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Thread: Pokémon Adventure - Kokubei Chronicles (PG-13)

  1. #1
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    Default Pokémon Adventure - Kokubei Chronicles (PG-13)

    Chapter 00: Prologue

    On top of the highest mountain, at the bottom of the darkest sea, even deep in the thickest forest - no matter where you are, there you will find Pokémon. This world - the world of Pokémon, is a world of magic, of mystery, of fun, and adventure, with new surprises around every corner. People and Pokémon interact in many different ways - many people live in harmony with their Pokémon - some becoming Trainers, who battle with their Pokémon to grow stronger as a team, and some become Coordinators - dazzling the world by putting on beautiful performances...but the bond between humans and Pokémon doesn't stop there. People and Pokémon from all over the world travel together, train together, and grow stronger together, forming friendships with each other to last a lifetime.

    There is a large and marvelous region far east of the Hoenn, Johto, Kanto, and Sinnoh regions. Here, many new and exciting new Pokémon are found - making it one of the most diverse, yet mysterious regions around. This land is home to hundreds of fascinating Pokémon, the likes of which many outside the region have never seen - known as the region of Kokubei. At the age of 16, young men and women of the Kokubei region are able to obtain their Pokémon License, enabling them to legally claim any Pokémon caught, given to, or traded for as their own. For many young men and women, this is one the happiest days of their lives, starting their journey through life with their friends, the Pokémon.

    Now, our attention turns to one such Trainer on her special day...


    Simplife Town - Zee's House


    *ruffle, ruffle, ruffle*

    *ruffle, ruffle, ruffle*

    *ruffle, ruffle, ruffle*

    *ruff-"Gah! I can't sleep like this...it's driving me insane!"
    Zee tossed in her bed, unable to sleep. After a while she rolled onto her back, staring the ceiling of her small bedroom. She took a good, slow look around the room. Her gentle blue-colored room looked like it appeared a much brighter hue in the daytime. The walls of her room were covered with posters of Pokémon movies, a Trainer standing next to her Pokémon with an autograph across the bottom right corner - "Never give up!" and an illegible name scribbled underneath, several other posters with brand names and slogans, and a collage of photographs of her and her friends.

    A small red light coming from her right side softly glowed across the wall. Zee rolled onto her right side before fixating her eyes on the light - her alarm clock - before realizing what time it was.
    "2:04 A.M.? This is ridiculous. I JUST. WANT. SLEEP." She'd been lying there for almost four hours, still unable to slumber off. She was simply too excited to sleep - in less than six hours, she would be heading off on her own to start a journey with her first Pokémon.

    Last week, Zee had received her notification letter - she was just one of a select group of License obtainers chosen by Professor Maple (leading expert on Pokémon migration patterns) to receive a starter Pokémon. Despite the joy of being selected, Zee had no idea who Professor Maple was (only remembering that she had seen or heard the name once or twice before) or even why she was one among hundreds to be selected.

    Zee's grades were never the best in her class and she never tried to stand out by causing trouble - she just worked harder because she was the youngest in her class. Zee moved from school to school so much, that when she finally was assigned to a class in her Pokémon school, it was too late before the administration realized that she was a year ahead in her schooling. It didn't come across as a problem; however, as her desire to do well allowed her to become an exception to the licensing rules.

    Zee's family moved around quite a bit - her father disappeared on a business trip several years ago, right after her youngest sister, Karina, was born, and her mother was transferred due to her job as a marketing consultant for a major food brand - that is, until she settled down in Simplife Town a few years ago to give Karina the chance to adjust to school and have somewhat a normal life. Zee's mother, Selina, rarely mentioned her father. Selina filed a missing person's report a week after she lost contact with him, but she never seemed to have given up hope. For the first month and a half, Zee remembered that her mother would set the table for her father - as if waiting for him to walk right in and come home like nothing changed. A month turned into two, spring into fall, then to spring again - her mother working an extra part-time job, just to help maintain liveable income.. Karina was almost six now, and Zee was in her last year at the Pokémon Academy, so Selina had a lot of things to worry about with Zee leaving - helping to keep her mind preoccupied.

    As the oldest of five, Zee was the "biggest sister" (as Karina calls her), so she was second-in-command around the house - and she filled the position well. Her other sisters - Mel, Christi, and Addy (14, 12, and 10, respectively), were old enough to help around the house with their mother working hard, so Zee didn't need to worry about them filling her shoes once she left. Mel - Zee's soft-spoken and gentle sister - was a very "motherly" type, did most of the cleaning around the house, and dedicated most of her time to taking care of Karina along with Zee. Christi - Zee's flirty, popular, and rather gossipy sister - had a knack for cooking, so she would tend to make most of the meals (all the while chatting on the phone), as their mother would come home late. Addy - Zee's bookish and rather detached sister - did most of the mechanical repairs around the house, most often being found with her nose in a book or fixing Christi's laptop (sometimes, reading Christi's e-mails.) Karina would be starting school at the Pokémon Academy in a few weeks - so between Zee, her mother, and her sisters - Karina would be starting off the school year relatively easy.

    Zee was still wide awake in bed, still nervous about her day. She was so nervous, that she didn't even realize just how hard she was gripping her covers until she looked over and noticed her hands clenched tightly on her yellow and white quilt.
    "I guess it can't be helped...I'm just...excited. What to do, what to do? I really want to go to sleep so I can just wake up...but I just...can't..." Zee's excitement rushed over her like a wave of water, gently rolling over her body. She tried closing her eyes for what seemed to be an eternity (it was really just under two minutes), before a gentle glowing light came from outside her window.
    "Huh?" Zee's eyes flickered open in response to the faintly pulsating light from the other side of her window. "What is it now?" Zee grumbled. "The universe just wants me to stay awake."

    Staring wide-eyed at her ceiling in slight annoyance, Zee turned to her left and threw the covers off her body. Intermittent flickers of light seemed to come from her bedroom window, a few feet to the left of her headboard. Suddenly, her silky purple curtains began to flutter in a wind that seemed to pick up quickly, the lights from outside glowing brighter.
    "What the-?" At this, Zee bolted straight up, her feet swung out from the covers, and she fumbled to put her bedside slippers on, quickly ignoring them and staggering to the window. Zee opened her curtains wide and stared in amazement at a glowing display of light. To the west (the direction her window faces), a bright symphony of glittering dust seemed to be gathering high up in the mountains - very far off in the distance. "Wow! So...beautiful..." The lights danced and sparkled in the night, looking almost like a bunch of swirling, dancing confetti converging on some distant mountaintop before shining in bright unison. Just as quickly as it appeared, the light disappeared.

    "Well...that was...odd..." Zee blinked, not sure if what she saw was real, or if she was just delusional from her lack of sleep. Zee squinted about for a bit before shrugging, "Hmm," and lumbering back to her bed, where she simply collapsed into it. She looked up and grabbed her clock, which read "2:23", then grabbed a pillow and pinned it to her head. From between her pillow and bed, Zee let out a muffle. "At this rate,I'm never going to get to sleep..." letting out a long, groaned sigh and lying sprawled out.

    After a few minutes of silence, "...Pokémon..." she muttered, amidst her usual loud snoring. Zee's dream began with a cloud of dancing, glittering light, before drifting away in her restful slumber.

    Pokémon, indeed.


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    Addy had been up for a few hours now. There was a loud, crashing noise sometime around 6:15, which she had assumed to be Zee. Falling out of bed was a normal part of Zee's waking ritual, so no one really bothered with loud noises from Zee's room in the attic. Thirsty and ready to go to school, despite not having to get up yet, Addy headed downstairs to the kitchen to grab something to drink, stepping into the room with a small squeak from the floor.

    Zee was a zombie.

    Well...not a flesh-eating, Night-of-the-Living-Dead zombie - more like the don't-talk-to-me-before-I-have-coffee-or-I'll-kill-you kind of zombie.

    "Shut up."

    "What?" Addy didn't actually say anything. Zee was sitting at their round, kitchen table - a cup of what smelled to be coffee and a bowl of (most likely) soggy cereal sat in front of her. Zee was so tired that she kept saying "shut up" to every object that she heard creak. Brown drips of coffee stained Zee's white T-shirt, while her blue-with-rubber-ducky pajama pants remained unscathed. "Are you...staring at your cereal?" Addy asked. Zee's eyes were almost completely shut and she fought to keep her head level.

    "I said, 'shut up'." Zee could be a bit obnoxious in the morning, so Addy just ignored her and walked to the refrigerator for a glass of milk.

    "You drank all the skim milk? Great." Addy shot her sister a look, but Zee sat facing the other way. Addy adjusted her glasses and begrudgingly took the 2% milk out, closed the door, and turned around to get a glass out of the cupboard. Addy saw the used coffee machine and gave it a slight look of disgust. The pot was positioned under the machine wrong, so coffee dripped over the side of the handle. A sparse amount of coffee beans littered the counter, which Addy brushed aside to make room to place her glass. "What time are you leaving?" Addy asked while pouring herself a glass of milk.

    "I don't know...around 7:00?" Zee took a sip of coffee. "OUCH!" Zee had burned her tongue. "Sonuva-"

    "You'd better get going then...it's 6:43..." At that, Zee jumped up and ran off to get herself ready for the day. Already, it seemed it was going to be a long one.

    Addy took a sip of her milk and stared at where her sister disappeared to, finishing a gulp of milk. Addy looked at the clock on the wall and cocked her head. "Hmm..." she said, glancing at the calendar to the right of the clock. "...forgot about today..." Addy took her finger and adjusted the clock before placing her glass in the sink and walking upstairs.

    The clock now read, "7:46."


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    Author's Note

    This is my second edit of the series, as I was having problems editing my posts. I had around 350 posts, but oh well. Enjoy!


    Kokubei is the name of the region I've chosen to write about. It's obviously my fan-made region, but I'd like to give readers some background information about it. The name "Kokubei" comes from an amalgam of two words.
    The first is "beikoku", meaning "rice field", the literal reading of the Japanese kanji used to represent the United States...where I'm from. The second is "hokubei" the Japanese name for North America as a whole.


    Kokubei Databook

    Kokubei Location - Real World Location

    Simplife Town - Allentown, PA
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  2. #2
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    Default

    Since I can't edit my first post, I'll post the latest information update link (last post on the page) here, so that people new to the series can get caught up.


    Series Info Warning: Spoiler Information






    Chapter 01: Let's Roll Out!



    Route 501 - Bus Stop


    "Come on...come on...come on...come on..." Zee paced around the bus stop impatiently, staring at her watch (which was still an hour behind) intermittently. She had managed to make it to the bus stop by what she thought was 7:30, but the buses to Trulove City ran every hour and a half, so the next one would be there in the next 30 minutes. Zee was supposed to be at Professor Maple's laboratory in Trulove City by 10:00. She had a habit of showing up to places late, so Zee put the extra effort into getting herself up early enough to be there on time, yet she forgot about the change in Daylight Savings Time.

    "GAH! Why is this bus taking so long?!" If she only knew. Zee was incredibly nervous, checking her checklist of what she brought along in her backpack every five minutes or so. The bus stop faced a small creek to the east, where a few Poliwag bobbled playfully in the water, splashing each other in the morning sun. It was bright out, so Zee took out her "lucky" sunglasses, which she tended to hide behind when uncomfortable. She was still tired from this morning - her excitability caused her to lose too much sleep.

    Zee wore her usual outfit today - a pink polo under a cropped white hoodie, with gray capri pants. Self-conscious as she was, all of Zee's outfits matched - even her shoes. Her dark brown hair was tied back in a ponytail, held there by a pink scrunchie. Around her neck, she wore a strange silver pendant on a chain. It was given to her by her father years ago, so she never took it off. Along with her choice of dress, Zee had spent a relatively long time in the bathroom that morning, insisting upon looking her absolute best for her trip to Trulove City. It took one or two hours to get there by bus, depending on the weather. Traffic was usually very light, as many people from the countryside tended to walk or bike rather than drive. Zee had a bus pass; however, so she planned her trip around it - that, and the fact that she had problems getting up in the morning.

    Zee finally sat down in the shade of the bus stop. "I guess I could take a little break...I guess..." Letting out a long yawn, arms outstretched, Zee put her sunglasses on her head, folded her arms behind her head, and laid back against the bus stop panel. Sunlight from the trees filtered through the grated bus stop panels, sending small flecks of light dancing across the top of her hair. Zee tilted her head to her side, staring off into the clouds. For a moment, she thought she could make out the image of a Poké Ball in the sky. At this, she smiled.

    "There's no use in worrying about what time the stupid bus'll get here. I'm gonna be there soon anyway, what's the rush? Heh heh..." Her voice wavered slightly, still full of tension. "Why am I so worried?" She thought to herself, closing her eyes. "Just calm down, Zee...calm down...breathe in..." Her chest swelled. "...and out..." She released a breath of air. "In...and out..." It wasn't long before her eyes were closed and her breaths were focused. She wasn't asleep, she was just relaxed. That is until-

    *DONN DONN!!!*

    A horn blared loudly, causing Zee to jump up in panic.

    *THUNK!"

    Zee's overreaction to the sound caused her to jump directly into the bus doors, and she fell backwards onto the soft patch of grass between the bus stop seat and the pavement. The bus doors opened and someone got out to help her up.

    "Are you...okay there, Missy? Didn't mean to scare ya there! Was pretty funny, though - seein' the look on your face..." A short, older man offered his hand to the dazed teenager. Zee clutched her now-throbbing forehead for a second before she bolted into an upright position.

    "OH NO - MY FACE!" Zee whipped out her pocket mirror and neurotically probed her forehead spastically, trying to locate any visible signs of redness or swelling. The man just stood there, blinking at her. Luckily (for the both of them), there were none. "You're lucky there's no bruising." She sat on the ground looking for her sunglasses, which lay at the feet of the man, who picked them up and handed them to Zee. Pouting, Zee took the glasses from the man's hand, adjusted them on her head and stood up, brushing herself off.

    "Er...um...you look okay..." The older gentleman shrugged off Zee's slight rudeness and perked up, "Henry," he smiled.

    "What?" Zee looked puzzled.

    "The name's Henry, I drive the public bus around these parts." The old man stuck his hand out, smiling again. He wore an oversized blue work shirt that reminded Zee of a mechanic, and light gray-blue jeans that looked to have been faded too many times in the wash. HIs hair was a milk chocolately brown color that was lightly graying, hidden partially under a gray-blue bus driver hat that looked something like a yacht-captain would wear. He also wore hideous black Crocs on his feet that made Zee jump before she caught his eye.

    "...eh...pleased to meet you...I'm Zee...?" She shook his hand half-heartedly, not sure what was going on. He was rather friendly, something that kind of caught Zee off-guard. Zee never really had that many friends, or talked to that many people, mostly because she spent a good portion of her time around her sisters, so social interactions with new people were few and far between for her. Despite this, Zee at least attempted to be friendly back - after all, it wasn't really his fault - he could have just drove right by her instead of getting her up from the bus seat.

    "Do you have any more bags with you, Missy?" Henry looked around for any extra luggage, but found none.

    "Um, nope. I have everything in my backpack I think, thanks..." Zee picked up her gray and pink backpack, patting a few pockets - just to make sure she still had everything.

    "Traveling light, eh?" Henry chuckled. "Well, I guess it's time to get going, right?"

    "Right." The older gentleman, just a bit taller than Zee, was pretty limber, and hopped up the steps quickly, while Zee walked up into the small, little bus. It was small, but surprisingly welcoming - for a bus, that is. The seats were pale blue with navy fabric, small scratches on the window seemed to be graffitied words, and there was only one other person on the bus - a woman in the middle on the driver's side. The bus lurched forward slightly and the doors creaked shut as Henry pulled a lever to his right.

    "Next stop, Trulove City! Estimated time of arrival 10:15!" Henry's voice came across as rather jolly for a bus driver - especially at this hour, Zee thought. The time of arrival kind of bothered Zee, as she cringed slightly at the thought of being late. Zee walked to the back of the slowly sputtering forward bus, taking the time to get a quick glance at the sleeping woman. Her hair was a medium-cut, sandy brown bob and dangled pearl string earrings hung from her ears. She wore a brown peacoat that was completely unbuttoned, exposing her dark brown button-down shirt. The woman's boots matched her shirt, while her long skirt blended with her coat. Next to the woman was a brown briefcase with a rather large mound of papers sticking out of it.

    "Whoa!" The bus picked up speed around a corner, catching Zee off balance. The woman let out a slight snore, making a chewing motion with her mouth, but was otherwise, unfazed.

    "Sorry, Missy! Better take a seat, hmm?" Zee sat down swiftly in the very back of the bus, grabbing her sunglasses to make sure they didn't fall off.

    "Yeah, yeah..." At least they were moving pretty fast, she thought. For an old man, Henry drove the bus pretty fast, not that Zee minded or anything. Zee thought about her mother and sisters as she watched out the window. The trees and scenery all blurred together into a big green mass, but her mind was preoccupied with thoughts of her family. She was leaving them - not forever - but it seemed like something she might have second thoughts about. Did Mel take Karina to school alright? Christi was supposed to empty the dryer when she got up...did she do that? And what about-? No - it's fine, everything's fine.

    "It's fine." Zee spoke aloud, catching her own attention, and realized that she snapped herself out of a daydream. Zee looked around in embarassment, but Henry was busy whistling a tune to himself, and the woman was still - well...asleep. Zee smiled and looked at her watch. An hour and a half left. Better make the most of it. With that, she fell asleep.


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    "Roll...out!" Zee tossed her Poké Ball in the air, a Staraptor appearing from it. "Yeah! Staraptor, let's do this!" Staraptor looked back at Zee for a glance, then turned around, spreading out its wings and let out a battle cry.

    "Staraptor! Star!"

    "Oh yeah? Let's go, Alakazam!" Her opponent sent out the Psi Pokémon, which resounded Staraptor's yell. The two Pokémon stood ready for battle in the center of the battlefield, the millions in the crowd all around them roaring in unison.

    *BONG!*

    The match bell sounded and the two Pokémon rushed forward. "Staraptor! Let's start this off with a Whirlwind!" Staraptor took to the skies, climbing high before flapping its broad wings to produce gale force winds.

    "Alaka-" Alakazam covered its face with one arm. Staraptor was so high above Alakazam, that the light from the sun almost blinded it, but Alakazam's attention was directed toward trying to stay grounded. Both Trainer and Alakazam struggled to resist the wind before launching an attack.

    "Alakazam, counter with Psychic!" The trainer howled the command. Alakazam closed its eyes and a glowing aura formed around its body. The dust being kicked about the battlefield dispersed around itself as it readied for a focused strike.

    "Staraptor, quickly - dive toward Alakazam!" Zee yelled to Staraptor, which folded its wings and braced itself for a risky dive.

    "Ala, ala, ala, ala..." Alakazam chanted a mantra while crossing its spoons in front of its face, readying to send out a powerful wave of energy.

    40 feet.

    "Rrrrrr..." Staraptor aimed its beak.

    30 feet.

    "Alaaaaa...." Alakazam's eyes glowed and dilated, fixating its gaze on the giant bird closing in.

    20 feet.

    "Torrrrr..." Staraptor readied its claws.

    10 feet.

    Everyone in the crowd seemed to lean forward, in anticipation of the collision.

    Impact.

    "KAZAAAAAAM!" Staraptor's beak and Alakazam's spoons crossed with a crashing impact.

    "RAPTOR!" A wave of energy ruptured across the battlefield, sending a powerful wind flying across the stadium - blowing some fans' hats away. The crowd let out a thunderous roar at this display of power. A radiant glow came from the collision, and the sound of sparks filled the air.

    "RRRRRR!" Staraptor's inertia kept it suspended in the air, but gradually, Alakazam's Psychic attack thrust the giant bird back into the sky. "Star!"

    Alakazam closed its eyes in preparation for another attack. "Kazaaa..." The spoons it held began to glow a faint pinkish hue.

    Zee saw the next attack coming. "
    No - not at this close of range!" She had to warn her Pokémon. "Staraptor! He's going for a Psycho Cut! Stop him with Close Combat!"

    "Rap!" Staraptor's wings closed in like a guillotine, catching Alakazam off-guard. It's eyes perked up as a flurry of wings and claws flew forward, causing the Psychic Pokémon to stagger backward. "Rap! Rap! Rap! Rap!"

    "Zam! Zam! Zam! Zam!" The faint glow dispersed, sending the Pokémon stumbling backward. Alakazam could do nothing to focus its power, all its energy went to dodging Staraptor's advances. Alakazam couldn't keep up with the fierce strikes aimed at its body, resolving only to protect itself until-

    "Raptor!" Staraptor got a hit in, causing Alakazam to fall to one knee.

    "Ala-!" Alakazam did its best to block Staraptor's next hit with its spoons, but was sent flying backward. Staraptor burst forward, ready to hit Alakazam before it struck the ground.

    The opponent trainer saw this and quickly alerted the near-helpless creature. "Alakazam, now - Teleport!" Alakazam's eyes burst open - and in a flicker of light, Alakazam disappeared, shocking Staraptor and sending it stumbling into the ground.

    "Behind you!" Zee called to Staraptor, Alakazam was closing in fast, hovering by using its own Psychic attack. "Dodge!"

    "Rap!" Staraptor managed to dodge Alakazam's charge at the last second, taking to the sky for safety.

    "Double Team, Alakazam!" Staraptor tried to fly away, but a wall of Alakazams circled it from every direction.

    "Fly higher!" Zee screamed, knowing that Alakazam would have to follow it. Staraptor flapped its wings, climbing higher and higher- "Now!" Staraptor went limp and started to free fall, the curtain of hovering Alakazams following its every move. "Come on, Staraptor - focus!" Staraptor closed its eyes, feeling the air currents moving around itself.

    Zee clenched her teeth. "Wait for it..."

    "Rrrrr..." Staraptor was feeling, listening, waiting for the right moment.

    "Wait for it..." Zee's eyes narrowed - squinting - and her fists clenched tightly.

    "Alakazam, Psycho Cut, now!"

    "Wait for it..." Her teeth were grinding harder.

    "Kazaaaaaa..." Alakazam - still following the giant bird's descent - focused energy into its spoons, which began glowing a bright pink, charging up.

    *Clink*

    "Raptor!" The sound of the spoons crossing gave away the Alakazam's location, Staraptor sharply opened its eyes and looked in the direction of the noise - somewhere toward it's lower left.

    Like a reflex, Zee threw her arm out to the side and shrieked, "Now, Staraptor! Let's give 'em an Aerial Ace!"

    *Fwoosh*

    Alakazam's eyes widened in astonishment - in a blur, Staraptor had simply...disappeared, and the Psycho Cut attack fired from all directions toward where Staraptor should've been. Alakazam frantically looked around - all traces of it nowhere left-

    "KAZAA-?!" Alakazam's eyes dilated in terror. Staraptor had struck from behind, sending the real Alakazam into its circle of psychic energy - ending the illusion - and sending Alakazam careening toward the ground below. Alakazam's Trainer looked horrified at his Pokémon's fall.

    "Dive again, Staraptor! Let's finish the job!" Staraptor did a barrel roll and then nose dived directly toward Alakazam, which was falling backward.

    "ALAKAZAM!" Its Trainer seemed too stunned to call out any attacks. Alakazam tried using its powers to halt the fall, sprawling out its limbs and scraping the air with its hands as if trying to resist the effects of gravity. This plan turn out to be a success; however, as Alakazam managed to steady itself in an upright fall.

    The crowd let out a unison gasp, while people edged toward in their seats - waiting for something to happen.

    "Teleport, Alakazam!"

    "Ala!" Alakazam disappeared onto the ground below.

    "Now, spring up and use Psychic once more!" Alakazam's Trainer's newfound hope irked Zee.

    "Tch! Staraptor! This is our last shot! Brave Bird!" Zee punched her own palm and watched her Pokémon dive - even faster than it had moments before.

    "Star!" Staraptor picked up speed - seemingly from out of nowhere - before plummeting forward enveloped in an aura of flames, which condensed and began glittering a brilliant blue.

    "You too, Alakazam! Give it all you've got!" Alakazam skyrocketed toward Staraptor, it too engulfed in a glowing aura. The two Trainers called out commands, both with a burning passion, both wanting so badly to win, both ready to give it all to see the fans cheer madly.

    The two Pokémon raced closer to each other.

    Closer.

    Closer.

    Closer-


    *KER-CHEEEEEEEEEEE!*


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    Zee fell forward, out of her seat.

    "GAH!" Zee had let out a small gasp of air, her arm splayed out in front of her, breaking her fall. She had managed to prevent her face from hitting the floor of the bus. "Phew." Zee let out a sigh, then her sunglasses swung forward on her temples and dangled from her face.

    Zee shot up straight and looked around. "What was that?! I almost died!"

    Henry chucked and adjusted his mirror, using it to look directly at her. "Sorry about that, kiddo! There's a Pokémon out on the road, so I'm going to shoo it away. Can't run over it, I guess, can I?"

    Zee sat back up in her seat and crossed her arms, pouting once again. She looked down at her clock. "9:30! I'm so late already!" Zee looked out the window in slight annoyance, then, from the corner of her eye, she saw a cream-colored pile of fur sitting in the road. Henry got off the bus and went to check on the Pokémon.



    Route 502 - Outside the Bus


    "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty..." Henry was attempting to get the Pokémon's attention. It was a small cream-colored Pokémon, with black spots dotted across its back and a white underbelly. It's ears came to a point, which had a long black stem of hairs - reminiscent of a long, curled eyelash. It was a Slinkat - a rather mischievous Pokémon - known for its common habit of rifling through people's garbage cans and even vandalization of people's yards, vehicles, and some buildings.

    Henry inched toward the Pokémon, trying to get closer and closer. Slinkat laid on the ground, making a slight yowling noise. It looked in Henry's direction, but seemed not to take any notice to his presence. Not even at all. It kind of just lay there, still yowling and then began to roll around on its back a little bit. "What? Are you like, dying - little kitty?"

    Slinkat didn't seem to like being called "kitty" and shot Henry a glance from the corner of its eye. "Rrrr...." It perked up slightly, keeping a watchful eye on the old man's creeping movement. He was getting a bit too close to the Pokémon, but it didn't react more with more than a glance. Instead, it just yawned as he moved toward it and lay it's head back on the ground. Slinkat seemed to be incredibly comfortable with just lying on the ground, but it truly was in the line of traffic.

    Henry eventually got close to the Pokémon, crawling on his hands and knees. "Mmmrrrrr..." Slinkat let out a mew and rolled onto its back, exposing its stomach, as if wanting him to pet it.

    Shocked, Henry reached his hand out and the Pokémon let him rub its stomach. "You're not so bad after all, are ya?" Henry enjoyed the little playtime with the Pokémon, which purred in resounded enjoyment. He managed to give the Pokémon a good rubbing. Henry noticed the black stripe in the inside of the Pokémon's legs, indicating it was a boy. "Who's a good boy? You are, yes you are!"

    "Kaaaaaaat!" The Pokémon lightly flicked its arms up out of sheer delight. Henry knew that he should be getting it off the road, but he was enjoying this rare encounter with a seemingly wild Pokémon. Henry got back up on one knee - he knew that he should be going now. The Slinkat should at least get up and walk away after that, right?

    "Well boy, it's been a good, fun time, dontcha think? But - well, I gotta get goin'! You go on and be a good kitty now-" Henry caught himself at the last moment, his right eye twitched and he nervously looked down at the wild cat, but it was already too late. Slinkat's ears perked up and it rolled its head to the side, glaring daggers at the old man. "Now hold on, just a min-"

    "MREEEEEWWWWRRRR!" Slinkat jumped up and latched itself onto his face.

    "AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGH!!! GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!" Henry stumbled around, trying to pull the Pokémon off of his head, but the more he struggled, the deeper the Slinkat dug its claws into his skin. While he was stumbling around, Slinkat let out a loud shriek, which was followed by several other shrieks. The bus was parked in the middle of the road next to a forested hill that jutted out, like a ledge, and had several large thickets growing along the side of the road. From within these brambles a small pack of Slinkat leaped out, numbering three or four others, besides the one stuck on his head, which stopped screaming and just sat there as Henry stood gasping at the cat Pokémon.

    They just ignored him; however, and merely ran onto the bus. The one on his face, detached itself and followed the rest of them inside. "Wait!" Henry stumbled toward the bus, catching a glimpse of papers flying through the air inside. When he got to the door, the lot of them ran out the same way in, stepping on Henry's face along the way. The first one bounced off his face, hitting him in the face with the briefcase belonging to the woman on the bus, sending him falling backward. The rest followed, bouncing off one at a time (except for the last Slinkat, the one from the road, it rubbed its paws in his face before bounding off with the rest of them.)

    "Are you okay? Isn't this a role-reversal?" Zee couldn't help but snicker a little. Henry's face looked almost as if he slept on a blender, but it wasn't anything too bad. Zee helped scrape Henry up off the ground and he hobbled into the bus. The Slinkat had managed to hop on board the bus - one grabbed the woman's briefcase, while the others hissed at both women and scratched at the papers that fell out of the briefcase, sending them in all directions. The woman had woke up from this, but she wasn't jolted awake, rather, she was still in the waking up process.

    Henry grabbed his face, trying to ignore Zee's - which was ready to explode in laughter. But he ignored her instead, walking toward the woman. "How are you doing?"

    The woman looked around the bus, blinking her eyes at everything she saw. "Hmm...? My papers...? Am I still asleep...? Snooze, please..." The woman seemed groggy - giddy, but groggy - and slumped back into her seat as if nothing had happened.

    "Um, Miss? Those Pokémon stole your briefcase...don't you want it back?" Zee's eye twitched slightly. Was this woman for real?

    "No, please...call me *yawn* Susanna...but...yes...I'd like my papers back." Susanna was forcing herself to wake up. She seemed extremely tired - unable to keep her eyes open steadily, just blinking and rubbing them. Despite all this, she had a air of a sweet personality, which reminded Zee somewhat of her sister, Mel.

    "Okay, Susanna...I think I'll go and see where those Pokémon took your stuff." Zee stood up and made eye contact with Henry - who got over his embarassment. "Henry, sir? Is it okay if you stay here?" The old man nodded and smiled, despite several rows of clawmarks on his face.

    "Heck, yes, I'll stay here! You go out and risk your face - I'm not moving! I've gotta fix myself up!" Henry shook himself off and walked to the front of the bus. "Now where's that medical kit...?"

    "I was trying to be helpful - thanks for the great incentive..." Zee grumbled inside her head, then let out a sigh. She took her bag off, tied her shoes, and stepped off the bus - walking up the rocky hill toward where the Slinkat disappeared to.

    After walking for about a minute, Zee heard something rustle behind a few bushes, so she ducked behind a tree close by to get a stealthy position to look from. She peered around the side of the tree where the briefcase lay in a small clearing, a few papers still sticking out from it. There didn't seem to be any sign of the Slinkat - but Zee didn't want to take any chances, so she looked around where she sat, finding a small rock amidst the brush. She quickly reached for it and tossed it over the side of the tree, hoping to attract any Pokémon with the noise.

    *thukk*

    Nothing.

    No wild yells of the Slinkat, just...silence. She heard nothing for about 30 seconds, so Zee decided to turn and look.

    "Ssssssss." A Slinkat was crawling upside-down, down the tree - hissing at her.

    Zee gasped, but no scream came out. She froze, but then her eyes shot toward the briefcase, to the Pokémon, the briefcase, and back again. Zee jumped to her feet and made a run for it - dashing past a swipe from the wild cat and she grabbed the briefcase from the ground.

    Big mistake.

    Zee frantically stuffed the protruding papers into the briefcase, but the other four Slinkat were hiding in the trees and leapt at her - claws bared.

    "AIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEE!!!" Zee let out a scream, and in her instinct - she swung the briefcase at them like a purse - managing to spin and hit them all in one swipe. The creatures went flying into the bushes, but the one that she ran past was charging her, so she let out yet another shrill scream and bolted off.

    "Gotta run fast, gotta run fast, gotta run fast..." When Zee gets scared - she gets scared. The adrenalin pumped through her veins, allowing her to run like a madwoman through the forest - too bad she had no idea where she was headed, jumping over a log, a few rocks, and occasionally - a large plant or two. She heard the cat Pokémon on her tail, mewing and calling to each other, but this was no time for her to look back and see what they were doing.

    After a few seconds, it seemed like they were outrun by her, so Zee turned her head to look, tripping on her foot and falling into a small clearing. "Ow..." she said, grabbing her ankle and hobbling onto a tree stump. It wasn't twisted or anything, she just fell on it - so it was a bit sore from that - and from running. The clearing, itself, was essentially a fork in the forest path, branching to the left and to the right, as there was a 15 foot high (or so) ledge right in front of her.

    "Slin..." Zee jumped. The Slinkat were creeping out from the underbrush, looks of anger from their red eyes. "...kat..." They were inching closer and closer to her, while she stood up and backed up slowly - until her back touched the forest wall.

    "STAY BACK!" She bellowed. "I've got-" She opened the bag and looked inside. There were a few Poké Balls inside. "I've got-" She reached in and took one out, throwing it into the air above her.

    *Whoosh!*

    The Poké Ball opened and a rush of light sent a small Pokémon toward the ground in front of her. A small, dark green mammal appeared - sniffing at her feet. It looked a lot like a small puppy, although it had pointier ears and a curlier tail. The Pokémon had tufts of curled black hair on its forehead, a black underbelly, and its tail was colored a dark green that tapered into a black. It's purple eyes were wide as it kept sniffing at her feet.

    "Pup! Pup! Lou! Loupup!" The Slinkat sort of just paused and stared at the thing - watching it sniff away at Zee's feet.

    "Okay...it's a Loupup..." Zee blinked, wondering what the little Pokémon was doing.

    "Lou! Lou! Pup!" The Pokémon leapt into the air and chomped onto Zee's left hand. She dropped the briefcase out of pain and screamed.

    "WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

    Zee frantically tried to shake the small Pokémon off, but it just closed its eyes, smiling and muttered, "Lou....pup..." maintaining it's hold on her arm. The Slinkat were sitting around staring at Loupup - almost embarrassed for her, before shaking off their daze and hissing at the two.

    Zee stopped and Loupup dropped off her hand, growling back at the Slinkat. They weren't exactly happy. *gasp* "My first wild Pokémon battle!" "Alright, Loupup! Use-! Use-! Wait...what moves do you know?" Loupup cocked its head to the side and gave her a blank look.

    "KAAA-!" The Slinkat left up, but Loupup jumped into the air, firing a few leaves off from its body - which the Slinkat managed to dodge. Still - it kept them back a bit.

    "That's it! Loupup, use Razor Leaf!" Loupup happily leapt up into the air, sending spinning leaves off of its body, but once again, the Pokémon dodged them all. Loupup landed back on the ground, growling at the Slinkat, but suddenly - the Slinkat started to look scared and backed off slowly. "Yeah - that's right! Run away! You know you're scared!" Loupup took this opportunity to jump toward them and bark, running back and forth along the line of them.

    Indeed, the Slinkat took off running, but it wasn't long before Loupup turned around toward Zee and widened its eyes in terror, too. "What? What is it?" Zee looked up and behind herself, where a man in and all black suit and trenchcoat stood on top of the ledge - with a rather large black Pokémon next to him. It had wild, red eyes and a creepy, wide smile that showed off its pointed teeth. The two leapt down from the ledge, causing Loupup to whimper and return to its Poké Ball - a good 10 feet away from her.

    The man and his Pokémon picked up the briefcase, looking through it. "Who- who are you?" Zee stammered, her eyes trying to avoid the black Pokémon's gaze. She felt as if it's eyes were piercing into her, taking every ounce of her willpower to not look anywhere near it.

    The man let out a gruff, deep voice. "You don't need to know." He wore all black - black trenchcoat, black shoes, black fedora, black pants, black tie, black glasses - even his hair was black. He had stubble on his cheeks and a cigarette butt hanging out the right side of his mouth. Zee wasn't sure if she should move - he had a Pokémon and the Pokémon that belonged to the woman on the bus.

    The feeling of weight on her shoulders lifted when the man turned around. "Hmph...it's not here..." He said, gruffly, putting papers back in the briefcase. The black Pokémon continued to stare at her, baring it's teeth. "You can take this back."

    "What?" Zee blinked, stunned.

    "I said 'you can take this back'." Zee jumped up nervously. The man outstretched his arm, holding the briefcase in front of her. Zee took it, without looking at him. She managed to mutter a feeble "thank you" under her breath. "Now...get out of here." The man sounded something between annoyed and uncaring.

    "Wha-?"

    "Get. Out. Of. Here." The man pointed toward the way she came from. He really just wanted her out of his sight.

    "...I-" Zee clutched the briefcase and started to turn around.

    *snap*

    The man snapped his fingers and the Pokémon screeched. Zee let out a loud scream that echoed throughout the forest, as the Pokémon began to chase after her through it. She dashed as fast as she could, leaping over the things she had before - just in opposite order, this time, not daring to look back at the beast on her tail. "I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die! I haven't even started my Pokémon journey yet- AND I'M GONNA DIE!" There was a clearing up ahead and no sign of the Pokémon chasing her, but she wasn't going to risk it again. Zee ran through the clearing where she first found the briefcase, past the trees, and stumbled down the pebbled hillside - passing Henry on the way.

    "Ouch." Zee stumbled to the bottom of the hill - a small "avalanche" of pebbles following her.

    Henry helped brush her off as she stood up. "You okay, kiddo? You had me worried there. I was takin' care of the Miss in there when I heard you scream. So I came outside and lo-and-behold, you came runnin' out from the trees...made my job a little easier." Henry's face looked less swollen - the scratches on his cheek were covered up with a couple rows of adhesive bandages.

    "Yeah...thanks...I got the briefcase back...but there was this strange guy in the forest." Henry stopped dead in his tracks for a second, before following her back to the bus.

    "Go on...what did he look like?" He gave her a look of pure attention.

