Again, never really thought of Mudkip as being female, but it worked, and really well, too. I can see how well she goes with that line of work. And the Diglett's sneakiness is epic. Demon indeed. Excellent job as usual ^_^
Again, never really thought of Mudkip as being female, but it worked, and really well, too. I can see how well she goes with that line of work. And the Diglett's sneakiness is epic. Demon indeed. Excellent job as usual ^_^
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ROFL! so funnySnarling, she turned to Demon. “<Not a chance, jerk!>” She shot him with her Water Gun attack.
R.I.P Dusk i miss you
@solovino: Hey, you're welcome. I put Scyther on the list. This thread pretty much thrives on requests. I keep some ideas for extended stories, but the main ones I'm looking at are Shedinja and Gallade/Gengar. And I tend to pick holiday related reserves a month ahead or so.
@eyha: Sure, just send the story to me for approval. And my Pokemon picks are all in the lists that show up before each entry.
@Missingno Master: Yeah, your post showed up right as I was editting and formatting this :P.
I went with Shaymin. Also, realized that I haven't done Dragonite (d'oh), but I did do Salamence. That kind of thing is why I keep a list.
Another guest entry coming up, this time the second from darkdragontamer. Again, a well-done entry with one used in a way I didn't expect. And my entry is about as odd as the two Pokemon in it.
Guest entry: darkdragontamer with Absol/Lucario/Kadabra
In Process: Beedrill
On Deck: Porygon line, Scyther, Hitmonchan/Baltoy
Reserve: Shaymin (3/17), Glalie/Bellosom (3/20)
Emerald entry: If spotted, it escapes by burrowing with its tail. It can hover just slightly using its wings.
Emerald entry: A Qwilfish uses the pressure of water it swallows to shoot toxic quills all at once from all over its body. It finds swimming to be somewhat challenging.
At a secretive-business-like-location-but-most-likely-Japan, there was a building that served as the development lab for Game Freak. It is a unique place in this world, where ultra-hidden gateway portals allowed Pokemon to cross into reality in order to help programmers develop their games. Any who would dare to take a peek at a real live Pokemon would be in for a nasty shock, though. The development lab had defense systems that made military bases green with envy and background checks that would make the FBI blush. And with oaths that made the workers swear lifelong loyalty to the company or else be damned to designing and playing party games for the rest of eternity, the portals were kept under utmost secrecy.
It was a bustling time for the lab and the Pokemon who visited. Work on the fourth generation of games was in full swing. Some didn’t need to worry; Pikachu could rest on his laurels, knowing full well that he would get some nice place within the games. Others weren’t too sure about development on ‘new mechanics’; it looked to shift how nearly everyone was used or not used. New Pokemon were always a worry, as it made unknown rivals and adversaries.
But the biggest announcement had to be that many older Pokemon were getting the chance to gain new evolutions and abilities. This caused some to worry and hope a great deal. Many of them were virtually ignored as they couldn’t handle the top tier battlers. They didn’t stand a chance against such Pokemon as Skarmory, Blissey, and Milotic. But new forms and new powers could even the odds, perhaps even giving a forgotten member a chance to shine.
One of those hopefuls was finding the biggest obstacle to be the stairs. He had an awkward shape: rounded body with poisonous quills and a oval tail fin that flopped uselessly as he forced himself up the stairs. In order to do so, he rocked himself a bit backwards, then pushed forwards and up with all his might. This was his fourth attempt at climbing the stairs. The previous three times, he would miss a jump and bounce all the way back down the stairs.
He cussed on his trips down and grumbled on his trips up. “Darn stupid rules saying that all Pokemon must use the stairs instead of the elevator. Sure, it’s no problem if you’ve got feet, but what about us fish? Not to mention how chapped my gills are getting from being out of water. Man, I ought to go to school and study law. Then I’ll sue for unnecessary hardships and unfair employment.”
“Wouldn’t that be eating the hand that feeds you?” a female voice said from behind him.
“What would you know..?” he started to snap, but then saw the speaker. “Oh, sorry Dunsparce. Didn’t hear you come up.”
“It’s no problem, Qwilfish,” she replied. She was designed as oddly as he was. She was too fat to be a snake, but had no legs. She had a head like a spearhead, but a tail with a conical drill so she could slither forwards or drill backwards. And she had two tiny white wings that were almost like a cherub’s, except that nobody could mistake Dunsparce for a chubby baby.
“And I think that it’s ‘biting the hand that feeds you’, not eating it. I know it’d be a pointless suit to make, but I just get frustrated. Still, it might be neat to become a lawyer. I’d get more attention by doing that then continuing on with these games. We’ve never played an important role.”
Dunsparce had some problems with the stairs too, but she managed to slither up them easier then he was hopping. She slowed so they could keep talking. “We did in that Colosseum game.”
Qwilfish snorted. “We were cast as Shadow Pokemon, remember? And we still didn’t get much attention. All the players were like ‘let’s get these two purified in a hurry so we can use the better ones’. Bah. Kids ain’t got no respect for the trouble we go through for their entertainment.”
“At least they had to pay attention to us. I heard that in Gale of Darkness, some Pokemon just got stuck in the Purifying Machine, not even to be considered again. They had to experiment with us manually in order to figure out how to turn us back to normal.”
“I still don’t like it.”
The door up ahead burst open as a dark blue Pokemon entered the stairway. Sneasel jumped onto the railing and slid down past his two peers. “Haha, I got it! Later, losers!” At the bottom, he bounded away towards the main portal.
Qwilfish snarled. “Jerk. Just because he’s based on a weasel doesn’t mean he has to be one.”
Dunsparce raised her head, looking over the last few steps. “Want me to carry you up the rest of the way?”
“Can you manage without poisoning yourself again?”
“I’ll be careful.”
Beating her small wings into a blur, she lifted herself into the air. Delicately, she took hold of his tail fin and carried him up to the next floor. She put him down, then landed with as much grace as she could manage with her awkward body. Which is to say, not much grace at all, just plopping down onto the concrete surface.
Qwilfish hopped around to face her. “Thanks. And you’re getting better with the hovering bit.”
Pleased, she shook her drill tail. “I’ve been working on it; thanks for noticing.”
One of the human employees opened the door. “Qwilfish and Dunsparce. Here for your review?”
“No, Mr. Rocket Scientist, we’re here for the free donuts,” Qwilfish retorted. “Duh, of course we’re here for that.”
He smiled slightly. “Okay, then wait outside the interview room. They’re interviewing Sudowoodo right now.” The worker went back to his work area.
They were now in a large room with many drafting table, cabinets, markerboards, and other tools of the design trade. An automated water fountain was over their heads and next to the closed door to the interview room. Dunsparce looked around. “Do they have donuts? I like the jelly filled ones.”
Qwilfish shook himself. “Hah, Sudowoodo. What’re they going to do with him? He’s a fake tree, for goodness sakes.”
“Well, they have to give everyone the chance to make a case for themselves.”
“Yeah, I know, and we ought to be grateful. What kind of evolution are you looking for?”
She perked her head up. “Me? Well I’m not sure how, but... I thought it would be neat if I could evolve into a kind of holy Godzilla.”
“Well, I’m a reptile, for one, and I’m an angel, for another.” She twitched her white wings. “Look at these wings and deny that I should be an angel.”
“I wouldn’t deny that you’re an angel. A kind of unrealized case that needs something more to prove to disbelievers.”
“So what’re you thinking about suggesting?”
“I’ve been thinking about that a lot. The thing is, I’m already based on the most poisonous fish in the sea.” He rolled his eyes. “And the deadliest delicacy, for that matter. But they did call me a balloon Pokemon. They ought to make a blimp out of me. A big spiky blimp.”
“Spiky blimp, huh?”
“Hey, I think there needs to be more balloons like me. And what better way to do that then to make me an even bigger balloon?” He smacked his lips. “Man, I’m thirsty.” He found a nearby chair and jumped onto that, then jumped onto the automatic fountain.
Dunsparce turned her body around so that she could look up at him. “Be careful up there.”
“I’m fine. I’ve survived bigger falls.” He hopped into the sensor’s range, setting off the water spout. Letting it run over his gills, he sighed in contentment. “Ah, that’s the ticket. Now if only it went a little faster.” He opened his mouth and let the spout hit him.
The snake giggled. “You’re silly.”
Once he had enough water to satisfy his thirst, he jumped back onto the ground. His weight had increased enough so that he hit a bit harder, but his quills were tough. “Hey, a fish has got to do what a fish has got to do.”
She tilted her head, examining the way his quills were fully extended from his internal water pressure. “You sure it was a smart idea to drink until you were armed?”
He turned to the door to see if there was any indication of how long they had to wait. “Hey, it’s no big deal. It’ll soak into my dry parts before long and everything will be...”
The door slammed open, letting out a brown rock Pokemon that looked like a small tree and a tall human in a black suit. “All right then, we’ll...”
Startled by the door, Qwilfish shot out all of his quills and the water he was storing. Sudowoodo yelped and bolted back into the interview room. Also panicking, Dunsparce stuck her tail to the floor and quickly drilled away from the Poison Pokemon. She crashed right underneath of a row of drafting tables and cabinets, wrecking them all and frightening the employees. Anyone struck by the flying quills was poisoned so badly that they had to be rushed to the hospital.
That included the man who was interviewing the Pokemon. “What was that for?” he snapped. “Why did you do that?”
Letting his cheekiness get the better of him, Qwilfish retorted, “We’re doing exactly what you designed us to do, no more, no less.”
And that is why neither Qwilfish nor Dunsparce received new evolutions in the fourth generation Pokemon games.
“But I want to be a holy Godzilla...”
Alright, THAT was pretty good. A holy godzilla.... Poor Qwilfish and Dunsparce. I've always felt they never get the attention they deserve, they're really good in battle, actually. But y'know, I've felt that new evolutions wouldn't solve anything. Then players would just direct their attention to the new evolutions, completely ignoring the pre-evos as they used to. If anything, they need pre-evolutions. And you wanna know? I actually used Dunsparce and Qwilfish in Colosseum, and they were damn useful as well. But I don't want this post to turn into a whole Qwilfish+Dunsparce rant. This was really good, I liked it.
Last edited by Missingno. Master; 21st February 2009 at 1:18 PM.
Didn't you just do Dragonite with Garchomp, or am I going crazy?
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I enjoyed the Mudkip/Diglett one. The characters fit right into the golfcourse and it has a pretty good plot to it (reminds me of Roadrunner. Wolf will never get that dang bird). I was just, suprised to see it being about a goldcourse. That was pretty different, and cool.
The Dunsparce/Qwilfish one had was pretty funny in the sense that, they really don't have any real rolls or parts. It makes me feel bad for the Pokemon that go unnoticed. (Actually, on Diamond today I had a swarm of Dunsparce. I caught about four of them, and using the Pokeradar, I got 2 shiny yay! So, I no longer feel bad ^^ ).
Now, for just two minor details I noticed in the Mudkip/Diglett one
'his', unless he did use her claws, then she is clutsy lol!He popped back out and slashed her across the nose with her claws.
'her', unless he somehow flung it at himself haha!She shot Water Gun at him; he responded by flinging a slimy ball of grime at him. Some of the gunk slipped into her mouth and made her gag.
I know its been a while since i posted but your doing a fine job and i can never think of anything uselful to say, just letting ya know im still here and still loving it!
Words cannot describe how awesome this is. Seriously.“But I want to be a holy Godzilla...”
Unfortunately I'm about to ruin the mood with this gloomy piece here. Hopefully everyone likes it. ^_^;
Emerald entry: It sharply senses even subtle changes in the sky and the land to predict natural disasters. It is a long-lived Pokemon that has a life-span of 100 years.
Diamond entry: If one is nearby, an eerie shadow appears on TV screens. Seeing the shadow is said to bring bad luck.
Pearl entry: By catching the aura emanating from others, it can read their thoughts and movements.
The plains soaked up the light of the August sun with a reluctant, pained flow of heat. It crushed the breath out of the exhausted little Bellsprout, who panted slowly and shallowly, an acidic thread of drool dripping from the rim of his mouth. Sweat beaded his bell-shaped head, and he pulled himself uselessly along the ground toward the shade of the distant tree, which seemed so far away …
<Wha…?> he croaked, as a shadow fell across him. The next thing he knew, something gently picked him up in its teeth and carried him in a great, speeding rush of wind to the tree. The yellows and blues of sky and land blurred as he experienced a strange giddiness, a sensation almost of flying.
