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Old January 23rd, 2010 (12:48 PM). Edited January 24th, 2010 by Grovyle42(Griff8416).
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Grovyle42(Griff8416) Grovyle42(Griff8416) is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Author's Notes: Sorry it took so long. I've had a lot of stuff to do and I got bogged down. I'll update more quickly.



“<Treeeecko… Treeeeeeeeecko… Treeeecko…>”

Corphish stood on the picnic blanket beside Treecko, who sat leaning against his tails. Corphish continued prodding the back of his green head with his claw, hoping to get the reptile’s attention. Treecko opened his eyes and glanced over to Corphish in irritation.

“<Howdy, pardner,>” Corphish said with an innocent smile.

The wood gecko looked back forwards and closed his eyes.

“<Come on, Treeck! I just wanna hang out!>”

“<Too bad,>” he replied, his eyes remaining shut.

Corphish frowned and began ‘stomping’ away from the twig-chewing gecko. “<You used to be cool, man!>” After pausing to think for a moment, Corphish corrected himself. “<Nah, that‘s wrong. You’re always cool, but you’re still being a jerk!>” The water type walked over to Piplup and sat down.

The penguin looked at Corphish and grinned. “<You reek of desperation, you know that?>”

The crustacean shook his head. “<That’s nothin’; you should see me around girls! You don’t know desperate until one of your pick-up lines is ‘Hi, you seem capable of mating and I don’t want to die alone, so could we be a more perfect match?!’>”

Piplup chuckled.

“<You don’t understand the joke, do you?>”

“<…Of course I do!>”

Corphish grinned. “<Maybe when you’re a Prinplup, there, kiddo.>”

“<I’m barely younger than you!>”

Corphish rolled his eyes and began eating bread crumbs on the blanket from the food earlier.

“<Hungry?>” Piplus asked, watching the Corphish with amusement.


Blane quickly stood up and pointed. “Hey! I see them!” referring to the search party who went searching for Strix after he went missing.

Sure enough, the group of three humans walked under Daedalus and Avis, who flew above them. The other pokemon were inside their pokeballs due to the injuries they sustained earlier. Kevin held Ace and Jeff was still complaining about being drenched.

“Oh, stop whining, Jeff, or else I’ll make Ace soak you again,” Kevin good-heartedly threatened.

“Do that and I’ll get Atlas to give you an Onix-sized hug,” Jeff retorted.

“Do that and I’ll get Blitz to practice his sword-dance right beside you,” Kevin countered.

Jeff swallowed. “…You win.”

“Was there ever any doubt?” Kevin said with a grin.

“Oh, brother,” said Rachel, sighing.

He sneered at Kevin, not giving up yet. “Well maybe I’ll give Corphish a gun. You know how much he likes the Die Hard movies.”

The blonde haired boy froze with fear. “N-Not cool…”

Jeff smiled victoriously as they reached the picnic blanket where the others were. Corphish looked up with excitement at the returning group.

“<Did Strix find that flower?>” he asked.

The dark-haired teen stared down at Corphish for a good few seconds. “…You knew about this?!”

“<Yup! I’m a good secret-keeper,>” said the water pokemon with a joyful smile.

Jeff let out an exasperated sigh. “Of course. This whole thing could have been avoided.”

“<And I would have told you, too, if you acted like a Growlithe for the rest of the day!>” Corphish added.

“Gee, thanks. I knew I could count on you, Corppy,” Jeff murmured.

“<Uh oh! My sarcasm detector is going off the scale!>”

Corphish, Piplup and Treecko all stood up. “Are we going now?” Blane asked.

Kevin nodded and twirled a pokeball around on his index finger. “Yeah, we should. Everyone should return most of their pokemon to their pokeballs.”

“Why?” asked Jeff.

“Well it’s not very considerate if we make Atlas and Prometheus carry our whole teams on their backs.”

Jeff rolled his eyes and Daedalus glared at Kevin. “<They’re not automobiles!>”

Kevin ignored him and looked to Jeff and Blane. “You two go on Atlas.” Jeff was about to protest, but Kevin cut him off when he turned his attention to Rachel. “And, Rache? You get to ride my Onix,” he said with a wide grin.

Rachel blinked. “…What?”

“I said you get to come with me on Prometheus’ back.” His smirk grew even wider.

She blinked again. “…Excuse me?”

“Are you blonde? I just want to know if you want to get on with me on my rock snake!”

Corphish was laughing uncontrollably on the ground, tears forming in his eyes as he struggled to breathe.

Rachel blushed. “I swear, Togepis are more mature than you! And you’re the one who has blonde hair!” she huffily said, pushing by Kevin, who was grinning feverishly.

“I just don’t understand what was so confusing about what I said!” he remarked, casting a wink to Corphish, who was still doubled over in laughter.

Jeff rolled his eyes. “Return, Corp.” He returned the water type to the pokeball and looked over to Daedalus. He looked at the other pokeball in his hand and felt guilt flood through him. “Dae, I won’t make you go in-”

“<It’s fine. Why would I want to be out here anyways?>” he snappily said.

“Daedalus, I don’t-”

“<Oh, just get it over with,>” the Taillow said, glaring at him.

Jeff stalled and then sighed. He reluctantly pointed the pokeball at him and recalled him to the device. “And you, Treecko?” he asked, turning to where Treecko was standing, but the grass type wasn’t there. Jeff looked around and saw that he was positioned over in the grass attempting to practice his bullet seed. He watched as the wood gecko pokemon managed to get out a short burst of energy seeds before it was cut short.

Kevin winced as he took out a pokeball; his skin was still tender from the poison powder.

“Let’s go, Pro!”

As the rocky titan emerged before them from a mountain of light, he irritably responded, “<It’s ‘Prometheus’.>” He looked around. “<Where is Atlas?>”

Kevin glanced to Jeff, who nodded and retrieved the pokeball from his belt. With a heave, he threw it away from the party and Atlas appeared in an open plain of grass.

“What’d you do that for, Jeff? Now you have to go and pick the pokeball up!” Kevin said matter-of-factly.

Jeff cast him a glare. “I thought it’d look cool, okay?”

“Just because the trainers you see on TV do it, doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.”

“Why do you say tha-” Jeff cut himself off upon hearing a series of cracks. He and Kevin looked over to see that Atlas had unwittingly crushed the open pokeball with his heavy body.

Kevin stared at him with an all-knowing grin.

“Shut up, shut up, shut up!” snapped Jeff, blood rushing to his face. He reached for his sixth pokeball and pointed it at the Onix. “Hold on, Atlas, I need to do something.”

“Jeff, what are you do-”

A laser shot from the center of the pokeball and hit Atlas. The Onix, much to Jeff’s confusion, was unaffected by the beam. Then an electrical shock surged out of the pokeball into his hand, and coursed up his arm.

“AHH! What the-?!” he sputtered, dropping the pokeball in shock. Rachel and Blane, who were busy folding the picnic blanket, looked over in surprise.

“You can’t return a pokemon to a pokeball that isn’t the one you caught it in,” Kevin said, walking over.

“I can’t?” he asked, holding his tingling hand.

Blane walked over too. “No. The new pokeballs were installed with extra security measures. When you catch a pokemon, it autoamatically identifies itself with that pokemon, so it will recognize when you try to use it for trying to recall or catch a different pokemon,” explained the black-haired boy

“And they electrocute you when you try?!” he asked.

“Nah. It looks like yours just malfunctioned. They don’t usually do that,” Blane explained.

“Oh, terrific. That was my last pokeball… How am I supposed to recall Atlas now?!” Jeff shouted, his eyes widening in realization.

“Well…” Blane said. “You send the pokeball to your local professor- in your case, Professor Birch- and have him program it to accept Atlas, using the data he received when you caught him, and then you get the pokeball sent back.”

“But we’re nowhere near a pokemon center!”

“Hey, we were going to have Atlas and Prometheus out anyways,” Kevin reminded. “So quit yer’ belly-achin’.”

Atlas looked down at everyone; he was particularly interested in what Treecko was doing, since the grass type seemed to make odd gestures with his mouth.

The wood gecko pokemon attempted to focus despite the commotion surrounding him. Maybe that time it would work. He opened his mouth and attempted to fire the seeds. Nothing.

He tried again. Nothing.

Attempting not to let his frustration take over, he attempted a third time. He built up the energy…

“<Treecko, what are you->”

…and shot them in an inconsistent, short burst… just as Atlas peered his face down into his line of fire. The seeds dug into his face and, worse, his deep scar.

Atlas reared his head up and let out an agonized bellow of sheer pain. The four humans and Prometheus’ eyes widened. Treecko seemed shocked for a split second, but he blinked, folded his arms and aloofly watched the situation with a barely visible scowl on his face.

“Aw crap…” Kevin murmured, beginning to run for cover with Jeff, Rachel, and Blane.

“<A-Atlas! What’s wrong?!>” Prometheus worriedly asked, watching his friend thrash around.

Atlas didn’t hear him; he was in too much pain. He contorted his body and swung his head about. Prometheus quickly slithered forwards to try to get a hold of him. Atlas rammed himself into the Onix, causing him to fall back onto the grass. Prometheus growled and tried to get himself up as quickly as possible.

The roaring Atlas had other plans. He managed to launch himself in the air so that his whole body was airborne. He drove his head into the ground, creating a hole that he quickly dug into. Within seconds, Atlas was completely underground.

“No!” Jeff yelled, running over.

“<Atlas!>” Prometheus said, following suit.

“We have to go after him!” Blane said, getting ready to jump into the hole.

Jeff nodded, also prepared to jump in. Prometheus blocked them with the end oh his tail.

“<That’s idiotic; I want to find him too, but you can’t just go rushing in there after him. The run could cave in at any moment and bury you two alive,>” Prometheus explained.

Jeff grimaced. “Then what do we do?”

“And what set him off?” Rachel asked.

Treecko averted his gaze and idly placed his hands behind his head.

“I saw Treecko hit him with a bullet seed,” Kevin explained.

Jeff glared at Treecko. “What the hell would you do that for?!”

Treecko calmly answered, “<He was unlucky enough to get in my way while I was practicing Bullet Seed.>”

The angry teen growled and looked back down the hole. “Ugh, forget it. We have to focus on getting Atlas before he gets himself or somebody else hurt.”

“But how?” Rachel asked.

Blane nodded, seconding the question. “Yeah. How are we supposed to see where he’s going if he’s underground since we can’t follow him down there?”

“Not to mention the fact that I can’t recall him once we find him…” murmured Jeff.

Kevin folded his arms. “You guys are such downers! Pessimism won’t get us anywhere. We need to believe that we’re gonna find Atlas!”

“YEAH!” Blane yelled. “We’re gonna get Atlas back!” he said, both he and Piplup raising their fists high into the air in a heroic pose.

A brief silence ensued.

Jeff stared at them. “Um… Right, but we’re not going to find him without a plan.”

Just as he finished speaking, there was a small tremor nearby. Everybody looked over to see that Prometheus was hunched over with the side of his head pressed against the ground with his eyes closed.

“Pro, this is no time for napping. Your buddy is out there!” Kevin exclaimed, walking over to him.

“<I’m not ‘napping’, moron; I’m picking up vibrations in the earth so that I can get an idea where Atlas is headed.>”

Kevin shot him a look. “Yeah, that’s what I said!” Kevin elbowed Jeff and muttered to him. “Wow, looks like he’s not as thick-headed as I thought,” he joked.

“<What was that!?>” Prometheus snarled, peering over at him.

Kevin froze and straightened up. “I said you’re really strong!”

The Onix smirked. “<Damn right, I’m strong.>” He lifted his head from the ground and craned it towards the humans. “<I could beat a Steelix if I had to.>”

Kevin folded his arms and raised an eyebrow, looking at the towering serpent curiously. “Is that what happened back at Dewford Cave?”

Jeff wasted no time in backing away from Kevin, as he fully expected him to crushed by an angry Onix. To his surprise, Prometheus averted Kevin’s gaze and looked down the north end of the valley.

“<…Come. Let’s get moving. I felt him go this way- towards the crags on the far end of this valley.>”

“You can see that far?” Kevin said with some admiration in his voice.

Prometheus nodded while continuing to look down the valley. “<Growing up in a dark cave helps. … Now move those thin and gawky limbs of yours and let’s go! You all can hop on my back to save time, but don‘t get too accustomed to this!>” he told them in an intimidating fashion.

“You can sit next to me, Rache,” Kevin said with a grin while he climbed upon the Onix’s rocky back. “It’ll be a bumpy ride.” He cast her a wink.

“Oh brother,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “You’re sitting in front, got it?”

“<Quit hanging about! Let‘s go already,>” Prometheus ordered, glaring down at them.

“What’s the rush, Blue-Eyes?” Kevin goaded.

The Onix narrowed his azure eyes as he loomed over Kevin who still sat on his back. “<You have them too, you know,>” he pointed out.

“Have what?”

“<… That colour… of eyes,>” Prometheus said, rather uncomfortably.

Kevin grinned. “I know. They’re sexy, huh?”

Prometheus raised an eye brow and turned back around. “<And the rush is that my friend is out there doing who knows what? He could get himself hurt or in more trouble.>”

Rachel, Jeff, Blane, Piplup and Treecko all hopped on and held on tight as Prometheus began to move and gradually gain speed. He kept most of the length of his body hugged against the ground, partially to accommodate his passengers, but mostly to detect any vibrations in the ground caused by Atlas.

“Any luck?” Jeff impatiently asked, tightly clutching the serpent’s rocky form.

“<Don’t rush me… but yeah, I can feel some aftershock reverberations. They’re going in a straight line; Atlas must be too focused on something to bother changing directions,>“ Prometheus responded.

His passengers looked forward to see, at the end of the valley, a passage between two cliff faces. It was there that the grassland converged into a desert. Perpendicular to that was a continuation of the valley that led to the left as the cliffs began to rise higher and become more mountainous.

“<Nice place…>” Prometheus murmured.

“Yeah, it’s a great big maze for finding Atlas, but at least it looks nice,” Kevin joked.

The Onix rolled his eyes. “<Lucky for us he’s headed towards the desert. Since we lived near a beach, as soon as he hits that sand his gut will tell him to surface.>”

“Why?” Blane asked.

“<Where we come from, sand means water. And the deeper you go, the wetter it gets. I hope I don’t need to tell you that we Onixes don’t like water much.>”

“Oh, so you guys are afraid of water?” Kevin asked in a good-hearted, goading manner.

“Kevin…” warned Rachel, holding onto Prometheus even tighter than before,

Prometheus abruptly stopped and looked over his shoulder, or lack thereof. “<No, we’re not afraid of water! …We just have a healthy respect for it,>” he proudly replied, nodding before continuing to slither over the blades of grass towards the pass. “<What happened to him anyways? My buddy’s tough as nails; he wouldn’t do that over a few seeds.>”

“<Want to put that to the test?>” Treecko asked, opening one of his eyes and glancing at Prometheus.

“<Yes…>“ he answered. “<But later. Well?>“

Everyone looked at Jeff, who let out a sigh of reluctant agreement. "Well, when something hits that gash in his face," Jeff said, pausing for effect as he gave a brief, over-the-shoulder glare at Treecko, "he goes wild." The Nurse Joy from Slateport said that it had something to do with iron and a nerve. I’m not really sure, but I have to treat it like once a day or something.”

“<‘Or something’. That’s reassuring,>” Prometheus muttered.

“So, I guess Treecko literally ‘struck a nerve’, huh?” Kevin said with a wide grin, which soon disappeared after being glared down by everybody.

“<Right… So we’re here,>” Prometheus said, coming to a halt in front of the pass. Prometheus’ passengers jumped down to the grass below. They looked into the pass, which was a wide gap between two tall cliff faces- the cliff that went along the valley as it formed an upside down 'L' shape. Within appeared to be a vast desert of brown and golden sand which was immersed in what looked like a large sand storm. Waves of granules swept horizontally across the pass, hindering their view of what was inside greatly. Even without the sandstorm, they probably would have had trouble seeing the opposite side of the desert.

“I’ve read about this place,” Rachel said. “The wind comes down on the opposite side from where we are and banks off each of the cliff faces on all sides of the desert, creating a sort of contained sand cyclone.”

“So what’s that mean?” Blane asked.

“It means if you like having unshredded skin, then there’s no way we’re going in there,” answered Kevin.

“What?!” Jeff protested. “What about Atlas?! We can’t leave him!”

Prometheus looked back at them. “<I can find him, of course. It’ll be no problem for me.>“

“You can’t administer the medicine though. You might be able to get him under control for a few moments, but he’ll just break out into a rage again. You won’t be able to bring him back here by yourself.”

“<I’ll find a way,>” Prometheus growled.

“No. It’s not going to work.”

“<I don’t remember when I started taking orders from a soft-skinned human who’s one twentieth my size,>” he snarled.

“Okay, okay. Let’s settle down. We’ll think of something,” Rachel said, hoping to diffuse the situation before Prometheus got too worked up and did something that might crush them.

Kevin eyed the backpack hanging from Jeff’s shoulders and a victorious smirk creeped onto his face. “Hey, Jeff? How did I hide the bags when that cop showed up outside of Mauville

Jeff gave him a confused look, but responded, “You threw the bags into Prometheus’ mouth to hide them…” He glanced at Kevin as the blonde-haired teen’s smile grew exponentially. Jeff’s eyes widened with realization. “No… No no. No way! That’s not gonna happen! Not in your life!”

“Uhh… Am I missing something?” Blane asked.

"Well, Blane," Kevin began, "I figured out that a way for both Prometheus and Jeff to go- Prometheus to find Atlas and Jeff to give him the medicine- without Jeff having to worry about being torn up by the sandstorm, is for Jeff to be transported in Pro’s mouth.”

Prometheus sneered. “<It’s ’Prometheu-’…>” He cut himself off as he backtracked to what Kevin had said. Like Jeff, his eyes also widened.

“I don’t want to be in an Onix’s mouth!”

