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EonMaster One
21st May 2005, 3:00 AM
Yes...I'm back with a vengeance, people.

Well, not with a vengeance, so I guess I'm just back. But that's a good thing right? I apologize for the people I may have hurt with my sudden disappearance, but I'm back and better than ever. I think that you'll like this one, here, it's called:

Pokemon: Hoenn Redefined.

Fasten your seatbelts, guys. This isn't Johto Generations.

Chapter 1: His Rod, His Balls, His Word

It was approaching midday in the beautiful township of Littleroot, Hoenn – home of the world-famous Birch Pokémon Laboratory, and the old stomping grounds of a now world-famous Pokemon Champion, Brendan Smith. It has been five years now since Brendan, then thirteen, defeated Steven Stone for the Hoenn Championship – and he has held on to it every year since. A truly powerful Pokemon Master wise beyond his years, he is idolized by many young children here and in other communities around Hoenn. Littleroot Town had grown slightly in recent times, as people from all over flocked to the new homes being built. Many of them were people hoping that their children – or perhaps they themselves – would find in the hometown of the master, the secret that made the master who he was. Even Brendan, however, acknowledged that the secret to his success came not in where he lived. As a matter of fact, legend says that he left on his journey through Hoenn not quite two days after he had arrived in a moving truck from a region called Johto.

...But this tale is not about him. This story is not about the boys and girls who call him their hero, their champion. This is about another teenage boy entirely – one who knows precious little about Hoenn, although this is where his story begins.

Presently, this adolescent is located in the town park, taking in the sights and sounds of nature on the lowest limb of a budding tree, several feet in the air. A short waft of mid-April wind – much calmer than the gusts of March which this boy thought too harsh – whipped his platinum blond hair and blew his bangs, which faded to black at the tips, into his face. The boy did a slow blink as he used his left hand to sweep his bangs out from in front of his eyes. He opened them again, revealing that they were azure blue. They were gentle as this breeze – but also exuded an air of toughness which was well understandable. His long, royal blue jacket flapped in the wind for a moment as well. It was worn over gi pants of the same color, and a t-shirt that was about the same shade as his hair. Plain, royal blue sandals accompanied this entire outfit. He disliked wearing shoes, also for good reason, but he had to wear something. He did a feeble attempt at a smile, but failed. Something was bothering him, and it looked to be past the natural “ups and downs” of people his age.

He was nervous. He felt kind of like a kid going to a new school, but much, much, worse.

“I guess this is how one of those college kids feels when they get dropped off at their new school for the first time – and then their parents drive away,” the boy muttered to himself, finally managing a smile of amusement at how pitiful he must have looked at that very moment. He surveyed the park from his tree, watching the activities of the Hoennites that were there. He saw two children, only tolerably younger than he, standing on opposite sides of a large tract of grassland across the path from where his tree was. Between them were two creatures that this boy had never seen before on his journeys in Johto, where he was from. He didn’t even recognized the creatures. One looked like a raccoon and was striped two different shades of brown. The other was a small, blue bird with a patch of red on its head and its breast. The boy did not know exactly what species these Pok mon, but they were Pok mon, that was for sure. It looked as if these two children were having a battle.
That’ll be me in a while,the boy thought to himself. I’ll officially be a trainer once I go over to that lab and get my license to participate in the Hoenn League. That’s what I came over here for. That’s what I told Grandpa I’d do...I wonder, how is he doing now that I’m gone? And with that his mind went back to Johto, recounting the events of his whole life thus far, as one is said to do when death seems imminent...


;251;

“YAH!!” with a sharp yell, a boy of just about fourteen proceeded to thrust a rod of oak wood that measured about seven feet in length into a wooden block about an inch and a half thick – the boards one often sees broken by martial artists. This one broke as well as the well-aimed strike made contact dead center on the board, splitting it into almost perfect halves. Several small children, each wearing a white karate gi with a white belt, applauded and cheered. The boy stood perfectly straight and turned, bowing, to a wizened old man of about sixty who was wearing a karate gi.

“As good as always, Percy,” a tall, brown-haired student that was about three years older than the platinum-haired teen was leaning against the wall, nodding in approval.

“Yes, yes, Percival, it is to be expected. I have never seen anyone master the Dragon Rod Style of combat since the one that taught me, nearly fifty years ago,” the old man said with an approving smile. This was Ephraim Dartaryk, sensei of the Dragon Rod Dojo in Garel Village, an outskirt of Cianwood City in southwestern Johto. He was also the grandfather – and idol – of young Percival Dartaryk. Percival was actually born Paul Alexander Watson, a child of prominent lawyers in Olivine City, a city on the mainland coast that very often had sea commuters between itself and Cianwood.

Young Paul Watson had everything that a small child would ever wish for. Of course, a small child never wishes for much. Most do not understand the concept of poverty and wealth, and simply live wherever their parents happen to be. Paul, as he would find out, spent his first years on the better end of this spectrum. He grew up in a penthouse apartment overlooking the sea. He had the best toys and was the envy of his friends. When he was six, however, that all changed. The Watsons took a visit to his maternal grandfather (that is, Ephraim) every year. That year, however, something went horribly wrong. A freak storm appeared from out of nowhere, capsizing the small boat that they owned. The next thing Paul remembered was being helped up by a boy of about nine – Leonardo Temnethe. When asked his name, little Paul responded with first, middle, and last name (and “the second” since he was named for his father) like a good rich boy should. Leo’s eyes lit up, and he proceeded to drag Paul, who was asking questions like “Where am I?” or “Where are you taking me?” or “Where are my parents?”, to this village of Garel. He brought him to the Dragon Rod Dojo, and set him before a shadow. The man, then fifty-five years old and with platinum hair that simply seemed to be losing its luster with age, had tears in his eyes as he picked up the boy in his arms.

Paul recognized the man’s face through the tears and said, “Grandpa?”

“Paul!” he cried between what seemed to be sobs of joy. “Paul! Indeed, there is mercy in this world. My lineage has not ended!”

“ ‘Your lineage’?” Leo seemed a bit confused. “Is this boy related to you, Master?”

“I suppose you do not remember him because you are new here,” Ephraim explained, setting Paul down and drying the tears from his own eyes. “But this is Paul, my grandson. His parents were...”

Paul turned around, anxious to see what his grandfather had to say.


;251;


“You will be instructed in the way of fighting – my way of fighting. It will be good for you. You no longer have wealth or your parents’ fame to fall back on. You must learn to live for yourself now,” Ephraim explained to young Paul, who was old enough to understand the concept of death and two weeks into his grieving. Paul had cried much over the last half-month, sometimes nonstop at night. Something in the boy’s heart had snapped over that time, though. In two weeks, his personality matured by as many years. He had a cold look in his eyes – a look which housed bitterness and anger. It was a look that, if not for his small frame, would send grown men fleeing in fear.

“I understand,” Paul said flatly, almost as if he was not completely there.

“It will better us both. You see, Paul, there are some people in this village...that believe that I will not be able to train you. They believe that the way you were brought up has made you...soft would be the best way to say it. That, and...” Ephraim paused here, and began to speak what was truly on his mind. “I will not be around forever. I am not that old now, you see, but when you come of age, I will be quite elderly indeed. Someone will have to teach the school when I am gone.”

“You won’t go, too, will you, Grandpa?” the worried boy asked Ephraim.

“Not now,” he muttered and looked upward. He was talking to Paul, but seemed to be talking...praying, perhaps, to some unseen absolute. “Destiny is not that cruel, is it?”


Winter (for the Watson tragedy had occurred around Christmas) changed to spring. Spring changed to summer, then to fall, then winter again. It had been a year since Paul had found himself on the island, and his training was going exceptionally well. His anger at the world – something that would have been very destructive had he been raised with it – was now all but gone. This day brought another training exercise at the Dragon Rod Dojo.

“Yah!” Paul, now seven, swung his rod at a flying stone. He seemed to have held back a bit, however, and the rock, which was quite large, bounced off of his wooden training bo and then ricocheted off of his forehead, knocking him to the ground. His yellow belt went askew on his waist, and as he got up and brushed some of his platinum hair out of his eyes, a trickle of red, shining blood was seen seeping from a cut in his forehead. Yet Paul showed no hint of pain – merely frustration that he had not gotten it right. Leo, who had become Paul’s friend and his teacher on the rare cases that Ephraim was not around, started from his post just left of his Master to help Paul, but Ephraim raised a hand to stop him.

“He’s alright,” the aging martial arts master said to his top student, who was a blue belt and two levels above Paul at this point. Sure enough, Paul nearly jumped to his feet, dug his knuckles into his forehead to wipe his cut as dry as possible (painting some of the roots of his shiny hair red with blood in the process), clutched his rod, and shouted, “Grandpa, again!”

“That kid is tough,” Leo said in utter amazement. “I’ve never seen a kid as tough as him. I haven’t seen him cry once since he started his training, and he’s had reason to cry hundreds of times – like there, for instance.”

“He will grow up to be a strong man,” Ephraim commented to Leo. Then, he turned his gaze to his grandson and shouted, “Paul, I know that you are not afraid. Do not hold back! Bring your rod to the stone and strike! Again!”

Ephraim pulled a lever and a stone came whizzing out of nowhere. Paul slipped into his fighting stance as the rock drew closer, and with a loud yell, unleashed the full fury of his bo at the target.


Two springs later finds Paul at the dojo again, like he was almost every single day. Paul is now a red belt and has equaled Leo in rank. Speaking of belts, Paul’s had taken the brunt of a bo attack that his body had barely dodged. Paul responded back with a quick, but controlled swing, causing his opponent, Leo, to reel a step or three. It was here that Paul went on the offensive, charging Leo with the intent to swing with the full length of his rod (which was replaced with a longer one as Paul grew, and was now nearly six feet long). Leo took a defensive stance, with his rod (a half foot longer than Paul’s) crossed to Paul’s bo. Paul made contact with Leo’s block and nearly shattered it with the force of his attack. Both combatants dropped their rods, which fell with two series of clatters to the floor.

“Stop!” Master Ephraim shouted. “Draw!”

“Man!” Leo moaned. “That’s sixteen...seventeen......twenty-three draws in a row! I can’t beat you anymore, Paul.”

Paul bowed to his sparring partner, beaming. Little did he notice that his grandfather was grinning just as broadly.

That night, Paul and Ephraim had dinner together just as every night. Though most martial arts masters are stereotyped as being very rough people, Ephraim was a very good cook, and it was here that he and his grandson bonded. They talked much about Paul’s training, of course, but many other things came up. Paul went to an elementary school in Garel, and was well liked, or at least appeared to be well liked by most. There were probably some who did not like him, but they were too afraid of him to try anything, and that was understandable. This night, however, they talked about neither of those things, for young Paul had something different on his mind.

“Grandpa,” the boy called out in the midst of a lull in the conversation.

“Hm?” Ephraim looked up to see what the matter was.

“I’ve been thinking about something.

“What is it?”

“I’ve been thinking about...changing my name.”


“Hmm...” Ephraim was understandably confused. This was not a statement that was made everyday. “And why is that?”


“This name, ‘Paul Alexander Watson II’,” he seemed to be making fun of it a bit, “...I don’t like it. I want...to be named after you, is that okay?”

Ephraim did not know if he should feel honored or worried. On the one side, Paul loved him and held him in such high regard that he wanted his name – the name of Ephraim Dartaryk. But, then again, his real name was symbolic of his origin, his birth – if he gave that up, it would be like taking the first six years of his life and completely erasing them. It would mean, Ephraim felt, that Paul would be erasing the memory of his own mother and father, and the memory of the prosperous life that he had led. It would mean erasing the boat that bore Paul here, and erasing the sudden storm that took his mother and father away from him – the very storm that brought him into Ephraim’s hands. But perhaps that is why Paul wanted his name. Ephraim seemed to have two choices. He could either scold his grandson for wanting such a thing, or he could allow it. If he did simply nothing, Paul would make the choice anyway...but was it not Paul’s choice to make?

“Why do you want my name?” Ephraim finally asked – he would find out no other way, he thought. “If you must change your name, why not change it to something of your own imagination?”

“Because you’re a great man,” Paul said, “And I’m not just saying that because you’re my grandpa. All of the other students love you and look up to you almost as much as I do...especially Leo. His grandpa died when he was a baby, he told me. So you’re like his grandpa now.”

“Is that so,” Ephraim was a bit surprised. Leo was his top student and would have been his successor if Paul’s training had not gone as well as it had been going. Ephraim thought that Leo had shared everything with him, but Leo had never told him that he felt that way. Paul and Leo had become close friends indeed. “But still...you’re not me. It is good, at your age, to have someone that you look up to, and I am honored that it is me...but, you’re a great boy who will be even greater if you find your own greatness instead of borrowing someone else’s. I insist that you choose your own name.”
“I...have to think about it,” Paul responded, twiddling his thumbs.
“Tell me whenever you’re ready,” Ephraim said with a smile.

Two more winters would pass with nothing more said on the subject. Paul was now eleven and a third-level brown belt. Leo was fourteen – also a third-level brown belt. That day had been a very big day. There had been a test for Paul and Leo that day. Paul and Leo had both passed the stone exercise (which now involved a LOT more stones) with flying colors. They had both done the most advanced katas for that style perfectly. The final part of the test had involved a fight between Paul and Leo; and after a duel in which the last match lasted more than fifteen minutes, Leo fell, defeated.

“After...man, at least four hundred fights, I’ve lost count...” Leo had said at the end as Paul helped him off of the ground. “I’m actually happy that you beat me. You’re the one to take over this school, alright.”

“Nah, no way,” Paul’s manner of speaking had changed in the last two years. He had thrown away completely the talk of a rich kid and was into using slang when he talked with anyone his own age. “That’s your job. Remember, I’m gonna become a Pok mon Trainer after I get done with this.”

“Oh, yeah, forgot about that...how’re you going to explain that to your grandpa, though?” Leo asked. “He wanted to see you take the school for him.”

“I don’t really want to be a one-trick Ponyta...” Paul said, and Leo shook his head hopelessly. “Sorry, bad pun, maybe, but all joking aside, how cool would it be to be a Pok mon Master and a martial arts master all at the same time?”

“Pretty cool, no doubt,” Leo said.

“Grandpa?” Paul was at the dinner table again that evening, but it was nine or ten o’clock at night before Paul had brought this up, after all discussions of the tests had been exhausted.

“Yes, Paul?” Ephraim responded.

“I’ve decided...” Paul said, but then, remembering that their last conversation about this had been two years ago, he quickly added, “About changing my name.”

“And...what will it be?”

“...Ephraim Dartaryk.” was all that Ephraim heard from his grandson, and his face fell.

“I thought that you would make your own name,” Ephraim said.

“You didn’t hear me, I guess,” Paul responded with a smile. “My name will be Percival Ephraim Dartaryk – Percy, for short. I’ll announce it the next time we meet for class.”

“There will be no next time for you...Percival,” Ephraim said suddenly. The platinum-haired boy looked at his grandfather with a bewildered and shocked expression. Had his grandfather become angry at him because his name was not completely different – so angry, that he was no longer allowed to learn at the dojo? Percy’s heart was beating fast indeed when Ephraim said, “You and Leo have both completed your training. All that is left is to give you the actual belts at the ceremony tomorrow. You no longer have any obligation to be there, unless, of course you’d like to help me teach these young ones I’ve got.”

“Help you teach?” Percy muttered. “Well, I guess, while I’m still here.”

“ ‘Still here?’ And where will you be going?”

“I...want to become a Pokemon Trainer,” Percy said, almost sure that this declaration would result in an even worse reaction than the first. Therefore, Percy was very surprised when his grandfather’s face broke out into a toothy grin.

“About time,” Ephraim had said. “You’ll come back and become the Sensei at the dojo soon enough...but you’re still young. So you’ll be competing in the Johto League, then?”

“Mm-mm,” Percy hummed, shaking his head in a negative. “There’s this place that I’ve been hearing about in my geography class called Hoenn. They’ve got Pok mon over there that you’d never see in Johto, and plus, trainers over there are really talented. There’s this kid – he was about Leo’s age, I think – that won the Championship almost three years ago.”

“Hoenn...far away,” Ephraim said. “I’ve never seen Hoenn. That’s one thing I regret...after moving to this island, I never moved again, and now I’m too old to move at all. You should see the world while you’re young. The dojo will still be here when you get back. I’ll see to that, and if I’m not here, Leo will. He loves the place too much to let it go without a fight.”

“He’s good for the job,” Percy said, repeating what had become a habit as he flicked his hair out from in front of his eyes

“Alright, then...” Ephraim said. “Time for bed. You’ve got a big day tomorrow.”

“Okay, goodnight, grandpa,” Percy stood up, placed his plate in the sink, and started to walk from the room. Right before reaching the entrance, he looked over his shoulder and asked, “Grandpa?”

“Hm?” Ephraim replied.

“What’s tomorrow’s date?”

“The...twenty-second of December, I believe – the winter solstice.”

“...Ah,” Percy murmured as he began his walk up the stairs. “Five years to the day since I got here...”


Percy gasped slightly as he felt something tighten almost painfully around his waist. He looked down, and there it was – a belt of all-black, a belt for which he had worked five years. The dojo was in utter silence – he knew that there were several students there, and several of the townspeople had attended as well. Still, the dojo was in utter silence. He looked back up and there was his grandfather, holding out an oak rod in his hands. Percy took the rod, and rotated it to lean against his left shoulder as he stood at attention. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Leo standing below, smiling for his friend. Leaning against Leo’s arm was his new girlfriend, a blonde-haired girl whose name escaped Percy’s memory for the moment. Ephraim gave him an affirming nod and smile, and then opened his mouth to address the crowd.
“I present to you, Dragon Rod Black Belt,” Ephraim said. It was now to the student to state his full name and present himself to the crowd. Percy turned around and told him his new name for the first time.
“Percival Ephraim Dartaryk.”

There was silence. The people in the plain wooden building, many of whom had addressed him as Paul for the five years that he had been here, were shocked. A few of them exchanged bewildered glances, but no one said a word.

“Percy!” Leo suddenly called, making Percy jump slightly (he hoped that nobody had seen it). “You’re the man!”

“Percy!” a couple of the impressionable younger students called out a couple of moments afterward. They did not understand the circumstances under which it happened. All they knew is that ‘Paul’ was ‘Percy’ now.

“Percy...Percy...Percy...PERCY...PERCY...PERCY...P ERCY...” the crowd of students and townspeople, numbering probably near a hundred in total, started to chant. The name had obviously stuck, and the chanting escalated more. “PERCY! PERCY! PERCY! PERCY!”

Percy beamed and walked down the few stairs off of the dais, yanking Leo away from his sweetheart on the way so that they could walk through the crowd together, rods in hand.


;251;


This last trip had taken Percy and his grandfather into Cianwood City itself, and there Percy stood on the walkway to the ship that was to bear him to Hoenn. He would be fourteen in a matter of days, and was at last starting his Pok mon Journey. The sun was rising, casting golden light over the blue waters of Cianwood Harbor. Slightly overhead, Percy saw two brown, speckled birdlike creatures with large eyes known as Noctowl flying toward the forests, probably to turn in until the sun set that evening. The rod he now held was silver and was made of some metallic material that he couldn’t remember the name of. He just remembered that his grandfather mentioned that he would need something more durable than oak wood for such a long journey.

“Attention,” Ephraim called, and both he and his grandson stood so. “Bow - Student to Master.” He and Percy bowed to each other. “Remember, Percy, everything that can be used for good can be used for evil. There is a dark side to everything.”
“Dark side, huh?” Percy laughed a bit. “Sounds like a movie I saw.”
“Oh, and...” Ephraim pulled a red-and-white ball that Percy recognized immediately as a Pok ball from his pocket and presented it to his grandson. Percy took it as Ephraim said, “Happy birthday, since I won’t see you in a week. But promise me you won’t open it until you get to Hoenn.”
“I promise,” Percy said, nodding. With that Ephraim began to walk off, and Percy started to walk up the stairs to his ship. Ephraim stopped, however.
“Percival?” Ephraim asked of his grandson.
“Grandpa?” It was not often that his grandfather called him ‘Percival’ as opposed to ‘Percy’, so this had to be serious.
“Are you ready? You won’t have me there, you know...” Ephraim walked off. The ship’s horn blew a loud blast, and Percy ran up onto the ship, looking over his shoulder just in time to see his grandfather disappear from view...


;251;

“He’s right, y’know,” Percy said to himself, jumping off of the tree and landing on his feet with a soft flump. “All I’ve got in this place are my rod...” he picked that up from its leaning post against the tree, “my balls...” six new Pok balls now sat on hooks on one of the ends of Percy’s black belt. “And my word.” And with that, this new trainer started down the path to the Birch Laboratory.

So another Trainer’s adventure begins...




Alright, how's that for starters? I might have rushed it a bit at the end because my dad was rushing me ("How long are you going to be online?" "I'm almost done, Dad..."), but it's starting out better, I think, than my first one.

BTW, did anyone catch the Star Wars reference? I'm sorry, but seeing as Revenge of the Sith came out yesterday, I couldn't resist.

EM1, back in.

Castform
21st May 2005, 3:47 AM
Your Back!!!! I've been waiting... What took you so long! ^_^ I guess school and other stuff right? This was great, a new character and everything... now your going to do the Hoenn region... Awesome! I can't wait till your next chapter!!!!

~Castform out!

Glad to see ya EM1!!!

Twilight Absol
21st May 2005, 4:16 AM
Is this the Eon Master I'm assuming it is? YAY!!!

Great fic, I like the training, but there seems to be a slight error, It is Pok mon instead ot Pokemon for some reason >.>
I like this fic so far, and I do hope that this time you'll finish it...>.>;;

Golden Tropius
21st May 2005, 8:47 PM
That was apsolutly amazing! And that's the prolougue? Man...
I will definitly be sticking around for this one...

Zappy.
21st May 2005, 10:28 PM
Wow. That's the word for this fic. WOW. I love it, it's so JAWESOME!! I can't WAIT to see what's coming up next!
I caught the Star Wars reference, too!

WaterTrainer243
21st May 2005, 11:08 PM
Well I said welcome back to you once before and I'll say it again my friend. Welcome back. Not bad for the first chapter of your new story, I hope we get to see more.

EonMaster One
26th May 2005, 1:42 AM
Chapter 2: Son of a Birch

With a sigh, young trainer-to-be Percival Dartaryk entered the automatic doors at Birch Pokemon Laboratory. He looked over his shoulder as they closed behind him with a faint whirring sound. He looked forward again to see exactly what this lab was all about, and what he saw surprised him. Most labs, he had thought, were a bit more...lab-like. He had always imagined a hallway full of large bookcases, or...something like that. This, however, was not much more than a room with four bookcases, each about half the size of those that you would find at your average library. It ended, though, with a computer that Percy thought to be quite large. Below it was a group of starter Pokemon for Hoenn trainers, he guessed. But (gazing at the top Pokeball on his belt, which he had marked with a star sticker) he already had a starter Pokemon – he just didn’t know what it was. Naturally, he hoped that it was a fighting type, but he did not know. In any case, he wouldn’t be picking one from off of that desk. Someone else apparently was, though. Percy took a few paces toward the back of the lab, and the figure, hearing footsteps, turned around to see who it was.

“Er, hello,” Percy said quickly when he realized he had been seen. He was looking at a boy about his age with dirty-blond hair that was spiked slightly, sharp, green eyes and sneering facial features. He had had his right ear pierced, and hanging from it was an earring with what must have been a miniature of a very long, green, serpentine Pokemon that Percy had never seen before. Approaching closer to the boy, he saw that this boy was his height, if not a half-inch taller than he was. He was not large around the middle by any means, but still looked well-fed. He was wearing, at the moment, a black, leather jacket over a dark green shirt, and black pants. On his feet were black and green shoes that matched the color of his outfit and looked like they had cost quite a lot of money to buy.

“Hm...I haven’t seen you before,” the boy murmured, tilting his head jauntily, and the earring with the mysterious dragon-like creature dangled a bit. He might have been a bit startled at Percy’s presence, so Percy did not think him rude just yet – just a bit standoffish at the worst. “What’s your name?”

“Percy,” Percy answered simply. “Or, Percival. Percival Dartaryk.”

“Lloyd’s the name,” the sandy-haired boy said, a smirk crossing his lips. “Lloyd Birch.”

“Birch?” Percy’s eyebrows raised when he heard that. He knew that it could be an offensive assumption, but he had to ask. “Are you related to the Professor?”

“Professor?” Lloyd responded. “Oh, you mean my pop? He’s out doing field work as usual, but should be back in soon. It’s almost lunch time and my pop likes eating almost as much as he likes Pokemon. So what are you here for? Signing up to join the Hoenn League, like everyone else our age tries to do this time of year?”

“Yeah,” Percy answered. “You, too?”

“Oh, I’ve had my license for about a year now,” Lloyd stated, puffing his chest out a bit. “I can leave anytime I want. Since I waited so long, though...” He pulled out his license. On the right side was the boy’s full name: ‘Lloyd Patrick Birch.’ His date of birth... ‘April 20, 1996 in the Age of Rayquaza...’

“Whoa, man...” Percy stepped back when he saw the birth date. “That’s a bit creepy.”

“What, the picture?” Lloyd replied. “Yeah...I had a tin grin last year and just got those stupid things taken off. That’s why I came here – to get another picture taken before I leave.”

Percy’s eyes tried to slip back to the Lloyd’s picture without the sandy-haired teen seeing him. He hadn’t noticed that.

“Oh, how old are you?” Lloyd asked. “You look about my age, but you can never be sure...”

“Oh, um...” Percy did not know how exactly to say this. “Fourteen...or at least, I will be, on the 20th...”

Lloyd looked at him for a second, and Percy looked back. There was utter silence for at least a few seconds, until Lloyd laughed and said, “Yeah, that is creepy.”

“You don’t know the half of it,” Percy responded. “What are the chances that the very first person I’d meet in Hoenn had the exact same birthday as I did, even down to the year? Maybe that means we’re destined to be friends or something...”

“Yeah,” Lloyd said, taking the left Pokeball on the circular table out of its slot and beginning to toss it into the air. He did so a couple of times, and then turned his gaze to Percy (catching the ball without looking) and added, “...or maybe rivals.”

“We can’t be both?” Percy asked, ignoring how idealistic he probably sounded at the moment.

“Maybe,” Lloyd responded. “Where’re you from anyway? I’ve never seen you before. Mossdeep? Mauville? Or maybe Pacifidlog?”

“Where the heck are those places?” Percy asked, raising an eyebrow. “I’ve sure never heard of them before.”

Lloyd looked a bit flustered and said, “So you’re new here.”

“I’m not even from here,” Percy explained. “I lived in Johto...”

“Oh...” at this, it seemed that Lloyd’s entire attitude changed. His smirking face went to a scowl. He no longer seemed nice at all. In fact, he seemed quite angry. Did he not like Johto or something? “So, you’re a ‘foreigner’...”

“If that’s what you call me,” Percy said, shrugging.

“The champion...moved here from Johto,” Lloyd said.

“I take it that you don’t have the same respect for him as everyone else does?” Percy replied coolly.

“Not by a long shot,” Lloyd said. “You see, I’ve always believed...that Hoenn’s Championship should be carried by someone who is actually from Hoenn. You ‘foreigners’ don’t know what Hoenn’s all about. Our league is more challenging than Johto’s...”

“Which is exactly why I came over here,” Percy interrupted. He was beginning to like the boy less and less with every word that he spoke.

“You see, for the last century, until this guy came along,” Lloyd said, and Percy figured that ‘this guy’ was referring to the current champion. “All of Hoenn’s champions came from Hoenn, and what’s more...the last five were all born in Littleroot Town. And one was the son of my pop’s teacher, who was the foremost Pokemon Professor in Hoenn before my pop came along...and guess what? I fit all of those qualifications.”

“...So you believe it is your calling...your destiny...to win this,” Percy said. It wasn’t a question.

“Yes,” Lloyd answered simply.

“Well,” Percy said, turning to him. “I’m afraid that I’ll have to disagree with you.”

“If I had a Pok dollar for every time someone disagreed with me, I’d be the richest person in Hoenn right now,” Lloyd said flatly.

“Are you trying to make a point?” At this juncture, Percy had become fed up indeed with Lloyd’s attitude. “Because if you are, get straight to it instead of beating around the bush like a coward.”

“Yes, I am,” Lloyd said, blinking and taking a few steps so that he was right at Percy’s eye level. Then Lloyd opened his bright green eyes and gave Percy a stone-cold stare. If looks could kill a man, this one carried enough death, perhaps, to kill an immortal. “My point is...that this championship belongs to me, not some pretty-boy ‘Jote’ who thinks he’s all tough because he carries a stick.”

If Percy had been instructed by a martial artist with less integrity than his grandfather, Lloyd would be on his back – perhaps bleeding severely – at this moment. ‘Jote’ was a very severe and considered by many to be a profane nickname for someone who was from Johto. It was obvious that Lloyd thought that people from Johto were inferior – or perhaps moreso, that people from Hoenn were superior.

“I’ll be the bigger person and pretend that last comment never happened,” Percy said flatly. “So, what’s your problem with Johto? Had a vacation over there that didn’t go well?”

“You haven’t been listening to a word I’ve been saying, have you?” Lloyd asked indignantly.

“Since the part when you went all prejudiced on me? No,” Percy answered just as flatly. He didn’t have time for this. He had to get the Pokedex from Professor Birch – wherever he was – and get on his journey. Exchanging sarcastic comments with some guy who obviously had enormous tolerance issues was getting him nowhere fast.

“Prejudiced?” Lloyd sounded even more indignant. “You’ve got me all wrong. I am simply a patriot. You feel the some way about Johto as I do about Hoenn, no?”

“Obviously not,” Percy grunted. “If I did, I wouldn’t have bothered to come over here?”

“Then why did you?” Lloyd asked. After a long silence from Percy, he started talking again: “To get on my nerves?”

“Do you really think you’re that important?” Percy retorted, feeling his face get hot with anger. “Honestly, I didn’t know who the heck you were until about ten minutes ago. And if you want me to be honest again, I wish I’d never met you.”

“Likewise...” Lloyd rolled his eyes and minimized the Pokeball (which he had been throwing and catching for this entire conversation), stowing it somewhere in his leather jacket. “Unfortunately for me, we’re both two people looking for the same goal, so I’ll be seeing your ugly mug again sometime. I’ll probably be picking it off of the ground for you when you lose to the first trainer you meet.”

“I wouldn’t bank on that,” Percy muttered through gritted teeth.

Lloyd was looking at his digital watch (black and green just like everything else that he was wearing). Even from a distance, Percy could see that it was quarter after one in the afternoon. “Damn!” Lloyd swore to himself, just loud enough so that Percy heard him. “He’s been two hours already. He must have taken his lunch with him.”

“Probably,” Percy said, taking his first chance to make fun of Lloyd. “If I knew that I had someone like you to come home to, I’d stay out all day, too.”

“Very funny,” Lloyd said sarcastically.

Just then, the lab doors swung open with that familiar whirring sound. A man of about forty or forty-five with brown hair and sideburns that came down to form a beard ran into the lab at full speed (which was respectable, considering his age and slightly wide build). He was wearing a lab jacket over a green shirt and khaki pants, and had what looked like a blue notepad jammed under his arm. He seemed absolutely terrified of something, and it was not long before Percy found out what. A dark gray, canine creature was right at his heels. It was small, but it moved very quick and seemed ferocious enough to scare anybody.

“Tch,” Lloyd sucked his teeth. “This happens at least once every other week.”

“Hm?” Percy looked at Lloyd, and had his rod in his hand until Lloyd snatched it out.

“Give me that,” he grunted, yanking the bo from Percy’s grip. Lloyd wildly tried to bring the weapon down onto the head of the small beast, but it was much too quick for him. The sound of the metal rod making contact with the tiled floor did frighten the little creature, however, and the canine ran headlong toward and out the lab doors, leaving the man in the lab jacket standing in front of Lloyd and gasping for breath.

“What are you doing?” Percy muttered, snatching his rod back from Lloyd. “Try to take it from me again, and you’ll find out how much it really hurts.”

“Whew, that was close,” the man said, dusting his lab jacket off. “Oh, Lloyd...”

