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Thread: Blazing Frost

  1. #101
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    Talking heheheheh

    spinda was funny twentyshotsofvodkaplease... hahahahah
    GASTRODON RULES CUBA!!!

  2. #102
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    Hi, just finished reading your fic and it is really great and funny, although at times it seems rushed but still good.
    I don't know if I will read the future chapters or able to, since reading fanfics in the daytine in Australia is annoying in this forum *(Lag) but the nighttime is more of a breeze but I rarely get on then.
    Claims Amber Benson and Ali Larter as Bishie.


    Credits go to the original creators of Cynthia's and Flannery's artwork.
    United we stand but seperated we fall

    And so the fifth generation begins...

  3. #103
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    ROFL @ pevdex. I'm glad you guys like it. If I could know where it was rushed, I could fix it. (if I have time :/)
    FF.Net profile | Blazing Frost | Project Valentine | River Styx | Hexachromalurgy | Fizzy Bubbles

    Latest PV pair: Shedinja/Sylveon - What if the MST3K guys did Roshomon? I think it would go a little something like this.

  4. #104
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    this fic is so funny! i've only read the first chapter but i can tell this is a gold mine! i going to catch up with the other chapters now. awesome job!

  5. #105
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    Thanks. Although looking back, I can't believe that I made those early chapters so short. -_-

    Anyway, here's yet another chapter, infused with enough randomness to make your head implode. Dare you read ahead ...?















    Of course you do. Silly humans.

    * * *

    Chapter Nine: Swamp’t Down (Farewell to Whom? Storms Brewing!)

    Leaf blinked several times. Had Roark just said what she thought he just said? A bit unnerved, she smiled weakly and said, “What?”

    “You heard me.” He took a step towards her, and she involuntarily flinched. “Just because I find you attr—, I mean, cool, doesn’t mean that I should let you go for stealing Skipper.”

    Indignant, Leaf raised her voice. “Hey, I did not steal Swampert! Or any other Pokemon, for that matter. Hell, he’s probably not even yours. I found him dying on a beach, while you were nowhere in sight.”

    Roark’s scowl deepened. “A likely story.”

    “Hold on, Roark.” Brock put his hand on the boy’s shoulder, possibly to restrain him from taking violent action. “If Leaf says she saved him, then she saved him. She wouldn’t lie about something like this.”

    Roark bit his lip.

    <Leaf,> Swampert said suddenly. <He is my trainer. Let me prove it to you.> He slowly walked towards Roark, who stared him in the eye evenly. As the Pokemon got closer, Roark lifted a pale hand, fingers outstretched and trembling slightly. Swampert, never taking his gaze off of the boy’s face, ducked his head down and nuzzled the hand with his nose.

    And suddenly a light weight left Leaf’s hip as Swampert’s Poke Ball dissolved into a pile of red dust.

    Roark suddenly threw his arms around Swampert’s broad neck and started bawling. “I’m sorry, Skipper!” he sobbed, his falling tears absorbed by the Pokemon’s damp skin. “I was wrong! I never should’ve done what I did, and I hate myself for it! You should’ve never looked back—”

    Swampert patted him on the back soothingly, being at a loss for words.

    “I think,” Brock said sensibly, letting go of Roark, “you should tell us what all this is about. We’ve all been through a huge ordeal, and we don’t need some mystery shoved on us.”

    Roark gasped raggedly as he tore himself away from his Pokemon. He gulped loudly before trying to steady his breathing. “I-I guess I should,” he admitted shakily. “I’m sorry, I’m being stupid. Let me start from the top.

    “I turned fourteen – this was back while I was still in Sinnoh – and wanted a starter Pokemon, but not Turtwig, Chimchar, or Piplup. They all seemed unappealing to me. I wanted something interesting, exotic, something that all noobs want at that age … no offense to present company, of course,” he added quickly.

    “None taken,” Leaf replied smoothly.

    “So I talked my dad into getting me a Mudkip. So off he goes to Hoenn to pick one up for me, taking his oh-so-lovable Bastiodon with him, and who does he tell to defend the gym while he’s gone? Me. And I sucked at it. Steelix won most of the battles, of course, but he did it all on his own. So I started to rethink my priorities from there.

    “Dad came back with a Mudkip, with Ancientpower bred onto it, no less, and then told me that I could pay him back for it by taking up the first Sinnoh gym for the next couple of years. I wasn’t exactly keen on that idea, since I’d just been doing something pretty close to that; but turns out it was a lot easier than trying to use Pokemon that weren’t actually mine, you know? And most gym leaders have to run out and get new Pokemon every now and then, since they need to be kept under a certain level for challengers of a certain strength, but since two-thirds of all the noobs took Turtwig or Piplup, and the other third always ended up catching a Budew or something, it would take months before I had to go out and catch somebody new. So me and three of my Pokemon – Skipper, Anni, and Emily – started getting pretty close, not like Brock and his twenty million Geodude.”

    “Hey, I’m tough!” Brock interrupted indignantly. “Every Kanto trainer remembers from their noob days when one of my Geodude crushed them! Half of them took three tries to beat me!”

    Roark rolled his eyes. “I’m talking. So anyway, I saw a Contest on TV once. The lights, the drama, the love-your-Pokemon-as-it-is stuff … that hooked me. So, after several months of getting the living daylights kicked out of me by noobs, I decided to become a coordinator.”

    “You WHAT?”

    He grinned at Leaf’s shocked expression. “Yeah, a coordinator. It’s really interesting once you get into it. I tried to convince my dad that. Then he convinced me that getting a shovel thrown at your head can really hurt.

    “He kicked me out of the house and told me that any coordinator related to him couldn’t stay in Sinnoh. So I left. There wasn’t any crying or anything, I never was particularly close to my family anyway. My three main Pokemon were my family now. We boarded a ship for Kanto and, well, goodbye heritage.

    “All of them wore an Everstone in some way or another, since I didn’t want them to evolve. But while we were on the ship, I was battling some guy with a Bagon, and Skipper won, but just before fainting … the Bagon accidentally kicked Skipper, cutting that nasty scar into him and knocking his Everstone collar off. It fell over the railing and into the water. I called out to Skipper, tried to stop his shape from changing, pleaded with him, but it was no use. He was a Marshtomp.”

    Swampert-who-shall-henceforth-be-known-as-Skipper looked at his trainer sadly.

    “He saw what’d happened to him and gave me this look, like he was saying, ‘What is this?’ And I rejected him.” A bit of a trembling crept back into his voice. “I t-told him to go. I said that if he was evolved, he d-didn’t deserve me and should g-go back to the m-muck and slime where he came from. So he j-jumped over the railing—” He suddenly dissolved into a fresh wave of sobs.

    Tentatively, Leaf reached out and touched his shoulder. To her surprise, he didn’t shove her away or even flinch. “I’m sorry, Roark. That must have sucked. But Swampert – Skipper – he’s yours again. He forgives you. Don’t you?”

    Skipper nodded in affirmative, patting the boy’s other shoulder in sympathy.

    “Um … Skipper? I still wish you didn’t have to leave. I’ll miss you. Paris will miss you …” Paris. Ah. That could get sticky. If Roark—

    Skipper chuckled, as if reading her mind. <Paris will be fine, Leaf. There’s no need to let Roark in on this, to be honest. She hatched as your Pokemon, and she’ll stay that way. I doubt I’ll need to say goodbye to her, since she loves you so much more than she does me.>

    Leaf shook her head.

    <Oh, yes, she does. Pokemon can have strong bonds with their trainers, Leaf. Dreadfully strong.> A bit of apprehensiveness crept into his regretful tone.

    Roark took a deep breath, attempting to steady himself again as he looked at Leaf and tried to laugh. “I guess this means we won’t be seeing you again, which is a shame. Unless you’re planning on becoming a coordinator, which I doubt, so if you want to walk …”

    In that moment, Leaf realized that she was in love.

    * * *

    “You’re not serious, are you?”

    Lightning’s eyes were wide open in horror as he watched Leaf approach him from the impressive building known as the Contest Hall, grinning broadly as she reached him in the grassy park.

    “I’m excited about this,” she said cheerfully. “Well, not the contest part, but the fact that Roark will be there!” She sighed romantically and swooned.

    Lightning rushed to catch her before she hit the pavement, much to Peach’s displeasure. “I don’t want you to enter this contest! Wait, that was rude. Let me put it another way: I don’t have a talented rival, and I don’t need one!” he explained worriedly, helping her back to her feet.

    Leaf blushed. “You think I’m talented?”

    “Well, yeah. Even though you lost – good job at losing, by the way – your battling could’ve swept the judges away. Except for Frosti stalling. The contest is tomorrow morning, so we’ll need to get in some practice if we want to win.”

    She laughed. “I’m not entering the contest.”

    “Well, I … wait … but you just came from—”

    “Escorting Roark to the Contest Hall. He wanted to get a feel for it.”

    “Ah …” Lightning rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, feeling stupid. “Too bad. Swampert would’ve slaughtered the judges.”

    “He’s not mine.”

    The statement was so abrupt that Lightning blinked several times before realizing what she’d said. “What?”

    “He’s Roark’s. It’s a long story, but now that they’ve found each other again, I should just step out of the picture gracefully while I still have a chance.”

    Lightning decided that this must be one of those things that shouldn’t be elaborated upon, for fear that Leaf would explode from the effort of containing emotion, so he merely nodded.

    “Have you seen Fire and Ocean?”

    “They stuck Ocean back in custody a while ago. Fire left as soon as you lost. He was heading for Mount Moon, ‘away from us losers’.”

    “Jerk.”

    “Yeah, he’s a pain in the—”

    A Shadow Ball narrowly missed Lightning’s head, singing the top of his hair slightly. The dark purple orb, cloaked in some arcane gas, exploded when it hit a nearby tree.

    “HEY, MORON! TRYING TO TAKE MY HEAD OFF, ARE YOU?” Lightning yelled indignantly, as Peach hurriedly fondled his blond hair while scowling at no one in particular. He looked around wildly, but saw no one. “COME OUT AND SHOW YOURSELF, OR I’LL—”

    “Watch your aim, Shadowson,” a nearby voice said coldly. “For that, you’ll stay in there for a week. Return.”

    Baffled, the two humans darted towards it and reached a wooden bench where a trainer was sitting with her back to them, her Pokemon in front of her. All Leaf could see was that the Pokemon was a silvery quadruped before it was recalled half a second later.

    “Excuse me!” Lightning said tensely, placing his hands on his hips in what he obviously hoped was an intimidating stance. Peach imitated his position.

    The trainer slowly turned around to face them, rolling her eyes. She was slender, with thick, knee-length blond hair cascading over her narrow shoulders. She wore a short, emerald-green dress which ended mid-thigh, and her shiny black high-tops encased her small, narrow feet. Her eyes were hazel, but not the deep-and-luminous-pools-of-shining-amber hazel. More like the judge-a-book-by-its-cover, tick-me-off-and-you-die hazel.

    Sitting next to her was a tall rabbit Pokemon, whose voluptuous body boasted its ridiculous curves. Its brown fur was dull in contrast to its cream-colored fur which lined its arms, ears, and lower legs. Its huge pale eyebrows angled sharply towards its bright red eyes.

    “Looky, looky, what do I see? A brand-new Pokemon waiting for me!”

    Leaf was suddenly tempted to pick up a rock and smash the Pokedex with it. However, she was pretty sure that wouldn’t do much more than cause it to say, “Naaaarrrrrrrgh learned Rock Smash! It’s not very effective …”

    “Lopunny, the Strange Pokemon. Gender is Female, but even if it were male it would still be female, if you think about it. Height is Too Curvy For You, Weight is Grossly Anorexic. Lopunny is a girl about town. They prance around in those fur-boots of theirs and cuddle up with the guys until the broad daylight. What’s really scary is that there are males among them, and it’s hard to tell which is which, since they all love men. So if you see a Lopunny, run for your life because it’s probably Michael Jackson. Damn, that’s a weird image. I can see it now: Michael Jackson, the Funny Bunny with the Yummy Tummy.”

    Lightning hooted with laughter, slapping his knees so hard that they bruised. He sat down hard on the ground, convulsing in hilarity.

    “Oh, yes, very amusing,” the strange trainer snarled, glaring down at him in distaste, her Lopunny mirroring her expression. “I’ll have you know that Fokagirl is a champion. She’s won so many contests for me, it’s not even funny.”

    Lightning quit laughing, and his eyes practically popped out of his head. “Fokagirl? As in, the Fokagirl? But that would mean … yeah … you’re Kaleri Kutter!”

    The girl smirked. “Why yes, moron, I am. Hoenn Grand Festival winner, yes. Sexy, yes. Superior to you in every way? Definitely.” She turned to Leaf, and her expression changed. “Hi! You’re Leaf, right? I saw your Swampert crush that Tyranitar the other day. It would probably own everybody else in a battle round.”

    “Well, he’s not mine anymore,” Leaf admitted. “He’s Roark’s. I had to give him back earlier, so sorry. It would’ve been neat using him in the contest, though.”

    “Ooh, you’re going to become a coordinator! Wise choice, my friend.”

    “But I’m not—”

    “Here in contests, we take beauty and turn it into an art. And that’s a shame about the Swampert. However, it’s good to focus on just a few Pokemon. My fourth and newest team member is a bit lacking in talent, but give him a few days and you’ll think I’ve been training him my whole life. He’s a rare species, by the way. You don’t find many of his kind just sitting around.” She puffed herself up proudly, as if she was some rare species that everybody was just dying to get their hands on.

    “Really? What sort of Pokemon is—?”

    “I’m sorry I called you a moron!” Lightning interrupted reverently, getting to his knees and bowing to Kaleri. “You are my idol. The way you blazed through the contests with just three Pokemon never ceases to fascinate me. Will you take me in as your apprentice?”

    Kaleri snickered. “No. I don’t take losers under my wing. But I know you’ll need this.” She pulled a book from a purse that should have been too small for a book that size. Tossing it at his head, she got up and walked away, laughing evilly. Fokagirl paused for a brief moment to smirk at them before following her trainer.

    “That was weird,” Leaf commented, swooping down and catching the heavy book before it could nail Lightning’s head. She glanced at its front cover and raised an eyebrow. “Ah, no wonder she said you’d need this.”

    “What? What?” Lightning asked as he jumped to his feet and looked over at it, rubbing his head anxiously to make sure it wasn’t broken. Peach snuggled up to his head comfortingly, and the three of them read the title on the cover: The Dummy’s Guide to Contests. The picture underneath the big, bold letters showed Kaleri grinning cheesily back at them, with a huge, sparkling Water Pulse just behind her. The dazzling blue waves looked as if they were about to wash Kaleri right out of the picture.

    “Why is it she likes me and not you?” Leaf asked, glancing up at Kaleri’s retreating figure.

    “Maybe it’s that aura thing,” Lightning mused aloud. “Like, she knows I’m destined to beat her, so she’s scared of me. Or maybe it’s just your generic likeability.”

    “My what?”

    “Never mind.” Lightning’s eyes narrowed as they took in the name of the author. “Hmm. She wrote this … so it’s probably full of stuff I need to know. Let’s leaf through it. Ha, ha, ha, that’s a joke. Get it, Leaf? … Leaf?”

    Leaf and Peach both sweatdropped. <Darling,> Peach sighed, stroking his neck affectionately, <I’ll love you until the end of time, but your sense of humor should be pushed off a tall bridge.>

    * * *

    The first thing Cobalt noticed was that he was still alive. That was surprising. Why was that again? Oh, right, I fell out a window, he remembered. Of course it’s surprising. Obviously.

    The second thing he noticed was that a million naked women were parachuting down from the sky towards him. He stared at them and grinned dazedly for a moment before realizing that this was obviously a hallucination. He decided not to look at them, no matter how much he wanted to.

    The third thing was that something large, smooth and furry was in his throat. He stopped wondering if this was another hallucination when he realized that it was slurping something. He shuddered violently as he felt its movement, and heard it gulping from within himself.

    Nnnggmlllrrng!” he tried to shout.

    “He’s awake, he’s awake, he’s awake!”

    <Yay!> said the furry thing in his throat, and it pulled itself out. Cobalt moaned as it was painfully retracted, sliding over his tongue and leaving a large furball on it.

    Opening his eyes, he noticed that two people were standing over him, looking concerned. Well, “people” was probably not the right term for them. “A single person and a somewhat slimy weasel-worm thing” would probably fit the situation better. His sunglasses were hanging from one of his ears haphazardly, and he fitted them back into place.

    <You’re alive! That’s just awesome!> the Phrygoil exclaimed giddily. <Because if you weren’t, I’d have to eat your carcass, and I almost wouldn’t want to do that.>

    Cobalt made a face before spitting out the furball. He massaged his throat carefully. “Um, okay. Thanks for not eating me, then. What exactly happened?”

    “Well,” Gina said, tossing back her hair, “you jumped out the window. That’s a stupid thing to do even at ground level, but you jumped at a huge height, which had a forty-five percent chance of—”

    “I know that part,” he said, cutting her off. “Just skip to the part where you save me from being splattered all over the place like a broken egg, all right?”

    “I was getting there. Anyway, I saw you falling, so I called out Qwerty and made him shoot out a Hydro Pump to slow your fall. It worked, but you were falling face-first, and your mouth was open, so you ended up swallowing about ten gallons of water or something. We caught you and rushed you away from there. We’re just on the outskirts of town right now.”

    “Nobody followed us?”

    “Right. So then you started convulsing for no reason. Well, it was no reason until we realized that drowning is a pretty good reason, so maybe that counted. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do at that point, but suddenly Phrygoil came up, stuck her head down your throat—”

    Cobalt gagged and spat out another furball.

    “And she chugged down all the water in your lungs! Isn’t that weird?”

    He gave her the look of death: eyebrows pressed close together, nostrils flared, mouth twisted into a scowl. “A weasel put her head in my throat. Of course that’s weird!” Automatically, his hand made its way to where his bag had been before he’d fainted, but only succeeded in grabbing empty air. “Where’s the loot?”

    Gina gave him a confused look. “What loot?”

    He facepalmed. “The loot I stole from the Pewter Museum of Science. Duh.”

    “Oh, that loot. The stuff from PMS. Here.” She gestured to a nearby bush. “I hid it in there because Phrygoil wanted to eat it.”

    <Oh, so that’s where you put it!> Phrygoil exclaimed, diving for the bush.

    “Cut that out!” Cobalt ordered, grabbing her by the tail and immediately regretting it. The tail was soft, squishy, slimy, soggy, and possibly soaked in some sewer slop, which would explain the stench. It was like reaching into a large bin marked “Brains”. Letting go and hurriedly wiping his hands on his jeans, he sternly looked her in the eye and said, “We don’t eat that stuff. Repeat after me: I will not eat rocks.”

    <I will not eat rocks …> Phrygoil repeated in a mystical tone, looking a bit psychotic.

    “You’re scaring me.” He reached into the bush and pulled out the bag. Grinning greedily, he retrieved the Moon Stone from the coarse brown folds in the bag, and he gazed at it almost sweetly.

    <What about the other thing? That’s not a rock,> Phrygoil said, snaking her head into the bag and retrieving the object which had, until recently, been residing in the huge Aerodactyl skull. It wasn’t much larger than a clenched fist. Its semi-transparent surface revealed its ocher depths, which looked mysterious in the afternoon sun. It was very pretty, to be sure, but Cobalt had seen a million pretty things just a few minutes ago.

    “It might still be worth something,” he said, taking it from her toothy jaws and looking at it. Next to the Moon Stone, it looked like supernatural crap. He shrugged and put both objects back into his bag, which he slung over his shoulder.

    “You look like Santa Claus in his druggie days,” Gina commented, gazing at him in the way that a mother would gaze at her child on its first day of school.

    “Oh, I’m all choked up.”

