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Just a reply to reviews here, and other things.
Cheers for the review, and mentioning your favourite part so far. Was an idea that just popped into my head one day. And yes - Miror B's salsa is awesome. Now, if I made less mistakes...
Ok, two things - firstly the next chapter. It's not done yet - in fact I haven't had much time at all to actually write much (however I do know what i want to have happen, which is something I guess). I've been working on fixing minor errors and polishing previous chapters as well - for insatce any 'older' reders will note a few extra paragraphs here and there in the eariler chapters, albeilt nothing of major importance. Maybe however the introduction of the fact Wes came from a different region, but that's all I think.
I've also been polishing off another unrelated fic as well, and being in the middle of examsand other things to attend to doesn't really help matters. But hopefully I will be able to get some progress done soon after exams. So have patience.
And the other thing - the one-liner reviews. I do not mind you giving me a visitor message or PM of one-liner reviews or the such, but I would prefer if you review here to have them longer, or not at all. Why? Bacuase new fanfiction rules state to not post one-liners, so I advise it if you want to avoid an infraction. Plus it's always nice to read longer reviews on what you liked/didn't like, and anything that may need fixing so I can improve in writing.
Aha! I return with a new chapter!
Ok, the next chapter. It's been a good while, but I was busy pretending I had a life outside of here, etc, etc. But I suppose there's some good news - this one is a giant of a chapter (yep, far longer then any other >_<). Length's partly also put down to some fairly new stuff that you'll see, such as fun fun fun plot set-up (so there's less later ), and some stuff regarding characters as well. Some explanations as well.
Chapter is IMO tad less funny then the previous (no opportunity as good as a Miror B battle), and I was being experimental and went with something... different for the last scene. Whee. But still plenty of jokes (hopefully ), a fair few being small. Plus ye pastry/pastry-related food item of sorts. And I swear - any resembalence to past occurances/comedy ideas or other people's characters are entirely co-incidental. Honest.
Oh, and yay for posting this on my birthday! Hurrah for good timing.
Chapter 12 – Attack of the Interviewers
“Sir! Mr Wes man! Wait up!” an interviewer called as Wes exited the police station, the anxious man marching up to him.
Oh no, not another one, Wes thought in dismay, regarding the interviewer who was currently waving his microphone in Wes’s face with great enthusiasm with a look of despair. Espeon and Umbreon looked on with an equal look of anguish; not looking forward to another interview.
Over the last few days, Pyrite Town had come under invasion of a mindless army of reporters, anxious to make a name for themselves, and confuse as many people as possible with their euphemisms and constant requests for anecdotes in the process.
“What did you think when you had to...” the man began in a bright smile and voice, before Wes cut him off.
“Oh for goodness sakes, don’t you have anyone else better to annoy? Family relations, perhaps?” Wes asked sourly.
The news reporter remained where he was, the smile still plastered upon his face and the microphone still mere millimetres away from Wes’s face.
“So then, what’s your favourite brand of toilet paper?”
Wes sighed, running a hand through his hair in exasperation.
“Oh... hey, is that a Gym Leader over there?” Wes suddenly interjected, glancing over the man’s shoulder into the distance. The man gave a loud gasp and turned around, stumbling over to where Wes had looked. Then he stopped short.
“But where...” he muttered before turning back to Wes; but by then Wes and his Pokemon had taken the opportunity and had slipped away out of sight.
Wes walked quickly, anxious to get away from the reporter – he had enough of being pestered all day. Soon enough he reached a small, quiet street. He half-heartedly kicked a stone along the ground, and sighed to himself as Espeon and Umbreon went over to amuse themselves somewhere; he had managed to lose the attention of the residents of Pyrite town, and was content for the rare piece of solitude.
There was just something about the fact that everyone in town now gaped at him, and whispered that he had single-handedly brought to their attention the presence of Cipher, and had brought them down for good – attention had never been something Wes had had before, and it made him uncomfortable to suddenly have so much of it over the last several days.
“Hello, Wes,” a squeaky voice piped suddenly from behind him. Wes jumped up, startled by this, and frowned.
Great – another resident, he thought grimly to himself.
“Can I have an autograph?” the person continued, already brandishing a piece of paper – oddly with small love-hearts dotted upon it - and a pen. Wes sighed and took them, anxious to scribble his name on it quickly and be done with the person.
‘Could you address it to, um me?”
“Oh, fine... what’s your name?”
“Oh, it’s ‘Phillar Caractor’,” the man said. Wes stared – But then again, it seems most people in this region had strange names, he mused, as he wrote down the name as Phillar spelt it out. Handing it back, Wes sat down on the kerb again, before turning around a minute later to find the man still there. He was staring creepily and intently at Wes’s left arm, and appeared to be drooling slightly.
“Yes?” Wes asked, somewhat unnerved by the man’s stares.
“Oh... um, sorry,” the man said, seemingly confused himself and catching himself out of his trance. “But now, I was thinking – we can be friends!”
“…Um, sure…” Wes said, not very keen on this random friend request from a person he never met before.
“Yay! We are the best of friends!” the man proclaimed happily and loudly. “Now, can you lend me some money?”
“What- no!” Wes shouted.
“Oh, ok…” the man said sadly, before he quietly walked away towards the northern end of town, clutching the piece of paper in his hand.
Wes sighed once more, before returning to the peace and quiet he currently had the opportunity to enjoy.
I wonder what’s there’s left to do now… Well, frankly, ever since the business regarding Miror B, there’s been nothing to do, Wes thought glumly. All but Miror B had been seemingly accounted for, and suddenly all that was of interest in Pyrite – besides the odd Pokemon battle – was the challenge of trying to keep interviews with the reporters below five a day.
Admittedly though, the whole Shadow Pokémon business seemed far from over. It appeared that Pyrite was only part of the dealings that Cipher had done, and that their grasp extended far further than had been anticipated. It was also confirmed that the criminals captured had no idea where was Cipher’s main base, although apparently Miror B had known this. Wes sighed – if they hadn’t let him escape, they would have been able to find out so much more about Cipher’s doings.
“Arrgh!” Wes jumped to his feet again and turned, to see Phillar greet him again with a wide smile. How did he return from the opposite direction? Wes wondered, confused as to how Phillar had seemingly returned from the south side of town. “What do you want now?” he asked.
The man seemed to ponder the question for some time, before simply shrugging and smiling even more brightly at Wes.
Wes sighed. “Then why are you here?”
“Can I have some mon-“
“NO! Go away!” Wes ordered.
“…Well then, do you want to see my inventions?”
“Not really, no,” Wes said.
“But look! This is a fabulous thing I have here!” the man said, pulling out another piece of paper, which had a large, bold question mark written in the middle of it. “This thing is what I call… the ‘Question mark!”
“You invented the question mark,” Wes repeated blankly. This man must be mad… or maybe Espeon affected his mind with his mind wiping…
“Yes indeedy, friend!” the man confirmed. “You can use it in sentences that involve a question being asked! Like, for instance…” the man then turned the paper over, to reveal a message ‘Would you like to see an example?’.
“See?!” the man said excitedly. “I’m so clever, because it’s really an example! See the question mark there?”
Wes sighed, as the man continued rambling, trying to convince Wes that he desperately needed funds to develop a friend for the question mark that he would call the ‘exclamation mark’. He had enough of these annoying crazy people, and decided to try to get rid of him.
“Hey, listen, there’s a Gym Leader by the exact opposite side of town...” he said, but he didn’t bother to finish his sentence as Phillar happily bounded off to investigate this piece of information. Wes this time waited a few extra minutes, before sitting down once again upon seeing Phillar not return, before he returned to his thoughts.
Yes, it’s a shame that there’s nothing to do, and that Miror B got away… But still; we did rescue Plusle, and arrest all those people as well... Wes mused. And the extra people from the Police force from those fancy-pants regions came yesterday as well, meaning we may have less to do, he added to himself as he sat down on a somewhat clean piece of kerb, remembering the group of people which had arrived in style to Pyrite town. They hadn’t seemed very impressed by the town of Pyrite to say the least – Wes didn’t blame them for that, given they must have come from far better places, nor had to work in a slum like Pyrite before. Being shouted at by the old lady who mistook everyone for salesmen hadn’t left a good impression on them either. Sherles merely frowned at them when they waltzed in, muttering that not nearly half the number that he had expected had been sent over. All four regions had ended up sending over at least a couple of policemen each, but Sherles had been disappointed in the end result of support. Still, it was certainly better than nothing. Sherles was talking to the group right now; no doubt they would have to get used to the veteran’s rough ways quick.
Wes’s Pokémon had more or less recovered from the dancing ordeal they had had – and he and Rui were fine as well, although still rather surprised by the fact that Miror B had had a radio that made people dance. Clearly Cipher has some people capable to making such a device, and that fact was somewhat worrying. Croconaw had also had sudden urges now and then to dance for a moment or two, before quickly pulling himself out of it and glancing around to see if anyone had noticed. Makuhita seemed unaffected however, and for the most part was still his old aggressive self, attacking defenceless gates and walls to amuse himself.
As for the Shadow Pokemon obtained, the number had grown to seventeen. In addition to the Yanma and Sudowoodo Wes had snagged, they had collected some more in the raid in a Remoraid, Mantine, Qwilfish, Dunsparce, Meditate and a Swablu. They were being gradually purified by Wes, Rui, Secc and Johnson (who was currently complaining that they seemed to get irritated by his mere presence). The Pokemon all varied in size and nature, yet all were generally easy to unsettle, and quick to anger.
One exception to this seemed to be the Yanma, who remained as hyperactive as ever, partly due to it seemingly to have had a drawback to the coffee Nore had evidently given it. Every time it caught sight of the brown substance, it would dart right for it. Residents of Pyrite were now keeping a closer eye on their supplies of coffee, after one nasty incident resulting a frightened child, overturned bins, and bizarrely enough minor explosions in the Colosseum - all caused by an overly eccentric Yanma which had flown around for hours on end, before collapsing out of tiredness onto an unsuspecting interviewer. The interviewer had been seemingly unfazed by it though, having promptly started to try to interview it.
Slowly yet surely however, their aura was slowly diminishing according to Rui, who seemed more at ease at being able to see such things; and Secc’s daily analysis of them confirmed that their emotional levels were steadily returning to a normal state.
What was curious was that for a fair few Pokemon now, their Shadow Metres were fully depleted and showed that their emotional states had almost returned to normal – yet some still showed hints of their Shadow personality, and all still had, Rui claimed, a dark aura to them. Secc concluded that although they had have improved, they still had more of their Shadow selves to dispel. He was currently researching for any hint on how to truly turn them back, but for now was only able to guess that they needed more time for now.
“Wes?” a voice called suddenly, breaking Wes out of his reverie – he looked up and looked at Rui, who approached happily and plonked herself down next to Wes.
“Hey,” Wes said. So much for peace and quiet, he thought with a small twinge of disappointment. But to be honest, I don’t mind her company, he continued to himself. And at least it’s not that other guy. Heck, Gonzap was less annoying than him at times!
“What’s up, Wes?” she asked.
“Oh, nothing. Just these darn people that keep bothering me… and interviewers.”
“Really? Where were they?” Rui asked suddenly, looking around curiously. Wes laughed slightly at Rui’s enthusiasm.
“Why do you enjoy them so much? I find them somewhat annoying, after they ask the same question for the millionth time on what brand of sunscreen I use, because they can’t find anything decent to ask.”
“True,” Rui chuckled. “I don’t think they’ve had much reporting or interviewing practise before. But I just find it fun to talk about... stuff. And it’s fun to see them get confused and all by talking longer than they expected,” she added with a mischievous smile.
“Umbreon!” (I get rid of them by eating their microphones!) Umbreon said proudly, returning with Espeon who rolled his eyes at Umbreon’s way of getting rid of people.
“Espi. Espeon!” (That’s a lousy way, and it gave you indigestion. Simply confusing them on who they were meant to interview is much simpler…) Rui laughed, and petted Espeon – one such reviewer had annoyed Espeon enough that the end result was the reporter giving a three hour long interview with himself. It ended up being aired on television as well, bringing much entertainment to all.
“Well, wouldn’t your parents see you on T.V. by now?” Wes asked. Rui gave a sudden gasp, and then burst out laughing.
“Oh god, they would have! And I had spent half an hour talking about laundry detergents just to annoy that one guy who kept shoving his microphone up my face, and then it was on T.V. the next day!”
“Espeon!” (I TOLD you not to overdo it...)
“My dad would be so embarrassed, I’m sure about that...” she said, before shrugging. “What about your father, Wes?” Rui asked, still giggling. Wes paused for a moment before answering.
“I...don’t have one,” he said simply.
“Well, that’s... wait, what?” Rui said suddenly. “No... father? Oh... “
“No mother either,” Wes continued.
“But... that’s horrible!” Rui exclaimed, shocked. I’ve known plenty of people – who were mostly Pokemon trainers, come to think of it - in my town that don’t seem to have a father... but to have no parents at all? Poor guy! Rui thought.
“But... what...” Rui began. Wes gave a small, sad smile.
“I never knew them, actually,” Wes said. “I was in an orphanage for a while, in a different region which was, believe it or not, worse off than Orre is. After a while I simply escaped, and ended joining some gang for a while – I don’t think anyone from the orphanage really bothered to look for me when I left – they were probably glad. We did some pretty crazy stuff...”
“Espeon. Espi...” (Yeah... like graffiti walls with maths slogans, or terrorise abandoned shopping trolleys. Totally radical...) Espeon drawled.
“Then less than a year or so ago,” Wes continued, ignoring Espeon’s comment, “I stole myself away on a ship, which ended up taking me here. Looked for work, had trouble doing so, before Team Snagem came along and I joined them. And the rest is history.”
Silence started after Wes stopped talking, both him and Rui in deep thought. Then Rui drew closer, and gave Wes a tight hug.
“I’m sorry...” she mumbled, before letting go.
“Well... um, there’s no need to be. All in the past,” Wes said, surprised but not minding Rui’s actions.
“Umb Umbreon...” (You didn’t mention me or Espeon in your ever-so-detailed history there...) he began. Wes laughed, and gave Umbreon a thoughtful pet on the head.
“No... I met these two when they were just Eevee shortly after leaving the orphanage – they were simply sitting in some alley, looking frightened and confused. They decided to just follow me, despite the fact that I had no idea where I was going.”
“Espi, Espeon...” (Hey, we were merely wondering what the hell you were doing in an alley...) Espeon began.
“And what you were doing there yourselves, exactly?” Wes asked, raising his eyebrows.
“...Espeon...Esp,” (...exploring or something or rather... oh fine, we too were lost,) Espeon admitted.
“Umbreon!” (I was playing battleships!) Umbreon remarked happily.
“Well, I just took care of them, and they kinda grew on me. We’ve been friends for years now, and I’ve also had fun training them – they seem to enjoy it too.”
“Espeon!” (Too right! Wes does know how to command a battle!)
Rui gave a small grin then. “Well, Wes, maybe you’ll teach me how to battle then?” Rui asked.
Wes smiled. “Sure.”
Wes grimaced at the sound of yet another window shattering into a million fragments, and the yells of angry neighbours that followed.
“Espeon...” (Rui... half of your Pokeball releases have ended up breaking something!)
“Oops...” Rui said quietly, for what Wes thought had been the umpteenth time.
“Espeon!” (You’re the worst thing the town has seen since Cipher!) Espeon drawled sarcastically, observing the scene of destruction that stood before them.
“Never mind Espeon,” Wes advised. “Look, there’s no need to throw the Pokeball so hard or so far – just a small throw will do it.”
“Ok,” Rui said, preparing yet another throw as she took another spare Pokeball out of her bad. Trying to concentrate harder this time, she aimed the ball, and threw it.
Shortly afterwards, Wes grimaced at the sound of yet another window shattering.
“...Umbreon?” (How did you manage to throw that backwards of all directions?)
“I think we might move on from throwing Pokeballs,” Wes added hastily, noticing Rui reach for yet another Pokeball. “Maybe you should just, err, practise sending out Pokemon by just pressing the button on the Pokeball as opposed to throwing it.”
“Ok then,” Rui said, reaching for a Pokeball, aiming it to the ground, and pressing the small white button situated on the equators of the ball. A white beam shot out, and Quagsire popped out, looking dazed and confused.
“Quag...?” (Duh...what?) it said sleepily, before Rui then returned it to its Pokeball.
“..Well done,” Wes said, pleasantly surprised that Rui hadn’t broken anything this time.
“Come on out again!” Rui cried, sending out Quagsire another time. Quagsire looked visibly more confused and dumb folded then usual at being sent out again – which is a sight indeed, Wes thought, given what it normally looks like with those tiny eyes. Meanwhile, Rui returned Quagsire to its Pokeball before it had time to respond, before once again sending it out.
“Umb...Umb...” (So... shiny...) Umbreon said as he watched the lights from the Pokeball constantly materialise into Quagsire, then suck it back into the Pokeball. Wes thought it was becoming a bit too much for Quagsire by this stage – it now had the annoyed expression one usually got when they had to listen to Johnson for too long – albeit Quagsire’s face still maintained the somewhat vacant look it always seemed to have.
“I think, Rui...” Wes said, before a sudden shout from the Police station caught his attention.
“Wes!” a gruff voice called. Wes turned and looked – the sight of Sherles advancing in his slow steady way confirmed who Wes had thought called him. He waited patiently as Sherles came up to him, while Rui gave a wave to him in-between further practise of using a Pokeball.
“Ok then, I’ve just had a talk with the new recruits. Bunch of know-it-alls,” Sherles muttered, before spying Espeon, and the ‘mind-wiper’ machine still attached to his neck. “Firstly, that’s got to go, I’m afraid,” Sherles remarked, yanking it from him.
“Wait, what?” Wes asked, confused.
“Espeon!” (No, my mind wiper! That thing was fun!) Espeon shouted, disappointed that his toy was gone.
“Unfortunately, those good-for nothing youngsters insisted that actually controlling people in such a way is against the law, according to some ‘Section 56 624.27, Catch 22’ or something from the law book. Never mind that it actually stopped those criminals,” Sherles said bitterly.
“But, seeing as you knew it was against the law, given you know what law it was,” Wes began, who was wondering why they had decimal points in the law numbers, or that they had so many laws to begin with, “why did you tell them?”
Soundlessly, Sherles pointed to an approaching Johnson.
“Ah,” Wes said.
“Not again, Johnson...” Rui remarked, why still absent-mindedly sending and returning Quagsire. However with her attention now partly on Sherles and his information, her aim no longer remained at the ground, as Quagsire suddenly found himself perched on the roof of a house, before again being forced to return to the Pokeball.
“Espeon! Esp...Espeon?” (But I want it back! But Sherles... why couldn’t we just mind-wipe the new people into forgetting about it?)
