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Thread: What You Wish For [PG-13]

  1. #1
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    Default What You Wish For [PG-13]

    So, hey! This is my first time posting fanfiction here, so hello to everyone, I guess! I really appreciate any comments or criticism you have to offer, so let me know what you like and/or dislike about the story so far.

    Summary: Teenage trainers Sienna Brown and Lemon Chiffon get more than they bargained for when they rescue a mysterious girl during a thunderstorm on Route 45. Suddenly, they're sucked into an adventure that leads them all the way to faraway Sinnoh, charged with a mission on which the fate of the whole world hangs. But with new friends and old around to help, they just might have a shot at stopping the end of the world as we know it... maybe.

    Genre: Action/Adventure/Gen

    Rating: PG-13 for language and thematic elements.

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    PM List!
    Luphinid Silnaek
    DarkPersian479

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    Table of Contents
    Chapter One
    Chapter Two
    Chapter Three
    Chapter Four
    Chapter Five

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    Chapter One

    "Doctor Orange?"

    "Yes, Aubergine?"

    The head lab tech sighed and ran a hand through her brown hair. "She's... the subject's shut herself in her room again. She won't come out to eat or let anyone in, and is ignoring all attempts at communication. It seems she’s also barricaded the door with some of the furnishings."

    Doctor Orange groaned. "Not again. You've got her on camera, right? What's she doing?"

    Aubergine shifted uneasily on her feet, the soles of her sneakers shuffling with an awkward squeaking noise across the sterile metal floor. "Well, Doctor... she's... reading.” She laughed nervously—a bit unsettled. Not uncommon among the staff, with their subject... “That’s... that’s about all, just reading the books we gave her to teach her. She seems very focused on them. I wouldn’t be concerned, but she's been sitting on her bed reading them for the last six hours without ceasing. Uh, I think she’s looking at an annotated atlas right now, as of the last report. I’ve issued orders for her to be left alone for now, since I didn’t want to risk upsetting her by forcing the door, but I wanted your opinion."

    "Well, at least that's fairly innocuous," said Orange, leaning back in her desk chair. "Let me know if the situation changes at all—she may not need to eat often, but she's got to want food sometime. Let me know, and I'll interview her personally when she does; we need to know as much as possible about her mental state. I've read the reports from the Mewtwo project..."

    A crease formed in the Aubergine's forehead. "Understood, ma'am," she said, nodding slightly, though looking rather worried.

    Orange laughed. "Well, don't be too worried. Her personality seems considerably less violent; I doubt we'll have the same outcome as those idiots on the... previous venture in our area. Anyway, anything else to report?"

    "Not much," said Aubergine. "She seems to be progressing mostly normally in terms of regular development, aside from the initial growth-enhancement. She might be called precocious among others... seems to be interested in her lessons. Very quiet, though."

    The doctor nodded, thoughtfully. "Seems about right," she said, finally. "At least within normal variation of the projections. We didn't design her to be an extrovert, anyway. Is that all?"

    Aubergine frowned. "Well, there was one more thing."

    "Yes?"

    "Her sleep has started becoming regularly restless. She murmurs things in her sleep, and occasionally sleepwalks. Just the last few days, but enough to form a pattern."

    "Have you managed to record anything she said?"

    "The mic on the security camera wasn't quite good enough to pick up exactly what was being said, so we placed a separate one in a different location after the first occurrence. I... uh..." She patted down her sides, and flipped through the pages on her clipboard. "I'm sorry, ma'am. I don't seem to have the transcript with me. It was mainly a lot of nonsense, though. I know I couldn't make any sense of it, and none of the others could either."

    Orange brushed a stray lock of ginger hair behind her ear. "That's all right. Just make sure to get it to me as soon as you can. I can put it into this month's report to headquarters—maybe one of the high-ups will have some interest in it. If that's all, you can go now."

    "Thank you, ma'am," said the tech, and walked out the door, closing it behind herself.

    Doctor Orange propped herself up on her desk by her elbows, leaning forward, and dialed the computer to bring up the security camera from the subject's room. As chief of the project team, she ought to see the odd behavior the tech had mentioned for herself. The computer brought up the window—

    —and Orange sat upright. She hastily punched the comm for the tech who had just left moments earlier. "Aubergine!" she said. "Check security camera S-5. What do you see?"

    There was a brief moment of lag, and then a crackle of static. "Hear you, Doctor. Just a second..." A pause, and then: "Oh, crap. Ma'am—"

    "I checked it myself, too. I'm overriding the door lock code. Get a team for backup, stat!"

    "Right!" A long pause, presumably as Aubergine dialed the security team and waited for them to come. Then: "We're in place. Go ahead, Doctor—"

    "Opening the door."

    The door swung open on Orange's screen, and she watched as the black-clad security team push their way in through the makeshift furniture barricade, followed by Aubergine, who made her way through the crowd over to the gaping hole in the wall.

    "Camera, zoom in," said Orange, and watched as the computer's view came closer to the hole. Around the edges... it looked like the wall had been burned clear through—right through the paint and plaster, and even through the solid rock on the other side of the wall. She saw Aubergine lift her communicator.

    "Doctor, I think we have a problem," said Aubergine.

    "Yes," said Orange. "Yes, I think we do."

    ***

    "Come on! I'm tired!"

    "Five more minutes!" Sienna Brown shouted over her shoulder, as she jogged down the hill, through the tall grasses that covered most of Route 45. "We're almost done for the night, I swear!"

    "That's what you said an hour ago—and now it's ten o' clock," said the taller blonde girl, leaning back against a tree and gesturing up at the clear night sky. "Seriously, Sienna, this is not how sane people train. If you really want to have even a chance this time, you ought to get some rest so that your pokémon don't faint from exhaustion in the middle of battle! Or you, for that matter!"

    Sienna scowled. "Just because you won the badge on your first try doesn't mean I have to listen to you, Lemon," she grumbled. "You can go back to the pokémon center if you really want to. In the meantime, we will continue training. Isn't that right, guys?" There was a pause. "Guys?"

    She turned. Behind her, her graveler and vileplume were snoozing on the hillside, while ninetales had gotten into her backpack and was pulling out all the food containers and opening them with her claws. Sighing, she recalled all three of them into their pokéballs, and flopped down on the grass, hooking the red and white balls to her belt. "All right, so maybe I'd better wrap up," she admitted, as she started to clean up the mess around her backpack. "Still, though..." Her nose wrinkled. "I really, really need this badge."

    Lemon sat down next to her and leaned back on her elbows. "It isn't bad, really. I mean, you've already got seven badges, and you could have an eighth if you'd just swallow your pride and try another gym that doesn't specialize in Dragon-types. That's something to be proud of. It's not like you have to go for the Blackthorn gym."

    Pulling a face, Sienna folded her hands neatly behind her head, brushing her brunette pigtails out of the way and onto the grass. "Well, yes, but the thing is, you are right. It's a matter of pride for me, I guess," she said. "And besides..." She scowled. "Smug wossname told me I didn't have a chance," she muttered under her breath, grumpily.

    Her friend laughed. "Oh, Sienna," she said, crossing her legs neatly. "Do grow up, will you?"

    "Oh, come on," said Sienna, waving her arms wildly above her head and shooting Lemon a burning glare. "I'm sixteen, can't I be allowed my moments of childishness every once in a while? Saying something like that was practically tempting destiny. I have to win, now, don't you see? And then I will take on the League, and win, and be Sienna Brown, Pokémon Master!" She struck a dramatic half-pose with her arms as if she'd just won the League tournament.

    "You watch far too much television," Lemon said. "You’re always destiny this, destiny that–real life doesn't work like that, you know."

    "Who says?" Sienna retorted. "Maybe someday I’ll be one of the Elite Four. You never know. Or maybe we'll stumble into the middle of an earth-shattering plot and have to save the world! Didn't you ever dream of that kind of thing as a girl? Becoming the greatest trainer ever, saving the world from evil, being adored by everyone from Kanto to Sinnoh for your great and courageous deeds?" She paused. "Oh, right, you were never a little girl. Silly me."

    Lemon stuck out her tongue. "I had dreams of my own. I just have my feet firmly planted on the ground, that's all," she said.

    "Oh really? What fantastic adventures did you dream up when you were a kid?" Sienna challenged her.

    "Hmph," said Lemon. "For your information, I indulged some very vivid daydreams about becoming a very famous professional writer known all across every region and being interviewed on DJ Mary's Pokémon Talk every week."

    Sienna stifled a laugh, clapping her hands over her mouth, though she couldn't help but snort through her fingers. "Tha—that was your most exciting daydream?"

    "Ha ha," said Lemon. "You'll excuse me if I didn't daydream about the apocalypse, all right?"

    "Touché," Sienna said, drily. "Each to her own, I suppose."

    "Indeed," agreed Lemon. "Anyway, we should head in. So you can actually get some sleep for once, I mean, not stay up until one fiddling with your pokénav."

    "All right," said Sienna, reluctantly. "Let's—oh, damn."

    "What?"

    "Felt a raindrop," said Sienna, frowning up at the now-ominously overcast sky. "Looks like a big one. We'd better run for it."

    "Agreed," said Lemon, and the both took off, Sienna grabbing her backpack hastily as they dashed for the path.

