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Thread: Wings Have We

  1. #26
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    i dont get the reference, but can i still have the cookie? (just kidding)
    i have been a silent reader since the begining, and it is very good. on a scale of 1 to 10 i would give it an eight for originality and an 8 for writing.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

    One crazy trip: The adventures of a beret-clad boy and his best friend the sky. One day I will learn how to forum-format at a decent speed. Promise.

  2. #27
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    Haha! Sorry, no cookie for you. >3 Google is your friend, remember~? Anyway, thank you for the rating.


  3. #28
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    {15} i've got something to confess
    yeah, it's in italics now. why not?

    “Um,” said Casey, “hi.”

    The sun had long since fallen below the horizon, and the time read about nine o’clock. Mr. Blair was taking a leisurely nighttime stroll around the outdoor botanical garden attached to the back of the Pokémon Center (he suspected it was there to make up for the abundance of metal everywhere else) when the kid from earlier showed up once again in his path, sitting in the middle of the road staring up at him. This time, though, she actually made an attempt to talk.

    “Hello,” said the masked girl.

    Casey, who due to the late hour and his own failure to think, couldn’t come up with a way to ease into his intended subject casually. “So why are you stalking me?”

    “I’m not stalking you,” she replied, unmoving.

    “Uh, yeah, you sort of are. I mean, wherever I went you were always somewhere near me and watching, right? I felt you looking at me all day. That’s stalking to me.”

    Though Casey couldn’t see it, she raised her eyebrows. “I’m not stalking you,” said the girl. “I don’t even know your name.”

    “Casey Blair,” he replied. “Now you do. So who’re you, then?”

    “Who was your friend in the blue coat?” asked Amarachi innocently.

    “Grant. Now what’s your name?”

    “Does he work for a bunch of Pokémon?”

    “What the… no! What gave you that idea?”

    “He smelled like Pokémon. Lots of them.”

    Casey sighed. This girl clearly wasn’t all there in the head. “Listen. He probably smells like Pokémon, but so do I and everyone else. We had just got out of a place infested with Pokémon, okay? I don’t know what you’re here for, so if you could just give me your name or get out of here, either one of those would be just fine with me.”

    “I won’t leave,” said Amarachi.

    “Well, then…” Casey’s patience was being tested for the fiftieth time since The Giratina Incident. “If you’re not going to leave, then what’s your name? At least tell me that.”

    “If I told you what I am then I would be lying because I’m not that,” she replied.

    Casey opened his mouth to reply, and then noticed the problems with the question ‘So what ARE you, then?’ according to his masked companion. “That makes no sense! If you’re something, then you’re that thing… but I’m not asking what you are. I mean, you’re human. Anyone can see that. I’m asking who you are. Who are you?”

    Amarachi stared.

    “Name?” he repeated impatiently.

    Amarachi stared.

    “What do you go by?” The boy was sufficiently steamed by now.

    Amarachi stared.

    Casey was about to begin shouting when he heard a sigh emanating from somewhere in the general area. He turned his attention (and rage) on the owner of that sigh.

    “Giratina, what do you want?” he snapped into the Megaphone Rock.

    “Whoa, whoa, watch it there,” came the reply from the Goddess of Never-Turn-Back. “Sorry I called at a bad time… but I just needed to tell you that resistance is futile.”

    “What do you mean?” he snapped. “Are you playing alien now?!?”

    “No,” the voice from the Megaphone Rock replied icily. “I’m just saying that she’s not easy to crack. Unless you just want to make your temper worse, back away from the girl and run back to your room, okay?

    “Do you know her? Is she another one of your… Legendary buddies?”

    “Hmm…” Giratina mused. “Um, no, I don’t think she’s considered a Legendary. Sorry, kiddo. But I do know what she’s like and how she acts – I’m the Goddess of Never-Turn-Back, remember, I see everything – and you’re not going to make her tell you anything.”

    “So how do I make her tell me her name?” demanded Casey.

    “You know, that’s a good question,” she mused. “I’ll need to get back to you on that.” There was a short noise that sounded like static, and then the connection fizzled out. Casey was left to yell briefly at the Megaphone Rock before returning the conversation to the little girl, who was still sitting there. The mask was staring at him and she had a confused frown on her face. It took a moment for him to realize what that meant.

    “Why are you talking to your necklace?” asked the girl.

    “Bandanna,” Casey said, gritting his teeth. “And I was talking to someone.”

    “How? Magic?”

    “I don’t know. Probably is some sort of stupid magic that woman cooks up.” Casey snorted, shaking his head. “I’ll never understand her. But seriously… why won’t you tell me your name? You only need to give me a first name, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

    Amarachi shook her head. “No,” she replied.

    “No what?”

    “I’m not worried about you hurting me by knowing my name. I can stop you if you do.”

    “So will you tell me your name now?” asked Casey, who had passed the ‘anger’ stage and was now sinking into weariness from this bantering with a six-year-old. “I swear – I just want to know who you are. Then I’ll leave you alone and you can leave me alone and this will never come up again, okay?”

    “But you don’t need to know who I am,” she said.

    “Well, no, I don’t…” muttered the teenager, looking to the right at a swarm of Oddish rampaging around in the night. “But I do want to know who you are.”

    “Why?”

    “Because your parents must be worried sick. If you spent all day stalking me, then…”

    “My parents are fine,” she huffed. “They can see me right now. They’re right over there.” And she pointed upwards to the clear sky. Casey’s eyes followed her, and his mouth opened slightly.

    “You don’t mean…” he spluttered.

    “No, not like that.” She crossed her arms. “Not like that. They’re okay. But they’re watching me from up there, and they know I can take care of myself.”

    There was a silence. And then…

    “How old are you, kid?”

    She looked up at him as her frown and raised eyebrows (visible above the mask) suggested the girl was startled. “Huh?”

    “If you won’t tell me your name, I just want to know how old you are. Surely you can tell me that.”

    “You wouldn’t believe me.” She crossed her arms.

    “I’ve probably heard stranger than whatever you’re going to tell me…” he sighed.

    “Oh really? Like what?”

    Casey frowned thoughtfully and looked the little girl up and down. He was pondering something with the potential to be extremely dangerous or embarrassing. Casey did not particularly enjoy being embarrassed or in danger, and it was for this reason he employed a very elaborate scheme to see if the girl was worthy of being in on it. “Well…” he sighed. “Hey. Are you good with secrets? Keeping them?”

    “Oh yeah,” she replied with a grin.

    “You mean it?”

    “Yep!”

    Casey glanced downward at the Megaphone Rock and coughed into it softly. A grunt of acceptance echoed back out to him. Having obtained permission from the only person (or, indeed, Pokémon) that would have a true answer, he walked a few paces forward and plopped down on a bench. “Did you know I’m a Trainer? Come on, sit down.”

    She plodded over next to him and sat down on the bench, making sure to get her cape out from under her before she did so. “You were traveling with people and Pokémon, so I thought you were.”

    “Good. You’re pretty observant. But…” He gave a short burst of laughter. “Wow. Truth be told, you’re the first person I’m telling this stuff to, and you’re a young girl who I barely even know. Hard to imagine, especially for me…”

    “How come?” asked Amarachi, sitting cross-legged on the bench and letting her mask stare up at Casey with her mouth twisted into a rather uncomfortable-looking upside-down V. “Tell me, okay? I have time!”

    Casey glanced upward at the moon. It was almost directly overhead. “Must be about… eleven PM right now,” he sighed. “Okay, fine. So I was born in a region called Calda – do you know where that is? It’s an island way off on the other side of the world, and some time ago the regional government had a big idea. Now, keep in mind that I don’t understand a lot about this since I never really learned much about it, so I can’t answer your questions if you have any. Since it’s so isolated from other landmasses, and there haven’t been many living cargo-toting ships going to and from it anyway, they figured that they really ought to get all of the Pokémon off of the island, in order to make it more appealing to those who weren’t exactly fond of Pokémon.”

    Amarachi’s mouth hung open. “What? How could they… who doesn’t like Pokémon?”

    Casey sighed heavily. “Well…” He looked only mildly contemplative on the outside, but the various parts of his brain were in an epic battle to decide whether he ought to say the word ‘me’ or not. Finally, they came to a decision, and he spoke. “I was born and raised there, so for a big part of my life I didn’t… well, it’s not like I didn’t dislike them… but…”

    The kid’s mouth opened.

    “Wait… hey! Note my use of the past tense! Opinion changed!”

    He was too late. The girl hopped off the bench, stuck her tongue out at him, and briskly walked away.

    Casey sighed melodramatically and stood up, walking back towards the glinting lights of the Pokémon Center. Now, this Pokémon Center’s apparent goal was to be in as direct contrast as possible as the rest of Fort Rhion; what parts of it weren’t coated in potted plants or some sort of ivy, there was a very homely feel about it, with soft lighting and the perpetual scent of Rotan onion soup lingering around the entire place. However, there was nobody present to enjoy this true spectacle of nature and humanity combined, seeing as the time read about 4:30 AM.

    Except, of course, for Casey, who did everything in his power to get through there and into the elevator at the far end of the room as quickly as possible.

    He heard a few distinctly musical sounds echoing from one of the other rooms for rent. This confused him considerably; up until now, Casey had honestly thought that he was probably the only one in the city who wakes up any earlier than seven on Saturday. Pondering this, he reached the right door and turned the doorknob very slowly.

    As he was soon to find out, everyone who came within a one-mile radius of Casey Blair automatically had their mood turned sour.

    It was now about five in the morning, and Casey had tried to sneak into the Pokémon Center room as quietly as possible. Not quietly enough, however, because once he had gone in the tired boy was met with three definitely awake people. None of them looked all too happy, and all of their faces were ‘graced’ with a bemused glare in his direction. Grant was sitting in an armchair, legs crossed and arms playing with his metal pipe. Caro was leaning on the back of said armchair, arms pressing down upon the chair almost directly above Grant’s head. Sheridan was staring with her hands on her hips.

    “Care to explain where you’ve been?” she asked.

    “I was on a walk,” yawned Casey. “Didn’t wanna wake you… good night.” And he made a beeline for the door to his bedroom.

    Caro took a few steps to the left and blocked the entrance to his companion’s solace. “What took you so long, then? Did you go start playing with an Oddish or something?”

    “I’ll tell you in the morning,” he grumbled, slipping past Caro and into the doorway. The door shut and locked (loudly) behind him, which created a silence amongst the rest of the group. There was a soft scratching noise coming from outside outside, as if some Pokémon were having a midnight scuffle. Sheridan’s eyes flicked toward the window, but she found nothing unusual.

    However, what she found and what actually happened were two very different things.

    Because, at that moment, there was a little girl running frantically through the streets of Fort Rhion, dodging the early risers now on their way to… somewhere else. All early risers’ eyes turned on her as she passed, due in no small part to the undeniable strangeness about her. They would all admit that yes, sometimes their morning commutes were eventful, but never again would they see a little girl in a heavy pink cloak and carrying a briefcase run down the street.

    Later, there would be a very chaotic late morning at Pokémon Center room 4-28. That morning would involve plentiful amounts of yelling, anger, pointing fingers, begging, and the occasional threat of being hit over the head with a heavy metal pipe. Thus accomplished, everyone would sit down at a cute little café in the town square and discuss twice-stolen goods and Gym Badges over coffee and pastries.

    “So,” said Caro through a mouthful of cookie, “what brilliant plan have you got for this Gym?”

    “I don’t know,” admitted Casey, shrugging and poking inattentively at a piece of pound cake. “I can’t make any strategy for battling a person I know nothing about, you know.”

    “Well then find out more about the Gym Leader and make a plan for him,” laughed Sheridan, putting down her coffee. “I think back when I took this challenge the Gym Leader was a young man – a really young man, I mean, like twelve years old – named Stathis. He trained Electric-types, and I’m guessing he came from Slateport or something.”