    "Well...he wore all black...I mean everything of his was black, his clothes, his hair, even his Pokémon was black. Weird, right?" Zee looked at him sideways, just to see his reaction - but Henry just kept his head down and listened. "He also went through Susanna's briefcase...but he said he didn't find anything."

    Henry stared at the ground while they walked a few more yards to the bus. "Hmm...hey...let's not tell Miss Susanna about this - okay?"

    "What? Why?" Zee felt a wave of dishonesty flush over her.

    "You said it yourself - the man said he didn't find anything...so no harm done, right?" His voice was soft, yet serious.

    "I...I guess..." Zee looked a bit ashamed, but Henry gave her a little smile and walked onto the bus. Zee gave the briefcase back to Susanna, who was sipping on a thermos that smelled like it was filled with coffee. "I've managed to arrange all the papers the Pokémon scattered around in here. How's everything in the suitcase?"

    Zee looked down slightly, but she saw Henry out of the corner of her eye. "Everything's here - even the Poké Balls...I think?" Henry started the bus up and Zee took a glance at her backpack - which was still in the back where she left it - before sitting down next to Susanna.

    "Oh, good!" Susanna smiled. She seemed to be much more perky, even though she wasn't overly energetic about getting her things back. Her eyes were a bright green color and she had a rather heartwarming smile that wasn't bright, just friendly and inviting. "I'll be needing that for when I get to the laboratory..."

    Zee perked up. "Laboratory? I have to go there today - I hope I'm not late..."

    "Oh, yes - I have to drop a few things off at the laboratory in Trulove City. I work there, you know." Zee actually didn't know - but she understood what Susanna meant. "Tell you what? We can go there together, and I'll make sure you don't get in trouble for being late, okay?"

    "Really?" Zee's eyes lit up.

    "Really." Susanna smiled and took another sip of coffee.

    For the rest of the ride, the two shared stories about always being late, their favorite coffee, and being groggy in the morning - among other things. For once, Zee felt like she had an older sister for once. And surprisingly, it felt really nice. What does Christi know, anyway?


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    Trulove City - 11:07 A.M.


    "Oh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh! I'm so late!" Zee was in a panic over being "five minutes" (she was really over an hour) late to her meeting at the Pokémon Laboratory in Trulove City. Luckily, Susanna knew the way, and walked Zee there, reassuring her that everything would turn out fine.

    "Are you totally sure? I mean, really, really sure that it's going to be fine?" Zee was having a public fit, fidgeting with her glasses on her head and checking her appearance in her pink pocket mirror. "I mean...I just want everything to turn out alright...today, I mean..."

    Susanna serenely smiled back and sipped on her coffee thermos. She held her coffee in her left hand and her briefcase in her right. Susanna looked so calm and confident in her outfit - Zee caught herself admiring the way she held herself. They came to a stoplight where people stood next to them, waiting for their light to turn green. "I'm sure it'll be fine - besides, the laboratory is located downtown - only a few blocks away from the bus stop. We'll be there in no time. Cute shoes by the way."

    Zee blushed. "Thanks...they were a gift from my mom. I don't really get to see her much...she works all the time to support my sisters and I...don't get me wrong! I really appreciate it - my mom actually got these for my Pokémon journey - she made sure to give them to me in person. I was hoping that since she gave them to me, they'd bring me good luck, but...well...today's been a trip, right?"

    Susanna smiled while taking another sip. "Let me just say, that you seem to be doing just fine - you worry too much. We're here by the way." They stood in front of a large office building where people entered and exited through five big revolving doors. "After you, sweetie." Susanna gestured toward a door which had less people flowing through.

    On the other side, the entrance hall was enormous - spanning at least 10 floors upward. Zee had been too busy beating herself up for being late to notice the actual sights of the outside city she had been walking through. "Wow! This place is huge!" Zee stared upward at all the artwork hanging from the massive, arched ceiling, and at the escalators, stairs, and people walking everywhere.

    Susanna led the two over to the elevator lobby. "The laboratory offices are on the top seven floors. Have you ever been to Trulove City before?" Susanna looked over at Zee, waiting for a response.

    "Uh...no, actually. At least - not that I can remember...I might've been when I was little, but I don't really know." Zee sounded a bit hesistant, but she wasn't met with negativity.

    "Well...if there's one thing you have to see - it's the view from this elevator." The elevators stopped in the lobby, releasing droves of people before being able to step into them. They were small, but surprisingly spacious, with a slight egg-shape, and were lined with a slightly blue-greenish tinted glass. As the elevators rose through the lobby, sunlight poured through the elevator enclosure. Once they passed the 15th floor, Zee's eyes opened wide and she stared out across the city. The elevators faced south, so they had a constantly lit view of the city.

    "Whoa..." Zee pressed her hands up against the glass, looking out over the magnificent city skyline. The city stretched for a couple of miles - she could even see the road leading to Route 502.

    "Amazing, isn't it?" For the first time that day, Zee's mind wasn't preoccupied with worry - instead, it was filled with marvel and awe. By the time they had reached their floor, Zee was unaware, due to her fixation upon the city sights. The first thing Zee wanted to buy here was a camera. "We're here."

    Zee snapped out of her childlike state and sunk back into worry. "Oh no, oh no...this isn't gonna be good...I'm late..." Something on the wall caught her eye. "11:13?! I'm dead - I'm so dead. I forgot about the time change today...oh...I'm so dead..."

    "Sweetie, it's fine...relax." Susanna ignored the trembling of the teenager tagging along. They passed down a long hallway, and at the end - through a large glass doorway - they stepped into a lobby, where the lobby attendant perked up and stammered "S-s-susanna!" before sitting back down at his desk. "Where are they?" Susanna asked politely.

    The attendant suddenly maintained his composure and said that "they" were in the Professor's office. Zee's heart sank. "Oh no...I'm really dead!"

    They passed through a bunch of laboratory rooms with different charts, computers, and images of things to do with Pokémon before coming to another hallway with a single door at the end. "Don't worry - I'm sure the Professor won't mind you being late."

    Susanna took out a keycard from her briefcase's front pocket and scanned it past a panel on the wall. "Access granted." The machine replied, opening up into an office room with lots of maps of different regions located in Kokubei. There were already two other teenagers in the room. One was a very tall, lanky boy - wearing a blue T-shirt under a light gray zip-up hoodie and black track pants that had matching blue stripes going down the sides. He sat on the couch against the wall to the left of the door, his hands clasped together on his lap. His head was tilted back, so he was most likely asleep. On the opposite wall, a girl in a yellow tank top with baggy brown pants stood with her arms crossed. On her shirt was a design of an orange pineapple. Her hair was pulled back in blonde, wavy pigtails, and she wore orange sneakers with brown laces.

    "You're late!" The girl snorted.

    Susanna smiled. "Yes, you have every right to be mad at me..." She walked over to a desk that sat in the middle of the large, round room and sat down.

    "Mad at her?" Zee was confused.

    The girl snapped back. "Yeah, a Pokémon Professor's supposed to be punctual and stuff."

    "Wait - you're?" Zee was really confused. Susanna took the final sip from her thermos and placed it at the corner of the desk she sat in.

    "Yup - my name's Susanna Maple - Pokémon Professor."
    Last edited by xmikeyxlikesitx; 9th July 2010 at 11:08 AM.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  3. #3
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    Chapter 00: Prologue
    Chapter 01: Let's Roll Out!
    Chapter 02: She Loves Me Not
    Chapter 03: Time to Rumble
    Chapter 04: After That Eggle!
    Chapter05: Setting into Motion
    Chapter 06: Tag This!

    Series Info Warning: Spoiler Information

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    Chapter 02: She Loves Me Not



    Trulove City - Professor Maple's Lab


    "You-you're Professor Maple?!" Zee's jaw dropped as she stammered. Subconsciously, she was pointing at the Professor out of sheer shock.

    Professor Maple smiled back, interlocking her hands and bringing them up to her chin, while leaning forward in her desk chair so that her elbows could support the weight of her head. "In the flesh." The Professor's eyes lit up - seeming to have a magical quality to them - sparkling like bright green leaves after a fresh rain. Her desk sat in the middle of a round room, which had two concentric, circular "steps" down to her desk - located in the middle.

    "You already asked that. Who'd you think she was, dipstick?" A sharp voice cut through the gentle moment. The girl in the pineapple shirt threw her head back and shot Zee a sideways glance, then pushed herself off the wall with her foot, which was propped up against it. The girl squinted her eyes, which were a remarkably radiant blue color - in stark contrast with her personality. The girl looked Zee up and down before looking away abruptly. "Pheh. Nice outfit."

    Zee was taken aback, blinking out of surprise. "Thanks."

    "I was being sarcastic." The girl smirked. "You're just another one of those lame girlie-girls. Go back to your makeup and pretty hair ties. This is a Pokémon Laboratory - a place for, you know - Pokémon Trainers." Zee took a few hostile steps toward the girl - a feeling of anger flushed over her. Zee thought that it felt like someone was pouring hot water on her head.

    "I am too a Pokémon Trainer! And who the heck are you?!" Zee and the girl faced each other aggressively - sparks of tension shot between their eyes - each one glaring intensely.

    "Hmph." The girl gave up the death-stare and shot her head away, eyes closed. "Whatever."

    "Now, now ladies...let's try to keep it somewhat...civil..." Professor Maple had a smile on her face and waved her hands as if gesturing them to calm down.

    "Yeah, yeah...just give me my Pokémon and I'll get out of here." The girl looked apathetic as she faced the Professor - oblivious to Zee, whose face was still a maddened red - fists clenched.

    The Professor slid open a drawer on her desk and rifled through a few papers - looking for something. "Ah! Here they are..." The Professor mumbled softly to herself. She took out three folders, which she laid on her desk. After opening the first, she looked at the blonde girl, "You must be...Danica Graystone...? You're the granddaughter of Alan Graystone - aren't you?"

    "Yeah..." Danica looked away and toward the floor - almost as if she was ashamed.

    "What?!" Zee's eyes widened in shock. Alan Graystone was the longest-reigning Kokubei League Champion - lasting over 40 years before he retired sometime before she was born. Zee knew about him from her father, who told her bedtime stories about Alan's adventures - how he once beat a Machamp in an arm-wrestling contest, tamed a wild Salamence, saved a village from a rampaging Gyarados... Besides all the stories, Zee could remember was that he was her father's hero ever since he was a little boy. After her father's disappearance, she had recited all the stories about Alan Graystone to herself - trying to relive the way her father read them to her - but no matter how hard she tried, nothing could fill that void.

    Professor Maple smiled at Danica (who averted her eyes), closing the file and opening the next. She almost buried her face in this one, flipping through different pages and reading them intensely, as it seemed to be much thicker than the other two. "And the young man here...must be Luc Stockmann..."

    "Mhmm." A mumbled voice replied. Zee and Danica looked past each other and behind themselves - where the sound came from. Luc had wavy, medium-length, light brown hair that covered his face, only slightly exposing his left eye - the one closest to the three women. His eyes were still closed, as far as anyone could see, but he picked his left arm up and cocked his finger toward the ceiling - as if saying, "You've got it!" He inhaled a large breath of air - a yawn through his nose - and stretched out his arms and legs. He was incredibly lanky - pretty tall from what Zee could tell. After finishing his yawn, Luc blinked several times (through his hair) and flipped his hood over his head. He then sat up and leaned forward, interlocking his fingers. From the girls' angle, all they could see was a lock of his hair, his rather pointy nose, and his lips past the side of his hoodie.

    Professor Maple's voice recaptured Zee's attention. She must have seen Luc's finger-pointing from over the file - which she was still reading in-depth. "Excellent...excellent...I see that you've managed to get a perfect score on every licensing exam..." She flipped the page. "Battle Dynamics, Training Regimen, Capture Rate Analysis...and the list goes on..."

    Zee was already nervous - there's no way she was chosen for anything remotely close to what Luc and Danica had.

    "Tests are one thing...real life-" Zee perked up. "-is a lot different." That was probably the most humble thing a person with a perfect score could say. Luc stood up from the plush, red sofa. Man, was he was tall. No, he was tall - probably 6' compared to Zee's 5'4" - almost two heads taller. He walked toward the Professor's desk. Zee moved slightly to her left, making room for Luc to fit between Danica and herself - which was good, because the tension in the air almost disappeared after he got between them. Zee couldn't see his face from the side of his head (his hood was in the way), but Luc had an air of calm that seemed to surround him.

    Professor slapped closed the file in midair and smiled. "I agree, Mr. Stockmann. Despite your high commendation, you are very admirable in personality." She picked up the third file and glanced at Zee before opening it. Zee was already nervous - what could she possibly have been chosen for? "Hmm...I do already know you, Miss Ze-"

    "Please - just call me Zee!" Zee interjected abruptly. "Er...sorry...hah...hah..." Once again, she went red in the face - embarrassed for some reason - rubbing the back of her neck, but the Professor didn't seem to mind.

    Professor Maple nodded her head in agreement and continued where she left off. "Miss...'Zee' Davidson...interesting, interesting..." Zee's face went pale. What could possibly have made her stand out? She didn't have legendary genes, nor was she a brainiac - so why did the Professor choose her? "I see..." Zee winced slightly and cringed up, letting out a slight noise. Both Luc and Danica heard the noise and turned toward her - the blushing from her face brought her color back to normal. "What surprises me most about you, Zee, is your essay, 'Our Friends, the Pokémon'."

    Danica leaned past Luc to look at Zee. "'Our Friends, the Pokémon'? Really?" Zee shot her a look back, but Danica just rolled her eyes.

    "It's an endearing essay, really...hmm...I'm quite interested in this passage, right here..." Luc looked at Zee from the corner of his eye as he stuck his hands in his pockets. His expression didn't change much - he still looked rather sleepy. "And I quote, 'Is it natural that two such beings are drawn toward each other? Humans and Pokémon have two differing worlds - existing alongside each other for hundreds of years. Why is it then, that we still have so much to learn about them? Maybe it's not so much that we have to learn about them so much as we have them to help us learn about ourselves. I think it's funny that when it comes to speech, Pokémon can understand both humans and each other, yet humans can only figure out what each other is saying. Maybe there is more than facts or data to consider when it comes to Pokémon - maybe it's heart. Maybe if humans learned to listen to a Pokémon's heart, maybe - just maybe, we might learn that we're not so different after all...'"

    Danica looked at Zee again. "Not bad..." Zee immediately stopped blushing and looked at her - eyes wide. "...for a girlie-girl..."

    Zee would have retorted, if not for the Professor's remark. "Let me just say, I'm very interested in where life will take the three of you." Susanna gave Zee a gentle look in her direction. "All of you." The Professor then closed all three of the files on her desk and placed them in a neat pile in the center drawer - closing it. Zee was blushing.

    "You...blush a lot...don't you?" Luc pulled off his hoodie and tilted his head slightly toward Zee. Still, he had nothing but a sleepy expression. Zee said nothing and looked down toward the front of the Professor's desk.

    Zee hadn't noticed, but the desk seemed to be elegantly carved out of wood - probably the only wooden thing in her office. The front panel of her desk was engraved with a strange, triangular symbol. At each corner of the triangle, there appeared to be missing panels shaped vaguely like humans. Around the triangle, there were numerous engravings that looked like Pokémon surrounding the three incomplete figures. Around that was a pentagonal shape with lines that extended beyond the length of the panel, suggesting that there was more to it. Telling from the various nicks and dents in the wood, it was probably several hundred years old - yet still in great condition. Despite its age, Zee thought it was nothing other than beautiful. "Professor, may I ask what that is?" Zee pointed at the desk's front panel. Both Luc and Danica looked at the desk, they too probably didn't notice it.

    "That," the Professor started, "is a nine-hundred year-old wooden carving depicting a great event that happened in Kokubei - supposedly long before it was created. We are still looking for the missing panels belonging to it. We've been finding the pieces scattered throughout Kokubei - quite odd, isn't it? This is why I'm hoping you three would be willing to help us out." The Professor got up from where she was standing and walked over to the wall to her left, pressing a small panel that appeared to be sunk into a niche in the wall. The panel consisted of twelve white squares which Professor Maple pressed in a rapid sequence - buttons beeping strange tones each time she pressed one. Zee thought she heard wrong when Professor Maple suddenly said, "Hold on to something."

    As if on command, the entire room began to rumble and then rotate, moving the circular floor. "Whoa!" Danica let out a small wince and fell over with a soft "thud." Luckily, Zee had very good balance - from years of ballet - so she managed to stay upright with little difficulty. Luc merely let out a yawn and stood in place - unfazed by the moving of the room.

    The room stopped moving and Luc murmured, "Well that was weird," then looked around as if expecting something else to happen. The Professor now stood next to an arch where the white-button panel would have been - revealing that the panel was actually a separate wall around the office. The seemingly sunk-in portions of the walls that maps of Kokubei in them were now "replaced" with windows that let in lots of sunlight and a gorgeous view of the city below.

    "Please - this way." The Professor said, then hurried down another hallway, disappearing from sight (although the sound of her boots hitting the floor could be heard moving away.)

    Danica managed to get back on her feet, an annoyed look covered her face when Zee looked at her. She straightened her shirt and checked her hair. "Ow! Next time, tell me when you're going to make the room do stuff like that!" Professor Maple was out of earshot, but Danica didn't seem to care one way or the other. She had what looked like an orange belt with several yellow utility pockets in her one hand and a blue and white duffel bag in the other.

    She tossed the duffel bag at Luc. "Here's your thing." Luc caught it in both hands and placed the strap over his left shoulder gracefully - as if it was nothing at all. Danica had picked them up from the side of the Professor's desk - the two had probably laid their belongings there before Zee ever arrived. "I just want to get out of here as fast as I can." Danica clipped her belt on and walked to the archway, stopping right before she walked through. "You two lame-wads coming or not? You know what...? Whatever - I just don't care." She too disappeared down the hall.

    Zee looked at Luc as they made their way toward the arch. "What's her problem?"

    Luc just stared straight ahead. "...no idea - I didn't even know she was here, really...I got here early and took a nap."

    The two stepped into the hallway. "What? How early did you get here?"

    "Like 7 or 8." Zee was amazed at how tired he still appeared. "I just showed up and took a nap...what time is it, anyway?"

    "Uhh...now?" Zee looked at her watch - adjusting it for the hourly change. "It's like...11:45ish." It was 11:48, but Zee liked to round things off - just to make everything a bit easier.

    "Hm..." Luc sort of grunted in response. The hallway was very short, leading into a white door at the end. What sounded like voices echoed from the other side. Luc opened the door and let Zee through first - the door leading to an incredibly large laboratory - people in white lab coats everywhere. There were several floors to this giant room - at least five - with walkways that connected overhead, on which scientists would walk across while staying on the same floor.

    "Up here, please." The Professor was about three floors up - Danica walking across a 2nd floor walkway as a woman in a white lab coat moved out of her path. "The stairs are over there. Do, hurry." Professor Maple gestured toward a staircase in the corner on the opposite side of the room, then walked across a suspended walkway to another staircase leading up.

    Luc and Zee looked at each other, then headed toward the metal staircase. From across the room, it didn't look very high, but as they ascended floors, they got a better look at the main laboratory. There were at least 30 scientists walking above and around the two - most of them in loud discussion over test results or experimentation. Luc was a floor above Zee - who took the time to look around on the 4th floor walkway. He looked down at her. "You okay?" At this, Zee turned around - accidentally bumping into a man in a lab coat behind her. He didn't say anything directly to her - just grumbling as he adjusted his glasses and bent down to pick up the papers that fell out of his hands.

    "Er...sorry..." Zee softly apologized, backed away, proceeded up the stairs, and across the walkway. She did her best to hide avert her eyes from everyone along the way - until she finally reached Luc, Danica, and the Professor in the room at the end of the walkway. Along the walls of this room, there were hundreds of Poké Balls lined in rows behind what looked to be bulletproof glass. Zee slowly walked into the room. "Where are we?" She asked, marveling at all the Poké Balls. "Are all those...Pokémon?"

    "They, in fact, are - Miss Davidson. This is the Pokémon storage room. Most of the Pokémon inside are being studied, but a few belong to the many workers in my lab." The three of them were standing in front of a large display screen at the opposite end of the room. The screen was nearly as tall as the entire wall and lit up brightly. Document files and images were sprawled all over the desktop screen, but the Professor minimized a few pages and brought up a text box. The Professor took out the Poké Balls from her briefcase and pressed a few buttons - entering a sequence onto the screen as Zee slowly made her way toward them.

    Zee was slowly looking around at everything. The walls had little space for anything other than Poké Balls. A small machine rose from an opening in the floor, startling Zee. "Wha-?" Zee reflexively turned to look at it as the machine rose through the floor. It looked to her like some sort of space station - shaped almost like a lollipop. Zee saw that the machine had a clear, circular dome top once it stopped moving. The outside of the machine was white, while the inside was a red color, with three small grooves equally spaced out in its center.

    The Professor then placed the Poké Balls in a slot on the display screen's control board. A small suction noise could be heard coming from it. When the Poké Balls disappeared, some of them appeared in the walls lined with Poké Balls - filling in a few of the missing slots. However, a slight rattling noise came from the machine Zee looked at - three Poké Balls appearing from the grooves.

    "You have all sorts of fun things popping up in your lab." Danica walked over to the machine and stared at it, visually examining the Poké Balls as if trying to find any signs indicating the Pokémon inside. "Which one's which?"

    Luc and the Professor walked over to the machine as well. "I just had to log the Poké Balls back into the system - just so we maintain a consistent inventory." Professor Maple grabbed a Poké Ball out of the machine and threw it in the air - a bright light appearing from it, taking form on the ground in front of them. A small blue creature appeared. Zee wasn't exactly sure what it was. It looked like a giant blue thorn - thick at the base with a curved taper at the top, which rounded off. Zee crouched down to look at it.

    "What is it?" She asked with a tone of half excitement and half bewilderment. As she faced the Professor, she didn't notice the creature slowly creep toward her.

    "Hop!"

    "AAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!!" Zee let out a loud scream and fell on her butt. The Pokémon had six, tentacle-like legs that appeared from the underside of its body - revealing that it had a shell similar to a turtle. Apparently, it used one of its tentacles to probe the girl.

    "It's a Hoply - a Water Type Pokémon." Luc called out its name as he looked at it. "...I think you scared it." This was true - the Hoply's legs retreated inside itself, and a ring of bubbles surrounded the crease where its two shells met.

    After a few seconds, its small legs creeped out and it appeared to blink at her. "Hop?" Only its glowing white eyes were visible from inside a small opening in the front of its shell. The bubbles gently popped as it looked around at the other three humans towering over it - but didn't seem to find them a threat. It probably didn't mind being released from it's Poké Ball, because it stretched out its "legs", then started to spring up and down - eventually bouncing around in a small circle.

    "I guess it's pretty cute." Zee stood up as she watched the little creature still jumping around.

    "What's in this one?" Danica pointed to another Poké Ball and the Professor pulled it out and released it into the air - another bright light appearing.

    A small panting was heard from Zee's right side and she looked down to see. "PUP!"

    "NOT AGAIN!!!" It was Loupup again, biting into her right arm this time. Hoply stopped bouncing around and faced the girl, just staring. "DOWN! DOWN! DOWN! HEEL! SOMETHING!" Zee swung her arm around but the little Pokémon held on - thankfully not as long as before.

    "Pup!" It landed on its feet and ran circles around Zee, who was clutching her throbbing hand. Zee heard Danica chuckle under her breath.

    "Loupup's a Grass Type..." Luc said its name and just watched the Pokémon, which had now began sniffing the ground around Danica and himself.

    "I see you two've met?" Professor Maple looked intrigued. The other two teenagers also looked at Zee, wondering how that was possible.

    "Yeah...we met in the forest." Zee flashed back to the forest scene - images of the Slinkat and the man in black flooded her mind. What was he talking about? She heard his voice in her head, "it's not here..."? What wasn't there? Zee searched her mind for any reason for someone to want a scientist's papers, but she came up with nothing.

    "What's up, weirdo?" Danica's voice snapped her out of the daze. Zee was unaware that she was staring into space. They were all looking at her, waiting for a response - even Hoply watched her attentively.

    "Nothing! Loupup just helped me chase a bunch of wild Slinkat away from the Professor's briefcase." Loupup stopped sniffing at Luc's feet and faced Zee, then cocked its head sideways. "They stole it this morning from the bus we were on."

    "Pheh, like I believe that!" Danica rolled her eyes and folded her arms. "You really expect me to believe that a bunch of Pokémon stole a briefcase? Especially wild Pokémon - what would they want with it?"

    "It's true." Professor Maple looked at Zee and smiled. Danica immediately shut her mouth. "Well...everyone's safe, at least." She noticed the last Poké Ball in the machine. "Oh! I almost forgot..." She picked up the last Poké Ball and threw it in the air - a third light appearing.

    A small, orange, rabbitlike Pokémon appeared with a yawn. "Fur..." It had long, floppy ears that ended in notches that were a darker, reddish color. Its tail was a small flame that wavered in size and brightness. It appeared on all four legs - its back paws were noticeably larger than its front ones. It had big, black eyes that blinked as it looked around. Its ears flopped as it stood up on its hind legs to get a better view, but it softly fell forward onto its ears. "Emfur..."

    Zee's eyes widened at the sight of the Pokémon. "It's an Emfur...obviously a Fire Type." Luc looked at Zee and notified her, but she was too busy gawking at it.

    "Oh my gosh...it's so cute..." Zee bent down and looked at the Emfur, extending her arm toward it. Emfur craned its neck toward her palm, sniffing it curiously. Zee liked the feeling of Emfur's warm nose on her hand - a rush of excitement shot throughout her body. She was ecstatic around the Pokémon.

    "Well, there you have it. These Pokémon are my gift to you three." The Professor looked at the teenagers and at the Pokémon. "Now...who should go first? I believe that Miss Davidson and I were late, so which one of you was here earliest?" Zee wanted Emfur so badly - the chance that she wouldn't be able to choose it made her heart sink.

    "The giant was here before I was."

    "...giant?" Luc looked at Danica.

    "He should get first choice." Despite Danica's rudeness...she actually had some manners.

    Professor Maple turned toward Luc. "Are you ready to make a choice?" Luc removed his right hand from his pocket and scratched his head, brushing some of the hair from his eyes. He looked back and forth at the three Pokémon, sizing each of them up. Loupup sat in front of him and stared, Hoply walked up next to it - prodding its rear, and Emfur flopped forward - poking its nose out between its ears.

    Zee's eyes were winced closed and her fingers were crossed behind her back. She was chanting to herself in her head. "Please don't choose Emfur...please don't choose Emfur..."

    Luc kept looking at the Pokémon and he still hadn't made a decision. After a few moments of silence, Luc rubbed the back of his neck. "Um...it really doesn't matter to me. I don't like making decisions either, really..." He looked at both of the girls. "...anyone want to go first?" Zee's eyes opened instantly, but before she could say anything the Professor spoke.

    "In that case - Miss Graystone should go first. Don't you agree?" Professor Maple looked at Zee, but she couldn't muster up the courage to look at Susanna in the eye. "Are you ready to the first pick?"

    Danica's arms were still folded and she was wearing her poker face. She closed her eyes and leaned up against the machine. "Ladies first - let the girlie-girl do it."

    Zee's eyes widened in shock and her mouth fell open. Was Danica being nice? She almost jumped in the air, but the smirk that spread across Danica's face stopped her from expressing too much joy. "Emfur!" Zee almost screamed it. She was half embarrassed and half ecstatic, but she didn't care - Emfur was going to be her first Pokémon. Zee picked up Emfur, holding it by its front armpits. Emfur let out a slight sneeze and wrinkled its nose, blinking at Zee. Zee hugged Emfur, being careful not to smother it out of pure elation. "You're mine, Emfur!"

    "Fur?" The Pokémon was warm as Zee snuggled it against her body. She could feel Emfur's heart beating slowly in its chest - so she knew it wasn't scared.

    "Hoply." Danica pointed at the horn-shelled Pokémon. "My choice is Hoply."

    Zee turned toward her. "I let you go first, so I could pick a Pokémon that could beat yours. I already knew you'd pick that Emfur. Duh." Danica walked over to Hoply, which just bubbled at her. "Hoply's definitely my choice." Hoply looked excited, but Danica showed no smile - just a slight smirk as she closed her eyes.

    Loupup let out a slight whine as the other two Pokémon were with their new trainers. "Could I see the Poké Balls, Professor?"

    Professor Maple just blinked. "Sure you can...but I...just forgot which Poké Ball each Pokémon returns to. Hmm...now which one's which." She took a close look at the Poké Balls and mumbled to herself - probably trying to figure out what order she used them in.

    "That's okay...could I see Emfur for a bit?" Luc turned his head slightly and made a nod at Emfur. This made Zee cringe for a moment, bringing Emfur closer to her body. Her arms were still holding the rabbit Pokémon out in front of her, but after a quick look at Emfur (which seemed to be daydreaming and looking at objects all around the room) she nodded back and placed it on the ground. Luc understood how close Zee wanted to remain with her Pokémon and reassured her. "I'll give Emfur back to you - promise." Luc turned toward Emfur, which was standing on its hind legs again. It sniffed the air in his direction and then raised one ear as he aimed the front of the Poké Ball toward it.

    *PEEEEW*

    A red light engulfed Emfur as it stared. It wasn't more than a few seconds before the beam dissipated with a small burst. Despite the fact that Emfur was already her designated Pokémon, Zee sighed in relief as her Pokémon waddled back toward her. "I just don't want you to go away, Emfur."

    Emfur slowly moved closer to Zee, as if observing her, then rubbed its head against her leg affectionately. The small whiskers from Emfur's face tickled Zee's skin, causing her to giggle and pick it up. Danica pointed her finger down her throat and made a face like she was going to be sick. No one paid attention to this, but she jumped and straightened her face out when Luc turned toward her - Poké Ball in hand.

    With this next Poké Ball, Luc tried returning Hoply to it, immediately turned the Pokémon red. It disappeared from sight and the light seemed to get sucked back into the Poké Ball. Luc then pointed his hand out with the Poké Ball, positioning himself to release the Pokémon, but Danica stopped him. "It's okay, just give me the Poké Ball. I don't need to show off what Pokémon I chose." Luc handed the object over - holding up a Poké Ball.

    He aimed the next Poké Ball at Emfur, but again, nothing happened after the initial beam surrounded it, so he outstretched his other hand - offering Emfur's Poké Ball to Zee.

    "Thanks!" Zee took the Poké Ball from his hand and shrank it by touching the small button on its front. She was holding Emfur over her shoulder - as if it were a baby being burped. "I think I'll keep Emfur out for a while." Luc just looked at her from behind his hair. She still couldn't tell what he was thinking - if anything at all.

    Luc turned toward Loupup, which had its ears curled backward - its tail between its legs. Loupup was looking sadly at the floor when Luc walked over to it. Immediately, Loupup perked up - jumping backward with a bark and wagging its tail playfully. "I guess you're my partner now - aren't I?"

    "Pup! Pup!" Luc actually had a little smile on his face as the Pokémon barked back. "Pup! Loupup!" Loupup moved in a small circle, then readied itself to pounce on him for an affectionate bite, but Luc was prepared - returning it to the Poké Ball mid-jump. Luc faced the Poké Ball toward himself and smiled gently.

    "I'm guessing all three of you have made satisfactory decisions?" The Professor looked at each of the teenagers, clasping her hands behind her back in attentiveness.

    Danica spun her Poké Ball on the tip of her finger - like a basketball - then stopped it in her palm before she minimized its size and placed it on her belt. The Professor beamed at all of three of them when a small pinging noise came from the display screen behind her. A notification message popped up from the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Zee, still holding Emfur, pointed at the screen. "Uhh...Professor? I think you have a message or something..."

    "Hmm?" The Professor turned around and walked over to it, typing rapidly as she opened the message screen. Zee barely managed to get a glimpse of who the message was sent by before Professor Maple typed away. There were a few charts and graphs of data, but there were so many labels on them, making them hard to read. "Ah...it's a message from my old mentor and friend..." The Professor finished typing her response and apparently sent it, but the blinking red light didn't go away. Professor Maple then pressed a couple more buttons, keying in a bunch of commands before pressing a glowing white button - somewhere to her right.

    *Bing*

    Another screen opened up, filling the whole page with the image of another room. A figure in white, striped pajamas lay on a desk in front of the screen, arms crossed under their head, which lay on one side. The person was wearing a matching nightcap that slumped over their right ear. Behind the person, a large monitor - not unlike the Professor's - was embedded into the wall. Zee and Luc moved toward the screen to get a better look at the room, which seemed to be dimly lit - possibly nighttime, but none of them could tell for sure. The light was coming from somewhere near the person's right - barely illuminating anything in the room. Danica moved in between the other two teenagers, making sure to bump into Zee.

    "Hey!"

    Suddenly, the person moved, seemingly stirred by Zee's voice. A low-pitched grumble escaped the person's mouth - most likely a male's voice.

    "Susanna? Is that you?" The person sat up, and yes - it was a man - an older gentleman to be exact. Despite his tired look, he had quite a twinkle in his eyes and a soft smile on his lips. The man blinked a few times and rubbed his eyes. "I was expecting to hear back from you a little while ago. *yawn* I must have fallen asleep." The man had gray hair and a familiar face - a face that Zee had seen before.

    "Why, yes - it's me. I'm terribly sorry about that. I'm running behind a little bit. I promise that I won't bother you again...until tomorrow, maybe." Professor Maple responded with a soft chuckle. Zee definitely had seen this man somewhere before.

    "No, no, it's fine - I've been waiting all night to meet your new students." Zee squinted her eyes, trying to remember where she knew him from.

    A flash of images raced through her mind. She saw posters...flyers...images of the man shaking hands with another person...she saw an object in his hand - it was red... "Think, Zee, think! I know...I know...I know him..."

    The man sat up straight and yawned. He was seated in a chair, waking up pretty fast - much faster than Professor Maple had. "Ah, are these three-?"

    Zee's eyes flashed open. "Got it!" She cut him off. "You're-!" The man turned to look at her. "You're Professor Oak!" He let out a slight laugh and rubbed the back of his head.

    "So you've heard of me? I'm pleased to hear that. Yes...I am, indeed, Professor Oak." Zee was a bit too excited, almost dropping Emfur over her shoulder. Emfur turned around to face him. "Uh...and you are...?"

    "Zee Davidson, Sir!" Zee lightly touched her hand to her chest, indicating who she was. "It's my pleasure to meet you! I used to stay up late listening to your radio broadcasts from the Johto region. I'm a big fan - really. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh..."

    He rubbed his head once again, embarrassed out of modesty. "It's always nice to meet a fan...Miss Davidson. Ah! I see you've chosen an Emfur as your partner." He looked at Emfur, which gave him full attention, lifting its ears. "Emfur looks very healthy, yes? Bright eyes, shiny coat, well-developed ears - yes, it'll become a fine partner." Emfur sniffed the air in his direction.

    Professor Oak saw the other two teenagers standing around Professor Maple. "Oh? And who might these other young Trainers be?" Danica and Luc looked at each other before responding.

    "I'm Danica Graystone." Danica answered him first - short and blankly.

    Professor Oak seemed very interested in her. "Are you, by chance-?"

    "Yes, I'm related to Alan Graystone." Danica jumped to the answer.

    Professor Oak nodded his head in reply - looking to the side as if thinking for a moment. "I thought so...you know, you have-"

    "My grandfather's eyes, yes. My mother had them too." Danica answered, but wouldn't look him in the eye. Instead, she lightly kicked at the ground and placed her hands in her pockets.

    "Ah...well...I guess it's okay to skip the formalities." Zee wondered to herself if every Pokémon Professor was incredibly nice - despite the rudeness of people like Danica. "Hmm and how about this young man?"

    "Luc Stockmann - from Breezeharbor City, sir." Luc moved the hair out of his eyes with a flick of his neck.

    "They're the Trainers who I am hoping will assist me, Samuel." Professor Maple took a slight step backward, still looking at the screen. "That reminds me - I was hoping you'd tell me what it is you wanted to show us all." Danica, Luc, and Zee all made slight movements after Professor Maple's statement.

    "Yes, yes...I have them here...let me see..." Professor Oak pressed something beyond the left side of the screen and stood up, walking away. The lights in the room he was in slowly came on - probably automatic - revealing that his computer was stationed inside of what seemed to be another laboratory room. "Now where did I put them? Hmm..." An assortment of small boxes littered the room behind him - it looked as if he had spent a great deal of time unpacking a few things recently.

    *CRASH!*

    A box from a shelf off-screen fell. What sounded like a plastic object object bouncing around echoed throughout the room. They could hear Professor Oak still rummaging amongst boxes.

    "What is he getting, Professor?" Danica looked at Professor Maple with an honest look of curiosity.

    "I have no idea, really." Professor Maple smiled warmly and looked off into the distance. "I let him know last week that I was choosing newly licensed Trainers to help me with my latest research - studying the Ancient Tablet that we found at the Natiev Ruins. When I informed him of my decision, he insisted upon revealing something to me once the Trainers were chosen, so I'm not sure what he has in mind..."

    "Here they are!" Professor Oak scurried back to the computer screen with a box in both of his hands. "Now, one...and....two..." The Professor apparently took a few things out of the box, but it wasn't visible by his small audience. "Susanna, is your Teleporter ready yet? I know that they've been working hard to install the systems."

    "Teleporter?" Zee was floored. She had no idea that teleportation technology had been readied for public use. "You mean-?"

    Professor Maple responded quickly, inadvertently answering both of their questions. "Actually, my laboratory assistants got it up and running yesterday evening. I just got back from Havenpire City this morning, where we conducted our first successful test. Admittedly, we are having a bit of difficulty with the one in Bridgesteel City...but I believe that is due to another issue. They've been experiencing periodic blackouts, so I'm not sure when they'll get it fixed. I'll make a call later on, but I'm betting that it won't be up until the end of this week."