    Sienna was soon proven right as the clouds opened up overhead, starting a downpour and quickly turning the path into a river of mud. Both girls jumped as a flash of lightning lit the sky, as well.

    "We'll have to stop!" yelled Lemon, above the crash of thunder, frantically trying to use her vest and backpack as a makeshift umbrella. "Let's try to get to that stand of trees over there! There'll be some shorter ones to hide under!"

    "Got it!" Sienna called back, pulling the hood of her sweatshirt over her head as she followed her friend into the trees, darting quickly past the outer ones and into the middle of the grove, where more of the rainfall was caught by the trees and the rumbling of the thunder sounded more distant. There was a clearing there, big enough to be away from the bases of the trees and thus safe from the lightning, and the two halted there.

    "Phew," said Lemon, shaking water out of her wavy hair as she squatted down, unrolling a tarp from her backpack and setting it on the ground. "Guess we won't be heading back to the Center after all. At least not until the storm passes."

    "I'll sign on to that. There's no way I'm going back out there in that kind of weather," Sienna muttered, setting herself down on the tarp. She immediately began stripping off her wet outerclothes, replacing them with a raincoat from inside her backpack and sealing the soaked clothing in a compression pouch.

    Lemon was busy fiddling with her pokénav. "Can't get a signal—must be interference from the storm," she said, before switching it off. "Funny, though. I checked the weather this morning, and it was a pretty low chance of rain. No thunderstorms even on the radar." She shivered; she hadn't brought any warmer clothes with her as the day had been fairly warm up until that point.

    "Goes to show how bloody useless the weather forecasters are," said Sienna, and tossed her friend a slightly worn but well cared-for emergency blanket. "Here, put it on," she said.

    "Thanks."

    "Don't mention it." Sienna shook her head, sending droplets of water flying in the process. "Man, I've got to get me a castform one of these days. It could come in handy at times like this."

    Lemon smiled weakly. "Well, at least you're prepared. Shame on me."

    "Meh, once out of a hundred times." Sienna shrugged. "How many times have you saved me when I've been out for something? Can't count them." She looked down at her feet. "It's what friends do for friends, right?"

    "Heh. Well, let me tell you, right now there's no one I'd rather be stuck out here with than you."

    Sienna grinned. "And, you know, maybe I won't even start talking about—"

    Lightning lit up the clearing, suddenly much closer than it had been before, and thunder rumbled. And in the flash of lightning, a human figure was briefly silhouetted, before it buckled at the knees and fell limply forward into the wet grass.

    "—destiny?" Sienna whispered.
    Last edited by Verity; 26th December 2008 at 7:48 PM. Reason: Add Ch. 5 to TOC

  2. #2
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    Hm, interesting, my only critique is to capitalize some things you missed, like pokemon names and Pokenav. Other wise its pretty good, great job.
    Last edited by Shadowman123; 4th April 2008 at 3:08 AM. Reason: .

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    Impressive. No, this is very, very good. This is the first new fic in quite awhile that has me interested enough to follow.

    First off, no grammar mistakes that I was able to pick up on. And I'm usually one to pick up on them, so already I'm impressed.

    Then you have the story start out in a lab. Not a "tree professor" lab, but an actual research facility where an unknown female subject is being held, presumably against her will. Some stories over here are using a distinctly "fantasy" theme, but I'm more into the ones that are based around science and technology. Especially with the mention of the "Mewtwo project."

    And then we get to Sienna and Lemon. The first thing that stands out is where you begin - while training for the eighth badge. Looking back, I wish I had chosen a place to start that wasn't at the start of the character's journey - I think it allows for more flexibility as to the character's age and with the power of their Pokemon (as you demonstrate with Sienna having Graveler, Vileplume, and Ninetales.)

    What impressed me even more, however, is your excellent characterization of them. Just by their words and actions, I was able to tell right away that Sienna is quite excitable and very gung-ho about being a trainer while Lemon is more realistic and down to earth. And I have a feeling that those character differences are going to create some very interesting scenes as the plot unfolds. And it looks like it already will, with the mysterious figure approaching their location.

    Once again, excellent work. I'll definitely be looking forward to more. And I'll end this review with my favorite scene from the entire chapter:

    "I'm sixteen, can't I be allowed my moments of childishness every once in a while? Saying something like that was practically tempting destiny. I have to win, now, don't you see? And then I will take on the League, and win, and be Sienna Brown, Pokémon Master!" She struck a dramatic half-pose with her arms as if she'd just won the League tournament.

    "You watch far too much television," Lemon said.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reviews, guys! I'm pleased to see people enjoying it.

    @Shadowman123: Hah, I've never really been sure what the convention is for capitalization. Some people do capitalize, and some don't, but I figured since they're not proper nouns, I shouldn't. I'm glad you thought it was pretty good overall, though!

    @DarkPersian479: Wow, thanks for all the feedback! I'm glad you liked it. I really do like having a scientific edge--probably the engineering student in me--and while there will be some fantasy elements in the story in the future, there's also going to be plenty of science.

    In case anyone's curious, I expect to have Chapter 2 up sometime next week--it just needs a little more proofing and a couple edits before it's completely ready.
    Last edited by Verity; 4th April 2008 at 5:30 PM. Reason: .

    Chapter Five up!

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    i kind of like it sounds interesting i'll have to read the next part when you post it if you do
    the lord of darkness

    if i wanted to waste my time on you i would tell you so otherwise step back i know where i sleep and where i eat and it isnt near you

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    As mentioned at Vye's, I absolutely adore the scientific business you have going on here. I'm a fan of both science and fantasy, so to know that you'll be incorporating both is just another plus, hehehe.

    Anyways, I'm looking forward to the next one. ^^

    It's nice to see it get popular so fast, hehe. Good job.
    -Ghost

    .captain GHOST.

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    Wow, thanks for all the feedback, everyone! Here's chapter two for all of you. Again, any comments or criticism you may have are welcomed with open arms.

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

    Chapter Two

    Sienna grinned. "And, you know, maybe I won't even start talking about—"

    Lightning lit up the clearing, suddenly much closer than it had been before, and thunder rumbled. And in the flash of lightning, a human figure was briefly silhouetted, before it buckled at the knees and fell limply forward into the wet grass.

    "—destiny?" Sienna finished.


    "Ah!" cried Lemon, and sprang up, hurrying over to the fallen newcomer. Sienna was close on her heels, and watched as Lemon carefully turned the girl face-up.

    She was very young; Sienna thought maybe no more than thirteen years old, if that. Strangely, she had long, nearly-white hair that shone in the flashes of lightning above and very pale skin that bordered on translucent in the darkness. And despite the terrible weather—well, despite all logic, for that matter, she was dressed in what resembled a heavy-duty version of a hospital gown.

    Sienna summed it up, cocking her head to the side: "Huh."

    "Don't just stand there, do something helpful!" Lemon chastised. "She's clearly injured. Oh, go get my first aid kit, will you? We can at least bandage her up or something, if she has any scrapes."

    "Fine," muttered Sienna, and grabbed Lemon's bag, rooting through it as she walked back to her and the fallen girl. "Who do you think she is, anyway?"

    Lemon looked thoughtful, crinkling her nose and frowning. "I would say she's probably another trainer, but she doesn't look like she has any pokéballs on her... and she's certainly not dressed for it," she said, taking the first aid kit Sienna handed to her. "We'll have to ask her when she wakes up."

    Sienna kicked at some grass. "Guess so," she said, frowning. "It's weird, though. Her showing up and all, in the middle of this thunderstorm from out of the middle of nowhere... And what ordinary person dresses like that? It’s sort of like—"

    "I thought you weren't going to start talking about destiny," said Lemon.

    "I'm not," Sienna sniffed. "Just think it's odd, that's all."

    Lemon ignored her, checking for a pulse on the girl and looking for steady breathing; she even felt the girl's forehead. "Hm," she said. "Doesn't seem to be anything too bad—for all I know, it's just plain exhaustion. In any case, she seems to be sleeping all right and with no major apparent injuries, so maybe we should try to carry her back to the Pokémon Center when the storm clears."

    "Mm," agreed Sienna, still studying the girl. "Should we maybe move her onto the tarp so she doesn't get all wet and hypothermic?"

    "Uh—Ah! Right. That's a good plan," said Lemon, sounding a little startled, as if she hadn't been paying attention. "I... never mind."

    Sienna frowned. "Was there something bothering you?"

    Lemon shook her head as she took the girl's legs and Sienna slipped her arms under the girl's torso. "No, no. Nothing. I was just thinking, that's all. I was wondering where she could have come from, out here, if she's not a trainer... Most people don't venture out on foot too far without a pokémon on hand... and we're pretty far from Blackthorn, aren’t we?"

    "That's practically what I said," muttered Sienna, rolling her eyes, as they set the girl down on the tarp. "I mean, there's an entrance to Dark Cave near here, but she couldn't have come out of there. See, it's weird!"

    "I'm sure it's only—" Lemon began, but stopped abruptly as the girl began to stir.

    "Nnh..." The girl sat up, rubbing her eyes. She looked around, and jumped slightly from her seated position seeing Lemon at her side, looking faintly alarmed. She blinked, and Sienna was almost taken aback by their color—a rather violent shade of violet. "Who are you?" the girl asked, her large eyes wide. She really did look very young, Sienna noted.

