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Old February 19th, 2009 (03:18 PM).
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Training Day



Daedalus perched on the windowsill and looked out, peering over the balcony as best he could. He wasn’t gazing at the cityscape; he was gazing at the forest beyond the human-dwelling settlement. He briefly glanced around and saw Treecko leaning against the wall on the other side of the room, keeping to himself. Daedalus looked back at the forest longingly and sighed.

The Taillow closed his eyes and wondered where his flock was. He found it terribly ironic that he was sitting in a room full of sleeping people, but he had never felt more alone. He sat there staring out into the night hoping that his friends were all okay, wherever they were. The bird peered downwards, glaring in disgust at the human-made buildings.

“<They drive us out of our homes to build their own homes. Some aren’t even homes, they’re just… I don’t know what they are! There are buildings that try to touch the sky or hope to light up the night with bright colours. Why do they need all of this? Pokemon are happy to live in the wilderness, but no, these humans want more. They think that they’re so much better than us so they have to reflect that in the things that they make, not caring who it hurts. Then they make us fight each other for their own gain or pleasure. Even Jeff… the one human who I held a sliver of respect for. They’re all the same,>” he thought, frowning as he did. Daedalus tilted his head forwards so that it leaned upon the glass. “<…I just wish that I was back with my friends right now.>”

The Taillow turned his head around and looked at Corphish, who was lying on the bed, contently snoring. “<I guess Corphish and I are buds, but… he’s still no Struthios or Ornithos.>”

As he was looking at Corphish, he noticed Jeff beginning to stir. Daedalus turned around and continued to look at the rising sun. Jeff stretched, wary not to hit the others on the bed, and then stood up and looked around. Treecko opened an eye and glanced at Jeff.

“Good mornin’, Treecko,” Jeff greeted with a slurred voice. Treecko made eye contact acknowledgingly before closing them again and continuing to lean against the TV stand.

The teen adjusted his hat and looked over at the window, where he saw Daedalus looking out.

“Hey, Dae; I didn’t know you were up this early.”

The Taillow turned his head slightly and opened his beak to respond, but then decided against speaking and turned back to gaze through the glass window.

The corner of Jeff’s mouth tensed and his eyes made their way to the ground. He was hurt by Daedalus’ seemingly endless disdain towards him. He had already apologized; he wasn’t sure what else he could do.

Jeff quickly wrote on a sticky note and attached it to the TV. Treecko began to walk towards the door to the room. With an effortless leap, he jumped up and twisted the knob using his steadfast grip. After a back flip from the lizard, the door came swinging open.

Jeff grinned. “Looks like we’re both ready… Let’s go.”

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Jeff and Treecko walked outside of Mauville on the route between it and Verdanturf Town. They continued along a dirt path across the land shaded by the dark blue sky. The sun hadn’t even risen yet. The two kicked up dirt as they walked, their skin being bitten by the sting of the passing cool night.

Ahead of them was a small, sparkling, dark blue lake which had a small stream running from it, travelling through a small trench in the grass and into a grove of trees where it deposited the fresh water in the nearby shore.

Treecko walked directly beside Jeff’s right foot, easily matching each foot step with several of his own. “<I’m surprised you wanted to get up this early. You usually like to sleep in a bit,>” he stated, glancing up at the groggy human.

He scratched at the corner of his eye and cracked his stiff jaw. The boy was just barely awake. “And wait for Kevin? No way. We’re better off doing this alone now.”

“<Obviously,>” Treecko dryly responded.

He agrees with me… That’s a first,” thought Jeff.

“<What should we practice?>” Treecko asked, eagerly cracking the three knuckles on each emerald hand.

Jeff attempted to get his tired mind into gear. He scratched the back of his neck while attempting to get the initiative to think. “Let’s start with your attacks. Pound and Quick Attack seem fine. You obviously don’t need help staring people down, so Leer is good. Bullet Seed, though…”

“<Duds; I know,>” said the grass type, hoping not to dwell on the shameful fact for long. He clenched his fists and took a deep breath, wishing he knew what exactly was wrong with him so that he could fix it.

“What’s going on with that?” Jeff asked, really hoping he didn’t place his words poorly.

