ARRGH! POSTS DISAPPEARED! TWO CHAPTERS GONE! FORUM DIED! DAMN YOU DIALGA!!!
Anyway, I shall now repost the chapters again... oh, and for the two comments made that I hadn't replied to before deletion - I appreciated them. I shall regive shorten responses, as well as responses to new reviews...
Anyway, a thing to note - in each chapter (not including the prologue), there shall be a 'pastry/pastry-related item' to find! Just a random thing that I've done. Sometimes it is obvious, other times hidden. So enjoy!
After driving through the desert for an hour, having emerged from the rocky walls of Eclo Canyon a good while back, Wes decided he had put enough distance between himself and the remnants of Team Snagem's base. Former base, Wes thought to himself as he cautiously tested the brakes, slowly bringing his vehicle to a halt. It had taken him a while to figure out the controls of this Zoomer which hadn't been helped by Umbreon trying to chew them. He disembarked tenderly, checking that his footing was steady after such a bumpy ride.
"Umbreon Umb!" (We sure left that place with a BANG!) Umbreon said happily from a side seat on the Zoomer, only to quieten as Espeon who was sitting next to him glared silently at him. Wes merely grinned as he stretched his arms and legs, pondering what would happen now.
Right... if anything, I did this region a good turn. Snagem at worst will be out of action for a while, but they may come after me. Gonzap isn’t about to forget this, and sadly I doubt I’ll be forgetting his face anytime soon. I’ll have to watch my back, but I doubt they’ll come looking for me today.
Wes then turned back and looked back towards Eclo Canyon. A satisfying cloud of black smoke sat at the edge of the horizon, prompting another smile from Wes. After the recent event, he felt…. free.
Free from Team Snagem. Free from having to sneak around towns to steal Pokémon. Free from the guilt he felt whenever he had to hand in a Pokémon that he knew would end up becoming a Shadow Pokémon. Free from Gonzap’s ugly face. And free from the poor quality food that Team Snagem could muster. Whoever heard of sandwiches that actually contained sand?
Wes’s stomach rumbled at the relief of not having to eat such poor fare. Speaking of which...
“How about some dinner, Espeon and Umbreon?” asked Wes.
“Espi!” (About time you said that!) acknowledged the Psychic Pokémon. The elegant light-purple cat gave a small sniff of disdain, as if Wes should have suggested it earlier. He then yawned, and twitched his forked tail. A small crimson ruby situated in the middle of Espeon’s forehead sparkled in the scorching sunlight, also seemingly in agreement.
“Umbri!” (Bacon for me!) cried Umbreon, in a more enthusiastic manner. The pitch-black Pokémon was sillier than Espeon, and also far more easygoing. His tail was of an ordinary size and shape compared to Espeon’s elegant forked one, and unlike his brother, he didn’t possess any psychic powers – only an immunity to it, being a Dark-type Pokémon. Upon his body were numerous yellow rings, which mysteriously faded out and reappeared again, over and over.
"Ok, then. I guess the Outskirt Stand should be the closest place," Wes replied. He had a decent idea on what his Pokémon said; he had known them for a good while now, and his Espeon also helped out a fair bit with translations if it was ever needed.
“Umbri! Umbreon!!” (I don’t care where, just get there NOW! I’M HUNGRY!)
“All right, calm down, calm down,” Wes said as they clambered onto the Zoomer again. Wes gunned the odd engine and continued on the same route. As they travelled, irregularly shaped rocks sprung out of the sandy ground as they navigated through them. The region of Orre was for the most part desert, and the only objects of interest to see in parts like these were the rocks and cacti.
“Umbre!” (Are we there yet?) Umbreon asked presently.
“Oh, quieten down,” grumbled Wes. “At any rate though, I can see it now.”
Espeon and Umbreon looked into the distance and made questioning growls at the sight of a dull red train - of all things - standing in the desert. Wes merely grinned at their bewilderment and pulled up by the train. It had been the beginnings of a grand transportation scheme set up for Orre, which fell apart after a few weeks. The only part of the railway system ever created was the train itself, which had now turned into an inn by the current owner. It served as a rare sight-seeing object for tourists who got lost and found themselves in Orre somehow, an event which occurred every now and then.