    "Ah... we're pokémon trainers," stammered Lemon, who had been thrown off by the girl's sudden awakening. "We were out here training, and had to take shelter when it started raining—we found you out here. I'm Lemon Chiffon, and this is Sienna Brown. What's your name?"

    The girl looked pensive. "My... my name is Dolly," she said, hesitantly, corners of her mouth turned down in the most delicate of frowns, as if she wasn't quite sure she should be telling them.

    Sienna thought it was a strange name—not to mention strange that she seemed so hesitant about saying it—but she kept that to herself; in any case, she wasn't going to give Lemon an excuse to rail on about how she had no tact. She did have tact. Sometimes, anyway. Shrugging to herself, she crouched down next to Lemon. "So," she said. "Anyway, we're here to help you. Can you tell us anything about how you got here, what kind of shape you're in, where you came from? Did you come from Blackthorn City?"

    Dolly frowned again, her white eyebrows knitting together. "Blackthorn City... is that near here?” she asked. “Where I came from... I don’t think it was very far from here, but I don’t know if it was Blackthorn City or not.”

    “You don’t know where Blackthorn—” Sienna began, incredulously, but was silenced by a sharp pinch to her arm by Lemon.

    “What else do you remember about the place you came from?” asked Lemon, gently. “The more you can tell us, the easier it’ll be for us to get in touch with your family.”

    “I...” said Dolly, looking a bit hesitant. “I don’t remember anything very well. I don’t... I’m not sure I...” She chewed on her lower lip slightly, looking quite distraught. “I’m sorry.”

    Lemon looked over at Sienna. "Memory loss?"

    "Maybe," said Sienna, shrugging. It would certainly explain a few things. "I'm no doctor." Suddenly, she noticed something—or rather, the absence of something: "Hey, the rain stopped!"

    "Ah—it did, didn't it?" said Lemon, cocking an ear to the sky. "How about that. And I didn't even notice. Well, if you feel like you can walk a little, Dolly, we can help you get to the Pokémon Center in Blackthorn City, and they can help you a bit more there. They have doctors and nurses and more advanced medical equipment there, so they can probably take better care of you until you're ready to get back on your feet properly, so to speak."

    The younger girl hesitated. "All right," she said, finally, and got to her feet, looking a little wobbly on her legs. Lemon quickly put an arm around her on one side to steady her, while Sienna went to quickly grab the rest of their gear and pack it away into her backpack before taking Dolly's other side.

    Sienna nodded. "Good. All right, then," she said, wearily. "Now let's get out of here."

    ***

    "Aubergine? What's the latest on the Dolly case?"

    Aubergine sighed wearily, rubbing her temples. "We've already started patching the hole in the wall and sealing it up, but she was able to blast through all the way to the outside tunnels that the trainers use. Hard to track, since it's all rock on the ground and she was barefoot, but we figure she must have gone outside. The cave exit isn't far from where she would have come out, and she probably would have gravitated toward the lighter area—and out to Route 45."

    Doctor Orange cradled her head in her hands. "Ooh. This is really, really not good. I don't even know—we're going to have to get her back somehow—one way or another. She'll probably head towards either Blackthorn or New Bark. Try and get people there to watch out for her." She sighed, and rubbed the bridge of her nose. A serious migraine was coming on. "At least she's distinctive. There's a blessing. As long as we can find her and find her really fast..."

    "Should I get the security team out to look for her, then? Split them up?"

    Orange thought for a moment. "Sure. Send just a couple to New Bark, though—they'll stand out there, since it's a small town. And Blackthorn's more likely, really—the exit would probably have led her there. But make sure they know they're just there to watch, all right, and to go a little incognito? The extent of her powers still isn't known—we didn't have a long enough observation period and what with all the genes we spliced together—but from what she did to the wall, that could really kill someone, if they approach her the wrong way. I don't want any casualties. And we really don't need a public debacle putting us on the front cover of Trainers' Daily. We've worked hard to get this place shipshape, and the last thing we need is a League raid shutting us down."

    A wrinkled creased Aubergine's forehead. "But... who will capture her, if they're just watching? And how? And if she's dangerous..."

    Orange coughed lightly. "I'm calling in some... special help. What's the saying? If all you have is a hammer, then you'll try to solve every problem with a hammer? Something like that. This job requires..." She paused, trying to think of a way to phrase it. "Just a little more subtlety and finesse than is generally possessed by the average member of our security team, if you take my meaning."

    "Ah," said Aubergine, with just the slightest hint of a smirk tugging at the corners of her mouth. The grunts weren't exactly chosen for their intelligence and innovative problem-solving; that was well-known and well-lamented by the scientists in the organization. "Well, I'll get right on that. And here's the transcripts from the recordings that I promised you, Doctor..." She dropped a packet in a manila envelope onto the doctor's desk.

    "Thank you," said Orange. "I'll read them as soon as it's convenient—in this situation, they might even help us figure out where she's gone and what her aim is in escaping. Get someone to look over the books she was reading, too. Something in them might have inspired her to make a break for it. You said she was looking at maps? Go over the security tapes, see what she was looking at, what areas. Every hint is helpful. Even if it seems insignificant, put it in the report. I want it on my desk as soon as humanly possible."

    "I'll get on that right away, ma'am," said Aubergine, straightening.

    "Make it so, Number One," said Orange, loftily, and waved her out the door. It was only then that she let herself flop down onto her desk in a display of complete and utter frustration and exhaustion.

    “Augh,” she groaned. “And she was perfect, too. My masterpiece, my magnum opus, my finest creation—why meeeeeeeeeee—”

    —And then she snapped upright in her chair as a sudden jolt of electricity lanced through her arm. She whirled around. “What was that for?” she demanded of the magneton floating behind her.

    It fixed her with a withering stare that said quite clearly: Get a grip, idiot. Orange rolled her eyes. “I know, I know, Linus, get back to work instead of whining, I got it,” she muttered, waving a dismissive hand behind her as she turned back toward the desk and the phone. As long as this whole disaster was taken care of, and taken care of quickly, nothing bad would happen.

    On the other hand, if things didn’t... Orange’s thoughts flickered briefly to the report due to HQ in a week, and she shuddered. It was probably best not to think about what might happen in that case.

    Holding the receiver to her ear with one hand, she reached for the aspirin with the other. This was going to be one long, long week.
    Last edited by Verity; 13th April 2008 at 5:58 AM.

    Chapter Five up!

  8. #8
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    Sienna was close on her heels, and watched as Lemon carefully turned them face-up.
    Hmmm... i was a bit confused here. If it was the girl that she turned face-up, then perhaps "them" should be replaced with "the girl" here. The way it's worded , it actually seems like she's turning her heels face-up, which doesn't make much sense in this context.

    The plot of this story is really drawing me in now, and I'm really starting to enjoy reading it. The interactions between Sienna and Lemon are again well-portrayed, particularly when they're discussing what to do about mystery girl Dolly. Description was very well done as well, and I was particularly impressed with how you described the facial expressions and body movements of the characters to express their emotions - something I'm still working on improving.

    And back at the lab:
    The extent of her powers still isn't known—we didn't have a long enough observation period and what with all the genes we spliced together—but from what she did to the wall, that could really kill someone, if they approach her the wrong way.
    Now this statement here has me really intrigued at the sorts of experiments and gene splicing went into the mysterious experiment called Dolly. And I wonder if, like Mewtwo, this was an attempt to scientifically create some super-Pokemon (or super Pokemon/human in this case). I also liked how Doctor Orange had her breakdown from the stress surrounding the escape.

    Hard as I could try to find something to mention to improve, I simply couldn't find anything. Perhaps someone else can give you some pointers, but as for me, I was just very impressed by this chapter, and I'm looking forward to more! For the record, this is the first new fic here in over two months that I've actually found interesting enough for me to start following, so you get an extra thanks for giving me something new to read and enjoy

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    Impressive, this makes for great reading, cant wait for some more!
    I'm just a big fan of beer and cricket.

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    @DarkPersian479:
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkPersian479 View Post
    Hmmm... i was a bit confused here. If it was the girl that she turned face-up, then perhaps "them" should be replaced with "the girl" here. The way it's worded , it actually seems like she's turning her heels face-up, which doesn't make much sense in this context.
    Oh, thanks for catching that! I didn't notice it when I was proofing, I guess. Already went ahead and made the change. Again, I'm really glad that you're liking the story so far And one of my favorite parts of writing is writing characters' interactions with each other and how they both clash and work together, so it's good to hear that you liked those bits.

    @Electivire165: Thanks, I'm glad you liked it so far!

    Also, on another note, if anyone is interested in a PM list or some other method of notification, let me know and I'll get on that!
    Last edited by Verity; 13th April 2008 at 6:33 AM.

    Chapter Five up!

  11. #11
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    DarkPersian summed everything up pretty succinctly. Right from the get-go you got me hooked. Intriguing story, interesting characters, original story. You've got a reader in me! I like the whole idea of a possible human-version of the Mewtwo project.