“It came to mind,” Sherles said, “but firstly, if we were to do such a thing and get caught... well, it wouldn’t be worth it frankly. Everyone in the know within the Police headquarters would know anyway now, given that I, and Johnson, wasn’t only talking to the group here, but their respective heads of Police across each region via live telecast. Not to mention Johnson even gave a couple of them the Itemfinders we used to protect ourselves from the Mind reader for them to examine!”
“...I said I was sorry,” Johnson muttered.
“Still, Johnson, there goes a good way to win our battle with Cipher! I’m already now caught up in some red tape, although luckily I was able to shut Johnson up before he DID tell them we wiped minds and all – told them we just used some very mild mental persuasion, which is luckily good enough for them, as long as none of that business continues goes on.”
“Not with them knowing though,” Wes added, not in the least bit happy he was seemingly expected to have to obey some obscene rule now – his Pokemon, he thought, were allowed to do what they wanted.
“True,” Sherles admitted, “but remember, if you do it’ll have to be without these items providing Espeon assistance, it’s only to be used if given ‘clearance’ by the powers that be, or if not, then without anyone knowing, thanks to Johnson,” Sherles said, with annoyance emphasised on Johnson’s name. “Honestly, you haven’t helped out much at all since I’ve hired you.”
“Hey, I helped out with my Magikarp in the battles and all,” Johnson defended.
“True,” Wes added. “His Magikarp actually won in a two-on-one battle during the initial battle we had in the hideout bust.”
Sherles stared at Wes for a moment, and then burst out laughing, guffawing at the absurdity of that statement.
“That’s a good one, Wes!” he wheezed.
“But...it’s true! I spent ages EV training my Magikarp and all to have it that strong...I had so many battles against other Magikarp to have it as fast as it is for instance...” Johnson insisted, but his words were lost on a disbelieving Sherles.
“Quag?” (Help?) Quagsire managed to call, finding himself now on top of a lamppost temporarily, before Rui returned him to his Pokeball without looking, still absentmindedly pressing the button on the capsule.
“But it probably won’t matter much though,” Sherles added. “We do have the police force here to help us, even if smaller numbers… They’re also, by the way, pretty amazed however with Secc and how he manufactured them, calling him some super whiz at technology and whatnot. But let’s go inside; there’s some stuff I want to show you. After these people finally leave, that is,” Sherles said, observing the last of the newcomers slowly walk out of the Police station and embrace the stench of Pyrite.
“Ok then, just after I practise sending out Quagsire one more time,” Rui said, before turning around to locate Quagsire, who was trying to dizzily waddle away from Rui now, and returned him to the ball. Meanwhile, one more person emerged from the Police station as Wes and Sherles approached, a scowl furrowed on his face as he sipped from a mug he clutched, clearly not happy to be here.
“Hurry up, youngster,” Sherles snapped as he continued to linger by the entrance. “Andrew, was it? Shouldn’t you be going over those boxes found in the hideout?”
“What’s it to you? And I’ll do it soon enough; never you mind, old man,” he replied coolly, seemingly disinterested in what Sherles said. Wes frowned – he had thought that police officers – especially those from the big regions – would have had more manners than that.
“What’re you looking at?” the man continued, glaring at Wes. “Think you’re some big-shot, huh?” Wes flared at the comment, and the man grinned, knowing he had riled up Wes. “You’re just some guy who moved to the winning side at the right time, aren’t you?”
Luckily for Andrew, before Wes moved to respond with more than a few sharp words, a mournful grunt was sounded by Andrew’s feet, who suddenly jumped backwards in shock.
“What the hell is that!?” he cried, somewhat startled in the least at the sight of a dizzy Quagsire trying to keep steady, with his stupid gaze looking up at the man.
“Quag…sire?” (Where am I… are you food?) Quagsire asked suddenly, looking up brightly at what he thought was a pile of walking food as opposed to a person. He stepped forward happily, while the man stepped back uncertainly, unsure how to deal with the Quagsire.
“Sorry about that!” Rui called from afar. “I’ll just recall him…” she said, before pressing the button and directing the Pokeball at Quagsire. A small ‘click’ sound followed, and a pause; then nothing. Frowning, Rui tried again, and again, but all that happened was the appearance of a small trail of smoke now seeping out of the Pokeball. “It’s not working!” she cried.
“Don’t tell me you broke the Pokeball by using it too many times…” Sherles muttered to himself. Wes meanwhile grinned at Andrew – it seemed that he was unfamiliar with Quagsire, and looked like he had had the shock of his life.
“I’ll just try this one,” Rui said, pulling out another Pokeball. “Come here, Quagsire,” she called, directing it at Quagsire who was currently attempting to bite off the man’s shoe, dawdling after him with his short flippers outstretched. Rui pressed the button, and white light ejected out of the ball – only now Andrew found himself facing a curious Yanma as well.
“Arrgh!” he screamed, Yanma’s huge bug-out eyes regarding him.
“Yanma Yanma Yanma!” (Hi how are you I’m a Pokemon look at me I can fly whee!) Yanma buzzed at him as it darted around him, before stopping short and hovering by his hand, sniffing at the mug Andrew was holding.
“Oh dear, that was Yanma’s ball, not a spare one...” Rui said quietly, realising another blunder of hers.
“YANMA!” (COFFEE!) it shouted, knocking the mug out of his hands and licking at the spilled substance. Meanwhile, Quagsire had taken this moment of Andrew’s distraction and bit his foot, trying to overcome his rubber boots.
“Arrgh! What is with these Pokemon!?”
“Quag…” (Tastes like chicken…) Quagsire said, while Yanma gave a shrill screech of happiness as his eyes seemed to grow larger.
“Yanma-Yanma-Yanma-Yanma-Yanma-Yanma-Yanma! (Yay I got coffee I like the coffee it makes me go faster and faster and faster and faster and faster and hungrier and faster again and look at me hehehe I like you Mr coffee giver man I’m going to follow you!) Yanma said with glee, zooming even faster around and around Andrew, who gave a cry of confusion and ran away with Yanma following with ease, leaving Quagsire to continue chewing his boot.
“…Let’s go inside before the Yanma comes back, and deal with what it does later,” Sherles finally said. The others wholeheartedly agreed.
“Ok then, we have some more info here on Cipher that also regards Shadow Pokemon. We’ve found these,” Sherles said, producing two CD disks, with the words ‘Ein File H’ and ‘Ein File P’ written on them. “One we found by the place you battled Miror B, and this other one apparently Johnson had picked up. There’s information relating to Shadow Pokemon here, and we suspect there might be some more as well, which we’re still searching for, just in case.”
“Yes, I found it after the first fight and put it in my pocket,” Johnson interjected, anxious to establish it was him who had found it.
“Plus we now have a new name to go on who’s connected to Cipher,” Sherles added.
“Who?” Rui asked, curious.
“Oh, I know! Miror B, of course,” Johnson said.
“Johnson?” Sherles responded.
“You’re an idiot.”
“Oh...someone new... well then, was it that Andrew guy?” When Sherles didn’t respond, Johnson continued, “Oh, I know! It’s Rui, isn’t it?”
“No, she’s on our side! No, it’s a man called Ein, hence the name written on the CDs. He is, I’m guessing, the guy who compiled these disks, and he also seems to have had a large part in making Shadow Pokemon, judging by how he writes about them. Unfortunately, our database returned multiple results for a person named Ein, so it’s firstly a matter of shifting through them. Also, most of this information is stuff we already know, really – some stuff about Hyper State and what it can do – there’s a printout of it for you by the way,” Sherles added, handing Wes a large bundle of papers. “But there’s some interesting stuff there as well – apparently, according to this Ein person, one CAN purify Pokemon, although how is not mentioned... and that they plan to try to make... unpurifiable Pokemon.”
“Really?’ That’s rather interesting… so it sounds as if it is possible to purify them,” Wes said.
“But if they were able to make it impossible to purify them...” Rui added, shivering at the thought.
“Indeed. It’s quite a fair bit of mixed news here, although I think-” Sherles began, before being cut off by the sound of the door opening and a reporter barging in.
“On reporting business,” the man explained, waving his microphone at the group, and before Sherles could respond, he had waltzed into the prison – currently full with the people they had arrested – and waved the microphone at a prisoner’s face.
“So, what’s prison like?” the interviewer asked, pulling out a tape recorder as well. Meanwhile another person walked in – Sherles move to stop him, and then relaxed upon seeing Duking enter the room, with Plusle bouncing happily besides his towering master.
“Hello there,” Duking spoke in his booming voice. The large man had been much more upbeat ever since Plusle had returned to him, already having regained a more assertive posture and exuded happiness. He then frowned slightly, hearing questions come from the prison cells. “What’s going on there?”
“Oh, just a reporter,” Sherles muttered, as a persistent ‘Do you think working for Cipher had been a good career move for you?’ sounded, accompanied by angry and annoyed responses from the prisoners. A faint reply from one could also be heard, mentioning that the person had only wanted to join a dance school in the first place.
“Poor them,” Rui said. “Now the reporters seem to want to interview them...”
“Serves them right for kidnapping Plusle,” Duking said. “It’s good to have him back; even if I can’t understand him well for he jabbers too quickly for me to understand him – my hearing’s been a bit off today. But, I’m glad to have him back and all.”
“Plusle Plusle Plusle!” (I wonder what time lunch will be I’m hungry and want to go for a walk and then play with the children whee children!)
Duking smiled, and knelt down and petted Plusle. “That’s right; I love you too,” he said, as Wes stared. He’s right – he doesn’t understand Plusle that well... he thought, having a sneaking suspicion Plusle had been talking about other things.
“Rui,” Sherles said, “out of curiosity; what did bring you to Pyrite town again in the first place?”
“Well, I was going to Agate Village to visit my...” Suddenly Rui gave a small gasp.
“What is it?” Wes asked.
“Oh man... all this time I’ve been here, and I’ve supposed to have been in Agate Village visiting my grandparents... I guess I just... forgot,” she added sheepishly.
“You... forgot?” Wes asked, raising an eyebrow. Is such a thing possible?
“Espeon! Espeon...” (I swear, she isn’t that much better than Johnson! Being that forgetful doesn’t make sense...)
“What’s Agate Village again?” Johnson asked suddenly.
“Well, I did have it in my mind when you rescued me... but I somehow kept forgetting about it ever since I bumped my head in Phenac City... to be honest, I don’t remember much at all around then.”
“Umberon, Umb?” (Maybe a certain use of one’s powers in Phenac City had to do with that, eh, Espeon?) Umbreon whispered to Espeon, an amused and knowing look in his eye.
“...Esp...” (...Shut up...) Espeon responded, his eyes shifting around.
“I only remember something about being angry at... something, and I forgot about getting back to Agate for the most part, what with all these events...” Rui continued. “They’d probably know I’m safe, as I was on T.V., but I think I should head up there then.”
Sherles nodded. “I agree. You did your part with this, and they are probably worried about you, Rui.”
“Ok then, I’ll get my things soon. But how will I get there? I don’t even know where it is...”
“I’ll go,” Wes offered, speaking up suddenly.
“Really?” Rui said, sounding pleasantly surprised. Wes shrugged, with a light smile on his face.
“Why not? Nothing much to do here now, and with the Police now taking over... might as well take you there. I can just drive the Zoomer there...”
“Yes, I agree,” Sherles added. “There isn’t much you have to do here now; even if the majority of these young simpletons aren’t the most co-operative crew I’ve had the pleasure to work with, they’ll do fine, and I suppose you can keep purifying those Shadow Pokemon in Agate Village as well. Secc can keep in touch with you as well.”
“Hey, would ya stop bugging us?” someone shouted loudly from the prison cells – it sounded a lot like Folly, Wes thought to himself.
“And keep that microscope out of my face as well!” another added; this time Trudly was the one who shouted.
“...It’s a microphone.”
“Whatever. It’s bloody annoying!”
“You two are almost as annoying as the reporter – shut up already!”
“Can someone remind me how the hell did I get here again?”
“Hey, give me back my microphone!”
“Anyway...” Sherles said, interjecting in-between the shouts from the prison cell, “you better pack your things, Rui, and get ready to leave. No point to spend any more time here. Now, if you’d excuse me, I must be off,” he said, departing from the room.
“Plusle Plusle Plusle!” (Have fun in Agate then you two I heard it has lots and lots and lots of trees I don’t know what trees really are but they sound tasty!) Duking suddenly looked surprised, and glanced down at Plusle.
“What’s that?” Duking asked. “You want to go to Agate village with Rui and see trees?”
“Plusle...” (No, I don’t...) Plusle said, wondering how Duking had arrived at that conclusion to what he had said.
“Oh... ok then. If you’re sure you want to go some sight-seeing, I guess its ok,” Duking said.
“Plus-Plusle!” (Ok- wait, no no no!)
“Duking...” Rui began, meaning to tell him that Plusle had probably meant otherwise.
“You’ll take good care of him, I’m sure,” Duking said, smiling. “I’ll go and tell the kids then,” he said, and with that left as well. Plusle looked at his departing back confused, then shrugged and jumped onto Rui’s shoulder.
“Plusle…Plusle Plus!” (Well, a trip might be fun… and maybe they’ll have potatoes there as well!)
“Well, he’s not going to be too much trouble, seeing he’s so small… ouch!” she cried, as Plusle accidentally dispelled some electricity and zapped Rui out of excitement of going for a trip, and the possibility of potatoes.
“Plus!” (Sorry I just like potatoes!) Plusle said, now jumping up and down on Rui’s head.
Sherles ducked his head back in through the door just then, and looked at Rui and Wes. A small smile could be seen below his moustache as he regarded Plusle’s antics, before speaking. “Oh, yes, before you do, you need to see someone, you two... a ‘Fateen’ wants to see you. A fortune teller, I believe.” With that, Sherles left the building.
“...Her?” Wes asked. “That crazy woman? Bah, I don’t think we should...”
“Why not?” Rui asked.
“Because she was rubbish! I don’t believe in things like fortunetelling...”
“Well, she said we would meet a tall dark stranger... and Miror B was tall...” Rui began, not so eager to discount her.
“Oh, come off of it. Miror B was firstly only tall because of that ball of hair he had. And a dark stranger? Heck, with his outfit he nearly made my eyes bleed with all those colours...”
“Well, that’s one way to put it...” Rui admitted. “Ok then...”
“Oh, fine, we’ll go,” Wes then said.
“Well – wait, what?”
“Might as well, would only take a few minutes I guess...” Wes said. “Come on; we’ll get your things.”
“Hey... um, can I come too?” Johnson asked suddenly. Wes seemed to ponder this question for a split second, before answering.
“No. Besides, you may have to... um, show those new Policemen around. Especially that Andrew bloke,” he added as an afterthought. With that, the two left, as Umbreon glanced at Espeon and shook his head.
“Umbreon?” (You went and did the same thing again, didn’t you?)
“Espeon,” (Oh, come on; it was only a small nudge of persuasion,) Espeon said innocently.
Shortly after, the two were more or less ready to go. Taking their belongings, they departed the police station and headed to the front of Pyrite town, dodging the occasional reporter anxious to ask them their opinion on whether Pyrite should be renamed ‘Ultimate Utopia of Ultimateness’ or ‘Borrisville’ to attract new tourists. Rui found Yanma weakly hovering around Pyrite hotel, the coffee’s effects already wearing off on the tired Pokemon who had evidently had fun chasing Andrew around town. After returning him to his Pokeball - with Wes making sure there were no mistakes with the process this time around - they placed their bags by the Zoomer, and headed into Fateen’s house. She was seated in front of her crystal ball, with another man standing anxiously before her.
“You have... RETURNED!” Fateen spoke over-dramatically, adding in overly-eccentric hand gestures to her comment.
“Well, we’re here to see you…” Rui said, before the man stepped forward.
“Oh, no no no! I was here FIRST!” he shouted suddenly, causing all in the room to jump slightly. “Sorry,” he continued, “but I really do need to hear my fortune!”
“Ok then…” Wes began, before the man cut in again.
“IT’S MY TURN!” he shouted again, before turning and facing Fateen. “My turn… yesss...” he muttered under his breathe. Rui and Wes exchanged looks.
“But, dear sir,” Fateen began, “you’ve been here all week! And... umm...” she continued, looking desperately around the room. ‘the words... they... not good!” she tried.
“You said that yesterday!” the man retorted.
“But I told you all that any sane person would want to know! From the incident that’ll happen to you involving your wife and your handsome friend…”
“…Yes, well,” the man mumbled.
“…and even how much you will lose after you bet your life savings on a horse that will lose because it ran the race in the wrong direction… AND let’s not forget that incident resulting in that law suit…”
“Enough! Just tell me something else – please!” the man said, pleading to Fateen. “Something... good!”
“Oh, fine,” Fateen grumbled, moving things away from her crystal ball. “But there’s just one thing I want to tell those kids – and it’ll only take a moment.”
“But nothing – you will wait, or you can forget about your fortune telling!”
The man stared for a moment, then mumbled and walked to the side of the room, amusing himself by glancing at a bookshelf and mumbling to himself about his fortune.
“He’s been this way all week... and he scares the other customers away,” Fateen grumbled quietly to Wes and Rui. “Threw my crystal ball at them and everything. Lucky it didn’t break. But anyway – I have some information that’ll be of help to you regarding those Shadow Pokemon you have...”
Oh man, not another person trying to help out... Wes thought. Fateen must have noticed his sceptical look, as she addressed him. “Oh, I can offer you some advice,” she said simply, “Team Snagem boy.”
“But...” Wes said. It was odd that she seemed to have known about him having worked for Team Snagem – that information had been kept under wraps away from the reporters, and hence the general public - but maybe the reporters had found out.
“And, I know you are on your way to Agate Village – which may be fate working, actually,” Fateen added. Wes stared – she couldn’t have possibly known that. He shifted uneasily.
“Ok then,” Rui said, intrigued. “What is it you want to say?”
“Well, you have a problem purifying them, do you not? All I want to say is that I had a vision!” Fateen exclaimed, suddenly throwing sparkles into the air from a small box on the desk.
“Espi...” (Maybe you did, but why the sparkles?) Espeon asked, eying them with scepticism.
Then an uncomfortable pause followed.
“...Yes?” Rui said finally.
“Huh... oh yes. I lost myself there for a moment,” Fateen said, shaking herself out of a gaze at a particular interesting-looking wall. “The vision!” she cried, throwing more sparkles in the air.
“...And?” Wes prompted.
“Well... the key to freeing them is in the north. More specifically, Agate Village.”
“Oh, ok...” Rui said, pondering this. “Is that all?”
“Of course!” Fateen said, sounding a little bit offended. “What do you want, me to tell you how to do everything to beat this ga- err, I mean, my visions aren’t always clear,” she said, seemingly catching herself from saying something.
“Well, thanks...I guess,” Wes said. “We’ll, ah, keep that in mind. Rui, let’s go – we’ll be on our way in... two or three minutes.”
“No, you won’t,” Fateen suddenly said.
“Don’t you know? Outside looms the biggest danger of all – the invisible pixies!” Fateen continued, waving her hands mysteriously with a dramatic edge to her voice. Wes simply sighed and walked out, with Rui and his Pokemon following. Meanwhile, the man stepped up to Fateen.
