Thread: [Pokémon] Unwanted Dream
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Old March 8th, 2012 (9:06 PM). Edited March 18th, 2012 by Wolfwhispers.
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Wolfwhispers Wolfwhispers is offline
War is Over... If You Want It.
    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: Are you sure you want to know?
    Nature: Bold
    Posts: 834
    AN: Hey, sorry once again for how long it took to get this out but school really is my main priority right now and with it taking over my life I’m hoping I can at least get out an update a month. Of course I would like to do more but we’ll see.

    About the pokemon, I don’t really go by all the information websites or the pokedex tells us. For instance a Pidgeot is technically only four feet eleven inches. Sorry, but that will not be true in my story. Pokemon will be giant monsters or tiny little beasts. I’ll also be doing a bit of a change on how some of them look by comparing a few to old Red and Blue game sprites compared to, say, the new Black and White game sprites.

    There will also be a difference in some pokemon. Some will be more animal like while others will definitely be more intelligent and whatnot. Just a bit of change ups but while I write it I’ll definitely have an appropriate amount of detail so it doesn’t leave your wondering just how big something is or its personality is based on individuality and/or species.

    Hope you all enjoy this one.

    Conspiracies Afoot

    His hand was beginning to sting.

    Add that with the rest of his wounds that would just be his entire body aching from the pain. Shaun was lying flat on his back in a small bedroom that was snuggly fit with two skinny beds, a tiny dresser with twolamps between them, and a bathroom that currently had steam creeping out from the crack at the bottom.

    Sucking on the dried blood that covered his fist, Shaun looked over curiously as the bathroom door opened and Jerrick walked out, a massive amount of steam being released behind him and a small, tan and green fox like creature following behind him. The other boy had a towel wrapped around his waist and was currently drying his pale yellow dreadlocks with another.

    “Sorry ‘bout all the steam,” he said the moment he walked completely out. “But Leafeon ain’t used to colder weather and it can be a bit annoying when she gets in a mood.” The teen gave a slight scowl towards his pokemon as it walked out with an exaggerated air of importance and hopped on the second bed where it promptly stretched its limbs, showing off the ears and tail that appeared to be made of actual leaves, and curled up into a ball with a low purr.

    “Weather changes can be harmful to pokemon?” Shaun asked incredulously, watching Jerrick watch his pokemon with an irritated expression.

    “Naw,” the other said with a shrug, “but I guess it’s the same as people. Takes a while to get used to the cold when you’ve been in the tropics your whole life.”

    Shaun frowned. “Tropics? You from the Agon Islands?” he asked, think of the various whirlpools that the islands were known for. Trainers were meant to swim there on pokemon or fly over. Others used specialized boats to avoid the deadly water tides and, of course, the ferocious sea beasts that lurked all about that even well seasoned trainers tended to avoid.

    Jerrick gave a small nod. “Yea, and I know what yer thinkin’. I live on the third island, farthest one from the mainland, the one with the gym and the hot spot for tourists, so it’s not the insanely dangerous one..” He gave a disdainful look at his sleeping pokemon. “And it’s absolutely filled with these things,” he said with a wave of his hand at the green and tan pokemon. “Decades ago some stupid foreigners abandoned a few eevees in the forest. The thick forests have a healthy amount of moss that can react with the little rodents that turn em into this.” Another gesture. “They started breeding like crazy and took over so now they’re all over the forests, the towns, evens neaking into homes.”

    Jerrick let out an irritated release of breath. “And they’re weak, so of course they give one of em to me as my starter.” He grimaced. “Too weak to take on any gym near home and it took all my savings and then some, plus a full month outta my year, and then it ain’t even strong enough to fight a guy who uses rock pokemon.” He rolled his eyes in exasperation before lowering his voice. “I’m thinking of trading her but most people in this region know a leafeon from Agon ain’t worth shit. There are plenty of foreigners going about our land so they might be interested.” Another exasperated shrug. “Ah well.”

    “I hear that,” Shaun said with a groan. “I’m from Apala and that shit town is completely filled with trapinch. Even worse the tourists never take enough when they visit.”

    Jerrick gave a snort of understanding. “Yea, what’s the point of having “super rare” – he said it with air quotations – “when Kanto blokes don’t even bother to capture when they come to our region?”

    Shaun just offered a shrug before getting up with a groan. He leaned over the side of the bed and grabbed his dirty bag. He gave it a disgusted look and opened it before giving a loud groan. Everything was still muddy, damp and most of it was absolutely trashed. The bits of food were ruined, save the canned ones, and the water bottle he had brought had cracked and was now empty of its contents. The worse part of all was that his cigarettes were now useless.

    “Shit,” Shaun hissed. The only somewhat clean clothes he had were the ones he was wearing. “You know of a laundry mat somewhere?” he asked his roommate. All he got was a shrug. “Great.” With an annoyed sigh he got upand strode into the bathroom, a rather dirty looking razor in his hand.

    Thirty minutes later he came out feeling better. Dripping clean hair, face gone of its patchy fuzz that had formed over the course of the few days, and no longer smelly.

    “Alright, I’m out,” Shaun said the minute he stepped out, startling the other to the point he nearly fell out of bed.

    “What?” the boy sputtered, not sure he heard right. “At three am? Do you have any idea how dangerous it is here in the middle of night, especially for people like us?”

    Shaun shrugged, uncaring. “Better than hanging around for another round of preaching tomorrow. What that Lance guy was talking about sounded too good to be true.” Shaun started dressing, feeling a bit hurried. “Yea, we gotta help him out with whatever and get paid back. Sounds like an even trade.” He scoffed. “Sounds too good to me.”

    Jerrick studied Shaun, body leant back against pillows andarms folded behind his head as chocolate brown eyes looked him up and down. He shrugged, uncaring. “Well, good luck then, brotha. Ya sure ya really wanna go?”

    “Uh, yea, what did I just say?”

    Jerrick snorted. “Well, before ya go give me your number. I’m sticking with this, and hey, maybe you might need the help after all.”

    Shaun faltered. “I don’t have a cell.”

    “Your pokedex,” Jerrick said, exasperated. “Didn’t anyone teach ya anything before you took off?” Shaun pursed his lips as the other boy took hold of his pokedex, opened it and flashed it in his face, and typed in some information. “There, now we can email or call or video chat or whatever.”

    Shaun toyed with the red item, marveling at just how much he could do with it. Could it even work as a computer? Could he do just about anything with it? “Yea, thanks,” he muttered, heaving his dirty pack over one shoulder and walking out. “See ya,” he called back, just as the door slammed shut and echoed throughout the long hallway. “Screw this,” he muttered, looking about.

    It was completely dead, given the early morning, and had a stale sort of quiet that set Shaun’s nerves on end. With a slight shiver the teen strode forward, thumb jamming into the down arrow of the elevator. It seemed to take forever, and when it did finally open a blast of cold air conditioner beat against his face, sending goose bumps all down his skin and makinghim feel even more insecure.

    At least there was no cheesy elevator music on the ridedown.

    The moment the doors slid way a heavy, salivating mouth was the first thing Shaun saw and he was not afraid to admit that the sharp, glistening teeth that were as long as his fingers and twice as thick made him give off a rather girly yell. Sharp, on edge blue fur surrounded the face of the larger than life monster that Shaun was facing and black fur covered its face and down its neck. The strange thing didn’t seem to have eyes, unless of course the fur was covering them, but Shaun still felt as if his very soul was being looked at and chewed out and then promptly spat upon.

    “Deiiin,” it hissed, hot breath caressing Shaun’s face and sending out an uncomfortable tickling sensation. A large, red tongue lagged out and before Shaun knew it a small puddle of saliva had formed by his feet. A deep, baritone growl erupted from its throat and Shaun felt himself shiver infear.

    “Deino, down!” a voice barked. The hulking beast didn't move. “Deino, now!

    Shaun would later deny it, yet when that male voice spoke that last word it came out in a hypnotic hiss that made him feel so relaxed he wanted to sink to his knees and just listen to whatever else the mysterious voice wanted to say. Of course the moment lasted for no more than a split second and all Shaun could feel was his frantically beating heart slam over and over against his chest. His clean body suddenly felt dirty as exhaustion from over the course of the past few days felt like a heavy burden.