Suddenly the teeth let him go, and he splashed into water: deliciously cool, almost cruel in its delightfulness. Dazed at the sudden change, he plunged his head wildly into the liquid, slurping it up with uncontrolled gusto. Only when he felt that his leaves would surely burst with hydration did he glance up. He was lying in the puddle, moisture was untainted by the sun, courtesy of the tree above him. A gentle warm breeze swayed the grass.
Sitting at the edge of the puddle sat the creature who brought him here. She was beautiful, with a layer of black fuzz covered by a mass of long, silky white fur. The light of the sun ricocheted from the sickle-like formation on her head as it moved, and as it lit up her fur with a heavenly glow, it seemed almost as if she were an angel of light, in spite of the ruby-red eyes which she used to watch him.
<You okay?> she asked finally, in a voice like music.
<Huh?> He jerked himself to sense. <Oh! I’m fine now, thanks so much!>
He glanced at his leaves: it was impossible to tell that they had been wilting minutes before.
<Great!> She got to her feet, and what little tension remained in his body fled when he noticed that her claws were sheathed. <I need to leave now, but I’ll see you later! I need to get to the wedding!>
<Wedding?> He sifted through his thoughts. Then it dawned on him: only one Absol was so helpful. And there was that wedding planned for next Thursday in the village of Dawn’s End. An Absol would be the bride, if he remembered correctly. <Ah, I know! You’re Kelsa, aren’t you?>
The Absol beamed. <Yes! It’s been nice to help you out, but I have to dash off. I need to hurry if I don’t want to be late for my own wedding.>
<Okay, hurry on, then!> He waved her off, unwilling to delay her. <My congratulations!>
<Thanks!> She shot him a last grin before breaking into a sprint, her slender legs seeming to fly over the land as distance suddenly widened between her and the pool. She raced toward the horizon, shrinking steadily into a bright dot, then abruptly vanished.
The Bellsprout sighed and leaned back into the water.
* * *
Kelsa smiled to herself as the wind whipped her fur about her face. It was so nice to help people. The poor, silly Bellsprout. She knew it was a beautiful day – not a cloud in the sky – but why should he get himself hurt to enjoy it? At least she could feel better, now that her sickle was tingling less.
The smile slipped a little as she thought of the sickle, and she sighed. With all other Absol, it was all about the sickle. It was the reason why Absol could sense danger, and why they were compelled to prevent it: it became irritated to some degree until the danger was passed. There were many factors that added up to this: the differing of wind currents, the subtle rises and falls in temperature, the amount of moisture floating in the air. Why it worked that way she didn’t know, but she hated it. There was always some form of danger lurking around, and its omnipresence was the main part of the reason why Absol were so somber.
In an effort to break away from their gloomy view of life, she had begun to ignore the pull of the sickle from a young age. And, after a few years of endurance and teeth gritting, it worked: no longer did it burn like a vengeful fire, but merely itched a little. Of course, the particularly dangerous situations produced a horrible sensation, but wasn’t that worth the cheer that saturated her everyday life?
A Cascoon, nestled in the security of a bed of dead grass, twitched in acknowledgment as she passed. She slowed just enough to flash her dazzling smile at him, but kept her concentration on the miles she had yet to cross.
She remembered when she’d had to leave Dawn’s End a few days ago, in order to travel home and receive her parents’ blessing for the marriage. The parting scene still played and replayed itself behind her eyes, giving her the fuel to continue on.
The moon shimmered over the humble little village. Scattered huts marked the borders of makeshift streets, through which laughing children scampered while the tired voices of mothers wafted from the open doors. It was too hot to sleep; it would be at least an hour before the blistering summer heat would give in to the ever-reaching coolness of night.
They stood at the village’s edge, its dirt transitioning smoothly with the tougher earth of the plains. The moon’s light bathed the dried grasses in silver, creating the illusion of an eerily beautiful ocean, still and yet moving; but the two lovers had eyes only for each other. Her forepaws rested on his shoulders, giving her the ability to stand as he did, to look him in the eye as only equals could. His own arms encircled her body protectively, and his hands rubbed her back affectionately, feeling the white fur ripple underneath his fingers. Two pairs of deep red eyes bored into each other, speaking of emotions that no earthly words could shape.
It may have been hours that they had stood there, or possibly minutes, for time seems to fly when love permeates the air. In either case, it was with great regret that Kelsa finally tore her eyes from his sleek, gentle face. <I need to leave now.>
His own eyes became downcast. <I wish it weren’t so.>
<Papa doesn’t approve,> she murmured, pressing her cheek against his. <If only a blessing wasn’t needed.>
He sighed, and she shivered as she felt his breath tickle her face. <It’s simply how it is. I’ll only have to wait a week or so for you to get back, and the wait for the wedding itself will be longer than that.>
<Eleven days,> she said wistfully.
She felt her cheek move a little as he smiled.
<I love you so much, Gabriel,> she whispered into his pointed ear, feeling his warmth saturate her.
He chuckled. <That’s not an overused line at all, is it?>
She ignored his jibe, instead slipping her arms around his neck, pulling herself closer to him. Their hearts pounded frantically as the space between them slipped into pressured nonexistence, and their shared warmth pulsed with every excited, impatient beat. Slowly, hopefully, she pulled her face back a little to see his, preparing for a final farewell.
But the traces of aura wafting from her stated her intentions clearly. She had hoped to make the first move, but he was too fast for her: his mouth crushed around hers before she had parted her lips, and his hands cupped her face, gently but firmly, to push himself forward. She shuddered lightly in the ecstasy of increased pressure.
And then, abruptly, he withdrew from their embrace, staring at her analytically. <You’re worried.>
She scowled, dropping back on all fours, and wrapped her arms around herself; even in such a hot season, the sudden absence of his body left her cold. <Am not.>
<Are too.> His eyes narrowed, examining her aura further. <You worry that … you’ll get hurt?>
He snarled, clawing at the dangerously sharp spikes protruding from his wrists. <I hate this! Why do I have to be so well equipped for attacking when it can hurt you so easily?>
<I’m not worried about that, you can’t—>
His gaze locked with hers. <Kels, don’t tell me what I can or can’t do when it comes to making sure you’re safe. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again.> To emphasize the point, he used both hands to point to the spot directly above his heart, where a small, circular patch of extremely short fur was visible. Dark crimson scars sliced deeply across the skin underneath the patch, a testament to some past agony.
Kelsa blanched at the sight. She appreciated that he would go so far for her sake, but the idea of self-inflicted injuries repulsed her. He shouldn’t have to hurt himself just for her.
<You were exactly where that spike had been! If I hadn’t removed it, you’d be dead now!>
<But you hurt yourself!>
He gripped her shoulders firmly. <Listen to me, Kelsa. I love you, and I don’t want you to get hurt. And I would never be able to live with myself if I hurt you. I think a few moments of my pain is better than death on your part.>
<”Moments?” Gabriel, the healers were with you for weeks! You almost bled to death—>
<Not while I thought of you. Look, it’ll be fine. I’ll get these removed while you’re away, all right?>
<By the healers this time.>
She hung her head, defeated: how could she object to the logic of using skilled experience in place of brute force? <I can’t argue, can I?>
<No, you can’t.>
<I don’t want you to do anything you don’t have to,> she sighed, biting her lip. <And the Warrior Guild will be disappointed, they don’t want you getting rid of any natural advantage you might have in combat. You could get demoted!>
<Kels, look at me.>
Slowly and uncertainly she craned her neck upward to face his stare again, though now it was softened and gentle.
<I have to do this. The Guild might need me, but I don’t need them. You’re more important to me than a million promotions. And I don’t need spikes to fight. A dagger is perfectly acceptable, isn’t it?>
<You’re asking a civilian’s opinion on this?>
He laughed and kissed her again. <Ah, Kels, I love you.>
She grinned. <Now who’s got the overused lines?>
Before he could reply, she quickly pecked him on the lips before leaping away into the sea of silver grasses, giggling. Glancing over her shoulder, she watched him stand there, smiling in adoration.
<I’ll be back before you know it!> she called, before turning and dashing into the depths of the plains. The wind snatched his reply from her range of hearing, but she knew that it would be sweet nothings, born to dance through the mind in their blissful meaninglessness.
She laughed to herself as the yards flew beneath her paws and the distance to her love grew ever so gradually shorter. She hadn’t worried that Gabriel might hurt her, as he had thought; rather, it was the other way around. He was no expert in the ways of aura reading, and in a way that comforted her. She didn’t want him to see her own subtle, simmering concern.
Her sickle, the source of much pain in her earlier years, was hardly less dangerous than his spikes; all she had to do was twist her head at the wrong moment, and … she forced herself not to think of the gory scene that would follow. Yet the problems it posed were less easily remedied, for it was as essential to an Absol’s survival as the heart and the mind. To amputate it would be nothing short of suicide. At times she wondered if that was what it would take to keep her love alive and well. Was it inevitable that one of them would inadvertently kill the other, with the cruel gifts that Nature had forced upon them before birth?
The question spun through her head as she galloped across the vast, endless plain.
* * *
The trail had gone cold.
For a moment the pursuer paused, twitching in an effort to keep the blank expression on her face. Control was everything, especially as far as emotion was concerned. Her eyes sparked with rage for the briefest of moments before returning to their former, impassive gaze, sweeping over the withered grasses. Her clawed fingers curled viciously in a death grip around the Trusted, which sat in her palm, smooth, still, and cold. That was the only true sign of the fury welling within her.
There is no need for that, the Trusted murmured. It sounded almost reproachful.
I do not need your opinion on what I can or cannot do, she snapped back telepathically; she did not trust herself to speak aloud. Doing so would surely betray her rage.
Am I not your guidance, your counselor?
Do not treat me like a child.
If there was ever anyone who was not a child, it was you.
Do not to attempt to appease me, either.
You are so young, and yet so close to achieving the Master status of the Shadows Guild! No, I am not merely trying to appease you; I am telling a truth, untainted by any efforts to uplift your spirits.
The praise soothed her, doused the roaring flames of anger with a simple cool phrase. She sighed in relief and immediately winced at the expression: her thin face had not held so much emotion in a long, long time. That may be so, she conceded, rubbing her face gingerly with her free hand, but that does not bring us any closer to our quarry.
The Guild’s training can serve you well, the Trusted advised. It is difficult to find the minds of those shielded by darkness, but surely others have seen her.
That is true.
The Kadabra glanced around at the wasteland around her, eyes narrowed. A brief movement caught her eye, attracting her attention. A tree grew a short distance away, casting an insignificant-looking puddle into enviable shadow. The darkness against the light alleviated her sore eyes, but she fought the urge to sneer in disgust at the flopping plant underneath it. The thing wiggled in delight, most likely in relief that it was safe from the insufferable heat. There was some sort of thought at the forefront of its mind, inadvertently repeating itself every few seconds; a quick scan of the thought told her that this was the right direction in the hunt.
Him? the Trusted asked.
It has seen her, she confirmed, putting deliberate emphasis on the pronoun.
With a subliminal hiss, she faded into thin air, reappearing directly behind the pathetic plant a tenth of a second later. The Bellsprout took no notice of her appearance, but continued to splash around delightedly, if a little tiredly. She felt a deep urge to hurt the thing, to crush its mind with her own superior mental powers, or to force its ridiculous head underwater, where it would thrash in sheer horror, unable to scream …
As if sensing her intentions, the Bellsprout abruptly stopped its splashing, its leaves drooping in the water as it glanced from side to side. It briefly glimpsed her dull yellow body behind it as it continued to look to and fro, before jumping in shock and whirling around to face her, sending droplets of water flying everywhere. Its eyes widened in fear and apprehension. <Y-yes? What do you want?>
Her expression remained completely impassive. <I’m looking for someone.>
He gaped, looking even more ludicrous. <I-I haven’t seen anyone, I s-swear! It’s just b-been me!>
But she knew better: the black face surfaced unintentionally in his mind, and her eyes glinted dangerously at the sight of it. Her. <You are a liar.>
<N-no sir, I’m b-being honest, I—>
<I am not a sir!> she snapped, displaying teeth far sharper than a mouth such as hers should allow. The plant reeled back in horror as she gripped the Trusted with an angry fist. <Do all fools such as yourself look solely on the surface? Can you not hear the pitch of my voice?>
<I d-didn’t mean anything, I-I j-just saw the mustache and—>
It cut itself off with a pained squeal as she dove into its mind, taking care to wreak as much havoc as she could. The information she needed she took without reserve, extracting them from its memories agonizingly. She ignored its tortured yowl and the undulating waves of pain wafting from the deeper regions of its mind: the first was physical; the second could only strengthen her.
