View Full Version : Hooves of Flame (PG-17)

July 21st, 2005, 9:25 PM
Well, I'm getting back into this! This is a fic I was working on through the ban, and I'd like to share it now! I realize that PG-17 may not be accepted... but my writing tends to run between PG-13 and R. I hope it's alright, and if it's not, it can be changed.

Of course, we'll start with the disclaimer. I do not own Pokemon. Pokemon is a registered trademark of Nintendo. I do, however, own Treena, Branson, Talon, and any other characters and cities in this story.

And now, for the Prologue!! *throws confetti* Chapter One will be posted tomorrow!!

Hooves of Flame
By: Phantom Mew


Thousands of years in the future, the world has changed. Pokemon is no longer a common thing, it is actually quite rare. There is only one place in the world that is still home to these magnificent creatures: Scilion.

Scilion is a region much like any other. The only difference is size. Scilion is very small, consisting of only three towns, a forest, a lake, and a river. Emerald Forest is an eternally green area. At the heart of the Forest lies Emerald City. Sapphire Lake holds Sapphire city, which is actually in the middle of the lake. The Sapphire River runs along the north edge of the Emerald Forest and empties into the Sapphire Lake. The one metropolis is Diamond City, holding about 70,000 people. This city is located on the Diamond Plains.

Now, this region probably seems no different than Hoenn, Jhoto, or Kanto. But, over the years, severe weather changes have caused Kanto to become a damp and mushy bog, whereas Hoenn has become a huge desert. Jhoto is now a dense forest where it rains almost constantly. Scilion is located south of all three regions.

So, why hasnt everyone flocked to Scilion? Scilion is a secretive society that only allows chosen individuals to enter, individuals that show promising signs to fill positions within the community. These individuals are rarely born outside Scilion anymore. It had become nearly unheard of.

There had been 4 born outside of Scilion who had the aspects to fit into the community. Three were male, all ending up as scientists working on reviving fossilized Pokemon. But there was one girl, living in the desert known as Hoenn. This is her story.

July 21st, 2005, 9:36 PM
Hmmm... Well, it seems like a good premise, though I think you could expand on your ideas a bit more. What caused these weather changes? What caused Pokemon to become so rare? What are the attributes that Scilion looks for? All these would be helpful to the prologue. Just trying to help a little, koi!

July 22nd, 2005, 7:28 PM
Thanks for the advice, love. I've got a lot of that worked into the story now, so it'll be explained later!

And now, for Chapter one! *throws confetti again*

Chapter 1 - A Vision

Treena Dickens woke to a scorching heat. She cursed under her breath, realizing Slateport had overused their energy rights again.

Still cursing to herself, Treena rolled off her bed, relishing the coolness of the black tile beneath her. It only took a couple of seconds before the tile was also hot. She rose, wiping sweat from her brow.

Her light green eyes seemed dull in the mirror she used to do her hair. Her light blond hair was cut very short, as it was too hot in Hoenns arid climate for either gender to have long hair. Treena sighed and pulled on a pair of very light blue jean shorts and a black tank top. She placed her black cowboy hat on her head as she slipped her feet into the matching black cowboy boots.

All houses in Hoenn were one story, as it kept your home cooler. Treena walked down the hallways and rounded the corner to the kitchen.

Sorry about the heat, sweetie, a blond woman with light blue eyes said. Her thin frame was covered by a loosely fitting tank top and shorts.

Its not our fault Slateports used too much power, Mom. How long till we get the AC back?

It was a minor infraction. We should have it back by evening.

Her father was watching the news on the small television that sat on the reddish-orange counter.

In other news: the announcer began. There have been four more deaths added on to the toll from last weeks mudslide in Jhoto. The region has already suffered from intense rainfall, seeing twenty inches in the past two weeks!

I wish we lived there! Treena whined.

Dont say that! snapped her father. The rain would flood out our horses, then wed have nothing. His green eyed stare locked with her own, and Treena bowed her head in shame.

Sorry, Papa, Treena murmured. She slowly raised her gaze. Is the generator working? she asked quietly.

We were fortunate enough to have ours fixed yesterday, her mother called from the stove area.

Hush now! Mr. Dickens hissed from in front of the television.

