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Thread: The Aura is With Me (Advanceshipping)

  1. #76
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    Hey guys! I know it's been mega long since I've updated on the Serebii forums. I've been regularly updating the story on my fanfiction account whilst Serebii fell a little bit by the wayside. I would attribute that mostly to my lack of attention, but also to the HTML conversion process. I use a lot of specific formatting, and it's a bear to have to put in the appropriate tags so that it displays correctly on HTML web pages. Fanfiction.net handles that automatically.

    This post has two reasons:
    First off, I want to see if this thread does resurface with this "mini bump."
    Second off, do you guys want me to still post? Would you still read this and respond? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    ~Meanwhile playing X and taking notes on an entire International Politics books by Pape. Oh boy midterms. ~

    -lunarshadow/TestSubject069
    3DS Friend Code: 2079-6549-2981
    "Let's trade and battle!" - *message me first*
    I am a shadow, I seek the ways of Hadou.
    I'll have you know, I am a Lucario.

  2. #77
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    Well, I'm pretty sure you know my answer already, but just in case...

    YES, YES, YES, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, COME BACK.

    *ahem*

    Good to see you back, bro. Hope your midterms go well.

    And yes, I would respond and read if you posted on here. I would probably respond more often than on FF.net, honestly.
    Last edited by Eon Master; 17th October 2013 at 8:07 PM.
    "I'm fighting because there's a battle to be fought, Archer. I'm fighting to win. That's all."
    "Hm. Alright, Rin. You are indeed my ideal Master. There is no one else I could hope to serve."



  3. #78
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    I started reading your fic, but school and a job punched me in the face. Seriously though, I'm sure I'd read and reply to your fic here more than on FF.net. So, I approve of this initiative. That being said, update away, good sir!



    P.S Good luck on your midterms
    Shippings I like: Advanceshipping and AmourShipping.
    Shippings I don't exactly care for: Contestshipping and Pokéshipping.
    Everything else is fair game.

    My shinies:
    ♀ 115 Hatches
    ♀ 125 Hatches
    ♂ 93 Hatches

    In progress:
    Skrelp @ 308 hatches;
    Honedge @ 25 hatches.

    "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words are merely the smallest element of language capable of containing meaning and isolation and as such could never directly produce the 4000 Newtons of force per square centimetre required to break bones."
    -Michael, VSauce

    3DS Friend Code: 2509-1774-0547
    XY Safari Pokémon: Onix, Nosepass, Rhydon

  4. #79
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    Of course we'll respond. And I'll also try my best to write a long review to give some decent feedback since not many people do that these days any more. xD

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eon Master View Post
    YES, YES, YES, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, COME BACK.

    Good to see you back, bro. Hope your midterms go well.

    And yes, I would respond and read if you posted on here. I would probably respond more often than on FF.net, honestly.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOneQuilava View Post
    I started reading your fic, but school and a job punched me in the face. Seriously though, I'm sure I'd read and reply to your fic here more than on FF.net. So, I approve of this initiative. That being said, update away, good sir!



    P.S Good luck on your midterms
    Quote Originally Posted by Midnightmoon6o2 View Post
    Of course we'll respond. And I'll also try my best to write a long review to give some decent feedback since not many people do that these days any more. xD
    Thanks you three! I definitely remember some of our shenanigans since those good old days on the adv shipping thread. : )

    Thanks for all of the encouragement and support! Fortunately I've got plenty of material backlogged so I'll be able to make constant updates every week with a chapter regardless of school or any other impediments.
    3DS Friend Code: 2079-6549-2981
    "Let's trade and battle!" - *message me first*
    I am a shadow, I seek the ways of Hadou.
    I'll have you know, I am a Lucario.

  6. #81
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    QUICK ANNOUNCEMENT WHEN READING THIS STUFF

    Some things have changed! I would like to invite all of you to re-read the entire ten chapters I've got up so far before continuing onto the later chapters. I've got a minor case of paranoid perfectionism so I've been revising some of my earlier work to polish it as much as possible. Some of the new things (especially in the prologue) will have great significance all the way to the end of this mega-long epic I have planned.

    I've created a new table of contents post, as well as an expanded author's note. I've kept the previous author notes of years prior, but hidden them in spoiler tags. This means that there are new thoughts with the author notes every chapter! Feel free to peer into my conciousness as you see fit!

    Updates will be every Monday morning at 12:00AM PDT, aka 03:00AM EST where I actually live.

    Happy reading!
    3DS Friend Code: 2079-6549-2981
    "Let's trade and battle!" - *message me first*
    I am a shadow, I seek the ways of Hadou.
    I'll have you know, I am a Lucario.

  7. #82
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    Chapter Ten: Neo Destiny

    The sun had nearly set beyond the horizon of Sunyshore City, casting its final rays on the scenery, creating an orange hue throughout the landscape. The white sand on the eastern beach reflected this color and the waves seemed especially dark in contrast. Lying on the soft sand along the beaches was a boy, seemingly unconscious, his mind floating in and out of normal perception.

    [19:13 P.M.] Sunyshore City (Beach), Sinnoh Region

    Where… am I?” Ash murmured to himself. His vision was completely blurred and his brain couldn’t make out the scenes in front of him.

    Concentrating harder, Ash made out a few landmarks like the lighthouse in the background, the cliff outcropping that it rested on, and the orange tinted white sand on the beach.

    Who… is that?” He asked himself, still groggy.

    Ash noticed some sort of yellow figure running up to him, made out small black eyes and a lightning bolt shaped tail, but he couldn’t define who it was. His vision quickly disintegrated. He felt a massive wave of dizziness as his sense perceptions disappeared in a flash, only to be replaced by a new set of images.

    Urgh... where... where am I?” Ash murmured again.

    He felt himself passing out once more.

    I can't... where...

    When he blinked his eyes again, the scenes from before had completely changed; the lighthouse had disappeared, the rock outcropping had vanished, and before he passed out, Ash noticed bubbles floating in the air, reflecting the sunset behind him.

    [Late Afternoon] Treasure Town (Wigglytuff’s Guild)

    A short walk away from the shore line, a small electric mouse paced back and forth before a large Wigglytuff tent, talking to himself. The massive flames issuing from the sentient torches to the side bathed the surrounding area in a violent red and yellow, casting the mouse’s shadow in multiple directions.

    “Hmm...” Pikachu sighed. “No, I refuse to be paralyzed by this any longer! This is it. I have to steel my courage today!”

    As Pikachu moved towards the gate entrance, a voice yelled in alert, “Pokémon detected! Pokémon detected!”

    Another belched out, “Whose footprint? Whose footprint?”

    “The footprint is Pikachu’s! The footprint is Pikachu’s!”

    “Waaah!” The electric mouse did a double take and backed away immediately. “That was too shocking!”

    “I can't...” Pikachu confessed to himself, wiping the sweat off his cheeks. “I can't work up the courage to go in, after all. I told myself that this is the day...”

    “I even thought that holding onto my personal treasure would inspire me!” The electric mouse took a small stone from his carrying pouch and stared at it.

    After staring at the artifact in his hand for a little while, he let his head droop to the ground in surrender.

    “I just can't do it... I'm such a coward. This is so discouraging…”

    Pikachu stowed his treasure inside of the pouch he carried with him and walked away from the guild entrance. As he walked down the stairs of the guild, a duo of sinister-looking Pokémon schemed amongst each other and followed the mouse at a distance.

    [Late Afternoon] Treasure Town (Beach)

    “I hear something…” Ash murmured to himself. “I wonder what… what it is…”

    Ash slowly woke up, hearing the waves crash behind him and feeling the heat of the sun on his back. Through his blurred vision he was able to make out some stout yellow figure quite a distance away from him. He couldn’t make perfect sense of what it was saying, but Ash picked out a few words.

    “What a pretty sight… the Krabby come out at sundown... it's always beautiful when I'm feeling sorry for myself... it cheers me up…!”

    Ash tried to collect his senses, but he still had trouble concentrating. Suddenly, he heard the other voice turn in his direction.

    “Hey... what's that?” The other Pokémon realized that something was on the beach. “Waah! Someone has collapsed on the sand!”

    Pikachu ran over to the still carcass and gently nudged it to see if it was alright.

    “What happened? Are you okay?”

    Ash noticed the gentle gestures but couldn’t say anything intelligent. Instead of talking, he tried moving. Slowly but surely, he got up onto his feet with an awful groan.

    “Ugh...”

    “You're awake! What a relief!” Pikachu backed away from the new guy to give him some personal space. “You weren't moving at all. I was seriously worried! Do you remember why you were all unconscious over there?”

    “Where am I… I… I was unconscious?” Ash asked the yellow mouse. Somehow this Pokémon looked oddly familiar, but Ash couldn’t put his finger on it. He noticed that the only thing this Pokémon carried was a small pouch slung around his shoulder.

    What happened? He wondered.

    “Well, I'm Pikachu!” Pikachu seemed pretty nonchalant despite Ash’s condition and introduced himself. “I mean, at least I am a Pikachu. I never knew my parents so I don’t really have a name. Glad to meet you! And who are you? I've never seen you around before.”

    Normally introductions like this wouldn’t have bothered Ash, but something seemed strangely off-key. Suddenly, Ash realized what was happening. The Pokémon in front of him was talking!

    “WHAT? How—how are you talking?” Ash belched out in surprise. “You're a Pokémon! Pokémon don't know how to talk!”

    “Huh? What do you mean?” Now Pikachu was the one confused. “You’re a Pokémon, and you’re talking too!”

    “You mean?” Ash thought this mouse was Golbat-dung crazy. “I think you mean what do you mean? I’m a human! Humans can talk! Pokémon can’t!”

    “What? Haha, you…” Pikachu scratched his head in confusion. “You’re kidding right? You look like a totally normal Riolu to me!”

    Ash waited a few moments to collect what this Pikachu was saying. He felt a cold shiver run down his spine as he remembered seeing blue paws in front of him when he stood up on the sand and feeling fur on his side when he brushed it off. Very cautiously he brought his right hand to his eye level to make sure it was his own, and suddenly it hit him—he brought up his paw. In a frantic fashion, Ash twirled around to check his entire body. Sure enough, it was the body of a Riolu.