“TELL ME MY FORTUNE NOW! PLEASE!” he shouted pleadingly, causing Rui to jump slightly at the question as she stepped outside.
“Oh, all right,” she said. She turned to her crystal ball, gave it the quickest of glances, and then turned back to the man. “You will die.”
“Oh, ok- wait, WHAT?”
“Twenty dollars, please,” she said, ignoring his reaction and holding her hand out. But the man simply ran out past Wes and Rui, howling with sadness and heading straight for the pub.
“Pity...” Fateen said quietly. “I forgot to tell him he’d die due to old age...” she added to herself with a wry smile, satisfied she was rid of him.
Meanwhile, Rui sat down in the side seat of the Zoomer, as Wes retuned his Pokemon to their Pokeballs, and hopped into the driver’s seat. Giving Pyrite town one last look, Wes gunned the Zoomer, and they started off north for Agate Village.
Nascour let out an irritated sigh, as he observed a grunt walk out of his office and close the door. A temporary television had been just set up, so he was finally able to watch shows again, but he wasn’t really in the mood for it. All they showed now, apparently, were constant reports on how they had found Cipher out in Pyrite, exposing their hideout, their plans and their identity. It was a relief that the people working there had not been well informed about things other than their role in Pyrite, but it had been a major loss nonetheless.
Plus, the television was just not the same. The previous one had been a real thing to behold, and had countless functions. Many hadn’t much to do with televisions or were utterly pointless – Nascour himself did not comprehend how nor why a television that could display shows in brilliant detail would also be able to sharpen pencils, and have a bagel-making unit at the side of all things – but it was the principle of the matter. Nascour would have dearly loved to have boasted about his bagel-making television. Boasting about such things gave him a rare satisfaction, like the kind he got upon seeing a particularly cunning plan work to perfection. But instead; he had this sad excuse of a television, which constantly sounded as if there were angry wasps inside of it, whether it was off or on. And it was ridiculously small as well!
Yes, things had gone pear-shaped recently for him, and for Cipher. Things were in disarray, and instead of having the luxury of being able to work at a slow yet safe pace, they now had to scurry just to conceal themselves.
And it was all because of that blasted former Team Snagem boy.
He had started the loss Team Snagem had suffered, and it turned out that he had helped continue that process as well in Pyrite, inflicting unconceivable damage to Cipher. Plus that girl too… if Miror B’s peons had done their job with her in the first place, then the events of Pyrite wouldn’t have occurred, and Nascour would have probably not have broken his bagel-making television either.
Yes, the boy would pay for what he caused when the opportunity arises; I’ll see to that, Nascour thought, frowning as he adjusted the long streaks of white hair he had, then smothered the purple clothes he liked to sport. Nascour knew it was a particular bad choice of clothing, but he didn’t really care – there were bigger and more important things to think about. Plus having the grunts scurry at the mere sight of him was always handy.
Suddenly, the voice of the reception lady sounded outside his office, with her sounding a bit overcome by something. “Nascour, sir – there’s, umm, someone who wants to see you.”
“And who is it?” Nascour asked, irritably. The lady was new on the job – the old receptionist had been sacked after overusing the intercom system to whinge loudly about his failed marriage and how not as many people read his fanfics – fanfics of all things – as he would have liked – so she wasn’t familiar with who was who yet.
“You don’t know who I am, lady?” another voice added suddenly. Nascour grimaced sourly – he knew who that was.
And the salsa music faintly playing outside his office in the background was a telltale sign as well.
“I know him – I’m coming,” Nascour called, before leaving the office. Closing the door behind him, he turned and saw Miror B set down an oversized radio by the receptionist’s desk.
“Why, I’m the fabulous Miror B!” he exclaimed, with a dazzling smile.
“…Who?” the seated woman managed, looking intimidated by Miror B’s afro, which towered over her.
“I’m only the most famous dancer in the land!” he boasted.
“Miror B, that’s enough terrorizing my receptionist,” Nascour ordered. Miror B however raised a hand, waving him off.
“Nonsense – and I’m surprised she’s not put off by your constant unappealing choice of clothing as well!” he retorted, sniffing in disdain at Nascour’s grim and odd attire while taking out the tape from the radio, and inserting another. A song started playing, as Miror B then jumped on the desk and started dancing, then singing to the song.
Don't blame it on sunshine
Don't blame it on moonlight
Don't blame it on good times
Blame it on the boogie!
“That’s enough, Miror B,” Nascour started, but Miror B ignored him, continuing to dance, and sing louder as well, losing himself in the music.
Don't blame it on sunshine
Don't blame it on moonlight
“For goodness’s sakes, stop singing so loud!” someone shouted from down the hall, as the receptionist wisely decided to leave the room.
Don't blame it on good times
Then, Miror B pulled off a back flip from the desk and landed on the floor perfectly, while suddenly singing extremely loudly and with enormous enthusiasm:
Blame it on the BOOGIE!
“SHUT UP, MIROR B!” Nascour cried. Miror B suddenly looked around, seeming breaking out from his trance.
Oh, I do hate it when he starts shouting... Miror B thought. It’s terribly off key as well! “Hey, where did she go?” he added to his thoughts, noticing her absence.
“This is not the time!” Nascour shouted, grabbing Miror B by the arm and dragging him into his office, while Miror B yelped musically in surprise, and grabbed his radio just before he was hauled out of reach of it.
“Now, explain yourself! How the hell did you screw it up! I bet you’ve even lost those important files that Ein gave you, didn’t you!?” Nascour shrieked, slamming the door shut and glaring venomously at Miror B. He gulped, as the song stopped playing from the radio, and a new one started.
I need somebody!
Not just anybody!
You know I need someone! Help!
When I was younger so much younger than today...
“And turn that thing off!” Nascour said angrily over the song.
“But... I can’t. You know that. And it’s the Beatles!” Miror B said simply.
“Oh fine, put it on headphones, or something, so I can’t hear it,” Nascour conceded. Miror B grabbed some out of his pocket, and plugged it in, while trying to find his ears through his afro as he mumbled about people unable to appreciate good music.
“Now, explain yourself!” Nascour said, When Miror B was satisfied he could hear the music and Nascour as well.
“Ok, well, quite simply, they found us out, that boy battled me, I escaped, but everyone else got arrested...”
“I KNOW THAT ALREADY!” Nascour screamed, before forcing himself to continue in a slightly calmer voice. “How did this happen, though?”
“Oh, they, umm, used some mind-wiping thing.”
“Oh, Wes – the teenager – he had an Espeon which was controlling my minions. They couldn’t do a thing. By the way, I want to complain about them! They simply refused to even try one of my dance lessons! Then those awful people broke my special radio!” Miror B complained.
“But... how did you escape then?” Nascour asked, curiously.
“Oh, I, err, somehow got my hands on a mind-protecting... thingy. They had some objects which protected themselves from that Espeon, and he had something which enhanced his powers...”
“Really?” Nascour suddenly said, his voice not as angry as before. “Do you still have it? If so, we could possibly reverse-engineer it, then from that even possibly employ mind-controlling ourselves... it’ll take too long to make by itself, with all our technical resources are now solely focused on Shadow Pokemon and maintaining them in that state, but if we had it...” Nascour began rambling on to himself excitedly, while Miror B forced himself to ignore the music for once and ponder this.
He still had it, all right – he could feel the cold metal of the altered Itemfinder against his skin through his pocket, the object suddenly feeling very heavy. If he handed it in, then Nascour might stop shouting at him...
...but no. I won’t, Miror B thought after a moment. I’ve had enough of this. I never really wanted to be a villain in the first place, and now, with me no longer having my dance studio... there’s no gain! And I don’t want Cipher to brainwash people either! If I have an opportunity to quit, I shall. But for now... an excuse!
“Well... I don’t. I, err, lost it while making my escape,” Miror B said. Nascour frowned for a moment, then sighed, accepting the lame excuse.
“Oh well. If only... but it’s odd that the Orre Police force would have gone with using it themselves... no wonder they overcame the hideout.”
Miror B sighed – he was forgiven, for now. Smiling, he focused back on the music. Oh yeah – ‘Getting Better’! he thought happily to himself, enjoying another Beatles song.
“Well, at least the new police forces might bring something helpful – they at least will not be happy with any mind wiping techniques, and they might just stop those brats from continuing to do so. How dare they use such dirty tactics...”
“Well, you are kinda making Pokemon... well, evil and all...” Miror B pointed out.
“Oh, that’s besides the point! We’re meant to be the ones resorting to heavy-handed techniques, not them!” Nascour said angrily. Suddenly, a loud knock was heard on the door.
“Hello! Is there anyone there? Only the reception person seemed to have nicked off, man...” a booming voice asked.
“Ah! Dakim! The door’s unlocked!” Nascour said. The man behind the door responded by opening it – only, the sound of ripping metal pieces clinking and squeaking in protest accompanied the door being cleanly removed from the doorway. A towering barefooted man stepped in, looking bemusedly at the door. He was dressed in a simple white gi not unlike one a martial artist would wear, which failed to conceal the outline of muscles that he had, with a simple black belt hanging from his hips. A necklace made of Pokeballs also hung from his neck. He was by far the tallest and largest in the room by far – even bigger than Miror B despite his giant afro, and Nascour was not lacking in height by any means as well.
“Dude, I think you need a new door...” Dakim said simply, the red-haired man looking confused as to how simply opening the door resulted in it breaking so.
“I knew I should have gone with the automatic doors...” Nascour mumbled in distaste, not impressed with his lumbering minion.
“Hey, Miror B!” Dakim suddenly exclaimed, dropping the door as it made a wooden cluck as it hit the floor. He went and shook Miror B’s hand enthusiastically. “Long time no see!”
“Uh, yes, the same for you,” Miror B replied, rubbing his arm when Dakim released it.
“Yeah, man! I really appreciated that music you gave me as well!” Dakim boomed. “Really helps me get in a mood for a workout!”
“Dakim, could you, um, use your inside voice?” Nascour asked.
“Oh, sure thing, man!” he said, clearly not knowing what an ‘inside voice’ meant. Glancing around, he then spotted the small humming television. “Hey, man – where’s that awesome television you had? Don’t tell me that’s it! I wanted to try some of those bagels!”
“Yeah, you did mention it... did it come with that surround...sound...” Miror B agreed, before stopping himself, observing Nascour’s facial expression, which was currently looking more frightening than a rampaging Tyranitar.
“Oh, calm down, man!” Dakim said, ignoring Nascour’s response. “You’ve gotta relax! C’mon, meditate with me! Breathe in-” Dakim sudden inhaled very loudly, and held it for a long moment, before exhaling even louder than before for an extended period of time. “...And breathe out. Now you try it!” Dakim then turned to Nascour, who glared at him.
“Fine, whatever, dude,” Dakim said, disappointedly. “I’m just here to say that I’m ready to make my way to Mt Battle.”
“Good,” Nascour finally said. “But a slight change of plan. I want you to send a small group to Agate Village as well.”
“Why?” Dakim asked. “Man?” he added.
“Well, for a similar reason as to why you are to go get that thing from Mt Battle, of course! There’s a Relic stone, or something there, which apparently would have a negative effect on Shadow Pokemon.”
“Negative? You mean, it makes them more angry or something?” Dakim asked.
“Of course not! Negative for us! It might turn them normal again! That’s why I want you to send a small group to break it.”
“But, isn’t that a stone in tribute of... Celebi or something?” Miror B asked, not appealed by the idea to destroy a monument, especially not of a legendary Pokemon. Surely it wouldn’t be very happy about it?
“Indeed! That’s why we have to destroy it!” Nascour said happily, misinterpreting Miror B’s comment. “I don’t want any more risks – it’s time for swift action! We shall eliminate all threats that stand in the way of keeping our Pokemon Shadow!”
“Ok then, man! I’ll send my top assistant and some grunts along to do the job!” the man boomed simply, not really as concerned about it as Miror B was. He moved to depart the room, but then stopped.
“Oh, by the way, dude – how is Ein getting on?” he asked.
Nascour allowed a smile to creep upon his face for a moment, a rare satisfaction he had not been able to enjoy in recent days.
“He’s doing his job, that’s what he’s doing,” he said.
A young man sat in his seat by a desk, which was covered by more papers than the number of tails a group of one thousand Ninetales would have, each one containing ridiculously long hypotheses and mathematical proofs. He was finalising one of them right now, hastily scribbling down the final lines. It had taken him a long while to get the problem out, and it didn’t help that the people working on the problem before him had made several mistakes. One person’s working even seemed to somehow prove successfully, yet impossibly, that three wasn’t a number. He had to go over it all again, but he was now right at the end. It would, hopefully, prove to be a handy result that they could use to improve the process.
Ein double checked the last few lines of the problem before adding in the final line. He made sure that he had not committed any silly mistakes – it had cost him dearly in one test when he had gone to school. One little mistake had been the difference between full marks – and as a result he had finished second. This was in some insignificant test, yes, but it was the only one he had not come out on top. Instead, he came second to some girl who, albeit having an admittedly good grasp of maths, had an annoying obsession with clothes and vintage cars. How she raved on and on about them that day, as he sat staring in disbelief at his test paper. He had made a fatal mistake – he had forgotten to add the one to his final equation.
He had hated that day, but ever since he had learned from his mistake. Satisfied with the answer his previous lines of working led to, he wrote it down, dropped his pen down, and then adjusted his glasses.
“Ok, you,” he said, pointing at one of his assistants that stood in the gray, expansive lab. “Take this, and send it directly to him.”
“Yes, sir,” the man answered quietly, taking the bundle of papers from the grandly white-clothed scientist and walked out.
“The rest of you can leave too,” Ein added as an afterthought. “Go on,” he urged as the others hesitated. “I wish to work on the next subject.” At this, the other assistants silently departed, leaving him alone to the set of rooms he worked in. He took a sip of coffee from a mug of his, clutching it with a pale-skinned hand, and swallowed a pill with the liquid, sitting in quiet satisfaction. Besides his desk, the rest of the lab was sickly clean, without a single thing out of place, the floor a dull, undisturbed grey. He was surrounded by state of the art equipment – one of the perks of working here – and all in all he was happy with the place, if not necessarily his bumbling assistants.
This is all going to plan here, at least, he thought, while stifling a yawn. He silently reprehended himself with a mental telling-off– now was not the time to be sleepy. Cipher was enduring a rough patch, and now all had to be done as quickly as possible. And if he had to remain awake for a further week to do so, then so be it.
After all, he had more than enough anti-sleeping pills - that he had developed himself – to keep him going for now. The side effects weren’t pleasant – one morning he had awoken with green hair, another more facial hair that he had thought possible, and yesterday he had been working so fast after taking an extra-strength dose that his computer had nearly exploded, unable to keep up with his typing – but he would tolerate this to see his experimentation bring success.
Ein got up to his feet, and began walking towards the room where he knew the next subject would have already been waiting for the beginning of the process.
And I had specifically instructed those two peons of Miror B to do the job right and deliver the girl safely, Ein thought, knowing quite well why he had to work quickly now. But no – they completely and utterly screwed it up, and now she identified my Shadow Pokemon, and they got snagged by some former Team Snagem member. How this occurred is a travesty, but I’ll just have to work harder now. They better not screw up the elimination of the other threats.
And, he added to himself, that Miror B fellow dances too much and hasn’t the slightest clue on calculus. No wonder his assistants failed their duty so miserably. His music is extremely distracting as well... Still, he did indirectly inspire that new way to perform the process... Ein walked through a passageway, turning his thoughts to what he would monitor.
I hope they’ve already administered the formula as well; apparently the new version will make the Pokemon more open to the process, and hopefully quicken the experiment. Time is currently of the essence. Pity we can’t work on more than one at the same time yet – the results just don’t work as well. They insist on trying to support each other during the process...
Ein approached a room – a large spacious one that he had had specially constructed for the purposes of the project. Inside was his next subject – he could hear it, making small, trill cries. Ein smiled coldly, as he placed some earmuffs on his head, and took another pill, one which would temporary reduce his capacity to hear things. He didn’t particularly enjoy the noise the process he was using now would cause – leastways this one far more than others - and he wished to work further while overseeing it without having to get distracted by it. The pill did a lot, but the earmuffs provided an extra level of silence.
Hopefully it won’t take too long, he thought.
Where... where am I? Help!
The Skarmory let out a small screech, but knowingly in vain – his cries for help weren’t bringing anyone or anything to rescue him from this place. He had sat in a dark cage, surrounded by other Pokemon for a long time earlier on, before being brought to this place, in the very centre of the expansive room, dim lights unable to illuminate the dark corners.
Somehow, he had a sneaking suspicion that he was no longer near his nest.
He couldn’t escape either – he was held by some metal not unlike the kind that his body was plated by. Moving any part of his body even a mere bit took a fair amount of effort; yet he still tried to move and fidget as much as he possibly could, as three men who were currently around him tried desperately to jab him with a large sharp object with strange liquid floating inside of it.
“Stop resisting, you pest of a Pokemon,” one of them grumbled.
“It can’t be that hard to give some Skarmory an injection...” one replied.
“Bah, it’s harder than it looks – it has that darn steel hide as well which there’s no point trying to jab through, and I can’t get it through the gaps without it trying to claw my face off!”
“Let me try, then,” the second said, grabbing it off the first and moving in. Shortly after, the Skarmory gave a trill of triumph as he pecked hard at the man’s fingers as they foolishly entered his range, resulting in loud aggravated shouting by the man. Tripping backwards, he fell into the third man, who himself stumbled into what appeared to Skarmory to be a table with strange and unusually sharp objects scattered upon it. The man’s cries of anguish seemed to confirm this fact.
“Skar? Skarmory!” (Beaten by a restrained Skarmory? Give up, you smelly... stinky humans!)
“I told you so...” the first man said simply as the other jumped around clutching his hand.
Then, another man walked in. This one, Skarmory thought, looked bad – there was something cold in the way he cast his calculating gaze he cast upon him as he removed his glasses. Frightened, Skarmory stopped celebrating his minor victory, distracted by the newcomer; then gave a sudden cry as he felt a light prick between his steel-plated wings.
“Got him,” the first man said, relieved he had managed to inject Skarmory.
“Good,” Ein said. “Now you three can leave, I’ll do the rest. Gonzap wants the most effective method we have available, and I’m intending to try it.” The three obeyed, one of them holding his hand while muttering under his breath, the other trying to relieve himself of pain in multiple parts of his body, while the third cast a quick, pitying look at Skarmory before trailing behind the other two.
Skarmory was not at all comforted at this. And they had punctured him with the sharp thing – what was going to happen? All around him were strange and terrifying objects. The man was grinning with a malicious smile, staring at him behind his glasses.
“Skar? Skar!” (Ok, could you, um, let me go now? I’ll promise to be good!)
“Now... now is when the fun begins for you,” the man said, ignoring the bird as a small, twisted smile slowly grew on his face.
