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Pokémon OPEN Z: A Kalos Journey - Rebirth [M] [IC] Page 6

Started by Jay February 17th, 2019 12:17 PM
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  • 159 replies

Pudding

[ alegría ]

Female
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
375 posts
2.9 Years

Margarita Fas

Adriel, a wise and sensible adult, had preferred her not to leave the sanctuary.

She departed from the sanctuary anyway. Aware that her two partners were lost in the inferno made her drown in guilt.

Margarita exited the ruins of a church, unsuccessful in her quest to find her two missing Pokémon. It didn't help she was developing frequent dizzy spells while doing so. Already she had fainted, only for Eelektrik to shock her back to a conscious state out of panic.

Pokémon meandered the city. Out of caution Margarita avoided the creatures, but at times she seemed to abandon all reason and strolled right past some. As a result she has been in dangerous chases.

She was aware her judgement and risk-taking had worsened. Unfortunately those decisions occured spontaneously, without giving herself time to reject the thought. In the end she figured the explosion damaged her more than she realized; dizzy spells, headaches, soreness, often losing balance, the lack of a better judgement. Most worrying of all, she can hear others but found herself having a hard time understanding.

She stopped to rest her exhausted body, legs becoming numb once more. There was a fallen pillar that, to Margarita, acted as a place to hoist herself up, arms struggling to keep her thin figure standing despite the aid of debris. Regardless, doing so helped feeling return to her legs and her light headedness dissipate.

"Here! Here! ...-Iondapot- Astyueioumba. Come on!"

Margarita's head swiveled to the voice's position, hoping to find more survivors that could have possibly spotted her comrades. "Damn this muk. I still can't understand." But that was not the case.

Several Cinder Grunts - four to be precise - found refuge inside a ruined building, a distinctive, shimmering blue egg standing out from their dark color palette.

It looked familiar.

Not my- Margarita nearly slipped while pushing herself off her resting place. ack-business. She couldn't afford to spend more time recharging if every second meant her Pokémon could be in peril.

The young trainer had gone a short distance before the memory of the kidnapped egg flashed before her mental eye; the shimmering blue egg was originally intended for the winner of the festival tournament.

This drastically altered her decision.

"Nnnnnngh. Nnnnnnnngh... Okay." Margarita returned to the egg's last whereabouts and followed the grunts inside despite the hesitant eel who cried his trepidation to her ear. Yet the trainer thought nothing of his shrieks, the same hollers that already gave them away.

"It's a Pokémon egg," she reminds her terrified companion. I may be heartless enough to pass by Pokémon and people, but not an egg. Hell, had I come across a child I would have done something.

She took precaution, steadily making her way into what was once a two-story mall. Its doors appeared to be gone and smoke shrouded the second floor in darkness.

It was hotter here, but more of a reason for Margarita to find the egg.

She entered.

"It would be a real shame if somebody found us!" a high pitched voice startled Margarita, its origin deep in the ruins.

A second, more feminine voice took over. It emanated to her left. "Stupid! That's not what you were supposed to say-"

"Idiots." A third one joined. This time from the right. "I can't do anything with you two lot. Darius, do the honors?"

Margarita did a quick glance around her, heart racing with the realization that she was caught. But her legs froze in place, body cold to the touch as it refused to cooperate with her thoughts. "What the hell?"

"With pleasure," the fourth spoke inches away from her, instantaneous with a sudden grip on her shoulder. She jumped from shock, unable to react as the stranger turned her around to punch her smack-dab on her nose, sending her stumbling back a few feet. Aiee?! Eelektrik yelped, unable to act out of fear.

"Awwww I wanna have some fun!"

Margarita was not given enough time to stop and recover, instead feeling a pair of hands push her forward on to the next grunt as she placed a hand atop her nose, blood trickling down.

"She's lighter than I thought she would be hahaha." They, too, placed their hands on her left arm and pushed her elsewhere, nearly causing her to trip on her own feet. Amidst this Eelektrik snuck inside her shirt, the quickest safe haven he could think of.

"You don't see many red heads with blue eyes anymore. Wanna keep her locked up?" But before she could fall on her own accord, she had been saved, only to be shoved harder than the prior pushes, knees and hands scraping against the rough pavement below.

Margarita wished to speak, but her lightheartedness prevented her from doing so.

"Eh, I can think of better ones. Come on, what's wrong with your taste?" Blood dripped from her injuries as she strained herself getting up, Eelektrik whimpering against her chest.

"Hmmmm... nah, you're right." She felt a large hand grab her short hair, yanking her to his side.

"AYYY!" Margarita spat out, frustrated. "F**k you! The hell are your problems?!"

"Many!" the ditzy woman replied in eagerness. "We just wanna have fun!"

"She speaks," the man holding her against her will joins in. "I like her voice. Why can't I just keep her? At least give me some privacy-"

"Shut the hell up. You see that slithering inside her shirt?" The grunts glanced at the eel that popped out from under her shirt's collar, wrapping himself around her arm with widened eyes overflowing with grief.

"Eh, why the hell not, right?"

"Yeah, sure! Boss will be happier with more!"

The second hand grabbed a handful of her loose shirt, adding more restriction on the young woman. "Ready. "

"What the hell??" Margarita blurted out. "Is this really how you waste your time? You're a sorry group of miserable scums."

"Ahahaha HAHAHAHA!"

"HAHAHAHA!

"Psyducking stop! Stop!" Margarita wailed, arms thrashing against the opposing grunt's grip on them. They held a firm grip against both her shirt and scarlet hair, succeeding in holding her back while the another grunt began to yank on Eelektrik. The eel held on to dear life to his trainer.

"Wha? Can't take a joke? Lighten up!"

"She's a sour puss, have fun lady!"

"This... thing won't let go!" the grunt breathed out, growing irritated at the difficulty Eelektrik was putting them through. "Help me out you freaks!"

The third and fourth sat on the sidelines, watching in amusement. "You got this."

"Yeah, we believe in you!"

"You dicks!"

EEEEEEEK! Eelektrik cried, sparks beginning to make their debut. They danced, some stinging the struggling grunt's hands.

"Seriously guys!"

Margarita seized the opportunity. "Attack!" Out of survival the eel released his trainer and let out a sudden burst of discharge, blinding the group. The hands that once held the sea creature received second degree burns, sending the man into an inevitable journey of pain; he howled a blood-curling scream.

The grunt's hand lost his grip on her hair and fell against the pavement, acting as a cushion to a sore Margarita. "Nunu!" she hollered, giving away her location to the Eelektrik.

She made a run for it, snatching the egg from the ground. Fortunately Margarita had the smarts to close her eyes during the light show, thus saving herself from the temporary blindness it gave the rest.

Eelektrik was summoned back to his Pokéball. He let out a whimper during this, preferring to be by his trainer despite the terror rather than inside the safe haven.

"The egg?! WHERE'S THE EGG?!"

"Where do you think, idiots?! FOLLOW HER!"

Margarita made a sharp turn, seeing an opportunity in a sinkhole she had nearly fallen into.

"Where did she go???"

"This way! She turned this way!"

With a pained expression she leaped down the hole, surprised by how shallow it was opposed to the illusion it gave of its depth.

"Dont lose her!"

She hid in the sink hole's hidden cavern, specks of dirt and pebbles shaken off the questionable ceiling as the grunts ran right past her hiding.

Ten seconds... Twenty seconds... One minute... Ten minutes. Ten minutes passed before Margarita budged away from the darkness and into the open, orange and yellow flickering on the ground from the flames.

Margarita panted, not from the run but from the immense heat that was beginning to affect her. Hair and clothes alike were beginning to stick to her skin, sweat dripping from her nose and chin.



Despite her slow gait, Margarita continued to rummage the destroyed city for her companions. Groups of survivors she would encounter would all say the same; "no, we did not see them."

Some told her it was futile, but she was hopeful for their survival. They were strong and determined. Or so she kept convincing herself.

From the Pokéball stored in her fannypack emerged Elektrik on to her shoulders. He squealed in glee, but it transformed into that of a scream once he was reminded of where he was last upon the sight of his surroundings. "Already forgot? Hmmm."

Eeeeiiii?! He was back to a trembling goop, terror palpable.

Now she needs to find a better way to keep the egg safe. With her disastrous balance, her arms are not a reasonable choice.

LinearAxel

That Dream...Make it Come True!

Female
The Internet
Seen 3 Weeks Ago
Posted June 8th, 2019
349 posts
4.1 Years

This is War pt 2


Sebastian Allender





Shalour City



The destroyed stage is barely out of sight when a white light bursts in front of the rushing Renia, taking on the shape of a crazed Heatmor, which stops the pink haired girl in her tracks as the Pokemon rares back on its haunches, prepared to attack.

“Aww, trying to get away?” A female grunt coos as she strides her way towards Sebastian and Renia. “Sorry, we’re under strict orders not to let anyone escape. Heatmor, use--”

“Roman, Fake Out!” An enraged cry calls from the smoke, followed by a Torracat leaping from the darkness to strike at its fellow fire type. The Heatmor tumbles back, unable to move. “Now, get it, everyone!”

In a flurry of activity, the Torracat is quickly joined by a Luxio that chomps down on the Heatmor’s right arm with a Thunder Fang, and a female Pyroar clamping down on the left using Crunch They jerk the creature in opposite directions before letting go. The cloned Pokemon is then flung into the air by a Night Slash delivered from an Absol’s horn, only to be blasted even further by a Meowstic’s Shadow Ball and a Persian’s Power Gem. Ashes that were once a Pokemon rain from the sky.

The gruesome scene plays out so frantically and so quickly that neither trainer can pull their eyes away. By the time the carnage is over, Victoria has become visible through the onslaught of smoke: The owner of the feline assault force is covered in ash, her long, golden hair is charred at the ends and several inches shorter-- likely due to being set on fire. Her clothes are covered in scorch marks, and her left shoulder and arm is hanging at an uncomfortable angle.



“Talk about overkill. You have some real displaced aggression on little ol’ me, don’t you?” The Cinder Grunt mocks as Victoria marches towards her. Instead of answering, she balls her right hand into a fist and punches the woman square in the throat, forcefully enough to send her stumbling back.

Victoria grits her teeth as she follows the grunt’s backwards stumble and knees her in the stomach. Her assault doesn’t end there; as the woman falls to the ground, arms folded over her throat and stomach, the enraged blonde begins vigorously kicking her in the chest. “You think you’re-” Kick. “Important, huh?” Kick. “Guess what?” Kick. “You’re nothing!” Kick.

“Victoria!” Sebastian calls as he rushes to the furious blonde’s side. He grabs her right wrist and attempts to pull her back. “She’s down! Stop!”

Victoria lets out a pained shout as she struggles to free her arm from the Shinobi’s grip, only to freeze when she finally realizes who he is. Rage fades from her eyes, replaced with a painful realization that they seem to share: Avril isn’t with you.

Sebastian releases Victoria’s wrist as Renia rushes over to join the them. “We need to keep moving! Sasha’s out there alone.”

“Sasha?” Victoria asks. Damn it, of course she’s out there by herself, she’s always been so consumed by the idea of being a hero that she leaps at the chance to throw herself in danger. “Where’d she go?”

“We were tailing her when.” Renia looks down at the crumpled heap of a grunt, currently spitting up blood. “...This way!”

***

When the trio arrives at the outbreak of clones, they’re relieved to find that the blue haired Ranger isn’t alone; multiple trainers have taken up the fight to keep the clones from getting deeper into the city. One such trainer, a teenage boy with white, spiked hair, catches Sebastian’s eye as he calls out a Blaziken, Scizor, and a Gallade, to clash against a pair of Hariyama.

“Good to see you’re alive.” The shorter male calls out.



“I could say the same. Is Hinashi Sensei--”

“She’s fine. She’ll outlive us all.” Hisoka, the white haired teen, replies. “Hisame, Blaze Kick!”

Hisoka’s Blaziken launches towards one of the twin Hariyama, fire dancing across his legs as he kicks at its chest.

“Selkie, Psyshock!” Sebastian calls out. His firefox leaps forward, purple crystals dancing around the sumo wrestler before crashing into him and pushing him back. Hisame lands gracefully in front of the dazed fighting Pokemon and turns to look at its assistant, offering a thumbs up to the Braixen.

Hisoka’s Gallade faces off against the other Hariyama, who charges towards the psychic type with a Knock Off-- until its focus is broken by another Gallade, who leaps onto its back and begins to scratch at it with-- Fury Swipes? The Hariyama seems more annoyed, rather than actually hurt. He stops his frontward charge and turns, aiming a punch for the new Gallade’s head-- which goes right through it.

The Gallade snickers before vanishing in a puff of smoke, the illusion ending to reveal Loki the Zorua. Turns out the Hariyama’s target was several feet below where he aimed. The trickster fox lets out another laugh as he somersaults over Hariyama’s head to land on Gallade’s, and then fires an Extrasensory at point blank range.

Ryoma, the Gallade, peers up at its new companion and gives a subtle nod of approval, then enters its fighting stance to prepare a Psycho cut, to continue its brawl with the Hariyama. As the two teams begin beating the fighting types back, a Heracross soars overhead. It has no interest in the brawls between the Pokemon, and instead sets its sights on their trainers. Its horn shines with a powerful energy as it begins to dive bomb the humans.

“Kaze, intercept it!” Hisoka calls. His Scizor’s wings begin to hum behind its back, and it takes flight. The Megahorn attack comes to a standstill when met with Kaze’s Technician-boosted Bullet Punch. The two bugs struggle against one another, Heracross attempting to shove Kaze into the ground, until Ksenia takes to the sky to offer assistance.

The Scizor’s eyes gleam when he takes note of the bird flying to his side. One of his claws open and captured the horn within, only to heave the powerful beatle towards the elegant swan. Ksenia, in turn, releases an Air Slash, the sharp winds colliding with her opponent and sending it flying back in the direction it had come from.

“Looks like the boys have this side handled. C’mon, Pink.” Victoria instructs before rushing into the fray herself. In the distance she can see her cousin. She cries out to the Ranger, though her voice is cancelled out due to the distance, and the multiple cries of Pokemon and Trainers alike. What does hear her cry is an enraged Feraligatr that begins to storm her way.

“Minako, Trop Kick! Sparky, Thunderbolt!” Renia commands as she tosses two Pokeballs towards the thrashing gator. The first burst of light takes the form of a Steenee, which plants three firm kicks against the water type’s maul before leaping away from it. As she pushes herself back, the Feraligatr is set upon by the Alolan Raichu’s electric attack. “Keep going!” Renia waves Victoria on. “We’ve got this one!”

“Give ‘em what for, Pink!” Victoria puts on her classic smirk as she exchanges one last look with Renia, then sprints to Sasha’s side.

The Ranger is standing strong amongst the chaos. There’s a group of Lurantis attempting to to get closer to the city, only to be kept back by an Arcanine’s flamethrower-- all but one, which manages to slip away while the large dog is distracted with the others.

“Roman, give Hachiko a hand!” At Victoria’s command, her starter leaps forward to land beside the larger fire type. With a smug smile, the cat opens its mouth and releases its own flamethrower, which engulfs the escaping Lurantis in a sea of flames.

“Victoria…!” Sasha cries, her expression a mixture of surprise, relief, and happiness. The Ranger quickly fills the gap between herself and her cousin, and the two share a quick embrace.

“Ready to show these fakes what Snowpoint’s finest can do?” Victoria grins.

“Always.”

End





ShinyDiamond

The Other Promise

Male
Twilight Town
Seen 2 Weeks Ago
Posted May 11th, 2019
2,696 posts
8.6 Years
Dust Fabre

Shalour City - Cinders
Location: Streets
★ Mission 1 - Outrage


Inventory
Spoiler:
1x Pokédex
5x Pokéballs
1x Super Potions
1x Pile of Cloned Lucario Ashes
1x Lucarionite
500 Poké

Pokémon
Spoiler:
Nyx
Rozu
Val


"Not far now...!" Exhausted & out of breath, Dust entered a building that looked tall enough to reach the airship, ascending by stairs. The elevators were out of service, but the situation made it too dangerous to board. Even so, climbing the stairs was hell. Well, with what's going on outside, it's not impossible. "I never...had to...c-climb this many...stairs before..." he whines, taking a slow pace to catch his breath. Nyx wasn't far behind him. He's also tired.

"Don't worry," he reassures Nyx, "we're almost there. Just a few more levels, & we should reach the top." Nyx didn't respond at all. He already knew too well they weren't gonna reach there destination. "Don't look at me like that! I guarantee we'll be right below the airship." Dust resumes his climb, determined to reach the top. Nyx sighs & follows suit. In just a few moments, Dust could finally see the door that led outside. A cocky grin spread over his face, picking up speed to reach the door, grabbing the handle & basking in his great hurdle! With one push, he steps outside, ready to face his biggest obstacle! "We're here!"

Dust was expecting a welcome party. Or at least an airship. There was nothing above him. He looks around to get a better bearing on his surroundings. Nyx nudges his side to get his attention, & when he does, he points in the opposite direction.

The airship was clear on the other side. They didn't close the distance. In fact, they're even further away from it. Dust was plainly dumbstruck. "...I swear! I saw where we were going! We should at least be closer! ...Shouldn't we?" he scratches his head. He tries to recall the directions he took. Just straight to the airship. He didn't make any turns or anything.

Nyx remembers, however. When they began walking towards the airship earlier, Dust did a complete 180 turn, walking in the complete direction of the airship. & yes, he took several turns. Nyx did try to get him back on the right path. He still got lost. In the end, they were at the top of a building, far away from the ship in the sky. They've already lost enough time going the wrong way.

Dust rethinks his plans, looking around to figure out what he should do. The buildings weren't that far from each other. He could jump to lower buildings to get back on the ground faster. Still, he's not used to jumping lost distances. But what about...?

"Nyx, follow my lead," he sways Nyx over, walking to the edge of the roof. He points downward, where there are sets of stairs by windows. He almost forgot about the outside ledges of a building. He'll have to be careful though. One slip up could spell disaster. "Let's go." He readies himself to descend, climbing over the edge & slowly inching down. He keeps calm, focusing only on safely landing. He lets go & falls. As he lands, he's careful not to slip & tip over. It was a rough landing, but he manages to keep balance. "Still got it," he wipes his forehead as Nyx descends & lands safely. He looks at Nyx & pauses. "...You lead."

After descending & landing back on the ground, Dust & Nyx are back on track towards the airship, Nyx leading as Dust would just get them lost again. Dust makes sure to keep his eyes on Nyx so he himself doesn't get lost.

"Dearest Champions... you have arrived at last."


Dust & Nyx stop dead in their tracks. "What now?" Dust looks at where that voice came from. Strangely, it sounded friendly. It was rather creepy. It seemed to have come from the airship. With Nyx leading, they were closer than they were before, but he still couldn't make out what was going on up there. He could only see 3 small dots.

"My name is Zevran... and I am the leader of Team Cinder."

"Cinder...?!" Dust was boiling at this point. Their apparent leader has decided to make an appearance. Too bad Dust's position didn't allow him to see this man. Maybe he was on the airship.

"You don't understand what I aim to do, all the good I hope to achieve... you are blinded by a broken, tainted morality that pollutes you. Something that prevents you, ALL of you from achieving what you were designed to achieve..."

Dust did not like the way he spoke.

"The strongest, perhaps, at your limited level Alas you are wrong Mr. Stone... I am not possessed of hubris, not like Lysandre, Archie, Maxie, Cyrus or Ghetsis, they were fools consumed by arrogance. I am not. They sought to control the forces of the world but I? I now reveal myself only after I have already succeeded!"

This guy is insane! Dust couldn't contain his anger. The man responsible for all this chaos, mouthing off to these 3 Champions he's mentioned; Alder, Cynthia, & the very Steven Stone. Out of all the Champions, Dust was more familiar with Stone. He's the reigning champ of Hoenn, Dust's hometown. He looks to him with respect. If he was here, all the more reason he needs to reach the airship.

What happens next replaces Dust's anger with confusion. The sky around the airship suddenly grew dark. Darker than what Dust could process.

"Mark my words, people of this cruel and unforgiving world... mark them and remember this voice. The voice of the one who set you free! This world has burned for eons... it was always burned and hurt and carved away at the good in itself until only your stains remain! So I have gathered, I have combined and I have forged a weapon that is only a taste of what is to come! Perdition! Reckoning! Hark Kalos as you are the sight of the beginning of the end..."

"COOOOOO-!!" Nyx suddenly screams in pain. He was covering his ears. Dust couldn't hear anything, but his Combusken was clearly in pain.

"Nyx!" Dust ran over to Nyx's side, but he had no idea what he could do. Was this Zevran's doing? He looks back back at airship, anger seeping through his teeth. Nyx screaming comes to a slow stop, sitting on the ground to recover from the noise it could hear.

"...now. I shall intensify the flames... and reduce this burning world to cinders."

Out of nowhere, the very sky tore itself open, & soon after the ground rumbled like crazy, catching Dust by surprise. "Ack!!" He fell to the ground, flat on his face, wondering what the heck just happened. He looks up, but immediately regrets what he could see. Whatever just cut through the air, countless buildings were destroyed, & even far away he can hear even more screams than before. Something was descending. It looks like a Pokémon, but Dust couldn't make out what. Nyx was shivering for some reason. What the hell was that Pokémon?

This is a bloodbath.

"Reduce them to ashes... My Mewtwo!"

-

Dust returned Nyx to his Pokéball. This was already too much for him. He shouldn't have to take anymore. It was just Dust now. He still had Val, but he didn't want to rely on his Pokémon for everything. His destination hasn't changed, but this Mewtwo was too big a threat. "How are we supposed to fight a thing like that...?" he wasn't sure of himself. He clearly wasn't strong enough to take on Mewtwo. Could a group of trainers even stand a chance? The Champions were here, however. Hopefully they could figure something out.

...ou…

Maybe there was something in the airship that could stop this madness. Taking down Zevran is still an
option.

Ar...isti…

There was just too much going on everywhere. How many were trying to help? Who is helping? What is left of this cit-

"ARE YOU DEAF?!"

"Huh?" Dust was in his little world when he finally notices someone calling out to him. Nearby were some people in black & red clothing. He instantly recognizes them by their uniform & color palette. He found some of Cinder's Grunts. Their seem to be about 3 of them. Just behind them were a few people lying on the ground.

They weren't moving.

"Come help us load these Pokéballs already!" one Grunt shouted. They were carrying some bags with them. No doubt about it. They've stolen a ton of Pokémon. They likely killed these people in their massacre. Why were they asking for Dust's help though? He looks at their attire once more, & looks at his own. He stands in silence for a while there as the Grunts give confused looks.

Spoiler:

"Stop mixing me up with you assholes!!!"

"Huh?" The Grunts were confused. Dust quickly takes out a Pokéball & throws it at the group.

"Blow an Icy Wind at these nutcases!" out of the Pokéball & into the chaos, Val looks at the 3 Grunts & blows an Icy Wind from her mouth straight at them. They're caught off guard as they're knocked back by a strong cold wind. Dust stomps his foot on the ground, still looking quite angry. "If you want to die that badly, I'm happy to oblige! It's my choice what I wear! It has nothing to do with your fan club!" The Grunts were even more confused, mostly at Dust's outrage. They went ahead & took out their Pokémon, 2 Skuntanks & a Drapion.

"Don't know why we confused you for one of us, but that just means more fodder for our destruction!" One of the Grunt's threatens, though Dust was mostly concerned with beating them, & their Pokémon was in his way. He did notice how strange the Pokémon were. He didn't pay it much mind. All he could think of is beating the crap out of these Grunts.

"KNOW YOUR PLACE!"

gimmepie

Age 24
Male
Australia
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
20,467 posts
7.5 Years
Kade Andrews
Among the Fallen
Stratus (Female, Reckless) - Growl, Wing Attack, Quick Attack, Double-Edge, Aerial Ace, Double Team
Contrail (Male, Big Pecks) - Flame Charge, Roost, Quick Attack, Steel Wing, Ember, Aerial Ace
Noctilucent (Male, Insomnia)
- Tackle, Foresight, Hypnosis, Feather Dance, Peck
Cumulus (Female, Dancer) - Pound, Air Slash, Revealtion Dance, Roost, Feather Dance, Captivate
Floccus (Male, Defeatist) - Quick Attack, Agility, Ancient Power, Dragon Breath, Acrobatics, Quick Guard
Nimbus (Male, Moxie) - Night Slash, Sucker Punch, Swagger, Haze, Wing Attack, Sky Drop


As they drew ever closer to the Tower of Mastery, a secondary explosion triggered with a cacophonous noise that seemed to rend Kade’s ears in two. He winced, watching through half-shut eyes as a colossal fireball engulfed what remained of the top of the tower, blasting chunks of it out in all directions and sending them raining down into the water below. Red hot stone work slammed into the shallow sea water, sending violent waves rocketing out in the opposite directions as between them a white glow rose up and second, greener light pulsed out in a sphere around it before crashing into the waves, rubble piling down on top.

Kade was trying to process everything as Nimbus rushed on, Sky and Sora ahead of them. The Tower of Mastery was a ruin, a blazing stump of the pillar it used to be. Pieces of the building still stuck out of the shallow, churning bay as though a jagged reef had sprung into being where once there had been none and whatever that light had been it had faded as tonnes of stone had descended upon it. Kade could barely comprehend what he had witnessed through the static ringing in his head.

Below him, flying at a lower altitude, Stratus kept pace with them. She still clutched the crumpled form of Cumulus in her talons. Kade did not yet know if his Oricorio was alive or dead. The faint smell of singed feathers wafted up from beneath him. It was very wrong that Cumulus, who prided herself on being clean and tidy, had flung herself between he and the Rotom - producing an attack she had not known before even - only to end up a messy clump in Stratus’ grasp.

Their flight would have been eerily silent, but every few moments there was an alarming crash or explosion to be heard from Shalour or a violent blast of light streaking down to the city from what appeared to be an airship. Occasionally, Kade noticed Sky look to the airship and he wondered if she wanted to join the offense against it. He no longer had any fighting spirit left to give to the conflict, his only concerns were Cumulus and making sure his other Pokemon were safe.

It wasn’t long before they were close enough to hear battle cries from people and Pokemon alike, shouts of pain and splintering rock and wood as well as the louder noises. Moments later, Nimbus was fluttering his wings and landing in the wake of the demolished tower just as another bang rang out and another sizeable chunk fell from the top into the ocean below.

They found themselves in a small throng of people and Pokemon outside the tower, seemingly just out of range of the chunks of it that kept falling off as a vast pile of rubble and slabs of stone lay around the remnants of the tower away from where they had landed. It was instantly apparent that the majority of the people and Pokemon present were injured. Most of them sat or lay on the ground, burned and bloodsoaked and groaning in pain. Many others lay limp on the ground and of those, several had ragged clothes dragged over their faces in death.

Kade slid off of Nimbus and immediately dropped to his knees besides Stratus, who had lightly dropped Cumulus next to them and landed next to her. His body racked by tremors, he scooped her form up in his arms. He held her close, remaining as still as he could in the hopes of picking up signs of life, vaguely aware of Sky, Sora, Stratus and Nimbus by his sides.

He waited several moments, feeling nothing. His heart sank, his shaking intensified. Then, just as it had fallen, his heart leapt to his throat as he felt the faint movement of Cumulus’ breathing. He breathed a sigh of relief, unable to help the tears that welled in his eyes. At the very least, she hadn’t been killed in her efforts to defend him. For what felt like a long time, but not nearly long enough, he merely knelt there clutching Cumulus until he was shaken by a gentle tapping on his shoulder.

“She’s okay,” Sky said, gracing Kade with a faint, strained smile.

“She’s badly hurt, but she’s alive,” Kade managed to reply, “She’s going to need medical treatment as soon as possible.”

“Agreed,” Sky said, looking the Oricorio over, “Put her in her ball for now, she can’t deteriorate that way. Then we need to find the rest of our Pokemon.”

Kade nodded and obliged the instruction, retrieving Cumulus’ Pokeball and withdrawing her into the capsule in a beam of red. Shakily, with help from Sky and a nudging from Stratus, he managed to climb to his feet and they set off in search of their other companions.

Doing so didn’t take long, Sora - now reverted back to her usual self - took off to get an aerial view and quickly located the Pokemon on the edges of the group of casualties. As they approached, the group quickly enough came into view. All their Pokemon were clumped together nearby a limp body at the edge of a long line of equally limp body.

They group of Pokemon was mostly unharmed, a bit battered and bruised and a few suffering light burns but none of them seemed to be in particularly bad condition. As the arrived, Nox tweed happily, looking relieved and Contrail fluffed up his feathers proudly. Sky’s Pokemon were also fine, making various sounds of greeting as they got nearer, Nibbles gliding over to plop down on Sky’s head.

Reaching their assorted team members, Kade scratched the back of Contrails head before flopping onto the ground among his Pokemon and allowing Nox to hop onto his lap, where he cooed serenely. Kade let out a long sigh, exhausted.

Glancing to his side, he got a look at the broken body besides him. It was a boy a few years younger than Kade, shorter and a little bit pudgy. His body was drenched, covered in cuts and bruises and his limbs were charred black by the explosions. His face was contorted, a look of immense pain and anguish seemingly permanently etched into his skin. Clutched loosely in his sagging limbs was an Umbreon, its body slightly less mangled than the boy’s but equally still.

As if pulled by some unknown force, Kade leaned forward, compelled to take a closer look at the body. To see up close yet another victim of circumstance. He felt his heart hammering in his throat again. Then he heard screams. Terrified, blood curdling screams.

Kade whirled around, away from the boy. Something streaked down from the sky. There was a loud bang, a flash of blinding light and then blackness as, clutching Nox tightly, just as the broken boy had clutched his Umbreon, consciousness left him.




Spoiler: Pokemon at Sanctuary
Arcus (Male, Sniper) - Drill Run, Leer, Pursuit, Fury Attack, Aerial Ace, Mirror Move

Spoiler: Inventory
Key Items
- 1200Poké
- 1 Pokédex
- 1 Holocaster
- Flight Saddle

Medicine
- 3 Potions
- 1 Super Potion

Pokeballs
- 1 Pokéball
- 2 Great Balls

Technical Machines
- Bug Bite (TM)
- Aerial Ace (TM)
- Sky Drop (TM)
- Ancient Power (TM)
- Power-Up Punch (TM)

General Items
- Pearls
- Spell Tag (worn by Cumulus)

LinearAxel

That Dream...Make it Come True!

Female
The Internet
Seen 3 Weeks Ago
Posted June 8th, 2019
349 posts
4.1 Years

This is War pt 3


Sebastian Allender





Shalour City




The fight to push back the clones went on for some time: Despite the amount of Pokemon the trainers had to fight, it took hit after hit after hit for the powerful creatures to go down. Trainers close by were beginning to faint due to exhaustion and over-exposure to the heat and flames, Some Pokemon were being tossed aside like lifeless playthings as the clones moved closer, yet still, one by one, the monstrosities were being turned to ash. There numbers had dwindled to the place where the trainers no longer had to divide in order to keep them all at bay.

“You boys still standing?” Victoria calls out as she jogs towards Sebastian and Hisoka.

“Of course.” Hisoka replies. He turns to look at the blonde trainer. His eyes widen when he sees a black streak on the ground shooting towards her, yet before he can shout for her to look, it has already reached her.

A huge black force bursts from the ground and sends Victoria flying backward. When she lands, there’s a sickening cracking sound from her awkwardly hanging left arm. The shadows that launched from the ground clear to give shape to an enraged Dusknoir; its eyes brimming with a crimson light, its body significantly larger than any Dusknoir Sasha had dealt with in the past. It sets is eyes on the blonde once more, and with a pained, rage filled cry, flies towards her.

“Victoria! Move it!” Sasha shouts, yet Victoria doesn’t respond, nor move; she’s dazed from the sudden impact and landing.

Yukina, Sasha’s Glaceon, leaps into action, firing an Ice Beam at the rampaging ghost. Yukio, Hisoka’s Alolan Sandslash, joins in with an Icicle Crash. The moves hit their target dead on, and it slows the massive ghost, yet he doesn’t freeze, he never so much as stops. At Sasha’s call, Cloud, her Manectric, calls forth a Thunderbolt, along with Lucian, Victoria’s Luxio, that assists with Discharge. The attacks also hit their mark, dancing with the ice crystals to create a beautiful barrage of light, and yet the powerful ghost continues forcing his way through the attacks to get to his target.

As Hisame, Selkie, Reina and Hachiko add a mixture of Flamethrowers and Overheats to the attack, Roman dives between the seemingly invincible ghost, and his trainer. Victoria stirs at the sound, an enraged roar from her starter Pokemon, and she manages to lift her head enough to see him staring down the massive force, engulfed in fire, lightning and ice, yet still floating its way ever closer.

“The hell are you doing?!” Victoria shouts before attempting to sit up, a wave of pain rushing through her back sending her back down. She-- she can’t get up...not fast enough to get away from this behemoth. “Roman, run!”
The tiger shoots a defiant look back to his partner before unleashing a Heatwave on the Dusknoir. The massive ghost is scorched, bits of electricity still dancing across his body, yet he persists. He reaches out through the flames, slowed only slightly by this new set of flames overtaking his body. Flames which are abruptly cut off when Dusknoir grabs Roman by the neck.

Her Absol and Persian charge the ghost, along with Sasha’s Skarmory, only for Absol’s horn to be grabbed by Dusknoir’s unoccupied hand, the dark type thrown around like some kind of weapon used to bat the other two away. Victoria’s nails dig into the ground around her. In an absolutely desperate attempt, she heaves a clump of dirt at the cyclops’ face. “Don’t...don’t you dare!”

The bloodshot eye falls onto Victoria as she cries out. The Dusknoir makes another pained cry as he squeezes the cat’s neck. The cries of Pokemon running closer to continue their assaults, and the shouts of commands from their trainers, block out the sound of uncomfortably shifting bones-- yet Victoria can practically feel the pressure on Torracat’s neck. Adrenaline floods her system, blocking out her pain receptors as she forces herself to her feet. She’ll rush the Dusknoir herself, since it’s so focused on her. “Roman...hang on!”

Her starter’s eyes, once squeezed shut in pain, fly open at the sound of her voice crying out to him, coming closer. If he doesn’t do something now, this sorry excuse for a Pokemon will end their story here. He can’t let that happen, he and Victoria had a promise: They would make something amazing out of themselves, something the whole world would recognize. They’ve come really far, grown a lot stronger together...but it’s not over…

It won’t end here!

Roman’s body begins to glow, an energy enveloping him and growing forward, an energy not even this behemoth of a reaper can contain. Dusknoir’s fingers begin to spread apart as the little kitten in his arm is overtaken by light. Two powerful arms takes the place of little paws and reaches out. As the sphere of energy vanishes, an Incineroar stands firmly on the ground. The tables have turned, and now it’s Roman with his hands around Dusknoir’s neck.



In a rage, the newly evolved tiger grips down on its prey, large fangs exposed in a furious snarl. He squeezes harder, claws digging into the ghostly force, yet nothing happens...no bones. Enraged, Roman lets out a powerful roar; the vibrations of the sound causing the ghostly tendrils under Dusknoir’s body to tremble, before the ghost is flung away from Victoria. Roman uses the force from his throw to begin turning his body around, fire and darkness burst from the tiger’s palms as he turns a second time, quickly enveloping him in a tornado of shadows and flames as he spirals into the Reaper Pokemon.
Despite Dusknoir’s lack of bones, something cracks upon impact, there’s a definite crunching sound, and, if only for a fraction of a second, a glimmer, as if a screen had been shattered.

“Was...Dusknoir wearing some kind of shield?” Sebastian asks.

“One way to find out! Everyone, try again!”

Ice attacks, electric attacks, fire attacks, dark attacks, each hit their mark. Ukyou glides forward and unleashes a Shadowball, and Fay’lene calls forth the stones from the rubble and disaster to pile onto the massive ghost with a Rock Slide. Her ears press downward when the tiny rocks bounce off their target, doing little damage-- only for those ears to spring forward when larger rocks join the fray. Fay’lene looks to her left to see Toboe, Sasha’s Midday Lycanroc, had come to her aid. She then looks to her right, to see Ryuji, Hisoka’s Midnight Lycanroc. She lets out an excited yip at her fellow wolves and resumes her attack. Between the three, the Dusknoir, dazed from the seemingly endless attacks that befell him after his shield was shattered, is quickly buried underneath a tomb of stones.

A quiet sets in. Only the sound of crackling fire and the distant screams from other parts of the city can be heard. No more cries of Pokemon attacking one another, no more trainers shouting commands. Has...it ended?

“Guess...that was their last guy-- here, I mean.” Sasha thinks aloud as she surveys the area around them.

“Might wanna hold off the celebration, Sash. Our ragtag team of freedom fighters is missing one Pink-Ranger.” Victoria points out through gritted teeth. The end of the battle meant the end of her adrenaline rush, and a new beginning for the pain shooting through her arm and back.

“Renia?” Sebastian calls out. He had been so focused on the Dusknoir once it arrived-- he didn’t even register the lack of support from her Pokemon, nor the missing sound of her voice. “Renia!”

“She went that way!” A dark haired man calls out from a good thirty feet away. He’s covered in ash and hardly recognizable, though he’s riding a Tauros, a Tauros Sebastian saw fighting back a clone with Renia’s Rapidash. “Some Vigoroths got by us. She ran after them.”

“Sounds like we’ve got one more to go.” Victoria states before breaking into a jog in the appointed direction.

“Victoria--” Sebastian begins, only to be cut off by harsh, dark blue eyes.

“Don’t even, Princy. I’ll rest when the city stops being on fire.”

“Let her go. We don’t have time to argue amongst ourselves.” Hisoka points out. This is a desperate situation, seconds count. Stopping to debate if they are strong enough to keep going is a luxury they simply do not have.

***

Between the bombs and the fires, there were few structures left standing within this part of the city. Thus, when the cracking and crumbling sound of a building on the verge of collapse began to fill the air, it was easy to pinpoint the location: An apartment complex, several stories high, was leaning in an uncomfortable fashion. Cracks filled its foundation and grew in size by the second.

As the complex wavers, another sound fills the air: A group of people running in terror, chased by a Vigoroth. Blood stained its white coat and glistened off long claws as it charged after its prey. Like Mareep being lead to the slaughter, the sloth Pokemon is clearly chasing them directly into the path of the building’s collapse.

“Hakkai! Aura--”

Bu it’s too late. All too suddenly, something inside the complex gives way. Shards of glass from the windows rain down as the building crumbles, soon followed by chunks of concrete and stone that fall towards the heard of humans. They would be crushed instantly…

If not for the bright light that appeared in the center of the group seconds before they were hit.

Suddenly, floating in the center of the group, was Renia, clutching tightly onto her Alolan Raichu. The surfing mouse had teleported himself and his trainer into the frey, and was now using his psychic powers to create a barrier between the humans and the destruction raining around them. Hunks of stone crash into the invisible barrier and tumble around it, leaving the humans untouched, while the last of the cloned Vigoroths was quickly consumed in the carnage.

“Sparky can’t hold it back once it gives way! We have to get to them!” Sasha calls out.

“How?” Hisoka asks. “We can’t get through the barrier to get to her or them.”

Before a plan can be made, lights surround their group as Victoria calls Roman, Reina and Lucian back to their Pokeballs, leaving only Cleo, her Meowstic, outside. Sebastian opens his mouth to question her plan, yet not a syllable leaves his mouth before the belt that holds Victoria’s Pokeballs is thrown to Sasha.

Victoria collects Cleo in her arm, as Renia is holding Sparky, and begins to float.

“Victoria, NO!” Sasha screams.

“I know what I’m doing!” The defiant blonde shouts. “Those people are toast without us, we HAVE to!” So this is what it feels like to be a hero. No wonder Sasha and Sebastian are always so eager to stick their noses where they don’t belong and throw themselves in danger. Dark blue eyes fall onto Sebastian, and soften. “”Princy, if I don’t make it out alive, take care of Avi for me, got it?””

She doesn’t wait for an answer, merely clutches Cleo tightly as the two soar above Renia and Sparky. Cleo’s ears open and her eyes begin to glow, creating an even larger barrier. “Pink!” She cries out. “Teleport them to the others! We’ll cover you!”

“R-right! Sparky, let’s go!” But the psychic mouse can only teleport so many at a time. One by one a golden glimmer reaches out and teleports someone out of the protective barrier, far enough away from the trembling building that the crumbling structure could not reach them, until, finally, only Cleo and Victoria remained within the barrier. A light glimmers behind the blonde, and Renia reaches out to grab her.

As she reaches, a loud snap echoes through the area. The building, which had been breaking apart in chunks up until this point, finally gave out completely. It crashes into Cleo’s barrier and sends both Pokemon and trainer pushed back, before all four are completely obscured within the collapse.

End





Female
CET
Seen September 12th, 2019
Posted April 5th, 2019
77 posts
2.7 Years
ASHES I
A JP featuring Avril Morris, Sebastian Allender, Emma Kuzunoha, Minami Haruka,
Jackson Crane, Odette Radiuju, Caius Flynn, Laurent Hessel, and Margarita Fas.