There was no verbal response from Treecko; he looked forward and continued chewing his twig as they tromped along the beaten dirt road.

“Well…” Jeff swung around his backpack, zipped it open, and took out a bag of sunflower seeds which he threw to Treecko. The gecko caught it in both arms and looked up at Jeff. “Show me what you’ve got.” The pokemon nodded and poured a handful of seeds into his mouth. “Try aiming for that tree,” he said, leering at a small oak tree that stood looming over the grass in front of them.

“Treeeee CKO!” yelled the wood gecko, propelling a volley of sunflower seeds towards a nearby tree. The seeds impacted and exploded on contact into tiny, brown fragments. Some small pieces of bark even chipped off when pelted with the seeds.

“Nice,” Jeff said appreciatively.

Treecko ceased and spat out a final seed into the ground beside him. “<It’s not the spitting I’m having trouble with,>” he explained, folding his arms.

“Then what?” Jeff asked, squatting down on his haunches.

“<I don’t know… I just can’t control the damn thing.>”

“Sounds like your attack takes after you,” he replied with a slight grin.

Treecko shot him a look that could kill. “<I mean I can feel the things building up, but I can’t get the bullet seeds from point A to point B, where those sunflower seeds were.>”

“Try giving it your all,” Jeff plainly suggested.

Treecko sneered and then quickly turned to face and reprimand him. “<I HAVE been giving it my all. You honestly think I’d hold back in a battle? I don’t exactly like looking like an idiot because I can’t use a simple grass attack,>” he snappily retorted, clenching his fists.

Jeff bit his lip and felt like an idiot. He was right; it wouldn’t be like Treecko at all to ever hold back. He out of everyone should have known that. “Uhhh… Right… Sorry…”

“<Forget it,>” he said, looking back towards the tree. “<Should I give it another shot?>”

“It’s your call, Treeck,” replied Jeff, leaning back to relax his haunches to sit down in the grass. He was really hoping that Treecko would be able to pull it off; Bullet Seed was Treecko’s only grass move so far, after all.

Treecko eyed him and nodded. He heaved his chest back and inhaled air. As soon as his chest was expanded with air and ready to expel the numerous seeds of energy, he attempted to forcefully release everything he had at once. “Treeeeeeeee…Ck-”

The attempt completely halted; not a single seed had been fired. He failed again. Treecko’s face showed surprised, but the look of initial shock soon crumpled into a frustrated frown. The small lizard placed his own tail onto the cool, dew-ridden grass and lay back against the cushion of muscle while placing his relatively diminutive hands behind his head.

“Damn… I wish I knew how to help, but I’ve never, well, used Bullet Seed before,” Jeff said, scratching the back of his head.

Treecko didn’t respond for a few moments before deciding to put forth a suggestion, which was really more of a demand. “<We should practice in a battle.>”

“I agree,” he replied, looking around. “See anyone as up as early as us?”

Treecko climbed on top of Jeff’s hat for a better vantage point and looked around. “<No.>”

“Then what do we do?”

“<We’ll just have to find one…>”

--------------------------------------------------------------------

“I can’t believe they left without waking me!” Kevin complained. He walked out of the city limits and onto the dirt road where Jeff and Treecko had went on. On his left walked Blitz who glanced over at him. On his right walked and flew Corphish and Daedalus, respectively. Ace was held in his arms, clutching onto Kevin’s hand tightly.

“<They had left a note. Besides, I can see why they didn’t; every time I try to wake you up early, you say words that I do not understand, like ‘Fu-’>”

Blitz was promptly cut off as Kevin’s empty hand tightly shut his snout. After a moment, he removed his hand and Blitz gave him a look.

“<At any rate, should not we have waited for Rachel, Blane, and the others?>” Blitz asked.

“…Nah,” Kevin answered, squinting at the sun as it began to peer over the mountains in the distance.

Blitz grinned. “<You are a very unthoughtful human, did you know that?>”

“Hey, I’m not the one who tried to do to Jeff what ‘Miracle Blades’ did to a flying pineapple, am I, Chef Tony?” Kevin replied with a goading smile.