    “You may come out of there,” the voice continued once the giant beast stomped away, a disappointed growl left in its wake. Slowly, tentatively, Shaun walked out from the metal elevator, hands formed into fists and shaking. He stared wide eyed at the creature standing beside the man he had spoken to earlier – Lance. He smiled pleasantly at Shaun. “I apologize,” he said smoothly, “but the hour is rather late and my pet is raised to guard any unwelcome entrants.”

    “You said we were free to leave,” Shaun blurted out, cursing himself for not being able to hold his tongue. You do not talk down on anyone with a monster that could easily rip your head off.

    “That I did,” Lance said, turning to three other men Shaun hadn’t noticed and waved them on, “however given the time you’ll have to excuse our belief that those who had wished to leave had already done so.” He studied Shaun, serpentine smile never leaving his face. “You wish now to leave?” His tone hinted that he was puzzled.

    “Yea,” Shaun said slowly, shoulders relaxing slightly now that the black and blue pokemon was no longer snarling at him and was now instead rubbing up against the small man like a well behaved skitty. “What is that?” he demanded, narrowing his eyes at the beast.

    “This is Deino,” Lance answered calmly, rubbing a hand down its long neck. “He’s an interesting mixture of dragon and dark and the only oneo f his kind, I’m afraid. His family line is the only strange mix of elements but I have many that I keep around for security reasons. Would you like to know why?”

    Shaun raised his guard, once again feeling wary. “Because you train dragons?” he said, hating himself by how simple it sounded. “Because I was told you were a dragon master,” he said a bit more strongly though he doubted it sounded any more educated.

    “Hm, that is true,” Lance said with an amused smile, still petting his pokemon. “But I think you’re missing on just how much I stressed Deino’s strange mix. Being part dark type Deino is able to keep out certain unwanted visitors, visitors you have had the unfortunate chance of meeting. I talked about them earlier with you in my office. Do you remember?”

    Shaun pondered it for a moment, thinking about what he knew on dark type pokemon before a light seemed to click. “You keep out psychics,” he said, feeling a bit amazed and staring at the pokemon. This man said he hadmore of these beasts? How many did he have and just what sort of opposing force was he really up against?

    “Very good,” Lance said, teeth glistening. “Many people do not know this but I prefer dark types to dragons. They have a certain, shall we say, mischievous side to them that I’m afraid dragons are severely lacking. Able to use the shadows at their will and keep private thoughts a secret.”

    “Yea, cool.” Shaun felt twitchy. “Look, I’m not joining you.” There, just get it out and get the hell out of here.

    “May I ask why not?”

    Shaun felt his irritation rise. “Because I don’t trust you,” he said bluntly, feeling a rather sudden rush of hostility. “I don’t believe that you’ll really let people like me off scot free. You’ll just use us over and over to get what you want as we slowly rise up and only then can we get away. You’re just like the rest of them!” By the end he was shouting and the deino was once again growling, lip curling back and revealing sharp, curved teeth in defense for its master.

    “You have every right to be suspicious given your circumstances,” Lance said smoothly, not at all effected by Shaun’s outburst. “However, my own gathering is not kept secret from the government. It is open to the world to look at and nitpick. I cannot be as radical as I would like ont he outside and that is where most of the Rehab Rejects fall. They are out in the world with all eyes on them at all times. Tell me, Shaun, why would I have such children working secret operations when I can have people who are actually willing to fight with me and do not have that little band on their ankle?”

    Shaun swallowed, keeping quiet for a moment. At last, “You said you could remove it. Hide us away without the government finding out.” He stared hard at the man. “Children like us might feel a bit grateful.”

    Lance burst out laughing, looking truly amused. “Oh, I knew I liked you when I saw you.” The smile had widened. “I will not waste both ourt ime and say that is not untrue. I have managed to wipe the history of many Rejects and they have stayed with me. Not all have, of course, but most have and continue to fight with me.”

    “Fight against what?” Shaun asked, latching onto the word. It seemed just a bit too strong for a simple movement.

    “Why, the war, of course. I told you earlier.”

    Oh. Right.

    There was a tense moment where Shaun literally thought about just running. Lance seemed to sense what Shaun wanted to do and urged his pokemon away with a small shove and a sigh.

    “Shaun, have your pokemon even been healed?”

    “Er, what?” The question was so sudden that Shaun was takenaback.

    “Have your pokemon been healed at all since your gym battle?” Lance was starting to sound a bit exasperated and spoke slowly, as if to a child.

    “How do you know that I had a gym battle?” Shaun demanded.

    The man sighed, obviously becoming a bit annoyed. “I look up background information on every person I talk to personally. Now, have your pokemon been healed?” A dull shake of the head was all Shaun gave the man. “And you honestly think you’ll be safe out on the streets at this time of night with no pokemon to back you up?” Shaun scowled. “Come with me and at least get them healed.”

    “Then I’m free to go?” Shaun asked suspiciously. “You’re not gonna try and get me to stay.”

    “I give you my word that I will not try and get you to stay.”

    “Oh… well…”

    “However, I will persist to have you at least listen to a few select offers.” Shaun groaned. “None of which will have you stay in this city. Although if you would really like to leave, unprotected, the door is right there.”

    Shaun eyed the man angrily. “Fine,” he grunted.

    Lance gestured for Shaun to get back on the elevator. Still as wary as ever, Shaun entered first, Lance following shortly and pressing the button with the black six. Steadily, the elevator rose, and when the doors opened Shaun felt as if his breath had been squeezed out by an invisible force.

    Machines that looked like they came out of a scifi movie were everywhere. It looked as if there were really two levels in the floor, Shaun and Lance being on the second and walking on a metallic walk. Above and below them were many scientists, each poking and prodding chemicals or physical beings. Machines were lit up everywhere and colorful knobs blinked with neon light. There were screens everywhere, all lit up in data code, but when Shaun looked carefully into the screens he could see small, pink blurs moving amongst the data.

    “What is that?” Shaun asked warily, pointing at the closest screen just as a pink blur went and passed his vision.

    Lance smiled, intrigued. “Out of all this you point outsomething that even my trained scientists didn’t notice their first day?” Shaun stared, blinking unsurely. “Shaun, in the privacy of my own building where no outside unwanted minds can enter I will be blunt with you. I do not keep most Rehab Rejects in my employee because most simply aren’t trustworthy or even up to par with what I want them to do. What I do for the simple ones that merely want a bit of extra help on this journey is that I offer them jobs in each area they are at. Say, for instance, that you were in Grassy Plains, the next route after this city. There are a great deal of grass and poison type pokemon in that area. I am in a war, even if most aren’t aware of it, and in times of war I am in need of certain pokemon. Say I needed a specific poison type, such as venomoth. I would have you, or whoever I knew could handle it, capture a sufficient amount. For something simple like that I can offer money, items or, in some rare cases, pokemon, and only that. Just something to help them along the way, unless of course I find that their talents are severely lacking. I cannot, and will not, give things away for free.”

    Shaun contemplated his next words. “I don’t want to get mixed up in anything. If I don’t get eight badges I go to jail or, according to you, go off and fight the north, a region that doesn’t even show its face to us and definitely not Kanto. I said it earlier, one year is a joke, and we both believe it. Just what exactly would I need to do for you to take me out of the system, and even if you really could how would you?”

    “Shaun, you, like everything else in this world, is nothing but a set of numbers and letters. You are data, information that may or may not be of use to the government that oversees it. They can look you up in the blink of an eye and know your life story, but just as they can do that I can just as quickly make you disappear.” He nodded to the screen Shaun had been looking at. “Take a closer look, Shaun.”

    Eyeing the man guardedly, Shan glanced at the screen. He noticed a few pink blurs zip through the screen, a few pausing here and there and when they did they took on the form of a sort of toy. “What is it?” he asked again.

    “Porygon,” Lance said simply, chuckling at the teen’s look of confusion. “Porygon is a manmade pokemon. How long ago it was made we have no idea. At one point, we theorize, that they were once able to leave the digital world and enter our own and vice versa, however it seems as if they are unable to do so or, perhaps, do not wish to. Shaun, do you know why books are more important than computer data?”