Parked by the train there was another smaller vehicle, resembling a ute and far closer to a car than the Zoomer. Wes glanced at it. A large sack was sitting on the back part of the pale-green vehicle. Two men - one had a flame-like colour-schemed hair that was spiked up, while the other had dark blue hair - were by the car, clearly bickering to each other.
“So you’ve done securing that knot, Folly?” asked the blue-haired one. He brushed some sand from his bright orange jacket, hunching over to check the bag within the car.
"Yes I have, Trudly," responded Folly. Wes noted that this one seemed to have a slightly better sense of style – his hair looked somewhat cool to the teenager, as did his blue singlet and glasses.
“Good. Let’s go now! We’re in a rush, remember?”
Wes observed them enter the vehicle curiously, as Umbreon glanced up at the train with confusion, ignoring the activity from the strangers. Espeon did the same; it was a rare action for the Psychic type to mimic his brother, but an announcement that suddenly rang from a loudspeaker hanging from the train informing them it was due to depart in ten minutes for Hoenn helped hold his attention.
How does a train with no train tracks get to a region an ocean away? Espeon pondered. This region sure is broken...
“Umm, Folly? Why aren’t you driving?” asked Trudly from inside after a lengthy pause.
“I, um, seemed to have misplaced the car keys...”
Wes quietly laughed to himself, and turned to the train. As he went to enter it they snuck in close behind his heels. Inside the train, a large man behind a counter noticed Espeon’s and Umbreon’s cautious looks and laughed merrily.
“Never seen a train in the middle of the desert, have they? Oh, where are my manners? Welcome to the Outskirt Stand. What can I do for you, sir?” he asked.
“Any chance of dinner perhaps?” asked Wes. The man chuckled again enthusiastically, his warm personality spreading like a blanket.
“Of course! Sit down, sit down. By the way, people call me Kirk.” Kirk promptly pulled a hamburger out of nowhere and two food bowls for Wes’ Pokémon. They quickly forgot their worries and began consuming their meals.
Wes took a moment to observe his surroundings before consuming the burger. It was a unique place, with a mini-shop set up by the counter, and a few people sitting around watching the small, dusty television and chatting about the velocities of different Swellow. Nearby a man was playing a harmonica, the simple tune seeming to loop over and over without any sign of ending.
Wes stopped eating to look upon the man further. The entirely bright-pink hair looked disturbing to say the least, and the sideburns didn’t help the matter either.
“Oh never mind him,” said Kirk. “That’s just Pinky.”
“Don’t call me that!” exclaimed the person with annoyance, ceasing playing to glare angrily at Kirk. “My name is Willie and before you ask, this hair came about from a hairdressing accident…”
Umbreon looked upon the person with a questioning look.
“Someone’s Kecleon freaked out the hairdresser and she spilled this dye in my hair,” Willie explained. “So I guess I’m stuck with it until it fades out - it doesn’t wash out for some stupid reason…”
“Man that’s unlucky, Pinky…” muttered Kirk with a grin. Willie just glared at him and resumed playing, as the wind outside picked up.
Later that night, Wes was settling down to sleep on a cushioned seat like the rest of the people inside. He had been watching a boring news investigation about a coffee shop, which was typical of the average television programs only available in Orre.
It was starting to get interesting when one of the reporters, Mary, was ‘assaulted’ by a random old man. He had started shouting about how he couldn’t get coffee and how that was such a tragedy. He wasn’t letting Mary past into the shop to interview the owner and was about to start throwing coffee mugs everywhere, when suddenly the investigation got interrupted.
“We interrupt this, eh, interesting news investigation with a special bulletin with some, uh, news. News, people! Police has confirmed that the notorious criminal gang Team Snagem has had their base destroyed in an explosion.”
Willie stopped playing his harmonica as everyone clambered around the T.V. Images of the building - or what was left of it - were shown in quick procession, as Wes watched from his seat, remaining quiet.
“E...Espi…” (Wow... didn’t think we did that much…) Espeon quietly commented to Wes, in awe of the destruction.
“Umbre Umb!” (Ha, it looks cool! Go us!)
“The location of Team Snagem’s hideout was previously unknown but now police have gotten into the act and have made arrests. They are currently interrogating these people. The cause for the explosion is currently unknown, but we assume that something explosive is at fault there. We will now return to our program.”
