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Old January 14th, 2009, 05:02 AM
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bobandbill
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Yes, it's up. First, a reply to reviews:
Spoiler:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sc4rfCh0mp View Post
I actually laughed a lot more reading this chap than I did the Miror B battle chapter. You did a pretty amazing job.

Here's a grammar mistake I found:


Just a small nitpick, but I don't want to get slammed by Astinus *shot*

Some funny lines that I found:


This one really got me laughing at what it is supposed to be.


Wait a second, Johnson is actually smart enough to understand the concept of EV training?


BAGELS!!!! THIS TV IS WIN! GIVE ME SOME BAGELS!

Great job with this fic. I really have enjoyed reading it. I hope you come up with antoher chapter soon!

P.S. Happy belated b-day!
Cheers for the review, and good that you liked the chapter despite an absence of an epic Miror B battle. Each to his own after all. :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Angel View Post
*Blink, blink* My post disappeared.
Oh well, back to the drawing board...

I finished read both of your new chapters. I am glad to say I saw no errors - grammatical, spelling, or otherwise.

It took me a couple seconds to fully understand the name "Phillar Caractor" but I was glad when I did. Nice to be able to chuckle at the staged stupidity of a "phillar" character. I love how your work always has so much humor fit into it.

One thing you mentioned before seemed very true - Rui isn't much smarter than Johnson(but she isn't as annoying)

Glad you managed to write something after a long break
Thanks to you too for the review. I did have a few mistakes before though (luckily I could edit my posts here right away unlike other places...)
Quote:
Nice story, something different from the typical "setting of on a pokemon trainer journey". You've brought so much life to the story.
And thank you as well. Glad you liked it too. =)


Yay for chapters with more set-up and filler stuff! And a change of setting as well! Some actual action shall be occurring after this chapter though, so enjoy this in the meantime while I take forever in writing the next chapters.

***

Chapter 13 – Agate Village

Hours had passed since they had departed Pyrite Town and the foul stench that had accompanied it. Instead, they flew past the fresh, yet sand-polluted air under a blazing Orre sun towards their next destination. Wes had donned his goggles to combat the oncoming sand from coming into his eyes, while Espeon had a small Reflect going in front of Rui’s, Umbreon’s and his seats on a side-section of the Zoomer, protecting them from getting sand in their faces.

“How much longer will it take, Wes?” Rui asked, staring ahead gloomily at an endless stretch of yellow sand surrounding the Zoomer.

“Umb, Umbreon?” (Yes, are we there yet?) Umbreon asked sleepily.

“A few more hours,” Wes said. Rui sighed.

“So... what’s Agate Village like, exactly?” Wes asked Rui. “I know that it tend to be a retirement place of sorts for people who were good trainers back in their day, but I don’t know anything about what the place looks like.”

“To be honest, I’m not really sure...” Rui said. “I was there only once before, and that was when I very young. I do remember though that it was very, well... green.”

Wes glanced at Rui blankly. “Green? Green in what way? They painted their houses green and decorated them with avocado skins or something?”

Rui giggled. “No... it was just that they had all this grass and trees and everything. Which is quite unlike the rest of Orre, it seems...”

“Indeed. Besides the port I arrived at when I came here, the rest of Orre is rather barren.”

“Umbreon?” (Are we there yet?) Umbreon repeated.

“Espeon Espi Espi; Espeon?” (Judging by the fact we’re still in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but sand wherever you look, and combined with the fact that Agate Village reportedly has trees and grass instead of sand; what do you think?) Espeon asked pointedly.

Silence befell the group, except for the raspy vibrations made by the Zoomer.

“...Umbre?” (So... are we there yet?) Umbreon asked finally.

“Hey, is that a radio?” Rui asked suddenly, pointing to a small set of buttons amongst the numerous dials and meters occupying the Zoomer’s display; most of them indicating that the engine was set to explode any moment (Wes had noticed it had been indicating this for the past hour), and that it was currently running low on lemonade.

“Yes, it appears so,” Wes confirmed. “Odd. I didn’t think this piece of junk had a radio.”

“Well? Switch it on already!” Rui prompted.

“Espeon...” (Yes, do; so we don’t have to listen to Umbreon again...) Nodding in agreement, Wes searched for an on button; then looked at the messy array of knobs with puzzlement.

“How does one turn it on?” he mumbled. Then he caught sight of a small narrow slot with words written next to it.

“What’s wrong?” Rui asked, noticing him blinking at the sign.

“It says ‘Please insert money’... this piece of junk takes money from you just so you can listen to the radio?”

“Umbreon!” (What a rip!)

“Hang on...” Wes said, returning to the wheel while he rummaged through his pockets.

“You’re not actually going to put money in there, are you?” Rui asked, surprised.

“Of course not. Whatever made you think that?” Wes replied. “Aha, got it!” he remarked soon after, pulling out a paperclip, and ramming it into the slot. The Zoomer gave a few groans of protest, before the radio crackled into life.

“And now, it’s our man Kevin with the finance report. Kev, what’s the outlook for Hoenn given the recession sparked by the recent bad weather in Hoenn?”

“Well, it’s not looking good at all. All experts are predicting things are set to spiral out of control in a spiralling motion. This is set to plummet matters into another downward spiral ...”

“Umbreon!” (Not the finance report!) Umbreon cried, covering his ears to try to protect himself from the monotonic, nauseating voice Kevin seemed to have.