    “You are kidding, right?” Pikachu on the other hand couldn’t make out what was going on. The Pokémon in front of him kept dashing to and from as if he was having an upright seizure. “You're... a little odd... Are you pulling some kind of trick on me?”

    “No! I'm not! I really am a human!” Ash retorted and stopped twirling around. Even as he spoke so, Ash realized how ridiculous it must be for this other Pokémon to trust him. “I know it’s crazy… but you’ve got to believe me!”

    “You're telling me the truth? Alright then...?” Pikachu awkwardly consented. “Well, what's your name?”

    “Oh! My name, uh... it's Ash,” he responded.

    “Ash? Haha, that's a funny name!” Pikachu joked.

    “Hey!” Ash exclaimed. “I just got here!”

    “Well you don't seem to be a bad Pokémon at least,” Pikachu smiled. “I'm sorry for doubting you, it's just that some aggressive Pokémon have been showing up and things have gotten a bit lawless—OW!”

    The yellow mouse crashed into the sand after being tackled by some purple floating blob. Pikachu’s pouch flew out of his hands onto the sand. Ash and Pikachu were so startled they barely saw who had entered into their midst.

    “Well, I do beg your pardon,” the Koffing sardonically apologized. Ash couldn’t help but see through his bluff, and silently glared at the aggressor.

    “HEY!” Pikachu sprung up off of the sand and yelled, “Why'd you do that?”

    “He-he-he-he-heh! Well isn't it obvious? We're just messing with you!” The accomplice next to the Koffing chuckled in rhythm with his flapping wings. Hearing no reply, the Zubat jeered, “Oho! Too chicken to face us?”

    “Wh-what?” Pikachu tensed up and burst into a cold sweat.

    “Hey!” Ash threatened the duo. “Stay away from Pikachu!”

    The Zubat gestured to the pouch. “That's yours isn't it?”

    “Wha—no!” Pikachu tried to quickly lie about it. “That’s...!”

    “Sorry kiddo. We'll take that!” The Koffing said.

    The Zubat quickly flew into the sand and stole the pouch away, as Pikachu watched on helplessly.

    “Whoa-ho-ho!” The Koffing could only laugh and billow noxious gasses from his pores as he saw Pikachu freeze up in horror. “Not gonna make a move to get that back? What's the matter? Too scared? I didn’t expect that you’d be such a coward! Come on, Bone, let's get out of here.”

    “You got it, Clyde. See you around, chicken! He-he-he-he-he!” taunted the Zubat, named Bone. The two thieves scurried off into the cave some distance behind Ash.

    “Oh no...” Pikachu murmured, his knees starting to shake. “What am I going to do? That's my personal treasure. It means everything to me!”

    “I-if I lose that...!” The electric mouse’s knees gave way and he fell to the ground. His voice shook and his eyes started to water.

    “Pikachu!” Ash yelled sharply at the electric Pokémon beside him. “Get a hold of yourself! That thing they stole is really important to you, isn’t it?”

    “I… of…” Pikachu looked at Ash. “Of course it is!”

    “Then there's no time to waste!” Ash smiled to his new partner. “We're going to get it back!”

    “You’ll…” Pikachu’s eyes widened as he realized that there was still hope for his artifact. “You’ll help me?”

    “Of course! Those bad guys are just thieves! If we work together, we can do this!”

    “Th-thank you!” Pikachu’s eyes lit up like gems. “Let's go!”

    [19:15 P.M.] Sunyshore City (Beach), Sinnoh Region

    “Come on, guys! I think I saw Ash wash up on the shoreline!” Dawn called out to the group.

    She, like all of the rest, watched in pure horror as their best friend was carried away at blazing speeds on a jet-propelled hot-air balloon, subsequently blown up by phantom Ghost attacks, and finally fell a skyscraper’s height into the sea below. Now they ran en-mass to the beach to help their friend.

    “I hope Ash is alright, but I can’t believe what I just saw! He must have fallen at least two hundred meters or more!” Lucian spoke.

    “Pikachu probably already reached Ash by now,” Brock pointed out. “So long as we find Pikachu, we’ll find Ash.”

    “I’m worried if he’ll make it. It looked like he wasn’t in control of the fall, you know?” Flint mused. “I don’t know if he hit the water at the right angle.”

    Cynthia didn’t like what she was hearing at all. “There’s no way that Ash would’ve given up so easily! I know he’s alive!”

    “Sorry man, I’m just saying...” Flint apologized. “But you know, something was really messed up with that explosion, you know?”

    “I think you’re right,” Brock nodded in agreement. “Those Shadow Balls were not from us. Someone or something else launched those attacks.”

    “And there’s something even stranger, if you noticed,” Volkner chimed in. “Ash didn’t look like he was accelerating when he was falling.”

    “Huh? What do you mean, Volkner?” Dawn asked, completely perplexed.

    Even though everyone was beginning to feel the fatigue from running so far, they did not slow down. Of anything they quickened their pace. The gang continued as quickly as they could but now their attention was focused on Volkner instead of Ash’s undetermined fate.

    “I mean to say that his fall wasn’t natural. When an ordinary object falls from the sky, its speed keeps increasing because the object accelerates towards the ground. Ash’s speed didn’t increase as he fell—he was physically slowed down.”

    Even though everyone kept moving, the light bulbs ignited over everyone’s head. If what Volkner was saying was true, then it meant that Ash was definitely alive, especially because his fall was not as intense as it could be.

    “Guys! I think I see Ash! And there’s Pikachu with the rest of Ash’s Pokémon!” Brock yelled out as the group of trainers reached the shoreline.

    Sure enough, all of Ash’s Pokémon had successfully evaded the exploding hot air balloon and subsequently surrounded their master on the beach. Pikachu was administering Ash a few nudges and taps to try to wake him up. It was apparent to the rodent that Ash was alive, but all the same, it wasn’t enough for him. All of the rest of Ash’s Pokémon waited in suspense to make sure that their master wasn’t a goner.

    Dawn, Brock, and the elite trainers all reached Ash as well, crowding around him in worry.

    Brock turned Ash onto his back, brought his ear to Ash’s chest, and checked his neck for a pulse. With each test, Brock’s smile and became wider and his breathing became more composed.

    “Good news guys! He is definitely alive, and he’ll be coming to very soon!”

    “Thank goodness! I was so worried!” Dawn cried out. “I don’t know what I would’ve done if things didn’t turn out okay!”

    “Let’s not celebrate too early guys,” Cynthia spoke, wiping away the tears that were forming in her eyes. “We should get him back to the Pokémon Center and make sure that he gets better.”

    “Good thing Ash saved all of our Pokémon too. Thanks for your help, Staraptor,” Brock complimented the Flying type. “I’ll go ahead and recall all of Ash’s Pokémon.”

    Staraptor nudged Brock to take the bag of Poké Balls from its beak, and after distributing the correct balls to their rightful owners, Brock recalled all of Ash’s Pokémon except Pikachu.

    “I’ll carry Ash,” said Flint.

    “Bro, do you even lift?” Cynthia asked, giving him a cocked eye look of disbelief.

    Flint replied with a smirk, “Watch me.”

    Cynthia rolled her eyes.

    “Do you think he’ll be ready for a gym battle tomorrow?” Volkner asked Brock.

    “I think so, considering that he always gets over injuries really quickly,” Brock replied.

    “I think… the real question is,” Flint asked while heaving Ash’s damp body on his back. He turned back and taunted his old friend. “Are you ready for a gym battle tomorrow, Volkner?”

    “You know, I haven’t been this excited for a battle since I was named the Gym Leader of this city!” Volkner laughed out loud and smiled. “If Ash would risk is life to save his Pokémon, I can’t wait to see what he is capable of in battle! You guys make sure that he’s ready, and feel free to come to my gym around two o’clock. I’ll be ready!”

    At that, Volkner waved everyone goodbye for the evening and walked off the beach in the direction of his electric gym. With Ash safely secured on Flint’s back, the beach gang of Pokémon trainers rushed to the Pokémon Center to give Ash a much needed place to rest.

    [Late Afternoon] Beach Cave, Lv. B5

    “Pikachu, use your Thundershock to distract him, and I’ll use Quick Attack!” Ash voiced to his partner.

    “You got it, Ash!” Pikachu agreed. Using his tensed cheeks, Pikachu loosed a wave of electrons at the opponent Pokémon in front. “Hey! Over here!”

    The pink variant Shellos fell for the trick and directed his attention toward Pikachu even though the Electric attack was neigh effective. It slimed its way as quickly as possible to ram Pikachu, but Ash was too quick for him. He jumped on top of a stalagmite and exploded into a Quick Attack towards the Shellos. The attack connected on his side and sent the Shellos into the wall behind him. After Shellos slowly got up, he moved as far away as possible, leaving Ash and Pikachu behind with smiles all around.

    “Man, we’re doing well, Ash! I don’t know how I would’ve ever gotten through this cave without you!” Pikachu smiled.

    “Hey, no problem!” Ash felt something warm rise up inside him as he heard Pikachu’s praise. “I just want to help you get your treasure back.”

    Ash and Pikachu successfully navigated several floors of the Beach Cave, defeating a few minor opponents and sneaking past the more burly-looking ones, but after four floors of battle, the two Pokémon were getting very tired and hungry. The two thieves were not on any of the previous floors, so now the duo was descending further into the cave to flush them out.

    “Pikachu, I think I see an exit over there! How many more floors to go?” Ash asked.

    The electric mouse to his side stopped in his tracks and started to shake slightly. He realized that the next level was bound to have the two thieves who stole his treasure.

    “The Beach Cave Pit is up next, Ash. This is it.”

    “Come on, Pikachu!” Ash similarly stopped in his place, but instead of getting nervous like his new partner, he became excited. ‘Now is the time to show those bullies who’s boss!”

    “You’re right,” Pikachu slowly said, calming down and gradually breathing more easily. “This is no time to chicken out! If they’re there, then so is my treasure. Let’s go!”

    Together, the two Pokémon exited the maze of Beach Cave and walked onto the sandy shore of the lowermost underground pit.