    "Ah...that's too bad...well, hopefully all systems should be running in a few months, right?" Professor Oak was typing rapidly on his keyboard as he spoke to Professor Maple. Zee was still sort of stunned that they were discussing something like this as if it were commonplace.

    "That's what we project." Professor Maple keyed in several commands on the display screen's control board as Professor Oak typed away. "I'm turning on my end, Samuel." At this, a small, cylindrical shape appeared from what Zee thought was just a blank counter space on the control board, lifting upward and rotating 180 degrees. It looked something like a pneumatic tube - complete with sliding cover, except it was about a foot in diameter.

    "Alright then, are we ready to make our first region-to-region transfer? Oh, this is quite exciting! I'm sending you the package now." Professor Oak finished pressing a bunch of keys and smiled widely as he waited for the package's arrival. He looked incredibly overjoyed, like a child at Christmas, over the technology.

    Professor Maple kept typing away at the screen, shifting between windows with bar graphs with different labels moving up and down rapidly. "Yes. We have connection..." A noise could be heard from the transporter - starting off as a faint hum, now grown into an audible whir. "...authorizing transfer..." Luc stood closest to the machine, facing it with curiosity, while Danica and Zee noticed that a few of the laboratory assistants walked into the room to listen to what was going on. "...completing transfer..." After a few seconds, a bunch of round lights came on at the front of the tube, varying from red to green. Slowly, the light colors moved from red toward the green.

    *BZZZZZZATTTTT!*

    A loud popping noise came from inside the tube, sending everyone's eyes shooting toward it. Strangely, the inside of the tube was filled with smoke. Danica, Luc, and Zee huddled around the machine, waiting for Professor Maple to open it. The top of the tube began to glow a faint white color. "What's happening Professor? Is it done?" Zee tapped on the white portion - investigating what was going on.

    "Ksssssh...*

    The machine made a soft hissing noise. All the lights on the machine quickly faded out. "Great - you broke it." Danica shot Zee a look. Emfur now sat perched on her shoulder, looking at the people around itself - seemingly unaware of its Trainer's fidgeting.

    "What?! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! I'm sooooo sorry!" Zee apologized profusely, not paying attention to the machine's movement. The sliding cover slid open, allowing the smoke from inside to quickly billow out.

    "I don't actually think you broke it. Look." Professor Oak pointed at the machine. Three small, rectangular objects appeared from inside the transfer tube.

    Professor Maple quickly stepped in to pick them up. "Ah! Are these-?"

    "Yes. They're the latest HANDY 2120 model Pokédexes, prepared especially for these three. The white and pink models are for the young ladies here, while the red and black one is for the gentleman." He looked straight at Professor Maple. "Susanna, these models are equipped with wireless relay hardware that should allow background processes to function. Basically, it's supposed to be compatible with that program you were sharing with me - so I hope you'll use it right away."

    "Thank you, Samuel. I will." Professor Maple picked up the Pokédexes, pressing the large Poké Ball insignia on the top surface of each.

    Professor Oak smiled and let out another yawn, then looked at the screen - almost jumping out of his seat. "Oh goodness! It's 1:34 in the morning! I'd better get some rest." He let out a small, sleepy laugh. "Is it okay if I go for a few hours, Susanna?"

    "No, no - you should go. You need to get your rest, Samuel. Thank you very much! Brilliant idea, really...using the Pokédexes...this will make everything a lot easier." Professor Maple flipped opened the Pokédexes on the hinges at the top corners of each, exposing a black touchscreen inside. The top screens were blank - except for a small, spinning Poké Ball icon in the center.

    Professor Oak chimed in. "Well, I wish you all the best. It's time for me to hit the hay. Goodbye! I'll talk to you soon, Susanna." Zee and Professor Maple waved goodbye at Professor Oak.

    "Have a good night, Samuel." The screen faded and disappeared into blackness.
    Last edited by xmikeyxlikesitx; 17th July 2010 at 9:04 AM.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  4. #4
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    "Goodbye, Professor Oak..." Zee kept waving. Professor Maple turned around and the few lab workers who were watching quickly went back to what they were doing prior.

    "Now...let's get my data program installed..." Professor Maple opened a folder on the desktop and ran a file that projected a progress bar onto the display screen.

    Danica stepped closer to the screen, leaning her head sideways toward the Professor. "What exactly is this program...and why did you choose us for it?"

    "Ah, good question, Miss Graystone." Professor Maple looked at the Pokédexes expectantly, and as she did, all three projected holographic rotating Poké Balls from lenses located in the center of the outside casing of the Pokédex. "This program will be used with your Pokédexes to collect information as you travel. It's a program I designed that runs quietly in the background - observing and cataloging information on all the Pokémon within the area in which you currently are traveling through. So all-in-all, you don't need to do anything but travel around the region. My original plan was to have you three plant transmitters as you ventured across the continent, but this is a much better idea."

    "Interactible holograph technology?" Luc poked at the Poké Ball's hologram, which wobbled in place, confirming his question. "Interesting..."

    The progress bar on the display screen reached 100%, scrolling through a brief "completing" stage before Professor Maple closed shut all three models and distributed them to each of the three Trainers. "Now...here you go..." Luc received the "male" model, while Danica and Zee received identical "female" models.

    Zee immediately flipped hers open and looked at the touch interface. "Wow - kind of fancy, isn't it?" Luc and Danica followed suit, opening theirs as well.

    "Why don't you try them out on your Pokémon?" Professor Maple looked at Zee, who immediately pointed it at her Emfur.

    "I guess." Zee followed the Professor's suggestion and pointed it over her shoulder at Emfur.

    "Em...fur." Emfur looked at the device out of curiosity. As it did so, the Pokédex lit up, acknowledging the Pokémon's existence.

    "Please slide your Trainer Card." An electronic female voice came from a small speaker at the bottom of the Pokédex.

    All three Trainers looked at the talking device. "Uhh...sure?" Zee took out her card with her left hand and swiped it along the bottom of the device.

    "Registering Pokédex to Trainer Number: 77434. Please say your name now."

    "Zee Davidson?" Zee spoke loudly to her Pokédex.

    "Welcome, Zee Davidson. I am Dextette - HANDY model 2120. I am the latest version of Pokédex. Please feel free to say commands or scan a Pokémon." Zee looked at her Pokédex, then positioned it in front of Emfur.

    Dextette immediately flashed its top screen on, displaying a picture of an Emfur. "Emfur, the Lop Ear Pokémon. The flames on an Emfur's ears are said to correlate to their body temperature. If scared, this Pokémon will scatter quickly in all directions."

    "Flames on its ears?" Zee looked at Emfur.

    "Fur." Emfur lifted its ears slightly and a single flame appeared on the tip of each. Zee was ready to scream at this when she realized that the flames weren't burning anything around it. "Em." Emfur let out a small sneeze.

    Dextette perked up. "Detailed Analysis - Pokémon Species: Emfur. Gender: Female. Nature: Mild. Characteristic: Often lost in thought."

    Zee blinked. "Um...what was that?" She turned her head toward the Professor.

    "It seems that this version is vastly more complex than other Pokédex models that I've seen before." Professor Maple looked at the other two.

    "Well...I guess that explains why Emfur is so...quiet...and stares off into space a bit?" Zee looked at Emfur, but its eyes were glazed over - looking past her.

    "Why don't you both register your Pokédexes and check your Pokémon? I believe that you should be able to scan Pokémon through their Poké Balls."

    Luc and Danica nodded and flipped open their Pokédexes. Luc swiped his first - this time, a male voice responded. "Registering Pokédex to Trainer Number: 91532. Please say your name now."

    "Luc Stockmann."

    "Welcome, Luc Stockmann. I am Dexter - HANDY model 2120. I am the latest version of Pokédex. Please feel free to say commands or scan a Pokémon." Luc pulled out the minimized Poké Ball from his duffel bag pocket, scanning Loupup.

    Dexter brought up an image of Loupup on its top screen. "Loupup, the Bush Dog Pokémon. Despite their tough appearance, Loupup are very timid creatures. In recent years, most have disappeared from natural sightings."

    "Detailed Analysis." Luc figured that it responded best to command phrases.

    As he thought, Dexter replied quickly. "Detailed Analysis - Pokémon Species: Loupup. Gender: Male. Nature: Jolly. Characteristic: Hates to lose."

    Luc's eyes weren't visible through his hair, which once again covered a portion of his face. "Hmm..."

    Danica swiped her card - almost impatiently. "Registering Pokédex to Trainer Number: 26182. Please say your na-"

    "Danica Graystone." She cut the device off. Her face indicated that she seemed to be somewhat disgusted with the look of her Pokédex.

    "Welcome, Danica Graystone. I am Dex-" She cut her Pokédex off a second time, merely pointing it at her Poké Ball. An image of Hoply appeared.

    "Hoply, the Bubble Pokémon. Hoply tend to spend most of their time at the bottom of lakes and ponds, due to its heavy shell. When it wants to surface, it forms a foamy bubble around itself, enabling it to rise."

    "Detailed Analysis." Danica followed Luc's lead - cutting straight to the point with her Pokédex.

    A female voice responded. "Detailed Analysis - Pokémon Species: Hoply. Gender: Male. Nature: Impish. Characteristic: Somewhat of a clown."

    Danica looked at her Poké Ball and mumbled. "Hmph...you won't be a clown for long." Luc heard Danica and looked toward her, his one exposed eye catching hers, but she just looked away and placed her Poké Ball on her belt. Luc said nothing - just catching a glimpse of Zee pick Emfur off her shoulders and hold it in her arms against her chest.

    Luc looked back at Danica. "What are you looking at?" Danica snapped at him, but Luc's cool attitude showed no change.

    "Well...now that you've all chosen starter Pokémon and have been given Pokédexes...I'd like to discuss my research matter." The three teenagers lined up in front of the Professor and faced her. An image of the wooden carving appeared on the display screen. "My laboratory team and I are looking for the pieces of the Ancient Tablet. We believe that we have located another piece, so my assistant is out on the field investigating the matter. When I receive word from him, would you be willing to check in with him?"

    All three teenagers nodded. "Yes, Professor!"

    "Sure, whatever."

    "..."

    "The transport systems are currently being installed in Pokémon Centers all over Kokubei, but the public transfer mainframe is still in development. For the time being, if you manage to find a Tablet Piece, please notify me and I will try to have my assistants come pick it up." Professor Maple looked at all three Trainers and then at the clock, which now read 12:41. "Well...we've been here for a while, and I have nothing further to give to you, so please - I'll walk you three out."

    "Sounds good. I'm ready to get out of this place." Danica clasped her hands behind her head and looked around.

    "You're not rude or anything." Zee rolled her eyes sarcastically. "Not even a 'thanks, Professor for giving me a Pokémon'?" Zee felt hot all over. The two hadn't been arguing since they received their Pokémon, but the peace was short-lived. Luc stood in between them and took a step back, getting out of their way.

    "Miss Graystone is probably right. You all just got your licenses approved - who can blame you for wanting to go out and start your travels? Everyone - it's time to head out." Professor Maple walked back through the room toward the walkways.

    "See? Even she agrees." Danica looked at Zee, but received nothing but a sour look. The teenagers followed the Professor, proceeding down a few flights of stairs and across the walkways twice, reaching the first floor of the laboratory. They walked past the smaller rooms with laboratory equipment and through the room with the desk attendant, but there was now a girl sitting there on the phone. Zee thought it sounded like she was relaying phone calls for something important.

    "Oh, that's right!" The Professor was several feet in front of Danica and Luc as they walked down the long hallway to the elevator. Zee took this opportunity to catch up to the Professor and talk to her in private, appearing on her right side. "Um...Professor?" Zee was whispering.

    Professor Maple, no fool, whispered back. "Yes? Why are we whispering?"

    "It's about this morning...when I got your briefcase back, there was a man dressed in all black in the middle of the forest. He looked through your briefcase, but said he didn't find anything he was looking for."

    Professor Maple subtly looked back at the other two teenagers, but Luc didn't seem to be paying attention to anything and Danica had her head down, looking like she was deep in thought. "That is quite intriguing..."

    "I'm sorry I didn't tell you. Henry, the bus driver - he told me not to tell you..." Zee felt a lump forming in her throat and looked down a little. It wasn't Emfur, as it was busy looking around and wriggling its nose.

    "Oh - well...I've known Henry for quite some time...I think he just didn't want me to worry about it. I'm not upset or anything...but...just keep an eye out for the man if you can recognize him - okay?" Zee couldn't exactly recognize him by his face or details of his look, but she remembered his strange...aura. It was a feeling that made her feel very weak. Zee could never forget that, or his creepy black Pokémon. Just thinking about either of them sent chills up her spine.

    *Ping*

    A gentle noise sounded - they were standing in front of the elevator that they had taken up to this floor, which lit up and opened its doors. "Here we are! Everybody in, please!"

    Danica stepped in first - moving to the back and leaning against a railing inside the compartment. She crossed her arms and looked out the window. Luc stepped in next, moving to his right upon immediate entry. Zee hesistated. "Professor-"

    Professor Maple leaned in to whisper in her ear once more. "It's fine - I promise. Like I said - just keep an eye out."

    Zee let out a sigh and closed her eyes. She stepped inside and then turned around. Luc pressed a big button labeled "ML", probably meaning "main lobby."

    Professor Maple put her hand on the door of the elevator to keep it from closing. "I just have one more bit of advice for all three of you. Always show your Pokémon love, kindness, and compassion. Have the patience to grow with them - understand and learn from them. Show them forgiveness when times are tough - especially when times are tough, because that's when they'll need you most. Have the courage to never give up and get back on your feet when any of you fall. And remain loyal and true to them, always - win or lose. And...take care..." She looked at the three. "...all of you."

    Luc mumbled, but Danica still said nothing. "Thank you, Professor."

    "We will, Professor, we will. And you, too..." Zee held Emfur a little closer to her body, causing it to look up at her a bit. "...you...too..." Professor Maple let her hand off of the door and it slid closed.

    Zee took a deep breath as she descended into the world below - turning around to see the sun shining over the city. Her journey had finally begun - and the view was nothing short of spectacular.
    Last edited by xmikeyxlikesitx; 9th July 2010 at 11:37 AM.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  5. #5
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    Apr 2008
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Chapter 00: Prologue
    Chapter 01: Let's Roll Out!
    Chapter 02: She Loves Me Not
    Chapter 03: Time to Rumble
    Chapter 04: After That Eggle!
    Chapter05: Setting into Motion
    Chapter 06: Tag This!

    Series Info Warning: Spoiler Information

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    Chapter 03: Time to Rumble



    Trulove City


    "Hi - I'm Mack Donahue. Hey - Mack Donahue, here. Oh! Sorry, I didn't notice you there - I'm Mack Donahue." A man in a navy business suit sat in front of a mirror, combing his wavy brown hair - parted to one side. Each time he said his name, he checked his face and straightened his suit coat. "The name's Mack. Mack Donahue." He made an attempt at a suave look while flashing his teeth. Something must have caught his eye - as he quickly brought his face closer to the mirror and inspected his mouth frantically.

    "Are you really that vain?" A sleepy voice came from Mack's left. A woman sat in a leather driver's seat, her hands propped behind her head - she was resting. The woman had short black hair cut in a bob and wore thick, rectangular, red glasses - her eyes closed behind them. The two of them were sitting inside of a vehicle lined on the inside with a couple of computers and complicated-looking machinery - a news van to be exact. Mack was sitting at the very back, where the doors were - pruning his appearance and preparing for his airtime. The woman waited for a response - yet none came - so she just let out a yawn and rolled her head to the side. It didn't move very far, as she had thick black headphones over her neck - although no sound was coming out.

    "I'm doing something you wouldn't understand, Yolonda...I'm caring about my appearance." Mack ran his fingers through his hair, looking for any strands that weren't matted down under (who knows how much) hair gel and spray-on mousse.

    "Yeah, yeah...." She barely stirred. "Just...let's get this story over with and we can go back to the station."

    "What's the rush?" Mack started to mumble to himself. "I'm sure there's plenty of (beautiful) people just dying to meet me..."

    Yolonda heard him. "By 'people', I'm just going to assume you're referring to your female victims."

    "Tch." Mack gritted his teeth and turned toward her, but was promptly cut off.

    "We're not here for you - we're here for him. The boss wanted a big story and that's what we have to deliver." Yolonda let out a yawn and sat up. "Besides, you're really not that interesting, anyway."

    Mack was flustered. "Hey! I am too interest-" But she couldn't hear him anymore - she had clapped her headphones over her ears and got out of the van. Yolonda circled around the back of the van, opening its doors. On the outside, it was a navy blue van with a large circular insignia on the side imprinted in red. The logo read "Kokubei Live!" in all capital letters with a white outline. From a distance, it looked something akin to a giant "rejected" stamp.

    Yolonda flung open the rear doors - startling Mack. "It's time to go, pretty boy. He's supposed to make an appearance. Here. Today. Like...now." Mack started to protest, but Yolonda yanked him out of the van. Despite the fact that she was the same size as him, she was notably stronger.

    In the next swift movement, she picked up her news camera and hoisted it over her left shoulder - dragging Mack by his heels with her right. "Lemme go! Lemme go! Yolonda?! YOLONDA?!" Mack tried to dig in, but she was simply too strong. "I...dropped my comb..."


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    A young mother and her daughter appeared from behind a wall of rotating glass doors. Rather tall and elegant, the woman appeared to be in her early thirties. Strawberry blonde hair dangled from her head in gentle, wavy locks that seemed to end in a natural curl. Her vivd hair rested itself upon an olive peacoat, which she wore because she had a habit of getting cold easily - and the late March weather was a bit cool this year. The girl - possibly 5 or 6 years old - held snugly to her mother's hand. She shared her mother's wavy curls, but her hair was noticeably darker. The two walked through a small crowd of people, most of whom headed up a labyrinth of escalators to the left of the entrance. The right side of the lobby consisted of a large, semi-circular front desk and a hallway leading to a row of elevators (more toward the center of the building.) The two walked past the front desk, where a large man in a business suit paced impatiently back and forth as an older, dark-skinned woman wearing glasses sat behind it, talking loudly on the phone. A plaque on the wall read "Radiance Building - Main Floor."

    As they stopped in front of an elevator (which had flashing lights indicating its descent), the woman placed the back of her hand on her daughter's forehead - feeling it for any abnormal warmth. "How're you feeling?" The woman had a gently curved face, which she shared her daughter. Despite their similarities, her daughter had dark brown eyes, whereas her mother's were a steely-gray. The girl coughed quietly, wiping her face with a brush of her forearm. The girl wore a small, lilac colored jacket, which had a fake, tan fur lining that poked out around the sides, as if the fur were trying to escape.

    The girl sniffled slightly. "Mommy...?"

    "Hmm?" Her mother was bent over - her face closer to her daughter's. The girl's face was exuding warmth - a bit too much, however.

    "I don't feel so good..." The little girl wasn't whining, despite her discomfort.

    "We'll have you see the doctor and he'll give us some medicine to make you feel all better, okay?" The woman gave her daughter a faint smile and adjusted her coat, checking her temperature again. She was still warm, but there were no signs of anything other than a mild fever. The girl rubbed her eyes and looked up at the numbers above the the elevator doors - the floor indicator. 7...6...5...4...

    "Mommy, what's that?" Despite being a few floors away, the mother, daughter, and a few other bystanders waiting at different elevators heard a loud echoing noise come from the door in front of the little girl. It sounded like people's voices, but no one on the main floor could tell what was being said.

    As the elevator moved closer, the sound grew noticeably louder.

    3...

    A man in a long-sleeved, gray sweater looked up from the newspaper he was reading - adjusting his frameless glasses and folding the newspaper as the elevator changed floors. He appeared to be in his late forties to early fifties - his hair an even lighter shade of gray than his clothing.

    2...

    "-and I don't care about what you say-ay-ay..." A young woman, about twenty years old with bright purple hair, listened to her mp3 player as she sang along. She dressed something akin to a punk rock skater chick - music so loud that one could hear a pretty decent chunk of sound come from her in-ear headphones. "What is that?" Even with her music pumping out on full volume, she too heard the loud noises - pausing her song to remove an earbud and listen in. The elevator arrived and loud noises could be heard from the other side - they sounded vaguely human. As if by instinct, everyone creeped closer to the door to hear what all the ruckus was about.

    The elevator made a loud ding and its doors flung open - the rush of sound startling all those standing by. From inside the elevator, two loud voices barged through the gentle hum of the building's lobby.

    "SERIOUSLY! WHAT. IS. YOUR. PROBLEM?!"

    "YOU'RE MY 'PROBLEM'!"

    Danica was the first to exit the elevator - followed by a furious Zee. The people in front of the door jumped out of the way, while the rest in the lobby stood with dazed looks on their faces - as if asking how any two people could be yelling so loudly. The little girl with the fake-fur covered her ears.

    "OH YEAH?! AND WHAT EXACTLY DID I DO?!" Zee was red in the face - so much so that an observer might have thought that cooking something on her would be physically possible. Everyone within earshot could hear the two bickering loudly. Even people using the escalators turned toward the noise. The dark-skinned woman at the desk hung up her phone and the man pacing back and forth stopped as Danica walked right in front of him.

    "COME. ON! YOU REALLY DON'T KNOW?! YOU'RE SUCH A PAIN! YOU SHOULDN'T EVEN BE HERE!" Danica walked briskly. It seemed as if part of her wanted to walk completely away, while the other part wanted to stay just within reach as she jumped into the revolving door in front of Zee.

    Zee was hopping mad. "YOU TAKE THAT BACK!" She nearly shrieked as she jumped into the door behind Danica. Luc followed behind her silently - his ears still ringing from their argument in the elevator. They had stepped into the same portion of the door.

    Emfur looked up at her - ears curled and somewhat afraid. Slowly and unsurely, it unrolled its long, floppy ears. "Em...fur?"

    "Can you believe her?!" Both Emfur and Luc flinched as she turned toward him to speak. He closed both of his eyes and Emfur rolled up its ears. As usual, he said nothing, but this time he was sweating just a little. Zee noticed how loud she had been. "Er...sorry..." Luc opened one eye as they pushed the door open.

    Danica seemed to be waiting in front of the door for them - tapping her foot impatiently, arms crossed, and sneering. Luc was ready to hold Zee back in case she decided to fully pounce on her. "Oh there you are - loser."

    Zee marched toward Danica - arms swaying as if she were a seasoned power-walker. "Listen - I don't know why you think I'm not a 'real Trainer' and all, but you're wrong." Luc thought he could hear the sparks exchange between their death-glares.

    Danica turned around and started slowly down the steps coming from the building. Zee hadn't noticed them earlier - due to her daydreaming. The steps were beautifully carved out of a pearly white marble color and polished to a glossy finish. There was a large, flat "landing" on the steps two-thirds of the way down. "I really, just. Don't. Care. I'm out, losers." Zee stood stunned for a second, then bounded down the steps after her. Danica looked like she was going to head down beyond the "landing" when Zee called after her.

    "Wait! I challenge you - to a Pokémon Battle!" Danica froze in her tracks. She had almost made it down the steps when she heard Zee's voice.

    Danica's eyes filled with fire as she turned around. "No freakin' way." She looked at Zee with a look of shock and somewhat disgust. "Are you serious?"

    "Yeah, I am." Zee didn't even hesitate, although Luc - standing to her right - did. Zee was gripping Emfur firmly - yet surprisingly, she wasn't choking the Pokémon.

    "No. I'm not doing this." Danica turned away and began to march off.

    Emfur jumped out of Zee's arms as she threw her backpack on the ground and bolted toward the girl - but luckily, Luc caught her by the hood of her sweatshirt before she could go too far. "Let me at her! Let me at her!"

    As Danica began to walk away, a robust-looking woman dragging a man passed her - camera slung over her shoulder. She wore baggy jeans and a drab, tan shirt that looked rather awkward against her pale complexion. The man seemed to be just fumbling with his fingers and rolling his eyes around, not paying attention to anything in detail. Danica turned toward Zee (who had stopped trying to resist Luc's pull) once more and threw her Poké Ball into the air.

    "Hoply!" With a flash of light, Hoply appeared with a spring in its step. Danica walked back up the steps as her Pokémon waddled toward her.

    Zee blinked confusedly. "Are you...taking me up on that offer?"

    "Let's go, Zee - show me what you've got." Danica sneered as she stopped next to Hoply. "Time to rumble."

    "Uhh...is she serious?" Zee looked at Luc, who merely shrugged and widened his eyes. Emfur looked up at her from the corner of her eye. "You ready? ...I'm not really sure what I'm doing...uhh...I've never battled anyone for real...I mean...I don't think it's hard or anything...right...?"

    "Fur." Emfur gave her a fairly confident look. Luc just stared at her. She had never had a Pokémon battle? Not even in school?

    "Then it's decided! We're gonna beat her - you and me, Emfur!" Luc sighed and took a seat on the steps as Emfur hopped down them - Zee following after.

    "Yo, big boy! You want to be the ref?" Danica looked at Luc, who seemed to be slightly startled as he tried to sit down. A few people in the crowd stopped to clear a space on the "landing" where the two were prepping to battle.

    Luc nodded slowly, grumbling to himself and standing back up from his half-seated state. "I guess..." He looked around at the people milling about, many of them now moving to both sides of the steps leading down from the building. I don't think this is going to end well...there's too many people watching... Luc thought to himself as he surveyed the area. Even people on the other side of the street stopped to see what was going on. Trulove city seemed to have a lot of on-foot traffic, meaning if something went down, everyone would know about it. "Are you sure you guys don't want to move somewhere...you know...a little less crowded?"

    Danica shot him a look. "It's here, or it's not happening." She was on the west side of the steps - two rows of people walked behind her, most ignoring her presence.

    "Fine by me." Zee stood opposite of Danica - mouth closed, but anyone observing the two could tell that she was gritting her teeth. She had on a poker-face that surprisingly exuded confidence.

    Luc let out a sigh. "Have it your way..." He tried reasoning with the two girls, but it seemed neither of them was willing to budge. They were going to battle where everyone could see - and someone was going to lose. Big time.

    "What are you waiting for?" Danica yelled at her impatiently - tapping her left foot on the ground. "Come on..."

    "Hold on! Jeez, she's impatient. Let's see...you know Scratch, Tail Whip, Ember, and Fury Swipes...hmm...let's see." Zee had out her Pokédex - examining Emfur's moves.

    Yolonda had dragged Mack halfway past the stairs, heading away from the battle when he planted his feet - hard. "Hey! Whaddaya think you're doing?!" Yolonda tried to pull him, but the imminent battle caught his eye.

    "This, Yolonda...would be some GREAT footage!" She turned around and saw Zee and Danica standing apart from each other - determined looks on their faces.

    "But, the story-"

    "Later, Yolonda!" Mack somehow managed to break free of her iron grip and bounded up the steps to get closer to the two young Trainers.

    Yolonda tried to protest, but he was too far away for her to strangle. She let out a deep sigh and trudged after him - focusing her camera lens as she walked. "This had better be good..."

    Luc stood between the two girls, his hands held out horizontally in both of their directions. "Are both of you ready?" He looked at Zee.

    "Ready!" Emfur moved slightly forward as it crouched in front of Zee - anticipating a sudden rush toward Hoply.

    "I've been ready!" Danica stared Zee down. "You'd better be too." She looked at her Pokémon.

    "Hop!" Hoply was ready.

    A blurred movement occurred from Luc's arms. "Begin!"

    Emfur rushed forward. "Emfur! Start this off with a Fury Swipes!" Flames on the small Pokémon's ears appeared out of nowhere, gaining size as it ran.

    "I knew she'd do that. Hoply, move toward Emfur!" The blue Pokémon obeyed - hustling toward the rabbit's charge.

    "Fur! Fur! Fur! Fur!" Emfur scampered along the landing toward Hoply - leaping into the air as the two met.

    "Now, Hoply! Harden!" Danica barked the order and Hoply made a slight jumping movement and retracted its tentacles, landing on the ground with a slight "thud."

    "Emfur!" Emfur landed right on top of it - paws bared and slapping at the Pokémon's thick shell. "Fur! Em! Fur! Em!" Emfur scratched at its opponent furiously, but didn't manage to do much other than make Hoply wobble around on its base. Hoply was simply too heavy for Emfur to move it - there was no penetrating Hoply's defenses.

    Hoply had been rotated about 180ş before Danica gave it the next command. "Hoply! Bubble attack!" In an instant, Hoply popped out of its shell and turned around. This motion startled Emfur and caused it to fly backward and bounce off the ground. Emfur tried standing up when it noticed Hoply looming above it.

    "Em?" Under orders, Hoply blew a flurry of bubbles at Emfur - each popping of a bubble sent a shock wave rippling into it. Emfur was blasted backward once again - skidding across the newly wet marble.

    "Charge it and go for a Tackle!" Danica pointed fiercely at Emfur as her Pokémon made a dash on all six tentacles. Emfur struggled to stand up for a brief second, then quickly sprinted toward Hoply.

    Yolonda made a final visual adjustment as her viewfinder filled with Mack's guise. "Are you ready yet?!" Yolonda whispered harshly at him. Mack merely winked - causing her to roll her eyes, but he couldn't see. Yolonda made a forward rolling motion with her right hand - cuing Mack to start speaking.

    "Hello, there! I'm Mack Donahue - reporting to you from beautiful downtown Trulove City, a place where-"

    "Focus!" He started to move off-track.

    "Oh, right. Ahem. Right now, there is a public Pokémon battle going on in front of the Radiance Building - where famed Kokubei resident, Professor Maple's Laboratory resides. It appears that two young Trainers are engaging in a fierce showdown of some sort, as the two seem incredibly focused on the match. Let's try and take a closer look." With that, the scope of the camera zoomed in on Emfur - now diving toward Hoply.

    "Emfur! Are you okay?!" Zee lost her face's composure - now wearing a worried look.

    "Fur!" Emfur stood up - and just in time - rolling out of the way.

    "Hop?" Hoply's momentum sent it stumbling past Emfur.

    "Emfur! Hit it with an Ember attack!" Emfur's ears light up two small flames and a swarm of hot cinders fired forth from its mouth.

    "Emfur!" The flames shot toward Hoply - aimed at the opening in its shell.

    "Like that'll work! Hoply - Harden once more!" Danica could see the attack coming from a mile away. Ember was Emfur's strongest move, but it was still of little affect on her Water-type Pokémon.

    Hoply contracted itself into its shell once more - the flames from Ember doing nothing but dispersing rapidly as it stiffly resisted the Fire-type attack. "Go for a Tackle again!" Emfur barely had enough time to catch its breath as Hoply popped up and dived straight for it.

    Luckily, Emfur had speed on its side. "Fur!" With a swift kick from its back legs, Emfur sprang forward and out of harm's way.

    "I thought you'd do that! Dodging won't work! Hoply - surround yourself in Bubble!" Quickly, Hoply foamed out a small cloud of bubbles - enveloping itself in a transparent cluster of water.

    "Huh? What'll that do?" Zee jerked her head back in surprise, but Luc had caught on.

    I see...she's going to boost her defense...she can't keep up with Emfur's speed...but she doesn't have to...

    A burst of light came from the front pocket of Luc's duffel bag. A few people who stood next to him - watching - looked down at his Pokémon, which happily ran between a few people's legs. "Loupup!" Loupup appeared next to Luc and wagged its tail - preparing for an affectionate bite - but once again, he was too fast - pulling out the Poké Ball and returning his Pokémon at once. He placed the Poké Ball back in his bag - this time, making sure to zipper it up all the way.

    "Emfur! Use Ember to pop the bubbles!" Emfur fired away.

    "Emmmm......FUUUUURRRRR!!!" The flames flew like fiery darts - but Hoply held its ground and bubbled away, countering Emfur's attempts.

    "That's it, Hoply! Keep it up!" Hoply followed its commands and pumped out more bubbles.

    "Jump into the air, Emfur! Let's take it down from above!" Yes! We can do this! We just need to keep Hoply still. She can't keep defending forever! There was still a fatal flaw in Zee's plan, however. "Fury Swipes!"

    NO! Luc almost had to force himself to look. He knew what was coming. Hoply's defense is its offense!

    "Em!" Emfur launched itself into the air - still firing a few remaining flames from its mouth.

    Danica made a slight grin and narrowed her eyes. It's over for you... "Hoply! Harden one last time!" Hoply disappeared into its shell again - still covered in a thick foam of bubbles. This time, as its hardened its shell, the bubbles appeared to adhere tighter together, turning them into a glistening wall. Zee gritted her teeth as Emfur plummeted toward Hoply - paws ready to swat at it.

    "Pop out of your shell!" Danica called out to her Pokémon. Both Emfur and Zee didn't know what was going on - startling both of them. Hoply bounced into the air and all the bubbles on its shell's surface burst in all directions - causing Emfur to wince as they struck the rabbit Pokémon.

    Oh no! Zee barely understood what happened - but it really was too late.

    "Fur!" Emfur's eyes were closed as the bubbles exploded, only opening quickly for the split second before Hoply's hard shell met its face. "Emfur!" In the air, Hoply's bubbles both did damage and caused Emfur to close its eyes - preventing it from reacting to Hoply's shell flying toward it.

    "Ly!" Hoply landed on its tentacles.

    "Em!" Emfur bounced off the ground and laid there - dazed. Several people made gasping noises from somewhere to Luc's right.

    "Emfur is no longer able to battle. Danica...has won this match." Luc didn't seem overly enthusiastic about his announcement - not that it was any different from his normal attitude.

    "No! Emfur!" Zee ran up to her Pokémon fell to her knees. "I'm...sorry..." Zee scooped up her Pokémon and cradled it gently.

    "...fur?" Emfur seemed to be coming to its senses - although a bit weak.

    Zee looked down at her Pokémon and gently whispered to it. "You did great...I'm proud of you..." Zee tried to fight back the tears in her eyes.

    Mack's voice rang throughout the open space. "And we have a winner! Please, tell us - just who are you?" He pointed the mic at Danica.

    "Hmph." Danica returned her Pokémon with her right hand and flipped her one pigtail with her left - eyes closed and nose held up out of confidence. "Danica Graystone." She opened her left eye and looked at him out of the corner.

    "Ah! Miss Graystone - what a wonderful battle you showed us! Is there anything you'd like to say for the camera?" People were now crowded around her - hanging onto her every word.

    Danica opened her other eye and looked at Zee, who was picking up her backpack and hiding her face from everyone. "Actually, yes - there is. Remember my name. I'm going to be a world-famous Pokémon Trainer." She grabbed the mic and bent it toward her mouth. "Today was only my first victory, but I'm confident that I'll have plenty more. Don't take your loss too bad - okay, Zee?" She had said Zee's name on camera - further humiliating the girl as Yolonda aimed it at her. Zee turned toward Danica, opening her mouth to speak - but no words came out and she hanged her head low again.

    Mack seemed slightly irritated at the girl grabbing his mic, but he moved onto the next question. "So, Miss Graystone, what are your plans next?"

    Danica smirked. "A Gym Badge, of course. I'm heading to Bridgesteel City - where I plan on getting my first Badge." She closed her eyes again. "They should pretty much just hand me my Badge at this rate." Boy, was Danica full of herself - but she was being pompous on camera just to get under Zee's skin.

    "Emfur..." Zee looked down at Emfur and forced a smile.

    "Come on...let's get you to the Pokémon Center." Zee had no idea why she remembered, but she swore she saw it a few blocks to the east - right at the end of a bridge or something like that.

    "Some people are born to be Trainers - others...not so much..." Zee knew Danica was talking to her, but she couldn't bring herself to even cater to Danica's taunts - her ego was too fragile at the moment to do anything other than run. And run, she did. Zee took off with Emfur in her arms - running, just running. Zee didn't care if anybody saw her, or even acknowledged her presence - she just wanted her Pokémon healed - and fast. Danica's voice trailed after her, but she didn't pay attention to it - the droning of people around her faded into a gentle buzz. It had been less than a full day and already, Zee was feeling horrible about it - part of her just wanted it to end, so she could throw the covers off and start a fresh new one. But for now...Emfur was the only thing on her mind.


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    Trulove City - Pokémon Center


    Emfur was asleep on a small, Pokémon-sized stretcher. Zee had been sitting in the walk-in section of the Pokémon Center for a good half hour before getting up to get a Fizzy Cola from the vending machine. She hadn't realized it, but Zee didn't have anything to eat since her breakfast much earlier that morning. Zee didn't have time to think about hunger, or anything else for that matter - she was too busy worried about Emfur. Even after she purchased the beverage, she didn't do anything more than sit on a chair and stare at the floor - the can clasped firmly in her hands. She was replaying the battle over in her head.

    There were about three or four other Trainers sitting in the area - their Pokémon on different-sized stretchers as well. A girl sitting on the other side of the room stroked her small, gray Pokémon softly - it had dark marks on its side - possibly from a burn, which would explain why it cringed slightly at its Trainer's touch. How could I have been so careless? What kind of Trainer am I? Maybe...Danica was right... No - it can't be... "I'm not that bad of a Trainer...am I?" Zee suddenly spoke aloud, but she didn't notice - still zoned out and staring ahead. The girl looked up from her Pokémon, but said nothing - turning back to her Pokémon.

    "Hmm? I'm sorry - what was that?" Emfur's ear twitched slightly as a sweet voice filled the air - it was Nurse Joy.

    "Sorry...I was just talking to myself...I'm just..." Zee hesitated. "...worried..."

    Nurse Joy smiled at her. "Don't worry - Emfur is going to be fine in no time. It just needs a little nap and Emfur should be good to go."

    Zee smiled back. Now, she wasn't worried so much about Emfur so much as she was about the possibility of her not being a good Trainer.

    Nurse Joy then walked over to a small desk and spoke to everyone in the small room. "Please pardon my slowness - we're installing a new system in the Pokémon Center and I've been running around here all morning - trying to check up on eveyone's Pokémon, so I do apologize once again." No one seemed to be panicked too much about their Pokémon's condition - so no one spoke a word.