The fires of the city raged around Jackson and Fang as they barreled down the streets of Shalour, Jackson on his skates being dragged by a chain attached to the black pokémons neck. His gaze was focussed despite his injuries. He felt cracking in his arm as he moved and intense pain... it had been battered more than he had thought. "Malorie... I have to get to Malorie." The words repeated on loop in his head like a broken record. Nothing else mattered, nothing else, she was in more danger than she'd ever been, they all were. He had to save her. He WOULD save her. The tension in his arms shook through the chain connected to Fang's collar, the fire type sensed the distress burning in his trainers heart. All he could do was run, run as fast as he could to reach the girl his trainer cherished so much.

Avril grunted and groaned as she slowly made her way down the blazing streets. With Robin's arm draped around her shoulder, the going had been a bit slower than the younger of the Morris sisters would have liked, but little could be done about that at the moment.

"I told ya just to leave me behind..." Robin coughed, the smoke and the heat starting to effect her more and more with every passing moment.

"And I told you to shut up with abandon me crap!" Avril snapped back. She paused for a minute, adjusting the weight on her shoulder before continuing on. "We're going to get out of here together. Our journeys aren't ending here..."

Robin sighed. "Damn, ya really are a hard headed kid..."

"I get it from you," Avril said, offering her older sister a weak smile. "Now let's keep moving."

"Morris!" Jackson rounded the corner and quickly pulled on Fang's collar, getting him to slowly slow down as his trainer slid to a halt in front of the two young women. He quickly retracted his state and rushed over, his hair plastered to his head with sweat and his shirt ripped and bloody. Thoughts of Malorie were on his mind, but when he heard the two sisters voices he couldn't just go on without doing anything. "You two alright? Is there anyone else with you?"

"Jackson..." Avril sighed in relief. It was a nice sight to see that one of her fellow trainers were still alive in this mess. "I'm afraid not... When this whole mess started, I've been on my own. Only Robin found me so far."

"Jackson, huh... Is this a boyfriend or somethin' if yours?" Robin joked, only to start coughing violently again.

"Would you please stop?!" Avril snapped, her worry for her sister's health rising.

"Yeah... yeah... sorry 'bout that..." Robin sighed.

Jackson didn't respond much to the strange and out of place accusation, instead just shaking his head and wordlessly tossing a pokéball from his belt skyward. With a cry of determination, Gaspar burst forth, analyzing the situation immediately and looking to Jackson for guidance. He nodded towards the injured Robin and the ghost type drifted forward into her shadow, materializing under her arm and taking some of the weight off of Avril with a somewhat unnerving grin... most likely intended to be a comforting smile.

"We have to get to the central plaza... where the tourney was happenin'." Jackson spoke confidently, crossing his arms and turning in the direction of the cities core. "Malorie's still there Avril... and the Professor should be around that area too, if anyone's gonna know what t'd it's gonna be him."

"Malorie...?" Robin questioned.

"Jackson's sister," Avril answered bluntly. Dread filled the pit of her stomach. Jackson's sister had just started to show signs of recovery during their battle in the tournament. There was no chance all of this smoke, heat, and chaos was doing her any good. The professor being in the area was reassuring to some degree, but despite his good intentions, Avril knew Sycamore wasn't that skilled of a trainer. He had said so himself many times. "Let's move, then. We can't just leave them."

Jackson nodded and turned back to Fang, petting the large canine on the head, before nodding down the road, giving it permission to scout ahead. "Then I'll stay at the front and at the ready... let's move."



"Come on Rima, we have to keep going." Mina encouraged as the two girls ran through the chaos, hoping to find a safe haven from all the destruction. "I'm tired sissy..." mumbled Rima, her legs sore from running and her mind mentally drained from processing everything that hadtranspired during the last few hours. "I know Rima, but we can't stop." Mina looked up to the sky, looking for something. Ever since Aria flew up to check for any nearby shelters, she's been fidgety and flying all around the two, almost as if something up in the sky had spooked her. And she didn't want to stay and find out.

"Aria, which way to the stage?" called out Mina as Aria flew above her, leading them through the city. Aria let out a small squeak before flapping her wings to gain some altitude. Once she was high enough, she turned and saw the stage abit aways from them to the west with a certain Professor and some other people with him. Aria flew down and landed on Mina's shoulder pointing in the direction the stage was at. "Good job girl."

"There's two over here!" The two girls turned and saw two grunts behind them, slowly coming closer with their respective pokemon with them, a Mightyena and a Poochyena.

"Damn it! Momo! Electra! I need your help!" called Mina as she released Momo and Electra, a loud roar echoed as Momo cried out at her trainer's enemies, and Electa glared with her cheeks sparking with anger and hate. "Screech and Electro Ball!"

Momo opened her mouth, letting out an ear-piercing screetch, causing pain to the opposing pokemon and their trainers as Electra jumped on Momo's head and created a ball of electricity on her tail. She jumped off her comrade's head and launched the ball at the distracted pokemon, hitting the Poochyena in the face.

||Minutes later||

"Is everyone alright?" asked Mina as she looked over Rima, making sure she was alright after the fight they had. Momo stood next to her trainer, injured but able to stand with Electra on her head, panting and injured. Aria cooed as she rested on Mina's shoulder, their main guide. "Time to move, we can't waste too much time. Momo, can you carry Rima on your back? We won't have time for any stops."

"With the battles ahead, dear Minami, perhaps you had best leave that to me." Stepping down the road, lab coat singed and hair frazzled was Professor Augustine Sycamore himself. Without missing a beat he stepped forward, placing his hands on the young trainers shoulders with a sigh of relief. "Mon cher, I saw your battle and rushed here as fast as my legs would carry me... but it seems you have already finished! I am so glad to see you are safe."

"Professor! Are you alright?!" Mina was shocked to see the Professor of all people here. "I though you were near the stage, how did..." She trailed off as she registered the Professor's words, then looked around. "Alright, I'll leave Rima to you." Mina nodded, gently leading Rima towards the Professor. "Ready to move out?"

"Here we go mon petit, it is alright..." Sycamore carefully hoisted Rima in his arms, guiding her to hold onto his back as he turned to nod at Minami. She seemed more confident than ever... were it not for the dark times around them, he would have taken the time to tell her how proud he was in that moment. "Oui, mon cher, let us be off... there are more survivors at the central plaza, we must stick together and find the others."



Meanwhile, the sounds of Kaen’s Flamethrower raged on, as he battled against a seemingly dangerous and violent Aggron. The Aggron managed to block the incoming flamethrower, only for it to be eventually consumed by the ever going raging flames. Soon, it collapsed on the ground, and ceased moving. Emma approached it alongside Kaen carefully... as she saw the Aggron seemingly crumpled and cracked until it dissolved into dust.

“...That’s the same phenomenon as before...” Emma said, observant. “What is going on here? What kind of Pokémon are these...?” The Plusle and Minun siblings looked on with concern, worry and a bit of fear over the ongoing events. The city was burning. Crumbling. They had never seen anything like it before... and neither had Emma. There was a bit of fear and anticipation within Emma too. The city, the people... her friends. All were on her mind. she looked around the destruction.

This attack is unspeakable... she thought. Her foot then poked at something at the ground. t wasn't wood... yet it wasn't a tough ragged substance like the usual stones around here. Curious mind that she was, she picked it up. It was a bright, yellow and white stone. Wait... This... this is a-- Her thought was interrupted by Kaen’s barking. Before Emma could ask him what was the matter, he dashed away, causing Emma and the twin Pokémon to follow suit.

Kaen was a Pokémon who was involved in this situation before. Thanks to Team cinder, he was forced to do very bad things to the world and the Pokémon around him. In a sense of honour, him helping out things here was part of his atonement. He finally stopped, standing on top of a few debris and wood that were scattered on the ground. Emma and the electric Pokémon finally caught up.

”What’s wrong?” Emma quickly asked. Kaen turned to her and turned back to the front. He barked continuously, pointing Emma in his direction. The dust and the spitfire flames made it tricky to see... but Emma could see something close up ahead. She approached closer with her Pokémon. To her surprise, it wasn’t something. It was somebody. Emma saw that someone was on the ground, seemingly unconscious.

A survivor...? she could only guess, as she approached even closer. She soon was able to piece together where she was: it was near the tournament site. She was finally able to make out who she had seen. It looks like a young girl. Isn’t that... she pondered. She could faintly recognize her. She had blond hair and a small physique... Then it dawned at her. [i]That’s right... she was from the tournament... that’s... Malorie! Jackson’s little sister![i]

Her sense of panic and urgency rose, sprinting up to the young girl. She finally was within reach. Emma kneeled down to Malorie’s side, taking a quick examination. Fortunately, she was still alive. Just out cold. Emma carefully held Malorie by her arms, cradling her as she turned to face her. “Malorie... Malorie!” she called out. “Malorie... Can you hear me? Are you alright? Hang in there!”

Malorie heard a dully, ringing noise in the back of her mind. What had happened? There had been... such a loud noice. The first thing that registered was a large and majestic pokémon. It's fur bristling in the sudden heat she felt as sensation returned slowly to her body. Someone was saving her...? Someone had found her? The explosion, the tournament... it was all rushing back now. Her vision was still so blurry, but she heard a voice, someone was holding her. "B... Bronze...?" She croaked her brother's name, his real name desperately, suddenly terrified and feeling isolated.

Slowly her vision cleared and she not Jackson, but a female form had pulled her from the debris. She had blonde hair as well... and a confident look, like his, but different. It was calmer. "Y-You're... Emma?" She recognized her from Aquacorde and the tournament mere moments before. "W-Where are we? What happened...? Is Br... er... Jackson, is Jackson with you? Is he safe?"

”Thank goodness...” said Emma, in relief she finally opened her eyes. “Jackson isn’t with me. Knowing him, he’s probably worried sick about you. Are you alright? Can you stand?”

"I-I think so..." Holding onto Emma's arm tightly, Malorie shakily brought herself to her feet. Wood was a lot softer than stone or metal, sure the impact hurt like hell, but the stands and their padded wooden seats had softened the impact to the point where even her body could withstand it for the most part. Still, that wasn't going to stop the bruising. "A-Are you...? Everything happened so fast... that woman, Crimson, she worked with Cinder to start all of... of..." As she looked skyward to the encroaching airship and the black pokémon flitting across the sky, she gasped. "...all of this..."

”Easy now,” Emma said softly, supporting Malorie by gently holding her hands and arm. Emma then took off the ribbon she was wearing on her personage. She unwind it, turning it into a light blue strap. She carefully took Malorie’s right arm and bound it around with the strap she made, making it into a pseudo cast for her. “Everything is going to be okay. I’m right here for you,” Emma reassured.

Malorie looked at Emma for a moment, genuine fear still present in her eyes. She just wanted to get to safety, to find someone who could take care of her, someone who could protect her. Where was her brother? Without him she was frightened, she didn't know what to do... could she just wait for him? Find somewhere to hide with this Emma until he came for her? She froze at the thought, her mind reaching a new conclusion that stuck on loop. Until he came for her... what if he couldn't? What if he was hurt? Who was coming for Jackson? Who would save Jackson? In a flash of memory she saw him there, standing in the door of their small Veilstone appartment. He was smiling back at her, even though he was battered and bruised, telling her it would be okay.

"I... I can't..." She swallowed hard and glared at the floor, trying to maintain her word, until with a gasp of air she reached for her only pokéball and tossed it outwards, letting Benjamin crash down on the cobbles in front of her. "I can't stay... he... he needs me. There are so many people hurt, I can't stay here Emma, I have to do something...!"

”But...” Emma started to say, until her Arcanine bumped her from behind. “What?” She asked, turning back to him. Kaen gave her a look that reads: Don’t just stand there! Emma gave him a reassured look back, follows up with a nod. “...Alright sweetie,” Emma said with a warm smile, after turning back to her. “I’ll... no, we’ll go with you.” Kaen barked in agreement and the electric twins hi-fived each other in their own bit of determination.

”Jackson told me all about you, y’know,” Emma then started to say. “I must say, you’re a wonderfully strong girl. I admire that.”

"H-He did...?" Malorie stammered, moving towards Benjamin swiftly... despite it all she gave a small smile. "If I am... it's only because I'm the girl he made me become, now we should... wait, what is that..." Malorie trailed off and moved to look passed Emma with a curious expression. "There's... people coming this way!"



As the flames erupted from the buildings all around, Odette had been ushered off the stage and guided to take cover in one still intact. After Crimson’s reveal in the center of the plaza, she had been left standing in the midst of the destruction, capable of little more than watching the explosions and collapses take place. She was watching the carnage from inside now, along with some others, but judging from how the Cinder siege had been developing, she wouldn’t be safe here for long.

It wasn’t too difficult for her to escape her confines in the chaos, and she quickly found her way back. Keeping her Pokémon safe in their Pokéballs, she thought she’d move around faster without them out as well, but the sounds of flames and fighting seemed to come from everywhere… so she called out Armand, her Gligar, to soar above and signal to safety. The plaza stretched out before them.



“Move.” Not an ounce of emotion left Kaito’s voice as he rattled off the command.

In front of him lay an army of Cinder Pokémon which had been previously rampaging around the city. Now their attention was focused solely on the black-haired trainer dashing towards them, a Gallade starting to emerge from behind him.

“Psycho Cut.” Razor leaped blade-first into the Pokémon herd. Slash. Bounce. Slash. Without missing a beat, the Gallade cut a swath through their ranks, using Pokémon that were unfortunate enough to cross his path as a spring board for his attacks. Carnage followed in the next minute, and what replaced it afterward were the scattered leftovers of cloned Pokémon dust. Razor rid his blades of the dust before catching up with Kaito, who was now a few feet ahead of him. Caius ran even farther than Kaito, but he slowed his roll to allow the pair to reach him.

“Kaito, I think we should head to the central plaza.” Caius suggested after the fighting died down.

“Good idea. We’re bound to run into people there.”

Without exchanging any more words, they were off. Only the sound of feet pounding against pavement could be heard as the duo set a course towards their destination.



Rubble after piles of rubble had been rummaged through by Margarita Fas, who despite the pulsating headache, pushed herself to find her beloved teammates. Larvesta currently accompanied Adriel, who would do a better job than Eelektrik at recognizing either Deino or Pawniard from others; Deinos have been found, but none her own.

She rushed through what was once hallways and streets, now mere mountains of debris. Remnants of what they once were.

Eelektrik still retained a fraction of the fear he carried when this all began, thus his refusal to leave his trainer's side. He wrapped himself around her arm, alert for anything dangerous. Unfortunately, to the eel everything was a hazard.

"Neneeee! Nonooooo!" she calls out once more for what felt like the hundredth time. But nobody responded.

From a distance Eelektrik noticed individuals gathering in the plaza. Eee! Eee! he brought this to her attention, tail pointing in the general direction.

A mumble escaped Margarita, mind cluttered with perturbing thoughts. "I'm not in the mood to talk to people, Nunu." She glanced towards the plaza, recognizing some figures from afar. But muk, they might have seen Nene or Nono. What if? Although hesitant, Margarita altered her route.



"How much further?" A voice called from atop some sort of levitating cosmic automaton speeding through Shalour's ruined streets just high enough to easily avoid any rubble but low enough to avoid the smoke or easy detection.. Laurent's eyes were narrowed in focus, but his concern was still easily visible as his gaze darted between his friends in the air next to him astride a Swanna - who's beauty could not be tarnished by the circumstances - and his own Arcanine just below and in front of them, several children holding tight to its thick fur while an aura of psychic energy helped keep them secure.

“Peeew!” A cosmic cloud cries from Lillie’s bag. The newly reunited Nebby and Lillie are flying several feet above the air atop Ksenia, Lillie clutching onto Sebastian’s waist.

“I think I see them!” Sebastian answers, his voice muffled by the mask clamped to his face to keep the smoke from locking up his lungs. Laurent and Sebastian were instructed by Champion Steven to escort the children, as well as the wounded Lillie, to the town square, where he claimed all able-bodied trainers were gathering. As they draw close to the square, there is definite movement, though with the smoke clouding their vision, it is difficult to say whether these are friends or foes.

"Great!" Laurent shouted his forced optimism. "We'll get them down to safety in that shelter as quick as possible. If Steven was right then some of the trainers down there have to be our classmates! None of us are -" He hesitated when he saw the children on Apollo's back again and remembered how hard a time they were already having keeping it together. "We're all getting out of this city safely! Cinder won't beat us!" He managed to keep his voice steady, barely but avoided saying anymore. He'd already slipped up in front of Sebastian, he couldn't let anyone else see him like that.



"Wave!" Jackson called out quickly. Fang had his jaws wrapped tightly around the neck of a cloned Hitmonchan and was using every ounce of strength he had to hoist the fighting type high into the air. Thankfully it was just enough to get the opposing pokémon off the ground and that was all Wave needed.

The large bat pokémon dived with sonic speed and rushed through the fascimile of a pokémon with glowing white wings. Slicing it in twane with a merciless wing attack and leaving the remains to scatter into particles of glowing orange embers.

Immediately Wave perched on Jackson's shoulders and Fang returned to his side, both of them ever watchful for further attackers. With Robin being as injured as she was, Jackson and his pokémon had to give everything they had to getting the two sisters to the central plaza. "Arceus there's no end to these things... all of them, just like the Garchomp on Lumiose tower, what the psyduck are Cinder doing?!"

"Nothin' good, that much I can tell ya..." Robin chimed in. "Ya'd think they'd be interested in makin' these things last longer than one battle, though..."

Avril shook her head. "As twisted as it sounds, I'm kinda glad they don't. That Magmortar was bad enough to fight once, I don't wanna run the risk of... it happening again..."

Robin glanced over to her sister, feeling of regret rushing through her. "I... I didn't mean to..."

"Forget it," Avril said bluntly. "You said it yourself, there's no time to mourn right now... Let's just survive."

"Couldn't agree more..." Jackson grunted, leaning down with a small pouch, he quickly scoops up some the ashes and finds a glowing rock deep inside of the remains. As it hit the light it dulled to an orange tinted brown. "A sun stone...? Why the hell is there an evo' rock in some of these things?"

Jackson obtained a pile of cloned Hitmonchan ashes, a sun stone and 500 Poké!

"I swear... this muk just gets-"

"Jackson! Avril! Mes étudiants!"

A familiar voice rang out over the carnage and Jackson turned to see Augustine Sycamore rushing towards him. He was carrying a little girl on his back and moved with another face that Jackson somewhat recognized. A young girl with a determined, yet inexperienced expression. He thought he recognized her from school, but as thoughts of the silly group chat on the holocaster caught up with him the pieces fit together. "Professor...! And... Minami right? Thank psyduck you guys aren't down for the count..."

"So these are the other's the Professor was talking about..." mumbled Mina as she watched the Professor converse with the other survivors.

Realization dawned on the trainer's face suddenly however... and he rushed up to Augustine, putting his arms on the older mans. "W-Where's Mal?! Is she behind you?!" Panic was settling into his voice, barely under control.

"She was still at the plaza when I last saw her, mon amis... we must pray she is still there now... there are other survivors in the area gathering to fight together and flee! But calm down, we must not let ourselves lose faith... are you three alright?"

"Been a bit better, actually..." Robin laughed weakly. "Heh... Long time no see, Sycamore... Ya hangin' in there?"

Avril bit her lip, trying to look the other way and not focus on her sister's rapidly declining health. "We... We're fine. We're just trying to get out of here, you know? Thankfully, Jackson's team has been strong enough to keep us moving on."

"Do you need help? Momo can carry someone on her back on our way to the plaza." offered Mina when she saw the state the others three survivors were. Jackson seemed to be calm for a sec, but when it comes to this Malorie person, his personality turns around. She couldn't blame him though, they sound like someone very important and Mina would be acting the same if she got seperated from Rima. Avril looked just tired, physically and mentally, same for Jackson, couldn't blame them, this whole event has somehow messed with their minds in one way or another. The third person seemed to be gravely injured, in need of medical attention.

"Momo! Come here!" Momo, hearing her trainer's call, slowly walked over and stood beside her, looking over the new humans. She can smell the blood on all of them. "Momo, I need you to carry the injured woman on your back and take care of her." Said pokemon nodded and got ready, lowering his body so the woman can get on.

"Robin... get on." Jackson, taking Sycamore's words to heart took a deep breath and took the girls arm from Gaspar. "If you're badly hurt then it'll be better if you don't have to walk... and with you there Avril and Gaspar can help us clear the path moving forward."

His voice as clear again, focussed on the task at hand. He nodded to Avril and Minami in turn. "Morris, Kid... do you both have pokémon in fighting condition?"

"Definetly, we hit some bumps along the way, but we managed to get through." Mina replied as she grabbed her pokeballs and threw them, releasing Poppy, Nina, and Electra, who was returned on their way here. "Poppy, Nina, Electra, Aria, are you guys ready?" Poppy barked as she did a flip and nodded, Nina barked in agreement as she sat beside Poppy, Electra sqeaked as she jumped onto Mina's shoulder, and Aria cooed, landing on Mina's other shoulder. Mina nodded to ehr pokemon before turning back to Jackson. "Yeah, they're ready to help!"

"I've got one, yeah..." Avril replied. She assisted her sister into climbing onto her newly appointed ride, the girl taking extra caution to make sure that she didn't injur Robin anymore than she already was. With her sister now properly taken care of, Avril took hold of one of the poké balls on her bracelet, and tossed it forward. In a flash of white light, a large, bat-like creature took shape. An angry screech echoing out into the burning night sky as the newly evolved Noivern stretched its wings out. "We're counting on you, Radar... Please, do everything you can."

Jackson couldn't help but give a small smile, before nodding to Gaspar, Wave and Fang in turn. "Keep the path ahead clear guys... no matter what happens support each other. Take out any small fry but if something too dangerous comes your way come back immediately. No heroes, you got that?" To whcih each of them grunted their approval in turn. Wave took to the skies and soared forward while Fang bounded on all fours with Gaspar hanging on his shadow.

Jackson closed his eyes for a moment, wishing his team well, before pulling a fourth pokéball from his belt and tossing it upwards. "Alright... come out Teddy!" In a burst of light the smalle bear pokémon appeared, looking around in wonder and surprise, before turning to Jackson and doing his best to look confident. "I'll need you to watch my back alright Ted?" To which Teddy nodded, quickly shuffling to stand beside his trainers legs.

"Right... ready to get moving?"

"Ready!" called back Mina as she stood by Momo with Aria in the air behind Momo and Electra on her back, Poppy was on Momo's head and Nina was beside Mina, all around Momo to ward off any enemies coming towards them or Momo.

"Then let's move out." Jackson turned to face forward as Teddy climbed onto his shoulder... and just like that they were off.

Magnificent Magilou

Perfalmost Victory!

Age 33
Female
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
750 posts
9 Years
ASHES II
A JP featuring Avril Morris, Sebastian Allender, Emma Kuzunoha, Minami Haruka,
Jackson Crane, Odette Radiuju, Caius Flynn, Laurent Hessel, and Margarita Fas.

"...Mal?!" Jackson's eyes widened and he sprinted up to the familiar shape of his sister, grabbing her and holding her almost too tightly. Unwilling to let her go, as if he wasn't even fully certain she was real. "Y-you're alright... muk kiddo... you're okay..." Malorie winced slightly at the sudden assault, but upon realizing it was her brother she clutched him with as much force as she could manage, her heart which had been tied up in a thousand knots finally releasing somewhat in his grasp. "...I'm okay." She reassured, her voice shaking slightly, but sincere all the same, echoing until he let her go.

"Oh merci I say, merci to Arceus on high...!" Following along behind Jackson was the entourage he had gathered, Minami, Rima, Avril, Robin and the now speaking Professor Sycamore. "Malorie and Emma as well... both safe in this chaos... I am blessed, I swear it. I am truly blessed."

"Professor!" Emma greeted warmly, as well as addressing her felow students. "Everyone! I'm glad you're all okay. Thank goodness!"

"Emma made it too," Avril sighed in relief.

"Of course she did..." Robin replied weakly. "Did... Did ya really think someone like her... would bite the dust from somethin' like this...?"

Jackson finally stepped away from Malorie and looked over Emma and Annika. One girl he was very familiar with, the other he didn't know at all bar a few brief memories of school. Regardless, he was full glad for both of them to be before him, safe and sound. "Kuzunoha." He glared at Emma, with a sharp and piercing gaze, Malorie looking concerned behind him... Yet when Jackson finally spoke again, there was no aggression in his voice, just relief. As if a wave of tension in his chest was finally released. "...thank you."

"O-Oh?" Emma blushed. "Think nothing of it, I'm just... doing my job." As cool and calm a she was, deep down and oddly enough, when she first wanted to become a Detective... she had always wanted to say that line. She was beside herself.

”Everyone seems to be alright, thank Arceus.” Mina was relieved to see everyone safe and sound. There were some new people and old classmates, but the introductions will have to wait. She grabbed Nina from the ground as Aria continued to flap beside Momo, who looked over the new arrivals. "Aria, can you scout for any nearby survivors and lead them here if you find any? Electra, stay with her just in case you come across trouble." Aria cooed as Electra squeaked, nodding, and the cloud pokemon flew off to look for any survivors, let it be human or pokemon.

"I tell ya, these kinds of reunions always get to me," Robin said, somehow managing to fake a sob through all her pain.

Avril ignored her sister and briskly made her way towards Emma. Radar followed close behind, keeping a protective glare on his face as he scanned the area just in case. The younger of the Morris sisters took Emma by the wrists and pulled her aside for a moment.

"I'm so glad your safe, but..." she began, her voice a faint whisper. "Victoria... Did you see Victoria anywhere?"

"No, I haven't..." Emma replied, reluctantly. "Wasn't she with you, last time?"

Avril shook her head. "We were separated when all of this started and I haven't been able to find her since..." Avril's panic began to set in once again. She began to imagine the girl of her affection somewhere lost in the city... or rather, what was left of the city. She began to picture her body laying on the street, burned and bruised, maybe even dying. Avril cursed under her breath and quickly turned around, not even looking Emma in the eyes.

"I... I have to go. I have to go find her," Avril determined, quickly starting to walk away from the detective.

"Avril!" Emma called out. "Wait a second!"

But before she could go anywhere, Jackson stepped in the way. Like a solid wall he stood directly in her path and refused to move. "Keep it together, Morris... you're not going anywhere."

Avril glared up at Jackson. "The hell I'm not! This doesn't even concern you, so just let me through so I can find her!" The blonde then tried her best to try and force her way past Jackson, something that she quickly began to find rather difficult given the size and strength difference. "You don't understand! She's important to me! You got to find Malorie, how is it fair that I can't go... That I can't find..."

"Avril..." Robin called out. "...He's right."

Avril turned, looking at her sister with a mixture of surprise and anger. For one of those rare occasions, Robin was looking with a completely serious expression on her face. She understood what her younger sister was feeling. She understood that she was right, it wasn't fair. However at the same time, it was obvious that her place was here... with the others.

"Ya barely made it out of that last situation... If Radar hadn't evolved when he did, then..." Robin said. "Ya can't just go runnin' off now... I'm sorry, but... You're stayin' here."

Avril's gaze dropped to the ground, the girl remaining silent as she slumped down. Radar's gaze seemed to soften for a moment, the large bat Pokémon slowly lowering down and wrapping his wings around the girl protectively, as if he was trying to hide her from the reality of the situation they were in. It did little to remove the pain though... Just how much more was she going to have to lose before this nightmare was finally over...?

Jackson said nothing more as he gazed down at Avril, it hurt to deny her so blatantly, but it didn't matter how he felt or if she hated him for it later.He had to keep her alive, all of them.

He took another deep breath and looked passed the others to the plaza. There were a few people moving around, forming groups and trying to organize escapes. Yet oddly enough... no Team Cinder... had they really not reached the city center yet? "Kuzu, has anyone else from Aquacorde come through before us? Do we know the status of anyone else?"

Emma shook her head. "I was with Sebastian before the incident happened, but we got seperated. I hadn't heard from the others," she replied. She then stood in thought, with her arms crossed. Knowing the rest though, they should be alright... unless...

Suddenly however, as if responding to those words, the group was greeted by a Gligar soaring overhead. It stopped in mid-air, before starting to circle over them, carefully eyeing each member, searching for a point of recognition. When nothing clicked, it was about to make off again, before the voice of its trainer called it to attention.

“A-Armand!” Odette clearly struggled to even get the word out, the vigorous exercise, and heat and smoke in the air doing quite a number on her lungs.

Stop! What point is there to scouting ahead when you don’t—“ She stopped abruptly when the group of trainers caught her eye. Standing upright in an effort to hide her breathlessness, though her voice betrayed her, she asked no one in particular: “What are you all still doing here?!”

"Odette...?" Jackson was genuinely surprised to see the girl, let alone flustered and tired from strenuous activity. Definitely this was a state he had never witnessed her in, if the circumstances weren't so dire he would have found it funny. "...we could say the same to you. Are you alright?"

“I’m fine...” Odette muttered. As soon as she saw Jackson, the words of Crimson rang in her mind. Jackson Crane and Emma Kuzunoha... Scanning the other members of the group, she noticed Avril and Sycamore, but the rest weren’t familiar. Who among here were Crimson’s targets... and what did they know that she didn’t?

Feet pounding against pavement turned to light tapping (and eventually, silence) as Caius came to a stop at his intended destination. Kaito and his Gallade Razor weren’t far off from him.

“Looks like luck’s on my side today, huh?” He muttered to himself as he strolled into the central plaza, which was packed with people. After wiping the sweat leaking into his eyes with a handkerchief, Caius began scanning the group of people for faces he recognized. To his surprise, it turned out he was able to recognize every single one. Most of his classmates from Aquacorde Academy were gathered here, and evidently so was the Professor.

“Caius Flynn is present.” With the professor around, he felt the need to answer to an imaginary roll-call. He hadn’t kicked that habit just yet.

“We hit the jackpot.” Kaito remarked as he finally caught up to his younger companion. He was alluding to a brief conversation he had with Caius prior to their arrival. Among other things, they had talked about how the plaza was (in their opinions) the likeliest place where people would congregate in the city. And, fortunately for them, their hunch was spot-on.

Razor was still on-edge from the Mewtwo encounter, so his focus was attuned solely to his surroundings; everything else was drowned out.

“Is that Caius?” mumbled Mina as she looked at the new arrivals, one being the man she meet and who battled her brother before the chaos brewed. Mina walked over and poked the mans shoulder. “Caius, is that you?” Rima followed her sister, not wanting to be away from her even for a second during all of this madness.

Sound waves reverberating in the ears, the haggard form of one Caius Flynn swiveled to the side as an oddly familiar voice started to beckon it; it managed to reclaim some of its lost vigor upon seeing a pretty visage lingering over it. “Oh, Mina.” Caius forced a languid smile at the girl poking him on the shoulder. “Glad to see you in one piece…” He trailed off. Eyeing the unoccupied space beside Mina, he felt there was something missing. No – it wasn’t a something that was missing; it was a someone who was missing.

The vague likeness of a blond man appeared in Caius’ subconscious. But, as hard as he tried to remember, the mental fog which hovered over distinguishing features prevented Caius from recognizing the man.

Just who was missing?

As soon as the question popped up in his noggin, Rima – Mina’s younger sister – reared her little head from behind her older sister.

Caius mentally cycled through each sibling. There was Mina who was the middle child, and then there was Rima who was the youngest…

Lastly, the eldest of them all was…

It was…

Hinata. Hinata Haruka. Swallowing the lump that recently formed in his throat, Caius worked up the courage to ask where he was. “Mina, your older brother’s here with you, right?”

It wasn’t even a question, what ended up coming out of his mouth.

Caius attempted to convince himself that everything was alright, and that, by extension, Hinata was alright. Even if the facts laid out in front of him stated otherwise, he wanted desperately to cling to hope. At the moment, that was all he had keeping him going. If he should lose it…

"......He...he isn't. Got struck by a pole and is now living up above." Mina replied, her voice cracking before she shook her head and cleared her voice, holding Rima's hand tightly. "He's in a better place, better than what we are going through at the moment, luckily." Mina chirped, trying to cheer up the man, noticing his incoming distress.

"Ho there!" announced a voice a short distance up in the air, drawing some of the gathered trainers attention to a giant swan and a space robot flying side by side, carrying Laurent, Sebastian and Lillie. More immediately pressing, though were the thundering footsteps of an Arcanine carrying several children who made his way to the center of the arena and stopped, panting hard from his efforts.

Sebastian breathed in a sigh of relief at so many familiar faces standing before him. Ksenia the Swanna let out a soft cry of greeting as she landed in the center of the gathering. Sebastian quickly dismounted, while Lillie remained on the large bird’s back, a tired, yet relieved smile on her face.

“Thank the gods, you’re all alright.” Sebastian greeted.

Jackson quickly makes his way towards the new arrivals, noticing Sebastian and Laurent. They were both still standing, seems like Sebastian had grown in power just like he'd asked, in a time that already felt like it was centuries ago.

"Seems everywhere I look I'm seein' classmates, includin' those I haven't really spoken to." Jackson pondered. "But hey, that muk doesn't matter as long as we have more able bodies right...?"

"Crudely spoken mon étudiant, but very true." Sycamore stepped forward and smiled at Caius answering as if still in his classroom. Placing a hand on the Jackson's shoulder he smiled. "Sebastian and Laurent, it does my heart good to see you safe as well... my worry over all of you has been unbearable."

"We brought guests as well." Laurent greeted the Professor, gesturing back to Lillie still astride Ksenia, and to Apollo with the children still burying their faces in his fur. Before the poor pooch could get anymore snot or tears wiped onto him, Laurent began to gently remove each child from the Arcanine and help them stand up. "I found Steven protecting these little ones while fighting a veritable horde of Cinders and their clones by himself. Sebastian found Lillie and then us, and we were ordered by Steven to get them to safety... Lillie's hurt and the children are still petrified, bringing them here was the best we could do."

"And you did well indeed, Laurent... together we can ensure that everyone is safe." He places a hand to the young mans shoulder and nods approvingly. "Have faith in the Champions... they will find a way to buy us more time I believe." He turned his head to the other new arrivals in turn, moving to approach Caius and Kaito.

"Caius, I am glad to see you safe as well, I suppose for that, I have you to thank, eh? Monsieur Kaito?"

Like a flower opening up to spring, the frown on Kaito’s face seemed to blossom into a grin as Professor Sycamore’s words reached his ears. “Just doing my job, Mr. Augustine! Don’t want people getting killed left and right on my watch.”

He was even in the mood to joke around now, which stood in stark contrast to the aura of doom and gloom he radiated from before. That put Caius at ease. He had been so fixated on his own safety that he’d neglected to consider how Kaito was feeling in the midst of it all.

“Professor, there’s been a bit of a development.” Kaito was about to steer the conversation in a more serious direction.

"You mean the black monster descending from the sky I presume...?" Sycamore placed a hand to his chin and thought pensively for a moment. "Shadow Mewtwo..."

Emma intervened. "...Shadow Mewtwo? What on earth is that thing, anyway?"

"It's a horrific creation formed from the darkest parts of our world. A clone of the mythical Mew using human DNA as a basis, with its heart closed using the twisted machines of the long defeated Team Cipher." His hypothesis sounded to the ears of all of his students, it would seem that much of Cinder's plans had lead to this... an unbeatable monstrosity crafted from the hubris of mankind. "Don't tell me, Kaito? Caius?... you encountered it?"

“Yes; it was a brief scuffle, but Caius and I did encounter it.” Kaito responded, clearly shaken by the encounter, further evidenced as he balled a fist in frustration. “As much as I hate to admit it, even Razor in his mega-evolved state couldn’t hope to best that abomination in battle.”

Looking at the ground, he informed the professor of the events that unfolded then. “We were only able to push it back to give us enough time to escape.”

"...Dark Mewtwo, huh...?" Robin mused. "I ain't exactly familiar with a lot of this Team Cipher stuff, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out this thing is bad news. The look on your face is more than enough to tell me that, Sycamore." She slowly gazed back at her younger sister, the girl not so much as even acknowledging their conversation at the moment. "If this thing is as dangerous as ya say it is, then is sittin' 'round here in one big cluster really the best idea? It might be better to just turn tail and evacuate at this point. I know that I've had my fair share of dancin' 'round death tonight, and I'm sure the lot of these kiddos have too."

"So, they managed to reinvent research from Teams that had been lost from years ago?" Emma inquired. "But how is that possible?"

”They have their sources, I’m sure. For now though, like she said,” Odette gestured towards Robin, “we should save explanations for later. We need to get out of here.”

"Dark..." Laurent muttered to himself, mentally returning all too easily to all the points where his studies intersected with the various villainous teams and their plans, starting with Team Rocket and their creation of the original Mewtwo. "Then I suppose... that poor creature must be why the champions haven't..." He couldn't finish the external thought, merely furrowing his brow uncharacteristically hard and thinking. Apollo had no such reservations and loped right over to Odette after finally being freed of his passengers to bump her shoulder with his nose, glad to see a familiar face. She was surprised to see him, but smiled weakly and quickly ruffled her hand over his head in greeting. “Good to see you’re safe too, boy. And you, Laurent,” she finished with a nod in his direction.

"It's wonderful that you're safe, Odette." He responded genuinely but lacking his usual exuberance and smiling weakly.

“Agreed. There’s nothing we can do for it now.” Sebastian nodded to Odette. While it was possible that this Shadow Mewtwo could be captured, and the door to its heart unlocked, the same way the Shadow Lugia from the Orre region was spared its fate, not one of them had the means to do so-- nor the power. Even if they pooled their strength together, half their ranks were battered and bloodied. This night had been endless...

Amidst the commotion Margarita at last arrived. The many stops she took in order to calm her migraine and dizzy spells slowed her progress, hence her tardiness to the group.

Normally the Eelektrik would partake in a flurry of social interactions, but the eel instead curiously glanced about. Unlike Margarita, he had a better recollection of who these individuals were..

"Professor, I have a question. And it has to do with the parcel from this morning." Mina spoke up, having heard everything that occurred and the insight on this 'Shadow Mewtwo'. That pokemon sounded like it was too powerful for them to face the way they were now. Basically her whole team hadn't reached their final evolved forms! They wouldn't last one second with that being. And the parcel has been in the back of her mind until now. Team Cinder came after her and Rima because of the parcel, they wanted something inside that package, could it be related to what they are doing to this city and the reveal of the Shadow Mewtwo?

Rima stared at her sister and then at the Professor as she registered her question. Could that package be why these evil men came after them in the forest? Did the package have something so important that the evil men had to injure her sister for it?

"You wish to know the contents I take it...?" Sycamore winced a little and looked to one side. "Indeed dear child, it was information on just this event... from the ashes of the cloned pokémon, yes that is what they are, I had discovered Cinder's recovery and usage of other technologies. Merde! If I had only been quicker... mayhaps this could have been avoided..."

"N-No...!" Malorie stepped forward, finally piping up in the chaos of the large group. "There was no way you could have known, Augustine... no way at all. Please don't blame yourself."

"Merci, sweet Malorie, you are too kind to me..." His smile returns and widens as he taps his nose gently. "Alas, this professor is not without any plans or tactics. I had hoped to avoid this chaos, but we may have one tool yet to stop it."

"You have something to fight back...? Against that monster?!" Jackson was left incredulous as he pushed his way back to the front of the circle, to which Sycamore smiled and gave a small nod. "It is a product of my own research and knowledge of a certain pokémon... I have crafted just the thing to-"

"KTHOOM"

The undeniable sound of a gunshot pierced the air, the flickering heat waves cut in two by a sudden flying bullet.

"A-Ack..."

Jackson's eyes widened incredulously, Sycamore's words were cut short with the pull of a trigger. Blood dripped from his lips and beneath a hand held close to his stomach a wound had warmed. "M-Merde... it can't be... like this...?" He dropped, falling onto his side roughly, rapidly losing consciousness. Malorie screamed at the top of her lungs and rushed forward, kneeling beside Augustine and quickly trying to move him to the recovery position.

"Well... muk." A calm and sadistic voice cut across the crowd and Jackson's eyes, bloodshot and immediately boiling with rage fell to a face he knew too well. A dark haired individual with a black suit and red tie, his eyes were focused despite his murderous smile. "Damn heat distorting my vision... I was trying to aim for the head, so much for one shot and one kill."

"...Artece. You... You Bastard!" Jackson roared, his pokémon who had been close behind quickly rushing into the plaza at their trainers cry.

"Gabriel Artece at your service!" He gave a mock bow, the pistol hanging on his trigger finger awkwardly, a pokéball in his other hand. "Y'know... I personally requested to be here today. I know that good 'ol Shadow Mewtwo is probably gonna kill me too as a result but... how could anyone toss away the opportunity for this kind of reunion... all of the mukty brats I hate... and their braindead teacher dying on the floor! HAHAHA!" His laughter was maniacal as he swung his gun arm around widely, his hand grasping his forehead, tired eyes peeking through the fingers as he aimed the barrel forward. "Now... who's next?!"

Of course. It had to be him, didn't it? Laurent's vision swam with a red mist and he lurched forward only to freeze after a single step. There was no forethought, no realization that being hasty was stupid or he might make things worse, nothing so grand. The instant Gabriel showed himself Apollo had shifted himself back to the children and stood between them and the psychopath. He'd been used by Cinder before to cause suffering and no matter what happened he wouldn't let them hurt innocents on his watch, he might not be able to protect all the trainers but he could protect these kids. Laurent felt almost as if he heard the Arcanine speak his determination out loud and found himself unable to rush forward or hurl the abuse he felt boiling up at his old enemy. Instead he found himself inching closer to Apollo and the children while Metéo floated in front of Ksenia and Lillie, ready to psychically deflect any bullets that came their way like Steven's Metagross had back then.