    “Uh, because it came first?”

    “Because in the end data can be destroyed with a simple press of a button. Books can be stopped from publishing, of course, but no one really knows how many copies of, say, history books there are. On a computer important data can be found by the wrong person and destroyed or taken away in the blink of an eye. In the view of the public especially, books are seen in a better highlight. We like to think ourselves above book burnings. Presently, however, everything is, just like I said, a number, and that number can easily be forgotten in the expanse of data.” He nodded at the computer. “Thanks to Porygon, that is.”

    Shaun squinted at the strange creature as a clearer pictureformed. It had a pink polyhedral body and blue underside and triangular feet with a stiff pink tail. Its eyes were wide, emotionless, and completely alien looking.

    “It’s eerie,”Shaun said at last. “It’s really a pokemon? What, do you capture it with computer pokeballs?”

    Lance laughed, sounding amused. “In a manner.” He was still chuckling. “I have personal hackers that have a few of their own. Porygon are unique in more than just living in cyberspace. They cannot be manipulated or used easily, and most are incredibly neutral. In fact, some will react rather violently if anyone wishes to find information that they consider taboo.”

    “Like what?”

    Lance turned awayfrom the screen and looked Shaun up and down. “Shaun, have you ever heard of the atomic bomb?”

    Shaun frowned. “I think so… In history. Happened, well, forever ago.”

    Lance nodded.“Several hundred,” he answered. “We have no exact date, have no clue who the scientists were and will never know how to design one. There is certain information that the porygon have deemed too dangerous or have been programmed to deny anyone the knowledge such as the atomic bomb or, say, a way to capture any pokemon without fail.”

    Shaun, who had been staring up at the screen, jerked his gaze back to the other man. “A way to capture…?” He trailed off, frowning. “We really had something like that? But it’s gone now…” At this point Shaun was more or less talking to himself before fixing Lance with a cold, untrustworthy gaze. “You said it was wiped from thes ystem,” he accused quietly, “and that these porygon thingies keep that information under lock and key.” His eyes narrowed dangerously and he felt thaturge to run. “How do you know?”

    “Because I am Lance of Blackthorn,” the man said simply, and it was said so matter-of-factlythat Shaun faltered. “The old Blackthorn, actually,” Lance mused, placing ahand under his chin and looking amused, though that sharp gleam never left his eyes. “Kanto has a lot of dark secrets,” the man said after a moment, “and being a part of the brother region, and being connected, allows certain people certain access to privy information. Tell me, Shaun, do you know who the very first champion of the first registered league was?”

    Shaun, mutely, shook his head.

    “Lance the dragonmaster,” Lance said with a predatory smile. “Born in Veridian Forest, Blackthorn blood running through his veins, and an army of dragon like pokemon at his beck and call. He was a very powerful man and had much influence during his time. His history is written in the scrolls of Blackthorn Dragon Den.” Arather dark gleam had entered his gaze. “The very man I was named after,” he continued smoothly. “Blackthorn is known for producing the best of dragon trainers though it has been very strenuous the past few generations with Kanto forcing new laws against over powerful pokemon and the fact that there had yet to be anyone that truly had any connection with such powerful beasts.”

    “But you do,” Shaun said warily. It wasn’t a question.

    “Yes, yes I do. Powerful people get noticed, Shaun, and when they do information that you would have never thought possible are suddenly at your finger tips.”

    “Why are you telling me all this?” Shaun asked, lip curling. “Why are you going through all this effort of showing me these things and asking me to work with you?”

    “Because you should be dead.” The bluntness of the statement made Shaun gape.

    “What the… hell, what? Where do you get off saying that?” Shaun roared, causing a few scientists to look their way in befuddled confusion.

    Lance gave a small wave that had them turn away and go back to what they were doing. “I told you earlier, Shaun, that I look up information on those I speak with in person.” His warm, tempting voice had gone cold. “And you should be dead.”

    He folded hisarms behind his back and walked up to the screen that still showed the porygon. He gave it a nod. A light buzz echoed from the screen and soon files were being brought up, all with his name appearing throughout it all.

    “I read the files that talked of your death in Rocky Hills only to be overturned when you showed up alive. I can only imagine the revenge you wish to enact on the boys that gave this statement considering the dark look on your face.” Shaun’s face was completely murderous. “I also read your past before becoming a Rehab Reject. You have talent in underground trade, something I am highly invested in, and you are not afraid to get into a fight with both human and pokemon. In a war that frame of mind is necessary, Shaun, but do you know why I really want youto join?”

    Shaun was staring wide eyed at the screen. His entire life was open for this man. “No,” he said hoarsely.

    “Because you did not die in Rocky Hills.” Shaun shot the man a bewildered look. “You fell into the caverns of the mountain where only those with a fair amount of strong pokemon and badges under their belt venture. Did you go into the depths where truly horrendous beasts such as aggron and onix dwell? No, but you did go farenough for a new trainer that has had no training experience ever with an equally inexperienced pokemon and not only made it out alive but with two strong pokemon. Was luck involved in you surviving? Most definitely. But was there any luck when you captured, say, that rhyhorn? No, and that is why I want you. You can train your whole life and never be as good as someone who was born with the skill or the talent. What happened in that cave was a classic example of make or break, and you made it.”

    Shaun was staring wide eyed, unable to believe what he was hearing. “You honestly believe I have some sort of born skill to capture these things?” Shaun said, gesturing wildly at the pokeballs on his belt. “Dude, I know nothing about pokemon!”

    “And yet you still survive,” Lance said strongly, presence once more overcoming Shaun. “And you have the pokemon to show for it. You don’t believe you can do this journey in a year, Shaun, I know it, you’ve said it plenty, but then why are you still going to leave my building, my help, and still go at it?”

    Shaun opened and closed his mouth several times, at a loss for words. He looked away darkly. “I just need to get away from everything,” he said at last, thinking of his home, his life… whatsername. “I’m not the kind of guy that just sits on his ass and waits for the cops to come and arrest me.” Shaun grimaced, shuffling a bit and feeling awkward.

    They were silent for a moment.

    “You going to heal my pokemon?” Shaun said at last.

    A ghost of a smirk appeared on Lance’s face before he grasped the red and white spheres.“Watch me carefully,” he told Shaun and placed the balls on some sort of capsule holder with a screen. “I doubt anyone has told you about PCs.” Shaun gave a negative grunt. “I thought not. If you want a quick healing just place the capsules in the holders like so and place the glass lid on top.” He did so slowly, showing Shaun how to navigate the machine. “Just press the ‘go’ button and wait five minutes. Usually it’s a circular button under the pokedex slot. At pokemon centers nurses and doctors take care of the pokemon but most other places have these. Make sure you don’t forget your pokemon. I’ve known plenty of kids forget before the five minutes are up and up and left. Easy thievery. When you get to these healing machines some trainers check their PC, though they can of course check them at the pokemon center or elsewhere without healing your pokemon. If you would?”

    Dutifully, Shaun handed over the red mechanical pokedex. Slipping it into the slot turned on the screen. It showed an empty white box with the top words saying POKEMON. To the side in slightly smaller print was ITEMS.

    “While you are still a low level trainer or not given the appropriate licenses you are only allowed six captured pokemon with you at a time,” Lance told Shaun, pointing atthe blank screen. “You currently have only three pokemon so after three more captures your fourth will go here, thanks to the teleport system. If you wish to deposit a pokemon that is already in your team just place its pokeball in the single slot in the middle,” Lance pointed, “and press the deposit button. It’s all a touch and drag screen; easy enough. Same with withdraw or release.” His finger pointed at the little miniature pictures of his pokemon in the party option.

    “You can also look up the information on the pokemon in your party. Let’s take a look at your Sableye, shall we?” A rotating image of the little purple imp appeared, along with a list of stats and capable attacks it could learn in the future. “Not bad, good enough to at least get you the first badge without too much a problem on its own. Make sure you look at the list of attacks it is capable of learning in the future because while some need a technical machine some moves can be taught through tutoring or practice. He’s a good first catch. Your second is interesting. I’m sure you’ve heard of the meteorite crash that has affected certain ground pokemon. How was your encounter with the rhyhorn?”

