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Thread: Dimensions of Darkness Book 3: The Explorers of the Beyond

  1. #251
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    Aweshums. You made Genesect anime-powerful (uber legendary powerful)! Normally, a fire-type would just kill it.

    And Over the Hedge! I remember that movie!

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  2. #252
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    i think this is class and i hope giratina becoms a big part in this book how long till chapter 17 ?

  3. #253
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    I remember watching Over the Hedge myself!
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  4. #254
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    I HAVE RETURNED! It took a couple weeks of my laptop being in the shop, assisting with a baseball tournament in town, playing in a baseball tournament out of town, having my cousins from out of town visit, and watching a baseball tournament out of town, but I've finally gotten back around to this! I don't think I'm going to meet the deadline I'd set for myself, but I still have every intention to wrap this up by September at the absolute latest, hopefully next month. Anyway, here is the next chapter:


    Chapter 17
    Picking a Side (Or Not)

    “THAT WAS TOTALLY WICKED!!!”

    88 hopped up and down with excitement. 89 outright applauded.

    Chimchar grinned, returning Aureus to its sheath on his back. “That was totally wicked, wasn’t it?”

    “You’re the Golden Flame,” Prinplup said. “This is just par for you, right?”

    “Ha!” Piplup laughed. “I’ll believe that when Tepig fly! Chimchar here is just a pushover.” He paused. “At least, he used to be.”

    “You’re just jealous!” Chimchar smirked. “You’ve always envied my good looks, I know that.”

    Piplup laughed again, this time joined by 88 and 89. Even Dragonite managed a snicker. This quickly vanished as he caught a flicker of movement out of the corner of his eye. “Watch out!”

    The others spun around just in time to see Gothitelle, Mismagius, and Froslass leaping over the burning craters and over the lip of the ridge. Gothitelle greatly considered shooting off a goodbye Thunderbolt, but decided against it. She needed all of the energy she had.

    “Well, that settles that,” Meganium said. “We could probably chase them down.”

    “No need to bother,” Dragonite said. “Let them run. They’ve failed Darkrai too, now, though it won’t stop him from sending them out again.”

    “Let them lick their wounds awhile,” Charizard added. “We can handle them again when the time comes. For now, we just have to worry about making it to HQ.”

    Piplup nodded. “I suppose that’s true. I’d like to see them get to us when we’ve got an entire army on our side!”

    “Rhrm!”

    Piplup turned at the sound to see Slowbro standing beside Combusken. He elbowed the younger Pokémon, forcing him to take a step forward. “Say something!” he hissed.

    “Erm…” Combusken mumbled.

    Piplup stuck a hand out to him. “Thank you for your aid in that battle, Combusken. We couldn’t have done it without you. In fact, we’d probably be dead without you. You have truly honored yourself today.”

    Combusken hesitated and looked at his own hand for a moment. He turned back to Piplup, stuck out his hand . . .

    And smacked Piplup sideways, sending him spinning. He flipped away and out of the small valley, disappearing from sight. Slowbro sighed.

    “Oh dear, it seems he’s upset again.”

    “What do you expect?” 88 grumbled. “He’s not exactly known for being nice and happy and rainbowy.”

    Piplup stood back up and shook his head to clear his thoughts. “Well, I for one feel we’ve made progress. He didn’t attempt to take any of us captive this time.”

    “You have a point there,” 89 said.

    “I’d better go and check on him,” Slowbro said. He levitated upward until he landed back on the ridge. “Farewell, all. See you soon.”

    “See ya, chum,” Dragonite smiled, waving back.

    “Alright, now we’ve got to get going,” Piplup said. “We’ve wasted enough time here.”

    88 smirked. “This is all Prinplup’s fault. If she hadn’t insisted on visiting this place for her stupid historical purposes, none of this would’ve happened!”

    “Be reasonable, 88,” Piplup snapped. “Gothitelle was going to have caught up to us anyway by this point, and who knows what Darkrai would’ve done if he hadn’t awoken Steve.”

    “Still,” 88 said. “I didn’t want to come here, and I don’t think we should have. I just wanted to play Mousetrap. You roll the dice, you move your mice. Nobody gets hurt.”

    “Hold the phone a second,” Chimchar interrupted. “Before we do anything else, we have to get one thing settled.”

    Everyone stared at him. He stared back. The staring continued for multiple minutes before 89 finally submitted.

    “I CAN’T TAKE THE SUSPENSE! WHAT IS IT?”

    “I think we need to give Steve a more proper name.”

    Sighs of exasperation all around.

    “Is that really vitally important?” Dragonite said. “For Arceus’s sake, the Beast is gone! It doesn’t even need a name anymore!”

    “He may have a point,” Prinplup said. “Every time I think of the Beast as ‘Steve’, I die a little inside.”

    Charizard turned to Piplup. “You’re the one who named Techno Blast. Perhaps you should name the Beast as well.”

    “Me?” Piplup asked. “Well, I suppose I am more than deserving of this privilege.”

    “Watch it,” Chimchar threatened. “I’m still the one with the golden death sword.”

    Piplup ignored him. “Let me think. Robotic beetle. Robeetle? That’s no good. What about bug gun. Buggun? Eh, still bad.” He snapped his fingers. “I’ve got it!”

    “Well?” 88 prodded.

    “It’s a genetic insect,” Piplup said. “I shall call it ‘Genesect’.”

    “It’s settled then,” 89 nodded. “From henceforth, the Beast shall be known as Steve the Genesect.”

    “Just Genesect,” Piplup said. “No Steve.”

    89 shrugged. “Whatever floats your boat.”

    “Alright, now with the conquest of the Genesect which shall forever be known as Steve behind us, we move on to the HQ!” Prinplup declared. She marched away, climbing up the side of the ridge. For once, Piplup wasn’t the only one staring at her.

    “Wow,” Chimchar smirked. “I think we really have found your match, Piplup.”

    “Exactly what I was thinking,” Piplup swooned.

    *****

    “Do you *huff* really think that *huff huff* you ran away fast and *huff* far enough *huff*?”

    “You needed the workout.”

    “Be that *huff* as it may, you really *huff huff huff* should know better.”

    Combusken closed his eyes as he lay back against the cave wall back at the edge of the canyon. “Hrmph.”

    “So that’s the way you’re going to be, eh?” Slowbro said. “Running away from every dilemma you have?”

    “It’s worked for me so far,” Combusken said.

    “So you seem to think,” Slowbro sighed.

    “What’s that supposed to mean?”

    Slowbro turned away. “Nothing.”

    Combusken opened one eye. “You think I have problems.”

    “Even you know that much,” Slowbro said with a smile.

    “Not just accidents or mess-ups,” Combusken growled. “I mean moral problems.”

    Slowbro shrugged. “That is for you to decide, not me. I’m not a mind reader.”

    Combusken closed his eye again and exhaled loudly in exasperation. “This conversation is feeling pretty one-sided.”

    “I was about to tell you the same thing.”

    Combusken frowned. “Uncle, I – “

    “No,” Slowbro said. “I’m leaving this to you. You know the decision you must make.”

    “And I know the choice I must make,” Combusken said. “I must return to Darkrai and beg for forgiveness. What else can I do?”

    “Simple,” Slowbro said. “You can leave.”

    “Leave?”

    Slowbro nodded. “Yes. Leave. Go somewhere else. Somewhere you can feel good about yourself.”

    “Please,” Combusken spat. “The only time I can feel good about myself is when I perform a deed which can honor Darkrai.”

    Slowbro laughed. “Darkrai has not forgiven you for your past failures. Why would he start now?”

    Combusken paused. “Perhaps Deoxys would – “

    “Wrong again! Deoxys may not mind you as much as Darkrai, but he’s not going to stand up for you. You are nothing to him.”

    Combusken simply couldn’t find the right words. “I . . . I have to do something. I could never live with myself should I break my loyalties.”

    “Yet you’ve already done that once,” Slowbro pointed out. “And still you live.”

    “I . . .” Combusken was desperate. “My honor – “

    “You’re still so concerned about your honor?” Slowbro smirked. “If a man has no honor, he has nothing, you are right of that. But how one can gain and keep his honor is something completely different. You believe so much in honoring Darkrai? What has he ever done to honor you?”

    Combusken opened his mouth to speak, but hesitated. Slowbro continued.

    “Only one person has ever shown any appreciation to you for what you’ve done for them. You know who, correct?”

    Combusken didn’t answer.