“<I don’t want a human in my mouth!>”

Their chorus fell on deaf ears. Kevin, Blane, and his Piplup all seemed to be stifling laughter. “You want to get Atlas back, don’t you?” Kevin asked between laughs.

They both nodded and looked at one another tentatively. Prometheus sighed. “<Let’s get this over with…>”

Jeff conceded as well and reluctantly approached Prometheus’ mouth. He cast a furious glare to Kevin. “You’re loving this, aren’t you?”

Kevin’s chuckle was a full on guffaw by now. “You have no idea! …Quick! Toss me Corphish’s pokeball! He has to see this!”

The dark haired teen ignored him and looked at Prometheus. The Onix slowly opened his mouth, with some embarrassment at the situation obvious on his face. Jeff meant to step forwards, but his limbs seemed to refuse. He stared with trepidation at the large serpent’s open maw. “<Get on with it, then. My mouth is starting to dry out.>”

“That’s supposed to make me go faster?”

The Onix shot him a glare. “<The longer we wait around here whining about it, the longer Atlas is out there in who knows what sort of trouble!>”

Jeff nodded and quickly stepped in, staying close the beak-like part of his lip and keeping away from Prometheus’ tongue. “If you swallow me whole, I promise I’m going to make your liver my punching bag.”

Prometheus chuckled slightly, sending a wave of hot air over Jeff, whose nose curled at the earthy smell of the rock pokemon’s breath. “Man, ever heard of Mentos?”

“<I don’t know who or what that is,>” was Prometheus’ reply to Jeff. “<I’ll stop talking now so that there’s no… accidents… in there.>”

The distraught teen let out a worried gulp as Prometheus closed his mouth, leaving it open a crack for Jeff to breathe from and peer out of.

The Onix slowly slithered over the ground. He went through the pass and soon became engulfed in the sand storm. It didn't phase him however - only his sight and hearing was impaired. The waves of sand were thicker than any fog and the high winds wailed in his ears. Prometheus was forced to resort to his sense of touch, feeling for vibrations like he had been doing before.

In every direction was airborne sand. It was so dense that Prometheus could barely make out the face of the nearby cliff. The golden haze of sediment constantly slammed against his rocky hide, but it did nothing more than ricochet off of it. The stone serpent carefully treaded through the sifting sands.

“<I think I’ve picked up something,>” he thought to himself as he creeped through the treacherous desert.

Jeff eagerly looked out the small slit in Prometheus’ mouth, but saw nothing but sand which almost blotted out the sun‘s rays as it flew about.

“Where are you, Atlas?” he murmured as he attempted to ignore the Onix saliva drenching his feet while he crouched.

Suddenly, a very slight, irregular vibration in the ground caught Prometheus’ attention. Without a second guess, he changed his course and turned on a diagonal angle. Sure enough, he could see a large hole in the sand, that was quickly filling in, and a trail in the sand leading from it that was undoubtedly from an Onix. Prometheus followed the trail which was being covered at a rapid rate by the storm and within less than a minute he could see Atlas’ silhouette in the storm of sand ahead of him.

Prometheus slithered forwards and found his friend lying on the ground, unmoving except for the end of his tail which would occasionally whip against the desert floor. Sweat coated his body, dripping through the microscopic pores on Atlas’ rocky hide. The Onix took rapid, laboured breaths as if he was hyperventilating.

Prometheus quickly opened his mouth and shoved Jeff out of it using his tongue. Before Jeff could utter any words, the Onix curled around both Jeff and Atlas’ head, creating an almost elliptical barrier to protect the human from the sand storm. The teenager scowled as sand stuck to the Onix slobber that drenched his clothes and skin. His annoyance, however, quickly turned to concern. He ran over to Atlas and stood in front of his face.

“<Atlas? It’s us: Prometheus and Jeff. Say something. Are you okay?>” Prometheus asked while glancing over from his position of hugging the ground.

Atlas’ bloodshot eyes opened slightly but he soon grimaced in pain. He attempted to slow his breaths and calm down. “<…Jeff? …Prometheus?>”

“Yeah, we’re here. You’re going to be okay,” Jeff reassured, attempting to hide his worry as he swung around his backpack.

“<…What…>” Atlas was forced to pause as he felt a wave of pain come back to his scar before leaving again. “<…What happened?>”

“A stray Bullet Seed hit your scar and you went berserk again.”

Atlas winced. “<Did I… hurt anybody?>”

“<Nah. You just slithered off in a hurry,>” Prometheus answered.

The pained Onix half-sighed in relief before taking to wincing again. “You’re going to have to try to stay still, Atlas,” Jeff told him as he readied the spray bottle of medicine.

Atlas barely nodded in response. His eyes scanned the area as best as they could from his place on the ground. “<Where… am I?>” he managed.

“In a desert,” Jeff answered, beginning to spray the medicine into the interior of the gash. The greenish paralyze heal medicine sent a cooling sensation through Atlas as it lined the wound.

“<I’m not sure if this human of yours is brave or stupid for insisting on coming after you in a sandstorm like this,>” Prometheus said with a slight grin. Atlas remained silent, absorbed in his thoughts. Prometheus looked over at him with a raised eyebrow. “<…Atlas?>“

The Onix shut his eyes tightly. “<…You came all the way out here… for me?>”

Jeff grinned. “Of course, Atlas. You’re my friend,” he answered warmly.

Tears entered Atlas’ eyes. “<Jeff… I have to tell you something…>”

“…Atlas? Are you… okay?”

A tear rolled sideways down his face and landed in the sand below. He opened his grey eyes slightly and looked at Jeff. “<Please… Just listen…>”

Jeff nodded silently and placed a hand on Atlas’s nose. The Onix’s eyes strayed to the ground as he began. “<I was using you…>” Jeff stared at him in confusion. “<…Back when we first met. Outside that town… I purposefully slept near you and the others. I had heard about trainers back in the cave where I lived. I knew that they went by Dewford Island for the gym there. I figured you probably hadn’t been there yet… so you were my ticket back to the cave.>“

Atlas shut his eyes and another tear made its way onto the sandy ground. “<…I needed to stop Cronus. What he was doing… I couldn’t handle it. Once we were in Dewford… I was going to abandon you… to go to the cave. And once I got rid of Cronus… I was going to stay there,>“ he explained shakily, his words dripping with guilt.

The distraught Onix willed himself to open his eyes and stare at Jeff, who seemed to be in a state of shock. “<… You’ve been such a great friend to me, though. I… I don’t deserve your friendship, Jeff. I’m so sorry.>”

“… I-…” Jeff’s attempt to say something comprehensible failed miserably. He was simply at a loss for words.

Prometheus shifted uncomfortably in his place. He decided now would be a good time to interrupt. “<Here’s the deal, guys. First of all, Atlas, can you move at all?>”

“<Sorry…>” Atlas responded, almost at a whisper.

“<Okay, yeah, here’s the deal. I need to bring you out of here, Atlas, but I can’t safely do that while the human’s in my mouth, so we need to do this one at a time.>”

“Bring Atlas first,” Jeff said, seeming half-lost in his thoughts.

Prometheus stared over at him. “<Do you have a rock-hard hide that you weren’t telling us about?>”


The serpent was just about to let out a victorious snark, but his grin abruptly disappeared. He looked around for his tracks that had been made when he set out looking for Atlas, but they had been swept away by the sand storm. “<Groudon’s blood…>” he swore.

“<What is it?>” Atlas asked weakly.

Prometheus grunted and rested his chin on the sand. “<When I was looking for you, I had to rely on the vibrations in the ground that you made in order to find you. That was my only sense of direction in this thick storm. But now that we’re here, I can’t use you as a reference point… and now the storm erased my tracks.>” He let out a slightly embarrassed grumble. “<I have no idea where we are…>”

If the mood could have gotten any worse, it just did. Atlas sighed and lifted his head slightly. “<You need to bring Jeff somewhere safe. There’s no telling what the wind will do.>”

“<Yeah, great. I don’t suppose you see any caves in the middle of the desert, do you?>”

“<No…>” Atlas’ gaze shifted to something behind Prometheus’ head. He even raised his head to look upwards. Confused, Prometheus looked behind him and a silhouette of something large caught his eye. A giant obelisk, of sorts, stood towering in the thick of the sandstorm.

“<Great Groudon‘s tail…>” Prometheus said with astonishment.

“Mirage Tower…” Jeff said, almost at a murmur, as he looked up at the sizable tower. He remembered learning about this tower on TV. They were doing a lot of careful digs and excavations inside and around the tower, though people who wanted the tower preserved and untouched in its entirity barred any further official digs.

“<That seems like a good place to put the soft-skinned human while I take you, Atlas, and try to find our way out of here. Then I can leave you back with the others, come back for Jeff since it won‘t be hard to miss something like that, and then you can thump your tail on the ground constantly so that I’ll be able to follow the reverberations out of here,>” Prometheus explained.

“<That’s a good plan, Prometheus. How does that sound… Jeff?>” Atlas asked, looking over at the teen, insecurely.

“Uh… yeah. Sounds good,” he replied, still slightly distracted.

Atlas’ eyes found themselves staring at the ground again. Prometheus glanced at Jeff. “<Get on with it then. The sooner we get you over there, the better. It’ll be nightfall soon.>”

Jeff nodded and walked over to Prometheus, reluctantly jumping in his mouth again. The Onix broke his elliptical position and began to slither in the direction of the large beige tower, which the sandstorm made seem darker than it was.

As they approached the tower, they saw that the tower seemed abandoned and relatively decrepit. It was stable enough, but Prometheus could easily destroy it by ramming into it, if he wanted to. The large dusty stones were cracked in some places and worn down by all the past sandstorms in the desert. Large dunes surrounded Mirage Tower, almost hiding the lower half of the tower, however its sheer height in comparison to the relatively low and level desert made it still easy to see. It loomed over even a Steelix at a full stand. Any traces of human or pokemon activity around archaic tower were long since erased by the sands sifting from the strong winds.

Prometheus slithered around it until he came across an opening, which was really no more than a door-shaped hole in the wall at the top of three deteriorated stairs. Beside the door were some barely visible, word down glyphs- a language of which may have been lost in time. He moved his snout close to the door and opened his mouth so that Jeff could jump out and be immediately inside.

“<Just stay away from the door and stay put,>” Prometheus ordered. “<And don’t go wandering. Understood?>”

Jeff nodded and stepped to the side as Prometheus backed out and quickly slithered back the way he came. The human sighed and leaned against the wall. It was cool, as was the air inside the tower. Jeff’s eyes adjusted to darkness and he began to look around. The interior was made entirely of stone. Limestone, probably. The floor, littered with sand and dirt, was level around the perimeter of the walls, but there was a large excavation in the center of the room, about two meters deep that took up more than half of the room‘s width. In the far right corner of the room, he saw what appeared to be a stone staircase leading up to a second level. Having nothing better to do, he decided to go check it out. He didn't pay much heed to Prometheus' words since he was very preoccupied, so Jeff walked alongside the wall, going around the depression in the floor, which he presumed was created by archaeologists or palaeontologists.

He ran his fingers along the left wall as he walked towards the stairs. The teen let out a sigh. “First Treecko… and now Atlas?” he mentally asked himself. “I try so hard to be a good friend to them… so why does stuff like this keep happening to me? Is it me?”

Jeff attempted to shove the thoughts aside. “It’ll only make me feel worse if I dwell on it now. I should focus on where I’m going,” he thought, approaching the stairs and tentatively placing his weight on the first one. Upon being reassured that it was safe, he slowly made his way to the next… and then the next… and so on. He reached the top of the stone stairs and to his right he saw a wall leading from the side of the tower he was on, to the opposite one. Further down, closer to the far end, was an opening that led into a similar room as was on the floor below.

The teen shrugged and decided to allow his curiosity to get the better of him. He walked down the dark corridor and warily approached door. Jeff halted in the doorway. In the center of the room was an excavation similar to the one below, but it wasn’t as deep because it wasn’t on a ground floor and it looked as if it wasn’t created by an archaeological team.

Jeff suddenly heard scuffling from inside and he stepped forwards to get a better look. In the center of the depression, he could see the contour of something… something moving. He backed up and narrowed his eyes, leering into the dark of the room until he could make out a bit of the figure. To his dread, he identified the colour of the figure as a dense hue of purple.

Two loud stomps could be heard as the silhouette turned to face him. The form was indeed familiar to Jeff. Way too familiar. A small, singular ray of light that made its way through a small crack in the wall and illuminated the creature’s face as it suddenly stepped forwards. The human saw the face of a Nidoking that donned an eyepatch over his right eye.

“…Daggerback…” he whispered in shock.

The Nidoking stared at him in shock, but soon a malicious grin crawled onto his face. “<Well… my day just got better.>”
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Old May 22nd, 2010 (8:28 AM).
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Fossil Fuels

The waves crashed down on the wet beach sand, staining it brown and uplifting rocks, shells, seaweed, and the occasional Krabby before dragging them back towards the bright blue sea. Then the next wave would come and hammer the beach wash-ups against the sand again.

He could watch the light aqua waves all day and for all intents and purposes, he intended to.

A man in his early forties, wearing only a dark blue bathing suit and sunglasses, lay in a beach chair, which sat about a dozen meters from the crashing surf. From the low-standing table left of his chair, he picked up a blue cocktail that donned a lime wedge on the rim and took a sip from it. A warm ocean breeze flowed through his short, dark brown hair and around his recently clean-shaven, business-appropriate face. The bright sun shone down on his relaxed, muscular body.

The man looked from his martini glass over to a Swampert that lay in the sand next to his chair with his large hands behind his head. “I could get used to all of these business trips, couldn’t you?” he asked in a slightly grizzled voice.

The Swampert grinned and responded with a nod. They continued sitting in silence, listening to the waves until footsteps could be heard in the sand behind them. A skinny man in a tuxedo walked over and stood beside the man, extending his arm and handing him a folded piece of paper.

“Excuse me, sir. This came for you. It seems there was a development,” he said.

The man’s blue eyes, hidden behind the shades, scanned the paper and the corners of his mouth formed a grin. “Heh… He got it.”

“Mm, quite,” the tuxedoed man answered. “Oh yes, you have a meeting with the network distributor at seven thirty tonight and one via conference video call with your administrators an hour later. Is that alright, Mister K-”

“Please, pal,” the man interrupted, looking up from his drink and giving an affirmative thumbs up with an accompanying smirk. “None of that formal crap while I’m supposed to be on vacation. Just call me Archie…”


Kevin lay back in the sandy grass with his hands behind his head, relaxing as if he didn’t have a care in the world. Since he wasn’t all that worried about Jeff, that may well have been true. Rachel sat nearby, with some worry on her face, however she was much more calm than Blane. The dark haired teen paced back and forth with his Piplup in his arms. He barely took his eyes off of the pass. Treecko merely sat in the grass nonchalantly and looked up at the sky.

“Do you think the storm will ease up enough for us to follow them soon?” Blane asked while looking beyond the pass into the stormy desert.

“Nah,” said Kevin with a shrug. A sly grin formed on his face. “And as awesome as I am, even I can’t control the weather, so take a load off and stop trying to be so proactive.”

Blane grumbled and reluctantly sat down beside his Piplup. “I hate sitting around.”

“Really? I never would’ve guessed,” Kevin scoffed. “If you’re really that hung up about it, you can look for a Skitty stuck up a tree.”

“I wonder how they’re doing right now? They’ve been gone awhile,” mused Rachel.

Kevin laughed and shrugged. “I bet Jeff probably did something idiotic and got himself in trouble.”


Jeff let out a sharp gasp as a purple fist that held him by the collar of his shirt slammed him into the dusty stone wall, pinning him there with a muscular forearm. Daggerback glared, well, daggers into the human’s grimacing eyes. To Jeff’s left was a hole in the interior wall that Daggerback had previously bashed through to cut him off from reaching the stairs from which he came. It wasn’t as if he had anywhere to run to, though, with the sandstorm still outside.

“<Where is it?!> Daggerback demanded, pressing Jeff further against the shadow-laden wall.

“Where’s what?!” Jeff shot back in a desperate tone.

“<Don’t play dumb with me!>” the Nidoking roared, glaring straight into Jeff’s eyes.

“I’ll stop playing dumb when you stop acting like I know what you’re talking about!” he countered, keeping one hand on Daggerback’s in an attempt to get free from his hold, and using the other to stealthily reach towards his backpack’s side pocket while Daggerback was looking into his eyes.

“<The fossil! I know you have it!>”

“Well, maybe you misplaced it- Go!” Jeff suddenly shouted, ripping Treecko’s pokeball from the pocket and throwing it at Daggerback’s face. The ball hit the poison pokemon in the cheek before bouncing off, ricocheting to the ground, and opening.

As Daggerback glanced down at it, Jeff closed his eyes to brace himself for the bright light that always came with the opening of a pokeball. He gave it a few moments before opening his eyes and looking around triumphantly at the spot where he threw it.

...The pokeball was found to be completely empty. Jeff then looked to Daggerback, who stood beside it while still pinning Jeff to the wall, tapping his food impatiently and donning a level, not amused stare. Jeff chuckled sheepishly upon realizing that Treecko was back with the others.

“I-I thought... Heh heh... Ugh...” He shrunk back towards the wall, pressing against his backpack. Jeff could feel the remaining pokeballs shift in the pocket so they pressed against his elbow. He knew that the only way he could get out of this was with help from his pokemon, but after his last failed attempt his time was running out.

Daggerback rolled his eyes before literally ripping the bag from his back. Jeff started and frantically grabbed for his backpack, managing to momentarily grab the side pocket. During the key two seconds that he was able to keep hold of the bag before Daggerback’s strength won out, he was able to feel out a familiar, round item in the pocket. The Nidoking yanked the backpack and Jeff quickly pulled back his hand and tried to indiscriminately place the item in his back pocket while Daggerback was busy with the bag.