    “Thing chased me for over a long time,” Shaun growled, glaring at the image of the monstrous rock beast. “Broke through walls to get me and took forever for both my riolu and sableye to take it down.

    Lance gave a small hum. “Chased after you for a long time? I find that interesting because ordinarily rhyhorn are so simple minded that they forget what they are doing even in mid charge. Yours must be at least a bit more aware than others, though not too much given your battle with the gym leader.” Shaun scowled. “Also, most of the time with rhyhorn you can tell their gender by the length of their horn. Males have longer, curved horns while females have shorter, straight horns. Yours is female, though its horn is above average length and has the male curve to it. It seems Rocky Hills has an interesting power that I will need to explore.”

    Lance then moved onto Riolu, Shaun’s starter, and scrolled down its stats and attacks. “A riolu with Aura Sphere?” His gaze was thoughtful. “Only riolu from a single clan in Sinnoh are capable of learning that move before evolving. I wonder how it came here.”

    “Professor Leef had it with the other starters,” Shaun said. The other man still looked contemplative before moving on.

    He finished up pointing at each one on the screen before switching it over from pokemon toitems. “Ah, it looks like you have items that you haven’t used yet. Just theb asics that all beginner trainers are given.”

    Shaun peered atthe two little miniature shapes. One was a simple brown box that when he placed his finger on said POKEMON FOOD and the second one was a tiny version of a Super Potion that had a 1 hovering over it.

    “How do I get them out?” Shaun asked.

    Lance pointed atthe metallic box hanging off to the side of the PC. It had a little sticker with an electrical warning signal and telling people to keep it closed when doing a transaction.

    “Just make sure it is closed and drag the items you want to the withdraw logo. I recommend doing this when you find a place to stay so you don’t have too much to carry. If you wish to deposit items some need certain capsules or containers that don’t allow loose items. Markets usually carry items for such purposes for cheap prices.”

    “Huh, thanks,” Shaun said grudgingly, blinking as the light that had been surrounding his pokeballs finally faded away. The protective glass container lifted away automatically, leaving the pokeballs wide open.

    “You know, it was odd that the first place you asked to be taken to was Orre,” Lance said, literally from out of nowhere.

    Shaun had been around the man for less than an hour and he was already beginning to feel less shocked by whatever direction the man took their conversation. “I know it’s abackwards sort of region, but so is ours – mine,” Shaun amended, rememberingt hat the man said he was from Johto. It was weird, but Kanto and Johto people were really pale compared to the natural slight tan of most of Lenore, save for some really dark skinned areas like Agon, and this man didn’t have the pale skin color. “Why do you say so? I could survive there, especially after training some pokemon.” Shaun narrowed his eyes at the man, daring him to say something.

    “Because Orre is the reason Kanto started enforcing such strict laws and started its global takeover.”


    “Because aside from being a near lawless land, it had an image to uphold as being the first region to start pokemon training. Sounds glorious, no?” Lance gave a low sigh.“Such an image created hostility amongst trainers, forcing them to train and train to be the very best, a goal that was theirs and theirs alone at the time. It is why Orre is so barren of wild life, save for the savage and the strong. The rest were killed out and those that survived, including its people, are slowly being killed off. Kanto had been created in Orre’s image, though that is not well known now, save amongst certain groups. Kanto will do what it thinks best to maintain the order they see fit. If you stay here, or go to Orre, you will end up in the war. That is a fact, Shaun.”

    Shaun mulled over the man’s words, playing with his pokeballs. “Do I have to give you an answer now?” he asked after a moment.

    “No, but once I placed your pokedex into my PC it updated it with an email and number that can get in contact with my staff and I. They are both untraceable, thanks to my porygon, and you may contact me anytime you wish. However, I give you this freedom only until a full month has passed. It is November sixth, so I shall give you until the sixth of December. If you have not contacted me by then I will assume you want nothing to do with me or my organization and leave you alone. That also means, however, that if you suddenly want help in the far off future you will have a lot more to prove or I might just not want to deal with a desperate trainer that is nearing the end of his time limit, do you understand?”

    “Crystal,” Shaun said mulishly, glaring.

    “Good.” The man smiled warmly. “I’ll have one of my guards escort you out.”

    Shaun thought he meant one of his giant dragons but instead a man in typical security garb walked over, a belt absolutely covered in different colored pokeballs going across his chest and over his shoulder like some sort of military personal. He gave a nod toward the elevator, signaling that Shaun should step in. He did so without a word, all the while watch Lance as the metallic doors slowly closed, and just as he did, he saw the man finger a small, purple pokeball on his belt.

    “You’re missing a good opportunity,” the guard spoke up as they reached the first floor and walked out.

    Shaun just shrugged. “It’s my decision,” he said with a bit of a growl.

    The man snorted. “Hope that freedom lasts a little longer, kid.”

    And with that the door closed in Shaun’s face, leaving him staring at glass that was only onesided. He turned with a huff, rolling his shoulders and staring up at the sky. The glow of the city life didn’t allow him to see any stars or even the moon,and despite it being so early in the morning the brightness of building and street lights made him walk away from the building without feeling like a blindman.

    Once Shaun was a good distance away from the building he picked up his pace, feeling that now that at least he was out of sight with the giant building and all of its inner workings and conspiracies he wouldn’t be seen all but fleeing away. Shaun had no idea how long he walked, or even when he began to run; all he knew was that when he finally fell into a telephone booth and slammed the glass door behind him he was a sweaty, panting mess. Shakily, Shaun lifted the phone and hastily placed a few coins in the slot, cursing as he dropped a few and had to bend down to pick them up. He looked away blindly, not really seeing anything andjust focusing on the steady ring. Thankfully he only had to wait after three.

    “He-llo?” came agroggy voice, yawning mid word.

    “Jake, I need your croagunk,” Shaun demanded, not even bothering with hello.

    There was a moment of silence which caused Shaun to grit his teeth in frustration and think the other boy had hung up on him. But then an all of a sudden “Shaun!?” had him wincing.

    “Yea,” he said breathlessly. “Dude, I need your damn frog or toad thing.”

    “Holy shit, dude!” Jake was laughing on the other end, no longer drowsy with sleep. “We thought you’d be dead for sure!”

    Shaun grit his teeth in frustration. “Obviously not,” he said coolly. “I need your damn croagunk and now.”

    “Geeze, dude, I can’t believe… Did you know we had a betting pool on whether or not you’d get to even one city? Oh, and why do you need Croagunk?” A hearty laughter erupted into Shaun’s ears. “You just won me some money, bro. I rooted for ya to at least make it to the first city.”

    “Thanks for the support.” The sarcasm was heavy. “I need your damn frog because I need something strong against stupid rock pokemon. The gym leader uses those kinds –he’s also a fucking cheat! – and I need something right now! Dude, this town is fucking insane.”

    “He… an…. I don’t….” Shaun glared at the phone and smacked it a few times against the side and pressed it to his ear. He could still here a disjointed fizz before its oftened out and back to normal. “Dude, can you hear me? Ya? Kay, that was weird. Anyway, I can’t give you Croagunk, man. He don’t have a stinkin’ pokeball and you know he can’t beat anyone.”

    “He’s beaten up guard houndour and mightyena before,” Shaun pointed out.

    “Yea, but they weren’t trained by, ya know, actual trainers. You’re a trainer now. Go do some training!”

    “Yea, like they play fair to guys like me,” Shaun snapped. “Seriously, dude, give me something like a technical machine. This town… dude, there are these protesters that brought me to this man that told me about some sort of conspiracy war. About Kanto taking over and shit.”

    “Uh, Shaun? They are.” Jake was beginning to sound a bit bored. “Kanto is in charge of every major league event even if they are in the background, including ours now.”

    “Well, you know how giant pokemon have been attacking cities a lot lately, like that groudon in Hoenn or that regi-something in Unova? The guy I just talked to told me he thinks Kanto is in on all of that to get people to hate the north and attack.”

    There was a strained sort of silence.

    “Shaun, what the hell are you talking about? Who did you talk to?”