    “Of course you do. Piplup. And yet you still turned your back on him. That’s how you honor kindness?”

    “Shut up!” Combusken exploded. “Why are you telling me all this? Why do you insist on belittling me like this? Have I not lost enough as it is?”

    “This is not about what you have lost!” Slowbro roared. “This is about what you have to gain!”

    Combusken prepared to continue screaming, but he restrained himself. “I have nothing to gain that I have not lost already. It is too late for that.”

    “There is nothing you have lost that cannot be regained,” Slowbro said.

    “My dignity, my honor,” Combusken listed. “How can I possibly get them back?”

    “That I cannot know,” Slowbro said. “Only you can decide how and when you can redeem yourself. You can’t escape your moral decisions just by running away from them.”

    Combusken huffed. “That’s great. I never was a philosopher, you know that.”

    “Yet you’ve always had such a philosophical outlook on life,” Slowbro said. “But I am done here.” He began to stride out of the cave.

    “Where are you going?”

    Slowbro shrugged. “Wherever I can find some light in this darkness. You can come along if you want.”

    “I believe I have some decision making to do first, if you want me to actually listen to what you said, that is.”

    “I won’t wait long.”

    “Neither shall I.”

    Combusken didn’t have to look up to see who it was. “Don’t you think you’ve made enough surprise appearances over the past couple days?”

    Gothitelle shrugged as she strode into the cave. “If you were smart at all, this wouldn’t be a surprise.”

    “Would it be even remotely possible for you to just leave me in peace for five minutes?” Combusken said exhaustedly. “I’ve had kind of a long day.”

    “And I know how to fix that,” Gothitelle said. “I’m here to offer you a proposition.”

    “Please,” Combusken smirked. “I’m not interested in anything you have to give me.”

    Gothitelle smiled. “Oh, it’s not from me. It’s from Darkrai.”

    Combusken’s head shot up.

    Gothitelle knew she had him now. “He’s willing to forgive you, despite the unspeakable treason you’ve committed.”

    “And in exchange,” Combusken cut in. “What do I have to do?”

    “That’s simple,” Gothitelle said. “You’ll be our spy.”

    “Spy?” Combusken frowned. “That’s never been my area of expertise before.”

    Gothitelle nodded. “Exactly. Dragonite and the freedom fighters won’t suspect a person as lacking in subtlety as you to be a spy. And more importantly, Piplup trusts you. That should be enough to get you into their gang.”

    “Whoa whoa whoa,” Combusken said, holding his hands in the air. “You want me to what?”

    “Infiltrate Piplup and Chimchar’s gang,” Gothitelle repeated. “Then they’ll lead you straight to the rebel base.”

    Combusken nodded in understanding. “So that we can finally uncover the hidden headquarters and crush the Resistance for good.”

    “Now you’re catching on!” Gothitelle said. “Now come along. Time to get back that long lost honor of yours, or whatever it is you want.” She turned to leave the cave, but Combusken didn’t follow her.

    “My honor,” he mouthed.

    Gothitelle turned back. “What is it? Aren’t you coming?”

    Combusken snickered. “Maybe, maybe not. What do you even know about honor?”

    “I know that I never soiled mine,” Gothitelle said vehemently. “Now come on. Quit holding us up.”

    “I’m holding us up?” Combusken said. “No. I think it’s more that you’ve been holding me up. Holding me back.”

    Gothitelle laughed. “Of course! I, the perfect one, have been holding back my failure of a brother. That makes brilliant sense!”

    “For the first time in my life, it does,” Combusken said. He pushed Gothitelle out of the way and stepped out of the cave. Slowbro waited a short ways away.

    “You’re not turning away from this offer, are you?” Gothitelle asked.

    “Yes, I believe I am,” Combusken said with a grin.

    Gothitelle’s frown deepened. “Then you admit to treason of the first degree.”

    Combusken shook his head. “I wouldn’t go that far. I have a lot to think about. And while I’m doing that, I’m not going to worry about picking a side. For as long as I can, I’m just going to sit this out.”

    “I’ll make sure that ‘as long as I can’ is as short as possible,” Gothitelle spat. Sparks crackled at her fingertips, but she kept herself from releasing the stored electricity. She had orders not to hurt her brother, and much as she wished to disobey, she knew she had to restrain herself.

    “When I pick a side, I’ll be sure to let you know,” Combusken said. “But for now, it’ll stay just me and him.” He pointed towards Slowbro and began walking towards him.

    “Picking no side is as bad as betrayal,” Gothitelle called. “You’ll regret this! So go ahead, run away! You’ll have to come back at some point.”

    Slowbro patted Combusken on the back as the two turned back towards the plain. “Let’s get out of here, she’s starting to get on my nerves.”

    “But where will we go now?” Combusken asked.

    Slowbro smiled. “I’ve got a plan. We’re going somewhere that no one will expect to find us, whether its Darkrai or the Resistance.”

    “And where is that?” Combusken asked with a sense of dread.

    “Where else? The Resistance HQ!”

    *****

    “Owowowowowowow!”

    “Easy, Bidoof! You’re just making it worse!”

    Bidoof struggled to calm himself as he lay in his straw bed. Chimecho floated over him, nursing his wounds, while Grovyle, Dusknoir, Shiftry, Wigglytuff, and Chatot stood by and watched. His cuts were deep, but Chimecho had them bandaged up well. Still, some red was beginning to soak through.

    “Bidoof, I realize you’re in pain,” Chatot said calmly. “But we need you to tell us exactly what happened.”

    “Gosh, it was horrible!” Bidoof stammered. “It was OW!”

    “Sorry! That was my bad.”

    Bidoof cringed as Chimecho carefully wrapped another cloth around a wound on his leg. “I don’t know what it was,” he continued. “It came at me from behind . . . or above . . . or the side. Golly, I couldn’t tell!”

    “It’s alright, Bidoof,” Grovyle said. “Just stay calm.”

    “Right,” Bidoof said, inhaling deeply. “Wherever it came from, I didn’t get a good look at it. On the first swipe, it managed to snag my backpack, with all of my money and food in it.”

    “So it was a thief,” Dusknoir said.

    “Nice deduction, Sherlock,” Grovyle scowled, elbowing the Ghost Pokémon. “Keep going, Bidoof.”

    Bidoof gulped. “Well, it had sharp claws. Cold claws. It felt like I was getting sliced up like berries for a stew!”

    “Do you remember anything else?” Grovyle asked.

    Bidoof shook his head, then winced at the motion. Chimecho backed away from him. “Well, he should be all set now. He’ll still have to rest for awhile, but he should be up and moving again by tomorrow. The cuts were deep and he lost quite a bit of blood, but none of the wounds were anywhere important.”

    “That’s good to hear,” Wigglytuff said. “Now let’s leave Bidoof in peace so he can get some sleep.”

    “Thanks, guys,” Bidoof said, tears at the corners of his eyes. “This means a lot to me, golly! Sniff!”

    Dusknoir smiled. “Get some rest, big guy. We’ll come see you in the morning.”

    The six Pokémon left the room. Chimecho headed off to make dinner, while Wigglytuff, Chatot, and Grovyle went into the Guildmaster’s chambers. Dusknoir, meanwhile, had more important things to do. And apparently, so did Shiftry.

    Dusknoir watched the Sableye going about their business in Treasure Town, making preparations for the eventual expedition to find Piplup and Chimchar. As loyal followers of Dusknoir, they had been more than willing to come in from the future to aid in the effort. But the Sableye weren’t what Dusknoir was watching for. Ever since Bidoof had returned to town earlier, weak and wounded, Shiftry’s workers had suddenly disappeared. As Dusknoir moved about the town investigating, he noticed that many of the newer shop-owners were absent from their booths as well. This kept getting more and more peculiar. . .

    Finally, Dusknoir found Hitmontop and Cacnea lounging beneath a tree near Sharpedo Bluff. He realized immediately that Pawniard was still absent. Silently, he slipped into the ground and moved towards them until he was close enough to hear them. He dared to poke his head out of the ground when he was sure he was behind them. The two were munching on Apples and Gummis, blissfully unaware of the watcher in their midst.

    “This really is a nice haul,” Cacnea said, chomping down on a Green Gummi. “Whoops, I thought that was a Grass one. Why do they both have to be green?”

    Hitmontop shrugged. “Why are Fighting ones orange? I have no idea. Don’t complain, this is the best we’ve eaten in months.”

