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Thread: Pokemon Mage Ruby (PG)

  1. #1
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    Default Pokemon Mage Ruby (PG)

    I've spotted several stories where the author decided to use the sci-fi aspect of Pokemon exclusively. And that's fine, but I've decided to go the opposite direction. This story uses the fantasy aspect exclusively.

    I've tried to eradicate all machines, but a few remain (grrr, stupid television). I just made myself only use what was available in the 1950s. Also, this loosely follows the plot of Ruby, but meanders off, steals other versions' Pokemon, and decides to fiddle about with ages.

    I own a copy of Pokemon Ruby, but I don't own the copyright. Nintendo/GameFreak does.

    PM List
    JammyU
    Killer Grunt
    Stoc15

    +-+
    Chapter 1: Applications
    +-+

    Name: Kiri Brown
    Age: 16
    Trainer ID: 014189
    Hometown: Petalburg

    Please attach proof of license, most recent school report, and referral form B to this application.

    Answer the following questions to the best of your ability.

    What is the purpose of the Pokemon Wizards? -To protect others and to monitor the magic of the world.

    How should a Wizard treat a Trainer? -With respect; they’re only a Wizard because a Guardian spirit came to them.

    Why do you want to become a Pokemon Mage? -My father is a Pokemon Wizard, so I’d like to follow in his footsteps. But that’s only one reason. Several years ago, I was attacked by a wild Gyrados. I want to protect others from this sort of accident since I was lucky enough to survive.

    -+-

    Kiri looked over the application, then stapled the other documents to it. In order to become a Wizard, she had to be a Mage. In order to become a Mage, she had to be approved by the League’s Grand Wizard, Birch. He would want proof that the applicants had passed the standard Trainer’s tests with high scores, to show they knew how to properly take care of Pokemon. He also needed proof of good character, thus the need for a reference. Although there were other hurdles to clear, it was best that this initial step was done right.

    She placed the application in an envelope, then put that in her lap. Pushing away from her desk, she turned her red wheelchair around and left her room. She was paralyzed below her waist due to the Gyrados attack. But she never let that stop her from doing what she wanted. Dad would be disappointed if it did.

    Careful not to roll over the sleeping Slaking in the living room, Kiri left her house. The sky was mellow with evening colors, murky blues and growing blacks. Lights were starting to turn on around Petalburg, casting a rippling shine on the town’s two ponds. The ever-curious Marills poked their heads out of the water to see what the growing fuss was about. There was an awful lot of teenagers gathered in the town square. The day to apply was drawing to a close.

    -+-

    Name: Wally Chesterfield
    Age: 17
    Trainer ID: 332910
    Hometown: Petalburg

    Please attach proof of license, most recent school report, and referral form B to this application.

    Answer the following questions to the best of your ability.

    What is the purpose of the Pokemon Wizards? -To keep peace between Pokemon and people.

    How should a Wizard treat a Trainer? -Assist Trainers who ask for help or don’t understand their Pokemon.

    Why do you want to become a Pokemon Mage? -I want to be able to truly understand Pokemon and know how they feel about battling and living with people. I know this is a rare power even among magic users, but I hope I have what it takes.

    -+-

    Wally’s stomach squirmed like he had Wurmples inside. Should he write more? Was that good enough? He wasn’t even sure if he wanted to hand in this application. The job of a Pokemon Wizard had a lot of responsibility. He knew this because both of his parents were Wizards. His father had earned seven badges as a Mage; his mother earned eight and beat the Elite 4, only to be defeated by the reigning Magic Champion. They were both excited about Wally finally turning in an application.

    Anyone from thirteen to eighteen years old could apply to become a Pokemon Mage. He put off applying until he was fifteen, then caught mono. At sixteen, he was still weakened by the drawn out disease. Now that his doctor had approved of his health, he was applying for the first time.

    While his parents were looking forward to this, he wasn’t. Wally didn’t know if he could make a journey; he’d never walked for long distances before. He wasn’t sure about going to an advanced school either. If any contagious disease passed through Petalburg, he always got sick from it, so an advanced school with dorms would be awful. In fact, he had no idea what to do now that he had graduated mandatory school.

    After twirling his pale green hair around his fingers for a few minutes, thinking, he put the required documents in the envelope and sealed it. The hushed hum of enchanted gems accompanied his slow footsteps; they were filtering the air from possible allergens and germs. His father had been called away earlier to deal with a problematic Pokecenter, but his mother was sitting in the living room reading a newspaper. “Um, okay mom, I’ve got all the papers filled out,” he said.

    She pulled the paper back a little to smile at him. “Good. Now hurry along so you can turn them in with the others.”

    “R-right. I’ll be back in a bit.” He left his house and went to the grassy town square by the large pond.

    Petalburg was often described as a quaint country town with many elegant gardens. The soil was rich, letting any plant flourish. As no one had imposed any orderliness on the town, the buildings were clustered together in where they fit best. Grassy lots littered with wildflowers sat in between these clusters. The main draw to outsiders was the Gym and that license had nearly left town. When the last Leader retired, most people in Hoenn thought Lilycove would get League approval instead. Fortunately, the man who was picked as the new Leader preferred Petalburg.

    There was a crowd of teenagers at the largest grassy lot, all hoping to become a Mage tomorrow. ‘I bet they don’t realize how much work it is,’ he thought.

    “Hey, scrawny,” one of the local boys called. “There’s zero chance of you being picked, so forget about it.” A boy by him laughed.

    “He can apply if he wants to,” Kiri said firmly, appearing without warning. “Now apologize or I’ll run over your foot.”

    “I’m just telling the truth,” the boy excused, but he made the mistake of looking down to see her glaring at him. “Sheesh, fine. Sorry Wally.” He turned to his friend and added, “Let’s leave Greenie and Little Miss Sunshine behind.”

    Wally smiled a bit. It was a mistake to call Kiri helpless, even though she had to get around in a wheelchair. She had strong arms, which some of the guys had learned in trying to tease her. “Thanks Kiri, even if I was just going to ignore him.”

    She rolled up to him. “No problem. Can’t let them make fun of my friends. Anyhow, I’m so excited! I wanted to apply in Johto right as soon as I became thirteen, but Dad said to wait until I knew some more.”

    “Where is your Dad?”

    “I was just looking for him. He’s probably down over there.” She pointed to a tent with Chinese lanterns hanging from it.

    Before reaching that tent, however, Wally ran into another familiar face.

    -+-

    Name: Vincent Starmie
    Age: 14
    Trainer ID: 115932
    Hometown: Lilycove

    Please attach proof of license, most recent school report, and referral form B to this application.

    Answer the following questions to the best of your ability.

    What is the purpose of the Pokemon Wizards? -To act as moderators between people and Pokemon and to protect others in times of danger.

    How should a Wizard treat a Trainer? -Since a Wizard is essentially a Trainer as well, with equality and integrity

    Why do you want to become a Pokemon Mage? -I wish to learn all about Pokemon: their natural habits, their lifestyles, their magic, their psychology, and their language.

    -+-

    It had to be right; it had to be accepted. Thinking over his application, filled out weeks ago, he tried to find any flaws. Vincent had picked every word and idea carefully to guarantee his being chosen tomorrow morning. He’d spent time researching the current Grand Wizard, Birch, and figuring out what he would most want to hear. For if he gave someone what they wanted to hear, he would always get what he wanted.

    Except when it came to girls, he thought dismally. Vincent looked over his neighbors from Lilycove. The girls were all beautiful: tan from the beaches, dressed to the current fashion, and fit enough to be models. How could they do that, he often wondered. It seemed effortless on their part.

    But he was a nerd and the label cursed him. No matter what he did, he grew into it: pale indoors skin, stringy brown hair, no aptitude for physical activities. Even his glasses. He tried to pick out something cool and wound up with blocky green frames that earned him the nickname Bug Face. How was someone named Bug Face supposed to get a girlfriend?

    However, if he became a Mage, they would have to respect him. And why would they not choose him? He had the highest test scores of graduating seniors and he was only fourteen. He had the top scores for the Trainer’s test as well. He just had to pass this little bit of formality and leave everything up to the immortals.

    Which was something he didn’t really like.

    “Vincent!” a happy voice called. “Hi, good to see that you came.”

    He did smile at this old friend. “Hi Wally. I meant to come by after I dropped my application off.” He noticed that the lavender-haired girl in a wheelchair was with him. She was cute, but not really outstanding like the Lilycove girls. “Who’s this?”

    “Oh, this is my new friend, Kiri. She moved in five months ago. Kiri, this is Vincent; we’ve been friends for years, but then his family moved to Lilycove.”

    Kiri smiled. “Hi there Vincent.” She offered a hand, so he shook it. “Isn’t that city far off? Why’d you come here?”

    He looked over the crowd of teenagers. Teresa was nearby, Vincent noticed. Beautiful Teresa, who owned a stunning red bikini... and she hardly ever noticed him. Partly to ignore that, he answered Kiri’s question. “Lilycove is the largest city in all of Hoenn, but we currently don’t have a Gym. Since the applications have to be passed on by Gym Leaders, we have to come to other places. And since there’s so many kids in Lilycove, some of us get sent as far as Rustboro. Anyhow, I asked to come here so I can see Wally again.”

    His old friend smiled. “Yeah, we’ve been writing letters for years. It’s really good to see you again.

    “Real good. So is Rei really gone? I heard there was a new Gym Leader here, but I can’t seem to find him.”

    “Yeah, he had to retire after his heart attack. The new leader is Norman, Kiri’s dad.”

    “There he is!” Kiri said in delight, heading off to a nearby bench.

    Norman was organizing the dozens of applications he already had. A second Slaking of his was dozing off nearby, snoring softly. And his Guardian Pokemon, the one he had started as a Mage with, was sitting on the bench too. The icy blue Glaceon pricked her ears up when they came. She hopped off to get a pat from Kiri, who happily obliged.

    Norman had to be a Master Wizard to be named a Leader, but one couldn’t tell by looking at him. He had thinning black hair, lavender eyes, and the look of an average man. He dressed ordinarily too, in red sweatpants and a brown t-shirt. However, his appearance had to be a trick. An ordinary man couldn’t become a Gym Leader.

    “Right on time,” Norman told the three teens. “Are your applications complete, with everything you need?”

    “Yes sir,” Vincent said, handing over his envelope first. He nervously pushed his hated bug green glasses back. “I spent hours getting everything just right.”

    “Hours?” Kiri asked, handing in hers next. “It was just three questions.”

    “But it’s three very important questions. If you don’t get them right, you won’t be called on.”

    “There’s no absolute right to those application questions,” Norman pointed out. “And I doubt most people would give the ‘wrong’ answers.”

    Wally handed his in last. “So we’ll hear tomorrow morning if we made it to the choosing?”

    Norman nodded. “Right, tomorrow morning I’ll have word of who goes. There, you will have to pass other tests to be accepted as a Mage. These tests are either pass or fail, so there’s nothing you can do to prepare. But don’t worry. If you’re meant to be a Mage, you’ll become a Mage.”

    “Magic won’t deny what you deserve,” Kiri told Wally. “It’ll give you just what you need.”

    He looked down at the ground meekly. “I suppose it does.”

    “But you can tweak things just right so that you get what you want too,” Vincent added. “At least, I hope so. I’ve been studying about how individual Pokemon differ, and I figure if I just got the right one...” he closed his eyes and mumbled some idea he was working through.

    “Every person and every Pokemon has potential to shine,” Norman said. “You just need to find your own way. Now, let’s send these applications off.” He gathered some magic in his hands and passed them on to the envelopes. A wing symbol appeared where he enchanted them. “Time to fly, letters. Go to Grand Wizard Birch.”

    A sparkling tan aura appeared around the applications. They floated off the Leader’s hand. After pulling them back, he made a motion of flinging them into the sky. The envelopes took to the air in a flash, seeking out their recipient.

    Kiri tried to watch them, but her father’s magic worked too fast. And now to wait. “I dunno if I can sleep tonight. I want it to be tomorrow already!”

    Norman laughed and messed up her hair. “A little eager, aren’t we sport? Be patient. The time will come. And you’d best get a good night’s sleep. It could be a big day for all of you tomorrow.”

    Reluctantly, they all went back to their homes or the Pokecenter to wait.

    -+-

    Birch was an old friend of Norman, and one of the reasons he’d gotten called out of Johto to be a Gym Leader in Hoenn. He had offered them a large and accommodating home in Littleroot, but Norman would have none of that. He wanted his family nearby. Thus, they were in this old home, red and orange like all the others in Petalburg. It needed many renovations to be handicapped accessible, but they had done such things before.

    “Did Kiri come back?” Norman asked as he and Laura came in the door.

    His wife Samantha was sitting on the couch, reading. “No, she went over to Wally’s house for a little while. At least we know that Bethany won’t let them stay up too late.”

    “Yeah.” He sat down by her. Laura hopped up on the couch beside him and was soon half-asleep. “Well, she’s going to be gone whether she gets chosen tomorrow or not.”

    “I hope she is ready. It’s rough out there even for able-bodied people.”

    He put his arm around her shoulders. “Don’t worry. We’ve taught her well and she’s got perseverance when she puts her mind to it. If she’d just be more attentive to the future and not just to whatever seems good for today.”

    Samantha put her head on his shoulder. “You’re still worried about her.”

    He tightened his grip for a moment. “More than when she first went to school, because at least then we knew where exactly she was going.”

    They sat quietly together for several minutes. Then Samantha put her hand over Norman’s. “Since we’re going to be alone for a time, how about we plan a romantic date for the next free day you have?”

    He smiled warmly. “That sounds like a great plan.” Then he kissed her.

    -+-

    It was too early in the morning. Aside from a few safety lights and some nighttime Pokemon, Petalburg was quiet. Even the invading hiss was quiet.

    The hiss of a strange Pokemon slid by the charming houses. Things became strange when it touched them. A thornless white rose grew thorns and turned pink. Concrete stepping stones turned to brick. A maple sapling turned into a hickory sapling. These things could be done by magic, but they took extraordinary power and ability to do right. The strange Pokemon changed things with little effort.

    It was hunted, but it sensed an opportunity. There was a chance, a small one, that great things could happen. This chance started here. And if there was a chance, it could make anything happen. Anything.

    It just had to wait for the right moment and the right one.


    Pokenav Extra

    People

    Norman Brown
    Job: Petalburg Gym Leader, Master Wizard
    Battle strategy: Build a powerful offense
    Hobby: Fishing
    Secret: As tough as he is on his Gym Trainers, he’s far tougher on himself.

    Samantha Brown
    Job: Contest Judge (part-time)
    Contest strategy: Go with what your Pokemon love doing
    Hobby: Cooking
    Secret: She can’t stand cleaning a freshly killed fish, so her husband does it for her.

    Bethany Chesterfield
    Job: Pokemon Habitat Researcher
    Battle strategy: Hold items can make or break a battle
    Hobby: beaded jewelry
    Secret: She’s obsessive about cleaning, but tries to hide it.

    Pokemon

    Slaking (5)
    Trainer: Norman
    Team: Second/Third Tier Gym Challenge
    Nature: Lax
    Likes: naps
    Dislikes: oatmeal

    Slaking (4)
    Trainer: Norman
    Team: Third/Fourth Tier Gym Challenge
    Nature: Jolly
    Likes: jelly beans
    Dislikes: the smell of vinegar

    Laura (Glaceon/Guardian)
    Partner: Norman
    Team: Currently Inactive
    Nature: Adamant
    Likes: her human family
    Dislikes: jalapenos and hot sauce
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 9th January 2009 at 4:29 PM.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  2. #2

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    I'm speechless yet I want to review, please forgive me if this review isn't particularly helpful or interesting:

    I expected this before I even started reading but, I didn't notice any spelling or grammar mistakes. Now that that's out of the way we can get to the plot, characters, and any other nit-picks I may have.

    Essentially, wizards seem like a fresh twist to the Pokémon world but I have yet to see anything in particular that separates them from trainers. I'm sure the differences will be made clearer as the story goes on but... I needed to find something to nit-pick before I burst.

    Another thing that came to my attention is the age limit. Is there any particular reason why someone can't apply to become a wizard if they're older than eighteen?

    I don't have any particular complaints because the cast seems balanced, the setting is probably well developed and it seems like there will be an interesting over-arching plot (This is based on the fact that it uses Ruby as its base and on the last scene in the chapter).

    Other than that I have to make one last note:

    It had to be right; it had to be accepted. Thinking over his application, filled out weeks ago, he tried to find any flaws. Vincent had picked every word and idea carefully to guarantee his being chosen tomorrow morning. He’d spent time researching the current Grand Wizard, Birch, and figuring out what he would most want to hear. For if he gave someone what they wanted to hear, he would always get what he wanted.
    This part reminded me of a particular character from a particular other story. It's nothing major, just a small thing I noticed.

    Overall, the story seems very promising. That mysterious Pokémon at the end even has me speculating a bit yet I'm sure that my speculation will be answered in a future chapter. That said, I'll definitely be looking forward to the next chapter.

  3. #3
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    Wow, is this the story you were talking about in POS? It looks like it's going to be really good; and original, the magic/wizards thing is a great idea and I look forward to seeing how it turns out.
    I couldn't find any grammar mistakes, but there were just a few minor cases of slightly awkward wording, nothing important. Your description was great as always, even if I hadn't played RSE I'd know Petalburg like the back of my hand after reading that and the characters were just as I'd imagine them to be in real life (I always thought Wally deserved a proper back-story).
    Yeah, that's about it really, if the rest of the chapters are gonna be as good as this one then stick me on the PM list (once you've made one).
    ~JammyU
    3DS Name: James
    Friend Code: 4897-7143-5332
    Friend Safari: Poison (Gloom, Garbodor, Drapion)
        Spoiler:- Looking For:

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

  4. #4
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    New story! Awesome. Time for a review. ^^ Now, I realize this is wildly AU, so I'll be a little more lenient with things such as canon, but I'll still comment if something doesn't make sense to me or when I think things could be improved. Hopefully it'll be helpful for you!

    -

    I would try to set up the application form differently, just to make clear that it is in fact an application form and not simply narration. Perhaps put it in italics?

    How should a Wizard treat a Trainer? -With respect; Trainers may not have the skills of a Wizard, but they work hard with their Pokemon as well.
    To me her answer sounds rather condescending. Maybe not what you want for the first impression we get of your character. It sounds a bit like 'well, they're not as cool as us, but they try!' I would also change 'Wizard' to 'Mage', because that's what she's applying for. I realize Mages can become Wizards, but right now that's not what she's going for.

    But that’s only part of my reason. Several years ago, I was attacked by a wild Gyarados. Over time, I’ve realized that I was lucky to survive the injury, so I should be glad and live my life to the fullest. I want to protect others.
    I'd say 'reason', because 'part of' indicates one. Though you could also say 'one of my reasons'.

    I'm a bit 'meh' about the last sentence in that paragraph, too. I would have placed it right after the mention of the Gyarados, because right now it seems like a very random afterthough. First there was mention of the attack - though no specific injury mentioned, so I'd use 'the' instead - and then she moved on to 'I have to live life to the fullest', only to go immediately to her wanting to protect others. (Which ties in better with the attack, instead.)

    Kiri looked over the application and thought it was good. She stapled the other documents to it. In order to become a Wizard, she had to be a Mage. In order to become a Mage, she had to be approved by the League’s Grand Wizard, Birch. He would want proof that the new Mages had passed the standard Trainer’s tests with high scores, to show they knew how to properly take care of Pokemon. He also needed proof of the applicant's character, thus the need for a reference. Although there were other hurdles to clear, it was best that this initial step was done right.
    I would possible combine the first two sentence, because 'she stapled the other documents to it' seems like a bit of a random sentence fragment. It works on its own, but perhaps weave them together?

    I'd say 'applicant's' character, because there is no mention of plural, but I guess that's personal opinion, and change 'new Mages' to 'prospective Mages' or 'Mage hopefuls' or some such. Otherwise it somewhat implies they were already Mages, even though Birch hadn't approved them yet.

    She had lavender colored hair with matching eyes; she generally kept her hair at shoulder length so it didn’t get caught on the wheelchair. For the same reason, she always wore blue jeans. Skirts were easier for her to put on, but they tended to get caught in the spokes. She was paralyzed below her waist due to the Gyarados attack. But she never let that stop her from doing what she wanted. Dad would be disappointed if it did.
    This is a very typical 'info dump' I generally discourage. Especially when it comes to looks. Just dumping all this information on your readers isn't the best of form. Try to gradually show us what she looks like, don't just tell us all at once. For instance, you want to introduce that she's paralyzed. Perhaps try something like this:

    "The wooden floor creaked as she pushed her wheelchair to the door with practised ease. Nothing was going to stop her wheels from turning, she'd made sure of that by wearing jeans and keeping her hair short, as her arms were strong from moving around in her chair ever since that fateful Gyarados attack had left her paralyzed to the waist. She didn't let it bother her and just kept going. Her dad would be disappointed if she didn't."

    Notice the slight difference? It's not a sudden paragraph describing her appearance, her features have to do with what is going on and you still have things to describe - the colour of her hair and jeans, or her wheelchair - later on. Describe what she looks like throughout the story, not just at the beginning. People are more interested in her character than they are her jeans.

    The ever-curious Marill poked their heads out of the water to see what the growing fuss was about. Kiri wasn’t the only one applying to become a Mage.
    We tend to say 'marril' and 'pikachu', not 'marrils' and 'pikachus'. Plural is the same as singular, basically.

    Bit confused about the growing fuss, though. Is this growing fuss referring to the wheelchair? Because I doubt even a marril could notice several people writing application forms. They're not that good.

    How should a Wizard treat a Trainer? -Assist Trainers who need help or don’t understand their Pokemon.
    That's not really treament, though. That's what they're going to do when meeting a trainer, not in what way they're going to interact with them. It also sounds a bit condescending again. Perhaps trainers won't want their help, so perhaps Wally better say 'Assist Trainers who want help', instead? Sounds a bit forcefull, otherwise.

    Oh, and by the way, the é is written by combining ALT and 130 on your numberpad. Just tell Word - or whatever you use - that's the correct spelling once and it should correct it for you automatically. ^^

    Why do you want to become a Pokemon Mage? -I want to be able to truly understand Pokemon and know how they feel about battling and living with people.
    So, I'm guessing Wizards/Mages will be able to talk with pokémon? That could be interesting, if you really do something with it. Because encountering pokémon and winning their trust constantly isn't half as fun as being told they don't want to go with you and having to let them go.

    Wally’s stomach squirmed like he had Wurmple inside. Should he write more? Was that good enough?
    I'm a bit surprised at the lenght of these applications. They seem extremely short for something so important. If these Mages are so much better than regular trainers, you'd think there'd be a thorough testing of what they can do. Including finding out what their driving force is for doing this.

    Anyone from thirteen to eighteen years old could apply to become a Pokemon Mage. He put off applying until he was fifteen, then caught mono. At sixteen, he was still weakened by the drawn out disease. Now that his doctor had approved of his health, he was applying for the first time.
    I have to agree with an earlier reviewer. Why until they were eighteen? So, if you don't make it in that time you never can? Sounds rather limiting, especially to those unfortunate enough to not be able at a young age.

    Wally didn’t know if he could make a journey; he had asthma, so he’d never walked for long distances before.
    I have asthma, personally, and it's not the long distances that bother me. It's the pace. I can do long stretches on end, I just can't deal with sudden change in pace or endless running. Seeing as a journey doesn't have to include that, I don't think asthma would be too much of a problem. Being in a wheelchair, on the other hand...

    The hushed hum of the air filtering gems accompanied his slow footsteps.
    This sentence confused me. The air is filtering gems? I think you meant air-filter and germs, instead. *grins*

    As no one had imposed any orderliness on the town, the buildings were clustered together in where they fit best.
    The main draw to outsiders was the Gym and that had nearly left town.
    Wait, the gym had almost left town? I don't think a gym can leave a town so much as a gymleader can.

    I liked the description of the town, though. Very quaint, though you probably could have done even more with it. Talk about the people, perhaps? Or the pokémon living nearby? Either way, nicely done.

    Bit surprised to see two boys being bested by a girl in a wheelchair - boys tend to bully people in wheelchairs at that age - but it's an interesting twist.

    I wish to learn all about Pokemon: their natural habits, their lifestyles, their magic, their psychology, their language. While anyone can learn one Pokemon’s quirks, it takes a Wizard to best understand any Pokemon one may run across.
    I'd change 'he' to 'one' or 'someone', otherwise the sentence seems to lack something. (More specifically; it takes a Wizard 'what'?) It still sounds condescending to me, this idea that you have to be a Wizard to understand pokémon and regular trainers should be educated and helped.

    But he was a nerd and the label cursed him. He was always pale from being inside a library or his home. His dark brown hair only emphasized that and was always straight and stringy. His shoulders had a tendency to hunch forward because he spent so much time reading books. He was in the middle of a growth spurt, so he was awkward and gangly. And physical exercise tired him, so he was always weak. Every year when he had to get new glasses, he tried to pick out a cool pair. No matter how much research he did, it never worked. Like his current large green-rimmed glasses, which stuck him with a new name, Bug Face.
    This paragraph is another info-dump, though not as bad as the first one. Try combining sentences and mention things throughout. You don't have to tell us everything now. Mention how he fiddled with his glasses as he looked at the girls, or how he pushed back his hair. Make one of the girls look over and have him straighten up - giving you the chance to mention his hunch - and stuff like that. Show, don't tell.

    “Hi, Wally. I meant to come by after I dropped my application off.”
    That is a direct address, so it gets a comma. That happens whenever there's a clearly distinguishable name, even with things such as 'Mom' or 'Sir'. You have a few instances like this throughout the chapter.

    Kiri smiled. “Hi there Vincent.” She offered a hand, so he shook it. “Isn’t that city far off? Why’d you come here?”

    “Lilycove is the largest city in all of Hoenn, but we currently don’t have a Gym. Since the applications have to be passed on by Gym Leaders, we have to come to other places. And since there’s so many kids in Lilycove, some of us get sent as far as Rustboro. Anyhow, I asked to come here so I can see Wally again.”

    “Yeah, we’ve been writing letters for years. It’s really good to see you again.
    Because you didn't indicate a change in speaker, you're implying that Kiri is still the one talking. Try adding in names and such to make sure we know who is talking.

    The icy blue Glaceon pricked her ears up when they came.
    When who came? You hadn't made a mention of the three moving. Perhaps add that in?

    However, his appearance had to be a trick.
    I think 'had to be' works better, personally.

    -

    Overall, I think you did a good job. There aren't too many errors and those that are can be easily fixed. You have a bit of a problem with describing your characters at first, and not making your sentences short and choppy, but a bit of work should mend that quickly.

    I'm a bit concerned about the whole Mage/Wizard deal, though. To me - and this is just personal opinion - they come across as very condescending. There's a real feel of 'Mages and Wizards are far above mere trainers', and that won't make any of your characters relatable. To me, at least.

    I'm also a bit worried how you're going to deal with the girl and her wheelchair. Going on a trainer journey is tough enough without having to propell yourself forwards by use of your arms. They're going to go extremely slow, it'll be extremely dangerous, and the most basic of things are going to be very difficult to accomplish. What if a pokémon escapes between the trees, is she going to try and follow it? There's no way. Or what if the road is littered with rocks, or her wheelchair breaks? Are the boys going to carry her? In cities we need a lot of changes to make everything wheelchair accessible and to make sure people can get around, just imagine what trouble the wilderness is going to bring. I just think it's a very difficult thing to deal with, but we'll see what you do.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Silawen; 24th August 2008 at 1:17 AM.