    [19:32 P.M.] Sunyshore City (Pokémon Center), Sinnoh Region

    The bizarre hospital scene unfolded rapidly as Brock, Dawn, Cynthia, Lucian, and an Ash-laden Flint burst into the Pokémon Center. Cynthia rushed to the front desk and Flint followed her, carrying Ash in a soggy, damp mess.

    “Nurse Joy! Can you please get a stretcher for this boy? He fainted earlier and took a huge fall from a hot air balloon!” Cynthia asked.

    “Oh my goodness!” Nurse Joy reacted quickly. “I’ll call immediately. Blissey! I need an eight foot humanoid stretcher, stat!”

    Within seconds, a plump Blissey rounded the corner of the care unit and provided a stretcher for Ash to lie in. Flint heaved Ash off of his shoulders carefully onto the mat, making sure not to contort his body in any way. When he was satisfied that Ash was properly placed, he backed away for the stretcher to move off.

    “What happened?” Nurse Joy asked as Ash was carted away.

    “I’ll explain,” Lucian offered. “A gang of Pokémon thieves stole all of our Pokémon using a hot air balloon, and we chased them down to the lighthouse. Ash, the boy who fell, jumped off of the lighthouse observation deck onto their balloon to disable it. He managed to pull it off, but the engine exploded and he fell to the sea. We retrieved him from the shore and now all we know is that he’s alive and breathing.”

    “No way…” Nurse joy whispered to herself. “Well at any rate, human treatment is not my expertise, but I will do my best as always! Thank goodness his Buizel is the only other patient in my care that needs attention at this time.”

    Suddenly, a notification sound issued out of the nurse’s computer. The nurse checked its contents and by the time she finished it, she looked like she was at a total loss of what to do.

    “I’m sorry, Nurse Joy, but what’s the matter?” Cynthia asked.

    “It says here that the Video Phone Operator from Cianwood City is trying to locate a boy named Ash Ketchum as soon as possible,” Nurse Joy replied.

    Everyone in the group looked at each other, wondering how to respond.

    “Did they say why?” Brock asked.

    “Yes, they did,” Nurse Joy said. “They said that a girl named May Maple wants to place a phone call to him. It’s urgent.”

    Brock and Dawn glanced at each other and simultaneously became excited.

    “Nurse Joy, Dawn and I are both traveling with Ash. I personally knew May a few months ago and traveled with her for a long time before she left for Johto. I could take the call in Ash’s place and let him know when he wakes up,” Brock offered.

    “That would be perfect!” Nurse Joy exclaimed. “Go ahead and use video phone number three, in the middle of the wall on your left. I’ll go and check on Ash to make sure he’s stable.”

    At that, the two groups separated, with Nurse Joy headed towards the care unit and the trainers headed toward the videophone.

    “If I’m not mistaken, May Maple is a famous Pokémon Coordinator, isn’t she?” Lucian asked Dawn.

    “Yep!” Dawn happily replied. “I met her once at the Wallace Cup and she’s absolutely amazing. I used to watch many of her contest battles while I was still underage.”

    “She's also one of Ash's best friends. They used to cheer for each other whether it was Ash’s gym battles or her contest battles. They were a great team," Brock added. He picked up the videophone and dialed in a zero for the operator. Soon enough, the operator responded and re-routed the phone call to Cianwood City.

    While Brock and Dawn waited for the videophone to connect, Flint sent out his Infernape to use Flamethrower on himself for a flash dry. Cynthia tried to dissuade him, knowing that Flint probably wouldn't get the intended results and be completely incinerated instead. As Flint's Infernape loosed a Flamethrower upon his master, Cynthia covered her eyes and ducked while Lucian off to the side couldn't help but laugh at the sight.

    "They also make a great team," Lucian said, not caring that he unintentionally said it out loud.

    Back at the videophone, Cianwood City was successfully connected. Almost instantly after the connection was made, a seemingly bright girl in a green bandana appeared on the screen.

    “Hey, Ash? It’s me, May…! Wait, Brock?”

    “Haha, hi, May!” Brock nervously laughed. “Sorry, Ash isn’t here right now, but it’s so great to see you!”

    “Brock! It’s been so long! And Dawn, hi! I’m sorry to drop in on such short notice, you guys,” May apologized. “Where is Ash, anyway?”

    “It’s a really long story,” Dawn chimed in from the side. “What about you? Is something wrong?”

    “Um, I was hoping I could speak to Ash about this…” May hesitated.

    “What, May? What’s up?” Brock asked.

    May initially seemed unwilling to speak what was on her mind, but the smiles that came through the video feed encouraged her to take a stand for herself. This was it, and afterwards there would be no turning back.

    “The truth is…” May began. “I want to travel with you guys again!”

    [Late Afternoon] Beach Cave (Cave Pit)

    “There they are, Pikachu,” Ash whispered to his partner.

    “Ugh… I’m starting to get nervous…” Pikachu replied back softly. “What if they beat us up? Then I’ll never get my treasure back!”

    “Maybe so,” Ash turned and smiled reassuringly. “But sitting here and not trying isn’t going to get the job done either. I say, let’s do it!”

    From behind a large limestone boulder, Ash and Pikachu huddled together scheming about how to approach the two thieves, Bone and Clyde. The surrounding area was an elevated plane of moist sand with standing ocean water along the circumference as if it were low tide. Before the two Pokémon thieves unloaded their spoils onto the sand, Ash and Pikachu sprung up from behind the boulder and confronted the two thieves a short distance away.

    "Hey!" Ash yelled to the Koffing and Zubat.

    "Well, well... check it out Bone! If it isn't the big chicken!" taunted the floating purple blob of gas.

    "Give me... give me back what you stole!” Pikachu nervously threatened. “That's my personal treasure! It means everything to me!"

    "Treasure, you say?” Bone gleefully chuckled. His wings flapped even more rapidly as he speculated, “So that thing really is valuable, huh?"

    "Whoa-ho-ho! I bet it’s worth even more than I first thought!” Clyde exclaimed. Noxious fumes billowed from his pores as he also got even more excited. “Maybe we'll land a sweet price for it! All the more reason not to give it back!"

    "What? No! Give it back!" Pikachu yelled.

    "If you want it back that badly...” Bone started, elongating his teeth for combat.

    “Come and get it!" Clyde finished. Fumes continued to issue out of his pores.

    Already in a battle stance, Ash asked, “You ready, Pikachu?”

    “Yeah!” Pikachu responded with a surge of sparks from his cheeks. “Let’s beat these guys!”

    At that, Ash and Pikachu charged the two thieves head on, disregarding the fact that they had only met a few moments ago, disregarding that one was a human and the other was a Pokémon, and only concentrating on the battle, ready to defeat the two thieves together.

    [19:59 P.M.] Sunyshore City (Pokémon Center), Sinnoh Region

    “Are you absolutely sure it’s not going to be a problem? I mean, Ash isn’t even awake yet!” May cried out, almost in protest.

    Brock, Dawn, Lucian, Cynthia, and Flint, who finally recovered from the wayward Flamethrower, all crowded around the videophone to discuss the plans for tomorrow.

    “May, come on. I think you know Ash pretty well, and you know that he’d be perfectly fine with it! Besides, it’ll be awesome traveling with you again, don’t you think?” Brock asked.

    “I… I guess you’re right. I’ll be there in Sunyshore on the earliest cruise I can take!” May said.

    “By the way, May,” Cynthia entered. “What time will that cruise arrive here?”

    “Um…” May stalled while looking at the cruise schedule nearby. “It should arrive by about noontime in Sinnoh.”

    “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m gonna want some food by then,” Cynthia stated.

    “Haha, Ash will probably want some food, especially since it’s before his battle against Volkner!” Dawn said.

    “You know, I grew up here so I know all of the best restaurants,” Flint said, taking this opportunity to show off his expertise. “Just leave it to me when you get here, May!

    “What about the ice cream shops?” Cynthia slyly asked her professional companion. “You know I live off of double mint chocolate chip!”

    “Of course!” Flint gave Cynthia the thumbs up. “There’s even one right in the harbor! We’re all set for tomorrow. I’m really excited to meet you, May!”

    “Me too!” Cynthia exclaimed enthusiastically. “I love meeting people over some ice cream!”

    “As am I, May,” added Lucian. “Any friend of Ash is a friend of mine.”

    “May this is so awesome! I can’t wait to see you again!” Dawn jittered out excitedly. “You know we have to catch up right?”

    “We do Dawn, absolutely! Thanks everyone for your support!” May smiled widely after seeing everyone’s faces light up at the new prospects for the morning. “I’ll be sure to be on that cruise for Sunyshore City!”

    “We’ll make sure you can see us, May!” Brock said in a final, resolute manner. “Bye!”

    “Bye, guys!” May waved.

    At that, both parties hung up their videophones and started preparing. The Sinnoh side prepared for bed, whereas the Johto side prepared for the journey ahead. Conveniently, May’s Pokémon were fully healed by the time May finished her call and Nurse Joy carted all of her Balls straight to her for pickup. After thanking her for her hard work, May stowed the Poké Balls safely in her fanny pack, gathered the rest of her stuff from the videophone booth, and promptly left the Pokémon Center. She didn’t even look back for one second.

    After purchasing her ticket, she watched the cruise fill up in the same port as Drew’s cruise before her. The sun had set long ago and the sky was filled with only the brightness of night lights—a full moon. With a smile on her face and excitement in her heart, she walked onboard the ship, knowing full well that even though she may have been on the wrong path before, from now on, things would go a little differently.

    “From now on, everything changes,” May said to herself before retiring in her room.

    [Late Afternoon] Beach Cave (Cave Pit)

    “Pikachu, keep up the pressure!” Ash yelled, almost hoarse. The last right hook he gave to the Zubat was powerful, but sloppy, and his wrist started to ache. “We’ve almost got them!”

    “Yeah—agh! This hurts! Let’s try to finish this quickly!” Pikachu replied. He also sustained heavy damage from a Tackle attack earlier, and his cheeks stung from overuse.

    After several intense moments of hit and run attacks, both parties were starting to reach their limits, especially Ash and Pikachu, who had already explored the Beach Cave nonstop.