    “Slateport?” asked Caro, Casey, and Grant in unison.

    “How do you figure that?” tagged on the latter.

    “Well, the Pokémon pretty much didn’t listen to his commands, and the only other place where they do that in a respected battling ring is the Battle Tent in Slateport City.”

    “Didn’t listen to his commands?” asked Casey doubtfully. “How on Earth did he get to be a Gym Leader with disgraceful Pokémon?”

    “Oh, they’re not disgraceful,” said Sheridan with a smug little grin. “As a matter of fact, they seemed to like him very much.” She was hiding something, and made no effort to hide that fact.

    “Well, if they don’t listen to him or whatever it makes it easier for you to win, right, Case?” said Caro, standing up dramatically and swallowing the last of his cookie. “Let’s get moving! Daylight’s burning, right?”

    “Have you ever seen him get that excited before?” asked Grant in an undertone. “Or call you ‘Case’?”

    Casey shook his head.


  4. #29
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    {16} a little birdhouse in your soul

    “You know,” said Casey bitterly, “finding this place would be a lot easier of we knew where it was.”

    “I told you,” replied Sheridan. “The building has been vacated since I last entered – the Gym must be somewhere else in the city now. I can’t help you on that count. We’ll have to ask someone in the street where it went.” She looked around, apparently searching for someone who looked enough like a Trainer or an in-the-know native to point them in the appropriate direction.

    Instead of finding a useful source of information, though, her eyes lit up almost immediately and she began to walk. The other three, still confused about just what she was going towards, looked around until they found Sheridan’s assumed destination. It didn’t look good for their goal of dealing with Stathis by the end of the day.

    “That is not the Gym,” said Grant.

    “No, doesn’t look like it…” Casey remarked in utter confusion, listening to the unmistakable squealing of a woman who has just found something absolutely wonderful at a bargain price.

    “Did she catch sight of some sort of Shiny?” wondered Caro. “Hey, Sheridan, what’re you doing?” Not bothering to discuss Sheridan’s (or his own) odd behavior with the others, Caro set off at a brisk walk, slipping past members of the current throng in order to find out what Sheridan was actually squealing about. Once he had gotten within arm’s reach of her he tapped her on the shoulder softly. This was considerably easier than it had been; Sheridan had stopped walking and had joined an especially large crowd around some sort of caged Pokémon.

    Casey and Grant watched in awe as Sheridan swiveled around and immediately began gushing about something. They couldn’t hear what she was saying over the muttering of the rest of the crowd, but Caro had put his hands on his hips and was now shaking his head in disbelief.

    Sheridan then proceeded to… oh dear.

    “I think she’s… pleading.” Grant turned to Casey worriedly.

    “This won’t end well, will it?”

    “Probably not.”

    The two descended into conversation.

    Meanwhile, amidst the mass of people and after a lengthy discussion of the group’s funding, Sheridan cuddled an Ultra Ball affectionately and practically pranced over to the other side of the corridor of Pokémon stands. Caro followed behind, not wanting to say anything for fear of his head being bitten off. After all business there had been taken care of, Sheridan actually did prance back over to the other two. Caro remained in his spot of walking behind Sheridan, separated a few feet so as not to give off the impression that he actually knew this crazy woman.

    “Casey!” she chirped as soon as he was in earshot. “I’ve got some thiiiiings~!”

    “Yeah,” he replied. “I can… I can see that, Sheridan. What have you got?”

    “Oh, just a few things.” Sheridan was beaming from ear to ear. “Only two. One for you, and one I’ll show you all later!” She held out two Pokéballs, an Ultra Ball and a Great Ball, and handed the latter to Casey. “Consider it a… late expression of gratitude for inviting me on your quest, okay?”

    “Um, sure.” All of the other members of the Groupie Galaxy were feeling nervous and embarrassed to varying degrees, ranging from Rotom’s curiosity to find out what’s wrong with Sheridan to the flush of red now spreading across Casey’s face. “So… what’s in it?”

    “Well, considering it’s in a Pokéball, I think it might be a Pokémon. Why don’t you just release the thing and find out?” Sheridan placed the Ultra Ball in her jacket pocket and smiled.

    “Release it!” said Caro enthusiastically. “Yeah! When someone gives you a Pokémon, you ought to use it! …Usually,” he added on, recalling the Taillow and Sentret that Casey had received at the beginning of his adventure.

    “We should go somewhere less crowded,” said Casey. “The Pokémon might freak out if there are too many people around, right?”

    “That’s true too,” said Caro. “Should we go to some sort of park? It probably won’t be so busy again for a few hours. Come on!” And without another word he swiveled on his heel (once again, Casey noticed, with perfect balance) and began walking back towards the red-roofed building. It was now Caro’s turn to have someone trail around in his wake.

    Grant and Casey shared a confused glance before Sheridan called for them to hurry up.

    Casey shrugged at the Great Ball and set off at a run with the last remaining members of the Groupie Galaxy – Rotom and Grant – in hot pursuit. They both weaved through the complaining crowd, squirming into the smallest holes they could find in order to catch up to Sheridan and Caro. And although the concept wasn’t on Casey’s mind at the time, what with the whole plowing through a crowd of people thing, there was a small part of him that did want to know what this new Pokémon was going to be. And though he didn’t linger upon (or indeed consider) the matter, he honestly wanted to see a Pokémon.

    For the first time in Casey’s life, he wanted to see a Pokémon. And had Casey somehow been reading this and have realized that he honestly did want to see a Pokémon, he would have shrugged it off, once again for the first time.

    There was definitely a shifting of position in Casey Blair’s brain. Watching him through the magical computer screen on the Dea Procol Machina, I realized this, and a satisfied grin spread across my face. Goodness knows why he was sent on this prophetic quest of peril and not, say, some aspiring young man in Kanto, but there was no doubt in the world that it was doing the boy some good.

    And when a good queen’s subjects are happy, she’s happy, too.



    Whoever came up with the concept of Trainer-and-Pokémon bonding clearly had never met the newest addition to Casey’s team.

    It had been agreed upon soon after the small brown Pokémon was released into the open that it had the cutest little scowl ever, but unfortunately that was all Larvitar had going for it. Oh, sure, at first he looked acceptable (if a little rowdy) – no taller than two feet, with about a fourth of that height courtesy of the large spike that stuck up from his head, the new arrival was a small green dinosaur with a tail like a pinecone and two hollow holes on either side of its torso. There was a red diamond-shaped pattern on his stomach, in between the holes (which were now beginning to trickle sand out onto the ground).

    “Imported directly from Sinnoh,” said Sheridan with obvious pride in her voice.

    “Hmm,” said Casey, fishing out his JAWS from the pack slung over his shoulder. “Let’s see what you do.”

    “Larvitar, the Rock Skin Pokémon,” said the JAWS flatly, while Casey blinked. He hadn’t realized that the thing actually talked. “They feed on soil, and must eat their way out of nests underground. After eating, they usually fall asleep.” Information about this particular Larvitar flashed on the JAWS’ screen.

    Larvitar coughed and stared up at Casey with small, beady eyes. Before the boy could react, Rotom had zoomed out of Sheridan’s arms and right up into Larvitar’s face, grinning. His mouth was open, ready to be filled with hyperactive greetings.

    Instead, it was filled with Larvitar’s fist.

    “Mmph!” yelled Rotom, backing away at once and cowering against his owner’s chest. In the same moment Larvitar scowled at his hand, which was now covered with glowing blue plasma, and wiped it off on the grass. Casey closed his arms around the small Ghost-type and fixed a disapproving stare at Larvitar.

    “That,” he said firmly, “was uncalled for.”

    Larvitar rolled his eyes.

    Casey’s glowering slid to Sheridan, whose pleased expression had quickly deteriorated to one of heavy consideration.

    Larvitar crossed his stubby arms, now completely free of Rotom’s glowing gunk, and began to speak. “Lar. Larvitar, tar, lar-vi-lar-tarrrrr. Lar, lar, lar-vi-tar!” The small Pokémon continued to ramble – his body movements made it quite apparent that he was trying to lay out ground rules for how he was to be treated and exactly what sort of pain was going to ensue of they weren’t followed.

    Caro’s expression got steadily more irritated as Larvitar continued.

    Larvitar didn’t seem to notice, but instead went right ahead with his demands until Caro silently excused himself from the group to slam his head against a tree. Brushing the debris out of his hair as he returned, Caro said flatly, “Casey, do you intend to keep this Pokémon safe and comfortable at all times?”

    “Yeah.”

    “And do you intend to feed it twice a day?”

    “Don’t Pokémon not need feeding while they’re in their Pokéballs?”

    “Do you also intend to keep Larvitar out of his Pokéball so that he can truly see the rest of the world in full, living color? And to make sure that whenever he is too tired to walk, he will be carried? And see to it that he will not be used more than your other Pokémon just because he’s already out? And ensure that he will be remembered at all times, and never, ever, EVER deposited into the PC?”

    There was an extremely uncomfortable silence that ensued.

    Caro’s arms were crossed, and Casey realized with some concern that this was the most bemused facial expression that he had ever seen his friend and semi-mentor pull. “You might want to talk it over with him on that.” Caro ignored Larvitar’s irritated protests.

    The distinct lack of noise didn’t just surround the Groupie Galaxy – it seemed like the entire park had stopped making noise, people and Pokémon alike. (Well, they were still making noise, but everyone’s brains were too busy trying to analyze what had just gone down to notice.) And then Caro said, “Just thought you’d need to know if you wanted to keep him. And since Larvitar here doesn’t seem to realize that you’ve got no stinking idea what he’s trying to say, I took it upon myself to translate.”

    Larvitar looked up at him with a shocked and angry expression. “Lar-lar?!?”

    “How did I do that?” he replied, looking downwards. “Oh, you know. I’ve done it all my life, the talking to Pokémon thing. Remember when I said that growing up I was around Pokémon literally all the time?” He looked back up at Casey. “I meant it.”

    Grant’s head was the first one to crack under the pressure. “Wait. Wait… so you can talk to them?”

    “Of course I can talk to them,” Caro replied with a shrug. “And since nobody else could and I didn’t think Casey was going to oblige to Larvitar’s commands without him knowing what he was doing, I was just trying to save us from any further pain – physical pain, I might add, Larvitar went into detail on that – down the road.”

    “You, sir,” said Sheridan, “have some explaining to do.”

    “Not now,” replied Caro. “Right now we need to get this Larvitar situated with our ground rules, am I right?”

    “No,” said Casey. “You’ve gotta explain first.”

    “What’s more important – making sure your Pokémon doesn’t beat you up or playing Let’s Learn About Caro?” he asked. “I’ll get to that part later on, I promise. But right now we need to get some training done, and the only place to do that is in the plentiful amount of forest right over there.” Caro pointed to a large wooden arch, under which seemed to be a path into the forest. “There’s about a million entrances and exits to Holon Forest, and the different areas are blocked off. Good place to spend some time training if you ask me.”

    “So what about Stathis?” asked Sheridan.

    “He’s got a Rotom, a Poliwag, and a foul-mouthed Honchkrow,” said Caro flatly. “The Gym will be crawling with Electric-types, won’t it? He’ll get squashed.”

    “You have a point…” muttered Grant. “…but why are you being so testy about it?”

    Caro pointed to Larvitar, who seemed to have recently found a deep hatred for the boy and was now snarling ferociously at him.

    “Oh,” said Grant. “I see.”

    Larvitar objected. Loudly.

    “You were the one who started pushing things on us!” Caro protested back.

    “Larvi-vi-tar! Tarlarlar!”

    “Wh—what do you mean, I started it by buying you? I didn’t do it!”

    “Lar lar,” said Larvitar firmly, crossing is stubby arms.

