“Me?” Kris snorted, and pointed to herself. “Why, I never."
“I… lied to you.” Caro and Kris stared at him, blinking as if they didn’t believe what they were hearing. “My name isn’t Helio. It’s Cyrus.” He honestly didn’t want to know what Caro and Kris would say when they found out he had been lying to them from the get-go, but it was unavoidable thanks to the… new additions.
“You’ve been… what?” Kris furrowed her eyebrows. “What in the name of Arceus would convince you to give us a different name when you’re in an alternate universe?” She crossed her arms, clearly not pleased with the man.
Caro furrowed his eyes together in an expression that very much resembled Kris’ face. “Okay. So who are they?” He pointed to Magnezone and Skuntank somewhat accusingly, not taking his eyes off of Cyrus.
Caro and Kris stared at Magnezone for a few seconds. “And Skuntank,” he continued, “was Jupiter’s. You recall me telling you about her, correct?” The two nodded. A few seconds passed, and…
“That’s why you wanted to find him really bad!” Caro gasped, as if he had just realized this. He turned to Skuntank, a look of absolute confusion twisted on his face.
Magnezone spoke. “She’s looking for you, you know.” He told Cyrus. “Even though she’s acting like a real pessimist, she’s still looking for you.” Cyrus nodded, as if he understood the whole thing.
“And the Murkrows?” He asked.
“Um. Yeah. About them…”
“Please don’t tell me she lost the Murkrows.”
“Um…” Magnezone said weakly.
“I figured. Who else?”
“Uhh… let’s see. Last time I checked, she had Moltres and Raikou. Along with the Murkrows and that Luxray you did a while back, but he’s somewhere else. She lost the controller, and…”
“Of course she did.” Cyrus said this with a rare undertone of sarcasm. “In any case, we would best be going now.” Caro and Skuntank stared up at him, horrified.
“Like… without Skuntank?” Caro whined. He had started up a conversation with Skuntank, as Cyrus and Magnezone's conversation was far too boring for them to possibly care.
“Jupiter released me, officially. It’s legal.” Skuntank explained.
“All right, fine. Magnezone, do you have the Pokéball?” Magnezone dipped his front parts forward in a nodding motion. “You wanted it?”
“Of course I wanted it.” Magnezone tossed him the scratched-up Ultra Ball. “Thank you. Now, we leave.”
Caro nodded. He had already caught Skuntank, and was now safely in a Pokéball.
“Well, this was fun. How come I don’t get a new Pokémon?” Kris whined, crossing her arms. She was getting fairly temperamental by this point.
“You’re welcome to go and catch one.”
Kris grumbled angrily, but gave no further comment.
Later that night, Kris woke up from a rather light sleep. After realizing the other two were still out, she slunk off to check out the scenery. As she walked, the gentle cooing and hooting of the night Pokémon echoed all around her. She could have sworn she saw a Hoothoot wave to her as it passed from tree branch to tree branch, switching talons as it went. Breathing deeply, Kris felt much better.
She sat down on the edge of a lake, looking out over the water. It sparkled and gleamed in the moonlight, not keeping the same shape for more than a few seconds. Shadows of various Water Pokemon could be seen under the glossy surface; sparkling Magikarp swam gracefully through the water, passing clumsy Psyducks. Kris sighed deeply.
She needed a break like this every once in a while – everything else was too complicated to deal with without a rest stop. Her serenity was disturbed by rustling bushes. Instinctively, Kris rolled around and crouched… but then she forgot that she sort of wasn’t a Persian anymore and sat down on her knees. Whatever was in the bushes made a chuckling noise.
“You came here too, huh?” A Bibarel slunk out from behind the large, leafy mass. “It’s real pretty this time of night… it calms me.” Kris lowered her head slightly, trying to hide her relief. It was only a wild Bibarel…
“You’re right.” She said, looking at the scenery. The Bibarel was a little surprised when she responded in a way that made sense, but shrugged it off.
“Right now would be one of those times in a movie where we break out in some stupid duet about the calmness of the universe, wouldn’t it?” Bibarel joked.