    “We need to finish them off in one shot! I just don’t know if I can land any more long range attacks!” Pikachu said to Ash.

    “I know, neither can I…” Ash nodded in agreement and clutched his wrist in his other hand. “But how are we gonna get them in one shot?”

    Just as the two tried to discuss their plan of attack, a large noxious gas cloud covered the entire beach pit, and the surrounding atmosphere changed from clear to a nauseating brown-green. Adding to that, a piercing screech echoed off of the walls and resounded in both Ash and Pikachu’s ears like mad.

    “AGH! This noise is ridiculous!” Ash screamed as he tried to cover his ears. The sound waves bounced across the pit cave so violently that it rattled his eardrums from all directions.

    “Ash, this is Screech! They’re trying to make us drop our guard, but those bad guys should hear the echoes just as loudly!” Pikachu shouted over the noise.

    “Oh, that’s just great!” Ash shouted again, heavily laden with sarcasm. “Then how do we use it against them?”

    Pikachu closed his eyes and covered his ears more tightly in order to think. A few seconds later, an idea popped in his head.

    “Ash! Take out that Zubat! Knock him into his partner and I’ll use a spark on the gas!”

    “Nice, let’s blow them up!” Ash said, liking the sound of that plan instead of staying tempered. “Hold on though, you won’t be able to light the gas with just one spark. You’ll need to cover it over a wide area!”

    The two didn’t have enough time to think their plan over as Bone and Clyde rushed them simultaneously. Clyde kept using Screech to deaden their ears while Bone attempted to Tackle Ash into the wall.

    Pikachu retaliated by ramming Clyde with a Tackle attack of his own. As the Zubat fell to the ground, Pikachu’s own momentum propelled him towards the water, where he splashed into the salty brine, looking out for Ash. Luckily, Ash managed to use his Quick Attack to speedily knock Bone also in the same direction. The two Poison types landed in the middle of the cave pit where the gas was densest and struggled to get up from exhaustion. Ash and Pikachu were safely behind a tall boulder and Pikachu got up in the standing sea water, using the same boulder as cover.

    Immediately following his Quick Attack, Ash felt a rush of pain in his eyes as if they were trying to swell outside of their sockets. Soon enough, the pain vanished and Ash blinked his eyes several times over to neutralize the sensations. As soon as he stopped blinking his eyes and focused on the surroundings, he noticed his vision became sharper, enhanced, and every distinct body of matter became outlined, tagged, and identified.

    “Hold on, Pikachu!” Ash exclaimed. As he turned his head towards his partner, an outline traced itself around the electric mouse, its pouches, the standing salt water around it, and the noxious gas outline above. Embedded between the outlines were glowing indicators that seemed to connect the differently outlined shapes. Ash noticed these indicators and realized that the glowing lines had something to do with Pikachu’s cheeks, the water, and the gas.

    It hit him.

    “Pikachu!” Ash, said excitedly to the mouse. “Dive underwater and use Thundershock! The spark will course through the water like a ring and the electricity will make the gas explode!”

    Instead of the plan hitting him like it did Ash, Pikachu dropped his ,jaw aghast.

    “Are you out of your mind? If I use Thundershock to explode the gas, we’ll be caught in the blast!”

    Ash just smiled.

    “Pikachu, you’ve got to trust me! I know this will work!”

    Pikachu’s eyes darted between Ash, the gas, the water, and the two thieves before coming back to Ash again. When Bone and Clyde made movements in order to get up, Pikachu screwed up his concentration and nodded. In one swift motion, Pikachu dove under the water, squeezed his cheeks, and let loose a stream of electric current.

    “Thundershock!” Pikachu yelled under water.

    Almost instantly, the surrounding water lit up in a brilliant yellow, sparks flew out of the water, the noxious gas ignited, and a rapid explosion enveloped the middle section of the cave in a brilliant display of red and orange. The force of the explosion sent a shockwave in all directions, rattling the ungrounded rocks, blowing sand violently towards the walls, and pushing Ash off of his feet into the water.

    When the sand settled and the rubble fell to the ground, Bone and Clyde groaned to each other to make sure they were still there.

    “Oww… Whoa-ho-ha, you alright, Bone?” groaned the Koffing.

    “Yeah Clyde. How… how the heck did we get wiped out… by wimps like them?” moaned the Zubat.

    Ash and Pikachu both got out of the standing water completely soaked and exhausted but willing to do whatever was necessary to finish this battle.

    “Will you… please give me… hahhh—”Pikachu wheezed. “My treasure back?”

    "Ugh... We got roughed up bad...” said Bone after getting up. He flapped his wings to get airborne then picked up the pouch with Pikachu’s treasure inside. “Bah! Here you go. Take it!"

    "Oho, but don't think you're all great for that,” Clyde still managed to puff out one last taunt. “Your win was a fluke! Let’s beat it, Clyde!"

    “You got it, Bone!”

    Once the two thieves bumbled their way out of the cave pit, Pikachu cautiously approached the dropped item on the sand and inspected it. He opened the pouch strings, peered inside, and looked back to Ash with a wide grin on his face.

    “It’s here! My treasure is still here!” Pikachu yelled out in celebration.

    Once again, Ash felt a great warmth in his chest and suddenly the pain from his wrist and legs seemed to melt away. A sort of surreal feeling came over him like a wave of euphoria. It was a sense of accomplishment, a thrill, and a daring desire to continue the rapid pace. He felt empowered, alive, and above all, in amazing company. As Ash looked upon Pikachu, he remembered the once impetuous electric mouse and saw instead a fighter, a warrior, a champion. More importantly, Ash looked upon Pikachu and found a partner, a companion, a friend for life.

    “Ash, are you alright? You’re getting kinda spacy and weird…” Pikachu asked.

    “Oh, sorry!” Ash perked up and directed his attention once again. “Gosh I’m really, really tired… but I’m glad we got your treasure back!”

    “Me too!” Pikachu smiled once again and strung the pouch strings over his shoulder and came over to Ash. “I can’t believe it, but we pulled it off!”

    On these high notes and euphoric emotions, Ash and Pikachu grinned at each other, brought their firsts up, and bumped them together. After a good stretch and helping each other get on their feet, they headed toward the Beach Cave exit, smiling and laughing with each other over their first win as a team.


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


    Dear Readers:

    Luckily these edits were all cosmetic and the single hour time scale from previous chapters. If anyone has a transcript of the entire Mystery Dungeon II games, send me a link! It’s really rough having to play that game as well as doing a transcription for it since I played it through three times already!!

    [Yes, I am most certainly working on this! Thanks to everyone for their reviews, especially the juicy long ones. Those make me smile extra widely. I got into several colleges so now I just have to worry about AP Bio and other misc. junk, but I have outlined this story for a good 10 chapters or more, so I am solid on this production. Maybe I'll even upload some of my extra stuff I've worked on before my hiatus. Thank you all again!] – 2 years ago

    [u]I do not own Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, its story, franchise, or games. The dialogue text is based off of game text in the US version of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Sky.[u]

    I based the two villains of this Mystery Dungeon II arc off of the historical robbers Bonne and Clyde . Bonne and Clyde were a romantic couple who robbed several banks, killed several police officers, and many civilians during the Great American Depression of the 1930's. Even though their legend and media lore depicted them as savage romantic thieves, in truth, their actual heists were more or less constrained to smaller banks and Bonne was never seen actually shooting an officer.


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


    Story Notes:

    N/A


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


    Author’s Notes:

    Uploaded, 04/04/11
    | successfully merged MDII with story/experiment in Pokémon nicknames/remembered to alternate perspectives |
    original title, “Origins”
    RE: edit. 09/08/11
    RE: edit. 03/16/12
    original title, “Origins of a Team”
    RE: Edit. 01/20/13
    3DS Friend Code: 2079-6549-2981
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    I am a shadow, I seek the ways of Hadou.
    I'll have you know, I am a Lucario.

  8. #83
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    Could you put me on you r PM list? I've really enjoyed reading this fic, definitely one of the better ones out there, it was like I was reading an actual book! I especially enjoyed how you linked the mystery dungeon games to the story, it felt completely in line with everything else and not gimmicky. Anyways, can't wait for the next chapter!

  9. #84
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    Well, my dear beta. If you are planning to start uploading here, then I shall begin reading this too. I've already read the first two chapters on ff.net and reviewed you, but the thirty-some chapters discouraged me from moving further. I will definitely join these guys and read from the scratch. But the problem is when I read your fic, the overload of brilliant world building concepts bring new ideas into my head and force me to write new fanfictions that won't get updated anytime soon.
    Last edited by Alfred the Second; 21st October 2013 at 2:19 PM.

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  10. #85
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    Well, yeah re-reading ain't mah thang you see....lol. I'll catch up with the others after this review.

    Okay what I like with your story is that it even though it was a script-like feel (which as a writer and reader, I dislike a lot cause its just plain horribly written) you make me forget that I hate it. Like, you have enough things that are happening that is nicely paced that I don't mind it. It is a interesting written story and I guess reading something new once and awhile won't hurt.

    I see you have the classic 'May is travelling with Ash' again concept which is starting to be overused BUT sometimes that concept can create the most interesting stories in a certain fandom or ship. Like ones back in the day had this and they still get high praise about it today, years after the last chapter was written.

    I like your story and the style it is written. It's new somewhat, and I like it.

  11. #86
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    Yo! Glad to see you back, Lunar. Been too long since I've gotten a chance for a serious review of your stuff. I should really be sleeping now, but my roommate is... prone to staying up 'till three in the morning, so I'm not likely to get much sleep anyway.

    First the PMD sections. I always loved how you used PMD as Aura memories. It's something unique and interesting, and I can totally see Ash as a Pokémon in PMD-verse. Especially as a Riolu! No potential character suits him better. Pikachu being the (at first) cowardly partner is something that I find slightly odd, but you manage to make it work with a mix of believable characterization and interesting dialogue with Ash. You can see the first bits of their relationship forming, and I love it.

