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  1. #301
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    Apparently the awesomeness that comes in a scene that has Hilda and Ghetsis in it can't be contained to one chapter... well maybe if I separated it from the Hilbert and N scene, but the contrast is just too beautiful.


    Chapter 45: Kings and Queens, Part 1


    March 26
    Mistralton Hospital

    “He should be well enough to have a visitor,” the nurse said, checking a tablet computer. “Oh but, may I ask something of you?” When Hilbert nodded, she explained that, “He's not eating enough and now that he is alert more often than not, it's been difficult getting him to eat anything. And from the condition he was in, this may have been a problem for the past few weeks. If you get him to give up that refusal, that would be a big help in getting him back into good shape.”

    “I'll see what I can do,” Hilbert said. “Has there been any other trouble? I mean, from Plasma?”

    She shook her head. “No, it's been quiet around here. I haven't even seen any come in, well, in their weird uniforms anyhow.”

    “I see. Thanks.” He waved to Loch to stop him from being distracted by an aquarium of small fish, then headed with five Pokemon over to the room N was staying in. But only the Alomomola was his.

    This morning, a peculiar Sigilyph had appeared outside his tent. After some guessing and help from Madeline, Hilbert thought it was the same Sigilyph that had been with N when he had been in the hospital himself in Castelia. Not long after, a Vanilluxe, a Klang, and a Zoroark also came to his campsite. The last was able to confirm that they were friends of N and they wanted to see him. None of them were his own, but they were well-behaved and Hilbert thought it would be for the best to let them visit too.

    N was sitting up in the hospital bed, which had been tilted up to support him. He had a dull and disinterested expression at first, looking out the windows. On a nearby table, there was a small vase of flowers, an untouched puzzle book, a water glass, and an unopened plastic cup (Hilbert guessed it was some kind of soft food they gave patients who couldn't eat much). On the side facing the door, the Dark Stone was floating silently, although she did come closer as the Light Stone approached. N didn't even acknowledge them coming in until the Vanilluxe dashed over to his side and startled him.

    “Pierre?” N asked, looking down at him, then around at the others there. Hilbert smiled at him. “What are the four of you doing so far from the forest?”

    The Vanilluxe gave a blubbering answer, sobbing on N's shoulder for one reason or another. The others chimed in too, although Hilbert only heard the Zoroark saying, “We had the chance, so we came.”

    Putting his arm around Pierre, N said, “I'm sorry. I had to do some private work and almost nobody was allowed to interrupt. I didn't want to, but it couldn't be avoided.” Then he looked up to Hilbert. “Thanks for bringing them to me. It's been a long time since I've seen them. Or much of anyone, really.”

    “No problem,” Hilbert said, moving a chair over so that he could sit there. “But what were you doing to take you away from them so long?”

    “I can't really say.” He looked downcast, but then tried to smile. “Don't worry about it.”

    Or did he not want to say? That annoyed Hilbert, but he couldn't let something like that disrupt this meeting. “If you say so. Who are they?”

    “This is Pierre here,” N said, still holding onto the Vanilluxe. “He's evolved since I saw him last. I'm sure you've met Rune before, or at least seen him. Oh, Tock there says he's about ready to evolve too. I guess you all must have been practicing to be better too. And this...” he looked over at the Zoroark. “Well, I haven't given him a nickname yet, but I've known him for years. Never needed one, I guess, because he was the only Zoroark that I knew of. Sorry, I hadn't thought much more on that.”

    The Zoroark patted N's hand with his paw and gave a quiet bark. “I could go with or without one. I'll still be your friend whatever you call me.”

    “Zoroarks are a rare sight to my knowledge,” Hilbert said. “N, there's a lot we need to discuss. Are you feeling up to it?”

    He bowed his head in thought, then shrugged. “I'm not doing anything else right now, just recovering. What is it?”

    Picking up the plastic cup on the table, Hilbert glanced at the label. It was serving of highly enriched peanut butter, which he'd heard was given to those who suffered from malnutrition in one way or another. He tried to give it to N. “Well first of all, the nurse says you aren't eating enough. You shouldn't be doing that.”

    “I don't feel like eating.” The Sigilyph said something to that, which made N say, “Maybe it is illogical, but I just...”

    “You aren't going to be strong if your body is weak,” the Zoroark said.

    Hilbert nodded. “He's right about that.”

    “Maybe, but...” he stopped speaking for a moment, then looked at Hilbert. “You understand them now?”

    “Not all Pokemon,” Hilbert said. “But I have gotten to where I understand a few of them. He's the only one here that I can, although I can almost get my Litwick's words right.”

    “That's good.”

    Hilbert leaned over, putting the cup of peanut butter in N's hand. “But that's besides the point. You want to change things in the world, and impress Zekrom enough that she agrees to help you out. You can do a lot with words and ideas, but you need action too. If you don't take care of your body, then you're not going to be capable of following your dreams. Also, we'll both need to climb up to the top of Dragonspiral Tower sometime soon. As you are now, you're not going to make it far in, not because you're unworthy, but because you're physically incapable of it.”

    Looking down at the cup, N took it and turned it over. “I hadn't thought about it in that way.”

    “You should keep it in mind now,” Hilbert said.

    N seemed to accept that, as he detached the little plastic spoon on the cup and opened it up. “I guess you're right about that. These people are healers, so we can trust them.”

    “Right.” Thinking on trust, he added, “Team Plasma is out in Opelucid today talking to people. Do you know what it's about?”

    “It's probably the usual event of teaching people what could and should be,” N said. “I hadn't known it'd be today. The Sages have been handling things while I've been traveling.”

    “Maybe you should be there some time? Anyhow, Hilda and Kyurem are there too.” It worried him, both in what they could do to her and what she could end up doing to them. Hopefully it wouldn't end up as a riot.

    “What are they doing there?” N asked, seeming concerned too.

    “I don't entirely know,” Hilbert said, knowing some of it but not wanting to reveal it to N. He might take things the wrong way. “She says they're not going to hurt anybody there. We'll just have to see what she's done later.”

    -+-

    Opelucid streets

    As this was one of the few demonstrations that had been announced, there was a large turn-out. The Team Plasma members were obvious, well over a hundred of them. So were members of the police force, but according to a news report this morning, they were being unsuccessful in arresting those Plasma members that were taking the Pokemon of others. Due to their uniforms and resistance to giving names, it was difficult to identify the thieves personally unless they were caught in the act. And the police couldn't go arresting every single member of Team Plasma. The atmosphere was tense, but so far nothing bad had happened.

    They had set up a temporary stage in one of the open areas of Opelucid, in a sunny spot that could be seen easily from three different streets. Even if they only meant to use it for a few hours, they had made it grand, with large black and silver curtains for a backdrop, big tapestries of their insignia, a pair of flags at both ends of the stage, and a quality sound system. At the moment, Ghetsis was on-stage with the six other Sages, giving one of his famous speeches.

    And Hilda was with her Pokemon, climbing up the stairs behind the stage. The curtains were closed, so as long as she stayed quiet, they shouldn't notice her until too late. They certainly hadn't noticed when she battled the one knight left to watch this area so that he backed off. “Now we just have to wait for the right moment,” she told them in a hushed voice. “Keep it down.”

    Frank, Fedora, and Tarzan nodded, while Mimi kept close to Hilda's feet. Olette was still working on climbing the stairs without making much noise, as her large feet and steel parts didn't make that easy. When the Exadrill got up with them, the stage structure sagged under her weight. It didn't seem to be in threat of collapse, as long as she didn't do anything active up here.

    For a while, Ghetsis went on in his usual fashion: current use of Pokemon was abuse, the time when it would all change was soon, do the right thing, blah de blah blah. But then he got on an interesting line right as Hilda was thinking of just going on even if it wasn't optimal, just to get him before he stopped. Ghetsis spoke about N more than just a mention.

    “I’m sure many of you have been wondering about our King, especially in light of the revelation of the White King,” he said. “Our King is a very compassionate and wise young man. All of us in Team Plasma as you see today have been moved greatly by his story and philosophy. And in a month's time, you will have proof of this when he calls on Zekrom at the top of Dragonspiral Tower.”

    “I thought that was still frozen, but hey, maybe they figured out something,” Hilda murmured. Then she nodded and waved to her team. “Okay, let's go.”

    Tarzan went up to the part between two curtains and pulled one aside, letting the rest of them walk onto the visible part of the stage. They came up right behind the other six Sages, a couple of whom glanced back to see why the curtain had moved. In front of them, Ghetsis was looking at the audience in his address, not paying attention. As for the audience, they were out of Hilda's sight, but they had noticed the curtains and were momentarily distracted by it.

    Seeing her father on the left, Hilda turned to the three robed men on the right. “Hey, may I borrow a microphone off one of you?” The question didn't get broadcast.

    One of them paused, but another was caught enough off-guard by her appearance to comply with her request, taking a clip microphone off his collar. “It's not on right now,” he said.

    “Zinzolin!” one of them hissed.

    But she already had it. The switch was obvious, but she flicked it on, then off to check it before clipping it onto her pink windbreaker. “It's all right, thanks.” She flashed him a smile then took a few steps closer to Ghetsis. As she and her Pokemon started creeping into view, some in the audience chuckled.

    The green-haired man still hadn't noticed. “His devotion is quite serious, I assure you. When you meet him, you will agree that he is a true hero meant to lead us into a glorious era of peace and happiness. For now...”

    Flipping the microphone on, Hilda cheerily said, “For now, he's not here. Don't worry, you all will see things clearly soon enough.”

    Ghetsis jumped around, causing the audience to laugh at his surprise. For a moment, he glared hatefully at her for interrupted him. Then Fedora slithered up beside her, rearing up and glaring back defensively. Although even he must have realized the Serperior was unlikely to attack right then and there, Ghetsis' mask of calm control soon slipped back on. He raised an eyebrow at her.

    Grinning, Hilda made a silly wave. “That was what you were gonna say, right? Except in bigger words. Unless you prove me wrong in that?”

    “Close enough,” Ghetsis said, stepping aside so that he could look at her and still be partially facing the audience. She complied by coming forward a few steps, Fedora keeping close to her. “But must you be so rude as to interrupt an important life-changing speech without invitation?”

    She stretched her arms back. “Well I would've come even if you invited me.” A few members of the audience cheered that, or laughed. “And don't mind my Pokemon. I said they could come or stay behind, whatever they wanted, and they chose to come with me up here. They should behave themselves.”

    Fedora tilted his hat forward, as if giving a silent warning not to mess with her. Tarzan and Olette both took up positions near the other six Sages to look important (although the Scraggy was the odd one out, looking goofy in holding his skin up). In the meantime, Frank had gone to keep an eye on Mimi, who had gotten fascinated by a dangling curtain tassel.

    “You don't have your dragon with you as usual,” Ghetsis pointed out, seemingly stalling while he put together his thoughts on this disruption.

    “Oh, he's here too,” Hilda said, pointing upwards and to the left of the stage. Kyurem was perched on top of a three story building nearby, watching over the event. “But this stage can just barely handle Olette as it is. This set-up is so human-centric; most events would plan for having a group of Pokemon on stage as well.”

    “What are you doing here?” he asked, trying to step away from the Pokemon issue.

    She put her hands on her hips. “I've been meaning to talk to you for a while, and this seems as good an opportunity as any. And it's even better that it's in public. I've got nothing to hide; how about you? And you all, you want to hear this?” She looked over at the audience.

    The clusters of Plasma members seemed uncertain, but the other parts of the audience agreed by clapping and whistling. Maybe they thought it would be interesting to see a Pokemon Trainer interrogate this public face of Plasma. Or maybe they recognized that this could be entertaining due to the dramatic flair that both he and her had shown in the past. Whatever the reason, their approval would make it hard for Ghetsis to decline this unexpected discussion.

    Giving a confident smile, Ghetsis made a bow. “If that's what you wish, although you may find yourself out-classed.”

    “That's what you think,” Hilda replied in perfect confidence as well.

    -+-

    Mistralton hospital

    Hilbert had said that there was a lot to talk about, but Pierre had taken several minutes to calm down. “I thought you were gone forever into the abyss, so I thought I had to get strong to rescue you or the demons would finally kill me,” the Vanilluxe said. “I did my best for my angel, but then I failed. I'm sorry. Don't leave me again. They were all kind, too kind, but they are ignored by the darkness beyond.”

    “You can stay in the hospital with me,” N said. “I'll have to convince them, but I'll make sure of it.”

    “I'm pretty sure they'll let at least one of them stay with you if you ask,” Hilbert said.

    “Good.” He patted the Vanilluxe's larger head. “And I don't blame you for what happened in Skyla's Gym. That was my fault as much as yours for rushing it.”

    “We shouldn't have trouble now,” Tock said, turning from his examination of the machines keeping an eye on N. “The energy flow is stronger.”

    “That's good.” Then N sighed. “But we can't stay together forever. I want people and Pokemon to be safe and happy, but the best way to stop the worst abuses is to separate both sides. There is too much pain to let the current system continue.”

    “But I need to stay with you,” Pierre said, shuddering in his lap.

    “He is more sane in your presence,” Rune said, now perched on the bar at the end of the bed.

    “About your plans,” Hilbert said, nudging him to keep eating the peanut butter. “There's something that could change that. Is there anything you can do that humans normally shouldn't? Aside from understanding Pokemon?”

    “I'm not sure,” N said, scooping out some more of the food. When he had to take care of an upset Pokemon, that was more on his mind than eating. And as far as he knew, his language gifts were the most remarkable thing about him.

    The Zoroark looked over at Hilbert. “He gets affected by Sing, and I saw him get poisoned once when trying to take care of a Whirlipede. And he can affect others by singing the same song used in Sing.”

    He nodded. “That's close, but it'd be hard to work with in here.”

    “He's not a human,” Pierre insisted. “He's an angel. He even has a divine glow, sometimes.”

    “I did end up glowing that one time when the lights in the hall all blew out,” N said.

    “How did that happen?” Hilbert asked.

    N thought over it, then shrugged. “I'm not sure. It just happened; I was feeling stressed out but trying to keep cool while talking to others in Team Plasma. And then all the light bulbs exploded for no reason and I was glowing.”

    His brother took a deep breath, sitting back to think. “Well I can't explain the light bulbs. But I can teach you how to use that glow affect whenever you want.”

    “How, can you do it?” N asked.

    He shook his head. “No but... I can guess how you do it. Did you have a sense of power building? And where was it?”

    Nodding, N put his hand to his chest. “In here. It made me feel a little sick.”

    “I hope it doesn't now.” He leaned forward. “Okay, focus your mind on that light you had. How intense it was, the feel of it, the look of it. And bring that sense of power back to your chest.”

    “I'm not sure how to bring that up.”

    “Just try it,” Tock said. “We've never seen a human glow before. Tynamos and Joltiks, yes, even one of our kin once, but not humans.”

    N closed his eyes and did as Hilbert said. It had been like the glow of the moon, cool but bright. Once he thought to bring that power of moonlight into himself, it happened. It didn't even make him feel disoriented this time. Instead, it was just as natural as listening to Pokemon.

    “Now will the power to manifest just as it did before,” Hilbert said.

    “Okay,” N said, opening his eyes to a bright flash of white light. It made him wince, but then he was able to see that the glow had indeed returned to him. “That was a lot easier than last time.”

    “Ooo, that was so bright,” Pierre said, squinting.

    The others in the room were rubbing their eyes too. “That's exactly it!” Tock said. “It's Flash.”

    “Flash?” N asked, puzzled. “But that's something only Pokemon can do... but I guess it happens to me somehow.” He looked over his hand again, trying to see if there was some trick to it that he didn't know.

    “That's right,” Hilbert said, holding his hand up and waving it once. There was a momentary appearance of an icy mist in the room, but it cleared up quickly, leaving only N's glow. “Okay, so now that my eyes don't hurt...”

    The Zoroark shook his head. “Thanks for that.”

    N gaped at Hilbert for a moment. “That, that was like Haze.”

    “Yeah, because Flash reduces accuracy and Haze counters that effect,” Hilbert said.

    No, this couldn't be right. It had to be impossible. “What's going on? We, we shouldn't be capable of this. We're just humans, relying on our wit, memory, and will to survive in a world of powerful beings.”

    “Calm down, it's all right,” Hilbert said, taking his hand. “We're not entirely human. We're gijinkas, part human and part Pokemon. I asked the hospital to run blood tests to prove it. Here.” He took a file out of his travel bag and opened it to show him.

    Not all of it meant much to N, but the proof was there. The tests had come out positive for showing Pokemon genes in his own. In a line marked 'Gene identification', it stated 'Uncertain- typing Normal'. Hilbert had his own test results as well, which were similar save for the typing; it said that he was a Dark type.

    That... was an immense relief. N felt like truly smiling for the first time in weeks. “That's great. It can be as I hoped for.”

    Hilbert looked at him oddly, maybe surprised. “Really? Why?”

    “Because it means that I am qualified to be an ambassador between humans and Pokemon,” he explained. “The separation must be absolute for it to work, and for both sides to adjust properly. But if I belong to both sides, I can go between both sides freely.” And spend more time with Pokemon, as he wanted.

    Hilbert bit his lip. “But if people like us exist, doesn't that mean that people and humans are connected already? Your separation can't be absolute because of us. And since Pokemon can be reborn as humans, and possibly the other way around, then it's a sign that we're meant to be together, working to help each other out. Humans have the capacity to think deeply, but they don't have much power beyond that. Pokemon do have great power, but they don't have the minds to plan for beyond immediate needs and wants, or to consider complex issues. So it seems that the world would work best if humans and Pokemon to do as they do best, but work together in that. Like now, but with more respect and awareness to the needs and wishes of Pokemon.”

    N shook his head. “No, then people will take it as a sign to keep things as they are instead of improving them. The position of Pokemon in the world has degraded. Even on the level of the legendary Pokemon; fewer people honor and respect them these days. And most humans have seen no interest in changing that as they think that the current situation benefits them most. Maybe in the future we can all work together, but for now, the separation is necessary to wake humans up to their thoughtlessness and carelessness.”

    “It's going to cause a lot of problems and chaos to go that far,” Hilbert said. “And both humans and Pokemon are going to be upset about it. I mean, these ones have come to see you because you were separated from them and they didn't know what happened to you.”

    “And just when we wanted to see what you were like,” Tock said, slowing down the spinning of his gears briefly.

    “Pricilla followed you for months rather than be without you,” Rune said. “Other Pokemon may do the same to remain with their human friends.”

    That mixed-up feeling of not being sure what was good or bad returned, plus a pang at recalling Pricilla. Why should that be? He'd spent nearly a month trying to clear his heart of that and it still wasn't gone. N closed his eyes, thinking that if he could put all that out of his mind, then he wouldn't feel bad about it. But, it just wouldn't go away. And his brother and friends were still here. It wasn't right to ignore them, he was fairly certain.

    “Hilbert,” N said, looking over at him. “If I tell you something here, will you promise not to tell anyone else? Anyone at all?”

    He nodded, seemingly without a thought otherwise. “Of course. I promise I won't speak of it.”

    A little shiver ran through him. Could he talk about this? He shouldn't. And yet, he really wanted to. “Sometimes, I don't want to be in this position.”
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  2. #302
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    Aww, I was hoping to read about Hilda tearing Ghetsis a new one :( Anyway, good chapter, just a couple minor mistakes.

