The Miror B. battle is next...I want to see what Wes makes of the Ludicolo extravaganza.
As for Miror B - well, that's not for a good while yet. Haven't even gotten up to him yet after chapter 9 (although pretty close now) - I've gone more in-depth into other aspects (meaning more jokes! and explanations!) and Miror B isn't until the end of the events of Pyrite... never fear, there are a few scenes involving him here and there for exta measure.
Great so far...I'll try to read the rest when I get home.
Here's the next chapter people - that shall 'explain' a few events and devleop a few more NPC's. Also, everyone's favourite Officer Johnson shall reappear. Let's get to it.
Wes yawned as he woke up, groggily sitting up as his bed creaked nosily in response and stretching his arms out. Unknown to him, he had bumped an alarm clock off the desk besides him onto Umbreon who yelped and jumped a metre into the air as the clock rung obnoxiously loud.
“What’s wrong with you?” asked Wes sleepily. Umbreon glared at Wes.
“Hungry?” asked Wes. He rummaged through his bag and pulled out a can of food for his Pokémon he had picked up at the shops back in Phenac. “Here you are,” he offered, placing it by Umbreon.
“Um... Umbreon!” (Um… that’s not it, but good enough!) he said happily, as he deftly bit open the can and started eating. Meanwhile, Rui also sat up and rubbed her eyes as she looked at Wes from her bed on the other side of the room.
“Sleep well?” asked Wes.
“Sleep well?” she asked back with an eye roll. “What with you snoring and that bloke next door talking in his sleep…”
“Umm… sorry…” Wes apologised. He scratched his head and tried to remember the last time someone commented on his sleeping behaviour. “But what do you mean someone was talking in their sleep?”
“Uh huh. Something about a Zigzagoon using Tackle… but I took care of him,” grinned Rui.
“Espeon!” (You bet she did! Poor guy…) yawned Espeon, waking up and slowly stretching out his legs. Seeing Umbreon eating, he used his psychic powers to get a can of Poke food from Wes’ bag to float to him. He neatly separated lid from can, and discarded the lid in a nearby bin.
“Sure whatever, serve yourself…” mumbled Wes. He decided that he really didn’t want to know what Rui did to the sleep talker next door for the moment. He was simply too tired at the moment to worry about that.
“What’s the time?” he asked Rui.
”Well, it’s…” Rui began, consulting her watch, “almost eleven o’clock,” she answered mildly.
Wes sat upright. “Eleven o’clock?”
“Uh huh. Guess yesterday’s… occurrences really took it out of us.”
“Fair enough. Man, I’m hungry…” muttered Wes, watching Espeon and Umbreon chow down their food. “I guess Makuhita and Croconaw are also hungry. What say you give them a formal welcome, Espeon and Umbreon?”
“Umbreon…” (Fine… hope they’re not all crazy like before,) said Umbreon, as Wes took two Poké Balls off his belt and glanced at them for a short moment. He then directed them towards the ground, and pressed the button on the red-white colour split that decorated the spherical capsule. Multicoloured beams of light shot out of the Poké Balls, travelling in a jagged line towards the ground, illuminating the room. Upon contact with the ground, the beams of light diverted into two separate 3D shapes. Almost instantly, Makuhita and Croconaw emerged from the kaleidoscope of coloured illuminations that had materialised on the floor.
“Esp?” (Why does he always try to make that process exceedingly spectacular?)
Wes ignored this comment and observed the two Shadow Pokémon. He was still uneasy about them, especially as Makuhita had attacked him before he was snagged. Then again, Makuhita didn’t seem that aggressive against him right now. Perhaps attacking trainers was a concept that Shadow Pokémon didn’t disrespect in their altered state. Wes shuddered. Just how did Snagem make Shadow Pokémon anyway? And where?
Meanwhile, Makuhita glared around at his surroundings. Upon seeing Croconaw, it gave a low grow. The blue wide crocodile stared coldly down at the stouter Makuhita in response.
“Strange…” muttered Rui.
“What is?” asked Wes.
“Makuhita’s aura seems slightly smaller than before… or maybe I’m just imagining it.”
“Maku! Hita Hita!” (How dare you glare at me! I am far stronger than you!) shouted Makuhita loudly, waving his arms in the air menacingly.
“Croc-naw,” (I have no interest in what you say,) sniffed Croconaw disdainfully.
“His aura is smaller? Maybe… I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but one never knows…” Wes trailed off uncertainly.
“What do you think… could they become… normal again?” asked Rui.
“Maku!” (You’re just jealous of my strength!)
“Croc? Croconaw?” (What’s there to be jealous of? Your stupid squinty eyes, or your exceedingly large mass?)
“MAKU!” (That’s IT!) cried Makuhita, launching himself at Croconaw. Croconaw deftly dodged the attack, but Makuhita anticipated this and quickly changed direction, charging at Croconaw. Just before a full-on brawl ensured, both Pokémon found themselves frozen on the spot.
“Espeon…” (Behave, you two,) warned Espeon sternly.
“Maybe… but it’s probably too early to tell. However there’s the fact that you can discern Shadow Pokémon from normal ones, which means the shadow process is imperfect. And who’s to say that the shadow process is permanent?” said an oblivious Wes.
“I hope that’s the case,” replied an equally ignorant Rui, not noticing the scuffle between Wes’s new Shadow Pokémon.
“Maku!” (Stupid Espeon! Can’t you let me finish him?) Makuhita said. He tried to shake his fist at the Psychic type.