“It would… and then people would make up ridiculous theories about you and me doing stupid things and the guys who made it would be slamming their heads on a wall somewhere.” They both snorted at that.
“I heard about you.” He said, smiling at her. “You’re that girl who talks to Pokémon, aren’t you? People say you used to be a Raichu.” Kris shook her head.
“Persian,” she corrected. “A friend of mine was the Raichu. My name is Kris.” The Bibarel’s aloof grin turned to a slight grimace as he seemed to remember something rather unpleasant.
“Sorry to change the subject, but have you heard? Some friends of mine said that loony was back.” He plodded beside her and sat down.
“Which one?” Kris asked, beginning to get worried.
“That’s right; there are a lot of nutcases here. But the one I’m talking about… the one who tried to control Giratina.” The Bibarel shuddered. “I thought he got what he deserved, but not so for those of us looking on from above.” The Bibarel glanced up towards the stars.
Kris was beginning to feel sick. “My friends and I haven’t been here in a while, so I don’t know any of the history…” She was really trying to evade this conversation, but Bibarel nodded and continued.
“I see. What happened was, this weirdo just had a bunch of slave clone people stomping around trying to steal Pokémon. A Commander – someone pretty high up – had the brilliant idea of blowing up a lake. The Magikarp were restless and fuming mad for weeks. And then he went about trying to steal Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf… then you know what? These guys must have a fetish for exploding things, because he tried to blow up the universe from the Spear Pillar. You know the place – the one where Giratina and company come down every so often? It’s disgusting. Sometimes I wonder if people like him have any compassion – okay, scratch that, any emotion - at all.”
“But he hasn’t been doing anything ridiculous, and he’s still around. In fact, a friend of mine saw him just the other day. He’s a Trainer’s Pokémon, see. So am I. So, this pal of mine met the guy up in the sky, while he was letting our Trainer ride him. The guy was flying on that Honchkrow of his, and… that thing is strong.” The Bibarel shuddered.
Kris was silent. Her face was roughly the color of a sheet of paper.
A couple of seconds later, Bibarel’s ears perked up. “Oh, hey. My Trainer must have realized I’m gone. Nice talking to you.” The Bibarel got up and chirped happily as a girl ran on to the scene.
“Bibarel! There you are…” Kris’ stomachache got worse.
As soon as the girl saw Kris, her face hardened behind the veil of black hair. “You weren’t talking to her, were you? I hope not.” The girl walked up to Bibarel, still looking at Kris like she was an old Magikarp corpse that washed up on the shoreline. “People like her shouldn’t get away from their scummy friends. I mean, you know, because they might infect us mere mortals with a disease or something.”
Kris snorted angrily. “Excuse me?” She asked, standing up. “What do you have against my friends?” She, in reality, knew exactly what the girl had against her friends, but she wasn’t thinking too hard right now.
“Yeah, you heard me.” The girl growled. “That scumbag buddy of yours, on the Honchkrow. Don’t you know what he did?” She turned around. “Come on, Bibarel.” She said. “You don’t need to socialize with such messed-up people as this specimen.” Bibarel shot Kris a shocked glance before following his Trainer. He felt pretty terrible for rambling on at this point, and even worse for seeing the expression on her face.
He had just recently pieced together what his Trainer and her Swellow had said. “Yikes.” He grumbled. “I didn’t mean to hurt you like that… you seemed like a nice person…” Better than her, he added in his head.
Bibarel gave a glance back at Kris, before his Trainer’s harsh voice reached his ears. “Don’t look back, Bibarel. Just keep walking and you’ll get out of her pollution zone.”
That was the last straw. “You know what?” Bibarel spat, even though he knew his Trainer didn’t know what in the name of Arceus he was saying. “I’ll pass.” He shot a Water Gun at her back. As she shrieked and whipped back around, Bibarel leaped up and snatched his Great Ball from her belt. This accomplished, he sidestepped the fuming black-haired girl and walked calmly back to Kris.
“Here.” He said. Handing the Pokéball to Kris, he smiled warmly. “You’re much better than she is, even if I need to travel with that… guy. And, I’m sorry about what I said earlier…” He looked away.
