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Anyways, since it’s Friday night, I have come to deliver a chapter. Enjoy!
Chapter 11: Blue (part one)
The first thing Leah was aware of was that her mouth tasted of salt. She moved her tongue around a bit and was disheartened that the disgustingly sweet taste refused to fade.
It was then that she realized that something was wrong.
Her face felt warm to her and when she tried to open her eyes, she only got an eye-full of sunlight for her troubles. Twitching her fingers that laid at her sides, she could feel the soft and damp sand that partly stuck to her skin. From what she could tell, all her clothes were wet, from her apparently non-waterproof jacket to her previously cozy socks. Her life jacket felt rather constricting to her, though she had to admit, it was comfy to lie on.
Leah breathed in deeply and tried to think. ‘Try’ being the key word. After loosing concentration again, she slowly turned her head to the side, feeling dazed, tired and aware of the water in her ears. Opening her eyes a crack, she waited until she got used to the light before opening them wider. She could see the vague image of a long and white sandy beach and blue tides that smoothly slunk in and out of her vision. The sun was out high above the sky, though gray clouds floated around it, seemingly waiting for their chance to cover the sun.
And, just about eight feet from Leah, was another body.
Leah got up, spitting the salty taste on the pale sand before forcing herself to her feet. Sand and water was un-doubtfully taking residence in her shoes, but that wasn’t important. She stumbled her way to the body, almost tripping over her pant legs that had suddenly gotten longer due to the water.
The unmoving body lied at its side and was covered in a puffy orange vest, blue overalls, a pink shirt and tangled black hair that fell over the expressionless face. Leah knelt down beside the body and turned it onto its back. Ally didn’t awaken at the movement, only limply going with what Leah decided, just like a pretty little doll.
Leah felt her heart pounding and for a moment, she thought that Ally was dead; just a pale corpse that had washed up on a silent beach. When she saw Ally’s chest rise and fall, though, a wave of relief rushed over her, one so big, Leah was surprised that she cared so much. Though, once that thought past through her mind, she winced.
Did Leah really think that she wouldn’t feel glad that a ten-year-old girl wasn’t dead?
“Ally,” Leah said urgently, hesitantly slapping the girl’s cheek lightly. “Wake up!”
When Ally twitched slightly at her words, Leah babbled it again and again. Ally’s blue eyes fluttered open and when she closed them again because of the light, Leah put her hands above them, shadowing her face.
“W- What?” Ally began, but coughed. “What-”
Leah shook her head and put one of her hands behind Ally’s shoulder. “Don’t talk, just breathe.”
Ally breathed as Leah helped her sit up. The girl looked dazed and weak, eyes half-lidded and sand clinging to parts of her face and hair. Leah wondered if that was what she looked like to Ally. Almost not realizing it, Leah brushed some stray sand off her own face and tried to even out her hair, which had escaped her elastic and was now out of control.
“W- what-” Ally started again, coughing lightly. “-happened?”
“I dunno,” Leah said as her mind tried to backtrack. She couldn’t remember much; only a freezing numbness, if that made any sense. “We- we went overboard and then we were somehow able to get to… shore?”
Leah felt a pit form in her stomach. The lifejackets had saved them. If Leah hadn’t gone and got them due to paranoia, they could’ve drowned. No, they would’ve drowned, no need to question that.
Looking around while trying to urge her mind away from such thoughts, Leah wondered where they were. The lonely beach was almost as silent as a grave, the only sound being the ocean. Across from the water stood miles of brown-gray rock, stretching as far as the beach. The rock looked pointed and jagged and easily towered above Leah’s head, though rocks closer to the water were smaller and smoother. There were no Pokemon cawing in the air or even any trees standing alone in the sun. The only things living were her, Ally and a few patches of long yellow-green grass.
A sharp intake of breath had Leah look back at Ally. The girl’s head had snapped up and was looking all around her.
“Ed!” she shrieked. “Where’s Ed?”
Leah’s stomach dropped and she also started to look around, but there was no point.
There was no one else; they were alone.
“He went into the water with us,” Leah said, trying to take control of the situation. “He must be around here somewhere-”
“Where?” Ally asked hoarsely.
Leah hesitated before speaking. “Somewhere. We’ll find him.”
Ally nodded as she stood up suddenly and Leah was quick to follow her example. They stood there silently, neither one speaking. Ally was deep in thought and Leah was trying to find a way to break the silence. A thought occurred to Leah. It was a bit funny for her to realize that despite Ed’s constant moronic-ness, he was the one that drove all of their conversations. Without him, everything seemed awkward and forced to her.
Though, Leah sobered up quickly as the reality of the situation overcame her. She and her two ten-year-old companions had been dragged under the water and got separated. It was almost the luckiest thing in the world that she and Ally had survived long enough to get to shore while they were unconscious. They could have drowned in so many possible ways, despite the lifejackets. Ed wasn’t with them so maybe he washed up somewhere else.
Or maybe, the waves smashed him up against the rocks again and again, so instead of drowning, he might have been bludgeoned to death.
She shook her head, but wasn’t able to dispel the images in her mind. She certainly disliked the brat, him and his annoying disruptive actions and outburst and everything… But she didn’t want him to die.
But really… what were the chances that a ten-year-old boy was able to pull himself to safety?
… No, Leah thought, she shouldn’t be thinking such depressing thoughts. If she and Ally could land on a beach, he could too. There were miles of sand; he had to be somewhere.
“L- Leah,” Ally spoke, her voice high-pitched and shaking.
Leah looked over at her.
“I- I want to go find E- Ed.”
The words were caught in Leah’s throat for some reason. Stupid depressing thoughts were affecting her. “Yeah.”
“He has to be,” Ally continued, voice cracking. “He must be here somewhere…”
“Yeah,” Leah said, doubt even she wasn’t aware of sneaking into her voice. “Somewhere.”
Silently choosing a direction by herself, Ally hesitantly started walking past Leah, but stopped beside her. Leah looked at her in confusion and noticed that it was like she was waiting for something. When nothing was said between them, Ally finally spoke.
“D- Do you-” Ally asked nervously, coughing a bit. “-want to come with me?”
Despite already being confused, the emotion deepened when Leah realized that Ally was asking if she wanted to search for Ed. She couldn’t help but feel a bit insulted that Ally assumed that she wouldn’t want to help. Sure, if it was to do something silly like exploring or playing sandcastle, she would say ‘no’ instantly.
But for something like this?
Leah turned around and stared at the girl silently. She didn’t look too well, and Leah was almost expecting for her to burst into tears at any moment. Here they were, stranded on an island with their companion missing-in-action and Ally was the more optimistic between the two of them. Thankfully, due to her age, it didn’t seem like Ally could even comprehend that Ed could’ve died somewhere.
Either way, Ally was a ten-year-old girl and Leah thought it’d be very annoying if she suddenly broke down then and there. Leah couldn’t split her attention between comforting Ally and finding Ed, so she might as well prevent Ally from doing that in the first place.
Or at least that was her excuse.
Feeling rather uncomfortable, Leah wove her hand around Ally’s and gave the surprised girl a half-forced smile.
“Okay, let’s go find him,” Leah said kindly and added, “though, let’s do it fast and then maybe we’ll be able to get to Fuchsia City by dinner time. I doubt Ed would be very happy if he missed dinner. You know how he complains.”
After those words, the two started to walk along the beach, leaving their footprints behind in the sand. Leah glanced over at Ally and was a bit relieved that she seemed to have brightened up considerably. Though, the duo stayed silent, their only contact between their hands.
Because really, what else could someone say in a situation like this?
“We need a new strategy,” Leah said finally as the duo came to a halt before the large rock formation in front of them. The rocks were centered right in the middle of the beach and they put an end to their pathway. There was no way to get around them unless they climbed and Leah didn’t think either of them were up for it.
“M- Maybe Ed was in the other direction?” Ally suggested nervously, glancing behind her.
Leah sighed. “Yeah, maybe. Damn! It’ll take another ten minutes to get back to our starting point. What a waste of time.”
While Leah tried to think of a different way to find Ed, Ally walked towards the water and stared out to sea. She backed away a bit when the tide splashed against her shoes, but as she turned around to go back to Leah, something caught her eye as strange.
She called over to Leah to look.
“What?” Leah asked shortly, still plotting.
Ally pointed to the rock formation, where it stretched five feet out into the water.
But then Leah also noticed. There wasn’t anything strange about the rocks, but the way the water acted towards it was. Waves didn’t really slam into it, and if it did, only small splashes at the side of the rock. It was almost as if the rock was only a tall, thin layer and anything beyond that didn’t exist.
“A… tunnel?” Leah guessed. It did look like the water was being gathered and flowing into something.
Ally bobbed her head. “M- Maybe Ed went in there.”
The older girl looked at the rocks again. “I dunno...” Leah said doubtfully. Instead of washing up on a beach, he went into a small tunnel? “And even if he did, how are we going to find him now?”
Leah looked around. They were surrounded by rocks on two sides now, most going right over her head. If there was a tunnel in one of the rocks, would it be likely there were caves nearby?
Ally spoke up. “We c- can swim through the tunnel?”
“No,” Leah said instantly while looking for some sort of gap between the rocks.
“I got a better idea…”
“See?” Leah said, rolling her eyes. “It didn’t take that long to find a good one.”
After around half-an-hour of searching, they had found a decent sized cave. The opening didn’t go far over Leah’s head, but after looking into the cave, she was pretty confident that it wasn’t going to narrow once inside.
Ally peered into the cave, and despite the sunlight, couldn’t see more than around seven feet in. “It looks d- dark.”
“Better dark than wet,” Leah replied. Truthfully, she wasn’t that much more confident about the cave than Ally. It looked nice, but what if it was another dead end like the other three caves they came across? What if it suddenly collapsed?
“Well,” Leah spoke up after a few moments of silence and motioned to Ally. “You first.”
Ally looked like she was going to reject Leah’s decision, but Leah quickly added on, “I’ll be right behind you.”
Gulping, Ally went in first, taking a few steps inwards until she was almost out of sunlight. “I- it’s too dark to see.”
“Use Vulpix then,” Leah said and was startled when Ally’s hands flew down to her Poke-Belt.
“I- I completely forgot about him…” Ally explained hurriedly as she brought out his Pokeball. “W- What if the water went through the Pokeball?”
“It can’t,” Leah replied as she subtly felt her own pocket for the Pokeball shaped bulge that she had also forgotten about. Thank god her pockets had zippers or there was no way Sands would have stayed with her.
“Amber,” Ally said as she released her Pokemon. The white light briefly lit up the cave and Leah got a glimpse of something on the walls before it faded.
Amber was still damp from his disappearance on the boat, but had calmed down since then. He shook his fur and waved his tails around as he awaited his trainer’s orders.
Ally smiled at him. “Use Ember to light up the darkness.”
The flare that came from Amber’s mouth was bright and it gave the cave walls a yellow glow. Though, it didn’t last long as the flames disappeared as soon as they hit the ground.
“This isn’t going to work,” Leah said as she looked behind her. “I’ll be right back.”
She was already gone by the time Ally turned around, though Leah was back moments later, carrying a long piece of driftwood. She held it before Amber’s mouth, wagging in front of the Pokemon’s face.
“Light this on fire,” Leah advised, making sure she was holding the wood away from her body.
Breathing in again, Amber let loose a small burst of fire that caught onto the stick as it blew by. Once the makeshift torch was on fire, Leah held it up and away from her. This time, the light stayed and the darkness fled from its brilliance.
“That’s better,” Leah said, sighing as she looked at what had caught her attention earlier.
The walls were rocky and they felt colder than Leah expected. Though, unnatural patches of smooth rock stood out, and were aligned so that they completed a near full circle around the throat of the cave. On the patches of rock were rectangular bits of white paper that had red symbols and circles on them. They were stuck completely to the rock and Leah fingered the edge of one.
“W- What are they?” Ally whispered, as if she didn’t want anyone or anything to hear.
Leah held the flame closer to the paper, but not close enough to light them on fire. “They’re Spell Tags- no, wait. They’re Cleanse Tags. It’s a bit hard to tell them apart.”
“What do they do?”
Turning away from the wall and deeming the tags insignificant, Leah pushed past Ally. “They just repel Pokemon, that’s all,”
Well, actually, that wasn’t all. Cleanse Tags weren’t something that just posted themselves on walls in the wild. Someone had to put them there and make grooves in the wall so that they’d stick. Now, why was that? Why would someone post those sort of tags in a cave? It was pretty suspicious, if you asked her. It looked like someone was trying to hide something and honestly, Leah didn’t really want anything to do with that.
But it wasn’t like she had any choice. Ed was missing, though if he did turn up, he might be in the cave somewhere. Somewhere being the key word. And, well, even if Leah didn’t want to get involved, if there was a chance that Ed was down there, she would follow the tunnel, suspicious Cleanse Tags or not.
Leah waved the torch in front of her and took the lead. “Come on, let’s see if Ed’s down here.”
Deep in the cave, it was cold.
His breath came out in a silvery mist and hung there before dissipating. He found it fascinating to watch the heat from his mouth become visible in the air, but he quickly relieved himself of the thought. He had things to do and there wasn’t any time to waste.
Carefully walking forward, he tried to keep his balance on the ice, but it was hard. He had absolutely nothing to grab onto if he fell. Not only was the floor covered in ice, but the walls and ceiling were also icy and cold to the touch. They were a bit pretty in a way, as long as you looked at it from a distance.
It was a frozen hell and Jordan wished that he wasn’t in it.
Though, he didn’t have the right to complain as it was his own fault. How many times had his family told him not to get involved in things like this? He couldn’t remember the number and felt depressed about that. It was silly, but he missed his family and knew that he probably wouldn’t be seeing them again. Though, why was he sad for? It was his own choice.
He chose this.
Getting back to task at hand, Jordan stopped his mental anguished thoughts before they started. It wouldn’t be very good if he came back to see that Jordan was daydreaming again. Really, he scared Jordan and the only reason he was working with him was because the benefits far outweighed the costs.
Very far outweighed.
“Anything Poliwhirl?” Jordan asked to his Pokemon, who stood further away, touching rocks and ice with its white gloved hands.
The Poliwhirl shook the top of his deep blue body, its big circular eyes still glued to the rocks, looking for anything in them. It had a large white chest with a black lined spiral shape taking up most of the space. The amphibian seemed frustrated and that reflected on Jordan’s own mood.
He couldn’t remember how long he had been there, looking at the ice, touching the ice, scanning the ice and basically being surround by ice. He had had enough of ice to last a lifetime and he started wondering why he was even there. It wasn’t because he was needed, not at all. He could hold himself and keep out of trouble and it was actually Jordan who was the tagalong. While he looked at another room, Jordan was left behind to stare at rocks, which he knew contained nothing.
He didn’t even know what he was really looking for! He only vaguely knew the details, and the only instruction he was told was that he would what he was looking for when he found it. The withheld information made him sigh and he was a bit peeved that he knew exactly what they were looking for.
Suddenly, he heard a noise. It was the dull clip-clop of footsteps, coming from one of the icy tunnels, the one that he went into earlier.
“Did you find it?” Jordan asked immediately as he came into view.
He shook his head, the string attached to his blue tuke waving with his motions. “Nope,” he said simply. “I looked, but couldn’t find it.”
Jordan deflated. “We’ve looked everywhere! Did we miss it?”
“Nope,” the man said again. “It’s just not here. It was here at one point, but it’s not anymore.”
“Then where is it?” Jordan wailed. All that work for nothing!
The man shrugged. “Well, it couldn’t have gone too far. The only other places it could be would be either in the Icy Path or near Snowpoint City.”
Jordan groaned. “Those are out of the country!”
“Yeah,” the man said calmly. “It sucks, I get it. Stop whining. I haven’t come back completely empty handed.”
“What?” Jordan said, surprised. “What’d you find?”
The man stepped aside from the tunnel, allowing a Pokemon to float easily into the cavern. It definitely didn’t look at all like a regular Pokemon. It was shaped like a purple star, with another upside-down star attached behind it, giving it ten solid and pointed arms. It had no face to speak of, the only thing giving it an expression was the cut jewel centered in the middle of the points and on a gold formation. The jewel was currently a bright pink and Jordan knew that if he angled his head to the differently, the jewel would change to a different color.
The Starmie floated above the ground, its psychic powers allowing it to stay unaffected from the cold. Its body was outlined by a very faint blue color that could only be seen when it hovered before a dark background. The Pokemon smoothly moved from the opening of the tunnel, its aura disappearing as it did so.
Though, what floated out of the tunnel next was far from a Pokemon.
It was a human boy, not looking like he had gone through puberty yet. He lied on his back, floating in midair and also surrounded by a blue aura. The boy had orange hair, wore an orange lifejacket and clothes not suited for such an ivy environment, and basically looked soaked.
“It’s a kid!” Jordan gasped.
“I did not know that,” the man deadpanned, before throwing away his sarcasm. “The tide swept him in and I fished him out of the water.”
Jordan looked closely at the boy. “Is he… dead?”
“Nah, he’s still breathing.” The man shrugged. “Though he’ll probably freeze to death.”
“Oh,” Jordan said, swallowing. “Should we take him to a hospital?”
The man looked at him weirdly. “Hmm?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. “You want to abandon the job for a kid?”
“Well… Yeah, he’s going to die if we don’t, right? Besides, if it isn’t here, why should we stay?”
That didn’t seem to be the right choice of words as Jordan flinched when the man started to chuckle.
“Starmie can keep the kid warm if you don’t want him to die so much,” the man explained. “And who says we’re leaving?”
Jordan blinked and repeated himself. “It isn’t here, so why should we-”
“WRONG!” the man shouted suddenly and Jordan leapt back, completely terrified.
Though, the man just laughed again.
“You overreact, Jordy,” the man said, amused. “You should have seen your face!”
Calming his pounding heart, Jordan reminded himself that he couldn’t underestimate the man in front of him. There was a reason a lot of people hated working for him…
“Anyway,” the man continued. “I could be wrong in my assumption. It could be here and maybe I’ve just overlooked it. It wouldn’t hurt to check once more.”
Jordan mentally groaned, though he didn’t dare say anything else, except for, “yes, sir.”
“I’ll leave Starmie here and since you like the kid so much, you can look after him.” The man was just about to go back down the tunnel, when he suddenly turned around.
“Oh, and Jordy? I’m expecting some company soon, so keep you ears open.”
For once, the man actually took an extra minute to explain. “Well, you didn’t think that it wasn’t guarded do you? This whole system of tunnels is kept under close watch by the Pokemon League. They’ll probably send someone once they’ve figured out someone’s trying to steal their precious artifact.”
Jordan was aghast. There were alarms in the cave? “When will they figure out someone’s trying to steal it?”
“Probably when we past all those Cleanse Tags. There were sensors behind them.”
“But we past those tags hours ago!” Jordan cried, wondering how you could even put sensors in a cave without wires and how that even worked.
The man shrugged. “Yeah, that’s why I’m telling you to keep you ears open. You know how prized the Pokemon League keeps these types of artifacts. They’ll probably send their best to deal with us sort.”
With that, the man departed back into the tunnel, his Starmie staying afloat beside the entrance. The boy, though, was lowered until he was only a foot off the ground, but wasn’t completely dropped.
Jordan wasn’t paying attention to any of that. He was more worried about who the Pokemon League was going to send. He was never a good Pokemon battler and up against the best, well, there was no way he’d survive the experience.
“Damn,” Jordan cursed. He wanted to run, abandon the whole mission, but he couldn’t. He would just catch up somehow and make him pay for fleeing. Besides, Jordan thought as he looked towards the unconscious kid. No matter what criminal acts he was getting up to, he couldn’t just abandon a kid. That was wrong and he would never live it down. His conscience wouldn’t let him.
Jordan sighed and said out loud, “This is getting complicated, Poliwhirl.” As Jordan went over to his Pokemon, he couldn’t help but wonder.
Who was the Pokemon League going to send?
Who would they trust to stop the theft of one of the most priceless artifacts to ever enter the Kanto region?
They sent her.
It wasn’t a tough decision by any means. Not only did she already know about the artifacts, she had very experienced Pokemon. It also helped that she was close by when the message came. A few hours ago, a phone-call came to her from the Director of the Pokemon League himself. It had became apparent that there were people wandering around the island where one of the artifacts had been stored and immediately, she had been dispatched to see what was going on.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for any of the other happenings around the island, then she would have probably assumed that someone had gotten lost. It had happened before, though rarely, since the island’s currents were very strong and mostly stopped anyone from approaching it.