“Croc…” (Quiet, you annoying incompetent thing,) Croconaw said with a sniff.
“Umbreon, Umbreon?” (Why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends…?) the Dark type tried to reason. The off-key singing from the Pokémon did attract Wes’ attention again, who knelt down and turned to them.
“Hello, you two. As you may have guessed, I’m your new trainer. This is Espeon and Umbreon,” he said, nodding to Espeon and Umbreon. He tried a smile, but it fell slightly when Makuhita responded by giving Espeon a death stare, and Croconaw folded his arms and looked the other way. Espeon gave Wes a look of mild amusement.
“Umb...Umbreon!” (Oh calm down... you’re all acting like new born Bonsly!)
“Croc!” (You can talk, Mr. Moan-a-lot!) retorted Croconaw. Umbreon growled in response.
Wes sensed something was not right. He knew his own Pokémon well enough to get the gist of what they were saying - Espeon in particular was quite the translator being a Psychic Pokémon. And although he was unfamiliar with Makuhita and Croconaw, he knew that his new Pokémon wouldn’t be winning the Nobel Prize for Peace anytime soon.
“I guess I’ll have to resort to the language of all Pokémon then,” he said, grabbing his bag. “Hungry?” he asked Makuhita and Croconaw, as he pulled out another couple of cans of food. Immediately the tension in the air evaporated, as Croconaw and Makuhita promptly forgot about their argument.
“Maku? Hita hit!” (Food? Stupid Trudly never fed me!) Makuhita exclaimed, grabbing the can and squeezing it until the lid popped off. “Makuhita,” (And he wondered why I kept punching him,) he added.
“Croc Naw!” (Finally somebody’s talking sense here!)
Wes smiled. He knew just how to solve a quarrel between Pokémon. He turned to Rui as Makuhita and Croconaw quickly finished their meals.
“How about we go for a late breakfast?” he asked.
“I was waiting for you to say that,” said Rui. “Although wouldn’t it be an early lunch?”
“No, I still say it’s called breakfast,” claimed Wes, recalling his Shadow Pokémon into his Poké Balls, not quite trusting them to walk the streets of Pyrite without causing mayhem. After all, they were Shadow Pokémon, and he didn’t want the goons from Cipher to see either of them in his possession.
“What’s wrong with calling it lunch? It’s late enough as it is,” queried Rui, as they left the abandoned hotel.
“What about… ‘brunch’?” offered Wes.
“‘Brunch’? That doesn’t sound appealing at all!”
Yet again, Pyrite town presented problems to Wes and Rui. Wes resorted to using his Pokémon to help search for a place to eat. They had split up with Rui and Espeon one way, and Wes and Umbreon the other way. They met up outside a closed Poké Mart with a sign on the door proclaiming that the owner had ‘Gone Fishing’ - where the owner would fish in the desert Wes had no idea. It didn’t seem that he would be back yet at any rate.
“Any luck?” asked Wes.
“No,” replied Rui. Wes noted that Rui was strangely distracted by a tall nearby lamppost randomly placed in the middle of town.
“What’s up with this place?” grumbled Wes. “No restaurants, no fast food takeaways - heck, there’s not even a shoddy kebab stand in sight!”
“Let’s ask,” decided Rui, walking towards a bystander with his hands in his pockets. “Excuse me…” she began.
“ARRGH! Get away from me!” the man shouted, running several paces away from the girl. “You’re trying to hit me up for money, aren’t you?” he accused.
“Umm… no, I just want to know…” continued Rui, slightly frightened by this outburst herself.
“Well I’m NOT giving anyone any more money!” declared the man, running off. Rui blinked.
Just then, the old woman that had chased them the night previous opened her door to her house, shouted “Stop trying to sell me money!” and slammed the door shut.
“This town is… weird,” exclaimed Rui.
“Espeon,” (This region is weird,) Espeon corrected.
“It seems most people here are on edge. I don’t particularly blame them - judging the mess this town is in - and the police service…” Wes said, referring to Johnson. “Is there anyone who is in charge here?” he wondered.
“Hey! I found a place!” declared Rui, reading a sign by a house near the town’s entrance. Wes went up to the notice which stated in large print:
Wes scrutinised the sign. Frankly he did not go into the mysteries of the future all that much - especially after Espeon had once told him he would have been a good violinist. How very wrong was he. He also didn’t like the sound of the disclaimer at the bottom of the sign, but a meal was a meal.
“Espeon…” (I HAD told him ‘guitarist’, not ‘violinist’, but how he misunderstood me…) moaned Espeon, reading Wes’s thoughts, but commenting to no one in particular.
Rui was much more positive about the find, taken in by the mysterious dark interior of the house she could see through the windows.
“Doesn’t this look great? A meal and entertainment!” exclaimed Rui excitedly.
“Umm, yeah, sure - seems, um, ok…” muttered Wes, unable to cover up his lack of enthusiasm. Rui ignored this as she entered the house.
“GADZOOKS! Who dare enters this place?” demanded an elderly lady, clad in a brown cloak and overly-large glasses.
“Great, another weirdo…” muttered Wes. The woman noticed Wes, and stared at him, before letting loose a few profound metaphors.
“To find what you seek, you must first stop looking,” she declared.
“Uh-huh…” said Wes, unconvinced. “What about an Itemfinder?” challenged Wes.
“Umm… And to be truly strong, one must be truly weak!” stated the woman, avoiding Wes’s question.