    The room was situated to the right of the entrance into the Pokémon Center. Several other nursing assistants helped coordinate Trainers and their Pokémon into different rooms of the building. Zee sat at the far corner of the room - next to the window, which she stared out of. Emfur's going to be alright...she just needs a nap... Zee realized that Emfur was a "she" - a detail that had totally slipped her mind. A part of Zee was bothered that she didn't refer to her Pokémon as a "she" in her mind - just as an "it" Not anymore.

    Zee was so lost in staring at the clouds outside, that a sudden bursting noise startled her. Zee jumped and looked to her right - where a door flung open.

    *cough cough cough* A cloud of white smoke billowed out from the doorway, causing the other Trainers to move their Pokémon toward the other side of the room - farthest from the smoke. Zee just sat in her chair and blinked as she looked through the smoke to see a silhouette of a person. "Well...I guess that didn't work..." A male voice hacked a bit, although it sounded like he was covering his mouth. Once the smoke settled, Zee noticed that a young man - probably in his mid-twenties stood brushing himself off and turning around to check himself for dust on his clothing. He wore a light jacket that looked to be white, but upon further inspection, revealed to be a very pale gold color. On the back of his jacket was a Poké Ball symbol, while his front revealed a white polo underneath. His hair was short and slightly unkempt, and he wore a gray belt with a large, silver, Poké Ball-shaped buckle on it. His pants were a dark gray color - much darker than Zee's capris, and his shoes seemed to be white high cut basketball sneakers with velcro straps (although the top straps were unstrapped above his ankles - preventing his pant legs from covering them.)

    "Uh...do you need help?" Zee wasn't sure what she could help him with - other than brushing him off, which she did instinctively. He still had a bit of dust on the back of his jacket.

    "Actually, yes. You see, when I was little, my father used to-" The guy was trying to be funny - it wasn't working, though.

    "Forget it." Zee dropped her hands and sat back down in her chair. The other Trainers in the room looked at him funny, but averted their eyes when he scanned the room.

    "Hey now, hey now...what's eating you?" The guy noticed Emfur lying on the stretcher behind the door. "Oh...I'm sorry...did I bump into your Pokémon? My bad - if I did..."

    "No...I don't think you did." Zee looked around. Nope, he hadn't done anything. By now, Emfur was lazily flopped on its back, sleeping peacefully.

    "Oh! For me? You shouldn't have!"

    *crack*

    *fizz*

    The guy cracked open Zee's Fizzy Cola can. Suddenly, she cared that she actually had the drink. "Um...that's mine..." She stared at him - still drinking. "Well...was mine." He froze.

    "Oh, crap! I did it again, sorry!" He offered the can back to Zee, but she saw into it, realizing that there was less than a sip or two left.

    "Erm...no thanks...you can have it..."

    "You sure?" The guy gestured to her to take it back, but she just pushed his hand back slowly.

    "I'm sure..." She wasn't disgusted, she just didn't want it anymore. "Who are you, again?" She looked at him sideways. He was...an oddball.

    "Hah! I'm Michael - thanks for asking! And you?" He looked at her with a goofy grin. Zee wasn't sure if she was amused or annoyed by his presence.

    "I'm Zee. Zee Davidson, from Simplife Town." Michael beamed at her.

    Michael looked at Emfur sleeping. "Well, Zee from Simplife Town, it looks like your Emfur was in a pretty tough battle - don't you think?"

    Emfur wasn't bruised or anything, so Zee was genuinely amazed that he knew that. "Wait - how did you-?"

    "We're in a Pokémon Center and your Pokémon is on a little stretcher." Michael chuckled. "You don't need to really advertise it." He looked at her, but Zee had her head down slightly - her battle performance seemed to be bothering her. "Well...I remember my first battle. I lost against my best friend, Heather. Total and utter defeat...it was pretty bad actually."

    Is this supposed to cheer me up? Zee looked at him and cocked her head slightly.

    "The moral of the story is that - ultimately - your Pokémon are fighting for you. I feel pity for Trainers who don't show their Pokémon compassion because, after all - Pokémon give us trust, which we are obligated to fulfill to them. If you don't realize that - then you never will truly understand Pokémon.

    "Hmm...I guess..." Zee looked at the floor intently.

    "What do you mean 'you guess'? 'Of course!' is more like it!" Michael stood up and stuck his fist out, as if using it to point to the horizon in the distance. "Come! Pose with me!"

    The few Trainers in the room seemed to be forming sweat out of awkwardness. "I'd rather not..." Zee looked at Michael with one eyebrow raised. He was either a genius, or a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

    Michael bolted for the door. Stopped halfway through the room. Walked in reverse. Leaned back to wink at Zee and make a "chlick" noise. Then Michael walked out of the room like nothing was weird.

    "Uhh...what just happened?" Zee looked around the room at the three Trainers with their Pokémon - all three shrugged and shook their heads.

    Zee felt something wet on her right ear and immediately turned to look. Her face turned into something warm and fuzzy - it was Emfur - awake and nuzzling her cheek. "Oh! How are you, Emfur?"

    "Fur." Emfur made a slight sneeze and looked at Zee with its eyes wide open.

    Zee took a long look into her Pokémon's eyes. "Hey, Emfur..."

    Emfur cocked its head. "Fur?"

    "I'm really glad you're okay...I mean...I wasn't a really great Trainer today..."

    "Emfur?" Emfur sat up - closer to Zee.

    "I really want to get strong...with you...I mean...we've only just met, but I really want to be your partner, just like how you're mine."

    "Em. Em." Emfur jumped into Zee's lap and looked up at her

    "Hah...I guess you're right." Zee got up and put Emfur over her shoulder, walking over to the window. There were very few tall buildings in the way, as they were a bit farther from downtown Trulove City. Zee pointed at a cloud a fair distance away. "You see that, Emfur?" Emfur looked at where she pointed. "The sky...that's how far I want to go. Are you willing to come along?"

    "Emfur!" Emfur's ears lit with flames as at looked back at Zee.

    Zee smiled and headed for the door toward the main reception area of the Pokémon Center. As she got to the doorway, she turned her head slightly - catching a view of the cloud in the distance.
    Last edited by xmikeyxlikesitx; 17th July 2010 at 9:30 AM.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  6. #6
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    Ok, I've just read the prologue and the first chapter so I'm basing my review off of that. You have an excellent start here. They are both well written and an excellent length. I also love how your main character is female. Most fan fictions I find have a male main character so it's nice to see a change of pace. Fan made regions- love em. Kokubei sounds like a superb place to start a journey.

    Some irks that I've had are the little mistakes that you find once every other five paragraphs such as not using 'an' and using the wrong 'to'. There weren't many mistakes, but I saw a few that can easily be fixed using the edit button. Another thing is that you kind of have the beginning of Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald here. It's not exactly the same, but it's very similar. Trainer to be goes out for a Pokemon, finds Professor in need of assistance, helps Professor by using one of their Pokemon. You get what I'm saying right?

    On any note, I like it so far and will continue reading. I will finish the current chapters tomorrow after school -_- Darn school! Don't get in my way! Here's one last tip: You might want to wait a few days to post the next chapter so people have a chance to read and review the one you have posted. Some people might feel overwhelmed and be turned off.
    Credit goes to MagicMochi. Check out their shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    While it is very reminiscent of a lot of journey trainer fics, it held my attention. It stands out among a lot of the other fics I've read lately and I'm excited to continue the story.

  7. #7
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    Chapter 00: Prologue
    Chapter 01: Let's Roll Out!
    Chapter 02: She Loves Me Not
    Chapter 03: Time to Rumble
    Chapter 04: After That Eggle!
    Chapter05: Setting into Motion
    Chapter 06: Tag This!

    Series Info Warning: Spoiler Information

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    Chapter 04: After That Eggle!



    Trulove City


    "Hmm..." Nurse Joy listened intently to her stethoscope - probing intently, yet gently around Emfur's body. She lifted its ear, checked its lungs - even looked down its throat. "Your Emfur seems to be doing just fine, Miss Davidson - all it needed was a little nap."

    "Fur..." Emfur stretched itself out on the white padding of the small stretcher it had been lying on for about the last hour - yawning widely and blinking around. Zee moved closer to her Pokémon, which began to nuzzle her forearm gently. "Mmm..."

    Zee's face relaxed a bit and she let out a gentle sigh, looking at her Pokémon. "I'm glad you're okay, Emfur. Are you really ready to go?"

    "Fur! Emfur!" Emfur got up with a slight hop - two small fireballs appearing at the end of its ears. Zee smiled back, noticing how its coat was much shinier than before - Emfur was definitely looking and feeling better.

    "Thank you, Nurse Joy. Thank you." Zee placed her hand on her chest over her heart - gesturing that she really meant her statement of gratitude. "Is there anything else you need from me?"

    Nurse Joy shook her head. "Nope. Everything seems to be fine with you and your Pokémon, so you're good to go! I do have to get back to work, however - we're installing a new Teleporter system and test runs don't seem to be working very well, but it should be up in a few days, hopefully..."

    "Ah!" Zee's eyes lit up and she pointed her left index finger at the ceiling. An idea had come across her mind.

    "Fur?" Emfur tilted its head as it looked at Zee's reaction.

    "Professor Maple was talking about that! Wow - public teleportation!" Zee seemed to be elated and clapped her hands together. She had a slight spring in her step. "I wonder what it'll be like...uh..." Zee took her slightly raised hand and now curled her finger around her chin in a thinking pose. In her mind, Zee began picturing people walking into and out of one teleporter and popping out the next. Zee always had an overactive imagination - something that got her into a bit of trouble before. When Zee got into the creative spirit, she tended to drift out of reality into slight lunacy, rather than focusing on the realities at hand. By now, Zee was fantasizing about going shopping and just throwing mass amounts of new dresses, shoes, and outfits into the teleporter and having the items magically appear in her closet - a close idea, but still not realistic. "Wow, I could totally see myself with one of those babies!"

    Emfur now was paying attention to Zee, but had a slight nervous look on its face. Emfur seemed to be studying Zee - a part of its expression wondered if she was altogether there.

    Zee's fantasy came to an end, as she now was wondering what would happen if two people walked in at the same time. At the other teleporter terminal, she envisioned the two people now with bits of each other's body parts mismatched on the other. "Gah!" Zee jumped then looked around and blushed.

    "Em..." Emfur's eyes closed halfway and it seemed to be slightly embarrassed by its Trainer's odd behavior, making a lopsided smile - beads of sweat forming around the back of its head. Emfur had a habit of thinking a lot, but it never made weird reactions like Zee. "Fur, fur..."

    "Er...sorry about that. I got a bit carried away...wait...where's Nurse Joy?" Nurse Joy was nowhere in sight, as she had walked away during the girl's daydream adventure - probably off assisting someone else at the moment. Zee looked right and left, then shrugged. "Why does everyone do that?" Zee let out a long sigh as her shoulders and head drooped slightly forward.

    "Emfur!" Emfur hopped up and down a little bit, gaining Zee's attention.

    Zee looked up. "Huh?" Emfur then leaped at Zee, who instinctively caught her Pokémon.

    "Wow. Okay, okay, I get it, haha. You're ready to go." Zee cradled Emfur gently in her arms. "Hmm...now...I think..." Zee looked around. The building was set up with a central entrance hall where the reception desk for Nurse Joy sat right in the middle. On both sides of the desk were double doors with plastic windows that showed how they led to long hallways in the back of the building. Zee walked up to the doors to peer down the back hallways, but no one was to be found. Even the other Trainers who were sitting in the small reception room disappeared as Zee poked her head into the room. "Uh...hello?" Her voice echoed throughout the building. No response from anyone. "Well...that's weird...I don't think I scared everyone away..." Zee heard the sound of people somewhere to her left - the western side of the building. "Is anyone down there? Hello?" Zee held Emfur in her arms as she walked toward the faint noise. Down the hallway, she could see a slightly opened door and a muffled roar of people the closer she got. Zee approached the door - outstretching her hand to push it open. "Wah!"

    Zee stumbled slightly forward as Nurse Joy pulled open the door on her side. "Sorry about that!" Zee was fine - she hadn't fallen forward very far. "Excuse me, Miss Davidson." Nurse Joy gracefully walked around Zee and back toward the reception area. Inside this new room were nine or ten other people watching four flatscreen televisions mounted on a square pole in the middle of the room. Some people had their hands in the air - mainly clapping and cheering, while others had a slight look of disappointment.

    "What's going on here?" Zee blinked and looked up at the screens. Displayed on them was a teenage girl around Zee's age with black hair done up in high side ponytails laced with yellow ribbons. Her hair had bright violet streaks and she wore a rather bizarre outfit. She wore a short white dress under a black vest with red buttons, bright white high heels with pink stockings that went a little past the knee, and a black and orange striped necktie was tied loosely around her neck - dangling over her vest. Behind her was a dimly lit arena filled with people on all sides - cheering loudly. The girl looked incredibly happy as a relatively small Pokémon with blue fur and a yellowish-cream underbelly - about the size of a dog, ran up to her - leaping into her arms.

    A girl to Zee's right giggled. "It's a Pokémon Contest, of course." Zee didn't really bother looking at the girl next to her, as her eyes were fixated on the girl standing on the stage. Even Emfur couldn't stop staring at the girl - now jumping up and down on screen, hugging her Pokémon.

    "A...Pokémon Contest?" Zee never looked away from the screen as she reached around her back to find something in her backpack.

    "Em." Emfur turned around and clambered up Zee's right shoulder to sit on it.

    "What kind of Pokémon is that?" Zee looked at her Pokédex and flipped open the top screen.

    Dextette's rather cheerful voice spoke loudly. "Quilava, the Volcano Pokémon. Due to evolution, many Quilava tend to display greater amounts of aggression. Its valued fur is completely inflammable."

    "A Quilava?"

    "Fur?" Zee and Emfur exchanged looks, then looked back up at the girl, who was now being approached by a woman in a green dress. Her elegant outfit exposed her left shoulder, while her right shoulder, upper arm, and chest were covered by what seemed to be a silky green drape of cloth - held to her body by a light brown sash around her waist. The ends of the sash dangled on her right side and she wore matching, light brown wedge heels. Her dress extended just past her knees and she had glowing red hair that was done up in well-proportioned curls tamed by a pink hairband.

    "Oooh! This is it!" The girl to Zee's right, along with a few of her friends, stood around in a semi-huddle - filled with whispers and more giggles of excitement.

    The woman held up a microphone and the crowd went silent in the arena. "Well that was a gorgeous performance, wouldn't you all say?" The crowd roared. "I'm Jillian Meridian, here with Miss Fumi Kanbara of Johto!" The crowd roared again as Jillian tilted the mic toward Fumi. "Miss Kanbara, any comments on your wonderful performance today?"

    Fumi did a small twirl and posed her fingers against her right eye - making a sort of sideways peace sign and smiling wide. "Today's contest was sugoi! So much fun! 'Shi-Shi' did amazing!" Fumi did a spin of her palm and bowed in the direction of her Pokémon, which also bowed. After a few seconds of leaning over, both Trainer and Pokémon leapt up and hopped a bit. "I want to go again!!!" The girl was eccentric and odd, but no one could keep their eyes off of her. "Arigatō! Thank you, everyone!" The crowd cheered loudly - even some of the people in the viewing room yelled for Fumi.

    "She's...amazing!" A guy about two or three years older than Zee clasped his hands together and watched the screen wide-eyed - Zee had looked away only to size up Fumi's fan for a few seconds.

    Zee looked back at the screen - the crowd had quieted down as Fumi was approached by Mr. Contesta. "Congratulations, Miss Kanbara! As the Pokémon Contest Director, I am proud to award you Trulove City's Link Ribbon!" Mr. Contesta opened a small metal case in his hands - presenting Fumi with a pink ribbon that had two silver, interlocking hearts in the center.

    "Yatta! We did it!" Fumi - brimming with excitement - leapt into the air along with her Pokémon then made the peace sign again as the camera zoomed in on her.

    Once again, Jillian appeared on camera. "Please join us for the post-Contest interviews!"

    Zee finally looked away from the screen and shrugged. "Maybe not..." She finally lost interest in the Contest and walked out of the room - Emfur still perched on her shoulder. Zee walked back out to the main desk of the Pokémon Center where Nurse Joy sat in a chair and typed away rapidly at the computer.

    "Whew! Finally!" Nurse Joy leaned back in her chair and wiped her forehead with her forearm, letting out a heavy sigh. Zee approached her desk quietly as she looked up. "Oh, hello there. Sorry about being curt with you - I just got done with the installation on my end...I just need to wait for Michael to fix everything..."

    "It's okay...hey, um...who is Michael anyway? He's...different..." Zee thought he was outright off his rocker, but she didn't exactly advertise that to Nurse Joy.

    "Oh, Michael?" Nurse Joy stood up and leaned slowly over the counter - softening her voice. "He's very well-known as a technological genius - he helped to improve the current Pokémon Storage System with his friends from around the globe. His latest invention, the Teleporter, actually isn't supposed to be public knowledge, but since you mentioned that Professor Maple told you about it, I guess you can help keep it secret - at least until it's fully installed."

    Zee blinked. "Huh...so that's who he is...I guess he's just weird from all the stress and stuff..."

    "No, no...that's just how Michael always is..." Zee's eyes glazed over. So he's just...loony...all the time.

    "Oh! That's right!" Nurse Joy shot up straight. "He was supposed to be making a public announcement today at the Radiance Building - where Professor Maple's Lab is. Something about hinting at the new technology...but for now, it's just a secret between all of us who know, right?" Nurse Joy smiled.

    "I guess so. Hey - I can register for the Pokémon League Challenge here, right?" Zee pulled out her Pokédex and Trainer Card - holding them up in front of Nurse Joy.

    "Actually, you can. Just give me a second..." Nurse Joy took Zee's items and placed them on the other side of the counter next to the computer at the desk. Her fingers began typing away as she took out a small, blue card and stuck it inside the Pokédex. Once again, a rotating holographic Poké Ball appeared in the air above the device - spinning slowly. "...and then-" Nurse Joy hit a few last keys one-by-one with emphasis. "There - all set!"

    *ping*

    The computer made a soft confirmation noise and the Poké Ball disappeared - just as Zee was about to poke it. "Erm, thank you." Zee outstretched her hands and Nurse Joy placed the card and device in them.

    "You're quite welcome. Is there anything else you might need?"

    Zee looked upward for a second. "Actually, there is...are there any maps of the area?"

    "Over here." Nurse Joy moved from behind the counter and to her left, where a row of computers lined the wall, chairs in front of each. "Just turn on your Pokédex and have a seat." Zee obeyed and sat down. Nurse Joy then clicked open a few screens on the computer and finally reached a screen that read, "Town Map update." Immediately, the Pokédex responded with the holographic Poké Ball, but quickly did something different this time. An overhead view of Trulove City displayed holographically. At the top of the Town Map was a header in bold yellow letters, "Trulove City - The Place Where Hearts Meet"

    "Hmm...'The Place Where Hearts Meet'...sounds kind of romantic." Zee looked at the map intently, tracing the route where she entered the city.

    *grumble grumble grumble*

    Zee clutched her stomach almost instantly. "Oh wow...I guess it's been a while since I ate." Emfur looked at Zee from her shoulder.

    *grumble grumble grumble*

    "Fur..." Emfur looked at its own stomach.

    "Haha - I guess we're both pretty hungry...want to go get something to eat?" Zee and Emfur's eyes met and both laughed a little. It's true - Zee hadn't had anything to eat and both Trainer and Pokémon were starving. "Does this map show like...places to eat?" Zee looked up at Nurse Joy - to her left.

    Nurse Joy furrowed her brow slightly. "Actually, it doesn't..." Suddenly, her eyes widened in delight. "But there's a great place to eat just a few blocks northwest of here! It's a strip of shops overlooking the Lover's Park called 'The Heart Walkway.' They have lots of little stores and places to eat - I'm sure you'll find something you like there!"

    Zee was so excited that she nearly fell off her seat. "Wow! Thank you, Nurse Joy!" Zee stood up almost instantly to shake Nurse Joy's hands - Emfur clinging tightly to her hoodie.

    "Fur..." Was Zee always going to bounce around like this?

    Nurse Joy was a bit stunned at the girl's excited behavior, but she couldn't blame her - Trulove City was considered one of the most romantic places in all of Kokubei. "Well, good luck and have a nice day!" Zee couldn't hear Nurse Joy, as she had already bolted out of the Pokémon Center - the sliding glass doors closing as Nurse Joy stood blinking toward Zee headed off. "She's...really fast..."


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    Trulove City - Heart Walkway


    *GASP*

    Zee stood with her hands and face pressed up against the window of a small store on the corner. From the outside, the building was painted a pastel pink color and smelled of freshly baked bread - a bakery to be exact. On the other side of the window was a display case with an array of pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, rolls, buns, donuts, muffins, tarts... Zee nearly couldn't handle it all - her mouth watering as she stared. Out of the corner of her eye, something made her jump. "AH!" Zee shot straight up to see a young man in his twenties stare at her with one eyebrow raised - he was just moving around things in the display case.

    "Emfur?" Even Emfur looked at Zee sideways.

    Zee stood embarrassed for a second - she thought the guy in the window was kind of cute and she had just acted a bit weird. "Eh heh heh..." Rubbing the back of her neck for a second and laughing to herself, Zee snapped 90º to her left and walked north along the row of shops. "Let's find something to eat that won't make me feel guilty..."

    "Fur. Fur." Emfur sort of rolled its eyes and looked around. The strip of walkway was bustling with people on its eastern side, stretching about eight or nine blocks northward. The street poles of this road had large decorations of hearts - something akin to what one might see on Valentine's Day, but it looked like they were a bit more permanent than that. As Zee and Emfur headed north, they watched people window-shopping as the smell of food filled the air. On the west side of the street, there was a large park with a stream running through the middle of it at the bottom of the hill. At the middle of each block were wooden staircases leading down to the water's edge, where people of all ages were playing in the park, flying kites, or talking walks on the pathways along the shore. There were a few bridges crossing over the stream, where people stood - gazing over the water.

    "Is that-?" A smell gently wafted into Zee's nose and caught her attention. Creamy. Rich. Thick. Hint of basil. Zee had a remarkably strong sense of smell - and the scent she caught made her lick her lips. "IT IS!" Pasta - Zee loved pasta. "Wow - it smells so good!" Zee turned toward her right and looked inside a small shop with a red and white checkered floor. A few people sat in small tables inside, chatting to each other and sipping on cola. From the door, Zee read the menu - filled with her favorites: rigatoni, spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli...not that this was any healthier than the bakery, but at least it was something she though was more worthwhile. A jolly, round man stood behind the counter - flipping through a small notepad and scribbling down an order. He wore a red apron and smiled as he looked up - noticing Zee in the doorway. Zee looked at Emfur and smiled. "This looks like a good place to eat, right?"

    Emfur wriggled its nose and nodded slightly. "Fur?" Emfur's ears perked up slightly and it looked around - something piqued its curiosity. "Em..." Emfur didn't see anything, but...something was odd.

    "You okay?"

    "Em!" Emfur was a bit startled after Zee talked to her Pokémon. "Em...fur..." A bead of sweat rolled down Emfur's head as it looked a bit embarrassed. "Fur, fur." Emfur nodded slowly and looked up. Zee bounded inside the with a smile on her face.

    A small creature sat perched upon the eaves of the building. Only its eyes appeared from the shadows - glowing intently as it watched the girl enter the small restaurant. "Eh eh eh..." The creature made a snickering noise and crouched back in the shadows under the maroon awning that hung over the building entrance.


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    Trulove City - Lover's Park


    The sight of Lover's Park was calm and welcoming as people enjoyed the scenery and weather all at once. A small girl in a pink dress ran around the side of the shore - playing with a Poliwag that fired gentle bubbles for her to pop, while two boys chased each other with their red and blue kites - laughing loudly. On the opposite side of the stream, an older couple sat under a yellow parasol and held hands as they watched the slowly moving water.

    "This smells delicious!" Zee twirled her plastic fork around and sniffed the pasta in her to-go box. After inhaling the fresh scent, she took a great bite of the spaghetti - immediately clapping her hands onto her cheeks. "OH MY GOSH! SOOO GOOD!" Zee's face filled with color as she smiled with delight. The spaghetti was simply wonderful as she swallowed the warm forkful. "Mmm! How's your food?" Zee looked to her left, where Emfur sat on the ground next to her - eating a salad.

    Emfur's head was practically buried in a pile of fresh garden vegetables. It smiled delightfully as it looked back at Zee - cheeks stuffed with food. "Mmm...ffmmmrr..."

    "Great!" Zee had turned back to her food - chowing down in a very unladylike manner, pausing only to squeal after taking a bite. "Eat up! We've got a pretty big journey ahead of us! Don't know where and don't know why, but we're going places - you and me!" Another bite. "Mmm! Delish!"

    "Emfur!" Emfur smiled back at Zee then turned toward its food.

    At least it would have if it were still there. "Fur?" Emfur blinked and looked around. Zee was still munching on her food and overreacting to its flavor. "Fur..." Emfur sniffed around at Zee's feet. It couldn't seem to find its plastic travel bowl filled with salad. "Em?" Emfur tilted its head - it was there just a second ago.

    Zee was about to take a bite of garlic bread that came with her meal - cracking it open to release a small amount of steam and scent of butter before she noticed her Pokémon looking around for something. "Huh? What is it, Emfur?"

    "Em?" Emfur lifted a rock. "Em?" Emfur pushed open a small bush. "Em?" Emfur checked the underside of the picnic table. Em?" Emfur was looking around in different places frantically. "Fur..." It's ears drooped as it hopped back toward Zee.

    "What happened?" Zee looked at Emfur, then realized its salad was missing. "Wait...where did-?" She looked to her right, but stopped halfway - noticing that her garlic bread was gone. "WHA-?! Where did?"

    "Eh eh eh eh..." A rustling noise came from a small tree to Zee's right - she had been sitting under it. It was a small, thin tree - probably only 10 feet tall - that had a lot of leaves for its size.

    Zee stood up and looked at the tree - but the sun was too bright, so she dropped her sunglasses down onto her face to get a better look. "What...what is it?" Zee squinted - trying to see what was in there. "Hello?" Zee placed both her hands into the tree and spread open the leaves - only to be met by a small creature that leaped out and onto her face.

    *BONK*

    The creature bounced off Zee's face and onto the picnic table. "Agh!" Zee stumbled forward and her sunglasses flew off her head.

    "Fur!" Emfur stood on its hind legs and wobbled back and forth, trying to catch them before they landed. "Em!" Emfur tripped on its ears and fell on its back. "Emfur!" The sunglasses landed on its stomach causing Emfur to sigh in relief. "Fur..."

    Zee clutched her face. "WHAT THE HECK?!" Her nose was sore and she thought it might be bleeding (but it wasn't.) Zee turned around and looked at the creature on the picnic table - clutching her garlic bread in its mouth. It looked like a gigantic white egg with brown speckles - except for the fact that it had two yellow claws sticking out from the bottom and two scrawny brown wings sticking out from each side. The Pokémon's egg was split open about a third of the way from the top - exposing a scraggly neck. The top of the eggshell was still on the Pokémon, as its beak poked out from the very bottom and two eyeholes were cracked open - revealing a pair of glowing brown eyes. Zee blinked. "What...what kind of Pokémon is that?" Zee's backpack was just under the tree and she crouched next to it to pull out her Pokédex.

    "Eggle, the Eggshell Pokémon. A curious Pokémon, indeed - Eggle waddle around in the eggs they are born from. Their shell will wear down as they grow stronger." As soon as Dextette stopped talking, the Eggle let out a cry.

    "Eggle! Egg!" Eggle made strange squawking noises and stared straight at Zee - who was too curious about the Pokémon to be angry that it jumped on her face. Zee pulled out her pink pocket mirror to check, but Eggle was too light to make any sort of lasting impact marks.

    "Fur!" Emfur nudged Zee - holding out her sunglasses.

    "Huh? Oh, thanks Emfur." Zee stood up and brushed herself off - picking up her backpack and placing it on the picnic table seat. She placed her sunglasses on her head and even checked her hair - but everything was fine. She looked back at Eggle, which was standing on the table and looking at her. "Hey there, Eggle!" Zee was actually smiling. Maybe it was the romantic atmosphere, or maybe it was the fact that she had eaten most of her food - but either way, she was in such a good mood that she wasn't angry at all.

    "Egg?" The Eggle looked at her - its eyes sharp and attentive.

    Zee leaned toward the Pokémon - smiling. "That piece of bread there is actually my lunch. Here - I have some Pokémon treats." She reached into her backpack and found a small plastic tear-open baggie. It was some sort of Pokémon food.

    "Emfur?" Emfur looked up at her Trainer and at Eggle. Why didn't Zee tell Emfur about these before?

    "Eg...gle?" Eggle approached Zee hesitantly, placing the garlic bread in its wings and easing toward the chocolate-colored treats that she layed on the table. As it edged toward her, it kept an eye out for any sudden movements she could make. "Gle!" It swiped a few treats with its beak. "Eggle!" It seemed to like the Pokémon food as it scarfed them down. Zee inched her hand toward the garlic bread - but Eggle saw it. "Eggle!" The Pokémon jumped backward - bread still in its possession.

    "Now...Eggle...that's my lunch - I told you that."

    "Gle?" It looked at the piece of bread in its wings and placed it back into its beak. Eggle looked at the bread, at Zee, back at the bread, then back at Zee again.

    Eggle slowly outstretched its wings - handing the bread back to Zee. "Egg..."

    "That's right...thank you Eggle..." Zee smiled and held her hand out - ready to receive her food back.

    "Eggle!" Just as Zee was about to grab her garlic bread back, Eggle retracted its wings and threw the bread into the air and leapt up to catch it.

    "Fur?!" Emfur and Zee looked straight upward as Eggle jumped over both of them and sprinted up the hill toward the street.

    "GRRRRRRRRR...Come on, Emfur!" Zee's emotion did a complete shift as she threw on her backpack and scooped up Emfur. A fire lit in Zee's eyes and she was determined to get her food back.

    "Fur?" Emfur had no idea what was happening for a split second as Zee picked up her Pokémon - placing it on her shoulder - and scrambled up the hill.


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    "MY FOOD!" Zee sprinted down Heart Walkway - dodging past a few people walking near the stairs leading down the hill. Some of the people jumped back, making sure not to get plowed over by the girl. A few blocks down, Eggle bounced up and down - taunting Zee with the piece of garlic bread. "GIVE. ME. BACK. MY. GARLIC BREAD!"

    "Eggle!" Eggle stotted into the air and ran down the pathway at high speed.

    "Hey!" Somebody got bumped by the Pokémon and stumbled down the hill.

    Zee's face was bright red as she bolted after the Pokémon - passionate flames filled her eyes. "Fur-ur-ur-ur-ur..." Emfur bounced up and down on Zee's shoulder as she ran - struggling to hold on. They sprinted for nearly six blocks before Zee got tired and had to sit down. Luckily, there was a bench at the bus stop - she had been dropped off there earlier that day.

    Zee swallowed dryly, pulling out a bottle of water. "Where *huff* did the *huff* Eggle *huff* go?" Zee was sweating slightly as she checked on her Emfur.

    "Fur-ur-ur..." Emfur seemed to be slightly worn out from the bouncing motion. "Emfur..." It hopped off her shoulder and onto her lap - trying to stop the world from spinning.

    Zee looked around to figure out where they were. A good amount of people were milling about on the streets, but Eggle was nowhere in sight. She sat up with her head tilted backward and closed her eyes - catching her breath. "Uh...hey?" A familiar voice caused Zee to open her eyes. It was Luc - looking down at her with Loupup by his side. "You okay?"

    "Um...yeah...I just lost my breath...is all..." She sat up and panted a bit slower now.

    Luc looked at her - raising one eyebrow. "Um...'lost your breath'?"

    "Yeah..." She looked at Emfur. "...I was chasing after a Pokémon that stole my food."

    Luc looked to his left - facing south. "Was it...an Eggle?"

    Zee jumped up - Emfur falling off her lap. "YES! Er...sorry Emfur." Emfur grumbled at her and walked back. Loupup sniffed around its ears and prodded Emfur a bit - although Emfur didn't seem to mind.

    Luc wasn't surprised by her jumpy behavior. "Well...it headed south from here. We actually met it earlier..." Luc looked at Loupup. Zee did too - noticing the bandage on its front left paw.

    "What...happened to Loupup?" Zee looked back at Luc.

    Luc's eyes shifted to the left as he recalled the past few hours. "Well...you kind of ran off after your battle with Danica..."


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    "So, Miss Graystone, what are your plans next?" Mack tilted the microphone toward Danica.

    Danica smirked at Zee, then looked back at the camera. "A Gym Badge, of course. I'm heading to Bridgesteel City - where I plan on getting my first Badge. They should pretty much just hand me my Badge at this rate."

    "Emfur..." Zee looked down at Emfur and forced a smile.

    "Come on...let's get you to the Pokémon Center." Zee held up Emfur and cuddled her Pokémon close to her.

    "Some people are born to be Trainers - others...not so much..." Danica turned back to Zee as Zee picked up her Pokémon and ran away. "...real Trainers never let a loss get them down..." She faced Yolonda and the camera as she started to ramble on.

    "Well...that went smoothly..." Luc picked up his duffel bag and walked off toward where Zee was headed, but he soon realized he had no idea where he was headed. In truth, Luc was incredibly inept at figuring out directions - he had almost no sense of direction. "Uh...where-?" Luc was walking southward - just following the streets and wandering on a whim. For over an hour, he was lost. "Why does this happen every-?"

    "EEK!" A woman screamed and several different voices followed from the other side of the street.

    "What is that?"

    "Get that thing out of here!"

    "Is that your Pokémon?!"

    "Hey! That's mine - give it back!" Luc stopped and turned toward a group of people standing around in front of a Poké Mart. "That's my bag!" A man in his mid-twenties jumped toward a small, birdlike creature holding a plastic bag filled with items.

    "That's...an Eggle." Luc instantly identified the Pokémon and walked across the street toward the man trying to tug his bag away from the small bird.

    "Urrrrggh!" The man pulled against Eggle - which is a tough Pokémon for its size.

    Luc reached his right hand into his duffel bag and pulled out his Poké Ball, throwing it into the air. "Loupup - come out!"

    *Fwoosh*

    A bright white light flashed from Luc's Poké Ball and Loupup appeared in front of the Eggle. "Pup! Grr...." Loupup glared at the Eggle - which let go of the bag and changed its attention toward the puppy Pokémon.

    "Wah!" The man fell backward and landed on his butt. "Ow..."

    "Loupup - use Howl!" Loupup tilted its head back and let out a series of barks. Several resounding howls could be heard from streets over - probably different types of canine Pokémon responding to Loupup. Eggle squawked and ran quickly toward Loupup. "Loupup! Let's go for a Tackle!"

    "Pup!" Despite being normally being a bit too enthusiastic, Loupup seemed to be more serious in battle. "Lou!" Loupup charged straight at Eggle.

    "Eggle!" Just as the two Pokémon were about to collide, Eggle jumped at the last second and bounced off of Loupup's head - sending it rolling across the pavement.

    Luc looked stunned as he called to his Pokémon. "Loupup! Are you okay?"

    "Puuuup..." Loupup had scraped its left paw as it skidded onto the ground - now struggling to stand on it. When Loupup looked up, Eggle was charging at it again.

    "Loupup - can you stand up?" Luc looked on - waiting for Eggle to attack his Pokémon.

    Loupup quickly stood up and leapt at the Eggle. "Lou!"

    "Egg!" Eggle matched Loupup's jump and threw its head forward - beak glowing - a Peck attack.

    "Loupup! Bite!" Loupup obeyed its Trainer's command and chomped down on Eggle's beak.

    "GMMMRRGFFF!!!" Eggle's beak was inside Loupup's snout as they plummeted toward the ground. Eggle struggled frantically - trying to wriggle itself free. The two landed on the ground - surprisingly, both on their feet - as they continued a struggle for power.

    "Pmmmp..." Loupup held tightly, but Eggle's right wing began to glow - extending backward and quickly snapping forward.

    Crap! A Wing Attack! "Loupup!" Luc was too late to warn his Pokémon as the Wing Attack had already connected, causing Loupup to let go and stumble backward until it collapsed.

    "Eggle! Eggle! Egg!" Eggle stotted for a few seconds, then ran off - squawking loudly and running through the crowd.

    Luc crouched next to Loupup and picked it up gently. "You okay buddy?" Loupup's front left paw was a bit scraped up. Loupup cringed when Luc lifted the sore paw for a better look.

    "Try this." A gentle mist sprayed onto Loupup's paw, causing the Pokémon to cringe, but then Loupup relaxed. Luc looked to his left. The man crouched down next to him - spraying Loupup with a Potion. "Thanks to you and your Loupup, I still have my items. Here." The man reached into his bag and pulled out a couple of round, red and white objects. "These are for you. It's not much..." The guy gave Luc five small Poké Balls. "It's the least I could do - that, and help heal Loupup."

    "Th-thanks?" Luc didn't know how to take a gift.

    "Pup..." Loupup licked Luc's hand and looked up at him.

    "One more thing." The man had a bandage wrap and rolled it a few times around Loupup's paw. "There."

    "Loupup!" Loupup sat up straighter and looked at the bandage and then at Luc.

    "Yeah...Loupup...you want to rest or-?"

    "Pup! Loupup!" Loupup barked playfully and stood up - its injury seeming to be painless.

    "I guess you'd rather stay outside for a bit..." Luc placed the Poké Ball back in his duffel bag, then stood up and shook the man's hand - he was nearly a head taller than the guy. "Thank you."

    The man looked confused. "For what? You saved my stuff." He had curly brown hair and wore a dark purple jacket, brown flip-flops, and wore tan khaki pants. "Again...thank you - I hope your Loupup does fine."