"Demon..." Emma could only reply with a sharp, hardened expression. "Does your aptitude for destroying the preciousness of life truly know no bounds?!"

"Oh you... how long has it been Detective?! I swear... I haven't seen you since I tore that ego apart in Lumiose City... seems you've had plenty of time to rebuild your confidence! Ol' Granpappy dying like a psyducking idiot didn't shake you huh?" He sneered, before turning his gaze back to Sycamore on the floor. "Double tapping ain't so bad I suppose..."

"How did you...! Wait. I see. Team Cinder was in this city this whole time, observing us," Emma pieced together. "...All for this purpose."

"Ah. F*ck," slipped off Margarita's tongue in response to the ensuing chaos. With an already heavy heart and clouded mind she was slow to react, nearly stumbling as she took a step back. Eelektrik slithered up her arm and curled around her neck, panic and terror returning to the poor eel's eyes. Behind her, Odette too silently called her Gligar to her side, tensely assessing the situation as it unfolded.

"Professor!" Mina quickly moved to the girls, Malorie is what Jackson called her, side and helped her with the Professor, calling over her pokemon. "Momo, protect! Nina, go and find Aria and Electra!" Momo growled as she stood in front of the two girls and Professor, growling at Gabriel Artece, and Nina cooed before running off, in search of her other two comrades.

"Poppy! Can you cling onto the Professor and use Aqua Ring to heal him as much as you can?" Poppy barked and jumped off Momo, landing beside her trainer and then climbed onto the Professor's arm. She barked and created several rings made out of water, big enough to surround Mina, Malorie, and Professor. As the rings floated around them, their bodies glowing faintly, starting the slow healing process.

The world began to spin as Sebastian rushed into the Brionne’s healing ring and dropped to his knees. His eyes were wide, and distant, yet his arms seemed to be on auto-pilot: He reached into his bag and took out a large bundle of white cloth, which he holds to the bleeding wound. “We need to elevate his head...so he doesn’t choke on his blood.”

Lillie responded to Sebastian's soft-spoken request by sliding off Ksenia's back and hobling her way into the healing ring. She staggered onto the ground and eased the Professor's neck into her hands. "Like this...?" A gesture that Artece seemed to find hilarious, still laughing like a psychopath he fired a few more shots at the group, delighting as the pokémon struggled to deflect them off of her protective shield.

Mina watched as a man and girl rushed into Poppy's ring and knelt beside the two girls, helping with the Professor's condition. Mina looked up from the two new people helping the Professor and glared at Gabriel. First Hinata, now Professor?! Who are these people, thinking that killing is a game! She looked towards the direction Nina ran off. "Please find them Nina..." Rima stood for a few seconds, eyes wide and horror filling her body, she let out a shaky breath and slowly rushed over to her sister's side, hoping to be able to help.

A small creature skittered onto Sycamore and added its own Aqua Ring to Poppy's. It was Charlotte, Laurent's Dewpider. Once the soothing moisture thickened in the air she sealed the cloth blocking the Professor's wound in place with a thick Spider Web, spreading the powerful silk to any gaps extra blood might have slipped to.

Mina noticed the other healer and faintly smiled. "Poppy, can you lend him your Mystic Water? I have a feeling he'll need it." Poppy barked before using her mouth to grab the necklace and throw it over Laurent's Dewpider, giving his water moves a boost.

"What the hell is it with ya Cinder guys?" Robin questioned. "I've done watched ya kill other people... I've watched ya kill each other... just what's your actual angle?"

Avril's gaze slowly drifted over towards her sister as she spoke. The air was tense, heavy with more than just the heat and smoke of the ravaged city. Just the knowledge of Gabriel's presence was enough to cause Avril to feel sick in the pit of her stomach. A sudden feeling of dread ran through her body.

"If ya think that ya bein' here with that Dark Mewtwo makes ya some kinda martyr, well it doesn't," Robin said bluntly. "Ya call shootin' Sycamore and these kids some kinda gift, but let's be real. Ya were probably sent here by your boss, right? Sent to make sure the last part of his plan here goes all hunky dory? The truth is he sent ya here and ya know you're gonna die because of it. And in return, ya decide to act like the coward ya are... because ya don't have the balls to die on your own..."

"Tch... you know what?" Gabriel grinned, running a hand back and slicking his hair, drenched in the heat. "I think I won't mind if we have one less mouthy rattata... stop taking away my fun." Without hesitation and suddenly a more serious expression, he shifted the position of the barrel from Sycamore, all those protecting him being too pre-occupied to react quickly enough. Almost like flicking a switch, his trigger discipline had increased tenfold. "Sorry kid... but I don't miss twice."

"KTHOOM"

The bullet cracked through the air and time seemed to freeze. There was no time to speak, no time to react. It was just over, the flame of a life extinguished. A hole had been drilled through Robin's head, blood spurting and oozing from the wound... as her body fell limp and lifeless to the floor. "Ha... Hahaha.... HAHAHAHAHA!" Gabriel screamed in delight and fervor, firing an extra shot upwards into the sky. Remorseless. Empty. "You bastards... always seeming to slip away right at the last moment... always so god damn confident, so cocksure. Well... WELCOME TO REALITY!" Immediately he turns the gun to fire on Avril, but as he pulls the trigger the gun clicks, an empty round.

"Well muk... shoulda reloaded, I'm just having too good a time..."

Avril stared into space as Gabriel celebrated his good times. Slowly, her head turned in the direction of Robin. Her older sister was just... playing around, right? Any minute now, she was going to shoot up and have some stupid pun or joke to make... right...?

But there wasn't any. She wasn't smiling. She wasn't laughing.

"Robin...?" Avril called out, walking over to the girl. "This... This isn't funny anymore. You can stop playing now..."

Robin of course, said nothing. Her eyes rolled back, she wasn't even giving Avril the decency of looking her in the eyes. Avril dropped to her knees, lifting Robin just enough to start shaking her.

"We... We promised... We were going to get out of here together!" she exclaimed. Her voice started breaking. Her hands were shaking. "Why are you... why did you... you liar..."

She slowly lowered Robin back to the ground. Her breath getting short as she pulled herself back up to her feet. Her eyes were empty as she turned her gaze to Gabriel.

"Psyduck Cinder... Psyduck Mewtwo... and Psyduck everyone else..." Avril muttered. "I'm going to psyducking kill you!"

"Huuuuh...? Is that right?" Gabriel shook his head, still smiling ever so slightly with saddened eyes as he worked on reloading his gun. "Did I break poor Avril already? Damn that didn't take much now did it?"

Avril...? Emma thought in bewilderment. She seen Avril angry. Furious beyond words, even. Perhaps this was the cause of the shock of her sister's death, but still... she had never seen this side of Avril before.

Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. The Professor’s blood slowly turning the white fabric to a deep red, Robin’s body lying on the ground, and Lillie-- Lillie… Months back he promised Jackson he would keep her out of all of this-- and he lead her straight to it. He brought her right back to stare down another loaded gun. And Avril-- Victoria…

”Princy, if I don’t make it out alive, take care of Avi for me, got it?”

Sebastian’s hand trembled as he reached into his bag for another cloth to add to the blood-soaked one applied to Sycamore’s chest, only for his knuckle to knock against something metal. The gun...the very same gun he took from the assassin that came after Lillie the day he made that promise. It’s still here, it’s still loaded...he could knock the safety off and...

EEEE?! EEEE! shrieked Eelektrik, hysterical. Meanwhile his trainer spotted a rod further ahead.

Margarita was mad. A mad woman with clouded judgement and an eel whose grip was tightening around her neck from the horrors ensuing. Without thinking she ran past her acquaintances, hand snatching the rod while doing so, heading straight for the man.

Nothing came to mind. She saw the opportunity upon seeing the lack of a bullet and took it. Was it dangerous? Yes. Will she perish? Perhaps. Most likely. But for that instant her body reacted on it's own, detached from her mind.

"...!" Jackson had been silent, teeming with anger but biding his time best as he could. He knew Artece, he knew that that psychopath would waste time with rambling and pot shots. He had to wait for a moment where his pokémon could strike. It hurt but he couldn't act recklessly. Yet there went this girl, Margarita, a girl from his class who he barely knew. Gabriel was toying around, taking his time, but he was trained... skilled, even. The second Margarita moved to attack him...

Like clockwork, Jackson saw it play out in slow motion. The murderous intent flicker to a serious need for survival. The gun was reloaded almost instantly and was rising towards Margarita. Far faster than the false sense of security brought on by Artece's actions would lead anyone to assume. "Muk...!" Without time to think Jackson charged forward, sprinting with every bit of force his legs could muster he moved towards Margarita. Seconds remained on the clock, milliseconds, singular instants...

The gun was primed and ready... Gabriel pressed on the trigger. Another new brat soon to be killed.

Then he got in the way again.

Jackson tackled Margarita to the ground just as the shot was fired, the bullet instead grazing his shoulder as he grit his teeth and grunted through the pain. A small spatter of his blood leaped from the wound and scattered across his arm and onto Margarita as they both tumbled to the ground. Gabriel let out a sigh and turned the gun to aim at the pair or irritating rats before him. "Why... Why is it always YOU... playing the hero and getting in my way, Crane!" He aimed the gun directly at Jackson, who scowled back in response. He was ready to dodge, but this wasn't looking good, at this rate he was almost definitely going to take a bullet somewhere.

Margarita gasped, saved by a classmate she could not recognize. "Why did you do that?!" she blurted out, hand pressing against the side of her skull. The hard fall worsened her health's condition, voices now sounding like slurred gibberish.

Click.

A shot rang out, not from Gabriel’s gun, but from the one hidden inside Sebastian’s bag. While Gabriel struggled with Margarita and Jackson, it gave the redheaded shinobi time to tap the safety off his own gun, stand, aim, and fire. His arm remained steady as he holds the pistol towards the murderous admin, a cold, unshaken rage in his eyes.

"Sebastian...?" Emma called out in disbelief. "What are you..."

A moment of silence rang out... the shot was aimed well and true at Gabriel's head, it should have hit him directly... but no, it hung there, suspended in mid-air. It was hovering mere inches from his face. It was just floating there, like a broken rule, like a mistake. The air shimmered and Gabriel laughed, turning and aiming the guns barrel at Sebastian instead.

It was only then that the young trainers noticed his eyes glowing faintly with prismatic light.

The Mega Sableye that had been sitting on Gabriel's shoulder dispelled its trickery, its image flickering back into existence. In an instant it had materialized from his shadow, using shadow sneak and double team to constantly move back and forth from its trainers shoulder without ever being seen. It snickered and cackled gladly, its massive gem already forcing the bullet out of the cracked dent it had left... the large red crystal already reforming back to its proper shape.

Gabriel started to clap. "Psyducking... finally. One of you little muks gets the picture." He smiled, the most disturbing smile of all, one filled with genuine pride. "I taunt and I scream... I kill and I punish... and it's the sappy, redhead cripple, that finally gets the message. That this world is muk... and nothing changes unless you destroy everything that's in your way..." He grinned maniacally again, swinging the gun forward as Sableye hopped down to stand at his feet. "Isn't that right?! Sebbyyyyy?! I'm hurting your friends... I'm KILLING THEM! So... kill... ME... FIRST!"

"DON'T!" Emma shouted and pleaded, turning to her friend. "Sebastian, don't listen to him!!"

Sebastian’s arm lowered slightly, yet the cold, unwavering gaze in his eyes remained. “It’s not this world’s that's to blame.” He spoke with a chilling amount of calm. “It’s filth like you, polluting it.” There was a brief, almost unnoticeable fraction of a second where his eyes flickered from Gabriel to Jackson, and then back to the target. “This ends now.”

Another click, the gun rang out, not aiming for his skull this time, rather the hand that clutched the other gun.

Gabriel was about to laugh again, grinning with insanity as Mega Sableye launched upwards, its gem moving to protect Gabriel's head.

But the bullet didn't connect there.

Sebastian's last shot collided with the side of Gabriel's gun, blasting the barrel clean off and causing him to howl in pain as the weapon is knocked clean from his grip. "Ack!!!..." He stumbled for a second, looking incredulously at the destroyed pistol on the floor... before forcing down a chuckle and turning to look at Sebastian again. "Well... muk."

"ARTECE!" Not needing any more queues Jackson charged forward, running faster than he ever had before, his fist already pulled back and reeling. It collided harshly into the other man's head. A sickening thud and crack served to shake the others out of their stupor and send Gabriel reeling. Sableye hissed in response, swinging his gem harshly into Jackson's side immediately after.

"HURK!" With a sudden and incredibly forceful impact, Jackson was sent spinning through the air, sliding winded across the plaza's cobblestone as Gabriel recovered. As quickly as he can he grabs a device on his wrist and shouts into it. "Code Black, mobilize now!"

Without missing a beat, nearby buildings doors burst open and multiple Cinder grunts rushed out from hiding. Immediately tossing pokéballs to release the cloned pokémon sealed within.

Jackson barely pulled himself up from the floor, coughing up a splatter of blood and holding bruised ribs before shouting out loud to his fellow students. "Now... Fight back NOW!"

“Ksenia, let’s go!” Sebastian quickly grabbed his bag from the ground, stashing the pistol back in its prison and replacing it with Pokeballs. Bursts of light filled the area as Selkie, Ukyou, Hakkai, Loki and Fay’lene were called forth. Sebastian tossed his bag over his shoulder and reached for the sheathed katana tucked under his sash. Due to his garb, no one questioned the sheath, thinking it a decoration that went along with the traditional Kantonian look. Those cold amethyst eyes turned back towards the eldest graduate. “Can you keep going?” But as the question was asked, Jackson was already on his feet, punching his side lightly to test the extent of the pain... Gaspar quickly materializing in a cloud of smoke from his shadow. "You really got to ask?"

Margarita remained on the ground, astounded. Due to her reckless reaction a classmate had sacrificed his well-being to save her own.

But she was also bitter. It is because he was a hero that he put himself in harm's way to rescue her. She decided to take the risk, it should have been her who took the bullet and not him.

Now his blood stained her clothes.

The slurred speech was not correcting itself. It remained, worrying her. At this point she would only be a hindrance, unable to understand and without Pokémon to aid in this momentous battle. Eelektrik would coil in fear if so.

Pawniard and Deino had not been found either.

Emma collected herself. "Alm! Celica!" Emma addressed to her two electric pokemon, Minun and Plusle, who sat in her bag. They both leaped out, and stood on all fours in a battle-ready position, gathering electricity that was stored on their cheeks. "Everyone! Pay attention to the boosts that Alm and Celica will give you all! Now, both of you! Helping Hand!" The two pokemon got in position, and both started to perform different dances.

Alm performed a serious, and fiery natured dance that radiated an intense blue glow from his body, while Celica performed a more serene, and graceful dance on the spot, glowing an equally powerful red glow from her body. The two then got in contact with each other at the end of each of their performances, releasing the blue and red light they created. The two lights merged as it was released upon the sky, exploding like a huge firework, sprinkling all the ally's pokemon, creating a red and blue aura that surrounded each of them.

Emma then closed her eyes calmly.

Remember yer' promise to the brat, kid. Yer' not gonna turn those words to empty promises, are ya'?

"I won't..." Emma muttered. She then opened her eyes once more, in determination. "I'll never let Cinder's darkness consume our world. I'll be a armor of light that helps protect my companions. I...I won't let any of my friends die!"

Odette had been watching the display with a mix of terror and determination. Stretching her arm forward, she allowed her Gligar to take off from her shoulder. As it took to the air, it immediately released a loud Screech in an attempt to weaken all the opposing Pokémon at once, before readying its claws for action.

Next, his trainer took another Pokéball from her bag. Though she was nervous to let her partner out in such a dangerous environment, she judged there was no other way. “We’ll need your power, dear Grace,” she whispered, before opening the ball in her hand and having her Kirlia released before her. Grace made a small pirouette, taking in her surroundings in an instant, before preparing for battle herself.

"Ksenia, Rain Dance! Then Tail Wind!" They’d all had enough of fire for a lifetime, and with most of Cinder’s Pokemon being fire types, the rain would hinder them the way it hindered Nika’s Heatwave.

Master Nika...No more holding back.

Ksenia rose to the air with a mighty cry, her wings flapping powerfully as she called forth an accumulation of dark clouds. A droplet fell, then another, and soon a shower of rain poured from the sky above. The swan rose even higher into the sky, her wings flapping all the faster as she beckoned a powerful gust of wind that flowed behind her comrades, increasing each one’s speed.

“Now, Selkie, Light Screen!”

The fox pulled her branch from her tail and twirled in a circle, then hoisted it skyward. A delicate gleam of gold surrounded her and the others on their side, heightening their defense from non-physical attacks.



"Momo! Work Up!" Momo let out a roar as she glowed faintly before it diminished, "Use Dragon Tail on any grunt that comes near and Sky Uppercut on an of those clones!" Mina turned back to the Professor, glad that the Aqua Ring was able to heal his wound a bit, keeping him alive longer and possible help him survive the attack.

Momo jumped over the clone's fist and landed on its outstretched arm, using the chance to Sky Uppercut the pokemon in the chin, jumping back right after. The clone, though, moved towards Momo as if the attack didn't faze it. Suddenly, an Electro Ball surrounded by a Flamethrower and Dragon Pulse hit the clone in the chest, pushing it back and causing it to land on its back from the force of the combined attacks.

Mina looked up when she hear Momo's delighted cry and saw her remaining pokemon have returned, Aria was flying towards them with Electra on her back and in her talons was Nina. "Aria! Electra! Nina!"

Just as the clone they were fighting stood up, a blurr of white and yellow grabbed it and threw it far, causing some dust and debris to rise from where it landed. Mina's eyes widen at seeing the culprit, It was a Heliolisk and its eyes were glowing red. "Is that what the others faced? A cloned pokemon?" The Heliolisk clone looked its eyes on Mina, Malorie, and Sebastian and roars before running towards the humans inside the Aqua Ring, its maw open and teeth bared.

"Oh no! Momo, intercept him!" Momo turned and saw the clone heading towards her master and her allies and ran in front of the clones path, grabbing its claws before it can reach them. She growled at the clone before the clone bared its teeth and roared, pushing Momo back a bit.

"Hakkai, help Momo! Drain Punch!" Sebastian shouted. The Mienshao leaped into action, his paw balled into a fist as he descended on the Heliolisk, which was punched in the chest.

The cloned Heliolisk flinched at the punch before moving its gaze on the Mienshao and opening its frilled collar and hissing at him, generating electricity. Momo noticed its change in target and tried to gain its attention by applying pressure on their conjured hands, and Mina noticed it too.

"Shiz! Momo, grab Hakkai and use Protect!" Momo used her strength to push the clone's hands away since it was distracted with locking onto Mienshao for its attack, and grabbed Hakkai with one arm and lifting its other arm, creating a dome of green energy just as the cloned Heliolisk used its gathered electricity to use Thunder, a massive lightning bolt flashed towards the two fighting types and hit the Protect, cracking the dome, but it continued to stand after the lightning bolt disappeared. The cloned pokemon took the chance and took off after the humans, only for Aria to fly in front if its path and give Electra the chance to throw an Electro Ball at its face, causing the clone to hiss in pain and step back.

Hakkai gave Momo a nod of gratitude before leaping onto the dragon’s back. A powerful blue sphere appeared between its hands as the Heliolisk left them to attempt to attack the humans. As the Electroball hit the front of the lizard’s face, an Aura Sphere hit it in the back of the head. “Shao!” Hakkai cried towards the cloned beast, in hopes of beckoning it back towards the fighting types, and away from their humans.

The Heliolisk turned around and hissed at Hakkai before surrounding its body in electricity as its frill collar lifted up in agitation. Momo stepped beside Hakkai, glaring at the clone before raising her tail and covering it in purple draconic energy. The clone snarled before moving its arms back and his claws glow white before he swiped them in the direction of the two fighting types, firing multiple crescent-shaped energy disks at them and then turned around to face Aria and Electra, using Thunder, Electra being only mildly damaged, but on Aria it was the opposite. Aria cried out as she fell to the floor and Electra jumped off, looking at her companion worriedly before glaring at the clone, who was standing in front of the two. Aria twitched every often as her body let out spark, paralyzed and damaged from the powerful electric move.

In a flurry of feathers, Ksenia the Swanna swept down and snatched the little bird into her beak, quickly flying her away from the dangerous Thunder Attack. Before the clone could launch another attack at the two birds, its frills were suddenly clamped down on by a snarling Rockruff using Bite, while its stomach was set upon by a multitude of little slashes, courtesy of Loki the Zorua.

Ksenia gently placed the wounded bird in her trainer’s arms before once more taking to the skies, to aim an Ice Beam at the raging clone.

"Hang in there Aria. Thank you!" called out Mina as she watched Sebastian's Swanna fly off into the battle, holding Aria close. How powerful was the clone for it to need this many pokemon to fight? Nina stood beside her just in case the clone got too close, hopefully it wouldn't happen, she wouldn't know what to do, Poppy was concentrating on keeping the Aqua Ring active and Nina wasn't powerful enough to take on a clone alone!

Electra jumped into the fray and used Quick Attack to rush around the clone, jumping towards its head while it was distracted by the two canines. She surrounded herself in electricity and headbutted the lizard right in the face, said Pokémon giving out a his from the pain of all three attacks, but it won't fall, it can't be defeated by weak Pokémon like this! The clone's red eyes shone brightly as he roared and grabbed Loki and Electra, slamming them right to the ground forcefully. He moved his hands to hold the tails of both the mouse and trickster pokemon before using the other to grab the puppy pokemon and repeat the same actions as on the previous pokemon. He hissed and opened his frill collar and fires an electric blast into the sky, forming a sphere of electricity in the middle, crackling with wild electricity.

"That's! Everyone, get away from it!" cried Mina, recognizing the move, but it was too late. The electricity turned to lightning bolts and shot out, striking every pokemon in the vicinity, along with healing the clone with every pokemon it hit, causing it to glow a green aura from the healing of the move. "Muk!"

“Selkie, Ukyou, go!” Sebastian called to his Braixen and Froslass. The two had been standing in front of Poppy in hopes of keeping the water Pokemon safe, so it could keep healing the wounded. At their trainer’s command; however, they leapt into action. “Use Psychic!”

Selkie’s branch began to glow with a pink energy as she pointed it towards the Heliolisk, which also began to glow, and was then thrown into the air. As the electric type struggled to right itself, so it could land on its feet, instead of crashing back to the ground, it was forced to drop its three captives. Ksenia took to the sky once more to fly below the mouse, fox, and wolf pup, such that the three land on her back.

“Now, all at once!” Sebastian called out. Ukyou floated upward and fired an Ice Beam at the lizard, and Hakkai shot another Aura Sphere. After the pups had shaken off the electricity buzzing against their fur, they joined in by firing a Rock Slide, and a Dark Pulse from the swan’s back.

"Electra! Momo! Are you two alright?" Momo nodded as she stood up from the hit as Electra nodded, since it was an electric move, it didn't cause as much damage on her as the other pokemon. "Alright! Momo, come over since all of your moves are physical." She looked over as Sebastian had all his pokemon ready their attacks to hit the distracted clone. "Electra, Nina, join in!" Electra squeaked as she and Nina ran over to Selkie's side. A coo from under her got her attention as she looked down and saw Aria was awake and staring at the incoming battle.

"Aria! Are you alright? That Thunder sure did a hit on you." Aria cooed before turning towards the battle and flapping her wings, wanting to join in, "Aria! Are you sure?" The cloud pokemon cooed and nodded as Mina spread out her arms, letting Aria fly into the battle. "Alright, Aria, go and get Electra!" Air swooped beside Electra and the mouse immediately understood, jumping on her back as the cloud pokemon flew over the clone, parallel to Ksenia. Nina fires a Fire Blast, Electra swings her tail and the Electro Ball, and Aria opens her beak and shoots a Dragon Pulse, all honing in on the same target as their fellow comrades: the Heliolisk Clone.

The Heliolisk managed to land on the ground on its feet, but when it tools up to face its opponents, it saw all of the pokemon's attacks heading straight for it. It' eyes glowed bright red as he opened his frilled collar and fires a a ring of electric sound in the pokemon's direction, causing some of the to flinch, but kept their attacks going. At once, all the attacks struck the clone and an explosion took place, a mushroom cloud of dust and debris clouded their vision. Everyone waited with battered breaths, hoping that the clone was finally defeated and melting into dust, but when the dust settles, the clone still stood, barely and heavily damaged, but standing, its eyes shining bright red as it bore down on the pokemon and their trainers, its frill collar opening slowly and crackling with electricity, charging up for its next attack.

"No way... those rings...made of electricity...was that Eerie Impulse? It lowered their Special Attacks before it hit him, lessening the damage! it's smarter than it looks!" Mina clenched her teeth together as she stared at the clone. So this is how powerful the clones were, and this one is no doubt even stronger since it looks similar to one of the Lumiose gym's pokemon from when she saw it on tv.

“Fear not. It’s almost down.” Sebastian’s eyes narrowed as it looked to the cloned Pokemon. It must have realized that the Light Screen Selkie cast on their Pokemon had kept its own attacks from doing as much damage as they should. “Hakkai, Drain Punch!”

The Fighting type bounded towards the electric lizard eagerly, his paw balled back into a fist as he rushed in from behind to punch the Heliolisk’s back. Energy flooded from the normal type and flowed back into the Mienshao, healing the damage done by its electrical attacks.

Above them, Fay’lene watched. Her own eyes began to glow a deep red as she leapt from Ksenia’s back. Rocks rose from the debris around her and rained down on the cloned pokemon in another powerful Rock Slide.

The Heliolisk looked up, its claws glowing white, but its eyes were looking to the side, at the corner of its eye, noticing a yellow and red blur flash by. As he swung his left arm out, he swung his right one behind him, releasing the crescent blades at the falling rocks and towards the incoming Mienshao, unleashing Razor Wind on its targets.

"Aria!" At Mina's call, the cloud pokemon swooped down to try and intercept the move, but the Mienshao was too close for her to reach in time.

“Hakkai, Detect!”

The Mienshao’s eyes gleamed as the sharp gusts came his way, and as they drew close, his body leaped forward and darted around each blade of wind, such that he escaped the attack completely unscathed.

Fay’lene landed mere inches from the electric lizard and released a fierce growl. How is it still standing? They’ve fought so hard to keep it away! If only the other two were here, then they would win easily! If only she could harness that kind of power on her own, then she could protect Sebastian and his friends without being thrown around like a tiny rag doll. If only…she could be stronger!

Slowly the clouds from Ksenia’s Rain Dance began to give way, revealing the moon parting from the sky to make way for the arriving sun. The pale glow of the moon, combined with the light of the flickering flames that had consumed the town seemed to shine directly on the little wolf, and her body began to glow.

“Fay!” Sebastian cried out as the wolf’s body was enveloped in a shining light, growing larger, brighter, and then vanishing in an instant, leaving an orange Lycanroc where the little wolf pup once stood. The newly evolved Pokemon released a mighty howl before she launched at her enemy with blinding speed. Rocks gathered around the wolf as a form of armor, adding significant power to her newly learned Accelerock attack.

"Amazing..." awed Mina as she watched the wolf, 'Fay' as Sebastian calls her, rush towards the clone with amazing speed, rocks scattered around slowly gathering around her almost as if they are being pulled towards her by some unknown force. "Wait, if she's a Lycanroc and can gather rocks like that... is it..."

The clone looked towards the newly evolved Lycanroc and glowered, how many more weak pokemon were going to defy him? He closed his frills before lifting his left foot and stomping the ground, repeating the action with his other foot, and then again and again for awhile. From his stomping comes a shock wave and it soars towards any pokemon in the vicinity, inflicting damage the moment the shock wave crashes into them.

"It knows Bulldoze?!"

“Quite resourceful, this one.” Sebastian clenches his teeth.

Fay’lene stood firm as the ground around her trembled and attacked. Once the attacked ended she shook the debris from her fur and snarled at her enemy. Her eyes glow a powerful, furious red as she launches forward for another Accelerock attack.

By now, the clouds from Rain Dance had dissipated, and the moon shone brightly in the sky above, which caught Sebastian’s eye. He managed a small smile as he looked to Mina, and offered an encouraging nod. “Now’s our chance, it can’t heal anymore! Selkie, Flamethrower!”

“Brai!” Selkie looked to Nina, her fellow fire fox, and smiled. She gripped her branch firmly in her hand and pointed it towards the Heliolisk, hopefully far too occupied with Fay’lene darting around it to notice the incoming attack. A white hot burst of fire, amplified by her Blaze ability, is cast and shot towards the dry-skinned lizard.

Mina got Sebastian’s message and looked towards Nina, “Nina, use Flamethrower as well!” Nina howled and opened her maw, sending a stream of hot flames towards the lizard.

She then looked over to Poppy who was staring right back with a determined look, “Time to jump in girl. Poppy! Use Moonblast!” Poppy barked and charged up a moonlight glowing ball before launching it in the form of a beam at the lizard right alongside her comrade.

“Momo! Aria! Electra! Move back!” At their call, the three Pokémon retreated as the blasts closed in on their target. Right as the clone opened his frilled collar, the attacks hit, causing an explosion to cloud over the area.

“This could be it! Ksenia, Ukyou, Ice Beam! Hakkai, Aura Sphere! Loki, Dark Pulse! Fay’lene, Rock Slide!”

Each Pokemon lets out a powerful battle cry before launching their attacks into the powerful cloud. As the blasts make contact, the Pokemon leap back to shield their trainer, and the Professor, from the blasts. Sebastian’s body tenses as he gazes into the smoke. Is it over…?

Once the cloud of dust cleared, the clone stood, freezing everyone's hope. The clone stared his opponents down before teetering and falling backwards, closing his eyes and, finally, turning into a pile of cinders, leaving behind a glowing stone in the middle.

"We did it...finally..."Mina was happy that the clone was defeated, but at the same time, she wished it was still there, the only thing distracting her from the chaos she called a nightmare. Nina ran over to her trainer and cooed when she saw the relief in her eyes. "Good job Nina. Same to you guys, Momo, Electra, Aria, Poppy."



Margarita returned Eelektrik to his Pokéball, no longer wanting to expose him to this continuous hellfire. The eel, as expected, disagreed with the decision, but could do nothing to stop his trainer.

With him out of harm's way she quickly scanned her surroundings. Some began preparations for the approaching enemies, their battle-ready creatures by their side. Others mourned. But what could she do? There was no Pokémon by her side. None. Of course she didn't exclude Eelektrik, but the poor thing was petrified beyond recognition.

Small voices stood out from the small crowd, causing Margarita to shift her gaze.

Kids.

There were a flock of children huddled close together behind a tower of a man and his Arcanine; their light blonde hair was speckled in black and gray due to the ashes.

She may not be able to fend off a cloned Pokémon on her own, but perhaps she could give aid to somebody who may be able to? Perhaps she could aid those children.

Scared. Alone. Traumatized. Some may already be orphans.

Margarita did a small sprint towards them, hoping to be of some aid. "I'll help. I don't have any battle-ready Pokémon with me, but I'm an extra body to be used," Margarita offered.

She may be able to save a kid's life.

The trainer stiffened at a voice so different from the sounds of battle and all the warning signs he was alert for, but recovered quickly enough to regard her over his shoulder. "That's a voice I haven't heard for quite some time. Margarita, it's good to see you." He still kept up that ever-present smile but it did nothing to stop the ash-stained sweat running down his face. "Our opponents are all either armed or pokémon. I'm glad to have you but this isn't a situation where a person can do much without pokémon at their side." He looked back across the battlefield and narrowed his eyes at another pair of Cinder Grunts emerging from the carnage of the city and locking eyes right on the pair of trainers, then sped straight towards them when they saw the children. 'An easy target' they must be thinking... They'll regret that decision.

Laurent pressed the button on another pokéball and released Bernard. The Venusaur raised his head and bellowed his determination to the sky. "You've got to find one of your missing pokémon, Margarita. I'll do whatever it takes to protect these children but shielding them with your own body won't help anyone, not in this sanglant désordre. If you go with Apollo you should be able to find your partners." The Arcanine next to him stood at attention at the sound of his name. "He's very fast, he even won a big race at Cyllage." Laurent forced some levity back into his voice and pulled on the shoulders of his white and red jacket. "That's how I got this. Apollo can protect you, his fur can even help filter you from smoke if need be."

He remembered her name. But she couldn't remember his. "You don't have to worry about me," Margarita began. "But you're right. I can cover a lot more than if I went on my own." I can't really walk far without pausing to rest anyway.

With her injuries it became rather difficult to climb the beast of a creature; her knees burned against her clothing, palms stinging upon touching the fur, feet far too sore from the walking and climbing.

"So. Anything I need to know about your Apollo here?" she asked once she managed to mount, giving the children a quick glance.

"He's loyal, smart and his ability is Flash Fire, so don't hesitate to hide behind him if you're at risk of being burned." Laurent responded before laying a hand on Apollo's head and scratching his ear. "Do whatever she says Apollo, and no matter what happens don't let her get hurt... and make sure you come back to me." Apollo barked once happily and leaned his forehead into Laurents until his trainer pulled away, then he straightened up and awaited Margarita's direction. "He's pretty good at battling on his own now, but if you feel the need to give him any orders your pokédex should inform you of his moveset. Now, no time to waste, allez y!"

Throughout his explanation her mouth formed a grin. Normally she rejects aid from anybody, but today has been an interesting day; they're surrounded by fire and cinder grunts, not necessarily a good time to carry pride.

She allowed a few seconds for her sudden headache to subside. "Thank you. Really." Her hands pat the legendary dog, blood slightly smeared on their smooth fur. Muk. "Let's go."

And with that they took off. Margarita had to hold on, her lack of experience mounting Pokémon leading her to nearly fall at the initial dash forward.

From afar she turns back to look, feeling somewhat bittersweet leaving the chaotic battlefield and into the ever growing flames.

Laurent and his four remaining pokémon formed a loose circle around the children and prepared to fight off everything that came their way.


NEEEEEEIIII! One more slash is all it took to bring down an Ekans.

The snake's body slapped the dirt, blood trickling down their purple scales. Much to the misfortune of Pawniard, this Ekans was amongst other Pokémon who attacked out of survival. Not knowing who was the enemy meant the survival instincts of many remained online, alert for anything that moves.

Those who did not risked death. And Pawniard had already delivered that to the poor snake before him, further escalating his mental breakdown.

He did not stop his sluggish journey to finding his trainer; whether dead or alive. He needed closure if the former, unable to understand that he could grow without help of another.

Energy continued to push the small knight to move forward, no longer caring for keeping himself out of sight.

And good thing he didn't, for he stuck out like a sore thumb when placed beside corpses and flames. The blades and metal adorning his body reflected the disaster occurring around him, a mirror to the state of the city. It was this mirror that allowed for Margarita and Apollo to instantly pick him out from the environment.

"Oh f-psyduck, NENE! [Ib]HERE![/b]" Margarita hollered out, carelessly leaping off the legendary dog to run to her companion. She landed harshly against the ground, scraping her left limbs further.

Pawniard did not catch her first hollers. By the time he realized his name had been called she had reached him, her hands snatching him from the ground. Apollo closely followed Margarita, like a bodyguard against the flames.

For a moment she had forgotten he was made of blades, ignoring the cuts she received upon his startled jerking.

He gave himself a few seconds to let it all soak in. One second he was meandering the city, the next his trainer had locked him in an embrace. Nai! Nai!

"Sorry. I truly am."

To her surprise she did not receive a hug, but an elbow to her side.

"What the hell man."


"No mercy!" Laurent commanded his pokémon while they braced themselves for the attacks of the incoming grunts and clones. A Hitmonlee came sailing through the air with a Hi-Jump Kick aimed at one of the children only for Metéo to float into its path and fling it straight into an approaching Nidoking. Heracles grappled with a Machamp on the other side of the circle and Maria did everything she could to sew chaos amongst the grunts that hadn't already engaged her allies hitting a Donphan with a Confuse Ray that lead to it crashing into a Magmar and starting a wave of infighting, a Thunder Wave into the Hitmonlee and the Nidoking, paralyzing the former and causing it to statically cling to the latter.

The real threat came from the direction Laurent and Bernard were facing. An oversized Tyranitar with all of its coloring just slightly off... and glowing red eyes offset by the more dull red scattered across its carapace that must have been from previous victims. It picked up speed and charged towards them faster and faster with no trainer to command it, a one 'mon stampede threatening to trample all of them. But Bernard stood firm and it kept his trainer confident. What started out as a Bulldoze from the Tyranitar looked as if it had transformed into a Giga Impact, an aura of destructive power coating the front of its body as it ran.

"Solar Spiral, Bernard, blindside combo!" Bernard shook the massive flower on his back like a tree in an earthquake and launched a cloud of Poison Powder in the Tyranitar's path, sinking in through its craggy skin and coating its eyes. By the time the monster burst through the cloud of poison Bernard was already playing his Grass Whistle, the melody so thoroughly relaxing it threatened to destroy all awareness of one's surroundings. Tyranitar's advance slowed and then floundered just before it actually reached the group, it losing balance just as Bernard's vines snaked out from under his flower and around its limbs. Laurent watched the exchange coldly, not even allowing himself to be disappointed that he'd been driven to a level of desperation that called for such distasteful methods as the Tyranitar rose higher up in the air.

His opponent's struggles were to weak to so much as slacken Bernard's grip. He held it firm and his flower twisted tightly, growing brighter and brighter until it had gathered enough energy, then bursting open, unfurling and releasing the energy all at once. A Solar Beam screwed upwards, crashing into the Tyranitar's body and drilling into its stomach until it blasted out the other side. Bernard threw his dead enemy aside and didn't even spare the disintegrating corpse a glance before scanning the battlefield for another opponent.

Meanwhile from the flames Arcanine emerged, carrying both Margarita and her beloved Pawniard. They landed beside Laurent.

"Thank you," Margarita began, leaping off the Arcanine before pausing upon the sight of the Tyranitar's carcass. Pawniard followed suit, only to misstep the landing and plop on to the ashy ground below. "Oh. Wow. Okay, you're strong and to the point," she admits, not having expected the sight. She observed the rest of his Pokémon and their own battles. "Children are safe alright."

AIII NIAAA! Pawniard hollers a battle cry, blades waving as he pushed himself back up.

"Stop playing around Nene. We're done."



On the other side, Odette had turned her attention to two other Cinder Grunts that made their way over to the group of trainers. She'd intended to simply watch the battle unfold, and perhaps escape if necessary - but as the enemy Team surrounded them, she was left without a choice.

"Grace, use Hypnosis! Armand, go for a Slash!"

Her Pokémon were facing two clones: a Darmanitan and a Marowak, both with eyes glowing red. They seemed under the grunts' control, or at least they were supposed to be, but with the savagery of their attacks it was hard to tell. Grace moved in first, warily moving closer to her target, while the Marowak pelted her with Bonemerangs from a distance. If only she could hold it still, and get it to gaze into her eyes... but she noticed, even when their eyes met for a moment, the clone seemed barely affected. With a quick Teleport, she avoided another Bonemerang attack, ready to counter another way.

Armand came in from the sky with an impressive maneuver, slashing Darmanitan on his back as he flew overhead. Making a face at his target, he quickly twirled his tail around too, launching a Poison Sting straight for the clone. His confidence quickly faded however, as the Darmanitan grasped the stinger out of mid air and simply crushed it in its fist.

Odette bit her lip pensively, noting her team's attacks appeared to hardly even bother these clones, while it was clear their attacks were nothing short of devastating. "Grace, retreat and Calm Mind! Armand... Try another Screech, followed by Acrobatics!"

A flash of red and blue light then surrounded the two Pokémon, creating an aura around them. From where it came from, it was Alm and Celica, the Plusle and Minun twins, performing their Helping Hand cheer routine, as instructed by Emma. “Keep it up!” Emma cheered on, as the twins agreed.

As Grace closed her eyes to calm her mind, the flash of light produced by the Electric types seemed to infuse itself into her body as well. When she stepped forward, eyes open once more, her entire being was filled with vigor, and she focused her gaze upon one of the clones. Flying above, Armand's screech had managed to throw his target off balance in turn, and as it flew low to the ground, it picked up the same light Grace had. Pervaded by the power of the Plusle and Minun's cheers, Armand's dove across to the Darmanitan once more and slashed its body all over, before taking to the air again... this time clearly wounding its opponent.

Odette was surprised, tracing the light back to their source and noticing the two little Electric-types cheering her Pokémon on. Even more surprising was to see a girl she'd never even really interacted with, cheering her and her Pokémon on like that. Her concentrated gaze softened for a moment, and she uttered a quiet "Thank you!" before turning her gaze back onto the battle, wanting to see just what this power was capable of.

"Grace, use Psychic!"

Her Kirlia had clearly been waiting for that command. Instantly, her eyes glowed a light blue and she took a mental hold of the Marowak. The Helping Hand's assistance was astonishingly strong, and she managed to lift the clone Pokémon up with ease - before slamming him straight into the back of the Darmanitan, and they rolled over the ground in pain together.

”Nice work!” Emma complimented. The twin Pokémon gave each other a hi-five before waving and cheering cutely to the victorious Pokémon. “You’re really good!”