She summoned the forces from within herself, pushing against its weak defenses, withholding any mercy. With an expression of cold iron she watched as its brain begin to collapse on itself from sheer power, while the rest of its body thrashed uselessly in the puddle, scattering water everywhere. Its beady eyes twitched as the leaves that served as its hands clawed at its own head in an effort to save itself. Its shuddering rapidly grew more violent before suddenly ceasing, a sign that its brain had been reduced to a pulp. Satisfied with her work, she released her hold, and the corpse flopped listlessly into the puddle.
He was nothing, the Trusted breathed; it was always fascinated by its holder’s shows of power.
She shrugged, nudging the body with a clawed foot. Unbidden, the words of the Heads of the Guild echoed through her mind: We are the darkness in the light. A golden age such as this is sure to blacken into war, if some form of pure evil is not kept alive. Pain must give way to pleasure, pleasure to pain, if balance is to be kept.
How right they were.
A hiss, a brief sensation of nonexistence, and suddenly she hovered at least a hundred feet above the ground, with nothing but her psychic emanations keeping her aloft. The Absol galloped almost directly beneath her, completely unaware of her presence. A quiet anger boiled in her black heart as her attempts to probe the dog’s mind were rebuffed by the clouds of darkness which shielded her from mental manipulation.
A steep, enormous hill sat at least a mile to the right, looking dead and dusty in its coat of dry grass. A quick psychic scan of it, however, revealed that it hid something ancient and deadly. Her eyes narrowed in a cruel smile.
<She will be dead if she’s lucky.>
* * *
Something flickered at the edge of Kelsa’s vision. She turned and saw a hill, looking ridiculous against the backdrop of extreme flatness. Her eyes narrowed slightly, and she frowned at the sight. She didn’t remember passing that on the way to her parents’ home. She wondered just how far off course she was. Then again, maybe she could climb up and get a view of where she was supposed to go. Besides, the hill intrigued her. Curiosity aroused, she changed direction slightly, resetting her course for the looming hill.
A sudden shadow swept over her for a moment before clearing abruptly. Surprised, she jerked her head upward, but she was too late; whatever had cast the shadow was gone, perhaps swallowed up in the endless blue sky. She brushed it off with a shrug as she returned her attention to her running. It was probably only a Taillow, soaring toward a cooler place. Nevertheless, she had to make herself ignore the sickle, which was beginning to throb faintly.
Barely two minutes had passed before she found herself at the base of the hill. Its sheer volume forced her to skid to a halt, and she gazed with awe at its seemingly insurmountable peak. For a moment she considered finding her way on her own – but the moment passed quickly, and she began the climb with a leap; mere size would not daunt her.
From the second her claws sank into the hard, dusty earth like knives, she saw at once that the task would not be impossible. The slope was steep, but not overwhelmingly so. The dust beneath her paws was distracting, the grass slippery beneath her paws, but her claws would keep her firmly lodged in the hill, not to be moved until she pulled them out. She increased her pace rapidly, soon moving almost as quickly as she had on flat ground. She laughed to herself as the wind whipped her fur about her face.
Almost too soon the slope began to level out, and before she could begin to feel disappointed that the challenge was already over, she stood at its peak, feeling the sun’s burning rays soak her coat of fur. Catching her breath, she squinted out over the distance, feeling quite on top of the world as she surveyed the vast expanse of plains spreading beneath her, several less lordly hills scattered here and there on the horizon. For a moment the world was her kingdom, and she was its queen. She smiled at the silly idea before returning to the search of any landmark, any sign that might point her to the village.
On the horizon – there! A particularly twisted and gnarled tree sat on the very edge of the horizon, a little to her right. She remembered it to be a favored place to play during her childhood. It seemed far smaller now, here on the roof of the world. A wave of nostalgia washed over her, followed by a stronger one of longing. Gabriel.
Her eyes lowered from the distant view for the first time since arriving; but her decision to head for the tree was overruled by a sudden, shocking revelation. Her claws dug into the earth until her knuckles turned white under the black fur, and her eyes widened as they struggled to comprehend the sight just in front of her paws as she broke the silence with an abrupt, astonished gasp.
She was not standing on a peak, as she had assumed: she stood instead on a rim, a narrow border of earth encircling a wide, somewhat deep pit which could not be mistaken for anything but a crater. Its tall walls were jagged and gray, some sort of metal. Strange statues, hewn from the same substance, were scattered across the mottled floor, twisted in unearthly shapes as varied as their sizes, though all faced the dark altar in the crater’s exact center. The altar was not much larger than the smallest of the statues, yet it seemed to emanate some sort of ancient power, a testament to times long since dead, buried and forgotten.
Shock died down for a moment, to be quickly replaced with fascination and a sort of pride. She, no brave or daring explorer, had been the one to discover this! Curiosity overcoming her better judgment, she glanced about for a way to get into the crater, to get a better look at the strange artifacts down below. She was startled to discover a flight of stairs right at her feet, hewn roughly from the metallic walls, leading to the pit below. Briefly a shadow flickered again above her, and an ominous thought in her mind murmured that those stairs had certainly not been there a minute ago, but she pushed it away. They had to have been there, she told herself. I must not have looked properly. Besides, it’s not as if I’m going to stay for long.
Decision made, she placed a careful paw on the top step, slowly trusting her weight to it, and paused, waiting. When nothing collapsed or creaked, she took another step, glancing around almost furtively, ears pricked. Hearing nothing, her fears vanished, and she confidently strode down the steps, her claws clinking and clacking against the metal almost musically. As she reached the foot of the stairs she paused and glanced over her shoulder, but the stairs were still solidly there. Reassured, she turned back to the sight before her, letting her awe show without reserve.
The altar looked similar to a pedestal, a wide platform sitting atop the dark, jagged column. Strange dark stains were splattered across its top, giving it an almost striped appearance. She strode through the twisted statues toward it, eager for a better look. As she drew near, she noticed an intricate symbol on the striped platform, a sort of spiky star whose five points were uneven in length. Something glimmered blue in its center.
Abruptly the sickle roared a warning in pain, the only language it knew. She gasped and clenched her teeth at its unexpected intensity. A single panicked, coherent thought formed in her agonized mind: I thought I’d stamped this sort of pain out!
The shadow flickered above her a third time as the pain dove down to almost a murmur, just present enough to assert its existence. She glanced up reflexively, worry beginning to surface in her mind. There’s something about this place that can, in just a minute, override all my years of self-training. That shadow’s not really reassuring either. Still, that funny-looking star is interesting. I’ll just take a look at that before I leave.
Shaking her head to clear away the muddled state in which the pain had left her mind, she arrived at the altar. Its top was level with her collarbone, allowing her to examine the symbol with ease. She gasped at its strange, unearthly beauty: the star shimmered with a silver quite unlike the metallic silver surrounding it, for the star’s silver seemed to contain the light of ancient moons glimmering off of life-giving desert rivers, clear and potent. Yet the object at its center was infinitely more incredible; it was a shining diamond, its blue depths gleaming softly in the sunlight, soft and cooling. No scratch defiled it, and every side was as perfectly smooth and polygonal as the next. The stains half-concealing the symbol could never hope to conceal its incredible splendor.
<It’s incredible!> she breathed, her voice emerging as a mere whisper. Compared to this wonder she seemed so small, so laughably insignificant. How could something like this ever be forgotten?
Timidly, she reached up with a trembling paw and touched the star, marveling at its incredibly smooth and cold texture. It felt nice after a long day of galloping. She could practically forget that blisters had ever formed on her sensitive paw pads, and instead imagine that they had always been as perfect and smooth as what they rested on.
She drew it back and froze. It was perfect and smooth. The surface of each black pad was unbroken, as it had been before leaving Dawn’s End. What was this? It was almost as if—
She collapsed as the sickle sent bolts of roaring pain through her, forcing her to curl protectively into an almost kneeling position. Tears wrenched themselves from her eyes as she blinked hard to try to calm herself. A sudden rumbling above made her tremble, and a shadow began to block the light, throwing the pit into a menacing darkness. It was not the same shadow as before, for it was large and had a definite shape. Dread leapt upon her as she realized that the guardian of the altar must be irritated at her blatant entry.
<Thinkest thou that thou canst trespass on my site of worship?> the guardian roared. Pebbles clinked against the metallic walls as the pit rumbled in its fury. <Thou art an insolent wench! Thy impertinence shall be dealt with!>
Squinting against the pain, she forced all her will into her paws, jerking into a sudden run for the stairs. Letting the pads push against the cool metal, bearing her with ease toward safety, she chanced a glance over her shoulder. An incredibly tall Pokemon towered over her, looking godly as the sunlight gleamed around it. It was far too large to glimpse properly, but she could tell that the star on its chest matched the one on the altar. Fear of the being’s divine wrath added extra spring to her paws, and though the flickering shadow appeared briefly at the edge of her vision, she ignored it as she turned her attention back towards the stairs.
There were no stairs.
She flew toward the wall, unable to stop herself in time. The collision sent deep throbbing pains coursing through her, its dark bass symphonizing with the sickle’s shrieking tenor. She collapsed in agony, crouching, her head bent from the intensity of the cacophony. Squeezing her eyes shut, she choked out a sob as icy terror sank its poisonous claws into her heart.
A dark shadow cut through her closed eyelids. <Where didst thou think thou couldst run?> the being snarled. <For I wouldst reach the ends of the earth and shatter all thou dost hold dear before thou couldst escape thy punishment, for punished you shall be!>
There was a great intake of breath, a momentary pause, and then a roar that seemed to drown out everything else, incredible in its unnatural volume. The sound seemed to surround her, like an ominous fog or mist, and suddenly there was a sensation of extreme movement, though as her body remained in the same position, she knew that it could not be so. Blood rushed through her ears, carrying a wave of fresh pain with each pulse. Almost immediately she felt a horrific weakening, as if the will had fled from her limbs when it had the chance and had left her at the being’s mercy. She could almost feel her muscles shrinking, and her head swam as a cloud of muddled weariness descended over her mind, and she was tired, oh, so tired, as she began to drift away …
A faint, clear voice from deep within her whispered, The technique.
In a weak wave of understanding, she realized what she could do. The days of her childhood, ignoring the sickle’s pull, had forced her to push her endurance to its limit, until the day came when she mastered the ability, and with it a technique she had not anticipated. Survival was guaranteed with its use, but she was not sure she could use it in this state …
I’m alive, she told herself, a single lucid island in a sea of agony. Just think of Gabriel, and endure the pain.
Weakly she began to shield herself from the assault, withdrawing the will from her limbs and into her soul. With it she created a fortification around her soul, to prevent it from being torn away while also blocking out the pain. The sensation gradually dulled, although it was still present enough to make her grind her teeth.
Now it was up to fate to see if she lived or died.
It seemed to be hours later – or perhaps days – that Kelsa wearily opened her eyes and glanced about her. No celestial monster loomed over her, nor did the roar continue to ravage at her body. Turning her head to glance about, she saw to her astonishment that the metal of the floor around her had been reduced to mere dust. That could have been me! she thought, and instantly felt doubly grateful for the technique.
It was when she struggled to her paws that she first realized that something was wrong. Her limbs felt weak and tired, and they trembled violently as she pushed herself into a standing position. Her back seemed hunched and heavy, as if a great weight had been placed on it. She took a moment to try to focus her vision, but it stubbornly refused to cooperate, leaving everything dull and blurry. Annoyed, she reached up to wipe her eyes clean, but instead halted with her paw halfway to her face, staring at it; her sight seemed to be good enough to tell her that it was shriveled, bunched in wrinkled layers of skin through which coarse white hair peaked. What did it do to me? she thought, horror fast returning.
Her weak eyes wandered about, and then they fastened on something that made her heart leap, although it seemed too tired to be enthusiastic. The stairs had returned! There they sat, not ten paces away, gleaming from the sunlight. Though her eyes streamed from the brightness, she hobbled toward the staircase, her key to escape.
The stairs seemed steeper than she had imagined, and her claws made a weaker clicking sound, but she was too relieved to care as she carefully ascended towards the rim of the crater. Someone in Dawn’s End can fix this, she told herself. And then Gabriel and I will be married! The thought cheered her, but it was difficult to ignore the small voice in the back of her head, which murmured that Gabriel might not be so anxious to marry her after seeing her in this state.