“Let me make this short, pop,” Lloyd answered, his patience at an end. “I’m packed and I’m leaving – today, and I’ve decided to take Torchic because Treecko’s ugly and Mudkip looks like a wimp.”

“If you say so...” the man who must have been Professor Birch answered. “Do you have your...”

“Of course,” Lloyd said impatiently. “You gave it to me last year and I haven’t lost it.”

“Good luck, then...” Birch raised an eyebrow and seemed almost glad that his son was leaving.

“About time!” Lloyd ran out of the lab, and the doors whirred shut behind him.

There Percy and the Professor stood in silence. Percy knew that he had to open his mouth to get this thing rolling, but after he had witnessed that scene, he didn’t really feel like saying much of anything. Birch gave Percy the ‘I’ve-never-seen-you-before’ look that Percy realized that he was going to have to accept for a while. Go on, say something, Percy thought to himself, but he didn’t know exactly what to say. He felt a bit stupid, actually. All he needed was to ask for a Pokedex and be on his way. He already had his starter. Granted, he didn’t know what it was, but he had it. There was something in that Pokeball that his grandfather had given him. Littleroot was absent of any especially good Pok Marts, according to the captain of the ship that had brought him over here, so once he got the Pokedex, there was nothing more to do here in Littleroot.

“I haven’t seen you before,” Birch finally broke the silence, much to Percy’s relief. “Are you new here?”

“Yes, I came over here from Johto,” Percy said, hoping that the bad attitude that Lloyd carried about people who were from places other than Hoenn wasn’t inherited from his father.

“Johto? ...Well, that’s interesting,” Birch declared. “Our champion came here from Johto a few years ago. I gave him his first Pokemon, as a matter of fact...after he had used it to save me from a situation like you just saw there a few moments ago.”

“You mean, getting chased by that dog-looking thing?” Percy asked, trying not to laugh as Birch had obviously been terrified of the creature when it had chased him..

“That ‘dog-looking thing’ was a Poochyena. They’re all around this area, and you think they would’ve gotten used to seeing me by now, because I do field work on Route 101 very often...” Professor Birch mused. Then, noticing Percy’s completely lost look, he added, “Route 101's the road that leads north from here. To Oldale Town, that is.”

“Frankly,” Percy said. “I could care less about where Oldale Town is right now. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”

“I don’t remember a bridge being near Oldale Town,” Birch said, missing the true meaning of what Percy was trying to say entirely.

“You professors all take things too literally,” Percy responded with a laugh. “Anyway, I came to register for the Hoenn League. So how do I do that?”

“Well, I simply give you a Pokedex, and you give me some information,” Birch said. He stepped behind the table and started rummaging in a drawer. Obviously, this man was a bit disorganized. Either that, or he was trying to find something that he had not used in a while. He gasped, and pulled out a red object that was shaped a bit like one of those large, older-model cellphones. It had a screen on it, and a turning wheel. It also had several blue buttons for which Percy did not know the purpose. This had to be a Pokedex. Birch inserted it into a slot in his computer, clicked a mouse a couple of times, and then asked, “Your name, please? Full name, if it is all possible.”

“Percival Ephraim Dartaryk,” Percy said.

“Dartaryk? That’s interesting. My books that cover recent Johto history speak of an Ephraim Dartaryk...he was a gym leader in Cianwood City up until about thirty years ago, when he left the gym to one of his students and moved to a small village to open up a dojo to teach martial arts,” Birch said very quickly.

The impact of these words was like dropping a bowling ball on the foot of someone who was not expecting it. Despite having lived with him for nearly eight years, Percy did not know a great deal of his grandfather’s history before moving to Garel Village. He definitely did not know that his grandfather was a gym leader, and Chuck’s predecessor, at that. Chuck, who was a young man then, took over the gym at that point. Sometimes, when Percy was young and he and his grandfather would go into the city, they would visit Chuck, and Percy had always wondered why.

“But...” Birch said, sounding quite sad. “I heard that Ephraim Dartaryk’s few family members met a tragic end in a storm at sea, eight years ago.”

“Not all of them,” Percy said finally. “I’m...the last one, I guess. Or, at least, the last one that I know of.”

“I see,” Birch said, fingering his beard. He then realized that he and Percy were supposed to be about business, and quickly changed his tone, typing something into the computer on his desk. “Oh, anyways, date of birth, please?”

“April 20, 1996 in the Age of Rayquaza,” Percy said, wondering how long it would take for the eeriness of the coincidence to register. He didn’t have to wait long. Birch seemed to be typing that into the computer, until he stopped halfway, studied Percy’s face for a second, and spoke.

“Sorry, what was that again?” Birch asked, with a raised eyebrow.

“April 20, 1996 in the Age of Rayquaza,” Percy said in a ‘yes-you-heard-me-right’ kind of tone.

“Uncanny...” Birch muttered, finishing his typing. “That’s the same day my son was born...”

“Yeah, I found out,” Percy grunted tersely, a bit miffed that the conversation had turned to Lloyd.

“Oh, speaking of which,” Birch said quickly, probably noticing that Percy was upset. “I’m sorry for Lloyd’s behavior. Besides his...well, closed-minded nationalism is the best way to put it, really...he’s actually a very nice boy. Or at least he grew up that way...”

“Found that out, too...” Percy folded his arms and looked over his shoulder, upset that Birch was pressing the subject of Lloyd even more. “He actually seemed cool until he found out that I was from Johto. I guess if I was from Hoenn, we could have been great friends...”

“It’s not your fault,” Birch said comfortingly. “He grew up a bit leery of people from other nations. When Brendan won five years ago, Lloyd was a bit upset for a few reasons. One of them’s that he always admired Steven Stone, that is, the former champion...”

“And the other...?” Percy asked, hoping that he didn’t sound too nosy.

“I don’t like to talk about it,” Birch said. He sounded quite choked up. Percy noticed it, and Birch probably noticed it as well, because he changed his tone back to his regular, jovial voice. “But the reason Lloyd took a liking to you in the beginning might have been because you reminded him of Steven. Well, your hair, anyway...”

“Hmm,” Percy hummed simply, but he was really thinking hard. What exactly happened, that Professor Birch didn’t want to talk about? Something drastic, or maybe even tragic, must have happened as a result of Brendan Smith becoming champion. Chances were that the answer sat with Lloyd – and Percy had talked enough with him to last for a good month. It probably wasn’t any of his business anyway, so Percy tried to put it out of his mind as Professor Birch asked the next question.

“Blood type?”

Percy’s jaw nearly hit the ground. Why did anyone need to know his blood type? Were they going to give him a physical or something? Percy didn’t remember his grandfather telling him...no, his grandfather had told him. He wrote it down somewhere and left it in his room, not really thinking it important unless he was having major surgery or died under mysterious circumstances. The letter “O” popped up in his brain all of a sudden, and Percy nearly blurted it out. Then he realized – you couldn’t guess about these types of things. He would just have to be honest.

“I don’t know, sir,” he said.

“I’m sorry,” Birch said. ‘You can’t be an Official Pokemon Trainer unless we know your blood type,’ was coming next. Percy knew it. Then, suddenly Birch smiled, and then full-on laughed. “You should have seen your face!!”

Percy realized what had happened, and then shook his head. Birch had got him, alright.

“Sorry,” he said, inputting some other things (probably his hometown since Percy had already told him) into the computer and laughing all the while. “I like getting rookie trainers like that, especially if they don’t know our policies. No offense, but we both know that you aren’t from here. And I actually think that’s okay – as you’ve probably heard, our champion is from Johto.”

“Yeah,” Percy said lightheartedly. He felt like being a bit less serious now that he had seen that even Pokemon Professors could be pranksters at times. “When I’m done with him, your champion will still be from Johto.”

“Confident words!” cried Birch in a commending tone. “I like your attitude. Most rookie trainers come here as nervous wrecks. I have to put their Pokedexes in their bookbags and pockets because they might drop them, since their hands are shaking so badly! The fact that you’re not nervous says a lot good about you.”

If he only knew, Percy thought to himself.

“Starter Pokemon?” Birch asked, waving his hand at the two remaining Pokeballs on his table. “Sorry, I can only offer you Treecko, the grass-type, and Mudkip, the water-type, seeing as Lloyd’s taken off with the Torchic already.”

“That’s alright, I brought my own,” Percy responded, taking the Pokeball with the star on top off of his black belt and enlarging it.

“Oh, you’re a black belt already? I guess your grandfather taught you directly,” Birch had apparently not noticed the belt until now.

“Yeah, have been for three years, almost.” Percy said. “Oh, this...my grandpa gave it to me, but I don’t know what it is. He made me promise not to release the Pokemon until I got to Hoenn.”

“Well, where do you think you are now?!” Birch said, almost at a shout.

“Good point,” Percy said. He tossed the ball, shouting “Come out!” The ball opened with a pop and a white light shot out onto the floor. It materialized into what had to be Percy’s Pokemon, but it still seemed to be flopping and flailing around madly like a fish pulled from the water. Percy took another look – and to his dismay, it was a fish pulled from the water. It was red, except for its yellow fins, scaly, and had big lips and the most vacant expression on its face.

“Karp, karp...” it droned.

Percy’s mouth nearly hit the ground again. How the heck was he supposed to train this thing? He knew that it would evolve into a very strong Pokemon known as Gyarados when trained properly, but how was he to do that? It could only battle in water, and that was using the term ‘battle’ very loosely – it simply flailed and flicked around so much that anything that got too close to it was sure to get hit. And how would he use it to catch another Pokemon, especially a land-bound one? All he saw was his dream of a Pokemon Master going down, down, down the drain...

“Percy...” Now Percy was hearing voices. “PERCIVAL!”


Percy jumped, startled at the shout of the full length of his name. He found (perhaps to his relief) that he did not have a Magikarp for a starter Pokemon. In fact, he had the ball raised high above his head in his left hand, but had not even released it.

“Percy, are you alright?” Birch said, tilting his head to get a better look at Percy’s face.

“Whoa,” Percy said, brushing his bangs out of his face with his right hand and doing one of those overemphasized blinks that one would use to wake himself up. “I think I just had a nightmare...but I’m awake. It’s a ‘nightmare’ version of a daydream.”

“Hmm...I bet you ‘dreamt’ that you ended up with a Magikarp,” Birch said.

“Yeah,” Percy said. How did Birch know that?

“Happened to me when I was a Trainer years ago,” Birch said.

“Alright, let’s try this again,” Percy said, shaking his head. He raised the Pokeball over his head with his left hand and threw it. It opened with a pop, and shot the white light out. Percy’s heart was beating so fast that he thought that he could feel it bursting from his chest. It formed into a smaller shape, and dimmed. What Percy saw was a creature that looked like a baby fox. Its fur was brown, except for its crests which were more like orange. It opened its aquamarine, crystal-like eyes timidly. The one thing that Percy noticed, though, that this creature had one...two...three...four...five...six tails, all of them ending in a curl and colored a bright orange. Percy only knew of one Pokemon with that many tails.

“Vulpix,” he said.

“Vul...” the fox-like creature whined.

“Wow, a Vulpix,” Birch said in amazement. “They’re pretty rare in these parts. They live up near this place called Mt. Pyre. That’s basically a Pokemon Graveyard. People tend to stay away from there.”

“No kidding,” Percy said. He didn’t know what to feel. Maybe he should feel sorry for it. Vulpix looked quite confused as it stared around the lab with its gem-like eyes. Maybe he should feel happy for himself. This was his Vulpix, after all. But he didn’t know what to think. Maybe he should try talking to it. But what should he say? This was a Pokemon that he would be ordering in battle. So maybe he should be firm? But this would also be his friend for this journey – perhaps he should be nice to it? He didn’t even know if it was a male or female Vulpix. That would change the whole nature of how Percy talked to him – or her, whatever the case was.

“Starter Pokemon – Vulpix, female,” Birch muttered as he typed into his computer.

Percy looked up and asked Birch, “Female? How do you know off the bat like that?”

“From a distance, both genders of Pokemon look the same to an untrained eye,” Birch said. “But I’ve been studying Pokemon long enough to notice these types of things. There are differences not only in appearance, but in growth and overall demeanor, between the male and female of a Pokemon species. Take the Vulpix, for example. The male’s eyes are a straight green, untouched by any sign of blue at all. It’s only the female that has the aqua-like tint to her eyes. But you don’t find that out until three days after they hatch from an egg because they always have a more moderated shade when they’re newborns, somewhat between the two.”

“Well, that’s two of my questions so far,” Percy murmured. He knelt down toward his new Vulpix, who noticed him and stared straight into his eyes. Percy reached his hand out to touch her head, but she shrank away, her bluish-green eyes quivering with fear. That made Percy feel even worse that she was scared of him. He wondered why, while making an attempt to pet his Pokemon again. She backed away from him again. “You don’t like me, do you?”

“Consider yourself fortunate,” Birch said. “I’ve seen Pokemon react a lot more violently to their new Trainers. She’ll get used to you. Most of them do, and everything turns out just fine.”

“Alright,” Percy said, a bit disappointed that he had not hit it off with his new Vulpix like he’d hoped, but comforted a bit by Birch’s words. He extended the Pokeball toward Vulpix again and a crimson jet of light issued from the center, engulfing Vulpix and sucking her back into the ball. “Maybe you’ll feel better once we’ve traveled together for a while.”

“That’s the way!” exclaimed Birch, coming from behind his desk, the red Pokedex in hand. He gave it to Percy, who slipped it into his royal blue jacket and snapped the Pokeball back onto his belt. “Alright, you’re officially registered for the Hoenn League.”

“Where do I start?” Percy asked.

“Well, there’s only one way by land to get out of Littleroot, and that’s up Route 101,” Birch explained. “That’ll take you to a town called Oldale, and you can go from there. But remember, you need eight badges to be granted acceptance into the Rusaem Tournament in Evergrande City.”

“I’ll worry about the Rusaem or whatever that was after I get badges,” Percy said, starting his walk out of the lab. He had not quite gotten to the door when –

“Percival,” Birch called after him. Percy turned around to acknowledge him without saying anything. “If you come across my son Lloyd during your journey, don’t hesitate to defeat him.”

Percy, far from being indifferent to being asked to do something that he probably would have sought to do anyway, looked quite bemused at this request. Why was Birch asking Percy to defeat his own son? Wouldn’t it follow that Birch wanted Lloyd to attain the rank of Champion? Was the relationship between Lloyd and his father that strained? Birch seemed like a nice man – a man that would love his son and wish for his success...right?

“But...” Percy muttered. “Professor Birch...”

“I’ll tell you this now. I’ve been looking for the one to defeat Brendan ever since he ascended to the championship, and I think that it’s you,” Birch said. “Not just because you’re from Johto like he was, but because you have this certain...air about you. You seem to really care for your Pokemon even when you don’t know that much about her. And I think that Lloyd could stand to learn a thing or two about how to treat Pokemon and people. Rest assured, you won’t have to search for him. Sad to say, he will be seeking you out – because he has something to prove. He wants to prove that Hoennite Trainers are more deserving of the championship than those from Johto. Show him that it’s not where you are that makes you a great Trainer, it’s who you are.”

Percy smiled. It was still a bit unnerving the way that Birch had not just given him permission, but had actually asked him to defeat Lloyd. He would prove that it’s character that makes someone a Master at Pokemon, at martial arts, and at life – and he would prove this not just to Hoenn, but to the entire world. He would rise to the top, relying on honor, love, and determination every step of the way.

“It’ll be my pleasure,” Percy said as he took the last few steps from the laboratory.


A couple of turns would land him at the exit of Littleroot Town onto Route 101, onto the beginning of his journey. He looked up toward the sun in the blue sky. It was blazing yellow, and Percy could not look at it for long, even with his eyes shaded. He returned his head to ground level, spots of distortion still pulling at his vision. He could have sworn that he saw him handily beating down a husky member of an unscrupulous-looking group. He saw an unknown person handing him a badge. He saw, for a second, a girl with sky-blue hair tied up in a red bow (where the heck did that come from?).

“Sun must be playing tricks,” Percy muttered. “What was that last one? I don’t know anyone who looks like that. Getting the badge and kicking that guy’s butt...whoever he was...I do like, though. First, I’ve gotta get this Vulpix to trust me, though...”

With that, Percy passed under the archway leading to Route 101, at the start of a journey that, as we will find out, will show Percival Dartaryk friendship (in the front of Percy’s mind), hardship (somewhere in the middle of Percy’s mind), and maybe even love (not on Percy’s mind at all...but he’ll turn fourteen in a couple of days).

Percy’s ready.

Hoenn’s ready.

Are you ready?




Wow...now that I put it like that, Chapter 1 did seem like a prologue. But I learned from my mistake last time. I put up the prologue as “Prologue” in my last fic, and even though it had what I think was one HELL of a Pokemon battle (and I’m sure WT243 and Castform would agree with me), no one read the fic until I posted chapter 1, so there. You have two chapters to chew on (and you'll be chewing on chapter two for a long time as it's about twelve pages) while I pack boxes, take exams, and wonder when in the blue hell I’m going to be able to get to writing Chapter 3 and gracing you with that.

Alright, then. Don’t be concerned if you don’t hear from me for a while. The next two weeks are going to be a real b!tch. I’m moving this week (I stopped packing boxes early today because I cared and wanted to give you one more chapter before I left), I’ve got exams next week (how many I don’t know), and on June 4th, I’m taking the SAT. Right after my last day of school! Damn! That’s like a bad fanfic with an even worse epilogue...which I promise you won’t happen here, by the way.

By the way, can anyone guess how I came up with the name "Rusaem (pronounced roo-SIGH-um)" for the tourney?

- EM1, out for now.

Twilight Absol
26th May 2005, 7:05 AM
Hmmm, nice touch of humor and Lloyd is certainly interesting, I think that they were destined to be rivals afterall, but the magikarp part was confusing....it kinda suddenly swtched scenes and I was stuck in the transition, pretty good chapter, and for some reaon, I keep on thinking of a gym leader >.>

EonMaster One
26th May 2005, 12:49 PM
Hmm...what Gym Leader is that, I wonder? ...But never mind that. Let me clear things up for you.

Percy imagined that he had thrown the ball and gotten a Magikarp. It wasn't a flashback (because it never actually happened), so I didn't put the little Celebi smilies around it. I did that for shock value, so someone who started in the middle of the chapter would be like, "He gets a Magikarp? WTF?" Anyway, Birch snaps him out of it, and Percy finds that he actually hasn't thrown the ball yet.

By the way, I wonder why the people who thought up Pokemon for the american version as opposed to "Pocket Monsters" put that damn accent on the 'e' when they knew that everybody (half of the people that watch that show are probably under 13, no offense) was probably going to spell it without the accent anyway. That thing is a real pain in the ***. You can put it up on Microsoft Word and WordPerfect and stuff like that, but sometimes when it copies over, the accented 'e'....disappears without a trace. (Pok mon) X.x

Castform
27th May 2005, 1:29 AM
Very intresting choice of a starter, a very intreating character and a very intresting rival. Unlike your past rival this rival seems to be not AS stuck up. Lloyd at least treats hoennites with respect. I like the rival's personality alot it could go very far. He seems a little bit like Silver...how Silver didn't treat his pokemon with respect until he gets whooped by Gold(or whatever you named the character in the game)

As far as Grammar goes, I don't have the best eye for it but to me it seemed fine! ^_^

The gym leaders shall be intresting.... if your using the orginal gym leaders, Roxanne would be older.... An older form of Brawly, I'd say since Brawly is the Fighting type Gym Leader of Hoenn, I'd think he know much about Percival's past...Wattson will be really old...Flannery, well most people like flannery the way she is now, so I can't wait to see your future description of her...Norman, I have No clue that is going to work out...Winnoa, in my opinion should be replaced, Johto gym leader Falkner, He is SO much cooler...Tate and Liza, well, not a clue, and finally the Last Gym Leader which would be really confusing @_@ Who are you going to choose for that Juan? Wallace? New Gym Leader?

You seem to like Johto alot, is that your favorite region? I tend to like Kanto a lot. ^_^ Although Johto and Hoenn are great to...Orre... well thats awhole different story...I really dislike that one...

And as for Real Life.... That sucks.. I hate EOC so much.. >_<...I cannot wait til school is over and I have an unscheduled day. I can do anything I want.... ah... those are the days....

BTW, I'm trying to type more to be of more use, so this is alot more than I usually post.

~Castform

PS: Yes the prologue did have one heck of a batte.... you're story's are so good...I still remember the characters and where you left off of Johto Generations...I wish I had copied and saved the chapters...

Cs32
27th May 2005, 11:20 PM
YA!!!! He is back! Just got a pm from one of my friends saying they knew you where my favorite author of all time! So after I read it I literally started cheering to myself and basically skipped over to this. :p I know everyone was worried about what happened to you, expecially since you left around the time of that one tsunami. So what actually did happen to you? To bad your other fic is lost from Serebii..or did you save it to your computer? Cause I thought Johto Generations was the BOMB. As soon as I got here I saved this fic to my favorites so I can go to it for any updates as quickly as possibe. I'm just glad you actually came back to Serebii. Gotta go so...
Later
~~CS~~

P.S. Hey Castform...I saved EVERY chapter of Johto Generations he had written down to a disk. I read it over and over and over again. So if you want a copy of it...I can send you chapter by chapter of the fic.

WaterTrainer243
28th May 2005, 3:51 PM
Another good chapter my friend, I'm glad Percy's moving along great.

EonMaster One
4th June 2005, 3:41 AM
Man, oh, man...man, I’m tired!
School exams are over, but then SAT on Saturday...and my computer still isn’t working...
Oh, well, smile and move on! :)

Chapter 3: Trust 101

Percival Dartaryk let the breeze ruffle his shiny, silvery-white hair. He then patted it down when the wind gusted to ridiculous levels for a moment. He wouldn’t say that he had an obsession with his hair, but he did value it, perhaps more than most guys his age did (especially Lloyd, but he wasn’t going to go there). The sky was near cloudless. It was an extremely nice day, especially for being in the middle of a month that was known for its frequent showers...at least, in Johto. Percy had no idea what the weather was like here in Hoenn. But right now, he definitely wasn’t complaining. The temperature had to be about sixty-five or seventy degrees, and the intermittent breezes that blew through prevented the sun, not masked by a single cloud, from becoming too merciless.

Percy felt the earth of Route 101, virgin to anything mechanical, crunch under his sandals. The weather was simply perfect today - what every Pokemon Trainer no doubt hoped for on the first day of his journey. After the conversation that he had with Professor Birch right before he left Littleroot Town (which had to have only been an hour or two prior), Percy, in spite of himself, wondered about the whereabouts of Lloyd, who had left Littleroot not quite an hour before he did. Percy wasn’t in a hurry to catch up with him, though. Despite Birch’s request, Percy knew that defeating Lloyd now would prove next to nothing...and that was if he could even beat Lloyd.

He’d wipe the floor with me if I battled him now, Percy thought to himself. While I want to be stronger than him, I won’t lie to myself. He does have advantages. He’s got a better knowledge of Hoenn and probably about ten years’ worth of teaching from his father under his belt, and I’ve got a rod and a Vulpix that doesn’t even like me.

He would just have to get stronger. There was nothing else for it. But there was still the small...okay, huge issue of his Vulpix not trusting him. He definitely couldn’t deal with a Pokemon the same way that he were to deal with another human, that was for sure. So how would he do it? If he wanted to become friends with another human, he would just simply find a way to start a conversation. But with a Pokemon, it wasn’t that simple. He wasn’t even sure if this Vulpix would be able to understand him. But by the same token, maybe she was lonely in the ball with nobody to talk to. She shouldn’t have to stay in a ball, Percy thought. She should at least be able to enjoy the weather out here.

Percy took the top ball from his belt, and opened it, not bothering to toss it. (He still didn’t know the concept that a Pokeball, after releasing the Pokemon inside, returns in the direction it was thrown, usually back into the trainer’s hand.) The white jet of light shot out onto the ground and quickly formed into the orange Fox Pokemon with six tails. The small fire-type had the same look in her aquamarine eyes that she had when Percy first released her in Birch’s lab: confusion mingled, it seemed, with a bit of fear. Percy’s face quickly melted into a smile. Vulpix’s eyes always seemed beautiful to him, even if they were quivering in terror. Unfortunately, he felt, Vulpix’s eyes told the whole story, without either she nor he having to say anything at all. She was still quite afraid of him, although not running away in horror. Motionlessly she stared at the human boy, not petrified as before but still a bit distrustful. She seemed to be waiting for whatever she feared that he would do. Percy wished that he could explain that he didn’t want to hurt her...but he knew neither the tongue nor the etiquette of any Pokemon species.

Then Percy realized something that he had forgotten: He had a name for his Vulpix already, but hadn’t told her. After all, if he was going to call his Vulpix something, it was best that Vulpix knew what it was. “Hey, Vulpix...” Percy knelt down beside his Pokemon to make sure that she knew that he was addressing her. The Vulpix turned around and looked straight at Percy, her gem-like eyes quivering with apprehension.

The Vulpix whined quietly. It sounded like an acknowledgment, though a feeble, nervous one, so Percy began talking again.

“I spent the last hour thinking up a name for you. And I think I’ve found it,” Percy said clearly. Up until now, he didn’t know if the Vulpix understood human language, but apparently she understood something as her ears perked up a bit. “I think I’m going to call you Reina. It sounds like it suits you. Would you like that?”

The Vulpix called Reina looked at Percy for a few seconds. Her eyes widened slightly, and her mouth curled upward. Was that a smile?

<“I remember that name,”> Reina was...no, it wasn’t possible. Unless Percy’s ears were deceiving him (and as far as he was concerned at this point, they had to be), he could understand every word that Reina was saying! Percy listened harder for Reina to start crying out her species name like most Pokemon do, but instead heard, <“We can understand a lot of human words, and that’s a really old one...in an ancient language that I don’t think you humans even speak in this age. And in the ancient language...that name is the word for ‘queen.’”>

“I take it that you like the name, then?” It had been a while since Percy had ever been this happy. If this meant that he was going crazy, then to heck with sanity. He was having a conversation with his Pokemon - and they understood each other!!

<“I like it...but it’s ironic,”> Reina responded. <“I thought that I’d never hear the word ‘queen’ after I was captured.”>

“Hmm?” Percy responded. It seemed Reina was about to tell Percy something about her past.

<“My mother was a Ninetales,”> Reina explained. <“She was the fastest, the strongest, the wisest of all of them. In the region you humans call ‘Johto,’ my race called her ‘Queen’...”>

“So you’re...like Vulpix royalty or something?” Percy asked. This was getting more and more interesting by the second. Percy figured that some Pokemon had some sort of social system that determined rank, but to hear about one straight from a Pokemon’s mouth...

<“Even more,”> Reina replied. <“My mother had nine daughters, and I was the oldest.”>

Percy required no further explanation. This was basic social studies. When a queen or king of any society (people or Pokemon) died, it was usually the oldest child who took their title. That meant one thing...

“You were going to be queen,” Percy said. Percy’s grandfather was certainly a believer in the powers of fate, to some degree. He would have said that it was not by accident that Percy ended up choosing that name for his Vulpix. And Percy, for this moment, would have probably agreed. “Wow...how strange is that...”

<“But then, I was captured...not by the intelligent human with the white garment...”> Percy put two and two together very quickly and figured that the ‘white garment’ had to be a lab jacket, which would make the ‘intelligent human’ Professor Elm, most likely (Professor Elm was to Johto as Professor Birch was to Hoenn). But if Professor Elm did not capture Reina originally, then who did? <“He was a man who would have looked very wealthy by a human’s standards. He had one of those devices you humans use to tell time, and it looked to be made of many of a very precious stone.”>

Reina didn’t know the name of these devices, obviously, but she was describing them well enough for Percy to be able to figure out. It appeared that the man had been wearing a watch with many diamonds, something that indeed did cost a lot of money to buy.

“What happened then?” Percy asked. Then, becoming sympathetic, he added, “How did you feel?”

<“I was...saddened,”> Reina whimpered, her aqua eyes beginning to fill with tears. <“I had been reduced from being a princess out in the wild to...someone’s slave, cooped up in one of those spheres. Do you know what it feels like to be in one of them?”>

“No,” Percy said, listening intently and feeling more and more sorry for his new Pokemon with every word that she spoke.

<“It’s all white. A vast, white space. We sleep. There is nothing to do but rest,”> Reina said blankly, reliving unbearable emotional pain, it seemed, as she was speaking. Tears were quivering at the brim of her eyes, and it seemed like she was doing everything in her power to not break down. <“What is inside one of those balls, I figured out, is based solely on the wishes of the human that carries it. But most humans, they do not care enough about things so small...”>

“It doesn’t seem like you were treated very fairly,” Percy said. He was trying to be as empathetic as possible, but what do you say after hearing something like that? He could say nothing, nothing to comfort his would-be friend, because he had not gone through pain like that. The worst thing that had ever happened to him was losing his parents in that storm nearly eight years ago, and even that had had a silver lining. That one event altered the course of his life. It placed him behind the very capable hands and rod of his grandfather, and made him into who he was today. That one event redefined him, and were it not for the fact that the ones who had given life to him were not around to witness his coming of age, it would have been perfect. But what happened to Reina...nothing good had come out of that, yet. Not yet...

<“You’re not so bad, though...”> Reina added. Percy smiled. Perhaps what he had was not full approval, but at least she was not afraid of him anymore. <“ ‘Reina’ gives me part of my identity back...part of who I am. Some may not believe it, but names are part of what make us who we are.”>

“Believe me, I know,” Percy replied. This was something that he could relate to. He had, of course, changed his name because he realized that the events of eight years ago, although tragic, made him into a completely different person than what he would have become under other circumstances. He felt that he had no choice but to change it, because that name was not who he was. He did not grow up as a Paul Alexander Watson II, but that was the name he was born with -- the name that his parents had given him, so he could not possibly sever all ties with it. Someone could call him ‘Paul’ and he would probably still answer. In fact, a few of the people of Garel Village still did call him ‘Paul’ for a short time after he had received his black belt. Percy’s grandfather, though, understood why Percy did what he did. Nevertheless, he did not grow up as a Watson. He grew up as a Dartaryk, and that was his identity. “I picked a name for myself when I was eleven. I picked one that, instead of reflecting on my past, focused on my future - the future that led me here to Hoenn. I’m from Johto, too, you know.”

<“You are from the ‘City on the Island,’ is that right Reina asked. Percy grimaced a bit. It had slipped his mind that Pokemon most likely had different names for the humans’ cities than the humans did themselves. These, however, were just as helpfully descriptive as Reina’s explanations of human items. There was only one notable ‘City on an Island’ that popped up in Percy’s head.

“That’s Cianwood,” Percy said. “And actually, I don’t live in the actual city. I live in a village near the edge.”

<“Hmm...”> Reina hummed. A breeze blew her six tails wildly all over the place, but she seemed to enjoy it. After her back end had collected itself back together, she said calmly, <“The weather’s good today.”>

“Very good,” Percy agreed, shading his eyes as the two of them continued their walk up Route 101. Despite the great weather, the sun was causing one problem in that things became much more difficult to see. Percy squinted and saw three forms coming toward them over a hill that was on their path. One was obviously a bit squat. Percy could see from here that this figure was at least slightly shorter than he was. The second was tall and lanky - maybe six feet in height (and, as Percy joked to himself, six inches around the waist). The other one seemed to be more of athletic build and stood in the center flanked by the other two. The figure’s hands seemed to be in its pockets. Percy stood still to see what these three people, whose faces he could not yet see, were going to do. They came into view as they drew closer.

The tallest one had a wide, almost devious grin on his face, and a black bandana around his head. Well, all of them had black bandanas around their heads, but the center figure seemed to have what looked like a skull on his. No crossbones (that would make him a pirate, or at least a fan of pirates), just a white, pupil-less, nose-less skull. The stocky one was wearing a scowl, seemingly attempting to intimidate anyone that stood in his path. Percy, being a master of martial arts, wasn’t easily intimidated, however. That particular man was definitely slower than he, and perhaps even not as strong. Why he was already gauging these men for a fight, he did not know, but with their all-black outfits, and black bandanas (and the center man was wearing black shades), they looked unscrupulous to say the least.

“Well, lookee here,” the tall one said. He had a bit of a simper to his voice that made even it sound conniving. “What’s this standing on the road?”

