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Thread: ClicheStorm

  1. #251
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    I HAVE CLAIMED WEEZING. YOU ARE NOT WORTHY.
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  2. #252
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    N must find out gjetsis ordered the shadow triad to kill pricilla or your story will not be as apealing.
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  3. #253
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    I am going to start with the positive: I really like Tock's personality and his speech patterns. His metaphors comparing the human mind to a machine work out fantastically. It's interesting to see N turning into the kind of neglectful person that he's trying to combat; good thing he's gotten back on track. And it would seem that Kyurem has flash-frozen Dragonspiral Tower, presumably as a last ditch effort of keeping a conflict from breaking out there. And hooray, Fedora's coming back!

    Now, on to Pricilla. I hate that N wasn't able to arrive in time to hear her final words, or for her to at least see him again before she died. For that, I salute you. The hardest thing for any writer to do (in my experience) is to do something that the readers will hate you for. However, sometimes that's exactly what you need to do. It would still have been sad if N had arrived to be with her as she died, but what you did makes it utterly heart-wrenching. You did everything in your power to stab a knife right in your reader's heart and proceeded to twist it unmercifully. You made it hurt excruciatingly to the point that the reader is feeling N's pain exactly. Hurting your readers is a hard but necessary thing to do, but you pulled it off with aplomb.

    My personal feelings concerning the death? Well, I was already looking forward to the moment where N confronts Ghetsis, but now with this extra layer of pain to the equation . . . I eagerly await it. I expect Ghetsis to personally tell N of his involvement when there is nothing else for him to lose . . . and that is the moment when N nukes his entire existence with Zekrom
    Last edited by GalladeRocks; 4th August 2012 at 6:47 AM.
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  4. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl View Post
    Metagross?
    Yeah. Hey, I have a life outside of Unova.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl
    N had lost.
    Wha... Bu... How... How could he lose? I don't think any of the main characters have lost up to this point. But, even Pierre? He's supposed to be awesome, if a bit unstable and I always imagined him going Super Sayan and Kame-hame-HA!-ing with Ice Beam.

    Well, I suppose it's appropriate for what happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl
    And then a bolt of lightning came right through the building and struck him.
    Raaaaaaaandom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl
    For a moment, N couldn't see or hear a thing, only white and a ringing in his ears. He did feel something new, a presence very close to him, like a mind greater than his own briefly making mental contact. It was Zekrom. Without words, she apologized for the unexpected lack of contact. There hadn't been much they could do, as some force blocked off their ability to see into the physical world. Now, she would be watching him, waiting for the right time and the right place.
    I love the descriptions here. Deep, and you can almost feel what N's feeling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl
    It was a growing mist, only a few inches off the lake's icy surface. Then, without warning, a spike of ice taller than any of the children there rose out of the lake. More ice spikes erupted out as the children scrambled to skate off the lake in time. None of them got hurt, but it was obvious that something very cold was sealing off the tower.
    Seems like Rei's been busy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvyrl
    To Hilda's credit, she did recognize that Cynthia would be a serious challenge, given that Alder had picked her out and that the woman was not intimidated at all that Hilda's team had a legendary dragon on it. But she also didn't seem to recognize the name, and couldn't resist a chance to be flashy. “I hope so too,” she said cheerily, grinning. “Let's put on a good show then!”

    “Excellent,” Alder said, stepping back. “Challengers ready.... and begin!”

    Oddly enough, the first Pokemon Cynthia called out was a Rufflet, one that was eager to prove its worth to its new Trainer. Hilda had started with her Drillbur. “You're setting her against Cynthia?” Hilbert asked quietly when Alder got back. “I'm not sure if she even knows that she was the Pokemon Champion of Sinnoh at one point.”
    Well, how would she? She hasn't left Unova, and doesn't know Cynthia all that well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvyrl
    “You need to get a way lot better if you're going to pull this off,” the Ferroseed said, his eyes narrowed in a frustrated matter. “You didn't even try to talk to us most of the time.”
    Oh no, you've upset the Ferroseed! Pain, destruction, and utter walling will surely follow!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl
    Most of them were fine with it. Before he could release the Klink, the gear Pokemon came up and nudged him in the arm. “You have a resistant load to move.”

    “What?” N asked, not sure what it meant.

    The eyes on both gear faces glanced at each other. Was it thinking? This Pokemon was an odd one, so sometimes even N wasn't sure what to make of it. “Heavy load to bear?” the other face asked. “That an appropriate phrase? We think of it as tough resistance.”

    “That would be right,” N said, bowing his head. “Thanks Tock, but I have to keep going. I don't want to make you work longer than you have to, though.” He started to put the ball in the release mechanism.

    But Tock nudged his hand away. “You suffer greatly in it. It's like your gears are out of alignment; that's what we thought when we saw you trying to restrain yourself in talking to us all. You should go with what's natural for your being, or else you're going to get stress fractures as a result of not operating as you should.”

    “I don't think the mind works like that,” N said, although he was making a guess at what it was trying to tell him. Although having stress fractures in one's mind was a horrifying thought. What if it did work that way?

    “We would stay with you to find out who you really are,” Tock said. “It does not bother us; there is nothing that we would stay here for. We wish to come with you.”

    The word 'no' was there, as he had forced himself to say every time before. There was a part of himself that didn't want to, as before. But Tock was a calm Pokemon; its observations were unnervingly speaking to something he couldn't quite word. Hearing that it wanted to know who he really was, he had to struggle to keep his promise.

    His resolve broke. Maybe it was because Tock could help with Pierre, as it was calm even around the Vanllish's outbursts. That had to be the reason. “Okay,” N said quietly, but with a great deal of relief. “I meant to have one final team for the last couple of Gyms and Victory Road; you could be useful for that.”

