View Full Version : Broken Promises (PG-13 and up)

28th September 2005, 4:03 AM
500 years after the unfinished (^^;) events of Broken Halos, my latest fic will introduce a slew of new characters into the mix. The Shedinja Ai has grown into a dark spirit who calls himself Shine, and has effectively rendered his old master useless. After watching the Earth for centuries, Shine has a few ideas on what to do about mounting issues. Only a few souls even know that he exists, and fewer still could do much of anything about him. Now, the gears are in motion for Shine's greatest of all plans.

Note: The following Prologue takes place after a failed attempt on a trainer's life. Things may seem confusing now, but they shall clear up in due time.

Prologue: Expendable

“The pieces have fallen into place.” A wicked smile grew across the man’s face as he spoke. “Now that you, Shinu, are at my side, nothing can stop us short of God himself. And what’s the likelihood that God would save this pathetic wretch of a planet?” A teenage boy stepped out of the shadows and stood next to his master, looking up at him. The man glanced down, and then began to walk towards a monitor that served as the only source of light in the dim room. The boy, Shinu, followed at his heels in silence. The man’s eyes began to work back and forth as he read the monitor’s display. Halfway through, they narrowed to a glare. Shinu began to slink backwards, but wasn’t far away enough.

The man suddenly turned, swinging a fist that connected with the boy’s jaw. Shinu was sent reeling; he stumbled backwards and hit his back against a metal wall before slumping to the ground. A hand went up to touch the tender jaw, and Shinu took a small amount of comfort in the fact that it wasn’t broken. The man walked to him and continued to glare at the boy. The red eyes stared down at Shinu with the sun’s intensity, however dark the actual bearer was. “It looks like you failed your mission, Shinu. That leaves a group of others who know of us. Do you know what’s going to happen now?”

For the first time in his life, Shinu felt the horrible warmth of tears running down his face. Like a cornered beast, he began to scramble against the wall as if hoping that it would disappear and let him through. He swiftly moved down the smooth surface to a corner, mere feet from the door. Just as Shinu reached for the door’s handle, something wrapped around his wrist. The man’s hand held him with inhuman strength. Shinu opened his mouth to scream, but another hand clenched around his throat. He began to struggle frantically, making slight gasping and gurgling noises as he did so. “You knew the price of failure, Shinu. You knew this whole time that I would only keep you around as long as you were useful. You knew that your whole existence was mine to command. So why have you condemned yourself?” The man’s voice was calm, bearing only hits of the rage that Shinu knew he had caused.

His vision began to fail, and Shinu stopped struggling. There was no way to break this grip, so he resigned himself to his fate. With great effort, he was able to put his constricted air supply into words. “I’m….sorry….Shine…” Instantly, the hands released and Shinu fell to the ground. He gasped for breath and clutched at his reddened neck. Shine kicked the boy in the stomach once, which caused more wheezing from the recovering failure. The man crouched and looked at the pained boy.

“Shinu, you get one more chance just because it took so long to mold a suitable servant such as yourself. Take your pitiful Pokemon and destroy the target, or you will not live to report your failure. You are always expendable. Remember that.” Shine stood, running a hand through the crimson hair that set him apart from everyone he had met. He walked to the one door to the room and opened it, letting the bright light of the hallway beyond rush into the otherwise dark room. After stepping through it, Shine pulled the door shut and left the Shinu alone with none but the monitor and his own painful breathing.

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
28th September 2005, 4:07 AM
... good, but where's the rest of it?

28th September 2005, 4:39 AM
It's a prologue, isn't it, KKK? Or did I miss something? <<;;

Your description's done well- not too much, nor too little. I can't really review in-depth since it's a prologue, but I would suggest hitting return every time a person different from the prior speaker starts talking, to make it a little easier to read/follow. :3

Post the next chapter, and I shall give you a proper review. *Scrapsmack*

29th September 2005, 12:11 AM
Kawaii Kyuubi: ....shut up XD

Scrap: Yeah, it was a prologue. Flat just gives me a hard time about length because its one of my self concious areas. And sinc you asked so nicely, here is chapter one.

Chapter One: Why?

“I see no reason why I should get involved. So, Ryan, why don’t you try and give me one?” The girl’s words dripped with deeply rooted hate, and the boy in front of her cringed slightly. The Typhlosion beside him muttered something in its strong voice, and the boy straightened. He looked at her for a minute, noticing how she had changed since the time when they had first met. Her hair was still a light brown, and ended somewhere in the middle of her back. It hung freely and strands were caught by the gentle breeze. The girl’s eyes were still a piercing blue, giving the impression that she saw directly into his soul or at least past any lies. Yes, she had grown much more adept at finding lies and then digging for the truth. He would have found her face somewhat attractive if not for the constant glare that she gave him. She was clothed in a red tank top and blue denim shorts, and her feet were fit snugly in brown walking shoes. Ryan, the boy, sighed met her menacing gaze.

Ryan likewise had brown hair, though it was much darker than his counterpart’s. His eyes were green, though somewhat gray as well. Both Kenni and he looked about 16, though age was much more evident in Kenni then in him. Ryan still looked a fair bit younger than most others his age, though his appearance had caused a few to think of him as ‘cute’. He still wore the same basic outfit as he had three years ago, when he and Kenni first met: yellow vest over white shirt, with plain blue jeans. It was nothing fancy, and nothing that would attract undue attention to him. The end of the vest was fluttering gently in the wind, which was warm and somehow inviting.

“Because you were here when he tried to kill me. That makes you just as much of a target as I am. Don’t you care even a little that someone attempted to kill your friend?” As soon as he said the word, he knew he shouldn’t have. Fire seemed to ignite in her eyes and she shouted, struggling against the Blissey that held her back.

“We aren’t friends! Nothing you could ever say or do can forgive you!” Ryan looked away as the words themselves seemed to snap at him. She continued to shake with rage, but the Blissey let her go. The Typhlosion made another comment, which caused the Blissey to glare at him and speak in a decidedly harsh tone. The Pokemon continued to exchange verbal blows, growing increasingly intense as they did so. Each word paused right through the angered girl, but Ryan flinched with every sound as though he could understand them.

“Cinder, stop insulting her. You don’t have to agree with what Kenni said, but there’s no need to fight about it.” Ryan turned to walk away, followed by an awestruck Typhlosion. “I suppose I really can’t be forgiven. But, Kenni, know that I am truly sorry. Not just for what lying to you for so long, but for everything that’s happened.” Tears rolled down Ryan’s cheeks, which burned red with a mix of sorrow and embarrassment. “I’ll stay out of your life from here on out. Good-bye.” Two quick flashes of light, and the Typhlosion was gone and replaced by a Skarmory. The Skarmory looked first at Kenni, then at the crying Ryan, and instantly understood. It stooped so that Ryan could climb on its back, which Ryan did. The Skarmory flapped its wings a few times before lifting off the ground and then soaring into the clear blue sky.

Kenni watched them leave with an angry look still on her face. When they were too far to see, the look gave way to choked sobs. She fell to her knees and buried her face in her hands. “Why do I keep doing this?” The Blissey ran to her side, and Kenni leaned against the pink Pokemon. “I want to forgive him, I really do. Why can’t I?” Her hands were wet and smelled of salt, but she continued to hide her face. The Blissey’s expression softened with sympathy as it began to sing with a soothing voice that masked the bursts of sound that came from Kenni.

“He actually let you live.” Shinu was in his room when he heard the child’s voice. It was startlingly emotionless, nearly as frightening as Shine’s. He pulled on the glove he was working on then picked up the second one. The child’s shoes clicked against the tile, and Shinu knew that he wanted to talk and that nothing would deter him. He paused and took a deep breath; now was not the time for talking to Neko. Shinu could think of few things as depressing or frustrating as a conversation with Shine’s other servant, and most of the things that were worse involved Neko anyway. Letting out the breath, Shinu continued with the glove and moved to his jacket.

“Yes, Neko, he let me live. I’m not entirely sure why either, so you should be asking him and not me.” He one arm through the sleeveless openings, and then another. Shinu left it open as he grabbed a pair of pants that lay on the dresser in front of him.

“I don’t really care about the why’s of what Shine does. It’s always the what’s that are more important.” This Shinu agreed with, so he nodded as he buttoned the pants closed. Neko took a seat on Shinu’s single bed, and Shinu noticed the Pokeball clutched in his small fist. Shinu sighed but fought back the impulse to comment on it.

“I suppose you’re right, as usual. Shine’s actions are more important than the motives behind them.” Click. One of the large clips on Shinu’s jacket was put together, and he started another of the four. Click. Each sound bounced around the room before finding the door, which Shinu realized Neko had left open. The open door created the only source of light, as Shinu normally dressed in the dark.

“I’m glad that you agree with me.” Shinu couldn’t find a hint of joy in the child’s voice, another thing that he didn’t pursue further. Click. “But, what if his why was more important than his what this time?”

Shinu’s hands froze over the last clip. He turned his head to face the boy, searching his face desperately for a sign that he wasn’t serious. The search was fruitless, and Shinu swallowed a lump in his throat. “Neko, what are you talking about?” Shinu’s eyes narrowed and focused on the child’s yellow ones. “Does this have something to do with why he let me live another day?”

“Maybe, or maybe not. I’m not sure, but I know that his reasons were different than usual. Typically, I think he acts out of hate or selfishness. There was a momentary change when he let you go, but I don’t know what that shift was.” Neko trailed off with a few muttered theories, but nothing else substantial. Shinu was tense until the very last word faded away. When Neko had finished, there was a resounding click as the last clip was closed.

“I don’t think you can figure out what it was because you have no way to sympathize or empathize with it. From what you’ve shown, all you know is this neutral mood of yours that lets everything hurtful run off you like water.” Shinu sighed and grabbed a sheathed knife that lay on the dresser, slipping through his belt. “But if something really did change in that instant, maybe what he’s trying to do can be averted. Maybe we really don’t have to fulfill this madman’s dream.” Neko walked casually to the door, pulling it shut with a prayer.

“Please, Shinu, don’t fail again.”

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
30th September 2005, 7:59 AM
Yay, this is getting good. The bad news is I'm only good at reviewing bad fics, I just never have anything to say about good fics. I'll try to do a better responce to your next chapter.

2nd October 2005, 6:02 AM
Well thank you. It's also reassuring to know that people don't know what to say XD
The next chapter is substationally longer, so you should be get a lot more review material from:

Chapter Two: Caring

“She has no right to talk to you like that.” The Skarmory’s voice had a metallic sound to it, but was otherwise in a sinister tone. He ruffled his steel feathers, which let loose a clanging sound at each hit. “How many times did you bail her out of a tough battle in that year? How many times did she ask if you would stay by her forever, and how many times did you say ‘always’?” The Skarmory sat down on the forest floor with a slight thunk, and then a chink as the feathers touched each other.

“Too many to count, Thorn.” Ryan was sitting with his back against a tree, knees up around his chin. He rested his forehead against them and sighed. “She has the right, though. I messed up when I didn’t tell her straight away. My cowardice made her hate me for that, and I’ll have to accept her anger as punishment.” Thorn made a squawk quite like a snort, but remained otherwise silent. “It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t seem justified to hold a grudge this long, but that’s okay. I trust her judgment even if she doesn’t trust mine, and it holds true in this as well.”

“Kenni won’t forgive you as long as either of you live. That’ll make the death of one that much more unbearable for the other. Loose ends that will never get tied, that’s what this whole issue will turn into.” The voice came telepathically from an Unown, shaped like a hieroglyph for the letter ‘F’. Thorn chirped his approval of the statement, and Ryan nodded in acknowledgement. Bug, for that was the Unown’s name, could be counted on to provide a semi-accurate prediction with an unbiased viewpoint, even if Thorn could not.

“It doesn’t matter, guys. I’ve told her that I’m sorry, and I’m willing to wait as long as necessary to win her forgiveness. That’s one thing she can count on to not be a lie.” Ryan closed his eyes for a long moment in an effort to clear his mind. When he opened them, he noiselessly stood. “No matter what she decides, it’s useless staying here. We need to find out where that assassin came from before he finds us again. It would be a good idea to figure out why they were even here in the first place.”

“I can think of few people wanting to do you harm, and even less with intent to kill you.” It was Bug who spoke, and the Unown began to orbit slowly about Ryan’s head. “The most probable are, of course, that Ninetales, the Shedinja, and the thief. The very idea of Kitsune trying to kill you from so far away is farfetched, and there is no way that she would have such a decidedly human assassin. The burglar, Bandit Wraith Kakeru, is even less likely because you lack hard evidence to prove anything about his, shall we say, occupation. Yet the Shedinja, Shine, is a possible. I can certainly imagine that he has the sheer power necessary to force a human into his service.”

“But why would Shine want to kill me? I mean, we know that he’s quite possibly the single most disturbed individual on the planet, but he’s still using that shell of his to interact with the material plane. There’s no way that I could ever be hindering his progress towards whatever black goals he strives for.”

“Yes, I can’t see any real reason to kill you from any three of the standpoints. Kitsune has the most reason to kill you, while the fewest means to do so. Kakeru has the means, but lacks the motive. Shine has neither. Perhaps it is someone from one of the Teams?” The Teams referred to Teams Rocket, Aqua, and Magma; all of which Ryan had encountered at some point in his career. “You did little against any of them, and there are always more viable trainers for them to have a vendetta against.”

“Who it is can be discussed later. Right now we have to worry about getting someplace safe so we can live long enough to strike back. I’ll take us back home.” In reality, Ryan had no ‘home’. It was really just a small apartment that he rented in Goldenrod way back when he was a rising trainer on the Johto Circuit. Back then, he had been a promising trainer with a possibility to take the championship. He may have done it if his confidence hadn’t been destroyed when Kenni discovered- no, he would think no more of it.

The two Pokemon around him disappeared within their red and silver orbs, which Ryan attached to his belt. His form rippled once, as if made of gelatin. The shapes of his body contorted and changed. The five fingers on each hand melded into three, each yellow and ending in a long nail. Areas of hard brown armor formed over his shoulders while the arms themselves became thin. The hair disappeared, and the ears grew into large horns. Thick whiskers grew out of his face, reflected in two polished spoons that had materialized. The very image of an Alakazam had replaced the boy, with the belt still hanging from his waist. It crossed the two spoons in front of it and uttered “Teleport.” A flash of light, and the Alazkazam was gone.

The Blissey looked at the sleeping Kenni. The poor girl had cried herself into a fitful sleep, her face still smelling of salt and water. Carefully, the Blissey shifted her trainer’s form slightly so that Kenni could breath easier. Once her task was complete, the Blissey gently reached for a Pokeball and plucked it away from the girl. She fumbled for a bit with the device, and then opened it to reveal a flash of light. It resolved into a proud Pidgeot, who towered over the sleeping trainer. He looked at Kenni gravely before walking closer to the Blissey. “How is she?” His voice was deep and gruff, but it was obvious that he was worried.

“I think she’ll be fine after a good rest.” The Blissey ran a hand through Kenni’s hair and smiled a bit. Her voice was sweet and kind, warm and comforting. She looked up at the Pidgeot and gave him the same small smile. “We have to take care of her, Feather. She won’t let anyone else but us help her, and especially not anyone who reminds her of Ryan. Oh, he was here today like he said he would be.” She sighed before continuing. “He wanted to talk about the attempt on his life by that other boy, and to ask for her help.”

“I can see where this is going, Chance, but please continue on. Hopefully, Kenni made better judgment that normal when it comes to Ryan.”

“Your hopes are misplaced, then. She refused, and he made the mistake of saying that she was his friend. After I calmed her down, Cinder said a few things I don’t want to repeat and we got into a shouting match.” Feather snorted at Cinder’s name, but was otherwise silent. Chance looked away as she replayed the scene in her mind. “Ryan said that he was sorry for everything he’s done, and that he’ll be out of our lives for good. As of yet, I can’t tell if that will be good or bad in the long run.”

“Of course it will be bad. There are few things as damaging as knowing that you can never make up with a friend. That is something that I know from experience.” Feather seemed to glare skywards, his eyes looking up slightly in their sockets. He was remembering the past, that horrible moment when he and Kenni had lost their friends in tandem. In his mind’s eye, he could see the metal bird shouting at him and then heard his own yells of anger. Chance said his name, and Feather snapped back to reality.

“You’re right Chance. We need to guide her until she can stand on her own. She relied too much on Ryan when they traveled together and in the three years since she still needs to lean on us. For now though, she should sleep.” The great bird crouched low to the ground, lying down next to the girl. His large wind stretched out and enveloped her body while revealing only her face. Kenni shifted as she slumbered, drawing herself closer to Feather’s warmth with her head still cushioned by Chance.

Deep breathes. In, then hold it. Now out; release. Again…. Shine sat cross legged on the bed, eyes closed to the darkness that threatened to engulf him. Even now, this temporary peace was struggling against his more sinister impulses. He saw flashes of years gone past and pictures of victims that were once his targets. A shiver went down his spine as he thought of the blood. It covered everything, warm and sticky. Tantalizing smell and taste; was he drooling? No, he would fight it. That urge wasn’t his; that much he knew. It was just something Shine had instilled him since taking him away from…somewhere. Shinu couldn’t recall where he had been when the Shedinja had appeared.

Shine hadn’t been human then (if his current form even counted, seeing as Shine had just taken over someone else’s body and forced out their soul). It had been the brittle shell that passed for a Pokemon. He had told Shinu that he could take him away and set him free from all of this. But what had ‘this’ been? Were these memories even his or just warped lies that Shine had woven? How could he have been so blind to all this for so long? Shinu continued to breathe deep, but was shaking just the same. He had done Shine’s bidding for so many years with nary a thought. He had unspeakable crimes so many times. He had to get out.

“Shine?” The tone of the question was almost normal, just like every other eight-year old’s voice. It was Neko, of course, but the normalcy was odd. Neko had been raised sans parents, having only Shine and a semi-brother in Shinu to guide him. Shine, of course, had ravaged the minds of both boys in order to make them suitable servants (and slaves from an outside view). Shinu had always been poor at guarding his mind, but Neko had quickly adapted to it. Shine still found it difficult to psychically get everything from the child, and it was obvious to Neko that Shine wanted total power. The question held a hint of fear in it, and Shine smiled while still facing away. He turned and looked down at the child.

“Yes, Neko? You’re here about Shinu if I’m correct, which I’m sure I am.” That was a surface thought, something that Neko had no protection over. Shine could easily scrape those away and read them as he wanted. Neko flinched at the implied invasion of privacy, but otherwise looked at Shine apathetically. His yellow eyes were locked against Shine’s red ones. The two sets of eyes scanned the others for any sign of weakness. There was a moment of intense tension passing between the two before they mutually shifted their gazes. “You already know that I let him live for awhile longer. What more could you possibly need.”

“I need nothing, I merely want something.” Cool and unthreatening in his voice, he had returned to standard Neko. The boy stood with the Pokeball grasped in his right hand, letting his left hang to the side. His small frame was hidden by a plain white shirt and black slacks. The yellow eyes that earned his name were set in a small, smooth face covered by a mass of short black hair. Shine crossed his arms, and smiled smugly at him with someone hidden happiness. “Why didn’t you kill him?”

“I explained that to him. It took far too long to create an agent of his skill, and you won’t be at that point for many years.”

“But he’s still expendable to you?”

There was a long pause, as Shine scowled for a moment. “Of course he’s expendable. He is human and therefore worthless.”

“Really? Because it seemed like you-“ Neko stopped suddenly, and threw his hands up to grasp at the sides of his head. He swayed back and forth, gritting his teeth against an unseen force. His eyes were closed tightly and beads of sweat began to run down his face. The Pokeball fell to the ground and rolled a bit, then lay motionless. Shine was glaring at him, transferring an enormous amount of psychic pressure in the process. Neko’s legs gave way and left him kneeling near Shine’s feet.

“I thought you learned not to presume such things and then attempt to speak of them? You might be able to keep me out of your core, but every spoken word opens the rest of your mind. Neko,” Shine continued to stare, but Neko’s eyes opened to look at the ground. His head began to look up with jerking motions until the two were locked on each other’s eyes again, “do not think that Shinu’s life was spared out of mercy. There was no ‘caring’ or whatever you wanted to say it was. No, there was only me using him to reach my goals. The two of you will be useless once you are dead, so why should I destroy my own irreplaceable tools?”

Shine looked away and continued walking down the bright corridor. The pressure was lifted from Neko’s mind, and the boy propped himself up on his palms. His breathing was heavy and his entire body was soaked. One hand began to search for the Pokeball, running along the ground as if blind. In fact, his vision was in splotches. Neko’s body had been betrayed by his mind; by keeping Shine out, too much energy had been used up. He doubted that he’d remain awake for much longer. Thus, his hand continued its search. It brushed against the cool metal, then lunged for it and drew it within the small fingers. Neko drew it close to him and fell to the ground. As if carried by a breeze, Neko heard Shine’s laughter rebound faintly within his head.