    Thank you, Saffire Persian, for the lovely banner.

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    Thanks for the reviews! Made some of those fixes, but italics... I dunno if it's me or my computer, but I can't do certain text adaptions online.

    I always cause a plural controversy; last time it was over Skitties. I go with the screwy English on this, so my style winds up with Marills, Skitties, and Jumpluffs. Although Mareep stays, as there's sheep to refer to. And I don't think there's anything worthwhile in a geese or mice type transformation (thank goodness).

    As for the age restriction, that is a fantasy convention. Magic tends to develop or refine around adolescence; note how it becomes controllable in Harry Potter around that time. By the time a person hits adulthood, the ability to use magic is set. There are also magicians here, people who can use magic to a lesser extent. The difference is in the Guardian, but that's a topic in Chapter 2.

    The real tests are still to come. This is the first cut, as there are ways of judging a person's magic potential through their handwriting.

    I took out the asthma; after glancing over my framework, it seems unnecessary.
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 24th August 2008 at 5:31 AM.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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    I liked it so far Ysavvryl. This may only be chapter one but I still like it and I get it. I do also think the wizards are a good idea too!
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    What's the problem with the italics? Doesn't the css option on this forum work for you?

    The thing is, though, that it's canon to say 'two pikachu'. Either way, I guess that's personal preference.

    Yes, but people don't lose their magic the moment they turn eighteen, do they? It's not the thirteen years of age I have the biggest problem with - though ten/eleven is close enough and I don't see why that age doesn't work. Harry was about that age, too - but the restriction regarding eighteen. Only young people can join, the rest just don't have a chance?

    If they use the handwriting to distinguish magical potency, then you should mention it, because right now it just seems like a very insignificant and useless way of choosing who gets to become a Mage.

    Good luck with the rest of it!

    Thank you, Saffire Persian, for the lovely banner.

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    *grins* Loving it thus far. Never noticed the sci-fi stories, but I think fantasy is a new kid on the block here, or something. This just reminded me of Harry Potter (sorry to ruin the mood xD), but is different. Like the idea of Pokémon Wizards. I'm a bit curious as to what they are, exactly.

    Hope to hear from you again! I'm keeping an eye out for this one. Boy, you sure are getting loads of ideas in your head, eh?
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
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    Ooh, a new fan-fic :O

    First some nitpicks. I didn't notice that Laura was the Glaceon and had to backtrack and re-read, though the 'fell asleep immediately' sort of gave it away Also, having played Sapphire in a French cartridge, I get very confused about place names, but that might just be me lol. I did figure out which city it was in the end, so that's fine! Since Wally is based off... Wally in the cartridge, is Kiri the 'female protagonist' and Vincent the 'male protagonist'? I did like the idea of the gems filtering the air, poor Wally xD And don't you catch mono through kissing? (Checks wiki) through saliva... somehow it seems unlikely that Wally, having gone through his whole life fearing germs, would drink out of another's cup or share another's fork... Poor Wally though

    I can't really take Birch seriously now that I've heard him being referred to as a Grand Wizard *giggle* I'm really excited to find out what the wizard/mage thing really means. However it does seem that lots of the children are applying; is magic very common in this universe? Surely the children would know if they had magic ability; or are they chosen on the basis of how powerfully magic they are? Which doesn't really make sense to me, but then again I'll have to wait for your explanation

    Anyway I'll be keeping an eye on this, the concept is refreshing, and so is the setting. It's nice to know that the adults have a life outside of caring for their children as well

    Libie

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    Kiri and Vincent aren't the game protaganists, as both May and Brendan show up later. Kiri is kind of in the game; a girl by that name is in Sootopolis, in the NA version at least. Vincent is my own creation and is closest to the Super Nerd Trainers.

    +-+
    Chapter 2: Country Roads
    +-+

    Vincent was in Wally’s room, sitting on a guest bed they had brought out for him. His new travel bag was sitting on a dresser nearby, a brown leather bag that had many pockets. Wally had forgotten to take his bag when he’d left the room. It was the same one he’d used for school for years, a pale green backpack with a logo: ‘Fortree Pokemon Ranch-Where your Pokemon can retire in comfort’. But Vincent wasn’t thinking on the journey ahead. He was thinking of a call he got last night.

    It had been his father. “This’ll put you right in shape before you know it,” he had said. “It’ll be a good counter to all those years you spent hiding in that dusty old library.”

    He had thought for a minute of arguing. Neither the Petalburg nor the Lilycove libraries were dusty (although the one in Oldale quite often was). But as it wouldn’t be good for anything, he went with his stock response of, “Yeah, dad.”

    At any rate, he was glad he’d waited until he was done with school. According to his research, the younger applicants seemed to be chosen more often. It might have been better to go right at thirteen. The Guardian Pokemon were to grow with their partner and help them find their way in life. Adults had usually found their way in life already and the personal changes required for a Guardian’s evolution were harder for an adult to make. A teenager still had every option open to them.

    But Vincent loved school too much to put it in competition with anything. Well, the classes and learning part of school. When it came to socializing, school politics, or getting a girlfriend, he ended up well out of his comfort zone. He liked knowing things, but all his classmates seemed to care about was their popularity. Getting popular wasn’t something he was good at. But if he could become a Mage and go to an advanced school, things would definitely improve.

    “Vincent,” Wally’s mother called. “You’ve got a call from your mom.”

    “Okay, I’ll be right there.” He got up, picking up the two bags. ‘Their house is so clean,’ he thought as he walked down the hall. This house could intimidate dirt into leaving immediately, yet Wally still got sick all the time. Good thing he wasn’t sick this year. He felt better going into this with his best friend.

    He discreetly put Wally’s bag on the coffee table. The older boy noticed and gave him a grateful smile for not letting his mother see the action. Then Vincent picked up the phone off the kitchen counter. “Hi, Mom.”

    There was a muffled sound of scolding, then, “Good morning, Vincent. Sorry I didn’t get to talk with you yesterday when your dad called. I was busy keeping the triplets in line.”

    He nodded absentmindedly. His three little brothers were all pains in the neck. “Yeah, I figured.”

    “I hope things work out for you. But don’t worry if you don’t get chosen this year. You’ve got several more chances and there’s always the Advanced Trainer’s School.”

    “I know. I’ll still hold off on catching my own Pokemon, though. The Guardians are better than any Pokemon you can catch by luck alone and it’ll be best to build a team around one of them.”

    “Of course- Trenton, don’t you dare- but I’m sure you could build a great team from nothing. You know far more than most adult Trainers with all the reading you-William Jackie Starmie, you put that matchbox down right now- sorry.”

    Vincent scratched his neck. “Um, I’d better let you go before he burns the house down.”

    “Yeah,” she replied, sounding worn out already. “Good luck, Vincent dear.”

    So that was it. Well, it was nice that she had called. Vincent looked over to where Wally and his mother were cleaning up after breakfast. Bethany was fussing over her son as usual. “And don’t pick up anything off the ground because you have no idea what germs are lurking on it.”

    “I know,” he replied, passively caught in the conversation. “I’ve got the antibacterial lotion with me, just in case.”

    “That’s good, but still, there are many dangers out there you won’t expect.”

    “We ought to go wait by the Gym,” Vincent interrupted. “It’s almost seven-thirty.”

    “Yeah. Goodbye, Mom. Say goodbye to Dad for me when he comes back.”

    “Of course, dear,” she said, hugging him. “It’s so hard to see you go, but I’m proud of you, no matter what happens.”

    “I know. I love you, Mom.”

    “I love you too, dear.”

    Vincent started to head for the door, which gave Wally an excuse to escape his mother’s embrace. He occasionally wondered which of them was worse off: the one with the overprotective mother or the one with the frazzled mother who had to keep the younger boys from blowing up the house. ‘My mom must be grateful that they can’t have their own Pokemon until they have their licenses at twelve,’ he thought.

    “Thanks,” Wally said as they left the house. “I wasn’t sure if I could get away in time.”

    “No problem.” He looked ahead to the crowd gathered outside the Gym. “But, uh, can we keep away from my Lilycove neighbors?”

    “Sure.”

    -+-

    Kiri went over a mental checklist. A travel bag enchanted to hold way more than it appeared to hold, check. Hers was made from old blue jeans and covered in her button collection. They had cute pictures and silly sayings like, ‘May you have the luck of the Chansey’, ‘Caterpies Rock!’, and ‘Save the Wailords’.

    Enchanted rail devices on the wheels of her chair, check. Her Dad had made these to make traveling outdoors easier on her. Norman disavowed any fishing spot that was easy to reach, preferring out-of-the-way wilds with strange and strong Pokemon. Since she often went out with him, she needed a way to get past dirt paths, grassy patches, and potentially muddy spots. The rails wouldn’t work on steep slopes, sands, ice, or really soggy mud. He said that she needed the ability Surefoot for those places, but that required a badge.

    ID card, address book, sunscreen, and wallet, check, check, check, and check. All else, check. Everything was in order. So this was it. If she didn’t get chosen this year, she’d go ahead and catch a few to travel with, just to get some experience for this. Various people kept telling her that she couldn’t do this, not even with rail enchantments, not even with all the help in the world. However, her parents both believed in her. She would make them proud.

    “Mom, I'm going.”

    Samantha was writing an article for a Pokemon Contest magazine, but she stopped to give Kiri a hug. “Good luck, sweetie. No matter what happens, have fun out there.”

    “I will. And I’ll write you so many letters that you’ll have a stack a mile high. Just be careful when you tell dad what I write, cause I don’t want him to know my team before I challenge him.”

    She chuckled. “Of course not. Make sure you eat well on the road. And I know you want to prove yourself, but don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.”

    “Hopefully I won’t have to. I love you, Mom.”

    “I love you too, Kiri. Just don’t forget that you have to be back in August for your last school year. Now hurry on; your father won’t wait on just you.”

    Petalburg Gym still showed signs of being newly renovated. The white and tan paint on the outer walls was as clean as the day they put it up. A few of the new windows had factory stickers on them. From her dad’s conversations over dinner, they were working out problems with the locked doors of the Trainer Challenge and enforcing the new Leader’s room for the Mage Challenge. And signs by the Gym gardens still warned of poisonous plants without and poisonous Pokemon within. But they did have the new flag out front, a brown flag with two tan stripes and a tan flower.

    Vincent and Wally were already there, discussing a monster of a book in the former’s lap. “Good morning,” she said cheerily.

    “Good morning,” Wally replied.

    “What’ve you got there?”

    “Vincent’s book, about Pokemon types and evolutions. There’s a lot more variety then I thought there was.”

    “That’s good to know about.” She glanced at the ground. “I wonder who changed the stones.”

    “What’re you talking about?”

    She pointed out some pentagonal brick stepping stones by the poison plant garden. “Those! I was pretty sure that they had been concrete.”

    “I didn’t notice.” He paused. “I did notice a thorny rose at my house. I thought we only had thornless bushes. Maybe I’ve just missed it up to now.”

    Kiri looked back at the suspicious bricks. “My dad might’ve changed them. I wonder why he didn’t mention it before. Course, he had to change a lot of stuff in here.”

    Wally twirled his hair for a second before adding, “You’re going to be a Mage for sure, Kiri, cause you’re dad’s a Master, right?”

    She shook her head. “Nope, that doesn’t guarantee anything. Maybe you more than me since both of your parents are Wizards. Mom’s not even a magician.”

    “I have the highest GPA in Hoenn and even that isn’t certain to make me a Mage,” Vincent said, not looking away from his book. He flipped a few pages back and bit his lip, most of his mind on another train of thought.

    “So how do you know if you’re chosen?”

    “The Grand Wizard will summon three starter Pokemon,” Vincent explained. “The Pokemon will choose the new Mages. You should remember that.”

    Wally might have paled, but his skin was too white to tell. “I, I don’t remember discussing that in school.”

    “It’s in the books.”

    “You mean the Guardians?” Kiri said. “I hadn’t heard them called starters before.”

    “Guardians, starters, it’s the same idea.” Vincent turned to the last third of his book and searched for something. “Here. ‘Pokemon can use magic restricted to their types and species. Humans can theoretically learn any type of magic; however, we cannot efficiently use mana in its natural state. In order for humans to use magic as strong as the Pokemon, we must either use an enchanted device, usually resembling a piece of jewelry, or a Guardian Pokemon. The Guardians are capable of fusing their mana with their partner’s, thus allowing the human to cast higher forms of magic.’”

    “That’s why magicians can cast something like Capture, but need their Pokemon for Surf or Fly,” Kiri said thoughtfully. “It’s like the difference between a match and a blowtorch.”

    “Maybe,” he responded, fiddling with his glasses. “I read another book that said it was like reading small print either by squinting and putting the book right in front of your face or by using a magnifying glass. Even if you can read by the first method well, you won’t be as fast or as accurate as the person with the magnifying glass.”

    The Gym door slid to the side as Norman stepped out. He held onto an envelope. “Okay kids, is everyone here? Are you ready?”

    Some called “Yes!” excitedly, while others nervously nodded.

    “Okay, here we go.” He opened the envelope and pulled out the paper inside. “Those of you asked to attend the preliminary Mage tests... Vincent Starmie, Kiri Brown, and Wally Chesterfield.”

    Kiri whooped and made a quick spin with her wheelchair. “Awesome!”

    “Aw crud, not again,” a boy from Oldale said.

    “This is awful,” one of the Lilycove girls whined. “I thought I was for certain.”

    “This is just the first step,” Vincent said, finally putting his book away. “There’s other tests.”

    “But you three made it past the biggest cut,” Norman pointed out. “That means that even if you don’t become a Mage, you have good potential as a Trainer or a magician.”

    “How does Birch know that?” Wally asked as the others drifted away. “It was just a form and three questions.”

    “There was more to that application than meets the eye. Like, oh I dunno, enchanted paper, dowsing crystals, and handwriting analysis.”

    Kiri giggled. “You know very well how they choose, Dad.”

    Norman stuck his tongue out at her. “Shh, what fun is a mystery when somebody like me ruins it? It’s too early in your education for you to know everything. Now, most of the other potentials will be Teleported to Littleroot, but we’re not that far away. I’ll send you over with one of my Pokemon to guard you.” He took a red and white Pokeball off his belt and tossed it to Wally. “This Zigzagoon will keep the wilds from attacking you.”

    The pale boy seemed startled to be given responsibility for the Leader’s Pokemon. “O-okay. We’ll take good care of...” he looked at the status screen, “her. Out, Zigzagoon.”

    The Pokeball released a white haze, which quickly formed into a brown and tan Zigzagoon. She stood low to the ground, but Kiri knew her to be quick and strong. Wagging her tail, she barked a greeting. “<Hi Norman, hi Kiri, hi boys!>”

    “You’d best leave immediately,” Norman advised. “You need to be there at noon and you should make it in plenty of time if you do. Remember, if a wild Pokemon attacks, just tell her to protect you. She’s on my team for low badge challenges, but I’ve trained her well enough that she knows what to do.”

    “Then let’s go,” Vincent said, sounding as if he wanted the walk to be over with as soon as possible.

    Kiri held her arms out and received a hug from her father. “Bye dad. I’ll be back to challenge you whether I’m a Mage or Trainer.”

    “I’ll be looking forward to that, sport. Good luck, to all of you.”

    “Thanks, Master Norman,” Wally said.

    Zigzagoon wanted to run, but obediently walked beside the three teens. Poochenyas kept trying to bother them, but Zigzagoon would bark up a fury and scare them off. Along the way, the three talked on many things. Wally felt glad that his two friends seemed to like each other. Vincent was willing to answer any question he was asked, even if he wasn’t sure about the answer. And Kiri kept trying to make them laugh or smile, as she did with everyone.

    “Kiri, why is your father’s Guardian a Glaceon?” Vincent asked. “I understand that Eevees can be both Guardians and regular Pokemon, but even so, Glaceon is an extremely rare form. I thought it could only evolve in certain places.”

    “Laura’s rare? I never thought of that.”

    “She is. Hang on.” He dug out the large book again to look it up. “See? This says that Eevee only evolves into Glaceon in areas strong in Ice magic.”

    “Huh. Well, Dad tells me that when he was a Mage, he learned to make evolution stones. He wanted to evolve her into a Vaporeon, but made a mistake in enchanting the Water Stone. When he gave it to her, her powers turned to Ice instead of Water. But he’s never managed to make an Ice Stone again. He said it was a bummer because that could have netted him a lot of money.”

    “An Ice Stone? I haven’t heard of that.”

    “The week he made it did have a massive blizzard with thick sheets of ice, so that could have messed up his work. Maybe it was a Water Stone, but the icy blizzard took priority.”

    “Eevees are really sensitive to that kind of thing, aren’t they?” Wally asked. “You can set your mind to getting one particular kind and wind up with something completely different.”

    “Well a Wizard wouldn’t have to worry about that kind of mistake,” Vincent said. “It was probably because he was a Mage learning magic.” He paused, then added, “I hope we do get chosen. This is a vital step for our futures.”

    At the thought of that, Wally quivered. “V-vital?”

    “Not really,” Kiri said. “It’d be awesome to be a Wizard, but most people get by perfectly fine with only simple spells. My Dad says he uses the Mail spell more than any other and that can be done by just about anyone.”

    Vincent shook his head. “No, if you want any significant position, you have to be a Wizard. You have to be one in order to be a Gym Leader or an Elite 4. You can be the Trainer Champion, but that’s nowhere near as significant as being the Magic Champion. Most top researchers are Wizards, in particular Grand Wizards. All healers are at least magicians; unless you want to be stuck in an ordinary life, you need to become a Wizard.” He shrugged. “Or if you want to be a politician or lawyer. That’s the highest you can get without magic.”

    “But only a few are chosen every year,” Wally said, resisting the urge to twist his hair about his fingers. “At most four from a region, I hear. And you saw how many people were in Petalburg last night, from our town, and Oldale up ahead, and Petalburg Woods, and Lilycove. That’s just one of eight districts; there has to be hundreds of applications.”

    “The ones that are chosen become the most important people.”

    “I think anybody can make a name for themselves, magic or none,” Kiri countered.

    “I guess so. Still, why would you give up magic for anything else?”

    She shrugged. “I wouldn’t want to give it up. I’m just saying that it’s probably not vital.”

    After a bit of silence, Wally changed the subject. “Kiri, what kind of Guardian would you want?”

    “A Torchic. Torchics are small but tough and they don’t take slack from anybody. On top of that, they’re one of the cuter Guardians.”

    “I always thought a Chikorita would be nice. And Vincent likes Totodile, right?”

    He nodded. “They all have their strengths and weaknesses, plus you can’t choose because they choose you. But yes, I do like Totodile; I just like the way they look. It’s good that most Guardians are available in this region. Some Grand Wizards can only summon three types, but Birch can manage just about anything.”

    Wally went on. “My mom says that the leaves a Chikorita and its line produces can make a herbal tea that strengthens the immune system in both humans and Pokemon. That could be useful for me.”

    Kiri smiled. “I’m sure a Chikorita Guardian wouldn’t mind sparing a few leaves to help you out.”

    Vincent looked ahead. “And there’s sleepy old Oldale. I swear, nothing exciting happens out here.”

    -+-

    Sleepy old Oldale. The Pokemart and Pokecenter were both out-of-date, as their signs were over twenty years old. Their business was only with locals and travelers who couldn’t hold out until Petalburg or Mauville. All the houses were old wooden structures with orange roofs, and in danger of being abandoned if not already. Although a few stubborn residents held out, Oldale was a dying town.

    It had once been a thriving town. Years and years ago, it even had a licensed Gym. But then Sootopolis claimed that traveling license. Really, Sootopolis? A hollowed out volcano only accessible by flight or an underwater ferry had repeatedly won the license over Oldale, an inland, easily accessible town in the heart of Hoenn? The residents thought it was disgraceful, but hardly anyone outside Oldale bothered to think about it.

    And then Littleroot had been founded. It was a special small town that housed the rich, powerful, and influential persons of Hoenn. These privileged people wanted a nice retreat away from the hustle and bustle of Lilycove, and Littleroot fit the bill. Before that, it used to be Oldale as the country retreat. However, Oldale was connected to two high traffic routes between two Gym towns. Littleroot was only connected to one lightly traveled route to Oldale. Therefore, it was preferred.

    Once the rich left town, others began to think something was wrong with Oldale. It was no longer fashionable to live there and it was inconvenient that the town’s Pokemart had a lousy manager that couldn’t keep the store properly stocked. So they moved on to Mauville or Petalburg, both with huge advantages over Oldale. The country village was evolving into a ghost town, but wasn’t quite there yet.

    “Can we take a break?” the green haired boy asked, sounding winded.

    “It’s not that much further to Littleroot,” the one with glasses responded.

    “Aw, come on,” the girl in the wheelchair said, clasping the wheels to stop herself. “Wally’s not used to this. You look tired too and we still have an hour to get there.”

    “I guess we can stop, then,” the second boy said, half-relieved and half-annoyed.

    Some distance behind them, it hissed. It was as the strange Pokemon had hoped. It could see which of them would pass and which would fail. In truth, the process was fair. Those that deserved a Guardian would receive one and those that didn’t would not. There were always three, but sometimes a fourth, maybe even a fifth, received a special Guardian.

    It was very fair, and yet it could appear vastly unfair. It all depended on what happened. The strange one knew. This time, it had a chance.

    The strange Pokemon slithered into a flowerbed, changing all the flowers to purple poppies. A nearby garden gnome statue turned into a little girl with an umbrella. The Pokemon watched the three teens. Patience...

    Pokenav Extra

    People

    Charlene Starmie
    Job: housewife
    Hobby: knitting
    Secret: She’s disappointed that she never had a daughter.

    Trenton, William, and Benjamin Starmie
    Job: annoying little brothers
    Hobby: getting things dirty, especially themselves
    Secret: We’re not telling!

    Pokemon

    Zigzagoon (7)
    Trainer: Norman
    Team: First Tier Gym Challenge
    Nature: Impish
    Likes: barking
    Dislikes: being barked at

    Places

    Petalburg: A town of passion pink and blossoming gardens, it has two lakes and is suitable place for raising families. Petalburg currently holds one of the traveling licenses for a Gym. Although there is no Contest Hall, a fair number of Coordinators live here.

    Oldale: The town sign mysteriously declares that it is a place where things start scarce. It is a simple town, but one that is slowly dying. Devon Corporation has shown some interest in building here, but hasn’t due to excessive business property taxes.

    Littleroot: It’s a cozy country retreat for important and wealthy families. Birch founded the town nearly twenty years ago as a calm place for his research lab and to raise his family. It is a beautiful town, but the only major activity that occurs is when prospective Mages come at the beginning of summer to be tested.
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 30th August 2008 at 4:24 AM.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  11. #11
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    Well, that was good, not much happened but I understand that it was neccessary to explain more about the world you've created. I can hardly wait for the next chapter!
    ~JammyU

    PS: That wierd pokemon reminds me of a Seviper, but they don't have powers like that. Whatever it is, it's freakin' me out .
    3DS Name: James
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        Spoiler:- Looking For:

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    Previously known as JammyU.

  12. #12

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    “Mom, I going.”
    That was the only mistake I found in the chapter.

    I understand the importance of the expository chapter but I didn't expect it this soon in the story. At least I can see the difference between trainers and wizards now but I'd like to ask a small question: It's clear that Pokéballs are present so, this might just be a misunderstanding, what's the point of the 'Capture' spell?

        Spoiler:- Speculation about Capture spell.:


    Alternatively, there's also another bit of speculation I'd like to post but I don't really need answers for this one as some of it might be answered within the story itself:

        Spoiler:- More speculation.:


    I'm sorry for all the ranting and speculation. It might be useless but I know how fun it can be for an author to have readers speculate and I don't have much to nit-pick in this story. So, that said, I guess that brings an end to this post.

  13. #13
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    Hmm, I'll put a in Pokenav entry for the Capture spell once it's actually used. Anyhow, number 3! This version of Birch, well, he won't be running from any level 2 Poochenya.

    +-+
    Chapter 3: Summoning the Guardians
    +-+

    After pausing to give Wally a break, they moved on to a town even smaller than Oldale. There wasn’t even a Pokecenter in Littleroot. Just a few grand houses, a general store, and a large two story building. “That’s the place,” Vincent said.

    “Race you there!” Kiri called before speeding towards the large building.

    “Hey, no fair!” Vincent yelled. “You have wheels.”

    “<Wheee, a race!>” The Zigzagoon barked and ran after her, ahead of the boys.

    Kiri stopped just outside the place. A sign nearby said, ‘Hoenn Pokemon Lab- headed by Grand Wizard Birch’. After waiting a moment for the two boys to catch up, she held her hands out gracefully. “You may go first.”

    “Thank you,” Vincent replied, somewhat annoyed at her excitement.

    The Lab was full of Mage hopefuls. The three new entrants brought them up to twenty. Some of the teens looked through the books that lined the shelves. Others observed the mystical equipment of the Pokemon Lab. Still others chatted with friends. The air was tense with excitement and anxiety. Nearly all of them had been waiting for this moment for years.

    A column of green smoke interrupted everyone. The man who appeared wore a flowing black robe that had Unown text embroidered in gold threads. A gold horoscope watch was clipped onto one of his pockets. While his face was clean shaven, it was tan and weathered, indicating that he spent a lot of time outdoors.

    “Good morning to you all,” he said in a calm and collected voice. It was the sort of voice one wouldn’t mind listening to during a lecture. “I am Michael Birch, researcher and expert on Pokemon. Would you care for some lunch?”

    Behind him, a sandwich buffet table appeared. It was loaded with five types of bread, a dozen types of meat, over a dozen types of cheese, varying vegetables, dressings, fruits, chips, and a pair of cakes, one yellow and one chocolate. On a smaller table were several options for drinks: punch, lemonade, soda, or water. Many of the teens gasped at the sudden appearance of an inviting lunch.

    “Go ahead and serve yourselves,” Birch said. “We have much to do and I’d rather not do it with you hungry.”

    “That was amazing,” Wally said in a soft awe.

    “He probably just put a spell over it to keep us from noticing,” Vincent explained. “It seems easy from the books.”

    “I’ve seen my dad do a lot of tricks like that,” Kiri said. “Come on, we’d better get in line so we can get the good stuff.”

    While the teens ate lunch, Birch drifted around and made sure everyone was there. When he got to the three who’d walked from Petalburg, he asked, “Are you going to be able to get around in that wheelchair, Kiri? Some routes have smooth paths, but others are rough and muddy.”

    “I’ll make myself get around,” she said. “Besides, if I learn the right spells, I can freeze mud, smooth out rocks, or even levitate my chair around rougher paths.”

    “You have a point. If you’re that determined, I won’t be one to stop you. And Wally, you’ll be okay traveling when you seem sensitive to the environment? You get around the volcano and there’s ash and poisonous fumes filling the air.”

    “I look like that?” he asked, bashfully. “Um, I’ll be careful with myself. I promised my mom and dad that I’d do my best.”

    “What have you promised yourself?”

    Wally scratched his head. “I, I want to succeed too. I just...”

    “He’ll do fine once he finds his way,” Kiri chimed in. “No two people have the same journey.”

