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  #26    
Old October 5th, 2016 (10:27 PM).
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destinedjagold destinedjagold is offline
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Chapter 23
Fay tried but failed to calm her rapidly-beating heart as she dangled on a loose cable attached to the newly-formed hole on the ceiling of a well-lit underground room.

Her mind constantly shouted one line to her over and over again: get out of here. As she tried to grip the cable with her paws, flashes of memories she'd rather not want to see again were almost blinding her. Her breaths became shallower as her heart continued beating faster.

Suddenly, she noticed the corners of her vision were starting to grow dark, and it was slowly growing, threatening to fill her entire sight with darkness.

She flailed her limbs in panic, her mouth's grip on the cable tightening.

She felt something on her paw, but she didn't know what, and then her other paw felt it, but she still was clueless as to what they were. Her panicking mind didn't care anyway. She just want to get out of the place.

Her mind registered too late that her paws her moving on their own, and when she realized it, a startled gasp escaped her mouth and—

“Oof—!”

She flopped down, belly-first, on something rough, dusty and solid, her limbs splayed all over. As her heart and her breath start to calm, the darkness in her eyes start to fade, and with a tired blink, the darkness was finally gone as she saw...

...even more darkness.

Blinking a confused blink, she slowly stood up on all four and looked around, finding herself inside a tunnel of some sort. Noticing the uneven ground she was standing on, she looked down and saw that she was standing on piles of wires.

—now now, there's no need to be so hostile.

Her ears twitched, finally registering sound other than her noisy heartbeat a few seconds ago. She looked back and saw a huge hole on the ground, swaths of light emanating from it.

“...Huh,” she breathed out, blinking. “Who knew being a panicky little mousey can make a panicky little mousey fly...” She chuckled a tired chuckle. The small smile eventually turned into a frown as she heard various voices from the hole.

An angry bubble formed in her heart. And then another, and another.

She quickly closed her eyes and shook her head, mentally popping those bubbles.

“I need to get out of here,” she whispered to herself as she looked around once more. “I sure hope Saury's—” she cut herself off, her pupils shrinking as she suddenly felt dread all over. “Oh no...”
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  #27    
Old October 6th, 2016 (10:26 PM). Edited October 6th, 2016 by destinedjagold.
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destinedjagold destinedjagold is offline
Oh Hai Thar~
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Philippines
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Nature: Careful
Posts: 8,589
Chapter 24
“Hey there, Bill!” Redanato greeted the dazed newcomers. “Glad you could...drop in.”

As Redanato laughed at his own joke, his Typhlosion stood with rolling eyes. Bill and his three large Pokémon groaned tiredly on the sofa they landed on.

Rolf, meanwhile, stared at them with his mouth ajar. His Meganium winced, still feeling hurt all over, and the settling noise wasn't helping its aching head.

The Feraligatr's nostrils flared, sniffing the air. Its eyes shot open when it smelled familiar scents around them. Pulling itself out of the pile, the bipedal aligator stood behind the sofa, its surprised look quickly morphed into a scowl as it glared at the smirking fire-type.

“A-ahem,” Redanato composes himself, smiling. “Hey there, Lyore,” he says, nonchalantly waving a hand at the glaring Feraligatr. “Long time, no see! You remember Hero, right?”

A torrent of water suddenly flew towards the fire-type, who simply tilted its head sideways to dodge the attack.

“Eh,” Redanato shrugged before standing up. “I'll take that as a ‘yes.’”

The Feraligatr growled lowly.

Redanato smirked, looking at his former friend who's being helped by the Alakazam. His gaze slowly moved to the Honchkrow, who's busily preening its wing.

“Ow...” Bill winced, now on his feet, one hand rubbing his head as he threw a glance at the Rocket leader. “...Red?” He blinks, then turning to the other man. “...Rolf? What's going on here?”

Rolf sighed. “Clueless as ever, I see.”

Redanato chuckled. He clapped his hand to catch everyone's attention. “Right! Now that we're all here, it's time for a grand tour of our lovely underground base!” He gestured towards the door. “Shall we?”

Rolf glared at him. “If you think for one second that Bill and I will cooperate to you...”

“Oh, you will,” Redanato smiled at him with a cold glint in his eyes. “I mean, it's not like you got any other choice in the matter.”

“I still don't understand what's going on,” Bill said, looking at his two friends. “Were you guys captured by Team Rocket, too?”

Redanato blinked at him. Another blink. And then another. “Ahh...! Right, right,” he said as he approached Bill. “You stopped caring about the world after you became a shut-in-ventor. Excuse me, fair Perla.” After the Alakazam took a step aside, he swung a hand around the clueless man and gestured at Rolf with his other hand. “Tell me who that businessman is.”

Bill blinked at him. “Er...our friend Rolf?”

“Bingo!”

Rolf glared at them both. “We're no longer friends, for your information, Bill.”

His Meganium slowly nodded with a glare.

“Aww...” Redanato pouted. “Did you hear that, Bill? Rolfie here's the same old uptight stick-in-the-mud guy! Oh, and boring, too.”

Bill chuckled a nervous chuckle.

“And you, Bill, my friend—” he cut himself off. “...We're still friends, right?”

Bill blinked a curious blink at him. “...Er, yes?” A pause. “...Can you give me my space back, please?”

Redanato rolled his eyes as he removed his arm around him. “Same old awkward Bill. Sheesh...” He walked and stopped beside his Typhlosion. Turning around, he then gestured at himself. “And me, your cheery happy-go-lucky friend, Red!” He brought his hands inside his pocket. “The three of us, together again! Isn't that great?!”

“I'll ask again, for Bill's sake, Red,” Rolf said, glaring. “What do you want from us?”

Bill blinked at him. “...Wait, Rolf.” He caught his friend's attention, if only a little bit. “Am I missing something here? You look like you're really angry at Red.”

Before his friend could say anything, the Honchkrow squaked a series of low squawks. Bill gave the large bird a disbelieving look.

Red rolled his eyes with an amused smirk. “The same old awkward, bird-talking Bill.”

“Red, leader of Team Rocket?” Bill asked.

The tall bird shrugged its wings.

“Pfft,” Bill pfft'ed. “Lais, I know you're a silly little bird, but that's probably the silliest thing you've ever said!”

“Maybe the craziest!” Redanato added.

Bill nodded in agreement.

Rolf sighed. “Probably because it's true...”

Bill turned to him, his brows furrowed in confusion. “What? Come on, Rolf. That's impossible, and you know that!”

Rolf sighed once more. “Unfortunately...”

Bill blinked.

Redanato raised a finger. “Oh, have you forgotten, Bill?” His smirk grew wider when he caught the inventor's attention. “Rolf's a bad liar. And we can tell he's lying when he does.” His grin grew a little more wider. “...Remember?”

Bill blinked. He suddenly felt cold when he realized what was going on. His three Pokémon sensed their trainer's fear, and they tensed up, their glaring eyes now aimed at Redanato.

“Im...im...” Bill muttered. “...p-possible.”

Redanato simply shrugged as he pulled something from his pocket. “Eh, well. I'm just glad you're finally on the same page as Rolf.” He brought the item towards his mouth. “Clean up, gang! We've got guests and I'm going to give them a tour.”