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
2nd October 2005, 6:27 AM
If Kitsune (The ninetales… Yay, she’s also my character. It’s not often one gets their character even mentioned in someone else’s fic) is the one who has the most reason to kill Ryan then he’s lived a very quiet life. Still, Kitsune would be greatly insulted that he even considered her as one of the top three after him, doing so insults her very ability of pretending to be harmless (I know she sucks at that, but it’s no reason to point it out.). I’m sure at that moment her ears were burning, feeling the fact someone said something she could take offence at. She might even know who said it…

I feel sorry for Kenni; she will forever be alone if she can’t come to terms with what Ryan hid from her for so long. How can she trust anyone after that unless she is able to understand why it happened? The only way for things to get worse for her is if she met some kind of cruel being that’d make her regret being with Ryan even more… Still, such a cruel thing might encourage her to give up her grudge too, so perhaps it’d be for the best. (Excessive cruelty or happy ending, it’s a win-win situation.)

Now, I have to wonder what Shine is up to.

5th October 2005, 12:08 AM
After talking with you last night, I think you'll find a few rather hilarious surprises in the chapter after this ; )

Shine is a messed up individual indeed, though more of his plan shall be revealed in the chapter after this.

Anyway, here is

Chapter Three: Reversal

The small room was a little dark, and held only one figure. The Alakazam turned to flick the light switch, body reforming as it did so. Electricity flowed through the walls, and Ryan was standing in the nicely lit apartment. A few boxes were scattered about the room and it was evident that no one had lived here for a year at the minimum. “Home, sweet home.” Two hands pulled the six Pokeballs from his waist and dropped them to the ground. They bounced a bit, but remained closed. “I’m going to bed, guys.” The boy walked to the end of the room and pushed a door open. He disappeared into the darkness and the door closed.

For a few moments all was still and calm. A Pokeball wobbled back and forth slowly, and finally burst open in a shower of light. The Skarmory stood above the ball and reflected the light brilliantly. He squawked, and then lightly kicked another orb. In quick succession, the remaining five Pokeballs opened and revealed their contents. The Typhlosion was there as was the Unown, and they were joined by a Smeargle, a Haunter, and a Meowth. The cat looked about in amazement, padding across the carpet to examine his surroundings. As if dissolving, the Haunter faded from view but left his large eyes visible. It laughed, revealing the wide mouth that floated in the air. In response, the Smeargle giggled and ran to the Meowth. The two tumbled about the room while Thorn looked to Cinder.

“I remember this place, and hate it. Ryan said we wouldn’t have to come back here; that we could live out in the wilderness instead of this complicated and crowded city.” He huffed and shifted in indignation. The Unown gave him a condescending look, and Thorn sighed. “Well, he did say that.”

“And if you actually cared, you’d realize that this is more important right now. Ryan’s hurting, and he needs to rest.” Cinder gave Thorn a wry smile while the Haunter made its way towards the group. “You’re just upset because you couldn’t chew Feather out.”

“Like I care about that pathetic excuse for a bird. Real birds have honor.” Thorn looked away so as to hide his embarrassment, despite the fact that blushing was an impossible thing for him. The behavior was merely one example of how Ryan’s human-like company had rubbed off on him. Cinder sighed but didn’t pursue the stinging subject further.

“So….how long do you think we’ll be stuck here?” The Haunter’s voice was in a constant mocking tone, sprinkled with sadistic glee. Cinder bristled as his arms were grabbed by unseen claws, and then held behind his back. The fur along his arms was under obvious restraint, while the rest of Cinder began to puff up as a threatening mechanism. “There’s no food in here; Ryan made sure to get rid of it before we left last time. We’ll have to eat poor Cinder here.” There was a chuckle that suggested that it was a joke, but also that he could be serious.

“Let go of me, Wraith, or I’ll see that you fade away for good.” Cinder growled and turned his neck to look into the menacing eyes. The next second dragged on as Thorn and the Unown waited for someone to start the attacks. Thorn’s talons were tapping against the floor nervously, and the Unown seemed to be pulsating a melody in an attempt to hum. Instead, Cinder’s arms dropped to his sides and Wraith floated away. “You’re right though, Wraith. Four of us still need food, as does Ryan.”

“None of us can procure food without it being considered stealing.” Bug chimed in psychically, but provided no further insight. The Smeargle and Meowth stopped tussling as the Meowth struggled to free itself. It ran to the group and looked up to face the others who towered above him.

“If we have to steal, we need to be sneaky.” The Meowth grinned and winked at Wraith. The ghost returned the gesture and failed at stifling a laugh. “I suggest Wraith and I go ‘find’ some food. No one can resist the charms of a cute, furry Meowth. While they’re dist-“

“Don’t tell us how or we’ll feel guilty too. Just go. Cinder, if you please?” Thorn waved his wing towards the door that led out to the hallway. Cinder did as was requested, though he fumbled with the door knob for a few seconds before opening the heavy door. The Meowth dashed out the door and was followed by Wraith. “Just come back alive, okay? Zalin?” The Meowth was walking away quickly, chatting with Wraith. “Zalin!”
Zalin looked back at the metal bird and smiled slyly, then broke into a run down the hallway. Wraith completely faded from view, though he was visibly shaking with laughter as he did so. “Good, now we can talk without the insane bothering us.” Cinder shut the door and locked the deadbolt.

The Smeargle was busy rummaging through a box that he had opened while playing with Zalin. One foot was still on the ground, but the other was up in the air. He leaned all the way into the box, balancing on the edge with his stomach. Occasionally, a hand would throw papers out of the box. The sheets floated back down to earth, making the paintings on them dance oddly. “Aw, I can’t find it! Ryan wouldn’t have gotten rid of it, would he?” The voice cracked with a mix of emotion and hormones. “Cinder, help me find it!” The Smeargle pulled himself out of the box and moved to another.

“I’m not everyone’s servant, okay? I’m sure you’ll find. Ryan wouldn’t have gotten rid of that picture.” Despite himself, Cinder walked to the Smeargle and bent down. He grabbed a stack of paintings and began to rifle through them with a trained eye. Sketch, the Smeargle, had a habit of wanting to look at older works. This habit had forced Cinder to learn how to scan whole pages quickly and efficiently. He put the stack aside and pulled another from the box. “I’m not seeing it though…that’s odd.”

“Weren’t we going to talk about what to do next? Ryan is in pieces in his room, you know.” Thorn clicked his beak in impatience and waited.

“Oh, calm down. Ryan will sort things out on his own, and if he can’t he’ll come to us. He needs to figure this out on his own. If you want to bother him, go ahead.” Cinder put down the stack and grabbed another as Sketch moved to another box. Bug floated towards them and glowed with psychic power as he searched through still more boxes. “Wow, Sketch! Ryan spent so much money on paper; it’s no wonder that this is the best apartment he can afford!” Cinder waved a paw around and continued his search with a smile. Thorn sighed and walked to join the rest of the group. Cinder pointed a paw at a different box, and Thorn began to shuffle through the papers with his beak.

Endless blue punctuated only by brief wisps of white. It was the sky, and the first thing Kenni saw as her eyes slowly opened. They were stuck together, though, and the motion required abnormal effort. Her head was beating wickedly with the signs of a mounting headache. “Ugh…I feel horrible.” She placed a hand to her forehead in an attempt to stifle the throbbing, and pushed herself up to a sitting position. Her stirring roused the Blissey that had been sleeping lightly. Kenni turned to face the awakening Chance, then lunged to hug the Pokemon. She snuggled against the soft Blissey and whispered “Thank you, Chance.” The pink Pokemon returned the embrace as Kenni looked skyward. The sun was quickly sinking, as the blue had turned slightly orange. “Oh, it’s getting late! We need to find a place to stay.”

Chance spoke, but the words were lost to Kenni. She blinked a few times at the noises, and then smacked a hand to her forehead. “I’m sorry, Chance. I keep forgetting to wear the stupid thing…” Kenni rummaged in a pocket and withdrew a small, hearing aid shaped device. She stuck in her left ear and faced Chance. “Okay. Say again?”

“Mahogany Town isn’t that far from here. There’s another option, but I don’t think you’ll like it…” Chance let go of the girl, and Kenni sat back on her hands. The girl stared at her quizzically for a minute as the gears of her mind slowly chugged forward. Chance sighed in amazement. Kenni had always been terrible at these sorts of things. Puzzles, riddles, and the like were impossible for her to solve, which had led to more than a few frustrated outbursts. The girl’s brow furrowed, and then softened in shock.

“No, we’re not staying with him. That apartment probably doesn’t even have a bed anymore, and there is no way I’m going to spend the night trapped in the same city as him.” Kenni turned her head away in protest. Her hands grabbed at the grass under her, pulling the blades tight. “I can’t believe you’d even suggest that…”

“Kenni, this isn’t healthy!” Chance cried out, and threw her arms up. “By not forgiving one lie, you’re only harming yourself. Ryan wants to move on, but you just want to hurt him.”

“He hurt me, so he’ll have to feel as bad as I do.”

“That’s not a real reason, that’s just an excuse. Yes, it was horrible thing for him to do, but what would you have done?”

“I would have been honest with him.”

“No, you would have hidden it like he did. Don’t give me that look, Kenni. He was afraid that you’d hate him for not being human or that you’d try and expose him for what he really was. You would have feared exactly the same things.”

“I wouldn’t have hated him for being a Ditto, Chance. The only thing I hated was that he didn’t tell me in the year we were together. I’m only punishing him for his lies and cowardice.”

“Three years of animosity for one of love?”

“It wasn’t love! I could never love that mockery of humanity.” Kenni stood up, fuming. She was shaking again, with clumps of grass and dirt clutched in each fist. Chance looked at her sadly, and Kenni’s tensed shoulders sank. Her eyes fixed themselves to the ground, and the grass was released. A few stray blades were picked up by the wind were thusly whisked away. “It wasn’t love.”

“You didn’t understand, Kenni. You hate him now, but he loved you then!” Kenni’s eyes widened and locked onto Chance’s own. The girl blushed deeply and quickly looked away again. “You…never realized that? He told us so, and asked if we thought it was okay. Feather objected, but the rest of us said that it was fine.”

“I guess I knew, I just never acknowledged it. Chance, what have I done? I need to know how greatly I’ve sinned.”

“You trampled his heart into the ground, and then ignored him for three years. How badly do you think you hurt him?” Chance reached a hand to Kenni’s cheek. The girl pressed her own hand to it and felt the warmth flow through it. Tears were flowing down her face again, but she smiled despite them.

“We’re going to go to him. Thank you, Chance. Where is Feather?”

“I’m here.” The bird nuzzled against the girl after landing next to her. Kenni stroked his beak and recalled Chance. Feather bent to allow her to climb on, and she obliged. He beat his wings with amazing force, defying gravity’s grip by clearing the ground. After hovering above the clearing for a second or two, the bird and his rider shot into the sky and towards their uncertain future.

Shinu stepped into the artificially lit corridor and glanced around. After not seeing Shine anywhere nearby, he breathed a sigh of relief and turned down the hallway that would lead him to the exit. Shinu was worried that Shine might have heard his meditation, an unfortunate event that wasn’t unheard of. Generally, Shinu’s thoughts were similar to Shines and there was thus no problem. But when Shine peeked in on such meditations that were as traitorous as Shinu’s last, there was always trouble in the form of psychic torture. Fairly sure that he was safe, Shinu continued on his way with only the occasional glance over his shoulder.
That’s why he nearly fell when he stumbled over the figure that lay in the middle of the hallway. He cursed as he caught himself and managed to stay standing. Upon close examination, Shinu realized he had tripped over an unconscious and obviously heavily worn Neko. “Neko? Are you alright?” Shinu bent down and shook the boy gently, then again slightly rougher. His hands grabbed Neko’s own as he searched them. When he found the Pokeball still tightly grasped, Shinu relaxed slightly. “Good, Shine hasn’t taken it….yet. It’s inevitable that he will though.” The teenager gathered Neko in his arms and stood. Neko shifted, moving closer to the body that warmed him. “He obviously hurt you. You need to rest somewhere comfortable, Neko.”

He turned back the way he came and headed towards his room. Neko’s was too far away, and Shine would be more likely to find him with each second that was wasted. Still, Shinu continued slowly down the hallway in an effort to not drop his rather squirmy load. Neko tossed and turned as if trapped in a nightmare. Shinu shushed him softly and Neko seemed to stop, but it was obvious that he was still trying to escape. Upon reaching his room, Shinu pushed the door open with his shoulder and walked in. He laid Neko gently on the black sheets, and then reached to turn on a bedside lamp. It clicked on and cast a small but still reassuring glow across the room. “There’s too much darkness in our lives already. No need to keep it around all the time.”

Shinu pulled the sheets down, maneuvering Neko to manage. Afterwards, he set the boy down and put a pillow under his head. The covers were drawn back over the sleeping child, and Shinu left the room after casting a momentary glance at Neko. “Everything seems so wrong all of the sudden. I don’t understand how I could have been so blind to this.” He thought back to his last mission in hopes to find a clue to his sudden clarity.

The target had been young, which means he had to have been important somehow. It was odd, however, that the other teen had seemed so normal while being completely unnatural. He was able to perfectly understand his Pokemon without any apparent translating device, which were easy for Shinu to spot because of his familiarity with the Rocket technology. The Pokemon had acted fairly well in battle, but would have lost if not for the appearance of another trainer and her Pokemon. There was certainly tension between the two trainers, but they worked together long enough to overpower Shinu and his three Pokemon. Before he had fled, Shinu had felt something lift from his mind and sensed that the Unown was somehow tampering with him. Since then, he’d become increasingly aware of what he was doing, and just how wrong it made him feel.

“I need to get moving. Neko will be fine until I get back. And I will come back here if I have to do so on the brink of death.” Shinu walked quickly down the hall this time, pulling out his ID card as his feet moved in rhythm.

“Ah, I see that the players are coming together. The curtain will rise on the final act soon.” Shine’s eyes watched a display on the one monitor, smiling with insane enjoyment. “Since the other girl showed up on Shinu’s last mission, she needs to be destroyed as well. How lucky is it that she’s moving towards Ryan and his company? Very lucky indeed.” A notice flashed on the screen, which Shinu touched a finger to. It expanded, and his smile widened. “It looks like another is on the move towards him as well. Three birds with one assassin; I could hardly ask for more. Especially since their gathering leaves another target the most open she’s been in quite some time. It looks like I’ll have to break that promise I made to her.” He let out a peal of laughter and swept his hands across the console knocking various Pokeballs from the desk with a great clatter.

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
5th October 2005, 6:30 AM
Yay! I’ll talk to you over AIM tomorrow, as it’s much easier than doing a review. I'm probably your biggest fan by the way, but that also makes it hard to critisize which is the only part of full reviews I can manage. Sorry.

8th October 2005, 3:56 AM
Another chapter for you! I might be able to get the chapter six done tonight, so i'll let you know. Anyway...if you're reading, please review, or I'll sic Shinu on you! XD

Chapter: The Club?

Zalin padded along the street, followed by the completely invisible Wraith. They had easily evaded several trainers in the minutes since they left Ryan’s apartment, and were now aimlessly wandering the streets of Goldenrod. A gold coin was securely held between Zalin’s teeth and was the only sort of progress they had made towards their goal of food. “This really sucks, Wraith.” Zalin muttered through the coin, eyes searching the people who they passed. Wraith chuckled while remaining concealed, but otherwise didn’t respond. “Not one of these people has any food that’s actually good…it’s all that generic PokeChow. That stuff is terribly compared to what Ryan makes.” Zalin licked his lips as he walked, then turned down a narrow alley when someone pointed at the apparently wild Meowth.

His quick feet were soundless against the grimy cement. Zalin cast a quick glance back at the trainer and snickered. He turned his face back the way he was going, and prepared to jump. Muscles tightened and released in a great burst of strength. The Meowth flew forward, landing with a great rattling noise on the chain link fence that barred the way. His claws extended, and the cat dexterously climbed up and over the barrier. Zalin jumped from the top of the fence and landed gently on the ground. In the next second, he was running again through the darkened passage. As the trainer began to climb the fence herself, Wraith suddenly returned to being visible while hovering directly in front of her. To Wraith’s surprise, the girl merely kept climbing and eventually was past him. She threw something gold far forward, which opened with a sound somewhere down the dim alley.

The cat suddenly began to slide across the ground as his feet attempted to change direction. He continued to skid until he ran into the object of his fear. Standing in the middle of the alley was a Ninetales who was white as snow. Zalin finally stopped, propped up against the Ninetales’ left foreleg. He had managed to slide enough so that he was supported mostly by his head, with his back going up the Ninetales’ leg. His frayed tail curled forward and dangled just in front of his nose. The Ninetales smirked, invoking a weak smile from Zalin. She pushed Zalin away a bit, and then bent to pick up the cat by his scruff.

As she did so, Zalin whipped around and landed a solid blow across the fox’s nose. Three shallow scratches began to bleed deep red blood, but the Ninetales refused to flinch. Instead, she managed to grab the cat’s scruff with her teeth and began to walk towards the girl. Zalin struggled aggressively, attempting to scratch her again. His tail beat at her eyes, but was far too weak to cause much more than a minor annoyance. The retaliations earned him only a tighter grip, so Zalin’s attacks eventually subsided. When the Ninetales reached the girl, who now stood next to a bewildered Wraith, the trainer spoke calmly. “You’re a friend of Ryan’s, aren’t you?”

The wind was flowing through Kenni’s hair, turning it into a waving mass of light brown. She was bent low to the Pidgeot she sat upon, pressing herself close to the warmth. They were high above the ground now, and the air bit at her bare arms. Feather said something that was lost to her, so Kenni shouted “What?!”. The bird visibly sighed, causing them to dip as he did so. The girl gripped at the feathers in response, then yelled again. “Don’t do that!” He shook under her in a laugh, which she feebly returned. Feather made a few small dips again, each making Kenni slightly more comfortable with the sudden falling feeling.

After a time, Feather remembered what he had originally wanted to say. He sank slowly, until he was just above the trees. The bird shouted out a question, and Kenni’s smile faded. She laid her head sideways on the back of Feather’s neck to gather her thoughts. “I don’t know what I’m going to say. The only thing he wants to hear is that I forgive him, but I’m not sure if I can say that.” Feather said something else, and Kenni’s slight smile returned. “Thank you, Feather. I’ll support you in this too. I’m not going to abandon my friends anymore.”

“You’ll be able to tell him that in just a few minutes.” Feather’s voice was clear, if just a little fearful. The massive Goldenrod City had come into view. Below them, a train shot east towards the other main station in Saffron. There was a few seconds of silence that conveyed more than words could have. “What if they don’t want us?”

“It’s what we’ve earned by being so cruel. If the price we have to pay for our mistakes is a lifetime of not having them in our lives, then we’ll have to bear that. They’ve already been punished for our mess-ups.” Kenni looked towards the city with a bleak look. “We deserve everything we get.”

The door creaked open, and a bleary eyed Ryan stepped out. He took a quick look around the room while his Pokemon stared back. The boy took a deep breath and his sorrowful frown turned into the smallest display of happiness. “So, what are you guys looking for?” As he crossed the distance to the piles of papers, Sketch hastily explained that they were all searching for a specific picture he had made. Ryan reached towards a stack of papers, but stopped. “Wait, I know where that is.” The outstretched hand went instead to his pocket, and returned with a single folded page. He handed the parchment to the eager Smeargle, who snatched it away and began to unfold it. “I liked it so much; I decided to keep it with me.” Sketch’s face lit up as his eyes ran over the painting before him. The Smeargle bounded over to his trainer, wrapping Ryan in a hug which Ryan returned.

In his fervor, Sketch let go of the paper he had searched so extensively for. It fluttered about, revealing glimpses of its surface to those in the room. Figures littered the foreground, with several baring great resemblance to the Pokemon who beheld it. Several more Pokemon, and a few humans, were crammed in the picture as if they were added after the original group. Each one in a different position, depicting their nature’s as if the paint was alive. Every friend the group had had was there, saved for eternity with painstaking detail. Cinder caught the masterpiece before it hit the ground and held it gently in his paws. He said it on the only table in the room; a long coffee table that sat low to the ground.

Sketch broke the embrace and bounded away to study his work. Cinder moved next to Ryan, who leaned against the Typhlosion and felt the intense heat flow through him. Before Cinder could speak, Ryan began “I’m okay, so no need to worry. Where are Zalin and Wraith, though? I’m assuming they went for food…but why did they go alone?” Bug looked away momentarily, and Ryan let out a deep sigh. “Never mind, I don’t want to be involved with thievery either. I probably should have kept canned something in here, just in case. Ah well, time makes fools of us all.”