    I also have to congratulate you on writing Ash's reactions to being an amnesiac human-stuck-in-a-Pokémon and the way he goes about figuring things out. I will say though, the fact that he seemingly knows how to use Quick Attack despite not having learned anything about being an actual Pokémon is slightly odd. It probably just comes instinctively, like the rest of his natural fighting talent. He is a Fighting-type and a Riolu after all. Though you could have gone through a first fight and have him figuring out how to do it. It would've been interesting to read, and would've filled the potential plot hole.

    Also, Bone and Clyde. Hilarious, and I got the reference immediately. I forgot if we've gotten up to Skuntank yet (been a while since I've read the later chapters), but I hope you continue(d) the trend there. That's just too good to pass up for that bunch of stinkers.

    Next, the modern day sections. Ash falling out of a hot air balloon because of the aura visions is something I don't remember from my last read-through, though it makes sense and adds some drama. May's call and her asking to travel with them again is something that still makes my heart swell because it's heralding her entrance into the story, and the start of the actual shipping, in addition to the plot starting to move somewhat faster. Also, the constant jokes about Ash's appetite and Cynthia's ice cream fetish never get old, hahaha.

    Honestly though, what I like best is the way you combine the Anime with PMD games, something most people would find daunting. And that isn't even going into the mechanics of Aura or of Pokémon training that you go over either. There's a reason I put you on the pedestal next to guys like Power Shot and Gazmof. I always find it high praise to be compared favorably to you.

    This isn't the most exciting or interesting of your chapters, but it starts a major part of the story, and I'm really glad for it, because it means better things to come. Great job as usual Lunar, you haven't lost your touch since moving to FF.net in the slightest.

    Come drop Burning Deadfall a review (either on here or FF) whenever you get the time. I really miss having your constructive criticism; nobody else does it quite as well.
    Last edited by Eon Master; 22nd October 2013 at 6:51 AM.
    "I'm fighting because there's a battle to be fought, Archer. I'm fighting to win. That's all."
    "Hm. Alright, Rin. You are indeed my ideal Master. There is no one else I could hope to serve."



  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloneblazer12 View Post
    Could you put me on you r PM list? I've really enjoyed reading this fic, definitely one of the better ones out there, it was like I was reading an actual book! I especially enjoyed how you linked the mystery dungeon games to the story, it felt completely in line with everything else and not gimmicky. Anyways, can't wait for the next chapter!
    Will do Clone! Thanks for all of the compliments, particularly regarding the PMD sections. Those are really kind of a hit or miss. Some people really love the inclusion, some are meh towards it, and for some it's a real deal breaker. Did you just start reading this or have you been following it before? Thanks for all your feedback!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dracoflare View Post
    Well, my dear beta. If you are planning to start uploading here, then I shall begin reading this too. I've already read the first two chapters on ff.net and reviewed you, but the thirty-some chapters discouraged me from moving further. I will definitely join these guys and read from the scratch. But the problem is when I read your fic, the overload of brilliant world building concepts bring new ideas into my head and force me to write new fanfictions that won't get updated anytime soon.
    Oh stop, you. Funny you should mention the 30 odd chapter length that my story has. That's also discouraged me from reading other fics as well! I thought I was the only one who sees a long word count and immediately dismisses it as strictly impossible to read. Clearly I'm very mistaken. As for the overload of brilliant world building, I'd actually have to give that title to you! You're the one who's actually influencing my fic quite a bit! I mean, not until Arc VII, but you'll know it when you read it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnightmoon6o2 View Post
    Well, yeah re-reading ain't mah thang you see....lol. I'll catch up with the others after this review.

    Okay what I like with your story is that it even though it was a script-like feel (which as a writer and reader, I dislike a lot cause its just plain horribly written) you make me forget that I hate it. Like, you have enough things that are happening that is nicely paced that I don't mind it. It is a interesting written story and I guess reading something new once and awhile won't hurt.

    I see you have the classic 'May is travelling with Ash' again concept which is starting to be overused BUT sometimes that concept can create the most interesting stories in a certain fandom or ship. Like ones back in the day had this and they still get high praise about it today, years after the last chapter was written.

    I like your story and the style it is written. It's new somewhat, and I like it.
    Thanks for picking this up, Midnight! When you say you're re-reading this stuff, did you read all 30 chapters on ff.net? Or just what's here on Serebii? And by god, you put out a ton of fanfiction. Like it's a rather scary impressive number! As soon as I put a dent into the massive amount of work you've done I'll be sure to let you know my thoughts! What is it you mean by the script-like feel? I'm not sure what other feels you're talking about when you say that, lol. I mean, I could've actually written this like a script. For sure it would've made this story simpler to write because I don't have to keep describing the trees. What other styles are out there? And one more thing, I've definitely taken the May-travels-with-Ash-again trope for the explicit reason of rekindling the old style of fanfiction writing. It's almost like paying homage to May's Crush, Two of a Kind, and Final Challenge all at the same time. Now that I think of it, that's really all what this story is in a nutshell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eon Master View Post
    Yo! Glad to see you back, Lunar. Been too long since I've gotten a chance for a serious review of your stuff. I should really be sleeping now, but my roommate is... prone to staying up 'till three in the morning, so I'm not likely to get much sleep anyway.

    First the PMD sections. I always loved how you used PMD as Aura memories. It's something unique and interesting, and I can totally see Ash as a Pokémon in PMD-verse. Especially as a Riolu! No potential character suits him better. Pikachu being the (at first) cowardly partner is something that I find slightly odd, but you manage to make it work with a mix of believable characterization and interesting dialogue with Ash. You can see the first bits of their relationship forming, and I love it.

    I also have to congratulate you on writing Ash's reactions to being an amnesiac human-stuck-in-a-Pokémon and the way he goes about figuring things out. I will say though, the fact that he seemingly knows how to use Quick Attack despite not having learned anything about being an actual Pokémon is slightly odd. It probably just comes instinctively, like the rest of his natural fighting talent. He is a Fighting-type and a Riolu after all. Though you could have gone through a first fight and have him figuring out how to do it. It would've been interesting to read, and would've filled the potential plot hole.

    Also, Bone and Clyde. Hilarious, and I got the reference immediately. I forgot if we've gotten up to Skuntank yet (been a while since I've read the later chapters), but I hope you continue(d) the trend there. That's just too good to pass up for that bunch of stinkers.

    Next, the modern day sections. Ash falling out of a hot air balloon because of the aura visions is something I don't remember from my last read-through, though it makes sense and adds some drama. May's call and her asking to travel with them again is something that still makes my heart swell because it's heralding her entrance into the story, and the start of the actual shipping, in addition to the plot starting to move somewhat faster. Also, the constant jokes about Ash's appetite and Cynthia's ice cream fetish never get old, hahaha.

    Honestly though, what I like best is the way you combine the Anime with PMD games, something most people would find daunting. And that isn't even going into the mechanics of Aura or of Pokémon training that you go over either. There's a reason I put you on the pedestal next to guys like Power Shot and Gazmof. I always find it high praise to be compared favorably to you.

    This isn't the most exciting or interesting of your chapters, but it starts a major part of the story, and I'm really glad for it, because it means better things to come. Great job as usual Lunar, you haven't lost your touch since moving to FF.net in the slightest.

    Come drop Burning Deadfall a review (either on here or FF) whenever you get the time. I really miss having your constructive criticism; nobody else does it quite as well.
    Lol, unfortunately I am prone to staying up all night and disturbing my own roommates! Haha we wouldn't get along whatsoever. :P It's funny how you think Ash actually fits as a Riolu in the PMD universe because I actually wondered what kind of Pokemon Ash is most suited as. Turns out the Pokemon anime did that one episode where they read a book that translates your name into a Pokemon. Brock turned out to be an Onix, Misty turned out to be a Gyrados, and James turned out to be a Moltres. ASH on the other hand was a Bellsprout. Now I love any Pokemon as much as the next... but I couldn't do Bellsprout. Sorry. No way. So I just chose another option from the Explorer's of Sky roster. I should've consulted you on the learning moves part much sooner! If I had then I could've written a learning-moves section beforehand! The way the anime adaptations of PMD went, Pokemon would simply discover moves automatically when their Ember becomes more overpowered, or their Tackle is faster or something like that. That's what I tried to do, but it isn't really a good story way to learn moves. Turns out I know nothing about Bonnie and Clyde. Are there any romantic movies about them? Speaking about actual shipping, this story is probably one of the most slow-burning of all time, at least according to word length. But in all actuality, in terms of the actual story, they're going to end up kissing at the end of 5 days. That's a really really short time. Other fics have them finally fess up after weeks! I'm somewhat nervous about the success of my shipping the two together due to this really rather short time span and whether it's actually believable. You put me up there with Power Shot and Gazmof!? WHYYY!? Hahaha I can't say thanks enough for such praise.

    P.S. SCREW UPDATING ONCE A WEEK. MONDAY AND FRIDAY IT IS
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  13. #88
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    ¬¬¬¬Chapter Eleven: Great Encounters

    Despite the fact that the duo of Ash and Pikachu traveled the same distance to the Beach Cave Pit as they did from it, the journey away from their last battle took much less time. Perhaps it was the euphoria of defeating thieves in a harrowing cave that was to blame, or maybe it was the great feeling of getting Pikachu’s treasure back, but whatever the case, the two Pokémon traveled with smiles all around.

    [b][Sunset] Treasure Town (Beach)[b]

    “Ahh… we finally made it outside!” Ash said out loud, stretching his limbs and basking in the sun. Ash and Pikachu made it outside just in time to witness a glowing orange sunse,t complete with the Krabbys’ bubbles that Pikachu apparently loved so much.

    “Yeah, I’m so glad I got my treasure back! It’s all thanks to you, Ash!” Pikachu said. “Say, how the heck did you know how to strategize so quickly? You just looked at me and suddenly spit out the perfect plan!”

    “I don’t know,” Ash replied. He had been wondering about the same thing since they left the Cave Pit. “I just remember a sharp pain going through my eyes, and then suddenly it all went away and I could see things more clearly—and everything was outlined with information around it…”

    “Ash!” Pikachu exclaimed. “I think you learned Foresight!”

    “Wait, what?” Ash wondered bewildered. “You mean I learned a new move?”

    “Definitely!” Pikachu grinned. “That means you also leveled up!”