    “We will do our best,” the Klink said, both of its gear faces smiling. It made N feel happy, even if he was still uncertain about what was right with this situation.
    Aw, so happy. Yay, Klinklang for final battle! Nothing could possibly ruin this!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl
    “N!” A blur of colors moved at the edge of his vision; he turned to see Rune the Sigilyph coming in, frantic. “You must hurry, Pricilla's in trouble.”
    Well, maybe this. And, I thought Rune left? Well, anyway, NO! NOT PRICILLA!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl
    “How do you get him to be alert enough for battle in the middle of winter? It's not that cold today, but I started out with a Snivy, a Grass-type reptile Pokemon, and he's been in hibernation since December.”

    She gave it a moment's thought. “Hmm, is that the Pokemon's first stage?”

    “He's in his second right now,” Hilda said. “I think he has a second evolution at some time.”

    Cynthia took her Pokemon back and thanked the nurse as well before heading out with Hilda. “That's one thing; a fully evolved reptile Pokemon can be used in winter provided you pay special attention to its needs, giving it extra food to compensate and trying to limit how long it's outdoors during that time. Did you want to be using him again?”

    She nodded. “If I can mange it safely. I mean, the League is going to be shut down for a month here, so I'm going to be doing lots of training of the rest of my team. He's going to fall further behind even if I can get him right at the start of spring. And with what's going on, I'll need the help of all of them. Don't want to hurt them doing it, though.”

    “And it could be just as bad trying to train him up so quickly,” Cynthia said in agreement. “Since he's a Grass type, that makes it tougher. But if you can find a way to train him indoors, there might be a way to wake him up early and keep him up with the rest.”

    “You think so? Mind telling me?” It would be good to see Fedora again, and every little bit would help.
    I agree. Fedora... FEDORAAAAAAAAA.... *starts moaning like a zombie*

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl
    The Liepard was dead; they had moved quickly when given the chance, as N was in the area and they wanted to limit the chance that he or other Pokemon would see the deed. Or hear from her. It was a relief that the Sigilyph had not seen or felt anything more. In disbelief of what he was seeing, N dropped to his knees and touched her head, as if trying to find any way to save her. They had seen to it that there was no chance.
    Way to ruin the mood. Nah, jk, but still. I swear, I was crying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl
    Hidden from view of others, the three looked at each other. It was a death, no more, no less. It meant nothing to them. But to him, it would mean an awful lot. They would be the ones to deal with him immediately. Their male member was a total loss at this kind of dealing. While the two females felt no more emotions than he did, one of them was a lot better at mimicking it. She nodded and came out into the open, by N's side.

    “My lord,” she said.

    He wouldn't look at her at first. “Who did this?” He looked up at her then, so she shook her head. “Someone killed her; you have to find out who. They can't be allowed to get away with this!” N cringed and looked back at the Liepard, clasping her paw. She had been stabbed through the spine and heart.
    *twitches* The... The Shadow... Triad... killed... Pricilla... and they don't even... c-care... Hold me back, someone, or three people will be lacking faces by the end of this post.

    *sniff* Great story as always... B-But I think I need some time... to myself... after that tragic death... *starts bawling uncontrollably, soiling the new carpets*

    @GalladeRocks: In hindsight, it's a better nickname for my Hitmontop.
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  5. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z-nogyroP View Post
    @GalladeRocks: In hindsight, it's a better nickname for my Hitmontop.
    Now you're talking! And for the record, there are Metagross in Unova. I should know, I caught a wild one at the Giant Chasm in Black. Scared the crap out of me when it popped up, I didn't even know there were any!
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  6. #256
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    ^Metang. Same thing happened to me.

    As for the chapter: I've read all the recent chaps I just dont reply often. I'm sad Pricilla died. I thought at the end N would relise he was wrong and retake Pricilla but now she's gone.

    Atleast fedora's back soon.
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    I used to liek mudkipz, then I took an arrow in the knee. However the arrow turned out to be a seaking. It yelled "F*** yeah" so I screamed "FUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!". The seaking's face became that of a troll while mine became forever alone. The situation was super effective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3D992 View Post
    ^Metang. Same thing happened to me.
    Actually, it was a Metagross for me. It was in a patch of shaking grass.

    On topic with the story, I hope that Olette evolves soon as well as Fedora. She deserves it after that jerk in Black City messed her up.

    By the way, I was trying to remember Hilda's current team. I've got Kyurem, Olette, Mimi, Tarzan, Frank, and eventually Fedora, but I feel like I'm forgetting something. Am I?
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  8. #258
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    Quote Originally Posted by GalladeRocks View Post
    Actually, it was a Metagross for me. It was in a patch of shaking grass.

    On topic with the story, I hope that Olette evolves soon as well as Fedora. She deserves it after that jerk in Black City messed her up.

    By the way, I was trying to remember Hilda's current team. I've got Kyurem, Olette, Mimi, Tarzan, Frank, and eventually Fedora, but I feel like I'm forgetting something. Am I?
    Oh, shaking grass slipped my mind. I've got 2 metangs from there but no metagross. I do however have a shaking grass emolga. Guess this was off topic. I'll check in soon for the next chapter.
    I have:
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    I used to liek mudkipz, then I took an arrow in the knee. However the arrow turned out to be a seaking. It yelled "F*** yeah" so I screamed "FUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!". The seaking's face became that of a troll while mine became forever alone. The situation was super effective.

  9. #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by GalladeRocks View Post
    Actually, it was a Metagross for me. It was in a patch of shaking grass.

    On topic with the story, I hope that Olette evolves soon as well as Fedora. She deserves it after that jerk in Black City messed her up.