“You seem awfully calm, Ryan. Is everything really alright?” It was Thorn who chirped his opinion, then shrank back slightly.

“Of course not. But there’s nothing we can do, save start tracking down whoever tried to killed us. We should leave in the morning.”

“Are we going to wait and see if Kenni shows up? She might decide that she wants to help.” It was Sketch who spoke this time. Sketch folded up the picture after a lingering glance at the image of Kenni, and gave it to Ryan.

“If she isn’t here by tomorrow, she isn’t going to come. I know that and you know that.”

“What about Lilac? Couldn’t she be useful here?” Now it was Cinder who offered another option. Ryan thought about Lilac for a moment, and then shook his head.

“No, we can’t do that to her. If we should fail, she shouldn’t have to as well. Lilac isn’t going to be allowed to come. We’re really alone in this. Well, alone besides each other.”

“How is Glitch? He is certainly one of us.” Bug psychically gave his two cents, and was silent. Ryan held out a cell phone, its screen bright and displaying the number of the last call. The Unown recognized the number instantly and asked again. “So?”

“He was attacked as well. Glitch was traveling virtually to a different lab and was nearly deleted by a malicious program. He said it was tagged as ‘SHINING_END.exe’ and that he’d look into it once he was on a more secure system.” Glitch was a Porygon, and a very good friend of Ryan’s since the boy had rescued the Pokemon from a Rocket Game Corner. The Porygon currently resided with Professor Elm, whom Ryan believed the most capable to repair the damaged Pokemon. Ryan continued on, “As such, he can’t help us directly until he traces that program. Once Zalin and Wraith are back, we can discuss any other ideas with them.” The Pokemon sat in silence, knowing that Ryan’s way really was the only way.

Shinu opened to door out of the hidden compound and stepped into the sun. The hidden door was built into the side of Mt. Silver, and an endless forest was all that stood before Shinu. Of course, the location had been Shine’s decision (“What better place to hide than right under the League’s nose?”). Shinu doubted that the Pokemon League was actually after them and Shine, though they were after a certain group that Shine commanded. He sighed in disgust at the very thought of ‘The Fan Club’ that obeyed Shine to the very letter. The Fan Club was a group of primarily girls with easily manipulated minds, a weakness Shine exploited to make them think that his goals were the only that mattered. The spirit used the girls to assassinate particularly powerful trainers by having them pose as a mass of adoring fans. Shinu wasn’t above deception in his profession, but using mentally enslaved girls had always struck him as wrong. Shine, however, saw them as merely another tool as opposed to people. As he pushed The Fan Club from his mind, Shinu began to walk down the slope with careful feet.

Knowing that no one else was around, Shinu began recite the details Shine had given him. “The target is Ryan, who has a nonexistent last name. Supposedly, he’s a Ditto and a fairly accomplished trainer after placing fourth in Johto three years ago and second in Hoenn three years ago. Records show that he has been in the Kanto region, completing every gym battle besides Saffron which he’s never been to. His avoidance of an all-Psychic gym is probably out of fear of discovery. He is most likely carrying six Pokemon; Typhlosion, Skarmory, Smeargle, Haunter, Meowth, and an Unown. Despite their apparently low net strength, Ryan’s team is not to be underestimated. What else…” Shinu racked his brain for additional details, looking for anything that he could connect to the target.

“He has a preexisting relationship with Kenni Windsor, a trainer recently proclaimed ‘possible threat’.” Shinu winced as he remembered that little detail which he had a hand in creating. “Her team of six is most likely as random as Ryan’s, and she is known to have a Blissey, Pidgeot, and an Octillery. She took second in Johto three years ago, first in Hoenn two years ago, and eighteenth in Kanto one year ago. Coincidently, the Kanto tournament has been the only one in which she didn’t fight Ryan because he did not participate. This may possibly contribute to her poor showing at Kanto. If they are together, Ryan is the more important of the two. On the off-chance that a pure white Ninetales is present, Ryan is still the most important with the Ninetales directly below him. Under no circumstances should the Unown be killed, but hibernation or dormancy is acceptable.” He sighed and cleared his mind by rubbing his temples gently. “Okay…it’s just one more hit.” One hand flashed to his waist, where it grabbed a Pokeball, and then outstretched itself in front of him. The ball burst open and revealed a long whiskered Alakazam, white-eyed and graying. “Myrrdin, teleport us to Goldenrod.” The blind psychic nodded, raised a spoon, and the two disappeared.

Shine was walking slowly through the hall, smiling happily and holding both hands behind his head. Each step made him nod slightly, as he seemed to be listening to unheard music. A nervous voice broke his illusion-reality, and his head snapped sideways to face it. “Um…Shine, sir? I wanted to speak to you?” The cream-haired girl giggled at Shine’s smile, a deep red showing up in her cheeks. “That is, if you have a moment?” She wore a long black skirt and a blue short-sleeved blouse. Her eyes were an odd yellow, similar to Neko’s.

“I’m always available to talk with the Club’s leader.” Shine stepped towards her, and then stretched out on arm to gesture forward. “Let’s walk while we talk, hm?” She giggled again, revealing her obvious fangirl-like embarrassment. As she started walking, her cheeks continued to redden and she fought her nervous laughter into silence.

“I wanted to talk to you about what we should do now. The League caught a few of our members as we were trying to get close to the last trainer. Do you have any advice?”

“Now, Ingenuo, don’t worry about the captured. We can’t stop and turn back to help each person who stumbles. They will free themselves if they can, and we can trust that they will not betray us.” Because they can’t. Shine’s smile broadened as he thought about the amount of control he had over his group of killers. “What shall we do next…Shinu is off completing a mission and Neko is sleeping off a little stress. We could always use a few more ghosts, so why not fan out along Mt. Silver and search for any Misdreavous we may have missed?”

“Yes, Shine. We shall do as you say.” Ingenuo bowed before darting off towards the barracks that held the other Fans. Shine watched her go, shaking his head slightly.

“They’re all so blind to what they do. It’s hard to imagine that the whole Club is thanks to having a human body. At least humans are useful as slaves.” The red-haired man began walking down his original route. “Perhaps I should check on Neko? No, that won’t do. He’s weak, so that Pokemon will attack if I so much as walk by Shinu’s room. I could check on Shinu and how far along he is to betraying me. Then I’ll know what I should do to punish his behavior.” There was a sudden alarm from within the confines of Shine’s robe. One hand pulled out a small device bearing nothing but a screen which was currently blinking in time with the noise. Shine pressed a button along the edge of the object and cursed loudly as he read the words that were displayed there.

“His betrayal may be more serious that I predicted if he meets Ryan while she is around. One of them was already supposed to be dead by the time Shinu met the other.” He stashed the screen away and hurried down the hallway towards the room containing the monitor.

There was a loud knocking on the apartment’s front door, as well as the hint of a laugh from the other side. Ryan stood and walked to the door, then opened it. He blinked in surprise at the girl, who handed him Zalin, and walked past him into the apartment. Wraith followed her with a weak smile at Ryan. The Ninetales was last, and she looked up at Ryan. “We found your cat, Ryan.” The fox gave him a grin and stepped around the stunned boy.

8th October 2005, 5:46 AM
I'm soooo sorry for not reviewing. x.X Sorry, sorry *hides under pebble* I see you fixed the fromatting problem with dialogue. :DDD


PORYGON! PORYGON! PORYGON! *gloms onto it* One of my very favorite Pokemon.^^ I don't see any mistakes, but I like how the story's progressing. I'm a little sick, so all the different characters are muddling me up a bit, but I'll catch up with them all eventually. XD

8th October 2005, 5:58 AM
WOW, u got a lot of talent. Its got a nice plot.You just got a new fan^^

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
8th October 2005, 6:08 AM
Another good chapter. Good portrayl of Kitsune in a good mood, though I don't think the apartment will last long with her inside if she wasn't in a good mood.

I'd love to learn more about Kenni and her pokemon, but I guess waiting is the only way to find out. The fan club is certainly a bigger threat than even Shine realises, I feel sorry for all that fall to such a cruel attack.

10th October 2005, 2:23 AM
Thanks everyone!

Scrap: I'm glad you like Glitch, but I'm not sure how much I want to use him right now. But he's super cute because he's been damaged before, and now has a bunch of tiny, black fissures all across his surface :3 I have a good sprite of him if you'd like a better idea of how that works.

DKzM0mA: Yay! New fans are always fantastic! Thanks for your wonderful compliments (and keep reading, or I'll cut you >>)

Flat- I mean... Kyuubi: More information about Kenni will be revealed as time goes by. Yes, the Fan Club is a horrible atrocity of a cult/cult-like group (but it was YOUR idea, so don't pin any of the possibly gruesome things they do on me).

To Everyone: Chapter Five is done, but I'm delaying it until I get Chapter Six finished. I love having an extra chapter in my stockpile before releasing a new one, so plan on me always being ahead of the game and that there should never be more than four to five days between chapters. Also, a banner is being created with my spriting skills that I hope to have up today (just have to finish Ingenuo and unique pokemon like Kitsune). Thanks for waiting!

EDIT: Sexy new two-part banner is in place ^^ check my sig for the human (and ditto) characters in all their glory.

10th October 2005, 4:05 AM
Yo! Chapter Six is done, and Chapter Five is up.....now.

Chapter Five: The Fox and the Flower

“Lilac?” Ryan’s jaw still hung open as he pushed the door shut. The girl giggled at him before catching a charging Sketch and lifting him in a hug. Lilac’s black hair flew about as she spun with the Smeargle in her arms. Sketch let out a cry of delight and then darted away when Lilac put back on the ground. Zalin squirmed out of Ryan’s grasp, glared at Kitsune as they passed, and then sat near a corner to lick the pads of his paws. Sketch playfully shoved the cat, but jumped back when Zalin hissed in response. Lilac put a hand over her mouth to stifle a laugh as she watched Sketch’s surprise. Ryan spoke again, “Lilac?”

“Yes, Ryan?” She turned towards him, and her hands clasped behind her back. Three Pokeballs were at the waist of her pink skirt, which matched her sleeveless shirt perfectly. The girl had grown a bit since they had last met two years ago, when she was only ten.

“What are you doing here? How did you even find this place?”

“Kitsune wanted me to learn how to be more human. So, she thought ‘who better to teach Lilac how to act human then a Ditto who pretends he is?’ I had some Psychic Pokemon track you down, and they told us to come here. Oh, and we found your Meowth and Haunter on the way over.” Lilac pointed at Kitsune, the white Ninetales, who seemed to be talking with Thorn.

“That’s why you’re here? Why doesn’t your brother teach you those things?”

“Because he’s as damaged as me.” Lilac smiled despite the rather odd explanation. From what Ryan had gleaned from Kitsune and Lilac during previous conversations, Lilac had been manipulated or brainwashed into serving the Espeon that lived in her family’s valley. Her family, the All-Weathers, currently consisted of just her brother and herself. Both were well known as breeders, partially due to the fact that they lived in a valley that was one of few Eevee breeding grounds. The Espeon had damaged Lilac and her brother to the point where both were about as human as Ryan was.

“Sorry, I forgot. Lilac, I really can’t teach you any sort of humanity for a while; there’s too much that I need to do. I’ve got to prepare to go back to Kanto for the League, and there’s a few offers from various Gyms that I need to look out. Maybe if you-“

“Something happened. Something horrible. Ryan, tell me what happened.” Lilac’s face was suddenly stern, and her voice commanding. Ryan swallowed nervously, though his features didn’t betray him.

“Nothing happened, Lilac. I’m just really busy. If I want to be a Gym Trainer, I really need to accept one of the offers now. I’d be happy to help you once I get that sorted out.” Ryan scratched the back of his head and smiled in an attempt to fool her. It seemed to work, and their chat shifted to less meaningful things.

Kitsune had made her way over to Thorn, who watched her with an icy gaze but nothing more. The fox revealed her teeth in a smile and sat next to the metal bird. There was a noise of metal rubbing against metal as the Skarmory shifted away from her. The Ninetales looked at him oddly and then spoke. “I see your wing finally healed after being away from me for two years. Don’t worry; I’ll be sure to hit the other wing next time.” Thorn winced as if the comment had stung him, but fought back the urge to snap at her.

“Yes, it’s amazing what happens when idiots such as yourself are gone. Speaking of which, how is Biohazard?” Thorn’s voice openly mocked her, and his ice glare had turned into fire that danced in his eyes. Kitsune took the insult without so much as a growl, and struck back with her own.

“I’m not the idiot who continued seeking revenge with a heavily damaged wing.” Thorn grimaced that comment and turned away. He silently thought about letting his vengeance go, and attempted to calm himself with thoughts of such places as the Olivine beach or the Viridian Forest. Instead, his anger merely grew while he fumed quietly. Cinder chuckled under his breath, but silenced himself when Thorn looked at him. It was around this time that Lilac assumed, rather loudly, that misfortune had befallen Ryan. The Ditto covered it up with an obvious, but well-constructed, lie.

Kitsune looked towards Bug, and the Unown began to float to hide behind Cinder’s head. The fox stood and walked around to the other side of the Typhlosion while the Unown continued to be on the opposite side of him. Kitsune’s voice was somewhat sweet while she locked her eyes with Bug’s single large one. “Bug, why don’t you tell me what really happened? Ryan’s a terrible liar for a Ditto, and I know that you know the truth.”

“You heard him, nothing happened.” Bug’s psychic voice was feeble and shy, like a small child’s.

“No, something definitely happened. Why don’t you tell me?” Her words were laced with a strange seductiveness, but the effect was lost on Bug. Cinder seemed flushed from the display, however.

“Kitsune, Attract doesn’t work on me.” Bug would have smirked if he had the capacity, and Kitsune made a noise that could have been a cuss. “But, I suppose it’s only fair that you know. We were attacked by an assassin earlier, and only escaped through a chance encounter with a friend.”

“Not you, too?” Lilac had heard everything, understanding the speech with unnatural clarity. She glanced back at Ryan, who was blushing deeply. “You were attacked, it’s so obvious now.”

“Wait, you said ‘too’. Were you attacked as well?” Ryan’s red cheeks disappeared while his eyes scanned Lilac for any trace of falsehood.

“Ryan, we’re attacked all the time.” Lilac giggled lightly as if the statement wasn’t as grave as it sounded.

“But you being attacked means that you’re finally doing something important enough to warrant your death.” The Ninetales spoke immediately after the girl, making the two sentences seem like one. “I can show where I’ve stashed all the bodies from previous assassins.”

“That’s really okay, Kitsune. I don’t want to know where you hide your murder victims.” The Ditto sighed and walked away from the door. “Lilac, we’re going to leave in the morning to try and find out why we were attacked.”

“Well, then we’re coming with you. I can probably learn how to be more human while we travel.”

“No, you can’t come with us. I’ve already decided that.” Ryan crossed his arms and began to raise an emotional barrier on the off chance that Lilac tried to play a pleading game. As he suspected, Lilac seemed unaffected by Ryan’s attempt to restrict her. Instead, it was Kitsune who responded.

“You know you’re going to let us come eventually. If I have to leave all of you to your deaths, I’ll need something to remember you by.” Kitsune came over to stand next Lilac, wrapping a few of her tails around Ryan, who pulled back from the contact. “I could take Thorn’s wing and Sketch’s tail since I need a paintbrush…”

“You wouldn’t get anything, because I won’t let you.” Kitsune seemed mildly surprised by Ryan’s assertiveness, but the emotion quickly faded from her face. Ryan smirked at her temporary lapse in composure. “That’s right Kitsune; you’re not in control of this one.” The fox might have growled softly, or it might have just been the sudden tension manifesting itself in the form of sound. She nodded towards Lilac, and the girl held up a plastic grocery bag full of various foods: Ryan’s smile grew. “I’m not a dog, Kitsune. You can’t sway me with food.”

“Not yet, I can’t.” Her words were powerful in Ryan’s ears, and he suddenly thought of love. He contemplated shifting into a dog form for Kitsune, but resisted when the idea of love brought him to Kenni. His eyes closed as memories flooded him and threatened to burst the dam that was his mind. The smile quickly became an angry grimace, and Ryan was actively growling when he opened his eyes. Kitsune mimicked the noise in her own aggressive display.

“Don’t play with love, Kitsune.” Ryan felt Bug shield him instantly, as they both knew Kitsune would try and control him again. “It’s something you could never hope to understand.”

“Let’s think about which one of us thought my love with Cinder was inappropriate.”

“Let’s think about which one of us is demon incarnate.” Ryan’s rose in volume while Kitsune remained eerily calm towards the insult.

"It's obvious, isn't it? I mean I'm a beautiful, loyal Ninetales, while you’re a Ditto who pretends to be human. You'd be called the demon incarnate if other humans were to judge it. I guess it shows how the human idea of deionization is flawed. Still it doesn't explain why you insist on using the concept against yourself."

“I'm the demon when you're the one who isn't opposed to killing to get your way? To play head games with your allies? To act like you're so great when you're even lower than a mimic like me?" There was a brief pause while Ryan waited for Kitsune to bat away the accusations.

“I haven’t killed anyone since I met Lilac…”

“But how many did you kill prior to that, hm? Hundreds? Thousands? Did the streets run red with your victims’ blood?”

“Ryan, please calm down. Fighting isn’t going to get us anywhere and your anger is affecting me.” Bug pleaded for an end to the argument, to which Ryan answered by remaining silent. Ryan was suddenly aware that everyone was looking at him and he looked away from Kitsune: it was an unheard of thing for the usually subdued and submissive Ditto to pick a fight with anyone.

“Kitsune, you should have just told him.” Lilac opened the bag, which revealed several single meal bags of PokeChow.

“This was much more fun, though.” Kitsune sighed and made a sort of shrugging motion while Ryan eyed her warily. “The one who attacked you is working for Shine. Or was, anyway.”

“What?” The boy’s face was shocked at first, but turned to confusion as he tried to wrap his brain around the concept. “Shine was just a wayward soul trapped in a Nincada’s shell the last time I saw. How could he possibly hire an assassin?”

“Twilight knew that Shine had a few secrets he managed to keep from her.” Lilac handed out the bags to Cinder, Sketch, Thorn, and Zalin. Sketch and Cinder began to eat straight from the bag, but Zalin and Thorn opted to put their shares in bowls instead. The girl put food in a third bowl for Kitsune and set it on the ground. “She’s known that he was up to something for a long time.”

“Still…he’d need some kind of actual body to do anything. He couldn’t think I was threatening any goal that that shell could be capable of achieving.”

“Ryan, you know that Shine is perfectly suited for possession. How long did he share your body?” Kitsune finished her question, and then began to eat.

“Awhile, sure. But he wasn’t in full control unless I let him take it from me.”

“That’s a lie. He took over fully whenever you let your emotions weaken you.” The fox stopped eating long enough to speak. She then returned to crunching the pellets between her teeth.

“Okay, I’ll give you that one. Still, he didn’t have a body twenty-four seven. That would require some sort of ritual that would still need a human’s help.”

“Isn’t it always a possibility that Shine had assassin contacts while he was a Shedinja? Twilight’s said that he’s actually a fairly feared figure in history. He could easily be several mass murders and a legendary pirate.” Lilac chimed in before crouching down to pet Zalin, who walked between her shins while brushing his tail against her.

“Whatever, that part doesn’t matter. Why would he want to kill me?”

“You did share his mind for a bit. Maybe he thinks you know something he doesn’t want you to? Or maybe its just revenge for when you crushed his body?” Zalin mewed loudly in protest as Lilac began to stand, so she merely smiled and returned to running her hand across the cat’s back and tail.

“I got him another body, didn’t I? Besides, his mind is always under lock and key. I know nothing about him that he didn’t let me know.” Ryan frowned and his brow furrowed. He rubbed his forehead gently and let out a deep breath. “Lilac, you and Kitsune can come, I suppose. We all know I can’t stop you, and I suppose at this point that I wouldn’t try to. We’re going to leave tomorrow morning still, so be ready by then. Are you staying somewhere?”

“I think we’ll stay here. I’m sure there’ll be room.” Kitsune smirked at him, and Ryan’s last hope of evading them died. Had they been staying somewhere else, it would have been easier to leave before them and avoid them all together. The fox walked away from the empty bowl. Ryan nearly jumped when a knocking sound came from the door for the second time that night. Lilac shrugged at him when Ryan gave her a look, so he opened the door without another question. When he did so, there was a brown-haired blur and he found himself wrapped in a girl’s arms.

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
10th October 2005, 5:32 AM
Rule of survival #286: Never let a creature that's killed tens of thousands with its natural abilities sleep the night in your apartment.

Rule #287: If you ignore rule 286, then avoid insulting the creature.