A wave of sadness threatened to wash over her, but it halted as she reached the rim, paws creating shallow depressions in the coarse earth. The ground seemed dizzyingly distant, and her head spun at the height. Surely the hill hadn’t been that steep when she had climbed up? Yet still it seemed to dip nearly straight down, making her head swim.
Nauseated, she half closed her eyes, willing the problem to go away. When that didn’t work, she reopened them and considered her situation. Maybe if I go really slowly, I can make it down there! Ignoring the shadow flickering at the edge of her vision, she cautiously took a small step forward, careful not to slip and tumble.
Abruptly the earth behind her slipped from under her hind paws. Taken by surprise, she began to slide slowly but dangerously downward, gathering a little speed. Frightened by this sudden turn of events, she attempted to halt by digging her claws into the hillside.
That was a mistake.
She had not counted on the fact that her claws were too brittle to gain sufficient traction. Although they did indeed force her forepaws to halt, the rest of her body, still captive to the motion, flew above them, forcing her to somersault. She flailed wildly as she did, trying to regain control, but the situation was out of her hands now. Helpless to do anything but fall, she shut her eyes and tried to block out the inevitable impact as she began the lethal tumble.
The first sickening crunch came, and she screamed.
* * *
Gabriel sat motionlessly in the air, feeling mild confidence that his aura would not fail in keeping him aloft. His eyes were closed, but he could feel his aura keeping numerous objects floating, including a small boulder, a dried log, and his Master, who spoke softly so as not to break his concentration.
<Feel the aura flow around you, Gabriel. Do not force it to bend to your will, but guide it, lead it …>
He felt serene as he sensed it all around him, seeing it in colors that most saw only in dreams. His Master’s aura had a vast, untapped quality to it, something he had only recently learned to appreciate. He felt small and weak compared to his Master, and wondered a second later if his aura had already given his thoughts away. He forced himself not to be embarrassed.
In another second, he felt something new from his Master’s aura: the bitter colors of curiosity and confusion, then alarm. A bit apprehensive as well, Gabriel reached further out with his own aura, feeling his hold on the lifted objects weaken slightly as he did so. He stretched out for three miles, searching for whatever had made his Master worry.
Immediately he saw it: a sudden jagged flash of pain louder than any scream. It dulled for the briefest of instants, only to immediately return in full force. His heart stopped as he recognized the tortured aura that he sensed.
<Kelsa!> he exclaimed in horror, withdrawing all other holds on his aura and opening his eyes as he did so. Everything hit the hard earth with a resounding thud. Stones and sticks rolled for a few feet before coming to a halt. He instantly leapt to his feet, tension building in his lean frame.
<Gabriel!> his Master moaned, having hit the earth himself, and none too gently. The older Lucario grimaced and rubbed his bruised backside. He looked up, and the concern shone in his eyes. <Run, Gabriel! Run and save her, before …>
But he did not stay to hear him finish the sentence. He was already gone, following his lover’s aura in an almost blind sprint. He tore through long stalks of grass, leaving a makeshift path behind him. The beat of his heart thumped rhythmically with his hurried dash and his rapid breathing, all in time to the chant in his head.
The more he examined her aura, the more he saw: terror, dizziness, and a sensation of great movement, although none of these came close to the waves of her excruciating agony. There was something new about her too, something that he couldn’t quite place his finger on, though its remote familiarity seemed ominous to him. Each new discovery was a fresh stab to his heart. His eyes stung with the beginning of tears. How had this happened? Everything was so happy one moment, so gloriously joyful and romantic … This new turn of events had to be something out of a nightmare.
Far on his left he spotted a distant gnarled tree, a place he remembered playing at with all the other village children. Her aura seemed to be coming from that direction, so he turned toward it, never slackening his pace. A sense of foreboding crept upon him. What if some monstrous fiend was attacking her? His hand spikes had been removed too early. If she died because of their loss …
As he neared the tree, he saw a looming hill far on the distant horizon. He dimly recalled seeing it while playing lookout with his friends, but it had been a mere piece of the background then. Now it seemed stern and ominous, for he could sense Kelsa’s aura coming from it. He rushed toward it, feeling the hard earth beneath his paws and the cruel west-bound sun on his back.
His love and fear gave new speed to his paws as they swallowed up the distance. As he swiftly approached, he noticed more: there was something ancient and powerful about the hill, something no mortal was meant to disturb. Its guardian had already come and gone; it had left traces of potent aura as strong as the sun’s blinding light. Drawing still closer, he could now see her white body, tiny from the distance, tumbling uncontrollably down the hill. With each grisly bounce he could faintly hear an explosive cracking. He faltered momentarily as he choked back a sob.
A different aura, floating somewhere above, attracted his attention. The black, sour colors overwhelmed him: hatred, rage, jealousy, and ambition, all woven into an intricate pattern with the unfeeling gray of duty and the darker, more seductive shade of sinister satisfaction. Simultaneously repulsed and fascinated, he withdrew his sense for it slightly, searching for the stranger’s intentions. He drew a rather muddled conclusion, for he had yet to master the art of more refined aura reading, but a single phrase reached him quite clearly: Kill the dog.
Briefly his own anger replaced his sadness. What sort of unfeeling weasel would want to harm Kelsa? Her soul was far too beautiful, her aura too radiant with kindness, for anyone to wish ill of her. Even those who were blind to aura could tell from a distance that she was far gentler than her cold, calculating brethren.
He was almost at the foot of the hill now, his eyes glued to Kelsa. Every horrific bounce was, from the speed at which she traveled, greater than before. As he watched her smash against the earth yet again, he realized that she would arc through the air high enough to force her to hit the ground. From the speed she had built up, slamming into the hard earth would surely kill her. Determination sparked in his eyes. He couldn’t let her die.
He saw her fly through the air, limbs bent at sickeningly sharp angles. Her head lolled about as her upward journey grew slower, until at last she leveled out before beginning her descent. He gritted his teeth as he pushed himself to the limit of his speed, sending clouds of dry dust flying beneath his feet. Even so he could tell that, at the rate she was falling, he couldn’t get there in time.
Well, I guess I’ll have to make time.
His muscles tensed as he slowed for the briefest of moments before leaping into the air, his long feet serving as a sort of springboard. He felt the hot, dry air ruffle his short fur, and it stung at his eyes as he watched her get nearer to him, and the giddy sense of weightlessness almost blocked out the fear and terror for a second …
And then he had caught her, his spike-less hands breaking her fall smoothly. For a moment they hung there, floating in a gulf of dazed relief, before he dropped back down again. As they hit the ground, his knees buckled to absorb the impact. He let himself get used to the harsh pull of gravity for a moment, feeling her broken body weigh his arms down. He then straightened up again, and his gaze returned to her face, searching for a sign that she was still conscious, and hoping against hope that she was too far gone to feel the pain.
At once he saw how she had changed, and his eyes widened in horror and shock. She was no longer some charming damsel in distress; her skin was loose and wrinkled, her fur coarse and matted. Her form seemed to be hunched, as if she could not support her own weight. Her paws were shriveled, and her claws were chipped – what was left of them, anyway. He couldn’t understand how it had happened, but somehow something had forced her body to the brink of its life. She had become an old, wizened crone.
But even this discovery could not stain the joy he felt as her eyes fluttered weakly. She was alive! Her beautiful aura was still the same, the painful color of terror ebbing away with each erratic, uncertain beat of her heart. He felt an odd protectiveness, cradling her in his arms and knowing that, had he not sensed her when he did, she would have met an unthinkable end.
Her wrinkled eyelids finally unveiled her rheumy eyes, and she looked up into his face in confusion and wonder. For a moment she simply stared at him, before her face broke into a feeble smile. <Gabriel,> she wheezed, and he noticed that several of her teeth were missing.
<Hush,> he breathed, <you’re hurt.>
It seemed like the greatest understatement imaginable, but the challenge and terror he had just endured had left him far from eloquent.
A tear formed at the corner of one of her eyes, shining in the midst of a bloody mass of cuts and bruises. <I’m sorry,> she whispered, her body slumping dejectedly in his arms.
He tilted his head to the side, confused. <Sorry for what?>
<For being a fool. I made a stupid mistake, and it—> She broke herself off with a coughing fit, a series of dry hacking sounds that racked her body completely. He saw pain begin to weave its insidious colors in her aura again, and she moaned softly.
He forced himself not to cradle her to his chest, knowing that it would only cause more pain, physical and emotional. Instead he closed his eyes, feeling a tear of his own slide down his cheek. <There’s nothing to be sorry for,> he said soothingly, though his voice quavered. <Whatever happened, it was a mistake.>
<But something … someone must have forced me to fall,> she murmured, her voice getting quieter. <There was a shadow, I don’t know what … I don’t … know …> She trailed off.
Gabriel glanced around. The shadow and the blackened aura that he had noticed probably belonged to the same person, he decided.
<How right you are,> a cold voice commented dryly.
Moving as fast as Kelsa’s broken body would let him, he spun to the right, facing a Pokemon who stood just a few yards away. The newcomer’s strange, vulpine body seemed to radiate some sort of quiet, boiling malevolence. Her pointed ears twitched involuntarily, and her slanted eyes held a forced blankness.
<A Kadabra,> he said quietly. <A psychic tried to kill her.> He put uneasy emphasis on the word tried, hoping to keep his cool as he faced the fox-creature’s untapped malice. For the first time he noticed a strange aura of pure light radiating from one of her hands, contrasting brilliantly against the darkness of the holder, and he felt confused. Her spoon has a living aura? But it's an inanimate object. Is that normal for Kadabra, or is she something different?
<It is normal,> she said, coolly answering his unspoken question. <I have been slighted too many times to take offense at such banal speculation. And do not think there is any hope for that dog. There is none; I know this to be true. It was I who piqued her curiosity. She doesn’t have much longer, you know. If she hadn’t been aged, she’d have probably survived.> Her expression did not change, and yet as she spoke her voice picked up a faint note of smugness.
He felt his own anger threatening to break through his emotional turmoil. <Why did you do this?>
<Because that is what the Shadow’s Guild was created to do. This is an age of light, but it will blind us if there is no shadow to filter it.> She didn’t need to add how much she had enjoyed it; memories of those restrained emotions were woven deep within her aura, plain for even a novice like Gabriel to read.
Disbelief warred briefly in his head with fury, and in the end it suffered a crushing loss. Shadows Guild or no Shadows Guild, she liked pain. She was surely soulless in her cruelty, an abomination. Such a person could not be allowed to exist. His mouth half opened in a snarl.
And then he paused, watching satisfaction rush through her aura once more. She wanted him to fight her? He considered this, thinking quickly and uncertainly. The conclusion came to him at once: of course, his anger could only strengthen her. She would let him make the first move, letting him get just close enough to taste victory before striking him down with her vast psychic power – power fueled by his own rage.
Disgusted, he returned his gaze toward Kelsa, his fury weakening. His face softened as he watched hers gaze up quietly at him. He could feel her hold on her body begin to give, and knew that time was against her, each soft heartbeat carrying her closer to death.
<I look hideous,> she whispered, startling him. No more tears formed in her eyes; those expressed more regret than a mere drip of sal****er ever could.
He smiled gently. <It was never just for your body that I loved you, Kelsa. It was for your soul, your heart, your aura. Age alone can never corrupt that.> Abruptly he thought of all the time they could have spent together. That could never happen now. A fresh trickle of tears rolled down his cheeks.
Her eyes crinkled into a smile of her own. <Don’t be sad. Won’t I … always … be with you?>
He was about to answer when her mouth opened slackly, and a single, rattling exhalation clawed its way through her throat. Her weak heart beat once, faintly. Then it was still.
<Kelsa,> he whispered. Shifting the body’s weight to one hand, he reached up, softly stroking her cheek with the other. His throat grew tight, and his eyes grew unbearably heavy with tears.
As if sensing that its body no longer held any ties to it, Kelsa’s aura poured forth from her body, detaching itself from her skin. It curled above him as he looked up, astonished, and watched in awed fascination, marveling at her beauty. If it had been stunning when it had been chained to her, it was nothing short of blinding now. The dazzling colors of its joy were free from the darker shades of pain, and he grinned. She was truly happy now.
The aura drew slightly closer to him, as if he had called it. He wondered why this was. How would it know who he was, now that it was no longer connected to a brain? Maybe, he thought to himself, maybe it runs deeper than thought. Maybe she instinctually remembers me. His heart leapt at the idea.
His hopes were confirmed when it touched his own aura. He stiffened in surprise at the intensity of the feelings he sensed: love, joy, peace, a little confusion. He reached toward it with his free hand, and it curled around the offered limb, constricting itself around it until it seemed almost solid. The feeling was not unlike a comforting hand as it grasped his own.