Though now, the currents were too calm and docile from what she remembered.
“Here we are, Lapras,” she said loudly as the beach came into clear view. She felt her Pokemon starting to slow and she tightened her grip on one of the gray bulges that came from the Lapras’s shell. Lapras turned its blue horned head towards her and looked at her with big black eyes. The water had become too shallow for its four fins to move in and the Pokemon was waiting for its trainer’s orders.
She stepped off of Lapras’s back and into the oddly cold water, the waves brushing her bare knees. After thanking her Pokemon and returning it to its Pokeball, she made her way out of the water, frowning briefly as her clacks partly got stuck in the damp sand. Wishing she had enough time to bring proper footwear, she took them off and stood barefoot at the edge of the beach.
“How odd,” she said out loud as she looked at the sand. There were two sets of footprints that lingered in the sand where the water couldn’t reach them. As far as she could see, they were present all along the beach and as far as she could see.
So, there were at least two people on the island. She was hoping that the theft was a false alarm of some kind. In the fifteen years that the artifact was on the island, it was only stolen once and the person who did it was caught before even stepping out of one of the caves. After that, the artifact was placed back where it was before with extra security, and the thief simply ‘disappeared’.
She understood that the artifact had to be protected at all costs. It would be an absolute disaster if the artifact got into someone else’s hands. And you could hardly describe at what would happen if it were used.
Clenching her fists, she started across the beach, purposely stepping on the footprints.
She refused to let the artifact get stolen, no excuses. When the next day dawned, she promised herself that the artifact would be right where it was for the last fifteen years: hidden in the ice of Seafoam Island.
And if there was one thing Lorelei was good at, it was keeping a promise.
A/N: I just want to let you guys know that the next few chapters are going to be a bit contrived. Sorry, but I can’t really find a way to get around it. <_< By the way, can you guys inform me if there’s anything weird about my characters’ reactions? This is the first time I’ve really written such situations and I want to make sure I’m doing it okay.
Well, well, how come I have not reviewed this yet?
Dagzar, I have to say that contrary to what I had expected from myself, I liked this story. You see, when I first read "Mentor" (about two weeks ago), I picked from the Announcement Thread and thought something in the lines of "trainer guiding along wannabe-trainers on their 1st year? No thanks, I'm smelling angst".
Then I read ch. 2 and I was so greatly surprised that I just couldn't stop reading (it happens to me sometimes). I like how this Leah character has turned out to be. What with the failed attempt at a Pokémon journey and the effect it has on her views on concepts such as friendship, tutorage, and weather. Or even the "Sandshrew as an 'it'" thing someone pointed out long ago. I didn't ever realize how she viewed her own Pokémon until that point, and the realization kinda widened my view of the character, too.
Not to say the two kids, Ally and Ed, are less interesting. The whole contrast of personalities was nice to watch, in particular during the Gym Battle and how it turned out to be. I like Ed a lot, don't know exactly why -- maybe because of how he contrasts with Leah.
My favourite element in the story so far is, no wonder, Sands the it Sandshrew. And how it's his interaction with Leah is presented at some points iat the story. Like this:
And the whole part where the little thing curled and held the Fire Stone for dear life plus biting his way back to the stone, was like, say, a Macedonia salad for me: a very well featured mix of tasty traits, ranging from something simple like the Fire Stone emanatting heat, to Sands' plea to keep it and Leah essentially taking advantage of being a human and ending the whole affair with a click of a Poké Ball. You know, that scene almost made me feel sorry for myself that I don't (can't) get to treat my Pokémon better in the games. Oh, the fact that they ended up taking the Fire Stone after all was a plus.
Also I wanted to congratulate you on the battle against the Victreebel. It was a interesting read given the tone your story had until it happened. I loved how Leah sensed some futility in the fight at the beginning, how Sands obeyed her, how Paras managed to handle and how Ally did not want to witness the "train wreck". It ended up quite well, in particular, as I look back, because of this single line by Leah:
Of the most recent chapter I don't have that much to comment. I was a litle bit worried how were things to turn out with last chapter's storm, and commencing with what seems to be a nice (almost idillic) island kinda made me forget that the tea was originally three.
Oh and a nice addition in the form of *Lorelei*. I always manage to get the name wrong and call her Lorelai... But again a nice point. Now, what artifact may she be protecting at Seafoam Islands...?
A nice story so far -- I've just suscribed. Oh and I'm going to so, so, so demand ask plea to get included in the PM List... please????
Thanks for the review, solovino! Wow, it’s so detailed, I have no clue where to start; I’m kind of speechless, really.
And what is the artifact? Well, you’re just have to wait and see.
Chapter 12: Blue (part two)
He felt nice. It was warm and comfortable, wherever he was. It was like he was surrounded by soft blankets and pillows on a cold winter day.
It was so nice; he just wanted to go back asleep.
… Wait a minute-
Ed slowly came back to consciousness, or at least he tried to. His thoughts kept straying away from him and his mind was all foggy and misty. Something was trying to lull him back to sleep and it was working very well. It went on like that for awhile, though he didn’t know how long. Time was skewed for him as Ed battled the pleasant force that wanted him to drown in dreamland. He would have loved to go back to sleep, but there was something wrong, something that he was forgetting and needed to remember.
Then suddenly, just like that, the force vanished. The fog was lifted from his mind and his thoughts were clear again with only a hint of drowsiness.
Where was he? That was his first thought and he held onto it, a bit afraid that it’d go away. He remembered where he was beforehand: on that boat and then the storm hit and he went into the water.
Wait. He went into the water? No, they went into the water. He remembered hearing splashes behind him, though it could have been just his imagination.
Where were Ally and Leah? Were they with him right now? He didn’t think so and he hope they were okay. He mentally winced when he imagined what Leah when she realized that he wasn’t with them anymore. It would probably involve lots of shouting and sarcastic comments and maybe even Ally would laugh at his pathetic situation.
He was a Pokemon trainer! He shouldn’t be getting into situations where he couldn’t do anything. When he got loose, Ed fumed; he and Paras were definitely going to defeat whatever was holding him down.
… Where was he anyways?
Ed tried to move his body but couldn’t. He knew he was lying on his back, arms at his side and legs together, but whenever he tried to move them they didn’t respond. Though, he could move a bit as he found out. He could feel himself breathing and he could hear thing, sounds-
“It’s not here,” a voice said, his voice oddly loud and almost echo-like.
A sigh was heard and another, deeper voice, responded. “Well, it seems our contact was wrong. Damn.”
“She’s not going to be very happy,” the first voice muttered.
“Yeah,” the other voice agreed. “Good thing I’m not the one telling her that the mission was a bust.”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“Sorry, Jordy, but you’re the one going to tell her that we failed.”
“Hey, I’m the one who did all the work while you played with your Poliwhirl. It’s only fair.”
“But she’ll kill me!” the voice wailed.
“As long as you don’t look her in the eye, you should be fine. Though, if not, nice knowing you.”
Ed could practically feel the smirk in those words.
The first voice groaned and repeated, “She’ll kill me…”
“Okay, okay, enough whining,” the other voice said, irate. “I’ve put up for it all day, and I’m getting tired of it.”
“Do you think that- that- person is going to show up soon?”
“Who? Oh, you mean that person from the Pokemon League? As long as they have a map of the cave, soon. By the way, you really should be less vague. It’s annoying.”
A gulp. “Sorry.”
Ed continued listening, but was just getting more confused. Where was he? Who were these people? Why couldn’t he move?
“Why aren’t we leaving?” the first voice said suddenly. “If we move fast, maybe we can get out before that person comes-”
“Nah,” the second voice said. “No time left, they’re probably in the caves now. Besides, I want to get some info out of this guy.”
The first voice protested. “That’s not very safe, what if that person’s powerful?”
“Powerful how? Be less vague. Do you mean physically strong, mentally strong, have super powers-”
“Have strong Pokemon!” the first voice said hurriedly.
“Oh, so that’s what you meant.” The deeper voice paused. “Nah, don’t worry about it. Guns are super-effective against most Pokemon and I like to think that my gun is at least level six-”
“Then what if the person has a rock type or steel type?”
“Geeze, what’s with all the questions suddenly? You getting nervous?”
“Yes!” the first voice said loudly. “Look, we can just get out-”
“And how do we do that?” the second person said, voice suddenly serious and conceding. “The easy part was getting in; the hard part is getting out. The person the Pokemon League sent is probably already inside the cave and it won’t take them that long to get to this room.” The voice suddenly took on a sly quality. “Besides, Jordy, there’s no way we can get out quick enough if we bring the kid along-”
Kid? Ed thought to himself. Did they mean him?
“Can’t your Starmie just carry him out?”
“Not without loosing energy, and that energy is going to be needed. Though, if you’re really that nervous, I‘ll give you a deal. Either we stay here, and the kid will live or we leave without the kid and the kid freezes to death. So… your choice?”
The first voice muttered something.
“Hmm? What was that? Couldn’t hear you…”
“Let’s stay,” the first person said, voice sullen.
“Good choice!” the second person congratulated. “One that I’ll happily agree with!”
What was going on? Ed raged to himself. He really didn’t understand what was happening, but it seemed like his life was in these people’s hands and he didn’t like it. Though, they didn’t think he was awake, so if he made himself known, then they’d probably just let him go so they won’t have to look after him anymore. Then, he could go find Ally and Leah. Now, he just needed to show them that he was awake.
And just like that, whatever was holding his body in place, suddenly let go.
“Gah!” Ed gasped out as he landed on the floor in a heap, his bare skin almost burning when it touched the icy cold floor. His head had hit the rocky surface when he landed and he groaned as he felt his wet hair with his hand. He didn’t seem to be hurt, though his head was pounding.
“Oh, so you’ve woken up,” the second voice said calmly and Ed looked up to get the first glimpse of the people he had been listening to.
The one closest to Ed and who hadn’t spoken, wasn’t very old at all. Not really an adult, he was lanky and had messy blond hair that fell over his eyes. His face was flushed and he was wearing a large puffy coat and had black mitts over his hands. Beside him was a Poliwhirl, all blue with a swirl in the middle of its round body and large eyes.
Then there was the second person. Ed couldn’t see his face exactly as a blue tuke covered his hair and ears and he had some weird sort of goggles covering his eyes. Unlike his desperately dressed companion, the second person was wearing a simple blue jacket, water-proof gloves and had a Pokemon belt going across his chest from his shoulder. It had two ordinary Pokeballs strapped to it.
And almost right next to Ed was a floating Pokemon that was most obviously a Starmie. The jewel in the center of its star-shaped body flicked red a few times, seemingly showing its curiosity.
Ed scrambled to his feet. “Um, hi?”
The second person smiled at him and Ed got shivers. “Hello to you too.”
“He woke up!” the first person said astonished and turned to his partner. “I thought you said he wouldn’t wake up.”
“Who are you guys?” Ed asked as he looked around. The room was wide, but the ceiling wasn’t that high, only going about five feet over Ed’s head. The walls, floor and ceiling were covered with flakes of ice and blocks of stone. In the walls were three crude looking tunnels that seemed to go off in different directions. The ice made it look pretty in a chilly sort of way.
All in all, definitely not the place he expected to wake up in.
“We’re explores,” the second person replied, obviously the one that made decisions between the two men. “Honestly, I didn’t expect to see a kid like you out here. How’d you get here?”
Ed was still looking around. “I was on a boat and then me and my friends went overboard because of the tides.” Ed suddenly swerved around to face the two. “Oh! Have you seen my friends?”
“There are… more of you?”
“Yeah.” Ed nodded. “Ally, she’s my age, and Leah’s way older then us.”
“What do we do?” the first person hissed to the other. “This is bad!”
“This is good,” the other shot back. “Stop whining.”
Ed seriously wondered who those people were so he asked out loud.
The first person looked like a deer in headlights so the other answered instead. “That’s Jordy,” he said, motioning to his frozen partner. “And I’m, well… my name’s Blue.”
“Blue?” Ed asked, frowning. “That’s a weird name.”
Blue sighed and nodded like that statement came up all the time. “Yeah, my parents were pretty weird.”
With what Ed had heard when he was still unable to move, about himself freezing to death and such, he had thought the two men wouldn’t be very nice. Though he was surprised to see that they’re weren’t that bad and Ed wondered whether he had just misheard or something.
“So,” Ed started, looking at the tunnels. “Which one leads out? I better go find my friends before Leah gets annoyed at me.”
Blue pointed to the tunnel behind Ed and Ed turned around to see it fully. While his back was turned, Jordan gave Blue a look which Blue answered with a small shake of his head.
“Why don’t I come with you?” Blue offered as he came up to Ed. “I need to go check something out anyways.” He turned to Jordan. “Jordy, stay here and don’t kill yourself why I’m gone.”
Jordan tried to subtly look at one of the other tunnels. “You’re leaving me here alone? Why don’t I come with you guys too?”
“You’re a big boy, Jordy, I’m sure you’ll be fine. I’m sure the two of us can survive without you’re help.”
Ed snickered as Jordan frowned harshly.
“Follow me,” Blue said cheerfully, leading the way. “Make sure you don’t trip, the ice can be pretty slippery.”
“Where are we anyways?” Ed asked, following along as they entered the tunnel.
Blue smirked. “Seafoam Island! One of my favorite places in the entire world.”
“W- Why is it so cold?” Ally asked, Amber clamped in her arms like a comforting toy.
Leah had no clue how to answer that. She thought the interior of the cave would be dark and damp, not cold and covered with a thin layer of ice.
They were still traveling through the tunnel and a change had started to occur the farther they walked. The air had started to chill and their breath became visible in the air. Frost clung to the walls and floor and before they even knew it, patches of ice became apparent along the ground. Because of that, their torch was held more downwards then up, keeping the light focused more on the ground then the ceiling. Leah couldn’t tell if it helped much as the light kept flickering and the she was quickly running out of wood to hold.
The tunnel had started to slant downwards a while ago and Leah wondered when they would reach the end of it. It was becoming clear to her that the let’s-explore-the-tunnel idea wasn’t the best idea in the world. Who knew where they were going and who said that Ed was going to be down there anyways? That ocean water that flowed through the opening in the rocks wasn’t that big; what were the chances of Ed happening to float through there? And who said the tunnel was going to meet that river anyways?
“I think we should turn back,” Leah said, finally discarding her makeshift torch before the flame burned her hand. The small bit of fire melted the ice it landed on top of it and put itself out, leaving only a tiny trail of smoke. Darkness then fell upon them.
Ally protested immediately. “What about Ed?”
“Look,” Leah started, wondering how she should say her thoughts out loud. “I don’t think we should go any further, we don’t know what could be further up ahead and Ed might not even be there…”
“What if he is?” Ally asked.
Leah countered. “What if he’s not?”
Unfortunately, Ally had a reply ready. “T- Then we keep looking!”
“… You’re pretty feisty today,” Leah commented, not knowing what else to say. She rubbed her hands against each other. “It’s getting pretty cold and we’ve run out of sticks and light.”
“Amber can help,” Ally said, letting Amber have enough room so that he could cough up a small burst of flames as an example.
Leah rolled her eyes. “Unfortunately, Vulpix doesn’t have enough fire power to give us constant light.”
Since Ally was being stubborn and refused to turn back, Leah was forced to consider other options like maybe just forcing Ally to turn back. Really, what could a tiny ten-year-old girl do against her, a fifteen-year-old? She just needed to physically push her back and make sure Ally didn’t try to struggle. Problem solved. Well, except for the Vulpix who would probably just try to burn and bite her. Damn, if only the Vulpix wasn’t there.
Okay then, if they couldn’t turn back, how do they keep going? Fire was out, so what else could they use to make light?
Leah fished inside her pockets, pulling out Sands’ Pokeball, a wet pen she wasn’t sure that worked anymore and the Fire Stone. She was a bit surprised to see the Fire Stone, but then remembered that she had put it in her pocket that morning, just in case Sands wanted it. If there was one thing that Leah had learned about her Pokemon in the past two weeks, it was that if Sands wanted something, he would use all the annoying tactics he knew to get it.
“What about that?” Ally asked, pointing at the Fire Stone in her hand, seemingly having no trouble at seeing it in the dark.
“I dunno, I guess it could warm.” Leah didn’t like being confused. What was Ally thinking?
Ally tried to explain. “E- Elemental Stones don’t just evolve Pokemon; they also do stuff when they’re in their environments. Like, Water Stones bubble when they’re in water and I- I think Fire Stones glow in fire,” she said, blushing when Leah stared at her.
“… And how do you know this?” Leah asked.
“M- Misty told us.”
“Misty? You mean Gym Leader Misty?”
Ally nodded. “Yes. My class visits her sometimes and she’ll tell us things about Pokemon.”
Leah frowned. “Wait, if Fire Stones glow in fire and fire glows all the time, how do you know Fire Stones glow?”
It took a moment for Ally to process Leah’s logic. “W- Well, I think Fire Stones glow for a while after they come out of fire.”
“How convenient,” Leah deadpanned. “One fire Pokemon and one Fire Stone equals light.”
Leah sighed and felt that she was going to be doing that a lot. “Fine, let’s try this theory out.”
The Fire Stone was put carefully on a patch of rock with the Vulpix put in front of it. With words from Ally, Amber breathed out flames at the stone. The fire licked and enveloped the rock and the two girls watched the Fire Stone glow and flicker with the fire.
“… Okay, now what?” Leah asked, crossing her arms. “Do we have to wait until the fire goes out?”
Ally hesitated when the fire refused to disappear from the rock. “I- I guess.”
They waited for a few minutes, watching the stone burn and just when Leah was about to give into the urge to kick the stone into a patch of ice, the fire started to go out. Or in a better phrase, the stone started to absorb the fire. The flames disappeared into the stone, leaving only its light and heat behind.
Leah hissed when the stone scorched her hand when she tried to pick it up and she was forced to use her partly damp sleeve to hold the rock. “Yay,” she said dully. “We made a glowing rock.”
Ally ignored the sarcasm and looked down the tunnel with hope. “C- Can we go on now?”
Sighing again, Leah wondered whether they should really bother. Ed might not be there, but he might be. There was no way to tell.
Though, there was one way to find out.
“Yeah,” Leah said, holding the rock away from her body like a potentially dangerous object.
Despite all their effort to make the Fire Stone, it wasn’t needed after walking for a few minutes. The tunnel that they had been walking through was simple and only had two ways you could go.
Where the tunnel lead to, however, wasn’t as quite as simple.
The cavern was oddly well lit, though not from any human means. Light just seemed to be trapped between the icy silver walls or it was almost as if the walls were giving off the light. Either way, it was way unnatural looking and Leah had to wait a few moments to get used to such a sight.
The cavern was as big as a gymnasium and icy boulders and rocks covered almost every inch. The walls and floor were both jagged with the ground covered in treacherous slippery patches of ice between the rocks. Going right through the middle of the cavern was a small river, that seemingly wasn’t aware that it would be more helpful frozen over than running rapidly right in the middle of their path.
As if fate was against the two trainers, two other tunnels, that obviously went elsewhere, stood on the other side of the river, mocking them behind its fast-paced bodyguard.
“Got any more bright ideas?” Leah asked dryly, putting the Fire Stone away.
Ally was at a lost. “I- I don’t know…”
Since the girl looked so helpless, Leah couldn’t help but take an ounce of pity on her. “Okay, look. I don’t think Ed’s down here anyway. And really, there’s no way we can get past this.”
“W- We can try…?”
“How?” Leah questioned. “We have no water or flying Pokemon. There’s nothing else we can do.”
There wasn’t much else to say other than that, so the two were forced to stare helplessly at the river. Well, Ally looked at it hopelessly. Leah, instead, just looked around and thought about getting the Fire Stone back out for their long journey back up to the surface.
Leah turned around, intent at letting Ally know that they were going back no matter what, but found that she was facing some stranger that had come up behind them.
Well, not a stranger exactly; Leah had seen her before. The woman had red hair, tied in a ponytail with long bangs hanging long enough to touch her wire-framed glasses. She had narrow eyes, and was just a bit taller than Leah. Wearing a black zip-up vest, purple skirt and black high-heels, she didn’t look like someone who was suited for such an icy environment, but Leah knew better.
Ally also turned around when she heard Leah become quiet and couldn’t help but gasp in surprise.
“You’re… Lorelei?” Leah asked carefully. “The Ice Mistress from the Elite Four?”