It's good to see the safty of the world lays in the hands of a hero with the survival instincts of a rock, while still being nothing more than jelly that's hiding as a human. He'll need all the luck he can get.

11th October 2005, 4:25 AM
Three years of near humanity as not helped Ryan learn how to survive. Oh well, good thing he has friends :P

Plus...ZOMG! Another chapter!

Chapter Six: Kenni's Kiss

“K-Kenni? What are you doing here?” Ryan shut the door softly with the girl still holding him tightly. He heard faint sobs from her buried face, and instinctively began to head for the door to the bedroom. A few garbled words made their way to his ears, but Ryan just shushed her soothingly. “It’s okay, Kenni, I’m here.” He deftly opened the door into the dark room, entered, and closed the door behind Kenni and himself. They sat on the twin bed that Ryan had fortunately kept, but Kenni stayed pressed into Ryan’s shoulder. “You have to let me know what’s wrong, please.”

“I’m so sorry, Ryan.” Her response was broken in many places by choked sobs, and her face was streaked with hot tears. She lifted her face to look into his. “I don’t know how I could have been that stupid. Please forgive me.” Kenni hid her face in Ryan’s shirt again, which had become wet from her crying.

“Of course I forgive you.” He smiled and held her in his arms. “You know that I’ll forgive you for anything you do. Why would you even have to ask?”

“Because I hurt you. Nothing I’ve done before that ever hurt you. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be, Kenni. Besides, you’ve made a few errors with your Pokemon that hurt me before. Remember when you were teaching Feather how to fight more like Thorn?” Ryan’s smile widened as Kenni looked up at him with a smile of her own. She gave a shaky laugh, which Ryan returned with a little more confidence. “It was lucky that I had a few spare potions on me, huh?”

“And that I didn’t see you use them, or I might have been suspicious. Ryan, you don’t need to look for forgiveness anymore. Everything I’ve said and everything I’ve done to you because of what you are was my entire fault, not yours. I forgive you as much as humanly possible.”

“Then we’re alright. There’s nothing left to forgive, and we can start over.”

“I don’t want to start over, Ryan. I want to start with us still being friends, or whatever we were before that. Please?”

“Yes, we can start as friends. We can’t lie to each other, though.”

“Agreed. So, since you can’t lie now, how do you know Lilac?” Kenni pulled her face out of Ryan’s shirt and sat upright. Ryan kept an arm around her, which Kenni made no move to remove. Rather, she leaned against him and put her head against his shoulder. They both blushed, but didn’t say a word about it.

“Lilac? I traveled with her for a bit after you and I split up. How about you?”

“I did the same thing, but probably not for as long as you did. I left to go to the Hoenn League, which is where we saw each other.”

“I almost beat you that time, remember?”

“Yup. We need to have a battle without the audience to see which of us is really superior.”

“No, we just need to have a battle without the anger or the grief of last time.” His voice hinted at sadness, which Kenni picked up on at once.

“You sound sad, Ryan. What’s wrong? Did you find something out about that assassin?”

“Yeah…it turns out he was hired by an evil spirit.”

“An evil spirit? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, besides the concept of a Ditto like you.” She giggled nervously, hoping that Ryan was joking. Her hope sank when he didn’t laugh with her. “It really is an evil spirit? Is it just a Ghost Pokemon?”

“You could say that. He’s definitely the ghost of a Pokemon, but I’m not sure if he’s in a Pokemon form right now. Apparently, he may have a human body of some kind. Lilac and I are going to go find him and try to figure out why he was after me. He might be after her as well.”

“Then I’m coming, too.”

“When you appeared at my door, I assumed that you would be. Thank you, Kenni. It means a lot to me.”

“Don’t think it’s all for you; he tried to kill me as well. Jeez, Ryan, don’t be so self-centered.” Kenni’s voice mocked him in an oddly friendly manner. Ryan felt the sudden warmth of her lips when she kissed him lightly on the cheek. “Maybe we should go talk with Lilac?”

“You mean you wouldn’t rather stay here with me?” Ryan smiled and returned the kiss, and Kenni laughed at the contact. “Aw, why are you laughing? You’re so hurtful, Kenni.” She laughed more when she felt his lips again, then playfully broke free from his arm and leapt off the bed.

“Come on, let’s go.” Kenni opened the door back into the main room, and Ryan gently pushed her out in front of him. Most of the Pokemon were still sitting in silence, but Zalin was glaring at Kitsune from his corner. A few had guilty looks upon their faces, so Kenni looked back at Ryan devilishly. “It looks like we had a few eavesdroppers.”

“Like you expected anything different?” Ryan smiled as he looked from face to face. Each one met his gaze for a bit, but broke off long before he did. “Well, they all know seeing as they forced Bug to tell them.” Kenni giggled and waved a finger at the Unown, who hid behind Cinder with embarrassment. “Or maybe, we just had a sneaky fox spying on us. Yeah, that’s probably it now that I think about it.”

“The door was unlocked and I’m already as guest here.” It was the only reason Kitsune gave to justify her obvious spying.

“That’s no right, but I’ll let it slide.” Ryan smiled at the fox and then took a seat on the ground. Kenni sat next to him, but leaned against him again. “Since we’re all going to be leaving here tomorrow…where is everyone going to be sleeping?”

“Kenni’s coming with us, too?!” Sketch’s eyes lit up and he nearly bounded across the room to hug the girl in question, but Cinder caught him before he had a chance.

“Yes…that’s kind of why I mentioned it. Anyway, there’s only one bed. I think either Kenni or Lilac should have it. Does anyone, besides Kitsune, object?”

“I’ll take the floor, if that’s okay. Lilac can have the bed if she wants.” Kenni snuggled against Ryan’s shoulder, and Ryan turned crimson. “What, you’re too embarrassed out here?” She teasingly put her arms around him and scooted even closer.

“I haven’t slept on a bed in ages; I don’t really need it. You can have it.” Lilac offered the bed to Kenni, who stubbornly refused.

“No, you should have it. A good bed is a nice treat once in awhile, but I’d rather sleep out here with the Pokemon.”

“And thus started Humanization 101.” Ryan laughed sarcastically, earning an odd look from the girl that had attached herself to his side. “Kitsune wants me to teach Lilac how to be more human, and you’ve just become the professor.”

“All the more reason that she should have the bed.” Kenni smiled while Lilac shrugged in response. “Between the two of us,” she nodded at Ryan, “we’ll teach you how to act more human in no time. Actually, we should probably all get ready for bed if we’re going to be leaving at the crack of dawn. Ryan, what’s the chance that you have any extra blankets?” Kenni walked on her knees to a few boxes, but found only paintings inside.

“Uh, I’d say zero to none. All the sheets and things are on the bed in the other room. I’m sure Cinder will be happy to keep everyone warm, though.” Ryan stood up as Cinder nodded in agreement. He opened the bedroom door for Lilac, who then walked in with Kitsune pushing past her. The main room was already darkening as the last bit of sun disappeared from sight of the one window. Ryan and Kenni shifted a few boxes until there was a fairly large space that they could lie in.

Cinder walked over to the clearing and proceeded to lie on his stomach. After a quick glance to check for Kitsune, Zalin padded over to where Cinder lay, and then climbed onto the Typhlosion’s back. The Meowth promptly curled into a ball for sleep, after the customary ‘walking in three circles’ that all cats do. Thorn chose a corner away from the others to sit in, and then tucked his head under his left wing. Bug hovered about the room with Wraith in tow as Sketch sat up against Cinder’s flank. Kenni rested her head against Cinder’s other fur-covered leg, and grabbed Ryan (who had changed into a sleek Rattata). She held the purple mouse close to her, and the group soon drifted into sleep; except, of course, for the Unown who didn’t need it and the ghost who couldn’t sleep at all.

“So, Bug, did you feel that presence?” Wraith’s voice mocked the psychic as the Haunter took a quick peek into the bedroom to find Lilac and Kitsune asleep as well. He choked back a giggle at the sight; Kitsune took up most of the bed and pushed her trainer close to the edge.

“Yes, I did.” Bug shot a warning glance at Wraith, who frowned slightly as he resisted going into the bedroom to make Lilac fall. “That assassin is in Goldenrod and most likely knows where we are. I don’t think we need to worry about him now, though: There are too many of us for one of him.”

“We don’t know exactly what kind of help he’s getting, though. He could have six Lugias or some other ungodly roster.”

“That’s entirely possibly, I suppose. It’s just not very probable. Shine gives off a sort of aura that would immediately make any Lugia parent flee with its children. It’s more likely that he has an average or above average team more suited for killing. I do know that he has at least one psychic with him: as soon as I tried to read the assassin’s mind, he was shielded by someone. Actually, the psychic wavelength was similar to Shine’s…”

“The psychic what? I have no idea what that is, as my general policy regarding psychics is ‘they can’t read you if they’re dead’.” Wraith shook silently with inward laugher at his rather warped philosophy.

“A psychic wavelength is a sort of signature that a psychic leaves when it uses its powers. All psychics leave their own distinct pattern, but this one bore a lot of resemblance to Shine’s. Shine himself is a sort of exception to the laws of psionics, because he’s a ghost that acts as if he were naturally psychic which is impossible.”

“And why is that, oh Psychic Know-It-All?”

“Psychics are typically born that way, not made into psychics. True, a large number of Pokemon have latent psychic abilities, but the majority of them could never do what Shine does. Oh, I forgot that you’ve never actually met Shine. You see, Shine has the abilities of a ghost in that he can possess others both partially and fully and that he has control over the spiritual energy that fuels attacks like Shadow Ball. He also has the skills of a psychic through telepathy and mind control to further enhance his possession. I’m not sure how he fares in such things as telekinesis, clairvoyance, or premonitions.”

“Should I bother asking what those last things are? All of this information is starting to hurt my brain…”

“Then don’t bother asking about the last things. If you ever really want to know, I’m willing to tell you anytime. Long explanation short: Shine is an odd psychic-ghost and should be treated as a Pokemon of both types. Once we find him, don’t ever let your guard down physically or mentally.”

“Shine sounds like he could be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to play with him.” This laugh was not so well-contained, and Wraith’s giggles could be heard through the room. Kenni rolled over to face away from the noise, letting go of Ryan in the process. Wraith stopped laughing and waited for someone to wake up, but no one did. He chuckled under his breath while Bug sighed.

“Perhaps you should keep watch outside?”

“Aw, you’re no fun, Bug. I’ll keep quiet from now on: ghost’s honor.”

“…I’m willing to believe the lie that ghosts have honor as long as you really are quiet tonight. But, since we have eight hours all to ourselves, I guess a little chatting is a good thing.”

“Oooh! I want to start.” Wraith scratched the area where a chin should be as he lost himself in thought. His eyes lit up as he found a suitable question for the Unown who eyed him with awe and astonishment at how childlike the ‘who knows how old’ ghost was. “Okay, I want to know the full story on what happened between Ryan and Lilac. I wasn’t there, and you guys that were don’t talk about it that much.”

“Fine, I shall do as you ask. But first, tell me how old you are. As in, the number of years you were alive and the number of years you’ve been a ghost.”

“173 years total: three of which spent as a Cacnea and fourteen as a Cacturne.”

“Well, I guess being a dark Pokemon in life fits you. Now, as I promised, for the full story of what happened two years ago…”

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
12th October 2005, 5:03 AM
Three trainers in one apartment, two girls and a psudo guy, spending the night. I can see why they made sure Lilac was the one with the bed... I see at least Kenni is aware of the survival benifits of giving the one bed to the killer ninetales, even if it was only indirectly from giving it to Lilac first.

It's also good to see Bug and Wraith getting along so well, though I'm sure it won't last. Just look at the possiblities of Wraith pulling a prank on a ninetales who, by nature of species, can't take a joke. I'm sure Bug will spend most of the night preventing such a thing happening, as even though Kitsune can't kill Wraith, everyone else is an fair target if the so much as look at her in the wrong way when she's in a bad mood. Trust me, she'd be in a very bad mood if she ended up trying to kill something that's already dead.

The thing I'm most surprised about is the fact everyone seems comfortable with having Kitsune out of her pokeball for the night, especailly with the knowledge that Thorn still desires payback against her... I mean he has to at least get lucky with a scheme some time, if not completely outsmart Kitsune. The problem is with what Kitsune would do back.

12th October 2005, 11:03 PM
Things are under control given the gravity of the situation. Someone is trying to kill two people who aren't used to it, after all. XP

Revenge plots might come later. Maybe. But only if you're reeeeeally good.

Chapter 7: Twisted Dreams

Black. It covered the entire planet, engulfing it in a never ending night. This is what Neko saw, and he tried to turn and run.

He stumbled through the darkness and fell several times. Each time, he hastily scrambled to his feet and kept running. Neko knew something was following him; it was something that was always chasing him. Whenever he fell, he knew that it was getting closer and closer to consuming him. So he continued to run.

Its breath was hot on his neck, making his skin crawl as if touched by Death itself. His legs ached with exhaustion and they threatened to give out. Something smooth brushed against the back of his shin and then tried to wrap around it. Neko pulled his leg from the tentacle’s grasp and his legs suddenly began to pump faster in an effort to escape.

A deep growl rumbled and shook Neko’s entire body. The ground seemed to shift wildly under his feet from the force, but he kept moving with enviable balance. Sweat was pouring off of him, though, and his entire form was hot with exertion. But he needed to keep running from the thing that tracked him relentlessly. And he did.

Suddenly, an intense burning sensation flared across his back. He let out a scream of the deepest anguish at the pain which seemed to reach directly into his soul. Neko twisted his neck around to glimpse a single red eye staring him at him. The eye noticed his gaze, and Neko found himself staring into a bottomless, emotionless orb. He forced himself to look away, and felt the pain disappear as the eye closed back into the blackness that was all around him.

There! Just ahead was a patch of light, a small circle that shone from the heavens’ themselves. He managed to step into the blinding white, shielding his eyes with one hand. Neko stood there in the feeble ray with his heart pounding against his rib cage. The dark growled at him menacingly, and Neko saw his death for in a brief flash.

A claw of shadow was wrapped around his neck while the red eye stared at him coldly. He pressed against the wall of something, cool and slick to the touch of his fingers (which he was losing feeling in). There was a hole in the air before him, shaped like a gaping, jagged-toothed maw. It inched closer while he struggled to breathe, desperate to break the grip and flee. The pointed teeth raked his chest, drawing long lines of blood that burned against his flesh. The mouth lunged forward and Neko returned to the circle of light.

The monster was stalking around the circle, hissing as it waited for Neko to step out of the bright white. Fearing that very event, the boy merely stood where he was and wiped the sweat off his face. He was wheezing for breath after the exhausting run and his legs shook with fatigue. Giving into the whispers in his mind, Neko kneeled on the ground to rest his tired limbs. His yellow eyes stared at the sun drenched ground beneath him, then instantly looked to face a voice.

“Neko…come to me.” The voice was hideous, drenched in loathing and barely contained anger.

“Why do you do this to me every time I sleep? Why can’t you leave me alone?” Neko was shocked by how scared his voice was. It warbled as if he was on the verge of tears, which he suddenly felt run down his face.

“Because you are a part of me. We will be bound forever, you and I. But I don’t want to be linked to you.” The ground shook again as the voice rose for a brief moment. “You are a weakness; a flaw that must be fixed; an imperfection. Don’t you want to be perfect?”

“You’re perfection is anything but. You’re just a twisted creation of Shine’s. Now leave me!” Neko shouted, and the circle seemed to expand by an inch. He could feel the creature shrink backwards, but knew that it was still close by.

“I can’t leave you. Shine has forced me to bind to you for ‘protection’, but do you know why he really did it? It’s because he wants you to suffer for not willing yourself to be controlled by him. This entire situation is your fault.”

“No, it’s your fault! If you hadn’t been created, Shine wouldn’t be this far along his plans. I would have had time to stop him.”

“Pathetic rationalizations. You wanted to stop Shine, but you have not the courage to do so. You’re able to keep him from breaking you, but you can’t stand up to him. If you gave yourself to me, I could do it for you…”

“You don’t want to stop him. Your very existence is to carry out his plans because you are his plans. Everything you’re telling me is a lie, and I won’t be fooled.” Another inch of light.

“I don’t want to follow his orders. I-“

“You want to bring about the end as much as he does, just not under his command.” The circle nearly doubled, and a figure darted backwards out of the new areas of light. There was a sizzling sound and the smell of burning flesh filled the area.

“You *******! You’ve pained me for the last time.” It tried to rush into the white area, but fled again when the sizzling resumed with a passion. There was a blood curdling scream of mixed pain and rage.

“Don’t bother me, you abomination. Stay out of my mind, out of my dreams, and out of life. We may be bound for eternity, but leave me alone!” Neko’s eyes flared white, and the world was filled with intense light. A writhing shadow ran across the field of endless purity, eventually finding a pocket of darkness to hide itself in. His eyes returned to yellow and Neko waited for a response. When nothing came, he breathed a sigh of relief which was followed by a spasm through his chest.

He sat bolt upright in the bed, feeling a cold sweet all over him. The room was familiar, but not his own. A hand went to the side of his head in attempt to make sense of what was going on. “That really was just a dream…” His hand pulled at the short black hair attached to his scalp “and he still won’t leave me alone.” The Pokeball in his other hand taunted him, and Neko flung it across the room in an attempt to get away from it. The ball didn’t open, but just rested on the ground. The fact that it didn’t open frightened Neko, and the child drew the sheets around him to protect him from the monster that he couldn’t see.

“Hm hm hm.” Ingenuo hummed a sweet melody as she clicked down the hallway towards her room. The other Fan Club members slept in a barracks, but she got her own quarters as a perk of being the commander. She punched in a key code to enter the room, taking delight in the security Shine had given her. Her room was fairly bare, containing only a bed and a desk with a chair. Various papers were strewn about the room, most of which were maps or complex plans. Ingenuo grabbed a Pokeball off the desk and opened it. An Abra appeared which landed softly on the desktop. Its head nodded slowly in sleep. “Now, let’s see what Shinu is up to.”

The Abra obeyed in silence, body glowing with the flow of psychic energy. Ingenuo felt it trying to connect with her and thus she let it into her mind. A fuzzy image materialized and sharpened to show Shinu. He was in an alley, his back to a wall, seeming to be waiting for something. His mouth moved in speech, revealing that an elderly Alakazam was next to him. “I need you to give me sound, too.” Ingenuo waited for the Abra to transfer audio to her, but frowned when nothing happened. “Where’s the speech? It’s obvious that he’s talking.”

“I cannot read it. They are being sheltered from my scrying.” The Abra’s voice was weak and distant, forever tired with some unknown fatigue.

“It’s probably that Myrrdin. Shinu’s up to something and he had his Pokemon make sure we didn’t know what it was. I think we have a traitor among us.” A smile played across her lips as the Abra nodded. Shinu’s lips continued to move and Ingenuo attempted to form words from the images. “I can’t do it…he talks too fast. Wait, what’s he doing now?” Ingenuo watched in horror as Shinu seemed to look right at her, spoke an obvious expletive, and then shouted something at Myrridin. The image in her mind went black. “Well, it appears Myrrdin knew what we were up to. We should tell Shine about this.”

“No, Shine already knows. He planned on Shinu’s betrayal.”

“That’s so amazing…to be able to predict his little Shinu’s actions far before they happen. Oh, he’s just so wonderful!” Ingenuo sighed with infatuation at the thought of her beloved Shine. “I should take care of Shinu for him. Then he’ll love me even more. Besides, I’ve never liked Shinu; killing him will be fun.”

“Ingenuo, you can’t possibly kill Shinu. That’s something he’s trained to do by himself, but something you’re better at in a group. Unless you had help on your side…”

“I wonder who he was supposed to kill on his current mission. Maybe I can get them to help.” Ingenuo tittered with pleasure and the hopes of a thoroughly deranged fangirl. The Abra drifted back to sleep and Ingenuo slowly calmed down. “Good idea. We should sleep and then leave in the morning. That’ll provide sufficient time to find him and eliminate him. Otherwise, he’ll reveal our plans to his former targets.” She crawled into her bed, which was made of gray metal with an average mattress and white sheets. Within minutes, she was lost in a dream of killing the traitor and then returning to her lover, Shine. Her smile was creepy in its innocent maliciousness.

Just before that, however, Shinu was in an alley with his Alakazam at his side. The streets of Goldenrod still bustled with activity, just a lot less of it (and the ‘activities’ seemed a lot shadier). Steam rose from a manhole in the middle of a nearby street, and a few nocturnal Pokemon were about. A Spinarak walked across Shinu’s shoe, nearly causing the assassin to panic. Controlling his fear, Shinu merely moved his feet and sent the frightened spider dashing away. Shinu felt the Alakazam look at him oddly, as if admiring the restraint he had shown. “What? Just because I didn’t freak out or step on it you start looking at me funny?”