“Uh-huh. Sure…” said Wes, with a look of disbelief on his face. Personally, he thought, to be strong, it takes a lot of training and perseverance. Or have a really powerful Pokémon. That also works.
“Night is day, and gravity pulls things up,” continued the prophetic woman.
“What?” retorted Wes.
“Shh, Wes, she’s a clairvoyant - she knows what she’s saying,” whispered Rui. “We’re here for the special deal…” she said, more loudly to the woman.
“Indeed. Welcome to my humble house. Please, sit down and eat.” The woman nodded to two chairs, which Wes strangely did not remember seeing before. He shrugged off that fact and sat down and devoured the offered meal of eggs and bacon, followed by a few croissants. The food was sufficient enough for both the hungry teens.
“Yes, you see, one seems to get more customers in this town if you offer food…” said the woman. “And one gets a more accurate reading if the customer is satisfied.”
“Sounds about right,” agreed Rui, feeling better already.
“Hmm… do any of you have any psychic Pokémon?” queried the woman.
“Espeon!” (That’s me!) exclaimed Espeon, who trotted forward and jumped elegantly onto the table with an air of superiority. Umbreon merely glared.
“Aha! I knew I felt some other presence here…” mumbled the woman, holding her forehead dramatically. “Now before we begin…” the woman coughed and made the ‘give-me-money’ hand sign.
At least she has her priorities set straight, reflected Wes, slightly amused as he paid the wrinkled hag, who scrutinised the amount given to her. Satisfied, she promptly pulled a crystal ball out of nowhere and set it on the table.
“Is that a giant pearl?” asked Rui, amazed at the size of the colossal shiny object.
“Yes. It was found nearby here with a deceased Spoink - works better that way,” stated the woman mildly. “Now, both of you, hands on the pearl. Do you mind if I, ahem, use your Espeon for this? Only one gets a better reading with one’s psychic Pokémon helping and all.”
Wes shrugged - he didn’t particularly mind. He and Rui placed their hands on the smooth cold pearl.
“Through the power of the great Mew, I utter the words of great magical power: Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam!” cried the woman. Wes raised an eyebrow at the choice of words claimed to be words of ‘power’. Then he jumped - the pearl’s see-through surface was suddenly clouded with swirling shapes.
“Hmm…” muttered the woman. She suddenly gave a loud gasp.
“What is it?” asked Rui curiously.
“Umm… oh, you will meet a tall dark stranger,” said the seer weakly. “Umm… that is all… you may leave now.”
Outside, Wes and Rui looked at each other. “That was a waste of a ‘reading’, but at least we ate well!” declared Wes.
“I’m a bit disappointed with it,” agreed Rui, as they went into town to explore, and hopefully solve the trouble with Cipher.
Inside the diviner’s house however, the woman was still staring at the pearl, seemingly trying to recover the secrets it held.
“So, they stand a decent chance to clear up this nasty business in this town,” muttered the woman to the empty air. “So be it - and I do hope they succeed…”
Unaware of the fortune-teller’s knowledge of their quest, they walked on back through the town to their hotel rooms for a short rest. The hotel keeper was still absent.
“What shall we do now?” asked Rui. “Ask people about Team Cipher?
“Are you crazy? Nobody marches up to someone asking if they know anything about a criminal gang! What if they are part of Team Cipher? We might as well tie ourselves in a sack, paint it bright orange and go up to them shouting ‘Look at me! We have your Shadow Pokémon!’”
“All right, all right then!” interrupted Rui. “I get the picture. But how are going to find out about them?” she demanded.
“By being subtle and not arousing attention,” answered Wes. “We’ll just go sightseeing in the town-” Rui smirked at the thought that Pyrite had much to ‘sightsee’ “-for now, and see what we can pick up about Cipher the safe way. Listen to talk on the street, and lie low for the time being. Besides, I’ve worked with Team Snagem - I know how to do these things,” stated Wes.
“Fair enough - but what are we going to ‘sightsee’ today?” she said, raising an eyebrow.
“I guess we could have a look at the windmill and the Colosseum here. That should take up whatever is left of the day,” offered Wes.
“Ok then - lead the way, Wes,” commanded Rui jokingly. They walked out only for the two to be met by a shapely female teenager who eyed Wes approvingly.
“Look what we have here. You’re quite the hottie! Why not lose that wallflower with you and be my sweetie?” drawled the female. Wes with unease stepped back at this sudden approach, when Rui charged forward glaring at this newcomer.
“Wait a second! Who are you to call me a wallflower? What makes me a wallflower?” she demanded.
“Aha! She’s all serious! Uncool! I’m only teasing out of boredom. A guy like him - not my taste,” mocked the teen.
Hey, not your taste? Wes thought impulsively.
“Gah! What is it with you? He’s my… I mean Wes! Be a man - stomp her down!” shouted Rui.
“Stomp? Who, me?” retorted the newcomer. “Ahaha! That’s a laugh! I’ll go easy on you... Hang on, where’d he go?” asked the girl. Rui turned - there was no sign of Wes, who had evidently chosen this moment to leave the dispute. Frowning furiously, she turned around, abruptly kicked the girl in the leg and marched off through a Pokémon battle, ignoring the cries of protest from the trainers and Pokémon alike.
“Hey! What’s that for?” demanded the girl, but Rui was already well on her way to the windmill.
She perfectly intercepted Wes at the entrance of the windmill, both of them arriving at the same time.
“Why did you leave then?” asked Rui, grabbing Wes’ arm.