    “Oh wow, so that’s what leveling up feels like…” Ash let his muscles give out and fell to the sand in a satisfying heap. “This feels amazing! Being a Pokémon is great!”

    “And thank goodness you are one!” Pikachu agreed. Suddenly he adopted a serious tone as he thanked Ash once again. “But really, Ash, you saved me back there. If you hadn’t washed up on the beach unconscious like that, those guys would’ve run off with my treasure for sure!”

    “No problem!” Ash smiled as his partner, feeling the warmth in his chest even more. “But honestly, I helped because I was right there… it wasn’t anything too special.”

    “Maybe,” Pikachu said as he sat next to Ash on the sand. “But still! Without your help, I don’t know how on Earth I would have ever gotten my treasure back.”

    “Speaking of which, what is your treasure anyway? Why does it mean so much to you?” Ash asked.

    "Oh! It's my Relic Fragment!"

    "Relic Fragment?"

    Pikachu motioned to sling the pouch off of his shoulder and opened its contents. Inside was a relatively small stone with a flat top half and a crystalized, almost mountain terrain-like bottom half.

    "Here's what they stole. I call it my Relic Fragment, and it's my only treasure,” Pikachu said, slowly turning the small stone in his hands, catching glimpses of it from every angle. “I've always liked legends and lore. I always get so excited when I hear tales about the past! Don't you feel the same way?”

    Ash pondered about this thought. Yes, it was true that he had some kind of fascination about ancient knowledge, but he couldn’t remember what legends in particular fascinated him. In fact, he realized that the only memories that he did possess were those after waking up on the beach and a few minor details. He only remembered his name, and the fact that he was human. No other memories existed. However, Ash let Pikachu continue, allowing for him to get jittery and excited.

    “You know, hidden troves full of treasure and strange relics, uncharted territories veiled in darkness, and new lands just waiting to be discovered! Such places... I can only imagine what lies inside of them! All the gold, the treasures, and the history! Wouldn't it be amazing to make historic discoveries?”

    Ash chuckled as he also imagined such places in his mind. He pictured a land hidden by clouds with caves and temples littered with gems and other precious objects.

    “That's what I’ve always dreamed about. It's all exciting to me!” Pikachu said. “So one day I happened to come across my Relic Fragment. I admit that it looks like junk, but take a closer look. See? That inscription forms a strange pattern, doesn't it?"

    Pikachu handed over his Relic fragment to Ash. Ash raised his back from the sand into a sitting position and shifted himself closer to the electric mouse. He took Pikachu’s artifact to examine it, and when he did, he immediately noticed a white chalky inscription on the flat face of the stone. It resembled four wings in a curved rectangular manner.

    "Wow, you're right!” Ash was amazed. “I've never seen a pattern like this!"

    "There must be some significance to this pattern. This Relic Fragment must be the key to legendary places—to areas where precious treasures lay! At least I think so...” Pikachu reasoned.

    Ash handed Pikachu back his treasure but all the while frowned at the magnitude of Pikachu’s ambition.

    “You know, at the rate you’re going now, you probably won’t find out what this treasure does; if it does anything at all…”

    “That's why I want to join an exploration team!” Pikachu exclaimed. His eyes seemed to radiate in the orange light by the setting sun. His smile grew wider as he envisioned visiting the ruin where his artifact may have a home. “This fragment must fit into something somewhere! I want to discover where that is. I want to solve the mystery of my Relic Fragment!”

    “Did you try to join an exploration team already?”

    “I did earlier. I tried joining an exploration team as an apprentice at Wigglytuff’s Guild, but...”

    Ash turned his head and listened closer. “But what?”

    Pikachu’s ears drooped as he mumbled, “I chickened out.”

    “That may have happened before, you know what? You’ve gotten so much stronger—I’ve seen it!” Ash nodded in understanding but smiled at his partner saying, “You should definitely go back to the guild for training!”

    “Maybe, but what about you, Ash? What are you going to do now?” Pikachu asked, really worried for his new partner. “If you really are a human, and you don’t remember anything besides your name... do you have anywhere to go?"

    Realization hit Ash like a rock. He was like a Magikarp out of water—like a Magikarp without Splash attack. He truly had no plan, no guide, and certainly no means of protecting himself.

    "I... I guess I don't... What am I going to do?"

    "Well, if you don’t have any ideas, can I ask a big favor?” Pikachu timidly questioned.

    “What do you have in mind? I’m up for anything, really,” Ash replied.

    “Would you be willing to form an exploration team with me?” Pikachu quickly gushed out.

    "Really?” Ash was particularly perplexed. “I, uh… why an exploration team?”

    “I just know that we can make a great team together, maybe even the best team the world has ever known!"

    “Are you sure?” Ash asked hesitantly.

    "Yeah! Why not? I mean before now I couldn't even get back my treasure back from those thieves. But when you came, I... I somehow got more courage to face my fears!” Pikachu said. With each sentence, Pikachu’s thankfulness seemed to glow more like the light behind him.

    “I know you just look like a Pokémon, but there's just something different about you... something that could really make this happen! I'm ready to do whatever it takes,” Pikachu encouraged. “What do you say? I know that we’ll be so awesome together! We’re gonna be the best team ever! Will you? Please?"

    “Well, I do have nowhere to go and I have no clues to point me anywhere—and I don’t even know what an exploration team is… but hey!” Ash conceded. “Let's do this! Let's form an exploration team!"

    "You will, really? You'll do it?"

    "Yes. Yes I will!"

    For a hair’s width of a second, a glorious moment of history had been formed. The light of Pikachu’s eyes changed from bright to dazzling. The warmth in Ash’s chest transformed the glowing ember into a raging fire. The compact made between the two youths out of haste and spur of the moment transfigured into a bond for life.

    "Oh my goodness, thank you so much! We're going to be totally awesome together! Let's make this happen! Maybe we'll even find out how you became a Pokémon in the first place!"

    "I hope so, and maybe we’ll figure out the mystery of your Relic Fragment! Let's do it!"

    At that, both Pikachu and Ash bumped their fists again and laughed with each other.

    "Well first we should go up to Wigglytuff's place and sign up as apprentices. That's where we need to train to become a first-rate exploration team. I'm sure the training will be very tough, but let's give it our best, Ash!"

    [23:43 P.M.] Sunyshore City (Pokémon Center), Sinnoh Region

    “Alright guys, I’m going to bed. I haven’t gotten around to sleeping in late for a while now, right Piplup?”

    “I shall go to bed as well. I can catch up on my reading in the morning.”

    “Goodnight then! I’ll see you in the morning for some ice cream and a gym battle!”

    “You guys are weird. Twelve o’ clock is too early! My fro couldn’t take the stress.”

    “Goodnight, everybody! I’ll be here crushing berries in case Ash wakes up.”

    Everybody except Brock and Flint headed off into their Pokémon Center dormitories for the evening. Ash still wasn’t awake, but Nurse Joy was confident that he was stable and would wake up before morning. Brock sat next to him creating new Pokémon food using some of the berries he picked on the way to Sunyshore. Ash was still lying on his stretcher placed conveniently next to Buizel so that they were in the same room. Pikachu settled next to Ash and was snoozing happily and occasionally muttering something that sounded like “pikapi” over and over in his sleep.

    Flint couldn’t help but smile to himself at the sight. Both Trainer and Pokémon were both laying down, resting in the Pokémon Center. Ash was indeed something else.

    “Are you sure you’re going to stay up until he wakes up?” Flint asked Brock.

    “I’ll keep busy until midnight,” Brock replied. “Besides, I don’t think we have anything to worry about anymore. He’s breathing on his own and I see his eyes moving around randomly from time to time. I think he’s just asleep and dreaming.”

    “Yeah, you’re right,” Flint agreed, sighing.

    “Lemme guess, you’re still thinking about her right?” Brock noticed Flint’s suddenly mellow nature and guessed what was going on.

    “You’re good, Brock,” Flint said. “I just wish that there was something I could do… something totally not awkward. I mean right now, flirting is as far as it gets.”

    “Why don’t you room with her for the night?” Brock suggested. “I mean, if Ash wakes up in the middle of the night, he may end up coming to our room anyway. Dawn, Lucian, and I are sleeping the room we’ve got but you never know if Ash will want the bed in there or not. There wouldn’t be room for him.”

    “You’ve gotta be kidding me Brock! Wouldn’t that be super weird?” Flint supposed incredulously. “Just envision it, ‘Hey, Cynthia! How about you and I share a room together, huh?’ I mean, she’ll never say yes to that!”

    Suddenly they heard a slight high-pitched cough coming from behind the ward door. When it opened, Brock and Flint’s mouths both dropped to the floor.

    “Actually, I was about to ask if you needed a bed to sleep in, if that’s alright with you, Flint? You know, since Ash might room with Brock, Dawn, and Lucian right now,” Cynthia asked.

    Cynthia was dressed in a baby pink night gown with fluffy slippers and a night cap. Even in modesty, Cynthia’s attire made Flint stammer and Croagunk immediately pop out of his ball to paralyze Brock.

    “I-I… uh, yeah! Sure, I’d… yeah, that’d be great…” Flint managed to stumble out. “Goodnight, Brock!”

    “Meh…” Brock managed to mumble while on the floor. After Croagunk had his chuckle and returned to his Poké Ball, Flint and Cynthia left the ward and Brock on the ground to recuperate. As soon as Brock finished lying on the ground, he slowly got back up onto the chair and checked the time. He saw it read five minutes to midnight and started to gather his belongings, ready to leave Ash to sleep on the stretcher. He scribbled a note explaining that May was arriving in Sunyshore the next morning, and got up to exit the ward.

    As Brock was about to leave the room, Pikachu stirred and groggily looked up to see Brock leaving.

    “Pi, pikachu?” he squeaked quietly.

    “Oh, sorry to wake you, Pikachu!” Brock turned around and replied. “It’s getting late, and I need some sleep. You’ll keep watch over Ash for me right?”

    Pikachu jerked himself more awake and nodded. “Pika!”

    “Alright then,” Brock smiled warmly and motioned to close the door. “Goodnight, Pikachu.”