“No…well, yes. That’s something that Shinu would not have done. Yet, you are Shinu. Are you my Shinu or a different Shinu?”

“Stop it, Myrrdin. I’m as confused as you are. Normally, I would have just crushed it, but I felt something keeping me from killing it.”

“Perhaps you have learned compassion; a love that connects you to all things unconditionally. Yes, I sense it within your awakened heart.”

“I know what compassion is. I just never expected to feel it. That’s not important now. We need to figure out what to do before Shine acts on our betrayal.”

“It is not my betrayal for I have never been his ally. It is just you who has turned away.”

“I know, I know. Ryan, Kenni, and Kitsune are all in the Ditto’s apartment right now. Shine wants all of them dead, but I don’t want to do what he says any longer. When they leave the city, we need to approach them and help them on their way. If we do so now, we risk being found out by one of Shine’s spies.”

“We are already being watched by the delusional girl. She can’t hear us, though.”

Shinu swore loudly, looking at a point in space that Myrrdin raised a finger to indicate. “Block her right now! She can’t find out about this.” Myrrdin nodded and Shinu’s blood pressure dropped back down to normal. “Ingenuo can’t see us now?”

“That she cannot.”

“Phew, I was worried she would find out what was happening. That would have been terrible.”

“She most likely already knows. Ingenuo is sharp enough to figure that out, no matter how easily manipulated she is. She’ll be tracking you down by tomorrow.”

“Then we must talk to Ryan and the others as soon as their out of the city limits. Come to think of it, we should get out of here to avoid detection.” Shinu began to walk out of the alley and into the artificially lit street. The lamps had a dim glow and revealed a few bug Pokemon that floated about the light in trances. Myrrdin followed him, placing each foot perfectly despite his blindness. There was a gatehouse ahead, signifying an exit. “Lets go, Myrrdin. We shall find them tomorrow.”

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
13th October 2005, 2:47 AM
I feel sorry for Neko, such a darkness linked to him that he can do nothing about. I can see how it could get worse for him too, I mean imagine if one of the fan club fell in love with him in a psycotic way, or perhaps someone worse than one of the fan club... He'd forget the darkness within him quite quickly, or at least want it to help.

I hate to say it, but Shinu's a bit of a disapointment. I was expecting the same psycho you used in RPGs, while this guy is far more emotionally stable. Well, I suppose he is going to meet up with Kitsune, but that doesn't count against his mental health because he doesn't know it yet.

17th October 2005, 10:44 PM
The psycho will be returning in brief flashes, so don't worry :P

Chapter 8: Savage Tactics

All was calm and quiet on the perfectly serene night. The moon cast her pale glow across the land, surveying the slumbering humans and Pokemon across the globe. Her rays refused to shine on Mt. Silver as if the celestial orb feared it. A satellite, however, did look on the mountain. Its unfeeling eye scanned the area for activity, but there was nothing but the usual Sneasel or Misdreavous. “Everything seems to be secure over here.” Shine was watching the monitor again, drinking in the images that the satellite sent. His fingers clicked across a keyboard and the image disappeared to be replaced by another.

Goldenrod: the city was wrapped in the blanket of night, but still fought against it with pinpricks of light from the many windows. The camera focused on an area, enlarging it multiple times. When it was finished, a boy and an Alakazam were the only things visible. They were walking casually towards a gatehouse, but Shine could tell that the nonchalant attitude was just a façade. The two were inwardly panicking about the possibility of discovery; Shine knew this for sure. He could feel Shinu’s fear and then Myrrdin’s feeble attempts to severe the psychic connection between master and servant. “Useless, all of it. Shinu’s betrayal could have been dangerous, but now it’s under control. Ingenuo will leave in the morning once I’ve given her the special Pokemon I promised her in case of such a situation.”

Shine suddenly felt overwhelming fear that assaulted his mind from every direction. He managed to stay standing by locking his elbows and pushing his hands against the console. The room was spinning and the floor was falling away to an abyss. The man closed his eyes tightly and forced the feeling out of his mind. “Neko must be having another dream.” Once the unwanted emotion was suppressed to just a dull terror in the back of his mind, Shine sighed and relaxed his body. “It’s really too bad that the apocalypse bringer wants to destroy the one linked to it. We both have connections to Neko, but mine is much more two-way. I don’t think it realizes that Neko can share his emotions as much as I can.”

He wiped a few beads of sweat of his brow, running a hand through his crimson hair. “Anyway, it’s probably just a little testy since I have this.” Shine withdrew a Pokeball from within his robe. The button glowed with a dull red, and the ball itself was a flat black and gray as opposed to the normal red and silver. “I’m sure Ingenuo will be able to use this fragment of it to get rid of all of them. There gathering is a blessing; I was just worried about nothing. I should go get the other Pokemon for Ingenuo to take with her…” Shine stashed the ball away again, smiling when he felt that the contents were trying to break out. “Oh, it’s eager to kill them; definitely a better servant than any of my others.” He walked out of the monitor room and into the hallway towards a storeroom.

The moon went her course and fell past the horizon as the burning sun peeked over it on the other side. Another dawn in Johto was painting a warm watercolor across the sky. The nocturnal creatures returned to their homes, burrows, and nests while the first of the daylight dwellers awoke. In this case, the first to rise was a white fox.

Kitsune’s eyes opened slowly and surveyed the room. Lilac had indeed been pushed off the bed and the girl now lay on the carpet below. The blue-eyed Pokemon stood and stretched, arching her back like a cat. Her tails set in motion after remaining still for eight hours. She leapt off the bed and Lilac stirred. “Oh, Kitsune, you’re up.” The trainer yawned, rubbed her eyes, and blinked. “How’d I get down here?”

“Kitsune pushed you. I would have woken you, but Bug told me not to.” Wraith materialized in the doorway, and Bug was visible behind him. The Unown’s eye expressed disbelief that the Haunter had tried to blame him.

“No, I just suggested that you didn’t wake her. There wasn’t really a point in doing so.”

“So Ryan hasn’t left yet? Good.” Lilac sat up before standing. Kitsune walked to the main room and Lilac followed, walking through the ghost still barring the way. As soon as Kitsune began to walk towards the pile of sleeping Pokemon (and Kenni), Zalin’s eyes shot open. With blinding speed, the cat pounced at her. He twisted his body midair to land away from her.

“Oh, it’s just Kitsune. I thought it was someone important.” Zalin smiled and brushed past the fox. He began to weave through Lilac’s legs again and failed to take notice of Kitsune’s growls. Ryan, who had shifted into Sentret as he slept, opened his eyes slowly. The other’s followed suit with Sketch being the last to awaken. “Good job, Kitsune. You woke everyone up.”

“Zalin, don’t tempt her. Kitsune, don’t make a mess all over my carpet.” Ryan transformed back to his human form and held Kenni’s hand while she stood up. After pushing Sketch out of the way, Cinder reared and rose to his full height. Thorn spread his wings in a stretch while Sketch covered his mouth before yawning. “Since everyone is awake, I suppose we should start moving.”

“Where, exactly, are we moving to? We don’t have a clue as to where this spirit is.” Kenni began to pace the apartment to get the blood flowing to her legs.

“Not entirely true. Twilight said we’d meet someone who knows where Shine is. Shine is actually shielding himself from scrying and other psychic detections, so we need to find him first. We’ll probably run into him if we leave town.” Lilac smiled, but didn’t pet Zalin. The cat huffed and stalked away to stand by Kenni, who did reach a hand down to scratch the top of his head. Purring softly, Zalin rubbed his furred cheek against the girl’s bare leg.

“Then let’s do that. Which exit do we take? The bug preserve is up north, and that daycare center is to the south…”

“You don’t sound very thrilled about going south, Ryan.” Kenni chimed in after lifted Zalin and resting him in her arms.

“It’s the most probable place of his birth. There are few other routes in Johto where Ditto exist in the wild. We should probably go north to avoid any trainers that may be looking for Ditto and accidentally point a Pokedex at him.” Bug’s eye glowed white briefly. The deadbolt on the front door clicked to the right, the door knob turned, and the door itself opened. Ryan held out six Pokeballs and his six Pokemon disappeared inside them. He led the way out of the apartment, followed by Kitsune, and then Lilac and Kenni. Once they were all out, he closed and locked the door.

“Ryan, where do you keep the key? All of your clothing is fake except for that belt.” Ryan smiled at Kenni’s question as he crouched and pushed the key under a tiny space under the door. “Oh…I guess that answers my question.” She blushed in embarrassment and started walking down the hallway with a giggling Lilac beside her. Ryan and Kitsune began walking next to each other and behind the girls.

“A wise decision to not leave before us, Ryan.” Kitsune smirked at him, but Ryan just returned the gesture.

“Aw, I’d never think of that, Kitsune. You know you’re my favorite fox in the whole wide world.”

“…don’t mock me, Ditto.”

“Lighten up or this is going to be a long trip. And using ‘Ditto’ as a derogatory term hurts my feelings, you know.”

“Would these be real feelings or just imitations?”

“Someone woke up in a vicious attitude this morning. But that’s okay, since I’ve stopped caring about your opinions of me. As long as it feels right to me, nobody else matters.”

“Nobody? Not even, say, Kenni?”

“You know what I meant: no one else’s opinions of me. Besides, there’s nothing going on between us.”

“Then what were you doing in the bedroom, hm? It didn’t sound like nothing.”

“We were just talking, Kitsune. If you’re trying to say that I’m some sort of pervert, don’t. You know I’m not like that.” Ryan blushed despite his assuredness, something which Kitsune instantly picked up on.

“Really? You sure seem to have a knack for traveling alone with young girls.”

“I didn’t choose to travel with Kenni or Lilac. Things just happened like that. And you know that I would never dream of making a move on Lilac.” He shuddered without realizing it, thoroughly disgusted by his own idea. “Let’s please move on to a different topic.” They had long since passed out the front door of the apartment complex and were passing by a smiling guard at the entrance to the city.

“How about the possibility that we’ll be meeting your assassin soon?”

“What are you talking about?”

“I had a vision of us meeting him outside the city limits.” Ryan raised an eyebrow at her fable, but Kitsune’s face remained serious.

“No…Bug and Wraith must have been chatting during the night watch again. It’s something that I can expect to happen with those two, and I could certainly believe that you weren’t entirely asleep when one of them predicted that.” Ryan chuckled lightheartedly, but was shaking with anxiety about the next attack. “Good try, though. It would have fooled someone who didn’t know you better.”

“Ryan!” Kenni’s voice rang through the air and set off a panic response in Ryan’s mind. The sound was frightened, scared, fearful; everything that he didn’t want it to be. Instantly, Ryan and Kitsune ran down the path that the girls had only been a little ways ahead on. Ryan skidded to a stop next to a slightly frowning Lilac and Kitsune gracefully halted next to him. A black-haired teen was holding a dagger to Kenni’s throat in a typical hostage stance. His smile was small but wicked.

“Don’t move, or she dies.” The dagger pressed against the soft flesh and drew a single drop of blood that ran across the blade. It fell to the ground and splattered against the dirt. Ryan swallowed a hard lump and clenched his hands into fists. His feet began to move forward, but the assassin took a step back (and dragged Kenni with him). “Ah ah ah! Aren’t you listening?”

“Just let her go. It’s me that you really want, right?”

“Strike one. What’s your next guess?”

“…you want to kill us all, then.”

“That’s two strikes. Third time’s the charm, perhaps?”

Ryan racked his brain in a futile attempt to solve the puzzle. Kitsune growled an answer “You want me, Ryan, Kenni, and all their Pokemon except for the Unown. Shine’s shown interest in Unown powered magic before.”

“Well, we have a winner. Congratulations, Kitsune.” Shinu tapped a finger to his ear, revealing a translator similar to the one Kenni wore. “I have Rocket technology, too. Those fools thought I’d be a good agent. Anyway, I should take care of this.” The dagger dug deeper, drawing more blood and a few squeals from the girl it was cutting.

“Let her go!” Adrenaline rushed into the Ditto, overwhelming his senses and reasoning. Before the assassin could respond, Ryan had charged forward and swung a fist. It connected to a jaw bone and instantly released Kenni from her captor. The assassin fell, but tumbled and managed to end on his feet. Reflecting the sun off its silver blade, the knife flew up and into the air.

Following Ryan’s lead, Kitsune rushed into battle. Her nine tails wagged viciously, coating themselves in a shining, metallic coating. She suddenly turned, swinging them at the would-be killer. He jumped backwards and managed a handspring to return to a standing position. The knife fell into his outstretched and waiting hand. He gripped the hilt tightly and leapt towards the fox.

The tails began to lash out again, and each was met with the flat side of the blade. As one was blocked, Kitsune stabbed another towards the assassin’s face. He bent backwards and landed in a bridge pose, arched back and all. A tail whistled horizontally, and the boy dropped to the ground. He rolled to dodge one that swung vertically and hurriedly rose back to his feet. “Damn fox, this is all pointless.”

Ryan helped Kenni stand and let himself be wrapped up in her arms when she was stable. Tears were flowing down her face again; they wet his shoulder through the vest and undershirt. He rubbed a thumb along the line where the knife had been and dreaded feeling the warm, sticky sensation of fresh blood. His fears were assuaged when he felt nothing but a few drops from capillaries. “I was so afraid I was going to lose you again.” Ryan whispered into her ear and drew her closer, trying to shield her from the danger all around.

“Wow, you’re really into this, Kitsune.” The assassin blocked another tail, but the knife was knocked out of his grasp. “Aw, now you’ve disarmed me. No wonder Shine said you were going to be difficult. Having nine iron tails is a little unfair, isn’t it? At least it must be draining on your energy reserves: iron is heavy and you’ve got it attached to your backside.” He continued to evade her attacks, which eventually became slower and far less constant. “Good, now that you’re tired maybe you’ll listen to me when I say that I’m not here to kill you.”

The attacks stopped instantly. Sighing, the assassin dropped his guard to catch his breath. Kitsune spotted her opportunity and took it, shifting her stance so that her side faced the assassin. Three tails hovered an inch from his neck, and one of them moved across the skin. Each other tail found an organ to target: both kidneys, heart, stomach, liver, and the assassin’s right lung. “Explain or you’ll die on the spot.”

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
18th October 2005, 5:19 AM
Just a few harmless comments this time, rather the same as I told you via AIM.

You've gotten Kitsune's personality a little out, but that is pretty much expected when she isn't your character. For one thing she doesn't beleive in it being possible to see the future, so would never actually claim to have a vision herself (In my fic that was also why she was so willing to run off with Lilac... When someone is giving you orders based on something you don't beleive is possible, then your loyalty is sure to fail easily)

The main problem I see is in the little fight at the end. Iron tail is not a stabbing weapon, it is a bludgeoning weapon. Sure it may have a sharp point in many cases, and it'd be tempting to use at to attack like that, but there are a few things that get in the way:
*While using iron tail, tails become completely stiff and are impossible for the user to bend (Though I'm sure a machoke could bend them if it got ahold on them), thus the only movement would be from the rest of the body and perhaps a little at where the tails conect to the body. Rapidly changing tails between using iron tail and not might get around this problem, though it'd be a waste of energy and any intellegent person would just change them last possible moment before impact.
*Canines (Witch do include foxes) have no prehensile tails, thus the movement in them is limited to rather simple movements, this being the only reason Kitsune can't pick people's pockets with her tails and could not position them at many vital points... at least not easily, she'd have to place one, harden it, place another, etc...
*Even if she could stab with them, it'd be ineffecent as the points can't really be that sharp and need a very good swing to do much damage. It one is getting a good swing a direct hit with an iron tail would, excluding rare circumstances, be more harmful to the victem. This does mean Shinu's method of defense wouldn't work as she is the strongest ninetales around, he'd have to take direct blows (Though not the downwards ones that'd crush him on the ground) and roll with them, thus making sure he's barely hurt.
*Kitsune is smart enough to of figured all these out, even if it was from trial and error.

23rd October 2005, 11:11 PM
I'm sorry for the mistakes in the fight, but I don't know when I'll be able to change them. She had enough reach because she's supposed to be facing sideways when she attacks (sorry if that was unclear ^^;). Anyhow, time for a semi-late update.

Chapter 9: The Red-Eyed Demon

“I guess I should have expected this. No matter, I’ll explain nonetheless.” The boy attempted to inch backwards, but Kitsune crept sideways to keep the tails close. “I’m really not here to kill you. Shine would like me to, but I won’t. His will has no hold over me.”

“That sounds unlikely. Shine’s control is strong; you’re either getting constant help in resisting him or Shine’s given up on you.” Ryan looked away from Kenni for only a brief moment as he spoke with the assassin.

“Well, it’s probably both. True, I am getting help. It’s also entirely possible and probable that Shine has relinquished his command over my mind.” He sighed, glaring ever so slightly at the tails that twitched over his organs. “My name is Shinu Konban, and I wish only to help you. That, and for Kitsune to stop nearly killing me. Her tails are betraying her desire to watch me die.” The tails remained where they were regardless. “Fine, I’ll disarm myself if that’ll make you more comfortable.”

Shinu took six Pokeballs from his waist and tossed them gently to Kitsune’s feet. Next came something that looked like a watch. “Don’t play with that one, it’ll detonate the Pokeballs.” He gave Kitsune a quick smile before laying four more knives on the ground before him. When the tails didn’t move, Shinu gritted his teeth. “That’s everything. I don’t know how else I could show you that I’m weaponless.” She seemed to believe him, and Kitsune’s tails fell away while simultaneously losing their metal coating. “Now that I’m not a muscle spasm away from death, can we just talk?”

“Go ahead, Shinu.” Kenni lifted her head from Ryan’s shoulder. Fear still shone in her eyes, and her hand subconsciously rubbed the cut across her neck.

“I, as a former servant of Shine, know plenty about his plans. I was supposed to kill you last time, but the Unown of yours helped to free me from Shine. If we work together, there’s a chance that we can stop that madman.”

“What is it that you know of Shine’s plans?” Kitsune growled the question out, but her fangs flashed in a smirk. Shinu returned the smile and sighed.

“Not everything, but enough to help. What, you didn’t really expect him to tell his pawn everything, did you?” He added the last part only in response to Ryan’s slightly confused look. “Anyway, I know where we should be heading and I know how long we have to get there. We need to go to Mt. Silver in the eastern part of Johto, and we have a week to do so.”

“What happens in a week if we don’t make it?” Kenni’s voice held a note of fear, but it was overshadowed by a chord of her returning confidence.

“The apocalypse will be upon us; the sky will turn black, the lights will be darkened, and the Red Eyed Demon will devour the Earth.” For a brief instant, Shinu’s gray irises turned a deep red, and then reverted back to their normal dull color. Everyone fell quiet as they thought about Shinu’s rather prophetic statement. Finally, Ryan broke the silence.

“Your eyes, they turned red when you spoke. Shine isn’t completely out of your mind, is he?” Kenni’s face questioned him, so he continued. “When Shine possessed me, my eyes always went red like that. It’s a good way to tell if what someone is saying or doing is really them or just a ghost in their body.”

“Which is why his human body always has those crimson eyes. He obliterated that man’s soul and stole the body he was using.” Shinu leaned back against a tree and watched the fox that still gazed at him intensely. “Sadly, I’m not sure if the Red Eyed Demon in that prophecy refers to Shine or his abomination he had me create. That thing sickens me to no end.”

“What abomination? Did Shine get his hands on something that could actually bring about The End?”

“Yes, and I handed it to him. God, that was so stupid!” Shinu pushed away from the tree, turned, and then slammed his fist into the bark. The brittle wood instantly broke under the force, leaving a sizeable indentation from the hand. He sighed and began to take deep breathes in a vain effort to calm himself. His head tipped forward and leaned against the tree. “I was working for the Rockets when I heard of a research project called ‘Project M’. Under Shine’s influence, I looked up as much information as I could find, stepping on anyone who tried to keep it as classified as it was supposed to be. When I read that file, I nearly broke Shine’s control in an attempt to commit suicide rather than do what he wanted. He got his way, though, and I did what he wanted me to.”

“I tainted a second Mew clone. I turned it into the very embodiment of evil. It lives only to kill, and kills only for pleasure…When the scientists discovered that their project had gone wrong, I killed each and every one of them. Of course, then I had to steal the developing clone and kill any body that stood in my path to the exit…and the Rocket Admin of that particular building.” A sinister smile came across his previously furious face, and an animalistic hunger shown in his down turned eyes.