“Skar?” (Please?) the Skarmory said, gulping at the man’s reaction. What was going to happen to him? Would he indeed become like those other Pokemon he saw? The man was slowly walking towards one of the tables near the back of the room. Skarmory could not look away – he couldn’t tilt his head much at all. He was forced to look straight ahead. Strange objects were piled on it – he didn’t like the look of them. He was already there, adjusting an odd rectangular thing. Clicking and whirring sounds began. This was it. The Skarmory braced himself–
- and then squawked in surprise, as a blaze of trumpets deafened him.
“Skar!?” (What the!?) he cried. The trumpeting continued, before suddenly the sounds currently being pumped out of the rectangular box changed to softer, but still incredible loud human singing.
Love, love, love,
Love, love, love,
Love, love, love...
Skarmory continued to caw in confusion – why, of all things, was music being played at such a loud volume? Meanwhile, the man had taken a small object and pressed a button, and one of the walls suddenly burst into colour. Images attacked him – images of sunshine and lollypops and bright, colourful flowers.
“Skar!?!” (What’s happening!?!)
There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game,
The music continued without a hitch. Skarmory was still dazed by the recent events – the music was too loud, but it was strange. Strange and beautiful. And the colours in front of him...
There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be in time,
All you need is love,
All you need is love,
All you need is love, love,
Love is all you need.
“Skar...” (I’m confused, but I’m not complaining!) the Skarmory finally said, beginning to caw with the music. Suddenly he was starting to feel a little bit dizzy, but he paid it no heed, engrossed in the pretty pictures. Meanwhile, the man quietly smirked, then approached another table. With a look at something strapped on his wrist, he then started another machine.
Ein was now seated by the side of the room, mulling to himself over a particularly tough problem. The earmuffs he was wearing, combined with the pill he took earlier, drowned out the vast majority of the sound, but faint cries from Skarmory could now be heard, who was now fidgeting violently, trying to get out of his prison.
“Skar! Skarr!” (Help! I’ve had enough! I don’t likes them flowers!) he screamed shrilly. Ein ignored him.
There's nothing you can know that isn't known-
All you need is love-
“SKARR!” (HELP! I CAN SEE THE MUSIC NOW!)
Ein looked up again, and then smiled evilly. The potion administered had indeed sped it up – it shouldn’t be long now. And this process has its advantages – less physical injuries gained by the Pokemon during this process over others, leaving them requiring less recovery time.
All you need is love-
Nothing you can see that isn't shown-
Love, love, love-
It was a simple ploy, really. Ein had deduced that no matter what, anyone or anything would get annoyed by a constant repetition of extremely loud sound. Ein had learnt that with Miror B – trying to work with him around if that music of his had been a nightmare - and now used this as a process. The song choice was merely a touch of irony. Ein liked irony.
And the Skarmory was right at breaking point. And no wonder. Eight radios, positioned all around the room played the same song; all starting at different intervals, all at an incredible volume. The same song played over and over again. Frequent burst of trumpeting had a particularly good effect as well, it seemed. And the room was measured precisely that the song waves would rebound off the walls and collide into the subject in the centre of the room again, like hyperactive Spoink bouncing inside a closed box.
Love is all you need-
And the radios have been playing for several hours now.
All you need is love-
Torture was a simple way to break a Pokemon, but this was something different. Something more. Not only was it a physical torture to the hearing of the Pokemon, it simply demolished their mental well-being. Clearly evident by the Skarmory’s dazed reactions – he probably didn’t know what was happening anymore now.
“Skar Skar Skr!” (I am a happy little birdy birdy birdy....) the Skarmory sung to the song, while banging his head as much as he could, despite being limited in his actions.
No one you can save that can't be saved-
Love, love, love-
The added factor of the video playing what was considered good, pure things helped too, combined with the potion. The potion was very handy, although long-lasting. It was made up of a combined mixture of brews, which coincidently happened to have the same effect as an extremely concentrated amount of alcohol.
A mere shot left the Pokemon helpless to resist any process used and subdued their minds; and it occasionally had amusing results to boot, leastways for his colleagues. Ein had no time to laugh, and hadn’t shared the enthusiasm they had when a subject, after undergoing a particularly vile process, had tried afterwards to fight back, only to stumble and flail its arms in a drunken and confused fashion, striking thin air more than anything else. In the end it had ended up punching itself out.
This concoction too was mixed with another one especially for this process, which rendered the Skarmory unable to blink – a clever invention that Ein had created after studying Pokemon anatomy. So it had to watch the video.
All you need is love-
The subconscious revulsion and dislike projected by the subject’s mind due to the experience generated by the music would transfer to the images it saw, and this would work for the Skarmory too. Soon, he would hold a severe dislike for the things he viewed – all good, ‘happy’ and nice things.
“Skarrr!” (Shut up, mister floooowweerrrrs! I will defeat you!) Skarmory cried, trying to peck out at the video screen ahead of him. There was something about the way the flowers just sat there that made them seem extremely sinister to him.
All you need is love-
He would forget a lot as well, consumed by hate. Pokemon were such emotional things; it was of little surprise to Ein what results this method had on the first subject it was applied too. It was working now as well – even better than before, Ein noted, as Skarmory violently tried to break free but failed. Major changes in the subject’s emotional levels was paramount to achieving success in the process, along with a few other minor procedures here and there that had to be carried out on the odd subject.
“Skar! Skarmory SKAR!” (You all stupid now! All of you! Especially that thingy! EVERYBODY SHUT UP!) the Skarmory moaned, despairing against the music. He wasn’t able to concentrate clearly anymore, the music simply swamping his dazed and subdued mind. Instead it moaned, half pitifully, half angrily at the images floating before him.
All together now-
Yes, on the whole it was a good process. And it left the subject less withdrawn after the process than others, such as forcing them to watch looping award acceptance speeches, or surround them by thousands of Mr-Mime-in-a-boxes, each with a different yet equally disturbing giggle.
All you need is love-
Soon it would only be able to attack by concentrating its power and hate into one attack – Shadow Rush. And it would not hesitate to attack others. It would become a Shadow Pokemon, just like all the others had before it. Of that there was no doubt. The problem was, they could recover from this – in time all wounds would heal at least to a point, the subject’s emotional wellbeing returning to a healthier state. But Ein hoped that this would not be the case after further developments.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game-
All you need is love-
Ein then got up to leave. He would send for an assistant to turn off everything soon enough, once it was done. After all, he was a busy man – he had things to do, and other subjects to prepare for. He left the room, leaving behind the ceaseless noise, and the Skarmory’s fading pleas.
All you need is love-
All you need is love-
Love, love, love-
All you need is love, love-
Love is all you need.
Hope you enjoyed the long chapter of chapterness. Now, for the spoiler of characters/events in this chapter and the games (or for a large part, NOT in the game):
Thus, it is concluded. Hope it was enjoyed, and hope to be quicker and having less plot/character-set up with the next chapter. Starring a new setting in Agate Village! Lots of fun characters to use there...
Here's a grammar mistake I found:
Some funny lines that I found:
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!
I'm back. But not as active as before. 2 years has been too long.
Check out my food blog if you're not busy.
*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
Nice story, something different from the typical "setting of on a pokemon trainer journey". You've brought so much life to the story.
Yes, it's up. First, a reply to reviews:
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.
“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:
This sign has
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…”
“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.
“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.
“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.”
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):
Hope you enjoyed it - until the next chapter, farewell!
Caution: This review may contain sharp edges.
The one grammar thing that caught my horribly bloodshot eye:
Trust me, Eagun acts bizarre enough without Espeon's interference. I mean, pulling a Pikachu out of his beard? That sounds like something some oddball magician might do.
Oh, yes, fat Pikachu FTW. Her diet might explain why she gets pwned by Skrub's Hitmontop despite the level advantage.
I'm not a big fan of food fights (blame it on having too many of 'em during school lunch way back when) but seeing Plusle trying to protect the precious potatoes is full of win as well. Even though it failed to protect said potatoes.
Well, I can't think of any good way to wrap up this review, so I'll just say "great chapter" and
Anyways, thanks once again for the great review. =)
Dang, that's awesome. Made me laugh the whole way. :D
Awesome stuff, 'specially the signs. :D
Personally I loved the radio bit. I wished the radio stations I have in my town would play such entertaining advertisements.
But what I'm wondering is who gets the money that's put into the radio? Is there some guy who at night, finds the Zoomer and takes the money out of it?
Okay, I finally got caught up with your fic (here since I've had enough of bulbagarden), b&b. And, damn this thing's so freaking awesome! It's far better than when I first read it last March; I'm surprised how much more refined your skills have gotten, dude!
Sorry I can't give a little bit more thorough review, but I'm a little pressed for time right now... Just loving how its turned out, seriously!
Rated - PG. Warning - There is a high possibility of a random person possessing a large flamboyant afro.
^ i am highly offense, i have a big flamboyant afro that looks like a pokeball ;] hahahaha im just joking, but this is really really good. keep up the good work
Name: Zapdos FTW
Adopt one yourself! @Pokémon Orphanage
They did not have a drifloon :[ i was very very mad :'[
I say, this is quite a comedic piece you got there. There were many parts that I laughed a loud a lot. Since you’re able to do a big review of NE after reading nineteen chapters of it, I’ll try my best to do the same. However, there are going to be a few times I’ll talk about, say, Chapters 4 and 5 at the same time (you’ll know what I mean). Sorry, don’t think I’ll be able to cover everything, and also want to play catch up. ;
Prologue, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2
I’ll just say overall strong and funny beginning. From Gonzap’s moustache to that coffee man to Pinky’s battle to Rui, there’s not much I can say here, heh.
The only thing is the beginning battles seemed a bit too easy and Wes over himself. Then again, you did say the battles at first were easy (yes, I hadn’t played Colosseum ; ).
Chapters 3 and 4
Pretty much my favorite parts in Chapter 3 are when Rui at first got mad at Rui, but then all of sudden is okay with him (thanks to Esperon ) and also the suspense of the catch.
Chapter 4, first off gotta love flashbacks. Also, love that scene where the man told him to save the game. How can you do that?
Chapters 5 and 6
Love the windwill scene pretty much . Poor Umbreon being thrown there. XD Also, thirty years of experience until you can get Chief’s job? *sighs*
All I gotta say at the end of Chapter Five is the people’s reaction to Wes stealing the Pokemon is priceless. XD
Chapter 6- I feel sorry for Sherles. I do wonder why he hired Johnson…:p
The scene where Esperon and Alakazam wiped everyone’s memory is funny. Guess the heat is making them crazy or something. XD
And oh, I just LOVE both Mirror B and Nascour’s reactions when they realize they just missed Wes.
Chapters 7 and 8
On that dream, at first I thought you put there randomly, but now I can’t help but see the resemblance of the line, “I’m not your father… because YOU DON’T HAVE ONE!” to Chapter 12. Um…yeah. ;
The battles I liked how you didn’t say every detail about them but just go for the most important (and comedic) parts. Would be a pain to try to describe them all, especially with the battles turn based. I do believe though you could have put more emphasis on Cali’s battle, with him knowing a bit about Cipher and all, but that’s probably just me.
On the gears scene, I wonder why Sherles or Duking didn’t really do anything when Ferma and Reath came. Then again, I guess they didn’t know they’re part of Cipher yet.
The shopping scene and the battles in Chapter 8 are quite funny and enjoyable. My favorites are when Rui got all of those items (so may pastries ) and of course Tom during AND after the battle. XD
Chapters 9 and 10
Chapter 9 I thought you did the battle well. Lots of comedy there, like Magikrap able to defeat his opponents and Tom. XD However, it was a bit confusing as there were a lot of guards Wes and the others had to go through and hard to keep track on what’s going on.
Chapter 10 I thought you did well parodying “Crazy” and incorporating it as Mirror B’s backstory. Also, that theme song brought back memories. XD
Also, love that Magikarp just flopped out of the cave and I can imagine Johnson doing an Irish Jig.
The battle and Nascour’s reaction are win, enough said.
Have to say, nice selection of songs you put in that chapter. I so can imagine “All You Need is Love” being the torture song though if one is to hear it many times. XD;
Quite a few things going on with the characters there. I like how you took the time to give the readers a look of what’s going on in Wes, Mirror B, and Ein’s thoughts.
One minor thing is it seem Sherles forgot what he was about to say to the gang before those interviewers and Duking came.
I enjoyed this chapter a lot. Have to agree that the financial reports are getting a bit repetitive now (and I’m studying financial economics as my concentration ). I like the other ads too, especially the tacos one. XD
Have to say also, those people at Agate are crazy. However, Ash isn’t that bad of a person.
Only thing is I think you went a bit too long on Skof’s story. I know you want to emphasis how his story is all nonsense, but I think you could have ended that part sooner so that you can get the plot of this chapter go faster.
Now, to sum it all up...
Overall, lots of funny parts in this story and I enjoyed it a lot. Again, haven’t played the game, but read most of the walkthrough and your explanation and you did well dealing the plotholes in the game. There’s actually this one other Serebii that also talked about the plotholes and mechanics of the Pokemon games, but in a more dramatic way while yours you did it in comedic fashion (and good at it too *thumbs up* ).
Also, lots of great characters, even if many of them are from the game. Wanna say my favorite noncomedic character is Sherles, cause he actually want to get this Cipher/Snagem case over with . As for comedic, have to say Tom cause of his druken slurs XD. Also, my favorite Pokemon character is Esperon, because he always like to mess around with people’s minds. And of course, Miror B wins.
Guess the only overall criticism I would say is Misdreavus should have more screentime. I love Croncraw and Makuhita, but we weren’t able to get to know much of Misdreavus’ personality.
Nothing much to say but great work here and keep it up!
And about time too! First, review replies:
And now the chapter. Stuff actually happens now in the game and hence the story, so huzzah for that! If you think there are many references to various things in this chapter, you're not wrong. =P
Thanks to a friend from school (known as Sky Fyre) for beta reading.
Disclaimer – no Pokemon were hurt in the making of this chapter.
Chapter 14 – Flying Pikachu, Magic Stone
Wes groaned as he staggered down a set of stairs, while trying to fit himself into his blue coat. He was still unaccustomed to living inside a giant tree, let alone spending the night there; and he also wasn't used to living somewhere with so many randomly-placed teapots to boot, as he tripped over one and came down the stairs faster than he had wished to.
“Good morning, Wes! Did you sleep well?” Rui said as she appeared into sight, clad in pyjamas and clutching a particularly oversized teapot, while Wes collided with a heavy clump at the bottom of the staircase. Dazed, he accepted Rui’s help to get him back onto his feet, only being able to make an unintelligible grunt in return as Wes noticed that Rui’s pyjamas were patterned with numerous Pokemon in chibi form. Wes frowned as he rubbed his head.
“I didn’t sleep very well,” he said eventually.
“Why not?” Rui asked worriedly. “And... where did you sleep anyway? I slept on the sofa, and I didn’t see any other bedrooms...”
“That’s because there are no other bedrooms,” Wes said flatly. “No – instead, I had the pleasure of getting to sleep outside on some giant branch...”
Rui stared, as Eagun walked past the two into the kitchen. “Well,” he said, while shrugging, “I told you we were a bit short on spare beds and all.”
“Yeah, I know...” Wes muttered. “Nevertheless, it’s rather hard to sleep when you know that your bed is sitting on a branch a good twenty or so metres in the air! Even if the branch was wide enough to nearly have a Pokemon battle upon it.”
“Ah well. Maybe you’d want some porridge?” Rui said.
“Something – anything will do...” Wes acknowledged, before he paused. “Rui?”
“By any chance, was the porridge cooked in that teapot you’re holding?”
“Yeah...” Rui said. “There were no pots anywhere, but it should still taste good! I hope...” Wes glanced at Eagun, who again shrugged.
“The teapots were all at half price,” he said flatly.
“Fair enough then,” Wes grinned tiredly, as he accepted the teacup of porridge from Rui and moved to the table, sitting down before looking for a spoon. “Can’t argue with a good bargain I suppose... although you could have bought at least one pot...”
“Anyway, Wes, a bit before I went to sleep yesterday after that fiasco at the restaurant...” Rui said, also sitting down, “I had a look at that book Senilor gave us.”
“Anything useful in there, or just gibberish about how the Relic Stone is actually a stone, chiselled by some nobody?”
“Well, admittedly, some of this info seems to be bogus... like for instance...” Rui said, flipping over some pages before seemingly finding what she was looking for. “‘Useless Fact 797: The Relic Stone can also be used as a football!’”
Wes blinked at Rui. “Am I just still too sleepy, or was the writer just a bit... eccentric?”
Rui laughed sadly, before continuing on. “‘Useless Fact 798: It’s just a stone. Useless Fact 799: You didn’t make it!’” Rui said, turning the page. “‘Useless fact 800: This is... the 800th fact about the Relic Stone!’” she read, before grimacing.
“So... the whole thing is filled with nonsense?” Wes asked. “Great.”
“Not quite, though, Wes,” Rui said, turning to the back of the book. “There actually is something of note written here, on some page titled ‘Give me money’...”
“Ok then...” Wes said, as Espeon and Umbreon slowly stirred, awaking.
“Umbre...re...eon!” (Wazza...what’s that....arrgh!) Umbreon shouted as he opened his eyes, only to be greeted by the sight of Eagun’s face and beard.
“What’s wrong with you?” Eagun asked Umbreon. “But anyway, look at this!” he continued, waving a newspaper at Umbreon, who looked blankly at it.
“Can’t you read?” Eagun asked, disappointed over the lack of reaction. Before Umbreon or Espeon could protest, he started waving the newspaper. “I tell you what cooks my goose – newspaper headlines! It says right here ‘Specialist Claims Electric Chair Can Be ‘Extremely Painful’’! Whoever came up with the idea for an electric chair if it’s so painful then? And who needs different kinds of chairs anyway? What next, thermal chairs? Nuclear chairs? I won’t be able to decide which chair to sit in then!”
Umbreon merely blinked blankly, while Espeon made a small sound of confusion.
“Oh, never mind him,” Beluh said. “Dear, I told you not to read the morning paper, it excites you.”
“But look at this ad right here! It’s RIDICULOUS! They need to make some sign-making course! Now I at least know how to make a sign! Just look at the ones at the entrance of this town!”
“...You made those signs?” Wes asked.
“Yes. Impressive, aren’t they? The ones they tried to put up instead were terrible. Now a stop sign – that’s a sign with oomph!”
“Anyway,” Rui continued, ignoring her grandfather educate Wes’s Pokemon about the intricacies of signs, “it says here... ‘According to ancient lore, the Relic Stone holds power of time travel for the legendary Pokemon Celebi. It is said that Celebi can help one to revive their most pleasant, enjoyable memories, which has been known to cause darkness to flee from the hearts of any Pokemon. To meet it however, you must use an item called the ‘Time Flute’ which is all that one needs to bring Celebi to the Relic Forest. The tune to play to summon the Celebi is ‘I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts’'... wait, it suddenly went weird again...” Rui said. “Why that song?”
