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Old April 30th, 2013 (12:28 PM).
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Knightfall Knightfall is offline
Unforeseen Consequences
     
    Join Date: Apr 2013
    Location: Sawgrass Town
    Gender: Male
    Nature: Modest
    Posts: 31
    Chapter Three: Calibration
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    [Bypassing Security Encryption][Begin Transmission Playback] [File Addendum Found]
    Saffron Capital Prison,
    Date: 7/13/--
    Time: 8:45 A.M
    Prisoner: #037
    Name: David M. Radic
    Occupation: [REDACTED]
    Crimes: High Treason
    Current Status: Terminated
    Comments: [REDACTED]
    [Unauthorized Access Detected: Disengaging File][Transmission Ended]

    Transmission recovered from computer hard drives by Rogue Industries Counter-Crisis Unit (CCU) personal approximately twenty-seven hours after the destruction of the Dawson Mainland Research Facility.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The team, with their new addition in tow, arrived at the base shortly after leaving the square, via a short trail through the forest that led to a large grassy clearing near the foot of the small valley.
    The base wasn’t the only structure in the valley; there were several other dwellings made up of a mishmash of logs and other materials seemingly held together by sheer will and rope.

    Leo had taken a moment to admire the base when he first saw it; a jumble of log planks and stone fitted together made up the exterior of the single story structure, it was definitely unlike anything Leo remembered seeing before.

    Entering the base, Leo saw that it was completely different from the outside. It was much neater than the rough exterior; there was a small center room that linked to several other rooms that Leo barely got a glimpse of; a few had either a hammock hung from the log wall or a simple straw bed on the floor with a few blankets messily piled in the corners along with several wooden chests apparently used for storage.

    In one of the unoccupied rooms Leo spied a small shelf crammed with books. He made a note to look through those when he got the chance.

    It was the only tour he got of the place before he found himself sitting in the center room of the base, with Jay and Kelly prodding him to tell his story.

    Leo gulped, he knew he needed to chose his words wisely or else things might get more complicated for him than they already were.
    He took a breath and began, “The first thing I can definitely remember is waking up on the ground with the sun glaring down on me…”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The team, with their new addition in tow, arrived at the base shortly after leaving the square, via a short trail through the forest that led to a large grassy clearing near the foot of the small valley.
    The base wasn’t the only structure in the valley; there were several other dwellings made up of a mishmash of logs and other materials seemingly held together by sheer will and rope.

    Leo had taken a moment to admire the base when he first saw it; a jumble of log planks and stone fitted together made up the exterior of the single story structure, it was definitely unlike anything Leo remembered seeing before.

    Entering the base, Leo saw that it was completely different from the outside. It was much neater than the rough exterior; there was a small center room that linked to several other rooms that Leo barely got a glimpse of; a few had either a hammock hung from the log wall or a simple straw bed on the floor with a few blankets messily piled in the corners along with several wooden chests apparently used for storage.

    In one of the unoccupied rooms Leo spied a small shelf crammed with books. He made a note to look through those when he got the chance.

    It was the only tour he got of the place before he found himself sitting in the center room of the base, with Jay and Kelly prodding him to tell his story.

    Leo gulped, he knew he needed to chose his words wisely or else things might get more complicated for him than they already were.
    He took a breath and began, “The first thing I can definitely remember is waking up on the ground with the sun glaring down on me…”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It was well past sunset by the time Leo had even gone half way with his tale. When the darkness fell, Jay stopped him for a moment; he got up, went over to the wooden wall, and tapped a dull blue crystal shard in a metal container on the wall.
    As soon as his blue paw hit the jagged surface of the shard it burst into a small shinning light. He went all around the circular room lightly touching each of the shards until he thought the amount of light adequate.
    When Leo questioned him about what they were Jay replied,
    “Luminous Orb shards.”
    He said it as if every being with a pulse knew what a Luminous Orb was, unfortunately for Leo, the Riolu didn’t elaborate on the strange fixtures.

    With some convincing, Jay eventually got Leo to continue with his story.
    It was a late hour by the time the Charmeleon was finished. A time when ghosts of the deceased are said to roam the land, leaving behind trails of dew, mist, and fog.

    With his story completed, Leo wondered what his new teammates would think of him.
    They both appeared to be attentive to his narrative, but Leo couldn’t fathom was the thoughts were processing through their heads.

    He wasn’t worried about how they would react to the fact that he used to be a human; he taken too many risks in the past few days, and had decided to leave that little detail out of his account.
    It isn’t the right time or place to tell them. Besides, I have no idea what they’ll think of me if they find out, I need to find out more about this place before that happens. He reasoned while he feigned the account of what had happened when he first woke up in the Fields and his realization that he was no longer human.
    He felt somewhat guilty about inadvertently lying to them, but he told himself it was for the best.

    Jay was the first to break the relatively short silence.
    “Really?”
    He commented nonchalantly while waving a blue paw at Leo’s words that hung in the air.
    “The Far Reach frontier explorers’ stories are more believable if only slightly, and most of them are certified insane.”

    “What?” Leo shot back at the Riolu. He doesn’t believe me. He just dismissed by story, just like that!

    Jay didn’t miss a beat, “I’m sorry, but you story sounds just a little unbelievable. Just 'waking up' in an inescapable dungeon and escape it? It just doesn’t happen; not that it couldn’t happen, it doesn’t happen!”

    Leo shot up from the wooden stool he’d been sitting on, and glared at the Riolu. His red eyes hidden behind his “mask” of black fur didn’t even blink.

    “You saw what happened! You saw me crash through the barrier of that place with your own eyes! Kelly too!” Leo shouted at his annoyed leader, who simply turned away from him.

    “You don’t believe me, everything I went through?” Never mind the fact that the story you told them is a lie in itself, his conscience whispered to him.
    He ignored it and returned his full attention back to the canine Pokemon.

    Jay took a deep, calming breath and slowly faced the fuming lizard.

    “Look, I’m sorry for yelling. I’m still a little irritated from the stunt Gear pulled earlier- not that you’re not a good Pokemon and all, but he was stepping beyond his bounds.” He explained, slowing his heavy breathing and continued his apology,
    “But there’s no use crying over it; you’re here now and I can’t easily change that. So for now, we’ll wait until tomorrow to find out what it is you can do now that you’re here,”

    Surprised by Jay’s sudden attitude shift Leo noted to try and remain on his new leader’s good side.
    “So, do you believe what happened to me?” he asked, his own anger with the Pokemon diminishing slowly.

    “I’ll admit that the waking up inside one of the most dangerous dungeons this side of the Kingdom and escaping it, is slightly far-fetched, but we did see you break out of it, so I’ll take it that you’re telling the truth.” Jay said as he walked past the Charmeleon into one of the rooms that branched off from the center chamber.