    “What did you say?” Caro hissed back.

    Indeed, Larvitar’s attitude and mere presence did seem to make Caro feel a lot worse. Casey wisely decided to simply recall the little thing before a scuffle broke out and somebody lost an eye.

    “Your point has been made,” he said to Caro, returning Larvitar’s Pokéball to his backpack. “But you’re gonna have to deal with him later once we get into the forest and wild Pokémon start popping up. Let’s go.” Sheridan, upon recognizing the highly unpleasant edge to his voice, nodded silently and followed. Caro snorted in contempt and started walking, until Grant was left standing alone with The Pipe slung over his shoulder.

    “What’s with you all today?” he wondered out loud.



    The Pokémon count, contrary to the Groupie Galaxy’s popular belief, had been remarkably low. Sure, there had been plenty of Ratattas and Weedles squirming around (and even the odd Slakoth), but after they passed a certain point all of the Pokémon activity just… stopped. The wildlife all suddenly ceased to exist. Everything went silent. This unsettled the group immensely…

    “Where did the Pokémon go?” wondered Sheridan, looking around at the suspicious lack of fauna.

    “Beats me,” replied Caro with his hands in his pockets. “But if it keeps that thing in its Pokéball they can stay where they are.”

    Casey rolled his eyes. “Can’t you just get along?”

    “No.” Caro looked away. “But… the sky is getting dark. Are we just going to camp out in the dark or what?”

    “If we don’t get out, we’ll work on that,” said Casey. “Besides, I’m sure we can find some sort of shelter somewhere in this forest… even if it’s just a big tree.”

    “Or a cave,” remarked Sheridan with a shrug.

    “Or a spontaneously-abandoned campsite,” suggested Caro.

    “Or a creepy, dark house,” piped up Grant.

    “Yeah, good luck with that,” snorted Sheridan with her hands on her hips. “Where did you come up with something like that?”

    “From up there.” Grant pointed with one gloved finger through the trees and to a few window-shaped, faint pinpricks of light. On the spot above them, smoke from a fire chimney billowed up into the moonlit night.

    “Point taken,” said Sheridan, amazed.

    Casey began walking towards the house, in a very different direction than they had been moving previously. When Sheridan raised her voice to object, he turned back around with eyebrows raised.

    “It’s worth a shot, right?” asked Casey. “I mean, whoever lives in the middle of the forest must be used to Trainers losing their bearings and running to their house for a place to sleep the night… just like us.” He turned to face the others – their expressions didn’t show any dislike towards the idea, but nobody was particularly happy about it either. “Come on, you guys. I’m sure it happens to the owner all the time.”

    “Well, yeah, but would he take four people?” wondered Grant, swinging his unarmed hand in an arc to reference the quartet.

    “Maybe,” Casey replied over his shoulder. “But at least we can say that we tried… besides, who’s the one heading the quest here?”

    “You are,” came the grumbled (but unanimous) reply.



    Caro banged on a heavy wooden door.

    “Coming!” yowled a distinctly female voice from inside, seemingly ignoring the cacophony of Pokémon trying to tell her that someone was on the front steps (but had done so a little too late). A few minutes later, the door creaked open to reveal a woman with long, dark hair that fell into clumps near the tips.

    “Can I help you?” she asked, pulling the waist strings on her bathrobe.

    “Sorry to bother you so late,” said Casey, “but we got sort of lost in the forest and…”

    “Oh, you all are travelling Trainers? Don’t worry; living here I’ve heard the story plenty of times before. Come on in, and do your best not to tread on too many tail feathers.” She chuckled to herself as the door swung open completely to let the group in.

    She wasn’t kidding about the tail feathers. Lurking in the rafters was an unnaturally high number of Murkrows, red eyes glinting in the light given off from bare-bulb lamps. These same lamps illuminated the old wooden walls and floor – despite their obvious age and the amount of Pokémon who seemed to inhabit the house, they seemed to be in good condition. “I’m sorry about the dinginess of the place,” the woman continued. “I don’t go for elaborate stuff… and besides, the other residents up there would have it ripped up in an instant.” She pointed upwards.

    Casey was the first one to speak. “Thank you,” he said politely, looking around.

    “No problem, no problem. The guest rooms are up the stairs and all along the right hallway; let me get into some proper clothing before I do anything else. It’s nearly supper.” Nobody felt like reminding her that it was about seven PM.

    There was a general mumbling in the direction of ‘yes’ as the foursome scaled the staircase across the room. There was, indeed, a long hallway at the top, with doors all along both sides. Caro dove for the nearest available room on the right. Sheridan watched him sprint with great amusement before entering the next bedroom, letting Grant and Casey occupy the last two.

    They weren’t, noticed Casey, very elaborately decorated – neat, yes, but not heavily furnished. There was just a bed, a set of drawers, and a table lamp on a nightstand to designate the windowed room as anything more than unused storage space. Casey placed his three Pokéballs on the table and turned to Rotom, who had settled himself by snuggling on the bed’s comforter.

    “Don’t destroy anything,” he warned.

    Casey left the room to the high-pitched affirmative of Rotom.


  5. #30
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    wondered how long it was going to be before Caro's "talk to pokemon" thing of his got out
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

    One crazy trip: The adventures of a beret-clad boy and his best friend the sky. One day I will learn how to forum-format at a decent speed. Promise.

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    Yes, well, it was a rather obvious fact, wasn't it? xD We'll play Let's Learn About Caro soon, I promise.


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    I'm sorry that I didn't read through the whole story before reviewing, but, in my defence, it's a massive hulk :P

    I got to the point where Palkia, Celebi and Giratina are giving the main character a makeover. At this point I really didn't enjoy reading, because all I could imagine was that the rest of the story would be talking about how this now Gary Stu character would be stumbling through the world, somehow finding awesome epic Pokemon and catching legendaries.

    In short, I don't like reading that. But, from the reviews/responses so far, I don't think it's like that. If there's another slow fanfiction day, I'll be reading up on this again.

    One nitpick; when he was asked if he liked his changes, he responded "N...NO!". What I think you meant was "N-NO!", because the ellipses make a trailing off sound, and I assume that he was just stuttering.
    "That poison's only strong enough to kill a dead dog"

    A boy and his frog, venturing across the lands in search of sister and glory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IJuggler View Post
    I'm sorry that I didn't read through the whole story before reviewing, but, in my defence, it's a massive hulk :P

    You've got a point there.

    I got to the point where Palkia, Celebi and Giratina are giving the main character a makeover. At this point I really didn't enjoy reading, because all I could imagine was that the rest of the story would be talking about how this now Gary Stu character would be stumbling through the world, somehow finding awesome epic Pokemon and catching legendaries.

    Fortunately for you, that's not how the story was planned to go out. Casey won't be running around looking for Legendaries.

    In short, I don't like reading that. But, from the reviews/responses so far, I don't think it's like that. If there's another slow fanfiction day, I'll be reading up on this again.

    Without sounding too cheesy, hope to see you again! :3

    One nitpick; when he was asked if he liked his changes, he responded "N...NO!". What I think you meant was "N-NO!", because the ellipses make a trailing off sound, and I assume that he was just stuttering.

    Another good point. I'll go back and change that.
    Well, first off, thank you for posting. And second, I'd like to ask a question - how did you get the idea that Casey was going to be running around collecting Legendaries? :/ I'm of the "Legendaries are a pain in the butt - if not impossible - to capture" mindset, and even then it would take a really experienced Trainer to find and catch them... which, obviously, Casey is not.


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    It's not so much that your story makes me think he'll run off and catch legendaries - although his ubercasual chats with these supreme beings of life could be a sign of that - , but every other story that starts off in any similar way to this usually has the main character 'owning' a legendary. Especially the whole makeover, explained away by making him older (or what will become his 'normal age', despite the fact that being aged in a vacuum is a giant plothole).

    But don't worry about me, I just like to nitpick on everything about a story's start because I fear it won't go very far. Obviously, that isn't the case here.
    "That poison's only strong enough to kill a dead dog"

    A boy and his frog, venturing across the lands in search of sister and glory.

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    I think you may have misunderstood the whole makeover thing.

    Celebi first sent herself and Casey five years into the future, using her powers to allow him to age. Once five years in the future she immediately zipped back to the past, this time using her power to keep Casey at his new age. Hence, he wound up in the present day at fourteen years old when he should have been eleven. Palkia then proceeded to transform everything about him by manipulating space.

    And, well, übercasual chats with Legendaries do tend to pop up in my stories - at least with the more socialable ones who don't see themselves as too good to hold a discussion with lowly mortals. Since Dialga - the only other manipulator of time - was one of those ones who think too highly of themselves, Celebi had to be dragged along in his place. Palkia was pretty much ordered by Arceus and Giratina together (of course, Giratina's say in the matter actually had no effect).
    Last edited by Giratina!; 10th February 2010 at 9:47 PM.


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    {17} the skeletons are catching up
    The table, as everyone noticed at the same time, was big.

    It must have seated at least eight, despite the fact that there were only five people present to eat. The house’s owner had apparently failed to realize this, as she ushered everyone in and let them chose a seat. Shortly afterward she slipped into the kitchen via a rather unnoticeable door, called out to tell them that she’d only be a minute, and then returned from the same unnoticeable door carrying a large plate and ceramic bowl. One was filled with mashed potatoes, the other strips of meat. Grabbing five plates and the appropriate cutlery from a drawer in the dining room, she placed them out on the table with an abundance of clattering and finally sat down.

    She smiled as her eyes came to Caro, who was already busy shoveling food onto his plate.

    “So,” she said, looking around at the group. “I’m Amelia. Tell me your names, won’t you?” Amelia had put on simple clothing – a gray shirt and some blue jeans.

    Caro went first (as usual) and introduced himself, before returning to filling his plate. Sheridan snickered and went next, and the others followed in turn. Amelia nodded and welcomed them all, before turning to the subject she suspected would be on everyone’s minds: the Murkrows.

    “Don’t mind the Flying-types, guys,” she said, nodding to one as it zoomed down onto the table next to her and stared at the new arrivals. “As you can see, Murkrows and Honchkrows are personally my favorite Pokémon…”

    “Ah, I should’ve let Honchkrow out earlier,” remarked Casey, observing the staircase in the next room from his chair. “He’d certainly have lots to do.”

    Amelia’s face brightened. “Oh, you’ve got a Honchkrow? Wonderful! Actually, come to think of it, you guys can let all of your Pokémon out after dinner. The flock here will give them a tour of the house.” She nodded to the black-feathered birds lurking in the rafters. “Like I said before, don’t mind ‘em; I guess you could call me a crazy bird lady of sorts. Living in the forest like this I find a lot of them around, most of whom had fainted but for some mysterious reason failed to sink into the ground.”

    “So you take them in?” asked Caro.

    “Yes I do, and a few decide to stay with me… well, alright. More than a few.” She looked around. “So how have you been, Caro?”

    The small conversation screeched to a halt.

    “Uh… do you know her?” asked Grant confusedly. “You never mentioned…”

    “No, I don’t think I do,” said Caro, tapping one finger on the side of his head and knitting his eyebrows. “Sorry. Where do I know you from?”

    “Well,” said Amelia with a grin. “You’d forgotten? Only after this long? That’s quite something, Caro… though I do suppose you knew me a little differently than this. Hold on.” She got up, motioned for Caro to stay, and scampered out of the room. A few seconds later she swooped back in, now decked out in a tattered black overcoat and Murkrow-crest hat. “Ringing any bells?”

    Caro didn’t respond. His jaw was too busy trying to close itself.

    “So you do know her,” remarked Sheridan dryly, crossing her legs. “From where, might I ask?”

    “Hmm…” Amelia took off the coat and hat and stowed them on a nearby coatrack before returning to her seat. “Really? He didn’t tell you about the tour through Sinnoh yet? I’m surprised; you always seemed like the sort of kid to go boasting about things.”