    “That’s true,” Cacnea admitted, carelessly devouring a few more Green Gummis. This time he didn’t say anything. “Too bad Pawniard isn’t here to enjoy these.”

    “More for us,” Hitmontop said bluntly. “Pawniard should be more worried about not blowing his cover.”

    Cacnea frowned. “What’d he do?”

    “Apparently, he was almost spotted. It was sheer luck he managed to disorient him before he got a good look.”

    “Wow, close call.”

    “Too close of a call, if you ask me. Pawniard is too much of a noob for these kinds of missions. He’s only on our A-team because of his blades.”

    “Still, you can’t deny he’s good.”

    “He’s good. He’s just sloppy. He almost forgot that he had to get cleaned up. He’s down by the river right now.”

    Dusknoir’s eye opened wide. “Aha!” Immediately, he ducked back into the ground.

    Hitmontop looked at Cacnea. “What?”

    Cacnea frowned. “What?”

    “What did you say?”

    “I didn’t say anything.”

    “Funny. I’m sure I heard something.”

    “Probably just the breeze.”

    Dusknoir hurried to the river as quickly as he could. The conversation he had just heard still rattled around in his brain. Had Pawniard almost been spotted while on an undercover mission for Shiftry? What kind of enemy was left in this world opposed to finding Piplup and Chimchar? There were none he could think of who would be willing to interfere in the search. As he reached the river that ran through the middle of town, he spotted Pawniard kneeling beside it, rubbing his claws together in the water.

    “Pawniard!” Dusknoir called as he approached. The smaller Pokémon jumped, nearly falling into the water. He turned around.

    “Oh, it’s you. Dusknoir, right?”

    Dusknoir nodded. “That’s me. I was just going to ask you how your mission for Shiftry went.”

    Pawniard turned pale. “M-my mission? Wh-what about it?”

    “Did you find out anything about Piplup and Chimchar?” Dusknoir inquired. “Any new leads?”

    Pawniard visibly relaxed, letting out a loud sigh. “Oh, that. No, nothing yet. I think somebody’s after us, though. I was nearly caught today.” He looked conspiratorially back and forth to make sure no one else was listening. “And I have reason to believe that whoever was after me may have been the one who attacked Bidoof as well.”

    “Really?” Dusknoir gasped. “That doesn’t bode well. I’d best find Grovyle. He’ll know what to do.”

    “Good idea,” Pawniard nodded. “I’ll make sure to inform Shiftry when I’m done with my errands.”

    Dusknoir floated away towards the Wigglytuff Guild. Oh, he fully intended to have a conversation with Grovyle. But the topic wasn’t quite what Pawniard was expecting.

    For what Pawniard hadn’t noticed as he was cleaning was that he had missed a single smudge of dried brown blood on his claw.


    Hope you all enjoy it!

    Sorry if it lacked action, this is somewhat of a transition chapter as this is really where the second main saga of the story begins.

    Next Time: Piplup and Co. continue on their journey to the Resistance HQ, as if that wasn't getting old already. However, they soon find their path crossed by none other than Deoxys and his trusted assistant Golduck. Although he means no harm, he is called out by Chimchar to a duel. But will even Aureus be enough to win this fight? And finally, details of Dragonite's mysterious past are revealed!

    Sorry that I won't be sending out PMs until sometime tomorrow afternoon or evening, but I'm very tired right now and will be very busy tomorrow.
    Last edited by GalladeRocks; 21st July 2012 at 5:10 AM.
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  5. #255
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    Hahahaha, beat the PM. Anyways, great to see another chapter come up. Also just want to say this, but Explorers of Darkness was the first fic I read when I visited this section before I created this account. You were about 13 chapters into EotC when I started, so I thought I would share that. Anyways, onward to the review.

    Piplup stood back up and shook his head to clear his thoughts. “Well, I for one feel we’ve made progress. He didn’t attempt to take any of us captive this time.”
    Leave it to Piplup to be bright and cheery.

    “He may have a point,” Prinplup said. “Every time I think of the Beast as ‘Steve’, I die a little inside.”
    Ya Prinplup, me too.

    “Wow,” Chimchar smirked. “I think we really have found your match, Piplup.”

    “Exactly what I was thinking,” Piplup swooned.
    I got one thing with this budding romance: Prinplup is aware that Piplup is an ex-human right?

    “When I pick a side, I’ll be sure to let you know,” Combusken said. “But for now, it’ll stay just me and him.” He pointed towards Slowbro and began walking towards him.
    PLOT TWIST!!!. Well, at least regarding the character. I find that Zul.... er, Combusken sorting through his feelings like this is much more believable than what Avatar did. Kudos.

    “More for us,” Hitmontop said bluntly. “Pawniard should be more worried about not blowing his cover.”

    Cacnea frowned. “What’d he do?”

    “Apparently, he was almost spotted. It was sheer luck he managed to disorient him before he got a good luck.”

    “Wow, close call.”

    “Too close of a call, if you ask me. Pawniard is too much of a newb for these kinds of missions. He’s only on our A-team because of his blades.”
    Detective Dusknoir on the job. I must say, when it came to finding anything out (in the game), he picked up on everything.

    Dusknoir’s eye opened wide. “Aha!” Immediately, he ducked back into the ground.

    Hitmontop looked at Cacnea. “What?”

    Cacnea frowned. “What?”

    “What did you say?”

    “I didn’t say anything.”

    “Funny. I’m sure I heard something.”

    “Probably just the breeze.”
    Intentional or not, this scene reminded of the movie The Incredibles.

    Dusknoir floated away towards the Wigglytuff Guild. Oh, he fully intended to have a conversation with Grovyle. But the topic wasn’t quite what Pawniard was expecting.

    For what Pawniard hadn’t noticed as he was cleaning was that he had missed a single smudge of dried brown blood on his claw.
    Detective Dusknoir saying "case closed."

    Alright, aside from the awkward ending to that review, I did not see any mistakes within the text. I wasn't looking for them, but I did not see anything blatantly obvious. Of all of the plot types, I am most intrigued with Shiftry's gang. What are their motives? Can't wait to find out.

    ----~SS
    Last edited by Agent Tectonic; 30th July 2011 at 9:20 AM.
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  6. #256
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    This is interesting. just whose side are Shiftry and co. on? That, along with the rest of the things mentioned, remains to be seen... and as I have a headache, I'm going to forego a larger reveiw of this chapter. Keep up the good work! (even if it takes forever)
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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  7. #257
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    Cool chapter. I like how Combusken is finally going to be a good guy soon. Is the group going to reach the Resistance HQ before Chapter 20? Gee, I wonder what side Shifrty & and his Gang are on. I feel bad for Bidoof that he got beaten by a Pawniard, at least now Dusknoir is on to something. I guess I'm interested to know Dragonite's past (speaking of which, are we ever going to see Garchomp again?). Interesting that we see Golduck & Deoxys next.

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  8. #258
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    Good choice, Combusken!
    Dusknoir the detective is at it again! It was indeed Pawniard who beat up poor Bidoof!
    ...and Chimchar versus Deoxys and Golduck? Chimchar versus Deoxys alone is tough, but Deoxys and Golduck as a team is nigh IMPOSSIBLE. He's gonna need Aureus here!
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  9. #259
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    HOLY SMOKES ANOTHER CHAPTER

    Yep, that's right, I'm picking up the pace! Let's see how long it lasts this time...


    Chapter 18
    Hope Springs Eternal

    “Are we there yet?”

    “Does it look like we’re there yet?”

    “I don’t know! What does the HQ look like?”

    “It doesn’t look like a vast expanse of rocky barren plain, I’ll tell you that!”

    “Well how was I supposed to know that?”

    “Common sense, perchance? Oh wait, you don’t have any!”

    “Order! ORDER! All of you, SHUT UP!”

    Piplup, Chimchar, Meganium, and Charizard all walked on in mortification as the argument between their allies continued to escalate. The vast gray plain before them still stretched as far as the eye could see, though it was now dotted with numerous boulders and hills.

    “Please tell me we’re getting close,” Chimchar said.

    “Ever closer, yes,” Meganium said. “But we still have at least a day’s journey left.”

    Charizard huffed irritably and cast a glance at 88 and 89. “This is going to be a heck of a long day.”

    “And who knows what else could be in store for us?” Piplup said. “Just think of what we’ve been through the past few days. Gothitelle could still be on our trail right now. Perhaps Combusken will return to seek his horrible vengeance, like that would ever work. Darkrai himself might still be tailing us.”