Grace twirled once more and made a dutiful curtsy towards the pair of Pokémon, while Armand landed beside her and bowed much more dramatically. A bit of relief and pride washed over Odette - certainly, with the Helping Hand of the electric twins, her Pokémon managed to pack quite the punch. Flashing a grateful smile towards Emma, she too made a nod towards the Plusle and Minun, thankful for their assistance.

As the trainers, his students fought, Augustine Sycamore did his best to pull himself together. Those helping him now somewhat distracted by the battles around him. His gaze turned to the body of Robin Morris and her sister. "A-Avril..." He muttered, trying to pull himself forward but failing to do so, the healing rings of water that were affecting him needing just a few more minutes. All he could do was lay there and curse it, curse his own ineptitude and inability to protect the people he was supposed to keep safe above all others.



"Damn it... I don't have time for this!" Avril snapped, tossing out a poké ball to reveal her Flaaffy. The Flaaffy looked around in confusion, her eyes widening as she noticed that her trainer and her teammates were in yet another dangerous situation. "Marble, clear the way to that bastard now!"

The Flaaffy turned to see a Starmie spinning towards her, but she paid it no mind. The Sheep Pokémon charged towards the cloned Pokémon, slamming her head into it with a powerful Take Down attack. The force of Marble's blow sent the Starmie reeling back in surprise, only for it to be greeted with an Iron Tail straight in its center. With her goal in sight, Avril narrowed her eyes and started charging straight towards Gabriel, her anger rising with every step she took.

Artece watched her, every step of the way. His eyes were cold and empty despite their prismatic light, his expression was almost sad. "Tch... here she comes, he big strong Avril Morris on her way to get revenge right?" His Mega Sableye quickly rushed forward, its huge gem scraping behind it as it ran, murderous glee in its eyes. "But y'see it's just like your Daddy said kiddo..."

As Sableye reached the approaching flaafy he feinted under his gem, curling its fist up as dark type energy flooded into it for a sucker punch directed at the electric types gut. The raw power of the mega pokémon's attack causing the cobbles beneath its feet to crack gently. "You're too weak... you failed him, let her die and you'll never, never be able to beat someone like ME!"

Marble wailed as the Sableye's punch slammed into her gut. The Flaaffy fell back from the force of the blow, gasping for air as she tried to recollect her senses.

"Shut up!" Avril shouted. "Just stop psyducking talking for once!"

"Or what...? You'll KILL me?" Every one of his words was oozing with disappointment. "This psyduckin' sucks... I was hopin' that mouthy rattata'd belong to someone like Kuzu-chan... or maybe Mr. Crane? Muk I'd even take that whiny rattata Hessel over you! At least THEY'D entertain me... instead of screaming at me like a broken child with a corpse for a sister and a pile of damn daddy issues!" He seemed to be boiling over, genuine anger raising up between the sadness and the jeers.

"All psyduckin' talk and no action... do something about it if you don't like it Morris... DO SOMETHING!"

As if on cue, a loud screech rang out through the chaos. Avril turned long enough to see Radar descending in the air. Eyes full of hate, the Noivern slammed its body into Gabriel's Mega Sableye, before throwing his head back and screeching once again. Avril took this as her chance. The blonde suddenly made a mad dash towards the Team Cinder admin, attempting to somehow tackle him to the ground.

Sableye struggled to return to its masters side, but the Noivern bashing against its gem was persistent and annoying... it cried out for assistance but Gabriel was so focused on Avril that he couldn't hear. "Yes... YES! Show me all that rage! That pain at everything, at the world that takes ALL that you love! Show me your hatred, Avril Morris!!!"

As Avril drew near, Gabriel switched again, his psychopathic wide open pose shifting into a combative stance, his feet glides along the ground and he took a single step to one side. The whole world slowed down for Avril as she drifted passed his original position, his balled fist colliding hard with her stomach and knocking the wind from his lungs. Flicking his wrist, he grabbed a switchblade by the handle in his other hand, his face twisting into a contortion of pain and upset as he held it high in the air above the girl before him. "...and then let me release you from it all."

As he moved to swing Gabriel barely even saw the figure of a man rushing towards him. The white knuckled hand of the assaulter near crushed Artece's wrist in its own grasp and the knife fell flat to the floor. "W-what...?"

"Don't... you... dare!" A second hand swung over the other, crashing and colliding into Gabriel's jaw. The cinder admin was sent sprawling, but still held in place by the iron grip of his new foe. The grip of Augustine Sycamore.

Blood was trailing from his lips as the feeble bindings on the Professor's barely healed wounds began to tug under the tension of movement. But without a care he moved his knee upwards, taking advantage of the murderer's surprise to crack a blow against his ribs. "G-Gack!" Gabriel spit across the floor as he was suddenly winded, stumbling back as he managed to shake the Professor's grip.

A small shape shot from Sycamore's sleeve and onto Gabriel's shoulder. Charlotte had designated herself the professor's guardian medic and assisted him with a Leech Life straight into the Cinder Admin's flesh, draining away the strength he might have defended himself with.

"Do what you want to me... shoot me... insult me... kill me...!" Gabriel raised an arm to block as Sycamore crashed down both fists overhead towards the hunched form of his suit blad back, he felt something sprain under the impact in both of them. "...I don't care... what happens to me... but don't... you... DARE!" He stomps down hard, cracking his foot against Artece's ankle and causing the other man to howl in pain.

"Lay a single finger... on another one of my STUDENTS!" With a sudden forceful impact Sycamore swung his head forehead, a sickening crack echoing across the plaza as his skull collided with Artece's own. There was a spurt of blood from the criminals cranium and Sycamore's stomach wound as both men stumbled backwards and fell sprawled upon the floor.

"Y-You... son of a rattata..." Artece, dazed, grasped his now bleeding head as he scrambled to pull himself from the floor, falling once, before finally shakily rising to his feet. "...p-people like you... make me sick..."

Avril stared in disbelief at the sight before her. "What... What the hell do you think you're doing?!" Tears of anger were welling up in her eyes, her body shaking in rage as she spoke to Sycamore "You're going to get yourself killed you stupid old man! This has nothing to do with you, so just butt out!"

"It has EVERYTHING to do with me!" Sycamore called out, his voice raising over Avril's as he dragged himself limply from the floor.

"You are strong Avril... you are stronger than you could ever know!" His words rung like a piercing bell, Sycamore's eyes were filled with anger, sadness and tears as he turned to stare at the girl. "You... were always such a bright student... and a joyful spirit. I, Augustine Sycamore... I am the one who taught you! I brought you to the point you needed to be... to become who you are...! I graduated you because I was sure you were ready, I was sure you were strong..."

Despite his injuries, Augustine holds himself up straight, his black hair only now showing greys as it sits, straggled and sweaty across his face. "Don't... don't insult the bond we have as teacher and student... by believing this monsters lies! Avril! You are strong!

Strong? Avril wasn't strong. She knew this. She couldn't protect Robin. She couldn't protect Victoria. She couldn't even protect Lulu. Now she was once again relying on someone else to clean up after her? Her frustration over it all was reaching its breaking point. The girl screamed in frustration, slamming her fists repeatedly into the pavement until her knuckles started to look raw and bloody.

Nearby, Sableye had finally managed to launch an attack on Radar that sent it reeling... and now with that same murderous glint in its eyes it was running back towards Artece with its gem scraping behind it. Artece smiled wildly and spread his arms wide, his eyes were now bloodshot, each vein reflecting the prismatic colours of mega evolution. "Why won't you rats just... give up... this girl is off the deep end teacher, you can't save her... you can't save anyone..."

Sableye was drawing closer now, launching itself into the air, it moved to crush Sycamore's head with its massive red crystal... but found itself intercepted by a sudden surge of electricity.

"Rotom!"

The sleeve of the professor's white arm coat slid down his arm and his eyes lit up with a prismatic light of their own. Sitting upon his wrist... was the mega bracelet of Robin Morris.

The Rotom that charged in was evolved beyond its base, the bond with Augustine granting it newfound strength. Its ghostly energies fused and melded with the coursing electricity creating a purple glow... and with a surge of power it wrapped its form around Sableye and began to shock and bind it, struggling against the other Mega Evolved pokémon in a struggle that released shock waves fit to force onlookers back a few paces.

"Why... won't... you... DIE?!" Gabriel screamed, clutching at his hair in exasperation.

The two ghost types rose into the air, sparking, slashing and reflecting as their reflective trainers covered their faces, each attack sending an impact across the arena that was enough to knock those of weaker constitution off of their feet. "...because I made a promise." Sycamore spoke to himself, knowing that nobody else could hear him over the sounds of battle.

Lurking in the sky above and watching the battle unfold, Sycamore could feel it, the dark presence of a thousand dying suns. Shadow Mewtwo had already arrived, it was here and waiting... he had been too late. Too late to escape this place.

But perhaps... not too late for them.

He looked to the side at his students, all battling and fighting together. They had come so far, so much further than he ever could have in their shoes. "Calem... Serena... do you remember? The day I first gave you your pokémon...? I made a promise to myself that day. That as a professor of pokémon, my life was dedicated to protecting those I taught... and to the pokémon they befriended along the way. I will keep my promise, mes chers étudiants, vous devez vivre..."

"Malorie...!" Augustine called above the carnage and took his bag from his side, tossing it outwards and leaving the startled girl to catch it in her arms. Her fear at the carnage before her overcome by confusion. "With this... you can stop this, all of you. I know you can."

"Augustine...? W-What are you saying?!" She tried to step forward but the constant pressure of the wind striking out against her destroyed her balance and prevented her from even thinking of approaching.

"I am saying... that I love you all very dearly. No matter what happens, that will never change."

Reaching to his coat pocket Sycamore produced a small pocket watch, clicking the side of the locket to spring it open... a small prismatic stone was revealed inside. A second keystone.

"GRAAAAHHHH!" Grasping the watch tightly in his hand, burning prismatic energy ran across Sycamore's entire body. His veins began to shine through his skin with light and his eyes were all but overtaken by the prismatic energies sealed therein. "N-Now... Steelix! Rotom, together!" Bursting from the ground beneath the plaza, a second mega evolved pokémon rose from the ground, splitnering the cobblestones with a mighty roar. The electric pokémon Rotom disbanded from Sableye and clung to the gems piercing the mega evolved Steelix's body, shimmering like beacons in the night, the force of their will carried them skywards, dominating the skyling even more so than the airship as with electromagnetism they rose form the floor.

"W-What?! NO!" Artece and Sableye were launched by the splintering stone through the city, disappearing into a flaming alleyway out of sight as the pair of pokémon soared every skyward towards their target... Shadow Mewtwo.

"HYPER BEAM!"

Steelix opened its maw wide and cut a path through the sky, a glowing, electrical beam shot towards the corrupted Legendary pokémon and it quickly did its best to counter, raising a hand and firing a hyper beam of its own, one consumed by darkness. Two beams, one of light and one of dark collided in the sky above Shalour. Sycamore poured his very being and soul into the evolutions of his dear partners, his body draining more and more by the second but he didn't care. Every ounce of himself he would give... to keep them all safe, that was a price he was willing to pay.

A crack and a snap, as a beam gives away. The darkness of Shadow Mewtwo's attack shattering in the face of one mans sacrifice. An eruption of light illuminates all of the city below, all present cover their eyes desperately with their arms, unable to see... the cloud of radiance consumes the plaza and all sight within it.

Professor Augustine Sycamore stands in front of a class of his students. Emma and Avril were side by side, Laurent was busy taking notes, Mr. Tucker had dragged himself to class today as well, even Jackson had managed to show up today. Minami and Annika were near the front, bright and attentive in their youth... Margarita sat there too, no doubt holding back a slur for her less engaged classmates. Caius was reading a magazine on some contest but he knew that if he called, he'd have the boys attention. Brielle was daydreaming about some new ensemble no doubt... and Kade was looking out the window... had a pidgey flown by? Chris was doodling some sort of fossil and Dust was devising a new strategy just behind him... and Odette was quietly but attentively waiting for the next point of the lecture while Sebastian had his hand raised high, waiting to be called upon for a question no doubt.

His students... his family were all there. Tears flowed freely down his face and he smiled, he smiled so brightly it hurt. Even as the light enveloped him, even as he felt himself fading away, he smiled.

He had never... been so proud.

Jay

R I S E

Age 22
Male
Ireland
Seen 5 Days Ago
Posted April 7th, 2019
766 posts
4.7 Years
ASHES III
A JP featuring Avril Morris, Sebastian Allender, Emma Kuzunoha, Minami Haruka,
Jackson Crane, Odette Radiuju, Caius Flynn, Laurent Hessel, and Margarita Fas.



"W-we have to go back! Jackson! BRONZE!"

Jackson darted ahead of the group of the others, he had forcefully grabbed Malorie and the Professor's bag... The Professor... He closed his eyes and winced with pain, the moment of finality was still so fresh in his mind, like a painting or poem, a sad memory etched permanently into his thoughts. He saw him there, Augustin Sycamore, at the last moments of his life. For a brief moment their eyes had met, he had seen through the pride and joy at helping his students, to the small modicums of pain and regret.

The word Jackson murmured at that time clung to his heart like black tar. "...Dad?"

His eyes burst open, now drenched with tears. He remembered the look Augustine had given him, that one last moment of weakness. He had given himself away to save them, to save all of them. It was up to him now, he had to protect them, all of them, just like the professor... just like his father had. Malorie struggled and thrashed at his chest, his strength far outmatching hers... but there was a profound sadness that came over her as she looked in his eyes. The tears there stung her heart, the desperation buried in his gaze was so powerful that his efforts to mask it with bravado were barely enough to convince him, let alone anyone else.

But still... he had grabbed her. Still he was running, constantly turning his head back to check on the others.

"We have to get to somewhere secure... a building, or a platform... or something! We have to buy time to check the Professor's bag!" His eyes darted towards burning city maps and charred cobblestone streets. The fires never seemed to tire, if anything they had grown even stronger and the heat was strangling him... but only then through that billowing smoke did he see it, in the distance a ruined bridge with barely enough free space to cross... and on the other side were the remains of the Tower of Mastery's bottom floor. There... they had to get there, away from the fires. If they just got there they could check the professor's bag, they'd have the seconds they needed to use his secret weapon... to save themselves!

Immediately he made a 90 degree turn and darted for the small bastion of hope that remained to them, gesturing best he could for the others to follow.

Sebastian gives chase after Jackson, one, two-- three strides, and then stops. Out of the corner of his eye he can see a stationary orange figure. “Selkie!” He cries out. His other Pokemon are at his feels, yet Selkie hasn’t moved. Did the Heliolisk paralyze her? Sebastian reaches for Selkie’s Pokeball, yet before he can grab it, Fay’lene has darted back around to grab the fox.

In reality, Selkie isn’t paralyzed-- not in the sense of status conditions; yet her body is frozen. The world around her has faded away, and all she can do is stare at the space where Sycamore once stood. The Professor--he took care of her when she was little. He was a good, kind man that gave her a safe place to call a home before she became Selkie. It was because of him she got to meet Sebastian and become Selkie. He...he can’t be gone! They were supposed to get stronger to protect people like him, they fought all those gym leaders, and that tower-- they were stronger! So why?! There...there has to be a part of him that’s still here. She can get it back!

Tears stream down Selkie’s face as she clutches her branch, intent to cast a Psychic that will bring Sycamore back to her-- as Fay’lene leaps to her side. She attempts to push the fox onto her back, only for the Braixen to let out a desperate, mournfully broken sob and swing her branch towards the wolf. The branch collides with one of the sharp stones that decorates the Lycanroc’s neck...and snaps in two.

“Return!” Sebastian calls. Before the destroyed branch even hits the ground, Selkie is called back to her Pokeball. Only seconds had ticked by, yet seconds they couldn’t afford to lose. He drops Selkie’s now occupied Pokeball back into his bag and rushes after Jackson once more. They have no time for tears-- no time to mourn. They have to live, it’s the only way to honor their Professor’s brave sacrifice.

They should go. Avril and her team should pick up and follow behind Jackson as he leads the way to the tower. Yet the girl can't bring herself to move. She can't bring herself to find the strength to get off of her knees and start running away. Avril merely stares into the void, staring where Professor Sycamore had once been. He was gone now... He made the decision to sacrifice himself for her and the others. He was yet another soul that Avril had failed miserably in keeping safe.

Professor Sycamore had been that strong male figure in Avril's life. She wasn't like Jackson or Emma... Her biological father was alive. That said, the professor had been the closest thing she had to a father in many regards. He was reassuring, always telling her to follow on with her dreams. There were several times Avril had even shown Sycamore some of her writings. While he really wasn't all that well versed in the way of the pen, the man always had a way of pointing out a way for Avril to make the words flow better or to help her visualize the imagery she wished to create with her words. Professor Sycamore had even promised to read Avril's book as soon as she had it written and published.

That was impossible now, however. Sycamore was gone... Yet again, more broken promises and inadvertent lies. Avril couldn't stand it.

The girl's sobs and screams of rage fill the air, echoing out through the burning streets amid all the chaos surrounding her. Radar stares at the sight, the Noivern unsure of what to do or how to help. He's not a Psychic type, but he can tell his trainer's mental state is rapidly deteriorating from all the trauma. Marble slowly picks herself off the ground. The Flaaffy is tired, her legs shaking under the pressure of her own body weight as well as the fatigue from this nightmare that never seems to end. Yet despite all this pain, the pink Pokémon remains steadfast in making her way towards the trainer's side. She gently places a paw on Avril's shoulder, a concerned and soft mewl escaping her mouth as she tries to get the blonde's attention. Avril doesn't budge, however. She doesn't even give her Pokémon the slightest bit of acknowledgement. Avril is tired. She's simply tired of it all. She just wants it to end.

Worry fills Marble's eyes as the trainer doesn't move. They have to leave. They have to run away now. She glances over her shoulder, looking to her teammate for some sort of answer on what to do, but Radar looks just as confused for answers as the sheep Pokémon. Marble begins to panic now. There has to be something they can do. If they wait too long, that... creature will come back and Avril will be the next to go. Marble looks all around, her eyes widening as she spots a familiar presence close by.

Laurent...? She believes that's the boy's name. She doesn't particularly know him too well, but she knows that they have been in each other's presence a few times. The most she can recall about him is the fact that he's holding onto her sister. In that regard, he isn't a stranger. Not that that fact matters at this moment. Still, Marble places all of her consideration aside. The Flaaffy quickly trots off in the boy's direction, flailing her arms and calling out in aray of sheep-like noises as she tries her hardest to get the boy's attention.

Apollo jumped to attention at the noise, then softened when he recognized the familair scent, this Flaaffy had the same smell as his trainer's. Maria herself was so surprised she began to run towards her sister when the sound of her trainer stirring drew her attention to his rising form. Laurent's neck was like a puppet being awkwardly shifted by an amateur master when it turned to let him regard the other trainer's Flaaffy. His face was still enough to be carved out of granite, giving away nothing besides a thick film of tears running down his cheeks... but even so, that same face broke into a smile at his visitor.

"It's you... Marble, right? Feels like we've barely met since you were born. I should really try to talk a bit more with A - " Recognition exploded across Laurent's countenance as if he'd been ripped out of a dream and he looked more directly at Marble, then darted his gaze over to her trainer, still staring blankly at the place where... "Avril?! Pourquoi es-tu assis? Idiot!" He directed the last part at himself as Charlotte swept across his face and soaked up the tears then sprung forward, scooping Marble up into his arms and allowing his own pokémon to follow after him. He stumbled in his haste and faitgue but such was his urgency that it barely slowed him, what were a few more bruises?"

A firm hand gripped Avril's shoulder painfully hard. "Hey! Come on, it's time to get moving now! Up, on your feet!"

Avril flinched at the grip from Laurent, the girl quickly turning to look over her shoulder at the boy with an icy glare. "Who asked you?! Just... Just go away and leave me alone, damn it! I don't... I don't want to do this muk anymore!"

There was no trace of the smile now. Not even frustration just... something inscrutable. "That's a shame because I wasn't asking." Before Avril could process his words properly Laurent roughly pullled her upright, then brought his left arm behind her knees and literally swept her off her feet into a run straight after Jackson and the others. Apollo was no longer in any state to carry people, but he flipped Marble and Maria onto his back with a few deft movements of his nose and ran after the trainers. Charlotte was glad to see her trainer's Metang and Venusaur keeping up, not hesitating to scoop up any other stragglers. Radar looked on in relief, before quickly flying after the group. He made a mental note to thank his teammate later for her quick thinking.

"This is not how your story ends." Laurent managed to force out between desperate breaths to keep air flowing through and pushing him forward. "And it sure as hell isn't how Augustine's sacrifice ends! You can cry, scream, sulk or kick my ass all you want when you're safe!"

Words failed on Avril as she instinctively tried to flail out of his grasp. He kept going, refusing to slow even when stray hands struck his face or feet slammed into his own legs.The girl looked over Laurent's shoulder, her eyes narrowing on the sight of Robin's body which laid lifelessly on the ground, slowly starting to fade into the flames and darkness as the retreated towards the tower.

"No, no, no, no, no! S-Stop! Please, just... Don't leave her behind, damn it!" Avril screamed in anger, going so far as to try and reach out, as if her hand would magically manage to somehow not only reach her fallen sister, but bring her back as well. "Please... please..." As if on cue, Avril saw several vines slide under her sister and wind themselves around her body, then gently, almost reverently lift her up. Robin drifted through the air on the green tendrils until she was set atop the center of the massive flower on Bernard's back. As the vines receded, the pink petals lifted up and closed themselves around the body and Bernard set off after the trainers at full speed once again.

"Nobody gets left behind." Laurent grunted as if he'd watched the event with his own eyes. "But first and foremost amongst that number are the living. What would she say if you died here because you gave up? How would she and Augustine feel if you followed after them? Would you really do that to them?"

Avril said nothing as she stared at the body of Robin now being carefully carried by Bernard. Her eyes remained focused on the girl, somehow managing to drown out all the commotion and chaos going on around them. She was grateful... but those feelings of regret, anger, and sorrow overrode all other emotions that she could possibly manage to feel at this point...



“Everyone! This way! HURRY!” shouted Emma, who has gone on ahead of the group with her twin Pokémon crying out after her. To her... it was strange. All the while, she should feel sad. Mad even. People had been dying left and right, including her beloved professor. She should be in a whirlwind of emotIons by now, but...

She’s calm. Frighteningly calm. Was it her sense of responsibility driving her? Or was it... the desensitization kicking in. She had been in so much outrageous situations lately that... maybe she’s gotten used to it. And that’s the most sickening feeling she had her entire life. Even so, the safety of her fellow students was important. Grandpa... Professor... she thought, as she then gazed upon the crumbling tower. She then bit her lip... as a sort of way to cope and absorb everything as happened. I know. This isn’t the time for self-pity. Keep on watching me, alright?

The twin Pokémon climbed back on Emma’s two shoulders, as she stopped briefly to address the group once more. “Hang in there! I promise, we will all get through this together!” Plusle and Minun hollowered and cried in agreement as the three lead and ran the way once more.

Following close behind, Odette had returned her Pokémon to their respective balls. With this large a group, there would be plenty on lookout, and this way the only one she need watch out for was herself. She didn't understand how the others could be so sentimental. Getting through this together? For convenience perhaps... but then she'd never really belonged with them anyway.

Sycamore had tried, to be sure. To include her in his star class, despite her following most lessons from home. To give her a starter Pokémon even, though she had refused since she already had Grace. He gave her a fighting chance. There was so much she was grateful to him for. But now, he was gone. And with him, she felt, any chance of her fitting in with his beloved students.

Anger welled up inside her more than anything. Why did Cinder strike here and now? Did it have something to do with Crimson's words? Had these people known all along, but kept her in the dark? Despite her urge to be alone, for now, she knew she would be safer off sticking with the group. If they— if Sycamore had something to counter the monstrosity that took his life, then that was undoubtedly their best bet. And so, though by now her breath felt like it was burning her lungs, Odette tried her hardest to keep up running for the Tower of Mastery.

All Mina could do was stare, shock took over as she stared at where the Professor was. He wasn't really gone, he was just transported somewhere else, right? But she couldn't deny seeing him take his last moments right before her eyes, looking over at them and... the look in his eyes was haunting, a nightmare. She heard someone call out, but she couldn't hear, all she could pinpoint was the ringing in her head.

"HAKA!" Mina jumped at the roar and sharply turned her head, yelping as she was suddenly lifted onto a sturdy back...wait... "Momo?!" Said pokemon glanced back at her before huffing and turning back foward, following after Emma. Bark! She looked down and saw Poppy sitting on Momo's head, staring back at her with comforting eyes. Why are they... Vul! Nina popped out beside Poppy and cooed at her. Are they... Blu! Pika! Mina looked up and saw Aria flying beside Momo with Electra on her back, both staring at her with the same expressions as her team: grief, horror, shock, but most of all, warmth and comfort, putting their feelings aside to comfort her!

"You're not alone sissy." Said girl looked in front of her, realizing that Rima was sitting there with her head turned, reflecting the same feeling, but covering them up. "They know you're in pain. You don't have to hide tears sis. Nii-san said that the strong cry because they've been strong for too long."

"You guys..." Mina sniffed before using one hand to place on her mouth, muffling her sobs as she hugged Rima close with the other. "He's....he's! I lost Hinata already! Then the Professor died saving us...protecting us! I can't bear losing another!"

"We're a family sissy, nii-san said that a family protects each other. Is that what we are?"

"Huh? Of course we are, just because i'm adopted doesn't mean anything." Minami confirmed, a new inspiration in her chest. "I didn't mean just us sis, everyone." She started at Rima before looking around at her old classmates, looking over each of their expressions and seeing the same feeling reflecting off their eyes in hers: sorrow and grief. She faintly smiled before looking back down at Rima, "Yeah, family protects each other..." She turned towards Aria and Electra. "Electra! switch spots with Nina so she can absorb any fires that come close to us with her ability!" Aria cooed as she flew close to Momo and let the two pokemon exchange spots, once again flying a bit further away and around the group.

Family...she though she knew what it was...after the revealing truth..she didn't know anymore, but... these people...thats what he meant...

"You always had a family, Mina. Hinata and Rima may be your biologial family, but we the class are also a family, one big and happy family." The Professor... he was the missing father figure in her life, after her father disappeared and her mother's death. He didn't leave, abandon, or mistreat them, he cared for her and helped them care for Rima when they couldn't. Whenever she was discouraged about showcase/contests, he was there to cheer her up! Hinata was frusterated with work, he was there to help out! Rima would be home alone and her or Hinata were busy, he would come and offer to watch over her! He helped them through their down and praised their ups, scolded them when they misbehaved (mostly Hinata), taught her everything he knew about pokemon, showed her the ropes of being a trainer, did his best to teach her about showcases/contests alongside Hinata... He was everything anyone would want in a father, so why...

Margarita was among the last to take off. While she wasn't numb to the events, she did what she knew best and that was to keep it to herself. Already she had acted out of impulse and the repercussions remained ingrained in her.

Pawniard was picked up, but the small creature refused to be carried and slid out of her grasp. "I'm not going to f*cking lose you again," she shot at the Pawniard, lifting him up once again.

She wished she could display the emotions and attachment the others were unfolding towards the professor. Yes, he was there for her and has witnessed her growth, and yet she could not muster the same explosive shows of affection her classmates were pulling off.

She could not. And it worried her.

Unfortunately her health was deteriorating. Running was a massive struggle, shown by being far behind everybody. Her body pulsated from the scratches and bruises, legs at times buckling under her weight and causing her to nearly fall, yet adrenaline kept her moving forward.



Jackson ran faster and harder than he ever had, his footsteps growing heavier as he held Malorie close to his chest... yet even still they didn't feel any less swift. His classmates had all but caught up now, some overtaking and running alongside him. The Tower of Mastery was slowly sinking into sight before them. The smoldering ruins lacking the overwhelming flames of the town behind them. His eyes darted back and forth down a number of alleyways.

He was desperately looking for signs of attack, doing his best to stay aware of the looming threat of darkness that grew closer in its recovery and pursuit every second. Stone archways above them, lining the road approaching the tower, began to crack and crumble behind them... there was no going back, every step a new barricade forced them onwards.

And that's when his eyes caught her.

Lying fallen and injured on an angular, jutting piece of stone... was Cynthia, the champion of Sinnoh.

Immediately feelings of disgust rushed through his bosom. Her snarky, arrogant attitude, her behaviour in the past towards the crisis of Veilstone... how she let the city go under and drop in livinng conditions and funds. Her excuses be damned, he had to live through it. He had to survive in it! His footfalls were heavier now, each step felt like an eternity. The others were more important than she was... he remembered Déa, how he had split his attention and how he had lost her. He couldn't afford to do that again. He couldn't lose Malorie or anyone else because of his arrogance.

But as his gaze caught sight of Lily, running forward with the others another memory flashed in. An image of his body broken and battered lying injured on a cold steel rooftop... and the sight of a blonde trainer dressed in black landing aside a massive dragon to save him. He made a decision on a hairline trigger. He quickly ripped his belt, holding the pokéballs of his teammates loose and he shoved it into Sycamore's bag. Malorie's eyes widened, surprised and confused... but he didn't give her time to complain.

"Sebastian!" He roared to the other trainer as yet another stone arch began to crumble above. Hoisting forward with all of his strength he tossed, Malorie screaming and reaching out to him desperately as she was launched at the other young man. There was an odd peace that washed over Jackson, one that he had never felt before... he trusted these people, the ones he had come so far with. Now as he gave them the things he cherished most in the world? He could fight on without regrets.

Sebastian looked up at the call to his name, only to see Jackson’s sister flying in the air towards him. There was no time to question Jackson’s motives, no time to stop and think; All he could do was reach out and catch the younger girl in his arms, only for Jackson stopped running. He nodded to Sebastian with resolve.. confident they would do what needed to be done... and then, the archway fell between them and Jackson was cut off from the other students be a wall of stone. Only one path remained to him now, a burning alley towards what might be a lost cause.

It was time to make good on his debts.

“Jackson…!” Sebastian called out when the other trainer fell behind. The worry that began to bubble against his chest was quickly crushed and shoved back down into the pit of his stomach: Now is not the time. If he took the time to worry, it could lead to hesitation. If he hesitated now, he would be dead-- and, more importantly, so would the girl Jackson just tossed to him. Her life was quite literally in his hands-- that wasn’t something he was willing to risk by second guessing Jackson’s intentions, not now. His arms tightened just slightly around Malorie’s shoulder as he ran ahead, cold determination had returned to his eyes. “He’ll be fine. We’re all going to make it out of this, all right? Trust me.”

"I... I..." Malorie was terrified again, she desperately looked back to the stone wall with pain in her eyes. Not him... please, not the both of them, Arceus even if this took her own life away not the two people who mattered most. Clenching her eyes shut to hold back the tears she pressed her face into Sebastian's shoulder, trying to hide away from the painful world around them. "Please... Sebastian... Please be right..."



Jackson sprinted down the alleyway, believing in his heart that Malorie and the others were safe, choosing for once to put his faith in someone other than himself. The flames were licking at his heels as the confined space of the alley sent smoke hurtling into his lungs. The burning black smoke ripped away at him slightly but he was almost there... he could see her, she was getting closer and closer. He just had to push a little longer.

Finally he burst free of the enclosed prison, coughing and spluttering roughly, a small blotch of blood spitting onto the stone floor. He moves quickly to the champions side. He shook her shoulder roughly and checked for a pulse and breath. A large piece of rock has bashed against her head, there was blood... a concussion perhaps... but she was breathing and she didn't seem to be in too serious a condition.

"Wake up... you stupid rattata just wake up!" He grabbed both of her shoulders and shook her roughly. His voice was laced with desperation and urgency, at any moment a member of Cinder could swoop in and end them both. He had left his pokémon with the others, fully aware of how stupid and reckless that was but there was no way in hell he would risk bringing them back into this hell.

A sudden crack from above, a smash and an explosion. A wayward blast of psychic energy from a far off source had smashed against the building he and Cynthia were in the shadow of. It was Shadow Mewtwo... he was already back up. Debris swiftly rained down from above, falling and collapsing all around them. Jackson threw his body over Cynthia's, a large stone cracking into his grazed shoulder and causing him to howl out in pain. He fell atop the champion's form, dazed and suddenly in a lot more pain than he was previously.

A second explosion, the buildings wall began to crumble and buckle under the flames and weight. It fell, all that remained of it fell. A cascade of stone that would crush them both. He tried to move and drag her for a split second but there was no way... he was winded and broken. There was nothing more he could do. He held himself over Cynthia again and closed his eyes, bracing for the impact. He thought of Malorie, he thought of his friends, he had falled just like Sycamore had only his sacrifice here had been for nothing. He was sorry... he panicked, wished he could see her one last time, that person that mattered the most to him.

Stones crashed on the floor around him, shattering agost the cobbled streets, splintering into stone shards and concrete spikes... but the major impact never came. Confused, he slowly opened an eye and looked upwards... before both of his eyes shot open in shock and amazement.

"G-Gaspar...?!"

Hovering over him was a single, almost transparent Haunter. Every aspect of the pokémons being was poured into its spectral hands, they gripped onto the stone as every other part of the pokémons body was nearly flickering out of existence. He had been hiding in Jackson's shadow, as he always was, as he always would be. He would never let him do something like this alone. "Y-You have to let go!" Jackson tried to move but it almost dazed him, a sudden, dizzying sensation causing his head to spin. "Y-You'll drain yourself... there'll be nothing left...! Gaspar, let go! It's okay!"

"N-N..." A sound echoed from the wavering form of Jackson's partner. An echo of the past, the remnants of a ghost types forgotten life. They shattered and screamed as Gaspar pushed himself further and further, almost entirely dissipating from the realm of the living. "NOOOO!"

Like a sharp wind Jackson was draged towards Gaspar slightly, the smoke from the surrounding fires began to coalesce like a great vacuum. They wrapped and weaved like a tornado around him, forcing their way into his body, settling around his eyes and mouth. A pitch black shadow, they refilled him, refueled him... and then some. Gaspar's body began to grow with the smoke, shadowy tendrils reaching out and connecting his arms to his floating body, piercing downwards into legs and striking upwards into horns. As the deluge of toxic energy settled it suddenly burst outwards like a great beacon of light. In that burst of radiance, Gaspar held the wall aloft with one hand, the other reaching downwards and gathering the excess shadow into an orb of glowering rage. Thrusting forward, Gaspar cried out as he crashed the shadow ball into the stone wall before him, crushing and shattering it with his newfound power.

"GENGAR!"

The bricks and debris of the falling building shot outwards and fell harmlessly to the floor... and Jackson looked up in awe. Fully formed and full of energy and vim, was Gaspar reborn. The horns and legs filled out into a single rotund shape, a dark purple body that teemed with ghostly energy, the toxic smoke emanating from the burning buildings seemed to twist and turn to his command. Jackson was stunned and overwhelmingly proud at his partners final form, gritting his teeth through the pain and grinning he quickly stood. There was no time to rest, not yet.

With Gaspar's help, Jackson quickly hoisted Cynthia onto his back as his partner returned to his shadow once more. Now the shadow of Jackson was truly altered by Gaspar's appearance... rising from the silhouette were vein like tendrls that sprawled across the floor, the shadow's head was glowing with two aggressive, red eyes and occasionally a shimmering white smile would strike out against the night sky. Jackson himself turned his eyes towards the Tower of Mastery again, where he was sure the others were waiting. Nodding down to his partner he took off as best he could, carrying the unconscious Cynthia with him.



Emma had eventually arrived nearby the Tower of Mastery, with the twin Pokémon already awaiting her there. She stopped for a few moments to catch her breath. This seemed like the place to rendezvous... she then turned to once again address her fellow classmates: “Everyone! Over here!” she shouted and waved.

Avril looked up in the direction that Emma had been calling out. Much like the rest of the city, the Tower of Mastery was no longer a shining beacon of Kalosian architecture. The once tall and humbling tower was now merely a platform with crumbled walls surrounding it. The pathway leading to the landmark was littered with flaming mounds of rumble, offset by shards of broken glass that had once been the breathtaking stained glass windows. Even the imposing, yet inspiring statue of the Mega Lucario was gone, completely obliterated in the chaos that had been Team Cinder's assault on the city. Only the base and what looked to be a section of the Aura Pokémon's foot looked to be intact.

"...This is where we're supposed to be going to?" Avril questioned, the girl finding herself in a bit of doubt over the situation. Her voice was shaky as she spoke, the fatigue of the long night starting to truly set in. "We're pretty much out in the open like this."

"Can you stand on your own?" Laurent softly asked Avril, hoping not to draw any extra attention. Avril nodded in response and once Laurent hadmade sure she could stand without further assistance, he set Avril on her own feet and locked his gaze on the tower. "The city is in burning shambles...the Arena seemed the safest place left and it was overrun even with all of us there... With Shadow Mewtwo around it seems there aren't any safe places left in all of Shalour to hold out. If that's true then what's the quickest, safest path out for us?" He didn't seem to be speaking to anyone in particular or maybe even at all, but the words came anyways along with the furrowed brow and hand to the chin.

Upon catching up, Odette had to lean her hands on her knees to catch her breath. Listening to everyone, she looked around to get her bearings, searching for a way out as Laurent had requested - but truly, this far away from the city proper, there didn’t seem to be a way out.

“Over... the water...?”

She barely managed to get the words out, but her voice was too quiet... and thinking about it, crossing the sea would likely leave them even more vulnerable.

Mina looked over hearing Emma's voice and saw the Tower of Mastery, or what once was the tower. "No way..." She couldn't believe that this was the tower, it had been around for so long and one attack caused it to fall? "How powerful is Team Cinder..." Mina pointed towards the Tower as she told Momo where they were heading and said pokemon growled before moving towards the rumble.

"Sis, where is the Tower? Nii-san said it was here." mumbled Rima as she looked over the rumble, looking for the Tower of Mastery. "This is the tower Rima, or what's left of it..." Mina moved her hand towards where Emma was, waving at them with a Plusle and Minun at her side.

With both Caius and Kaito riding atop Phi, it didn’t take long for them to catch up with the others. The blazing steed neighed a long neigh as it stopped short of the Tower of Mastery, planting her feet firmly on the ground to allow the trainer pair of Caius and Kaito to hop off her back.

Before catching up with the others, the two had spent a great deal of time cleaning up house. In addition to eliminating the cloned Pokémon that lay wandering in the city, they also helped in subduing Cinder grunts under Gabriel’s command. It was the least they could do to aid their companions in the plaza, some of whom confronted Gabriel head on while others nursed a wounded Professor Sycamore back to health.

Professor Sycamore. It hadn’t been long since he perished, and the memory of his death still lingered in everyone’s minds. For Caius, it hadn’t quite sunk in that he was gone. Or perhaps it did, and he was just keeping a lid on his emotions. Ever since the explosions went off, it felt as if the world he knew crumbled along with the city. It was as if rose-colored glasses were stripped suddenly from his very eyes, and what he saw now was pure, unadulterated reality. The shock left Caius speechless.

Wordlessly, he joined up with his classmates who were all huddled around what was left of the Tower of Mastery. His expression at that moment in time may have been distant, but underneath the surface, a determination to carry out the professor’s plan burned inside of him. He was sure the others felt the same way.

Last, but not least, Margarita reached her colleagues after much haste. She allowed for Pawniard to welcome the sand with his own two feet, determination replaced by worry for his trainer. Eelektrik was familiar with the faces surrounding them, just as frantic and beaten as them. But Pawniard, unfortunately, could not identify these individuals. Instead he began to mentally ingrain their faces.

As the group arrived, Malorie put a hand gently on Sebastian's shoulder and helped herself to the ground. Her legs were shakey and his body was the nearest available support, but she had to be strong right now, for Jackson, for Augustine. Shuffling her way towards the others, she reached for the latch on Sycamore's bag. Inside of this... was their salvation. It had to be, the only way of saving them now was tantalizingly close to her grasp. Taking a deep breath, she swiftly lifted the cover.

And her heart sank like a brick in the ocean.

A blue coloured flute, decorated with a few small carvings. She frantically dug into the canvas hanging at her side, desperately looking for something else... a pokéball, a device, a radio to call someone who could help. There had to be something... anything! She fell to her knees in the center of the tower, her eyes wide and frame shaking with terror. There was nothing there, nothing at all that could help them. It was a lost cause... it had all been for nothing. "No... no no no... please..." She mumbled, as if begging the reality before her to change, to no avail. She held the flute almost lifelessly, raising it from the pack with disbelief.

Suddenly, a large shattering noise erupted from across the bridge. Stone flew haphazardly aside as the rubble had been cleared by a wave of that dark pokémon's hand and the strange flute fell from Malorie's frightened fingers, all but forgotten.. Shadow Mewtwo stood on the road leading to the connecting bridge of the tower's entrance. He had found them... it was too late.

The light in the pokémon's red eyes dulled as it raised a hand skywards... a black, rumbling orb of raging aura appeared. The very air seemed to lose its luster, an aura of palpable despair surrounded the corrupted pokémons body. That single attack could level the entire tower even if it still stood, every single person there was suddenly made aware that they were staring into the face of their ending, their death. It was over. They had lost.

Mewtwo lashed its hand forward and the orb hurtled towards the Aquacorde students without remorse.

"Protect them! MERCURE!"