“Umm… well, you see…” began Wes, wondering if Rui would let go or kick him if he said something else had caught his interest. He had a feeling it would be the latter.
Luckily for Wes they were suddenly interrupted by some off-key singing emitted from the windmill. Wary of the slow-moving blades of the windmill, they entered.
“Thirty long years I’ve spun these gears! Thirty more years I’ll spin some more!” sung an aged grey-haired worker. His clothes were dirty and in tatters. Behind him a large arrangement of gears were spinning in an almost hypnotic fashion, the man controlling them with grubby hands.
“Umbre…Umbre…Umbre…” (Round and round and round…) muttered the Dark type Pokémon, moving his head in circles while trying to keep up with the speed of the gears.
The off-key singing worker then noticed the two newcomers and literally jumped at them in greeting.
"Hello! They call me the Chief around here! I monitor the gears here in the windmill!” boomed the employee.
“Erm, hello,” Rui said uncertainly.
“Come on, put some ‘oomph’ in that ‘hello’!” demanded the man. “And remember, it’s CHIEF!” He then turned to Wes, cutting off any protest from Rui. “Welcome to the windmill!” he repeated, and he offering his hand for a handshake. Almost instantly, he pulled the hand back giving Wes no time to move.
“Hahaha, TOO SLOW!” laughed the man heartily, as if that was the most original and funniest joke in the world. Wes and Rui exchanged glances, and Espeon tilted his head as he regarded the so-called Chief. He then glanced at Umbreon, who was still observing the moving gears.
“Espi Espeon?” (Don’t you pay attention to anything that happens?) scorned Espeon.
“Umbreon,” (Hey, simple minds are easily amused,) Umbreon said, before turning back to the gears. Espeon sighed and gave Umbreon a push. With a squeak of surprise, Umbreon found himself seated upon the gears and rotating at an incredible speed.
“Umbre!” (Arrgh! Getmeoffgetmeoffgetmeoff!) cried the Pokémon. Espeon merely laughed to himself and watched in amusement.
“Hey, are you interested in a job here?” asked the man suddenly.
“Not really,” admitted Wes.
“Chief,” added Rui hastily.
“Of course not! It takes a real expert to control these gears!” boasted the man, pointing at himself with an air of pride. “If you change your mind ‘bout having a career in gear spinning though, try for this job after twenty years of experience or so!” boomed the worker. To Wes’s and Rui’s dismay, he began to sing again.
“Thirty long years of cranking gears, thirty more years I’ll spin some more…”
Covering their ears, Wes and Rui walked out, with Espeon trotting behind.
“Umbre!” (Hey, don’t leave me!) cried Umbreon. Just then, the Chief increased the speed of the machinery. With a cry, Umbreon went flying off the gears, through the door, narrowly missed one of the blades of the windmill, and mercifully had his landing softened by an unknowing Espeon.
“Espi!” (Arrgh! Get off of me!) cried the startled Pokémon, as Umbreon staggered to his feet.
“Umbre-Umbreon!” (Well it’s your fault… ah, look at all the colours! Wee!) replied the dizzy Pokémon, stumbling into Espeon again. Wes heard the commotion, and seeing the two Pokémon, laughed.
"Oh dear, you two keep getting tangled up in something don’t you? Well, I’m not letting you cross the bridge in that state,” Wes told them, tilting his head in the direction of a shaky looking bridge of dubious quality. With that, he pulled out two Luxury Balls and returned Espeon and Umbreon to them, to the protests of both Pokémon.
“Where did you get those?” asked Rui in awe of the glittering Luxury balls. They were the image of comfort for Pokémon belonging to trainers – basically a better version of the Poké Ball - but these were rare for any part of the Pokémon region, let alone Orre.
“I got them a while after I got those two,” responded Wes. “I had to… well, I mean, it cost me a fortune,” he added quickly, catching himself; he wasn’t keen on getting lectured on things done in the past again. “Come on, let’s go see the Colosseum - with luck maybe we can catch some battles,” urged Wes, never one for waiting around too long.
The bridge was in fact rather stable, if only a bit wobbly. Wes strode confidently across it with Rui following, with a bit less poise.
“Scared?” asked Wes, smiling at Rui’s worried look.
“Well I wouldn’t be if I could at least see what’s underneath me!” confessed Rui, as she safely reached the other side. She was right - whatever was underneath the bridge was hidden in the pitch-black void. Wes peered down the crevasse in awe of the sheer depth of it.
“There’s a town down there,” said a person standing nearby, approaching the two curious travellers.
“A town?” repeated Rui doubtfully.
“No, no, I’m not crazy,” denied the man hurriedly, seeing Rui’s and Wes’s faces. “There really is a town down there - it’s called ‘The Under’.”
“Pretty bad name,” observed Wes.
“Makes sense though,” said Rui, risking a look down the crevasse.
“You see, Pyrite was an old mining town,” explained the man. “But that was years ago - now there’s nothing left down there. However some people decided to stay down there. What’s it like down there is anyone’s guess…” he muttered, before walking off.
“Do you think there is a town down there? Who would live there?” Rui asked Wes.
“Hobos,” Wes absentmindedly answered. After a moment of staring at the invisible crack in the ground, he raised his hands to his mouth and hollered ‘Echo!’. The sound bounced off the rocky walls, giving a ghostly feel as the word came back to them and faded into the darkness below.
Then a new sound emerged from below.
“Guess he was right,” said Wes.