“I'm going to say it once again, Red,” Rolf said, almost hissing. “If you think for one second that Bill and I will cooperate...”

Redanato threw a cold smirk his way. “...I think I've already replied to that, Rolfie.”

“B-bu-but...” Bill muttered, still not believing. “...b-but you were...”

Redanato waved a hand at him. “Ah, Bill. The past is in the past. Things change, you know,” he said before smiling coldly at him. “...people, too.” A cold glint in his eyes. “...and so will the two of you.”

Bill's three Pokémon attacked the Rocket's leader.
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  #28    
Old June 7th, 2018 (10:38 PM).
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destinedjagold destinedjagold is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
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Age: 27
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Chapter 25
"Shock..." Sky whispered.

The little blue bird was perched on the small room's window sill, his tired and sad eyes staring at the silent Pikachu who sat on the end of the small bed. He bit his beak ... if only he could. He closed his eyes instead and sighed a trembling sigh.

"I'm so, so sorry..." He slowly reopened his eyes as he continued: "I... I didn't mean for this to happen... I just... I just wanted..."

Beeping noises.

A quiet hoot echoed from the distance.

Gentle rustles of leaves.

A broken heartbeat.

Sky gulped and slowly turned around. Bravely, or at least he thought so, he stared at the quiet moon up in the sky. "I'll fix this... Don't you worry."

Wincing, he spread his wings, jumped off of the window, and quietly flew through the night air.

Minutes passed, the silence of the room being broken by the cold beeping noise.

More minutes passed. It felt like an eternity. A forever.

An unwanted one.

Suddenly, the Pikachu's ears twitched, if only slightly. Cold, dead eyes slowly turned toward the open window, a tiny glimmer of curiousity reflecting on them.

"..." The Pikachu took a slightly uneven breath...

"...Jay?"

"!!!"

That voice sounded like glass shattering on tiled floor.

The Pikachu quickly whipped his gaze toward his unconscious friend, only to be greeted by the same scene he was staring for hours. The beepings pierced his ears, but they hardly were registered to the yellow rodent's thoughts.

It was her voice. He knew it was. There was no denying it, and he didn't imagine it.

An ear twitched. It wasn't his.

But it was the most wonderful ear twitch he had ever seen.

A crack of a smile formed on his lips. It felt painful, yet he didn't care.

It felt like forever finally had enough and stopped being a forever.

A heavy sigh escaped the rodent's mouth, and he was finally able to close his tired and heavy eyes...

...and finally allowed sleep to embrace him.

---

"Where should I go?"

A purple rodent kept muttering the exact same line for almost an hour now as she slowly and quietly wormed her way through the underground base's wiring system. In that hour, she saw small openings leading to hallways and rooms, but were full of humans wearing a sickly color that she kept on burying in her mind yet kept crawling back out. It most-likely didn't help that she was in the very same location of the past she had buried a long time ago.

A past too painful for her to relive, yet she was reliving it once again.

...At least she wasn't being poked and sliced around and watching her friends and family getting—

Oh hey! Another opening! Goodbye painful thoughts for now!

Nope. Team Rocket are still there. Moving on.

Maybe a song could help her mind stop thinking about her sad past? Maybe it would help her find a way to get out of where she was right now?

She was feeling a bit better. As long as she doesn't make a scene, like singing, no one would notice her being here in the first place. And if she kept on moving, maybe she would find an exit eventually!

Positive thinking! Such a wonderful thing to have!

Fay smiled a bright smile, barely stopping herself from humming a quiet tune as she crawled along the tiny tunnel-like confirnes carpetted with wires, wires and more wires.

A bright light. Another opening? Maybe this is it?

She slowly approached it.

---

A young trainer sat on one of the many waiting chairs in the Pokémon Center's hall, barely winning the fight against sleep. Her two Pokémon gave up long ago and were peacefully enjoying a good night's sleep beside her.

Heavy eyelids were threatening her blurry vision into the darkness of sleep. It was a battle she couldn't win. She knew, yet she struggled to fight back. She didn't know why, but she felt the need to—

A loud snore escaped her mouth as her sleepy head slowly turned to the wall behind her. She mumbled something, and then continued to snore.

In front of her was a closed door, and above it, a red light turned green, and the door quietly opened. A tired but smiling nurse slowly emerged from the dimly-lit room. She gently closed the door behind her, sighed in relief, and turned to the waiting trainer. She blinked and giggled after seeing her sleeping, snoring form.

Shaking her head, she quietly walked away, and minutes later, returned and placed a blanket on the sleeping trainer. A Chansey followed her and placed smaller blankets on the trainer's two sleeping Pokémon. The nurse smiled, gently patted the trainer's head, and left her alone, the Chansey following close behind.

A frown appeared on her tired face. If that trainer came a little later than she did, the Bulbasaur would have—

She shook her head. No point in thinking about it now. She was just glad that the Bulbasaur was alright. The poor thing would have to face many long days of recovery, but she would work hard to help it, as well as the other Pokémon here.

The Chansey patted the nurse's hand, catching her attention. She gave her a big and reassuring smile, earning herself a smile and a pat on the head.
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  #29    
Old June 7th, 2018 (10:42 PM).
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destinedjagold destinedjagold is offline
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Age: 27
Gender: Male
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Chapter 26
Light.

Darkness.

White.

Black.

Two colors zooming in and out as fast as the eyes could see.

Voices of many echoed and faded, all at once, barely understandable, difficult to distinguish.

Finally, up ahead, a hole appeared in the chaotic void. It showed a scene.

A scene he had seen before.

Finally, the chaos vanished, the noises died down, and the scene replaced everything.

---

A Taillow winced as he watched an embarrassed Pidgey took flight, the warm afternoon air brushing against his blue feathers.

"Good job, good looking," a Pikachu said as he rolled his eyes.

"Quick!" a Rattata exclaimed as she ran towards the blue bird. "Chase after her!"

"Nah," the Taillow said, turning to smile at the dumbstruck purple rodent. "I'm sure she'll be fine. And besides!" He stretched his wings and flapped them awkwardly. "...I still don't know how to fly."

"Hate to say it," the Pikachu said, crossing his arms. "But the damn bird has a point."

A Vulpix sighed. "I really still am clueless why we're here."

"All will be revealed in due time, girl," the Taillow said, winking at her, earning him a hearty chuckle from the Bulbasaur, a frustrated sigh from the Vulpix, and an annoyed look from the Pikachu.

The Rattata frowned at the blue bird, and sighed, her ears drooping.

---

"How many more?"

---

A worn-out Pikachu was thrown inside a cage alongside his other bruised friends. A police officer closed the backdoor and radio'd back to headquarters. Minutes passed and the officer finally went to the driver's seat, started the car, and drove away from the scene.

A tiny blue bird's head poked out from a bush. The Taillow blinked a stray leaf out of his eyelid and watched the car go.

A frown broke through his features as he turned his gaze towards one particular building nearby, blocked off from the public by police tape.

From his point of view, he could see the front door was ajar. Ignoring the many thoughts he had for the time being, and the number of nosy humans standing and watching, he hopped out of the bush and awkwardly walked towards the closed-off building.

Under the late morning sun.

In clear view of human eyes.

The silence in the air was immediately broken by excited shouts and cheers, and a few flying Pokéballs.

---

"How many more?"

---

Light and darkness.