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    I was meaning to overlook this at first, glancing at the seeming unremarkableness, but something drew me in (quite gratefully). The banner, after all, easily sums up the reasons for which I like this fiction: on the most superficial top it appears mediocre, but quickly the reader realizes the level of quality is something no drone-writer could produce--I seem to be obsessed with oxymorons today--and the originality is far greater than the first estimate. The words must grate your eardrums by now, but I truly can find nothing to critique. I shall feebly try to amend this with my incomprehensible pseudo-philosophical rambling over the 'finer points'.

    The narration was one detail I enjoyed: it possessed frictionless flow, and knew the exact required moderation in description, relevance, and drama. Also, character development was remarkably distinguished, though we haven't had a chance to watch it develop, in the strict sense of the word. I feel that if no new characters are introduced in the next chapter, and dialogue and actions are written with no explanation of the speaker or actor, a reader could still possibly attach the right actions to the right person. How long have you been writing anything? This is certainly not the work of a beginning writer. (In essence, anything said in DP479's review applies to me.)

    ...Ah, my attempts at philosophical rambling also failed. I feel deeply ashamed now, and guilty: I have not the courtesy to give you anything more than empty praise. For once, I will not excuse myself by saying very little has happened with the plot. I'll merely bow myself out and save further offense.

    I think a PM list for this would be nice. Also, I am amused by the fact that (as it appears) the human race in this fiction has only one gender, and by the heavy irony in chapter 1.

  13. #13
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    Thanks to everyone for reviewing! I've really enjoyed hearing your responses.

    @Dresden: Thanks, glad that you enjoyed it!
    @Luphinid Silnaek: I'm glad you decided to give this fic a chance. Thanks for all your feedback!

    I'll be putting together a PM list shortly; either PM me or let me know in a response to this thread if you'd like to be on it.

    Quick Chapter Notes:
    I must have written about five versions of this chapter—it was tougher to get through than the other two, but I finally came out with a version that I liked enough. In any case, I hope you enjoy it! Comments and criticism welcome, as usual.

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

    Chapter Three

    In a small apartment in Goldenrod City, a young man hung up the phone and rubbed at the dark circles under his eyes. “C’mon, sis,” he said, turning around in his desk chair to face the other occupant of the room. “We’ve got a job.”

    The young woman lying in the bed across the room turned over and half-opened one tired eye in his direction. “Nngh. Do they always have to call so late at night? Who was it?”

    “Dr. Orange—Cady Orange, remember her?” The man took a swig from the coffee cup he held in one hand. “From the Dark Cave operation. Calling in a favor. One of their experiments escaped from the lab and is on the run. And she wants us to get her back.”

    “I think I might have heard you mention something about that when you were on the phone with her,” said the woman, frowning slightly and propping herself up against her pillow, brushing her long hair back behind her shoulders to avoid sitting on it. “What is it, then?”

    The man shook his head. “It’s... weird.” He shrugged. “Complicated.”

    The woman raised an eyebrow. “How so? I hope you know what you’ve gotten us into. What exactly is this thing that we’re supposed to be chasing after, anyway?”

    “Well...”

    ***

    Lemon had, as per her usual routine, gotten up early for breakfast and a nice walk around town. When she returned, she found Sienna who, as per her usual routine, was still fast asleep, curled up under the thin Pokémon Center standard-issue blankets, with only the top of her head poking out from under the covers.

    Stifling an uncharacteristic snicker, Lemon leaned over and gave her friend a poke in the shoulder. “Hey, Sie. I think it’s about time you got up, isn’t it?”

    Sienna muttered something incoherent and rolled over. Lemon rolled her eyes. “Come on, Sienna. It’s either the easy way or the hard way. You remember the hard way, right?”

    No response. Typical. Lemon shrugged, sighed, and then yanked the covers off with a flick of her hand.

    “Hey!” Sienna yelled, grabbing at the sheets, but Lemon was prepared and quickly stepped out of her reach.

    “Nuh-uh,” she said, wagging a finger. “It’s high time that you got up. You can’t sleep all day, you know. Things to do, people to see... and I thought you were planning to be out and about first thing to sign up on the battle list for the Gym?”

    Sienna sighed. “That was before I stayed up past two getting that girl we found in the woods squared away,” she said. “Augh. I’m surprised my brain is even functioning—what time is it, anyway—eleven-thirty? Already?!”

    She jumped out of bed with surprising energy, nearly knocking Lemon over in the process. “How can it be eleven-thirty already?” she ranted as she dug through her backpack for a fresh change of clothes. “The slots will all be full by now, how did I let myself—why the hell didn’t you wake me up, Lemon?”

    “I tried,” Lemon said, leaning back against the wall. Sienna needed to calm down sometimes, she thought. While she appreciated the energy, it occasionally—well, often—ended up misplaced. “You kept muttering incoherently and covering your head with your pillow. I took that as a sign you didn’t want to be disturbed.” She took a deep breath. “Look, I’m sorry you ended up sleeping in too late. We can go look at the list for the Gym as soon as you like.”

    “As soon as I’d like was five hours ago,” muttered Sienna, testily, tugging on her second sock. “Almost ready.” Pause. “Er, hey—how’s the girl from last night? Dolly, right?”

    Lemon shrugged. “I checked in on her briefly early this morning, but she was still asleep,” she said. “The nurses said she was doing all right, though. I guess we were right in thinking that it was mainly exhaustion. I was thinking I might stop in later today to say hello, at the very least. You can come, too, although I didn’t know if you’d want to.”

    Sienna sighed. “Well, maybe after we check to see if there are any slots still left at the Gym,” she said, grudgingly, twirling a lock of her hair around one finger. “I still have my priorities, you know.”

    Lemon snickered. “Really. Well, let’s get a move-on, and get out and about. Time’s a-wasting, after all.”

    “You don’t have to tell me twice,” muttered Sienna, and Lemon trailed her out the door.

    ***

    The list, as it turned out, was full up for the whole day. Sienna was outraged; Lemon privately thought that it served her right. Sienna was far too impatient most of the time, and it would probably do her some good to take it a little easier, if she would let herself.

    It took no small amount of coaxing, however, to convince Sienna to visit Dolly with her now-dampened spirits. Impossible would be a good word to describe her, Lemon thought. Utterly impossible. While the two of them had been friends and training buddies for years, it was days like these that made Lemon question why she regularly put up with all this.

    “Come on, Sienna, stop being so obstinate,” she scolded. “Really, I can’t believe you! The girl could really use some company, and you just want to sit in the room and sulk. We got you on for tomorrow, didn’t we?”

    “Yeah, but it’s tomorrow,” Sienna moaned. “I wanted it to be today.”

    “Stop being stubborn and just come with me. It might cheer you up, in any case, and it’s still relatively early yet—it won’t take very long, and then you can do anything you want. Sulk, prepare, sleep some more, whatever.”

    Sienna scowled. “I guess I could.”

    “That’s the spirit,” said Lemon, and grabbed her friend’s wrist. “Come along now, let’s get going!” she added, and proceeded to cheerfully drag Sienna down the road back to the Pokémon Center.

    Sienna did, thankfully, cheer up a little bit on the way back, though Lemon had to grab her a bagel and some coffee from the dregs of the continental breakfast bar before asking the nurse on duty if they could pay Dolly a visit. She’d known Sienna long enough to know that she didn’t do well on an empty stomach, and also that if she wasn’t fed she’d be whining incessantly before long.

    The nurse smiled at the two of them as they traipsed down the hall after her. “She woke up a little after you left,” she said to Lemon, while Sienna munched happily on the bagel. “Seems like a real sweetheart, too, although you may be right that she has a little memory loss—a little mixed up. She’s been nothing but polite, though—a patient like her could spoil me!” she laughed.

    “That’s great to hear,” said Lemon, smiling. “Any word about her family, or where she might have come from?”

    “Not yet,” said the nurse, as she spotted Dolly’s room at the end of the hall and produced a set of keys from her pocket. “We’ve put out word to the police in all the nearby cities and towns and asked a couple of television stations to mention her case, though, so if they’re nearby it’s really only a matter of time. Ah, here we go,” she said, after rifling through the extensive set of keys for the right one, and unlocked the door. “You can go right in. I have to go do my rounds, but if you need anything, there’s a button by the door to call me.”

    “Thanks,” said Lemon, and the two of them entered.

    Dolly, who occupied the room’s sole bed, sat up a little straighter as they came in and gave them an earnest, if awkward smile. “Hello,” she said, folding the sheets down around her waist. “It’s good to see you.”

    “Oh, it’s a pleasure,” said Lemon, with her most reassuring smile as she took a place in the chair beside Dolly’s bed. “We just wanted to check in on you, see how you were doing. It’s always nice to have a friendly face when you’re in an unfamiliar place. Right, Sienna?” she added, elbowing her friend in the side.

    “Er, yeah, right,” said Sienna. “How are you feeling? Better?”

    “Much better,” said Dolly. “Thank you very much for bringing me here.”

    “No prob,” said Sienna, shrugging. “Er... do you remember any more about what happened? Like, where you came from, and stuff? I know the staff here are trying to find out where your family is...”

    A pause. “I still don’t remember very much,” she said, slowly. “I think... I think I may be a little confused. It’s all very different here.”

    Out of the corner of her eye, Lemon saw Sienna perk up slightly, imagination no doubt running wild with theories that Dolly had come from another dimension or a magical realm or some such muck. Time to change the subject before Sienna could say something silly. “When are they saying you’ll be up and about again?”