They next explored the town’s Colosseum. Inside the run-down building was a small reception area blocking off the entrance to the main battle arena. At least the floor was tiled, but the colour of them appeared to have faded away, and through the entry to the Colosseum Wes spied a run-down battle arena with patches missing from the roof of the building.
“Seems it’s closed for the day,” said Wes dejectedly.
This was confirmed a moment later as Wes overheard a conversation between a receptionist and a large towering man.
“So the next tournament will be on in three days, right?” asked the lady.
“I guess so. But I don’t like this business. What with all the rumours and all… Well, I’d better be going,” replied the muscular man with a grim frown plastered on his face.
“So will I. See you later, Duking.”
The man named Duking turned around and seeing Wes gave an even bigger frown before leaving. Wes returned the favour despite the man’s superior size. He would have matched Gonzap in stature, Wes mused. The lady left a moment later, leaving Wes and Rui alone save for a random bystander left in the reception area.
“Nothing here - I think we’ll go back for now,” offered Rui. Just then, the bystander approached them. The tall ungainly man stumbled over to them, a large grin upon his face.
“Ya knowy that big guy there? Yah, he’s Duking,” he slurred.
“Are you drunk?” asked Rui, as the smell of alcohol reached her.
“That’s a silly-hilly question. I never drinks da stuffs,” denied the man, before he staggered and crashed into a wall. “Okay, maybes a littles bits…” he confessed.
“Yeah, well, good for you,” replied Wes.
“Yar, Duking runs the colomesum thingy,” added the man.
“Really?” asked Wes. “That’s interesting… do you think I should try this tournament? After all, they did mention that something strange is going on…” he questioned Rui.
“I hope we don’t have to stay in this dump for so long,” replied Rui.
“Yar know, if you zoant to comply - I mean compel - I mean compliss… compete! That’s the word… anyways, you sees Duking, and he’ll makis it alls,” stuttered the drunk.
“Well, thank you,” said Wes politely.
“No problem-ey. Yes, Duking is da owner, and he had somnething to do with weighthifting as well. He could mift an entire Snorlax!” insisted the man.
“Somehow I doubt that… strong as he seems,” answered Rui.
“Well maybe a Pichu… I wish I could wins this… you know, the the the thingy…the…”
“What?” asked Wes, slightly annoyed now.
“Ah yes, the liage cash prize but espicallys the strongily Pokémon they gave you…” blabbed the man, still unable to form words properly. His face suddenly brightened up. “Do you livey in a house? I livey in a house.”
“Pokémon?” asked Rui, ignoring the man’s ramblings.
“Cash prize?” asked Wes.
“Oh yess, they gvve pokemans to winners recently. They was said to be straighter and butter... Cail won it last. Stupid Cail and his win-win Mc victories...”
“What?” asked Rui, confused.
“I think he meant ‘stronger and better’,” guessed Wes. “What about the money?” he added, before getting a poke from Rui.
“Oh, it’s three grand… or four grand, or something-and-rather.” Wes’s eyes light up. “’Coursa, the entry cost is five hundred smazzules…” added the man, to Wes’s dismay, who assumed ‘smazzules’ meant ‘money’.
“Well let’s go,” said Rui. “Cail is that guy by the town’s entrance, right? Let’s ask him about it.”
“Ok. Thanks, man,” said Wes as he bade the drunken man goodbye. “I doubt it could be a Shadow, but it might mean something big is going on…”
“Hey, I know who you are!” proclaimed the drunk. Wes froze. If he knew what he did to Team’s Snagem’s base then it’s bad news for me.
“…You’re what’s-his-face… I nows! Superman!” stated the drunk, still finding it hard to walk or talk straight.
“Okay…” said Wes relieved and annoyed at the same time. He and Rui continued on their way back to the entrance of the town to confront Cail.
“Bust gets meself hime,” said the man, before falling unconscious on the spot - alcohol had gotten the better of him. It was just as well, as in his past state he would have never been able to cross the bridge without falling.
“Hey look, the shop’s open now,” remarked Wes as they neared the Poke Mart on their way back to the hotel.
“Better go there later though,” commented Rui, noticing the long line of customers by the shop.
‘Hey, HEY! You two! Stop walking through the square!” shouted a bystander.
“Oh, sorry,” apologised Wes. He and Rui had walked right through the middle of a large painted circle were some Pokémon trainers were jeering at each other, occasionally having battles. Rui noticed that she had earlier walked through here as well after she had kicked that girl in the shin, and blushed slightly at the memory.
“Yes - sorry for that. I’ll try to pay more attention,” vowed Rui.
“Hey, come on now - that isn’t how you apologise here!” retorted the man. Seeing Wes’s and Rui’s faces, he continued, “Are you new here?”
Wes nodded. “Yes - we’ve come for - umm, for a short while. Just arrived yesterday…”
“Oh well. Well, this is what we call Pyrite Square - or Duel Square. Here is where the Pokémon battlers turn up. And if something happens that somebody doesn’t disagree with something - it’s resolved with a wager and a battle,” explained the man.
“And interrupting our battles by walking through the middle is one of those disagreeable things,” added another nearby person, none too friendly.
Wes grinned - he was familiar with the ways of street life, especially the ‘codes of law’, as they were commonly known as in such towns across various regions, especially in Orre. He hadn’t encountered it for a while, as he had been with Team Snagem until recently and so had avoided towns like Pyrite, but it came rushing back to him.
“What can I say?” Wes shrugged. “I’ll battle then - how much are the wagers here?”