White and black.

Two colors almost clashing against one another as they blur by in incredible speeds. Voices of many echoed and died off, mixed and separated.

A scene appeared up ahead. The very same scene he'd see once again.

Everything vanished and returned at the same time.

The Taillow winced as he watched the Pidgey took off and flew through the warm afternoon air.

"Good job, good looking," he heard the Pikachu said from behind him.

"Quick!"

The blue bird turned around and smiled at the fast-approaching Rattata.

"Chase after her!"

The Taillow blinked and considered it. He doesn't want to see that many Pokéballs flying towards him ever again. He nodded with a smile. "Alright."

The Rattata's eyes twinkled with glee.

The Taillow chuckled as he rubbed his feathery head with a feathery wing. "But we'd have to do it on foot."

The Rattata's eyes dimmed. "...Oh. I forgot you can't fly yet."

A vine gently patted the sad rodent's shoulder.

The Taillow turned to the approaching Bulbasaur. "Or I could just ride—"

The Bulbasaur frowned at him. "No."

"Please?" The Taillow ... pouted?

The Bulbasaur's frown went further down, earning him a chuckle from the Rattata.

"Do we really have to get her?" the Pikachu asked, fighting the urge to sigh.

"Well," the Vulpix turned to him. "Sky needs a teacher, so maybe we should?"

"Can't we just pick another bird nearby to teach him instead?"

---

"How many more?"

"S-shut up..."

---

"I still think we're wasting time," the Piakchu complained for the umpteenth time.

He and his other friends sat under the shade of one of the many trees in the forest, watching a brown bird teaching a blue bird on how to fly.

The Pikachu sighed. "I'm starting to think he's just wasting all of our time."

"Better here than where Lithe is," the Vulpix said nonchalantly.

The Pikachu scratched his head in annoyance. "Point."

The Bulbasaur chuckled.

The Pikachu sighed once more. "But really, it's been how many moons now and we still don't have any prog—"

The Rattata gasped and jumped on the spot. "Look! Look!"

The Taillow was flapping his wings, his eyes clenched shut and his beak threatening to break. "A-am I flying yet?" he mumbled through closed beak. His hanging talons twitched, if only slightly.

The Pidgey breathed out proudly, her eyes twinkling as she marvelled at how wonderful he looked. "Yes. You're—"

The Taillow's wing muscles cramped, and he yelped as he fell back on the ground. "Oof!" He panted as he slowly rose back up on his talons, wincing at how painful his wings were. "Ow..."

The Pidgey quickly grabbed ahold of one of his wings and examined it. "It doesn't look back."

"Gee, really?" The Taillow said with a pained glare. "Since when did you become a doctor?"

The Pidgey sighed as she let go of his wing. She got a little used to him now, which made her feel a little easier to be around him. She smiled. "But you flew."

The Taillow blinked. And blinked once more. His eyes grow wide. "Whoa...! Really?! You're not mukting me right now, right?"

"Pffft," the Rattata pffft'ed.

"Horay for progress," the Pikachu said, and sighed, sparks coming out from his cheeks. He blinked in confusion. "...huh?"

"Shock?" the Vulpix asked, blinking at him. "What are you doing?"

Shock carefully touched his sparking cheeks as the others' attentions were now on him. "I'm...not really sure."

A loud boom of thunder could be heard from the distance.

Everyone blinked and looked at the sky up above.

A chaotic swirl of dark and thunderous clouds quickly covered the entire blue sky. An explosion could be heard from a distance.

A whole lot of explosions.

"I..." the Rattata shivered, and so were the rest of them. "I don't know what's going on," she said, eyeing her sparking friend. "A-and I don't like it."

Strong gusts of wind whistled up above. The treetops started to rattle.

The sparks were getting intense. Shock gritted his teeth as his cheeks were starting to hurt him. "Grr...!" He glared at his friends. "G-get away from me!"

"Eep!" the Pidgey winced when a stray spark of electricity almost struck her. She immediately turned tail and flew away, barely able to fly properly through the strong winds.

The Bulbasaur grabbed his two female friends and pulled them away from their sparking friend.

Another boom of thunder. Panicked voices started to echo all around the forest. The Taillow looked up and—through the gaps of the violent rustling leaves—saw a large flock of birds flying away from a black and shiny alien-like aircraft hovering in the sky.

"Graaaaaaaaaaah—!"

The Taillow's attention returned to the Pikachu, who was writhing in pain now as his entire body is now engulfed in violent electricity, getting even more intense and bright.

The two females cried out his name. He could barely hear nor see them now. It was all too sudden and too painful to bear. It felt like... It felt like...

It felt like he was about to explode.

---

"How many more?"

---

Light and darkness. White and black. Chaotic swirls of two colors mixing and separating. Voices echo and fade. A scene. Everything became nothing...

...and nothing became everything.

A Taillow winced as he watched a Pidgey in front of him fly away into the warm afternoon air.

"Good job, good looking," he heard the Pikachu said from behind him.

The Taillow sighed and ignored everything for a short moment, until the moment got long enough for an impatient Rattata to poke him.

"This is getting ridiculous," the Taillow whispered to himself, rubbing his aching head.

The Rattata blinked. "Huh?"

The Taillow fully faced her with a weak smile. "I...can't fly yet."

The Rattata blinked once more. "...oh, right."

The Taillow chuckled and rubbed the sad rodent's head. "But never you mind! I'll keep practicing as we head over to Cheese City!"

The Vulpix blinked at the duo. "...didn't I suggest that earlier?"

---

"How many more?"

"Z-zip it...!"

---

"Gliding feels really nice," the Taillow comments as he glides through the air under the sea of leaves.

"Good for you," Shock said, rolling his eyes.

He and his other friends are walking through the forest, with the blue bird gliding ahead, back, and around, practicing his flight.

Shock's ears twitched, and so did the Vulpix's and the Rattata's. They all stopped, with Saur extending both vines to grab the blue bird gliding by, and shut his beak up for good measure.

Ignoring the struggling bird, the group hid behind the bushes and took a peak.

There was a battle. A trainer battle. A young kid with her Sentret against another with his Spinarak.

Shock took a step back and shrugged. "Doesn't look like they'll be bothering us."

The others agreed and resumed their journey, careful not to be seen nor to catch the attention of the trainers and their battling Pokémon.

"Trainer battles look so cool in real life than in the games," the Taillow commented, gliding above his earthbound friends as he stared at the ongoing battle. He winced. "Whew... That Sentret seriously got bitten by that spooder."

"Hey, look!" an unknown voice shouted.

The group froze as a group of young and excited trainers suddenly appeared in front of them from out of the blue.

"A Bulbasaur!"

"Is that a Pikachu?!"

"Eewww, a Rattata..."

"That Vulpix looks so cute!"

"What's that blue bird thing?"

---

"How many more?"

"Shut up! Shut up! Just...! Just shut up!"

---

"You didn't have to kill, Shock!" the Taillow shouted, trembling.

Shock glared at the bruised blue bird. "I don't want to hear anything from you, you useless piece of feathers!"

"Calm down, you two," the Bulbasaur said in a calm manner, despite the painful bruises he was enduring.

Shock glared at the grass-type. "Stay out of this, Saur." His glare intensifies. "I mean it."

Saur sighed and shook his head.

