselia. She had apparently warmed up to all of them by then, now that she had assured herself that none of them sought to exploit her feathers for fun and profit. “Good point, there. You need a human name for me, don’t you? Pleeease, call me Diane.” She, realized Casey, had missed the point completely.

Everyone nodded. A few said, “Hello, Diane.”

“No. Diane.”

“Hello, Diane.”

Cresselia nodded pleasantly and looked back towards the building where MissingNo. hid; Casey suddenly realized how scary it looked when hit with just the right angle of light. “I believe we should get down to the chaaase on this MissingNo. problem?”

The others understood her incorrect lingo shortly after (the delay primarily because of her silllllllll—oh, excuse me, her silly accent), but for that moment they just nodded and gave murmurs of approval.

Cresselia clapped her hands as she walked – drifted almost, under the kimono – towards the Daly house, expecting the others to follow her. Finding no other logical manner to proceed, they did. And so began the procession, peppered evenly and heartily with the amusingly-pronounced jabbering of their Legendary tour guide. Eventually, though, they actually got to the point in every navigational expedition where people realize that this is Serious Business.

Cresselia continued to talk.

Casey thought he was ready to pull a van Gogh. If only wooded areas had a readily available supply of razor blades.

Fortunately, they eventually found their way – after quite a lot of pointing and consulting various types of tree – to their destination, and it was there where Grant helpfully realized that they had no way to get in now that they had ransacked the basement. Surely he had noticed that, right?

“Oh, you humans are so siiiiiiilly,” gushed Cresselia. “We’re going to teleport our way in!”

“Ah,” said Grant, with the deadpan voice of someone whose brain had, just for a second, been dangerously close to giving up entirely. “Of course. You’re a Legendary.”

“Yeah.” Clyde added on to Grant’s intentionally-subtle discussion with his own unique brand of obnoxiousness. “Of course, us mortals are so far below that level of thinking. Whatever did we do without you, Cresselia?”

“Diane.”

“Cresselia.”

Cresselia huffed and transported the group inside, turning away from the ex-Quad with a distinct frown on her face. “How old is he?” Casey heard her mutter. “So disrespectful!”

At that moment, Sheridan coughed. “Excuse me,” she said. “I believe we failed to think over some things in this plan.”

“It’s simple, Sheridan!” exclaimed Caro. “We go in, Cr—um, Diane puts him to sleep, she exorcises MissingNo., we walk away! What is there to think over?”

“What we do with MissingNo.,” offered Casey.

“Pfft!” snorted Cresselia, waving an arm. “I can handle that.” Without another word, she stretched out her arms. The wind picked up, and it made a cacophony of noises that sounded vaguely like music. She watched with amusement as the others’ faces screwed up in various caricatured expressions.



Having found themselves in a considerably nice-looking room that everyone agreed from previous experiences to be the front hall, Cresselia immediately brought herself up to her full height and frowned disapprovingly at the furniture. “Comeeeee oooout, you!” she barked to the emptiness, leaving the Groupie Galaxy to watch in silent confusion. She continued at this for a couple of minutes, until the spell wore off and she brushed non-existent dust off her kimono huffily.

“No respect!” she repeated.

Just as she finished commenting on the politeness of thirty-somethings today, there was an ominous whoosh of fabric from somewhere behind all of them. They turned around at once to face down Alonzo; the whoosh was his olive green longcoat, complying with its owner’s wish to abruptly stop walking down the staircase.

This time, nobody failed to notice his yellow eyes.

“MissingNo.!” she barked. “What is the meaning of this?”

“I’m sorry, what?” asked MissingNo., raising an eyebrow. “I don’t think I can understand you through the… accent.”

“She’s asking what you’re doing,” said Saffron helpfully.

“Ah. Thank you. Well…” MissingNo. leaned on the staircase railing, regarding them with a look of disdain. “I’m afraid that I’m not—”

“You can stop now,” offered Casey. “We know you’re trying to impersonate him.”

MissingNo. gave Casey a ferocious glare. “What are you talking about?” He kept this up for another few seconds, but eventually the hostile expressions everyone else was wearing won over him. “…How did you find out?”

“By reading stuff in y- Alonzo’s library,” said Saffron with a smug overtone. She crossed her arms and stared expectantly at him.

Internally, everyone groaned.

“Listen,” said Cresselia. “I am here to put a stop to your antics.”

MissingNo. nodded. “Oh. You are, are you?” He continued down the staircase, walking slowly as if trying to mock them somehow. “I bet you were sent here by the higher-ups, to get rid of me once and for all. They certainly didn’t tell you much.” He chuckled at the bottom of the staircase. By now he was regarding them as less than minor difficulties – details almost – and that fact was evident in his grin. “Considering that they’ve been calling this ‘once and for all’ about thirty times.”

“Save it.” Sheridan didn’t look pleased. “We don’t want to hear your childish taunting, okay?”

“What, you don’t?” MissingNo. put a hand to his chest. “You pain me, Sheridan.”

Cresselia turned to her for a moment before returning focus to the situation at hand. “Cover your eyes,” she said simply. And, after making quite sure they did, she transformed back into her original form with much shimmering and grinding of carpet underfoot.

“Aw, and that was new, too,” complained MissingNo.

Cresselia regarded him with a death glare and waited.

There was a second’s pause – this was apparently all MissingNo. needed to assure himself that he was to make the first move. After that happened, something extraordinarily strange began to happen to his body. It got suddenly jerky for a few seconds, and after that simply collapsed at the foot of the stairs.

Everyone moved forward to react when Cresselia silenced them with a dramatic swish of her tail. “Watch,” she commanded.

They watched.

Out of Alonzo’s body seeped an unhealthy-looking gas. After a blob large enough to blot out everything behind it had been accumulated, the orb spawned two hands that zoomed out from its body as if connected by invisible arms. From the inky darkness in the middle opened two eyes which were an uncomfortable shade of yellow, with no pupils. Under that, a mouth of the same color opened like something ripped off a deranged purple Glameow. Overall, the sort of thing you would expect to see floating around Pokémon Tower, except… worse.

“Here you see his battle position,” relayed Cresselia flatly, as if she were teaching an extraordinarily boring school lesson. “He can fire water and dive-bomb from the sky, but that’s it.”

“I take offense to that!” snapped MissingNo., waving one of his detached hands angrily. “Generalizing powers like that is awful for your karma!”

“What would you know about karma?” snorted Clyde. “You’re a… you’re a body-stealing… thing.”

MissingNo.’s response was to fire a Water Gun at him.

“Oh, very tasteful,” grunted the aforementioned god of sarcasm after trying to run and subsequently getting doused. He got up, tried to wring out his coat, failed, and simply stood there, looking up at MissingNo. with one eyebrow raised.

MissingNo. sent another one into his face.

“Mmph!” Clyde thought it wise to not scream out loud when water was being shoved at his face, but apparently he had already begun to say something and that… thing was the result. Perhaps Clyde should learn to keep his mouth shut?

“Well, if you can fly and shoot water, then you must be a Flying- or Water-type!” cawed Caro in immense triumph. “Which means…” He whipped out a Pokéball and tossed it onto the ground, releasing his infamous Pokémon doppelganger. With a sharp-toothed smirk of triumph, he pointed one finger to the sky and bellowed:

“THUNNNNNDAHBOLT!” **

While everyone else was recovering from the system shock this battle cry generated, Raichu wasted no time in releasing a crackling, lethal-looking lance of thunder at MissingNo., who responded with a wail and another Water Gun. (Clyde cringed.) Cresselia, amazingly, looked impressed (or so they thought – it was hard to get any facial expression under the pointy snout).

“Well,” she said. “MissingNo. is a Bird-type.”

“Flying,” corrected Sheridan.

“Bird.” Cresselia looked up at MissingNo., who had now waged in total war with Raichu. The two were sending thunderbolts, water blasts, and their own bodies against one another, and the competition looked to be evenly matched. “We don’t know what else to classify it. It has neither weakness nor resistance, and there’s no other type like it… but its closest relative is Flying, as you said.”

“Who exactly studies this thing?” asked Grant.

“Arceus’ scientific team, of course,” said Cresselia primly. “They are quite good at what they do. Without the help of them and the mechanics, the world as we know it would surely—”

“Oh, the Arcanines!” said Caro, turning away from Raichu’s fight.

“Yes,” said Cresselia deflatedly. “The Arcanines.”

MissingNo., sensing his per-second attention quota was dropping to unacceptable levels, immediately set to work fixing this. Tragically, he couldn’t seem to gather any more attention by the “Oh really, you’re looking for me” setup Cresselia had brought into effect, so he decided to take the direct approach.

Clyde (who had just finished wringing out his coat) was re-introduced to the wonders of showering six times a day. He did not find it wonderful.

“I’m sorry, do you mind?” asked Casey.

“Mind what?” replied the Glitch innocently.

“We’re trying to have a conversation here.”

“Oh. Well excuse me. I hate to interrupt your epic midnight mission to, you kn—”

“Whoa.”

MissingNo. froze.

So did everyone else. Clyde stopped wringing out his coat again. Someone had clearly said ‘Whoa’, but the thing was, they didn’t seem to have anyone else around. Why, if word of this got out, it would—

“WHOA!”

The whole group looked around wildly, minds whirling to organize what had just happened – and, more importantly, who had made it happen. Finally, MissingNo. bothered to look down.

He said, “Oh.”

Yo.
So, I hate to sound like I'm begging for attention or something, but do you guys think you could try and leave a little feedback when you read the new chapters? I know somebody does read it besides me, and even a "cool story, write more" would suffice... well, no it wouldn't according to the rules, but you get my point. XD




* Who, as a side note, would like to apologize for Cresselia’s exceptionally irritating habit of over-stressing syllables. She doesn’t seem to do it when she’s in her true form, but there’s something about human vocal chords that mess up her speech. I’m just relaying the facts here.
** If you’re crazy enough to try and pronounce this, remember to change the last ‘t’ into ‘tuh’ as if releasing air from your mouth. Also, yes, it’s DAHBOLT. Not DERBOLT. DAHBOLT.

Giratina ♀
June 20th, 2010, 03:53 PM
{27} invaders! encroachers!


MissingNo. and Alonzo remained in their positions, staring at one another noiselessly for what seemed to be a long time. Finally, MissingNo. got his act together and said, “I was never here. Forget you ever saw me.”

“…But…” spluttered Alonzo, clearly unable to fathom waking up from what was a very nice nap to find the subject of his obsession hovering over him. “…but you’re… you’re MissingNo.!”

“He is also a thief,” said Cresselia in perfect deadpan. “Of bodies. Including yours, Mister… Daly, was it?” Alonzo looked over to find a Cresselia staring back at him from halfway across the room – if MissingNo.’s appearance didn’t wake him up completely, that certainly did. He blinked at her, swiped at his eyes, looked again, and then decided that his eyes weren’t playing tricks on him and that he really had died.

Of course, then he saw the Groupie Galaxy, and he realized that this was not a vision.

What would those travelers be doing in an otherworldly dream, anyway?

“Well,” said Alonzo. He was trying desperately not to make a fool of himself in front of two of the most powerful beings on Earth. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what on Earth is going on here?” He tried to stand up, but when Cresselia twitched her neck he decided that maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Instead, he resolved to listening while sitting on the floor.

“To put things short…” began Casey. He had to pause there, because he really couldn’t find a way to explain what was going on. “Um, do you remember those times when you were doing stuff you didn’t seem to remember doing, and how people commented on your eyes changing color?”

“I do,” said Alonzo suspiciously.

“That was this guy taking over your body.” Caro chose now to cut in, pointing at MissingNo. for dramatic effect. Alonzo looked upwards at the giant ball of mass, apparently trying to piece together what he had just said. Finally, the man came to a conclusion and voiced his thoughts intelligently and clear as crystal.

“…Really?”

“No,” said MissingNo.

“Yes,” said everyone else.

Alonzo wisely chose to trust the mob, and looked up at MissingNo. again with a very different expression on his face. “Why is this?”

MissingNo. didn’t respond.

Casey half-expected Sheridan to demand an answer out of the gaseous ball of matter, but no protest came. He tried to glance at her, but found out that she was not in the position he thought she was in. Casey turned the other direction – nothing there, either. He didn’t randomly shout out “Hey, where’s Sheridan!?” in the middle of what was going on in front of him, but he returned to his previous position feeling pretty crummy.

“Well?” asked Alonzo once more. “I expect an answer from you.”

“Or what?” asked MissingNo., taking a swipe at Alonzo with one of his detached arms. It passed right through his chest, but managed to give the man a spook. MissingNo.’s mouth curled into even deeper amusement as he listened to Alonzo squeak, but a second later he glided backwards so that they could look at one another with nothing obstructing the view.

“You were just in the right place at the right time,” said MissingNo simply. “I didn’t care whether it was you or a passing Articuno, don’t get me wrong, but nobody visits the southern shores of Cinnabar Island anymore. It was very simple, you’ll understand – take the body of a random passerby, get back to the mainland, escape.”

Alonzo didn’t look happy. Neither, for that matter, did MissingNo. The others… well, they felt this was probably some sort of corrupted personal matter and wisely decided to keep silent for fear of getting doused (again).

“However,” continued MissingNo. while showing no signs of stopping, “I was out of practice at the time; as I said, nobody ever visited south Cinnabar since the Mansion burned. Said it was haunted or somesuch… visions of an enormous Haunter demon on the coast didn’t help anyone, now did they?” MissingNo. waved his hands around; his face, which had been ever-so-slightly bitter the minute before, broke out into another sinister grin.

“Oh yes, it was very pleasant down there, nothing but myself and a little apparition I made. However… it did get boring with nobody to talk to.” MissingNo. gave a fake swoon. “The Pokémon couldn’t understand me! The humans didn’t dare come near! It was a dragging existence, I tell you.” MissingNo. paused. (It was here Casey finally realized that he was taking utter joy in this monologue.) “But lo! One day you wandered along and I saw a beautiful opportunity. I say ‘beautiful’ in reference to the opportunity, taking into account your hair.”

Alonzo’s expression darkened further.

“Yes, that was a… minor inconvenience,” noted the Glitch wispily. MissingNo. either didn’t notice or didn’t pay attention to Alonzo. “Overall, though, a fantastic deal! And yet… there was something wrong. Can you guess what that is?” MissingNo. ducked and leaned closer in to Alonzo, who faced him with a sturdy expression and yet remained silent. MissingNo. made a tsk-tsk noise and returned to his original position. “No? Oh well. The problem was, I couldn’t quite keep you under a leash.” MissingNo. tilted to the side and regarded Alonzo with head-shaking disappointment. “Apparently your soul was resisting. And me, being as out of practice as I am, I couldn’t find a way to shut you up!”

“So why didn’t you leave when you got to Vermillion?” asked Alonzo.

“And another thing,” said MissingNo. “I figured that living as a human – through you – was much more appealing as a life choice than being a ten-foot-tall bubble of purple fog.” MissingNo. regarded himself with a sweep of the hand. “Trust me, if you were put through what I was, you would sympathize completely. Anyhow, I remained dormant in your body for a while until you got back into the ‘swing’ of things…”

“And then you took over,” finished Alonzo.

“No,” said MissingNo pleasantly. “I began beating you down in preparation for taking over.”

Alonzo’s expression implied that he wanted to respond to this with a sarcastic “Oh, of course” but obviously thought better of it. In any case, he wasn’t a happy camper – and all admiration for the Glitch in front of him had long since evaporated.

MissingNo. turned his body ever so slightly, to imply looking up at the others. “Of course, then these meddling humans came trooping in with a goddess, and I felt that maybe I ought to get going, hmm?” MissingNo. began to back away from everyone present, the smile on his face misleadingly sincere. “It was a great time meeting you all, really it was. So I’ll just be leaving.”

And he almost got away with it too, if not for yet another meddling mortal.

The double doors to the front hall flew open and in soared a giant teal monster – somewhere between wildcat and bear – with insanely large feathered wings. Small, light blue wings fluttered from each of its broad paws, and there were similarly-colored patches of fur on its body. As it blasted in, the entire group was subjected to an immense tidal wave of sparklies that could come only from the strange creature in the corridor.

And then, a few seconds later, the silhouette of a Drowzee and a woman in a billowing coat appeared in the door.

Sheridan stood there with her arms crossed, smirking. Kaeo, standing beside her, retained his perpetual bored expression, but turned to the winged bear-cat and nodded. The creature roared happily in response before… disappearing into the air. A second later MissingNo. recoiled with a scream and the Pokémon was flying in the air, each immense wingbeat sending a mini-tornado in all directions.

Temporarily ignoring the fact that this creature had recently come stomping in and destroyed his front hall, Alonzo beamed, eyes sparkling. “Aeveon!”

The creature roared in response.

MissingNo. made a screeching battle cry and fired a Water Gun (miraculously, not at Clyde). Aeveon took the hit and dropped itself gracefully to the ground, handling its bulky body with utmost ease. It leaped back into the air and swung one feathery wing like a fan, sending a scythe of air – an Air Slash, as it were – hurtling towards MissingNo.

In deft response, MissingNo. whirled out of the way of the Air Slash and sent himself hurtling towards Aeveon, the normal purple haze mixing with the blue mist that came with his Sky Attack.

“This is the strooonger of his attacks!” called Cresselia, who had recently returned to human form. Because MissingNo. had escaped Alonzo’s body on his own before she could exorcise and relocate him properly, her entire purpose had been defeated and she now stood as the lone lady in a kimono. And now, as MissingNo. and Aeveon – who, by the trail of sparkle dust he left behind, was obviously Shiny – continued to trade blows, all she could do was clasp her hands together and inform Arceus that one of his difficulties had escaped.

In truth, she should have been doing it before, but like the rest of the Groupie Galaxy she realized that praying out loud to Arceus in the middle of a serious catching-up discussion was probably not that safe. Now though, considering nobody could hear themselves think over the din and was therefore much more appropriate for prayer, she did what she should have done a long time ago. Besides, this was growing into quite a dangerous matter, and if any humans came to discover Cresselia and MissingNo. in the same building…

Fortunately, Arceus’ third vice-secretary got her call before he was swamped with more offerings from the Hearthome Chapel. Within three minutes, about twenty Arcanines had trooped through the door and set to work chasing MissingNo. down.

There was massive pandemonium after that. Everyone was attempting to attack someone while keeping out o the way of the other attacks, and Aeveon found his feathers singed on more than one occasion. MissingNo. was actually using Sky Attack and firing Water Guns at the same time; it didn’t matter who he hit, as he had realized by then that everyone was against him anyway and any connected blow was an improvement (except for Clyde, who just started shouting). Caro was vainly trying to order Raichu into attacks, Sheridan gave up on controlling the now battle-crazed Aeveon altogether, and it was a small miracle that nobody died in the general crossfire.

However, since most of the Pokémon’s attacks involved fire and MissingNo. was fond of using Sky Attack to swerve out of the way, Alonzo’s house was very close to getting torched. After all the abuse it had gone through up until this point, the possibility of his home going up in smoke was apparently too much for the man to handle.

“STOOOOOOOP!”

Within a few seconds, everyone froze and stared at Alonzo wide-eyed.

“I hate to interrupt your investigation, I really do, but I think there are some things we need to set straight here,” he continued. It was blatantly obvious that he was fed up with today’s events. “One: this is my house. Where I live. If you keep shooting thunderbolts…” he pointed at Caro and Raichu, who had since rejoined the fray, “…and you keep firing air bullets…” the Index Finger of Wrath turned to Aeveon now, “…and you keep setting things on fire, and you keep dive-bombing people…” he moved to the Arcanine troops and MissingNo. “…then this place won’t last another two minutes! And what’s going to happen when it burns down? Oh no, the battlefield’s dead, let’s run away? Oh, sure, you lot can do that. Go right ahead, be my guest! However, you have apparently failed to realize that this place is my responsibility, and I DON’T WANT TO GO BROKE FIXING UP THE MESS THAT YOU ALL HAVE MADE!!” His rant increased in volume until it was threatening to splutter out at any moment. He took a breath while everyone else stood (or hovered) in stunned silence.

“And TWO…”

He paused here, looking upwards. Now that the room had been silenced by Alonzo’s temper tantrum, sirens could be heard wailing in the distance.

“…and TWO, you’ve gone and summoned the freaking POLICE!!”



Well, by all standards, the story ended well.

Cresselia and the Arcanine Guard contained MissingNo. and dragged him back to Cinnabar Island (but not before leaving it in a stunned state as proof that a rampaging Glitch really did destroy half of Alonzo’s house), and the whole thing was covered up as MissingNo.’s doing entirely; no serious casualties were had. Immensely relieved with Casey’s group helping him with the problem that was sure to get worse if left untreated, Alonzo had jubilantly allowed him to take a Pokémon from his entire stock. Casey, not particularly wanting any of them, gave the decision to Sheridan – now bordering dangerously close to Fangirl Eyes – who selected Aeveon as her new team member.

By the time they left the sun had dipped quite low in the sky, and (to the sound of Grant’s continued moaning that they had stayed here much longer than they were supposed to) the Groupie Galaxy found themselves in desperate need of a Pokémon Center. Once there, the monsters in Grant’s head had a revelation.

“HELLO,” they said pleasantly once I had fallen into sleep.

“Hi there,” I responded.

“WE HAVE COME TO INFORM YOU ON CERTAIN THINGS,” continued the Karmada. “ONE, WE RECOMMEND STRONGLY AGAINST SETTING FOOT IN RAXI CITY. THERE ARE MANY PROBLEMS THERE.”

“Problems? Like what?”

“GRANT STERNBERG… DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN TWO PEOPLE HOUSING KARMADA COME IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH ONE ANOTHER?”

“No.”

“THE RESULT IS NOT PLEASANT. IF ONE GROUP OF KARMADA IS PROVOKED BY THE OTHER, A SORT OF BATTLE WILL ENSUE, CAUSING MASSIVELY PAINFUL HEADACHES FOR ALL INVOLVED. WE HAVE SENSED A NUMBER OF KARMADA WITHIN THAT CITY, AND IT IS SUGGESTED THAT YOU CONVINCE CASEY BLAIR TO TAKE ANOTHER ROUTE.”

“But… he needs to get a Badge from there.”

“THEN HE CAN DO IT WITHOUT YOU,” said the gray ghosts pleasantly.

I frowned at the Karmada. “What will you do if I don’t comply to this?”

“WE WILL FIGHT VALIANTLY AND TRY NOT TO GIVE YOU A MIGRAINE.”

“Oh. Um… thanks, I guess.”

“OUR PLEASURE.”

“So… what was the second thing?”

“WE DON’T SEEM TO BE MAKING MUCH HEADWAY ON FINDING WHAT WE SEEK. FOR THIS REASON, WE HAVE NOT YET ESTABLISHED AN ESTIMATE OF WHEN WE WILL BE ABLE TO EVACUATE YOUR MIND. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.”

Not really having anything to say to this, I opted instead to ask one of the questions that had been bugging me. “So… why did you pick me to search for your thing?”

“THERE SEEMS TO BE A SIMILAR TRAIT IN ALL OF THE PEOPLE THAT WE SEARCH,” said the Karmada. “WE BELIEVE IT TO BE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, A SORT OF POWERFUL NEGATIVE EMOTION. WE’RE STILL WORKING ON YOURS…”

“Powerful… what? I’ve got nothing to hide here.”

“OH, BUT YOU DO,” said the Karmada. “WE’LL HUNT IT DOWN, WE ASSURE YOU. ONCE WE FIND IT WE WILL TAKE IT FOR OURSELVES AND YOU CAN BE RID OF THE BURDEN. THINK OF US AS A SORT OF PERSONAL PSYCHIATRIST.”