    “You worry too much,” Chimchar said. “Just enjoy the journey!”

    “Enjoy the journey?” Piplup sputtered. “Chimchar, we’re locked in an alternate dimension against our will, hounded endlessly by our mortal enemy, who has ten times as much power and influence here as he did in our world! How can I be expected to enjoy the journey?”

    Chimchar scratched his chin. “Well, we could play I Spy.”

    “We already went down that road. There needs to be something to spy besides rocks in order to play that.”

    “What about hide and seek?”

    “There need to be things to hide behind besides rocks to play that.”

    “Then we can play Mousetrap. You roll the dice, you – “

    “Okay, time out. We already used that line, in the last chapter no less.”

    “Oh, sorry.”

    “Fine. Let’s just get back to the story. Time in.”

    88 stumbled forward. “Whoa, did anyone else feel that? It was like time paused for a second, like some omnipotent being just interrupted our lives for a brief moment.”

    Piplup ignored him. “Let’s just keep moving. We can play games when we get out of this mess.”

    They continued moving forward, although Dragonite soon fell to the back of the pack. His eyes shifted back and forth, keeping watch on every shadow in sight. He felt vulnerable. He was being watched, and he knew it. “Easy,” he muttered to himself. “Just keep to yourself.”

    “Dragonite?” Piplup called back. “Got a problem?”

    “Eh, no, I’m alright.”

    To be honest, he wasn’t alright. Ever since the visions of Pokemon specters had visited him back in the canyon, he’d been on edge. Despite having left them far behind, the memory still haunted him. He soon realized that they’d always been there, just beneath the surface of his memory. Only now had they returned, bringing the old thoughts with them.

    And he was scared.

    “Yo Dragonite! You coming?”

    Shaking his head to clear his worries, Dragonite quickly moved forward to join the others. “Yeah, Piplup, I’m coming.” Squinting, he peered across the flat land to the distant sky. There, he could just make out a cluster of gray shapes peaking over the skyline.

    Piplup had seen them as well. “Is that – “

    “Yes,” Dragonite nodded. “That is the entrance to the Resistance HQ. We are less than a day’s journey, apparently. If we continue at this pace, we should reach there in an hour or two.”

    “Perhaps it would be best to keep your voice down,” Prinplup said. “It is still fully possible that we’ve been followed. It would be best not to lead our enemies directly to our stronghold, if you ask me.”

    “She has a point,” Piplup said. “We could be digging our own grave. Best not to rush into this.”

    Charizard spread his wings. “I’ll take to the sky and run a quick scan around us. There aren’t any hiding places in this empty land that can’t be seen from the sky.”

    “There will be no need for that, Charizard. I’ll reveal myself now, if it suits you.”

    The entire group gasped in unison as two shapes emerged from behind a boulder directly ahead of them. Each had an attack prepared, but the figure held up a hand to cut them off. “No no, there will be no need for that.”

    “Deoxys,” Piplup smirked. “I’ve been hoping to meet you personally for quite awhile now. I don’t really count the meeting back at the Beast’s lair because, well . . .”

    “The Beast went on a rampage and I abandoned you all to die without dying myself?” Deoxys finished. “Yes, that sums it up pretty well. I apologize for that sloppy plan, by the way. Darkrai isn’t renowned for his subtlety. If he’d allowed me to assist in that plan, I can assure you it would have gone differently.”

    “How so?” Chimchar inquired.

    “If he’d been involved in this,” Dragonite answered. “There wouldn’t have been a mindless monster unleashed and we would all be dead.”

    Deoxys smirked. “Dragonite, you know me too well.”

    “Yes, unfortunately I do,” Dragonite nodded. “Which is why I know you’re not here to kill us, or even to confront us. So what are you doing here?”

    “Merely to converse with you,” Deoxys said. “There is important business which we must discuss.”

    89 began hopping up and down with his hand raised in the air. “Ooh, ooh, I have a question.”

    Deoxys couldn’t help but look slightly bewildered. “Yes, er . . . What’s your name?”

    “They call me 89,” 89 said. He produced a business card from thin air and handed it to Deoxys. It read: 88 and 89: Asking Pointless Questions that the Readers Already Know Since 2009.

    Deoxys cast a questioning glance at Piplup, who simply shrugged. “Okay, 89, what is your question?”

    89 pointed to the blue Pokemon standing next to Deoxys. “Who’s that guy? I think I saw him once before.”

    “Oh, of course,” Deoxys said. “You haven’t been properly introduced yet. This is my dear friend Golduck. Golduck, I believe that you know most of these fellows.”

    “That I do,” Golduck said. “I’ve met them all at some point or another.” He pointed at Dragonite. “I particularly remember you.”

    Dragonite cocked his head questioningly. “I remember you as well, Golduck, but I’m not quite sure I understand your meaning with that statement.”

    Golduck crossed his arms over his chest. “Ah, you wouldn’t. Perhaps that is for the better. But perhaps not.”

    Deoxys frowned. It appeared that Golduck knew something about an enemy that he didn’t. This was worrisome. “Golduck? What are you talking about? Even I have no idea.”

    “That would be a first,” Golduck said. “But for now, I’ll just keep to myself. Continue with your business, Master Deoxys.”

    “Fair enough,” Deoxys said with a slight note of exasperation in his voice. “Now, I would like to speak with Piplup and Chimchar.”

    “Us?” Piplup said.

    “Why us?”

    Deoxys smiled. “Well, you two are the saviors of the Resistance, after all. It is only fitting that you would be the ones I address before you make a regretful decision.”

    Piplup turned to Dragonite. “Do I listen to him?”

    It was Prinplup who answered. “Deoxys is a twisted mastermind and a master of deceit and deception. But despite that, he would not tell an outright lie.”

    “She is correct,” Dragonite said. “What he says, I will believe.”

    “Good,” Deoxys nodded. “Now, here is my message. Piplup, Chimchar, the Resistance has no chance of victory without you two. You are all aware of that.”

    Everyone nodded without hesitation.

    “I know your reputation, and I know that you two are kind-hearted Pokemon,” Deoxys said.

    “You think we’re kind-hearted?” Piplup asked.

    Deoxys nodded. “Yes. Unlike Darkrai, I don’t believe that emotions are a weakness. They are what separate us civilized ‘mon from the beasts. And since I know that you two are kind-hearted souls, then I know you will give up without a fight.”

    Piplup blinked. “In what world does that make sense?”

    “If we agree not to harm a single Pokemon from the Resistance should you give yourselves up to us, then it makes a lot of sense.”

    Piplup opened his mouth to speak, but stopped when the realization hit him. “Oh.”

    “What?” Chimchar frowned. “What did he say? I didn’t really get it.”

    “He said,” Piplup answered. “That they’ll leave the Resistance alone . . .”

    “That’s good,” Chimchar said.

    “. . . If we give ourselves up as prisoners.”

    “Oh,” Chimchar gulped. “That’s bad.”

    Deoxys looked down on them. “Think of the senseless violence that will happen. Hundreds of deaths, but only if you continue to fight. If you surrender yourselves, we’ll leave everyone else alone.”

    “We’ll do it,” Piplup said without question. “I trust your word, Deoxys. And I trust you to prevent Darkrai from going back on that word as well.”

    “I don’t like it,” Chimchar muttered. “Piplup, maybe we should think this through a bit more.”

    “Are you kidding?” Piplup said. “Chimchar, we’re talking about innocent lives here. I’ll leave your decision to yourself, but I’ll give myself up.” He turned to Deoxys and took a step forward. “I am ready.”

    Chimchar stepped forward and put a hand on his partner’s shoulder. “Come on, Piplup, think about this. I don’t want anyone to get hurt on account of myself, but there is so much more we can do to eliminate this evil forever if we stay with these guys.”

    “Chimchar, wouldn’t you hate yourself if one of our friends got hurt on account of your own actions?” Piplup argued. “It’s obvious!”

    “I know, it’s just that . . .” Chimchar trailed off. He was about to submit when Dragonite spoke up.

    “No.”

    Piplup turned around in surprise. “What?”

    “No,” Dragonite repeated. “No, you can’t surrender.”

    “But if I go quietly, it’ll save hundreds of lives!” Piplup said.

    “No, you won’t,” Dragonite said, shaking his head. “Perhaps we won’t be harmed, but we won’t live.” He looked up, a determined look on his face. “Piplup, without you and Chimchar, we of the Resistance have no hope of victory. Perhaps we could survive without you, but we would never truly live.”