“L- Lore-” Ally was almost rendered speechless. It wasn’t everyday that one of the most famous trainers in the world appeared from behind you.
Since Leah was too busy staring at Lorelei, she almost missed the Pokemon beside the woman. It was just higher than its trainer’s waist and it was a pink bear-like creature with a tan colored muzzle and stomach. Its stubby ears curled towards its head and its large eyes and mouth were frozen in a stupidly happy look. Behind the Pokemon was a large gray-blue shell that was seemingly clamped onto the creature’s tail. The shell was spiked and Leah was almost certain that she could see it had eyes.
Leah turned her attention back to Lorelei when she began to speak.
“Yes, I’m her,” Lorelei answered warily. “Who are you and what are you doing here?”
Leah wondered how she was supposed to explain. What would it sound like to her, if she was told that they had been thrown overboard, survived the ocean raging tides, both washed up on the same beach, both not receiving serious injuries and were now exploring a mysterious icy cave to search for their missing third member?
Hmm, probably nuts. Oh well.
“Washed up here,” Leah replied simply, not wanting to get into details. “We’re looking for the kid who came with us. We think he’s down here somewhere.”
Lorelei repeated herself. “Who are you?”
“I’m Leah, and this is Ally.”
Lorelei frowned and seemed to be lost in thought. “You’re too young…” Though she snapped out of it and looked at them again. “Have you seen any suspicious people around here?”
Leah shrugged, a bit confused. “No, we haven’t seen anything here.”
“You two should get out of here,” Lorelei started, changing the topic after a few moments of silence. “This place is dangerous and you shouldn’t have been able to be washed up here in the first place. Your friend is here; what does he look like?”
Ally was still in shock, so Leah filled Lorelei in. “Ten-year-old, orange hair, green shirt, might have a lifejacket on and might have a Paras with him.”
Lorelei nodded slowly. “I’ll keep my eye out for him down here. I want you two to leave now and wait up on the beach for me. I have something to do here, but it hopefully won’t take long.”
“Where are we?” Leah asked, wanting to know the answer to the question that had been bugging her ever since she had woken up.
“… This is Seafoam Island,” Lorelei answered after a moment, seemingly wondering if she should even answer.
Leah looked around, eyes narrowed. “That can’t be! Seafoam Island is filled with theme parks that centers on ice and water Pokemon. I’ve been there before and this place isn’t it.”
“There’s more than one Seafoam Island,” Lorelei said, keeping her explanation to a minimum. “Look, I’ll explain later. There’s no time to waste and I have to keep moving.”
“Okay…” Leah replied and tried to keep disbelief out of her voice. “Though, this place is a dead-end; I don’t see how you can get across the river.”
“I know a way,” Lorelei said confidently as she stepped past the duo and walked up to the ledge before the river. Slowbro slowly slid over to her and stood at her side.
Lorelei took a deep breath, eyes on the tunnels across the raging rapids. “Slowbro, get us over.”
At the command, Slowbro grinned and held out its small clawed paws. A blue aura came over the Pokemon and its trainer and, right in front of Leah and Ally’s disbelieving faces, the two started to rise into the air. Slowbro held them there for a moment as it seemingly got its bearings, and then floated them across the water. Neither looked scared of the pulsing tides straight below them and only when Lorelei’s feet hit the ground on the other side did a grimace come across her face.
“Holy ****!” Leah exclaimed. She had hardly ever seen a psychic Pokemon do their tricks in real life, but it was just simple stuff then. But making a person float? That was just awesome! Now Leah had the urge to go out and catch a psychic type at the next opportunity…
… Oh god, what was she thinking? That was not an appropriate response. She was not going to get more Pokemon, one was enough for her. Though, she had to admit that psychic types were cool.
Leah watched as Lorelei and Slowbro disappeared into one of the tunnels and then turned to Ally.
“Problem solved,” Leah said with a sigh of relief. “Lorelei will look for Ed while we go back to wait on the beach.”
Ally looked across the river and to the tunnel Lorelei went though. Her gaze then went to the other opening in the rocks. “W- What if he’s in the other one?”
“What other one?”
“The other tunnel. What if Ed’s down there instead?”
Leah rolled her eyes. “Oh, come on. Ed will be fine, Lorelei will find him. Besides, there’s nothing we can do anyways.”
Ally completely surprised Leah but sitting down. She sat cross-legged on the rock and stared mournfully at the tunnels. “I’m going to w- wait here.”
“What?” Leah asked. “Are you stupid? Get up, the ice must be freezing.”
Okay, this was getting ridiculous.
Leah grabbed Ally’s arm and tried to physically pull her upright, but Ally didn’t help, just pulling back down. When it looked like Leah was about to pull Ally into some ice, Leah let go, completely frustrated.
“Waiting here isn’t going to solve anything!” Leah cried, her voice loud enough to make Ally flinch. “Come on! What do you want me to do?”
That seemed to be the right thing to say as Ally looked up at her. “Find him.”
“Find him,” Ally repeated, voice clearer and louder. “I want Ed back!”
Leah threw up her hands. “Okay, fine! Give me a psychic or water type and I’ll go get him.”
“You don’t need one,” Ally said, frowning at her.
“Not those tunnels. That one.” Ally pointed her finger to the one she was thinking of, that just happened to be across the icy terrain, but on their side of the river.
Well, actually, naming that thing a tunnel was pushing it. A hole was a better name for it. It was small and blended perfectly into the background so much, Leah had completely overlooked it. She supposed that she could climb though it… but only if she hunched over.
“… No,” Leah concluded. “That’s beyond stupid; that’s just dumb.”
Ally said nothing, only staring back at the tunnels.
“When did you see that hole anyways,” Leah asked, a bit curious.
“Just now,” Ally muttered, switching her position to pull her knees to her chest.
Leah was just a bit disturbed to see Ally like that: sullen and depressed. Sure, she had seen depressed before, but not sullen.
“So,” Leah said, trying to figure things out. “You want me to get on my hands and knees and climb through a small hole that’ll probably be a dead-end of some sort just to find a kid that’s already being looked for?”
“Yes,” Ally answered.
Leah glared at her. “Why don’t you do it?”
Ally shook her head back and forth. “I’m not any help. I’d probably just get lost.”
“And I won’t?”
“Please,” Ally pleaded, finally having enough of the cold ground and getting up. “L- Look, it won’t hurt you if you don’t find Ed, but what if he’s in there? Please? Can’t you just look? Leah?”
With Ally’s hopeless expression combined with Leah’s weariness, it was certainly a nice persuasion. A part of Leah just wanted to accept so that Ally would finally shut up and stay silent. Another part of her was worried about Ed and another wondered how she kept getting into such situations.
Leah sighed and admitted defeat. “Look, if I do go check it out, you can’t complain if I come back empty-handed, okay?”
Ally’s face brightened and she nodded. “Yes!”
Turning her back to Ally, Leah thought with frustration. Damn, she was going soft. What was next, petting Pikachu and singing ‘Joy to the World’ to little preschool kids?
Sighing again, Leah gave a quick evil look to Ally before starting her careful walk to the small tunnel. If there was any luck in the world, everything should go smoothly… but really, she doubted it.
A/N: Okay, I’m ending it there. Sorry that it’s another boring chapter, but I promise you that the next one will have some much needed action. Remember, if anything seems weird to you or if you didn’t like a part, tell me. I like to know what I’m doing wrong.
Hello! Here is for chapters 11 and 12... grammar first.
There should be a ‘the’ between ‘to’ and ‘task.’
Should be ‘what Leah would do when…’ or ‘what Leah would say when…’
And that was it for grammar. Either you are getting so good at writing that I'm busy enjoying the story and forget to watch for mistakes or you are just making less mistakes. I think it's a combination! Nice job!
I think the reactions of your characters were fine. It was cool to see some new characters. I can't wait to see what he is up to and what the artifact is!
Great story, great writing- keep up the great work!
Thanks, delongbi! Thank god that my grammar mistakes seem to be finally lessening; that extra hour of editing has really paid off. I’m glad you’re enjoying the story so far, especially these last few chapters. I really wasn’t sure if I was doing them right, but I suppose I can finally relax now.
Thanks for reviewing!
Great chapter! I read this last week and corrected all your mistakes (there were more than usual) but before I could click the post button, my mother closed my window...so yeah, me ish too lazy to re-read it. >.>
Overall, it was a very interesting chapter. Can't wait for the next one! (Which will be posted in a several hours. XD)
Thanks for reviewing, Neiko! Heh, and now, several hours after your review, the new chapter has arrived! Though, I'll warn you: don't have high expectations for it. <_<
Chapter 13: Blue (part three)
If there was one thing Leah was aware of during the whole time she crept through the tunnel, it was that the ceiling was low. Seriously, she must have banged her head over five times already. It also didn’t help that the ceiling was cold too. So, not only was her head cold and bruised, but she still hadn’t found the end of the tunnel. It just kept going on, and on, and on…
Why was she doing this again? She could be outside at that very moment, lounging on the beach. But noooo, she just had to give in to Ally’s complaints and go look for Ed herself. How stupid was that? Someone else was already looking for him, so why should she? Well, it was true that Leah didn’t have to look for Ed, but Lorelei said she would only keep an eye out for him, so that meant she technically wouldn’t be actively looking for him.
That brought up another question. Why was Lorelei on Seafoam Island? A member of the Elite Four wouldn’t come all the way out to some weird island for no reason. It had to be pretty important. And with all those Cleanse Tags lying out and the way Lorelei had suspiciously eyed her and Ally when meeting them… Well, Leah had a feeling she didn’t want to be involved in… whatever was happening.
“Ow,” Leah moaned, rubbing her head again. Stupid ceiling.
Keeping her eyes carefully on the ground so that she wouldn’t slip on a patch of ice, Leah held the Fire Stone firmly in front of her, lighting her way. Not only was the stone providing light, but it was also warm in her hand. She absentmindedly wondered whether this was how Sands felt back at that mansion, surrounded by coldness with only a stone to keep him warm. If so, she supposed she couldn’t blame him for keeping a firm grip on the thing.
Anyways, the Fire Stone didn’t matter since it didn’t look like she needed the light anymore.
Up ahead, seemingly at the end of the tunnel, was a light. It wasn’t very bright, but compared to the Fire Stone, it was brilliant. It quickly overtook Leah’s handy light-source so that she could see the ground perfectly fine.
Leah made it out of the tunnel and stretched immediately when the ceiling disappeared from over her head. She heard her bones make a tiny crack and she immediately relaxed afterwards, standing up straight. Ah, that was much better.
Finally taking her first look at the cavern, Leah froze at the sight before her.
It wasn’t a big place, not larger than the previous cavern, but not much smaller either. She could see another tunnel in the corner of her eye, a regular sized one, and all around her was the same type of ice that was present in the cave where she left Ally.
But that wasn’t what bothered her. The floor was icy, but she could hardly see it due to the many bodies that littered the floor. They weren’t human; all of them were Pokemon of various species, but pretty much all of them were either water-types or ice-types or both.
Leah just stood there silently, wondering what she should do. They weren’t dead, as she could see some of their chests rising as they breathed, but she was afraid that they might attack her if they woke up.
Now what was she supposed to do?
“Screw it,” Leah said quietly to herself, turning around. “I’m out of here.”
But something made her pause. Her head was bowed and her eyes focused on the solid ground beneath her feet. There was a bit of ice, probably not enough to make her slip, but that wasn’t what caught her attention. Small, almost invisible green spores were dotted on the ice and Leah looked at the floor around her to see the spores were everywhere in the room. Not only were they on the floor, but on the Pokemon too.
Leah slowly walked closer to one of the Pokemon. A Seel, she thought it was. Its shiny silvery white skin made the green dots stand out and it made the Seel look like it had some sort of disease or infection.
“What’s Sleep Powder doing here?” Leah asked quietly, but answered herself almost immediately. Easy, Sleep Powder had to be there to put the Pokemon to sleep; therefore, the better question would be who put the Pokemon to sleep.
… Technically, she didn’t care, but it was still a curious question.
Though, it didn’t really change her decision. This was too much. Why was she going around in a cave again? Oh, yes: to find Ed. To find Ed; not to get involved in some weird activities that happened to be going on. And if Lorelei had gotten involved, it had to be bad. Yup, her decision was final. She was leaving. Besides, Ed probably wasn’t in the caves and she had no idea why she kept entertaining the idea and actually going with it.
But, just as Leah got a foot back into the dark tunnel, she stopped again.
So… if she did go back, what was she supposed to say to Ally? ‘Yeah, I’m giving up on Ed and I don’t care?’ Yeah, like that would go down well. Ally would probably get it inside her head to go exploring herself and then, when she slips on the ice and bashes her head open or something like that, Leah would have fantastic opportunity to speak with the girl’s parents to explain.
Okay, it was a bit of an exaggeration, but still.
Leah wondered if these sort of situations happened to other trainers. Do they go and get lost in caves and mansions and storms? She knew that trainers usually had unique journeys, but the whole situation was getting a bit ridiculous… A lot ridiculous. Here she was in a cave filled with Pokemon that fell asleep under mysterious circumstances and she was wondering whether she should still try to find Ed.
It was stupid for even considering the option. Logic went against it; she went against it… it was stupid, just plain and simple… Though, she never was one of the smartest people around, was she? Besides, if she didn’t, what was she supposed to tell Ally?
Sighing under her breath and cursing her existence in general, Leah turned around and went towards the other tunnel, carefully stepping over the Pokemon, one by one.
Damn her conscience.
Before long, Leah started to hear voices up ahead. They were very quiet and she couldn’t exactly hear what they were saying, but whatever they were talking about, it sound like a rather heated discussion.
Light once again signaled the end of the tunnel, though it was partly blocked off by a slab of ice that sat annoyingly in Leah’s path. She could try to get by it, but the edges of the ice looked a bit sharp and she was a bit too big to fit in the gap. It wasn’t even large enough to fit her entire head.
Well, at least she could hear the voices now. Though, wow, one of them sounded rather angry.
“What are you doing here?” Leah heard Lorelei ask, her sharp female voice sounding shrill and echo-ish.
Another voice, this one unfamiliar, replied, “You know why I’m here.”
Leah crept closer and put one of her hands experimentally on the ice. She tilted her head to see through the gap. Lorelei stood closest to her, looking past Leah, and with her hands clenched at her sides. Her Slowbro also seemed rather upset, its big eyes narrowed and mouth pulled down into a frown. Leah tried to get a glimpse of the other speaker, but couldn’t really see anyone; the person stood out of her sight. The only way she could see was through the ice, which only showed a blurred image of two people standing before what was presumably another underground river.
Actually, it was probably a river because of the rushing sound it made as water tumbled along, washing away anything in its path. Other than the voices and her light breathing, it was the only other thing she could hear.
The stupid slab wasn’t letting Leah see properly and she wondered whether she should turn back. Things were probably going to get ugly, and she really didn’t want to know what was happening. Though, she couldn’t help but stay rooted to the spot as Lorelei began to speak again.
“If you don’t know what you’re trying to steal,” Lorelei started. “Then you should know that what you’re doing it very dangerous and you should stop immediately-”
“Don’t worry about it,” the man said, dismissing the issue. “I know what I’m doing and I know exactly what we’re looking for.”
Lorelei frowned and anger was apparent in her voice. “Then I’m taking you back to Indigo Plateau. If you know what you’re trying to do, then you can deal with the consequences.”
There was silence for a moment before the man spoke. “No thanks,” he said. “I’m not here to be caught. If you want to arrest me then you’ll have to do it by force.”
The other person with the thief, who hadn’t yet spoke, finally did so. “That’s Lorelei!” he said to the thief. “We’ll never win-”
“Shut up, Jordy,” the thief said casually. “Her Pokemon aren’t that strong.”
“Slowbro,” Lorelei said immediately after the comment, obviously not happy about being insulted by the thief. “Confusion.”
“Starmie,” the thief commanded simply. “Go.”
Lorelei’s Slowbro seemed to concentrate; its ears flattened and its mouth opened slightly. A slight blue aura surrounded its body for only a moment and the air around it seemed to vibrate.
Leah blinked a few times, but she could still see the visible vibrations. They looked quite like what she considered a mirage at a distance: vibrations that blurred anything behind them. She pressed against the wall to get a better look.
Suddenly, a Starmie flew into her range of vision and as it did so, Lorelei jumped back from her Pokemon. The Starmie spun wildly in the air, its arms looking like blades. The purple blur flew around the Slowbro, seemingly looking for an opening and as it slowed down and floated a little closer, the Slowbro stuck. The vibrations in the air suddenly look denser and a high-pitched noise sounded as the Starmie was strongly thrown backwards. It went flying into the wall, three of its arms slicing through the ice and holding it there.
“Psychic,” Lorelei ordered.
The Slowbro turned towards the Starmie, its back facing Leah. The blue aura returned, but it was much brighter than before. The air seemed to thicken and Leah felt a headache coming on.
But Starmie wasn’t going to wait patiently. It struggled for a moment, trying to get out of the wall. With one mighty heave, the ice finally cracked and the Starmie was freed. It did a few experimental twists in the air before facing the Slowbro head on. Its jewel shone before bleeding into a bright yellow and then white. Cracks of electricity danced on its surface and suddenly, the Starmie spun in place, keeping the jewel pointed at Slowbro as the cracks unified into a single spark.
The lighting bolt tore through the air towards the Slowbro with a giant crack of sound and a flash of light. Slowbro was prepared, however, as the lighting bolt suddenly arched from its line of fire and zigzagged around the Pokemon and into the wall behind it.
Where, coincidently, Leah was watching.
Leah shot to the ground as cracks appeared in the slab in front of her and the walls beside it. She could feel her hair standing on end and could almost feel the static heavy in the air. Only when it seemed to be over did Leah get back on her feet, trembling wildly. She looked up to see that the slab had partially broken away, enough that she could go through if she wanted to. But after that show? No thanks.
Her body was shaking so much that she couldn’t walk away even if she wanted to. So instead, she crouched down, hiding behind the remainder of the slab, but also giving her a clear view of the battle… and the other trainer.
He was standing in the same place as before, with his hands in his pockets, visibly confident that his Pokemon would protect him. A blue tuke was pulled over his head, hiding his hair and strange goggles sat firmly before his eyes. At his feet lay a brown knapsack that looked rather rumbled as if it was thrown to the ground. He was wearing a navy blue jacket and water-proof pants and had an odd smile on his face, one that could almost be called secretive in a ‘I know something you don’t’ manner.
But that wasn’t all that Leah saw.
Passing her eyes over the other guy with the thief, who didn’t look very special, Leah’s attentions finally landed on the last person in the room, one she hadn’t seen before. Well, technically, she had seen him through the ice, but with the way he was laying, Leah had thought that he was a rock… Yeah, an orange and green rock. She definitely wasn’t the smartest person in the world, but in her defense, she was a bit preoccupied watching the battle.
Ed lay on his side and looked unharmed from what Leah could tell, but she couldn’t be sure. He was lying on the ice, after all, and she had no clue how long for. Well, at least he hadn’t drowned or anything, but Leah wondered how Ed got all the way down there. Probably not under his own power, but you could never know with Ed; he could be pretty stupid sometimes.
Leah felt relieved at that point. Ed was as fine as he could be in that situation and she could go back to Ally and say she found him… Not that she cared what Ally thought. Leah looked back at Lorelei and wondered what she was going to do. Ed was in plain sight, but Lorelei had made no move to get him or hadn’t even acknowledged that he was there.
Well, maybe Lorelei didn’t acknowledge it, but one of those thieves definitely did. The quiet boring one kept giving glances at the kid and looked concerned too.
At least someone seemed to care.
“Why do you keep fighting?” the thief asked Lorelei. “We’re well matched and this could take a long time. Can you risk it?”
“There’s no time limit,” Lorelei replied coldly, crossing her arms. “I refuse to let you leave with it, no matter how long it takes.”
The thief smirked. “Yes, we have all the time in the world.” He pointed his thumb over his shoulder to Ed. “But what about him?”
Lorelei finally looked at Ed, her expression blank.
The man continued. “The boy, Ed I think his name was, might die if you don’t get him out here fast. Sure, we can keep battling, but the more time Ed lays there, the closer he gets to death.” He shrugged, like it wasn’t an important decision. “So… What do you want to do?”
“… I’m not letting you get away with this,” Lorelei concluded, but didn’t give her Pokemon any orders. Instead, she tried to get information out of him. “Why are you doing this?”