“Bah, another kid,” the stocky one had a baritone voice, and actually sounded a bit...well, slower on the uptake than most. “Let’s go, we’ve got nothing to do with him.”

“But, hey, Barnes,” the center figure, who looked to be the leader of this untrustworthy-looking band, lowered his shades. Percy saw the man’s eyes look straight at his Vulpix, and Percy immediately jumped in front to protect his Pokemon, rod in hand. “You hardly ever see Vulpix in Hoenn anymore. She’d fetch a pretty price.”

“I don’t think this kid’s willing to sell, boss,” Barnes said warningly, casting a sideways look at the man with the shades.

“Your friend over there isn’t as dumb as he looks,” Percy spoke up once he was sure of the group’s intentions. These guys were definitely up to no good. “Maybe you should listen to him once in a while, ‘Boss’.”

“I don’t think you realize who you’re dealing with here,” the man lowered his shades all the way, so that Percy got a good look at the man‘s yellow eyes. “So I’ll tell you. The tall one over here is Twiggy McFarland...obvious to see where he got the nickname. The one over there that could stand to lose a few pounds is Barnes, of course, and I‘m Foster. James Foster. People call me ‘Switchblade.’ ”

“Does it look like I care at this point?” Percy said coolly. If it was clear that he wasn’t afraid of them, maybe they would just give up and leave. If not, he might have to resort to his...(grasping the rod in his left hand tightly) skills... “Now, please, clear the road. I’ve got somewhere to go.”

“Why the rush?” the man called Foster shrugged. “You kids...always in a hurry these days. Why not stay here, and...have a Pokemon Battle, perhaps?”

Percy pored over this option for a few seconds. He didn’t like the idea of a Pokemon Battle with these guys...there was simply no way that it could be fair. But then, not only did he have to get the feel of battling with Reina, but beating them in a battle might be the only way for him to pass them. Otherwise he might actually have to fight all three of them - a proposition that sounded even less inviting. Ultimately, it came down to the lesser of two evils:

“I think that I’ll take you up on that offer,” Percy responded.

<“These humans are not good...”> Percy could hear Reina whimpering in the background.

“No kidding,” Percy agreed. “That’s why we have to get them out of our way. You up to it?”

<“I suppose,”> Reina responded. <“But I know you’re new at this...so if you tell me to do something that I think is going to get me messed up, I’m not going to listen.”>

“I won’t be surprised,” Percy said. “But you’ve got to trust me, okay?”

<“I have a hard time trusting any human...”> Reina murmured.

“I was afraid of that,” Percy said, frowning. He and Reina hadn’t made as much progress as he’d thought. Reina still distrusted him a bit. He found his anger rising at the men who stood before him, appearing no better than a group of bandits. They were the type of humans that gave humans a bad name. It was because of people like them that Reina couldn’t trust anybody. If only he could be the one to get rid of this kind of person...

“Alright, a battle it is, then,” Foster said. “Let’s see here. How about...we wager our Pokemon on this battle?”

“WHAT!?” Percy shouted. Wager Reina? What kind of stipulation was that?? He had no confidence in his battling skills, and even if he did, he wouldn’t be foolish enough to bet his own Pokemon as a prize for the match. That’s just...wrong. “There’s no way I’m wagering Reina on this battle! You must be kidding!”

“It’s either that, or we kick your -” Barnes started to shout, but Foster cut him off.

“Barnes, we are speaking to a child here,” Foster interrupted, with an air of derision that made Percy even more annoyed. “Anyway, what my partner is trying to say is that we can easily take your pretty little Vulpix here by force, and then you wouldn’t have an option.”

“Not that easily,” Percy retorted.

“Fine,” Foster said tersely, motioning to the gangling man on his left. “Twiggy, why don’t you begin...”

“Zigzagoon!!” Twiggy squeaked, throwing a ball into the air. The sphere burst open, eventually revealing that brown, striped, raccoon-like creature that Percy had seen in the park earlier.

Percy yanked his Pokedex out of his pocket and gave the Pokemon a quick scan. “Zigzagoon, a Normal-Type. It has an especially powerful attack called Headbutt.”

“Zigzagoon, Tackle Attack!” as expected, Twiggy was playing dirty. Percy had not so much as called Reina’s name when the enemy raccoonish creature hurled itself at Percy’s ankle. Reina jumped out in front of Percy this time, and threw herself at the Zigzagoon. The two collided in midair and landed on their feet in front of their respective trainers.

“Reina!” Percy said excitedly.

<“Keep your eyes open,”> Reina groaned by way of a criticism. <“They don’t fight fair.”>

“You think I don’t know that?” Percy retorted. “Reina, Tackle!”

“Counter with Tackle, Zigzagoon!” Twiggy squealed.

Both Pokemon ran at each other at full speed and collided head-on in the middle of the field again. They bounced off each other and skidded to a stop a few feet apart. Zigzagoon launched another Tackle, but Reina sidejumped it, causing the Tinyraccoon to miss and skid to a halt on the solid dirt, kicking up a small dust cloud in the process. Zigzagoon regained balance and launched a new attack on Reina, who jumped to the other side lightly, and then rammed her head right into Zigzagoon’s flank, sending the unspectacularly brown Normal-type into a roll.

“Zigzagoon!” Twiggy groaned with worry.

“Don’t let up!” Percy shouted, gaining confidence. “Go after him with another Tackle!”

“Za-gu...” Zigzagoon grunted. Percy didn’t quite catch it all, but it sounded suspiciously like an <“Ouch”> to him. Zigzagoon looked a bit banged up from the last attack, as there were several of what appeared to be bruises on its body and a rather large bump on its head, probably from the initial collision. Reina looked back at Percy for her next order. Percy scanned the battlefield to see what he should do next. He had time to plan, but not much. Zigzagoon was slowly but surely shaking off the cobwebs, and it would be mere seconds before Twiggy ordered another attack. To the left of the field, Percy saw a rock jutting out from the ground. It was by no means a boulder, but it was a few inches high and a bit pointy - the kind of rock that one trips over if he fails to see it beforehand. Percy pointed in that direction with his chin. Reina evidently understood, and immediately started taking off toward the rock.

“You’re running?” Twiggy obviously had no idea of the plan, or he might have held Zigzagoon back. “Zigzagoon, Tackle!”

“Wait for him!” Reina stood, her tails sweeping the rock every so often. Zigzagoon was coming like a brown missile at Reina’s position. Reina stared at the russet blur, resolving to move when Zigzagoon got too close, because Percy was trying to work with time that they simply did not have.

“Tail Whip!” Percy shouted at the last second. Reina had her tails against the rock, making it look like her side was exposed to attack. Zigzagoon went for it, but Reina swung her tails out of the way at the last possible moment and...

CRUNCH.

With the sickening sound of impact, Zigzagoon’s head bashed straight into the rock. Percy saw Foster wince in empathetic pain and smirked to himself. Zigzagoon was out on its feet (the original bump on its head appeared to have had children). It stumbled around for a few seconds, its eyes completely out of focus, and then fell over on its side, down for the count.

“Defeat!!” Twiggy shrieked. “Zigzagoon, return!” Twiggy’s ball enveloped the fallen creature in a red light and yanked it right back into the place from whence it came.

“That Zigzagoon was definitely using its head,” Percy said, tapping his forehead a couple of times to add insult to injury. “Too bad its trainer wasn’t.”

“What a blunder!” Twiggy seemed to be trying to pull his hair out, but the bandana was in the way. “My apologies, Boss!”

“Can’t you do anything right?” Instead of Foster, it appeared to be Barnes who would address Twiggy’s incompetence. “This kid’s barely cut his teeth with Pokemon battling! How the heck did you lose?”

“It’s called ‘beginner’s luck’!” Twiggy said hotly.

“If ‘beginner’s luck’ was real, you would have beaten me when we battled each other!” Barnes exclaimed. Twiggy realized that he could not possibly win this argument, and fell silent. “I’ll show you how to do this right. Poochyena!”

Percy was a bit relieved. At least this, too, was a Pokemon that he had seen once before. Out of Barnes’ ball emerged the black-and-gray little dog. It barked fiercely at Reina, who looked unafraid and stood her ground.

“Poochyena,” Percy did another quick-scan. “It’s a dark-type...don’t see those everyday...and those fangs look pretty dangerous. It’s fast and very ferocious, too.”

<“Perfect,”> Reina said sarcastically.

“Poochyena,” Percy heard Barnes say to his Pokemon. “Don’t beat her up too bad. She’s no good to anybody so injured that she can’t do anything.”

“Since you’re that sure you’ll win, I’ll let you have the first move,” Percy shouted. He had seen how speedy Poochyena could be, and thought it better to wait to see Barnes’ strategy and then react rather than jump out first.

“You’ll regret that!!” Barnes droned. “Poochyena, Bite Attack!”

“You think I’m gonna actually let you get that close?” Percy shouted incredulously. “Reina, keep clear of those fangs!”

<“Common sense,”> Reina muttered, running straight at Poochyena’s face. Poochyena barked and opened his jaws to clamp down on his vulpine opponent. Reina jumped back when she saw the mouth open, and avoided being bitten. Poochyena jumped and went for what looked like a pounce-type attack, but Reina ducked it, sending Poochyena into a single roll back to his feet. From there, Poochyena ran at Reina again, baring his fangs to bite. Reina stepped back just enough for the fangs to miss and rammed Poochyena lightly to get herself out of his strike range. Poochyena went for even a third bite attack, but Reina rolled this time, hitting Poochyena from an angle, and sending him backward a bit. Poochyena landed on his feet, though, but was in a vulnerable position.

“This isn’t good...” Percy muttered. “I’ve got to attack Poochyena to knock him out, but keep away from those fangs at the same time. And the only attack I can tell Reina to use is Tackle, I think...”

<“This isn’t working...”> Reina shouted after averting a sixth Bite attack rather fancily as she stepped on the canine creature’s snout right when his mouth opened, and did a sort of flip to the other side of him. <“We need...another plan...”>

“I’m trying!!” Percy shouted. He pulled out his Pokedex and shouted into it, “Does Vulpix have any attacks that can hit from far away??”

Percy was surprised and delighted when his Pokedex droned back in a male-based tone, “For a long-range situation, Ember is recommended.”

“Thanks a lot!” Percy shouted. Reina was still hotly mixed up with her opponent. Perhaps this far-away attack would work best if Reina was actually far away. “Reina! Pull out of there!”

<“What now??”> Reina moaned as she jumped away from her opponent suddenly. (Poochyena had tried to sink his teeth into her once again...and had failed once again.)

“Don’t let them get away!” Barnes grunted. “Bite attack again!”

“Reina, Ember!” Percy shouted.

<“Finally, something new!”> Reina responded. Poochyena was running headlong at Reina. The small Vulpix inhaled, and her chest puffed out. She exhaled with a cry and out spouted dozens upon dozens of tiny little pellets of flame, machine-gun style. Poochyena, unfortunately, received none of this, but was able to jump to the left, as the stream of embers passed by. Reina inhaled and fired a second time, missing again as Poochyena jumped back to the right, still charging Reina.

“Barnes is gonna go in for the kill,” Percy said calmly. “Then, we take ‘em out.”

<“Don’t cut it close this time,”> Reina said and held her fire.

Soon enough, Poochyena was ordered to jump and did so, his fangs bared to land right on Reina’s head. Percy shouted an order for an Ember attack, and Reina did so. The spray of flame bullets caught Poochyena right on the chin, driving his head upward and exposing his underbelly.

“One more time, full strength!” Percy shouted. Reina inhaled as far as she could in the little time that Poochyena hung up there in midair and blew a long and painful-looking spout of red-hot flames right up into Poochyena’s gut. The doglike Pokemon whimpered loudly in agony, and went flying back into the prominent belly of his trainer, bouncing off, and hitting the ground on his side. Percy couldn’t see any scorch marks that no doubt had to exist, but that was probably because Poochyena’s fur was already the color of thick smoke. In any case, Poochyena wasn’t going to get up anytime soon.

“No way...” Barnes seemed outright befuddled as he recalled his Poochyena. His head drooped and he stepped toward the back with his other defeated partner, Twiggy.

“That’s showing me how it’s -” Twiggy wanted to rub it in so badly, but Barnes was having none of it.

“Shove it, Twig,” he said dimly.

“Strong, too...” Foster said, sounding almost amused that his lackeys had both been beaten. “You’ll fetch a pretty penny, indeed.”

“You’re thicker than Barnes over there,” Percy retorted. “Do you understand the meaning of the words ‘not for sale’?”

“Fine, have it your way,” Foster said, pulling a Pokeball out of his black jacket. Percy sighed in dismay. Another battle? Reina had already been through two battles that weren’t exactly cakewalks...and seeing that Foster was the boss, he most likely had the strongest Pokemon. Just how much...how much would Reina have left?

<“Fine...one more round, I guess,”> Reina groaned. She seemed to be having a bit of trouble staying on her feet. She was obviously quite winded from spitting all of that fire just a few moments ago, so Ember attack was out for at least the first part of this fight. It simply took too much out of Reina to ask her to do it over and over and over again, even if it was her most powerful attack. She had taken a couple of hits, as well. She was not one hundred percent at all.

“You alright for another battle?” Percy asked.

<“I don’t think we have a choice,”> Reina replied.

“Sly, let’s go off on this punk!” Foster threw a Pokeball straight into the air. The ball blasted open, and the familiar white jet of light zoomed out and shaped itself into another Zigzagoon. This one had a bit more color to it, however, and seemed to have an overall tougher look than Twiggy’s.

“Zigzagoon again?! Oh, well,” Percy said, motioning to Reina, who jumped into battle for the third time. Even before the fight had started, it was clear who would have the advantage. Sly the Zigzagoon was ‘bright-eyed and bushy-tailed’, as the saying goes, while Reina had been through the wear and tear of battle. Twice.

“Sly, Quick Attack!” Foster shouted very quickly.

“Quick Attack?” Percy repeated, not having time to respond.

Sly shot across the field in a white jet of light and pounded into Reina full force, sending her skidding backward several feet. Reina shook her head very quickly in order to reorient herself, and waited for an order.

“Man, that’s fast!” Percy moaned. “Reina, Tackle!”

“Tackle back!” Foster yelled.

The two combatants ran headlong at each other, then each veered off course slightly so that both of their attacks were delayed, and that each of them was skidding to a stop on the far side of the field, away from their trainer. Reina launched a Tackle attack, but Sly ducked just barely, sending Reina into a flip. Fortunately the resilient little Vulpix landed on her feet and launched herself at Sly again. Sly parried with a Tackle of his own, and the two adversaries bounced off of each other once again. Each began walking backwards in a staredown, until both Pokemon found themselves at the feet of their trainers once more.

“Let’s finish this, Sly!” Foster shouted before Percy or Reina had had a chance to catch their breaths. “Headbutt!!”

“Ember at the ground!” Headbutt was Zigzagoon’s most powerful attack, and Reina looked like she would be finished on the next attack. He had to do something. Reina threw Percy a confused look and started shooting flames at the ground. The result was a lot of dust - an extremely thick cloud of the stuff. The breeze blew the cloud around, and Sly (white light emanating from his head) disappeared into the pillar of dirt. He found Reina, but Reina had seen him first, and with a quick Counter Tackle, stopped what would have been a quite dangerous attack. The white aura that empowered Sly’s attack dissipated, and Sly was spit back out of the dust cloud, followed by an advancing row of flame pellets. These went on to make contact with Sly’s face as it howled its name in agony. The dust gradually waned, and both Pokemon stood below their trainers panting and staring at each other. That Ember attack caused critical damage, but it might have finished Reina, too. Sure enough both the Vulpix and the Zigzagoon sunk to the ground, unable to go on...

“A draw...well, ain’t that something,” Foster said, recalling Sly to his ball.

“So no one gets anyone’s Pokemon,” Percy said.

“I wouldn’t say all that,” a nasty grin crossed Foster’s face, and it was echoed by Barnes and Twiggy, in that order.

“What are you planning to do!?” Percy shouted, jumping out in front of the tired-out Vulpix and brandishing his rod. “If you know what’s good for you, you’d better back off now.”

“You’re a bit old to be playing with sticks,” Foster stated.

“Not really,” Percy said.

“You’re a bit young to be playing with us, for that matter,” Foster added.

“Whatever you say,” Percy growled. “Try what you want, you’re not taking Reina.”

(The Fox Pokemon’s eyes opened upon her hearing this comment, then closed again.) Percy had been so caught up in battle, that he did not realize that the sky had quickly become cloudy, and rain was fast approaching. He felt a few drops here and there, and then everywhere.

“Move, kid,” Foster seemed to be through with games. His expression suddenly hardened enough to make him look like a real criminal. “We’ll just take the Vulpix and go.”

“Over my dead body,” Percy growled. This wasn’t just any Vulpix - she was his Vulpix, and he would protect her or die trying.

“I was hoping that it wouldn’t have to come to that...” Foster beckoned to Twiggy, who started toward Percy with his fists clenched. He took a wild swing at Percy with his seemingly endless arms, but still somehow missed. Percy thrust his bo right into Twiggy’s chest, sending him flying several feet backward, landing on his back with a loud thunk. Moments later, he saw Barnes come for him. As he had expected, the portly bandit was much too slow. Percy met him with a bo right in the stomach, catching Barnes off guard as he slumped over, his body perhaps deflated a bit by the strike. Percy followed up by taking the long, hard, metal rod stingingly over the back of Barnes’ neck, driving his face into the now-wet ground. He landed with an even louder thunk and didn’t get back up. Percy found himself staring into the face of the leader, one-on-one. Jim Foster said nothing, probably in shock at what just happened.

“What’s the matter?” Percy muttered, pointing his rod right at Foster. “You can either leave us alone, or I’ll open a can on you like I did your two flunkies.”

The leader reached into his pocket and pulled out a wooden something or other. He flicked something out of it with his thumb to reveal a steel blade of about six inches. An army knife! Foster’d have to get in pretty close, but that thing could do damage if he made contact.

Percy slipped his arms out of his jacket, revealing that they were quite built for someone of his age (for obvious reasons), and tossed it away from him. He would have to be as quick as possible for this one. His heart was beating out of his chest as rain fell around him. His platinum hair had been matted against his face, and was also dripping with rain like a broken fountain. He had reason to be...at least slightly nervous. He had never actually been forced to use what he had learned outside of the controlled situation of his grandfather’s dojo, much less on a guy holding a six-inch blade that had the sharpness of a miniaturized butcher knife.

Foster charged and tried to sink his dagger into Percy’s left shoulder, but Percy quickly blocked with his rod. Then Foster tried for the right shoulder...same result. The black-clad criminal came down with the knife toward Percy’s face, but Percy stuck his rod out and slightly above him to block it. Foster used this opportunity to lift his black boot (which had to be a size 12 or 13) into the young martial artist’s sternum. Percival resisted the reflex to double over after getting kicked in the ribs when he wasn’t expecting it. He knew that if he went down, it would make his neck an easy target for Foster’s dagger. Foster went for Percy’s face with a full-on slash, but Percy sidestepped it, allowing Foster to run past him and trip slightly over his own size-12 boots. It took a mere split-second to realize that Foster was now next to where Reina lay on the rain-soaked ground, her battered body now covered in mud. Percy whirled around and struck Foster on the shoulder before the chief bandit had time to react. Foster went reeling, and Percy took the opportunity to go on the offensive. He tried to bust Foster right over the skull with his bo, but Foster blocked it with his knife, and with a very wild slash forced Percival to draw back. Both fighters stared at each other, their weapons at ease and panting.

“I could...easily just go straight for the heart and kill you,” Foster boasted, brandishing his knife again. “But I’m rather enjoying this. And when you do fall, out here in the rain, I’m gonna take your rare little beast and run.”

“Don’t flatter yourself,” Percy muttered. “You can’t beat me.”

Meanwhile, Reina was trying to struggle to her feet. Her trainer had thrown himself into danger to protect her. It was expected by many humans to be the other way around. But Percy was the one protecting her..

“If it wasn’t for that stick, you’d be dead by now,” Foster growled in annoyance. “Drop the metal beam and fight like a man.”

“Yeah, you look really tough trying to cut a ‘kid’ to ribbons,” Percy retorted.

“Enough!” Foster shouted over the thunder in the background. Lightning flashed, illuminating his black-clad form in the darkness of bad weather. He brandished his knife for a final time and lunged full speed, with the intent of driving it right into Percy’s heart. “That Vulpix comes with me!”

“Not on your life!” Percy shouted, twirling his attack rod over his head. He then readied it and charged at Foster with it trailing behind him.

“I’m taking that Vulpix!” Foster shouted as he approached closer, knife in hand with the intent to kill.

“That’s enough out of you!” Percy shouted back.

A flash of lightning and a horrifically loud clap of thunder could not have been better timed as the two humans reached each other. Everything went white with the flash, hiding the results of the final bout from view for know. Both combatants had uttered battle cries of superhuman volume right before the thunder began rolling. When the light from the thunderbolt dimmed, Percy and Foster were on opposite ends of where they had started, each appearing to have finished an attack, and each with his back facing the other. Percy felt a harsh, stinging pain across his chest and winced slightly. Had Foster got him?

“A kid...beat me? How...” Foster moaned, dropping to his knees as he lost consciousness, and then finally hitting the rain-splattered ground. The knife spun out from under his grasp, and stopped a few feet away from the fallen malefactor. Rainwater gradually rinsed a shiny, red substance off of the end of the six-inch blade and onto the dirt just around it.

Percy turned around gradually to survey the area. He was the last one standing. Twiggy was down, Barnes was down, and Foster was down. With a gasp, he also remembered - Reina was down, too. He ran over (gasping as he felt the wound in his chest with each breath) to where his fallen friend lay. He grasped the small Pokemon in his arms and whispered her name.

Reina opened her eyes in response to Percy’s voice. She stared into the lively azure eyes of her new trainer, her protector, her friend. She looked down as Percy gasped slightly and saw a slice zooming across the full width of Percy’s gray sleeveless shirt. Around it, the gray was slightly darkened by flowing blood.

<“You’re hurt,”> Reina whimpered pitifully.

“Doesn’t matter,” Percy said. “This rain makes the cut not so bad...are you alright?”

<“I’m cold...”> Reina whimpered.

Oh, fire Pokemon probably don’t like rain all that much, Percy thought to himself. He then glanced at the ground and saw his royal blue (waterproof!!) jacket. He picked it up with one hand and wrapped Reina in it to keep her warm. The little orange fox sank into the new blanket of safety, securely in the arms of her trainer. He started trudging up Route 101 (taking a second to kick Foster in the head for annoying him) in the severe thunderstorm. The wind was blowing furiously. This was not the kind of wind that Percy liked. This wind was harsh and unforgiving, and threatened to blow Percival’s weakened body to the ground.

SMACK.

Percy’s left foot had hit one of those rocks that is easy to trip over, and he hit the ground straightaway, clutching Reina in his arms. Percy couldn’t get up. That knife wound he had gotten was taking its toll on the teen trainer as he was losing more and more blood from his chest. Percy had not realized that the wound was that deep. What he did know, though, was that if the slice had gone an inch lower, it would have cleaved his heart in two, killing him instantly. But what was the guarantee that he wasn’t going to die right now? He was out on the middle of the road, with no help for him, and no help for Reina.

“Reina...” Percy groaned.

<“Don’t talk anymore!”> the small fire-type exclaimed worriedly.

“Do you trust me...now?” he asked. If his fate was indeed to die here, he could die satisfied. Everything was getting darker, and not because of time or the storm. If he had clocked it right, this mid-April day had about two or three more hours left of daylight. He was running out of time, it seemed. But he couldn’t die here. He just couldn’t. He still had something to prove to the world. He still had something to prove to himself. Reina did not respond. Her damaged body was shaking. She popped her head out of Percy’s jacket and staggered up to his face. She poked out her tongue and brushed Percy’s chin and bottom lip with it. Her aqua-blue eyes filled with tears that fell onto his face and mixed with the rainwater.

<“Yes, I trust you,”> she sobbed. <“But I never found out your name,”>

“I’m Percy,” Percy managed a smile for a split-second, and he pulled his arm around Reina and held her close to him. He didn’t know how, because everything on his body felt too weak to move. “And you...you are my Reina...my little...queen...”

He couldn’t see Reina or Route 101 anymore. All he saw was a single white star before his face that seemed to draw closer and closer. It drew so close that he could almost reach out and touch it, he thought - grasp the star in his hand and be revitalized by its light. Just when it felt like the bright white luminescence from this star was set to overcome him, it dimmed, and everything fell into total and utter darkness...



*blinks* If anyone expected Percy to get in a knife fight and get sliced, raise your hand...and then use that same hand to slap yourself in the face as punishment for being a liar. I started to not write that ending for this chapter, but then realized that most of you were either too intelligent or too loyal to think that I’d actually kill off my main character after three chapters. So, no, he’s not dead.

EonMaster One
4th June 2005, 3:44 AM
Sorry for the DP, but the character amount for one post was 25,000 over the limit, so...


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“Oh, no, he didn’t just post two chapters in one sitting!” That’s probably what you’re saying right now, but...I did. Chapter 4 starts now.


Chapter 4: The Law’s Longer Arm

“Percy...Percy, wake up!” Percy could have sworn that he heard the voice of his old friend Leo. But how could that be? Last thing he remembered, he was passing out on Route 101. He wasn’t even sure if he was still alive! The birds were chirping loudly, perhaps rejoicing over the perfect weather. Percy didn’t know how, but he was back home...back home in Garel Village. But part of him didn’t want to be back home. He wanted to know his own fate, and that of Reina. Did this mean that none of it had ever happened?

“Leo, why are you bothering him?” Percy could not mistake that voice. It was Leo’s second girlfriend (not the blonde that had shown up at his and Percy’s ceremony). He didn‘t remember her name right now, either. “Let him sleep. He’s still just a boy.”

“We’ve got training today!!” Leo’s voice exclaimed to the girl. Percy still hadn’t opened his eyes. He didn’t want to open them and confirm that he was back home in Johto, on Cianwood Island. “C’mon, Jacqui, help me out here!”

That was right! Leo’s girlfriend was named Jacqueline - a redhead with nice features, but a bit of a hot temper. But this couldn’t be the present, then. Leo had broken up with Jacqueline when he was sixteen, making Percy about twelve going on thirteen. This was over a year ago. Did that mean that the events of the last year never happened?

“Don’t you and Percy ever get a day off??” Jacqui moaned. “Today’s Saturday, for goodness’ sake!”

“I get days off..” Leo’s voice retorted, followed by a mutter that sounded like ‘A saturday every month or so...’ “But Percy doesn’t! He’s supposed to take over the dojo if Master dies, remember?”

“But you’ve got so much more experience, Leo,” Jacqui’s voice made it sound like she thought the Master’s decision unfair.

“He became a black belt at the same time I did, but started his training two years after I did,” Leo’s voice shot back. “Plus, he’s Master Ephraim’s only remaining blood relative. It’s only appropriate. Grr...that’s it! C’mon, kid, wake up!”

“Leo, what are you doing??” Jacqui shrieked.

SMACK. Percy felt the unmistakable sting of a bamboo training bo over his chest. Those things left welts that smarted for days.

“OUCH! Hey, Leo, what’d you do that for??” Percy opened his eyes. What he saw, however, was neither Leo, Jacqueline, nor his home back in Garel Village. He was in a white room...with a white bed. Everything was white, just about. It looked like a hospital. Had someone taken him to a hospital? As wounded as he was, he wouldn’t have been surprised.

“Leo?” someone answered. “I see no Leo here.”

Percy turned his head looked over to who had spoken. He beheld the face of a teen - perhaps a year or two older than he - with blond-streaked brown hair that was tied back in an extremely long, narrow ponytail that reached to the boy’s waist. His long, blue trenchcoat was tied to his waist with a belt of the same color. It was a slightly lighter blue than the coat that Percy had been wearing. The shirt that he was wearing under the trenchcoat was about the brown of his hair, and the pants were navy blue. There was something shiny on the inside of the boy’s trenchcoat that Percy couldn’t quite make out because it wasn’t in full view. Noticeable even more than the boy’s fade-tinted shades which faded from orange at the bottom to dark brown at the top of the lenses, was the scabbard for a weapon that was tucked inside the boy’s belt but outside of the trenchcoat. It looked like a sword of sorts - maybe about two and a half feet in length. The hilt of said sword was ordinary except for its blue knuckle guard.

“Where the heck am I?” Percy asked the boy.

“You’re in Oldale Town...at the Pokemon Center,” the boy answered without looking at him.

Pokemon Center! If he had been taken to the Pokemon Center, then where was...

“What?!” Percy sat bolt upright and the covers of the bed slipped off of his upper body. He felt the stinging pain in his chest and grunted, but ignored it otherwise. “I had a Vulpix with me. Where is she?? Where is Reina?”

“Lay down!” the other teen responded in an authoritative tone. “I don’t think you realize what’s happened to you.”

“Doesn’t matter!” Percy shot back, electing to still sit up. “Where is Reina?!”

“Do not worry,” the teen said calmly. But this only served to make Percival more angry. His Reina could be hurt - possibly worse - and here was this guy being nonchalant like nothing ever happened! Percy jumped out of the bed, yanked his rod off of the wall where he saw that it was leaning, and pointed it right in the other teenage boy’s face.

“Where is Reina?!” he shouted at the top of his lungs (which hurt him much, much more than he had expected). “Tell me!!”

“Your Vulpix is fine,” the boy said. “Calm down and stop yelling, you’ll strain the cut. Or do you not realize that you had your chest sliced open??”

Percy gasped and looked down, lowering his rod. He realized that he had been shirtless for the entire time, and indeed saw a rather nasty scar traverse just about the full width of his torso. “Foster...what happened to Foster?”

“James Foster and his cohorts have all been arrested. Apparently the O.D.P.D.’s been after them for a while now, and it’s all thanks to you,” the boy said simply. “Now, I wouldn‘t overexert myself with that cut. Your Vulpix is just fine, but she seems to be very worried.”

“So what do you have to do with this?” Percy asked.

“I’m the one that found all of you,” the boy answered, drifting back in time a bit to when the events had first transpired...


;251;

The brown-haired teen was taking a walk on Route 101 this particular afternoon. The rain had stopped, and the sky was now simply overcast with clouds. This youth, hands in his pockets and rapier at his side (a mark of the group that he was associated with), walked at marching pace south toward Littleroot. He was looking for someone from whom he had gotten separated and thought that this someone may have headed back to Littleroot Town to look for him. About a fourth of the way down Route 101, the boy beheld an appalling sight: In front of him was a platinum-haired boy not much younger than he, clutching a rod and what looked like a small Pokemon in his arms. He was unconscious, but breathing. The brown-haired boy decided not to move the injured one and looked down the road for any sign of a struggle. He took a few steps and saw a group of three bodies laying on the ground, all clothed in black. One was tall, one was short and fat, and the third (the one who seemed to be in the worst shape) was medium-height, medium-weight, and medium-build. He looked quite strong, but was still laid out in the road along with the other two. He decided to turn this one over and see what the matter was. He saw a face with black shades there. Across his chest was a conspicuous mark of being hit by something long, blunt, and hard. The teen stood and looked over at the rod being held by the other knocked-out youth.

“You took on all three of these guys yourself?” He muttered. He looked back at the face of the fallen man that he was examining. He recognized it...off of a wanted poster in Oldale Town. “You’re Jim Watson...so the other ones must be Albert Barnes and Cole ‘Twiggy’ McFarland. These are the Shadows...”

The brown-haired boy examined the space further. It was not long before he found the blood-stained knife.

“This was used in a fight,” he said astutely. “So...which one of you got stabbed? It wasn’t any of you Shadows...you were all hit by a blunt weapon...probably that rod over there...so...!”

The brown-haired teen quickly rolled the boy over onto his back and saw the huge slice across his shirt. He went into his own pocket and pulled out what looked like a cellular phone, dialing one-nine-nine.

“Hello, Pokemon Center?” he said loudly. “I’m out here on Route 101, probably about three miles south of Oldale Town. I see four unconscious people and a Pokemon out here. Three of them appear to be your wanted Shadows bandits, and the other is a boy who seems to have fought them and won, but he was slashed with a knife and his...I think that’s a Vulpix...was seriously wounded in the process.”