    "Tynamos and Joltiks, yes, even one of our kin once, but not humans.”
    Tynamo and Joltik are already plural, so there's no need to add a s at the end of their names :p

  3. #303
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    If you wrote both halves you can simply post again. It's a rare exception to the double posting rule!
    WHERE'S MY DONUTS COFEE BREAKS AND HORRIBLY MUTILATED UMBER!!!!!
    How will N react about Keldeo, Umber's work and GENESECT!
    You can make links to posts, I dunno how but Missingno. Master does. Ask him. Makes it more covienent for the reader. I still recomend putting the Gijinka list in a spoiler on the first page.

    can you explain the joke please? (Ppuppy dog eyes)
    Last edited by Rotomknight; 5th October 2012 at 10:44 PM.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

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    You can include links to posts like this - [url=post#]description of link[/url]. It is fairly convenient to new readers, or just ones who are looking for a particular chapter.

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    Ah well, epic debating shall have to wait for now then. But on the other hand, PLOT TWIST! Sorta. Maybe. Well, at least N admits it, anyway...
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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

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    Can't wait for the next chapter...Hilda vs Ghetsis speech will be awesome.
    I treat my Pokemon like family. Copy and Paste this in your sig if you do too. Started by legolover8.

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    Which joke? Only one person asked me about the joke in this chapter title... anyhow, 45 went on long, and 46 became longer... but good things happen, so it works out.

    This update is a day late because a: I haven't been feeling great and b: I recently got White 2. And it's giving me ideas.


    Chapter 46: Kings and Queens, Part 2


    March 26
    Opelucid streets

    So far, the event had been predictable, if bigger than others that Plasma had held. Ghetsis had only added a few new details in the strategy he had been using for the past few months. And the others were there to back up his points and put pressure on people individually to join them or 'do the right thing'. Even the debates had been similar due to Ghetsis' ability to drown out vital points his opponents made. After so much of it, the speeches of Team Plasma were starting to lose their novelty. Now their best and most intimidating speaker was squaring off against a fifteen-year-old girl and all groups in the audience were eager to see what would spark between them.

    “I heard some interesting stuff around Black City,” Hilda started off with. “They were saying that this big plan of yours is going to do a lot of economic damage to the region. And that makes sense to me, cause just about everybody I know is in a job that involves or even depends on Pokemon. It seems like if you force humans and Pokemon to separate, then most everybody wiklk gave trouble getting food and things, as well as keeping their houses. If you want to suggest such a radical change, shouldn't you be starting to offer work that doesn't involve Pokemon, like, now? Be responsible and show everybody the alternatives before forcing us all to find them.”

    “Such things will be available; you simply have to take the Pokemon out of the work and get it done yourself,” Ghetsis replied.

    She tilted her head. “That still don't work out, cause my neighbor studies Pokemon for a living, and one of my friends has a job helping her do that. And my Mom sells specialty Pokemon accessories and gear online, which will totally become worthless if nobody can have Pokemon to give that stuff to. And me and another friend earn money through League association. You can't take the connections to Pokemon out of those, save for maybe selling things. And many people here are probably the same way, right everybody?”

    She got several loud agreements from the audience.

    “You're not thinking enough about this,” Ghetsis said. “But you are only a teenager. We can't expect you to know anything about the economy and government systems.”

    Grinning, Hilda said, “Yeah, that's right. Your King's a teenager too, right? Well, barely, since he'll be turning twenty in about a month. But he does have all of you to handle the big stuff. I'll have to talk with him about the jobs next time I see him. If he is going to awaken Zekrom in a month, that's much too soon. I'd guess we'd need five years or something to adjust, at least. He should listen.”

    “Are you sure about that?” Ghetsis asked, smiling himself.

    “Pretty sure,” she said. “Or I can show him. He's a pretty cool guy, actually; I like him.” Then she crossed her arms over her chest. “I don't like you, though.” Many people laughed at that.

    “That's hardly the point now, is it?” He pointed at her. “Our King has spent much of his life studying up on how to make his ideals turn into reality. His education has been a spectacular asset when combined with his native intuition. You education could have only been general, so you would know much less than him. What would you have that he doesn't?”

    “Common sense?” Hilda asked sweetly, which the audience (at least the non-Plasma members) approved of. “And real world experience, that too. By the way, where is your King?”

    “He's not here right now; he's off doing important things for us all, refining his plans.” He didn't seem too worried about that.

    But he should be, Hilda thought, putting her hands down to her sides. “Yes, but where is he?”

    Ghetsis raised an eyebrow. “I'm not at liberty to reveal that. Why do you want to know?”

    She leaned towards him. “Do you know where your King is?”

    At that, Ghetsis seemed to pick up that she had to know something. Although the audience wouldn't see well, there was a shifting under his large cloak, and a search of her expression to find some clue on what to respond with. Fedora had come down from his intimidation stance, but his tongue flicked out and he came slightly in front of Hilda, just in case this would cause trouble. Over to the side, the other Sages glanced at each other, some whispering. Even the audience had quieted down.

    “Right now?” Hilda added. “Because I know exactly where he is. Right now.”

    “Do you?” Ghetsis asked, a slightly dangerous tone in his voice. He was trying to warn her not to mess with him.

    But that was what she had come here to do, when he couldn't react aggressively due to the presence of the audience. “Yes. Me, Hilbert, and some of our friends were out camping in White Forest when we came across him, delirious and in really bad shape. They didn't even want to teleport him because he was so weak from that flu that's been going around this year.”

    This sent shock waves through the Plasma members there. There were gasps of disbelief and worried whispers in their groups, possibly even a few crying already. As for Ghetsis, he froze, caught in a situation he didn't have a smooth answer for.

    Hilda wanted to keep the momentum in her favor before he could formulate a response. “He's in the hospital. I called them up this morning and they said he's recovering, but it could be a while before he gets back in good shape. Hilbert's gone to visit him, you know, because they're brothers. He said he had a lot he wanted to talk with him about. And that's why it's just me and my Pokemon here today.”

    “Hold on,” Ghetsis said, taking his hand out of his cloak to turn off the microphone for a moment. “Gorm, Ryuko, would you two go look into this? Ask him if he needs anything from us now.”

    “Sure,” one of the two said. “Which hospital is it?”

    “Mistralton,” Hilda mouthed.

    “Mistralton? Okay.” The two of them walked behind the curtain, talking quietly to each other.

    Ghetsis then turned the microphone back on. “Thank you for informing us of this...”

    “No problem!” Hilda said quickly. “We figured since none of you had been seen there, you didn't know about it.” She thought about adding a jab about them being irresponsible, but she didn't really need to. After all, anyone who was paying attention would realize that something wasn't right with this picture.

    That was one of the big points she had come here to make, to unsettle them. But that meant that Ghetsis now had a chance to lead. “We have been careful in such things, so ignorance does not need to be your first assumption. Besides, you're working with the White King, so your intentions are suspect. You may try to undermine us, but Team Plasma is strong enough to endure any weak indirect attack like that. We will make justice prevail.” This got cheers from the Plasma members, although maybe not as enthusiastic as it might have been earlier.

    “Picking a side makes intentions suspect? Does that work both ways?” Hilda nodded to the approval she got from others in the audience. “I'm working with the White King because he needs the help. He's going after what he believes is right, same as your King, only Hilbert doesn't have as much to work with, just a famous reputation that he's trying to move away from.”

    “Your intentions are especially suspect, given that you have been chosen by Kyurem,” Ghetsis said in a strong voice. “That would mean you are one who believes in neither truth nor ideals, and are one who is most likely to be a destructive force in the world.”

    There was the safe answer to that... or the fun answer. “Well maybe I just want to watch the world burn,” she replied in an exaggerated fashion. “I mean, who doesn't?” Then she gave an evil-ish laugh, getting much of the audience to break into laughter too, as she was purposely making even her gestures over the top for that.

    Ghetsis glowered at her. “Can we be serious about this?”

    “Man, wanting to be serious is asking a lot out of me,” Hilda said, shaking her head. “But if that's what you want... gosh, such a stick in the mud. Yeah, I don't think either of them are more important than the other. Ideals without truth, or truth without ideals... both of those states are dangerous. The balance is more important; that's what makes the world work. Your group is running on shaky grounds, openly ignoring some very practical truths. So no, I don't think that you're as strong as you say you are, because unless you accept those truths and do something about them, your world of ideals is going to collapse into utter destruction, possibly even the ruin of Unova.”

    Mentally, she made a note to thank Kyurem later for talking to her about that issue earlier. Much of what she said about it was his words, or adapted from them; she wouldn't have really known what to say herself. But during that pause, she noticed that Mimi had left the curtain tassel alone in favor of eying Ghetsis' cloak. She had a stance that suggested she'd try grabbing it. Looking back to meet Ghetsis' eyes, she wondered if she should call the Minccino over before she caused trouble. But this could be interesting, or even useful. Besides, Frank was still watching over her; the Gothorita should be able to get Mimi out of the way if something happened.

    “It is a matter of balance, isn't it?” Ghetsis said, getting on a roll. “Did you ever consider that the world is currently imbalanced in favor of ugly truths used to keep an unethical system working? It is unbalanced, in the favor of humans. However, this ends up making us weaker overall, too dependent on the Pokemon that serve us. We are concerned about balance, in the balance of power between humans and Pokemon. Most people are able to ignore the signs that Pokemon give us about the lack of care and respect given, but we could not, and so...”

    At that point, he turned while Mimi pounced on the cloak. The combination of forces was enough to rip it off the shoulder piece, making it fall on top of her. Hilda immediately went over to take the cloak off Mimi and pick her up. “Sorry about that,” she said as she stepped back. “She's a playful little girl; got one of my skirts the other day. You really should be more careful.” She tapped the Minccino's forehead.

    “Mino,” Mimi said, tense as if she hadn't expected the cloak to come off like that. She looked over at Ghetsis right before he got control on his anger over that interruption. That spooked her further, causing her to bury her head on Hilda's chest and shiver.

    “We can't blame her for doing what comes naturally,” Ghetsis said, his composure cool again. “Although you should be able to keep their behaviors in check better.”

    She could stay up there and keep debating with him. But, actions spoke louder than words; Hilda unclipped the microphone, but didn't turn it off. “Listen, I'd love to stay and keep talking, but she's scared now and I don't want to keep her up here like this. Keep things civil, all right?” She tossed the microphone at Ghetsis. “Sorry about ruining your awesome cloak. Come on, crew, let's get somewhere quieter.” There was some cheer and applause for her exit, but she just turned and headed back through the curtains, away from the staging area.

    Not long after, Kyurem met them in his human form, on a street that was past all the action. With him was a Druddigon with a small bag on its shoulder. “Is she all right?” he asked.

    “Yeah, he just scared her,” Hilda said, still petting Mimi. “Who's your friend here?”:

    “She belongs to Iris, and was sent to me with a message.” He nodded to the other Dragon, who brought a paper out of her bag.

    “Thaks,” she said, taking the paper with one hand while still trying to support the Minccino with the other. It was a short message, but made her grin. “Hey, she and Drayden are inviting us over to the Gym for dinner. Well who am I to deny free food? Sure, can you let them know we'll be there? I can't write at the moment.”

    The Druddigon nodded, then flew back off to find her Trainer.

    -+-

    Mistralton hospital

    It was odd to hear N speak of his doubts. He was normally so stubborn to work his ideas around what he saw that getting him to admit that he might be wrong was a big change. But, Hilbert knew it had to be a good change. This was N starting to open up to other ideas and thus into leading Team Plasma in a different direction. That is, if he did have as much influence over them as he thought.

    The Vanilluxe had even quieted down, watching N as he kept speaking. “This has been the meaning of my whole life so far, setting things right for the sake of Pokemon, so that the world could be better and fairer. I thought that was the secret reason behind everything: why I could understand Pokemon when most could not, why I ended up abandoned in the forest to be adopted by Pokemon, why I met the people I did. Everything was connected and it all made sense. It was something I could handle. It was what I was meant to do.

    “But then sometime when I was out traveling around... I don't know when exactly, as I may have just realized it little by little... but what had seemed so simple and manageable became complicated and far bigger than I realized. I've met people who are so tied up in this system that they won't know what to do with themselves when it's gone. Some of them are ignorant and careless as I thought, but some of them seem like genuinely good people that I really don't want to hurt, like you. Then I get constant reminders about how Pokemon suffer and how much they need this to happen, and I don't want to hurt them either through inaction. Plus all the people who've put all their faith and trust in me to help change the world, I can't let them down and I have to stay strong for them even if I don't feel strong. When I think about all this and get to the point where even I’m not sure what's right or wrong anymore, I just want to run away from all this and go back to a simpler life where all that mattered was the present day and company.”

    “Life is rarely easy,” Hilbert said, thinking about how the both of them had been sheltered from troubles for much of their lives. There was a time or two where he wanted to give up, but so far he had kept going. Then he came to wonder, why now? Kyurem had broken his 'shelter' so he could prove his worth to Reshiram, but why had Ghetsis let N out of his at this time, before he had to perform one of the biggest parts of their plan, summoning Zekrom. N looked crushed by the pressure now.

    But then, maybe that was the point: throw N out into the world alone when he wasn't prepared to be independent, so that he would willingly return to the life of a sheltered puppet and never look back.

    “Don't you think it would be nice, though?” N asked. “We could take our Pokemon friends and leave Unova. We'll find somewhere where humans aren't around; I'm sure there's still wild places left in the world. Living off the land isn't that bad, especially if you're careful and listen to what local Pokemon have to say. Then we'd all be happy, not under the pressure of expectations from other people.”

    “That could be nice,” he admitted. “But what about Hilda? And those in Team Plasma following you.”

    “I think I'd be all right with Hilda and her Pokemon coming too, just so long as we didn't have to go against her any more,” N said. “If we weren't dealing with all this, I can see how she's a good person. Her Pokemon do love her. But when I have to deal with this being a king and hero, and her being with Kyurem, I get all confused again. There's a lot of stuff that's confusing, like how the Pokecenters take care of Pokemon, but because of their existence the Pokemon League can exist, so you can't tell if they're good or bad... but I'd want to get away from all that. We wouldn't bother anyone else as long as they don't bother us and it would be good.” Then he sighed. “But running away wouldn't change the problems and that's what keeps me from doing it.”

    “If this is causing you that much confusion, maybe there is something else wrong with what's going on,” Hilbert said. He doubted that he could change N's mind that fast, but getting him to start thinking independently was important. “You should consider what causes that conflict in you; that should tell you where the problems lie.”

    “And pay attention to all that goes on around you,” the Zoroark added.

    “I try,” N said, his head bowed. But then a knock on the door caused them all to look to the entrance. There were two men there, dressed in the robes of Plasma's Sages. But neither was one that Hilbert recognized.

    “My lord, we're sorry that it's taken us this long to come see you,” one of them said, coming in. “We weren't aware that you had left the castle.”

    “It's all right,” N said, his attitude shifting to something more guarded. “I'm not entirely sure how I left myself. Hilbert, would you mind leaving us for the time being? We can talk more later, if you want.”

    “Sure thing,” he said, although he was a little uneasy to leave him with these men. At least it wasn't Ghetsis; these might be ones who authentically cared about N. “Take care of yourself. Loch, let's go.”

    His Alomomola whistled and swam through the air to follow him. Hilbert had done what he could; bringing N's Pokemon here might even help. Besides, there was still time before the hospital would release him. This opportunity wasn't lost yet.

    -+-

    Someone else knew of his doubts and foolish wishes. It had made N feel nervous about someone finding out before, but now that he had told Hilbert, he felt calmer and a little more confident. In having done that, he had affirmed how selfish it was and was more certain that it was his responsibility to see to the happiness of many rather than just one. This time might be tough, and if his other self was right it would get tougher, but too much time had been lost already. He could put aside his own desires, his own wishes, and maybe even his own self until the separation of peace was firmly in place in Unova. At that point, he could then figure out how to be happy himself in the new world order.

    “How are you doing, N?” Ryuko asked.

    “I'm better than I was before,” N replied. “I still need some time to get my health back, and sort out things. My friends here came to visit me; Pierre's going to stay with me, but would you see the rest back to the castle safely?”

    “Of course,” he said.

    “Is there anything you need us to do to help you?” Gorm asked.

    There wasn't much he could do himself until he was released from the hospital. But, there were some things, mostly planning. “When is the Pokemon League reopening? And have you made any progress in determining when I can get into Dragonspiral Tower?”

    “The League will be back in less than a week,” Gorm said. “On the first of April. As for the Tower, the ice does show some signs of thinning, but it will be late April at the very least before it clears up enough to enter. Possibly not even by May.”

    He nodded. “I will need to make sure these Pokemon are ready, but that should be suitable. Also, I had a notebook in the room I was staying in. Would you get that to me? I'm not ready to make a statement on things yet, but that will help. Some things have changed.”

    “Like what?” Ryuko asked.

    He felt they had the right to know. N handed the blood test results to them. “I'm not entirely human.”

    -+-

    Opelucid Gym

    “This Gym is seriously fun,” Hilda said as she and Kyurem followed Iris through the pathway that led to the Gym Leader's platform. This building was huge, but in depth and height more than width. There were a few battle platforms around it, but much of the space was taken by a pair of dragon sculptures that functioned as walkways between the platforms. Not only that, but the sculptures had mechanisms that changed their shape and direction. To get around, one had to ascend, descend, and cross along the dragons' backs.

    “Well we're taking the easy path through because the Gym's not active,” Iris said, smiling. “But you should come in some time when we're open and see how they really move. We've even got different systems so that it's not always the same puzzle.”

    “That does make sense, so that people that come in have to figure things out for themselves.” They got up to the Leader's platform, but entered a hidden door against the wall to get into the area where the Gym's Pokemon stayed.

    The room was just as big as the room before it, but it had been designed with a rocky mountainside in mind. There were clusters of large rocks, some which appeared to be fabricated to certain shapes but others which were natural; they seemed to be perching or hiding points, especially for the dragons capable of flight. In one corner, there was a rock pool with short waterfall that kept the water in motion. There were a couple of Haxorus bathing over there, but they paused to see who was coming down the stairs.

    Drayden was in another part of the room, working on getting the Gym Pokemon fed. Apparently, not all of the Dragons ate every day, so a schedule was kept to know which one would need food each day. It also wasn't unusual for Drayden and Iris to invite other Trainers with non-Dragon Pokemon over, so they did keep things on hand for other types. They ate over in one corner of the room that was covered by a rock overhand, but was otherwise designed and furnished like a normal kitchen, dining, and work area.

    “Thank you for taking a stand against Team Plasma, at their own event even,” Drayden said as the meal was coming to an end. “I don't know if you saw, but I did debate with him a while later in the afternoon. He was prepared for me, but he wasn't prepared for you, which made him easier to deal with.”

    “Yeah, you completely blew a hole in his plans by knowing N and being able to talk about that openly,” Iris said. “We can't really do that because we're supposed to be keeping them from knowing how much we do know.”

    “Well I did what I could,” Hilda said, grinning. “It was lots of fun. I wasn't sure how effective I was going to be, since I haven't done much for public speaking aside from battle dramatics.”

    Drayden nodded. “Simply taking a stand can be enough at times; this will get people talking, encourage them more to be active themselves. And it follows with your plan to stay in the public eye. Speaking of that, a lot of people are still talking about how you helped get Kyurem to let up on winter. I want to ask: is the other Kyurem going to cause other problems in the future? Or do you have things settled?” He looked mostly at Kyurem for that.