“<So, the fossil...>” Daggerback begun, while holding the bag up in the air away from Jeff’s reach and shaking it in a taunting manner.

“...I don’t know anything about a fossil,” Jeff responded, shifting uncomfortably as he continued to be propped up against the wall by Daggerback.

“<Oh yeah? Then what did you put behind your back?>” the Nidoking questioned, raising an eyebrow.

Jeff’s stomach clenched upon realizing that the purple pokemon had noticed his clumsy, last-ditch effort to help himself. “Err... Nothing.”

“<You wouldn’t be lying to me, would ya?>” Daggerback asked in a sly tone, tilting his head downwards so that his horn neared Jeff’s face.

The teen’s eyes widened. “...Maybe something...”

“<Drop it in front of you. Now,>” he ordered.

“You... GOT IT!” Jeff shouted, swinging around his arm and throwing a pokeball at Daggerback once more. However, this time Daggerback expected it and he swatted the object downwards so that it hit the stone floor between Jeff and himself. This time, a bright light erupted from the sphere and a familiar Corphish emerged. The water pokemon noticed Jeff and immediately after noticed a large violet figure opposite the human. His gaze slowly shifted to the massive pokemon and eventually turned upwards to lock eyes with Daggerback.

He before he could even open his mouth, Daggerback grabbed Corphish by the neck with his other hand and shoved him against the wall beside his trainer. The orange shellfish winced and glanced over to Jeff beside him. “<Don’t worry, Jeff; I’m here to save you...>” he said sheepishly.

Jeff groaned while Daggerback glared at the two of them. “<Nice to see you again, little Corphish,>” the Nidoking said with a sneer.

“<Actually, you can call me ‘Lord Protector Corphish’. Even ‘Sir Corphish’ will do... but yeah, long time no see, Daggerbutt the Aggressor!>”

“<That’s ‘Daggerback the Oppressor’!>” he growled, pushing Corphish against the wall with increased force.

“<Heh, that’s what I meant!>”

“<Anyways, the fossil... It went missing after he and that Treecko escaped from me and gave me this!>” Daggerback said while turning his head to show more clearly the eye patch on his face.

“<It really brings out your... eye! You’ve got the whole ‘bad boy’ look down; a lot of girls really dig that. Did anyone tell you that you’d look good in pink?>” Corphish rambled.

Daggerback sneered and slammed his tail onto the floor with a crash. “<Stop stalling!>”

“<Gee, you think yelling at us will make us open up to you?>”

Jeff gave Daggerback a level stare. “Won’t you just kill us once we tell you?”

The Nidoking raised an eyebrow. “<Just because I’m not the nicest guy around doesn’t mean I’m going to kill you. Sure, I’m not above beating you guys to pulps, but I’m not a monster.>”

“<I feel so much better now...>” Corphish murmured with an accompanying roll of his eyes. “<Hey, Needlenose, why do you want a fossil so bad anyways? Are you a big dinosaur enthusiast or somthing?>”

Daggerback chuckled and allowed the two to drop to the ground. He walked over to the large hole in the wall that he created and moved a large slab of stone over it to cover it up. He then walked over to the doorway and sat down beside it, leaning back against the wall. The poison pokemon grinned and looked over, through the darkness, at his two captives, who were catching their breath.

“<No, shellfish... It just so happens that I’m a mercenary.>”

“A mercenary?” Jeff asked in shock. “A pokemon mercenary?”

“<What? You’re not the only human that can communicate with pokemon, ya know. And as ya know, pokemon can often do things that humans can’t. Some people take advantage of that fact, ‘cept I take advantage of them by making a living offa it.>”

“Aren’t some people put off by you coming into their store and buying stuff?”

Daggerback scoffed and placed his hands behind his head in a relaxed fashion. “<I don’t get money. They give me whatever tools and equipment I need in order to secure my territory and get my jobs done quickly. It’s a pretty good deal, actually.>”

“<So that’s how he had all those traps and stuff,>” Corphish mused.

“That means somebody wants those fossils? That’s why you’re after us?” Jeff asked.

“<That, and I’ve got a bone to pick with that damn Treecko.>”

“Hey, you were the guy who attacked him first!” Jeff countered.

“<And me,>” added Corphish, raising his claw.

“And Corphish!”

“<Thanks, Jeff.>”

Daggerback let out a dismissive grunt. “<They were the ones who trespassed on my land when there were clearly signs around the whole perimeter.>”

“<You mean the ones with the stick figures? I thought a child drew that! Gee, for someone who’s dexterous enough to tie knots like you can with those funny claws of yours, you sure don’t draw very well...>” Corphish remarked.

“<It was just a red ‘X’...>” Daggerback said in a scathing voice.

“<Really? Because it looked like->”

Before Corphish could make him any angrier, Jeff quickly stood up and interrupted. “So who hired you?”

Daggerback grinned and waggled one of his claws. “<I can’t give out that sort of information, but the offer’s definitely worth what it’s taking to finally catch you guys. Besides, I’m the one who asks the questions around here,>” he barked, getting to his feet. “<So tell me, where’s the fossil?>”

Jeff and Corphish exchanged glances. “We don’t have it...”

They soon found several long, sharp purple pins enter the ground just in front of their feet, causing them both to jump back against the wall. Daggerback continued to smirk as he stared at them. An uneasy Jeff and Corphish exchanged nervous glances as they tried to regain their composure. “<Still don’t have it?>”


Prometheus trudged through the dark desert slowly. This was because Atlas was slumped over his back, gripping slightly so that he wouldn’t fall off. The able Onix followed the cliff face in the general direction that he came, since the cliff inevitably led back to the pass from which he entered. The sun was close to meeting the horizon in the west, causing the cliff to cast a shadow that darkened the desert more than the sandstorm already had.

“<How are you holding up, mate?>” Prometheus asked his friend.

“<Physically, I can move on my own,>” Atlas answered.

“<Physically, you’re barely able to stand up,>” Prometheus countered. “<Well, that’s physically, what about otherwise?>”

Atlas’ grey eyes gazed at the ground, watching the shifting sands on the darkened ground blow with the storm. “<I don’t think Jeff will forgive me...>”

“<Err... I see,>” Prometheus replied awkwardly. The Onix was never that good in situations like this. “<Well... if he’s really your friend, he’ll forgive you. You... err... forgave me, after all... and such.>”

A faint grin appeared on Atlas’ face. “<Thank you.>”

“<Don’t mention it... seriously.>”

Atlas let out a light chuckle, which prompted a small grin on Prometheus’ face. “<How far do you suppose is left?>” Atlas asked him.

“<I should say about one hundred runs are left. That’s just a guess though,>” Prometheus answered. “<That scar... That’s from Kronos, right?>”

The weakened Onix nodded. “<Yes... My quote unquote ‘mark of shame’...>”

“<Right... About that...>” Prometheus begun with some insecurity in his voice.

“<It’s okay, Prometheus. I understand you were scared,>” Atlas reassured him. Prometheus opened his mouth to object to the claim, but Atlas cut him off. “<Though I know you won’t admit it.>”

Atlas’ friend rolled his eyes and continued onward along the base of the cliff. “<...From now on, I’ll support you no matter what, okay? ...That is, unless you do something idiotic without thinking it through, then I’ll be forced to stop you,>” Prometheus said, grinning.

It was then when they felt the direction of the wind changing. The sand no longer pelted their backs, it hit the side of their bodies that was closest to the cliff on their right. The two Onix also noticed that, through the sand ahead of them, they could see light. Prometheus beamed victoriously. “<You know what this means? We made it!>”

Prometheus burst through the cloud of sand and found both he and his friend in the sandy but gentle pass that met with the grass. Blane bolted upwards upon seeing them. “They’re back!” he yelled.

Kevin and Rachel turned to see them coming slowly towards them. Prometheus lay down on the ground and allowed Atlas to crawl off and rest on the ground. Kevin ran forwards. “Yo, where’s Jeff?” he asked, looking around eagerly. “...Did you eat him?”

Prometheus straightened up and turned back towards the desert. “<No. I’m going back for him while Atlas keeps a constant rhythm by pounding his tail on the ground so that I can get my bearings.>”

Kevin’s eyes widened. “You left him in the middle of that?! He’ll be torn apart!”

“<I’m not an idiot, idiot!>” Prometheus snapped. “<I left him in some giant, hollow stone thing. A building, I think it’s called.>”

“He must be in Mirage Tower,” Rachel deduced.

“Yeah, I knew that,” Kevin said dismissively. “Well, what are you waiting for, Pro? The sooner we get Jeff, the sooner we can leave.”

Prometheus gave a deep snarl before turning and slithering quickly into the desert.


Daggerback dug through Jeff’s bag while they stood on and watched helplessly. Corphish was well aware that, even with him being a water-type and Daggerback being a ground-type, he was no match for him. Corphish noticed the Nidoking had a bag of his own resting on the other side of the room.

“<Let’s see here...>” Daggerback said as he began throwing the items he found to the ground. “<Soaps, shampoos, a toothbrush, conditioners, hair mousse... bath salts? ...What are you doing? Travelling? Or starting a spa?>” he asked with a raised eyebrow.

Jeff grimaced and blushed slightly. “Damn it, Kevin... That’s the last time I ever take you to a hotel.

“<A clock radio, brochures, a telephone, various wires...>” Daggerback continued.

Corphish looked at Jeff and whispered. “<I’m just a simple pokemon... So do you happen to have any plans to get outta here up in your ol’ bread basket?>”

“I’m working on it...” Jeff murmured.

“<I don’t want to seem pushy, but pretty soon he’s gonna find that fossil and when he does, I’m worried what he’ll do to us. I don’t exactly want to be tied down and eaten by a horde of angry Sandslash!>”

“...I think your imagination is getting away from you, Corp,” Jeff said, giving him a level stare.

“<Would you really put it past Daggerbutt?>” Corphish asked.

Jeff was about to reply, but he was distracted when the Nidoking in question took something out of the teen’s bag. In Daggerback’s purple hand was a balled-up shower curtain. Jeff froze. He remembered that it was the shower curtain he used to put the fossil in to protect it.

“<Maybe it’s wrapped up in this,>” Daggerback mused and began to unwrap it. “<Then I’ll have all seven.>”

He looked desperately to Corphish, who returned a worried look. Jeff suddenly closed his eyes and balled up his fists. “Corphish! Bubblebeam! Go to his right!” he shouted.

“<You got it!>” the water pokemon yelled, unleashing a rapid volley of exploding bubbles while moving as quickly as he could to the left, opposite to the doorway out. The watery orbs burst on impact with Daggerback, eliciting growls of frustration as he dropped the bag and the shower curtain in shock. The Nidoking walked forward and opened up his maw from which he released a shower of poison pins. Corphish increased his pace, causing the pins to explode behind him. He continued running and firing bubbles out of his right claw as the needles shattered in his wake.

As this happened, Jeff ran towards the rear of Daggerback, where his bag and items were. He hastily grabbed his bag and the shower curtain, which he quickly shoved into the backpack. Unbeknownst to Daggerback, Jeff threw the bag through the doorway and into the hallway where the stairs were. The teen picked up a rock and ran over to the left, where he and Corphish had been pinned to the wall, just as the Nidoking turned his head to follow the water pokemon. Jeff picked up Corphish’s pokeball so that he would be able to use it to recall Corphish, if it came to that.

He saw Corphish beginning to run along the wall opposite to him, which brought him closer to Daggerback; he had fallen into Daggerback's plan and had no choice or else he’d be hit by the poison pins that followed him. Jeff clutched the rock in his hand and hurled it at the back of Daggerback’s head. The Nidoking let out a snarl. The rock didn’t really hurt him, but it got his attention. Daggerback spun around to face Jeff.

At the same time, Corphish approached the door and gave Jeff a nod. The poison pokemon began to charge Jeff, hoping to use the human as a means to get the shellfish pokemon to behave. Jeff recoiled in response to the charging Nidoking. Corphish knew he had to act quickly. He levelled his pincers with Daggerbacks legs and let loose a tremendous volley of bubbles.

The translucent orbs burst on contact with Daggerback’s legs, who let out a surprised yelp as his legs buckled and he fell, unbraced, onto the floor. Jeff took this opportunity to sprint for the door which Corphish was already at. Daggerback angrily swung his tail around, which managed to catch Jeff’s leg and send him careening to the ground as well. The teen winced and attempted to crawl forward, but he found that he couldn’t go any further.

Jeff tugged at his leg but it wouldn’t budge. He looked down frantically and saw that Daggerback’s tail was coiled around his ankle. “<Where... do you think you’re going?>” the Nidoking snarled.

“Corphish!” Jeff cried out.

“<Crap!>” Corphish sputtered, running to aid his friend. The water pokemon clamped his right pincer down on Daggerback’s tail and squeezed, but the Nidoking’s hold continued.

“Try Crabhammer!” advised Jeff in a panic.

Corphish complied and began pounding his water-soaked claw down on Daggerback’s tail. The behemoth of a pokemon grimaced with pain, but tried to remain holding onto Jeff as he got to his feet. “<Why can’t I be a Machoke of a Corphish?>” Corphish muttered.

“Give it all you’ve got in one blow, Corp!”

Corphish nodded, raised his claw over his head and jumped to the best of his ability into the air. He brought down his pincers onto Daggerback’s tail in a powerful strike. The Nidoking growled in pain and his tail tensed up upon being struck before slackening and allowing Jeff to remove his foot.

“Let’s go!” Jeff shouted, picking up Corphish and scrambling to his feet. He bolted towards the door. Upon getting through the stone doorway, he bent down to pick up his bag where Corphish grabbed one of the straps. The duo then heard pounding footsteps reach the door behind them. Jeff turned and saw Daggerback at the doorway. The Nidoking let out a savage roar the struck fear into both of their hearts.

“<Time to leave, Jeff!>” Corphish shouted.

Jeff agreed instantaneously. He sprinted at full speed down the end of the hall towards the parallel eroded stairway that he came up. The teen grimaced as he heard Daggerback’s thunderous stampede quickly gaining on them. Jeff dug deep and increased his speed, nearing the end of the hallway. He was forced to slow down near the end and he shot to the side and turned to pedal down the rocky stairs.

Daggerback growled from behind them and attempted to swipe at them, but missed. He too rounded the corner and began chasing them down the stairs, causing the weak rocks the staircase was made of to chip off under his feet. Jeff’s face lit up upon seeing the light of the outside pouring in from the front door.

“<Almost there!>” Corphish shouted.

Jeff bolted for the doorway... but stopped when a blast of sand pushed him and Corphish back inside. They winced and staggered back. Jeff looked outside to see that the sandstorm was still raging outside. A deep, victorious chuckle sounded out from behind them.

“<Heh heh heh... Forgot about the storm, did we?>” asked Daggerback, coming to a smug walk towards them and folding his arms.

Jeff spun around and Corphish leapt out of his arms and readied himself for a fight.

Daggerback smirked. “<Don’t bother fighting back. You don’t have anywhere to run and you both know I’m stronger than you. Don’t worry; I’ll make sure you two won’t->”

The Nidoking’s voice cut out and his eyes widened upon seeing something behind the trapped two. The massive head of an Onix burst through the swirling wall of sand, past the doorway and into the tower. Without so much as a word, it scooped Jeff and Corphish into its mouth and disappeared just as quickly back into the sandstorm.

Daggerback stood there in pure and utter shock as he watched his two prisoners seemingly get eaten by an Onix completely out of the blue. His eye twitched and his extended, pointing arm trembled slightly.

“<That... was... unexpected...>” he managed through his shock.

Of course, it wasn’t long until he remembered that Jeff had an Onix, to which a mighty roar of frustration followed...


Atlas lay down on the grass, continuing to pound his tail slowly on the ground. Kevin put his headphones on and began listening to his CD player in an attempt to drown out the repetitive thumping. Blane was as restless as ever so he attempted to distract himself by chatting with Rachel about her pokemon.

“This pounding is giving me a headache!” Kevin growled, ripping off his headphones as the vibrations started to cause his CD to skip. “They’d better hurry up; I don’t have one of those fancy anti-shock walkmans!”

“<The more you whine, the slower I’ll go,>” boomed a voice. The group turned to see Prometheus’ form slithering down the path towards them. Atlas stopped moving his tail and craned his head towards his friend.

“It’s about time!” Kevin shouted.

Prometheus pitched his head forward, allowing Jeff and Corphish to fall from his maw to the ground. “<I think I’d rather waltz with Daggerback than travel in the big snake’s mouth again,>” Corphish said as he shuddered.

As Jeff got to his feet, Corphish’ words reminded him. “Daggerback attacked us in Mirage Tower.”

Exclamations of shock rang out from the group. Until that point, Treecko hadn’t been paying attention. He walked over and stared at Jeff. “<What was he doing there?>”

“I’m not sure why he was there, but one thing’s for sure: he’s after the fossil we have.”

“Why would he be after that?” Rachel asked.

“Does that mean he followed you guys to the tower?” added Blane.

Jeff folded his arms and thought. “He said he was like a mercenary... He had a client who wanted it.” He glanced over to Blane. “...And no. He was there before me and seemed as surprised as I was when we crossed paths.”

“That’s weird... Why would he be in an old tower in the middle of the desert?” Kevin questioned.

Silence over took the group for a few moments until Jeff suddenly said, “I’ve got it!” All eyes looked to him. “I remember watching a TV special about it...”

“<Ah, TV... Is there anything you can’t do?>” Corphish asked affectionately.

“...Anyways, they were saying that a bunch of palaeontologists and archaeologists were digging up stuff there, until it was proclaimed a historical site and unsafe for excavation, which explains the abandoned excavation sites I saw.”

“<I told you to stay near the door!>” Prometheus barked.

Jeff chuckled sheepishly. “I must have misheard?”

“Get to the point already, Jeff,” Kevin said.

“I would if people would stop interrupting me,” he replied, glaring. “So, palaeontologists dig up fossils, right? And what’s Daggerback trying to get from us?”