“Because,” the thief answered coyly, dodging the subject. “Do I need a reason?”
Lorelei gritted her teeth. “What do you want from it? Money? Power? Your own gain? Humans aren’t supposed to hold those.”
“Hold what?” he taunted. “Be less vague.”
Not seeing the point of continuing her conversation with the tight-lipped thief, Lorelei turned to his partner, who seemed nervous to be put under her gaze. “And why are you doing this?”
“M- Me?” he squeaked.
The thief also turned to him. “Be quiet, Jordy.”
“Jordan, is it?” Lorelei said, still addressing the thief’s partner. “Do you know what you’re doing? Do you know what you’re looking for?”
“… Yes,” Jordan muttered quietly, but Lorelei saw through his lie.
“No, you don’t. I don’t know why you’re doing this, but I can tell you right now that it’s not worth it-”
“Yes, it is!” Jordan interrupted loudly. “Y- You know what they do, so you know what they can give a person-”
“How do you know what they do if you don’t know what you’re looking for?” Lorelei countered. “Besides, do you really think your partner over there-” She looked at the thief. “- is going to let you use it? Is he that type of person?”
As they were talking, Leah kept giving glances at Ed. She had pulled out of the conversation when it started to get more complicated and vague and was now thinking at how she was going to get Ed out of there. It wasn’t as if could just sneak over there and quickly carry him out while they were all distracted.
If only those thieves weren’t there. They didn’t look like they were going to leave anytime soon and she didn’t know if she could do anything about it.
Damn! She was being completely useless. She needed a plan and an opportunity. Soon, if possible.
Lorelei continued her verbal assault as she walked slowly towards the two (three if you counted Ed). “You don’t seem like the type of person who would do these types of things, Jordan. Stealing something is one thing, but would you really stand by and let a child die?”
Jordan glanced at Ed with a bit of concern. “Uh-”
“You won’t be punished, Jordan,” Lorelei said suddenly. “I can see that you’re not really here because you want to be. Please give up. You won’t be arrested. All I want is the child to live. Is that too much to ask?”
“… N- No,” Jordan said quietly. “I don’t want anyone to die.”
The thief, who seemed annoyed at being ignored, sighed loudly. “Jordy, are you going to betray me?”
Jordan looked at him with traces of fear and tried to explain. “I- I’ll steal stuff, but I don’t murder. Sorry…”
The thief looked at him for a moment before slowly nodding. “Yeah, it’s okay. You were never that type. Though, I guess I’m the one who should be sorry.”
Staring at him with confusion, Jordan suddenly felt coldness at his back, chillier than the temperature around him. He turned around to see his partner’s Starmie, hovering silently behind him and near Ed’s unconscious form. The Starmie’s jewel was a pretty bright blue color and it was slowly brightening. Thin flakes of ice formed on the gold formation as the air around it got even colder.
“By the way, Jordy,” the thief said casually. “Don’t worry about telling the Boss about our failure; I’ll tell her myself.”
Jordan didn’t get another word in before the Starmie released a thin beam of ice that shot him right in the face. It crept along his skin, like a virus, and when he opened his mouth to scream, the ice took the opportunity to enter his body and climb down his throat. It froze every inch of his that could be found and entered and he fell to the ground. Raising his arms in defense, as if it could possibly help, the beam just encompassed them into its brilliance and froze them along with the upper part of his body. When it was over, the ice had covered Jordan so that his whole head and part of his arms were cloaked in a thick layer of ice which shone in the light from the walls.
The ice was rather pretty if you subtracted the human flesh.
“Poor guy,” the thief commented, breaking the silence that had fallen over them.
Lorelei was lost for words. “Why did you-?”
The thief shrugged. “It’s pretty annoying when the people you’re supposed to rely on suddenly back down. It kind of pisses me off. Besides, he was probably going to start giving out info and I can’t have that.”
“Well, I didn’t know for sure and I really can’t take chances right now.” He grinned and changed the topic, not at all freaked out about the murder he committed. “Now look at us; back where we started. Got any more ideas?”
Lorelei clenched her fists, but she managed a slight smirk. “I don’t see what you’re so happy about. You’re down an ally and a hostage.”
“Hmm?” The thief turned around to see Ed had disappeared from his spot on the ground. When he turned back to Lorelei, Slowbro and Ed were at her side, her Pokemon having floated Ed over to her while he was distracted with Jordan.
“… Nice one,” he congratulated with a slight shake in his voice.
“You have nothing now,” Lorelei told him. “My Slowbro will take down your Starmie eventually, and then you’ll be arrested. You never even found what you were looking for.”
“… Well, I wouldn’t say that,” he admitted.
Lorelei was silenced instantly.
The thief knelt down to the bag and searched inside of it. The bag made crackled as its surfaces cracked, like it was covered in a thin layer of glass. He stood up again and held up the artifact for his silent audience to see. It was rectangular in shape and was colored a soft light blue. It was as big as your regular piece of paper but was much thicker. There was faint writing on one side of it, but it looked nothing like any human language ever invented.
“… This place,” the thief started, motioning to the room around them. “People say that the great Ice Phoenix, Articuno, froze this island and the ones around it and made them her home. No one has a real explanation on why this place is like this. The ice glows by itself and the caves don’t make sense, leading to places they shouldn’t be able to. Reality is warped in this place.”
He paused. “But we know the real reason, don’t we, Lorelei?”
Her name seemed to shock her out of whatever state she was in. “Put it down!” Lorelei commanded, her voice betraying her real emotions.
“Are you scared, Lorelei?” the thief asked.
“Put it down!”
“What do you people call it?” he asked himself and replied to his own question. “The Icicle Plate, I think those reports said. Not very subtle, if you ask me.”
When it looked like Slowbro was about to launch an attack, Starmie swooped in front of its trainer, its jewel glowing a faint yellow.
“Not so fast, Lorelei,” the thief warned, gripping the Plate tightly. “You’ll have to try better than that.
Suddenly, a whooshing sound was heard and around a dozen small purple needles were shot out of nowhere. Most of them missed, but a few impaled themselves in Blue’s arm, making him automatically release the artifact he was holding. It hit the ice with an odd clanging sound, as if it were made of metal, and bounced over the edge of the river into the water with a small splash.
The thief gasped, whether from the pain or from dropping the Plate into the water. He grasped his arm with his other hand and pulled out the needles, dropping them onto the ice. A bit of blood was mixing with the blue in his jacket to make a blue-ish brown color, but he didn’t care.
He looked up and around, before finally meeting someone’s eyes from across the ice.
“Nice one, Sands,” Leah said, impressed despite herself. “I didn’t think any would actually hit.”
Sands pressed itself closer to Leah’s chest as it tried to keep as much warmth as possible in its small body. The Fire Stone, which it would normally be cuddling, was kept greedily in Leah’s hand and she refused to hand it over. It wasn’t as if Leah was in the warmest clothes, either.
She stood up, still cradling Sands with one arm and took a step out into the open, where Lorelei and that other guy could see her. She didn’t know why she did that, but they knew where she was anyways, so why hide it?
Lorelei was looking at her with a blank expression that Leah wasn’t very sure she wanted directed at her. Though, it didn’t last long as Leah broke the staring contest and looked over at the other guy, who was also rather expressionless, not that she could tell with the goggles on. Stupid people and their blank expressions. Maybe she wouldn’t have been bothered by it if they weren’t directed at her. Most people showed their emotions openly on their face and when they didn’t, made her sort of wary.
The thief whipped his head around to stare at the river behind him, as if the notion that the Plate was dropped into the water just occurred to him. “Starmie!”
The Starmie sprung into action, going towards its trainer’s side as its arms became whirling blurs. It disappeared as it floated down to the river and multiple splashes were heard as its arms presumably hit the water.
“I’m not losing now!” the thief proclaimed and gave the two one last glance before hopping off the side and into the icy cold water.
Leah and Lorelei ran to the side of the river and looked down. Patches of broken ice were quickly washed away by the current and the ones that remained were being ruthlessly battered until they too broke away. The thief was nowhere to be seen and neither was his Starmie. Both had seemingly vanished with the current.
Leah said nothing, honestly not really caring as she turned around and walked back to Ed. She knelt down beside him and noticed his lips were starting to turn blue. She wasn’t sure is that meant he was really bad, or just bad.
“Hey,” Leah said to Lorelei and repeated it when it didn’t get her attention. “I think Ed needs a hospital.”
For a moment, Lorelei just stood there before also turning around and slowly nodding, having seen all that she could. “Yes, we’ll go to the surface now. There’s nothing more to be done.”
Leah was startled when Ed slowly rose into the air under Slowbro’s will. She got to her feet and breathed a small sign of relief. Well, finally, she could leave. Looking towards the river again, Leah couldn’t help but ask:
“What happened to that plate thing?”
“It’s gone,” Lorelei said simply. “The current washed it away, but I’m sure Blue was able to grab it. Either way, it’s gone now.”
“Oh.” Leah didn’t really know what to say to that, but just shrugged and knew there was nothing she could do. It was just some weird artifact; nothing to worry that much over, in her opinion.
It wasn’t as if it was that important… right?
A/N: Finally, it’s done. Anyways, I know these last few chapters have been rather different so far (and let’s just ignore the contrived issues and general sucky-ness), but now that they’re out of the way, we can go back to the regular scheduled journey and out of the plot area. Just to tell you, this is the last chapter on Seafoam Island, but there is one more that relates to this whole situation and it’s more of a… interlude than anything else.
Remember, if anything seems wrong, just tell me and I’ll see what I can improve. Thanks for reading!
I really like how the plot is starting to take off. I don't know why you seem to think these past chapters were bad; I thought they were pretty excellent, actually. Anyway, back to the plot. I am very curious to see what Blue is up to... I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of him.
I have a question. Was the sleep powder due to Ed's Paras or one one of Blue's Pokemon? Or is it still unkown? You would think that Leah would use the sleeping powder as a clue that Ed/Some human is close.
Overall, nice chapter! Keep up the great writing!
I'm not really sure, but I think there should be a comma after 'cold'.
'Into' should be two seperate words. You know, to give in to something...you can't really give into stuff.
You're talking about something that happened in the past, right? Then it should be 'Lorelei had suspiciously eyed her and Ally'.
You know, I find it the first sentence a bit weird. When you put something like 'Keeping her eyes carefully on the ground so that she wouldn't slip', wouldn't it sound better if the phrase after that had a verb? Okay, I can't explain myself properly...>.< But I mean I would prefer it like this:
Keeping her eyes carefully on the ground so that she wouldn't slip on a patch of ice, Leah held the Fire Stone firmly in front of her, lighting her way.
Ah well. Something like that. I still find the sentence a bit wordy though. Maybe you could change it a bit?
Should be 'had thought'.
You misspelled 'sight'. And you forgot the 'not'.
That should be 'possibly'.
That doesn't quite make sense.
You forgot the 'her'.
You forgot the 'its'.
GOD. FINALLY DONE. THAT. TOOK. FOREVER.
No way freakin' way am I ever going to thoroughly review a fic again. Ever. GAH. But it was a great chapter. Sands knows Poison Sting? Awesome. But...if Blue dived into an icy river after being shot by Poison Sting...won't he die of hypothermia or whatever? And if he survives, won't he get poisoned to death? (Oh noes, Leah's going to become a murder! XD)
Oh god, look at all those mistakes you found, Neiko. <_< I must correct them immediately!
Chapter 14: Interlude
The clip clop of her high-heeled shoes echoed along the hallway. Lorelei was walking swiftly and anyone who came across her only had to look at her thunderous expression to move out of the way. Her hands were clenched at her sides and mouth pressed together in a thin line. Unlike yesterday, however, where she was confident enough to wear summer clothes in a cold environment, she was now dressed in more of a winter garb: a warm jacket, a turtleneck and pants that just covered her ankles.
Finally, after numerous hallways and stairs, she reached her destination. She knocked briskly at the door, but didn’t wait for a reply, instead opening it and letting herself in. Three serious faces looked back at her and she nodded to them in greeting. There was only one unoccupied chair left and she sat down, crossing her arms as she leaned back.
“We heard about what happened,” Lance started. He was a young man with short, spiky red hair and wore a red vest and blue jeans. His cape, which he usually wore everywhere, was absent. He continued, “It wasn’t your fault.”
“I let him get away,” Lorelei snapped. It was already a sore subject for her and it didn’t help that she was in a foul mood, having gotten little sleep the night before. “And now the Plate is who knows where!”
Agatha eyed Lorelei critically, silently judging her failure. She was a short woman with shoulder-length gray-brown hair. There were many few lines on her face and she had narrow gray eyes and a hawk-like nose and wore a purple dress. The only thing that really showed that she was older than she looked was her great wooden walking stick that was propped up against her chair.
“What have you found about this thief?” Agatha asked distastefully, disliking that some thief could waltz right in and make fools out of the Elite Four.
Lance cut in. “No, wait. Let’s not jump around topics. Lorelei, why don’t you tell us everything from the very start and then we can start discussing? That okay with you guys?”
Lorelei and Agatha nodded, while Bruno responded with in a deep voice. “Yes.”
Sighing, Lorelei thought back, organized her memories and began her tale. She told of how she got to the island, mentioning that the vicious tide had been docile. Only briefly mentioning the two girls that she had met, Lorelei went on to describe her encounter with the thief and his companion. Then she explained that the thief had killed his partner and revealed that he had the Plate. When it came to the part where Leah interfered, the woman left nothing out and then concluded:
“Unfortunately, the thief dropped the Plate into the water where it was swept away. The thief went after it and that’s where I lost track of him. I assume he was also swept away, but since I couldn’t find his body, I’m forced to conclude that he got out alive.”
Lorelei took a breath and wished she had a glass of water with her. She rubbed her hands together as she tried to think.
“What else?” Agatha asked.
“Afterwards,” Lorelei started. “I dropped off the two girls and the boy at Fuchsia City Hospital. I talked with them and asked what they saw or heard. The youngest girl, provided no information, but the other two had something useful. The older girl, named Leah Gordon as I found out, found Pokemon forced asleep by Sleep Powder in one of the caverns. The boy, Edward Williams, knew much more. The thief had given the boy his name, which is most likely an alias, though I can’t be sure. This ‘Blue’ talked about his ‘Boss’ and referred her as a ‘she’ several times.”
Silence fell upon them.
“Okay,” Lance said. “So, let’s backtrack. What do we know about this ‘Blue’ fellow?”
Lorelei visualized Blue in her head and tried to remember everything about him. “He’s male and appears to be middle age, not younger than twenty, but not older than forty.” She paused. “Other than that, I’m not sure about his appearance. He had a tuke covering his hair and goggles over his eyes.”
“Was he a good trainer?” Bruno asked, pushing his shaggy black hair from his eyes.
“Yes,” Lorelei said. “Though, we didn’t get to battle for very long. His Starmie was able to hold off my Slowbro, but I doubt that would have continued if we had continued our battle.” A thought occurred to her. “He had two Pokeballs on his belt. I’m not sure if one contained his Starmie, but he probably didn’t have more than three with him at the time.”
“We shouldn’t assume,” Agatha spoke. “He could have easily hid another one in his pocket.”
Lance sighed and leaned back into his chair. “So, Blue had a Starmie, a Pokemon that could use Sleep Powder, and one other.”
Agatha looked at Lorelei. “How did he get on the island?”
“I didn’t see a ship,” Lorelei replied. “He probably used a Pokemon, one that could be used as a boat, or a large flying type.”
“He could have teleported,” Bruno suggested.
“We’ll search the Trainer Database,” Lance said, closing the discussion. “We, at least, know one of Blue’s Pokemon, so that’ll help for now.”
“For now?” Agatha repeated in indignation. “Are we just going to let this thief walk off with one of the most dangerous artifacts this world has ever found?”
Lance shook his head. “I not sure what else we can do. We hardly have a description of the guy and only a single one of his Pokemon.”
“I went back to the island this morning,” Lorelei spoke up and her colleagues’ attention went back to her. “I collected some of the leftover Sleep Powder that put the Pokemon to sleep and maybe we can analyze it to see which Pokemon it came from.”
“Good idea, Lorelei,” Lance congratulated.
Lorelei continued, “Also, I retrieved Jordan’s corpse. Once we get the ice off of him, we can post of picture of him on the News and see if anyone recognizes him. If we get his identity, maybe we find Blue.”
Lance nodded, pleased that they could actually do something. “Okay, then that’s what we’ll do. Hopefully, we can get this guy in a few weeks.”
“What about those children?” Agatha said, changing the topic. “They now know about the Plates.”
“If they talk,” Bruno said. “No one will believe them.”
“Only the older girl, Leah, knew anything about it,” Lorelei replied, easing their worries. “And I don’t think she really understood the importance of it.”
“Are you sure about that?” Agatha asked, eyes narrowing.
Lorelei thought for a moment. “I’m pretty sure. Either way, she didn’t seem to care about what happened.”
Agatha’s lips pressed into a thin line and she let the subject drop.
“Whatever happens,” Lance said, looking around the table. “We need to get that Plate back at all costs. Anyone who holds a Plate gains power, whether it’s a Pokemon or a human.”
“We’ll get it back,” Lorelei promised.
“And if we don’t?” Bruno asked.
Agatha answered in a quiet voice with an undertone of something menacing.
“Then that’s going to be a problem, isn’t it?”
Carefully leaning against a tree, Blue sighed to himself in the quiet hours of the evening. Truthfully, the park he was in wasn’t deserted, but he was far enough away that the laughter of the children was only a whisper in the air. The day was nearly over, but the sun was taking its time to set, bleaching the sky with gold.
Despite the cool temperature the night was supposed to provide, Blue was sweating buckets. He wasn’t quite sure why he felt to so hot, but he had his suspicious, ones he hoped were false. It was so bad that he was forced to take of his shirt, which was definitely something he didn’t do, at least not outside. He had his thinnest jacket, pretty much waterproof material and zippers, hanging from his shoulders, so at least he’d be partly covered.
Trees surrounded him and he felt that he was far enough away from society to take out his cell-phone. It was a bit old, not one of those new shiny types that most teenagers supported, but he was rather attached to it. His fingers flew across the number pad and he pressed the phone to his ear. It rang twice before it was answered.
“Yes?” A female voice asked, sounding distracted and annoyed at being interrupted at whatever useless thing she was doing.
Instantly, her tone of voice changed to be filled with excitement. “You’re done? Did you get it? Did you?”
Blue wasn’t sure how to answer that, so he settled on a half-truth. “Yup.”
She squealed. “Yes! Yes!”
He waited for her to calm down.
“When can you get here?” she asked. “Will it take longer than a day?”
“… There’s a bit of a problem,” Blue admitted and could hear himself breeze deeply in the silence that followed.
“You got it, didn’t you?” she finally said.
He shrugged to himself. “Things didn’t really go according to plan. I did get the Plate, but I can’t really… un-get it.”
Blue was a bit concerned over the length of silence his bomb-shell made.
“You-” Her voice was choked with fury. “- Used it?”
“I was going to freeze to death,” he defended. “I had to jump into one of the island’s rivers to get the Plate. Besides, I didn’t do it on purpose; it was a complete accident.”
“You used it?” the woman repeated in disbelief.
Blue sighed. “Yup.” He then continued, not letting the woman get a word in. “Look, there’s more than one Plate in the world, in Kanto, even. I can get you another one; all I have to do it find it.”
A bit of nervousness made itself known to Blue, as the phone was once again silent. His Boss always loved to keep him hanging like this.
“That’s true, I’ll admit that,” she said and changed the subject, her rage temporarily forgotten over the existence of her insatiable curiosity. “What’s it like?”
“What’s what like?”
“Having a Plate.”
He thought for a moment. “Dunno; I haven’t really experimented yet. I’ve been a bit busy.”
“What would be more important than the Plate?”
“Well,” he started, embarrassed to admit. “There was this girl-”
The woman interrupted him. “I didn’t know you slept around.”
“No!” He was quick to correct her, his face flushing. “At Seafoam Island, while I was getting the Plate. The girl had a Sandshrew and it stung me with Poison Sting. It even made me drop the Plate into the water!”
“Why were you holding the Plate?” she asked, again switching topics faster than she spent money. “Did you just find it?”
Blue decided to just go with the truth; it wasn’t like he had anything to hide anyways. “I was talking to Lorelei and I was caught up in the moment. Could you blame me if I started gloating, just to see the look on her face?”