Not particularly enjoying the thought of this, I was about to respond when—

“Grant!” called a voice rudely, kicking the bed and cutting into the previously pleasant slumber of its occupant. “Get up! We’re waiting on you!”

“…what?” said the disheveled mop of brown hair that was supposed to be Grant. When he finally woke up, he found a very bemused Sheridan face in his line of vision – she, as the next most mature person in the group, took it upon herself to motivate the motivator. Grant’s half-awake brain failed to notice this; instead it chose to observe the fact that Sheridan’s chest was leaning dangerously close to his face.

“Hey!” he squawked.

Sheridan stood up, looking quite pleased with herself. “Get yourself ready. Casey says that we’re heading out today.”

Grant didn’t stop glowering at her as she left the room, and the stare continued to fry the door from which she left. After that incident had been sent to the back of his mind where nobody else had to deal with it and he began to get ready, Grant set his thoughts again on what the Karmada had said. Negative emotion of some sort. He certainly didn’t hate anyone in the immediate area, nor was he particularly sad about anything…

Suddenly Grant looked upwards, eyes wide.

They weren’t talking about… no, they couldn’t have been…

That wasn’t…

…that wasn’t his fault!



Five people (and a computer) sat around a table. A sixth was leaning against the wall.

There were a couple of things wrong with this picture. For one, there was never a man dressed in a dark suit and FBI sunglasses standing in the corner before. There was also the fact that Mr. Bodyguard had placed Rodney’s laptop on the table, which Anima was supposed to do – but couldn’t. This was the third strange thing: she didn’t seem to be present, even though the other Leader was.

“Um…” began Stathis intelligently.

“Ah yes!” chirped Mina, giving a disgustingly sweet smile around the table. “I must have forgotten to mention this at the last meeting. Today we have a special guest from the PIA, who is here to both explain a couple of things that are obviously unusual right now, and also observe us as we go about our business. Okay?”

“Okay,” they chorused. If the PIA agent hadn’t been there, at the mention of his company there would have been an incredibly loud groan. (Actually, there was a groan, but thanks to the wonders of pretending to cough nobody noticed… much.)

The PIA – that is, Pokémon Inspection Agency – was an official group founded in Kanto. Originally, it served as peacekeepers where the PIKA (Police Institution of Kindred Areas*) failed to do so. However, other organizations were soon established and did a much better job of international crime-fighting than they did, and the PIA was reduced to keeping tabs on Gyms. They are notorious for being incredibly unfair, picky, and all-around maniacal. They were so irritating, in fact, that some less tactful Gym Leaders have taken to calling them a pain in the…

…Oh dear. I can’t seem to remember. This is so strange.

Well, whatever the word was, it was making fun of ‘PIA’. Among the various Regions, Holon’s Gyms were without a doubt in the most trouble with the PIA and their yearly inspections – they had a bone to pick with almost every Gym Puzzle for being ‘too dangerous’ or ‘too time-consuming’ or ‘too mind-breakingly difficult’ or somesuch. Only in a few cases did they comment on the Gym Leader themselves, but in all fairness they deserved it. The relationship between the organizations was strained at best.

The PIA agent stepped forward with not even a nod to Mina – who, behind his back, looked quite miffed. Instead, he walked to a part of the table not currently occupied by a Gym Leader and stood there. “Ms. Minam—”

“Oh, please, just call me Mina. Everyone else does.” Mina gave another sickly-sweet giggle and waved one hand.

“Ms. Mina has already summarized why I am here,” he corrected. “I – or rather, the PIA – have some matters that we wish to discuss with you all. Before we continue, I would like you all to refer to me as Miles; I already know all of your names.” At this he gave a smile that was obviously meant to be pleasant and, in that respect, failed spectacularly. “Um… yes. First off, you will have noticed the absence of Miss Anima Ardall. She has not disappeared off the face of the earth, I assure you.” He waited for the giggles, but when none came he continued. “She is currently on break from her Leaderly duties in order to pursue, as she says, ‘another personal goal’. When she will return to the spot is unknown, but until she does all challengers will simply have to be redirected to the other Gym Leader in the city.”

One could practically hear Rodney seething through the microphone.

Miles acted like he didn’t notice. “Well! That’s one of the things out of the way. Second order of business, I’ve heard rumors from others within my company that Gym Leaders in this Region are using Pokémon not authorized by the Pokémon Master Encyclopedia. That said, I will need to ask you to release all of your Pokémon while we search your person for any illegitimate Pokémon you may have on hand.”

“Excuse me, sir,” said Garret meekly, raising his hand. “No one ever brings their Pokémon to these meetings.”

Miles blinked. “You’re supposed to. The PIA informed your Champion that…”

“Well, if Roman heard it, he never told me,” said Mina. “Because I wasn’t informed of it, they weren’t informed of it.” She folded her hands in front of her and regarded Miles with a stare so frigid that it wouldn’t be out of place on a mommy Articuno protecting her young.

Miles looked back at the other Gym Leaders (mostly to look away from Mina). “Well, then, I suppose we’ll need to have a talk with Mr. Roman about this…” When the others offered no comment, the PIA agent pulled himself together. “All of that said, I hope you will all have a pleasant meeting.”

“Are you going now?” asked Marianne. Buck kicked her shin disapprovingly.

“No,” said Miles. “I’ll just be watching in this folding chair over here.” He backed away from the round table and sat down on – lo and behold – a steel chair in the corner. He picked up a clipboard, already supplied with a pen and some paper, from the floor and sat poised to write his observations.

The discussion was very uncomfortable that day.



* The International Police are a very different beast than PIKA; do not get them confused.

Benjamin510
June 21st, 2010, 02:31 PM
Wow. But missing.no I thought was a L shaped lag?

Giratina ♀
June 21st, 2010, 05:22 PM
Actually, no. That would be 'M, another Glitch that appears in the same place as MissingNo. does. MissingNo. appears as either his ghost form or varying skeletal Pokémon (hence the Aerodactyl skeleton flying through the air in a previous chapter). 'M, as far as I recall, is the L-shaped mass of pixels.

Giratina ♀
June 29th, 2010, 02:35 PM
{28} please take me down

Poliwag stared down her opponent in defiance, not particularly enjoying the jeering look that Aeveon was giving him. Sheridan, on the other hand, looked outright worried, and after her sixth cry of, “Aeveon, are you sure you want to do this?” and the blue lion’s sharp-toothed, admittedly wicked-looking grin of approval, Casey finally decided to say something about it.

“Sheridan, it’s a Pokémon battle,” he called across the battlefield. “What’s the problem?”

“I told you before,” she said. “I don’t like battling with my Shinies. I don’t want them to get hurt, okay?”

Aeveon spat on the ground and walked into battle position, lashing his tail expectantly. “…Whereas he can’t seem to get enough,” Sheridan concluded sourly.

The journey to Raxi had gotten rather tedious, and so the group had earlier on decided that they ought to stop and enjoy the scenery. Eventually, someone brought up the subject of Aeveon, and within ten minutes everyone was egging Sheridan on to use her new Pokémon in its first battle. She had vehemently refused each time, but the pestering – while good-natured – eventually got to the point where she would be ready to do anything to shut them up.

It was at this point Sheridan realized that she really was the only mature one in the group, the other members being boys. Saffron didn’t count.

So here she was, swallowing her unease. Aeveon looked positively elated to stare down Casey’s Poliwag and was apparently unaware of his owner’s dubious thoughts. Sheridan realized that she was supposed to make the first move after only ten gestures from Casey, Aeveon, and Poliwag, and the woman took out a JAWS of her own and pointed it at the Flying-type Eeveelution. She wasn’t psychic; she didn’t know what moves this beast had!

After that was done, she looked up and said, “Gust.”

Aeveon batted his immense wings (large because otherwise they wouldn’t support his similarly immense body weight) and sent a gust of wind hurtling toward Poliwag. Little sparkles swirled along in the air torrent, thanks primarily to more of Aeveon’s spectral dandruff loosing itself from his wings. The light Water-type ground her feet into the dirt and shut her eyes in an attempt to root herself to the spot, so as not to get blown away; it worked, and upon her Trainer’s command directed a Water Gun into Aeveon’s chest. He roared loudly, apparently finding the rather weak attack painful.

However, he kept fighting, and within seconds Poliwag was on the receiving end of a Bite from his massive jaws. In response Poliwag fired another Water Gun; Aeveon took this valiantly to the face, his molars still clamped around Poliwag’s round body. Eventually he found that if he didn’t let go then Poliwag would continue to blast him with water; when that happened, he wisely decided to let it be.

“Hypnosis,” ordered Casey. Poliwag followed his instructions, and within minutes a swirly apparition was floating towards Aeveon. The Eeveelution’s eyes followed its twirling path vainly, though that was just wasting time; within minutes his eyes drooped and the wingbeats got progressively slower.

The battle ended swiftly after that.

Sheridan was forced to recall Aeveon as he fell, lest the creature fall to the floor and break at least ten bones in the process. She held the occupied Pokéball in her hand, staring at it grimly for a few seconds. It was then she realized that nobody was making any noise; this was unusual for the group of men who had just fifteen minutes earlier been laughing at her for not wanting to battle, and so she looked up, wondering what was holding their amusement. She soon found out.

Poliwag seemed to be glowing.

Sheridan’s eyes immediately lit up, prancing across the battlefield to hover blissfully over Poliwag. Her body began morphing – getting larger and rounder, arms sprouted from her sides (‘Finally,’ thought Casey), and her tail promptly sucked itself back into her spine. Finally, the glow faded and the result was a Poliwhirl – same color blue, same swirly internal organs, but a lot of other things that made the little mediator adorable had changed.

“Oh,” said Casey. Sheridan, now no longer having to worry about interrupting her Evolution, pounced upon Poliwhirl with the enthusiasm of a hyper-caffeinated fangirl. Casey thought it wise to return Poliwhirl before she got there, though, and did so with expert timing.

“Alright then,” said Clyde after everyone had recovered from the ensuing giggles. “I think we’ve established by now that Sheridan really shouldn’t be battling?”

Casey shook his head, smiled, and started along the road again.



“She’s what?”

“Gone,” said the Gastly nonchalantly, inspecting a seemingly random fraction of its eerie purple smog. “She’s left the building, and we don’t know when she’ll be back. Her Pokémon are gone too.”

“So who are you, then?” asked Caro, pointing. They were standing in front of the Raxi Gym – a bright, well-kept place in a nice neighborhood. Unfortunately, their path inside was being blocked by a rather insolent Ghost-type, and as resident Pokémon whisperer Caro had been nominated to move him out of the way.

It didn’t seem to be working.

“I live upstairs,” Gastly remarked in the same bored tones. “She’s a very kindhearted woman, you know. She’ll let any Pokémon under the sun make themselves comfortable in the unused parts of her Gym… too bad she’s gone, though.” The Gastly smiled devilishly. “The Gym Leader doesn’t believe in any frilly mazes or mind games, see. She just wants the Trainer to prove their bonds with their Pokémon, that’s all… but since she’s gone…”

“How long will we need to wait?” asked Caro grimly.

“You’re looking for the Midlight Badge, aren’t you…?” asked Gastly, looking up to regard him just slightly more than he had beforehand.

“I’m not. He is.” Caro pointed his finger at the appropriate red-haired youth, who waved meekly and then returned to inactivity. “How long do you think it’ll take this Gym Leader to get back so we can fight her?”

“Well… that depends.” Gastly tapped a wisp of gas to its mouth. “Which is more important to you: fighting this Gym Leader or getting the Badge?”

“Badge,” volunteered Casey, after Caro had translated the question.

Gastly peered at him then turned back to the Pokémon spokesman of the group, shaking his head sadly. “And you’re sure in that decision? There is another way to get a Midlight Badge, but…”

“What is it?” asked Caro.

“If you want the Badge fast, you could start by going to the other half of the city,” said Gastly. “The city of Raxi used to be two separate settlements, see, with two different Gyms. Eventually they merged into one, but there’s always been two official Pokémon League Gyms here… mostly because both of the original Gym Leaders were too stubborn to let his building be closed down.” The Gastly snickered in amusement. Caro relayed the explanation with most of the important details intact.

“That’s all we need to do?” asked Grant in disbelief. “Go to the other part of the city and fight the other guy?”

Gastly’s pointed teeth became strikingly apparent in his next antagonistic smile. “Easier said than done. You have to find it first!” With his ominous message conveyed, the Gastly disappeared and the door to the Raxi City Gym clicked firmly into what was obviously the locked position. After emitting a series of irritated muttering (with Saffron kicking the door for good measure), the group accepted their fate and walked away from the Gym.

“Well,” said Sheridan. “That was unexpected. Looks like we’ll need to go to the other Gym. I think I remember the way…”

“You know where it is?” gasped Casey.

“Maybe.” Sheridan shrugged. “Hey, it’s been years since I’ve been there last.”

“Personally, I’m more concerned with what the Gym Leader is like than any Gym,” pointed out Grant. “You should at least figure out what Type they use.”

Clyde snorted. “Are you kidding? That Gastly acted like the Gym must be a pain in the tail to get to, so the Gym Leader must be unused to battling. He’s probably some little kid.” He shook his head. “No, Casey, you should definitely just go over there.”

Sheridan shook her head. “He’s not a kid! When I was there the Gym Leader was around fifty. He was actually a very nice man, good at battling too.”

“When was this? Ten years ago?” asked Clyde mockingly, putting a hand to his ear. “It’s a small wonder he kept the job that long. No, he will have retired and there’s probably going to be a new kid around, and he’ll be a total pushover. I can tell you now, your nice skilled trainer won’t be there anymore.” Clyde paused for a moment, apparently finished, but then went on. “So how come you took this challenge back in the day if you hate battling, then, huh?”

Sheridan scowled ferociously at him and turned away.

“Cool it, Clyde,” grumbled Caro. “We don’t need you making zingers at people all the time.”

Grant appeared to have opened his mouth to say something considerably ruder, but with Caro delivering his message in language appropriate for people under eighteen he wisely decided to shut up.

A few seconds passed until there was a collective realization that with Sheridan not talking, nobody had any idea where the Gym actually was. When this happened, Casey turned to her in the most casual manner possible and said, “So where’s the other Gym?” Sheridan finally snapped out of her moody trance and looked up.

“I don’t remember,” she said. “I mean, I know it’s in the… er… other half of the city, but it’s like a maze in there.”

“Other half?” asked Casey.

“Yeah, other half.” Clyde, miraculously, seemed to have sobered up. “Call it whatever you want. Backstreets, Raxi Slums, Twilight Town, that place. Remember when I said Raxi’s ecosystem wasn’t inspiring? That was why.” He said this as they walked through one of the clean and impeccably bright streets of Raxi, which Casey had taken to be true across the settlement. Of course, just to throw a wrench in his logic, this was not so.

“It’s not that bad,” defended Sheridan.

“Let’s remind ourselves the date you—” Clyde stopped talking when he caught the glares everyone else was sending him. Having admitted defeat for now, the man shook his head and dropped the subject. “Whatever! We’re just going to need to find this Gym. Faster we do that, faster we can see the back of this place, right?” The others muttered agreement; albeit in crude and juvenile terms, Clyde had summarized their goals here.

Finally, they came across a large wrought-iron gate not unlike the one they had entered Raxi City in. Except now, instead of having a nice little arch over it, the pointy fence was no more than a rusted barrier with a hinge on it. It was evident immediately after entering this side of town (the gate, though it looked locked, opened at the slightest appliance of pressure) that they weren’t in Kansas anymore.

“So… um…” Casey opened his mouth to attempt to inspire some sort of conversation within the traveling party, which would hopefully lead to the sort of communication that would get people where they needed to go. This failed, and the group lapsed back into silence.

Grant peered into a side alley, curious to see what demons spawned in this particular sub-species. All of the other backstreets in this area of the city were generally dark and dirty; however, he was pretty sure that this was the only one that looked like a bomb had exploded in it. Looking closer, Grant noticed with a distinct shiver the cracked, separated halves of three Pokéballs.

He quickly resumed his pace.

“Aren’t there supposed to be people here?” asked Casey, looking around and seeming just as unnerved as Grant was.

“Yeah… somewhere else,” said Sheridan. “I think we’re in the Raxi Backstreets…”

Clyde, Saffron, and Grant shuddered, whereas Caro and Casey looked downright confused. “What’s wrong with that?” offered the former, looking around.

“If it’s any indicator,” said Grant worriedly, “this place has also been called a man-made Labyrinth.”

Caro missed the significance entirely, but Casey didn’t. “Labyrinth as in… capitalized?” His face was white. It didn’t improve when Grant nodded grimly. The Labyrinth, in ancient Shinolite mythology, was an endless maze designed with multiple spells set on it so that once you entered, you were forced to wander for eternity, with the only salvation being death at the hands of a man-eating, saber-toothed Tauros.

As was to be expected, Casey moaned loudly.

Finally, through the miniscule amount of light that came through to the Backstreets’ floor, the group managed to locate a building that looked like it was the Gym if the sign next to it was any indicator. It didn’t seem occupied, and indeed looked to be in a state of disrepair. After sharing a few concerned glances with one another (Sheridan looked faintly like she was going to be sick), Casey took a breath and walked up to the door.

Somehow it was open; this meant that it wasn’t just a broken-down husk of the Gym of years past. This was both good and bad news. The Gym was open, so he wouldn’t need to go waiting for the other Gym Leader to come back. On the other hand… well, Casey shuddered at the thought of whichever creep ran this place.



The creep who ran this place was, at that given moment, scowling at things.

Well, alright, he was always scowling at things. But this time the scowling was actually relevant.

“AARGH!” He ground one fist into the other. Everyone else present (i.e., one human and two Pokémon) was well aware that Mt. Gym Leader had blown its top again, though the reason for this was – as usual – unknown. The onlookers wisely decided to remain silent, lest they invoke the full power of their master’s wrath. He continued to ramble angrily for a few minutes further before abruptly stopping. “Jordan!” he barked.

“Ah, yes?” said the human, a man of around thirty with large glasses that seemed to amplify his eyes. Jordan was the Gymkeeper; every Gym had one, but rarely do they do anything when challengers are around. Only a few plucky ones wander around, following promising young charges. Jordan here was not one of them, instead opting to remain in the Gym.

Goodness knows why.

“Release Inverse and Reverse,” said the Gym Leader icily, his voice rasping. “If the impatient fools don’t want to wait for her to get back, then they’ll just need to suck it up and go through the trials, won’t they?” These sorts of outbursts were not uncommon, and it was mostly agreed among the few other people living there that they would be more disturbed if it didn’t happen. Everyone had long since learned that the best way to escape with your life was: A, make your presence as little-known as possible, and B, carefully step out of the way.

Jordan did just this and slipped gratefully out of the room to follow his orders. That Natu always creeped him out.



“What. On Earth. Is that.”

Clyde was considerately regarding the monster which was standing at its station when they entered the second room. This was made a slightly more justifiable question due to the fact that the room was practically pitch-black. (The first room was normally lit, but hilariously the door locked audibly behind them.)

The Groupie Galaxy now stood in what looked to be a room with walls made of stone, furnished sparingly with a scratched-up wooden side table, a rug, and of course the two-headed beastie before them. One of its heads looked like a horse’s, but the other had a rounded snout and grossly oversized, pointy teeth. The horse head had two white alien antennae on it and a short pink mane, and its neck was attached to a yellow hoofed body. This pattern continued until one got to the other half of the creature, wherein the fur abruptly changed to chocolate brown and canine paws designated where the hind hooves should have been. Following this metaphor, in place of a tail was the round head.

The only bright light in the room was what appeared to be a stage spotlight, pointing at the wall. On the wall, directly in the center of the beam, was a framed piece of paper. Typed on that were the words:

“So you’ve decided to try the Raxi City Gym.

In the event that your delusional brain is capable of reading this, I have considerately prepared instructions on how to get past this Gym puzzle. I’m sure you’ve dealt with more than enough of them by now.

In front of you is a two-headed Pokémon, and beyond that, two doors. There is only one way out of this room, and that way leads to the chamber where I am. If you open the doors you will observe that both ways ahead are pitch-black, and so the only way to know if you are taking the correct path is to merely walk through it. If you don’t, you will plummet to a room below. No, the landing will not kill you, but you’ll also be at the total mercy of whatever horrible beasts lie down there.

Ah, but you will notice the Pokémon. By now one of the heads will be looking around nervously and the other will be giving you the evil eye. This is normal, and if either head is doing anything other than that, you may as well dive into one of the doors at random. The Pokémon – whose species, by the way, is a ‘Pumipuyu’ – knows the way out. You may only ask the Pumipuyu one question total, and you must ask one of the heads in particular, not both.

There are two ways to solve this puzzle. One is easier said than done, the other easier done than said.”

This invoked a rather long pause in the Groupie Galaxy, as they read the Gym Leader’s note over and over again both to themselves and out loud. Finally, Saffron came to a conclusion: “This dude is crazy.” There was murmured agreement, not too loud in case Pumipuyu was listening, and finally Casey pointed out that this would require a lengthy and strategic discussion.

And, huddled into a circle, discuss they did.

Well, except for Caro, who loudly proclaimed that he was going to think in that corner over there. The others didn’t try to convince him otherwise, considering that Sheridan was offering a much more plausible solution.

“Okay, so I’ve heard of this before,” said Sheridan in an undertone. “It’s called the Knights and Knaves’ Puzzle. One of the heads speaks only truth, one of the heads speaks only lies. The whole point is to trick the guys into giving you some sort of competent answer which will then tell you where you need to go… but we can’t do that, so I guess we’ll have to find out some other way to work it out. There has to be a way.”

Caro stared at the Pumipuyu. “Hey,” he said. “Um—”

“We’re trying to work here,” Saffron informed him irritably.

A little bit later: “You guys—”

“Caro,” said Casey patiently, poking his head out from the huddle, “as much as we all value your input, we’re trying to work this thing out, okay?” He then dove back in to continue discussing how they were supposed to surpass the classic puzzle under these special circumstances.

“Listen to me!” said Caro exasperatedly.

If anyone had been paying attention, they would have noticed that Clyde’s expression had been getting consistently sourer from both Caro’s pestering and the inability to get the answer out. Finally, he hit boiling point.

“Alright then!” he snapped, straightening to his full (and considerable) height. “I don’t know if you idiots are going to try anything today, but to be honest I don’t want to spend any more time in this place! We’re getting nowhere, you hear me? Nowhere! We might as well just go right up to that deformed Girafarig and say, ‘Hey you! Yeah, you with the pink hair! Where’s the door that gets us to your sleazy Gym Leader?’ Yeah! We could just go right up and do that, and…”

“Pumi,” said the yellow head politely, cutting into his rant. “Pumimipumimipu.”

Just as everyone was about to give Clyde a collective kick in the shin, Caro’s eyes widened and he said, “Ohhhhhhhhhhh!”

“What?” snapped Sheridan. “This moron just wasted our question by…”

She paused at the look Caro was giving her. “He didn’t waste our question,” said Caro, beaming. He leaned against the wall, which was a surefire sign that he had gone into exposition mode and had somehow figured it out better than they had. Sheridan looked miffed.

“Look… this isn’t the Knights and the Knaves… don’t you get it?” At everyone’s bewildered expression, Caro continued, getting steadily more excited. “The puzzle isn’t to figure out which of the heads tell the truth! That has nothing to do with it! Look, they both know the correct answer! He – the Gym Leader, whoever he was – he knew we were going to figure this much out, that we would think from what he gave us that it’s the Knights and Knaves! He did it on purpose, don’t you get it? He set up his puzzle almost exactly like the normal one, and he made us impose the usual rules on it ourselves!”