    <Can I come with you?> Phrygoil asked suddenly, looking him in the eye. <I’m good at helping people steal things. I want to see the world and spread the truth of Ronald McDonald to everyone.>

    Cobalt stared at her. “Phrygoil, that’s not something—”

    <Phlash.>

    He blinked. “Excuse me?”

    <Daddy calls me Phlash Phryer,> she explained. <They’re spelled with P-H because Daddy says that he was on acid when he met Mom, whatever that means. But you can call me Phlash for short.>

    “Uh-huh…” Phlash? That was a new one. Picturing the word in his mind with its new spelling, he realized that it was hard to wrap his mouth around it. “Okay, then … Phlash. Listen, I’m not exactly some noob who’s journeying around looking for ninety million Pokemon to catch to get badges or ribbons or the meaning of life or whatever the hell they’re looking for these days. I’m a trained criminal in a high-ranking position of an organized organization seeking world dominance through politics, crime, and cosmetics.”

    <You mean a gang?>

    “That too. And I’m more into the really strong Pokemon, if you know what I mean. Like Gengar, and Dragonite, and other cool stuff. So you see, I don’t need you, and you don’t need me. It’s—”

    <That’s where you’re wrong,> Phlash said, cutting him off. <I need someone to show me all the places where McDonald’s hasn’t yet appeared, so I can spread his word to people. And you … you need someone to be your friend.>

    Cobalt stared at her. A friend? What the hell was that? Oh wait, he thought, I remember. A friend is one of those things you get when you become so insecure that you can’t stand to be alone with yourself for more than five minutes. “I don’t need a friend.”

    <Yes you do. And if you don’t think that’s a good idea, I’ll give you better reason to catch me.>

    “Yeah? What’s that?”

    <I’ll sing Barney songs until you do.>

    His mouth fell open in horror.

    <See? I’m worthy. Here we go! I love you … you love me …>

    He twitched. Don’t give in. You’ve been trained. Endure. Endure. Endure …

    <…We’re best friends like friends should be…>

    “STOOOOOPPPPPP!” he howled, covering his ears with his hands. “MAKE IT STOP!”

    <… With a great big hug, and a kiss from me to you …> she sang, raising her voice.

    “PLEASE!”

    <… Won’t you say—>

    “NOOOO!”

    <—you love—>

    “AARRGGHH!”

    <—me—>

    “YAAUUGGHH!”

    <—too.>

    Silence.

    Carefully, he removed his hands from his ears and looked at Phlash, who seemed disappointed that he hadn’t cracked under the pressure.

    “Ha! I win!” he laughed gleefully. “I have endured your brutal torture! Now I’ll turn my back on you and forget that we ever met!”

    Phlash took a deep breath.

    “Aw, c’mon, don’t cry about it,” he said hastily. “I’ve learned how to keep torture from getting to me. I mean really getting to me. Loads of people learn it the hard way.”

    She smirked evilly and opened her mouth.

    “What are you … you’re not … oh, sh—”

    <Barney is a dinosaur from our imaginaaaation—>

    He plugged his ears again in a big hurry. “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you, I can’t—”

    <—AND WHEN HE’S TALL HE’S WHAT WE CALL A DINOSAUR SENSAAAATION!>

    Shuddering, he clenched his teeth.

    <BARNEY SHOWS US LOTS OF THINGS, LIKE HOW TO PLAY PRETEEEND…>

    Must … be … strong.

    <…ABC’S AND ONE-TWO-THREE’S AND HOW TO BE A FRIEEEND!>

    He snapped.

    “GYAAAAOOOO!” he howled, falling to the ground ungracefully. His face contorted into a tortured mask.

    <BARNEY COMES TO PLAY WITH US WHENEVER WE MAY NEEEED HIM …>

    “AAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGGHHH!” He writhed on the ground, convulsing in sheer mental agony.

    <… BARNEY CAN BE YOUR FRIEND TOO—>

    He clawed at the grassy earth madly, seeking some sort of release. This sort of pain was beyond words.

    <—IF YOU JUST MAKE-BELIEVE HIM!>

    Cobalt was left on the ground in some sort of twisted shape usually reserved for gymnasts and yoga practitioners. He shivered uncontrollably.

    <Still not convinced? Goody! I have a whole couple albums up in my head somewhere. What fun! SOMETIMES I—>

    “ENOUGH!” he roared, lifting his head and glaring crazily. Still shaking, he pulled a Poke Ball off his belt and tossed it at Phlash, who was happily absorbed into the ball before it immediately pinged.

    Rolling onto his back, he noticed that Gina was sitting up in a tree, staring at him with huge eyes.

    “Oh,” he said, grinning weakly. “Hi. What’re you doin’ up there? Y’know, I think I’ll show the boss a new kind of torture. Sound waves affecting the brain and all that. Maybe I can get promoted. Hee hee hee hee. ”

    Then he passed out again.

    * * *

    Leaf and Lightning sat in the McDonald’s that evening, flipping through the pages of The Dummy’s Guide to Contests more than eating. Their Pokemon were making up for that: Frosti, Paris, and Peach were digging into a massive pile of cheeseburgers like there was no tomorrow, while Peter munched contentedly on a salad. Dory nibbled on her Apple Dippers, her large blue ears turning this way and that as she glared darkly at everything she saw.

    Cheri didn’t even bother with the food. She was curled up in the pile of brightly colored Happy Meal bags, her eyes cast downward in some sort of grieving expression. Peter paused his eating for a moment to leer at her triumphantly before returning to his salad, his face bulging with lettuce.

    She and Paris are more alike than they know, Leaf thought pityingly, glancing up at her depressed caterpillar. Both of them have been separated from their fathers. At least Paris is taking it calmly.

    Which was true, if the definition of calmly was “giggling madly, spitting globs of cheese at Frosti, and doing everything that doesn’t consist of sighing and gazing out the window”.

    “Ancientpower can be bred onto Lapras, right?” Leaf asked nobody in particular, sipping at her Coke and pressing several buttons on the Pokedex, looking a bit flustered. “If I’d known that, I could’ve realized Swampert – I mean, Skipper – was raised by a trainer.”

    “You know, if you’d have just pushed on my scroll bar like most people, you would’ve already noticed that she had bred moves,” the Pokedex commented nastily. Leaf pointedly ignored it, setting it back onto the table.

    Mom hasn’t left a message, she thought to herself, having called home earlier from the Pokemon Center. That’s odd; she should’ve called me by now, considering the thing with Tyran. I’ve tried her home, work, and cell numbers. If she doesn’t pick up soon, I’ll have to resort to calling those goony old ladies in her knitting club. Yecch.

    She picked up another French fry, bit into it, and chewed it thoughtfully. She looked back down at the book, which was currently turned to a page in the “Good Contest Pokemon vs. Sucky Contest Pokemon” chapter.

    The fact that most morons don’t know is that any Pokemon which I own will automatically make you the greatest coordinator in the city, or wherever you happen to be at the moment. Milotic demonstrates your amazing ability at bringing out the beauty in Pokemon. Kirlia gives you essential tricks that the enemy is only too likely not to see until it’s hanging upside-down and screaming for mercy. And, of course, there’s Lopunny, who’s just too cool not to love, and anyone who disagrees will get their ***es kicked. If I catch any more Pokemon, it’s obvious that they’re the way to go when it comes to picking Pokemon.

    Other great Pokemon for contests include, but are not limited to: Arcanine, Garchomp, Dragonite, Ninetales, Gorebyss, Lucario, Orezbus, Blaziken, Empoleon, Floraso, Raichu, and members of the Eevee, Ayell, and Ralts families. In other words, anything that’s both strong and at least remotely cool.


    “The Tyranitar butt-kicking gave me an idea,” Lightning was saying, not seeming to realize that she wasn’t really listening to him. “An appeal with Peter using the String Shot approach. Tackle’s not very exciting, the Pokemon just runs into something and that’s it. But with String Shot you can make a bunch of awesome shapes. And for the battle rounds, I’ll probably use Peach to Thundershock her way through—”

    <Sure, go ahead and ignore me,> Dory muttered sourly, curling up her lip to reveal large buckteeth.

    “—And if I get to the final round, I’ll pull out the old Volt Tackle card. That’ll absolutely demolish them.”

    “Shouldn’t you be preparing for it?” Leaf asked, not moving her gaze from the book.

    “Nah.”

    “But you said earlier that you should practice—”

    “I said some practice. Most of the noobs I’m going up against don’t even know the difference between a round and a ribbon. Anything should cream them. All I need to worry about is Kaleri and making our way through the battle rounds.”

    "Mm." Leaf’s eyes skipped down a couple of paragraphs.

    You’ve most likely heard all that “any Pokemon can own the contests” crap. The fact is that most, not all, can. Examples of what not to bring to the Contest Hall are as follows:

    Gyarados – It’s ugly, it’s a brute, and it’s Milotic’s evil twin. Case closed.

    Plusle/Minun – It’s entire life revolves around cheerleading. That gets old in a hurry, and there’s not much else you can do with it. Plus, I don’t like it.

    Lickilicky – It’s fat, it’s ugly, and its eye-hurting color will always clash with what you’re wearing. Always.

    Koffing/Weezing – We have contests to
    forget about issues like pollution, and we don’t want to remember! Not to mention that its stench will offend everyone and therefore lower your chances of making it past appeal.

    Unown – Nobody cares if it’s a novelty and that you looked through a million caves to find one! There’s only so much you can do with Hidden Power, damn it!

    Bidoof – It needs no reason.

    Glemura – If you ignore the fact that its attacking sucks, you should agree with me in that fish that are always crying their eyes out are not going to help you in your coordinating career. Face that and you’ll thank me later.

    Ditto – Transform gets old. Fast.

    Probopass – It’s a fricking face with a stache. A frizzy black stache. Nobody needs you to remind them of their creepy first date, thank you very much.


    “What ees thees? Eet ees a Lapras, no?”

    Glancing up, Leaf was shocked to see a guy with huge sunglasses standing right next to their table. A girl was standing next to him, looking bored. At his feet stood a Phrygoil, looking excited as she looked around wildly, her nostrils flaring as the exciting scents of grease and slime flooded them.

    “Eet ees ze shinee Lapras!” the guy exclaimed, leaning closer. “Eef I cood ‘ave a momaynt weeth ze Lapras, I would like to gayt eets peectoor weeth eet!” He brandished a cheap-looking disposable camera.

    Everyone stared at him.

    <Psycho,> Frosti muttered.

    “I ‘eard zat!”

    “Dude,” Leaf sighed, “what are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be working at that drugstore in Viridian, or is that just your day job?”

    “Eh … eh … I know not of what you are trying to zay ‘ere. I am merelee a Fraynch tooreest who ‘appens to be zightzeeing at ze moment.”

    “Yeah, but that accent is so fake that it hurts my brain. Leave us alone.”

    “Honestly!” the guy fumed, stamping his foot. “I worked hard on that accent! Don’t call it fake!”

    Leaf raised an eyebrow.

    “Aw, screw it.”

    “You’re not going to be stealing Paris,” Leaf said firmly. “That’s what you’re trying to do, I know it.”

    “No I’m—”

    “Yes, you are. You finger that huge bag when you look at her.”

    He jumped and glanced at the canvas bag slung over his shoulder. Sure enough, he was.

    “You’re Team Rocket people, aren’t you?”

    “Yes!” the girl next to him said automatically. “We—mmph!”

    “Don’t listen to Gina,” the young man said, laughing nervously as he smothered his companion’s mouth with his hand. “She hasn’t had her medication yet.”

    “Liar.”

    “Hey! Nobody calls ME, the amazing Cobalt who has no apparent first name, a liar! You’re goin’ down, girl. Phlash, go get her!”

    “’Phlash’?” Leaf asked incredulously as the Phrygoil took a step towards her, staring her down with blood-red eyes.

    “Short for Phlash Phryer. Don’t look at me like that; it was her dad’s idea, not mine.”

    “Then she’s even weirder than we thought. Frosti, it’s go time!”

    Frosti glanced around, seemed satisfied that the number of other people present (one, but that was the worker at the counter and why should he count anyway?) wasn’t too high, and leapt towards Phlash, eyes and tail-flame shining bright.

    “Um…” Cobalt glanced at his Pokedex to check his Pokemon’s moves. “Phlash, catch him in a Wrap!”

    Plash shot forward, moving surprisingly fast for her short legs. Half a second later, her long body was coiled around the hapless lizard Pokemon.

    <Leaf…> Frosti moaned, as his foe squeezed him tightly.

    “Quick, Frosti, Sunny Day followed up by an Ember!” his trainer cried.

    Although his tail was pinned down, he still managed to brighten its flame. The setting sun outside suddenly poured blinding light through the window, mysteriously expanding the small tongues of flame which flew from Frosti’s mouth. Phlash winced as the attack hit, but managed to keep her grip on him, squeezing harder.

    <Oooh, a fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!> Peach chanted, leaning further over the edge of the table to look until she fell over, landing clumsily on the floor.

    “Hey, you can’t have a two-on-one battle! That’s not fair! Take her out, Qwerty!” Gina yelled, tossing out a Poke Ball. A small blue creature materialized on the tiled floor in front of Peach, his blue tail and head fin quivering in anticipation. A pair of bright orange gills sat on his circular head. It was as if Skipper had been shrunk down to bite size.

    <DO YOU LIEK ME? DO YOU LIEK ME? PLEASE SAY YOU LIEK ME!> the Pokemon yelled at the top of his lungs, bouncing around as if he badly needed to pee.

    “Mudkip—” The Pokedex was cut off by its own snickers. “Hee, hee, hee. I’ve been waiting for this one. Mudkip, the Well-Lieked Pokemon. Gender is Male. Height is Puny, Weight is Floppy Pond Creature Thing. So, I heard you liek them. Who knows why it’s Mudkip that was in the meme, but everyone loves it now. Whenever a noobish trainer encounters a Mudkip, you can be sure that the sound of unzipping pants fills the air. A recent study shows that Mudkip is the most popular standard starter Pokemon, being chosen fifty-three percent of the time in Hoenn, and twenty-one percent of the time nationwide. This means that approximately forty Mudkip per year are given out to trainers who intend on harassing them in extremely undesirable ways. That’s very … strange. And can I just add—?”

    “No, that’s enough. Frosti, spray her with another Ember! Then Scratch her until she lets go!”

    “Phlash, keep him in that Wrap! Use Tail Whip to keep yourself from getting too hurt!”

    “Peach, Charm the mud-thing, and then Thundershock it!”

    “Alrighty, Qwerty, protect yourself with Mud Shot, then Dig to avoid the Thundershock.”

    As Phlash gripped him even more tightly, Frosti sprayed her with another solar-powered Ember. The flames danced around on her oily skin before flickering out in the gust of air created by Phlash’s long, pointed tail, which she wagged cutely in front of Frosti’s face. The Charmander frowned, as he tried and failed to lift his bound arms and swipe at his captor. Frustrated, he twisted his hands upward to reach her tight coils, clawing at them half-heartedly.

    Meanwhile, Peach stared at Qwerty, her eyes widening in order to look as adorable as possible. Coupled with her slightly protruding lower lip, this look managed to send the bouncing blue Pokemon on a guilt trip.

    <YOU LIEK ME? YOU … LIEK ME?>

    His eyes softened in sympathy, but nevertheless he stood up on his hind paws and looked at his hands, which suddenly covered themselves in a sticky brown slime. Hurriedly he wiped the mud all over himself, ending up looking filthy. He then leapt into the air, pinwheeling his arms around wildly. As he began falling back down, Peach flicked her small hand at him, launching a small bolt of lightning; although the attack did a fair amount of damage to the small water-type, the mud coating his body absorbed most of it. His arms moved so fast that by the time he hit the floor, he managed to begin burrowing through it, sending small chunks of it flying everywhere.

    Everyone hit the floor to avoid the flying projectiles; by the time they dared to raise their heads, Qwerty had vanished. All that remained was a misshapen hole in the floor, a small amount of dirt coating its edges. Oddly, Frosti and Phlash hadn’t noticed this, as they were still Wrapping or Scratching at each other.

    “Right,” Leaf said, getting to her feet and brushing herself off; the others followed her example. “That was interesting. Okay, Frosti, give her a couple more Embers to deal with, and keep Scratching your way out of there! Use the claws on your feet too!”

    “Oh, I don’t think so! Phlash, keep on Wrapping him, and give him another taste of Tail Whip while you’re at it!”

    Lightning looked around nervously, but there was no sign of Qwerty. “Okay, Peach, he’ll be coming up from underneath, so be on the lookout for him. Also, charge up a Volt Tackle to hit him when he does reappear.”

    “Ooh! Ooh! Volt Tackle!” Gina squealed excitedly. “That’s, like, one of the rarest moves! I’ve been looking for a Light Ball for ages, and I need to figure out why it only affects the Pikachu family. I mean, what’s so special about Pikachu? Shouldn’t Mareep or Shinx be equally compatible with the Light Ball? That’s what I, Breeder Gina, aim to find out. Oh, the DRAMA …!”

    Naturally, everyone ignored her.

    While Phlash was keeping Frosti Wrapped up, the orange lizard himself spat out two more Embers, still strengthened by the sun’s blinding rays. The miniature fireballs pelted Phlash’s skin, and she winced as a small area of it on her right shoulder slowly turned a burned brown. The smell of cooking meat wafted through the air; Frosti’s nostrils flared as he inhaled the scent, and hungrily he clawed at Phlash’s soft body with renewed gusto. The weasel-like Pokemon squealed as the gashes were carved into her, dripping a little blood, but she still summoned the energy to whack Frosti with her tail. The slimy appendage made contact, and he scowled as a patch of damp residue was left on his cheek.

    Peach, keeping her eyes on the floor warily, began to charge her short yellow fur in electricity, sparks shooting from it dangerously. A faint rumbling emanated from beneath her paws, and she braced herself, teeth clenched. As it got louder, she thought for a moment before deciding that Qwerty would be emerging from the trash can near their booth, and she faced it, determined.

    Qwerty burst from the floor near the condiment stand, sending tiny packets of ketchup flying everywhere. One of them landed on Phlash’s head, and she shouted, <KETCHUUUUUUP! GIMME KETCHUP GIMME KETCHUP GIMME!> Her body whipped through the air, tossing Frosti into the trash can, as she flicked her head and snapped wildly at the packet, teeth flashing. She caught it in her fanged jaws, and the red goo spurted everywhere, staining her mouth a deep crimson. Eagerly she shook her head around, trying to catch the flying ketchup with her tongue. Some of the ketchup landed on her body, soaking her sickly-colored fur, and she tore at her own body greedily, injuring herself better than Frosti could have done.

    Qwerty, however, kept his head, screaming, <YOU MUST LIEK ME! GRAHHHH!> His muddy body soared toward Peach; however, after blinking a few times he suddenly realized his danger and backpedaled frantically, to no avail.

    “Piiiiiiiiii … CHU!” cried the brightly glowing mouse, launching herself at her flying foe. They collided, sizzling, in midair, and Qwerty screeched as the electricity sliced through him. As they hit the ground, stray bolts of lightning zigzagged from her fur and rocketed in all directions. By some freak coincidence, one of them hit Phlash, who yelped and began to run in circles. Another hit Cobalt’s knee, and he cursed loudly as he buckled up in pain.

    Hearing this, Frosti jumped out of the trash can, walked toward him with a stern expression on his face, and slapped him with his tail. <Naughty words are bad,> he scolded.

    Cobalt’s annoyed reply was cut off by Qwerty’s <DO IT LIEK THIS!> as he stood up on his hind legs, raising his tiny forepaws into the air. A massive rumbling began to shake the ground underneath them, and the floor in front of Qwerty burst as water rushed upward, the stench of sewer wafting upwards. As the foul water tore down towards her, Peach squealed and shot a very large Thundershock at it, before the Waterfall pounded her into the floor.