    “Thank you,” Leo said quietly.
    Suddenly a thought surfaced in his mind. “Jay, you said something about finding out what I can do tomorrow. What are you talking about?”

    “You’ll find out in the morning,” the Riolu shouted from his room without looking back at Leo.

    He pushed his clawed hand to his forehead, how am I supposed to know anything when he’s so confusing all the time?
    “Is he always like this?” Leo asked Kelly, who had remained relatively silent since he started his retelling.

    She got to her feet.
    “I’ll admit he can be a little frustrating at times, but he isn’t usually like this, at least not that I’ve seen since I meet him. I’ll tell you something I’ve found out about Jay: he likes knowing what’s going on at all times, and with what he doesn’t know…well, you saw how he reacted. It’s not you; it’s the system he’s mad at. Gear’s actions were perfectly within his power, but he didn’t give us any warning,” she answered him, finally giving an explanation to the deserving Charmeleon.

    I guess that makes sense, Leo thought, I understand liking knowing what’s going on, too.
    “Wait, what system? Is it Gear and the others?” He asked prying her for any shards of information he could get from her.

    “It’s them, and the fact that the king gave the police teams virtually unlimited power across The Kingdom, because of the state of world lately.” She told him, lowering her head with a sigh that one makes when no matter what they do, it can’t change the world.

    Genuinely concerned now, Leo asked again.
    “What’s going on? What’s going on with the world?”

    She raised her head and gave him an incredulous look.
    “You really don’t know?” she asked in disbelief.

    “I kind of don’t remember anything about…well, anything.” Leo said sheepishly as her look softened as she understood his dilemma.

    “Oh, yeah. Your amnesia.” She said with a tired yawn. “Listen, Leo. I promise I will explain to you everything you need to know, but right now it’s pretty late and we’ve all had a long day.” She started to slowly walk past him into the same hallway Jay had went down.

    She stopped at the entrance to her room opposite of Jay’s, “Pick a room, and try to get some sleep for tomorrow.” She let out another soft yawn, “Goodnight, Leo.”

    And she went into her room; Leo was left standing in the middle room. Shrugging his shoulders he tried to find the room with the bookshelf he saw earlier.

    With minimal mishaps, he located the room he desired. With a better survey Leo found that the wall held two hooks for a hammock, which he found stuffed in a small trunk along the wall. He dragged it out of the chest and hooked the two ends to the wall.
    Impressed with his work hanging bed set up, he made his way over to the book shelf. It wasn’t high up on the wall so Leo could see every book’s title without much effort.

    Their covers were worn and slightly torn, and the once bright lettering on the spines faded. Leo struggled to translate the titles as their letters were written in some sort of script that resembled Standard*, but the letters didn’t exactly match.

    With a little more effort he was able to make out the titles, he scanned across them all trying to find something remotely helpful. He read the titles as he grabbed the books.
    “The Psychic Pokemon’s Guide to Reading Minds and Influencing the Weak-Minded”, no, I don’t need that. He placed the book on the floor.

    “The Complete History of Blast Seeds: High Explosive Edition”, not what I need right now. He put the book on top of the last book on the floor.

    “Royal Genealogy: The Rulers of the Kingdom and the Royal Lineage”, interesting, but no. He put it on the pile with the others.

    “This Lasting Feud: The Enduring Conflict Between The Kingdom and its Renegade Colonies”, I’ll look at that later, but not now. He placed it with the others as he looked at the next book.

    “Magmortar’s Guide to Making Anything and Everything Combustible”, just leave it alone, Leo. He thought before throwing the book on the growing pile of discarded books.

    Finally he found something of reasonable help, “Common Knowledge: A Comprehensive Guide to the World-(compiled by the Trinity Isle Research and Archives facility)”, this might be what I need! he thought excitedly as he slid the worn book out from between its brethren and hopped into the hammock, his fiery tail hanging off the side of it.

    He gently pulled open the cover looked flipped through the pages until he found a chapter that looked interesting.

    “Chapter Eight: Mythological Creatures…..”He said with a yawn.

    Scanning through the pages of the chapter he stopped when he saw the heading: “Humans”.
    All thoughts of sleeping left him as he read the opening paragraph.
    “What?”
    Puzzled at why his original species was listed as a myth he read the entry processing every word like it was gold.

    “Humans are beings that we have little information on other than that they are the focal point of several popular legends. The most commonly known of these ancient stories is “The Legend of the Great War” in which the human nations begin a fierce war between themselves and Pokemon. The legend has been corrupted by generations of retelling so it is not entirely clear on why the war was started in the first place; however most versions have that the human nations were eventually defeated by the Dragon Trinity who banished them as eternal punishment.”

    Leo was fascinated with the partially informative passage. Eager to find out more he continued reading.

    “Though it is not clear if humans existed or are a true myth, these legends are popular among Pokemon as the supposed fate of these beings. To find out if they did, in fact, exist at one point in time; several T.I.R.A sponsored archeological teams are preparing to travel to the islands thought to be closest to the lost civilization to look for evidence.”

    Leo was rather disappointed that the book did not go into detail with the legend, but was content that he found some information within the context.

    He flipped through several other chapters, “Chapter One: The Kingdom. Chapter Two: Rescue Teams. Chapter Seven: Mystery Dungeons”, he murmured to himself before finally falling asleep.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Leo woke when the smell of burning paper reached his nose.
    He flailed in the hammock until he fell over the side of it onto the packed dirt floor.
    Ignoring the sore pains in his limbs he found the source of the acrid smell: it was a book, “The Complete History of Blast Seeds” to be exact.
    He had placed it along with several other discarded books in a pile beside his hammock, only now it was on fire.
    During his few hours of sleep he got after reading, his tail had apparently brushed up against the pile and set the top book aflame.

    In alarm, Leo snatched the blazing volume and threw in on the floor. He got to his feet and quickly stomped on the book repeatedly until he was satisfied that the fire was out.
    He inspected the other books in the pile to make sure the fire hadn’t spread to any of them, and to his relief it hadn’t.
    The “Complete History” wasn’t as lucky as its companions; the front cover and the first couple chapters were charred beyond hope of repair.

    Not good. Burning a book is definitely not a way to make a good impression. With that thought in mind, he decided that is was best that he disposed of the novel.

    Looping his key around his neck he took a quick look out of the doorway of his room. After make sure it was clear, he quietly took the blackened book in his claws and tiptoed into the hallway, which was no small accomplishment considering he was still getting used to the new shape of his feet.

    The hallway was still lit by the soft bluish glow of the Luminous Orb shards, allowing Leo to not accidently stumble into the walls and wake Jay or Kelly.