“So?” asked Saffron.

Immediately, Sheridan’s brain clicked the facts into place. “He must expect us to be able to get an answer out of the Pumipuyu heads, ignoring the fact that it might be a lie!” Sheridan thought for a moment on how to continue. Then, “Caro, there’s a problem.”

“What’s that?”

“None of us here speak—”

There was a pause. Caro looked at her, smiling wildly, while Sheridan’s expression slowly morphed from irritation to revelation and finally to glee. She opened her mouth to speak.

“The trapdoor,” interjected the ex-Raichu, turning to the others. “It’s the trapdoor.”

EEEEEEE
RAXI CITY ARC
EEEEEEEE

Luphinid Silnaek
July 11th, 2010, 01:23 AM
EDIT when you come back: Oh, it was April Fools! I never thought to check the date. I'm dense.

I caught up! Awesome.

Chapter 13:
The Fearow gave a grating caw. Honchkrow cawed in return. They were both trying to impress and scare the other. Hikaru looked at Casey’s Pokémon with a sort of appreciation in his eyes for a second, before returning to Earth and continuing the battle. “My boy,” noted the poncho-clad man chipperly, “you’re dead meat.” And he smiled. And he watched Fearow glow, watched the feathers around it quiver and wave like it was in the middle of a rainstorm (which it was). And he allowed the Pokémon to beat its wings and fly up in the air, past Honchkrow, past Casey and Hikaru, and up into the raincloud itself. And he watched the cloud react to Fearow’s arrival. And he said:

“Thunder.”

He also watched the wicked thunderbolt descend from the sky. He watched the surprise in Honchkrow’s eyes turn to fear. He then watched them close. He watched the charred, singed bird fall to the floor. He watched his opponent recall the bird shakily, try to find a handrail to hold on to on the raised platform. He watched Casey fail in that attempt.

And he watched the boy crumple to the floor and black out.

Hikaru looked up to the raincloud. And he saw the most wonderful symbol in the world appear in the swirling clouds. He knew that the boy was seeing the same image burned into his closed eyelids. That’s what they always saw. At the very same moment he heard the synonymous voices of CD0000, William, Kidd, and Aerith saying two words that rang loud and clear in his ears.

“Holy crap.”

It's because this sequence is so epic that I bring it up; the style loses a little force in the third paragraph because the 'he watched' repetition actually does wear itself out. I think the point where the sentences begin to uniformly start with the same phrase is the main culprit, and on top of that the slight variations you made to disperse the redundancy, they disperse the effect too. 'Thunder.' is a good cue to radically change the pattern (if not the mood) of the sentences; you should use it to try out other ways of expressing how momentous this epic **** is.

Caro. Do not insult your author. That is seriously not a good idea. So maybe when you’ve discovered the Internet and end up reading you finally get a clue.

…Wait. Ahem.

This fourth wall hole is so massive it's brilliant.

CHapter 14
Six people (and a computer) sat around a table.It was a rounded table, large and intricately carved out of wood.

At the six areas of the table where the points of a pentagon would be was a chair, one person sitting in each chair. One of the people, a woman sitting on the bottom left spot, had an opened laptop computer next to her. She was currently in the process of pressing certain keys on the computer, occasionally speaking into it with short phrases like “Um…” and “Can you hear me?”

The computer sat around the table too? 'At' is ambiguous enough to apply to both people and computers, I think. Also, pentagons have five vertices, unless this is maths fail on Giratina's part.

Sheridan looked at her for a few minutes, then reached out again. “Poor kid. You’re lost, aren’t you? Here, let me take off that mask for you. You probably can’t see anything with it on, right?” She took a step forward and reached for the mask.

You ask for it! You do! The only thing possible to do in a creepy experience is to try and make it worse.

Chapter 20
And ah, hold on. It’s multiplying. The same lock-tailed ghost monster is appearing in all sorts of different places, quickly filling up and blotting out any traces of black that had been left behind. The things were also giving off a convenient soft glowing, meaning that I could no longer see anything except floating ghosts and lights. Eventually, one of them – the first one to appear – stepped forward. When its mouth opened, so did all the other mouths, and they spoke as one.

Another mood bit. Besides the sudden tense change, I really do like this worriedly thoughtful style for his POV, and the formal narration you headed into sounds a little dry in comparison. Then shortly afterwards, the style gets pretty informal and 'these-are-the-thoughts-in-my-head' again, so I'm not sure what the five minutes of style/tense change are supposed to do.

Anyway, further reading makes me think this fic is not just fun (and indecently unorthodox), but actually awesome. Your style really comes together; it's a wonderful mix of British fantasy-comedy and journeyfic and Giratina that does a lot of very colourful things through the story. Besides, it's so rare to write something not constantly trying to tell its reader I AM DRAMA, THAT'S SERIOUS BUSINESS, LOOK AT ME -- have I ever done it? I don't think so. A region with only one known canon city gives a lot of imaginative freedom, and you use it. I notice so many places in Holon are named after Greek letters, except Raxi, I don't know what's up with that.

Chapter 21 continues to puzzle. You gave like one mention to the fact that apparently the Groupies' timeline diverged to a happier one just before their death, and I'm not even sure if that's a mention. The only way I could explain it is if the Karmada did fulfill their mission, Fedora dude decided the information in the Briefcase wasn't worth preserving, and sent a suicide bomber their way. Giratina or someone else would have to diverge their reality ahead of schedule, but record their 'death' in the official records (whatever those are). That sounds a bit extreme.

I'll join the PM list, by the way.

Giratina ♀
July 11th, 2010, 06:03 AM
Chapter twenty-one... I believe that was the April Fool's chapter, right? The one with the BDV grunt running in with a bomb? (Sorry, I'm kind of in a rush.) Yeah, that wasn't the end of the chapter. Sorry. xP The Groupie Galaxy are alive and well.

Anyway, I find it interesting that you compare me to a lot of British literature. While I can see how you would think that, I am proud to inform you that I am, as a matter of fact, American. The whole style sort of developed after reading Harry Potter and taking the goofiness a step farther... the likes of Pratchett and Gaiman were found later, when I had actually convinced myself that it was an acceptable form of writing.

Actually, Raxi City was named after a Greek letter too, but it was so skewed up and thought of so long ago that I can't seem to remember what it came from. XD Anyway, you're the first to point out the letter naming thing, and the reasoning behind that links back to the Delta Pokémon thing tbat Holon had going on a few years ago. Delta being the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet and whatnot, I decided to run along with it and give all the other cities appropriate names.

This fourth wall hole is so massive it's brilliant. Well, Giratina isn't exactly known to be the most tactful when it comes to her narrating.

Also, yes, Giratina is bad at math.

...Oh, wait, I remember part of what Raxi was from! The Gym Leader there was originally a Poison-type Trainer, so I took it from something and the name "toxic".

Luphinid Silnaek
July 12th, 2010, 05:00 AM
Yeah, I didn't think you were British. The American vibe was still deep in there, though I didn't notice it immediately. It seems perfectly rational that a writer could have influences from a certain style and country without having gone there (evidence me and my occasional satire forays), or even acknowledging that particular school.

I like the Greek letter theme. It makes it sound like a skewed pantheon, and the story sound like it might make fun of Greek myth at any moment. Not that I think it will.

I'm trying to figure out the other component of "Raxi". Hmm... not an alphabet, unless I'm mistaken.

Giratina ♀
July 12th, 2010, 06:17 AM
Well, I guess the Legendaries themselves are a sort of vague, floaty parody of the Greek Pantheon, but they're sort of present in all of the Archiverse stories so I don't know if it counts. And as I said before, I don't think I'd be able to connect the first part to any letter unless I knew which it was beforehand... and that information has been lost to us all for months. XD I've just taken to thinking of it as 'just Raxi' for far too long.

Giratina ♀
July 27th, 2010, 05:36 AM
Joy of joys, wonder of wonders! Chapter 29 is on its way!

{29} i’ll fight them away through you


“The… trapdoor.”

Saffron clearly failed to understand Caro’s statement. She saw no trapdoor – not that there was sufficient lighting anyway, but still – and she also saw no way for Caro to get the idea that there was, indeed, a trapdoor. She looked around on the floor, and there was no trapdoor in sight. The others did the same, and none of their multiple lookarounds came up with the location of any sort of trapdoor.

Hilariously, in that room, there was a trapdoor.

Caro walked forward and made motions with his hands for everyone to step back, and after some prompting and insistence that he really did know what he was doing, they actually complied. Smiling smugly, Caro whipped aside the rug that was previously under their feet, gesturing and holding out his hands like some sort of demented, hoodie-sporting stage magician. Everyone looked down and simultaneously found some hard surface to mentally slam their forehead against. Where the rug had been was a trapdoor.

“Oh,” laughed Grant. “Caro.”

“Yeah?” he asked brightly, glowing in his own success.

He shook his head and walked up to the trapdoor, kneeling down to pull it open. “You speak to Pokémon… I had forgotten.”

Saffron and Clyde suddenly had a look of great revelation, which was swiftly replaced with confusion. “Wait,” said the former. “What?”

“I used to be a Raichu,” explained Caro helpfully as he went down the ladder after Grant. “Ask someone later. We’re in a Gym, aren’t we? So we’re here to watch Casey beat his next creep and win a Badge.”

Saffron turned to her sister with an asking expression, but Sheridan wisely said, “Later.”

When everyone had descended the ladder into the room below, they found that they were in an even darker room than before. Only the very faint blue-and-red glow of Rotom illuminated the narrow room. Suddenly, Casey had a revelation. “Wait a minute!” he said. “If we’re under the Gym floor, then if we had gone through the doors, wouldn’t we have come down here as well…?”

“Ah, no,” said a voice from the darkness. “You actually wouldn’t. You would have wound up on a very large warp panel which would have taken you to a side room, and from there you would exit the Gym and try again.” A man stepped into Rotom’s faint glowing halo, the plasma’s radiance catching on his thick glasses. “My name is Jordan, the Gymkeeper here. Your final opponent is just down the passage, and I am here to deliver the rules before you begin.”

“Er… why?” asked Casey. “What rules are there?”

“Only one, and it’s not that hard,” said Jordan. “No Electric-types may pass beyond this point.” He turned his head slightly to reference the chipper light source. “Including your… wait, is that a Rotom or isn’t it? I’ve never seen that form before!”

“Oh, uh… he kinda possessed his own Pokéball,” said Casey embarrassedly. “We can’t actually return him right now.”

“Well then one of your traveling party will need to wait here with him,” remarked the Gymkeeper sternly. “I assure you that the rule is not meant to hamper your progress or battle in any way. The Gym Leader here trains Psychic-types, as you may be aware, and Electric Pokémon do no damage difference against them.”

“If it’s not to bother us, then what is it?” requested Clyde.

“The Gym Leader… well…” Jordan grimaced. “Alas, he has a phobia of Electric-types. I do not recommend crossing the Gym Leader.”

Glances were shared. A phobia? Were they even allowed to have that sort of thing?

“Are there any lights down the remainder of this passage?” asked Casey, deciding to change the subject. It obviously couldn’t be helped.

“No. You must light the way using your own or your Pokémon’s power.”

Casey turned back to the group from his then-appropriate spot in the front of the procession. “Alright… does anyone here have a Fire-type on hand?”

Everyone shook their head.

“Oh,” he said grimly. “Then… does anyone want to stay out here with Rotom…?”

Sheridan raised her hand, of course wanting to skip out on a battle; however, then she gave off a little ‘oh!’ and everyone knew that a plot was bubbling in her head. “Casey, I have an idea!” She handed Saffron to Grant, who took her with a startled expression, and sent out Kaeo in all his sparkle-skinned glory.

Casey waved at the Pokémon, not at all seeing where this was going.

Kaeo waved back, completely seeing where this was going.

“Kaeo here makes things glow blue when he uses Levitate on them,” explained Sheridan. “Kaeo, can you levitate yourself, dear?” The Drowzee made a mellow grin and floated into the air. Lo and behold, he was glowing with a strong blue aura. “See? Kaeo is strong enough to keep up his levitation down the course of this passageway… right?” She turned to Jordan.

“It’s not that long,” explained Jordan with a smile. “Telekinetic glow is a perfectly usable resource. I must also commend you; usually people use their Ponytas or somesuch to make fire light the corridor.”

Sheridan beamed and held out a Pokéball, which she also gave to Grant. He was now in the process of juggling two heavy and extremely valuable objects in his arms – Saffron and the Pipe – and so the former took a little slack for him and held the Pokéball instead. With that, Sheridan made a little motion to Rotom, who happily zoomed over and rested himself in her arms. “Have fun, guys,” she said, sitting down on the floor cuddling Rotom. Fortunately, her coat covered the thin layer of dust and debris that the others’ shoes merely ground over.

Kaeo waved and began floating forward, prompting the others to follow him.



From the end of the passage, someone looked up from his previous position – not that it made any difference. He said, “Kh!”*



Standing in a large room, surrounded by flickering computer screens, stood a girl.

Her mouth was tightened into a line of seriousness and determination, not the type of thing you’re supposed to see on a child of her age. Around her neck and down her back was a giant pink robe with a collar that stood of its own accord, and on her feet were large boots. Her hands were covered by pink gloves, and red hair fell from her head in thick, long curls. Under this wild bush there was a mask. A pink one, with little black dots where the eyes should be, and large cat ears.

Amarachi meant business.

She had gotten in here the hard way, for it had been a long time since her Mewkizuu powers had faded. And whose fault was this? Why, the owners of this room, of course. Amarachi looked at the machinery in disgust, but she knew that right now she must not destroy it. She had witnessed the prophecy of the Hatsudsu – ‘Future Seeker’, or prophet – and she knew that while these ideas could, and would, release mass destruction, they would also bring about hope.

So much hope.

The demented creatures ran around this Region. When humans could tell who they were, they regarded them as if it were a natural occurrence, like it was not their business to ask about the unusual but to inch slowly away from it. Meanwhile, they left one Region to ruins, and they were coming for the next.

She was standing within the power source, the flickering of unnatural blue lights scanning her well-disguised body.

“So be it,” she murmured. “Your horrors live today… but what of their skeletons?” She walked up to one of the machines, staring at it with sightless and painted-on eyes, and took off her mask. The pale pink fur fell to its natural alignment, having been stuffed into an unusual pose for so long. Giant iris-less eyes took in the lights, the neon blues of both catching and flickering upon one another. Hanging the mask around her neck, the girl with the natural face set to work.



As he walked down the corridor, it became increasingly apparent to Grant that it was long.

Placing one foot in front of the other became a difficult task about halfway through. As they walked, he holding Saffron in one arm and the Pipe in the other (with the Briefcase having been previously succumbed to Clyde’s Hammerspace), a pounding in his head began to grow steadily louder and more painful. Finally, he groaned and set Saffron on the ground, using the now-free hand to hold his head while he moaned.

“Grant? Are you okay?” asked Casey. The troop stopped immediately.

“Ungh…” was his response.

Finally, he got down on his knees, and then sat, clutching his head and making quite pained sounds all the while. Everyone else watched, scared, as he leaned back and rested his head against the wall.

From somewhere distant, they heard a cry of great pain.



“THIS WILL BE BRIEF, GRANT STERNBERG.”

“Will it really.” The sarcasm was evident in my voice.

“OF COURSE. WHEN HAVE WE EVER LIED TO YOU?”

I was not in the best of moods, and I was also willing to bet that the horrendous headache was these Pokémon’s doing. “What do you want?”

“WE HAVE FOUND MORE OF OUR KIND, GRANT STERNBERG,” the Karmada said. “SINCE WE CARE ABOUT YOUR MENTAL WELL-BEING, WE SUGGEST YOU LEAVE. NOW.”

“Oh… this is about the migraine, isn’t it?”

“PRECISELY.”

I bit my lip.

“YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED TO OUR WARNINGS,” observed the Karmada. “THE OTHER KARMADA TROUPE HAVE…”

They were cut off in a flash of light.

I heard a scream.

A roar.

And then I woke up.



“…Grant? Grant!”

When the man woke up, it was Caro who was leaning dangerously close to his face, and the giant brown eyes were not what he needed to see after that uncomfortable soundtrack. Fortunately, Caro returned to an acceptable distance once he realized that Grant was awake, and sanity was restored.

“Are you okay?” he demanded as soon as Grant looked like he was able to breathe.

“Yes…” he groaned, using the wall as support to stand himself up again. “Casey, I’m sorry about this. But I think I need to skip out on your battle.”

“What? Why?” Casey was genuinely worried. Oh dear.

Grant looked around, wondering if he ought to spill the Karmada beans, then decided against it. “This place has been giving me… well, a really bad headache,” he said. “It’s only gotten worse as we walked down this hallway. I… well, you saw what happened.”

“Go,” he said immediately. “You shouldn’t get hurt to watch some battle.”

Grant smiled shakily. “Thanks.” He picked up the Pipe and walked back down the corridor.



From the end of the passage, someone’s brow furrowed – not that it made any difference. He said, “Kh!”*



Amarachi was running. With a briefcase. And her mask covering the whole Mew thing.

Normally, this was a terrible safety hazard and she wouldn’t do it unless she was particularly eager about something. And she was eager about something – to escape the snapping jaws of the Houndour that were chasing her. She had been caught, and three of the robed fools had showed up, tossing out the dark dog Pokémon in order to capture her somehow. Amarachi realized that they were trained to egg her on in a certain direction, never quite catching up but always on her heels, until she hit something nasty and they could advance.

Amarachi would not take this, so she dove into an elevator. At least she had gotten away from the Houndour, keeping her briefcase – not the Briefcase, but merely a briefcase – entirely safe. Elbowing to the side the person already there, she stabbed the button that said “1F” and waited, panting, for the startled scientist to regain his bearings.

“Um… hello,” said Torsten Lund. “Can I help you?”

“I think you might,” said Amarachi. “Do you believe in space monsters?”

“I do,” he said immediately.

Amarachi nodded. “Good. Then you are obviously an impostor and, by ancient Shamoutan logic, I can trust you.”

Torsten looked down at her quizzically. “…Come again?”

The girl cleared her throat. “I trust you,” she said, “and I also trust that you don’t like your job here at all. These nincompoops wouldn’t hire anyone who believed in true things like space monsters.”

“There actually is a kind of Pokémon that’s born from a meteor,” offered Torsten a little uneasily, wondering why a girl like this was asking such adult questions. “It’s called…”

“Deoxys, I know,” said Amarachi.

Torsten nodded, assuming that perhaps this girl was some kind of child prodigy. “You’re a follower of the works of…” he faltered, apparently not enjoying the concept of saying this person’s name. “of… urk… Rondot Lund?” He was rather surprised that someone so young would be aware of the otherworldly Pokémon, but it was a pleasant, retain-small-string-of-hope-for-humanity sort of surprise.

“I’ve seen some of them,” said Amarachi. “Though personally I don’t like to rely on other people’s research to get my information…”

Torsten looked down at her now, not at all expecting what she had just said. “…You mean you’ve seen a Deoxys?”

“Well, yes,” said Amarachi airily, “but only in passing, you know. Not up close and personal or anything… since the species is so enigmatic I haven’t really had much of an opportunity to talk to it…”

The scientist nodded vaguely. However, it was at that moment that something clicked in his mind, and his head whisked to stare at the girl who had put a hand over her mouth. Even underneath the mask he could tell that her eyes widened in surprise at what she had just said. “Pardon me… but did you just say talk to Deoxys? We assume it speaks a dialect of Pokémian,” he said, tone growing more concerned by the second. “Unless—”

“Um, no,” said Amarachi. “B-but that’s not the point!” she blurted out.

Torsten raised one silver eyebrow. “Then what on Earth is?”

“There is a problem here, a corruption if you will,” explained Amarachi.

Her considerably taller companion snorted and folded his arms. “I knew that already, young lady.”

Amarachi looked peeved by the reference to her as a ‘young lady’, but she decided to ignore it in favor of the obviously more important factor here. “Well, whatever you feel the corruption is, honest truth about it is probably ten times worse. Now, before I continue…”

The elevator dinged then.

“Sorry, kiddo,” said Torsten. “I can’t stay. I’m expected somewhere.”

Amarachi imitated his arm-crossing. “I can wait.”



Casey had checked at random intervals to make sure that none of the remaining celestial bodies of the Groupie Galaxy – Kaeo, Clyde, Saffron, Caro, and himself – were feeling any ill effects as a result of walking down the corridor. Aside from Clyde looking slightly peeved, justifiable considering he was toting around a chatty little Psychic-type, nobody was feeling any effects, and eventually what they assumed to be the end of the tunnel emerged.

The word ‘assumed’ was used because there was, unfortunately, no light at the end of it.

What they did find was another room, much taller than any other part of the Gym. It was hardly lit at all, rather a lot like the other parts of the building, but they could make out enough to establish that this was the stadium, and that their trek through the world’s most sadistically difficult Gym was nearly over. However, before that could happen, they would need to face the wrath of—

“Hey, this ceiling is higher than the other rooms,” said Caro. “I guess that must be the bulk of the Gym?”

Gee, Caro. You really do know how to tick off an author, don’t you?

…Oh wait, here he comes now.

“Unbelievable,” said a dry – literally – voice from the corner. “Someone actually pulled through with it.”

Then, with a soft creak, one creature let his presence be known. Casey braced himself for daring to look at the Gym Leader responsible for that whole trapdoor idea. Whatever devilish monster he had in mind suddenly whimpered like a puppy and hid in a corner. For behind the sandpaper-y voice was a very different beast indeed.

‘Can they even do that?’ wondered Casey in between attempts to close his jaw.








* For those wondering how to pronounce ‘Kh!’, merely make a K sound and sound very, very irritated.



Gee, that guy’s voice doesn’t sound too good. I wonder what he did to make…

for want of a wing (character profile 12) (http://i47.tinypic.com/2qd9b0k.png)

…oh.

Giratina ♀
August 21st, 2010, 07:43 AM
{30} the most hateful and cursed

Despite the fact that a large and (at first glance) pointless pair of sunglasses hid his eyes, his sunken face was nothing short of bitter. Hair fell in his face – long, oily strands which suggested they hadn’t seen a comb in a very long time. Sitting on his head, with empty and all-seeing eyes, there was a small green Natu. His clothes were faded and, in a few instances, ripped. Standing next to him was a Pokémon, a purple-and-gray shadow which seemed to be regarding Casey somehow. And then there was the whole matter of the wheelchair.

In general, just the sort of thing that makes one stop and wonder, “What happened?”

Of course, Casey did just this, but after a second he shook it off and hoped that he could ignore it for the duration of whatever horrendous battle was to ensue. He was also vaguely aware that Kaeo looked concerned, though for what reason was uncertain… was the Psychic-type reading his mind?

“Challenger,” rasped the creature which was just barely recognizable as a human being. “Kh.”

“W-what?” Casey swallowed his stutter, but regardless his adversary caught on to it.

“I’m expected to recite a little speech to you now,” he continued. “It will explain all about how wonderful the Gym is and how I feel absolutely sanctified to have you in my pitiful presence. It will then go on to explain that I’m going to put all of my being into our battle, that I will do my very absolute best, that I expect you to do your very absolute best, etcetera etcetera etcetera. None of it will be true, and it will only serve to postpone the inevitable and make all of us feel ridiculous.” His scowl darkened further. “For that reason, I will condense that speech for both of our benefit.”

Casey nodded. He… didn’t feel so awesome about this fight anymore.