“...millions are set to lose their homes, businesses and tin-can openers as a result, and as described, this is set to be the ‘worst crisis Hoenn will have to deal with since the epidemic of Eevees in 1727, although perhaps not as bad as the infamous ‘Mudkip Plague’ in 1930’.”

“Esp; Espeon,” (Yes, change it please; it’s a little bit mind-numbing, thank you,) Espeon said, glaring at the radio.

“...I can’t – it’s stuck on this frequency,” Wes said, currently trying to bang the radio into obeying his wishes.

“So in short, the people of Hoenn are advised to stay calm, positive and not to worry, and ride out this terrible, terrible weather and recession.”

“Thank you, Kevin. That concludes the financial report. Say, we might even squeeze in a bit of music now for you folks...”

All aboard the Zoomer gave a sigh of relief at this news.

“...no, sorry – we’re out of time now. That concludes our show, and now we begin our daily ad marathon! That’s right - five hours of non-stop ads! We’ll be back at a quarter to six as usual with more finance – now it’s our lunch break!”

“Umb! Umbreon!” (No not ads! That’s even worse!) Umbreon moaned.

“Quick, turn it off!” Rui shouted with a look of horror.

“Do YOU need a LOAN!?!” a man shouted from the radio. “If that’s the case, come on down to the Loan Sharks! Friendly advice and reasonable rates given to all!”

“Espeon!” (That’s it; I’m going to sleep!) Espeon said in frustration, before settling down to do just that, trying to ignore the uproar coming from the radio. Wes moved back to banging the radio while trying to drive in a straight line, as Rui shouted advice.

“We’ll even throw in... a pineapple! Here’s what our customers had to say!” the voice bellowed, before more joined in.

“Lost...lost... all is lost...”

“READ MY FANFIC!”

“The rates suck, but at least we got a pineapple!”

“Shut up... shut up...” Wes growled at the radio, before he moved to trying to remove the paperclip from the slot.

“If that doesn’t convince you to try us instead of the other numerous money-stealing agencies out there, don’t worry! We’ll be sure to come to your door with our friendly persuasive pamphlets!”

“Disclaimer: you may be held accountable by any injuries that may befall you from any pamphlets or oversized mallets involved in our free door-to-door visits,” a professional voice suddenly said, quietly and quickly.

“...What did he say?” Rui asked Wes. Wes shrugged, and then winced as another person shouted at him.

“Listen to this radio station! Sure; we’re the only radio station in Orre – but that makes us the BEST radio station!”

“Turn down the volume so we can’t hear it then,” Rui suggested.

“Good idea,” Wes said, looking at the various knobs. Finding one next to a ‘Volume’ sign, he hastily turned it, only for the radio to get louder. “Sorry, wrong way,” he said, before turning the other way.

The radio got even louder.

“Umbreon!?!” (WHY DID IT GET LOUDER!?!)

“Come eat at Joe’s Joint! We’ve got tacos and chicken and tacos and even more variety to choose from! We’re even offering combo meal deals! Buy two tacos for the price of three! ISN’T THAT EXCITING!?”

“Umbre?” (Wait – tacos?)

“Disclaimer: Joe’s Joint will not be held responsible for any cases of food poisoning or rare foreign diseases that you may get upon consumption of our food, beverages and ash trays. Maximum of one taco made per hour.”

“Now what are they saying?” Wes asked, unable to understand what was being said – this speaker was muttering very quietly and quickly unlike the otherwise loud radio.

“Maybe they’re speaking in tongues?” Rui said, leaning closer as well, trying to make out a coherent word.

“DISHWASHERS!”

“ARRGH MY EARS!” Wes cried, temporarily letting go of the steering wheel, clutching his head as a new ad began, offering record-breaking deals on dishwashers.

“Wes! Watch out for that cactus!”

“OUR MANAGER HAS GONE CRAZY! NO, LITERALLY, HE HAS! HE THREW HIS MONEY OFF A CLIFF AND THEN THREW HIMSELF OFF BELIEVING HE WAS A BAGON AND NOW WE NEED TO SELL! ALL STOCK MUST GO!”

***

“...Umbre?” (...Are we there yet?) Umbreon asked tiredly, hours after Wes had run over three cacti and nearly crashed the Zoomer into a surprised Cacturne. The radio was still going as loud as ever, much to their annoyance. Rui sighed and squinted into the distance, before giving a shout of triumph.

“Yes, we are! I can see it! Look, Wes!”

“Wow, you’re right! And about time too!” Wes said, looking ahead. The mountain that had been steady looming over the last half an hour now revealed small buildings standing upon the rare sight of green grass clinging to the mountain side. A small river ran at the base – the seemingly-natural water a rare sight for Orre, as a small, wooden bridge came into view over it, leading to what appeared to be an entrance to the town.

“COME ON DOWN TO OUR WAREHOUSE! WE’RE OFFERING SPECIAL DEALS ON OUR PREMIUM, MANUAL DISHWASHERS TODAY!”

“Oh, shut up!” Wes cried, parking the Zoomer near the river. He then turned off the Zoomer frustrated at it, and then heaved a sigh of relief as the radio too stopped along with the coughs the engine gave. He then removed his goggles and looked at the town before him, pausing only to remove a few spikes he had collected from the cacti sticking from his trench coat.

“We’re here!” Rui proclaimed, happily reading a nearby sign by the bridge.