“Wait,” the woman said in disbelief. “You gloated? Don’t you know that you should never gloat? It’s on the Evil Overlord List, for crying out loud!”
“I know, I know! It was stupid and I paid for it.”
“So, you’re in bad shape?”
“Well, it’s not like I could go to a hospital,” Blue said, sighing again. He looked at his arm and his eyes trailed over its sickly white surface, seeing the prominent blue veins spider-web across his skin. Whenever he tried to move it, a burning pain raced up his arm. It was ironic, really, and Blue shared his thoughts out loud. “The Plate prevents me from going to a Hospital and I’m probably going to slowly die of poisoning. If I didn’t use the Plate, I would have frozen to death. Lose-lose situation.”
The woman seemingly didn’t know what to say to that, so she changed the topic. “How was Lorelei?”
“What do you mean?”
“Did she live up to what people said about her?” The woman asked.
“She’s good,” Blue admitted. “Her Slowbro was able to deflect my Thunderbolt with hardy a thought.”
“Not Pokemon, silly,” she said with a small laugh. “Lorelei. Was she nice?”
Blue blinked and got the insane feeling that his Boss had some sort of crush. “Uh... Dunno. She was pretty hostile towards me, but she had a good reason for that.”
“I hope you made a good impression,” she said and paused. “Did you give her your name?”
“No,” Blue said, snorting, and wondering if she thought he was stupid. He continued as an afterthought, “Though, I did give out an alias to one of those kids there.”
“There’re kids at Seafoam Island?”
“They fell off a ship,” he explained.
“Oh… What name did you give them?”
“Blue,” he said. “First thing that came to mind.”
Silence descended upon them.
“If you’re Blue,” the woman started. “Then does that make me Red?”
Blue tried to picture it, but no matter what he tried, the image of his Boss and the color red didn’t compute. “Red doesn’t suit you; you’d look better in green.”
The woman giggled. “Are you imagining me, Blue?”
“Yes,” he said truthfully. “… Why are you calling me Blue?”
“Anyone can be listening,” she said. “So from now on, I’m going to call you Blue and you can call me Green.”
“No one’s listening,” he promised, but went with it anyways. His Boss said and did the strangest things sometimes.
The woman then jarringly went back to their original topic. “About the Plates: Since you used the one I was going to get, you’re going to get me another one. And this time, you can’t have an accident.”
“Deal,” he said. “Though, you’re going to have to give me some time. I’m not sure where any of the others are.”
“Take as much time as you want,” she agreed. “But I want one in the end. If you don’t get me one, I won’t pay you.”
Blue nodded, knowing this, and said so out loud.
“Good,” Green said, and then laughed. “It’s okay, Blue; I forgive you. I didn’t want the Ice Plate anyways. Ice is so cold and chilly; not my type. If you can, though, can you get me the dragon-type one?”
“I’ll… see what I can do,” Blue replied, irritated that Green thought he wanted forgiveness. Though, he supposed that it was his fault. He hardly ever took on clients that young, but the existence of the Plates had spiked his curiosity. For months he had been looking for a Plate, any Plate, and it was only a few weeks ago that he was lucky enough to get information on the Icicle Plate.
“So, is that all?” Green asked.
“Okay then. Remember; keep me posted on everything that’s going on. If you find any of the Plates, tell me.”
“Got it,” Blue said and ended the conversation.
Putting the phone back into his pocket, Blue stood upright and looked around. If there was one thing that talking to his Boss was good for, it kept his mind off things. So, he was almost surprised when he once again felt how hot he was and groaned in defeat. It just wouldn’t go away. He didn’t know if it was actually that hot outside, or if the poison in his veins was causing it, or even if it was due to something else… but whatever was doing it, he wanted it gone.
It was silent, the children seemingly having gone home. All he could hear were the sounds of nature and the rustle of the wind as it made leaves dance. He felt a bit better when the chilled wind graced him with its presence, but it went away quickly. Leaning his head against the cool bark, he panted quietly to himself and wished that he could cool down. He wished for ice and snow.
It started slowly at first, but a faint breeze started, though it wasn’t a normal one. It was icy and freezing, making any normal person flinch and wonder who was playing with their ice-type Pokemon. The wind was erratic, changing from weak to strong, but still held that cold chill. Blue stood upright and welcomed it, letting it fling his hair and rustle his jacket.
Then, as quick as it started, the wind died down just as fast. Blue panted again, but more out of tiredness than being hot. It took a lot out of him when he did that and now all he wanted to do was go back home and sleep.
“At least I have a portable air-conditioner,” Blue joked to himself, but didn’t smile or feel amused.
He wiped sweat from his forehead with his good arm and took one of his Pokeballs from his belt. Enlarging it, he released the Pokemon that was inside and it stared at him quietly, sensing that there was something different about its trainer.
“We’re going home,” Blue informed it and put his hand on its head. He closed his eyes and awaited the dizzying rush that was sure to come.
The trainer and Pokemon disappeared silently from the forest, almost as if they were never there.
A/N: Not much to say on this chapter, though, say goodbye to Blue because you guys won’t be seeing him for a while. I know this chapter was pretty short, but next chapter, we’ll get back to Leah and the other two in Fuchsia City.
Yay! That was a great chapter. Green sounds like a really giggly teenager. And with all the Elite Four stuff, it seems like things are going to heat up. That'll make the story interesting. I did notice a few mistakes, but I'm not going to point them out. Reviewing is too long. .__.
Fuchsia City? I can't wait for the next chapter!
Thanks, Neiko! I was going to write Green as more mature and cold, but it wasn’t working so I just made her cheerful and… weird instead (and I like her better because of it; I’d never thought I’d actually like her!). Things are going to heat up eventually, but right now, I’ll just let the plot stew for a bit.
And don’t worry about the mistakes because reviewing does take a long time (not that I review much <_<).
… Yeah, I know I promised I wouldn’t do this again, but sadly, there won’t be a chapter this week. Exams are happening next week and, despite my reluctance to do anything relating to homework, I have to study.
I promise I’ll have the next chapter up by next Friday, though. Sorry again, guys!
Chapter 15: Fuchsia City
Fuchsia City was drearier than she expected. True, it wasn’t raining (though those few clouds in the sky looked rather ominous…), and nothing about her surroundings appeared sad, but there was something about the place that made her fidgety.
Currently, she was taking a walk in the park. Truthfully, she would rather be reading or something, but the Fuchsia City Hospital had sucky magazines and Ed and Ally were too annoying to put up with at that moment. They were acting weird, too. The boy had been nervous ever since he heard that his parents had been called and the girl just sat around, looking depressed.
Their attitudes were irritating, as said, so therefore, she had left to go do… something.
As it was, Leah’s only activity options stemmed to either finding something to do or thinking. Thinking, unfortunately, led her back to the events from yesterday.
Lorelei, before leaving the day before, told her not to repeat what happened on Seafoam Island, especially about that Plate thing and those thieves. Leah hadn’t really cared for the reason why, even if Lorelei never gave it. It wasn’t her concern and she would rather not waste time thinking about it. But, the topic couldn’t help but slip into her mind when she had better things to think about. It, like almost everything else currently in her life, was annoying.
As Leah looked around as she walked, she couldn’t help but find it odd on how someone’s environment could change in a short amount of time. Yesterday, she was on the icy Seafoam Island and now, she was walking around a random park she had stumbled across.
Actually, it reminded her a bit of Pallet Town. Not only did almost all the same Pokemon live there, but the people were the same too: boring, dull and completely caught up in their lives. Though, there were some differences. The forests and plants were more lush and colorful, but still had that boring shape to it; seemingly a blend of Pallet and Cinnabar’s wildlife, somehow.
Leah yawned, having not gotten that much sleep the night before. She had piled several blankets on her bed and was still shivering all night long. It had gotten better when she woke up, but definitely not enough for her to ditch her jacket on such a warm morning. Some people, the ones wearing tank tops or baggy sleeveless shirts, gave her perplexed glances.
Honestly, she was at a perfectly fine temperature at the moment, not too hot and not too cold; just right. She didn’t find outdoors very warm at all, to tell the truth.
Continuing to walk down the cement pathway, Leah looked around her and spotted a large tree with long overreaching branches in the distance. Making a snap decision, she veered off the trail and walked to it, hiking up the hill that the tree stood upon. It was shady, out of everyone’s path and kept the sunlight from blinding her. Though, it also kept the sun from being her convenient heat source, but she just sighed and took her Fire Stone out of her pocket.
The Fire Stone had become quite useful to her, enough for it to be always carried around in her pocket. Leah turned the stone around in her hands, looking at the mixes of reds and oranges. Taking her eyes off the rock, she looked down upon the park, eyes trailing over the moving people that she could see.
She was bored.
Like Pallet Town, there wasn’t much to do. She supposed that she could go watch a movie or something, but she had no clue what was playing or where the movie theatre even was. Fuchsia City was a town that attracted trainers because of its Safari Zone, but Leah was not a trainer and she wasn’t interested.
Partly to bounce ideas off of and partly because she was bored, Leah took out her Pokeball and released Sands. She honestly didn’t need the company (really!), but hey, she did strange things when she was bored. And really, she was starting to brood and that was never a good sign.
Sands looked around, nose and ears twitching at the new sounds and smells.
“I’m over here,” Leah said, not wanting to be ignored. Sands looked over to her, blinking.
“I’m bored, not lonely,” she told him when he scuffled over to her and leaned his paws against her legs. “Get off.”
Sands obviously didn’t believe her as he stood on his tiptoes and sniffed at her curiously. Leah stared for a moment before she looked at the Fire Stone she was playing with in her hands in understanding.
She held it up. “Oh. Want this?”
Sands seemed to nod, though he probably just moved his head. Either way…
“Too bad,” she said, smirking as she didn’t let go of it. “I’m using it.”
Making a whine and seeing the hopeless situation, Sands abandoned his pursuit and went off to sulk a few feet away. Like Leah, he watched the people going about their businesses, but with a more gloomy atmosphere.
Her attempt of relieving her boredom failed, Leah sighed and absentmindedly stared at the sunlight streaming though the branches.
It was then she realized that she was being reminded of Pallet Town, especially her last day there. The day when the dreaded journey started and all her hopes and dreams shattered… And when that stupid brat beat her in that Pokemon battle. She had not forgotten about that, even if some people did.
How long had it been since that day? It was July now, almost a month later. How depressing was that? It was almost like she would never get away from following the brats around. Beginning trainers usually gave up in the first two weeks (or was it one week? She couldn’t remember any more), but that obviously didn’t happen. She was not waiting until they got their four gym badges, one of the only other ways to get out of being a mentor to them.
But, luckily, hope was still present.
That morning and just as she was leaving the hospital, Leah had met Ed’s parents, who had driven over to see their son when they found out that he had gotten hurt. They were… nice people and very concerned.
Ed’s parents were curious on what happened to him and how he got hypothermia.
Leah, of course, seeing how concerned they truly were, told them the whole honest story. On how they were knocked overboard and how she thought Ed was washed away by the tides. That he had survived, but was trapped in an icy environment with no way of getting out. How, with the help of some vague person Leah made up to substitute for Lorelei, Leah was able to save him with him almost dying.
The best part was that Leah didn’t lie, going with Lorelei’s wish and vaguely describing her and keeping those weird people and the artifact out of it… Okay, she did do some exaggerating, so sue her.
When done her tale, Ed’s parent had exchanged concerned looks and went off to talk to their son, while Leah departed, having done her good deed for the day.
And now she was here, sitting bored under some random tree.
Leah sighed and glanced at Sands, who was still sitting at the edge of the hill in one of the patches of sunlight.
Well, if you couldn’t find excitement, you just had to make your own.
Untangling her legs, Leah stretched one of them out. Sands obviously didn’t see it coming, judging by the squeak he made when she nudged him off the hill. Leah quickly crawled closer to watch Sands roll down the hill, its body perfect for doing such a thing. Halting at the bottom, the Sandshrew slowly unrolled itself, seemingly dizzy, as he tried to shake the sticky grass from his skin. His ears dropped and he looked up to his trainer, in a way that screamed, ‘Why?!’
Leah grinned and laughed loudly at her Pokemon’s expression. “Nice, Sands!”
Sands ignored her and laid down where he sat, letting the sun’s rays dry him off.
Still chuckling, Leah leaned back with her legs outstretched. Ah, that was fun. What an excellent (if somewhat immature) way of curing her boredom. Now, to stop herself from being pulled back into the abyss of melancholy, she had to keep thinking; and she knew just the topic.
The seeds had been planted. If things went according to plan, Ed’s parents would stop him from going on his journey since they seemed like such nice people that cared about their children. With that done, all Leah had to do was to think of a plan to get rid of Ally. The girl didn’t seem to be stubborn, but she had a hard interior that wouldn’t be denied… Hmm, what to do, what to do?
Unfortunately for Leah, her plotting time was interrupted when a shadow fell over her, one that wasn’t in the shape of branches. She looked up and regarded the weirdo above her. “What?”
“I know you,” the teen said with conviction. “You’re from Pallet Town.”
Leah’s eyes narrowed. “Yeah? So?”
“I hardly ever meet people I know out here,” he said as he flopped beside her, letting Leah see his face now that the sun was no longer behind him. He looked older than her and a bit foreign. He had long-ish black, matted hair with tanned skin and wore a plain white tee-shirt and jeans.
Leah stayed silent, trying to non-verbally tell him that she didn’t want him sitting next to her like he knew her.
He either ignored it or didn’t notice. “It’s been a while, eh?” he said with a smile, though it looked more like a smirk to her. “What have you been up to?”
“Who’re you and why are you talking to me?” Leah asked bluntly.
Looking hurt, the teen put a hand over his heart. “Ouch, that hurts. Come on, we’re both Mentors, right? Remember, we chatted a bit before we got handed the kids.”
Leah thought back and dimly remembered talking to someone. “Oh,” she said, finally recalling. “You’re the Ekans kid!”
“I got an Ekans,” he said, nodding along and seeming not knowing what to say about his nickname. “I never got you’re name.”
Snorting, Leah turned away from him, loosing interest. “I never got yours either.”
“I’ll give it to you, if you want.”
His face fell. “That goes straight to my heart.” He looked around and spotted Sands lying at the bottom of the hill. “That’s your Pokemon?”
“Then I’ll call you the Sandshrew Girl,” he said happily, copying her style.
He really wasn’t going away, was he? Leah asked herself.
“So,” he stared. “How’re your kids going?”
She stared at him blankly. “The brats? Annoying.”
“You still have yours?” He seemed cheerful with the way he was grinning. “That sucks. I got rid of mine weeks ago.”
“They give up?”
“Nope, I ditched them in Viridian City.”
Honestly, Leah had never considered that solution as an option before and said nothing.
He continued on. “Really, the Mentor Program has only been in use for a few years and trainers survived before that. People are just coddling them.”
Leah tried to imagine Ed and Ally doing their journey alone, but all she could think about was their stupidly, shyness and inability on how to survive in the real world.
The Ekans Kid was staring at her and she glared back, not interested in the conversation. The teen seemed to see that and switched topics. “Hey, I’m bored. Want to battle?”
She was going to refuse, really, she was… But, it wasn’t as if there was anything better to do. And if that meant actually battling, then fine, she’d do that.
“Fine,” she said coolly and called out to Sands. The Pokemon raised his head, not at-all wondering whether she would knock him off the hill again, right when he got to the top. After another shout, Sands seemed to sigh and he got up, stretching, before slowly hiking up the hill.
“Doesn’t look very tough,” the Ekans Kid commented when he saw her Pokemon.
Leah ignored him. “Where’s yours?”
The teen grinned and grabbed one of his Pokeballs from his belt. “This’ll be good training for Lucifer,” he said, before releasing it.
The Pokemon was, predictably, an Ekans. It had bright purple scales covering its entire four foot long body that was stretched out from head to tail. There was a yellow band around its neck and yellow was also apparent on its underbelly. The Ekans tail flicked, the rattle at the end of its tail made a small and hardly apparent sound. Yellow eyes opened, revealing split pupils that narrowed further as it took a look at its pray.
“You named it after Satan?” Leah asked in disbelief.
He pouted. “It’s a snake! Besides, I think it’s an awesome name.”
Leah only sighed. People would name their Pokemon the strangest things; at least it wasn’t Slither or anything like that. “So, are we battling right here?”
“Sure.” He nodded and looked around. “It’ll do.”
The two trainers got up and separated to different sides of the hill, the Pokemon between them. As Leah did so, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of déjà-vu. She was completely mirroring that final day of freedom; how annoying! It was then that she decided that she wasn’t going to let that happen any further.
Sands was uneasy, constantly glancing at its trainer and the Ekans, not very willing to fight. Lucifer, on the other hand, seemed to mirror its trainer’s grin and its forked pink tongue darted out of its mouth and over its lips.
“Don’t be intimidated,” Leah warned Sands. “Come on; don’t be a coward.”
The Ekans Kid edged his own Pokemon on. “That’s right, Lucifer. Leer!”
Lucifer hissed, the noise unusually loud and grabbing Sands attention. It raised its head higher, showing its yellow belly as it looked down on the Sandshrew with gleaming eyes.
“Scratch it, Sands!”
Seeing that Leah didn’t want to repeat her command, Sands stayed cautious as it approached the snake, who was eying him hungrily. When the Sandshrew had edged close enough for the Ekans to strike, he leapt out of the way only seconds before Lucifer’s jaws had bit down on the space where the Pokemon previously was. With the Ekans head to the ground, Sands went for the face, managing to get a swipe at the Pokemon before it pulled away.
“Scratch again!” Leah commanded.
The black haired teen also gave orders. “Lucifer, Wrap!”
Lucifer lunged, its body quick and agile as it dodged the mediocre attack and curled around the Sandshrew, embracing it with its long body. Sands struggled, kicking out its feet and digging into the Ekans’ flesh with its claws. Lucifer hissed in pain and unwound itself enough for Sands to get free.
“Lucifer,” the Ekans Kid cried. “Bite it before it gets away!”
Hissing, the Pokemon complied, untangling itself and allowing its sharp teeth to be seen.
Leah, however, had a plan. “Defense Curl!”
Sands didn’t have to be told twice He curled, tucking his muzzle into his stomach and keeping his arms protectively over his head. Lucifer bit down onto Sands mid-section, the plated skin protecting the Sandshrew from most of the damage, but the Ekans didn’t let go.
“Bite harder!” the boy said. “Don’t give up; its hide isn’t that thick.” He then turned to Leah. “Better give up now, my Ekans isn’t letting go. Besides, Lucifer’s fangs are poisonous so you won’t last long anyways.”
Leah snorted and crossed her arms. “Don’t lie. Your Ekans can hardly even rattle and you’re saying it’s poisonous? I’ve seen Ekans before and they’re not poisonous anyways.” She looked at Sands, who was staying still despite the pain the Ekans was probably causing. “Okay, Sands, Rapid Spin.”
Despite not liking her Pokemon journey, Leah was sometimes forced to help the two brats train their Pokemon. A result of that was that Sands got training himself, even if he hardly ever used the skills. Technically, the Sandshrew didn’t know Rapid Spin very well, the move being a more work-in-progress than anything else.
Lucifer’s fangs were apparently not in far enough as they were wrenched out and they briefly scraped across Sands skin as the Sandshrew sharply jerked into a spin. Though, it couldn’t be classified as a spin as he didn’t make a full turn. But it was enough, however, as Sands was once again free, rolling onto his side and back onto his feet. He wobbled slightly, dizzy from the pain the Ekans caused.
“Scratch,” Leah said and added, “If you win, you can have the Fire Stone.”
With a shake of the head, Sands concentrated as he jumped forwards and scratched the recovering Ekans on the chest, leaving three bloody lines.
The battle, Leah supposed, would have gone on longer if the Ekans Kid hadn’t admitted defeat by suddenly returning his Pokemon to its Pokeball. Sands was left confused on the makeshift battlefield as its opponent disappeared from sight.
“Giving up?” Leah asked, smirking.
The Ekans Kid huffed. “No, it’s just that Lucifer had already been in a battle this morning and was already worn out.”
Leah mentally doubted it.
“But,” he said as he clipped the Pokeball back onto his belt. “I wanna rematch tomorrow.”
“What if I’m busy tomorrow?” Leah questioned.
The Ekans Kid shook his head with his on smirk. “You don’t live here. Besides, what else could you do here?”
“The brats control my life right now,” she informed him dully.