“I am the other Gym Leader of Raxi City, the one everybody knows nothing about and distrusts by default. You will ask no questions, and I will answer no questions. I train Psychic-types, and in the unlikely event that you defeat me, I dispense the Midlight Badge. My name is Rodney. I don’t care about yours.”

Registering these fragmented sentences, Casey nodded again. “Right.”

Casey was not previously aware that it was physically possible to Death Glare through a pair of sunglasses. He was proven wrong.

As if on cue, a man with rather large glasses walked out of a side room. “He actually managed to get past Pumipuyu?” the Gymkeeper observed with some surprise.

“Evidently.” Somehow, this served as a cue for Jordan to stop making conversation and do what he was supposed to. He did so, and turned to Casey with a much more personable expression than his boss. “Hello again, challenger. This will be a three on three fight, with all Pokémon within the battling ring counting as one of the three. Any Pokémon switched out constitutes as a faint. Do you agree with these terms?”

“Yes… I do.”

“Fine.” Jordan turned on his heel and walked to the appropriate referee position. “Then the battle may commence.”

Without skipping a beat, the first Pokémon of the evening entered the field; a tall green bird, with multi-colored wings and large eyes. It actually bore a striking resemblance to the shrunken version now sitting on Rodney’s head, which led Casey to the conclusion that it was an Evolution of some sort. Well, it made sense, at least. This in mind, Casey decided to combat fire with fire and sent out his own flight attendant: Honchkrow.

Rodney snorted in irritation. “Now how did I know that was going to happen,” he said drily. “You people are pathetic.”

Caro, in the beginning, had raised eyebrows at the theoretical type immunity Dark had to the Psychic attacks that Xatu probably had in spades. Of course, he deflated again when Xatu’s eyes glowed a bright blue, and other lights of various colors began shining off of its body. Honchkrow didn’t look happy, but it took to the air anyhow, regarding Xatu with a sort of inferiority which had just been stomped on but remained legitimate.

The move was Miracle Eye. Xatu knew to use it… without his Trainer saying a word. Some sort of code language?

“Krow,” said the great dark bird.

Caro winced.

Casey thought for a moment and then said, “Um… Faint Attack?”

One could practically hear Rodney willing himself not to wheel over to the wall and bash his head against it.

Honchkrow, on the other hand, was happy to mow down the funny bird in front of him. He slipped quietly up to the Xatu, looking calm as one could in the middle of a Gym Battle, and suddenly launching a barrage of dark energy directly into his enemy’s face. Xatu hopped back in surprise, covering its face with large multi-colored wings, but the damage was done.

“Now then,” said Rodney in obvious mockery of a conversational tone. “Let’s get this over with.”

Xatu opened its wings, and this time its eyes were once again glowing blue. There was no visible change or shift for a few seconds, and then Honchkrow suddenly had a sort of mini-spasm, twitching violently and eventually glowing blue as well. It flapped its wings frantically, but to no avail – Xatu had complete control over its motions, and the Mystic Pokémon simply stood there, looking up at it. Honchkrow cursed in the Murkrow dialect, and it was a doozy.

So much so that Xatu looked mildly unnerved for a second, but quickly regained its hold once it sensed Honchkrow struggling to get power over himself once again. Xatu couldn’t let him escape the Psychic – once again played without a command. There was clearly something in Rodney’s bitter commentary tipping his Pokémon off.

“Slam it around, I don’t care,” said Rodney with a hint of aggravation in his voice. “Didn’t I tell you already that you didn’t need to wait for me to do things like that?” Xatu didn’t make a futile move trying to respond, but instead commenced to do just what it was told to – Honchkrow went soaring to the left. With a flick of its wing, Xatu watched stoically as the Big Boss Pokémon was slammed into first one wall, then the other, then the ceiling, then the floor. Then the first wall, and the second, then directly into a corner, then slung across the room…

Casey didn’t particularly want to focus on the screeches of pain that his Pokémon was giving off, so instead he looked somewhere else. Unfortunately, that somewhere else happened to be Rodney, who was drumming his fingers impatiently – and wasn’t regarding Honchkrow at all. Instead, it was Natu who followed the Pokémon’s path through the air, and even the young Psychic-type watched blankly.

It was then that Casey noticed something might be wrong with this picture.

Regardless, Honchkrow eventually was thrown to the floor, Xatu having become tired of tossing him around like a rag doll. He skidded for a while before coming to a halt, and it became obvious that the Pokémon had fainted a while ago. Casey returned it without a word, but merely with a rather unpleasant glance in Rodney’s direction.

He still looked bored.

“Having fun?” Rodney asked.

“No,” replied Casey icily. “No, amazingly, I’m not.”

“How terrible! Maybe sending out the next Pokémon will ease your pain?” His expression darkened once again.

Despite the insolent overtones, the young Gym Leader had a point, and so Casey held up his next Pokéball and tossed it onto the field. “Larvitar, use Dark Pulse.”

The small green dragon did just that, sending a visible wave of its own twisted thoughts hurtling towards Xatu. The Pokémon once again put its black wings up over its face, but this time the attempt failed; it couldn’t take the super-effective attack, and eventually it crumpled to the floor on its own time. Rodney didn’t say a word as he returned the Pokémon, but it was obvious that he was grinding his teeth.

Casey smiled. Maybe while he had Larvitar around there was some hope of winning the fight.

The purple-and-gray shadow slipped into the relatively bright lights of the battlefield, and it was revealed to be – of course – a Grumpig, looking rather displeased with itself but a Grumpig nonetheless. It worked without any sort of speech from Rodney… this was getting just slightly confusing.

“Larvitar, use Thrash!”

The small dinosaur gave a triumphant “Lar!” and punched the air a few times – for good measure, you’ll understand – before dashing madly towards the Grumpig, who seemed to be in defensive position already. It wasn’t the best possible shot for making a good long impression, but at the very least he would be able to get an attack in now. Casey watched as Larvitar continued to patter threateningly forward, little sparks of light following as it got ready to pummel the Psychic-type into next week.

It was then that Casey learned how to skewer a Larvitar.

Larvitar stopped mid-stride. A second later, out from the Pokémon’s back came a white spear of light, which had in actuality passed right through the Rock-type. As Larvitar staggered to the side, Casey noticed that the Grumpig had ducked its head, and now that the damage from the Power Gem had been done it was straightening up and back to its initial position.

“Ack!” muttered Clyde.

Caro huffed. “This is not cool. Casey must have fallen into, like, sixty traps by now!”

“Yes, well,” said Jordan indifferently. “Welcome to the Raxi Gym.”

Kaeo, on the other hand, was watching the fight with a somewhat concerned expression on his face. He had picked up on what was going on, and it was now a matter of determining whether he would be able to get the message across to Casey without being intercepted.

While the Drowzee tackled its own difficulties, Larvitar hopped back up. Casey could see now that full-on physical attacks were obviously not the route he should be taking… but even then, Larvitar only had one move that didn’t fit the criteria, and that was a new one he had only just taught to Larvitar by way of a Technical Machine. Even so, it might be able to turn the tides – or at least postpone the inevitable. Casey’s mouth tightened into a line.

‘Alright then,’ he thought. ‘You can just have a taste of…’

“Okay, Larvitar! Use that new TM we got, To… uh, what are you doing?”

The Grumpig had its arms spread wide, forehead gems glowing. It was obviously concentrating hard on something. The relevance of the move was entirely lost on Casey, who figured that it was Light Screen or Barrier… but those shouldn’t affect a move like Toxic! The Gym Leader was obviously too learned to try using a move like that, especially after he had seen the purple gunk ball forming in Larvitar’s hands. Even so, the challenger decided that it probably didn’t matter too much anyway. So he let his Pokémon get on with the attack.

“Now! Fire it!”

Larviar pitched the gunk like a baseball towards the Grumpig and its barrier. The Pokémon stood up straight again, having finished its protective measures, and merely stood there blankly as the ball flew towards him. Casey crossed his arms and smiled smugly; this Rodney kid had obviously given up and was now trying all sorts of stupid attacks looking for something that would work.

“You really are full of yourself, aren’t you?”

While Casey was busy stroking his ego, Toxic had been continuing to make its way towards the opponent. But now that he looked again, the purple orb was gliding in exactly the opposite direction; i.e., directly back at Larvitar. Casey could only watch in confusion as the ball ‘o slop drenched his Rock-type, clinging to his armor and seeping into the soft skin below. The Pokémon sent him a death glare from over his shoulder for even daring to make him use such an attack.

“Sorry?” said Casey weakly. ‘What on Earth was that?’

“You couldn’t recognize that move at all?” hissed Rodney. “You must be some sort of imbecile…!”

Casey figured that he was already dead meat and might as well get some information out of it, so he said, “Um… what was that attack you just used, then?”

“That was Magic Coat, idiot,” the Gym Leader grunted, looking steamed just for having to stop the battle to explain what had just happened. “You know that Toxic you just used? It’s a status move. Take a wild guess what Magic Coat does, why don’t you.”

“It… deflects status attacks?”

Rodney whipped out a hand and pointed in Larvitar’s general direction. “Hello? Your Larvitar just got badly poisoned, moron!”

“So it… redirects status attacks?”

Rodney facepalmed without skipping a beat. He muttered a long sting of words which, judging from their intonation, were not pleasant, but eventually reality seemed to catch up with him. He looked up, looking not at all pleased with the general situation, despite the fact that he was sweeping the floor (which most certainly did need a good sweep) with Casey.

“Yes,” he said slowly with a lot of compressed rage in his tone. “Yes. It redirects status attacks. And if you’ll recall what Toxic does, then within eight turns your Larvitar will be defeated… assuming I don’t do that first.” The Grumpig lurched into motion again. From its gems came another beam of light, hurtling right towards Larvitar. Of course the small dinosaur prepared to take the brunt of the attack.

And it did. But when that happened, Casey merely said, “Rock Throw.”

Larvitar, who didn’t have any rocks on hand, merely settled for the sand that was trickling slowly out of its body. The sand stream grew faster until there was quite a mound in front of him, and when that happened Larvitar merely pointed at it and said “Lar lar!” Using some kind of mystical Pokémon power, the sand hardened back into its original form: a pointy spear of rock. Larvitar then turned back to the Grumpig, who didn’t look happy.

The rock flew swiftly towards him, and was just about to hit him in the chest when the Pokémon disappeared.

He had been recalled.

“Pokémon two on the Leader’s side has been recalled!” bellowed Jordan from the sidelines. “The Gym Leader is now—”

“We know that!” The response was unanimous.

Without another word Jordan got up from his seat, prompting a curious glance from Caro, and walked blankly out of the room into another door. It was done as if he knew what he was supposed to be doing without it being told – or screamed, as the case may be. This belief was reinforced when he returned, walking beside an old friend from floors past. One half of this newcomer looked around nervously, while the other looked like it wanted nothing more than to nom on Jordan’s head.

“That’s the…” began Casey.

“…Pumipuyu,” finished Rodney. “Yes.”

The two-headed Pokémon regarded Casey in various different ways, as was to be expected for a creature with that amount of heads. The smaller, jittery head (referred to as Head A for future reference) was glancing confusedly between the two Trainers, presumably searching for a way to get out without further agitating the other head (this head shall referred to as Head B) and ignoring the fact that the two unfortunate bodies appeared to be joined at the hip.

It stood there, shooting glares and demented smiles of various frequency at Larvitar. That is, it did that until some mysterious power reminded it that it was in the middle of a battle, and it fired a very dirty-looking wad of energy towards Larvitar. It didn’t need to be ordered to begin setting up a sand wall around it, but alas, it didn’t have time to harden and the Shadow Ball simply passed right through it. Just to rub it in Larvitar’s face, the sand splashed all over said face while the Shadow Ball set to work wiping out the rest of the Ground-type’s energy.

Larvitar fell to the ground, mouth gaping open.

“Hm,” said Rodney disinterestedly.

Casey frowned – no matter what clever code messages this kid used to order his Pokémon around, it didn’t hide the fact that he was a jerk in a major way or that he would need to go down in defeat if Casey intended to get his Gym Badge in the next year. So he recalled Larvitar and sent out his final competitor – the newly evolved Poliwhirl, and the only conscious Pokémon who hasn’t been banned by Gym rules.

Instead of ordering an attack, Casey turned to Jordan and asked, “May I have a time out, please?”

“Go ahead,” the ref called back.

Rodney “Kh!”d angrily.

Casey crossed his arms, taking a good look around at the battle and its surroundings. The lighting was hardly enough for him to see, even with his hair pulled out of his face by the gravitationally rebellious hairdo. This brought him to his first point: it must be darn near impossible for Rodney to see anything wearing those sunglasses – and the hair over them as well. And yet he was able to tell when Honchkrow was sent out, and what species he was, before the Pokémon had even said a word.

So he must be seeing through something else… like, say, the inconspicuous little ball of feathers atop his head? It had to be the Natu, or some other Psychic Pokémon in the building (Psychic-types were the only ones able to connect with humans on a psychological level, and vice versa – this Casey knew from a riveting discussion with Sheridan a while back). Kaeo was sitting there… but he wouldn’t allow a stranger into his head. And even Casey knew that all of his Pokémon were liable to faint at any time, so he would have nothing supporting him in the interlude between battles.

Unless, of course, the Pokémon wasn’t used in battle at all and just stood there. Was it hiding somewhere in the rafters of this cavernous place? Casey began to glance around again, particularly up into the ceiling, but the answer soon became apparent to him; said answer was standing right there, just a short way across the field. It was small and green and had a big red feather sticking out of its head.

So he was using Natu.

‘Good, one problem solved,’ Casey told himself. ‘There’s now two goals left to accomplish: figuring out how to exploit it, and why.’

Well, why indeed… he could just take off those stupid sunglasses at any time and the entire deal would be foiled. Though if he was going to take them off later, why were the things on at all? Unless—

Casey stopped his train of thought right there. This was mostly because Rodney’s expression had changed again, and it was not for the calmer. So instead of following that unfortunate thought bunny, he reverted his brain to working on the other problem. This worked a lot better, and the beginnings of a plan soon became apparent to him. Casey would work everything else out after he reassured himself that he was the only person in his head.

‘Kaeo,’ he thought as forcefully as he could in the Drowzee’s direction. ‘Cover me, won’t you?’

The Pokémon brightened up; he really did seem to have figured it out on his own. There was no need to convey the plan now, so Kaeo merely followed his instructions and set up a mental barrier around Casey’s side of the field.

Almost immediately, Rodney’s expression soured further (if that was even possible). “What?” he rasped.

Casey smiled and thought, ‘I caught you.’

But of course, his opponent didn’t hear it.

He watched, wearing that half-smug grin of triumph, as he sent still another thought in Kaeo’s direction. ‘Kaeo, I need you for this.’

‘Hmm?’

‘I’ll give the attack order to you, and you’ll give it to Poliwhirl, all right?’

‘Poliwhirl is only a Water-type.’

‘Well, he can still get the messages, can’t he?’

There was silence from Kaeo; he was apparently thinking it over. Finally another response came in, and with this one was a feeling of satisfaction, excitement almost. ‘Yes. Yes, I suppose she can.’

‘Good! Tell her to use Hypnosis.’

Kaeo apparently delivered, as Poliwhirl only took a second to look back at him curiously before returning to the task at hand. Her eyes began glowing a pale blue – not blinding, but enough so that her pupils and whites couldn’t be distinguished from the other. Pumipuyu Head A had been watching Poliwhirl the entire time, and so found itself unable to look away from the sleep-inducing effects of Hypnosis. Head B, on the other hand, had been wandering his eyes around, having lost interest in the battle.

By the time Head B realized the attack was going on, it was over, and with just a few body movements Head A was shaken into awareness again. The two took a battle stance, Head A having apparently grown a spine since drifting off.

Unfortunately, the other Pokémon in Rodney’s arsenal did not have that luxury.

Though of course human beings were unaffected by the Hypnosis rays, they could certainly feel them, in the form of a faint tingling in the back of their minds. Rodney had obviously picked up on this faint tingling, for his expression had changed yet again. For a second the thought crossed the challenger’s mind that maybe he had done something wrong, skipped a step, anything that could give this twisted Gym Leader an advantage…

…but then Rodney became aware of a weight in his lap, and Casey knew that he had everything squared off.

“What…” spluttered the Gym Leader amusingly, apparently unable to finish his sentence. Though it was not from rage; the anger that had been bristling around him like a physical fog had all but disappeared, and by now he looked precisely like what he really was – a thin and crippled teenage boy.

Oh, wait, there went the fog again.

“JORDAN!” he boomed, more than loud enough for the Gymkeeper to hear from his place next to Clyde, Kaeo, Saffron, and Caro from the stands. The aforementioned members of the Groupie Galaxy all started at the sudden noise, but Jordan didn’t flinch in the least.

“He’s… he’s… the challenger has been using Pokémon outside of the battling ring!”

Jordan bit back the obvious and more satisfying remark that was pushing at his brain, and instead delivered this shard of truth: “Ah… that rule is null and void in this Gym. I think we both know who we can thank for that.”

He looked like he was enjoying himself immensely.

This only enraged Rodney further; but of course, he could do nothing but scream, and after letting out a roar he returned his focus to Casey. “You know what? Fine. Fine! You only have one Pokémon lef! Even after your juvenile stunt I can still beat you!”

Casey crossed his arms and said nothing, wearing that same smile of triumphant New-Casey-Logic that had been gracing his features for the last few minutes. He didn’t say anything.

“Well? Don’t just stand there! ATTACK!!”

“It’s your move,” offered Casey pleasantly.

“You know that I can’t do that!”

“Oh really?” Casey uncrossed his arms, putting them at his sides. “Why is that?”

“Because Pumipuyu is ASLEEP!”

The last word echoed throughout the stadium, causing massive confusion for the majority of creatures in the room. Pumipuyu, because both heads were obviously not asleep, and Clyde, Saffron, and Caro, who weren’t following at all. That left four people who understood – Rodney and Jordan, who had known since even before the battle began, Kaeo, who had realized it soon after, and Casey, who was calling him out on it.

And, in proper call-out fashion, he pointed one gloved finger in the ragged Gym Leader’s direction. Though of course he could not see it.

“I got you!” he began. “That was impressive there, I gotta admit. Very clever and stuff like that. But I still got you.”

“What are you—” Rodney seemed to realize mid-sentence what was going on, and this stopped him cold.

Casey pulled down his arm. “Now, I don’t understand your reasoning behind doing this even with all those complications, and I don’t think now is really the time to ask you. But I also don’t think it’s something that really needs to be taken advantage of, and I’m not going to let you get completely frazzled trying to find out what’s going on. So I’ll tell you now: Pumipuyu is awake. The brown head told the yellow head to wake up, and it did.”

“Why does he need to tell him that?” muttered Clyde to the hoodie-clad youth beside him.

Caro, who had seen what was going on (if only vaguely), continued to blink at the events transpiring on the battlefield.

“And with that,” the challenger concluded, “I’m afraid that you’re kinda in the dark.”

This left the Gym Leader speechless for quite some time, a feat which Jordan would later recall Casey fondly for (among other things). But finally he collected his bearings from receiving all these mixed signals at once, and Rodney said something that hadn’t come out of his mouth in a very long time.

“…Okay. Fine. The battle continues.”

Casey smiled. And though his blind adversary didn’t know that had happened, just for a brief shining moment the corner of his mouth twitched as well.

And then it was gone.

“Poliwhirl, Body Slam.”

The Water-type didn’t need to be asked on why she had gotten her orders verbally, nor did she want to hear it. Instead, she fired herself towards Pumipuyu, each footfall sending dust up into the air as she grew closer to the Psychic-type. It didn’t have time to respond, and both Trainer and Pokémon knew that; so Rodney remained silent as Head B turned to absorb the brunt of the attack, being the larger and more muscular of the two.

“Psychic!”

While Poliwhirl was still inches away from the tip of Pumipuyu’s muzzle, the Pokémon glowed a bright blue, and Poliwhirl was slung right back to her starting position. The attack had been an effective one, even if there had been no walls involved. But Poliwhirl brought herself to her feet for the next command. At the words ‘Mud Shot’, a thick spray of gunk was sent hurtling for Pumipuyu, who in turn used another Psychic to fling it back at Poliwhirl.

Casey, being Casey, told Poliwhirl without hesitation to make a bigger Mud Shot and sent it at the first one.

This, she did.

Pumipuyu received the attack directly to the face, and being unable to absorb the blast of two attacks at once, shook for a few seconds and fainted.

At this point, the little green ball of feathers still sitting in Rodney’s lap stirred back into motion. Upon realizing what had just transpired, the Natu gave a chirp of alarm and quickly righted herself on the head of her owner.

Jordan stood up. “The Gym Leader’s third Pokémon has been defeated! Victory goes to the challenger!”

Casey nodded to the Gymkeeper and began walking across the battlefield, recalling Poliwhirl with a smile and a “Thanks” as he went. About halfway across, he became aware of a small object flying in his general direction, and he quickly and instinctively reached up to catch it. The object was obtained right before it was to hit his forehead – it didn’t even occur to him to make a parallel to the whole Rotom Pokéball fiasco – and upon taking a good look, he found it to be an octagon with a raised center.

He thought he saw a small blue glow flare around it, and then turn off.

“The Midlight Badge,” called Rodney from across the room.

Casey smiled. “Thanks!” With that, he took a step backwards and turned around, his intention being getting to the door without being attacked by anything. Sadly, this was not to be.

Without warning, Casey suddenly became aware of somebody placing their full body weight on him, and a few seconds later he heard the excited cry of the culprit. “THAT WAS AWESOME, MAN!”

Caro was hugging him. Tightly. Of course, when he realized what he was doing, the sixteen-year-old squeaked in embarrassment and hopped off of his traveling companion, firing apologies a mile a minute.

Casey started laughing. “Hey, it’s alright…”

“Well… well, whatever!” proclaimed Caro loudly. “We should get moving! Um… yeah! We need to go! That’s what we should do!” And without another word, he grabbed Clyde by the arm and pulled him out, grinning like a maniac. Casey turned around and shrugged to Jordan, who was now standing on the floor of the battlefield. He noticed that Rodney, once again, was frowning – at first, Casey assumed it was just his crabbiness returning after the fight had ended, but he then noticed a few important differences. It wasn’t a scowl or a death snarl, the two default expressions that Rodney seemed to wear.

“Come on, Casey, we gotta go!”

He didn’t get more than a second to see it, but as Caro came back and dragged Casey along too, he could have sworn that the blind Gym Leader looked kind of sad.

Giratina ♀
November 4th, 2010, 06:11 AM
{31} casey and the amazing mirror

The room was decently lit, but it still managed to convey an uncomfortable feeling for the three people currently going through the proverbial shredder.

“Well, Miss Solana, see,” offered one of them, a woman with brown gravity-defying hair and a rather tight catsuit under her BDV stake-out cloak. “We were doing our best, you know, to get the notes back. But that refugee and his friends… well, they keep evading us.”

The other two – a man with green, rather feral-looking hairspikes, and a Delcatty – nodded in agreement.

“Oh, right, they kept evading you.” Solana, a rather plump woman of around twenty-eight and dressed in gray, leaned back in her chair. Only a desk separated the two parties, but Billy, Kidd, and Aerith would swear that it was the single most intimidating desk they’d ever seen. “Of course. It must be so dreadfully difficult to catch a spineless Grunt, two blathering children, the only Pokémon hunter on Earth who doesn’t like conflict, and a lazy musician. You three have really got your work cut out for you.”

The trio was silent.

As was Solana.