    “He should remain asleep until at least fall, but I don't have control over him,” he said. “Dragonspiral Tower froze over because there were two of us, altering the balance of power in the region. However, with him asleep again, it should thaw out in time.” Kyurem paused, leaning back in his chair thinking. “And by fall, I should be gone. I believe that my duty here is only required until summer. Things may still change, but the balance of power should be in its natural state after that, if we are successful.”

    Iris put her fork down and asked, “So is he going to awake again later this year?”

    Kyurem shrugged. “Maybe. Maybe not. That would be when I awoke, but I believe this time has already altered enough to make it uncertain. If he does, then I cannot guarantee that Hilda will have influence over him. That would depend on several factors.”

    “As long as we know that he could awaken without knowledge of this, we can have access to Giant Crater blocked off by the League,” Drayden said. “It won't stop everyone, but there are other precautions we can take as well.”

    “You can send Hilbert in there if he has Reshiram awake,” Hilda said. “That Kyurem would listen to them, right?”

    Kyurem nodded. “That would be wise.”

    “Good. Of course, this is assuming we can handle this Plasma situation by summer. How are you preparing?”

    Hilda glanced at Kyurem, but when he declined to answer, she said, “We've been training up the team with the plan that when the League reopens, we'll blitz through the remaining Gyms as quickly as we can, in order to catch up to N. I've got them in their early to mid forties in terms of levels and we exercise as a group to keep our unity. Well, not me as much since I got sick; I'm still getting tired fairly quick, but I can direct them for longer so they keep in great shape. Since N intends on becoming Champion to get more people to listen to him when he starts officially speaking on Plasma's behalf, I should be able to slow them down if I can snatch the title after him. And I'm sure that the more time N spends outside the group and around the Pokemon he uses, the more likely he is to change his mind.”

    “He was starting to falter a month ago,” Kyurem added.

    “That's a good sign,” Drayden said. “We will help how we can by demonstrating our bonds with Pokemon to him. Unfortunately, he last challenged Skyla. She's a good woman, but subtlety is not her forte and she's already angered him. Brycen or I might be able to reach him still; we'll just have to see about it.”

    “I'll try too, if I'm on duty when he comes,” Iris said. “So what's he like, huh?”

    “He's moody and stubborn,” Hilda said. “But that's because he's very emotional, he doesn't have the social defenses that most people his age would have, and he's struggling against the difference between what he believes and what he sees happening around him. N is intelligent and I think he could be more reasonable person. He certainly cares deeply about Pokemon and hates it when they get hurt, even with regular battle injuries. Humans, though, he's not too sure how to deal with the rest of us. At least that's what I notice about him.”

    Drayden rubbed his beard for a moment (he did have impressive facial hair. If he wasn't talking, Hilda couldn't tell where his mustache ended and his beard started. It was awesome, although not something she'd want to copy herself). “It is odd to see him as a leader, if what you say is true. A sensitive and emotional person like that... I've known of people like that who can be great inspirations to others, with real insights that can change the world. On the other hand, Hilbert has more confidence and ability with others, plus he comes off as much less vain than he did before. It would be interesting to see what those two would do together. But then, they were made to be like that.” He glanced at Iris.

    “Well I hope he does decide to work with Hilbert instead of Team Plasma, even if he founded them,” Iris said. “I don't see the point of separating humans and Pokemon because we work so well together. Sure, there's some bad things that happen, but that's not enough to force everyone into a situation where they'll be unhappy.”

    “That's true,” Drayden agreed. “If a Pokemon didn't want to be with humans, it could simply choose to stay away from us. And so many of them stay close that I'm certain most of them don't want this separation either. Even then, just because you've captured a Pokemon with a Pokeball doesn't mean you've captured their heart.”

    “I have Kyurem who sometimes will translate for me,” Hilda said, smiling at him. “But even if he's not, I can usually guess what my Pokemon are trying to tell me. We've been around each other a lot.”

    “And that shows in how they act around you,” Drayden said. “Kyurem wasn't with you on the stage, but I saw that the others were paying close attention to what was going on, watching out for you. Well, most of them, and even if the Minccino was easily distracted by other things, she clearly trusts you enough that she preferred to stay close to you instead of running off when scared.”

    “She is a little childish at times,” Hilda said, glancing down on noticing a movement of gray by her chair. Mimi had noticed mention of herself and come over. She patted the Pokemon's head. “But she's still a darling.” Iris giggled at that.

    The older man smiled. “Yes. And while you're here, I want to present you with the Legend Badge.” He then put a golden metal on the table, shaped in a way like a dragon's head.

    “Really? Awesome!” Hilda picked it up and looked over it. “But what for? You're supposed to be closed.”

    “Well you did beat me the other night,” Iris said. “And, see, we can give out a badge in exchange for a service done to the community, if we feel that it is appropriate to do so. You helped us figure out how to calm the other Kyurem down, and you did a great job standing up to Ghetsis.”

    “And you did so with the assistance of your Pokemon,” Drayden added. “Thus, I’m certain that you know the Dragon type well enough to deserve this badge. But a word of warning: this acknowledgment can only happen twice for one Trainer, and Lenora used the same ruling to give her badge to you. You will have to battle for the remaining four you're after.”

    “That's fine,” Hilda said, picking up her bag to find her Badge Box. “Thanks! It doesn't put me even with N yet, but it gets me closer.”

    “Also, while you're here... I've noticed that the bond between you and Kyurem is quite strong now. If you want, we can teach him a special Dragon-type move,” Drayden said. When the dragon boy gave him a questioning glance, he added, “There are some moves out there that are potent, but come with strong handicaps or the potential to cause great collateral damage. Many Pokemon are reluctant to learn such things. But if they are with a Trainer they know and trust, they are willing to learn them and accept their Trainer's judgment on when and where to use the move. And you should be careful with this Draco Meteor. Still, with what you're up against, it may come in handy.”

    It had to be a normal kind of Pokemon move, Hilda thought, nothing like Kyurem's powers as a legendary. Still, it could cause a great damage? Or have a handicap to balance its power. That could be loads of fun... although here, she did want to be a little serious. “That could be nice. Do you want to?”

    “I haven't learned that one, at least under that name,” he said. “Sure.”

    While Iris and another Gym worker cleaned up after their dinner, Drayden brought Hilda and Kyurem out to the center of the room. He ordered the other Dragons to clear out of one area, but had one Haxorus join him for the lesson. Kyurem shifted to his Dragon form; although he dwarfed the others in the room, his presence only spooked the younger Pokemon of the Gym. Deciding to show bravery and loyalty, the older Dragons kept stoic, if extra watchful. Hilda's Pokemon stayed out of the way to watch too, although Mimi came by Hilda's side to be closer.

    “This is best taught from one Pokemon to another,” Drayden said. Then he pointed out a rougher area of the floor, an indent that was roughly circular in shape. “Since this attack can possibly do damage to the building's structure, even enforced as it is, I want you two to be aiming for that spot. Faize, would you demonstrate Draco Meteor to Kyurem?”

    “Raaaa,” the Haxorus replied, shaking his horns about. After a few grumble-like sounds (although it seemed to be his way of talking rather than annoyance), Faize reared up and summoned a brightly glowing meteor to strike at the indent in the floor. It broke off edges of the spot and made a new crack.

    “Draco Meteor burns up a lot of energy when its used,” the Gym Leader told Hilda. “Their special attacks will be weaker for a time after, but it will make a powerful strike.”

    “All right,” Hilda said as Kyurem's ice glimmered brighter. Then he used his own Draco Meteor, hitting the target exactly. The indent was pounded down another couple of inches, with many cracks breaking up the floor. “You have to repair that spot often?”

    “From time to time,” he said. “That should do it, unless you want to try again to make certain.”

    “Chira, ku re!” Mimi cheered, running over to Kyurem's side. She jumped up and waved her paws at him, causing him to chuckle and bump her with his nose. Then she turned, looked at the indent, and clapped her paws together. A third Draco Meteor appeared and struck, a little off target this time.

    “Wait, wait, what was that?” Iris asked, coming over to them. “Was that the Minccino doing that?”

    “Looks that way,” Hilda said, watching as Mimi cheered and hugged Kyurem's snout. She turned on her Xtransceiver to find the app that tracked her team's moves.

    “That would be unprecedented,” Drayden said, crossing his arms over his chest. “It's only supposed to be usable by Dragon Pokemon.”

    “But she's got it now,” Hilda said, showing them the screen. It showed that both Kyurem and Mimi could use Draco Meteor. “Those two are really close; she treats him like her father and she does the same in response.”

    “If it is his will, then Kyurem might be able to help her overcome that,” Drayden said. “I know you're working on the Pokedex project, so make it clear that this is an exceptional circumstance.”

    Later on, when they had checked into a hotel for the night, Hilda went through her inventory and found the Shiny Stone she had. “Hey, remember when Hilbert gave me this?” she said to Kyurem, showing it to him. “It will evolve Mimi, right?”

    Back in human form, he nodded. “Correct.”

    “Are you okay with me giving it to her now? I mean, I know you think of her as the young Pokemon you adopted. But she needs to keep up with the rest of the team too. And well, she knows freaking Draco Meteor; she'll probably never use it as effectively as you, so it's mostly for the surprise factor, but we still don't want to waste that as she's unevolved.”

    “That's true,” he said, looking down and closing his eyes. “It makes me... uneasy to think of her growing older and stronger. She won't need me to protect her like she did. But it is selfish of me to keep holding her back because of that.”

    Mimi jumped into his lap and patted at his mask. “Chi micci.”

    Kyurem took her paw. “I guess it would be time to stop holding onto that past so tightly. And worrying about the future. For now, I'm grateful to be where we are.” Then he nodded. “Go ahead and give it to her.”

    “Well not while she's sitting on you,” Hilda said, waving to her with the shiny yellow salt rock. “Mimi, come over here. You can have this now.”

    “Ko?” She hopped over and took the Shiny Stone. After sniffing it closer, her eyes and ears perked up in delight and she started chewing on it.

    “It should have its full effect by morning,” Kyurem said. “You finish that off so you can be strong too.”

    Mimi looked pleased to hear that.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  8. #308
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl View Post
    It seems like if you force humans and Pokemon to separate, then most everybody wiklk gave trouble getting food and things, as well as keeping their houses.
    Think you missed that.


    And I agree with Hilda. Even if only jokingly, let the world BURN.

    Oh, and of course PLOT TWIST. Even if it's not plot, and more random move that will only be used once or twice.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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

  9. #309
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    Cinnico used Draco Meteor!
    Enemy Trainer used swear streak!
    "************************"

    I cannot wait for Umber's genetics and Ghetsis's schemes to be reaveled to the public.
    And when will the extremely high number of Gijinka amount be reaveled to the public.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

  10. #310
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    And we're back to the canon storyline! Sort of, at least getting back to the Gyms. Just as a note, I had Hilda vs Elesa decided on months ago. It just... makes sense, you know?

    Zinzolin is a cowardly wimp (just a musing from the sequel games).


    Chapter 47: Battle of Beauty


    April 1
    outside Driftveil

    Route 6 brought Cheren back out to the wilderness again, at least it seemed that way. The thick forest blocked out all signs of Driftveil, leaving only winding grassy paths and old wooden bridges to follow. Instead of the sounds of conversation and machinery, he heard the swiftly flowing river, the calls of Pokemon, and the battering of raindrops on the water, leaves, and his black umbrella. As this environment favored Pokemon, he knew this would be the right place. He just had to hope Keldeo was up to leading him.

    Before he got into that search, he was caught up in a conversation on the Xtransceiver. In particular, he winced at the happy shriek from Hilda. “You guys are the best!” she squealed. “This is going to be so much fun! Thanks for all this, even talking me out of picking out an outfit for today. I knew I could count of you two.”

    Bianca was caught up in giggles over the reaction. “Oh yes, I can't wait to see how it turns out! We just knew that, since you're turning sixteen today and you'd certainly be going for your next badge too, that we had to top what you did with Burgh's challenge.”

    “And the fact that Elesa's doing that special showing today made it irresistible,” Cheren said, rubbing his ear with his free hand. But she was so happy that he smiled anyhow.

    “Aw yeah,” Hilda said. “But how in the world am I going to top this for my last three badges? Well, whatever, today's going to be the best birthday ever! I don't know which one I’d choose, though; they have so many when I last looked.”

    “About that,” Cheren said. “Since I'm helping to pay for this, I insist that you have Bianca go with you to be the voice of reason. I don't want to get over there and find out it turned into something inappropriate.”

    The two girls laughed at that. “Oh, don't worry, I'll be helping her,” Bianca said teasingly. “But we did agree that it would be her choice.”

    “And that's what worries me,” Cheren said, giving a half-smile to let them know that he wasn't too serious. He was almost certain that it would be okay and Hilda wouldn't go with anything too outrageous... but then, it was Hilda.

    “Then you are going to be there?” Hilda asked, looking hopeful.

    Cheren shrugged. “I'll try my best to be in Nimbasa this afternoon, but I'm over near Chargestone Cavern at the moment. If Keldeo can help me find Cobalion quickly, then it shouldn't be a problem.”

    “Right, you shouldn't put that off for too long,” Bianca said. “Good luck with that.”

    “Yeah, but I think Cobalion would want to meet with you since you have Keldeo,” Hilda added. “So, we'll see you in Nimbasa! Sorry if you were going to challenge Driftveil Gym today.”

    He shook his head. “That's no big deal. I'll try myself against Clay tomorrow, that's all. Besides, the Gyms are likely to be really busy the next few days; you're lucky you got scheduled with Elesa.” Or maybe not; the League was assisting them with their work against Team Plasma, and they knew of Hilda's plans to catch up to N. But then, they certainly were not about to give someone a free ride, especially not someone as popular as she was.

    “Well I went in three days ago, and beat all the Gym Trainers in order to make the reservation for the event,” Hilda said. “I love her Gym design, with that great roller coaster ride. Wasn't that cool? But then, Drayden and Iris have a nifty one too, and all the ones I've been in have been fun.”

    “I had to take a minute to get rid of the dizziness,” Cheren said, recalling when he had challenged Elesa. “Seriously, putting a loop right before you face her? Isn't it cheating if you disorient challengers before they fight you?”

    “There is the option to wait a minute or two,” Hilda pointed out.

    Once they had finished up the conversation, Cheren turned off the Xtransceiver and looked down at Keldeo. It wasn't even two weeks since he and Hilbert had released Keldeo, but he was already looking better. His fur was starting to grow back, short but getting rid of the bald spots. With better food and hygiene, he didn't seem unhealthy. He was still weak, currently napping from the walk out here.

    To his surprise, Meloetta had snuck up while he had been talking with his friends. She was kneeling by Keldeo, petting his head. “Oh, good morning Meloetta,” Cheren said. “What are you doing here?”

    She looked up at him, brushing her green hair back. 'Good morning. I'm sorry to be a bother. But, after helping the police, I wasn't sure what to do with myself. My mind's still in a haze after being in that building so long.' She got up and dusted off her dress. 'Do you mind if I travel with you and Keldeo for a little while? I thought I'd be all right with musicians, but I think, maybe a traveler would be better.'

    That caused Cheren some thought. He had set out to prove his worth as a powerful Trainer last fall. But now he thought that power alone didn't make a great Trainer. He wasn't entirely sure of what did; his plans had been to stick with the four Pokemon he had and figure out how to better work with them. As Keldeo wasn't fit for battling but in need of extra care, he didn't mind taking along one Pokemon he couldn't use. But was Meloetta up for battle? And, did he really want to be using legendary Pokemon too? Winning like that seemed like taking the easy way out, not trying. Hilda could pull it off because she used all of her Pokemon and she was so audacious with taking on higher level challenges. He wasn't sure that he could do that.

    But then, it was also important to help out these two. The reason he had Keldeo was that Hilbert already had a lot on his plate in trying to work against Team Plasma, with N, and with Reshiram. And, Cheren remembered one Pidove that had been a family pet until he died of old age. Even if he couldn't do much in his later years, he always seemed so miserable being kept indoors, hunched up on a perch. Cheren used to take that Pidove outside when he had some time; in a similar way, he wanted to let Keldeo continue to enjoy the outdoors until this issue could be resolved. If it would help Meloetta too, then it would be good even if he ended up with two team members that he couldn't use fully.

    “If you're all right with following me, sure,” Cheren said. “You just let me know what you want. And, if you could help me understand my other Pokemon, that would be good too.”

    She curtsied. 'Certainly. You, you have a lot on your mind. I know some people seem to achieve greatness without trying. But I can tell you from experience, no one becomes great without effort put into it. It doesn't matter how long it takes to get there, just that you don't give up.'

    For a moment, he felt unsettled. Was she picking up on his thoughts that even he didn't fully notice? Her words did make sense, though. He wasn't going to push to keep up with Hilda's new goal and pace. But then, he'd keep working and sometime in the future, he'd surely have a team that could give her a challenge. “I see. Right now, though, I want to meet with Cobalion and let him know that we found the two of you. I was hoping Keldeo could help,” he knelt down and nudged the white Pokemon. “Keldeo? You rested enough? But if you know the way too, Meloetta, that would help.”

    Meloetta pointed across the river. 'The entrance to Cobalion's territory is in that cave, even though a good portion of it is in the forest. It's usually sealed to keep humans out, but the both of us should be able to lift it temporarily.'

    Keldeo got up, stretched, then looked in the direction Meloetta had pointed. He barked happily, then plunged right into the cold river to swim across. There didn't seem to be a bridge to the cave entrance, but Cheren was able to get his Unfezant to fly him and Meloetta the short distance over the river. Once across, Cheren peered into the cave but a growl from Keldeo made him pause before entering. There was an area in the rain that seemed especially hazy. Before he could figure out why, someone stepped out of the hazy area to clear it up.

    Strangely, it seemed to be N. Only it couldn't be because N had only been released from the hospital a couple of hours ago according to Hilbert. He was still weak but it had been the insistence of himself and Plasma that made the doctor cooperate. Here, he seemed to be in good health. Not only that, but he wore an odd black and white outfit, with tattoos on his lower arms (black scales on the right, and white scales on the left).

    “Did I get the right year this time?” N wondered aloud. “It must be. But then,” he looked over at the three of them, then clenched his fists. “You...”

    “What are you doing here?” Cheren asked. “Aren't you supposed to be in Mistralton today?”

    “What did you do to Keldeo?!” N demanded, coming closer.

    “I'm trying to help,” he said, clutching his Unfezant's Pokeball. Greywing moved closer to him, clucking and puffing up his colored crest feathers in a show of intimidation towards the one threatening them.

    N was too angry to be stopped by that. “His powers have been neutralized and won't be recovered until his next lifetime. I can see that much in his aura. And you, I remember you. You were one of her friends, the one who was blind to what your obsession over power was doing to your Pokemon. Your help would only be a hindrance.”

    “I'm trying to get better,” Cheren said, but then N raised his black scaled arm and a sparking ball of electricity formed in his hand. They were half-Pokemon, he recalled, but he thought Hilbert said they weren't capable of any attacks yet. At least, not him. Maybe N...

    Then something caused N to pale. He stumbled back a step and the energy in his hand exploded. Although his Unfezant darted in front of him, the force of the blast was enough to knock Cheren onto his back. After a brief moment of pain, he felt numb all over, like someone had dosed him with too much anesthetics. He managed to sit back up, but Greywing and Keldeo were both gone, knocked unconscious from the blast. Meloetta was on her knees, dazed.

