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Old July 3rd, 2010 (9:45 PM).
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fissionessence fissionessence is offline
    Join Date: Jun 2010
    Gender: Male
    Posts: 9
    Well I'm back from my trip and I just typed up the last couple parts . . . can you believe I actually wrote on notebook paper in order to finish this on the airplane? Geez. Well. I hope you enjoy

    A Curio, a City: part 5

    by fissionessence

    The world slowly returned for the red-haired boy. Everything was dark, his limbs were numb, and his ears were ringing, but he could make out a pair of voices.

    “Looks like he might still be alive,” Kiraf said. “Tough fella, must be.”

    The other voice—the girl’s—was gasping and crying.

    “Didn’t think you’d arm a lethal blast, Tirella,” Kiraf continued.

    Tirella was sniveling, but choked out, “Had to . . . protect my shop after granddad died.” The voice felt close, like she was leaning over him. “Didn’t think my own family would be trying to take it from me.”

    The boy felt the vague notion of feeling return to him when a tear drop landed on his cheek and rolled down his neck. He tried to move, but still couldn’t. Unfortunately, the return of feeling meant a wracking pain like the aftermath of an electric pokémon’s attack.

    He felt himself being dragged and hoisted . . . into a chair? Rope was being draped across him and he could feel, through the pain, as he was being tied up.

    “It’s my shop now, cousin,” Kiraf said. His was the closer voice now. “Should have been mine soon as granddad died.”

    “He left it to me, Kiraf,” Tirella replied. “I worked it with him every day for the past three years. What gives you the right to show up now and claim it?”

    “You can’t really expect to keep this place running—and protect it? In this town? Come on, Tirella; you’re just a little girl.” The boy could feel the last cinch of rope tighten around his feet and the pain had faded to a dull numb. His vision was returning, though everything was a board blur.

    “I have Omina to—“

    “Granddad’s natu? To what? Warn you about burglars and criminals? A lot of good she did you this time.” Kiraf laughed.

    “She warned me well enough. I rigged the bag, didn’t I?”

    Kiraf laughed again. “I know your tricks, Tirella. That’s why I hired bandits to take it after you left it at Team Destiny’s drop spot. They think you skipped your protection money, and I swoop in to take over the shop. The bandits open the bag and they eat the blast, not me.”

    “I . . .” Tirella stuttered.

    Things were beginning to come into view for the boy now. He shook his head and blinked.

    “Oh, look who’s awake,” Kiraf said. “Don’t know how he ended up with the bag, but thanks for opening it for me. Guess I get to keep the protection money, too. Pleasant surprise.”

    The boy looked up at Kiraf and glared. He couldn’t lower the brim of his hat; it was still on the floor where he’d been knocked unconscious. The ropes were tight around his ankles, wrists, and abdomen.

    “I recognize you, you know, boy. Come to think of it. People talk about ‘the last boy with red hair.’ ‘The sole descendant of Carmine City.’ ‘The Carmine Kid’ they call you. Tough to kill, always getting in other people’s business, ‘specially when it comes to Team Destiny. Sounds like a dead ringer, you ask me.”

    “Let him go, Kiraf,” Tirella pleaded. “And get out and don’t come back. Or else!” The girl appeared to the boy to be about ten or eleven. She had long blonde hair and wore a long, lacy gray and black dress. She looked dirty and sunburned, probably from her day exiled by Team Destiny.

    “Or else?” Kiraf asked, amused. He lowered an eyebrow.

    “Omina, attack!” Tirella called out and pointed at Kiraf.

    In an otherwise empty spot of floor, a pokémon shimmered out of invisibility. It was small and purple, with a short, yellow, and slightly curved beak. Its wings were white with intricate patterns. Its body was mostly spherical, but slightly elongated upward. The boy recognized it as a natu that was powerful enough to have begun its evolution into a xatu. He wasn’t sure others would recognize the differences—even its trainer—but evolved pokémon were very rare and he wondered if Tirella realized what she had.

    The natu Omina let out a screech, and with it, a blast of psychic energy. Kiraf lifted his hands to block, but the beam passed heedlessly through them and barraged his mind.

    Kiraf grunted, then reached into his vest and pulled out a black pokéball.

    The red-haired boy was surprised to see someone else with a pokéall—such a rare and valuable item—then corrected himself.