    The yellow bolt of lightning leapt into the water, spreading and multiplying in a frenzy until the whole Waterfall was turning a bright neon yellow, crackling with lethal electricity. The wave of voltage spread through the water, back into the sewers, causing a massive boom to be heard from below. Seconds later, a wave of electrified water gushed out from the hole, spreading quickly across the floor in a fizzing flood of death. Everyone’s hair slowly stood up on end, frizzing up from excess static.

    <Now dat’s da shiz,> Peter commented, gazing at the pretty colors.

    “RUN!” Leaf yelled, recalling all of her Pokemon and leaping onto the table, the other three trainers following suit. She shoved the Pokedex and The Dummy’s Guide To Contests back into her handbag, and they all paused only a moment to watch the lethal water covering the floor below, getting higher by the second, before they rushed away, leaping from table to table and pushing at each other in an frantic effort to get to the glass door. The blinding electricity followed them, but they managed to get out the door and outside seconds before the cheap leather seats were swamped under, shriveling from the force of the voltage.

    The door swung safely shut behind them, but the deadly electricity simply licked at the door, creating cracks in it, threatening to give way. It was suddenly apparent to them that this was no little mishap that could be wished away with a simple call to the fire department; this was real, this was deadly, and they had better be damn sure that they’d all be fried alive if they didn’t move out of there in a big hurry. The trainers didn’t even bother to look back; the young heroes dashed one way, while Team Rocket ran pell-mell down the other, neither remembering the cause of the whole problem in the first place until a good while later.

    Inside McDonald’s, the employee who had stood behind the counter was now crouched on top of it, looking over the scene in dismay and disgust: the seats completely ruined; the trash cans overflowing, the trash within soggy and blackened; the screech of somebody in the bathroom who had been caught by surprise. “I don’t get paid enough for this,” he muttered, launching himself through the drive-in window.

    Had he remained there five seconds longer, he would have met his doom.

    * * *
    Last edited by SugarPesticide; 25th June 2010 at 1:20 AM.
    FF.Net profile | Blazing Frost | Project Valentine | River Styx | Hexachromalurgy | Fizzy Bubbles

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  6. #106
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    * * *

    “What’ll we do?” Leaf moaned, wringing her hands in indecision. They were still running, with downtown Pewter vanishing behind them, the road beneath them flowing smoothly into some tidy suburban neighborhoods. Despite the distance, the sirens were still blaring loudly. Even if the whole city hasn’t been flooded by now, we’ll still be blamed for the huge mess we made. Ocean probably couldn’t have done worse.

    “What’ll we do?” Lightning repeated grimly, keeping his eyes fixed on the road, which flew under their feet. “What’ll we do? We have to keep moving on, that’s what we’ll do. We can’t afford to stick around any longer. They’ll probably lock Peach away if we don’t.” He looked pained at the thought.

    “But it wasn’t her fault!”

    “It wasn’t anyone’s fault. Not even those goons knew what’d happen. We just have to keep Peach away from water from now on, that’s all.”

    The bright sun, which had been setting, disappeared as soon as Frosti’s Sunny Day flickered out, plunging the world into darkness. Blinking frantically from the sudden change, the two runaways attempted to keep from losing direction, but they ended up crashing into a house instead.

    “At least they had the decency to put this springy stuff here,” Lightning moaned, pulling himself slowly from the hydrangeas.

    “Look!” Leaf hissed suddenly, pointing through the window. Lightning grumbled a bit more before walking up and peaking in with her.

    The only light inside was coming from the TV, which was glaringly bright against the darkness inside. An old guy was sleeping in an armchair just in front of the window, snoring loudly. The TV was currently airing a news report, in which the reporter was sitting in a helicopter, overlooking the charred ruins of the McDonald’s. Its entire ceiling was missing, as were numerous chunks of wall. Against the waves of electricity surrounding it, the fast-food joint looked especially dark and brooding as it belched smoke towards the sky. The large, bright yellow “M” on the building’s side was still there, making the scene look even more depressing.

    “Here’s the spot where this disaster allegedly started,” the reporter was yelling, struggling to be heard over the wind. “According to an eyewitness who was working here at the time, the explosion was caused by four teenagers who were vandalizing the place by ordering their Pokemon to dig straight through the floor, causing the nearby reservoir underneath to burst, before electrifying the water. The water is currently spreading at a fast rate through the nearby buildings, and is estimated to flood the entire city by tomorrow morning. Local cleanup volunteers are attempting to stop the flow with their Pokemon, but residents of Pewter are strongly advised to evacuate their homes as quickly as possible. Any information on the teenagers who caused this problem should be reported to the local police force. I’m Todd Anderson, signing off on PBC News.”

    As the report switched over to a stock market update, Leaf turned to Lightning, her eyes wide in horror. “I can’t believe this.”

    “I know, neither can I,” Lightning muttered thoughtfully. “I mean, if a city puts its reservoir underneath McDonald’s, you know there’s something wrong with them.”

    “That’s not what I meant. We just broke a city, Lightning. One minute it’s just a normal battle, the next it’s all hideously out of control. Remember how bad those tsunamis were a couple years ago, in India, New Orleans, the Sevii Islands? And they weren’t electrified. What have we done?” she whispered. Her mind turned to the people she knew, who at that moment might be fleeing the city themselves: Brock might have been in the middle of a battle with another newbie, would they hear the news in time? And where would he go? The gym would obviously be obliterated, how would the League react to that? Kaleri would more likely than not be screaming obscenities at this turn of events; it was more than likely that she’d make some sort of heroic attempt to keep the electricity at bay. As unlike me as possible, she thought dejectedly. Roark and Skipper, if they couldn’t escape … she pushed the thought out of her head. Of course they’d escape. Skipper wouldn’t let Roark … she pushed that away too.

    Lightning closed his eyes, rubbing his temples. “Well, the sooner we get out of here, the better,” he said reasonably, trying valiantly to conceal his own shock on the situation. “They’re probably too busy evacuating people to be looking very hard for us. By the time they’re done, we should be halfway to Celadon, and hopefully they’ll have forgotten about us. Trust that Gina person to use Waterfall in a restaurant,” he added sourly. “No wonder you need certain badges to get HMs; you need to be proved competent before you can get one. And Gina’s obviously not very competent.”

    The sound of sirens grew louder, wailing through the night like a Mightyena in labor. The trainers glanced over their shoulders anxiously before exchanging wide-eyed glances.

    “Let’s go,” Leaf whispered.

    Together they stole through the streets, a pair of dark shadows fleeing the dying city.

    * * *

    Somewhere far away, an island blanketed in peace and quiet sat calmly in the surrounding waters. In a dark, shallow cave overlooking the sandy coast below and the sea beyond, an arcane creature stirred. Its featureless body shimmered as it stretched and looked out on the waning moon, a thin sliver of light in the sky. It lazily stretched out a pseudo-real appendage – an “arm” in the loosest sense of the word – and grabbed a passing Psyduck, cackling madly at the panic in the duck Pokemon’s otherwise blank eyes. The water-type struggled uselessly, but was nevertheless engulfed in the black-and-white mass. A crunching sound, like twenty celery sticks breaking all at once, could be heard from within. In an invisible swirl of insanity and the universe’s more faulty rules, the Psyduck was annihilated.

    The creature, despite all evidence to the contrary, was bored.

    Living out here on Cinnabar Island – which the less sophisticated might refer to as “nowhere” – was a stretch, especially when you were doing it for a few hundred years. But he could always count on some idiotic human to try catching him. He’d let them train him for a while before screwing up their world, often driving them insane. Although, he hadn’t been caught in years, not since the days when the TMs actually contained good moves. None of this Natural Gift crap.

    A soft giggling attracted his attention. Some idiotic couple had decided to watch the “romantic” scenery from the base of his cliff. Didn’t they know what sort of monstrous evil lurked here?

    In a flash of darkness, he morphed into another form, the one with a shape of utter blackness against which the white eyes and mouth were easily visible. A cloud of some sort of smog shrouded his body. He cracked his knuckles before starting off with a loud, high-pitched scream. Somewhere below, he heard a frightened gasp, much to his delight.

    “What’s that?”

    “Probably just a rabid Noctowl, no need to worry—”

    That was his cue to swoop down at them. Drinking in their astonished squeals, he grinned horribly before opening his eyes wider and wider, like two empty pits of death, as he reached at them with claws outstretched …

    They leapt up and bolted, screaming all the way. The monster allowed himself an evil cackle, letting it wrack his frame until the entire island shook with it, and numerous Wingull quickly turned around and flew away as fast as their wings could take them. After a few seconds, the cackle dwindled down to a giggle, and then a few gulps of air.

    He was quickly bored again.

    Another flash of darkness, and he was suddenly some sort of skeletal demon, a nightmare of prehistoric times. A column of sharp spikes cascaded down his spine, and his tail stuck out with all the innocence of a brandished knife. In contrast with his spindly legs and clawed feet, each of his arms ended in a massive scythe, capable of slicing through stone as easily as through hot butter. On his ridged, semicircular head was a pair of dark, blank holes where his eyes should have been, giving the impression that he was blind. How misleading that impression was; he could see everything.

    Except—

    ~You~

    The monster swiveled around, only to see no one. <Who’s there?> he growled, holding his scythes so they were easily visible.

    A breeze swept by, and with it the voice: ~What are you … you … you~

    <Can’t you see for yourself? I’m not a Pokemon. Not exactly.>

    He thought he hinted a bit of dark curiosity from the breeze-voice. ~Not human, not Pokemon. What … are … you~

    <I’m a … a chaotic.> The second the words left his mouth, he snapped it shut. It was the first time he’d actually admitted the fact out loud.

    ~A chaotic~ The stranger seemed confused. ~What … is that~

    The chaotic relaxed slightly. Explaining his existence took a load off his mind, knowing that someone else could understand. <Welllll, you know how Arceus created the world, and all that crap? She used rational laws for that. Gravity, speed of light, et cetera. But all the irrational laws – absolute nothingness, horn space distortion, true chaos – got shoved into a dark corner somewhere. Normally, life wouldn’t begin or exist in a place like that. But according to the irrational laws, it could.>

    ~And they … birthed you~

    He shifted uncomfortably. <In a sense, yes. It’s sort of an agreement thing. As long as the laws exist, we chaotics exist, and vice versa. Some of them get killed off, but that’s not a problem.>

    ~Interesting~ the stranger mused. ~So you have some sort of … chaos power~

    The chaotic glanced up sharply in surprise. <Well, of course. Obviously the name says it all. I’m one of the more powerful ones, actually. Everyone’s terrified of me.> He puffed himself up proudly, hoping the stranger would take the hint.

    Unfortunately, what the chaotic did not realize is that when an evil being runs into the supreme evil being, the latter will always win. Always.

    ~I am … sure that they are~ the stranger said. ~But it is … difficult to believe. From the way you scared the two humans earlier … it is easy to see that you are powerful … or a poltergeist~

    The chaotic lowered his scythes slightly, confused. <What do you mean?>

    ~Your life has faded … descended into the role of the local ghost. To join me is … to ascend. To become so powerful that the very earth you stand on shrivels in fear and despair~

    Involuntarily, the chaotic glanced down at his feet. The gravelly sand scratched between his bony toes as he thought about it. He wiggled his toes, watching the sand shift under and between them, remembering days gone by as he fled from former trainers, who were caught in a storm of irrationality and horror, their bloodcurdling shrieks engraved into his mind. There was no escape for them, the pigs who sought to reduce him to a tool for a mere sport. He didn’t regret destroying them.

    Then, in a fleeting moment of consent, the stranger attacked.

    Leapt into his mind.

    The terrified scream could be heard all over the island.

    * * *

    Well, it looks like the Pewter arc has come to an end. As has Pewter itself. Mwahahahaha. >=]

    Comments?
    Last edited by SugarPesticide; 29th June 2009 at 11:57 PM.
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  7. #107
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    If I had to use three words to describe that chapter they would be: long, random and ... destructive .

    It was exciting and funny as always, but I'm starting to forget which characters are which, sorry, but I just find it a bit confusing when the characters names and pokemon contradict each other and then when they start swapping goals, it really confuses me ^_^; Not that yo can do anything abot it really, you can't change their names now, just clarify who somebody is when they appear, otherwise, with the gap in chapters, I start to forget .
    Just to make sure is this right?:
    Leaf (main character)-Charmander(Frosti)-Defeat Gyms*
    Lightning-Pichu(Peach)-Contests*
    Ocean (currently in custody )-Bulbasaur?-Collector
    Fire (gone off to MT. Moon)- Squirtle?- Defeat Gyms
    Cobalt- Bulbasaur(can't remember if there was a nickname)- Team Rocket
    Gina- Mudkip (Qwerty)- Team Rocket
    Phlash (he's his own character)- Phrygoil- Spread the holy word of Ronald McDonald!

    *= also now wanted fugitives.

    Right, aside from character confusion, it was a very good chapter, the fact that Leaf and Lightning are now wanted by the police could be interseting and the Roark/Skipper thing was really random.

    I'd love to see a picture of Phrygoil because at the moment I just picture a giant chi...I mean french fry (in England, fries are chips and chips are crisps) with fangs.

    The chaotic thing was wierd, I thought it was going to be some recurring bad guy, but then...ouch...I gues not. I have some ideas about who the greater evil thing is, but it could be one of your fakemon, so I'm probably wrong.

    Talking about fakemon, was the thing that used shadowball one? I took it that Shadowson was a nickname, but then I realised that there aren't any "silvery quadruped pokemon. Except maybe Absol, but its not really silvery, is it?

    Anyway, am I on your PM list? Because I didn't get one. Or have you not sent them out yet?

    See you next chapter (which I hope won't be too long),

    ~JammyU

    EDIT: I forgot about the torture seen!

    First of all, I'm slightly concerned that you know all the words to the Barney theme tune. And second, what an ingenius from of torture! If somebody did that to me, I'd cave in before the end of the first line .

    “GYAAAAOOOO!”
    - A wild Arceus appearded!
    Last edited by Inconspicuosaurus; 18th August 2008 at 12:32 PM.
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    Friend Safari: Poison (Gloom, Garbodor, Drapion)
        Spoiler:- Looking For:

    Happy to help people find out what their safari is.
    Palaeontologist and proud.
    Previously known as JammyU.

  8. #108
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    Hoo boy, long post. *cracks knuckles* Well, I sent the PMs out before but you weren't on the list. You are now, though.

    You got them right, but some minor stuff:
    Just to make sure is this right?:
    Leaf (main character)-Charmander(Frosti)-Defeat Gyms*
    Lightning-Pichu(Peach)-Contests*
    Ocean (currently in custody )-Bulbasaur? name's Hideki, not a big issue though -Collector
    Fire (gone off to MT. Moon)- Squirtle? yes - Defeat Gyms
    Cobalt- Bulbasaur(can't remember if there was a nickname) no nickname- Team Rocket
    Gina- Mudkip (Qwerty)- Team Rocket
    Phlash (he's his own character)He is also a girl! >>;- Phrygoil- Spread the holy word of Ronald McDonald! LOL
    You got everything straight, though. Too many characters

    I'd love to see a picture of Phrygoil because at the moment I just picture a giant chi...I mean french fry (in England, fries are chips and chips are crisps) with fangs.
    That's pretty much what it is, actually. A fry with legs and fangs and eyes and a tail. I tried drawing a picture of it once, but it ended up looking like a perverted stick, so ... =/

    The chaotic thing was wierd,
    Actually     Spoiler:- spoiler:


    Talking about fakemon, was the thing that used shadowball one? I took it that Shadowson was a nickname, but then I realised that there aren't any "silvery quadruped pokemon. Except maybe Absol, but its not really silvery, is it?
    Yeah, Shadowson is his nickname, and he's a Fakemon.

    First of all, I'm slightly concerned that you know all the words to the Barney theme tune.
    So am I, but that's what I get for having four younger siblings in the house. -_-;

    And second, what an ingenius from of torture! If somebody did that to me, I'd cave in before the end of the first line .
    I've caved in before the end of the first three words.

    “GYAAAAOOOO!”
    - A wild Arceus appearded!
    ROFL. *reaches for Master Ball* Wait ... the birds go "gyaaaaoooo", don't they? Arceus goes "dodogyuuuunn"!
    FF.Net profile | Blazing Frost | Project Valentine | River Styx | Hexachromalurgy | Fizzy Bubbles

    Latest PV pair: Shedinja/Sylveon - What if the MST3K guys did Roshomon? I think it would go a little something like this.

  9. #109
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    lol, very funny and destrutive...

    I wanna see pics of ur fakemon along with like dexdata...would help me imagine 'em more correctly, u know? lmao
    Pokemon Black team:

  10. #110
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    Thanks. ^^ Unfortunately, I have the art skills of a cardboard box. I guess if somebody wants to sprite it they can ... =/
    FF.Net profile | Blazing Frost | Project Valentine | River Styx | Hexachromalurgy | Fizzy Bubbles

    Latest PV pair: Shedinja/Sylveon - What if the MST3K guys did Roshomon? I think it would go a little something like this.

  11. #111
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    I did try to post yesterday, but obviously it hasn't worked. I think i can remember what i said...

    I had no idea the next chapter was up!! *has panic attack*

    Extremely funny, extremely long. That's good. I liek mudkipz too.

    who's just too cool not too love
    not to love. That's the only mistake i found

    And i can do fakemon pics, only they'll be sketches like in my sig rather than sprites. Contact me if you want me to do some.

  12. #112
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    'Tis OK. I'll put you on the PM list to avoid further confusion.

    Extremely funny, extremely long. That's good. I liek mudkipz too.
    We all liek Mudkipz.
    FF.Net profile | Blazing Frost | Project Valentine | River Styx | Hexachromalurgy | Fizzy Bubbles

    Latest PV pair: Shedinja/Sylveon - What if the MST3K guys did Roshomon? I think it would go a little something like this.

  13. #113
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    Great chapter so full of randomness. My only lil problem is that the chapter once in a while had flowing problems. By that I mean the chapter would flow smoothly then feel just a lil rushed other than that I love the randomness. As for everyone liking mudkipz hmm i dunno mudkip wasn't always my fav :P.

    They say an author writes about themselves in their stories. I can say I now believe you to be a fan of mc donalds and barney :P

    Otherwise good job and keep up that good work.

    ~roo~
    Fan fic reader. Writer at heart artistic at heart. My name before was roodude15 and I'm back PM me if you want me to review something. I'm always happy to review a story.

    I love crude humor it's the biggest thing since sliced bread and sliced bread is pretty darn good too

  14. #114
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    *le gasp* I am not! *indignant* What they say is that writers write what they know, and what I know is immature, hyperactive people who plead for McDonald's and Barney. Thusly, Phlash appeared. Besides that, much thanks.

    Anywho, since school started again (*rattles prison bars*) I'm finding it somewhat hard to find time to work on Chapter Ten, so don't panic if it doesn't appear for a while. Even if I panic. *bites lip*

    But oh look, tentative chapter title:

    Chapter Ten: Try to Weedle Your Way Out of THIS One! (Mystery at Mount Moon! Part 1)

    Of course, by "part" I mean part of an arc, not part of a chapter.
    FF.Net profile | Blazing Frost | Project Valentine | River Styx | Hexachromalurgy | Fizzy Bubbles

    Latest PV pair: Shedinja/Sylveon - What if the MST3K guys did Roshomon? I think it would go a little something like this.

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    Heh alright then I shall let that go . Also no biggie on the next chapter tis the season to be naughty falalalala give the teachers lots of snotty....yeah we all understand how school can be time consuming tis a shame had this been a monopoly game would have given you a get out of jail free card so you can escape your prison cell.

    On another note interesting chapter title do look forward when you get that chapter done.

    ~roo~
    Fan fic reader. Writer at heart artistic at heart. My name before was roodude15 and I'm back PM me if you want me to review something. I'm always happy to review a story.