Shock immediately whipped his glare back at the wincing Taillow. "They could have caught us! Enslave us!" he yelled, sparks flying out of his cheeks.

"I..."

"You what?!" the electric rodent snarled. "You did nothing but getting in our way, and now Vixie and Fay were caught by them! If I didn't do anything like you did, the rest of us would have been caught, too!"

"I-I-I can fix this...!" the Taillow yelps.

"You can fix this?!" Shock growled. "You put us into this mess!"

"I..."

---

"How many more?"

"Grr...!"

---

Light and darkness...

Chaos and voices...

Pidgey and Rattata...

Lies and flight...

Pikachu and Bulbasaur...

Forest and gliding...

Another direction...

Different from the previous one...

---

"How many more?"

"I will fix this!"

---

"Fay!"

The group woke up with a start. With bleary eyes, they slowly woke up to the shouts of Saur calling our their friend's name.

"W-what's going on?" Shock asked, rubbing his eye with a paw.

"Fay! Where are you?!" Saur shouted in a panic, looking at each and every direction, circling around a reddish spot on the grassy ground.

"Fay?" the Taillow asked, yawning. "Mmm... Who cares about her anyway?"

A violent vine whipped him, throwing him away.

"Gah—!" the Taillow gasped as he rolled and rolled and stopped. His body hurting, he grunted as he slowly rose to his talons. Dusting himself off, he glared at the Bulbasaur, but it only lasted for a fraction of a second.

Shock winced and could barely even look at this grass-type friend, even though he wasn't the receipient of Saur's intense glare.

"Fay?" Vixie asked, looking around. "She's...?"

Saur sighed and sat down on the ground. "She's gone..."

"Gone?" the fire fox asked, noticing the small red marks on the blades of grass behind the Bulbasaur.

Her breath left her.

---

"How many more?"

"I have to fix this!"

---

A blur of two colors.

Hints of echoing voices.

A scene of brown and purple.

An area of brown and green.

A change of destination.

"Where are going where?"

"To a cave!"

"What cave?"

"Just follow me! I think I know where it is!"

"You...think?"

"Yep! So let's go!"

"What was the point of climbing up that mountain then?!"

"Forget that! Onwards to adventure!"

"And you said you think you know where to go?"

"Yep yep!"

"That's not good enough!"

"Shock, my friend. Just believe in me. Have I let you down before?"

"It hasn't even been a day since we met you!"

"Not to me! But that's not important now, is it? Anyway, onwards!"

"...what?!"

---

"How many more?"

"I... I need to fix this!"

---

A giant rocky serpent...

A chaotic battle...

A splash of blood...

...

Light and darkness...

Voices and headaches...

Flight and lies...

Smiles and words...

A change of pathways...

Another roadblock...

...

Light and darkness...

Echoing voices...

Afternoon and evening...

Digletts...

...

Light and darkness...

Mixing voices...

Yellow and green...

Morning sunlight...

Evening sorrow...

...

Light and darkness...

Fading voices...

Purple and red...

Forest leaves...

Grassy ground...

Unconsciousness...
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  #30    
Old June 11th, 2018 (1:06 AM). Edited June 11th, 2018 by destinedjagold.
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destinedjagold destinedjagold is offline
Oh Hai Thar~
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Philippines
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Nature: Careful
Posts: 8,589
Chapter 27
Author's Note...

I'm going to return to using present-tense, as I got used to it when I was writing Four Hooves.

---

Stars twinkle peacefully in the quiet evening sky. Down below, the earth is awash with the sleepy light of the moon.

Except for a large golden city, its many lights combined looking brighter than the moon itself. Despite the late hour, so many humans and Pokémon still roam around the city streets. Voices and other sounds echo through the air, but are ignored by a tiny blue bird as he flies by the city, gliding through the chilly night air, heading towards a direction.

Sky shivers violently, more from the coldness than from his injuries. Gulping, he presses on, flapping his wings occassionally to steady is glide.

Many thoughts threaten to break through his toughts, yet he keeps pushing them aside. He didn't need to deal with them at the moment.

Besides, he isn't going to be dealing with them once he reaches his destination.

Like he did a number of times before.

He frowned. The plan used to bring a smile to his face, but this time, it didn't.

He didn't bother to figure out why. He didn't care anyway.

He's getting closer, so there's no point to wonder.

With a nod, he glides lower, until he is a foot or two above the sea of blurring leaves. He shivers once more. He presses on. He flaps his wings.

A hoot or two breaks the cold silence. He ignores it as he starts to slow down, until he is hovering above the edge of a large clearing, where a large lake sits on the very middle, its calm surface reflecting the gentle moon and its twinkling stars up above...

...and a glowing being who is slowly gliding above the lake.

Sky takes a breath, sighs, and glides toward it.

The shiny thing takes notice. "Huh?" She stops and looks at the approaching bird, her crystal-blue eyes blinking. She smiles. "Well, hello there. Good evening."

Sky lands on the edge of the lake and winces. "Ow..."

The green and glowing fairy gasps and quickly hovers toward him. "Are you hurt badly?" she asks, landing beside him. She wants to touch him, yet stops herself as she might hurt him even more. "You poor dear! Who did this to you?"

Sky chuckles, earning himself a confused look from the fairy. "Don't worry about it, cutie pie," he reassures her, winking. "This was my bad. Still is." He winces. "Ow..."

The fairy blinks a clueless blink.

Sky carefully shakes his head. "Never mind about it, Bi." He turns to fully face the grass-type legendary. "I want you to send me back to the past."

Another curious blink. "...what?"

Sky nods, smiling. He shrugs. "Or at least my consciousness." He chuckles. "I don't think this world can handle having two me's. Don't wanna press my luck on that one."

Celebi narrows her eyes. "...and why should I send you back?"

Sky sighs. "Not this conversation again..."

A curious yet suspiscious blink. "Again?" She shakes her head. "Who are you?"

Sky slowly extends one glowing wing. Suddenly, a shiny blue plate starts to emerge from it. Sky turns to the stunned legendary and chuckles. "That face is always funny every time I see it."

"You're..." Bi breathes out, staring at her reflection on the shiny plate as it begins to submerge back. Once the plate and the glow are gone, she slowly turns her gaze back at the smiling bird. "You're...?"

Sky shrugs. "Yep." He slowly ruffles his feathers. "So yeah. With the power that Arceus granted in me, I hereby order you to send me back to the past." He winks at her. "It's for me to save your four friends, after all."

Bi blinks. "Save...my friends?" She gasps, earning a sigh from the blue bird. "Shock, Fay, Saur and Vixie?! W-what happened to them?!"

Sky flinches. "Sheesh. It always surprises me how no other Pokémon around wakes up from that screech of yours."

Bi claps her hands, and slowly separates them, a shiny orb forming in between. "Then there's no time to waste!"

Sky smiles and nods. "Yep."

An otherwordly aura surrounds the both of them as the orb grows and encases them. Eyes glowing white, Celebi concentrates her psychic energy to find a good spot in time to send his consciousness back without tampering with time too much.

Sky already knows where she'll send him, so he waits with a smile as he tries to ignore the 'time bubbles' that shows different scenarios and events in time. His smile grows a little wider as he—

Ah, there it is. The static, or at least, that is what he decided to call it back then. A split-second disruption of Celebi's time spell as she realizes something.