    By the way, I was trying to remember Hilda's current team. I've got Kyurem, Olette, Mimi, Tarzan, Frank, and eventually Fedora, but I feel like I'm forgetting something. Am I?
    Nope, you got it right; those are her current six. Hilbert has Madeline, Loch, Ember, Regal, and Reshiram. And all members of N's castle team have now appeared: the Zoroark from way back in chapter 3, Pierre, Tock, the Archen, the Tirtouga, and Zekrom. In fact, I don't think I have decided names on the two fossils and the Zoroark. Might be a little while before he nicknames those three, though, since I'm writing him through a depressed state.

    On the Shadow Triad... in my notes, I have them characterized as living weapons. I also have some potential 'last words' for Pricilla, but with the sort of emotionless efficiency I gave the Triad, leaving her half-dead was not an option. They were pretty sappy, but none of them said who attacked her. She was pretty much just happy to see him concerned.
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    Would you be willing to add me to your PM list, so I don't forget to check if you've updated? Thanks in advance.

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    Coffee Break

    Hilbert sat back in the chair and looked around. "This feels very ominous, that this hasn't been done in a while, then she gives it to me alone." He sipped at his coffee, then checked over the reviews. "Especially after what happened last chapter. Anyhow..."

    "Huh, that would be a shock to just run across a wild Metagross with no more warning than shaking grass. Come to think of it, shaking grass can give a rough battle, unless you get a particularly silly Audino.

    "Actually, that lightning wasn't so random. It happened at the same time the Light Stone activated with fire. Well, I suppose it would seem random to the people in Mistralton Gym. Probably scared them, given they all use Flying Pokemon.

    "As for Pricilla... very sad. But I think that's been responded to."

    He paused, taking another drink. Then something occurred to him.

    "Oh right, this is when that happens..."


    Chapter 37: The Frozen Tower


    late morning, 2/27

    As the Light Stone was being active, Hilbert thought it would be a good time to check on Dragonspiral Tower. He wasn't sure if he should call on Reshiram yet. After all, he had to consider how N might react. But if he was there, he might get a hint on where to go next, to further prove his worth. When the Light Stone had activated during the crowning, he had been told to take hold of Hilda to prevent her from being burned. He was also told that something had been blocking the dragons off from the waking world. Maybe he had to find out about that, or maybe it would be another issue.

    When Regal brought him to Iccirrus, Hilbert immediately felt that something wasn't right. The atmosphere of the town was uneasy, moving closer to fear. While normally kids would be out playing no matter what time of year it was, there were only a few people outside, nervous and talking. It was eerily like Lacunosa, except that he couldn't think of anything that would threaten Iccirus like that. He looked around and nothing stuck out to him. That is, until he looked north and saw that Dragonspiral Tower looked different. He couldn't think of what was different, so headed out of town for a closer look.

    The lake looked completely different from how he'd seen it last time. Granted, that had been one summer years ago, but even accounting for the season didn't explain this. The lake was frozen solid, with crystalline clusters of ice scattered around it. The ice continued up the tower, for as high up as he could see. Around the ice, there were those strange blue threads, the ones that seemed to trigger his visions. They seemed much more numerous here than he'd ever seen before. Why? At the start of every floor, there was now a ring of ice spikes that went all the way around. Another set of ice spikes at the side facing town was formed into an empty circle. Kyurem's sign.

    On the lake, N was standing in contemplation of the tower. Something had happened to him; Hilbert could see an internal pain within an emotional numbness that was trying to snuff the pain out. He wasn't sure what to do. But, showing concern now might help later on. “Keep quiet, please,” he asked Regal, then walked out over the ice. “N, what's happened here?”

    Not replying for a moment, he lowered his head. The Dark Stone was floating beside him, flickers of blue electricity appearing occasionally. Once Hilbert got to him, he saw that N was smiling, but that was just a cover. “It happened yesterday,” he said, his voice sounding tired. “About the same time I got struck by lightning as the Dark Stone activated. And when your Light Stone activated.”

    “Really?” Hilbert looked back at the tower. “Kyurem was there, but I didn't notice him doing anything unusual.”

    N tensed. “It has to be his power. His sign appears here. Why don't they want us calling on the other dragons?” He turned to Hilbert. “Why didn't you tell me that you loved Hilda? I saw that broadcast of the crowning.”

    He felt a mix of anger and embarrassment, but tried to keep it from rising. “I got caught up in the moment,” he said, feeling his ears get warm. “And I don't know if she loves me, or you, or anybody. I haven't been sure of how I really feel about her either. I can read the desires of other people, but not my own.”

    “It shouldn't be important; she's probably trying to ruin both of us.” For a moment, he seemed like he was trying to convince himself of the truth of that (Hilbert wasn't sure of the truth of it himself). But it soon got swallowed up by whatever else was affecting him. “It isn't important.”

    “What happened?” Hilbert asked, trying to sound reassuring about it. When N looked away, he added, “That doesn't explain the amount of grief you're trying to hide.”

    “Pricilla died,” he said, sounding like he'd faced a terrible defeat and was struggling to keep calm. “She was the first Pokemon that I captured, but she insisted on following me after I let her go. And she got killed because of me. Murdered; that wasn't an accidental death.”

    “That's terrible,” he said, stepping closer. N flinched, so Hilbert avoided touching him. “But it couldn't have been your fault.”

    “It was my fault,” he said sharply, his emotions briefly turning dark against himself. “I should have told her to stay at her home and avoid humans; I should have been stronger in telling her to stop following me. But I was too sentimental and didn't. I need to be stronger and not let these things affect me.”

    “That isn't being strong,” Hilbert said. “N, it's okay to feel sad after a friend of yours has died like that.” After all, Alder had been in a good mood yesterday, but from time to time the sadness over his loss still appeared. “Did you get to bury her at Celestial Tower?”

    “Where? We did bury her out of respect.”