Finally, she seemed to grow bored of the trio’s badly-suppressed squirming, and continued. “We asked you to do something very simple: reclaim the first set of notes. We don’t need them anymore, per se, but they are definitely to be kept secret. And according to your latest reports, they seem to have lost possession of the notes.” Solana’s expression was not inspiring. “Is this true?”

“…It is,” said Kidd, a tad uncertainly.

Solana nodded to them in the same way a sadistic trigger-happy Honchkrow nodded to his underachiever of a lackey. “Well, as you can plainly see, you three are failures. Dupes. Botch-ups. But unfortunately, we’re required to keep two of you around…” She glanced to Aerith and Billy. “…and somehow I doubt the third has anywhere else to go.” Kidd gulped. “You three are stuck here, and the Boss isn’t going to tolerate anyone lying around in a prison cell while they’re still capable of getting work done.”

All three of them nodded uncomfortably.

“Which is why we’re allowing you to try again with the meddling brats. It’s also why you’ve been sent to this base, considering it is the closest to where they are.” The way Solana put this out made it sound like she was grudgingly doing the three a favor – and she was. “However, we also want to ensure that you don’t get… distracted again. I have decided to assign another person with you three on this mission. Consider it a make-or-break. If you succeed, and your accompaniment agrees that you have pulled your weight, then you will be forgiven and sent back into the force. If you fail, well… expect to take quite a few liberties in your future.” Her expression turned from the evil deadpan to a similarly evil smile.

“Y-yes, Miss Solana,” the three stammered in unison. Including, amazingly, Billy.

“Goooood.” Solana pressed her gloved finger on a nearby button and spoke into it. Soon after, the door behind them slid gracefully open, and in walked a man wearing the BDV underling’s uniform. The helmet visor was down, shielding the top half of his face.

“…But Miss Solana!” exclaimed Aerith as soon as she saw him. “He’s only a Grunt!”

The Grunt in question looked down at her, his mouth never turning from an expressionless line. He easily topped six feet, with an utterly chilling presence about him that dwarfed even Solana’s.

“This one is relatively new, yes,” said Solana. “But he is more than capable of handling the likes of you. Despite your ranks as agents, I expect him to be treated as an equal.” They hastily nodded in agreement, which brought a smirk to the woman’s face. “Good. I’ve already given instructions to our friend here, and he should be able to explain them to you. I expect preparations to begin immediately. Are we clear?”

All four BDV underlings nodded.

The Grunt turned on his three comrades. “My designation is 507786,” he remarked. “Follow me.”

And they did, right out of Solana’s office.



With the relatively catastrophic events of the Raxi City Gym well behind them, the Groupie Galaxy set off for their next adventure. Namely, the city of Sigma, nestled comfortably on the side of an ominous giant volcano (dormant, thank you very much, the townspeople weren’t that stupid). It had clearly taken its toll on the nearby ecosystem – the dirt all around was reddish and dry, and only hills of the same coloring managed to break the monotony.

Regardless, this wasteland was the place that they would all discover a number of interesting and quite alarming things… in due time. Before they could do that, however, the merry band of travelers would need to get some other minor difficulties out of the way.

These ‘minor difficulties’ included the small matter of crippling migraine headaches.

“Are you sure you shouldn’t have, y’know, seen a doctor or something before we left?” asked Saffron uncertainly, quite concerned for the wellbeing of her pipe-wielding companion. Grant seemed strangely sure of himself today, a strange parallel to the unusually empathic Mime Jr.

“Yes, I should be fine,” he stated. “Really.” Though her uncharacteristic concerns were rather irritating after prolonged exposure, Grant didn’t feel that he really needed to complain about it – after all, at any given time of his life before the past few months, he would have called himself delusional to have someone fuss over him like that. Though he wasn’t at all aware of it, the man’s expression soured as he walked, and yet nobody bothered to point it out. This was primarily because they had moved on to another distraction.

“…Hey!”

Without any prior warning, Rotom had stopped his cheerful orbit of the group. This was strange enough as it is, but just to make everything that much better, the small Pokémon immediately began drifting slowly in another direction, his face(s) totally blank. Casey didn’t notice soon enough to grab the Ghost-type out of thin air, and once anyone had noticed, Rotom was flying too high in the air for any of them to reach (even the towering Clyde).

“Rotom, come back here,” called Casey. “We’re not going… there.” He couldn’t make out what exactly the Pokémon was heading for, but it most certainly wasn’t their next destination.

The little orange ball paid him no mind.

Shooting a confused glance with Caro (who shrugged), the redhead set off after his Pokémon, of course leading the others to follow suit. Eventually, though, they became aware that the nearby area had become somewhat brighter due to some unusual force – whatever it was, they certainly couldn’t see it. But Rotom floated on, out of any of their range, and calling him back soon proved to be fruitless. It was at times like this when Casey really, really hated himself for…

…well…

…how had Rotom lost his Pokéball again…?

Shaking the thought out of his head, Casey decided that he really didn’t need to concern himself with that right now; currently, the most important problem was the fact that his Pokémon was floating off into the dark unknown without any emotion or hesitation whatsoever. Casey wasn’t sure which part of that scared him more. Regardless, they continued to follow the little creature.

Eventually, though, they were forced to squint.

Standing in front of them was some giant wall of light, sparkling with all the colors of the rainbow but unfortunately in too close proximity to admire. After Casey had moved directly out of the beam, he realized that it was in fact coming from a… mirror.
In the middle of a volcanic wasteland.

Well, okay.

Rotom made a soft mumbling noise and continued to proceed towards the mirror. ‘What does he think he’s going to do with it?’ wondered Casey, not knowing whether he should be concerned or not at the sheer randomness of the situation. ‘It’s not as if Rotom cares a whit about what he looks like…’ Casey found himself incapable of finishing the sentence, as right before his eyes the mirror proceeded to swallow Rotom.

Alright, so it didn’t swallow him per se, but Rotom simply moved directly into the mirror as if entering a vertical wall of water. Without any hesitation at all, Casey hopped in after him. He wasn’t quite sure if the others had followed suit, but to be honest, his mind soon moved on to bigger things – such as the fact that he was now being sucked into a bizarre rainbow vortex following after a deranged Pokéball.

From behind a rock there could be heard the sound of snickering, and the three BDV agents ran off to regroup with 507786.

He had been standing behind a larger rock (there wasn’t a lot of hiding places to choose from in the middle of a desert, after all), and when they came up to him, it took a few seconds to pick him out from the shadow of the thing. He was apparently quite good at hiding.

“Now we follow them, right?” asked Aerith.

507786 took his time staring at the mirror they (mostly he) had rigged up using a number of frazzled Mismagius. Eventually, though, he bothered to respond. “Yes. Now we follow.” And with that, he walked over to the mirror (which had now reduced itself to a pleasant glow) and tapped its surface with one finger, immediately sucking himself in after the Groupie Galaxy.



Once everything had slowed down to a pace where Casey could open his eyes without feeling nauseous, he looked around. The place he had landed in looked something like the Route he had been in earlier, but it was considerably more mountainous, with many caverns popping up. Not to mention the fact that at this point, the volcano appeared to be… active… oh dear. Casey nearly walked into a stream of lava that crossed directly over his path – not a good end to the adventure, to be sure.

“Guys?” he called nervously. “Anyone here?”

No response.

“Um… hello?”

Again, nothing.

“Darn it,” Casey muttered, looking around. “Caro? Sheridan? Anyone?”

His response was the sound of flowing lava. It was not a pleasant sound.

Great. Now he was alone in this volcanic wasteland, without even Rotom for company – and it was unlikely that anyone else in his party would want to come out to this rather ugly environment anyhow. He would just keep them inside their Pokéballs until some understanding could be made. Giving a rather defeated sigh, Casey continued to walk, only stopping when he saw something small and black on the path in front of him.

Upon further inspection, it turned out to be a Pikachu, albeit one with glowing red eyes and black fur. The unPikachu looked up at him silently.

“Er… hi, there,” offered Casey competently.

The Pikachu snarled and gave him an electric shock. This Pikachu’s electricity appeared to be blue instead of the usual yellow, noted Casey before he received the (relatively weak) blast. Stunned, Casey took a step backwards – it was all he could do to keep himself from tumbling into the dust. Meanwhile, the Pikachu hissed menacingly at him and darted off to some unknown destination.

Once Casey had regained full mobility of his limbs, he attempted to chase after the unPikachu, but found that it was not where he had assumed it had been. There was no evidence that the little creature had been there at all. Thoroughly confused but not seeing any reason to dive deeper into the mystery, Casey continued on his way. If there was any luck left, he would be able to find someone he knew wouldn’t attack him… at least they would be together then.

And then, somewhere from the east, he heard the sound of a drum.

Rather confused at the presence of a drum in the middle of this wasteland, Casey followed the steady beats, which every so often deviated into another song. Casey didn’t pretend to know much about instruments, but when he wasn’t attempting to locate the music that had somehow veered him off track, he was kind of enjoying it. The player was good.

Finally, behind a rather large boulder, Casey thought he had the noise cornered. With catlike tread he peered over the side of the rock, trying to get a good look at what was making the noise, mind already whirling on who it could be. One of his friends? Another person here? Some kind of Pokémon…? He pushed his head in farther; he could only see the drum itself, not the person playing it.

Suddenly, the object and the noise disappeared, and a gruff voice demanded, “Who’s there?”

Casey promptly lost his balance and fell.

Sufficiently startled, Clyde hopped up from his previous spot, with his ashiko drum shoved back into Hammerspace. Upon realizing that the facefaulting intruder was in fact his ‘friend’ Casey (Clyde refused to think of them as friends, even now), he relaxed – if only slightly – and slowly walked forward. He decided to ignore the fact that Casey would likely look up to find a six-foot-tall gorilla of a man who he wouldn’t be able to identify from that vantage point.

Casey did just that.

“…Ack!” Only after he had put some space between himself and Clyde could he see the man’s true identity, and once that happened, Casey attempted to get to his feet while trying to retain the few scraps of self-respect he still had.

“So this is where you went off to?” asked Clyde, arms crossed. “…Whatever. At least you’re alive.”

“Same. Good to see you.”

The ex-Go-Rock Quad nodded. “You alright? Rotom ran off, I guess, but is everything else in order?”

Casey nodded. “I think so. You?”

His expression hardened; evidently, Clyde hadn’t checked this himself. After shoving his hand into his pocket and feeling around for a second, the thirty-year-old nodded, signifying that he was in fact clear as far as possessions went. Instead of responding immediately, Clyde began looking around, clearly not amused with the place they had landed in now. “…So. You got any idea where we are?”

“Not in the least,” deadpanned Casey. “Apparently a place with demonic Pikachus in, but that’s all I got.”

He received a funny look for his trouble.

“…Right,” said Clyde. “Have you at least made an attempt to… you know… get out?”

“Into where?” responded Casey, gesturing to the volcanic wasteland surrounding them both. “I don’t see any other magic mirrors around here, do you?” And he was right; there were actually no magic mirrors to be found in the immediate area.

“Magic mirror.” Clyde didn’t look amused. “You think we got here by way of a magic mirror.”

“Well… yes?”

Clyde snorted. “You’re such a kid sometimes. There’s no way we could have been brought here by a mirror. Even I know that mirrors don’t do that. We probably got caught by a Kadabra that knew Flash or something.” From the expression on Casey’s face, he remained unconvinced, but he didn’t pursue the subject any longer.

This was mostly because a third figure had intruded on their little meeting, and it wasn’t another member of the Groupie Galaxy. Mostly.

The newcomer had the stature of a preteen, but was dressed in a black hooded robe that covered his face. Despite this, a few spikes of black hair managed to poke into the air from under it – and more importantly, sitting on its shoulder was a smug-looking black Pikachu.

It took a few seconds for Casey to notice him, but once he did, the whole situation changed dramatically.

Pulling his hood back, the shadowy boy showed his face – and, more importantly, his distinctive hairstyle. Beneath the hood was jet black hair, divided into two distinct clumps of spikes. One of them hung from the bottom of his head, tilted slightly to the right, and the other stuck out at a ninety-degree angle from the left side. Casey would have recognized that ‘do from a mile away, and the presence of a little electric rat only made the similarity more striking, but… there was a problem. He had a serious face on, almost a scowl.

Ash never scowled.

Happy day!

Giratina ♀
November 12th, 2010, 06:17 PM
{32} brave chapter


Casey and ‘Ash’ stood staring at one another for a rather long time. And it would have been longer, too, had Clyde not intervened in his usual manner: “Who’s the kid in black?”

‘Ash’ pulled his hood back over his impeccable hairspikes, which somehow managed to fit under the cloth, and turned his attention upon the blue-clad man. The black Pikachu, however, kept its demon-eyed glare on Casey, a fact that both interested and disturbed him. Since when had Ash’s Pikachu ever cared that much about either of them? It wasn’t as if the two had met in person, after all…

“Leave this place,” the hooded child said at last.

Clyde snorted. “Or what? You’ll cast spells on us? Get out of the way, kid, we have more important things to do.”

The other member of the Groupie Galaxy wasn’t so quick to object. This was because – aside from the obvious clash of personalities – he was still focused on the Pikachu, whose eyes had just flashed a very concerning shade of blue. “Um, Clyde? I don’t think we should be arguing with him right now…”

“What? Why?” asked Clyde. “Don’t tell me you’re actually listening to this pipsque—AARGH!”

In a shocking turn of events which wasn’t at all related to anything else that had ever previously occurred, Clyde suddenly found himself on the receiving end of a long and unpleasant Water Gun. Meanwhile, the black Pikachu had dismounted his master’s shoulders and taken to the ground… or, at least, it seemed that he had. For instead of the little rat-like monster that had been there a few minutes ago, the all-black Pokémon had now taken a form vaguely like that of a crocodile, with giant eyes that, amazingly, glowed an ominous shade of red.

The unTotodile gave a toothy grin, clearly enjoying Clyde’s despair.

And oh, it was despair – at least, it was despair for about two seconds. Right after that, however, there was a furious roar from the pile of drenched clothing that was Clyde. It emitted a long string of infuriated words that would be better off not repeated. Despite this, and the fact that Casey was cringing routinely at the severity of his exclamations, ‘Ash’ looked unfazed. As a matter of fact, his face hadn’t changed a bit. The usual smile that broke out after attempting to act serious had never come.

“Leave this place,” he said.

Casey gritted his teeth. This was obviously not Ash, he could see, that, but… “We will, okay? We will. But… but first you need to tell us who you are. Then we’ll leave, alright?”

‘Ash’ stared at him with that uncharacteristically evil frown. Without a word, the unTotodile hopped back onto his shoulder (now reverted back to its unPikachu form). With two sets of unimpressed eyes looking them over, Casey suddenly lost a considerable amount of his courage, but fortunately ‘Ash’ complied anyhow.

“You are a fool, to not know who I am,” he said with the sort of icy tone that had no place in a boy’s voice. “If you must know… I am Ash, the Guardian… It is my job to ensure that both dimensions remain safe and entirely separate.” He stepped closer. “You are from the other dimension… Leave this place.”

“Well, uh… see, that’s the problem,” said Casey rather pathetically. “We don’t know how to get back to our… world.” Even saying it himself sounded ridiculous – but then again, this Ash was spitting out nonsense at a rate higher than his own.

“I see…” said Ash.

“Wait, you know about this whole dimension thing, right? So surely you know how to get us out. Could you, I don’t know, maybe try and… help?”

Ash nodded. “Yes… I shall… help.” From beneath the folds of his robe, Ash held up a hand-mirror like it was some kind of sword. The mirror promptly began to glow with silver light, which soon seemed to take on a mind of its own and fired a beam into the sky. All that the two members of the Groupie Galaxy could do was stand back and cover their eyes as, from somewhere above, a giant stormcloud amassed itself, with various cloud pieces shaped into spikes sticking out from various points. And then, from out of the middle of the cloud-like monstrosity came a giant bird neck, like that of a vulture, with a single giant eye.

Pulling the black hand-mirror down, Ash collected himself and took a step back from the giant deformed Altaria. “Farewell, dimension travelers… May Altakko take you to a better place…”

He disappeared into a round portal with a surface like a mirror, leaving Casey and Clyde alone with the great monster Altakko. For good measure, Clyde screamed out another curse, before descending into just general yelling for his life. Casey, meanwhile, had given up on his previous intention of leaving his Pokémon inside their Pokéballs, and reached into his backpack’s pocket in order to root around for them… only to find his Pokéballs not there.

Casey joined his traveling companion in screaming.

“…Hold on a minute!”

From somewhere over their heads, Clyde and Casey suddenly became aware of a presence swooping upon them. Swiftly looking up (anything to divert their attention from the horrific Altakko), the dynamic duo found themselves looking up at a rather unusual sight: a human figure, about the size of an eleven-year-old, with giant angelic wings and an uncomfortably large sword.

He landed at ground level, but only for a second – not even long enough for either of them to get a good look at him. Soon he was up in the air again, brandishing his super-sword threateningly. Altakko squawked angrily and dove for him again, but he managed to whack the lunging beak out of his face and took another stab at it. It didn’t seem to do much, and the creature continued to pummel away at the boy. Eventually he had to fly back out of its range, dodging the demonic Swablus that seemed to conjure themselves out of thin air.

Taking a breather, he batted one of the Swablus back at Altakko, and heard it scream in pain – much louder than any sound it had made when he tried to hit it the first time. Apparently seeing some kind of hint from this, the winged boy settled himself into a batter’s position, and proceeded to knock the Swablu creatures back at the monster that made them. Soon, the returning projectiles (which exploded upon contact) proved too much for Altakko, who with a conclusive wail finally dropped to the ground and disappeared.

With a conclusive laugh, the winged boy dropped to Earth again as well, and simply tossed his sword to the side. With that one motion, the wings disappeared, and the yellow-tinged steel weapon turned into a small floating thing in the shape of a star. Taking out a hand-mirror of his own, the boy promptly sucked the glowing star into its depths, and finally turned on the two stunned Trainers.

“Hi there!” he said cheerfully. “I guess Anti-Ash attacked you again, huh? He should really stop doing that… oh well. My name’s Ash, the real one. Who are you?”

…Erk.

It wasn’t so much the fact that this kid and the hooded one shared a name that brought Casey some concern, nor the mention of that other one again. Instead, Casey was drawn to the fact that this eleven-year-old looked exactly like Ash did, but without the dark ominous outfit. He had on a blue-and white jacket over a black shirt, with somewhat faded jeans underneath. If only for the distinct lack of hat, this would be the Ash he remembered.

If Casey had been confused before, he was now utterly lost.

“…Hey, are you alright? You look a little flustered there.”

“What? …Oh. No. I’m fine. Uh… this is Clyde over here, and I’m Casey.”

“Oh yeah?” He looked rather pleased to find this out. “Well, nice to meet you guys, Casey and Clyde. What exactly did you do to earn Anti-Ash’s attention, though? Usually he doesn’t bother with mere mortals like you.”

“Doesn’t… bother?” asked Clyde, not quite following. “What does he do to people who aren’t ‘mere mortals’?”

“Well, obviously he tries to kill them,” said Ash offhandedly. “Like what he did to you. It’s strange, though – we haven’t even heard from him for a good long time before now, and then when I get here, he’s just attacking random passerby. I think something’s wrong.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down.” Casey held his hands up in an attempt to quell his parallel’s seemingly-incessant river of dialogue. “Who’s ‘we’? And how do you know… how do you know Ash?”

Ash cleared his throat. “Well, for one thing I could ask how you know Ash and didn’t know me, but we can save that for later. Anyway, I’m the Guardian of Mirror, you know? Surely you know what the Mirror is, you know, the big giant master creation mirror up in the sky? Well, it broke, see, and then right after that happened… this guy just randomly appeared. Ash, he called himself. Said he was the Guardian of Mirror, would you believe that? Him! But I know better, see, because this has happened before. One time, a long long time ago, the Mirror broke… and all of a sudden this kid just randomly turned up, a dude in a black robe, called himself… like… Mitsuru, or something. I dunno. And the thing was, the Guardian of Mirror at the time was also named Mitsuru, and he looked exactly like him and had the same name…”

Casey and Clyde shared a look. Neither of them was quite sure which Ash was worse.

“…and then the Mirror was all repaired and stuff and it was done.” Ash didn’t seem to have taken a breath. “So anyway, Anti-Ash – that’s what I’m calling him, since obviously I’m the real Ash – has been running around calling up these weird creatures and calling himself the Guardian of Mirror. And killing things, because he seems to like to do that, but every time he tries I’ve been there to stop him. And that’s what’s been going on.”

Casey blinked.

“…But you knew all that, right?”

“Uh, no. I had no idea. Do you know… do you know why, uh, Anti-Ash has been attacking these people?”

“Oh, something stupid. Like they’re crossovers from the other world or something. Everyone knows that can’t happen – I wonder where he gets his information if he thinks everyone is from the other world, huh?”

Casey cleared his throat. “Well… um… I don’t know about the others, but… Clyde and I… we are from that other world or whatever. At least, we think so.”

This, finally, oh graciously and finally, made Ash shut up for more than two seconds. However, it was too good to last, and eventually the kid found another excuse to start talking. “…What? But that’s impossible! You can’t get through because the Mirror broke, like I said!”

“Well…” said Casey, utterly at a loss. “We certainly didn’t come from a giant mirror in the sky or anything. But this is definitely not the world I remember.”

“Oh really? Well… I did hear the landmarks are different in the other dimension… let’s see.” Ash put a finger to his chin, in thought. “Alright, I’m going to name some landmarks in this world, and we’ll see if you can recognize them. We’re on Mt. Sigmon right now, so Sigmon Mountain, I guess. And then there’s the Raxi Mansion and the Rhoter Ocean. And also Epsil Ruins, but nobody ever visits there. Let’s see. Castle Rhion, the Omegus Constellation, Talwing Cavern, the Omicro Route… and there’s one more. But I can’t remember it. Any of those sound familiar?”

“Well… those are the names of cities,” explained Casey. “We just came out of Raxi, and we were going to Sigmon. I think we went through Rhoter and Rhion earlier on.”

“And Epsil,” added Clyde grudgingly. He didn’t really like to think about that town.

“…Yeah, and Epsil,” concluded Casey, with a nod in Clyde’s direction. “But I’ve never heard of it being a palace. It definitely was a town when I went there. And Rhion wasn’t really a castle, either, it just had a big wall or something. Rhoter wasn’t really an ocean in its own right, just a city on top of a lake or something…”

“By the sounds of things,” said Ash with a finger on his chin in comparatively deep thought, “you probably did come from the other world. But how did you get here, then?”

“We found a mirror in the middle of a desert wasteland,” explained Casey. “On the way to Sigmon, like I said. Rotom – my Pokémon – went flying in there, and I was chasing after him, and we ended up on this… Sigmon Mountain, did you call it? After that, we ran into your, uh, Anti-Ash, and he summoned that… thing. Said he was going to help us.”

“That is freaky,” said Ash with a thoughtful frown, putting his hands on his hips. “Well… maybe you are from the other world. But I don’t think that’s ever reason to get killed, do you?”

“No,” said Casey and Clyde in unison.

“Hmm…” said Ash thoughtfully. “I know! I can take you two over to the Omegus Constellation. Lord Roman will know what to do with you.”

“Lord Roman?” asked Clyde, arms crossed.

“Yeah, Lord Roman.” Ash nodded. “He knows everything, and he’s kinda my boss, so if I bring you guys back to him then he’ll know that I’m doing something and you’ll get a way to go back to the other world. Everyone wins, right?”