    When Brock left the ward and the door clicked itself closed, Pikachu cautiously inched towards his friend. Tenderly making sure not to startle Ash, Pikachu nuzzled his head under Ash’s right hand and cuddled next to him in that position, hoping that he’d at least wake up in the morning.

    Almost as soon as Pikachu settled down into a comfortable position, Ash made a slight grunting noise as if about to wake up. Pikachu’s ears perked up instantly and he moved towards Ash’s face to see if he was definitely coming too. To his joy, he saw Ash’s head loll to the side and back to center.

    “Pikapi…”

    [Night] Treasure Town (Wigglytuff’s Guild)

    After finally gathering up the courage to climb the ascent to Wigglytuff’s Guild, Ash and Pikachu successfully got through the gate after an awkward evaluation by the Guild Security Team. The Guild Attendant Chatot similarly gave an awkward introduction, partly because he was so surprised to see such a young introduction into the Exploration Team community. After hastily changing his tune with the flap of his wing, he guided both Ash and Pikachu into the Guildmaster’s office for registering. Wigglytuff gave the two of them the traditional quirky Guild induction, and with a signature “YOOM-TAH”, they were signed up for exploration as Wigglytuff’s Guild members, and given the complimentary Exploration Kit to get started.

    Chatot graciously showed the new exploration team their dormitory, their temporary place to stay while training at the guild. Chatot left the two to settle down and get comfortable for the day ahead and returned back to the Guildmaster’s Office. To his surprise, Chatot found his old friend and Guildmaster Wigglytuff idly toss and turn a Big Apple instead of eating it.

    “Guildmaster, are you alright?” Chatot tenderly asked.

    “Yes, I’m quite alright...” Wigglytuff responded. “Somehow I feel a little worried about the new team.”

    “Team Pokédance, huh? ♪” Chatot chirped. “They seem so energetic, though! I’m sure the Guild’s training won’t be too rough on them. They’ll be fine. ♪”

    “Maybe…” Wigglytuff softly agreed. His head started drooping until suddenly he was completely still.

    “Guildmaster?” Chatot sweat dropped at the prospect that the Guildmaster was having an episode. “Um… Guildmaster?”

    Perhaps just as suddenly, the Wigglytuff jumped out of his seat and shouted a barking, “YOOM-TAH!!” before getting back to his seat and throwing the Big Apple into the air.

    “Of course they’ll be fine! They’re here at the guild after all!” Wigglytuff exclaimed happily, humming a cheerful tune to himself. The Big Apple fell neatly onto Wigglytuff’s head where he promptly spun the Big Apple around like a balancing ball.

    Chatot relaxed once he realized that his old partner was just getting excited. He too headed for his office for a good night’s rest, but also to get the ringing sound of Wigglytuff’s booming voice out of his ears.

    [Late Night] Treasure Town (Wigglytuff’s Guild)

    When the moon had almost approached the apogee of its height in the sky, Ash and Pikachu had finally settled in for the night in Team Pokédance’s new dormitory. However, Pikachu was hardly in the mood for resting.

    "Are you still awake, Ash?"

    "Yep," Ash replied. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get to sleep after what happened today.”

    "I know… my heart's been racing over everything! But you know, I'm really happy that I made myself come here. I thought Wigglytuff would be scary, but he turned out really nice and friendly. It's all thanks to you Ash!"

    "No problem, Pikachu!” Ash said, smiling to himself. “By the way, I know we signed up to become an exploration team and all that, but what is an exploration team anyways?”

    “Well, it’s something like a group of Pokémon who go around different places doing jobs for Pokémon in need. They send the request to places like Wigglytuff’s Guild, then they wait for exploration teams like us to get the job done. Besides just doing jobs, you’re bound to go to places never before explored with ruins and really cool things!”

    “So the Treasure Bag will hold our supplies and whatever treasure we’ll find, and the Wonder Map will help us get to our destination,” Ash reasoned, keeping in mind the contents of the Exploration Kit his team got a few moments earlier.

    Pikachu laughed out loud, remembering the last gift inside the kit.

    “You forgot the best part! We got an Explorer’s Badge! You know what that does!”

    “Yeah… it’s proof that we’re official explorers… Wow, I can’t believe that this is really happening! I'm starting to get really excited!” Ash told his partner, but as he said so, he started yawning towards the end. “Ahh… Let's do our best tomorrow, Pikachu… goodnight…"

    "You too, Ash…” Pikachu also yawned in his spot, did a wide stretching motion, and then curled into a sleeping ball. “Goodnight... and thank you..."

    You’re welcome, Pikachu… thought Ash as he closed his eyes. But still, I can’t believe that this is happening to me. Who am I? Why am I here? I’m so confused… oh well, it’s late… I’ll just… go to… sleep… Pikachu…

    Ash felt himself drift off into peaceful slumber, but just as soon as he fell, he felt something on top of him poke at him in the side, gently, but insisting. He blinked his eyes open several times, but instead of seeing light like in the morning, all he saw was more night, somehow interrupted by beeping lights and whirring sounds of machines, and a large yellow creature standing over him.

    Huh? Who’s nudging me? Is it morning already? It can’t be… it’s so dark—why am I in a stretcher? Is that… is that Pikachu?

    [00:01 A.M.] Sunyshore City (Pokémon Center), Sinnoh Region

    Pikachu kept up the pressure and constantly prodded at Ash’s carcass, hoping that it would eventually respond. After all, sitting and waiting was far too boring for the electric mouse now that Brock woke him up. Soon enough, Ash’s eyes fluttered open. Slowly but surely he rose from his resting position and gathered his new sensations.

    I’m in a stretcher! There are machines around me, and— Ash suddenly checked his hand and torso. Sure enough, it wasn’t blue anymore, the fur had vanished, and the only thing on his hands was a pair of fingerless gloves. I’m a human again!

    It must’ve been a dream, Ash thought. He clutched his chest and took a deep breath, feeling his lungs fill up with air and feeling his surroundings with all ten fingers. But still… it seemed so real…

    “Pikapi!” Pikachu squeaked happily, alerting Ash to the creature who just woke him up.

    “Hey, buddy!” Pikachu picked up his friend and gave him a warm, snuggly hug. “I just had the strangest dream… but how did I get here? What happened?”

    Pikachu pulled out of Ash’s embrace and suddenly darted to where Ash’s hat lay off to his side. He grabbed it in his mouth, jumped off the stretcher, and beckoned Ash to follow him.

    “Pehkah!” Pikachu called out in a muffled voice.

    Ash laughed at Pikachu’s game of chase. He quickly stuffed his shoes on and followed Pikachu out of the ward, through the deserted Pokémon Center hallway, and out of the automatic doors. As Pikachu ran towards the beach, Ash kept up with him, jogging at a leisurely pace on the sand. The soft sea breeze woke him up even more, its calm and soothing sent making him appreciate his existence in this world. Waves upon waves came crashing softly on the shoreline and the sand beneath Ash’s feet felt comforting to him.

    In my dream, I was also on a beach, Ash thought. I wonder what that was all about…

    A little distance away from Ash, Pikachu stopped on the sand and held Ash’s hat in his mouth for him to take. When Ash arrived, he graciously took his hat back, seated it on his hair once more and watched Pikachu point to the sand. He saw a lot of washed out footprints were surrounding a small depression, now filled with water from the high tide. At this point, the distinct outline of a body had been carved away, but clearly this was the spot where Ash’s frame ended up, and his friends and Pokémon all crowded around him after he washed up on shore.

    “You guys were right here, huh?” Ash said to himself. “Pikachu, thanks for taking such good care of me.”

    Pikachu gave Ash a customary, “Pika!” and smiled. He was just glad to have Ash back in the land of the living.

    “Say Pikachu, what happened to me anyways?” Ash asked. “How did I pass out?”

    Pikachu started acting out what had happened like a game of charades, making faces, imitations, and squeaking out a plethora of Pikachu talk. Ash kneeled down to get closer to the little guy and followed him with rapt attention. As Pikachu neared finishing the story, Ash withdrew in shock, hardly accepting that what had transpired actually did.

    “So lemme get this straight… I fell from the balloon, somehow hit the water soft enough to not get injured, washed up on the shoreline, was carried to the Pokémon Center on Flint’s back, and then woke up just now? Is that right?” Ash asked.

    “Pika! Pika pika, pikachu!” Pikachu acknowledged.

    “Wow…” Ash said, dumbfounded. He stood up and began apologizing. “Hey, I’m sorry for causing you guys so much worry! Although I really wonder about those Shadow Balls earlier! What slowed me down from that fall?

    “Pika… pikachu?” Pikachu scratched his ears in thought but came up empty.

    Ash brought his fingers up to his chin, rubbing them thoughtfully and stared intently at Pikachu, thinking about who was responsible. Nobody around him owned any Ghost type Pokémon, and he certainly didn’t have a guardian angel looking after him. But at that moment Ash remembered the voice that rang in his head just before the fall. Suddenly it hit him. Only one Pokémon he’d ever met spoke those words to him.

    “No way! Could it be?”

    Out of nothing, a telepathic voice rung through Ash and Pikachu’s minds.

    “To be able to understand a Pokémon’s speech and true emotions… you, child, are truly unique.”

    Ash and Pikachu looked around for the source of the voice they heard and they saw the silhouette of a capped figure on a tall rock outcropping that looked like an eroded part of the lighthouse cliff.

    “Mewtwo…” Ash voiced out loud. “I don’t know how I can repay you for saving me!”

    “You already have repaid me—twice. It was the least I could do,” Mewtwo replied. He walked on his two feet down from the rock outcropping and, using his psychokinetic abilities, hovered his way to the sandy ground. He stopped several feet away from Ash and Pikachu, as if approaching with reverence.

    “I remember Mt. Quena…” Ash said with slight bewilderment at the Pokémon’s words. “But I also remember you said something about us having met before that. Although, I guess I wouldn’t remember anything about that, right?”

    “No, you would not remember anything from that day. I made sure of that when I wiped your memory.”

    Ash looked puzzled when Mewtwo said that. Pikachu also didn’t know to make heads or tails of that statement and climbed onto Ash’s shoulder for good measure.