    A small smile crossed Deoxys’s face, but he kept it hidden.

    “He’s right,” Prinplup declared. “Perhaps through life, we would survive. But through death, we would live!”

    Chimchar spun Piplup around to face him. “Yes, they’re right, Piplup. It’s exactly what you told me before when we were lying hopeless in a prison cell. I want my life to shine.” Piplup couldn’t help but smile. “Don’t you want the same of yourself?”

    “Of course,” Piplup said. He pulled Chimchar to him in a hug. “Thanks for bringing me back to earth.”

    “That’s what friends are for,” Chimchar said.

    88 turned to 89 and made fake gagging noises. “Oh, it’s so touching, I think I’m going to puke.”

    “Then why are you crying?” 89 inquired. 88 quickly buried his face in the ground to hide his sobs.

    Piplup and Chimchar both turned back to Deoxys. “Sorry, but we’re going to have to decline your offer.”

    Deoxys loomed above them, doing his best to look intimidating. Then, he visibly softened. “Congratulations. You two have passed my test.”

    All was silent as everyone attempted to make sense of what had been said.

    “That was a test?” Piplup managed to ask.

    “Yes,” Deoxys nodded. “A test to ascertain your devotion.” He bowed before the two smaller Pokemon. “Had you given in to hopelessness, I would not be able to face you as worthy opponents. But now that I have seen your true nature, I know you are more than worthy.”

    “Great,” Chimchar said. “Now you’ll kill us, right?”

    Deoxys shook his head. “Of course not. This is no suitable battlefield. And to be honest, I don’t like getting my hands dirty. So no, I shall save our showdown for another time.”

    “That’s it,” Chimchar growled. “I’ve had enough of this foolishness.” In one fluid motion, he drew Aureus and pointed it directly at Deoxys. “I challenge you. Right here, right now.”

    Everyone gathered gasped. Even Deoxys couldn’t hide his surprise. “Oh? And why is that?”

    “I’ve had enough of your riddles, your tests, your mumbo jumbo!” Chimchar declared. “I’m ending this before you make us even more confused! That’s your plan, isn’t it? To get us all wound up so that we make mistakes.”

    “It is not,” Deoxys answered. “But I accept your challenge.”

    “Oh, this is bad,” Meganium gulped.

    “Very,” Charizard added.

    “Suicidal bad,” Prinplup finished. “Interesting.”

    Dragonite quickly moved in between Chimchar and Deoxys. “Chimchar, don’t do this! Deoxys means you no harm –“

    “Right now,” Chimchar said.

    “Admittedly right. But still, you can’t hope to beat him.”

    “I have Aureus. I can beat anything!”

    Piplup sighed in frustration. “Don’t get too cocky, Star Chimp. I’m guessing this guy is no pushover.”

    Dragonite nodded. “Deoxys may not like to fight himself, but he’ll certainly do it. And he won’t pull his punches.”

    “Still,” Chimchar said, pushing Dragonite aside. “I’m up for it.”

    Golduck backed away from Deoxys as the co-leader of the Beyond whipped his arms around him in preparation of the battle. “Okay, Chimchar. Hit me with your best shot.”

    Chimchar obliged, releasing a powerful Flamethrower. Deoxys reacted instantly and his body grew stockier and blockier. A Protect shield formed around him, completely blocking the fire. Then he grew taller again and his arms grew sharper as he fired a Hyper Beam. Chimchar held Aureus before him defensively, and while it absorbed some of the blow, the energy wave still knocked him backwards.

    “What does Deoxys keep doing?” Piplup asked. “When his body changes shape like that?”

    “That’s his form change,” Dragonite explained. “What you’ve seen him in is his Normal Forme. His blocky form is his Defense Forme and his taller form is his Attack Forme. He still has one more that he has yet to show.”

    Chimchar charged forward and swung with both hands, using Focus Punch with one and stabbing with Aureus with the other. Deoxys simply stood and watched until Chimchar was almost literally on top of him . . . and then he disappeared. Chimchar fell to the ground, sprawling on his hand and knees. Deoxys reappeared behind him, his body much more streamlined in shape now. He rocketed forward at near invisible speed and slammed into Chimchar, sending him skidding across the hard dirt.

    “That’s his other one,” Dragonite identified. “The Speed Forme.”

    Chimchar rose shakily to his feet, clutching the hilt of Aureus with both hands. Deoxys shot towards him with another Extremespeed. The second Chimchar saw the movement, he lunged. Neither hit seemed to strike as Deoxys reappeared behind Chimchar, facing in the opposite direction. Aureus was still pointed outward in the direction from which Deoxys had came. For a long moment, they each simply stood without making any movement.

    Then, without a sound, Deoxys’s arm fell to the ground.

    Chimchar spun around, smiling triumphantly. Deoxys blinked, then looked down at the tentacle laying in the dirt next to him. “Oh dear,” he said. Then, with absolutely no warning, he fired a Psycho Boost from his remaining arm. The sphere of psychic energy hit Chimchar like a freight train, knocking Aureus from his grasp. The blade stuck point first in the ground.

    Stuttering, Chimchar sat up. “B-but . . .”

    “This is what you get for charging headlong into a battle like this,” Deoxys said, shifting back to his Normal Forme. As he did so, a new arm sprouted out from the socket where the other had been severed. The disembodied arm on the ground then slowly dissolved into nothingess.

    “How did you do that?” Chimchar asked, wincing in pain.

    Deoxys pointed to the purple gem in his chest. “This. My gem grants me the ability to regenerate any part of my body. My entire life force is stored within it, and it is my only weak point. If you had bothered to observe my weakness first, you might have stood a chance. But instead, you rushed in without a single plan in your brain.” He turned his back and began to float away. “When we meet again, I shall not be this merciful.”

    “Th-this isn’t over!” Chimchar declared, rising slowly to his feet. He grabbed Aureus and managed to pull it out of the hard earth.

    “It’s over,” Deoxys said, momentarily turning back as Golduck moved to rejoin him. “Just be glad that I didn’t finish you right now.”

    Piplup turned to Dragonite. “But how can we be sure he won’t turn back and follow us?”

    “I give you my word I shall leave you in peace,” Deoxys called. “When we meet on the field of battle, that shall be a different story. But until then, you are free.”

    “Great,” Piplup smirked, helping Chimchar to his feet. The two watched as Deoxys and Golduck continued walking away.

    Deoxys turned to Golduck as they went. “Golduck, old friend, I really must ask you about earlier.”

    “About my comment to Dragonite,” Golduck specified.

    “Yes,” Deoxys nodded. “There is still so much I don’t know about you, so I must ask. What is your vendetta with Dragonite?”

    “My vendetta with Dragonite?” Golduck said loudly. He wanted to make sure that Piplup and Chimchar heard this. “Oh, it’s nothing much. He merely killed my family.”

    Piplup and Chimchar turned slowly to Dragonite, disbelief in their eyes. “Dragonite?” Piplup asked softly. “H-he’s lying, right?”

    Dragonite attempted to look intimidating, but he instantly deflated. He lowered his head and closed his eyes. “I wish I could say yes.”


    Hope you all like it!

    Next Time: At long last, Piplup and Co. reach the Resistance HQ! But with little trust left in Dragonite, what will Piplup and Chimchar do now? Also, Grovyle and Dusknoir make plans to spy on Shiftry's gang, but are too late to stop the next ambush...

    Again, sorry that I'm not sending out PMs tonight. I'll send a dual one out tomorrow morning, but right now, I'm bushed. :P
    Last edited by GalladeRocks; 2nd August 2011 at 6:40 PM.
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  10. #260
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    Awesome chapter! I liked the little battle with Chimchar & Deoxys. Too bad Chimchar didn't notice Deoxys' weakness earlier. At least now he knows that for the future. It does seem interesting that Dragonite killed Golduck's family, but we still don't know why/how he did that to Golduck's family or those other people from way back.

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    So, the Pokemon you said would become important is one of Golduck's family members?
    I would say one thing though- why would Deoxys willingly give out information on his weak point? surely, as a tactical mastermind showing almost every sign of having read the Evil Overlord List, he would be above doing such silly things as willingly giving out information on his own weakness?
    one more thing- Who are you, and what have you done with GR? and his slow-chapter-ness?
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    I have to say, you have a very interesting style of writing. And furthermore, you turned Deoxys into an excellent villain. Kudos; you have captured my interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scizorstrike View Post
    So, the Pokemon you said would become important is one of Golduck's family members?
    I would say one thing though- why would Deoxys willingly give out information on his weak point? surely, as a tactical mastermind showing almost every sign of having read the Evil Overlord List, he would be above doing such silly things as willingly giving out information on his own weakness?
    one more thing- Who are you, and what have you done with GR? and his slow-chapter-ness?
    Eh, no. Remind what I said again?