    “This guy called Lance or whatev—”

    “Lance of Blackthorn?” Jake interrupted.

    “Yea, why, you know him or something?” Shaun snarled. “This guy was a fucking freak! And the way he talked to people… he was just…” Shaun struggled before ending, ratherlamely, with “too nice.” He grimaced. “He was just too nice about helping out and yea, if you sign up with him you basically work for him and pay him back but I can tell there’s more… I just don’t know.” Exasperated, Shaun leaned against the glass and sighed.

    “Shaun,” Jake said after a moment, “I really don’t think you should get involved with this guy.”

    “Why?” Shaun demanded, eyes narrowing with suspicion. “Tell me what you know, Jake!” he roared into the phone.

    “Alright, alright!” Jake snapped. “But first, where are you talking to me from?”

    “Uh, a payphone,” Shaun said warily. “Why does that matter?”

    “Bec… the… ca…wa…” Frustrated, Shaun began to bang on the glass with the phone once more. Fucking phone. He waited nearly three minutes before the other boy could get ahold of him. “Dude, what the hell is with your reception? Pay phones aren’t that shitty.” A long sigh came from the other boy. “Just give me your pokedex number. I’ll call that.” The boy paused. “Why didn’t you use that? It’s free.”

    “I don't know to use it as a phone,” Shaun hissed, pulling the red device out of his pocket and opening it.

    “Just slide it all the way open. There should be a small, rectangular cover both under and above the screen. Just press those and you have your ear and mouth pieces to talk into. Your number is the id on the back. It’s long, you won’t miss it.”

    “How do you know this much about these things anyway?” Shaun asked, flipping overthe red device and telling the other boy the twelve numbers and letters that basically made him an object on an ever growing list of trainers. “You got it?”Shaun asked.


    The line went dead.

    Shaun stared, incredulous, before with a roar of anger finally slammed the phone on its receiver. He hunched over, feeling so tired. He just wanted a bed to sleep in without the worry of lies floating about his mind, deceptive radicalists awaiting a life changing decision in the blink of an eye and didn’t want to deal with anymore pokemon.


    The scream was so loud that Shaun literally thought someone had just screamed in his ear. He jumped, body smacking into the sides of the phone booth, and groaned in slight pain before looking toward the high pitched scream before sucking in a startled breath. Pressed up against the glass right by his face was a ghastly gray face with black ringed eyes and a devilish grin that looked borderline insane.

    Shaun jerked away, only to knock into the other side of the booth. With a frustrated scream, Shaun got out of the glass box and shuffled away from the cackling thing. It literally looked like a flying cone with a pair of eyes. It shrieked loudly, causing Shaun to cringe and then back up as it floated in frenzy circles above his head, hissing down at him mockingly.

    Shaun watched warily, starting violently as something that felt like water and as cold as ice brushed up against his fingers. He jumped away, heart hammering as a second floating cone like being floated past and began to encircle the first, their haunting cackles intermixing. Frustrated, Shaun reached blindly for the pokeballs on his belt and tossed it forward harsh enough for it to smack against the ground to give off an echoing cracking sound. He winced, thinking it had broke, but it opened just fine and jumped back into his hand like a magnet, releasing one of his beasts with a flash of bright, white light.

    The small, hunched form of Sableye appeared. Its jaws opened and cracked, looking a bit like it had a dislocated jaw, and glanced up at the cackling monsters. He hissed demonically, crystal eyes glinting before raising its claws high. They glowed briefly in an unholy purplish blue, and suddenly the creatures above them were screaming in pain and terror, shaking themselves wildly as if to escape from the Night Shade. With a loud hiss that sent shivers up and down Shaun’s spine the two fled, soon disappearing into the darkness.

    “The hell was that?” Shaun demanded, throwing up his arms in the air in exasperation beforefiddling with his pokedex, its mechanical voice soon popping up.

    “Shuppet, the revenge ghost pokemon. They are attracted by feelings of jealousy and vindictiveness. If someone develops strong feelings of vengeance, this Pokémon will appear and, if strong enough emotions, a swarm will gather. Happy thoughts and bright sources of light willdrive these negative pokemon away.”

    Shaun blew at his hanging bangs, getting them out of his eyes. With a sigh he turned to his own ghostly pokemon. “At least there were only two of—” He was interrupted by Sableye hissing acidly up at him, seemingly glaring and baring its pure white razor blade like teeth. “What the hell?” Shaun barked, not backing down. “What’s you’re problem?” He hovered menacinglyover his pokemon, hoping to use his height to his advantage.

    “Saa, sablly,” Sableye hissed, lip curled and looked away with a huff and promptly folded its arms.

    “Yea, like I know what that means.” Incensed, Shaun kicked out, sending some garbage clattering down the street and into an alley. A muffled moan immediately came after, causing Shaun and Sableye to peer through the darkness. A shadowed figure shuffled forward, a sniffling whimper that sounded like someone was trying to hold back from crying coming from it. “Come out into the light!” Shaun barked, only to huff in exasperation as the lightsin the surrounding area began to flicker on and off. “Stupid city,” he grumbled, trying to peer into the dark alley.

    The being apparently listened to his orders because it hobbled out into the light, form actually making Shaun feel ill. It was a girl that looked to be about his age, her entire form a ragged excuse for what appeared to be a once beautiful girl. Blond hair that was so dirty it appeared a sickly blond and hung heavily in her face and around her shoulders. Ill fitting, too large pants with a piece of rope used as a belt sagged on bony hips and a once tight black shirt now looked too big for the skinny, sickly girl. Her body was beginning to look like a walking skeleton, what with her gaunt face and sunken eyes, but what really made Shaun feel ill was the small lump on her stomach that was not fat, but the showing of a pregnancy.

    “Are you a trainer?” she rasped, dirty fingered hands scratching at her hands in a nervous action.

    Shaun stared at the girl warily, watching as she walkedcloser, and then her pants shifted and he could suddenly see the dark, metal clasp around her ankle and he had to fight the urge to throw up. A Rehab Reject, just like him, and she was fading away quickly, a failure to the system because she wasn’t meant to be out in this world.

    “Yea,” Shaun said cautiously, “just like you.” He hoped that stating that they were in the same situation would put her a bit more at ease or at least get her to go away, but instead she reacted far more violently than Shaun had believed.

    She howled brokenly, bringing out a tattered pokeball from within her pants pocket and threw it violently to the ground, all the while screaming, “BATTLE ME!”

    The pokemon that emerged from the dirty pokeball was in just as horrible state as the girl. The small, four legged pokemon looked like it might have had long, beautiful red fur, but now it had small patches of dirty reddish brown hair throughout its body, and the six tails were limp on theground, lifeless. A tuft of dirty fur fell from its head and nearly over its eye and the ripped, pointed ears were folded back. Untamed eyes glared at Shaun and the being hissed madly, acting completely feral.

    “Back off!” Shaun barked, stumbling back a few steps. “I don’t want to battle!”

    “You have too!” she shrieked, tears leaking down her cheeks and creating clean little trails through the dirt. “It’s against the rules to deny a challenge! Vulpix, burn his pokemon!”

    The tiny furred pokemon howled loudly, fire leaking from its mouth like spit, and little bits of magma balls were shot out Shaun’s uncaring Sableye. It hissed back, though it sounded more like laughter, and it simply leapt to the side, the attack too slow.

    “Vulpix, please!” the girl shouted, hysterical, and Shaun was becoming increasingly more uncomfortable. “You have to win or we’ll never be good enough to get badges!”

    Shaun had a hard time swallowing as he heard those words. Would this be his future if he didn’t become strong and play by their rules?

    “Keep using your fire!” the girl yelled, pointing a shaking finger at Sableye as it cackled insanely and jumped all over the place, easily avoiding the incoming fireballs before finally dangling on the lamppost with a single claw not unlike a slaking, grinning insanely.

    “That’s enough,” Shaun told to the girl, tone harsh. “You’re sick, and so is your pokemon.” He calmed his voice for his next words. “Come on, let’s get you some help, get you some food.”