    "Um...do you...know where did that Eggle came from?" Luc flicked his hair out of his eyes.

    The man scratched the side of his head. "Um...dunno, really. You usually only see Eggle out on Routes 501 and 502 around here, but they never come into town...I don't think. I just appeared a few days ago and has been running around town a bit. I didn't think it was anything more than a slight bother...that is, until it tried stealing my stuff. You ought to be careful, though. Never know when a Pokémon like that will try to rob you. Hmm...maybe it hatched here? Who knows?" The man started to turn to walk away. "Well..I hate to be off, but I have to go - good luck with the Eggle, though - and be careful!" The man hurried off.

    "Well...okay?" Luc looked around to figure out some way of telling where he was. People were walking everywhere in the city - although no one else seemed to have their Pokémon out with them. Luc walked for a good twenty minutes in one direction before he spotted a familiar face on the other side of the street.

    "Lou!" Loupup yipped happily in the direction of the person. It was Zee - seated at a bus stop.

    "Okay, okay...we'll go check and see what she's up to..." Luc and Loupup crossed the street together.
    Last edited by xmikeyxlikesitx; 28th July 2010 at 4:31 PM.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  8. #8
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    "And that's pretty much it." Luc's eyes turned back toward Zee.

    The girl huffed and crossed her arms. "That stupid Eggle stole my food. I hate that thing!"

    "Fur!"

    "Pup!" Luc looked in the direction of the two Pokémon.

    "Eggle?"

    "Yeah - that's what I said. I hate that stupid Pokémon!" Zee's eyes were closed as she tightened her crossed arms.

    "Eggle?"

    "Yes! It's a stupid, annoying, nasty, belligerent little creature! How many times do I have to-?"

    "Umm..." Luc poked Zee as she opened her left eye.

    "What?" Zee looked down to notice an Eggle standing in front of Emfur and Loupup - both Pokémon growling at the bird. It didn't seem to matter that their Pokémon were at the ready, as Eggle was hopping mad - garlic bread still clutched between its beak.

    "EGGLE!" Eggle threw the garlic bread up and then proceeded to swallow it whole. Right in front of Zee.

    "WHY YOU LITTLE-" Zee pounced toward Eggle, but missed as Eggle jumped to the side and bolted off. Zee had fallen on her face, but it didn't matter as she stood up with her left fist clenched and trembling. Her eyes were twitching and so full of fury. Luc felt incredibly small at the moment. "AFTER. THAT. EGGLE!" Zee took off after the Eggle, leaving Emfur, Luc, and Loupup in the dust.

    All three blinked after Zee, then Luc quickly pulled out his Poké Ball. "Loupup, return." A glowing red light covered his Pokémon before it could protest, then he put his Poké Ball back into his duffel bag. "Let's go, Emfur." Luc scooped up Emfur and ran after Zee.


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    "I'M GONNA KILL YOU!" Zee's face flushed with anger as she nearly ran over anyone that got between Eggle and herself. She had nearly caught up to the little bird Pokémon - which was surprisingly fast for being trapped in an eggshell.

    "GLLLLLLLLLLLLE!" Eggle jumped up out of fear - terrified of facing Zee's rage - taking off even faster as it saw her catching up. They were running southwards, forcing people off the sidewalks and into alleys, past little old ladies with their walkers - they even startled a woman holding a dozen or so shopping bags, causing her to drop them all.

    Luc was behind them about a block when he saw them heading toward the river that cut through the city on the southern end. Hmm...if we cut them off... Luc ducked down a small alley - sprinting as fast as his lanky legs could take him.

    "Fur?" Emfur looked up at him.

    "We're gonna cut them off!"

    "GET BACK HERE! WROAAAAAAR!" Zee yelled angrily as the two neared the end of the block. Across the street were the Trulove Docks - where ferries would take people up and downstream, but Zee hadn't really paid any attention to her surroundings - just intent on strangling Eggle.

    "EEEEEEEEGG!!!" Eggle ran out into traffic - headed toward the Docks - causing cars to screech to a halt. Zee followed right on its tail - oblivious to the angry drivers on both sides of the street.

    *SKREEEEEEE!* Luc looked to his left and saw Zee and Eggle run out into the street. "There they are!" Zee and Eggle ran down a wooden walkway toward a floating maze of suspended wooden walkways over the water. Luc closed in from the west side and headed northeast - the same direction as the other two.

    Eggle ran for dear life as Zee closed in on it once again. "I WAS NICE TO YOU! HERE, EGGLE, EGGLE, EGGLE..." Eggle made a sharp right and ran down another walkway. "I SAID HERE!!!" Zee dashed madly after it.

    "Gle! Egg! Eggle! Egg!" Eggle was running on a pier with a lot of boxes - one that seemed to go farther out into the water. As it ran, it made sure to knock some of the boxes over to stop her from following it. Eggle saw that there was a connecting walkway up ahead on its right, but quickly spotted Luc running on that path - straight towards it. "Eggle! Gle!" Eggle panicked and headed down the pier at top speed - stopping just in time to save itself from falling into the deep water. "Gle..." Eggle swallowed and turned around just in time to avoid Zee leaping at it.

    "GET!" She leapt at it again. "BACK!" Eggle dodged once more. "HERE!" Zee stumbled backward, but was caught mid-fall. "Luc?" Zee was kind of surprised that he was on the pier.

    "Yeah...*huff*...I'm here...*huff*..." Luc bent slightly over and clutched his knees - Emfur jumped out of his arms and fired a gentle Ember at Zee.

    "FUUR!" Zee coughed as her Pokémon finished the gentle attack.

    Zee's face was lightly dusted with black soot. "Erm...sorry Emfur...I guess I forgot about you?"

    "Emfur!" If the Pokémon could cross its arms and pout, it probably would be by now.

    Zee blinked, but then narrowed her eyebrows. "Sorry...but first, this Eggle's gotta learn a lesson!" Both Zee and Emfur turned toward Eggle with an angry look on their faces. "Let's go, Emfur! Ember attack!"

    "Fur!" Emfur nodded quickly and then fired a burst of flames at Eggle.

    "Eggle!" Eggle quickly retracted into its shell - resisting the flames. After Emfur's barrage stopped, Eggle merely popped out of its shell and squawked again - brushing off any effects the flames would have done.

    Wait! This is just like Hoply- Zee realized that she'd never be able to take the Pokémon out from the outside. "Emfur! I got it! Let Eggle come to you!"

    "Fur!" Emfur nodded - its ears folded backward and it crouched - ready for Eggle to charge.

    Eggle obviously heard Zee, as it made a dash for Emfur. "Eggle!" As it ran, its wings began to glow and it dragged them along the pier - tearing up the wood as it ran.

    "Wait for it, Emfur!" Zee watched as Eggle bolted toward her Pokémon.

    "Glllllllle..." Eggle was charging at full speed.

    "Fur...." Emfur remained crouched.

    "GLLLLLE!!!" Eggle was right on top if Emfur.

    "Now Emfur! Jump into the air!" Emfur obeyed and Eggle leapt up too.

    "FUR!"

    "EGGLE!" Eggle made a swipe at Emfur.

    "Emfur - grab onto Eggle's beak!" Zee's fist punched the air.

    "Emfur!" Emfur did so, but Eggle quickly retracted its body into the shell.

    Eggle disappeared from sight. "Egg!"

    "Now, Emfur! Use Ember inside its shell!" Emfur stuck its mouth near the opening of Eggle's beak hole and fired a flurry of flames inside.

    "EGGGGGGG!" Eggle squawked from inside its shell and both Pokémon fell down toward the dock - Eggle landing with a slight thud, then sprawling out - dazed and smoking. "Eg..." It's leg twitched. "...gle..."

    "Finally! Eggle got what was coming!" Zee jumped up and cheered loudly, then landed back on the dock.

    Luc sat on the dock, but outstretched his hand - offering her an object. "How about this?" It was a Poké Ball.

    "Huh?" Zee stared at him blankly.

    "...don't you want to capture-?" She swiped it from his hand.

    "Of course I'll capture it!" Zee turned toward Eggle and threw the Poké Ball. "Yeah! My first Pokémon!"

    Luc grumbled, looking to the side. "'Thanks for the Poké Ball, Luc.' 'No problem, Zee.'"

    "Hmm?" Zee heard him talking to himself, but didn't know what he was talking about. "Luc?" He shot upward.

    "Er...sorry." Luc's eyes widened at Zee, then at the Poké Ball. He pointed at it.

    "Oh yeah...the Poké Ball. Zee walked toward it.

    *roll roll roll*

    *roll roll roll*

    Zee's eyes widened.

    *roll roll roll*

    *Pong* The Poké Ball stopped rolling and the colored light on its center stopped glowing.

    "Yes!" Zee picked up the Poké Ball and hoisted it over her head. "I caught Eggle!" Emfur bounced around at Zee's feet happily. Luc stood up straight and picked up his duffel bag - both of them headed back to shore - Zee still smiling as she stared happily at her Poké Ball.


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    The entire way back to the street, Zee did nothing but talk about how much training Eggle was going to "owe" her for what it did. As they walked off the piers and onto the sidewalk, someone made a clapping noise.

    *clap clap clap*

    Emfur's ears lifted as Zee and Luc looked to their left, where a man stood next to a street pole near the dock walkways - his figure shadowed by the falling sun. "Well done, 'Zee', from Simplife Town...I saw the whole thing."

    "Who-?" Zee turned toward the person, realizing who he was. "Michael?"

    "Ah, you remembered!" Michael walked toward them.

    "You don't have to repeat where I'm from..." Zee looked at him with her eyebrows furrowed.

    "Mkay...hey - who's this guy?" Michael nodded at Luc.

    "Luc Stockmann, from Breezeharbor City." Luc extended his hand out to Michael, but Michael just looked at his hand from the side.

    "You have...soft hands..." Michael examined Luc's outstretched hand.

    "..." Luc just looked at him blankly.

    Suddenly, Michael looked up at Zee. "You caught that Eggle using the knowledge from your battle with Danica."

    Luc and Zee looked at him intently. "Wait! How did you-?"

    Michael cut Zee off. "I was there. Think back... You two were battling and creating such a ruckus, that I had the chance to sneak into the Radiance Building unnoticed, really. I stood and watched your battle with Danica - great battle, I must add - especially for your first.

    "So you knew-?" Zee tried to speak.

    "That you lost? Yeah. Back at the Pokémon Center, I already recognized you. After you lost the match, you ran off (leaving Luc alone)." Michael looked sideways at Luc. "Then those people from Kokubei Live! interviewed Danica - giving me the chance to slip by without having to give a speech or anything...I hate speeches. That rhymes with 'peaches'..." Michael then began listing things that rhymed with "speeches".

    "Is he-?" Luc looked down at Zee.

    She shrugged and held up her hands. "I have no idea."

    "Oh yeah!" Both of them looked at Michael. "Then I went to Professor Maple's Lab to see if her system was working - and she said that she tried using it on Pokédexes that she gave out to you guys!" Luc and Zee looked at each other again. "I then tested out Professor Maple's full-body Teleporter (which is working by the way) by transporting myself to the Pokémon Center." Zee remembered him bursting out of the cloud of dust - just like the Pokédexes did when Professor Oak sent them over from Kanto.

    "I wonder if he was like this before the teleport..." Luc tilted his head to hear Zee, then subtly nodded in response.

    "There he is!" A man in a navy business suit bounded down the street toward the three of them. "Michael! Michael!" It was Mack Donahue. The Kokubei Live! van pulled up across the street and he jumped out of the vehicle - headed straight for Michael.

    "Wait up, you dolt! I don't even have the camera out yet!" Yolonda stepped out of the van and walked toward the back to retrieve her equipment.

    "Uh-oh! Gotta run! I can't stand this guy!" Michael's teeth clenched nervously as Mack ran toward him. "Catch you guys later!" Michael bolted off with Mack running after him.

    "Miiiiiiichaaaaaeeeeeel! Wait!" Mack kept running.

    Yolonda had finally gotten her camera out before she saw them running down the street. She heaved a heavy sigh and placed the camera back into the van, then got in the front and drove off. "You're such a dip, Mack!"

    "..." Luc stood and blinked.

    "Hmm?" Zee looked up at him.

    Luc looked back at her. "...what just happened?"

    "Hah!" Zee rolled her eyes and turned around. "That's what I said, too..." She began to walk off. "Come on...let's go..."


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    Trulove City - Pokémon Center


    Nurse Joy handed Zee and Luc back their Poké Balls. "Everyone looks healthy! Here are your Poké Balls!" Luc and Zee took their Poké Balls and walked back toward the Trainer's Lodge - located on the second floor of the Pokémon Center. They had rented a room for the night.

    "My first day, and already I have two Pokémon!" Zee stared at both her Poké Balls and smiled as she and Luc walked up the stairs.

    "That's pretty cool - I guess." Luc yawned. He was ready to pass out. After capturing Eggle, they had gone to the Pokémon Center to leave their Pokémon for a check-up, then grabbed dinner at a small diner down the street. Tired and full of food, he was ready to collapse at any moment.

    Zee knew that he was ready for bed. "Hey, Luc?" He raised one sleepy eyebrow. "Go on ahead, I have to do something."

    "'Kay." Luc walked down the hall and made a left - where their room was.

    After he disappeared from sight, Zee went over to a video pay phone and inserted a few coins - dialing her home phone number.

    *beep beep*

    "Oh, pick up..." Zee fidgeted slightly.

    *beep beep*

    "...really?" She wrinkled her mouth around.

    "Hello?" A girl with light brown hair answered the phone. "Hey, Zee!" It was Mel - Zee's sister. Behind her, Christi and Addy were finishing up the dishes and Karina was playing with a few dolls on the floor.

    "Mel! How is everything? Did Karina get to her orientation day okay?" Zee looked a bit worried, but Karina looked up and then got on her feet to walk over to the videophone.

    "Yes, yes - you worry too much...here's Karina." Mel picked up Karina and put her onto her lap. "Tell Zee about your day."

    Karina's eyes lit up. "Zee! Zee! Today I went to school-" She was so excited that she sounded like the was out of breath. "-and then I played with a bunch of - everyone - and then I - I had fun."

    Zee sighed in relief. "Is mom home yet?"

    Addy called from the background. "Nope. She's working even later tonight - she said."

    Zee looked disappointed, but Mel's soft voice cheered her up. "Don't worry - I'll tell mom you're doing fine and all." Mel always knew how to reassure her. "Well...it's getting late - time for Karina to go to bed."

    "Okay..." Karina looked disappointed.

    "Hey, Karina! Here!" Zee pulled out her Poké Ball and released Emfur, which appeared on the small counter in front of the videophone.

    "Emfur!" Emfur squeaked happily and faced Zee.

    "Say hi to Emfur, Karina!" Zee placed Emfur on her shoulder.

    Karina waved sleepily. "Hi, Emfur." She was getting tired fast.

    "Goodnight, Karina..." Zee waved back at her sister.

    Karina merely flopped onto Mel's shoulder and Mel chuckled. "Well...I guess I better get her to bed."

    "Yeah, and I need the videophone." Christi had glided over to the device. "Hey Zee. Cute Pokémon. Gotta go. Boyfriend's waiting. Bye Zee" She typed in a bunch of keys in.

    "Boyfrie-?" The screen faded out.

    Emfur blinked at it. "Emfur?"

    "I guess we'd better get to sleep, too." Zee stood up from the videophone's chair and pushed it in - walking toward their room. Zee stepped into the room - lights off as Luc was softly sleeping in the bed on the left side of the room- so she made sure not to make too much noise. "Wait here, Emfur." Zee lifted Emfur off her shoulders and placed her Pokémon on the bed on the right side of the room. Her bag was already in the room and she pulled her white T-shirt and blue rubber ducky pajama pants out of her bag, then headed to the bathroom to change.

    Zee splashed water onto her face, then dried it off in front of the mirror with a towel. "Hmm...where did Danica say she was going? 'Bridgesteel City'? That's west of here - I think..." She clicked the lights off and walked back to her bed, where Emfur lay - just about ready to fall asleep. She attempted to crawl under the covers without disturbing Emfur, but Emfur blinked awake and then snuggled up to her - its warm body next to hers. "Goodnight, Emfur."

    "Fur..." Emfur closed its eyes once again as Zee pulled the covers up. Zee rolled her head to her left and watched her Pokémon sleep for a little bit. Maybe today wasn't such a bad day after all.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Chapters
    Chapter 00: Prologue
    Chapter 01: Let's Roll Out!
    Chapter 02: She Loves Me Not
    Chapter 03: Time to Rumble
    Chapter 04: After That Eggle!
    Chapter 05: Setting into Motion
    Chapter 06: Tag This!

    Series Info Warning: Spoiler Information

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    Chapter 05: Setting into Motion



    Route 506


    "And then I said, 'Martha! *snicker* Not now!'" A man sitting in the passenger seat of a truck cab tried to hold in his laughter as he delivered the punchline of his joke. He wore baggy blue jeans and a tan button-up shirt with a gray name patch that had "Earl" stitched in blue letters on it. He hunched over slightly, trying to keep his composure by pinching his nose with his right thumb and index finger, but the laughter got the best of him. He had scraggly brown hair and steely-gray eyes that shone despite the slight bagging of his lower eyelids. Earl appeared to be in his mid-thirties, although one could argue that he looked much older from his life on the road. His face was stubbled with salt-and-pepper (although it was brown) whiskers that extended halfway down the front of his neck. His cheeks were dimpled and he had a few wrinkles of crow's feet that appeared as he laughed loudly.

    "HAHAHAHAHAHA! Good one, Earl!" The driver of the truck laughed heartily in reply - slapping the steering wheel and stomping his feet. Both of them laughed nearly uncontrollably as they drove - the sound filling the air inside the truck. "...*sniff*...ahah...hah...hah..." The driver of the truck - a much larger man than Earl - wiped his eyes, which were teared up from laughing so hard. He wore the same style of uniform, but his name was stitched "Ted" on the left side of his shirt - just like Earl. Ted was a bit bigger than Earl - probably a few years younger, too, as his body was a bit more muscular and stocky than his driving partner's. Ted wore a forest green trucker hat that exposed his bald head through the back side's nettle of mesh.

    It was dark out as they drove around the winding mountain path - nearing midnight, as Ted checked the dashboard clock that read "11:43." After calming down, Earl sat next to the window - leaning on it and staring out the window, just looking at the barely visible scenery. They drove for a little while without saying too much more - both men were kind of tired from driving on the road all day. It was kind of an awkward moment that stretched into a longer period of silence. Earl was just about ready to doze off when he heard a slight "KZZRRT" crackle from the truck radio - Ted had turned it on to prevent either of them from falling asleep.

    "Now what'd you do that for?" Earl snorted as his eyes startled open. He looked over at Ted - a disgruntled look covering his face.

    Ted chuckled. "You know that I fall asleep if you fall asleep. So just stay awake, old man - we're almost at Busyfree City. We'll drop everything off and then I can sleep." Ted grinned on his left side, slightly exposing his teeth - partly because he didn't want Earl to see that he was smiling.

    "What?! 'So you can sleep?! And 'old man'?!" Earl was awake now. "Why, I oughta-"

    "Haha, yeah, yeah..." Ted cut him off and chuckled again.

    "Hmph!" Earl sat straight up and crossed his arms.

    Ted looked at him from the corner of his light brown eye. "Just sit up and stay awake you grumpy- Hey!" Earl was remarkably fast - reaching over and snatching Ted's hat off his head and placing it on his own. "Give it back, old man!" The entire truck swerved a little as Ted tried to grab his hat back.

    "You won't take it back, even if you wanted to!" Earl shrank into his corner and held the cap tightly to his head. "Muahaha..." The truck swerved as Ted tried to grab his hat back. Earl cackled and scratched the side of his head as Ted's hairy arm flailed in his direction. "I have lice!"

    Ted immediately stopped reaching for the hat. "Ugh. Disgusting." He shook his head - retracting his arm, and looked back at the road, where something caught his attention. "Earl...do you see that?"

    Earl stopped wiggling his hands at Ted as if they were lice or something crawling around and looked around. "What? What? What are we looking at?"

    "Back there!" Earl looked into his mirror and didn't see anything at first, but then suddenly, a single headlight appeared from behind the truck.

    *RRRRRROOOOOM!*

    The motorcycle suddenly roared past the truck on the left side. "Holy-!" Earl nearly stood up and craned over Ted to see the small motorcycle rush by. The left side of the road was barren, except for the guardrail that lined the edge of the road - overlooking a drop into the valley below. "DID YOU SEE THAT?!"

    "Yes, Earl! Do you have to be SO LOUD?!" Earl had nearly yelled Ted's ear off. Ted picked at his middle ear with his pinky - as if he could scratch his brain to stop his head from ringing.

    *SCREE!*

    Up ahead, both men heard the sound of tires screeching to a halt. "What in the world-?" Ted squinted his eyes and went to adjust his hat, but felt nothing as he quickly realized that his hat was currently in Earl's possession. Ted looked over at Earl, who stared intently at the road in front of them, as he planned to get his hat back.

    "TED - LOOK OUT!" Earl roared and grabbed at the steering wheel - turning it sharply to his right. Ted was stunned as he quickly realized what was happening - the motorcycle had turned around and headed straight toward them.

    *KKRRRSSSSH*

    Earl had grabbed the steering wheel in order to prevent them from plowing over the motorcyclist. He had caught a glimpse of the rider - all decked in black leather, on a black motorcycle, and wearing a black full-helmet. The loud grinding noise came from Earl's right - the truck was braced against the rock wall - the right side mirror had broken off in the process. "What are you DOING?!" Ted yelled at him and gripped the wheel.

    "What are YOU doing?!" Earl yelled right back, throwing his arms up. "He headed straight for us!"

    "What?" Ted looked back at the road. He could see a light coming from the right side of the truck's rear, but the mirror was gone. "I can't see where he is. Earl-"

    "I'm tryin', I'm tryin'!" Earl had rolled down his window and stuck his head out the window for a better look.

    "EARL!" Ted grabbed Earl's shirt collar and pulled him back in. Earl might not have had a head - as a small jut of rock would have smacked straight into him.

    Unfortunately, Earl wasn't so greatful. "Whaddya' do that for?!"

    "Shut up and thank me later." Ted grumbled as he tried to keep the truck on the road. "Now where-?" Ted squinted and tried to look for the motorcycle, but oddly, he couldn't see the light of it anywhere. "Should we stop?"

    "HECK NO!" Earl bellowed and pointed at the left mirror. Ted's eyes immediately shot toward it where he saw the motorcyclist aiming a small handgun at the mirror before-

    *CHPANG! CHPANG! CHPANG!*

    The left side's mirror was shot three times before it fell off and onto the road. "GAH! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS GUY?!" Ted flinched away from the mirror and rolled up his window rapidly.

    "I HAVE NO IDEA!!!" Earl cringed and splayed himself out inside the cab - holding on for dear life.

    *RRRRRRROOOOOOOOM!*

    The motorcycle rushed past the truck another time - both men unable to see it until the split second before it raced ahead. "This cannot be good." Ted looked ahead and noticed that they were nearing the end of the mountain path. The mountain sloped downward and about 200 yards in front of them, the motorcyclist stopped and faced them again - revving their engine.

    "Now what is he doing?!" Earl's eyes widened in terror and he clutched his chest over his heart. "My heart is pounding - I think I'm having a heart attack!" He gripped his chest harder. "I'm going to die here!"

    "Shut up! You're not going to die! Jeez!" Ted grabbed the clutch and threw the truck into 2nd gear - trying to slow the truck down and using the brakes intermittently.

    Earl looked over at him, a look of terror leapt from his eyes and his skin was flushed pale. "We're going to run him over!" The motorcyclist still wasn't moving out of the way, despite the large freight truck still headed straight at them.

    Ted grabbed the clutch again, but this time he also grabbed the air brake handle and turned to Earl. "Hold on!"

    *KISSSSSHHHH*

    The truck lurched forward and the tires seized up as they barreled down the mountain road toward the motorcyclist, who now looked poised to speed toward them - crouched on the motorcycle and revving the engine even louder than before. The motorcyclist pulled out their black handgun and held it in their left hand, then gripped the trigger. Earl gasped and fell forward slightly - slapping his hands against the dashboard. "He's trying to get us all killed!"

    "You think I don't see that?!" Ted planted himself firmly in his seat and stared intently at the road - trying to gauge the distance before the truck would stop.

    *KISSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHH*

    The truck let out a loud groan and the anti-lock brakes stuttered loudly, shaking the whole cab and both men.

    *HRRRRRRRROOOOOOOM!*

    The motorcyclist sped straight toward them. "What's this guy doing?!" Ted reached one hand up and pulled on his horn - attempting to warn the driver, despite their apparently suicidal actions. They were still moving fast, despite the strain of the air brakes to slow them down. "Earl - I think we're gonna kill him!" As he said that, the motorcyclist drew closer and closer. "This is it!" The motorcycle headed straight for them - right in the middle of their lane. The motorcycle was nearly 50 feet in front of them. "Aww, hell..." Ted quickly turned the wheel to the right and the truck's front end scraped up against the rock wall.

    "THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!" Earl shrieked at the top of his lungs, but Ted couldn't hear him over the grinding of metal. Sparks showered the side of the freight truck, sending Earl instinctively sliding away from the door and toward his left.

    "I'm saving our lives!" Ted jammed the wheel hard and the truck began to slow as they slid downhill. This was a strangely smart move because the cab of the truck was turned away from the motorcyclist's shooting range - but that didn't seem to matter. He hadn't noticed the motorcyclist drive by them until they both heard a flurry of loud popping noises.

    Suddenly, the truck's left side began to sink. "Did he- shoot the tires?" Earl nearly climbed over Ted to look out the window, which was only facing forward. The truck had now slowed to a long scraping motion against the rock wall.

    *Krrrrrrrrrrr*

    The truck groaned slower and slower each second before Ted pushed Earl away. "Get off of me, gramps." As they fumbled around, the truck finally stopped, but then-

    *Unnnnnnnnn*

    The truck began to lean to the left. "Uh-oh." Ted and Earl looked at each other and gulped in unison.

    *UUUUUUUUNNNNNNN*

    The truck was tilting faster. "THAT WAY!" Ted barked at Earl, pointing at the door, then the two scrambled to climb higher as the truck fell on its side with a loud "KER-THUNK" - sending glass everywhere.

    *BAAAARRRRR!*

    The sound of the truck's horn resounded for a couple of seconds before dropping off, and the "plink, plink…plink" of glass could be heard as a few pieces fell off of the now-broken windows. Earl fumbled around above him - he had managed to hold on to the truck's horn before letting go and slumping onto Ted. "Urfff…" Earl's body ached and he tried moving around, but he seemed to be pretty much okay. Ted was lying on the driver's side window, which was now shattered - glass cradling his left cheek. He had a small cut on his forehead, but it didn't seem to be bleeding badly. Earl tried shaking the larger man awake. "Ted…?" He was alive, but unconscious - telling by his chest's rise and fall. Earl was just glad that they were both still breathing.


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    *clop clop clop clop*

    The sound of leather boots on pavement echoed throughout the shallow canyon. They were thick and black with several rows of leather belt loops that ran halfway up the person's shins. The rest of the motorcyclist was decked out in a full-bodied leather suit - a man, telling by the width of the shoulders. They still wore their helmet as they walked toward the slight cloud of dust hovering over the freshly collapsed freight truck. The truck (now on its side) had a PokéTech Industries logo emblazoned on its rear doors in gold letters with a silver border - the left door lay open slightly, as if begging for someone to step inside.

    *KRSSH*

    From inside the motorcyclist's helmet, what sounded like a radio buzzed static before a voice on the other end snapped. "Mercury! Report in!"

    *KRSSH*

    The radio made loud static as the voice stopped. "OW!" The motorcyclist swiftly took off the black full-helmet, confirming that it was a man underneath. "That really friggin' hurt!" The man had medium-length aqua blue hair that spiked backward as if he were windswept - odd, because it was hidden under a helmet just a few seconds prior. He had blue eyes that matched his hair, a black goatee, a gold ring through a septal nose piercing, several helix piercings on his left ear, and a strange tattoo on his right cheek. It looked like two separated halves of a Poké Ball, but they had jagged edges where they came closest to touching. Behind that, was a black crescent moon that curved backward. The man nearly threw an earpiece that he had yanked out of his ear onto the ground, but stopped himself just before he let it go.

    *KRSSH*

    "MERCURY! YOU KNOW I CAN SEE YOU."

    *KRSSH*

    "Okay, okay! Jeez!" He hesitantly moved the earpiece closer to his ear, despite the fact that he could already hear the person's voice. It was a raspy voice that had a fierceness to it - something even he recognized. "Yes-?" He got interrupted abruptly.

    *KRSSH*

    "What are you waiting for?! Get the shipment piece and get out of there!" The voice barked loudly as Mercury held it a good foot or so away from his ear, causing him to wince slightly.

    *KRSSH*

    "Again, Jeez!" Mercury grumbled to himself and put his helmet down on the ground. "Grumpy old man."

    *KRSSH*

    The voice shrieked. "DON'T THINK I CAN'T STILL HEAR YOU, EITHER!"

    *KRSSH*

    "Yeah, yeah…" Mercury removed his earpiece and dropped it into his upturned helmet, walking away. The person on the other end could be heard yelling indistinguishable noises as he tightened his black, leather gloves on his hands and used his left leg to push down the door of the freight truck before ducking inside. As he stepped into the back of the truck, he was slightly stunned at how spacious the inside was. It was nearly barren, save for a small, green-glowing object at the back of the storage compartment (closest to the truck cab.) "Hmm…kind of a waste of cargo room for such an itty-bitty thing." The object was inside a frosted bulletproof glass case bolted to the floor (now on its side and just below eye-level.) "Let's see…this is not going to be incredibly easy time…but…it's manageable." Mercury smiled ear-to-ear and unzipped the top of his leather jacket about a third of the way down - sticking his right hand inside to dig around for something as he walked toward the case. After a few seconds of probing, he seemed to have found what he was looking for. "Ah! Here we go!" From his jacket, he pulled a Poké Ball, throwing it into the air in front of himself.

    *fwoosh*

    A burst of light filled the storage space, producing a small bluish-black Pokémon, kneeling on its left knee and facing away from him. Its head was bent downward as if it were a servant awaiting its master's orders. A long red crown jutted out from the top of its head, while two smaller red feathers attached to its ears flicked as it knelt down, and it flexed two sharp claws on each hand - a Weavile. Mercury looked at his Pokémon apathetically. "Weavile - Night Slash." He pointed at the top of the case.

    *klink*

    Almost instantaneously, Weavile stood at the other end of the storage space - its right paw outstretched. The top (side) of the case now lay on the floor - it had slid off.

    "Yay!" Mercury made a childlike clap of his hands, then reached inside the now-open case to grab the glowing object. From the outside of the case, one couldn't tell what the object was (due to the frosted "glass"), but Mercury looked genuinely surprised as he pulled it out. "Huh? What the heck is this?" Mercury produced a green disc from his hand and looked at it. "Uh…a radioactive CD?" He stood puzzled at the thing, but then quickly realized that he had better start leaving. "Weavile, return." Mercury aimed the Poké Ball at Weavile (now crouching again) and absorbed his Pokémon back inside, then minimized it and stuck it back in his jacket. "Hmm…." Mercury seemed to be intrigued by the glowing disc - probing it every once in a while. As soon as he stepped outside, he noticed that the voice was still rambling from the earpiece. Mercury's left eye twitched as he picked up his helmet and picked up the earpiece. "Are you still screaming at me?"

    *KRSSH*

    "JUST SHOW ME THE-"

    "It's right here." Mercury cut the person off and held the disc up to the sky. The people he was talking to somehow had a satellite feed of his current location. "Jeez, old man - you worry too much…"

    *KRSSH*

    "Hmph…excellent…" Surprisingly, the person sounded satisfied. "You had better get out of there, now."

    Mercury was walking toward his motorcycle. "I'm goin', I'm goin'…" After zipping his jacket up and placing his helmet on, Mercury revved his engine and drove toward the front of the truck, mumbling to himself. "Ungrateful old man…"

    *kerrzunk*

    Earl had managed to climb to the top of the cab (despite his aching body) and push open the door - just as Mercury rolled up next to him. As he saw the motorcyclist, he froze in place - like a deer in headlights. Mercury had a gun pointed straight at his face. "…uh….uh….uh…" Earl's mouth was trembling and sweat rolled down his face as he began to hyperventilate. Mercury fired a shot.

    *PLANK!*

    Earl cringed as he heard the gun go off, but he didn't feel a bullet hit his body. "Huh?" Slowly, he opened his eyes and saw that Mercury had merely fired a shot at the top of the truck's cargo space (away from both Ted and himself) before racing off.

    *VROOOM!*

    Mercury was off before Earl could get a grasp of the situation. Earl clutched his chest and let out a long sigh - touching his face and chest just to confirm to himself that he was still living. "…urrnnn…" A slight groan from below him made him fall back into the cab, while a deep "OOF!" followed. Ted had regained consciousness.

    "Here's your hat back."


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    Second Wind City - Pokémon Center


    "Now, you just stay put - ya' hear?" A woman stood in a doorway between a lit hall and a dark room - her wavy blonde locks glittering in the dim light. She faced into the dark room at a person who had their legs tied together and was wearing a brown sack over their head. They couldn't speak - only making muffled noises. The woman standing wore a white nurse's outfit, but she wore it in a rather seductive manner: several of the top buttons were open, her shirt was tied in the back (exposing her midriff), and her skirt was tight and short - barely extending a third the length of her thighs. The woman seemed to like watching the person struggle.

    "Mmmmpffff!" The person's arms were tied behind their back as they sat in the shadows, so in the midst of their wriggling around, they had managed to slump over onto their side.

    The blonde woman seemed to be annoyed as she walked over to them. "Oh, now, doll - that just won't do…" She bent down and removed the sack over the person's head, revealing the woman underneath - it was Nurse Joy, bound and gagged with tears filling her eyes.

    "MMMFFFFFFNNN!" Nurse Joy tried to scream, but no sound came out as her mouth was gagged with a piece of cloth.

    The blonde woman propped Nurse Joy upward against a box - one of many that filled the room - and rubbed the back of her hand against Nurse Joy's face. Nurse Joy shuddered and jerked her head away from the woman's hand. "Oh, darlin', you best not make too much noise - otherwise someone might hear ya'…" She stood and began to walk away. "And try not to fall over again. You may end up dirtyin' up your pretty lil' face." She sneered and stood in the doorway again, this time with her back to Nurse Joy, then pressed a button on the other side of the wall, which slid the door to the room closed.

    "MMMMMMMMMMMMNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGHHHH!" Nurse Joy let out the loudest scream she could muster and slumped over once again in the dark.

    The blonde woman kept walking and placed a nurse's hat on her head as she made her way to a staircase. The blonde woman heard Nurse Joy's muffled shriek down the hallway. "Come on now, Sug…" She paused for a moment to close her eyes at the bottom of the stairs, then lifted her head up slowly, revealing a sinister smile from ear to ear. She was incredibly beautiful, having long blonde hair, bright brown eyes, and a small beauty mark over the right corner of her mouth, yet she had an evil aura about her...


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    A man in a tan button-up shirt stepped out of a large freight truck at the back of the Pokémon Center and walked toward the back of the truck. "You can back it up a little more, Jim!" He called to his partner, who saw him through the reflection of the truck's right mirror. The truck started making a gentle beeping noise as he backed up farther, flashing its rear lights a bright red. The truck moved about five feet backward before he gestured for Jim to stop. "You're good!" Jim gave him a thumbs up from the mirror and the truck's lights went dim.

    The man outside walked to the back of the truck and rolled up the rear door, which had the PokéTech Industries logo on it, then jumped down off the rear bumper. He pressed a lever on the right rear corner of the truck, which extended a small, flat, metal bed from underneath the storage space.

    *rrrr-kunk*

    The metal bed extended all the way out until a foot of it extended a few inches over a cement walkway of the Pokémon Center's loading bay. Jim appeared from the other side of the flat bed and climbed up into the storage compartment. The other man hopped up as well. Inside the truck was a large metal crate (about 8 feet tall) with several rows of bolts holding it together. From inside the metal crate, a slight humming noise could be heard.

    "Marlon - could you get that side?" Jim gestured to the other man as they positioned a wheel dolly underneath the crate and locked four support clamps in place around its base. The dolly made a slight clinging noise as the clamps secured themselves and they began to push it across the metal bed when the door to the Pokémon Center (just on the other side of the cement walkway) slid open and a blonde woman in a Nurse's outfit appeared smiling.

    "Yowza…" Marlon mumbled to himself and smiled slightly. "Get a look at her." Jim looked up as Marlon nodded in the direction of the woman as they wheeled the crate toward her.

    The blonde woman stood at the outside of the doorway, smiling and gesturing them to bring the crate inside. As they passed her, Jim (closest to her) tipped his hat slightly. "Ma'am."

    "Oh, that's quaht alraht, Sug." As they wheeled the crate through the doorway, the woman pressed a panel to her right - closing the sliding doors. She checked back at the men wheeling the crate down the hallway and then took her hand and bashed in the door panel with one quick swing of her fist sideways, sending bits of metal and sparks flying a few feet. She chuckled to herself and then hurried down the hallway toward the men. After a few seconds, she caught up with them. "You boys can leave it raht here. Ah need to you come look at somethin'."

    Jim and Marlon stopped and faced her. "We were given orders to install this right away…" Jim had an unwavering look on his face as Marlon tried to get his attention for being abrupt with the nurse. "…Miss…?" He looked at her, expecting a name.

    "Jus' call me Nurse 'V', Sug." She smiled and flicked her hair lightly, sending Marlon into a slight drool. "And don't get all flustered about your work, now - Ah only need you to help me move a few things out of the way. Please come with me." Nurse V turned and walked down another hallway to their right and down a small flight of stairs.