    Successfully navigating through the Luminous Orb lit base, Leo pushed open the rough wooden door and snuck outside. It was still dark, but the faint glow on the horizon told him it wouldn’t stay that way for long. With the destroyed book in hand, he quietly walked through the dew stained grass until he came to a small knoll that overlooked most of the valley.

    Winding back his arm, he chucked the book. The novel soared through the air over somewhere deep in the lower half of the gorge.

    After listening for the tell-tale “thud” that resonated from the impact, Leo took advantage of the peace and quiet to sort through the all the events that had befell him in the days before.
    His strange transformation, his complete amnesia, his adventure in the Fields and all the trouble it brought him, being wrongly arrested than interrogated by Gear and his deputies, being dragged back inside the prison by the Magnemite, getting assigned to the team, all of it still painfully fresh in his mind.

    Unable to remember his previous life, not knowing anything about the world, finding out that humans were nothing but myths; it was enough to make anyone frustrated beyond the point of anger.
    Going over the events that had made the last few days less than ideal made his tail flare to coincide with his feelings.
    Cursing his so-called “luck”, he shattered the morning tranquility with an infuriated yell.

    The sound of his shout carried throughout the valley and all its inhabitants, causing a startled flock of Pidgey to flee their tree in alarm and making more than one house’s windows to light up with the flicker of torchlight.
    He screamed until he couldn’t any more, venting every one of the emotions he that had built up over the last few days.
    Gasping for breath, it felt like a heavy burden was taken off his shoulders.

    “I hope you have a good reason for waking me up like that,” a voice asked from behind Leo.
    Startled, Leo swung around to face the unwelcome intruder, his right clawed hand curled into a fist ready to strike.
    Just as he was about to clock the unknown Pokemon, he held his fist back. The growing light revealed the intruder to be none other than Jay.

    “God, don’t do that!” Leo told him with a small sigh of relief that it was Jay and not a ticked off local wanting revenge for their interrupted sleep.

    “Than maybe the next time you decide to let off some steam, you make it that it doesn’t wake everyone in the province,” Jay scolded as he dropped a satchel he was holding to the ground.

    “Sorry. I didn’t mean to do it, but I was just so … frustrated with everything.” Leo apologized, watching as the scattered Pidgy reformed their flock and returned to their tree.

    “You really were telling the truth last night, weren’t you? This amnesia of yours and everything else that you said happened, I guess you weren’t lying after all.” Jay realized, as the Riolu crossed his arms.

    “You actually believe my story now?” Leo asked his uncertainty ebbing away with the night cold.

    “Might as well, because no normal Pokemon just starts screaming at sunrise for the fun of it, except maybe Vigoroth, the guy’s insane. And besides, if I was stuck in that dungeon for a day, I’d probably start screaming like an insane Pokemon too.” Jay answered the Charmeleon, as the sun’s glow started to make its way over the mountains that bordered the eastern end of the valley.

    Leo pondered his teammate’s words while turning the on his neck key over in his claws. Who knows? Maybe that place really did affect me after all.

    The brief silence that followed their conversation was interrupted by the sounding of a loud, single, cheerful trumpet note that carried across the morning air from the direction of the town.
    Jay’s ears twitched upon hearing the noise, “That was the signal that the markets are open. I need to take care of some business there while it’s still early.
    You can come along if you want; it’s up to you.” He said with a shrug.

    Shaking away his previous thoughts, Leo nodded.
    “What about Kelly?” he asked, pointing a single claw at the structure they called a base, and he now called his home, at least for now.

    Jay waved the question away,
    “Don’t worry, she’ll get the supplies together, than she’ll meet us in the Square like usual. And we kind of need to hurry if we want to get there before the crowd shows up.”

    He bent down and picked up the small, worn satchel off the ground. It was colored light brown--or at least that was the color it had faded to-- and it had a faint golden insignia embroidered on the front flap of it-the symbol itself was, unsurprisingly, not recognized by Leo as the royal seal of The Kingdom.

    Jay slid the satchel over his shoulder and with a quick “come on” motion of his paw, took off running down the path leading to the Square. Leo stood blinking at the Riolu’s speedy departure and shook himself back to reality. He ordered his legs to run to catch up with Jay.
    He sprinted down the tree lined path, trying not to trip and fall comically on the roots that stuck up from the ground.

    He saw Jay many yards ahead of him, striding with ease over the roots and fallen leafy boughs, while he barely managed to maintain a running pace with his new feet, much less not stumble into branches along the way.
    Before long the dark canopy of trees gave way to the flicker of flaming torches from the square.

    Leo emerged from the forest path breathing hard, but not nearly as scratched up as he thought he would have been after barreling through several low branches.
    He glanced down at his scaly skin; there might actually be some advantages to this body after all, he thought.
    He saw Jay giving him a smug look from a few feet up the street; he looked like he’d been waiting there for a while.

    “Forgot how to run?” he taunted, making Leo pay for his interrupted sleep.
    Leo growled, while it was true hadn’t run that fast in… well, recent memory, but he hadn’t forgotten that much.
    Pushing the sudden desire to slash at the Riolu away, Leo managed to ask Jay what sort of “business” he had to take care of so early.

    “You’ll find out in a few minutes, but for now just follow me while we pass through the checkpoint,” was all he told him before he started walking toward the town.

    Leo walked behind Jay as they approached the outskirts of the town. There, built across the middle of the street were two torch lit booths made of wooden planks.
    One booth on each side of the street, each blending in perfectly with the dwellings of the Pokemon that lived in the Square; one reason why Leo never noticed them yesterday.

    Inside the security booths were two Pokemon, whose species he’d hold a grudge with for a long time yet, possibly forever.

    The two Magnemite floated lazily at their posts, but suddenly gained an alertness they lacked before when Jay and Leo walked into their sight. The guards zoomed out of their booths and hovered over the two early visitors.

    “Just let me do the talking,” Jay whispered to Leo as he turned to the guard on the right

    “Hello, sirs. My friend and I have to get through. Would you please-“

    “ZZT! Please,” the Magnemite on the left said.

    “for the love of Arceus,” added the one on the right

    “shut up so we can verify both of your citizen IDs. ZZZT! ” they both droned, yawns of static emanated from both of the sentinel units.
    Reluctantly, Jay shut his mouth.

    “Now, please present some form of valid identification; emphasis on the “valid” part”, the guard on the left ordered, holding out his horseshoe magnet appendage.

    “Alright,” Jay answered, pulling open his satchel. After a few seconds of searching, he produced a small, circular, metal badge that sported a pair of wings on each side.
    As soon as he held the badge up it suddenly flew from Jay’s paw and landed with a metallic “clink!” on the guard’s outstretched magnet.