Corphish burst out laughing, remembering the infomercial they saw on TV earlier. “<Well played, sir!>”

The Scyther, however, was not amused. His face turned a bright shade of red and he turned his head in the other direction.

“Hey, Blitzy, your face is all red. Are you evolving into a Scizor or something?” he continued with a wide smile.

Blitz’s face became even redder. “<I’d prefer if we talked about something else… please.>”

Kevin placed his hands behind his head, idly. “You’re the boss.”

Corphish looked over at Daedalus, who hadn’t said anything the whole trip. The bird was solemnly staring at the ground as he flew.

“<Hey, Featherface…>” Corphish merrily said, eagerly awaiting a response. When he got none, he put on a more serious tone. “<…Dae?>”

The Taillow blinked and looked over. “<Uhh… Sorry, what is it, Corp?>”

“<What’s wrong, buddy? Did a mean pidgey steal your favourite worm this morning?>”

Daedalus shook his head. “<Nothing. I’m fine. Thanks for asking.>”

Corphish scoffed. “<Oh right. Whenever ‘nothing’ is wrong I get all glum and Jeff-like too,>” he replied, persisting.

The bird sighed. “<Fine… but don’t tell anybody… Especially not Treecko. I’m kinda… homesick,>” he explained, keeping his voice very quiet.

Corphish nodded. “<I miss my TV, myself. Especially that misanthropic doctor. Hey, Dae, you’d love him!>” he said with a chuckle.

Daedalus rolled his dark brown eyes and continued flapping his wings at a slow and steady speed. Corphish looked up at the bird pokemon. “<Hey, did Jeff tell you where they were going?>”

The Taillow remained quiet and kept flying forwards.

---------------------------------------------------

“Quick Attack, Treecko!”

Treecko charged forwards, driving his shoulder into the stomach of a brown humanoid pokemon. It fell backwards, and the leaf on its head lay limply in the dirt. The wild Nuzleaf began to slowly crawl away while cursing.

“<This isn’t over!>” it yelled, crawling into the forest.

Treecko grinned and turned around. “<Are all pokemon on this route such pushovers? That’s the third one I’ve beaten in an hour.>”

Jeff smiled. “Nice going, but don’t get cocky; we still haven’t mastered your bullet seed, yet.”

Treecko folded his arms and narrowed his eyes. “<I don’t necessarily need to master Bullet Seed to win. It’s not like it’s especially effective against electric pokemon.>”

Jeff sat down in the grass. “Oh? Remember what happened last time you went into melee with that Electrike? Paralyzed.”

Treecko indignantly turned his head away and looked to the side.

The teen sighed and rested his head on his fist. “Look, I know you don’t like failing at using the attack, but we need a ranged attack in order to win this! And if we don’t practice-”

“<Isn’t that your friend?>” Treecko interrupted, glancing down the path.

Jeff looked to where Treecko was staring and indeed saw Kevin walking towards him with his pokemon and Corphish and Daedalus. He assumed that Drezdk was returned to his pokeball. Kevin and the others ran up to him upon spotting them.

“Thanks for waiting for us, you two!” Kevin complained, handing Jeff his backpack and two pokeballs.

“I tried to wake you, but I was drowned out by your snoring,” Jeff brazenly replied. Blitz grinned, but decided it would be in his best interests to keep quiet.

“Where are the others?” Jeff asked, folding his arms.

“They’re either sleeping or checking out. We left them a note,” Kevin said with a smirk.

Jeff grinned. “What took you guys so long?”

“Well… Corphish insisted on watching a nature program on the mating rituals of Corphish and Crawdaunts,” Kevin replied. “We only got through a few minutes before the others started to complain.”

Corphish stepped forward. “<She was faking it, by the way,>” he plainly declared.

Kevin chuckled, but Jeff merely sighed. “Thanks for that, Corphish…”

Kevin looked at the landscape around them and then back to Jeff. “Hey, this would be the perfect place to let the jolly grey giants out… I mean… unless you think Atlas will go berserk again.”