    “Very soon,” said Dolly. “The nice lady said that I was probably all right, but that they were waiting for a doctor from the big hospital to come over and give me a check-up before they discharged me.”

    Lemon smiled. “Well, if things go all right, we ought to take you out to dinner. What do you think, Sienna?”

    “Fine with me,” said Sienna. “As long as we make sure we get some practice time in this afternoon. My training will pay off for sure this time, I know it. Clair will be begging me for forgiveness this time tomorrow—”

    “Um...” Both Lemon and Sienna turned to look at Dolly. “You said you were pokémon trainers, right?” she said.

    “Oh—yes,” said Lemon, blinking. “Er, why do you ask?”

    Dolly looked a little nervous, glancing furtively around the room as if worried that someone might be listening. “I... I wanted to ask you something. It’s kind of important, I guess, and I... was hoping that maybe you could help me with it.”

    Sienna frowned. “What is it?”

    “I—”

    But before she could finish her sentence, the door opened. “Sorry,” said the newcomer, a harried-looking man in a doctor’s coat, carrying a clipboard and a steaming cup of coffee. “Don’t want to interrupt—they called me over to do a check-up on her—have to ask you to leave for a while.” He rubbed at his eyes, stifling a yawn with his other hand. “Shouldn’t take too long.”

    “Oh—all right,” said Lemon. Dolly did say a doctor would be coming by. “What was it you were going to say, Dolly?”

    Dolly looked quite startled. “I—not right now. I’ll tell you later,” she said.

    Lemon shrugged, and patted her gently on the arm as she stood to leave. “All right, then. We had probably better get going anyway. We’ll see you later. I hope your check-up goes well.”

    “Er, yeah. Bye, I guess,” added Sienna, sounding a little thrown off and with a slight frown on her face, but she followed Lemon as they left the room and headed back down the hallway that they had entered from.

    Sienna was still frowning when they reached the lobby. “What is it?” asked Lemon.

    “Nothing,” said Sienna. “I think. She had a funny look on her face when we left, though. I wonder what it was she wanted to say...”

    “We’ll have a chance to see her later,” Lemon said, hiking her satchel further up on her shoulders as they exited the sliding doors. “She’ll have a chance to tell us then. In any case... why don’t we grab a quick lunch, and then head out to Route 45 for a while? If you can’t challenge the gym today, you might as well get some more practice in.”

    “Mm. I guess so.” Sienna nodded, still looking a little distant. “Yeah, why not.” She gave Lemon a sideways glance, one eyebrow raised. “But if we’re eating out, you’re paying for it.”

    Lemon grinned, and took her friend by the shoulders as they headed down the street. “Now that’s more like it. Come along, now. Today’s going to be a great day, I can tell already.”

    And then the Pokémon Center blew up.

    Chapter Five up!

  14. #14
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    Ooooo, intriguing. I'm guessing Dolly caused the destruction yet again, and that the doctor was actually the guy hired by Dr. Orange...

    No need to add me to the PM list, I'm on the forums every day, and have this thread subscribed, so I'll know when ya post new stuff


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dresden View Post
    Ooooo, intriguing. I'm guessing Dolly caused the destruction yet again, and that the doctor was actually the guy hired by Dr. Orange...

    No need to add me to the PM list, I'm on the forums every day, and have this thread subscribed, so I'll know when ya post new stuff
    Glad you liked the chapter. Dolly's really quite the little tank. The amount of property damage she'll cause in the entirety of this fic is staggering.

    And—that reminds me, I've been meaning to give your fic a review for quite some time now. I'll have to do that sometime today.

    Chapter Five up!

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    And so the plot thickens... Dr. Orange has called in the professionals to hunt for Dolly, even though I'm getting the hint that even they're unsure of her true motives.

    Looks like Sienna paid the price for oversleeping - something I have a problem with as well (hence why my reviews are always so late).

    Not as much character interaction this time around, but the scenes you did have were well done.

    “Now that’s more like it. Come along, now. Today’s going to be a great day, I can tell already.”

    And then the Pokémon Center blew up.
    There are three reasons why this ending works. First is the clever bit of irony. Second is because, well, it's a cliffhanger. And third, I really like the way you ended the chapter by nonchalantly mentioning that the Center exploded.

    Go ahead and add me to the PM list - because I'm not on here every day...

  17. #17
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    I was advocating the PM list, if you remember. Add me on.

    I think I can safely assume that doctor was in fact the professional Dr. Orange had hired, and when he tried to abduct Dolly he was blown up in her self-defence, which suggests that we won't be hearing much out of him. Of course, there is something strange about the whole matter: it seems strange to me that you would kill him in his second scene on the fiction, without even telling us his name, or that Dr. Orange would even hire a man who would allow himself to be blown so easily, knowing the quarry's capabilities. I think either the professional has something up his sleeve to protect him, or someone he knows--his sister, perhaps--has survived to carry on his case a bit further. His sister hasn't even been recognized in the same hospital yet. We don't know what of her.

    I like the fact that Sienna and Lemon's journey is being neglected in the face of this new plot, and that the fate of Dolly is being given higher precedence than the future of their dealings with the Pokémon League. It makes me wonder how their duties for saving the world will interact with their dreams of becoming Champion. If they're going to far Sinnoh they will hardly be able to challenge the League, of course. I wonder what sort of compulsion will make them leave.

  18. #18
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    Hey, I'm back! So has it been long enough or what? I've been having terrible trouble with this chapter, mixed with a lot of things keeping me busy—first it was finals, then all the stuff I've been doing this summer—but now I'm back, hopefully to stay. Thank you for all your comments in the meantime! It means a lot to me to get feedback As always, any comments and/or constructive criticism you have are highly welcome, and if you'd like to be notified when I post new chapters, please let me know!

    And without further ado, I present Chapter Four of What You Wish For.

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

    Chapter Four

    Lemon could deal with a lot of things. She hadn't gotten that worked up when it took her three tries to earn the Mineralbadge. She'd been relatively calm during the Team Rocket debacle three years ago. And she'd been putting up with Sienna's generalized craziness for the last six years without snapping, which was no mean feat. But then...

    ...then, there were days like this.

    Lemon stared up at the thick black smoke rising from the vicinity of the Pokemon Center a block away, transfixed by the sight. A piece of charred roof tile landed a meter away, and she barely blinked. She was still trying to figure out exactly what she ought to be doing when Sienna dropped the backpack she'd been wearing into her hands.

    "I'm going to go help," said Sienna, unhooking a pokeball from her belt.

    "What—no, are you crazy?" Lemon blurted out, dropping the bag. Oh God, oh God, she had that determined look in her eye, and that always meant the beginning of trouble... "You're going to get yourself killed, it's dangerous! Sienna, stop being an idiot!" This always happened. This always happened. Sienna always had to be the hero, dammit, regardless of safety or sanity. At this rate Sienna wasn't going to live to see twenty—and Lemon probably wasn't either, from the stress induced by her friend's antics. Good heavens.

    "I'm closer than the fire department, and I'm here. I can help. I'm going." Sienna turned, not in the least bit deterred, and jogged off in the direction of the still-smouldering Center.

    Lemon watched her leave, mouth hanging open—and then shook her head, and rummaged in her pockets for her phone. She might not be suicidally brave, but she could at the very least call Emergency. Cursing under her breath, she waited for the operator to pick up, and hoped that Sienna knew what she was doing.

    ***

    Pokémon Centers were made to be sturdy. Someone had cleverly realized a long time ago that a place that drew a lot of injured and frightened pokémon would probably need to withstand fires, floods, earthquakes, scratches, acid, freezing and all manner of other unusual damage. In short, very little outside of the explosion of a nuclear warhead in the vicinity could put a scratch on one.

    The Blackthorn Pokémon Center, which had been in excellent repair not ten minutes ago, was in ruins.

    A lot of the roof was either gone or crumbling, and had the walls not been specially reinforced, they would have been falling in already. Parts of the building were on fire.

    What happened here?

    Sienna stared up at it for a moment before remembering that, ah, yes, she was here to help and not just gawk. Some people had gotten a window clear and were getting out that way, older trainers helping the young ones through to safety, but there had been a lot of people inside. And something caught her eye—the wall on that side was beginning to buckle.

    “Poli, go!” she yelled, flinging the pokéball in her hand. A poliwhirl materialized instantly in a burst of red light, shaking his head at the sudden sunlight—he’d last been out in the nighttime. But there was no time to spare.

    “Poli, I need your help,” she said—with more than a hint of urgency, since the wall was looking dangerously unstable... “Uh, we need to hold that wall together somehow, maybe if we use your strength—” But that wouldn’t work, would it? They couldn't push from the outside, and they couldn't get inside fast enough—

    The poliwhirl considered the scene for a moment—and then froze over the wall with an ice beam, causing the older trainers nearby to jump in surprise, but they recovered quickly and gave her a wave. "Warn us next time!" one of them said, a tall girl in a baseball cap, but gave Sienna a weary smile. "D'you think you could help get some of the other ways clear? We could probably get more people out through the door if—"

    Sienna blinked. “Ah, sure,” she said, waving back, and then glanced at Poli. “Uh—well, that works. Good job, mate,” she added, in his direction. It was a very clever solution—which she ought to have been able to come up with herself. Then again, her pokémon did outsmart her on a regular basis, so it was nothing new.