Casey and Clyde shared another look. Eventually, they nonverbally decided that this Lord Roman was the only lead they had, and turned back to Ash.

“Okay,” nodded Casey. “We’ll come back with you and meet this Lord Roman guy.”

“Alrighty! But remember to just call him Lord Roman. He gets a little touchy when people don’t give him proper respect or whatever.” Without any room for Casey or Clyde to respond, still another mirror portal opened up under all of their feet. With a feeling somewhat like being clubbed violently over the head, the trio made their leave from Sigmon Mountain.

Mercifully, only one bystander was around this time. The Delcatty licked her paw smugly and trotted off, ready to report.



Research of the Holon Mirror World had been a pet project of his for a while now. Though of course his rank prohibited him from truly gaining any useful information, there had been small windows of opportunity where he had been able to sneak off to some extensive library or another, intent being finding out more about this mysterious parallel world. Though his initial suspicion had been quickly squashed – that this universe was in fact the non-dimension ruled upon by the great deity Giratina – it remained a topic of great interest, and was possibly the only thing that drove the Grunt as he toiled his way through this abysmal existence.

Oh, 507786 had done well. The superiors were pleased with him, apparently more so than the average Grunt. But even so, he had felt meaningless. So, so meaningless. There was no room for deviation, experimentation or excess thinking. No way to use his brain or his hands. If not for… certain factors getting in the way, he would have told himself that this work would likely have driven him insane.

And then he ran across knowledge of the Holon Mirror World.

Though naturally the superiors had found out that he knew something about it eventually, he had insisted that his knowledge came from previous experience. Certainly they didn’t expect such intelligence from a drafted Grunt. While it hadn’t been enough to earn him any sort of promotion – heavens forbid they did that – his name now at least had a reason to be remembered: he knew about something they didn’t.

Which could explain why he was now standing in the middle of the Raxi Mansion. It was a hollow excuse for a building that had clearly once been quite grand but had fallen into disrepair. For quite possibly the first time in the past hundred years, there were people wandering around in it, one of them being the towering BDV Grunt. The other, of course, being a dude in an orange hoodie.

Caro was wandering through the crumbling maze of a house with pure fascination on his face, mirrored (no pun intended) in the face of his Raichu.

Hiding in some shadow or another, 507786 was positioned, watching him proceed. The other two had been easily taken care of; they had been sent blindly to investigate a completely innocuous area of the Holon Mirror World, where there was supposedly CD0000 to be found, and the talking Delcatty had been dispatched to watch over the spike-haired boy. He doubted any of them were coming back too soon, and that was just fine by him.

507786 didn’t exactly know this kid’s name, and he would be leaving soon enough to find CD0000, but for now… there was no need for him to know anyone else was here.

“Hey, Raichu,” said Caro casually. “You know where we are?”

“Rai.”

“Yeah, thought not… I don’t recognize it either.” He stopped to take a look around. Hastily 507786 stepped backwards, farther into the shadow provided by a convenient doorless archway. By the looks of things he had slipped by the boy’s keen eye, and the duo promptly proceeded into the next room, still holding up a conversation. There was no doubt now.

507786 took his own high road into the chamber which Caro and Raichu had entered into, only to find something rather unusual.

“…Pollutants,” snarled a boy in a black cloak.

“Wait, what?” Caro halted his discussion with Raichu and looked up at Anti-Ash. “Sorry, man, didn’t quite catch that.”

“You’re all pollutants,” continued Anti-Ash. “And for this, you shall suffer.”

Caro took a step back, quite concerned with this recent turn of events, and in typical Caro fashion attempted to resolve the situation in the best way he knew how. “…Hey, man, I don’t know what your deal is, but I’m no pollutant, ‘kay? So, um, if we could all just forge this even happened…?”

It didn’t seem to be working.

“Well, okay,” said Caro, frowning. “Raichu, hold on. This guy looks like he means business…” Reaching one hand into the infinite depths of his hoodie’s pockets, Caro emerged with another Pokéball, which he now tossed onto the field. “Sandslash! This doesn’t look so good – get ready for a double battle!” This, Sandslash did. However, Anti-Ash merely smirked in that wicked and distinctly un-Ash-ly way of his, and whipped out the jet-black hand-mirror again.

It was pointed directly at Sandslash.

“You shall be my tribute,” he told the mildly confused Pokémon. “Now! Ruined King, lay waste to these miscreants!”

Despite all manner of concerned shouting from Caro and Raichu, Sandslash followed Anti-Ash’s orders, lumbering over to his side of the makeshift field. And oh yes, he lumbered – for even as the Pokémon walked, it was clearly getting bigger, and by the time it had managed to turn itself around and face Caro again, it was hardly recognizable as the Ground-type Pokémon it had been previously. This one was more like a tower than any living thing, with giant holes representing eyes turned downwards in a clearly angry expression. Two stone horns, apparently the things that were Sandslash’s ears, stuck out on either side, and giant claws – made of brick, like everything else – flexed.

The Ruined King didn’t look happy.

“Hey!” yelled Caro, enraged. “What did you do to Sandslash?”

“That’s not your pathetic rat,” said Anti-Ash primly. “That is the Ruined King, and he is going to do what I told him to do and be rid of inequalities… and that encompasses you as well, stowaway in the rafters!”


But when I look at the staaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaaars...

Giratina ♀
November 12th, 2010, 06:22 PM
{32} brave chapter


Casey and ‘Ash’ stood staring at one another for a rather long time. And it would have been longer, too, had Clyde not intervened in his usual manner: “Who’s the kid in black?”

‘Ash’ pulled his hood back over his impeccable hairspikes, which somehow managed to fit under the cloth, and turned his attention upon the blue-clad man. The black Pikachu, however, kept its demon-eyed glare on Casey, a fact that both interested and disturbed him. Since when had Ash’s Pikachu ever cared that much about either of them? It wasn’t as if the two had met in person, after all…

“Leave this place,” the hooded child said at last.

Clyde snorted. “Or what? You’ll cast spells on us? Get out of the way, kid, we have more important things to do.”

The other member of the Groupie Galaxy wasn’t so quick to object. This was because – aside from the obvious clash of personalities – he was still focused on the Pikachu, whose eyes had just flashed a very concerning shade of blue. “Um, Clyde? I don’t think we should be arguing with him right now…”

“What? Why?” asked Clyde. “Don’t tell me you’re actually listening to this pipsque—AARGH!”

In a shocking turn of events which wasn’t at all related to anything else that had ever previously occurred, Clyde suddenly found himself on the receiving end of a long and unpleasant Water Gun. Meanwhile, the black Pikachu had dismounted his master’s shoulders and taken to the ground… or, at least, it seemed that he had. For instead of the little rat-like monster that had been there a few minutes ago, the all-black Pokémon had now taken a form vaguely like that of a crocodile, with giant eyes that, amazingly, glowed an ominous shade of red.

The unTotodile gave a toothy grin, clearly enjoying Clyde’s despair.

And oh, it was despair – at least, it was despair for about two seconds. Right after that, however, there was a furious roar from the pile of drenched clothing that was Clyde. It emitted a long string of infuriated words that would be better off not repeated. Despite this, and the fact that Casey was cringing routinely at the severity of his exclamations, ‘Ash’ looked unfazed. As a matter of fact, his face hadn’t changed a bit. The usual smile that broke out after attempting to act serious had never come.

“Leave this place,” he said.

Casey gritted his teeth. This was obviously not Ash, he could see, that, but… “We will, okay? We will. But… but first you need to tell us who you are. Then we’ll leave, alright?”

‘Ash’ stared at him with that uncharacteristically evil frown. Without a word, the unTotodile hopped back onto his shoulder (now reverted back to its unPikachu form). With two sets of unimpressed eyes looking them over, Casey suddenly lost a considerable amount of his courage, but fortunately ‘Ash’ complied anyhow.

“You are a fool, to not know who I am,” he said with the sort of icy tone that had no place in a boy’s voice. “If you must know… I am Ash, the Guardian… It is my job to ensure that both dimensions remain safe and entirely separate.” He stepped closer. “You are from the other dimension… Leave this place.”

“Well, uh… see, that’s the problem,” said Casey rather pathetically. “We don’t know how to get back to our… world.” Even saying it himself sounded ridiculous – but then again, this Ash was spitting out nonsense at a rate higher than his own.

“I see…” said Ash.

“Wait, you know about this whole dimension thing, right? So surely you know how to get us out. Could you, I don’t know, maybe try and… help?”

Ash nodded. “Yes… I shall… help.” From beneath the folds of his robe, Ash held up a hand-mirror like it was some kind of sword. The mirror promptly began to glow with silver light, which soon seemed to take on a mind of its own and fired a beam into the sky. All that the two members of the Groupie Galaxy could do was stand back and cover their eyes as, from somewhere above, a giant stormcloud amassed itself, with various cloud pieces shaped into spikes sticking out from various points. And then, from out of the middle of the cloud-like monstrosity came a giant bird neck, like that of a vulture, with a single giant eye.

Pulling the black hand-mirror down, Ash collected himself and took a step back from the giant deformed Altaria. “Farewell, dimension travelers… May Altakko take you to a better place…”

He disappeared into a round portal with a surface like a mirror, leaving Casey and Clyde alone with the great monster Altakko. For good measure, Clyde screamed out another curse, before descending into just general yelling for his life. Casey, meanwhile, had given up on his previous intention of leaving his Pokémon inside their Pokéballs, and reached into his backpack’s pocket in order to root around for them… only to find his Pokéballs not there.

Casey joined his traveling companion in screaming.

“…Hold on a minute!”

From somewhere over their heads, Clyde and Casey suddenly became aware of a presence swooping upon them. Swiftly looking up (anything to divert their attention from the horrific Altakko), the dynamic duo found themselves looking up at a rather unusual sight: a human figure, about the size of an eleven-year-old, with giant angelic wings and an uncomfortably large sword.

He landed at ground level, but only for a second – not even long enough for either of them to get a good look at him. Soon he was up in the air again, brandishing his super-sword threateningly. Altakko squawked angrily and dove for him again, but he managed to whack the lunging beak out of his face and took another stab at it. It didn’t seem to do much, and the creature continued to pummel away at the boy. Eventually he had to fly back out of its range, dodging the demonic Swablus that seemed to conjure themselves out of thin air.

Taking a breather, he batted one of the Swablus back at Altakko, and heard it scream in pain – much louder than any sound it had made when he tried to hit it the first time. Apparently seeing some kind of hint from this, the winged boy settled himself into a batter’s position, and proceeded to knock the Swablu creatures back at the monster that made them. Soon, the returning projectiles (which exploded upon contact) proved too much for Altakko, who with a conclusive wail finally dropped to the ground and disappeared.

With a conclusive laugh, the winged boy dropped to Earth again as well, and simply tossed his sword to the side. With that one motion, the wings disappeared, and the yellow-tinged steel weapon turned into a small floating thing in the shape of a star. Taking out a hand-mirror of his own, the boy promptly sucked the glowing star into its depths, and finally turned on the two stunned Trainers.

“Hi there!” he said cheerfully. “I guess Anti-Ash attacked you again, huh? He should really stop doing that… oh well. My name’s Ash, the real one. Who are you?”

…Erk.

It wasn’t so much the fact that this kid and the hooded one shared a name that brought Casey some concern, nor the mention of that other one again. Instead, Casey was drawn to the fact that this eleven-year-old looked exactly like Ash did, but without the dark ominous outfit. He had on a blue-and white jacket over a black shirt, with somewhat faded jeans underneath. If only for the distinct lack of hat, this would be the Ash he remembered.

If Casey had been confused before, he was now utterly lost.

“…Hey, are you alright? You look a little flustered there.”

“What? …Oh. No. I’m fine. Uh… this is Clyde over here, and I’m Casey.”

“Oh yeah?” He looked rather pleased to find this out. “Well, nice to meet you guys, Casey and Clyde. What exactly did you do to earn Anti-Ash’s attention, though? Usually he doesn’t bother with mere mortals like you.”

“Doesn’t… bother?” asked Clyde, not quite following. “What does he do to people who aren’t ‘mere mortals’?”

“Well, obviously he tries to kill them,” said Ash offhandedly. “Like what he did to you. It’s strange, though – we haven’t even heard from him for a good long time before now, and then when I get here, he’s just attacking random passerby. I think something’s wrong.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down.” Casey held his hands up in an attempt to quell his parallel’s seemingly-incessant river of dialogue. “Who’s ‘we’? And how do you know… how do you know Ash?”

Ash cleared his throat. “Well, for one thing I could ask how you know Ash and didn’t know me, but we can save that for later. Anyway, I’m the Guardian of Mirror, you know? Surely you know what the Mirror is, you know, the big giant master creation mirror up in the sky? Well, it broke, see, and then right after that happened… this guy just randomly appeared. Ash, he called himself. Said he was the Guardian of Mirror, would you believe that? Him! But I know better, see, because this has happened before. One time, a long long time ago, the Mirror broke… and all of a sudden this kid just randomly turned up, a dude in a black robe, called himself… like… Mitsuru, or something. I dunno. And the thing was, the Guardian of Mirror at the time was also named Mitsuru, and he looked exactly like him and had the same name…”

Casey and Clyde shared a look. Neither of them was quite sure which Ash was worse.

“…and then the Mirror was all repaired and stuff and it was done.” Ash didn’t seem to have taken a breath. “So anyway, Anti-Ash – that’s what I’m calling him, since obviously I’m the real Ash – has been running around calling up these weird creatures and calling himself the Guardian of Mirror. And killing things, because he seems to like to do that, but every time he tries I’ve been there to stop him. And that’s what’s been going on.”

Casey blinked.

“…But you knew all that, right?”

“Uh, no. I had no idea. Do you know… do you know why, uh, Anti-Ash has been attacking these people?”

“Oh, something stupid. Like they’re crossovers from the other world or something. Everyone knows that can’t happen – I wonder where he gets his information if he thinks everyone is from the other world, huh?”

Casey cleared his throat. “Well… um… I don’t know about the others, but… Clyde and I… we are from that other world or whatever. At least, we think so.”

This, finally, oh graciously and finally, made Ash shut up for more than two seconds. However, it was too good to last, and eventually the kid found another excuse to start talking. “…What? But that’s impossible! You can’t get through because the Mirror broke, like I said!”

“Well…” said Casey, utterly at a loss. “We certainly didn’t come from a giant mirror in the sky or anything. But this is definitely not the world I remember.”

“Oh really? Well… I did hear the landmarks are different in the other dimension… let’s see.” Ash put a finger to his chin, in thought. “Alright, I’m going to name some landmarks in this world, and we’ll see if you can recognize them. We’re on Mt. Sigmon right now, so Sigmon Mountain, I guess. And then there’s the Raxi Mansion and the Rhoter Ocean. And also Epsil Ruins, but nobody ever visits there. Let’s see. Castle Rhion, the Omegus Constellation, Talwing Cavern, the Omicro Route… and there’s one more. But I can’t remember it. Any of those sound familiar?”

“Well… those are the names of cities,” explained Casey. “We just came out of Raxi, and we were going to Sigmon. I think we went through Rhoter and Rhion earlier on.”

“And Epsil,” added Clyde grudgingly. He didn’t really like to think about that town.

“…Yeah, and Epsil,” concluded Casey, with a nod in Clyde’s direction. “But I’ve never heard of it being a palace. It definitely was a town when I went there. And Rhion wasn’t really a castle, either, it just had a big wall or something. Rhoter wasn’t really an ocean in its own right, just a city on top of a lake or something…”

“By the sounds of things,” said Ash with a finger on his chin in comparatively deep thought, “you probably did come from the other world. But how did you get here, then?”

“We found a mirror in the middle of a desert wasteland,” explained Casey. “On the way to Sigmon, like I said. Rotom – my Pokémon – went flying in there, and I was chasing after him, and we ended up on this… Sigmon Mountain, did you call it? After that, we ran into your, uh, Anti-Ash, and he summoned that… thing. Said he was going to help us.”

“That is freaky,” said Ash with a thoughtful frown, putting his hands on his hips. “Well… maybe you are from the other world. But I don’t think that’s ever reason to get killed, do you?”

“No,” said Casey and Clyde in unison.

“Hmm…” said Ash thoughtfully. “I know! I can take you two over to the Omegus Constellation. Lord Roman will know what to do with you.”

“Lord Roman?” asked Clyde, arms crossed.

“Yeah, Lord Roman.” Ash nodded. “He knows everything, and he’s kinda my boss, so if I bring you guys back to him then he’ll know that I’m doing something and you’ll get a way to go back to the other world. Everyone wins, right?”

Casey and Clyde shared another look. Eventually, they nonverbally decided that this Lord Roman was the only lead they had, and turned back to Ash.

“Okay,” nodded Casey. “We’ll come back with you and meet this Lord Roman guy.”

“Alrighty! But remember to just call him Lord Roman. He gets a little touchy when people don’t give him proper respect or whatever.” Without any room for Casey or Clyde to respond, still another mirror portal opened up under all of their feet. With a feeling somewhat like being clubbed violently over the head, the trio made their leave from Sigmon Mountain.

Mercifully, only one bystander was around this time. The Delcatty licked her paw smugly and trotted off, ready to report.



Research of the Holon Mirror World had been a pet project of his for a while now. Though of course his rank prohibited him from truly gaining any useful information, there had been small windows of opportunity where he had been able to sneak off to some extensive library or another, intent being finding out more about this mysterious parallel world. Though his initial suspicion had been quickly squashed – that this universe was in fact the non-dimension ruled upon by the great deity Giratina – it remained a topic of great interest, and was possibly the only thing that drove the Grunt as he toiled his way through this abysmal existence.

Oh, 507786 had done well. The superiors were pleased with him, apparently more so than the average Grunt. But even so, he had felt meaningless. So, so meaningless. There was no room for deviation, experimentation or excess thinking. No way to use his brain or his hands. If not for… certain factors getting in the way, he would have told himself that this work would likely have driven him insane.

And then he ran across knowledge of the Holon Mirror World.

Though naturally the superiors had found out that he knew something about it eventually, he had insisted that his knowledge came from previous experience. Certainly they didn’t expect such intelligence from a drafted Grunt. While it hadn’t been enough to earn him any sort of promotion – heavens forbid they did that – his name now at least had a reason to be remembered: he knew about something they didn’t.

Which could explain why he was now standing in the middle of the Raxi Mansion. It was a hollow excuse for a building that had clearly once been quite grand but had fallen into disrepair. For quite possibly the first time in the past hundred years, there were people wandering around in it, one of them being the towering BDV Grunt. The other, of course, being a dude in an orange hoodie.

Caro was wandering through the crumbling maze of a house with pure fascination on his face, mirrored (no pun intended) in the face of his Raichu.

Hiding in some shadow or another, 507786 was positioned, watching him proceed. The other two had been easily taken care of; they had been sent blindly to investigate a completely innocuous area of the Holon Mirror World, where there was supposedly CD0000 to be found, and the talking Delcatty had been dispatched to watch over the spike-haired boy. He doubted any of them were coming back too soon, and that was just fine by him.

507786 didn’t exactly know this kid’s name, and he would be leaving soon enough to find CD0000, but for now… there was no need for him to know anyone else was here.

“Hey, Raichu,” said Caro casually. “You know where we are?”

“Rai.”

“Yeah, thought not… I don’t recognize it either.” He stopped to take a look around. Hastily 507786 stepped backwards, farther into the shadow provided by a convenient doorless archway. By the looks of things he had slipped by the boy’s keen eye, and the duo promptly proceeded into the next room, still holding up a conversation. There was no doubt now.

507786 took his own high road into the chamber which Caro and Raichu had entered into, only to find something rather unusual.

“…Pollutants,” snarled a boy in a black cloak.

“Wait, what?” Caro halted his discussion with Raichu and looked up at Anti-Ash. “Sorry, man, didn’t quite catch that.”

“You’re all pollutants,” continued Anti-Ash. “And for this, you shall suffer.”

Caro took a step back, quite concerned with this recent turn of events, and in typical Caro fashion attempted to resolve the situation in the best way he knew how. “…Hey, man, I don’t know what your deal is, but I’m no pollutant, ‘kay? So, um, if we could all just forge this even happened…?”

It didn’t seem to be working.

“Well, okay,” said Caro, frowning. “Raichu, hold on. This guy looks like he means business…” Reaching one hand into the infinite depths of his hoodie’s pockets, Caro emerged with another Pokéball, which he now tossed onto the field. “Sandslash! This doesn’t look so good – get ready for a double battle!” This, Sandslash did. However, Anti-Ash merely smirked in that wicked and distinctly un-Ash-ly way of his, and whipped out the jet-black hand-mirror again.

It was pointed directly at Sandslash.

“You shall be my tribute,” he told the mildly confused Pokémon. “Now! Ruined King, lay waste to these miscreants!”

Despite all manner of concerned shouting from Caro and Raichu, Sandslash followed Anti-Ash’s orders, lumbering over to his side of the makeshift field. And oh yes, he lumbered – for even as the Pokémon walked, it was clearly getting bigger, and by the time it had managed to turn itself around and face Caro again, it was hardly recognizable as the Ground-type Pokémon it had been previously. This one was more like a tower than any living thing, with giant holes representing eyes turned downwards in a clearly angry expression. Two stone horns, apparently the things that were Sandslash’s ears, stuck out on either side, and giant claws – made of brick, like everything else – flexed.

The Ruined King didn’t look happy.

“Hey!” yelled Caro, enraged. “What did you do to Sandslash?”

“That’s not your pathetic rat,” said Anti-Ash primly. “That is the Ruined King, and he is going to do what I told him to do and be rid of inequalities… and that encompasses you as well, stowaway in the rafters!”


But when I look at the staaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaaars...

Giratina ♀
December 24th, 2010, 12:42 PM
{33} holon mirror world

Lord Roman, by most definitions, wasn’t a particularly striking man.

He was of average stature, with short red hair and a somewhat rounded face. Forsaking the standardized trope of royalty wearing long flowing robes, he was dressed much more appropriately by this world’s standards: a black suit, clearly well-tailored but not excessively flashy. He didn’t even have a cape. Unfortunately, the royal interior designer seemed to disagree with his thoughts on appropriate garb; the man was sitting on a throne that looked extravagant and very out of place next to Lord Roman himself.

“Hello,” he said, obviously intending the statement towards Ash. “Good to see you. Now who are these gentlemen?”

“Hello, sir,” said Ash, bowing. Casey got the idea that he ought to be doing that as well and nodded his head, but of course Clyde stayed put. “I found these two while on my rounds, sir. Anti-Ash was attacking them, and I later learned that it was because they were from…”

“From where?” Roman seemed genuinely interested.

“…from the other world, sir,” concluded Ash, not without embarrassment. “I took them to you, as you requested, um, sir.”

“Splendid, splendid!” Roman hopped up from his previous position and went swiftly down the steps of his throne’s raised platform, holding a hand out to shake. Casey and Clyde did so, not exactly sure if this was the sort of activity that royalty were supposed to be participating in, and after that was all over Roman took another opportunity to speak. “May I ask your names?” After the duo introduced themselves, Roman nodded again and continued to act friendly and polite – exactly the way that they would imagine a dictator wouldn’t act. So began a short questionnaire on where they came from, how they got here, and so on, until Casey asked the forbidden question.

“So, um, Mr. Roman. What is this place, exactly?”

“This place?” he asked. “How do you mean? This building?”

“No, not quite, sir. Um… you know how you were talking about our home world? What is, the, uh, other world? The one we’re in now?”