“Fossils...” Kevin said.

“So, it’s safe to assume he was there looking for fossils when you showed up,” deduced Rachel.

Jeff nodded and took the shower curtain-protected fossil out of his to check on it. “Yeah... As he was about to take the fossil, I remember him saying ‘Now I have all seven’ or something. That means he must have found the fossils he was looking for in Mirage Tower.”

“<While that may be...>” Corphish said matter-of-factly, striding in a smug, detective-like fashion to the center of the group. “<It would appear that he now only has five.>” With that, Corphish opened his left pincer and allowed a grapefruit-sized rock to fall to the grass.

Jeff stare blankly at the water pokemon. “...Corphish... is that a fossil?” Corphish nodded while grinning widely. “Did I ever tell you I loved you?”

“<No... but I assumed it anyways.>”

Kevin cleared his throat and stepped forward. “They’re just fossils. What’s the big deal? I mean, if he’ll stop chasing you guys when he has all the fossils, why not give them to him?”

“First, Kevin, it’s because at least two of these fossils are stolen from Rustboro. Second, who would hire a mercenary to go find fossils instead of a professional science team? And who has the resources to pay that mercenary not with money, but with a heaping load of various items of whatever he asks for? Whoever it is obviously has a lot of money and they probably resorted to more dubious tactics of getting what they want when the museum refused to sell the two fossils they had to them. Of course, this is all speculation.”

“Alright, so what do we do with the fossils?” asked Blane.

Jeff shrugged. “...I’m not sure, but I think we should keep these two for now. Whoever Daggerback’s client is... I dunno, I just think it’s for more than just collecting purposes. I don’t like it.”

“That’s all fine and great,” said Kevin, “but let’s not forget why we’re out here in the first place! To beat the pants off gym leaders!” To that, Treecko nodded in agreement. “So let’s go to Lavaridge Town!”

Jeff sighed. “Yeah, okay...” He glanced over to Atlas, who was looking at him. Upon making eye contact with Jeff, Atlas quickly looked away. “...Let’s go then.”

Prometheus looked down at Kevin. “<You. I’m staying out here with my friend, understood?>”

“Fine by me,” answered Kevin, whose attention was caught by the shower curtain in Jeff’s hand. “Yo, Jeff... Do you still have all the stuff from the hotel in your bag after Daggerback attacked?”

Jeff glanced at him and shrugged. “Daggerback sorta dumped it all out.”

Kevin let out a cry. “NOOOOOOOO! ...Do you still have the lemon in there?”


[B]Claimed: Treecko, Grovyle, Charmeleon.
Co-Owner of Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club.
Paired withAnastasia R.
PC Family so far: Cousin - ScytheMaster, Awesomest Sister - Diamondpearl876, Brother - Rebellious Treecko (PM one of us if you want to join it)

Click Below for The Awesome Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club
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Old December 22nd, 2010 (4:26 AM).
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Grovyle42(Griff8416) Grovyle42(Griff8416) is offline
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Just wanted to let everybody know that I am still writing this. I was literally a paragraph away from finishing my chapter, but the laptop harddrive broke and now I have to rewrite the whole chapter. Hang tight.
[B]Claimed: Treecko, Grovyle, Charmeleon.
Co-Owner of Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club.
Paired withAnastasia R.
PC Family so far: Cousin - ScytheMaster, Awesomest Sister - Diamondpearl876, Brother - Rebellious Treecko (PM one of us if you want to join it)

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Old March 23rd, 2011 (10:43 AM).
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Grovyle42(Griff8416) Grovyle42(Griff8416) is offline
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The Meteor Stratagem

The orange sun cast its setting light down upon the ravine. High cliffs and mountains flanked the deep U-shaped valley from both sides. The gleaming orb had not yet passed behind the mountains at the end of the pass, so the entire area was still swathed in orange.

The travelling group headed westward, towards the mountainous terrain and away from the desert behind them. Even the two Onixes, Atlas and Prometheus, felt small in comparison to the tall cliffs and the even taller mountains all around.

Prometheus slithered ahead, slightly in front of Atlas. They both carried passengers on their backs.

“Yo, Pro, can’t you go any faster? I want to get to Lavaridge before nightfall... or at least before I turn sixty!” Kevin called up from his place in front of Rachel on Prometheus’s back.

Prometheus let out a low growl. “<It’s ‘Prometheus’... Don’t push your luck, little creature,>” he warned. “<And I thought we weren’t going to make a habit of riding on our backs.>”

“Hey, if you want to stick around, you’re going to have to pull your weight,” Kevin said with a grin.

“<It seems more like we’re pulling your weight!>” Prometheus retorted.

“...Are you calling me fat? Or... ohh, I get it. If me and Rache are too heavy for the great big, tough Onix, it’s okay; I understand. We can get off if you can’t handle it,” Kevin goaded.

“<I never said that,>” Prometheus snapped. “<You’re about as light as a pebble. And as insignificant as one, too!>” The large reptile then craned his head around while slithering. “<And if you two start making out while you’re back there, I will start bucking. I promise you that, old son.>”

“Oh, I get it; you want Rachel all to yourself,” Kevin remarked.

As Prometheus bristled, Rachel tapped Kevin in the shoulder. “What did he say?” she asked, still unable to understand pokemon.

“He’s jealous that you want to make out with me,” the blonde teen answered her, still grinning.

Rachel was taken aback and disgusted. “I’d make out with a Pinsir before I would you.”

“If that Pinsir was the hottest, studliest Pinsir in the world then I could understand,” Kevin said, casting her a wink.

Rachel shook her head and sighed just as Prometheus slowed down slightly, allowing Atlas to catch up. The scar-donned Onix slithered up beside his friend, though he hadn’t taken his eyes off of the ground the whole time ever since they left the desert.

Treecko sat on top of Atlas’s head, leaning against the back of his large horn. Below was Jeff, Corphish, Piplup and Blane respectively. Jeff shifted uncomfortably and looked up at Atlas every so often before averting his gaze.

Corphish glanced over at Prometheus and the group that rode on his back. “<Hey, can I switch rock snakes?>” he asked. “<It’s so tense over here that I feel like somebody’s going to explode! You guys are at least talking.>”

“<Unfortunately,>” murmured Prometheus. The Onix glanced over at his friend. “<Hey, Atlas, are we going the right way?>”

Atlas blinked his grey eyes and finally looked up from the ground, slightly confused. “<Uhh... what?>” he asked, glancing over.

“<...Are we going the right way?>”

“<Oh... Err... I was following you.>”

Blane looked over at Rachel and signalled her. “Rache! Are we going the right way?”

Rachel, who was looking at her handbook of Hoenn, nodded. “Yeah, we should be.”

“<Good,>” Prometheus muttered, glancing over at Atlas with a curious expression. He then looked back forwards. “<Because if we- Holy Groudon’s scales!>” he exclaimed suddenly, his blue eyes widening as he looked forwards.

“What’s up?” Kevin asked, balancing himself as Prometheus stopped suddenly.

“<That mountain... It’s enormous!>” Prometheus said in utter awe. “<Look at it, Atlas!>”

Atlas raised his head and looked up. His eyes, too, widened. Behind the cliffs and peaks stood a titan of a mountain that reached high into the sky. It was nowhere near tall enough to touch the clouds, but the rocky monument still dwarfed everything around it. The cliffs around it were like a stairway leading up to the dark, colossal peak. The mountain seemed to flatten out on top, making a wide plateau. Waves of heat rose from the top.

“<It’s incredible!>” Prometheus gushed. “<It’s as if Lord Groudon himself could live under it!>”

“That’s Mount Chimney,” Rachel pointed out, looking down at her book. “Apparently it’s a dormant volcano. It says when standing on top, you should be able to see most of Hoenn.”

“<D-Dormant volcano?>” Corphish stammered, his eyes widening.

“Dormant means inactive, Corphish,” Jeff reassured him.

“<Jeff...> Corphish said with the utmost urgency and seriousness in his voice. “<Don’t you watch movies? There is no... such... thing... as a dormant volcano. All it takes is a loose stone... or scientists prodding at it... or the wrath of Arceus... or an evil mastermind...>” he explained, his grip tightening around Jeff’s waist considerably.

“Corphish... too tight...” Jeff gasped.

“Yeah, it’s breathtaking,” Blane said, looking at the mountain. “But we’re faced with something more important... There’s a dead end ahead of us...” He pointed forwards from atop Atlas’s back, gesturing to where the grassy valley suddenly stopped and met with more cliffs that led towards the tall peak. “How are we supposed to get to Lavaridge?”

“There’s a cable car,” Kevin answered. “You take it to the top of Mount Chimney and then go south down Jagged Pass.”

“<And then KABLOOEY!>” Corphish shouted, finishing his pop-culture fuelled theory and subsequently startling everyone on Atlas’ back (excluding Treecko).

Prometheus looked over at Kevin. “<What’s... a cable car?>”

“It’s a metal thing that you can ride inside to take you up to high places,” Blane told him.

“Yeah...” Jeff said sheepishly as the group stopped at the dead end, now surrounded by cliffs on three sides. “Slight problem with that... Atlas can’t go inside his pokeball and there’s no way he’s fitting inside a cable car...”

“Oh yeah...” Kevin mused. “Because somebody broke his pokeball!” His eyes rested on Jeff.

“It was an accident...” Jeff muttered in a pouting fashion.

“<We don’t need to be carried around in some small ball!>” Prometheus explained proudly. “<We’re Onix. Atlas and I can climb to the top of that mountain no problem!>” He looked over to his friend, awaiting confirmation from the other rock snake.

Atlas nodded. “<We’ll be fine,>” he agreed while managing to avoid making eye contact with Jeff.

“Are you sure? I don’t want it to seem like we’re abandoning you,” he said using choice words while casting a glance to Atlas. The Onix grimaced and slithered back a little so that he was partially hidden behind Prometheus.

“<We can take care of ourselves just fine,>” Prometheus insisted. “<We’ve been doing so since long before we joined up with you.>”

“Okay then,” Kevin said, hopping off of Prometheus’ back as the large rock pokemon came to a halt at the end of the pass. “You and Atlas climb to the top of the mountain and the rest of us will take the cable car!”

“<Sounds good to me,>” said Prometheus, watching as Rachel slid off of his back after Kevin. Blane, Jeff, Corphish and Treecko also dismounted from Atlas.

Kevin noticed this and grinned. “Pro, I know you have a thing for Rache, but try not to check her out all the time, okay?”

The Onix sneered and glared at Kevin. “<I wasn’t! And I don’t! Rrrrrgh. We’re leaving, Atlas!>” he declared, leaping onto the cliff in front of them and slithering up it.

“<Uhh...>” Atlas gave a quick glance to Jeff behind him and sighed. “<...Right.>” Atlas followed his friend and disappeared over the crest of the crag.

The group braced themselves as several small pebbles showered down upon them from the Onixes’ movements. When it finally stopped, Blane looked to the group’s right. “I guess that’s the way to the cable car station, huh?” he asked.

Everyone turned to the twenty foot cliff to their right and saw a set of stairs carved into the rock, leading up to a rocky plateau. They could see the wires of the cable car leading down over the crest of the plateau, so it was safe to assume the station was up there too.

“Yeah, looks like it,” Rachel replied.

“Well, what are we waiting for?!” Kevin asked, running towards the stairs. “I love the cable car!”

“He’s like an annoying little kid,” Rachel said with a sigh.

Jeff grinned and followed him at a controlled pace. “You don’t know the half of it.”

Meanwhile, Corphish scuttled over to Treecko and tapped his shoulder with his pincers. Treecko glanced at him out of the corner of his eye before continuing forward. “<Treeck! You sure you’re okay with this? Aren’t you claustrophobic? You know, with the pokeball thing and all?>”

Treecko narrowed his eyes. “<For the last time, I’m not claustrophobic...>”

“<Then why don’t you like going in your pokeball?>” Corphish asked. Treecko ignored him and jumped up the steps, leaving Corphish to awkwardly pull himself up. “<Wait! My legs aren’t as long as yours!>”

The group made it to the top of the plateau (some quicker than others) and looked around the area. The cable car wires led into an open, single story building. From inside, the humming of an engine could be heard.

“Where’s Kevin?” Blane asked, looking around the rocky plateau, made up from a black, pyroclastic type of stone, caused from the nearby volcano.

“Inside already, it looks like,” Jeff replied, walking towards the station. The group followed, though Corphish was finding it hard to traverse over the rough terrain. Jeff opened the door and saw Kevin standing inside a single room. He immediately surveyed the area and saw two benches flanking them from both sides of the room. In front of them, past Kevin, was a ticket gate spanning across the whole room, separating the waiting area from the cable car. The sound of the engine drew his attention, causing him to look over and see the cable car sitting idly in the dock. It was connected to an overhanging wire which was attached to a bullwheel in the terminal.

“There’s nobody here,” Rachel mused. “Is it closed?”

“If it was, why would they leave the door unlocked?” Blane replied. He then looked around and saw one of the benches overturned. “What happened in here?”

“Magma,” Kevin growled shortly, his excited demeanour completely gone.

“What?” Jeff asked, looking at the blonde haired teen, who still showed his back to them.

Kevin slowly turned around and presented a red hood with two odd horn-like features. It looked as if it had been torn off from the rest of the sweater. “Team Magma was here...” he said venomously.

Jeff’s eyes widened. “No way... Them?”

Rachel and Blane cast each other confused looks. “Team Magma...?” Rachel asked. “Who are they?”

Kevin crushed the piece of fabric in his palm and looked at Rachel with cold blue eyes. “You want to know who Team Magma is?” he asked angrily. “A bunch of nutjobs!”

Blane couldn’t help but feel concerned by Kevin’s uncharacteristic anger. “Uhh... We’re not really from Hoenn, so do you think you could explain?”

“They’re--” Jeff began but he was quickly interrupted.

“Pretty much a cult of terrorists,” Kevin said fervently, finishing Jeff’s sentence.

“Are they anything like Team Rocket from Kanto and Johto?” Rachel asked. “Before they dissolved for good, that is.”

Kevin shook his head. “No... Team Rocket was just a bunch of petty criminals who robbed, extorted and performed a few corporate takeovers. Team Magma... these guys have a ‘grand plan’,” he said mockingly. “Team Magma actually wants to expand the world’s landmass by draining all the oceans! They think that that’s the best idea in the world! If that isn’t the most ridiculous thing you ever heard...”

The blonde-haired teen threw the Team Magma hat to the side. “And these psychos don’t care what they have to do to achieve their goals! They actually think they’re doing the world a favour and that their ends justify the means!” Kevin grimaced and looked down at Ace’s pokeball. “They don’t even care what happens to the water pokemon...”

Kevin grinned and looked back at Rachel and Blane. “And if you didn’t think Team Magma were frigging psychos, have a look at Team Aqua.”

“You mean those two guys with the Gyarados who almost attacked us when we were travelling to Slateport?” Rachel asked.

Kevin nodded. “They’re Team Magma’s rivals and their goals are the exact opposite. While Magma wants to expand the world’s landmass, Team Aqua wants to expand the world’s oceans. They want to flood the world!” Kevin explained, almost laughing and unnerving most of the others. “Now they must be crazy if they actually believe in that cause! If they were water pokemon, sure, but they’re humans!”

The teen’s smile quickly disappeared. “Team Aqua may be crazier, but I’ll take them over Magma any day...”

Several members of the group wanted to ask why, but they all thought better of it. Jeff looked over at the hat on the floor. “But what’s with the hat?”

“Same reason that nobody’s here, I think,” Kevin replied. “Team Magma drove the cable car operators out. I guess they don’t want anybody going to the top of Mount Chimney.”

“So what do we do?” Rachel asked.

“Go to the top of Mount Chimney,” Kevin replied, his usual grin returning before he decided to jump over the ticket gate.

“What?” Blane asked. “There’s nobody to operate the cable car!”

Kevin grinned and took out a pokeball, aiming it behind the group. “Don’t you worry about that. Come on out, Blitz!” The large Scyther materialized behind the group and nodded at Kevin. Jeff couldn’t help but tense up and swing around. “Help me get these guys into the cable car!” he said, opening the cabin’s door and stepping inside the car.

Blitz nodded and started ushering the three humans towards the ticket gate. Jeff lunged over it just to avoid Blitz’s scythes. Treecko and Corphish watched as the humans were herded into the car and they decided to follow them in.

Kevin stood inside the metal car, waiting beside a pedestal where the control panel was. At the front and back of the car was a row of cushioned seats. Rachel, Blane and his Piplup sat at the front of the car while Jeff and his pokemon sat at the back. Blitz waited outside the car.

“What are you thinking of doing, Kevin?” Jeff asked nervously.

Kevin grinned. “The cable car is operated from within in the car itself by an operator who works the controls. I used to go on the cable car with my mom a lot as a kid, so I’m pretty sure I know how it works,” he explained, looking at the panel which had four buttons on it, two in the shape of arrows.

Rachel and Blane’s eyes widened. “No way! You’re not serious!” Rachel protested frantically.

Jeff stood up and stepped towards Kevin, hoping to stop him before things got out of hand. “Kevin, don’t you even think about i--”

“Blitz, you follow us from beside. Allons-y!”

Kevin slammed his index finger onto one of the arrows and the car started moving... The cabin jerked backwards into the terminal, colliding with the bullwheel. Kevin held onto the panel for support and Rachel and Blane were sent sprawling to the floor. Jeff let out a cry as he fell back on Corphish, pinning the poor crustacean against the seat.

“<Maybe I’ll be reincarnated as a pokemon who can have an actually dignified death,>” Corphish wheezed as Jeff’s body pressed against him.

“...Wrong button,” Kevin sheepishly explained after hitting the stop button. Blitz slapped the side of his scythe to his forehead and shook his head in exasperation at the bungle. Everyone on board shot Kevin a dirty glare as they composed themselves, getting back into their proper seats.