He gave her a strange look. “Just ditch them. They’re ten; give them candy and run out while they’re distracted. They won’t notice.”
Leah wanted to tell him that the brats were ten, not five, but thought better of it and instead just returned Sands to his Pokeball and began walking away.
“Remember!” the Ekans Kid called out from behind her. “Tomorrow at this time!”
“Whatever,” Leah said, rolling her eyes, but she was smiling. She couldn’t help it, she tried to make it revert back to a frown, but it just wouldn’t work. She had won! Technically a draw, but the Ekans Kid had forfeited and she would have won anyways.
Wow, her first victory!
No, wait! Leah shook her head, trying the clear the thoughts away. No, it didn’t matter if she won or not. She didn’t care about Pokemon training. Besides, she had won battles before, playful ones against Ed and Ally when they trained together. Just because the battle was against a stranger made no difference.
Sighing half-heartily and with a grin still on her face, Leah kept walking, not being able to help the flashback of her victory playing over and over again in her head.
Leah had walked around a bit more before going back to the hospital to check up on things.
Ally was sitting quietly in the lobby, surprisingly not by Ed’s side. A magazine was on her lap and Leah saw the flowers and leaves in it before Ally closed it when she spotted her mentor.
“What’s up?” Leah greeted, still in a good mood.
“Ed’s not happy,” Ally informed her, ignoring the question. She nervously played with the edges of the magazine. “He doesn’t want to talk to me.”
Leah raised an eyebrow at that. Ed and Ally had been hand-in-hand practically the entire journey so far. “Why?”
Ally bit her lip. “H- He talked to his parents and he started shouting. Then they closed the door and I couldn’t hear.”
Well, that was fast. Maybe her seeds had already bloomed?
“Where’s his room again?” Leah asked, looking around the crowded lobby. True, she had been to Ed’s room before, but she wasn’t paying attention on how she got there. And now she had better check up on him and see what had happened.
Leading the way, Ally walked quickly, hoping Leah could solve the problem. Leah on the other hand was mentally chanting, ‘please let the brat be grounded, please be grounded, please be grounded-’
The room was quite a ways a way and Leah was already getting tired of seeing the white hallways and moving out of the way of other people. Finally, Ally stopped in front of a closed door and knocked hesitantly.
“Go away!” Ed’s muffled yell told them.
“Out of the way,” Leah said as she moved past Ally and pushed open the door.
Ed was alone in the room, the parents no where to be seen. The window was open, letting fresh air in. There were four beds, two on each side of the room and facing one another, but only Ed’s was occupied, the others being empty and made. Ed himself was huddled in the middle of his bed, arms around his knees and his now not-so-neat orange hair brushing his eyes.
“What’s up?” Leah said, trying her previous greeting on him.
Like Ally, Ed ignored it. “Go away.”
Leah sat down on one of the chairs near his bed, the chairs already being conveniently angled so that she could face him directly. “Don’t feel like it.”
Ally sat down next to Leah, hands clasped on her lap. She opened her mouth, as if going to say something, but closed it with nothing said.
“So,” Leah started when she saw that Ed wasn’t going to reply. “What’d the parents say?”
“They don’t want me being a trainer anymore!” Ed burst out, making Ally flinch at the noise.
Instead of dancing in happiness at the news, Leah only said a vague, “I see.”
Ed continued. “They don’t want me getting hurt like William did and they said it’d be better for me if I stayed home!” He looked almost in tears by that point and Leah suppressed the inch of guilt that surfaced.
“Are they…” Leah tried to word it carefully, suddenly mindful of not hurting his feelings. “Going to force you?”
“Dunno,” Ed muttered, spent at his outburst. “They wanted me to calm down before speaking again.”
“Right.” At that moment, Leah was having a mental crisis. She was thrilled that it looked like one-half of her problem was going to be forced to give up. On the other hand, and for one of the first times in the whole journey, she realized that Ed was a genuine ten-year-old. An annoying, mostly two-dimensional and immature ten-year-old. One whose hopes and dreams rested on his journey.
Leah tried to imagine what would happen if she was prevented on going on her journey when she was ten (before That Incident happened). Truthfully, she would have probably thrown a tantrum and went crying and complaining to her mother… Okay, technically, she didn’t have a mother at that point, but it was a good enough example.
No, Leah told herself firmly, stopping those thoughts in their tracks. She wasn’t going to look at Ed’s perspective in the situation. She wanted out of the whole Mentor thing and she would get out no matter what it took. Besides, Pokemon training was more of a fad than anything else. In a few months, maybe years, Ed would suddenly be grateful that he got to stay at home. Somehow.
“Y- You can’t,” Ally said and Leah was surprised to note that she too looked like she was about to cry. “We were going to do this journey together!”
Ed nodded, lost in thought. “Yeah, I want to go! But… I don’t know what to do, how can I convince Mom and Dad?”
“M- Maybe you can show them how well your Pokemon can battle,” Ally suggested. “And then they’ll know you’re protected.”
Grasping onto the idea, no matter how illogical it seemed, Ed nodded again and brightened up. “Yeah! Yeah! I show them what Paras can do.”
Despite how persistent the brats were, Leah was sure they would fail. If Ed’s Paras couldn’t protect him then, then what made Ed so sure that the Pokemon could do so after a small amount of training?
Well, it didn’t matter because, either way, Leah was getting out of the stupid journey no matter what it took.
And that was that.
A/N: Sorry for the long wait, guys! Nothing much to say on this chapter, but hopefully it wasn’t too boring in the beginning and the ending wasn’t too cut off. Anyways, I hoped you liked it.
Even though grammar errors are in no way my thing, there were a few more than usual here and I felt I should point 'em out.
Thanks for reviewing, Giratinasaur, and I’ll fix those mistakes as soon as I shake off my summer laziness.
Thanks for the review!
Hello! I apologize for disappearing... it's a bad habit of mine.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the chapter about Blue and Green. I'd like to see why Green really wants those plates; I'm so sad they'll be out of the picture for a bit. I await their return! Blue is officially my favorite character in your story thus far
I find it amusing that Blue remembers Leah and her Sandshrew of anything, especially when Leah could care less about the whole situation and her Pokemon in general. Nice irony.
Has it really been a month? Wow, for some reason, it only seemed like a week or two to me. It's neat that Leah half won, finally. She deserves the bit of happiness.
I really dislike the Ekans kid. For some reason, I get the feeling he's going to try to cheat in their next battle. Anyway, great chapters! Keep it up!
Thanks for reviewing, delongbi!
Thanks again, delongbi, and since it’s Friday…
Chapter 16: Talks
Luckily, Leah didn’t have to put up with the brats determination and optimism for the whole day as it wasn’t more than a few hours later that Ed was released from the hospital. Ed had brightened up considerably during that time, but as soon as his parents came to pick him up, his sullen mood returned with a vengeance.
“No,” Ed told his parents with a glare. “I don’t want to go home. I want to stay with Ally and Leah at the Pokemon Center.”
“Eddy-” Mrs. Williams said, giving a worried look to her husband. “We just want what’s best for you.”
“I’m a Pokemon trainer, Mum,” Ed argued. “I’m not giving up!”
The argument carried on for a few more minutes as the topic subtly shifted from ‘Ed being a trainer’ and back to ‘where Ed was going to stay’. It was finally decided that instead of Ed staying at the Pokemon Center with Leah and Ally, the trio would stay at Ed’s house until the whole problem was solved.
So, Leah found herself looking out the window of Ed’s car, squished in the back with the two brats, Ally being the unlucky person in the middle. There was a certain silence about. Ed’s parents tried to make conversation about the Pokemon journey, but Ed stayed strong in his mood and answered in one-word answers, Ally was too shy to talk much and Leah just didn’t care.
It was certainly awkward.
“So, Leah,” Mr. Williams asked, having abandoned his attempt to talk to the other two. “Why did you decide to be a Mentor?”
Oh, joy. Why was it always the hard questions?
Leah shrugged and put on a casual face of disinterest. “Don’t really have a reason. Didn’t have much to do this summer, you know?”
Lies. She had several things she wanted to do this summer, including sleeping in, be lazy and pretty much doing nothing. Summer was the only time she could get away with all that. Instead, she was stuck babysitting brats and walking around a lot.
What she would give to sleep in her own bed again…
Mr. Williams nodded and once again, the awkward silence returned.
Leah looked out the window with vague interest. Cars whooshed by in other lanes, but other then that, that wasn’t really anything to be exited about. The car was in the suburb area by then and all she could see were houses, houses and more houses. Actually, the houses looked rather nice and Leah assumed that Ed and his family lived in an upper-class area.
The car turned the corner and almost immediately after, Mr. Williams steered it into a driveway of a rather good looking house. He parked the car in front of the garage and turned back to the trio. “Here we are.”
Leah got out and Ally followed her. Looking around, Leah stared at the modern-looking house, which was almost the complete opposite of her own home back in Pallet Town. The lawn was neat and trimmed and colorful flowers filled the garden. There was porch with a white rail railing and it had beautiful hanging baskets hanging from the roof on wires.
Ed came to stand beside Leah as his parents walked up the steps and unlocked the front door. The boy didn’t look very angry anymore, as far as Leah could tell. He looked more… relieved than anything else.
“Daddy!” a high-pitched voice announced from the doorway. Mr. Williams smiled and opened his arms as a pink blur ran into them. “You’re home!” Big eyes peeked from over her father’s arms and caught Ed’s similar ones.
The little girl’s big grin showed missing teeth. “Eddy! You’re back!” She promptly abandoned her father to go run up to Ed instead.
Ed smiled at her, instantly brightening up. “Hi, Carla!”
Carla, with curly auburn hair tied with a pink ribbon and wearing a pink dress, looked up at him as she put her small arms around his waist (or tried to). “Eddy!”
“I- Is this your sister?” Ally asked curiously, charmed by the girl.
Of course she is, Leah answered sarcastically in her own head. Why would she be in the brat’s house then?
“I’m Carla!” Ed’s sister said, not letting go of Ed as she smiled shyly back at Ally. “I’m five.”
Ally looked like she was going start aw-ing the ball of cuteness, so Leah quickly broke the moment. “So… Are we going inside?”
According to plan, the cute moment was dissolved and Carla reluctantly let go of Ed as they all trailed through the front door. The room they came into was small and there was a staircase pressed against the wall with a door on the wall beside it. Other than that, the room was practically a hallway, with only a table and a coat-rack pressed against the other wall.
Carla jumped onto the first step on the stairs and waited for Ed to kick off his shoes and drop his backpack before running up the stairs, giggling. Forgetting about everyone else and his current problem, Ed chased his sister up the stairs, grinning with delight.
Leah and Ally were left behind with the parents as they listened to thumps of running feet above them.
“Ed!” Mrs. Williams yelled up the stairs. “Don’t forget about your friends!”
It only took a few moments for Ed to show up at the top of the stairs, his face slightly red. “Sorry!” he said, still smiling widely and looked down at Leah and Ally. “Come on!”
Leah just sighed as she purposely followed Ally up the stairs as slow as she could, making both of them wait at the top. She hardly got a glance around at the hallway she found herself in before she was herded down the hall by Ed’s cheerful glances and annoying words.
“I’ll show you my room!” Ed said excitedly, pointing down the hall to the farthest door. It opened easily and Leah peered half-curiously over Ed’s head at his bedroom. It was surprisingly neat and tidy; the bed was made, the floor was spotless and everything on the shelves, from toys to books, looked organized.
Ed looked around his room in wonder, like he hadn’t seen it for a long time (which was true). He spun around and hurled himself on his bed back first, landing on the Pikachu printed covers with a bounce. One of the bed’s many pillows teetered before falling to the ground and Ally picked up, holding it with a smile.
“This is my room,” Ed declared, looking at the two. “Isn’t it neat?”
The room looked like the type of room most kids might have; there wasn’t anything special about it. Though, Leah refrained from saying so, not feeling that comfortable to be standing in someone else’s room.
Ed looked at the girls expectantly. “Aren’t you going to sit down?”
It seemed like Ally was as nervous as Leah was, despite her smiling demeanor, since she visibly hesitated before taking a seat beside Ed. Now two sets of eyes were on Leah, and she sighed again before sitting down against the wall.
Leah was starting to regret not going to the Pokemon Center.
Oblivious to his companion’s awkwardness, Ed started to rattle on, seemingly delighted at having friends over.
Bringing her knees to her chest, Leah mentally groaned.
She really should have stayed at the Pokemon Center.
Around ten minutes later, Ms. Williams popped in to see how they were doing.
“Would anyone like anything to drink?” she asked.
Seeing her chance, Leah slowly got up, feeling the ache in her back. “Sure.”
Ed and Ally hardly took a moment to decline before going back to their discussion on whatever they were talking about. It wasn’t like Leah had been listening.
Leah followed Ms. Williams to the kitchen where she saw Mr. Williams and some teenager at the table, the father reading the newspaper and the teen playing with a handheld device in his hands.
“What would you like?” Ms. Williams asked Leah, who tore her glaze off the teen and thought quickly.
“Water will be fine,” Leah replied.
Taking the glass with a small ‘thank you’, Leah leaned against the counter as she sipped. She did that for a few moments, trying to lengthen the time away from the brats and when she finished, she wondered whether she get more water.
“William,” Mr. Williams spoke up, having seemingly been observing Leah for the past few minutes. “Do you think you can show Leah to the computer room?”
William looked up from his gameboy, or whatever it was, and glanced at Leah through the lens of his glasses. “Sure,”
Leah wasn’t sure how she was supposed to reply, but not wanting to reject such a kind and courteous offer (anything to get away from the brats), she gave a relieved smile. “Eh, thanks.”
“It must be boring to have only children for company,” Mr. Williams explained. “Don’t hesitate to ask for anything.”
William stood up with his gameboy in hand and he led Leah back to the staircase where he wandered downwards. As he did so, Leah couldn’t help but notice the limp he sported, which made him clutch the rail tightly as he walked carefully down the stairs.
Now at the front room, they went through the door that Leah had seen before and down that hallway, he turned into another room. The next room was a dead-end, having only three desks with computers place on them. All of the monitors were dark, but Williams went up to one of them and jiggled the mouse, making a background with an ocean appear.
“You may use mine,” he said.
“Thanks,” Leah said, sneaking a more studious glace at the teen. He looked older than her and even older than the Ekans Kid from that morning. He had orange hair, like Ed’s, but messier, and he was wearing a baggy shirt and pants.
Surprising Leah, William didn’t leave the room, instead sitting down at one of the other chairs in front of the computers. He didn’t touch the computer, however, only going back to his gameboy and getting lost in whatever he was looking at.
Leah looked at him for a couple more seconds before she turned got in the chair and opened the internet. It’d had been so long since she had been on the internet…
The next half-hour was conducted in silence. Leah kept to the computer, only sometimes looking back at William, who hadn’t moved. The silence was filled with the clicking of Leah’s mouse and the rapid taps of William’s fingers on his gameboy. Though, the more she looked, the more she was aware of that the teen’s gameboy wasn’t quite a gameboy. It looked like one, but there was something familiar about it.
And it was only when she went to Google to confirm her suspicions, did she actually turn around in her chair and say, “Is that a Pokedex?”
The taps paused and William looked up. “Yes.”
The Pokedex was one of the older models, hardly used or seen since they all had been traded in for the newer models with many more functions. This particular older version was the eye-catching red, though the red paint was peeled in many places, revealing the silver metal beneath it. Unlike the newer versions, the Pokedex was in the shape of a rectangle with a thin cover that flipped off. It was also less fancy than its more modern counterparts.
Leah had never actually seen that version of the Pokedex before in real life. She herself was given a newer version when she was ten (though she traded it in for the newest Pokedex before she was given the brats).
“Why are you looking at?” Leah asked.
“If I want to be a Pokemon professor, I have to know about Pokemon,” he said, frowning as if the answer was obvious.
“I guess,” Leah said, not satisfied with his answer. “But it’s summer. Don’t you have better things to do?” And that didn’t even account for the fact that he’d find better information on the internet if he wanted to know about Pokemon.
He shook his head and said, “No.” After which, he went back to his Pokedex and abandoned the whole conversation.
Leah was in a talkative mood and she wasn't finished with him quite yet. “Why are you down here, then?”
“It’s cooler down here,” he explained with only a hint of annoyance. “And quieter than upstairs.”
“… Right,” she said dryly, honestly not noticing the temperature. She didn’t know why she was even talking to him. Didn’t seem much like a social type. But really, what else was there for her to do? She had gone on the internet and went to her usual sites, but oddly, they seemed pretty dull. They just weren’t as interesting as she remembered.
“Why do you want to be a professor?” Leah asked the older boy.
“I like Pokemon,” he said plainly. “And I want to work with them. That’s all.”
She pressed, “Nothing else you want to do? There’re things other than Pokemon.”
“Not for me.”
Damn, she was having a hard time trying to talk to William. He always drove the conversation to a dead end; he could at least ask her what she wanted to do or something. She just wanted him to entertain her. That wasn’t so hard, was it?
As if reading her thoughts, William pressed a button on his Pokedex and closed it with a snap of the lid clicking into place. He placed the device onto the desk next to him and crossed his legs.
“Why are you so interested?” he asked, eyes focused on Leah.
She shrugged and gave him a strange look. “It was just a comment. Besides, you’re the only one I can really talk to around here.”
“Oh?” he said. “Then what are you interested in?”
“Stuff; Reading, listening to music,” she said, not knowing what else to list. It wasn’t like she had any interesting hobbies.
“Don’t like Pokemon then?”
Leah shrugged again. “Not everyone likes Pokemon.”
“Then why are you a trainer?” he asked. Suddenly, Leah felt that she was being the one interrogated instead of the other way around.
“I’d rather be a trainer than go to a boarding school.” Though, her heart wasn’t in the comment. Going to a boarding school looked more and more like a better option as the days went by. She vaguely knew in some part of her mind that her grandmother would unlikely send her to a boarding school. It was more a threat to make her try training again; her grandmother had never liked the way she had neglected Sands and her always lazing around the house.
Now it was William’s turn to look at her funny. “Boarding schools aren’t that bad, or so say my friends. You’d have freedom, for one thing.”
“I’d live at a school,” she shot back. “I really don’t like that idea.”
“Suit yourself then.” William paused. “So, you really don’t like Pokemon?”
She snorted. “No. I don’t want anything to do with them.”
“You’ll have a hard time getting away from them, though,” he said. “Pokemon are everywhere these days. In nearly every industry, they’re there. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t own a Pokemon.”
“Not really,” Leah replied. “Pokemon training is dying down.”
“Training is a sport,” he said back. “It’ll come back up eventually. It has in the past.”
Leah blinked. “Really?” She certainly hadn’t heard about anything like that in history class.
He nodded. “Yes. Around fifty years ago, Pokemon training suddenly died. Ten years later, it came back very suddenly in 1964 after the Indigo League championship. It was that final battle that spurred up trainers again.”
1964. That date sounded suspiciously familiar to Leah and it took more than a few moments to remember its significance. “Wait, wasn’t that battle between…”
“Samuel Oak and Agatha Madeline,” he confirmed. “It was quite a battle.”
Yeah, okay. Leah was officially tired of that topic and no longer wanted to talk about it. She remembered that event now. Her grandmother had been there on that day and told her about it many times. Supposedly, it was a really good battle. Though, she doubted it.
“Really,” she said.
Awkward silence tried to descend, though William kicked it away before it settled.
“My parents never told me,” he started and unease came over Leah. “But how did Ed end up in the hospital?”
“Pokemon cornered him on Seafoam Island when we got separated,” Leah said, having already repeated the edited story to his parents.
“He didn’t get any other injuries?”
Leah shrugged. “No? Well, the hospital released him, so he’s fine.”
William sighed in relief. “That’s good; I was a bit worried he might’ve ended up like me.”
“I had an accident when I was thirteen,” William said with a suddenly bitter tone. “And I had to quit being a trainer.”
“Oh,” Leah replied, hating it when conversations turned depressing. “That sucks.”
William nodded and said nothing, making Leah scourer her mind for something to say. She started the conversation so she might as well get some information.
“… So your parents are going to keep Ed from being a trainer?” Leah asked in what she hoped was a casual voice, though William looked at her as if he saw right through it.
“Maybe,” he said finally, picking his Pokedex off the desk and caressing its surface. “They’re concerned for him, like they were for me. They weren’t happy when Ed became a trainer and they don’t want him to get hurt like I did.”