    “Verification in process,” the guard said boredly, even though he didn’t appear to actually do anything with the badge except stare at intensely with his single eye.

    “Now, Charmeleon. Your badge please,” the Magnemite on the right asked while his comrade continued to stare at the badge.

    Leo was at a loss. “Umm, I don’t have a badge.”

    The guard buzzed in annoyance. “Well than, where is your citizen ID?”

    “I don’t actually have one either.” Leo slowly told the guard, unsure of what was to happen next.

    “An unregistered citizen, eh? ZT! Do we have a fugitive from the Colonies, maybe? Well, rebel scum, we have some space for you in the town prison. Rho, come help me with him!”

    “Wait! Wait! Wait! I’m not-” Leo stuttered as the right guard hovered toward him, his magnets sparking with stunning energy.

    Before Leo could turn tail and run, Jay stepped in between him and the guard.
    “Wait a minute! Wait a minute! He’s not from the Colonies! He got clearance from Gear yesterday.”

    The guard paused, his magnet’s energy dissipating.
    “Clearance? From Gear? I’ll need to verify this. Please wait a moment while I contact Chief Officer Gear.”
    The guard fell silent as he used his screw-like antenna to contact the Magnezone.

    As the guard on the right was doing this, the guard on the left, Rho, had ceased his staring contest with the badge and magnetically levitated it back to Jay. "ZT! Premission to enter, Jay, of Team Salient. ZZT!"
    Seconds after Jay got his badge back, the guard on the right started talking again.

    “You may pass; turns out Gear actually did give you clearance. He also told me to apologize for my rash treatment of you and your friend Jay, or else I’ll be reassigned to the Sawgrass Town patrol.” the Magnemite on the right shuddered like the mere uttering of the words “apology” and “Sawgrass Town” caused him physical pain.

    The guard took a deep static filled breath,
    “I, Deputy Officer Ion, am sincerely sor…”he stopped in the middle of his forced apology.
    His frame shook and his magnets spun and sparked erratically,
    “ ...ry and you are an outstanding citizen,” he finished.
    As soon as the final part of the word came from his speaker, a spark shot from his spherical body and he dropped like a stone to the street with a metallic clang, a thin trail of smoke coming from his body.

    His counterpart, Rho gave a static filled sigh as he hovered over the fallen officer and attached one of his magnets to his fried friend. Swinging around to signal that they could pass, he than started dragging Ion elsewhere to recover while muttering
    “…we weren’t made to show emotions”.

    “That was …odd,” Leo stated; slightly confused over what exactly had just occurred.
    Jay shrugged and motioned for him to follow as he started walking away from the checkpoint into the predawn Square.

    Once they were a good distance away from the checkpoint and any eavesdropping police, Jay finally spoke.
    “We didn’t always have them guarding everywhere, you know. It was one event that caused this,” He whispered as the two walked further away from the sentry posts.

    “It was two months ago. A group of refugee Pokemon suddenly showed up in the town one day, nothing wrong with that- we’ve been receiving refugees even since this civil war started. But over the next few days strange things started happening: item rations going missing, Gold and Silver Poké disappearing out of the bank, and important war messages from the Federation never arriving.”

    “What happened with them? Those Pokemon?” Leo asked, intrigued by the story behind the abundance of security forces.

    Jay went on,
    “Well, after a few days of observing the new arrivals and finding them guilty of the rash of crime, Gear and the Guild combined their teams and raided the entire Western Quarter of the square. They arrested a good deal of the outlaw Pokemon, but not without razing half of the Quarter to the ground.” He pointed his paw down a side street.

    It was hard to distinguish in the faint light, but Leo could see the evidence of the disastrous fire. Focusing on the area, he saw that behind the clay and stone buildings of the town lay an expanse of blackened buildings and charred rubble.

    “Turns out that they were Colony spies smuggling information back to them. Naturally, our king was beside himself with anger, he overrode the Federation and decreed that all towns and cities are to be constantly guarded by police, no exceptions.” Jay concluded as they approached the open market area of the square, which was still bathed in a gray light from the retreating night.
    “It’s not like we enough problems to worry about, anyways,” the Riolu sighed as they entered the center square of the Square.
    The waving colorful banners attached to the buildings Leo saw yesterday now hung limply, occasionally fluttering in the weak morning breeze.
    The tarp covered shops were still for the most part quiet, except for a select few.
    There were only five or so other Pokemon that milled around the deserted marketplace- looking for early deals or more often than not, information that only a select few can give at this time of morning.
    One of the few shops that happened to be operating at this early hour was a small lantern lit stand tucked into the side of the street among the other currently closed stands.

    Jay motioned for Leo to follow him as he approached the stand. The small wooden sign on it read simply: “Aleck’s Goods”
    On the wooden table were several small glass containers filled with some sort of viscous liquid and fragments of colored crystals that seemed to change their coloring every time Leo blinked, but they weren’t the oddest items on the stand: on the back area of the surface were several small piles of dirt.
    The stand also appeared to be empty, but that fact didn’t seem to deter Jay. He reached his arm over the cart and all of its odd merchandise until he came to the piles of dirt.

    He lightly touched the nearest pile of earth with the tip of his paw. As soon as the few grains of soil moved, a small rumbling sounded from behind the counter.
    Leo leaned forward to get a closer look at the miniature earthquake, but he immediately jumped back out of shock when a small purple blur shot up from the ground with a fountain of displaced pebbles and soil.

    The little purple goblin creature turned to look at them with its eyes, which, much to Leo’s mixture of fascination and repulsion, were a pair of cut diamonds.
    “You. Have. Disturbed. The. Dirt,” It hissed softly, its words slipping between its razor sharp teeth.

    Jay cracked a smile. “Aleck, we need your help with somethi-” he started to ask before he was abruptly cut off by the feral shop owner.

    “You have disturbed the dirt!” he shouted, slashing his claws erratically in the air.

    “Aleck!” Jay shouted, swinging one of his paws at the shopkeeper’s head. He avoided the sharp claws and landed a direct hit on the side of the Sableye’s head, right underneath the Pokemon’s short, spiky ear.

    The purple creature’s flailing actions halted, and he shook his head slowly. He coughed twice, and looked up again from across the counter at his two customers.

    “Ahhh, my valued customers! Good morning! What can I do for my most privileged of patrons this fine dawn?” the shopkeeper wheezed, his voice completely lacking the violence he had a moment ago.

    Undeterred, Jay attempted to ask the Pokemon again.
    “Aleck, we need your help with something.”