After hearing the dispatcher answer, he thanked her and quickly shut off the phone, stowing it back in his pocket. The wind blew his hair every which way, and his ponytail flew out to his right behind his head.

“The O.D.P.D.’s gonna be very pleased about this,” he muttered calmly. “I sure hope that kid is alright, though. That looks like it really hurts.”

He went over to try to see if the scared Pokemon would be alright. He tried to pry the unconscious Vulpix from its trainer’s arms, but the platinum-haired boy held on with an amount of strength that should have been impossible from someone who was knocked out.

“He’s protecting this Pokemon with his life,” the brown-haired boy grunted. “I can’t pry it from his grasp.”

It was not long until he heard sirens fast approaching. It sounded like two ambulances, and sure enough, the boy saw red and white trucks with siren lights with matching colors skid to a stop in front of him.


;251;

“So, what’s the deal?” the boy asked a nurse with pink hair in the ambulance carrying the boy and his Vulpix.

“All four of them will be fine. James Foster’s got some cracked ribs, which is to be expected...” the young woman of about twenty answered. “This boy will live, but that cut is going to leave a nasty scar.”

“That’s good. I’ll go with the O.D.P.D. to arrest the Shadows as soon as they recover,” the brown-haired teenage boy answered, flicking a few of the bleached strands of hair toward the back of his head. “I can’t believe this kid beat ‘Switchblade’ Foster...he could probably become one of us with good enough training...”

“One of you?” the nurse asked. “Who are you, exactly?”

The boy pulled out a badge. It was black, with the emblem of two rapiers crossing blades through a star. “Hoenn Youth Law Enforcement Alliance,” he said, “Or, HYLEA, for short.”

“HYLEA? I’ve heard of them,” the nurse commented. “You’re with Captain Jenica Hamilton, then.”

The boy nodded, fingering the hilt of his rapier.


;251;

“Hmm...” Percy studied the HYLEA member’s face intently for a moment after he finished recounting the events of the last afternoon and night. If Percy understood correctly, it was now the following morning, barely after sunrise. “So, what is your name?”

“Call me Nicholai,” the boy said. “Agent Nicholai Wardring, of HYLEA.”

“So, you assist the police?” Percy asked Nicholai.

“That is our basic function, yes,” the young agent replied. “To assist law enforcement in Hoenn whenever possible. We tend to go after what are considered petty criminals, so that our older counterparts are freed to deal with the real trouble.”

“Something tells me that you aren’t satisfied with just that,” Percy said astutely. “HYLEA, or maybe, you personally, wants to go after something bigger.”

“The Order of the Emerald, or the Emerald Knights,” Nicholai said simply. Percy had no idea what the heck he was talking about.

“Who in the world are the Emerald Knights?” Percy asked confusedly.

“They’re a Hoennite nationalist organization, in short,” Nicholai stated. “They started out as an underground society. They were under our police force’s radar for a good amount of time. They don’t agree with the recent success of trainers from foreign lands. The one they hate the most is Brendan Smith, our current champion. They believe that Hoenn’s champion should be from Hoenn. They claim to be patriots, but what they truly show is simply a bigoted view of people from other nations.”

It was uncanny. It seemed like everything Nicholai had said echoed or described his conversation with Lloyd the day before. Why, these Emerald Knights all sounded like they could be Lloyds...or was it that Lloyd sounded like he could be an Emerald Knight??

“Sounds like someone I met recently,” Percy commented. “Guy by the name of Lloyd Birch.”

“You mean the Professor’s kid?” Nicholai said.

“Yeah. He’s marked me as a rival, apparently,” Percy said. “He seems the same way as these Emerald Knights of yours do. He hates people from other nations, especially from Johto. That’s why he doesn’t like me.”

“Lloyd...HYLEA’s had people tracking him for a while,” Nicholai stated. “He’s new on the official trainer scene, but he carries the exact same ideals as the Emerald Knights. So, you’re from Johto?”

“Yeah, the area of Cianwood City,” Percy replied.

“I was about to tell you that the Emerald Knights weren’t any of your concern,” Nicholai said honestly, “But after hearing that...they may be your problem after all.”

“If they’re all like Lloyd, I guess so,” Percy said.

“Just don’t tell anybody wearing green that you’re from Johto,” Nicholai said in a semi-command. “It’s safer for you that way.”

“Agent Nicholai, young sir...” a woman’s female voice joined the conversation. A woman emerged from behind the doorway, carrying a white sheet of paper. She was a bit pale, but not sickly looking. She just had light skin that made her pink hair (tied into two loops that fell on either side of her ear) stand out more. She was wearing a white outfit with a white nurse’s hat (with the red cross) on her head. She also had white gloves. She was followed by two Pokemon. One of them was a pink...blob, maybe? Well, it was very round and puffy-looking. It appeared to carry an egg in a pouch on its body. The other one emerged from behind the nurse’s ankle.

“Reina!!” Percy cried.

Reina shouted Percy’s name and jumped up onto the bed, nearly knocking Percy over as she ran to him. Percy grasped his “little queen,” as he could call her, into his arms. Nothing else mattered. Percy could care less about Lloyd, bandits, or whoever the heck those Emerald Knights were. All that mattered at the moment was that Reina was safe. They would both live to fight again another day. And best of all, Percy had Reina’s trust and love. This was like the happy ending to a story - except that it was not an ending. This was a new beginning of a great friendship.

“How sweet,” the young nurse said with a smile.

“Chansey-chan!” the large pink ball of cuteness at the nurse’s ankle seemed happy.

“It’s like birthday cake, Nurse Joy,” Nicholai commented tartly. “You can only enjoy so much of it in one sitting. You go over the line, and you start to get sick.”

“I know you’re trying to ‘be a man’ or whatever you boys call it,” Nurse Joy responded sweetly, “But you have to admit that they look happy.”

“Maybe,” Nicholai said flatly. “What did you want me for?”

“I have a message for you,” Nurse Joy handed the note to Nicholai, who studied it through his tinted shades.

“ ‘Hamilton is getting rusty at catching criminals and needs my help in the city,’” Nicholai read. “ ‘Also, Jennifer wants you to bring her some platinum.’ ‘Rusty‘...that must mean that Captain Hamilton is in Rustboro City. That solves one problem. But...”

“If I may read it, Agent Nicholai?” Nurse Joy asked. Nicholai conceded, and gave Joy the note. “ ‘Jennifer wants you to bring her some platinum’. I wonder...”

“I don’t get this one. Where am I going to find platinum?” Nicholai asked himself, and then stopped. He gazed over at Percy, immediately fixing eyes on his hair. “ ‘Jennifer wants you to bring her some platinum’! That’s it! Hey!”

Percy looked up at Nicholai, sure that Nicholai was addressing him.

“Your name’s Percy, right?” Nicholai asked. Percy nodded. “Can you walk?”

“Of course I can walk,” Percy answered. “You need me to go somewhere?”

“Yes,” Nicholai responded. “Officer Jenny from the O.D.P.D. wants to see you?”

“Alright...but what’s the O.D.P.D. anyway?” Percy asked.

“You haven’t figured it out?” Nicholai responded with an air of telling someone that they were stupid. “Oldale District Police Department.”

“Alright...can you leave me to get dressed, then?” Percy asked. Reina understood, and jumped off of the bed and ran out of the door, followed by Chansey, Joy, and Nicholai, who shut the door behind himself.


;384;

Oldale Town was by no means a large place. It was even smaller than Littleroot. It consisted basically of an entire row of about twenty houses, and a few larger buildings. One was the Pokemon Center which he, Nicholai, and Reina had just exited, one was the Pokemart (Percy mentally reminded himself that he would need supplies before he left), and the other one was a brick building with a dark-blue roof. This, Percy supposed, had to be the O.D.P.D. Headquarters. Although Percy wondered why it had to have a headquarters in the first place. The town was so small that it could easily be policed by two or three good patrolmen, Percy thought. Or maybe the O.D.P.D. had jurisdiction around the surrounding areas, then? In any case, he didn’t feel at all great about being taken by a police station by a junior agent. What had he done wrong? If Nicholai was telling the truth, hadn’t he been the one to beat down the bad guys? All of these thoughts and more flashed through Percy’s head as they opened the doors and entered the station.

Upon getting in, a blue-clad officer beckoned to Percy. It was probably his rod that the policeman wanted. Percy handed it over, figuring that no one was going to try and attack him in here, anyway. He followed Nicholai up to a desk shaped like a semicircle. Above it (and the purple-haired girl serving as the receptionist) was a picture of two officers. Both were middle-aged men with serious expressions on their faces. Percy wondered if these particular law enforcers were perhaps killed in the line of duty. But Oldale seemed like a peaceful, little town (or, judging by its size, more like a peaceful, little neighborhood). This many policemen seemed unnecessary, save for people like those black-clad bandits that Percy had run into yesterday. The receptionist nodded to Nicholai, who beckoned for Percy to follow him. Percy trailed Nicolai around the desk and wall, and into a room in the back. The name plate on the door read “Captain Jennifer Spears, O.D.P.D. Chief.” Nicholai knocked politely. After a few seconds of waiting, out stepped a young woman clad in blue with blue hair and a golden badge on her uniform that had the black lettering of ‘HNP.’

“Oh, Agent Wardring, Master Dartaryk, please come in,” she said invitingly, stepping aside so that Percival and Nicholai could enter. Reina followed furtively, and the young policewoman didn’t seem to mind.

It was obvious that this Jennifer Spears woman was very organized. She had, on the wall above the door, the same two pictures of men that Percy had seen above the receptionists’ desk. She had a file cabinet on each side behind her desk, flanking a large window that let good amounts of light in. Three chairs were situated in a slight arc on the near side of her large, wooden desk. Percy plopped himself in the center chair, while Nicholai sat off to his left, fingering his shades calmly. Reina, far from going toward the right chair, set herself in Percy’s lap instead and laid down to take a nap. This was boring her.

“It’s nice to see you again, Officer Spears,” Nicholai said. “But, if I may ask, what is the reason for summoning Percival here? I could have questioned him, if that was what you wanted.”

“I thought that the reason would have been obvious, Agent Wardring,” Captain Spears went in her top drawer for an envelope and handed it out. Nicholai didn’t reach for several moments, so Percy figured that it was for him and took it. He opened the envelope and what he saw inside would have made him jump to his feet in shock, but he remembered that Reina was sleeping peacefully on his lap and didn’t want to give her a rude awakening by dropping her on the floor. Nevertheless, it was unbelievable. It was a check addressed to Percy for 9,000 Pokedollars, giving him (if he still had the 1,000 Pokedollars that he had left Garel Village with) a total of 10,000 Pokedollars!

“That’s nice change,” Nicholai muttered, raising an eyebrow.

Nice change? No kidding! Percy thought to himself, but not one to crow or boast, he kept it quiet. Most Pokemon Trainers started their journeys with hardly anything, and here he was with 10,000 Pokebucks! His journey was starting well indeed.

“Thank you, I guess,” Percy was trying to sound more grateful than surprised. “But what’s it for?”

“Again, obvious,” Captain Spears said, resting her arms on the leather cushions of her armchair and crossing her legs. “It’s a reward.”

“A reward?” Percy repeated inquisitively. “Were those guys that high up on your wanted list?”

“They were only numbers one, two, and three,” Spears said sarcastically. “That’s 5,000 for ‘Switchblade’ Foster...that’s the one that cut you, if you haven’t figured out...and 2,000 for each of his two partners. You didn’t know about it?”

“Not at all,” Percy said. “I’m not even from Hoenn. In fact, I didn’t even know that they were wanted criminals until Nicholai...er...Agent Wardring here told me.”

“It’s true,” Nicholai backed Percy up. “I ran a check. He arrived in Hoenn by way of Littleroot Town just yesterday morning and registered for the Hoenn League. Percival knows next to nothing about Hoenn.”

The last comment could have very easily been taken as an insult, but what was the point of being offended, when Nicholai was telling the truth? Percy didn’t know much about Hoenn. He didn’t know about the Shadows, and he didn’t know yesterday that he would today be receiving a rather substantial sum of money for the men that he was beating in that fight. Right now, he was just taking things as they come, good or bad...and this was definitely good. He had earned the trust of his one Pokemon, aiding in the capture of a few wanted criminals in the process, when the only reason he had fought those men in the beginning was to defend himself and Reina. His grandfather would be very proud.

“All of Oldale Town thanks you, Percival,” Captain Spears said with a smile. “Now, perhaps you can use that money to buy some needed supplies.”

“Just what I had in mind,” Percy responded, smiling as well and stroking Reina’s head.

Captain Spears now switched her focus to Nicholai Wardring, who was sitting in his leather armchair, looking as cool and collected as ever. Even his sword seemed relaxed as it dangled slightly from his belt. Nicholai looked back at Captain Spears through those tinted shades. A special agent with the overall air of objective composure usually seen in a private eye - that was what Nicholai was.

“Now, Agent Wardring, I assume you understood the first part of my message?” Captain Spears asked.

“Yeah,” Nicholai answered in his usual calm and simplistic matter. “Fill me in on the details?”

“Reports tell us of a gathering that is to occur in Rustboro City in a few weeks,” Captain Spears said, “It is said that your Emerald Knights will finally surface there.”

Nicholai, so cool and collected, lost it for a second. Smacking his hand on the wooden table in frustration, he raised his voice and said, “If your department has enough information to know that the Emerald Knights are holding a gathering, why do they not have enough information to arrest these guys!?”

“We have no grounds,” Captain Spears said calmly.

“These people are prejudiced and intolerant!” Nicholai smacked his hand on the table again. “This is going to turn into something ugly, and we’ve got to nip any potential threads in the bud! You’re being too passive!”

“And you are being too impatient, Agent Wardring,” Captain Spears said in a cold voice. It was apparent that although her tone was lower than Nicholai’s, she, too, was becoming frustrated. “That is why Captain Hamilton wants you in Rustboro City for the gathering.”

“To wait for the right moment and pounce,” Nicholai muttered. “Alright. I will go to Rustboro.”

“Where’s that?” Percy asked.

“Well, we have to go through Route 102, Petalburg City...there’s a gym there, by the way...and then Route 104 and the Petalburg Forest. It’s a ways off,” Nicholai answered, appearing at last to have calmed down.

“Well, can we travel together? We seem to be going the same way,” Percy asked.

“No can do, Percival,” Nicholai said. “This is police business. I don’t want you wrapped up...”

“I’m gonna end up as one of the targets of these people,” Percy said tersely. “I’m already wrapped up. Besides...I need to find out what Lloyd’s going to end up doing.”

“Lloyd?” Captain Spears cut in. “Birch?”

“He’s started his journey, finally,” Nicholai explained. “According to Percival, the rhetoric of the Emerald Knights would sound very appealing to Lloyd’s ears. In that case, alright. I’ll travel with you as far as Rustboro.”

“That’s settled,” Captain Spears said. “So, supplies, then, and you’ll be off. Good luck. And thanks again, Percival.”

“Anytime,” Percy responded as he picked up Reina and left the Captain’s Office, followed by Nicholai. Outside the office, they began to go back the way they came. As the group reached the door, the guard handed Percy back his rod. Out of the corner of his eye, Percy saw three men in handcuffs. Their figures were easily recognizable. He looked over his shoulder to see none other than the Shadows bandits - Barnes, ‘Twiggy’, and ‘Switchblade’ Foster - with their heads down. Foster saw him, and shot him a look of threatening malice.

“I think there’s someone you recognize,” Nicholai said coolly and exited out in front of Percy, fingering the hilt of his rapier again.

Percy noticed that Twiggy and Barnes, Foster’s cohorts, had looked up at him. Instead of intense hatred, they looked a bit...well, petrified. Percy waved at the three now-convicts and shouted, “Sucks to be you guys, but thanks for the money! I might come visit you in the slammer if I come back through...or not! Ha ha ha!”

After his little moment of fun, Percy ran to catch up with Nicholai. They still had to get supplies.


;384;

An hour, five Potions, five Antidotes, and 2,000 Pokedollars worth of spent money later, Percy and Nicholai found themselves on Route 102, just outside of Oldale Town. It had to be about noon, but Percy and Nicholai had enjoyed a brunch at the Pokemon Center and were not showing any signs of lunchtime hunger. That was good, because in the silence that accompanied these two young travelers, a growling stomach would have been quite easy to hear.

“So, Nicholai,” Percy had a hard time trying to start up a conversation with the steely young agent. Referring to Nicholai‘s rapier, he asked, “Is that a good weapon?”

“It’s not lethal unless I aim it that way,” Nicholai said (guess what he did with the hilt of the sword). “But it’s something you still don’t want to be on the ‘business end’ of.”

“That’s the difference between your sword and my rod,” Percy was tapping the rod against his left shoulder and had walked out in front of Nicholai. He looked over his shoulder, smirked, and said. “It doesn’t have a ‘business end’, because the whole thing’s dangerous. Your Shadows guys can tell you pretty well enough.”

“Ha ha ha!” finally, a laugh from the 3-C’d (the way that Percy shortened ‘cool, calm, and collected’) junior officer. “Y’know, you embarrassed a lot of people with that stunt. You embarrassed those criminals for getting captured by a kid, you embarrassed the entire O.D.P.D. by easily putting away three guys that they’d been trying to get for months...

“...and I enjoyed every second of it!” Percy exclaimed confidently. Now that the event was behind him, it seemed about ten times funnier. “Except the part about getting cut, that wasn’t cool...”

“Well, you’d best not try robbing a bank or something while I’m around,” Nicholai said stoically. “ ‘cause this thing’s a little longer and a little sharper than an oversized steak knife.”

The noonday sun smiled on the two ‘associates’ and the little Vulpix that was following them as they set out for their next destination, Petalburg City...where Percy hoped to get his first badge, and Nicholai...well, he was just along for the ride for now. After all, they did still have about three weeks to get to Rustboro...



Two chapters in a week. I believe that I’m doing quite well for myself. Well, that’s up to you, so, R&R, while I take the SAT and then get some...R&R...>_< (bad play on words...or letters...or whatever...)

- EM1, out.

TreeckoKnight87
5th June 2005, 1:20 AM
Whoa this is a very good fic. I like how you stick somewhat to the plot of the game/anime, but add your own twist to everything. Percy's background as a fighter is cool because that mean more than just pokemon battles can be expected. The Hoenn jingoism (basically obnoxious patriotism) is very cool and adds tension. It's a cool idea I haven't seen before.

Chapter length and grammar were great, no problems. I am also a Hoenn fan so that's a plus. I'm very interested to see how this continues...

Twilight Absol
5th June 2005, 10:09 AM
W00t! I've had enough dosage for at least a week! The fic was great, I loved the battles, and only mistake I saw was that you some times forgot to close the tags when Reina was done with speaking.

Golden Tropius
6th June 2005, 7:35 AM
Very noce. I liked how Percy got a reward for beating those guys up. Keep it up!

-GT-

Castform
6th June 2005, 2:33 PM
Very good. These two chapters were great. So the pokemon are still going to talk, which is a good Idea. Also I like the fight between Foster and Percy, very nice. Your main charcter in this story Percy seems to get company a lot earlier than the main Character in Johto Generation *NO!!! I'm already forgetting his name!!!... lets see the others were Katrina, Shiro, and Nate...* Anyway... I was wondering, If you're not going to contuie Johto Generation, what would have Angel evolved into?

WaterTrainer243
6th June 2005, 4:02 PM
Not a bad couple of chapters my friend, I hope you continue (and I know you will).

Cs32
7th June 2005, 4:46 AM
Aight i'm back. Watchin Blue Collar TV as of now :p. Though your Johto Generations was seriously my favorite fic ever...this is picking up very well. I will have to ask the same as Castform, what would Angel have evolved into? Though hopefully you will start it up agin, if you don't have the chapter, I do! (Hopes he will consider picking it back up where he left it)
Later (goes and quickly starts reading chapter one of Johto Generations again)
~~CS~~

WaterTrainer243
11th June 2005, 4:48 AM
Well, it was fun while Johto Generations lasted. Still it'd be nice to see Katrina and Travis again. Say...this may sound like a crazy idea but maybe you could feature those two in this story except maybe a few years older. That would probably make the story a little interesting. But you don't have to if you don't want to.

Please read below!
I need your e-mail address so in case what happened months ago happens again I can stay in touch with you.

Castform
11th June 2005, 11:56 PM
I knew Angel was going to evolve into an Espeon! It was long ebnough for me to forget the name I guess... *shrugs*But having Travis and Katrina feature in it sounds cool, that'd be a great Idea!! I have an idea for a fic... I might write it soon... But I really do likethis fic. Hoenn is a great region. But I will always love Kanto!

EonMaster One
3rd July 2005, 12:38 AM
Hello, guys. I'm just posting to tell you that I've suffered a minor setback. I was just about done with Chap. 5, ready to post it, but found that I had saved the file with all of the chapters to a format that doesn't work on the computer I'm using. So, as a result, I have to start 5 over. Never fear, though. I'm still alive, and as long as I"m alive, you guys will get this fic. (But not next week, I'm going on vacation ^_^)

BTW, my SAT results came in. I got 2030 out of a possible 2400. Not bad if I say so myself.

WaterTrainer243
11th July 2005, 4:44 PM
Awesome! Not a bad job on the SAT my friend.

Aww man...oh well it'll be worth the wait.

EonMaster One
22nd July 2005, 4:45 AM
Chapter 5: Skye's the Limit

"Go, Reina! Use Tackle Attack!" rookie trainer Percy Dartaryk's voice rang through the trees on Route 102, echoing and startling many bird Pokemon that inhabited those trees into flight. The sun was in its late morning station, only a slight angle off of being directly overhead. It reflected off of a small pond a mere day's travelling distance east of Oldale Town, casting golden light that rippled over its waters. The night had been rather mild and balmy for April, gracing all who travelled today with warm, comfortable weather with just a little humidity and a nice breeze.

Meanwhile, closer to the ground, the platinum blond-haired teen trainer and his Vulpix were entangled in fierce battle with another trainer that Percy knew little about. His name was Zachary Kirke, and he had caught up with Percy and his new travelling mate, Nicholai, on the pair's second morning out of Oldale Town. Right after they had packed up camp to start moving again, this boy with burgundy hair accosted them from behind. His Pokemon of choice was a small, light blue creature with a prominent fin on the top of its head. Percy had seen it before while he was looking up information for the Hoenn League - this was Mudkip, a water-type. Putting two and two together, Percy figured out that this had to be the second of three new trainers that were from Littleroot Town. (Percy's newfound rival, Lloyd, had taken the fire-type Torchic.) Looking at sheer types, Kirke and his Mudkip should have had the advantage, but that was not the way this battle was going.

"Er...Mudkip, Tackle right back!" Kirke had shouted nervously. This had basically been the makeup of the entire match. Percy had withheld Reina's Ember attack, and unless Kirke was doing an especially bad job at commanding it, Mudkip did not know any moves beside Tackle. The two Pokemon bounced off of each other like they had done many times before, Reina giving Mudkip a scowl through her turquoise eyes. Mudkip scowled back, and the two Pokemon stood at a stalemate for a few seconds. Finally Mudkip, having been overpowered, sunk to the ground.

<"Whew, finally,"> Reina sighed.

"Oh, man..." Kirke groaned, returning the defeated Mudkip to its ball. "I thought for sure I'd win with a type advantage."

"May I offer some advice?" Nicholai's voice piped in, and Percy's head turned to his right almost robotically. The brown-haired teen had moved out of the shadow of a nearby tree against which he had been leaning for the entire battle, the shiny scabbard of his weapon gleaming in the sunlight. "Mudkip's a water-type, Vulpix is a fire-type, all well and good. First off, Fire attacks won't work against Mudkip...but it looks like Percy figured that out already."

"Some type match-ups are just common sense," Percy said, trying to sound as modest as possible.

"But," Nicholai had uttered this one word so abruptly that he came quite close to cutting Percy off. "If your Mudkip knows no water-type attacks, then the only advantage you would have is that defense against fire attacks. Offensively, you couldn't do a thing...or defensively either, if your opponent is smart enough to not bother with fire-type attacks."

"So, in other words," Kirke finally got a word in, "A Pokemon is only as powerful as the attacks that it knows?"

"It goes a bit deeper than that," Nicholai replied. "But, yeah, that's the gist. I believe Mudkip, like many other Water-types, learns Water Gun for starters. Try shooting for that first. Something funny?" For Percy had let slip a snicker at Nicholai's wordplay. The thing that made it funnier, though, was that Nicholai himself seemed to not be paying attention.

"Erm, no, nothing," Percy lied quickly.

"Well, thanks," Kirke said, walking over to a nearby tree and slinging his backpack over his right shoulder. Addressing Percy, he added, "I'm sure we'll see each other again sometime, and when we do, watch out!" And with that, he began walking off and Percy smiled. It had just dawned on him that he had won his first battle against a legitimate Pokemon Trainer...

[/I]And no knives this time,[/I] he thought to himself, clutching his chest a bit. He had sustained the wound four days ago, and it had far from healed, though it wasn't bothering him as much as it was yesterday, let alone the day before.

"You alright?" Nicholai said almost in a mutter, like he didn't want anyone who might be eavesdropping to know that he was concerned.

"Battle scar flaring up a little," Percy grunted, with a distinct sense of pride. As painful as the scar was, it was an indelible mark moreso on his very heart and soul. Ten years from now, whether he looked on this as Hoenn's Champion or as the Sensei of the Dojo back in Garel Village in Johto, he would remember the way that Hoenn had greeted him. "But it's cool. I'll be fine."

"I imagine you will," Nicholai responded coolly.


;384;

It was not long before Percy and Nicholai were on the road again. The path had led them up a hill, and the next town, Petalburg or otherwise, was nowhere in sight even from this high vantage point. As nice as the weather had been, there were not many clouds today, and therefore the noonday sun was a bit oppressive. It had been completely silent for at least half an hour and Percy was getting bored with just hiking, so he decided to try to strike up a conversation - to find out more about his new acquaintance. Possible topics came and went, each lamer than the last. It was a feeling like being on a blind date, or being a guest to a VIP...then Percy found it. He wondered why he hadn't stumbled upon that one before...He tried getting Nicholai's attention by calling his name. (Nicholai, who no doubt knew these parts better than Percy did, was in the lead.)

"Hm?" Nicholai acknowledged.

"Where are you from?" Percy asked.

"Oh, me?" Nicholai said, putting Percy at ease. Apparently the agent wasn't too stiff and cool to carry on a normal conversation. "I'm from this town called Dewford. It's on a small island in Southwestern Hoenn. Swimming and surfing are big there, and the weather's pretty decent all year round."

"Sounds like back home," Percy said, thinking that Dewford Island and Cianwood Island might actually be quite similar, although in different countries. "I'm from Cianwood City, Southwestern Johto. Well, actually it's Garel, a village right on the outskirts. Umm...family?"

"It's me, my mom, Claire, and I'm the oldest of three," Nicholai explained.

"And your father...?" Percy regretted this immediately. That could be a sensitive subject.

"Alexei Wardring. Died in the line of duty," Nicholai said heavily. He, however, didn't seem sad about it. Obviously, he wasn't happy, but he did not sound like someone who was in grief...

" 'In the line of duty?' " Percy repeated this phrase, immediately narrowing down Nicholai's father's possible occupations to those in which one could 'die in the line of duty'...there was firefighter...or maybe the military...

"He was a cop," Nicholai, seemingly reading Percy's mind, stated at once. Percy looked up and was surprised to see that Nicholai was smiling. "One of the best cops in all of Hoenn. Dewford Island isn't a particularly bad place, but there's tough guys everywhere, you know...but my dad always got his man. Always." Even through those dark shades, a proud, steely glint was visible in Nicholai's eyes.

"So you want to be like him?" Percy asked.

"Definitely. He followed the policeman's creed to 'protect and serve' ever since he was your age," Nicholai said. "He was one of the charter members of HYLEA, you know."

HYLEA had been around for a while...

"Back then, HYLEA wasn't looked on as highly as it was today," Nicholai continued. "I remember when I was young, Dad loved telling me and Junior..."

"Junior...?" Percy said, then he remembered almost immediately. 'Oldest of three.' So this 'Junior' had to be one of Nicholai's siblings, right?

"Alexei, Junior," Nicholai explained. "He's about your age, and he was supposed to start his journey around this time, too. I wonder if he's left yet...but I'm getting off track. Dad would always tell us stories about when the HYLEA was the Youth League...a crew of teenage trainers who...well, they did help the cops out, but it was more like vigilante justice. H.N.P...you've seen that already, so don't make me spell it out to you...they didn't like my dad's crew too much. There were a lot of times where he was almost locked up, killed, you name it."

"Wow, pretty interesting," Percy said lamely. He thought for a second of 'spicing up' his family history to measure up to Nicholai's. But he loved his grandfather just the way he was...and besides, being one of the world's top martial artists was cool enough. "My parents died in a boating accident when I was six, and I've been with my grandpa ever since. He's the one that taught me to fight."

"Really?" To Percy's surprise, Nicholai seemed mildly...interested. "So, it is harder than it looks...fighting with that thing?"

Percy's hand gripped his rod. In all honesty, he had not noticed even its existence for the whole time they'd been walking. It was probably a result of that training that he had gone through to learn this style of fighting. An image of his grandfather's head swam before his eyes and said, Do not wield your rod. Your rod is part of you - an extension of yourself. Do not wield it, for it is no longer a separate entity... "Yeah..." Percy answered, shaking his head quickly. Then, regaining some of his normal swagger, he added, "Anyone can take one of these and start smacking heads and look tough...but we add a little technique to it. Finesse, if you will."

"Finesse, huh?" Nicholai was quite amused and looked to be holding in a laugh. Instead, he gave a chuckle and didn't speak, torn between saying something sarcastic and agreeing with Percy, because he had a mind to do both. The position he held his mouth in was quite painful. Finally, he laughed, and said, "Ouch..."

"Yeah, it does hurt to get hit with one of these...they're not soft," Percy went on. "Your friend Foster had broken ribs, didn't he?"

"Good point," Nicholai muttered.

"Speaking of 'point', imagine if this were a spear..." Percy uttered one of his wilder thoughts just to see how Nicholai would react.

"Then it would probably be illegal," Nicholai said coolly.

"Tch...it feels like we've been walking for hours..." Percy said suddenly. "Can we rest?"

"The great martial arts hero with the big stick is tired?" Nicholai said sarcastically.

"Close it," Percy said curtly. "Look, there are a couple of apple trees, let's rest under those."

"Why apple trees..." Nicholai muttered.

"You have something against apple trees?" Percy asked.

"No, it's just..." Nicholai paused, as if he knew from the jump that this was going to sound stupid, "I just don't want any falling on our heads."

"It's cool, no apples are gonna fall on my -"

THUNK.

A sharp blow on the top of the head stunned Percy a bit. He swerved this way and that, and in his line of sight Nicholai's form split into two...or was that three? His eyes began to water. He looked up to see a red something or other becoming larger and larger in his field of vision and then...

SMACK.

Nicholai winced as Percy took a second shiny, red apple right in the nose. After the first shot to the head, Percy's balance had been all but gone. The second one finished the job, almost instantly knocking Percy onto his behind. He heard a laugh that sounded oddly like cawing...or was it a caw that sounded oddly like laughing? He couldn't think straight, he couldn't stand straight...he was on his back, eyes brimming with tears, and felt that, if at all possible, another hit to the head would make it hard for him to lay down straight. And he couldn't get the sound of ringing laughter out of his head.

"Percy, watch it!"

"Nicholai...stop laughing..."

<"No, he's serious!"> Reina's cries joined the din.
<"Here comes another one!">

Nicholai was looking up nervously. A third apple, having been hit by something blue and feathery, began to drop, positioned perfectly to land where the legs of Percy's pants met...

CRUNCH.

The pain was unimaginable. It radiated down Percy's legs, into the stomach, into the chest, then up into the arms, down into the hands and fingers. It was like his entire body had gone numb all at once. Several tears actually ran down Percy's face. He tried to let out a scream of agony, but no sound came save a noise reminiscent of somebody choking and gagging...

<"Ouch."> Reina said simply...words just didn't do it justice, whether human language of Pokemon.

"That's...just...not right," Nicholai seemed to be trying to find something to say. "Either your luck is incredibly horrible or something's dropping those apples..."