Welcome to Agate Village!

Proud home of numerous old folk

Warning – Hungry Carvanha live in the river.


Wes frowned at the extra message, while Espeon sceptically looked at another sign right behind it, which read ‘Beware of Invisible People’.

“Espeon...” (Stupid sign...) Espeon muttered, before he shook his head at another sign, which read:


CAUTION!

This sign has
SHARP EDGES!

Please refrain from touching the edges of this sign!


"Umbre, Umb-” (Watch out, Espeon, that sign has sharp-)

“Esp.” (I know.)

A fourth sign rounded out the group, which Rui went to investigate.

“In the interest of the environment, please refrain from making signs here,” she read out. “But...”

“Well, we know we’re still in Orre after all, judging by the stupidity of those signs,” Wes said, rolling his eyes. “Well, let’s go see those grandparents of yours,” he said, taking Rui’s bags from the Zoomer, and walking with her over the bridge, Espeon and Umbreon following behind as well as Plusle who had hopped out of the Zoomer, now observing the small, sparkling stream below them. A light breeze greeted them as they crossed, carrying a rich fragrant smell down a gentle slope which welcomed the group. They strolled up the hill, with an endless carpet of trimmed grass leading up to a maze of houses and trees.

“Plus...le...” (It’s so... green...) Plusle said quietly, lost amongst the absence of any pavement or rubbish on the ground, which he was so used to having lived in Pyrite Town.

“Umbre,” (Green,) Umbreon agreed. Suddenly, an old man wheeled around a corner from behind a house, and spotted them.

“Rui!” he cried, rushing forward and taking her hand, shaking it vigorously.

“Umm, hello,” Rui said uncertainly.

“Oh, I remember when you were only this tall! My, how you’ve grown!” he shouted, ignoring Rui’s puzzled look. “Eagun and Beluh will be glad to see you, after hearing about what happened,” he added.

“Can you please stop shaking my hand?” Rui asked quietly, but the man didn’t seem to hear.

“Hello!” another person shouted, this time an old woman who walked out of a house to investigate the old man’s enthusiastic greetings. “My, how you’ve grown!” she proclaimed, before rescuing Rui from the man’s handshake.

“Thank you-” Rui began, before the woman embraced her in a tight hug.

“Hello!” cried another elderly person, appearing from nowhere with a Taillow anxiously following him, the man eagerly greeting an overwhelmed Rui as well. “Have some berries!” he added, giving her a bunch.

“Taillow! Tail Taillow?!” (Hey, those were for my lunch! Why do you keep stealing my berries and giving them away?!) it berated, as it landed on the man’s head and began to peck him on the head. Rui merely looked in confusion, before another person sprung up and greeted her as well.

“And look at those cute Pokemon!” another arrival said, moving in to greet Espeon, Umbreon and Plusle as well.

“Umbre!” (Arrgh, old people!) he cried, suddenly finding himself being picked up and surrounded by a mass of veterans. Then he relaxed, realising that they only wanted to give him a pet.

“Plusle!” (Where are my potatoes?) Plusle asked, happily jumping around the newcomers, believing they had all come to say hello to him.

“Ok, ok, you’ve welcomed me already!” Rui said with a hint of annoyance in her voice, managing to escape another member of the swarm of old people that had appeared suddenly to greet her.

“You’re Eagun’s granddaughter, you know!” he replied happily.

“Yes, I know. You’ve mentioned five times now-”

“Welcome to our town! Here, have a pineapple!”

“Hey, get off my lawn!” someone shouted from a house nearby loudly. People started to move away, before realising that they hadn’t been on the man’s lawn.

“Hey! You! Get off my lawn! Why, if my name isn’t Duncan, I’ll...” he continued ranting.

Why is he shouting if there’s nobody on his- oh, Wes thought, realising that the man was shouting at his letterbox.

“Hey, who’s that?” asked one of the aged people suddenly, pointing at Wes, interrupting someone else who had been ranting to Rui about how she had been kidnapped.

Wes cautiously backed away slowly.

“He’s... Wes,” Rui offered. “He was the one who-”

“Oh yes! I saw him on the old cornflake box!” one piped up, while others nodded.

“Meet my boyfriend!” an old woman said eagerly to Wes. Seeing his bemused expression, she chuckled and winked. “It’s my Mightyena!” she exclaimed, pointing to a bored, dog-like Pokemon who rolled his eyes, clearly having heard that remark before.

“Hey, are you Rui’s-” the woman continued.

“Wait - are these your Pokemon?” an old man asked suddenly, pointing at them.

“Umbreon and Espeon are mine, but Plusle’s somebody else’s – he’s just travelling with us,” Wes said, glad that the topic had shifted.

“Then you’re a trainer! You will do battle with me!” the man said enthusiastically. “Why, this takes me back to my younger days... I’ll beat you with my years of experience!”

“...Ok, we’ll battle,” Wes said, also glad that he wouldn’t be engulfed by the veterans like Rui had, as they moved to make space for the battle. Espeon and Umbreon also moved to Wes’s side, Umbreon bemoaning the fact that he was no longer getting petted.

“Ah yes. I remember when I got my starter Pokemon. Yes, I was one excited youngster back then. I was to get my Pokemon from the local professor that day, but would you believe it, I had slept in! I had rushed to get to the lab, only to find out that he had run out of starter Pokemon too! But then it turned out that apparently he had one more Pokemon left, and that it was a rare, shiny Pokemon...” the man said, with a smile.