His tears flowed freely now, but they were no longer tears of anguish. We will always be together.
The aura simply squeezed his hand once in response.
Finally tearing his eyes away from its glorious light, he looked toward the Kadabra. She had barely moved a muscle since he had first noticed her.
<Thank you,> he murmured, nodding once to her. He turned away from her then, not caring what her response might be. The tree where he once played as a child was a tall and gnarled shape on the horizon. He began the long trek toward it, the corpse in his arms bouncing gently with each step. He knew there would be nothing but shock from the village when news of this reached them. The villagers’ sympathy would almost drive him to infuriation. They would not understand why he was at peace; that luxury would be reserved for his Master. Perhaps his joy would only be shared by the aura which cradled his hand. He was fine with that.
And so he walked through the long, dry grass, death cradled in one arm and love hanging onto the other. He began to whistle, as if he had not a care in the world.
* * *
She was so surprised at his response, she actually dropped the Trusted.
I’d be quite happy if you didn’t do that again, thank you, it said sharply, but it sounded more distracted than anything else.
She reached down reflexively to pick it up, never taking her eyes off of the retreating figure. How could he possibly be happy? He was holding an empty shell.
You must discover that yourself, the Trusted murmured.
The Kadabra watched him shrink steadily toward the horizon. His love lay dead in his arms, and the village would think of him as a lunatic upon his return, and yet … well, he might not be the happiest Pokemon in the world, but he probably came pretty close. In their confrontation, he had been the one to walk away. How could that be?
And then, for the first time in several years, she contemplated the possibility that maybe – just maybe – emotions were more than a mere liability. Maybe they needed to resurface, so she could understand why.
Maybe she could embrace them again someday.
Aw, nobody's responded yet? I like it, even as a creepy romance story, which doesn't work that often. I especially like how all three were used in ways that most people wouldn't think of, but fit nicely with their Pokedex entries.
@MarshtompMan: Gah, Dragonite and Dragonair get me so confused. Checking back, it was the -ite.
@Platinum Pichu: Really? Nice to know that I'm getting notorious.
Flipping tones yet again to meet an accident-prone Beedrill. Don't you just love how this thread changes tone so often?
In Process: Porygon line
On Deck: Scyther, Hitmonchan/Baltoy, Tropius
Reserve: Shaymin (3/17), Glalie/Bellosom (3/20)
Fire Red entry: May appear in a swarm. Flies at violent speeds, all the while stabbing with the toxic stinger on its rear.
“<I won’t be late, won’t be late, won’t be late...>”
The young Beedrill rushed through the forest, trying to reach his destination in time. His bright yellow and black pattern could be easily seen, but kept most other Pokemon away instead of calling their attention. The swarm owned this forest. The others knew to leave the Beedrills alone or else face the wrath of all of them.
He zipped around at speeds that others would be shocked at, from a creature of his size. He darted up in order to avoid crashing into a large tree branch. Looking back at it, he thanked the spirits for his quick reflexes. Otherwise...
He smacked right into the next tree branch.
“<Uuuurrrgh...>” he moaned as the impact vibrated his entire exoskeleton. That was the fifth one this week. He really ought to have learned by now.
“<Toughen up, soldier,>” a gruff voice scolded. “<Report!>”
“<Y-y-y-yes sir...ow!>” He had flipped around, trying to get into the proper saluting pose when he crashed his head back into the branch. “<This is Private Jun reporting for guard duty, Captain sir!>”
The older battle-scarred Beedril, whom Jun only knew as ‘Captain’, grunted in response. His sharp harsh eyes contrasted with his battered stingers. According to stories, Captain had defended the swarm against many hostile enemies. It was said that he even defeated a giant three-headed Fearow. Captain was no longer on active duty. Instead, he trained the young members of the swarm to be great warriors like he had been.
“<So sir, what am I guarding today, sir?>” Jun asked, anxiously flipping his antennas.
“<Calm down,>” Captain snapped. “<You got a lot of energy, soldier, but maybe a little too much. Today, you are to watch this path.>” He jabbed his right stinger, which was nearly split in half, at the area below them.
Jun looked down at the footpath. It had originally been made of flattened dirt and gravel, but tough grasses were beginning to overtake it. The main way anyone could see that it was a path was how the vegetation was less dense there. “<The path, sir?>”
“<It leads to our swarm’s meadow! For that reason, we need someone to watch this path in case humans come through. If you see any humans, rush right back to the meadow and warn the advance guard.>” Captain narrowed his eyes. “<I’m sure that even you can manage this without breaking anything. Except maybe your head from crashing into things.>”
Jun brought his front stingers up in front of his face in embarrassment. “<Uh, yes sir, I mean, no sir! I mean... I’m not going to break anything today, sir, not even my head.>”
“<Good for you.>” He started to fly back to the meadow, but then paused. “<Right. Soldier, I want you to keep an eye out for any Combees as well. Some of the scouts have reported spotting these dastardly Bugs in and around the forest. But this is our territory, and we aren’t sharing it with some honey-loving wimps.>”
Jun tilted his head. “<Combees? Aren’t they the ones that are led by the beautiful Vespiqueens?>”
“<Don’t lose your head! We live for the swarm, we fight for the swarm, we die for the swarm. Remember that.>”
“<Yes, sir! Of course, sir! Won’t ever forget it, sir!>”
“<Sometimes I wonder about you.>” Then Captain took off for the meadow and training others.
“<But I try real hard,>” Jun said plaintively. Not that it mattered. The old Beedrill was gone.
Landing on the branch, the young Beedrill looked around. Okay, so today it was watching this path. Warn the advance guard if humans show up. And report any Combees sighted. That wasn’t so bad. Not like the nerve wracking job that was being on the advance guard. An advance guard Beedrill was likely to get into a battle every single day, with any other Bug that tried to take over the forest and any other Pokemon that tried to take over the small meadow the swarm rested in.
Watch the path. Watch, watch, watch. It wasn’t like the path was going to go anywhere. Would anyone come down it? Or was this going to get really boring really fast?
He began counting the grass that was growing in the worn path to pass time, but lost count somewhere in the seventies when his eyes crossed and he couldn’t remember if he counted certain stalks or not. That passed a good deal a time. As he started the count again, a Ratatta ran across where he was looking. “<Hey!>”
“<Hey what?>” the Rattata snapped back, but then looked up and saw who was speaking. “<Oh, sorry there! I didn’t mean to cross into your territory, I just...>”
Jun looked at her, then shrugged. “<Eh, I’m only on the lookout for humans. Don’t go that way,>” he pointed back to the meadow, “<but carry on if you’re heading somewhere else.>”
“<Um, well okay. Thanks.>” She ran into the vegetation opposite of where she had come in.
“<Rattatas probably don’t matter,>” Jun said to himself. “<But if a Combee came, I’d smack some sense into it.>” He jumped up and began jabbing the air with his stingers. “<You call yourself a bee warrior? You only got one puny little stinger while I have five! You think you can stand up to the jab-jab-jab-jab-JAB!?>”
Jun got so into his mock fighting that he twirled around while jabbing and stuck his poisonous stinger... into a Spearow that had stealthily landed beside him. The red and brown bird shrieked, jumping back into the air. With his insides turning cold in fear, he brought his front stingers up defensively.
“<What in the world was that for?>” the bird screamed at him. “<That hurt!>”
“<Uh, of-of course it did! For I am a mighty Beedrill warrior!>” Who happened to be scared silly of being eaten at that moment. But the bird didn’t need to know that.
The Spearow glared at him. “<One of these days... ooo, my head is spinning. I feel sick.>” He flew back into the depths of the forest. After a moment, there was a distant crash in the bushes.
Jun relaxed. “<Did I really do that?>” He looked himself over and found a brown feather stuck on his tail stinger.
That evening, when another Beedrill showed up to take path-watching duty, Jun went in to report to Captain. “<The path didn’t move an inch, sir.>”
“<Very funny,>” the old Beedrill grunted. “<So no humans. What about Combees?>”
“<None of them either, sir. But I defeated a Spearow in single combat!>” He brought out the feather as proof.
“<You did what?>” Captain snatched the feather and looked it over. It was torn from his stinger, but the end of it had some blood from being ripped out of the Spearow’s body.
“<Honest to goodness, I did, sir,>” the young Beedrill said proudly. “<Poisoned him and made him crash into the bushes, sir.>”
Captain stared at the feather a moment longer, then chuckled. “<It seems you did, soldier. Nice work. There might be more to you than meets the eye.>”
Jun jumped up gleefully. “<I did my be... ow!>” He rubbed his head from smacking into the branch above them.
He laughed. “<But you still need work.>”
Well, that was a great story! Nothing really much I can say is that you are the best fan-fic writer I know, and that your stories are great! Keep up the good work, and can't wait for the next one!
I would like to suggest Totodile line.
Laurence | Rock
Onix | Shuckle | Nosepass
I really like these stories! Especially your magikarp story from way back when! [any chance of a squirtle story?]
my random thought of the week:
Life is full of surprises--That's what we love and hate about it. Once we think we've got things figured out, life throws us a screwball. Sure it sucks for a while, but we always come back for more.
Now why would you want to click this?
Is this Beedrill based in part off the D/P/Pt rival? He deserves his own TV series! :-)
Heh...these are all pretty nice. Each of them sort of has their own unique little world, their own little style...such a wide variety of settings. Coral reefs, big cities, rain, snow, swamp, volcanic foothills...very, very nice!
And you make all the Pokemon fit their rolls so well, naive, serious, wise, foolish...whatever the situation calls for!
And, um...if it isn't too much to ask, could I request that you do a Electrike/Manectric story? Either, or both, or with different Pokemon, whatever's convienent for you...and, um...keep up the great work!
Please, please post after me. I can't stand to have killed another topic.
Yeah, I gave the Beedrill the Rival's anime name (still don't watch the show, but I see it so much around here). Although... I actually named him Waldo, because he reminded me of the 'Where's Waldo?' guy.
Anyhow. I did Feraligator, so I'll put the other two on the list. Remember, if the request list is long, you'll have to be patient.
I feel like I should warn you about this story. There's a touch of Pokemon-human romance here. However, it's nothing explicit and could be interpreted as platonic or unrequited if you're really against that kind of thing. I considered it and decide it was the best way to tell this story.
In Process: Scyther
On Deck: Hitmonchan/Baltoy, Tropius, Totodile/Croconaw, Squirtle, Electrike/Manectic
Reserve: Shaymin (3/17), Glalie/Bellosom (3/20)
Leaf Green entry: A Pokemon that consists entirely of programming code. It is capable of moving freely in cyberspace.
Fire Red entry: Further research enhanced its abilities. Sometimes, it may exhibit motions that were not programmed.
Diamond/Pearl entry: Additional software was installed to make it a better Pokémon. It began acting oddly, however.
Porygon condition check.... good.
Situation check... located in the doorway to Trainer’s room. Trainer is at computer, examining program files. Porygon currently guarding doorway.
Noise detection triggered... footsteps. Three sources, all climbing stairs. Check identity.
Identity check... Subject 1: annoying little brother. Subject 2: annoying little brother’s friend. Subject 3: Mom.
Orders are to forbid access to Trainer’s room to annoying little brother. Response 1: Growl.
Humans speaking. Commencing translation.
A.L.B: See Mom? Porygon keeps growling at me whenever I come up here.
Mom: Michael, what’s the meaning of this?
Trainer: Todd keeps bugging me when I’m trying to work. I wouldn’t have to do this if he’d stop coming into my room without knocking.
Mom: Todd, you should be knocking. But Michael, you don’t need to have your Pokemon growl at him every time he walks by. And you should stop working in that dim room. Come out and get some fresh air and sunshine.
Trainer: But Mom, I’m almost done...
Mom: Make Porygon stop.
Trainer: Alright, sheesh. Porygon, you can let Todd in my room, if he knocks. And stop growling as much.
Orders altered. Affirm with short call.
ALB: We wanna see what you’re doing.
ALB knocks. Move aside and allow him in.
Mom: I still think you should get a real Pokemon.
Trainer: But Porygon is a real Pokemon.
ALBF: She’s artificial intelligence, though.
Mom: And she doesn’t act like a real Pokemon should. She just sits there until you tell her to do something. I can’t believe people were willing to pay so much for a fancy paperweight.
Trainer: Well this science is still new. This Upgrade will make her better, you’ll see.
Mom: We shouldn’t be playing God, you know.