    “Yeah, that.”

    Birch nodded. “You’ll learn your path soon enough.” Then he moved on to another group.

    Wally took a deep breath and let it out. “Thanks Kiri.”

    She smiled with chocolate frosting on her lips. “No problem.”

    “Why didn’t he say anything to me?” Vincent wondered.

    “Maybe cause you don’t need anything said to you,” Kiri suggested.

    “But I had so many things to ask, about type match-ups and team balancing, and the rate of finding a shiny...”

    She shrugged. “Don’t you already know all about that stuff?”

    “Well yeah, but he’s the foremost expert on Pokemon in Hoenn, so maybe he knows things I can’t find in books.”

    When everyone seemed done with lunch, Birch clapped his hands together. “All right, here’s how the tests will be conducted. In a moment, I will call forward those with sufficient mana to become a Mage. If you’re not called, you’re weak in magic at the moment and, I’m sorry, but you are not ready to start this year. But the fact that you have made it here means that you are potentially a great Trainer and magician, so my assistants will give you a kit that will help you begin your journey. Try again next year, for you may have developed the mana necessary.

    “If you are called, you will come upstairs for the next test, an examination of your soul. If you are deemed unsuitable, you will be sent downstairs for a different kit. Those who pass that exam will be instructed on a basic spell. You have a certain amount of time to produce this spell; if you fail to do so, you will come downstairs for the third kit. Finally, I will summon the three Guardian Pokemon and they will choose their masters. If you are not chosen, you get the fourth kit. If you are chosen, you will be named a Mage and be given the Mage’s Starter Kit. Does everyone understand this?”

    They all nodded. Some of them, like Vincent, had already known of the sequence of tests given to potential mages. Some, like Wally, nodded because they didn’t want to appear like an idiot.

    “Fine. Isabel, Todd, Marie, Parker, Johnny, Vincent, Kiri, Wally, Luke, Kelly, Lucy, and May, all of you follow me.” Birch then went towards the stairs in back.

    Kiri scooted her wheelchair ahead to intercept him before he started climbing. “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to have an elevator in here, would you?”

    “I don’t, but here.” He snapped his fingers. Her wheelchair levitated off the floor, then followed Birch upstairs. Once on the second floor, he set her down. “Brendan, is everything ready?”

    A young man stood up quickly. He had white hair and blue eyes. Sitting on his right was a Venusaur, a four-legged Guardian with a brilliant red and violet flower growing on its back. Standing on his left was a Meganium, a grassy reptile with a long graceful neck and a magnificent scent. Brendan nodded. “Yes, dad, we’re ready for the tests.”

    The Meganium cooed, “<Are you ready?>” and bumped her head affectionately against Birch’s.

    The Grand Wizard smiled and patted his Guardian. “Good, then first we must measure your souls.” He put his hands together, then stretched out a roll of measuring tape that hadn’t been in his hands before. “Who comes first? You, Vincent.”

    Holding his head up in pride of being picked first, he stepped forward. “Yes, sir.”

    Birch dropped one end of the tape to the ground, then held it up to get what seemed to be a height measurement. “Hmm... you are proud, but you have reasons to be so. But beware; you walk a fine line.”

    Vincent frowned. “A fine line?”

    “Next, Wally.”

    Wally tensed. “Oh, uh, okay. Sir.” He stepped forward, trying to keep himself from fidgeting out of nervousness. Vincent moved back to the group, still puzzling over his reading.

    Birch adjusted the tape to Wally’s shorter height. “Your main lacking is confidence, which undermines your health. You must restore both, not one or the other. Next, May.”

    A brown haired girl wearing a red paisley kerchief on her head came forward to replace Wally. “Alright.”

    “You may be too agreeable,” he told her. “Don’t let others take advantage of you; it will lead to something you’ll regret later on. Next, Johnny.”

    A boy wearing black pants with flames painted on the legs came forward. “Yes, sir.”

    Birch looked at the tape, then shook his head. “You’re much too aggressive and false with your manners. Sorry, but you aren’t suited to be a Mage.”

    Johnny shot him a bitter look, but quickly covered it up. “If you say so, sir.” He walked downstairs, looking like he might kick something.

    “Next, Kiri.”

    She rolled her chair forward. “You can’t take my real height without picking me up and I’d rather not go through that.”

    “I understand.” He leaned down to look at the measuring tape. “You are very cheerful, but that will not always win you friends. You might want to look into taking things more seriously and giving yourself long-term goals instead of short.”

    “Okay, sir.” She moved aside to let the next person get measured.

    Birch also got rid of Luke (for relying too much on chance) and Lisa (for disregarding Pokemon based solely on looks). Brendan took notes until Birch was on the last applicant. Then he went to retrieve a plastic container the size of a shoebox.

    “Your next test is to cast the spell Detect,” Birch said. “Brendan, please explain.”

    His son nodded. “I have here a magic glass that detects someone using a Detect spell. As it is enchanted, it will set off said spell. When you manage a successful Detect, you will know it and, thanks to this glass, I will know it. You have fifteen minutes to cast Detect once my father is done explaining it.”

    “Thank you. Now, Detect is simple. You either can cast it or you can’t. Look at this card.” He flipped his hand around and produced the card. It had a symbol on it, that of an eye. “Simple spells have simple symbols. More complicated spells can have multiple symbols strung together. The symbol itself focuses magic and gives it a form. You will have to memorize many such symbols during your career.

    “In order to cast Detect, you must draw this symbol in your mind. Some people can cast a spell with just that. Others may need a hand motion or word. You will know what you need in most cases. I know some Wizards who cast Detect by touching their eyelids and others who think or speak words like, ‘Show me what magic is here’. You have fifteen minutes to figure out your method now.”

    Kiri thought. So she had to find her way of casting magic. Her father always made gestures that mimicked what he wanted done, such as when he’d thrown the applications. When he was Detecting something, he would half-close his eyes and tap a finger against his cheek. Kiri drew the eye symbol in her mind, then half-closed her eyes and tapped her cheek.

    There was a response, a bright flashing arrow that she could only see in her mind. Actually, she ‘saw’ several flashing arrows. One pointed to the Detect Detector. Another pointed to a white pearl sitting on a table nearby. Several small ones pointed out various devices, fortune tags, and protective jewelry that people in the room were wearing. It even pointed out the large devices downstairs.

    After fifteen minutes, Brendan spoke up. “Vincent, Wally, May, Kiri, Isabel, and Parker have all cast the spell.”

    “Very well, then you three must go.” Once Todd, Marie, and Kelly had left, Birch continued. “Then you six have the greatest potential to become a Mage, and eventually a Pokemon Wizard. If you are not chosen here, you will still be able to learn magic. It will never be as strong as a Wizard’s magic, but it will help you out. Your kit will include a small book of simple spells. Be careful with this book; not many people can make use of it and a nonmagical person can unknowingly ruin a simple spellbook. Do you understand?”

    “Yes, sir,” all six responded.

    He nodded to them, then went to the table and picked up the white pearl. “This summoning takes time and effort, even for the best of Grand Wizards. Please remain quiet while I am casting.”

    Birch shut the pearl in his fist, then wrapped his other hand around that fist. He put his hands against his chest and bowed his head, as if he was going to pray. For several minutes, magic swirled and grew around him, building into the potent summoning spell. His own Guardian Pokemon walked over to him and curled her tail and neck around him. In this way, she was protecting and helping him.

    A white glow began to surround Birch and his Meganium. Magic saturated the room to the point of Kiri feeling her skin tingle. Then the Grand Wizard spoke in a voice that showed the effort he was putting into this spell. It was truly putting a strain on his body.

    “Come forth, spirits. I call on Arceus, the one who shaped all we see. I call on Mew, the Mother of all Pokemon. I call on Jirachi, the granter of wishes. Please send us three young Guardians to develop with the three young Mages in their life’s travels. I ask according to the ancient bonds that were made between humans and Pokemon to enhance and protect our world. Send the three you choose to make their choice for life.”

    The white glow rapidly became brighter, then separated into three spheres of energy. One took on a green hue, another blue, and the third red. The three rotated around Birch for a moment, then floated away. The green sphere went to May. The blue sphere went to Parker. And the red sphere went to Kiri.

    A flame patterned Pokeball dropped into her lap. The red sphere solidified itself and formed a red chick in front of her. The Torchic looked at her with her black circular eyes, then bowed politely. The orange feather sticking off the top of her head brushed against Kiri’s ankle, but she couldn’t feel it.

    Kiri smiled. “Hi there. You’re Billina.”

    Billina bowed again, as if she already knew her name.

    She glanced up at her two friends. Wally actually seemed relieved. Vincent looked stunned. “I wasn’t chosen?”

    “But you’re really smart and you can use magic,” Wally pointed out. “You should do really well, or maybe you’ll be chosen next year.”

    “That’s right,” Brendan said. “For now, you must leave. If you wish to wait for your neighbor, you can do so downstairs.”

    “Yeah, let’s wait.” Wally turned to Kiri and smiled. “Congratulations. I knew you’d get a Guardian.”

    “Thanks. You can travel around with me if you like.”

    “Um,” he scratched his head, “I’ll think about it. See you later.” He tugged at Vincent, then left with him. Isabel had already gone downstairs.

    Once it was just the new Mages, Birch dropped into the chair. He looked exhausted. “Phew. That spell always gets to me.”

    “You okay, dad?” May asked, worried. She went over and leaned on his chair.

    “I’m okay, but I won’t be doing any more major spells today. Brendan, you have the kits?”

    “Right over here.” He went to the table and picked up three boxes. He gave the first to his sister, then one to Kiri, then the last to Parker. “All of you do have virtual storage bags?” He noted the enchanted bags with each of them. “Good.”

    “I thought this choosing was fair,” Parker said. He was a tall boy with long limbs, quite different from his short-limbed Guardian Mudkip. “But both of your kids got accepted.”

    “I had nothing to do with that,” Birch replied. “And this is her second year trying; Brendan took three years before a Guardian would come to him.”

    “And our older brother wasn’t chosen,” Brendan added. “He never made the first cut. But magic can run in families.”

    “Like how we all have grass Guardians?” May asked. Her Treecko had already climbed onto her shoulders.

    “Right,” her father said. “Now these kits you have contain basic supplies needed for raising and catching Pokemon: five Pokeballs, three potions, a repel, a berry pouch, and a TM case. But it also contains the two most vital pieces of equipment for a Mage or Wizard: the Mana Pen and the Pokedex.”

    Kiri pulled the lid off her box. The normal supplies were on top, so she put those into her bag. The Mana Pen was in a leather case. Although it looked like a normal pencil, it did not write in a normal fashion. The Pokedex was a large book that rivaled the thick monstrosity that Vincent had in his bag. It had a simple brown cover with an image of a Pokeball in the center and a white and red bar of triangles on the bottom.

    “Hey, all the pages are blank,” Parker said.

    “That’s because these books are personal and have not been claimed yet,” Brendan said. “You need to take the Mana Pen and write your name clearly on the first page.”

    Kiri did so. Once she wrote ‘Kiri Brown’ across the top of the page, black text began filling it in. It wrote ‘POKEDEX’ underneath her name. Below that, it recorded her Trainer ID, her Guardian’s nickname, and where she was from.

    “Now turn the page and you will find the Oath. This is a sworn agreement between you and your Guardian that you will live, learn, and work with each other for the rest of your lives. Speak the words that are there to your Guardian. They will give their half and then sign the page, after which you should do the same.”

    The Oath she was to speak was on the left page; the right was, so far, blank. As she read over it silently first, Kiri figured that each oath must be tailored to the Guardian. Billina kept a steady gaze on her, so she read the Oath aloud. “Loyal Guardian who has chosen me, I swear to care for you, to guide you, and to help you along our path. I will uphold the honor of Mages and Wizards by seeking what is best for the world, for others, and sometimes for us, by helping those in need, by protecting the lands in which we live, by honoring the immortals, and by living with honesty and honor. My inner fire will always burn bright and clean, guiding the lost and purifying my life.”

    Billina bowed, then began speaking in a mixture of clucks and chirps. Her words began writing themselves on the right page. “<My human who I have accepted, I swear to care for you, to guide you, and to help you along our path. I will uphold the honor of the Guardians by protecting you, by assisting other Pokemon you take in, by protecting the lands in which we live, by honoring the immortals, and by living with honesty and honor. My inner fire will always burn bright and clean, guiding the lost and purifying my life.>”

    Then she hopped up and made two scratch marks under her oath, like a narrow X. Kiri signed her page. For a moment, both pages turned bright red. When they reverted back to white, a fiery seal had appeared behind the Oath. On the bottom of the left page was a small picture of a bird that was wrapped in her own blaze. On the bottom of the right page were the words, ‘This bond has been approved by Moltres and will endure your entire life.’

    Birch got up and examined all three Pokedexes to make sure the seals had appeared. “Good, then your bonds are set. Now, the Pokedex includes a set of simple spells when you start, although not all that are in the spellbook given to the last three. When you learn a new spell, draw it into the spell section and it will record vital information for you. The second section is the Pokemon listings. It will give you information on any Pokemon that you see from this point forward. So right now, no matter what kinds of Pokemon you know about, your ‘dex will only have information on Meganium, Venusaur, Treecko, Torchic, and Mudkip.” He pointed to each of the Pokemon as he named them.

    “The third section,” Birch went on, “tells you more in-depth information about the Pokemon you have personally trained. It will list every spell and skill they learn. You can’t cast all spells they know, but you should be able to learn some.”

    “How do you know which ones you can and which you can’t?” May asked.

    “There will be a short line in the skill listing which will tell you so. It will say ‘Known’ by any spell you have already cast, ‘Unknown’ by any spell you can cast but haven’t yet, ‘Skilled’ by spells that you don’t have the experience to cast, and ‘Locked’ by spells you cannot learn no matter what you do.

    “Now that you are Mages, you must go out and learn about magic and Pokemon. If you have any questions, you can send a letter to me or any Wizard you have befriended. Brendan here works with me in fieldwork and research, so you may run into him as well.”

    He nodded. “I’ll help any of you out if you get in trouble. Just ask.”

    “You can learn in several ways. You can become an apprentice to a Wizard if you know one that’s willing. You can research libraries and ruins; I can give you several places to start off at in Hoenn. You can follow the League Challenge and learn what the Gym Leaders have to pass on; just be warned that any badges you have earned as a normal Trainer are now invalid. Or you can find your own way. It’s all up to you and your Guardian.

    “This afternoon, I will teach you the absolute basics. Things like the spells Capture, Mail, and the simplest form of Unseal. These spells you will be using on a regular basis. I will also answer what questions you have, as far as you can know this early in your education. Tomorrow morning, your own Pokemon adventure will begin.”

    -+-

    “Technically, the normal type has the least amount of weaknesses,” Vincent was saying as Brendan helped Kiri downstairs. “But it has no strengths either. I’d like dragons, but the fact that they’re weak to themselves is a drawback.”

    “I just don’t want something that’ll go ballistic on me,” Wally replied. “I’d rather have something that’s nice and easy to raise.”

    “You’d probably want a grass-type then; most of them are easy to work with. Some waters wouldn’t be too bad either.”

    “Hi guys,” Kiri said. “Thanks for waiting on me.”

    “No problem,” Wally responded.

    “Could you three wait for a minute?” Brendan asked. “My father’s worn out from the day’s activities, but he had something he wanted to ask of you, Vincent.”

    He sat up. “Oh, me? What is it?”

    “We were wondering if you’d like to become a research assistant for us. There’s an ongoing project to put information about Pokemon out so that everyone can learn about them, not just people with a Pokedex. Grand Wizard Oak in Kanto is the head researcher, but we’re leading in this region. We need to get tens of thousands of readings; we can’t even get away with a single reading for a rare kind.”

    “Right, because within each species, there are many variables which will affect how it can grow.”

    “We’ve even got someone who only studies Spindas and their varying coat patterns. If you are an assistant, we have study groups for those who wish to learn more in-depth about Pokemon, starting in the fall.”

    He nodded, smiling with excitement. “Great! I’d love to help out.”

    Brendan smiled back. “Thank you. You should be a tremendous help because you’re one of the smartest teenagers in Hoenn. Here, take this with you.” He handed over a device that looked like a long gray glove that was missing its fingers. A black strip ran up to the elbow. Mystical gems were arranged on the back of the hand. Brendan was wearing one himself.

    Vincent put it on his right hand. “This is an aura scanner, right?”

    “Yes. We’ll need you to scan Pokemon that you run across. If you can focus your mind and mana, you can do this without physical contact. My father should check on you once a month to get the information. You can also transfer the information into a journal, so you can see for yourself.”

    “Okay, thanks. I’ll be sure to scan plenty of Pokemon for him.”

    “Good. If you ever need help, don’t hesitate to ask me or my Dad. And good luck on your own Pokemon journey.”

    Pokenav Extra

    People

    Michael Birch
    Job: Pokemon Researcher/Grand Wizard
    Hobby: biking
    Secret: Sometimes he blocks all Mail spells so that he can work in peace.

    Brendan Birch
    Job: Pokemon Researcher/Wizard
    Battle strategy: I battle just to learn about my Pokemon
    Hobby: making paper airplanes
    Secret: The only Pokemon he’s kept for more than six months is his Guardian.

    May Birch
    Job: Student/Pokemon Mage
    Contest strategy: What moves are good for contests and battles?
    Hobby: growing berries
    Secret: She makes some Pokeblocks for herself.

    Parker Taillow
    Job: Gym Apprentice/Pokemon Mage
    Battle strategy: I fight like Wallace
    Hobby: swimming
    Secret: He chose to apprentice under Wallace partly because of all the girls in the Gym.

    Pokemon

    Rosemary (Meganium/Guardian)
    Trainer: M. Birch
    Nature: Cautious
    Likes: hiking
    Dislikes: battles

    Bob (Venusaur/Guardian)
    Trainer: Brendan
    Nature: Jolly
    Likes: peanut butter
    Dislikes: deserts

    Leon (Treecko/Guardian)
    Trainer: May
    Nature: Quirky
    Likes: high places
    Dislikes: peanut butter

    Candice (Mudkip/Guardian)
    Trainer: Parker
    Nature: Quiet
    Likes: seashells
    Dislikes: thunderstorms
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    2,682

    Default

    Aw, nobody commented on Chapter 3? Well, a lot of people did update that day, so this probably just got lost. And I should start a PM list... one person has already asked anyhow.

    What's with the quick updates? It's simple, really. I've been working on this for a few weeks, adapting it from the failed Snapshot, and I have a lot of material, like, 200 pages worth. And that's with condensed scenes and areas that need more fleshing out. Until I hit, hmm, Dewford Gym, the chapters just need editing and smoothing out.

    +-+
    Chapter 4: Glitch in the Pokedex
    +-+

    Patience would finally be rewarded. The strange Pokemon followed the three teens out of Littleroot. If it intervened before they reached Petalburg, then the plans should all run smoothly. Things were set up like a trail of dominos, ready to tumble over as it pleased. Now all it needed was a tap to get things started.

    It was going to be dangerous, it considered, as there was an active Pokedex around. Secrets were hard to hide around those magic books. However, they were all young. Even the Guardian could be fooled because she was newly formed. As long as no one else intervened, it could pull this chance off. This was a critical step.

    A storm would do. That would stop them from reaching Petalburg and the end of this excellent chance. A beautiful little storm; it could whip one up easily. Darken the clouds, join the water droplets, electrify the particles, destabilize the air, ready the wind! It would make a storm to remember.

    -+-

    “There’s an awful lot of clouds out west,” Wally said as they left Littleroot. “Can we make it back home in time?”

    “We’ll have to hurry and not stop,” Vincent replied, emphasizing this by walking faster.

    Kiri nodded. “Yeah, that looks like a nasty storm. Will you be okay, Billina?”

    She gave a quick nod as she hopped alongside the wheelchair. “<I can make it. But something feels strange and I’m not sure what.>”

    “I didn’t think there would be a storm today.” Wally quieted for a moment, then had to suppress a snicker.

    “What’s so funny?” Vincent asked.

    Wally grinned. “I was just thinking about what Birch said during his soul measuring thing. Telling Kiri that’s she’s very cheerful is like telling the ocean that it’s very wet.”

    She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, it’s kinda sorta obvious.”

    “How can you be that cheerful when you’re paralyzed like you are?” Vincent asked.

    “I appreciate every day and that makes me cheerful. Besides, who said I had to be angsty? If you can find a handbook of life’s rules and find one that says all teenagers must have angst, then I might consider trying it out.”

    “I bet you’d be terrible at it,” Wally teased. “You’d crack yourself up.”

    There were a number of small ledges on Route 101 that they had to navigate around. The wild Pokemon didn’t bother them this time, as they were too busy scurrying to hide before the storm struck. The storm itself grew much faster than they expected and darkened the land just as Oldale came into view. A blast of wind blew ahead of the storm, forcing the two boys to grab onto the wheelchair so they weren’t knocked over. And then...

    KRA-KOW!

    The sky tore apart as the storm clouds began drenching everything beneath them. Billina squealed and retreated to her Pokeball. The Zigzagoon yelped and rushed ahead to the nearest shelter, under the roof of the Pokecenter. Kiri hurried over before the ground got too soggy for the rails to work. Wally and Vincent were close behind her.

    Wally shook his head. “No way we’re getting home tonight.”

    “I can’t believe how fast that storm came,” Vincent said, looking at the downpour in awe. “It might pass through just as quick.”

    “I still have to wait for the ground to dry out,” Kiri pointed out, before heading inside. “We’ll see how it comes out.”

    The inside of Oldale’s Pokecenter was as dated as the outside. The orange and yellow floor tiles were starting to show wear. The peach paint on the walls was peeling along the corners and windows. By the brick fireplace, an elf was coaxing a new fire into staying. She looked over at her three guests. “Oh dear, I was not expecting anyone today. Are any of you or your Pokemon injured?”

    “No, we’re just wet,” Kiri replied. She leaned aside as the Zigzagoon shook, flinging water droplets everywhere. “Hey, not inside!”

    “That is no problem. You are welcome to share my fire.” She got up and brushed off the green and white dress uniform that marked her as a Nurse Joy. Like the rest of her tribe, this elf had rose pink hair extending a few inches below her shoulders, pointed ears, crystal blue eyes, and a slender figure. She stood four and a half feet high, a little tall by elf standards.

    Also like the rest of her tribe, she would never give her true name to strangers. With this in mind, Vincent replied, “Thank you, Nurse Joy,” as they came to sit by the fire.

    Kiri released Billina, who was still damp. “There you go, we can dry off now.”

    “<Good,>” she replied. The Torchic hopped next to the fireplace and sat down with her feathers fluffed out to dry faster.

    “It is strange,” Nurse Joy said, placing her hand against her cheek in thought. “Rain was not expected today in Oldale, according to the newspaper. But Nature has her own ideas on what to do. I shall make some barley soup for tonight; would you care for some?”

    “That sounds good, thanks,” Wally answered for the rest of them.

    “I shall be back in fifteen minutes. If you need anything or if anyone else comes in, please ring the bell on my desk.” She teleported away.

    -+-

    Contrary to Vincent’s thoughts, the storm stayed through the evening. It did stop raining as hard, but the wind and lightning kept them at the Pokecenter. As an enchanted storm, it would stay as long as its creator wanted it to.

    But the strange Pokemon was getting frustrated. It wanted to make contact alone; that would be safest, that would keep secrets closest. But the teens, although assigned different rooms, were staying in the lobby to play board games with the elf. By the time they went to bed, they would all go to sleep.

    And, contrary to the Pokemon’s wishes, the chance was growing weaker. It was that girl Mage causing the problems. Her optimism was making the situation brighter and her Pokedex could ruin everything. It would have to make contact before the girl changed things too much. Another chance might crop up further down the road, but it had been patient enough. It was time to act.

    It stirred the particles of the air to strike the Pokecenter with a bolt of lightning.

    -+-

    The only light in the Pokecenter now was that given off by the fire. Shadows flickered on the walls and the crackles filled the air. Outside, the storm howled, fiercely rattling the windows and clanging against anything metal.

    Wally shivered. “That was spooky.”

    “I hope nothing else was damaged,” Nurse Joy said, standing up. “I should go check on things.”

    “Will you be okay out there by yourself?” Vincent asked.

    “I will be fine.” She left the building.

    Kiri would have started their conversation again. It had been obvious that Vincent was disappointed by not being chosen, so she and Wally had been trying to cheer him up. He was now doing important research and could attend an advanced school later on. When he was finally chosen, he would easily become one of the best Mages in Hoenn, perhaps the world. If he just had some patience, he would have what he wanted.

    It had been working. Vincent had offered to make an assessment of Billina and suggest what Pokemon Kiri should look for to build an effective team, based on how she thought she would battle, what Pokemon she already liked, and what Gyms were currently like in Hoenn. Yet Kiri didn’t feel like going back to that topic. Normally she’d make light of a situation like this, but something didn’t feel right.

    “It feels like this storm has a mind of its own,” Kiri mused. “Like something’s out there that didn’t want us to make it back to Petalburg tonight.”

    “Yeah,” Vincent added. “I don’t know why that would be, but this storm is unnatural.”

    Wally leaned forward, gripping his knees. “It kind of reminds me of the time I met Darkrai.”

    “You met the Master of Nightmares?” Kiri asked.

    “Master of the New Moon, he prefers,” Wally corrected. “He wasn’t really that bad, although his help, I might have thought twice if I knew what he meant. I met him when I was fifteen, on a dark and stormy night like this.”

    “Did he make it feel like your skin was crawling?” she asked, rubbing her arms.

    “He scared me at first, but it wasn’t bad.” He paused. “Maybe I don’t remember well enough, but it sure seems spookier tonight.”

    The fire flared up, startling Billina. She hopped over to Kiri and began to glare and growl at the fire. “<No way; I do not know what that is, but I don’t like it! That fire has been corrupted.>”

    The girl picked up her Guardian and put her in her lap. “What’s going on? I don’t know if you two can feel it, but the magic in this area has gone whacko. Repulsive, even.”

    “I’m sorry,” a wispy voice came from the fire. “I can’t help what my curse does sometimes.”

    And then a form emerged from the fire. It wasn’t a certain form; the closest the teens could come up with was the static snow on a television with a bad signal. It hissed faintly and could not hold a shape for long. Nor a color, although it seemed mostly made up of black, white, gray, silver, and blue pixels that could not make a picture. When it fully emerged from the fire, the sherbert orange and yellow tiles of the Pokecenter abruptly changed to light blue and sea foam green.

    “What is that?” Wally asked, nervous. “A ghost?”

    The Zigzagoon huddled down on the floor and whined. “<What is that? I don’t like it. Make it go away.>”

    “I’m not a ghost,” the static thing said. It was difficult to hear over the storm outside. “I’m a Guardian.”

    Vincent took his glasses off, then put them back on. “You don’t look like any of them, not even the special ones. And none of the Guardians can speak the human language.”

    “I’m not normal for a Pokemon, or a Guardian.”

    In the meantime, Kiri had opened up her Pokedex. The book responded to her query and added an entry on, “Missingno, that’s what you are. But that’s weird.”

    “What?” Wally asked, peering over at the book. “Why’s there so many question marks?”

    “I don’t know.”

    Missingno sighed. “It’s because I failed when I was summoned. I was to protect and assist my partner, but... I failed. And so I was turned into this.”