Whoa, the depressing topic was coming up again. She’d better reply fast. “Well, they are right to be worried.”
William looked at her and Leah continued.
“Pokemon trainers get hurt all the time and some even die, right? It’s always on the news; trainers getting mauled or killed by wild Pokemon.”
Silence returned, but this time, neither of them did anything to get rid of it. William slowly got up, Pokedex in hand and surveyed the room before meeting Leah’s eyes.
He concluded, “My parents haven’t really decided yet. Though,” he said, pausing. “If you’re worried, it’d help if you were there for Ed.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Leah asked, confused and defensive.
“Well,” William explained coolly. “Ed’s a kid and you’re his Mentor, right? It’s your job to stop the trainers you’re looking after from getting hurt.”
Leah frowned. What he said was true, but…
“Hey, me and Ally searched for a long time to find him and it’s not like he died or anything.”
“That’s true,” William conceded, pushing his glasses up with his free hand. “But you should have been able to stop him from getting in trouble in the first place.” He held up a hand to stop Leah from protesting. “Now, I don’t know the whole story yet, but I don’t like it when my siblings get hurt.”
Leah honestly had no clue what to say and watched as William left the room, limping, and leaving behind, “I’m going to go say ‘hi’ to Ed.”
So, Leah just sat there for a moment before she turned around on the chair and back to the monitor. She felt mix emotions on what Ed’s brother said, but she pushed them to the back of her mind and only regretted trying to talk the teen.
Upstairs, Ed and Ally were enjoying themselves.
“I’m going to catch another Pokemon,” Ed said out of the blue.
Ally blinked as their conversation was suddenly turned towards a new topic. She quickly caught up with his thought and said, “What type of Pokemon?”
Thinking, Ed let himself fall back onto his bed with his feet dangling off the end.
“Dunno, but it’s going to be awesome! Something big, like a Rhyhorn.” He grinned. “Wouldn’t it be so cool if I had a Rhydon? It’d beat any Pokemon in ten seconds flat!”
Ed’s enthusiasm was contagious. Ally smiled and pitched in. “Maybe you can get a Dratini!”
“A Dragonite!” Ed gasped, but then frowned. “But Dratini are never seen in the Safari Zone. Some people say they aren’t even there!”
“Then… What other Pokemon are in the Safari Zone?” Ally asked as her mind hit a dead end.
“Scyther, Pinsir,” a voice said from the doorway. “Nidorino.”
Instantly, Ed jumped off the bed and jumped at the figure. “William!”
William laughed and ruffled his brother’s hair. “Hey Eddy!”
Ally watched the scene politely, but also with curiosity.
“Ally,” Ed said after hugging his brother and motioned to William. “This is my brother!”
“H- Hello,” Ally greeted shyly.
William smiled. “Nice to meet you.”
Suddenly, Ed pouted and crossed his arms. “Why didn’t you greet me at the door?”
“I thought you wanted to spend time with your friends,” William replied quickly with embarrassment, not meeting Ed’s gaze.
Ed grinned again. “You’re my friend.” He paused and then burst out, “Does the Safari Zone really have Scyther? I didn’t know they did!”
“Not many people do,” William explained. “They’re rarely seen and are always very deep in the jungle. They’re like Dratini in a way.”
“Then I want to go to the Safari Zone!” Ed said in determination. “And I’ll catch a Scyther!”
“So soon?” the older boy questioned. “You did just get home after all. Maybe you should take a few days rest.”
Ed frowned. “I need another Pokemon so I can show Mum and Dad that I can go on a journey. That I’ll be safe.”
William sighed as his smile dimmed. “Don’t worry, Eddy, I doubt Mom and Dad would actually keep you from going on your journey.”
“They might though,” Ed countered. “I need a new Pokemon and I need to train Paras so that he’ll be even stronger than before!”
William nodded in thought. “Well, I’ll go talk Dad and see what he thinks. Maybe we can go in a couple of days.”
“Awesome!” Ed exclaimed. He once again took a seat on his bed and turned to Ally. “We get to go to the Safari Zone!”
Ally smiled. “Have you ever been there?”
Shaking his head, Ed said, “No, but William’s been there and he always says it’s a lot of fun.”
“Hmm, I’ll leave you guys alone now,” William said, giving a knowing glance at the couple, though he waited for Ed’s and Ally’s goodbyes before departing.
“Your brother’s nice,” Ally commented.
“Yeah,” Ed replied happily. “He’s the best… Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
Ally grew sad at that.
“No, I’m an only child.”
Feeling sorry for her, Ed said, “That sucks!”
“Ed,” Ally asked, placing her hands on her lap and revealing what had been prying at her mind for a while. “What about Leah?”
Ed blinked at her.
“What about her?”
“I don’t think she wants to do this anymore,” Ally said sadly. She, unlike Ed, was affected by Leah’s personality, feeling sad whenever Leah put her down (even though she was quick to apologize when she went too far). Though, Leah had redeemed herself in Ally’s eyes when she went after Ed anyway, even if she didn’t have to.
Ally had been watching that morning as Leah told Ed’s parents what had happened and she had noticed that Leah hadn’t told the whole truth. Lorelei was hardly mentioned and their mentor had made everything seem worse than it actually was. It was like she was trying to get Ed to stop being a trainer. True, Leah had never been secretive with her dislike of Pokemon training, but she had never actually gone out of her way to get out of it before.
“But-” Ed was almost lost for words. “She wouldn’t abandon us! She cares about us, right? She helped me on Seafoam Island!”
“I- I had to convince her,” Ally said slowly. “And-”
Ally tried to word it right. “Leah doesn’t want to do this, so she might try to go against us.”
“I don’t get it,” Ed said, frowning. “How would she go against us?”
“I- I don’t know.” That was the best answer Ally could give. She just had a feeling that Leah might try to go against them and make it hard for Ed.
Ed was thinking hard, nonchalantly swinging his legs back and forth. “… Leah doesn’t want to do this anymore because she doesn’t like Pokemon?”
“She likes Sands, doesn’t she?” Ally asked out loud. “She teases it, but… she doesn’t do anything bad to it.”
“Maybe she’s in denial,” Ed suggested. “Maybe…”
Ed looked directly at Ally with a grin as an idea came to him. “Then let’s get her to like it!”
“Pokemon! Pokemon training!” Ed was clearly excited, his eyes wide. “Then she’ll come with us willingly and then she won’t be all mean anymore!”
Ally liked the idea, but there was a problem.
That was the dead end to Ed’s excitement. He deflated and his eyes narrowed in thought, trying to think of a solution. Ed looked at his bedroom door as another idea swiftly revealed itself to him.
“We can ask William!” Ed said, grin once again on his face. “He’ll know what to do!”
Ally had hardly met Ed’s brother, but it was a good suggestion. Maybe there was a way to convince Leah to come with them.
A/N: Ugh, I hated this chapter. I think this chapter ties with chapter 7 as my most hated chapter of all time. Also, my dislike of dialogue has reminded me that it exists; stupid dialogue. And don’t get me started on William; he came out way different than I intended. Anyway, sorry for the boring chapter, but the next one should be more exciting if everything goes according to plan.
I find it slightly disturbing that you hate the chapters that I love. Actually, I don't remember if it happened back in chapter 7, but I certainly liked this chapter. *Looks back at my review for chapter 7* Nope, I didn’t love that chapter- thus destroying my hypothesis. Anywho, I really did like this chapter a lot. I’ll try to list reasons.
1. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!!!
That was basically all this chapter was. Leah, starting to be inquisitive, and Ed and Ally plotting on their own, more logically than usual.
Basically, he’s a good foil for Leah. He is one of the first (if not the first) people to throw her usual attitude right back. I like him.
Hmm, I think that is it. Here are my other comments:
Actually, it still sounds slightly awkward. I'm not sure how to fix it.
Great chapter (even if you didn’t think so) and keep up the great writing!
Thanks for reviewing, delongbi!
Heh, I’m glad you liked the chapter. The reason I didn’t like this particular chapter was because it was boring to me. I have a tendency to dislike chapters that hold a lot of dialogue and / or have little action. It was also pretty tough for me to write and I had to do an unusual amount of editing to make the chapter better.
I’ll go fix that awkward sentence now, and thanks again!
Chapter 17: Battles
The next morning was colder than the last. The pale gray clouds, always just on the edge of her vision, floated silently in the sky. But for once, they weren’t what she thinking about. She had a few more problems on her hands. Specifically one huge one:
Why was she here again?
Here she was, sitting on the dry grass with the tree once again over her head. The tree’s leaves rustled in motion with the wind, making her look up and scowl at the noise. There weren’t many people at the park that morning. They, the smart ones, didn’t want to risk rain getting in the way of their day, so they didn’t bother to come. She, on the other hand, wasn’t acting as smart.
Seriously, was she that bored that she had given thought to the Ekans Kid’s demand that she appear for a rematch? Apparently, she had because here she was; waiting.
“Sands,” Leah said suddenly. “I think there’s something wrong with me.”
Sands, sitting beside her and having learned his lesson not to sit close to the edge of a hill when around his trainer, just blinked his big dark blue eyes.
“I’m not kidding,” Leah assured him and motioned to the clouds. “I can’t believe I’m sitting outside in this weather.”
Sands apparently could, because he just made a vague whine of his name and nuzzled his Fire Stone. Leah stared at him in annoyance and wondered if Pokemon could get addicted to Elemental Stones. It sure wouldn’t surprise her.
Well, Leah told herself, she supposed (supposed) that maybe she was better off staying outside. Before she had left Ed’s house, she couldn’t but notice that Ed and Ally kept staring at her during breakfast. It was just a bit creepy and she immediately started wondering what they were plotting.
Probably nothing good.
“Where is that idiot?” Leah mused to herself as she looked around from her hill. She, against her entire character, had showed up and the idiot who demanded her presence hadn’t yet? She wasn’t that patient and was already fidgeting by the end of ten minutes of waiting.
Screw it. Five more minutes was all that Leah was going to give him. If he didn’t show up, she was out of there.
So, around fifteen minutes later, Leah was questioning her decision to stay seated. She had already come up with all sorts of excuses. She hadn’t left yet because she was lazy and didn’t want to get up; because she didn’t want to disturb Sands, who was propped up against her lap, sleeping (which, she admitted, was her weakest excuse); because she was bored and honestly had nothing better to do.
But in all honestly, she had stayed sitting because… she wanted to (with hints of excuses ‘a’ and ‘c’). Yeah, pretty lame reason.
Though, seriously, where was that idiotic bastard?
“Sands,” Leah barked and her Sandshrew snapped awake, looking around for any signs of attack. “When he shows up, whack him with your claws.”
Luckily for the Ekans Kid, he chose that moment to show up.
It was like he appeared out of thin air; one moment there was nothing and the next he was climbing up the hill with an embarrassed grin on his face. He dodged Leah’s glare and sat on the other side of her, though doing it carefully so not to disturb his Ekans, who was curled around his neck.
“Sorry I’m late,” he apologized in response for another evil look from Leah.
“Yeah?” she said coldly. “What’s your excuse?”
He thought about it for a moment and nodded when he came to a decision.
Leah felt like slapping him.
“Lucifer is all patched up,” The Ekans Kid said happily, ignoring her expression. “So this time, we can’t lose.”
“So you say,” she replied, thoughts of vengeance taking form within her mind. First, she’d use Poison Sting…
The Ekans Kid got up after hardly sitting down for a minute. He grinned as he untangled Lucifer from his neck.
“Wanna start now?”
Leah followed his example, pushing Sands off her lap, getting up and then nudging her Sandshrew up with her shoe.
She smirked. “Sure.”
And the battle was on.
It was hardly five minutes later when the battle finished and once again, Sands stood victorious over its fallen foe.
The Ekans Kid scowled while Leah did mental victory dances in her head and smiled widely.
“Good job, Sands!” she said and, for one of the few times, actually meant it. She knelt down in front of her Sandshrew and, trying to be a nice person for once, flicked the dirt from his hide and cleaned him up the best she could (or before she realized what she was doing and stopped).
Lucifer was returned to its Pokeball without comment and the Ekans Kid just sighed and ran a hand through his thick black hair. “Damn it.”
Leah was tempted to yell: “Haha! Loser!” to his face, but stopped herself.
“Say,” the Ekans Kid started casually after a moment of thought. “What other Pokemon do you have?”
The Ekans Kid was obviously surprised as he stood there for a few moments before saying, “Seriously?”
“Whoa.” Disbelief was in his voice. “I thought Mentors had to have over six badges to volunteer. There’s no way you could beat six gyms with only a Sandshrew.”
Not having any clue on the guidelines to being a Mentor, Leah only shrugged. “I’m a special case.”
“Did you really want to be a Mentor that badly?”
Leah spluttered, “What? No! It wasn’t my decision.”
“… Didn’t think so,” The Ekans Kid said, shrugging. “You don’t seem like the type.”
“Hold on,” Leah said, eyes narrowing as a thought came to her as well as the memory of yesterday’s conversation. “Why did you become a Mentor? Didn’t you ditch your brats?”
The Ekans Kid stood there blankly for a few seconds at the sudden question. “Well,” he said, dragging out the answer. “There’s a lot of reasons.”
“Really?” she asked, manipulating the conversation away from her. “What are they?”
He shrugged again before saying, “I hoped it might give me some inspiration.”
That answer threw her. “Huh?”
“I’ve been training Pokemon for six years now,” the Ekans Kid explained. “I’m just getting a bit… bored, you know?”
Actually, no she didn’t, but she stayed quiet as he went on.
“I was hoping that guiding new trainers might get me motivated again, but that sure didn’t work.” He seemed rather bitter about it.
Leah took a seat at the base of the tree and leaned back, Sands lying down at her feet. She was rather comfortable at just commenting vaguely on his troubles.
“The kids not motivating?”
Seeing that Leah had sat down, the Ekans Kid followed her example and continued, “Yeah! They were just so boring and whiny. Even their Pokemon weren’t interesting, just a Spearow, Geodude and Oddish. I couldn’t get away from them fast enough.”
“So now you’re out looking for a purpose in training?” Leah asked, trying not to roll her eyes at the cliché she just uttered.
“Y- No.” the Ekans Kid took back his answer quickly. “Not like that; that’s not what I mean.”
“Whatever,” Leah said, no longer interested in his motivations.
The boy though was quite insistent on her not misunderstanding what he was doing. “Besides, that was weeks ago. I’ve found something to do now.”
“Yeah!” he said, seemingly insulted that Leah didn’t believe him. “It’s a tournament. One that’s nothing like I’ve seen before.”
Leah sighed. “I honestly don’t care about tournaments.” Though, she listened to him anyway when he disregarded her comment.
“It’s going to take place two years from now and already things are getting set up,” he said excitedly, happy to share. “Only the best trainers will compete and they’ll come from all over.”
“I’m so going to enter it and I’m already training non-stop.”
“So your Ekans is going to be in it?” Leah asked dully, trying to squeeze the last bits of entertainment out of him. “That’s the only Pokemon I’ve seen of yours.”
The Ekans Kid smiled. “Probably, if I can train him up enough. Though-” his voice took on an arrogant tone. “I do have other Pokemon.”
“… Right,” Leah said, not caring.
“You know, that gives me an idea,” the Ekans Kid said, his smile morphing into a smirk. “Let’s have another battle, right here, right now.”
“I just beat your Ekans for the second time.”
“Not Lucifer.” He waved his Pokemon off. “Why don’t you try one of my others?”
Leah smelled a trap. “No.”
“Aw, come on,” he teased. “I’ll go easy on you.”
But the Ekans Kid was stubborn. “My Pokemon aren’t that tough.”
Unfortunately, Leah was just as stubborn. “What else do you have? Kadabra? Gyarados?”
“Right now?” he shrugged. “Just a Rhydon.”
Yeah, that was about it. Her confrontation with the Ekans Kid was cut off rather quickly once he started getting whiny. Sure, her winning the battle again gave her an ego boost, but next time (no, there wasn’t going to be a next time) she wasn’t going to stick around for the after talk.
Taking a bus back to Ed’s house, Leah noticed something was off the moment she stepped onto the porch. When she left that morning, she could hear the laugher all the way to the driveway, but now it was eerily quiet.
Maybe they had gone out somewhere? Leah considered, letting herself inside, but she discarded that thought as soon as she heard the talking coming from the kitchen. She took off her shoes and went up the steps, pausing outside the doorway. In the kitchen, Mr. and Ms. Williams weren’t present and neither was the daughter. Only the brats and William sat at the table, one playing with his Pokedex and the other two staring… at her.
Seriously, what was up with them?
Leah cautiously made her way to the sink after getting a glass, aware of the two sets of eyes staring into her back.
“Why are you two staring?” Leah asked after drinking some water. She winced at the thump the glass made on the counter when she put it down too hard.
Ed grinned and playfully said, “Nothing…”
Ally also grinned, which looked disturbing when put beside the memory of the small, gentle smile she usually supported.
Leah mentally sighed. Oh great, the brats had an evil scheme in mind.
“Hey Leah,” Ed said, his chair creaking as his legs swung. “Do you wanna play a game?”
Leah didn’t even consider it. “No.”
“Aw,” the younger boy’s voice took on a pleading tone. “Please.”
Ally joined in. “Please.” Then she added, “You’ll have fun, we promise!”
Highly doubting it, Leah was just going to ignore them when William spoke up.
“You know, you’d have a lot of fun. You should play.”
Ed grinned at his brother and then back at Leah. “Yeah, Leah! It’ll be fun. Play with us.”
Okay, if a general ‘no’ wouldn’t cut it, logic would. “I’m worn out,” Leah said casually, hoping she looked tried enough. “I’ve been doing stuff all morning. I’d rather just go relax in front of a computer.”
William shook his head and with an apologetic face, he said, “Sorry, but the internet went down not long after you left and unless you can work one of the programs or play with one of my games, I doubt it’d be very fun.”
“What a coincidence,” Leah deadpanned, suspicious of William’s honest face and vaguely wondering if he was telling the truth, but then shook her head of the notion. Nah, why would he do that for if she could easily check?
“Leah,” Ally said, annoying confident now that she had two people backing her up. “Please play with us?”
“Leah,” Ed mimicked. “Play with us!”
Leah slowly let out a breath and tried to stop her frustration from rising any further. She refused to consider…
“Okay, fine,” Leah snarled. “What’s the game?”
Ed and Ally cheered while William hid a small smirk behind a cough
Suddenly, Ed jumped off his chair and went to the door next to Ally, opening it and letting the outside air penetrate the kitchen. Ally also stood, while William took his time, closing his Pokedex and stretching before getting up.
Apparently, the game took place outside, so Leah followed the three onto the deck, frowning all the way. Then they walked down the stairs (or in Ed and Ally’s case, ran) and stepped onto the soft grass below. The backyard wasn’t as good looking as the front, though it was twice as big. There were no pretty gardens, the grass could use a good trim and there were clumps of upturned grass next to holes all over the yard. A tall brown fence wrapped around the area, though in one place at the back of the yard, the fence had a long crack running through it.
“So,” Leah started, her trip outside having done no favors for her mood. “What’s this game?”
“Battling!” Ed said, smiling as he took out his Pokeball.
Leah felt no strings of excitement strung though her.
William instructed her. “Send out your Pokemon and I’ll explain what you’ll be doing.”
She didn’t want to, but she did so anyways, letting Sands out onto the ground in front of her.
Ally also let out her Pokemon in a beam of light. Though, it wasn’t Amber that stood before her, but Sparks, her hardly seen Voltorb. His always angry expression didn’t morph into a smile when seeing his trainer, but he didn’t make any moves to attack her either.
Leah frowned at Ally, wondering why she didn’t send out Amber, but William started talking again, so she turned her curious disapproval upon him instead.
“Before we start the game I have planned,” he started off. “I want you guys to warm up. So, if you wouldn’t mind, could you three fight each other?”
Leah snorted and crossed her arms. “Like what? A three-way battle?”
William nodded and didn’t seem to consider that they (she) would say no because he started walking back to the stairs, saying, “Yes, that’s what I want you to do.” When he was back on the deck, looking down upon them, Leah had to tilt her head back to see him. He continued and repeated. “So, if you wouldn’t mind…?”
“You can do it, Eddy!” Carla cheered down to him and Leah blinked because she was sure the kid hadn’t been sitting beside William a second ago. Carla had her legs between the bars of the railing and she was trying to do the same with her head, but failing that, she just looked through the bars.