Moving on, continued the announcer, seemingly oblivious to any pain that might have been caused by the mudslide. eighteen more cows have been lost into the bog near Kanto. The Johnson Farm has now lost a total of twenty-nine of their milking cows over the past few years. We can be expecting another rise in milk prices.

Mr. Dickens snorted as Mrs. Dickens bustled about the kitchen, placing a plate of fruit in front of Treena and her husband. She muttered something about it being too hot to use the stove, and earned a stern glare from the Mister. Mrs. Dickens smiled at him, reminding him not to be so anal about the news.

Treena ate through her plate of fruit as a cheery weather man came on. His fake smile did nothing to ease the news he was delivering.

Its gonna be a real scorcher today! 110 degrees in most of the area! However, all you lucky folks down by Slateport are getting a break today! A mere 93 degrees your way!

Treena rose, feeling sick. She excused herself to the barn, calling out that she would be training Blanca again today.

At the mention of that name, both of her parents froze.

Dear, began her mother, only to be cut off by her father.

Come now, Penelope! Treenas a big girl now, 16 years old! Shell be just fine!

Henry! Penelope cried exasperatedly. You could care less if Treena breaks her neck on that wild one, just so long as she breaks the mare first!

Dont be silly! Henry laughed. I just know that Treenas the only one who can manage the job!

Treena snuck out of the kitchen, leaving her parents to argue. She couldnt help but think that her father was right. Shed quit going to her public school at the age of ten to help out on the ranch full time. Her mother quickly took up home schooling, and now, Treena was well beyond the graduated level of most high school students, and she had six full years of breaking horses under her belt. Her father boasted that she was the best in the business. Treena didnt let it go to her head, however. There was always more she could learn.

She walked down the stalls, smelling the familiar horsy aroma. It wasnt exactly a pleasant smell to most, but it was like perfume to Treena. The cool atmosphere did much to improve her mood as well. The Dickenss always cared for their horses over themselves, and used their only allotted generator to keep the horses cool. She passed many nickering bodies and prying noses. Towards the end of the hallway of stalls, a pure white nose peeked out. That was where Treena stopped. She pulled out a sugar cube and held it out. A light pink tongue whisked it away.

Hey Blanca, she crooned. Gonna let me ride you today, sweetie?

Blanca whinnied a response.

Good, Treena laughed, finding the appropriate tack. She gently laid the saddle blanket on the white back, and Blanca merely sniffed at it inquisitively. So far, so good then. Next came the saddle. Treena tightened the cinch quickly, causing Blanca to jump a bit, but she settled down when another sugar cube appeared.

Now, bridle time. Treena slid the rope bit over Blancas nose. It was the only type of bridle Blanca would accept. This caused a little stress between the pair; Blanca began to figure out what was going on. She shook her head from side to side and jumped again. Treena remedied the situation with one more sugar cube and a lead rope.

She smiled and crooned to Blanca as she opened the door, leading the horse out. It was only a short walk to the arena, where Treena hoped to finally break the mare.

The arena was quite large, and much warmer than in the stalls. Thankfully, it was still cooler in here than outside. A white, metal fence ran along its circumference, and it was floored with nothing more than reddish sand. Blanca snorted as they entered.

Treena closed the door to the arena behind her and climbed to the top rung of the fence. She pulled out another sugar cube, offering it to Blanca.

The horse gradually made its way close to the fence. As Blanca happily sucked on the sugary substance, Treena climbed aboard the saddle.

The reaction came almost immediately. Blanca reared, her front legs thrashing wildly. Treena grasped the reins and pulled tightly, forcing Blanca back on all fours. Seeing that she could no longer rear, Blanca bolted to the middle of the arena and began a series of mad bucks. Treena had foreseen this and stood in the stirrups, moving her body with the bucking motions to avoid being thrown off. This continued for a few moments before Blanca realized this wasnt going to work either.

Rearing again, Blanca lunged into a gallop, dashing into the middle of the arena. Treena took advantage of this movement and pulled the reins sharply to the left. Blanca spun around, amazingly to the left as well. Treena allowed the sharp left turn to continue for a full two turns before slacking the reins.

Blanca reared yet again before lunging in a new direction. They were now headed straight for the wall on the south end of the arena. Treena yanked the reins to the right. Blanca now spun to the right, snorting angrily.