“The warm, red blood flowing down their necks and then over my fingers…the feeling of a body going limp as you stick a dagger into the back…that final look of terror and panic…” His mouth was watering and his vision was beginning to get fuzzy. No, not here! Not now! I can’t relapse when I’m trying to get help from them…but if I kill them, I might feel better. If they die, maybe this void will be filled. If I watch them die, maybe I’ll be happy again. “He’s trying to take control of me again! Or, is this really me? I…I don’t know…”

“Shinu, it’s okay. Shine just damaged you, and you don’t know who you are without him. If you let us, we can help.” Ryan let go of Kenni and stepped away from her, and then walked the few steps to close the distance between himself and the assassin. He began to reach out a hand, but stopped as he imagined Shinu lashing out at the contact. The Ditto’s face took on a new determination, and he put his hand on Shinu’s shoulder. Shinu tensed and nearly pulled away, but remained where he was. “Just try to relax, Shinu. We’ll be your friends and we’ll help you against Shine.”

“I want revenge against the twisted little bug. He ruined my life and he sealed Neko’s fate. After we stop him, you’re going to help me seal him away. Right?” Shinu turned and clasped Ryan by the shoulders. His grey eyes showed the same intensity that the red ones had, burning into the Ditto’s mind with fiery, destructive obsession. Ryan’s hands began shaking at the realization that Shinu’s only driving force would be a thirst for revenge. Despite the mounting fear, he managed a calm response.

“Of course. As soon as we prevent his plans from succeeding, we will all help you banish him. I hate Shine, too. Locking him away for eternity seems too good for him.” Shinu dropped his hands as the animalistic presence in his composure faded away. The area seemed to calm with them, willing everyone to relax. Ryan’s eyelids began to feel heavy, and a long and drawn out yawn escaped his lips. “Wow…I feel really tired all of the sudden.”

With little warning, Ryan fell forward and into Shinu. The assassin just barely managed to catch him, propping up the Ditto gently. Kenni scrambled towards the fallen Ryan and cast an accusatory glare at Shinu. “What? You think I want him leaning on me like this? I don’t know what’s going on…if I could have my Pokemon back, I could find out.”

“Don’t bother; it’s just a Sweet Scent technique, courtesy of my little Vileplume.” A cream haired girl emerged from the bushes, followed shortly by an obvious runt of a Vileplume. The poor plant stood just up to the girl’s knee, but the Sweet Scent was now detectable by the other humans. Kenni sneezed twice and rubbed at her eyes as Shinu simultaneously fought a sneezing fit of his own. “Oh, but I see it didn’t work on Kitsune.” The girl flashed a sugary, though a little disturbing, smile.

“I hate sweet things, Ingenuo.” Kitsune growled but returned the smile all the same. Ingenuo frowned, but it disappeared as she subconsciously fingered a Pokeball.

“I should have known that, I suppose: it’s certainly fitting for you to dislike anything sugary. At least the Sweet Scent managed to take Ryan down. Now I’ll just have to fight you.” She recalled the Vileplume and threw an Ultra Ball. Out of the light came a Blastoise, or something that appeared to have been a Blastoise at one point. Its skin and shell were splotched with pure black areas that seemed to pulsate gently. The Pokemon’s maw was hanging open to reveal teeth transformed into fangs. Two orbs of crimson sat in its skull where its eyes should have been. They constantly shifted focus; first to Kitsune, then to Shinu, then to Lilac. Ingenuo snapped her fingers and the eyes centered on Kitsune. “Shine promised that I could use his special brand of Pokemon if I ever needed to hunt down Shinu.”

“I thought all these things were dead. Even Shine saw them as abominations; in fact, he ordered me to destroy them.” Shinu pushed Ryan away from him and into Kenni’s arms. He was glaring darkly at Ingenuo, a gesture which the girl giggled at. “He had you hide some, didn’t he?”

“Of course he did. Shine’s always liked me better than you. And now that you’ve turned traitor, I can make him like me even more when I kill you.” Ingenuo pointed a finger at Shinu and the tainted Blastoise rushed forth. Shinu leapt away from a swiping claw and bent to retrieve a Pokeball that still lay on the ground. The Blastoise knocked it out of the boy’s hand and continued its assault. Kitsune glanced between Shinu and Ingenuo, weighing her options on who to kill. “So, Lilac, how have you been?”

"Fine; I've found I can't escape my family’s legacy, thus I'm doomed to be good at nothing but Pokemon breeding" Lilac spoke while simultaneously dropping a Pokeball of her own to the ground behind her. It released a Zigzagoon who darted off to the edges of the clearing.

“Stop chatting and help me!” Shinu lost hold of the Pokeball again as the sphere flew upwards due to a slash by the Blastoise. He ducked under a lunging bite before jumping back to the side to avoid a stomp. The Blastoise suddenly stopped mid-attack, looking at Ingenuo. She nodded, and the beast fired a Hydro Pump from the back-mounted cannons. The water shot past Shinu and into the bushes beyond.

“I saw your Zigzagoon, Lilac. He won’t have a chance to steal anything now.” At an unseen command from Ingenuo, the Blastoise began to attack again. “I agree that you’re not a very good trainer, but there must be something you can do besides breeding.” It was then that Kitsune made her move, pouncing on Ingenuo and pinning her to the ground. The fox’s teeth were pressed against the girl’s neck, and Ingenuo neither struggled nor screamed. “Bad move, Kitsune.” Her arms reached up slightly, allowing her hands to clench Kitsune’s white fur.

The Blastoise paused, emitting a gurgling noise from the black patches on its body. The black began to bubble out, expanding into tentacles of shadow. They writhed through the air as the Blastoise collapsed to the ground with glossy eyes. Shinu stepped back with obvious fear as one tendril neared him. After dancing and winding through the air, the blackness sped towards Kitsune. As soon as a tentacle brushed against her, it began to coil around her body and constrict. They bound her in place and connected her to the deadweight of the Blastoise carcass. Ingenuo gave a hoarse laugh as her blood began to run down the sides of her neck.

“Like I said; bad move.”

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
24th October 2005, 12:03 AM
... Is that the best Ingenuo can do? She is in so much trouble, sure she is doing an above average job of dealing with Kitsune, but look at all the others who are there to fight too. She's doomed.

At least Lilac isn't going to have to get out her small pocket knife for this one, even after two years she still needs lessons in knife fighting.

29th October 2005, 1:48 AM
Chapter Ten: Hate and Malice

Shinu caught his Pokeball as it fell back down from the sky. He opened it immediately to reveal a white-eyed and graying Alakazam. “Myrrdin, save her!” Before the boy could even point at Kitsune, Myrrdin had disappeared in a flash of light. The Psychic reappeared briefly next to Kitsune, and then both of them teleported away. The coils of shadow shook with fury as their prey was snatched from beneath them. Ingenuo’s face contorted with a look of surprise and horror. “Good, they’ll be safe now.”

Ingenuo pushed herself into a sitting position and shook an accusatory finger at Shinu. “You messed everything up like you always do! Kill him instead!” The black cords continued waving through the air above Ingenuo. “Why are you hesitating? I told you to kill him.” The evil fingers withdrew to their deceased anchor, dissolving into the air as they did so. “No, you can’t be out of fuel already. Shine said that you could kill Shinu!” The girl scrambled across the ground on all fours, shouting at the fading blackness as she crawled. When she reached the lifeless Blastoise, Ingenuo beat her fists against the resilient shell. She mumbled threw sobs of anger and didn’t notice the black-haired boy who was slowly walking towards her.

“It was only partially infected, Ingenuo. There was no way it could survive forever. When it reached out to grab Kitsune, it had to convert the host’s entire life-force to act because it was merely a fragment. Shine was right, though; it could have killed me. That was, of course, assuming a fox hadn’t thrown a wrench into your plans.” Shinu preached while Ingenuo laid her head upon the smooth shell with the tears flowing down her face. “Since you’re now powerless, why don’t you tell me why you hate me so much?”

“Why do you hate me so much?” Shinu seemed taken aback by the question. He’d often thought about why he didn’t like her, but he’d never told anyone of his dislike.

“I don’t hate you…whatever gave you that idea?”

“Shine told me once. A few times, actually. He said that you hated me more than anything else and that you wanted to watch me die.”

“You believed him? Shine is a cold-hearted, manipulative, sadistic-“

“Stop! Shine is a good person, he just thinks a little different from everyone else.”

“He’s not even a person, Ingenuo. Shine’s a spirit of a Pokemon who died long ago. Considering that he isn’t bound by many things that affect other ghosts, you could easily say that he’s something more. But, that doesn’t make him a person, and he’s definitely not a ‘good’ anything.”

“No, he’s perfect in every way. He wants to make the world beautiful again, Shinu. Why don’t you want to help him?”

“Beautiful? Shine’s trying to use a demon of a Pokemon to realize his sick dream of utter annihilation. Apocalypse, devestation, Ragnarok. Those are his goals and his fantasies. With that Pokemon under his control, he can destroy this plane and branch out into those touching it. How is that beautiful?”

“It’ll be clean and unmarred by human hands, for starters.”

“This is pointless. You’re brainwashed to defend him and nothing I can say will change your mind. As such, you’re just a liability that can be eliminated.” Shinu grabbed Ingenuo’s boot and pulled a knife out of an indentation in the sole. “Clever hiding place, but it always made your steps on hard surfaces sound different.” He twirled the blade deftly between his fingers and proceeded to place the edge against her throat.

“You never answered my question.” She stared up at him coldly; Shinu felt his heart stop for a moment.

“It’s because you stole Shine from me. Before you came along, I was the favorite: I got the most attention. And then he threw me away because you were there. Your presence made me worthless in his eyes. That’s why I hate you.” The knife trembled against the soft skin as Shinu’s voice did likewise in his throat. For a moment, Ingenuo seemed sympathetic, perhaps even caring. Then, she went and shattered the illusion of near friendliness towards her former comrade.

“Shine liked me more because I was better. You were inferior in every way, so Shine merely tossed you aside like he would anything else that was obsolete” The world was full of bitter malice that stung Shinu’s core. “It’s rather pitiful of you to assume that he wouldn’t.”

“I am not obsolete. Especially so since you will soon be dead.” Ingenuo’s eyes widened in unbridled horror as Shinu slid the blade across her neck, craving the sight of fresh blood by his own hands. A curious envelop of light covered Ingenuo, stemming from a Pokeball that she had stealthily grabbed from whatever hiding place it had been concealed in. Shinu tried to grab her in the brief instant before the Teleport finished, but to no avail. She was gone in a flicker of white: the knife bore not a drop of red along the slender edge.

All was once again silent in the clearing. Kenni held a slowly awakening Ryan in her arms. Shinu kneeled next to the body of a scarred and twisted Blastoise. Lilac stood off by herself, quietly watching a startled looking Zigzagoon creep back towards her. You know, Myrrdin is too far away to protect you now. Shinu started, surprised at the voice ringing through his mind as clear and crisp as if it was whispering into his ear. And I don’t take kindly to agents fighting amongst themselves.

I am not an agent of your’s.

You can tell yourself and everyone around that all you want. But that doesn’t make it true.

I’m going to go find Myrrdin so he can block you out of my mind. Shinu place a hand upon the Blastoise shell and prepared to stand.

No, you’re going to stay right where you are. The arm gave way; Shinu was left kneeling and finding it quite impossible to move.

Damn you, Shine.

What was that? Damn me? Yes, many people would consider me a damned spirit, forever wandering between life and death. Even I would call myself damned, but only because I must spend eternity watching humanity slowly destroy itself. If only there was a way to speed up the process…now, where would I find something like that? Shinu was sent the mental image of a grin that mocked and taunted him in his dreams. Oh yes, I remember. You seemed to have hand delivered me The End in a convenient, Pokeball form.

That end isn’t guaranteed, Shine. I will stop you if it means selling my soul to the Devil. Shinu sensed the reply before Shine had a chance to make it. Not you, the real Devil. Kitsune probably knows how I can contact him.

Ah yes, the white-furred she-demon. I believe you’ll find her help quite useless and/or utterly counterproductive. You’ll probably want to kill her before she does the same to anyone else whom you may be working with. She has quite a number of unsolved homicides under her belt.

Get out, get out, get out. In the name of the Eternal Lady and Lord, I bid thee part. I consecrate and clear this space. Let nothing but joy linger here. In the name of-

Are you trying to exorcise me? Poor, poor Shinu; you have not the magic stores to even exorcise a ghost that wanted to leave. Ryan has a better chance of success than you, and he’s one of the most magically, psychically, and spiritually inept creatures I’ve met.

nothing but joy linger here. In the name…

You’re really serious, I see. I suppose I should just take what I need and be on my way. Just so you remember, you have roughly one week to get to Mt. Silver before the final eclipse. Farewell, wretched soul. A searing pain shot through Shinu’s mind, during which he struggled to continue repeating the phrases in his head. The pain died away and there was silence in his skull again.

Neko crawled out of the black-sheeted bed and gazed around the dark room. He had seen the attack on Kitsune; no, seen was the wrong word. The boy had felt the attack as though he was the one trying to kill her. Deep in his chest, he felt a rumbling of anger towards the failure. He stood and walked to the Pokeball he had thrown across the room the night before. It hummed gently as he picked it up, but it was a sound that served to instill fear rather than compassion. Neko moved to the doorway and opened the bedroom door in to be greeted only by a pair of hands that grabbed for his neck.

He dropped the Pokeball in surprise and wrapped his own fists around the girl’s wrists. She only clenched his throat tighter, her yellow eyes filled with infinite rage. “Your little pet failed, Neko. Shine said any weakness in it is entirely your fault, so I think I’ll kill you like I was going to do to Shinu and Kitsune.”

“Ingenuo, it wasn’t my fault at all. If he failed, it’s because it was only a partial taint. Had the full form been there, you would have succeeded.” Neko grimaced as the hands continue to grip tighter. “Please, Ingenuo; forgive me.” The Pokeball rattled across the floor as it jerked about as though controlled by an unseen puppeteer.

“But you just said it wasn’t your fault, Neko. So, why are you asking for forgiveness?” Igenuo paused as Neko began to go limp in hold. “Well? Answer me, dammit!” She shook the boy wildly after his legs gave out and he passed into unconsciousness. The girl roared with primal fury just before tossing Neko backwards and into the headboard of the bed.

Whump. The wind instantly left her legs from the impact. Neko’s single Pokeball had jumped up from the ground and directly into her gut. It lifted her off the ground a few inches and then held her there, suspended by gravity. The orb pulled itself out of the girl’s abdomen, whistled around to her back, and plummeted into her body again. This time, Ingenuo was slammed to the floor, held down by a seemingly harmless, ordinary Pokeball. It began to spin rapidly, trying to bore into the soft flesh.

“M, stop!” Shine stood in the door way, his face full of surprise, fear, and anger. The Pokeball halted mid spin and slowly rose to Shine’s level. There was a period of utter silence, save Ingenuo’s gasps for breath. During this time, Shine’s composure changed as if he was listening to someone. “I understand that she was attacking Neko, but you had no right to try and kill her.” More silence.

“So she was attempting to kill him, was she? I’ll be sure to fix that little problem. Thank you for not completely destroying her, though.” Shine stooped to pick up the girl, propping her up with her arm around his neck. He hobbled out of the room with Ingenuo serving only as deadweight. The Pokeball hovered to Neko’s side and pushed against the boy, forcing him into a more comfortable position. It settled on the bed sheets; the single button focused on Neko like a burning eye.

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
29th October 2005, 4:19 AM
Kitsune isn't going to be happy. She wasn't even given the change to pee on her foe before being teleported away. Well, since it did die seconds later it won't be too bad, she might even say something honest to Myrrdin, something along the lines of: "Teleporting make me ill" (Include demonstration)

7th November 2005, 4:07 AM
Sorry, no more progression with anyone but the trainers today. Of course, a ton of confusing past things will be put into the open...yay!

Chapter Eleven: The Confusing One

”Who was that, Shinu?” Kenni cast a judgmental eye over the boy as the Ditto in her arms slowly came to. “If you say that she was an assassin, I swear to God...we absolutely do not need another threat if we are indeed trying to save humanity.”

“Then I won’t say it. Her name is Ingenuo, and she is indeed one of Shine’s ‘shadier’ employees. Of course, had she been following protocol, there would have been a squadron of girls like her, all ready to fanatically give their lives for Shine’s cause.”

“Did you say Ingenuo? Cream hair, yellow eyes Ingenuo?” Ryan sat up with Kenni supporting him softly. Shinu looked at him oddly for a bit, and then gave a look of sudden understanding. Kenni, however, remained puzzled.

“Yeah, that sounds like her. How do you know her? She’s an assassin…”

“Ingenuo? An assassin? That’s ridiculous!” Ryan laughed deeply before wincing in a sudden dull pain. He held a hand to his head, trying to stave off the deep pounding. “Whatever knocked me out is still affecting me a little…ouch…”

“It was a Sweet Scent, Ryan. But how do you know her? You still haven’t answered my question.”

“Well, two years ago I was traveling through Hoenn with Lilac. Actually, I was serving as a sort of spy and guardian for the police; they wanted to know what Lilac was up to and Kitsune seemed too dangerous for such an inexperienced trainer. During our travels, we met a girl named Ingenuo. She…was a little taken by me.” Ryan shifted uncomfortably, pulling away from Kenni’s hands.

“Ryan, explain.” Her eyes drilled into the back of his skull. Ryan made an near whimpering and edged away from the girl.

“Well, she thought I was some sort of great trainer, and she became a sort of adoring fan.”

“Which is probably how she got to be so good at idolizing others.” Shinu butted in and stepped back out of the conversation. Kenni glared at Ryan, causing the boy to sheepishly hunch over in an attempt to hide.

“Kenni, all she did was fawn over me like I was a celebrity. I tried to set her straight, but she wouldn’t stop until Lilac put an end to it.”

“And then Shine found her, and then she found him a suitable body, and now we’re here. If you’re wondering if Ryan and Ingenuo ever got serious, the answer is no, they didn’t. I’d imagine that since his only loving relationship was you, Ryan was terrified of screwing anything up again. Thus, he controlled himself so that the relationship went nowhere.” Ryan and Kenni looked at Shinu with questioning expressions, wondering how he could possibly know anything about Ryan’s life at that time. “What? Shine’s been keeping tabs on you since you first met. You know…when you crushed his first husk into a fine powder.”

“Okay, I’d really appreciate it if people would stop making it sound like my fault. All I knew was that a Shedinja had managed to steal a Rainbow Feather from a group of trainers. It was fleeing towards me, but stopped when our eyes connected. Shine paused long enough for a Golem belonging to the trainers to smash that fragile body of his into the ground. Not my fault in the least bit.” Ryan continued on, remembering what he had actually wanted to say, “Anyway, Shinu’s right. Ingenuo and I went our separate ways without anything ever happening besides her little crush.”

The most aggravating sound in existence surrounded them; silence. Utter stillness that threatened to tear them apart at the seams. As discomfort grew, Shinu was the first to try to escape. “I should explain a few things about what Shine is doing.” He cleared his throat and all eyes turned to him.

“Several years ago, Team Rocket managed to obtain a few cells of the Pokemon known as Mew. They cloned it, adding human DNA to the mix due to a lack of Mew DNA. The result was Mewtwo, the world’s most powerful Pokemon and a ravager of human life. It quickly destroyed the Rockets involved and fled to safety in Cerulean Cave, where it is rumored to still remain.

“The Rockets aren’t intelligent by any stretch of the imagination. They decided that another clone was in order, so they took the few remaining Mew cells and tried to create a clone without human DNA at all. By this time, I had infiltrated Team Rocket as one of Shine’s agents. I had planted a virus in their computers, eliminated a few high ranking members from the inside, and gotten myself transferred to the building where the clone was being created.

“Now, Shine wanted that clone badly. He knew that with it, he could do whatever he wanted with ease. But, he didn’t want a normal Mew, which would likely be naturally good. Shine needed something with its core rooted in evil. So, he snuck me an orb that was black as night and gave me instructions to drop it into the tank the Mew was being grown in. I did so; the orb dissolved and nothing else appeared to happen.

“Over the next several weeks, changes did occur. A Mew should be pink, but this one had become blackened. Its form was also amorphous; lacking the boundaries that most other multi-celled organisms have. It gave off a massive energy reading for anything of the same size, and lacked both a heartbeat and brain waves. In essence, it was a mass of black goo instead of a Pokemon. The scientists realized that something had gone terribly wrong, which is when Shine ordered me to steal the project and kill anyone who stood in the way.

“I obeyed, murdering every scientist and all the guards who rushed to find me after I’d put the clone in a smaller tube and taken it. As I was on my way out, Shine told me to stop and that there was a change of plans. He told me to ‘take care of’ the administrator of that building ‘just in case’. Of course, I listened to his commands and then fled back to his base of operations in Mount Silver.