Spoiler:

Before the impact came a massive silver pokémon dashed in front of the blow and caught the sphere in four outstretched arms. A metallic screech echoed through the early morning sky as the sun rose and a light sparkle of light clung to every inch of the pokémons body. With immense psychic power it held the aura sphere in place in front of it, its body creaking and groaning under the weight. The pokémon was familiar to the students, in a way... it was a Metagross, evolved to a higher form, but different to the one they had seen before. Its colours were altered and the aura they exuded was almost blinding.

Steven Stone slowly limped from a side passage connecting to the road that Shadow Mewtwo had marched down. His left arm and leg looked severely injured and were dripping with blood, his right temple leaked crimson down his face and his posture inferred an extreme amount of exhaustion. Still, he stood as tall as he could, his eyes flaring with determination as they shone with prismatic light.

The students stood frozen, hopelessly stuck in place while they watched the wounded champion stand tall even in the face of the living calamity Team Cinder had brought down upon Shalour. Even those who wanted nothing more than to jump in and help him couldn't seem to move, their minds racing for some way, any way to improve the situation.

"You can't give up... none of you! Do you hear me?!" Steven called across the chaos, his voice reaching each and every one of them. "Even when all hope is lost... even when there's no way out... never... NEVER, lie down and accept it! Fight to the end with all you have!" He slammed his good fist into the wall and reached deep into his gut for his next few words. Crying out with all that he had to try and reach them, not just so that they would hear, but so that they would really listen. "That's what it means... to be trainer!"

Mercure the Metagross began to shudder and groan under the weight of the aura sphere he held back. There were only a precious few moments remaining until he was blasted aside, until the story really did reach a bad ending. Steven's words ran through the trainers like a lightning bolt, jolting life back into limbs and spurring to action survivors who had been little more than statues mere moments ago.

Laurent found himself running forward before he even realized it, utterly in spite of his all-encompassing fatigue or the burning in all his muscles. Bernard followed suit, not hesitating to fight hell itself alongside his trainer and their hero... only for that trainer to stop dead so suddenly he nearly faceplanted. Rolling by just a few feet in front of Laurent was that same flute Malorie had found inside Professor Sycamore's bag, the bag Agustine had said held their salvation! Laurent dived straight for the flute in desperation, only managing not to fumble and drop it because Bernard lurched forward behind him and slipped a vine under his stomach before he hit the ground, lifting the trainer up with the flute clutched in his hand. There was nothing else it could be, their last hope seemed to be this insignificant little thing. On second glance it was more of a whistle than a flute, it had no holes to play notes, only a single mouthpiece... attached to the side of the blue metal shaping was a small note, a scrap really, with a single piece of nonsensical text.

XD-001.

The sound of another explosion blew away any chance of ruminating further on the meaning of the designation, accompanied by the sight of a limp, unconscious Mercure sailing overhead and crashing into one of the tower's remaining walls. No time to think. Laurent brought the flute to his lips and took a deep breath, memories running through his mind of sitting in the dirt by campfires late at night and playing the pokéflute alongside Bernard and his Grass Whistle, of summoning forth a melody to soothe Odette's raging Rhyhorn when it threatened to destroy the pokémon race back in Cyllage...his first home. When he finally began to release that breath into the mouthpiece, the flute sang a gentle, caressing melody all its own, lilting along as if brought about by the memories that accompanied it, yet far purer than they could ever hope to be. Like magic, the artifact in his hands played a song he had never before heard.

Spoiler:

Runes all along the flute glowed with a soft, relaxing light even as the last of Laurent's breath traveled through it. Even after everything they'd been through and with all the carnage still surrounding them, not one person who heard the music could help feeling some of their stress, anger and fear peel away. In fact, Laurent felt so relaxed...it was like all his strength had left him. His legs went limp beneath him and he fell onto his rump, feebly clutching the flute and unable to summon the strength for anything else.

Shadow Mewtwo took a few more steps forward, intent to finish his mission once and for all... but found himself stopped with surprise as a single drop of rain fell upon his dark skin. Then another... and another. Within moments clouds had swirled around the city of Shalour, a storm of dark, billowing shapes rained down their torrents onto the fires of the city. The flames were buried in a deluge of liquid, the water refreshing all it touched as with it came a great wind... like a force beyond nature it, swept through the city, crashing into and ripping rubble from the floor, pushing it to the edge of streets, saving those trapped beneath.

Still some distance away, Jackson stopped in his tracks as he ran desperately to the tower, the water soaking his hair and drowning the flames that so desperately tried to leave nothing but ashes. Above the city, the maelstrom of clouds continued to form, a single blinding light appearing in the eye of the storm.

"W-What the hell is that...?"

Malorie gasped for air in her weakened lungs as she stumbled forward, her body unable to take the stress and panic anymore as she sobbed and choked for a moment, the rain drenching her hair and clothes. In a tired desperation she turned to Shadow Mewtwo, expecting him to still approach... but he did not. His eyes were glued skyward, facing the light that now descended. It coalesced and reformed... into a winged form that roared loud enough to reach across the entire West coast of Kalos.

And like a dart it descended.

Spoiler:

Shadow Mewtwo's eyes widened and it was caught off guard as, like a bullet, a massive white pokémon crashed onto the remains of the bridge of the Tower of Mastery, curling a massive wing inwards it crashed its weight into the dark Pokémons body. The impact was enough to send Mewtwo scattering across the streets of the town behind it, smashing through the walls of buildings and grinding against the cobblestones as it struggled to get its bearings. With a loud groan of pain it finally struggled to its feet on the floor a few city blocks back. Gritting its teeth in anger it looked back along the path of carnage it had been forced through.

Only to see the roaring form of Lugia rush towards it once more.

“That’s incredible...” Emma could only mutter in observance. “I’ve only seen it in books, but to see one up close... the legendary Pokémon, Lugia...” Plusle and Minun had both of their mouths open in bewilderment and amazement.

So, this is the secret weapon the professor was referring to. But, I just hope it will be enough... She thought to herself as she looked back towards everyone else. Everyone... if only there was something I can do for them...

"Oh for psyduck's sake. I don't even know what's going on anymore," Margarita mumbled in response to the non-stop barrage of events. She did not bother to understand what was occurring before her, aware that doing so would only pull her down into a deeper migraine and confusion. "Nene," she suddenly called out to the bewildered Pawniard, never having seen such a creature. Her voice grabbed his attention, already worried for her well-being. "Don't. Don't try anything. Okay?"

Tch. Ai. The response was forced out, frustrated he was unable to give aid or lend an extra pair of blades for their safety.

At the back of the group, Odette's eyes had gone wide, just as nigh everyone else's. A second humongous Pokémon had descended to do battle with Mewtwo? This could be even more dangerous - and while they were in the Tower, they were all but trapped. Slowly making her way backwards, to the exit, without ever taking her eyes off the monstrosities in the air... until she reached the opening, and dashed out with all the strength she had left to muster.



Jackson's feet pounded on the pavement as he carried Cynthia on his back. "Psyduckin' hell... what do they feed champions anyway?!" The sky above was surging white and black as above his head two legendary pokémon were clashing.

Lugia's roar pierced the sky once more, creating a shockwave that raced through the city and sent the young man stumbling to one side with the sheer force of its voice. He had no idea what it was, but as soon as that music stopped playing it had crashed into the city like a great wave. The power it radiated was almost equivalent to Shadow Mewtwo in pure intensity, the aura of strength that pulsed off of its body was oppressive and almost choked him as he watched it.

The pokédex called it "Lugia" and said that it was a flying and psychic type pokémon... but it had no information besides that. No move listings, no statistics, no lore entries, nothing. It was almost completely unknown bar the bare minimum. That alone was enough to convince him that this pokémon was nigh godly, if everything else wasn't already enough.

Another roar echoed, followed by a great crash, Jackson ran just a little faster as an explosion struck the ground behind him. Looking over his shoulder quickly he saw a torrent of air beyond any level of wind imaginable. It was glowing with aquamarine energy and laced with sparks of white light, it cut through the ground like a concentrated hurricane and deep in its core Jackson saw the form of Shadow Mewtwo, even that unbelievably powerful pokémon struggled to take a knee in the overpowered storm.

"Nope...! No time to stick around for this muk!"



Mewtwo's eyes flared and shuddered with dark energy, the power increasing crystal buried in his shoulder by his creators was burning with orange light. It hurt, it hurt so much that it made him stronger, angrier. He had no idea what this creature was, this force of light that had come to stand in his way, they had trained him to be the ultimate life form. He had never expected that any pokémon could possibly be his match.

So he decided, it wouldn't be.

Focusing its energy, Mewtwo rose from a kneeling position, caught in the midst of an aeroblast forcing him down. He used his psychic energy to boost the strength in his muscles, rising inch by inch, his hand upheld a quickly splintering psychic shield, desperate to protect himself from the oncoming deluge. Finally, finally he stood, his eyes cracking with splintering, bloodshot veins as he tried to maintain himself. He gathered every ounce of power he had, concentrating it into a focal point of force. He would win this. He would kill this pokémon and everyone else!

In that instant he shot up from the ground, forcing his way through the great white pokémon's attack and with a black, psychic force he gripped its neck, choking it and cutting off the wind echoing from its gullet. With the wind suddenly stopped he moved faster than even he had intended, crashing into Lugia's stomach with overwhelming force and causing both pokémon to shoot backwards like a meteorite.

They crashed hard into the tower of mastery, just behind the Aquacorde trainers, Mewtwo's body sprawling across the tower floor mere feet from them while Lugia scattered across the surface of the ocean... sinking beneath the waves until the surface went still.

As the students were left in shock, the unbelievably powerful force out for their lives so close to them, Mewtwo slowly attempted to drag itself to its feet. It stumbled and fell against the rubble of the tower, victorious in its battle but at the edge of its life. Flecks of crimson embers began to slowly float from its body as it started to fade away like every clone before it. Its mind raced with panic, its body tightening with fear, it looked up to the airship and cried for aid, it begged its masters to save it.

...and to the dismay of all they answered.

A blinding prismatic light pierced the storm as from the bridge the glow of mega evolution erupted... and a similar aura swiftly surrounded mewtwo. It howled in pain as the light surrounded it. The crystal in its shoulder sunk into its skin and with a sickening crack divided in two. From both shoulders now, horns of yellow crystal rose. The points on its head grew sharper points and they too began to take on the appearance of the crystal, the tip of its tail too began to glow that same shade, its body hardened and solidifed, muscled tightening and reforming as an all two familiar prismatic light overtook Mewtwo's body. Lines of orange traced its body like veins as the light erupted outwards and the dark pokémon roared in triumph.

Spoiler:


It had mega evolved.

Effortlessly it rose a hand and every pokémon and human on the platform bar itself felt their entire body lock up, psychic energy crushing them inwards slowly. The sheer power radiating from Mewtwo at this point was almost beyond mortal comprehension. Mewtwo relished in it, its already immense strength multiplying tenfold as it took the time to slowly, slowly eb away the lives of those who had dared to stand against it. It had defeated them, despite all their efforts it had still won, there was a mad look in its eyes... a mixture of satisfaction and pain, physical and emotional. It poised its fingers to crush inwards, about to crumple all of their bodies into useless lumps.

When a burning light caught its attention at the last second.

The rain increased in intensity, battering down on everyone as a great storm. Mewtwo, enraged, dropped the now coughing and gagging trainers and pokémon to the floor. He turned to look at the ocean to see a gathering point of blue and white light, the water itself raised upwards into a swirling whirlpool that connected the ocean and heavens... in the center the light crystallized and formed a single point. A symbol emblazoned upon it echoed outwards, the unown symbol for "Gamma".

The light erupted outwards and like a mega evolution of its own, the crystalline shell of light fell apart and faded away, as the water dropped back to the ocean Lugia was there. That same symbol was emblazoned upon its chest, its wings erupted with greater size and force, covered in mystical symbols of air, its tail extended to a sharp point equipped with more protrusions with which to swim through sea and sky, every muscle on its body was toned and poised and the area around its eyes burned with a dark blue light that soared outwards and traveled around its body. With a single flap of its mighty wings the ocean roared, waves crashing against the walls of Shalour, rooftops from building came loose and scattered to the sky. It was all the students of Sycamore could do to hold desperately onto whatever they could to remain in place. Though he tried to hide it, even Mewtwo in his new form was forced to take a step back in the face of this power.

Though he had never encountered such a thing, a memory echoed in his mind, the memory of his progenitor... of Mew whom he had been cloned from. This power... this was Primal Reversion.

Spoiler:


Opening its maw wide, Lugia concentrated his power to a single focal point, the oceans themselves seeming to gather to its call. Until with a forceful cry it unleashed another aeroblast, its power enough to cut through mountains.

Spoiler:

In a panic Mewtwo quickly gathered its hands together and forced them forward, channeling every ounce of power its new form could offer. It shot forward with incomparable strength. His Hyper Beam shattered the sound barrier, ripping through the fabric of reality as it rushed forward, colliding with the aeroblast directly. Both beams locked together and the very world itself was shrouded in light, only vague black outlines remained visible as the overwhelming power of the two pokémons battle began to shake the foundations of Kalos itself. A desparate struggle that tore up the surrounding terrain.

Emma has been quietly listening and watching the battle unfold. Was she really powerless? Was there really nothing she as a detective can do? No... maybe not as a detective, but...

She soon closed her eyes. When she opened them up again, her expression changed to a serious, driven look. She then suddenly began to step forward. “...Stay back, everyone,” she warned the others. Plusle and Minun stepped forward to her side as well, but Emma shook her head at them. “Don’t follow me you two,” she warned them. The two cried after her, begging to follow her, but Emma simply smiled and continued on.

Okay Emma. You’ve been saying over and over that you want to protect everyone, but deep down, you yourself hadn’t gotten the courage and confidence fully yet. Well, tonight this all changes. Because you’re a detective... no. It’s not simply because I’m a detective this time. This time, it’s because I simply want to protect all that is dear to me, Emma Kuzunoha. As a person... as a student... as a trainer... as a friend.... and, as a sister.

One of Emma’s pokeballs opened up from her bag. Released, was surprisingly not Drago... but, it was Vida. Vida the Roselia greeted Emma with a warm, yet equally determined expression. “Vida...” Emma said to her. “...You’re with me all the way, aren’t you?” Vida replied with a smile and a small display of pedals it released. “You and I are so different, yet... we both have the same feelings. Odd, but... I couldn’t of asked for a better partner.”

Vida then hopped on over on top of Emma’s handbag, signalling for something. “You mean...” Emma recognized. Vida nodded as Emma nodded back. She then took out something from her bag. It was a small, glowing yellow and white stone... it was the same stone she found a bit earlier. “The Shiny Stone...” Emma commented. Vida looked on at it. In an instant... her life with Emma seemed to be telegraphed to her. Emma was reluctant to have such a silly and carefree Pokémon like her at first, but overtime, Emma warmed up to Vida, through Vida’s kindness and appreciation for life. She had always been at Emma’s worst moments, even when she evolved to Roselia for the first time, when Emma lost all hope. It was through her that Emma learned one important thing. To make your life shine for others.

Vida then reached out to touch the stone, smiling at Emma as she started to envelop a bright light. The light grew brighter as her body started to morph and change. She grew taller, and her flowers started blooming. With the light’s release, and pedals raining down, she had evolved. Into a Roserade.

She and Emma approached the situation together. “LEAF STORM!” Emma shouted. Vida leaped, releasing an even more powerful barrage of leaves... right towards the Shadow Mewtwo.

"What... what the hell are you doing...?" Avril whispered as she stared at Emma and her newly evolved Roserade in disbelief. The girl wanted to reach out. She wanted to grab Emma and drag her back towards the others. Her body wouldn't respond, however. Avril was helpless to do anything as she watched the detective and her Roserade throw themselves into the battle head on.

The petals slammed against the side of Mewtwo's head. A light annoyance, these children were nothing but a light annoyance... but so persistent. How dare such a small and insignificant thing stand on his battlefield, on the stage of Gods?! Eyes near bulging out of his head with rage, Mewtwo swung a hand towards Emma, glaring at her with unbridled rage. A large chunk of stone from the towers rubble launched forward, carried by the winds and psychic energy it hurtled, colliding with Emma's whole body, sending her sprawling helplessly across the ground.

“KYYUHAAAA!!” she screamed in pain. Blood spewed from her mouth, as her Pokédex and Holocaster were also caught up in the collision, both smashed into large bits. She almost flew entirely free of the platform, sent skyward through the winds and to an untimely end only for her arm to be grabbed at the last possible second. Sebastian wasn’t even entirely certain how he got to the edge of the platform: He watched in horror as Mewtwo raised his hand towards Emma, a boulder lift upward, and suddenly his body was rushing to the edge of the platform without permission from his mind. Then he was here, his chest pressed flat against the cold ground as he clutched onto Emma’s wrist. “Emma! Hold on!” He called as he pulled her back onto solid ground, and then into a tight, shaken embrace. “Stay with us...Emma, please ...stay with us.”

Mewtwo looked on in even greater anger than before, leaning back, he used a hand to try and disrupt the trainers further... but he hubris had finally gotten the better of him. With only one hand to withhold the hyper beam, Lugia had gained ground quickly. With a final roar of triumph it focussed its power to a singular point and amplified the aeroblast with every ounce of its power. Mewtwo, shocked and terrified with the sudden looming presence of mortality, quickly moved its hand to his beam, desperately trying to force the incoming attack backwards.

But alas, he was too late.

A sickening crack and roar of pain echoed across all of Shalour City, Shadow Mewtwo desperately held its hands up over its face, trying to protect itself but failing miserably. The winds tore through its body, breaking away at its crystals and slicing away at his limbs and form. Red and orange embers scattered through the air, the only colour visible against the intense light.

"G-GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!"

His arms flaying outwards Mewtwo's form began to erupt into light, pieces of its falling away and dissipating into shreds of energy. It screamed, it tossed, it glanced one final time up to the airship for aid... only to see the machine re-engage its cloaking device and begin to move away. They were running.

They were abandoning him.

A single tear fell from his shocked eyes and his form finally gave way, his entire body swallowed by those blasting winds. The last of his embers scattering to the sky. Until the beam dissipated and all that remained were crimson ashes, hanging in the space where Mewtwo had once been.

And just like that... it was over. Shadow Mewtwo was no more. The flames dissipated as smoke rose into the sky, blending in with black clouds that drenched the ruins of Shalour in rainfall.



As the tumultuous noise of the clash at the tower seemed to die out, an eerie silence fell over the city. While the sound of burning could still be heard as a continuous buzz, it felt as though everything else came to rest. Finally, the terror of the night had passed.

Odette’s pace had slowed to walking when she got far enough from the carnage. Her lungs were still burning, causing her to cough occasionally, which in turn made her look around in case anyone or anything heard... but it seemed the city by now was abandoned. Inhabitants were evacuated, and the perpetrators fled. At this point, all Odette wanted was to get away from it all, too.

Until she heard a cough that wasn’t her own. Instantly gazing in the direction of the sound, she ran into an alleyway - and was immediately taken aback by what she saw. Sprawled out atop a pile of wood and brick rubble, was a man with bright red hair, wild like a lion’s mane. His body was bruised and battered, and his clothes were covered in burns and filth. The Champion of Unova was lying here, unconscious and defeated.

“… Alder?

Recovering from the surprise, Odette gingerly reached out a hand to try and shake the man awake. He didn’t respond, but thankfully she could see his chest rise and fall at least. Looking over his body, she noticed the man’s hand was clenched tightly, seemingly protecting its contents with all his might. A Pokéball was clearly visible, which Odette carefully pried from his grip.

Calling out her Grace to be safe, she threw the ball up into the air. And without fail, Alder’s Volcarona was released into the air. Immediately, the giant moth frantically searched for its trainer, and unleashed a furious cry when she saw his collapsed form with Odette next to it. She braced herself for an attack, but before it could, Grace stepped in, taking a brief hold of the Volcarona’s body with her Psychic power, before explaining the situation to it. Once her hold released - seemingly without harmful effects at all - Volcarona angrily hovered closer, but abstained from attacking.

“Volcarona… Alder is hurt, but he isn’t—“ Odette changed her mind about finishing that sentence, in case it would anger the Pokémon again. “Can you carry him to safety?”

With another loud cry, the Pokémon seemed responsive to that suggestion. Odette and Grace approached the Champion once more, the latter quickly using a move on the man to ease his suffering. Upon seeing Alder glow as Pain Split affected it, the Volcarona protested, but Odette simply lifted her hand to silence it. Afterward, the pair carefully lifted Alder up towards Volcarona, who wrapped him in silk to carry him safely.

With a sigh, Odette stepped back from the fiery moth, and watched it rise into the night sky. At that moment, a pang of jealousy and frustration shot through the girl’s mind. She was nowhere near the level of a Champion’s power. And yet, Team Cinder had managed to beat down even them.

Plumes of smoke rose high, and the smoldering remains of Shalour City were as a scar on the face of the Kalos region. This day, the skies had cleared. The evil had retreated. But what if next time, it would come back even stronger? What if Cinder couldn’t be defeated— what were they to do then?

Female
CET
Seen September 12th, 2019
Posted April 5th, 2019
77 posts
2.7 Years




The Aftermath
Shalour City
The smoke rising from the city of Shalour clouded the night sky, making it impossible to see the stars that had been out mere hours before. The Tower of Mastery, the landmark piercing the sky upon her arrival, had crumbled to naught but a pile of rubble on the Shalour peninsula. Odette had returned to the spot from which she first beheld the tower. She thought a vantage point might be useful to determine the best way to escape the city. After planning out a route, she resumed her path.

Unsurprisingly, the events of the day still weighed heavily on her mind. How could everything have gone so wrong in such a short time? So much destruction, so much loss. It was as if, from the end of her battle with Crimson… wait, could that have been the catalyst?

She quickly shook her head. Of course not. This attack was clearly orchestrated. How else could such numbers of Cinder grunts have descended upon the city - not to mention unveiling their ‘trump card’. Thankfully, that threat had now been dealt with… but the cost had been too high, and Odette wondered just how easy it was for them to whip up a monstrosity like that.

Her train of thought was interrupted by a voice from the side. She jumped a little, readying a Pokéball in case she was to get ambushed by enemies again, but there was nothing to be seen.

“O’er here…”

Hearing the voice again, she was better able to pinpoint its location, and her eyes focused on a collapsed house on the other side of the street. There was rubble strewn about everywhere, roof tiles in the front, as a large wooden beam supporting the roof had been split in two. It lay over the rubble in two pieces… but Odette suddenly noticed two legs were sticking out from under it.

She approached, and was surprised by what she found underneath. A girl, about the same age as her, had her leg crushed under the weight of the wooden beam. Most striking about her however, was clearly her black and red uniform. She was a Cinder grunt.

Odette considered leaving, but along with the anger she felt came a sense of uncertainty. Cinder had attacked the city, and Professor Sycamore had paid the price to keep them at bay. And yet, even now, she was left wondering about the words of Crimson. She was after Jackson and Emma for some reason.

“Wait a sec… Yer the one… that fought Crimson, ain’tcha?”

The crushed girl suddenly spoke up. Odette met her eyes warily. For some reason, that made the girl pull a slight grin - though she instantly regretted it as a coughing fit came over her. Odette crossed her arms, looking down on the other girl, waiting for clarification.

The Cinder grunt spit to the side before continuing. “Yeah… I heard what she said ‘bout you. Potential, she called it, right? That’s real good, y’know… ”

“Cut to the chase, will you?” Odette spewed, feeling about ready to crush this woman a second time.

“Geez, calm down, aight? Look… how about we help each other out? If you can get me out of this mess, I can pull some strings with my superiors, ay?”

Odette didn’t look impressed, so she continued. “The Cinder Admin took a real interest in you, right? Don’t you wanna explore what that meant? I’m sure you’ve seen today, just—“ she coughed again loudly, “just how powerful Team Cinder can be, ay?”

Being reminded of Crimson’s words once more sparked something inside of Odette. She had potential supposedly - even more so than the ones Crimson had been pursuing. Even more than her classmates, whom never bothered associating with her much. Who had all been Sycamore’s favourites… and thanks to whom, she couldn’t help but think, he wasn’t here anymore.

A slight darkness fell over Odette’s gaze. Gripping the Pokéball in her hand, she slowly made to release Grace from her Pokéball. “A promise is a debt,” she began, keeping her eyes locked on the other girl’s. Upon being released, Grace looked at her trainer confusedly, wondering why they were talking to someone like this - but she trusted in her trainer, and obeyed the command that followed without delay.

“Come, Grace, let’s help our new friend out, shall we?”

With her Psychic power, Grace lifted the rubble off the girl’s body effortlessly. She crawled out from underneath, clearly in pain, to which Odette extended a hand to get her on her feet. The girl accepted with a grin, but quickly dug in her pocket, to press an ID card into Odette’s hand as she took it. The latter was puzzled momentarily, but soon nodded in understanding, before pulling her up.

“Here, y’can have this too,” the girl said with another grin, pulling out a Hyper Potion from her bag immediately after. “For yer trouble.”

Odette rolled her eyes, but took the gift without complaint, stashing both away safely, before the two continued on their way.

Jay

R I S E

Age 22
Male
Ireland
Seen 5 Days Ago
Posted April 7th, 2019
766 posts
4.7 Years




Route 12 & Coumarine City

Stage 21









The City where Bay and Butte are Bound.

A glistening gem of a bay, marked by a grand ocean beyond. The city of Coumarine stands strong as it accepts refugees and the injured into its halls after what the world is now dubbing "The Great Tragedy of Shalour City". Though the two cities were often divided by tradition versus technology, none can deny the warmth in the hearts of Coumarine's residents as the city built by the waves accepts all who need succor.

This too includes our heroes, battered, beaten, bruised... but alive. They have taken a period of two weeks to recover if injured and to otherwise pursue goals around the city and the presiding route, route 12. The lush connecting route between Shalour and Coumarine is now serving as a passage for rescue workers and the injured, migrating under strict surveillance and protection for the international police, the Kalosian police force and the three champions whom survived the assault. The local skiddo and gogoat ranch has been offering great assistance as well, ferrying the injured and delving into the ruins to aid in rescue efforts.

Still, the adventure continues, even as the world is reduced to ashes... like a great bird of flame, our heroes must rise to continue their journey, knowing that someone looking down would want nothing less. With a new gym still open and a contest said to take place soon on the bay's very own S.S. Aquapolis, the opportunities to proceed and grow are stronger now than ever.

The Journey continues!



Wild Pokémon Available this Stage / Level 44-46:




Pokémon available with the use of a Great Ball or Ultra Ball / Level 48:


Pokémon available to those using a Good Rod / Level 44-46:


Pokémon available to those on Mission 1 / Level 45:




Missions:

[OPEN] ★ Mission 1:
The Coumarine city gym is resplendent with flora, a massive topiary garden built into a huge greenhouse. Even the official gym symbol seems to be grown from a hedge, mounted proudly above the rotating doors. Inside one can find a veritable paradise for pokémon, advanced technologies catering to their needs and assisting the plants in their growing. In truth it is a fantastic blend of man and nature working together to make something great. The last leader of this place, Ramos, has since retired to his home overseas... and his replacement is the pokémon box admin of Kalos, Cassius! "No, seriously!" Put on your game face and get ready to battle against his technical approach to battles... and maybe walk away with a badge for your trouble?
Reward: 1 x Plant Badge + TM Grass Knot

Mission 1:
The Baa de Mer Ranch on route 12 is having a bit of a problem at present, their prized Gogoat has fallen under the weather and all other fit pokémon are aiding in the rescue efforts at Shalour. Why is this a problem? Because their stuck up Zebstrika riding rivals from Unova have arrived to make a race challenge at the worst possible time. A one on one go around the track... maybe you and your pokémon could run on the ranches behalf?
Reward: 1 x TM Agility

Mission 2:
The rescue efforts in Shalour City have been proceeding nicely for the past two weeks, many items and lost pokéballs have been recovered from the wreckage and returned to their owners and trainers... though there are yet more expected to be inside and every day a guarded convoy moves along route 12 to deliver the salvaged goods and pokémon to Coumarine. Today however, there are one truck too many for the current forces to guide along the road... with wild pokémon being extremely antsy after the Tragedy of Shalour, a strong escort is needed.
Reward: 1 x Poffin Baking Kit + 500 Poké

Mission 3:
A titanic bug type clash is occurring! An extremely large Heracross and an equally big Pinsir, clearly the leaders of their hives, have taken a major disliking to each other. Both have stumbled across the same honey slathered tree and neither wants to give it up without a fight... if this continues, someone travelling the route could be hurt!
Reward: 1 x Bright Powder + 3 x Honey

[CHOICE]Mission 4:
A bunch of slowpokes with pounding headaches are sitting in the middle of the road. They can't be budged and are making it awkward to traverse the route normally. They say there's a herb that grows in the water nearby that can help with head pains... but at the same time, it might be easier to battle them and knock them out. Set them aside that way and their heads will subside eventually anyway.
Reward:
Find the Medicine: 3 x Lum Berries
Battle the Slowpokes: 2 x Revival Herbs

[MULTIPLE REWARD] Mission 5:
A fishing contest has been approved to go ahead by the Kalosian Government to begin raising funds for the restoration of Shalour City. For a small entry fee of 500 poké you can rent a fishing rod and take a small dingy out to the waters around route 12. Those who bring back the biggest hauls will win some serious prizes too! Not to mention those with pokédexes and thus, functioning trainer IDs, are allowed to keep whatever they catch, should they not want to release it after.
Reward: 1 x Good Rod OR 3 x Net Balls OR 1 x Sea Incense

[OPEN] Mission 6:
In the city of Coumarine many people and pokémon are injured after fleeing from the Tragedy of Shalour. Everywhere the eye can see someone is hurting and in need of trouble... as the embers from the clone pokémon have lead to a terrifying new illness, appearing in those who inhale too much of the substance. Dubbed "ash rot" the disease causes severe coughing, physical weakness and a paleness of skin. The effects seem to vary from pokémon to pokémon, though they can be affected too. Doctor's and Pokémon Center Attendants have arrived from across Kalos and beyond to administer a special dose of medicine developed to combat the threat... they need help however, to see that it's distributed properly.
Reward: 1 x Ash Rot Medicine + 2 x Full Heals

Mission 7:
A large pipe in the bay has been clogged by a sludgy, oily substance. This channel is necessary for allowing water from the connecting river to flow out into the ocean safely. Leaving it unchecked could lead to flooding on a large scale and the last thing people need is another ruined city. Authorities have been enlisting trainers for aid and a young man with striking green hair has answered the call, claiming he can talk to the alolan form pokémon causing this mess? Weird, but whatever is going on maybe you can lend him a hand?
Reward: 1 x Plasma Zoro-Amplifier (A device that allows a pokémon to disguise as another pokémon, akin to a Zoroark. The transformation will only last an hour and the device becomes useless after a single use.)

Mission 8:
Oh the humanity! The fantastic and fabulous outfit for the upcoming contests guest judge has gone missing?! The stylist is in tears, the hairdresser is hyperventilating and seamstress is unconscious in the back room. The ensemble was last seen by the window... where a strange singing was heard. Was it a pokémon? Who knows but someone HAS to find the outfit in question or jobs will be lost and the contest itself will be a mite less fabulous than it would have been otherwise.
Reward: 1 x Amulet Coin





Leader Pokémon:
TANGROWTH
  • Grassy Terrain
  • Giga Drain
  • Power Whip
  • Toxic
  • Sunny Day
  • Stun Spore
    Ability: Leaf Guard

LEAFEON
  • Leaf Blade
  • Sunny Day
  • Grass Whistle
  • Synthesis
  • Last Resort
  • Swords Dance
    Ability: Chlorophyll

TROPIUS
  • Solar Beam
  • Leaf Storm
  • Sunny Day
  • Air Slash
  • Dragon Dance
  • Dragon Hammer
    Ability: Solar Power

Gym Gimmick - Roulette Battle:
Cassius' gym is a test of luck and skill. Participants in the battle are required to bring as close to a full team of six pokémon as possible to the league battle, with their pokémon boxes checked by Cassius' beforehand to ensure they aren't trying to cheat the rules. Once this is done the battle begins, both Cassius and the trainer are told by a computer a random pokémon on hand to send out to battle! No switch outs are allowed in this battle, the trainers must use only the pokémon assigned to them in a given round. If a pokémon is victorious in a round, there is even a chance it will be selected to fight again in the next, still in its weakened state.

The battle will be a best of three rounds scenario, the first trainer to win two spins of the roulette wheel is determined the victor. Will your team be balanced enough to work under pressure? Or will you be forced to put your faith in lady luck and hope for the best outcome? On the battlefield surrounded by topiary gardens you will find your answer!

Leader's Tactics:
Cassius' pokémon are all designed around a specialized and specific strategy, each one benefits greatly from the sunlight thanks to their specialized abilities and no matter what the wheel selects, Cassius is ready as each pokémon is capable of setting it up. With the sunlight capable of retaining between rounds this becomes a strategy that allows Cassius to maintain an edge in a battle based so heavily in chance.

With significant bulk and the ability to wear an opponent down with toxic, Tangrowth is also protected entirely from status effects himself when the sunlight is shining. Leafeon is a full force frontal attacker, it's speed doubling in sunlight... it can be a nightmare to even land a hit before it strikes with a swords dance boosted leaf blade. Finally, Tropius might just the ace in the hole, bred selectively by Cassius himself, Tropius is capable of harnessing the power of dragons to boost his speed and attack... before delivering a devastating Dragon Hammer, the rare move surprising most challengers. Not to mention, a solar power boosted solar beam for those who doubt its ranged capabilities.

A well planned out strategy devised to weight the dice in his favor... can our heroes overcome the odds and take a victory (and the prestigious plant badge) home?


Jay

R I S E

Age 22
Male
Ireland
Seen 5 Days Ago
Posted April 7th, 2019
766 posts
4.7 Years


Current Team - Jackson:

The Proving of Malorie Crane - I
Coumarine City - October 17th - 9:30 AM




"Fire Fang!" Jackson's voice echoed over the empty hillside overlooking Coumarine City. His arm was bound roughly in a white sling that held it close to his chest, while his free hand held a cigarette still burning in the other. His outfit was significantly different from before... his old clothes had been ruined beyond repair by fire and ash and were it not for a gift from a surprise benefactor he would have had to head onto the streets of Coumarine in tatters.

The new outfit was a gift, given to him to replace his old outfit. Malorie had insisted of course, that he not return to his journey in rags. Black pants, a black vest and a black coat over it all. The only splash of colour visible was a light blue shirt that he wore beneath it all. According to his sister, the shirt was supposed to be bound with a black tie... but the overly professional look irked him. So he left the shirts top button undone and left the tie stashed in his pack. Either way, regardless of the style, it was nice to have some warmer clothes with the colder weather sweeping in across the country.

Spoiler:

From behind, a rather angry Heracross charged at Jackson's back, its horn poised to pierce the young man from behind. The moment before it connected however, a shadowy hand rose up and gripped the blue bug's weapon tightly. A low cackling was heard as Gaspar slowly rose up from Jackson's silhouette, his new form as a Gengar much more easily manipulating and shaping the darkness around it. With a screech of glee he tossed him upwards and rammed a shadow punch into the heracross' chest, juggling it with the impact, before pulling back and setting the toxins in the arm ablaze. The dark limb burst into fire and as the Heracross fell, Gaspar slammed his hand downwards, slamming his opponent hard into the ground where it lay motionless.

Up above, spinning like a whirlwind, Wave dove into the tall grass, her wings coasting along the green blades as she moved in on her target, another wild heracross that had picked a fight. In a blink of ones eyes she snapped from one side of the opposing pokémon to the other, her wings glowing with a brilliant light. Jackson noted how much her speed had improved, as even the heracross took a second to register what had happened... before the pain caught up to it and it immediately fell unconscious to the ground. Wave simply took to the sky and began to survey for her next target.

Before him, Fang had now dug his teeth into the horn of an enemy pinsir, they errupted with flame and heat that spiraled upwards into the air. As ever, Fang was a showboater, but his power had been increasing considerably to the point that he would periodically outpace the other members of Jackson's team. Fang dug his claws into the ground, his short, canine fur made it easy to see as the muscles in his frame tightened. With a heave he hefted the pinsir off the ground, rearing onto his hind legs before slamming downwards, driving the pinsir into the dirt with another burst of flame.

Teddy and Petal were working together... Petal at present was the weakest pokémon on Jackson's team but he believed in her potential, especially with how well she and Teddy worked together in a doubles format. When he fought with her, Teddy was more serious than before, Jackson had noted. The normally cute and vacant expression of the bear became protective and serious, every strike Teddy made was targeted, each attack was made with confidence and precision. There was no more uncertainty.

Jackson found himself reminded of the tower of mastery... and their battle against the old teacher. Even in the face of a Mega Banette, Teddy had lost that uncertainty that had clung to him for so long. Over his time, Jackson himself had started to develop a sense for it, he could feel the potential of a pokémon for battle... it radiated off of them like some sort of energy. When he focused his gaze he could see it... and when he looked at Teddy it was stronger than anyone else on his team. The raw essence of potential in the Teddiursa, just waiting to be unlocked... Jackson was more determined to find it than ever.

A second pinsir charged at the pair of small pokémon and they stood ready for orders. "Both of you, roll to opposite sides!" Immediately they responded, each darting a different direction to avoid the bug types charge, leaving the wild pokémon to sprawl forward and stumble slightly. "Petal! Stun Spore!" Leaping into the air, the petilil spun its body around to release a shower of pollen. With a flick of her leaves she sent it flying onto the pinsir, which now groaned and shuddered as it tried to move its locking limbs.

"Teddy, Fury Swipes!" The little teddiursa charged in quickly, swinging its claws rapidly and striking into the opposing pinsir with vigor. His claws struck thrice, before the pinsir broke free and moved to retaliate... as it did so, spores of petal's stunning powder fell from it onto Teddy and the tiny bear pokémon quickly shivered and locked up under the effects of paralysis.

The pinsir chittered in glee, using the opportunity to poise its mandibles for a devastating crunch around Teddy's form. Jackson wasn't worried however, as so far the battle had all been going according to plan. "Now Ted! Hit 'em with Facade!" Immediately Teddy's paralysis seemed to break for a moment, his eyes arm tensing with power as he rushed forward and drove his tiny fist right between the pinsir's eyes. The bug type, too stunned to even vocalize a response, was sent launching backwards, tumbling and rolling, dragging through the soft earth beneath it before it slid to a slow and painful stop, utterly defeated.

Their enemies now defeated, each of Jackson's pokémon moved to stand beside him again, each of them beaming with pride. Even Teddy slowly stumbled back into the group, his body twitching occasionally with paralysis. Still, he grit his teeth and grinned up at his trainer. Petal in response squealed in worry, forgetting the dangers of their shared strategy. Shaking her body once more, she released a delicate floral fragrance with a new move of her own, aromatherapy. Taking a deep breath, Teddy took a deep breath, seeming to feel better as his muscles finally relaxed. Smiling brightly, he pats his little paw to Petal's head, leaving the grass type to shake herself again in denial, her face darkening to a deeper shade of green.

Jackson quickly fell to one knee, using his good hand to gently pat each of the two in turn, causing them to smile up at him, pleased. "The two of you really worked hard t'past two weeks... gotta say I'm proud. I told ya y'could get stronger Ted... and now you're practically a pro!" He grins and gives a thumbs up, the Teddiursa looking at him in awe before quickly puffing out his chest and giving his best thumbs up in response.

"Impressive, heh... you just keep rising the bar higher you know?" The familiar female voice caused Jackson to turn around quickly, to see Malorie climbing the hill towards him.

"Mal... what are y'doin' out here?" Jackson stood up fully and rubbed the back of his neck a little awkwardly. Things had been hard since Shalour, for both of them, apart from clothes shopping and meals even the two siblings had barely spoken a word. The same thoughts hung heavily on their minds... the loss of Augustine Sycamore, who was in essence an adoptive father to them both. With him gone, there was no longer anyone awaiting them at home... nobody there but the lab assistants for when Malorie went back to Aquacorde. It dug into her heart like thorns, they both knew that, that going back home after all of this would be the worst blow of all.

That's why Jackson hadn't questioned her staying in Coumarine with him for a time, as everyone from the incident caught their collective breaths. He knew how much it would hurt to walk back through those doors knowing that the professor would no longer be there to greet her.

"I needed to talk to you... about what to do now." Malorie responded at last, as if during the momentary silence she could read his mind. "Jackson... I know we haven't talked about it, I know it's hard to face what happened... but we-"

"That's enough Mal." Jackson cut her off, his eyes now glued to the floor below him. His heart wrenched at even the mention of that painful truth, the reason he was now training so hard. Even two weeks later, it hurt too much to acknowledge the truth. "...what is there to discuss? He made a choice he had to make, he trusted us to pick up the pieces, that's all there is."

"...and you're right. That's all there is. We have to pick up the pieces Jackson, we do." Malorie spoke with an uncharacteristic determination and a hint of desperation, large enough for Jackson to take notice. "That's why... I want your blessing. To go forward and prove myself, to you, to Avril, to... to Augustine..." Jackson's eyes widen as she reached into her bag and produces a small black and red device... a pokédex. "And for myself... I want to go back to Santalune and-"

"Absolutely NOT!" Jackson feels his blood boil at the very notion of what Malorie is suggesting. "You saw what those monsters did... what cinder did!" Jackson's pokémon collectively look at the floor, Gaspar gazing sadly up at his trainer from the young man's shadow. His voice is strained and almost manic, as if Malorie's desires offended and hurt him more than losing Sycamore itself. "...I have, Jackson... I have! I looked at it all, everything they've done... I saw it firsthand...!" Malorie retorts, taking a step forward, her voice shaking, but her resolve remaining strong. Jackson grits his teeth and waves his arms out as if to gesture to everything around them, using the carnage of the past and present as justification enough to counter her argument. "You say you know that but how could you ever expect me to agree?! To let you go off on your own, to travel the same paths that the others and I have? Knowing the dangers how could you ask me to risk you like that?!"