“Maybe Celebi has odd tastes?” Beluh offered. “Hmm, that reminds me...”
“It says some other stuff here too...such as that Celebi can also travel into other worlds – ones that don’t have any Pokemon in them? I think that’s still the random ramblings though.”
“Espeon... Espi?” (Celebi – a legendary Psychic Pokemon! But... who’s heard of a world without Pokemon?)
“Umbreon?” (How could anyone live in such a place?)
“But that sounds too ridiculous,” Wes protested. “I mean, Celebi? That’s...” Wes searched for words, but struggled. “It’s...super-duper rare! More rare than a... talking Meowth!”
“I know, but it states here that this information comes from bulbap-”
“I knew it!” Beluh announced triumphantly, pulling out an irregularly-shaped stone tablet from behind a leaning tower of teapots. “All that talk about Celebi reminded me we had this... here, it’s an ancient tablet on the Relic Stone.” Beluh then held out the tablet for all of them to see.
In AGATE’s mystic RELIC,
CELEBI’s power shelters.
The heart imprisoned by shadows
Its last door shall be opened
By THE power withIN.
-The ancient words of Masto-
“...Who’s Masto?” Rui asked, confused. “And why are some words entirely or just partly capitalised...”
“Never mind the guy’s name or the capitalisation; look at what it says!” Wes exclaimed. “From the book’s ranting and that, it sounds that the Relic Stone must hold Celebi’s power...and could purify our Pokemon. The last door... maybe it only does so when the Shadow Metre is empty for them! If that’s the case...”
“That’s great!” Rui said happily, as Beluh smiled.
““We can head there after breakfast and see if it works. By the way; Eagun, where are the spoons around here? Only I’ve checked every teapot I could find for them...”
“Spoons are too expensive,” Eagun replied. “But anyway, I’ve always wondered about this,” he continued, turning back to Espeon, Umbreon, and now Plusle, waving the newspaper once more at them, pointing at a headline ‘Manned Spacecraft To Moon Launched To Investigate Possible Presence Of Cheese’ which took up two entire pages. “If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they just leave him there?!”
“Plusle...” (Why can’t you just talk about potatoes?) Plusle asked tiredly.
“Espeon!” (Or just shut up entirely – stones sound more interesting than you!)
“But then,” Wes said uneasily, “how am I supposed to eat this porridge?”
“We... have paddle-pop sticks!” Eagun offered.
Suddenly, the front door flew open as a man stumbled in, gasping for breath.
“Great galloping fiddlesticks!” Eagun cried, suddenly getting to his feet and throwing his teacup full of porridge in the air in surprise.
Uh oh... Wes thought, cautiously eyeing the flying teacup that thankfully wasn’t heading in his direction. I hope he doesn’t start talking about his ‘pokeymans’ again...
Beluh also rose to her feet, looking concerned. “Duncan, what’s the matter?”
Oh great – it’s the guy who was shouting at his letterbox, Wes remembered, as he exchanged glances with Rui.
“It’s... well, there were some strange-looking people that came into town, and they walked all over my lawn!”
Eagun jumped into the air, threw his arms out, and shouted “NO!” loudly, looking at Duncan with a face of pure horror. Then he paused, realised what Duncan had actually said, and quietly got back into his seat.
“Don’t get worked up, dear,” Beluh said calmly. “Now then, Duncan... did they do... anything else?”
“...I don’t know, I just saw them walking on my lawn, and I had this strange urge to tell you about it. So I came right over after I waved my stick at them good! Oh, they got the stick-waving of their lives!”
“...Right,” Wes said, before he resumed his search for a spoon. He then gave a start as another person burst through the doorway.
“Help! Some people just came into town and walked over my lawn too!”
“Whatever is the world coming to?” Eagun said sadly. Then another person came in.
“Not another one...” Rui said.
“Urrgh... a group of people just barged through the entrance of the Relic Forest yelling about how they’d smash the Relic Stone apart!”
“...Ok, that’s not good,” Wes said quietly. “Smash the Relic Stone? But...who’d...” Then he noticed Eagun get up to his feet again, his eyes starting to expand, and stepped backwards uneasily.
“Oh no!” Beluh said worriedly. “Did they hurt you?
“No... well, I tried to stop them, but they just looked at me so I decided I’d run off and tell you guys about it,” he replied sheepishly. “And they walked on my lawn too!”
“So they walked right into the forest?” Beluh asked.
“WHO? WHAT? WHERE? WHAT? HOW? WHY?” Eagun shouted as well.
“Well... yes. But Steve’s in there, so he might stop them,” he added uncertainly. Suddenly, Eagun slapped the table with his hand loudly.
“RIGHT! I’m going to stop them! I’m running real fast out!” Eagun shouted, before he sprinted out of the room at an extraordinary speed, ignoring his rushed and mixed-up speech.
“...Wait – where is he going?” Wes said, confused.
“And how can he run so fast?” the man who had just entered murmured.
“No, come back!” Beluh shouted worriedly. “You’re in no shape to run – you know that it’s no good for your heart!”
“Don’t run on my lawn!” Duncan yelled as well.
Distant shouting from outside seemed to suggest that neither of those comments were being heeded.
“Oh dear... Wes, we’ve got to go after him!” Rui said, before she ran off too.
“Um... arrgh! Everyone’s either running off or complaining about their lawns...” Wes grumbled, before getting to his feet, promptly returning his Pokemon to their Pokeballs, and running outside as well. I hope we can stop those people though – so much for peace and quiet...
Despite his tiredness, he quickly reached Rui and began to overtake her, while searching for where Eagun had run off to.
“Where…did….he…go…” Rui panted, anxiously searching around.
“There he is!” Wes cried, rounding a corner and disappearing.
“Where?” she asked, looking around, before she tripped and face-planted into the ground. Sighing, she got to her feet.
“Hey, Wes…” she began, before realising that he too had disappeared from sight.
“Aww…great. Where the heck do I... go now?” Rui said to herself.
Meanwhile, Wes was pursuing Eagun, bemused by the fact that he didn’t seem to be gaining any ground on the old man despite running as fast as he could. Eagun was solely focused on where he was going, jumping fences and rushing through defenceless daffodils, heading in the direction of the town’s Pokemon Centre which was situated on the outskirts of the town. A young man stood outside, glancing confusedly at Eagun.
“Umm, what’s the rush? You look like you saw a talking gingerbread man- OW!” he cried, as Eagun ran right through him and took a hard left, running down a set of stairs by the Pokemon Centre. Without a second thought Wes followed, taking every third step down. As he got to the bottom, turning just in time to avoid falling into the river surrounding the village, he saw Eagun disappear into a cave; Wes sprinted inside.
He stopped short for a moment – the cave was lightly illuminated from the occasional hole that punctured the soil ceiling. A simple yet overrun path lay in front of him, weeds and in particular an enormous entanglement of roots from a large tree above ground concealing most of it, while a small, simple bridge interrupted the trail over a slow-moving stream.
Ahead, Eagun was still running ahead, as two people jumped out of the shadows at him.
“Hey, stop, you old man! Our boss up ahead told us nobody is to get past...is that a beard?” one asked, pointing at it in confusion.
Cipher people! Wes thought, noticing their purple uniforms. This can’t be good.
“Yeah...hey – come back!” the second shouted at Eagun who just ignored him and ran onwards.
“That’s right – you’re supposed to have a Pokemon battle with us! Don’t you know anything? Wait up! That’s what the boss told us...Ah great, he’s gone already,” the first muttered, admitting defeat.
“Boss won’t be happy, will he?”
“Nope. Hang on – who are you?” the man asked, pointing at Wes.
“Stop! I saw you, so we must battle!” the other added.
Ah great – I can’t afford to be held up! Wes thought furiously. This boss of theirs must be off to destroy the Relic Stone himself, and I doubt Eagun can hold him up for long at all... if he even catches up, that is...
“Go, Spheal!” the first person cried, sending out a spherical, blue-and-crème coloured Pokemon that glanced up at Wes with puppy-like eyes.
Then again...those Pokemon hardly look intimidating... Wes added to himself. He knelt down, smiling at the Pokemon, which looked at him with confusion, as did the two cipher agents.
“Now, I don’t really do these sorts of things, normally,” Wes began, “but I really don’t have time for this right now. “ With that, Wes stood up again and struck his leg out, punting the surprised Spheal across the cave.
“Oh no, my Pokemon!” cried its trainer, running off after it as it helplessly rolled away into the darkness. As the other followed him, Wes turned to continue after Eagun.
“Aha! I’ll stop you! Once I get down from here, that is!” a voice cried from above. Wes glanced up, before quickly running to the side of the cave as someone fell from above, giving a small shriek of pain upon landing. “I think I sprained my ankle...” she muttered softly.
“Where did you come from?” Wes managed after a moment, glancing upwards and back to the new, uniformed person that had landed right in front of him, getting up a bit gingerly. Cipher hire ninjas that fall from the ceiling now?
“If you must know, I was searching for my, uhh, Pokemon. I misplaced her...” the woman huffily replied, before wincing in pain.
Wes stared even further. “So naturally, you thought you got it lost up there?”
“...Shut up! It’ll turn up later – I’ll use this one instead! Now: go, Ralts!” she cried, as a small, miniature Pokemon was sent out. Wes stared once more at the white-bodied Pokemon that possessed a green, mushroom-shaped head that looked as big as the rest of its body, and laughed.
These Cipher people are pushovers...it’s the size of my shoe!
“Wes!” someone called suddenly – Wes turned around to notice Rui come in.
“What took you so long?” Wes asked, before noticing a man stand behind Rui.
“Hey, stop ignoring me! Ralts, attack that man with Psychic!” the woman yelled angrily, as the Ralts glanced back with a confused look, coupled with a small, timid cry.
“What do you mean, you don’t know any psychic moves yet?” the woman asked.
“I got lost!” Rui said. “But I got help from this man in the Pokemon Centre.”
“Hiya!” the man said, stepping forward and grabbing Wes’s hand, shaking it. “I’m Enpea Sea!”
“...Yeah, nice to meet you. Thanks and all,” Wes said quickly. “Rui, we’ve got to hurry up and get moving!”
“Ok...” Rui said, “but why is there a Ralts trying to attack your shoe at the moment? Is that that person’s Pokemon?”
“Why are you so useless!? I knew I shouldn’t have brought newly-hatched Pokemon!” the Cipher woman cried in anguish, as the Ralts tried to swat Wes’s shoes with its small arms. “And get away from me!” she added, as the old man who had assisted Rui tried to introduce himself to her.
“Umm... never mind that! Hey, um... Enpea Sea! You can take over this Pokemon battle here for me! Will you?” Wes asked. The old man gave a pondering look in return, before answering.
“...Well, I like battles and all, but I must go back to my spot and get my Pokemon checked up upon beforehand, and tell people about this. It’s my job, you see!”
“...It’s your job? Oh, whatever – never mind about that – just take the battle here for me, please,” Wes insisted.
“But standing in the same spot is more than a job. It’s an obligation – nay, destiny! And I prefer it over my last one - my back's never been the same after it. That job involved standing in the middle of the desert telling people about these discount shoes I got here-”
“Bye!” Wes said, before dragging Rui and running off again, leaving Enpea Sea with the woman and her Ralts behind.
On the other side of the underground passage, Eagun rushed out into the soft sunlight, and squinted, worriedly looking for a good sight to reassure him that the Relic Stone was fine. He continued down the stony path, knowing that soon he would reach it. It was the monument, the highlight, of this village – the object that he and many came to visit during walks through the forest by the village, during many a quiet, peaceful morning.
It was hard to explain why - perhaps nobody ever could, but it was as if this very spot radiated tranquillity and peace. A great calm would often fill him... but now it was different – despite the location there, it was obvious that there was trouble afoot. Those goons had tried to stop him from getting to the Relic Forest, and that was supposed to be closed to all but the villagers only! Not that they appeared to do a good job of stopping him. That was something to be thankful for – now he could only hope that Steve had managed to find this other person here and stop him from reaching the Relic Stone and doing... something or rather.
Hmm... what was it again? Eagun thought to himself, as he scratched his head in puzzlement and ploughed onwards. Something about raspberry jam...no, that was yesterday’s breakfast. Ah, I hate it when I forget stuff...
“Curse you, amnes...aminesa... ah, whatever you’re called!” Eagun muttered to himself.
Ah well, maybe I’ll make myself a sign about it next time, he thought more positively to himself. He was aware of the occasional memory loss he tended to have – in fact, most of Agate Village’s residents shared the same problem, all of them getting in age. It was essentially a retirement village, really. He probably shouldn’t have drunk so much tea – it tended to make him sleepy – maybe that was why he wasn’t quite thinking straight.
Concentrate! Eagun thought. Have to concentrate. Now...they mentioned that their boss was up ahead. How far ahead is he though? Is he already there? Did Steve find him? If so, maybe he stopped him. Or maybe he didn’t? And maybe he just slept in today? And where the heck am I again? he mused.
Suddenly, shouting and a cry of ‘Zig!’ broke Eagun out of his trance. He looked around, and spotted a middle-aged man, who gaped at Eagun.
“Steve! How are you! Nice overalls there, by the way. Oh look, the Relic Stone’s ok too!” Eagun said happily, pointing at it. It was of a slightly irregular, yet cylindrical-like shape, and was a simple stone-gray in colour, with the path having now encircled the sculpture.
Yes...I never did think that it was a good replica of a Celebi, personally... Eagun considered, observing the slabs of stone that made up the statue. Artistic license, I suppose.
“Oh, it’s ok – but not for long.”
Eagun turned around to face another man, this one immersed by a gray uniform and helmet, save for a bright-blue scarf. Through the visor, Eagun saw the man smirking smugly to himself, and frowned.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Skrub. And thanks for helping me by the way – I’ll just destroy the Relic Stone now, seeing as you took out my pitiful opposition without me having to even use a Pokemon!”
Eagun looked confusedly at him, and then at Steve, who wordlessly pointed at Eagun’s foot. Eagun looked down, and jumped back in surprise, noticing that he had been standing upon a distressed Zigzagoon. The small racoon Pokemon gave a sigh of relief as he did so, before falling unconscious.
“Oh...I’m sorry?” Eagun said to Steve. Meanwhile, Skrub snickered.
“Pathetic, I’m telling you. You old people shouldn’t try to stop me – it’s bad for your bones. At any rate...” Skrub drawled, turning towards the Relic Stone, grinning all the more now. “Come on out, my Hitmontop.” With that, Skrub held out a Pokeball and pressed the button upon it.
Frowning with bewilderment, Eagun regarded the humanoid Pokemon – it was peculiarly standing upon a spike on the top of its brown head, having landed upside-down. It hissed angrily at Eagun, striking the air with its fists and legs.
“I wouldn’t want to be hit by those attacks...” Steve said quietly to Eagun, who nodded worriedly.
“Hehe...don’t let it fool you – it fights better while upside-down like this!” Skrub boasted. “...Somehow. At any rate – step aside, unless you want to take on my Hitmontop.”
“Then it’s a battle it’ll be!” Eagun shouted, trying to hide his uncertainty.
“Fine then – Hitmontop, attack his Pokemon with Rapid Spin! Or if he has none, attack him!” Eagun stopped for a second and stared at Skrub, and then at the Hitmontop, who grinned at him. The grin looked more like an angry frown though from Hitmontop’s inverted position.
“I’m off,” Steve whispered, picking up his Zigzagoon before he ran off. “HELP! ANGRY UPSIDE-DOWN THINGS ARE GOING TO KILL ME!” he screamed, disappearing into the forest.
“Uhh...” Eagun said uncertainly. “Umm...go, Pikachu!” Eagun said, as he reached into his beard, pulled a surprised Pikachu out, and threw it at Skrub.
“What the-” Skrub said, covering his eyes, as the fat rodent came flying at his face.
“PEKA!” (Arrgh!) Pikachu shouted, landing on Skrub’s helmet, before hanging on for dear life with her short, stubby arms as Skrub strived to swat her off.
“Hitmontop!” (Something to attack!) the Hitmontop said, suddenly turning itself rapidly on the spot. As it became a blur, it suddenly shot off and followed Pikachu’s flight path, and collided with Skrub, who cried in pain. The Hitmontop growled angrily, disgusted that it had missed its quarry, and then swung a leg at the Pikachu, which jumped off just in time from Skrub’s head. Fortunately for Skrub, his view was finally unobstructed, but that only gave him a perfect view of Hitmontop’s attack.
“ARRGH! NOT ME, THE RAT!” Skrub screamed.
Meanwhile, Eagun racked his brains, trying to think of what moves his Pikachu knew.
“Pikachu! Use Quick Attack!” he finally decided. Pikachu looked up at Eagun and nodded, and then ran at the Hitmontop determinedly.
The Hitmontop turned around, and observed the lumbering, overweight Pikachu with mirth. As she reached the Hitmontop, it merely spun again with amazing acceleration and struck the rat with its feet one after the other, sending the rodent flying into the Relic Stone. Eagun gasped and watched, as the Relic Stone shook, and then steadied itself once more, as the Pikachu moaned a cry of ‘Peka’ and fell to the ground.
Skrub grimly got up to his feet. “Right, you’ll pay for that, old man. But first I will deal with business. Hitmontop, you idiot of a Pokemon, Rapid Spin on the Relic Stone now, and then I’d let you have some fun.”
The Hitmontop growled, but then grinned, realising what Skrub meant, and spun itself once again before he flew at the Relic Stone.
“No!” Eagun cried.
“Quick – go and use Reflect – stop that...thing!” someone shouted suddenly.
The Hitmontop came within centimetres of the Relic Stone – and then harshly rebounded from a wall of light that appeared just before it. Espeon then appeared, jumping on top of the Relic Stone, and proudly stared at the hissing Hitmontop.
“Espeon! Esp!” (You’re not about to get past!)
“Good work, Espeon,” Wes said, appearing, with Rui in tow. “Now, focus on that Reflect – keep it up, for that Pokemon gave it a beating already!” Espeon nodded, and then focused his mind, the jewel in his forehead shinning brighter than before as the Reflect he had summoned glimmered brighter in turn.
“You came!” Eagun said, wiping sweat from his forehead before he quickly moved to swoop up his Pikachu.
“Be careful, Grandpa...” Rui warned. “And no wonder, Wes – it’s a Shadow Pokemon!” Rui said, noticing a dense, purple aura surrounding the Hitmontop. Skrub glared at the new arrivals, before he bitterly laughed.
“Oh, so the renegade and the seeing-girl turn up out of nowhere,” he spat. “Looks like I’ll have to rely on the rest of my pathetic Pokemon – at least I brought some more! Go and try to destroy that stone, then, and at all costs!”
“Come on out then, Umbreon and Yanma! Protect that stone no matter what!” Wes hurriedly shouted, grabbing two Pokeballs out at once, while Skrub haphazardly threw out three. Suddenly the stone was surrounded by six more Pokemon.