“Um... are we going to battle?” Wes asked, wondering why he was reciting his life story.

“Oh, he’s always like that – once he starts he never stops,” an old woman advised to Wes.

“Unfortunately, it turned out that the Pokemon he had had run off, so I went back home and watched television all day.”

“...I see,” Wes said. “So, are we going to-”

“The next day,” he continued, “I was going down to the shops when I ended up encountering another Pokemon. The poor thing had been severely injured by running at full speed into a tree. Being the good Samaritan I was, I took the Pokemon to the local Pokemon Centre and made sure it fully recovered.”

“Espeon, Espi!” (Whoop-de-do, old man – get on with it already!) Espeon rudely interjected.

“I then asked it if it wanted to join me on my journey as I needed a Pokemon. But it declined.” The man paused for a moment, then looked at Wes and smiled. “My name’s Skof! Hey, you want a battle?”

“I’m not sure anymore...” Wes began, before Skof scoffed at him.

“Nonsense – everyone wants to battle me! Look at my Pokemon!” Skof said, before producing two Pokeballs. Then he paused, looking at them curiously. “This Pokeball,” he said, raising one in the air, “I had bought a long time ago from the local shop. It was exactly thirteen years ago to the day. Oh maybe it was fourteen... or fifteen...” he muttered, as Wes shook his head in annoyance.

“AHA!” Skof shouted suddenly, causing Wes to jump. “It was twelve years ago!” he said triumphantly. “Ah yes, those were the days... I believe I had originally gone to buy some blue cheese, but-”

“Can you send out your Pokemon already?” Wes asked loudly. The man looked curiously at his Pokeballs.

“But I hadn’t told you how I got this other Pokeball,” he said simply. “You see, this was a curious tale. I got up in the morning that day and made myself a piece of toast. I set the toaster to three, medium brown...oh, all right, I’ll send them out,” he said, noticing that the group of elderly people watching the battle becoming impatient. “Go, Machop and Seedot!” he shouted, finally sending out two Pokemon. Both looked tiredly at Espeon and Umbreon – the gray, humanoid Machop which seemed out of battle practise lazily waved an arm at them, perhaps trying to look intimidating, while the Seedot – which looked like a large, fat acorn – yawned at them.

“Now, this Seedot here fell on top of my head one day when I went for a walk,” Skof said, falling back into his ranting.

“Um... Espeon and Umbreon, take out the Machop!” Wes commanded.

“Yes, he sure did, the little rascal,” Skof said, not noticing the Machop begin to succumb to Espeon’s and Umbreon’s well-co-ordinated attacks, while the Seedot merely sat there and observed. “I had just been walking, enjoying the sunshine, musing to myself about the time I had entered a fishing contest. Oh, that had been a grand time. First, I went to buy a fishing rod. I walked all of twenty miles to the next town just to find a suitable fishing shop to buy it from. I didn’t like the local one because the building had too many windows. I wrote a long letter to the council about it, but they ignored me. So I wrote a really long letter about how there was too much rain that year and sent that to them as well. But the lazy buggers didn’t do anything about it, of course.

"Anyway, I made the trip, only to find that I had not brought enough money to buy the fishing rods there. So I went to the bank. It turned out to be closed however, which was very disappointing...oh, what – you fainted my Machop? Eh, return, you lazy thing...” he said, noticing his Machop had fallen to Espeon and Umbreon. “Yes, it sure looks like you beat my Machop. I gave her a nickname, I believe. Yes, good old Julio Pfalzgraf…”

“Umbre?” (Julio?)

“Espeon?” (Pfalzgraf?)

“Yes, there’s an interesting story behind that name…”

“Maybe next time,” Wes said hurriedly. “Can we finish the battle? Please?” he added, pleadingly.

“You young people, always wanting to finish things now. The slow and steady win the race! Go, Furret!” he said sending another Pokemon out. It looked around, only to cry in surprise to see Umbreon and Espeon already jump on it and attack it. Wes just watched, shaking his head – there was no need for him to even give advice to his Pokemon. They knew enough after all those years how to battle by themselves, and Skof’s seemingly slow Pokemon were no match at all; especially without any guidance from their trainer.

“Now, where was I? Ah yes. I stood outside the bank for three days waiting for them to open. Finally they did, so I went inside, but it turned out that it had been a cunning trap set by my rival. Everyone then had a rival – it was some sort of tradition for trainers to have one. Back then nobody used the word ‘rival’ because it hadn’t been invented yet, so we called them ‘the enemy’ instead. ‘I’ve gone to have some orange juice with the enemy’ we’d say to our mothers. Anyway that term fitted my rival quite well for he was always out to get me. I suppose it was due to the time when I had declined to share my crayons with him in pre-school, and we were rivals ever since. Why, one time he had tried to overcome me by tricking his Zangoose into believing I was a Seviper! I believe he had confused it somehow. But I overcame it in the end, with nothing but a garden hose and an orange.