    Aleck sighed. “Thank you, Jay. Not many folks stop by my old shop anymore, not since those darn Kelcon brothers built one of their stores here and with the war rationing going on; I’m amazed I’m still in business! If it weren’t for my few customers, I’d have-”

    Jay tapped once on the rough wooden counter to stop the Sableye’s rant on his financial woes.
    “Aleck, we need your assistance with an item of ours; we’re not buying at the moment unfortunately,” Jay said, watching the old Pokemon give another sigh.

    “Fine, let’s get this done quickly. Let me see the hunk of crystal you’ve brought- me along with every other rescue team in the business has for the last thirty years,” he said, holding out one of his small purple claws.

    Jay shook his head, “It’s no ordinary hunk of crystal; Leo, if you would give him your key for a minute.”

    “What? Why?” Leo asked, clutching his treasure defensively.

    “Think of it as a way of me saying sorry for treating you like garbage yesterday. Just hand it to him.” Jay insisted, as the shopkeeper’s diamond eyes stared at the artifact.

    Reluctantly, Leo placed his key on the counter, and it was almost instantly snatched by the purple Pokemon.
    Aleck held the key up close where he went over it with his small claws.
    “Hmm, interesting. Very interesting,” He mumbled as he continued analyzing the object as Leo watched him like a hawk for any attempt to harm his treasure.

    “Well, what’s it made of?” Jay asked, as the Sableye handed the key back to its original owner. Leo quickly took it and placed it around his neck with a deep sigh of relief.

    Aleck muttered anxiously to himself as Jay inquired again as to what it was made of.

    Aleck finally answered the two. “I’ll be honest with you; I’ve never seen anything like that key before. It’s as hard as diamond, has energy like an Orb crystal, and its craftsmanship is unlike anything else. Also, the necklace itself unfortunately isn’t gold, but it’s a strong metal nonetheless.”
    He explained as he read off the mental list he’d made when he observed the key.

    Leo was amazed at the results of the Pokemon’s analysis, while Jay asked what the thing was worth.

    Aleck rubbed the back of his neck, “I dunno, it’s hard to say really. I’d buy it from you for three thousand Gold Poké right now.”

    Jay’s eyes went wide. “Three. T-thousand?” he asked, struggling to believe the amount the Sableye offered.

    Aleck turned towards Leo who answered his question before he even asked it.
    “Not for sale, sorry.”
    Aleck sighed in disappointment as Jay squeezed his mouth shut to keep from screaming at his teammate.

    “Understandable, quite understandable,” He reluctantly agreed as he turned to Jay, “Any more items of value that need to be appraised?”
    Jay took a deep breath and answered Aleck, “No, but we do need one more thing; he needs a badge, and we can’t get one from the Guild for certain reasons,” Jay told Aleck, jabbing a paw toward Leo.

    Aleck started muttering to himself again, after a few seconds he answered Jay.

    “I might be able to get one by tomorrow, and that’ll be two Silver Poké when I get it.” Aleck informed them.

    Satisfied with the answer, Jay thanked the Sableye, who than burrowed back into the ground, off to do what ever it was he did in his free time.

    “Well, I wasn’t expecting that. Not three thousand. Personally, I’d have sold it, but it is yours. Better keep that thing safe, Leo,” Jay said, walking away from Aleck’s store towards the opposite side of the marketplace. Jay continuing to talk about what they’d be able to do with the small fortune of gold coins.

    “Is that why we’re here? To have my key appraised?” Leo asked, wondering if that was why they he had run all the way into town.

    “I came to get you a badge, to keep another incident at the checkpoints from happening again. And I wanted to do something to make up for yesterday, but we’re not quite done yet. We still need to choose a job request over by the Post Office,” Jay explained as the square suddenly lit with the full brilliance of the morning sun as it came over the mountains.

    “Wait. Job request?” Leo asked as Jay said nothing and dragged him over to an older building made of stones cracked from age and ivy, its rough wooden sign read: “Post Office” and under that: “Established: does the date even matter? It’s old, really old.”
    Adjacent to the ancient looking post office, were several depilated wooden boards all covered with multitudes of posters and looked like even the slightest breeze could reduce them to splinters.

    As they got closer, Leo saw that only a portion of the posters were new while most were yellowed and torn from rain and age.
    Once they were standing directly at the boards Leo saw that one of the boards had posters that contained images of vicious looking Pokemon and boasted descriptions and rewards for their capture. One poster showed a picture of a light purple bulldog Pokemon with a single broken fang.
    Trounce the Granbull: wanted for smuggling illegal items and other thefts against the crown. Location: Solitary Forest, near Area Three. Reward: 580 Copper Poké
    He caught another description of an outlaw; this one seemed much larger than the others and had a painting of a regal looking cream colored fox sporting a look of pure wickedness.
    Raiss the Ninetales: wanted for numerous crimes against the Kingdom in the Far Reach territories near the Oresville settlement. Note: all pursuing Tracker teams must exercise caution as this Pokemon is cunning and is possibly working with an unidentified accomplice.
    Reward for capture: 1,500 Silver Poké.

    Another poster, another picture, another reward promised in exchange for capture. Amid the sea of posters, were several newer looking posters plastered on top of dozens of outdated jobs.
    They advertised phrases like: “Rebellion will not be tolerated! Fight for The Kingdom!”, “The Colonies will not triumph against us!”, and finally “The Kingdom will not be split in two! Take back the Colonies!”
    As Leo gazed over the posters and propaganda wondering what exactly was wrong with this world, Jay handed him a single poster.
    “Take a look.” Jay ordered.

    Taking the paper, Leo saw, much to his relief, that it wasn’t an outlaw job.

    Client: Pidgeotto
    Location: Spore Meadows Dungeon, Area Six
    Reward:???


    “Oddly sparse with the info. Usually rescue requests are full of pleas for help, but this one, not much of anything,” Jay commented on the unusually empty poster.

    Leo gulped not really hearing the Riolu’s remark; his tail flickered slightly as he reread over the request.
    “A dungeon? We’re going willingly into a dungeon?”

    “Where else would we go?” he said with a laugh.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Leo and Jay had rendezvoused with Kelly at the outside of the Square where she handed Leo a satchel similar to Jay’s and on she had around her neck.
    The Spore Meadows Dungeon wasn’t too far from the Square; an hour long hike though the southern side of the valley led them to the entrance. Surrounded by forest, the Meadows stood out significantly against the trees with its towering grass and weeds.

    The wall of field plants seemed eerily similar to the that of Tranquility Fields; however, Kelly repeatedly assured Leo that it was nothing like that hell.

    Without another thought, Jay walked through the wall of green grass and abruptly vanished behind it, not even a rustle could be seen on the outside. Before Leo could react to Jay’s disappearance, Kelly motioned for him to follow as she too disappeared through the weeds.