    “Well, uh, not really,” spluttered Caro. “I didn’t tell them. Yet. Well, I mean, I was going to… eventually. But, you know… with the whole…”

    “I see, I see,” said Amelia sadly, nodding her head. “Didn’t want to mention him too soon, right?”

    “I didn’t mean to insult you or anything,” said Caro quickly.

    “Ah, no, no offense taken. It’s understandable.”

    The conversation had now become completely lopsided, and those not in on what they were talking about were now utterly and visibly lost. Amelia noticed the confused expressions on their faces, and seemed to come to her own senses about the whole thing. “Oops! Hey, Caro, we’d better fill them in before we continue the discussion any further, right?”

    “Oh,” he said, considerably less jubilant all of a sudden. “Right. Um… well… like she said, I went traveling a couple years ago. In Sinnoh, with a couple of friends of mine I knew from my old home. Remember I told you about that, Casey? Where I was surrounded by Pokémon literally all the time? I meant it. There were seriously no humans in Treasure Town. Not even me. ‘Cause… back in the day, I was a Pikachu. Born and raised.”

    A general cacophony of interruptions rose up at this point.

    “Hey, whoa, cool down,” he continued. “I’ll get to that, I mean it. So anyway, yeah, I was a Pikachu. And my best friend Kris, she was a Meowth – or a Persian, depending on what time period you’re talking here – and my other best friend Helio… he was a Magnemite or Magneton, same deal as with Kris. So anyway, we three were in an Exploration Team – that’s a group of Pokémon who not only go rescue other Pokémon but also explore these ever-changing Mystery Dungeons too – and at the time we were on this mission to go explore a strange Dungeon near Treasure Town, where our base was.

    “So when we got there, we were running around inside the dungeon and eventually, we found a funny shining rock that sucked up light. Helio could identify it for whatever reason; he called it the ‘Dementia Key’ or something. Kris and I both went to touch it, but then there was this big flash of light and… well, a lot of stuff happened after that, but there were definitely no Badges involved. We were taken to the human-Pokémon world – that’s this one – and we pretty much spent the next few weeks trying not to get ourselves killed by a lunatic Legendary named Mesprit.”

    There was a squeal that was far too fangirlish for comfort that echoed from Caro’s right. “You… saw… a Mesprit?” gasped Sheridan, who had stood up with wide eyes. “Really? D-did you talk to it? Was it nice?”

    “He just said that this ‘Mesprit’ was nuts,” said Casey flatly.

    “Oh,” she responded. “Right.” She sat down and cleared her throat. “Well… go on, then, I guess… but there’s one thing I don’t quite get.”

    “What’s that?” asked Caro.

    “Why did… why did Mesprit want you dead?”

    Caro averted his eyes. He clearly wanted to slip over this subject as smoothly as possible while giving away the least amount of information – and he had failed. Miserably. “Well, um, you see…” he muttered trying to find a way to put it that wouldn’t make them all scoot their chairs away from him very, very fast. “It was mostly because of Helio… See, he had been born in the human-Pokémon world, as a human and stuff, but then he sort of got sent to the Pokémon-only world for… um… something…”

    “What?” was the resounding echo from four other mouths. Amelia in particular was staring at Caro with much intensity, leaning forward in her seat. She had apparently not learned this part.

    “For… well… something. He was sent there by… y’know… Arceus. Because he did some… you know… bad things…”

    “Just tell us the man’s name,” said Grant.

    Caro looked around. “Okay. But you guys… you’ve got to promise not to hold this against me – or him – in the future, okay? Because he’s sorry. I know he is.”

    “We won’t, we won’t,” said Sheridan. “What’s his name?”

    Amelia was now scowling. She did, apparently, know this part.

    Caro sighed and muttered one word to everyone else, who had leaned in to hear him better after he ducked his head…

    All it took was one word.

    One word and they were all shaken up, sitting stock-still in their seats, frantically trying to piece together what he had just said within their brain. Three brains – those of the people who didn’t already know what was going on – sorted their clues out furiously, and when three people tried to think very hard at the same time… it was not a pretty picture.

    He clearly thought pretty highly of the man, but… but… him?

    Was that… was that even possible?

    The only one who didn’t seem to feel the full meaning of this – indeed, even Amelia had sniffled and turned away – was Casey. His face turned to one of blank confusion. “I’m sorry…” he said shakily, watching as everyone’s eyes turned on him. “I’m sorry if I’m missing the significance here…

    …But who cares if Caro traveled with a man named Cyrus?”



    Any thoughts that had been building up in the minds of Sheridan o’Reilly, Grant Sternberg, Caro (who didn’t have a surname for obvious reasons), and Amelia “Yami” Wolfe simply fell away in that moment. Every single one fell out into the even-more awkward silence present in the room. Even the Murkrows had halted their game time, in order to watch in confusion. Why, even the Pokémon knew about him – well, living with Amelia they had to – and even their thoughts blanked at that moment and joined the silence. And then all that vacant brain space was filled at the same time, with only one unanimous thought: ‘He seriously doesn’t know?’

    “Casey,” said Sheridan slowly, “are you perhaps somehow suggesting that you seriously can’t attach any significance to the name Cyrus Wolfe?”

    “No, I really can’t,” said Casey, suddenly feeling like he had done something very, very wrong. “What… what did he do?”

    This brought another wave of uncomfortable silence over the group, while Casey’s unanswered question lingered above them. It was amazing how just one person not understanding a problem could make it so much more painful for everyone else.

    Everyone was hoping that someone else could explain to Casey just what he had somehow missed. None of them were any the wiser of the true reason: his upbringing’s touchiness on the matters of Pokémon and the lunatics who somehow got it in their heads that they could control them. However, the one who stepped up to fill the silence was quite possibly the next best thing aside from Cyrus himself.

    That ‘next best thing’ was his sister, Amelia.

    “Well…” she stuttered. “Casey, Cyrus did something terrible. It was perhaps thirteen years ago, when he was the driving force behind a criminal behemoth known as ‘Team Galactic’. After a few years of making his team’s presence known, Cyrus went ahead and made his own presence known – for perhaps the first time in his life, I might add. He went up to the top of Mt. Coronet in Sinnoh and made some sort of foolhardy attempt to reset the universe.”

    There was no response, so she continued.

    “Yes… really. Using the combined power of the guardians of two basic elements of a universe – Time and Space – he tried to bring the universe to a new beginning, deleting almost everything and everyone who ever existed. His intention was to bring it to a complete standstill, and somehow claim the throne of nothing and rule over… nothing. He summoned Dialga and Palkia, the guardians I spoke of, in order to bring the universe to its roots. He was stopped, primarily, by three beings – though there was an undocumented mention of a young girl named Dawn Driftwood – who were guardians of a different sort. They were guardians of the three basic components of the human mind. Knowledge was watched over by Uxie. Willpower was watched over by Azelf. And Emotion was watched over by…” Her gray eyes flickered through the web of tears to Caro. “…Mesprit.”

    “But that was…” Casey began.

    “Right, the psycho Legendary,” said Caro shakily, looking in even worse condition than Amelia. “Look… guys, I really don’t want to talk about this…” He turned away from everyone else, making a valiant attempt to make them think that drops of water weren’t threatening to stream down his face. “…I’m… I’m going to go to bed. See you.”

    He got up stiffly and ran out of the room.



    The rest of the night moved by in a haze – and it had nothing to do with the Pokémon. Everyone in the house either drifted around vacantly or locked themselves up in their room, and eventually all humans present slipped into their rooms.

    Pinsir, who took the trouble of going around and spying on people in the middle of the night, lost his nerve and stopped halfway through. This primarily happened after he nearly received a nasty Thundershock courtesy of Caro’s Raichu, who seemed to be standing guard over his Trainer’s slumbering body. After this he merely scuttled out and back to his owner’s room, where he was surprised to find Larvitar and Kaeo staring at Grant curiously.

    <Uh…> said Pinsir.

    Larvitar turned his head quickly, but returned it to the original position. <Oh,> he said. <Just you.>

    <Yeah, ‘just’ me,> said Pinsir, walking in the room. <So what are you guys doing staring at the Boss like that?>

    <’Boss’?> snorted Larvitar. <Why’re you calling him that?>

    <I don’t know,> said Pinsir, moving to join them. <I guess I’ve always been used to calling people who own me ‘Boss’. But seriously, what are you doing?>

    <Kaeo over here says that he felt a really strange vibe comin’ off of your boss,> said Larvitar, pointing in the proper direction in case Pinsir didn’t quite know who Kaeo was. (He did, of course, but Larvitar evidently failed to realize that.) <So he went and sneaked in here to try and find out what was going on, and I found him. So now we’re just trying to sort it out together, you know?>

    <Oh,> said Pinsir. <Well… Kaeo, what do you think is wrong with him?>

    <Nothing’s wrong with him, technically,> said Kaeo with a shrug, <and I can’t pinpoint anything right now because it was faint, but in his mind readings I think I sensed a little bit of… hostility. Grant here is usually a good-tempered guy, right?>

    <Usually,> said Pinsir.

    <Right. So his mind readings ought to be pretty calm as well. And mostly they were. But I did feel a little bit of turmoil somewhere in there, hidden among the totally normal readings. Anger, frustration, that sort of thing. But the thing is it didn’t even feel like his – more like someone else’s.>

    <Are you sure it was coming from him?> asked Pinsir, now considerably worried about the well-being of his Trainer.

    <Definitely,> said Kaeo, crossing his arms. <It was definitely coming from him. But at the same time it felt alien, like it was someone else entirely…>

    <These ‘mind readings’…> said Pinsir, looking at Kaeo curiously. <Do they change with someone’s personality, or are they set in stone from the moment of their birth?>

    <They can change as the person does, but it would need to be a very drastic change in outlook for the mind-readings to change as well. For example, if someone had been using a certain new personality that they weren’t like naturally, their mind waves would remain in the configuration of the old personality unless they’d been using it constantly for a certain period of time. However, if they just mature with age, the mind waves stay the same.> Kaeo looked away from Grant and focused on the brown Bug-type. <Why do you ask?>

    Pinsir waved his arm nonchalantly. <No particular reason.>

    Even Larvitar could see that he was lying, and the knowing smile on Kaeo’s face suggested that the Stag Beetle Pokémon had more of a reason than that. But the purple Drowzee nudged Larvitar with his arm and shook his head at the small Pokémon, who doubtless wanted to inquire further.

    Larvitar pouted, but obeyed.

    For those of you who are confused or want to learn more about just what happened three years back... well, either track down the story called 'Metal Coat' on another site and cringe at its terrible grammar or wait a little for the rewrite. ^^


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    I got a bit intimidated the first time I saw this by the number of chapters. But, I decided to read the whole thing Tuesday. At first I thought it was a comedy fic XD But now that some more character development is coming out I'm really starting to enjoy it. Mind you, at chapter seventeen I'd maybe expect to know a bit more about the main characters. Casey seems to have been in the background a bit, but it's good to know a bit more about Caro now. Sheridan, I dunno. She's been hanging out with them for a while but I don't really have much of a feel for he personality. Grant obviously hasn't been with them for very long. And you know, I'm sue I read something about a Raichu, Persian and Magneton somewhere. Did you write a trailer or something? Anyway, you've gained another reader =)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zadros View Post
    And you know, I'm sue I read something about a Raichu, Persian and Magneton somewhere. Did you write a trailer or something?
    Was that thing you read by any chance called 'Metal Coat' or 'The Galaxy Key'?

    Anyway, thank you. I can see where you're coming from on the vague personality thing. Casey has been in the background a lot, but I believe that's because he's not the sort of boy who would charge into everything headfirst. He's still learning the ropes of the journey he's been thrust into, and perhaps someday he'll loosen up about it and be more active in the storyline...

