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ladyumbra
June 18th, 2005, 06:16 PM
Chapter 1
Into the Night

Xeroderma Pigmentosum. An allergy to the sun and bright light, a death sentence to my dream of becoming a Pokemon trainer. Id developed the disease when I was four, and have lived a sheltered daytime life ever since. I could wander freely about the house, with no lights on and stand on the enclosed deck, because they were made of special UV protective glass. But it didnt not make my house any less a prison.
I could wander the town at night but there wasnt much to do, and curfew didnt give me much time out. It did give me plenty of time to watch tv, read and go online, feeding my love for pokemon. Although these also required special modifications to my computer, for them to be safe. The more I watched and the more I read, the stronger my desire to train became. I slowly hatched a plan, and as I my fifteenth birthday approached I set everything in motion. A few emails to the local professor and everything was set up. All I had to do was bring my parents around to the idea.

******

No, absolutely not, I refuse to let you take the risk. weve worked so hard to keep you safe all these years! Mom was on a tirade, pacing about the living room and glaring at anything that moved.

Mom Ill be perfectly safe, Ill be traveling at night. And before you start on about robbers, legendaries and only knows what, Ill have pokemon with me for protection.

Continuing to pace, my mother grumbled under her breath about having an answer for everything. We cant affor-

Kenichi said the professors association was paying for everything dear My father piped up. Good old dad, I knew I could count on him to be on my side.

Mom, I swear by Ho-Ohs egg Ill be careful! Ill travel at night and under good cloud cover. Ill have my pokemon out at all times and my pokedex on emergency speed dial." I said, trying to win her over.

Not that it mattered. I was going whether she liked it or not. Id given the professors my word Id research the habits of nocturnal pokemon, and the effects of forced nocturnalism on a naturally diurnal pokemon. I wasnt going back on it. Besides, I had to do this I had to prove that Xeroderma Pigmentosum didn't decide my life for me. That it limited my choice, but could not prevent me from achieving my dreams.

My mother slowed to a walk and turned face to face with me. I dont like it. I think it childish and foolish. I know all your friends have come and gone, but your different! And I dont think its safe or smart, She sighed. I wont stop you, but I wont support you either. Just remember that you can always some home, ok? She looked at me, blue eyes filled with pain and I struggled not to feel guilty.

It wasnt that I wanted to worry her, it was just something that needed to be done. I nodded Yes mom.

She smiled a bit then looked out the window. It was late afternoon, and in a few hours the sun would set and I would be gone. Murmuring something about supper, she bustled off to the kitchen as I turned to face my father. So far, aside from the one comment to my mother, hed said nothing.

Well? I asked knowing, he had an opinion.

He shrugged and smiled at me from his layz boy Youre a teenager, it doesnt matter what I say or think. Your mind's made up. He closed his eyes for a moment and was silent. I think its risky and could end up hurting a lot of people, including you, but I also think I understand and I wish you the best of luck..."


I nodded; my father had grown up in a family with a long line of doctors. When hed been a bit older than me, hed taken the money he was supposed to use for medical school and started a business. There had been a lot or fighting and disownment and anger but in the end, after years of ups and down with his family and business, dad had come out okay. He might not understand exactly what i was I was going through, but he knew what it was like to try and break out of a mould.


*****


Night had come and I walked off my front porch, away from a teary eyed mother and silent but supportive father, into a twilight fantasy realm. The sky was a collage of dark blues and purples, a fine mist filled the evening air. Butterfree and Beautify flew overhead in swarms, wings shimmering in the moonlight. For a moment I stopped to enjoy it. Warm night air, the sound of cricket pokemon and the tranquility that seemed to emanate from everything.

I knelt down and unlocked my bike, placed the key and lock into my backpack, slipped it on straddled the bike, and began peddling my way to Professor Palms lab. I wove my way through the town, past the ice-cream parlours and down the main road. Past the comic shop, where the majority of my allowance had gone most of my life, and then I turned and made my way towards a small red brick building beside the lake.
I slowed down carefully, navigating the pothole ridden dirt road and pulled up to the side of the building.

I dismounted my bike and walked around the building to the front door and knocked. Fifteen seconds later the door opened, and Professor Palm stepped outside to greet me. The exchange had to be fast, because I had to bike from here to the rest stop on Route Eighteen before the sun rised.