“Oh, about three hundred - plus any extra from the crowd if they’re impressed,” answered the man with a grin.
“You’re on,” said Wes. When wagers and battle were concerned, he didn’t care about the price, especially as he ended up winning more often than not. Noticing that Rui was confused, he moved to reassure her. “Never mind - it’s just a battle,” he reassured. “Better just stay to the sides and watch - I’ll win soon enough. Then we’ll use the winnings for dinner,” he instructed confidently. Rui nodded and moved off as Wes walked into one half of the circle - the man into the other.
“My name’s Vant by the way. Yours?” asked his opponent, taking off a gray jacket.
“Ok. I’ll even give you an advantage - three Pokémon for you, two for me, though you can only have two out at one time. Double battle. Agreed?” challenged Vant.
Wes grinned even more - clearly Vant was confident of a win. “All right then, your loss. Go, Umbreon and Espeon!” he cried, sending out his respective Pokémon.
“Nice Pokémon,” remarked Vant. “Go, Zigzagoon and Misdreavus!”
Zigzagoon, the ever-so-common normal type gave a small growl anticipating the battle. However, Wes surveyed the Misdreavus, which would normally be considered more of a threat. Ghost-types were generally tough fighters, and as a rule they were not to be underestimated. This particular Pokémon was made up of a levitating black and purple head and neck - the typical scary look ghost types had. It oddly enough also had a necklace around its neck, which twirled around the neck of the Pokémon.
“Zigza!” (We’ll beat you smelly Pokémon!)
“Es? Espeon, Es?” (Smelly? You’re original with your taunts, aren’t you?) ridiculed Espeon.
“Misdreavus.” (You have no chance of winning…) giggled the Misdreavus softly in a bone-chilling way.
“Umbre…” (Ok-ay then… you might be disappointed though,) retorted Umbreon.
“Zigzagoon, start off with a Tackle on Espeon!” declared Vant after the Pokémon had finished taunting each other. The small Pokémon charged forward at a quick speed towards Espeon, or as quickly as its short stubby legs would allow it at any rate.
“Block it, Umbreon!” countered Wes, without missing a beat. Umbreon intercepted Zigzagoon’s run with ease, and roughly bumped it back into the opposite direction. Wes decided to go quickly on the counter-attack, when suddenly he and Vant were interrupted by Rui.
“Wes - the Misdreavus - it’s… it’s… SHADOW!!!” cried Rui, to the dismay of the spectators who covered their ears in pain at the volume of Rui’s screech.
“Shadow? What?” asked Wes. Another Shadow Pokémon? What’s going on?
“Bugger - how did you know it was a Shadow?” asked Vant. “I was planning on giving him a surprise…Never mind - I’ll win anyway! Misdreavus, Shadow Ball on Espeon!”
The black and purple ghost type gave a hiss and gave a midair somersault, summoning a black sphere of energy. In a matter of seconds the black blob had grown to the size of the ghost Pokémon, spinning in front of Misdreavus. Suddenly it flew at an astonishing pace towards Espeon.
“Quick, dodge!” cried Wes, still distracted by the news that Misdreavus was a Shadow Pokémon. However Espeon was caught out by the attack before it could jump to safety and cried out in pain as the ball of dark energy engulfed him, before dissipating away.
“Misdreavus!” (Haha, direct hit! No chance!) Rui gave out another gasp.
“Wes, Misdreavus’s aura… it’s turned… red?” shouted Rui confused at this change.
Vant smiled. “Zigzagoon, use Tackle again!” he commanded.
“Umbreon - block it!” shouted Wes. Umbreon dived right in front of the smaller Pokémon and blocked it again.
“Now - Misdreavus - Shadow Rush!” yelled Vant. With a sense of despair, Wes realised that Zigzagoon’s attack was a trick - with Umbreon pulled in, Espeon was left exposed.
“Espeon, Confusion!” ordered Wes, hoping to make Misdreavus reel back in pain of the psychic attack. Espeon tilted his head and directed its psychic power at the charging Misdreavus, scoring a direct hit. Despite this however the Shadow Misdreavus continued and made direct contact with Espeon with its charge, knocking it out.
Wes was shocked. “But it was… Espeon damaged it…”
“Ah yes, but it was in Hyper state,” pointed out Vant. “You may not know it, but if a Shadow Pokémon enters that state, it gets stronger and doesn’t notice much, such as an attack. That’s why she went going, and as she was in Hyper State; its attack was more powerful. You’ve got a long way to go to beating me!” taunted Vant. “All in this instruction manual,” he added, waving a ‘How to Care for Your Shadow Pokémon’ pamphlet at them.
Wes frowned - he remembered now. Shadow Pokémon tended to do that sometimes. But Vant seemed to know too much about Shadow Pokémon, and the fact he had one was frankly suspicious. Team Snagem people knew about such technicalities, but the general public should – by all rights – know only that Shadow Pokémon existed. Wes decided to venture the dangerous option.
“Do you work for Cipher?” Wes asked. The crowd began jeering, bored by the conversation and eager instead to watch a battle.
“Cipher? Who are they? No, my Shadow Pokémon was a prize. Since I won the Colosseum challenge and all,” explained Vant.
“Wait, hang on a second… the Pokémon prize you get… is a Shadow Pokémon?” asked Wes.
“Oh sure. Most of us have one now though,” claimed Vant. Many of the bystanders nodded their agreement. Rui looked shocked at this new development. “But hey - stop talking, and get on with it!” urged Vant.