    Anyway, thank you! =D


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    First note that i'm not much of a reviewer i'm afraid. I'm not one for going through every detail and pointing stuff out as much as i would like to be more useful. So i'll just make my comments as i usually do when a story gets my attention.

    I like this. It was the title that got me into this as i knew where it came from straight away. (The Delta series were my favourite EX expansion) I've never read a fic with Holon before. I noticed the electric Fearow (I have that card XD) but not the other Delta Pok&#233;mon. Although admittedly i did only skim the last six chapters.

    Your style of writing is quite interesting- the almost conversation-like inserts make it more entertaining and easier to read. I might try that sometime ^^

    You have yourself another reader.

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    FINALLY SOMEONE GETS THE FEAROW!!!

    ...Ahem, sorry. Nice catch. ;D A lot of the Delta Pokémon will be owned by Team BDV members of varying ranks, and a couple of people who aren't quite 'operatives' but are in constant contact with them. Heh heh. Anyway, thanks! I know a lot of people are iffy about the way I write because I go on tangents there so much, so it's nice to know someone besides me gets a laugh out of it.

    Again, thank you for the review! :3 I'm pleased to know that people are actually seeing my fic now.


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    {18} a name once heard...

    The atmosphere among the Groupie Galaxy had improved significantly from the previous night, but there was still a strange silence hovering over them, only making itself known when conversation seemed to die down and making those times that much worse. They had left Amelia Wolfe’s hospitality earlier that morning.

    “Um, Casey…” said Grant, looking around.

    “Hm?” he replied (somewhat absently).

    “You are looking for Pokémon to train on, right?”

    Casey paused for a moment. “Yeah, I suppose I am.”

    “Well, it doesn’t look like there are many around here. Do you think we should go back to Rhion and try a different forest entrance?”

    “No,” he replied. “I think we’re okay here. It’s morning; a lot of the Pokémon are just waking up or just going to bed, right? If we wait a couple hours, the forest should be swarming with Pokémon as usual.”

    “Right.” Grant didn’t sound particularly convinced, for he pulled the Pipe down from its previous position of slung over his shoulder and instead opted to carry it in his hand like a club.

    “Larvitar, keep looking for any early risers, okay?” Casey took out Larvitar’s Pokéball and released the Ground-type again. He initially did not look too pleased to be out in the open (Casey had woken him up, the little Ratatta), but upon hearing that they were in a forest with potential victims to be had, all hard feelings were forgotten.

    …Well, except for the ones directed towards Caro.

    Sheridan, noticing the arrival of Larvitar, shot a glance in Caro’s direction lest she need to block any more physical assaults. Fortunately, though, the boy had simply tried to ignore Larvitar and kept his eyes fixed on the forest ahead. Sheridan wanted to say something, she really did, but comforting those in a bad mood was definitely not her strong suit.

    Casey, sensing the rather unpleasant silence once again, turned back Larvitar with an inquisitive expression on his face.

    “So are you ready to do some training?” he asked the Pokémon.

    Larvitar nodded with a smirk and a glint in his eye. Training induced getting stronger, and Larvitar was always one for getting stronger.

    ‘If I get stronger,’ thought the Pokémon for the sixth time since he came under the ownership of Casey, ‘then maybe I can evolve into something actually good. And when I evolve into something actually good I can ditch this kid and…’ The Larvitar was unaware that he was now grinning maniacally, and only the calling of his Trainer returned him to something resembling a calm state.

    “Larvitar!”

    The Pokémon looked up at Casey, blinking innocently.

    “Don’t daydream,” said the redhead, stopping to look around. “This is serious business.”

    Larvitar saluted his Trainer, cheered even further by the concept of the Casey kid finally growing a spine. <Yeah!>

    Both Pokémon and Trainer took a good look around at the surrounding forest, hoping to find some sort of Pokémon to begin their training session on. (In the meantime, Grant, Sheridan, and Caro gawked with unrivaled amazement at the sudden initiative their friend was showing.)

    “Ssssssssr.”

    Everyone in the area straightened up at once. Even Caro popped out of his funk temporarily to look around with a confused expression on his face. “Who just said that?” wondered the boy.

    “It sounded like someone snoring,” observed Grant helpfully.

    “And who would be asleep in the middle of a forest?” asked Sheridan with raised eyebrows. “No, it’s probably not someone camping out for the night, unless they’re really outdoorsy types. It must be a Pokémon of some kind… but you might be onto something with the snoring thing. Look over there!”

    Indeed, there had been a rustling noise from directly in front of them. Out from under the bush squirmed a small brown Pokémon with half-open eyes and sharp claws. It had its stomach to the ground and stared up at the group dopily before giving off a loud yawn.

    Larvitar perked up almost immediately afterward. <Opponent!> he shouted. <Yes!>

    Caro rolled his eyes and returned to sulking position – hands jammed in his pockets and staring out at everything under a mess of spiky hair that seemed to have lost all power over gravity that it once held. “Your Larvitar’s found his next target,” he told Casey flatly.

    “Right. Thanks.” Casey had definitely sensed some hostility in the boy’s words. He clearly hadn’t recovered entirely from the rather unpleasant stay at Amelia’s house. “Larvitar, use… uh… hold on.” He fished the JAWS out of his backpack again and checked Larvitar’s moveset, ignoring the Pokémon’s bemused expression. Meanwhile, the newcomer Pokémon squirmed into what could perhaps be called ‘battle position’, somehow sensing the hostility emanating from Larvitar in waves.

    “…Okay, now use Rock Slide!”

    Larvitar stomped on the ground a few times. A nearby boulder became dislodged from its position and, with some body language coaxing by Larvitar, hovered above the Slakoth’s head. The Normal-type didn’t bother to look up at it, but rather shivered as it yawned again. With a loud battle cry, the tiny Ground-type brought the rock crashing down on his opponent.

    <Hopefully,> yelled Larvitar, <this will teach you to respect your opponents!>

    Caro snorted.

    The Slakoth screeched and climbed out of the wreckage. It took a few steps away from the crumbled boulder and yawned, scratching itself behind the ear.

    “Isn’t it going to do anything?” asked Casey.

    “Slakoth are exceptionally lazy,” said Sheridan matter-of-factly. “In battles, they don’t even do anything half the time.”

    “So we attack again. Larvitar, Rock Slide aga—”

    “Hold on just a minute, twerp!” yelled an irritated voice from somewhere in the forest.

    Before any members of the Groupie Galaxy had time to question this mysterious intonation, the presumed origin of the noise stormed out of the nearby underbrush. This presumed origin was a tall, slightly heavy man who looked to be about thirty, with white hair sticking out in two separate directions on his head. “Don’t you know not to go stomping around attacking other people’s Pokémon?”

    “I thought it was wild,” said Casey, crossing his arms. “Does it belong to you?”

    “Yes it does!” snapped the man, before turning to his Slakoth and saying in a considerably less irritated voice, “Return.” He held out a Pokéball, which sucked up the Pokémon instantly.

    Sheridan gave out a pondering “Hmm.” She was ignored.

    Cramming the red-and-white object in his pocket, the man frowned at the sight of Casey’s traveling companions. “You’re a League Challenge trainer, aren’t you?”

    “Well, yes,” replied Casey. “I’m getting Badges, so…”

    “I know what you’re doing,” he snorted, arms crossed impatiently. “Why do you think I guessed you’re chasing after a spot in the Hall of Heroes or whatever? No, I know what you guys do. Only Badge twerps run around with three other people in toe behind them. Seriously… I don’t know what gets into you people, just following the kid around and begging to be—”

    Clyde!

    The man recently identified as Clyde stopped in mid-sentence in favor of letting his eyes widen considerably and letting a surprised expression wash over his face. Clyde turned around to face a woman’s head that had recently popped out from behind a tree, much to everyone else’s surprise. His body language (slumping his shoulders and sighing melodramatically) suggested he was not pleased to see her, and she didn’t exactly look hyped up about finding Clyde, either. This woman’s head happened to have a lengthy mess of very light pink hair, and it was not looking amused.

    “Clyde,” she continued. “You’re supposed to be looking for Slakoth, not having a little chat with strangers!”

    “This ‘stranger’ was trying to beat up my Pokémon,” said Clyde in his own defense, holding out the Pokéball to prove it. “What was I gonna do, just return it and leave?”

    “Certainly sounds like something you would do,” said the woman primly.

    “Tiffany, just shut up,” Clyde grumbled. He turned his head to the group so that the woman behind the tree couldn’t see him, rolled his eyes, and mouthed the word ‘Sisters’. Thus accomplished, he turned back to Tiffany with a frown on his face. “Alright, whatever. I’m coming…”

    “Well surely you’re not going to just leave them here!”

    “Sure I am.” Clyde disappeared among the trees, long blue coat flapping weakly as he moved. “Whatever happened to not conversing with strangers, hmm, sis?”

    Tiffany shrugged at the travelers. “I’m sorry. My brother Clyde has a total lack of manners, among other things… I feel like I need to make it up to you somehow.”

    “No, that’s really not ne—” began Casey.

    “Oh, I know!” continued Tiffany, not seeming to notice Casey’s words in the least. “Would you four care to join us for some lunch today? Billy was being an idiot and packed way too much food again.”

    There was a unanimous, if somewhat delayed, nod. Free grub was not to be declined.

    -

    {A few days previous…}

    “Sir, there seems to be a… development.”

    Fedora Man looked at his computer screen, which now displayed the cold but feminine features of a relatively plump twenty-something on the other end. She had steel-gray hair pulled up into a ponytail, but this didn’t stop a mess of it from falling down into her face.

    “With what?”

    “Nami was just getting to focus the Beam. She was going to use it on… you know, the Rhyperior. Well, she had Juan here in order to help her – evidently, her immense knowledge was not quite immense enough to keep the Beam working. She needed to get everyone’s favorite mechanic over from Rhoter City. Because, sir, you see…”

    “It broke?” interrupted Fedora Man. “Solana, are you trying to tell me the Beam broke?”

    “In basics, yes, sir,” said Solana with a blank tone. “It broke.”

    There was a long silence.

    “That would be a problem, wouldn’t it,” said Fedora Man. It was presented as a statement.

    Solana nodded. “Nami told me to tell you about it.”

    “Why? It’s a simple malfunction, isn’t it?”

    “Not exactly, sir,” remarked the woman on the other end, frowning slightly. “Because, sir, you see, we’ve actually found out something quite unnerving about the side effects of that Beam.”

    “We know about the side effects of the Beam, don’t we?” asked Fedora Man, standing up. “Potential mutations and power increases. That’s it, that’s all it’s been showing for years, even when the previous residents were using it to track the creature… to track Her.”

    “Yes, but the scientists didn’t have any arianite around when they were tracking Her.”

    “What’s the significance of arianite in this?”

    “Well, sir, without going on too long…”

    “Oh, heavens forbid you did that,” said Fedora Man. “Just be sure to get all the details in, won’t you?”

    “Of course, sir! Anyhow, you are aware that arianite was discovered in Kanto… the shards of a rock originating from outer space, makes Clefairies evolve and whatnot?”

    “Yes, I know that,” said Fedora Man. “I’ve known that since I was a—since I was in high school. Go on.”

    “There’s no need to hide that, you know. In any case, we happened to have a sizable hunk of arianite on hand. It was being transported to another room for use in our… other project. Well, the arianite reacted strangely to the Beam. Just by being around it, just by letting the free-roaming waves get near it, that arianite began to emit power. And by placing it down near the Beam and retrieving a small chip of the other project material… well, we now have a little flicker of light hovering around the labs.”

    “A what?”

    At that moment, the door behind Solana (which had previously been closed) creaked open. Fedora Man watched in awe as a small diamond-shaped light hovered in to the room. It had a faint orange aura about it.