    I love crude humor it's the biggest thing since sliced bread and sliced bread is pretty darn good too

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    Once again it's been delayed due to my inherent laziness. Sorry. >.<

    I've added a section for all revealed Fakemon in the first post, which includes a pic of Phrygoil, which the lovely Sinnohdragon has made. (@ Sinnohdragon: You rock! ;D)

    Also: due to some gore in the scene at the end of this chapter, I've bumped the rating up from PG/PG-13 to PG-14. Just to let you know.

    As usual, enjoy. =)

    * * *

    Chapter Ten: A Pint of Ayell (A Meeting of Gods! Psychotic Phrygoil??)

    Nearly two thousand years earlier, an Absol sat on a lonely rock jutting out from the massive, snow-capped peak of Mount Coronet. He looked out over the colors of the landscape, muted by the darkness of twilight; the olive-green of forests and sapphire-blue of the waters beyond partially hidden by a herd of puffy white clouds. The regal calls of Staraptor echoed in the thin, freezing air, and he shivered slightly before turning to the pile of freeze-dried wood; a blazing Fire Blast leapt from his mouth, and the mass of dancing flames flew through the air for a moment, struggling for existence in the bitter cold, before wrapping around the sticks, licking them lovingly.

    He rubbed his paws over the flames for a few minutes, letting them absorb heat like a sponge. It wasn’t easy being a prophet, he had decided long ago. It especially wasn’t easy being a prophet named Bart, although among humans he was more popularly known as Get-Offa-Mah-Lawn. But the truth still needed to be told, for the good of the world. Even if the world wasn’t particularly good to him.

    Regretfully, he got to his feet and passed the fire, facing the stony wall of the mountain before him. Its deep gray contrasted sharply with the pure white surrounding it. Taking a deep breath, he launched another Fire Blast, this time at the austere rock wall. The brilliantly glowing inferno poured from his gaping maw, splashing against the mountain’s rocky face and casting jet-black shadows behind the campfire and himself. After several seconds his throat started to get really sore, and with a deep breath he cut off the Fire Blast effortlessly, although a few hacking coughs sent some stray embers on the ice-cold rock he stood on, smoldering briefly in a ruby-red glow before their lights winked out in the freezing summer air.

    Yes, it was summer.

    Bart sighed, then approached the wall, which in the intense heat from seconds before had melted into a sort of squishy yet firm substance, like a constipated Ditto. He lifted one of his paws, flicked out a dangerously sharp black claw, stood up on his hind paws, and began to meditate. He hadn’t prophesied in a long time, not since he’d tried interviewing Uxie a long while back for a quote for Divinations, Chapter Three. What he should have realized from the psychic Pokemon’s stern demeanor was that any behavior towards him short of rigid formality was like asking for the legendary’s divine wrath. Thusly his <Yeah, I know what you mean, bro> had earned him a week-long memory lapse, though people told him later that he’d been stumbling around with his tongue sticking out of his mouth, slapping his chest with a paw and occasionally murmuring <Duuurrrrrr…>

    Well, he wasn’t about to make that mistake again. This time he was going to do the thing properly. He’d be formal all the way.

    He let his mind wander, carried through the perilous stream of time towards the future. Snatches of time flew past, giving him brief glimpses of burning villages and rampaging Gyarados before fading back into nothingness. It wasn’t as if he could decide where in time he looked; certain events that hadn’t happened yet simply called to him, and he had to come.

    One thousand years … eleven hundred years … twelve hundred years …

    Distantly, he could feel his paw hovering above the stone, ready to transcribe whatever he saw. He’d found out ages ago that stone, softened by the heat of intense fire, was the best material for recording while prophesying. The wind didn’t ruin it, the rain couldn’t wash it out, and any birds who were stupid enough to fly into it would be really sorry.

    Seventeen hundred … eighteen hundred … nineteen hundred …

    He had almost hit two thousand when he stopped abruptly, standing still in the timestream. Something was calling to him from that time, something with a pull so strong that his heart and soul would surely implode if he couldn’t answer the call. It yanked him in, jerking him from the treacherous, speeding currents of time into the comforting security of real time, ticking away second by second rather than blending millennia with milliseconds.

    On the distant mountain, his claw dug into the softened stone as he wrote what he thought.

    I. Now it came to pass that in the morning, three legendary beings met in a dark, spacious place, and only they could pass the threshold thereof.

    II. And behold, the cave was like unto the darkest of nights, and nothing could be seen therein, and the voices of the three beings could be heard therein.

    III. And the first voice spake, and it was like unto an ocean of the purest silver. And it said unto its brethren:
    <Verily, my children, I say unto you: the most ancient of evils has awakened, even our oldest foe; yea, and we shall all be wracked in misery and eternal woe if he should achieve his goal.>

    IV. And the second voice spake, and it was like unto the wind on a grassy hill. And it said unto the first, <Mom, give it a rest already. Quit talking like an old person. And why are we being referred to as “brethren” anyway? We’re all female, damn it!>

    V. Then the first said unto the second: <Nay, my daughter, for in the trials and afflictions which all living things must endure, we are all like unto brethren in a storm of eternal anguish. And behold, to endure all things in all places together is to overcome the night, and raise the light of the sun.>

    VI. And the second was wroth, and said, <Whatever. Now will somebody please just get to the point and explain what’s actually going on? So that this bloody prophet who’s watching us can write something besides your old-person jibberish?>

    VII. And the third voice spake, and it was bold like unto a bronze axe. And it said unto them, <Apparently the Missing One has been possessed by dear old Appy. Any thoughts?>

    VIII. The first said unto them, <The like of this is unto a double-edged sword; yea, for the sake of our own peace of mind we had condemned an annoyance to exile, only for him to be stricken with our darkest foe.>

    IX. The second snorted and didst say unto them, <Oh, that’s real peachy. Let’s all go kill ourselves while we have the chance.>

    X. The third agreed and said unto them, <Well, it sure as hell won’t be pretty.>

    XI. And a vision of such a future as this entered their minds; yea, and it was bleak like unto the fate of a ship in a hurricane, for behold, the three didst see the world perish within a lake of fire and brimstone, and the torment thereof was terrible to witness. And the vision didst vanish as quickly as it had come.

    XII. Then there was silence for the space of half an hour.

    <No, there was not! You’re trying to make this sound all hopeless, aren’t you?>

    <Thou mayest be mistaken, for I shalt not—>

    Bart was suddenly aware that, were there any light in the cave, the owner of the second voice would be glaring at him murderously. <Please,> she snarled, <Shut. Your. Trap.>

    <Which prophet are you, anyway?> the third voice asked, in an effort to keep the second under control.

    <Um…> he faltered. <Well, I’m … called Bart.>

    The second voice sounded surprised. <You mean Bart Simpson?>

    <I dost not know of him, whosoever he may be,> the prophet said carefully. <Thou shouldst believe me when I dost say—>

    <Minnie, he’s obviously not a Simpson,> the third voice interrupted reasonably. <The only thing a Simpson could prophesize is … well … certain bodily functions—>

    <I’VE TOLD YOU BEFORE AND IT LOOKS LIKE I’M SURE AS HELL GONNA HAVE TO TELL YOU AGAIN: DON’T — CALL — ME — “MINNIE”!> the second roared. There was a sound of hundreds of small things rustling against the cavern floor.

    <YEAH? WELL, YOU’RE ALWAYS CALLING ME “TORI”, YOU PRECOCIOUS LITTLE RUNT!> the third roared back. The howling rush of wind beat against the walls.

    Bart cringed. This wasn’t supposed to happen.

    <MY DAUGHTERS!> howled the first. There was a brilliant flash, not of light, but of power. It stung Bart’s senses, and his body in the past sneezed loudly. <DOST THE TWO OF THEE NEEDST BE SEPARATED?>

    Abruptly the wind died down, the rustling ceased. There was a moment of ringing silence.

    Then: <No, Mom.>

    <Sorry, Mom.>

    <Good. Now I sayest unto thee, prophet – art thou writing this down?>

    <Yes, I am,> Bart said, frantically jolting his body back to attention.

    XIII. Then the first didst say unto me: <Now I sayest unto thee, prophet, that the darkest of all evils hast taken possession of a powerful chaotic, yea, and through his trickery and cunning he may destroy everything we dost hold dear.>

    XIV. Then I didst see a vision; yea, and there was a tall mountain in the background thereof. And behold, there were two young humans, male and female, which did walk towards it. And behold, the maid wast exceedingly fair, and the young man wast exceedingly short. And I noted that a Pichu and Charmander didst travel with them.

    XV. Now the first spake unto me yet again, saying: <Behold, if the Lord of Evil dost continue successfully on his venture, then these two children which thou dost see shall be called to prevent the horrors of that which wouldst follow. For behold, the Twins of Fate hast claimed them, and hast thrown them into the perilous depths of adventure.>

    <I’ve tried to keep those bloody twins under control, but nooooo, they just have to screw up everything all the time and leave me to clean it all up,> the third sighed. <Should I go tell them to stop, Mom?>

    <Such action mayest not be wise, my daughter, for it mayest be possible that other legendaries dost seek to place the Lord of Evil into that power which he dost crave.>

    <Treachery in the legendary ranks?> A hiss of breath escaped from the third. <Impossible.>

    <But it’s like nothing’s impossible these days,> the second drawled patiently. <They keep advertising that on TV. “Try our product and all your dreams will come true … buy today!” Bleh.> There was a sound of insolent spitting. <Why don’t they just come clean and say “Hey, if you don’t buy what we’re selling then we’re gonna use the power of money to sic the government on your sorry little ***es.”>

    Bart didn’t answer. He was too busy writing, translating the conversation into a more “elevated” language and trying to deduce what exactly a “TV” was.

    <We shouldst not let the others know that we mayest be onto them,> the first continued. <Dost thou agree?>

    <Yes, Mom.>

    <Whatever, Mom.>

    <I thinkest thou dost need an attitude adjustment.>

    <Aw, no, Mom—>

    <We shall bide our time,> the first said, smoothly cutting the second short. <The Missing One may yet shake the hold which the Lord of Evil dost have on him. If such dost not happen…> She trailed off.

    Bart hurriedly finished what he had been writing, waiting patiently for the first voice to continue.

    <If it dost not happen, we shall have to act speedily.>

    * * *

    “C’mon, Leaf! You said it before, we need to be speedy here!”

    “I know, I know,” the girl called ahead without conviction, unable to take her eyes off the scene far below. The night before, the wreckage had glowed dazzlingly bright, its yellow and blue currents of light shining beautifully against the darkness of twilight. But now, in the natural light of morning and the electricity having finally died away, the devastation could be seen in all its glory (or lack thereof), displaying the fried buildings swamped in clouded water with depressing clarity. Helicopters, looking hopelessly small against the hellish background, hummed to and fro over the disaster like bees in a tropical greenhouse, indecisive of which flower to approach first. Even the most black-hearted person would find that a little of themselves would have died upon seeing the tragically final wreckage of that once great city.

    <Leaf! C’mon! Get over it already!> Frosti, sitting on her shoulder peacefully like a good little reptile, swung at her head with an Iron Tail, taking care to prevent actual damage by aiming at her ear. Unfortunately, he seemed to have forgotten Brock’s advice about inaccurate moves, and the glowing tail caught her full on the head, knocking her forward into the grassy earth and giving her a nice mouthful of moss.

    “Pfffftbbffft! Yech. Frosti, are you crazy?”

    <Well, really.> The Charmander bit his lip, looking apologetic as he stepped to the ground and helped her to her feet. <Sorry. Guess I don’t know my own strength.>

    “What strength?”

    <Hahaha, very funny, Leaf.>

    “No, really—”

    “Ahem.”

    Leaf jumped about ten feet into the air, shrieking. Lightning, who had sidled up to her side sneakily to whisper into her ear, smirked as he watched his traveling partner attempt to untangle herself from an overhanging tree branch.

    “That was so not funny!” she fumed.

    “It was freaking hilarious!”

    “Yeah, it’s all fun and games until someone gets a heart attack, right?” Leaf asked sarcastically. Scowling, she glanced down at the ground beneath, shut her eyes tightly, and let go.

    <OOOF!>

    “Whoops! Sorry Frosti!”

    <Now we’re even, right?> Frosti grinned up at her weakly. <Now please get up. I think my tail is burning your pants.>

    Leaf jumped about ten feet into the air, shrieking.

    “Déjà vu, anyone?” Lightning asked with a good-natured sigh, looking up at the furious, thrashing form of Leaf, stuck in the tree branch again. “I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I’m glad I’m not a girl.”

    <Everyone’s glad you’re not a girl, darling,> Peach sighed romantically, running a paw through his hair as they watched Leaf struggle gracelessly.

    * * *

    <I’m a girl!> Phlash Phryer shrieked happily, zigzagging from tree to tree to gnarled tree. <I’m a girl! I’m a girl! I’m a girl!>

    What exactly is she doing?” Cobalt asked tiredly, marching up the rugged trail as if it were a mountain, which, being made almost right on Mount Moon’s side, it technically was. There was the normal trail, which trainers preferred for its lower chance of death, and then there was the family of steep, treacherous trails, of which this one was merely a little brother, its slope a relatively shallow forty-five degrees. The only reason anyone would use one of these daredevil dust paths would be to cut their travel time considerably, charging head-on at the height rather than winding back and forth. After all, he wanted to get as far away from the disaster scene as possible. Not that he was sorry for it; the Boss would probably promote him for being the only Rocket so far to actually destroy a city.

    Bulbasaur shrugged. Despairing from lack of intelligent life-forms, Cobalt had decided to let her out for a breather. She was trotting by his side, scowling at nothing in particular. <How should I know? You think I can read weasel minds or something?>

    Phlash zipped around a tree, snapping at it every now and then with her huge fangs. <The sky-ee-aye-ee-aye-ee-aye-ee-ayyyyyyyyye issssss bluuuuuuuueee…> she sang, her voice cracking from the horrendous off-key-ness.

    Cobalt gritted his teeth. The soft, feathery hairs on his pale purple wig danced in the slight breeze.

    <So how do you plan to put up with her again?> The dinosaur snapped at a passing fat fly, but spat it out in horror when she realized she’d actually managed to catch it. <Yech. I’m hungry, by the way. I haven’t eaten since that last battle you used me in, you know.>

    <...and I-ee-aye-ee-aye-ee-aye-ee-ayyyyyyyyye lurrrrrve youuuuu…>

    <I remember every detail of that day. I’ll tell you—>

    “I don’t want to hear it!”

    “Hush!” Gina hissed, somewhere in the tall, dense bushes lining the trail. “Don’t talk so loud! I’m listening for the mating call of the rare male Anorexic Wailord! They’re looking for unsuspecting baby Diglett to jump on—”

    Bulbasaur rolled her eyes at Gina’s stupidity. <You’d rather listen to that. Right.>

    <…I’ve got my eye-ee-ayessss on you, ‘cuz I don’t despi-ee-ise-uh you…>

    <It was a sad story, really. You tossed me a lettuce head and said “Bulbasaur, we’re fighting Surge in ten minutes,” and I said “Oh really?” and you said “Yeah really!” and I said “No way!” and you said—>

    “I don’t want to hear it.” Cobalt glanced in Gina’s general direction, but the girl didn’t complain about his volume.

    <Whatever. I’m your slave, I’m supposed to entertain you, remember? So you send me out against his Sirplus, which naturally almost kills me, and then Laint Surge says—>

    “Excuse me. Laint?”

    <You idiot. It’s what the L-T stands for.>

    Cobalt facepalmed. “It stands for ‘lieutenant’! Not ‘laint’, lieutenant!”

    Bulbasaur blinked. <Really? All this time I thought—>

    “Forget it.”

    <Whatever. Anyways, Lieutenant Surge says, “You got spunk, kiddo. That makes you even more fun to pound into the floor.” And you say, “I won’t lose!” Pffft. Famous last words. Then you go all retarded and yell, “Bulbasaur, Vine Whip!” I’m already paralyzed by the *******’s Thunder Wave, but does that convince you to pull me out? No. Instead you say, “C’mon, Bulbasaur, we can do this! I have faith in you!” You moron. Faith isn’t going to stop defeat from tasting like sh—>

    “Bulbasaur.”

    They paused in their stride. The Pokemon smirked darkly at her trainer’s harsh gaze; she had struck a nerve.

    “You are never to talk about my noob days again,” he growled menacingly. “Am I clear on that?”

    <Considering the sorry state of your brain—>

    “I said, am I clear?”

    Bulbasaur frowned. It wasn’t like him to get worked up about something, especially something as trivial as this. <Fine, fine. Sheesh.>

    “Good.” Cobalt relaxed visibly.

    <I really don’t see why such a stupid thing should make you so touchy.>

    <Oh, weeee want the funk … gotta have that funk, oh weeee need the funk…>

    “Just call me Cobalt from now on, okay? Not my first name, just Cobalt.”

    Bulbasaur eyed him slyly. <Why? Don’t your Rocket buddies know full well that your name is—>

    <Daddy!>

    <Phlashy!>

    Looking around, Cobalt saw Phlash and another Phrygoil bouncing around the tree excitedly, squealing. The new Phrygoil, he noticed, was slightly thicker in the neck and chest, due to his greater age.

    <You lived through the bunch of lights, Daddy! Congratulations!>

    <So did you, Phlashy! You’re awesome! You’re also very phabulous!>

    <Did the whole tribe get out? If they fried it would’ve been funny!>

    <Yeah, but your granny didn’t! She saw Ronald McDonald eating Dippin’ Dots!>

    <Wow! Visions? They’re cool! She’s been saved by the grace of McDonald!>

    <You mean grease?>

    <That too!>

    <Yay!> they both said at the same time.

    Bulbasaur sighed. <It seems that wherever you go, Cobalt, insanity follows you like it was sent from Sentarpen. But that fits, because you’re retarded. So if you’ll excuse me—>

    “Oh no you don’t!” he said, grabbing her by the bulb before she could return herself to her Poke Ball. “If I have to deal with them, I’m dragging you down with me!”

    <Nooooooooo!>

    “Sheesh, calm down. It’s not like they’re going to drink your blood or something.”

    <Look, Daddy, that’s Weird Hair Guy! He’s funny and weird! He caught me and now he’s going to take me to spread the word of McDonald! And there’s a little pimple-toad with him! Let’s drink its blood!>

    <Okay!> her dad said happily, and sprang forward, fangs bared.

    “Cut that out,” Cobalt said tiredly, picking up Bulbasaur and whisking her out of harm’s way. Plash’s dad snapped at the air where she had been a second before, and looked up, confused. “She’s mine,” the trainer explained.

    <Oh,> said the Phrygoil, looking disappointed. <But it would’ve been so much phun.>

    <And Weird Hair Guy, this is my daddy, Phather Phryer,> said Phlash.

    <What? I’m a daddy? I don’t get it, your honor, I didn’t even look at that droolishly sexy phemale,> Phather said, speaking into empty space with a deranged look on his face. <Let them eat phish.>

    <Wrong year, daddy,> said Phlash. Turning to Cobalt, she whispered conspiratorially, <He’s not really right in the noggin.>

    “Noooo, really?”

    <Yeah, really. But it’s okay, as long as he stays on his meds most of the time, the Donphan he sees aren’t pink.>

    “Ah…”

    <Okay, Daddy, we have to go now. But I’ll convert everybody, okay?>

    <Okay, my sexy Snorlax.>

    <He’s very sweet, really,> Phlash said fondly as they set off again, looking briefly over her shoulder at Phather, who was now attempting to make out with a stump. <The kids will look after him. I have twenty brothers and sisters, you know. I’m the oldest. Fweeheehee.>

    <…> Bulbasaur jerked herself from Cobalt’s grip, landing with a thump on the trail.

    <You’re a yummy steak,> Phlash commented to Bulbasaur, beaming at her.

    Bulbasaur growled darkly at this.

    “Okay, guys, no fighting!”

    “I said to shut up for the Wailord!”

    Not for the last time, Cobalt wondered how many IQ points he was going to lose on this mission.