    But this Sienna knew how to handle—brute force was her specialty. She grinned. “All right!” she yelled. “Let’s punch through that rubble!”

    Not for the first time was Sienna reminded of how much she wished she had the money for a Water Stone, but she’d already blown a lot of money on Leaf and Fire stones for Niney and Oddball to evolve. Still, though, Poli had pretty good strength for his size, and soon enough they ran into some trainers from the other side who’d been working on getting out themselves.

    From there on it was quick work. There were a lot of people with injuries ranging from stubbed toes to broken limbs, but the nurses that had been on duty were handling them.

    It was as she was returning Poli to his pokéball for a rest that it occurred to her who she hadn't seen among the crowd: Dolly.

    She dashed back outside, looking at the group of trainers and center staff huddled a safe distance away. Some of the doctors and nurses were standing there, but she didn't see the one that had been with Dolly. She definitely wasn't there—she was pretty distinctive, after all. And not inside the building, either...

    She ducked back inside. Maybe they'd missed a spot in looking. There were a lot of places a small girl like that could be hidden in the Pokémon Center's ruins, after all. Peering into the back hallway from the lobby, she wondered if she ought to try looking back there—

    There was a cracking noise overhead, and Sienna belatedly registered that a section of the ceiling was about to fall on her.

    Then something slammed into her from the side, knocking her to the floor a few meters away. "Honestly, are you some kind of idiot?" a familiar voice chastised, as a large hunk of ceiling thudded to the ground in the same place she'd just been standing. "Walking around in here all by yourself, you know it's dangerous—"

    "Lemon?" Sienna said, blankly—it was Lemon who was picking herself up off the floor next to her, neatly brushing dust off her skirt. Her magneton floated over their heads, a screen of reflective energy emanating from its three terminals directed at the ceiling to catch falling debris. "What are you doing here?"

    "I came to check on you, of course," she grumbled. "It didn't take long to call Emergency, and I figured you'd find some way to get into trouble. Looks like I got here just in time. What were you doing in here, anyway?"

    Sienna sat up, wincing—although she appreciated the save, she would have been a little more grateful if Lemon hadn't knocked her head into the floor. "Looking for Dolly," she said. "She's not outside."

    Lemon's eyes widened. "Well—I'll come along. Let's make it fast, though."

    Sienna spared a cautious glance toward the ceiling. "Yeah," she said. "I think we'd better."

    ***

    It wasn’t very hard to find Dolly. In fact, she was right where they’d left her minutes ago, standing in the very center of the room. Well, if it could even be called a room anymore—the ceiling was completely gone, and the walls looked as if they'd had a wrecking ball taken to them. One was even completely demolished, leaning over into the next room. Dolly herself was standing stock-still, looking down at her hands with a look of mixed bewilderment and horror. And—oddly enough—there didn't seem to be even a scratch on her.

    She looked up as they came through the door, visibly relaxing as she saw them enter. “You’re all right,” she said.

    “We’re just glad to see that you’re all right—we ought to get you out of here,” said Lemon, taking her by the shoulders. “It’s dangerous here, the building's very unstable, you know—”

    Dolly turned away and mumbled something. “What was that?” asked Sienna.

    “...’s all my fault...”

    Sienna frowned. “Why would it be your fault?” she asked. “Look, it was probably just an accident, that’s all—”

    Dolly raised a shaking finger, pointing at something in the rubble across the room. “He was g-going to t-t-take me back, and I was s-s-scared, and I d-didn’t want t-to hurt him but I c-couldn’t go b-b-back, not n-now, and then b-bad things happened, and it’s all my fault, I’m so sorry—”

    “Hush, sweetie, slow down—everything’s going to be all right,” Lemon began, but Sienna held up a finger.

    “Hang on a second, who—” She could make out some vague features under the pile of debris that Dolly had pointed at... She dashed over, pulling at stone and drywall and wood. Underneath, unconscious (she hoped) was the doctor from earlier. “He was going to—” She jabbed a finger in the direction of the sleeping man. “He tried to kidnap you? Why?”

    Dolly froze, looking like a deer in the headlights. “I... I don’t know,” she stammered. “H-he’s not a real d-doctor, though.”

    “Where did he want to take you?”

    “I—”

    “Sienna, that’s enough!” Lemon cut in, shooting her a nasty glare. “Don’t you think this is a bit much for right now? We’ve got to get out of here! Please stop and think for a moment—can’t we continue this conversation when we’ve all calmed down a bit?”

    Sienna blinked. “I—er, I wasn’t thinking. Sorry,” she said. “We should probably go join that group that’s forming out in the front. See if there’s anything else we can do—”

    “No.”

    Both Sienna and Lemon turned to face Dolly, who was staring into space. “We must leave,” Dolly continued, in an oddly formal tone, “or it will be disaster. Hurry. Danger comes, and time grows short.” Then she blinked, and shivered slightly. “We... I can’t go back. I can’t be seen. Not now.”

    Sienna gave her an appraising glance. “You know what's going on here.”

    Dolly paused. “Yes,” she said, at last. "Mostly, anyway."

    “Can you tell us?”

    “Not here. Not now.”

    Lemon looked back and forth between the both of them. “Er,” she said. “Would anyone mind explaining to me what exactly is going on here? I seem to be a bit lost.”

    Sienna ignored her for the moment. “We might be able to help you,” she said, cautiously. It was really very funny that this was probably what she would have wished for a half-hour ago—adventure, excitement, a quest—but yet somehow she was feeling more apprehensive than happy. “But once we’re safe, I want to know everything. And you’ll tell us. Got it?”

    Dolly considered this—and then nodded. “Thank you,” she said.

    “Don’t mention it,” said Sienna. She frowned. “Unless, of course, this gets us into real trouble. Then feel free to mention it as often as possible, all right?”

    “Uh—okay.”

    “Uh, Sienna?” asked Lemon. “Would you mind explaining to me what exactly is going on here?”

    Sienna shrugged. “I have no idea,” she said.

    ***

    "Dodger! Dodger, where are you?"

    The long-haired girl picked her way through the rubble—most of the people had collected on the other side of the building, but she was pretty sure her brother wouldn't be there, if she had correctly guessed the cause of the explosion. If something had happened to him—

    Well, she wasn’t one to frown on violence in general—it would be a bad trait in her line of work. And if Cady had sent them on a dangerous fool's errand, there would be hell to pay, even if she had done them a favor once upon a time.

    He would have been near the back, in one of the rooms near the corner... well, what was left of them, now. "Dodger? Dodger, can you hear me?"

    Her breath caught in her throat. If something really had happened to him—

    But then, ahead, something in the rubble shifted. And, above the piles of debris—a hand and the sleeve of a doctor’s coat.

    “Dodger!” she cried, and dashed over, hurdling stone and ceiling tile and drywalling. He’s alive, he’s alive— She dug through the debris that covered his lower half as fast as she could, and then pulled him into a tight hug.

    He winced, and groaned. "Augh. Hi, Alice. Watch the broken ribs."

    Alice stood, and placed her hands on her hips, giving him a stern look. "I thought I told you to be careful. And to take that ching-a-ling thing you got when you were in Hoenn. The one that knows Protect." She tugged gingerly on his arm, helping him sit up and propping him up against a pile of roof tile and sheet rock bits. "What happened?"

    Dodger sighed. "I was. And I did." Wincing slightly, he reached into the front pocket of his filched doctor's coat, pulling out something tassel-shaped—which was followed by the limp, bell-shaped body of an unconscious chingling. "Ouch. Sorry, girl."

    Alice stared. "I thought you'd been training that thing for months to block nearly anything."

    "I was—" He winced again, putting a hand to his head. "Nngh. She took the full brunt of the attack, which is probably why I’m still alive, but—agh. I don't think Cady told us everything. God damn."

    There was the growing sound of sirens. Alice looked up, taking stock of the situation, and frowned. "Think you can walk far enough to get us out of here?"

    He nodded, looking a little on the groggy side. Probably meant a concussion. Damn. "I think we'd better," he managed. "I might need help."

    "Yes, well, that's a given," said Alice, slipping an arm under his shoulders, and helping him to his feet. "And I think after this, I'm going to be giving Cady a call... and she is not going to enjoy it."
    Last edited by Verity; 14th September 2008 at 8:52 PM.

    Chapter Five up!

  19. #19
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    Ok... now i fell totally ashamed...

    I thought i had reviewed this already... i guess i was so eager in waiting for chapter four (read the first three already) and all the other reviews i've been pouring out that i must have lost track... damn it

    my apology will be complete with a full blown review!

    On da house!

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  20. #20
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    Lemon could deal with a lot of things. She hadn't gotten that worked up when it took her three tries to earn the Mineralbadge. She'd been relatively calm during the Team Rocket debacle three years ago. And she'd been putting up with Sienna's generalized craziness for the last six years without snapping, which was no mean feat. But then...

    ...then, there were days like this.
    Epic. Quite so much that I felt like quoting it, me in my old age.

    I haven't ever seen a chingling in Hoenn; I rather thought the pokémon appeared first in Sinnoh. Then again, I've constantly abused pokémon encounter locations in my own fics.