Professor Palm, a short, stocky, pleasantly optimistic young woman smiled at me. Youre right on time kenichi. So I take it all went well at home? She inquired.

I nodded "Yeah, mom fussed for a bit but she eventually gave in, so its a go.

Professor Palm nodded, her long blonde hair falling into her eyes and she blew at it with a sigh. Well, I dont want to keep you too long, so here you go." She said, pulling out a tiny pokeball and handed it to me. Id already received my pokedex a few weeks ago, and had been studying it in preparation.

I smiled at her, enlarged the red and white sphere and pressed the relapse button. The bright light made my eyes hurt, but as it faded, and the dark red outline solidified, my pokemon appeared.

There hovering a few feet in front of me was a Zubat, the perfect pokemon for me. It was nocturnal, and therefore could travel at night, and it could also keep up with me.

Professor Palm reached out and squeezed my shoulder Take care of each other, okay? She asked.

I nodded and headed back towards my bike, Zubat following faithfully. As I pedalled down the road and turned onto the paved route, I allowed myself to look away from where I was going and at Zubat who was flying beside me about foot away. Accustomed to traveling around town in the dark, I had excellent night vision, and could easily make out her sleek form gliding through the air.

What should I call you? I asked. I held firm the belief that all pokemon had names in their own society and language, and that simply calling them by their species was an insult.

Zubat! Was the quick, sharp response, which naturally made no sense to me.

Grace? I asked. I could tell she was a female by her smaller wings, and slightly rounded ears.

Zubat, She replied with agitation.

Mm.. Air Razor? I tried, being a fan of the show beasties.

Zuzu, bat! I wasnt certain what that meant, but I was pretty sure she didnt like it.

Shade."

Bat

Umbra?"

Zubat zu

"Blackberry..?"



What? You share a similar color, I sighed this was not going to be as easy as I thought. Can you give me a hint or something? I wanted to start this partnership off right, I didnt want to force a name on her.

"Zubat, She replied, and swiftly circled around me, twisting, turning, making spirals and loops dancing in the air.

Dancing, dancer. Midnight dancer?

Bat! Zu, Zubat! She replied, contently and returned to her spot near my left side.

As I biked out of town, I whispered softly. Goodbye Vervain city. Hello world." I couldn't help but smile. What pair we were going to be, a midnight dancer and a shadow walker.

jirachiman876
June 19th, 2005, 07:27 PM
I don't know y i didn't read this on serebii but Ilike it. I think I remember popping in there once and reading it and not liking it for some stupid reason. Anyway I like it now, it's a very original idea. Someone alerrgic to the sun wants to go on a journey. Very interesting. I did find a few mistakes hidden in among the chapter.

slipped it on straddled the bike,

This is confusing. At first I had no idea how to correct it but i think all you need to do is add a comma after on.

legendaries and only knows what

The only knows what kinda needs something that knows what kenichi will meet. You also forgot to capatalize her name when Prof. Palm was speaking.

always some home,

I think you mean come.

before the sun rised.

It should be rose.
Heh I like this fic and I think if i can find it on serebii I'll read the rest of it.
jirachiman out

ladyumbra
June 29th, 2005, 07:36 AM
Dedication: Because Obsidian Blade asked so nicely, and because P-Arts was so willing to beta it.
Notes: Seeing as I cant remember ever seeing this move, this chapter contains my perception of the leech life attack.

Shadow Walker
Chapter 2

Zu, Dancers voice, soft and prodding, floated into my ear

Nnnn... sleeping I murmur, warm and comfortable under the covers, not wanting to wake up.

Bat, The voice was louder this time, and yet all I could think of was sleep.

Few more minutes.." I mumbled, rolling away from the source of the voice.

"Suddenly, there was a great weight on my shoulder, and I could feel Dancers breath on my neck.

Bat, bat, zubat! Her voice was louder than before, but not so high as to hurt my ears at the close range.

Alright, alright, you win Im getting up. I grumbled.

The response was instant. Dancer launched herself from my shoulder and into the air as I peeled back the covers on the bed. Swinging my legs over the side, and rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I assess the situation. Id made it safely to this rest stop on Route Eighteen last night. With there still being an hour of decent darkness left before dawn, Id let Dancer go off to hunt while I relaxed and prepared for bed.