Everything seemed to be going well, but Blanca suddenly gave a buck in the middle of the fifth lunging gallop. Treena was unprepared, and when the white body jerked beneath her, she was unseated and thrown into the wall.

She crashed with a sickening thud. Her head met the concrete, and Treena found herself slumping down. Her world grew fuzzy, and then black.

* * * * *

Treena was running through the desert. The never ending sea of sand surrounded her as her shoes plowed through the dunes. She was chasing something. What? She could not tell. Whatever it was, it was fast, and she was quickly losing it.

Treena raced over another dune, only to find that what she had been chasing was directly in front of her.

A horse, white as the stars in the desert sky stood before her. It took Treena a minute before she discovered the horse was on fire! Its entire mane and tail seemed to be made of red and yellow flames. There were even bursts of the fire on the back of each of its hooves.

Treena reached her hand out to it. The flaming horse nuzzled Treenas outstretched hand. It then proceeded to lick her face.

Cut it out! Treena giggled, opening her eyes.

What she saw was not at all what she had been expecting. Instead of the bright white horse, Blanca now seemed a dull gray before her. Her pink tongue sticking out was a giveaway that it had been her doing the licking.

Treena reached a hand up to her head and touched it gently. A trickle of blood was running down her cheek. She cursed quietly and rose, finding she was quite dizzy. Blanca, you evil creature! she said half-heartedly.

Blanca whinnied.

Treena led Blanca back to the stalls where she pulled off all the tack, making Blanca very happy in the process. After a quick brush-down, Blanca was put back in her stall.

Upon entering the house, Treena realized the AC had come back. Penelope gave a gasp as she came through the door, seeing the blood along the side of her head.

Sweetie?! What happened?! she cried, rushing to her daughter.

Its nothing, mom. Just a scratch, Treena said quickly.

Atta girl, Treena. Tough it out! Henry called from the couch.

Penelope hugged Treena tightly to her chest. Henry, that horse is nothing but trouble! Shes a case beyond help!

No she isnt, Mom! Treena gasped, pulling away from her mother. Just give me another couple of days! I broke Sunshimer! Blancas no worse than she was!

Penelope looked into her daughters pleading eyes. She sighed deeply. One more wek, thats what youve got before she gets Shipped.

Treena nodded solemnly. Shipping only happened in the most desperate cases at the ranch. When a horse got Shipped, the Dickenss sent them off to the Factory. Treena wasnt sure what happened to the very few horses the Dickenss sent there. All she knew was that they never came back, and it wasnt a good situation or solution.

The 16-year-old girl then headed to her room. She wasnt hungry, so she skipped the supper Penelope had made.

Treena slumped onto her pale pink bed. It was very cool, and she snuggled in briefly. The girls jade green eyes slowly closed and she fell into a light sleep.

July 22nd, 2005, 7:54 PM
I quite enjoyed it, beloved, though I noticed a single typo. I'm fairly sure you meant "houses," not "horses" at the beginning of the fourth paragraph.

July 23rd, 2005, 11:06 AM
Thanks, koi. *has fixed said typo*

Anyone else have comments? Criticisms? I'd love the help!

July 29th, 2005, 7:56 PM
*posts Chapter 2*

Chapter 2 A Deserts Trick

Treena awoke to find the air conditioner was still up and running. She smiled as she placed her bare feet on the cool, black tiles of her floor. After quickly dressing in black shorts and a pale yellow tank top, the now famished girl grabbed her hat and raced to the kitchen.

Penelope smiled as her daughter entered, placing an omelet in front of her. The folded egg patty contained ham, cheese, tomatoes, onions, and green peppers. A small dish of salsa was placed on the side of the plate.

Treena grinned. My favorite!

It was then that Henry walked in. Treena bade her father a good morning as she dug in to her western omelet. Henry merely grunted. He had never been much of a morning person. He clicked the button on the TV and the morning news filled the air around Treena like a swarm of angry bees.

Treena hurriedly finished her breakfast and announced shed be taking Sunshimmer out for the entire day. Her parents nodded and out she went.

Treena entered the stalls to much whinnying and snorting. She smiled as she headed down the rows of horses. She stopped at one midway down, grinning at Sunshimmer.