Jeff’s green eyes widened. “Crap! I completely forgot about Atlas!” he thought to himself. “I didn’t even give him that paralyze heal for his wound yet!” He frantically grabbed the pokeball and threw it to the ground. After a blinding flash of light, a giant stone serpent towered over the group, looking around in confusion. The morning air touched his scar, causing Atlas to cringe and double over.

“Atlas!” Jeff ran over towards the quivering, writhing pokemon, but he made sure to keep his distance for fear of what happened last time.

Atlas looked out of the corner of his scrunched up eye towards Jeff. “<Jeff... Stay away… I’m not sure how much longer I can stay in control…>” he growled; heavy strain was in his voice.

Jeff slowly approached, still very nervous. The others looked on warily, not daring to step any closer. He put his hand out in good will, as if approaching a wild pokemon who was distrustful of him. “Just relax, Atlas… put your head down and I’m going to apply something to your gash… It should take away the pain.”

Atlas remained still- sceptical of the foreign substance Jeff was holding. The more he waited, the more pain Jeff could see in his eyes. “Atlas… Please… I want to help you.”

The Onix closed his eyes. Through the pain that clouded his mind, he remembered Jeff placing his trust in him when they first met. He remembered Jeff sticking up for him in Dewford, which got him arrested. And he remembered how Jeff kept him even after how he had acted on the beach of Slateport. He also knew that Jeff had no idea what his true intentions were in Dewford.

Atlas tried to keep himself composed as he lowered his head towards Jeff. He arched his rocky spine and gently placed his chin on the grass in front of the human. Jeff slowly stepped forwards, approaching his head and raising the spray bottle of paralyze heal. “Now… I don’t know how this is going to feel. So if you feel pain, just try to relax and think of something nice back home, okay, Atlas?”

Jeff neared his hand towards his face and Atlas closed his eyes and swallowed nervously. The human held the trigger of the bottle and the yellow liquid shot out in mist-form into the deep gash. Atlas’ closed eyes shut tighter and he let out a sharp grunt, but Jeff’s advice seemed to be paying off. He remained still; Atlas thought about his cave, with all sorts of different pokemon living happily in it, not just members of his species.

“Sorry… Nurse Joy said that it should start to take effect in thirty or so seconds.”

He opened his eyes and a smile crawled upon his face. “<…Thank you, Jeff…>” Atlas said graciously.

They were suddenly interrupted by another bright flash of light. The two looked over to see Prometheus appear from the dimming flare. He quickly wrenched his head around in disorientation. “<Wh- Where am I?! What happened?!>”

The world around him spun and all he could make out was a blur. He attempted to shake off the distorted vision and blink his eyes into focus. The first thing that was vaguely clear was a blue shirt beneath a head of blonde hair. His eyes focused on Kevin.

“<You… I remember you!>” he exclaimed, anger rising in his voice. He leaned forwards. “<What did you do to me?! Where am I?! Where’s Atlas?!>” His bold, threatening demeanour led him to have the tip of his snout millimetres away from Kevin’s eyes. Kevin nervously grinned and stepped back, but imposing Prometheus was more than ready lock horns with the small human, so he moved his face to the same position as before until he got his answers. Needless to say, Ace was paralyzed with fear. Blitz stepped forwards and readied his scythes, just in case.

“<Are you going to tell me, runt? Or am I going to have to harm you?>”

A voice rang out to their side. “<Prometheus, you and I both know that you couldn’t hurt a fly, no matter how much you threaten it.>”

Prometheus craned his head to his right and saw Atlas, now standing upright beside Jeff. Atlas had a large grin on his face.

“<Atlas!>” he joyously yelled, slithering over to him. They rammed their heads together in a form of good-humoured greeting between friends. This action resulted in a gritty echo that one would expect from two boulders colliding at high speeds. “<Hahah! You’re okay! …And forget that load of nonsense that you said about me not being able to hurt a fly, I could have eaten that human up in a second,>” he said, hoping to keep face.

Atlas chuckled. “<Whatever you say, Prometheus.>”

Prometheus turned around, eying the others. “<Who are they… especially that human with the yellow fur on his head?>”

“<He is the one who saved you from the human police. Perhaps you owe him a thanks?>” Atlas said with a sly smile. “<And try offering the end of your tail and then lightly shake it.>”

“<Why?>” Prometheus asked in confusion.