With that, the T.V program returned to Mary running away from the man who was yelling “WHERE’S MY COFFEEEEE!” as he gave chase with surprising speed, stopping only to throw a coffee mug at the camera.
Kirk broke the silence that followed by opening a bottle of champagne and announced that the drinks were on him. Everyone cheered in response, moving to the bar counter with astonishing speed, as Wes quietly smiled to himself before joining in the celebrations.
The next morning after a small breakfast, Wes departed the Outskirt Stand and stood on the ramp leading from the train’s entrance, with no real idea on what he should do next. Deciding to not worry about it for the moment, he decided to look at Folly and Trudly who to his amusement had seemed to have been unsuccessful in their search for the car keys as the two were still scrambling around in the sand muttering under their breathe. Suddenly Wes heard a soft cough from behind him - Willie had followed him out.
“Hey, Wes - want to have a battle?”
Wes thought for a moment. He didn’t really like Willie as he wouldn’t stop playing the same annoying tune over and over again on his harmonica throughout the evening. But it would be good practice for Espeon and Umbreon, and Wes loved nothing more than a good battle.
“Sure, you’re on."
They quickly moved off the ramp and onto a dusty clearing in front of the train as Wes’s Pokémon hopped down from a window and raced in front of Wes, eager for the battle to begin.
“Right, I’m pumped!” Willie began, grinning as he adopted a pose.
“That’s... good, I suppose,” Wes responded. “But maybe you should-”
“Yeeeeeeaaaah! I’m burning now! I’m on fire!” Willie continued, as Espeon exchanged glances with Umbreon. “It’s full-throttle time! Vrum! Vrooom!”
Silence followed, save for an encouraging shout from Kirk of ‘Go get him, Pinky!’.
“Stop calling me that!” shouted Willie. “Go! Moltres and Mewtwo!” he called as he sent out two Pokémon.
Wes stared. Surely…he didn’t call his two Zigzagoon after Legendary Pokémon.
“Um, ah… oh dear...” muttered Kirk in disbelief, looking on to the two identical brown-and-white striped raccoons. They stared back at Espeon and Umbreon with small, black, beady eyes.
Quickly recovering from that oddity, Wes flew into action. “Espeon, attack with Confusion on, eh, Moltres, and Umbreon, Bite on Mewtwo…”
“Ok, Moltres and Mewtwo, Tackle the both of them!”
Right, thought Wes, this will be over soon, as he watched the two Zigzagoon take heavy hits. Espeon shrugged off one of the Zigzagoon’s Tackle attacks, and responded by staring intensely at it, sending a wave of psychic energy at his opponent. It cried in pain as it crumpled under the mental strain. Meanwhile Umbreon evaded the other Zigzagoon’s Tackle with ease, before counter-attacking by biting the side of the body of the other unfortunately named Zigzagoon.
“Finish off with Return and Secret Power!” commanded Wes. Before Willie could shout at his Zigzagoon to dodge, Espeon rapidly charged in and struck his Zigzagoon with his body, sending it flying straight into the train. It gave a pathetic whimper as it fell, and promptly fainted. Umbreon merely moved away and sent a ball of electricity at his opponent, which succumbed to a similar fate as its friend.
“Aw, man…return,” said Willie sadly in defeat as returned his two Zigzagoon to his Poké Balls. “You’re pretty good!” he conceded with a grin.
“Yeah, you made quick work of Pinky!” exclaimed Kirk. But Willie was too busy playing the same old tune on his harmonica again to notice.
Suddenly, Trudly give out a shout of delight, as all turned to look at him.
“I found them!” he said happily, holding up the keys in the air.
“Great, and about time! Let’s go!” said Folly gruffly as they hopped in the vehicle. “Oh, by the way, where were they?”
“Umm, it doesn’t matter,” said Trudly quickly. Folly frowned - he answered a little too quickly for his liking.
“No, really, where were they?” he asked.
“Well, they were…” Trudly paused, then in a much smaller voice continued, “in my pocket...”
A loud onslaught of words flew out of Folly’s mouth, as everyone moved outside to look at what the commotion was about.
“You’re telling me that we spent more than AN ENTIRE DAY looking for those keys, when they were…” screamed Folly in frustration, as his words started to disintegrate into unintelligible shouting.