    He pointed towards the southwest, where that tower should be. “The one north of Mistralton. That's where people go to remember the Pokemon that have passed away.”

    “That can't be true; your people out here don't respect Pokemon enough for that.” He turned to hurry away from there, as fast as he could across the ice. But then he nearly ran into a man who was approaching them. “Dr. Umber, what are you doing here?”

    The man smiled. He seemed interested in the both of them, but his emotions were well-guarded. Hilbert couldn't even tell what he wanted here. “Ah, Lord N, good to see you out here. I heard that Dragonspiral Tower had froze solid and wanted to ascertain the truth of it, as well as why it might have done so. If we know why, we can find the way to unfreeze it.”

    “Fine, I'll leave you to it.” He then headed off.

    “My, he seems to be in a dark mood,” Umber said, although without a trace of actual concern in his voice. “And you, you're his brother, right? Funny that I should meet you out here. Or maybe not; you'd both be interested in seeing what happened here.” He went right up to the frozen tower and gave it an experimental prod.

    “I am,” Hilbert said, but something bugged him. Dr. Umber... he thought he'd heard the name before. It took a moment for it to connect. “Wait you... you signed our birth certificates, didn't you? So you'd know our mother. Or was that a relative of yours?”

    “Well done,” Umber said, chuckling. “You have an eye for details if you noticed that. Yes, I did, and I met with her many times over a short period. I've been curious about you, Hilbert. Some things I've wanted to check up on, but that required tracking you down and I have so many other things to attend to. But now that you're here, it'd be nice...” he frowned. “Well, maybe not here.”

    Something didn't seem right about this. Between N's recognizing him and Umber's careless attitude, Hilbert felt uneasy. Umber should at least be concerned for N's 'dark mood'. “What do you want?” Hilbert asked.

    Umber smiled. “Can't you tell? I wouldn't think so. My mind is exquisitely trained; one might say that I was paranoid of psychics when I was younger. Now, I don't have to worry. You still interest me, actually. There are a few things I want to know, and there are things you want to know as well, right? About your mother, and perhaps even more than that. Tell you what, I'll meet with you at the Castelia Pokecenter this evening, around seven? Would that work for you? That will give me time to review this unusual occurrence as well as track down the files you would be interested in.”

    Because he couldn't read him well, Hilbert didn't want to trust this scientist. Umber might know something, but he might also be up to something. He shook his head. “No, I'll keep looking on my own. And there's other things that could become more important soon.” Like figuring out if Kyurem was an enemy or not. He never projected intentions like that, but now Hilbert knew for certain that his senses could be blocked. Perhaps even misdirected.

    “Or maybe you can read me,” Umber said in a stern voice. “I can't take no for an answer here.” He snapped his fingers.

    Hilbert knew that he was in danger, but only for a moment before he blacked out.

    When he started coming to, he wasn't sure what had happened. It was something to do with an infernal buzzing filling his mind to the point of being overwhelmed. That didn't really make sense, but that was all that Hilbert could recall. As he became more aware, he smelled salt and fish. Something rough was around his wrists... a rope? Yes, that was it. He'd been tied up and was now on a boat to somewhere. He opened his eyes and confirmed that.

    “Good, you're already reviving.” The scientist came into view, drinking out of a bottle. “It's what I expected to see. But not when we really want you up. Go on and sleep until we're ready.” He put a cloth to Hilbert's nose; it had a strong scent that tickled his nose. While he thought he might sneeze, he ended up falling asleep instead.



    Outside, it was raining heavily. About of third of the room was taking up by various machines. Some were recognizable as computers; others she had no idea what they could be used for. “Where is this place?” Stacy asked, looking at one of the windows. Blinds covered it and some equipment sat right in front, blocking access to it. “It wasn't raining in Opelucid.”

    Dr. Umber smiled as he gripped her arm. “Don't worry about that. I have a few more things we need to do today, but I want my equipment to work with instead of the hospital's. This should be the last round.”

    She bit her lip, putting a hand over her stomach. “What are we doing with the twins? I know he said it was for the best, but these operations you've been doing have been giving me strange dreams, of dragons and such.”

    “Interesting, but I doubt that it's anything to worry about,” Umber said, as calm and pleasant as always. He was the kind of person who could tell you that you were going to die a painful death and still be the nicest smiling doctor while doing so. “We're simply making sure to give them the best start in life possible. I know what I'm doing; nothing unexpected will happen. Please, just relax and sit on the exam table while I get things ready.”

    Stacy went to sit there, but it was hard to relax. “Where's Ghetsis been?” she asked. “I haven't seen him for a few days.”

    “I'm sure he's just busy working to get a good amount of money to support you and your children with. He doesn't like getting caught unprepared, I know.”

    It caused her some heartache to think about. It had all seemed so wonderful months ago, like her fortunes had finally turned around. But in the time since, things had gotten strange. Ghetsis was out working a lot, or at least he said he was. And then this doctor of hers had some complicated idea to make things better, which Ghetsis had agreed to. At first she had too, but now Stacy wasn't so sure.

    The blue threads flickered and appeared over the scene. There were many of them, many ways in which she could have chosen. But two were much stronger than the others, one of what could have been.

    After the operation, Dr. Umber had sent her back home via the teleport pad and told her to get some rest. But Stacy had decided that things were just too suspicious to ignore. She wanted to speak to someone, but Ghetsis would tell her to just speak to him and no one else. She wanted to go back to the shelter in Lacunosa and talk to someone there.

    Only, she wasn't feeling well after the operation and she was eight months pregnant. She took a few things from the apartment, like the Pokeball to her Wingull, money that Ghetsis had tried to hide from her, and some things to snack on. Then she went to the subway station to get a ride to Lacunosa.