    Jim looked a bit worried at leaving the crate sit in the middle of the larger hallway. "I don't think we should leave this-" He looked at his partner, who was following the swing of Nurse V's hips like a little puppy.

    "So…beautiful…" Marlon followed slowly behind her like a zombie.

    "Ugh…really? You can't resist just one woman in your life?" Jim sighed and followed after them - after all, it was nighttime and it didn't seem like anyone was up at this hour inside the Pokémon Center besides the three of them.

    After rounding a corner and heading down a flight of stairs, Jim saw Nurse V and Marlon up ahead, stopped in front of a door. "In here are a few heavy boxes that Ah just ain't able to move on mah own." She batted her eyes. "Jus' help me move these few things around and we should be able to make room to get at the fuse box in this room. Please?" She batted her eyes again, causing Marlon to tremble.

    "Of course we'll do it!" Marlon opened the door and stepped inside.

    Jim rolled his eyes slightly and followed suit, entering into a dark storage room. There were indeed several rows of boxes that stretched back about 60 feet. "So where should we start first?" Marlon was a bit deeper into the room before he turned around to check back at Jim and Nurse V.

    Nurse V pointed a bit beyond where Marlon was standing. "Jus' a little further - you'll see a few big boxes to yer left." Jim and Marlon turned around and headed toward the back left corner of the room.

    *clip*

    Marlon's foot hit something and he looked down. It was a shoe. Not just a shoe, but one attached to someone. "Hey! There's someone over here! They're all tied up!" Marlon quickly removed the sack over the person's head. "Nurse Joy?!" She blinked her eyes open and then muffled "HELP!" from behind her gag cloth.

    Jim swiftly turned around. "What the hell's going on here?!"

    "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" Nurse V stood cackling in the doorway, head bent low - hiding her face. "You two are quaht the idiots!" She threw off her nurse outfit, revealing a smaller black outfit underneath, which appeared to be more like a two-piece bathing suit rather than real clothes. She wore a small, black leather miniskirt, black high-heeled boots, and a black top that looked closer to a bra than anything. In the center of this was a white, star-shaped pattern that touched a pentagram around its border. "Mah name's Venus, Sug!" Jim got into a defensive stance and stared her down.

    "I knew something was off about you." Jim glared at her, but Venus just returned the favor.

    "NO! GET OUT OF HERE!" Marlon removed the gag and Nurse Joy screamed as Marlon frantically tried to untie her. "She's going to lock us in!"

    "Not if I can help that!" Jim reached into his back pocket and pulled out a Poké Ball. "Poliwrath, go!"

    "Wrath!" The blue amphibian Pokémon appeared and poised itself for battle.

    "You too, Politoed!" Marlon threw out a Poké Ball and Politoed appeared next to Poliwrath.

    "Toed!" Both Pokémon glared at Venus, but she didn't seem to mind - in fact, she seemed quite pleased.

    Venus smiled and sighed. "Oh well, I guess it's how y'all want to play…" She pulled out a Poké Ball inside of a seal case and kissed it lightly. "Come on out, now!"

    A flash of light and streams of flowers produced a Pokémon. "Boarrible!" The Pokémon let out a fierce grunt and snorted. It was a deep red color with an orange mane made of flames. Two tusks stuck out from both sides of its large snout. "Boar!" The Pokémon scraped at the ground and gave both opposing Pokémon a fierce look. Politoed seemed to be scared, backing up a little, but Poliwrath didn't budge.

    "Oh? It looks like yer lil' froggy is scared of my adorable Pokémon, hmm?" Venus mocked Politoed's fear and scanned everyone in the room. Marlon had helped Nurse Joy to her feet.

    "Don't take her lightly - she's the one responsible for tying me up and she's trying to take the Teleporter!" Nurse Joy's face was slightly dirty from lying on the floor, but she brushed herself off and pointed at Venus.

    "The Teleporter?!" Jim suddenly regretted leaving it behind even more. "You bit-"

    "Mah, mah! ('My, my'.) Such language shouldn't be said in front of a lady!" Venus flicked her hair and sneered.

    "You're right, sorry, Nurse Joy." Jim didn't turn around to face her.

    "Ah meant mahself!" Venus stomped her one foot and looked a bit red in the face.

    "You? You're no lady! You're just ugly on the inside!" Jim yelled at her - enraging the blonde woman.

    "UGLY?! Ah'll show ya' ugly!" Venus shrieked and went fully red in the face.

    "Wrath!"

    "Politoed!" Both frog Pokémon readied for an attack - even Politoed had managed to muster up the courage to face her.

    "Oh, don't even bother. This'll be over in a moment." She looked at the two Pokémon and then to her own. "Boarrible, give them a Dark Pulse!" Boarrible squealed and reared its head, sending a wave of energy rushing toward the Poliwrath and Politoed. The energy filled the air and pushed Nurse Joy and Marlon back.

    "Oof!" Nurse Joy had bumped into Marlon after losing her grip on the ground.

    "Sorry about that…" Nurse Joy turned around to look at Marlon, who had gone a bit blue in the face from her slight impact and fell to the ground. "Are you…okay?"

    "…yeah…" He grunted with his face on the floor. It really wasn't much of an impact, but Marlon was pretty wimpy.

    Jim's hat blew off as he stood covering his face from the wave. "Ugh…so…gross…" The Dark Pulse made his skin crawl and blew Politoed into Poliwrath. "It's…so…powerful…" Jim looked over at Poliwrath, which was actually having a hard time holding its ground. The wave of energy picked up as Boarrible stomped its feet repeatedly. "Ugh!" A box flew by Jim's left side, barely missing him. "Crap! Poliwrath! Can you stand for a Dynamicpunch?!"

    "Poliwrath!" Poliwrath nodded slightly and Politoed moved out of the way, crouching low to the ground.

    "Politoed! Use Hydro Pump to push Poliwrath against the Dark Pulse!" Jim looked over at Politoed, which quickly nodded and fired a blast of water at Poliwrath's back, sending it forward against the horrible air.

    Venus saw this coming. "Hah! Clever, but it won't work, darlin'! Mah Boarrible's too strong! Watch!" Boarrible stomped its hooves again and the Dark Pulse grew even stronger.

    "No!" A large box blew into Poliwrath and sent it flying, soaring through the air and straight back against Politoed's stream of water.

    Politoed struggled against the incoming Pokémon, but the wave of energy was just too much. "Toed!" Both Pokémon flew into each other, then smashed against the wall with a sickening thud before passing out. Marlon and Nurse Joy were blown even farther back into the room and against a stack of boxes that collapsed in a corner.

    "Damnit!" Jim had managed not to get blown backward, but a box flew right at him as he tried to hold his footing. "GAH!" The box hit him square in the stomach and sent him falling onto his back. The Dark Pulse ended and Jim was in a bit of a daze - seeing stars. He barely noticed Venus walk over to him until he felt a sharp pain in his right hand. "AAAAAAAAAAAGH!" Jim let out a painful cry and tried pulling his arm away from the pain, but it was of no use. Venus was standing with her heel impaling his hand. "GET OFF OF ME, YOU B*TCH!" Jim was still winded and could barely push the heavy box off of his torso, let alone struggle against the entire weight of her body on his hand.

    "Yah' just so CUTE when yah scream like that!" She twisted her heel and dug in harder.

    "DAMNIT!" Jim howled again, and placed his left fist by his mouth to bite on to help deal with the pain.

    Venus just looked down at him and blew him a kiss. "Aww…sorry, darlin' but I best be goin' now - don't want to keep the boss waitin'… but, yah know - there's always next tahme?" Venus removed her foot from his now-bloodied hand and walked out of the doorway, cackling to herself loudly. She didn't even bother to close the door this time.

    Jim looked over at his hand, removing his fist from his mouth. His hand was mangled and bloody, twitching in pain as he lifted it before screaming again. "GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAH!!!" The sound of his shriek echoed throughout the hallways of the Pokémon Center.


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    Outside, Venus stepped out from the door she had closed, using Boarrible to break it open as a black van pulled up and several figures walked up a ramp to the side of the door. "In there." Venus merely stood and pointed down the hallway to where the metal crate sat on the floor. Two men wearing black leather jumpsuits and shaved bald heads obediently pushed the crate back outside. They wore grayish-white high boots and had a star symbol on their uniform - just like Venus, who made her way to the van before a woman slid open the side door and jumped out to open the passenger door.

    "Lady Venus…" The woman was also shaved bald and clad in a similar outfit, although it appeared to be the female version - having a black skirt rather than leather pants.

    "Thank yah, Sug." Venus stepped inside the van and sat down in the passenger's seat before the woman closed her door. Another woman to Venus's left sat in the driver's seat, doing nothing but looking straight ahead.

    The van bucked lower as the men loaded the crate sideways into the back of the van and then jumped in, closing the back. As soon as the rear shut, the driver spoke, still staring straight ahead. "Awaiting orders, Lady Venus…"

    "Drahve." Venus looked out the window and sighed as they drove down an alleyway and away from the Pokémon Center. They hadn't gone more than 50 feet before-

    *BOOOOOOM!!!*

    A loud exploding noise was heard from behind the van, but Venus didn't seem shocked about anything. Instead, she just flipped down an overhead mirror to look back at the building. The PokéTech Industries freight truck was half gone and smoke was billowing out from it. "Hmm…did Ah do that?" Venus let out a sinister giggle and the van drove through the city under the cover of darkness.


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    Trulove City - Pokémon Center


    "Ngh! Wha-?"

    *THUD*

    Zee woke up on the floor and rubbed the right side of her face. "Ow…"

    "Fur?" Emfur hopped over to the side of the bed frame and looked down at Zee, blinking a bit. She had only fallen a foot from the bed.

    "Morning." Luc didn't bother looking at Zee, who was behind him. He sat at the desk in the middle of the wall just below the room's windows.

    "You're up early." Zee turned toward him as Emfur hopped onto her shoulder.

    "I've been up since 5." He yawned and pivoted around in the chair.

    Light beamed into the room, causing Zee to blink her eyes for a bit. "What time is it now?"

    Luc turned around and faced a laptop that was open on the desk. "9:38."

    "Wow…early bird?" Zee scratched her head and waited for a response.

    "No…I just don't sleep much." Luc typed away at his laptop.

    Zee stood up and headed to the bathroom. "Well…I'm going to take a shower…have you had breakfast yet?" Her stomach growled a little.

    "Nope…" Luc was already dressed and ready for the day, catching her eye.

    "Did you…already take a shower?" She stopped in the bathroom doorway and turned her head left, toward him.

    "Mhmm…and my alarm clock went off, too…you didn't even flinch." He was typing away rapidly at the keyboard.

    "Huh?" Emfur and Zee looked at each other and Emfur nodded.

    "Emfur woke up around 8, when the alarm when off."

    "I'm just…a heavy sleeper. Eh, heh, heh…sorry about that…" Zee scratched the back of her head, then picked up Emfur off her shoulder and set the Pokémon on the ground. "Anyway…shower time!"


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    "Mmm…" Zee swallowed the last bite of a pancake and chased it with a big swig of milk. "Ah!" She set the empty glass down with a bit of force, making a little noise with it, then she raised her hand. "Check, please!"

    Luc stared at her a bit, not sure if he was seeing was real. "You…can really eat…"

    "Hmm? Oh, yeah…I love breakfast." She dabbed her mouth with a crumpled up napkin. "If I had my choice, every meal would be breakfast!"

    The two of them sat in a small diner just a few blocks away from the Pokémon Center - in fact, the building could be seen from the restaurant's front window. The diner had a sort of "L" shape in design, with a bar running along the back left wall (if viewing from the entrance) where the kitchen lay behind that. The front and right side of the diner had red leather booths for seating, matching the color of the floors. The interior was paneled with faux wood wallpaper that had a slight golden hue to it. There seemed to be only a few other customers inside, but the place seemed to be doing well, as nothing inside looked more than a few years old. Inside were several TV screens that descended from the ceiling and looked like they could be rotated.

    "So…where are you headed?" Luc looked up from his half-eaten bowl of oatmeal, placing his spoon back inside.

    Zee, who was looking around the room responded unfocused. "Um…no idea really…not sure where I want to go…I'll just figure something out…you know…uh…" She turned toward him. "I'll figure something out…" Zee started to fidget in her seat. "I mean…I really want to travel and have some cool battles. I've always wanted to be a Trainer and battle as many people as I can to gain experience and stuff…but…I don't know where to go or what to do or whom to learn from…I thought that maybe I could get a job as a journalist and battle people for interviews and stuff." She glanced out the window to her left for a bit. "I'm…kind of…torn…not about Pokémon…" She let out a heavy sigh. "I'm kind of torn between traveling the world…and…my family kind of needs me…well…they don't really need me so much anymore…" Zee cringed at her own words. She didn't want that to come out wrong. "I mean, I-"

    "I get what you're saying." Zee looked at Luc. "I have an older sister, so I know the drill…my family is pretty messed up." He leaned forward in his booth seat and propped himself up on his elbows. Zee was intrigued and sat closer. "My mom and dad are divorced and they used to fight over my sister and I. It was terrible…they always fought over when we'd stay over at each other's places all the time…" For once, Luc looked slightly worried by something. "Most of the time, it was so bad that my sister was the one who really raised me. The only time they ever really paid any attention to us was when we were doing well in school. So…my sister and I, we just tried to be good and not cause any trouble for anyone…but in the end, it only made them fight over us worse…"

    "Huh…?" Zee was about to ask him what this had to do with her feelings about leaving her family before he finished.

    "What I'm saying is, that you shouldn't do anything for anyone but yourself…it sounds bad, I know…but it's really up to you." Luc leaned backward in his seat and placed his hands behind his head, interlocking them. "I…really don't have any motivation to do anything…but at least I feel better now that I'm on my own and able to make decisions for myself…"

    "I guess…but that's easy for you to say, because your family still exists…mine doesn't." Zee looked down at her empty plate, where only trails of syrup remained. "My father left when I was 9, leaving my four sisters and my mom alone…well…not really 'left'…he sort of just…disappeared and never came back…it's been really hard for us. I'm the oldest, so I'm the one who's responsible for taking care of the others. Sure, we're all a bit older, but we need each other, and I don't want to go off on a selfish journey when there's so much I could be helping out with at home…" Zee was making herself feel even worse that she had even left for a day.

    "…well…how does your family feel about it?" Luc looked at her through his wavy bangs.

    "…uh…" Zee hadn't really thought about it until now, but her family was behind her all the way. "Actually…everyone's been kind of pushing me to go." Now that she was thinking, her sisters were encouraging her to let them take over some of her responsibilities, and her mother insisted that she buy Zee a new pair of shoes for her trip. "Yeah…they've all been telling me to go for it."

    "Your family seems to be behind you all the way…so what are you waiting for?" Luc sat forward and flicked his hair out of the way. "They want you to go for it, right?"

    They did. Her family really just wanted Zee to go out and travel the world. "Yes."

    "See? What better reason do you have?"

    "You're right. I guess I've been-"

    A voice from the booth behind Luc cut her off. "Hey Clara, could you turn that up?" The waitress, an older woman nodded at the booth and stood on her tiptoes to adjust the volume on the TV screen. In capital letters, the words "BREAKING NEWS" spun in a circle at the bottom of the screen.

    "It seems that there was a similar incident last night, here at the Second Wind City Pokémon Center, where another PokéTech Industries truck had its cargo stolen, too." The screen displayed the charred remains of a large freight truck and two men, along with Nurse Joy, being escorted out of the back of the building and given blankets to huddle under. "This footage from last night shows rescuers removing some of the victims from the building after a bomb went off inside the truck. According to the eyewitnesses, a woman wearing a leather outfit - similar to the other reported man - assaulted the deliverymen and Nurse Joy, stealing the PokéTech Industries's shipment."

    Luc and Zee looked at each other, then back to the screen. "Unfortunately, Michael, the young entrepreneur of the company, was unreachable for questioning or comments since earlier, yesterday." The news anchor disappeared and Michael was seen running down the sidewalk, while being chased by Mack on foot. The camera was filming while moving down the street - so most likely, Yolonda had stuck the camera out the window of the news van and filmed Mack's "interview" from there. The only audible noises were the sounds of traffic around them and Mack frantically yelling, "please, wait!" as Michael sprinted away from him.

    Zee and Luc looked at each other once again, but this time they both looked embarrassed and Zee's left eye twitched slightly as she watched the awkward scene. "Michael's…one interesting guy…"

    "…" Luc said nothing.

    "In other news, it seems that we have a rising star on our hands." The screen cut to the front of the Radiance Building and Zee's eyes dilated wide. "Danica Graystone, the granddaughter of the famous Alan Graystone, was seen battling for the first time yesterday, against another Trainer, whom she easily beat."

    Zee's heart sunk as the footage showed her picking up Emfur a distance away from the camera. [I]"So, Miss Graystone, what are your plans next?" Mack tilted the microphone toward Danica.

    Danica smirked at Zee, then looked back at the camera. "A Gym Badge, of course. I'm heading to Bridgesteel City - where I plan on getting my first Badge. They should pretty much just hand me my Badge at this rate. Some people are born to be Trainers - others...not so much..." Danica turned back to Zee as Zee picked up her Pokémon and ran away. "...real Trainers never let a loss get them down. I am confident that my victory here today was only a minor stepping stone in my path to Pokémon mastery. My goal is to fight only the best - sadly though, I just fought one of the worst-"

    *THUD*

    Zee pounded her fist against the table and slid out of the booth. "That-" She pointed to the screen. "-is the 'better reason' I've been looking for! I can't let my family see me on camera like that! They're depending on me to do my best out here!" She jumped a little as she spoke. "Emfur!" Zee looked down and to her left. Emfur was sitting on the floor, along with Loupup - both of which froze when she yelled. "It's settled! We're headed for the top and we're not stopping until we get there!"

    "Emfur?" Emfur hopped up and into her arms, then crawled onto her shoulder before she sped out the door, half-scared and half-confused.

    Luc just looked at Loupup. "Well…at least she knows what she wants to do now…but…where is she going?"

    Clara, the waitress, walked right to the table and placed down a plastic bill-holder. "Sorry about that - had to adjust the TV. Here you go." Then she turned and walked back toward the kitchen.

    "Lou?" Loupup cocked its head as Luc blinked before realizing what it was.

    "Crap…"
    Last edited by xmikeyxlikesitx; 28th July 2010 at 4:33 PM.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Chapters
    Chapter 00: Prologue
    Chapter 01: Let's Roll Out!
    Chapter 02: She Loves Me Not
    Chapter 03: Time to Rumble
    Chapter 04: After That Eggle!
    Chapter 05: Setting into Motion
    Chapter 06: Tag This!

    Series Info Warning: Spoiler Information

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    Chapter 06: Tag This!



    Route 502


    The sky above Route 502 was a remarkable blue color that shone like a radiant sea - filled with several small herds of pure, white, puffy clouds that drifted about lazily in the daylight sun. The atmosphere was so brilliant as light flooded the hillsides and rolling plains, while the breeze blew light and gentle from the south. Faint songs of bird Pokémon chirping among the scattered trees drifted through the air and into the ears of any passersby on the open road. Route 502 was a long dirt path that led west over fields and hills, which gently rose and dipped into each other, its light cream-colored pathway cut through the landscape in order to help preserve the plain's natural wildlife. Despite being early spring, flowers of all varieties were beginning to bud along the road, making it appear like a walkway from a fairy tale.

    There was really not much movement on the open plains, mostly just long grass swaying in the fresh spring breeze - save for two figures walking along the pathway. The first figure - the taller of the two - walked slowly, his long legs didn't require much movement for him to move at a decent pace. His sweater was unzipped all the way, exposing his plain blue T-shirt to the world. A light cushing of air came with each sway of the blue duffel bag slung over his left shoulder. The second figure, much shorter than the first, seemed to be having a difficult time keeping up. She waddled back and forth slowly as her shoulders drooped forward, and with each step, her arms swayed limply from side to side. Her dark brown hair glistened in the light, now slightly frizzed from sweat.

    On her back was a small, orange Pokémon that relaxed in the midday sun. It sprawled out on its side and yawned quietly as it basked in the warm light. Its ears were long and floppy, twitching every once in a while from a slight change in the breeze, but something caught its attention. "…Fur?" The Pokémon's ears perked up and it began to stir, climbing closer to the girl's shoulder. "Em-?"

    She threw her head and shoulders backward suddenly, startling her Pokémon and causing the taller figure to pause and turn toward her. "…hah…hah…how much…hah…longer 'till we…hah…hah…get there…?" Luc looked at Zee sideways from the corner of his left eye. His normal sleepy look covered his face. Luc wasn't tired at all, but he didn't say anything - he just waited for her to finish her statement (which he knew was coming.)

    Luc appeared to be comfortable walking at their current pace - he stood relaxed and his hands were tucked into his pockets, but Zee, on the other hand, was making a miserable groaning noise as she panted. "Em…" A paw appeared over Zee's right shoulder. "…Fur…" A second paw appeared, then Emfur's head popped over her shoulder quickly after, looking annoyed.

    Zee took a deep inhale and Luc tilted his head slightly toward her. "Do…you want to stop?"

    "No!" She slightly startled Emfur as her head rocked forward and she opened her eyes wide. "…let's…hah…hah…just…hah…keep…going…"

    Luc slowed his pace. "You sure?"

    "Yeah…hah…hah…" Emfur grumbed as it climbed up her backpack. If only she had stayed hunched over… "…I can…hah…I can do this…"

    "…okay…" Luc blinked at her through his hair and turned back toward the road, still moving slower than before.

    The two of them walked for a while, although the wind died down a bit, causing the air to seem a lot warmer than before, much warmer than the day before. The sound of the birds chirping died down, as a small flock nearest to the two flew off to the north as Luc and Zee neared a small tree on the south side of the road, just a few yards ahead of them. "…hah…hah…hah…" Zee swallowed dryly as her sweating began to pick up from the sun beat down.

    Luc's eyes shifted to his left and he looked at Zee out of the corner of his eye. "…I said…we could…stop…"

    "No, no, no…hah…I can do this…hah…hah…hah…we should just…yeah…hah…hah…we can just…hah…we can…hah…hah…we can…just…hah…hah…hah…keep…hah…going…" Zee waddled forward even slower than before, each step slightly slower than the last. The weather was only in the 70s, but to Zee, it felt like she was in the middle of the desert. "…hah…hah…hah…I can…I can…hah…oh who am I kidding?"

    "Emfur?" Emfur cocked its head slightly and lifted its ears.

    Zee paused in place, propping herself up with her hands on her knees and swallowed again. "…I'm tired. My feet hurt. I'm all sweaty and my hair is frizzing. I love the sun, but it's way too hot out right now. And I'm thirsty. And now my head hurts. And…are you even listening?" Zee turned toward her right, but Luc wasn't there. "Huh? Luc?" She blinked and looked around frantically. "Wait - Luc?!"

    "…I'm right here…" Zee turned around to see Luc sitting in the shade of a small tree by the roadside, his arms crossed behind his head, which was covered by his hood and propped up against the trunk. His eyes were closed and he appeared to be napping, except for his right foot, which he was shaking back and forth out of habit.

    "Oh…I guess you were thinking ahead of me…" Zee walked back toward Luc as she began to take her backpack off. Emfur hopped over her shoulders as the straps came off, one after the other. "Whew!" Zee dropped the bag next to the tree trunk, making a slight "thud" as the contents inside shifted. She knelt down to let Emfur hop off of her before turning around and lying against the tree. "Hey, Luc?"

    "Hmm?" He didn't move or open his eyes.

    "How long have we been walking?" She leaned forward with her knees pulled close to her chest, arms wrapped around her shins as she looked over at him.

    Luc checked his wris****ch. "Um…about 30 minutes."

    "30 minutes?!" Zee's head shot forward and her eyes widened? "It's only been 30 minutes?!"

    "…that's…what I said…"

    "It feels like it's been hours!" Luc winced a bit because she was being so loud about it. "Crap…this isn't going to be as easy as I thought…"

    "You were the one so eager to leave this morning." Luc didn't move.

    "Oh yeah…" Zee lifted her left index finger to rest it on her lower lip as her eyes looked upward - a thinking pose. Earlier that morning, Zee had rushed back to the Pokémon Center, to pack up her backpack. Even when she stopped by the front desk for a quick check-up, she almost forgot Emfur, leaving her Pokémon sitting on the counter. Emfur was annoyed enough to fire a gentle Ember attack at Zee, causing her hair to mess up. While Zee was busy fixing her hair, Luc managed to look up the nearest way to Bridgesteel City via his laptop in the lobby. Their plan was to take Route 502 west and over the mountains.

    Luc crossed his legs and turned his head toward her. "…well…that's why we're taking a little break…I could use a nap anyway…" As he said that, he yawned and rolled his head back toward the middle of his body.

    *FWOOSH!*

    A flash of light burst from his bag and formed a Pokémon on the ground in between Luc and Zee. "Loupup!" Loupup appeared with a wide smile and its tongue flopped out of its mouth as it panted.

    Zee flinched, as she wasn't sure what actions the Pokémon would take. "Relax…Loupup should be a bit less energetic. I took him for a walk this morning, while you were still asleep…" After reassuring her of Loupup's behavior, Luc began to doze off. It was true, Zee noticed, that Loupup wasn't sprinting about at its usual pace.

    "O-okay…If you say so…" She looked down at Loupup, which was now sniffing the base of the tree before looking up at Zee. "You don't look so spastic today. That's good, I guess."

    "Pup!" Loupup began to sniff her hands before licking the back of her hand.

    Zee retracted her right hand and wiped it on her left sleeve. "Okay, enough. Down, boy." Loupup merely perked up its ears before noticing Emfur on Zee's other side.

    "Fur?" Emfur hopped once over to Loupup and began sniffing the canine.

    "Yeah. You two should go play, there's loads of field around." Zee looked left and right. There was really nothing but field for a few miles in every direction.

    "Lou?" Loupup circled around Emfur and began to sniff its ears.

    "Em, em…" Emfur's ears lifted up and two small flames appeared on both tips. "Emfur!" Emfur popped up into the air and began to hop around Loupup. Emfur had a lot of energy from resting on Zee's back.

    "Loupup! Lou!" Loupup seemed to bow, its front legs lowered as it kept its rear in the air, tail wagging frantically before chasing after Emfur. Emfur hopped around happily and ran down the gentle curve of the hill. Although the tree was next to the road, the road was also at a slight hillside - a gentle one, only having about a 15 foot slope.

    A few moments passed and Zee could hear the two Pokémon playing a short distance away. The breeze picked up again and rustled through the grass of the open plains, causing the landscape to look like a giant rolling sea of green. The breeze picked up again, warm and gentle - feeling much cooler than when walking in the sun. It took a few more moments before Zee noticed how beautiful it was out. Her keen sense of smell picked up the scent of wildflowers and pine drifting through the air, then she wrinkled her nose gently as her eyes stared up at the sunlight dancing through the leaves.


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    "Pup!" Loupup growled playfully as it leapt toward Emfur - half-scaring, half-exciting the rabbit.

    "Emfur!" Emfur bounced out of the way, then turned its head around. "Fur! Fur!" Emfur called back to Loupup, teasing the pup to follow.

    "Loupup!" Loupup barked playfully again and sprinted after Emfur, its tongue flopping around out of the corner of its mouth. There was no doubt that the two Pokémon were enjoying their playtime as they leapt and dashed about the tall grass. "Lou! Pup!" Loupup was catching up to Emfur, or so it thought .

    Emfur was much faster than it let on, zigzagging to throw the baby pup off. "Em! Emfur!" Emfur sprinted toward a shorter patch of grass several yards up ahead. A small rock stuck up about three feet out of the ground in the middle of the small clearing. Emfur sped straight toward the small stone, then quickly turned right at the last moment.

    "LOUUUUUUU!" Loupup wasn't nearly as agile as Emfur - unable to stop its inertia as it headed toward the rock. "PUUUP!" Loupup stumbled over its own feet and crashed into the rock.

    *THUNK!*

    "Pu….uuup…" Emfur heard the noise behind it and skidded to a halt, its ears flopping forward. Emfur turned around and saw Loupup sprawled out on the ground, dazed, its paws twitching and facing the sky.

    "Fffffff…." Emfur covered its mouth with its paws, but to no avail - Emfur started laughing uncontrollably. "FUUUUUURRRRURURURURRURURRRR!!!" Emfur rolled around in the grass, laughing and slapping the ground every once in a while.

    "Pup…" Loupup shook its head rapidly and brushed itself off as it stood up, grumbling. Emfur was still laughing pretty hard, causing Loupup to mutter to itself embarrassedly, before something caught its attention. "Pup?"

    "F…f…fur…fur…fur. Fur. Em…fur…" Emfur managed to catch its breath before noticing Loupup's strange behavior. "Emfur?" Emfur straightened itself out and watched Loupup, sniffing around the rock. "Fur?" Emfur's ears perked up, before it hopped over to Loupup, which was moving to the other side of the rock. In order to catch up to Loupup, Emfur hopped around the other side.

    *sniff sniff sniff sniff*

    *boop*

    Loupup's warm, wet nose bumped into something small and gray on the other side of the rock. "Lou?"

    "Furur…" Emfur had hopped around the other way and stopped to face what Loupup was looking at. A small, roundish, gray creature stared at the two of them, shivering.

    "Dull…?" The small Pokémon blinked awake and looked around. "Dull?" Its underbelly and snout was a creamish-brown color and its eyes were small and black. It had four stubby little paws, which it stumbled around on a bit. Its back was covered in what looked to be a small nettle of gray and black hairs. "…Dull?" Emfur and Loupup merely looked at each other as they watched the Pokémon waddle around, looking for something with a scared expression on its face.

    "Loupup?" Loupup took a step toward the Pokémon, until it noticed Loupup from the corner of its eye.

    "NEEEEEEEEEE!!!" The creature panicked and ran underneath Emfur's floppy ears.

    "Em?" Emfur looked down at the Pokémon hiding in its ears, then back at Loupup, which just cocked its head. "Emfur! Em!" Emfur pointed with one paw back toward the tree where Luc and Zee were resting. "Fur! Emfur! Emfur!"

    Loupup smiled and its tongue flopped out of its mouth again before nodding and running back toward the tree.

    Emfur let out a long sigh and shook its head before looking down at the gray Pokémon, which peered out from underneath Emfur's ears as Loupup ran away. "Em. Fur." Emfur walked over to the stone and sat up against it, inviting the shivering, gray Pokémon to sit next to itself with a pat on its front paws on the ground.

    "Nee…" The Pokémon took a step forward and hesitated, but then slowly took Emfur up on the offer and waddled over to the rock.


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    "Grrrrrrr…" Luc felt something chewing on his right sleeve.

    "…nun…? Over already…?" Luc looked to his right and saw Loupup gnawing and dragging on his shirt. "Hmm…? What is it, Boy?"

    "Rrrr…" Loupup pulled his sleeve a bit harder.

    Luc sat up a bit more. "Okay, okay, I'm up…" He blinked and rubbed his eyes before stretching his arms out and yawning quietly.

    "…unn…?" Zee stirred a little bit, wakened by the noise Loupup was making. Loupup let go of its Trainer's sleeve and ran over to Zee, prodding her with its nose. "Not now, Emfur…" Zee made a feeble swat at Loupup. "…come on…like…9 more minutes…" It was quite amazing how quickly Zee could fall into a deep sleep, despite having already resting well during the night.

    "Lou?" Loupup blinked and seemed to be astonished.

    Zee rolled over, away from the Pokémon. "…just…go away…sleep…"

    "Grrr…" Loupup growled from the corner of its mouth and crouched low to the ground before-

    "AIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!" Zee jumped a good foot or two into the air with a howl. Loupup was attached to her right hand again, gnawing on her. "GET OFFA ME!!!" She flailed her hand around, trying to shake Loupup off before she used several pushing moments with her left hand. "WHY. DOES. THIS. ALWAYS. HAPPEN?!" She managed to push Loupup off before she noticed that her entire hand was throbbing. "YOU!" She glared at Loupup. "COME OVER HERE!" She leapt at Loupup, but Loupup playfully rolled to the side, causing her to fall face-first onto the grass.

    "…do you always have to be so loud?" Luc stood up with his duffel bag over his shoulder and looked at Zee through his bangs. Surprisingly, in the shade, she could see through his hair better - his eyes still looked sleepy.

    Zee looked up from the grass toward Luc with an evil grit of her teeth. "JUST…LET ME SEE YOUR PUPPY…" She then quickly jumped up and Loupup ran around Luc, hiding behind his legs. "LET ME AT 'IM!" Zee leapt for Loupup again, but Luc held his left hand out, holding her head in place as she flailed around widely, trying to run toward the Pokémon. Luc looked down at her (she was still unaware what he was doing) and sighed, then pulled out a Poké Ball from the front of his duffel bag with his right hand and aimed it behind himself.

    "…back inside, Loupup." Finally, Zee stopped raging and straightened herself out.

    "Hmph!" Zee quickly grabbed her backpack and stomped her foot a little. "Let's just go…Emfur." Zee finally noticed. "Emfur?"

    "I don't think Emfur is here…" Luc looked down at Zee as she looked frantically in all directions.

    "Emfur?! Where are you?!" She kept looking around like a madwoman, dropping her sunglasses down in front of her face to run out into the sun and scan for Emfur.

    Luc tried to get her attention. "Uh…I think-"

    "Where could she be?" Zee was on the brink of panicking. "She could be lost, alone, scared…hungry…"

    "…it's only been like…20…"

    Zee's voice drowned him out. "Oh, no! She's out there in the wilderness…all tired and cold…" Zee kept imagining Emfur shivering and walking up a snowy mountain in a snowstorm, while using a walking stick to trod forward, despite the facts that Emfur was a Fire-type and that there were no icy mountains on the eastern side of Kokubei.

    "…I think Loupup was just trying to…"

    "I'm such a terrible Trainer! Great going, Zee! You lost your Pokémon by sleeping on the job! Way to get things done your way!" Zee held her forehead in her hand and looked at the ground in shame. Luc had given up on trying to talk to her and headed down the hill toward where he heard the two Pokémon playing earlier.

    "Gosh…I mean…should I just go home? What do you think, Luc?" She finally looked up. "Luc?" Everyone was gone. "What the-?" Zee spotted Luc several yards away, walking slowly through the tall grass, and quickly grabbed her backpack from the side of the tree. "Hey! Wait up!"

    Luc made his way toward the rock where Emfur and Loupup had come from. He spotted a faint glimpse of Emfur's twitching orange ears from behind the rock, so he assumed Emfur was on the other side. It didn't take long for his long legs to bring him to the rock, which he looked behind.

    "Fur?" Emfur looked up at Luc. "Emfur!" Emfur smiled and looked around, expecting Zee. "Emfur?" By now, the small Pokémon with Emfur looked up at Luc, petrified.

    "…hah…hah…I'm…hah…here…" Zee was out of breath already. "…what? What is it?" Zee was looking at Luc, who was doing nothing but staring at the small Pokémon on the other side of the rock. "Huh?"

    "DUUULLL!!!" The Pokémon popped into the air and ran back and forth along the taller grass edge, but jumped away every time it got too close.

    "Wait. Is that thing afraid of grass?" Zee pointed at the Pokémon while looking at Luc. An empty look covered her face - she didn't know if Pokémon could be afraid of grass. The Pokémon huddled back and forth, darting in random directions along the grass edge, but never running inside.

    "…Nee…" The Pokémon looked absolutely afraid of the world at the moment.

    Emfur looked on at the Pokémon with a sad look on its face, as if it wanted to help, but didn't know what to say. "…Em…"

    Luc looked down at the Pokémon, which fixed its eyes wide on him, filled with unnecessary terror. "…it's a Needull…"

    "Oh…my…GOSH! It's SO CUTE!" Zee jumped into the air and looked at the Pokémon (still panicking.) "Luc!" Zee turned toward him, as he flinched from her loudness. "What Pokémon is that?"

    "…you have a Pokédex, don't y-" Luc didn't even get a chance to speak as Zee talked over him.

    "Ugh, you're no help sometimes!" Zee's eyes lit up. "That's right!" It seemed as if a lightbulb went on in her head. "I have a Pokédex!" She slipped her hand into her backpack and pulled out her Pokédex.

    "…are you even lis-?"

    Dextette's automated voice spoke bright and clear. "Needull, the Shedding Pokémon. Needull are highly nervous Pokémon that shed about 1,400 spiky hairs per minute. If threatened, they tuck into themselves and roll around haphazardly, hoping to scare off enemies."

    Zee squealed, bringing her knuckles to her lips and shuddering. "AWWWWW!!! It's. TOO. CUTE!" At this, the Needull stopped and looked back at Zee jumping up and down, almost forgetting that it was on the verge of heart attack just a few seconds ago.

    "…d…ull?" It cocked its head and stood fixed on Zee.

    "I MUST HAVE IT!" Zee kept bouncing up and down. "Emfur!" She looked to her Pokémon.

    Emfur hopped over to Zee and nuzzled her leg. "Fur?"

    "Emfur, are you ready to battle?" Zee smiled down at Emfur, but Emfur looked hesitant, looking back and forth between Needull and its Trainer. "…what's wrong Emfur?"

    "…fur…" Emfur's ears flopped down, covering a good portion of its face.

    "Huh?" Zee crouched down at her Pokémon and patted it on the head. "I get it, Needull's your friend now, right?"

    "Fur!" Emfur lit up a bit and smiled.

    "…it's okay, I get it." Zee took her backpack off and placed it up against the rock. "You can sit this one out, Emfur." She stood up and faced Needull, which still wasn't sure exactly what it should be doing right now. "Besides, this is my chance to use Eggle!" With that, Zee procured a Poké Ball from her left hand and threw it into the air.

    *Fwoosh!*

    A bright light shone and a strange, Flying-type Pokémon materialized in between Zee and the Needull. "Eggle! Egg!"