    N was still standing, his white hand over his face. “Th-that was too close. Don't get me mad.” Then he came over, snatching Cheren's left arm. “Leave Meloetta alone; I'll handle Keldeo, release him over at the sacred stone where he should be. You aren't worthy.”

    Cheren tried to pull his arm back, but the numbness made his movements sluggish. He wasn't able to resist N taking Keldeo's Pokeball from his holder. But then, another voice came out of the rain. “I'm not so certain you are worthy either,” Cobalion said. His blue eyes glinted, then the tall gray beast rushed over, looking as though he was going to strike N across the chest.

    And he might have, if N hadn't vanished from the spot. A few feet away, he clutched the Pokeball. “Don't challenge me, now or in the future,” he said. “We all regret that. I'm only looking for the other being who doesn't belong in this time. But that doesn't mean that I won't try to set things right so that my past self doesn't have to do all that I have done. Don't fight me.” After a flash from the orb bracelet he wore, the haze swallowed him back up and N was gone.

    Cobalion watched that spot for a moment, then looked down at Cheren. “Are you able to walk?”

    “Maybe,” he said, working to get back on his feet. He had a weird sense that he wasn't certain of where his body was, even if he could see it. “We were coming to tell you about Keldeo.”

    “I know; I've been watching.” He put his head against Cheren's. “Get Meloetta and get on my back. I'll take you into town before I head to the sacred rock to find them.”

    'I was going to help Keldeo recover,' Meloetta said, walking over shakily.

    “Are you sure about that?” Cheren asked, surprised by the offer. “I don't want to disrespect you.”

    “Your respect should go to the Pokemon that took that hit for you, and saved your life,” Cobalion said. “And it would have killed you, even as that attack was incomplete. To see that both you and the Unfezant are properly cared for, I will let this one time slide.”

    Greywing had saved his life? Cheren bowed his head. “Thank you. I'll take good care of him.” Then he picked Meloetta up and put her on Cobalion's back before trying to get on himself. Thankfully, the tall Pokemon knelt down and let him use his horns to help.

    The forest route went by in a blur; it wasn't even three minutes before Cobalion stopped running outside the Pokecenter in Driftveil. Cheren slid off and was going to offer to help Meloetta down. But she clung to Cobalion's neck. 'I think I should go too, to the sacred rock. I'll be okay; I wanted to help Keldeo.'

    “Okay, but you need a Potion.” He fumbled for a second with his bag as people out on the streets finally noticed the sight and were staring in shock. Then Cheren pulled out a Hyper Potion and sprayed it on her. “Be careful.”

    “We'll talk later,” Cobalion said, then sprinted off to the south.

    Cheren went into the Pokecenter to get his Pokemon healed. The nurse immediately offered to call the hospital for him, so he agreed and waited there to get checked out himself.

    -+-

    The Nimbasa amusement park was packed that afternoon, but only a small portion of that crowd was there for the rides and standard games. Many were there to see the live filming of the Pokemon League Battle Show, today showcasing Elesa's Gym battles. In celebration of the re-opening of the Gyms, she was holding her challenges outside on a large stage. Not only was she judging the battle skills of her opponents, she was also judging their fashion styles. The challengers had come dressed in expectation of that.

    Elesa herself was dressed in an outfit designed and made for this day. Slim yellow pants led up to a yellow top, both of which were covered by a long black jacket with large jagged cut-outs. Bright yellow ties were spaced along her long black braids, with her usual headband wires given a striped black and yellow pattern. Finishing it off were black and yellow heeled boots and many black and yellow bracelets, five of which were actually Pokeball holders for the various teams she needed today.

    As it was Elesa, she opted to do all the announcing herself instead of having a commentator from the show on stage. Smiling, she spoke to the audience, “And now, for a match I know many of you have been eager to see... we have seen her become a big name on the streets these part few months, but can she make it as a star on the stage as well? Please welcome up, Hilda Medley of Nuvema Town!”

    There were many cheers from the audience, which soon turned to whistles as the girl Trainer came up on stage. Unlike the others who had come up so far, she didn't try to match current fashions. She came up with her Gothitelle, dressed up as a Gothorita. It was a remarkably good cosplay too, with tall black boots, black stockings, black gloves, and a little black dress with large white bows. Even her brown hair had been styled as a reasonably good match, with bun ponytails tied up with large white ribbons. True, the Gothitelle had a better strut than she did, but the effect was stunning.

    “I see you decided to show off your love of Pokemon today,” Elesa said.

    Hilda grinned. “Fashion is about expressing yourself, right? So I did.”

    “Hard to go wrong with that in mind,” she agreed, pointing her to the right spot on the stage. “Now you have to show that you have the right attitude to match your lovely looks. And, you've put yourself on a higher level already. How many badges do you have?” Elesa already knew, but this would be important for the audience to hear.

    She snapped her fingers. “Four of 'em! I'm afraid it didn't get taped, but Drayden and Iris said I well proved my worth to them in a special Battle Subway round, as well as how I was handling Kyurem. We even got the whole team evolved up for this day. But I'm still hoping to get a worthy challenge out of you.”

    Elesa shifted her bracelets to unlock the one that had what would normally be a seventh badge battle, taking the first Pokeball as she did. “Is that so? I'm certainly not about to let anyone down. So then,” she pointed at Hilda as her wires released a particularly loud snap, “you will be facing all the grace and beauty of my Pokemon; yours had best be able to keep up with them on this stage. Ready? Go!” She released an Emolga, which let loose a decorative shower of sparks and cheered. The microphones both she and Hilda were wearing made certain that their voices would carry above the roar of the crowd. Making a quick choice based on what was there, she added, “Volt Switch.”

    “Frank my boy, hit it with a block!” Hilda called, gesturing towards her Gothitelle.

    Showing a confidence like he had been on stage all his life, the Gothitelle made a quick walk over to his position, crossing his arms over his chest. But before he could attack, her Emolga shot towards him in a cluster of sparks to attack and return to his Pokemon. Elesa then released a Galvantula, which took the effects of the curse Frank struck with. The yellow glow that appeared told her that it was Heal Block. Tricky, but they could wait that out.

    “X-scissor,” Elesa called out, thinking to knock this Pokemon out.

    But Hilda used that chance to switch out her Pokemon, releasing an Exadrill. The yellow spider's attack hardly scratched the black and red Pokemon, who didn't even raise her steel arms in defense. “Sword Dance, Olette.”

    This was getting dangerous; the Exadrill crossed her steel claws, then slashed them down while spinning, a surprisingly graceful motion for such a bulky Pokemon. Not being able to heal, Elesa decided she had to take it out fast. “Volt Switch,” she called, preparing to call out her Zebstrika.

    “Earthquake!” Hilda responded, right as Elesa caught her returning Galvantula to exchange for the Zebstrika.

    “Flame Charge!” Elesa called, clutching a fist to her chest. With her wires sparking as her own Electric powers acted up in response to her heart pounding in excitement, she had a feeling that this round could determine the whole battle.

    The Zebstrika reared up as flames wrapped around her body, calling out a challenging cry. She charged the Exadrill as the stage started the tremble. But Olette's black eyes narrowed with determination, staying alert despite heavy damage. As the Zebstrika backed off, she released a tremor that violently shook the stage. The structure remained intact, as it had been built to withstand such things. The Zebstrika was knocked out.

    Elesa felt a little shaken, but despite the Pokemon genes she had, she had never picked up any type resistances or weakness. She brought out a Pokeball, glanced to make sure, then released the Emolga that had started the battle. “Quick Attack,” she called out. The timing might be just right...

    No. Hilda already had a Hyper Potion out and hooked up to her Exadrill's Pokeball, healing her of all damage. The Emolga flew in for a direct attack, but it did nothing. “Now, Rock Slide!”

    That meant the battle was practically over. With Sword Dance increasing her power, Olette knocked out every other member of Elesa's team in one Rock Slide each. Neither Emolga and neither Galvantula had something they could use well against an Exadrill; the Zebstrika was supposed to be able to take out an obstacle like that.

    Even so, she would always take loss with grace. “Magnificent!” she said, coming over to Hilda. “Such overwhelming power, and yet you've made this even normally gruff and tough Pokemon into a lovely lady.” She petted the Exadrill's head.

    “Currrooo,” Olette said, shyly bowing her head and letting her armored paws down.

    “She is the sweetest Steel Pokemon I know,” Hilda said cheerfully. She then brought her Gothitelle back out. He looked over at Elesa and smiled with a smug poise.

    “And she's very devoted to you,” Elesa said. It was part of their gambit against Team Plasma's philosophy, but that didn't make it any less true. “The way she stood her ground for your sake, and how quickly you responded to take care of her, it speaks of a deep bond of friendship that everyone should aim to have with their Pokemon. The beauty of that then shines outward and everyone is able to see you and your Pokemon for the stars that you are. And in honor of that, I proudly present you with the Bolt Badge.” She passed over the gleaming yellow badge to Hilda.

    “All right!” she cheered, holding up the badge for the boisterous audience to see.

    “Let's hear it for Hilda and her darling Pokemon!” Elesa said, taking the bashful Exadrill's hand and holding it up. Olette seemed to be part beaming and part blushing.

    -+-

    Once again, Hilbert felt surrounded by the bright happiness of starstruck fans. Only, it wasn't for him. It was for Hilda, still dressed in her black dress and white ribbons. She spoke happily with the people who came up to meet her after her win against Elesa, even signing a few autographs when asked. When people asked what she meant to do next, she boasted that she was going to take her team to go pulverize Clay in a few days.

    Which might be, considering her Pokemon. They were all hanging out with her, playing with the crowd and not minding pictures being taken. Olette was getting a lot of attention, although she was mostly keeping still and being careful when she did move so as not to knock into anybody. But the Cinccino made up for that with how active she was, hopping around people and letting them pet her elegant fur. Kyurem as in human form as usual, occasionally pulling Mimi back to stay with the group but mostly watching for signs of trouble. The Scrafty, Gothitelle, and Serperior all kept close together, teasing each other and occasionally having a playful argument. Sometimes Hilbert heard snatches of it from Tarzan, which made him curious to hear what the whole topic was about.

    Hilbert kept an eye on the time. At five, he came closer to Hilda. “I'm sorry to disrupt things, but we do have an engagement to get to.”

    “I am not about to be engaged to anybody, even you,” Hilda teased, putting her hands on her hips.

    Laughing with the others, he took her hand. “No, I mean we have a party to get to. Let's go.”

    “Oh yeah! Goodbye, all of you! Keep an eye out, cause even I never know what I'm going to be up to.” She then walked away from the crowds with him, smiling. “That was such fun. No wonder you didn't want to give it up.”

    “Well I think you earned it better than I ever did,” he said.

    They arrived at one of the restaurants, where a party had been set up for her. “Happy birthday, dear,” her mother said, coming over to hug Hilda. “You look beautiful today; that battle was really impressive.”

    “Olette and Frank had it all handled,” she said. “But thanks! Bianca and Cheren are the ones responsible for this outfit; they got me into the costume store here to let me pick any cosplay I wanted.”

    “I suppose this one is reasonable,” Cheren said, sounding worn out. Meloetta was sitting quietly by him. “Looking good there.”

    “Thanks, but what's up with you? Spend a long time wandering around the caves?” She sat down at their table, glancing at the menu.

    “I never even got in because I nearly got fried by lightning,” he said, rubbing a cheek. “I'm still having a hard time feeling anything.”

    Bianca nudged him. “And now you have to tell us what's going on. Who attacked you?”

    Cheren nodded and then explained how a strange version of N appeared and forcefully took Keldeo from him.”Greywing's okay now; I left him in the Driftveil Pokecenter after making sure he was going to be fine. He just needs time to recover, like me. But she didn't come back with Keldeo.” He looked down at Meloetta.

    She looked down and put her hands in her lap. 'Keldeo wasn't where that N said he would take him. Cobalion and I stayed there for a while, but we didn't see either of them. He said he was going to go back and wait. But then, I felt something while I was there. I don't think we need to worry about Keldeo for now. I sensed his presence in Unova again, and I saw that he would be there in the future, with someone else. It was different; I can't say why, but I think things will be fine.'

    “If you feel that way, we might see him again,” Hilda said. “But what about N? I can't imagine him getting tattoos.”

    “I saw him just yesterday and he didn't,” Hilbert added.

    'It wasn't the N you know,' Meloetta said. 'Part of the power he used was his own, but part of it was borrowed from a few legendary Pokemon. I don't know why, but he did have relics of three of them.'

    “He said he was looking for the other being that doesn't belong in this time,” Cheren said, looking at Kyurem.

    “We should be careful if he appears again,” Kyurem said.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  11. #311
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    This future N looks like he's going to be a severe problem in the future. I take it that that version belived Ghestis when sealed into a room on his own? Admittedly, I thought that normal N was actually hallucinating, but whatever.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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

  12. #312
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    I thought ghetsis was banAnA and used the orbs for time travel.
    And the second Kyurem is trying to protect her.
    So it's all good.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

  13. #313
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    Yikes, I let myself get too far behind. I still have two more chapters to go. I'll read them and comment at a later time. As for now, here are my thoughts:

    Chapter 38:
    Narrowing his eyes, Ghetsis criticized him without a word.
    This simple sentence is one of the most powerful of the story. In as few words as possible, this sentence entirely sums up the hold that Ghetsis has over N.

    N nodded, but hesitated on going to wash up. “Ghetsis... why didn't you ever hug me? Even when Darcy died, you just...” stayed there and talked to him. That had been about the time he'd started teaching N that he shouldn't be crying.

    “That's not important,” he said, waiting on him to do as instructed. “Besides, you never liked being touched.”

    “When did I say that?” The question came out before he could even think about it, and he realized his error when Ghetsis narrowed his eyes.
    Yet another powerful example of the power Ghetsis holds over N, as well as how the outside world is causing N to grow away from his “father.”

    The final scene with Kyurem and the rest of the team is also very poignant. It’s a fun, cheery scene that captures the nature of the little family perfectly, yet it also brings up the potential heartbreak when such a family is inevitably separated. I feel so bad for Kyurem at this point, especially if he is actually in love with Hilda.

    Chapter 39:
    So many gijinkas! I wonder who else there is besides N, Hilbert, Skyla, Elesa, Iris, and the trio. If the rest works with the Pokemon League, then that leaves the remaining Gym Leaders and Elite 4 members. I’m really not sure who else to suspect at this point, mostly because we haven’t met most of them yet.

    Accumula Town is allied with the enemy! Burn it to the ground!

    Chapter 40:
    Terrakion and Landorus are both interesting characters, though now I’m worried about Keldeo and Meloetta . . .

    Chapter 41:
    Hooray for Olette finally evolving! Now she needs to go beat up that jerk who stopped her before.

    The analogy to chess is very interesting . . . and disturbing. What I mean is, the kings are the most important pieces on the board. If one is captured, that side loses. But the kings are not the most powerful pieces. They're as weak as the pawns, and more vulnerable because they are the target of the opposing side.. Poor N . . . is he truly a king in this game, or is he nothing more than a pawn?

    Hugh and a girl who I’m assuming is Rosa? I’m sensing sequel material!

    I love how delightfully immature Tornadus is. Both in the sense of playing pranks and what not as well as his obsession with the wind chimes. And of course, the kiss for “his majesty” :P

    Chapter 42:
    Future Kyurem meets present Kyurem . . . TIME PARADOX!!!

    So some of the Plasma knights believe that N is some sort of celestial being, a literal angel? Wow, this could be troublesome. It’s so easy to believe in something so close to godliness. Let’s hope N sticks to his heart to lead his people . . .

    Don’t die, Hilda! DON’T GO INTO THE LIGHT!!!

    Ahem, sorry about that. Kyurem has to be in dire straits about now, knowing that Hilda is almost dying because of his own past self . . . my head hurts. At least the time paradox in this is a thousand times better than the ones in Loopholes. . .

    Chapter 43:
    Nice to see some male bonding between Hilbert and Cheren. They could both use some pals who aren’t girls or Pokemon.

    So Cheren’s looking into classes in Aspertia . . . more sequel material! Actually, that’d probably come more into play in this fic, with Gym Leader Cheren coming in a sequel, if there is one. Though I’m still waiting on that Deoxys and Mewtwo sequel!

    So Meloetta’s a maid and Keldeo is old, possibly un-immortalized . . . I think I hate Umber even more now.

    Kyurem has a freaking throne? Epic! ALL HAIL THE KING OF LACUNOSA! *bows and gets forehead and tongue stuck to frozen floor*

    Drayden’s a gijinka too? Is there anyone in the League system who isn’t a gijinka?

    Poor Kyurem. I can see how it would be hard living with ADF, especially when it gets Mimi killed.

    Chapter 44:
    ALL HAIL FEDORA THE SERPERIOR! You can patrol the sunny spots as much as you want, bro. You’ve earned it.

    Hilda grinned and glanced over at Kyurem. “Hey, you gonna melt in this weather?”

    “Hardly,” he replied.

    “But he might become grumpier than usual,” Bianca said, smiling.
    Grumpy Kyurem? That’s never a good thing. Who’s getting eaten first? I’m putting my bets on Hilbert.

    The team has Serperior, Emboar, and Samurott now, so they shouldn’t have to worry. If the Pokemon manga has taught us anything, it’s that every problem can be solved with a combination Frenzy Plant/Blast Burn/Hydro Cannon :P

    Darn it, Hilda, you’ve spoiled Ghetsis’s entire plan! You’re not supposed to learn about that until the Pokemon League!

    I’m concerned about this Takumi fellow. Didn’t you say he was the father of the Shadow Triad?

    Um . . . I really don’t know what to say about N’s conversation with his future self. Future N is obviously completely under Ghetsis’s thrall, and his attempt to kill his own past self, followed by the teleportation to the forest . . . I think I might be having an acid trip right now @_@

    Chapter 45:
    Hooray, Rune’s back! And he brought Pierre, Tock, and Zoroark with him! Too bad Pricilla couldn’t be there with them . . .

    The ultimate showdown between Hilda and Ghetsis, the world’s two biggest windbags, has finally arrived. About time!

    I cracked up at Zinzolin handing over a microphone to Hilda. I think that guy spent a little too long hiding in the Cold Storage :P

    Hilarity is running rampant! Ghetsis getting scared out of his pants and the various comical actions of Hilda’s Pokemon got me snickering.

    Perhaps N’s revelation that he’s a gijinka doesn’t have the desired effect after all. At least he’s willing to talk to Hilbert about his problems now.
    Last edited by GalladeRocks; 24th October 2012 at 12:57 AM.
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  14. #314
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    Quote Originally Posted by GalladeRocks View Post

    Grumpy Kyurem? That’s never a good thing. Who’s getting eaten first? I’m putting my bets on Hilbert.
    Nah, Hilbert's not a vampire anymore. He's just a Dark type. So quit trying to feed him to Kyurem, because I doubt Kyurem would appreciate the stomachache. Or the earbashing he'll get when Hilda finds out.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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

  15. #315
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    Quote Originally Posted by scizorstrike View Post
    Nah, Hilbert's not a vampire anymore. He's just a Dark type. So quit trying to feed him to Kyurem, because I doubt Kyurem would appreciate the stomachache. Or the earbashing he'll get when Hilda finds out.
    Hey, Hilbert may be a Dark-type gijinka, but that doesn't mean he's not a vampire. And who else would Kyurem eat if he got cranky? Definitely not Hilda, and Hilbert was one of the two boys apparently leading to Hilda's death, so it'd make more sense to eat him than Bianca or Cheren.