    Stacy was trembling with nervousness in the station. Maybe Ghetsis would find her here. Or maybe all the strangers around her would be criticizing her, like the old maternity clothes she was wearing or the way her hair was unbrushed, or that she was here alone, not even twenty and pregnant. But when the train got there, the station attendant sent a couple of other passengers to help her find a seat and watch out for her. They were actually nice to her and even offered to see her to her destination in Lacunosa. While she thought of refusing, she still wasn't feeling well so agreed to the help.

    And even though she expected the people at the shelter to be angry or critical of her, they were forgiving. It even made her cry some, but it was good that they cared.

    But that wasn't the path of history. This was.


    Back at the apartment, Stacy wondered and worried about what she should do. She had thought about going back to the shelter in Lacunosa, but was afraid that Ghetsis would find her there and bring her back. She felt like she should trust him, because he loved her and all. But maybe not because he was gone an awful lot now.

    Ghetsis came back that evening. When she asked about the operation, he reassured her that it would be fine. It should be okay, but there was still a lingering doubt.



    Time, those blue threads were related to time somehow. They had appeared in times and events where something different could have happened, like his mother choosing to trust Ghetsis or not. Or a history when Kyurem wasn't here. While it didn't explain why he could see these alternate histories, it was a better idea of what was happening.

    Hilbert stretched on waking up and realized that he wasn't tied up anymore. He'd figure out the past later; he had to figure out what was going on now. Opening his eyes and sitting up, he found himself on a simple cheap-looking bed in an empty room. The floor was paved in concrete, but the walls and ceiling were left as rough rocks. Had to be a cave. There were no door or windows; if he could find a way to the surface, he could escape. But when he reached for his Pokeball holder on his wrist, he found that it was gone. Along with the Light Stone, his Xtranciever, his bag, and everything but his clothes.

    “We're ready to begin,” a voice embedded in the ceiling said. It took a second for Hilbert to recognize it as Dr. Umber. “Please head on out; I’ll decide on what to do when you decide on what way to go.”

    He got out of the bed and looked around. He could see the speaker now, but nothing more beyond a hallway. “What's going on? Why did you capture me?”

    “For your first question, this is a test. If I could have seen everything with just a DNA check, I would have left you in Iccirrus. But I want to test a theory before it gets put into action, so we have to test you. For your second question, the plan that depends on this theory can only work with two people, you and N. I'm not allowed to use N for the test, so that leaves you.”

    Hilbert left the room to see what was there. The cave hallway went for a short ways both directions before splitting off, giving him four options. Wishing he had something to mark the walls with for less confusion, he went to check each way. “That doesn't explain what's going on. What's this test for?”

    Umber chuckled. “Well I can't tell you everything, now can I? The experiment would be rendered invalid if you knew exactly what was going on. Don't worry about what it's for. Just find your way. And talk to me; it'll be less boring for both of us.”

    Hilbert listened to his words; the hallways weren't giving him any helpful hints of which way to go. “Are you drunk?”

    “Possibly? Not that it matters, as you're being recorded and that cave is fully covered with security cameras and features. I don't mean to use the latter against you but... we'll see.”

    “Where is this cave?” He could smell the ocean, particularly strong down one tunnel. He headed that way.

    “It's underneath my old laboratory. At least, part of it is. And you'll want to watch the surfaces of where you're going. Some of those tunnels get flooded with the tides.”

    That worried Hilbert; he could swim, but the waters would be close to freezing. Here, it looked dry. “Are you trying to kill me?”

    Umber laughed. “No, dear boy, not yet. My employer would be greatly disappointed if you died here and now.”

    “Ghetsis would?”

    “Exactly. After all, it wouldn't do him much good to evoke the mythology of the legends if one of the twin heroes died early. By the way, excellent job during the crowning yesterday. You said exactly what you should have without having a team research public opinion beforehand. Ghetsis took it calmly on seeing it, but you should have seen him later when the ignorant ones were out of the room. I had to express my condolences, but it was a beautiful rage.”

    He was trying to follow the scent of the ocean, but had ended up in a large room. There were concrete stairs and platforms on three levels, leading to various other tunnels in this cave. Right now, he was on the second level. Down below, he could see seaweed, lichen, and moss on the ground level. “What kind of doctor are you? You should be medical, but you're running me through this weird experiment and wanted to study the ice on the tower.”

    There was a pause; either he was still drinking or he was switching the speakers as his voice came through clearly even in that room. Or both. “My studies were in biology and genetics. I did cross-study for humans and Pokemon. You may not have heard of me, but I'm one of the top researchers in my fields.”

    Thinking that heading down without a swimming Pokemon wouldn't help, Hilbert climbed up to the third level to explore there. “How does this apply to genetics?”

    “Genes dictate everything about a living being. How they look, how they act, what they are capable of. I want to see if you're capable of what I theorize you should be doing. Should be capable of doing, I mean.”

    It still didn't make much sense to Hilbert. “What did you do to my mother?”

    “To her? I didn't do much to Stacy. I had another doctor that did the actual health checks and delivery, but I signed the certificate because I was more important to how you turned out.”

    “What's that...?” he stopped, hearing a strange Pokemon cry from the cavern. Hilbert stepped back into the large room and looked down.

    Alarm bells went off in his head as he saw the Pokemon there. It wasn't like any he had ever seen before, a bipedal Pokemon with sleek dark violet steel armor. On its back, there was something that looked like a cannon, with joints that allowed it to be shifted. The Pokemon was clicking and hissing, rather like a Bug Pokemon. It didn't seem to want anything right now, but he had a feeling that it was territorial.

    Hilbert backed off into the upper level tunnel. “What was that?” he asked, trying not to be too loud.

    “That would be another project of mine,” Umber said, some pride showing in his words. “Genesect. I resurrected her from a fossil, but with the way she was, she would not have survived in the modern world. So I modified her to be more viable, and more effective. She's rather aggressive and fierce; a primal beast, you might say. You ought to fight her.”