<"Hate to admit it, but the aim's too good to be an accident..."> Reina murmured. <"Are you okay?">

"I feel like I've had my skull, my nose, and other parts of my body cracked wide open," Percy grunted, sitting up with tremendous effort. "But yeah, I'm fine. Would you stop laughing!?"

"I'm not laughing," Nicholai said as if he would have expected Percy to believe that he wasn't laughing if he was getting up a good chuckle right in Percy's face. "I can't laugh after that last one, I'd be a jerk. But come to think of it, I do hear laughing..."

At that moment, something swooped out of the trees - a small, birdlike creature colored dark blue, for the most part. It did a long, sweeping turn out of the tree to face Percy and company, still laughing loudly.

<"Whoops, sorry,"> the small winged heckler did not look it at all. <"How do you like them apples?">

"Very funny. It would make my day a lot better," Percy started, teeth clenched half in anger and half in pain, "If you would stop dropping apples on my --"

There was a sharp intake of breath from Nicholai. Suddenly aware of the many well-chosen synonyms and euphemisms that he could use for the word that he really wanted to finish that sentence with, Percy ended instead, forcing his face into a painful smile, "...head."

<"Oh, alright,"> the blue Flying-type responded, <"I didn't mean to drive you nuts...">

The birdlike Pokemon had done it. It had said one of the...'buzz words.' Percy jumped to his feet and snarled (again, half in anger and half in agony). "THAT'S IT!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. "REINA! GET READY TO BATTLE NOW!!"

<"Okay, you don't have to shout, I'm right here,"> Reina was a bit annoyed that Percy was being cross with her - it wasn't her fault.

<"Whoops, in over my head, better split,"> the bird said, flapping its wings quickly as it beat a hasty retreat to the west.

"Son of a gun...hey, get back here!" Percy broke into a full-speed run to keep up with the creature as Reina and Nicholai followed.


;384;

In a chase that must have lasted a full ten minutes, Percy jumped ledges, dodged trees, and leapt a rather large gap over a creek (which Nicholai and Reina traversed by way of a nearby bridge). He had gotten out into a clearing of those trees, and just as he did, he saw a powerful blast of water issue from unknown origin up toward the blue bird, which did a skillful barrel roll to avoid it.

<"Whoa, what the..."> it said in surprise. <"Ah, another victim seeking retribution."> For from the other side of the clearing leapt a mustard yellow-clothed pair of legs, followed by a vest colored mustard yellow over a burgundy tanktop. The last to appear was a face topped by burgundy hair. This was Kirke, the young trainer that Percy had battled (and beaten) earlier that morning. It looked as if he had taken Nicholai's advice immediately, and to great effect. The adversary, however, had been able to dodge, and was still dancing around in midair, taunting both Trainers and their respective Pokemon at once.

"Percy?" It took a couple of seconds before Kirke was aware of his presence. "This Taillow here dropped an apple right on my gut. Those suckers hurt! Did you get hit, too?"

"Oh, I got hit, alright," muttered Percy darkly, praying that Kirke didn't ask where.

<"Oh, boy, backed into a corner on this one...fine, come and get me!"> the Taillow cawed defiantly as it flitted around in midair, waiting for whoever was going to strike first. Frustrated as Percy was, he just now realized that in his enthusiasm to hunt down the Taillow, he'd left Nicholai and, more importantly, Reina, in the dust.

<"You alright?"> Reina's voice came from behind Percy. He turned around to see his Vulpix and Nicholai striding out from the trees.

"I've been worse...but I've been better," Percy answered cryptically.

<"You ready to quit running away now??"> Reina called to the Taillow, which was still dancing tauntingly slightly above the treetops.

<"Come get some, if you wanna fight!"> The Taillow called defiantly.

<"I'm warning you..."> Reina gave him a death glare, meaning that she meant business.

<"Prove that you're strong, then,"> Taillow said in the same challenging tone of voice. <"Unless you're spinning a tall...tail.">

<"Really witty,"> Reina shot back with obvious sarcasm. <"Percy, permission to burn him to a crisp?">

<"Leave some for me,"> Kirke's Mudkip interjected across the green.

They both started at the same time.

"Reina, Ember!" Percy ordered.

"Mudkip, Water Gun!" Kirke followed just a split second after.

Both Pokemon shot their respective attacks up at the Taillow, who merely climbed upward a few feet to avoid them. Water and fire collided, engulfing the small, blue Tiny Swallow Pokemon's form in a cloud of steam. Reina continued firing into the cloud, hoping to hit something. She hadn't seen Taillow get out of the way, so he had to still be in there. Seconds later, a winged form began a nosedive towards the ground so quick that Reina was certain she'd made contact. The steam dissipated and trailed behind Taillow as he came plummeting from the sky...well, perhaps plummeting is not the correct word, for Taillow was colected, controlled, undamaged, and looked to be aiming at something. His dark blue wings glowed a bright white that made Reina squint when trying to look at him. Percy shielded his eyes and tried to get a good look at his opponent, whom he had lost in the sun. Then, at the last minute, he saw Taillow approaching his Pokemon at breakneck speed, a white tail of light streaking behind him like he was a feathered comet...
"Reina, move it!" Percy shouted, and at the same time a horrible sinking feeling penetrated his chest. He'd been too late...

Or had he?

For when Percy looked up next, Taillow had done a last-minute bank to avoid Reina and started heading straight for Mudkip, wings fully outstretched and glowing white.

"Oh, no, you don't!" Kirke shouted. "Mudkip, Water Gun!!"

<"He's too quick!!"> Mudkip shouted worriedly, but obeyed his trainer and fired the Water Gun anyway. To Kirke's dismay, Mudkip had been right. The Taillow banked left, letting the Water Gun pass under his belly...straight at Reina!

<"Whoa!!"> The spunky little Vulpix cried out as she rolled out of the way. Nicholai, as well, was forced to duck. Perhaps Reina was just looking for Mudkip's try at vengeance since she had beaten him, but she thought that Mudkip had aimed the Water Gun at her on purpose. <"Hey! Watch where you're firing -">

But she did not finish her sentence, for at that moment, Taillow's outstretched wing slammed into Mudkip's face, sending him skyward. Taillow went into a turn and immediately struck again, his other wing cutting across Mudkip's airborne body as the Mud Fish Pokemon howled in pain...seconds before hitting the ground with a loud SMACK. Taillow's wings ceased to glow, but he nonetheless did a banking dive very low to the ground, and forced Reina to duck as he performed a kind of show-offy barrel roll to return to his place a couple dozen feet in the air.

"Mudkip! Mudkip, are you okay?" A distressed Kirke ran over to pick up his fallen Mudkip for the second time today. On top of being worried, he was also disappointed and frustrated. Things just didn't seem to be going their way today.

"Man..." muttered Percy with slight admiration. "I thought he was just a prankster jerk, but that Taillow's pretty strong..."

<"No..."> Reina had seen through it immediately.
<"You're not honestly planning to...">

"I haven't decided yet, but will you battle, anyway?" Percy responded.

<"Naturally,"> Reina said, her vulpine face softening up as she looked at her friend. <"After all, I do owe you...">

<"Looks like I've...fin-ished that one up easily!"> A vein started going in Reina's temple. The constant puns were quite annoying, especially as Taillow seemed to be saying them without much effort or thinking. <"You got another tail to spin for me? Hopefully, this one'll have a better ending.">

<"Close your beak already,"> Reina responded savagely.

"Reina, Ember!" Percy shouted.

Reina shot a stream of Embers at Taillow, but
Taillow banked to avoid them and went into another divebomb at Reina. Suddenly he turned into nothing more than a blur as he descended right at the ground. Reina took the hit to her left side, sending her into a roll. Fortunately she was agile enough to land on her feet, although she did seem a bit banged up by that attack.

"Oh, shoot!" Percy moaned, his right hand gripping his platinum hair dangerously hard.

"Watch it! That's Quick Attack!" Nicholai shouted from the sideline.

Once I start winning badges, I'm gonna start ignoring his little 'tips'... Percy resolved in his head. "Well, two can play at that game! Reina, Quick Attack!!"

Reina, too, became a blur of ginger orange and launched herself at Taillow. However, she couldn't get high enough to make any contact, causing her to abort the attack, roll out of it, and land on the ground where she skidded to a stop. She turned around almost immediately to see Taillow, glowing white, fly in, aiming his wings right at her face.

"Duck!" Percy shouted.

Reina laid flat on the ground to get as low as possible. To her relief, Taillow, white-glowing wings and all, passed just over her...

"EMBER NOW!!" Percy shouted at the top of his lungs, and Reina immediately tilted her head upwards and spewed a white-hot stream of flame pellets into the underbelly of her opponent. Taillow was blasted airborne, doing a backflip because of the attack's foce.

<"Ha! Joke's on you, fly-boy!"> Reina called after her falling adversary.

"I've seen people flipping birds before, but never like that," Nicholai muttered just loud enough for Percy to hear, smirking.

Percy, ignoring the double entendre for now, reached into his left pocket and pulled out a red-and-white Pokeball. "Pokeball, GO!" he shouted as he chucked it at the fallen Pokemon. It smacked the Taillow right on his blackened belly, opened, and sucked Taillow into it in a jet of red light. It hit the ground with a crash and stopped moving. Percy's heart sank and he wondered whether the long fall had broken the Pokeball. But they've got to be sturdier than that, Percy thought. Looking up, he saw that Kirke and Mudkip had disappeared again...not that he was overly concerned, anyways. He turned his attention back to the ball, which had begun wriggling around, almost as if Taillow were trying to escape. Percy quickly reminded himself that Taillow probably was trying to escape. The ball shook once...twice...three times...

PING.

The Pokeball laid motionless in the middle of the clearing. Percy, hardly daring to believe it, hesitated for a moment to see whether the ball would start shaking again. Percy walked over to the ball and picked it up gingerly. Percy's stomach did a bit of a dance as he examined the whole of the sphere. He couldn't believe it, he'd done it - he'd caught his first Pokemon. He wished that his grandfather or Leo had been around to watch him. They would have been proud. But the only one here to witness this milestone was Nicholai, and he probably did not care one way or the other. Still, Percy needed a target on which to let out his jubilation - Nicholai would have to do.

"Not too shabby for a guy who almost got himself killed four days ago, huh?" Percy said, jauntily spinning the ball containing his new Taillow on his right index finger. After a couple of seconds, he grasped it in his hand, part of him wondering if the Pokemon inside felt it when he did things like that.

"Not bad for a first time," Nicholai said finally. "You've got a little bit of talent. Just as long as you don't get any more apples dropped on your..."

"Head?" Percy finished, knowing full well that Nicholai was referring to an entirely different location.

"Yeah, head," Nicholai replied. The HYLEA agent broke into a rare laugh a few seconds afterward, having remembered a similar situation earlier that day. "Let's go. We've still got about another day's worth of travelling to do before we get to Petalburg."

"How about...not?" Percy said as casually as possible, leaning his rod against himself. "I mean, this Taillow is thrashed, I'm pooped, Reina's exhausted, and I bet you're pretty tired, too, aren't you?"

"Oh, alright, fine," Nicholai became suddenly very stern. "But if we don't make it to Rustboro on time, I'm having you arrested for obstruction."

"You can't be serious," Percy murmured incredulously. Failing to be prompt was definitely not a good thing, but Percy had never met somebody who thought that it was criminal "I want to get to Rustboro as bad as you do - there's a gym there, too - but I'm just not willing to kill myself over it. Get some rest."

Nicholai looked up. The sun was out west, a bit above, which meant that it had to be about four or five o'clock in the afternoon. Apparently Taillow wasn't the only one flying today. They could do with at least another hour of travel, but this seemed to be the best camping spot around for miles. Therefore, Nicholai conceded and started helping Percy to set up camp.


;384;

They had finished setting up with only a bit of daylight left. Percy set a bowl of Pokemon food down beside Reina, who immediately began eating. She had gone through several battles that day, including battling Taillow at a time when all of them should have been having lunch.

<"I bet Taillow's hungry,"> Reina said. Not that she was too concerned for her new teammate - she thought him irritating at best. Seeing that he was probably the most injured of everyone, however, it wouldn't be fair to leave him out.

"Fair point. C'mon out!" Percy raised his voice as he released Taillow from the Pokeball. There was a flash of white light, and there Taillow stood, right next to Reina. He had a look of curious resignation on his face.

<"So, I've been captured, huh??"> Taillow cawed morosely. Suddenly, his face brightened and he said, <"Guess I'll just have to make the best of it. I can see a couple of people and Pokemon that could use a smile right now.">

"Well, good luck getting one out of Nicholai over there," Percy spoke up. "He doesn't smile too much."

<"Well, guess I'll get you to laugh, then,"> Taillow seemed not at all perturbed. His personality immediately struck Percy as someone who just 'rolled with the punches,' so to speak. <"I can do an impression of a Noctowl, but I'd rather have my head on straight. They give me the heebie-jeebies. Brr...their bodies are straight up, and their heads are upside-down! But I don't just mean that literally. They're up at an hour when normal bird Pokemon are fast asleep...or should be fast asleep, but what with their 'hooo....hooo-ooo...', I can't get a wink! I swear...I should have moved back into the city.">

Reina broke a smile, and Percy tried his best to remain straight-faced.

<"I mean, the whole night, 'hoo...hoo-oooo....hooo...' Who? WHO? Y'know what, I don't know who and I honestly don't care at this late hour! Just let me get some sleep!!"> Taillow continued.
Not even Nicholai could keep a straight face after the finishing punch line. Reina was in stitches, and Percy was laughing out loud as well. Finally, after Percy had gotten back his breath for all the laughing, he said. "Welcome aboard, Skye."

<"Skye? So that's what you're gonna call me? I can live with that,"> the comical Taillow responded. He then flew over to Nicholai and started hovering around his head. <"I bet I'll be a nice contrast to Mr. Stick-in-the-Mud over here.">

Nicholai, who had returned to sipping something in a cup, began to choke on it. He spluttered and gagged and finally spit out a bit of the liquid, which inadvertently flew in Skye's direction. Skye avoided it and shook his head hopelessly.

<"What's that stuff you humans drink? Coffee? Was it too strong for you there, buddy?"> Skye started again. <"Where's your briefcase and expensive suit? You're about as cheerful as a rainstorm. Man,"> Skye muttered before flying away to Percy's side. <"I can't work with people like that. He's cramping my style.">

"He has his little moments," Percy responded. "You just have to wait for them."

Meanwhile, various things were going through Nicholai's head as he sipped on some water. Suddenly, his urge to be professional wasn't quite as great as it was the day that he met Percy. He supposed, being the oldest male in his household after his father died had something to do with it...but he had been an adult for about half his life...and he wasn't even sixteen yet. But being with Percy these last few days...Percy, as it sounded, was a lot like him. He'd been burdened with responsibility at a young age. Percy, however, seemed to still be able to hang on to at least a few shreds of his rapidly departing childhood. Aside from all the martial arts business, he was just like any normal teenager. Maybe, Nicholai was thinking, just maybe he didn't need to be a man...just yet. But maybe he did...it was no good, this was confusing him. In any case, he hardly ever got attached to anyone outside of his family and HYLEA, and he wasn't about to start now.

But one thing still troubled Nicholai...


;251;

"Wow, pretty interesting," Nicholai looked at Percy's flabbergasted face. He had expected this reaction. It was true, his history was pretty unbelievable. Once Percy had recovered his jaw from the ground, he said, "My parents died in a boating accident when I was six.........."


;251;

Nicholai's mother had told him about somebody who died in a boating accident in Johto...who was it? Claire, Nicholai's mother, did have an older brother, but...no that simply wasn't possible, for in her story, the son of the couple had died as well. A cousin that he had never known....but even on the off chance that his present wild thought was the truth, part of him didn't want to know...he did not even consider Percy to be a friend, yet.

Just get to Rustboro, Nicholai thought to himself. Then, I can take those guys down, and I'll never see Percy again...

But he could not resist asking...

"Percival," Nicholai called across the campfire.

"Hm?"

"What's your father's name?"

Percy went through the entire scenario of how his parents had been killed at sea, and how he had changed his name a few years ago to reflect his appreciation for his grandfather and his new lifestyle. Finally, after about five minutes' explanation, he ended. "My father's name was Paul Watson, senior."

Nicholai felt like someone had shot him through the heart with an arrow. That definitely narrowed it down, but Paul was a common name...and Watson was not rare, for that matter.

"What's up?" Percy asked, seeing the shocked look on Nicholai's face.

"Oh, n-nothing," Nicholai said. "It's getting late, we should get some rest. If we start early, we can get to Petalburg by tomorrow evening."

"Oh, cool. I'll have that badge in two days," Percy said, but with not as much spirit as normally. Nicholai was hiding something, and it wasn't one of those secret-agent-policeman-things that involed his job and were completely confidential....it wasn't something secret about the Emerald Knights that were sooner or later going to set themselves against him because of his nationality (Nicholai would have told him by now.)....

This was something that involved Percy himself...something that he needed to know...

--------------------

Whew. Sorry for the long wait, but I've been unable to get to a computer until just recently. I'll go on with this, though, if it's the last thing I do.

Here's something scary. I'm even getting anxious to find out what happens next...and I control what happens next.

Anyways....
;133; - EM1, over and out.

Cs32
22nd July 2005, 5:32 AM
Well thats good to hear...at least you will be keeping me here for a little while longer. The only reason I really stayed was because of you and another fic writer..but when you both just stopped I decided to wait for a while and now both of you are back. So on with the review. I thought that Percy was going to catch one of the beginning pokemon round there and I didn't think it would be a Lotad or that other seed thing. (you see i'm starting to 4get pokemon) I also didn't think it would be a Wurmple so I was thinking Taillow cause he is a flyer and I was right. I started cracking up when those apples fell down on Percy woundering if he was scared for life....lol jk. what you put at the end adds a little twist...both of them are related even if Percy doesn't know that just yet. Well i'm gone for now,
Later.
~~CS~~

EonMaster One
22nd July 2005, 6:38 AM
Other seed thing....seed....oh, yeah, Seedot. I never liked either of those much. I thought about Zigzagoon, but that's way overused. Taillow's probably overused in OT fics based in Hoenn, but Zigzagoon's like the Rattata of RBY(FR/LG).

...and I've always had a guilty pleasure about groin hits...as long as they were happening to someone else. I watch too much America's Funniest Home Videos, and they always have groin hits. There was this one I watched today with this dad and daughter practicing their swing with baseball bats...aluminum ones.

The daughter did hit the ball...Your imagination can probably take it from there.

That makes a very interesting sound, actually, but you should NEVER try it at home.

n/m, I'm getting off track. I'd be on, like, Chapter 10 right now (and that's no exaggeration) if I had regular access to a computer. But mine is f@%#ed up, and my dad's hogging the other one...>_< I'll start writing the damn things by hand if I have to...

Twilight Absol
25th July 2005, 8:38 PM
another great chapter, I was abosorbed into the story and I was actually able to picture many of the scenes. I love Skye's attitude, and from the optism and jokes, I'm guessin he's jolly. There has been a lot more comical material in this chapter, and it is great.

WaterTrainer243
26th July 2005, 2:31 AM
Another great chapter my friend. I must say you're getting good at this.

Cs32
26th July 2005, 9:57 PM
LoL by hand by hand!! I HATE writing crap in school so I pretty much try and refuse and i get a detention :p. The seed thing lol Seedot forgot that guy. You say would already be on chapter 10? Dang I remember in Jhoto Generations those chaps were LONG! Though hey I didn't complain :D.
Later,
~~CS~~

Castform
29th July 2005, 1:17 PM
^_^ A very good one I liked it a lot. Skye attitude is very intresting very comical. He makes a very intresting pokemon. I can't wait for the next Chapter!!!!

EonMaster One
3rd August 2005, 7:34 PM
Well, since I haven't been here in like two weeks, lemme update you on what's going on.

I'm almost done with Chapter 6, which introduces a new supporting character...at least, that's my term for her. She appears more often than a minor character, but less often than a main character. What she does has no direct impact on Percy's journey, most of the time, but she is one of the more important characters in the story. I guess I'd call her a...semi-main character? Damn, I don't know...

AND yes, Cs32, I've resorted to writing out the chapters by hand. I probably would have had #6 posted by now, except that I didn't start out writing it by hand. There's about a page of introductory material stuck on WordPad that I can't get to right now because this gay laptop doesn't have a damn floppy disk drive...>_<

WaterTrainer243
3rd August 2005, 7:46 PM
I can only assume this will be the girl who will have the hots for your main character, am I right?

EonMaster One
3rd August 2005, 8:02 PM
That's a yes and a no. She shows an almost immediate attraction to Percy (to the great dismay of another certain "minor" character that I introduced recently), but Percy's eventual love interest is someone else entirely.

WaterTrainer243
3rd August 2005, 8:04 PM
Ahh...I see. Well I can't wait to see that then.

EonMaster One
9th August 2005, 11:51 PM
Yah00...I'm over at my grandmother's, so I finally have access to a computer. Chap. 6 will be up tomorrow AT THE LATEST. Chap. 7 is coming later this week, as well as possibly Chaps. 8-9. (They're all battles that come as a result of the events of Chap. 6, so I've decided to split them up into separate chapters.) Chapter 10's a battle chapter, too....*coughgymcoughleadercough* but to promise you five chapters in a span of 2-3 days is pushing it a bit, don't you agree?

WaterTrainer243
10th August 2005, 12:09 AM
I would most definitely agree. Just take your time my friend, don't rush. Trust me, rushing only messes things up. Still, can't wait for the next chapter.

EonMaster One
10th August 2005, 5:15 AM
This was about 12 pages of writing, total...and then I typed the whole thing...GAWD, I think I've got carpal tunnel....the satisfying agony of accomplishment. ^_^

Chapter 6: The Contender Challenge

"Nicholai, hurry up! C'mon out here and see this!!" Percy called to Nicholai, who was taking his time getting to the top of the hill. The rising sun was casting a faint, golden glow over a mass of buildings and roads that Percy could see over the hill. He saw a large red building right at the near side of them that had to be the Pokemon Center. It was nothing like the one in Oldale Town. This one was about four stories high, and had many lights shining through windows like pinpricks. A road led from this building up toward where Percy was presently standing. One thing stuck in Percy's head as he observed the city's lights fade one by one, signaling the beginning of the mid-April day. He had made it. He was nowhere close, he knew, to becoming Pokemon League Champion or even qualifying for the league...but this was an accomplishment in and of itself. He had made it to Petalburg.

"We made it," Nicholai said, emerging from the tree-girded path that was Route 102. "And about time, too."

"Really, it didn't take that long," Percy turned around and said to Nicholai. He, for one, felt that in traversing unpaved roads and woods in three days (with an injury, to boot), he hadn't made bad time at all. But Nicholai was always in a hurry to get somewhere. It reminded Percy of his father...or what little he could remember of his father, who had a career as a lawyer.

<"W-whooa!! Quit moving!!"> For Reina was on top of Percy's right shoulder, trying to admire the view, and Percy's sudden movement had nearly unseated her.

"Whoops, sorry," Percy muttered. "Why are you moving so slow? You're the one who was so anxious to get here and all. I think you were...er...threatening me with handcuffs at one point??"

"Erm, it's nothing," Nicholai said, looking quite unfocused. Perhaps he was tired. After all, it was only about seven in the morning. He might not have been a normal teenager in mind and heart, but he was definitely one in body. No teenager - at least none that Percy knew - enjoyed being up this early. They might find ways to deal with it, but they usually would have rather stayed in bed at least until the sun was all the way up. But perhaps drowsiness wasn't Nicholai's problem. Either way, he regained concentration as he said, "Let's go into the city now."


;384;

By the time Percy and Nicholai finally did reach the city's entrance, they could see that Petalburg was beginning to bustle with the signs of morning activity. People were walking to and fro on the sidewalks, some greeting each other as they passed by. Businessmen with suits and watches carried briefcases and muttered distractedly to themselves. Percy picked up the word "late" in several of their buzzing utterances.

"Are these some of your friends?" Percy asked Nicholai jokingly. Nicholai ignored him, so Percy dropped it and kept walking. It was not long before the two of them reached the several-story red building that Percy had seen from the hill on Route 102. It towered above their heads as Percy simply wondered to himself, How can a Pokemon Center be this big? Nicholai began his stride toward the translucent, blue double doors, which looked to be bent outward to arrange themselves as a semi-cylinder. As Nicholai drew nearer, the doors opened automatically with a mechanical whirring sound that would have done the ones at Birch's lab proud. Figuring that it would make much better sense to get in behind Nicholai before the doors closed on him, Percy quickly followed.


Inside the Pokemon Center, Percy let out another gasp of wonder. Before him was what seemed like a battery of tables, each surrounded by six chairs, at Percy's count. Several of the chairs were filled by people. Many of them were probably Trainers like he was. At the center of the tiled room, there was a circular desk at which sat a young woman with red hair and a white outfit. As a matter of fact, she looked just like the nurse in Oldale Town...
Trotting up to the desk, Percy got a closer look at this Nurse Joy and saw that her eyes were a warm amber as opposed to blue, like those of her Oldale counterpart. She also appeared to be a few inches shorter than Oldale's Joy, but Percy would have to look at the two young women side-by-side.

"Hello," the redhead nurse said with the friendliest of smiles as Percy approached her desk. "Welcome to Petalburg City Pokemon Center. What can I do for you today?

"Our Pokemon need healing, if you don't mind," Percy said, gently placing the Pokeball containing Skye, his new Taillow, onto the desk. He then tried to lift Reina onto the desk, but the fact that the little Vulpix seemed to be quite heavier than usual told him the she was reluctant.

<"I'm fine,"> Reina said. <"I don't need to...">

"Let Nurse Joy decide that," Percy said, finally succeeding in placing his starter Pokemon on the desk beside Skye's Pokeball. Reina shot Percy a look that clearly said, <Okay, if you say so,> as she was lifted off of the desk.

"Come back in a few minutes," Nurse Joy said, smiling again. She had placed Reina on another table and returned to the counter.

"I guess we just mingle, then," Percy said, turning to Nicholai.

"Guess so," Nicholai responded in a tone that clearly said that he was in no mood to...'mingle,' as Percy had described it. He shrugged his shoulders and flung his navy-blue jacket around to the outside of his belt, hiding the rapier on his waist from view. Seeing the puzzled look on Percy's face, he added, "Keeping a low profile."

"I already told you, I'm not trading Mudkip!" A familiar voice, one that Percy had last heard just two days ago, rang in his ears, along with the whirring of what Percy recognized as the closing Pokemon Center doors. Percy turned around to see the burgundy-haired boy of about twelve that he knew as Kirke, with the most aggravated look on his face. Following him was a girl of about the same age. Her hair was a spectacular road-sign blonde that made Percy's eyes hurt a bit. This screamingly golden hair went down to the girl's waist, where a belt with a gleaming, heart-shaped, chrome buckle held up her blue jeans, which were tight and had the appearance of being slightly faded on the front of each leg, as was the fashion for girls, even in Johto. She wore a white tanktop bearing a symbol for a heart that seemed to have a giant crack running down the middle. Above it, in midnight blue lettering, were the words, "Heartbreak Queen."

"But I wanted a Mudkip!" The girl moaned to Kirke, who seemed to be turning a deaf ear.

"Then you should've gotten there on time," said Kirke coolly.

"'You should've gotten there on time,'" the girl mocked. "Honestly, Alex, do you boys know nothing about being 'fashionably late'?"

"I do, but I've just got enough sense to be...'fashionably on time'," Kirke replied flatly. He still didn't appear to have noticed Percy and Nicholai, who were over at Nurse Joy's desk observing them.

"But I'm the 'Heartbreak Queen,' I've got to make an entrance," the pretty, blonde-haired girl said jauntily. "Besides, we all know that Professor Birch is like a clock that hasn't been set for Daylight Savings Time..."

"Always an hour behind schedule, I know," Kirke said. "But you were an hour and a half behind schedule."

The girl had no response for this, except to put her hands on her hips and groan loudly. Percy continued to observe the discussion (or was it an argument?) from the center desk when he heard a rustling noise and the squeal of his own Vulpix. Percy whirled around to see Reina and Skye's ball on the desk from which Nurse Joy had taken them moments before. Percy stowed Skye's Pokeball on the second hook of his belt, right below Reina's vacant one.

"Your Vulpix and Taillow were just fine, save for the usual bumps, bruises and travel fatigue," Nurse Joy said, smiling again. "They're ready to go anytime."

"Thanks, Nurse Joy," Percy said politely as the red-haired nurse smiled and turned her attention to a boy holding a Zigzagoon that seemed to be sneezing continuously. Reina leapt off of the desk and landed gracefully on the ground. It was times like this that Percy remembered that Reina had been brought up as a princess...

"Oh, Reina, when did you get here?" Kirke appeared to have noticed the small Fox Pokemon first. Then, searching for her Trainer, the burgundy-haired boy looked up. "Percy! You've finally made it!"

" 'Finally made it' ?" Percy murmured. "Sounds like you've been waiting for me or something..."

"Something like that," Kirke replied. "Long story short, Bryce Smith, the new Gym Leader, is..."

"Ahh, this is the famous Percy?" A girl's voice rang, and it took Percy a moment to realize that it belonged to the blonde who had been speaking to Kirke a few minutes ago. "He's cute."

Percy felt his face turn a rosy shade of pink at this comment. Kirke's visage was contorted into a frown, for some reason. Percy, who was observing Kirke's displeasure, was not paying enough attention to see the pretty, blonde-haired girl extend her hand toward him. "Natalea Royal," the girl announced as Percy took her hand and gently shook it. "Littleroot Town."

"Garel Village," said Percy. "It's near Cianwood City, in -"

"Percy!!" It seemed that Nicholai had tried to both shout and whisper at the same time, resulting in a hoarse bark that Percy could tell had hurt Nicholai's throat. Percy turned around just in time to see the agent shaking his head in disapproval.

"Nicholai, it's alright," Percy cut in. Nicholai was being paranoid, Percy thought. In any case, it wasn't like Percy needed Nicholai's protection or anything...Percy could fend for himself well enough.

"Ooh, in Johto, right?" Natalea Royal had interjected, probably to Percy's relief. Not only did Natalea figure out that he was from Johto without Percy saying it, but she seemed rather pleased about this fact. "Exotic. I like that." (Kirke's face fell again.)

"Johto and Hoenn aren't that different, if you ask me," Percy replied - a rather bold statement to make, considering that he had been in Hoenn for no more than a week. Natalea responded with a giggle and a toss of her hair that made Percy's heart skip a beat. Percy himself had never had a steady girlfriend - sure, enough girls noticed him back in Garel, but he always felt like he didn't have any time for them. Still, he did know a pretty girl when he saw one, and, in his opinion, Natalea was about as pretty as they came.

"Trying to turn on the charm, are we?" Kirke seemed to have found his voice again, and sounded a step past annoyed...to be honest, the term that Percy would probably use for Kirke's attitude was 'completely P.O'd'... "I swear, you're such a Royal...pain in the -"

But Alex Kirke's next word was drowned out by the whirring of the Pokemon Center doors. In came a couple of people whom Percy immediately dismissed as strangers. Following them, on the other hand, was someone that Percy (to his dismay) recognized. A boy with dirty-blond hair and an earing bearing a miniature of a Pokemon still unknown to Percy, strode into the center, wearing an expression on his face that one might have after getting a whiff of something particularly foul.

"Lloyd, he's here," Kirke said with the air of a worker giving a report to his supervisor. Percy wondered for a moment if Kirke was intimidated by his fellow townsman for some reason.

"Wondered what that stench was," Lloyd said, as loudly and as boldly as if Percy (and his weapon) had not been there in his presence. Percy clenched the hand holding his rod into a fist. Reina was snarling just at his ankle. Nicholai was trying to remain as impassive as always, but Percy noticed the grip on his sword hilt tighten. Natalea did not look quite as incensed as Percy or Nicholai, but still appeared to be a bit displeased.

"Is that really necessary, Lloyd?" she asked. "What has he done to you?"

The piercing, green eyes of Lloyd (who seemed to have paid no mind at all to Natalea's question) fell onto Nicholai, who evidently felt that looking back was the only way to keep Lloyd from staring a hole through him. "You're a HYLEA agent," Lloyd said. He must have been completely sure that he was right, as there was not even a hint of a questioning tone in his voice. "Not only that, I think we've met before."