    Nothing personal, Hilbert, just cold hard logic.

    Now for the last two chapters.

    Chapter 46:
    Drayden rubbed his beard for a moment (he did have impressive facial hair. If he wasn't talking, Hilda couldn't tell where his mustache ended and his beard started. It was awesome, although not something she'd want to copy herself).
    Come on, Hilda, be adventurous! That mustache-beard combo would look great with Ghetsis’s cape.

    How dare you rob us of an Opelucid City Gym Battle! YOU OWE ME RESTITUTION!

    Kyurem and Mimi have Draco Meteor? They shall rule the world with the destructive potential! ALL HAIL THE DRACO MINCCINO!

    Aw, Kyurem doesn’t want to let Mimi grow up and fend for herself, but he knows he must. He’s such a good daddy. That’s what I love most about Kyurem; he’s infinitely powerful, calm, quiet, and suave, yet he still has genuine displays of emotion. That still makes him my favorite character from this.

    Chapter 47:
    The return of Future N, and he appears to have     Spoiler:- This might be considered a spoiler:
    That can’t possibly be good.

    Frank evolved! Atta boy, Frankie! Go kick some *** for us fans!

    And Tarzan evolved as well. Congrats to the whole team on your evolutions! Sincerely, your biggest fan.

    Now, just a final moment to get caught up, let me make sure I have everyone's teams nailed:

    Hilda - Kyurem, Serperior, Excadrill, Cinccino, Scrafty, Gothitelle
    Hilbert - Litwick, Alomomola, Larvesta, Rufflet
    N - Sigilyph, Vanilluxe, Klang, Zoroark, Archen and Tirtouga (in Rood's care)
    Cheren - Emboar, Liepard, Unfezant, Meloetta, unknown fourth (probably Simipour, since he already has a Fire-type and Bianca has Simisage)
    Bianca - Samurott, Munna, Lillipup (I don't remember if Timmy or Lassie evolved yet), Victini, Simisage
    Last edited by GalladeRocks; 26th October 2012 at 1:05 AM.
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  16. #316
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    You miss the Opelucid battle? Don't worry; I have plans, see? And you got the teams mostly right. Meloetta won't be battling as she's not mentally in condition to and Bianca's team... I need to figure that back out, but it's pretty much her canon team but replace Simisear with Victini, because she gave the Pansear to her sister. I haven't been following those rival battles much.

    But time to comment back, I don't have much of that. Need to get back to NaNo, where I'm finishing up various fanfic projects. CS gets the first week, so I'm hoping that at my current pace, I can get it done. Editing might be rough during November due to that. So what do we have today? N finally getting around to doing something people have been telling him to do for many chapters.

    Plus, me trying to work out Rood's B2/W2 sprite with how I described him way back in Castelia.


    Chapter 48: Bittersweet Visitation


    April 1
    Route 7

    Battling Skyla was much easier the second time around. Not only were Tock and Pierre stronger, but Umber had given him the two fossil Pokemon he had studied. They were evolved now, although neither Archeops nor Carracosta could communicate beyond basic ideas. With those four, and Rune and the Zoroark he was now calling Zane, N's team was the one overpowering Skyla's birds. It was a shame to see her loyal Pokemon get hurt by his win. He stifled out feelings of sympathy with the thought that this had to be done for things to get set right.

    Afterwards, she had complimented him on getting better when she gave him the badge, but also expressed concern with how pale and 'scrawny' he looked. N had brushed that off and left once he had the badge. Now that he was thinking about it, she had tried to be nice about it. When he had come in to register his second challenge, the Gym receptionist had called Skyla about him. He had worried they had figured out that he was the Black King, but no, they decided to move some of obstacles so that he didn't have to deal with the cannons. Maybe it was because he had already gone through it, but maybe it was because he was still recovering.

    He certainly felt tired, even though it was only the afternoon and all he had done today was the Gym and walking out here to Route 7. Earlier, Zane and Rune had insisted that he sit and rest for a little while before he went on. He had agreed, letting the other four out to enjoy the spring air while he sat on a flat rock and watched them. All around him, there were trees that were filling out with green, even a number of blossoming trees starting to scatter their petals. There wasn't any more snow on the ground and while everything was starting up late this year, the plants were all going strong.

    Not that far to the north, there was a white tower standing out in the forest. It had an interesting design that was obviously influenced by nature, as it was reminiscent of the spiraling of seashells. However, it had certainly taken a skilled mathematician or an engineer to make a sturdy building seem so light and natural; it pleased N just in looking at it. Sometimes a bell could be heard tolling from the top; every toll was different, making him feel sympathetic emotions. Most often tears and grief, but there were also tones of hope and strong love. It was strange. That place was supposed to be Celestial Tower, where Hilbert said people remembered their Pokemon friends that had died.

    “That place is crowded with voices,” Pierre said as he noticed N looking at the tower.

    “There are many spirits in there,” Rune explained. “Mostly Pokemon souls, but there are a few humans with them. But the presence I feel there...”

    “Are they stuck in that tower?” N asked. “That would be a terrible fate, to die and then be stuck in that strange building forever, no matter how beautiful it is in numbers and form.”

    The Sigilyph blinked his eyes. “No, they're not stuck. The bell there can reach the spirits and it seems to be soothing them. Every time it rings, they come closer to accepting their fate and resolving their hearts. It surrounds the place with an aura of peace. I'm sure if you went inside, you could feel it yourself. After all, you saw Shira.”

    “Hilbert said I should.” They couldn't really be fooling him if his own Pokemon noticed these things. Or, could they?

    Before he could decide on what to do, a voice called out to him. “N, good afternoon.” It sounded like Rood's voice, but when N turned to him, he looked different. It wasn't just that he was in civilian clothing; his black hair had abruptly turned a pale gray.

    “What happened to you?” N asked. “You look twenty or thirty years older than when I saw you last month.”

    “This...” he brushed his hands through his hair. “Don't worry about it.”

    That wasn't a fair answer. “Well if I don't know, how can I not worry about you?”

    “Didn't I say the same to you last time we spoke?” Rood asked back, sitting down on the rock beside him.

    Realizing that it was true, N looked down. Was it better not to ask Rood about it, or better to talk to him about what was going on? Ghetsis had said not to talk, but N knew he could trust any of the Sages.

    “You could consider it proof of my loyalty to you,” Rood said. “Or that could just be my opinion of the matter. I had to deal with an unruly Cofagrigus while doing work on behalf of the team. I don't blame it for what happened, as I don't think it would have done so if its Trainer hadn't taught it to be cruel by being cruel to it.”

    “That's terrible,” N said, looking back at him. “Did you get the Cofagrigus released?”

    He shook his head. “I tried, but the Trainer got away while I was hurt. Now, what are you doing here? You can't be thinking of going through Twist Mountain, not with you still recovering.”

    “It would be harder to get through as I don't have something to follow, like I did with Zekrom,” N said. “No, I don't think so. Maybe later. But, I had heard about this tower from Hilbert.”

    Rood nodded. “Yes, Celestial Tower, where people remember Pokemon that have passed on. Actually, remember that message you wanted me to get to Hilda? I did manage to speak with her, although it took some time trying to encounter her. She took it well, although I doubt she's going to even think about leaving Unova any time soon. I say this because she suggested that you visit this place.”

    He looked over at the tower. “Her too? That's what Hilbert said, that I should go in there. What do you think? I thought people didn't really care about Pokemon as individuals, but that place suggests otherwise.”

    “Well it's not like everyone is a villain,” he said with a smile. “Otherwise, we wouldn't get people joining Team Plasma to help make your ideals a reality. Still, I think it's a good idea too for you to visit, so you get a better view on the regular people out there.”

    N nodded. “All right, then. Would you come with me? The way you're dressed now, we shouldn't cause much of a disturbance going inside.”

    “If you'd like,” Rood said. “I would have offered to do so, to make sure you don't push yourself going up all the stairs.”

    As they got up, N thought of how good it was to know he had reliable people like Rood around. Still, he couldn't help worrying about the Trainer that had attacked him. Who was it, and why would they do such a thing to a good man? But he knew what it was like not to want to say something, so he decided not to press it any further.

    They met a number of people coming out of the tower, talking quietly to each other. With that group gone, there didn't seem to be many inside on the first floor. There was a woman sitting in a chair near the front door, wearing a lace-adorned hat and a gray dress; she was engraving small plaques. Further in, there was an older couple standing by one of six large stone memorials. The woman in gray looked up and smiled at them. “Welcome to Celestial Tower. You may have your Pokemon out with you, just keep an eye on them and be mindful of other visitors.”

    There didn't appear to be many there, to normal sight. But N could feel the presence of many Pokemon, not crowding him but still many. In the air, they appeared as misty orbs of colored light, perhaps representing what they once were. A few got interested in him or the other people there; their focus allowed them to appear as faint images of Pokemon. There was a Amoongus and a Deerling by the old couple, and a Lillipup looking up at him.

    “Oh, aren't you N? The fellow who's been going through the Pokemon League at record speed?” the woman asked. “I've heard rumors that you're actually the Black King, and the leader of Team Plasma.”

    Her comment diverted his attention for a moment. “I am,” he said, then thought better of it. “Don't worry, I wouldn't hurt this place. And don't speak of it to many.” He then turned from her and walked over to the Lillipup ghost. Crouching down, he asked, “What happened to you?”

    For a moment, the ghost reverted to a misty orb. But then it reappeared. “You can see me?” it asked.

    He nodded. “Yes.”

    The Lillipup sat down. “I'm not really sure. My boy comes and visits me, but he doesn't seem to see or hear me. And, I can't seem to leave. I don't know why; the door leads to a really white place, and then I end up back here.”

    Looking back at the door, N couldn't see it for a moment. But then it appeared briefly, a whiteness that blanked out all else. He turned back to the Lillipup. “I see. But, you're dead.”

    “I didn't think I was,” the Lillipup said, turning its ears away. “Maybe sick or lost, but... am I really dead?”

    N considered for a moment how to tell the ghost that.

    -+-

    Being in here made Rood's skin prickle. He knew it was the ghosts of Pokemon living here, and the atmosphere was calm. However, the intense touch of the spiritual made him feel uneasy. The last time he had felt it, it was malicious in nature...

    He had gone to confront Ghetsis alone, which might have been his mistake. He wanted to know why they didn't know that N was gone, or even sick, until an outsider came up and pointed it out to them. In public. For the past month, Ghetsis had reassured them that N was fine, off doing intense studies and meditation on the last stages of his plan. The fact that it had been a surprise to him was the last straw for Rood; he was going to get to the bottom of the problem.

    And unfortunately, he had. Ghetsis was in a foul mood, as there wasn't a lot he could do about Hilda and the uncertainty about N was causing stress through the whole team. But he could vent his frustrations out on Rood. He had spoken truthfully then, and the truth was that Ghetsis was viciously insane under his well-spoken and confident mask. Spending two hours in the coffin of a Cofagrigus while knowing that had very nearly broken his spirit. But, Rood knew he had to stay together to help N... and to survive long enough to get to talk to Hilda again. He could deal with having been aged rapidly, but the memory of that would linger.

    ...at any rate, there was a problem to deal with now. N had revealed himself to the woman working here. True, most people thought that N was most likely to be the Black King. But they didn't want to cause trouble here.

    While N was distracted with something, Rood stepped closer to the woman. “It's true, we're not here to cause trouble,” he said. “I would object to it if the idea came up. And if you let him spend some time here, I'm sure that he'll forbid it. He's only heard of this place recently.”

    She looked at Rood for a moment, then nodded. “All right. But what is he doing?” She looked back over where N was crouched down and talking quietly to thin air.

    “Most likely talking to a ghost,” Rood said. “I've never seen him do so, but his heart does understand the feelings of any Pokemon. And please, answer any questions he has. It's important.”

    A smile appeared on her face. “I can do that. But it sounds like you're stirring up trouble.”

    He gave a soft chuckle. “Well let's not be obvious about that. But seriously, he's had a limited view on the world for much of his life. I believe it's important that he see more of the big picture.”

    “That's important for anyone. Sure, and I'll do my best not to be preachy about it.”

    Rood nodded. “I appreciate that.”

    Then N got up and turned to them. “Do you get many people visiting this place?”

    She put her engraving pen to the side. “Yes, we do. Today's been fairly quiet, but mornings, evenings, and weekends are when we get the most visitors. Some are regulars, while others visit on occasion. I'd say there's been about seventy people on the three hours of my volunteering shift today.”

    “Do they have a lot of volunteers working here?” At least he was curious; that helped.

    She nodded. “We try to have someone here at the entrance at all hours, and a few priests who hold funerary services on request. There's also a few mediums who come in to make sure that none of the spirits are agitated. There's also some people who are paid, but mostly for cleaning and maintaining the tower so it stays in good shape.”

    N looked around some more, then asked, “What do you do with the Pokemon who passed away? The structure is all stone, so you can't bury them.”

    “Actually, there are some who get buried here,” she said. “Not on this level or on the roof, but in the floors above, there are slates that we can move to place coffins in hidden graves. When we need space, they get moved down to the catacombs, although we don't allow most visitors to go there. But for most, they get memorialized with these plates.” She tapped the one she was working on. “We put them on the stone tables there; once a section gets full, we move the oldest section up to be stored in the tombstones in the upper levels”

    N was watching her, listening intently. “Do you charge money for that?”

    She shook her head. “No, not the plates. We do charge for private services and burials, because that takes time and needs to follow safety guidelines. Did you have a Pokemon you want remembered here?”

    Shifting uncomfortably, he asked, “Why would you offer that? I told you who I am.”

    She shrugged. “Why not? I'm not about to deny someone a little peace of mind or comfort because of their political standings.”

    “You have to be absolute with your beliefs, or else you might as well not have them,” he said defensively.

    She kept a calm tone, trying to sidestep an argument but wanting to make her reply. “If things were like that, we might as well cut everybody off from each other because of all the different beliefs out there. And then nobody would be happy. But this isn't that big of an issue, just a sign of love for Pokemon that have passed on.”

    “Really?” When she nodded, he was quiet, then turned to Rood. “I don't know if I should.”

    Although he'd heard about what happened from Hilda, he didn't want to reveal that just yet. And there was a risk of the Shadow Triad watching on Ghetsis' behalf. Taking a neutral stance didn't feel right either. “Well if it's to honor and respect a Pokemon that cared for you, and you cared about, I don't see what's wrong with it,” Rood said. “There's several of my Pokemon recorded here from years ago, even back to when I was younger than you.”

    “Oh, you've lost friends before?” he asked, surprised. “Well...” he tensed for a moment, then went closer to the woman in gray. “Actually, there are two, if it's okay. I don't know, though. One died a month ago, and the other was years ago. I didn't know about this place then and she was never buried.”

    She bowed her head. “I can make an exception for them; you're clearly someone who cares about Pokemon.” She leaned down and picked out two blank plates and a charcoal pencil. “I just need their name and species, although if you wish to add anything small, that's fine.”

    “Pricilla the Liepard and Darcy the Darmantian,” N said. He waited a little for her to get them written down and spelled right, then added, “Darcy adopted me when I had no one else. I've seen a number of Pokemon die, but losing Darcy hurt the most.”

    “Is that so?” the woman asked, looking up at them. “It must have been terrible. Well I've got this one to finish up, then I'll engrave these. They should be up by tomorrow.”

    “Thank you,” N said, seeming both relieved and worried.

    “Do you still have the plates around from the Bloodwraith days?” Rood asked

    She nodded. “Yes, they take up most of the second floor. It's not quite time to move them all to the catacombs; we mean to do a special memorial later this year when we do.”

    “That's all I wanted to know,” he said. He glanced at N, who was already back to discussing something with the ghosts. “Thanks.”

    After glancing at N, she leaned forward and quietly added, “I don't envy you for having to be his guide. Good luck, sir.”

    He smiled and gave her a nod of acknowledgment, then followed N closer to the stairs. “Do you want to try going up?”

    “Maybe,” N said. “There's a ghost here who says his Trainer is around and wants to talk with him. I mean, it's only important to them, and I don't want to be wasting time on my mission.”

    “Well you beat Skyla this morning, didn't you?” he asked. “And if it is important to them, it is important, even if only to them.”

    “Every little bit of good helps,” he said, reciting from something. “Okay, we'll try to find that Trainer.”

    They climbed up to the second floor, where five people were. The tombstones were made of gray and white stone, some of the finest that they had mined out of Twist Mountain and the Driftveil area. They were five feet tall and looked solid, but were actually hollow, constructed of multiple pieces. At the side, there was a wheel that attached to a clockwork system inside that could shift around the plates and change which sections were displayed. Still, there were many tombstones here, and so many Pokemon had died in that short time that it could take a long time to find the right one.

    “Cururu,” N's Sigilyph called, drifting closer to Rood. He appeared interested somehow.

    “Oh, Rune thinks he can find what you're looking for,” N said, then he crouched down and asked, “Is he here?”

    “Thank you, Rune,” Rood said. “If you could find... now which one would be most unique? Saphir the Swanna, that should give us the right plates.”

    Rune blinked its eyestalk eye slowly, then turned and flew towards one of the rows further in. Rood followed him while N went around to see if the ghost's Trainer was on this level. At one tombstone that had been marked with a Leavanny, Rune stopped. “Kur, click click click click.”

    “Four times, you think?” he guessed, looking over the names listed on the front of the tombstone. He pulled the wheel on the side down, causing the names there to back in and a new plate section to rise up. After he changed the plates four times, he saw Saphir there, third from the top. “That's it. I thought they would have put it further away by now, although their spirits should have passed on years ago.”

    N came over. “You found them? The Trainer isn't here.” He looked at the tombstone where all the names were listed.

    He nodded and ran his hand alongside the familiar names. “Yes, all of them. These,” he tapped Saphir's name and passed down nine names to Scruffy the Watchog, “were my Pokemon, the ones I used when I was in the League. And these ones,” he moved down to the name under scruff, Elega the Emolga, through five names ending at Lady the Lilligant, “were friends of my wife Leslie.”

    “Why did they die so close together?” N asked, puzzled.

    Even all these years later, it still caused some sadness. “They died within hours of each other, over two days. It was the Bloodwraith plague, which devastated many regions over twenty years ago. Did you hear the lady downstairs?” He waved to the tombstones around them. “The names all around us, they all died in that plague. And worse, it was partially the fault of human technology.”

    “That's terrible,” he said, shivering. “What if something like that happens again? I know many good Pokemon now, in many parts of Unova.”

    “From what I understand, they've fixed the flaws in the Pokeball system that caused the virus to spread so quickly,” Rood said. “Back then, this is why I first thought people and Pokemon should live apart. It was a tragedy that shouldn't have happened. But I admit, it wasn't easy adjusting to that. I was lonely for a long time, even if there were many people with me. I still came here to look over their names for years after. Not since I started working with you, though.” He touched Saphir again; he had been the first Pokemon he had gotten, as a Ducklett on the Charizard Bridge. “It's nice to see them again, as I remember them all fondly. But sad too, knowing that I won't get to see them any more than this.”

    “Maybe. Wouldn't it be better if you could just forget the things that make you sad?”

    That was something he'd expect to hear out of a child. “Not necessarily, because then you'd forget why you loved them, and what made you happy. Well, shall we head on?”