“<From what I’ve seen, shaking limbs seems to be the universal gesture of good-will. I’ve seen both humans and pokemon doing it. Well, go along, Prometheus; show the good-will of all Onixes everywhere,>” he goaded with a grin.

Prometheus gave him a half-serious sneer, but submissively nodded. “<You know, I’m usually the one in your hide in this situation- being the moral compass,>” he quietly said.

Atlas let out a short laugh before seriousness returned to his face. “<Hah… I suppose you’re right,>” he replied, glancing down at Jeff.

The Onix slithered over to Kevin and the others, all of which were still slightly wary. “<I… apologize for being so brash… but know not to cross me, little one… understood?>” he said, curling around and extending the end of his rocky tail towards Kevin.

Kevin grinned at his attitude and contently shook his tail. Prometheus performed Atlas’ suggested tail-shaking procedure in what he considered ‘lightly’, but it was not technically so. Kevin was sent flying back several meters by the force of the gesture.

“<…Oops. Too powerful?>” Prometheus asked, looking back at Atlas, slightly nervously.

Kevin got to his feet and chuckled. “I like your style, Prometheus. My name’s Kevin.”

Prometheus nodded. “<It is nice to meet you, Kevin.>”

A certain slightly irritated Scyther stepped forwards, in front of Kevin, and pointed his right scythe towards Prometheus. “<I advise you be more gentle around Kevin.>”

Prometheus let out a hearty chuckle of mockery. “<HAHAH. You ‘advise me’, do you? …And what if I don’t?>”

Blitz stepped forwards again and narrowed his eyes. Prometheus followed suit and he locked his blue eyes with the mantis’ hazel ones. Both pairs glistened in the morning light, adding to their already sharp colours.

Atlas cleared his throat. “<Prometheus? Can I have a word with you? I should probably tell you how things work.>”

The Scyther shot him one last angry glance before turning around. Prometheus grinned and slithered over to Atlas. Blitz put his scythe on Kevin’s shoulder, who was dusting himself off. “<Are you okay, Kevin?>”

“I’m more than okay! We have an awesome new pokemon to travel with!” Kevin said, ecstatically.

Blitz turned and looked over to Prometheus momentarily. “<He seems pretty hostile… Are you sure that you can trust him?>”

“You trust the Scyther, don’t you, Kevin?” Jeff muttered as he passed them to reach Treecko, Corphish, and Daedalus.

Blitz cringed and looked at the ground, hurt by his words. Kevin looked at Blitz and then turned his head to look at Jeff, unsure of how he should respond.

“Uhh… Come on, guys,” he said to Blitz and Ace. “Let’s go and get some water refills from that lake.” He nodded to the pond ahead of them, shaded by trees that seemed to form a wall around the water. Kevin picked up Ace and began walking, followed by a sombre Blitz. As they left, Jeff sat down and crossed his legs.

Corphish leapt up onto his left leg and looked up at him. “<Gee, Jeff; you’re becoming as callous as Dae!>”

“<Are not!>” both Jeff and Daedalus snapped. They both glanced at each other and immediately jerked their heads away.

Corphish grinned cheekily. “<You two are either a match made in heaven or a match made in hell.>” The crustacean pokemon glanced over to Atlas and Prometheus, who were a deal of metres away from them. “<What stopped Atlas from hulking out on us?>”

“Oh, Nurse Joy gave me some paralyze heal in Slateport. I just sprayed some of that on his cut.”

“<You mean the gash that could double as two champagne bowls?>”

“…Yes.”

A brief silence followed, in which the chirping of birds and bugs could be clearly heard. Corphish folded his claws and seemed to fall into a deep state of thought.

“<… Guys?>”

Jeff and Daedalus looked at him with great interest, Treecko merely out of the corner of his eye.

Corphish let out a Zen-like breath and was about to speak. “<…Do you think that the monster in Lost is really Darkrai?>”

They were both taken off-guard with the question, leaving shell-shocked expressions on their faces.

“…Uhhh…”

“<Is TV all that you think about, Corp?!>” Daedalus asked, being the first to snap out of bewilderment.