    Should have figured.

    Kiraf tossed the ball into the air and a gray light spilled from it. The ball returned to Kiraf’s hand, and the light coalesced.

    The pokémon that remained was yellow and foxlike, covered in spiney fur. It had large ears and a collar of white spined fur around its neck. It was a jolteon—a rare creature that lived far to the east in a stormy mountain region called Two Peaks.

    Still rubbing his head from the psychic assault, Kiraf called to his jolteon. “Electrocute that stupid bird,” he called, and pointed to the natu.

    The pokémon hunched down, growling, and its spines stood up further. Electricity coursed across its spiked fur and shot forward in a bolt toward Omina. The bolt hit her straight on, and as the light faded, the natu stood with singed feathers and a surprised expression.

    Tirella looked similarly shocked. The two recovered quickly, though, and Omina flew forward, pecking the jolteon with its semi-curved beak. The yellow-spined pokémon turned to slice at the natu with its claws, but landed only a glancing blow on the creature. It discharged more electricity with the natu so near it, and Omina shuddered and rolled onto the floor instead of landing properly. She popped back up, resilient, and fired another psychic wave, this time at the jolteon, which, like its owner had, took the brunt of it. It shook off the effects quickly, though, and leaned forward, facing its quills toward the natu, and firing them.

    Omina blinked out of vision, apparently in an attempt to dodge by invisibility, then reappeared as the quills stuck, and stumbled forward.

    The red-haired boy lifted his bound feet and stomped twice on the wooden floor. Tirella and Kiraf looked to him, but his expression gave no explanation.

    The natu struggled to stand again, flapping its wings in its feeble attempt. The jolteon stood staring with its teeth bared, waiting.

    The wooden floor between natu and jolteon thumped. There was another thump, and the wood bent. On the third thump, the boards broke, and a sandshrew with a scar over its eye flew out from the hole. It stood in the center of the room, poised for battle, and looked to the red-haired boy for direction.

    The boy nodded toward the jolteon and Aarod attacked. In a moment, the sandshrew had flown across the intervening space and struck the electric pokémon with its powerful tackle.

    The jolteon looked up and stood from where it had fallen and swatted at Aarod with its claw, but the ground pokémon leapt above the attack and came down with a tiny, but rock-hard fist on the jolteon’s muzzle. The spined pokémon tried to shake off the blow, but in that moment, Aarod charged at its belly, tackling the pokémon into the air, and sending it sprawled onto its back, unconscious.

    The pain had subsided from the red-haired boy now, and his vision had cleared. He pulled his hands hard apart, and he felt the fibers of the rope stretching and snapping. Soon, they were loose enough that he slipped his hands free of the bonds, and similarly pulled loose his feet, then slid the ropes over his abdomen up and off him.

    Kiraf stood stunned between the sandshrew which had knocked out his jolteon and the boy who’d escaped from his bindings. He glanced back and forth between the two, and the two glared at him.

    The Carmine Kid stepped forward and punched Kiraf in the face, knocking him out cold.

    A Curio, a City: part 6

    by fissionessence

    “Thank you, uh . . . do they really call you The Carmine Kid?” Tirella stood in the storefront of the Dye’romen Curio Shop just in front of the counter. The boy stood in front of her.

    “Works fine for me.”

    They had cleaned up the shop after Team Destiny’s visit, and the items not broken were back on display. The Carmine Kid had fixed a shelf that had been broken, and they’d swept the remaining detritus out of the shop.

    “Well. Thank you for everything. Including not going around beating up Team Destiny.”

    The boy looked down at the girl with his lip curled.

    “I know you want to. It’s just that granddad always said that ‘even though it’s extortion, we’re still safer with them around.’ If they got sent away, another group of them would just move in, or maybe something worse. Plus, once we tell them what Kiraf did, they’ll keep him out of town so I don’t have to worry about him anymore. They don’t like people messing in their business.”

    The Carmine Kid said nothing.

    Tirella leaned in, stood up on her toes, and kissed the boy on the cheek. “Thank you,” she smiled.

    Early the next day, The Carmine Kid mounted Magaera, and they rode off, with Aarod burrowing beneath them as always. The boy glanced back at the town, still infested with Team Destiny filth, and scowled.

    ~ fissionessence