Her glowing eyes twitch. She opens and closes her mouth, as if hesitating to say something.

Sky chuckles. "Go on, say it." He shakes his head. "Even if we both know that you've said it countless times before."

Otherwordly silence.

And then...

"How many?"

Sky sighs a tired sigh. "There it is." He looks back at her with a weak smile. "Do we have to repeat this conversation?"

"How many timelines have you created?"

Sky shrugs. "I've honestly lost count. I don't really care anyw—"

"How many timelines have you destroyed?"

The bird shrugs once again. "Technically, they're not destroyed if they never happened."

A furrowing of eyebrows. "...How many times have you senselessly done this?"

Sky opens his mouth to reply, but he has no words to say. He blinks. "Huh... This is new."

Otherworldly silence.

SKy blinks, fidgetting awkwardly. He decides to look around, but not focusing on any of the bubbles passing by.

Seconds fly by.

Minutes.

He doesn't want it to become hours. He glares at the legendary in front of him. "Hello? Do you or do you not want your friends be saved?"

"By whom?"

Sky arches an eyebrow. "By whom? Well, duh!" He rolls his eyes. "Me, of course!"

Cosmic silence.

Sky's eye twitches. "Bi, excuse the pun, but I seriously have no time for this. Just send me back already."

"So you could hurt them once again?"

"What?!" Sky's glare intensifies. "I just told you I'm going to save them!" He shakes his head. "It's not my fault that a stupid storm made Shock explode! Or those Digletts ganging up on us! Or those trainers catching us!"

Celebi's glowing glare counters his own. "But they are."

"Excuse me?!" Despite the pain, he quickly uses a wing to gesture at himself. "I only want to bring them to Arceus' chamber! Nothing more!" He angrily extends both glowing wings out, a lone plate quickly appearing above him. "Now either you bring me back or I'll—"

The words freeze in his throat as a bubble suddenly appears in front of him. He clenches his eyes shut and waves a glowing wing in front if it, making it burst soundlessly.

Sky reopens his eyes and glares at her. "Do that again, and I swear to ****ing god I'll—"

A bubble appears in front of him once again, showing a scene from a time that happened and didn't.

Sky angrily bursts it. Eyes flashing with anger, he swings the plate at the legendary, only for it to be blocked effortlessly by a psychic barrier. He swings it towards her once again as a bubble is shoved in front of him. He bursts it and swings the plate once more.

Another bubble.

Another burst.

Another swing.

And another.

And another.

And another.

Sky pants agrily, glaring through the bubble in front of him. "You dare... defy... Arceus'... grrk...!" He weakly swings a wing. He looses his balance and falls down on the cool, grassy earth. "Oof—!"

The bird pants and pants, his angry gaze on the dark trees that border the clearing, the dormant plate lying lifelessly beside him.

"How many?" Bi asks, her glaring eyes starting to water.

Sky's eye twitches. He grunts as he slowly tries to get back on his talons, the glowing plate slowly returning to him.

"How many, Sky?" Bi asks once again, a tear rolling her face.

The plate now within him, he finally has enough strength to stand back up. "S-shut up!" Sky snarls weakly as he stands, glaring at her.

His glare quickly dies down after seeing the streams of tears on her dimming face.

The bird flinches. "I... I mean..."

Bi sniffs and tries but fails to wipe the tears off of her face. "H-how many times will you turn your back on m-my friends?"

"I, but I... If we could just—"

"Countless times you've told yourself that they're your friends too..."

"T-they are! That's why—"

"A friend doesn't turn their backs on them when they needed them the m-most!" Celebi barely shouts back at him.

"Bi, I couldn't... I mean... If I could just go back...!"

"And turn your back on them once things don't go your way once again?!"

"I-it's not like that!"

"You can't keep running away from your problems!"

Sky freezes in place. For a moment, he saw a very familiar and dear human instead of Celebi. He furiously shakes his head. When he reopens his eyes, he sees the legendary on her knees, both hands holding her head, hyperventilating.

"S-Shock died... Fay died... Saur died..."

"Hey hey..." Sky starts, but flinches.

Celebi starts shaking. "V-Vixie died... C-countless times... Over, and over, and over, and over—"

"Hey hey hey!" Sky grabs the legendary and tries but fails to snap her back. "Bi! Get a grip!"

Celebi's unfocused eyes suddenly focused on him, making him freeze. She sniffs, crying once again, as she weakly struggles to get away from him. "Murderer!"

Sky tries to hold her, and finally hugs her. "I'm sorry!"

She squirms. She's too emotionally weak to get away.

"I didn't mean for all of that to happen!" Sky tightens his hold on her, his eyes shut. "I'm sorry...!"

She struggles to set herself free. "G-get away from me...!"

"I didn't know what to do—"

"Let me go—"

"It was too big of a responsibility—"

"Ggg-go away—"

"S-so I thought that maybe you could—"

"I'm not gonna help you—"

"B-but I kept on failing and—"

"Let go—"

"I'm a coward!"

Silence. Broken by sobs.

Not Celebi's.

She slowly grabs the sobbing bird's shoulders and pull him off of her.

To have a better look at him.

Sky turns his head away as tears run down his feathery face. "I'm not Jay... I-I don't..." He sniffs. He coughs. "I mess things up. I always do. B-but Jay's always been there and—!"

A sniff.

A traffic light.

A car.

A shout.

"I always mess things up, for myself, for my mom and dad, and for my big bro..."

A face...

A hand...

A push...

"B-but on that split-of-a-second moment, I realized that I'm going to mess things up again. Big time. S-so..."

Another hand...

Grabbing another...

"It was my fault anyway. He didn't need to save me back then, so..."

A crash.

Sky chuckles, and sniffs. He weakly shakes his head, reopens his eyes, and slowly looks up at the moon. "...so I took it." He flinches. "And boy, did it hurt like hell."

Celebi is looking at the moon as well, listening.

Sky sighs. "I'm sorry."

The legendary sighs as well. "I really find that hard to believe."

Sky blinks and looks at her. "What? Me being human? Me as Arceus'—?"

Celebi glares at her. "You being sorry."

Sky's features droop.

Celebi shakes her head. "I'm not sending you back. Not anymore."

Sky sighs. "Yeah, I got the memo a few minutes ago." He looks back up at the moon. "But I have a very limited time if you want me to go and save them." He shakes his head. "I still have no idea what that weird UFO was back then. It made Shock..." he trails off, wincing.

"I got a glimpse of it," Celebi says quietly, still staring at the moon. "I think I have an idea of what caused that storm." Aura surrounding her, she floats forward, stops, turns and glares at him. "I'm gonna see if it really is what I think it is." Her glare intensifies, making the bird flinch. "In the mean time, you will save my friends."

"Yes, ma'am."

She nods her head. "You better." She turns around and flies away, leaving the bird alone by the lake.

Sky sighs and stares at his reflection on the calm surface of the lake. "...she didn't even heal me." He glares at his reflection. "What a b*tch." He smiles. "I like her."
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Old June 22nd, 2018 (11:38 PM).
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destinedjagold destinedjagold is offline
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Chapter 28
Wires, darkness, and more wires.