Mom leaves the hall and returns downstairs. ALBF kneels down and pokes Porygon. Recommended response: Turn to him and see if he means harm.
Trainer: It’s not like that.
ALBF: So this is the Pokemon you stole from the Game Corner?
Trainer: I did not steal her. I liberated her from Team Rocket.
ALBF: Yeah, right.
Trainer: It isn’t really stealing if you’re taking it from a thief. Besides, she’s officially registered under my ID Number, so as far as anyone is concerned, she’s mine.
ALBF: So why haven’t you given her the Upgrade? Did you get it late?
ALB: No, he signed up for it as soon as it was announced.
Trainer: I’m studying it carefully so that I know how it works. I already know most of Porygon’s programming, I just want to see what Porygon2 is capable of.
ALBF: I hear they use Porygon2 in space to repair satellites and explore the moon.
Trainer: That’s true, but I’m not sure this Upgrade will be enough.
ALB: You’ve had it for two months now! Come on, evolve her already!
Trainer: Well it’s not going to do any harm, and I have a copy of it made. Porygon, move to my computer.
Move onto computer; affirm with short call.
Interface with infrared connection... done. Transfer data into computer... ... ... ... done.
Silph Inc. Upgrade 2-PYGN-XGSC detected. Checking registration... authenticated. Checking for bugs... none found.
Install Upgrade? Y/N
... ... ... ...
Data downloaded. I am well.
I have encountered a small item that is not identified in my database. It is on the kitchen floor. It is a spherical object with a diameter of nearly one centimeter. It is green and partially coated with ice crystals. I poke it with my beak and it rolls. It smells of frozen water and green foodstuff. It must be some sort of food.
“What are you doing, Porygon?” Mom asks. She looks down. “Oh, you have a frozen pea. Play with it if you want. Or can.”
A pea that is frozen. It has been three years since my upgrade and I still find new things to notice. I have registered that item and will recognize another frozen pea if it falls on the floor.
I push it around for a bit. That seems to be play for the other Pokemon, although I see no point to it. I eat the pea, and it is good.
The door opens as Michael and Todd come home. The younger boy rushes in. “Mom, I got an A on my history test!”
She claps a few times before hugging him. “Good job. What about math?”
“It’s good,” he replies.
I bring my wings around and look at them. Could I clap? It seems possible, a simple motion. I bring my wings together. Yes, that seems right.
Michael takes an envelope from the table and opens it. After reading the letter inside, he grins. “Yes, the tech institute accepted me!”
“Ooorriii!” I cheer and clap for him.
He laughs and picks me up to pet my head. “Hey, you learned something. Thanks, Pory.”
“Gooo,” I say as I put my head against his chest. The petting always feels nice.
“Good going,” Mom says. “How are you going to pay for it?”
“I’ll manage,” Michael replies.
I clap again.
He shakes his head and taps my beak. “No, that’s not the right time to clap.”
I will have to learn when the appropriate time to clap is.
Michael has been working almost non-stop since he got thrown out of tech school. They did not appreciate his attitude, if I understand correctly. I do not know what this means for us, but he shows no obvious signs of being upset. Unless, this constant work is a sign. He has worked all night on previous projects. However, this has taken him months.
My internal programming recommends that I make sure he does not make himself ill. So once an hour, I prod him to make sure that he is drinking plenty of fluids. When it is time for him to eat, I gently nip his arm. And when it is time for him to sleep, I tug at his clothing.
It works on most occasions, but then he goes right back to his computer and works. Is this normal for humans? It is normal for him.
“Don’t worry, girl,” he tells me. “I’ve almost got it.”
He’s always referred to me as female. It makes no difference to me, other than having to learn to look at people when they say, ‘girl’ or the like. The last friend who visited suggested that it was because I am taking care of him so much. But that was over a month ago.
“I’ll make it so that they can never deny that you’re real again,” he continues. “You’re the only one who stands by me now. You appreciate me and I appreciate you. I’ll make sure that everyone can appreciate how wonderful you are.”
He is my Trainer and that is why I stand by him. That is how I was programmed. That is how other Pokemon must be programmed as well, for they stand by their Trainers faithfully too. I do not understand what this business about me being false is, but if Michael says he can fix it, then I know that he can.
I had been napping, but I woke up. I brought my head up and looked at Michael. “Re?”
He clapped his hands and grinned. “I’ve got it! The Psyche Disc!”
I looked at the orange CD case he had, then smiled and clapped for him.
He came to pick me up, then sit me on his lap in front of his computer. “This will further enhance your emotive and learning capacities, as well as give you an open-ended editing routine that will make you truly like the other Pokemon. You’ll still be made of pure information, but with this, no one should be able to distinguish your behaviors from that of others. Then you and your peers can be fully appreciated, as you were meant to be.”
I am not sure what this all means, but if he is happy, then that is good.
Michael gazed at the computer screen. “I’ll call your new form Porygon-Z, for it is the zenith of created intelligence programs. Whenever you’re ready, move into the computer and download the information.” He opened the case and slid the CD into the tower.
My systems are all working fine, so I transfer myself into the computer. I can recall how drastic my first evolution was. A Porygon2 does not look much different that a Porygon, but my mind advanced so much. How will this change me?
I cannot answer that now.
I check the download. I trust Michael, but procedures must be followed. It is good and clean. It is official from Silph. I connected myself to it and take in the information.
... ... ... ...
It is done! Hurray!
The spring shower feels utterly divine as I spin and dance in it. The cold water splatters on my brightly colored skin, giving it a sheen that Contest Pokemon would kill for. Such fools! Wasting their time in hour after hour of parlor treatments and dance lessons. They endure blindly hot spotlights while wearing such ridiculous costumes to look their best when all I have to do is dance in the rain. The raindrops are cool and kind, natural and friendly, while those hideous spotlights are hot and bright, unnatural and merciless. No thanks. I’d rather take my chances with the mud puddles.
Michael slips his cellphone down to softly call, “Pory,” then taps the bench beside him.
Giggling, I come over and sit by him. “<It’s such fun,>” I tell him. “<Why don’t you dance?>”
He turns back to his cellphone, though. “No, we’re waiting on the evaluation of Porygon-Z... No, I’m not obsessed with Porygons, Mom. I’ve worked hard on this, but... I don’t have a girlfriend. I don’t think I’m ready... it’s not like that! Don’t you ever listen?” He hung up. “Why do I even try this again?”
“<Don’t get too upset about her,>” I say, patting his leg. “<She was never on our side.>”
A man comes out with an umbrella. Another Porygon-Z is beside him. “Michael.”
He gets up. “What do you think? Aren’t they great?”
The other Porygon-Z looks up at the sky and gawks. “<Oh my goodness, the sky is crying! We’d better do something to cheer it up, fast!>”
I laugh at him and spin around. “<I think they’re tears of joy! It makes the flowers happy.>”
“This is awful! It’s the worst possible evolution to the Porygon line I’ve seen, and we didn’t even let the others enter actual testing phase.”
“But haven’t you seen how strong they are? And how much they act like other Pokemon? It’s an insult to call a Porygon-Z an artificial intelligence now.”
That’s precisely the problem. We didn’t need them to act like other Pokemon.”
“That’s why people say they aren’t real.”
“And that’s why a lot of our customers like them. You only feed them when you want to and they require almost no care to gain their trust and loyalty. Plus, with their limited numbers, they’re a great status symbol for rich people who have little time to give a ‘real’ Pokemon. But Porygon-Z, I have no idea what he’s going to do next. It’s difficult to get him to behave even with obedience reinforcements. And he demands far more attention when I have no time for it. I can’t afford to keep him now, but I know of no one who can afford to buy him and take care of him.”
“Well Porygon to Porygon2 is a large change,” Michael points out. “They’re often tricky to handle the first few days, but then they settle down. This is the same thing; they’ve gone through a large change and it will take time for the Trainer and Pokemon to get used to it. But it is worth it.”
“Not to someone whose time is at a premium. We will not accept distribution of this dubious disc and if we hear of you doing so, we’ll sue for copyright infringement.” Then he goes back inside.
“<But I was just starting to like this rain,>” his Porygon-Z comments as he follows his Trainer back inside.
Michael is devastated. He drops down onto the wet bench, looking strangely lost. “It’s not right to leave them behind for the sake of your convenience.”
I don’t like seeing him sad now, as it makes me hurt deep inside too. So I hug him. “<They don’t appreciate you either. But I do. You let me enjoy dancing in the rain.>”
He picks me up and holds me close. “I’m sorry, Pory. I tried to convince them.”
I put my head on his chest. We’re there like that for a long time, just the two of us. Then he sighs and gets up, still holding onto me.
“So his problem is that those with Porygons don’t have time to handle a Porygon-Z, huh? Well what if we got some Porygons into the hands of those with time? We’ll have to add some programs to the original form, so that they can handle living in the wild. But it must look accidental... along with any distribution of my Psyche Disc until your peers come into popularity. But it’ll be worth it in the end.”
“<I’ll help however I can,>” I tell him. And that is the truth, because my heart belongs to him.
Jun as a Beedrill made my day. A huge flighty bee with spears ... XD
The Porygon one was really cute. I loved how her devotion to her trainer developed, and how curious and playful she was. There was a bit that needed punctuation, though:
Besides that, great job. ^_^That’s precisely the problem. We didn’t need them to act like other Pokemon.”
That Porygon one was epic.
I loved how her personality changed, she developed from acting much like a computer (using program layout patterns to understand actions and perform the appropriate response) to becoming so like a real, living Pokemon.
I sense forboding in her trainers ideas. Any clues on why there are Porygon in the Trophy Garden, or why a Dubious Disk is just 'dropped accidentally' on a route in Sinnoh there? I oved how that guy actually used the game term for the disk.
And I feel so sorry for the Porygon, reduced to mindless pets to people with no time...
I hate everyone who refuses to put effort into getting Porygon Z. Another strike against the rich of the Pokemon world!
The Porygon Z having feelings for her trainer at the end was just beautiful, it really was. While I tend to restrict human and Pokemon romance to humanoid Pokemon (Gardevoir, Gallade, Lucario) you have just opened my mind to a new area of that tricky zone.
To round this off, I would like to request a Milotic/Dusknoir one-shot. And if you wonder why those two, look at the Tournament of Champions RPG I'm a part of. It should become clear...
Credit for the banner goes to Kamotz
I think I'm addicted to these one-shots, hurry up with the scyther one, Ysavvryl !
My favorite is the one with Rotom, but Dorapion is close after (lol for hairless bipedal creatures..)
The peace symbol was brilliant, and I love your ideas on how TMs and pokeballs work!
To sum that up... Holy Godzila ! XD
Well thankfully I'm addicted to writing these and the idea for this one came pretty quick. I've seen Scyther in several other stories, generally used in similar manners. The standard does fit with the Pokedex entries. I still wanted to do something different, though.
In Process: Hitmonchan/Baltoy
On Deck: Tropius, Totodile/Croconaw, Squirtle, Electrike/Manectic, Milotic/Dusknoir
Reserve: Shaymin (3/17), Glalie/Bellosom (3/20)
Leaf Green entry: With ninja-like agility and speed, it can create the illusion that there is more than one of itself.
Emerald entry: A Scizor has a body with the hardness of steel. It is not easily fazed by ordinary sorts of attacks. It flaps its wings to regulate its body temperature.
Not everyone appreciated fine music, the Scyther considered. The near-metallic ringing of her two blades being slid across each other was very fine music, but the group of Pokemon sitting nearby winced every time those lovely notes broke the hot humid air. A Ralts being carried out of the building by her Trainer started crying when she heard it. The Scyther smiled at that. At least she appreciated it, in her own way.
They were sitting on the steps to the GTS station. It was a graceful building, in a way, but it inspired dread in many Pokemon. Being traded was a daunting prospect as it was, but at least with the Wireless Club, one could meet the new Trainer before being transferred. When it came to the GTS, a Pokemon had no idea where it would wind up, who it would be under, or what its future would hold. So the gray concrete facade, the enormous archway entrance, the sparkling fountain out front, it was all destined to become the elements of nightmares.
“Skyra, come here.”
The Scyther got up and walked up to steps to her Trainer. “<Is it our turn?>”
She waved her hand to follow. “Come on. We finally got rid of that slacker. About time, too. I’m not liking all the system failures they’re having here.”
“<It is new to the Jasper area, didn’t you say?>” Skyra looked around the lobby as they came inside. Some human kids were staring at her. She narrowed her eyes and they pretended that she wasn’t there in a hurry.