    For a minute, Leo stood there trying to gain the courage to follow. He took a deep breath to calm his racing heart. You heard Kelly, there’s nothing to worry about.
    Before he could even begin to doubt her words, Leo squeezed his eyes shut and ran full speed through the dungeon barrier.
    It felt like he passed through a wall of freezing water, and as quickly as it started, the sensation ceased.

    When Leo finally opened his eyes he saw that he was standing in a small clearing, surrounded by the walls of grass and weeds. He also saw that he was alone; Jay and Kelly were nowhere in sight.
    “Just great, I’m lost. What do I do now- What the heck was that?!” He yelled as he heard the wall of grass rustle violently.
    Not looking back, he grabbed the strap of his bag, and sprinted through the tall grass into the dungeon.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Spore Meadows: Area One

    Crashing through weeds taller as he was, Leo ran. As he ran, his claw brushed up against an oblong pod attached to a weed. As soon as he touched it, the pod burst into a cloud of colorful spores.
    Leo gasped for breath as he passed through the cloud, running into another clearing. Stopping for a moment to catch his breath, Leo heard the grass behind him rustle again.

    Leo slowly turned around to face what ever horror popped out of the dungeon.
    Much to his relief, he didn’t see a snarling monster about to maim him, but instead, a small green creature with a flower on its head that drifted lazily along in the air.
    Leo smiled as he approached the creature, “You don’t look so bad.”

    The creature in question turned toward him, only now sensing his presence. It stared at him with its small red eyes, and twirled once in the air landing a few feet away, a plain smile etched on its face.
    Convinced that the strange Pokemon wasn’t going to harm him, Leo went up to it again.
    “Could you help me? I’m trying to find my teammates.”

    Suddenly the creature let out a loud shriek that caused Leo to hold the sides of his head where his ears normally would have been.
    The creature yelled with a voice in an incomprehensible language that sounded like wind blowing through trees during a storm.
    The creature used its ears to direct a small gust of wind at Leo, propelling itself further away from the stunned wayward explorer.
    As soon as the creature stopped its shrill alarm, Leo turned to run for the safety of the grass overgrowth. The creature moved through the air as quickly as a hurricane’s gale, and shot a single glowing seed from its flower at the moving Charmeleon.

    The seed caught Leo in his back; it burst in a spray of syrupy, sweet smelling substance that clung to Leo’s scales.
    While Leo was distracted by the new coating on his body, the small creature decided to pelt the intruder with another barrage of seeds that burst into a cloud of gaseous spores when they hit.

    As Leo struggled to dodge the flying seeds and clouds of spores, he dove into the tall forest of weeds that surrounded the clearing.
    The creature stopped its attack when it saw that its target was missing. As lazily as a summer island breeze, it floated down to the ground and looked around for the missing intruder.
    Thankfully it didn’t appear to be even remotely intelligent, because it seemed to have forgotten where Leo dove into the grass, despite having seen it a few seconds earlier.
    As the creature scanned the clearing for Leo, he was busy trying to find some way to get rid of the thing. Fighting isn’t the greatest option; through I do have claws now. There’s got to be something I can do.

    Watching the Pokemon float around the clearing, being gently pushed along by the breezes, he got an idea. Could it really be that simple? He laughed to himself darkly, this was going to be fun.

    Leo waited until the Pokemon was directly in front of his hiding spot, as soon as it landed Leo pounced from the grass with a battle cry.
    The creature turned around and shrieked in alarm and prepared another attack, but it was too late. Leo reached the creature and swung his foot upwards and kicked the Pokemon’s underside as hard as he could.

    “Skiploooooooom!” the Pokemon screamed as it was propelled high into the air. Leo watched as the winds carried the stunned Pokemon away.

    Leo smiled, this counted as a victory in his book despite the fact that he still smelled like a flower and was bruised from the seed bullets.

    Suddenly, he heard more rustling from the grass as more Pokemon appeared. Small round pink Pokemon with two leafy sprouts attached to their heads and several more Skiploom.

    Now that he knew how to deal with them, Leo grinned, Game on.
    With a battle cry, he charged into the small group of Pokemon.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Spore Meadows Area Six
    If one had the ability to see past the temporal anomaly that is Spore Meadows, they would have seen an extraordinary sight: scores of angered Hoppip and Skiploom raining down from the sky over every area of the dungeon.
    This event would have easily have been classified as an adverse change in the wind currents, but another reason was the true cause.

    Leo had been busy; as he had advanced further into the mystery dungeon looking for any sign of his teammates he had somehow become the target of every Hoppip and Skiploom in the area.
    Punching and punting away every enemy Pokemon slowly exhausted him, but thankfully the cottonweed Pokemon only came in groups of two or three at a time.
    They were somehow drawn to him like a magnet, and immediately started to bombard him with spore seeds once eye contact was made.

    Crouching in the grass out of sight from the roaming Pokemon, Leo rested, using his satchel as a pillow. Suddenly, he realized that he had forgotten that he even had the bag completely until now.
    He slung his bag Kelly had provided him with to the ground and opened it. Inside were items he wished he’d remembered he had earlier.
    An apple glistened in the noon sun for an instant before Leo chomped into it, hungrily devouring the fruit. Other than the apple was a curious, round, blue berry he’d seen in the market yesterday, and two round stones. He ate the berry in one bite and left the two stones alone as he hefted the bag back onto his shoulder.

    Feeling completely rejuvenated from the apple and little berry, he traveled through the grass- the laws of physics not applying as his flaming tail didn’t torch the entire dungeon.

    With the scores of Hoppip and Skiploom drifting helplessly in the air behind him, Leo carefully peered into the next clearing.
    At first he didn’t see anything, and then he heard voices coming from the far corner of the glade.
    “…Please get me outta here; I’ve been here for three days. Doesn’t that thing work?” A voice said, followed by a round of coughing.

    Another voice spoke, which Leo identified as Jay.
    “Don’t talk, or else you’ll pass out again. We’ll get you out of here, don’t worry.”

    The voice mumbled something before going silent. Slowly coming out of the grass, Leo made his way through the clearing over to where he last heard the voices, watching out for any other enraged dungeon dwellers.

    As he rounded a turn in the glade, he saw Jay, Kelly, and a Pokemon he’d never seen before crouched near the ground in pain. It was a large beige raptor with a head-crest of curved red feathers.
    Jay and Kelly appeared to be attending to the bird, and didn’t notice him approaching from behind.

    “Hey, you two. Is that your missing guy over there?” the Pidgeotto coughed, as Jay and Kelly turned around.