    His heart started racing at that suggestion; he tried to move quicker to get away and not make much more noise. “What? That's insane. I don't have my Pokemon with me.”

    “You should be able to handle her on your own.”

    “I don't have any martial arts training.” He heard a screech from behind him. Had this Genesect heard him? “I'm just a human and that thing...”

    “Are you?”

    Something about that question hit Hilbert with a sense of dread.

    “Let's look at the facts, shall we? For years, you've had a peculiar aura effect that mimics Attract perfectly. Better than perfect, as you could influence straight males and genderless Pokemon. You have a number of abilities that could be called pseudo-psychic as a number of humans have. However, they can also be explained by such things as Detect and aura sensing. A couple months back, you were struck in the head with a baseball bat and would have been killed by the hit if you were normal. Instead, you recovered quicker than someone with a lesser concussion. There is also how I put you to sleep earlier: with Sleep Powder spores.”

    And he was being held captive by a crazed scientist who claimed that he was important to who he was. Umber could have been lying. But all those unusual things supported what he was saying. “I'm not... so wait, I'm a Pokemon?”

    Umber laughed. “No, you're not that either. You're a gijinka, part Pokemon, part human. Technically one that was modified from a human embryo and not a natural born one, but you still qualify. That's what Ghetsis wanted out of you two; the chances of a pair of twins being born gijinkas with all the qualities he wanted were astronomical. And that's why he brought me into it, because I had already been working on artificial gijinkas.”

    “So there's others out there?” He and N were half-Pokemon... that could explain why his brother could understand Pokemon so naturally (although not why he couldn't). Could he use that to convince N to back off of his position?

    “Certainly, I have several that I made before you two. Not as many after, as I got into other projects and studies.” He paused again. “You were the only twins I worked on, although I did work on two sets of triplets. One of those sets started off as identical, all three of them, but you couldn't tell that now meeting them in person. But I think you and N are the best of the gijinkas I made. We shall have to wait for your powers to fully manifest to know for certain, but if this works as in my theory, none of the others would be able to come close.”

    “And all along, I've been a Psychic,” Hilbert said. That didn't make his chances good if that Pokemon, either Bug, Steel, or both, were to find and attack him. Not to mention how he didn't know how to do anything like a Pokemon ability or move consciously.

    “Psychic?” Umber laughed for quite a while on that one. Genesect's cry came through the middle of it; it was searching for him. Hilbert took off into a sprint. “Not a chance, Hilbert. That's only how it was explained when you thought you were human. No, you're not Psychic typed. You're a Dark type.”

    “Dark?” He thought this couldn't get any more shocking, but then it did. And he could hear Genesect's heavy footfalls.

    “The Dark type... do anything to win. Sense what someone wants, sense what they feel, then flirt or threaten them into doing what you want them to do. That's how you've operated for most of your life, haven't you? Instead of fighting an enemy, you manipulate it into fighting someone else, or being your devoted follower. It's a fine tactic, nothing to be ashamed of. But such delicious irony, isn't it? That the seeker of Reshiram, the dragon of truth and often associated with light, is a Dark type gijinka who relies on manipulation of truth and emotion to get ahead.”

    A loud noise filled the cavern; a bright beam of energy flew at him. Hilbert couldn't see it, but he could sense it. Detect. He jumped out of the way without breaking his running stride, letting the attack miss him entirely. It blasted into the wall, creating a deep hole through the rock.

    Dr. Umber kept talking, as if Genesect chasing after Hilbert was nothing to be concerned about. “Now N, Ghetsis wanted him to be perceived as pure and innocent, someone that people would readily accept as a selfless hero seeking to create a perfect world, someone that people would want to follow. He had to be good. After much consideration, I turned him into a Normal type. After all, could you imagine a Normal typed Pokemon being a villain? Fire types are passionate but hot-tempered, Steel types are loyal but stubborn, and so on; these are general beliefs that hold strong in society. If you want a pure and innocent Pokemon, then a Normal type is best for getting that message across.”

    A dead end; Hilbert had found a dead end and Genesect was still chasing him, pursuing him in belief that he was prey. For a moment, he just stood there staring at the rock, his heart pounding in his chest. What now? Then he considered trying to use Attract. Kyurem and Reshiram had restricted his unconscious continual use of it. Could he use it consciously? He turned around and saw Genesect staring back at him. The cannon on its back wasn't pointed at Hilbert, but its poise suggested it was considering tackling him. 'Use Attract to keep it from killing me,' he thought. Then he smiled, trying to project his feeling of light towards Genesect.

    “You can see where this is going, right? N was created, with my help and Ghetsis' guidance, to be a beloved hero, the one who would win the affections of the people of Unova. And you were created to be a villain, someone who rose to fame quickly and made many love you, but then be revealed to be a manipulative narcissist who cared nothing for anyone but yourself and who was dependent on his powers. You were created to lose to N; I made certain of that. Your Attract power got broken much too early; a pity, because I was particularly proud of it.”

    Genesect was hesitating, shifting out of an aggressive posture. Good. Maybe he could get Genesect to help him get out of here. That is, if he could keep this up for long.

    “It wasn't working as an ability and Cute Charm didn't cut it, so I turned to a rare genetic fault that causes some Pokemon to have a passive move such as Attract become a permanent effect on their aura. Usually it's a stat-boosting move that ends up shortening their lifespan as it continually drains energy. But you would be in no physical danger from it. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that Genesect's kind was the sort where females killed their mates, so don't go doing something stupid right now like trying to keep her under Attract.”

    “You're crazy,” Hilbert said, although his last point might be something to keep in mind. “When I get out of here, I'll let others know the truth about you, and Ghetsis. Then your plans will be ruined.”