A pair of dark eyes looked back at her. The Arabians unique coat shone in the barns artificial light. Treena ran a cautious hand over the golden hairs that glinted red in the light, and then she wove her fingers through the horses black mane. She clipped a lead rope to the black nylon halter on her friend and led her from the straw-bedded stall.

Sunshimmers small hooves made dainty clopping noises as Treena guided her to the grooming/tack room. Treena smiled as she pulled down the light brown leather saddle she had used for so long. She lovingly handled the leather cinch as she tightened it around Sunshimmers girth. The white saddle pad beneath it was designed to keep sweat away from her horses body, a must in the extreme heat.

Next came the bridle. Treena picked a bridle fitted with a tolling bit and very long reins. The leather the bridle and reins were crafted from matched the worn leather of her saddle. Treena slid the halter from Sunshimmers head and held the bit to the horses mouth. The Arabian accepted it, playing with the rolling joint with her light pink tongue. After sliding the earpiece over Sunshimmers velvety ear, she latched the lead rope to the side of the saddle.

Treena quickly pulled off her tennis shoes and slid on a pair of black riding boots. The teen pulled herself gracefully up onto Sunshimmer, sliding her black booted feet into the silver-plated stirrups.

She gave her Arabian a small kick and Sunshimmer stepped into a walk. The pair moved out of the barn and headed into the sea of sand.

Treena knew very well that her mother would not approve of her flying through the sand. It was very easy for a horse to miss a step and take rider and mount on a tumble through the scorching dunes. But, what her mother didnt know was how sure-footed Sunshimmer was. The Arabian was unusually light on her feet, and her abnormally small hooves made it easy to maneuver through the sand.

Truth be told, Treena was the only one who knew anything about how well Sunshimmer rode. She was the only one able to ride the wild horse. Sunshimmer had bucked off any potential buyer. And so, five years ago, Sunshimmer had become the first horse Treena had ever broken and her personal horse as well.

Sunshimmer whinnied and pulled against her bit, signaling her annoyance that they were still walking over the dunes.

Treena laughed. Steady there, girl! Were still within Mothers line of vision!

The Arabian snorted loudly.

Oh, alright then! Treena giggled, loosening her hold on the reins and giving the horse a small kick.

Sunshimmer immediately lunged into a trot. The horse whinnied with excitement as she was allowed to step into a three-beat canter. Treena enjoyed the feeling of the canter for some time, reveling in the smooth, rocking-horse motion. Excitement bubbled within her breast, and she gave Sunshimmer a final kick.

Sunshimmer nickered and plunged into a two-beat gallop. The dainty horse plowed through dune after dune, speeding faster and faster. Treena threw her head back and laughed. She laughed for the sheer joy of feeling the air rushing over her face, for the happiness of having her horse beneath her. Sunshimmer seemingly shared the feeling of inner bliss, as her gallop had a small prance to it.

Soon enough, the pair had reached the oasis. As far as Treena knew, only she and Sunshimmer knew of the lovely green grass and crystal clear pond in the desert. Treena hopped from her Arabians back and quickly pulled the tack from her sweaty body.

After driving a stake into the sandy soil to allow Sunshimmer to graze on the lush green grass, Treena pulled off her pale yellow tank and black shorts to reveal a white bikini. The teen piled her clothes next to one of the three palm trees on the oasis and leapt into the pond.

Almost instantly, cold washed over her. Treena swan to the middle of the pond and surfaced, taking a gasp of warm air. She smiled and began to tread water. Suddenly, Treena saw a flash of light to her left. It looked strangely like fire. She snapped around, trying to locate the source of the light.


She tried to shake it off, laughing nervously as she swam to the shore and sat in the grass to let the sun bake her skin dry. Sunshimmer was still grazing happily, her coat shining its magnificent auburn in the bright desert sun.

Maybe that was all I saw, Treena thought. Maybe it was just the sun reflecting off of Sunshimmer

The girl had almost convinced herself of that when she saw the strange flicker again. This time, it happened as she was pulling her tank, shorts, and boots back on.