    “Leo! You made it! I was worried when you weren’t with us when we went entered!” Kelly exclaimed.
    “I told you he’d be alright, this dungeon isn’t that difficult,” Jay stated, as the Pidgeotto grunted in obvious disagreement as he gingerly lifted his bloodied left wing that Leo knew wasn’t supposed to bend that far backwards.

    “Wait, didn’t you have to fight through swarms of Pokemon to get here?” Leo asked, looking away from the bird Pokemon’s clearly broken wing.

    “What? No. In fact we hardly saw any Pokemon at all, that’s why we got here so quickly. What happened to you?” Kelly asked, puzzled over Leo’s previous question.

    Leo briefly explained what had befallen on him since he was separated from them at the dungeon entrance.
    “That’s just some straight up bad luck you got right there.” The Pidgeotto commented as he grunted in pain as Jay poured clear liquid from a small glass vial over the Pokemon’s wound.

    “Wait, who exactly are you?” Leo asked the battered Pidgeotto.

    “Name’s Icarus. I’m the one your teammates are supposed to be rescuing. By the way, why’s that taking so long?” Icarus answered, directing the latter question to Jay.

    “The badges aren’t working right, I already told you that; just give us a few minutes to fix them, ok?” Jay growled as he continued pressing a small raised button on the center of his badge.

    “Kelly, what’s going on? What do badges have to do with rescuing this guy?” Leo inquired, wondering what the heck the small metal badges possibly could do.

    “They have the ability to instantly teleport a Pokemon out of a dungeon, or at least they do when they actually work.” She grumbled as she jabbed the center of her own rescue badge again, nothing happened.

    “Those things can teleport? Why isn’t it working? They are supposed to work aren’t they? Aren’t they called rescue badges for that reason?” Leo asked, beginning to worry now that their escape route out of this place was possibly gone.

    Kelly answered, taking a break from the malfunctioning badge.
    “Lately the Federation has been commandeering the Psychic Pokemon that oversee and control the all the teleportation channels that come from all of the badges, and decide when to open them. So, until one of them comes back to work, we’ll have to wait or find our way out ourselves.” she grumbled.
    In frustration, Jay threw his badge to the ground of the dungeon, “The one time we actually succeed in a mission, and we can’t get out of the dungeon!”

    Suddenly Icarus spoke while pointing his good wing at the opposite end of the glade, “Eh, you guys? I’m sorry to interrupt, but what in Moltres’s holy name is that?”

    “What are you …? Mew, mother of Arceus …” Jay swore as he looked across the clearing.

    “That” turned out to be scores upon scores of Hoppip and Skiploom appearing from the grass, all of them wearing looks of hatred one does not normally expect to see on sentient weeds.
    The group of Pokemon was stunned into silence by the sheer amount of the native Pokemon except Icarus who let loose a quiet yet lengthy explicative.

    The Pidgeotto suddenly sniffed, “Wait a sec,” he sniffed again. “I thought I knew that smell; Charmeleon, you’ve been Stained by one of them. You led ‘em straight here.”
    Icarus noted as the advancing wall of Pokemon abruptly stopped moving forward.

    “W-what’s going on?” Leo stuttered as the crowds of pink and green Pokemon parted to reveal a small spherical blue Pokemon with two large tuffs of cotton on its arms and one on its head.

    The blue Pokemon spoke, its booming, bossy voice totally unfitting of its small form.
    “So, you all are the intruders that have got my soldiers running around like the idiots they are? State your names and what business you have inside my dungeon. Now.”

    “We’re Team Salient; we accepted a job to rescue this Pidgeotto,” Kelly said, beating Icarus’s string of curses, and Jay’s own response.

    “A rescue team, are you? Well normally I wouldn’t have too much of a problem with that, but the Pokemon you’re rescuing is my prisoner. I can’t have him going to the king about my little smuggling operation in this dungeon,” The boss Pokemon told them while Icarus grunted in disgust.

    “Prisoner? Ha! If my wing wasn’t broken, I’d kill you right now, Jumpluff!” the injured bird shouted as Jumpluff chuckled, an action Leo would have found slightly adorable if the Pokemon didn’t hold their lives in his evil, cottony hands.

    “Shut up, Pidgeotto. I can’t help but be impressed that you actually managed to send out a distress message, but that now leaves us with the matter of what to do with your rescuers. I obviously can’t have them going off and telling their Guildmaster about my operation here, it’s just not good business,” The dungeon boss explained as he pondered the situation.

    “But we’re not part of a-” Jay started before Jumpluff cut him off.

    “Unfortunately, I don’t know whether I can trust you all to keep your traps shut. I’ve found that the best solution to a problem is usually the easiest, and killing you all seems pretty easy right about now,” Jumpluff said.

    “Wait, we’re not part of any guild-thing! We won’t tell anyone about whatever you have here!” Leo shouted in vain to the boss.

    “Gas them. Make sure they never get the chance to tell anyone all we’ve done,” Jumpluff ordered as he backed away behind his minions, who chattered with glee at the prospect of a something new to murder. Backing up against the dungeon wall, Leo knew they only had a few seconds to act before the hoard of Pokemon unleashed their seed attack. Jay quickly gathered them together.

    “Alright, Kelly, keep trying to get the badge to work and guard Icarus. Hopefully we’ll get lucky with it. Leo, you and I will hold them off until something happens. And Icarus?”

    The bird Pokemon sat up hearing his name, “What?”

    “Just shut up. You’re the reason we’re here in the first place,” Jay quickly listed as the Hoppip and Skiploom mob suddenly screeched in a single, horrid voice.

    Wait, hold them off? With what exactly? “Jay, what are you talking-” was all Leo got to say before the mass of enemy Pokemon launched glowing seed-like projectiles into the air. Leo stared with his mouth hanging open as the simultaneous attacks arced in the sky and fell through the sky like bombs from overhead.

    Leo barely had time to snap out of his trance and raise his arms over his head when the glowing seeds hit like a storm of hail. The seeds exploded with their many small clouds of poison spores merging into one giant cloud of thick purplish gas that instantly diffused throughout the entire dungeon area.

    His eyes watering, Leo struggled to breathe as he stumbled around the gas covered clearing, tripping more than once into a band of charging Hoppip.
    Trying to remain focused as the amount of breathable air diminished; Leo clumsily slashed his claws at the Pokemon, who screeched in pain when he successfully landed a hit.
    The other Hoppip panicked and either shot off small rapid bursts of seeds at their own comrades or simply crashed into each other.
    If there was any advantage Team Salient had in this fight it was that their enemy, though barbarically brutal, were definitely among the more idiotic Pokemon in the land. They were a fairly effective force when calm, but if startled they broke down faster than the countless attempts at peace between the Kingdom and the Colonies.