    -+-

    His legs felt like lead, but N pressed on, climbing up to the top level of Celestial Tower. There had been many more ghosts hanging around, in various moods. Some were confused, others sad, others angry, others coming close to contentment. But overall, this didn't feel like a bad place. Just crowded. The other ghosts had observed him curiously, but only the Lillipup had stayed close. They hadn't found his Trainer yet.

    Coming out from the stairwell, he felt a warm spring breeze pass by again. The rooftop was open to the elements, with a guardrail that continued the seashell motif. The Lillipup ghost sniffed around, then barked excitedly. “Oh, he's here! Great!” It then darted off to the upper level.

    More stairs. N paused for a moment, feeling worn out. Rood took his arm. “You okay?”

    “Yeah, it's not much further,” he said.

    “It's good that you made it up here, but I'm not certain you should have pushed yourself today,” Rune said.

    “Yeah, it's not good to grind on at low power,” Tock added.

    “I'm fine,” N said, pushing back his own feelings and walking to the stairs that led up. For the rest of this journey, he had to be tough like this. Leaving behind the names of two Pokemon he loved here... that should help. His feelings were here, out of sight once he left. Then he could press on to his goal, no matter what happened.

    Thankfully, it was a shorter set of stairs up to the platform where the bell was. It was a magnificent piece. But more immediately, the Lillipup ghost was up here, trying to nudge a boy who was standing near the middle of the bell platform, looking off at the landscape. This did have an excellent view of the land around, although Twist Mountain still loomed overhead.

    What should he say? “Your Pokemon friend is trying to get your attention,” he tried as a start.

    The boy looked over at them, but he didn't seem startled. He had probably heard them coming up. “I don't have a Pokemon anymore,” he said in a dull voice.

    “Well his ghost is,” N said, pointing it out. “The Lillipup is right next to you.”

    “How do you know that?” he said, turning fully to them. His cheeks were wet with tears and his eyes seemed irritated. “Are you one of the mediums?”

    He nodded. “It would seem so. The Lillipup is worried for you; he was sad to be alone, but feels sadder by seeing you this way.”

    “Yeah, I didn't want to make you upset,” the Lillipup whined.

    “I thought he was here,” the boy said, looking down.

    “Shouldn't you be in school?” Rood asked, joining the conversation instead of observing it.

    “Yeah, but I didn't feel like it,” he said. “I didn't think that Lillipup was going to die; I thought he was just sick and that he'd be better in a few days. My parents say they're sad too, but I don't believe them. It's not fair; they didn't care about him like I do. He was just another Pokemon to them, but he was one of my best friends. I took the subway up there. It's good that he is here, even if I can't see him.”

    “But aren't you going to get in trouble?” the Lillipup asked. “I don't want you to get in trouble because of me. I guess since I am dead, I have to go away for good now. But you should be back in school. Um, would you tell him that, mister?” The ghost came over to N, but then went back to his friend's side.

    N passed on the message. “I think Lillipup will be fine now,” N added. “This is a peaceful place. But don't make him worry about you so much.”

    “Is that what he wants?” the boy said, still sounding upset. “I guess. I wish he hadn't died, but there's nothing I can do about it now. I could ring the bell for him. Lillipup, I’m sorry. I love you and I’m going to miss you a lot.” He then went over to the bell and rang it.

    Up here, the emotions coming from the bell's tolling were more intense up. The boy really did love the Lillipup and felt sad without him. But, there was still an element of looking down on Pokemon in there. The Pokemon had been a pet to him, not a true friend. Something else was in that ringing of emotions too; the boy's capacity for love was immature. How he could tell that, N wasn't entirely sure.

    He did hear the Lillipup bark happily at the bell's ringing. His spirit turned back into an orb of light and then... there was a brief moment where the light of the spirits was overwhelming, passing on a feeling of love, peace, and rest. Then, the ghost was gone, happy to hear the love of his friend. But why? It was unequal.

    After a moment of quiet, the boy walked away from the bell. “I guess I should go back... um, thanks mister.” Then he ran off down the stairs.

    “I suppose things like that might happen commonly around here,” Rood said.

    “He's not old enough...” N mused aloud. “And his love for the Lillipup wasn't as a friend, but as a pet. Still, the ghost moved on happy.” Shivering, he turned to Rood. “Why is that? Why would the Lillipup be happy with something so patronizing? And how do I know all this? It was in the bell, but I can't understand bells.”

    “If the ghost is gone, we can't truly know,” Rood said. “Maybe that love is enough. Still, we shouldn't settle for that. As for the bell, I've heard many stories about it. Apparently it rings as a mirror of the love of the one who rang it, so to speak.”

    “This bell is special, or the place is,” Rune said. “But I believe that he is right. The sound of the bell is the sound of your heart.”

    “Some metals can do that, if in the right place and in the right shape,” Tock said.

    “That could be,” N said, looking at the bell. It was quiet now, still. Should he try ringing it? He had come all the way up here and it had helped the ghost. What about Pricilla? He hadn't seen her ghost here, or at all. Maybe the inscription of her name would draw her here. Or, perhaps if he were to ring it, the sound would. Thinking that he wouldn't need to worry if she were in the peaceful place, N went over and put his hand on the bell. There was no crank, no rope to pull. But the boy had pushed it, so N did the same, as hard as he could, then stepped back.

    When the clapper hit the bell, the sound of it was overpowering and painful. It nearly made his grief break out. But then that spiritual light returned, not briefly but all around him. In that instant, he saw hundreds, or thousands, of spirits swarming closer to him. He couldn't see the living with him, or the bell in front of him. Whatever he was seeing blinded him even to his own thoughts and feelings.

    Not that it worried him. It reminded him of places of wilderness, like Desert Resort, Twist Mountain or even his home in Sarasota Forest. The calm here banished any worries and made him feel connected to all of the spirits around him. If this was where souls ended up, then there was nothing to fear from death.

    A red spirit passed through him, or maybe came from him. Then he felt a strong hand on his shoulder, and intelligent brown eyes looking back at his own. The red heat was comforting, and familiar even though it had been a long time sine he had felt it. “Darcy,” he said softly.

    “It seems like I’ve been sleeping a long time,” the ghost of the Darmantian said. “I thought you were in trouble and wanted to stay with you. But you're all grown up now, so I don't have to stay with you anymore.”

    She had been with him? And... she was going? “Wait, Darcy...”

    But she let go. “You have to stand on your own now. But be careful. There is something within you that is very dangerous. Don't let others control that power. I believe in you.”

    “But I don't know what to do,” N said.

    “If you listen to your heart, you'll know. I love you, my little boy.” Then she was gone and the light faded.

    But Celestial Tower didn't reappear.

    The cry of a dragon split through the air, like a painful scream. It startled the guards at the entrance to the ruins of N's Castle. Originally, it had been an entrance to the east wing. With the central part collapsed and the western wing unstable, this was the only part of the castle in use.

    Then N was kneeling at the top of the stairs, his head hung. His shoes were missing and his shirt was torn, revealing a number of arcane tattoos covering his arms, chest, and back. He was covered in sweat, wounded and shaken.

    The guards quickly came over to him, offering to help him up. “My Lord, what's happened?” one asked.

    “Don't touch me,” N snapped. Then he put his hands on the ground, barely able to support himself. Then he spoke in grief, “I don't know what's going on, so don't touch me.”

    “I-I'll get the Sages,” one said, going into the castle. The other stayed watch, uneasy.

    By the time Ghetsis and two others came back with the guard, N had managed to get onto his feet. “N, there you are,” Zinzolin said. “We've been worried about you. A lot has been going on...”

    “Don't touch me or you'll die,” N said, walking unsteadily into the castle.

    He couldn't even make it to the stairs, so ended up going into a sitting room and shooing everyone else out. Not Ghetsis, though. Ghetsis could stay. “Your power seems to have grown in the time you were gone,” he said.

    Too exhausted to even nod, N lay down on one of the couches. “It's still unstable... very unstable. And wherever I go,” a sob escaped him, so he closed his eyes, “I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't want to hurt them. Keep them all away, all the memories, all the people. I don't want to hurt anymore.”

    “This path seems to grow longer, doesn't it?” Ghetsis said. “But you will succeed. Your development proves it. I have managed to solve part of the puzzle this time. You still need to meet with Kyurem. We're certain that he should be able to stabilize your powers.”

    “Should I?” N asked. “I tried meeting with others. I don't really remember... they have fallen. I don't know what to do, I shouldn't...”

    Ghetsis interrupted him with, “It will be fine when balance is restored. The world will be better off when you've succeeded, even if it seems bleak now.” He then placed something by N's hand. “We've discovered that Kyurem has traveled through time, to the past. It has split history in two from that point on, and he imbalances the new history he has created. Use this to find him and you can save two worlds.”

    Opening his eyes, he saw a golden bracelet with three orbs. “Lustrous, Adamant, Griseous,... where did you find these? They've been missing, stolen from some Trainers in Sinnoh.”

    “Don't worry about that,” Ghetsis said. “This has been constructed in a way that the latent powers of these orbs can be used by anyone. Can be, although I have only managed to teleport with them myself. You, on the other hand, should be capable of using this device to its fullest capacity.”

    “They resonate,” N said, but saying that made him remember something. It made him want to scream... no, he had to control it. Tense, he clutched the bracelet and closed his eyes again.

    “Spend some time recovering; you need it.” Ghetsis walked to the door. “I'll make sure you're left alone to rest.”

    “I don't want to hurt anyone,” N said. But there was a power inside him, an insanity, that could destroy anything it touched.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  17. #317
    Join Date
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    Wow... sad, the whole thing goes perfect with the FMA Brotherhood song Trisha's Lullaby - A Reminiscence-

    Pricilla's Ghost needs to tell N what's going on.

    Read it again with Rain by Sid
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2GFoIm3uSg
    Copied from FMAwiki
    Here's what the lyrics mean


    The days going by are getting in the way of the new morning I'd found at last

    It wasn't "next" that I was headed toward, but "bygone" that I was always chasing after.

    My incessant, merciless memories

    don't seem likely to forgive me

    it may not be long before my turmoil spills out

    down cheeks wearied by my fumbling about.

    Will the rain ever stop?

    I've been cold for such a long time

    why does this rain choose me?

    Can I wrap myself up in it?

    The rain is unrelenting, and it's still coming down today, but tenderly under an extended unbrella,

    we share our warmth as we huddle close.



    Perfect with this chappie!
    Last edited by Rotomknight; 2nd November 2012 at 7:49 PM. Reason: Rain
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

  18. #318
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    Jul 2008
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    La La Land
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    That's pretty cool

    I have some news. Good, bad, sad? You decide. I finished writing down this fic during the first few days of NaNoWriMo. The end is coming... not any time soon, but coming.


    Chapter 49: Clay's Challenge


    “All right, I’ll just take them for a moment,” the Pokecenter nurse said, setting the Pokeballs to Hilda's team into the healing machine then starting it. “Something up? You seem so serious, unlike when you're on TV.”

    “Hah, I guess I would look that way,” Hilda said, smiling at that. Then she shrugged. “I normally just relax and do whatever. I'd really like to explore around Driftveil for a bit. Seems like there could be a lot of interesting places in and out of town, but it's been a week and I've hardly seen anything. There's big things going on and if this doesn't go well, I won't be able to explore around with my Pokemon freely.”

    She nodded. “That's true. Still, don't push yourself too hard. It wouldn't be good for you or your Pokemon.” Seeing that the machine was done, she took the balls back out.

    “We're all passionate about it, and I wouldn't do something if they didn't want it.”

    “That's good of you. Well here you are. Take care... oh, hello Clay,” the nurse smiled at someone behind her.

    “Evening,” he said. Clay was a large man, both strong and stout. He wore dusty clothes, although the browns made it hard to tell where was dust and where was clean. On his head, he wore a large cowboy hat which made his stern face more intense. “You seen any of those goons from Team Plasma today?”

    She shook her head. “Not that I can tell. Is something the matter?”

    “We got a few troublemakers, so the town's blocked off for now,” he said. “Don't let anyone complain to you about it.” His Xtransceiver went off, so he stepped back. “Pardon me.” As he went to put the call through he waved to Hilda and added, “Follow me.” Then he left the building, talking to someone about watching fliers.

    Hilda glanced at Kyurem, who shrugged. Maybe it had to do with the 'troublemakers' he was dealing with. At any rate, it seemed like a better idea to go along with what Clay wanted. They left the Pokecenter too, then waited on Clay to finish up his call.

    “Keep me informed,” the large man said, turning off the phone and then nodding to them. “Listen, I’m not one to follow hype,” he said in a gruff tone. “I’ve seen all too many people turn out to be all bark and no bite, so I don't care about what image you've been building. I know that the dragon beside you is usually a sign of trouble, Hilda, and I don't want to be pulled in to a disaster by trusting the wrong people.”

    Kyurem narrowed his eyes at Clay. However, the Gym Leader didn't seem intimidated by that. From what she'd seen of him, Hilda knew that Clay was a serious person and he did not mess around when he thought something was wrong. “I don't blame you for feeling that way,” she said. “But most trouble I cause is harmless.”

    “Hmph.” He shifted his hat. “As you heard me say, I've got the town blocked off now. There have been fifteen Pokemon thefts in Driftveil today, and I nearly caught a couple of them in the act. I've got word that a couple of people have used Fly to enter Driftveil in the past half hour, but no one has left in the same manner. We’ve got the drawbridge up and you passed by the group I sent to block off the path to the forest. Did you see anyone suspicious going to the forest when you left?”

    She shook her head. “Nope. I've only met with regular Trainers in the forest today, not any Plasma goons.”

    “Hmm. Well, you can't leave now, and if you try to Fly out, you'll have someone tailing you. So why don't you make yourself useful and help us search the town? We want to get them before they slip off and claim that we can't identify who the thieves were.”

    For a moment, Hilda was irritated at that order. But he was right. If they couldn't leave town, then there weren't many chances to train. Besides, it would be good to get some of Team Plasma to be held accountable. “Sure,” she said, smiling. “Anywhere in particular?”

    “Well you've got him with you, so why don't you check out the Cold Storage area?” Clay said, pointing to the southeast. “You can find the entrance at the south end of town. You should be better at picking out people and Pokemon in that area.”

    “Certainly,” Kyurem said.

    “All right, I still have my coat and things. Let's go!” The two of them headed off south while Clay continued to search around and in buildings near the Pokecenter.

    Driftveil was an old town, unfortunately in sad shape. This was especially apparent in the homes in the southern half, with a few roped off as unsafe and due to demolition. While those were suspicious locations that people could hide in, they were possibly dangerous. Besides, Clay had sent them off to another area. The weathered old houses with peeling paint still made her feel a little sad. This was the town she was born in. Were one of those old houses the one she might have grown up in, if things had gone differently?

    Off to the south, there was an area blocked off by a striped gate, but the sign leading to the Cold Storage was on a neighboring street. In front of that area, she saw Cheren, Hilbert, and a few of their Pokemon in a group. “Hey, where's you running off to?” Hilbert asked, waving to them.

    “On a mission!” she said, raising a fist and slowing for a moment. “Have you guys seen any Team Plasma members around?”

    “No, we just got into town,” Cheren said. “What's the matter?”

    She waved off to the rest of town. “Clay's got Driftveil closed off now, at least the roads. They've had a rash of Pokemon kidnappings today and he's certain they're still in town. We're going to check out the Cold Storage area. Want to help?”

    “Plasma, huh?” Hilbert said. “Wouldn't hurt to look around.”

    “Eh, from what I’ve seen of them, they're surprisingly weak battlers,” Cheren said. “But who knows. We'd better hunt around too if the trail is hot. Cold Storage then.”

    “Well he sent us because Kyurem will be comfortable searching around,” she said. “But if you wanna brave the chill too, come on, no time to waste.” They went on past the gate and split up.

    There were about half a dozen large warehouses, with big machinery keeping them chilled. This place looked old too, if in better condition than some of the houses. The sides were worn from winds and rains, while the machinery was quite noisy, putting out steam often. There were patches of tall grass here, slipped in between the concrete roads. There even seemed to be Pokemon around, calling out or watching them quietly. On one hand, that might be a sign that Plasma wasn't here. On the other hand, they could be wild and so Plasma wouldn't bother them.

    After Kyurem immediately dismissed two warehouses as not smelling anyone in them, he brought her into one of the largest warehouses, at the southeast corner. “There's a number of people and Pokemon inside,” he said as he walked through the door. “I can't tell specifically.”

    “Better check it out then,” Hilda said, following him.

    Not too far in, a man wearing a brown jacket with the Cold Storage logo on it came up to them. “Hey there. Here for some battles? A few of the guys have teams around, but we can't take long for battles.”

    “Not right now,” Hilda said. “We're looking for some guys from Team Plasma that are causing trouble. Mind if we look around?”

    “Mm,” he checked a clipboard, “you should be all right, since we don't need to do any big moving at this time. Don't mess with the machinery and I hope you have some good shoes. We're having some problems with the freezer in this warehouse and there's ice patches on the floor. The guys should be clearing it, but better safe than sorry.”

    “I should be okay,” Hilda said, after giving a check on her shoes. They were sneakers that she had used to walk around in when boots weren't needed, and they had handled ice fine. “So have you seen any of them?”

    “I think I saw a few hanging around the other day,” the worker said. “But honestly, we get people coming in and out of here a lot, some to check on merchandise, some to battle, some to work, so unless there's a big fuss, I usually don't notice. Plus there's some containers that we aren't allowed to mess with, but if people are hiding out in here, the container doors should be open as it's unsafe otherwise.”

    “I see. Thanks.” She headed further in, to where Kyurem was looking around. “Well he was honest, but it is worrisome that they wouldn't really check on who's around.”

    He nodded. “There's a fair number in here, mostly in groups. Let's go.”

    The warehouse was full of the big containers that went on back of semis and trains, all frosted over with ice and snow. The lights hitting the ice made a glare which sometimes made things hard to see. In other spots, moisture hung thickly and made the chilled air hazy. There were piles in many places with broken up ice, sitting against the containers which made a gridded maze. At first, they only ran into workers who were breaking up the ice or checking on inventories.

    One of the workers pointed them to a container in the northern part of the warehouse. “The back of C-86 has been open lately. One time I spotted a crate of Pokeballs, but not the kind we get from factory shipments. Then this guy came up and chewed me out for peeking into a private container. I didn't think it'd be related to Pokemon thieves, but now that you mention it, that was suspicious.”

    After thanking him, Hilda and Kyurem navigated their way to the particular container. It didn't look like Plasma's normal deal: no 'P' signs, its colors were gray and orange, no propaganda. Kyurem pulled Hilda closer to the container, around the corner from the open back. “Someone's in there that I want to listen to.”

    She nodded and tried to pick out the voices inside too. It wasn't easy to hear through the container, but she did hear, “He is back, I saw him.”

    “How is he? I was worried when I heard about it.”

    “He was really pale and one of the Shadows had to support him as he was really tired. But you know, I heard later that it was because he had climbed up Celestial Tower. That was the day he'd been released from the hospital too.”

    “I don't know if I’d have the will to do that after being so sick. He's amazing even when he's weakened.”

    “Sounds like N,” Hilda whispered. It was the kind of stubborn thing he'd do. But if he had gone to Celestial Tower, that was good.

    “Wait a bit,” Kyurem said.

    “Wasn't he going to address everyone tonight or tomorrow? I wanted to be back for that. We hear from the Sages all the time, but N hasn't done much speaking since he set out last fall.”

    “I hope we can get back for that.”