Chuckling, she followed her Trainer back to the receiving area. Camilla was graceful herself, quick and nimble too. Skyra respected that she was talented like that. Other humans would rely on their Pokemon all the time, but Camilla could kill an enemy as easily as Skyra. That is, if she could do that without getting into trouble with the police. It was one of the things that made the Scyther glad that she was a Pokemon.
Camilla brushed her long black hair back, then smiled warmly to Skyra. “I found a male Scyther in exchange. He seems pretty impressive, based on the forms at least. We should be able to build you two into a strong Doubles team.”
“<That would be nice.>” She looked down at her blades. “<Too bad I don’t have stained blades to show him how tough I am.>”
“And if you two get into any ritual fighting in here, I’ll have to recall both of you. I hope you understand that the staff wouldn’t appreciate that. I’ll let you two go at it outside of town if you want.”
“<I know, but it depends on how long he has been around humans.>”
A polite female voice interrupted their conversation. “Trade #3074, commencing arrival of a Scyther named Miguel.”
Camilla crossed her arms over her chest. “Miguel, huh? Could be worse. I ran across one named Skizzles before I caught you.”
Skyra shuddered. “<How awful.>”
A boy wearing a wide straw hat came up. “Hey, are you that Camilla woman?”
She turned to him and nodded. “Yes, what is it?”
He looked up at her critically. “You’re trying to open a Bug Gym around here? You don’t look like any Bug Maniac I’ve met.”
“I’m not a Bug Maniac,” she said patiently, as she’d been told that a lot lately. “I’m an entomologist, which means I know far more about bugs than your run-of-the-mill Bug Maniac.”
“You can’t be serious. Girls don’t like bugs, except for the cute ones, and even then...”
Skyra ignored the conversation; she’d heard variations on it before. Instead, she looked into the receiving room. It was a large dome-shaped area with strange glowing panels running around it in a spiral. The panels were beginning to hum; the air inside the room shimmered and turned into a haze. For a moment, it was impossible to see anything in there.
The haze then condensed into two objects. One was a green Pokeball with a netting pattern on the top, which appeared open on the floor. The other was Miguel. He was taller than Skyra by half a foot and his white scythes were as sharp (and clean) as hers. His exoskeleton wasn’t quite the same color as her’s. Skyra had a bright meadow green armor while he had a more muted desert grass green. She wondered briefly if it was due to where they had been born; Camilla probably knew why.
When she looked at his face, his eyes seemed dazed and disoriented. Skyra quickly looked down, not wanting to insult him by acknowledging a moment of weakness. As she did, she noticed that he was wearing an odd accessory. It was a vest made of connected steel plates. Why had his previous Trainer put him in that? It looked uncomfortable, not to mention hot for this kind of weather.
Then the air around him began to shimmer again. Skyra wondered if the trading machine wasn’t finished, but then felt the energy release of an evolution taking place. She grabbed hold of Camilla’s sleeve. “<Hey, something’s happening!>”
“What?” She looked into the receiving room to see Miguel evolving, but not in time to interrupt him. “Oh... M’am, I wasn’t informed that this Scyther was wearing a Metal Coat.”
“We don’t give out information on what a tradable Pokemon may be holding,” the worker replied.
“But I listed exactly what my trade was: history, accessory, and health records.”
“That sort of thing is used for surveys, not for listing the Pokemon.”
Miguel’s armor was now a sandstone red. His wings lay differently, grown wide instead of slender like hers. But most different were his blades. They were no longer scythes. Rather, they reminded Skyra of scissors, or tree branch loppers. They were about the same size as his head, and even had markings like eyes near the joints. They still appeared sharp, but...
Skyra wasn’t sure what to make of this. As far as she knew, she was supposed to judge a peer’s power based on the condition and size of his scythes. His earlier form had been impressive, but this now: did she judge based on original or this form?
“<Que?>” he asked. He brought one of his hands up and noticed the lack of the Coat and scythe. “<Qué me ha sucedido? Por qué soy tengo gusto de esto?>”
“<What happened to you?>” Skyra asked, not understanding him.
Startled, he looked at her, then looked down, ashamed. “<Sorry, senorita. I didn’t know where I was. Or how I came to be like this... it isn’t the right time to turn into this.>”
“<Into what? I didn’t know we could evolve.>”
“<Scizor.>” He started out of the room, but stumbled from his change in weight.
“No, I’ll keep him,” Camilla said, continuing her conversation with the GTS worker. “I’ll just see about pushing for better listing information.” She went into the receiving room and picked up the Net Ball. “Miguel, I am Camilla, your new Trainer. I have chosen you as a strong hunter for my Gym. I expect nothing less than your best.”
He straightened his posture and lowered his arms. “<She knows us well.>”
“<She could hunt like us, if it were not against her kind’s gentle hands,>” Skyra pointed out.
Camilla pointed to the Scyther. “This is Skyra, another of mine. I have other Bugs working for me, but they may not be to your interest. Come; let’s go outside.”
“Are you gonna help him?” the boy with the straw hat asked. “He doesn’t look too steady.”
Miguel growled. “<Don’t be cheeky.>”
Camilla brought her hand up. “Hush.” Then she looked at the boy. “He is strong, so he needs no help. I know my Bugs. This is why I am an entomologist, not a Bug Maniac.” She went on past him towards the door.
Skyra followed after her. After taking a few tentative steps to gauge his new balance, Miguel followed as well. By the time they arrived at the fountain, he was breathing heavily in the humidity. “<This is not like Amarillo Desert. Where is this?>”
“<We’re in Queens Port of Jasper,>” Skyra answered. “<There’s no deserts on this side of the sea.>”
The entomologist looked up at the temperature display. “Miguel, you need to beat your wings.”
“<What for? As far as I remember, Scizors don’t fly.>”
He huffed. “<Fine. But it’s so sticky.>” He set his wings off with a ringing hum, like a tuning fork left to vibrate.
The Bug Catcher came back out to them. “Hey, so you really know a lot about Bug Pokemon?”
“Of course,” Camilla said. She made a quick wave to Miguel. “Scizors are found naturally near harsh regions where the Scyther’s territory overlaps with a lot of Rock Pokemon or those that can use Rock-type moves. Such regions must have deposits of mineral-heavy clay or sand around. Where these Bugs take a lot of risks with falling rocks or Rock attacks, they eat bits of clay or sand to strengthen their exoskeletons. After several years of this, they retain enough metal to evolve into Scizor. However, since the advent of electronic trading, it has been discovered that this process can be greatly sped up by trading a Scyther with a piece of metal from another Pokemon. This is most commonly the Metal Coat, which is found on Steelix.”
“Really? I had no idea you could find naturally evolved Scizors.”
“You’d have a terrible time trying to catch one, though. Also, while they do protect themselves from Rocks by trading their Fly type for a Steel, it leaves them prone to overheating, especially on scorching hot days like this one. Thus their wings have shifted form and function from quick bursts of flight to dispelling of excess heat.”
Miguel’s wings slowed for a moment before speeding back up. “<I would have figured that out, given time.>”
Skyra chuckled. “<She knows us well. Miguel.>”
She flipped her wings out and darted into the air. She then skipped around until he thought she was coming from his front-right, but actually she was just behind him and to his left. Tapping his shoulder with her left blade, she said, “<I would like to see your power. But when you are accustomed to being a Scizor, not before.>”
He smirked back at her. “<Do you mean to be flirtatious, senorita?>”
“<We shall see. I do not know how to appraise one like you. But, you were rather intriguing before.>”
“<If you wish to be impressed by your defeat, then by all means. You will hardly make a scratch on this armor.>”
“<You will not find me to be a pushover,>” she replied.
...A year later...
Camilla had put her Gym outside, in a large grassy field. It was still odd to Miguel, who was used to harsh rocky deserts with the occasional tough grassy patch. But the other Bugs of the Gym loved it, so he didn’t make a fuss. As a Scizor, it was his duty to keep all wild birds out of the Gym grounds. He enjoyed the job initially, but the birds were wising up to his presence.
In fact, he hadn’t seen any today. As he was considering going out of the Gym bounds, he heard a ringing almost-metallic sound. Not true metal, but bone so sharp and solid that it might as well be metal. That could only be Skyra sharpening her scythes. He always loved that music, but it made him giddier when he knew that it was her. He went to find her.
It was pointless for him to sneak up on her. When the rings of her scythes weakened, he rushed at her with his claws at ready. By the time he reached where she was, the Scyther was already gone. The grass rustled on all sides. Lesser Pokemon would fear attack from multiple foes, but Miguel knew it was just Skyra zipping around making it seem that way. He braced himself, then spun around and brought his claws up in time to catch her scythes.
“<It seems that you have caught me,>” she said. “<What do you mean to do to me?>”
“<Did you let me catch you?>” he asked.
“<That depends on what you want with me.>”
“<I wanted to ask if you would come hunting with me.>”
“<Really? We are lone hunters, though we follow the pack.>”
Miguel pushed her scythes aside and moved closer. “<I would only hunt with you, Skyra. You helped me so much in the past year, getting used to this new place and this new form. And the way you move in battle is so devastatingly beautiful. Would you hunt with me?>”
She smirked. “<I think you have more than hunting on your mind.>”
He grinned back. “<I know you have more than hunting on your mind.>”
“Skyra, Miguel, come here now,” Camilla called.
“<Do we have to put some rookie back in place?>” Skyra asked.
“<Seems so.>” He rushed to the battle area. She still got there before him and teased him for it by beckoning with her right scythe. He responded in kind by clipping the air with his claws.
Camilla put her hands on her hips as she looked at them. “I wasn’t aware that you two were courting. You’ll have to put it off for now.”
“<Only because it’s you, Camilla>” Skyra said.
“<I don’t like it, but yes, as you ask.>” Miguel then winked at Skyra.
The Gym Leader then looked at her challenger with the same stern look she gave her Pokemon. “Look kid, every type has its strengths and weaknesses. So don’t dismiss any one of them, or you will be defeated. We shall demonstrate this for you.”
“<And when the blood of one foe lies on the hands of two, they shall hunt with one heart evermore,>” Skyra said.
“<And we shall take your blood and be forever bound as one,>” Miguel added.
The Murkrow facing them pretended to gag. “<Sheesh, she told you to cut the romance already. I think I’m gonna lose my lunch.>”
The bird’s partner, a Gloom, stared at them with wide eyes. “<I think I lost yesterday’s lunch.>”
Last edited by Ysavvryl; 4th March 2009 at 4:27 AM.
It's a little different than what I imagined scyther like, but I LOVED it!
If the last line is a joke, I didn't get it..
It was, but it was slightly off-color.
The Shaymin entry is looking nice. Still need to look over the other reserve for that week, though.
In Process: Tropius
On Deck: Totodile/Croconaw, Squirtle, Electrike/Manectic, Milotic/Dusknoir
Reserve: Shaymin (3/17), Glalie/Bellosom (3/20)
Fire Red entry: The spirit of a pro boxer has infused this Pokemon. It throws punches that are faster than a bullet train.
FR/LG entry: It was discovered in ancient ruins. While moving, it constantly spins. It stands on one foot even when asleep.
The desert winds whipped around them, throwing up a veil of flying sand. It ran over their skin like sandpaper. If it wasn’t for the goggles, they would probably be blinded. Despite the discomfort of being out in the sandstorm, it was their best option. An engine roared nearby. The desert might just be able to hide them.
The human girl dropped down on her knees, thinking it would make her less visible. She wore red-violet runner’s shorts and a matching sports tank. Her shoes and socks were in the canvas bag she carried, for she had been out here training just minutes ago. Her orange hair was tied back with a clip that had the logo of the dojo she trained in. She watched the direction the engine sounded from.
Next to her, her partner kept an eye on other directions. He was a Hitmonchan, a four foot tall Fighting Pokemon with brown skin and a killer punch. His fist were covered in red callouses from his constant practice against stones and boulders. He also had light purple armor that had grown over his chest and flared out past his waist, to protect vital organs from serious damage. All adaptations to help him in close-quarters combat.
The engine changed directions. It was an ATV, perfectly capable of driving in this sandstorm. The driver and passenger were something to worry about. They had showed up five minutes ago, with guns in hand, demanding that the girl come with them quietly. While she and her Pokemon were both capable of defending themselves in regular combat, guns were something they did not want to mess with. So they had run into the sandstorm in hopes of losing them.