Corphish brushed himself and backed over to the corner where Treecko sat. “<We’re going to die, aren’t we?>”

“That’s very likely,” Jeff responded as Kevin slowly pressed the opposite arrow, causing the car to gently leave the station. Upon the cable car fully leaving the vacant terminal, Blitz flew out and followed beside them.

Jeff gazed out at their Scyther escort nervously. He knew that Kevin was friends with him, but he just couldn’t bring himself to trust him. The teen subconsciously ran his fingers across the scar on his bicep. It was moments later that Jeff felt a tugging on his shirt. He looked down and saw Corphish looking up at him.

“<Hey, Jeff? Can you release Dae and Drez?>” he asked. “<Treeck isn’t exactly a great conversationalist.>”

Jeff paused and looked at the others. “I dunno... Would that be too much weight?” he asked warily.

“<Jeez, Jeff. If you don’t want to let them out you can just say so; you don’t have to call them fat,>” Corphish said, attempting to fold his pincers.

Kevin and Blane tittered and Rachel realized she must have missed another one of Corphish’s jokes. Jeff sighed and took out two pokeballs from his pocket. “Fine, but if the cord snaps, I’m using you for a cushion, Corphish.”

“<Go right ahead,>” Corphish responded, brandishing the three orange spikes on his head.

“Everybody – Kevin, especially – shield your eyes. I don’t want anybody pressing the wrong button,” Jeff said before releasing his two companions near the center of the car.

From amidst the light materialized a Taillow and Beedrill, who were observing their surroundings in utter confusion.

“<Excuse me... Where are we?>” Drezdk asked, prompted to press his fore stinger against the cabin’s glass in order to balance himself. “<And why do I feel so unbalanced?>”

“We’re in a cable car,” Blane replied. “It’s a human-made thing that carries things to high up places. In this case, Mount Chimney.”

Daedalus scoffed. “<If your kind needs a machine to scale mountains then you shouldn’t be scaling mountains. I don’t see why humans always have the need to overcompensate for their shortcomings by expanding their influences everywhere. Why can’t they just be happy with what they have like the rest of us are?>”

Corphish frowned and stared at him. “<...Mister Grumpyfeathers.>”

“<He does have a bit of a point,>” Drezdk said, looking out the window. “<I don’t mean any offense by that, but this doesn’t seem natural. I’m not sure a Beedrill has ever been so high off the ground before...>”

“Hey, it gets us to the top of the mountain, doesn’t it?” Kevin asked rhetorically. “While we’re up there we can check out whether that Team Magma hat has anything to do with Mount Chimney or not.”

“<Yeah, I’m sure the hat was the mastermind behind the whole thing,>” Corphish replied sarcastically.

“You know what I mean,” Kevin answered, for once not breaking a grin at one of Corphish’s jokes.

The water type raised his claws in a partial shrug and looked around. He took to climbing onto Jeff’s lap and gazing out the window. Upon seeing Blitz flying beside the car at a relaxed pace, he waved. The Scyther gave a slight, uncomfortable nod, looked forward and hastened his wing beats.

“<Hmm... He seems awfully suspicious out there...>” Corphish mused, narrowing his eyes suspiciously.

“Who? Blitz?” Kevin asked, casting a look his way.

Corphish nodded. “<Our lives are basically in his scythes... his razor sharp scythes.>”

“Corphish...” Jeff warned, shifting away from the window nervously.

“<Like a Scytherian Grim Reaper...>” Corphish whispered. “<All he has to do is cut that cable and we all go splat! Maybe he has unfinished business... in Jeff!>” The water type turned and pointed his pincer dramatically at his trainer.

By this point, Jeff was more nervous than a Steelix in the middle of the ocean with a child’s life preserver. He recoiled in terror, partially to avoid getting cuffed in the face by Corphish’s large claw. “What?!”

Corphish lunged up onto Jeff’s chest, clutching his shirt with his pincers and glaring into his eyes. “<You! He couldn’t kill you last time, so now he wants to finish the job! With him out there and us in here, now’s his chance! All he has to do is->” Corphish snapped one of his claws shut in front of Jeff’s face, imitating the cutting of a wire, causing the human to jump. “<And then KABLOOEY!>”

“...Why would the cable car explode, Corphish?” Blane asked, raising an eyebrow.

Corphish gave him a dry stare. “<...Uhh, we’re right next to a volcano? I thought you trainers were supposed to be smart.>”

“There’s ‘Corphish smart’ and then there’s ‘everybody else smart’,” Jeff deadpanned, trying to cover up the fact that his legs were trembling.

“<Why, thank you, Jeff!>” Corphish replied happily, hopping down beside Daedalus and Drezdk.

“<That was mean, you know,>” Daedalus whispered, gesturing to the inwardly terrified Jeff.

Corphish giggled. “<I have to entertain myself somehow. Did I have you guys going?>”

Drezdk looked at him and mused. “<Oh boy. Another pokemon with Talvoc’s sense of humour. What have I gotten myself into?>” he pondered. However, as Drezdk thought about his fallen friend, his face began to soften and he felt the need to retreat. The Beedrill backed away from Daedalus and Corphish, hopped up onto the soft bench and sat clumsily next to Jeff.

Jeff, who was beginning to compose himself, looked down at Drezdk and offered a smile. “Err, hey. ...Sorry I didn’t let you out earlier. How are you feeling?”

“<Think nothing of it,>” Drezdk politely replied. “<And I’m feeling much better...>”

“<Physically,>” he mentally added.

“I’m glad to hear it,” Jeff said, seeming to have forgotten about Blitz for the time being.

As they began talking, Daedalus hopped up onto the windowsill, which was small enough to make him struggle to get a comfortable footing. From that vantage point, he looked out and observed the steep cliffy terrain below. He turned his head to the right and saw a patch of forest between the bottom of the lowest plateau and the desert to the east.

He pressed his forehead against the glass and stared out at it. It wasn’t until he turned his head did he notice that Treecko was examining the same stretch of forest. Treecko momentarily glanced over at him before looking back out the rear window.

“<...What?>” Daedalus asked him accusingly.

“<Nothing,>” Treecko responded coolly, not taking his eyes off the emerald leaves far below them.

The Taillow’s brow furrowed for a moment, but then he relaxed and gazed at the same place. “<Yeah, you caught me... I’m a little homesick,>” he murmured.

“<Jeff said you could leave whenever you want,>” Treecko reminded him.

“<I know...>” Daedalus spoke, closing his eyes. “<But I’m not going to. I don’t want to go back.>”

“<You don’t? But you’re so happy to be with us...>” Treecko replied snarkily.

Daedalus sighed. “<I know I’m not thrilled about Jeff’s whole badge quest, but... I have my reasons for not wanting to go back.>”

“<You? The great leader?>” Treecko asked. “<I thought you’d jump at the chance to go back and lead your Taillows.>”

The Taillow grimaced and placed his head against the window. “<Well...>” He turned and looked back at Treecko, hoping to change the subject. “<I can tell I’m not the only one who’s homesick.>”

Treecko momentarily narrowed his eyes, but soon went back to appearing calm and collected. “<Think what you want...>”

Daedalus did a 180 jump on the windowsill and faced Treecko, who glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. “<You can’t fool me, Treecko... I was there when Daggerback caught you. I saw the look on your face when you were tending to that tree. You really care about it, don’t you?>” Daedalus asked, knowing that he was right.

Treecko balled up his fist and glared at Daedalus, refusing to show any sort of weakness to him. The Taillow stared right back at him before breaking a mild grin. “<It’s okay to care about it, you know...>”

Treecko looked away, gazing back out the window while chewing on his twig. “<We’re here,>” he spoke just seconds before a large shadow overtook the car.

Blane, Rachel and Kevin all turned around as the cable car pulled into a nearly identical terminal at the top of Mount Chimney. Jeff turned around and lunged out of his seat upon seeing that Blitz was on the other side of the window. The Scyther was directly behind him, following the car into the terminal.

“Annnd stop!” Kevin decreed. He punched the button with his finger, bringing the car to a rocky stop in the terminal.

Drezdk held onto Jeff for support, unaccustomed to the sudden shift in weight. Upon collecting himself he looked out the rear window, down the face of the dormant volcano. “<Strange... We came all that way without even beating a wing.>”

“Yeah! Great, huh?” Kevin said, placing his hands on his hips and traipsing towards the door.

Upon opening it, Kevin found Blitz standing in front of him. “<Kevin,>” the mantis pokemon said, speaking with a hint of urgency in his voice. “<I heard humans up here...>”

Kevin’s face immediately grew serious and he turned to the others. “Be on your guard, everyone...”

“Team Magma?” Jeff questioned, following the others off the cable car and into the empty terminal.

“That’s my guess,” agreed Rachel, drawing Strix and Avis’ pokeballs just in case.

“<Who?>” Drezdk asked Jeff with worry. “<I...I won’t have to kill anybody, right Jeff?>”

Jeff looked down at the Beedrill reassuringly. “Of course not. I’d never ask you to do something like that. And I only want you to battle if you want to, okay?” he explained, placing his hand on Drezdk’s back.

Drezdk nodded slowly. “<...Thank you.>”

Blitz and Kevin hopped over the ticket gate and slinked over to the wall on each side of the door. The Scyther poked his head out and looked around. Outside the terminal was rock, rock and more rock. The ground was craggy and either red or black, depending on the part of the summit. Directly across from them, they could see the tips of trees which gradually grew shorter the further away they were. On the distance they could see far off forests due to the sheer height of Mount Chimney. The intense smell of sulphur entered the Scyther’s nostrils and caused him to cringe.

“See anything, Blitz?” Kevin asked.

“<No... I see no humans,>” he replied, still scanning the area. The Scyther’s hazel eyes lit up upon finding something else. “<Kevin, are those our Onix?>” He pointed with his scythe to two grey stalagmites that stood out against the other rocks, sticking up from behind the crest of the southern peak of the mountain.

“Team Magma must be behind the terminal, closer to the center of the volcano,” Rachel said. “If Blitz was right about hearing human voices, that is.”

“Don’t get him angry,” Jeff whispered, keeping a safe distance away from the insect pokemon.

“<Closer to the center of the volcano?>” Corphish asked nervously. “<Arceus help us all...>” The water type’s eyes widened and he cupped his pincers over his mouth. “<I take it back! I didn’t say that! People who say that are always the first to die in disaster movies!>”

Blane folded his arms and thought. “But if Team Magma is out there, how do we let Atlas and Prometheus know that we’re here without those guys seeing or hearing us? We don’t know if they’re a hundred feet away or ten.”

“Maybe we could throw something at them,” Jeff suggested. He reached into his bag and pulled out a fruit. “How about this?” He brandished the lemon in front of him.

Kevin’s eyes widened and he swung around to defiantly face his friend. “Jeff! You can’t throw that lemon! It’s an excellent source of vitamins!” He turned to the Scyther next to him. “Blitz, help him put it away.”

“Okay! No lemon!” Jeff hastily said, throwing the fruit back in his backpack before the Scyther could get close to him. “So what’s your bright idea? We can’t just walk out there. We could be outnumbered for all we know and, like you said, these guys have extremist attitudes.”

“I know...” Kevin said icily. “They might have guns, too.”

“Guns?” Jeff asked aloud, perplexed. “What are you talking about, Kevin? The Hoenn National Gun Ban was ten years ago. All of the guns have been confiscated and their metals melted down and remade for other things. They don’t even make bullets anymore.”

“Yeah?” Kevin responded sharply. “Then how come Blitz was shot by a farmer a month ago?”

“He what?” Jeff asked, surprised.

“<I was forced to steal some of his crops for sustenance,>” Blitz answered.

Kevin’s eye twitched. “...Not the point I was trying to make, genius,” he said. “There are still old models in circulation. Sure they might not make guns anymore, but they’re not completely gone either.”

Jeff still wasn’t convinced. “Just because some guy on some rural route that they overlooked has one--”

“Look, I’m sure, okay?” Kevin interrupted with certainty in his voice. “...It’s possible.”

“That’s all great,” Blane said while placing his Piplup on his shoulder. “But we still have the problem of contacting Atlas and Prometheus.”

Jeff spoke up. “How about the--”

“Don’t say ‘lemon’!” Kevin growled.

“<I’ll do it,>” a calm yet determined voice said from behind them. The group turned and saw Treecko stepping towards the door.

“Treecko?” Jeff asked, a little surprised. “How?”

“<I’ll use Bullet Seed,>” he responded, narrowing his eyes.

Jeff and several others looked sceptical. The teen rubbed the back of his neck. “Uhh, are you sure, Treeck?”

Treecko internally bristled at Jeff’s lack of confidence in him. “<Yeah,>” he responded firmly.

The wood gecko pokemon stepped into the doorway and took aim at one of the two stone horns. He raised his tail and gripped the ground with his feet for balance. Treecko then opened his mouth and inhaled. The energy was building inside his chest. He could feel it.

When he was satisfied with his stance, he relaxed his hands. Treecko then let loose the attack, feeling the energy rush through from his chest. “Treeeeee ck--”

Nothing happened.

The humans and pokemon surrounding Treecko remained completely silent and shifted uncomfortably. The wood gecko pokemon grimaced for a split second but attempted to show himself as composed and aloof. He closed his eyes and relaxed his body, despite how frustrated he really was.

Treecko centered his focus to the energy inside him once again. He was not about to give up. Oxygen seeped into his lungs from the breath he took and Treecko waited until he felt the energy within him make its way to his throat.

“<I just have to focus on spitting them now. Just like I practiced,>” he thought.

“Treeeeeeee,” he spoke, building up the energy and rearing his head back. “...Cko cko cko cko cko cko!”

A salvo of eight glowing energy seeds burst from his throat and ripped through the air over the stretch of rocky terrain. Three of the eight hit their target: the horn on the right that was poking up from behind the peak. A deep rumbling voice began to roar, but it was suddenly muffled. The horn on the left rose up and the tip of an Onix’s head emerged, followed by a pair of grey eyes.

Jeff could immediately recognize him as Atlas from the large scar running across his face. Prometheus angrily raised his head too, though his mouth was covered by the end of Atlas’ tail. Jeff and Kevin both hailed them by waving their hands. Atlas’s face lit up upon seeing them. The two Onixes both looked at each other and nodded. They both emerged over the small cliff and crawled towards the terminal as slowly and quietly as they could.

Treecko, who seemed relatively content that he pulled off that second Bullet Seed, walked past the others and leaned against the ticket gate. He was still troubled, though, about the idea that he still didn't have complete control over it. He knew he had to try harder.

The group watched as the two began to slither stealthily in their direction. As they did, Rachel turned to Blane. “What’s this about a gun ban?” she asked.

“Oh yeah,” Blane replied. “Johto’s gun ban was put into effect before you were born, so you probably take it for a given. Johto, Unova, Hoenn and Sinnoh all passed legislation involving a gun ban. Many people were using guns for hunting pokemon, and that caused many wild pokemon to react violently to humans, so as a show of good will towards pokemon, mostly everybody agreed to the ban. Not only did pokemon deaths decrease, but so did human deaths, so it worked out well for everybody except the gun corporations. And since humans and pokemon join the military together now, guns are pretty much obsolete anyways since we have pokemon on our side. Of course the pokemon have to give their permission to enlist with their trainer or else the trainer can’t use them. It sorta makes sense since if that wasn’t a rule, pokemon would just be tools and that wouldn’t be right. It’s not like there’s been a war for many centuries anyways though, so all the guns being produced were just wasted money. Heck, most people and pokemon assigned to the military these days are assigned to police work and the occasional disaster zone.”

“I see,” Rachel replied, taking in the information. “What about Kanto?”

“Johto applied some pressure to them, so they’re coming around, actually. I read in the news they’re having a meeting about it later this week. If you ask me, they’ll be gun free by the end of the month,” Blane responded.

Drezdk looked to Daedalus and Corphish. “<What is a gun?>”

“<Something bad,>” the Taillow answered.

“<Something awesome,>” Corphish retaliated, huffily. He looked between Drezdk and Daedalus. “<Have you not seen Die Hard, the best action movie in the history of the world? It stars Bruce, a Machoke? Subtitled? Ringing any bells?>”

Drezdk and Daedalus both reacted to Corphish’s enthusiasm with blank stares. Corphish huffed and turned around. “<It looks like we’ll have to have a movie night sometime!>”

Drezdk leaned over to the Taillow and whispered by cupping his mouth with his forestinger. “<Is he... okay?>” he asked, gesturing to Corphish with a nod of his head.

Daedalus raised his wing and cupped his wing to his mouth as well. “<Quite the opposite...>”

Atlas and Prometheus finally made it over to the terminal without being noticed and coiled themselves so that they would remain relatively hidden behind the small building.

“<It took you all long enough,>” Prometheus said in a hushed voice.

“Nice to see you too, Pro,” Kevin responded.

“<We’re, uhh, glad you all came,>” Atlas said, casting a glance to Jeff before awkwardly looking away.

“Yeah, what’s going on?” Jeff asked.

“<There’s a bunch of humans in red over near the center of the volcano,>” Prometheus responded. “<Atlas wasn’t sure if we should show ourselves to them, so we stayed hidden.>”

Atlas rolled his eyes. “<That was you, Prometheus.>”

“<Ridiculous,>” the blue-eyed Onix insisted.

Kevin turned to the others, actually passing up an opportunity to rib Prometheus. “Team Magma. I knew it,” he said fierily.

“How many were there?” Blane asked.

“<Nine,>” Prometheus replied. “<Eight of them looked alike but one of them had a different looking head and was much cleaner. Could he be the evolved form of the others?>”

“<I told you this already, Prometheus,>” Atlas said. “<Humans don’t evolve. They’re like the Sableyes and Mawiles in Granite Cave before Cronus threw them out,>” he added bitterly.

“<Right...>” Prometheus muttered. He turned to the others who were still standing inside the terminal. “<One other thing... When we first came up here, I heard one of them mention Lord Groudon’s name. Why would he do that?>”

“Groudon?” Jeff asked. “I dunno... More importantly, why are they even up here at all?”