"Because I was powerless! Brone, I couldn't do anything don't you understand?! I sat there in that tower frozen, terrified, even when Champion Stone called out I couldn't even bring myself to reach for my pokéballs... I couldn't defend myself and if I had been alone... if I had been by myself... I would have died, I would have died right there." Tears are streaming down her face as she calls out to him, her words a vessel for her emotions, clawing at Jackson to try and make him understand. "Everything Augustine sacrificed... I would have made a mockery of it in an instant because I was locked in fear... I want to go fight the gyms, I want to meet pokémon and make friends like you have... I want to grow into the person that you and the professor have been fighting for me to be... the reason you've come this far I want to make it real! Please, Bronze, please listen!"

"Urk..." Jackson froze, listening to her words, her impassioned speech. Back when it all began... when they first came to Kalos together. She was right, he had left on his journey and learned to be a trainer for her. To pay back the professor for the medical expenses he had given her, to support his sister himself without having to rely on him. With his death, he hadn't realized how much of a purpose he had lost. Part of him wanted to cling to Malorie and never let her go... once again she had become the only family Jackson had left.

After Déa was gone... after Augustine was gone... he had Malorie, he was holding her like a precious charm. He was unwilling to let her go because... because...

If she was outside of his reach, if he couldn't protect her, then he was nothing.

He clenched his fists and grit his teeth, Malorie watching him sadly with bated breath. His pokémon still waiting solemnly by his side, unsure of what to say... all of them bar one that is. Petal slowly waddled her way over to Jackson, gently bumping into his leg to grab his attention. Eyes filled with anger and sadness he moved to glare at the small pokémon only to find her smiling up at him. Her eyes closed with contentment, like she knew everything would be okay. Jackson looked then at each of his other pokémon in turn, each one, even Gaspar, was gazing at him with concern... with care and with love.

They were right, of course, as they always tended to be. This was his duty to her, this was his job as her big brother. Even if it hurt, even if he was afraid, when all was said and done... Malorie was right, this was the future he had fought for. He just had to keep fighting, for her, for Augustine, for the others. That was his purpose now, that was what the professor had entrusted him to do. It was about time he got started.

"I-I'm sorry... I've upset you, but I-"

"The taller hill, do you see it?" Jackson cut Malorie off with a line that confused her. He watched as he glanced to the largest hill insight, one overlooking the whole city of Coumarine below. "I... Yes, but why-"

"Meet me there in an hour. No more questions." Jackson returned all of his pokémon bar Gaspar, who settled in the trainers shadow as he immediately started to walk away. "B-But... Jackson I-" Malorie began, but a stern glare from her brother silenced her quickly, causing her to purse her hands awkwardly as he walked further away.

She didn't understand, but she trusted her brother more than anyone. If he requested her at that hill in an hour, she would go. It hung in his voice, that serious intonation that told her something that both encouraged and frightened her both.

Jackson had made up his mind, all she had to do now was go and hear her answer.



Spoiler:
BADGE CASE:



Spoiler:
INVENTORY:

1 x Pokédex
3 x Poké Ball
1 x Old Rod
1 x Metal Coat
1 x Black Holocaster
1 x Cinder Uniform
1 x Retractable Skates

250 x Poké

TM CASE:
  • TM Bug Bite
  • TM Dig
  • TM Ice Beam
  • TM Nasty Plot
  • TM Ancient Power
  • TM Power Up Punch


Spoiler:
Current Outfit:




Magnificent Magilou

Perfalmost Victory!

Age 33
Female
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
750 posts
9 Years
Avril Morris
Couramine City
Chapter 21-1 | Change Part I
















Current Party:



It had been two days since the events that rocked Shalour City. Despite the chaos and the fires that turned the once thriving city into chaos, the people were able to come together and were already starting to rebuild. A gentle breeze blew through the air, carrying the scent of the sea with it. Avril set quietly, taking in the scenery before her atop a grassy hill. The sounds of squawking Wingulls and reconstruction filled her ears, performing some kind of enchanting symphony.

"Are ya really sittin' out here again...? Ya know, there are a lot more comfortable places ya could take a breather," a familiar voice said, taking a seat beside her.

"Yeah, well.. I like coming out here," Avril reasoned, shooting a smile towards the girl beside her. Robin tilted her head in confusion. "It's nice to come here and just... get away from it all."

"I guess I can't blame ya there. After that mess we went through, it's nice to just come out here and relax," Robin said. "And yet..."

"Yet...?" Avril questioned, turning to face her sister properly.

The blonde's eyes widened in surprise. Robin's eyes suddenly turned lifeless, her face covered in blood as she reached out and grabbed hold of Avril by the throat, squeezing the air out of the poor girl as she gave the younger Morris a look that could kill multiple times.

"YOU LET ME DIE! WHY DIDN'T YOU SAVE ME?! WHY?"

Avril managed to pull away from Robin, the blonde scrambling to try and find somewhere, anywhere she could hide. She quickly turned, her eyes widening at the sight before her. The city of Shalour was completely engulfed in flames, with screams of death and pain filling the air.

"Are you really gonna just run away and hide again...? Man, you really are a useless rattata huh..." Avril froze at the sound of that voice. Her eyes widened as she found herself staring at the smirking expression of Gabriel Artece. He casually twirled his gun around his index finger. His eyes were twitching with anticipation. "What happened to that bravado you were showing earlier? You were gonna psyducking kill me, remember? Now I make a special trip out here and see you shaking and cowering...? Biggest let down of the century."

Avril froze up. The girl's mind was racing She needed to do something. She had to get up and attack or run... but she couldn't move in the slightest bit. Gabriel laughed as he slowly pointed the gun down towards Avril, taking the safety off in one fluid motion.

"Well... I was hoping for more of a challenge, but... I guess this is all I get," the man sighed.

"Avril, watch out!" another familiar voice cried out.

Before she could even process what was going on, Emma had arrived. The detective quickly shoved Avril out of the way, making herself into some sort of human shield. Gabriel didn't seem to mind this change in events however. His gun hand remained steady as he raised the weapon to Emma's forehead... and then a shot rang out.


Avril eyes snapped open as a blood curdling scream escaped her lips. Her body was trembling as she sat up quickly, taking a look around at her surroundings. The walls were pale white, with the bright glow of the moon streaming forth through a nearby window. The room was quiet, save for the small set of beeps coming from a device nearby the bed where she had been resting her head. Her eyes narrowed in the darkness, taking into view the girl that currently rested inside the bed.

Emma still hadn't woken up since the disaster at Shalour City. The girl put everything on the line, essentially sacrificing her life to make sure that the rest of her fellow trainers would get to live. Through some act of Arceus, the detective had managed to survive. Avril was incredibly thankful for that fact. However, it was a fact that did little to ease her pain, especially with the knowledge that while Jackson, Laurent, and the rest managed to get out of this situation with little sacrifice, others weren't so lucky.

Mina had lost her brother. Avril really didn't know the girl all that well, but she was sure it was a wound that would leave a scar on her heart for years to come. They had never found a single trace of Korrina. The gym leader probably took it upon herself to try and help as many people as she could, to try and protect her city the best she could. In the end however, it seemed like her dedication to those of her city was her undoing. Her grandfather had managed to survive. Avril hadn't seen much of the old man since she and the others were all transferred over to Couramine City, but she had overheard his ramblings in that he was sure Korrina was still alive. Avril didn't want to break his spirit. There was no way that she was still out there alive, especially several days after the Cinder assault had occurred.

Professor Sycamore... gone...

Robin... gone...

Lulu... gone...

Victoria... gone...

And now Emma...

Avril returned her focus to the detective. "...It's not supposed to be like this, you know. You're smart... and talented... with so much potential as a trainer and as a detective. So why... why are you the one laying there in this condition...? Why aren't you waking up? We're supposed to take on the league together... support each other through our journeys! How are we supposed to do that if you don't wake up?!"

Of course, Emma says nothing. Avril knows it isn't her fault. She knows that what happened to Emma could have happened to anyone. Despite this, it frustrates Avril. It makes the girl want to through her head back and scream to the heavens, cursing Arceus or whatever is in charge of fate for putting her and the others through this. Yet, she can't... Avril simply can't find the energy or will to cry, It hasn't helped her so far... and it probably wouldn't help Emma at this point either.

"...I need some fresh air..." Avril determined.

She turned to her Pokémon, all of whom had been keeping her company for the most part. Shino was settled in the corner of the room, with Mint pacing around back and forth. As expected, Marble had practically been glued to her trainer's side. Radar... had come and went. The Noivern didn't seem to like being cooped up indoors for too long, so Avril had taken to allow him to get out at night and stretch his wings. She trusted him to come back every night...and so far he had. She offered her team a small nod and started to make her way towards the door. A sudden grip on her hand stopped the trainer in her tracks, the gentle and concerned eyes of her Flaaffy locked onto her own. Avril sighed, kneeling down towards sheep Pokémon.

"Look, I'm only going to be gone for a bit okay? I just need a few minutes to myself," Avril explained. "You guys need to stay here in case Emma wakes up, make sure that you can get the doctor or whatever if I'm not back." Marble remained adamant, however. The Flaaffy had been quite clingy ever since the events in Shalour, not that Avril could actually blame her. Despite having evolved into a Flaaffy since joining her team, it was easy to forget that Marble was probably the youngest member of their little band. Avril wouldn't have been surprised if there were some lasting emotional trauma from it all. Avril smiled weakly and nodded. "Alright, alright... You can come with me, okay?"

This seemed to brighten up Marble's spirits greatly. The little orb on the tip of her tail began to glow brightly as the sheep Pokémon mewled happily. Avril gave her remaining two Pokémon a quick order to keep watch of Emma, before heading outside into the starry night sky with Marble by her side. Marble placed her hand inside of Avril's as they walked, a trend that had become quite common for the Flaaffy over the passing weeks.

"It's only been a few days since all of this happened, but... it already feels like a lifetime ago," Avril thought. "So many lives disruppted. So many snuffed out in a single night... We survived, but... there's still a lot of questions we don't have answers to..."

Avril closed her eyes, taking in the gentle seabreeze as the gentle sounds of crashing waves reached her ears. How did this all manage to happen? How did Team Cinder manage to become such a threat while harnessing powers like that of Shadow Mewtwo...? Avril was never really all that knowledgable to the inner workings of organizations like that. She had heard about incidents involving similar gangs such as Team Rocket and Team Plasma. Still, Cinder seemed to be on an entirely different level. This naturally brought other thoughts to the girl's mind. Shouldn't the police and other law enforcements be on their trail a bit more thoroughly? This wasn't exactly Cinder's first terrorist attack. After all, there was the incident back in Shantalune Forest. The ruckus they caused back in Lumiose was also enough to garner some attention. Yet months later, they were still running around and causing this much havoc without so much as a slap on the wrist in return. What about Cynthia, Alder, and Steven? Three champions were in the region, and they didn't even seem to be all too concerned about the threat that Team Cinder was causing... at least, not until it was too late.

The more Avril thought about it, the more frustrated she grew. Things weren't supposed to be like this. Herself, Emma, Jackson, and the others... they weren't supposed to be dealing with this sort of threat. They were supposed to be learning more about themselves. They were supposed to be experiencing what the world had to offer while finding their place in it. Not worrying about some mass of terrorists led by a psychopath and who knew what else!

Marble seemed to notice the tension growing within her trainer. The Flaaffy let out a soft mewl, slowly reaching up to pat her trainer's hand and offer some form of reassurance. However before the pink Pokémon even got the chance to try and comfort Avril, a crashing noise reached both her and the trainer's ears. They both turned to what appeared to be the source of the sound, their eyes widening at the sight that came before them. A trash can had toppled over... and in front of it...? A panic-stricken man... in a black and red suit.

Pudding

[ alegría ]

Female
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
375 posts
2.9 Years

Margarita Fas


"AGAIN."

The tree before them endured another slash from Pawniard, wood shavings and pieces scattered in its vicinity from the beating.

"AGAIN."

Without delay her partner did as was told. Larvesta watched from afar, a cozy nest built from webbing embracing the two eggs.

Unfortunately Eelektrik had not recovered. The poor eel now demonstrates random episodes consisting of tremendous fear, squealing and unresponsive to outside stimuli unless reassured by Margarita herself. Furthermore, anything can set these moments off; anything frightened the Eelektrik.

"AGAIN." The repetitive training continued for another hour. Pawniard at first refused to eat, but the burning sensation from the pits of his belly convinced him otherwise. He devoured the meal within seconds, returning to the slashing without her guidance. "Okay. That works too."



Margarita indulged in her power nap under a tree, body twitching from time to time, dreams attempting to control her body.

The dreams would morph into nightmares, eventually jolting her awake. It was almost always accompanied by a scream, one that would wake her companions.

She sighed upon their worried gazes. "Sorry guys. Don't know why you won't just return into your pokéballs," she mumbled, massaging her exhausted face.

Memories of what transpired weeks ago refused to leave her be, reminding her of how weak she has grown to be.

"Muk!" The curse startled her team of two, who watched her trainer suddenly kick the dirt. A dustcloud was created, prompting Pawniard to wave it away and Larvesta to sneeze.

Pawniard, her trusted comrade criticized with a rough rude tone of voice, surprised she hasn't recovered as quickly to the events as he had. Larvesta carefully reached Margarita, providing her warm fur as a pillow for comfort.

Eeeee, eh, he grumbled, unable to muster the courage to cuddle up to Margarita despite desiring the affection. It's something he secretly desired, yet refused to admit aloud. Unfortunately Margarita wasn't one to show much affection often.

Margarita spiraled down the dark abyss of her thoughts, her head now plopping on to her open hands as arms rest on her knees. "Psyduck me."

Aaaa niiiaaaa, mocked the soldier, much to the annoyance of the fire bug. Flames spat out from Larvesta's horns.

The two proceeded to enter a long bickering session, to which Margarita ignored as she drowned in her self-pity.

She was tackled to the ground, breath squeezed out of her as both her bag and metal rod landed far from the two bodies, one of which belonged to a classmate whose name she hadn't bothered to remember.

"Why did you do that?!" Margarita had shrieked, voice trembling with pain and guilt. The words had slipped out carelessly out of her refusal to accept she had messed up. Thanks to her stupid act she was not only saved, but had forced another to place themselves in the path of danger. One of which they miraculously avoided.

Their blood splattered, managing to cover the crimson-haired woman.


"Why did you do that?" she murmured. "You idiot." The memory was one of many that replayed like a broken film.

Margarita sighed yet again, hands sliding down as she clumsily stood up. The two pokémon paused. "I'm too tired to worry about this."

But from those memories she recalls the fighting spirit the others demonstrated; her rescuer had the balls to go physical despite the risk he had taken with Margarita.

"Ugh. I need to get better. I need to... ugh. Muk- HEY!" she blurts out, a tinge of fear piercing through her at the sight of Larvesta turning to check on the eggs further off. Pawniard retorted, seeing her paranoia as a weakness. Meanwhile Larvesta felt sympathy, understanding why.

Margarita never found Deino. And it broke her. She could not let another disappear on her accord.

"Forget it, uh... nah, you're right Nene. I have to get my muk together." Her pokémon weren't the only ones who had begun training; Margarita grew inspired seeing her savior punch the face of evil whereas she remained frozen. Like a coward. Unfortunately her own training wasn't quite showing promising results. Taking headbutts and punches were painful, not to mention how weak she realized she was upon exercising.

At one point she gave up, annoyed by the soreness and bruises she was attaining. Yet the nightmares were a reminder of the reason she had begun her own transformation into a stronger person.

"Come on," she spoke to her duo, "help me out before I regret starting training again."

She wanted to be somebody worth saving this time.

ShinyDiamond

The Other Promise

Male
Twilight Town
Seen 2 Weeks Ago
Posted May 11th, 2019
2,696 posts
8.6 Years
Dust Fabre

Shalour City - Cinders
Location: Streets
★ Mission 1 - Survival & Aftermath


Inventory
Spoiler:
1x Pokédex
5x Pokéballs
1x Super Potions
1x Pile of Cloned Lucario Ashes
1x Lucarionite
500 Poké

Pokémon
Spoiler:
Nyx
Rozu
Val



"Val, Agility!" Dust shouts out to Val. She charges forward at incredible speed, closing the distance between her & the 2 Skuntanks & Drapion. Both Skuntanks quickly spew out a smokescreen, covering the field in a dark cloud of dust. "...Hit 'em with a Metal Claw," Dust is undeterred, crossing his arms as Val slashes her bright claws at one of the Skuntanks, landing a hit & going after the other one.

"Bite!" One of the Skuntanks manages to dodge Val's Metal Claw in time to deliver a counter attack, biting down on Val with full force. "Now throw it in the air!" Taking hold of Val with its teeth, Skuntank flings her high in the air, leaving Val vulnerable. "Cross Poison, Drapion!" Drapion crosses its arms as a purple glow shines through its claws. It leaps towards Val & throws its claws out, landing a direct hit at her. She hits the ground at great impact. These Pokémon were too strong, even by themselves. Too many of them, it leaves little chance of success. A mere second later, Dust catches a Skuntank throw its claws directly at him. He just moves aside out of reflex. These Cinder Grunts were serious. They don't play fair to begin with, so why should he? The Skuntank continues to throw Fury Swipes at Dust, who tries to keep his footing at he dodges its attacks. He glances over at Val, who gets up all bruised & bloodied.

"Rrr…! Screech, Val!" Dust shouts with intense anger in his voice. Val looks at Dust, who gets pinned down by Skuntank after. Wasting no time, she screeches with all her might. The Skuntank gets caught off guard & wails in instance pain of the noise. Dust doesn't have any luxury, unable to cover his ears so he's forced to take the pain. That doesn't stop him from breaking free. Now standing, he distances himself from Skuntank, taking out Nyx's Pokéball. "We need backup, Nyx. I hope you're okay to fight." Hoping for the best, Dust throws the Pokéball, from which Nyx emerges. Fear was all over his face. Guess he still hasn't forgotten what he felt earlier. "Nyx!" Dust shouts, getting Nyx to focus. "Go help Val!" Nyx, taking in his surroundings, catches sight of Val, who's dealing with Drapion still. He could still sense that...thing, but it doesn't seem to be that close. Still, the situation wouldn't cut him any slack. He uses Quick Attack to knock Drapion away from Val. Val is already at her knees, but is still willing to fight. Dust would send out Rozu to even the odds, but he was still too beat up from fighting that Lucario. It's too late to heal him now. They'll give him no time to do that.

"Give it up, kid," one of the Grunts scoffs, "you're doomed to die. More of us are already on their way here. You got no chance." That wasn't good news. They could barely hold their own against these Cinder Grunts. Anymore is suicide, & as much as Dust wanted to beat the crap out of them for one serious reason & one ridiculous reason, he can't afford to die here.

"Then I guess I gotta finish it here."

"Like hell we're gonna let you escape!"

"...Wanna bet?" Dust's eyes under his hair stared intensely at the Grunts with malice. The Grunts went silent. Those eyes weren't normal, & they suddenly feel pressure all over their body. It's as if he was some kind of demon.

While he may not be able to take his sweet time beating them to a pulp, one good clean punch for each of them was would have to do. He just has to make sure they feel it. "We take out the Pokémon, then we go after these guys. We're ending this now."

"D-don't get cocky!" They send their Pokémon at Dust & his Pokémon. Nyx & Val use Night Slash & Metal Claw respectively, knocking them back. They waste no time to retaliate with full force. Time was short. They win now, or they die.

-

Some Cinder Grunts arrive on the scene. What they found was 3 bodies unconscious on the floor. The area was covered in burns, ice, & broken gravel. Dust was nowhere to be found.

Elsewhere, at an unknown location in Shalour City, Dust is limping, keeping his balance with one arm against a wall. He returned Nyx & Val to their Pokéballs; they were to beat up that they needed rest. Dust didn't have enough healing items to heal his whole team, & the Pokémon Center was clearly not an option. "I can't let them find me..." Dust, covered in blood & his jacket with torn slashes, breathes heavily. He keeps limping, hoping that he could make it out of this alive. He trips over some rubble, falling to the ground with little resistance. "I can't die...I can't..." He held on for dear life, his conscious slowly fading. "Damn it..." The last thing he could hear were footsteps, right before his eyes close.

-

"Ahh!!" Dust screams abruptly, as if he woke up from a long nightmare. Was it a nightmare. Breathing heavily, he looks down, only to find he was on a bed. He looks around, their were other people here too, injured or otherwise. It then dawned on him, what happened at Shalour City, happened.

He almost died.

"Are you well?" Someone spoke up next to Dust. He looks over to find a Doctor looking at him. He doesn't answer. "Right now, you're in Coumarine City. We're taking in any injured into our care, any survivors of what happened at-"

"Who brought me...?" Dust interrupts, looking at his sheets.

"Huh?"

"Who brought me here?" he repeats.

The Doctor scratches his head. "That...someone dropped you off here. We don't know who." So if those weren't Cinder Grunts he thought he heard, who was it? "Right now, you should get some rest. We're tending to your Pokémon right now."

"..."

"I need to see to the others. Don't exert yourself." The doctor leaves Dust's side, making his way to the other patients.

All that was going through Dust mind was the events that transpired that night. So much desctruction everywhere. Is this really what this world is coming to? They think they can cause pain cause they can? He punches the side of his bed with full force, then pulls his arm back from the sudden pain. He was not in the best of moods, & taking it out on the bed was all he could do to quell his anger. Never again does he want to be left for dead again. He would have too many regrets if he were to die too soon.

"They better be okay..."

Spoiler:
Dust received
1x Pile of Cloned Pokémon Ashes
500 Poké
1x Ice Stone

Magnificent Magilou

Perfalmost Victory!

Age 33
Female
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
750 posts
9 Years
Avril Morris
Couramine City
Chapter 21-2 | Change Part II
















Current Party:



"Well... muk."

A look of annoyance graced the Cinder grunt's face as his eyes came to rest upon Avril and Marble. Even in the dark of night, Avril was able to tell exactly who he was. That said, he wasn't the most impressive looking of the organization, even for a low-ranking member. His hair was an absolute mess, with dark circles under his eyes making it clear that he most likely hadn't had a decent night sleep in a while. His suit was an absolute wreck, with his tie loosened around his neck and his jacket looking quite a bit torn and dirty looking.

"...What... What are you doing here?" Avril finally managed to ask, her eyes not leaving the sight of the Cinder grunt for even a moment. "Haven't you all done enough as it is?"

The Cinder grunt raised an eyebrow. "Done enough...? What are you..." He paused, a wry smirk quickly taking form on his lips. He started to laugh as he quickly realized what the girl was talking about. "Oooooh, I get where you're coming from... You must mean how we completely leveled Shalour, am I right? Oh, man... that was a night to remember!"

Avril's eyes narrowed. This man... Had he been in the city during the Shalour incident? It was quite possible that the average citizen wasn't the only person to be displaced...

"Let me guess... You must've been there too, right?" the Cinder grunt asked. He chuckled before she could even respond "Well, you must've been... Otherwise you wouldn't have been able to tell just who I was so easily. So, how were you involved? Maybe you were one of those fools who had to runaway in fear? Were you one of those brave and daring trainers who stood and tried to fight like it was your last night on Earth?"

Avril again didn't answer. She could feel her anger boiling just listening to the man. The blonde was doing little to hide her emotions over the matter, a fact the Cinder grunt was able to once again tell with ease. He sighed as he took a moment to straighten his tie before running a hand through his hair.

"Again, it's not really important. I could care less if you were there that night or not, but... truth be told you might regret the fact that you didn't die there that night..." the Cinder grunt mused. Avril watched as the man reached down and took hold of a pokéball from his belt. With one fluid motion, he tossed the ball-like device forward and unleashed a Mightyena out onto the street before him. "You see, I'm kind of on the run right now. I've got a couple of cops looking for me and I can't let anyone know where I am... No witnesses... You know how it is, I'm sure."

Without waiting for a command, the Cinder grunt's Mightyena suddenly ran forward. A deep snarl escaped the canine-like pokémon as it suddenly pounced, jaw opening wide as it prepared to take a bite out of Avril. Thankfully, her Flaaffy appeared to be completely focused. A loud yelp of surprise echoed out into the alley as Marble suddenly jumped in the way of the attacking Mightyena, slamming her tail down into the skull of the dark-type pokémon. Avril seemed to snap out of whatever trance she was in, her eyes widening to the sight of Marble taking a protective stance in front of the trainer.

"Well, well... it seems like that thing isn't just a pet..." the Cinder grunt smirked. "Well, it's gonna take more than that to stop us! Mightyena, attack with Take Down!"

The Mightyena charged forward and slammed its body into Marble with great force. The Flaaffy staggered back, a pain-filled mewl escaping her lips as she struggled to keep her balance. The sheep's eyes narrowed at the Mightyena, before she suddenly dashed forward herself.

"Marble, use your own Take Down!" Avril shouted.

The Flaaffy slammed her body towards the Mightyena. The dog-like pokémon managed to dodge with ease, however. It quickly hopped back before leaping forward towards Marble as she recovered from her missed assault.

"Fire Fang, now!" the Cinder grunt ordered.

Heat poured from the Mightyena's mouth as it snapped it's sharp teeth around Marble's arm. Once more Marble wailed in pain, the sheep struggling to try and pry it off of her.

"Marble, Thunder Shock!" Avril called out.

Marble unleashed a sudden jolt of electricity, surprising the Mightyena in the process. The pokémon was not expecting Marble to attack at such a close range like that and it quickly fell back in response. Marble's assault didn't end there, however. She quickly slammed her tail into the side of the Mightyena, knocking the pokémon back even further. The grunt seemed to be losing his temper quickly. His smirk had disappeared as a look of annoyance returned once more.

"What the hell are you doing, Mightyena! Get it together and use Crunch!" the man barked.

The Mightyena staggered forward, taking a moment to steady itself before it suddenly launched itself at Avril's Flaaffy yet again. Marble didn't seem the least bit concerned however, nor did Avril. It was clear to see that the Cinder grunt was expecting the duo to be easy pickings, and the fact that they were fighting back had clearly taken him by surprise.

"Marble, Thunder Wave!" she quickly ordered.

The orb on Marble's tail began to glow as sparks of electricity began to surge around it. A wave of electricity quickly shot forward, wrapping the Mightyena in a powerful wave of static. The Mightyena let out an annoyed grunt as its limbs began to grow numb, as if every movement it tried to make was taking the utmost of concentration. The Mightyena growled in frustration, its long, black hair standing on end from the static running through its body.

"Now, Electro Ball!" Avril yelled.

Marble let out a loud wail as a bright, glowing ball of electricity formed around her tail orb. Without warning, she launched the ball straight in the Mightyena's direction. The Cinder grunt screamed for his Mightyena to dodge out of the way, but it was no use. The Mightyena was swallowed by the light of Marble's Electro Ball, howls of pain echoing out into the night sky before it slowly staggered forward... and hit the ground with a thud.

"This battle is over," Avril said. "Give up and turn yourself in... It's time to pay for your crimes!"

The Cinder grunt stared in disbelief at the sight before him. "No... No, no, no... Absolutely not! I won't allow this!"

Avril took a step forward, Marble following close beside her. A look of panic washed over the Cinder grunt's face as he quickly fumbled around in his jacket's pocket. Without warning, the Cinder grunt suddenly brandished a handgun. Avril's eyes widened as she suddenly stepped back, the Cinder grunt's hand shaking as he pointed the gun right in her direction.

"That's right... get back! I'll blow that damn Flaaffy's head off!" the Cinder grunt snapped. Avril took another step back, a wave of fear quickly running through her body. A smirk quickly returned back to his face, pleased that this threat was enough to stop the girl and her pokémon in their tracks. "That's what I thought... All talk and no action... As soon as your life is actually on the line, all of you little trainers are the same... Cowards... You don't have the guts to stop me... to stop us..."

Avril clenched her fist.

"All of you are the same... Do you honestly think that the cops are gonna do anything? They haven't done a single thing to put our plans on hold yet," the Cinder grunt rambled. "Not after the fire in Shantalune Forest... the rampage we made in Shalour... not even the little ruckus we made in Lumiose... Not even your Champions could stop us! They were so busy with their own devices that we were able to just roll on in and wipe that city off the face of the Earth!"

Avril shook her head, the man's voice slowly becoming twisted in her ears.

"This world belongs to Team Cinder now," the grunt said quietly. "You're all just here on borrowed time... and we can cut that time off whenever we want."

Avril slowly gazed up at the man. Her head felt hazy... Her body was trembling... Her heart was suddenly racing... The Cinder grunt standing before her was gone... All she saw now was Gabriel Artece standing before her. She saw that twisted smile of his. She saw his confident and condescending gaze. His cocky stance while he spun that gun around... all of it sending back echoes to the night when she lost Robin... Sycamore... Lulu... and Victoria.

And it was at that moment that Avril suddenly lost it.

In a blind range, the blonde suddenly ran forward. The grunt stared at the girl in shock, quickly raising his gun and taking aim at Avril. He clumsily fumbled with the firearm, pulling the trigger as the distance between the two got smaller. Not a single bullet fired out of the gun, however. All that echoed out in the streets were empty and hollow clicks. The man cursed under his breath, quickly tossing the weapon down as he turned to run, but it was too late. Avril threw herself at the Cinder grunt, quickly tackling the man to the ground below.

"Get... Get off me..." the Cinder grunt grumbled. "You... You stupid rattata!"

The grunt socked Avril fiercely in her side, but the blonde didn't even seem to notice. She began to claw and scratch at the grunt, blood gushing out as her nails drug over his eyes. The Cinder grunt yelled in pain, the Cinder grunt suddenly jabbing Avril in her left eye. The sudden punch seemed to take the girl by surprise, as it stopped her assault just long enough for the man to wrestle out from underneath her.

"Son of a rattata... she's lost her psyducking mind!" the Cinder grunt cursed, staggering back up to his feet.

He began to quickly shuffle away, Avril looking around in frustration. Her eyes suddenly landed on a stray, steel pipe laying on the ground. The trainer grabbed hold of the pipe and suddenly launched it forward, causing the pipe to crash into the man's legs. He cursed again as he fell down to the ground, suddenly feeling the weight of Avril as she tackled into him once again.

"No more... No more!" Avril screamed, brandishing the steel pipe once again. She suddenly slammed it down into the back of the Cinder grunt's head. "You took their lives! You took EVERYTHING from me!"

She brought the pipe down into the grunt's head again.

"What about Sycamore?!"

Clang!

"Robin! Lulu!"

Splort!

Victoria! Emma!

Gush!

"EVERY LIFE YOU ALL TOUCH IS PSYDUCKING RUINED! BRING THEM ALL BACK! FIX IT ALL BACK!"

Avril began to scream violently as she repeatedly brought the pipe down against the back of the Cinder grunt's head. His screams of anguish became a garbled mess of blood and gurgles as he began to cry out for someone... anyone to come save him! But it was too late. No one could help him now. Avril continued to wail on the Cinder grunt until nothing was left of the man's head... but a splattered mix of bone, brain and blood. Blood stains dripped across the girl's face and clothing, her eyes twitching as a satisfied smile began to stretch across the girl's lips. Marble stared at the sight before her, the sheep pokémon clueless on what to do. Against all better judgement, she suddenly ran forward and threw her small arms around Avril, confused and worried mewls and wails escaping her lips all the while. Avril suddenly stopped in another mid-swing, her eyes widening as all sense of reality seemed to finally return to her.

"W-What... What the..." she stammered, her eyes taking in the sight of the carnage that laid out before her... the carnage she had just caused. "...What have I done...?"

Shak

Male
UK
Seen 10 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Days Ago
890 posts
4.8 Years
-Drew Tucker
Kade Andrews
Emma Kuzunoha

Life - Best Teacher


"Linda, I need a hot water bottle to bed seven, left aisle."

The woman, Linda; who had been on her knees sifting through the hollow space of the old wooden shelf in the dusty storage room, turned to face the voice that had addressed her. She straightened herself up, doing her best to neaten her uniform. The bobble that had surely been holding her hair together at some point, had gotten lost in the mop of stress and dishevellment that grew from her scalp. She looked up at her colleague with a disheartened frown and shook her head. "We're all out. We're gonna have to start wrapping up splints in towels if things stay the course."

"Lin...hot water bottles." The other nurse snapped her fingers in Linda's face.

Linda tuned out, just for a split second, before lowering her head into her palms. "Tania, I just can't. Beatrice sent me in here for a bedpan, and I've spent the last ten minutes looking for slings."

Tania sighed, her haste melting into pity. The sounds of squeaky footsteps crept through the door of the storage room they found themselves in. Tania looked over Linda and rested a hand over the girl's head. She stepped past her younger colleague and grabbed a bedpan from the corner of the room. "Here, get back to Beatrice." She smiled, holding the bedpan out for the girl.

Linda stumbled through the doors to the ward she'd left just moments before her encounter with Tania. Bedpan in hand, the girl hurried past a drove of groaning patients, reluctantly turning down cries for help as she finally came to a stop at one of the few beds in the room. "How is oh-"

"Mr Heaton, I'm happy to say, there's nothing else wrong with you so the doctor has cleared you to leave." Beatrice stood at the foot of the hospital bed. A man with a large reddened wrap of bandage holding his shoulder in place, sat there, a ghostly expression on his face.

"I think- I think I'd like to stay." The man spoke weakly.

Beatrice's smile faltered and broke into a weak chuckle. "Not that I'm rushing you anywhere Mr Heaton, but surely your recovery would be much more comfortable at home."

Linda backed out of the scene, stepping past Beatrice before letting out a deep sigh.

”Um, excusez moi...” then called out a voice from nearby. A young, slender woman came in the ward from the hospital hall. She who’s left eye and temple, as well as both arms were all bandaged, but she was seemingly composed and had fairly good motor skills — enough to walk, at least. “C'est vraiment une foule... Perhaps I can be if some assistance? I offered to help out a short while ago too.”

Kade's head perked up, hearing a somewhat familiar voice. He was sitting on the edge of a hospital bed, fiddling with the new ring hanging from his next beside the one that had belonged to his grandparents, unsure of where he had gotten it.

With nothing else to do while he awaited his official discharge from the hospital, he headed toward's the voice to see the familiar face of a young blonde woman. It took him a few moments to remember her name, but it quickly enough came to him that this was Emma - one of his Aquacorde classmates.

"Um... hello?" he ventured, not entirely sure how to initiate any sort of interaction in his current circumstances, "I didn't know you were still here too."

Linda looked between the two trainers. She looked both up and down, trying to formulate some sort of answer to the blonde's question. Before she could speak however, her senior nurse stepped past her.

"I see the two of you are looking strong. I trust you'll be continuing your journey soon enough." Beatrice interjected forcing as much sincerity into her overly rehearsed phrase as possible.

Linda looked at the bandages across Emma's eye. She furrowed her brows, but held her tongue.

"Right... I'm just waiting for the doctor to say I can go," Kade replied wearily.

“I... just wanted to help out a bit,” Emma added. ”I’m not really as injured as you may think.”

"You look pretty injured," Kade said bluntly, "What happened to your eye?"

Emma would only reply with a small, light giggle... that was perhaps in embarrassment. “You’d probably think I was crazy...”

"Would I? I did a lot of crazy things recently," Kade said, toying with the mysterious ring again.

Emma shrugged. “I honestly don’t know where to begin,” Emma started, almost reluctantly. “You know that black, shadow... thing that appeared in Shalour? Well, I tried fending it off you see, and ummm... Qu'est-ce que tu sais... I got clobbered pretty hard, to put it lightly.”

"Wow, that was brave," Kade responded, "I don't actually know how I got injured. I just got back to the tower again, then there was a flash and then I was in a medical area."

”I see,” Emma responded politely. “Well, I thank the stars you’re alright. You said a ‘flash’, but you had no idea what it was?”

"It came from the direction of Shalour," Kade replied, "People are saying I got caught on the edge of a nasty attack."

”Ah, well that attack was orchestrated by a group known as Team Cinder...” Emma explained. “They summoned something called a ‘Dark Mewtwo’, as well as many clones to try and destroy the city. I’m afraid you’ve unfortunately gotten in the mix of it.”

"I see... I'd heard of Team Cinder in passing but this was only my fir- second encounter with them. It's probably my own fault for getting caught up in things, Sky and I chased down one of their members who attacked the Tower. He got away though."

“You guys dealt with Cinder too, huh?” A voice croaked from behind one of the beds, segregated by a curtain, in the corner of the room.

Both Beatrice and Linda were startled by the unfamiliar voice. The senior nurse swiped the curtain away, revealing the bed ridden form of a fourteen year old boy. His skin was littered with scrapes, cuts and bruises, but the most noticeable blemish the boy had been cursed with was the singed black skin that obscured his left arm.

”You’re awake?” Linda gasped.

”Drew...” Emma recognized.. she had a pitiful look.

"Drew?" Kade questioned, turning to see his injured classmate. He'd had no idea that he had been in the same room as one of the Aquacorde graduates the entire time he had been there. It took another severel moments before he noticed the charred and blackened skin of the boy's arm and pieced it together with the image of the severely injured youth he'd flopped down next to shortly before he'd been knocked out.

"You were there, at the tower," he splurted out, "I was right next to you when I got knocked out."

“I was pretty sure I was dead.” The boy responded flatly. He scanned his person, noticing his charred arm.

"You looked like you could have been," Kade replied, equally flatly.

“I don’t suppose you found my Pokemon too...” The boy forced out a chuckle, his back aching as he did. “Or any of my stuff for that matter...” He added, the concern he’d been masking washing over him.

"You were holding a Pokemon when I saw you," Kade said, "I don't think I saw anything else."

"The same person brought you both in," Linda interjected, clutching her hands tightly by her sides. "He didn't give us a name, and I'd be lying if I said I remembered what he looked like, but he told us to tell you to visit the Coumarine Pokemon Center, they'll have what he found of your team." She finished, knowingly slowing the last part of her sentence. She glanced up at Drew, seeing his brows furrow. "He said he found a bag full with pokeballs spilling out...one was empty."

Drew's expression fell. The events of the night atop the Tower came rushing back to him: Victor, Brycen, Mustang, Nebula...Caesar. The last he'd seen of the Scrafty, well...he shook the thought away. Flashes of the scenes in Glittering Cave echoed his mind as he traced the memory. "How long was I out?"

Before Linda could give her more sympathetic recounting of the night, Beatrice stepped forward once again. "We cant be certain how long you were knocked out before you arrived here, but you've been here for two weeks now. Since the night of the fall of Shalour city."

"We weren't certain if you'd make it." Linda added.

"Fall of Shalour city?" Drew mused to himself. "So Cinder attacked the whole thing?"

“I’m afraid so,” Emma explained in a small hint of dread. “Avril, Jackson, myself, and a few other of our classmates encountered Team Cinder as well. Both of you said you’ve encountered a member? What exactly happened?”

"Well..." Kade began, reluctant to relive the events that had transpired in Shalour. He took a deep breath before pushing onwards, "I was outside of the arena when the attack began. Sky noticed that the tower was damaged and got me, since she thought they might need fliers to help rescue people on the higher levels. We rushed over there as fast as we could, the tower was already really badly damaged when we got there. It was on fire, covered in holes...chunks were falling off of it. We sent our Pokemon to help anyone they could and rounded the tower, and when we got there..."

Kade stopped for a moment, feeling the shaking begin again. In his mind he was seeing Victor shoving a Scrafty to its death with casual ease. He forced himself to continue, his voice taking on a cold monotone as he tried to separate himself from what he had experienced.

"We went around the tower, and came across a man on an Aerodactyl. He was wrestling with a Scrafty."

Drew’s head shot up at the mention of a Scrafty. He opened his mouth to enquire, but found himself overwhelmed by Kade’s relentless recounting of what he’d seen.

“Something was anchoring him to his Pokemon, so it couldn't do anything to him. He shoved it off. Sky and I tried to save it, but he had his Rotom block us. We couldn't do anything but watch as it fell. There was no way it could have survived. He tried to run, so we went after him. We caught up to him, and Sky attacked him. They were battling - they even Mega Evolved their Pokemon. I..." his breath caught and for a moment he felt dizzy and ill, he remembered what he had done and it disturbed him almost as much as the attack on Shalour did. "I came up behind him an-"

"Kade, slow down..." A diamond of clarity formed under the pressure from Kade's mess of an explanation. Though Drew's gaze had lowered once again to the sheet that lay over him, he spoke with an authority that stopped the older trainer right in his tracks. "You said you ran into a trainer flying away from the tower...he pushed a Scrafty off of his mega evolved pokemon? That's Victor, no doubt about it." Every few weeds, a crack of doubt broke through, but the boy clung to the sheen he assumed came with the rigid lack of vulnerability he was showing. "He's a member of Team Cinder, and considering he was trusted to set the charges at the top, I'd say he's a pretty high ranking one too. The Scrafty he pushed off was mine..." His breaths hollowed as he finished his last sentence.