The Trainer then nudged his shoulder armor, letting him know that they were to move over to the cliff walls surrounding the desert. There might be a shallow cavern to hide in. He nodded and led the way. They trained often here, but generally not in the middle of the sandstorm. It would cover their tracks, but made it difficult to see the way ahead. The flying sand made him completely miss a rapid sinkhole until he fell right into it.
“Jack!” the girl shouted. She tried to grab his hand, but he slipped under the quickly moving sand in a blink. Seconds later, a burst of gas shot a plume of sand into the air. But not the Pokemon.
The ATV headed right for her.
Although Jack feared that he was going to drown in sand, he was soon falling through air. He rolled in time to hit the ground safely. When he got back to his feet, he saw a gas hole shoot out all the sand it had swallowed up. As it finished, a yellow shimmer appeared in the ceiling, keeping the sand from falling inside.
“<Casey!>” But the sand blocked his voice and that shield blocked him.
Seeing as he wasn’t getting out that way, he pushed his goggles onto his forehead and looked at his surroundings. He was in a room carved out of tan stone. There were a few holes in the ceiling like the one he had dropped through, corresponding with holes in the floor. What purpose they served, he had no clue. There were drawings all over the walls. These were simple figures, abstracts of people fishing, farming, and building. Other figures appeared to be Pokemon, some he recognized, some he didn’t. The room was empty save for himself and another Pokemon.
This other was shown in the pictures, but Jack wasn’t sure what it was. Appearing to be made of clay, it had a head shaped like an onion, a slightly larger body, and no legs. Instead, it pivoted slowly on one point, like a child’s top. It had flat arms that curved out, nearly touching the floor. It spun about two inches off the ground, perfectly balanced. Even while it levitated, it was a head shorter than he was.
“<Excuse me, but where’s the exit to this place?>” the Hitmonchan asked.
Two eyes opened up as it stopped spinning. “<Hmm?>” it asked sleepily.
He bowed his head. “<Oh, sorry. I didn’t realize you were asleep.>”
It glided around him, observing. “<Fascinating.>”
“<Pardon me for asking, but what are you?>”
“<Baltoy.>” The voice had a higher pitch to it, so was this a female? “<You?>”
“<I’m a Hitmonchan. My name is Jack.>”
She shook her head. “<No name. You lucky.>”
“<I see. I’ll ask again: where’s the exit to this place?>”
“<I fell through a sinkhole up there. My Trainer was with me when we were threatened by strangers with guns. I have to get out to help her.>”
“<Very bad weapons. We can’t fight them.>”
“<Ooo, bad. Exit. Come.>” She moved towards the door, turning herself to it as she went along.
Jack followed the odd Baltoy into a hallway. There were more of the same tan stones and more of the same style of drawings. “<What is this place?>”
“<Ancient,>” she replied. “<Temple.>”
“<An ancient temple to who?>”
“<That would make sense,>” he said, mostly to himself. A temple to rocks in the middle of a desert... but then why had their been pictures of fishers?
She paused in front of a small shaft and whistled. It seemed to be some kind of signal, as it was long and moved between several notes. Then she moved on down the hall.
“<What were you doing there?>”
She made a curving turn to go through a doorway into another room, much larger than the one he had fallen into. The outer rim was a raised pathway of stone, but the central area was dusted with sand. Six tall columns stood there, surrounding the middle of the room. But there was nothing there. “<Is there supposed to be something here? It seems like there should be.>”
The Baltoy stopped in the center of the pillars, on top of a large block. She tapped the floor. “<Rock. Sleeping.>”
There was a whistle, followed by another. And a dozen more. Many Baltoys entered the pillar room, looking exactly like his guide. “<Guest?>” one asked.
She shook her head. “<Trouble, above. Help?>”
The others looked over him, then nodded. “<Help.>”
Jack bowed to them. “<Thank you. My Trainer was being threatened; I don’t know why, but I have to help her.>”
His guide beckoned with her hands. “<Exit, come.>”
Setting off as one, the Baltoys moved to the largest doorway in the room. Jack went with them, glad to find stairs on the other side. The lead Baltoys pressed a few switches on the way up, causing a rock slab to slide backwards. The wind sent flying sand at them, but the Baltoys just closed their eyes and pressed on. Jack put his goggles back over his eyes.
He did not hear the engine. “<Casey!>”
With their eyes shut, the Baltoys all pointed to the north. “<Three,>” his guide said.
So they had her. Jack rushed that way, ignoring the sand blasting away at his skin. He soon saw a tall rock jutting out of the ground. Casey had her back to the rock, trying to watch the two men at once. Only one had a gun this time. The other was threatening her. “You’re going to give us the password, one way or another.”
Normally, he wouldn’t hurt humans. But this was a definite exception. Jack slammed his right fist into the back of the gunman’s leg, then spun around and punched the hip with his left as the human was falling. Before the man hit the ground, Jack grabbed hold of the gun and yanked it out of his hands.
He had no clue how to actually use the gun, so he simply bludgeoned it onto the man’s chest. “<You don’t threaten my Trainer,>” he snarled.
“Jack?” Casey asked in astonishment. “Thank goodness.” Then she delivered a fierce kick to the other man’s chest.
He gasped, but then got hold of his gun.
One of the Baltoys tapped Jack’s arm, then pointed to the rock. “<Up.>”
Deciding to trust them, he nodded and darted over to Casey’s side. He pointed up onto the rock. “<Come on!>”
Seeing the first man scramble for another gun, she nodded and picked him up. Once he climbed onto her back, she jumped up for a handhold. She was on top of it in the blink of an eye.
Jack looked back down in time to see the sandy air vibrate. The Baltoys all released Psychic energy that, while not bothering each other, put the two man below in immense pain. That energy left trails in the sand, all directed straight at one or the other. Since they were so short, their blasts did not touch Casey and Jack up on the rock.
“What’s going on?” the first one said, panicking.
“Let’s get out of here,” the other replied, rushing for the ATV. Once his partner had stumbled on board, they got out of the desert in a hurry.
Once the sandstorm drowned out the vehicle’s roar, Casey slid off the rock, putting Jack down. “That was sure impressive. But, where’d they go?”
For a moment, it seemed like the Baltoys were all gone. Only the straight trails of sand held any hint that they had been there. The sandstorm was already erasing those. But then one glided into their range of vision. “<Safe?>” Her voice was familiar; it was the one who had guided him.
“<For now, I think,>” he replied. “<Thank you.>”
She bowed. Then she raised one arm up. “<Follow?>”
Casey knelt down, like she did when she wanted to talk to Jack. “Thank you, little Pokemon.”
The Baltoy brought her other arm up and appeared as if asking to be picked up. “<Follow?>”
“I’m not entirely sure what you are.” She put her hand to her chin. “What do you think, Jack? Want to fight with this one?”
“<She’s different, but sure, let’s give it a try.>”
She bowed again. “<Good.>”
Guess everyone must be busy. Me too. And I got stuck on this entry. So I went to get the next one, and got stuck on that too. Then I had the idea for this one. I think I know what to do with Totodile now too.
In Process: Totodile/Croconaw
On Deck: Squirtle, Electrike/Manectic, Milotic/Dusknoir
Reserve: Shaymin (3/17), Glalie/Bellosom (3/20)
FR/LG entry: It lives in tropical jungles. The bunch of fruit around its neck is delicious. The fruit grows twice a year.
“<Good morning, Tropius!>”
The giant sauropod Pokemon strengthened his last few wingbeats to land gently beside the bamboo thicket. He then bowed his head to the Bug who had greeted him. “<Good morning, Pinsir. How’re you doing?>”
“<Great, just eating some bamboo... oh, but you’re more than welcome to join me. How are you?>”
“<I’m fine, thanks for asking.>”
A Swellow flew nearby, but stopped to hover by them. “<Hey, have you guys seen any Mightyenas today? I was driving a couple away last night, so be careful.>”
“<Okay,>” Tropius replied. The large black wolves were one of the predators of his kind, so he was especially grateful for that. “<Thanks a lot.>”
“<No problem.>” She flew off to patrol some more.
“<I could scare them off too,>” Pinsir said. “<If I caught them by surprise, you know.>”
“<I’m sure.>” He then settled in for a mid-morning snack on the bamboo stalks. Between his great size, his unorthodox flying, and his constant movements, photosynthesis was just not enough for his energy needs. He was hungry almost all the time. Thankfully, this bamboo grew as quickly as his hunger did.
‘They’re all so nice to me this morning,’ he thought. He didn’t have to wonder why. Like all Tropius, he grew a cluster of fruits underneath his chin. Their scent was losing the tart tang of greenness and taking on the mellow sweet of ripeness. All the Pokemon he knew loved the rare delicacy of a Tropius fruit. And so, every time a cluster approached ripeness, all of his neighbors became extra kind and generous.
Although he liked the special treatment when it came, it was disheartening to know that they were only nice because they wanted one of his fruits. Once they were gone, he would have to watch out for Pinsir defending ‘his’ portion of the bamboo. And if any predators came, he would be on his own.
There was also the antagonizing debate over who he should give a fruit to. Some took the fruit and never spoke to him again. Others, if he didn’t give them a piece, would be bitter and hate him for some time. But he only had so many pieces of fruit, this time eight. There were far more than eight Pokemon who would be asking to get them.
Still, the special treatment was only available to him twice a year. He might as well enjoy it while it lasted. It was a pity, though. He was the most avid lover of fruit in the jungle, but he could not eat the fruits that his own body grew. It just wasn’t right to eat a part of oneself.
There was a rustling in the bamboo. A Zigzagoon came out of the thicket, wagging his tail. “<Hey Tropius!>”
He swallowed his piece of shoot and bowed his head. “<Good morning, Zigzagoon.>”
“<Hey, I smelled really nice and fruity on the other side. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe a new kind of fruit.>”
A new fruit? It sounded intriguing. “<You think? I may know it; I’ve eaten every kind of fruit that goes in this jungle.>”
“<I don’t know what it is. But it sure smells good.>”
“<I should go check it out with you, just in case it is new. Otherwise, I can tell you what it is.>”
“<Okay! It’s over on the other side somewhere.>” He darted into the thicket.
As the bamboo was growing too thick for him to walk through without knocking a bunch of stalks over, he beat his wings rapidly to take to the air. It was a short flight to cross over the thicket. Once in the clear, he hovered until he saw little Zigzagoon in the open. Then he landed.
And he could smell the new fruit too. “<Oh wow. That smells amazing.>”
“<Doesn’t it?>” Zigzagoon asked. “<I was gonna check it out, but then I thought, you’re a nice guy, so you should come check it out too.>”
After the new fruit and his own? Tropius was too interested in the new scent to be bothered. “<Thanks, you’re a good buddy.>”
“<So what is it?>”
He walked towards the scent. “<It might just be new. It smells a little like Leppa berries, but not. Strong. Maybe fermented some, but it should be safe to eat. And yet there’s such depth and complexity to it, tartness and sweetness, with a hint of various spices. If that would grow here regularly, it would be wonderful.>”
“<Wow, I wouldn’t have picked up on that much. I just thought it smelled good.>”
“<I’m an expert on fruit. It’s my passion. Should be... very near here.>” He looked down.
There was a wide ceramic bowl on the ground. But there was no fruit inside. Instead, the white interior showed off an amber colored liquid. It was this liquid that was giving off the heavenly scent.
“<That looks like some human thing,>” Zigzagoon said, patting the bowl.
“<I wonder where the human is, then.>” He looked around and sniffed the air, but the fruit juice drowned out all other scents from his nose. There didn’t seem to be any other signs of human activity.
“<They’re awfully forgetful, leaving this kind of thing behind. Maybe they left more stuff.>” His innate curiosity led him to sniff along the ground, looking for some trinket treasure.
Tropius lowered his neck all the way down so he could take a couple of drinks from the bowl. He wound up drinking most of the liquid in doing so, but left a bit for the other Pokemon to try. It was thick and smooth, tasting exactly as it smelled. Hints of spiced complexity, yet tones of fruity simplicity, it was one of the best snacks he’d ever come across.
He lifted his head back up with a smile. “<Like Leppas, but somehow different. This is really amazing. You’ve gotta...>” he yawned. “<Oh my. All of a sudden... I feel incredibly tired.>” He collapsed to the ground, fast asleep.
Zigzagoon looked at him with wide eyes, then rushed off towards the bamboo thicket. “<Poison! Murder! Help!>”
But despite how quickly his neighbors came, the Tropius was captured by a human Trainer who had been hiding behind the bushes.
Moral of the Story: Don’t drink apple cider from an open bowl. Somebody may have spiked it with tranquilizers.