    “That thing, sir,” said Solana bemusedly.

    “I see it, Solana,” said Fedora Man in a similar tone. “And… and what has the good professor said about this?”

    “Upon consultation after the incident, he said that it was perfectly normal and that he would be quite surprised if it didn’t appear. However, we seem to have come across a specimen different than what he has encountered in the past… he said that he had never heard of this small glowy friend being orange. Only green ones have been discovered. Of course, he also says this could be a side-effect of certain types being studied and others not, so…”

    “What’s your point, Solana?”

    “Our friend the professor has been dubious about giving out all of his information,” said Solana. “He never seemed to mention this previously, did you notice that? However, he seems to be a bigger help than we previously predicted. Should we remove him as you suggested?”

    “No,” replied Fedora Man. “That won’t be necessary… Oh, by the way. How is the Mime Jr. doing?”

    “She was perfectly healthy, so we sold her.”

    “Good, good. To who, though?”

    “A rare Pokémon dealer. A large amount of them had crowded around our city in order to partake in some sort of yearly street festival. He was interested in her due to her strange coloration, and offered up a hefty sum for such a shady character…” Solana grinned wickedly. Certainly a change from her previous blank expression, but it worked just as well in the given situation. “No need to worry about her, sir.”

    “She went to a street festival? And… will she be sold again?”

    “To some fortunate passerby of the stall? Of course she will. We can have someone make sure she is, if you’d like.” Solana leaned her head on one arm.

    “Not necessary,” said Fedora Man, just realizing he had stood up and returned to his seat. He then continued the conversation as if nothing had happened, causing Solana’s eyebrows to rise and the grin to fall from her face. “Whatever she does with her reformed life isn’t ours to decide, is it? We’re done with her.”

    “That’s true as well, sir.”

    Fedora Man dusted himself off and stared at Solana as only Fedora Man could. “So is that all to report?”

    “Yes, si—”

    Fedora Man cut the connection there.

    -

    “Oh, so you brought friends, did you?” asked a laughing voice from the clearing ahead.

    “Yep,” said Tiffany. She had drilled everyone in the group individually on the way there; she also failed to notice (or was that ignored?) Clyde, who had been moving back to the camp ahead of them and left a trail of ecological destruction in his wake. Having done this, she also took the trouble of introducing them all by name. “We found them running around in the forest, and since you were kind enough to carry supplies for the next three years, I figured we ought to invite them over for some lunch. Alright with you, Billy?”

    “I’ve got no problem with it,” said the man sitting on a tree stump. He was similar to Clyde in some respects – about thirty, tall, white hair pointing in two opposite directions – but he was also thin as a stick, and the hair was much, much larger and less obliging to gravity. “Mr. Moody over there is a different story.” He snickered again and pointed to Clyde, who had taken up residence leaning against a tree.

    Suddenly, there was a little gasp from Sheridan’s direction.

    “I knew I recognized you… and then your names…” Sheridan put her hands on her hips and smirked in triumph. “Of course. You could be nobody else. Billy, Tiffany, Garret, and Clyde – the Go-Rock Quads!”

    There was a silence.

    “Well, at least the chick isn’t completely worthless,” grumbled Clyde. “She remembers us.”

    Tiffany grinned. “You’re sharp, Sherry, you know that? I was waiting for someone to notice that! Good…” She paused mid-sentence when she caught the glare Sheridan was directing at her.

    “Never. Call. Me. ‘Sherry’,” the woman growled. “Ever.”

    “Um, alright,” said Tiffany, all jubilance gone from her voice. “You got it… um… yeah. Okay. No ‘Sherry’. Sure.”

    “Thank you,” replied Sheridan, hostility lost from her tone but certainly not back to her previous triumphant self. The male members of the group stood in silence – none of them had ever considered calling her Sherry, even Rotom, and right now they were all very pleased with themselves that they didn’t. Billy didn’t seem to be fazed by this outburst, as he simply smiled knowingly and whipped out a large amount of food seemingly from thin air.

    “Sorry about that, guys. Tiffany doesn’t take hints too smoothly, if you see what I mean.”

    “Hmm?” Tiffany asked, turning to Billy. “I heard my name called…”

    “Nothing, nothing,” the man mumbled, simply reaching out his hand and letting a multitude of foodstuffs fill them up as he did so. “Okay, sit down, I think we have everything we need… Clyde!” He raised his voice to be heard by his brother, who was now in the process of seeing how long he could stare at the forest before he got sick of it. However, upon prompting from the black-coat-donning man, he returned to standard walking position and slouched over.

    “Finally,” he said out loud as he sat.

    Everyone else took the hint, and Billy climbed down from his wooden perch to sit upon the ground with the rest of them.

    There was a few minutes of silence broken only by frequent chomping, until finally Grant decided to bring up the subject a lot of them had been pondering up until that point. “So how did you start conjuring food out of thin air like that?”

    Billy froze up for a second, but then relaxed again. “Oh! You were talking about that! Sorry, I didn’t quite get what you were thinking about for a minute. Anyway, have any of you guys heard of Hammerspace?”

    Giratina chose the worst possible time to intervene. “Oooh, I’ve heard of it~” she sang softly through the Megaphone Rock. Casey gritted his teeth and ignored her.

    Since nobody else could really answer that except with a shake of the head, Billy continued. “Oh, boy. I’ll need to explain it now, won’t I? Well, I don’t know if you know this, but there are different dimensions in the universe. Lots of them.” Minds temporarily switched to Caro, who fortunately did not feel all of the mental attention his case was getting. “One of them is typically called Hammerspace, because back when it was first discovered people used it to carry weapons around easily. Basically, what happens is you can store almost every item in the universe in your own specific part of Hammerspace, where you can later refer back to it and take out whatever you need.”

    This news impressed all of them, and the sounds of devouring had all but stopped. Even Tiffany and Clyde had paused their meals in order to listen to (and potentially correct) Billy. “It takes years in order to manipulate Hammerspace somewhere close to well, and fortunately all… all of us have been doing that since we were kids, upon request of our parents. Recently people have come up with some strange ways to use Hammerspace with just some machinery, but they don’t work as well as if you’ve been training yourself and learned to Traverse – that’s the name of the art so it’s capitalized, person who does that is a Traverser – naturally. And that’s my lengthy speech on the art of Hammerspace manipulation.” Billy sat back and resumed eating. “Well?”

    “He actually covered the basic points for once,” remarked Clyde.

    “As if you could do much better, Clyde? I think he did a good job.” Tiffany hopped to the leaner brother’s defense.

    “Hmph, sure,” replied the man in question with a shrug. “I thought he did a good job too, remember?”

    “So…” said Billy, eager to divert the subject away from Clyde’s numerous sibling rivalries. “You guys are running the Holon gym circuit, huh?”

    “That’s right,” said Casey. “I’m the one doing a lot of the collecting. These guys came along for their own reasons.”

    “I see, I see.” Billy nodded. “The reason I ask is that we’ve actually been traveling around for our own reasons. Sheridan, you’ve noticed that there’s only three of us here, right?”

    “I was wondering about that,” she confirmed.

    “Right. That’s because Garret pretty much left with not much more than a note. It said something about how he was coming to Holon in order to pursue a profession that didn’t involve the rest of us, because he figured that we were doing okay as it was and he wanted to do it for a while. Never told us what it was he was chasing, though…” Billy’s smirking gaze turned to his brother. “Oh, and because he wanted to get away from Clyde, of course.”

    The Go-Rock Quad in question harrumphed.

    “And so now you’re trekking all over the region just to find him?” asked Grant, impressed. “That’s dedication to your family there.”

    Tiffany and Billy basked in the good words in a perfectly-practiced fashion, while Clyde said nothing.

    “Yes, we’ve been around,” said Tiffany after a few seconds of almost-rehearsed beaming. “Garret has no idea, of course, so when we do find him then he’ll be pleasantly surprised with our…”

    However.”

    Everyone looked around and finally realized the single word had come from Caro, who had been pretty much ignored up until now in the conversation. Evidently, he just didn’t have uch t say…

    “Are you quite sure Garret wants all of you around?”

    There was a lot of surprised blinking before Sheridan turned on him, glaring. “That was totally uncalled for!”

    “Yes it was,” replied Caro icily, “but so was his disappearance, wasn’t it? I’m not saying this is definitely what happened, but frankly his explanations for going off on his own sounded a little vague. And since he also wanted to get away from Clyde, who clearly returned the viciousness in full…”

    Despite the unorthodox and absurdly out-of-character way Caro was bringing them up, everyone agreed (in varying degrees) that maybe he had a couple of points there. But there was a lot of worried glancing between siblings, and finally Billy (as the most talkative and least temperamental of the group) nodded his head. “That’s all true, and you bring up a lot of good points. But even if Garret were trying to evade us on purpose, we ought to at least go out there in order to find out if he really did, right? And if he does then we can nod and go our separate ways. If not, we can see just what he’s been doing all these months.”

    “I suppose so,” said Caro before he lapsed back into his cloud of silence. It certainly unnerved everyone else; how long was their normally borderline-hyperactive companion going to keep this up?

    “That’s a good idea,” seconded Casey in considerably lighter spirits. “You ought to do that.”

    “But first we need to find Garret, and we haven’t covered much ground,” pointed out Tiffany.

    Billy smiled. “Exactly.” He then turned to the newcomers with an almost pleading expression on his face. “Guys, I hate to push this on you when we’ve only just met each other today, but I don’t know how many more opportunities like this one we’re going to actually get. So… would you mind taking one of us with you as you go through the region? You know, just to find Garret? When we do, we’ll leave you, I promise.”

    This was met with more surprised silence, even from his siblings.

    Eventually, though, Clyde decided to finally take notice of the conversation. “A-are you serious?”

    “Completely,” said Billy. He sounded the part.

    “Well, it’s a good idea and all, Billy, but…” Tiffany hesitated, and eventually her sentence faded into nothing. “I mean, that’s still a tall order, pulling us apart further…”

    “Is it too tall for finding out what happened to Garret?” asked Billy, in a not quite accusing but mildly peeved tone of voice. “I don’t think so. Besides, we can talk to each other whenever we want, right?”

    Tiffany nodded. She had been silenced.

    Clyde didn’t object. This was perhaps because his face was doing all of the objecting for him; the glowering he was delivering to Billy was certainly not a glare to be trifled with. However, Billy apparently failed to realize that, as he took Clyde’s lack of response as an acceptance and smiled. “We’re all agreed on our side, guys. What do you think?”

    “Casey should choose,” said Grant almost immediately. “It’s his journey, after all.”

    The other two members of the Groupie Galaxy, and Rotom (previously cuddled up in Sheridan’s arms) squirmed free and had Beast nod his enthusiasm. “Yeah!” chirped the Pokémon. “Let someone come along, Casey! Pleeeeeeease?”

    Casey realized with some concern that his Pokémon was acting like a little girl whose parents were contemplating letting her get a pet.

    “Well,” he said, “as a person I’ve got no problems with one of you coming along, but there’s still the issue of funding to think about, right?”

    “You think we’re going to join your troupe and not give you anything for it?” snorted Billy. “Casey, that’s not how we roll. …Anymore. In any case, though, no. We’ve got plenty of money we’re not going to use for the rest of our lives, so seriously, that’s not so big a deal anymore. Of course, Dad is still watching us, and trying to explain something to him would be like… well, reasoning with a sleep-deprived Primeape. So we can do what we can, which should probably fix all serious issues, but no over-spending to whoever ends up going with them. Got that, you two?”

    “Right,” the other two said in unison.

    “Okay then!” said Billy, getting up and standing on the tree stump. “Let’s do this!” He pumped his fist in the air, expecting to be met with a rallying mess of cheers.