    “No! No!” the girl shrieked, scuttling backwards like astartled animal. At the sound of her trainers voice the rapid vulpix stopped attacking sableye and jumped in front of the girl, saliva dripping down visible small fangs. “They won’t help!” she cried. “They never help me!” She finally broke down, falling to her knees, and still managed to call out commands through choked sobs. Her body shook as if someone were actually manhandling her and with each fallen tear is seemed as if her life were being drained away. It was sickening.

    And it was absolutely frightening, because someday this could be Shaun.

    “Sableye, just take it out,” Shaun muttered, not seeing what else he could do.

    Sableye let go of the lamp post, falling to the ground and doing a little flip before clawed toes landed on cold pavement. It looked up at Shaun and gave a huff and promptly turned its head away, obviously not caring for Shaun’s commands. Shaun’s temper finally broke. Days of stress and suppressed murderous rage finally broke like a dam and he stomped over to his surprised pokemon like a dominating tauros and snarled at his pokemon like an enraged houndoom.

    “When I give you a goddamn command you better fucking listento me or I’m locking you in your pokeball until you're dead, do you understand me!?” Shaun’s roar of a yell echoed all around them, startling the girl enough to stop her sobbing and the vulpix to stop shooting fireballs. “You damn pokemon, I caught you. I’m your fucking master, got it!?”

    By the time Shaun was done he thought for sure his voice would crack with how loud he was screaming, and yet it stayed strong. It sounded hysterical, yes, but it was dominating, commanding and strong, and Sableye hunched into itself pitifully, for once showing fear on its otherwise mischievous or emotionless face. Baring his teeth for good measure, Shaun pointed at the astonished vulpix, and barked another order.

    “Take it out now!”

    Sableye shot up from its hunched position as if it had been electrocuted. It sprang forward, running on all fours, and grazed its claws against the vulpix’s neck, sending up a spurt of blood in all directions, and suddenly it was down, gasping and shaking.

    The girl howled in broken disbelief while Shaun stood still, transfixed. He hadn’t actually thought his pokemon would take the command as intent to kill.

    “Return it!” he shouted at the girl, running to her side. She had wrapped her thin, emaciated arms around herself and was rocking backand forth. With a curse he grabbed her fallen pokeball and returned the down pokemon himself. It turned into a beam of red energy and was brought back into the pokeball, and as soon as the energy had been transferred the girl snatched the ball out of Shuan’s hand quicker than he could blink. “It’s still alive,” he mumbled, rubbing tiredly at his face and watching the girl warily.

    “I know,” she snapped, cradling the pokeball close. Her tone told Shaun that she had returned the pokemon plenty of times during a lot of close calls. “She’s all I have… The stupid government won’t give me anything else and my year is almost up…” She was mumbling now and thankfully no longer crying. She looked up at Shaun, and now that he was close to her he could seehow gaunt her face truly was and how there was no life in her eyes. She placed a hand on his chest. “I need money from the battle,” she said mournfully, “but there are other ways to get money.” She smiled up at him, slowly rising and still running her hand up and down his chest as she sidled her legs agains this. “I can do whatever you want,” she breathed into his ear, “and I can be whoever you want. You’ve been thrown out like me, you Rehab Reject. How long has it been since you’ve had a blowjob once the government threw you into the wild?”

    Shaun pushed her away, hand grasping the small bulge in her stomach for but a moment, but it was more than enough to feel the shape of inside life. She fell to the ground with a surprised yelp, shock written upon her face and it turned pleading, begging for anything, but Shaun turned away, disgusted. He walked away from the shouting girl, wondering just how many like her were out there. He had known that this law would turn people like him into people like that, but to actually see it with his own eyes was a horrifying wake up call. You can know things through word of mouth, but you don’t really know these things until you see them, and it made Shaun sicker than he had ever imagined, but he knew he could never allow himself to be lowered to that girl’s level, to the level that the government was turning his kind into.

    His sableye crept behind him, following him with an ominous silence. Crystal eyes watched him warily before they looked up and hisses filled the air as more floating cone like beings floated above them. More shuppet appeared, cackling and calling out with their mocking tone. Shaun glanced up at them only once before snapping once at his pokemon, knowing that if he were to open his mouth even to speak the urge to vomit would actually happen.

    His pokemon faltered for only a moment before looking backup at the swirling pokemon. Its eyes began to glow an unearthly color and soon the other ghosts were wailing in pain. Their bodies shook violently, and with another angry hiss they began to flee into the sky, leaving the street empty and silent, save for the static buzz of the streetlamps flickering on and off.

    Shaun paused, swallowed thickly, and then spat to the side before turning to see if the girl was still there. She wasn’t. He turned away again, shoulders tense as he walked forward with a dark look.

    “Saab lyy-ly,” the purple pokemon chattered, just as hunched as Shaun and hissing loudly, gaze back towards the alley.

    “Let’s go,” Shaun told his pokemon, still walking hurriedly, only to pause as more shuppet began to weave their way around various buildings and blocks.

    More and more were becoming visible, and Sableye’s hissing was increasing in volume. The floating beings were cackling loudly, their tones a distraught sound that sent bad vibes and made Shaun stand on edge. He swallowed thickly, watching warily as they floated high above him, slowly filling up the sky like a poison filling the body. The lamp posts were still flickering on and off before, after a particularly loud static hum that filled the air, they went dead, along with the rest of the city lights.

    “Sableye!” Shaun hissed at once, gesturing for his pokemon to get close to him.

    He was blind, and his erratically blinking eyes were tryingto get used to the sudden darkness as his arms waved wildly in an effort to latch onto his pokemon. They grazed something cool and watery, and suddenly he could make out a little cone shape. He staggered away with a loud yell of fright, voice suddenly echoing in the empty city, and Sableye was quickly upon him, eyes glowing demonically and lighting the area. A few of the shuppet screamed loudly and fled quickly, their bodies rustling like paper clothes inthe wind, only for more to take their place and stare down acidly at both Shaunand Sableye.

    Shaun could feel his heart beating almost painfully against his chest in the stillness of the moment, hoping, praying, for someone to help. What on earth were all these ghost pokemon doing here? They came to feast on bad emotions, and the city was the perfect places for these beings to dwell, but this number was just ridiculous. Someone would have done something about the little beasts, or at least made the people aware. Something was not right, but before Shaun could think more on the subject or even formulate a true plan of action the ground beneath him rumbled.

    His hair stood on end and every instinct was telling him torun away. His breath caught in his throat and Sableye clung to his pant leglike a frightened child, actually shaking like a leaf.


    The ground shook as if the gods were beating on the ground like a drum, and behind him a building exploded in a mass of debris. Hellish fire rose high, dancing and flickering as if alive, and the wave of heat that blasted against Shaun was stiffening. The once now blackened city was alight in an ominous glow and screams were quickly filling the area. Smoke was filling the night sky and was illuminated thanks to the flames, casting a foreboding look over the city.

    High pitched screams suddenly joined in with the human ones and suddenly a cold breeze slammed into Shaun, nearly throwing off his footing. The sudden change from dangerously hot to bitter cold was a shock to the body and mind. He watched, completely dazed, as a figure rose through the flames, giant blue wings flapping erratically. Sharp feathers struck through the flames and created an even colder wind, somehow keeping some of the surrounding fire away from its body, but tiny slivers of flame crept up on it only to sizzle out of existence, its body obviously too cold for the flame to handle.

    “Sabley!” his pokemon screamed, pulling Shaun down and sending him crashing painfully on his side, a dark form of matter oozing like a sickly poison exactly where he had been standing before. His pokemon snarled like a rabid creature, the fire illuminating its demonic features even more as it sneered up at the cackling shuppet.

    Around them people were coming out of various buildings, only to be assaulted by waiting shuppet. People were calling out their pokemon and filling the entire city with chaos, trying to keep the mass of ghost types at bay as they seemed to fill up the sky.

    “Sableye, keep them back!” Shaun commanded, quickly reaching for the two pokeballs on his belt, not caring that he couldn’t control one of them at the moment.