    “But you said you weren’t a ghost,” Vincent asked. “What were you?”

    “I can’t remember. I’m under a curse to where I don’t know anything about myself. I was told that I would remain like this forever unless I could properly guide a new Mage.”

    Billina fluttered her wings, glaring at the ghostly Guardian. “<I don’t trust this thing.>”

    “Billina, be nice,” Kiri said. “I’d like to help, but I’ve already got her.”

    “I can’t work with you,” Missingno replied. “I need someone who passed all the tests, but was not chosen. And... please, I must ask you to keep my presence a secret.”

    “Why?” Wally asked. “What did you do to your old partner?”

    “I already told you, I don’t remember. It’s just that most other Pokemon don’t accept me because of my failure and resulting curse. I need to remain a secret until I’ve begun to redeem myself. But you need not fear me. I know what to do now and I’ll be loyal.”

    “I’ll help you out,” Vincent said, holding his hand out to the strange Pokemon. “I probably wasn’t chosen on a fluke. Besides, it must be awful to be under a curse forever.”

    “It is. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.” It offered its vaguely shaped hand and shook Vincent’s. “I am now your Guardian.”

    When they separated, a black Pokeball appeared in Vincent’s hand. It had a pair of question marks in a blocky style of lettering. “I’ll find a way to uncurse you, I promise.”

    “Good, then these should help.” Missingno made a Pokedex and a Mana Pen appear. This magic book was different than Kiri’s. It had a black cover with a Pokeball image on front. But maybe it just looked that way from Missingno’s curse.

    “You have to write your name on the first page of the book,” Kiri said. “And I can tell you all the stuff Birch told me.”

    “Do you want me to leave?” Wally asked, a little uneasy.

    “No, you’re fine. It wasn’t any real secret knowledge; at least, I think not.”

    At this point, Nurse Joy came back in. “The power should be restored sometime this night,” she mused. Then she glanced down at the floor. “Now what...?” her eyes went unfocused.

    “Joy?” Wally asked when she didn’t speak for a full minute.

    “Hmm?” She looked back at them, then waved her hand. “It is nothing; I was just considering how to find the funds to refurbish this center. I will be off resting unless someone else comes. Good night.” She teleported off to her private room.

    As the storm calmed down, Kiri taught the others about being a Pokemon Mage. Billina kept a wary eye on Missingno.

    -+-

    In the morning, Vincent announced that he was going to Mauville City. “Missingno senses that’s the best way for me.”

    “How are you going to cross the water?” Wally asked. “There’s a pretty big lake on Route 103.”

    “I can get around it. Where are you guys going?”

    “I have to return my dad’s Zigzagoon,” Kiri said. “And I want to show him Billina.”

    “I, I’m going back to Petalburg too,” Wally said. “I’m not sure what to do now.”

    “We can catch you a Pokemon and start you out as a Trainer,” she offered.

    He put his hand to his cheek. “Maybe.”

    “I see,” Vincent said. “Well, good luck guys. We’ll probably run into each other later on.”

    “Right, bye Vincent! Nice meeting you.”

    While Vincent went north to Route 103, Kiri and Wally went west along Route 102. There was a Marill in their path, munching on grass. When he saw them, he growled. Wally took the Zigzagoon’s Pokeball. “Um, we don’t mean to bother you.”

    “Looks like it wants to bother us,” Kiri said. “Let me handle it. Go Billina!”

    Billina hopped into the air as she appeared and growled right back at the Marill. He growled louder, hoping to intimidate her into backing off. Instead, the Torchic hopped over and scratched the rodent Pokemon with the claws on her feet. The Marill shook her off, then spat bubbles at her. She squawked when the bubbles hit her, then scratched him fiercer this time. Not expecting that strong of a retaliation, he took off. A nearby Lotad chuckled and followed him into the water.

    “<Now I’m wet,>” she said sadly, with her top feather bending over.

    “You won, but I guess you really don’t like water,” Kiri said sympathetically. “Come up here.”

    Billina shook herself off, then hopped into Kiri’s lap. “<A temporary moment of weakness only, I promise.>”

    “Out, Zigzagoon,” Wally said, bringing Norman’s Pokemon back out. “We’ll have you fight off the Marills from now on.”

    She barked, “<Glad to help with anything! I’ll make Norman proud.>”

    There was another movement in the grass ahead. A smooth green helmet with a red fore-fin was wading their way; the thick tall grass prevented them from seeing the rest of this small Pokemon. The ‘helmet’ lifted up to show a white face with round black eyes. “<You both have nice auras,>” he cooed, then ducked back into the grass.

    “What was that?” Wally asked.

    “I haven’t seen a Pokemon like that. Let me check.” She brought out her Pokedex and opened it for identification.

    In the meantime, the little Pokemon came out of the grass and looked at them. He had a large head that dwarfed his petite white body. He showed no inclination to attack, although he watched the Torchic and Zigzagoon warily.

    “There it is,” Kiri said, pointing to the entry. “Ralts, the Emotion Pokemon. Looks like it only shows itself to people it considers to be good. A very rare Pokemon.”

    “It probably came because of you,” Wally said. “Are you gonna catch it?”

    “I can try.” She looked down at Billina, who was still pouting over getting Bubbled. “But first you have to prove yourself. Zigzagoon, go easy, but tackle it.”

    The Zigzagoon yipped, “<Let’s play!>” then rushed forward to bump the Ralts over. After scrambling up, he growled. But even his chirpy growl did not seem threatening.

    Kiri took one of the kit Pokeballs and pressed the button to prep it. She thought of the symbol for the Capture spell, an ‘X’ within a circle. It wasn’t necessary, but it made captures easier on both the Mage and the Pokemon. Then she threw the ball with a sort of downward slash to cast the spell.

    The ball hurdled at the Ralts and enveloped him in a white light. After it absorbed the light, it bounced off the ground, then shattered into a cloud of dust. The Ralts had broken the Capture spell and had freed himself.

    Oddly enough, he didn’t run away. He looked back at the two teens. “<But I know the one I should be with is not you, Mage.>”

    Wally looked down at Kiri. “Did you cast it wrong?”

    “I don’t think so. Maybe he’s more interested in you.”

    He chirped and looked directly at Wally. “<I know my person now.>”

    “Oh, uh, okay. So I cast the Capture spell...” He fumbled for a second to pull an empty Pokeball out of his bag, then copied Kiri’s method of casting. This time, the ball shivered only slightly after absorbing the Ralts, then clicked to secure him.

    Kiri cheered. “Now you have your first Pokemon too!”

    He looked a bit dumbfounded that it had gone so easily, then smiled. “Yeah, I do. And a rare one too.” He picked up the ball, then released him. “You came because of me? Why?”

    He looked up at Wally, tilting his large head back in a way that was comical. He smiled. “<We only go with those who match our souls.>”

    “<He’ll do fine with your help,>” Billina commented. She hopped off Kiri’s lap and bowed to Wally.

    “I think she’s congratulating you too,” Kiri translated.

    “I’ll call you Amigo. I can’t wait to show you to my parents.”

    “<And now I have my true name,>” Amigo said happily.

    Pokenav Extra

    People

    Kiri Brown
    Job: League Challenger/Pokemon Mage
    Battle strategy: I’m still working on it.
    Hobby: collecting buttons.
    Secret: She’ll always be Daddy’s little princess, even if she doesn’t let him call her that.

    Wally Chesterfield
    Job: Undecided
    Battle strategy: Um....
    Hobby: reading, especially older legends
    Secret: He has a knack for understanding the emotions of Pokemon.

    Vincent Starmie
    Job: League Challenger/Pokemon Mage
    Battle strategy: Be logical; it all comes down to numbers.
    Hobby: reading, especially difficult books
    Secret: He has a talent for grooming Pokemon, but is too embarrassed to admit it.

    Pokemon

    Billina (Torchic/Guardian)
    Trainer: Kiri
    Nature: Serious
    Likes: wheels
    Dislikes: being wet

    Amigo (Ralts)
    Trainer: Wally
    Nature: Modest
    Likes: watching clouds
    Dislikes: anger from others

    Missingno (???/Guardian)
    Trainer: Vincent
    Nature: ???
    Likes: ???
    Dislikes: ???

    Spells

    Capture: The Capture spell has two effects: it releases a calming agent over the Pokemon and it increases the effectiveness of a Pokeball. It has been shown to boost a ball to the success rate of better models: a regular Pokeball will become as effective as a Great Ball. However, it still does not guarantee a successful capture, as there is always a chance for the Pokemon to resist the attempt and destroy the enchanted device.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Salisbury, UK, Mars.
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    Default

    Sorry I forgot to comment on the last chapter, I did read it , and it was very good, I like the way the guardians were chosen and it would have been way too Gary-/Mary-Sue for the three of them to be the only three people in the area to get a guardian.

    Okay...this chapter: I personally don't like the idea of a technical gltich appearing in a fic, and the elf thing was a bit weird; of course, it is a fantasy and I suppose it's agenre in which pretty much anything can happen, it will be interesting to see how you address the problem of having a shapless entity as a "guardian."

        Spoiler:- I'm guessing...:


    Apart from that, it was very good, I don't know if Wally's classed as a cannon character but you managed to make his capture of Ralts (sorry, Amigo) seem like it wasn't too "it has to happen so its going to happen".


    Yeah, I'm looking forward to the next chapter, see ya then,
    ~JammyU

    PS: Do you know how to make a Hperlink now .
    3DS Name: James
    Friend Code: 4897-7143-5332
    Friend Safari: Poison (Gloom, Garbodor, Drapion)
        Spoiler:- Looking For:

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

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    2,682

    Default

    I didn't choose Missingno on a whim, don't worry.

    +-+
    Chapter 5: Old Dreams, New Dreams
    +-+

    The first place Wally and Kiri went in Petalburg was the Pokecenter. Zigzagoon was okay, but Amigo and Billina needed healing. The Nurse Joy of Petalburg was almost identical to the Nurse Joy of Oldale. “I just captured him,” Wally said as he handed over Amigo’s ball.

    “You must be a kind-hearted soul to capture this child of Mespirit,” Nurse Joy said. She took the ball in both hands and summoned a pale pink light around it. “All trainers I know of who have caught a wild Ralts have grown to be wonderful trainers who are adored by their Pokemon.”

    Wally blushed. “I hope I can do that well.”

    “He is healthy.” The elf handed the ball back.

    Kiri gave her Billina’s ball. “Here’s my Guardian. I’m still learning about her.”

    “She respects you. Respect her and she will grow to love you.” She cast the healing spell.

    “Can I learn the healing spells?”

    “Do you have any Mage badges?”

    She shook her head. “Not yet.”

    Nurse Joy handed the ball back over. “She is healthy. I cannot teach you any of my magic now. But as you earn badges, show them to my sisters in other Pokecenters. We can teach you some of our skills.”

    “I see. Thank you.”

    She nodded. “Take care of yourselves and your Pokemon.”

    As they left the building, Wally said, “I’m going to see my parents. Here, you’d better give this one back.” He handed over the Zigzagoon’s ball.

    “Okay. Did you want to come with me?”

    “Um... let me think about it some more. I’ll meet up with you later.”

    They separated and went back home. Kiri paused outside her door to call Billina back out. “This is my home. Dad’s probably not here, but I can introduce you to Mom.”

    “<Fine with me,>” Billina replied. She hopped through the door when Kiri opened it.

    “Hey Mom!” She rolled in and looked around. Her mother’s Flaafy peered at her, but didn’t get up from the couch. “Sorry I’m late; we got caught in that storm last night in Oldale.”

    “Oh, hi Kiri, good to see you made it through that.” She came out of the kitchen. “And is this your Guardian? She’s adorable.”

    Billina bowed to her.

    “Dad’s at the Gym, isn’t he?”

    “Of course. I was just about to go over with lunch. Why don’t you come along?”

    “Sure. I have to return this girl to him anyhow.” She tapped the regular Pokeball.

    They brought lunch to the Gym for Norman and his eight student trainers. The Leader laughed when Billina bowed to him. “You’ve gotten a very serious Guardian, Kiri.”

    “I know, but I like her.”

    “What happened to the other two?”

    “Vincent wasn’t chosen, so he went off on a Trainer’s journey. Wally wasn’t chosen either, but this morning he caught a Ralts.”

    He raised his eyebrows. “A Ralts, huh? That’s a promising sign. Did this girl work well for you?”

    “Yeah, she did a good job.” She patted the Zigzagoon and got a licking in response.

    One of the Gym Trainers got a mischievous smile. “So are you two going to battle now?”

    Norman had a broad smile, but shook his head. “Someday, but not today.”

    “Why not?” Kiri asked.

    “For one thing, I don’t have a team ready to take on a greenhorn. The two I have still need some work. For another thing, you’re my daughter and I want to see you doing well before we battle. Tell you what: after lunch, you should head north to Rustboro. There, you should challenge the Leader, Roxanne. She’s a good young woman and great at teaching new Mages.”

    She nodded. “Okay, I’ll do that.”

    “Good. Come back here when you can show me four badges. Then and only then will I accept a challenge from you.”

    Four badges. Kiri had been expecting her father to ask for two, but four? She hadn’t thought that far into her journey yet. Then again, it was like him to make her wait until he knew that she was good enough. “Four, alright.”

    He patted her head. “You’ve earned the title of Mage, sport, but there’s still much for you to do.”

    -+-

    Wally released Amigo before he went inside. “I’m glad I wasn’t chosen,” he told him, “but I’m not sure how my parents will take it. They were expecting me to become a Mage like they did.”

    “<They can’t hate you for it,>” Amigo said, patting his leg.

    He took a deep breath. “Well, let’s get this over with.” He opened the door. “Mom, Dad, are you here?”

    “Oh, Wally, thank goodness you’re okay,” his mother said, coming right over. “That was a terrible storm yesterday.”

    “Yeah, but we got to Oldale in time. Kiri got chosen; she’s got a really serious Torchic who bows to everybody.”

    “That’s good,” she said, although it was obvious she didn’t much care. “How about you?”

    “Well, um, I made it to the choosing, but then I didn’t get chosen. But this morning, on our way back here, I caught Amigo here. Kiri looked him up in the Pokedex and said that he’s a kind rarely seen by humans, much less caught.”

    Amigo tilted his head at the mother. “<Do you love Wally for being Wally or Wally for being your son? I cannot appreciate a selfish love.>”

    “That’s interesting; I’ve never seen a Pokemon like him before. It’s a promising start for a Trainer.”

    He felt a lump in his throat, but tried to hide his embarrassment. Maybe he didn’t want to be a Mage, but his parents wanted it for him. So to have failed and disappointed them, he felt guilty about wanting to fail. “Yeah, I’m going to train him up and learn all about his kind.”

    Angered at this, Amigo growled. “<You made my person upset. I don’t like you.>”

    “It’s okay, Amigo, it’s just my mom,” Wally said.

    “<I don’t care who she is. I still don’t like her.>”

    “I suppose having an overprotective Pokemon is better than none,” his mother responded. “Would you like some lunch? I’ve got things for sandwiches.”

    “Yeah okay.” Good thing she hadn’t offered to cook something, he thought, because anything she tried to make was either too bland or too spicy.

    Well, he’d gone and done it again. He remembered back when he was fifteen, when he was supposed to apply for the first time.

    ...

    It was a gloomy and stormy night. Gusts of wind rattled the windows and thunder clapped every few minutes. Wally couldn’t sleep, but not entirely because of the noisy storm. His mind was worrying way too much to stop for sleep.

    He didn’t want to be a Mage. His body was much too weak for that sort of career. All his life, he’d seen his parents receive letters from far away, then one or the other would drop everything and Fly off to other places in foreign lands. His father built mystical structures and any time there was a problem, he would have to go fix it. His mother was an expert on Pokemon habitats, and often her expertise was needed for various projects around the world.

    In contrast, Wally wanted a nice calm life. Maybe he could be a breeder, taking care of gentle and shy Pokemon that needed special care. Or maybe he could work at an adoption center, taking care of Pokemon that others didn’t want. Magic would help in those fields, but he didn’t have to be a Wizard to know useful spells. Besides, being a Wizard drew all sorts of attention, which Wally was uncomfortable with.

    But his parents loved him and wanted to see him do as well as they had, perhaps even better. They were excited about the prospect of his becoming a Mage. His health was poor, yes, but he could stay at home and they could teach him. They kept saying that, to the point of Wally suspecting them to have a curriculum already planned out. He wanted to please them. They had always been there when he was sick and changed their routines and diets to suit his needs.

    He wanted to fail the Mage tests, but that would disappoint them. He wanted to succeed for them, but their expectations were near impossible for him to match. It was only a week before the applications were due. “Please, help me find some way to miss the application date,” he prayed softly, as he had been for the past hour. “Just anything so that I can’t turn it in. If I can’t turn it in, then it’s not my fault if I don’t get chosen. Please, if any elder spirits are listening.”

    Wizards used prayer, he thought idly. They used prayer for things their magic wasn’t quite enough to do, when the intervention of the immortals was desired. It probably wouldn’t work for him. But it was worth a shot.

    “I don’t want to be a Mage.”

    Maybe he should run away. He blinked and looked out the window. The clouds were still rumbling, but the storm had softened. Could he run away from home? It was drastic, but he couldn’t see many other options. Where would he go? He didn’t know, but... he’d go.

    He was outside, dressed in his school clothes, with his school bag over his arm. He went west to leave town. So far, easy enough; his house lay on the western edge of Petalburg. And yet, he found himself wandering around the southernmost cluster of houses. There were thick woods that way, useless for travelers. He turned back to the western road towards the ocean, but wound up by the northeastern pond. There was a dreamy kind of mist hanging over that pond, slowly spreading through Petalburg.

    Dream, he was dreaming. That was the only explanation for his getting lost in his hometown. Then he wasn’t really running away, just dreaming about it.

    Then just go.

    Wally ran for the eastern road, but once again found himself in another part of Petalburg. It didn’t matter what he did, it seemed. He could not leave town. He was about to give up in frustration when he spotted someone walking down a cobbled road. There weren’t any cobbled roads in Petalburg.

    There were cobbled roads in Rustboro, and the buildings springing up behind the young man were much like those in that neighboring city. A few years older than Wally, he was a preppy guy, judging from his leather shoes, black slacks, and checkered sweater vest. A Trainer too, as he had six Pokeballs on his belt and eight badges on the ID card that was clipped on his backpack.

    “I can’t seem to leave Rustboro,” the preppy guy said when he stopped.

    Wally looked down at the barrier between the grass and the stone. “I can’t seem to leave Petalburg.”

    “Strange. Well, they both have exits to the east.” He held his hand out. “Maybe if we go together?”

    “Okay.” He took the other boy’s hand and they walked east.

    When they reached the eastern exit for both towns, they ran into a curious sight. There were two men on the routes, older versions of themselves. The preppy boy had become a rich businessman, dressed in an expensive suit. He was in a classic office chair, mumbling figures over a large stack of papers. There was no sign of his Pokemon. Wally had become a Wizard dressed in black robes, but he looked miserable and exhausted. He had one Pokemon, but something about the dreamy fog made this Guardian unidentifiable.

    The other boy was clearly upset by this. “I’ve been trying to get away from that!”

    “But this is the only exit from both of our towns,” Wally said, his voice trembling.

    “That is quite true,” a deep voice said. “Your roads seem to be set, don’t they?”

    They both turned to see a black Pokemon drifting up to them. The dream made it harder to tell more about him, but Wally knew. “Darkrai, Master of New Moon?”

    Darkrai laughed merrily. “It seems I got the right dreamers. You have both called for help and I have come.”

    “Is that why we’re in this nightmare?” the other boy asked.

    “Mmm, well that depends on how you view this. I show people their true selves, their true nature, the truth that they don’t want to see. Like you both, most people I come to don’t want to see the truth I present.”

    “That this is our destiny?” Wally asked.

    “Destiny is a fickle beast, as is the future. Little things here and there change it, yes, and the interventions of others count. But as things stand now, what you see before you is your most obvious future. There are other futures, but things will have to change.”

    “How can we get the other futures? I don’t want this to be me.”

    He seemed to be enjoying the moment, as he spun once before explaining further. “You both float on the river of life and a huge rock is about to fall in, redirecting you to these future paths. They are sad and lonely paths, utterly miserable grinds where one day, you will realize that all the dreams of your youth have died. And really, I can’t stand to see dreams die. People without dreams lose all spunk. But I’ve always been one tempted to put my thumb on the scales. Large rocks are about to cut off many possibilities, but... what if we were to switch rocks?”

    “What do you mean?” Wally responded, puzzled by the metaphors.

    Darkrai laughed. “Switch rocks, switch your destinies! Of course, you won’t go the same ways the other would have gone. That simply can’t be done. And I cannot foretell what the new paths will bring. I can tell, though, that your dreams will live on, on most of the paths available. And these paths will be much harder and rougher than the two you see now; your decisions will have higher stakes and consequences. But what is challenge but a way to sharpen and polish a soul? So, will you do it?”

    “Switch our destinies?” the preppy boy asked. He looked down at Wally.

    Wally looked back. He really didn’t want to become a Wizard, and it seemed the other really didn’t want a life of business. “Okay.”

    The other nodded. “Okay.”

    “Then the deed is done. Live well.”

    ...

    After that vivid dream, he woke up with a high fever. The elf who examined him said it was mono, which could drag on for months. That effectively got him out of the tests for two years. And he felt he knew who the other boy was now. He, at least, had done great things with his altered destiny. Still, Wally felt both guilty and glad that his prayer had been answered.

    While he thought this, he quietly ate a salami and Swiss cheese sandwich. Amigo chirped every time Bethany came near, still not trusting her. His mother tried to ignore the Ralts’ complaints and made occasional small talk, which Wally answered with short responses. He felt terrible for bringing that awkward tension into his home, but at the same time, wanted to get far away from it.

    Far away... maybe not too far. Maybe... “I’ll be going with Kiri for a little while, at least,” he told his mother. “If it’s okay with her, I’ll visit Aunt Betty and Uncle Robert in Verdanturf.”

    Yeah, that was the way. Betty was his mother’s sister, but was just a magician like he was now, and kind-hearted. And Uncle Robert, although not book-learned like Vincent, was wise and could give him advice on what to do now. Wally could speak openly with them. If only his mother wouldn’t try talking him out of that.... she always succeeded in talking him into doing things he was reluctant to.

    “That sounds like a good idea,” she said.

    ‘Thank goodness you feel that way,’ Wally thought in silence.

    “It doesn’t matter which way you go, either Rustboro or Mauville, as either way has a Gym you can start with. I’m not sure you’d want to start with Norman, though. He seems tough.”

    Erm, except he wasn’t sure if he wanted to do that. How strong was Amigo? He wasn’t sure he was strong enough as a Trainer either for that Challenge. “Yeah, I wouldn’t want to take Norman on even with his beginner’s team.”

    He finished up his sandwich and left quickly.

    -+-

    Vincent looked over the lake that blocked much of Route 103. Then he looked over his dry clothes. “I thought a Mage couldn’t use Surf until he earned the right badge for it.”

    “The badges are just a courtesy,” Missingno said. “Most Mages only learn Surf from a Leader.”

    “I see. So how am I to battle with you and keep you a secret?”

    “I have a plan. Now, if you could have any of the usual Guardians, which would you choose?”

    “Any of them? I like the Totodile line best.”

    “All right.” Missingno caused itself to shimmer, then formed its body into a Totodile. “There. This should fool most other Pokemon, at least.”

    “Wow, you’re amazing. How do you have all these powers? They don’t seem like anything I’ve read about.”

    “I’m not anything like other Pokemon.”

    Vincent scratched his chin. “This is interesting, but I think the Gym in that town is electric. You won’t fare well as a Totodile.”

    “That’s what you would think. Now, perhaps you should have a disguise as well.”

    Pokenav Extra

    People

    Brian Chesterfield
    Job: Mystical Engineer/Pokemon Wizard
    Battle Strategy: Use strong defenses
    Hobby: playing the accordion
    Secret: There’s rumors about why he’s away from home so much...

    Pokemon

    Flaafy
    Trainer: Samantha
    Nature: Bold
    Likes: berries
    Dislikes: wearing hats

    Legends

    Darkrai: Master of the New Moon. He appears primarily in dreams, although a few accounts of him appearing in the waking world exist. A mischievous being, he challenges the things people tell themselves in order to force them to confront those lies. Most people call Darkrai’s dreams nightmares, but they have also been known as calls to inner change and growth. His favorite saying is “Know yourself.”

    Pokemon League

    Gym Tiers: League Challengers can take on the Gyms in any order they wish, although each region tends to have recommended paths for ease in travel. As Leaders will face Trainers with varying experience levels, the Tier system of Leader teams has been implemented in the regulations each Gym must follow.

    1st Tier is for challengers with only one or no badges. Use of healing by Leader is forbidden. Can have up to two Pokemon.

    2nd Tier is for challengers with two or three badges. Use of healing by Leader is heavily limited. Can have up to three Pokemon

    3rd Tier is for challengers with four or five badges. Use of healing by Leader is limited. Can have up to four Pokemon.

    4th Tier is for challengers with six or seven badges. Use of healing by Leader is barely limited. Can have up to five Pokemon.

    5th Tier is for challengers with eight or more badges, in case of multi-regional Challengers. Can have a full team of six Pokemon.

    6th Tier is for challengers with twelve or more badges that request it. Only has a few restrictions.

    7th Tier is the Leader’s top team. No restrictions are placed upon this level. Should a Challenger wish to fight 7th Tier, they should recall that Gym Leaders are always Master Wizards and therefore masters of battling.
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 18th September 2008 at 5:08 PM.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Salisbury, UK, Mars.
    Posts
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    Default

    I found one mistake:
    I show people their true selves, their true nature, the truth that they don’t want to see it.
    The "it" isn't needed.

    In terms of the story, everything seems to be going well, I can't think of much to say really, nothing was really bad and not much happened ^_^;
    Oh, apart from the Darkrai bit- after it was mentioned so casually a couple of chapters ago, I thought Wally was going to be Sue-ified, but you pulled it off really well. I may be being completely stupid but do we we know who the other trainer was, and if so, who is he?
    3DS Name: James
    Friend Code: 4897-7143-5332
    Friend Safari: Poison (Gloom, Garbodor, Drapion)
        Spoiler:- Looking For:

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

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Ysavvyrl, I'm very impressed with this story and its plot. It made me felt like I was reading something similar to the Harry Potter series. Your characterization and descriptions are top-notch, and so far, I don't have any concerns, which is weird. Normally, I would have a few gripes about someone's fic, but this one is running so well.

    I have to say, this is one of my favorite fics on this forum. Keep up the good work. If you ever have time, I would be delighted if you took a glance at my fic and tell me what you think about it.

    I'll make sure to keep my eyes on this one, seems like I've found gold. Take Care.
    Burning the Veil - My first pokémon fanfic

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    2,682

    Default

    Hi, thanks for the comments. I can tell by the view count that I've got some readers, but always nice to hear from you guys. The preppy boy is from the game, although because I put him in Rustboro, that may throw you off for a bit.

    Also, I was never really impressed by Team Magma or Aqua, so I did this. The name does have a trick to it.

    +-+
    Chapter 6: Learning to Fight
    +-+

    After lunch with her family, Kiri wheeled over to Wally’s house. He was sitting in front of the protective wall of bushes. “Hey Kiri.”