Yet again, Treena had nearly shaken it off as a trick of the afternoon light. And yet again, she saw a shimmer of something bright and dazzling. Now, Treena knew she had seen something. She quickly saddled up Sunshimmer and slid the bit into her mouth. Treena paused, giving her friend a moment to toy with the rolling joint before she mounted. A swift kick later, they were off.

Treena soon found what she was looking for, although she didnt believe it. She shook her head, muttering Just a mirage, before allowing Sunshimmer to gallop home.

She had seen a magnificent white horse with midnight black hooves and coal-like eyes. The would have been totally normal, had the horses mane and tail not been made completely of flames

Upon reaching home, Treena realized it was supper time. After taking Sunshimmers tack off and putting it away, Treena brushed her equine friend down. She then lead her back to the appropriate stall and allowed the Arabian to lick a sugar cube from her outstretched hand.

Treena then headed into the house. She sat down to eat, the news calling out reports in the usual overly-happy voice. But a certain report came on that made Treena stop dead, her fork full of mashed potatoes paused half-way to her mouth.

This just in, the news anchor read. A mysterious being known as a Ponyta has escaped the secretive region of Scilion. The regions administrators are very worried and have requested out help to retrieve the Pokemon.

As you may or may not know, the region of Scilion is the only area where the creatures known as Pokemon still exist. Experts are asking that you do NOT approach the creature. If seen, please call the following number and give the location you sighted the Ponyta. Experts, known as trainers, will be dispatched to the area immediately.

As the news anchor concluded, a hotline number and a picture appeared. Treenas fork dropped to the floor with a clatter, splattering mashed potatoes along the white linoleum floor.

The screen depicted a stunningly white horse with midnight hued hooves and coal-like eyes. The horses mane and tail were composed of brightly flickering flames.

It wasnt a mirage Treena whispered.

Cybex Mewtwo
August 9th, 2005, 1:56 PM
^_^ I JUST stumbled upon this and it is an awesome tale! I hope you didn't lose interest in this cause it is great!

(and since we can't pm because of your settings[i really wanna talk via pm though...]...can we be friends?)

August 10th, 2005, 5:20 AM
You seemed pretty review-desparate, and I seem prettty bored... so here I am.

The title is alright. Me =/= horse person at all, so it's not something I'd usually go for, not to mention it's a little corny.

Anyway. Prologue.

Pokemon is no longer a common thing, it is actually quite rare.

'Is', the singular verb, makes it sounds as if Pokemon the company isn't around. You wanted the plural present form of be, 'are'.

Whenever I see Scilion, I think of scallion (which is an onion). Just... a weird little quirk...

Everythin is named after gemstones -_-. This is going to be a horsefic, isn't it?

Now, this region probably seems no different than Hoenn, Jhoto, or Kanto. But, over the years, severe weather changes have caused Kanto to become a damp and mushy bog, whereas Hoenn has become a huge desert. Jhoto is now a dense forest where it rains almost constantly. Scilion is located south of all three regions.

So everyone died? Somehow, I find this extremely unlikely. Also, considering Kanto and Johtou are connected, wouldn't they be effected similarly? Considering at this point technology has to be ridiculously advanced, why wouldn't people have been able to overcome all of this? I'm not sure I see the logic in it.

So, why hasnt everyone flocked to Scilion? Scilion is a secretive society that only allows chosen individuals to enter, individuals that show promising signs to fill positions within the community. These individuals are rarely born outside Scilion anymore. It had become nearly unheard of.

There can't be many people there. As the sole /real/ human settlement, you'd think they'd be a little more interested in procreation than in how 'skilled' someone is.

Meh, the prologue really seemed to lack thought, and though I suppose this is an original idea, research is your friend.

Chapter one...

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to abort at any time lest this become afull-blown horse-fic.

Treena sighed and pulled on a pair of very light blue jean shorts and a black tank top. She placed her black cowboy hat on her head as she slipped her feet into the matching black cowboy boots.

You were doing well for a while there, with the short hair, but no. No one would be wairing black or jean. Everyone would, logically, be in white linen (as white reflets the sun while black absorbs it) and jean is impratical in such a climate as it has no helpful properties. Again, looking into what modern people wear in places such as Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula would have been a good way to go.