On Skrub’s side was a Geodude, the levitating rock Pokemon roaring and flying straight at the barrier, its two arms swinging at it. It held however, but uneasily as the Hitmontop also moved in and also began attacking it. Umbreon however appeared from Wes’s Pokeball, and jumped on the Hitmontop, teeth latching onto its limbs. The Yanma however did not pay much attention to the fight.
“Yan-Yan-Yanmamama!” (Oh-look-a-battle-hey-I-smell-coffee-someone-is-drinking-coffee-somewhere!) it said suddenly upon sniffing the air, and with that it zoomed out the way Eagun and Wes had came, disappearing into the forest.
“Oh, how pathetic...” Skrub laughed as his other two Pokeballs hit the ground and his Pokemon materialised. “I’m sure the Pokemon I brought here are better than that!”
Another of Skrub’s Pokemon was a Clamperl; a small, blue shell that merely sat on the ground. Next to it was a Wynaut – a blue Pokemon that was human shaped, although it was the size of a small toddler, and had stubby feet. It happily wagged its long ears and tail, and then suddenly hopped on the Clamperl and merrily danced upon it, appearing not to be in the least bit interested of attacking.
At least that’s good, Wes thought to himself. The Clamperl will be easy as heck even if it ever moves, and the Wynaut line are purely counter-attack Pokemon, so it won’t pose any danger if I leave it alone for now, he quickly concluded.
“None of the other Pokemon are Shadow Pokemon,” Rui said. “Hang on; I think I brought one of my Pokemon with me too...”
“Urgh! Why did I have to bring you?” Skrub shouted, overcome with annoyance at how the situation had escalated. The Wynaut looked at his trainer, and merely shrugged happily, exclaiming ‘Wynaut’. A moment later, Skrub realised the comment made in relation to the Pokemon’s name.
“Ok then – go, Quagsire!” Rui said, managing to aim her Pokeball and release her Quagsire more or less in front of the Relic Stone. “Ok, just...stand there and don’t let anyone past!”
“Qu...aag,” (Uhh...duh, ok,) the Quagsire responded, before he sat down and stared blankly into space. As the Hitmontop span past it, trying to find a weak point in Espeon’s Reflect, it suddenly waved its flipper out to the side and struck it, before staring at it with its tiny eyes, maintaining the same expression.
“Eagun, just in case...get somewhere safe,” Wes said, grabbing two more Pokeballs. “Go and defend the Relic Stone, Makuhita and Croconaw!”
“Come with me, Pikachu,” Eagun said quietly, hurriedly running off with his prized Pokemon in tow. Meanwhile, Wes’s Pokemon materialised from their respective Pokeballs, and faced off their more intimidating opposition in Hitmontop and Geodude.
Then they suddenly paused, and turned their backs on their opposition and faced the Relic Stone.
“W...Why are you-” Wes began, before Rui grabbed his arm, gasping in surprise.
“Look, Wes! Something’s happening with the Relic Stone!”
Wes, Skrub, and all of the other Pokemon observed the Relic Stone.
“...Rui, it’s just...sitting there,” Wes said finally. But Makuhita and Croconaw certainly think otherwise too, he added to himself, frowning at the two. They were seemingly in their own world, only focusing their attention to the stone. Wes then glanced at the stone, half expecting it to fly up and away, or do something else that was interesting.
“But...can’t you see the green light surrounding the Relic Stone? It’s...”
“Rui, we can’t see auras, remember?” Wes said.
“Oh yeah...” Wes quickly glanced at Espeon, who was looking with bewilderment at the Relic Stone. He senses something’s up too, Wes thought. Hang on...
“And... now the green aura is...engulfing your Pokemon’s auras!” Rui said excitedly.
“What? Damn it!” Skrub swore. “Oi, keep attacking! Either that stupid piece of rock or those Pokemon of his – just don’t let it do whatever it’s doing! We can’t let it!”
“Wynaut?” (Why not?) queried the small, hyper Pokemon.
“Stop saying that! Geodude, try flying over that Reflect and attack the stone from above for starters!”
The Geodude roared once again, and then flew straight up. Espeon frowned worriedly, but then simply shrugged. As the rock Pokemon flew back to earth after bypassing the wall of light, letting gravity quicken its fall, Espeon shifted the shape of it, so that it now formed a dome-like shape over the Relic Stone, just as the Geodude struck it and went rebounding off, as the Reflect attack wavered in response.
Wes winced. Maintaining such a large force field isn’t going to be easy for Espeon, and a few large attacks like that would probably break it! He then quickly glanced at Makuhita and Croconaw, as the Hitmontop spun itself once again and began charging at them.
“Umbreon, quick – stop him!” Wes ordered. Umbreon barked and jumped at the Hitmontop, forcing it to make a detour away from its target for several valuable seconds. Hissing with rage, the Hitmontop came back, as Umbreon braced himself to take the hit – but he didn’t see the Geodude crash into him from above at the same time.
“No! Hang in there, Umbreon!” Wes cried. An unexpected yawn suddenly caught his attention though.
“Maku...TA!” (I feel so...HAPPY!) Makuhita said slowly, stretching his arms. Croconaw followed suit, as he grinned at Makuhita.
“Yes! Wes, I think they’re purified! Their shadow auras are gone!”
“...Are they? They look the same to me... Umbreon, just keep dodging; it may be fine for now!” Wes called.
‘I’m sure,” Rui confirmed, beaming. “Has to be. I can...I can just sense it.”
“Umb, eon! Umbreon! Umb!” (Stop standing and grinning, you two! Arrgh, stop being so happy! It’s like you got a personality change!) Umbreon shouted at the two, as he tried to avoid both Hitmontop and Geodude’s attacks. He then looked at Quagsire for help, who merely glanced back, blinking at Umbreon.
“Ok then-” Wes said.
“CROC!” (WATCH OUT, BRO!) Croconaw suddenly shouted, pointing in the direction of Hitmontop who was charging at them. He then scratched his head, trying to remember why all of a sudden a Hitmontop was charging at them. He felt different – at peace with himself... but this was somewhat surprising for him.
“Ma? MAKUHITA!” (What, a fight? TIME TO DIE!) Makuhita yelled, charging back at the spinning top and punching low, square in the face and sending it the way it came.
“Are...you sure they’ve changed much?” Wes asked Rui, before turning to Croconaw. “Croconaw, I think we’ve purified you for good! But we’ve got a battle first – just help keep that oversize stone safe!” Croconaw nodded, grinned and saluted in response, before also charging into battle, following Makuhita’s lead.
“Maybe not,” Rui said, “but I suppose they were always like this... Croconaw being loyal, and Makuhita being... punch-happy? I don’t think the Relic Stone changed much – it just helped them overcome the final step through Celebi’s power...”
“Hitmontop – just aim for the horn- err, stone! You too, Geodude! Wynaut and Clamperl...can you do something!?” Skrub screeched. The Geodude flew away from Umbreon at that and charged at the Reflect attack once more. Wes grinned.
“Ok then – Croconaw – Water Gun that Geodude! And Makuhita, try a Cross Chop attack on that Hitmontop!” To his delight, Croconaw shot out a powered ball of water at the Geodude, while Makuhita instantly obeyed as well.
“Quick – Defense Curl – dodge – something!” Skrub said worriedly. ‘And Hitmontop, hurry up and get moving!”
“Hitmon...Top,” (I’m feeling dizzy now...I don’t want to attack anything right now,) Hitmontop complained however, looking tiredly at his trainer.
“Wynaut?” (Why not?) Wynaut chanted once more, still dancing on the spot.
“Hit!” (Shut up!) Hitmontop shouted, suddenly looking keen to attack something again. Glaring at Wynaut, it flew at it and threw a punch. As it did so though, Wynaut unexpectedly glared back, stopped dancing and frowned, before it began glowing a deep blue.
“No, Wynaut! Don’t use Counter now!” Skrub shouted helplessly, but it was too late – as Hitmontop punched Wynaut, it suddenly lashed out at Hitmontop, unleashing the attack it had received right back upon Hitmontop. While the two exchanged blows, Makuhita walked up, grinned, and then struck Hitmontop as well.
Meanwhile, the Geodude looked up, suddenly noticing the Water Gun attack. Crying with surprise, it covered its face with its arms.
“Geodude!” (If I can’t see it, it’s not there!) it cried. A moment later it wailed in pain as the Water Gun attack made contact regardless of its actions.
“Geodude!” (I’m MELTING!) With that, the Geodude crashed into the ground, as the water began to mix with the rock and dirt it was made up of. Skrub hastily recalled Geodude to its Pokeball, scowling.
“Piece of junk...HEY!” he shouted, noticing Wes chuck a Pokeball into his Snag Machine and then prepare to chuck it at a dazed Hitmontop, who was reeling from an equally dazed Wynaut and a triumphant Makuhita. “You can’t do that!”
“Wy...naut...” (Why...not...) the Wynaut muttered one last time, before it fell off of the Clamperl it had been standing on. The Clamperl seemed not to have noticed at all, as it still sat motionlessly.
“Thank goodness it won’t say that anymore...” Rui muttered. “I’ve had enough of bad puns...”
“Nrrgh!” Skrub managed, unable to say anything meaningful as he grabbed his Pokeball. “You can’t get my Hitmontop if I return him- what?” he added, as the Pokeball flew out of his hand, struck him in the face, and then crashed suddenly into the ground, shattering into pieces.
“Nice work, Espeon,” Wes said, before throwing the Snag Ball at Hitmontop. It struck and sucked the dizzy Pokemon into its confines, before the Ball landed on the ground. It wobbled once.
And thrice, before it stopped, giving a small ‘ping’ of success as it did.
“Too easy,” Wes said, grinning as he picked it up. “Now,” he continued, facing Skrub who has currently venting his rage on an unfortunate tree branch, having returned the rest of his, “I’d advise that you run off now.”
“I...I failed... no!” Skrub shouted, charging at the Relic Stone. Espeon hastily threw up his Reflect attack once more, and it held – but only just, as Skrub bounced off. Fists clenched, he went at it again.
“Makuhita, stop him please,” Wes said simply. Makuhita grinned, simply striking the air in front of Skrub’s leg with one of his arms, causing him to trip and land face-first in front of Quagsire.
“Quag!” (Duh!) Quagsire moaned, surprised, as it swatted Skrub with his flipper before resuming his motionless pose. Skrub slowly staggered to his feet, muttering to himself.
“Fine.... bah, the luck of it. Beaten by the renegade, and some girl in pyjamas.”
Rui looked at her clothes and noticed that she was still dressed in her chibi-Pokemon-patterned clothes, and then recalled that she had run though town – and the Pokemon Centre – in them.
“But don’t think you’ve won just yet!” Skrub shouted. “I can always come back! With other people who have better Pokemon than mine!”
“Oh no you don’t.”
(continued in next post)
Skrub turned around, and gasped. In front of him, Eagun stood, tall and proud.
With the rest of the town’s elderly citizens behind him.
“You’re leaving town now,” Eagun said simply, pointing to the exit. “Your friends already chose to leave peacefully – I suggest you do too.”
“Oh yeah?” Skrub tried once more, his voice however noticeably lacking the arrogance it had beforehand. “Just...just make me!”
“Ok then,” Eagun replied, “we will. Everyone?”
Wordlessly, Eagun reached into his beard and pulled out another Pikachu from it, while each other person brought out theirs as well, some from equally random sources. Skrub, Rui and Wes stared.
“What; didn’t you youngsters know that Pikachu’s the town’s mascot? We’ve got millions of these things!” Eagun said. “Now everyone – attack!” With that Eagun threw his Pikachu, which screeched with surprise at it landed on Skrub’s head. Noticing everyone else start throwing their rodent Pokemon at him, he turned and ran for it, while trying to swat off the Pikachu on his head.
“Get him!” one called, as the elders gave chase.
“That’s what you get for walking on my lawn!” another added.
As the crowd disappeared, yelling threats at Skrub and throwing Pikachus at him, Umbreon trotted forward to Wes carrying a small object in his mouth as Espeon dropped his Reflect attack and hopped off of the Relic Stone.
“Umbre!” (I found something shiny!) Umbreon said proudly, dropping the object at Wes’s feet. Wes picked it up.
“It’s another CD... another Ein File then,” Wes said, before pocketing it. “We’ll send it to Sherles later then, I suppose...” Wes sighed and smiled at Rui. “Well...that was unexpected. We know Cipher are still at large then... but we stopped them once again,” he said.
“We did! And Beluh was right! She said we would purify the Shadow Pokemon here, and the Relic Stone here did!”
“Indeed...” Wes grinned and turned to Makuhita and Croconaw. “So then...” Wes stopped suddenly.
Makuhita was staring at Croconaw, who no longer could be seen, a bright, white light in his place instead. Gradually though, a shape could be made out through the light.
“What...what’s happening?” Rui asked, confused.
“He’s evolving,” Wes said, grinning.
As time passed, the light began to dissipate, Croconaw’s new form coming into clearer view. He was of a more limber shape than his previous, plumper shape, the fat now replaced with an impressive set of muscles and covered with scales on his arms, legs and belly. He was far taller too – at least double the height now, and the red spikes - which there were more of now - upon his head and back were more pronounced.
And suddenly it was over – the light was gone, and in Croconaw’s place was a Feraligatr.
“Fera...?” (I evolved...?) Feraligatr said slowly, testing out his new jaw, before he slowly walked forward. He stumbled slightly, but stayed upright.
“Maku...hita!” (Hey, hang on... I think I’m evolving too!) Makuhita suddenly remarked. Espeon and Umbreon regarded him for a moment or two, before turning back to admire Feraligatr’s new form.
“Maku...Makuhita! Hita...” (Ok, I was wrong...but I gained all of those experience points! Unless I lost them...)
“Quagsire?” (There’s a strange smell...duh,) Quagsire noted, before it shrugged and promptly decided it was a good idea to fall asleep.
“Awesome!” Rui said, beaming. “Although I always thought evolution would be all... I don’t know. More dramatic, with music or something...” she mumbled to herself, before disregarding her thought. “I bet you evolved because you’re purified now!” Feraligatr thought about it for a moment, before smiling smugly, and nodding.
“Well then,” Wes said with a yawn. “We can worry about what happened just now later. I say we go and get some breakfast...” he concluded, walking with Rui and his Pokemon back to the village.
And I better go and find that coffee-obsessed Yanma too, Wes thought to himself suddenly.
And that's the chapter! Hope you enjoyed. Now for how it links to the game itself:
Have patience, and until the next chapter....dance!
First review. Fwee.
Ah, the much-anticipated showdown with Skrub. Good 'ol memory loss - so THAT'S why Pikachu never used Thunderbolt. In the battle, I enjoyed how Skrub tried to get his Pokemon to destroy the Relic Stone as well as battle with Wes. I also liked how they failed epically in doing so. Suppose you can't expect much more from a Clamperl that just sits there, and a Wynaut that only makes bad puns and lashes out at its teammate.
Major lesson learned: Do not walk on Duncan's lawn. He doesn't like that and he'll wave his stick at you until you succumb to its awesomeness.
Anyway, great chapter, and it's always nice to see Skrub get pwned. And, as closing remarks...
Eagun, I love your signs! They rock my world!
Just real quick, yes the one fic I mentioned in which Duncan was mentioned as an old man is the parody story we talked about and the other fic that also explain the plotholes in the games is called, “The Awakening” by Quackerdrill. The latter fic is old, though, back at 06.
One other note is to not worry too much about the battle in Chapter 9. Again, part of the reason is cause too many Pokemon were involved and it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening unless I read that chapter a couple more times. However, I understand why you went with that route. So yeah, don’t sweat it too much.
‘kay, to the review! Ha, Duncan again! Have to agree with DP on that. XD
One of my favorite parts is actually when Wes kicked the Spheal. More trainers should actually kick Pokemon instead of battle them.
I love how you give some emotional description to Crowncraw/ Feraligatr after being purified. Nice touch there and shows how the Pokemon feels after not being a shadow anymore.
I thought you did this battle way better than in Chapter Nine, in terms of comedy and also having a lot of Pokémon being involved. I’m able to track what’s happening better and also I want to kick that Wynaut. XD And yeah, Pikachu overload FTW!
One thing is I’m confused is if Himontop has been purified or not. If he did, there’s no mention of that, unless I missed something. Another problem is I’m wondering if Wes will try to find Yanama again. That chapter seems like he won’t, which I guess so.
Once again, I enjoyed this chapter a lot. Keep it up!
Fwoot. That was awesome. =D
Nothing more to say, I guess, but that was really awesome, and godly funny.
Hah, I'll keep in mind that spoons are too expensive. =P
Cheers for the reviews, people. =)
And one must always watch out for duncan's lawn.
Mind you, the plastic spoons can be bought cheaply in bulk, I believe... =P
And after months of procrastination and school, I return on a pogo stick and with a new chapter in hand.
Thanks to those who did review after my latest reply - but they seem to be deleted to the no-fic-bumping rule, oh well. I've seen them though (thanks to Astinus =D), so cheers. Particularly to 'Pich_u' - I'll get to those mistakes you pointed out soon, so thanks for that. =)
OK THEN. Time for the chapter. As a quick reminder of what went down the previous chapter -
Plenty of thanks to Chris_the_Com for beta-reading this with the power of awesome faces. (Also to some guy called Rowan). =P Enjoy!
Chapter 15 – The Battle of Battles At... Mt Battle
The group slowly made their way to the Pokemon Centre by the top of the hill sloping down to the Relic Stone forest. Feraligatr had already become somewhat more accustomed to his new form, no longer tripping over or stumbling while he walked.
“Umbreon...Umbre!” (About time you got the hang of walking again – I’ve had enough of you falling on me!)
“Croc-Fe, Feraligatr,” (Jumbo jets- err, I mean, I said I was sorry, you old slowcoach,) Feraligatr replied with a grin after mixing up his words.
“Umb!? Umbre- eon!” (Slowcoach!? I hardly think that you can call me- hey, wait up!) Umbreon cried at the group, realising they were well ahead of him. As he caught up, Feraligatr shot him another cheeky grin, which Umbreon pretended to ignore.
“Oh good, you caught up,” Wes said absentmindedly, further adding to Umbreon’s frustrations with Feraligatr. “Anyway...Rui, this is really fantastic. Looks like we’ve now found a cure for the Shadow Pokemon.”
“I know! All we have to do is cure them some more, then have them visit the Relic Stone, and we’re done! Maybe only a few more weeks, if that!”
“True, true,” Wes pondered. “Oh hey, it’s Yanma,” he added, spotting Yanma’s tail poking out of a bin.
“Yanyanyanyanmamamamama!” (Oh-dear-I’m-stuck-oh-well-it-was-tasty-coffee-hey-look-a profiterole!) the Yanma squealed nonsensically inside. Wes grabbed his Pokeball and recalled the nuisance, and then followed Rui as the mechanical doors of the Pokemon Centre slid open with a clang allowing them to step inside.