“It’s all right,” Kris smiled back at him, “you didn’t know. Do you have a name you like to call yourself?”
“No, I just stick with Bibarel.” She took the Ball from his paw and examined it. It was dirty and slightly rusty – she had a bad feeling about this girl.
“You can’t just take my Pokemon!” The kid screamed angrily.
“Give her another Pokemon in return,” Bibarel explained. “Something better than me. She’ll shut up after that.” Kris smiled at him, and took out another Great Ball she had conveniently found lying on the ground a while back. An Azumarill hopped out of the water to eat, and Kris took the opportunity.
She put the Great Ball back into her pocket and, with another swish of a metal sphere, sent out Medicham. The graceful pink Pokemon shot the Azumarill a smirk, which the rabbit-eared blue Pokemon quickly returned.
“What are you doing?” The girl spat.
“I’m catching you a new Water-type.” Kris turned and smiled at the flabbergasted Trainer for a second before returning to the battle. Medicham and Azumarill were now squaring off in an attempt to scare each other. Medicham grinned; it felt the Pure Power filling its body. The Azumarill gave a determined glare in response, and was taken off guard when Kris swiftly directed her Medicham to deliver the first attack.
“Force Palm!” Medicham quickly sprung into motion, making strange twirling movements as it built momentum for the attack. The Azumarill made the foolish mistake of trying to follow it, and the only thing that the blue Pokemon got out of it was a Force Palm to the gut. The Azumarill squeaked in pain, but survived the attack with plenty of energy to spare. It sprung back up and began to attack.
Medicham leaped back to its original position; however, it didn’t take the time to notice its surroundings and got nailed with a particularly powerful Bubblebeam. The Azumarill closed its previously wide-open mouth, which quickly turned into a smirk as it watched Medicham stagger.
“Bullseye,” Azumarill grunted.
Medicham got knocked off balance, and took a crouching position to prevent from falling over. From this position it stole a glance at Kris’ face, and smiled when she demanded it deliver a Thunderpunch on the blue-and white, rabbit-eared, floaty mass of fur.
Medicham sprang from the ground, curled fist sparking and cracking with electricity. It practically flew over the sandy area, sending buckets of the stuff up in its wake as the Azumarill got nearer and nearer. With a final burst of speed, Medicham lurched its fist forward. The Azumarill barely had time to react - it tried to escape the attack, but got skimmed by the super-effective Electric attack as Medicham’s fist passed it by.
While Azumarill staggered for a few seconds and finally fell to the ground, Medicham preformed a front flip and landed on its feet. It swiveled around, ready for more. The Azumarill shook its head, and regained the fighting position; but both of them knew that Azumarill was painting heavily and had scratches all over its body. Medicham wasn’t in much better shape.
Azumarill leaped high into the air, and spun around. Its giant tail was pulled along like a blue wrecking ball (with water now surrounding it, to boot). Medicham barely had time to react when the spinning blue Pokemon brought its tail down right on Medicham’s head with a very unpleasant-sounding crack!
Kris grimaced and watched as Medicham returned to fighting position, shaking and wobbling. Realizing that her Pokemon wouldn’t be able to continue, Kris decided to end it early. She was further urged to this decision by Medicham’s brief gaze in her direction. It delivered the desired ideas perfectly: End this.
Kris nodded. “Alright, fine.” She tossed the Pokeball at Azumarill, watching it quiver and shake three times. It once again was sent on a path directly aimed at Kris’ forehead, but this time she put up her hand in time and was able to spare herself from any head injury caused by flying Pokeballs.
That accomplished, she calmly tossed the Pokeball to the utterly shocked Trainer and waved farewell. The girl backed up a few steps and ran, charcoal-gray coat flying out behind her. Kris returned Medicham after a quick “Thank you!” and returned to her conversation with Bibarel, which wasn’t quite the same.
“Bibarel,” she said, “this adventure you’re volunteering for is going to be completely and utterly insane. You know that, right?”
Bibarel nodded. “I noticed. With your point being…?”