    "Let's go, Eggle! It's time for another battle!" Zee pointed at Needull and Eggle charged straight for the Pokémon.

    "Em…fur…" Emfur looked a bit shocked, then turned and covered its face as Eggle chased after Needull.

    "DUUUUUULLL!!!" Needull took off as Eggle chased it through the short grass, squawking loudly.

    "Eggle, go for a Wing Attack!" Zee shouted a command and Eggle complied as its wings spread wide and began to glow.

    "Gle!" Eggle leapt into the air, aiming its wing at the ground where Needull was fleeing.

    "Needull!" Needull saw the incoming Pokémon and tucked into itself, rolling just past Eggle's well-aimed strike.

    "Egg!" Eggle hit the ground and bounced off.

    Zee took a step forward, shocked. "What?"

    "Needull is faster when it's using Rollout…" Luc stepped up next to her, looking at the Pokémon chase.

    "That's a Rollout? Hmm…" Zee looked at Eggle brushing itself off, then immediately saw Needull pop out of its ball and scurry off. "Oh no. Quick, Eggle! Don't let Needull get away! Go for a Peck attack!" Zee was getting a bit nervous as she saw the Needull head toward a patch of longer grass.

    "GLE!" Eggle managed to get back up and leapt into the air once again, aiming its beak at the hedgehog Pokémon. As it dove through the air, it folded its wings against its eggshell and its beak elongated and glowed.

    Luc and Zee couldn't see where Needull was, but they heard the Pokémon shriek as Eggle dove into the grass. "NEEEEEE!" The small gray Pokémon scurried out from the grass and quickly tucked into a ball, rolling around the ground haphazardly. Zee didn't see Eggle emerge from the patch of grass, so she and Emfur ran toward it.

    "…gle…" Eggle was still in the grass, slightly dazed from the impact. It had managed to hit the ground with its beak, missing Needull by an inch, allowing the Pokémon to escape. "…gle…" Eggle's beak; however, was stuck in the ground, and it flapped wildly, trying to get itself out with its claws and wings. After a few seconds of wriggling, Eggle managed to pull its beak out from the ground. "EGGLE!" Eggle was angry now, its eyes narrowing and its voice growling.

    "Eggle! Needull is over there!" Zee pointed to her left as Eggle dashed out from the grass. Needull really was getting away.

    "Egg!" Eggle was hopping mad, running toward it, ready to claw at the small, gray Pokémon. Needull turned to look back at Eggle - big mistake.

    A small cloud of sand flew toward Needull, stinging its eyes. "Duuuuull…" It pawed at its eyes and nose, both clogged with sand kicked up from Eggle's wings - a Sand-Attack. Needull couldn't see until Eggle was standing right above it, beak at the ready. "Dull?"

    "EGGLE!" Eggle looked down at it and smacked it around with a Wing Attack.

    "Needull!" Needull bounced back and forth as Eggle alternated its wings, each time, scraping off a small chunk of its own shell. "Dull!" Needull tried to curl into a ball, but Eggle began to use Peck on it repeatedly. "Needull!"

    "Egg! Egg! Eggle! Egg!" Each Peck rattled Needull's body, but Needull began to glow.

    Luc and Zee saw Needull's body starting to shine. "…I think Needull's using Bide…"

    "What?" Zee looked at Luc. "…that means…" She looked back at Eggle. "Eggle! Get back! Needull's about to use an attack!"

    Eggle ignored her, repeatedly jabbing its beak at the Pokémon. "Eggle!"

    "…dull…dull…DULL!!!" Needull's body shone brightly, firing a beam of light straight upward and toward the sky, sending Eggle flying backward and bouncing into the grass. "…Nee…dull…" Needull immediately fell to the ground, panting deeply.

    Zee saw that Needull needed to rest before it could move fast again and seized the chance. "Luc!" Zee stuck her hand out sideways, stopping right in front of Luc's stomach. "Poké Ball!"

    Luc blinked. "…uh…"

    "Just, give me a Poké Ball!" Zee sounded impatient.

    "…okay…okay…jeez…" He pulled an extra Poké Ball out of his duffel bag and handed it to her. "…when are you going to get your own Po-?"

    He barely placed it in her open hand before she threw it. "Needull is mine!" Zee's voice drowned out Luc's and the Poké Ball bounced off of Needull's body, engulfing it in red light. "Yes!" Emfur tugged on Zee's pant leg, but she paid no notice.

    *lup*

    The Poké Ball closed and landed on the ground, but Needull wasn't inside - it was standing up slowly, wobbling a bit. "Wait, what?" Emfur tugged on Zee's pant leg again. "Why didn't it capture Needull?" Zee didn't notice at first, but then she heard a couple of voices coming from the other side of a nearby hill. "But…I threw the Poké Ball…"

    "Fur…" Emfur turned around at the sound of the noise, Luc noticed it too and looked in the same direction.

    "Hey! Where are you? Needull!" Coming over the top of the hill was a teenage girl dressed in a forest green dress that had yellow floral designs patterned all over it, a brown belt around her waist that looked to be weaved from small, thin loops of leather, and brown flip-flops that appeared to have been made out of a dark-colored straw. Her hair was long and auburn, tied in a French braid that was laced with several small flowers and a yellow ribbon at the end. After her, to her right, was a teenage guy that wore a blue bandanna around his neck, a cream T-shirt with navy sleeves, brown cargo shorts, crew socks that had two red stripes running along each one, and white sneakers with navy laces. "Hey!" The girl threw her right arm backward, hitting the boy in the stomach. "There you are!"

    The girl came bounding down the side of the small hill, toward where Needull was lying. "Huh?" Zee finally heard the girl, turning toward her, only doing so in time to see the girl rush past her.

    "Needull! I was so worried about you!" The girl picked up Needull and began twirling around with her Pokémon in her arms. "I missed you!" As the girl spun, a few long hairs flew off her Pokémon, hitting the ground, then shattering - almost like slivers of glass.

    "…dull…" Needull looked up at her feebly and cradled closer to her neck.

    Zee stood astonished, sticking her finger out to point at Needull. "…so…that's your Pokémon?" Zee looked half confused and half embarrassed before she heard a noise behind her.

    "Unh…" The boy came hobbling down the hill, clutching his gut with his left arm. "…that…hurt…" As he sat down quickly, Emfur's ears perked up and it began to sniff the air in his direction. His butt landed softly on the ground and he looked up at Luc and Zee, staring down at him as if they were readied to ask him a question. A slight squawk came from his left and he turned to look. "Hey, um…is this Pokémon anybody's?" Zee looked over toward the direction his head was gesturing, she had almost forgotten about Eggle, which was dazed and twitching slightly.

    Zee pulled out a Poké Ball clumsily and pointed it in Eggle's direction. "Oh…huh…sorry about that, Eggle!" The bright light engulfed Eggle, which returned to its Poké Ball.

    The girl came over to Luc, smiling happily. "Thank you very much for finding my Pokémon!" She stood at about 5'5", slightly taller than Zee, looking up at Luc with something akin to googly eyes.

    Luc began to sweat embarrassedly. "…actually, I didn't…"

    "Oh, don't be so modest! Thank you, thank you!" The girl hoisted Needull up a bit closer to herself as she thanked him, moving Needull so that she could extend a hand out for Luc to shake.

    Instead, Luc actually placed his hands behind his head and opened his mouth to say something before Zee interrupted them. "Actually, we both found Needull."

    The girl sharply looked over at Zee with a look of slight fierceness. "What? Are you his girlfriend or something?" The girl moved close to Zee and stared her in the eyes, causing Zee to bend over backward a little.

    Zee waved her hands in front of her face and quickly shook her head. "No! No! Of course, I'm not his girlfriend, jeez!"

    The girl backed up and smiled once again, returning to her original, cheerful tone. "Oh…well…I guess I'd have to say thank you!" She stuck out her hand again, this time for Zee to shake.

    "Uh…" Zee straightened herself out, causing her sunglasses to fall onto her nose. "…for what?" She pushed her sunglasses back up to her head.

    The girl genuinely looked surprised. "For finding my lost Pokémon, duh!"

    "Sorry about that, it's my fault, actually." The boy spoke from behind Zee, and she backed up so that everyone had a good view of each other. He had gotten up from the ground and was rubbing his stomach a little. "I'm the one who forgot Needull. We stopped by that rock this morning and had breakfast there." He pointed to the small rock where Zee and Luc first saw Needull.

    "Yeah, he was supposed to give Needull back to me after I told him to return her to her Poké Ball." The girl looked at him with a look of annoyance, at which he chuckled softly out of embarrassment.

    "Eh heh heh…er…um…anyway, I'm Jake." Jake stuck his hand out to Zee.

    "Zee." She paused for a moment, but then shook his hand softly. Coinciding with his rather passive demeanor, Jake had a soft and gentle grip.

    The girl saw this and immediately turned to Luc with a beaming smile once again. "I'm Ellie!" He lowered his hand slowly, but Ellie shoved her hand into his, shaking his hand quickly. Luc was a bit surprised, opening his eyes a little wide as his entire right arm had waves of motion sent through him. She had a very powerful grip for a girl of her size and stature. "Pleased to meet you!"

    "I'm…" Luc looked down at her with a slight wince - a part of her scared him a little. "…I'm Luc."

    "Well, now that we've gotten that out of the way…" Ellie stroked Needull a little bit. "…how about we thank you? Needull, say 'thank you' to them." Ellie turned Needull toward Zee, and it opened its eyes, quickly narrowing them and growling at her. "Huh? What's wrong, Needull?" Ellie looked down at her Pokémon. Emfur heard the growling and peered up at Needull from next to Zee's capri strings.

    Zee blushed a little, clenching her fist slightly as it dangled by her side. "Well…about that…we didn't just find your Needull…" Jake looked at her with one brow raised above the other out of confusion.

    "What do you mean?" Ellie also looked at Zee with furrowed brows and held Needull a bit tighter to herself.

    "…I kind of…battled your Needull…" Zee gritted her teeth and pulled the corners of her lips downward, showing off a bit of her bottom row of teeth.

    "Oh boy." Jake mumbled under his breath.

    "YOU DID WHAT TO MY DARLING, NEEDULL?!" Ellie's face went all red and she stomped her left foot.

    Zee tried to explain. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to…I mean…I didn't know…"

    Ellie stepped fiercely forward, but Jake jumped in front of her with his right arm spread out in front of her, trying to prevent her from moving forward. "Hey, now! Let's not fight…"

    "Hmph!" Ellie got a bit upset, but then stood back up straight and simply jerked her head away from Zee's direction after their eyes made contact for a split second. Luc wasn't saying anything and Zee wasn't sure what this girl was on. "Well…anyway, it's your fault for not bringing Needull back to me." She stared sharply at Jake. "I was worried!" Ellie pulled out a yellow ribbon that was smaller than her own, but still matched, placing it on Needull's small right ear.

    "Er…um…sorry?" Jake rubbed the back of his head softly and chuckled out of embarrassment. "It won't happen again?"

    "No. It won't." Ellie walked back in the direction she came from, grabbing Jake by his bandanna. "Let's go." Before she took another step, she looked over her right shoulder and winked at Luc. "Thank you, Luc."

    Luc didn't react much, just tucking his hands into his pockets slightly deeper. "…"

    "Now, let's go!" Ellie looked back at Jake and tugged his bandanna in her direction, causing his face to redden before she let him free.

    "Well…gotta go guys…sorry about that." Jake stumbled backward a little before turning around fully to walk after Ellie.

    The two walked quickly up the hill that they appeared from, heading slightly southeast, before disappearing over the other side. Luc and Zee merely stood there, watching the two walk away - dumbfounded slightly as to what had just happened. As Jake walked over the small hill, he turned around slightly to give the two a wave.

    After several moments of silence, Emfur hopped over to Zee. "Emfur…" Emfur's ears flopped to the ground softly, almost out of slight longing as it looked off in the direction Ellie and Jake left.

    "Well, I guess I won't be catching a Needull right now…" Zee walked over to the empty Poké Ball on the ground, kneeling down to pick it up and look at it disappointingly. "Oh well…I guess I'll find another one somewhere?" Zee looked back up at Luc, then outstretched her hand, holding the Poké Ball out for Luc to grab. "Here. This is yours after all, thanks."

    Luc received the Poké Ball from her, almost surprised. "Thanks." He flicked his hair out of his left eye. "You can keep it, if you want…" Zee stood up and raised one eyebrow as she did. "…for next time, you know?" Luc turned it around toward her and dropped it.

    Zee instinctively shot her arm out to catch the Poké Ball, but ended up fumbling around with it, bouncing it several times off her own hands. "Ah, ah, ah..." Finally, Zee caught it, breathing a sigh of relief before she looked at Luc with a look of annoyance. "What was that for?!"

    Luc had already begun to walk back toward the road, calling back to her without turning his head. "It's for not having your own Poké Balls." Zee blushed a little, opening her mouth to say something, but he was right - embarrassing her a little. Was Luc teasing her?

    "Okay, I get it, I get it…" Zee sighed once again and walked back toward the direction Luc was headed, Emfur hopping along beside her, mostly just looking around as it did. Luc had gotten to the rock and was sitting on it, holding her backpack up by the fabric handle at the top with one finger hooked underneath. "OOF!" Luc had thrown the bag onto her chest (she was half-expecting this, catching it without a problem) and immediately turned around. This time, Zee said nothing, realizing that she came off as completely naďve as Ellie did - she just put her backpack on.

    Emfur looked up at Zee with a look of attention. "Fur?" Emfur's ears perked up as it looked up at its Trainer.

    "I guess I kind of came across like Ellie, back there." Zee slipped her right arm into its shoulder loop and pulled on the straps at the bottom, adjusting the tightness of her backpack against her body. Her shoulder straps had small plastic rings at the end, allowing her to easily pull it tighter. "I better work on that…" Zee was staring beyond the ground as she talked to herself, Emfur still looking at her, but this time out of curiosity.

    "Emfur!" Emfur hopped up and down a little, snapping Zee out of her daydream.

    "Hah, okay…let's go." Zee scooped up Emfur and held her Pokémon in her arms as she walked at a slightly faster pace, just to catch up with Luc, who was already at the top of the short hill near the roadside tree. I really should um…pay attention to Luc…you know…once in a while… Zee made it up the hill and jogged for a few yards to catch up to Luc. She didn't move right up next to him, instead hanging back a foot or so. Well…I don't think he's mad at me or anything… She leaned a little to her left, to look a bit at his face from the side.

    Luc noticed her craning to see him from the corner of his eye and turned toward her. "Hmm?"

    Zee jumped a little. "Er…um…sorry. It's nothing…" Zee blushed a little and looked away. Luc merely shrugged his shoulders and looked back at the road. After a few seconds, Zee began to stare straight ahead, looking down the path for about a mile. She hadn't noticed the mountains in the distance, which were getting ever closer to her position, and she spent a good long while just enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds that she hadn't paid attention to when she was complaining. As she walked, Zee's body became accustomed to the temperature out (even though it wasn't incredibly warm) to the point where the air generally felt refreshing, while the long rest that they had taken had helped her feet adjust to her still-new shoes. It wasn't long before Zee became lost in her own little world - just content and relaxed as she took in the scenery.
    Last edited by xmikeyxlikesitx; 26th September 2010 at 2:17 AM.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  11. #11
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    Apr 2008
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    "Hey…"

    Luc's voice made Zee blink around surprisedly. "Wha-? Hmm?"

    Luc didn't react to her surprise. "…you okay?" He only looked at her from the corner of his eye. In her daydream, Zee had managed to walk at a pace that actually kept up with his long stride.

    "Uh…yeah…I think so, why?" Zee was mostly unaware of what she was doing. She had managed to drift away from reality. "Sorry…I was just thinking…"

    Luc looked back at the road ahead, eyeing a larger hill - about forty yards ahead. "…you haven't said a thing…we've been walking for almost two hours straight…"

    "We have?" Zee grabbed Luc's left arm and pulled it out of his pocket to look at his watch.

    "…yep…back to normal…" Luc mumbled to himself as Zee tilted her head slightly to check the time on his watch.

    "Wow…I'm not even tired or hungry or anything…that's weird." Zee let go of Luc's arm and scratched her head.

    "Hmm." Luc muttered to himself as he retracted his arm and adjusted his watch a little. He was getting used to Zee by now.

    Zee didn't hear him, as something new had begun to catch her attention. *sniff sniff* "…mmm…" Zee had caught wind of a new scent, a rather delicious one at that, walking faster toward the small hill.

    Luc stayed at his own pace and watched her scurry off ahead.

    "Oh gosh, wow!" Zee stood at the top of the hill, looking around. "Luc! Check this out!" Zee pointed toward the direction he was headed and pulled her sunglasses off her forehead and onto her face.

    "…just…a sec…" Luc ambled slowly toward her, not changing his stride one bit, until he managed to reach the top of the hill himself. "Hmm…" Luc shielded his eyes from the sun with his right hand to look around.

    Zee was right, it was absolutely beautiful. From the top of the hill, one could see that the land between them and the mountains had flattened out into a great basin that stretched for miles. Straight ahead, yet off in the distance, they could see a mountain range covered at the top by a haze of clouds. Directly in front of them; however, was a bank of a stream with a long array of bridges passing along the zig-zag shape.

    "This way!" Zee pointed straight ahead and smiled wide.

    "Are you sure you know where you're going?" Luc looked at her sideways, then noticed Emfur's ears perk up.

    "Fur?" Emfur's ears lifted up slightly, and it began to sniff the air, just as Zee did.

    "…wow…you have the senses of a Pokémon…" Luc blinked out of slight surprise.

    Zee didn't seem to hear him, only screaming, "FOOD!" and then running down the side of the hill as the smell of something enticing leading her on.

    "…and…the brains of a rock…" Luc sighed again and pushed his hands into his pockets deeper as he trudged down the hill behind her.

    Zee was twenty yards ahead of him, standing at the end of a small, wooden bridge and having her hand high. "Over here, Slowpoke!" Zee tapped her foot impatiently, then looked around for where the smell could be coming from. "…turkey...cilantro…" She sniffed the air. "…fresh bread…"

    Emfur was perched on her left shoulder, sniffing the air. "Emfur!" Emfur could smell the food, too, and it seemed to be delicious the way the Pokémon's eyes began to glitter.

    "…ooh…I'm so hungry now…" Zee kept looking around, moving to the middle of the bridge to get a better view. As she gazed upon the scenery, something caught her eye. It was a row of several yellow flowers moving through the tall grass about forty feet away. Just below them, she could see spots of something auburn…

    "I found some!" The yellow flowers perked up and sprung out of the grass…except that they were attached to someone's hair.

    Zee heard her walked toward her. "Found what?"

    The girl turned around. It was Ellie again. "I found…" She and Zee locked eyes. "Oh…it's you again…" The girl sort of rolled her eyes and then looked away, before her face lit up.

    "Uh…?" Zee looked stunned as the girl ran toward her, dropping a bouquet of matching flowers onto the ground. "Hey, wait! What?"

    Zee cringed up and held her hands up and against her chest as Ellie bolted forward, but just as Zee thought she was going to be tackled or something, Ellie mumbled, "…get out of the way…" and ran around Zee.

    "Huh?" Zee turned around.

    Luc was standing on the middle of the bridge with Ellie right in front of him. "Hello again!" Ellie was hanging onto Luc's hand with her own, shaking it forcefully.

    "…hi…" Luc's right arm wobbled like a wet noodle as Ellie beamed up at him. "…nice to…see…you…again…?" Luc was a bit uncomfortable.

    "Did you say you found some? Oh, hey!" Jake appeared from behind a small willow in the middle of the tall grass, spotting Luc, Ellie, and Zee.

    Zee still had no idea what was going on. "Fur!" Emfur sniffed toward him and raised its ears.

    "It's you guys again…what's up?" Zee just looked at him with a blank look.

    "Ouch." Jake playfully flinched and smiled. "Thanks for that, haha…wait…what are you guys doing here?"

    Zee could hear Ellie babbling loudly to Luc behind her. "Well…according to Luc, we're supposed to head toward Bridgesteel City…it's like…over those mountains or something…" Zee pointed toward the clouded mountains off in the distance.

    Jake looked over his shoulder. "Oh, Bluesmoke? Yeah. You have to cross the Bluesmoke Mountain Range to get to Bridgesteel…from right here…that's like…five days away by foot…"

    "…" Zee's face flushed with color; her sunglasses slid down her nose, revealing her eyes; and Emfur's ears drooped. "…are you serious?" Her mouth remained open for a bit and she turned around to look at Luc, who mouthed, "help me…" to Zee when she did. "Uh…"

    "Ellie!" Jake got her attention, causing her to turn around. "What?"

    "Why don't we invite these guys to eat? We're having a picnic." Jake posed the question almost hesitantly, rubbing the back of his neck as he asked, readied for her response.

    Luc looked slightly terrified. "No, I-"

    "Wow! You know what, Jake? That is a great idea!" Ellie's eyes lit up even more than before, as she tugged on Luc's elbow, pulling him along with her and into the grass.

    As they walked past, Luc glared at Jake and Zee, gritting his teeth and hissing slightly. "Zee!"

    "Eh heh heh heh…" Zee and Jake chuckled a bit together and followed behind them.

    Free food was free food.


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    *BRAAAP!*

    "Erm…sorry, excuse me…" Zee had let out a bit of a burp, but immediately covered her mouth afterward. "…it was just…that good!" Never in Zee's life had she turned down a free meal, and she wasn't planning to start…ever.

    Ellie shot her a slight look of disgust, then turned toward Luc. "So what do you like to do? You know…in your spare time?" Ellie sat on her left hip, both legs curled up as if she were in the fetal position, with her left arm propping up her body as she faced Luc. She took a bite of a warm sandwich before listening to Luc's response.

    Luc sat with his right forearm balancing on his right knee, while his left knee was curled underneath, and his left arm sifted through a straw basket filled with rolls, sandwiches, cookies, and plastic baggies of grapes. "Um…sleep, I guess…" He found a bag of white grapes and pulled them out, picking off one with his other hand and casually throwing it into his mouth.

    "Hmm…" Zee sat at the opposite corner from Luc on the blanket that their food was spread upon. "…I'm guessing Ellie likes Luc?" Zee whispered to Jake, who sat to her right, not looking at him - just facing Luc - that is, until she noticed he hadn't said anything. "…uh, Jake?" She looked over at him.

    Dan's face was a bright red color, even brighter than Zee's face. "…I…I guess…so…" He sat cross-legged and leaned forward, fumbling with a blade of grass between his fingers.

    Zee cocked her head. "…what is it?"

    Jake jumped a little. "Oh! Nothing! Nothing…it's just…" He opened his mouth to speak, but ended up closing it and swallowing a bit.

    "You're weird…a bit…" Zee took the last bite of her sandwich, chewing it happily before she swallowed it. "But, that's okay, right?" She let out a little chuckle, causing Jake to fumble with the grass even more. Ellie was talking loudly in the background, but Zee wasn't paying attention. By now, Luc had figured out that he only needed to give Ellie one or two-word answers before she chatted on and on about herself. "So…what are you guys doing out here?"

    "Well…uh, you see…I asked Ellie if she wanted to go on a picnic with me…you know…like…a friendly one…" Jake's face returned mostly to normal, save for a red patch on each cheek.

    "Huh?" Zee blinked. "It sounds like you were asking her on a da-" Jake quickly shot forward and cupped her mouth.

    "Shh!" Jake's eyes opened wide and his face grew red again. "Please don't say that!" He let go of Zee's mouth. "Um…sorry…"

    Zee didn't seem to mind…or remember what happened, as she instead began to talk about what he could do. "Hmm…well…you could ask her out on a real-" She opened her eyes wide. "-you know…"

    Jake sat back in his original spot and began poking his index fingers together. "…I know…but…I don't know if she likes me or not…I mean…she's all over your friend…Luc…right now…" They both looked over at Luc and Ellie.

    Luc noticed that the other two were talking, but every time he tried to look at them, Ellie grabbed his head and turned him toward her. "I'm over here, silly!"

    "…" Zee wasn't sure if she should be bailing Luc out now, or 25 minutes ago.

    "I'm not sure what I can do…I mean…she likes Luc because he's tall…I think…I'm just her friend from the neighborhood. We live back in Trulove City, on the outskirts." Jake pointed backward, toward the way they had come.

    Zee's face was furrowed as she was thinking of a way to get Ellie to like Jake, then suddenly- "I know!" You and Luc could have a Pokémon Battle! I'll just tell Luc to lose on purpose, then-"

    "I don't think that'll work…I'm not very good at Pokémon Battles…" Jake sat up a little, tapping on his knees. "…but…maybe we could have a Tag Battle?"

    "Uh…a 'Tag Battle'?" Zee looked at him, puzzled. "What's a Tag Battle?"

    Jake raised one eyebrow. "You serious? It's like…a Double Battle, but there are two Trainers."

    "…Double Battle? Wait…that's like…two Pokémon at once…and three is a Triple Battle." Zee had an "ah-hah!" look on her face as she perked up and pointed her finger upward. "Sure! But…wait…will it be you and me versus them? I don't know if Luc will forgive me for letting him alone with her for so long…and I doubt she'd want to battle with me as her Tag partner…so…umm…I guess us two versus you guys?" Jake played with his bandanna, nervously, spinning it around his neck a few inches at a time as he stared at the ground. "It's settled, then!"

    "Hey, you two!" Zee spoke a bit louder to Ellie and Luc, both of whom immediately turned toward her. "How about we work off lunch with a Pokémon Battle? Let's make it a Tag Battle?" She looked at Luc. "Luc and I versus you and Jake."

    Luc mouthed, "Finally" to Zee and stood up.

    "Now, wait just a sec-" Ellie started to speak, but Luc cut her off.

    "I think that's a great idea - you can show us what you've got." Luc looked around for Loupup, which he had let out to play with the other Trainer's Pokémon.

    "…but…" Ellie tried to speak again as she got up, but Luc quickly spotted them playing near the edge of the stream and walked toward them. "W-wait up!" She followed after Luc, almost hurriedly.


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    At the side of the stream, Emfur was perched on a rock, napping in the sun, as Needull and Loupup played along the water's edge, splashing each other a bit. Behind Emfur, about several feet, was an array of bowls where Pokémon food were placed, although Eggle was the only one eating there. It looked like the other Pokémon hadn't eaten all of their food, but Eggle was staying behind to finish the rest.

    A strange, pale yellow flylike Pokémon buzzed around Needull and Loupup, fluttering over the surface of the water. It had a rather large head that was bigger than its body; large, white eyes with small, light blue pupils that took up most of its head's surface; four clear wings that buzzed rapidly from its back; a small, coiled snout reminiscent of a Beautifly; six thin, gray legs that dangled from its body; and a strange, slightly curved point on its abdomen that looked something like a hornet, but without a large stinger. It hummed rapidly as it skimmed the water's surface, making a constant, "Zzz…Zzz…Zzz…" noise as it did.

    Luc managed to get there first, appearing out of the tall grass. Almost instantly, Loupup heard its Trainer and sprinted from the water toward him. "…shoot…" Luc did nothing but watch his Pokémon race for him. He had forgotten to grab his Poké Ball from the bag, so he couldn't do anything to stop his Pokémon from- "OOF!" Loupup jumped right into his chest, tackling him to the ground where it licked his face madly and wagging its tail. "Okay, boy…enough…down…" Luc pulled his Pokémon off of him as he noticed Ellie laughing from behind him.

    "Oh my gosh, that is so~~ cute!" Ellie clasped her hands together and giggled a bit as Loupup looked at her and barked.

    "Pup!" Loupup looked scared as she walked toward it, huddling behind Luc and shivering.

    Ellie sort of blinked hesitantly and backed away. "O~~kay…well…" She shrugged and made an "oh well" face, then saw her Needull scamper up to her. "You're looking much better, now."

    "Dull!" Needull squealed and nudged her ankle, then scurried back over to the stream, looking back at its Trainer.

    "Huh? What did you find?" Ellie pushed the tall grass out of the way and walked over to the stream, where Needull was staring at the water, interested in its own reflection. "Oh, you like to use the water as a mirror?" She looked into the water, spotting herself and checking her face. "Hah! That's something we have in common…" She scanned her face from nearly every angle, making sure that her appearance was presentable. During this, she stopped to look at her Pokémon. "Look at what you made me do, Needull." Ellie chuckled a little.

    "Dull?" Needull looked up from the water, at Ellie.

    Suddenly, a small breeze began to blow, catching Ellie's attention. "Gah! I have to make sure I look great before I go back to my darling, Luc."

    "Nee…dull…?" Needull looked at her sideways, blinking a bit.


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    Near the tree, Zee appeared. "Eggle…" She looked at all the bowls of food circled around her Pokémon, a sweat of discomfort forming on the back of her head. "…I hope you didn't eat everyone/s food…"

    "Eggle!" Eggle just let out a loud squawk and turned toward her, beating its wings against its shell, much like a gorilla beating its chest.

    "Uh…right…" Zee blinked at her Pokémon, then turned to her right, toward where Luc and Ellie were, but a yellow thing floated right at her face. "WHA-?!" Zee fell backward.

    "Zzz?" The fly Pokémon merely cocked its head and buzzed around her in a circle.

    "What the heck is that?!" Zee watched it from the ground - half-scared, half-curious.

    *ruffle ruffle*

    Jake appeared from the tall grass. "Err, sorry…that's my Buzzly." He extended a hand to Zee to help her up from the ground.

    "Buzzly?" Zee brushed herself off and pulled out her Pokédex. She had put it in her pocket after reading Needull's Pokédex Entry.

    Dextette's voice chimed happily. "Buzzly, the Fly Pokémon. Buzzly can be highly annoying creatures, as they tend to linger around open spaces and objects of interest. If they catch wind of an enticing smell, large droves of them will gather and follow the scent."

    "Huh…so that's a Buzzly." Zee looked at the thing circling her head. It was about a foot long, circling around her, seemingly interested in her. "…it's kind of…strange."

    Jake let out a little snort. "Hah! Yeah, that's my Buzzly."

    "Zzz! Zzz!" Buzzly stopped circling around Zee and landed on Jake's head.

    Zee felt a little disappointed that it had lost interest in her, turning back to her own Pokémon. She clutched her Pokédex, reaching to put it back in her pocket, but then realized something. "Oh, wow…I almost forgot." She pulled it back up and open, pointing it at Eggle. "Detailed Analysis!"

    Dextette's screen lit up again, displaying a holographic picture of Eggle. "Detailed Analysis - Pokémon Species: Eggle. Gender: Male. Nature: Naughty. Characteristic: Loves to eat."

    "I guess that explains what you're doing…" Zee moved her open Pokédex out of the way and looked at her Pokémon scarfing down the last bits of crumbs in the food bowls. "…and it also explains why you like my food. Crap, I'm gonna have to keep more snacks on hand for you."

    Eggle perked up at the word "snack" and began clicking its beak excitedly. "Gle! Gle!"

    Zee waved her hands in front of her body. "No, no, Eggle. I don't have any food!" Eggle bolted to her and hopped up into her arms, squawking again. "Ugh…return, Eggle." Zee pulled out Eggle's Poké Ball and put it back inside with a flash of red light. After the extra weight disappeared from her arms, Zee wiped her forehead. "Whew."

    By now, Emfur had heard the commotion and woke up from its nap on the rock, hopping over to Zee just after Eggle had disappeared inside its Poké Ball. "Fur!" Emfur hopped around Zee excitedly, apparently refreshed from its nap. "Fur! Fur!"

    "Now that's more like it, Emfur. You're just my speed." Zee knelt down to pet her Pokémon, stroking its fur from its head to its lower back before picking it up, holding it like a baby. Jake and Zee eventually made their way back over to Luc, who was busy trying to get Loupup to stay in one place.

    "…Loupup…please…sit…heel…something…" Loupup was circling around Luc, barking playfully and wagging its tail. Zee and Jake appeared from the tall grass, with Emfur in her arms and Buzzly on his head. Luc immediately looked over at the two when Zee pulled out a Poké Ball and tossed it to him. "Zee?" Once he caught it, he held it out in front of Loupup. "…now, if you don't sit still, I'm going to put you back inside…."

    Loupup immediately stopped in its tracks, drooping its ears and beginning to pine. "Lou…pup…"

    "Oh come on, now…don't do that…" Luc bent down and began scratching behind Loupup's ears. "Okay, boy…I won't put you back inside the Poké Ball, but-"

    "Pup!" Immediately, Loupup jumped on him again, licking his face.

    "He's so cute when he does that…" Ellie stood just outside the grass, where the water's edge was, poking her head through a few blades to see Luc sprawled out on the ground, Loupup on top of him. Once she appeared, Loupup hid behind Luc again, ceasing its playtime. "Everyone has their Pokémon, should we all head back now?" Ellie smiled again, causing Jake to blush a little. From the corner of her eye, Ellie saw him standing there. "Do you have the bowls?"

    Jake blinked for a second. "Oh…right, sorry." He turned right around and disappeared toward the tree, where the bowls were left out.

    Ellie looked back at Luc. "Now, my darling, let's go back. We should after all, start working on our 'battle plan', you know - just the two of us?"

    Ellie started moving toward Luc to help him off the ground, but Zee swiftly pulled him up (startling him a bit) and brushed the back of his hoodie off. "Hey, Ellie."

    Ellie looked at her with a rather pouty face, mostly for helping Luc stand up. "Hmph. Yes?"

    Zee continued to brush him off. "Since Luc and I are traveling partners…" Zee pulled a few pieces of grass out of his hood. "…he and I should pair up against you two - I mean, you and Jake."

    Ellie huffed and placed her hands on her hips, opening her mouth to speak, just before Luc cut her off. "I think that's a great idea." Luc turned and faced her. "It'll give us the chance to see what you've got." Luc bent down and pet Loupup on the head, knowing that Ellie would make a scene if he referred to Zee.

    "Well then…fine…" Ellie took a less apprehensive stance and closed her eyes, letting out a deep breath. "…but don't think I'll go easy on you, just because you're cute!" Ellie shot her eyes open and winked at Luc before turning toward where Jake had gone. "Now, to get my battling partner! Ja~~ke!" Ellie bolted through the grass, heading toward the tree next to the stream.

    After Ellie had been gone for a good thirty seconds, Luc sighed in relief, turning toward Zee. "…thanks…"

    "Ha ha ha…you owe me one…" Zee turned her back on him and headed through the grass, back to the picnic site.

    Luc stood for a few seconds, shocked. "…wait…I what?"


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    Luc and Zee stood next to each other, about forty feet away from Jake and Ellie. They were all on a flat, open stretch of grass that stood next to the roadside. There wasn't a designated battlefield or anything, so the four Trainers used their backpacks as markers for the corners of the "battlefield." Since everyone was participating in the battle, it was impossible for anyone to be an objective bystander, but Zee was quick to elect Jake as the referee, seeing as it was his idea to have the Tag Battle in the first place.

    "A-alright!" Jake called out to them hesitantly. Ellie looked at him sideways and sighed a little, then winked at Luc, who averted his eyes and made a fake cough. "This is going to be a Tag Battle between Luc and Zee against Ellie and I." He shuddered a bit as he talked, his voice wavering. "Each person will be using one Pokémon, each. Pokémon are disqualified if they are knocked out or are otherwise, unable to battle."

    "…are you sure this is going to work?" Luc looked at Zee from the corner of his right eye.

    "What?" Zee furrowed her brow, turning her eyes to her left, yet still facing the other two. "Of course it will, sheesh. You worry too much."

    "I wha-?" Luc raised his left eyebrow, but then realized that Zee was ignoring him. "…" He simply rolled his eyes.

    Zee was looking down at Emfur, sitting on the ground next to her. "I'm gonna let you sit this one out, okay?"

    "Fur." Emfur looked both disappointed and relieved at the same time. Zee wasn't sure if Emfur didn't want to battle Needull because they were now friends, so she decided that Eggle was going to be her choice. Besides, it would help her practice with it.

    "Everyone! Get your Poké Balls ready-" Jake called out again.

    "Would you just start the match already?" Ellie tapped her foot impatiently.

    "Err…sorry…" Jake scratched the back of his head as he pulled out his Poké Ball.

    "Hold on a sec!" Zee yelled over to Ellie and Jake, who were ready. Luc looked at her, a bit confused. "I just need to check something." Zee pulled out her Poké Ball with her left hand, throwing it into the air. "Eggle, roll out!"

    In a flash of bright light, Eggle appeared with a loud squawk. "Eggle!"

    "What are you doing?" Luc turned toward her.

    "Check Moves." Zee held up her Pokédex to Eggle.

    Immediately, Dextette's voice rang out. "Eggle. List of Moves: Peck, Withdraw, Sand-Attack, Wing Attack."

    "Perfect!" Zee's face lit up as she closed her Pokédex and placed it in her pocket. "Alright! I'm ready!"

    "Finally!" Ellie was tired of waiting. "Needull, let's get 'em!" As she pulled her Poké Ball out, she gave it a slight kiss before throwing it into the air, releasing Needull.

    "Needull!" Needull appeared with a flash of light, crouched in a ready pose.

    "Uh~~! Buzzly, come out!" Jake threw his Poké Ball into the air, Buzzly appearing and hovering around in a circle.

    "Loupup, your turn!" Luc was holding his Poké Ball in his right hand, dangling at his side. Immediately, he snapped his arm up so fast, that the Poké Ball rocketed straight up, back into his own hand. Then, he threw the Poké Ball sideways, like a frisbee, releasing Loupup with a loud yelp. "Loupup, start things off with a Howl." Zee's mouth nearly dropped off, as Luc had done this all so fast. "Zee, focus."

    Zee was surprised that he had seen her from the corner of his eye, but turned back to her Pokémon. "Huh? What will that do?"

    "AROO~~!" Loupup let out a loud howling noise - rather funny, coming from such a small Pokémon - but Zee quickly noticed that Eggle was howling too, sort of.

    "EGGLE!" Eggle spread its little wings out wide and began squawking in unison with Loupup.