    * * *

    A while after Leaf had finally been convinced to at least try and get over her guilt over destroying one of the prides and joys of the Pokemon world, she and Lightning neared the base of Mount Moon. Its tall peak grazed the wisps of clouds gathering around it, and gnarled trees grew on its rocky surface at awkward angles. Numerous dark holes dotted its base, displaying entrances to the intricate network of tunnels within, although the main entrance dwarfed them all, being at least three times larger than the runner-up. Running along its north side sat a long, deep gorge, through which flowed the roaring, wild Moon River, its white water pounding against the cliff faces as it sped westward toward Johto. On the distant north-eastern horizon, the silhouettes of tall mountains, the source of the River, framed the brilliant blue sky.

    The Pokemon Center, by comparison, looked rather dull and boring, sitting clumsily by the far more majestic mountain. Several other newbie trainers would be stocking up on supplies at a few of the small stores nearby, preparing for the journey into the dark caverns within. Many would even stall here for time, attempting in vain to build up courage to move on.

    “Ahhhhhh!” Leaf and Lightning sighed in unison as they entered the Pokemon Center, its air conditioning a welcome relief from the growing heat outside. Frosti scowled slightly, but said nothing.

    “Hello, noobs!” the Nurse Joy behind the counter chirped happily, beaming at them as if they’d won something.

    This nurse thing is going to get really annoying, Leaf thought darkly.

    “Healing up for your journey?” the Nurse continued, as they walked towards her. “Everyone does. I’d probably have to sue you for Pokemon abuse if you didn’t.”

    Looking incredulous, the teenagers returned their Pokemon before unclipping their other occupied Poke Balls and setting them all on the counter. “You’re kidding, right?” Lightning asked nervously.

    “Nope!” chirped the Nurse, taking the Poke Balls and placing them onto some sort of machine behind her, numerous Poke Ball-sized slots indenting its surface. Displaying the picture, status, and owner’s name of each Pokemon on a screen on its side, the machine hummed a moment before letting off a high-pitched ding. Abruptly it popped three of the Poke Balls into the air, like some sort of alien toaster. Joy deftly snatched them out of midair and placed them casually back onto the counter, smiling at her wide-eyed clients. “Your Weedle, Caterpie, and Nidoran are good to go,” she said happily. “But the others will need to be here for just a bit longer.” She eyed Lightning, and suddenly her expression was stern. “You haven’t been taking very good care of your Pichu, young man.”

    Lightning stiffened in shock. “What? Yes I have!”

    “You’ve been making her use Volt Tackle several times in succession. Don’t you know that move hurts the Pokemon that uses it?”

    The boy opened his mouth, shut it, opened it, and shut it again, like a beached Magikarp. “I didn’t know—”

    “That,” the nurse interrupted, “is obvious.” Her expression softened at his helplessness. “I’m sorry for snapping at you like that,” she said, a bit apologetic. “I get sort of protective around hurt Pokemon … anyway, you should be limiting the use of that move from now on, understand? Use it only when you need to.”

    “Only when I need to,” Lightning repeated in a humbled voice, taking Peter’s and Dory’s Poke Balls back.

    “Good.” She turned to Leaf, and the cheeriness saturated her voice again. “Your Pokemon are—”

    A sudden tremor cut her off, vibrating through the air and shaking the room somewhat. Chairs bounced up and down slightly, and a couple of Poke Balls rolled out from a side room behind the nurse. The young teenagers gasped and clung to the counter, holding on until their knuckles turned white, but after the initial shock had set in they realized that the quaking was quite mild and was merely rattling the room about a little.

    Joy sighed, her voice jumping around with the tremor. “F-fifth on-n-n-ne this-s-s we-ee-ee-k-k.”

    Leaf frowned. Earthquakes, like evil clowns and the influence of testosterone, were not things to be taken lightly. “Wha-a-at’s caus-s-sing them-m?”

    The nurse shrugged. “I hav-v-ve no id-d-d-d-dea, b-but it see-ee-ee-eems t-to b-be com-ming from the-e-e moun-n-ntain.”

    As abruptly as the quake started, it ceased. Lightning looked around nervously, wondering if it was just about to start again, but when it didn’t he painfully released his tight grip on the counter, prying his fingers off from around the edge. Leaf let go with less of a hassle.

    Joy smiled, and resumed with what she had been saying before. “Anyways, your Pokemon are in better condition, but they still need to be fully healed for your adventure.” She winked.

    “Ah … thank you?”

    “You’re welcome!!!”

    Excusing themselves politely, the two left the Center as fast as possible. Even a mere newbie knows when to leave behind the presence of a person who is loopy enough to use more than one exclamation mark in a row, especially after an earthquake.

    Outside, they reeled from the sudden change in temperature. It was cooler that day, but the air conditioner in the Pokemon Center still made the air seem thick and dry.

    Lightning started to turn to Leaf to ask what they should do while waiting, when suddenly a kid yelled, “Look, down there! It’s Kaleri Kutter!”

    A mass of young trainers suddenly swarmed towards the voice of the crier, sweeping from the stores and various places in the surrounding bushes. Leaf and Lightning exchanged glances, shrugged, and followed the crowd, kicking up dust as they went.

    The multitude halted at the edge of the river, staring down into it and waving frantically. Struggling to get a better view of the scene, our heroes circumnavigated the apparent fans and found their own little spot at a small boulder a little ways from the crowd, looking into the pounding, treacherous river. White waves pounded against the rocky cliff faces on either side, rushing westward with unstoppable determination.

    And surfing against the current, pushing though the waves, was a slender, serpentine Pokemon. His cream-colored body shone in the sun, wet scales reflecting dazzling light. His tail, a collage of magenta and sapphire scales, ended in four longer scales, which formed a sort of fan that splashed through the icy water, sending a refreshing spray everywhere. Long, pink eyebrow fins bounced up and down as the Milotic swam through the water, and a pair of pink antennae also sprouted from his pointed head. Around his neck was a black cord, from which a sparkling blue teardrop hung.

    Sitting on his back sat Kaleri, who was looking stunning herself in her mere shorts and tank top, laughing in joy as the Milotic slithered up and down the waves. She was oblivious to the crowd watching her; however, Milotic had noticed them and, never slacking in pace, snaked his head over toward her and jerked it upwards, drawing her attention to them. With a broad grin, she waved happily at her beloved fans, a sure sign that she was unaware that Lightning was there.

    Fokagirl, sitting behind her trainer, waved as well, a strange-looking bracelet circling her fluffy wrist. It boasted a large, poisonously purple orb, which caught the sunlight and threw back a rainbow of indigos and violets. Another Pokemon, this one more closely resembling a human, sat on Milotic’s head and nodded sagely at the watching kids. Her thin white body seemed to morph into a skirt at the waist, which did an awful job of covering her green, tapered legs. Her deep red eyes were framed by a pair of Wise Glasses, and a pair of blunt red horns jutted from beneath the folds of her hair, which was, for some strange reason, yellow. Leaf squinted, trying to think – was that Kirlia’s shiny color? A few seconds later logic caught up with her: of course she wasn’t a shiny, her hair had merely been dyed bright blond.

    “That’s Safegirl!” Lightning said excitedly, gesturing at the blond Kirlia. “And Pulson, he’s the most amazing Milotic ever! And there’s Fokagirl, of course.” His delighted expression faded as he looked over them again, and he pointed, lip turned up in contempt. “But what on earth is that?”

    Following his finger, Leaf realized that there was a fifth individual down there, sitting in front of Kaleri and looking extremely plain compared to the four beautiful ones surrounding him. He was the silver Pokemon from the day before, who had nearly blasted Lightning’s head off. His large black eyes passively returned the watchers’ stares, and he looked almost bored.

    Leaf looked for any more distinguishing features…

    And looked…

    And looked…

    And looked…

    And looked some more…

    “Leaf, you might as well stop looking,” Lightning sighed, “it’s getting annoying. That thing, ‘Shadowson’, I believe, is just blah. She probably ended his little time-out early so he could repel people.”

    The girl was forced to agree. A body, four legs, a head, a small tail: that was basically it. He wasn’t muscular or adorable or anything, he simply was. This is not to say that he was ugly, because he wasn’t remarkable even in that respect. His dull silvery fur didn’t give off a stunning “beautiful” vibe; instead, it gave off an almost undetectable “valuable” one. He was like a sink that somebody famous had washed their hands in.

    “Seriously, even a Ditto is more interesting, appearance-wise.” Lightning turned away, disgusted. “What she’s doing with something like that, I have no idea…”

    “Considering she’s an expert coordinator, it makes sense to take on a challenge like that,” the Pokedex commented unexpectedly, peeking from Leaf’s handbag as usual.

    “Why’s that?”

    “I was hoping you’d ask. Ayell, the Unlovable Pokemon. Gender is Male. Height is Crushable, Weight is Not a Pro Wrestler. It’s overlooked frequently because it simply looks like nothing interesting. It can pick one of two ways to survive: just cruisin’ as its uncool self so predators don’t notice it even when it’s in plain sight, or using one of five of what the stupid people call the ‘Styles of Survival’. If it masters a retarded style enough, it might even manage to evolve. And if you can get an Ayell to evolve, you will own the contests. No lie.”

    “Wow,” Leaf said, surprised. “The Pokedex actually said something informational for once.”

    “Don’t I always?”

    “She has an Ayell?” Lightning looked stricken. “That was an Ayell? I’m doomed!” He moaned and put his head in his hands in a defeated manner, peeking through his fingers to watch Pulson around the bend and out of sight. Their idol having vanished, the crowd dispersed, muttering excitedly among themselves of Kaleri and her voyage towards Cerulean City.

    Leaf snorted. “Lightning, you need confidence. Badly. That thing is not gonna beat you.”

    “Yes it is!”

    “No, it’s not. It’s a cat without a life, so drop it. It’s not worth paying attention to.”

    Lightning didn’t respond. Sighing, Leaf looked out on the scenery on the other side of the river, a journey for another day that may or may not come.

    They had only been sitting there a few minutes, waiting for their Pokemon to be healed at the Center, when a sudden quaking bounced them around painfully, shaking the land and everything on it. Terrified of being knocked into the river, Lightning shrieked and grabbed at the earth, fingers digging into the hard, dusty layers of dirt. Gripping the small boulder nearby, Leaf clung for her life. Wild land Pokemon squealed and darted from their hiding places in bushes, looking for a safer hiding spot, and birds squawked as the trees they perched on flung them into the air, where they were safe from the violently shaking ground. This wasn’t the tame quake from the Pokemon Center; this was big.

    Nearby, Mount Moon shook dangerously, knocking several large rocks loose from its higher ledges and sending them crashing down around its base and into the river. The large, gaping hole in its side, which marked the main entrance into the twisting caves within, yawned a dark yawn even with the chaos surrounding it. Leaf looked towards its endless maw and shuddered: suppose this earthquake was coming from the mountain itself? What sort of thing might lurk within to cause this strange phenomenon?

    The earth rumbled deeper, rising to a dark crescendo and a foreboding of something tragic to come.

    And come it did.

    * * *

    Pain rushed through the chaotic’s mind, shooting waves of pain that made him grit his teeth in agony … or would have, if his teeth were his anymore. How anyone could endure this other being’s presence for this long and live, he had no idea. He credited it to his own sheer power and force of will, but that was doing as much good as a rubber band stretched across a highway in an attempt to halt a speeding truck.

    The being pushed him ever further back, down into the dark folds of his unorganized mind … down, down, down—

    It stopped. He struggled, confused, shrouded in darkness and locked in the body that was no longer his own. He could see through his eyes, but it was as if he were watching a movie from a great distance; so far away … attempting to move his gnarled hand, it refused to move from his side.

    And inwardly he shuddered as the Lord of Evil used his new mouth to speak.

    <Foolish one, I will indeed make you powerful, trample those you despise under your feet and cast them into everlasting destruction … just not in the way you believed I would.>

    The chaotic attempted to reply, but his jaw would no longer obey his command.

    The Lord of Evil continued, neither knowing nor caring of his prisoner’s distress. <My unknowing slaves cause great wreckage in the northern mountain. It shall result in my first Crushing in this time around. You will one day be honored to have helped me in this.>

    The tormented chaotic struggled harder, in vain.

    * * *

    A muffled explosion from within the depths of Mount Moon added to the already violent earthquake, and Leaf gazed in horror as a large number of rocks were blasted from the main entrance, the hard projectiles moving outwards at a lethal speed. Instinctively she ducked, involuntarily ramming her head on the boulder. The pulsing pain erupting in her head couldn’t block out the grim whistle rushing above her, as some rocks sliced through the space where her head had been seconds before.

    As before, the shaking stopped abruptly, leaving Leaf covered in dust. In the ringing silence, there was a shrill, mangled squeal, cut off by a pwisssh sound, like a water balloon popping. The subliminal hiss of air could be heard, but barely. Puzzled, Leaf shakily got to her feet and looked around for the source of the noises.

    Her eyes widened as they fell upon the sight, and she forced herself to swallow the bile rising rapidly in her throat.

    A large rock sat a few feet away from the teens, and pinned to it by a sharp, pointed rock was a dead Jigglypuff. Its rapidly deflating pink body leaked a sickening combination of blood and pus from the hole in its gut. The bulge of its dark stomach was beginning to peek out of the hole, like a dog's nose. Its large green eyes were glazed, its mouth forever fixed in a silent scream. Air continued to hiss softly from its limp carcass, which draped around the rock like a discarded banana peel.

    “What—?” Lightning began, noticing Leaf’s horrified expression. Following her gaze, he gasped and rushed towards the edge of the river, just in time to be violently sick into it.

    “When they say Jigglypuff’s the balloon Pokemon, they aren’t kidding,” the Pokedex said helpfully. “Did you know that eighty-two percent of it is made up of air? Now you know exactly what Airheads are made of. And they don’t have bones, either, so they can’t get boners. I feel bad for them.”

    At this point, Leaf was of two minds. The death was horrible and disgusting, of course. And yet … and yet, she remembered how much Jigglypuff’s cutesy, cheerful antics that she’d seen on TV had utterly disgusted her as a kid, and how she’d wondered what sort of Barbie-doll worshipper would want to catch one. In a way, seeing her old childhood “enemy” defeated with such finality was, to some extent, perversely satisfying. Some primal corner from within wanted to tweak Jigglypuff’s withered pink food and giggle, Wanna sing for me, Jiggly? Sing me a song. Just one. What, so shy all of a sudden? Pity. We coulda had such fun…

    Leaf!”

    Snapping back to reality, Leaf realized that she had been leaning forward, about to poke Jigglypuff in the forehead. She jerked her hand back and shivered. Get a hold on yourself, girl, she thought, grabbing her wrist with her other hand and glancing up at the sky nervously. This isn’t the time for not acting normal. “Sorry,” she muttered sheepishly, unwilling to turn and brace herself for whatever expression was on Lightning’s face. “I’m just weird. We should probably clean this up, though. Cheri, go!”

    A beam of neon-red light, and the small Weedle appeared, looking around in confusion. Noticing the Jigglypuff, she took a double take and stared, shrinking back slightly. <Oh, dear,> she whispered.

    “I know, it’s a mess.”

    <No.> Cheri turned to her trainer, a look of horror and foreboding that seemed, somehow, to see this as merely part of a bigger picture. When she spoke, however, she sounded deadly calm, and much older than her age. <No, you don’t understand. It’s been Crushed, the first of many. A sign. The world’s about to end.>

    * * *

    Author's Note: Info on Ayell
    Ayell
    Type: Normal
    Classification: Blending Pokemon
    Height: 1'00"
    Weight: 9.3 lbs.
    Abilities: Hustle/Adaptability
    Egg Groups: Ground/Fairy
    Gender: 87.5% male, 12.5% female
    Color: Gray
    Catch Rate: 45
    Evolution:
    Ayell --> (maxed Cuteness) --> ???
    Ayell --> (maxed Toughness) --> ???
    Ayell --> (maxed Smartness) --> ???
    Ayell --> (maxed Coolness) --> ???
    Ayell --> (maxed Beauty) --> ???

    Sometimes referred to as "the Coordinator's Eevee", Ayell is considered quite a challenge to take on in contests, due to its lack of interesting features. Its classification as the "blending" Pokemon refers to how it can easily blend into the background to avoid detection. Another similarity to Eevee is that its name also comes from two letters: A-L are the last two letters in the word "appeal".
    Last edited by SugarPesticide; 28th December 2009 at 3:13 AM.
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  17. #117
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    Ha-ha! That was possibly your funniest chapter yet, well done!
    Oh, so many questions: What is Cobalt's real name? Who is the Lord of Evil? Who are all the fakemon mentioned in passing? Why is Crushed bold and capitalised? Will we find out the answers to these questions? I hope so because I'm gonna keep reading until I do!

    EDIT: I just realised you haven't said what types Phrygoil and Ayell are. Did you not want us to know or did you just forget?
    Last edited by Inconspicuosaurus; 30th September 2008 at 9:06 AM.
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  18. #118
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    0_0 I knew I was forgetting something important. D= They're both Normal-types. I should probably put that in their info ... *goes off to do so*

    As usual, much thanks. And of course all those questions will be answered. If I didn't answer them sometime, I'd probably get stoned or something. >_<
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  19. #119
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    Wow! Your description with the Absol was absolutely beautiful, i loved that scene. And you followed it with, yet another, brilliant chapter. Massively funny (i don't know how you do it) especially Phather Phrygoil.

    I did not, like the mention of Simpsons however. Sorry, but anyone who knows me knows that i despise the simpsons. But that's not your fault.

    Can i do a picture for Ayell too? *already starts drawing*

    Ok i'm finished now.

  20. #120
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    It's stuffed back to front with randomness, I fear. Sorry about the Simpsons thing, it's just I realized I could build more random humor off of Bart's name, and ... well, you get the idea. ^^; Anyways, thanks. I spent a lot of time on the beginning, so yeah.

    And of course you can draw Ayell. Just be warned that he's supposed to be incredibly boring-looking and have a severe lack of distinguishing features.
    FF.Net profile | Blazing Frost | Project Valentine | River Styx | Hexachromalurgy | Fizzy Bubbles

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  21. #121
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    Ayell, huh? Sounds interesting...wonder what it really looks like. lol

    A dead Jigglypuff? That sucks!

    Didn't see any real mistakes, can't wait till the next chapter.
    Pokemon Black team:

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    Well there is in fact a pic of Ayell here made by Sinnohdragon. Hope everyone likes it, I know I do.

    Yeah, I was bored one day and came across Jigglypuff's classification ... the Balloon Pokemon. Then the gears started turning and, well, I take things literally. >>;

    Thanks as usual.


    Anyway, tentative chapter eleven title:

    The Name of the Game (Journey Through the Mountain!)

    Meh, I'll probably change it though ... =/
    Last edited by SugarPesticide; 30th November 2008 at 2:14 AM.
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    ah i read this a while back and i forgot to comment good story and the absol description was excellent the only thing i didn't like basically was the whole reference to to the simpsons I thought it wasn't really necessary and was more of a lil filler. Other than that the randomness was excellent and humor was great as well. Lookin forward to the rest

    ~roo~
    Fan fic reader. Writer at heart artistic at heart. My name before was roodude15 and I'm back PM me if you want me to review something. I'm always happy to review a story.

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    My sincere apologies for the ridiculously long wait. Also, I swear that anyone who says "It's okay, DDT, it wasn't your fault" will be brutally murdered because it was my fault. I didn't even think about starting this chapter until about two weeks after finishing the last one. The only excuse I have that's even partially pliable is that I wanted to get the story MOVING as opposed to just talking and walking and occasionally fighting something.

    So here's the chapter, enjoy it.

    * * *

    Chapter Eleven: The Name of the Game (Pastime to Interest the Dead!)

    “Okay, okay, we’re moving!” Leaf snapped, rushing from the Pokemon Center with Frosti’s and Paris’s Poke Balls in tow. Lightning followed right behind, Peach looking confused on his shoulder.