    With a bright flash of white light the two monsters appeared. Riolu appeared with a huff, looking extremely cross with Shaun and a sneer about to grace his face, but the moment he saw the situation those red eyes widened with horror and palms were alight with energy. “Riolu!” he barked incredulously, eyes glowing with the power of Foresight to take in all the ghosts before giving Shaun a brief glare as if it were his fault that the city was being attacked.

    “Don’t give me that!” Shaun snarled, only to yelp as a large, curved stone horn nearly grazed his side. “I don’t have time for this, you stupid bitch!” he yelled at the rock beast. Rhyhorn bellowed loudly, eyeing him with distaste and not even appearing to care about their impending doom.

    She snorted and stomped the ground, only to get her head slammed into the ground by a passing shuppet. It cackled insanely and made to escape, but with another angry bellow Rhyhorn snapped the fleeing creature within her large white teeth and bit down savagely. From within the beast came a howl of despair and sickly, black sludge oozed out from beneath white, blunt teeth. “Ry,” she spat proudly while Shaun watched, perturbed. She eyed him coldly before looking about, finally deciding after a lengthy pause if he was worth attacking before deciding the cackling ghosts that were actually attacking her were more worth it.

    Feeling a bit relieved, Shaun watched his monsters fight the attacking ghosts, joining in with other pokemon as people began to surround them and shout orders at their own pokemon. Others were trying to run past, water pokemon running at their heels, but before people could get too close blasts of hot fire slammed into the ground, stopping their progress.

    Astonished from the onslaught of more fire, Shaun craned his neck high, trying to see the figure still within the swirling mass of fire that was steadily getting bigger. It was still there, fighting against a purple barrier that wouldn’t let it fly away, despite the strong beat of its icy wings and beams of thick ice erupting from its sharp beak. It gave a shrill cry that made the surrounding pokemon wince, making them look somewhat forlorn at the creatures misery as flames licked at its hide. Somewhere from the ground several blasts of thin streams of fire and even a few star shaped blasts of fire rose, aimed at the flying bird of ice, but it flapped its wings quickly, creating a small blizzard that managed to clear away most of the fire, including the attacks from below, but just as soon as the fire cleared away itrose again like a demon looking for revenge.

    Shaun’s heart raced as he stared, realizing that the fire was getting close to the alleyway he had just been at, and with sickening horror he realized that the girl might still be there, and maybe she would be just sitting there, not caring that death was steadily creeping up on her inthe form of a savage fire.

    “Riolu!” he barked at his pokemon, gesturing for the beast to get to his side. The blue furred pokemon turned, just barely missing an attack from the shuppet he had been battling. With a savage swipe that sent the ghost type careening away and through a wall, Riolu jumped to his trainers side and ran alongside, looking up questionly as they ran from battle. “Come on!”

    They swerved through incoming attacks, both from the shuppet that seemed to want to keep people away from the burning people and trainers with out of control pokemon doing their best to defend the city in the midst of all this chaos. Upon realizing that their trainer was leaving them behind both Rhyhorn and Sableye shrieked in anger and took after him, batting incoming shuppet away as if they were minor annoyances and huffed at their trainer the minute they caught up.

    Despite himself Shaun rolled his eyes at the display.

    And then nearly threw up at the sight that greeted him.

    The sickly girl that he had just battled – notevenfiveminutesago!- was lying flat on her back, eyes blank and unseeing and somehow managed to be in a position that was staring up at the horror struck Shaun. Her limbs were crooked and awkwardand her lower jaw was missing completely. Blood pooled beneath her and was steadily making its way to stain the rest of the alley. But that wasn’t what the worst part was. Surrounding the deceased girl was feet upon feet of blue scaled coils. A sharp narrow snout was currently digging into the open gap that was once her stomach and pulled up to stare at Shaun with dead, black eyes. It twitched its white webbed ears and crooned mockingly.

    And then promptly swallowed the immature fetus.

    His stomach lurched and he had to swallow thickly, though the taste of bile burned his tongue. By his side Rhyhorn bellowed and stomped her foot, creating a dent in the ground that kicked up cement. White, blunt nails tensed and scratched at the cement before the rock beast charged, horn lowered and eyes glowing with a deadly glint.

    The blue snake licked its maws with its long pink tongue, watching curiously as Rhyhorn charged with a blind fury. It breathed in deeply, scaled form expanding widely, and then its cheeks puffed out comically.

    Shaun wasn’t sure if he should run or guffaw.

    “Stop your pokemon!” Shaun jumped, head swiveling around and staring slack jawed as a teen with messy black hair and striking silver eyes rushed towards him, looking haggard and still wearing pajamas. Despite carrying a hefty backpack the teen wasn’t wearing shoes and the small ponytail was out, leaving his hair to hang limply at his shoulders. “Shaun, stop it!”

    Of all the people to meet amidst all this chaos Shaun had to run into Alex? Still in shock, Shaun could only stare with mute incomprehension as the boy continued to shout at him to stop his charging pokemon. It only took a good slap to the face that Shaun snapped out of it, ready to snarl and punch the other, but his rhyhorn being shot away from a blast of water from the corner of his vision made him pause and swivel around, watching the giant snake easily shoot a substantial amount of water from its jaws. The water was not a straight line and was somehow twisting itself into rings as it continued to pound at his pokemon as it howled in pain.

    “Water Pulse,” Alex said glumly before going wide eyed and staring at just exactly what the pokemon was coiled over. “Oh my god,” he breathed, stepping back a few steps and looking very much like he had to vomit. He glanced at Shaun and understanding flashed through his eyes as he realized just what had caused Shaun to go into shock.

    Shaun watched in fury as his pocket monster continue to be pounded with the fierce water attack. With a snarl he pointed at the smug snake as it let out the last bit of its attack, water still dripping down its snout and into the empty space of the girl’s stomach. “Aura Sphere!” he roared, wanting this creature dead because he knew that this was what he was meant to battle in both the wild and in the service.

    His pokemon was just as enraged as he. It was gazing at the other with a sickly expression, as if it couldn’t understand why it would go so low as to torture its prey. That sort of sadistic pleasure was meant to be only within humans.

    Power seemed to hum as it became visible between Riolu’s paws in a ball of bright blue. With a sneer of distaste Riolu aimed and fired. Blue power charged like a laser rather than the simple, single ball it usually shot, and struck the blue serpent. It wailed and writhed as the power burned its body, destroying some of its scales and leaving patches of charred, pink flesh on its head and neck.

    “Shaun, stop it!” Alex shouted. “You’re going to kill it!”

    “I believe that is what he’s trying to do, boy,” a new voice growled. A figure, who seemed to have been lurking deeper in the alley, stepped into the light to show himself. The blue serpent hissed savagely and curled around the new being and stretched itself, showing off that it was a lot longer than Shaun had previously thought. It looked as if it had at least ten feet of blue coils. “And as it should be.”

    The two teens tensed as they took in the giant man. He was ridiculously tall and heavily muscled, looking like something you only see in a comic. He even wore a long brown overcoat over what appeared to be a military suite. Tight black pants with a white undershirt with a brown vest over it with large, gold buttons and a black belt going around his middle. Combat boots stepped closer, uncaring of the blood. The man looked at the two and ran a handover a smooth, bald head and grinned at them, black eyes looking down at them condescendingly.

    “Lo-look at his ears,” Alex whispered, staring wide eyed.

    “I’m not blind,” Shaun hissed, staring with just as much shock as webbed spikes flicked about on either side of the man’s head, not unlike the serpent at his feet.

    “I’m impressed, boy.” The man’s tone of voice was harsh and had a slight drawl that wasn’t so different from Alex’s accent. Turbulent eyes flickered to the panting riolu and back up to Shaun. “Your attack actually managed to mark my pokemon.” The webbed appendages flicked to and fro in a way that made Shaun wonder if the man was amused.

    Above them another shrill shriek filled the air and they all glanced up, taking in the ice bird plummeting to the ground, fire still being hurled at it from creatures on the ground before it disappeared into thes wirling inferno of a building.

    The man smiled stiffly. “Precious, kill these two quickly, please. It looks as if our target didn’t last as long as we thought.”

    Shaun’s blood ran cold and both he and Alex staggered back, only to trip over each other and have Sableye and Riolu jump in front of them with loud growls. The blue serpent gave a loud hiss that sounded suspiciously like laughter and curled back slightly, looking tense, and suddenly shooting forward with the speed of a bullet.