    Umber only laughed again. “Can't accept the fact that you're the loser?”

    “Why are you even telling me all this? It will tarnish Plasma's image.”

    “Do you think that I really care about them? I get my funding from Ghetsis, yes, but I have my doubts about the feasibility of his ultimate plan. He let too much randomness into the plans, especially with you. If they succeed, then it will be because of my efforts; they will have to keep me close and happy so that I don't unravel it all. If they fail, then I could cut off all my ties to them and find someone else to fund my projects.”

    “No one would hire you; you experiment on people and Pokemon without caring what happens to them.” Then he turned to Genesect, who was still staring at him. “Go on,” he said, trying to wave her away. “Go back to your nest, or den, wherever you live. I won't trouble you if you don't trouble me.”

    “Cute try,” Umber commented. “They'll hire me. I'm much too valuable to be imprisoned or executed. I know the differences between Pokemon and humans, and I know how to make those differences disappear. I know how to make humans who would make excellent soldiers, independent of Pokemon and even able to face one on equal terms. But most of all, I know the differences between immortals and mortals. I can turn a mortal into an immortal. If you want proof, look before your eyes. Genesect's kind were mortal Pokemon, but she is an immortal. A legendary on equal grounds with the dragons you and N seek.

    “I have nothing to fear anymore because people will be begging me for my expertise. You have nothing to look forward to save for being defeated by N. Perhaps you can find some mercy by joining them, but Ghetsis will make sure that you suffer for it. That's one thing that he's good at, making others suffer. He would never hit anyone, but he can do much worse. He can turn your own mind against you, make you chain yourself into slavery and say that you love him. And he will enjoy making you do so, every single minute of it. He certainly seemed pleased when he got your mother to swear her eternal love to him, and then ordered her killed. I heard that she didn't even fight it.”

    “Shut up!” Hilbert snapped, feeling so furious that he was seeing red. Red flames that twisted around him, reaching out towards Genesect. She hissed sharply and got ready to attack again.

    Then a yellow shield appeared between them, locking Hilbert into the dead end. Genesect crashed into the barrier, causing sparks to fly. However, it held. Then she turned her head. Something else had her attention, something that made her dash back down the tunnels howling.

    “Good, that's exactly what I'd hoped to see,” Umber said in approval. “But even if that proves the theory, I can't have you taking out your anger on my precious Genesect. She's only been alive like this a few days, after all. You cool off, and then we'll see what to do from there.” There was a click, as if the intercom system was turned off.

    Hilbert screamed and punched the barrier, only getting a painful shock for it. He stepped back and tried to calm down. While he wanted to believe Umber was lying to antagonize him, there was some of it that he knew was true. Shuddering, he looked down, trying to ignore the red flames that still surrounded him.

    And there he saw something bewildering: a shifting circle of red and black underneath his feet. It almost matched the sign that had appeared under Kyurem's feet when he had sealed Hilbert's power. However, there were no stars within the circle.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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    ...Dark/Fire? He's half Houndoom? Not quite a vampire, but still asscociated with evil...

    Oh, and     Spoiler:- just because:
    Last edited by scizorstrike; 10th August 2012 at 11:12 PM.
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    Dear Arceus, it's     Spoiler:- This joke is getting really old but I just can't stop:


    I swear, this fic is getting better and better. The truth about N and Hilbert, as well as the usage of     Spoiler:- Twice in one post, that has to be a record:
    I also hate Umber a lot now, maybe as much as Ghetsis. The way he talks is utterly sickening. You've done a great job of making both Ghetsis and Umber completely despicable villains. They're both horrible people with seemingly no morals at all, yet they both are made out to be completely unstoppable. Everything I read about Umber and Ghetsis gives off a vibe that makes it seem hopeless that they could be stopped. Overall, great villains.

    Also, it's pretty obvious who the triplets that Umber worked on are:     Spoiler:- Aren't you glad that I didn't say Genesect?:
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    Where'd you get that Hilbert's Dark/Fire? He's only got a Dark typing. And that's been planned for in this fic for a long time. I just had to decide when to reveal it. I had an option as early as the first Gym, but decided against it. Then there was the incident where Mimi's Sing put N to sleep. As he was half-Pokemon, the move affected him, plus the stress mentioned then probably weakened his resistance. If Rune hadn't of interfered, Kyurem might have found out early. And then there was the scene where N uses Flash, which I thought might get some people to suspect something was up.

    Also, you guys are silly *giggles*.
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    Wow, plot twist. I love stories were everything clicks into place. I never thought Hilbert would be a dark type. I thought he'd be psychic. Too bad hilbert couldnt sway genosect into destroying the lab. Maybe later. I really want to see genosect again in the future.
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    I got the dark/fire because even if he's only a Dark type, until Reshiram starts acting on it's own, he's the one getting it's benefits. But then, if he's pure Dark it would be more like a vampire... but it would also be more vulnerable to
        Spoiler:- of course:
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    Theories...
    Maybe not reshiram helping but, Hilbert forced to be a legendary?

    Please have hilbert get alone with N and Hilda, Then talk about gijinkas. Then have hilda make kyurem eat Umber.

    When I went to sleep last night after I read this, I could not stop thinking about N learning about Gijinkas. Having Kyurem being sic'd on Umber, and Hilda's reaction to everything.

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    Ah, now the incidents with N being put to sleep by Sing and him using Flash during the conference make a lot more sense now. I didn't make the connection immediately, but now that you've pointed it, it's obvious in retrospect.