“<It’s a gift, really,>” Corphish replied.

A voice called out from behind them. “You mean like the Trojan horse was a gift?” Kevin approached them with his grin, Ace, and an armful of canteens.

A chill coursed through Jeff’s spine when he heard the low humming of Blitz’s wings. The mantis landed somewhat close to him, between Kevin and himself, which put the teen on edge. Corphish glanced at the sky behind Kevin and noticed a puffy gray cloud.

“<Is that another thunder cloud?>” he asked, pointing at it with his claw.

Blitz abruptly and slightly worriedly spun around to look for himself. As he turned the dull end of his arm missed Jeff’s head by about a hair, who hastily recoiled and stood up in fright.

The Scyther turned back to see Jeff cagily staring at him, seeming ready to fight-or-flight at any moment. Blitz realized his blunder and opened his mouth to attempt to explain himself. Instead he merely snarled in frustration at the whole situation, causing Jeff to step back. Blitz clenched his teeth and stormed towards his pokeball which lay beside Kevin’s bag on the ground. He raised his right foot and unleashed a portion of his frustration, driving it into the center button which enveloped him in light before any physical damage could be done to the ball.

Kevin scratched the back of his head in worry and discomfort. “He must be having a bad day or something…”

Corphish looked back to the spot in the sky. “<So is it a rain cloud?>”

“<Nope,>” Treecko aloofly replied from the group.

“<How do you know?>”

“<…I can tell.>”

Kevin whipped out his pokedex from his back pocket and scanned Treecko with it. “He’s right; something about his tail.”

“You wouldn’t need your pokedex to know that if you listened in Professor Birch’s class,” said Jeff, who was beginning to relax after the encounter with Blitz.

“We can’t all be experts on Treeckos…” Kevin responded.

Atlas had finished filling in Prometheus with how the world seemed to work outside of the cave and they both slithered over to the group.

Kevin glanced up at his Onix and smiled. “Are you all up to date now, Pro?”

“<Metheus,>” he corrected. “<And I believe… What is that?>” the rock type asked, motioning with his head down the dirt road that led back to Mauville.

Everyone turned around to see what Prometheus was referring to. A white and blue MCPD police cruiser was zooming down the dirt road towards them. Kevin froze. The car slowly pulled to a stop about fifteen metres in front of them.

“Crap! Blane ratted us out! They know we stole all that stuff from the hotel room!” Kevin sputtered in fear.

“What?! ‘Stole’?! ‘WE’?!” Jeff shouted, his stomach wrenching around in worry. “I’m not going back to jail again, you idiot! What if they know about Atlas!?”

Kevin looked around frantically. “Prometheus! Quick! Open your mouth!”

Prometheus looked sceptically over to Atlas, who tilted his head in an equivalent to a worried shrug. The Onix bent down towards Kevin and opened his mouth. The worried teen snatched up both his and Jeff’s bag. “Don’t swallow anything!” With that, he threw both bags into Prometheus’ mouth under his tongue.

The window on the driver’s side door rolled down. As soon as it couldn’t be rolled down anymore, an orange blur lunged out of the window and began running towards them. “Oh crap! A Growlithe!” Jeff said, preparing to brace himself. He remembered being tackled by one the last time that they were through this and none of it was at all pleasant.

The orange dog started running towards Jeff, in particular. He cringed and awaited being winded and the smell of dog breath. The pattering sound of paws came closer. Jeff dreaded the fateful pounce. He waited… and nothing. Jeff opened his eyes and looked down at his feet where the Growlithe was sniffing furiously at Corphish.

“<Umm… Can I help you?>” Corphish asked, feeling uncomfortable and slightly violated.

The pup turned its head and barked back at the cruiser. “<Over here!>”

The driver seat door opened and out stepped a young-looking police officer who seemed to have something in hand. Jeff and Kevin stood rigidly as the police officer approached them. He looked down at his Growlithe.

“Are you sure?” asked the man.

The Growlithe nodded. “<Positive, Al. It matches the scent of seafood perfectly!>”

The officer folded his arms. “Okay, then. Excuse me, guys, I’m Sergeant MacGuffin, can we have a word?”