“Yeah,” Rachel concurred. “Near the mouth of a volcano seems like a strange place for a team meeting.”

The group thought about it for a few moments. It was then that Kevin’s eyes widened in horror. “I think I know what they’re doing...” he whispered, anger and fear in his voice.

“<What is it, Kevin?>” Blitz asked, concerned by Kevin’s emotions.

“What’s Team Magma’s goal?” he asked coldly.

“To expand the world’s landmass,” Jeff responded. After a moment, he inhaled sharply. Several others also cued in at more or less the same time. “You don’t mean...?”

Kevin nodded grimly. “They want Mount Chimney to erupt...”

“<I knew it! I knew it! It’s going to erupt! I told you all! We’re going to die!>” Corphish exploded in a nearly hysterical panic. “<Whoever makes it out of here alive, tell Peeko I like her!>”

“S-Settle down, Corphish,” Jeff said, nervousness in his voice as well. “We don’t know this for sure yet.”

“Are you willing to take that chance?” Kevin retorted.

“No... but what are we supposed to do? We can’t just attack them!>” Jeff said.

“And why not? They’re Team Magma,” the blonde teen coldly said.

“They outnumber us nine to four,” was Jeff’s response.

“What about our pokemon?” Kevin rationalized.

“What about theirs?” the dark haired teen retorted. “And I’m not about to send my pokemon to fight beside the mouth of a volcano, dormant or not.”

Daedalus looked at Jeff with surprise. A flicker of respect could be seen behind the Taillow’s dark eyes, but he grimaced and averted his gaze.

“<Let’s do this...>” he suggested, speaking up and drawing everybody’s attention. “<We’ll confront them peacefully and use fighting as a last resort. We’ll find out their true intentions and stop them if need be. Here’s the plan... Jeff and Kevin will go over there on Atlas and Prometheus’ backs. Even if they do have guns and they do use them, they’ll do next to nothing to the hide of an Onix. Treecko and Blitz will go with them to compensate for Atlas and Prometheus’ slow manoeuvrability. Everybody else will stay back here and watch. You four, try to avoid a fight if you can, but if you do get in trouble, we’ll be able to sweep around and attack them when they’re not expecting it.>”

“Sounds like a good plan to me,” Blane spoke.

“Is that okay with everybody?” Jeff asked, looking at the others. The response was nods all around.

With that, Jeff nervously climbed on Atlas’s back, followed by Treecko. Prometheus gave Atlas a slight nod before looking forward. He felt Kevin crawl onto him. Blitz flew up and landed on Prometheus in a kneeling position.

“<Let’s... go, I suppose,>” Prometheus said, uncoiling himself and beginning to slither out into the open.

Atlas grimaced and looked back at his human companion with guilt. “<Jeff... I just wanted to say...>” he began.

“We’ll talk later, Atlas, okay?” he replied, offering a small smile afterwards.

Atlas sighed and nodded, following Prometheus. He moved out from behind the terminal. Jeff could finally see the rest of Mount Chimney’s peak. The summit was more or less completely flat with the exception of several crags and outcroppings jutting out of the rocky terrain.

“<I’ve never seen rocks quite like this,>” Prometheus whispered to Atlas as they slithered across them.

They looked forward and saw a massive sinkhole in the center of the plateau. It was there that the waves of heat rose from. Kevin tightened his grip on Prometheus’ back as they saw several humans facing towards the fissure. The eight nearly identical humans were garbed in the same uniform: black pants and red hooded sweaters that cut off at the biceps in a jagged pattern. The uniforms donned a large black ‘M’ printed on the front in the style of mountains: Team Magma’s logo.

The ninth man there stood apart from the others. The first thing that one would notice about him was his neatly-styled, swept-back, red hair that parted in different directions at the nape of his neck. He wore a pristine pair of black pants and a primarily red topcoat with black lining. The coat was strange in that the top right corner of the coat was black and on the breast of it was a red Team Magma emblem. Even at a distance, the group could tell that he held himself with an air of confidence.

“You think he’s the boss?” Jeff asked Kevin.

“I think. He’s dressed the least ridiculously,” the blonde teen responded.

One of the Team Magma members scratched the back of his neck and momentarily turned his head to the side. Something in the corner of his eye caught his attention and he decided to turn towards it. A pair of Onix were slithering towards him and he recoiled in wide-eyed horror.

“AH! Where the hell did those Onix come from?!” he shouted, backing up into another member. The other seven grunts turned around and the suspected leader of the group looked towards them with an arched eyebrow.

“The heck?!” another Team Magma member exclaimed. “Are they wild? I didn’t think they lived around these parts!”

“<I think they finally noticed us,>” Prometheus muttered warily.

“They’re not wild; there’s humans and pokemon riding on them!” a Team Magma member replied.

“Should we take ‘em down, Sir?” another one called out.

“No,” the leader spoke calmly, raising his hand to relax his subordinates. “At least... not yet.”

He ran his fingers through his red hair and walked away from the volcano’s mouth, passing by the other members of Team Magma. He stepped out in front of them as Atlas and Prometheus grew near, folding his arms confidently.

Treecko climbed up onto Atlas’ head, preparing to jump off should the need arise. Blitz was also ready to act at a moment’s notice. Kevin hopped off and walked forward, stepping in front of Atlas and Prometheus, causing them both to stop.

“Team Magma!” Kevin shouted over to them.

The leader smirked and nodded. “Very astute. You’re well versed in current affairs, I see.”

“You’re not hard to recognize when you all wear such ridiculous uniforms,” Kevin replied in a mixture of taunting and anger.

“You brat!” one of the members shouted. “My mom made me this hat!”

The red-haired man raised a hand to silence him. He observed Kevin carefully. “...Why do you seem familiar?”

Blitz walked up beside Kevin protectively. “Beats me. You’re Maxie, right?” the teen asked.

Jeff walked over to Kevin and Blitz as well. “Don’t antagonize them, Kevin. We just want to find out what’s going on,” he whispered.

“Correct,” Maxie responded. “As I’m sure you know, I’m the leader of Team Magma. Who might you be and what are you doing here?”

“I’m Jeff and this is Kevin,” Jeff explained, attempting to be more diplomatic. “We’re trainers and--”

“’Kevin’...” the leader of Team Magma mused with a certain familiarity to his voice. “What’s your last name?”

“More importantly, what are you guys doing here?” Kevin demanded, dismissing the question.

Maxie chuckled while reaching into his topcoat pocket and clutching something. “What we’re doing is of the utmost importance,” he replied confidently. “Along with our pokemon, we, Team Magma, are ushering Hoenn into a reformation.”

“You nutjobs are trying to drain the oceans!” Kevin shot back.

Maxie nodded. “That’s right, Kevin. With more land to live on, Hoenn would prosper. The blooming flora, the diverse pokemon... We would be able to build cities anew without impeding on pokemons’ territory.”

“Yeah, that’s great,” Kevin muttered dismissively. “I don’t care about your grand scheme right now. What are you doing here?”

“You’re the impatient one,” the Team Magma leader spoke, drawing something from his coat. Clutched is his palm was a nearly-purple stone that he brandished in front of him. The rock had an unnatural sparkle to it.

“What’s that?” Jeff asked.

Maxie grinned with a smug expression on his face. “This... this is the key to Hoenn’s golden age. This will unlock the glorious future.”

“It’s a rock...” Kevin deadpanned.

“Even something as small as a rock has the potential to do something monumental,” Maxie responded. “This rock in particular is from outer space. Just by looking at it you can tell that it possesses an otherworldly quality.”

“What’s that for?” Jeff questioned.

Maxie chuckled to himself. “With this meteorite, everything will change...” He looked at the trainers and their pokemon. “This has the ability to drain Mount Chimney and call upon the power within its core.”

His sly smile widened. “Team Magma will awaken Groudon: god of the earth and the messenger of Team Magma’s ideals...”


Author's Notes: I'm quoting my friend when I say "Kevin + Lemon = OTP" =P

Read, review and hope you enjoyed it.
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Old March 31st, 2011 (4:15 PM).
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EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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This is based on my first impression of the first chapter.

While nothing really stands out plot-wise, I do like the detail you've put into describing your hero's room. Were the movie posters inspired by real movies or other fics?

I also like the relationship he has with the Tyrogue--who does it belong to?

Overall, a pretty solid start--just think of something to make this fic stand out (if you haven't already)
The world will be saved by four heroes with a song in their hearts....

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Old April 4th, 2011 (10:39 AM).
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Grovyle42(Griff8416) Grovyle42(Griff8416) is offline
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Originally Posted by EmeraldSky View Post

This is based on my first impression of the first chapter.

While nothing really stands out plot-wise, I do like the detail you've put into describing your hero's room. Were the movie posters inspired by real movies or other fics?

I also like the relationship he has with the Tyrogue--who does it belong to?

Overall, a pretty solid start--just think of something to make this fic stand out (if you haven't already)
Heh, thanks. Yeah, it takes a little while for anything to really get going, plot-wise. As for the movie posters, nah. I'm pretty sure I just made them up... Unless there's a Die Hard movie poster. If there's a Die Hard movie poster, then it's based on Die Hard. =P That movie gets referenced a few times throughout the fic.

Tyrogue. Well, he doesn't belong to Jeff. I'm pretty sure you'll find out eventually, though it's not exactly a big secret.

I think this fic will end up standing out... from what I'm told anyways. I can't really judge that for myself. xD

Anyways, thanks for the review. I hope you continue reading.
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Old April 12th, 2011 (8:14 PM).
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Meinfoo Meinfoo is offline
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Here is the review of the prologue and the first chapter. I will probably read and review the rest though! :D


Everything was a dark green and brown blur in my eyes. The colors moved around in my eyes, I was unable to focus while I sprinted. All that I focused on was running away. I ran through the eerie, misty forest, bounding over roots and branches. There were few beams of light trying to enter the forest, clearly seen in the haze.
The repetition of eyes seems awkward. Also the opening sentence seems strange too. Maybe "Everything was a dark green and brown blur to me." or something like that.

The prologue was short and sweet. It was jam packed full of action. Your description was sound and your language was great. I loved the way you used "purgatory" and "angelic."

I was a bit disappointed that there didn't seem to be enough terror involved in the chase. You described the terror well but I think a little more desperation and emotion could have ramped the scene up a few notches.

Chapter One

Those are the words that Jeff heard as he awoke in a puzzled daze. Jeff twitched uncomfortably; this wasn’t the soft cot that he fell asleep in. He opened his eyes, revealing his iris to be green with a tint of yellow surrounding the pupils.
I'm a bit iffy on this. (Man, I'm really harsh on opening lines/paragraphs.) The way you described his eyes seemed kind of shameless. Try to, instead of just describing it to us exactly how it is, weave the description and the action seamlessly throughout the piece. If you can achieve this things will read better and we wont be punched in the face by solid description. Something like... trying to think of an example...

"She twisted, her blond hair whipping like silken ribbons."

See how the action and the description is melded into one single entity? It is a lot more interesting to read rather than: She had blond hair + more description. This is just my preference anyway.

I nearly had a heart attack in the scene where he thinks he is late. Are you making fun of the "late to get to the professor" cliche? I'm so glad you didn't actually make him late or I would have had a big rant at you :D

Jeff got to his feet and stretched, growling in a low tenor voice, as he did so. He walked up to his wall mirror and admired himself. He was shirtless and wore green plaid PJ pants. He looked in the mirror at his six feet tall, one hundred forty-five pound stature. He had a strong muscular build and a good, sturdy posture.
Is this a story or a shopping list =P. The description here is just exactly what it is, exactly what he is wearing all in one paragraph of description punch in the readers face (to put it bluntly. I make this mistake all the time.)

What I said before about weaving descripition with action to make it palatable will really boost your writing!

I really liked the posters and books he had in his room. Those are a really good way to start crafting your universe by giving it some culture. You are possibly telling us a great deal about Jeoff too!

“I should make a good first impression for my first pokemon,” he thought, picking up his electric razor and turning it og
Haha typo. You mean "on" right?

In conclusion you have made a solid start with a few mistakes that should not discourage your readers. I look forward to reviewing you again!
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Old April 13th, 2011 (12:12 PM).
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Hey, thanks for the review! It's quite helpful!

Just for future reference, (particularly when you get to the early unwritten chapters) keep in mind my writing style (I think) will have gotten better since the time I wrote those chapters. I wouldn't want you wasting any time on things that I've already learned. =P Though I do like long reviews...

I'm a bit iffy on this. (Man, I'm really harsh on opening lines/paragraphs.) The way you described his eyes seemed kind of shameless. Try to, instead of just describing it to us exactly how it is, weave the description and the action seamlessly throughout the piece. If you can achieve this things will read better and we wont be punched in the face by solid description. Something like... trying to think of an example...

"She twisted, her blond hair whipping like silken ribbons."

See how the action and the description is melded into one single entity? It is a lot more interesting to read rather than: She had blond hair + more description. This is just my preference anyway.
Hmm, yeah. I see what you mean. I'm still getting the hang of describing through actions as opposed to list-like description. I think I'm getting better at it though. (I hope.)

I nearly had a heart attack in the scene where he thinks he is late. Are you making fun of the "late to get to the professor" cliche? I'm so glad you didn't actually make him late or I would have had a big rant at you
Heh, yeah, I was making fun of it. No Pikachus or Eevees for Jeff.

I really liked the posters and books he had in his room. Those are a really good way to start crafting your universe by giving it some culture. You are possibly telling us a great deal about Jeoff too!
Heh, thanks. In retrospect, I probably would change some of the posters and books to something else, but oh well.

In conclusion you have made a solid start with a few mistakes that should not discourage your readers. I look forward to reviewing you again!
Thanks! I look forward to it.

And to everybody else, I'm done my next chapter. It just has to be beta'd.
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Old April 16th, 2011 (3:33 PM).
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Magma Rising

“<What?!>” Prometheus demanded, staring in shock at the leader of Team Magma. “<Awaken Lord Groudon?!>”

“No way...” Kevin gasped. “Why would you do that? How could that benefit your plan?”

“Haven’t you heard the legend?” Maxie asked, turning his back to them and gradually walking towards the volcano’s crater. He stopped several meters away and looked down into the vent of Mount Chimney, smirking as the cooled, quiescent lava below cast an orangey red glow across his features.

“It has been said that Groudon created the very land we walk on,” he spoke. “Doesn’t it make sense that Team Magma would want such a being on our side?”

Maxie looked over his shoulder at the Scyther, Treecko and pair of Onix and humans and examined their faces. “Still not convinced? Well, you’re bright; I’m sure you’ll figure it out at some point.” The well-dressed leader gave a dismissive wave of his hand before turning his head to his men. “Come on. Let’s get back to work,” he said calmly.

The group of eight Team Magma grunts cast a wary look at the newcomers before walking towards Maxie. “Sir, what about those punks and their pokemon?” one of them asked.

“Leave them,” he replied, staring down at the meteorite in his hand. “They’re no threat to us right now.”

The Team Magma members nodded and scurried to their stations. Three of them made their way over to a gigantic, Onix-sized, metal auger that was erected and bolted down in the rocky plateau, not far from the volcano’s crater. One of them ran over to a control panel on the drill’s side.

By this time, Kevin was fuming. “’No threat to you’!? You can’t just ignore us! I’ll show you--”

He was interrupted when the large pneumatic machine lowered its drill and started boring deep into the ground of Mount Chimney. It created a cacophonous grating sound from both its engine and the collision of the metal against the igneous rock. Sparks and chips of rock exploded outwards. Kevin and Jeff were forced to cup their hands to their ears to quiet the loud noise.

“They’re ignoring us!” Jeff said, attempting to shout over the noise.

“What?!” Kevin called back.

Jeff gestured for them to retreat a bit so that they would be able to talk without having to tear their vocal cords. The six fell back in the direction of the cable car terminal. At that distance, the drilling sound was still loud, especially for Blitz and Treecko who have heightened senses, but they would at least be able to hear one another.

“Those idiots are ignoring us!” Kevin growled.

“I know...” Jeff replied. “What are we supposed to do?”

“You heard them; they’re trying to raise Groudon! We have to stop them!” Kevin answered.

“How? We can’t just attack them,” Jeff responded. “It’s too dangerous and we’d be the instigators here.”

“<Stop them?!>” Prometheus protested. “<He said he’s trying to awaken Lord Groudon; we should be helping them!>”

Kevin spun around towards his Onix. “What are you talking about?! This is Team Magma! Whatever they want to use him for, it can’t be good!”

Prometheus growled and leaned down, bumping his snout against Kevin’s chest and causing the teen to stagger backwards a few steps. Blitz readied his scythes and stepped forwards protectively. “<You humans really are arrogant, did you know that? You really think that your kind could possibly control a god? This is Lord Groudon we’re talking about: the saviour of land-based pokemon everywhere! He created the land and saved pokemon everywhere from the raging First Flood by raising the earth high above the ocean,>” Prometheus explained. “<There’s no way that the likes of you could control him.>”

“That’s exactly it!” Kevin said. “If they awaken him and can’t control him, Hoenn is in deep crap!”

Prometheus growled again, prompting Blitz to step between him and Kevin. “<Just what are you saying? That he’d run amuck? Ridiculous! Lord Groudon is an exalted hero! He would do no harm to our world, only good.>”

Atlas cleared his throat. “<While Prometheus is more immersed in Onixian history and legends than I am, I agree with him. The awakening of Groudon can only be beneficial.>”

Kevin sneered and pulled out his pokedex. “I have trouble believing that...” He flipped up the protective cover and began typing on the device’s onscreen keyboard. “G-R-A-U-D-A-W-N,” he spoke as he typed. “What? No results found?!”

Jeff palmed his face. “Uhh, Kevin...? It’s ‘G-R-O-U-D-O-N’...”

The blonde male blushed in a fluster and quickly typed in the correct name, glaring at the pokedex while Prometheus snickered mockingly. “Number 383... No data... Damn.”