The rest stop had been exactly what I was expecting, two wooden cabins, one for men and one for women. Each cabin held four pairs of bunk beds, and were supplied with electricity. Id been fortunate enough to arrive with no one else using the rest area, so I didnt have to worry about anyone coming in and turning on the lights. It also allowed me to pick a bed that wouldnt receive sunshine from the curtainless window in the cabin.

Now, as I looked out the window, I could see the a luminous half moon shining, and the stars starting to come out. The moonlight streaming into the window illumined Dancer, who was hanging upside down from a rafter, patiently waiting for me. I smiled softly to her and walked across the cold, wooden floor and opened the door.

Off you go now, stretch your wings, I said Ill have breakfast ready in a half hour. I waited until she unfurled her wings and flew out of the door and into the night, becoming a dark silhouette against the black sky.

As Dancer left, I set about making breakfast and packing up, so we could leave after we were finished eating. I dug through my backpack and pulled out a small, tin camping kettle. For a moment I looked at the reflection of my face in the metal, striking green eyes that still held a hint of tiredness peered into their owners. Dark purple hair with downward spiking bangs, seeming untamable without industrial gel, and hours of fussing, were reflected back to me.

Shaking my head, I walked outside of the cabin, relishing the feel of dewy grass on my bare feet as I headed to the watershed. Despite having every other modern comfort, including hot and cold running water in the shower house, this rest area had no drinkable water. I would have to use an old fashioned iron pump to draw water, then place a purifying tablet in it.

As I reached the pump, which is covered by three wooden walls and a slanting metal roof, I began to feel chilled. I chided myself for being so stupid, as to wander outside at night in bed clothes, and hurriedly began pumping water. It took about a minute of my hand clasped around the freeing metal handle, and pushing the heavy lever up and down for me to get any water. Thankfully, it only took a few seconds for the kettle to fill.

I hurried back to the cabin, and its inviting warmth. Again, I rifled through my bag, this time coming up with a small hotplate. After scouting the cabin for the outlet, I plugged it in and placed the kettle with the purifying tablet in it on top. While I waited for the water to boil, I began stripping the bed and folding the sheets. Fortunately, they became a very small bundle that was easy to carry in the backpack. My comforter was another matter. It required a great deal of fighting with to get into the space saver bag I had brought it in. However, once the kettle was done boiling, I could plug the small hand nozzle into the wall and shrink it to a more manageable size.

By the time I was finished packing and dressed, steam began to wind it way upwards in a silvery white stream from the kettle. I spotted dancer outside the window. Smiling at her timing, I padded across the room and opened the door for her. As she glided in and settled herself in the raftors once more, I headed for the kettle.

Unplugging the hotplate, I retrieved the two tin camping bowls Id set up. Using a cloth as an oven mitt I carefully poured some of the water into my bowl containing oatmeal, and some into a second bowl containing powder which mixed, made a nourishing broth for pokemon. Swooping down from her perch, Dancer settled beside me and waited for her soup to cool.

I spooned my oatmeal about, letting the heat escape, forcing it to cool faster and began eating. I could almost here my mother scolding me about eating breakfast at this hour. Although for me this was no normal. Since Id always kept regular hours before I decided to journey, Id spent the last month retraining my body to respond to a nocturnal schedule. Id snuck food into my room so I could eat when I should, and convinced my mother I was just very quiet during the day, while I was, in fact, sleeping. This was fairly easy, seeing as she worked at the hospital from nine to six everyday. My father worked nights but as I far as I know he never caught me sleeping. And if he did, he probably wouldnt have brought t up. Dad was like that. If it wasnt broken, he didnt try to fix it.

***********
Hours later, while pedaling swiftly down route eighteen, I thought about Michele, my American net pal, who was currently on a journey of her own, yet she managed to email me at least once a week. Hopefully Id be able to find a computer I could use safely every couple of weeks, to respond. With sunglasses, I could use a computer for a few minutes so long as the rest for the room was dark and I didnt stand to close to the screen. Michele had been one of the people whod urged me to find a way to leave no matter what, insisting that she believed in me and that I could do anything if I tried.

Comforted by the thought of knowing someone would be rooting for me, and remembering that the professors were counting on me, I pedaled just a bit faster. It wasnt necessary to speed up though. I had approximately nine hours to get to the next rest stop before dawn, and it should only take seven. High above me, living up to her name, Dancer twisted and twirled, occasionally swooping down so low her belly skimmed the grass before shooting back into the starlit sky.