    “Keep it down,” an older voice said.

    As that voice tried to get the talking down, Kyurem let go of Hilda. “Go call for them,” he whispered. “There's ten people in there, and who knows how many Pokemon they have in Pokeballs.”

    She nodded and walked off to the end of another container, trying to minimize how much they'd hear her. Since she didn't know how to contact Clay, she called Cheren and Hilbert, asking them to get a hold of the Gym Leader. Then it was just waiting quietly, still trying to eavesdrop.

    Cheren arrived first, walking up the same way Hilda and Kyurem had come. “Hilbert called Clay, but I came over in case of trouble.”

    “Good,” Hilda said with a smile. “Not much changed, except I can't hear them as well.”

    Then, footsteps came from inside the container. One of them had left. Giving a frown, Kyurem indicated for them to wait a moment, then vanished into an icy white light. He moved to the open area in back of the container, then reappeared in his dragon form. Given the space between containers, he barely fit, with his tail blocking off the side opposite from where they were hiding. Once in place, he gave a simple growl.

    The one Plasma knight who had wandered out yelped, running back into the container. Hilda brought out Olette; after giving her and Cheren's Liepard a chance to adjust to the cold, they went ahead towards the opening in the container. Turning the corner, they found it was just as Kyurem had said: there were nine of the knights, one of the sages, a few small covered crates, and a wall of ice blocks in the very front. “What're you all chilling out in here for?” Hilda asked.

    “I could ask you the same,” the sage said, visibly shivering. “What business do you have in trapping us here?”

    “You've been stealing Pokemon around here, and we're here to get them back,” Cheren said. “Now stop wasting our time and surrender.”

    “I don't think so,” the sage said. “Perhaps you have us trapped, but we have you outnumbered, and over-powered.”

    “You have us overpowered?” Hilda asked sarcastically. Kyurem gave another growl behind her.

    “I don't believe your dragon can maneuver well in here,” he replied. “Get those kids out of our way; we might as well take the chance to get out of this miserable cold.”

    Hilda winked to Cheren, who smiled back. They hadn't paired up for battles often, but Hilda felt confident even if Kyurem wouldn't be as great in this place. While the knights seemed to have two or three Pokemon a piece, Hilda had five she could use, and Cheren had four, all nine of which were capable and loyal. Team Plasma tried to take them down, but the pairs kept falling before them.

    And then the last of the the knights and the sage came forward. “Well, now that your Pokemon have been worn down, let me show you what I meant,” the sage said. “My name is Zinzolin, and your efforts will end here.”

    “You'd better match that big talk or we'll be disappointed,” Hilda said, using a healing potion on Tarzan. He was handling things so far alongside Cheren's Emboar Smoky.

    To his credit, the ice crystal Pokemon Zinzolin first called out was pretty tough, even surviving a hit from Tarzan (although not the second hit). He then called out a Beartic, which Hilda remembered from a Trainer in the forest nearby. It went down quicker. She hardly noticed what Pokemon the knight had, because Cheren had him shut out of the fight fast.

    Still, the Sage didn't look too bothered to be left alone. He held onto his third Pokeball for a moment. “Now let's see how you handle something you could know nothing about. Meet Genesect.” He then released a tall dark violet Pokemon that buzzed unpleasantly. She immediately shifted the cannon on her back.

    “We've heard about her,” Cheren said. “Smoky, Flame Charge her.”

    “Tarzan, follow up if she's still standing,” Hilda added as the Emboar built up a ring of fire around himself for his charge.

    To Zinzolin's orders, Genesect fired a beam of bright energy at Tarzan. The Scrafty then disobeyed Hilda in order to jump back and yank Hilda to the side before the attack went off. The beam flew right at Kyurem, punching a hole through his black shell and going straight into the container behind him. Then Smoky slammed his body into Genesect, causing her to hiss under Kyurem's roar of indignation. He fired an Ice Beam at her, aiming it so that there was no danger of hitting Cheren or Smoky. This knocked Genesect out.

    “You can't have had her to train for long, based on when Hilbert met her,” Cheren said.

    In the meantime, Hilda looked over to Kyurem. He wasn't bleeding, but thick white mist poured out of the wound. He was coating the wound in ice slowly while keeping an eye on the inside of Team Plasma's container. Since he seemed okay, she hugged Tarzan. “Thanks for that,” she said.

    He murmured something in reply; it sounded like he was glad to have kept her safe.

    “What in tarnation is going on here?” Clay's voice rang out in the warehouse. He and Hilbert came up to the entrance of the container, along with a group of policemen, miners, and warehouse workers. “You nearly put a hole through the wall.”

    “They found us, but we were still able to block them off,” Cheren said, stepping aside so Clay could enter. “It was one of their Pokemon that caused that blast.”

    Clay glanced around, then nodded. “So you all were hiding out in here. From the looks of things, you were defeated honorably in battle and you have the stolen Pokemon in here. I'm putting all of you under arrest. Fellows, take them to the station and make sure they don't run off. And confiscate all of the Pokeballs they have.”

    Zinzolin clenched his fists, then nodded. “Very well. We'll go with you.”

    “But,” one of the others said.

    “Honorably,” Zinzolin interrupted. “But the other Trainers were aware of the conditions that were set for battles. You won't make much of a case.”

    “So you think,” Clay said as the others gathered Pokeballs from the Plasma members, then escorted them out of the warehouse.

    With them doing that, Hilda and Cheren stepped away with their Pokemon, over to where Hilbert had stayed. “That was a close call,” Cheren said, shifting his glasses. “Is Kyurem okay?”

    When Kyurem didn't make a response, Hilda checked his Pokeball. “I guess he can't shift back to his human form with that injury. Not getting any warnings off this, so he should be fine.”

    “What hit him like that?” Hilbert asked. “Seems unreal that it could go through him and three containers. Or was it multiple hits?”

    “It was that Genesect,” Cheren said. “The sage had her.”

    “Nearly hit me, but this hero got me out of the way,” Hilda said, rubbing Tarzan's head.

    “At least she'll be out of their hands now,” Hilbert said. “It might even be a chance to prove their shadier works. Oh, Hilda, there was something you and Kyurem should hear about.”

    “Go ahead,” she said. “I'll let him know if he's not fully paying attention now.”

    Hilbert glanced at the others, then said, “Remember when we went to speak to Tornadus? He mentioned something odd about me, saying that I might be a demimortal. He wouldn't explain it, and between one thing or another, I haven't had a chance to ask about it until today when I was out training with Cheren. Meloetta was watching us so I asked her.”

    Cheren nodded. “Yeah, and she wasn't too sure about that either. It might have just been Tornadus messing with you.”

    “Yes, but if it's real,” he shifted his stance and crossed his arms over his chest. Whatever it was was still causing him thought. “A demimortal is the heir to an immortal. It is rare for one of the immortal Pokemon to fully die, but there are occasions when one might choose to not return to life. If that happens, then during their final years, they select a Pokemon that they feel worthy to be their heir. The demimortal then lives with their predecessor, learning from them and slowly being changed by their power. At the end, the immortal passes on their power and responsibilities to the demimortal, who often takes on a form similar to their predecessor. There are also cases where a demimortal doesn't inherit, but is close enough to the immortal that they take on unusual qualities.”

    “Oh, like Mimi?” Hilda asked. “She now knows a move that only Dragons are supposed to know.”

    “I suppose,” Hilbert said. “The thing is, we should already have close contact with an immortal if we are. Still, she thinks it might be possible due to some quality about our auras.”

    “That's weird,” Hilda said. “But you're going to call on Reshiram anyway. He should be able to clear things up.”

    “I was hoping Kyurem might know something.”

    “Wait for Reshiram,” Kyurem said, now back to being human. His clothes were different, with black cloth wrapped tightly around his chest like bandages and a long black jacket instead of a shirt. “He'd have the clearest answer.”

    About then, Clay came over to them. “Thanks for yer help,” he said, nodding in appreciation. “We've still got some searches being done, so the town will be closed off for a couple more hours. But we might've got the big group if we have one of the Sages.”

    “You also have a rather dangerous Pokemon in your possession,” Hilbert said. “Genesect was genetically altered from a fossil by a scientist connected to them, so be careful with her.”

    “Same one that caused that?” he asked, pointing over to the hole in the container.

    “Yes, that one,” Cheren said.

    “I see.” He put his hands in the pocket of his jacket. “I'll take care of that one personally. The police will get the stolen Pokemon sorted out. But now, young lady, I was expecting you to be around my Gym any day now.”

    She nodded. “Right, we're ready.”

    “Ready?” he said, raising an eyebrow. “Fine. I'll be in my Gym, but I have special conditions for you since I know you like a challenge. Once you enter the Gym, you have one hour to make your way past all of the Trainers on duty tonight and defeat me. If you can't make that, then you're not getting a badge tonight. See you.” Then he headed out, calling ahead to one of the miners.

    “One hour?” Cheren asked. “But you're going to waste some time on working all the lifts. Not only that, but I've fought quite a few Trainers who work in the Gym. There could be a lot to get through tonight.”

    Hilda looked at Kyurem. “Then he wants us to blast right through everyone? It depends on how the guy with a hole punched through his body feels.”

    The dragon boy smirked. “It was a strong hit, but nothing truly serious. Stop by the Pokecenter and we should do just fine.”

    “Looks like we're meeting Clay's terms then,” Hilda said. It would be a challenge. But then, it was already feeling like a thrill.

    -+-

    Cheren had been right about the lifts. In the entrance room of the Gym, there was a large elevator that brought them down into a deep mine shaft. It had been big enough that she could stand comfortably there with Kyurem in his dragon form. But these lifts did not move as fast as the elevators in Castelia City. Once she got onto a level, she had to navigate steel pathways to find the Gym Trainers. Temporary blockades were in place too, and there were nine elevator shafts in all, on three levels. The battles themselves weren't too bad when Kyurem could Ice Beam through the majority of the Pokemon there (and if one was resistant, a Draco Meteor handled the situation fine). Finding the right paths and waiting on the elevators to get to the right level took up much of her hour.

    When they reached the central elevator, it dropped them past the three levels and deeper into the mine shaft. Hilda checked her Xtransceiver for the time. “Just under fifteen minutes left and with what the receptionist said, we've got all the Gym Trainers,” she said. “I think we're fine.”

    “It sounded worse than it was,” Kyurem said, standing at the edge of the platform and watching the layers of dirt pass by.

    “So what do you think?” Hilda said, coming over to lean on the railing by him. “Was Tornadus messing with Hilbert or is there something to that?”

    “I can't be sure, even after I affected Hilbert's powers,” he said. “There's definitely something different about those two. They're not like the gijinkas as I know them. The N from my history even managed to follow me here.” He crossed his arms over his chest, his attention now inward. “I am... bothered by the description Cheren's given. With this new possibility, that one may actually be dangerous to me.”

    “N? You mean his Pokemon?”

    “No, I mean him, alone.” Kyurem turned to her as the sound of metal shifting began below them. A gateway to a lower mine was opening up. “If we consider those two as demimortals, then they have acquired that potential without an immortal to trigger it in them. There is a chance that it was Keldeo's suffering that did this. I doubt that, though at this time we cannot be certain. So they have the ability to inherit the power of an immortal. At the time I left my history, both Zekrom and Reshiram were dead. Combine that with the sign of black and white scales on his arms, and I believe that that N may have inherited the power of both of them. If he can control that power, then he can overwhelm me if he surprises me. And that still doesn't answer what killed my siblings in the first place.”

    “That does sound dangerous,” Hilda said. Then she smirked. “Well then, we're just going to have to be prepared for him. And don't forget, you're not alone. I'm sure the whole team will back you, and I’ll do what I can to help.”

    “Then I have no reason to lack in confidence,” Kyurem said, bowing his head. “Thank you.”

    Past the large metal gate, they entered a darker part of the mines. The lights down there slowly got brighter until the large battle platform at the end of a pathway was easily visible. Clay was at the far end of the platform, waiting for them.

    “Looks like you made good time getting down here,” he said as they came onto the platform. “A good Trainer needs to have a solid bond with their Pokemon; a great Trainer needs to be ready for anything that comes his or her way.” He then adjusted his hat. “With that in mind... we're fighting doubles tonight. Four to four. Will you agree to these terms?”

    Doubles, four to four? Hilda's mind raced, thinking through her team. She had been thinking this would be the League standard of singles up to six. Still... having a limit of four could mean that she could keep Frank out of the fight; as good as he was, he didn't have any particular skills that would be effective here in a Ground-type Gym. She wasn't sure who else would sit out, but she could play that by ear. And doubles, she hadn't done that much, but people in Driftveil were fond of triples and rotation.

    She nodded. “Gotcha. We can handle that.”

    “Good, then let's not waste your time left. Declared four to four, ready... and begin, Krokorok and Crustle!”

    Kyurem stepped back as Hilda picked up an extra Pokeball. “Fedora and Tarzan, both of you out here!” she called, releasing her Serperior and Scrafty. “Seed and swagger, at face.”

    After giving each other a glance, the two Pokemon set the battle in motion by moving before either of Clay's Pokemon. Fedora used Leech Seed against the Krokorok, setting up a continual drain on it. Meanwhile, Tarzan made some insulting calls and waved off the Crustle, making it both angry and confused. Still, the red reptile tried (and failed) to use Swagger back at Tarzan, followed by firing of rocks from the ground crab (although a fair number of those shots missed).

    Now that they were afflicted, Hilda had her Pokemon take a turn to boost their own skills, Fedora by Coil and Tarzan by Work Up. Clay's side both attacked, although the Crustle attacked itself and the Krokorok's Bulldoze wasn't that affective against the Serperior. Then Fedora did one more Coil while Tarzan struck the Crustle with a kick. If it had any Bug type moves, it could be a big problem even while confused. And it seemed to, given Clay's orders. By then, Fedora was able to ready to strike with Leaf Blade and finish off the Crustle.

    Clay took a second to consider her Pokemon, then called out his own Exadrill. Hilda knew it would be tough to take down. However, she also knew that the Krokorok with Swagger could lose her control of the battle. She ordered both of her Pokemon to attack the Kokorok and whichever one was slower... that was Tarzan. Fedora wiped out the Krokorok easily with Giga Drain, but Tarzan took it in stride and used Hi Jump Kick against the Exadrill, managing to knock the heavy Pokemon back a foot. But not knock it out.

    She ended up smiling on seeing Clay release a Palpitoad. If she had kept with using Kyurem through this, then it and the Exadrill might slow them down. As it was, the Palpitoad was no match for Fedora and Tarzan could finish off the Exadrill. Although not before it slammed him with Steamroller, an intense looking attack where the ground grew spikes and slammed into the Scrafty.

    With that, Clay finally smiled at her. “Well then, it seems that even time limits and unexpected changes aren't much of an obstacle to you all anymore.”

    Fedora called out in agreement, raising himself up, while Tarzan smirked and repeated some of his gestures from Swagger. Hilda nodded. “Yeah, but it was a lot of fun. I know I can rely on my friends.”

    “And that's how it should be,” he said in agreement. “Well, you've proven yourself to me this evening, with real talent under your boisterous facade. You've earned this badge well, but keep up the hard work. There's still got a lot to accomplish this month.”

    “Yeah,” she said coming up to accept the Quake Badge and a handshake from Clay. Then she turned and showed it off to Fedora, Tarzan, and Kyurem. “Thanks, you three! I think we've all earned a day off tomorrow. What do you say to that?”

    Fedora and Tarzan gave noisy cheers to that idea, while Kyurem quietly nodded.
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 16th November 2012 at 3:53 PM.
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  19. #319
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    Demi mortal, Reshi must be saved!
    Mimi the demi mortal.
    ALL SHALL FEAR THE WRATH OF THE LEGENDARY CINNICO!
    Still want umber to be mutilated and forced to have him genetically combined with ghetsis. They sure would bicker a lot.

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  20. #320
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    So future N is twice over a full immortal? Ouch.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl View Post
    and the Krokorok's Steamroller wasn't that affective against the Serperior.
    Krokorok can't learn Steamroller, so not sure what you were going for here.

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    I totally saw N being a demimortal coming! I have a feeling that he wants to force kyurem into himself and be all three legends at once. Just speculation...
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    Double-Immortal N? That's probably not good. At all. I'm going to hide in my Armageddon-by-Flaming-Lightning-Dragons bunker.

    As for the previous chapter, N's travel through Celestial Tower got me misty-eyed in several places. SO MUCH SADNESS
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    @MM: I think I meant Bulldoze and got that scrambled somewhere... better go fix that.

    So, chapter 50. Normally I'd have it all wrapped up before that number. I may end up coming back to re-write this one, though, or just edit it heavily. Something bugs me about it.


    Chapter 50: Showdown in an Electric Blue Cave



    The throne room was buzzing with anticipation. Any of the team members who could make it were there. This included Zinzolin and a group of knights that had been under him. Although they had been arrested last night, Ghetsis, Gorm, and Giallo had stepped in to get them released. Now they were all waiting on the meeting to begin, one of the biggest meetings the team had had in the past few months. And N was to lead this meeting personally.

    He was in the hallway with Ghetsis, now that it had cleared out. Looking into the hall, he could feel their excitement. It intimidated him, making his stomach flutter. Not only that, but his friends weren't there to back him up as Pokemon were not normally in the castle. And he was dressed differently today, in a long black cloak, black dress shirt, black pants, and the Black King's crown. Being so formal had been special once, but it only added to his discomfort now.

    “They're expecting so much out of me that I’m afraid that I’ll only disappoint them,” N told Ghetsis.

    “You won't,” he said. “And you need to get used to this. Before you know it, you'll need to address the entire region of Unova, and even the world. I can only cover for you for so long. Are you well rested? I've done what I can to make you look less ill, but you'll need to keep alert this time.”

    “I'm fine,” he said, smiling despite his anxiety.

    “Good. Let's go.”

    It was time. Trying to push away his feelings, N led the way into the throne room, up the center aisle which had been kept clear. The pools had been covered over so that everyone had plenty of space to stand. At first, the room hushed in reverence. Then people began to cheer, happy to see that it was him. They're all here to support me, he reminded himself. Like Rood said, they proved that there was good still in the world by supporting his vision of what the world should be like.

    The other five Sages met them at the front of the room. N bowed to them, and they replied in same. Then he turned to the rest in the room and raised his hand. They all quieted in response, heedful of his authority.

    My responsibility is towards the innocent Pokemon, and these good people, he thought. After taking a deep breath, N addressed them with a smile. “Thank you for your warm welcome. It always cheers me to see how devoted all of you are to our cause. We have been through rough times ever since we stepped out of the shadows and into the public eye last fall. But we have stayed firm to our beliefs and have even grown in numbers; there are a great number of you who weren't even here for my coronation last summer, and I am grateful that you have decided to support our dreams of equality and freedom for all, both human and Pokemon. In the next month, the conflict could become more agitated as our enemies try harder to bring us down. But I believe in all of you. Together, we can stand against their ignorance and cruelty.

    “I must apologize for being distant in recent days. I have had many things to reconsider and changes to make.” Ghetsis had told him several times that he shouldn't speak of doubt here, as that would weaken their faith in him. “But now that I have seen the world's falsehoods for myself, I am more determined than ever to bring justice to Pokemon and set the world straight. By the time summer comes around... no, within a month's time, we should have our plans come to fruition and the changing of the world will begin. It won't all happen immediately, and our path will continue to be a hard one, but in the end, we will have a better world where peace and fairness will rule over all and there will be no reason to hurt each other anymore.