    Deoxys is, as you said, a tactical mastermind, who probably wrote the Evil Overlord List. Henceforth, he knows fully well what he's doing. Anyone with an ounce of creativity in their brains would guess that the gem was his weakness, and he knows it's not a big secret. Plus, he is assured of his ability to protect his own weakness.

    I am most certainly not Deoxys and have most certainly not expanded my territory into the human world and have most certainly not conquered all of Iowa as I prepare to launch my invasion to conquer the entire world and have most certainly not captured GR and held him ransom for a sum of exactly $128,512 which I most certainly do not expect to be payed in its fullness by the loyal readers.

    *nudge nudge wink wink twitch twitch yabba dabba doo*

    And I'm still not sending out PMs because I intend to have another chapter up tonight and want to kill three birds with one stone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GalladeRocks View Post

    And I'm still not sending out PMs because I intend to have another chapter up tonight and want to kill three birds with one stone.
    Well, then why not just use Smack Down on a Dodrio?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaosMudkip View Post
    Well, then why not just use Smack Down on a Dodrio?
    Haha, good one. Maybe you should be my pun director.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GalladeRocks View Post
    Haha, good one. Maybe you should be my pun director.
    It's not quite a pun, as it is literal. But thank you for the compliment.

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    Breaking the fourth wall AGAIN!? Seriously, Gallade. At least the showdown will take place later in the story, as far as I know...
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    Wow! both good chapters can't wait to see the next one. Poor Bidoof though.
    (Yes I like Bidoof)

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    Quote Originally Posted by GalladeRocks View Post
    Eh, no. Remind what I said again?
    you said that you would give me 10 quadrillion pounds, all the Pokemon games in the world, and a slice of Swiss cheese.
    Deoxys is, as you said, a tactical mastermind, who probably wrote the Evil Overlord List. Henceforth, he knows fully well what he's doing. Anyone with an ounce of creativity in their brains would guess that the gem was his weakness, and he knows it's not a big secret. Plus, he is assured of his ability to protect his own weakness.
    BUT: surely all tactical masterminds would know that there is no foolproof defence; anoyne presuming there is one will automatically, by the rules of narrativitium, be brought down by the first random hero they come across. either that, or a specific hero they'll never be able to get rid of.

    I am most certainly not Deoxys and have most certainly not expanded my territory into the human world and have most certainly not conquered all of Iowa as I prepare to launch my invasion to conquer the entire world and have most certainly not captured GR and held him ransom for a sum of exactly $128,512 which I most certainly do not expect to be payed in its fullness by the loyal readers.
    you sure it's not $128,512.928383857328282717, not-Deoxys? and I certinally don't count as a "loyal" reader; sometimes I only feel like coming here in order to berate your timekeeping sklls. that's usually only when you've "died" for five years though.
    And I'm still not sending out PMs because I intend to have another chapter up tonight and want to kill three birds with one stone.
    THAT PROVES IT. Not-Deoxys, hand over the stuff you've been feeding him with. I want to send it off to a laboratory to find out if it works on all authors
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    By the way, 128x4=512. And the stuff is called boredom+potato chips.

    And in response to Scizorstrike, in the anime, Deoxys had a foolproof defense, and that didn't even take into account his speed forme, the strongest of them.

    And,GalladeRocks, there had better be Psycho Boosts in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scizorstrike View Post
    you said that you would give me 10 quadrillion pounds, all the Pokemon games in the world, and a slice of Swiss cheese.
    Funny, I think I'd remember promising that. All I have is 300,000 yen, two of the Kirby games in the world, and a slice of colby jack cheese.

    BUT: surely all tactical masterminds would know that there is no foolproof defence; anoyne presuming there is one will automatically, by the rules of narrativitium, be brought down by the first random hero they come across. either that, or a specific hero they'll never be able to get rid of.
    you sure it's not $128,512.928383857328282717, not-Deoxys? and I certinally don't count as a "loyal" reader; sometimes I only feel like coming here in order to berate your timekeeping sklls. that's usually only when you've "died" for five years though.
    But that's the thing about Deoxys: He's smart, a genius even. And while he does have the single mortal flaw of overconfidence, he is probably the only the only character in this who could reveal his weakness and then continue to defend it and gain victory anyway. He's not arrogant, he's just that good.

    THAT PROVES IT. Not-Deoxys, hand over the stuff you've been feeding him with. I want to send it off to a laboratory to find out if it works on all authors
    And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kid! And your dumb Piplup, too!


    And sorry I didn't get the chapter posted yesterday, I got distracted for about eleven hours. It should be up tonight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GalladeRocks View Post
    Funny, I think I'd remember promising that. All I have is 300,000 yen, two of the Kirby games in the world, and a slice of colby jack cheese.
    Sorry, you mus have just had a convenient case of amnesia. You'll just have to get them to me later.
    And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kid! And your dumb Piplup, too!
    Nah, my starter was a Torchic. both flightless birds, different type.

    And sorry I didn't get the chapter posted yesterday, I got distracted for about eleven hours. It should be up tonight.
    *disbeliving expression*
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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    Quote Originally Posted by scizorstrike View Post
    *disbeliving expression*
    What? Haven't you ever sat down outside with Pokemon Silver on a nice day only to realize eleven hours later that you didn't get anything accomplished outside of completing the entire Kanto region from the S.S. Aqua to Blue plus beating the Elite 4 again?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GalladeRocks View Post
    What? Haven't you ever sat down outside with Pokemon Silver on a nice day only to realize eleven hours later that you didn't get anything accomplished outside of completing the entire Kanto region from the S.S. Aqua to Blue plus beating the Elite 4 again?
    I was referring to your intentions to be able to upload the chapter. Nor have i stayed put for eleven hours, with my attention span.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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    Well, here it is. I'm not sure how much you guys will like this. Some important stuff happens in the chapter, but something about it just seems awkward to me. It doesn't really seem to flow as smoothly to me as the past few chapters have.


    Chapter 19
    Underground Operatives

    Piplup and Chimchar gasped in horror and backed away, joined a moment later by 88 and 89. Prinplup, Charizard, and Meganium all hung their heads sadly. Piplup attempted to find words to speak, but could find none. He simply stared at the Pokemon he’d considered a friend.

    “Yes, Golduck’s family,” Dragonite nodded forlornly. “They were among the villagers of Darkrai’s Peak. It was only Deoxys’s quick action that prevented Golduck himself from being killed in the landslide as well.”

    “Landslide?” Chimchar frowned. “But you said you did it.”

    “I did,” Dragonite said. “Not every landslide is a natural occurrence.”

    Piplup could hardly bring himself to speak. “So, you . . . why?”

    “The town was housing a battalion of Darkrai’s army,” Dragonite explained. “When I brought down the landslide, they were all killed.” He paused. “Along with all of the citizens.”

    Piplup and Chimchar choked simultaneously.

    “But why would you do it?” 88 asked. “If you knew the citizens would be caught up, why do it in the first place?”

    “Because I believed it was a worthy sacrifice,” Dragonite said.

    Piplup and Chimchar choked simultaneously again. 89 joined them, thinking it looked like fun.

    “A worthy sacrifice?” Piplup sputtered. “How could you possibly think that?”

    “I don’t, now,” Dragonite sighed. “But it’s too late to change my past. It’s too late to save those towns.”

    “Towns?” Chimchar gulped. “As in plural?”

    Dragonite nodded sadly. “Yes. Darkrai’s Peak was not the only one.”

    “Coaldale and Quarryside,” Prinplup said. “The other two villages which housed large squadrons from Darkrai’s army. The other two villages destroyed.”

    “One by water and one by flames,” Dragonite said despairingly. “Coaldale was consumed in the fires which gave it warmth. Quarryside was drowned in the waters which gave it life. And Darkrai’s Peak was buried in cliff side in which it was built.”

    “Three villages . . .” Piplup said disbelievingly. “How could you, Dragonite?”