The pokemon watched on as the two humans stepped forwards in defeat.

“I believe you guys dropped something.” He extended his hand and spread his fingers, revealing a large rock.

“… A rock?!” Jeff and Kevin both sputtered almost simultaneously.

“<…That would be mine…>” Corphish said, sheepishly, fearing the joint wrath of Jeff and Kevin.

MacGuffin shook his head. “Oi, it’s not just a rock. If you’ll look closely you’ll see it actually contains a fossil. I was a geology major before I decided to be a police officer.”

Much to mostly everyone’s surprise, from out of the back of the police cruiser emerged Rachel and Blane. They casually walked up to the group.

“These are the right people, right?” the officer asked the two newcomers.

“Yup, thanks again for the drive,” Rachel happily said.

Kevin and Jeff were still flabbergasted. The angry blonde-haired teen stepped forwards. “Let me get this straight. The only reason you’re here is to give us this fossil?”

“Aye. The maid was on the way to clean your room when she saw it lying on the ground. It must have fallen out of your bag. At any rate, I happened to be downstairs when she came down to the front desk about it. I offered to go find you guys and your friends here overheard and said they’d help too,” Sgt. MacGuffin explained.

They both sighed a breath of relief. “Well, thank you! We wouldn’t want to keep you from more important police work, so… Thanks again!” Kevin impatiently insisted, taking the rock.

“<I sense fear in him…>” the Growlithe stated suspiciously.

“I’m… uhh… terrified of… shellfish!” he said, trying desperately to cover his tracks.

The sergeant paused and eyed Kevin. “…Forget it, mate; let’s go get us some breakfast,” MacGuffin dismissively said to the Growlithe, who gave Kevin one last look before going with the officer back to the police cruiser.

Corphish folded his claws. “<Who could possibly be terrified of such a majestic species? …Besides Ace.>”

Kevin relaxed and turned around, picking up the Squirtle. Blane and Rachel walked over to them, Blane slightly irritated. “How come the bill for the hotel was eighty dollars over what it should have been?!”

Kevin grinned nervously and quickly walked towards his pokemon. “You’ll- uhhh- have to ask Jeff about that! Yo, Prometheus; can we have our bags now?” he inquired, changing the subject and looking up at the Onix.

He nodded and spat out both bags to the grass. Jeff and Kevin walked over to their respective bags and Jeff picked it up by the strap but quickly recoiled and dropped it.

“Kevin, you idiot! My bag is covered with saliva now thanks to you!” Jeff complained, tapping his soaked bag with his foot.

“Oh quit complaining…” was his response.

Jeff carefully opened his bag and his eyes widened. He pulled out of the bag what appeared to be a large white tarp.

“Shower curtains?! You stole the shower curtains?!” Jeff grilled in disbelief while folding the fabric in his arms. He tossed it aside and continued looking through his bag.

“Soaps, coasters, the clock radio, the TV remote, bath salts … You took everything that wasn’t bolted down or twice your weight! Who here actually uses bathsalts?!”

Corphish raised his claw. “<…But Kevin didn’t know that when he took them.>”

Kevin shrugged. “What? We paid for the room, so aren’t we entitled to everything inside?” he asked with an innocent smile.

Blane stepped forwards. “Actually, I’m the one who paid for the room, so…”

Deciding it would be best to switch to another topic, Rachel spoke up. “What were you guys doing out here anyways?”

Jeff stalled and glanced back to Treecko. “Uhh… Treecko and I were training.”

“Oh, for your rematch against Wattson?” Blane asked curiously.

Jeff grimaced knowing that Blane found out about his loss. “It was Strix…” Rachel apologetically replied.

Blane continued on, “If you want any tips…”

“No!” Jeff firmly stated. “…We’ll be fine, right Treecko?”

The grass pokemon gave a nod agreement. The wood gecko proceeded to walk through the grass and jump up to snatch the fossil from Kevin’s hand. He carefully inspected it, gave a quick glance to Corphish, and then threw it to Jeff, who fumbled with it before catching it.

Jeff looked closely at it. “Corphish, this is yours? Where did you find it?”