“I remember Professor Birch said that we actually have to see the pokemon and analyze it with our pokedex before we can get any information about it,” Jeff explained.

“Well, that just stinks!” Kevin huffed. “Isn’t that counterproductive to learning? Shouldn’t all this information be ready for trainers at all times?”

“Hey, don’t look at me. I didn’t design these,” Jeff answered.

“<Why use that when you could ask Superstitious here?>” Atlas asked with a bit of a grin, nodding his head in Prometheus’s direction.

“<I’m not superstitious,>” Prometheus growled.

“<Then why do you look away every time somebody mentions that you have blue eyes?>”

The Onix subconsciously averted his gaze. “<I... don’t. I just have a healthy respect for legends, is what.>”

“So, Prometheus, what do you know?” Jeff asked him.

“<Well... Lord Groudon is the god and ruler of the land. It’s thanks to him that we’re all standing here right now and not at the bottom of the sea. Long, long ago, the world flooded, creating the seas, but many pokemon were swept away and endangered by these horrible floods and waves. Right, so, the entire world was flooded and everybody who wasn’t a water-type was in deep trouble. That was when Groudon awoke,>” Prometheus explained with a proud grin. “<Lord Groudon rose up out of the tallest volcano. He stood up over the world, within the volcano’s erupting magma. With an earth-shaking roar, the seas trembled and the land rose up and out from the seas. Being the hero that he was, Lord Groudon saved everybody. He stepped out from the volcano and he was the first pokemon to land with his two feet on solid ground.>”

“<But->” Kevin begun.

“<No interrupting!>” snapped Prometheus. “<...Right, it’s said that Lord Groudon’s very presence causes water to evaporate. This angered his evil brother, Kyogre, who had started the flood so that his favoured water pokemon could flourish. Lord Groudon challenged him to a fight, saying that us land-based pokemon deserve the same right to live as water-dwelling pokemon do. Kyogre accepted his challenge, saying that if he won, the whole world would be covered with oceans. The two pokemon clashed in heated battle, each fighting for their pokemon. It was said that, on that day, the weather seemed to battle too. The sun and the storm clouds each tried to overtake one another. They fought for weeks, months, until finally something happened. The weather finally faded and the two stopped fighting. Both Lord Groudon and Kyogre agreed with one another to split the world: one half land and one half water. Then Groudon went back to his volcano and slept, waiting to be called on again so that us land-based pokemon could thrive.”

The Onix then closed his mouth and nodded. “<And that’s the story we were always told.>”

Atlas nodded. “<I can’t believe that the story actually holds water, if you’ll pardon the expression. It’s seeming that parts of it are true.>”

Prometheus looked over at Atlas. “<I admit, I had some reservations too, but to think, Lord Groudon is actually underneath this very volcano!>”

Treecko folded his arms and glanced up at Blitz, who nodded and looked at Jeff and Kevin. “<Are either of you unsettled by some of the parts of that story?>” the Scyther asked.

“Now that you mention it, yeah, actually...” Jeff agreed, not realizing that he just concurred with Blitz.

“<What do you mean?>” Atlas asked, peering down at the smaller creatures.

“Assuming all of that is true...” Kevin begun. “You said Groudon’s presence causes water to evaporate...”

“<Now we know why that Team Magma group wants to summon him,>” Blitz said, grimacing and looking over at Kevin.

Jeff nodded and gazed up at Prometheus. “That’s not all, though... You said that when Groudon was awakened, the volcano erupted, right?”

Prometheus nodded. “<Yes... but that could very well have been hyperbole to make him seem that much more incredible. I was paraphrasing the story from the way Atlas and I had been told it, after all.>”

“An erupting volcano with Lavaridge Town at the bottom of the south slope... Can we afford to assume that it’s an exaggeration?” Kevin asked rhetorically.

“No,” Jeff agreed, albeit reluctantly. He looked over his shoulder at the Team Magma member members scurrying about. Three of them were still working the drill while three others were preparing a strange looking pedestal-shaped device. As those three were carefully connecting the machine’s wires and pressing buttons, the remaining two grunts stood guard, staring cautiously at Jeff, Kevin, the Onixes, Blitz and Treecko. Jeff turned around again. “So what do we do?”

“We stop standing around here wasting time and stop them!” Kevin replied fierily.

“<Stop them?!>” Prometheus protested.

“Let’s not be reckless, here,” Jeff replied, raising his hands in front of him.

“Says the guy who picked a fight with a Scyther,” Kevin responded.

Jeff and Blitz’s eyes met for a moment before they both looked away and acted very uncomfortable. “That’s beside the point. We don’t know that the volcano will erupt and it’s dangerous to just charge in there, especially when it’s next to the mouth of a volcano!”

“We can’t take that chance!” Kevin shot back.

“<Why do we want to stop them again? Other than Kevin’s obvious personal dislike for them, which doesn’t warrant us stopping the raising of a hero like Groudon,>” Prometheus said, frowning.

“<Prometheus, there’s humans living at the end of that pass and there’s surely pokemon living in the surrounding area,>” Atlas replied. “<Groudon wouldn’t want his awakening to be the cause of anybody’s death.>”

“<I suppose... but still,>” Prometheus answered. “<If nobody was around this volcano, this would be a good idea.>”

Atlas nodded. “<We would be able to dig deeper in our cave and that would mean more room for the pokemon that Cronus exiled. We wouldn’t be restricted to the beach either. When we finally overthrow him, it will be great...>”

“And what about the water pokemon?” Kevin asked. “Don’t Ace and Corphish and others like them deserve homes too?”

Atlas and Prometheus looked at each other. “<Well... yes...>”

“I agree we need to stop them, but we should at least come up with a plan first,” Jeff said, almost sounding like he was begging.

“The clock’s ticking,” Kevin said, gesturing to Team Magma’s continual preparations.

Jeff looked over and saw that they apparently finished setting up the strange looking machine and were waiting on the drillers. “...Damn it, we’ll improvise as we go along,” he said, reluctant but realizing the direness of the situation.

Kevin nodded at the others, prompting them to begin moving. Atlas and Prometheus took the lead, slithering back in the direction of Team Magma. Treecko and Blitz walked in between them, followed by Jeff and Kevin. The two Team Magma guards noticed their approach and drew two pokeballs just in case.

As the group neared the volcano’s mouth, they could hear one of the members shouting over the drill. “We’re at ninety-six percent until we reach the target sill, sir! The bore has just about reached the melting point!” the crimson-clad man yelled to Maxie after looking up from the control panel.

Team Magma’s leader slipped his hands into his coat pockets and walked over to the massive drill. “And the conduit?” he asked loudly.

“Judging from the explorative trial, it should have a clear path from the dike to the magma chamber, sir!” the member said.

“Good,” Maxie mused to himself. “So even though the lava in the vent is crusting over, we can still reach the core.”

“One-hundred percent, sir! The end of the drill has melted! I’m retracting it now!” the drill operative said, pressing several buttons on the bore’s control panel. For a moment, the intense noise finally died down long enough for everyone without earplugs to hear the bells ringing in their ears.

“Sir, the punks are back!” one of the two guards called to him amidst the lull of the drill.

Maxie turned around to see the group of six with Atlas and Prometheus looming threateningly over the two battle-ready guards. It was then that the drill began to start up again in reverse. While the engine was just as loud as before, there was none of the clashing of metal against rock.

“Back again, I see?” Maxie yelled over. He looked over to the three idle Team Magma members who had finished preparing the strange pedestal-like device and nodded. The trio carefully picked up the machine and moved it over beside the drill. Meanwhile, one of the drill operators released the large, grey, muscular form of a Machoke to move the drill once the auger was fully retracted.

“Yeah, we’re back,” Kevin replied, glaring. “And we’re here to stop you.”

“Stop us?” asked the team’s leader. “Why would you want to do that? What we’re doing is for Hoenn: your homes.”

“Our homes?” Kevin laughed. “You don’t seem all that concerned about the citizens of Lavaridge Town’s homes. Don’t you know that awakening Groudon will cause Mount Chimney to erupt?!”

Maxie withdrew his hands from his pockets, seeming to be holding something in one of them, and folded his arms across his chest. “In the off chance that that happens, I issued a warning via one of my subordinates to the former gym leader of Lavaridge Town. If all goes according to plan, everyone should be evacuating,” he explained. “However, since I haven’t seen him since he went down in the cable car, I assume he’s now in custody, so I can’t be sure if they heeded our advice or not.”

“And what about the pokemon around the base of Mount Chimney?” Kevin asked.

“You should give pokemon more credit, Kevin. When they sense danger, they have enough sense to run away,” Maxie replied.

“And all the buildings in Lavaridge City?”

Maxie sighed. “A loss, to be certain, but buildings can be rebuilt on the new land that we provide; it’s not like they’re lives. Besides, no reformation is painless.” He gripped the thing in his hand, hidden behind his elbow.

Treecko and Blitz both stepped forwards, their natural weapons at the ready.

“That’s no excuse!” Kevin spoke heatedly. “Blitz! Prometheus!”

“Kevin, wait!” Jeff protested. “Aw damnit. Treecko. Atlas. Back them up.”

“Boss?!” one of the guards shouted over to Maxie, readying one of his pokeballs.

Maxie looked over to him and smirked. “No. Too many pokemon would just create chaos.” He moved his hand from behind his elbow and revealed a pokeball in his hands. The leader tossed the pokeball over to the guard closest to him. Maxie stared at the group with a smug expression. “Well... if I had known you would insist on interfering with our noble plans, I might not have told you what they were. It vexes me that you wouldn’t want more space... No matter, though. Trying to stop us will only result in failure. Friedrich, just use Requiem. That should be more than enough.”

“Use what?” Jeff asked himself.

“Yessir!” the bulky Team Magma member said, catching the pokeball and aiming it between the team and their aggressors. “Requiem!”

From within the pokeball burst a flash of light, lined with traces of a shadow within it. As it opened, Maxie turned around, looking back at his frantically working team. The Machoke had since removed the bore and the three more technically inclined members moved the mechanical, pedestal-like machine over the hole, connecting the device to the aperture with a metal tube.

“Blitz!” Kevin shouted. “Don’t give it time to get situated!”

The Scyther nodded and raced towards the form that appeared amidst the flash. The charging Blitz raised his right scythe and slashed downwards. However, instead of hitting something, a sharp pain rippled through his chest and he was sent flying backwards from a lightning fast blow. Blitz let out a strained growl and dragged his feet along with one of his scythes along the rocky ground to stop himself.

Standing before them was the six foot, humanoid form of a red rooster. Using its well-developed legs, it steadied its feet on the pyroclastic rocks below. Its avian face frowned and glared at Blitz and the other pokemon challengers while clenching its talons.

“Aw crap,” Jeff spoke, having seen the pokemon before at his uncle’s. “That’s a Blaziken.”

“It’s called ‘Requiem’?” Kevin asked, slightly disturbed. “Either Maxie or its parents have serious problems, depending on who named it.”

Both humans stepped backwards and drew their pokedexes. “BEEPBOOP. Blaziken, the Blaze pokemon. In battle, Blaziken blows out intense flames from its wrists and attacks foes courageously. The stronger the foe, the more intensely this pokemon’s wrists burn. BORP.”

“This isn’t good,” Jeff said, backing up.

“<But he’s still so small,>” Prometheus protested.

“Don’t underestimate him,” Jeff replied. “Blazikens are fire and fighting types. All of you are weak to his moves.”

“<No problem,>” Treecko spoke.

“Treecko!” the teen protested. “He’s a final stage pokemon! You’re a first stage pokemon!”

The grass lizard narrowed his golden eyes, fixing his black, brown-laced pupils on Jeff. “<That doesn’t matter and even if it did, we don’t have to win, right? >” he said in a low voice so that the enemy wouldn’t hear them. “<No matter how big he is, I can fight him without a problem, but all we have to do is get that meteorite to stop their plan. This guy’s just in the way.>”

“Treeck’s right,” Kevin muttered to the group. “All you need to do is stall him while me and Jeff get the meteorite. Blitz and Pro, stay moving, try not to get hit and hit him when he’s not looking.”

“Treecko and Atlas? Same with you. We have to play it safe, so stick to hit and run tactics. All of you cooperate on this; we can’t give that Blaziken any breathing space,” Jeff said.

Maxie proceeded walking away from the conflict and over towards the flashing and blinking machine. He looked over his shoulder at his Blaziken. “Requiem, please listen to Friedrich’s every command. Don’t let them interfere,” he said simply.

The Blaziken nodded and remained looking forward, ready to act. “<Of course, Maxie,>” he spoke in a deep, almost demonic voice.

The fit Team Magma guard stepped forward and pointed at the group. “Okay, Requiem, take down the Scyther first! Use Blaze Kick!”

Requiem raced towards Blitz and lunged into the air with his leg drawn back. His foot ignited in a burst of flame and soon his whole leg was ablaze.

Kevin sneered. “Blitz, we’ll start the speed combo! Agility, quick!”

Blitz nodded and dodged the fiery kick with incredible speed. Requiem sneered as he hit nothing but a green blur. The Blaziken impacted the rocky ground and rebound himself off of it in the direction Blitz dashed.

“Atlas! Use Smack Down!” Jeff shouted.

“<Use what?>” Atlas asked, looking at Prometheus with a perplexed expression.

“<I think he wants you to do this,>” Prometheus replied, quickly slithering forwards and contorting his body so that his upper body was on the ground and his tail was free to move in the air. With a mighty heave, Prometheus lashed his tail down onto the airborne Blaziken’s back. The rooster pokemon felt the rocky limb strike his back and slam him down onto the level rocks. Requiem let out a gasp and lay on the rocks for a moment before leaping to his feet with a new anger.

“<How was I supposed to guess that?>” Atlas muttered.

Maxie walked along the rocks, approaching the machine and the three operators. The trio looked up and nodded. “How long until completion? I’m a bit impatient now that these misinformed teenagers and their pokemon have decided to act against us.”

“About ninety percent, Maxie,” one of them replied, looking at him from under his red hat. “We could use the meteorite fragment now.”

The red-haired man took the fist-sized violet stone from his pocket and observed it as it rested in his palm. He then grinned and extended his arm, offering it to his subordinate. Kevin looked over and saw this. His eyes widened and leapt over Atlas’s tail and ran towards them. “Jeff, command Prometheus and Blitz while I’m busy!” he shouted behind him. Jeff reluctantly nodded.

Requiem saw this and leapt, changing his course away from Prometheus and Treecko, who were in the process of charging him. The pokemon landed in front of Kevin, standing half a head taller than him. In a quick motion, he grabbed Kevin by the collar of his shirt and lifted the human off the ground.

“<Don’t you dare touch him!>” Blitz hissed, speeding at them as only a blur in the air. Requiem nonchalantly tossed Kevin at the Scyther. At the speed he was going, it was all that Blitz could do to lower his scythes before the two collided. The pair crashed to the volcanic ground in a heap, groaning. The Blaziken narrowed his eyes and took a step in their direction. As soon as his foot hit the ground, it became engulfed in fire.

“Treecko, Quick Attack!” Jeff shouted. Treecko ripped across the ground on all fours at a blistering speed. He lunged at the avian pokemon, ready to swing his tail.

“Requiem, Double Kick!” Friedrich countered.

Requiem leaned back and put his weight on one leg and shot his foot forwards. Treecko swung his tail upwards, changing his airborne momentum in order to avoid the kick. Though Requiem missed the first time, he pulled his leg back again to have it snap forwards higher, striking Treecko in the chest.

The grass pokemon was thrown through the air, grimacing as he soared. Treecko pitched his tail around, attempting to right himself despite the throbbing pain in his chest. He glanced behind him and saw Atlas. After swinging his tail to increase his momentum, Treecko landed with both feet on Atlas’ underbelly. He propelled himself off the Onix and in the direction of Requiem.

“Treecko, use Agility and then Quick Attack! Atlas, after that, you use, uhh, Tackle. Prometheus, start throwing rocks at him! Rock Tomb!”

The wood gecko pokemon landed on the ground and attempted to relax his muscles. With the strain on his muscles reduced, he was able to move more swiftly and fluently. He rushed across the ground as a green blur. The Blaziken attempted to counterattack against the speedy pokemon, but Treecko was going too fast.

Treecko vaulted into the air, using the momentum of his agility in attack. He slammed his tail into Requiem’s shoulder, eliciting a short grunt of pain from the fire type and distracting him from Kevin. The blonde teenager pulled himself off of Blitz and dashed towards the machine where Maxie was.

Friedrich saw this and pointed wildly. “Requiem! Forget them! That kid’s getting away!”

The Blaziken swung around, glaring in the direction of the running human, and charged after him. That is until a massive red boulder fell directly in front of him, stopping his pursuit. Requiem looked over his shoulder and saw that Prometheus had ripped an outcropping from the ground and hurled it at him.

“<Easier said than done,>” Requiem hissed. Not to be deterred, he leapt over the boulder only to find a scythe slash across his feathered chest and throw him back to the ground. Blitz landed on top of the rock and glared his hazel eyes at the fire pokemon.

Only a second after landing, not even giving him enough time to recover, the Blaziken felt an incredible weight slam into his back and throw him forwards against the boulder. Atlas struck him with the unscarred side of his head and pinned his chest up against the boulder. Meanwhile, Blitz looked over his shoulder and saw Kevin rapidly approaching his target.

“Crap, Maxie underestimated these guys... or did he place too much faith in Requiem?” the Team Magma guard muttered to himself. “Sky Uppercut with your foot!”

Requiem grimaced and pulled one of his legs close to his body. In less than a second, he kicked it out at a high angle. Atlas recoiled in pain upon feeling the Blaziken’s foot slam into his chin, knocking him away. “<That was a painful blow,>” Atlas thought to himself, wincing as he balanced himself to keep from falling over.