A little Rattata has been crawling through the many wires for who knows how long now. Luckily, she has no problems seeing through the darkness. Unluckily, she can barely continue moving forward in the very claustrophobic underground tunnel she is in, and she has been at it for a while now.

It surprises her that none of the humans nor other Pokémon has taken notice of her yet, despite her very loud panting and wheezing.

But the Rattata presses on, ignoring her tired and screaming muscles as she slowly inch her way towards a small light source up ahead.

Another opening.

Maybe, just maybe, that is her way out of here—

"—and I gotta admit, your Pokémon sure are stronger than I thought they would be, Bill."

—or maybe she can just continue on and find another way out.

A chuckle echoes through the tunnel, making her ears twitch.

"Well, anyway, don't worry about them. We have our very own doctors here who can heal them up in no time! So no sweat!"

"By ‘doctors’, you mean your goddamn crazy scientists, yes?"

A roar of laughter. The Rattata stops and flinches, the loud and echoing noise piercing through her ears.

"Oooh, Rolf. You barely joke, but when you do, boy are they funny."

"I don't think he was joking, Red."

A sigh. "Bill, as always, your obvious detector is as impressive as ever."

A chuckle. "Whew, have I missed us three being together like this."

With a grunt, the Rattata finally reaches the light source. Another set of opening strips on the ground, the cool air soothing her aching face.

An air vent of some sort. But for wires. A wire vent? It's the best she can describe it.

With a small smile, she looks down and blinks at the trio of talking humans who are surrounded by so many other humans in a sickly-familiar black uniform. Her smile fades.

They are walking in a slow pace, and sometimes stop for a long while before they resume.

She closes her eyes, shakes her head and presses on. There's another opening up ahead, but the light there looks dimmer. It's the dimmest light she has seen in this tunnel yet. Maybe that's her way out?

"—and thanks to Rolf's donation, we can finally capture that elusive Mewtwo in Cerulean Cave."

"M-Mewtwo?!"

"Yep yep! Hahah! I knew you would be interested, Bill!"

"I-I thought we swore never to bother the thing!"

"We did, Bill, but you seem to be constantly forgetting that Redanato's the goddamn leader of Team Rocket."

"I-I still can't quite believe that, by the way..."

A sigh.

"Oh ho ho, miss sexy's approaching. Let me introduce you boys to the lovely lady—"

"Sir," a female's voice interrupts him. Monotone. "Operation Gold's target has..." A long pause. "...oh. Nevermind then, sir."

Footsteps, getting fainter and fainter.

A pause.

A quiet chuckle. "Well, er, she's too busy for introductions, it seems."

The Rattata's hind foot slips and gets tangled with the wires behind her. She sighs. Not the first time it has happened to her. With no room to turn around, she grunts and tries to set her foot free.

"—you still haven't answered my question. Why are we here, Red?"

"Patience, my dear friend! All will be revealed in the destination we are heading!"

"You already got the Master Ball from me. What more do you want?"

"Ahh, Rolf. As impatient as ever."

"I still don't know why I'm even here."

"Bill, you're not being helpful at the moment."

"Hey, to be fair, his team put up a better fight that yours did."

"I only had Cook while he had three, you bastard."

"I see no difference."

Her foot finally free, the Rattata sighs in relief and continues on, trying her best to zone the voices out and focus on her next destination up ahead.

A very slow pace, but she will get there eventually.

As she continues on, the voices coming from the opening behind her is getting quieter and quieter...

...until she no longer hears them.

She hears no sound, behind and in front of her.

She blinks, finding it odd that she hears nothing from that dim light up ahead.

Minutes of tiresome struggle later, and she finally manages to pull herself over the openings, the cool air brushing against her face.

She sees boxes. Metal boxes, maybe? And lots of them. Rows and rows, one on top of another.

A storage room, perhaps?

She takes a breath and focuses on her hearing.

She frowns, hearing nothing but her own panting. She takes a moment to catch her breath.

A minute or two later, she takes a deep breath, exhales, and listens.

She hears echoes of snoring. Lots of them. Maybe some of the humans sneaked in here to sleep?

She looks ahead and frowns at the darkness. No light up ahead. Either the tunnel turns or its a dead end.

Her gaze returns to the dim room of metallic boxes below her. A sigh escapes her mouth. "Welp," she whispers to herself. "Could be worse."

She opens her mouth wide to start chewing on the metal grates—

"Huh?" A quiet voice reaches her ears, making her freeze in place.

Oh no... Someone heard her!

"I-is someone there?" the voice continues to whisper, sounding like it's from the room below her.

She rolls her eyes. Where else would it come from? At least the voice doesn't sound threatening.

She's just not sure if she should answer or not.

"Keep quiet," another voice whispers, quieter than the first one. "Or they'll hurt you again."

Hurt them? That doesn't sound good.

Eyes narrowing, she studies the metallic boxes in the dim room.

They aren't boxes, but cages.

Painful memories suddenly flash in her mind, and she tries her very best to push them away.

She doesn't want to deal with them right now.

Her head aches so much. A painful grunt escapes her mouth.

"D-did you hear that?"

"Shhh!"

"I could have sworn that—"

"We're not the only ones here, you know. Someone is probably just having a bad dream."

"T-this is already a bad dream, and I-I want to wake up—"

"Shut. Up!" the second voice hisses.

A series of annoyed sounds quietly echo in the entire room.

BANG BANG BANG!!!

"Quiet!" a loud voice from somewhere echo loudly in the room. "Or else!"

And then the room falls quiet.

Gritting her teeth, the Rattata shakes and shakes her head, the loud bang and the loud shout hurt her ears and head.

Recovering a bit, the purple rodent blinks and looks at the room below her. It doesn't seem to be her way out. Sighing a heavy and quiet sigh, she slowly resumes her crawl onward.

And then she stops after a random idea randomly shows up in her thoughts. Slowly, her mouth curves into a smile.

A mischievous one.

She looks down and her smile is gone.

Shaking her head, she slowly opens her mouth and starts to chew on the metal grates...

...as quietly as she can.

Which is pretty loud in a quiet room such as the one below her.

Nothing she can do about it now. She already started, so she might as well finish it.

She ignores the voices as she continues on her work. It's not like she can understand them anyway as her ears are filled with the noise of teeth against metal.

And finally, the metal grate swings open downward, the purple rodent falling down, but easily stops her fall with her tail curling on some of the wires.

"Booyah!" she whispers in victory, a big smile on her face. She looks around and sees a huge and angry face mere inches from her. Her smile trembles. "Eh heh heh heh... Um... Hi?"

The large, muscular and four-armed humanoid creature swings its two mighty arms behind him...

...and throws a powerful double punch at the hanging purple pinata.
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Old July 2nd, 2018 (10:07 PM).
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Chapter 29
With a yelp, the Rattata immediately releases her grip on the wires above with her tail, avoiding the two mighty punches by a fraction of a second.

Two other sets of hands appear before her falling form, about to grab her.

Tail immediately glowing, and still in mid-air, Fay quickly spins around and slaps her glowing tail at the two large hands, the impact pushing her away from her grunting foe.

She lands with a tired grunt and slides on the cold floor, stopping after her furry bum bumps on cold iron bars.

"Nice shot," says a voice from the other side of the bars. A low whistle. "Nice rear."

Fay looks back and winks at her admirer. "Thanks!"