“<Well…>” Corphish replied, closing his eyes and crossing his claws in thought. “<I found it in that area between that big forest where we met Dae and that big city… Mauville, was it? Then I put it in the back pocket of your bag.>”

Jeff thought carefully, trying to remember. He suddenly remembered that it was in that area where Corphish and Treecko were taken prisoner by Daggerback, that Nidoking.

“You mean you took it from Daggerback?”

Corphish nodded. “<I guess he was too busy getting a bullet seed in the eye to notice,>” he replied, sending a good-natured wink in Treecko’s direction.

“What would he be doing with two fossils?” Jeff asked aloud.

He then remembered a part of his discussion with Roxanne, the Mauville City gym leader.

---------------

“The Devon Corporation is a company local to this city that creates many futuristic technologies… one of which includes a fossil reviver. The Nidoking broke into the company late one night, knocked out the guards and stole two ancient pokemon fossils from the lab,” Roxanne had said.

---------------

Jeff’s eyes widened. “This is one of the fossils that was stolen from that Devon Corporation!” he exclaimed in shock. Then something else slipped into his mind. “This is the reason why that Nidoking has been following us!”

“<That and he was on a revenge kick,>” Corphish added, glancing back at Treecko.

“<That Seviper that attacked us was working with him too…>” Treecko nonchalantly added.

Kevin scratched his head. “’Working with him’? They’re pokemon for crying out loud!” he exclaimed, very confused.

“You should give them more credit, Kev,” Jeff told him, folding his arms.

“Am I missing something here?” Kevin asked.

“I’ll tell you later…”

“Can you tell me too?” Rachel quickly asked.

Jeff nodded and continued inspecting the fossil. He held the dark brown sedimentary rock in his hands. His fingers rubbed along the coarse surface of the stone and stopped when he felt an irregular, smooth bump. Jeff flipped the rock over to inspect the other side where he saw a white shape on the side of the rock. It looked like a white curved cone, very similar to a claw of some sort.

“Hmm… I wonder what kind of pokemon this was… Anyway, this is valuable, I should probably keep this for now,” Jeff said, wrapping the fossil in the shower curtain to cushion it, before he put it back in his bag.

“Yeah, yeah,” Kevin impatiently said. “So are you going to keep training or can we go and have your rematch now?”

Jeff looked at Treecko, who nodded. “There’s not much left we can do, so… Yeah, I guess we’re ready.” Jeff looked up at Atlas and Prometheus apologetically. “We’re going back into the city now… and it’s the daytime so there’s lots of cars and stuff, sooo… Is it okay if we return you both to your pokeballs?”

Atlas glanced to Prometheus, who looked sceptical. “<Only if you promise to let us out tonight.>”

“<’Let us out’?>” Prometheus asked in a whisper. “<What are we, slaves? It sounded like you were talking to Kronos, again.>”

Atlas growled. “<For lack of a better phrase, okay?>” he fiercely whispered back.

Jeff nodded. “Of course, guys. No question about it,” he reassured them. They nodded in satisfaction, awaiting their return to the small devices. Jeff and Kevin both aimed the pokeballs at the respective Onixes and within seconds, they were sucked into a red beam of light.

“Hey, do you think you can catch humans?” Kevin asked, looking at the pokeball in his hand in curiosity.

“I think you can, but I’m pretty sure it’s illegal,” Jeff replied. “Not to mention that I’d kill you if you ever tried it on me…”

Kevin grinned. “You saw right through me. Now let’s get going, I don’t want to miss lunch because of you two,” he said, glancing between Jeff and Treecko.

Jeff gazed down the road to Mauville. With a quick turn of his head he turned to face Treecko. “Are you ready?”

Treecko’s eyes narrowed slightly at the question, but a small grin appeared on his face as he turned back to Jeff. “<…Are you?>”
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[B]Claimed: Treecko, Grovyle, Charmeleon.
Co-Owner of Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club.
Paired withAnastasia R.
PC Family so far: Cousin - ScytheMaster, Awesomest Sister - Diamondpearl876, Brother - Rebellious Treecko (PM one of us if you want to join it)

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Click Below for The Awesome Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club
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