    So thus are my ideas about 'Dodger' resolved. Is Dolly getting out of her good doctor's hands? Dodger survived, which was more than I expected, but clearly a being powerful enough to damage through a Protect move will need more than a single good trainer to subdue. It interests me how instinctual Dolly's powers are, dividing her mind into one small frightened conscious core and a shield made of reflex actions. It raises such questions as if the powers themselves are voluntary, exactly how their existence has affected her, whether her abilities distinguish between friend and foe, thereon.

    I will enjoy the talk with Cady. Not only for the potential damage, but to find out exactly what she was thinking in as well.

  21. #21
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    Happy hols, everyone!

    Took me long enough, huh? This chapter—*facepalm* I meant to have it up back in September, before school started. See how well that worked. But it's here now! And I'm hoping to be a bit quicker on getting the next chapter up, at the very least. If you'd like to be notified about future updates, don't hesitate to ask about being added to the PM list!

    As always, comments and criticism welcome and encouraged. Thanks for sticking with me!

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

    Chapter Five

    The hike to the city's outskirts was uncomfortable and nerve-wracking. Sienna found herself jumping at every unexpected noise, double-checking every shadow and looking over her shoulder every few seconds. Even Lemon was on edge, starting at a murder of murkrow flying overhead. Mercifully, though, the streets were near-empty—most people that had been out and about had likely gone to find out what had happened at the Pokémon Center, and so there was no one to notice two teenage trainers escorting a girl in a hospital gown through the city.

    Sienna and Lemon had found a convenient copse of trees not far from the city limits a few weeks ago while training that they occasionally used as a base; it was there that they headed now, for quiet and privacy. Glancing once more behind their little group to make sure they hadn't been followed, Sienna finally turned to Dolly.

    "So. Who are you and what is going on here?"

    Dolly bit her lip and looked down at the ground. "Er... it's a long story?"

    Sienna looked at her watch, and then back at Dolly, raising an eyebrow. "I think we have time."

    "I as well would like to have a better idea of what just happened," Lemon volunteered. "If you're willing to tell us, that is."

    "Lemon! That's not the way to interrogate someone!"

    "Well, excuse me for having a good upbringing. With manners."

    Dolly sighed—but then nodded. "All right, then. I'll do my best—but you have to believe me, okay?"

    Sienna rubbed her temples. "Believe me," she said. "After the last twelve hours, I can believe a great many things. I just... I just want to know what's going on."

    "Okay," said Dolly. "Um... I'm not sure where to start," she said. "I guess... well..." She folded her arms behind her head. "I guess a good place to start would be a year and a half ago. That was when I was born, after all."


    #


    Della Aubergine was poring over the transcriptions from the last few days' security camera recordings when the phone rang. She picked it up.

    "Della Aubergine speaking—"

    "What the hell, Cady?! What the helling hell? What were you thinking—"

    Ah. "Hello, Miss Blue," said Della, wearily. "I'll put her on. Just a moment, please." She covered the receiver with a hand and waved to Dr. Orange, who was sitting across the room. "It's Alice Blue for you, Doctor." She glanced down at the phone. The video feed light was blinking. "Should I put her on-screen?"

    "Oh, sure," said the doctor, distractedly, looking up from her own work, and swiveled around in her chair to face the video screen as Della transferred the feed.

    "—could have warned us, Cady—oh, there you are, finally," Blue continued, seeming not to have noticed that Cady hadn't been on the line. Or maybe just not caring. "We found your little monster, all right. She blew up the goddamn Pokémon Center!"

    Dr. Orange sighed. "I did tell you that you have to handle her carefully—wait, did you just say that she blew up the Pokémon Center?"

    "With my brother in it!" Blue barked, her scowl filling the whole screen. "He's lucky he survived." She folded her arms across her chest. "We're quitting. Go find some other poor sap to do your dirty work. Or get your hands dirty yourself, for once."

    "But—but you're the best," Cady argued. "There's no way I could... Look—if it's full disclosure you want, fine. I can do that. But there's no one else I can depend on, Alice. You and Dodger—"

    "No damn way," said Blue. "Look, Cady, you've helped us out in the past, but Dodger—"

    "Anything," said the doctor, quickly, so fast that her voice rose in pitch to a squeak. "Anything. I'll pay your rent. I'll get you a better apartment! Hell, I'll set you and yours up for life. Just... just bring her back."

    Della looked up from her stack of papers and looked over at the doctor—and stared for a moment. Dr. Orange's hands, though clenched into fists, were shaking.

    "I—" Blue hesitated. "I'll have to talk to Dodger," she said, finally. "He can't move much, you see, because as it happens most of his ribs are broken, his arms and legs are fractured and he has a bad concussion." The last part was said with more than a little distaste. "And I don't work without him."

    Dr. Orange gestured wildly. "We have very advanced medical facilities here. Hospital-grade," she said. "Probably better, actually. You can use them all you like! Just—please."

    And, to Della's surprise, Blue's expression softened. The woman bit her lip. "I'll ask him," she said. "Can't guarantee anything, but I'll let you know when we've decided." The video feed winked out, and the connection dropped.

    It was then that Dr. Orange let her shoulders sag, letting out a sigh of relief. "Phew," she said, rubbing the bridge of her nose. "Good heavens." She clasped her hands behind her back. "I had a feeling she'd come around. But..." Her eyes suddenly lit up. "Such power! This is all kinds of awesome! I mean, we knew she could manage feats of this level, but this—! Oh, if only we'd had a little more time—who knows what we could have achieved? Well..." She sighed. "I'd better get busy. Aubergine?"

    Della looked over, startled. She set her paperwork aside. "Yes, ma'am? Should I prep the medical team and let them know we'll have someone coming in?"

    "Ah—yes, do that. You are so good at thinking ahead." Dr. Orange glanced sideways at Della. "I was going to ask, though—how would you feel about a promotion?"

    Della blinked. "A... a promotion? Me? Well, I..."

    "Wonderful!" The doctor grinned. "As things happen, I have to take a sudden and unexpected trip. I was hoping to be able to put you in charge. I'm sure you can handle it. It'll only be for a week or so, after all."

    "A... a week?" Della mentally counted days in her head, and they were adding up to trouble—"Doctor, the inspection is in a week—"

    "Ah, but what am I standing around here for? Time is of the essence. I must be packing. I'll rely on you, Aubergine!" And with that she slid out the door before Della could say another word.

    "Well," Della said to herself, sitting back in her chair. "What now?"


    #


    "A... year. And a half," Lemon repeated, blankly. "That's—that's not even possible!"

    "Look, I..." Dolly began, and then shook her head. "I don't know much about how things work, but I did pick up that usually I'm impossible." She cast her eyes up to the sky, a plaintive expression on her face. "How do I explain this?" She bit her lip, frowning. "This probably isn't the best way to do this, but..." She turned around, abruptly, facing away from them. "Think of a number," she said.

    Lemon and Sienna looked at each other. Lemon raised a hand. "Er, I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what this has to do with—"

    "Just... humor me for a minute, all right?" said Dolly, tersely, without turning around.

    "Ah—all right," said Lemon. "Uh..."

    "Fifteen."

    Lemon sat up sharply. "What did you say?"

    "Fifteen. You were thinking of the number fifteen." She paused, and pointed at Sienna. "You're thinking of forty-two."

    "Wha—how did you do that?" asked Sienna, blinking. "That totally was what I was thinking—okay, how about now?"

    "One hundred twelve."

    "Now?"

    "Five hundred thousand, six ninety-two and three quarters—"

    "Hang on a second!" Lemon cut in. "What is going on here?"

    Dolly shifted on her feet, tucking her arms behind her head before turning around. "Um... well, I guess you could say... I'm psychic. Loosely."

    "And there's people after you because you escaped from their secret facility for psychics?" Sienna blurted out, excitedly.

    "Sienna!" Lemon rolled her eyes. "Don't be ridiculous—"

    "How did you know?" Dolly cut in, before Lemon could finish. Her eyes were wide.

    "You—" Lemon gaped. "You have got to be kidding me. Sienna, this isn't one of your stupid sci-fi shows or whatever—"

    Sienna flatly ignored her, looking at Dolly with an expression of dawning awe—and more than a bit of glee. "So—wait, seriously?"

    Dolly sighed, rubbing her temples, and looked at Sienna. "Well—short answer is yes, pretty much. Long answer... you were nearly right. The place I came from... the place where I was created, I guess you could say—there was, as far as I could tell, some secretive initiative to create... beings like me."

    She looked down at her feet. "I'm not... I am, for the most part, like the two of you, genetics-wise," she said. "Mostly. But, the thing is, I'm also a lot like... like, say, an alakazam. Or a kirlia. Something like that."

    Lemon stared. "What."

    "Look, I know it sounds weird," said Dolly, hastily. "That's just the way they explained it to me." She shrugged, her face blank. "So, that's me, Dolly the lab experiment."

    Sienna sat back on her makeshift stool. "So... the fake doctor—"

    Dolly shook her head. "I don't know him—but I know who sent him." She shuffled her feet again. "I... kind of lied. A bit. About what I remember." She sighed. "The place where I came from... isn't too far from here. Basically..."