“Anyway, he had trapped me inside the bank. I knew it was him because of the way the door had closed behind me. It wasn’t just locked, you see – it was really locked. Inside the bank was nothing save for his rampaging Tyranitar, but I defeated it with my bare hands. Then I exited through the back door, and went back home. The next day I went to my local fishing shop and bought myself a fishing rod. Ah yes, it was a fine rod. I believe I had been reminded of it when I had been going on a walk. That was when I met my Seedot. I was merely walking, minding my own business, when all of a sudden – DONK! – it hit me right in the head! Didn’t you, you stupid acorn!” he shouted, pointing at his Seedot. “What, you’ve fainted already?” he asked it, before he realised his Furret had already fallen to Wes’s Pokemon as well.

“Right, maybe we can go now, Rui, and meet your grandparents...” Wes yawned as he turned away from Skof, feeling somewhat tired by the battle, despite not having had to do anything. Even Plusle had fallen asleep, as well as a number of the old people who had been watching.

“Hey, can I battle you, Wes?” an old woman asked, emerging from the group suddenly.

“...No, thank you,” Wes said, frowning at this suggestion. Skof was currently telling off his Seedot, and Wes had had enough of listening to anecdotes.

“But I really want to battle you-”

“Hey look – is that a Gym Leader?” Wes said suddenly, peering into the distance with a smile, pretending to see someone in the distance. His smile faded however as she remained where she was.

“So what? I was a Gym Leader myself back in the days. Yes, that was a fine life...”

“Umm,” Rui interjected, also anxious to avoid another delay. She had enough of having her arm nearly shaken off by over-friendly people telling her she was much taller than what she had been years ago. “Look... it’s...” she began, trying to come up with a name. “It’s... Ash Ketchum!” she finally said, saying the first name that came into her head.

“ARRGH!” screamed the woman, running away with seemingly genuine fear. The other veterans who weren’t asleep followed suit, with shouts of ‘Not him!’ heard from the departing swarm.

Wes blinked. “Why did they...”

“I don’t know,” Rui said quietly, confused by this. “It’s just the name of some character from a kids' show I watched... but we’re rid of them, right?”

“Esp. Espeon!” (Yes, that’s right. Let’s go to your grandparents’ house before they return!)

“Plusle!” (And then let’s eat some potatoes!)

“Ok,” Rui said. “I’m not quite sure exactly where they live though...” Rui said, looking around.

“Hmm. This may take some time,” Wes said.

“Oh, wait – there it is!” Rui cried, running off into the distance. Wes sighed, and ran after her, lugging her heavy bags with him up several hills, while noticing that it was beginning to get dark.

“See?” Rui said, stopping suddenly by a level clearing after some minutes, near a towering tree. Wes looked around.

“Umm, Rui... where’s the house?”

“It’s the tree, silly!” she said, beaming. Wes blinked and gazed at it; now that he looked at it properly, at the base of the gray, colossal tree, there was a door and some windows cut through it revealing a hollow interior. Upon looking up through the thick branches and leaves that spanned endlessly towards the darkening sky, he also noticed an insignificant television antenna jammed into one of the topmost branches.

“Espeon.” (Wow.)

“Umbreon...” (So Rui’s grandparents DO live in a tree...)

“Plus!” (Do potatoes grow up there?)

“But... why do they live there?” Wes asked, astounded.

“According to my parents, they used to live in this place called Fortree City, where people lived in trees as well. And apparently they didn’t have to pay to buy the tree rather than a house.”

“Well, it’s hard to argue with financial benefits,” Wes conceded.

“Let’s go inside,” Rui said. “It’s about time I got here.” Rui opened the door and held it open for Wes to come in, noticing his hands were full with the bags he had to carry. Grateful, Wes moved for the entrance, before his Pokemon rushed in before him.

“Beluh! Eagun! I’m home!” Rui called, while Wes frowned at his Pokemon. He then continued once more, only to have the door slam in his face as Rui lost hold of the door, as her grandma suddenly arrived and hugged her.

“Oh, it’s been so long! How are you? Are you ok after that kidnapping?” she said, while Wes rubbed his nose in annoyance. Recovering from this set-back, he managed to open the door himself and come in. He stopped short however, seeing Rui’s grandparents.

Beluh looked normal enough as far as grandmothers went, or leastways how Wes supposed they would look generally. She was similar to the other old women Wes had saw before – she had the typical gray hair, small pair of glasses and a number of wrinkles upon her kind face women her age tended to have.

But her grandfather was a sight to behold himself, although he seemed to fit into the setting of the inside of a hollow tree, which although was otherwise a normal-looking interior for a house, had a large array of teapots and cups scattered around the house. None of the walls were shaped vertically either, but followed the curves of the trunk and roots.

Eagun’s look suited the unique and unorganised interior of their house. He had the appearance of one who had not discovered the razor – an impressive white beard was spouting off the bottom half of his face, which matched the equally white and long hair he had, gave him the appearance of an overage hippie. His choice of dress - a flowing robe in a striking deep purple – only helped to enhance this.

“Welcome, Rui! Great to see you finally here, safe and sound! And who are you?” he asked Wes in a curious voice.

“I’m Wes,” he replied. Is that beard... real?

“You’re the man who rescued our Rui?” Beluh asked. “Yes, you are the one who did – we watched saw him on the television, didn’t we?” Beluh continued, nudging Eagun who now looked confused.

“Why yes! You must be quite the trainer!” Eagun exclaimed, grabbing Wes’s arm and shaking it thoroughly.

“Espeon!” (Hey, it was us Pokemon who did the hard work!) Espeon said, noticing that Eagun hadn’t even noticed him and Umbreon. He hadn’t noticed Plusle too, but Espeon didn’t think much of Plusle. Annoyed, Espeon gave Eagun a small, almost unnoticeable shock with his psychic powers.