    “Hi again Wally. So are you and Amigo coming with me?”

    He nodded. “Yeah, a little ways. Can you come with me to Verdanturf? I have some relatives there and the air there is clean and healthy.”

    “Sure thing. Dad told me to go to Rustboro and the Rusturf Tunnel should be open.” She explained about her father’s condition for the challenge.

    “Huh,” Wally said at the end of it, as they were walking along the coastline towards Petalburg Woods. “Your dad’s kinda tough on you, isn’t he?”

    “He’s tough on everybody, especially himself. I don’t mind. What’s really gonna be tough is getting through these woods in this wheelchair.”

    “Actually, it’s not that bad. There’s a well-worn dirt path through the woods. Several, as I hear it, but the main one leads straight to Rustboro.”

    “You’ve been down here before?”

    “It’s pretty common for people in Petalburg to travel to Rustboro for some better shopping.”

    In the meantime, the two Pokemon were talking as well. “<Will we have to battle?>” Amigo asked.

    “<Most likely.>”

    He put his hand to his cheek. “<Oh.... I’m not sure if I’d be any good at that. I haven’t fought much.>”

    Billina tilted her head to the side. “<Really? How did you survive out in the wild then?>”

    “<We hide, mostly.>”

    “<Hmm, I suppose that works,>” but her tone made it clear that she didn’t think too highly of that kind of avoidance.

    Amigo blushed. “<I am rather young, to be honest. I don’t know spells like some of the others. Although, I’ve had this vague symbol in my head for a long time. I can tell what it looks like now, but I’m not sure how it would be cast yet.>”

    “<That would be one of your innate spells or skills,>” she explained. “<You just need to figure it out now. I have one that I’ve been considering.>”

    “<Then how do you get it to clear up?>”

    “<Either wait a long time or fight. The conflict of energy will clear up the symbol for you much faster.>”

    “<Oh dear,>” he replied quietly.

    “<Don’t stress out over it. I’m with you. You watch me battle and that might stir up your mind too.>”

    “<But I’m not part of your team, right? I thought Guardians only helped their teammates.>”

    “<We’re traveling together because our partners are friends. That means I’ll help you too.>”

    “<Good, that makes me feel better.>”

    “Hey, Greenie!” a male voice jeered. “Told ya you couldn’t make the cut.”

    They looked back to see the two guys who had bullied Wally a couple of nights ago. Kiri frowned. “He made it a lot further than you two could have,” she retorted.

    “Right,” the other said skeptically. “The Guardian system is rigged, you know. How could you get picked otherwise? I bet your daddy bribed the Grand Wizard.”

    “<He’s asking for a beating,>” Billina commented.

    “Even if that could work, he wouldn’t,” Kiri replied defensively.

    “You still don’t deserve it. We’ll show you.”

    “Yeah, both of you,” the other bully added. They pulled out a Pokeball each.

    “Um, I’ve watched a lot of matches on TV,” Wally whispered to Kiri. “But I’m not sure what Amigo can do.”

    “You kinda have to let them do as they want in the first few battles, so you know what they’re capable of,” Kiri replied quietly as the two bullies summoned two Poochenyas. “Billina, your choice.”

    “<There isn’t much to choose from,>” Billina commented, but took a battle ready stance and looked over the two hounds.

    “You too, Amigo,” Wally added.

    “<Um, okay,>” the Ralts replied shakily, a little fearful of the two Dark types.

    “<Just Growl,>” Billina said, then hopped aside as one of the two Poochenyas ran forward to Tackle. She Scratched him before he headed back over.

    “I told you to bite the stupid chicken,” one of the bullies said.

    “<But I only have my puppy teeth,>” he replied.

    “<You’re not much older than us?>” Amigo asked, then decided to Growl. Still wasn’t intimidating, but it was doing something.

    “<We are better than you!>” the second Poochenya called as he rushed forward to tackle Amigo. Billina hopped over and gave him a Scratch to the face.

    “<Hah hah, you got hit by that stupid chicken too,>” the first Poochenya taunted.

    “<Shut up, idiot.>”

    “<If you think I’m stupid, why don’t you try hitting me together to knock me out faster?>” she asked.

    “<Billina, you can’t be serious!>” Amigo cried, worried for her safety.

    She narrowed her eyes at the two dogs, who were considering the idea. “<I don’t joke around. You just watch.>”

    “<Okay, stupid chicken, you’re asking for it!>” The two Poochenyas then ignored their Trainer’s orders again to double Tackle Billina. She responded with a single Scratch attack on both their snouts, causing one to whine and the other to give her an unskilled bite to her wing, causing her to bleed.

    Amigo’s shoulder ached in a sympathetic pain on seeing that blood. ‘She shouldn’t have done that,’ he thought, with his mind acting frantically. ‘I should have been able to do something to actually help. Something...’ Then the symbol that had been vaguely in his mind for a month gave him a clear idea of something he could do.

    Bracing himself for the initial casting, he called out, “<Your mother was a chicken, doofus!>” With that, he cast the spell Confusion.

    “<You’re stupid if you think your stupid mind tricks can do anything to us mighty Poochenyas,>” the first declared proudly.

    “<Duckies!>” the second said in a blissful confusion, snapping at something invisible over his head.

    “<What the heck are you talking about?>” his teammate asked.

    “<I see rubber duckies!>”

    “<No you don’t.>”

    “<I do too.>”

    “<Do not.>”

    “<Do too!>” He fiercely Tackled his peer for doubting the duckies. He attacked so fiercely that the first Poochenya fainted.

    “<So that’s what that does,>” Amigo said.

    “<Nice work,>” Billina praised him. “<And I think I know what to do too.>” She clicked her beak, then shot out a single fireball with the Ember spell to knock out the confused Poochenya, who was spinning around in pursuit of his imaginary duckies.

    “Hey, you didn’t really battle us!” one of the bullies said.

    “Maybe, but thanks a lot for helping us,” Kiri replied with a smile. “If you work hard, you might even be a decent challenge some day.”

    “You just wait. I’m going to be the best Trainer that ever was.” Then he ran back to get his Poochenya healed.

    “You idiot, that’s going to be me!” His so-called friend called, running after him.

    Kiri stretched her arms up. “And now that we know what they can do, we can actually start helping them out.”

    “Right.” Wally scratched his chin. “Can we still fight as a pair for now?”

    “Sure, if you like.”

    “Thanks.”

    -+-

    Petalburg Woods was thick with trees, making it dimly lit. There was a well-kept path winding around, but the sides were still filled with weeds, Wurmples, and the occasional Slakoth. They moved quickly, not wanting to get caught here after dark. About halfway through, they ran into a man in a brown jacket that had a Devon Corporation logo. “Hi there!” Kiri called cheerfully.

    He smiled. “Oh, hello kids. Mind if I ask you something?”

    “Are you lost?” Wally asked. “This is the main path between Petalburg and Rustboro, so just go north or south as you need to.”

    “No, I know my way around here. I was just wondering if you’ve seen any Shroomish around.”

    “That’s a mushroom Pokemon, isn’t it?” Kiri asked. “I haven’t seen any today.”

    He scratched his head. “Odd. I’ve seen them around and I finally decided on catching and training one. But they don’t seem to be around today. I thought for sure, after that storm, that today was a good day.”

    “Maybe they’ll come later,” Wally thought aloud. “I always see them in my backyard in the morning and evening, not in the middle of the day.”

    “That could be...”

    “Ah, come on already,” a new voice called. “I’ve been waiting on you all day. You just had to dawdle in these woods, didn’t you.”

    “I don’t need to deliver this until,” he paused, getting a good look at man. He wore black jeans, a black shirt, and a white face mask. The Devon man paled. “Wh-who are you?”

    The masked man snapped his fingers, causing a lightning bolt to strike at the Devon worker’s feet. For a brief moment, a symbol of the Electric type appeared on his mask. “I am from the Church of the Creation Play. Lokire has told us that you plot devious plans, but we can use that parcel to further our righteousness. Now give me that suitcase.”

    Billina puffed herself up and hopped in front of the humans. “<That’s not the way things are to be done!>”

    Kiri rolled over. “Yeah, you leave him alone.”

    “What’s some helpless girl like you going to do to me?” he asked.

    “I am a Mage,” she said firmly, snapping her fingers to cast Ember. Billina copied her action.

    The Devon employee finally got a hold of himself and pulled out a Pokeball. “Come, Zangoose!”

    A white Pokemon with red markings appeared. Noticing his Trainer being threatened, he growled. “<Back off, twerp.>”

    “Quick Attack!”

    Zangoose darted forward. The CCP grunt yelped and tried to cast another spell, but got his hand smacked hard for the trouble. Only a nearby tree took the icy sphere. After cussing loudly, the grunt ran off. “This isn’t the end of this!”

    “Good work, Zangoose,” he said, patting his Pokemon on the head when he came back.

    Zangoose smiled and made a contented sound.

    “And thank you, young Mage. I’m a Researcher for Devon.” He looked off where the grunt had run to. “I should have been more careful, though.”

    “That’s okay,” Kiri said.

    “Yeah, we’re glad he didn’t shoot anybody,” Wally added.

    “Guess I’ll look for my Shroomish after I make my delivery. Good luck to both of you. Come Zangoose!” He and his Pokemon ran ahead.

    “CCP is trouble,” Wally said. “I’ve read about them in the papers. You should be more careful, Kiri. You don’t want to become an enemy of them.”

    “But I had to help him. That’s my duty as a Mage. But we’re fine. Let’s go on to Rustboro.”

    -+-

    Outside of Petalburg Forest was a freshwater lake with a wooden bridge. There was a cottage there, with a sign that called it the Pretty Petal Flower Shop. Three girls were taking care of a magnificent garden. “Hello!” the youngest called out.

    “Hi!” Kiri called back, waving. “Lovely garden.”

    And it was true. The girls had roses, berries, lilacs, pansies, peonies, and forget-me-nots all in bloom, accented with greenery like creeping ivies, Phanpy ears, and evergreen bushes. Even though some of the spring flowers should be fading as the summer solstice drew near, they all seemed strong and healthy.

    “Thanks, we’re trying to keep them going until mid-June when other flowers will be ready.” Then she noticed Billina. “Oh, are you both Mages?”

    “She is,” Wally said. “I’m just a magician.”

    “That’s good too. Would you learn our spell?”

    Kiri stopped her wheelchair by the berry bushes. “Sure.”

    “Not many people actually do,” one of her older sisters said. “Sweet Scent makes buds open and flowers turn into berries. It’s a gift from Shaymin.”

    “You can only use it once a day per plant, though,” the youngest one pointed out. “So most people don’t see why it’s worth the bother. But each casting makes the plant stronger, so it makes more flowers and berries. If you cast the spell often enough, you can even make delicate flowers grow in dangerous places.”

    “And it does other things,” the third sister added. “It makes most people and Pokemon a little happier. Especially if they like flowers.”

    “That sounds like a good thing, even if you have to wait,” Wally said.

    “Great, so you’ll learn it?”

    They both nodded. “We’d love to.”

    The oldest sister then explained, “It’s simple enough. I have the symbol on my watch.” She pointed out a simple outline of a five-petal flower. “We haven’t gotten to those three plants, so you can try it out on them.”

    “Can we do anything in thanks?” Kiri asked.

    “Just help flowers to grow everywhere,” she answered. “It will help spread the influence of Shaymin, who brings peace and tranquility.”

    -+-

    Once they crossed the wooden bridge, they were in Rustboro. It was a classy town with cobbled streets and grand buildings, bigger than Littleroot, Oldale, and Petalburg combined. It had the smell of industry, with wooden, metal, and chemical scents mingling together. But it was remarkably clean all the same, and the people hurrying about seemed to be in a comfortable middle-class existence.

    “Wow, this place is amazing,” Kiri said.

    “I know; it impresses me every time.” Wally pointed out some landmarks. “There’s the Trainer’s School; I always thought Vincent was going to join. And down that way is Devon Corporation’s headquarters, although you can’t go past the first floor unless you’re an employee. And the Gym’s back behind the school.”

    “You wanna try the Gym out?”

    “Um, sure, I guess.”

    The Gym was built from bricks painted white and had a yellow-orange roof. Instead of an array of plants, it had an exquisite rock garden running along its walls. A miniature shrine sat on the left side of the entrance to a Legend Kiri wasn’t familiar with. A small sign noted that the shrine was for Regirock. On the right side of the entrance, the Gym sign stated this was, ‘Rustboro City Pokemon Gym. Leader: Roxanne, the rock-loving honors student.’ While the two teens looked over the shrine and sign, Billina hopped onto a window ledge and peered in to look.

    “Isn’t that a little cocky to put that on your sign?” Wally asked.

    “They don’t choose what goes there; the League does.”

    The Torchic came back over to her. “<I don’t like the looks of this. I don’t think I can burn rocks.>”

    Kiri looked over her Guardian. She sounded nervous and wasn’t hopping as high as usual. “You don’t feel confident enough to take on this Gym now?”

    “<Maybe if I fought some rocks elsewhere and figured out how to hurt them, I’d be okay. But not now.>”

    She patted Billina’s head. “I guess if you don’t feel ready, I shouldn’t push you. We’ll train until then.” Then she looked up at Wally. “Do you want to head over to Verdanturf tomorrow? It’s too late today, but it could be a while before I challenge this Gym.”

    He considered it, then shook his head. “No. I really should get this badge, at least. It would satisfy my parents.”

    “Did they push you into doing this?”

    “Well, um, it’s not like I mind,” except that he obviously did mind on some level. “I want to have at least one. But if Billina wants training, I guess I should do the same with Amigo.”

    “<Our powers are different,>” the Ralts pointed out, “<but some practice will do no harm.>”

    “Well let’s go sign in at the Pokecenter. Do you know if the Trainer’s school allows visitors?”

    “They do. They’re pretty nice, actually. But we’ll have to wait for tomorrow to observe any classes.”

    -+-

    The School had three levels with twelve classrooms on the first floor and twenty on the ones above. No elevators, though, Kiri noted with dismay. After checking with the receptionist, she rolled through the hall. If a door was open, they were free to slip in quietly and observe the class.

    There were several going on: type studies, grammar, algebra, battle strategies, and the science of magic. Wally went to observe the type studies class. After peering in on the strategy class (they were talking about status effects like freeze and poison), Kiri went quietly into the magic class. The teacher was a large man with a bald head, but the students seemed interested in what he had to say.

    “As we learned last week, mana is formed by our emotions and thoughts. It is our life force, so everyone, human, Pokemon, elf, everyone has mana. Most Pokemon have active mana and all elves had active mana. However, in most people, this mana is passive.

    “In some people, perhaps as much as half of all humans, a small part of their mana is active. These people are magicians, as they can use their life force to cast spells and then regenerate it quickly. Non-magicians cannot regenerate mana, but it takes extreme circumstances for them to lose mana as well. And in a few people, the amount of active mana and regeneration they possess is enough to call a Guardian to them. These people become Mages and, when they have enough skill, Wizards.

    “The Guardians are special Pokemon. They are stronger than most, although not the strongest. The Guardians cannot breed, but new ones appear in response to prayer spells. We are not certain of how this happens. The commonly accepted theory is that the Guardians are the angels of Arceus, thus they can only come directly from him. Others state that the Guardians come from another world, where they are ordinary and common Pokemon. Still others say that the Guardians are born of the Mage’s own soul. They have some evidence for this last theory in that when one is defeated, the other feels physical pain. However, Guardians can also be so different from their partner that it is difficult to believe that it came out of the Wizard’s soul.”

    One of the boys held up his hand. “Mr. Claw? Is it true that if either the Guardian or the Wizard dies that the other will die within an hour?”

    “Most of the time,” the teacher answered. “There have been rare instances where one survives, although often you wonder if it’s a good thing. They are devastated to the point that they withdraw inside their own minds, so that you cannot get a response even if you touch them. And it seems they can no longer cast magic at that point, or even feel it.”

    Kiri felt a chill on hearing that. Thankfully, the lesson moved away from such a dismal subject as a student asked, “Mr. Claw, if mana is our life force, then why don’t people kill themselves using magic?”

    “Physical death can’t happen from that, but the spellcaster will find his or her mind exhausted. The force that mana is derived from comes from your mind, remember? As such, when reading a Pokedex, you will find both physical stamina estimates and mental stamina estimates. Depleting one’s MP can be corrected with an Ether.”

    The teacher then pointed to a marker and made a ‘come here’ gesture. The marker jumped into his hand. With that, he began drawing an example on the whiteboard.

    “Let’s say that you ask a question and I answer, thus satisfying your curiosity. That satisfaction brings about one unit of mana. If it’s an active mana, you can then use it to cast a small spell or use a mystical skill, like the telekinesis that I just used.”

    “But you’ve told us that telekinesis doesn’t use up an entire unit of mana,” a girl pointed out.

    He nodded. “Correct, so the extra energy has left you, but has nothing to do. But such bits of energy are not completely wasted. Plants and certain Pokemon absorb such residual energy for their own use. We also harvest it in the form of those yellow crystals that hang on every streetlight, which eventually is processed into electricity, but that’s a subject for another lecture. Not only does this kind of use produce residual mana energy, but just living does as well.”

    Mr. Claw went back to the start of his diagram. “Let’s say that instead of feeling satisfied, something has made you extremely angry. That will produce a lot of mana, far more than even the most powerful Wizards can use. The excess leaves you and goes into whatever is around you.” He added a picture of an angry Sunflora. “That is why Plant Pokemon are particularly sensitive to their Trainer’s moods; they absorb this excess energy constantly. If you are angry around such a Pokemon too often, the Pokemon will grow bitter.”

    “Psychics too?”

    “Now with Psychics, it depends. Every kind of Pokemon is associated with a particular Legend, right? It can even be one that’s not exactly their type. However, Psychics relate to one of three Legends, always: Uxie, Azelf, and Mespirit. That is because psychic powers can be split into three types: Intelligence for things like telepathy, Willpower for things like telekinesis, and Emotion for things like empathy.

    “If you have one of Mespirit’s children, like Ralts, then yes, it will have mood swings to match your own, even down to repressed emotions you’re not allowing yourself to know. Azelf’s children, like Spoink, will be affected by your mood to some extent. But the Intelligence reliant Uxie’s child, like Abra, will hardly be affected by your emotions. Some of them can hardly understand the feelings of others as well.” He turned back to the class. “So what else is on your minds today?”

    A student raised her hand. “I read somewhere that the Guardians act as a kind of conscience for Wizards too.”

    The teacher nodded. “Yes. They won’t tell us, but it seems the Guardians come into this world with a certain code of behavior and some information on humans in their minds. It varies a little bit from Guardian to Guardian, but if the Wizard does not behave in accordance to their code, the Guardian will be displeased. This is often enough to discourage unwanted behaviors, but sometimes they will punish their partner for repeated bad habits. A severe enough infraction can cause the Guardian to break the bond.”

    “So how do evil Wizards come about?”

    “That’s a tricky subject, one that is still being studied. Generally if someone with evil intentions tries to make a bond and somehow gets past the Grand Wizard’s notice, the guardians can still see the person’s heart and will refuse to bond. In order for a Wizard to become truly evil, their Guardian must be corrupted as well.”

    “Like Giovanni’s Nidoking?”

    “Correct. Rumor has it that when he was still a Mage, Giovanni and his Nidoran Guardian were thrown off a cliff or telekinetically thrown into a concrete wall. Something happened to give them both severe brain trauma, which corrupted both and set them on a path to become feared by regions they touched. Even with both of them defeated and secured in prison, people in Kanto and Johto as still said to seek methods to protect themselves against evil magic.”

    “Then what about the CCP Wizards?” another student asked.

    Mr. Claw shook his head. “The Creation Play fanatics are not true Wizards. They are devil-worshipers, and thus they have probably sacrificed something major to attain their powers. Not much is known for certain, but it’s fair to assume that their powers come from those white masks they wear all the time.”

    After the class, the students went outside for a break. Kiri followed them out. One of the boys stopped by her. “Hey, you’re a Mage?”

    “Yeah, isn’t it obvious?” she responded, tapping her special Pokeball. “I’m just visiting.”

    “That’s cool. You want to battle?”

    She had to train with Billina anyhow. “Sure. They okay with us doing that out here?”

    “It’s fine.” He pulled off one of his pokeballs. “Go Rocky!” A brown-ish gray rock with two arms appeared. Rocky clapped his hands together, eager for a fight.

    “Billina!” Kiri called, releasing the Torchic. She eyed the other two, then bowed to them politely. Figuring that Ember might not do much here, Kiri said, “Just scratch him.”

    “Do Rock Throw!”

    Billina made a quick observation, to find the best way to approach her opponent. On the other hand, Rocky immediately called up a rock half his size and threw it at Billina. She got hit in the head and was knocked out without a chance to attack.

    Although earlier injuries hadn’t done anything to Kiri, this time it felt like the rock had hit her in the head instead of Billina. The pain made her gasp, but left her unable to speak. The boy was excited about this. “Yeah, I beat a Mage!”

    “Hey, that wasn’t fair!” another boy called, putting himself between his peer and Kiri. “You should know better than to pick a fight with someone new to battles.”

    “How do you know she’s new?”

    “Well she’s got just one and the Mage initiation was only two days ago. Besides, that was mean to do that after what Mr. Claw taught us today.”

    “She agreed to the fight, so it’s her fault if she lost. The teachers can’t punish me for that.”

    “Well I can!” He went over and punched the other in the face.

    “Stop this nonsense immediately,” Mr. Claw said, grabbing both boys by the arms. “You’re both getting detentions for this.”

    “What?” the second boy said. “But he...”

    “Quiet.” He saw Kiri, still stunned, then nodded to one of the female students. “Could you see this guest to the Pokecenter?”

    “Yes, Mr. Claw,” she said. She came over and took the handles of the wheelchair, something Kiri usually didn’t allow a stranger to do. “Come on, let’s go heal her up.”

    A little while later, the elf at the Center had Billina healed up. Joy also put some healing magic on Kiri to dismiss the empathy pain. Kiri then called out Billina. “Sorry about that. I didn’t realize he’d have such a strong Pokemon.”

    “<I knew rocks were trouble,>” the Torchic replied. “<I’ll just have to train hard.>”

    “Huh, but it’s a good thing I accepted his challenge rather than Roxanne’s.” After thinking for a bit, she started a letter to Vincent.

    ‘Hi Vincent!

    It’s Kiri. Remember me? I hope you and Missingno are doing okay. It seemed rather unhappy, so do your best to cheer it up!

    I’m writing cause I have a question I thought you might be able to answer. My dad told me to start with Rustboro’s Gym. Billina looked inside yesterday, then seemed nervous. This afternoon, I fought a boy with a Geodude who knocked her out in one shot. So is her kind weak to rock attacks? What can I do about Roxanne? I only really know about Normal and Ice type Pokemon, since Dad has all normals except for his Ice type Guardian.

    Thanks much, Kiri.’

    Vincent liked helping people with what he knew, Kiri thought. Therefore, this ought to be a good way to become friends with him. She sent the letter off with the Mail spell. As long as the names were written clearly on the envelope, there wasn’t much that could keep it from reaching its intended recipient. The magic would find the person, wait outside anti-magic shields if need be, and deliver its letter as soon as possible.

    In the evening, she got a response.

    ‘Hi Kiri.

    Yeah, I remember you (you’re kind of hard to forget). We’re doing fine. Missingno is teaching me all sorts of spells. It’s amazing that he remembers so many of them. He does seem unhappy from time to time, but I think he enjoys helping me. I know your Guardian must feel the same.

    Yes, Fire types are weak to Rock, Flying, and Water type attacks. You’ll have to be careful of Rustboro (Rock), Fortree (Flying), and Sootopolis (Water). Plus the Mossdeep Gym is always Psychic; eventually this will cause Billina problems as well. You’ve got a tough road ahead of you. But don’t give up; it’ll be really impressive if you win the League challenge with that much going against you.

    I don’t mind helping you out; most girls wouldn’t look my way, much less send me a letter. To beat Rustboro Gym, I can think of two options. One, you can train yourself and Billina a lot so that she evolves. According to my research, she can learn Fighting moves then and she should be faster than any beginner’s team of a Gym Leader. You’ll be able to knock them out before they get a chance to attack. But it could be a while before you can do this.

    Two, you can catch a Pokemon that will be effective against Rocks. This should be pretty easy where you are; Grass and Water Pokemon are both effective and should be plentiful in that area. Other Fight type Pokemon would work as well, except that I don’t recall any living around the Petalburg-Rustboro area. I bet if you check your Pokedex, it should have a listing of those Pokemon already. Besides, building a team of varying types is a smart move. I might be able to get away with just using Missingno, but he’s a special Pokemon.

    Write again any time you need strategic advice! Vincent’

    Pokenav Extra

    People

    Gerald Wilson
    Job: Devon Researcher
    Hobby: mushroom-hunting
    Secret: Although scatterbrained, he comes up with some of Devon’s best ideas.

    Mr. Claw
    Job: Teacher
    Hobby: reading
    Secret: He was Roxanne’s school advisor.

    Pokemon

    Zangoose
    Trainer: Gerald
    Nature: Quiet
    Likes: jingle balls
    Dislikes: having his tails pulled

    Rocky (Geodude)
    Trainer: Student (M)
    Nature: Naughty
    Likes: throwing stuff
    Dislikes: water guns

    Places

    Rustboro: An industrial town, it is the home to Devon Corporation, the biggest producer of Pokemon products in Hoenn. As such, it competes with Mauville as the most technologically advanced city. Every building has a connection to Devon somehow, whether through funding, ownership, creation, or sponsorship. Because of this, you will never find a Silph product being sold here.

    Organizations

    The Church of the Creation Play: A mysterious underground cult, Creation Play worships Lokire, the Devil Pokemon, saying that it has been misjudged and is the true master of this universe. They state that the current view of the creation of the world is a fabricated ‘play’ told by Arceus and his followers. CCP members are not Wizards; however, they can use magic just like those with Guardians due to their irremovable white masks. Because they lack Guardians, psychological and physical problems run rampant in the group: common afflictions are multiple personality disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, compulsive disorders, seizures, and migraines. Their Pokemon are often unnaturally strong, either from hacking spells or even the curse of Shadow.

    Author’s Notes

    Sweet Scent spell: This is actually a fusing between spells of two different games, the other being Bloom from Okami. In Okami, you can use Bloom to save cursed plants, cause flowers and clovers to open, and even make cherry trees blossom in winter! One side effect is if you cast it on a human, they drop everything to come over and pet Amaterasu (she’s a wolf and a sun goddess).
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 26th September 2008 at 3:36 AM.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  20. #20
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    Dude, I love this.

    You came up with a great idea; I think the melding of magic and Pokemon just straight up makes sense, you know? It's genius. And then the characters have been executed pretty well so far. It's just pleasant to read.

    Secondly, I love the little intricacies you put into the story, like the bit about all psychic Pokemon being a child of Mespirit, Azelf, or Uxie. Just neat little details like that make this pretty *****in'.

    Keep it up. I look forward to following this story.

    Oh, and I was wondering - why is Flying super effective against fire? Shouldn't wind and stuff like fan the flames?
    Last edited by porygon181; 19th September 2008 at 2:39 AM.
    Whee. I put this here just so my posts wouldn't look so ugly. You'd be amazed at how ugly they look without a siggy. Maybe later I'll put something of some consequence down here. Maybe. I'm kinda lazy. Oh well. Peace out, hommes.