“Oh, you’re back,” Eagun greeted the two, grabbing both by the arms and shaking them with glee. “That was fantastic battling, Wes! You saved the Relic Stone, and now you can help those silhouette Pokemon of yours.”
“Shadow Pokemon,” Rui said.
“Whatever,” Eagun said, as Rui returned the Pokemon to their Pokeballs and handed them to the assistant behind a counter. “We drove that nasty lot out of town, at any rate. Some are now busy retrieving their Pikachu – a good dozen or so ended up in a tree, it appears – and some are tending to Duncan’s poor, poor lawn. Those flowers... they’ll never be the same,” Eagun sniffed.
“...There there,” Wes consoled Eagun uneasily.
“Could you please heal our Pokemon? They’re a bit tired since they were fighting to save this stone, you see.”
“...Stone?” the man said.
“Yep. It helps make the Shadow Pokemon happy and all, although I don’t really get how it can be used as a football...” she added, glancing at her book on the Relic Stone and shrugging. She then returned to Wes and Eagun, leaving the assistant scratching his head.
“Hey, we better tell Sherles about this,” Rui said.
“Good idea... I’ll send him an e-mail and wait for him to reply – we’ve got the whole day ahead of us to wait for that.” Pulling out his P*DA, Wes quickly typed up a message and hit send.
“Pity we’ve got so many Shadow Pokemon to purify – we’ve only done two after all, and even with them helping out in Pyrite, it might take a while, especially if more Shadow Pokemon are found...I guess we could always use some more help.”
“I could help!” Eagun offered, smiling brightly.
“...Um, yeah, sure,” Wes said, unsure if Eagun’s ways would terrify some of the Shadow Pokemon or not.
Suddenly a woman walked into the building, and started shouting, waving her arms in the air like a drowning swimmer desperate for attention. “Right, the Day Care Service needs clients! Who wants to give us money to take care of your Pokemon and make sure of their well-being and happiness?”
“Well, that was quick,” Rui said quietly.
“Indeed. Pity she said ‘who wants to give us money’...” Wes sighed, before catching Rui’s frown. “Ok, ok, I was kidding,” he continued, motioning for the woman to come, glad that Espeon was being healed so that he couldn’t mention that he hadn’t been joking.
“Oh, you’re interested?” the woman said, gleaming as she eyed Wes’s wallet.
Oh great, someone else who seems to like money as much as me, Wes thought grimly. “Firstly, may I ask a few questions? Such as the place, and so forth...?”
“Wes!” Rui hissed. “Just give her the money and Pokemon already.”
Wes winced. “But... shouldn’t we find out some more first about where we’re putting these Pokemon? I’m not exactly one to trust a complete stranger... Are you, Rui?”
“...Yeah, you’re right. Odd, I just thought for a moment that the Day Care centre would be completely trustworthy.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that,” the woman said quickly. “We have respectable grounds – lots of, um.... grass! Yes, grass. Also...” she struggled. “We have...air! Lots of healthy air.”
“That’s...nice, I suppose?” Rui said slowly.
“Actually, maybe you should take a look at the grounds for yourself? We’re also a certified Day Care service. It’s got a stamp and everything,” she added, pulling out a piece of paper. Wes glanced at it – it had the words ‘Day Care Service No 34’, and a stamp with the word ‘APPROVED’ encircling an awesome face.
“Sounds good to me,” Wes said finally. “We’ll go take a look in a moment. How many Pokemon can you take, by the way?”
“Oh, well, we have space for four large Pokemon, but we’re currently only taking one at a time now, so your Pokemon has plenty of space!”
“Back up a second – why only one?” Wes asked, frowning.
“Oh... well, a while back we had a few problems. There were these two Pokemon, you see, who weren’t getting along with each other.”
“I see – just trying to keep the Pokemon happy, fair enough,” Rui said.
“No, there’s more... the next morning when I went to check on them there were a number of strange oval-shaped rocks about the place. Most unusual.”
“Odd. Do you know where they came from?”
“No, but this phenomenon only happens when we have more than one Pokemon with us. We even had one of them sent to this really fancy-pants professor. Elm or something. He seemed confused by it too, though when we told him about it so he got started on examining it... and then that story started about how he went insane, so we never found out about his findings. ”
You’re kidding me, Wes thought. Clearly those were eggs, and this eluded a Pokemon Professor? I’m betting he realised though when it hatched, and… that’s what made him go crazy, like those newspapers had reported? Oh boy.
“We had to have the owners of the Pokemon take them away because the neighbours started complaining. Something about how they can’t sleep at night and that the rocks were too spotty for their liking.” The Day-Care woman shrugged. “It gives a bad reputation for some reason, so it’s a new rule. It's along with the 'No giving the Pokemon candy' , and the 'Strictly, under no circumstances, are Wailord allowed' rule.”
“Wow, what a mystery!” Rui said.
“Yeah,” Eagun interjected. “We never could figure out where those rocks came from. The best theory going around is that they came from Clefairy from the moon. I don’t really like that idea, but then again, you just can’t trust those Clefairy. Crafty buggers, they are.”
Wes facepalmed himself, groaning slightly. What’s wrong with this entire region? It’s like they all swallowed daft pills at birth or something...
“It’s one of two mysteries this town has,” Eagun continued.
“Oh? What’s the other one?” Rui asked.
“The Pikachu, of course. It was some time after another bunch of those rocks appeared – only one day, they were gone, and all of these Pichu were running about eating all of the trees, or so the story goes. And that’s why we have so many Pikachu now.”
“Any idea where they came from?” Rui asked. Eagun shook his head.
“Wes... are you alright?” Rui asked, noticing Wes continue to facepalm himself some more while muttering a word to himself with each one.
“Why. Is. Everyone. So... oh... um, never mind, I’m just...tired,” Wes said tiredly, giving up.
“Me too,” Rui said, yawning louder. “It’s tired, and I’m early...”
“You don’t say,” Wes acknowledged.
“Ahem,” the woman said, still eyeing Wes’s wallet. “Shall we go and let you check out the place, then?”
“Oh, fine. We’ll come... in a second, gotta look at this first,” Wes said, as his P*DA began beeping, indicating Sherles had sent a reply to his e-mail. “Eagun, it looks like the Pokemon are healed up as well – could you get them for us, please?”
“No problem,” Eagun said, moving towards the assistant.
“Hello. Your Pokemon are restored to their full health. We hope to see you.” A pause followed, before the assistant looked at a small palm card in his hand. “Again. Arrgh, I keep forgetting what to say...” he mumbled, as Eagun took the Pokeballs and walked back to Wes and Rui.
“Oh, it’s a live call actually,” Wes said, taking the P*DA and holding the large, clunky device it next to his ear.
“Oh good – you can tell him more about the good news then,” Rui beamed, as the Day Care woman sighed and moved towards the door, choosing her vantage point well so she could still admire Wes’s wallet.
“I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet though...” Wes said darkly. “Cipher’s still active, for one. For instance, Cipher did just make that attack on the Relic Stone – they’re probably going to try to attack this place again, or try something else.”
“We could always build a fort,” Eagun suggested.
“Out of what?” Wes countered, still waiting for a connection with Sherles.
“Good question... the Pikachu, maybe?”
“...I think we’re better off just asking Sherles to send some of the Police force that came to Orre to come and help out over here,” Wes said. “Oh, here we go! Hello, Sherles. Did you get our message?”
Sherles’ unmistakable gruff voice crackled through the P*DA. “We sure did. You sure we can purify the Shadow Pokemon properly now?”
“Yes, positive!” Rui shouted into the P*DA.
“Rui, not so loud. My ear is there as well...” Wes said, wincing.
“Good work, then,” Sherles continued. “I trust you’ll be wanting to celebrate... however, we’ve got a bit of a problem. You see... we got an anonymous tip-off, that said that Cipher are about to attack a man named Vander.”
“Vander? Who’s he?” Rui asked worriedly. “And why are they interested in him?”
“We’re not sure. Our records of Vander state that he’s an Area Leader of Mt Battle – it’s a place where trainers testtheir Pokemon in a 100-battle challenge, to try to get to the top of the mountain. It’s rather dangerous, apparently... Vander also likes to boast about some Time Flute of his. It’s drawn unwanted attention to him in the past, so it seems going by this record...”
“A Time Flute?” Wes asked. “That sounds kinda familiar...”
“I know what it is!” Rui shouted. “Sorry,” she added, seeing Wes wince once more at her shouting at his ear. “But it was in this book, remember?” She quickly turned a couple of pages, before reading.
“‘According to ancient lore, the Relic Stone holds blah blah...It is said that Celebi can blah blah blah...’ basically purify Pokemon, I suppose, like the Relic Stone... Ah, here we go. ‘To meet it however, you must use an item called the ‘Time Flute’ which is all that one needs to bring Celebi to the Relic Forest.’”
“So they mean to take the item which can summon Celebi,” Wes concluded. “Well, that sucks.”
“Quite,” Sherles said quietly. “We also know that they’re preparing to make an attack on Vander as we speak. It’s going to happen at Mt Battle itself, and it’s to happen in a few hours.”
“In a few hours, an attack on someone at Mt Battle is going to occur?” another voice asked suddenly through Sherles’ end of the conversation.
“Who the hell are you?” Sherles barked. “Get out of here! Johnson, do you have a reason for letting this interviewer in when I specifically told you to not let anybody in?”
“But this guy said he was somebody, so I thought it’d be ok...” Johnson began. Rui and Wes exchanged glances.
“You idiot! Now everyone will know and we’ll have interviewers jumping at the scene. I just know it,” Sherles said tiredly.
“Interesting information – who would give it though?” Wes interrupted.
“Maybe a disgruntled employee or something,” Sherles said. “It frequently happens – probably someone not paid enough or something stupid like that. At any rate, we’ve sent a task force to deal with them, and another to Vander’s home just in case. Andrew’s in charge of them and despite his obvious disgruntlement with this whole thing he should be capable, but I’d like you to go and see if you can help out. Just head to Mt Battle, and hopefully there’s nothing behind this. I’m thinking otherwise, though.”
“Ok, Sherles, I’m on my way there,” Wes said, closing his P*DA and terminating the call. He sat down for a moment, rubbing his head in his arms.
“I hate it when I’m right,” Wes finally said. “Cipher’s just going to keep attacking us, and we’re going to have to keep defending, and they’ll tire us out and we’ll all be very very...I don’t know, sad,” he concluded.
“You really are tired, aren’t you?” Rui said with a weak smile.
“I guess. Oh well. I’ll take some coffee with me or something. In which case, I’ll be keeping Yanma in his Pokeball then... anyway, I’m off. You stay behind-”
“No, I’m coming,” Rui said quickly. “There could be Shadow Pokemon there, and...”
‘Ok, fine,” Wes conceded. Hmm, I gave in rather easily... eh. Wouldn’t mind someone to talk to – it’s a few hours drive or something to get there, I think, and we do need her seeing ability, I guess. “Just...be careful.”
“Will you be fine?” Eagun said worriedly.
“Don’t worry, I’ve got Wes to protect me!” Rui said positively, hugging Eagun quickly as Wes shuffled uneasily on the spot. Meanwhile, the woman waiting stepped forward.
“Aren’t we going to check out the centre, or...”
“I’m sorry – we’ll give you your money soon enough – we’ve got to run-” Wes said irritably, before noticing Rui zip out of the room, yelling ‘Onwards to justice, Wes!’ As Wes shrugged, and ran towards the door himself, she reappeared, looking sheepish.
“Um, Eagun... which way is Mt Battle, anyway?”
Eagun quietly pointed through a window, towards a grey, giant mountain, sitting in plain view from where they sat.
“Oh. Thanks. Let’s go, Wes!” Rui said. The two grabbed their bags and Pokeballs and ran out, ignoring the citizens of Agate village who began asking them for a handshake or help with retrieving their Pikachu, running over the bridge by the town’s entrance, and jumping into the Zoomer.
“Right, let’s go – we may not have much time,” Wes said, gunning the engine as it came to life noisily.
“DISHWASHERS! BUY ONE AND GET ONE AT A SLIGHTLY REDUCED PRICE!” it blazed, as the radio also came back on.
“Arrgh!” Wes cried, covering his ears. “I forgot about that...”
Behind a small hill of jagged, dusty rocks, a small contingent of Cipher agents stood in a row, looking up at the giant man before them. Behind them, the entrance to the Mt Battle facility stood – the location of their target. They had never worked with the large man before – all they knew was that he had been highly rated by Master Nascour, who had scouted him out as a fantastic muscle-man, or hit-man, so to speak. It wasn’t hard to see why – the red-haired Master Dakim easily towered over them all, built like a Rhydon.
Unfortunately it appeared he also had the attention span and brains of one, never seeming to be one to care about the job at hand. Not to mention, his outfit was rather unusual - not many walked about the desert in a karate gi.
“He was a great man. Yes, he sure was. He taught the man who taught the other guy, who taught the other guy who taught me the art of fighting, man!” Dakim said, beaming enthusiastically at the group.
“Excuse me...” one piped up.
“Quiet, you. He basically invented the art of fighting, he did, and I think he knows a little bit more about it than you do, man!”
“Oh dear, here we go again... I hate this story,” the Cipher grunt muttered to the one next to him in annoyance.
“Then he used his fight money to buy two of every animal,” Dakim continued, grabbing two small rocks and miming them as animals. “And then he put them on a boat, and then he beat the heck out of them, man!”
“Yeah, totally cool, keep talking about your stupid make-believe story,” the man continued to whisper. “Seriously, I hope he can fight as well as how badly he thinks, for if that’s the case then I might forgive Master Nascour for lumping him with us.”
“And that’s why they call it a zoo!” Dakim declared, pausing for effect. “Unless it’s a farm!” he added. “Ok, let me ask you a question. Now, does anyone think they can beat me in a fight?”
The annoyed and talkative Cipher grunt raised his hand up irritably, and got promptly hit on the head by one of Dakim’s oversized fists.
“Wrong! None can defeat me! See?” Dakim pointed out, as the man slumped to the ground.
“Um... Master Dakim?” another said, uneasily eyeing his fallen comrade. “With all due respect, it probably would be a better idea to go over the battle plan, rather than telling us stories and asking us questions unrelated to the plan... and knocking us out, I might add,” he finished quietly. Dakim flashed a wide grin at this – the grunt smiled back worriedly, wondering if Dakim was going to knock him out too.
“Good thinking, soldier! I like a good thinker – I can appreciate that, man. You see, I may not be smart, but I sure can lift up heavy objects!”
“...I’m sure you can,” the grunt replied, unable to keep his eyes away from Dakim’s large and menacing arms.
“Just for that, I’m going to promote you to... Super-Admin!”
“Isn’t that, if such a rank does exist, that is, a higher rank than yourself?” the grunt asked.
“Good point. I’m...going to have to demote you now. Sorry. Now about our plan... Oh, I know. How about this – you go in, and start attacking people with your Pokemon, and I’ll go in and punch stuff, man! Then I’ll find that guy and get that Space Saxophone off of him, and we’ll go back!”
“Time Flute,” another corrected.
“Whatever. Some sort of musical...sound maker thingy. Sound like a good plan, man?”
All of the grunts nodded, happy that Dakim was happy and not hitting them. After all, they probably didn’t need a complex plan for this anyway – it was a pure hit, grab and run operation, and there didn’t seem to be any point arguing with him at any rate.
“Um... may I ask a question, Master Dakim?” one asked quietly. When Dakim nodded, he continued. “I can see you have Pokemon of your own...” he said, pointing to the necklace of Pokeballs Dakim was wearing, “but are you going to use them?” Dakim laughed heartily, and slapped the guy on the back lightly, which caused him to start gasping for breath.
“I don’t think I’ll need them for this job! I usually save them for opponents I deem worthy – for the rest, I’ll just use my fists, man,” he grinned, as he glanced around. “All right, men – you can go on – I’ll be around in a second.” With that, Dakim took a few strides forwards in the wrong direction towards the dead remains of a cactus about as large as himself, the vast majority of the spikes usually found on them gone missing bar on the ‘arms’ of the plant, and began uprooting it.
The grunts stood and stared, dumb-folded.
“Yeah... maybe... we should...move in before he starts hitting us with that for being too slow,” one suggested quietly. The rest agreed, running towards Mt Battle.
Meanwhile, a large convoy of cars pulled up by the Mt Battle reception area, from which policeman began pouring out of. The policeman Andrew sighed, getting out of one of the convoy cars they had been sent in to combat Cipher, only to immediately have a gust of wind blow, the sand attacking his face.
“Bleh,” he managed, spitting out some of the grains. Lovely place, this is, he thought drily to himself. Nothing but sand, sand, and more sand. Oh, and those boulders over there.
“Looks like that’s the entrance to Mt Battle,” another said, pointing behind Andrew. It stood out from the rest – suddenly the yellow, gritty sand turned into patches of disorganised green and black to resemble a poorly-made garden, with a pathway intersecting and a few benches scattered about, one right in the middle of a pathway for some unknown reason. Behind it, a small, simple building stood – it was the reception area for the place. Behind it, the ashen-coated mountain towered, the top part disappearing into some low-lying clouds, with glowing bright-orange lava visible from beyond, indicting roughly where the top was – it was well known in Orre that Mt Battle was actually an active volcano. A man was jogging around the place, and upon noticing the sudden arrival of the police contingent, ran over.
“What’s going on? Is anything the matter?” he asked worriedly, while still jogging on the spot.
“Oh good – nothing to worry about yet,” Andrew said loudly to the rest, before turning back to the jogger – it appeared all was fine for the moment. “Well, we have reason to believe that there may be some trouble heading over here, so we’re here to prevent that if anything happens... um, could you stop running like that?” he added irritably.
“I would,” the jogger replied, “but I was hungry so I ate something I found and now I think if I stop running, I’ll die!” With that the man ran off and started running around a patch of grass again.
Andrew shook his head. How stupid can this region get? “Well... looks like we’ve just got to wait. Nothing will probably come from this tip-off and we’ve come all this way for nothing,” he spat, sitting down on a bench. It started creaking loudly in protest, causing Andrew to stand up quickly, afraid it would break.
Stupid region. It’s all so...stupid, Andrew decided with a sigh. Too much sand, nothing to do, and it is rifled with criminal activity. Bah, why did all of the criminal gangs these days have to have aspirations for world domination, seriously? Couldn’t they just go for something less dangerous once in a while, such as trying to eat everyone’s berries from their trees, or aiming to steal everyone’s left shoe?
...no, that’d be rather problematic. I like my left shoes.
I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. No, I’d have had my holiday with my family back home. I had my plan all set up – five weeks in the sun, drinking... something nice, I suppose. And it would have worked as well, if it wasn’t for those meddling kids, Wes and what’s-her-face.
Andrew frowned some more, his face beginning to resemble a scowl Geodude tended to have whenever someone stepped on them when they were sleeping. Oh, sure, it’s not like it’s all that bad that by the end of this Pokemon will stop being made in Shadow Pokemon, and crime could cease in this forsaken place – goodness knows how long Orre has suffered in silence - but if that guy hadn’t had the bright idea to stand up and do something by blowing up that building, then I wouldn’t be over here, away from home standing in the middle of the desert!