“Ah, I see what you’re talking about,” said Roman, putting one hand to his chin. “I suppose Ash never bothered to formally introduce you… ah well, what’s done is done, right?” He walked over to one of the rather large windows and flung open its curtains, showing the lush landscape beyond. “This, friends, is a dimension known commonly as the Holon Mirror World.”

“Holon… Mirror World?” repeated Casey rather stupidly.

“Oh yes,” said Roman, pointedly ignoring Casey’s statement of the obvious. “The Holon Mirror World. For the longest time we and our ancestors had just called it the World, but upon discovery of another dimension – that would be yours – and the realization that they are both strikingly similar to one another, we decided to… connect the two, if you will. Since people from your world came into ours but not vice-versa, and since our world didn’t exactly have a name anyhow… it was decided that this land should be called the Holon Mirror World.”

“Oh. So the mirror thing was coincidental?”

“Of course not. Where do you think we got the ‘Mirror’ part from?” Though Roman’s voice sounded just slightly testy, one look at his face explained that he was just playing with them. “No… everyone from your world always seemed to come through a mirror. Unfortunately, for some time now, there has been a strange veil of darkness over our world… it has not corrupted us all, but it is certainly getting there. Try as we might, we couldn’t get any enchantment we have to cause a mirror from our world to connect with yours, due completely to the presence of that veil…”

First Casey asked, “Enchantment?” And then a second later, he added, “…Wait, what?” If they couldn’t get a mirror back to the real world, after all… well, that was obviously the only way between the two planes. No mirror travel meant no world travel. And no world travel meant…

“That is the truth,” said Roman, turning back around to face them again. His expression had darkened considerably. “I’m afraid we don’t currently have a way to return you to your own side of the mirror. The magic to break the veil has not yet been discovered by our team. I… am sorry.” Even Ash looked a bit more somber as he explained. (This was likely because he had no idea such a veil was in effect.)

Casey, meanwhile, was thinking. “…So,” he said to Roman in a rather serious tone. “This world… this Holon Mirror World… you said that our world was our side of a mirror. Does that mean that the people who exist in our world have copies in this one? Clones? People who look like them, with the same name…?”

“Yes,” said Roman, somewhat unsettled. “How did you know?”

“Well, for starters,” said Casey, “Ash is exactly like someone I used to know.”

This caused a laugh from both Roman and Ash. “Ha! Really?” asked the latter, turning to Casey and apparently forgetting all about his self-restraint in the presence of Lord Roman. “Am I cool in the other world? Please tell me I’m cool in the other world!”

“Um…” Casey began. “Well…”

“…Are you saying the other me isn’t cool?” Ash looked distressed.

“No! Um, no.” Casey held up his hands. “I, uh, haven’t seen him in a while, is all. I don’t know what he’s like right now. But what I remember… he was pretty cool?” Despite the fact that he appeared to be asking just as much as telling, Ash seemed satisfied, because he straightened up at once and began glowing with pride. It seemed that the coolness level of a complete stranger was apparently something worthy of Ash’s concern, though how exactly Casey couldn’t quite fathom. (He had been doing that less and less lately, so it came as something of a surprise.)

“Nobody cares about how cool a random stranger is,” grumbled Clyde. “Can we cut to the chase here? Getting us back?”

“Yes, of course.” Roman sighed. “Well… as I mentioned previously, we don’t currently have the magic prowess necessary to conjure an interworldly passage with that veil in effect. But by the sounds of things, Anti-Ash does.” Roman sounded as if he was on to something. “That was obviously dark magic, the only kind that Anti-Ash can conjure, and the same kind that the veil of darkness is made of. If you can find someone else who practices such magic, and convince them to help you…”

“Then we can get them to make a portal for us,” Casey finished.

“Precisely.” Roman still looked grim. “However, there is a reason that such thing could be problematic. You see, dark magic is by virtue much stronger than light magic, and is practically immune to it - which is why we have not been able to breach the veil of darkness. It is also a very rare and secret art; unless someone is a descendant of one of the main practicing families, they may never see any dark magic in use, much less make it themselves.”

This shot down Casey’s spirits considerably. “Oh. So… we can’t?”

“I’m not finished,” said Roman. “Obviously, such people still exist today. It is merely a matter of finding a dark magician willing to help you out. And for that… we have a solution.” As if on cue, a shadow appeared in the window. As it moved inside the room, however, it was revealed to be a small white lizard, with red markings running along its body and multicolored bird wings. The lizard thing chirped a greeting to Roman and Ash, before finding a comfortable position on the former’s head.

“This is Dragoon,” he laughed, obviously referencing the lizard. “This little boy can sniff out magic of any kind. Magicians strong enough to create a passage between the worlds will naturally radiate magical energy, which should make it easy for Dragoon to hunt them down.” Roman then proceeded to speak to Dragoon in a language none of them understood (including Ash), and the lizard chirped helpfully and moved itself over to Clyde’s head. The man tensed, but amazingly, didn’t swat him off.

“Don’t worry about what happens afterward,” said Roman. “Dragoon will find his way back with Ash. …And yes, Ash, you are to escort them on their mission. Doubtless these two would get hopelessly lost without you.” Ash swelled with pride.

“Yes sir!”

---

Caro and friends only just made it out of the castle alive.

The fight with the Ruined King had not been an easy one, and it was clear as day that most of their success had been due to the quick thinking of the ‘stowaway in the rafters’, otherwise known as 507786 (among other things). Though he had not brought out any Pokémon of his own, most of Caro’s moves had been on his recommendation… and amazingly, they turned out well. Finally, the Ruined King – like Altakko before it – had been felled. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the extent of Anti-Ash’s trickery. He still had two more things on his agenda: one, take a prisoner, and two, send the Raxi Mansion to rubble once and for all.

He succeeded in both of these things. Caro had never even gotten a chance to ask his tutor’s name.

Even the athletic young Trainer had been reduced to his knees outside of the castle gates, panting. His Pokémon had both been recalled, with no intention of bringing them out again unless it was absolutely necessary, and now Caro was left in a dark (and cold!) forest with the rubble of a Ruin behind him, completely alone.

Until he wasn’t.

There was the grind of boots against the dirt floor, and Caro looked up to stare into the eyes of a mocha-skinned twentysomething with yellow-and-green hair.

“What’s up?” asked Sheridan.

Caro looked up at her and laughed. Who cared if the creepy little kid had transported himself out at the last second, holding the masked guy with some sort of magical leash? Who cared if it was beginning to snow? He would handle that later. After all, he had just discovered a friend – in other words, a veritable Caro power source. The boy pulled himself to his feet and dusted off his clothes.

“Oh, hi!”

Sheridan raised an eyebrow. “Hi. What are you doing here?”

“Um, well,” said Caro, looking behind him at the ruins. “Funny story, that. I could tell you sometime.”

“That would be nice,” said Sheridan, smirking. “Come on. There’s an inn in the forest nearby. We’ll get something to eat and talk it out over that.” She turned around and began walking the way she came. Caro, not being one to turn down a meal, immediately followed.

Sheridan’s inn turned out to be a building made of logs, but with a very homey atmosphere about it. This was due in no small part to the multitudes of expensive-looking green and red decorations lining the walls. “Oh, Christmas decorations,” said Sheridan thoughtfully. “Apparently they celebrate that here?” (It should be noted that, in the ‘main’ world, Christmas was celebrated only in certain areas, and it was never very prominent.)

“Yeah,” Caro replied. “Been a long time since I saw these sorts of things.” And it was. He had only seen them once before, during a brief voyage to Hoenn. Sinnoh and Holon rarely celebrated such things, and of course, the Pokémon universe of his origin didn’t know a thing about them.

The topic of discussion soon turned to something a bit more relevant, but only after the two of them had ordered drinks and food. The waitress had assured them that the money they held out was indeed the local currency, which was a prompt for both Caro and Sheridan to keep their mouths shut about the whole ‘coming from another world’ thing. Once Caro had spilled his guts, he received a thoughtful look from his companion. “So this kid,” she said, taking a sip of her drink before continuing. “You said he just upped and disappeared with the guy in the cloak? As if by magic?”

“Yeah, pretty much.”

The woman looked around. “Hmm. You know, we’ve seen a lot of funny things in this place, and it might be that it was magic. I mean, that sort of thing might be possible for regular human beings. In this world.”

“Could be,” said Caro. “Or maybe he had some Pokémon helping him.”

Sheridan nodded. “Right. Or he had a little Pokémon helper. Whatever happened… he’s quite a kid, huh?”

Caro nodded. “Sure was.” At that moment, a woman not even thirty stumbled past their table, apparently unsteady on her feet with a flushed face. Sheridan sighed and shook her head, but Caro stared at her curiously. After he saw his companion mouth the word ‘alcohol’, though, he got the memo, and casually looked anywhere that wasn’t in the woman’s direction. (Sheridan thought it a little strange that Caro didn’t immediately recognize her intoxication, but chalked it up to the increasing likelihood that he had just never seen a drunken person before.)

The woman flopped down in a convenient empty booth and hung her head there, looking grim, before yelling to the waitress who wasn’t there that she needed another. It didn’t take a lot of critical thinking to tag ‘drink’ onto the end of that sentence. There was a hesitant silence, but finally she got her beer. She was then quieted for another three minutes by slapping money into the waitress’ face, who decided to ignore the fact that she had overpaid by ten dollars.

Caro and Sheridan casually returned to their food and drink, making quite sure not to look at the drunkard for too long. Judging from the wide array of noises coming from her table’s direction, the last drink had apparently lulled her into a very different state, as she was soon slumped on the table, apparently asleep. It was a minor discomfort to everyone present in the small dining area, but those same people knew that it was a given to have someone with a bit too much to drink every once in a while. Hiding from well-meaning loved ones, perhaps, or just from themselves.

The door opened. A few people glanced up to look at them, but returned to the much more attractive prospect of their food - that is, they did until they noticed who exactly the newcomers were, and then they had reason to pay attention. Standing in the door there was a kid all of them recognized, if only vaguely, and only the sour staring of the tall and somewhat overweight gentleman next to him could send their gazes away. Even that one met resistance.

Meanwhile, completely unaware of any of this, Casey walked in with Dragoon on his shoulder.

Giratina ♀
January 8th, 2011, 06:53 AM
{34} the spitfire story


Immediately there was overjoyed calling from Caro and Sheridan’s area of the room. The three walked over, exchanged greetings, and allowed Ash to do most of the explaining on what exactly was going on here. He didn’t do much better of a job than any of the others could, but they piped up where they were able, and eventually Caro and Sheridan were able to get a general idea. In return, Caro and Sheridan were able to give their own riveting explanation as to how the group found themselves in the Holon Mirror World anyway, up to and including the suspicious absence of their pipe-wielding friend.

“So, this Grant person…” said Ash. “He’s the only one you can’t find?”

“That’s right,” nodded Casey. “We’re not intending to go back until we find him, though. Leaving him here would be just rude.”

“Not to mention that he’s our friend and we should be helping him,” offered Sheridan, with a pointed glare in Casey’s direction. He nodded quickly to agree with her.

“Yeah, that too…” Casey blushed slightly.

Discussion moved on to other, not-quite-related topics for a while there, mostly centered around Christmas traditions in their various worlds and areas, and for the time being, everything seemed relatively nice. This was in direct contrast to the truth, which was that everything was not relatively nice. Not relatively nice at all. For at that very moment, there was a castle sitting somewhere in the Holon Mirror World, and within it was the three most problematic forces in the Groupie Galaxy’s world: Anti-Ash, 507786, and both versions of Grant Sternberg.

Of this motley crew, two of them were tied up, and one of them might as well have been for the way he was being treated by the fourth.

The first two were right now having a nice little discussion in the cellar, where they had been locked in. Their only other companions were a number of cases of wine (both men confirmed to the other that they didn’t drink), and a few lowly wild Pokémon, which 507786 occasionally conversed with as if he could actually understand them. Grant then made the half-correct assumption that he was totally mad.

“So,” said Grant once 507786 had finished conversing with a particularly smart-mouthed Ratatta. “Have you got any idea on how we’re supposed to get out of here?”

“Not currently.” 507786 looked off in a different direction, the upper half of his face still covered by the BDV grunt visor. “Doubtless, there is an escape route here somewhere, but we are merely not aware of it.”

Grant nodded thoughtfully. “I guess.”

He received a look from the Grunt. “You ‘guess’?”

The brown-haired man nodded uncomfortably. “Yeah. I guess. I mean, we don’t know for sure whether there is one here, right? Because we haven’t found it yet.”

The Grunt stared at him, and then turned his attention to something else once again, evidently something more interesting than Grant stumbling around in the dark. He couldn’t help but feel a little insulted, but instead of sitting there and boiling he decided to continue the discussion. “Um, so you’re a BDV grunt, huh?”

“I am.”

“…I used to be a Grunt.” This caught his attention, and Grant could see that he was most interested in the words ‘used to be’. Most Grunts were. The man turned back to him again, silently willing Grant to elaborate for his benefit. Well… alright. But only because he had nothing else to do.

“I ran away,” he admitted, not particularly caring that he probably wouldn’t get a positive response out of his new friend here. “There are agents sent on my case, but they haven’t shown up in a while.”

“Have they?” 507786 asked in response. “Or are they just being stealthy about it?”

“No, they definitely haven’t shown up in a while,” said Grant, shaking his head. “They couldn’t do a stealth mission if they were following a sleeping Snorlax.” Despite himself and his company, he actually chuckled at this, seriously imagining the bumbling trio doing just that and failing spectacularly. He wasn’t paying attention to the firm line 507786’s mouth was in as he stared him down.

So Grant sat there, lost in thought, and 507786 wondered how in the world he was going to get any information out of this numbskull. Eventually, he gave up on making any sort of appropriate strategy, and merely took the straightforward approach.

“…Do you know a boy named Caro?”

This snapped Grant out of his trance, and he looked at 507786, surprised. “Yeah. How did you know?”

He ignored Grant’s question. “How is he?”

“Fine, I guess… but who are you, if you know him so well?”

“An old companion.”

Grant blinked. “Not a friend? If Caro has spent more than five minutes with you, he starts calling you his friend.”

“Exactly,” 507786 responded. “He does that. I am not particularly fond of the word.”

The twentysomething leaned his head back thoughtfully, staring at the ceiling with all its creeping mildew and Spinaraks making homes for themselves. Every so often he took another glance at 507786, but each time he looked deep in thought, so Grant passed on trying to make conversation once again and returned to his own musing. A few times he dozed off, only to be met by the Karmada, but they insisted that while his companion was in possession of a small pack of Karmada himself, those ones seemed to be extremely docile and concentrated on some other pursuit.



Meanwhile, on a level of the castle with a positive floor number, the other two residents were having a discussion.

“Of course I can take care of him,” said one of them, a man in his twenties with scruffy brown hair and a very concerning outfit on.

“I don’t think so,” remarked the other one, a boy with black hair and a similarly-colored cloak. “He is my prisoner. How do I know that you’ll just let him go free and do as he pleases? He is the lowest scum of this world. I will not allow anyone to merely walk off with him.”

“He ain’t gonna get off easy,” cackled the other one, waving a gloved finger. “I can give you that.”

“Oh? And what are you going to do to him? Hit him with that idiotic metal rod of yours?” Anti-Ash was referring, of course, to the metal pipe in the other man’s hand. His grip tightened around it, and when Anti-Ash looked up again, he was snarling. From under the shadow of his hat, the man’s eyes glinted dangerously. “I’m sorry, but that is really just pathetic. It’s better you leave his handling to me.”

“Listen, kid,” he snarled. “You’re going to fork up that idiot or I’m gonna use this thing on you!”

Anti-Ash smiled. It was not a nice smile. “I’d like to see you try.”

So he did.

Sixty seconds later, the man was lying on his back in front of a closed door, stripped of his weapon and uncomfortably familiar uniform.



Dragoon was making noise. A lot of noise.

Ash was staring at it rather blankly, and Casey was attempting to hush the little lizard-like monster so that people would stop staring at him (people such as, say, Caro and Sheridan and the waitress and just about everyone else). Eventually, the young Trainer succeeded in silencing his animal companion, and began talking to it, which technically wasn’t that much better.

“Shh,” he told the creature. “Have you found something?”

Dragoon pointed with a claw at somewhere else in the room and chirped loudly. Casey followed his gaze, and then looked back at the others, whose expressions ranged from pale-skinned horror to foreheads sitting in their palms. He stared blankly between them and the woman Dragoon was pointing to, but upon Caro mouthing something to him in the same manner that Sheridan had done a short while before, Casey got the memo.

Sighing, he got up and approached the red-faced woman on the other side of the room.

“Um, excuse me,” he said. “You wouldn’t happen to be… a magician or something, would you?” Immediately Casey mentally kicked himself for how utterly stupid that sounded.

The woman looked up at him and smiled wispily. “Sure,” she drawled. “I can be whatever you want.”

Simultaneously realizing what she was talking about and fighting a sudden urge to run very quickly in the opposite direction, Casey gulped and continued. “No… I’m serious. Can you… can you do any magic? Like, strong magic? Or…?”

She stared at him for a second. “…Yeah.”

The otherworldly Trainer slowly and uncomfortably explained his situation to her, unsure of whether she actually picked up more than half of it, and when he had finished he received the same stare he had gotten at the beginning. However, this time she offered a legitimate response as well, and that was the following: “…Well… I can’t help you there… but I got a pal who can… heheh…”

He blinked. “O-oh. Is that so. Um… could you take us to him?”

“Us?”

Casey pointed to the rest of the expanded Groupie Galaxy, over at the other table. She followed his finger somewhat blearily, but eventually brought herself to nod at him. “…Sure… I guess I could do that…”

Sighing with relief, he offered one more question to her while failing to notice that she had gotten up. “So wait. What’s this guy’s name?”

“Ah, don’ worry about that,” she slurred. “He’s a good kid, honest… eh… an’… an I’m Delilah… you go an’ call me that, huh…?”

At that point, Casey did a little mental work of his own and connected this Delilah person to a certain other person named Delilah, specifically the one who just happened to look exactly like the one in front of him right now (sans the dark expression and extremely cluttered living space). He attempted to keep his brain from imploding and vowed to never, ever speak of this again.

Meanwhile, Delilah had loudly and none-too-politely rounded up the troops, and after hastily throwing payment at the nearest waiter, she dragged them out and proclaimed rather loudly that her friend lived not too far from here. Comforted (or not) by the thought of getting a quick way out of here, they let Delilah and Dragoon lead the way, and eventually came to a large set of wrought-iron gates. Everyone stared up at it, none too convinced that this person Delilah was talking about was the best to interact with, but they followed her in further anyway.

“Aaaand there’s where I’mma heave yeh,” said Delilah, standing in front of an impressive-looking house and apparently unaware of her unfortunate switch of words. “He doesn’t like more people than ab’lutely ne’ssery, so… eheh… I’mma leave you kids t’go see ‘im, alright?”

Blinking, nobody bothered to take the incentive and stop her as she walked (well, staggered) away.

With a large sigh, Casey turned around and looked back up at the giant manor, and everyone else followed his lead. “Ash,” he said, “do you recognize this place at all?”

“No,” the boy responded.

“Well then!” declared Caro. “We’ll just need to go exploring, right? Right? …Right?”

Two more days 'til Re:coded... two more days 'til Re:coded...

Giratina ♀
March 19th, 2011, 06:20 AM
{35} wings of innocence come off in the night

Grant really had to wonder how his captive was missing this. After all, here were two of his captives, who had devised an escape plan directly under his nose and were now sneaking around a dark old corridor that didn’t look like it was designed to house anything more advanced than a rat. However, he really wasn’t complaining; anything that allowed him to slip by unnoticed was all good in his book. On the other hand, looking up again, Grant found 507786 to be moving with the same controlled stature that he had been using the entire time; it may just be because Grant was a little on the short side, or perhaps because 507786 was over six feet tall, but he commanded quite an imposing presence, even in a barely-lit corridor.

The ex-Grunt shivered; fortunately, he wasn’t the one carrying the torch.

Suddenly, his companion stopped, and when he did Grant did too. “…What is it?” he asked, looking around.

“Be quiet,” came the prompt response. “We aren’t alone down here.”

Blinking, Grant strained his ears to figure out what 507786 was talking about, but then figured that it must have been some kind of amplifier in that helmet. (Come to think of it, it was a little funny that he never took off that helmet… it almost led Grant to wonder what exactly was underneath. Did he have something to hide? A scar, maybe, or some kind of unfortunate tattoo? Most Grunts couldn’t wait to get the stupid thing off!)

Oh, oh wait… yes, now he heard it. From somewhere down the passage, there was definitely the sound of annoyed profanities being grumbled underbreath. Grant took a step back, eyes on the corridor in front of him.

“Dammit!” muttered the voice. “I still can’t believe he… that little rat! Stealing everything, everything! Can’t believe I had to sneak my way through the entire place… just to get it back… nearly gave me a heart attack, aargh…!” There was something odd about the voice, but Grant couldn’t quite place a finger on it — and yet whatever it was, 507786 heard it too, because his head had ducked slightly and he appeared to be focused intently on the area ahead. A second later, his hand was hovering next to his pocket (and Pokéballs, Grant suspected), and a rather threatening voice filled the passage.

“Who’s there? Identify yourself!”

A startled tone came from the murky blackness ahead, and something caught in the torchlight and shined against dark. It was metallic, definitely, the object was long, maybe… a sword? Eep. Grant redoubled his grip on the Pipe, ready to use the bludgeoning weapon against whatever foulmouthed being had also found himself unfortunate enough to get trapped down here.

“Rather not!” barked the voice from the shadow. It didn’t sound scared, or even angry; instead, it was more cocky than anything else, like this guy could beat whoever happened to be in front of him, no matter who the person happened to be.

“Identify yourself,” he repeated, now with a Pokéball in his hand. “Or I shall force you out.”

“Hey, don’t bust an artery over there.” The tone was taunting, but despite it, the shadow flickered and a distinct mass became apparent within it. “I’m right here, right here. No need to bust out the big guns.” There was a glint of metal once again from beyond the edge, and a gray boot came into the light. It was followed by a leg, and another one, and a body, and after that a—

Oh. Oh dear.

Quite involuntarily, Grant emitted a small squeak and brought the Pipe up to a defensive position. That… that was the last thing he needed to see right now. Or the last thing he needed to see ever, for that matter. (From somewhere deep in his mind, he could hear the Karmada muttering frantically.) And yet, before 507786 had gotten over it himself — because he most likely noticed too — Grant addressed his skeleton in the closet, sounding not quite as scared as he actually was.

“Who… who are you?”

Of course, he already knew the answer, and a second after the young man’s entire body came into the light. Under the rim of that hat, eyes were catching the light, leering out at him like he knew he had done back then… he looked exactly the same, right down to the age, a-and the weapon, there was no one else who could carry something like that, it was almost frightening — no, it was definitely frightening! — and there it was. On the shirt. He had worn that outfit, that same outfit, for years. It was the same. Right down to the stitching on the big red R…



Meanwhile, up on the positive-numbered floors of the castle, the rest of the group were very close to finding their man.

It had not been an easy journey up the levels of the tower, and several of the members of their little traveling party had already exhausted their Pokémon. But the hour had come at last when they could finally put this kid to rest – and hopefully, while putting him to rest, find a way out of this wretched place. But that was all later on in the hour; right now, everyone was concentrated on the discovery of...

“Rotom!”

Casey was the first one across the room, without even noticing that he was moving at all. The little Pokémon was sitting in a metal cage barely big enough for its physical form, so that the energy beam which bore a striking resemblance to a Mightyena head was forced to lie outside. But when his Trainer got there, the energy head wasted no time in roaring happily and attempting to nuzzle him... which failed due to the distinct lack of physical form, but it was the thought that counted.