    Through the chaos of nauseating gas, stray Hoppip and Skiploom, and the occasional rapid burst of seeds cutting through the gas, Leo saw the shape of Jay with one of his fists glowing bright; punch one of the Hoppip in its pink body.
    The creature went crashing into the dirt. The Riolu turned to do the same thing to a Skiploom when it fired several seeds that landed at his feet, detonating with a sudden plume of gas.

    Jay stumbled backwards, until he was face to face with an overwhelmed Leo.
    “Why aren’t you fighting? A Flamethrower would be really useful right about now!” he said, gasping with nearly every other word.

    “I-I have no idea what you’re talking about! What flamethrower?” Leo said before going into a gas induced coughing fit.
    Jay’s adrenaline fueled battle ready expression changed to one of disbelief.
    “What flamethrower?! Your attack moves! What else do you think I’m talking about?!” he yelled as a strong gust of wind brushed past us.
    It seemed Icarus wasn’t content to lay low this battle, and was using his undamaged wing to blow some of the foul gas away temporarily before stopping from the pain it caused him.

    Leo took a few precious seconds to breathe the unpolluted air, “I don’t remember how to do any attacks!” he countered as they moved to dodge a Hoppip’s barrage of high speed seeds. Just as Jay was about to speak, he and Leo were forced to duck to avoid a sudden bolt of lightning that shot inches of their heads.The attack shot directly into a group of Skiploom, causing them to screech in pain, and their leaf green skin to blacken as their smoking unconscious forms crashed to the ground.

    Leo took a quick look behind him to see where exactly a bolt of lightning had come from. He saw Icarus breathing hard from his position on the ground, directing more of his Gust attacks at the surrounding gas cloud, he also saw the dozens of scattered Skiploom and Hoppip, but they weren’t the source of the attack.

    Than he saw Kelly still guarding the collapsed Icarus and trying to activate the badge. She was wobbling with exhaustion and her spiky, yellow and white fur still cackling with electricity from the lightning bolt she had generated and launched.

    She did that? “Wow,” Leo said in awe his teammate’s power.

    His thoughts of admiration were interrupted when Jay punched him in the arm.
    “Leo, what do you mean that you can’t remember any attacks?” he asked as the cloud of poison slowly enveloped them again.

    “I just don’t remember how.” Leo explained as he gulped one last breath of clean air before the haze returned.

    Jay wasn’t convinced. “No matter how bad your amnesia happens to be, you don’t forget instincts! That's why they're called instincts!” he yelled through the fumes as a Skiploom crashed between them.

    The sentient weed spit a volley of seeds at the two arguing Pokemon. The seeds pelted Leo, bursting on impact into even more clouds of the poison to appear and sting his lungs with every breath. The attack knocked Leo off his feet; he landed hard on the ground where he watched as Jay quickly raised his fist, somehow glowing with energy again, and punched the attacking Pokemon away.

    Jay moved to where Leo had fallen and offered the Charmeleon a paw. His mind dizzy from the gas and fatigue, Leo slowly grasped his clawed hand around Jay’s.

    Once he was standing, he turned to tell Jay thanks, but as soon as he did he was assaulted by another wave of gas. He couldn’t take much more; whatever was in this gas obviously wasn’t for his benefit health-wise.
    Suddenly there was a large flash of light to his right; he turned to see that where Icarus had been was now absolutely nothing. Their client had simply vanished into thin air.
    He looked around for Kelly, but she was nowhere to be found among the clearing.

    His vision starting to blacken around the edges; he turned to his side where Jay had been a moment ago, but instead found an enraged Skiploom charging at him full speed through the air. Jay was gone too.
    He tried to move out of the way, but his everything he did seemed to be stuck in slow motion as the green Pokemon barreled into him.
    Leo crashed to the ground clutching his side in pain as the Skiploom screeched in triumph. He tried to breathe, but by then the air had effectively stopped being even remotely breathable.

    In his agony Leo looked up at the crowd of Pokemon that had surrounded him. Jumpluff appeared above him charging some sort of green sphere of energy to finish him off.

    “Don’t take it personally, it’s just good business,” He sneered, as the attack was almost completely charged and definitely lethal.

    He weakly closed his eyes as he waited the inevitable pain that was to come. It’s probably better than dying from this gas his mind told him as some sort of depressing silver lining to this situation.
    In his fading mental state he wondered where had the others gone, if they had been killed by the heartless crime boss or had simply abandoned him while they fled to safety.
    Both thoughts made him boil with anger, the weak flicker of fire on his tail suddenly ignited as if it was doused in gasoline. He felt like some last reserve of energy had been found: his mind cleared, the pain from his wounds numbed, and his lungs ignored the searing pain they felt with every quick, adrenaline-fueled breath he took.

    Not wanting to die just yet, Leo pushed off the ground and quickly rolled to the side as Jumpluff launched his Energy Ball attack into the spot of dungeon floor where he just had been a half-second before.

    Before the boss’s army could converge on the Charmeleon, he leapt up and tackled the stunned crime leader. The wayward rescue team member and the dungeon boss both crashed to the ground as Leo swung his claws at the every inch of the pinned Jumpluff’s face he could reach, leaving large cuts under both of the Pokemon’s small, beady, red eyes.

    More of the gas seed attacks were pelting him from all around, bursting into clouds of purple, yellow, and grey gas that mixed with the already saturated air.
    Leo stopped his slashing frenzy for an instant to deliver a swipe to a Hoppip who’d gotten too close. In this split second, the pinned boss charged up a small Energy Ball attack at Leo.
    “Dasvidaniya, Charmeleon!”
    Leo squeezed his eyes shut as he braced once again for the possible end of his existence.

    Whether or not the lethal point blank attack actually impacted, Leo didn’t know as all he felt was something pulling quickly him through a wall of extremely cold water and suddenly he was standing on a hard stone floor inside of a civilized building.

    Not even trying to understanding what sort of miracle had just occurred, his legs gave out from under him as the small reserve of energy had burnt itself out.
    He tried to laugh realizing he was safe-and partly from exhaustion, but instead coughed out a small cloud of purple gas from his burning lungs.

    As he closed his eyes from sheer fatigue, he heard the jabber of faint, frantic voices that grew louder with every passing second.

    “…I found him! Get someone! Hurry!” Leo heard Jay shout as the trample of footsteps grew closer and as he found himself passing out-once again- for the fourth time since he arrived in this world.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    End Chapter Three


    Author’s Notes:

    Well, again, this is another early chapter of mine, so the formatting is somewhat better, and there are less grammar mistakes than before.

    As always, I appreciate any reviews and comments.


    Knightfall signing off…
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