As Trudly drove off while trying to ignore Folly’s shouting, Wes noticed something odd – as he continued watching, it appeared that the sack in the back part of the vehicle was moving.
Hmm, there’s something odd about that, thought Wes. And given the size of the bag and all...well, I’ve nothing better to do, so I might as well follow them. Wes climbed onto the Zoomer along with his Pokémon, and with a hasty ‘bye’ to Kirk and Willie, he followed the tracks of the car.
After a while of driving and following the strange loop-the-loops the tracks seemed to make – Wes assumed that the two men hadn’t really known where to go - Wes pulled up next to their vehicle by the region’s artificial oasis in the form of a town. Both the men and the strange sack had disappeared, but footsteps made in the sand led towards and into the town’s front entrance. Wes hurried inside, noticing that water was an evident theme of the town - troughs of water could be seen flowing within the white walls of the town. A large fountain took up a large part of the town’s square, placed symbolically in the middle of the town. The architecture was rather astounding, with magnificent, pure-white buildings arrayed symmetrically around the fountain, and with stones arranged simply yet effectively for the patterned pavement. Towering palm trees dotted the settlement as well, accompanied with various other water features, such as small waterfalls, and a cascading spherical building near the rear of town, spouting the wet substance - probably the town’s well-renowned Colosseum, Wes pondered. It all looked modern and sophisticated - overall the city was a sight to behold, especially for desert-dwellers who didn't see much of water anywhere else.
“Umbreon!” (This must be Phenac City by the looks of things!) declared Umbreon.
“Esp…” (Well duh…) Espeon said tiredly, noticing a large sign stating ‘Welcome to Phenac City - the town of water, water and… well, water!’ by the entrance.
“Well, what’s happening here?” Wes murmured as he approached a group of people. Among them was Trudly and Folly. It seemed that the two men were trying to bring the sack – which was now shaking violently - within the city, and were failing in fantastic style. A lady and a man, the latter dressed like a marathon runner and with a small, gray Castform floating behind him looked on worriedly.
“What’s… in there?” she asked nervously.
“We’re not robbers, I swear! We’re just kidna-” Trudly began, before stopping himself.
“Um, ahh…” stammered Folly, sweating from more than just the heat.
“It’s a, um, a rabid crazy wild Pokémon! Stand back - it’s vicious and needs to be taken to the Pokémon Centre now!” claimed Trudly hurriedly, before he tried to walk onwards.
“Get me out of here!” shouted the thing inside the bag. Wes and the others glared at Trudly, who scratched his head nervously.
“Um… it’s so crazy it can… talk?” offered Trudly weakly.
“You’re a kidnapper!” shouted the lady.
Folly winced. “Yeah, well, you never stop us. We’ve got Pokémon ready for battle!”
“Well actually you only have Pokémon, I left mine with…” began Trudly, as he and Folly clumsily set the bag down.
“Shut UP!” Folly shouted, anxious to quieten down his inept teammate.
“I’ll take you on!” cried the athlete, as the Castform floated forward and gave an attempt at a terrifying squeak with little success.
“Are you serious? Your Castform against…” Folly paused for a moment, thinking. “Aha! TWO Pokémon? You’ll never win!” he boasted.
Wes decided to take action, as nobody else in the town seemed to register the fact that there was a kidnapping occurring despite all of the shouting going on. “I’ll battle,” he said as he signalled to Espeon and Umbreon to get ready.
“Ah…you… will?” Folly asked, sounding amazed. He probably hadn’t had to deal with someone actually accepting a battle before, Wes noted.
“Well… fine then! Prepare to lose!” said Folly, trying to sound confident. “Go, my Whismur!” He fumbled for his Poké Balls and sent out two cute-looking pink Pokémon. They were minute in size compared to Espeon and Umbreon, had large, adorable ears and didn't look capable of putting up a good fight any more than the Castform.
Right… he thinks he can beat me with those? thought Wes. This’ll be a piece of cake.
A mere piece of cake later, Folly and Trudly were running out of town in defeat. Espeon and Umbreon growled at their retreating backs, ready to take them down as well if needed. As Wes watched them leave, the athlete got to work on the knot of the sack.
“Huh… this knot is tough to undo…”
Wes frowned. Why bother with untying a knot when you could do it the easy way?