    Clyde just shifted his gaze towards Casey and mouthed ‘He does it all the time’.

    See? It really is a name once heard and never forgotten! Or is that a motto once heard? Hmm. Well, anyway, as soon as you read the title all of you who played Ranger knew what was going to be coming up, right?

    ...Right?

    Anyway, stay tuned for the next chapter. There will be a big ol' battle, I swear. >:3


  17. #42
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    figured out it was the go rock quads just before you mentioned it in the chapter. and has the ranger union gone evil or something? or is it just one of my screwy misinterpritations ( or missspelings, like that one) again?
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

    One crazy trip: The adventures of a beret-clad boy and his best friend the sky. One day I will learn how to forum-format at a decent speed. Promise.

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    Hurray! Go Rock Quads! They were so awesome in Ranger. It's nice to see some never used canon characters in a fanfic.

    I'm interested in this 'light creature thing' which seems to have popped up at the Ranger Union.

    Looking forward to the next chapter XD

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    Heh heh, right now there's going to be no further mention of the Ranger Union (past maybe Clyde's complaining), sorry. They're still fighting for the forces of good over in Almia and Fiore; this takes place
        Spoiler:- Spoilers for Pokémon Ranger:

    Now, in Holon, Garret mysteriously disappeared and the rest of the group put their rock-staritude on hold to go look for him. Though... where did you get the corrupted Ranger Union idea? Just because the Quads were placed in there as heroes? XD Fedora Man and his groupies have nothing to do with the Union, I promise.


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    shadows of Almia is fighting Team Dim Sun. it was the original pokemon ranger where The Go rock Quads break away from their father. (belive me, i finished both) and i got the idea from the fact that Fedora Man's underling is called Solana. (same as the female character in P.R.)
    Last edited by scizorstrike; 27th February 2010 at 2:06 PM.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

    One crazy trip: The adventures of a beret-clad boy and his best friend the sky. One day I will learn how to forum-format at a decent speed. Promise.

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    I know what happened to Team Dim Sun and the Go-Rock Quads; I have finished both games too. Fedora Man's Solana and the Ranger Union's Solana are two different people. (Also, I don't mean to be rude, but why would a Pokémon Ranger, who wrote no less than eight lengthy letters praising the Rangers and emphasizing how important justice was even before she became a Ranger, suddenly hop into an organization that's very obviously evil and doing some pretty horrible things to Pokémon?)


  22. #47
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    I hate writing battles. I hate writing battles. ...Did I mention that I hate writing battles? XD

    {19} defeat means unity, not friendship

    There had been a private discussion between the three remaining Go-Rock Quads over who was to be going with Casey and company on the rest of their trek. While the four not in on the action loitered around the campsite, they had all scurried into a large (and surprisingly soundproof) tent in order to determine the victim.

    Judging from the loud moaning now spilling from that very tent, everyone realized it was going to be Clyde.

    This was confirmed when, a few minutes later, the same man climbed out of the tent with a very sour expression on his face. He retained the same frown as he stormed up to Casey.

    “Okay, kid,” he said. “Here’s how it’s going to go down. I don’t enjoy traveling with a swarm of weaklings, alright? So as the leader of the group, you’re gonna pit all of your Pokémon against all of mine. If you beat me, I’ll come along on your stupid journey with you or whatever. If you lose, we forget all of this even happened.”

    “And there’s no way to convince you otherwise? Or get the others to go?” he asked.

    “If Billy’s got his mind set on something it’s pretty much final.” He put his hands on his hips. “Deal?”

    “I suppose so… yeah. Deal.”

    “Good. We’re pretty close to the edge of the woods now, so maybe one of your Pokémon Center things might have an open battlefield out back..”

    As the group turned as one and began trekking towards the edge of the forest – with Billy leading the procession, naturally – Tiffany drifted towards the back of the group and tapped Casey on the shoulder. “Hey. Um, I need to tell you a few things about Clyde, okay? It’s just so that nothing, um, especially crazy happens when you’re around him. He’s sort of…um, weird with his quirks and stuff.”

    Casey looked up. He was initially quite surprised to see a good-looking woman spouting the word ‘um’ a mile a minute almost directly in his face, but after a second cleared his head and confirmed her intention. “Okay. What about him?”

    “Well, there’s actually only two things I need to warn you about, but, um, they’re pretty serious.” Casey nodded as a signal for her to continue. “Okay. Um, first thing is, I just needed to tell you, that he really, um, really hates Garret. So if you do find him you’ve got to, um, remind Clyde that he needs to get in touch with us. He has our Pokégear numbers, so, um, that shouldn’t be too hard.”

    “Okay,” said Casey. “We can do that.”

    “But, but, um,” continued Tiffany. “That’s, um, not all, and that’s like the least serious, okay? So, um, the next most serious is that he’s kind of…” She looked up and made sure Clyde was out of earshot before leaning even closer (unnerving Casey even further in the process) and whispering, “…um, he’s kind of lazy.”

    Casey was about to shout out the last word in surprise, but only the ‘L’ got out before Tiffany quickly slapped her hand over his mouth with a small squeak. Clyde turned around and shot them both a hostile glare, but a second later he had returned to what he was doing and continued to walk forward while looking at the ground.

    “That connects with the last thing, um, see,” said Tiffany, now visibly unnerved. “He… um… try not to let him hear, you know, that word. And never, ever, EVER call him that.”

    “Why? What happens then?”

    “Um…” Tiffany looked away. “Omigawd (um), you really don’t want to know, but (um) if you do he’s definitely not going to be in your good books, and (um) he doesn’t react well to being called (um) the L word. I mean it. It’s like… it’s like… oh, what’s that literary thingy that people (um) give book characters when they… um… oh yeah. It’s like his berserk button. It’s bad. Seriously (um) bad. Okay. So don’t call him that.”

    Still struggling to make sense of her detached speech, Casey said, “Um… okay.”



    Clyde’s prediction had been correct – when they arrived back at Fort Rhion’s Pokémon Center, the Joy cheerfully informed them that a battlefield had just been vacated and that they could enter right away.

    Casey bowed his head respectfully and said, “Thank you.”

    Clyde grunted his acceptance.

    The Joy was not at all unfazed by these two very different competitors; after all, there were a lot of adults who still held the mindset that their age automatically puts them over younger Trainers. She didn’t ask to watch the match; that would be invasion of privacy, and she had Pokémon to attend to anyway. However, she made a mental note to find out how it ended when they left. Despite the friend-to-all-living-things outlook universal to all Joys worth their salt, watching someone get their just desserts was also a sport she didn’t mind.

    Grant was nominated to be the referee, and he stepped into the field in the appropriate position. “The battle between Clyde Gordon of Wintown and Casey Blair of Calda City will now begin. Trainers, send out your first Pokémon.” He took a few steps backward as both of them flung Pokéballs high into the air. Casey didn’t look particularly pleased with having to fight who he (sort of) hoped to be his new traveling companion, but Clyde betrayed no facial expression beside that of utmost boredom.

    Unsurprisingly, Clyde released his Slakoth first. He didn’t bother to initiate any flashy “Pokémon GO!” sequences, but simply took the Pokéball out of its previous residence – his large pocket – and said “Slakoth” while tossing the Pokéball to the ground.

    The Pokémon gave a little grunt and pulled itself up onto a four-legged position, almost like a dog.

    Casey, on the other hand, released a Pokémon none of his traveling companions had remembered he had – a small blue Pokémon with a wide tail and a giant white circle on its stomach, with a black swirling line in the middle of that. It had two small legs, but no arms, and little beady eyes.

    “Poli-wag!” chirped the Water-type in question.

    Clyde gave a little smirk. “Oh, come on. You’re gonna give me that little blob to fight against? Your funeral, I guess… Slakoth, use Yawn!”

    The Pokémon almost immediately opened its mouth and took a huge intake of air, making its small body quiver – and making Poliwag quiver, too. The Pokémon staggered back a bit, but Casey (who could only see the back of its body) didn’t quite realize that the Pokémon’s eyelids were quickly getting heavier. It was for this reason that he continued to act as if nothing was wrong – and, of course, nobody wanted to yell out the effects of Yawn. (If they did, Tiffany and Billy would definitely shush them.)

    “Use Water Gun!” This time, Casey had taken the trouble to learn his Pokémon’s attacks beforehand so as not to set up another Larvitar incident.

    The Tadpole Pokémon gave a small “wag” of acceptance and took another deep breath, this time returning Slakoth’s favor by delivering a steady jet of water directly into his face. The Normal-type gurgled and flailed, falling over in the process, but eventually he dragged himself to another canine position. He did this, apparently, exclusively for the pleasure of watching Poliwag collapse and begin to take very slow breaths. At that point, the reality of Yawn dawned upon Casey.

    He scowled. “Oh… Poliwag’s asleep, isn’t she?”

    “Yep,” replied Clyde with a smug smile. “I did tell you my Pokémon is capable of beating yours into next week, right?”

    “Yeah, maybe if it bothers to,” remarked the young man, pointing to Slakoth. He had flopped down from his sitting position until he was laying belly-down on the floor, watching the antics with its head over its outstretched, fuzzy arms.

    “Oh, that,” said Clyde nonchalantly. “Sure, whatever. It’ll respond eventually. Slakoth, whenever you’re done loafing, use Scratch.”

    A few seconds passed as Slakoth scratched itself behind the ear and Poliwag snoozed on, but soon enough the Normal-type returned to puppy position. Almost immediately he began scampering across the dirt-covered field at a speed very unnatural for a Pokémon of his physical determination, and eventually skidded to a halt before Poliwag – sending a spray of dirt into the sleeping Pokémon’s face. She merely moaned, as if her mother was waking her up from a particularly nice sleep, and rolled over. Slakoth found much enjoyment in this, and promptly began raking the snoozing Poliwag with its claws. The Pokémon twitched and winced in its sleep, but failed to wake up.

    Seeing that the Poliwag had responded, Slakoth gave a sound of satisfaction and plodded to its proper place, where it laid itself down again to watch. Yet again, Poliwag simply snoozed on.

    Casey was beginning to get fed up with this. “Poliwag!” he yelled to the Pokémon in question. “It’s been four turns, and he’s only attacked you for one! This could be easy if we keep ourselves away from that Yawn!”

    Much to his surprise, the Pokémon stirred. Poliwag soon pushed herself to her feet, looking around and blinking. “Poli…?”

    “Good morning, sunshine,” grunted Clyde, staring down the small yellow Pokémon. “Slakoth, she looks a little tired, doesn’t she?”

    “Slaaaaah.”

    “Mhm, yeah, I thought so too. You know, I heard Toxic does wonders for groggy minds… Slakoth, be a gentleman. Help her out.”

    “Slaaah.” Slakoth was considerably more pleased with this attack; all that moving and arm-flailing really got tedious. He simply hunkered down on the ground and opened his mouth, letting a rather unsanitary-looking black smoke pour out of its open jaw and zoom towards Poliwag. Before her Trainer could even make a command for her to get out of the line of fire, she began coughing – and breathing in the smoke. Somehow sensing its objective had been completed, the rest of the smog lowered to the ground and eventually disappeared.

    When Poliwag breathed, a few purple bubbles spilled out of her mouth and she began another coughing fit.

    “Oh, that’s not good,” said Sheridan, cringing. “If Poliwag is coughing all the time…”

    “…She might not be able to move as well,” finished Grant bemusedly. “Yeah.”

    Casey, by now, saw that something was going very wrong in his battle so far. What had Tiffany said? That Clyde was hopelessly lazy? Unless someone else had trained his Pokémon for him and drilled all of the strategies into his head mercilessly, right now he didn’t seem to fit the description – the strategies seemed perfectly legitimate (and perfectly useful), and he even went so far as to make degrading comments in the middle of the match.