    “You wiped my memory? But why?” Ash quizzically asked. “Why would you do that?”

    “I wanted to erase all of the horrible crimes I committed on that day…” Mewtwo replied solemnly. He closed his eyes and continued in a somber tone. “I robbed you and your friends of your Pokémon, I cloned them without their consent, and I senselessly pitted my engineered army against the originals for my selfish purposes. After I realized what I had done, I erased your mind as well as those of your friends’ in order to forget it all. Also, a terrible, terrible catastrophe happened. I couldn’t let anyone remember it.”

    “You, you cloned our Pokémon? I guess that explains what we saw at Mt. Quena,” Ash reasoned. True, it was strange to see his own Pikachu mixed up with another identical looking Pikachu, but that didn’t explain why Mewtwo decided to erase his memories. “I just can’t imagine why you thought we had to forget our time together! What happened?”

    “You sacrificed your life,” Mewtwo said, as level as possible.

    “What?” Ash asked. “Y-you mean I… that I… died?

    Mewtwo heavily sighed and closed his eyes. Pikachu did a double take at the news, wondering how often had his best friend come so close to death in his lifetime. The ensuing silence came between the two parties like a wall—a dividing wall that showed the difference in awareness of history.

    “Yes, I erased the memories of you, your friends, and of your Pokémon so that they would be protected from knowing the horrors of that day,” Mewtwo took in a deep breath and spoke softly. “They shouldn’t know the pain that watching a loved one perish brings.”

    Ash was speechless, and Pikachu had his mouth slightly agape, remembering his encounter with another Pikachu, claiming to be his ‘twin’. Now that Mewtwo mentioned it, Pikachu also remembered his ‘twin’ say that they had met before.

    “Why would one give his own life away for another? Why should one throw everything they’ve worked away just for someone else?” Mewtwo asked rhetorically, bowing his head and closing his eyes in thought. “Why did you risk your life for your Pokémon the first time? Why did you risk your life to help me the second?

    Ash felt overwhelmed by the amount of questions Mewtwo asked of him, but as he tried to come up with an answer, memories of Mt. Quena flooded his mind and he remembered how he felt when Mewtwo asked the same questions. He remembered shouldering most of Mewtwo’s weight on the journey to Clarity Spring and feeling very strongly towards Mewtwo, like he was one of Ash’s own Pokémon. Suddenly with that thought in mind, Ash knew exactly how to reply.

    “It’s because you’re my friend, Mewtwo!” Ash replied. “I helped you because you’re my friend!”

    “I wonder…” Mewtwo smiled. “I wonder what this makes us.”

    “That makes me your friend,” Ash smiled as well. “We’re friends!”

    A long, but meaningful silence filled the gap between Ash and Mewtwo, punctured only by the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore and the sea breeze softly rustling through the foliage behind the beach.

    “Hm…” Mewtwo chuckled softly saying. “You know, at first I saved you just to return a favor.”

    “But now,” Ash said, encouraging the Pokémon before him. “You helped me because I’m your friend. You saved my life, and you risked a lot to do so. That’s gotta count for something.”

    “Friends, huh?” Mewtwo gazed at Ash for a long time, feeling a sense of warmth and belonging as he did so. After a short while he mused to himself. “What a strange, but wonderful feeling this is.”

    “Yeah…” Ash said.

    Another long silence fell between the two parties, Pokémon and human, and yet it didn’t matter to either of them. Both felt extremely content, and above all, at peace. Mewtwo found a new purpose in the wake of this revelation.

    “I think I will remain here,” Mewtwo began. “For years I have wandered the land looking for a suitable place, but none have ever brought me as much fulfillment as this city has.”

    “I’m really happy for you, Mewtwo! I know you’ll do well here.”

    “Perhaps it was fate that brought us here, even now. I only arrived in this city a few short days ago. Otherwise, I may not have even been here to slow down your fall.”

    “Wait a second!” Ash exclaimed, remembering what had happened after the Team Rocket balloon exploded. “Mewtwo, when you slowed me down, I got really dizzy and blacked out before I hit the water. Would you know anything about that?”

    “No, psychokinetic techniques performed on a human usually do not induce dizziness,” Mewtwo said, puzzled by these events. “Psychosis-inducing techniques like Confusion our Psywave may produce those effects, but I did not use any of those attacks to slow your fall.”

    “Really?” Ash asked. “As soon as I started falling, I got really dizzy and then I started dreaming! Somehow all I knew was that I was caught in a thunderstorm at sea, but it didn’t feel like a dream. It felt like it really happened.”

    “It’s possible…” Mewtwo began. “It’s possible that I’ve unlocked forgotten memories by accident.”

    “Huh?” Ash asked. “What do you mean by forgotten memories?”

    “For example, when I wiped your memory of our first encounter, that memory did not actually vanish from your mind,” Mewtwo explained. He brought up his right hand to symbolize the memory and mimed a large space to represent Ash’s mind using the left hand.

    “If my left hand shows the part of the mind that’s conscious of what’s going on, then a forgotten memory is where my right hand is, in a separate area of the mind that the person is unaware of.”

    “So…” Ash stated. “You’re saying that I have memories that I have no idea about?”

    “Yes. That is correct,” Mewtwo affirmed. “Usually these memories do not reconnect to the conscious mind on their own. However, a powerful psychokinetic technique like my Psychic may have caused these memories to leak back into your consciousness, and they are now manifest in the form of dreams and visions. It’s possible that a Psychic attack may unlock other abilities even paranormal for humans. Your dizziness may even be caused by one of those abilities, and perhaps that’s the reason that the memories were unlocked.”

    “That’s so bizarre… so you’re also saying that my dreams that I had after falling from the balloon may have actually happened? Also, you’re saying that my dizziness is linked to some kind of hidden ability?”

    “It’s possible. There’s no guarantee.”

    Ash stood rooted to his spot in silence, shocked at these revelations. Although none of his immediate friends knew what the dreams contained, the mere thought that these particular dreams were even possibly reality was frightening to Ash, but also exciting.

    “Regardless, it’s probably only because you are so unique that these memories were unlocked,” Mewtwo mused.

    “What?” Ash snapped out of his thoughts. “What do you mean?”

    “Perhaps you were specifically gifted with this ability that I unintentionally unlocked. I’ve never met such a compassionate human, a human so determined to fight for the sake of Pokémon before. You truly are special. Perhaps your strange dreams of transformation truly did happen.”

    “Wait! How’d you know I dreamed that I was a Pokémon?” Ash belched out. “I didn’t say anything about that!”

    “You underestimate my powers, child,” Mewtwo jokingly taunted. He smiled at the thought that back when he first said that he spoke with malice, but now, he spoke entirely with good spirit.

    Ash laughed when he fully realized exactly who he was dealing with and that the secret was out of the bag. Pikachu nudged Ash’s head to get some more info on these so-called dreams, but Ash just petted Pikachu to soothe him.

    “I’ll explain later buddy, it’s a long story,” Ash chuckled, embarrassed he hadn’t told his starter anything earlier.

    “I should depart from you, child. I’ve been in the open for too long,” Mewtwo warned. “And you need rest. Your superior seems to have something in mind for you tomorrow.”

    “Cynthia?” Wondered Ash out loud. “I guess I’ll just find out tomorrow then. Let’s go back to the Pokémon Center, Pikachu! And thanks again, Mew–”

    Without a parting word, Mewtwo teleported out of sight. Even though he was surprised not to find him, Ash smiled and walked back to the Pokémon Center feeling excited for tomorrow’s gym battle, and even more grateful that he had such good friends in mysterious, high places. When Ash finally reached the Pokémon Center and the automatic doors completely closed behind him, Mewtwo repositioned himself on his favorite high-rising lightning rod needle, looking over the streetlight city in the middle of the night. The full moon was out.

    “My friend, I will remember you always. Ash…”

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

    Dear Readers:

    I changed the original ‘Team Dimension’ into Team Pokédance, a name that came up in the Japanese anime adaptation of the MDII introduction. It’s not my personal choice of course, sounds a little childish, but I do like to respect the “default” names as much as possible.

    Yeah, I said full moon three chapters ago so I had to edit the new moon. I’ve changed some words around like the articles so that it reads much more fluently, but beyond that, not too many other updates.

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

    Story Notes:

    N/A

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

    Author’s Notes:

    Uploaded, 04/08/11
    | continuation of MDII/intent on Mewtwo/dream truly happened/will require alternate universe/drafting full diagrams now |
    original title, “Gratitude”
    RE: edit. 09/10/11
    RE: edit. 03/16/12
    original title, “Great Gratitude”
    RE: edit. 01/26/13
    3DS Friend Code: 2079-6549-2981
    "Let's trade and battle!" - *message me first*
    I am a shadow, I seek the ways of Hadou.
    I'll have you know, I am a Lucario.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by lunarshadow View Post
    Thanks for picking this up, Midnight! When you say you're re-reading this stuff, did you read all 30 chapters on ff.net? Or just what's here on Serebii? And by god, you put out a ton of fanfiction. Like it's a rather scary impressive number! As soon as I put a dent into the massive amount of work you've done I'll be sure to let you know my thoughts! What is it you mean by the script-like feel? I'm not sure what other feels you're talking about when you say that, lol. I mean, I could've actually written this like a script. For sure it would've made this story simpler to write because I don't have to keep describing the trees. What other styles are out there? And one more thing, I've definitely taken the May-travels-with-Ash-again trope for the explicit reason of rekindling the old style of fanfiction writing. It's almost like paying homage to May's Crush, Two of a Kind, and Final Challenge all at the same time. Now that I think of it, that's really all what this story is in a nutshell.
    Yeah, but half of those stories need to be burnt because their just horrible. I only write about 3 full stories a year with a odd oneshot or two. I must of been high to write those early stories of mine about five years ago.

    Ignore what I said about teh script-like feel. It was late when I read this and had no idea what I was saying.

    Lol, I guess. But you started this story a few years back and just got into it right? Well that explains the theme since it was a popular idea back in the time. I don't mind it today, just as long I don't read too much of it in a short amount of time.

  15. #90
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    Nov 2014
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    Default

    Wait.. so the story is on an indefinite hiatus?
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

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