“Umbreon, Bite the rope!” he ordered, as his Pokémon leapt at the bag and bit the rope into pieces. A moment later a girl struggled out of the sack, breathing in large amounts of fresh air. She was small and dainty, and had the odd combination of blue eyes and orange hair.
“Now then, are you all right?” asked the woman.
“Yes… I think so,” said the girl, stretching her arms and grimacing in mild pain. The teenager then brushed dust off of her clothing – a blue jacket with pink trimming which covered up a purple shirt, a white skirt and pink Ugg boots. Wes raised an eyebrow, noticing this odd sort of choice of footwear for the desert.
“Good. After being tied up in a sack, you're lucky you didn’t suffer any mild…”
Suddenly the girl smiled oddly and waved her arms about, and shouted “MY NAME’S ROMARIO AND I LIKE CHOCOLATE PIE!”
“…It seems I spoke too soon…” said the woman.
“Hey - where did she go?” asked the athlete.
“ZROOM ZROOM!” shouted the confused person, who was aboard Wes’s Zoomer. She then attempted to drive the Zoomer, but looked confused by the various handles and the absence of a steering wheel.
“Don’t touch that!” cried Wes.
Fortunately the girl abruptly fell out of the Zoomer in comical fashion. She lay on the ground and started spinning around and around, smiling idiotically.
“I’m scared,” muttered the athlete. “Being in that bag without much oxygen mustn’t have done much good on her…”
Wes considered this. “I have an idea. Espeon! Use a gentle Confusion on her to get her...acting normal! Be careful though…” he warned, before realising how odd his command must had sounded.
Espeon stared into the girl’s eyes, and focused his mind onto hers. After a moment, the girl seemed to calm down.
“Wha… what happened to me?” she asked, seemingly confused as to why she was lying on the ground in a strange position.
“Oh, good, you’re all right now,” soothed the lady, helping the girl to her feet. “You were being kidnapped by two men, but this young man saved you. You were a bit, well, out of it a moment ago though…”
“Why, what did I do?” she queried.
“Umm… never mind,” said the woman hurriedly. “Anyway, what’s your name?”
“It’s… Rui,” she said quietly.
“Any idea why they kidnapped you?” asked Wes, as he wondered that very thing. She looked rather harmless – leastways, when she hadn’t been running about screaming nonsensical words. And oddly, despite having being just kidnapped and rescued, she seems less panicked than Wes imagined she would have been.
“Well, actually…” began Rui.
That's the chapter - comments and so forth appreciated, naturally.
And here is the spoiler containing what characters in the chapter are like in the game:
Folly and Trudly - Two underlings of a character called 'Miror B'. Very stupid in the game, and not the best battlers. Have unique hair-styles (not up to Miror B's standards however) and kidnap the girl Rui in the game. They are also pathetic and have little bravery. They're pretty much the same in the games as they are here - stupid. They feature a fair bit in the game, and some more in particular in a few chapters time.
Kirk - Owner of the Outskirt stand. If he had a name in the game, I don't remember it... Friendly guy who sells you items.
Willie - one of the people in the Outskirt stand, and he is the first trainer battle as well, who randomly gets his own specific battle music! Has two Zigzagoon, and strange unsettling pink hair, and a strange opening battle speech. Note that the background music for the Outskirt stand is played by a harmonica - that borders on enjoyable to near-annoying at times if listened to for too long.
T.V. report - they feature occasionally in the game, and in this instance, it tells of Team Snagem's loss. Hurrah - you're on the news! However T.V. reports are boring after a while and don't change often. Decided to make it more 'interesting' by referencing the 'coffee man' in R/B/Y/FR/LG, that obstructs you because he didn't have any coffee...
Phenac City - despite being in a desert, it has water flowing all over the place. Talk about luxury. A rather pretty town with a large fountain in the middle of the place.
Rui - a 'sidekick' in the game which follows you all over the place and got kidnapped by Folly and Trudly. Features heavily in the game how shall be explained soon. The specifics of how she does that is never explained in the game...
Bystanders - two bystanders during the kidnapping that actually react to the event. Everyone else ignores the event... They talk to you at times - one of them always runs around a fountain and claims that it is his 'role' in the city, and has a Castform that follows him around.