“Umbre!” (Don’t do that, Espeon!) Umbreon warned, noticing Espeon’s actions.

“Esp,” (Be quiet; I can do what I want,) Espeon retorted. Umbreon shrugged, and then looked worryingly at Eagun who had begun to smile oddly. Beluh didn’t notice however, as she motioned for Rui and Wes to sit down on a sofa by a small wooden table and a television.

“Maybe we should sit down and have some tea,” Beluh suggested. “And thank you, young man for your actions. If there’s anything at all we can...”

“Umm, that’s ok,” Wes said. He wasn’t feeling very comfortable sitting inside a tree to begin with, and he didn’t really want anything from these strangers. Being away from the reporters in Pyrite – and the radio from the Zoomer – was enough for him anyway. And they’d probably be only able to give me some of those teapots lying around as well, he added silently to himself.

“I’ll go get the teabags then!” Eagun eagerly said, nodding excessively and moving towards what Wes took to be the kitchen.

“Lots of things excite him these days,” Beluh said. Rui was observing the house, Wes’s Pokemon and Plusle were carefully trying to find a place to sit without knocking over any of the clutter around the house, and Wes was looking with bemusement at Eagun, unable to ignore his beard, nor the fact that he appeared to be juggling teapots instead of getting the teabags.

“Umbreon...” (Look, he’s gone mad, Espeon...) Umbreon said quietly to Espeon, also noticing Eagun’s actions.

“Espeon Espi- Esp,” (Calm down, I wouldn’t have affected him with such little- oh dear,) Espeon responded.

“So, what do you think of Agate Village so far, Rui?” Beluh asked.

“The people are very...um, welcoming,” Rui managed, resisting the urge to add ‘too welcoming’ as well.

“Found the teabags!” Eagun said loudly, before he started making the tea by tossing all of the teabags he had found into a teapot.

“You’ve grown a lot since you were last here...” Beluh continued, while Rui sighed to herself. I heard that a lot today, she thought. I hope they won’t bring that fact up too often...

“Anyway, Rui,” Beluh continued, “why did you get kidnapped – do you know? All we heard was something about Team Snagem and Shadow Pokemon some other people called Cipher... those interviewers didn’t seem very professional.”

“Well,” Rui began, “when I was coming over originally, I saw some people using this really angry Pokemon, which turned out to be a Shadow Pokemon-”

“Pokeyman?” Eagun interrupted suddenly, his eyes suddenly lighting up as he threw the teapot behind himself haphazardly, which luckily landed upright into a sofa, miraculously not spilling any tea. “Pokeyman!?”

Uh oh, Wes thought, wondering what Rui’s grandfather would do next.

“You mean the ‘pokey’ and the ‘man’ and the thing where the guy comes out of the thing and then he...” Eagun raved loudly, before he started mumbling incoherently.

“Dear, I don’t think you had your medication...” Beluh said quietly, while Rui stared.

“Umbreon!” (Undo whatever you did, Espeon!) Umbreon shouted.

“Espeon, what did you do?” Wes asked suddenly, overhearing Umbreon.

“Espeon!” (Shut up, I’m fixing it already!) Espeon said hurriedly, preparing to do just so.

“Oh ah ah ah ah!” Eagun replied in a deep voice, starting to flap his hands behind his ears, seemingly imitating a Pokemon.

***

A short time afterwards, Eagun had calmed down, Beluh proclaiming that he had also had too much sugar, unaware that Espeon had a hand in it. Wes knew however, silently giving Espeon a look that communicated to him that he probably wouldn’t be eating his favourite food for a long while. Eagun had seemed to put his actions behind him though, as if he had forgotten all about them, and he was now sitting down with Wes, Rui and his wife. Wes and Rui had just recounted their own versions of the recent events they had gone through, as they drank tea from cups, and Eagun directly from the teapot. Wes was bemused by his eccentricity that he seemed to have even when not affected by Espeon - but he’s no longer throwing teapots around at least. And isn’t nearly everyone in this region crazy anyway? he dismissed after a while. However, he found that Eagun’s beard was almost as distracting as Miror B’s afro had been.

“So... Cipher made these Shadow Pokemon, and you happen to have snagged some, young man,” Eagun said, thinking about what he had just heard.

“Yes, that’s right,” Wes said, still distracted by the beard. “We’ve beard – I mean, been... purifying them for a while now, and they’re getting less and less like Shadow Pokemon. But we can’t get over that final hurdle just yet,” he finished. I wonder how long he’s been growing that for?

“And,” Rui added, “we also got some news from a fortune teller. She said that apparently the key to purifying them for good is here, in Agate.”

“Really? Interesting...” Eagun mused.

“Plus...Plusle?” (Sorry to interrupt and all, but... where are my potatoes?)

“Espeon,” (Be quiet – you’re not the only one hungry here,) Espeon muttered, lying down on the ground and eyeing the small Plusle, while Umbreon muttered something about bacon in his sleep.

“Plus! Plus!” (But I’m hungry now! And the tree tastes horrible!) At this, Espeon sat up.

“Esp?” (You tried to eat the tree?) he asked.

Then abruptly, Eagun snapped his fingers, causing all to suddenly sit up.