"Right on both counts, Lloyd" Nicholai said, removing his shades. Percy thought that Nicholai looked the least bit more formidable when he did this. The same thought seemed to register with Lloyd, who broke his death glare and took a step back. "Now, do you recognize me?" Nicholai asked, with a tone that surprised Percy a bit; Nicholai addressed Lloyd as if he were an old friend whom he hadn't seen for several decades - longer, obviously, than either of them had been alive.

"Wardring...You're Special Agent Wardring," Lloyd's astonished face switched quickly to a smile. Percy looked on in shock. He had expected something of a malicious grin that held behind it all of Lloyd's diabolical intentions...but he saw nothing of the sort. As a matter of fact, Lloyd appeared to smile like a completely normal, thirteen-year-old boy.

"Right a third time, Lloyd," Nicholai said coolly, donning his shades again. "I see you've decided against following in your father's footsteps..."

"Not everybody can be like you," Lloyd said simply. "Some people are better off achieving their own greatness, instead of their father's..."

"...and some people do well making their father's greatness even greater." Nicholai responded. It didn't appear as if he had taken as much offense to Lloyd's comment as Percy thought he probably should have. Perhaps Percy's bias against Lloyd was causing him to misunderstand, but it sounded like Lloyd was taking a shot at Nicholai's father -
Nicholai's dead father...

"Hmm...fine, but you still haven't answered my question," Lloyd, who apparently wanted to have this conversation on his terms, said abruptly. "What are you doing here?"

"Let me see..." Nicholai muttered with a frown. "First, you never asked me that question, and second, it's none of your business."

"Y'know what? Butt out, I need to talk to the Jote anyway," Lloyd said sharply when he realized that he had just been shot down. Percy frowned and folded his arms, but someone else in the gathering was not quite as silent.

"Back off, Lloyd," Natalea had growled through gritted teeth.

"Make me. Draw that and I will hurt you," Lloyd quickly added, for out of the corner of his eye he had seen Nicholai motionining for his sword. Nicholai stopped and smirked.

"Sounds like a threat to me," he said. "I already don't like your attitude, and now you're really pushing it."

"Fine," Lloyd drawled. It looked as if the whole situation was going to defuse peacefully, but Percy had a bad feeling; Lloyd's lips were aquiver with rage and pure venom as he walked from the group. Suddenly, he stopped, and with a roar of "FILTHY INTRUDER!!" he launched a Pokeball at Percy, who, far from making an attempt to dodge, began laughing.

"What are you gonna try and do, capture me?" he said derisively. There was no reason for Lloyd to hate him, and now Lloyd was making himself look foolish. Percy stood still as the ball came hurtling toward his face. It would probably hurt if it hit him - Pokeballs were hard - but Percy wasn't going to find out anyway. The ruckus had caught the attention of several people scattered around the busy Pokemon Center, who all seemed to have turned in Percy's direction to see what he was going to do. Screams escaped from a few bystanders who were watching.

"Why isn't he moving?"

"He's gonna get hit!"

There was a CRUNCH, and such a collective gasp from the Pokemon Center patrons that it felt, for a moment, as if all of the air had been sucked out of the room. Having been struck quite hard by Percy's rod (which seemed to have jumped from behind him to in front of him in less than half a second), Lloyd's Pokeball split in half and clattered to the floor at Percy's feet. Percy lazily returned his rod to its original position leaning on his shoulder and said, "I'd tell you that you were wasting your energy hating me for no reason, but...I'd rather see you suffer."

"Whatever," Lloyd spat. "The Number One Contender's Tournament is today. I will win, and I will get that badge from Bryce...and no Jote..." Lloyd shot Percy a glare of deepest hatred. "...or Jote's buddy..." he directed his gaze at Natalea and Nicholai. Natalea shuddered under the young jingoist's piercing glare. "...is going to stop me."

"Number One Contender?" Percy muttered to Natalea. "Is Lloyd saying something that I should actually care about?"

"Yes," Natalea answered. From there, she was obviously intending to explain exactly what the Number One Contender's Tournament was, but she gave up as her first few words were drowned out by Lloyd's shout.

"Be at Petalburg Gym at noon today, or we'll start without you! Same goes for you, Royal!!" And with that, Lloyd turned on his heel and strode out of the Pokemon Center, leaving in his wake mutinous mutters of disapproval and several shocked faces. Percy kicked aside one half of the Pokeball that Lloyd had thrown at him. His anger subsided and was replaced by feelings of disappointment and possibly even pity. He wondered what happened in Lloyd's life...what kind of turmoil could cause a perfectly normal teenager to close the door to anybody that was not from his own country? Why did Lloyd hate him so?


;384;

"So, about the Number One Contender's Tournament..." Percy called ahead to natalea, who promptly put her hands on her hips. Percy stopped in his tracks (causing Nicholai, who was bringing up the rear and not paying attention, to walk into him) to hear what Natalea had to say.

"You're lucky that this is so simple. I hate repeating myself," Natalea said without turning around. "This happens every so often, when several Trainers want a shot at the Gym Leader. So, the Leader holds a tournament, nanand the winner gets the first shot at the Gym Leader."

"So, I win this, and I get the first crack at this Bryce guy?" Percy asked, making sure to pay close attention to Natalea's answer. He saw that she was understandably annoyed at his lapses in concentration, but he couldn't help himself. Petalburg City was completely new to Percy, so he couldn't help but to survey the rows of businesses along this street. "The Limit - Clothing for Teen Trainers..." "Shady Side - Shades For Everyone!"...all places that he might visit if he ever found the time...

"Yeah...but you're not gonna win," Natalea announced lightheartedly. "Why? Because that spot belongs to me, the 'Heartbreak Queen'!"

"If you say so," replied Percy, who couldn't possibly make any kind of judgment about Natalea's skills as a trainer just yet. He would have to find out by battling her in this tournament, but that's if he battled her. And that was a big 'if.' He could be battling Kirke...or Lloyd...or neither of them...or all three of these guys. Only time would tell...

"Percy, we're here," Natalea's voice rang after a few more minutes of walking. Percy, who had long since given up on trying to formulate any kind of strategy against an unknown opponent, was fully attentive this time.

"That's n--WHOA..." Percy looked up. This couldn't be a Gym...Gyms in Johto had always been much smaller. This resembled something like a small stadium, what he was standing in front of. Percy could only imagine what this structure looked like on the inside.


;384;

"Three minutes to twelve," said Lloyd. He stood off to the sidelines of Petalburg's Gym floor. He talked a bit loudly, so that Kirke would be able to hear him over the several hundred people that were creating a chronic, echoing murmur inside of the stadium. He looked up and observed the rows and rows of seats that were gradually being filled. They were arranged, from what Lloyd could see, in huntreds - ten rows of ten seats across, with twenty stairs on each side. This arena could hold a bit over two thousand people, in Lloyd's estimation. "One minute to noon. Looks like the Jote and your girlfriend got a clue and decided not to show."

"Natalea and I are...she's not my girlfriend," Kirke said sourly, almost as if he wished that this statement was a lie. "They'll be here, though. There's two things you'll never see Natalea pass up. One's a boy, and the other's a challenge. She'll probably drag Percy up here, if Percy doesn't come on his own."

No sooner than Kirke had uttered these words, Natalea emerged from the darkness of the enormous doorway that was the entrance to the arena. Following her were Nicholai, Reina, and (as Lloyd made a gagging noise that Kirke thought most unnecessary) Percy.

<"There sure are a lot of people,"> Reina said in astonishment as she looked around the arena.

"No kidding," Percy piped up. "There must be at least a thousand people here, and that's not an exaggeration! Are we suppose to battle in front of this huge crowd?"

"Uh...yeah," Natalea responded briskly. "Gym battles are a popular spectator sport here in Hoenn, especially recently. These gyms are a lot bigger than you guys in Johto are used to, eh? Don't worry about it. Someday, when you're like me, you'll be able to work the crowd. For now, though, just act like they're not there."

"Sure of yourself, aren't you?" Percy said, failing to stifle a smile. Natalea was a beautiful girl, but it only took a day for her personality to charm Percy a bit. Why? Because it was just like the attitude that he had been trying to pursue...something that, if he remembered correctly, made him attractive to a lot of girls in Garel. Percy, as a person, made no attempt to be overly modest or mask his confidence. Somehow, though, he had always managed to pull it off without sounding arrogant or stuck-up. And Natalea was the same way.

"Hey, wake up!" A hard nudge from Natalea, along with the fact that her cheeks were a brilliant pink, made Percy realize that he'd been staring at her for...say...about fifteen seconds too long. "Take a picture. It'll last longer."

"You're lucky there aren't any 'Cliche Police' around," Percy muttered, still smiling to himself. He took a sideways glance at Nicholai, who he could've sworn that he'd seen smirking for a split second before he resumed that cool, unconcerned look that he always had on his face. He turned to see Kirke, who was making no attempt to hide a snicker. Evidently, Natalea caught him, too, because...

"Watch it, Alex," Natalea said, thumping Kirke in the chest harder than she had done Percy. "Nothing's changed since we were little. I can still kick your -"

"LLOYD!" a roar came from slightly above all of them, making Kirke whirl around and look up along with Percy and Natalea. On a platform, about twenty feet above the section of seats that were obviously reserved for trainers, (which looked to Percy like a baseball stadium dugout that had been brought above ground) stood a lone figure, silhouetted against the bright midday sunlight. Percy squinted and shielded his eyes in an attempt to get a better view, a motion almost immediately rendered unnecessary by the fact that the figure jumped from the platform, then caught on a nearby pole and slid down to the ground. The boy looked to be Percy's age, or perhaps a bit older. He had dark blue hair that reached his neck and fell evenly and neatly all the way around his head. He was wearing a button-down shirt that would have matched Kirke's hair quite well. As a matter of fact, Percy had seen that shirt on a poster that advertised the Hoenn League. This boy looked like a younger version of the man that had been wearing that shirt, too...except for the hair. This boy's hair was longer. He was also wearing a pair of jeans.

"Damn, now Smith? This is turning into a Jote festival," Lloyd muttered under his breath. Percy heard him, but he wasn't sure whether the blue-haired boy had been paying attention. After a pause, Lloyd raised his voice to audible levels (which, if he had any stones at all, Percy said to himself, He'd have done to begin with.) and said, "This is everyone who's coming, Bryce." He spoke with the same tension in his voice that Percy remembered from his first conversation with Lloyd, after the former had revealed that he was from Johto. Percy knew that his and Natalea's appearance had hurt Lloyd's chances...even if he did beat either of them, he'd have to battle again in order to win the tournament. Bryce, though, ignored Lloyd's disparaging tone as if it were something that he heard everyday, instead walking over to Percy and offering his hand.

"You must be the guy I heard Lloyd talking about this morning...in not too nice a tone, I might add," Bryce commented as Percy shook his hand. "Name's Bryce Smith." Percy blinked twice and Bryce, who could see that Percy was putting two and two together inside his brain, immediately added, "Yes, I'm Brendan Smith's younger brother. And don't pay attention to that, he does it to me all the time," Bryce added another statement, having just seen Lloyd shooting Percy a hand gesture that wasn't exactly a thumbs-up (although it did involve a finger pointing up).

"You'd think that Lloyd would show Hoenn's Gym Leaders more respect than - ohh, that's right..." Percy said, remembering why this was.

"I'm from Johto, too, y'know..." Bryce said, confirming what Percy had thought. "Goldenrod."

"Yeah, that explains it," Percy said bitterly. "I'm Percy Dartaryk. I grew up on Cianwood Island."

"Dartaryk? As in Ephraim Dartaryk, the martial arts master?" Bryce said. Percy was taken aback. People knew who his grandfather was even out in Goldenrod City? "You wouldn't be related to him, would you?"

"I'm his grandson," Percy stated, and waited for it...

"I thought that Ephraim Dartaryk had no grandchildren..." Bryce said incredulously, as if waiting for Percy to tell him that he had been lying or joking.

"That's because I'm supposed to be dead." If it was possible for Bryce to look any more disbelieving, then it had certainly happened. Percy quickly added, "It's a long story that I don't think I have time to tell right now."

"HEY!!" Lloyd exclaimed, startling Bryce a bit. Percy looked around Bryce to see that Lloyd had his arms folded and was glaring an absolute doomsday laser into the back of Bryce's skull. It was so bad, in fact, that Percy wondered why Bryce wasn't trying to put out the fire on the back of his own neck.

"What is it, Lloyd...?" Bryce hadn't seen Lloyd's 'death ray,' but Lloyd's tone was annoying enough for the young Gym Leader.

"Let's get this started already!" Lloyd yelled. "And you better not pull any crap because he's a Jote like you!"

"I never ref matches," Bryce countered. "Because I suck at it. I stick with what I know. If I'm not battling, I'm announcing. But, like you said, I'm ready to start this party."


;384;

Five minutes later, the tournament was underway. The number of spectators, to Percy's great shock, had nearly doubled. The match-ups had been decided and there Percy stood, under the sound of the cheering crowd and the warmth of the midday sun. Opposite him was Kirke, whose face had a look of sincerest determination. Kirke had, after all, lost to Percy once before, and the look on Kirke's face clearly said that he was going to do everything in his power to make sure that history did not repeat itself.

"This match is a semifinals battle for the rank of Number One Contender! In the red corner..." Bryce began, extending his hand in Kirke's direction (for the trainer box in which Kirke was standing was this color) "Alex Kirke from Littleroot Town!" The stadium erupted in cheers as Kirke made an emotionless gesture toward nobody in particular. "Aaaand...in the green corner...Percy Dartaryk from Cianwood City!" Louder cheering. Percy figured out that it was because the crowd guessed that Percy, being Bryce's fellow countryman, would be Bryce's favorite to win the tournament. "Today's official, Junior Umpire Daniel McCarthy, will preside over the match!"

A pair of scoreboards at the north and south ends of the stadium lit up, bearing Kirke's portrait in a red box and Percy's in a green box. Six smaller, square boxes were in a column under each picture. Still another blank box sat above the two pictures.

"This battle will be two on two!" The black-haired youth named McCarthy shouted as eight boxes were wiped from the screen in an instant, leaving two each under Percy and Kirke's pictures. "There will be no time limit!" A shape that could be best described as the number "8" turned on its side - the symbol for 'infinity' - popped up in the box atop the trainers' pictures. "Set Battle Style!"

"Aw, great, that means we can't switch out," Percy muttered. He knew that there were two battle styles in the world of Pokemon - Shift and Set. Set Battle Style meant that he couldn't recall his Pokemon if he saw that the battle was going badly, or that he had an unfavorable match-up. He would have to choose either Reina or Skye and commit to that choice. Pulling out wouldn't be an option. With that in mind, Percy started planning. Kirke would probably send Mudkip out first, expecting Percy to send out Reina...which would mean that Kirke, with Mudkip's Water Gun (which Percy had already seen), would have a serious advantage. Plus, Percy wanted to save Reina for later....So...

"Semifinal Match number one! Alex Kirke versus Percy Dartaryk!" McCarthy raised both flags - one red and one green. The crowd drew in breath as one man and held it as McCarthy's final four words echoed through the entire stadium...

"LET THE TOURNAMENT BEGIN!"











;384; ;384; ;384;

Next on PHR...

The Contender Tournament begins - a grudge match between two trainers who will one day be among the giants of Hoenn's Pokemon Training Scene. Percy's beaten Kirke once before, so the second time around should be even easier, right?

WRONG. Kirke's new capture, an enigmatic Psychic-type, causes all types of trouble for our young hero with its strange powers. Add to that the fact that it's also packing some TM action that Kirke had stowed away, and you get one heck of a tough battle. Will Percy pull through and take the first step to winning his first tournament and the right to face Bryce? And why has Kirke been so grumpy since Percy introduced himself to Natalea? Find out this and more in:

Chapter 7: High Noon Showdown at Petalburg! Pt. 1:
Lighting the Re-Match

COMING SOON...

WaterTrainer243
10th August 2005, 5:45 AM
Sheesh, Lloyd obviously has a thing against people from Johto. I'd hate to find out what he's like around people from Kanto. I mean, he sounds like Draco Malfoy whenever he's around Hermoine and calling her a 'mudblood'. Well keep this coming my friend.

EonMaster One
10th August 2005, 5:54 AM
Sheesh, Lloyd obviously has a thing against people from Johto. I'd hate to find out what he's like around people from Kanto. I mean, he sounds like Draco Malfoy whenever he's around Hermoine and calling her a 'mudblood'. Well keep this coming my friend.

You probably figured this out already, but I'm going to have whoever battles Lloyd lose just barely (and I mean BARELY), because if (s)he kicks Lloyd's ***, then Percy can't do it ^_^

WaterTrainer243
10th August 2005, 5:59 AM
You probably figured this out already, but I'm going to have whoever battles Lloyd lose just barely (and I mean BARELY), because if (s)he kicks Lloyd's ***, then Percy can't do it ^_^
Oh ho ho ho ho! I see what you're getting at. I don't think I wanna reveal who it is just yet then. Oh and Natalea's shirt kinda reminds me of another anime queen's shirt except she's quite the opposite of Natalea.

Castform
10th August 2005, 9:40 PM
That Chap was great! Natalea, probably has a Treecko and some other pokemon, while Kirke, probably has a Mudkip and a Ralts. This tournament is sorta like the Tournament in Cherry grove in Johto Generations....

some things I found intresting about the names you choose for your chracters...

Name:Percival Origin:Old French Meaning:Pierce the veil

Name:Nicholai Origin:Slavic Meaning:Victorious People

Name:Lloyd Origin:Old Welsh Meaning:gray-haired

Percival... I have no clue what connection it had to him, but it was intresting

Nicholai, His name means Victorious People, His father was great *almost in a way Victorious* and if I am correct we should soon find out if he is related to Percival...meaning he would be related to all of Percy's famous relatives.

Lloyd, in a sense his rival is grey haired, well actually platinum... close enough.

EonMaster One
11th August 2005, 1:47 AM
I suppose, in Percival's case, "the veil" would be Lloyd's (and some others') view that Hoenn's champion should be a Hoenn native.

"Gray-haired" will refer to the fact that Lloyd's idol (if you didn't know this by reading) is Steven Stone, the former champion.

As for Nicholai's "victorious people"...well, you'll find that out later.

...and people, just so you know, Bryce is Brendan's brother (try saying that five times fast!!). He's Norman's replacement (or is he?).

Twilight Absol
11th August 2005, 11:27 AM
Nice chapter, despite a few spelling mistakes, the chapter had decent amount of humor and lots of action....I hope to see Percy in another battle soon, and this time, not Pokemon...=P Though a trainer fic's battle outcomes are easily predicted, i can't help but get excited over this battle...

EonMaster One
12th August 2005, 2:43 AM
That's how I do OT fics. The stereotype says that Main Character X beats Rival Y, but sometimes Rival Y pulls such a stunt that you have that little voice in the back of your head wondering if Main Character X is actually going to lose this one. You'll see that a lot from me. I don't have my main person win every time, and when he does win, he never wipes the floor with anybody. I always include some degree of difficulty. ALWAYS.

Although I hate to see Ash lose Gym Battles in the anime now. The time he lost in Dewford just really upset me, because Ash was very OOC in that episode...well, OOC for Hoenn. The young Ash back in Kanto or maybe even early Johto would probably have done something like he did in "Brave the Wave". The authors of the series tried, IMHO, to bring Ash's character across like he was the rookie that left Pallet Town when the series came out over 8 years ago. (And the fact that they had Makuhita evolve mid-battle was a screw-over in itself. Like Brawly mentioned later in that episode, Hariyama had a lot of trouble handling its new power and body size, but that just wasn't there in the battle.)

Anyway, I'm writing Chapter 7 (Percy vs. Kirke). It will be up tomorrow night, if I wake up on time to start writing. I slept in this morning, and enjoyed it -.-ZZZzzzz....

Cs32
12th August 2005, 5:54 PM
Awesome chap...just got back from cross country and I have a bit of time before I go on my daily bikeride. SHEESH Cross country then bikeride and soccer practice on tuesday and Thursdays oO. So the chap will be coming up today? SWEET lol Also I notice the simularity of this little tournament to the tournament in Jhoto Generations and Lloyd to Nate. Sooo I have to go now.
Later,
~~CS~~

P.S. I read all those chapters you wrote of Generations like every two days! Have it stored in my computer ^^

EonMaster One
13th August 2005, 4:57 PM
I'm done...12 hours late because I added a Monster plot flashback section on the fly, and when I mean monster...the original draft (my hand-written version) was 7 3/4 pages. After adding the section, it ran about 11 or 12 pages, probably.

Oh, and I will give a special reward to anybody that can catch the Nate reference in this chapter. Hint: It's a line that I yanked straight out of PJG and gave to one of PHR's characters in this chap. So...Chapter 7...fans of Pokemon battles will love it...fans of pea-soup-thick-plot will love it. Basically, a little something for everyone.


Chapter 7: High Noon Showdown at Petalburg, Pt. 1

Lighting the Re-Match

"BEGIN!" McCarthy shouted, raising both flags into the air. The crowd erupted into cheers. Percy tied a neat bow of the strings on the neck of his royal blue jacket and flung his arms out of the sleeves, exposing his well-built limbs and allowing the jacket to flow out behind him like a cloak. Kirke yanked a Pokeball from his belt and launched it. It smacked the ground and burst open. White light shot forth and shrank into a form as the ball zoomed back into Kirke's hand. Where the ball had once been, there was a creature of some sort. Its face, except for its mouth, was covered by what, from Percy's view, looked like a red-and-green cap that had been bent out of shape. Its feet...if one could call them that, were like wisps of cloud, along with its lower body. It seemed to be emanating a white aura of energy.

"That thing sure looks weak..." Percy muttered, fingering Skye's Pokeball.

"Kirke opens up with a Ralts!" Bryce shouted into a megaphone.

"Hey, that's trouble, watch it!" A brown-and-blonde-topped head popped out of the trainer seats and shouted. There was Nicholai, once again, shouting out tips to Percy, who really wished that Nicholai would shut his mouth. This was, after all, his battle, not Nicholai's. That was when it hit him. This was his battle...not Nicholai's, neither Leo's nor his grandfather's battle...this was his battle. Becoming a Trainer meant that he was, for probably the first time in his life, in control of his own destiny...

"Skye, let's do this!" Percy shouted, tossing his own ball into the air as high as he could, to give Skye a good starting point. The jolly Taillow sprang forth from the confines of the sphere, cawing loudly and to cheers and applause. Skye did an about-face to hover right in front of him, and it took a couple of seconds for Percy to realize that this was the first time that he had ever used Skye in a batle.

<"You rang?"> Skye said in the normal, encouraging tone of voice that made him so likable to all. <"So, you think you can handle me?">

"I sure hope so," Percy muttered. He had seen how strong Skye was from two days ago, but this Ralkts was a new creature to him, so nothing was certain. "I sure hope so..."

<"Try not to mess this up,"> Reina said to Skye. <"If you go down early, I'll have to do all of the work.">

<"Don't get your tails in a knot, lady,"> Skye cawed, and with that, he took off high into the air.

"Percy responds with a Taillow!" Percy fought down a laugh; Bryce was not only stating the obvious, beut he was doing so several moments late. Hopefully he wasn't as bad of a Trainer as he was an announcer, or Percy would have no challenge at all when he battled him!

"Hey!" Kirke had shouted. Percy looked up, and Kirke called out again. "That's not the same Taillow that..."

"Yeah, it is," Percy said without giving Kirke a chance to finish. This was going to start, and it was going to start now. "Skye, use Peck!"

Skye shot across the air to the red side of the field, his yellow beak poised to strike Ralts right on the green, dome-like formation that was its head. Ralts seemed to be oblivious to any type of threat. The rounded, red horn on its head wriggled a bit, but it otherwise remained still. As Skye closed in on his motionless opponent, Percy wondered if Kirke was ever going to give Ralts any type of order to dodge.

"Double Team, NOW!" Kirke shouted immediately, almost as if he had read Percy's mind. Percy only smirked to himself. Kirke had most definitely been too late...or had he? Skye jerked his head back and lowered his beak into Ralts' face and connected...with an afterimage that soon faded into nothingness, causing a shocked Skye to flutter to a stop. Skye glanced left, saw Ralts, and struck. This one too disappeared, and at that Percy grabbed at his platinum hair with a frustrated groan.

<"Shoot! Another miss!"> Skye groaned, taking off into the air to get a better look at the illusion. By that time, though, all of Ralts' ghostly doppelgangers had vanished, and the real Ralts was looking up at Skye with an ambiguous smile on his eyeless, noseless face.

"Now, my turn. Ralts, Hidden Power!" Kirke shouted to the small, mostly-alabaster Pokemon. Ralts released an eerie, otherworldly hum as the aura surrounding it shone more brightly. The wind chose that moment to pick up, giving Percy goosebumps all over. Ralts put his hands together and an orb appeared in the empty space. It was about the size of a tennis ball and was a piercing electric blue. It crackled and swelled for a moment, then split into six duplicates of itself that surround Ralts and began to spin, forming a ring of crackling blue energy around the small Psychic-type.

"What's he d....Skye, move!!" Percy shouted, sensing danger. He didn't know what those little blue balls did, and he wasn't going to have Skye stick around to find out. Skye ascended in an attempt to get out of harm's way, but the ring of energy balls followed him into the air. Once Skye had reached what he felt was a high enough altitude, he stopped moving - but Hidden Power didn't. It continued to ascend and climb until, finally, Skye was the one surrounded.

"OH, now this is interesting!!" Bryce roared into the megaphone over the gasps of the crowd. "Kirke capitalizes on Percy's failed offensive, and has Taillow surrounded by a strange attack formation! You never know what to expect with Hidden Power. The elemental force differs with each Pokemon that uses it..."

"Confusion, now!" Kirke yelled. The horn on Ralts' head shone a bright, pearly white and suddenly, the orbs around Percy's humorous little Taillow converged, and fast. Percy, at a loss for what to tell Skye to do, felt his heart stop momentarily. Skye, though, had enough sense to climb a few feet, and was instantly shown what a good decision it was. The six balls, their target having escaped, smashed into each other with a loud rumble. Were it not for the clear sky overhead, Percy would have thought himself to be in a thunderstorm. Blue bolts of lightning shot out in every which direction from the site of the Hidden Power attack's implosion, causing Skye to resort to some of his more elaborate dodge moves in order to get away.

"WHOA!" Bryce shouted, dropping his megaphone as a stray bolt of lightning zigzagged in his direction. Fortunately for him, the bolt hit what seemed to be an invisible force field and bounced off in another direction. Bryce re-emerged, looking slightly embarrassed but mostly relieved. He grabbed his megaphone and shouted into it loudly. "OH, MY GOSH! If it weren't for Devon Corporation's new SpectatorShield technology, you guys would have to find yourselves a new Gym Leader!"

"We've got 'em on the run, Ralts!" encouraged Kirke. "Hidden Power, then Conf -"

"Quick Attack, GO!" Percy shouted, and Skye immediately launched himself at Ralts while the latter was charging another of those electric energy balls. Skye wasn't going to allow himself to be shot at again - he smashed into Ralts' head, which bobbled back and forth on his body like a ragdoll that had been glued to the ground. Percy pumped his fist and exclaimed, "Got 'im!"

"D-dang!!" Kirke groaned. "Ralts don't take physical attacks too well..."

"Don't let up! Quick Attack again!" Percy roared, and Skye obeyed, performing an enormously long banking turn high in the air, a tail of white energy trailing behind him like a comet. He nosedived toward Ralts, a steely glint in his eye. Ralts looked up at his attacker and began forming another ball of energy. Skye began to barrel roll, and the pearly shine that followed him began to rotate as well. Two oval-shaped areas on Ralts' domelike head (which Percy presumed to be Ralts' eyes) flashed. As Skye approached, Ralts raised his stubby little arms...

With a resounding clap of thunder, a shockwave radiated from the area of the explosion - a shockwave that hit the SpectatorShield, which rippled and shook. Percy's coat and platinum hair flew out behind him, as he covered his face with crossed arms. Then, remembering that Skye had been right next to the origin of that shockwave, he shouted the Taillow's name into the dust cloud created by the blast.

"Only time will tell which one of them...if either of them...is still standing after that! What an explosion!" Percy heard Bryce shout. There was a very pregnant pause as everyone, Percy and Kirke included, waited with bated breath for the results of that last collision. People began cheers and applause which made the thunderclap from the previous explosion sound like a whisper in comparison. Once his ears had adjusted to the chaotic din, Percy looked around to see what they were cheering about. This search eventually took his eyes skyward, where, soaring out of the cloud was the azure, crimson, and alabaster form of his Taillow. Some spots on the Tinyswallow Pokemon's white underbelly were dark brown and black, indicating that he had probably been singed. Otherwise, he looked well.

<"You okay?!"> Reina shouted up to Skye before Percy could get the words out.

<"Don't get hit by one of those. They hurt,"> Skye answered in his normal, jovial tone, prompting a relieved laugh from Percy. <"I'm fine, pretty much, but the 'walking mushroom' over there wasn't so lucky,"> He added, turning toward the site of the dust cloud, which was gradually clearing. After a few seconds, Percy could make out a green, white, and brown form that was sprawled on the ground. Ralts' eyes were hidden once more, but Percy figured out what happened immediately. Not only had Skye managed to get a hit in (judging by the large bump on Ralts' head), but the Psychic-type had also been caught in his own Hidden Power blast. Percy was sure that he had been knocked out.

"Ralts is unable to continue! Taillow has won the battle!" McCarthy shouted, raising the green flag in Percy's direction to loud cheers and shouts. Percy smiled to himself for a moment and gazed up at the scoreboard, where Ralts' picture grayed and a white star bearing the letters "KO" appeared beside Skye's picture, signifying (as anyone would have been able to figure out) a knockout.

"Ralts goes down! Ralts goes down!!" Bryce exclaimed into the megaphone to loud cheering and screaming. "Taillow still looks pretty strong, so it looks like Alex Kirke is going to have to put together a comeback to win this one!"

Meanwhile, in the Trainer's Dugout (which Percy found out was the name of that little section), the Contender Challenge Tournament's other participants had opinions of their own. Natalea paced back and forth with her hands behind her head, every few seconds pausing to take a glance at Lloyd, who was sprawled out on the bench and looking so relaxed that it should have, perhaps, been fined. (Nicholai had moved to one corner, deciding to give Lloyd some space.)

"That Percy kid's not bad," Natalea commented with a look of concern, running a finger through her extremely blonde locks of hair. "No wonder Alex lost to him the first time..."

"Your point?" Lloyd said tersely. He didn't much like talking about Percy, much less in any way that was complimentary to Percy. Lloyd's belief was that Percy did not belong here in Hoenn, and it was a belief that he was not afraid to share, not even to Percy himself. Percy should not be praised, Lloyd thought, for invading his homeland. Lloyd went over Natalea's words in his head again, and picked up on something that he hadn't the first time. A look of comprehension broke on his face, but he kept what he remembered inside with a sly, knowing smirk. Natalea, who had taken one of her five-second pauses, saw him.

"Something funny, L.P.?" she asked.

"You're worried," Lloyd said, with that unquestioning tone he used when he was completely certain that he was right about something. He then broke into a laugh that sounded almost mocking. "That's sweet. I've known you two since we were little. You're in love with him."

"So not!" Natalea exclaimed vehemently, putting her hands on her hips. She looked at him for a couple of seconds, hoping that she could find out something that would make Lloyd say something so...so completely inane! Lloyd was way off base...wasn't he? To make sure Lloyd knew that he was wrong, Natalea tried to shout an argument at him. Somehow, though, her brain said 'shout,' but her mouth said 'stutter'... "Alex, he...I...we're just friends, c'mon, you know that..."

"C'mon, you can't fool me now," Lloyd said. "You don't even sound convinced of what you're saying! C'mon, just admit it. I won't tell him. C'mon, why would I do that?"

"You...hmph!" Natalea growled, turning her back on Lloyd. Her face went pink and she smiled to herself as she stared out blankly at the battlefield. Lloyd was right about almost everything he said, no matter how much she didn't want to admit it.