  21. #21
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    Jun 2008
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    Here's my critique of the last chapter.

    They soon found out another tough thing. Amigo only knew how
    to growl. To solve this, Kiri teamed up with Wally and helped him fight wilds and Trainers along the way. Amigo could weaken their opponent’s resolves with Growl, while Billina steadily scratched her opponents into giving up. Eventually they figured out the Confusion and Ember spells, which helped immensely.
    I think it would have been better if you described this scene, for at least the first battle, where they discover that Amigo only knew Growl. In addition, describing/explaining the part where they finally learn new spells would have been a better idea, so we can have a feel for how they acquire magical spells, and may give us a hint of how evolution will take place in the future. Tell us how they figured out the Confusion and Ember spells.

    Petalburg Woods was thick with trees, making it dimly lit. There was a well-kept path winding around, but the sides were still filled with weeds, Wurmples, and the occasional Slakoth. They moved quickly, not wanting to get caught here after dark. About halfway through, they ran into a man in a brown jacket that had a Devon Corporation logo. “Hi there!” Kiri called cheerfully.

    He smiled. “Oh, hello kids. Mind if I ask you something?”

    “Are you lost?” Wally asked. “We’re not too familiar with this place either, but this is the main path.”
    I’m surprised Kiri would just say hi so easily to a random stranger in a forest. Maybe if you said when they ran into the man, he had an easygoing, cheerful, or whatever facial expression that made him seem harmless. I was even more surprised that Wally was just as friendly. I thought for sure he would have been more apprehensive talking to a stranger, or even whisper to Kiri that she’s being to careless or something. To me, Wally seems to be a bit fearful.

    Also, “They moved quickly, not wanting to get caught here after dark.” “get caught” should be “be caught”.

    A white Pokemon with red markings appeared. Noticing his Trainer being threatened, he growled. “<Back off, twerp.>”
    From a writer of your caliber, I expected more description of the Zangoose than this. Also, the second sentence was in passive voice. For a scene like this, keep it consistently active by saying: “Zangoose noticed the CCP grunt was threatening its (I’m not sure of its gender) master and growled at the assailant.

    Zangoose darted forward. The CCP grunt yelped and tried to cast another spell, but the Pokemon smacked his hand right as he did. Only a nearby tree took the icy sphere. After cussing loudly, the grunt ran off. “This isn’t the end of this!”
    Adding a description, like “the Mongoose-like Pokémon smacked his hand as he did,” would make that scene clearer. When there’s more than one Pokémon on the field, you should use those type of descriptions if you don’t want to use their names. It makes figuring, which Pokémon is doing what, easier.

    “Only a nearby tree took the icy sphere.” This seems to be a boring description of what happened. The scene, where you introduce the CCP grunt, started off with some adrenaline and excitement because he threatened the Devon employee. If you started that scene that way, all other descriptions must match the intensity. I think you probably meant to say icy spire (it’s pointing enough to stab through something and normally whomever casts ice spells uses ice spires). A spell sent off-course should be dramatized a bit, by saying something like this: “A long icy spire materialized near an oak tree a few feet away from the Devon employee, and darted into the tree’s trunk mercilessly.”

    “And thank you, young Mage. I’m a Researcher for Devon.” He looked off where the grunt had run to. “I should have been more careful, though.”

    “That’s okay,” Kiri said.
    I’ve been wondering about this…when did Kiri exactly help the researcher? All I remember was that Kiri and Billina snapping their fingers to cast the Ember spell, but I’m not sure if they actually used it, or if they used it against the CCP grunt. Did she snap her fingers and cast Ember, but did not target the grunt because she was just proving she was a mage and capable?

    Also, “He looked off where the grunt had run to,” is a little weird. If you’re not writing in the dialogue, your sentence is supposed to be formal I believe, so you’re not supposed to end that sentence with a preposition. Maybe if you wrote it like this: “He looked towards the direction the grunt fled.”

    “Well let’s go sign in at the Pokecenter. Do you know if the Trainer’s school allows visitors?”

    “They do. They’re pretty nice, actually. But we’ll have to wait for tomorrow to observe any classes.”
    Who’s talking in these two dialogue paragraphs? Some dialogue tags (even though I see you try to avoid the like the plague, which is a good idea) would make things clearer as to who’s talking in this scene.

    Vincent liked helping people with what he knew, Kiri thought. Therefore, this ought to be a good way to become friends with him.

    In the evening, she got a response.
    Umm…I didn’t like this transition. I think it would have been better to have something happen in between the time she sent the letter and the time she received Vincent’s reply. You just skipped over it. Also, I wasn’t sure what time of the day it was when Kiri went to the Trainer School until you said “In the evening, she got a response.” That means that the time she went to the school had to be either in the morning or afternoon.

    I also wanted to know how she sent him the letter. Was it through magic, like Norman did it? Was it written on paper, then put it into a mailbox (but if that’s the case, then how did Kiri know where Vincent was, or if he was near a mailbox?)? I think you’ll need to add a little more.

    Overall: Decent chapter. I felt you did a wee bit of infodumping when you went to the scene about the class. There was just too much information for one scene. Everything else was fine other than what I pointed out. Take care and good luck.
    Burning the Veil - My first pokémon fanfic

  22. #22
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    Anyhow, made some changes to the last chapter; added a battle and some minor modifications. I know my battles tend to be simplistic, but I favor character development over battle development, so... onto stealing Pokemon from other games!

    +-+
    Chapter 7: Dealing with Rocks
    +-+

    Early in the morning, Kiri left Rustboro to train. Billina hopped alongside her wheelchair. “Okay, Billina, here’s the plan. We’re gonna catch a Lotad today.”

    “<Do they spit?>” she asked.

    “Vincent told me that you’re gonna have a hard time against Roxanne’s Rock Pokemon, as they’ll hurt you bad and you won’t be able to hurt them back. On the other hand, water types and grass types will have an easy time. Lotads are both water and grass. Therefore, if we catch one, it should help a lot.”

    The Torchic didn’t argue this point.

    “I don’t know if they have water-based attack spells, but I’ll call you back if you start getting too wet.”

    There was a fair sized group living in and around the lake outside Rustboro. They mostly kept away from the main path, choosing instead to lurk in tall grasses near the lake’s edge. There were other Pokemon here too: Marills, Seedots, Wingulls, Zigzagoons (of course), and Poochenyas. Marill and Wingull were both Water and Seedot was Grass according to the Pokedex, but Kiri had already set her mind on a Lotad. Near the lake’s edge, they stopped to observe the group. It was something Norman had recommended.

    ...

    Laura patiently dragged the giggling six-year-old back to her father, gripping her skirt gently with her teeth. “<Now stay put.>”

    “You’d better not worry Laura too much,” Norman said quietly. “She might freeze your feet to the spot if you wander off again.”

    “Kay,” Kiri replied, plopping down on the ground next to her Dad. “What’re we doing?”

    “Keeping quiet.” He pointed towards a group of varied Pokemon. “I’m thinking of capturing one of those Stantlers, to see how good they are.”

    She looked at the Pokemon in question. It was a tall deer with a shaggy coat and an ornate rack of antlers. Then she looked back at Dad and spoke quietly. “How’re you gonna do that?”

    “First, we gotta watch them and let them watch us. I’m starting to see which one is older, which one is faster, which one is stronger. You know, get a feel for which one I’d like. At the same time, they’re watching me to see if they wish to come with me.” He tapped a Pokeball that was sitting on the ground. “They know what this is. They can see that it’s not attached to any Pokemon, so they know my intent. Then we’ll see which one feels like following through on the decree of Arceus.”

    “What’s that?”

    “Arceus is the one who made the world, remember? It’s said that long ago, he declared that humans and Pokemon could form a team to improve each other. He said that Pokemon will not grow to their full potential unless in such a team. They all know this as well, but many of them are still afraid.”

    “Why?”

    “Because not everyone is a nice Trainer. Because of that, I find this works best.”

    “So you don’t have to battle them?”

    “There’s a good chance that I’ll still have to battle, or prove myself to them in some way. They’ll want to make sure I’m a Trainer they can respect and follow.” Then he put his hand on Kiri’s shoulder. Three of the Stantlers had decided to come closer. “Stay with Laura and she’ll protect you.” Then he got up and went to meet with them.

    ...

    With this memory in mind, Kiri took one of her empty Pokeballs and toyed with it. She watched the lake Pokemon, making sure to keep eye contact only with the Lotads.

    At the lake’s shore, three Lotads, a Marill, and a Seedot watched her back. “<I think they’re looking for one of you,>” the Seedot said to the Lotads before waddling back to his own business.

    “<So what should we do?>” one of the males asked.

    The other male tilted his lilypad back, then dropped back down. “<I’m gonna challenge them.>”

    “<But you could get captured.>”

    “<I wanna go see other lakes.>” He turned to the female. “<Is that okay with you, mom?>”

    “<Old Grandad won’t like that,>” she replied.

    “<I know, but he won’t be able to get after me if I’m gone. Besides, he doesn’t like me as it is.>”

    She nodded. “<I suppose it’s best if you leave with a Trainer. Be careful, son.>”

    “<I will.>” He then hopped over to the girl in the wheelchair.

    Kiri waited until the Lotad stopped in front of her. “We challenge you, lilypad!

    The small blue amphibian hissed and tried to hide under said lilypad. “<I can give you a challenge...>”

    “Billina, weaken it.”

    Obediently, Billina threw an Ember spell at the Lotad. The Lotad attempted to astonish the Torchic by jumping at her suddenly from his hiding position. Billina met him with her clawed feet. He jumped back and spat a water ball at her, but missed, getting another Ember for trying to spit at her. Worn down, but not ready to give up, the Lotad then spun in place and leapt at Billina again.

    Or, he tried to leap at her. He got confused and jumped a foot to her right. Upon landing, he stumbled around, too dizzy to be still. “<Diiiizzzzyyy,>” he moaned.

    Billina looked at him, puzzled. “<Then why’d you do that?>”

    Kiri took an empty Pokeball and threw it at the Lotad with the Capture spell. As he was too dizzy to fight back, it secured him easily. She brought him out again. “I hope you didn’t make yourself sick.”

    “<Nope, I’m good.>”

    “<She won’t understand you, you know,>” Billina pointed out. “<Not that she’s bad, but it’s an innate human fault.>”

    “I should have one... there!” Kiri brought out a bottle of Potion, then sprayed it over the Lotad’s injuries. “I don’t know any cure spells, but that should do nicely.”

    “<Hey, that feels funny!>” He glanced over his feet, previously cut by Billina’s Scratch. The wound was gone, leaving just a bare line. “<Oh wow. I knew Trainers could do nifty things, but that’s just wow.>”

    “<She’s a Mage, not a Trainer.>”

    “So what can you do?”

    He perked up. “<I can do this!>” He spun around rapidly in one place, tilting his body until he was standing on his front two legs. But then he lost his balance because his lilypad was wider than his body and toppled onto his back. “<Oooo, dizzy again.>”

    “<Oh dear,>” Billina sighed, feeling that this was a bad idea.

    On the other hand, Kiri giggled. “You’re a little clown. Okay, I’ll call you Samba.”

    Samba rolled over onto his feet. “<Huh?>”

    “<You have a name now.>”

    He tilted his lilypad back. “<Really? Awesome!>”

    “<That’s great that you’ve earned a name,>” the female Lotad said, coming up to them.

    “<Yeah. So, I guess I’ll be saying goodbye, mom.>”

    “<Yes, goodbye. Here, take this with you. It might come in handy.>” She took an Oran berry in her mouth and tossed it to him.

    “<Thanks. Maybe I’ll see you again someday.>”

    “<Maybe. Take care of yourself, and your team now.>” She then went back to the lake and swam away.

    “That was nice of her,” Kiri said. “So now I have to train you both. We’d best get a move on.”

    At the end of the day, the group went back to Kiri’s room at the Pokecenter. “<I didn’t notice any of the other Lotads using Water Gun like you can,>” Billina commented. “<How come?>”

    “<That? I learned that spell from my dad. He’s not a Lotad.>”

    “<How’d that happen?>”

    Samba hopped up. “<Oh, it’s a very sweet story! See, my mom, who was that Lotad who said goodbye, was friends with this boy Marill for years and years and years and years, like four, and they’d play and talk all the time, and nobody really minded it ‘cept Old Grandad Lombre who was certain that something terrible would come of the friendship, and something kinda terrible did happen when a Slakoth got annoyed at my dad for waking him up in the middle of the day, which is crazy, because who sleeps in the middle of the day?>”

    He then paused to take a deep breath, then continued.

    “<And so this crazy Slakoth swiped at my dad’s legs and broke them, and my mom was all upset and stuff, so she picked him up and carried him to this place, cause she was so worried that it made her really brave, and had the elf here heal him back to new again, and he was so grateful that he would sing to her every day, so then they fell in love and I was born! But then everybody in the lake would tease me cause my parents were so different, but mom and dad said don’t mind them, cause I was the symbol of their love, so I didn’t, and everybody stopped cause it didn’t bother me, except for Old Grandad who is the grumpiest Lombre in the whole wide world, but then my dad decided to teach me Water Gun so that I had something no other Lotad in the pond had. So that’s how I know that spell.>”

    Billina waited for a second to see if he’d keep going, then asked, “<Are you sure you weren’t teased because you talk so much?>”

    He tilted his lilypad. “<Huh? Why would people tease me because of that? I don’t speak any differently, do I? Cause you ought to hear Old Grandad! He can talk on for hours and hours and hours without repeating himself. At least, I think not. Sometimes I fell asleep while he was talking, and he’d get all mad and stuff at me and start lecturing and complaining until I wasn’t sure what he was talking about in the first place. And when he gets really really mad, he can talk so hard that it hurts to listen.>”

    She sighed. “<Oh, never mind.>”

    -+-

    Kiri and Wally were in the Laundromat washing their clothes. Samba was nearby practicing his ‘dance’ moves, although his lilypad kept throwing him off balance. “He is a little clown,” Wally commented with a laugh. “But he sure doesn’t give up.”

    “I’m glad. I caught him to help out with this Gym. He seems to like us already, although I’m not sure about how Billina feels.”

    “<He’s not very serious about things,>” Billina said. “<Of course, neither are you sometimes. We have to get serious to beat the Gyms.>”

    “<I am serious!>” Samba protested. “<I’m serious about dancing!>” He started hopping around in a circle, which, with a stretch of imagination, could possibly be a dance.

    “Could you look away for a minute, Wally?”

    His eyes were puzzled. “Huh? Why?”

    “Cause I’m on my last set of clean undies and I have to wash the rest. You don’t want to look like a perv, right?”

    Wally turned pink around his ears. “Ah, um, yes, no wait, no, I mean no! Sorry.” He looked over at the wall of dryers.

    A light laugh escaped, but Kiri held back the rest. “No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t embarrass you like that. I still don’t want you looking at my undies.”

    “I know.” Once the washing machine got started, he said, “I told my family that I was going to work towards earning this badge first. My Aunt and Uncle are okay with that and wished me good luck. But my parents sent me this long letter with all sorts of advice. I don’t know what to say to them.”

    “I’d tell them to butt out. It’s your journey, not theirs. I know my dad isn’t going to give me any advice unless I ask for it.”

    “Yeah, I’m seventeen. They shouldn’t be telling me what to do. Still,” he sighed, “I don’t want to be mean.”

    “You can say that and still be polite. Like, ‘Thanks for the advice, but I’d like to find things out on my own now’. Something like that.”

    “I’m not sure that would work. You could say that to your parents and they wouldn’t mind. But my parents, I’m sure they’ll try to guilt trip me into doing what they want anyhow.”

    “Well you need to do something. It’s obviously making you unhappy.” She glanced over at him, sitting on an empty washing machine, looking down at his feet. Amigo was sitting next to him, not even interested in watching Samba trip himself up constantly. “And that’s making Amigo unhappy too.”

    “Really, is it?” he asked the Ralts.

    He nodded. “<You’re my person; I don’t like to see you unhappy. But I don’t know what to do about this.>”

    Wally thought about it, then said, “I’m not sure I can do anything about them on my own, but maybe if I tell Aunt Betty, she can talk my parents into backing off. She’s always good at that kind of thing.”

    Kiri nodded. “Good plan. And after you get to Verdanturf, you go do whatever you want. What were you thinking of doing other than being a Trainer?”

    “I’ve thought about a lot of things, but I keep thinking of working at an adoption ranch. You know, one of those places that takes in Pokemon the owners don’t want to keep? Or the ones too old to battle or who have to live with permanent injuries. I’d have to learn to take care of scared or mistrusting Pokemon, but I think it would be a rewarding career. Plus I could be around lots of different Pokemon as well as Amigo.”

    “That sounds cool. Is there one of those places in Hoenn?”

    “Yeah, there’s a large one near Fortree, and three smaller ones on the islands. There’s good benefits and I hear the pay’s decent. The ranch workers don’t get as much attention as other people, but that’s fine with me. I just get worried about those kinds of Pokemon and lately, I’ve been thinking that Amigo would be good there as well. You know, since he’s good at feeling the emotions of others?”

    “He’d be an awesome help there, cause he could tell what an upset Pokemon is upset about.”

    “<Maybe not fully now, but in time when my powers develop,>” he said.

    -+-

    A couple of weeks went by. Kiri would train Billina and Samba, then study at the Trainer’s School for a little while. She might have been a Mage, but the information was still useful. Then she decided that her team, in particular Samba, was ready to take on Roxanne.

    She met Wally outside the Gym. “Look, I won the Trainer’s Challenge,” he said, showing off a new badge on his ID card.

    Kiri clapped her hands together. “Great! I was just about to take the Mage’s Challenge.”

    He looked puzzled. “I got the badge before you?”

    “Yeah, you and Amigo must be really good.”

    “Thanks. But I heard something bad. The Rusturf Tunnel isn’t finished.”

    “It isn’t? But they started it months ago.”

    “Well, have you seen the Whismurs around here?”

    She nodded. “Yeah. I ran up by one on accident yesterday. It had been walking along quietly, but when I startled it, it screamed terribly loud. I felt terrible for disturbing it.”

    “Yeah, they’re easily scared. It turns out that the tunnel drilling equipment disturbed them too much, so the company had to stop digging. They’re waiting on a specialist wizard who trains Digletts to finish the tunnel.”

    “Huh. Can we go around the volcano up north? I’ve been training mostly in the south and east.”

    Wally shook his head. “The route is rough and has lots of ledges. I’d get worn out climbing and you can’t make your wheelchair go through there now.”

    “That stinks. We’ll have to find another way to Verdanturf.”

    “I’m sorry; I don’t mean to keep you from your journey.”

    “I don’t mind. Besides, there’ll be Gyms along the way.”

    “That’s true. Anyhow, may I watch?”

    “Sure, I don’t see why not.” She wheeled towards the door, which automatically opened upon her approach.

    A young trainer dressed in the Trainer School uniform greeted them. “Hi again, Wally. And hello to you as well. What challenge are you here for today?”

    “Mage’s challenge,” Kiri said, showing her ID card.

    He grinned. “Great, then you’re to go straight to our leader. Hey Roxanne, you’ve got a new Mage!”

    “Is that so?” She waited for Kiri to roll up. She also wore the Trainer’s School uniform. For girls, it was a navy blue skirt, a white shirt under a navy blue jacket, and black shoes. Roxanne also wore her black hair in red pigtails tied with red ribbons. It made her look a little young, but in order to be a Gym Leader (at least by Johto standards), she had to be an adult. “Welcome; I am Roxanne. You must be Norman’s daughter, Kiri.”

    She nodded. “Yup. Good to meet you.”

    “Same here. May I see your card?”

    “Sure.” She handed it over.

    Roxanne looked it over thoughtfully. “So this is your first Gym challenge. Then I must explain how magic battles differ. The rest of you may watch, but please step beyond the circle.”

    A white ring of magic had appeared around the battle area. Once everyone got clear, it turned into a shimmering transparent wall. Along with the arena shield, a green orb had appeared by both Mage and Wizard.

    “While standard battles involve only the Pokemon, magic battles are fought by both the team and their trainer,” Roxanne explained. “The orb floating by your head is a concentrator. It is linked to the condition of your mental focus. You are an open target until this orb, and therefore your concentration, is broken. Once the concentrator orb is broken, your Guardian’s magic will form a shield to protect you from being killed. However, your Pokemon will be fighting on their own, so a Wizard must make certain that her Pokemon are well trained.

    “Therefore, you have two methods of winning a Magic Battle. First, you can knock out all of your opponent’s Pokemon, as normal. Second, you can break your opponent’s concentration and defeat the current Pokemon, for we cannot switch under those circumstances. Do you understand this?”

    “Yes, Roxanne,” Kiri replied.

    “Any spell that a Pokemon can use and that’s legal for the battle conditions may be used by you or your Pokemon. You may learn more about such moves at the Trainer’s School. So, are you ready for battle?”

    “We are.”

    “Then we begin.” Roxanne summoned a Geodude. “Prepare yourself. Defense Curl.” She waved a hand at her Pokemon, casting some kind of boost spell over it.

    Kiri released Samba. “Water Gun it.”

    While the Geodude brought her hands into cast a defensive spell, Samba shook his lilypad and summoned a water ball. “<This is SPARTA!>” he called, firing it at the floating rock. Then he looked at Kiri. “<That was good, right? Cause I loved that movie! Except of course that we walked in on the middle of it and I fell asleep a little while later, but that scene was great!>”

    “Focus on the battle,” she told him.

    “<Oh, right.>”

    Fortunately, the water ball struck the Geodude square in the face, knocking her out cleanly. While Samba had been chattering, Roxanne called out her second Pokemon. Nosepass was a strange blue rock creature that had an oversized nose. But she was still a rock.

    “Again,” Kiri called. For her part she thought of a spell she’d found in a Trainer’s School textbook, Tail Whip. It wasn’t necessary for her to have a tail. She thought of the symbol and cast. A strand of light appeared and swished like a tail would. It lowered the defenses of both the Nosepass and Roxanne’s orb.

    In the meantime, Roxanne cast her boost spell again. Defense Curl and Tail Whip neutralized each other with a brief haze of mana. Then Samba’s second Water Gun hit the Nosepass. She squealed, but did not fall as fast as the Geodude.

    “With me,” Roxanne said calmly, as she pointed to Kiri. But the Nosepass did not attack Kiri; she attacked Samba by summoning large rocks to drop on him. Roxanne also cast Rock Tomb on Kiri, so both were showered with the heavy rocks. Kiri’s orb got a crack, but did not break.

    “Heal yourself,” Kiri ordered while she cast Tail Whip again.

    “<Thanks,>” Samba said, then cast Absorb. A green aura briefly surrounded the Nosepass, stealing enough of her energy that she passed out. The aura then zipped back to Samba and healed him some.

    “Then that’s it,” Roxanne said with a smile.

    The Lotad leapt into the air with a spin. “<We did it! We won! We’re awesome!”

    The Leader went on. “I’ve seen your Torchic hopping around with you. You have learned well thus far, avoiding use of your Guardian when she was at a serious disadvantage.”

    “I had to learn that the hard way.”

    “Some will never learn that lesson in any manner. You have earned the Boulder Badge.” Roxanne let the ID card float off her hand, then spun her hand above it. A brown glow infused the card. “This enchantment on your card will raise the strength of the Pokemon you train. And in honor of your first win, I can teach you two useful spells. First,” she snapped her fingers, making a wooden post appear. There was a circle burned into the post that had a horizontal line cutting through it. “This is Cut. It will destroy objects like bushes, clay pots, and this post. But it won’t affect sturdy things like rocks, metal, and concrete.”

    “Okay.” Kiri focused on the symbol, then thrust her arm through the air. The post snapped cleanly in half.

    “Good work.” She snapped her hand to put the post back, this time with a different symbol. Although stylized, it looked like an ‘X’ between four rocks. “And this is Rock Tomb, which you have seen demonstrated. It drops rocks on your opponent, which may slow them down.”

    Kiri nodded, then cast Rock Tomb. It took an extra try, but she got a small group of rocks to fall onto the post.

    Roxanne nodded her approval. “Any spell that you learn, you can teach to your Pokemon, if they can learn it. Your Lotad won’t be able to make use of either spell, but your Guardian might learn them after some effort. Every Leader can teach you new spells after you defeat them, and your Pokemon will grow stronger with every badge enchantment you earn.”

    Pokenav Extra

    People

    Roxanne Shale
    Job: Gym Leader/Master Wizard
    Battle Strategy: Strong defenses are key.
    Hobby: working on rock gardens
    Secret: She’s not confident in her fashion sense, which is why she wears uniforms.

    Pokemon

    Samba (Lotad)
    Trainer: Kiri
    Nature: Lax
    Likes: dancing
    Dislikes: people with big hair

    Geodude
    Trainer: Roxanne
    Team: First Tier
    Nature: Bold
    Likes: rolling
    Dislikes: stopping

    Nosepass
    Trainer: Roxanne
    Team: First Tier
    Nature: Quiet
    Likes: eavesdropping
    Dislikes: spicy foods

    Pokemon League

    Gym License: A license is required for a Gym to be recognized as official by the League; unofficial Gyms can exist, but cannot bestow Badge enchantments or count towards a Challenge. All Gyms must follow certain rules to remain official, or the Leader will be evicted and a new one assigned. In Hoenn, there are four permanent licenses where the city will always have a Gym and four traveling licenses which move from city to city as the Leader wishes. The permanent licenses are for Fortree, Lavaridge, Dewford, and Mossdeep.

    edit: Lotad can't learn Cut? Weird.
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 26th September 2008 at 3:58 AM.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  23. #23
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    I dunno about you, but I like this particular part of the game as the story goes. Whismurs block your path and then there's the cute Peeko!

    +-+
    Chapter 8: Peeko and Briney
    +-+

    “That was amazing,” Wally said as they left the Gym. “It took a lot longer for me and Amigo to beat that Nosepass. And I’m glad she couldn’t use spells against me.”

    “I wasn’t badly hurt,” Kiri said. “Although my mind feels a bit fuzzy now.”

    “Maybe you should rest before we go on.”

    They had to stop, though, as a man wearing black rushed out of Devon Headquarters and ran north. He was followed by a man in a brown jacket. “Hey get back here!” he yelled. “Give back our goods!”

    “Isn’t that the Researcher we found in the Woods two weeks ago?” Wally asked.

    “Let’s go help him.” She followed after, catching up to the man at the edge of town. His face was red and he looked out of breath. “Hey, what happened?”

    “Oh... young Mage...” He looked down the eastern road. “That thief broke into our building and made off with some... valuable prototypes. I should... go ask for Roxanne’s assistance.”

    “I’ll go after him,” Kiri offered.

    “Are you sure?”

    “I’m faster in my wheelchair and that road dead ends into the tunnel.”

    “Wait,” Wally said, catching up. “I shouldn’t run that fast.”

    “Go back and get Roxanne,” Kiri told him. “Tell her there’s a thief that has some things from Devon. He’s headed towards Rock Tunnel.”

    “Okay.”

    The Researcher started to say something, but Kiri had already sped off. The road was paved well, probably from when they were bringing in the tunneling machines. She could easily push her wheels to move faster than ordinary people could run. When she reached the tunnel entrance, she caught sight of the thief running inside. ‘Sucker’ she thought.