    “I was young, foolish,” Dragonite said, tears at the corners of his eyes. “I believed that so long as even one of Darkrai’s goons was killed, everything was justified. I didn’t want to hurt innocents, but I believed it was necessary for the good of all.”

    Piplup shook his head in frustration. “So all of this that you’ve done, springing us out of jail and leading us all this way, has just been an attempt to redeem yourself.”

    Dragonite wouldn’t meet his gaze and shuffled his feet.

    Prinplup squinted across the plain. “Well, it looks like Deoxys is out of sight. I think we’re safe to go on to HQ.”

    “Right,” Dragonite said shortly. He turned and began walking away, the others trailing behind him. Slowly, the boulders on the horizon grew closer.

    They traveled most of the way in silence. As they grew closer, Prinplup dropped back to walk alongside Piplup and Chimchar. “You two alright?”

    “Yeah, I guess so,” Chimchar said.

    “It’s just so unnerving to find out about Dragonite’s past,” Piplup said. “We’ve been travelling with him for quite awhile now, and we’ve been through so much with him.”

    Chimchar nodded sadly. “I thought of him as a hero, after the way he turned on his own friend to help us escape. But a real hero wouldn’t do such things as he did.”

    “Dragonite . . . well, he’s a tough one to read,” Prinplup said. “He strongly believed that any innocent sacrifice was worthwhile if Darkrai’s forces were brought down as well. His intentions were fully noble, even if his execution wasn’t.”

    “It just doesn’t seem like the Dragonite we know,” Chimchar said. “He’s been so selfless since we’ve met him.”

    “He’s completely reformed his ways,” Prinplup said. “He regrets his actions in destroying the villages every day, and he does everything he can to redeem himself.”

    Piplup smiled grimly. “Yet nothing will ever be enough. It seems kinda familiar, eh?”

    The statement flew over Chimchar’s head, but Prinplup got it. “You’re comparing him to Combusken. He’s trying to do anything to convince himself he has regained his honor. Yet nothing either tries is the right thing to do . . .”

    “Exactly,” Piplup nodded. “Combusken’s trying to regain his honor by proving himself to Darkrai, by kidnapping us. Truth is, it’s a futile effort. If he really wants to be honorable, he’d realize that Darkrai isn’t worth it.”

    “And Dragonite wants to redeem himself for the wrong he’s done, for putting innocent lives on the line, and for killing them,” Prinplup continued. “But I truly don’t see a way in which he can make those lives seem worthwhile.” Prinplup was lying, actually. She could think of one way, but . . . well, she just hoped it wouldn’t come to what she had thought of.

    “Either way,” Piplup said. “I suppose Dragonite’s motives have always been noble, he just had some learning to do.” He sighed. “Well, no point in mistrusting him. He’s the only friend we’ve got left.”

    Prinplup feigned anger. “What? I believe you’re forgetting someone!”

    “Oh, no no no! That came out wrong!” Piplup hurried, waving his arms before him. “I didn’t mean it, of course you’re a friend. Meganium and Charizard too, just don’t hurt me!”

    Prinplup laughed. “I was just kidding! Geesh!” She punched Piplup in the shoulder. “Come on, laugh a little! After all, you’re the one who taught me to.”

    Piplup’s cheeks reddened. “Uh, yeah. Of course.” He glanced sidelong at Chimchar, who cast him a cheeky grin. Then all three of them began to laugh together.

    “Hey, keep it down back there!” 88 called. “I don’t see what there is to be laughing about anyway.”

    Piplup, Chimchar, and Prinplup looked back and forth between each other and 88, then burst out laughing again. Eventually, 88 gave up and asked 89 to plug his ears for him. It was at that point that the two arrived at the realization that they didn’t possess ears, and they spent the entire rest of the walk pondering just why that was. Even Dragonite couldn’t help but smile at the conversations going on behind him.

    Finally, they reached the rocks they had seen from across the plains. The boulders were arranged in an enormous dome with no apparent point of entry. The structure was disappointingly small, hardly big enough to house the headquarters of an entire army. Piplup guessed there would hardly be room for Dragonite to even stand at full height inside.

    “Uh, Dragonite?” 88 frowned. “Are you sure you got this right?”

    “Yeah, I’m not exactly what some people would call ‘intelligent’,” 89 added. “And even I can see a problem with this.”

    Dragonite laughed. “Trust me, this is it. I’ve been here enough times before.”

    “As have we,” Meganium said. “And I think you’re going to like this.”

    “The sun sets red in the morning.”

    “The moon rises blue at dawn,” Dragonite answered.

    “Right. Now who is it?”

    “Who in the heck do you think it is?” Dragonite called back. “It’s me!”

    “Accompanied by Team Liberty!” Prinplup added. “If we’re not enough to convince you, then nothing is!”

    “You never know,” the voice answered. “You could all be captives of those four little guys. How do I know this isn’t a trap of some kind?”

    Dragonite sighed and smacked his forehead. “Now I remember why I felt so good about leaving this place.”

    “Fine,” the voice submitted. “Hold on a second.”

    Prinplup leaned down and nudged Piplup with her elbow. “This is the cool part.”

    Abruptly, the ground began to shake, causing Piplup, Chimchar, 88, and 89 all to fall down in surprise. The other four managed to keep their footing, used to the dramatic entry process. The quake grew as the boulder directly before them began to sink into the ground. As soon as it had vanished into the ground, a Pokemon with a snow-white coat and a horn on its forehead stepped out of the dome. “Come on, then. Get in.” He spun around and stepped back inside. Dragonite hurried after him, with the others following directly behind him.

    “How in the heck are we all supposed to fit in . . .” 88’s voice trailed off. The floor of the dome spiraled downward in an enormous staircase, disappearing into the darkness far below. The Pokemon who had let them in was already striding down the stairs.

    “Well? Are you coming?” he called. Snapping back to attention, Piplup and Chimchar moved to follow him. Dragonite stepped forward to join the guard.

    “How have things been while I was gone?” Dragonite asked. “Still running smoothly?”

    “Naturally,” the horned Pokemon said. “It’s not like you help out that much when you are here, rare as that is.”

    89 tapped Dragonite on the tail. “Uh, Dragonite? Who’s this guy?”

    Chimchar slapped him. “Don’t be rude!” He paused. “But seriously, Dragonite, who is he?”

    “Forgive my manners,” Dragonite apologized. “This is my good friend Absol, famed general in the Resistance.”

    “Pleasure to meet you,” Absol said, nodding towards Piplup and Chimchar. “I can only assume you two are the legendary heroes?”

    “Our reputation precedes us yet again,” Piplup smiled. “Pleasure to meet you as well.”

    Absol nodded again. “Good, because if it was those two-“ He gestured towards 88 and 89. “I was going to be seriously worried.”

    “I’ll choose not to be insulted by that,” 88 grumbled.

    “That was an insult?” 89 frowned.

    The staircase began to shake as the boulder rose out of the ground once again, closing them in. Piplup expected them to be plunged into darkness, but the second the boulder slid into place, a long line of torches immediately ignited, illuminating the remainder of the passageway. “Nice touch,” Chimchar admired.

    “You think?” Absol said. “I always thought it was a bit dramatic myself. But it certainly impresses the newcomers.”

    After a long walk down the spiraling stairs, the group finally reached the landing at the bottom. Piplup immediately recognized the three Pokemon sitting in a row in front of him.

    “Skarmory, right? We saw you back at Excadrill’s cave.” he asked. The three steel birds nodded in unison. “Why are you blocking the way?”

    “The Boss told us to,” the first said shortly.

    “Said we should wait for your arrival,” the second added.

    “Stand guard until then,” the final stated.

    Piplup frowned. “Well, we’re here now. What are you waiting for?”

    “Preparations,” the three said simultaneously. Then they all side-stepped, revealing an enormous chamber. The walls were all coated with metal, causing them to glitter in the light of a thousand torches. There were many tunnels leading off from the chamber in all directions, giving the underground lair a labyrinthine design. But Piplup would be able to take this in later. He was too distracted by the gathered Pokemon in the center of the room, which the Skarmory had just landed behind.

    “Well well well,” Piplup said, smiling. The others looked at him in confusion. “I hardly expected to see you here.”

    “Ah, but I did expect to see you here,” answered Zoroark. “Hence why I’m here in the first place.”

    Piplup and Zoroark strode across the room to meet each other, extending their hands in greeting. Chimchar and the others hurried after him. “Piplup? You know this guy?”

    “Of course!” Piplup said. “This is Zoroark, the guy I told you about.”