    <It’s beginning!> Cheri said frantically. She was wrapped around Leaf’s neck, like some lethal, pointed scarf. Leaf didn’t particularly mind this arrangement, as Cheri’s body felt comfortably warm against her skin, but she did wish the bug Pokemon would stop wagging her spiked tail around. Getting poisoned was not high on her list of priorities.

    <Okay, you lost me at “the world is ending”,> Peach said a bit irritably, her worried glare directed toward Cheri. <If you would kindly elaborate, maybe I’d be happier with some explanation about why you dragged my butt out of there before I was ready.>

    “Hey, kids.”

    Startled, Leaf skidded to a halt as a shady-looking, unshaven guy stepped out of one of the bushes, a large brown overcoat draping around him. At the sight of the middle-aged man, Lightning squealed and ducked behind Leaf, worried that perhaps he had cronies with him.

    “Relax, relax,” the man drawled. “I’m just a businessman. People around hear refer to me as—” He paused, glancing around furtively before returning to his unfinished sentence: “the Salesman.”

    Lightning gulped. “Not drugs, I hope.”

    “Nah, drugs are overrated. Can’t get good marijuana anymore. No, what I sell is—” He drew a deep breath for dramatic effect. “Pokemon.”

    Leaf stared at the Salesman analytically, wondering if this was Cobalt in another lame disguise; however, a quick glance revealed that he was far too pudgy to boast the sharp, almost aquiline features of Cobalt. Besides, he was balding. Not a wig for miles.

    “I got almost every subspecies here,” he continued, throwing his overcoat open to reveal that its inside lining was covered with at least twenty Poke Balls – far more than the legal maximum carrying amount. “Cerulean Crimson, Pallet Brokefin, Dewford Pinchgill, Grayvine Orange … even the Rage Noobkiller! You don’t find many of them apples just lying around.”

    Leaf rolled her eyes. “That’s cute, but we’re in a bit of a rush. If you’ll just—”

    “And at the low, low price of five hundred credits!” the Salesman continued hurriedly. “Limited time offer!”

    Lightning’s eyes glowed. “Really? Only five hundred for a … whatever it is?”

    <No time!> Cheri keened shrilly, panicking. Her flailing tail lashed about suddenly, and the Salesman, startled, fell backward and landed on the hard ground with a curse. His Poke Balls rattled at the impact, and one of them was jerked off, flying ungracefully through the air for a moment before bouncing off the ground, in a sort of crash-landing roll – right towards the river.

    “DAMN IT!” the Salesman roared, and lunged toward it. He was too late, however: the Ball soared right over the edge of the gorge, flying for a moment before smashing into the other rocky side. Shattering violently, a burst of blue light radiated from it for a moment, before condensing into a wide-eyed, flailing Magikarp. The fish’s mouth opened and shut rapidly as she squealed in fear, tumbling after the remains of the Poke Ball into the raging depths of the river.

    Leaf blinked a few times before a little detail she had overlooked clicked into place: the Magikarp was a bright golden. Lot of shinies turning up, it seems, she thought, bracing herself.

    “URGHHHH!” The Salesman turned purple with rage, swiveling back around to face them. “That was my best merchandise! Little *******s. Attack them, my minions!”

    With astounding speed, he plucked off one Poke Ball after the other, tossing them onto the stretch of ground between them. In every beam of red light a Magikarp materialized, looking as fearsome as only a retarded-looking orange fish can look. Opening and shutting their mouths stupidly, they bounced up and down to keep themselves in motion, and some bounced on top of others, knocking each other down in an effort to be on top. The Salesman, looking a bit smug, caught each Poke Ball with ease as it flew back toward him, and placed each in its appropriate space, leaving only four or five Magikarp out of the battle.

    “Now you’ve done it, Cheri,” Leaf sighed.

    “Hellu, chums!”

    “Oh, not you again!”

    “You wound me. Seriously, now I’ve got this big gaping hole where my undying love for you used to be. It’s right here in my CPU, and it’s just killing me. I’m gonna cry.” A mechanical sniffing emanated from the Pokedex’s speakers. “Never betray me again, love. Anyway, as I was saying, these buggers that you see here are Magikarp, the “Most Retarded Pokemon of All” Pokemon. Gender is Crowd-Surfing-Turned-Orgy, hell yeah! Height is Little Sushi Boy, Weight is Smashed Pumpkin. Yeah, I’m pretty much going to say what you already know: it’s stupid, pathetic, weak, retarded, unintelligent, puny, brainless, thick-skulled, scrawny, and more than a little slow upstairs. But did you know that they are also packed with enough nutrients to make a light bulb explode? Even though they taste like the only thing they produce: UTTER CRAP. But if you’re going to tick one off, make sure you kill it later, because if it survives it will surely evolve into this wriggly ***-kicking snake called Gyarados, and it will kick your *** into the next century.”

    “Do not diss my minions!” the Salesman shouted.

    “Cheri, I like you, but this is still partially your fault. Make up for it by knocking them out.”

    “Dory, Peter, help her out! Peach, you can help if you want to.”

    With two red flashes of light and a shrill “CHUUUU!” Lightning’s Pokemon appeared before the Magikarp, tensing in anticipation. Cheri, unwilling to put off departure, squealed and tightened her hold on Leaf’s neck. Half snarling, half gasping for air, the girl managed to tear the caterpillar free, tossing her into the midst of the fish.

    “Tackle them, minions!” the Salesman yelled. “Tackle, Tackle, Tackle ‘til you just can’t Tackle no more!”

    “Poison Sting them, Cheri! If you get a chance, use String Shot to trip them up!”

    “Give them your own Tackles, Peter! Start out with a Thunder Wave, Peach, and follow that up with a Thundershock! Dory, Growl at the closest ones before Scratching at them.”

    <Kuku ka chu!> Peach squealed excitedly. She generated a transparent golden wave of energy, which rippled from her small body and sliced through the first few Magikarp in front of her. The fish groaned as waves of crackling electricity surged through their rotund bodies, seizing up their muscles and inhibiting their movement.

    <Hurr hurr hurr,> they murmured stupidly, crashing into each other.

    Cheri, flailing as she fell in an arc towards the mob of fish, ran a quick calculation in her head. The sooner she took out the Magikarp, the sooner they could all escape the inevitable wave of Crushings. Maximum effort would be in order, then. She made her plan of action effective, yet simple. They were bigger and faster than her, but she had the power of poison on her side, and only a fool would not use that to his advantage.

    It was difficult to position her body while falling, but she managed to point her tail spike downward just as she landed on a Magikarp with maximum force. The spike punctured his thick, orange scales, and he gurgled in agony as it dug deep into his skin. Although it failed to pierce his thin, almost useless muscles, it nevertheless hurt him, and she could be content with that. Using the momentum of her fall, she swung the rest of her body around in a wide arc, embedding her head spike in another Magikarp. She let it sink as deep as it was able to before tugging her tail spike free of the first fish and slicing her body through the air again, stabbing yet another Magikarp.

    <Hmm,> Dory said thoughtfully, lazily hanging back and watching Cheri leap around violently. <Somersaulting in battle? That looks like good exercise!>

    <Exercise is fo’ losahs,> Peter droned, simply sitting there. <Da real issue is dat chickie’s brain. I dunno why she tinks she’s some sorta ninja skank.>

    A Magikarp bounced up to them. <Hurr?>

    <"Hurr” mama loves ya too, big boy.> Snickering, Peter knocked the fish on its side with a well-aimed sticky string from his red antenna, covering its lower fin in a sticky white mess.

    Dory made a face. <No sexual jokes, bug.>

    <Da name’s Peter, bunny! Get it right!> He rammed into the Magikarp over and over again, and it gasped every time the successive Tackles made contact. <Say it wif me! Pe–ter!>

    <I’ll keep that in mind, P-Durr.>

    The Magikarp’s mouth continued to open and shut uselessly, even after it had fainted; its blank eyes simply glazed over a bit, and it stared, unseeing, into empty space.

    <Wow.> Peter shook himself; the use of several Tackles in a row was slightly disorienting. <Dat was fun. Ya gotta come beat da crap outta dem, toothy!> He rammed into a nearby Magikarp, surprising it so much it could only Splash around pathetically, doing nothing to defend itself.

    Dory rolled her eyes. <Whatever.>

    <C’mon!> The caterpillar spat a sticky white String Shot at her, covering her paws in the gummy substance. Before she could sneer in distaste, she was yanked into the battle, barreling through a few fish before colliding with Peter.

    <You are so immature,> the Nidoran sniffed, before Growling melodiously at the closest three Magikarp. Their eyes fluttered, and they glubbed happily at the beautiful noise before her tiny claws raked through their tough skin.

    Cheri eyed them curiously for a moment before returning her full attention to the task at hand. She had already hit most of the fish, and would run through diagnosis of the situation once she had completed phase one. Stab. Five to go. Stab. Four to go. Stab. Three…

    Another stupid Magikarp jumped in her way, meeting in her in midair for a sudden Tackle. Surprised, she thought about dodging the move for a split-second before dismissing the idea; it was too late for that. Deciding to improvise, she spun her tail around, snaking it under its stomach to avoid the brunt of the blow. She lodged her tail spike in its tender gut and heard its resulting groan with some satisfaction. It rammed against her head just then, knocking all three of them – itself, its comrade, and the determined caterpillar – to the ground with a thud. Wincing, she squeezed her eyes shut against the resulting pain. There was something in it for her, though: the momentum of the fish’s body had pushed her head spike even deeper the foe it was already lodged in. Its point, though deadly sharp, was tender enough to feel the wall of a vein burst upon contact, allowing the spike to pump vicious toxins into the victim’s bloodstream. Smiling to herself at her success, she yanked her head away from the poisoned fish, swinging it into a new one.

    Peach, eyes aglow in excitement, aimed several Thundershocks at the fish, bright flashes of electric energy crackling in the air for a moment before rushing into the foes with great efficiency. They thrashed around in pain, moaning a moment before fainting.

    <Look, they’re green!> she yelped, as Cheri landed next to her, panting.

    The caterpillar surveyed the scene, and saw with approval that seven Magikarp were, indeed, looking very green around the gills. A bit of drool dripped from their mouths, which seemed to be sucking in more air than usual. <They should drop soon,> she said, feeling a bit exhausted herself.

    <You look really tired,> Peach commented, looking slightly concerned.

    Leaf quit biting her nails and spoke up. “Yeah, I think you should rest for a while, Cheri.”

    Cheri looked her trainer in the eye. <I never back down from a fight, human. I will battle until I fall. It is the Code of the Forest, and I will follow it for the sake of my daddy.>

    Her eyes shone with emotion, and Leaf could see the conflict within them, could feel the Weedle’s longing to turn back and rescue her people. How much it must hurt her, then, to be torn from them and leave them to a fate best left unknown!

    The moment was ruined as an excited Magikarp Tackled Cheri to the ground, wiggling excitedly. A few Poison Stings later, and he was no longer wiggling.

    “You’re doing great, guys!” Lightning yelled encouragingly, as Peach jumped back into the melee. “Dory, Growl at them to put a bunch of them off guard so Peter can tie them up with String Shot! When they’ve done that, Peach, Thundershock them into the dirt!”

    The panting Magikarp, eyelids drooping, bounced less enthusiastically as another rhythmic snarl escaped Dory’s throat. Peter, clearly in his element, break-danced around the group of tiring fish, spitting sticky strings at them as he did so. <Everahbodeh dance now!> he sang, as his victims were slowly mummified in goo.

    <DODOGYUUUUUN!> Peach roared, aiming three jagged Thundershocks at the hapless fish. Screeching in agony as the electricity coursed from one to the next, carrying poisonously painful shocks between them, they shuddered wildly until, one by one, they fell to the ground, twitching and unconscious.

    <Pity dis has ta end,> Peter sighed, knocking out a Magikarp with some Tackling. The fainted fish bowled into two others, knocking the wind out of them just long enough to allow Dory to finish them off with her vicious Scratching.

    Suddenly realizing that they were alone in a battlefield filled with their fainted brethren and a small group of bloodthirsty rodents and caterpillars, the remaining three Magikarp attempted to flee, bouncing anxiously towards the paling Salesman. A swift rope of string from Peter, however, snaked around their stomach fins and knocked them to the ground, where he easily dispatched them with a few Tackles, although he bruised his head on their hard scales.

    <Damn sushi *******s hurtin’ mah poor head like dat,> Peter muttered, rubbing his head against the ground in pursuit of some pain relief. <I got da feelin’ of a massive hangover comin’ on … ooh—>

    Suddenly he froze, twitching, half-standing. A faint glow appeared around his body, distorting the view of the sparse trees behind him. Eyes wide, a sudden scream of pain ripped through his small frame, as his antenna dribbled sickly greenish goo. The goo poured down his body, coating his lively verdant green with the paler hue.

    “Peter!” Lightning yelled, rushing to his Pokemon’s side. “Peter, what’s going on? What’s—”

    <Do not touch him!> Cheri snapped suddenly, for Lightning was about to poke the writhing caterpillar.

    “Lightning!” Leaf barreled into the boy, knocking him over just before his finger could enter the glow. They rolled a few feet, grass and moss snagging their hair, before coming to a stop a short distance away from the scene.

    Lightning’s eyes narrowed in shock. “What was that for?”

    “Cheri just said not to touch him!”

    “But he’s my Pokemon! I can’t let him die!”

    Leaf got to her feet. “No,” she murmured, staring at Peter as his shrieks became muffled in the goo. “Not dying…”

    The goo began to solidify, muting Peter’s writhing movements. It hardened at an alarmingly fast rate, its color darkening to a deep, dull green. Abruptly the caterpillar stopped screeching, and as he blinked rapidly, the humans were shocked to see the pupils of his eyes suddenly shrink to half their original size. His eyelids, coated in solid goo as they were, seemed to be too heavy to lift, as they were only half-open. He cast his passive, sleepy gaze at the open-mouthed spectators of the scene.

    <Mmmph,> he muttered.

    “Dun dun dunnnnnnn! Lookie at this ugly little bugger!”

    <Mmmmmph!> Peter rocked back and forth, indignant about his inability to do anything.

    “You say you want a revolutiooon, welllll, you know – insert guitar here – we all wanna change the world … c’mon, Naaaarrrrrrrgh, you know you wanna sing along! You tell me that it’s evolutiooon, welllll, you know—”

    “Peter?” Wide-eyed, Lightning approached the strange, crescent-shaped new form of his Pokemon. The glow having vanished, he warily picked him up, the ridges along the tough shell making strange patterns on his skin. The shell was hard, yet strangely smooth, and it left a faint, powdery residue on the human’s fingers.

    “Pffft, humans. It’s sad how emotional they have to be about these things. Metapod, the Sausage Pokemon. Gender is Male, but you morons already knew that, so whatever. Height is … geez, this technical info thing is really boring me. I don’t get why they had to send me here—”

    “Send you?” Leaf raised an eyebrow.

    “…Did I say ‘send me’? Sorry, I meant ‘programmed me’.

    “But you just—”

    “MetapodisalamePokemonwiththeIQofasalamiandtheysho uldbeexterminatedbecausetheyeatourtreeseventhought reessuck, andalsonevertickoffaMetapodbecausewhentheyevolvein toButterfreetheirpowderswillputyouondrugsandyouwil ldiefromODing, thatisallgoodbye!”

    “Pokedex—!”

    Click.

    “Strange…” Leaf scrutinized the bright orange contraption, eyes narrowed.

    The Salesman, shocked with his unforeseeable defeat, began to recall his many fainted Magikarp. “You meet a lot of strange folks in this job,” he murmured to himself.

    Lightning watched him for a moment, thinking. Then, after returning the tired Peter to his Poke Ball, he marched towards the Salesman, a determined glint in his eye. “Mr. Salesman—”

    “I’m going, I’m going!” the Salesman cried, returning the Magikarp at a faster rate. “You won, you got your evolution thingy, let me leave before my dignity gets crushed even more!”

    “It’s a funny thing, reputation,” Lightning commented, ignoring the frantic Salesman. “All it takes to break it is this little sentence: I absolutely owned him with a Caterpie. And there’s a good chance that I’ll use that sentence to everybody I see.”

    “That’s a bluff and you know it.” The Salesman sneered, but turned pale all the same.

    “Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. You’ll know for sure when you run into a bunch of other salespeople and they start snickering at you.” He stopped just a few feet away from the man, facing him with some uncharacteristic determination. “But perhaps I could be … persuaded … to let you off the hook.”

    The Salesman bit his lip. “So whaddya want?”

    “Sell me a Magikarp for half price.”

    Relieved, the Salesman laughed as he recalled his last fainted Pokemon. “That’s all? I can work with that. Gimme the cash first, and then I’ll give you this lovely gem.” He lifted the Poke Ball in his hand to eye level.

    “I’d prefer one of the Magikarp that didn’t fight, if you don’t mind.”

    The Salesman pulled a face. “Wha?”

    “You heard me. I get a healthy fish, you get two hundred and fifty credits. Plus your reputation.”

    With a dramatic sigh, the Salesman replaced the Poke Ball in his overcoat. “Oh, all right. Here’s one.” He withdrew a red-and-white sphere, flourishing it in his hand as he waited for the money.

    Lightning looked unimpressed. “That’s the same one.”

    “It is not!”

    “It is too.”

    “Damn you.”

    “Just work with me here.”

    “Fine!” the Salesman snapped, tossing a different Poke Ball to the ground between them. “Fine! Be a picky blond snob! Just give me your damn money and leave me alone!”

    Rummaging in the pockets of his baggy shorts, Lightning soon produced two hundred-credit bills, plus a fifty. Offering them to the Salesman with one hand, he stooped to grab the Poke Ball with the other. Flustered, the Salesman snatched the money and stormed off without a backward glance.

    Sticking the Pokedex back in her bag, Leaf gave the boy a look. “You actually bought one?”

    “Remember Kaleri’s book? ‘Gyarados is ugly, a brute, and Milotic’s evil twin’. What if I could prove her wrong? Wouldn’t a Gyarados have just as much opportunity to show its inner beauty?” Saying such, he released the Magikarp onto the ground, where she bounced up and down for a moment, staring at him.

    “If you say so,” Leaf said airily, unconvinced. “Just don’t blame me when you figure out that all she can do is go ‘hurr’.”

    To her utter shock, the Magikarp turned toward her, a look of utmost disapproval on her face. <Is that so? You do realize that, while I may look like my ungifted siblings, they are not me? It appears, then, that I am somewhat better off with a trainer, albeit marginally.>

    Leaf stared. “A smart Magikarp? There’s a new one on me.”

    “Really? She’s smart? Cool! See, we’re going to have an easy time with this, Maggie.”

    <”Maggie”? What sort of preposterous name is that?> the Magikarp sniffed.

    Something struck Leaf in the back of her leg. Swiveling around in surprise, she visibly relaxed when she saw that it was only Cheri, bouncing around in impatience. <We defeated them, so let’s go!>

    Leaf rolled her eyes. “Fine. Lightning, Cheri says we need to move.”

    <Fast!> Cheri squealed worriedly, zipping up to Leaf’s shoulder. <Fast, fast, fast!>

    <”Fast” has twenty different synonyms, I’m sure you could have thought of at least one of them just then,> Maggie said sharply, looking disgusted.

    Giving the new shapes of his Pokemon a final glance, Lightning returned his bunny and fish, and Peach leapt onto his shoulder, eager to continue their adventure. The entrance to Mount Moon loomed before them, dark and foreboding. Nervously, the humans approached the gloom, and left behind the world of light and heat as they entered the blackness within.

    * * *

    Phlash looked up at the midday sun, a strange, loopy grin twisting her face. <The egg is directly over the burger,> she intoned happily.

    Cobalt didn’t answer. He was too busy readjusting his wig, knocked askew after the sudden earthquakes.

    Bulbasaur, trotting behind as before, shot Phlash the universal “you must be retarded” look.