    Its long tail swung quickly, and both Sableye and Riolu were left flabbergasted by the speed at which their opponent was capable of only to be swept aside like useless garbage. With the two obstacles out of the way the serpent launched itself once more with a blind ferocity, jaw completely wide open and looking unhinged as if it were about to swallow Shaun whole. Coils were flying through the air and Shaun let out a fearful scream, knowing that this was the end. Not even a week in and he would be dead thanks to this stupid law.


    A metallic arm launched itself into Shaun’s peripheral vision and somehow managed to turn his head to see the swift action. The giant arm grabbed hold of the flying serpent, large fingers curling around its neck and squeezing just before it tore into Shaun, jaws snapping mere inches awayfrom his face.

    Shaun held his breath as the serpent thrashed and squirmed within the metallic grip and began to wrap around the entire arm, mouth beginning to breathe draconic purple fire. He looked up slowly, taking in the giant gray and black beast. Its entire body was seemingly made out of metal with different shades of gray. It seemed to have a metallic mask over its head that straighten over its forehead into a sharp horn with two extra horns coming through the two holes of its mask like head and gazed at the writhing serpent with cold, blue eyes. With a savage grunt as the purple fire began to spread across its arm it threw the serpent away, no longer able to stand the burn.

    With a hefty breath it swung its heavy tail at the flung pokemon, missing by a lot as the serpent regained its bearings and slithered away at a hasty speed back to its master. It hissed and spat, electricity coursing along its body as it eyed its new opponent with an air of superiority.

    “Hush, precious,” the man told his pokemon, eyeing the new threat with interest. “It seems we have a Leader involved now.”

    “What would expect,” came a cold voice from behind Shaun and Alex. Tyre stomped towards them, a look of pure fury upon his face and regarded the man, only to falter in shock at just exactly what the man looked like. “I don’t know who you are,” he began quietly, tone filled with rage and ready to give the mana verbal lashing, but Shaun interrupted him.

    “He’s from Kanto.” Everyone turned to look at him and Shaun sneered, finally coming out of his shock from all the experiences that had been weighing heavily on him. “His accent,” he growled. “He’s a fucking Kantoeon!” He screamed the last part, pointing an accusing finger at the man. “He’s got the same accent as you!” Shaun sneered at Alex, who looked taken aback.

    Tyre’s face pinched, looking annoyed and looked the man up and down before noticing agold pin on the man’s vest that neither Shaun nor Alex had noticed. It had a shiny KF on it in red lettering.

    “Kanto Force,” the man mused, looking torn. He glanced up a tthe still burning building, no sign of the giant bird that had been fighting against the hellish flames. “On what authority do have for attacking these children?”

    Both Shaun and Alex stared at the guy dubiously, not sure why they were asking this man if he had such a thing as authority to allow murder.

    The man smirked and the webbed appendages flickered in obvious amusement. Beside Shaun Tyre grimaced. “Authorization of Law 49 of the Kanto/Lenore agreement,” he purred. “Under the circumstances that a pokemon of level four or higher pose a threat to any living landmark the Kanto Force is entitled to removing those who pose a direct threat or make any attempt to stall or suspend our mission.”

    “And these children posed a direct threat to you?” Tyre sneered. “I assume that starving girl beneath your feet tried to stop you from reaching the beast destroying my city?” Tyre’seyes narrowed. “But then again articuno are not the phoenix of fire, and here we have my city slowly burning to the ground.”

    The man smiled pleasantly, a false façade of the danger lurking beneath. “If you wish to go against my word I would be more than happy to bring you to my platoon leader to discuss why a gym leader would fault a Kanto Force lieutenant general when all we’re trying to do is protect our northern brother region.”

    Tyre’slips pursed. “Our regions have yet to make a contract stating a unified alliance,” he said coolly, “although I doubt with your apparent…upgrade, Lenore’s region and government will think twice before signing such an agreement.”

    The man sighed heavily, blue fin ears still twitching in amusement. “You saying that ridiculous statement is more than enough to prove that simple minded gym leaders are not needed in the world of politics.” Tyre glared murderously.“I have, along with the rest of the Kanto Force, have already been granted membership in into the region as a sign of peace as your higher ups know that agreat change is beginning and we are best suited to manage the peace.”

    “By making a monster of yourself, destroying my city and slaughtering innocents?” Tyre hissed, taken aback by what the other man said. He grit his teeth, thinking fast. “If you are on contract then go. These children were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but if you were in the wrong I can assure you us simple minded gym leaders will be intruding on your, ah, political world.” Tyre was positively livid as he sneered, waiting for the other to speak.

    Lips twitched. “As you wish. Come along, precious,” he purred to the dratini at his feet. He turned heel and swept away into the dark alley, disappearing with his loyal pet.

    There was a tense silence as the three watched them go, the giant aggron staring intensely into the alley and prepared to defend if they should come back. Only when the metallic beast lowered its massive arms did they breathe a sigh of relief.

    “The hell was that?” Shaun asked, slumping and eyeing Alex suspiciously as if he were the one to blame for the Kanto Force for being here. The boy threw him an exasperated glance.

    “I can assure you that I do not support the Kanto Force,” the boy said coldly. Shaun’s face scrunched up in disgust, obviously not buying it.

    “You’re from the same region,” he pointed out snidely. “And for that matter why the hell are so many damn Kantoens here? There were more foreigners in that group at Leef’s lab than I had ever seen in my life.”

    “That’s enough,” Tyre snapped, giving the two a cold stare.

    “Like I’m going to listen to you,” Shaun sneered, eyeing the gym leader up and down. “People like you got me into this mess and then screw me over with an over leveled dragon. Fuck you.”

    If Shaun hadn’t been so exhausted or so short tempered he would have trembled in fear and ran as Tyre literally towered over him. “Yes, because I’m the one that caused you to steal or take drugs or rape that girl or whatever the hell it was that you did and get caught for. You’re on this damn mission to atone for whatever it was you did and grow the hell up. That should have started on day one, but because you’re a bit late I’m going make you take the plunge.” Tyre glared. “You may hate me, but I can assure you the feeling is mutual. You have all day today and most of tomorrow to at least attempt to train. If you’re capable of doing something so menial, that is,” the man sneered.

    “Six o’clock sharp you will come to my gym, actually pay the damn fee this time, and battle. If you lose I want you out of my city. It’s bad enough that groups of protestors are at my door daily because woe is you for getting caught breaking the law and forced to pay for it.”

    Shaun sputtered. “You ca-can’t do that!” he cried indignantly. “There’s no way I can beat your stupid dragon in two days!”

    “Unlike last time I will indeed be playing fair,” the man said solemnly. “But then again you didn’t pay for a battle or schedule anappointment like a professional so consider us fair. Instead you came in screaming like a child. I have the authority to ban people from my gym if they lose up to a month. Your time has been ticking away already. Don’t screw this one up.” The man paused to glare. “Now get the hell out of here and go to the pokemon center to get your pokemon taken care of. In case you didn’t notice the damn city is on fire.”

    With another acid look the man left the two gapping teens.

    Alex shifted, uncomfortable. “Come on,” he finally said.“Let’s get to the pokemon center. They were out of rooms earlier but I’m sure with tonight’s events they’ll add more people to a room.”

    Shaun was still staring, only coming out of is when Riolu and Sableye grasped at his pant legs, growling pitifully. “Yea,” he said slowly, “sure.”

    Two damn days to get a badge and get out.

    “You have to pay a fee for a stupid badge?” Shaun asked weakly, walking side by side with the other boy and leaving the alley, along with the mutilated girl.

    The shuppet were no longer abundant and it seemed as if people were slowly leaving the streets now that there weren’t enemies in sight. Others had gone with water pokemon to help the fire department or were helping those that had been wounded.

    “Yea. How do you think the league has so much money? If you win, though, you get paid back double the amount.”

    “Really? Sweet.” Shaun thought for a moment. “How much is it to battle Tyre?”

    “2000 pokedollars,” the boy said helpfully.

    “Son of a bitch…”
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