    "Buzzly, use Leech Life on Loupup!"

    "Needull, Rollout on Eggle!" Jake and Ellie pointed at Luc and Zee's respective Pokémon, theirs promptly charging forward. Needull balled itself up and began tearing forward on the grass, while Buzzly stopped fluttering around and went into a dive, straight for Loupup.

    "Oh, I get it!" Zee had finally noticed. "You're getting Loupup to psych Eggle up!" She was happy at this blatant revelation.

    "Yes. Zee, focus." Luc made a calm, yet firm snap at Zee.

    "Eggle! Go for a Wing Attack!" Eggle leapt into the air, wings spread wide, as Buzzly was about ten feet in front of Loupup.

    *THWACK!*

    Eggle's wings made contact with Buzzly from the side of the head, sending it rolling sideways through the air.

    "Needull! Move out of the way!" Ellie saw what was coming. As Buzzly lost altitude, it nearly collided with Needull.

    "Dull!" Needull managed to swerve out of the way as Buzzly bounced off the ground.

    "Zzz!" Buzzly quickly corrected its balance, shaking its head around, then suddenly flew higher as wings closed in like a guillotine.

    "GLE!" Eggle missed Buzzly at the last second.

    "Loupup! Razor Leaf!" Luc pointed at Needull and Loupup jumped into the air, throwing a barrage of leaves headed straight for Needull.

    "Buzzly, use Gust!" Jake threw his hand forward as his Pokémon blew the Razor Leaf away from Needull, just in time.

    "Wow…he's so passionate…" Ellie looked at Jake from the side, admiring his fierce battle energy.

    "Needull!" Needull popped out of its Rollout attack after the Gust blew the leaves away.

    Ellie turned back toward the match, spotting her Pokémon as it readied for the next command. "Needull! Go for a PIn MIssile!"

    Needull crouched lower to the ground and arched its back, aiming the needles on its body toward Loupup.

    "Buzzly! Go for a Poison Sting!" Buzzly straightened out its coiled mouth again and prepared to fire.

    "Dull!"

    "Zzz!"

    Loupup cowered in slight fear as a flurry of pins and needles flew toward itself.

    "Now, Eggle! Withdraw!"

    "EGGLE!" Eggle jumped in front of Loupup and retracted itself into its shell, the Pin Missile and Poison Sting bouncing off.

    Luc acknowledged Zee's command. "Thanks." Zee gave him a thumbs up. "Loupup, use Bite on Needull!"

    "Eggle, give Loupup a hand!" Loupup jumped onto Eggle as the little bird popped out of its shell, launching Loupup forward as it did.

    "Wow…you're actually pretty good at this…" Luc turned toward Zee and nodded his head in approval and a bit of unexpectedness.

    "Hah, thanks! I'm actually good at battling with a partner." Zee smiled from the corner of her mouth then turned back to the battle.

    "Pup!" Loupup landed and grabbed Needull by the back with its teeth. Loupup bit into the Pokémon, but the sharp needles fragmented in its mouth, causing a bit of pain. "PU~~P!"

    "DULL!" Needull didn't exactly appreciate the pain either, wriggling and panicking.

    "Buzzly, use Poison Sting on Loupup!" Jake made a fist in the air and punched in Loupup's direction.

    "Zzz!" Buzzly launched a volley of violet needles at Loupup, but Loupup still had Needull in its mouth, quickly spotting the Poison Sting headed its way.

    "Loupup!" Loupup dropped Needull, still hurting from the crushed needles in its mouth. "Pup…" Loupup spit out several needles and rubbed its face in the grass.

    "Eggle! Use Sand-Attack so Loupup can get away!" Zee called out the command and Eggle spread its wings to scoop up some dirt from the ground and launch it at Needull.

    By now, Buzzly's Poison Sting was fired into the cloud of dirt, neither side knowing if Loupup or Needull was struck by the attack. "Oh no!" Ellie clasped her hands together on her chest. Jake took a step forward to look into the dust.

    Zee knew Eggle was safe, as it was standing outside of the dust cloud, but she was hesitant about the next move because she couldn't see Loupup.

    "…" Luc stood calmly, knowing that all he could do was wait.

    "Pup!" From inside the dust, Luc heard Loupup, which quickly bolted out of the sand and turned around, crouching to strike again.

    "Nee…dull…" The dust cleared, but Loupup was the only unharmed Pokémon. Buzzly's Poison Sting had made contact with Needull, causing the small Pokémon to collapse on the ground.

    "Jake!" Ellie yelled at him, filled with mostly upset concern for her Pokémon's well-being. "Look what you did to Needull!" She looked back at her Pokémon, still struggling to stand. "Oh no! It looks like it's been poisoned!"

    Ellie was somewhat right, as a large poison needle stuck out from Needull's side, causing a sharp pain when it moved. "Nee…Nee…"

    "S-sorry!" Jake blushed, but then he saw Loupup charging at Needull on the ground. "Buzzly! Give them another Gust, and [I]fast[/]!"

    Buzzly swooped down at Loupup and beat its wings rapidly, lifting the small puppy off the ground as it flailed its paws. "Lou!"

    "Eggle, go!" Eggle rushed forward, its beak glowing brightly and shining itself to a point.

    "Needull! Can you get up?" Ellie took a step toward her Pokémon.

    "Dull…" Needull managed to get up, but looked very weak.

    Ellie was pleased that her Pokémon was able to stand up. "Can you try a Rollout, again?"

    "Dull!" Needull nodded quickly, then curled itself into a ball and headed straight toward Eggle.

    "Loupup, help Eggle out!" Needull rolled at high speed straight for Eggle, just as Loupup bolted behind it.

    "GLE!" Needull made impact against Eggle's shell, but with the help of Loupup, Eggle was able to brace itself against the attack, long enough for Needull to lose momentum.

    "Dull!" Needull's roll broke and Eggle slammed its beak straight down into the small Pokémon.

    "Needull!" Needull was hurt, collapsing to the ground again.

    "All right!" Zee jumped into the air, throwing her fist straight up.

    Luc knew it was far too soon to rejoice. "Zee, no!" At his words, Buzzly slammed straight into Eggle.

    "Yeah! That was a great Tackle!" Jake was really getting into the battle spirit.

    "Eggle!"

    "Pu~~p!" Eggle and Loupup were slammed backward, forcing them away from Needull. Eggle had been hit the hardest, but the impact had caused Loupup to buckle under the pressure, so that Eggle was unable to keep its footing, causing Eggle to squash Loupup as it rolled over its teammate.

    "Gah!" Zee covered her eyes with one hand, peeking through her fingers. "I'm sorry about that…"

    She looked over at Luc, who again, spoke calmly. "Don't be sorry, just get ready for the next attack."

    "Needull, are you okay?" Ellie placed one hand over her eyebrows to block the sun as she looked at Needull.

    "Nee~~…" Needull's back began to glow a bit.

    "What's happening?" Zee was absolutely confused as to why the Pokémon's back was lit up. "It's not using Bide again, is it?"

    Luc's eyes flickered back and forth, scanning Needull in his mind. "I think it's-"

    "All right!" Ellie hollered with a stronger voice than before. "Needull's Shed Skin is working!" She looked over at Jake. "Try not to hit Needull again, okay?"

    Jake merely blushed.

    "…it is…" Luc stared at the small Pokémon.

    "Huh?" Zee looked at him with a startled look.

    "It's Needull's Shed Skin ability. It allows Needull to randomly heal itself against certain Status Effects. Like the Poisoning from Buzzly's Poison Sting."

    Zee looked back at Needull and watched as the large spine sticking out from its side fell off and shattered onto the ground. "Well…I guess we're just gonna have to finish this now! Eggle! Another Wing Attack, go!"

    Eggle squawked louder as it ran toward the small hedgehog. Both Luc and Zee's Pokémon managed to stand up after Buzzly had knocked them down. "Loupup, you too! Finish it off with a Bite!"

    "Loupup!" Loupup ran after Eggle, both Pokémon headed in Needull's direction.

    Ellie was ready for an attack. "Needull! Use Bide!" As she called out her command, Needull braced itself and began to glow.

    Eggle was almost right on top of Needull. "Eggle, stop, now!"

    "Eggle!" Eggle skidded to a halt with its wings still glowing.

    "Loupup, jump! Now!" Loupup followed its Trainer's command and jumped over Eggle.

    "Loupup!" Loupup jumped onto the shell on Eggle's head and Eggle threw out its right wing in front of Loupup.

    "I get it!" Zee was ecstatic that she knew what Luc was aiming for. "Eggle! Use your wings to throw Loupup into the air!"

    Eggle complied with another loud squawk and threw Loupup at Buzzly. "Buzzly! Dive for Loupup and use Leech Life!" Jake barked the order and the small fly dove straight into Loupup.

    "ZZZ!" Both Pokémon collided into each other due to bad aim on each end. Buzzly flew backward and hit the ground. "Zzz…" The fly Pokémon twitched a little, then Fainted.

    "Oh no!" Jake ran forward, onto the "battlefield" to check on his Pokémon.

    "PUP!" Loupup was sent flying back into the ground, but it landed sideways into Needull. Loupup had managed to avoid getting thrust into Eggle, flying past it with a loud "whoosh!"

    "DULL!" Needull wasn't targeted during the Bide attempt, but got struck after it gave up its preparation stance, rolling across the grass with Loupup right behind it.

    "Pu~~p…" Loupup and Needull rolled near each other, but both Pokémon managed to Faint upon stopping on the ground.

    "Needull!" Ellie ran to her Pokémon to check on it, a few small tears at the corners of her eyes.

    "…I…I guess we won?" Zee looked a bit unsure of the outcome, but Eggle managed to be the only Pokémon not to Faint after that last attack.

    Luc crouched next to Loupup and stroked the side of his partner's cheek. "You okay, buddy?" Loupup opened its eyes and began to lick at his fingers, pining sadly. "It's okay, boy…you did a great job."

    Jake returned Buzzly to its Poké Ball and was now trying to comfort Ellie as she held up Needull. "You did a great job, Needull…sorry…" Ellie clutched her Pokémon to her chest and began to cry as she sat on the ground with it.

    "Thanks, Eggle…" Zee came over and crouched in from of Eggle.

    "Eggle!" The small bird Pokémon squawked loudly and began to beat its shell with its wings, like a gorilla, again.

    Zee looked at the other three comforting their Pokémon, then spoke aloud. "I guess…we won?" Zee wasn't sure if it was okay to bring up victory as Ellie cried while holding Needull. "Needull isn't hurt too bad…is it?"

    "Fur, fur." Emfur hopped over to Zee and Eggle, congratulating it on the battle, but also displaying concern for its opponents as it looked over toward them. Suddenly, its ears perked up and its nose began to twitch. "Fur?"

    As Zee stood up to walk over to Ellie and Jake, she heard loud voice bellow out. "HOW DARE YOU!" It came from behind Luc and Zee, and both of them were startled as they turned toward the noise.

    Jake knelt next to Ellie, who was cradling Needull in her arms. He looked up sharply as he hard the person yell, then quickly blinked in surprise as he saw who they were. "Oh, it's-!"




    Next Chapter: 07 - "Blowin' Bluesmoke!"
    Last edited by xmikeyxlikesitx; 10th September 2010 at 8:19 AM.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  12. #12
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    Hello, everyone!

    As promised at the beginning of my most recent chapter, I am going to disclose a SH*TLOAD of new information about my series as a whole.

    Now, most of the time, this is very confusing to do, so I decided that I would write it out in the form of an interview (a self-interview. I'm weird) to make things a whole lot easier to understand.




    "Kokubei". That's an interesting name for a region. Why did you pick that?

    That's actually a simple one. "Kokubei" is an amalgam of two Japanese words: 米国 "beikoku", which means, "(United States of) America"; and 北米 "hokubei", which means, "North America". My fanmade region is obviously based on (North) America, where I'm from. Most of the members on here are American, so I thought it'd be cool to give us fans a region that was closer to home. I use most of North America in my region, so don't hate me if I don't include every part of the continent. It's much harder to come up with an entire story based on a real-life continent. Also, the word "kokubei" can be written in kanji as 蜮 "koku", meaning (fabulous creature [like a turtle/toad]) and 蓂 "bei", meaning (lucky place). Literally, 蜮蓂 "kokubei" can mean "a lucky place to find fabulous creatures"!


    Wait, so you're saying that you made up your entire region's story already?

    Well, yes. Of course, there are going to be lots of tweaks here and there, based on the release of the new Black and White Versions, which I'm sure everyone is swarming over. Depending on what new Pokémon we see, I'll be adding in said Pokémon that I deem necessary to the plot of the story and/or to the ecosystems of the Kokubei region as a whole. For instance, I had already made up Boarrible as a Pokémon, long before we even knew about "Pokabu". It was always supposed to be Venus's signature Pokémon from the get-go, but I love it so much, that I'll be keeping it anyway. Also, I had made up a legendary named Yingnay, which spells "Yin" one way, and "Yang" the other (not that you can't read.) I dropped that one, but oh well.


    Wow, so you already thought up a bunch of Pokémon ideas that they've already used. Are you sure you can cope?

    Haha, yes. I'm making adjustments as I said.


    How many new Pokémon have you created?

    About 200+, but not all of them will be used. I have a few more ideas in mind… Either way, the main characters will be getting all sorts of Pokémon, so it should be interesting to see how the readers react.


    Ah…the characters. You seem to have a lot of those. Why so many to begin with?

    I consider myself to be a "true" writer. I really focus on character development a lot more than action. I could write a story with lots of crazy-cool action and well-coordinated fight scenes, but this is my fanfic, so I want it to be something more noteworthy. I want my characters to feel "real", to feel tangible. I want you to be able to sit down and visualize actually talking to them like they were living and breathing. I don't like to glance over each character's detail.


    I noticed that. You like giving descriptions of what the characters are doing. Explain.

    I am a very visual person, so when I imagine conversations in my head, I don't just focus on the words people are saying, but the actions that accompany it. I really, really pay attention to body language. Every roll of the character's eyes, every flick of the hair, the raising and furrowing of eyebrows - it all has to be told in order to understand more about the person. I believe that actions speak louder than words. I try to focus on my character's mannerisms and give a complete image of what they're really like


    You do focus on the characters a lot…but why is the story moving so slow?

    Well, "slow" is all in your perspective. Like I said, I do a lot of character development, but there's much more to it… I like doing a bunch of "setups". By this, I mean that details that I explain may be important later on during the story. For example, the whole battle between Danica and Zee was seen through the eyes of Zee, Luc, and Michael. I like giving each character's perspective, so that the readers can understand what they had missed. I like dropping lots of clues around here and there…I'm very thematic.


    Thematic? What do you mean by that?

    It means that I focus on a particular theme that may not be seen during the first, second, and maybe even third time through. For example, in the first few chapters, I talked a LOT about the characters sleeping or being in a state of sleep. Recently, in the last few chapters, I have been focused on the characters making a lot of blinking motions and making realizations. This all hints at the theme of "awakening". First, you start off asleep, and as you wake up, you tend to blink a lot. This both hints at a physical awakening, but also to an awakening of something greater as the story progresses.


    I think I get it, but why not just come out and say it?

    Why spoil all the fun? I like it when I get e-mails from people telling me that they saw something a few chapters ago that might be relevant to the current one. It's interesting to see what people get and what people miss, plus, people seem to really like the mystery surrounding things. Either that, or people like to analyze. I like intriguing people, so that's why I'm making this story different from the usual mix.


    I get what you're saying. So, what do you mean by "different" ?

    I mean that, despite the fact that this region follows the generic "main-character-chooses-a-starter-helps-the-professor-defeats-evil-team-etc." format, it actually breaks off from the crowd. Unlike the games and the T.V. show, I'm not catering this story to a "younger" crowd, nor to an "older, more mature" one, but I am focusing on making this series more realistic. I've almost totally departed from the norm when it comes to the Gym Leaders, Contests, the evil crime syndicate, etc.


    That sounds pretty cool Could you give us more details as to how so?

    Well, the Kokubei region does have the same "eight badges" requirement for the Kokubei League, but there's a few added twists… There are actually twelve Gyms in Kokubei.


    Twelve?

    Twelve.


    Oh, so how are you going to cover them all?

    You'll see.


    Fine. What about Contests?

    There are twenty Contest Halls in Kokubei.


    Seriously? Isn't that a bit overkill?

    Not at all. You're just going to have to find out when the time gets there. I'll give you a hint: since Kokubei is a much larger region than any other before, there are a lot more rules and stipulations in place to even the field.


    Huh…so what about the "evil crime syndicate" ? With names like "Mercury" and "Venus", it sounds like you've created a team of Galactic wannabes.

    Again, I've made this something completely different. You'll find out more details of everything when the time is right. Each character has meaning and importance - don't think that I've made any disposable/throwaway characters. People are always important to remember.


    So I'm guessing you really mean it when you say you have ideas for your characters

    Yes, I do. The entire Kokubei cast is filled with all sorts of people, from the wild and crazy to the bland and boring. You'll see the best of each character and happiest of times, but you'll also so the absolute bottom of the barrel. Each character is completely different from the next. Just make sure to pay attention.


    Okay, I trust you…but seriously, when is the action going to pick up?

    It will soon, you'll see. The next chapter is a crucial chapter to read. I'm setting up a LOT of new stuff with it. If you like my series, make sure you don't miss it!


    Really? I can't wait! Is this all the info you wanted to share?

    Actually, no. But I'm glad you asked. Below is a spoiler tour list of the different cities of Kokubei (written from my perspective, as if I was really there.) Yes, it's cheesy, but so am I!



    Kokubei - A Traveler's Guide

    Altopolis City (Denver, CO) - Wow, this place sure is high up! You have to take a Cable Car just to get past the windy mountains. It really is beautiful, being at the highest place in Kokubei! Hmm…is that music that I hear?

    Autumnport City (Boston, MA) - I feel smart just walking into this city. Maybe it's just that classic scholarly air? I'm pretty sure this place is home to the Pokémon Tech School, which certifies Gym Leaders for Kokubei. I guess it's time to hit the books...

    Beautifine City (San Diego, CA) - Everything about this place is just beautiful (even the people.) Such wonderful and warm weather makes this city feel like it is exotic, somehow…on the eastern side, they seem to be building some sort of zone…I wonder what that could be?

    Breezeharbor City (Baltimore, MD) - A sleepy, peaceful port town that supplies most of Kokubei's eastern seaboard as its major port site. I heard that there was some sort of Ocean Museum that studies life at the bottom of the sea…interesting, no?

    Bridgesteel City (Pittsburgh, PA) - This city is famous for the countless bridges extending from its core. There are several areas and lots of pathways - this place sure is a maze! I wonder how I could get to the Bridgesteel Ironworks, though…

    Busyfree City (Atlanta, GA) - A hot and busy city located in the southeast. The PokéTech Industries Headquarters are located here, so you know this place means business! I heard that a woman named Charlotte often visits here for the Contest Hall…

    Cloudstorm Lighthouse - A majestic lighthouse near the far northeast tip of Kokubei. It is said that this was built to keep an eye out on the eastern sea. Lots of wind and waves surround this area, but the beacon of light guides the way for ships to head home.

    Demon's Pillar - Long ago, there used to be a great city here…what happened to it…? All that remains is a grand tower built in the shape of…a sleeping giant?

    Dryrock Desert - A desert? In the middle of the region? There looks to be a ghost town somewhere in the northeast…I wonder…what might have caused this?

    Energloss City (Houston, TX) - Engergloss, we have liftoff! This city is known for its Space Center, where lots of exploration missions to the moon head out, and for lots of research into mysteries of Pokémon and space. A definite must-visit for adventurers and explorers alike!

    Eternalair City (Wichita, KS) - With all the changing winds and skies, no wonder Eternalair was chosen as the home of the Weather Institute! Lots of research into the mysteries of the atmosphere are carried out here. Wait - that Pokémon looks like a Castform! …but is it?

    Frostwin and Twinice Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN) - Two giant cities built next to each other. All the buildings are connected by skyways that connect the two. Frostwin, in the west, is famous for the World Mega Mall, while Twinice, in the east, is known for its Dragon Museum. Hmm…

    Havenpire City (New York, NY) - Take it to the streets, because this place is the largest city in all of Kokubei! The Havenpire TV Station pumps out a lot of news, with its newly launched, "Kokubei Live!" being one of the hottest shows this season. People from all around the globe come to see this city and experience life in one of the fastest places in the world!

    Heavenbridge Tower (Mt. St. Helens, WA) - The air around here is eerie, mysterious, yet calming at the same time. I feel at peace around here. The mountain is covered in a fog at nearly all times, and there's a feeling of lingering and sorrow that makes me want to tread lightly. It is said that this place is where souls of the departed come to rest…

    Highridge City (Vancouver, BC, Canada) - Look at all the huge buildings! This city is filled with high-rise towers that touch the sky! Someone told me that this city rivals LaRousse City, Hoenn for being one of the most technologically advanced places in the world!

    Metropride Town (Salt Lake City, UT) - I read somewhere that they were finalizing the Metarail System's track stops here. It's supposed to make travel between the east and the west much easier for everyone. I guess the company decided to move from buses to trains?

    Moonrose City (Portland, OR) - This glittering city is guarded by the mountains. Surrounded on all sides, it feels like the city is constantly shaded from the sun, making it look like a glittering jewel at night. It's odd, because Mt. Heavenbridge can be seen from here at night…

    Narroyork City (Toronto, ON, Canada) - Parks, parks, and more parks! This city is great for taking walks all around the water's edge, or for strolling around in general. I heard there's a place that only allows certain Pokémon inside…what is that all about?

    National Park (Yellowstone, WY) - Wow! This place is huge! Lots of mountains and different areas where you can find rare Kokubei Pokémon! There are lots of Bug-types roaming everywhere! I wonder why...

    Natiev Ruins - A mysterious collection of stone monuments found in the southwest of the region. This place was once home to the Natiev (nah-TEEV) Peoples…who mysteriously seemed to have "vanished" a long time ago. What are those mysterious, unknown symbols written on the walls?

    Neonight City (Las Vegas, NV) - Known for being Kokubei's most famous place for nightlife and entertainment, Neonight City surely has something for everyone! A-list shows, restaurants, tourist attractions - what's not to love?! Hey, why are all those Trainers lining up in front of that big tower…?

    Oceansurf City (Miami, FL) - A surfer's paradise and major city built upon an extension into the sea. It is known for the Great Bank Headquarters and as the cleanest city in all of Kokubei. What? Is that a Gym? Everyone knows there are no Water-type Gyms in Kokubei, so I wonder what type of Gym Leader they could be…

    Palmywood City (Los Angeles, CA) - Known for always being voted the most desirable place to live in Kokubei, Palmywood City boasts the second-largest population in the entire region! With weather like this and home to the movie industry, who wouldn't want to live here?!

    Rainjewel City (Seattle, WA) - A beautiful, emerald-colored city located amidst the trees. Fresh air, plenty of rain, and abundant wildlife call this place home. It's a city where humans and nature truly mix, although it looks a bit like a jungle…

    Royalmont City (Montréal, QC, Canada) - Such a majestic city, decorated with lots of Gothic architecture - I'm sure it attracts tourists from all around! I heard that there was concert hall of some sort around here, somewhere…oh, look! The performance is about to begin!

    Sandfort City (Dallas, TX) - On the other side of the desert, there appears to be a city surrounded by stone! This populous area is flat and frequented by sandstorms, but it looks like it's alive nonetheless! With all these people, there needs to be a lot of power…I hope the Country Windworks can keep up!

    Seashoal City (Honolulu, HI) - Sun, sand, and lots of waves - boy, does this place have everything! Just kick your legs up and enjoy the weather year-round! Hmm…this place is known for its funky beats, and I've heard that there's a Radio Tower that shares broadcasts with a place called, "Kanto." I wonder where that is...

    Second Wind City (Chicago, IL) - A cool and blustery city built near the Virtuous Lakes. Lots of air from the water's surface blows through this city, so make sure you bring a jacket! Known for it's PokéCenter Medical Facility, which was featured in the news after that recent bombing…

    Skyarch City (St. Louis, MO) - My, what big arch this place has! Skyarch City is known for its Research Center and as the home base of the Kokubei Researcher Association, which certifies Professors from around the world.

    Snowfall Town (Anchorage, AK) - I heard that the Great North was quiet and peaceful…because it really is! Aren't there stories of a Pokémon sleeping here…? I bet the Gym Leader can handle it!

    Stoneduke City (Albuquerque, NM) - Balloons, balloons everywhere! This place sure does love its balloons! Hot air balloons, that is. People and Pokémon soar overhead, but what are they doing with those rings?

    Virtuous Lakes: Charity, Fortitude, Fidelity, Clemency, Serenity (Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, Lake Superior, Lake Erie) - The five Virtuous Lakes have long been revered for their crystal-clear waters and providing fresh drinking water to a great portion of Kokubei. It is said that these lakes that dot the north are a symbol of a great event that happened long, long ago… How were they formed? Why are they there?


    Wow, that's a lot of info. You seem to be doing fine with everything.

    Actually, I am interested in anyone who is good at (digital) art. I need to create the region's map so that everyone can see the region's layout. And if anyone can draw Sugimori style, I'd love to speak with them!


    Hmm...is there anything else that you need to say?

    Nope, that's all! And thank you, everyone, for all the positive feedback and input! Keep watching for the next chapter!!!
    Last edited by xmikeyxlikesitx; 9th July 2010 at 11:06 AM.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  13. #13
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    It's an early map of the Kokubei region!


    The colors are all so bright!


    ...hmm...I wonder...what could it mean?
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  14. #14
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    I just finished your prologue, so I'll base my review off of that and read the rest later on (it's sort of late here. >.<). All in all, it was a very good chapter. You did well adding personality to Zee and her sisters, not to mention her mother and father. I'd love to see if through-out Zee's journey she actually finds her father or not. It could add some interesting elements to the plot of the story. Probably my favorite part was Zombie Zee. :P I'm glad to know I'm not the only coffee addict in the world, even if this one's made up.

    There were a few typos and such, like in the first paragraph you said "After a while she rolled onto her back, staring the ceiling of her small bedroom." There should have been an "at" in between "staring" and "the," but aside from that not many problems. Excellent writing, I'm looking forward to reading the rest later on.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn_Hero View Post
    I just finished your prologue, so I'll base my review off of that and read the rest later on (it's sort of late here. >.<). All in all, it was a very good chapter. You did well adding personality to Zee and her sisters, not to mention her mother and father. I'd love to see if through-out Zee's journey she actually finds her father or not. It could add some interesting elements to the plot of the story. Probably my favorite part was Zombie Zee. :P I'm glad to know I'm not the only coffee addict in the world, even if this one's made up.

    There were a few typos and such, like in the first paragraph you said "After a while she rolled onto her back, staring the ceiling of her small bedroom." There should have been an "at" in between "staring" and "the," but aside from that not many problems. Excellent writing, I'm looking forward to reading the rest later on.


    Actually, I can't edit my first two posts for some reason. That's the reason I restarted this series's thread...but I'm not going to do it again. I had like 350 posts, so I have about that much more than my current count in total.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  16. #16
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    Hey guys,

    With all the new Black and White info I've been busy translating videos for people and trying to stay up-to-date on the news.

    I've enlisted another artist who will start drawing the characters, so you can see who looks like what!

    Check him out: URL=http://dawnight04.deviantart.com/]Dawnight04[/URL]


    Either-Art, my buddy on deviantART completed the evolutions of my Kokubei Region's starters, but they're only silhouettes!

    Hmm...I wonder what they'll look like?

    I'm paying him for this commission, but I can't get a hold of my brother for his credit card info (mine isn't working.) ARGH!

    (Image in sig)


    Instead of claiming when I'm going to post the next chapter, because I've actually written a LOT of new chapters. I'm going to pull some b*llsh*t like saying that the first 6 chapters were "the first season" and that "the next season" will begin soon.

    I'm so full of crap.

    Anyway, my next MAJOR post will be my version of "THE MASTER DOCUMENT" and will pretty much be a bombardment of a lot of new information, so I have a suggestion for you: go out and buy yourself a hat, then when I post my Master Document (muahaha), get ready to hold on to it.



    Alright. It's time for me to pass the eff out.
    Last edited by xmikeyxlikesitx; 22nd August 2010 at 10:13 AM.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  17. #17
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    Default

    Here's the second preview version of my Kokubei Region's Trainer Battle:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LuGenQLvwk


    I'm still working on the the remaining melodies, harmonies, and bassline, but bear with me.


    Stay tuned for the Master Document and Chapter 07: Blowin' Bluesmoke!
    Last edited by xmikeyxlikesitx; 24th August 2010 at 10:20 AM.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  18. #18
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    Default Nice!

    Whoaaaa that was long! But it was really good!

    Aaah poor Luc, why does Ellie creep him out so much?! 8D
    I couldn't find much wrong with it besides a few measups with the italics tags and when you called Jake "Dan" for a few paragraphs (which sort of confused me. )
    Unless they were two separate characters...

    Anyway, I like how your main character, professor, and villian were female. That's a nice change of pace. And Zee's reaction at the prospect of food was hilarious. I also like your region a lot, especially the LA, Vegas, and Yellowstone areas. Nice job!
    I'll be online on weekends, mostly, and as often as I can.

    Greetings from the asylum of my insanity.
    Chapter 3: Should be up by December 31st.

    Dex: 128 created! ~ My DeviantART link to be posted here...once I actually post something on my DeviantART. =P

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GastlyMan View Post
    Whoaaaa that was long! But it was really good!

    Aaah poor Luc, why does Ellie creep him out so much?! 8D
    I couldn't find much wrong with it besides a few measups with the italics tags and when you called Jake "Dan" for a few paragraphs (which sort of confused me. )
    Unless they were two separate characters...

    Anyway, I like how your main character, professor, and villian were female. That's a nice change of pace. And Zee's reaction at the prospect of food was hilarious. I also like your region a lot, especially the LA, Vegas, and Yellowstone areas. Nice job!

    Damnit, I thought I corrected that. Dan was the beta name for Jake, but when I did a "find all and replace with" I thought I corrected his name. Sorry.


    Yes, I am working on releasing my Master Document. There will be about 92 cities.

    I'm kind of bummed that Isshu is based on NYC, but I'm going to do something about that/incorporate it into my story. I'm just waiting for B&W to release in a few days so I can add/remove Pokémon.

    I've been working REALLY hard on this latest "season" and I hope everyone likes it.


    I also don't know how often (or if at all) anyone actually listens to my Pokémon music, but I FINALLY got the full version of my region's Trainer Battle here: YouTube
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  20. #20
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    Default KOKUBEI MASTER DOCUMENT - (Spoilers)

    Okay, here it is!


    My Kokubei Master Document!

    It lists a TON of information, but I've placed it all in spoiler tags just in case you do NOT want to know everything that's coming.


    Note: This post will NOT be edited, in order to verify that my ideas had been publicized first! Any edits will be made in later posts!


    Enjoy!!!


        Spoiler:- Kokubei Region and Subregions Explained:



    Battle Changes

    Okay, so first of all, I'd like to go over that I have a bit of a problem with the current types and their strengths/weaknesses, and I have kind of modified the battle dynamics (in my story.)

    Try not to get too overwhelmed by this list, as most of the changes are very simple and make sense, actually.


    Paralysis Change
    - when Paralyzed, Pokémon levitating/floating/flying lose that bonus during turn that they "cannot move" - i.e. they ARE vulnerable to Ground-type moves, but at the same time, do not receive EXTRA damage from Electric-type moves (except for maybe a Water/Flying-type - they still are weak due to being a Water-type)

    Freeze Change
    - same as Paralysis, but for the duration of being Frozen (I always thought it was weird that my frozen Staraptor couldn't be hit by Earthquake...)


    Type Changes

    Normal:
    - are no longer Immune to Ghost-type Special Attacks

    Fire:
    - attacks are more likely to inflict Burn on Grass, Poison, and Bug-types
    - attacks are less likely to inflict Burn on Water, Ground, and Rock-types

    Water
    - are now weak to Ice-types (ice freezes water)
    - are now RECIPROCALLY weak to Ground-types (the earth absorbs water, but water washes it away just the same)
    - are no longer Super Effective against Rock-types
    - are more likely to be Frozen by Ice-type moves
    - are less likely to be Burned by Fire-type moves
    - are more likely to be Poisoned by Poison-type moves (waste pollutes water)
    - are more likely to be Paralyzed by Electric-type moves

    Electric
    - are more likely to inflict Paralysis on Water and Flying-types
    - are less likely to inflict Paralysis on Ice-types
    - Physical Attacks deal Not Very Effective damage to Ground-types

    Grass
    - are more likely to be Poisoned by Poison-type moves
    - are more likely to be Burned by Fire-type moves
    - are more likely to be Frozen by Ice-type moves

    Ice
    - are now Super Effective against Water-types
    - are less likely to be Paralyzed by Electric-type moves
    - are more likely to inflict Freeze on Bug and Steel-types

    Fighting
    - attacks are no longer resisted by Psychic-types (when you beat up a brainiac, they don't usually say, "Psh, I didn't feel nothin'.")
    - are more likely to be Poisoned by Poison-type moves (poison circulates faster in active bodies)
    - are now Super Effective against Bug-types (when you crush a bug…it goes splat)
    - are no longer resistant to Bug-types

    Poison
    - are more likely to inflict Poison on Water, Grass, Fighting, Ground (yes, Ground), and Bug-types
    - are more likely to be Burned by Fire-type moves (oil/gasoline/waste burns easily)
    - are less likely to inflict Poison on Rock-types

    Ground
    - are no longer Immune to Electric-type Physical Attacks, instead, taking Not Very Effective Damage
    - are more likely to be Poisoned by Poison-type moves
    - are now RECIPROCALLY weak to Water-types
    - are less likely to be Burned by Fire-type attacks

    Flying
    - are more likely to be Frozen by Ice-types
    - are more likely to be Paralyzed by Electric-types
    - Special Attacks have a higher Critical Hit Ratio against Ghost-types (Ghosts can be blown by the wind)
    - Special Attacks are NOT Super Effective against Bug-types
    - Special Attacks are no longer resisted by Rock-types

    Psychic
    - are no longer resistant to Fighting-type moves

    Bug
    - are more likely to be Burned by Fire-type moves
    - are more likely to be Frozen by Ice-type moves
    - are now weak to Fighting-type moves
    - are no longer resisted by Fighting-types
    - are no longer weak to Flying-type Special Attacks
    - Special Attacks are no longer resisted by Ghost-types

    Rock
    - are no longer resistant to Flying-type Special Attacks
    - are less likely to be Poisoned by Poison-type moves
    - are less likely to be Burned by Fire-type attacks
    - are no longer weak to Water-type moves

    Ghost
    - are no longer resistant to Bug-type Special Attacks
    - Special Attacks are no longer resisted by Normal-types
    - gain 10% Evasion when being attacked by Water, Grass, Fighting (during Scrappy or Foresight), Poison, Ground, Flying, Bug, Rock, and Steel-type Physical Attacks

    Dragon
    - (no changes)

    Dark
    - (no changes)

    Steel
    - are more likely to be Frozen by Ice-type attacks


        Spoiler:- Pokémon Mobilities:



    Hmm…so now that we know that Abilities have changed from that standpoint, how else have they changed?

    Good question:

        Spoiler:- Ability Change:



    Characters

        Spoiler:- Pokémon Professors:



        Spoiler:- Gym Leaders:



    And now for the good stuff:


        Spoiler:- Pokédex Expansion:



    Gadgets 'N' Stuff


    So…we already know about the Pokédex, but what else do we have in the Kokubei Region?


    Well, there's this smexy little device called the PokéCell!

    Yes - it's a cell phone…something almost every American kid has. It functions just like a Pokétch and C-Gear, and also makes video calls!

    The PokéCell comes in a few common models:

    PokéCell-S: two parts swivel around each other (like a Sidekick)
    PokéCell-C: candybar shape
    PokéCell-T: touchscreen, like an iPhone
    PokéCell-R: has two parts that slide
    PokéCell-F: flip phone shape


    Each model has hundreds of different color schemes and patterns available! Made by PokéTech Industries ®.


    What are you going to do now that Contests are out and Musicals are in?

    You're so silly, I've already incorporated both into the story, but I have made some changes to the Berries.


    Berries normally come in a mixture of 5 varieties: Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, and Pink.

    Well, I've kept that, along with their stat correlations (Red = Cool/Attack, Yellow = Tough/Defense, Blue = Beauty/Special Attack, Green = Smart/Special Defense, Pink = Cute/Speed), so that hasn't changed.

    What has changed, though, is the flavors.


    You ever notice how Pokémon hate Bitter Herbs, but certain Pokémon like Bitter Berries? WTF?!

    So I changed some of that.


    The flavors are now:

    Red = Spicy - (nothing wrong with this)

    Yellow = Salty - like salty, rough-and-tough sailors

    Blue = Minty - I think of beautiful things as being clean and minty fresh, it kinda makes sense, too

    Green = Sour - it just sort of makes sense in my mind

    Pink = Sweet - (again, no problems here)


    Now, "why the interest in Berries?" you ask.

    This is important as pertaining to a special place called, PokéCafes:

    At PokéCafes, Pokémon can be given a strong beverage made from the concentration of Berries, known as PokéCcino.


    An interesting drink, no?


        Spoiler:- Upcoming Chapter Titles:



    That's all for now, guys!


    Stay tuned!
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  21. #21
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    I did forget to mention that Normal-type Special Attacks are Super Effective against Ghost-types, thus removing the lack of type weakness demonstrated by Ghost/Dark and Dark/Ghost combinations. A trade for a trade.

    Normal-type can be hit by Ghost-type Special Attacks in exchange for Normal-type Special Attacks being Super-Effective against Ghost-types.
    Tauros tastes like beef. YAY! I'M A POKÉMON SOMMELIER!

  22. #22
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    Default

    I hope you keep continuing with your FanFic!

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