For some reason I keep think "They would have ridiculous technology at this point. Why are they so reliant on nature?" Wonder why I kept thinking that -_-'

Its gonna be a real scorcher today! 110 degrees in most of the area! However, all you lucky folks down by Slateport are getting a break today! A mere 93 degrees your way!

Haha. 93 degrees? We get up to 105 here in the temperate suburbs. A desert would be infinitely hotter than that, I'd imagine.

Also, sorry, but horses are infintely impractical in a desert as well. Sand = no running. That's why you see people use camels. They don't mind the heat, and they maintain a steady pace in the sand.

She chose a lead rope? Ouch. I feel sorry for her when taht thing heats up.

The point of this 'ride blanca' scene is going over my head. Also, pokemon just randomly die out but then horses come to take their place? What?

Alright. There was no problem with the prose and grammar, so I'm not going to get into that.

The thing about reading this is that you put so little thought into realisticness that I was going what? half the time. If you decided to really work on this is could be good, but as it stands the inaccuracies make it awful to read.

Again, though, your prose was good, and the idea, though deeply flawed, was good.


August 10th, 2005, 9:38 AM
I do not find my idea flawed at all. Had you actually read things, you may have understood me a little better.

I named everything after gemstones for simplicity. It's just the way things worked out when I created the region.

No, everyone did NOT die. Listen up to the newscasts. If everyone had just died, there's no way there would be television stations. People are still around all over the regions. The reason the regions were NOT affected simalarly will be explained later, it happens to be a plot twist that I'm fiddling with the finer points of right now.

There are many people in Scilion, well, a few at least. If you read the bit in the prolouge, it explains that there are two small towns and one metropolis. Also another plot twist that ties in with the last one.

Yes, I admit that the clothing choices were not terribly smart, and I should look into that more. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. And, the fact that I'm using horses in the desert is a little off, but I know my fair share about horses, and yes, this may well turn out to be a horse-fic, but not in the horrible sense that you seem to be thinking.

The Blanca scene was just to show how advanced Treena has become in her horsemanship skills.

I promise that it's going to get better, but you can't expect the entire plot to be laid out in the first couple of chapters. Thank you for your time, Act, and I'll take your crits to heart and try to fix things up.
Technology does NOT have to be advanced. Advances in technology, well... again, spoilers. Be it known that I WILL explain my madness.

August 10th, 2005, 10:35 AM
::shrug:: I'll wait a few chapters to complain further on most points, I s'pose.

Technology does NOT have to be advanced. Advances in technology, well... again, spoilers. Be it known that I WILL explain my madness.

This is thousands of years in the future. Things wouldn't function like they do today. I'm not sure how difficult that is to infer -_-' Look at us in comparison to just 5 decades ago. It's radical.

I'm not sure why I'm so turned off by horses. I find them somewhat... repulsive... ::shrug:: It's just me, from what I gather.

Again, though, it's an interesting concept. Just be careful not to move into the plot /too/ slowly.

August 10th, 2005, 11:14 AM
Again, thanks for the input, Act. The next Chapter doesn't give much more out, but once we hit Chapter 4, things will start to pick up... anywho, here's chapter 3...

Chapter 3: Do What's Right

Treena had not slept well that night. She tossed and turned, constantly dreaming of the flaming horse. The Ponyta.

She awoke with a start, taking a sharp breath as she bolted upright. Her dreams hadnt been pleasant. Oh yes, they had started out wonderfully. Treena rode atop the gorgeous beast, but something would always go wrong, horribly wrong In one, the Ponyta stumbled on a rock, and Treena fell off, hurting herself badly. The Ponyta was then pulled away by a group of men dressed in black. In another, the Ponyta was sucked right out from under her by a flash of red light.

For some reason, Treena felt these dreams were a sign. They were too vivid to be purely dreams. It was like like she knew that this could really happen to the innocent Pokemon out there. Who those men clad in black were and where the strange red light had come from, she did not know nor care. All that mattered was that she saved the Ponyta from that fate.

She dressed quickly, pulling on a tan, cotton jumper-type outfit. She packed a bag with an old tan poncho that she hadnt worn in years, along with an old, blue bandana. She snuck through the hallway, finding it was merely dawn and her parents were still sleeping.