“There, the clone developed into its mature form, which is basically just a larger version of the juvenile form. Shine dubbed it ‘M’ in honor of its parent, Mew, and in honor of the failed Rocket experiment that had produced it, Project M. Since it was still technically a Pokemon, he locked it into a Pokeball to wait for the time when it would be needed. He then gave the cursed Pokeball to my younger brother Neko, and M immediately began to form a bond with him. Shine explained that the orb he had given me was the very substance of sin, and that such a tainted soul desired another to join its plight. Neko became that soul.

“Shine’s true motive for obtaining M was for an apocalyptic prediction. Apparently, the true demon that M is will be at its most powerful during utter darkness. Shine’s arranged it so that the virus I mentioned earlier will shut down all sources of power, and thus light, during the next eclipse. The next eclipse is in about a week, so SHINING_END will activate then. Yes, Shine is more than egotistic enough to give a doomsday virus a name that is both ironic and containing his name.

“Within the next seven days, we need to first get to Mt Silver. Then, we’ll have to break into his compound, possibly while fighting off the Fan Club. If we manage to get that far, there is still the problem of Shine, a being who will be most difficult to deal any real damage to. In all likelihood, we’ll all die while defeating M and not actually destroying that wretched spirit. Of course, the sooner we get there, the more likely we are to live. They’ll only get stronger as The Day of The Night approaches.”

“The Day of The Night? Is that how the prophecy mentioned the eclipse?” The Ditto-boy looked up at Shinu questioningly. Ryan had quietly absorbed the rush of information and managed to piece it together. Kenni sat with a furrowed brow and a mounting headache as she made frustrated attempts at understanding.

“Yes, but I think it was referring to the whole event entirely. If the prophecy is fulfilled, this entire plane will be swallowed by black and then erased; utterly destroyed.”

“That kind of disturbance could affect other planes! The Material Plane that we live on is directly linked to the Spiritual Plane and the Shadow Planes that Ghost types can shift between. If the Material was wiped out, those would be too. Existence would truly unravel and be lost.” Ryan’s eyes widened as he spoke, and he began to tremble slightly. “We’re not fighting for humanity here…”

“Of course not. Shine hates humanity with a passion, but he loathes the concept of existence. It denied him the right to die, so now he will deny it the right to be.” Shinu sighed, and a frigid breeze whisked past the figures who stood in that clearing with him.

“How…how did it deny him death? Both of you had called him a spirit; he must have died at one point.” Kenni wrapped herself in her own arms to fight off the sudden cold that struck her core.

“That’s something I probably know that Shinu doesn’t. At one point, Shine was sharing my body while I was looking for that replacement I mentioned earlier, and I managed to see a few of his memories. Well, he pretty much forced me to watch so I would know ‘pain like his’. Anyway, Shine estimates that he died five hundred years ago when a rampaging Tauros struck him and his trainer, who was just a boy at the time. He had to watch this child die while being stuck in a spirit form that couldn’t even ease his suffering…even after that, he couldn’t pass from this world to the next. I’d say that existence has denied him plenty.” Ryan scooted closer to Kenni and put his arms around her as well. “But, what do we do now?”

“We wait for Myrrdin and Kitsune to get back, at which point we’ll head out towards Mt. Silver. I would have Myrrdin teleport us, but there are too many of us. Ryan could help teleport, but he’s too unskilled to move more than him and his own Pokemon. That still leaves Kenni and all her Pokemon stranded here, since Myrrdin can transport Lilac and her team and me and mine. It’s still a long flight on Pidgeot back, too…The only option for mass transport that’s anywhere near viable would be for me to attempt a little magic.” Shinu rubbed his left thumb over his right palm as if tracing an unseen pattern.

“Magic? Magic doesn’t exist, Shinu. I can sort of understand Shine putting a bit of his soul in M’s tank, but it wasn’t magic. You can’t just point at something, shout ‘Fire’, and have it burst into flames.”

“Kenni, I’m sure there was a time that you believed in magic. Every little kid wants to believe in fairy tales. Magic is a very real thing, though it is different. Ryan has witnessed great feats of power from otherwise weak Unown, if I’m not mistaken.” Shinu paused and turned to look at the two others. Kenni looked behind her to see Ryan nodding his head. “Shine taught me enough in the dark forms of magic to get by, and Myrrdin introduced me to the realm of Blood Pacts; another kind of black magic involving my own blood as the bind and the fuel. Sure, it might not be as magnificent or ‘beautiful’ as what you’ve seen in children’s books, but it’s still magic. However, if I tried to transport us with a Blood Pact, I’d probably have to use every last drop to provide enough energy to do so. I’m sure you’ll get to see some magic at some point before this is all said and done with.”

“Just stop confusing me, okay? I thought I understood this, but now you threw magic into the mix. You could have just lied to me and left me my delusions, you know? Let’s just wait for Kitsune to get back before you tell me anything else.” Kenni made a ‘hmph’ noise and brought her knees to her chin, hiding the lower part of her face. Ryan gave Shinu a small smile before turning his attention back to the girl in his arms. Shinu just sighed and turned away.

“Love…what a ridiculous invention.”

15th November 2005, 10:13 PM
More info on the nature of Shine's past, and a wonderful prophecy for you to enjoy. Have fun as the Gods start to reveal themselves in...

Chapter Twelve: The Four Un-s

”This…this is not good. Something about this doesn’t feel right.” An Arcanine stood at the edge of small cliff, looking majestically towards the horizon. Somewhere out there, behind his sight, there was going to be trouble. “Perhaps, nay, for certain it has to do with one prophecy or another. If I could only gain a clue as to which one, I might be able to avert disaster.” He jumped and nearly slid over the edge when something phased into existence next to him.

“I think I might have a large piece of your puzzle, Cerberus.” The voice contained a hint of a mocking tone while conveying a kind of insanity. It belonged to a Banette an even darker shade of black than most. He could have been easily mistaken for a shadow if not for the zipper like mouth and yellow eyes, or the scaled down scythe clutched in his left hand. The Banette laughed at Cerberus’s accusatory look. “What? You didn’t actually fall, did you?”

“No, I suppose not. Still, it was quite rude of you.” The Arcanine rolled his head around to stretch his neck, and then shook his whole body until the fur was nicely positioned. “So, Orion, what piece did you find?” He waited for an answer, but only heard murmured cackles from his companion. “Orion, tell me what you found or you’ll be wearing that scythe.”

“Oooh, another clever threat from the Lord of Wit!” Orion chuckled, dodging Cerberus’s swipes that attempted to knock him out of the air. The Banette danced through the air with grace while his attacker continued to bat at him. He lowered his laugh to a giggle and spoke one word which stopped Cerberus in his tracks. “Doom.”

“It’s a doom prophecy? That explains the intense feeling of dread and despair. Let me think for a bit.” Cerberus shut his eyes and laid his large head upon his paws. Lines of prose ran through his head at a blistering pace; every prediction he had learned in his lifetime. His eyes remained closed, but his mouth moved in speech. “End by ice?” Orion shook his head and smiled playfully. “End by fire?” Another shake. “End by light?” A whispered ‘nope’. Cerberus swallowed a lump and forced the next words out. “End by night?”

“Bingo! We have a winner!” Orion was floating in front of the Arcanine, upside and grinning with scythe in hand. Cerberus growled softly as the full prophecy entered his brain. His mind’s eyes scanned quickly through the words imprinted there; he drank them in swiftly and repeated. “Would you care to share the whole thing, Cerberus? I’ve never bothered to learn all those prophecies, for all I need is my blade.”

“Okay….here it goes:

The endless night is approaching on light feet,
It flies on the wings of shadow and fear,
A gaping mouth capable of swallowing us all.

The Eclipse Bringer is bridled by one,
Tethered to master whose only want
Is the end of all Creation.

Standing before them, against the darkness,
Four figures; the unlikely, the unlikable,
The unforgiving, and the unwavering.

Watched by spirits and guarded by the Ancients,
Accompanied by sinners and saints,
They are pulled by chains that bind and those that blind.

The unlikable, fueled by vengeance
With deep hate and boundless rage,
He strikes at his master only to be destroyed.

Magic that leeches from life,
That is his weapon and that is the way
He will strive to fight back the night

But he will fail.

The unforgiving, fueled by love,
Passionate and unbridled adoration,
She fights for her love only to be destroyed.

Magic that comes from the soul,
It is her gift from the gods and it is how
She will strive to save the light.

But she will fail.

The unlikely, wanting domination,
To hold the world in her clutches,
She fights for power only to be destroyed.

Might that kills and might that shields,
Those are her tools and they are how
She will strive to take the Earth.

But she will fail.

The unwavering, seeking life,
To embrace the light and banish darkness,
He fights for all only to be destroyed.

No magic nor might dwells inside him.
Nothing is his to use but the masks of others.
Still, he will strive to keep each heart beating.

But he will fail.

Each will fall, one by one.
There is no hope, no saving grace,
There will only be nothing.”

Cerberus sighed and opened his eyes to look towards the horizon again. Orion had remained eerily quiet throughout the recital; Cerberus noted that the ghost was actually frowning. “I guess we should find the four it mentions, shouldn’t we? It isn’t too late to prove the prophecy writers wrong.”

“Yes, that would be best. That is one morbid poem…lets hurry up and go; I think I may know who one of them is.” Orion started floating off towards the forest behind them. Before Cerberus could ask, Orion answered. “I believe it’s the unlikable. Magic that leeches life is referring most obviously to Blood Pacts, and the Pactmakers are few. That being said, this one would have reason to be vengeful. He should be out by Goldenrod somewhere.”

“Do you have any idea who the Eclipse Bringer and the master are?” Cerberus began to run; Orion sped up to keep pace.

“I just now heard the entire thing for the first time; let me think it through and try to figure it out.” Orion closed his eyes in thought, passing through trees and stones as the two ran through the dense forest that engulfed them. They continued in silence for several minutes; Cerberus watching the ghost out of the corner of his eye the whole time. He opened his mouth to speak, but was instantly shushed by Orion. Cerberus growled deeply.

“Don’t shush me, Orion.”

“Sorry, Your Majesty, but I just wanted a little quiet time to help decipher the prophecy. Unless…you don’t want to find the people it mentions and possibly divert the apocalypse?” Orion grinned with eyes still firmly shut, yielding an annoyed look from his companion.

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it. It’s just that-“

“It’s just that you’re a demi-god and want to be treated as such. Sure, I promise not to want silence ever again. Are you happy now?”

“No, that’s not what I want, either! Stop being-“

“Annoying? Is that what you were going to say? Or, would you rather call me irritating? Troublesome, perhaps?” The ghost snickered and pulled ahead of Cerberus. Cerberus, meanwhile, fell silent so as not to provoke another spout of vocalization from Orion.

An hour or so passed and they came upon a glade. Orion halted and opened his eyes once again; Cerberus slowed to a stop next to him. Orion spoke, “There’s someone else, no, two others nearby. A psychic and…a ninetales? That’s a rather odd pair, don’t ‘ya think?”

“Hold on, I think I recognize one of them.” Cerberus sniffed the air, isolating the one scent which caught his interest. His tail began to wag and Orion sighed. “Yay! It’s her!” The Arcanine jumped with excitement and took off after the scent. Orion followed, muttering various curses in various languages. When he reached his target, Cerberus shouted “Kitsune! You’re here!”

“Cerberus, be quiet; Myrrdin is explaining things.” Kitsune looked away from the Alakazam for fraction a second, just long enough to tell Cerberus to sit without actually saying anything. The Arcanine trotted over and sat next to Kitsune. Orion floated away from Kitsune and circled above Myrrdin’s head instead.

“Oho, now we are in the presence of the mighty, aren’t we? No matter, I suppose I should continue with the explanation.” Myrrdin sighed and brushed a hand against his temple. “Many years ago, Shine had no form whatsoever. The spirit that he is without a body is actually that of a Nincada named Ai. Ai died over 500 years ago in what can only be described as a tragic, and freak, Tauros accident. Ai himself was perhaps the purest soul that has ever existed; his life was centered around making others happy, especially his human master. I am of the opinion that watching his master die while being unable to help save him or even ease the pain caused Ai to realize the darker things contained within all of us.

Hate, vengeance, greed, arrogance, prejudice, lust. These things filled him and imparted their blackness upon his white soul. That moment in which Ai understood that the world is a harsh, unforgiving, and unkind place was the moment in which Shine as we know him appeared. At first, Shine’s influence was small and I was able to keep it in check through a series of psychic suppressors that acted like locks on a safe. As Ai’s thirst for revenge and his hate of the living furthered, Shine broke the locks one by one. Now, he is almost entirely controlled by Shine; a very negative of original Ai.

When Shine had gained enough power, he attacked me with all the wickedness of Lucifer himself. Shine hid himself for a century while I slowly recovered from the attack. After that period of secrecy, Shine furthered his own powers and shifted the course of humanity for the next 300 years. In those 300 years, he’s provoked several wars, turned a few empires to rubble, crashed the economy of a handful of countries, and hoarded an unfathomable amount of wealth. Within the last eight years ago, he lured Shinu and his infant brother into his grasp. Two years ago, Shinu stole a Rocket project that had been tampered with and that Shine knew could bring about an early apocalypse.

That project was a second clone of the enigmatic Mew, but it was supposed to be a true clone instead of the partial one that was Mewtwo. Shine’s hatred was fed to the poor thing, and now it exists as a veritable living ragnarok. If Shine’s plan is successful, the world will be engulfed in darkness-“

“Oh. My. Holiness. This ‘Shine’ is the master! And the clone is the Eclipse Bringer! Oh Great Sage, you must continue!” Cerberus was filled with excitement; his heart’s pounding resonated deep in his chest. With more information, perhaps it was possible…

“I was about to before you interrupted, Blessed One. My sense is correct; you are the son of a holy spirit, yes?”

“Yes, but that’s not important at the moment. You must go on, Wise One!”

“Wise One, eh? I’ve not been honored so in a long while…Blessed One, there is an Espeon named Twilight. She is more or less the leader of a considerable number of Eevee and their evolutions. Twilight is also an accomplished psychic; her assistance would be on unimaginable help. Kitsune knows her, as the valley where Twilight lives is the same one that Lilac, Kitsune’s human, lived in before Kitsune spirited her away. You would do good to find Twilight and make a sort of alliance to fight against the coming night.”

“I will do so at once, Sage. Orion, come! We must find Twilight and secure her help. Kitsune…we shall have to catch up another time, unfortunately.” Cerberus stood up and shook. Orion sighed but broke his loop around Myrrdin’s head. The Arcanine took off again, Banette speeding after him.

“Kitsune, it is lucky that you have connections with higher powers. The son of a god and Thanatos are as invaluable as Twilight and the whole valley combined. If the Espeon can manage to weaken Shine’s guard, the Blessed One could punch a hole straight through the shield using the magic that flows thick through his veins. Thanatos could easily remove Shinu’s brother’s soul before the clone can fully meld with it. Then, it will be up to the four of you, Unlikely.”

30th November 2005, 4:29 AM
Aw...come on people, post please ^^; I just realized...chapter 13...I should have done something more unlucky-like. If that made sense.

Chapter 13: Premo-nifty

Myrrdin raised a spoon, and the two of them were suddenly next to Shinu. “Finally! God, could you have wasted more time?” Shinu gave Myrrdin an angry look, which the Alakazam ignored. Feeling a little ashamed of his impatience, Shinu put a hand on Myrrdin’s shoulder. “I’m…I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have snapped at you, but I just want to get going.” Shinu forced the apology out through sheer force of will, then withdrew his hand and awaited a response.

“It’s quite alright, Shinu. I understand that your upbringing has been less than adequate in terms of how to deal with social interaction. What I mean is this; you snapped because you don’t know how to not snap, and that apology was difficult because the only times you’ve apologized were out of fear. Apology accepted, and I believe I speak for Kitsune when I say that we’re ready to move out.” Myrrdin gave the boy a small smile, which Shinu awkwardly returned.

“Okay, now that we’re all here, I say we get going. Mt. Silver is less than a day’s walk away if we start now.” Shinu started walking before suddenly stopping. “Um…would anyone happen to know which way is east?” Kenni and Ryan stood up as Lilac walked closer to Kitsune. Kenni pointed opposite of where Shinu had gone before. “Oh…thanks.” He started walking again, this time with everyone close behind. After a few minutes, Ryan and Kenni started talking about how they could possibly beat ‘M, with Lilac and Kitsune interjecting every once and a while. Shinu started to drift out of consciousness, completely uninterested by what the others had to say.

”But, my dear boy, you’ve already lost. There’s no way on Earth that you could beat me.” Shine was laughing at him, holding a bloodied rapier in his right hand. Shinu glanced around the bare, gray room. A Banette was impaled against one of the walls; an Arcanine was slumped on the ground beneath him. Ryan was on the ground, motionless, with Kenni kneeling next to him and holding his head. The tip of a white tail whisked around a corner and out of sight through one of the two doors out of the room. Shinu himself was hunched over, pressing his right hand into a deep wound around his liver.

“No…there’s still plenty I can do.” Shinu pulled the hand away and looked it over quickly. The entire palm and all the fingers were sticky and red. “Especially since you gave me my most useful weapon.” He started to drag the index finger of his left hand through the blood on his right, creating patterns by making skin visible again.

“You truly believe that anything you can do with that will actually hurt me? Face it, your fate now lies on the shoulders of Lilac and Kitsune, who only have a chance to fight ‘M because I will it.” Shine stepped forward, dragging the point of the rapier across the stone floor. When he was two steps away from Shinu, there was a cracking noise, like glass. Shine stopped, looking for the source of the noise. “What…what is that?”

A jagged line had appeared in the air around him, and it continued to grow. It started to fork and split into several cracks while another new one appeared behind Shine. Shinu smirked as he continued to draw in his palm. “Looks like the Espeon came through, doesn’t it?” He rose up to his full height as Shine began to growl. “Don’t be mad at me, master; they’re the ones that weakened your not-so-perfect Perfect Guard.” Shinu held out the palm, revealing what appeared to be runes surrounded by blood. “Can you read the Ancient Language, Shine?”

“Of course I can. It reads as “Forgotten Pact: Clear the Plane” and then has a list of what you’re giving up to cast it….you’re willing to give up your life and your soul, just to try and kill me? I’m touched, really.” Shine charged, thrusting the rapier forward and into Shinu’s shoulder. Shinu choked back a scream as the sword ripped through flesh, nerve, and muscle. He leaned forward and placed the bloodied palm on Shine’s chest, over the spirit’s human heart. “I’m immune as long as my Guard is still working. Even if you manage to scrap together enough energy to cast that spell, I’ll still be here.”

Footsteps. Shinu looked over Shine’s shoulder to behold what he thought impossible. His voice was a surprised whisper. “An…an Ancient?” A child no older than twelve stood behind Shine, draped in a short, black cape that stood in contrast to the shock of blonde hair on his head. The child wore no shirt, revealing pale skin and a thin frame. His legs were covered in simple black pants, but his feet were bare. Two sad, blue eyes stared up into Shinu’s grey ones. There was a symbol on the child’s left cheek, a rune that Shinu knew to mean ‘F’ in the Ancient language. “I didn’t realize that the Ancient Race were really-“

“The Unown? Yes, we are one and the same, and have been since we nearly eradicated ourselves.” He spoke with three voices layered over each other; one young, one adult, and one old. But all three spoke with sadness, as if their form was causing pain. “I’m only human so I can channel enough energy to finish breaking this shield. Unown are wonderful for storing magical energy, but humans are better for actually using it.” His eyes pulsed with white light as he pressed a hand into Shine’s back. Shine jerked as if shocked, and the cracked air around him shattered. The boy started to fall backwards, “Shinu…”

“I’ve got it.” Shinu pressed, letting everything he had flow through his palm and into Shine. Time seemed to stop as Shine’s red eyes drilled into Shinu’s grey ones, but he couldn’t feel their anger. He was smiling; Shine was being purged from this plane even as his own heart was stopping. Shine’s body went limp, taking Shinu’s body to the ground as it fell. Everything was getting darker….darker…darker…

Shinu shook himself back to reality, placing his hand over his heart to make sure it was still beating. It was, though rather rapidly. He took a few breaths and tried to clear his mind. I either had a dream or a vision…I’ve never had a vision, but I’ve never felt pain in a dream… “So what the hell was that?”

“Shinu, did you say something?” Kenni’s question was full of concern, but also of suspicion. Shinu felt her hand touch his shoulder gently, making him flinch. That Shine could easily still be connected to him. He could be getting orders right now…he did admit to being an assassin.

“No, I was just thinking about things.” He brushed her hand away and took a few quick steps to create distance.

“Okay…Shinu, it’s almost dark and we’re not to Mt. Silver yet.” Kenni fell back to Ryan’s side, putting the same hand around to Ryan’s far shoulder. The Ditto’s arm wrapped around her waist and pulled her closer. “You said it was less than a day’s walk away…and I think we’re all starting to get hungry, too.” Sure enough, someone’s stomach growled and gurgled. Ryan blushed a little and Lilac giggled.