“Um… sure,” answered Wes. So Team Cipher has multiple Shadow Pokémon… and they give them away to strong trainers? Something’s wrong… very wrong… Wes thought, before shaking his head. Snap out of it… I need to win this and get that Misdreavus… who should I use? Makuhita may hurt someone in his rage. Like myself. And I don’t want that…and the Croconaw isn’t much better but at least it wasn’t trying to punch the first thing it saw.
"Go, Croconaw!” he commanded. He threw the Poké Ball out onto the field, and Croconaw emerged, giving a rough growl and kicking up dirt.
“Croc!” (A Zigzagoon? Pfft!) stated Croconaw, glaring arrogantly at the opposition.
“Okay, Croconaw… try a Water Gun!” ventured Wes.
Croconaw stared at Wes blankly.
“Umbre…” (Oh dear - you can’t do that?)
“Cro! Croconaw! Naw!” (Quiet! I cannot remember such a move! Your trainer’s probably crazy!) Croconaw yelled as it made a rude gesture at Umbreon.
“Umbreon!” (Don’t you DARE insult Wes!)
“Calm down, you two! You don’t know Water Gun?” asked Wes. Croconaw shrugged as he dodged an attack from Zigzagoon and managed to swipe it with its claws.
“Okay then, follow up with another Scratch!” urged Wes. Croconaw gave the same blank look.
“But you…” began Wes, glancing at his P*DA to see Croconaw’s attacks. The gadget quickly scanned Croconaw with a red ray, and returned the results of the analysis as Croconaw blinked in annoyance. “Hey - only one attack? Oh well… Croconaw, Shadow Rush on the Misdreavus, Umbreon, Bite on Zigzagoon!”
“Dodge it, Zigzagoon!” cried Vant, but Umbreon’s attack was too quick as he bit Zigzagoon in the leg and tossed him away into a wall. Meanwhile, Croconaw lumbered forward and charged right at Misdreavus. His target gave a ghostly laugh and disappeared, reappearing behind Croconaw before it used a Shadow Rush of its own. Laughing, it gave a wicked grin as Croconaw fell down from the impact.
“You have a Shadow Pokémon too?” asked Vant, confused. “Never mind - it’s doesn’t seem to know anything but Shadow Rush, so it’s no match for my one! Misdreavus, finish it!” instructed Vant. Misdreavus gave another ghostly laugh as it fired up another pulsing Shadow Ball.
“Umbre!” (Get up, Croconaw!) cried Umbreon. Noticing that Croconaw was too limp to move, he shook his head and decided to take matters in his own hands. He charged at the Zigzagoon head on.
Wes realised what was going on. “Ok then. Croconaw! Jump up and get near Zigzagoon!” he urged desperately.
At Wes’s order, Croconaw struggled and jumped a short distance into the air and landed clumsily on his feet, lumbering towards Zigzagoon unsteadily. The movement distracted Misdreavus, and delayed its attack as it turned directly towards Croconaw. Meanwhile the hurt Zigzagoon tried its best to limp away from Umbreon, but Umbreon anticipated the Pokémon’s weak effort and picked it up between his teeth like a rag doll. It then in one movement sprang in front of Croconaw.
“Croc…” (You’re risking yourself to protect me?) asked Croconaw in surprise, stopping short.
Umbreon gave a muffled response, due to Zigzagoon’s leg being in his mouth, but Croconaw got the gist of the reply. Croconaw nodded his head and assumed a battle pose.
Vant nodded his head in acknowledgement of the move. “Nice idea. Misdreavus, hold back the attack!”
But Misdreavus was too enraged as it fired the ball of energy. It struck Zigzagoon directly, narrowly missing Umbreon. The raccoon Pokémon gave a small weak yelp of pain - normal types could survive ghost-typed attacks, but from such close range from an angry Shadow Pokémon, it didn’t stand a chance. Misdreavus gave a look which might be interpreted as a twinge of regret, but it quickly vanished as it glared angrily at Umbreon and Croconaw.
“Zigza…” (But why…) it moaned, before fainting. Vant shakily returned it to its Poké Ball.
“Wes… now Croconaw’s aura turned red!” said Rui warningly.
“Must be in hyper state then…” muttered Wes, making the link. “Umbreon! Croconaw? Ready to win?”
“Umbreon!” (Oh yes - this’ll be revenge for hurting Espeon!)
“Croc Naw!” (Gonna smash that ghost!)
“Good - Croconaw - Shadow Rush!” instructed Wes. Misdreavus laughed, and merely relied on its previous tactic of disappearing once the Croconaw got close. It soon emerged behind it as Croconaw snorted angrily and turned around.
“Now, Umbreon!” shouted Wes. Misdreavus felt the teeth of Umbreon in the back of its neck and shrieked in pain. He held on for a few seconds, before letting go, just a split second before Croconaw clashed with Misdreavus head on with a Shadow Rush attack from the opposite direction. The Ghost Pokémon gave another cry of pain as it fell to the crowd limply, losing its levitating ability. It was still in the battle, but only just as it struggled to rise from the ground.
“I think that’s enough…” began Vant conceding defeat, but stopped mid-sentence as he noticed what Wes was doing. A few of the more attentive members of the crowd also looked puzzled as Wes removed a Poké Ball from the machine upon his arm, and then gasped as he threw the Poké Ball…
…right at Misdreavus.
As the ball made contact, Misdreavus was sucked into the small capsule and the ball started wobbling. A few seconds later, it stopped and as the ball gave a small flash, it came to rest.