All the better for her. Treena placed two apples, a carrot, and a handful of sugar cubes in the bag. She slung it over her shoulder and scribbled the following note to her mother and father:

Mom and Dad,

I took the day off in the dessert. Im taking my own lunch, so Ill be back by supper. See you when I get home!

Treena quietly opened the barn door, carefully choosing her horse. She knew she couldnt take Sunshimmer, for her coat was too distinctive. It would have to be one with no markings, no distinctive colorings She paused before each and every stall, peering at each and every sleeping horse.

She finally decided on Storm. His coat was a pale, dusty brown, and he had no white or black markings anywhere on his body. She quickly roused the gelding, thankful that he didnt snort or whiney to wake the others. Instead, the easy-going quarter horse nuzzled her hand, waiting for a sugar cube.

Treena smiled and obliged, leading Storm to the tack room and saddling him with the oldest saddle and bridle she could find. Strom took no notice of the squeaking leather or the small amount of rust that laced the very edge of his bit.

The teen clamored aboard his back, heading out the barns side door.

Storm was a sure-footed horse, though not as trustworthy as Sunshimmer. It took Treena a moment of two to get used to his slightly jerky movements as they headed over the dunes. She soon found herself gliding along the effortlessly again, grateful that the sand was fairly packed in this section of the dessert.

Treena wasnt sure where she was going, but something inside her heart guided her. She plodded over the dunes, sand flying from beneath Storms flailing limbs. Treena knew she was pushing the average horse above his limits, but she had to find that Ponyta

The pair continued at Storms fastest pace until something caused Treena to halt Storm immediately. The teens head snapped to the left, and what she saw made her blood run cold. A tiny flit of a black horse tail and shirt sleeve slashed over the dune.

Treena yanked the poncho and bandana out of her bag, throwing the articles on her. She ignored the sweat trickling down her neck due to the added clothing as she made sure her hair was covered by the bandana. She snuck up over the dune, attempting to stay as out-of-sight as possible.

What she saw disgusted her. Five men surrounded the flaming horse. They were all clad in black from head to toe, so that even their faces were darkened by the oppressive dark cloth. Treena could only imagine how hot they must be, but not one of them looked to be uncomfortable in the stifling, 115 degree heat. Upon closer inspection, Treena noticed an R emblazoned in red upon each of their chests. They each were astride a jet black horse. Impatient equine snorts mixed with malicious laughter as the black men watched the Ponyta rush around the inside of the circle they had formed.

Treena took a deep breath and gave Storm a sharp, swift kick in his flanks. The quarter horse lunged into a full-out gallop, something that he would not have done on the sand normally. Treena continued to urge him through the ranks of the black-clad men, desperately trying to keep her seat as Storm slipped along the sand.

The men were stunned at the girls entrance, too surprised to do anything but stare as she halted next to the rearing Ponyta. What the teen did next snapped the men out of their trance. The girl leapt aboard the rearing Pokemons back.

The feeling was amazing. The flames lacing the horse did not burn Treena. The fire felt like a solid mane underneath her fingers. She gripped the mane tightly, and the horse stopped rearing.

Its a rouge tamer! one of the men cried.

It was like someone had hit play. The five men thundered in on her. Treena cried out and the Ponyta charged through the ranks, Strom charging behind them as Treena held firmly to his long reins. The pair were unusually sure-footed at this point, which Treena assumed to have much to do with the fact that they were probably running for their lives.

She could hear the black men racing along behind her. They were closing in, Treena could actually hear their angry shouts.

How are we going to get out of this?! Treena murmured as they continued to pound along the sand.

As if in answer to her question, the Ponyta spun around, its coal black eyes glowing red. The five black-shrouded faces were growing closer and closer. They were practically upon them when a jet of flames escaped from its mouth.

The flames acted like a wall, driving the hoard of men back a few paces and successfully blinding. Treena then had to clutch the horses neck as it bolted to the left. It took the teen a few, frightening seconds before she regained control of the bolting horse. Strange enough, Treena found herself at the oasis.

She climbed off the young horses back, rubbing its forehead gently. What am I going to do now? she asked herself as she handed both Storm and the Ponyta an apple.

They munched happily as Treena pondered her hopeless situation. She pulled off the Poncho and bandana, stuffing them into her bag. She couldnt just take the Ponyta to the barns. A flaming horse would not be easy to keep from her parents. But, she couldnt just leave it either, or those black clad men would get it.