    “Maybe we shouldn’t have come this way,” Gina said a bit nervously, as they arrived near the Pokemon Center.

    “Why not?”

    “You know those earthquakes are covering for Rocket dynamite, right?”

    “Yeah.” It wasn’t exactly a secret, after all.

    “Guess who’s in charge them.”

    Amazingly, Cobalt paled. “You mean—”

    “Exactly.”

    <Wait, wait, what’s in charge again?> Phlash asked, bouncing in front of them.

    Cobalt scowled darkly. “Severus.”

    <What? Oh!> Phlash suddenly beamed. <I know this song! Snape, Snape, Severus Snape, Snape, Snape, Severus—>

    He grabbed her muzzle, cutting her off. “Don’t sing that.”

    <Mmmmph?>

    “He’ll recognize that rhythm, even if he can’t hear the words. And unless you want your head sliced off, it would be a really good idea if you didn’t sing that around him.”

    The Phrygoil wriggled out of his grasp, still grinning. <But he can’t hear me now! Snape, Snape…>

    Cobalt rolled his eyes. “He’s not that Severus. He’s the big, tough, executive ox-face Severus.”

    Bulbasaur snickered, then suddenly gasped. <Cobalt…> she whimpered.

    He rolled his eyes. “What.”

    <Behind you! There’s a big, hairy, horny—>

    “I knew it! I knew you were going to make a sick joke like that!”

    <What? Turn around, we’re going to die!>

    “Whatever,” Cobalt growled, and swiveled around into the face of a very annoyed Tauros.

    * * *

    The left path rose sharply to the left, its ascending stony floor lost in the dark just a few paces ahead. The right path dipped shallowly, and a faint clanking sound echoed from further along its twisting, unseen corners. Curious, Leaf leaned toward the right, wondering in vain if the source of the noise would come barreling around the corner; but Cheri, her body wrapped securely around Leaf’s neck, jerked herself toward the left, forcing Leaf to take an involuntary step forward.

    <This way,> Cheri whispered. <Someone evil lurks on the right. We’d best not encounter him.>

    A tad disappointed, Leaf nevertheless turned to the indicated path, Lightning following in mild puzzlement. The steep, uneven slope was immediately apparent, and Leaf wondered where exactly this unused path led.

    <The abandoned Moon Shop must be ahead!> Peach squealed, as if reading her thoughts. <I heard one time there was a monster who came scared everyone away.>

    <There are no monsters but the Lord of Evil and his delusional followers,> Cheri replied, still glancing around nervously.

    “Maybe you should explain this ‘Lord of Evil’ thing,” Leaf said reasonably, tripping over a stone but regaining her balance just in time. “And why you’re freaking out about crushing.”

    <It’s Crushing!> Cheri snapped fearfully. <Not crushing, Crushing! There’s a world of difference!>

    “I still don’t get it.”

    Cheri was silent. The only sounds in the unlit, pitch-black corridor were the rustling of the trainers’ clothes as they walked carefully on. The mysterious clanking had been left behind.

    They walked a long while, their pace slow and steady. The heat that swirled in the sun’s light could not reach the interior of the sturdy mountain, and Leaf clamped her teeth together to stop them from chattering. The stale air carried a faint scent of some unknown mineral, reminding Leaf of Roark. She half-closed her eyes and smiled, fondly remembering his sparkling eyes, the motion of his pale fingers running through his hair—

    <My people have a long history with fighting evil,> Cheri said abruptly, jerking her from her reverie. <Since the dawn of time we have defended our Forest alongside the Children of the Moon.>

    A moment of silence.

    “The who?” Leaf asked finally.

    “Ooooh, I love them!” Lightning squealed suddenly, banging his head up and down as if he were at a rock concert.

    Peach rolled her eyes. <Darling, just when are you getting your distemper shot?>

    “No, Lightning, I was talking to Cheri. She’s telling us about some crushing thing.”

    <Crushing!> Cheri corrected, half hissing.

    Lightning stopped banging his head. “Oh, right. I keep forgetting about your ‘I hear Pokemon’ thing. Which is funny, because I shouldn’t be forgetting something as cool as that, and I’m not really sure what that means, since if my memory’s that bad—”

    “Hush!” Leaf interrupted, for Cheri was speaking again.

    <There has never been a time when pain and suffering has not existed. The Forest is old and powerful, and yet the mere movement of an army crossing through will destroy it. That is why we fought together, Children of Sun and Moon fighting and dining as brothers. We were not always enemies.>

    Leaf put on her “I’m trying to think and it hurts” face.

    <I think I get it,> Peach said slowly. <You mean that your people and the Butterfree used to be friends, right?>

    Leaf scowled at being beaten to the answer.

    <Yes,> Cheri said sadly. <Cooperating in battle, we could push back any destructive foe, no matter how great. The subtle art of their powders, the force behind our spears … there were times in the past, too, when the Lord of Evil would rise, gathering his minions with him. But often it was us that blocked his way, us who bought the time the hero needed to strike him down … nothing could tear our races apart. At least, not then.>

    Another moment of silence.

    <What happened?> Peach asked in a hushed voice.

    <An internal matter, a simple and trivial one which should not have torn us apart,> Cheri replied sadly. <It occurred a few hundred years ago, after the Lord of Evil’s last rising. It had been a particularly vicious and difficult war, and hundreds of thousands lay dead around the Indigo Plateau, their lives the steep cost for our victory. There was much rejoice over his defeat, and we celebrated for weeks in our Forest … eventually, my people realized that we could not merely let our spears grow blunt while potential enemies might still bide their time. We returned to our extensive training, sparring to get ourselves back to warrior standard. We encouraged the Children of the Moon to return to business as well...>

    Peach leaned forward, eyes bugging in fascination.

    <…But they had learned in that time that their nature is not warlike, that it is not their natural instinct to make the first move in combat. No longer would they fight with us, but instead lived like kings to hide behind our warriors. They laughed behind our backs at our persistence to live the way we should, calling us fools for our efforts. We ignored their jeers as best we could, but our pride could not be denied, and soon we turned on them as well, calling them cowards. The next thing we knew, armies were forming on both sides, to soothe our wounded egos. No doubt war would have broken out, too, if not for a hasty agreement made between ambassadors from our different races. It was decided that, if we could not cooperate, we would live separately in the forest, living out our different ways of life.>

    Another blank space of quiet stretched across the gloomy path. The sound of pebbles clattering as the humans walked carefully along echoed against the jagged stone walls.

    Eventually Peach spoke up. <So now you sun-bug things are living the old ways while the other guys are just partying it up?>

    <They were until I ruined it all,> Cheri said dejectedly. <With the Butterfree holding my people as hostages, they have supreme power over the Forest. And the humans who walk through it, well … my people often swarmed at passing trainers, playing out their battle plans. We never harmed them, although humans, being delusional, would afterwards howl to their friends about us for days on end. The Children of the Moon, however, have no such mercy towards outsiders. They abduct humans for their twisted “party games”, first using their powders to subdue them before messing with their minds…>

    Leaf frowned. “How can they make that into a party game?”

    She felt a violent shuddering vibrate through Cheri’s small body, almost like a neck massage. <They bring the victim to some secluded spot, where many Butterfree then gather. They then compete to see who can … wh-who can … put the victim through enough mental torture to push him into insanity. They fire Confusions directly into the eyes, which can p-possibly destroy certain areas of the brain … they use their Gusts and Psybeams to c-create horrible illusions … the more vicious ones Captivate the victim, seducing him to their carnal impulses, and sometime d-during the act—>

    Leaf thought of Roark again and blushed hotly.

    <—Sometime during it, the illusion will change, and the victim will see himself lying d-down with a vile monster—>

    The blush crept down to her neck and up to the roots of her hair.

    <—And, in his horror and revulsion, he will attempt to t-tear himself free, but c-cannot—>

    Something in her stomach twisted in a strange, fluttery motion. Peach glanced down at Lightning and grinned dreamily.

    <—And instead it will p-push itself further upon him—>

    Peach’s grin broadened.

    <—And then, the tingling it brings—>

    “OKAY!” Leaf roared, and the other three jumped at the sudden noise. “SOMEHOW I THINK THAT’S ENOUGH DETAILS!”

    Peach, recovering quickly from the shock, roared with laughter.

    Lightning had unintentionally bashed his head against the ceiling, and he grunted in pain. “Geez, Leaf, what was that about?”

    “You don’t want to know.”

    He rubbed his head. “Maybe I do—?”

    “Trust me, you don’t.”

    “But I—”

    “IT WAS AWKWARD!”

    <Keep moving!> Cheri hissed, as if this were ten minutes ago all over again. Shrugging, the humans resumed their walking, Lightning still holding a hand to his throbbing head.

    The path was evening out now, and a faint, eerie blue light cast a sort of aura further down the lonely corridor. Leaf, still fuming in mortification, vaguely assumed they were nearing the Moon Shop. Mostly to distract herself from embarrassing thoughts about Roark, she said, “So you used to be friends, but now they have freakish parties. What does that have to do with this Lord of Evil business?”

    Cheri shivered. <It may be that whether or not the Children of the Moon realize it, the empty shells their victims produce have been useful to help the Lord of Evil produce practice targets for Crushing.>

    “Mmm, right. Except that what you just said made no sense at all.”

    The caterpillar tensed in helpless frustration. <What doesn’t make sense?>

    “It’s been at least half an hour since I asked what crushing — Crushing, then, sorry — since I asked what it is, and you still haven’t told me!”

    <You’re better off not knowing.>

    “Try me.”

    Taking a deep breath, Cheri lowered her eyes. <Our legends claim that the Lord of Evil gains his power by stealing it from others in the vilest way possible: by using his dark influence on people to make them kill others in awful, painful ways. He then intercepts the dead ones’ souls before they can reach Giratina’s realm, and locks them away within himself to slowly squeeze their life force into his own storage of energy. They do not fade or die, but remain there in unspeakable pain for millennia. When defeated, he can only sap minimal energy from every captive soul; but as his power grows, so does the amount of power he can obtain.>

    Leaf had a sudden vivid mental image of a shadowy figure squeezing screaming lemons.

    “RRRRRHHHHHAAAAAAHHHH!!!!”

    They froze in their tracks. Whatever had just roared couldn’t be too happy.

    Lightning bit his lip. “Maybe we should’ve gone the other way…?”

    Peach nipped his ear affectionately. <Aw, don’t be a sissy!>

    <It can hardly have anything to do with the Lord of Evil,> Cheri said reasonably, looking deeply unimpressed. <Therefore, we have nothing to fear.>

    They were nearing the source of the pale light, which seemed to open up into some kind of cavern. The distinct sound of scuffling and growling could be heard, punctuated by an angry shout.

    “Someone’s fighting it?” Lightning asked unnecessarily.

    Leaf’s mouth set into a grim line. “If it’s who I think it is, that monster won’t stand a chance.”

    Then, in a sudden influx of light, the room opened up before them …

    * * *

    The Tauros, like most brutes, had a demonic tint to his beady eyes. He had a broad, muscular body, supported on four spindly legs and sprouting three lashing, tufted tails. A brown ruff of coarse fur wrapped around his neck and trailed down his chest, most likely the result of too much testosterone. The silver studs lined his forehead, and a pair of silver horns, as sharp as any knife, pointed ominously toward the Rocket members.

    Sweat beaded Cobalt’s brow. “Don’t,” he murmured to his companions, “make. Any. Sudden. Moves.”

    Naturally Phlash grinned and immediately shot forward, coming to a halt directly in front of Tauros before pointing at him with a paw and laughing. <Ha ha ha!> she yelled. <Walking burger! Ha ha ha—>

    Snorting in rage, the Tauros sliced his head downward towards her body, clearly intending to gore her. But she was too fast for him; his horns stabbed at thin air, and as he looked around in confusion, she appeared directly behind him, grabbing his tails in her mouth before pulling them hard. He leapt several feet into the air, squealing, before making a crash landing on his back. Attempting to roll back onto his hooves, and failing miserably, he whined in frustration as his legs thrashed uselessly above him.

    Cobalt blinked in surprise before speaking. “Maybe you really are worthy.”

    Phlash spat out a hairball and grinned. <I know! Also, did you know there’s a dead body right behind him? I wanna drink its blood, I need my sugar. Sugar sugar SUUUUUUUGAAAAAR!>

    Saying such, she leapt into the bushes directly behind the Tauros. A second later, she pulled out a limp body, which was still leaking blood from numerous gashes. His shirt and pants were ripped almost to shreds. From the Poke Balls on his belt, it was plain to see he had been a Pokemon trainer. Looking as though Christmas had come early, Phlash closed her eyes, opened her mouth wide, and thrust her head into the corpse’s body, sucking out the stagnant blood.

    Bulbasaur moaned. <That Tauros must’ve killed him! We’re all going to die!>

    Cobalt, circumnavigating the flailing beast, made his way to the body. Kneeling over it, he frowned thoughtfully before pulling a battered Pokedex from its clutched fingers; they were still warm, indicating that its death had been very recent, possibly just minutes ago. Checking the trainer’s details just long enough to make sure he had been nobody important, he then dove into the trainer’s records, scrolling through the list of captured Pokemon. His eyes narrowed as they took in the trainer’s active team.

    He turned back to the body then — ignoring Phlash’s moans of sanguine delight — and unclasped the four Poke Balls from its belt, tossing them to the ground. Three bright red beams of light burst out before condensing into Pokemon: a vile-smelling ball of floating, purple gas; a gray-and-purple pig with black pearls lined along its head; and a small, rotund bird with wide red eyes and ridiculously protuberant eyebrows. Casting astonished glances from their dead trainer to the furious Tauros, they immediately scattered in different directions, the Hoothoot flapping off vigorously while the Grumpig scampered into the coarse bushes by the path with the stupid-looking Koffing in tow.

    The fourth Poke Ball was empty. He picked it up warily before turning back to Gina, who still stood frozen in place, wide-eyed.

    “Do you realize what this means?” he asked her quietly.

    She shook her head.

    Setting his mouth in a grim line, he tossed the Poke Ball up in the air before catching it again, noticing how the Tauros’s eyes narrowed in hatred as they followed its progress through the air. His fingers tightened around the Ball almost protectively, and when he spoke, the true tension in the voice was perfectly clear.

    “That Tauros killed his own trainer.”

    * * *

    The Forever Young Casino sprawled for miles in the strange side dimension. Whether the Casino was the dimension itself, or was merely a fraction of it, was anyone’s guess; no one had ever found a way to reach the hypothetical outdoors. Indeed, no one ever bothered to. If anyone came, it was for the Casino. “Open 24 Hours a Day”, read the sign over the area where most incoming visitors materialized – but in a windowless building such as the Casino, who could tell when was day and when was night, or if either existed at all?

    Spirits leaned over roulettes and slot machines, watching the spinning wheels with eager anticipation. In the Casino, no difference was made between spirits and physical bodies, making the normally transparent and air-filled spirits a sturdy solid, one of the main reasons for coming. It was not merely the souls of ordinary, dead Pokemon who visited: the legendaries, most of whom had a rather bad habit of sleeping for millennia, often sent their own spirits out to the Casino for something to do. Meditating Pokemon often stumbled here on accident, and would suddenly toss religious reasons for meditation out the window. Gambling, after all, was fun.

    Humans were not wanted, dead or alive.

    Many different sections branched out from the Casino: a massive mall which could give even the ditziest shopper a heart attack; an arcade room filled with thousands upon thousands of riveting, action-packed games; an amusement park and enormous pool, complete with several never-ending water slides; a hundred movie theaters, capable of playing any film that ever existed; basketball, hockey, volleyball and tennis courts; baseball, soccer, and football fields, all opening up to an artificial night sky; numerous stadiums, where those anxious to battle could fight to their heart’s content; an enormous spa with incredible humidity and a few part-time dead massage therapists; a room filled with checkerboards and soft sofas, where those who had died at a grand age could get away from “those whippersnappers”; a virtual reality room where one could have a lifelike, guaranteed risk-free experience; a seemingly small mountain whose top could never be reached no matter how high one climbed; and a long series of actual, dangerous, monster-filled dungeons far below the basements, for those who were seeking a real adventure. But entering each location required a ridiculously high amount of Casino Coins (C). That was where the Casino itself came in: an acceptable sum of twenty Coins was given to every newcomer, allowing them a chance to gamble to achieve their wildest desires. Those who ended up in debt were not allowed to leave until they had paid up, but with all the action occurring, nothing could compel the dead to leave until the Death Overseers ordered them to.

    But legendaries were not as easily impressed. The only thing that could make even them excited was the huge playing board in the exact center of the Casino itself, reflecting its status as the greatest game of all time. The game that could bend the laws of time and space, and simply toss all rational explanation out the hypothetical window. The game that could make Darkrai sit down and cry like a little girl. The game with such ancient power that the awestruck dead only referred to it as The Game.

    The Casino’s owners had kindly dubbed it as “Retarded Mortals”.

    Those who visited the Casino could be as strange and unusual as anything in their dreams, so when two cloaked figures suddenly appeared in the entrance area, nobody even glanced up from their activities.

    <This is a stupid idea,> snarled the shorter one, the small muscles on her four furry legs tensed as if torn between fight and flight. She had a roughly canine appearance, her white and green fur contrasting against each other nicely.

    <This was Mom’s idea,> the taller, bipedal one replied calmly. A tiny moneybag winked into existence right in front of her beaked face, the coins within clinking loudly. Not even flinching, she snatched it out of the air with a clawed, feathery hand.

    The smaller one snapped at another appearing moneybag. <Alright, then it was Mom’s stupid idea. And this cloak is the most retarded thing you’ve ever thought of, Fystor. No, I don’t want those! Go away.>

    The moneybag tinkled almost reproachfully before vanishing.

    Fystor, the tall Pokemon – although only tall in comparison, for any adult human easily towered over her – sighed in a resigned manner, looking about the vast dimensions of the Casino, its dim lighting punctured by the brightly lit Game in the center of the room. <”Mom” and “stupid’ don’t belong in the same sentence.>

    The shorter one snorted. <The irony.>

    <We will learn something.> She paused for a moment in her scan, and her bright silver eyes narrowed as she watched a whooping Trapinch spirit.

    <And you’re sure about that?>

    <Absolutely. He probably already knows you’re here.>

    The quadruped blanched. <Aw no, not him.>

    <Why don’t you like him? You two make a cute couple.>

    <Why should I like him? He’s immature!>

    <Is not! He’s very sophisticated!>

    She sniffed. <I sacrificed myself to keep the entire fricking mortal world and everyone in it from going to complete hell. All he bothers to do is run this retarded Casino with his sister and snicker at everyone who’s oh so excited about hollering whenever the same retarded little picture appears on all three wheels. Sophisticated my ***.>

    Fystor scowled. The expression twisted her beak into a peculiar shape.

    <Maybe you should compare your accomplishments to his. Oh wait, you don’t have any! Fail!>

    <I keep these bloody Twins from getting bored!> Fystor snapped, stalking towards the bar counter.

    Her sister snickered, trotting close behind. <This was exactly the same as it was when you were first assigned to them, am I right?>

    <Hardly. We didn’t exactly have movies thousands of years ago.>

    <Pfft. Renovations in technology? Who cares? All it boils down to is that Mom had no idea what retarded purpose you could possibly serve, and now you’re useless. USELESS! HA HA HA—>

    WHAM! went the feathery fist as it smashed into the furry head.

    A smirk appeared on the short Pokemon’s muzzle. <Type disadvantage.>

    Fystor swore loudly.

    * * *

    Bulbasaur stared at the Tauros incredulously. That son-of-a-Bibarel killed his trainer? Preposterous. True, there were times when she really wanted to kill Cobalt, but she wouldn’t actually kill him. It was a pretty straightforward thing, really. This guy, though … he must be crazy.

    <Ick!> the Tauros fumed.

    Cobalt frowned. “Ick?”

    <Ick!>

    “Ick?’