    She slowed to get by the small crowd of people outside the tunnel. “What’s going on?” she asked.

    “He, he kidnapped my darling Peeko,” an old man said, distraught.

    “That’s right,” a muscular man added. “Took the poor ‘gull hostage. He won’t like what he finds inside, though.”

    “Roxanne should be coming,” she told them. “I’ll go see if I can get Peeko back.”

    “But this is a dangerous and desperate man,” the old man said, but Kiri didn’t pay attention. She went on inside.

    It was a misty tunnel, with white wisps of moisture following all air currents. There were some of the pink Whismurs nearby, looking curiously at her. She brought out Billina and went down the tunnel.

    “Aw crud,” she heard the thief say as she rolled through the mist. “I’m already late getting these goods, the Pokemon I kidnap turns out to be totally useless, and now this stupid tunnel is unfinished. What gives? This was supposed to be a cakewalk.”

    The forms of the thief and a Wingull appeared. The bird Pokemon appeared scared stiff. Kiri thought about using Cut to get the man to let Peeko go. However, she decided against it because she might miss from exhaustion of the Gym battle, or even hit the poor bird instead. She ought to just keep him here until Roxanne showed up. “Hey, let him go!”

    The CCP grunt stiffened, then turned around. “Oh, it’s that Mage brat. What are you doing here?”

    “Getting Peeko back. You shouldn’t be stealing Pokemon.”

    “You wouldn’t understand. Lokire’s mission is far more important. Now you either get out of my way or I’ll kill this dumb bird.” He put his hand against Peeko’s shivering body.

    Kiri hesitated, not sure what to do now. But then the Whismurs, alarmed at the events, began shrieking. It was bad enough outside, but in the tunnel, the uproar was amplified by the rock walls. Billina squawked and retreated back to her ball. The thief dropped the Wingull to cover his ears, cursing the Whismurs inaudibly. Kiri wanted to cover her ears too, but saw the chance. “Peeko!” She gestured for the Wingull to come to her.

    Thankfully, the Wingull darted into her lap. He looked scared and bruised from the rough handling, but would be fine after being returned and healed. Kiri spun her chair around and raced out of the tunnel.

    “Peeko!” the old man called. “Are you hurt?”

    “<I-I-I’m alive?>” the Wingull stammered.

    Kiri stopped by the two men. “He seems mostly scared.”

    He picked up his Pokemon gently. “You’re okay now, you’re back with me.”

    A brown column of light appeared, then formed into Roxanne. She had a Golem and her Guardian, a Swampert, with her. “Where’s this thief?”

    “In the tunnel,” the strong man said.

    “He scared the Whismurs,” Kiri added, rubbing her ringing ears.

    “That was dumb,” the Leader commented. Noticing the thief run out, she ordered, “Golem, restrain him.”

    “<Right away.>” The large rock Pokemon ran over and grabbed hold of the thief while he was still getting his bearings.

    “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” the thief asked brazenly of the much heavier Pokemon. He glared at Roxanne. “You’ll pay for this, both of you girls. Who are you to intervene with my sacred mission?”

    “I’m Roxanne, Leader of Rustboro Gym.”

    He paled. It was a Wizard’s honor to defend his or her hometown, doubly so for a Gym Leader. “Uh-oh.”

    “That’s right,” she said, slightly amused. “What are you doing, stealing from Devon?”

    “And kidnapping a sweet harmless Wingull,” the old man said bitterly.

    “Orders from the Ambassador. You need know nothing more.”

    “I’m sure we’ll find out more about your Ambassador in due time.” She took a Devon parcel from his arm, then handed it to Kiri. “Would you take this to Devon Headquarters, Kiri? On your honor as a Mage.”

    She nodded and took the black box. “Right, on my honor as a Mage.”

    “Good. I’ll handle this one.” She teleported off with the grunt.

    “So your name is Kiri?” the old man asked. “I’m Mr. Briney.”

    She smiled. “Hi Mr. Briney, good to meet you.”

    “Thank you so much for rescuing my dear friend Peeko. Many of my friends have passed on, but my loyal Peeko is always there for me.”

    “<My friend makes the best fish treats in the whole world,>” Peeko boasted happily.

    “Tell you what; I’m a sailor, even in my old age. If you ever need to go anywhere out on the sea, just come to my cottage by Petalburg Woods. I’ll be glad to take you along.”

    “That sounds great,” Kiri said. “I’ll remember that.”

    “I should head back home now before it gets too late. I’ll see you later.”

    As Briney left, the muscular man said, “I should be getting back to the tunnel.”

    “Are you the wizard they sent to complete it?” she asked. If so, they might get to Verdanturf soon.

    He shook his head. “Nah, I’m just a trainer with a pair of Machops. See, my girlfriend lives in Verdanturf, so we were really happy when this tunnel was being planned. But then they had to stop. Still, I figure that if I work carefully and quietly, I can complete the tunnel myself without disturbing the wild Whismurs. There’s not much left to clear and that specialist may not get here for another few weeks.”

    “That’s pretty impressive. Good luck with that.”

    “Thanks. And good luck to you.”

    Kiri returned to Rustboro and went straight to Devon Headquarters. Wally was sitting with the Researcher in the lobby as she rolled up. “Here you are,” Kiri said, handing over the stolen bag. “Roxanne has the thief in custody.”

    “Oh, thank you so much,” the Researcher said, taking the bag back. “I hope it’s not damaged. Can I offer you something in thanks?”

    “No need,” Kiri said. “It’s my duty as a Mage. That, and I’m tired right now after the Gym challenge.”

    “I see. Maybe we’ll talk tomorrow.”

    -+-

    As it turned out, the Researcher had sent her and Wally a message the next morning to meet with him.

    And, interestingly enough, the President of Devon Corporation. Mr. Stone was an older man, although not as old as Mr. Briney. He wore a sophisticated black suit with a red tie. A Pokeball shaped tie tack was attached to it. “I’ve heard about you two from Gerald here and Roxanne. You both helped out so selflessly.”

    “It was the right thing to do,” Wally said nervously. He was sweating under all the attention.

    “I was wondering if I could ask you two travelers for another favor. The parcel you returned yesterday is very important and needs to reach the Shipyard in Slateport by next month. However, the CCP cult is interested in intercepting it, even going so far as to hijack mail enchantments on anything of this size. But I don’t think they’ll expect a pair of teenagers on a journey to have this package.”

    “What is it?”

    “Right now, these plans are top secret. If you leave for Slateport from the small port in Petalburg, you’ll pass Dewford on the way. I’d like you to deliver a letter to my son Steven, who should be there. My Mail spell keeps getting bounced, so I’d like someone to take it to him personally.”

    “We can deliver a package and a letter,” Kiri said.

    Mr. Stone nodded. “Thank you. And I wouldn’t be so selfish as to ask for a favor without anything in return, so these are for you.” He handed over a pair of small books.

    Wally went wide-eyed. “These are the new Pokenav books! But they’re really expensive.”

    The President smiled. “It’s no trouble at all. You can even combine it with a Pokedex for convenience.”

    “We’ll keep your deliveries safe, we promise,” Wally said. When they left, he opened the enchanted book excitedly. “These are great! They have full maps of the Hoenn region, and a special journal to record battle history, and another journal to record contest results.”

    “I wasn’t gonna buy one for a while, cause the price was too high. But getting them free is perfect.”

    “Not exactly free. We still have to get those things delivered. But how are we going to get to Dewford and Slateport?”

    Kiri smiled. “Oh, I know somebody.”

    -+-

    Mr. Briney was more than happy to take them to their destinations. They stayed at his house overnight, then sailed south shortly after dawn. “I hope you won’t be affected by the sea’s motions,” Briney said as Wally helped him tie down Kiri’s wheelchair.

    “So long as this is going nowhere, I don’t mind,” Kiri replied.

    “I was fine riding a Surfing Pokemon,” Wally added. “This look alright?”

    The old man tugged at the rope. “It’s strong. You’ve got a good hand at tying knots.”

    “Thanks. My uncle showed me a lot of knots one time when I was sick. I still remember how to do them, like the monkey’s fist.”

    “Sounds like you’re well on your way to becoming a sailor.”

    He blushed. “You think so?”

    “It’s a possibility. Come over here and I’ll show you some things.”

    Fortunately, the place Kiri was secured was close enough to listen in and chat with them as the boat went south. The trip took several hours, as the Sea Route was long and dotted with small rocky islands. Samba seemed fascinated by the ocean, running up and down the boat to get a view on everything. Wary of the ocean spray, Billina stayed by Kiri and Amigo talked with her. Above them, Peeko whistled out to wild Wingulls and teased the Tentacools, although he always stuck near the boat.

    “I hadn’t considered being a sailor,” Wally told Briney. “Of course, I hadn’t thought much on what else I could do, besides being a Wizard like my parents. I was almost certain I’d be doing that.”

    Briney shook his head. “You’re too young to have settled on one course. You’re seventeen; you should be exploring every possibility in life that you have.”

    “I guess. But there seems to be so many things I could do now, and I don’t want to disappoint my parents further.”

    “You have any siblings?”

    “No, why?”

    “That may be making it harder for them to let you go. But if they’re sensible people, they should come around to realizing your independence.”

    “<I hope that’s so,>” Amigo said.

    “<But you don’t think so?>” Billina asked, curious.

    “<I’m afraid that may not be so for his mother.>” He frowned.

    “Hey, Mr. Briney?” Kiri called from her spot. “You guys were saying earlier that Dewford’s the sacred town of Kyogre, right?”

    “That’s right,” Wally answered. “Kyogre’s spirit resides there while she’s under the sleeping spell of Rayquaza. We don’t know where her body is, though.”

    “The people of Hoenn are grateful for that,” Briney added. “As spirits, Kyogre and Groudon are much calmer than they were when awake.”

    Kiri nodded. “I heard some stories from Dad, but I’m still learning your legends. So it was Kyogre who caused endless rain to increase the seas and Groudon who caused endless drought to increase the lands?”

    “That’s how it was.”

    “Then why is Dewford so absurdly sunny right now?”

    Squinting to the south, they could see the island of Dewford. It was rocky, like most of the other islands out here. The sun seemed particularly powerful that afternoon, causing the seas to become brightly glossy and the island to shimmer like a desert in summer. As they approached the island, the air became drier and hotter.

    “It does seem ominous,” Wally said nervously. “Wait, isn’t it about the time of year they summon her spirit?”

    “Hmm.” Briney checked a calender on the wall. “Yes, it should be today, but the signs are of Groudon’s power, not Kyogre’s. This can’t be good.”

    They pulled up to the docks among many other boats that were in early, presumably for the summoning. The Gym was southeast of the docks, a large and old building with a stone mural of ocean life around the outside. A large blue and white whale dominated the mural on the back wall; presumably, that was Kyogre. Other buildings in town were weathered like the Gym, after years of facing the sea winds, rain, and the occasional tsunami.

    But there were unmistakable signs of drought. Plants were wilting or toughening in response to the dry heat. A painting of Kyogre on another building was beginning to peel from lack of moisture. Rain barrels were empty, so the desalination plant nearby was working noisily to keep up with water demands. On a board by the dock exit, someone had recently put up a list of tips to conserve water.

    “Dewford shouldn’t be like this,” Wally said as he walked alongside Kiri and Briney.

    “They seemed all right last time I was down here,” the old sailor responded, “but that was six months ago. I wonder if they’ve left for the other shore already. With conditions like this, it’d be no surprise if everyone was anxious.”

    “No, there seems to be a lot of people over there.” He was pointing to the Community Center.

    It was a space with a large roof and few walls, ideal for a place that rained a lot. However, now people were using it as a place to escape the intense sun overhead. The residents were trying to be cheerful, but there were worried tones littering the general chatter: talk of how the tide lines seemed to be receding or of how wild Pokemon on the island were acting strangely. Briney waved the two teens to follow him as he looked for someone.

    That someone was a Wizard who, despite the weather, was wearing his formal robes, deep blue with gold Unown text embroidered along the edges. He also wore a pale blue necklace with an Ice enchantment, to keep him safe from heat exhaustion. He had dark blue-gray hair, much like the toddler he had on his lap. When he noticed them coming, he smiled. “Afternoon, Mr. Briney. It’s been a while since I saw you last.”

    The old sailor smiled back. “Afternoon, Brawly. It has been some time; I might have checked in sooner if I heard about this.”

    “Bad, isn’t it? I’ve searched this island the past couple of weeks, but there hasn’t been a sign that this is anything but a poor stretch of weather. Yet it feels like something more.”

    “Have you checked in with old Dusack?”

    “I’ve thought about it. Who are your young friends?”

    “This would be Kiri Brown and Wally Chesterfield. They’re really great kids and they’ll probably be out to challenge you in a couple of days. Kids, this is the local Gym Leader, Brawly.”

    “Hi, nice to meet you,” Kiri said.

    Brawly pointed at her. “Wait, you mean... you’re Norman and Samantha’s daughter, aren’t you?”

    She nodded. “Yeah, you know them?”

    “From years ago. And this is my son, Jeffery.”

    Jeffery looked at them, then laughed nervously. The toddler clutched at his father’s robes, as if feeling he should be friendly, but too shy to follow through. But Brawly’s presence meant that he wasn’t scared.

    “He talks, but is a little shy around new people.” His eyes flickered, thinking over things in the past. “I knew them fairly well, mostly Sam. I keep thinking I ought to go visit, but I figured he’d be busy with settling into his Gym and then I’ve had local issues to deal with. Still, if only to show that I wouldn’t be petty enough to hold a grudge when those things are far gone.”

    “What happened?”

    He waved his hand to that. “It’s old things, nothing to worry about. It’ll be interesting to see how you battle, but the Gym will be closed for tomorrow so I can recover from the ceremony this evening. You three want to come watch? It’s an important ceremony for the whole region, but only happens once a year.”

    “We’d love to,” Wally said. “I’ve read about it for years and always wanted to come.”

    Brawly nodded. “You’re welcome to come anytime. And hopefully Kyogre might give us some rain, or at least a sign of what’s troubling her. She wouldn’t let us fall to this without reason.”

    Pokenav Extra

    People

    Mr. Briney
    Job: Retired
    Hobby: boating (or is that his life?)
    Secret: It’s said that only three people know his real name.

    Leonard Stone
    Job: Devon Corp CEO
    Hobby: collecting rare rocks and fossils
    Secret: As a child, he started his fortune by selling to his Trainer classmates.

    Brawly Fisher
    Job: Dewford Gym Leader/Pokemon Wizard
    Battle strategy: Martial arts, for myself and my Pokemon
    Hobby: surfing (not Surfing)
    Secret: When he was training around Kanto and Johto, he met someone...

    Pokemon

    Peeko (Wingull)
    Trainer: Mr. Briney
    Nature: Jolly
    Likes: fish treats!
    Dislikes: thunderstorms

    Jessie (Swampert/Guardian)
    Trainer: Roxanne
    Team: Inactive
    Nature: Timid
    Likes: rock gardens
    Dislikes: crowds

    Golem
    Trainer: Roxanne
    Team: 6th and 7th Tier
    Nature: Hasty
    Likes: battles
    Dislikes: boats

    Places

    Dewford: The holy town of Dewford is where the spirit of Kyogre resides. The Gym Leader for this town is responsible for protecting the Sapphire that represents her promise to help the town thrive. Although visited often by outsiders, the island has its own sub-culture which every resident keeps up-to-date with, even if it mystifies others.

    Items

    Pokenav: This enchanted book is Devon’s latest hot seller, sure to become an invaluable tool to Trainers everywhere. It combines many features of other Journals, such as regional maps, battle records, and contest strategies, while containing many new features which Trainers have asked for: contest stat evaluators, notations of certain battle laws, and even a Gym log for Gym Trainers. For Mages and Wizards, it is a perfect compliment to the Pokedex. (And it is not, as some have suggested, a fountain of useless knowledge...)
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 4th October 2008 at 4:43 PM.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  24. #24
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    I suppose I must be doing okay, for the lack of comments. Anyhow, there's one Pokemon in this chapter which is, well, more powerful than the one you would find in the game.

    +-+
    Chapter 9: Summoning Kyogre
    +-+

    The people going to witness Kyogre’s ceremony gathered at the start of a rocky path over the island’s center. Brawly looked over them. Next to him was his Guardian, an Infernape. The fiery simian looked much tougher than his partner, but he held great respect for Brawly. After making sure everyone seemed ready to go, he pulled out one of his Pokeballs. “Machamp!”

    A large bipedal Pokemon with four arms appeared. It wore a flashy belt around its waist. “<Something up?>”

    He pointed to Kiri. “This young lady would like to come, but I’m afraid we can’t get her to the other shore like this. Would you carry her over?”

    “<No problem!>” He gently picked her up with one of his left arms and supported her with the other.

    The elf that was with them took hold of the wheelchair’s handle. “I’ll store this back at the Center for now.” She teleported away.

    Kiri held onto the Machamp’s arm to secure herself. “Sure thing. Thanks, fellow.”

    “You’re welcome. Come along, everyone.” Brawly led the procession down the path.

    The walk over was fun for Kiri. Given that her eye level was usually around people’s chests, being above everyone else was a thrill. She waved down at Wally, who laughed a little. “You can make any situation fun,” he said.

    “Of course; it’s a great thing to be alive.”

    “Doesn’t it usually rain when you do this ceremony?” one of the witnesses asked Brawly, within earshot of Kiri and Wally. “At least mist?”

    “Usually,” Brawly said, looking up at the bright sunny sky. “I grew up on this island and every single year that I can remember, it was rainy or misty during this ceremony. But the air’s been dry here for the past three months. Not even a wisp of morning fog around the caves or dew on the seaside plants.”

    “That sounds like a foreboding sign. Why else would Kyogre’s town be this way?”

    “I must make sure to appease the ancient one this year. Otherwise, the consequences will be terrifying.”

    The young man talking with Brawly nodded, then stepped back to think it over. Although he was obviously not that much older than Wally, he had white-gray hair. ‘Is that a popular thing around here?’ Kiri wondered. Because Brendan had white hair and even Brawly, who was probably around forty like her Dad, had a hair color like a much older man.

    Wally looked at him for a bit, then spoke up, “Um, excuse me, but you’re Steven Stone, right?”

    “Hmm?” he came out of his thoughts. “Oh, yes, that would be me. And you... you seem like someone I should know...” he cut himself off, puzzled.

    “We haven’t really met,” Wally said, nervous, but not quite as usual. “I’m Wally, and this is my friend Kiri.” He pointed up to her.

    She smiled. “Hi. We’ve got mail for you, but it’s back in my bag, so it’ll have to wait.”

    “For me? Why would you have my mail?”

    “You father says that his Mail spell keeps getting bounced, so he sent his letter with us.”

    Steven nodded. “I see. Strange; I wonder if that’s why I haven’t gotten many letters lately. I can’t think of why it would be bouncing off me, though.”

    She shrugged. It was likely the Creation Play cult, but she wasn’t sure if they were supposed to keep the package a secret even from Steven. At the very least, they shouldn’t mention it when traveling with a large group of people.

    “He’s the Magic Champion of the region,” Wally told Kiri. “So you might be challenging him someday.”

    “You think so?” she asked.

    Steven grinned. “That would be nice. Most of the Challengers I face are older than me, adult Wizards who think they can beat me easily. It would be different to face someone younger than me.”

    “Do they even realize that you were the Trainer Champion before you became a Mage?” Wally asked.

    “Surprisingly, most of them don’t know about that. Nice of you to acknowledge that.”

    Wally pushed his hair back bashfully. “I have been a fan of yours for a while. Hope you don’t mind.”

    “Nah, why would I mind? Just so long as I don’t get some of the rabid fans my friend Wallace has. I’m sure I only have a fraction of the fans he does, but given how some of them are stalkers, I‘m glad to just have a few. He even lessened the excitement over the two new Leaders that were approved this year.”

    “My Dad could probably beat him,” Kiri said.

    Up ahead, Brawly laughed. “As much as I’d rather not admit it, I’d put my money on Norman for that fight.”

    “You think so?” Steven asked. “Wallace is really tough for as showy as he is. He taught me back before he became a Leader, that’s how I know.”

    He held his hand up. “I know how tough they are; I tested Wallace and I had to beat Norman to become Champion way back when. Even with my type advantage, that was a real close battle. But I only held the title once, whereas Norman was Champion of three different regions at various times. Wallace would give him a long drawn out battle, but I’d still bet on Norman.”

    From her perch on the Machamp, Kiri caught sight of a movement of yellow-brown. A cloud of dust was coming their way. It was strange. “Hey, it looks like a sandstorm’s coming this way.”

    “Sandstorm?” Brawly asked, surprised. “We don’t have sandstorms here.”

    Nevertheless, the cloud of sand swept over the residents and visitors of Dewford. The Machamp pulled Kiri down to hold her more securely against the flying dust. Steven made a sign with his hand, then looked shocked. “I, I can’t cast Rainstorm?”

    “This is an enchanted storm,” Brawly explained. “Who’s responsible for this transgression? You don’t want to make Kyogre angry.”

    “Perhaps that is what Lokire wants,” a voice responded.

    Kiri had the best view of the man and the Pokemon beside him. The man wore black clothes with a white face mask. The Creation Play cult again, but this member had a ponytail of light blue hair. The Pokemon beside him was small, floating five feet off the ground. It had a translucent body like a bubble that had grown spikes. A yellow glow came from within the small Pokemon. Outside its body was a layer of black mist. It had the feel of a curse.

    “Now, you will hand over that Sapphire.”

    “It’s the treasure of Dewford,” Brawly said. “It is not mine to give away.”

    “You’ll find reasons to turn it over to the Ambassador. Castform, intensify the sand.”

    The small Pokemon squalled and shook, its anger uncontainable. Lightning bolts began racing through the dust cloud, some coming uncomfortably close to the residents.

    “Not Lightning, you dolt, strengthen the...”

    “<OH SHUT UP!>” the Castform screamed, then shot a lightning bolt through the CCP follower.

    He survived, though. After swearing something nasty, he Teleported himself and the disobedient Castform away.

    The sandstorm lasted a minute longer, then vanished. Brawly patted his Guardian in thanks, then called out, “Is everyone okay?”

    “Just gritty, sir,” a boy answered.

    “At least it’s just that. We must press on.” He and his Infernape continued down the path. The Machamp put Kiri back on his lower shoulder, then followed. Soon after, the rest came.

    At the other shore was a shrine made up of a path of tall rocks that extended over the ocean. At the farthest point was a small column and an archway with a relief of Kyogre on top. While everyone else waited at the shore, Brawly and his Infernape walked out to the arch. The Leader placed the Sapphire on the column. It was a large deep blue stone about the size of his palm. Then the pair held hands over the gem to pray.

    “Master of the seas,” Brawly called out, “please hear our prayers. We of Dewford are under the protection of your waters from birth to death. We give you our prayers and praise in hopes you respond with your blessings. In the name of Arceus, please continue to acknowledge the bond between our village and yourself.”

    After he finished speaking, the Sapphire began to glow. It lifted off the column to between the arms of Brawly and his Infernape. It stayed there for a minute... two... five... ten...

    The witnesses who lived in Dewford began to look nervous. Was it not supposed to take this long? Then the Sapphire’s glow brightened and engulfed Brawly. “Someone has disturbed my dreams,” he said, in a deep but feminine voice. “The devil has escaped its prison. Be careful of those who bear strange gifts.”

    As the blue glow vanished, the Sapphire dropped back onto the column. Brawly collapsed as well. The Infernape gave a startled cry and was soon kneeling by his partner. Everyone gasped, but only the Nurse Joy ran over to the shrine. She began healing him.

    “You don’t want to approach an unconscious Wizard unless you know his Guardian,” Steven commented to Wally. “The Guardians can get pretty nasty when their partner is in danger.”

    “Oh, okay,” the boy replied. “I hope he’s not too hurt. But what was he talking about with the devil and strange gifts?”

    Steven put his hand to his chin. “I think Kyogre spoke through him. I’ll have to inform the Elite 4 of this troubling information.”

    “Who’s the devil?” Kiri asked.

    “I don’t know that. But there are many legends of a mysterious Pokemon who offers strange gifts, which turn out to be curses or evil magic. One gift you often hear about is the bad egg which never hatches and can never be gotten rid of.”

    “His name is Lokire,” Wally said. “There aren’t many stories that name him, but I’ve found a few in really old books.”

    Nurse Joy came back to shore. “Machamp, would you take him back home? He should not exert himself after the effort he put into the ceremony.”

    “<Not a problem,>” the Machamp replied. He went over and picked up Brawly. After shifting Kiri higher on his shoulder to be supported by one arm, he used three arms to hold onto Brawly, to make certain that he would take no injury.

    The Infernape looked at Kiri warily, not comfortable with having a stranger so close to his weakened partner. Little Billina responded with a cold glare to Infernape. Then the latter allowed Kiri to stay where she was, at least until they got back to town.

    Brawly was conscious again, although he had no energy left. Kiri smiled over at him. “Hey, you get to ride with me now!”

    “That’s nice,” Brawly said, his smile weak. “At least Kyogre wasn’t angry. She still watches us.” As it started lightly raining, he put his head on the Machamp’s shoulder and was soon fast asleep.

    -+-

    Although it was supposed to be a celebration, the gathering after the ceremony was subdued. There were too many disturbing signs: the unusually bright sun, the behaviors of the local fish, the colony of Abras appearing in odd places, the fainting of their Gym Leader, and even the words of Kyogre. While the ceremony was to honor the immortal sea Pokemon, she usually didn’t speak out loud.

    Slowly, things got festive as they were supposed to be. The rain struggled for some time, then settled on a steady shower to give much-needed water to the local plant life. A band started playing music, a few games got started, some children laughed, and eventually the tension was mostly gone.

    Pokemon were allowed to celebrate the ceremony as well. Mr. Briney made some money by selling some homemade fish treats that Peeko adored. Samba tried dancing with everyone else, to the delight of those watching. Billina preferred to stick by Kiri’s side and watch out for sneaky villains and the falling rain. Amigo was happy with the general mood, behaving modestly when someone commented on how rare he was.

    They found Steven and three of his Pokemon around one of the tables. A Metagross was pacing nearby, a Cradily was sitting on the table with a huge grin on her face, and Steven’s Guardian, an Empoleon, was standing next to him. The Empoleon stood over seven feet high and watched the crowd thoughtfully. On the other hand, the Cradily, an ancient looking plant of green and yellow, was bopping her ‘head’ to the music and seemed to be having a grand old time.

    “Hi again,” Kiri said, pulling out the envelope. “Here’s your father’s letter.”

    “Ah, thanks. Join us if you like.” He pulled out the letter and read over it. That didn’t take long and his reaction seemed to be thoughtful, maybe a bit annoyed.

    “What’re you thinking about?”

    “Not much, just reminiscing. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how did your parents feel about you both going on your journeys?”

    “That’s okay,” she replied. “My parents were proud of me, but they’re letting me find out everything on my own. My Dad runs the Petalburg Gym, but he won’t take my challenge until I’m ready for his tougher teams.”

    Steven raised an eyebrow. “Is that right? I’ve spoken to Norman a few times. He seems like an average guy, but after I’ve listened and watched for a while, I’m starting to think that he’s a real tough battler. I might challenge him one of these days, just to find out for myself.”