    She looked sheepish. "I kind of ran away. And, well, I—I can only presume that they want me back at the laboratory." She looked desperately at Sienna and Lemon, casting her glance back and forth. "I really didn't want to hurt anyone! I didn't! I was scared, and then everything just—"

    Sienna gaped. "You blew up the Pokémon Center."

    Lemon looked sideways at her. "That's impossible—"

    Dolly shuffled her feet. "Er. I didn't really mean to, if that helps."

    "I—" Lemon stared at her for a moment, holding up a finger, and then slumped down. "You know, I am at a loss for words. This... this, I think, may be a little too much for me." What was this, anyway? Everything had been so normal yesterday, and now it was like she was in one of Sienna's adventure paperbacks. Psychics and explosions and secret laboratories... which was all fine and dandy in fiction, but in real life? Seriously? This wasn't supposed to be happening!

    Sienna, of course, was more eager. "So where are you planning to go now?" she asked, practically bouncing in her seat.

    "I have—" Dolly looked down at her feet. "I have someplace I have to go. Soon. But I don't know how to get there."

    Sienna cocked her head to one side. "What, are you meeting someone?"

    "I don't know. I'm not sure. All I know is that I have to be at a place called Mount Coronet in Sinnoh, in—" A momentary pause, "—a week and two days, and it's very important."

    Both Lemon and Sienna looked up at that, and then at each other. There was something in the way she said it, Lemon reflected. Something... heavy. Something that said that this was only the very tip of the iceberg.

    Pushing down the feeling of dread coiling in her stomach, Lemon cleared her throat. "Er—"

    Sienna blurted it out before Lemon could stop her. "We'll take you!"

    "Sienna!" Lemon cut in. "Sinnoh? You can't be serious! What about getting your badge? What about the league tournament that you've been talking my ear off about for months?!"

    "Oh, come on, Lemon, don't be a spoilsport," said Sienna, cheerfully, clapping Lemon around the shoulders. "This sounds like grade-A adventure! The tournament is every year. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Plus, we're helping people! You love helping people!"

    Lemon brushed her away. "Don't make me regret it. Sienna, my mother will kill me. And some of us who are qualified for the tournament would like to get to go!"

    "What, suddenly the tournament's so important to you now?"

    "Well—" Lemon looked down at her feet, a little guiltily. "I found out who I'm against in the first round this morning. Remember Slate Grey, from Olivine?"

    "Er, no." Sienna frowned. "Should I? Was he cute?"

    "He was the one who defeated me by the tiniest of margins and then had the gall to be patronizing afterward!"

    Sienna stared at her for a moment—and then burst out laughing. "That's why you don't want to, haha, save the world? You want to make sure you're back in time to get revenge on a guy who probably doesn't even remember your name? And you call me childish! Oh, this is priceless."

    "You would do the same," Lemon huffed.

    "News flash," said Sienna. "I've gotten owned in battle, what, how many times? About a zillion? After a while you stop taking it personally, Princess."

    "I thought you were going to stop calling me that!"

    "I said I would when you stopped acting like one!"

    Lemon reddened. "Well, maybe I want to pursue some things that I want to do! Because I'm qualified, and haven't been trying to get past Clair for a month! Just because you want to go off chasing some wild destiny that may or may not exist—"

    "Oh, you want to talk selfish? Look, this is really important to Dolly—"

    "You're delusional!"

    "And you're a coward!" Sienna shouted back, causing some murkrow roosting in the trees to flap away indignantly at their peace being disturbed. She lowered her voice. "I thought you were telling me just last week that it was perfectly okay to not go to the tournament ASAP, and that if I had to wait another year it was just fine—"

    "Stop it!" Dolly cut in—and then immediately dropped her gaze to her feet. "I don't want to cause trouble. I'll just get there on my own, I guess, I'll be okay..."

    Sienna and Lemon looked at each other—and Sienna sighed, and held out a hand. "Sorry. I got a little angry. Forgive me? We can talk this out like intelligent people."

    "Thanks," said Lemon, and took the offered hand. "And for what it's worth, I'm sorry too."

    For a moment, no one said anything, and an awkward silence enveloped the clearing. And then Lemon's phone beeped.

    "Aha! That was my phone! Er, well, I guess I'd better see who called me," she said, with a manic edge to her voice; she fumbled in her pockets for the device. "Um—"

    And stopped dead as she saw whose number it was. "That can't be—oh my God!"

    "What?" asked Sienna, frowning.

    "It's—well, a friend of mine called, but last I heard she was—well, just let me see if she left a message, and I'll tell you—" She quickly punched in her voicemail password, her heart pounding in her chest, and listened intently.

    The message was only thirty seconds long. When it ended, Lemon replayed it just to make sure she'd heard everything correctly. And then she shut the phone with a snap and put it back in her pocket before turning to face Sienna and Dolly.

    "I just got a call from an old friend of mine," she said, slowly. "Name of Fontaine Bleau. I haven't heard from her in four years because she's been in Hoenn."

    Sienna's eyes grew wide. "What—seriously? Who goes to Hoenn?"

    "Her mother... was a news reporter. You might have heard of her—Gabrielle Bleau?"

    "Yeah, I—" Sienna went white as a sheet. "The one who died last year—"

    Lemon winced. "Yeah. That one." She sighed. "Anyway... well, since the war ended, the Team Aqua blockade cleared out and so—well, I know I'd want a change of scenery. Fontaine was calling because she'll be stopping in Olivine port... on her way to Sinnoh." Lemon closed her eyes. "So... well, God damn it, Sienna, you win. It's adventure time."

    "Really?" A grin was slowly spreading on Sienna's face. "Lemon, did I ever mention that you're the best?"

    "Hmph." Lemon crossed her arms. "You owe me. Don't forget it."

    Dolly blinked up at her, with her wide, unsettling eyes. "Um... thank you," she said.

    Lemon gave her a weak half-smile. "Truth be told, I would have done it anyway. You look like a kid who could use a friend." She shrugged, tipping her head Sienna's direction. "We can try and get back before the tournament starts, right? It's still over a month to go."

    She sighed, resting her elbows on her knees. "In any case..." Lemon felt the beginnings of a headache coming on. What had she gotten herself into? "What do you think's the fastest way to get there?"

    Sienna leaned back against a tree. "Dunno. Fly?"

    "Two hundred miles... at... forty miles per..." Lemon looked at her watch, doing the math in her head. "I think we'll make it. It'll be five hours in flight, but we'll make it." She looked sideways at Sienna. "Are you sure?" she asked.

    Sienna sighed. "Honestly—" She looked up at the sky. "I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't even know what we're up against here, or what's at stake..."

    She glanced back at Lemon—and grinned. "And I've been waiting my whole life for something like this to happen to me. Come on!" Sienna said. "This is going to be awesome."

    Lemon tucked a strand of wavy blonde hair behind her ear. "My mom's going to kill me, though, if she hears I'm going to Sinnoh without her permission."

    Sienna put an arm around her shoulders. "Then I guess we're going to have to make sure she never finds out," she said. "Dolly, you've got yourself a ride, provided we can make it to Olivine City before tomorrow morning."

    "Thank you so much," said Dolly, meekly. "I know you don't really know me—"

    "Eh, come on," said Sienna, putting a hand on her shoulder. "I don't know you that well—but I'm going to, right?" She looked up at the sky. "And now it's getting on in the day—and we'd better get going if we want to catch your friend in Olivine, Lemon." She frowned. "That, and it's probably better to not be around here in the near future."

    Lemon gave a nervous glance over her shoulder, into the deep woods. "Mm," she said, and reached for her skarmory’s pokeball. "Well, here goes nothing."

    Chapter Five up!

  22. #22
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    Finally! You took your time!

    LOL...

    so the plot thickens... can the heroines deliver Dolly safely to Sinnoh in nine days? Something tels me Doc Orange and co. wont be that eager to let her.

    No grammar errors, and a concrete plot line equals the best chapter in this fic to date!

    Gotta run... catch ya L@er!
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  23. #23
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    Fear my extremely late review of doom. I didn't have internet over the holiday.

    Wow... It's been awhile XD I had to skim the entire story again before reading the latest chapter.

    I like the distinct plot that's developing here. After getting a taste of Dolly's backstory in thi chapter, I'm curious to find out the complete story behind her existence - how she was infused with her abilities, what Dr. Orange hopes to achieve with creating Dolly, and the full extent of those powers. Welll, maybe not that last one - after all, she did do a number on that Pokemon Center.

    This is pure speculation, but I can't help but think that the doctor's sudden departure and Dolly's meeting in Sinnoh are somehow connected. Maybe it's just me, but the timing of these events seems to suggest that these two events are intertwined. I'm also wondering what Della's going to do regarding the situation at hand now that she's the interim head of the operation.

    Yay for more Lemon and Sienna arguments. I like the duo - their differing personalities keep things interesting, and give two very different perspectives on situations that come up. So now the three will be earning their Pokemon frequent flyer miles as they detour to Sinnoh, perhaps unraveling more of the mystery behind Dolly in the process.

    The intriguing plot is helped even more by your writing style, which is not only descriptive, but also has a way of drawing in the reader. I can't put my finger on exactly what makes it work, but it really engages the reader into the story. Now, the next question is, will the flight to Sinnoh be smooth sailing, or will there be turbulence?

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