It sucked how things seemed to always affect me for the worse. Worst of all, that fool Johnson keeps talking to me, as if he was told to or something. At least Sherles seems to be able to get a handle on things, but Johnson? If I ever hear him talking about how powerful his Magikarp is, or asking me if I knew where milk came from, I’ll...
Suddenly, a gang of people emerged into view from behind a hill of rocks only a few hundred metres away from them. They were all clad in purple, and were heading straight for them – suddenly though, they stopped, noticing the police force.
Both groups looked at each silently, the only noise coming from the footsteps of the jogger, and the howling wind blowing up sand in-between the two.
“It’s Cipher! Get them!” Andrew shouted suddenly, as he and his convey charged forward and threw a large number of Pokeballs at the ground ahead.
“No, we’re innocent!” a woman from the group cried as the police force’s Pokemon materialised, mostly comprising of Growlithe and Arcanine, dog-like Pokemon which began growling furiously, priming themselves for battle, with a few Psychic Pokemon such as Kadabra amongst the group. “We didn’t do nothing legal. I mean, illegal!”
Andrew frowned, and then put up a hand to show the others to wait for a moment. “Then who are you?”
“We’re a fundraising group for charity! We sell cookies!” she added, waving boxes in the air clearly marked ‘Cookies – Buy One To Raise Funds For The Defenceless Magikarp’ in large letters.
“Oh,” Andrew finally acknowledged.
Suddenly, another group emerged behind the charity group, also clad in purple, singing a chant as they approached.
“We are Cipher, we are here, something something we like beer! Gonna go kick up a fuss, all your base are belong to us...” they sung, before trailing off into silence, noticing the Police force.
“Oh, bugger,” one of them added quietly. ‘I told Dakim we should have saved the singing for later...”
“Ok, that’s Cipher!” Andrew cried. “GET THEM!” With that, the charge resumed, the army of police Pokemon moving in, while the Cipher agents grabbed their own Pokeballs and chucked them as well, their own Pokemon quickly joining in the fight. Noticing they were in the middle of the beginning battle, the charity group screamed and ran for cover, frantically throwing cookies about to try and protect themselves.
“Organise yourselves, men!” Andrew bellowed. “Get your Pokemon into formation! Psychic Pokemon, move to the rear and begin those defence fields – Reflect and Light Screen, now! Growlithe and Arcanine, charge forward and begin with Heat Wave!”
“Kill them all!” shouted one of the Cipher grunts bluntly. Their Pokemon met the oncoming wave of red, as the Growlithe and Arcanine began firing off Heat Wave attacks.
“Now focus on taking down one Pokemon at a time!” Andrew commanded. Everyone else began shouting commands to the psychic Pokemon, who took part of their focus off the barrier of light they were creating to convey the commands clearly to each Pokemon, organising them into a dangerous pack.
Andrew smiled. Looks like this will be over quickly – as the Heat Wave attacks hit each other as well as our opponents, their fire attacks will merely get stronger thanks to their Flash Fire ability! I do love a good strategy, he thought to himself, observing Cipher’s Pokemon begin to crumble under the siege of fire. The mass of red would converge onto a Pokemon and take it down, while the others had trouble fighting back, as the heat generated by the group made it nigh impossible for a direct approach to be made.
“Doesn’t anyone of us have a water Pokemon!?” a Cipher grunt cried in anguish, watching his Pokemon fall, as Andrew’s grin grew.
“The guy who Dakim knocked out did, I believe...” another replied.
Then he frowned. From behind the group, a large figure appeared – unlike the rest, he was clad in white – they looked like pyjamas. He was far away, but strangely he seemed almost double the height of the rest as he came closer, if not more. It was almost as more startling as the fact that he appeared to be wielding a cactus.
What the hell? Andrew thought.
A Growlithe also took notice of the man, and charged at him, but he only smiled.
“Aha! Some action! I always like a good fight,” he bellowed, before using the cactus like a baseball bat, hitting the Growlithe into the air back the way it came, as it yelped in surprise.
Oh my god! He swatted that Growlithe like a toy!
Suddenly the tide turned – the Cipher agents seemed to gain confidence with the man’s arrival and began fighting back, as he walked right through the battle, swinging the cactus.
“Quick, focus your attacks on him!” Andrew decided, realising the newcomer was an unusual threat. The Psychic Pokemon dropped their wall and began hurriedly sending messages to the rest of them before beginning.
“Have your Pokemon make it easier for me, men!” Dakim shouted, and they responded, throwing themselves against the new concentrated wave of canines, who suddenly found themselves on the back foot as Dakim moved forward.
“Oh look, there’s the entrance,” Dakim suddenly announced, and with that he broke into a run, catching everyone unawares by bursting toward through the defence line. With the barriers down he had no trouble running past, and as the rest of Cipher’s Pokemon pushed forward, the Psychic Pokemon found themselves under pressure, having to abandon any plan to contain Dakim.
This can’t be possible...suddenly some giant came here and is fighting against our Pokemon with a cactus, and is winning? Have I gone mad? Andrew wondered to himself, in-between shouting orders at his Pokemon. And that sound... who’s that shouting in the background? Very faintly, he could hear....advertisements?
“DISHWASHERS! IF YOU HAVENT BOUGHT ONE YET, YOU MUST BE MAD! MAYBE NOT AS MAD AS THE MAD HATTER BECAUSE HE’S JUST MAD! BUT YOU’LL BE CRAZY NOT TO BUY OUR CHICKEN-FLAVOURED DISHWASHERS!”
Yep, I’ve gone mad, Andrew thought to himself. Oh well. He turned around, and scowled – a vehicle was approaching the battle, which was blazing ads of all things. Within it was that annoying guy in blue, and the girl who could see whether a Pokemon was Shadow or not. Right, this is just too strange. Why the hell are they here!
“We’re here to help!” the girl cried, frantically throwing out Pokeballs at people. “Go hit them... and stuff!” Rui ordered, as new Pokemon joined the fight.
Well, that’s useful, I suppose... but why is she wearing pyjamas here? Chibi-Pokemon-patterned ones at that?
“Hey, look at that...” the girl said slowly, pointing to the large cactus-wielding person, as Wes slammed the brakes and hopped out of the Zoomer.
“Yikes... he’s a giant... and he’s heading towards the entrance there! We better follow him, although if it came down to it I doubt we could stop him... C’mon, Rui!” he said, running off. “Go and punch everyone you can see, Makuhita!” he added, tossing a Pokeball which landed at Andrew’s feet, Makuhita springing forth.
“Wes, why are there cookies on the ground?” Rui yelled as they ran.
“No idea!” he shouted back.
“Maku!” (Can do!) Makuhita cried, before he turned around and punched Andrew in the gut.
“Not me – I’m on your side, idiot!” Andrew gasped, doubling over. Makuhita frowned.
“Mahuhita. Maku – HITA!” (He said ‘punch everyone you can see’. I can see you – so DIE!) Makuhita reasoned, punching Andrew again before running off to attack everyone else.
Dakim calmly strode up the steps and ducked his head so he would fit through the door into the building, ignoring the jogger outside who stared at his size. He quickly surveyed the room – only a few people were in the room, with a nurse manning the healing machine to the left who seemed to have awoken from her slumber when he arrived. Noticing another door straight in front of him with a sign stating it led to the challenge area for Mt Battle, he moved onwards, pushing aside the man who stood there and went in, walking right through the closed door.
“Oi! You need to register before going there! Why the hell did you break our door? We paid good money to have that installed, you know!” the nurse snapped. “Get back here, you deaf oaf! No cacti are allowed – it’s against the rules!” Meanwhile, Wes and Rui burst in.
“Man...he’s... fast... where did he go...” Wes panted, also looking around. The nurse quietly pointed to the door, and Wes began again, running through with Rui close behind.
“Hey! Don’t you two go running off as well without filling out this form!” she shouted, but to no avail. “Bloody people these days, don’t they ever know to follow the rules? And why the hell is it so noisy outside, anyway?” she said to herself, moving to the window to peer outside. “Oh, for goodness sakes...” she opened it and hollered out.
“Look, I know you all like to practise and all, but keep it down, will you? Some of us are trying to sleep here!” With that, she retired to her desk with a scowl.
Wes proceeded onwards through a long corridor, grabbing two Pokeballs and sending out Espeon and Umbreon.
“Umbreon...” (Something tells me we’re no longer in Agate...) Umbreon said, breaking into a quick run to keep up with Wes.
“Espeon,” (You don’t say,) Espeon responded dryly before running himself, while focusing his powers on Wes’ thoughts and relaying them to Umbreon so they knew what was going on.
“Umbre, Umbreon- Umb?” (Right, we’re chasing a giant man with a cactus to stop him stealing a Time Flute from a guy called Vander- wait, what?) Umbreon said.
“I’m guessing you already found out why... we’re here, huh?” Wes said, still a bit lost for breath. “Well, it’s certainly true, so don’t go about thinking I’m crazy... look, there he is!” Wes shouted, pointing at Dakim as they rounded a corner, who seemed to be out of the corridor, outside and approaching a person standing on a circular platform.
As they came towards the end of the corridor, Rui gasped at the sight before them. The pathway narrowed, only extending every so often whenever it reached a large circular platform – but the main feature of the place was that it was impossibly suspended several feet in the air above the foot of the mountain, the platforms kept up by a giant propeller spinning rapidly underneath.
“How the...” Wes began, before catching sight of a sign by the end of the corridor.
PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF THE PLATFORMS – NO RUNNING OR BREAKDANCING PERMITTED
BE CAREFUL NOT TO LET YOUR POKEMON FALL DOWN – HAVE YOUR POKEBALLS AT THE READY SO YOU CAN RECALL THEM
Thinking about how the platforms stay up in the air is severely discouraged.
“Umb, Umbreon...” (I’m sorry, my mind already broke...) Umbreon said, gazing at the infrastructure and then at the gray, jagged rocks of Mt Battle below them.
“Espeon,” (Even this confuses me...) Espeon admitted, before they continued forward after Dakim, who was currently talking to the man on the first spacious platform.
“Hello, and welcome to the Mt Battle challenge...” the young boy on the platform began, stopping when he looked up and saw Dakim, who was currently comparing the boy’s face with a photograph.
“I don't think I'll need this any more," Dakim declared, throwing away his cactus before pulling out a photograph with a name written on it. "Are you the first area leader of this place, first name ‘Vander’, second name... what does that say?” Dakim asked, trying to read out the surname.
“You’re...big,” the boy responded.
“...nah, man – you look too fat,” Dakim concluded, before grinning.
“Hey – I’m not fat-” the boy began.
“If you’re not, then show me your moves!” Dakim challenged. As the boy looked back at Dakim blankly, Dakim suddenly brought his fist back, and threw it forward.
“You’re too slow! Out of my way! DAKIM PAWWUNCH!” Dakim yelled, connecting with his punch before running onwards.
“Holy...” Wes said. “He just... Espeon, do something!” Wes said, as the boy went into the air.
“Help! I’m flyinggggggggggg!” he cried.
“Espeon!” (I’m on it!) Espeon said, making use of his Psychic powers to stop the boy from moving any closer towards the edge of the platform, lowering him down gently.
“He’s just going up and punching random strangers! How can he?” Rui wailed, feeling helpless about the situation. Meanwhile, Dakim’s voice bellowed from the next platform.
“Is your name Vander?” Dakim asked of the next person.
“No, it isn’t. First, you have to battle me, because it’s the rules,” he added as Dakim turned to leave. Dakim turned around at that, and grinned.
“DAKIM KICK!” Dakim shouted, this time kicking the person.
Squarely in the face.
“YES!” Dakim said, proud of his strength, moving onwards as the other man fell down, luckily staying on his platform as well.
“Whoever designed this places deserves to be shot, seriously,” Wes muttered as they desperately ran forward, trying to catch up to Dakim, who was at the third platform. Luckily, the person there had noticed his actions, and had caught on.
“Don’t hurt me! Vander is on platform ten!” he cried, before sprinting past Dakim and Wes’ group back to the reception area.
“Thanks, man!” Dakim shouted back, before noticing his pursuers. “Hmm, I better get a move on...” With that, Dakim took a run up, and jumped a gap to the next platform, leaving Wes and Rui to gasp in awe.
“Great, it turns out we’re chasing after Spiderman,” Wes commented dryly. I don’t think even a professional long-jumper would be able to clear that gap with ease...and now he has a clear lead on us. Great.
“Umbreon,” (Man, imagine if I dropped an egg off from here,) Umbreon muttered.
“Esp.” (Shut up.)
“Umbreon, umb-” (But seriously, if I dropped an egg from here, it’d just go ‘SPLAT’, just like that-)
“Espeon! Esp!” (I said SHUT UP! Or you’ll go splat!) Espeon warned.
The group and Dakim moved forward, approaching the tenth platform as everyone else evacuated, careful to avoid Dakim and stay out of his way. A mere two minutes later, Dakim had reached the tenth platform, to meet a lone figure, while the rest were hurriedly following, only at the eighth one.
“This was the tenth...no, wait, ninth. Wait... what number platform is this?” Dakim asked, scratching his head. “Oh, I see,” he added, noticing the large number ‘10’ written onto the tiling of the platform. “Is your name Vander?” Dakim begin, again taking a look at the photograph he had in his hand.
“Yes, I am. I mean, yes, it is,” Vander confirmed, quickly but quietly. He was of a small frame, and looked up at Dakim uneasily, observing his muscles and martial art attire.
“Ok. Now, hand over the Money Piano,” Dakim demanded, holding out one hand.
“...I think you mean the Time Flute?” Vander said, confused.
“Whatever, man. I’m kinda in a rush here, so please hand it over,” Dakim said with a smile. “Otherwise, I may have to punch you, and I don’t really like punching people if I can avoid it... the two who did were too slow, and as I said, I’m in a rush.”
“Yes... well... unfortunately, I don’t believe I have it here.”
“...what? That’s not allowed. You’re meant to have it here,” Dakim complained, as Wes and Rui finally caught up, careful to keep their distance for the moment to catch their breath and observe the conversation.
“It’s... at home, you see,” Vander said. “I’m not about to take such a precious item here every time I come for battles, you know...”
“I guess you have a point...” Dakim said.
“And by now there would probably be a police presence there too,” Vander added nervously. “I gather that’s why all those police sirens were blazing only some minutes ago outside of here... so if we can talk this out calmly-”
“No calm talking! Only rage!” Dakim shouted. “DAKIM PAWWUNCH!” he yelled, once again raising his arms and punching out.
“Espeon, use Reflect!” Wes ordered, as Espeon quickly summoned up a shimmering barrierin front of Vander -
- only for Dakim’s punch to go straight through it as if it hadn’t been there at all, and connect with Vander’s chest. He gasped, and then fell down.
“No!” Rui shouted, unsure whether to go and help or not. Dakim then turned around and observed the newcomers.
“Umbreon!” (Oh no, the man knows Brick Break!)
“Don’t worry, lady,” he said softly. “It’s nothing bad, actually – my punch merely struck him so that he would have trouble breathing. He’ll feel better in a while... but if you rather not...hey, I know you!” Dakim cried, noticing Wes who took a frightened step back.
“Look, I don’t want to fight you or anything-” Wes began.
“Umbreon!” (Yes, we have to go... um, buy a dishwasher!) Umbreon exclaimed hurriedly, not noticing that the advertising from the Zoomer’s radio had affected him.
“You’re Wes, man! The guy who blew up Team Snagem! Man, that must have been cool!” Dakim then struck out a hand, offering Wes a handshake.
Wes blinked. “Umm...”
“No, it’s ok! Anyone that could have made Master Nascour fret about so much has my respect! You’ve made yourself quite the worthy opponent for us – even defeating Miror B! You’re pretty cool, man!” Wes cautiously shook Dakim’s hand for a short moment, carefully watching. Seems this guy holds a good deal of respect for me, even though I’m his enemy... well, I guess I just won’t question it, Wes thought quietly.
“But this brings about a dilemma,” Dakim said quietly. “It looks like this whole mission is a lost cause... yet I have Vander here, who I could kidnap and hold ransom for the...flute thingy.”
Thanks for telling me your ideas, then... looks like he’s brawn over brains as well, Wes noted.
“But seeing as it appears you are my current obstacle, and although my enemy, the most worthy of them... I think this calls for a Pokemon Battle.” With that, Dakim grinned. “I do not believe you will win, but perhaps you could entertain me. Only Master Nascour has been able to defeat me – but if you do, I shall leave without Vander. And if I win-”
“I...understand,” Wes interjected, jumping at the offer. He had faith in his Pokemon, and although he had gotten into a few street fights years before, he knew that he stood as much chance beating Dakim in a fight as a Sunkern with paralysis had against an army of Crobat whose sole purpose in life were to beat up Sunkern. “If you insist, we’ll battle with our Pokemon.”
Dakim grinned. “Then it’s agreed! May the best man win. Needless to say...” he added, “that person is me, man.”
END CHAPTER YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
I hope you enjoyed that, particularly after my break... well, comment away!
And as for how this relates to the game:
Great! You started this again! Excellent writing as always. Also congrats on your promotion (not sure when it was, but it was after I was last here.)
All the world's a stage
And I have played my part
Anyways, another funny chapter here. I really do have to question the intelligence of the Orre people (and everyone else in the Pokemon fandom)
Andrew I thought you did his thoughts well. Shows a bit of his personality. Sorry, haven’t played the games, so I wouldn’t know if he was a character or not. ; However, there are a couple of times I felt his thoughts are long winded. I know that’s his personality and all, but it’s a bit too much going deep into his thoughts. Perhaps you could have done some of them in the narrative instead of in his POV. That’s just me, though.
Dakim…been a while since the readers last met him, huh? The first bit where he’s with the Cipher grunts I chuckled a couple of times. Heh, the grunts are better than him. However, his stupidity and “DAKIM KICK!” got repetitive at the end.
Pretty much another great chapter here. Iffy about Andrew’s thoughts in his POV too much (though not such a big deal ; ) and also Dakim’s scenes a bit repetitive. Try to not have the next update be this long.
1000th post, whoo!
Ah, since I left Sppf I was hoping I could continue reading this here
So, Elm went insane, Duncan continues to have lawn issues, Pikachu continue to run amok, and the daycare knows nothing about eggs. Yeah, sounds about right for Orre.
Now, hand over the Space Saxophone... err... the Money Piano before I show you my DAKIM KICK!
Ooh, I think this battle that's coming up between Wes and Dakim is gonna be epic... cactus or no cactus. I can't wait
Oh my dear Lord, b&b, how I love you to death for actually adding in the Dakim PAWWWWNCH!! And the dishwashers were great and and and...<3 It gets all my lovin'. I'm inspired to actually draw the Dakim PAWWWWWWWWNCH! now.
I can't wait to see how you portray Entei.
a thousand silhouettes dancing on my chest