I couldnt help but laugh at her antics. She like me was a child of the night, and was proving just how enjoyable the world was after dark. Up ahead, I could see the path forked, but I knew I had to go straight and up the steep grassy slope that lay before me.

Grinning, I called to Dancer "Race you to the top of the hill!

That said, I began pedaling furiously, legs pumping, with my body leaned forward over the handlebars. The cool wind wiped my face, but I didnt care. I was winning. Was being the keyword, having been startled by my challenge, Dancer had been a few beats behinds me, but now, with her nearly two foot wing span , she was catching up and Pulling ahead. Determined to put in a good show, I switched gears on my bike and ate away at her lead and we climbed the hill. Being nightime, with a cold wing, there were no nice thermals for her to glide on and shed actually have to work for lift, so there was hope.

Or not, by the time I was third of the way up the slope, Dancer had already reached the top and was intently watching something happening there. With a grunt of exertion I finally topped the hill and then stopped and sat still. There, only a few feet away, was a Mankey slamming an apricorn against a boulder, oblivious to us.

I looked around. There was perhaps twelve feet of hilltop and then varying degrees of downwards slopes, three medium, and two large boulders were scattered about, and a medium sized apricorn tree to our left. I glanced at Dancer, she was in fine shape, the race had taken next nothing out of her from what I could tell. I wasnt interested in catching Mankey. They were said to be pains to train, but it might be worth it to fight it. Since Mankey was ground bound, Dancer would have the advantage.

I turned to dancer and winked Go for it girl, use Leech Life.

In a flash, she was across the clearing and hovering over Mankey for a moment, both their bodys glowing with a faint white aura. As the aura faded, Mankey's eyes shut for a moment before snapping open. Quite aware of us now, and not appreciating our presence, it threw the but at Dancer. She dodged it easily but flew a bit higher and out of range nonetheless.

Mankey leapt onto the boulder and launched himself at Dancer, fists flying. Its shaggy white fur gleamed with good health in the moonlight, and I suddenly began to wonder if that his been such a good idea. Again, Mankey missed, but by a far narrower margin this time. As it hit the ground it crouched down for a moment to regain its composture, then ran across the wet grassy hill top and clambered up the tree. Having changed my mind yet again, I thought we had it in the bag Fly closer and give him a supersonic! I commanded

Following orders, she swooped down towards the tree and fired invisible sound waves towards the primate. In a move that throughly confused me, Mankey began bouncing around, shaking the tree branches. However, when the attack never hit I got it. Mankey had disrupted the sound waves by crating equally strong vibrations from the branches. I bit my lip and looked from Dancer, who was hovering a few feet from the tree, to Mankey, whos eyes gleamed with trouble. Before I could put two and two together, Mankey pulled back a branch and let it fly.

Echolocation moving at the speed of sound or not, Dancer was not prepared for the shower of apricorns that were tossed her way. As the hard, nutlike objects pelted her hide and battered her wings, I felt guilty for not realising that could happen. A second barrage was only half successful,as dancer managed to gain altitude an escape most of the flying projectiles. Determined to get Mankey back for that brilliant, but nasty trick, I began to call out orders again "Leech Life Mankey again Dancer, until its too weary to move!"

There was, however, a flaw to my plan, as I was about to discover. As both pokemon again began to gain white auras, Mankey was still climbing. Dancer, on the other hand, could not move or risk breaking the connection and ceasing the attack. It was over in a matter of seconds. Repeating its earlier branch catapult trick, Mankey sent himself hurtling through the air, right at Dancer. Since I was facing the moon, it was a strange sight, Dancer hovering looking like an angelic being with glowing white aura, and Mankey a fuzzy white ball with arms and legs soaring across the sky.

Mankey slammed into dancer just as the auras began to fade. Together, they fell through the air, twisting and turning, both struggling not to be landed upon. Dancer gave a cry of pain as they hit the ground her on the bottom. I reached for her pokeball and recalled her as Mankey stood up, thankfully the red beam of light absorbed her before its punch got through.

Turning to me, Mankey took a step foreward. I swallowed nervously there was very little chance, bike or not, I could outrun a Mankey. Particularly a mad one. My heart began to pound in my chest as it approached brandishing its fits. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a jet of water enveloped Mankey, slammind it into the tree, leaving behind an unconscious pokemon. Slowly I turned my head in the direction the attack had come to thank my rescuer.