“Aha! I think what you should do is talk to Senilor! See, I believe what might be the key is nothing other than the Relic Stone here.”

“The Relic Stone?” Rui asked. Wes meanwhile was still absorbed by Eagun’s beard. Did it just move? he thought, frowning.

“Yes. It is a shrine to the great legendary Pokemon Celebi. It’s a pretty important icon we have here in Agate, and whenever I visit it...” Eagun’s voice trailed off for a moment. “I just get this feeling of calm. There’s definitely something in that, but Senilor would know far more about it than I.”

“Well, why not?” Rui said. “Let’s go and see him right now!”

“Then it’s decided,” Eagun proclaimed, getting up. “He always goes out to eat at the local restaurant, so we’ll meet him there.”

“Plus! Plusle!” (Yay food! Food is tasty I like food!)

“Umm, Eagun?” Wes asked suddenly, in a somewhat strained voice.

“Yes?”

“What is that inside your...beard?”

“This?” Eagun asked, suddenly pulling a fat, yellow object out of his beard, to Wes’s horror. “This here is my starter Pokemon! A Pikachu!” The Pokemon in question yawned, not seeming to find a beard a strange spot to sleep in at all. Wes merely stared, wondering if there was anything else inside of Eagun’s beard, while Plusle suddenly jumped up and studied the Pikachu.

“Plus Plusle!” (You’re old and you look fat!) Plusle concluded after a while.

“Pika! Pi...” (No I’m not! I just... umm...) Pikachu defended. Espeon merely rolled his eyes, muttering to himself about electric rodents.

“Plus!” (You ate all my potatoes, didn’t you?)

“That’s your starter Pokemon?” Wes asked disbelievingly.

“I think it gained weight since I last saw her,” Rui said, poking Pikachu’s belly.

“Plusle!” (Fatty fatty fat fat!)

“Pikachu!” (Hey, that’s not fair!)

“She’s in retirement, like me,” Eagun declared. “But in her day she won me many a match.” Eagun then pulled a small box out of his pocket, and opened it. Wes peered into it, as Eagun chuckled.

“See? Look at all of these badges!” Eagun boasted.

“But grandpa,” Rui said, “those are bottle caps.”

“Oh. So they are,” Eagun mumbled, closing the box. “Where did I put it... umm... hey let’s go to that restaurant! It’s getting late!” With that, Eagun walked out of the room with Beluh following. Wes and Rui exchanged glances.

“Yes, I know. They’re odd and all...” Rui began, before Wes grinned.

“Heck, I bet they’re better than no grandparents at all. Although I hope I never see someone pull a Pikachu out of the beard like that again,” Wes said, shuddering.

“I suppose you’re right,” Rui acknowledged. “Anyway, we better go now...” They made to leave, wondering what they’d learn from Senilor.

“Oh, and Espeon?” Wes said to him as they left.

“Esp?” (Yes?) Espeon asked innocently, which Wes smiled lightly at.

“Look – be careful with your psychic powers, is all. No point using it on people just for fun.”

“Espeon...” (Clearly you’ve never experienced the fun of it yourself then...) Espeon pointed out.

‘Maybe – but let’s only do it when we have to. And not when some innocent bystanders get affected by it as well – Eagun took it... weirdly.”

“Esp,” (Fine,) Espeon conceded.

“Oh – and you’re not allowed to eat that brand of food you like... whatever the name of it was – for a month.”

“Espeon.” (Bugger.)

***

The restaurant was rather busy, and it took a while for the group to find a table. Gradually though they were ushered to one, while the Pokemon were also directed to a separate area where they could eat as well. Plusle was currently happily eating a large plate full of potatoes, as Espeon tried to block out its squeaks of pure, giddy happiness.

“Maku!” (Die!) Makuhita shouted loudly, punching his food as he ate.

“Croc!” (Do you have to do that?) Croconaw asked sceptically, as some of the food splattered onto him.

“Umbreon?” (Maybe he likes his food mashed?) Umbreon suggested, noticing that Makuhita hadn’t paid Croconaw’s question any notice.

“Espeon,” (I think it’s more he likes punching his food more than eating it,) Espeon remarked.

“Plusle!”(Hey, that’s my food, fatty!) Plusle suddenly shouted at Eagun’s Pikachu, who having already finished her meal had come to sniff Plusle’s potatoes.

“Pikachu,” (But I’m still hungry,) Pikachu moaned.

“Croc!” (Then get some more from elsewhere, you silly, fat thing,) Croconaw sniffed.

“Pika!” (Stop calling me fat!) Pikachu cried, picking up one of Plusle’s potatoes and throwing it at Croconaw clumsily, only for it to hit another Pokemon nearby, who grunted and returned it back at Pikachu with interest.

“Plusle!” (No! Potatoes are for eating, not throwing!)

“UMBRE!” (FOOD FIGHT!) Umbreon shouted suddenly, flicking a piece of food at Plusle.

“Makuhita!” (I fight for my friends!) Makuhita agreed with a sudden grin, throwing some of his food at Croconaw. Soon, all the Pokemon around joined in, as Plusle hopped around his plate anxiously trying to defend his other potatoes. Espeon rolled his eyes at them all before using a small Reflect attack so he wouldn’t be hit while he ate, and Pikachu quietly ate some of the thrown food in a corner, content.