The anthropomorphic rooster agilely avoided another falling boulder and deflected a blow from Treecko’s tail using a swing of his arm. He lunged at Blitz up on the boulder and clawed at him with fire-wreathed talons. Blitz growled in pain and attempted to fight back with a slash of his scythes. Unfortunately for him, Requiem acted first with a roundhouse Blaze Kick to his face, throwing Blitz to the ground below.

Requiem set his sights back on Kevin and smirked ever so slightly. He lunged off the crest of the boulder towards the teen who closed in on the four Team Magma members.

“Prometheus, quick! Get him!” Jeff shouted.

“<Okay!>” Prometheus responded as he lunged after the Blaziken.

Before Requiem could soar any further towards his target, he felt himself be stopped in his flight. Prometheus’ rocky tail had wrapped around his form and had restrained him. The Onix held the writhing Blaziken up and squeezed him firmly, making sure he wouldn’t be able to escape.

“Requiem!” Friedrich shouted in shock. “Do something! Blaze Kick!”

The fire type attempted to ignite his feet but they did no more than tickle the surface of Prometheus’ strong hide. The Onix squeezed his captive harder, snuffing out the flames. Requiem let out a gasping cry of pain and struggled against the rock serpent in vain. Prometheus grinned and looked over at Jeff with a nod.

Jeff nodded in return and turned to Kevin. “Kev! Do it!”

Kevin clenched his fists as he closed in on the group. As he did, one of the machine operators placed the meteorite fragment onto the rectangular machine. The operator quickly pressed several buttons on the device’s control panel, seeming to activate it. The metal plate of the machine suddenly glowed a purple colour, the same colour as the meteor piece above it.

“Internal chemical extraction and transferral initiating. Set to automatic. The meteor is reacting to the heat; the chemical alteration has begun and they should be propelling downwards now. It’s at one percent, sir,” he said, looking at Maxie. “I would advise we evacuate now, but- Gah! Behind you!”

Maxie turned around in time to see Kevin dash past him, running straight for the machine. Kevin knocked one of the operators to the ground and skid to a stop, reaching for the meteorite. Just as the tips of his fingers touched the warm, almost unnaturally smooth surface of the violet rock, a hand reached out and grabbed him roughly by the collar.

Kevin was wrenched away from the machine with a violent jerk. The hand released him and the teen stumbled back. It was then that a set of knuckles drilled into his cheek and sent him flat on his back. Numbing pain seared the side of Kevin’s face. He grimaced and looked up, seeing the stronger of the three machine operators standing over him. The Team Magma grunt placed a foot on his chest and pinned him to the rocks.

Maxie nonchalantly walked over to the pair and looked at Kevin with a subtle frown. “Kevin, are you really against our ideals that much?” he asked in a disappointed voice. “Is it what we’re doing here or is it our overall goal? Or are you a Team Aqua sympathizer?”

Kevin let out a laugh. “Hah! Not likely. I’d still root for them before I root for you guys though, and that’s saying something,” he replied with a grin which disappeared when the Team Magma grunt ground the heel of his boot into Kevin’s gut.

“That’s enough, Claudius,” Maxie said, ushering him not to hurt Kevin. He looked back down at Kevin. “I get the feeling that you have a grudge against us...”

Kevin sneered at him. “Yeah, well, sorry if I offended you, but grudges tend to form when your goons riddle the windows of my house with bullets...” he spoke coldly.

Maxie’s arched an eyebrow and frowned in utter confusion. “...Excuse me?”

Any further response from Kevin was interrupted by the tremoring of the earth deep below, nearly knocking all of the humans off balance.

“Sir!” one of the operators called over. “It’s at ten percent now. We need to evacuate before it reaches twenty percent.”

“But if we leave, these kids will remove the meteorite,” Claudius protested.

“I’ll put on the glass casing,” the third Team Magma member responded. “It’s shaped in such a way that it can’t be broken with blunt force.”

Maxie nodded and looked at him. “Do that. Don’t forget to lock it,” he spoke, prompting the crimson-clothed man to run over to his bag to receive the casing. Maxie then looked down at Kevin, ignoring the growing quakes beneath them. “What did you mean just now?”

Kevin growled. “Nevermind that! Stop this thing before it’s too late!” he ordered. “There’s no way you can control Groudon! He’ll crush you and Lavaridge Town underneath his feet!”

Maxie shrugged and shook his head, grinning. “I wouldn’t be so sure...”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Kevin asked, becoming more and more wary of the nearby volcano.

“Fool me once, Kevin,” Maxie replied, waggling his finger. “I’ve learned from my mistake. Now that I see your stance on my team and our ideals, I think it would be best to hold my tongue.” The red-haired man kept a firm footing on the ground and looked over to the sole subordinate who was operating the machine.

He looked up at Maxie with some degree of urgency. “Seventeen percent.”

“I’m coming!” the other Team Magma member responded, running over. Kevin could see the allegedly unbreakable glass dome with metal latch in his hand. In the man’s other hand was a metal lock and key.

“Three percent until it reaches the point of no return.”

Kevin’s eyes widened. If they reached twenty percent, Lavaridge Town, the surrounding area and possibly they themselves would be doomed. “Do you have any idea what you’re doing?!” Kevin shouted, trying to fight to get Claudius’ foot off of him.

The tremors increased, making it incredibly difficult for anybody barring the Onix to stand up straight. Requiem became engulfed in flames, causing Prometheus’ binding hold on him to loosen.

“Eighteen percent, sir!” called the man, looking up from the screen.

“Securing glass casing!” said the other. He fixed the rear part of the case to the machine and began to close it, readying the lock.

Prometheus looked over at Jeff, beginning to wince. “<This guy’s getting pretty hot; even for me,>” he explained, looking at the roaring, fire-shrouded Blaziken.

“That’s his Blaze ability!” Jeff replied, getting a sinking feeling in his chest from the quaking earth and the sheer desperation of the situation. He held onto a nearby outcropping for support.

Maxie stared into Kevin’s blue eyes as lava emerged from underneath the previously cooling rocks in the throat of Mount Chimney and cast an orange glow on the side of his face. “I know exactly what I’m doing.”

“Nineteen percent!”

“Closing the case as we speak!”

Prometheus grimaced as Requiem began to wriggle out of his coils by intensifying his flames. “<I’m not sure how long I can hold him!>”

Maxie’s grin widened and fire seemed to reflect in his eyes. “And now it’s too late to stop it.”

“Blitz!” Kevin shouted.

“<Off of him!>” a voice scathed.

Claudius spun around with wide eyes to see a Scyther ram into him and throw him flat on his back. Kevin scrambled to his feet and looked towards the machine. “The meteor!” he cried out, his eyes widening as the operator began closing the case. “No!”

It was then that a white and navy blue star seemed to fall out of the sky. The object shot down towards them at a steep angle. In a fluent motion, it swooped down and bashed the glass case out of the Team Magma grunt’s hands in a full body tackle. This caused the casing to flip backwards and hang from the electronic machine, exposing the meteor.

A small avian pokemon landed on top of the violet meteor, his form cloaked in purple light. He grasped the stone tightly in his talons and turned around to look at Kevin and Blitz, giving them a wink.

“Daedalus?!” Kevin said in shock, staring at the Taillow.

“Where’d that Taillow come from?!” the flustered operator shouted.

“Is it theirs?!” Claudius asked, pulling himself up.

“Stop it!” Maxie ordered, his eyes widening as Daedalus wiped the smirk from his face.

The nearest Team Magma member reached his hand for the rock only to be mercilessly pecked. With many rapid beats of his wings, Daedalus flew away from the machine with the meteor in claw. Maxie looked on incredulously as the metal plate of the machine dimmed from a bright violet colour to its dull steel hue.

Daedalus flapped furiously to compensate for the weight of the rock. He flew towards the larger group, consisting of Jeff, Friedrich and their pokemon. The other Team Magma members had been ordered to escape on their bird pokemon as soon as the count reached seventeen percent.

Jeff looked up and saw Daedalus against the orange sky. “Daedalus!” he called out.

Maxie turned towards his Blaziken with wide eyes. “Requiem! Stop that Taillow!” he yelled.

“<Unhand me!>” Requiem roared, breaking free of his bonds in a flash of flames, causing Prometheus to release him.

The Blaziken drilled his foot into Prometheus’ back and began running up the rock serpent’s spine. He made his way to his head, jumped off of the tip of the Onix’s horn and propelled himself high into the sky. Daedalus saw the fire-type soar at him and he frantically looked down. “<Treecko!>” he shouted, dropping the fragment both to protect it and to regain his mobility.

Requiem saw the rock drop from Daedalus’ talons but it fell too quickly for him to even reach it, no matter how much he tried to alter his angle. Treecko leapt from Atlas’ back and caught the stone in mid-air. He landed on the ground with the fragment under one arm.

Daedalus did a corkscrew manoeuvre to avoid a slash from Requiem, who descended back towards the ground. “<Everybody, run!>”

Kevin and Blitz both raced away from Maxie south, in the direction of Jagged Pass. Atlas and Prometheus looked at each other for a moment before following suit. Treecko and Jeff started running back towards the cable car terminal as well. Treecko, while slower on two legs than four, still ran quite fast due to his try at Agility and was able to match Blitz’s speed.

“After them!” Maxie commanded, not just to Requiem, but to Friedrich, Claudius and the others too. He himself even took up the chase with his four comrades. Requiem landed and began racing after the group, leading the pursuit with intense speed. He honed in on the retreating wood gecko pokemon.

Daedalus saw this from above and let out a trill. Treecko and Blitz made it past the terminal and came to a stop to wait for the others. It was then that Corphish and Piplup jumped out from behind the building, the former with his pincers wide open as if holding two guns.

“<Covering fire, Private Piplup!>” Corphish ordered, unleashing two streams of high-speed bubbles from his claws.

“<Uhh, sure,>” Piplup responded before adding a third jet of bubbles from his beak. He glanced over to Blane while firing, who was staying behind the terminal with Rachel and some of the other pokemon.

The triad of Bubblebeam attacks slammed into Requiem’s chest, stunning him momentarily and slowing him as they pressed and exploded against him. Kevin, Jeff, and the Onix duo passed by him and started running with Rachel and Blane down Jagged Pass. Daedalus landed on the southern edge of the terminal roof and looked down at his team.

“<Strix! Your turn!>” Daedalus shouted before following the group down the rocky, ash-covered incline.

“<You got it!>” Strix shouted excitedly, flying out from behind the terminal to face their pursuers. He beat his wings frantically and saw the four members of Team Magma catch up with Requiem, who popped nearly all of the bubbles in a few fluent kicks.

Strix looked down at Corphish and Piplup. “<You guys catch up with the others!>” he said, flying to the fore slightly. As soon as the two obliged, he grinned at the Blaziken. “<Now... I suggest you and your friends get outta here because I’m feeling supersonic!>”

The Zubat opened his mouth and let out high pitched sound waves towards their six foes. The five humans cried out and cupped their hands to their ears, staggering backwards as the intense frequencies entered their ears. Requiem growled and stubbornly staggered forwards. He tried to fight against the effects that Strix’s soundwaves had on his inner ear. Through try as he might, the frequencies began to cause him to feel wobbly and distorted.

Requiem fell forwards, collapsing to his knees. Being the determined Blaziken that he was, he sprang to his feet again and staggered ahead, glaring furiously. His vision was badly impaired and his balance was horribly compromised. Though Strix flew statically in his place, there appeared to be three of him and they seemed to move all over the place.

“<I will not... lose... Not... lose... be humiliated...>” he slurred, still trying to make his way forwards, angry enough to attack Strix on the way. In spite of his screwed up senses, Requiem ran forwards again only to clothesline himself on the cable that led into the nearby terminal.

Strix giggled to himself, proud to see that his Supersonic attack worked and caused the fire type’s vision to be distorted enough for him to do that. The Blaziken landed on his back and coughed violently, struggling to accurately reach up and hold his throat. Despite his confusion and injury, he still sat up and, with great difficulty, got to his feet in an uneven stance. He snarled demonically and continued to walk unsteadily.

“<A stubborn one, are we?>” Strix taunted, grinning. The Zubat flew backwards and looked towards the south side of the cable car terminal. “<Okay, Drezzy! You’re up next!>” he said.

Drezdk walked out and stood underneath Strix, facing the Blaziken with a determination mixed with nervousness. “<Z’yup,>” he spoke, trying to calm himself at the sight of the enraged pokemon.

After readying his fore stingers just in case, the Beedrill tilted his head back and spat out a String Shot attack from his mouth. The sticky silk wrapped around Requiem’s legs and entangled them. The Blaziken fell, face planting on the rock ground in front of him. With a snarl, he tried to lift himself up on his hands, but soon found them bound together by Drezdk’s attack as well.

Strix laughed and flew down beside Drezdk. “<Hahah! I think that should buy us enough time! Let’s catch up with everyone else!>”

Drezdk nodded and followed Strix into the wide cloud of ash that Atlas and Prometheus kicked up. Requiem let out a frustrated roar and tried to ignite his ankles and wrists to free himself from the silk. By the time that he did, the ash had begun to settle and the fleeing party was out of sight.

“Damn it... What a disaster,” Maxie spoke with a sneer.

“<I’m... sorry, Maxie...>” Requiem replied, growling and fighting back tears at the humiliation that he suffered.

“No... This is entirely my fault,” he spoke grimly as he stared down Jagged Pass. He closed his eyes and turned around, bowing his head. “Now we have no choice but to start the new plan... We’ll start construction tomorrow.”

Maxie sighed and walked towards the mouth of the volcano which had since become silent due to the absence of the meteor piece. He stopped near the edge and gazed down at the opposite side.

“So now we’re stuck in a zero-sum game with Team Aqua... So be it. We need that Blue Orb.”


Two figures moved down a long metal corridor at a relaxed pace. One was a brown-haired man wearing a dark blue shirt opened up to reveal his chest. One hand rested in the pocket of his black pants while the other held a blue cell phone. A small grin formed on his clean-shaven face.

Beside him was the bulky and broad form of a blue Swampert. The large mud fish pokemon slid along the corridor’s steel flooring on his large white stomach. Although he was enjoying himself, he kept a steady pace with the man. He looked up at his counterpart and stared at the human with his orange eyes. “<Good news, Arch?>” he asked, his booming voice echoing.

The enclosed hallway creaked ominously and there was a claustrophobic droning coming from the other side of the sturdy metal walls. Archie finished reading the text and smiled, looking down at the Swampert. “Very. Matt tells me that he cut a deal with the network executives over at HNN. It took a lot of haggling but he got me a fifty-one percent share in the company. I’m now the majority shareholder and it’s going up from there once I dig my feet in. That means I’ll get to control what information gets told on the news.”

The Swampert smiled, truly happy for him. “<That’s great to hear. With that, along with the thing we got yesterday, your dream may finally come true.>”

“That’s right, best buddy,” the leader of Team Aqua said, looking at him with a smirk. “And it’s not just my dream, it’s our dream, right, Kippy?”

Kip smiled and continued gliding smoothly across the floor. “<Your dream is my dream, Arch,>” he replied reassuringly.

Archie chuckled slightly to himself and put his phone away. “That’s not exactly what I meant, Kip... Anyways, we haven’t won yet. Maxie and Team Magma is still a massive thorn in our sides. While we were on that business trip I got word that they were active in Fallarbor Town. I don’t know what they’re planning but I plan to find out.”

The pair finally reached the end of the hall, finding themselves in front of a secure doorway. While sliding, Kip got to his feet and skid to a halt. Archie drew a card from his pocket and slid it through the keycard lock. The mechanical door then unlatched its locks and automatically glided open in response to the card’s special code.

Archie and Kip looked into the large, dark room. It was lit only with a deep blue hue that effervescently flashed onto the floor. Kip walked in first, followed by Archie, who flipped on a light switch. The white, fluorescent light above illuminated the area, revealing a large desk in the middle of a semi-hexagonal room. On the left side of the room was a bookcase and a large couch. On the right side was a big screen TV, a mini fridge and a water dispenser.

The flat wall behind the desk was actually a wide window spanning the length of the room made of durable glass. They looked outside the window and saw a school of pink Gorebyss floating by the glass.

“Looks like it’s back to business now, Kippy,” Archie said, taking off his suit to feel the full breeze of his undersea hideout’s air conditioning system.

The Swampert looked at him and nodded before walking over to the couch. “<What do you plan to do now?>” he asked.

“We’ll keep looking for what we need,” Archie replied. “We need to find it before Team Magma does at all costs.”

Kip lay on his stomach and looked up. “<You mean the Red Orb, Arch?>”

The brown haired man smirked and nodded. “You bet. The key to Kyogre. Releasing him will make everything that I’ve given up for this worthwhile.”

“<Arch...>” Kip said with a bit of sympathy in his voice.

Archie took a safe from one of the drawers in his deck, unlocked it with his card key, and retrieved another key from within the safe. He then took that key and inserted it into the keyhole to the drawer below. With a quick flex of his fingers, he unlocked it and pulled the door out.

Kip watched as Archie took out a large blue sphere from the drawer and placed it gently on the top of his desk. The inside of the glass orb swirled with intense cobalt power.

“<The thing you got when we got back. It still looks incredible,>” Kip stated, looking in awe at the object of great prominence.

Archie grinned and placed his hand on top of it. “It sure does... And more importantly, this is our ace in the hole. Even if we can’t find the Red Orb, at least we can keep Team Magma from getting this until we do. We hold the cards here, Kippy. We won’t let those Team Magma b*stards do what they want with this world...”
[B]Claimed: Treecko, Grovyle, Charmeleon.
Co-Owner of Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club.
Paired withAnastasia R.
PC Family so far: Cousin - ScytheMaster, Awesomest Sister - Diamondpearl876, Brother - Rebellious Treecko (PM one of us if you want to join it)

Click Below for The Awesome Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club
Older Fic banner by Scenice.
Old Fic banner by Sammi-Chan.
New Fic banner by Scenice
Banner and avatar by Anastasia R.
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