;251;

She and Kirke had been neighbors and friends ever since they were toddlers. Kirke had always been a nice guy, even when they were really small...in fact, a bit too nice. The only reason, in fact, that Kirke wasn't knocked around like a wimp was the fact that Natalea, although just about completely feminine now, grew up as a bit of a tomboy, with short hair and a really bad attitude, and all of the boys their age were scared of her. She was the fighter and Kirke was the sweetheart...and even when they got a bit older, neither of them seemed to mind. Natalea, though, had managed to make enemies of the neighborhood bullies (who seemed, by elementary school, to have swelled to twice the size of normal eight-year-olds.) They all wanted a piece of 'Alex the softie,' as they derisively nicknamed him, but Natalea was always in the way. Once, the smartest of the group (although that wasn't saying a whole lot) hatched a plan to appeal to Natalea's 'inner girl.' He wanted to have Natalea look the other way whilst he and his crew did "a job" on Kirke. What he got, though, was a hard punch in the chest. It was around that time that the nickname 'Heartbreak Queen' started circulating around her classmates, and it was not long before Natalea began using it herself.

The last time the bullies bothered them was when she and Kirke were about ten. The punks had enlisted the aid of a slightly older, much bigger, and much less honorable punk, one that had no qualms about hitting a girl - especially one that hit back. They surrounded Natalea in the Town Park while Kirke was away. This was the one time that Natalea knew that she was in over her head. Then, out of nowhere, a boy of ten that was slightly small for his age appeared. Natalea watched as this scrawny boy attempted to take on the four young hoodlums singlehandedly. He fought and swung as hard as his small body would allow, occasionally taking hits that Natalea thought would make some grown men keel over in agony...but this boy seemed to have an inner fire that more than made up for his lack of brawn. When all was said and done, those that were not on the ground had run away, and as a spring rainshower started, Natalea finally got a look at the boy that had probably saved her from a sound beating. She saw something that, to this day, made her feel like the closest any girl her age had ever come to having a heart attack. It was her friend, Kirke...'Alex the softie'...the one who wouldn't fight anybody. He'd laid himself on the line so that she wouldn't have to fight. And, boy, had they done a number on him. Most of the thugs' hits had been to Kirke's body and didn't leave any scars that were readily visible, but he had received a healthy punch in the mouth by the oldest one, leaving a lip that was bleeding steadily.

He had gotten into the habit of walking her home every afternoon, and this one was no different, except that they walked in silence. They usually had something to talk about after every day, but as they strolled home in the rain and occasional thunder, there was a shocked 'thank you' from Natalea in the park...but after that, nothing. Nothing needed to be said...until, finally, they arrived in front of Natalea's house. Natalea, who was facing Kirke and about to say goodbye, got a better look at his face.

"How's your lip?" she said, reaching her hand to wipe some blood off Kirke's mouth. Kirke grabbed her hand at that last second, and smiled one of his 'nice guy' smiles. He only gave that smile to a special few, those being Lloyd (who had been friends with him for a couple of years, despite being a year older), Natalea, and his family.

"I'm not gonna lie," he said finally. "There's not a part on my body that doesn't hurt right now...but I'll worry about that later. Are you okay? Because if you're not, I'm gonna feel real crummy for getting myself banged up for nothing."

Natalea laughed to herself, but tears quickly began to well up in her eyes as she looked up at her best friend. She threw her arms around Alex, not daring to let go from the one person she felt she could trust, the one person with whom she felt the most secure.

"You're welcome....ow..." Kirke groaned, and Natalea, remembering that Kirke had emerged from the fight with his fair share of blows times four, let go of him. "Hey, Lloyd turns eleven tomorrow, and the Professor's having a party for him. The whole town's supposed to be there, almost, and we're, like, his two best friends, so everyone'll be looking for us. I'm going to be there early. You?"

"Will you be able to make it?" asked Natalea. Injuries like the ones Kirke had gotten, while they hurt now, were usually ten times worse the next morning.

"I'm gonna be hurting like heck, but I'm gonna be there," Kirke said, his smile never fading from his mouth. "In the 'game of life', sometimes you gotta play injured 'cause your buds need you."

"Well, then, I'll be there if you're going," Natalea said.

"See ya tomorrow, then," Kirke replied.

To this day, Natalea doesn't know what made her do it. It was something that had crossed her mind for a split-second and then faded just as quickly. Never, not in a million years would she plan on doing what she did. But it happened just like that, before she knew what she was doing. Before she could stop herself, she had embraced him and kissed him on the lips with no regard for the fact that Kirke may be disgusted...with no thought to the fact that they were neighbors. They were standing in front of Natalea's house, which meant that one or both sets of parents, worried about their children's whereabouts would look out their windows and spy this scene. Kirke didn't draw back, probably because he was too shocked to even react. Natalea felt as if she were a third party outside of either of them, watching this moment. How would everyone react...especially Lloyd, if Natalea were to tell him that she and Kirke had...

After all, she, Kirke, and Lloyd were the stereotypical mixed group of three. Natalea saw it all the time on television...it was either two guys and one girl, or vice versa. In any case, one guy and one girl would always fall in love or something similar, leaving the remaining friend in the dreaded third-wheel spot. Said 'third-wheel' would either try desperately to keep the relationship going, knowing that a breakup would seriously affect group dynamics...or he would try to break them up and return things to normal...or he would leave. Someone was going to lose.

Natalea broke away from Kirke immediately, ran through the front yard and up the stairs to her house, where she fumbled for her key, opened the door, then slammed it shut behind her as if Kirke were some terrifying monster from which she was trying to escape. After all this was said and done, it was a shocked, soaked, and slightly bruised Kirke that was left standing in front of Natalea's gate...


;251;

You've been different ever since then, Natalea thought. You don't smile anymore, and you're always trying to pick a fight with someone. But I guess I've changed, too... her brain added as she ran a hand through her beautiful, blonde hair. Yes...she had changed, too...

"Kirke's second Pokemon is Mudkip!" Natalea heard Bryce's voice, and looked up toward the battlefield, hoping that Kirke could somehow pull this off.

"I'll be making the first move this time, thanks," Kirke shouted. "Mudkip, Mud-Slap, now!"

<"No, you don't!"> Skye cawed, ascending into the air as a blob of mud missed him by a mile. Skye descended, at Percy's order, in an attempt to Peck the partly-Ground-based Mudkip into submission. Kirke chose that inopportune moment (had he taken a glance at Natalea in the stands?) to freeze up, but Mudkip had the sense to continue to jump backward, avoiding Skye's beak time and time and time again. Finally, after Mudkip had moved one split-second too late and received a flesh wound, Kirke woke up:

"WATER GUN!!"

A high-pressure blast of azure water issued forth from the sky blue creature's mouth, and made direct contact with Skye's white breast, shooting him straight back at Percy with the sound of a fired pistol. Skye bounced against the stadium floor once on his way back to the green side of the field, then hit it and skidded to a stop.

<"Skye!"> Reina cried.

"Skye!!" Percy echoed.

"Taillow is unable to battle!" McCarthy houted, raising the red flag. "Mudkip is the victor!" A white "KO" star appeared near Mudkip's picture as Skye's blackened. Groaning, Percy glanced at Reina, who nodded. Percy took Skye's ball and returned him in a scarlet streak of light. Percy looked up to witness Mudkip returning to Kirke to receive congratulations from his Trainer. Reina sidled up to the stadium floor, no order necessary. It was on her shoulders to win this, even though she was at a serious disadvantage...

<"Let's do this!"> she exclaimed.

"Percy's only other Pokemon is Vulpix, and with a powerful Water Gunner on the field, they have an uphill battle to fight!" Bryce announced.

"Watch it," Percy murmured worriedly. "I don't want to see you get hurt."

<"I just won't get shot, that's easy..."> Reina replied sarcastically, bounding to the middle of the arena. Mudkip took a step back upon Reina's arrival, the loss of two days ago probably still fresh in his mind. Kirke must have been thinking along similar lines, for he crouched down near Mudkip and muttered something. Percy could not hear him, but he had a hunch that Kirke was reminding Mudkip that he did not have Water Gun the last time that they had met in battle. Percy cursed Nicholai under his breath. If it were not for the latter's annoying tendency to blurt out battle advice at a whim, Percy and Reina probably would not even find themselves in this situation. For the first time in a while, Percy had defeat on the brain.

"Mudkip, soften her up with Mud-Slap!" Kirke shouted, and Mudkip proceeded to kick a big clod of dirt at Reina, who leapt into the air to avoid it. As soon as she landed, though, she felt the full weight of Mudkip's body bang into her, sending her skidding backward several feet. Mudkip continued his pursuit of the six-tailed fire-type, who fired a short spurt of flame in desperation. Mudkip, who was a water-type creature, was damaged minimally, if at all. However, Reina's last-second move did distract Mudkip long enough so that he failed to look as Reina zoomed toward him like an arrow shot by an expert archer. CRASH. Reina's Quick Attack sent Mudkip into a backflip. Landing on his feet, Mudkip skidded backward, nearly knocking Kirke over as he slammed into his young Trainer's left shin.

"Nice work!!" Percy exclaimed in jubilation. They were going to win...again.

"Don't take that, Mudkip!!" Kirke shouted to his cerulean-and-ginger Mud Fish Pokemon. "WATER GUN!!"

"Quick Attack! Don't let him shoot!" Percy shouted. Reina took off toward her opponent as an orange blur of fur. Mudkip inhaled and shot a jet of water at the Vulpix. Reina jumped to the left to avoid the strike, then to the right to avoid another shot, and then rammed into him. Mudkip skidded backward again, a motion accelerated by a last-second blast of Water Gun that engulfed Reina and knocked her in the opposite direction, halfway across the stadium. Reina skidded to a stop, but was barely standing. Mudkip, however, had blown himself into the SpectatorShield's North Wall. Hitting the force field, he fell from several feet to the ground, and landed with a thud, his mouth still spewing a bit of water like a fountain.

"Mudkip is unable to battle. Vulpix wins! The match goes to Percy Dartaryk!" McCarthy began waving the green flag around. Up on the North Scoreboard, all of the pictures on Kirke's side blackened, and the side with Percy's picture and those of his two Pokemon began flashing different shades of green as the word "WINNER!" appeared above his name in large, golden lettering. The screen blacked out for a bit, then Percy's pictures took up the entire scoreboard a moment later. He looked down, saw that Reina had begun taking a nap right on the spot, and picked her up, looking at the scoreboard again. He frowned and cursed Lloyd. If Lloyd hadn't put him in such a bad mood that day with their argument, he would be smiling in his Pokedex picture...

Kirke shook his head, returned Mudkip, then trudged over toward the Trainer's Dugout. Natalea jumped out early to meet him.

"Alex, I'm so..." Natalea started, but an obviously agitated Kirke cut her off, and his quiet, quivering whisper was more terrifying than any roar or shout.

"That's twice, Natalea. Twice...just leave me alone right now," he said, shaking with fury.

"But, Alex..."

"I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU!!" Kirke roared. "AND I BET YOU DON'T WANT TO TALK TO ME, EITHER!"

"No, I don't," Natalea said, her eyes filling with tears again. This time, they did not run at the brim, but flowed freely down her face. "I want to talk to the real Alex."

"I AM THE 'REAL ALEX!'" Kirke shouted. By this time, Percy had reached the Dugout and was taking his seat. With the crowd going absolutely nuts over his victory, he didn't need to hear any more noise...of course, he wasn't going to be the one to tell Kirke that. "I AM THE 'REAL ALEX'! OR IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME, TOO?!"

"Yes, something's wrong with you!" Natalea cried, wiping tears from her face. "You're not -"

"...strong enough? I know, and now, so do twenty five hundred other people," Kirke said, resuming his creepy whisper. "I'm sorry I'm not good enough for you, Miss 'Heartbreak Queen'..."

Natalea buried her face in her left hand and started toward the stadium.

"You idiot," Lloyd's voice came from the dugout. Percy raised an eyebrow. Was he trying to tell Kirke off for being so hurtful?

"Don't you have a battle to get to?" Kirke said these words, but the message was clearly 'mind your own business'.

"So you lost to the Jote....twice...that's not a problem. Well, yeah, it is sort of a problem..." added Lloyd shrugging. Percy, this time, was too busy listening to hear what Lloyd had to say to feel too insulted. "But we've got a bigger issue."

"Sure bigger than you, L.P." Kirke muttered savagely. "So if I were you, I'd just stay out of it."

"The ring just outside the bull's-eye can know the bull's-eye even better than the bull's-eye itself, because it's the closest thing you can get to the bull's-eye before you get inside the actual bull's-eye," Lloyd said cryptically. Even Nicholai seemed unseated by this statement, for he looked in Lloyd's direction with a raised eyebrow. Percy would have taken a moment to laugh at Nicholai's confusion, which looked quite funny seeing it for the first time, but Percy was baffled himself. Everyone was thinking it, but it was Kirke that finally said it.

"L.P., I have no idea what you just said."

"I'm basically the closest person to the situation without being a main party," Lloyd explained. "So I probably have a better handle on it than you do because I see the big picture."

"Really? You tell me, 'cause I'm lost," Kirke said, slumping down onto the bench.

"Sorry. This one you'll have to find out on your own," Lloyd, who was leaning backward on the rail facing the bench, pumped himself into a backflip over it, then turning around to face the stadium, walked out in that direction.

Meanwhile, Natalea's heart still stung from Kirke's sarcasm. He had been a real 'tough guy' over the past couple of years...ever since that day, in fact...but sometimes this was directed at Natalea, and she had no idea why. She was no longer crying, but looked quite downhearted as she trudged out to the center of the stadium. Bryce, who had put down his megaphone, saw her walk by, and leaned over the balcony on his platform.

"What's up?" Bryce asked. "You okay? You look like you've lost your best friend."

Natalea looked up out of her hands at Bryce and laughed bitterly to herself, a laugh completely devoid of any happiness or mirth, with a weak smile to hide her true misery...

"Ha ha...isn't that ironic..."

And she walked over to the red side of the arena floor.


;384; ;384; ;384;

Next on Pokemon: Hoenn Redefined...
Nothing's more thrilling than a battle between two Trainers with some hometown history. Lloyd wants a piece of Percy in the finals, but Natalea Royal came to Petalburg for hardware and isn't going to let anyone stop her, not even her own friend. The Heartbreak Queen's Pokemon are powerful, her attack combinations ruthless. But Littleroot's favorite son is no slouch, either. An adept study in the ways of Pokemon and a cerebral assassin whose most powerful strikes are against an opposing Trainer's psyche, Lloyd carries a secret more devastating than any Pokemon attack. But his plan backfires, and Natalea loses control. Can Lloyd weather the storm of Natalea's fury and carry himself to a destined battle with his rival?

And meanwhile, on the sideline, Kirke speaks out! You won't want to miss what he has to say in the next chapter of Pokemon: Hoenn Redefined:

Chapter 8: High Noon Showdown at Petalburg, Pt. 2
The Queen's Assault

Hoenn Warrior
16th August 2005, 7:40 PM
Just finished reading all of your chapters and I must say Im VERY IMPRESSED MAN. The decription here is wicked and I cant wait to see your next chapter of the tournament. Ill be posting my own story up soon so I hope you can check it out!

WaterTrainer243
16th August 2005, 9:09 PM
Another good chapter my friend and I must say that Kirke became an A-hole to poor Natalea! He should NOT have yelled at her like that! She's just showing her concern for him! Even Lloyd knows that! If it were me, I would've seriously knocked some sense into him!

EonMaster One
17th August 2005, 4:43 PM
HoennWarrior: Glad to see I've got a new reader. I'll try not to disappoint you.

WT243: Thanks as always. As for Kirke...I believe that displaced anger is the issue here...you'll find out next chapter.

It looks like Chapter 8's going to be a short one. That's good because Chapter 9 is going to be pretty damn long. Just think about this. If this tournament goes the way that your brain has already predicted it to go, then that will leave a certain two people battling out there on the floor...but it will also leave on the sidelines another certain pair of people who aren't exactly getting along right now. End of the week, possibly? That's what I'm shooting for. From here on in my time will be even more limited because of school...

URGH...damn summer reading. I'm a senior this year, and they've got us reading classics like the Odyssey and Oedipus Rex. I can handle all the work once I get to school, but it's hard for me to really attack summer reading because I'm STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF @%#&@#$ SUMMER VACATION!!

Whew...okay...freakout moment there...must...control...

Okay. I'm alright.

Anyway, I said it once and I'll say it again. If anybody catches the Nate reference in chapter 7, I'll give them a special honor because it's really hard to find.

Dubble Flux
18th August 2005, 7:08 PM
Just finished reading the story, and I must say this is excellent. I notice you're familiar with japanese martial art terminology. You take any? I do, but Tae Kwon Do (it's Korean so it has differences in terminology. Ergo, Gi=Dobok, Dojo=Dojon, Kata=Katan).

Anyways, very great fic, can't wait for the next chappie.

~One Bad N.W.A.

DragonSlayer
22nd August 2005, 7:17 PM
I'm back myself. I used to be ShadowStalker30 on here until they erased my name. What happed to Johto Generations?

Castform
22nd August 2005, 9:51 PM
He decided to discontinue it.

Great Chap. I couldn't find the reference to Nate, I will still keep looking! ^^

Cs32
23rd August 2005, 3:20 AM
I have no idea what the Nate referance is...sad cause I reread JG everytime I get the chance. Though Olalala lovie dovie going on lol. Oh and I forgot your a senior...damn TEENAGERS!!! Oh wait...yes I am a teenager to. ^^ *runs away from all the Redifined Readers*
Later,
~~CS~~

EonMaster One
26th August 2005, 7:13 PM
To Dubble Flux: I took Tae Kwon Do, too, for a short time. But I just study up on my japanese because I play a lot of RPG games or whatever. Plus, I watch martial arts movies ^_^

Cs32, Castform: If you can't get that one, maybe you can catch the Harry Potter reference in this chapter.

DragonSlayer: Yes, I discontinued PJG. It's dead...but perhaps the characters aren't. ;)

Whew, Chapter 8, just in time, too. I start school Monday (x.x), and between the football game tonight, all the crap I've gotta do tomorrow, and church on Sunday, this was my last chance to get it up. Enjoyee...


Chapter 8: High Noon Showdown at Petalburg, Pt.2

The Queen's Assault

The participants of the next battle had been introduced ("In the red corner....") The scoreboard had been set, and now, it was time to battle. In the red corner stood Natalea, wearing a look of focus that wasn't very convincing. Percy knew, as he observed from the Trainers' dugout, that it was because of the argument that she had had with Kirke minutes ago. He, however, was more interested in something - someone - else, and that someone was standing in the green corner.

"Lloyd..." Percy muttered. "Let's see what you've got..."

Meanwhile, in the green corner, a boy of fourteen minus a day fingered the two leftmost Pokeballs on his belt. This was Lloyd - known as L.P. to his friends, one of whom was standing directly across from him. He had met Natalea and Kirke some time ago. As peculiar as it may have sounded to someone else, he had to beat Natalea for the sake of everyone's friendship, and for his own career as a Trainer...

"Do you see what Alex is thinking?" he shouted across the field to Natalea.

"All I see is that I've got something that I want to accomplish, and there's someone in my way," Natalea said, obviously upset that Lloyd had even brought Kirke up. She was not here to discuss her complicated relationshipw ith Kirke - she was here to win a tournament and a badge, and she wasn't going to let anybody distract her, friend or otherwise.

"It's like that, huh?" Lloyd folded his arms and smirked. "Fine, I won't pull any punches, either!"

"Wouldn't have it any other way!" Natalea shouted, tossing the ball for what must have been her first choice of Pokemon up into the air. From it burst a white Pokemon with extremely long wings, but a small body.

"Ah, that a Wingull, right? I've seen a couple here and there," Percy asked. Then, hearing no answer, he questioned, "Nicholai? Nicholai? Hey, where'd you go?"

"To take a leak, probably," Kirke said, sighing as he stared out at the field.

"Hey," Percy muttered, figuring that Kirke's pride must have been hurt. "That was sure one heck of a fight you put up...I hope you're not too mad..."

"No, I'm not mad at you for winning," Kirke explained. "You did what you came to do. You're a lucky person to have started your journey with no ties to anyone."

"It gets a bit lonely, even with Nicholai around..." Percy admitted, stroking the fur of Reina, who was on his lap taking a rest between battles. "Nicholai's not great company, if you haven't figured out already. Too uptight, that guy..."

Reina opened her gem-like eyes lazily. <"You'd think someone with hair that crazy would be a little less rigid...">

Percy would have told her off for such a comment, but the fact was that she had a point. Nicholai, with his brown locks bleached white-blonde in most conspicuous locations, had the hair of a skate punk, but the demeanor of an overworked businessman. It just didn't add up at all. He wondered if Nicholai's workaholism was brought on by his desire to be like his father. That was all well and good, but would the late Alexei Wardring want his son to sacrifice what could be the best years of his life...?

"But you hadn't met him until a few days ago, right?" Kirke asked.

"Shadow, use Tackle Attack!" Percy heard Lloyd shout and gave a start. He hadn't been paying attention to the battle. He watched in wonder as a Poochyena much like the one he had seen on the first day of his journey jumped what had to be ten feet - an incredible feat of strength for a Pokemon that couldn't be more than a foot and a half in height - and rammed into the body of the Wingull. The Wingull cawed loudly, then fell to the ground in defeat.

"Get your head in the game, Natalea!" Lloyd shouted over McCarthy's announcement of the knockout. Natalea returned Alba, her Wingull, and looked to be on the verge of tears.

"Lloyd won that first round," Percy muttered. "But how'd he get his Poochyena to jump like that?"

"Damn it," Kirke swore in a whisper. Percy turned around, and Kirke had his face buried in his hands. He looked up at Percy and said, "Natalea's always been strong...she could pick a fight with the biggest guy in our school and could get away with it. She used to be a real tomboy. Liked sports, always wore her hair short, that type of thing. But a couple of years ago, she started to...well, I guess 'blossom' would be the word, and now..."

"She's a knockout," Percy finished casually.

"Well - yeah," Kirke responded. "She's so beautiful. I mean, I always kind of liked her even when she was her old self, but now that she's...You know, in school, society has a certain order. The cheerleaders always go out with the jocks, that sort of thing. You never see a cheerleader with an 'average Joe...'"

"So she's the cheerleader and you're the 'average Joe', then?" Percy asked, immediately understanding the analogy.

"Worse," Kirke said heavily. "I don't think she even sees me as a friend now, let alone...anything more..."

"Why not?" Percy said, shrugging. "You talk about society having an 'order'...you want to talk about stereotypes, how about this one? A guy and a girl that grow up as best friends almost always fall in love with each other, unless one or both of them are...y'know, messed up..."

"That's the thing," Kirke interrupted. "The old Natalea might have ended up my girlfriend, but she's become a totally different person. I'm not good enough for her, I know that. That's why I've been trying to prove my strength by beating you. But I messed it up and lost...again..."

"Why don't you just ask her?" Percy asked Kirke, then realized how dumb the question was after receiving an 'are-you-nuts?' look from the latter.

"That's a big enough risk to take with a stranger, let alone your best friend," Kirke replied hopelessly. "Besides, it's a waste of breath to ask a question to which you already know the answer..."

"Kim, pound him!!" Natalea shouted. Percy looked up to see a green (and somewhat ugly-looking) gecko-like creature with a large, broad tail charging at Lloyd's Poochyena, who seemed to be temporarily stunned. Percy watched as Kim the Treecko swung her huge tail around and caught Shadow sharply on his right jaw, sending him into a barrel roll. He landed flank-down and bounced, coming to a complete stop at Lloyd's feet. Lloyd winced and returned the defeated canine to his ball.

"OH!!" Bryce exclaimed into the megaphone. "OHH!!! That must have hurt! I think Poochyena's done after taking that shot. And - yes, the umpire's saying that he's out! That leaves Lloyd with just one Pokemon - this is it!"

"Solar, last chance!" Lloyd shouted as he tossed another ball. Out of it came a small, orange Pokemon that looked like a chick without wings. This must have been Torchic.

"Uh-oh for Natalea!!" Bryce announced. "Torchic - a fire-type! She and Treecko will have their work cut out for them."

"It really amuses me how you still think I don't know what happened!" Lloyd laughed. "You think Alex didn't tell me?"

"Tell you what?" retorted Natalea stubbornly - but she knew exactly what 'what' was...

"I know all about your little lip-lock..."

Natalea looked like a bull ready to charge. "You were never able to mind your own business, were you?!"

"If my two best friends start going out, that's important information! But you know what I asked him next..." Lloyd said, folding his arms and wearing a triumphant smirk on his face. "If he enjoyed it, of course."

"Ah..." Natalea's face changed very quickly to the color of a stop sign. "What did he say?"

"I'll tell you that if you can beat me," Lloyd said with a very smug expression.

"You...jerk!" groaned Natalea. "We're supposed to be friends!"

"You look like you need some motivation," said Lloyd with a smirk.

Natalea now resembled a Tauros without the horns. Her face went from stop sign to plum-colored with rage. She clenched her fist and snarled, "I'll show you motivation! Kim, Pound!" The Treecko charged her opponent, pivoting to bring her huge, forest-green tail into the body of the Chick Pokemon. Kim, however, failed, as Solar the Torchic did a sideflip to the right, out of the way of the Treecko's colossal tail. Kim whirled around again, but Torchic avoided that one as well, flipping high into the air. Then Natalea figured out a way to stop Torchic moving, but just then, Lloyd launched his counterattack.

"Solar, use Ember!" Lloyd commanded. The Torchic dove down at Kim, spewing bullets of flame at the Wood Gecko Pokemon. Some of them made contact, and the small, green creature shielded herself, groaning in pain as the small sparks singed some sports on her body. The attack had ceased, however, after a few seconds, and Solar, who was in midair, was in no position to dodge anything now.

"Quick Attack, then Pound!" Natalea shouted. Kim became a green-and-white blur, jumped, and slammed into Solar in midair. She then put a hand on Solar's tangerine-like head, planted off of it, then pivoted, slamming her tail into the back of Solar's skull. The tiny, chick-like creature went flying back in Lloyd's direction.

"Solar, NO!" Lloyd shouted, horrified. Solar hit the ground face-first and a purplish bruise was visible on the back on his head. He cried weakly as he attempted to get to his feet. Lloyd knelt down to get a better look. Just then, Solar rose to his feet, and staggered. "C'mon, you can't let me down. We promised that we'd be the greatest team in all of Hoenn!!"

It occurred to Percy then - just how shameful it was that he and Lloyd (at least, on Lloyd's part) were enemies. Lloyd was, except for his inexplicable dislike of people from other nations, a lot like Percy himself. Lloyd cared for his Pokemon very much. He had a goal of one day becoming champion...

"No running away!" Natalea shouted. "Kim, use Pound! Finish him off!"

"Natalea orders one final attack!" Bryce yelled. "It might be the end of the road for Lloyd and his Torchic! Here it comes...!"

"End ofthe road?" repeated Lloyd, a fire in his emerald eyes like Percy had never seen before. "I think not...Solar, use -"

But in that instant, a white flash came from Lloyd's side of the field. It was like trying to look straight at the Sun. Percy shielded his eyes and turned away. He heard screams of wonder from the capacity crowd.

"OH!" a shout from Bryce came next, followed by some feedback from that infernal megaphone that he was using. Oh, perfect, Percy thought, Now I can be both blind and deaf. "If that's what I think it is...but I can't see a thing! I have no idea what's happening!!"

"Real informative, Bryce!!" Percy roared so loudly that he was surprised when Bryce did not shout a snappy repartee through his megaphone. The bright light did not fade for several moments, and when it did, it was met with even louder screams. Percy turned around a second time and directed his eyes to the battlefield, where he saw a creature much different than the Torchic that he had seen before, but at the same time, a creature very similar. This monster was taller and mostly yellow and orange. its legs were thick, long, and mighty-looking, and its new arms were of similar proportion.

"Torchic...evolved! Right here in front of us!" Bryce shouted with astonishment in his voice. "You don't see that everyday!"

"Grr...why not tomorrow?" Percy muttered, cursing his luck. Torchic's evolution, he knew, would make things that much more difficult in his match with Lloyd. "Why today?? Why did it have to happen today?"

"You battled well, Natalea, but it's over!" Lloyd called. "Solar, use Ember, NOW!!"

"Quick Attack!" Natalea shouted. Solar the Combusken reared his head back and spewed small (but larger than the ones that Torchic always spit) flame pellets that moved at the speed of bullets. Kim dodged one stream, then another, and jumped, slamming into Solar's face and causing him to lose equilibrium and tilt backward. Solar, in reaction, shot another stream of Embers that missed Kim by a mile and a half, bouncing off of the top of the invisible force field several stories above the stadium.

"A quick strike by Treecko! Lloyd's newly-evolved Combusken hasn't gotten used to its new body size and it's losing its balance!" Bryce announced.

"Jump and Ember!" Lloyd exclaimed. Solar leapt high, high, high into the air and rained down a straight stream of Embers which Kim cartwheeled away from.

"He's vulnerable! Quick Attack!" Natalea cried. Kim, a green-and-white blur once again, leapt up toward the descending Combusken and attempted to ram him. Percy looked over in Lloyd's direction. He had that fire in his eyes again...

"Double Kick!!" Lloyd roared. Natalea, along with several spectators in the crowd, let out a loud cry. Percy stood up very quickly, ddropping his hands down to catch Reina as she started to slip off of his knees. Up against the sun, two silhouetted told the story well enough for Percy to understand. Solar's strong foot had made contact - hard contact - with the side of Kim's head. The bruised Treecko was plummeting facefirst toward the ground. Kim approached the stadium floor, and with a sickening SMACK, faceplanted so hard that she bounced right-side-up, limp as a fish and falling backward slowly - but not slowly enough. Solar, already descending from his attack, landed. His feet tapped the ground for a brief second. Then, faster than Percy's naked eye could follow, Solar's leg was extended again - right between the already-battered Wood Gecko Pokemon's prominent eyes. Kim went flying across the field, doing a flip in the process. She landed supine on the sandy arena floor, sliding to a a stop in that position, right against a horrified Natalea's feet, and did not move again.

"Treecko is unable to battle!" McCarthy announced the obvious, raising the green flag. "Torchi-er...that is, Combusken is the winner! Match to green Trainer, Lloyd Birch!" There were quite less cheers for Lloyd than there had been for Percy at this same announcement. Perhaps they were not impressed by Lloyd's performance. Looking back on things, Percy realized that Lloyd had to have been a bit sloppy to get his Torchic beaten around like that by Natalea's Grass-type Treecko. Besides, it was truly by a stroke of luck - good for Lloyd, bad for Natalea and Percy himself - that Solar evolved. No, Lloyd in fact, had not been battling well at all. Or had he been pulling his punches because he was friends with Natalea - or Kirke, for that matter? Percy, conceding the battle to that invincible opponent called Confusion, thought it best to simply put it from his mind for now. After all, it was he that would be battling Lloyd next, and Lloyd certainly wouldn't hold back on him...

"It's over, huh?" Kirke asked rather harshly.

"Yeah, Natalea lost..." Percy said, not knowing how Kirke would react to this.

"About time," Kirke said savagely. "Percy slumped down in his seat and looked at him. "A few bumps in her golden-paved road ought to do her well."

"WHAT?!" Percy looked up. Lloyd had vaulted himself over the railing and was now standing in the dugout somewhat between Percy and Kirke, looking positively livid. Percy couldn't begin to understand why Lloyd was so angry - he'd just won a match, hadn't he? "Sometimes you're impossible to please, Alex - impossible! You're angry if I lose, angry if I win, and I'm damned either way I go! I'm in one hell of a bind right now, and it's all your fault!"

"My fault?" Percy repeated, for Lloyd had turned toward him with this last statement. "How is it my -"

"I really wouldn't care much about the results of this tournament if you weren't here," said Lloyd, shaking with surpressed rage. "It's not exactly the Rusaem Championship - just a throw-together to determine battle order...or rather, a chance for that Jote to get an unfair advantage...we're battling each other, but he's taking mental note of our battling skillls..."

"Or lack thereof," Percy sasid aloud, Lloyd's comments having proven too much for the usually-level-headed Trainer's patience.