Unknowing of the chaos occurring on the other side of the restaurant, Wes and Rui were currently observing Eagun and another man – Senilor – talk. Senilor had an odd look, with a bright blue Hawaiian shirt and an awkward-looking hat, matching his equally awkward-looking smile.

“Anyway, Senilor...” Eagun said, “we were wondering if you had any more information on the Relic stone? Only they are interested,” he concluded, motioning to Rui and Wes.

“Ah, yes. Your name was... hmm, what was your name? Are you Eagun’s Treecko?” he asked Rui with a smile. Rui and Wes sighed – it hadn’t been the first time that Senilor displayed a poor memory, having introduced himself as a Wobbuffett earlier on, then forgetting that he was a customer, having tried to have served the waiter his food. The poor waiters, Wes mused, looking at one with pity who was currently dealing with a person by a nearby table.

“I’m telling you, there is too much meat in this meat pie!”

“...I see,” replied the waiter.

“And there’s a fly in my soup too!”

“...No, there isn’t,” the waiter said, observing the man’s soup.

“You think you’re smart, don’t you, sonny-Jim?”

“Or are you Treecko’s Eagun?” Senilor said.

“My name’s Rui,” she said patiently.

“Rui? That’s a funny name for a Treecko,” Senilor mused. “But anyway; the Relic Stone! I don’t remember names all that well, but I’ll never forget something as important as that!” With that, Senilor stood up, and left the table, before walking out of the door.

“...Wait – where are you going?” Rui cried, surprised by this action by Senilor. Even Eagun looked confused by this behaviour. However Senilor promptly returned, with a large book in his arms. Triumphantly, he dropped the book on top of Rui’s plate of food with a loud thump, and then gave another lopsided smile. Wes peered at the spine of the book, trying to make out the words through the dust that clung to it.

“‘A Thousand and One Useless Facts about the Relic Stone’,” Wes read out loud.

“It’s a good book,” Senilor insisted. “It should tell you all you need to know. Plus, I don’t have to remember what it says!”

“Well, we’ll take a look...” Wes said uncertainly. Then he glanced sideways, noticing the man who had been complaining was now demanding more salt and pepper shakers, despite already having half a dozen of each.

“My food is now squashed,” Rui complained, lifting the heavy book.

“Eagun, I didn’t know your Wurmple could talk!” Senilor said, surprised.

“Hey – what’s that?” Wes asked, looking across the room. The food fight was spreading beyond the Pokemon’s section now, potatoes and other food filling the air.

“Maybe we should leave,” Beluh suggested.

“That’s a good idea,” Rui said, agreeing as she picked up the book and then ran for the exit with the others, ducking once to avoid a piece of food.

“I demand satisfaction!” the customer who had been complaining shouted, before the potato Rui had avoided hit him square in the face.

***



And that's the chapter. As for the stuff in here and the game (or not):
Spoiler:

The Zoomer - it seems to have the magical ability to travel halfway across the region in the space of five seconds in the game. Methinks not, hence a longer trip for Wes. It doesn't necessarily have a radio either (radio stations don't feature in the game), but if there's a television station, and vehicles tend to have the radio - even weird, hovering ones like the Zoomer.

Agate Village - one of the nicer places in the game - well, better than Pyrite Town in that it's neat and tidy. A lot of green grass everywhere you look, and a lot of hills too. It also has its fair share of wacky NPCs. In the game it's a place where retired, elderly people who were trainers in their prime (apparently) live.

Old welcoming people - just took into account Agate would have a lot of people like the others in the game who gladly welcome you, like the first guy Wes and Rui sees (who is in the game and says similar things). A fair amount of those aren't based on anyone, what with their one-liners.

That guy with the berries - there is an NPC who'll give you a berry - sometimes the odd rare one - to you each time you come to Agate Village and talk to him. He says his Taillow brought them from away, while the Taillow in questions sits on the ground looking at the man. Possibly none too happily either. Heck, I'd be annoyed if someone kept giving my lunch away.

Woman with Mightyena - yes - there is an NPC who tells you that his Mightyena is her boyfriend. If you talk to it, it growls - possibly annoyed, maybe?

Skof - a trainer in Agate who battles you the moment you talk to him. He has a Machop, Seedot and a Furret, and I expanded on him a tad, giving him a tendency to speak a lot. (Credit to Zadros who discovered the name 'Julio Pfalzgraf').

The tree - yes - Rui's grandparents, unlike everyone else, DO live in a tree, which is in the centre of the town. And why not live in a place that is essentially for free?

Rui's Grandparents - Beluh and Eagun. The former isn't that notable - she thanks Wes for saving Rui, and frets about her husband, but that's about it. Eagun is the more interesting, who does have impressive white hair and a beard. Which I might have slightly exaggerated... He also does have a Pikachu, which does actually look fat. (Thank Genius Sorority for reusing the same model for him since Stadium!). It also says 'Biggah' when you talk to it... a few other things seem to suggest that Pikachu is a bit old as well.

Senilor - a character who consistently forgets things, calling you things like Treecko and so forth. Yet oddly, it is this NPC who is entrusted to tell you important information which he remembers. Hmm. Hence the book - all he needs to remember is that all the answers on the Relic stone are there, rather than all that info on said Relic Stone.

Relic Stone - you'll learn more next chapter.

Hope you enjoyed it - until the next chapter, farewell!
__________________
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ORAS Staff Collab 2014

Last edited by bobandbill; January 16th, 2009 at 08:11 PM.