"It was yours?" Kade said, eyes wide in disbelief, "I'm so sorry. We tried to save it, but there was nothing we could do. We really tried."

"I'm just glad I had to find out from you." Drew sunk lower into his bed as he made the statement. As much truth as there may have been to it, the teen truly had no room for glee in that moment. "Bastard would've loved to rub that one in my face. Mr.Tucker, had you tested your pokemon more often, he wouldn't have been willing to throw his life away in search of greater challenges." His impression of Victor grew more and more weary with each word. "Piss off." He huffed in the end. He could feel his chest getting heavier, so soothed the welling with a deep breath, staring out the window over Coumarine. "So what happened to him in the end? And dont make it good news." He grumbled, as he watched a flock of Wingull soar over the city bay.

Kade took another deep breath, steadying himself before launching back into his recount of events.

"While he was battling Sky, I... I had Nimbus grab him and sink his claw into him, that's how we found out he was anchored to the Aerodactyl, we couldn't pull him off and drop him. Then there was another explosion at the tower, our Pokemon were there, we had to break away and make sure they were safe. He tried to hit me, but Cumulus took the attack, she nearly died too but Stratus saved her... I saw something fall from the tower, something glowing and then it was gone. When we got back, there was next to nothing left of the tower, that's when I ended up near you. Moments later, I was knocked out by the attack. Next thing I knew, I woke up in a medical bay with a ring in my hand. I don't know what happened during the rest of the attack."

“I... I see...” Emma could only say. “I’m sorry that happened... that must of been really tough.”

She then sighed, going into another thought. ”...This Victor person must of been another admin of Team Cinder,” Emma could only piece together. “But, how did you meet him? What kind of man is he?”

“He was with professor Sycamore and Jackson’s sister, back at the parfum contest. Sick bastard even pretended to be disabled the entire time.” Drew grumbled. He grit his teeth when he realised just how long he’d sat with the man - trusted him. “He knows all our names...” He clenched his burned fist. Blood seaped through the cracked skin, like the lava on the back of the flaming camel he’d battled that night. “I sat there and...and told him...about everyone.” His throat felt like flames were searing through it as he growled through each word.

Linda sprung foward and did her best to tend to the damage.

"I've met him before too," Kade said "Back in Lumiose, I was with Lillie and we found him battling Brie. He beat her easily and was about to attack her when she couldn't fight back, but Nebby drove him and his Rotom away. He wasn't pretending to be disabled or anything then though. I had no idea he was in Team Cinder... he congratulated me for my perfomance at Parfum Palace when I was battling him before... although battling is a bit of a stretch."

"He's probably been watching us the whole time. Cinder...probably have." Drew responded flatly, only breaking his gaze through the window after he'd said his piece. "Look..." He added, searching his bedside. "I didnt want to bring this to any law enforcement without any evidence but, for a long time, I've had reason to believe that professor Sycamore, Silph company and The Manning Fossil company were all in cohorts with Team Cinder. I lost the documents that would've proved it, but Mr Manning, at least, verbally admitted to me that he's involved." Drew explained, as he gave up on searching. "I...uh, the main reason I didnt act on it sooner, was because I thought if I left it alone it would all go away. I was angry. Angry that Mr Manning's daughter used me to get my parents to pass on buying her dad's company." He stifled a chuckle as he began to tear up. "I just get this nagging feeling, that if I hadnt been so lazy...so stupid...so petty...Shalour...wouldnt have happened." His gaze fell as he finished. A single tear snuck its way through his sniffling.

"I dont think you can be blamed for Sharlour," Kade replied, "But I certainly know how you feel. If I'd been more decisive, been better, maybe I could have done something about Victor back in Lumiose. Certainly, I would have been a bigger help to Sky back in Sharlour if I'd battled him with her properly from the beginning."

Emma had listened quietly, until she gave off a sigh. “Listen you two...” Emma began, almost relunctantly. “I need to tell you both something. Brace yourselves; it’s not going to be an easy thing to hear.”

Drew found himself straightening his back at Emma's behest. His gaze didnt once rise from his bed spread.

Emma’s head and heart were heavy. She had thought she had collected herself from what had happened, but it was still a lot to take in. She took a deep breath and let it out. “...The professor... Professor Sycamore...” she started, with her heart pounding, and the air filled with a forlorn density. She shifted her eyes around the room a bit, trying to buy as much time as she could to garner herself. With the atmosphere quiet, she finally came around.

“Professor Sycamore... is dead.”

A silence befell the room.

Beneath the droning beeps of machines, the moans and groans of aching patients and the shuffling footseps of nurses doing their best to allieviate the pains, one could hear the sinking of hearts as Emma spoke those words. Not just from the three young trainers discussing the matter, but from sufferers who had nothing better to do than use the ensuing conversation as a numbing agent to take their mind off of their own situation; as well as those simply familiar with the famous professor's work.

Beneath even all of that, Drew Tucker sat in his bed, snickering. He finally looked up from his bed sheets, a smirk on his face. "What?" He asked with a smile, shaking his head. "What are you talking about?"

“The Professor, myself, and a few other students also encountered Team Cinder,” Emma started to explain. “However, against the likes of them, we found ourselves outmatched and cornered... that was until, Professor Sycamore gave as a venue to escape, and a secret weapon to battle against that Shadow Mewtwo... if it weren’t for him, none of us would of made it out of there.” she shifted her eyes away again, in a conscious effort to try and bury her deep feelings. “...He fought valiantly... right until his end. He’s... he’s gone.”

Kade just found himself standing there, staring off into space. How could someone he had seen nearly every day up until graduating, and even sometimes after, have been erased from the world in the space of one night, because of Cinder's actions. Sycamore had been a good man, and evidently a brave one. It was wrong that he had fought valiantly, saved others and couldn't be standing there to talk about it. Meanwhile, here he was?

"I guess that rules him out as a suspect." Drew's neck creaked. He angled his head, and curled his mouth into a smile. His expression darkened, as he lowered his head once more. "We can't let this stop us though, right? Gotta keep moving on with our journies and stuff...you guys should probably get moving."

"The two of you are ready to be disc-" Beatrice began, but a simple outstretched hand from Linda reminded her of the situation.

"Probably..." Kade sighed, nervously scratching at his arm. His expression was still somewhat vacant as his mind continued to play the information over in his head.

”I should be getting back out there soon...” Emma said, albeit, a tad perplexed. “Will you two be okay? You need not push yourselves too hard after what happened...”

"Yeah..." Kade replied, looking at the wall behind Emma's head.

”...I understand,” Emma finally said. “Please, excuse me then.” She curtsied to the nurse, as she made her way out of the ward. About midway, she stopped to glance back at Drew, with pitiable eyes. “...Sorry.” she whispered, finally making her way out.


Spoiler:

: 400

Poke Ball X 1

Apricorn X 1

Chesto Berry X1

Cheri Berry X1

Pecha Berry X1

Rose Incense X1

Electrizer x 1




Coumarine City - Hospital



Friends for Infinity
RPT | Pairs

"It's so calm."

art by the amazing Infinite

LinearAxel

That Dream...Make it Come True!

Female
The Internet
Seen 3 Weeks Ago
Posted June 8th, 2019
349 posts
4.1 Years

Reflections


Sebastian Allender





Coumarine City



Today makes day fourteen. Every day for the last two weeks Sebastian opened his eyes and fought back the feeling of nausea that washed over him, along with the creeping realization that the horrors that played inside his mind during slumber were memories, not mere nightmares. He swallows that sickly feeling down before rising from his bed.

After getting dressed and pulling his hair back, the shinobi leaves the hotel room that had been so graciously given to him after being taken to Coumarine city. Sebastian glances across the hallway to see the housekeeping cart is parked outside the next room over, meaning his mother had already put herself to work. The woman arrived several days prior, having gotten the first flight out after hearing of the attack on Shalour city, and, after a failed attempt to convince her son to come home, stayed in order to help administer a cure for the Ash Rot illness.

A gentle brush against Sebastian’s hip brings his gaze downward, Fay’lene, the newly evolved Lycanroc was leaning against her trainer. Since Shalour’s fall, Selkie has felt more comfortable resting in her Pokeball at night, while Fay’lene has chosen to sleep at the foot of Sebastian’s bed. The redhead offers her a tired smile and a brush behind her ear. “Let’s go.”

For the last two weeks, each morning has been the same: Sebastian wakes, grabs something akin to breakfast from the hotel lobby (typically a fruit), and walks to the hospital. Each day he asks one of the nurses if those who attempted to sacrifice their everything are making progress towards recovery. Renia and Victoria, he and Sasha managed to dig them out of the rubble after the collapsing building broke through the psychic barrier. It would seem the barrier stayed strong long enough to shield both trainers and Pokemon from the brunt of the force; both Victoria and Renia were not nearly as...crushed as he expected upon digging them out. Both suffered severe blows to the head, and, fourteen days later, were yet to awaken, yet...they were alive, it’s more than so many others could say. If they can find the strength within themselves to awaken, they might recover yet.

Next he peers silently into Emma’s room. The light is just beginning to peek through the windows, adding just a glimmer of hope to this desolate place. He opens the door just enough to slip through and places a small pink shell on her windowsill. This new addition makes thirteen, along with a bouquet of wildflowers he and Selkie collected from the route connecting the two cities, the day she was brought in. One of the nurses has a Happiny who happily casts refresh on the flowers when she checks on Emma, which has kept them from wilting.

The gentle brush of Fay’lene’s wagging tail alerts Sebastian that a familiar face is approaching, and he quickly steps into the hallway, for risk of waking Emma.

“Hey, gorgeous.” Sasha manages an exhausted smile as she sinks down to her knees to hug the wolf Pokemon around the neck. The dark circles around her eyes, along with the sheer exhaustion that radiates from the way she holds herself tell that she hasn’t gotten more than a handful of hours of sleep since that night. She squeezes Fay’lene tightly to her as she glances up to Sebastian. “Did you bring your violin today?”

“No, not this time.” Sebastian shakes his head. “Maybe this evening. It’s a bit early to wake everyone.”

“They’re really gonna miss your music around here when she gets out, you know.” Sasha rests her chin between Fay’lene’s ears. “I overheard a doctor say she might be dismissed today.”

Sebastian’s shoulders visibly relax at her words, the first good news to be heard in days. “Thank goodness--” Realization washes over him as he gazes down at the Ranger, suddenly realizing how unfair it is to rejoice in a cherished friend’s wellness when Sasha’s family members are still in critical condition.

“Hey, don’t give me that look.” The blue haired ranger accuses. “It’s great that she’s better.”

Sebastian offers a meek nod. “How’s--”

“No change. I’m on my way back now.” Sasha rises from the ground after giving Fay’lene one last scratch behind the ears. “We’ll talk later, yeah?”

“Of course.”

“Cheer up. Things...are gonna get better.” Sasha keeps that exhausted, yet confident smile as she walks past the shinobi and his wolf. Her inhuman amount of confidence in such a trying time is something to be admired...if not...perhaps misguided. He takes one last glance at the small window peering into Emma’s room and cracks his own smile. “I’ll see you soon, Emma.”

Not far from Emma’s room is Drew’s, another friend Sebastian frequents-- albeit, he has yet to actually step inside this one. The guilt that eats away at his stomach as he makes his way to that door prove he has no right. He should have looked for Drew amongst the chaos, he should have known he was in the city along with the rest of them, and he should have searched for him. He didn’t even know Drew was in Shalour until the first time they came to the hospital, when Selkie caught a familiar scent and rushes into his room. She pulled back the curtain to see a trainer she was so very fond of lying there, almost dead. Perhaps he wouldn’t be in such a bad position if Sebastian had found him, if he had taken the time to look for him.
Better yet, if he had have fought the younger teen when he wanted to leave this life behind him. Drew wanted to end his journey weeks ago, he wanted to leave Team Cinder behind...and Sebastian told him not to give up, practically pleaded that he shouldn’t give up, and now he’s here...like Renia, like Victoria, fighting for his life. “...I’m sorry.” Sebastian whispers as he presses his forehead against the door. It’s such a pitiful little word, it doesn’t fix a single thing, yet it’s all he has, this single, pitiful little word. His shoulders slump in defeat as he steps away from the door. He keeps his eyes downcast as he silently walks away from the door, Fay’lene loyally padding behind him.

The duo leave the hospital and make it to their next destination in silence. On the outskirts of the city, not far from the Route 12/Coumarine City sign, is a small, makeshift memorial. Small stones are laid in a circle, and a broken branch has been planted in the center, both wildflowers and store bought flowers have been placed underneath the branch, and on a metal slab, drilled into stone, read the words:

In Memory of Augustine Sycamore, Professor, Teacher, Father, Friend.

***Flashback***

Sebastian and Selkie make their way down the path that becomes Route 12, the fire fox padding several feet behind her trainer, clutching the two halves of her broken branch. The fur underneath her eyes is darker, still damp from the tears she began to cry the second Sebastian called her out of her Pokeball.

The shinobi stops mid stride to turn back to his partner, a Pokemon that is nearly unrecognizable to him in this state: In all the time the two have been together, even when Selkie was a young Fennekin who could sit in Sebastian’s palms, he never once thought of her as small. She was so brave, her personality so bold and passionate, she had always been larger than life. Now the fire had been snuffed out of her eyes and her heart, the passionate that once resonated in every little hair no longer evident. Sebastian turns and kneels so he can scoop the devastated fox into his arms.

Together they walk along the route, searching for trees with fallen branches. Each time they come across one, Sebastian sets Selkie down and lets her hold it, and each time the little fox grips the branch in her hands, studies it...and shakes her head.

“Don’t worry.” Sebastian puts on a small smile as he touches Selkie’s head. Their quest to find a new branch was a desperate attempt to lift both their spirits, finding Drew in the hospital left Selkie in such a hysterical state that Sebastian had to take her away. They had to do something, something to get their minds off the sheer helplessness they both felt. The broken branch only amplified that helplessness, leaving Selkie in a weakened state. Searching for a new one...they could at least feel as if they were doing something; gaining strength back after the fall. “We’ll find one.”

“Brai…”

A gentle ruffling from the bushes causes Sebastian to stagger back to his feet and stand in front of Selkie, expecting a wayward Cinder grunt to leap out. His harsh glare fades instantly when the figure steps out into the open, revealing not a black and red clad grunt, but a black and white clad trainer-- wearing a hat that made her look like fox ears were poking out. Her garb reminds him of traditional breeders, in a way, and in her hands is a small bushel full of berries.



“Woah--! Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you there.” The young girl looks from Sebastian to Selkie, and her eyes widen at the sight of the fox. “Oh, wow! She’s beautiful! Can I pet her?”

“Ah…” Sebastian glances down at Selkie, who nods and steps forward. Normally the fire type jumps at the chance to make new friends, yet now she seems to be stepping forward only out of necessity. “Yes, go ahead.”

“Hey, cutie.” The girl smiles as she hunches down onto her knees and sets her basket down, then begins to pet the fox behind the ears. When Selkie lifts her head to reveal her tear-stained face, that smile quickly fades. “Oh...hang on.” She reaches into her bag and pulls out a small container of tissues, which she uses to bad the fox’s face. “I know...today’s a sad day…” It’s only then that the breeder sees the broken branch laying where Selkie once stood, and the uncomfortable way she’s holding the branch currently in her hand. “Ah...I get it...you really don’t like this one, huh?”

The breeder eases back into a sitting position and looks up to Sebastian. “I guess you’ve figured out that not just any branch will do.”

“It seems that way.” Sebastian nods. “You seem to know a lot about Braixen, miss…?”

“Kyoko.” The breeder nods in acknowledgement. “I’ve done a lot of studying on the Fennekin family line. And Vulpix. All foxes, basically.”

“Sebastian.”The shinobi returns her nod. “And this is Selkie.”

“Cute name. It really fits her.” Kyoko hands Selkie the tissue before resuming petting the Pokemon’s head.

“Thank you.” Sebastian decides to sit across from the young woman, looking down at her just feels awkward. “Is there something we should be looking for in a branch?”

“Well...all Braixen and Delphox are different. It’s about as helpful as a Damp Rock in a rainstorm to say, but...it just needs to feel right to them.” Not the answer anyone wants. Quick, bring the mood up with a fun fact. “...Did you know that roots can grow out of a Braixen’s broken branch?”

“Ex-cuse me?” Sebastian asks. How is that possible? It’s not a sapling, it’s a stick.

“I’m no scientist, I can’t really say how it happens, but I’ve seen it.” She looks at the confused faces and leans forward. “Why don’t you guys plant this one? You’ll see. Once it takes root it’ll sprout.”

Sebastian looks at the broken stick on the ground and begins to question this young woman’s grip on reality. “What...do you think, Selkie?”

“Braai?” She’s just as confused as he is.

“Try it? If it doesn’t work, you can look back on this and laugh about that crazy girl on route 12 that told you to plant a stick.” Kyoko encourages. These two look like they need to do something to get their minds off their troubles. She has no way of knowing that they were so closely involved with the fall of Shalour, though one look into Sebastian’s tired eyes, or Selkie’s tear stained ones, and it’s easy to see they’ve been through something terrible. Since Shaour is just a stone’s throw away...she can make an educated guess.

Selkie turns around and walks back to the broken branch, and picks up one side in each hand. She then walks over to Kyoko and holds the two sides out to her with a puzzled look. Which side goes in the ground?

“Like this.” Kyoko takes one side of the branch and points it downward.

Selkie keeps the broken end pointed down and returns to Sebastian, where she peers up to him with a determined glimmer in her saddened eyes. She wants to try, with so much death and destruction, she wants to help bring something pretty and vibrant into the world.

“Okay.” Sebastian hoists his partner into his arms. “Let’s try it.”

“Perfect! I’ve got to get these back to the center. Maybe we’ll run into each other again?” Kyoko gathers her collection of fruits and stands. This is something they need to do on their own.

“I hope so.” Sebastian waves as the breeder scampers back across the trail. What an...odd young woman. A well meaning yet...odd young woman. As she fades into the distance, Sebastian holds Selkie close and begins to stand. “Where should we plant it?”

“Xen…” Selkie looks around the area. There’s plenty of trees here, if they plant it here and it grows, how will they know which one is theirs? She points down the path they came from, closer to the city, where the trees are more spread apart.

The duo had walked for no more than a minute when a snapping sound from above causes Sebastian to stop. A branch has broken free from one of the taller trees and falls free, landing directly in front of them. Strange, Sebastian thinks to himself. There’s little wind today. Did a Pokemon break that branch free? He looks upward to search for a rambunctious Aipom playing a prank, or an ornery Spearow shooing them from its nest. While he sees neither, there is something about the tree that catches his eye: There are large portions where the bark has broken off, leaving behind a sheer white. The tree best known for such an appearance is…

A Sycamore tree.

Sebastian quickly sets Selkie on the ground and grabs the branch. “Selkie...do you know what this tree is called?”

She merely shakes her head.

“It’s a Sycamore tree.” Sebastian smiles sadly as he holds the white branch out to his partner. “I think...I think the Professor wants you to have this.”

Selkie’s eyes widen, and as she reaches for the branch, they begin to swell with tears. She takes the white branch in her hands and hugs it tightly to her chest, letting out a loud, desolate sob as she buries her face into her trainer’s chest.

An hour later, once Selkie had cried herself out, it became all too evident what needed to be done: The duo found a grassy space barren of trees for several feet in any direction, and had a small memorial service for their professor, where they planted the broken branch in his honor. At the time, they could only write his name out with pebbles found along the pathway, though, after Sebastian’s mother arrived, and was shown their makeshift memorial, she ordered a proper engraving.

**Present day**

Sebastian calls Selkie from her Pokeball, and she walks along the pathway until she finds a suitable flower to join the others. She picks the tiny plant and places it in front of the stone, before she returns to Sebastian’s side, a little hand gripping his pant leg.

“Wish us luck, Professor.” Sebastian puts on the bravest smile he can. “We’re going to make you proud.”

End





Evily

Poke is Life! :3

Female
Everywhere :3
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 19 Hours Ago
144 posts
2.9 Years


Minami 'Mina' Haruka
Status: Route 12 | Mission 1 - The Race!




Inventory
Spoiler:
1x Wallet - 6,700 Poke
1x 3rd Place Contest Ribbon
1x Pokedex w/ Radar Dex Chip
10x Pokeballs
1x Ultra Ball
2x Heal Balls
4x Great Balls
2x Net Balls
2x Fast Balls
3x Moomoo Milk
10x Potions
5x Super potions
5x Pewter Crunchies
1x Mystic Water (Held by Poppy)
1x Lax Incense
1x Fashion Case
3x Extra Clothes
5x Contest Outfits
1x Holocaster
1x Altarianite




Mina looked around the Baa De Mer Ranch in awe, seeing all the Skiddo and some Gogoat, “Woah, there’s a lot of them.” Some Skiddo were resting on the soft grass others running around, and a few were with some Gogoat grazing.

“Excuse me? Are you here for the race?” asked a voice, causing Mina to turn and see a young man about Jackson’s age with curly brown hair and sea blue eyes, wearing a white jumpsuit and matching pants, a brown hat resting on his head. “If so, im sorry, but you are going to have to wait until next year.”

“Race? What do you mean?” asked Mina, glancing at Electra who was on her right shoulder, glancing at the male. Race? There was a race occurring? But why did the male say to wait until next year, and he sounded disappointed while saying it.

“The Baa De Mer Ranch, us, was challenged by one of their rivals back in Unova, but…” the male frowned as he swepped his hand towards the grass types. “Half of our troops are gone helping out at Shalour, our main lead, the strongest and fastest Gogoat, is under the weather, and the others are either in the same condition or aren’t enough to handle the challenge.” Mina looked over to where the man pointed and saw that one particular Gogoat was resting inside the shed, with about two workers looking over him. “We are in the middle of looking for a replacement, but so far, no such luck…”

“What about the Skiddo?” asked Mina, seeing some Skiddo racing each other. The man glanced at her and then at where she was looking. “We do have one, it was personal trainer by our prized Gogoat and its coach, but the problem is that its shy, every time we try to get it to enter a race, it backs down. Must be scared to enter a race since it will be its first time.” The man points to a specific Skiddo laying down under a tree by the shed. “Oh, right. I’m Jack, nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you, Jack. I’m Minami Haruka, but you can call me Mina.” Mina smiled as she shook the man’s hands before looking over at the shy Skiddo, who was lifting its head to look at the sick Gogoat before glancing at the other Skiddo running around, a familiar expression appearing before disappearing just as quickly. “Hey, who are the challengers?” asked Mina as Jack led her down to the shed, waving to fellow workers along the way.

“The challengers?” Jack grimaced at the thought before frowning, petting Gogoats mane. “I don’t know how many are coming, but I can assure you they aren’t what you expect.”

“Aren’t what I expect?” Just as Mina was going to ask more, one of the co-workers ran towards them, warning them that the Unova challengers are here. “****, the race is going to start soon now that they are here. I’ll see you later Mina.” Said girl watched as Jack ran off to help his fellow workers get everything ready for the race before turning back to the field, watching the shy Skiddo glance up at the shed before frowning and glancing down, almost as if ashamed?

“Hah! I heard your best rider is down! This will be a piece of cake!” laughed a male voice, heading towards the oval tracks next to the field, “We are definitely going to win this this year!” “What are you saying Tao? We aren’t only going to win this year, but the rest of the years coming as well!” The two voices laughed as Jack tended to the sick Gogoat, sucking his teeth, listening to the challengers talk.

\Timeskip/

“Jack! Let me participate!” Jack, tending to a dirt Skiddo, turned and saw Mina walk up with the shy Skiddo from before, but lagging behind. “What? Do you have a ride pokemon?”

“I don’t, but I managed to convince Skiddo to be my partner for this race.” smiled Mina as she petted Skiddo’s head, earning a hesitating cry. She remembered the memory well: approaching the shy Skiddo and telling him about the situation and how they needed his help. At first, he shook his head, looking scared, so Mina asked if he was scared to face the challengers, only to have the Skiddo look away in shame. She assured that being scared isn’t bad, Gogoat must have also went through that, he just learned to face his fears and reach the goal with all his strength. Gogoat wouldn’t be angry at him for backing down, you have to learn when to step up or to bow down from some battles. After the little pep-talk, she was on her way to ask Jack to join the race using Momo when she heard footsteps, or more like hooves steps, and saw the shy Skiddo slowly walking up to her, looking at her with shaky, but determined eyes. “He wants to win this race and make Gogoat proud, this battle being of those to step up and fight head on.”

“Are you sure? That Skiddo is the only one who has the strength to keep up with the challengers, so it's going to be 2 vs 1?” asked Jack, unsure if he should let them enter the race. He did want the race to go on, but in their favor. Without Gogoat, it wasn't possible and the shy Skiddo’s fears might overtake it before the race finished, stopping their win. “I’m sure, we have to do this. You’re not the only one who hear the challengers bad talk the ranch.” Mina frowned, remembering their words, “We’ll make sure they regret underestimating us.”

\Timeskip/

“Alright, Pokemon and riders, at the starting line!” called Jack, acting as the referee for the race. Mina, who was dressed in an outfit similar to Jack, but sky blue in color with her hair tied into a high ponytail, walked towards the starting line with the shy Skiddo, who was fidgeting, looking around with timid eyes.

“It’s okay Skiddo, don’t worry. We can do this.” Mina tried to encourage her partner, but the words were shot down the moment two Zebstrika appeared, one on each side of her. Both had their riders already perched on their back, a male and a female.

“Well well well, look who they got here.” Mina and the shy Skiddo turn to see the male Zebstrika rider smirking at them, “So they’re letting little kids enter the race too? How poor…”

“Aww, don’t tease them Tom. It’s not their fault the adults suck.” smirked the lady, the male ‘Tom’ laughing at her words. “Excuse me, this is a race, not a mouth-off contest. Leave the course if you’re in the wrong track.” hissed Mina, pissed at their words. The shy skiddo only neighed nervously, slowly shrinking away at the menacing gaze of the two Zebstrika.

“What did you say, you brat?” hissed Tom, not liking Mina’s attitude. “I don’t appreciate little brats who have an attitude.” “I wouldn’t have one of you can control yours, so zip it.” hissed back Mina, but held back a pained whimper when the lady, who was on her other side, pulled on her hair.

“Leave the race to the adults, little girl. This isn’t a playground.” glared the lady, pulling on Mina’s hair harder, causing her to let out a pained shout, attracting attention.

“Hey Kim! Physical Attacks aren’t ok in this race! I see you doing it once more and you’re out of the race!” called one of the referee’s who arrived to help Jack with the race. The lady, Kim, frowned and let go, glaring at the girl.

“Look what you made me do! I got in trouble because of you brat!” “Then don’t do it if you don’t want to get in trouble, simple as that!”

“Are you racers ready?!” called out Jack with his helper beside him on the side of the track. Mina glared at the two racers before leaning into Skiddo, looking forward, the other two racers copying her position. “Ready...set...GO!”

All three Pokemon speed off, running around the track while avoiding each other, or one was avoiding the other two. As Mina and Skiddo entered their third lap, the male racer, Tom, appeared beside her, “Do you really think you can beat us brat? We are the best in Unova!”

“Thanks for the commentary, but this is Kalos, not Unova.” retorted Mina, encouraging Skiddo to go faster and pass Tom. Just as he was going to pass, a hand came out of nowhere and grabbed her hair, trying to pull her off once before leaving just as quickly.

“Tch. You held on pretty tight, you got lucky brat.” hissed the lady rider, Kim, as she appeared on Mina’s other side.

‘Did she? Are you serious?’ Mina glared at the two, knowing that it was Kim who pulled her hair, trying to get her out of the race in a cheap way. “So you’re resorting to cheap tricks now? How low of you.” Before they could say or do anything, Mina encouraged Skiddo to go faster, and faster he went, passed the two riders and a whole lap ahead.

\One Lap Later/

Mina smiled at how close they where, a couple steps left to reach the finish line. “Come on Skiddo, we are close.” Skiddo let out a happy cry, speeding up, only to fall when he tripped over...a hoof? Mina was launched and landed beside Skiddo as she saw the two other riders race passed them, smirking at the fallen duo.

“See ya next fall!” Mina ignored their jeers and crawled over to Skiddo, checking him over.

“Are you ok Skiddo? Does your leg hurt?” Skiddo looked over at Mina, surprised at how caring she was even though she scraped her hands and knees on the ground and had dirt all over her, but was making sure he was ok first. He nodded and cried out before standing up and shaking off the dirt, waiting for Mina to jump on his back. Mina smiled and slowly stood up, only to fall back down as she grabbed her ankle, hissing at the pain radiating.

“I twisted my ankle, Skiddo, can you kneel down so it's easier for me to get on?” Skiddo nodded and kneeled down beside her, leaning over a bit so she can get on easier, standing back up once she was secured on his back. Mina, once again, hissed lowly as her hands grabbed Skiddo’s horn, her hands hurt from being scrapped on the ground and grabbing his horns without treating it first hurt, but she endured the pain. “Let’s win this race.” And Skiddo ran off, slowly catching up with the Zebstrika and passing them as the riders watched the duo in shock at their quick recovery.

“How?! I thought you made sure to trip the Skiddo to where her ankle would twist?!” “I did!” Mina ignored their talk as Skiddo passed and rushed with all its might, passing the finish line, making a whistle blow.

“Mina Haruka and her Skiddo are the winners!” Mina smiled tiredly as she slowly got off Skiddo, hissing at the pain on her right ankle, but stood either way. She looked over to Skiddo and pet his head, but was interrupted when a hand roughly grabbed her shoulder and turned her around, facing a furious Kim.

“How dare you! You were supposed to have give up when we tripped you and injured your ankle! Not get back up! We were supposed to win, not a brat!” she hissed, using her other hand to grab Mina’s hair, about to pull, when Tom came and grabbed both her hands, pulling her away from Mina, looking nervously at Jack and his helper who were nearby. “Kim! Don’t give us away!”

“You did what?!” roared a voice, causing everyone to flinch and turn, seeing an old man standing beside the referees, glaring at the two Zebstrika riders. “I didn’t train you two this way! To use cheap tricks to win!” The old man stomped over to the two grabbing their ears and pulling them away, earning pained cries. Mina watched the two get scolded while fixing her hair, surprised at the old man’s appearance.

“Are you alright Mina?” asked Jack as he approached her, hearing the two rider’s talk and looked at her worriedly, noticing her put less pressure on her right ankle.

“I’m alright, it's just a small sprain. Nothing much.” “But-” “It’s nothing, don’t worry.” jack sighed as she pushed away the subject, but smiled as he saw how happy Skiddo was, never seeing him this happy before. “Mina, I have something to give you for helping us.”

Mina looked over at Jack as she grabbed her clothes, about to leave and get changed. “A request?” Jack held out a ™ disk, placing it above her clothing. “It’s the ™ Agility. We taught most of the Gogoat and Skiddo this, but there was no need for us to each it to this guy with his amazing speed. So i’m handing it down to you since we won’t need it for awhile.”

“But what about when you get more Skiddo or Gogoat in the future?” asked Mina, surprised that he was giving her a ™. “We have another one, don’t worry.”


Shak

Male
UK
Seen 10 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Days Ago
890 posts
4.8 Years
-Drew Tucker
Mustang & Sally


The decrepit form of a hobbling fourteen year old drew the attention of many a civillian in Coumarine city. The boy limped through the streets purposefully. He barged past everyone that refused to leave his path before they met. Not one victim garnered any sympathy.

Drew Tucker, draped in the seared hoodie and dri fit tracksuit bottoms he wore that night, stood before Coumarine Pokemon Centre. His expression fell, as his mind wandered. Sycamore. Caesar. Of course he was excited to be reunited with his team, but those two were just a reminder that things were never going to be the same. No doubt his zombie like appearance was causing distress among the patrons of the centre as he stepped through the doors. That was none of the boy's concern. "Excuse me, my name is Drew Tucker, I've been told my pokemon were left here." He practically threw himself at the front desk, startingling the Pokemon nurse who almost spilled her mug of tea.

"Tucker? I can take a look, but the name doesn't rin-"

"Take a look. Please." As he cut the woman off, there was a brief silence before she set her mug down and walked into a back room.

It was the longest wait of Drew's life. His eyes burst from his skull as he watched the woman return with a small box.

"Can I just have you answer a few questions first, just to confirm your identity." She spoke softly, looking the teenager up and down, her expression filled with concern.

Drew however, couldnt take his eyes off the box. The thing looked like a rubik's cube. It was made up of a bunch of smaller cubes. Certainly not the type of thing Pokemon Centres usually handed out pokeballs in.

"How many pokemon are in here?"

"Eight." Drew responded absentmindedly, staring at the box.

"I'm sorry, there are seven in there. I can't give you the bo-" The nurse sighed and began to walk back into the back room.

"Right, Caesar..." He interrupted again. "There should be an eighth ball in there. Empty. An egg too."

The nurse stopped in her tracks and turned to Drew. A smile crept onto her face. She walked back up to him, and handed him the box.

As he opened the box, the first thing he noticed was there was indeed eight pokeballs. He furrowed his brows. At no point on his journey did he ever have eight active pokeballs. With Caesar gone, he knew he had to count that out, so he should've been down to seven. There was Nebula, Mustang, Levi, Zephyr, Wailmer, Salad. Six. One of those undoubtedly was the empty ball of Caesar. "Brycen?" He muttered to himself. He'd lost the Quilladin's pokeball as early as Santalune city. Whoever saved him really took care of everything.

The nurse emerged from the back room again, this time with his backpack in her hand. Drew's 'saviour' had even organised his bag compartments. Drew searched through, even finding the electrizer he'd recieved back in Lumiose. "Man...who the hell is this guy?" He sighed, rummaging through the rest to see what else he could find. "Hey, do you know what he did with my egg?" He asked the nurse.

He matched her expression as he noticed her frown.

---

The saviour had his egg. Were they his hero or a thief? Drew wasnt even sure what the difference was anymore. People he'd trusted, people he'd accused, people he'd loved; all diverted his expectation at some point. Coumarine's docks were as good a place as any to sit and contemplate just how life had screwed him over once again. It wasn't the time to sit and wrack his brain over what went wrong. Instead, he just rested his head in his clasped hands and watched the fisherman pass by.

With a deep breath, he pulled out two of his pokeballs. A tense sense of trepidation scraped across his bones like a wire. The first ball burst open after he dropped it, revealing a weary but healthy Quilladin. The two met eyes, before a nod was shared, and no words exchanged.

The Quilladin looked at the second ball expectantly. His trainer had always paired him up with Caesar the Scrafty. After their battering at the hands of that Camerupt, the two were surely in for a session of boot camp in order to close that gap. From the ball, an unexpected pokemon emerged. Not Scrafty, not Kingdra, not even the capable new recruit in Wailmer, instead a pokemon Brycen didnt even recognise. It was sleek and black, gold rings decorating its fur. He looked up at his trainer, who seemed just as surprised as he was.

Drew reflexively clawed his pokedex from his bag and pointed it at the pokemon in front of him. He recognised it, but part of him refused to believe what he was seeing.


Umbreon, the evolved form of Eevee
The Moonlight Pokemon
When exposed to the moon’s aura, the rings on its body glow faintly and it’s filled with a mysterious power.


"Neb?" Drew barely managed to push out a single word. He stared at his evolved pokemon, dumbfounded. "I always thought Eevee evolbved when they really liked their trainer..." His voice broke as he choked up. He pulled his hood down over his eyes, but his mouth curled into a grin. With his sight obscured, he didnt notice the black pokemon walk up, until she rubbed her ear against his hanging black hand. "Thanks, Nebula." He smiled, looking down to his pokemon.

The Umbreon wasnt satisfied with just acknowledging her trainer. She scampered over to the Quilladin, who'd watched things take place, with an unimpressed scowl. She stood before him and lowered her head. The grass type recoiled slightly, but composed himself and balled his hand up into a fist, playfully nudging the Umbreon's head away with it.

Drew chuckled at Nebula's disheartened reaction to the gesture. It was the first time he'd actually seen the duo get along...somewhat. He glanced down at the rest of his pokeball, that he'd now attached to the strap of his bag again. "I guess the rest of you won't wanna be cooped up in those things after all this time either, huh?"

Brycen and Nebula watched in awe as Drew tossed pokeball after pokeball, a member of his team appearing with each flash, and a memory along with them. Zephyr emerged, the Gligar instantly zipped toward his trainer, hugging tighter than he'd ever hugged him before. Wailmer and Mustang emerged, the whale especially causing a large wave that washed across the port. Salad emerged, the Leafeon bounding excitedly at just the thought of being out of his pokeball after so long.

Drew couldnt help but smile. Even with everything that had gone wrong, he continued to get stronger, despite it all. He weathered the seasons, and came through with his roots in tact. It wasnt all sunshine and rainbows though. He still had awkward encounters he had to ammend. He glanced down at the Leafeon, who was now struggling to get the upper hand against the Umbreon who was now much more capable of shoving him off. Then he glanced at the two water types, the larger of whom was waiting eagerly to reconviene with the new trainer she'd barely been able to spend any time with. The Kingdra however, was already zooming around the docks. Drew smiled warmly at all three.

The grass type was never going to be a fixture on his team, especially given the fact he wasnt his to begin with. He'd have to give him back to Avril soon. Just watching Wailmer over in the water saddened him. As much as he loved the idea of having a Wailmer, it just wasn't practical. He had to make it work somehow. Mustang. That Horsea that was just being a nuisance at his lowest point on Ambrette beach. Now here he was, a Kingdra. With all that said, he'd had two battles. One where he took hits and just raced around a bit, and another where he just...ran. Drew had come to the conclusion that the the water type wasnt cut out for battling. He'd have to let him go too.

---

The young trainer rubbed the head of the Gligar nuzzling up to his cheek. His eyes were following the relentless tracks of the Kingdra, as he Nebula and Salad sat on the Wailmer's back. He glanced back at the banks, where he'd left Levi and Brycen. The two seemed to be doing Levi's tower thing, so Drew felt it best to leave them to it.

"Woah, there buddy!" A voice from the port caught Drew's attention. He turned to the sight of a couple of canoers helping their capsized friend. The trio seemed to have gotten caught up in Mustang's storm. "Is he yours?" One of the canoers shouted, noticing Drew.

Drew's body stiffened. He really didnt need this kind of confrontation. "Sorry, it won't happen again!" He shouted back with a sigh.

"Won't happen again? He's an awesome beast! He's got all the energy in the world!" The first man laughed as they rowed closer. It was only then that Drew noticed the team of Sharpedo that were swimming alongside them. "You ever think of putting him in races?"

"I only caught him not too long ago. I'm a trainer myself." Drew hummed, watching Mustang intently. He looked down and observed the canoers more closely. "You guys race?"

"Not quite. We're travellers. We're canoeing round each region. These boys keep the longer parts a little shorter." The canoer laughed, as he gestured toward the Sharpedo, who grumbled beneath the water. "I'm Rory, this is Sally and the wet guy over here is Owin. Don't blame your Kingdra, Owin's a terrible canoer anyway." Rory laughed at the sharp glre Owin shot him at the insult.

"Drew." The young trainer responded. "The Kingdra's name is Mustang...and umm..." He began, taking a deep breath before continuing. "Honestly, I've been thinking about letting the big guy go. Then you guys show up, all this interest in him, even the perfect situation..."

"Nohoho, not a chance pal." Rory chuckled. "Your Mustang is a beast, but we're not here to take him from you."

"Look, it's something I've put a lot of thought into. We've been through a lot recently." He raised his charred arm for the canoers to see. "I think its hit Mustang harder than most, and he could do with a change of pace. He was never really cut out for battling anyway. I'm doing this for him, not me." All four of them looked over to the water type again. He was still going. "He's got all this energy, but hasnt found somewhere to put it yet. All he needs is some direction." Drew finally finished. He tossed the Kindgra's pokeball for the for Rory to catch. The older man scanned it for moment, before tossing back to Sally, who caught it hesitantly.

The woman glanced back up at Drew and furrowed her brows. "You're not gonna say goodbye?"

"Honestly...he won't even notice I'm gone."


Spoiler:

: 400

Poke Ball X 1

Apricorn X 1

Chesto Berry X1

Cheri Berry X1

Pecha Berry X1

Rose Incense X1

Electrizer x 1




Coumarine City - Coumarine Bay



Friends for Infinity
RPT | Pairs

"It's so calm."

art by the amazing Infinite

Magnificent Magilou

Perfalmost Victory!

Age 33
Female
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
750 posts
9 Years
Avril Morris
Couramine City
Chapter 21-3 | Change Part III
















Current Party:



Avril didn't utter a single word as she slowly walked back towards the hospital. Her mind was racing. A wave of emotions were rushing through her. She didn't know what had happened... She didn't know how in the world she had brought herself to do it. In a single instance, the Cinder grunt was gone. He wasn't captured by the rangers or the police. He would face no trial. He was essentially proclaimed guilty and punished by Avril in a fit of rage. It was because of that rage that his soul was now removed from this mortal coil.

Avril closed her eyes, trying her best to try and clear her mind from the thought of what she had done. It was an idea that proved fruitless, however. The moment she closed her eyes, Avril found herself staring down at the now headless corpse of the Cinder grunt. She could feel the cold steel of the pipe in her hands, with the sounds of flesh being smashed against it echoing through her ears.

The very thought of it made her sick.

"Emma... Let's just get back to Emma..." Avril said quietly, leading the way back into the hospital.