“We should be nearing Cherrygrove. After that, we’ll hit New Bark Town and then Mt. Silver itself. Of course, if we’re hungry, we can stop at the Cherrygrove Pokecenter and spend the night.” Ryan offered up the suggestion, obviously hoping that Shinu would agree. That’s when something struck Shinu.

“You’re all awfully calm around me, considering that I’ve tried to kill more than one of you.”

“Well, it seems safe right now. And I can say that I’ve definitely been through weirder and probably more dangerous things. Like when Kitsune was being courted by my Typhlosion…or when the same thing happened again, except with a half-god Arcanine. Oh, and there were the times when I was unable to transform for one reason or another.” Ryan rattled off a list on his left hand fingers before Kenni interjected.

“Okay, I might not have been through such highly improbable, not to mention unreal, things like that. But I’ve been through more than a few battles where my life was more at stake than my Pokemon’s were. A scyther nearly killed me when he thought I was a threat.”

“Kitsune and I have had multiple assassins try to kill us. I was also there for a lot of what Ryan mentioned, and strange things seem to follow Kitsune everywhere.” Lilac laughed and dashed forward until she was in line with Shinu. She grabbed the teen’s hand in her own and smiled up at him, secretly fingering a hidden pocket knife. Just in case.

“None of us actually trust you, though.” It was Kitsune who spoke, stepping up to Lilac and throwing a few tails around the girl. “So yes, your suspicions are just as rightfully placed as our own. I, for one, will not hesitate to kill you the very instant that you seem like you’re a danger.” She smiled, revealing pearly white fangs that glistened in the setting sun.

“I second that.” Ryan held up his left hand, catching Shinu’s attention. “I don’t want to, but I would kill you if threatened any one of us.”

“Yeah, I would do the same.” Now it was Kenni. “I’m not sure exactly how I would kill you, but I definitely would.”

Shinu looked down at Lilac, but the girl just smiled back up at him. He sighed and shook his head. “Way to make me feel welcome, but I suppose I brought that on myself, didn’t I? But I have to tell you this; there’s always a chance that what you all agreed to will actually have to happen. If I ever threaten any of you, I want to die. If I did such a thing, it would mean Shine had gotten inside my head again and death would be the only remedy for that.” Ryan and Kenni reluctantly nodded, and Shinu knew that Kitsune and Lilac agreed, even if the child hadn’t actually made the pledge out loud. “But, the chances of that happening are slim to none. Lets go to Cherrygrove and eat, shall we?”

“I don’t understand why I even took you in, Ingenuo. You’ve caused more trouble in one day than you have help in the entire time you’ve been here.” Shine was busy applying a green salve to burn wounds around Ingenuo’s wrists where Neko had grabbed her and in the places where M’s Pokeball had hit her. The burns had quickly appeared once Shine had started to carry Ingenuo away from Shinu’s room, and had only gotten worse since she had regained consciousness.

“I’m sorry, Shine.” Ingenuo was sitting in an armless chair, letting Shine put the cool balm all over her wrists. Her eyes were cast towards the ground, her shoulders bearing the immense weight of shame. The apology hardly seemed to phase Shine at all.

“Sorry is just a word, and a useless one at that. What you did was foolish and utterly self destructive. I should kill you myself after you nearly jeopardized the ‘risky at best’ relationship I have with M.” Shine started to dab the paste onto Ingenuo’s stomach where M had hit (and burned a hole clean through her shirt). He began muttering under his breath, something about the level of stupidity Ingenuo had managed to reach. The words cut the girl deeply, bringing tears to her eyes.

Shine hates me…I thought he would love me when this mission was over with… Ingenuo’s lip trembled and she fought to hold back tears which were quickly welling up. Shine scoffed, then emitted the smallest growl possible.

“You thought I would love you? I wouldn’t dream of loving anyone, especially not you. Humans disgust me like no other, and you’re right at the top of the list of my most despised humans after what you nearly did. You’re right, I do hate you. I should have let M kill you.”

The tears became a flood.

Kawaii Kyuubi Kitsune
30th November 2005, 9:53 PM
Some advice GoGo, do not do thoughts of multiple characters in the same chapter. It looks untidy and gives a feeling of beening unprofessional, even if one can get away with it in RPGs, it is only through having the thoughts in different post sections, instead of the same like you did in this chapter.

Is it me, or is Lilac seeming more calm and carefree the closer the end gets?

11th December 2005, 7:29 PM
I've decided to completely change things around and go with a first person perspective, at least for awhile. Thanks for the advice, Kyuubi; that part didn't sit well with me, either. Yes...Lilac is oddly calm about the apocalypse. XD

Short chapter, sorry.

Chapter 14: Recuperation

The automatic doors ‘whooshed’ open, letting the others pass through and then me. Kitsune and Myrrdin had been returned to their Pokeballs before we came to the Pokecenter, as Shinu decided that they were both capable of attracting unwanted attention. I tended to agree with him; it’s not often that a trainer has a chance to stare at a white Ninetales, or an Alakazam so old that he’s turning white, too. Kenni finally let go of me once she found a booth to sit at while Shinu and I went to the counter to order food. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Lilac sit next to Kenni and start talking. They both started to giggle, but when Kenni caught my eye, she stopped and looked away while flushing.

“So, what do Ditto like to eat?” Shinu tapped me on the shoulder and gave me a wry sort of smile. His grey eyes seemed to smile as well, something which I’d never seen before in such rather depressing eyes. I smirked back at him, which appeared to amuse him further. “Well? I’ve never met a Ditto with a ‘normal’ diet.”

“Normal? My diet is far from normal, if that’s what you were hoping for. Seeing as I’ve been most of the Pokemon that humans such as your self use for food, there’s a sort barrier that I can’t cross when it comes to eating other creatures. And please try and keep quiet about the Ditto thing; there’s a lot of people out there who would like to punish me for ‘acting human’.” I broke the eye contact and looked at a rather limited menu of the foods the Center provided.

“So…instead of having a normal human diet, you’re a vegan? That’s about as abnormal as you can get.”

”And what have you been living on with Shine, hm?” I continued to search the menu, finding things that Kenni and Lilac might like, but I could tell that Shinu was struggling to come up with an answer. “That’s okay, take your time. We’ve only got until the end of the world, right?”

“Shut up; the apocalypse is a very serious subject. And you could call it a ‘rationed, military diet’.” Shinu’s hand pulled the menu out of my own, but I just grabbed another to look at. “They have cheeseburgers? I haven’t had one of those in years…” I glanced over in time to see Shinu smile ravenously at the thought of grease soaked meat and cheese. Disgusting.

“Fine, you and Kenni have the cheeseburgers and clog your hearts with Milktank fat. I’ll just be having a salad, and I think Lilac will enjoy this Farfetch’d sandwich.” I placed the order with the smiling and nodding Nurse Joy behind the counter. Shinu stared at the pink haired woman until I started to pull him away by the arm. “You shouldn’t stare like that, Shinu.”

“But look at her! She’s some sort of freakish bobble-head in a nurses’ outfit!”

“Would you keep quiet? She’ll hear you if you keep shouting.” I put a hand over his mouth and spoke in a near whisper, hoping to god that Joy hadn’t heard Shinu’s insult. “Pokenurses are trained to understand common toxins; if she was the vengeful type, she could kill us.”

He pulled my hand away from his face and moved back to the booth where the girls were sitting. “Poison…what a low tactic.” Shinu slid into the seat opposite of the girls while I went back to the Nurses’ counter to pick up the food. I thanked the still smiling and nodding nurse, handed her a few bills, and brought the food back to the others. Before I had managed to sit down, everyone had pulled their meals off the tray. As I sat and opened the salad’s plastic container, I could see everyone else already eating. You would have thought they were starving, the way all three of them just devoured the sandwiches.

When I was halfway done with the salad, I pushed it away. Watching everyone else wolf down their food had killed my appetite. Sure, I would need food tomorrow, but it was a small price to pay after watching the barbarians attack the fried Pokemon. Kenni was busy crumpling up the paper wrapping her burger had come in when she noticed my half-eaten salad. “Ryan, aren’t you hungry?”

“Not after watching the three of you. I’m fine for now, thanks.” I collected all the left over paper and, along with the salad, threw them into a trash can by the door. I sat back down, only catching the last part of something Shinu said.

“-not sure, really. Maybe eight years ago.”

“Eight years ago what?” I asked the question and Shinu looked at me funny, like he didn’t understand why I would ask. I sighed; he seemed rather inattentive for an assassin. “I was just throwing out your garbage, so I missed the question.”

“Oh. Kenni asked when I started to serve Shine, so I said that I think it was eight years ago. I would have been nine then.” Shinu looked away from me and towards some distant point and I knew that what he was remembering was hurting him. The fact that he wasn’t a hundred percent sure of the time would have troubling me if I were him.

“Why would you join an obviously corrupt soul at such a young age?” I felt sorry for Shinu, since it sounded like the only family he actually remembered was his brother that was still in Shine’s grasp. Ditto don’t have family, usually. We’re just born and live and hope that we never get caught. I suppose that we’re similar that way, but he was lucky enough to at least have a brother. Still, I needed to know why Shinu would just up and join pure evil.

“I don’t know. There was something wrong with my family and I just knew that it wasn’t safe for me and Neko. Shine was there somehow, and he offered to take us in.” Shinu sighed and held his face in his palms. His black hair fell over the tops of his fingers a bit, moving with his forehead as the same fingers gently massaged it. “I, foolishly, said ‘yes’ to his offer, grabbed my baby brother, and left with Shine. He was a Shedinja at that point, but I guess I just wanted to believe that a ghost could help us. But he just screwed us over.”

Not safe? How could he have known that something was seriously wrong? Even if he did know, what actually happened? “Shinu, did you ever find out if something actually happened?” My hand was nearly on his shoulder before I considered pulling back, but I pressed on. If I was him, all I would want was for someone to care. His shoulder twitched at the contact, but he let my hand remain.

“I know something happened, I just don’t know what it was.” Shinu’s right hand lifted a little, revealing enough of his eyes so that I could tell he was looking at me. “You can take your hand off of me any time.” My hand was back at my side in a flash. “I really don’t feel like talking about this with any of you, so let’s change the subject or just go find someplace to sleep.”

No one seemed to want to talk, so I scooted out of the booth and stood up, allowing Shinu to move past me and stand up as well. Lilac and Kenni got out as well, and I lead everyone towards a hallway which led to rooms that were free to trainers. They were nearly all empty, so I picked one and left everyone in before following and pulling the door shut. There were two plain sets of bunk beds with white metal frames and equally boring sheets. Everyone except Shinu had some sort of backpack; I set mine down and climbed into one of the top bunks. Kenni snuck into the adjoining half-bath and returned wearing a pair of pajama bottoms, decorated with happy-looking Clefairy, and the shirt she had been wearing before. She scampered up a ladder to the other top bunk and crawled under the covers. Lilac, meanwhile, had likewise snuck into the bathroom to change into pajamas that were just as pink as her other outfit. She chose the bed under Kenni’s and got in, pulling the sheets about her.

Shinu flicked the lock on the door, though I didn’t understand how a lock could protect us when the door itself would probably fail if Shine wanted to attack us. Of course, his paranoia was well founded, so I just watched him quietly as he unbuttoned his jacket and tossed it to the ground beneath the last remaining bed. He slipped off the black undershirt, revealing the tight core I would have suspected an assassin to have, and ran a finger over the light switch, plunging the room into darkness. I concentrated slightly, shifting my eyes to Meowth ones; changing the round pupil to a slit and dyeing my irises yellow and ignoring the tiny twang of pain that accompanied the partial transformation. Suddenly, I could see him again as he walked towards the bed and then disappeared from view. Since I couldn’t see him at all now, I turned my eyes back to my human ones, once again tuning out the pain. Though he wasn’t visible, I could tell Shinu wasn’t lying down; rather, he was probably sitting on the bed and probably watching the door. To my right, Kenni muttered “…good night…”, to which I responded,

“Good night, everyone.”

Lilac made a string of tired noises that probably meant the same thing and Shinu sighed an “I hope so.” I tried to ignore it like I had the pain, but something about that one sentence, those three tiny words, was frightening. The sheer magnitude of what was going on was finally sinking in: someone was trying to kill everyone, indiscriminantly. Not only was it ‘someone’, but it was someone who had lived inside my own mind. Shine understood everything about me, but he wanted to kill me. Something was so fundamentally wrong with it, I suppose my mind had chosen to ignore up to that point.

A last glance at a digital clock down by Shinu and Lilac read ’10:03’. It was early, I suppose, but we were all tired from walking without food for a whole day. That and we were probably all scared out of our wits. Rather than continue to dwell on the looming shadow of death, I went under the covers and closed my eyes, begging for peaceful sleep.

22nd December 2005, 1:48 AM
I really do hope that any and all closet readers show themselves sometime soon >>

Chapter Fifteen: Shinu's Social Skills

It was odd, if nothing else. As soon as we got into the small room, Ryan had gotten up and into bed. Kenni and Lilac quickly followed suit, with Lilac appearing to fall asleep within seconds. Now I was left in the dark, sitting on the ‘you get what you pay for’ bed and watching the door for any hint of danger. A quick glance at the clock occasionally broke the continuous sentry duty. I was listening to every little sound in the room; Lilac’s soft breathing and Kenni’s sporadic shifting. The only one absolutely silent was Ryan…”Ryan, you’re awake, aren’t you?”

“…yeah.” There was a small sigh of annoyance that came from above me. He obviously wanted to sleep as much as I did. But neither of us could.

“Any particular reason? I’ll stay on the look out for Shine or Ingenuo, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“That’s not it. I guess…I don’t know, I’m just now beginning to realize what’s actually going on.” That was a little disconcerting; how could he ignore it for so long? If he was prone to zoning out, that would hurt the mission. No. It wasn’t a mission; I had to stop thinking like that.

“What do you mean? No normal person should be able to ignore imminent danger.” Except Ryan was hardly a normal person. He seemed to realize that, too, because there was a long pause before he spoke up again.

“I’ve traveled with Kitsune, so I developed a way to take in a situation before freaking out. Of course, it’s always a worse panic reaction later when you allow the fear to set in.” Another pause. “Does that make me ‘abnormal’?”

“Um…” This was one of those tricky questions I had never learned how to answer. Usually, my ‘um’ would have been enough for Shine to justify setting various nerves in my body to ‘pain’. It was probably a good thing that Ryan didn’t have that power. “You are different from any other Ditto, aren’t you?”

“…yes. But, since you were recently trying to kill me, shouldn’t you already know that?” Of course I already knew that. I was trying to get the topic away from such a no-win situation.

“Shine told me a few biological ways that you’re different and a few personality ways that you’re different.”

“Then inform me. After all, I’m just a low-down, no-good mimic if mainstream society knew about me. Being the horrible Ditto that I am, I’m also uneducated. So teach me the ways in which I’m different.” There was something definitely spiteful in his voice. From what I knew of him, Ryan was supposed to be fairly soft spoken, passive, and submissive. None of those words would have described the tone in which he spoke now…acidic might have worked, though.

“The first and foremost thing would be your desire to retain one form that isn’t a Ditto’s natural state. Shine described it as a ‘disgusting and illogical desire to be human’, and he also told me that you once had Cerberus the Hellhound seal your transformation abilities just to prove that you could handle being human. It’s a rather unique personality trait.

“The second would be a rare genetic condition belonging to only a handful of Ditto in the world. The condition has two parts; your body misinterprets signals from the brain and thus causes minor to heavy flaws in the desired form, and transformation itself is painful when it would normally be painless. This probably had a great impact on the aforementioned desire to be human, because humans are varied enough that any flaws wouldn’t be thought of us such and a constant form would mean no transformation pain.

“…should I keep going?”

“No. I think that’s just enough to keep my ego in check, thanks.” Was that sarcasm? Sarcasm was typically accented or spoken in such a way that it was more obvious. But he spoke it without changing a thing or skipping a beat. And what ego was he talking about? It was now painfully obvious how badly I had screwed up.

“Ryan, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything.”

“Yeah, probably. Good night, Shinu.” I heard him turn towards the wall, trying to face as far away from me as possible. God, I felt stupid. I was human once before, wasn’t I? It couldn’t be this hard to remember simple things like tact…except, how many nine year olds are tactful? I was probably doomed to relearn the basics of societal functioning again.

Unfortunately, yes. You’ll probably have to. What was that? There was a psychic voice in my head again, but it was far different from Shine’s. It sounded almost like a child’s, but it certainly didn’t talk like it. I also couldn’t feel it actively digging through my mind. It was simply listening. I focused, trying to throw my thoughts out so the apparently polite psychic didn’t have to search for them.

Can you hear me?

Yes. From your conversation with Ryan, it’s a safe bet that you’ve forgotten how to survive social situations.

You could probably say that. Who is this, anyway?

This is Bug, Ryan’s Unown. A little Unown? Shine told me that they were mostly just canisters of magic, relatively underpowered as far as psychics went. But this one was skilled at telepathy, and seemed to be as intelligent as any human. He was also the one who initially freed me from Shine. Which reminded me…

Bug, I never got the chance to thank you-

No thanks necessary. Myrrdin told me that it’s still an uncomfortable thing when someone isn’t looming over you. Besides, it was my duty as Ryan’s Guardian to free you.

As Ryan’s what? I thought he would be your guardian, not the other way around.

I’m using ‘guardian’ as a title, not a noun. I’ve been protecting Ryan on behalf of…no, there’s no need for you to concern yourself with this, Shinu. Just forget I said anything. Like anyone could hold themselves back from such a challenge.

On behalf of who? Finish the sentence, Bug.

No. I wanted to tell you that I’d help you relearn things, but I won’t if you keep pestering me. I wanted to know who Bug was working for, but I also, as sad as it may seem, wanted to know what nine year old me had known.

Please, Bug, I promise I won’t ask you again. I would appreciate your help in restor-

Done. A surge of memories rushed into my mind. Bits of images and sounds flooded my senses, and I felt myself falling backwards onto the bed. The stream of the past faded away and left only black. Shinu? Did everything come back alright?

I think so… I reopened my eyes, which had shut during the rush of remembrance, and was greeted with the dark room. Then I started to look through my memories. It wasn’t long before I had to stop. Oh god…I remembered what I knew was going to happen.

Yes, Ryan told me everything that happened since I was put in my ball. It was the reason you joined Shine, right?

Uh huh. It was as terrifying now as it had been then. I needed to share it with someone, and Bug was right there. Over the course of a few days, I could feel something watching me. Stalking me, if you will. It was like a great beast was hunting me, but choosing to stay in the shadows. I had to check over my shoulder on the way home from school to make sure it wasn’t going to strike. Now that I can see it again, it must have been an illusion of Shine’s. The Shedinja himself appeared on my doorstep one day, telling me that he knew what was going on. He said ‘I can save you and Neko’, so I asked him about my parents. But he said that he wasn’t able to save them, and that he was sorry. I was afraid of the monster or whatever it was, so I agreed despite how bad I felt about leaving my parents behind. He led Neko and me away…

I remember that, I think. There was a savage killing of two parents after their children went missing. The police thought that it was a large dog Pokemon, perhaps even something like an Entei or Raikou. He made it very convincing, apparently.

I knew something was going to happen. I knew it. It was horrible. Yellow, primal eyes staring at me from darkness. The clicking noise of nails against pavement. A barely contained growl. Shine had pulled out all the stops to scare a nine year old out of his mind. It was no wonder that his idea of ‘holy mission’ was to unravel existence. Something suddenly struck me. Bug, why did you block Shine’s control over my mind? If it had failed, I would have killed most everyone.

I freed you as much as I could because I knew that you knew Shine’s plans, and that the plans themselves are evil and should be stopped. Besides, it was only a matter of time before you would have rebelled against him anyway.

It was true, I suppose. Before I had jumped Ryan and his party for the first time, even before Shine had briefed me about it, something inside had been stirring. That last eight years had felt like watching a dream. A bloody, terrifying, gruesome dream in which I only lived to serve and only served to kill. With that stirring, I was slowly awakened to reality. If I had still wanted to, I probably would have completed that dreadful mission.
Thank you, Bug.

I said that wasn’t necessary.

I don’t care what you say; you saved me, and you deserve a thanks at the very least.

…you’re welcome… He was surprised, letting the emotion drift clearly across the telepathic connection. It was getting easier, this apologizing thing. I gladly accepted his offer and finished the conversation by saying Good night, Bug to which he responded by saying Good night.

With that done, I lay back in bed and looked up at the plaster ceiling. The door was calling at me to look at it anymore. Rather, it was just as a door should be; solid, silent, and non-threatening. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that tonight would pass as safe as could be. I fell asleep mere seconds after letting my eyelids fall closed.