She thought in circles for quite some time. She paced back and forth, analyzing the pros and cons, debating between the two, and looking at her situation from every angle imaginable.

Coming to a decision, Treena walked over to the Ponyta. There was just no way logic could allow her to let the Ponyta get captured by the men with R emblazoned shirts.

She cautiously slid a rope around the Ponytas neck and tied it to the horn of Storms saddle. She mounted the dusty-colored horse and the trio began the slow journey back home.

Treena swiftly and silently stowed the Ponyta in an empty stall, praying that her parents would stay out of the barn for a couple of days. At least long enough for her to figure something else out.

She took all of Storms tack off and groomed the horse back to the perfection he was in before shed taken him out. The teen had thought her alibis through thoroughly at the oasis. She raced outside with Sunshimmer and patted sand and dust over the horses gleaming coat. She also threw dust on the tack she typically used when riding her Arabian. She tossed the poncho and bandana into the compost pile with the used beddings from the barn. She took a few steadying breaths before entering the house.

Penelope greeted her daughter warmly. Have a good day off, Treena? she asked, putting the finishing touches on the hot dish before her.

Treena nodded. Sunshimmer and I had a wonderful ride.

Oh is that who you took out? her father asked.

Treena laughed. Do I ever take anyone else when Ill be out all day? she giggled, her demeanor genuine, though her insides were squirming uncomfortably. She took a mouthful of noodles and burger, attempting not to blanch as the food hit her stomach.

The news rambled on and on as usual in the kitchen. Treena had thought she was going to escape when:

In news related to the recent Ponyta escape, the Pokemon was sighted in the desert today. A dangerous group known as Team Rocket had caught up with the innocent creature, when they were stopped by a teen girl wearing a poncho and a blue bandana. She rode a brown horse with no particular markings-

Sounds like Storm, Henry mused.

Impossible, I took Sunshimmer out today, Treena said calmly.

-The Scilion society warns us to stay clear of the Team and Pokemon alike. They insist that both are much too dangerous. We, as citizens of Hoenn, are asked to leave the job to the professionals.

Treena choked down the last of her meal. She smiled and thanked her mother before heading to her room.

For a few minutes, she just lay on her bed, waiting for her intricate scheme to come crashing down around her. Her nervous, shallow breaths slowed and calmed. She lay back on her red covered bed and slept soundly.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, in a cave not far from the oasis, the five members of Team Rocket all sat, whispering feverishly.

All voices stopped as a heavily shadowed figure emerged. His heavy-set body caused hit footsteps to rumble like thunder in the cavernous space. The only others sounds in the area were the drips of water falling from the stalagmites and the bated breath of the Team.

What on earth were you thinking?! came a voice from the shadowed figure. He spoke in barely over a whisper, but the Team caught every word.

The man paced back and forth, clicking his tongue as though he was chiding a toddler. I send one of you to go catch the Ponyta, and five of you go? It shouldnt take five of you to catch a measly Ponyta.

But I would have overlooked it had the Ponyta been caught. But you didnt even manage that! You let a normal girl escape on it!

He was foolishly interrupted. But sir! a Rocket Grunt to the left cried. She was no ordinary girl! That wicked little one is a born Trainer! How could we have expected that?!

The offending Grunt cowered as the muscular man flexed his biceps. One Trainer? One trainer without a Pokemon? THERE WERE FIVE OF YOU, ALL FULLY EQUPTED WITH A TEAM OF AT LEAST THREE POKEMON!

The shadowed man took a few heavy breaths before resuming his pacing. He spoke more to himself than to the Team. This trainer is strong, too strong for her own good. She cannot be allowed to reach the Scilion Academy. If she does NO! Shell never make it there alive or my name isnt Vladimir, leader of Team Rocket!

August 11th, 2005, 4:37 AM
...Awesome! I'm not particullarly a horse lover, actually I pretty much detest them, but this looks good. You seem to use the same words over and over again, is what I noticed. 'Black clad men', 'teen', talking about the horses colors sometimes. I can't wait to see the next chapter. Ignore any typos I've made, I'm using a different keyboard than the normal ones I use.