"Grrr!" The floor shakes as the four-armed mass of muscles rushes at the rodent. "You'll regret that, you little shrimp!"

Ignoring her tired muscles, the Rattata scampers away, leaving the blushing captive behind.

The bipedal Pokémon slides and bumps on the rows of iron crates, scaring and startling the imprisoned Pokémon inside.

As she runs and turns and runs and turns, she looks left and right, trying but failing to find an exit. This is a room, right? There should be a door somewhere!

A yell from behind her, getting louder and louder until—

CRASH!

A crate crashes mere inches in front of her. She yelps and bumps on the roadblock hard, the dizzy Pokémon inside collapsing.

Fay takes a step or two back and shakes her head, recollecting herself.

And then she feels the ground shaking once more, and a huge shadow looming over her.

"Got'cha!" Four mighty hands slap nothing but air. Eyes twitching, the bipedal Pokémon turns to the sound of crashing.

Fay shakes and shakes her painful head. That's the last time I'm using a quick attack without knowing where to go, she thinks to herself.

"Watch out!" a Pokémon from inside the crate yells at her. "Run run!!!"

"Grrrk...!" Vision blurry and head throbbing, she kicks her paws on the floor and unknowingly runs under the Machamp, almost getting herself stepped on.

The Machamp grabs the crates on each side to quickly stop himself. He turns and immediately gives chase, ignoring the chorus of voices echoing around the room.

He turns and sees the purple rodent scampering towards a wall. He grabs multiple crates, ignoring the yelping and crying Pokémon within, and throws them at the rodent.

"Incoming!" one of the captive Pokémon shouts at the rodent running by.

Her ears twitch, her head still throbbing, and her entire body still screaming how tired they are. She barely noticed the shadows of crates flying towards her. The wall is up ahead. Blurry eyes narrowing, she quickens her pace, jumps and runs up on the wall, the four crates crashing loudly below her.

"Ha!" Fay cheers. "You missed—"

Two mighty punches hit her back, pushing her on and through the wall. Cracks form and dust clouds cover the area.

Grunting, the Machamp pulls his two arms with a bloody rodent on his grip. He turns around and shows it at the captives.

"Anyone else?"

The room is dead quiet.

The Machamp grunts and walks toward the door. "Didn't think so." He stops by a small panel beside the door. He inputs a code, and the door in front of him slides open.

The bipedal Pokémon steps out, the door sliding behind him.

A Rocket grunt stops walking and blinks at the bipedal Pokémon. "...The hell happened?"

The Machamp shrugs and walks to the other direction.

The Rocket grunt watches the Pokémon leave. He shakes his head and resumes walking towards his destination.

Inside, some of the younger prisoners start to cry. Their neighboring adults try to calm them down.

As the remaining dust cloud start to settle, a weak cough echo from the mighty hole on the wall, startling the nearby Pokémon.

A not-so-bloody purple rodent's head slowly pops out from the hole, coughing. "Ugh..."

"H-how'd?" one of the nearby Pokémon stammers, bewildered. "How'd you...?"

A bloody cough. And another. "Bleahk..." Fay spits a drool of blood. She slowly looks around, a weak smile forming on her face. "A-any of you saw what that big meanie did to open the door?"

A few captured Pokémon who are on top of the piles slowly nod their heads.

Fay weakly nods her head as well. "G-good. Good..." She slips, falls and drops on the pile of rubble, small dust clouds forming upon impact. "Ow..." She coughs weakly. She chuckles weakly. "L-let's do a prison break..." She wheezes, her consciousness slipping from her. "B-but let me sleep for a b-bit..." A quiet cough. "T-that sub took a l-lot—"

And she's out like a light.
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Old July 28th, 2018 (8:54 PM).
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Chapter Break - Racing The Storm
The chilly night air pelts her grassy and sensitive skin. She ignores this and continue flying under the night sky.

She didn't want to risk being spotted by using her psychic shield to protect her from the elements such as this one.

The minutes soon turn into hours, and the air has grown a little warmer now. Morning will be here soon.

She sees an island on the horizon, with a large mountain on the very middle.

With a determined nod, she quickens her flight towards it. As she nears the island, her eyes glow in purplish light, using her psychic powers to sense the presence of the creatures living there.

She senses them, all but one, the one she is looking for. Her eyes return to normal as she hovers, staring at the tall rock pillar. She turns left, right and around, but she cannot see any hints of fire anywhere.

She curses under her breath.

Shaking her head, she turns to a direction and quickly flies toward the horizon.

---

A loud and painful squawk rips through the waking sky.

The green sprite hovers in shock, her eyes reflecting a large yellow bird encased by a cubic cage. Yellow and blue sparks of lightning erupts from the cage as it slowly flies up towards the giant metal ship of some kind.

Another painful squawk. The spiky yellow bird discharges powerful bolts of lightning, trying but failing to set itself free.

Blue bolts of lightning from the metallic cage strikes the avian, shocking and weakening it.

Slowly and angrily, the bird tries to open one eye, its sharp gaze landing on the helpless green sprite hovering above its roosting ground.

With a tired and painful grunt, the mighty bird squawks one last time, and discharges a lightning-fast bolt of lightning, striking the green fairy by the forehead.

The cage floats inside, and the large ship's metallic doors finally closes shut.

Down below, the green sprite rises up into a sitting position and rubs her burned head. She angrily looks up at the ship as it slowly flies towards a direction.

She never liked that method of communication from the lightning bird, but she at least got the message.

Surrounding herself with her psychic energy, she quickly floats and flies towards her next destination, faster than the giant ship up in the morning, stormy sky.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago (5:05 AM).
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Chapter 30
The waking sun's soft golden rays caress the treetops, the morning dew on leaves twinkling like diamonds, with a few of them dropping to the crisp green grass on the forest floor as birds fly and land from branch to branch.

To the human ears, the birds' melodious chirps bring a soothing feeling as they continue on with their own journeys in life.

To the Pokémon ears however...

“What do you MEAN we don't have berries anymore?!" a Pidgey yells at another, its sharp and glaring eyes burning holes on the other's head.

The other Pidgey winces, tree branch shaking. "I-I don't know! I checked our trees at the break of dawn and our berry trees are, well, non-berry trees anym—"

"Gah!" The angry bird spreads his wings and hops off the branch. "Arceus-damn those berry-stealing pieces of—"

And he and a few of his followers are out of earshot.

A little blue bird stirs from where he sleeps. "Uuungh, such loud-mouths..." he mumbles as he tries to go back to sleep.

A nervous chuckle erupts close by. Very close, in fact. "You're the one to talk," a Pidgey says in a quiet voice as she adjusts her tiny black hat on her head.

"Hush you," Sky mumbles back with a smile as he gets himself comfortable on the nest. "I'm a hypocrite and—" His eyes shot wide open. "Wait. Where am I?" He turns his head to the female voice and blinks. "Hey! That's my hat!"

Innotui blinks. "B-but you gave this to me..."

Sky blinks. And blinks once more. "...Oh, right. I did give it to you." Chuckling to himself, he tries to rise on his talons, only to wince, groan and collapse back on the nest. "Ow ow ow..."

Innotui is quick to his side, trying her best to help him, even though she's a nervous wreck and barely doing anything to help him.