    Phlash raised her head in curiosity, fangs still dripping blood. <Ick?>

    <Ick ick ick!>

    “Ick ick ick?"

    “Ick?” Gina repeated, thinking.

    <Ick!>

    “Ick?”

    <Cobalt, just give up on your “ick” orgy already!> Bulbasaur rolled her eyes as she spoke.

    “Yeah, but he’s probably saying ‘ick’ for a reason. Gina, would you check…?”

    But Gina was ahead of him; she was already kneeling at the Tauros’s side, careful to avoid his thrashing, horned head. Whispering softly in an attempt to calm him, she patted his nose until he was no longer flailing about, but simply breathing heavily. Then, quick as lightning, she grabbed his lower jaw, yanked it downward, thrust her free hand into his mouth, groped around inside it, and soon pulled out something that was small and bright neon pink, dripping with the bull’s saliva.

    Surprisingly, he did not resume his furious flailing, but instead spat viciously into the grass nearby.

    “A Pokeblock,” Gina explained, noticing Bulbasaur’s baffled expression. “He hates the taste.”

    <Bad ick!> Tauros spat. <Bad! Ick ick ick!>

    “Then why were you eating it?” Cobalt asked, slightly exasperated.

    <Tauros not want eat it! It ick. Trainer say, eat and you be cute. Tauros not want be cute! Tauros want be strong! But trainer say, eat. Ick get stuck to top of mouth. Ick ick ick! Tauros get angry! Tauros hurt trainer! Bad trainer!>

    “Ah.”

    “Hold on!” Gina said, and from seemingly out of nowhere pulled a bright orange Hello Kitty bag.

    “Aw no, aw no, it’s the bag.”

    Gina rolled her eyes while she fished around in the bag, before retrieving a small cube quite similar to the one she had just extracted from the Tauros’s mouth, albeit a dull yellow. Holding it carefully between her fingers, she pulled his lips apart and forced the candy through his clenched teeth.

    There was a moment of anticipatory silence. Tauros chewed it thoughtfully, but it sending him into a rage was still a possibility. Cobalt bit his lip as Gina watched the bull’s jaw move.

    Then Tauros puckered up, squealing in delight. <It umm! Good umm!>

    Cobalt sighed, visibly relaxing.

    “Breeders know what makes Pokemon happy,” Gina explained, standing up and slinging her bag over her shoulder. “I guessed from the way he was acting that he might like sour candy instead of sweet.”

    Abruptly Tauros managed to swing his bulky self onto his hooves, stumbling slightly to regain his balance. He looked Gina in the eye, but instead of goring her to death, he said, still sucking happily on his Pokeblock, <Girl good. Girl give Tauros umm. Tauros like girl. Tauros like umm. Tauros go with girl.>

    Gina watched him warily. “Cobalt, what’s he doing? He’s looking at me funny.”

    “He wants to come with you for some reason. Obviously he’s never watched you in action.” He snickered.

    She gave him a look. “Not funny.” Turning back to Tauros, she pulled a strangely-colored Poke Ball – green rather than red, and flecked with red teardrops – and met his gaze again. “Tauros, if you want to be my Pokemon, you’ll get to eat as many yellow Poffins as you want, as long as you don’t kill anybody. Pokeblocks are nice every now and then, but they’re not as good for you as Poffins. Okay?”

    Tauros nodded excitedly, horns bouncing dangerously fast. <Tauros agree! Tauros like umm!>

    “Excellent.” Gently she tossed the Friend Ball at him, which opened wide as it neared him. Tauros converted into a bright red beam without a fight, and disappeared into the ball, which shut with a sharp click. It didn’t even wobble before the cheerful ping signaled his successful capture.
    Last edited by SugarPesticide; 26th January 2010 at 2:51 AM.
    FF.Net profile | Blazing Frost | Project Valentine | River Styx | Hexachromalurgy | Fizzy Bubbles

    Latest PV pair: Shedinja/Sylveon - What if the MST3K guys did Roshomon? I think it would go a little something like this.

  25. #125
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    Cobalt looked somewhat unimpressed at this anticlimactic ending. “Wow. You caught a dunce.”

    The girl stooped to pick up the now occupied Friend Ball. “Oh, Tartar’s not a dunce! He’ll be great on my mammalian crossbreeding project—”

    “Maybe he’s not a dunce, but you’re definitely one if you’re calling him ‘Tartar’.”

    “Yeah, well, since Daddy ordered you, an admin, to do grunt work, I wouldn’t—”

    “Wait.”

    Gina turned to him, exasperated, only to draw back a little at the sight of his chalk-white face. “What—”

    “If the girl with the Lapras went into Mount Moon …” he began slowly, with the uncertain air of someone putting two and two together, “… and Severus is in Mount Moon …”

    Suddenly looking extremely alarmed, he abruptly bolted off toward the dark entrance to the mountain, leaving the females looking rather baffled behind him.

    Bulbasaur watched his shrinking figure with a mixture of disbelief and surprise. <Dunno if we should follow him—>

    Phlash tore her bloody fangs from the corpse, which was now exceptionally pale and rather shriveled-looking. <We should, freckle-face! When Weird Hair Guy looks like that, he needs us to help him eat babies!>

    <No, he does n—>

    Without warning Phlash leapt up from the grisly body, latched her teeth onto Bulbasaur’s bulb, and tore off after Cobalt excitedly. The dinosaur swore loudly as the weasel dragged her along the hard, grassy earth.

    <We gottsa folla him!> Phlash managed to shout through her mouthful of Bulbasaur.

    Gina, watching the strange scene, took a hesitant step forward. “I must have missed something,” she sighed, and warily began to jog after them.

    * * *

    As they reached the bar counter, the bartender Hitmontop leapt onto it and spun into the air, rotating fast enough to generate a gentle wind. He nodded politely to Fystor: her arrival, even in a ridiculous-looking cloak, always demanded respect. <The usual, miss?>

    <Of course.>

    One of his long, bendy legs snatched a glass from a shelf behind him. <And what for the kiddo?>

    The furry Pokemon gnashed her teeth in rage. <Kiddo?!>

    <Just a water for her. You know how kids are.>

    The bartender nodded and dived behind the counter again.

    Fystor smirked as she looked at her fuming sister. <To use your ridiculous vocabulary, you’ve just been owned.>

    She did not reply immediately, but turned her glare to the bartender as he reappeared a second later, setting two glasses full of liquid onto the counter. <Maybe I’m younger than you, but remember that the middle kid never amounts to anything,> she snapped back, fluttering up to the counter with small, pink, petal-like wings and taking a sip of the cold, clear water.

    Fystor’s eyes narrowed as she carefully lowered her beak into her own glass, which was full of a green, bubbly drink. She was thinking of something witty to shoot back, when she sensed a sudden change in the aura around her and realized that someone was now standing behind them.

    <Hey, Shay-Shay!>

    The furry Pokemon yelped in shock, snorting water up her nose and accidentally knocking over her glass. Sneezing, she watched in dismay as the water cascaded gracefully over the counter’s edge, ready to soak the short, hard carpet…

    But a weak wave of psychic energy rippled over them, and a millisecond later the glass had leapt up after the water, somersaulting in midair as it fell before rushing upward to catch every droplet easily. It then hovered in the air in front of the green, red-faced Pokemon, who was glaring at the newcomer while water continued to drip from her nose.

    He was a graceful, blood-red Pokemon with the shape and sleek dignity of a stag or unicorn. Around the base of his long neck were four shining silver steel petals, which had an uncanny resemblance to a four-leafed clover. Similarly colored claws protruded from his paws, elbows, and knees, looking dangerously sharp. Seven long, rectangular plates sprouted along the top of his body from the tip of his nose to the end of his thick, pointed tail. His shiny, lethal appearance, however, was softened by a pair of delicate ears shaped vaguely like the number seven, and a pair of eyes as clear and blue as ice, though they shone with surprising warmth.

    <Where’ve you been lately?> he asked, craning his head towards her slightly. <I haven’t seen you in—>

    <Can it, Secloven,> she snarled.

    <Aw, don’t be cruel, Shay-Shay! You gotta know I’ve missed you, girl!>

    <Don’t call me Shay-Shay, that’s almost worse than Minnie! Now shut up and go away.>

    <Give him a break, Shaymin,> Fystor cut in smoothly, swirling her drink around idly and watching the bubbles float up to the surface and burst in tiny sprays of emerald mist. Her voice was calm and chastising, yet she kept careful track of his aura.

    <It’s cool, Feisty. Don’t you guys want to try your luck at Retarded Mortals? We’ve got a huge event on us lately, what with the Appster possessing the Missing One and all—>

    <We’ve heard about it, we’re not stupid,> Shaymin growled, although her lips were pressed together to keep herself from chuckling at “Feisty”.

    Refraining from commenting, Fystor turned her gaze to The Game, where numerous Pokemon crowded around.

    <We’ve got our “chosen girl” in a relatively safe position, I guess,> Secloven continued airily. <If you hurry, you might get there early enough to back her in this round—>

    Fystor stood up straighter. <No one’s backed her yet? Well, in that case I’ll—>

    A soft, smooth voice behind her cut her off. <So sorry, Fystor. Jirachi’s just decided to back her, and you know how she likes to get her way.>

    Fystor groaned without turning around. <Oh, no, not you!>

    <A somewhat unsatisfactory greeting, but I’ll accept it anyway,> the new Pokemon replied, half smiling. When the eagle-like Pokemon did not reply, the newcomer prowled around into her line of vision. The whiskered head appeared first, boasting a pair of pointed, tufted ears and two glowing golden eyes. It was followed by a long, many-legged body, and six large pieces of broken glass protruded from her back, reflecting numerous shades of scarlet, gold, and sapphire. The long, jagged tail came last, twisting gently in the air. Covered in black fur from nose to tail, the Pokemon looked sly, yet her friendliness contradicted this, catching others off guard.

    Looking unhappy, Fystor nodded curtly. <Sentarpen.>

    The black cat Pokemon grinned more widely, revealing large fangs coated in a pale purple poison. <Fystor.>

    <I know what my name is, thanks,> Fystor snapped.

    <There’s no need for animosity,> Sentarpen said, looking somewhat hurt.

    <I’ll be as animous as I like—>

    <Calm down, Feisty,> Secloven cut in, sticking his head between them hastily. <I’m pretty sure “animous” isn’t a word, anyway. Why not just join in the game and have fun?>

    Fystor scowled. <Animous is a word, it means “not unanimous”.>

    <I sort of doubt that—>

    <I’ll back somebody,> she interrupted him briskly, <but I really wouldn’t know who. If you’ll excuse me…>

    She slammed the glass on the counter, drawing a shocked look from the bartender, and set off towards The Game, not once looking back.

    <Fystor!> Sentarpen quickly padded after her, attempting to catch up.

    <Why are you following me?> the eagle snapped back, not looking around.

    <Fystor, you need to listen to me, something dreadful is going to happen to somebody down there and we need to stop it—>

    <Yeah? The Missing One’s in the Lord of Evil’s control. Somehow I don’t think things can get worse than that.>

    Sentarpen’s sorrowful eyes glinted in the bright light of The Game as she shook her head. <Things can always get worse.>

    Fystor snorted. <I don’t believe that.>

    <Really? His dark influence just made a Tauros brutally kill his trainer. That’s another Crushing, Fystor. Another boost to his power. And there will be another one if you refuse to help!>

    Abruptly Fystor halted, still a good distance from The Game. Sentarpen collided with her and spat out several feathers.

    <Just tell me what’s going to happen, and I might listen to you,> Fystor said coldly.

    Sentarpen told her.

    <Oh, CRAP!>

    <Fystor, you’ll need the dice!> Sentarpen cried, for the eagle had just broken into a flat run toward The Game. Flustered slightly, the cat squeezed her eyes shut in concentration, and a second later three dice materialized in one of Fystor’s clenched fist. Not pausing to examine them, she continued to run…

    * * *

    “They’ll have gone this way,” Cobalt muttered to himself, climbing down into the dark passageway on the right. Immediately the clanking noise grew louder, and he grimaced at the discordant sound. Teeth clenched, he darted nimbly along in the darkness, and soon a faint gray light appeared up ahead, throwing shadows against the nooks and crannies in the rock walls on either side of him. Then he was through, and he blinked in the sudden burst of light.

    Before him stood an enormous cavern, so tall that its upper regions remained obscured in shadow. The room had a roughly conical shape, and its opposite end sat far, far in the distance. Dusty tan-colored rocks sat scattered about the cavern, some hardly reaching his ankles while others towered a hundred feet above him. A strange shape jutted from the far end cave, its shining silver color magnified by the waves of silver light exuding from it. The clanking was magnified a hundredfold in the vast acoustics of the cavern.

    <Cobalt!>

    “Gah!” He swiveled around, then sighed in relief. It was only Phlash and Bulbasaur, the former looking hyper and energetic as she let go of the latter, who looked less than pleased. “Oh, it’s only you. Now listen to me—”

    “Cobalt, what are you thinking?” Gina asked irritably, approaching from the depths of the passageway they had just left. “Running off like that without telling me why? Shame on you.”

    He glared at her. “You know Severus, he’s the kind that acts first and asks questions later. If that girl ran into him, we can expect nothing to remain of her and her Pokemon but a bloody mess.”

    “But—”

    Cobalt was not listening: he had broken into a run towards the object in the excavation site, praying that his mission would not be aborted in such a grisly manner. Pebbles crunched under his shoes as he sprinted, and the cool, stale air whipped about his face. If he was already too late—

    “Stop, intruder!”

    Skidding to a halt, Cobalt swiftly turned to the right to see several worried-looking teenagers approaching, wielding heavy-looking shovels. He had a shrewd idea that these were Rocket grunts; perhaps it was the black shirts emblazoned with bright red R’s that tipped him off.

    “You’re trespassing near a Rocket excavation site!” shouted the lead grunt, looking rather nervous. “Leave now or we’ll be forced to—”

    “Chill,” Cobalt snapped, whipping out the badge that identified him as a Rocket admin. "Anything big happened down here?”

    The grunts visibly relaxed, letting the points of their shovels hit the ground.

    “No, Cobalt, sir,” reported the lead grunt, running his fingers through his hair. “We’ve just been trying to dig out the Massive Moon Stone. Yeah, it turns out it’s real,” he said, catching the incredulous look on Cobalt’s face. “The Clefairy are going nuts about it, though, they keep chanting and waving their fingers like evil little cult fairies…”

    “I bet they are. Has any civilian stumbled down here?”

    “No, although I wish someone would. Executive Severus is in a bad mood today, he threatened to gut me when I wouldn’t cook his lunch for him.”

    “Oh.” Cobalt sighed in relief. The mission was still on after all. “Well, I may just move on, then—”

    A cold, hard voice interrupted him. “Cobalt … what the hell are you doing here.”

    Cobalt groaned inwardly as a tall, long-haired man strode angrily toward him, pushing grunts out of his way as he did so. Black, greasy hair dripped to his shoulders, framing his prematurely lined face. He looked vaguely like a football player gone to seed: there were traces of burly muscles lining his arms, but as the arms were quite skinny, they looked rather out of place. His bold red shirt boasted a silhouette of a Honchkrow perching on a black letter R: the mark of the Rocket executive. He bore a mark of handsomeness, to be sure, but only the boldest or most desperate of females would show remote interest in him, due to his harsh nature and appearance. Of course, the fact that several long, bone-white claws protruded sharply from his tough-skinned knuckles may have had something to do with that as well. No one could be sure when he had obtained the strange claws, or how he had gotten them; but they could be sure that any references to Wolverine in his presence would definitely result in a violent and painful end.

    Naturally people tended to be wary around him, which was why, when Cobalt snapped, “I’m wondering how you don’t shish kebab your brain whenever you pick your nose, that’s what I’m doing,” the grunts cautiously peered at Severus, half hoping that he might be put in his place. It was no secret that the two hated each other, after all.

    “And I’ve often wondered how an idiot such as yourself managed to weasel your way into becoming an admin,” Severus sneered, coming to a halt in front of him. “Of course, the Boss always was a bit senile…”

    “Is not!” Gina cried indignantly, having nearly caught up to Cobalt.

    Severus shook his head, sending his hair whipping about his face. “I’m not impressed with you either, Gina, but you’re almost ordinary compared to this *******.”

    Cobalt glared darkly.

    “And look, a pair of runts!” Severus said without enthusiasm, noticing Bulbasaur and Phlash trotting towards them. “Are they yours, Cobalt? I must say, you’ve really lowered your standards … although, considering this is you we’re talking about …”

    A scowl threw Cobalt’s face into shadow. “You know nothing.”

    “You’d be surprised. My IQ is probably triple yours …”

    Cobalt clenched his teeth.

    “There’s something I’ve wanted to tell you for a very long time,” Severus continued, striking his claws together to create an ominous clicking sound.

    Inaudible, the celestial dice flew forward from the feathered hand—

    “You see, the Boss may be fooled by your stupidity, but I’m not. And you’ve been annoying me for a very long time…”

    —breathless were the spirits of the dead, watching them roll—

    “But the thing is, Cobalt, that you are the weakest link…”

    With alarming speed, his hand whipped around, claws flashing in the cold light. Before anyone could react, he stabbed viciously into Cobalt’s chest, smiling evilly at the surprise and horror spreading across the admin’s face, as well as the blood spreading across his pale blue T-shirt.

    “…Goodbye.”

    Gaping in shock, Cobalt gasped for air, clutching futilely at his chest. Grin widening, Severus swiftly pulled his claws out again. Blood gushed from Cobalt’s torso, cascading down his front and staining his shirt. It splashed around his feet and onto the feet of others, who were too horrified to squeal and jump back. His eyes going wide and blank, Cobalt collapsed to his knees in a puddle of blood, deaf to Gina’s screams …

    * * *

    LOL, I know what you're thinking. "WTF DDT, three new legendaries at once?" Well, they're there. Deal with them.

    Author's Note: Info on these Three Legendaries
    Secloven
    Type: Psychic/Steel
    Classification: Fortune Pokemon
    Height: 5'03"
    Weight: 100.8 lbs.
    Ability: Super Luck
    Egg Group: No Eggs
    Gender: None (games only)
    Color: Red
    Catch Rate: 3
    Evolution: None
    As the mascot of Pokemon Jasper, the first of two paired versions, Secloven's as full of good luck as ... well ... anything. You know how kids sometimes see legendaries at the start of their journeys? Well, Secloven is the Pokemon to see. It also should be noted that while other regions have had millions of psychics in the legendary rosters, Secloven is the ONLY Psychic-type Kerothyun legendary.

    Sentarpen
    Type: Dark/Poison
    Classification: Fate Pokemon
    Height: 4'05"
    Weight: 128.5 lbs.
    Ability: Super Luck
    Egg Group: No Eggs
    Gender: None (games only)
    Color: Black
    Catch Rate: 3
    Evolution: None
    Sentarpen is the version mascot of Pokemon Opal, the second of Kerothyu's paired versions. Sentarpen is the very essence of bad luck, and is said that those who she appears to will die soon. She also tends to be more subtle than her twin. Uniquely, she is the only Poison-type uber.

    Fystor
    Type: Fighting/Flying
    Classification: Valiant Pokemon
    Height: 3’08”
    Weight: 87.6 lbs.
    Ability: Battle Armor
    Egg Group: No Eggs
    Gender: None (games only)
    Color: Brown
    Catch Rate: 3
    Evolution: None
    Fystor is the version mascot of Pokemon Topaz, the third version. She believes in justice and fairness, which was why she is the one who keeps an eye on Secloven and Sentarpen. It's her job to keep them from getting bored and destroying something.
    Last edited by SugarPesticide; 20th July 2009 at 6:43 AM.
    FF.Net profile | Blazing Frost | Project Valentine | River Styx | Hexachromalurgy | Fizzy Bubbles

    Latest PV pair: Shedinja/Sylveon - What if the MST3K guys did Roshomon? I think it would go a little something like this.

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