    “Ah,” Dragonite said, stepping forward. “So you’re the Zoroark I’ve heard so much about.” He clasped hands with Zoroark, each nodding a greeting to the other.

    “And you are Dragonite,” Zoroark said. “Don’t bother asking, I know more about all of you than anyone else alive.”

    89 gulped. “That’s kind of creepy.”

    Zoroark grinned. “I tend to have that effect on people. Great knowledge does come with its cons, although the pros heavily outweigh them.”

    “Well, it’s nice to meet you,” Chimchar said. “But what are you doing here?”

    “I decided it was time that I finally became a use to the Resistance effort,” Zoroark said. “I knew that things would be heating up since you and Piplup had arrived, so I decided to get in on the action.”

    “Well, it’s nice to see you here,” Piplup said. He leaned sideways to view the other Pokemon gathered in the room. “And who do we have here?”

    One of the others flew forward to land before Piplup and Dragonite. “Good to see you all alive. I was worried that Gothitelle might have done you in.”

    “We’re not that easy to kill, Noctowl,” Dragonite said. “We left her in the dust.”

    “Pardon me for being rude,” Piplup interrupted. “But might I ask where Magby is?”

    “Of course, young’un,” Noctowl said. “The lad was running around here somewhere.”

    “Right here!”

    Magby rushed forward from where he had been standing and watching. He briefly embraced Piplup. “Good to see you’re alive.”

    “You as well,” Magby answered. “I knew that you guys wouldn’t go down to Gothitelle that easily.”

    “I’m just glad you’re alive,” Chimchar said, stepping up to shake hands with him. “I thought you were gone, until Noctowl swooped back up carrying you. Now that was a scary moment.”

    Magby nodded. “I was just lucky Noctowl was coming back to check on a sword he’d requested. He even sacrificed the load he was carrying to save me.”

    “T’was nothing,” Noctowl said. “Anyone else would have done the same.”

    Magby’s smile faded. “I didn’t look forward to this question, but . . .”

    “Excadrill?” Chimchar guessed.

    Magby nodded sadly.

    Piplup simply shook his head. “We never saw him afterward.”

    That was enough for Magby. “Well, good to see you guys again.” With that, he turned and walked away, heading off back down the tunnel from which he’d come.

    Noctowl sighed. “Poor lad. Hasn’t quite been the same since he got here. But what do you expect when you know what he’s been through?”

    “I know what you mean,” Dragonite said. “But he needs some time to himself. We’ll worry about him later. In the meantime, why don’t you give my friends here the grand tour?”

    “I’d be glad too,” Noctowl agreed. “Come right along this way, folks, and you can see the modern marvel that is the Resistance HQ.”

    Prinplup turned to face Charizard and Meganium. “You two go check-in with the others. I’ll help out Noctowl with the newbies.”

    “Aye aye, captain.”

    Dragonite and Absol turned and began to walk away, but he was stopped by Piplup. “Where are you going?”

    “I’ve got to go see the Big Boss himself,” he answered.

    “The Big Boss?” Piplup wondered. “Will we get to meet him?”

    “In due time,” Dragonite said. “But for now, you guys should just get familiar with the base.”

    Piplup shrugged. “Fair enough. See you in a bit, then.”

    Dragonite waved as he turned away and Piplup hurried to catch up with Noctowl, who was heading off down one of the side passages.

    “And on your left you will see our state-of-the-art training field,” Noctowl was saying. Peering through the opening into the chamber, Piplup could see a large empty arena where numerous Pokemon were facing off, some with attacks and others with weapons. “This is where all of our soldiers keep in top shape.”

    “How long is this tour going to take?” 89 asked suddenly.

    Noctowl paused, considering the question. “Well, the headquarters spans out for a few miles underground in every direction, with probably two or three dozen rooms to check out, not to mention all of the army barracks, so that basically means –“

    “A long freakin’ time,” 88 finished. “Great.”

    “Not too long, actually.”

    Everyone looked up in surprise as Dragonite reappeared. “That was short,” Piplup said. “What did you find out?”

    “The Big Boss wants to see you right now,” Dragonite said. “No wait time at all, lucky for you.” 88 and 89 moved to follow him, but he held up a hand to stop them. “Sorry, this offer is just for Piplup and Chimchar, and I’m sure Prinplup can come if she wants.”

    Prinplup nodded. “I believe I shall. This could be an interesting meeting.”

    “But what are we supposed to do?” 89 whined.

    “Well, since you’ve obviously got nothing better to do, you can continue your tour,” Dragonite said.

    “I’d be more than happy to fill you in on the rich history of our lifestyle,” Noctowl added.

    “Great,” 88 sighed. “Just great.”

    *****

    “Are you sure we should be out here?”

    “Of COURSE we should! We’re on a MISSION, AREN’T WE?”

    “That’s not what I meant! I just wonder if maybe we should be a little more cautious.”

    “Cautious? HAH! Since when did CAUTION get anybody anywhere?”

    The bickering of Sunflora and Loudred was audible throughout the entire forest, though that was mainly because of Loudred’s enunciated speech pattern. This left many of the native Pokemon with blasted eardrums which would not recover until hours later. Unfortunately, the apprentices’ bickering prevented them from hearing the quiet footfalls of something moving in the bushes . . .

    “I’m telling you, for the last time, BE QUIET!” Sunflora shrieked. “Do you WANT to attract EVERY enemy in a ten mile RADIUS?” She paused as she evaluated her last sentence. “Great, now you’ve got ME doing it.”

    “PLEASE,” Loudred scoffed. “We’re going to be FINE. Just quit making a FUSS so we can get this WORK done.”

    At that precise moment, Loudred fell on his face. Sunflora screamed in surprise and whirled around. “Wh-what was that? Who-who’s there?”

    There was a sudden rustling in the brush to her left and she spun around, shooting a Razor Leaf in that direction. However, whatever was in hiding shot off numerous small darts, stabbing each of the leaves out of the air. Some of the darts hit Sunflora, knocking her back in surprise. “That was a Pin Missile! Who did this?”

    Loudred rose to his feet groggily only to fall again as the ground collapsed beneath his feet. “YEEAUGH! WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING?”

    “We’re under attack, you numbskull!” Sunflora wailed, shooting off a continuous Razor Leaf in a circle around her. However, she just couldn’t seem to hit the assailants.

    “Let ME do it!” Loudred snarled. He drew in a deep breath and then released an enormous Uproar. There was a yelp of surprise from the bushes directly in front of the apprentices. Sunflora quickly shot off a Bullet Seed, finally hitting the target this time.

    Sunflora smiled. “Got ‘em! Now let’s see who it is.” She and Loudred stepped forward simultaneously to look. Then, they collapsed simultaneously as each was slashed across the back with a Metal Claw.

    Hitmontop emerged from the bushes, dragging Cacnea behind him. He breathed a sigh of relief. “Pawniard, I never thought I’d say this, but thank you. We would have been goners if it weren’t for your sneak attack.”

    “You’re welcome,” Pawniard said, smiling. “I do have my uses, despite what you may think.”

    “Let’s cut the chit-chat,” Cacnea said. “Let’s get the loot and get out of here. These two will probably wake up soon, that wasn’t an overly powerful attack.”

    “I’d like to argue with that, but you’re right,” Pawniard admitted. He grabbed the pack which Sunflora had been carrying and looked through it. “Ooh, we got some cash this time.”

    Hitmontop nodded in satisfaction. “Good, now let’s get out of here. I’m sure Shiftry will be happy with this load.”

    By the time the two apprentices woke up, their assailants were long gone. All they were left with was the torn strap of the backpack, a few dropped berries, and long bleeding gashes on their backs. Slowly, they picked themselves up and began the long trek back to Treasure Town.


    Hope you all enjoy it!

    Next Time: Piplup and Chimchar finally meet the Big Boss of the Resistance. But this time of celebration and tranquility may come to an abrupt end, as Piplup, Chimchar, and their allies are given their individual assignments...

    Again, I'm not sending out PMs. I'll send them out TOMORROW, I mean it this time.
    Dimensions of Darkness - on hiatus l Sgt. Froakie - ongoing l Envoy - upcoming

    harmoNy - one-shot l The Piplup and Chimchar Variety Hour - on hiatus
    Author's Profile

    Latest Chapter (Sgt. Froakie): Chapter 2 - Beware the Cute Ones
    Credit to Astral Shadow for the awesome sig!

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