Ed grinned up at her sister and then turned to Paras. “You ready, Paras?”
Paras gave its trainer a bored stare that claimed apathy on whether it won or lost. Though, it did seem rather satisfied at just being taller than the grass.
“Sparks,” Ally said nervously. The girl’s confidence at the idea had drained away once her Voltorb was actually in front of her. “C- Can you please listen?”
The Voltorb gave no comment, preferring the glare.
Leah, who didn’t even bother trying to talk to her Sandshrew, oddly was confident for once. Battling was never her strong point, but Sands had already beaten some experienced trainer’s Ekans twice already, so she had a shot of victory. Not only that, but she also had the type advantage (sort of). As long as Sands stayed away from that stupid Paras long enough for Ally’s Voltorb to knock it out, she was sure to win.
So, the three trainers and their Pokemon stood opposite of each other in a triangle. They were just standing there, waiting for someone to take the first move.
“Paras!” Ed suddenly shouted and Leah winced at the noise. He didn’t have to shout, Paras was right there in front of him. “Use Stun Spore on Voltorb and Sands!”
Paras got to work and didn’t move a muscle. Leah wondered how the Stun Spore was going to reach its opponents, who were all the way on the other side of the yard.
“Stay here, Sands,” Leah said quietly and the Sandshrew was quite happy to obey orders, having gotten on the wrong end of that attack before.
Sparks, however, had no such worries. Before Ally even opened her mouth, the Voltorb had spun forwards. The grass hindered his movement somewhat, but not enough to slow him down.
Ed, remembering the last time that the Voltorb had run full force into Paras, didn’t have many options and was frozen like a deer in headlights as Sparks barreled towards them. He snapped out of it, though, and tried to come up with an idea. It was only when Sparks was a few seconds from impact did Ed kneel down, pick up his Paras and run for his life.
Leah and Ally could only blink at the sight and up on the deck, William only sighed and wondered if he should yell at his brother. Picking up a Paras while it was making Stun Spore was never a good idea; there was a good chance that it would unleash its attack on its holder instead. Though, he would give him points for creativity.
Sparks spun over the place where Ed and Paras had stood and then abruptly stopped for some reason. The Voltorb turned around to see Ed over to where Ally was, putting his Paras back onto the ground and wiping a bit of Stun Spore off his shirt. Ed was seemingly hoping that if he hid behind Ally, the Voltorb wouldn’t try rolling them over again in case of hurting his trainer.
But of course, the Voltorb didn’t care. Since his movement was hindered by the grass, he concentrated and took aim instead. A moment ticked by and in the next, a high pitch wail sounded as the grass in front of Sparks visibly flattened and a force was shot straight at the two trainers and the Pokemon. Ed picked up Paras again and got out of the way and so did Ally, but a little slower. The force flattened the grass, showing its straight trail, as it zoomed by its targets and hit the fence behind them, hitting it was a loud crack.
Leah, not one to interfere, was having second thoughts. Was this supposed to be fun?
Since it looked like Ed and Ally was going to flee in her direction, Leah took charge, commanding Sands into action. “Poison Sting.”
The small needles that left Sands’ mouth were perfectly aimed and would have hit Sparks, if the Voltorb was still in the same place. Being annoyingly speedy, Sparks rolled out of the way and directed his angry gaze towards Leah and her Sandshrew instead.
Leah cursed under her breath. Luckily, Sands was a ground type and could stand any electric attacks that were thrown at him. Unluckily, Leah was just a human and would probably get a good zapping or scorching if hit.
“Get ‘em, Sands!” Leah ordered, backing up a great deal as Sands burst into action, running over to the Voltorb pronto. The Sandshrew had beaten the Voltorb once and he could do it again!
Well, maybe if Sparks hadn’t learned Sonicboom. With another intense look, the Voltorb looked at his incoming attacker and concentrated…
Sands may have not noticed, but Leah had. “Defense Curl!” she shouted. “Stop!”
The Sandshrew got the order in mid-leap and finally spotted Sparks’ attack. Sands turned his body so that his back was facing the attack and quickly curled as best as he could in those few seconds. The Sonicboom scored a direct hit, throwing Sands into the air and the Sandshrew landed a few feet away.
“Paras!” Ed suddenly yelled, running up to Sparks in the confusion and placing Paras by the volatile Pokemon. “Stun Spore!”
Sands winced as Leah sprayed the potion’s contents on his back. The Sonicboom made a nasty bruise on the Sandshrew’s skin, but seemingly not bad enough to take him to the Pokemon Center, or so William said when he handed Leah the potion.
“That was not fun,” Leah was saying to William as she patched up Sands.
“I didn’t think it’d go out of hand like that,” William said, watching Ed show Ally how to use the Parlyz Heal. Sparks didn’t want to be treated if his angry face said anything, but since he couldn’t move, the only thing he could do was sit and silently rage. Paras wasn’t making things any easier for the Voltorb as the bug type oozed smugness at being the only Pokemon that got out of the battle unscathed.
William suddenly called out, “Carla, don’t touch the Voltorb.”
“Aw,” Carla whined, but did as her brother instructed and took her hand away from Sparks.
Leah, somewhat like Sparks, was currently trying to prevent her feelings of frustration to overflow. The battle had hardly lasted five minutes and she already wanted to go back inside. Was it too much to ask to go on the computer? Apparently so, and she couldn’t help but wonder if the internet would be mysteriously online if she went inside.
“William!” Ed called out as he stood up with a grin on his face. Unlike her, the brat enjoyed the battle, especially since he had technically won. “Can we play the game now?”
Sparks had been cured of his non-movement since Ally was on the ground in front of him, trying to calm him down. Not that it looked like it was working.
William nodded as he reached into his pocket and pulled out an old Pokeball. He enlarged it and let it hit the grass, releasing a Pokemon.
The Pokemon was instantly recognizable. Light blue scaled skin covered most of its small body. A brown shell with white edges was on his back and the underside of the shell, on the Pokemon’s front, was a pale yellow. It had little arms and legs with a long, squirrel-like tail coming from under its shell.
Its large maroon eyes didn’t look around as it was familiar was the area, but they did pause over Leah and Ally. It opened its mouth in wonder, showing a hint of sharp teeth.
“A Squirtle?” Leah asked with a bit of surprise. Squirtle were pretty rare, after all.
“Yes,” William said proudly, kneeling down to pat his Pokemon’s bald head. “She’s going to be taking part in our game.”
Ed was excited, practically jumping up and down. “What do we have to do?”
William smiled, but it didn’t look friendly. “Beat my Squirtle.”
“That’s it?” Leah said, rolling her eyes. True, she didn’t have the type advantage, but come on! It was a Squirtle! Sure, if it was a Wartortle she might worry, but really, how hard could a Squirtle be?
Seeing her brother’s nod, Carla raced up the stairs and back onto the deck where she took her seat, happily waiting for battle to begin.
Leah discarded the empty potion bottle and decided her Sandshrew could use a few words of encouragement.
“Sands,” she said, waiting for him to look up at her before continuing. “If you mess up more than usual, consider the Fire Stone drowned.”
The Sandshrew pawed the grass for a moment with a blank look, like he was trying to consider a world without his beloved Fire Stone.
Once again, positions were taken, but this time, William was against the fence while the other three trainers had their backs towards the house.
William gave no indication that the battle had started, except for, “Squirtle, Bubble.”
Before Leah could even command a Poison Sting, the Squirtle had already inhaled and unleashed its attack. And what an attack! The pink storm of bubbles instantly filled the yard, a lot of them gently tumbling over the fence. They were like a monster, easily rising above Leah’s head and up on the deck, Carla giggled and tried to touch them with her feet.
Putting her hands over her mouth since she didn’t want to taste bubbles, Leah tried to look around, but couldn’t see anything other than the pink bubbles. They were everywhere she looked and, while hoping that they wouldn’t get in her eyes, she also shuddered in dislike at the sound they made when they popped, which they did every time she moved an inch.
“Sands?” Leah called out, her voice muffled against her hand. Hearing the sound of the bubbles popping to the side of her, Leah held out her leg and only put it down again when it bumped into Sands.
Leah took a hand away from her mouth and made a sweeping motion, both popping and pushing back the bubbles. She did that many times until she unveiled Sands, who kept shaking his body and sneezing.
“You alright, Sands?” Leah asked, looking around the bubbles, trying to see anything at all.
It was common knowledge that ground types were weak to water. Though, the better term would be that they disliked water. Ground types were suited for desert environments and were used to not drinking water for long periods of time. Too much of it and they couldn’t help but get panicky.
“S- Sparks!” a voice called out from someone on Leah’s left. “Sonicboom! Please!”
Apparently, the Voltorb decided to obey as a series of pops were sounded and then a crack as the attack hit the fence.
“Yeah!” another voice said and there were no guesses on who he was. “Let’s pop the bubbles! Come on, Paras!”
The air was filled with nothing but popping bubbles and since Sands was too spooked to help, Leah just crossed her arms, closed her eyes and waited for the bubbles to clear.
After a few minutes, the bubbles seemed to be pooping away on their own because when Leah opened her eyes next, she could actually see! Ally was standing behind her Voltorb and Ed and Paras were quite far ahead, only a few meters from William as they had snuck up during the Bubble attack.
Leah supposed that William could see pretty well too as he once again attacked.
“Squirtle, Water Gun. Blow the closet away.”
“Squirt!” Squirtle cried, inhaling again, but instead of a stream of bubbles, out came water. It was hard and fast and hit Paras full on, pushing the bug-type back nearly ten feet and then letting it lay there by Ally. While Ally went to help the poor Paras, who definitely wasn’t very happy at getting wet, Ed was also blasted with water.
“Will!” Ed gasped out after Squirtle stopped hosing him down. The brat’s orange hair flopped in his face and he pushed it and the water out of his eyes. He was absolutely soaked, his clothing hanging off of him like they were two sizes too big and he was looking at his brother in betrayal.
“Sorry, bro,” William said, smirking with a shrug. “No hard feelings?”
Since Paras was no longer with him, Ed had no choice but to stomp back towards Ally, his clothes slapping him every time he moved. William, having seemingly left his protective older brother persona inside the house, let Squirtle let loose another blast of water at Ed’s unprotected back to send him sprawling on the now wet grass.
Leah couldn’t help but chuckle.
Then William’s eyes past over Ally and met hers. His smirk got wider as his eyes narrowed on his next target.
Oh crap! Leah thought.
“Poison Sting!” Leah told Sands hurryingly and the Sandshrew complied.
Unfortunately, it did no good as Squirtle was able to get inside her shell with no problems and the purple needles only bounced off her protective skin.
William silently mocked her from the other side of the yard and Leah had no doubt in mind that she was going to get hosed.
“Hey Sands?” Leah said casually as an idea came to mind. She unzipped her jacket and took it off, revealing the white shirt underneath. “I’m going to be nice. Here, have a towel.”
Sands only had time to look up before the jacket was dropped on his head.
Leah grinned as she crossed her arms and stood tall. Okay then, let him try to hose her down now.
William’s smug smirk faltered and he visibly hesitated. His brows drew together, wondering whether he should hose her down or not. A dejected expression came on William’s face when he decided that he would have to switch targets. Damn, he thought, why couldn’t she be wearing a red shirt or something? At least that color didn’t go see-through when wet.
“Water Gun,” William told his Squirtle. “”Go after the Voltorb and its trainer.”
Squirtle nodded as she stared directly at Sparks, her cheeks bulging as she squirted out another jet of water.
Ally gasped as Sparks was hit and the cold water bounced off his smooth surface, spraying the girl’s legs. Ed clumsily got out of the way of the spray, not wanting to get wetter than he already was.
Sparks growled and was slowly rolled back, only the grass and his determination keeping him from being pushed into the house. He couldn’t see or fight back and wasn’t strong enough to go against the water’s pressure. Without any mean to defend itself, there was only one other thing it could do.
The Voltorb’s attack happened in seconds and Leah almost thought she imagined it.
Small sparks of electricity circulated around Sparks’ body and in a flash, traveled up the water jet and electrocuted Squirtle right in the mouth. The mouth snapped shut and the water-type raised its shorts arms to its sizzling mouth, eyes narrowed in pain.
Ally screamed as the sparks also hit her. The electricity followed every drop of water to stop the attacker and unfortunately for her, she just happened to be in the way. The girl dropped to the ground once Sparks stopped his attack, and held her legs, crying.
Whatever fun feeling the battle was able to produce stopped instantly and William ran over, nearly slipping on the puddles of water. He knelt down by Ally, next to Ed, who was closer and had gotten there first. Leah also walked up, but kept her distance, just watching curiously from the back.
“Are you okay?” Ed asked quickly, touching Ally’s shoulder, but Ally just shook him off.
Ally bit her lip and in between tears, said. “It hurts.”
William in the meantime, grabbed Ally’s Pokeball and got Sparks out of the way.
“We should get you to a doctor,” William said, a bit of guilt in his voice since he ordered the attack. He returned Squirtle to her Pokeball also and then got out his cell phone.
Afterwards, William got quite a talk from his parents since he (apparently) should have been able to keep any accidents from happening. Leah thought that was just a bit unfair since it was Ally’s Pokemon that shocked her, but said nothing in William’s defense since Ed was doing enough of that.
Ally’s injury wasn’t serious, luckily enough, though she refused to let out her Voltorb again.
“I- I just don’t w- want to,” Ally said when asked why, looking uncomfortable.
Leah didn’t really care why, but was a little concerned that Ally seemed to have reverted back to the state she was in before the Pokemon journey had really started. Her stuttering had come back full force, she kept to herself despite Ed’s efforts, and she tried to pretend that Sparks didn’t exist.
It was annoying and it was starting to affect everyone else in the house. Well, not Ed’s parents or Carla since they seemed oblivious to those things, but for everyone else…
Leah watched Ed walk around, lost in his own little world. He was clearly thinking and kept bringing up his arms in front of him only to let them fall back to his side. His eyes were narrowed and would sometimes glance at Ally like he trying to think of a way to fit her into an evil scheme. Or something like that, Leah didn’t really know or care.
The only thing she did care about was that Ed looked like he was going nuts from being inside all the time (he didn’t want to go outside without Ally).
It also looked like Ed would do something drastic if he didn’t get what he wanted.
And what he wanted was to go to the Safari Zone.
A/N: Long chapter is long.
Anyway, the reason I didn’t show Leah and the Ekans Boy’s battle was because there were already two battles in this chapter and this chapter is already long enough.
And here I am, reviewing again, because I simply can't unhook from this story. Nevermind that I still have my thesis to be done. Seriously, people, sometimes I worry that I can't seem to be worried by such "more important" "real life" stuff.
Anyways, off my rant and now, with my trusty anchorconsciusness Reviewer!Solovino...
The interlude (Ch.14) was a pretty interesting thing to read. Not many times one sees the Elite Four assembled together. Bonus points for referencing Lance's "cape fetish" BTW.
Now, I'm not that good at grammar but I think I may have fond some things...
I'd rather put "then" closer to the end sentence, that way I at least feel it reads more commanding and assertive.
And a little detail at the beginning of Ch.17:
You know, maybe I can try to go a bit deeper on the writing and actually do some recent grammar review, that would be quite good of a change.
For now, I'll return to my usual "why I like it" kind of review.
I may have commented before that I like the perspective flip in this story. (*checks*) Yes, I did. The last chapters have taken quite a good turn of events and you haven't much of skipped a beat when it comes down to portray how the situations around her cause Leah to project ver view on Pokémon Training to the point that Aly and Ed found out quite easily about her "probably she wants to dump us" thing in my opinion. Add to that the effect that her previous experiences seems to have in her ways to describe stuff (another thing I brought up before) and you have a protagonist who is actually set to "suffer" the story without it becoming a sort of wangst.
Then you use the kid's perspective to suggest or try to imprint a mood switch on Leah which she both admitedly finds luring and actively fights against (as when in the scene where she kicks Sands...). Having her trying to turn back the questioning from William and after that set her mind made about the rematch was very interesting given how this conflicts with her entire projected vision of goals (both droping the kids and forgetting the whole Pokémon issue). So a good job here. I want to remark how we got from this:
That treat in her character made the second battle against the Ekans Kid quite enjoyable and revealing despite the fact that it took place off-screen. You were right: there would've been too much battle in the latest chapter (much for your current pace) and leaving the battle implied helps open the dimensionality of the characters without having to write long scenes with them.
Of course, one of the particular things this work has is how things get more twisted as they advance, taking a kind of "obviously doomed shortcut" instead of the "obviously clear and sunshine path" in every step where it would look like Leah was to take profit of the short path instead. Particularly the fact that she accepted the first battle with Ekans Boy to begin with, and more surprisingly displayed when she intervened in the fight between Blue and Lorelaei...
I very much like the latest chapters with Leah being dragged in to an emotional roulette in her plans to defect from the mentorship thing and drop the kids (what with the whole Ally prompting Ed to keep going on also). It's like if somewhere-who-is-not-us is actually having great pleasure in actually having everything she wants to happen pushed towards before us but countered and undone the very moment she takes action ot tries to take advantage.
I'm not going to ask...
A nice mind trip with the triple battle and the four-way battle, which I noticed the choice of both Pokémon and attacks, albeit limited by plot, projects very well the emotional perceptions the characters seem to have right now about their journey. Ed is both physically and emotionally resolved to get his hands dirty, which when put down to him picking Paras and taking him to the targets makes me wonder if he will try and actually come up with a turnaround solution to his current crisis... or maybe he already had, given the battle with William, and the whole thing is simply about to be undone against Leah. Ally calling in her Voltorb was a very nice touch by emotionally bridging her coming up with the idea (and appaently with the realization that Leah wants to drop them) with the simple fact that right now it is something that is quite FAR beyond her to control, and suggesting that the further advancements may actually "shock" her if the parents hold the position of forcing Ed to drop his journey (or worse if Leah does).
Cut to Leah protecting Sands and then cleverly and fanservicengly putting herself on the way of damage in a way that makes William actually unable to attack her... or, knowing her, maybe she actually wanted to mentally screw William (Oh wait, that didn't sound the way I wanted to) and helping Sands was just an unwanted bonus. Anyways thanks for the extra fun for the adults.. :D
And yes I undertsood the Star Trek reference. Or was that unintentional...? If it wasnt', very well thought.
Or maybe I'm reading too far with the whole battle... But you made me into it and I just can't sotp, which means the work is good enough to give my mind constant tickles.
I'm also very fond of the fact that you don't miss a chance when it comes up to putting not-very-obscure references to the Pokémon games (Kanto generations in general). Three or four more chapters of this and I thing we'll be able to play drink games with it (drinking Soda Pop's, of course...).
This one ringed my bell:
Kudos for the reference to the battle between Oak and Agatha here:
Oh and... Thanks for giving Agatha a family name. Would you authorize me to burrow it for my fanfic? I'll credit you, of course. I like to take elements that other fans come up with and reflect them in my writing as a means to show appreciation and interest in their works.
Now, one of my bestest absolutest and extremeest favourite things in this fic is... in case you haven't figured it out before...
O'Kay, I'll stop dodging the bullets and blurting almost-nonsense and admit straight ahead: I'm a fan of Sands♥FireStone. The #1 fan I hope... Heck, now I'm taking the chance and unofficially issuing a Call for Shipping Name. I know it's pretty one-sided of a Shipping and a pretty rushed and bold move coming from me, but still... I just can't help it. I actually think it is pretty romantic in its own, fully utilitarian (for now) sense. And the fact that Leah fiddles with this for her own profit yet having second thoughts by the time gives it an extra dimension...
I hope you appreciate my current level of craziness over the cute little creature-and-rock stuff.
Whatever... look, I should be going. I'll be waiting to read more chapters, maybe come up with something better as review. If I am truly lucky, do a useful grammar review to begin with. Or maybe more suggestions on pace...? -- I would also be glad if you can review my current pet work, "Sixth", or at least comment on the style, or something.
Good luck and continue the very good work.
A note: I don't think i said this before, but I am very happy that someone actually remembered Lance's thing for capes other than me. Have a cookie! [hands cookie]
Well, anyway, I'll get on to the pointing out errors thing. There wasn't much here, but I'll five you the ones I noticed.
Ohhh boy, the Safari Zone. Good luck keeping Ed in one place (Ally would still be in her pre-Awesome Journey of Lifechanging state, probably) for more than two minutes when there are so many Nidorina to ride on...