"What was that?" Lloyd had heard him, and leaned close to Percy's face, giving the latter an up-close and personal look at Lloyd's piercing, green eyes. Percy stared back with his cool, blue ones, not the least bit afraid.

"Are you deaf, Lloyd?" Percy asked coldly. Then, tightening his grip on his rod, he added, "Or do you need your ears cleaned out?" A satisfied smile crossed Percy's lips as he watched Lloyd take a sideways glance at Percy's rod and back away.

"We'll settle this later," he finally muttered. He then turned to Kirke and said apologetically, "I can only do so much." Kirke's lip twitched in an attempt to smile that almost immediately failed. By that time, Natalea had made her way over to the Dugout, wearing a rather smug expression, despite having lost the match.

"You realize," Natalea said, addressing Lloyd, "That if your Torchic hadn't evolved, I would have won the match."

"Just goes to show you," Lloyd responded with an expression that was, if at all possible, even more smug than Natalea's. "Things fall into place when destiny is on your side..."

"HA HA HA!" Percy burst out laughing. Lloyd had said something that was doubly amusing - not only was it ridiculous, but it brought back a memory...a rather recent one of no more than ten days ago. Ten days ago...he was a different Percy. Ten days ago, he was not a trainer, ten days ago, he was still only the heir to a fighting legacy, back home in Johto...


;251;

"Destiny? It is neither your 'destiny' to be sensei here," Ephraim Dartaryk had said to his grandson over their last dinner before Percival was to depart for Hoenn. "Nor is it your 'destiny' to be champion in Hoenn."

"What is it, then?" Percy had asked, utterly bewildered at his grandfather's statement.

"If you will allow me to be a bit coarse," Ephraim had answered, his full mustache quivering. "Destiny is no *******. It is born of Fate, but Choice is its father."


;251;

"Something funny?" Lloyd muttered, throwing Percy a look of pure venom.

"Choice is the father of Destiny," Percy said, half to himself. Then he steeled himself, stood up, and said to Lloyd's face, "That's right, choice! I chose to come to Hoenn, and you chose to make an enemy of me." He drew himself closer to Lloyd's face, so that each was almost nose-to-nose with his rival.

"And now you have to face the consequences of your choice. That is your 'destiny'...and mine!"


;384; ;384; ;384;

Next on Pokemon: Hoenn Redefined

It's a battle you won't want to miss - a battle that will begin the greatest war of wills, the greatest rivalry that Hoenn has seen to date. The eliminated competitors (who have some problems of their own to work through) look on as Percy, momentum on his side after winning his third consecutive match, takes on Lloyd and his new, powerful Combusken. This is Percy's first battle against his rival, and it will prove to be his first great test as a trainer as he deals with this determined son of Hoenn. Next, on Pokemon: Hoenn Redefined...


Chapter 9: High Noon Showdown at Petalburg, Pt. 3

Enter Emerald Dragon

WaterTrainer243
26th August 2005, 7:45 PM
Sheesh, Lloyd needs to take a chill pill. I mean seriously, something must've happened in his life that made him hate people from Johto. Well good luck your senior year man and as they say for all of us guys, "Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!?"

DragonSlayer
29th August 2005, 9:43 PM
Good chapter. Now, let's get another one.

Hoenn Warrior
30th August 2005, 10:38 PM
Cant believe a Poochyena can jump that high but yet again another excellent chapter.
Percy better beat the snot out of Lloyd, and I hope to see Kirke and Natalea work out there problem and start to be Girl/Boy friend. It would be COOL to see Percy have his own girlfriend too, an idea you might want to use.

EonMaster One
1st September 2005, 1:20 AM
Ach - I started school this past Monday, and things have gotten a bit out of hand already. My teachers are piling on the homework, and September is barely here. As a matter of fact, it isn't here until tomorrow ^_^

I got a massive headstart on Chapter 9 - I'm on the fifth page. I'll definitely have the thing finished by perhaps the end of this week, and if I'm very lucky, I can have the business up on Labor Day. If I'm not lucky - and, just to tell you, I'm usually not - We're looking at the weekend after next. I have a trip on Sept. 7-9, so I'll be gone.
Plus, I'm planning a couple of surprises for Chapter 10 that I think you'll like.

And HoennWarrior, hold your Rapidash - don't get ahead of me. I already have Percy's potential love interest planned out and ready to appear, but not for a while. As for Kirke and Natalea...I haven't decided whether to resolve this now or drag it out a bit. You'll find out when I post chapter 9. But making character romances is one thing that I love to do in fics, if you'll excuse the horrible wordplay.

If you notice, I haven't introduced the villains yet - that'll be Chapter 11 or so. As a matter of fact, it will be Chapter 11. I'm also introducing a new location that wasn't there in the Ru/Sa/Em games. Well, it was kind of, but it wasn't really developed. My first villain? You'll love to hate him almost as much as Lloyd.



P.S. No, I'm nowhere near New Orleans, Biloxi, or any of the other places that got f@$#ed up by the hurricane. I'm alive and well here in Maryland, and it's gonna stay that way - at least until next week when I go to Penn. for a couple of days.

WaterTrainer243
1st September 2005, 3:37 AM
I hope you do well my friend and I know that you're not going anywhere near the flooded areas. I'll just be patient for everyone else.

DragonSlayer
6th September 2005, 5:33 PM
My luck, the flooded areas will come to him.

Castform
6th September 2005, 10:51 PM
<_< Gee Dragon Slayer, I admire your optimistic attitude so much.

Sorry I haven't been here to read, WAY TOO MUCH Homework. I'd like to see the teachers do the homework they give us.

Anyway, I kinda thought llyod's torchic evolved a little early, but I ended up liking this chapter a lot. Ooh, someone I can hate more than Lloyd. Are you sure that's possible??? Hate doesn't describe how much Lloyd makes me angry...Llyod reminds me of homework <_< Too much of it anyway... I am very anxious to hear more about Nicholai, for some reason Nicholai seems to intrest me the most, don't know why, but he seems to intrest me the most. I hope Kirke and Natalea do resolve their problems. I can't wait for the next chapter!!! *I can't wait til school is over!!!... And I'm only 2 weeks into it...*

;351;

DragonSlayer
8th September 2005, 3:39 PM
Castform, It was a joke. Seriously, you really need fire and grass type pokes.

EonMaster One
24th September 2005, 11:23 PM
I agree with you Castform. School has been absolute hell. HELL, I tell you!

Alright. Whew. GOt that out.

I've gotten Chapter 9 written, but seeing as I'm having trouble getting access to a damn computer, it'll be a bit before it's up. I'm borrowing my dad's comp at the moment, but I have a book report due on Monday, so no chapters this weekend, most likely. But I've started on 10 and if it takes me a really damn long time before I can get back online, I might just put up two chapters. Next week is probably going to be a light work week due to certain activities at my school, though, so cross your fingers, toes, arms and legs (and your eyes, if possible!) and we'll see what happens. But I refuse to let this fic go down. I've been working too hard.

WaterTrainer243
27th September 2005, 3:50 AM
Just take your time bud. I just hope your s/n doesn't get deleted like last time.

Cs32
30th September 2005, 11:47 PM
Ya man, take your time and make sure you don't get deleted. Coming on at least once every two weeks keeps your name up. Just a little tip for you if it gets wose for ya in the future.
Later,
~~CS~~

EonMaster One
31st October 2005, 2:03 AM
Joy, my SN didn't get deleted...

Guys, I've got some good news.

I think my computer might be getting fixed sometime soon. Moreover, I've almost finished the manuscript to Chapter 10 and as soon as I get some free time (which, won't be til at least the 15th because I gotta get these applications in >_<) I'll type all of it up for you guys. And if I get my comp anytime soon, it'll be even sooner.

Cs32
1st November 2005, 3:40 AM
Awesome man, good to hear. You have two chapters then? Well I know how hard it is to write (kindaish since I tried to write but wasn't for me). Heh, that reminds me I think I have it on my computer next to Johto Generations :P. So it would be kind of hard to retype those chapters, no pressure at all, at least not from me. ^_^
Later,
~~CS~~

EonMaster One
12th November 2005, 3:38 PM
My comp situation is almost resolved (either by fixing my comp or finding out that I need a new one). But for now, I'm still on my dad's laptop (since he broke his real PC...and mine, for that matter). No matter, though. I got the chapter out, and I'll be done writing - but not typing - 10 real soon. So enjoy this for now:


Chapter 9: High Noon Showdown at Petalburg, Pt. 3

Enter Emerald Dragon

The two boys, the same age down to the day, stared each other down in the Trainers' Dugout. There was no noticeable difference in their heights. Each boy wore a slight smirk displaying the confidence that each could defeat the other in battle. Percy had made his decision. Lloyd had singled him out as an enemy - just because he did not have Hoennite blood in his veins, Lloyd singled him out as an enemy. But Percy was going to play that part - play it so well, in fact, that by the end of their journeys, Lloyd would regret his choice.

"Good luck, L.P. Don't get knocked around. There's no excuse for losing if your Pokemon's evolved," Natalea said. "In any case, you'd better hope your lucky streak continues. Percy looks like he's pretty good."

"In Johto, maybe," said Lloyd with a sickening smirkr. "But then again, ten-year-olds can be champions in Johto..."

"You mean DePaul?" answered Percy, for the champion (referred to as the Grand Master) in his homeland was a youth named Travis DePaul. He had been the champion for four years and was just now approaching the age of twenty. Truth be told, he had an opportunity at the championship nine years ago, when he was only ten - a fact that Lloyd was doubtlessly referencing here. He was disqualified due to a certain incident involving himself and a terrorist organization. From what Percy's grandfather had told him, Travis, knowing full well that he would likely miss his chance at the Championship, fought the organization to save a girl - a childhoold friend who became his girlfriend, then, recently, became his wife. Then, five years later, he returned to claim what should have been his in the first place, beating the former champion (he had a really funny name like Ketchup or something, it was before Percy's time and he really couldn't remember) so handily that there were rumors that the former Grand Master had thrown the match. "He could have mopped the floor with you when he was ten..."

"And you're going to 'mop the floor' with me?" asked Lloyd, appearing to be on the verge of amused laughter.

"Can a Taillow fly?" Percy shot back quickly.

"Not if you break its wings," Lloyd growled with a dangerous glint in his eye. Percy realized what Lloyd was trying to say and felt a hot surge of rage.

"Is that a threat??" he growled, clenching his hand around his rod, ready to strike.

"Will the two finalists please take the field?!" McCarthy's voice wafted in from the battlefield, which was good, because Percy and Lloyd were one snide comment away from coming to blows. Lloyd strode out to the green side of the field, followed by Percy, who struck off toward the red side, a confident smile on his face. He reached the red-tinted rectangle of ground, heaved a sigh, then turned around to face Lloyd. Even at this distance, he could still see Lloyd's glittering, green eyes. It was as if a dragon was veiled behind them, ready to be unleashed. "This is the final match in this Number One Contender's Tournament! The winner will become the Contender, giving him the first right to challenge Petalburg's Gym Leader, Bryce!"

"You heard the man!" Bryce shouted. "Whoever wins this final match faces yours truly tomorrow at noon! Both of these guys show a natural talent for training Pokemon, but they appear to have some bad blood between each other. Rivalries like these are a double-edged sword. This battle could turn out to be very entertaining..." he paused for a bit. "Or very ugly."

"LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!" McCarthy shouted, and Percy and Lloyd went for their Pokeballs like two gunslingers in an old Western, like whoever "drew" first would have some sort of upper hand. Percy allowed Lloyd to throw his first. Lloyd already knew who Percy had chosen simply by elimination.

"Shadow, GO!" Lloyd shouted, throwing his ball. It smacked the ground and bounced back toward him, releasing the dark-gray Bite Pokemon. Shadow growled loudly, managing to appear quite ferocious despite being so small.

"Skye, let's do this!" Percy yelled, throwing a Pokeball of his own into the air. Skye emerged seconds later, cawing and fully spreading his wings. "Skye, watch it. Don't fly too low, 'cause Shadow can jump."

"Lloyd sends out Poochyena. Percy responds with a Flying-type, Taillow," Bryce shouted. "That's good, because this Poochyena has a ridiculous vertical and can reach anything that's not ten feet in the air..."

<"Stay high except when I attack,"> Skye commented. <"I'm gonna enjoy this...">

"We're just gonna have to get up there, then," Lloyd muttered. "Shadow! You know what tot do!!"

<"Bring him back down to earth,"> Shadow growled, watching Skye attentively, studying his every move.

"Wing Attack!!" cried Percy, determined not to give Shadow that chance. Skye spread his glowing wings and accelerated toward the small, gray Poochyena. The canine beast rolled out of the way, unfortunately. Skye, who was careening headlong at the stands (or rather, at the force field), was forced to do an awkward turn in midair. At that moment he saw a gray blue zooming toward him. Shadow slammed into Skye's underside, sending him into a flip.

"Oh, man!!" Percy cried as Skye slammed into the force barrier, causing the entire thing to flash as white as the bottom of a snow globe. "Skye! Skye, you okay?!"

<"Been worse,"> Skye grunted. <"But been a lot better.">

"Shadow, Howl!" Lloyd ordered, and his Poochyena did just that. It was a hair-raising sort of cry. Shadow's slate-colored body began to glow bronze. No noticeable difference was visible in Skye, however, as he looked down at his opponent with a bemused expression.

"That didn't do any damage, you know," Percy yelled across the field, by way of a taunt.

"Not yet!!" Lloyd cried. "Shadow, use Bite!" Shadow leapt at Skye again, his fangs bared. Skye tried to ascent but was caught by his ankle (if you can call it that) and slammed to the ground. Skye bounced up and began to fly again. Without warning and without order, he spread his wings and sped toward Shadow, who was in midair and not in a position to block. Skye bowled the Poochyena over with the strike, forcing one, two, three backflips out of the small, bronze-glowing beast.

<"Whoo! Direct hit!!"> whooped Skye in jubilation as he banked around to face his opponent again. Shadow, who had somehow landed on his feet, was looking up at him with anger and contempt in his devilishely crimson eyes.

<"Come down here and fight like a man!"> Shadow barked.

<"I thought you enjoyed coming up here to visit!"> Skye cawed jauntily. <"Sorry 'bout the weather, though. There's a one hundred percent chance of pain up here this afternoon!">

"Cracking jokes in the thick of battle..." Percy muttered, laughing nervously with his hand behind his head. "That's sure to annoy somebody..."

<"That wasn't a joke,"> Skye said, feigning seriousness. <"If he comes up here, I'm gonna kick his...">

"Shadow, use Bite!" Lloyd called. Shadow, glowing bronze and barking madly, advanced toward Skye, baring his fangs again. Skye took off into the air more quickly this time, not wanting a repeat of the previous round where he had suffered a wound to his talon.

"Grr...Quick Attack!!" Percy countered. The result was that this well-timed attack not only made Shadow miss, but Skye caught him right across the muzzle, sending him back-first toward the ground. "Peck!!" Skye followed Shadow, stabbing Shadow in the underbelly with his beak the entire way down. Shadow crashed into the arena floor, but Skye continued Pecking away, as the glow around the Poochyena faded, and puncture wounds and cuts blossomed all over the Bite Pokemon's body.

"Shoot! Shadow, try to use Bite!" Lloyd ordered pleadingly. Shadow reached up with his jaws and clamped Skye with them. With that, he threw Skye off of himself and rolled to his feet in one motion. Sky stood, wincing a bit as he put some weight on that injured leg. Shadow, who was in a crouched position, growled loudly, then sank to the floor. "Shadow, NOOOO!"

"A little too much damage, Lloyd?" Percy taunted Lloyd from the other side of the field. Lloyd, to Percy's surprise, had a devilish grin on his face.

"Shadow did well," he answered, sneering. "Anyway, he's the least of your problems!!"

"Here we go..." Percy muttered, bracing himself for what was to come. Lloyd reached for the ball containing his last and most powerful Pokemon and gazed up at Percy with an intense look on his face. He took his free hand and fingered his earring.

"You don't know who this is," Lloyd said in that imperious tone. "An outsider like you wouldn't understand. This is Rayquaza, the Emerald Dragon. He protects Hoenn from outsiders who want to disrespect his homeland - my homeland! But he was sealed...five years ago when that boy came here..."

"Brendan..." Percy muttered.

"One day, though, he'll return," said Lloyd, eyes as bright as if he were talking of a great hero. He clenched his fist, a crazed look in his eyes. "Until then, I'm going to carry out his will...I swear on the power of Rayquaza...I swear on my sister's grave..."

"Sister?" Percy ejaculated, but he had no time to ponder on this, for at that moment a ball had been thrown in the air. He watched the sphere sail through the air as if in slow motion. It hit the ground...


Kirke couldn't take his eyes off of her. Her blonde hair swayed in the wind as her hazel eyes gazed out blankly and plaintively toward the battlefield. What was she thinking about? A few years ago, they would have been talking about...something...maybe the battle, maybe the latest happenings of school. Where did everything go wrong? he thought. Then, a look of realization crossed her face, and Kirke felt his breath catch in his chest. He stood up mechanically.

"I meant what I said, you know," Kirke sasid. Seeing Natalea look up made him a bit nervous, truth be told. "I mean, I lost because I wasn't strong enough..."

"You lost because that guy Percy has something you don't. You can see it in his eyes," Natalea said cryptically, still staring out at the field. "He's out there to win, and you weren't."

"Yeah, I -" Kirke started to speak, but stopped. Natalea had hit the nail right on the head. He had been out there trying to impress her, but Percy had nothing to prove. He was there to win, and win he did. Kirke had lost all focus on the battle, and that was why he'd lost. "You're right. I thought that if I won that battle, you'd..."

"So you...did all that to impress...me?" Natalea said, the pink on her cheeks very visible.

Not one to lie if someone asked him a question directly, Kirke nodded and then avoided Natalea's eye as quickly as possible. Then, for good measure, he added, "Yeah..."

"You look really foolish wasting your energy like that..." Kirke heard what was happening, but didn't recognize it at first. Natalea's voice was breaking. He finally mustered the courage to look right at her. She wasn't just crying - her hazel eyes appeared to be nearly drowned in tears. "Foolish? Things aren't the same as they were two years ago. You've changed, too, so I've gotta keep up -"

"YOU ARE SUCH AN IDIOT!!" Kirke went reeling as Natalea, screwing up all her strength, tagged him on the right jaw with a well-placed left hook. Kirke looked up, his eyes flashing, as Natalea approached him again...


"Skye, climb NOW!" Percy ordered. Skye flapped his wings with uncharacteristic difficulty. Just then, Percy watched the golden blur of Solar's right claw sweep through where Skye had just been. Solar skidded to a stop, stared down Percy for a moment, then bounded into the air to follow his flying opponent.

"Scratch attack!" Lloyd called into the air. Solar raised his claw and began to bring it down. Percy knew that he had to react quickly...

"Skye, Quick Attack!" he called with conviction. Skye seemingly vanished, leaving Solar empty-clawed. A blur of undistinguishable color and shape slammed into Solar, making the latter fall backward. A second blur caught Solar on the ankles, sending him head over heels toward the ground. Furtunately for himself and Lloyd, Solar managed to regain control in midair, and landed on his feet. Skye reappeared inches above Percy and returned to near ground-level, kicking up a bit of dust.

"Wing Attack!" Percy shouted. Skye took off toward Solar (although a little more slowly than usual), with his glowing wings outstretched.

"No chance! Solar, use Scratch! Clip those wings!" Lloyd shouted. Solar struck out towards Skye, who was flying low to the ground. The two collided, attacking at the same time. A sudden drop in the pit of his stomach - Percy had a gut feeling that Skye had somehow come off worse in that encounted, a gut feeling confirmed when the gutsy Taillow cawed morosely and belly-planted into the stadium floor, the last of his strength finally gone.

"Taillow is unable to battle!" Daniel McCarthy announced as Percy grimaced and returned Skye to his ball. "Combusken is the winner!"

"Ach..." Percy groaned in frustration.

<"Knew it would come to this,"> Percy looked at Reina, and she explained. <"Skye's wing was hurt the whole time, but he wasn't gonna tell you that. Shadow bit him, remember?"> An image of a pinned Shadow throwing Skye off with his fangs flashed through Percy's head for a moment, and the young Trainer whispered an oath under his breath.

"I should have pulled him back!" he shouted at himself, slapping his head in amazement at his own stupidity. "What was I thinking?!"

<"It's not your fault,"> Reina said reassuringly. <"Skye hides a real tough guy under all that silliness. He's just fine.">

"JOTE!" Lloyd's voice rang. Boy, what I wouldn't give to chuck a Pokeball at Lloyd's melon, Percy thought as he looked at Lloyd standing on the opposite side with his arms folded impatiently, as if he owned the whole match with Combusken on his side. The indignity, the insult - was maddening. It was time for Lloyd to be shown a few things...

"Why in such a hurry?" Percy shouted hotly. "Oh, you want to make your loss quick and painless? I promise not to hurt you too much, Lloyd..."

"Solar will shut you up for good," Lloyd shouted. "Bring it on!"

"We will!" Percy replied. "Reina, let's go!!"

"Percy sends out Vulpix!" Bryce announced. "With the score tied at one, this could go either way! Both trainers have Fire-types, so no one has any type advantages, but Combusken has fighting-type moves (and he's bigger) so one might say that Combusken has the upper hand."

I thought he was on my side, went through Percy's head for a split-second, but he ignored it. "Reina, use Tackle!"

Reina launched herself at Solar but the crafty Combusken, on his Trainer's orders, jumped out of harm's way. Reina fired a ball of flame at the Young Fowl Pokemon in frustration, but Solar reared his head back and Pecked away, breaking it up. The small embers fell to the ground and dissipated into smoke, and Lloyd then made an attempt to retaliate.

"Scratch, Solar!!" Lloyd ordered. Solar raised his claw to strike. Reina growled loudly, her gem-like eyes flashing. Everything began to slow down for Percy. A mental clock began to count down in his head...four seconds...three seconds...two...

"Dodge and use Quick Attack!" Percy ordered, as if he had meant to do it all along. Reina disappeared for a moment, leaving Solar swiping at air for not the first time in that match, and slammed into him almost immediately afterward, knocking him backward a bit. He raised his other claw, and Percy's heart sank like a stone. A flash of white talons, and Reina was sent flying - no, hurtling - back in Percy's direction.

"Eat that!" Lloyd snarled, pumping his fist in a celebratory gesture. Reina flipped around in midair twice, three times. As his Vulpix fell into a fourth and then a fifth flip, Percy cringed, fearing that this simply could not end well. With a sharp SMACK, Reina landed on the arena floor and began to roll, leaving behind a small, narrow trail of red that indicated that Solar's Scratch attack must have felt even worse than it looked.

"REINA!!" Percy cried worriedly. He thought for a second about rushing into the arena to aid his friend, but realized that he would likely be disqualified if he did so. On top of that, Reina was beginning to stir. The orange, fox-like creature turned over and finally stood with some difficulty.

"Finish it, Solar! Use Flame Sphere!" Lloyd called.

"Flame Sphere?" repeated Percy. He'd never heard the name of that attack before. He soon got an answer as Solar made a circular motion with his arms. He cupped his hands in a circle as well, and sure enough, a red ball of flames erupted into life.

"Combusken don't breathe fire well," Lloyd explained. "But they can manipulate it with their hands. Never mind - I'll show you!! Fire!!" Solar's hands went behind his body and the fireball followed. Percy watched the Combusken, feeling as if his heart were about to burst forth from his cheset. Then, Solar's hands shot forth the ball of pyric energy right toward Reina. It was coming too fast...Percy could do nothing to save her...


"Natalea..." Kirke was at a loss for words as Natalea embraced him and broke down completely. For Natalea, this was the story of her life. She felt safe, secure with him alone. She could drop her facade - she didn't need to be tough around him, because he loved her...she was sure of it. Natalea wiped her streaming eyes and pressed her hand against Kirke's chin.

"You still don't understand, do you?" she said in a voice unnaturally gentle. Kirke tried to speak but the words wouldn't come. Natalea eased closer to Kirke's face. Her lips met his almost too easily, as if this had been meant to be all along...

The explosion grabbed Natalea's and Kirke's attention. They broke apart, looking outward toward the battlefield.

"That's one heck of a battle," Kirke said simply as he held Natalea closer. "That's gonna be really ugly when the dust clears. Anyway, those two guys are so much stronger than I am...Percy especially..."

"It doesn't matter..." Natalea answered dismissively. "Win, lose, or draw, I love you, Alex - but you knew that already."

"I knew," Kirke said, as Natalea inched up to his face to kiss him again. As Natalea's hazel eyes stared straight into Kirke's russet-brown ones, he thought, Or, at least, I wish I had...


"It's over, Jote!" Lloyd roared triumphantly, sure that his opponent's Pokemon had been burnt to a crisp. Percy remembered something he had come across in his brief pre-journey sudies. He smiled, knowing that Reina was okay...

"You're not gonna have that smirk on your face once your Pokemon gets roasted beyond recognition!" Lloyd shouted, laughing madly. “This match belongs to me!”

“You’re the one who’s about to get burned,” Percy said with a confident smile. He snapped his fingers and a small, brown-and-orange form emerge from the flames, its eyes glowing stark white. It was Reina, on whom the flames, far from injuring her, seemed to have had an empowering effect. She blinked once and her eyes returned to their normal aquamarine. “Your dad may have done his homework, but it looks like you missed a couple of assignments. Vulpix have an ability that allows them to absorb the power of an enemy’s flame attacks to make their own stronger. You didn’t know that?”

“Try absorbing this!!” Lloyd roared in frustration. “Solar, use Flame – ”

“Quick Attack!” Percy had run out of patience. He was determined to put this away quickly. Reina, a trail of flames still behind her, exploded across the arena and smashed into the Combusken, who was in the process of forming another fireball with his hands. The result was that the globe of fire detonated in Combusken’s grip, blowing him backwards. After a few feet of flying, he smacked rather painfully into the barrier, then fell to the ground, groaning weakly. Percy’s heart leapt as the umpire began the countdown. Solar remained motionless on the opposite edge, spread-eagled on the ground.

“Combusken is unable to continue! Vulpix wins! The winner of the match and the number one contender – Percival Dartaryk!!” The crowd roared its approval of the match’s result, and Percy beckoned to the victorious Reina to come back to him. McCarthy waved the red flag and then dropped both arms, looking quite relieved. Percy gazed up at Bryce, whose partisanship could not have been more obvious as he, too, was clapping.

“And that’s it! It’s over! We’ve got our number one contender!!” Bryce shouted. “Let’s give a hand to Percival! He and I will face off at noon tomorrow, so be sure to show up! Tickets are 150 Pokedollars apiece, 225 at the door! Those are low prices, so be sure to get ‘em before they’re gone!!”

Determined to maintain his composure before such a large group of people, Percy did a weak wave toward the crowd and smiled. Lloyd, having returned his beaten Combusken, dropped his head and gazed over toward the Trainer’s Dugout, where he saw Kirke and Natalea talking animatedly He approached them before seeing Kirke lay his hands on Natalea’s shoulders. Natalea responded by smiling and blushing furiously. Lloyd smiled to himself, with the knowledge that the day had not been a complete loss, and decided to leave his friends be, at least until this evening. Lloyd took a stride toward Percy. While he was upset that he had lost to a foreigner...he remembered that this meant nothing. Percy’s fate, he knew not, was to battle him later...where it counted.

“Hope you’re happy,” Lloyd said savagely to his platinum-haired rival.

“I’m not, actually,” Percy responded coolly.

“So you understand like I do. We’ll meet again, if you get my drift.” With that, Lloyd walked off. Percy realized the prophetic tone of Lloyd’s statement. Lloyd wanted a piece of Percy at the tournament, wherever that was. He guessed that that was Lloyd’s way of showing respect for Percy’s skills. For a second, Percy again lamented the fact that he was not born in Hoenn, for he and Lloyd would probably be on a very friendly basis. Did Lloyd truly believe that he, Percy, was the only one standing in his way of being Champion? Percy didn’t know that himself. But with him on the eve of his first Gym Battle, only time would tell whether Lloyd’s ‘prophecy’ would be correct...


;384; ;384; ;384;

Next on Pokemon: Hoenn Redefined

Happy Birthday, Percy!

Or it least, it will be if he can take down Petalburg’s Gym Leader, Bryce. And that’s a tall order for young Percy. While Bryce is a great Trainer in his own right, it doesn’t hurt that he was born into the right family. He’s the brother of the Champion himself, and his father...well, you’ll find out about that later. And if that weren’t enough, Percy has to make serious adjustments when Bryce breaks out a Pokemon he’s never heard of before. You’d better keep on reading to see what happens next on Pokemon: Hoenn Redefined...


Chapter 10: Discovery and Deception

Hoenn Warrior
13th November 2005, 4:26 PM
AWESOME CHAPTER!!!! I have to give it 5 stars EonMaster. Im glad to see that Kirke and Natalea had worked out their problems and have finally opened up to one another. Cant wait to see the gym battle.

WaterTrainer243
24th November 2005, 6:13 AM
Man, this has been updated and I missed it!? Dang! College is REALLY slowing me down!

EonMaster One
25th November 2005, 5:40 PM
Hello and Happy Thanksgiving to all...gawd, I ate at 4:30 yesterday and I'm still full...x_x

Well, my break is almost over, and I've basically completed chapter ten's manuscript. I applied to a couple of colleges, too, but neither of them have said anything as to my acceptance. It's indeed frustrating - if you're going to reject me, make it quick so I can get on with my life.

By the way, I never gave this fic an official rating. It would probably end up leaning toward PG-13, seeing as some of the fights (Pokemon and Human alike) can get rather violent. You won't see heads being chopped and shtuff, but it's not all bunny rabbits and flowers.

EonMaster One
22nd January 2006, 8:26 PM
Guys, I'm thankful that you stood with me this long, and I'm sorry it had to end this way, but...


I've decided not to continue this fic, because I don't want to irritate you guys with total and complete silence as far as updates are concerned. The person who promised to fix my computer went halfway and then backed out, so the only way I can reliably get updates up on this thing is to get a new computer -- and even then, it's shaky, because I'd be in a spot with no 'net access. School's been a b!tch, so I can't get on the computer without having some sort of assignment due. Plus, it appears as if people have flat out lost interest in this fic - that is, those who had it to begin with. There is some good news, though...



(Cue the cheesy Geico phrase)


Just kidding. But to you loyal guys who want to see PJG make a comeback *ahemCs32ahem* you could e-mail me what you have of the story and I might be able to make something happen. I'm at aaron3713@aol.com.

As for PHR, though, I'd like a figure of authority to close it. Maybe the third time will be the charm...

Hoenn Warrior
22nd January 2006, 10:55 PM
WHAT???? NOT CONTINUE??!!?! NO WAY MAN THIS IS A TOTALLY AWESOME STORY MAN. Stupid fool cant even fix a computer so you can post your chapters and I hear what your saying about school man. Assignments here and there and you got to hurry and finish them. I have been a loyal supporter of this Fic and one of the few that hasnt lost interest in it. I was soooo looking forward to seeing Percy beat down Lloyd in battle and Percy traveling around and meeting up with others that would travel with him and find his own girlfriend. This Fic is amazing and I hope you reconsider and continue if you get your computer fixed soon and the teachers ease up on the assignments.

Castform
24th January 2006, 1:20 AM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How could you not countiue this one!!! You can't!! T_T. *reads rest of it* *rushes to go PM Cs32* I would love to here the remainder of PJG It was very good! ^^ If you need help typing stuff I'm always available. I mean I could write (type, smae thing...) a bit to make it go faster. PM me or e-mail me (jonkayode@yahoo.com) and I can help type. School has been recently treating me nicely. ^^.

EonMaster One
24th January 2006, 11:53 PM
It's not even the work so much. It's the fact that I don't have my own computer/net connection. If Cs32 could get PJG to me, I could just do some editions on my dad's laptop in my free time and keep you guys held down for at least a few months (PJG got to about chapter 20, remember?)

So Cs32, if you are reading this, PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, for the sake of everyone that read this, try to send me PJG if you still have it.

Cs32
10th February 2006, 5:24 AM
aha sorry guys...been gone for quite a while...and yes I still have it. I'll pm you the first chapter one as soon as i get to it.