"I'm fine, I'm fine," Sky groans. "Whew... Now I know what it feels like to be feather-dusted."

The Pidgey takes a deep breath to calm herself down. She then helps him up on his talons. "I-I don't think you should be moving yet," she mumbles as she gives the wincing Taillow a concerned look.

Sky waves her off. "I'm fine, really."

Innotui's frown goes further down.

Sky winces and looks away. "I, ah, at least I'd like to think so."

"W-well I think you're not fine." Ignoring his sigh, she turns around and grabs a berry with her beak. Turning back to him, she places it in between them. "Here. I picked these up for you."

Sky blinks at the shiny blue berry. He then looks back at the slightly-blushing bird. "...You were the berry thief?"

Innotui blinks back at him. "Uh, no? Well..." She looks elsewhere. "Mmmaybe I picked two or three berries?" She quickly shakes her head. "B-but I didn't steal them! They were lying on the ground a-and—"

Sky chuckles, making the Pidgey stop. "Whew, hot-damn girl. I didn't know you had it in you."

The Pidgey turns her back on him as she tries to calm herself down. She wonders if helping him get better is a bad idea, seeing as he always makes her feel nervous and weird.

Recalling how the birds back home eat berries, Sky picks up the blue berry with his beak, turns his head up, and drops the berry down to his throat, hoping against all hope he won't choke.

Thankfully, he didn't.

"Whew." He wipes off a non-existent sweat on his forehead with a chuckle. "That was scary."

"Huh?" Innotui looks back at him. "What was?"

Sky shrugs. "Never you mind, my cute birb friend," he says with a wink, and he smirks after seeing her blush. He then looks around, noticing that they're both surrounded by tree branches and leaves. "Whew... I don't remember flying up here last night."

"Well," Innotui says, "you didn't." She shakes her head. "I saw you by the lake." She frowns at him. "Despite your feathers, you were cold and shivering, so I, ah, took you here with me." She blushes and looks elsewhere.

Sky blinks. Sky smirks. "And then magic happened, right?" he asks, wagging his non-existent eyelashes.

"Huh?"

Sky frowns and sighs. "Welp, joke ruined..." He takes a breath, holds it in for a second or two, and releases it. He then smiles a small smile at the brown bird. "...Thanks."

Innotui blinks. "Oh, um, y-you're welcome?"

Sky shakes his head. "Really. Thank you."

He turns and stares at the golden rays of the sun, twinkling like stars as it pokes through the gaps between the dancing leaves.

"I've been a pain in the ass ever since I got here. I should have done things properly, but instead I've made things worse, because of my selfishness..."

He frowns and sighs.

"But I'm gonna fix things. I'm gonna try and fix the things I've broken."

He shakes his head.

"I'm not sure how I'm gonna do it. Hell, I'm not even sure if I can, but..."

He turns back to the Pidgey, who's giving him a very clueless look.

Sky smiles at her. "...I'm going to try my best. For my bro, and for his friends, and for their happiness."

Innotui blinks a blank blink. "...Um... I-I have no idea what you were saying just now."

Sky chuckles, takes her hat off and pats her head. "Don't you worry your silly little brown head about it, my silly little birb friend." He places her hat back on and nods.

A frown once again returns to his face as he looks back at the twinkling sunrays.

"...I just hope both Saur and Fay are doing alright."

Innotui blinks, her nervousness quickly forgotten. "Huh? Saur and Fay?"

Sky shakes his head. "And today's the day that storm appears and makes Shock go all ka-blooey." His frown deepens. "I just hope Celebi knows what she's doing."

Innotui frowns a concerned frown. "I... I think I've missed a lot ever since you left me with that pink nursing human."

The two birds eat a few more berries as Sky tells her a recap of the events that have happened.

Meanwhile, in an underground facility far away from Ilex Forest, a trio of humans are inside a room.

"—and after I take over the Kanto's Elite Four, I'll take over the neighboring regions next." Redanato explains with a smile. He looks away from his projected powerpoint presentation and smiles at his two seated guests.

His two, sleepy, barely-conscious guests.

Redanato blinks and chuckles to himself. "Huh... Have I been talking to you guys that long?" He turns to his trusted partner, and frowns at the Typhlosion sleeping on the floor by the projector. He scratches his head. "I guess I really was."

The door of his office suddenly swings open, slamming on the wall and the resounding noise startling both his guests and his Pokémon awake with a start.

Flames erupt from the Typhlosion's back as it roars, startling the newcomers into a halt.

"Easy, boy," Redanato says as he calms Hero, his Typhlosion, down. He then arches an eyebrow at the two panting members of Team Rocket. "You two look like you've seen someone's head explode."

The two stammer a quiet reply.

Redanato grabs a remote from his desk, aims it at the nervous duo, and holds down the volumn up button. "There. Volumn max." He chuckles. "Now try again."

They are about to talk when a woman behind them clears her throat. They step aside and allow her entry.

She nonchalantly enters the office, clipboard on hand and a purplish pokéball on another. "Project Creation has been successful," she says lifelessly as she places the ball on the desk. She blinks and looks back at the other two guests in the room. "Oh. I didn't know you were in the middle of something." She looks back at the head of Team Rocket and bows her head. "Apologies."

Redanato scratches his head. "I really need to fix your boring tone, girl." He smirks at her. "I've got a hotdog that I would love to put in your bun."

She blinks a blank blink at him. "...I don't really like hotdogs, sir."

A palm hits a face. "That's not what I mea—"

"So you captured it," Rolf says, glaring at the Master Ball sitting on the desk.

"Captured what?" Bill asks, blinking. "Wait, no... Mewtwo?!"

Redanato chuckles as Rolf turns to the door, glaring at the two nervous grunts. "You could have used that powerful Pokémon for yourselves."

Hearing this, Redanato starts to laugh.

"W-we don't want our heads blown off," one of the grunts nervously stammer.

"What?" Rolf asks.

"Oh, Rolfie, such a jokester you are." Redanato approaches him and pets the glaring man's head. "One of them did plan to do such that, but well," he waves a hand at the two grunts. "They have told you what happened to whoever it was who was stupid enough to turn against me."

The secretary by the desk shows everyone a small remote on her hand, with a large red button on it. "Boom," she mumbles lifelessly as she puts it back in her pocket.

"You're sick," Rolf says, ignoring Bill trying his best to hold the contents of his stomach.

"Perhaps," Redanato says. He chuckles as he walks out of the room. "Follow me, gentlemen." He says as the two grunts force both Rolf and Bill to follow him, his secretary and his Typhlosion following them close behind. "I'm sure you both are curious of how powerful Mewtwo is." He looks back at them with a smile. "You are, after all, still trainers at heart."

"The only thing I'm curious of is if Mewtwo will remove that sickening head of yours," Rolf replies icily.

"Scary," Redanato says with a chuckle.

Soon, the group arrives in front of a door, guarded by a large and muscular Machamp.

"No escapees, I hope?" Redanato asks, smiling.

The Machamp smirks and gives him two thumbs up. He steps aside and pushes a button, making the door slide open.

"Very good," Redanato says. "I'll make sure they'll give you a—" He stops and blinks.

Many, many sets of eyes blink back.

On top of the nearest stack of cages, a Rattata turns around, blinks at the newcomers...

...and smirks.
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