The blonde quickened her pace as she made her way back to the detective's room. Her face was pale. Her body was shaking. The blood of the grunt was still splattered on her shirt. She was most likely a sight to behold. Avril found herself having to thank Arceus that it was late enough that virtually no one was around. The girl stepped into Emma's room, alerting both her Greninja and Jigglypuff as she arrived. Shino stared at his trainer as she brushed by him, not even offering the frog pokémon a brief greeting in the form of a wave. A concerned look was in his eyes as he watched Avril take her seat back beside Emma's bed before turning his focus towards Marble. The Flaaffy merely shook her head in response. Shino was perceptive enough to tell that something had happened while the duo was out... Something about Marble seemed different than usual. At the same time though, he seemed to realize that inquiring with the sheep pokémon was going to be pointless. It was as if Marble was a million miles away.

"She's still out..." Avril thought with a sigh. She honestly couldn't tell if she was relieved or worried over this fact. Maybe it was a strange mixture of both. "At least she won't be able to see me like this... I should maybe use this oppurtunity to change or something..."

"Mm..." The shifting of bedsheets suddenly came, followed up with some light groaning. It was coming from the bed where Emma was sleeping in... and Emma herself. Slowly, she could feelher consciousness returning, and slowly, her eyes started to open. Her vision was blurry at first, and the light of the room she was staying in blindsided her, until she became more and more accostumed to it, as her eyes have now somewhat fully opened. She had a severe headache, her arms were numb, she could still taste a small aftertaste of blood from her mouth... but she was awake, fully conscious. "Oh..." she moaned, slowly rising herself up. "Where... am I...?"

Avril froze. She slowly turned around, her eyes quickly meeting those of a groggy and confused detective. "...E-Emma...?"

Doing the same, Emma turned her body a little in response to someone calling her name... to meet the gaze of her worried, seemingly grieving friend. “Is that you... Avril...?”

The thoughts of changing her clothes and cleaning herself up vanished. The younger of the two blondes quickly pushed her way towards Emma, thankfully catching herself before she outright pounced on the recovering girl and instead settling placing her hands on her shoulders as she looked the detective over.

"Thank Arceus you're finally awake..." she sighed, relief evident on her face. "You had me worried sick..."

Emma greeted Avril with a weak smile. “S-Sorry,” she apologized heartily. “I’m... sorry to have worried you... oh...” she felt her head throbbing. The incident seemingly caused her head trauma, but luckily it didn’t seem too serious enough that she couldn’t at least talk.

“Hey...” Emma then said, noticing Avril’s bloody clothes. “That looks like blood... what happened? Are you alright...?”

"Damn it..." Avril cursed, quickly shaking her head at Emma's question with a reassuring smile. "This...? It's just from a wound I got back during that mess in Shalour. It... probably just opened up a bit or something. I've been so worried about you that I've been failing to take care of it properly."

”Oh...” replied Emma. “I’d tell you to take care of yourself, but... I guess I have no room to talk, haha... I’m just glad you’re alright.”

Avril sighed again, slowly taking her seat beside Emma once more. The smile slowly faded from her lips, her face once more having concern written all over it. As glad as she was, both for Emma's recovery and for the fact she was able to avert the incident from earlier, there were some things she figured she needed to let her best friend know.

"You've been out for about two days now," Avril began. "After you tried to buy that time against Shadow Mewtwo, the Lugia that was summoned by the flute of Laurent's was able to take care of business. You've been out of it ever since, sleeping for two days here in Couramine City's hospital. A lot of people got taken here from Shalour... Or rather, what used to be Shalour. I think it goes without saying that the city has been basically wiped off the map..."

Two days...” Emma sighed frustratingly. “That damn Team Cinder...” she cursed and regretted. “Monsters... Demons! The many people that have been killed because of them are — oh...” she then gave Avril a saddened look... and a heavy heart. “Avril! I’m... I’m so sorry about what happened to... Robin...” she then bowed in place, no matter how much pain from her head gave off. “My... deepest condolences...”

"Oh... uh, yeah..." Avril replied, her voice trailing off as she looked away. "Listen, don't worry about that... I mean, it hurts... It's not gonna stop for a while, but... the important thing is I didn't lose you either." Another pause, a thought suddenly popping up in the younger girl's head. "Emma... Back in Shalour... What were you thinking? Don't you know you could've been... you could've died, you know?"

Emma rose back her head to meet with Avril’s eyes. “Once again, I apologize for that,” she explained. “To be honest... I don’t know. All I remember was that, I watched everyone becoming worried and scared... and something within me surged up — I couldn’t just sit by and do nothing... it was the first time that I did something that I didn’t justify because I’m a detective. It was because that... it was my deepest wish, to not only become a shield for everyone, but... maybe to help give everyone... hope?”

She then shifted her eyes away. “But... it was a pretty foolish thing to do, I will admit. After all the times I tell people like yourself, Jackson or Laurent to not risk your lives upon a dangerous quest — look what I did! I can see now that all this time... I was truly the most arrogant one.”

"Give everyone hope, huh...? I don't think arrogance has anything to do with that," Avril mused. She smiled weakly at Emma before continuing. "That said... don't do something like that again... I mean, you're important to a lot of people... people who would have quite the hard time recovering if anything happened to you."

”I know... it will not happen again,” Emma responded, turning back to Avril. “You should be careful too. The way you charged at Gabriel Artece like that was pretty reckless...” she then sighed, continuing with a lighter heart. “Avril, I... I don’t have any parents, or blood siblings. But you’re... you’re like a sister to me. If anything happened to you, I... I dunno what I'd do...”

"A sister..."

Avril remained quiet for a moment, her mind suddenly taking her back to that fateful night when she charged Gabriel. Perhaps if she had been stronger... maybe if she had been able to do something different, Sycamore would have still been around. Then there was the encounter just a little while ago in the alley... That moment when she ended up killing that Team Cinder grunt suddenly becoming very vivid. Would things have played out differently had she not killed him? It was very possible, probably even likely, that she had managed to save someone's life tonight by taking the situation into her own hands.

Avril's eyes slowly drifted down to her hands. The thought of that moment, while not pleasant to dwell on for long for most, was certainly giving her an odd feeling. She wasn't feeling quite as sick to her stomach over the thoughts of the man's head being bashed in. Rather, she found herself feeling somewhat... satisfied.

”Ehehe... sorry,” Emma started, playfully sticking her tongue out. “Was I being a bit too sentimental again? Don’t worry, I’ll be okay! I’ll be outta here in no time, and we’ll beat Cinder for sure! But this time, we’ll both get even stronger, and we will battle them together!”

"Yeah..." Avril replied simply, rising up from her chair. "Listen, I... I think you should get some more rest. I'm gonna go grab a nurse and let 'em know your about and then retire for the night, okay?"

”Okay,” Emma agreed softly. She then stook her arms out and gave Avril a smile, hoping for a hug. “...Best cure for my injury?”

"Yeah, of course..." Avril said. She knelt down to Emma's level, returning the hug that was being offered.

Avril could feel the blood on her shirt being pressed up against her body, somehow sending her a reminder of what happened... of what was to come. She slowly pulled away, looking at Emma's smile... A smile that she knew she needed to keep safe. Motioning for Shino and the rest of her team to follow, Avril bid Emma a good night before making her way to try and find a nurse.

"Sorry, Emma... But... I think I'm gonna be riding solo from this moment on..."

gimmepie

Age 24
Male
Australia
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
20,467 posts
7.5 Years
Kade Andrews
Motivation?
Stratus (Female, Reckless) - Growl, Wing Attack, Quick Attack, Double-Edge, Aerial Ace, Double Team
Contrail (Male, Big Pecks) - Flame Charge, Roost, Quick Attack, Steel Wing, Ember, Aerial Ace
Noctilucent (Male, Insomnia)
- Tackle, Foresight, Hypnosis, Feather Dance, Peck
Cumulus (Female, Dancer) - Pound, Air Slash, Revealtion Dance, Roost, Feather Dance, Captivate
Floccus (Male, Defeatist) - Quick Attack, Agility, Ancient Power, Dragon Breath, Acrobatics, Quick Guard
Nimbus (Male, Moxie) - Night Slash, Sucker Punch, Swagger, Haze, Wing Attack, Sky Drop


Kade found himself on the outskirts of Courmarine City, resting against a huge tree as the sun fell down upon him. Before him he could see the sprawl of the city as it gradually petered out into the forest beyond. Directly, across from him was the Courmarine Gym.

Despite this though, Kade was yet to move from where had sat since arriving. Never before had he felt such trepidation about taking on the gym challenge. Yet here he was, unable to bring himself to take the few steps that would take him into the gym.

Am I really up to this?

He reached down and retrieved Cumulus’ pokeball, rolling around in his hand. His poor choices had lead to her suffering a nasty injury, and he knew that she’d taken nearly as long to recover as he had. If he couldn’t even make the right decisions when they truly counted, how could he be expected to make them in a gym?

His thoughts drifted back to the other major battles he’d had. He remembered Stratus landing a clutch Double-Edge on a Ninjask stuck in a rock, Arcus evolving at just the right moment in his rematch with Grant’s Tyrantrum - winning through pure grit and determination and Nox, bringing home the unlikely, narrow victory with a close range Hypnosis against Korinna’s Hawlucha.

It was true enough, that he’d achieved three gym wins on his journey already. However, they had all been close calls and he’d even had to challenge one of the gyms twice. This wasn’t even including his battles with Sky. He’d lost all three of those, and just when he thought the margin had been closing she’d shown him how much she was holding back. She hadn’t even been enough to stop Victor.

He leaned back further into the hard wood of the tree trunk, sighing. It was depressing and exhausting to think how far he still had to go if he ever wanted to have a shot at his dreams. Even more so when he considered how little he could do to protect his Pokemon. He closed his eyes, resting his head in his hands.

We have to be better. I have to be better.

“DIE!!!”

Kade’s head snapped up at the sudden shriek, his heart suddenly lurching into the back of his throat and his body trembling. He whipped around, frantically searching for the inevitable Cinder attack that was sure to follow such a horrifying outburst. His head located the source of the noise and he froze.

Sitting nearby him, a small colouful bird with vividly blue wings and an unusual, musical note-shaped crest was staring at him curiously with its head tilted to the side. Despite his shock and confusion, Kade instantly recognised the creature and knew it was the one who had produced the nerve-rattling scream.

“A Chatot?”

“I’LL MURDER YOUR FAMILY!!!” Yet another horrific scream, now the few passers by in the area had also noticed the commotion and were staring with a mix of disgust and befuddlement.

“Who taught you to say that?” Kade questioned, rubbing his eyes as if trying to confirm he wasn’t currently dreaming.

“NO SCOPING MOTHERPSYDUCKER!”

Kade could now hear the mutters of disapproval, but he was far too preoccupied with the bizarre, horribly rude, Chatot. Without even thinking about what he was doing, he found himself reaching for a Pokeball, turning his head to find one so his shock-slackened grip could probably grasp a capsule.

He turned around, ready to catch the bird, but it was no longer in its place. The Chatot was already flying up, heading for the trees.

“NICE SHOT! NICE SHOT! AAAAAR! STAR PLAYER!”

With that unusual farewell, the bird disappeared from view. Kade followed it with his eyes and then turned around, his vision settling on the Courmarine Gym. A faint smile graced his lips as he sighed, shaking his head.

“Alright, why not?” he said to himself, “I’ll take on the gym. It’s not like anything more shocking than that is going to be waiting in there.”




Spoiler: Pokemon at Sanctuary
Arcus (Male, Sniper) - Drill Run, Leer, Pursuit, Fury Attack, Aerial Ace, Mirror Move

Spoiler: Inventory
Key Items
- 1200Poké
- 1 Pokédex
- 1 Holocaster
- Flight Saddle
- Mysterious Ring

Medicine
- 3 Potions
- 1 Super Potion

Pokeballs
- 1 Pokéball
- 2 Great Balls

Technical Machines
- Bug Bite (TM)
- Aerial Ace (TM)
- Sky Drop (TM)
- Ancient Power (TM)
- Power-Up Punch (TM)

General Items
- Pearls
- Spell Tag (worn by Cumulus)

Pudding

[ alegría ]

Female
Seen 1 Week Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
375 posts
2.9 Years

Margarita Fas


"Okay. F*ck." Margarita stared up at the branch. Eelektrik refused to unwrap himself, the height too great for the eel. Pawniard's foot repeatedly tapped the leaves beneath, crunching them into diminutive pieces that flew away with the wind. Larvesta was further off, unsurprisingly protecting the two eggs with motherly attention.

EEEEE. E, shrieked Eelektrik. His woes were like nails on a chalkboard to Pawniard.

"Yeah. No." With one click the pokéball released a flash of red, engulfing the misbehaving eel. It thrashed wildly before submitting to the light, desiring to stay out.

It was during this commotion that from the black and red egg a small bump was felt, startling Larvesta. She let out a cry to her trainer, but it went unheard. With a more panicked tone she shrieked and immediately acquired the attention from the other two.

"What is it?" The two glanced her way. Pawniard was the first to notice, yet was not as amazed by the sight as Margarita, who managed to figure out what was taking place.

Beneath the tree shade, with Larvesta's warmth, the egg began to glow a brilliant white. Larvesta's shriek turned into silence, too ecstatic to produce proper sound at the birth of what she considers her child.

The white glow manifested itself, limbs and a tail forming before the trio. Within seconds a feline shape had been created, the white shattering into a small light show that showcased the newborn... Litten.

It was a litten.

EEEEEEEE, was all the bug could cry out, large, hot tears trailing down her cheeks. She wrapped the cat in her fur, to which the newborn did not react to. Instead it let the view of the new world sink in, attempting to comprehend the environment around.

"Ah muk. Yeah, I forgot eggs do that," Margarita mumbled to herself. Pawniard mocked the bug, rewarded with a thick glob of webbing not a second later. "Hey be quiet, this is a... a baby. It's a baby." She was amazed. Mesmerized. She never truly believed she would see the birth of a Pokémon.

"This is... this is very nice," Margarita mumbled, hand covering her mouth amidst in deep thought. The pawniard gave her a puzzled look, caught off guard by her comment. He remained silent. A small, diminutive, minute sense of jealousy popped into existence for Pawniard, grimacing at Margarita as she approached Larvesta.

NIIIIIIIIA. His cry for attention failed. AAAAAAI!

"Stop. You had your spotlight already," she grumbled without facing him, crouching in front of the small kitten. Pawniard kicked the dirt, cursing under his breath. "Let's go see the nurse-" Her words were interrupted by the bug's whine, not wanting to budge. She enjoyed her child's warmth. "Come on. You too? I have enough with Nene."

The knight shouted his frustration in response to her comment.



Margarita left the department store with a child's pull along wagon, Larvesta, Litten, and the blue egg riding along.

"I look like a child." Pawniard walked in front of Margarita. Doing so prompted her to announce her movements, otherwise the soldier would get in the way.

In the newly bought diaper bag a large amount of Pokémon food was stored. Hidden inside were sweets, mainly for Eelektrik's sweet tooth.

They ventured into the route, sandwiches neatly stacked in the wagon in anticipation of another few hours of training and rest. But it didn't take long before they reached an obstacle; a group of slowpokes had gathered and lay in the middle of the road. Their baggy eyes and groans indicated some malady had taken over them.

Margarita continued to move forward in hopes of some sort of clue or observation to scream out to her. Unfortunately that was not the case.

The group stared at the mess with the exception of Pawniard, who did not hesitate to command the mass to slide on over. Of course they did not budge, their pounding headaches forcing them to tune out the surrounding environment.

"If you said to move then that was rude," Margarita turned to face her partner. She watched as the annoyed Pawniard marched towards the creatures, giving the poor Slowpoke a kick and shove.

A squeal shot out from the poor slowpoke that felt the sharp blades poke at them. "We don't have enough food to wait for you to push them. Let's go back." At first he remained with the pink cluster, arms folded as he glared at them. But the further his team walked, more eyes blinked and moved to get a better look at the pawn. Their pupils and red eyes unnerved Pawniard.

Within seconds he gave in, immediately chasing after his trainer. Aaaaiiee! As he was on his way to catching up, Litten's sudden whines caught Larvesta's attention. The cat's worries for the slowpokes had Larvesta glancing up at her trainer, clicking and scraping against the metal wagon for her undivided attention.

She halts. "...yes, Nana? What is it." Larvesta points back towards the pile of pokémon they abandoned. Margarita sighed, hesitant in her twist to see the small, pink mountain. Litten vocalized his worries in a louder voice, quickly shedding his timidness. Meeeeow.

"Except I don't know what to do to help. Don't know if it's a stomachache or something." She then observed her pawniard catch up, goosebumps returning to him when he gave the creepy eyes one last look. "Nene doesn't want to return either."

Both Larvesta and Litten glanced at Margarita, although the former displayed determination unlike the latter's worry.

She let out a long sigh. "Okay yeah fine."

Daisuke Mitsuharu

Punching Bag

Male
Seen 2 Days Ago
Posted August 4th, 2019
180 posts
6.5 Years

The First Domino ; Veilstone City, Sinnoh

??? ; ♂, ???


Party:

Inventory: Empty


Funds: 0 Poké
Mr. Flynn was in a hurry, but considering the times, he was also cautious. With Team Galactic gaining some notoriety in the past weeks, petty crime in Veilstone City had skyrocketed.

The vision of a utopian world order which Team Galactic served on a platter to its newcomers must have sounded like paradise to the more disenfranchised members of society, who likely turn to crime against their will in order to survive from day to day.

Mr. Flynn was a staunch proponent of justice and adherence to laws, but even he could understand why people who are dealt a bad lot in life do what they do. Still, he couldn’t abide by their actions.

Based on the statistics recorded by Veilstone City Police, it was plain to see from the numbers displayed on the graphs that Team Galactic’s rise to prominence had contributed in large part to the increase in crimes committed. Worst of all, their base of operations lay just a few blocks from the city’s Pokemon Center. That didn’t bode well for anyone, including Mr. Flynn.

The reason no singular person in the city had protested their presence was a logical one (if not cowardly), one stemming from fear and the human desire for self-preservation. The organization had never been large to begin with, but their most recent growth spurt caused their numbers to climb exponentially.

In their present state, it was possible for Team Galactic to gain control over Veilstone City without being met with much resistance. Due to the organization’s sheer size, dissidents would be stamped out immediately and with little effort.

Mr. Flynn desperately wanted today to be just a regular day at work, but it turned out fate had a different plan for him. “Don’t move.” He felt the barrel of a gun press against his back, hidden under the thick covers of a coat which, according to him, had definitely seen better days. He felt the hairs on his arms stand as his assailant led him to a dimly-lit alleyway where there were no people around. “Give me all your belongings.”

Mr. Flynn spun to face his burglar, who was a rather young man (likely not older than 21) holding him at gunpoint. Though the trigger hadn’t been pulled yet, he could just imagine the bullet lodging itself into his skin and the waves of pain that would accompany it afterward.

“Here, you can take my wallet. Just don’t--”

As he reached for his pockets, the man who had his gun trained on him stepped closer. “Stop. I’ll take it myself.” Those words along with the firearm staring him in the face were enough to deter Mr. Flynn from resisting the man’s instructions.

That remained the case until a rock coming from behind the man hit him on the head with a thwack.

At first, Mr. Flynn found himself bewildered by the turn of events.

However, a Gallade swandiving from the top of a building to knock out his assailant (who had been mobile seconds ago) alerted him to his chance for escape.

“Let’s go mister!” The form of a black-haired boy peered from the side of the alleyway leading into the populated parts of the city; with a waving motion, it beckoned for Mr. Flynn to move. “You don’t need to tell me twice,” Mr. Flynn muttered under his breath as he fled the scene. The black-haired boy soon followed him with his Gallade in tow.







Mourning ; Hearthome City, Sinnoh

Kaito Ishikawa ; ♂, 16


Party:

Inventory:
  • 1x Badge Case
  • 5x Super Potion
  • 5x Great Ball


Funds: 5000 Poké
Kaito had a habit of leaving out in the middle of the day to scurry off someplace, and Caius at the time wasn’t sure where he was going. Not that it was any of his business, but Caius - even among the most curious of kids - was a rare and special breed; he was the kind whose questions you couldn’t just stave off with empty answers. What stimulated Caius’ curiosity further were the times when Mr. Flynn - his father - would accompany Kaito to wherever the boy went. Now that was definitely suspicious.

Caius never put two and two together out until the sporadic trips outdoors suddenly stopped and Kaito would spend that chunk of his day cooped up in his room instead. It was denoted by a subtle change in his attitude, which he always dressed up with a sunny smile when Caius was around, but Caius could see through appearances. Something was wrong.

“Are... you okay?” A soft voice followed by gentle knocking prompted Kaito to open his door. With the door now ajar, the unmistakably familiar figure of Caius emerged, thumbs twiddling nervously and eyes fixed to floor.

“Hey Caius. What’s up?” Kaito’s greeting was a little languid.

Caius looked up to meet the taller boy’s gaze. “I wanted to ask you if you were okay.”

A mechanical smile amidst an ensemble of melancholic features was directed in Caius’ direction. “Don’t you worry your head over me. I’ll manage.”

Having known Kaito for some time now, Caius had him figured out. Whether or not the guy himself noticed, Kaito tended to squint his eyes whenever he was lying, which he did as he reassured Caius of his well-being. The creasing of eyebrows told Caius all he needed to appraise the legitimacy of his words.

“But you’re acting weird…” Caius tried to pry for more information.

At first, Kaito deflected any and all of Caius’ attempts at getting him to open up. But, eventually, the genuine worry in Caius’ voice caused him to lower his guard and tell Caius the truth.

“My dad died recently, and well... I’ve been a little down in the dumps about it.” The out-of-place euphemism was meant to be humorous, but it didn’t quite make its landing. As much as Kaito tried to make light of the topic, talks of death often made people unprepared for them uncomfortable. Looking back, Caius rationalized that Kaito likely didn’t want him to feel uncomfortable, which explained why he made an effort to steer the conversation elsewhere every chance he got.

“I… I’’m sorry...” Caius couldn’t find the right words to say to console him. Struggling, he shot his second shot. “Don’t… don’t forget we’re family too.” With the loss of his father, Kaito must’ve felt like he was alone. Caius didn’t know much about Kaito’s father, and in fact, he’d always thought Kaito was an orphan his father took in to work for him. Even in passing, Kaito never brought up his father during conversations. But, seeing how his death affected him, Caius could tell he was important to Kaito.

With every ounce of his being, Caius tried everything he could to return Kaito to his former self. But, in the back of his mind, he knew that only time could nurse his wounds. So he left him alone until he was ready to talk.

“Thanks, little Cai.” Curt words of gratitude echoed through the narrow second floor hallway and reached Caius’ ears as he was walking to his bedroom. He turned back towards the sound of the voice. “No problem, big Kai!” Smiles were exchanged along with words, and eventually, once all avenues for talking were cut off, Caius waltzed to his destination - happy with himself.







Goodbye, For Now ; Hearthome City, Sinnoh

Kaito Ishikawa ; ♂, 18


Party:

Inventory:
  • 1x Badge Case
  • 5x Super Potion
  • 5x Great Ball


Funds: 15000 Poké
“Hey Cai, would you mind letting go now?” With Caius’ arms wrapped tightly around his waist, Kaito tried to squirm his way out of them. But to no avail -- the 9 year-old did not want to budge.

“No.” A muffled whine, which was a result of having his face buried in Kaito’s shirt, escaped Caius’ lips in the moment that followed. Neither words nor actions seemed to convince him to let go.

“But Cai. I’m going to miss my flight.” Kaito was starting to stand his ground, his tone of voice taking on a slight agency to reflect his impatience at the situation.

“Nuh-uh. I don’t care. I don’t want you to go.”

“Caius…”

Kaito was headed for the Hoenn region. Thanks to Professor Rowan pulling some strings for him, he received an internship offer from Professor Birch, whose research dealt with the study of Pokémon habitats. This often meant that the professor had to travel to different parts of the Hoenn region for his research, which was a boon for Kaito; he could never stand being kept in one place for extended periods of time.

In addition to the opportunity being a chance for him to learn more about Pokémon, it was also a chance for him to explore the Hoenn region. The prospect of roaming unfamiliar territory excited Kaito, but Caius was far less thrilled about it, since it meant he was going to be left behind.

“Caius.”

“Mm?”

Applying a bit of force, Kaito pried Caius off him and spun him around.

“I’ll be back before you know it, okay? So sit tight and don’t give Mr. Flynn any trouble!” Kaito showed teeth as he smiled at Caius, whose hissy fit seemed to have somewhat subsided at the display. That was a relief.

“I’m a good kid. I never do anything wrong…” Caius grumbled under his breath, just audible enough for Kaito to hear.

“I know. Which is why I have nothing to worry about, right?”

“You bet!” Caius shot him a thumbs-up.

“That’s a good boy. I know you’ll hold down the fort for me while I’m gone.” Placing a hand on Caius, it occurred to Kaito just how much he’d miss the little guy. The games he’d play with him on his JoyStation after work, the Pokemon battles Caius would challenge him to (battles he’d end up winning most of the time, much to the dismay of the 9-year-old) -- for now, he would have to set it all aside, which made him a little sad.

“Alright, Cai. It’s time for me to go. Take care of yourself now.”

During Kaito's entire encounter with Caius, Mr. Flynn had been in his car beckoning Kaito to get inside. With Caius looming over Kaito at the time, getting to the car was hard to do. Now Kaito was free from Caius’ grip.

The sound of a seatbelt being fastened was overtaken by the sound of the car door slamming shut as Kaito situated himself in the vehicle. Rolling the windows down, he couldn’t help but make conversation with Caius one last time before he left for good.

“Don’t delete my save files from your games, you hear?”

Caius stuck out his tongue. “No promises!”

As the car slowly back from the driveway and into the road, Kaito could see Caius waving at him, this time with a grin on his face rather than a pout.

Eventually, Caius came out of view, and Kaito was left to mull over his thoughts. One thing was for certain: he was going to miss this place.


Shak

Male
UK
Seen 10 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Days Ago
890 posts
4.8 Years
-Drew Tucker
Stairway to Heaven


Drew sat atop his Wailmer still. The afternoon was passing him by, and he found himself weary. He watched Sally and Owin train with the Kingdra he gave them. He really didnt feel like doing much more. The distinct accent of Rory broke through Drew's daydream.

"Hey kid, you should join us!" He glanced down onto the banks, where Rory was laying down, watching his two partners play with the pokemon. "We know you've got your journey and stuff, but..."

"I've got more than my journey." Drew bit back, returning himself to face the duo and their fast water types again.

"Oh? What might that be?" Rory teased, as he climbed onto the sleeping Whale.

Drew's expression fell further into a scowl. He looked back at where Brycen, Levi and Zephyr were all working together to build what was the largest of Levi's towers so far. He looked back at Nebula and Salad, who slept soundly on Wailmer's back. "I gotta stop Team Cinder. It's not just about a pokemon journey anymore."

"Team Cinder?" Rory scoffed, stuffing a cracker into his mouth. "It's just a terrorist attack. Feels like there's one every couple of years, and they always get dealt with. Leave it to the champion." He lowered himself and returned to the position he'd been in on the bank. "Woah boy, this Wailmer of yours is way more comfortable than the grass."

"I should join you on what?" Drew sighed, changing the already tedious subject.

"Fishing competition." Rory smiled, his eyes closed. "There's a pretty nice prize to it too. Apparently a lot of business big shots come here as a sort of networking event. Silph Co, Devon Corp, you name it, they're all there. It's kinda messed up, but what happened to Shalour is the perfect oppourtunity to expand the business by investing in smaller ones and promising to help the community. Prize for winning the competition is tickets to that."

Drew held his reaction to the mention of Silph Co. He found himself on his feet, and climbing down from Wailmer. "I gotta go take on the gym, I'll be right back!"

Rory jolted up and watched the boy run up toward the three pokemon building the tower.

---

"Guys, we're moving. It's time to take on that gym, let's get a move on." Drew panted as he arrived before the group. He glanced up at the Aron atop the tower, reaching up to the sky. The young trainer broke a brief smile at the steel types antics, before regaining his focus. He pulled out Levi's pokeball and shot the red beam out of it.

Levi dodged. The pokemon came tumbling down the tower and crashed heavy into the ground once he hit the floor. The shakily placed rocks that made up the tower came tumbling behind him. Brycen and Zephyr watched in horror, waiting for the Aron to emerge.

"What happened there? Levi, you alright, bud?" As Drew stepped forward to help his pokemon, he barely managed to dodge a rock that shot like a bullet toward his head. "L-levi?" As he spoke, the pokemon shot out from the pile and charged as hard as his little legs could take him. His steel frame slammed into the trainer's leg. Drew could barely see any emotion in the pokemon's face, but those narrowed eyes were something he'd never seen in the Aron before. "Woah, Levi, you can make another one! Dammit, that hurt." He staggered back, clutching his shin. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

The Aron stood before his trainer expectantly.

Brycen and Zephyr watched on. The Quilladin grabbed the crying Gligar and gave him a gentle noogie.

Drew eased his leg back to the ground and looked up to where the steel type had been reaching. It was just the sky. "I'm guessing the tower meant a lot to you. So I'm sorry." He sighed, sitting down beside Levi. "I guess finally getting to build one that big only to see it fall down right in front of you must've been pretty crappy. I haven't exactly been the most attentive of trainers either, huh?"

The Aron stared up at the sky again, the same emotionless expression on its face.

Drew followed the trail of his gaze, but again saw no more that the blue sky. "What, you think Newt's up there?"

Levi's head shot toward Drew, eyes widened.

The teenager's expression sunk at that. "Right. I guess if you believe that stuff." He muttered under his breath. "Newt was probably a better trainer than I've been then, huh?" He noticed the pokemon recoil. "Not that I'm trying to make it about me, I just...He's gone Levi. I had to accept the same with Caesar. I know it hurts. You feel even worse when you just replace them straight away." Drew watched with pained eyes as Levi trotted over to his tower, knocking down its remains. "Keep fighting and getting stronger, that's what Newt would want." He paused and walked over to Levi, lowering himself with the steel type's pokeball in his hand. "Even if that's not with me."

The Aron's eyes were resolute as ever.

"I guess I haven't given you a lot of chances to do that, huh? I promise, next gym battle is all you." He smiled. He stuck out his fist.

Levi tilted his head, until Brycen stepped forward and bumped his fist with Drew's. Zephyr glided forward and landed on Drew's hand with a grand gesture. Drew looked over to the rest of the team. He couldnt help but notice that Wailmer once again, couldnt be a part of this. His mind was taken away as he felt the touch of cold steel tap his fist.


Spoiler:

: 400

Poke Ball X 1

Apricorn X 1

Chesto Berry X1

Cheri Berry X1

Pecha Berry X1

Rose Incense X1

Electrizer x 1




Coumarine City - Coumarine Bay



Friends for Infinity
RPT | Pairs

"It's so calm."

art by the amazing Infinite

Magnificent Magilou

Perfalmost Victory!

Age 33
Female
Seen 4 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
750 posts
9 Years
Avril Morris
Couramine City
Chapter 21-4 | Change Part IV
















Current Party:



The faint sound of running water echoed out from the shower. After finally parting ways with Emma and making her way back to her little room in the local pokémon center, the trainer made a beeline for the shower so she could attempt to clean off the sight and stench that remained from her little encounter with the Cinder grunt back in the alleyway earlier that evening. Once again, she had left her pokémon out of their pokéballs. Shino once again sat quietly in the corner, the Greninja keeping a steady eye out on his teammates as he did so. As usual, Mint was busy rolling around the room. It was a habit that he noticed the Jigglypuff had. There had been very few times that the balloon pokémon had actually sat still, and even the late hours of the night seemed to be little to slowing her down.

What concerned Shino the most however was his other teammate, Marble. Something about the Flaaffy had been off ever since she and Avril returned from their walk back at the hospital. The sheep pokémon was overly quiet, her eyes constantly staring at the ground as if she was deep in thought. Shino sighed, coming to the decision that he needed to get to the bottom of this. He slowly picked himself off the ground, making his way over towards Marble.

"...Marble..." Shino croaked out, causing the Flaaffy to jump in surprise. Shino gave his teammate a curious glance. Mint seemed to stop rolling at this point, turning her attention towards the two conversing pokémon. "You've been silent ever since we left the hospital. What happened?"

"...Shino... It's nothing, really! I'm just tired, you know? I mean, it's getting pretty late..." Marble mewled. Shino's gaze never left the Flaaffy. Her eyes drifted back down to the floor, a her small hands pressing together in apprehension. "...it's that obvious...?"

Shino nodded. "I've known you since Lumiose City... You're an easy read at this point."

Marble sighed. "Mama... we ran into one of those scary humans from that city..."

"Team Cinder?! They're here?!" Shino questioned, his eyes wide with surprise. The Greninja quickly closed the space between himself and Marble, looking the Flaaffy over for any signs of damage. "Did they hurt you? What about Avril? Wait... that blood from earlier... What happened?!"

Marble slowly pulled away, trying her best to try and calm Shino's nerves. "No, no... I mean... The man... he attacked us, but we were able to fight him off..."

"Of course you did!" Mint cheered. A broad smile graced her mouth as she gave Marble a firm pat on the back. "You're a tough cookie. Both you and Avril! I only wish I had been there so I could've given them a piece of my mind!"

"No... No, you don't understand," Marble protested. She took a step back from both of her teammates. "I... I don't know what happened, but Mama... Mama changed..."

Both Shino and Mint looked at each other curiously. Shino took a step forward, kneeling down to Marble's level. "Changed...? Changed how...?"

Marble looked a bit nervous to continue. The Flaaffy took hold of her tail and began to wring it in her hands as she walked back and forth. "Mama... Mama got mad. She got real mad... She... She suddenly tackled the man and... she... she..."

A look of realization suddenly washed over Shino. "Marble... You can't..."

Before another word could be mentioned, the faint sound of scratching reached the ears of the group. Shino turned to the nearby window where he spotted the familiar form of Radar waiting on the other side. He quickly opened the window, stepping aside shortly after so the Noivern would have enough room to fold his wings and squeeze inside. A look of disapproval graced Shino's face as Radar stepped inside, something the bat pokémon seemed to notice right away.

"What's your problem...?" Radar asked nonchalantly.

"Do you really need to ask that? Where have you been? Do you have any idea what's been going on?!" Shino questioned. Radar merely grunted in response, brushing past the Greninja as if he wasn't even in the room. Shino didn't seem to take to kindly to this, as he reached out and grabbed a firm hold on to Radar's tail. "I'm talking to you, dammit!"

Radar let out a loud screech, snapping his tail from Shino's grasp with ease. "I don't recall having to answer to the likes of you..."

Shino didn't relent. "This isn't time for any of your antics. We've a serious matter to discuss in regards to Avril!"

Radar's gaze narrowed. "What about Avril...?"

"She ran into one of those Cinder humans again," Shino explained. He glanced over towards Marble, who instantly found herself looking somewhat discouraged. "...From what Marble said, she... she killed him."

A blank look took over Radar's face. "So...? I don't see the issue here."

Another glare from Shino. "She took a life, what do you mean this isn't a big deal?"

"After what these humans have been doing, I fail to see why what our trainer did is a bad thing. They've had it coming, right? It's not like it's the first time we've done something like this anyways..." Radar grunted. "I killed one that night myself..."

"You did what?!" Shino croaked out in disbelief.

"I did what you couldn't. Those bastards killed Lulu... I took punishing them into my own hands," Radar explained.

"That wasn't your call to make!" Shino snapped. "I'm the team leader in this group. I can't let you go around an-"

"You? The leader?! Don't make me laugh!" Radar snorted. "Some leader. You couldn't even keep us all alive. You were down and out for the count when that professor of yours and our trainer's sister both died as well. Was it your leadership that led us to the beating we received at that tower as well?!"

Shino suddenly let out a loud croak. Without warning, he quickly plowed himself into Radar, toppling the bat pokémon over onto the ground. Radar let out a loud screech of anger as he began to thrash and flail about, his claws slamming into Shino before essentially prying the frog off of his body. Both pokémon glared at each other, breath heavy before they began to charged towards each other again. Thankfully the fight managed to be delayed with Marble grabbing hold of Radar's tail and Mint plowing into Shino in an attempt to hold him on the ground.

"S-Stop this... Why are you two doing this?!" Marble demanded.

"I refuse to let myself be ordered around by a... leader such as this one. If he claims to have such a position on this team, then it's time for this fool to step up!" Radar roared.

Before any more of Avril's pokémon could get a word in, the door to the bathroom suddenly slammed open. Avril stepped out of the bathroom, looking at the chaos before her in disbelief. It was a wonder that the staff of the center weren't already up here and attempting to throw them out.

"What in the world are you all doing?" Avril questioned, as she made her way over towards her pokémon. "Do you really want to end up sleeping outside? Because that's what's going to happen if you all don't keep it down."

Her pokémon all stared at Avril intently as she spoke. There seemed to be a different air about her, as if she was carrying herself far differently than before. No smile graced her lips. Her eyes looked cold and empty, as if she had become an entirely different person than she was prior to taking her shower. Her physical appearance had changed too. Gone were her boots and her seemingly fashionable style that she had worked on with Victoria earlier on back in Ambrette Town. She was now dressed in somewhat baggy jeans, with a black, flowing tank top worn over her torso. Her leather coat was gone, being replaced with a long, black, hooded jacket. A pair of black sneakers graced her feet. The Ampharosite she had received from Robin was still worn like a necklace of sorts around her neck, but it was now offset by a black, leather choker. The only thing that seemed to be in place that even reminded the team of their trainer was her wool-knit hat on her head.

Radar grunted again as he walked past his teammates, making his way towards the blonde girl. Avril raised an eyebrow, noticing that he seemed to be holding onto something in one of his claw-like hands. Radar's gaze softened ever so slightly as he dangled the trinket down for Avril to take.

"What do you have there?" Avril questioned. She took the item from Radar, her eyes widening as she realized what the bat pokémon had been carrying the whole time... Robin's goggles. Avril slowly looked back up at the bat, realizing now just what he had been doing. "You've been flying back there every night trying to find these...?"

Radar nodded. Avril's gaze lowered back down to the goggles... the only true piece of Robin she had left to remember her by. The goggles were singed a bit, with a small crack running down one of the lenses. It was obvious they received some damage in the chaos that erupted in Shalour, but... they were still in one piece... She sighed. In a way, she knew that this was it. There wasn't going to be any going back now.

"Radar... Shino... Mint... Marble... We need to talk," Avril said quietly. The blonde made her way over towards the nearby bed, coming to sit on the edge of it. "Earlier tonight... well, I ran into a Team Cinder grunt. I'm not going to bore you with the details. One thing led to another, and... before I knew what happened... I killed him. At first, I was confused. I felt guilt, I mean... I took someone else's life, but... After finally getting to talk with Emma... thinking about what happened to Robin, Sycamore, Lulu... all the people of Shalour and people who may have been hurt or were killed because of the stuff back in Lumiose City and Shantalune Forest..."

Avril paused. Her hands clenched into fists. She gazed over at her wrist. Her pokéball bracelet. There were only four balls on it now. Somehow during all the commotion, she had failed to notice that another of teammates were gone... Cecil was gone too.

"I think... no, I know I made the right call," Avril finally continued. "These people... no, these monsters... They've done too much damaged, they've ruined too many lives and... no one is doing anything to stop them. Our so called Champions ignored them. The police and rangers are useless... So...it's time for me to take things into my own hands. But... I can't do this alone... If I'm gonna play things at their level, to strike them down any way I can before they do this kind of stuff again... I'm gonna to need your help. Shino, Radar, Marble, Mint... I'm not gonna force you all, but... please, lend me your strength."

Avril glanced up at her pokémon, nervously awaiting their response. The four looked at each other, all fully aware of what their trainer was asking. Radar was the first to make his move. The Noivern nodded his head in reassurance, slowly making his way towards the girl. Mint followed closely behind. She wasn't sure what all this was going to mean for her, but she figured she owed Avril enough to lend a hand. It was because of the trainer she had been given the chance to grow stronger and she wouldn't betray that gift now. Marble, though clearly nervous, made her way over next. The Flaaffy knew she had to take care of Avril... she was practically her mother, after all. She had taken care of her back when she was just a baby Mareep... and the bond between them just wouldn't let her turn her back on the trainer.

That left Shino.

The Greninja stood quietly, thinking over many things in his head. Despite the anger he still felt towards Radar, he knew the Noivern was right. All the loss that Avril felt that night... it was all riding on his shoulders. He wasn't strong enough to protect Lulu. He couldn't save the girl's sister. Professor Sycamore... the man who had essentially been a father to him, was gone. All this time, Shino thought he had been getting stronger, that he was doing what he needed to keep his teammates safe. Radar was right. He wasn't a team leader... he had been fooling himself this whole time. Now however... it was time to change that.

Avril smiled, albeit weakly, at her pokémon. "Thank you, everyone..."

Her path was now set. In order to avenge everyone who had been lost... in order to save more from meeting similar fates, Avril would now be stepping up and taking the law into her own hands. Playtime was over. Everything from this moment on would be a stepping stone towards her true goal. Avril slowly removed her hat, a look of sadness at the garment before she laid it off to the sad, before placing Robin's goggles carefully in her hair. It was time to say goodbye to the girl she had been... It was time to say goodbye to "Avril".

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