    “He is tough. And I know he’s tougher on me cause he’s my Dad. But I don’t mind.”

    “Kinda wish I could say that about my parents,” Wally said. “They wanted me to become a Mage like they did, but I’m not sure I’m ready for it.”

    Steven nodded. “I had something of the opposite problem. My parents didn’t want me to become a Mage.”

    “Really? Why not? I know it’s a lot of work, but most people wish they could have a Guardian.”

    “It’s a lot of work without a reliable income; that’s what they had a problem with. My family is all about Devon and business. We talked about finances and sales over dinner, on vacation, off work, on work, all the time. We’d talk about new products, developments, and services where other families would talk of sports practice or Pokemon. In fact, Laharl was my first Pokemon because he’s rare and therefore expensive to get.” He pointed to the Metagross. “My dad gave him as a Beldum to me for my thirteenth birthday.”

    “He is really cool,” Wally said.

    Laharl paused by the green-haired boy, then telepathically said, ‘Precisely, it is 68 degrees Fahrenheit.’

    “You can tell the temperature?”

    “And the humidity, and wind speed, and barometric pressure,” Steven commented. “He and the rest of his kind are obsessed with numbers, and he specifically loves the weather. I love him, and yet I wouldn’t give one of his peers to beginning Trainer. I had a terrible time when I started with just him. Later I went through a rebellious period where I applied to be a Mage and got chosen by Prinny here. He might be a Guardian, but he’s also a tough one to start with.”

    “But you made it through and became Champion,” Wally said.

    “Yeah. Fortunately, me and my Dad buried the hatchet when I started earning my badges. Mostly. Sometimes he still doesn’t get it.” He folded up the letter and put it back in the envelope.

    A waitress came by with some drinks. “Here’s your order, Steven. One Rawstberry shake and three Seaweed smoothies.”

    “Thanks.” He pulled the lid off one of the smoothie bottles and put it in front of the Cradily. Then he pointed at the plant. “And don’t go eating the bottle this time, Rozy.”

    The Cradily grinned wider, then grabbed the bottle and began chugging the smoothie. Steven gave the other two smoothies to his other two Pokemon.

    “Would you two or your Pokemon like something? Here’s the menu.”

    “Thanks, we’ll look it over.” Once the waitress was gone, Kiri looked up at the plant. “Where did that one come from anyhow? It doesn’t seem like a regular Pokemon.”

    “She’s part of an extinct species,” Steven explained. Then he shrugged. “Another one of my Dad’s moves. We got a fossil regenerator, which brings ancient Pokemon back to life. As such, Rozalin’s manners are a bit primitive.”

    “So he sent them with you to sort of advertise, huh?” Kiri asked.

    “Right. I learned to love the two I have. They’re vital members of my team.”

    “BRAAAACK!” the Cradily belched after she set down the empty smoothie bottle. Laharl and Prinny stiffened for a moment while the rest of the party paused.

    Taking it in stride, Steven lifted his glass up. “Yes, praise to Kyogre.”

    While everyone else laughed, the Cradily smacked her lips and grinned.

    “But your Guardian was the last Pokemon you got of your current team,” Wally said.

    Steven nodded. “Yeah. You must follow me closely if you know that.” He looked at Wally. “You sure we don’t know each other?”

    “Um,” he looked down for a moment, then back to Steven. “Did you happen to meet Darkrai about two years ago? And he talked about stones and rivers, and destiny.”

    He turned serious. “Yeah. Then you must be the one I traded destinies with.”

    “Yeah. I kinda thought it was you before, but I’m pretty sure now.”

    “What’re you two talking about?” Kiri asked.

    “It’s like I was saying just a bit ago,” Steven answered. “For a while, I was happy just being a Trainer and studying to follow my father’s footsteps. I even became Champion with pretty much the same team I use now. But then I started thinking that maybe I didn’t want a future filled with finances and business deals. I had much more fun doing so many other things and I was getting repulsed by the workaholic behavior that my father had, that I was beginning to copy. One night I prayed to any spirit that would listen to me and Darkrai spoke to me.”

    ...

    Steven was trying to read, but he kept thinking about that weird dream he had last night. Trading destinies; was it even possible? And how would he know if it worked, or what he should do? Right now, he had a clear path to take. But he didn’t want to become a carbon copy of his father, rich but so out-of-touch. Sure, he would talk about his hard path to riches, how much work he had put in to get this far.

    But Steven didn’t want that.

    An envelope slipped under the door to their apartment and came right to his lap. He set the book aside; he’d forgotten already what it was about. Only a few words were on the envelope. The upper-right corner noted that it was from M. Birch. The center indicated that it was for a W.C.

    To trade destinies.

    He opened the envelope and found an application for the Mage tests. He’d never filled one out before. Since Wizards put in a lot of work for usually middling pay, the Stone family declined to seek that career. If one wanted to work directly with Pokemon, one was better off as a normal Trainer, or better yet, a breeder. They obviously weren’t the only ones with this opinion; that frail-looking boy hadn’t wanted to be a Mage either.

    It was definitely not his father’s way, which was what Steven wanted. And it would give him an excuse to go back on the road, which he loved. His father would hate it, though. So he filled it out.

    -Name: Steven Stone
    -Age:

    But that was a problem, wasn’t it? He was nineteen, too old to be considered. However, didn’t he have influence from an immortal? Could he possibly slip by?

    -Name: Steven Stone
    -Age: 18

    ...

    It was shortly before noon when Roxanne knocked on the door to the Stone’s apartment. “Good morning,” he said. “Dad’s not here right now. But good work on becoming the official Leader.”

    She gave him a stern look with her hands crossed over her chest. “You know why I’m here.”

    “I do?”

    “We both know that you’re nineteen. How did you get your application past me?”

    “When you were busy, I got one of the kids to turn in mine with his.”

    It was rumored that Roxanne was slightly psychic, due to her gaze’s ability to drill right through to the back of a person’s skull. When faced with that gaze, Steven could believe the rumor. It didn’t help that her voice had a sharp edge. “Why are you doing this so late?”

    Steven might have been able to lie to anyone else. But under that gaze, he was honest. “I, um, it was suggested to me by Darkrai.”

    “Darkrai?”

    “Yeah, me and some kid agreed to switch destinies, and so I wound up with his application.”

    She didn’t say anything for a full minute, which unnerved him to no end. Finally, she let up, dropping her arms to her sides. “I hope you know what you’re doing. You made the first cut, the only one from this town to do so this year. If you don’t say anything to Birch, I won’t say anything to your father. We’ll see what the legends have in mind for you.”

    ...

    “So that how I wound up getting chosen when I was nineteen,” Steven finished. “What happened to you, Wally?”

    “Oh, uh, I caught mono and was too weak to travel for two years.”

    A guilty look crossed his face. “Oh, sorry to hear that.”

    Wally shook his head. “No, it’s fine. I did kind of say I would do anything to get out of the applications, and it worked. Besides, even if I started my journey late, I got to start with my two best friends.”

    “Even if Vincent went another way?” Kiri asked.

    “We’re still writing each other, and that’s what matters. Besides, he’s the smartest teenager in Hoenn; I’d hold back his progress if I were traveling with him.”

    “I suppose starting with friends can make up for it. Hmm.” Steven closed his eyes, thinking for a moment. “So that’s what Darkrai did, huh? Messed up the letter with your application and transferred an infection from me to you.”

    “From you?”

    He nodded. “I had just come back from business school, and a rash of mono cases showed up at the end of semester. I know my ex-girlfriend got sick shortly after we broke up, and a lot of people from my circle of friends were sick too. I thought I was just lucky.”

    “That makes sense, actually. There weren’t any mono cases in Petalburg and my mom keeps a clean house, so we were really confused about how I contracted the disease.”

    “Huh, well... I still feel really bad about this. I’ve managed to become Magic Champion and repair my relationship with my father, but you got sick for two years. Look, Wally, if you or your friends need anything, don’t hesitate to ask me. I really owe you.”

    Wally nodded. “Thanks, Steven. I’m just trying to make the best of this path that I can.”

    -+-

    Kiri put the Devon parcel on the bedside table. The black box had some traces of the magical object that was inside. “I wonder what’s in here? Must be something important, or else those weird cultists wouldn’t try so hard to steal it.” She touched the lid of the box. Perhaps...

    Billina gave her a sharp look.

    “I know; I agreed to deliver it and keep it a secret.” She looked over the box. “Eh, not worth it to peek inside. I’ll probably find out later.”

    The Torchic gave a satisfied nod and went back to cleaning her feathers.

    -+-

    It was dawn, mellow under the return of the morning mists. By the currently calm ocean, fishermen were preparing their boats for the day’s work. A smaller number of miners were gathering supplies to dig in Granite Cave. A lone Abra appeared by a pile of traps.

    She looked around. Trouble was, they were getting better at expecting her. Things were secured tightly or put away. Crewmen kept an eye out for her. There were even a few Bug Pokemon now among crews that used to only take sea-faring Pokemon.

    Bugs. She shuddered. It was impossible to tell what a Bug was going to do, as their minds were so different. She might even miss one noticing her.

    She teleported at the mere thought of that. Further in town, things were less hectic. For a while, she had been just going to the beach or to the town dump. But then she’d miss the anticipation, the danger, and the thrill. She knew she shouldn’t. The others reminded her of that constantly when they were awake. But picking up shells just wasn’t the same.

    Noting an open window in the Pokecenter, she teleported up there. There was a girl Mage inside, with two Pokemon resting nearby. In the process of waking up, they hadn’t yet noticed the psychic on the windowsill. There was a lot of the usual: an enchanted bag, a magic book, clothes, shoes. There was also a wheelchair, something of a novelty. But there was also a box.

    A black box, two inches high, seven inches wide, and nine inches long. It was something important, judging by the scraps of mana it had gathered. Every touch left a trace of mana, and this box was the object of anxiety, pride, greed, honor, and selflessness. Not only that, but there was something magical inside. Some trinket powerful in both Water and Flight.

    That was it. That was the sort of thing she wanted. The Abra teleported inside and picked up the black box.

    The girl Trainer noticed and turned her head. “Hey, put that down!”

    She vanished with the coveted box.



    Pokenav Extra

    People

    Steven Stone
    Job: HPL Magic Champion/Pokemon Wizard
    Battle strategy: Be disarmingly nice.
    Hobby: collecting rare rocks and fossils
    Secret: He’s something of a black sheep in the Stone family.

    Pokemon

    Buster (Infernape/Guardian)
    Trainer: Brawly
    Team: Inactive
    Nature: Careful
    Likes: the beach
    Dislikes: spikes

    Machamp
    Trainer: Brawly
    Team: 4th and 5th Tier
    Nature: Mild
    Likes: helping out
    Dislikes: swamps

    Prinny (Empoleon/Guardian)
    Trainer: Steven
    Nature: Quiet
    Likes: fireworks
    Dislikes: bossy people

    Laharl (Metagross)
    Trainer: Steven
    Nature: Quirky
    Likes: meteorology
    Dislikes: psychology

    Rozalin (Cradily)
    Trainer: Steven
    Nature: Jolly
    Likes: food (but she’s picky)
    Dislikes: jawbreakers

    Legends

    Kyogre: Known as Hoenn’s Master of the Seas, Kyogre protects all who make their living from the sea. Her Sapphire is a sign of her promise to protect Hoenn and is guarded by the Gym Leader of Dewford. As a spirit, she is calm, but it is said that in the past, she caused massive flooding with endless rains, submerging a large rocky plain that once ran from Dewford to Pacifidlog. Some believed she is an evil destroyer for this, while others believe that she is Hoenn’s sole holy protector.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    La La Land
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    Default

    *whistles merrily*

    +-+
    Chapter 10: The Little Thief
    +-+

    Kiri went up to the desk where the Nurse Joy was on duty. “Do you know anything about a thieving Abra? I saw one take something important from my room a little while ago.”

    The elf nodded. “Yes, there is a troublesome Abra within the Granite Cave colony. She has stolen many items from Dewford over the past two years. I am sorry; I should have warned you to keep your windows closed.”

    “Looks like I’ll have to go in that cave. I have to get it back.”

    “Wait a moment. Do you know the healing arts?”

    “Oh, no, I completely forgot about that.” She pulled out her card and showed the single badge. “I heard that I can learn some of your magic as I earn badges.”

    “That is correct. I do not know where the colony lives inside the caves, but you could be there for some time.” She caused a symbol to be drawn in midair; it was an asterisk within a circle. “This is the first form of Cure. It works on all living creatures. It will help if you or your Pokemon get injured while in the caves.”

    “Okay.” She attempted the spell by waving her hand in a circle; she used to tease her dad for cleaning invisible windows when doing this. “Is that right?”

    “That is satisfactory. When you have three badges, you may learn another spell from us. Take care, child.”

    “Thanks. Could you tell Wally where I went?”

    “Of course.”

    After following the concrete walkway down the beach, Kiri warily rolled into Granite Cave. The floor looked smooth, although numerous pebbles littered the floor. There was an Abra sleeping in the middle of the room. But it couldn’t be the thief; this Abra had a long scar running across his forehead.

    He teleported off when she got close, but seconds later, he reappeared, wide awake. ‘Young Mage? If I may speak with you.’

    She felt startled. “You can speak to humans?”

    ‘I can tell you what thoughts I wish to share,’ he replied, telepathically Kiri realized. ‘I am Dusack. My place is not with humans; I protect my tribe.’

    Briney had mentioned the name yesterday. “Oh, okay. But what do you want to say?”

    He vanished and reappeared next to her. ‘Our kind has vast potential, but at this stage, much of our power sleeps. I’ve been told that I will always sleep. However, my daughter, the one you are searching for, I have dreamed that she is to awaken. Perhaps you could do this.’

    “I’ve come to get something important that she’s stolen.”

    ‘It is a fault that needs to be trained out of her. My dreams,’ Dusack paused to yawn, ‘my dreams say that no Pokemon is completely evil. Save one, the devil Pokemon. This one tells lies and seeks to overthrow the ancient ones. This one has disrupted the mana of the island, causing confusion among our colony. You will cross paths with the devil Pokemon. My daughter could protect you by then, I would hope.’

    “I haven’t heard of a devil Pokemon before, outside of stories.”

    ‘Be careful. But, before you can take my daughter, you must find her.’ Dusack raised his hand and teleported them to another part of the cave. This room was lit by various holes in the ceiling. ‘Prove your worth, Mage.’ Then he vanished.

    It took a moment for Kiri’s eyes to adjust. When they did, she saw about three dozen Abras. Dusack reappeared in a high nook; he was easy to recognize with his scar. But the others, all asleep, looked alike.

    She couldn’t think of a distinguishing mark on the little thief. And there were no man-made objects in this room, so nothing betrayed her. She could easily discount all the males, since Dusack said the thief was his daughter. The males had small whiskers under their noses, while the females had none. That still left nineteen Abras to choose from.

    Kiri considered the situation. Judging by Dusack’s conversation, Abras were intelligent. They would know right from wrong better than other Pokemon. So an Abra who compulsively stole things would likely be unpopular. She could cut out most of the females on this thought, as they slept near others. But there was one female who was sitting by herself and holding onto a pink stone.

    She rolled up quietly to the Abra with the pink stone. “It’s you,” she said, reaching out to tap Dusack’s daughter.

    She teleported, briefly causing chaos as the other Abras teleported away in response. ‘Quiet,’ Dusack telepathically said in a firm tone of thought.

    Most of the Abras woke up then. They appeared puzzled to see a human in their midst, but Dusack was now beside Kiri. He had the respect of all members of this Abra tribe.

    ‘Choora, come here,’ Dusack said.

    She appeared, still holding onto her pink stone. ‘Yes father?’

    ‘This Mage has picked you out of our tribe successfully. You will go with her and return what you have taken.’

    Choora blinked. ‘Me? But, why?’

    ‘You need discipline and she needs the thing you stole from her back. This is my judgment; you will follow it as my last order to you.’

    She sighed, apparently having seen this coming for some time. ‘Okay, I’ll go. And return her thing.’

    ‘Return all the things you have stolen.’

    ‘But that’s not fair...’ she got a look at the sternness on Dusack’s face. Then she huffed. ‘I suppose I should.’

    Kiri threw the Pokeball at Choora once she agreed; she didn’t even use the Capture spell. Then she immediately released her. “So where is your stash?”

    ‘Somewhere else.’ Choora teleported them to a smaller cave, lit by a lantern. It was quite the treasure horde, provided one was willing to stretch the definition of treasure. There were three fake ferns on a piano bench, a baby doll sitting in a toy dump truck, a collection of sunglasses and playing cards, a fishing pole, a bug net, a single green high heeled shoe, a mostly full bottle of sunscreen, and the Devon parcel. Beside the lantern was a fish tank that had been filled with small things: bottlecaps, shells, rocks, coins, pens, toys, and sea glass.

    “Why’d you take all this stuff?”

    Choora yawned, not happy that she was missing out on a good sleep by doing this. ‘I liked them.’

    “But they’re not yours. You shouldn’t take what’s not yours.”

    ‘I know,’ she thought. If she had been human, she might have been scowling. ‘But I see something that I want and I have to take it. I have to.’

    “Well you can’t now.”

    ‘I shouldn’t have to listen to you. I don’t even know you. It’s not fair.’

    Kiri was busy putting the treasures in her bag for easy moving. “It’s part of the ancient bond that Arceus blessed.”

    ‘Still not fair,’ she muttered.

    The fish tank was too full for Kiri to put in her bag, and the piano bench was too big. She attached the lantern to her wheelchair for light, then took the tank in her lap. “Oof. Hope that doesn’t cut off my blood.”

    ‘Can’t you tell that yourself?’

    “No, I can’t feel my legs; that’s why I’m in this wheelchair. So take us back to Dewford.”

    Choora looked at her, then telepathed, ‘No.’

    “Why not?”

    ‘I don’t want to.’

    The Abra obviously didn’t trust her yet. This partnership was going to take some work. “Okay, then we’ll have to find our way out of this cave.” She took her other two Pokemon and released them. “Billina, Samba, this is your newest teammate Choora.”

    “<Hi there!>” Samba said happily. “<Good to meet you. You seem neat. Hey, why’s it so dark in here?>”

    “<Because it’s a cave,>” Choora replied in the Pokemon language, already irritated with the Lotad. “<Duh.>”

    “We have to get out of this cave,” Kiri told the three. “I’m not sure what’s in here, so it’s better we explore like this. Let’s go.”

    “<Yay, exploring time!>” Samba cheered, hopping alongside the wheelchair.

    “<Why don’t you just take her out of here?>” Billina asked Choora. “<You are capable of doing so, right?>”

    “<I don’t want to,>” she grumbled again as she began crawling with the group.

    “<The laws of the ancients tell us that we must obey the one who captured us.>”

    “<Yeah, whatever, Guardian. I only let her because the tribe leader said so.>”

    “<Your leader must have good reasons for doing so.>”

    “<I doubt it; I bet he’s just wanted to get rid of me. He keeps saying that he’ll never go with a human, so the only reason he’d send me with one was because he hates me.>”

    “<It’s fine now, cause Kiri is nice,>” Samba piped in. “<She gave me a bath the other day and it was such fun, and I got worried for a bit cause I got her all wet and thought she’d be all mad and stuff, but then she laughed and thought it was funny and called me a clown. My family called me a clown too, especially after this one time when a Seedot was looking in the water, and I thought it’d be funny to...>”

    -Fifteen minutes later

    “<And I thought the sky was on fire and was gonna collapse, but then it turned out to just be a Duskull,>” Samba finished, having spoken without a break the entire time.

    “<And then what?>” Billina asked.

    Samba paused to think. “<And then I went to sleep. That’s it.>”

    “<I got woken from my nap for this?>” Choora grumbled.

    “<It was your naptime when you were captured?>” Samba asked. “<That’s rough.>”

    “<Yes, it was time for my second morning nap.>”

    The Lotad laughed. “<Second morning nap? Geez, how much do you sleep?>”

    “<At dawn, we wake up to eat a little something, then it’s the first morning nap. Then we wake up to discuss what dreams we’ve been having, then it’s the second morning nap. Next is lunch, which of course must be followed up by a good long rest. We wake up in the afternoon and talk some more; Dusack teaches us things he’s learned over his life. Then we nap before supper, although sometimes the Sableyes bother us. Finally, we have supper, with a short nap, then evening discussion, then a long night of sleep. Hmm, I suppose eighteen hours on average.>”

    “<Wow,>” he responded. “<Why do you sleep so much? You’ll miss out on so much fun.>”

    “<The power of an Abra is asleep,>” Choora recited from Dusack’s lessons. “<We are most powerful when asleep. Therefore, our ideal state is in sleep.>”

    Billina snorted. “<What good is power that sleeps? You will never get the chance to use it, so you will never improve.>”

    Before Choora could come up with a retort to that, Kiri stopped at a ladder. In the chamber above, they could see sunlight. “Drat. There’s no way I’m making up a ladder.”

    ‘Why don’t you ask me to teleport you again?’ Choora telepathically asked her.

    “You already said that you didn’t want to. We’re gonna have to find another way up.”

    “<Whoa, you can talk to Kiri?>” Samba asked. “<Awesome!>”

    “<You are way too easily impressed,>” Choora grumbled.

    “Anybody have any ideas for getting out?”

    “<I dunno,>” Samba replied. “<That ladder’s kinda tall and I’m kinda short.>”

    “<It’s a bit much for me to jump up,>” Billina added.

    “<Oh, forget about this wandering around in the dark nonsense,>” the Abra said. She threw her rock at Kiri in a moody fit. “<I’ve been up too long.>” She recalled herself back into the Pokeball.

    Billina sniffed. “<She has a lot to learn.>”

    “<Aw, don’t be so hard on her. She’s just grumpy.>”

    After looking it over, Kiri stuck the rock in her bag. “Maybe I ought to send Wally a note.”

    “Kiri?” Wally’s voice came from the ladder’s hole. “Is that you Kiri?”

    “Yeah, it’s me!” She waited, then waved when he showed up. “Hi.”

    “How’d you get down there?”

    “I had a run-in with the Abras. Now I have to find my way out.”

    He knelt by the hole. “We can get you out. Amigo?”

    “<Sure thing.>” The Ralts teleported down the hole, then teleported Kiri and her Pokemon into the upper chamber.

    “Good, thanks Amigo. Now I have to return all this stuff.”

    -+-

    They went to the community center, where Kiri took out all the things that had been in Choora’s horde. She also brought the Abra back out. “Thank goodness someone finally caught that nuisance,” one of the men said. “That girl has been trouble since the day she was hatched.”

    Choora slumped down against a couch, feeling dismal. Once she had the things, it usually didn’t matter until someone tried to take them back. Now she had to watch as people took away all of her treasures. All of them; even the opened bottle of sunscreen was claimed.

    She felt worse when a large fisherman put his hand on her head. “Even if you are a Pokemon, you ought to be punished for stealing so much.”

    “Hey, chill out,” Kiri said, looked the fisherman fearlessly in the eyes. “I’m training her. I’ll make sure she acts better. Don’t interfere.”

    For a moment, the fisherman thought of scolding Kiri as well. But seeing the determination to defend Choora in the girl’s eyes, he decided against that. It was amazing to see a handicapped girl intimidate a strong fisherman, but perhaps more amazing that she was doing it for Choora. She had stolen something from the girl too, after all.

    When they were finally away from those terrible villagers, the Abra spoke to her. ‘Kiri?’

    “What is it, Choora?”

    ‘Why did you stand up for me back there? Aren’t you still mad at me for taking your thing? I can’t tell so easily as I’ve been awake so much today.’

    “I got the package back. That, and you’re part of my team now. I can’t stay mad at you. But we’ll have to work together, all four of us, to improve.”

    ‘Most people aren’t that kind to me. I’d like to help you, but my power sleeps.’ She closed her eyes. “<Oh Uxie, if I can ever be worthy, awaken my power to help my Mage.>”

    There was a laughing reply that only she heard, then a silver aura surrounded her. Her body grew leaner while her mind awoke and became sharper. She had finally gained something her father could never attain in becoming a Kadabra.

    “I think you shouldn’t have trouble helping me now,” Kiri said. Then she clapped her hands. “And that calls for celebration! Who’s up for ice cream?”

    “<Ice cream!>” Samba cheered along. Then he paused. “<Wait, what’s ice cream?>”

    -+-

    When they got back to the Pokecenter, Steven was in the lobby writing a letter. Wondering, Kiri went up to him. “Hey Steven, can I ask you about something?”

    “Hmm?” He looked over. “Ah, Kiri. Sure, what’s on your mind?”

    She pulled out the pink rock, which no one had claimed. “I got an Abra today who was holding onto this rock. It seems a bit magical, so what is it?”

    He took the rock and examined it. “Well, it’s something you wouldn’t want an Abra to hold onto for long. It’s called an Everstone and it’s quite difficult to find. The magic you sense is a natural sealing spell that slows the growth of Pokemon, making it impossible for them to evolve.”

    “That’s odd. I wonder if that’s part of why she was so moody.”

    “Could be. Abras have a lot of potential, but if they have one of these, their powers are limited to telepathy and teleportation. Actually,” he rolled it around, looking at it with a rock dealer’s eye, “May I buy this off you? I’ve been looking for one of these for a client, but so far I’ve come up empty. I’ll give you a thousand dollars for it.”

    “Sure, if you’d like it. Doesn’t sound like much use to me.”

    “Thanks a lot. Here.” He not only gave her the money, but wrote up a pair of receipts for them to keep. He smiled sheepishly as he handed her receipt over. “Yeah, not too hard to tell that I was raised by a family of business.”

    “You’re welcome; glad I could help out.”

    Pokenav Extra

    Pokemon

    Dusack (wild Abra)
    Nature: Adamant
    Likes: dreams
    Dislikes: Sableyes

    Choora (Kadabra)
    Trainer: Kiri
    Nature: Rash
    Likes: treasured objects
    Dislikes: giving stuff up

    Items

    Everstone: This stone is composed of lead and various other minerals that have adverse effects on mana. It ranges from orange-pink or deep red, depending on trace elements within the stone. Pokemon are particularly sensitive to an Everstone’s power, causing them to be unable to evolve, sometimes even limiting abilities. It has its uses, though, as some evolutions are dangerous or unwanted. Breeders also use Everstones, but it seems to be a trade secret.

    Spells

    Telepathy: The ability to exchange certain thoughts. It is an invaluable skill for a Trainer's Pokemon to have, allowing communications between humans and Pokemon. An Intelligence-type Psychic power, it is possible for Psychic, Ghost, and Dark types to learn.

    Author’s Notes

    Names: Wondering where some of the names I use come from? Here’s a guide.

    Kiri: You can meet Kiri in Sootopolis in Ruby and Sapphire. She introduces herself to you every single day and will give you two berries for talking to her.

    Billina: Billina is a character in the Oz series, a witty yellow hen from Kansas. She first appears in Ozma of Oz. She also appears in the movie Return to Oz, one of those ‘it’s so bad, it’s funny’ movies.

    Choora/Dusack: The two Abras get their names from the same source: Dark Cloud 2. In that game, a choora is a golden sword and a dusack is a black sword. Those names probably come from real swords, although I’m not too sure. (That doesn’t mean that Choora is a shiny; she’s just named for a shiny sword).

    Prinny/Laharl/Rozalin: All of Steven’s Pokemon are named for Disgaea characters.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

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