“Hey, Rotom,” Casey said, grinning. “It’s alright. We’re all here now.”

Rotom himself was glowing much fainter than he normally was, the energy core in the center of his being looking like it was in danger of sputtering out entirely. That quickly sobered Casey’s mood. “...Okay, this thing obviously has a lock on it,” he said, straightening up. “So we need to find that lock.”

“But where, though?” Sheridan touched a few fingers to her chin. “Obviously somewhere safe... won’t just be lying around...”

“Maybe we could try Anti-Ash’s... uh, office thing?” suggested Ash helpfully. “If it were me, I would want to keep the keys to such a unique Pokémon’s cage around for quick access. Plus wherever he is probably has a lot of defenses... and if we get through those, you get the keys to Rotom’s chamber, I get to take out Anti-Ash and his dark barrier over the worlds, you all go home, and everyone is happy. Sound good?”

Everyone looked at him for a few seconds, before Casey snorted and rubbed his hands. “Sounds good.”



As it turned out, Anti-Ash was not to be found on the top floor of the building. This was of course a great disappointment, but that disappointment was quickly replaced by concern – he had been waiting for them on the roof. This was a problem because, of course, one could trip over the edge and die when on the roof. Regardless, there was nothing to be done, and even though the cloaked boy was waiting casually for them when they arrived, everyone came to the top floor of the tower in immaculate style.

They bashed down the stairwell door.

“Ah, so here you are,” came the snooty voice from the other side of the roof. “I was wondering when you would all get here.”

“Cut the theatrics!” Almost immediately, Ash pushed to the front of the group, staring down Anti-Ash with surprising viciousness for a ten-year-old. “As the true Guardian of Mirror, I hereby command you to cease your treacherous activities and leave the Holon Mirror World, back to the place where you belong, and from which you came!”

“...Silence,” said Anti-Ash.

“...What?”

“Silence,” he repeated, voice rising in volume and ferocity. For a minute there, Casey was actually relieved that his face was now covered by a hood, because whatever expression was under it probably would have haunted his nightmares right up there with the demonic Spheals of Rhoter City. “Silence! I am... I am the Guardian of Mirror! I am!”

Now, in any other situation, this just would have looked like he was having some sort of powerful kid sorcerer temper tantrum. However, other situations didn’t compensate for the stormclouds now developing around the previously-clear sky, or the winds that were now beginning to pick up and toss the folds of Anti-Ash’s cloak in all directions. “I am...” He was rising into the air now, the wind picking up – the hood of his cloak flew back, but all of a sudden, the face beneath it didn’t look anything like Ash. Either of them. “I am...” He was growing. And transforming. This was bad. No longer were they witnessing a human boy, but a draconic semihuman in a large cloak, quickly growing stranger and stranger by the minute. “I am...!”

There.

He had now transformed into what appeared to be some kind of humanoid Groudon-Salamence fusion, with steel plating over his head and detached claws, swiping at nothing but air.

“I AM THE GUARDIAN OF MIRROR!”

“I’m sorry,” said Ash after a long and awkward pause, “but that is not the Guardian of Mirror.”

In some twisted form of response, the Not-Guardian roared and swung one giant claw at Ash, which he nimbly evaded with the help of a magic mirror and a pair of angel wings. With another swing of his handmirror through the air, he was holding the same golden sword he had bore when Casey and Clyde first met him – Ash was now fully decked out for battle, and as he shouted down to the group below, they ought to be doing the same.

But apparently, even Ash’s powers as Guardian of Mirror weren’t enough to tame the beast – demonstrated nicely when his golden-winged splendor went hurtling into a wall. With that minor distraction out of the way, the hulking monstrosity turned its attention on the other pathetic little life forms that had displeased it, AKA the Chosen One and his crew.



“Chosen One? That’s new.”

Zero was floating next to my head today, looking immensely bored with the entire universe, which was entirely possible. I, meanwhile, was scowling darkly at the Dea Procol Machina, once again totally at a loss on what to write. So like the good little assistant he wasn’t, Zero stepped in to help, in his own special little way.

“Yes, Chosen One, and no, it ain’t new. I told you about this, right? Manaphy?”

“No.” He didn’t look amused. “Somehow it failed to evade your wide range of reference.”

I rolled my eyes, leaning back. “Whatever... Anyway, uh, Manaphy. He’s the one that gets all the prophecies, and he’s teaching his son, Phione, to do the same. They do it by sitting in a room and watching vapors swirl up around them or something, and from that they divine the future. I don’t get it, but again, I don’t ask – because they’re still correct, regardless of what kind of gas you use to read ‘em, you know?”

“Sure.” He didn’t sound amused. There was a pause while he continued to look over my shoulder at the screen. We both sat there and blinked through the footage coming in from the Holon Mirror World, and rest assured – it was not boring footage...

“Uh, Giratina,” offered Zero a few minutes later.

“Yeah?”

“Well,” he said with a heavy sigh, leaning on the back of my chair. “I really hate to break it to you, madam, but your Chosen One here is what we in the business call ‘totally BUTTERFLIES screwed’.”

I smirked smugly, knowing that he would never learn of my brilliant new form of censorship. “Relax, will you?” I trilled instead. “He’s going to get through this somehow, you know. Chosen One and all that. He wouldn’t have been picked for this if he wasn’t completely certified for the job.” Normally, I really wasn’t the sort to be placing so much faith in someone because of something like a blessing, but really... this was the Chosen One we were talking about.

“You’re sure this kid is the Chosen One?”

“Of course. Manaphy hasn’t been wrong before, and he won’t be wrong today.”

Caliban
March 20th, 2011, 01:06 AM
Chapters and chapters that I had not yet read! Well, I've read them now.
Quite enjoyed this latest batch of yours; especially the alcoholic bits. ;D

Grant really had to wonder how his captive was missing this.
I think his captor?

Also, I think he's screwed. Just saying.
I'll check back later to see what happens to him. XD

Giratina ♀
April 1st, 2011, 10:58 AM
ANNOUNCEMENT

Hi everybody.

Well, as you've seen, the update schedule for Wings Have We has all but gone down the wazoo lately. I have been pushed all over the place by seemingly everyone, have been getting even less sleep than usual, and just last night have been forced to leave an RP site when most everyone has been trashed by a hellish lead admin. Plus my grades are plummeting and I am in danger of failing many of my classes -- this year marks the first time I've ever failed a class, ever. I am officially putting Wings on extended hiatus until I can get my life back on track.

Good luck, love you all. -Gira

Giratina ♀
May 29th, 2011, 05:34 AM
{36} it always begins in the cerulean sky

“…Grant.”

“Hm?”

The dynamic duo was now beyond the threat posed by the several hundred skeletons in Grant’s closet. But of course, 507786 being the ‘considerate’ man he was, he didn’t intend on letting that particular incident die any time soon. Not that he was one to talk. “Your traveling companions… they are further up the tower, yes?”

Grant shook his head. “Not that I know of.”

“I see.” 507786 stepped over one of the several fallen pillars in the room; apparently, this part of the castle had been ransacked by… something. “And you never told them about…”

“Yeah,” the younger man said quickly, eager to cut off such a topic. “It’s, uh, not the sort of thing that you really go around blabbing to everyone, you know.” He paused then – did his new ‘friend’ know? After all, for all he knew, he could have just been a regular old Grunt, albeit one who really didn’t want to be there. And he had certainly made no show of hiding his allegiance, if the freakish BDV grunt outfit was anything to go by.

“I understand,” he said.

Well, good.

“So…” Grant looked around. They were climbing their way down a corridor now, but fortunately, all of these pillars seemed to be intact. Though there was still little to no lighting to go by. “How did you end up joining Team BDV?”

“Drafted,” he said.

Grant shuddered. He knew how the BDVs performed their ‘drafts’ – find random Joes on the street, mug them, and drag them into the nearest convenient base, forcing them to join at gunpoint. It seemed to Grant to be more trouble than it was worth, but he supposed that it did make more members. Who needed morality, after all, when you had a decently sized criminal organization? “Oh… I’m sorry.”

507786 shook his head. “Don’t be… to be frank, this is hardly a new experience.”

Grant stopped and looked at him. “Are you saying that other Teams have drafts too?”

“No.”

There was a pause. Then, “…Oh.”

So this really was nothing new to him. 507786 had been in a team like that before… that made two of them, Grant thought with simultaneous relief and terror. 507786 had seen concrete proof of his allegiance already, and he had been somehow hoping to, er, kill him off before he could tell anyone who would actually care. (Because, even though that ship had sailed, there were probably still people who would be happy to shoot him through given that certain piece of information. Some people never changed…)

“Would you, uh, mind my asking which team you were on, then?”

“Yes,” he said dryly in response.

Well. Okay then.

It was at this point that they came across an open door, promising a staircase. It looked rather like it had been previously locked, but was busted open by some display of brute force. Either they weren’t alone in here, or this was the same work of the beast who had been toppling those pillars earlier. Regardless, after a brief glance at one another, they decided to charge forward – and it’s a good thing they did. Because the next room promised a very important clue.

“…Rotom?”

Immediately Grant was running across the room; it was impossible not to recognize that creature. (At least, if you were part of the Groupie Galaxy, anyhow.) 507786 followed after him, mildly interested in this new development, but otherwise seeming unfazed... and probably quite a bit miffed at his easily distracted companion. “And what exactly is this?” he asked flatly, stopping a few feet short.

Grant, who was at this point occupied with drilling Rotom on where Casey and the others had went, ignored him.

Shaking his head in apparent disgust, 507786 stood there and waited for the two to reunite (though to their credit, it wasn’t much longer after he intervened), and after that fiasco was over everyone got back on track. “Alright,” said Grant, turning back around. “Rotom’s here, right? So this tells us that Casey and everyone else is also here.”

“Or they could be held somewhere else,” offered 507786 helpfully. “Possibly somewhere a significant way away.”

“But we’ve only been here a few days; this world doesn’t seem technologically advanced enough to get human cargo somewhere else in such a short period of time.” Grant smiled craftily, confident in his rebuttal.

“It is long enough to get them to walk a mile or so and be placed in a different facility.”

...Oops.

“Anyway, we should at least look through this building first,” said Grant somewhat stupidly, attempting to make up for his previous blunder. “It would be kind of a waste if we came here and didn’t look. ...But first, help me find a key to this cage, alright? We can’t leave Rotom like this.”

507786 saw no reason why they couldn’t indeed leave him right there and move on, but set to work anyway. Soon enough, after ripping down a few tapestries and getting Rotom to slip in some subtle work of his own, the cage had been opened and the three of them were continuing to proceed up the tower. Despite himself, 507786 occasionally sneaked a few looks at the strange entity known as Rotom – it certainly looked like no Rotom he had ever seen before, and he had had quite an experience with Rotoms.

But that was irrelevant. 507786 shook his head and moved on, being careful not to step on the blatantly obvious booby traps that had been left scattered up and down the stairs.

They reached the top floor just in time to get slammed in the face by a Poliwhirl.

Grant yelped with a face full of Water-type and stumbled backwards down the stairs, right into 507786, who fortunately was able to steady himself against the narrow walls.

Rotom, on the other hand, saw no reason to delay, and immediately flew over and latched himself to Casey’s arm (his head was too covered with hairspikes). Though he was initially startled by the sudden appearance of an over-excited Ghost-type, Casey soon realized who exactly it was, and temporarily paused his curb-stomping to have a brief reunity session. This was quickly stopped when 507786 and Grant walked onto the roof of the building proper, the latter holding a fainted Poliwhirl.

“What in the world is...” Grant had begun his sentence, but quickly shut up when he noticed the freakish demon thing looming over them all. The draconic beast had glowing yellow eyes and a mouth full of pointed teeth, and now looked like it was ready to eat something. Probably them.

“What exactly is this?” 507786 seemed to be much more contained in the face of ancient evil, promptly walking up alongside Casey.

“I’m not sure,” he said in response, allowing Rotom to float closer, the intention being to fight the demon that was once Anti-Ash. “...Er, hang on. Who are you again?” He turned again to Grant, who had been the one to bring him up in the first place.

“It’s okay!” the ex-Grunt yelled.

Shrugging, Casey turned back to the matter at hand. 507786 folded his arms, not looking like he was planning to do anything; this was unfortunate, because with Poliwhirl down, Rotom was officially the last conscious Pokémon of the collective Groupie Galaxy. 507786 probably could have been moderately useful, even if the Pokémon he had were regulated due to his involvement with Team BDV.

Casey glanced up at him briefly, but it didn’t take long to get the memo, and once that happened he gave up and just decided to focus on the battle.

“Alright, Rotom. Thundershock!”

Rotom complied happily, sending a bristling thunderbolt flying towards his adversary. The monster merely scowled at him; just like all of the other attacks, it seemed to have no effect. The opposite did not prove to be true, however, for within five minutes Rotom too was lying on the ground, his inner spark flickering dangerously low.

Now with absolutely nothing to distract him from eating the souls of everyone in the present area (or whatever he intended to do), the demon once known as Anti-Ash began to bring a smile onto his face; needless to say, it wasn’t a nice smile. Instead, it was a downright wicked smile, of the sort one wore when he was about to rip you into ribbons. Coincidentially, this was exactly what was happening.

So Casey and friends were ripped into ribbons.

Or, at least they were supposed to.



“Hey, that’s cheating.”

“It is not cheating! I’m allowed to do this sort of thing!”

The argument, as usual, was heating up, and the combatants were, also as usual, Zero and myself. Right now we were arguing over the fairness of... er, call it Legendary intervention, hmm?

...Alright, so it was an epic deus ex machina. But this isn’t really a story or anything, so it’s okay.

I watched boredly as a Sacred Bolt of Judgement came down from the heavens, striking the demon square in the middle of the head. Of course, it scared the living bejeezus out of everyone down there, but hopefully they didn’t believe it was Rotom’s doing. (I wouldn’t put it past them.) The creature fell to the ground in a flaming, roaring heap, causing most everyone else in the area to take at least a couple steps back if not more.

Because death by flaming demons of the night is really on the rise this year, apparently.

After the flames had died, the Groudon-Salamence monster was no more; instead, it had transformed back into a suddenly frail-looking clone of one Ash Ketchum. No one even bothered to move towards it; even as they watched, the body began to fade in and out, like someone had finally realized that it probably wasn’t supposed to exist – and then, all at once, the whole thing just upped and disappeared into air.

This was not limited to Anti-Ash, however. Though the sky technically seemed no more radiant now than it had before – there was no light given it that hadn’t already been there – it suddenly seemed to flush with color, as if something had been holding it back from presenting its real being to the people of the Holon Mirror World. And it had. All over the world, it seemed that everyone had a weight lifted from their backs – a weight that had been sitting there so long they gradually forgot about it, just took it for granted. At least until it disappeared.

Slowly the group found their bearings again from the ridiculous event which had just passed. None of them looked like they completely understood it, except for Ash, but even he was just standing around, sharing shocked glances with the others. Caro noticed someone he hadn’t previously seen – a man in a BDV Grunt’s uniform, with pale skin and a tight line for a mouth. Blinking thoughtfully, the teenager continued to stare, until 507786 looked in his direction. That prompted Caro to quickly avert his gaze into the floor.

The first person to move was Ash, the real Guardian of Mirror, who slowly walked into the center of the rooftop platform and turned his head to the sky. “Thank you!” he shouted up to the heavens. “Thank you, O masters of the Legendary Court!”

Well, you’re quite welcome, kid.

OH YEAH. WHO'S AWESOME? I'M AWESOME.

Cutlerine
May 31st, 2011, 05:58 AM
Whoa, how did I miss this chapter? Anyway, now that I have, and have refreshed my memory of recent events in Wings Have We with a quick dip back into earlier chapters, I have to confess that there are a couple of things that probably need to be brought to your attention.

Firstly, and most importantly, your cast. It's enormous. Wings Have We rivals some Dickens novels for sheer cast size. There are a vast quantity of characters, and it's quite easy to muddle them up, forget who's who, or just completely forget they exist. Now, on its own, a giant cast doesn't necessarily mean a story is bad. But in this case, there just isn't that much differentiation between people. You flit between different perspectives and narrative points of view so often that the boundaries between the characters begin to blur and merge, and the result is that the reader can quite easily become confused about what's actually happening.

Now, the PoV-changing thing is often handled well - for instance, when you change to Giratina's perspective. But that works so well because Giratina has a very distinct personality and tone of voice. No one else in the entire story writes in quite the same way she does. If we take another example - for instance, Casey and Grant - their voices are almost identical. This wouldn't be such a bad thing (this is, after all, a comedy, and it is funny), except that when you have as many characters as you do - well over ten major ones right now, at my rough count - it gets pretty confusing.

On the plus side, though, Sheridan's usually easy to recognise.

Right. I'll draw a line under the 'many character' thing now, because I'm on the verge of slipping into full rampaging-editor mode and inadvertently shredding your story. Next point: the plot.

At first, the story of Wings Have We was easy enough to work out. We've got a hero and his companions on a journey, whereupon they get drawn into the sinister yet lovably inept machinations of an evil team and their Delta Species Pokémon. Good. That's perfectly fine, and it's all funny. But then you bring in the Holon Mirror World, and your story loses its focus.

Before the Mirror World section of the story, the plot was a lot more engaging, to be brutally honest. Yours was an honest journey fic, plying its trade and asking no more than to be read and enjoyed. Then, there was a massive interruption to the main storyline in the form of the Mirror World. My point is not that you shouldn't have put that part in. My point is merely that it was only when I read back that I remembered what the actual plot was, and that shouldn't be the case. Basically, this is a case of trying to do too many things in one story at the same time. I appreciate that this is a journey fic, and as such, there are deviations from the main storyline, but the Mirror World part is far too large a one. In short, it feels like I'm reading a completely different story to the one I was reading five chapters ago.

Right. Second line to be drawn under that. No more mention to be made of the Mirror World.

Those are the things I dislike about Wings Have We. You are completely free to disagree with me, of course; these are opinions, not immutable laws. And maybe you'll prove me wrong about the Mirror World with some crazy situation later on that ties all of this in together, and I'll say: Wow. That was ridiculously clever, and I take back everything I said.

Er, anyway, before I get onto a stupid rant like that, I'd like to point out the things you've done well, too. It seems only fair, since I just spent ten minutes mercilessly beating your story to the floor with a metaphorical frying pan.

Firstly, it is funny. There are no end of good lines and comebacks; the dialogue is almost always good for a laugh or two. Take Grant's recent conversation with 507786, for example: it is undeniably funny. The same goes for pretty much everything Giratina says or does. The situations that Casey and co. get into - the whole MissingNo. thing, or the Pumipuyu situation (ah, Hugh Lofting, you brightened my childhood) - are not only funny in their own right, but spawn more amusing dialogue. That's all well-executed and good.

Secondly, regardless of whether or not the story has become more of a ramble than a properly plotted narrative (damn it, I was meant to draw a line under that), it's still hugely entertaining. It's a good adventure, and almost always fun to read. You can tell from reading it that you've enjoyed writing it, which is always good, because it makes it way more enjoyable to read.

Thirdly... uh, I think I covered all the general things, actually. Unless I go into specifics - which I really can't be bothered to do, not with a painting, a drawing and the next chapter of my own story to finish today - that's the essence of what is great about Wings Have We. Keep writing, and good luck.

Man, that took far too long. I only meant to come here and read the latest chapter. Gah. That's what happens to things I like. They force me to come and critique them.

Anyway, overall it's good. There are just a couple of things that might need tweaking in later chapters. And now I shall leave, because there are only so many hours of the day remaining, and I intend to seize them.

Giratina ♀
June 4th, 2011, 09:01 AM
Firstly, and most importantly, your cast. It's enormous. Wings Have We rivals some Dickens novels for sheer cast size. There are a vast quantity of characters, and it's quite easy to muddle them up, forget who's who, or just completely forget they exist. Now, on its own, a giant cast doesn't necessarily mean a story is bad. But in this case, there just isn't that much differentiation between people. You flit between different perspectives and narrative points of view so often that the boundaries between the characters begin to blur and merge, and the result is that the reader can quite easily become confused about what's actually happening.

Now, the PoV-changing thing is often handled well - for instance, when you change to Giratina's perspective. But that works so well because Giratina has a very distinct personality and tone of voice. No one else in the entire story writes in quite the same way she does. If we take another example - for instance, Casey and Grant - their voices are almost identical. This wouldn't be such a bad thing (this is, after all, a comedy, and it is funny), except that when you have as many characters as you do - well over ten major ones right now, at my rough count - it gets pretty confusing.

Off the top of my head, I can identify only two major perspectives in the story: Giratina's and Grant's. Since Gira is the narrator for most of the story, and she is obviously capable of reading others' thoughts, she tends to inject a lot of her own voice into the things that the other characters do. (This is partially the reason behind your rambling point; it can pretty much be chalked up to both Giratina's and my own inability to write.) So the snarky comments are usually her own narrative, unless it was specifically stated that they were the thoughts of the characters.

But on the second count, you're probably right. There are a lot of characters involved, especially for a journeyfic -- I mean, six as a main cast, not including talking Pokémon? And then taking into account the various members of Team BDV, as well as Torsten and Amarachi and the other guys? Insanity. But I am working to tie it together.

Before the Mirror World section of the story, the plot was a lot more engaging, to be brutally honest. Yours was an honest journey fic, plying its trade and asking no more than to be read and enjoyed. Then, there was a massive interruption to the main storyline in the form of the Mirror World. My point is not that you shouldn't have put that part in. My point is merely that it was only when I read back that I remembered what the actual plot was, and that shouldn't be the case. Basically, this is a case of trying to do too many things in one story at the same time. I appreciate that this is a journey fic, and as such, there are deviations from the main storyline, but the Mirror World part is far too large a one. In short, it feels like I'm reading a completely different story to the one I was reading five chapters ago.

Right. Second line to be drawn under that. No more mention to be made of the Mirror World.This could not be more true. I've been convinced for a long time that the Holon Mirror World was quite possibly the biggest mistake I've made as a fanfiction author ever, and I am more than happy to leave that dead where it stands. The hiatus I've fallen into was probably because I realized just slightly too late that the Mirror World was a big old pile of derp, and had to somehow slog through it to get back to the main storyline. But I can't undo it all because... well. Important events happened in there. XD

Er, anyway, before I get onto a stupid rant like that, I'd like to point out the things you've done well, too. It seems only fair, since I just spent ten minutes mercilessly beating your story to the floor with a metaphorical frying pan.Frying pans are good, I like frying pans!

Cutlerine
June 4th, 2011, 12:24 PM
Off the top of my head, I can identify only two major perspectives in the story: Giratina's and Grant's.

That told me, I guess. However, I was referring to the voice of the characters in particular: if I read their dialogues, a lot of them sound very, very similar. It's not that they all need to have differing speech patterns or anything - it's just that I don't know what's going on in anyone's head. It's nothing major, when you put it like that; just that I'm not always entirely certain what makes one character's personality different to another's.

Oh, and I'm glad you realised that the Holon Mirror World was a dead end. It's like scar tissue: you can't really cut it out now without leaving a hideous sort of hole, and so it will remain as a permanent reminder never to do that again.

Anyway, I shall now return to silence and continue just to watch, wait, and read.

P.S.

Frying pans are good, I like frying pans!

I'm glad you like frying pans. So many people don't these days. In fact, I strongly advise you to go and talk to one for a while. They're such lonely souls, they'll be ever so grateful for the company.