    “To start things off today, I have need for a group of volunteers who do not mind taking part in Pokemon battles. Some of our most powerful opponents are young Pokemon Trainers, and we need to discourage them from continuing to fight against us.” It did hurt to think about it... they could have been friends. But he needed to deal with Hilda and Hilbert, the sooner the better.

    -+-

    After a day of getting to relax and actually enjoy Driftveil, Hilda and her team moved on through Route 6 to reach Mistralton. They had spent a lot of time on the route before, training up and even battling some scientists who worked at the Weather Research lab there. They had not gone into the cave at the end of the route, but they would need to today to pass through to the next Gym.

    It was raining hard and the stream that passed through was swollen with melt-off from Twist Mountain. But although that covered the ground in mud and slick puddles, it was still a pleasant walk. Even more so when Hilda came upon Bianca and Professor Juniper heading the same way. “Hey, it's great to see you two out of the lab!” she called.

    “Oh hello Hilda,” Juniper said, grinning and waiting on her to catch up. “Well it has warmed up and after all those papers I had to write, I'm eager to get back out to field research. How's it going with you?”

    “I saw that you had beat Clay the other day despite the crazy restrictions he put on you,” Bianca said, hugging her. “Congratulations!”

    “Thanks! And really, it turned out to be not that big of a deal.” She started telling them of what had happened that day. Meanwhile, Kyurem walked along with them, watching the area carefully.

    Further down the path, they came upon a muddy field of tall grass. “Be careful around here,” Juniper said. “Sometimes you'll see what looks like a Pokeball lying in fields like this, but it turns out to be a mischievous Pokemon called Foongus.”

    “Yeah, I had to fight a few of them recently,” Hilda said.

    “I hear there's a couple other Pokemon that also look like Pokeballs,” Bianca said. “Isn't that really curious? I mean, Pokeballs have only been around, what, the past hundred years or so. And those Pokemon only really showed up in the past hundred years.”

    “That is something researchers have been looking into for a while now,” Juniper said, shifting her jacket against a cool gust of wind. “The Pokemon we're interested in finding today is like that too, actually. See, there's one known as a Klink living in Chargestone Cavern ahead, and it looks like a couple of gears hooked together. My father has found evidence, or rather, lack of evidence that it existed in the distant past. He's trying to figure out an exact date, which is tough because in the early days, a lot of Pokemon were mysterious and virtually unknown. I want to see one for myself, maybe catch one for close study.”

    “So what, did they spontaneously appear when things like Pokeballs and gears came into existence?” Hilda asked.

    The professor shrugged. “In the cast of the Voltorbs, the other Pokemon that looks like a Pokeball, almost. That one has a proven cause of existence, when a factory accident caused some Pokeballs to turn into Pokemon. How they can do that, we're not entirely sure.”

    “What do you think about that, Rei?” Hilda said, nudging him.

    “I wasn't paying attention,” he said. “There's something about the forest today that I don't like.”

    “The rain?” Bianca asked. When he shook his head and went back to watching the trees, she said, “I hope it's nothing dangerous. But anyhow, I’m excited to see Chargestone Cavern! I did some reading on it, and there's a naturally high level of electricity inside. I mean really high. It's enough that some of the crystals inside will actually float magnetically! You can even push them towards each other and they'll be attracted or repelled based on the lay of their magnetism. Maybe it sounds silly, but it seems like fun.”

    “It is pretty fun, until a cluster of them ends up blocking your way forward,” Juniper said with a chuckle. “There's a great many wonderful places in the world, and even just here in Unova.”

    “That does sound wild,” Hilda said. She was trying to think of some joke to go with it (or the rain), but then someone grabbed and pulled her back. She caught a glimpse of black gloves and white hair when the the rainy forest blurred into nothing. Then, with a crackle of electricity, her vision reformed into that of a cave filled with a cool blue glow. Ahead of her, there was a large piece of blue crystal from where the light came from. Smaller blue and white crystals hung in the air, while the darker stones of the walls and floor were solidly there. Not sure what was going on, she grabbed the band she stored her Pokeballs on and picked out Kyurem's.

    “We have blocked off the exits to the cave,” the person behind her said. “You have been called to enter alone.”

    “Except that I'm not alone,” Hilda said, pressing the button on the Pokeball twice. Once to recall Kyurem, and once more to bring him into the cave. She had aimed the release so that he also appeared behind her. There was a growl and the snap of his jaws.

    But the person had teleported with her a few feet ahead, out of Kyurem's range and facing him. Two more appeared close by; they wore identical outfits, entirely black so that it all blended together, from the slim shoes that left no imprints to the long scarves that covered the lower half of their faces. However, their hair was pure white, thick and short, with bangs just long enough to help obscure their eyes. But not entirely; the one that she could see best had red eyes with no pupils, almost resembling the multifaceted eye of a Bug Pokemon.

    “Yes, but we don't want to hurt each other,” the one holding her said. It sounded like a woman. “Right?”

    Kyurem growled, his eyes seeming to brighten in the dark cave.

    “I don't think he's going to back down unless you let me go,” Hilda said.

    “We've been instructed to bring you to meet with our lord,” another one of them said. Not the red-eyed one, but another woman.

    “Go ahead,” the one behind her said, letting her go. “But don't try to leave; we'll prevent that.” Then the three of them vanished.

    Hilda walked over to Kyurem, who was looking around warily. “Man, that came out of nowhere.”

    There was a flash as Kyurem reverted to his human form. “Are you okay?” he asked, walking up to meet her and putting his hand on her shoulder.

    She nodded. “Yeah, I'm okay. Professor Juniper and Bianca are probably worried, though.” She turned on her Xtransceiver, but the screen looked a little warped. Although it was hard to read, there was a warning. 'Electrical interference too high for visual transmissions. Please reserve audio transmissions for emergencies to limit damage to equipment.' But this was enough of an emergency, so she requested a call to both of them.

    It was picked up immediately, although the screen was filled with static. Juniper spoke up first. “Hilda, is that you? The screen's black.”

    “Yeah, it's me,” she said. “Sorry about the black screen, but I got brought into Chargestone Cavern and can't do visuals. Kyurem and I are fine, but we've got some people in here that want to talk with us.”

    “If you have Kyurem, you should be okay,” Bianca said. “He flipped out when you vanished, but then was gone just as suddenly.”

    “Do you want us to bring some help?” Juniper asked. “And who has you?”

    “I don't know who, but it was some weird ninjas,” she said. “They said they have the exits blocked off, so I don't know how well anyone else can get in here. Don't worry; we'll go see what they want and try to get out of here quickly.”

    “All right,” Juniper said, sounding reluctant to leave it at that. “Be careful. I'll make some calls to get some help.” Then they cut off the call.

    Once she was off, Kyurem pointed away from the large crystal. “They've got the entrance clogged up with Galvantula webbing. It's electrified, but Olette could remove it without harm. But with how quickly those people can act, we'd best go ahead and meet with them.”

    She nodded. “All right, then let's go show them and their boss that we aren't to be messed with.”

    The path was straightforward, as it went around the large crystal and led to an opening in the cave. The three ninjas were waiting on them there, as was their leader. Inexplicably, it turned out to be N. He smiled on seeing her, but something wasn't right. Maybe it was the blue lightning turning things a little creepier than they were.

    “There you are,” N said. “Welcome to Chargestone Cavern. This is a wonderful place, isn't it? A great number of Electric Pokemon settled here in years past, causing the natural static electricity here to build, and attract even more Pokemon who love electricity. And it's beautiful in more than just looks too. When you take measurements and calculate the flow of everything you can see those formulas come to life here, causing the force of gravity to be defied and the light to be so clear. It's really breathtaking.”

    “Your rate of talking is breathtaking too,” Hilda teased. But the fact that he was talking fast again meant that he had to be nervous. And then there were his eyes, which looked dull and tired, not with the wonder he was talking about. He still looked thin too. All those mixed signals didn't make his smile convincing. “This is a pretty cool place, but seriously, I haven't seen you in a while, not counting when you were delirious. Are you doing all right? I'm just getting back into my normal traveling routine.”

    “I'm fine,” he said dismissively. “Aren't you concerned about what you're here for?”

    Although that was a worry, she put a hand on her hip and replied casually, “Maybe, but I’m more grateful to see one of my friends up and around again. So who are these three? They're quite rude and if they weren't so fast, Kyurem would've eaten one of them by now.”

    “These are the Shadow Triad,” N answered. “They work for me.”

    “They snatched her away from me,” Kyurem said in anger.

    N bowed his head. “Sorry about that, but we weren't expecting others to be coming here with you. We don't need to be interrupted. I have instructed them not to hurt either of you, so you don't need to worry. They've been gathering information on you and your friends.”

    “And that's not a reason to be worried?” Hilda asked, raising her eyebrows.

    N came closer. “Your friend Cheren left home in search of power and recognition, and he has become strong at the expense of his Pokemon. It's a shame that he didn't realize how harsh he was being to them.”

    “Well he's realized that now,” Hilda said. “I heard it from him, that his Liepard collapsed one day and he had to acknowledge that it was his doing. His parents have pressured him just as hard to succeed. He has relaxed his attitude in the past month, so you don't have to worry about him.”

    “I hope that is so. Now your friend Bianca,” he frowned. “She has found that not everyone can be strong and has all but given up.”

    For a moment, Hilda's anger bristled, wanting to smack him for talking about her that way. But she caught hold of that before it came into the open. Antagonizing N was the last thing they wanted to do. “I wouldn't say she's given up. Rather, she's decided to turn her focus on other things. That doesn't mean that she's not strong.”

    “But she is not strong with the way the world is now,” N pointed out. “As for you... you didn't go in search of power. Power found you. You haven't tried to be strong, but became strong anyhow. You had no serious goal in mind when you left home last fall, you move fluidly from one idea to the next, you can work for your friends one day and yourself the next, you don't value things so much as use them when convenient to you... in this, you seem to have hit some strange middle road.”

    “And what's wrong with that?” Hilda asked.

    N sighed. “How is the world even clear to you? You need to have some certainty so that you know where you're going, but you cultivate uncertainty and spontaneity.”

    “It might be that her values are on a scale completely different from yours,” Kyurem said.

    He shook his head. “That's impossible. There is right and wrong. There is no gray, just black and white. There can't be a different set of values that is also right.”

    She shrugged. “Well if you brought me in here for a debate, I hate to disappoint you but I've never studied philosophy and don't really intend to.”

    “That's a shame.” N stepped back and pointed further down the path. “But enough with words. I want to see you prove yourself in this cave. Whatever your values are, and however you think of Pokemon... you had better keep them close because you will need them. If you fail, you will forsake your Pokemon and everyone will know about it. I'll see you at the end.” He nodded to Shadow Triad member nearest to him. That one took his hand then disappeared with him, and the other two.

    “How does he want me to prove myself?” Hilda asked, dropping her hands to her sides. “Is there something special in this cave?”

    Kyurem shrugged. “There's a lot of electricity here and if I’m right, the path through it is long and winding. We'll just have to see.”

    Hilda smiled. “You and the others are with me. I'm not worried. Let's go.”

    After climbing a few ledges, moving some crystals out of the way, and going down a long path, they found someone else. But not a Team Plasma member. Hilbert was there with his Lampent, looking cautiously across a long stone bridge. “Did you get captured by Plasma too?” he asked on spotting them.

    “Looks like it,” she said, hurrying over. “How are you doing?”

    “Not so well,” he said, looking down and shifting his hat. “I was avoiding this place on purpose, you know. My Pokemon have been getting better, but the wild Pokemon around here hit so many of their weaknesses. And on the other side of this bridge, there's a whole bunch of Plasma knights looking to fight me... us, I guess. N said he'd take my Pokemon from me if I failed.”

    “You too, huh?” Hilda frowned. “Man, I do not like seeing him get into being an antagonist.”

    “Right,” Hilbert said, nodding.

    “He has completely the wrong attitude about it,” she said, shaking her fist in the air in jest. “Way too gentle and nervous about it. If you're going to be a villain, then you have to focus on it and really be a villain.”

    For a moment, he stared at her. Then he laughed. “Oh, I get it. Yeah, if this was a movie, I'd be calling him a lame villain too. Although this is a pretty cunning trap. With the other bridge out, this cave is long and there's all sorts of places for them to wait and ambush us. Who knows how many of them are in here.”

    “Quit your whining,” Hilda said, walking over to the bridge. Then she turned to him. “Remember, the other day I had to fight ten Plasma members as five doubles in a row, with Cheren as my partner, and we fought Genesect. She might've been underleveled, but after that, Clay forced me to run through and beat ten more battles in a row in under an hour. And I did it. So yeah, maybe this place sucks for your team to get through. But if we stick together, we can handle it. Maybe we don't know how many of them are ahead, but that's fine. I stocked up on a lot of medicines yesterday as I was planning on spending a while in here training anyhow. We're going to be just fine.”

    “Yes, m'am,” Hilbert said, in a teasing voice. “When you put it that way, it doesn't sound as bad. Shall we?”

    “I'm just waiting on you to start walking,” Hilda said, turning around and heading across the bridge with Kyurem.

    Thankfully, Team Plasma didn't attempt to separate the two of them while passing through their gauntlet of battles. Hilda got Hilbert to join her in battles whenever they ran into a pair of the knights, switching around his Pokemon to help them with battle experience. There were six of them across the bridge, leading up to a staircase down to a lower level. Down there, they ran into a full dozen of the knights. Still, it wasn't a big problem even if she had to find some Ethers in her bag to keep her Pokemon from exhausting themselves. Ethers were hard to find, but they were perfect for a long series of battles like this.

    They ended up back upstairs after shifting some floating crystals around to clear the path to them. There were six Plasma knights right at the top of the stairs, but they turned out to be no more difficult than the rest. But after that, the way was empty and quiet. “Are we near the exit to the cave?” Hilda asked Hilbert.

    He nodded. “It's a short ways around that corner. But I would think they'd put their strongest fighter there, after we've gone through all the rest.”

    “Yeah, makes sense,” she said.

    They went around the corner and N was waiting for them. “So you made it by working together,” he said. “I hadn't expected that.”

    “What, you thought we'd ignore each other?” Hilda asked.

    “We're friends, so of course we would work together,” Hilbert added. “What do you want to prove with this?”

    “I want to see how devoted you are to your cause, and if you truly do care about your Pokemon.” N then pulled out two Pokemon. “And since you insist on working together, then I will battle you both.”

    “Are you sure about that?” Hilbert asked.

    N nodded and released a Klang and an Archeops. Well if he was serious... Hilda took Kyurem's Pokeball, signaling him to take battle alongside Hilbert's Lampent Madeline. She had seen him earlier in all these fights, so she didn't react badly when the dragon appeared. Recalling that the Archeops would get less aggressive as it got hit, she ordered Kyurem to use Ice Beam against it while Hilbert had Madeline hit the Klang with Flame Burst.

    That did not end well. Madeline managed to hit the Klang with a burst of flames, scattering indirect fire all around it. This made the Archeops turn hazy, revealing it to actually be a tall black canine instead. The Zoroark Zane then struck Kyurem with a powerful hit of Night Slash right before he got hit with Ice Beam. Both were left standing. That is, until the Klang struck Kyurem with a blinding attack of Hyper Beam. Kyurem roared, but then fell unconscious from the combination of blows.

    Hilda hadn't seen Kyurem get defeated so quickly, at least not since her first fight against Hilbert; he had even stood up to Genesect's attack when he hadn't been directly in that battle. Would they try something against her now that her guardian was gone? Still, she had to keep focused against a strong opponent. She brought out Tarzan and called for him to attack the Zoroark with Brick Break. “You do the same thing,” she said to Hilbert.

    He nodded and had Madeline attack the Klang again, while it was recovering from the Hyper Beam attack. But N healed up Tock the Klang and had Zane use Embargo on them. Not being able to use items for several rounds was going to be a problem. Tarzan managed to make a strong hit, but the Zoroark sneered, barely hanging on to consciousness. He had the same kind of attitude Olette did when she was nearly knocked out when fighting Elesa.

    N had Tock do a weaker Mirror Shot at Tarzan while Zane attacked Madeline with Night Slash. She managed to strike with Flame Burst again, but then got knocked out. While that was going on, Tarzan finished off Zane, although he was squinting as he hopped back into position. N then brought out his actual Archeops, calling on it and Tock to attack Tarzan, while Hilbert brought out his Rufflet Regal.

    Unfortunately, N had asked Tock to use Thunderbolt, and the Archeops' Acrobatics knocked out Tarzan first. Thunderbolt startled Regal, but he managed to stay alert long enough to use Air Slash on Tock. It couldn't have hit for much, but the Klang was weak from the Flame Bursts and was knocked out. N was down two, but they were down three.

    Thinking it was less risky, Hilda brought out Olette and had her use Rock Slide. However, N then brought out a Carracosta and had it use Aqua Jet on the Exadrill while the Archeops struck Regal with Acrobatics. Hilbert tried a last minute attempt to help with Tailwind, but Regal was down before he could do so.

    The rest of the battle was just as intense. It had been very close. N had six Pokemon with him, akk who seemed to fight with everything they had in order to protect their Trainer. He had been facing against ten Pokemon, including one legendary dragon. And he ended up winning, but with only one Pokemon, his Sigilyph Rune, still conscious at the end of it.

    Once it was over, the Shadow Triad appeared again. “Wait,” N said, holding his hand up to them. He closed his eyes, moving his lips in thought but not audibly.

    “Kususo cri?” Rune asked, doing his best to stay aloft.

    “He was way better than last time I fought him,” Hilda said quietly to Hilbert. “But that battle didn't end normally.”

    “He had better not,” Hilbert said, clenching his fist. But he was shaking. Afraid? Hilda had to admit that his threat of taking their Pokemon if they failed was nerve-wracking now.

    “You make your Pokemon battle, but illogically they did not hold back when there was a chance that they would be separated from you,” N said. “All of them were like that, they love you enough... I don't want to, but it would not be fair to separate you when you've made it this far with their assistance. But don't take them for granted. Someday, you will have to let them go.” Then he walked off towards the exit of the cave.

    “Are you going to make up your mind as to whether you want to stay with Pokemon or not?” Hilbert called after him, sounding a little angry. “You can't claim the separation is for fairness if you don't live with that restriction as well.”

    N didn't reply. When Hilbert started off after him, Hilda grabbed his arm. “Hey, he backed down on taking our Pokemon away now. So there is some give; he might end up not doing it in the end. But let's get to the Mistralton Pokecenter instead of going after him.” She didn't want to say it, but having her whole team unconscious was making her anxious about staying around in this cave. And if this was the end of the cave, then she didn't want to use Revives and have them waking up in pain.

    “Right; it's not too far now,” he said. And with that, the two of them hurried to get out of Chargestone Cavern. They didn't even run into N, but he had probably left with the Shadow Triad's help.

    It was disappointing to have lost. But, N had the Archeops and Carracosta. The same ones that her father had been training? If that was so, then maybe this was the team N meant to stick with for his challenge against the Elite 4 and Alder, save for swapping one out for Zekrom. Knowing that, she started to consider how she might get an edge for that battle.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  25. #325
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    302

    Default

    N...
    Umber must be reaveled to the public and his connections with ghetsis and the orders on N.








    EDIT: RANK UP!
    TAKE THAT UMBER!!!!
    Now go get eaten by kyurem!
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

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