Wes moved to bend down and pick it up. As he stood up, he noticed that all of the audience were staring at him, especially Vant who had an angry scowl on his face. It dawned on Wes that maybe snagging someone’s Pokémon in a public place was not the best idea - especially an innocent person’s Pokémon. He smiled weakly at the crowd.
“Guess the wager’s off, then?” he asked. Then, to Rui, he added “Run!”
Johnson was glad with himself. He had successfully kept Pyrite in order single-handedly for another day, defeating numerous ruffians and scoundrels alike – he didn’t even have to fight them, as they had cowered away in fright of his sparking blue police uniform. Not to mention that he had told off that small kid who had dropped a small apple core. Oh, that boy sure did get a good lecture on money and littering…
The police officer walked up to a small statue lying in disarray by the sides of the main pathway. He looked around carefully before speaking to it.
“So, do you know what happened yesterday in the Poké Mart at five pm?” he demanded.
The statue unsurprisingly was silent.
“Oh yeah? Nothing to say?” persisted the officer. A person walking past glanced at him, rolled his eyes, and walked off.
The statue remained quiet.
“Well, I’ll let you off. I’m watching you though!” said Johnson, brushing his hands. Yep, I sure am the best policeman around here, he thought to himself. He began to walk off to harass another piece of rubbish, when he noticed a pebble shaking on the ground.
“What’s wrong with you?” asked Johnson. The pebble to his horror ignored him and started shaking harder, and even jumped a few centimetres from the ground. Johnson realised that the ground was shaking as well, before falling to his knees.
Then he heard a noise from behind him - quiet at first, before it grew louder. He turned to see two people being chased by a mob down the street. Unintelligible words were shouted in his direction - something about ‘stealing’, ‘Snagem’, and ‘kill him’.
Johnson put on a brave face and stood up straight, facing the angry mob which had been gaining on the two victims. He raised a hand towards them.
“Stop!” he shouted.
A moment later, the mob collided with him, and the world went topsy-turvy.
“Sorry for causing the mess and all. It’s my fault,” began Wes.
He and Rui were now in a prison cell. They had been caught by the crowd, who had gone mad in anger and outrage at him. If there was a golden rule in the Pokémon world it was this - never, ever get caught stealing someone’s Pokémon. That’s why Rui and Wes had been chased, mistaken for part of Team Snagem. And, as Wes grimly thought, who would believe that they had done it for a good purpose, not a bad one?
They had been in the lead but already that had been shortened significantly. Wes had recalled his Pokémon to his Poké Balls - he knew that they would be no match for an angry mob after that battle. They were caught by the crowd near the entrance - Wes vividly remembered that the inept Johnson had been caught up by the mob as well, and unsurprisingly was also a victim of the mob’s rage.
He and Rui had gained a few bruises in the first few seconds, but luckily before it got any worse, Wes faintly recalled a man commanding ‘Stop!” in such a way it had froze everyone in their tracks. Then everyone had shifted away quietly and quickly. Wes didn’t remember much after that, only that now they were imprisoned, and would now have a criminal record added to their names. It looked like it was all over.
“Never mind - it’s not your fault,” sighed Rui softly. “Remember - we’re in this together,” she added more firmly, giving a weak smile to Wes. Wes returned it and squeezed her hand - more to comfort her than himself, of course.
Wes’s Pokémon had been confiscated and placed in the police force’s hands - Wes was surprised that there was actually a ‘force’ that kept the town in order. Seems it had finally made itself evident – just as well for them then, but maybe not for the not-so-distant future.
“Well, looks like it’s all over, unfortunately,” Wes sighed. “So much for us stopping Team Snagem and Cipher… man,” Wes chuckled. “If one heard our story…”
“Oh, I’m listening,” a voice sounded from the darkness of the shadows surrounding the cell. Wes jumped up in surprise, trying to make out the shape before him. “So, you know something about Snagem and Cipher, eh?”
That's it for the chapter.
For those who have played the game - did you expect the last part to happen? Hehe, I’m somewhat deviated a fair bit from the game’s plot now.
Anyway, the spoiler on events, characters, and all that jazz:
Gear Chief - The guy in the windmill is a NPC in the game, who sings a lot. He has a tiny part in the game plot, which you will see later in this fic. Works for Duking, who is a muscled man how features a LOT in the game, as well as XD.
The windmill in the game only powers up the Colosseum, but I thought that that was a bit of a waste considering there was a whole town - hence, the town depends on the windmill. Minor tidbit I suppose.
Fateen - An NPC who sits in a house in Pyrite. She occasionally 'reads' your future which has something vaguely to do with a future event. Pretty bland character in my books in the game.
Johnson - he's a random irrelevant and dumbly-portrayed character in the game. He also collides with you at times, mistakes you for someone, and proceeds to tell you a LOT of classified information, before realising his mistake. He’ll feature a fair bit more.
Vant and Cail - two of the many trainers in the town that battle you if you talk to them. Cail's a bit more important in the game than Vant, but not by much. In both Colosseum and XD, none of the trainers react in any way if you steal their shadow Pokémon. Needless to say (yet I’m going to say it anyway), this is VERY unrealistic. Here we get a mob chase instead.
Other NPCs – there’s the guy who 'refused' to give Rui money - in the game he does reveal a bit more than his woes with having to give people money – along with the 'Stop Selling Me Stuff' lady. She stays in a house and asks why you want to sell her stuff if you talk to her, before asking 'Why would I want that?'. Pretty amusing at times.