    Poliwag continued to wheeze bubbles. Slakoth shuffled around to find a comfortable position, and simply watched her from there, content with lying in the sunshine in the middle of battle.

    Casey put his hands on his hips and thought. If he had Poliwag use Water Gun or Bubblebeam, what would happen to the poison erupting out of her mouth in a bubbly mess? Would it screw up her summoning of water and make the Pokémon choke, or would it mingle in with her Water attacks and make some sort of hybrid Water-Poison attack? As Casey pondered the possible after-effects of using another Water move, Clyde’s eyebrows furrowed.

    Then he frowned.

    Then he shifted his weight.

    Then he crossed his arms.

    Then he said, “Slakoth, use Scratch.”

    Slakoth obliged with another “Skaaaaa” and began plodding towards Poliwag again at a rather leisurely pace, taking his sweet time to make a move. He had actually gone ahead and raked Poliwag’s swirl-shaped gut again before Casey came to a decision.

    “Poliwag, Water Gun.”

    Poliwag opened its mouth to unleash another small flood of water upon Slakoth, and just as Casey had (sort of) predicted, along came lots of tiny purple droplets with it.

    Now, water doesn’t cause any pain when it comes in contact with eyes of any variety, including the eyes of Pokémon. Usually all it does is get in the way and make the victim blink a lot, and complain about itchiness and maybe even a little bit of swelling. All in all, nothing too serious.

    Unfortunately, though, the same could not be said for poison.

    Slakoth backed off, paws over its eyes, and began bawling like a little child. The loud noise caused Poliwag to whimper, but she eventually got over it and stared down the Pokémon.

    Slakoth staggered to a halt in his crying, dropped to all four paws, and eventually collapsed. Clyde sighed and returned his Pokémon, pocketing the red-and-white Pokéball like the failure of his Pokémon to defeat the other had simply been a bother to him. He went to reach for another one when, much to all spectators’ surprise (this includes the Trainers in the fight), Poliwag took a giant gasp of air and fainted on the spot.

    “Poison got to her,” said Casey, biting his lip. “Well… good job, Poliwag.” Casey tried to ignore how strange that sentence felt coming out of his mouth.

    “Poliwag is unable to battle,” said Grant in an uncharacteristically firm voice. “On the other hand, so has Slakoth. That leaves the match in a draw! Trainers, send out your next Pokémon.”

    Both Trainers had recalled their fallen Pokémon, and neither one of them wanted to be the first to follow Grant’s instructions.

    “Come on,” said Clyde impatiently. “Pick someone.”

    Casey paused for a second before responding: “Not before you do.”

    “Look, I know who I’m gonna use, alright? So just send out your stupid Pokémon and let’s get this over with.”

    “Fine by me.” Casey turned to Rotom, who was hovering next to him and beaming like a crazy person, and gave him a look that implied, ‘Get out here’. Rotom understood his expression and floated out onto the field without a word, having Beast rear up and roar ferociously. (Unfortunately, Beast could only make the movements and so Rotom had to do the roaring. It ended up coming out as “Rrooooooooooooorawr!”, only serving to make Clyde snicker.)

    When the man realized that Casey was actually serious about sending out Rotom, he rolled his eyes and released another Pokémon. It was somewhat like Slakoth, but stood on two legs and bore white fur. The most important difference, though, was that it was quickly hopping from foot to foot as if it was preparing to fight even then.

    “Meet Vigoroth,” said Clyde with a wave of his hand. “I think you’ll find him much, much worse.”

    Vigoroth shot his opponent a toothy grin.

    “I’d be right in assuming he’s not—” Casey stopped himself halfway through the sentence, remembering Clyde’s mysterious but distinctly bad reaction to the word ‘lazy’. “...assuming he’s not going to lie around so much in the middle of the fight, right?”

    “Yes you would,” said Clyde. “Brick Break!”

    Vigoroth immediately dived for Rotom, bearing a speed none of the opposition had expected, and promptly began a barrage of punches. Rotom was squealing in pain almost immediately, but Vigoroth paid it no mind and only hopped away after Rotom had been slammed once with each fist. He had hardly returned to his battling position when Casey’s command made itself present:

    “Thundershock!”

    Rotom gave a little grin and let Beast perform another of his mute roars before charging up a considerable amount of electrical energy. Once that had been accomplished, Beast’s jaws opened and fired the stream of electricity directly at Vigoroth. The Pokémon in question gave a booming laugh and promptly leaped out of the way, landing on all fours and quickly returning to a two-footed stance.

    A few of the onlookers bit their lips, Go-Rock Quad or not.

    “And again.” Vigoroth leaped in again, dropping to all fours in order to scramble towards Rotom but quickly springing up into the air. This time around, he could only get in one punch before the Wild Monkey Pokémon received a faceful of Beast and sprang back in surprise. While it wasn’t exactly an Astonish attack, the toothy and glowing jaw of a not-quite-canine head was certainly good at making the Pokémon retreat.

    Vigoroth hopped back to its position with a yowl – and then another yowl. For, you see, Vigoroth had just realized that he was being surrounded by glowing balls of electricity, sending thin streams of the same sort of energy between them. The wads of energy then proceeded to get slowly closer to him. The Pokémon looked around for help and then jumped up in the air, finding no other way to avoid the Thunder Wave. However, that too was in vain; the fence of electricity moved with him and eventually consumed the Pokémon, leaving jolts of electricity to flicker across the wild fur and its owner to moan in pain.

    Vigoroth got over it quickly, though. Upon its Trainer’s request, the Wild Monkey Pokémon screeched and hopped towards Rotom again – it was running on three legs, with the fourth held high in the air. Truth be told, the entire thing looked pretty strange until you took into account the fact that Vigoroth was using Fury Swipes and brought that high-held claw down on Rotom’s body with a roar of triumph.

    Rotom smiled widely as the claw passed right through him.

    “What the…” Clyde spluttered. “What on Earth did you do?”

    Casey shrugged. “I don’t know.”

    Clyde scowled at his opponent’s lack of knowledge, while Sheridan had descended into a giggle fit. She could be vaguely heard gasping the word “Immunities!” between bouts of laughter.

    Clyde rolled his eyes and said, “Whatever. Vigoroth, just use… just use Brick Break or something.”

    His Pokémon didn’t attack, but instead turned around and gave his Trainer a look that practically screamed “I am very disappointed in you”. Of course, this unexpected act of humanity in a Pokémon character was promptly cut short from another Thundershock, courtesy of Rotom.

    Vigoroth swiveled back around and immediately bounded in for more Fury Swipes, but this time Rotom simply giggled and levitated out of the way. The white Pokémon was now at the stage where it would be snorting steam out of its nostrils – Vigoroth was just that angry. And it showed as the Pokémon began jumping up and down, screeching angrily and shaking its fists up at the floating form of Rotom. (Caro scowled.)

    Rotom seemed insistent on staying up there, so Clyde rolled his eyes. “Your idiot Pokémon just made this an awful lot harder,” he told Casey with the tone of someone completely missing the point of a Pokémon battle. Which he was. “Vigoroth, use Uproar!”

    Vigoroth immediately set to work carrying out its Trainer’s command, doing so by stomping its feet and waving its arms in a sporadic little dance and screaming like a maniac. Casey took a step back, covering his ears. ‘How on Earth is that… that noise an actual move?!?’

    Regardless of how Uproar got into the ranks of Pokémon moves, Vigoroth used it, and with a yell Rotom’s presence up in the air faltered. Casey could see that Rotom wouldn’t stay up there much longer, despite the fact that he had managed to keep himself levitating up until this point, and decided to make good use of the opportunity while it presented itself. “Rotom, use Thundersho—”

    “VIGAAAAAAA! VIGAAAAAARAAAAAAROOOOOOOOOOOOTH! VIGARAAAAAHRARRRRRARRRRRARRRRRR~!”

    Sheridan blinked and said, “Oh dear.”

    Before Rotom could make a movement, Vigoroth continued on its one-man rampage on everyone else’s eardrums. With the combined pressure of charging a Thunderbolt and trying to ignore Vigoroth’s Jigglypuff impersonation (though it wasn’t doing any damage, Rotom could still hear it), the Ghost-type simply stopped floating. Casey realized exactly what would happen to Rotom’s metal coating were it to hit the ground at its current speed, and shoved his hand in the side pocket of his backpack in a frantic search for Rotom’s Pokéball.

    He realized exactly where Rotom’s Pokéball was as the creature hit the ground with a stomach-lurching crunch.

    The red glow surrounding Rotom dimmed until it was barely visible, and Beast was sucked back into the core.

    “Oh,” said Casey. “Um… should I carry him?”

    “Return him to his Pokéball, stupid.”

    “I can’t do that!” retorted Casey, clenching his fists and very much wishing he hadn’t gotten into this battle with Clyde at all. “His Pokéball…” The boy suddenly realized that there was no easy way for him to explain just what caused Rotom to turn into its current form, and he simply settled with an immensely pathetic “…can’t actually be used right now.”

    Clyde rolled his eyes. “Well, toss him up in the air for all I care. If you were stupid enough to make his Pokéball malfunction, then there’s—”

    “Be quiet, will you?” snapped Casey as he trudged onto the battlefield, scooping up Rotom. “I didn’t do anything to Rotom’s Pokéball. If you had noticed the shape it’s been taking this entire time then maybe you would have bothered to…”

    Trainers!

    Grant stopped the argument with great speed. Neither of them were actually aware his voice was even capable of reaching this level of intensity.

    Clyde put his hands in his pockets. “Whatever.”

    Casey shot him a warning look and then sent out yet another Pokémon, this one being the small green dragon known to many as Larvitar. His Trainer wasted no time in commanding the Pokémon to use Rock Slide, for which it happily obliged. The Pokémon put its claws to the ground, ripping out two disproportionately large boulders in each hand, and flung them at Vigoroth.

    Unfortunately, Vigoroth was in the middle of running towards Larvitar with Fury Swipes at the time, and failed to notice. For that reason, the already severely winded Vigoroth got a faceful of boulder.

    It dropped on the spot.

    There were a few beats of silence, then…

    “Vigoroth is unable to battle! Clyde, do you have another Pokémon?”

    The man shook his head numbly.

    “In that case, victory goes to Casey.” He gestured towards the young man with his hand. “The match is over, and due to the bargain set at the beginning of the match, Clyde now has to come along with us.” He walked out of the battlefield and took the long way around, eventually passing the others (who were sitting on benches constructed to hold onlookers) and stopping to stand behind them. “My work here is done.”

    Clyde mumbled a few words that would make Honchkrow blush and returned his Pokémon.


  23. #48
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    what happened to Clyde's Slaking? or did he leave it behind?
    (as a side note, i only said about the different games as you said about them leaving their father at the end of Shadows. it might be just after the concert they gave for Altru's birthday, but you put it like they only just left their dad)
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

    One crazy trip: The adventures of a beret-clad boy and his best friend the sky. One day I will learn how to forum-format at a decent speed. Promise.

  24. #49
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    Clyde's Pokémon are no longer under the command of his ashiko drum Styler; he managed to re-capture Slakoth and Vigoroth, but Slakoth was simply too strong. The others retained all of their Pokémon. And yes, this happened after the concert in Altru Park, because back then Garret was still with them. This story takes place pretty soon after that (which I estimate happened a few months after the first Ranger, though I could be wrong), but the Quads are used to referring to their father in a very casual manner. After all, he never really acted particularly fatherly...


  25. #50
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    Come on, that battle wasn't that bad. Actually it was pretty funny with all the 'face full of beast' and similar lols :P

    The only thing that bothers me is the strict turn based battling style. It makes it seem less realistic because in reality they could attack more rather than waiting for the opponent. Although i understand it could be easier to write following game mechanics ect. I guess its all down to style and personal preference ^^

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