    Also, there needs to be a male     Spoiler:- You'll never guess what's behind this tag:
    so that we can see the current female     Spoiler:- Omigosh it's back:
    have a feast. I know that I'd pay good money to see that. It was awesome/sick when our pet praying mantises did that back in third grade. Then it just got sad because all of the babies killed each other . . . maybe there will be a bunch of dead     Spoiler:- Last time, I swear:
    babies as well?
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    Yeah, I've been reading this, I've just haven't replied. But with all of the shockers in this chapter I just had to.

    First of all N didn't know about Celestial Tower and didn't think humans buried pokemon. That's just terrible. At one point he just has to visit and ring the bell. The one thing that stands for the love of pokemon has been covered up. That has got to be a major thing. He has make his own visit to the tower.

    Next N and Hibert are half pokemon. That would explain the powers but if they were half and half they should have more pokemon charicteristics. Still they were created by a scientist under orders from Ghetsis. That is as far away from their message as you can get. They are fusing people and pokemon together. So in order for N to split humans and pokemon he would have to split his own DNA apart. And we've still haven't touched on Ghetsis' real motives.

    Umber said he worked on two sets of triplets. The Shadow Triad is obvious and though they are different genders so would that make them not idenical? Of course then come speculation about the Striaton Gym triplets. They are the same gender and can easily change their hair style, but eye colour is a different matter.

    I can't wait to see what happens next and I think this quote will haunt this story:
    I know the differences between Pokemon and humans, and I know how to make those differences disappear.
    That is the exact opposite of Team Plasma's ideals and something tells me that regardless what happens to Team Plasma, this scientist will still be a threat. It's an intresting idea, but he's working for his own greed. Nothing good will come from this.

    Anyway, keep up the awsome work,
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    Wow, that was one interesting chapter. Hilbert and N being half Pokemon was really surprising to me, but after you pointed out some things, like N using Flash, it made perfect sense.

    Oh, and Dr. Umber! That guy is so...I don't know, but I hate him.

    But I can't forget about     Spoiler:- you saw it coming:
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    Chapter 38: Penance

    2/27, afternoon
    subway station, Nimbasa

    Hilda frowned and kicked at the ground. “Rats, he isn't picking up. I wonder what he's up to.”

    “Who are you calling?” Kyurem asked.

    “Hilbert; I'm just checking up on my friends.” She accessed the list of numbers she had stored. “Bianca's over her flu now, so that's great. Cheren was broody over what Alder was saying to him, but it seems like he's the one getting sick now.”

    “You are being careful of that, right?” Kyurem asked. The Pokecenter nurse had warned them about it just this morning. Apparently, a lot of travelers in Unova were picking up this sickness, causing it to move from town to town. He wasn't sure how one would stay safe from it, but the face mask Bianca had been wearing that day was supposed to help keep it from passing.

    Besides, thinking on that kept him from feeling bothered that she was calling Hilbert.

    “Yeah, I'll be washing my hands and all,” Hilda said. “Well I can try N, but he doesn't always answer.” She waited on the call to go through.

    It should have been obvious that she'd try him next, although Kyurem wished she wouldn't. Staying away from both of them seemed like a good option. That is, if it wasn't too late already. He glowered at the concrete floor, hoping that they could get a move on again soon.

    But N actually answered the call this time.

    -+-

    N's Castle

    When N had been a young child, he never had much in the way of toys. When he lived in the forest, it was sticks and stones mostly, or games with the Pokemon there. He got a few toys when Ghetsis had adopted him, after promising to take good care of them. It was a reward for doing well in his studies and being properly obedient. While he had told Hilbert that this particular room was a result of an over-eager child's mind, a fair number of these toys were newer than that. It was something he could do if he did what he was supposed to be doing first.

    He had been doing what he was supposed to, so it was fine to pass a few hours playing. It would keep his mind off things. At the moment, he was using brightly colored wooden blocks and a steam engine train set to simulate a mountainous circuit that the train had to get through. He had plenty of tracks to make the go around between his towns (represented by various Pokemon figurines), including a bridge over a gap in the blocks (because it was a river). But when he set the train to run its circuit, it kept bouncing on one part of the tracks.

    Since real engineers would have to work quickly to keep the trains running on schedule, N left the train to run while he tried to figure it out. The blocks seemed study enough, but there was a connection between two tracks that wasn't fitting up as well as he thought. He tried pressing it further into place, but the train again bounced over that one section, threatening to derail. No problem; he just had to find a different piece of track that would fit. He judged on which piece to take out, then picked out a matching piece. Once the train passed over the bad section, he tried to pry the one track piece out. But it wouldn't budge, stuck fast at the bad connection.

    It shouldn't be a big problem... N waited for the train to pass again, then gripped the track and tried to pull it out. The other side would come off just fine, but not the trouble spot. Stay calm, it's no big deal... but it was extremely frustrating and he felt an intense anger at it. Why didn't he notice that when he was setting it up? He struck the blocks underneath, knocking them over and finally causing the piece to snap off, almost hitting his face. Well that would derail the train, but he didn't care anymore. He would like to see it wrecked since it wasn't working right for him.

    Instead, the train's guidance chip sensed from the rails that there was a break. It stopped there, then went around backwards. Just like it was supposed to.

    “Idiot,” he grumbled, then sighed and put his head on his knees. Why was he getting so worked up over this? It was just a dumb game he made up to pass time. Why was he even playing? He should be visiting with his Pokemon friends while he was back... but then one of them was gone. Or he should be studying, praying, or meditating to figure out what to do now that the tower was frozen over and the League was shut down for a month. But what if he was no longer worthy?

    The Dark Stone was still there, floating in place. She hadn't said anything more, even if N had asked her many questions about if what he was doing and feeling was right or wrong. Was she not speaking because she had already deemed him unworthy and was only there because he was still trying? But if that was true, then everything here was worthless. It would be entirely his fault.

    No, he couldn't give up yet. But he had to keep away from those thoughts; they just made him feel horrible. He had to keep hopeful and strong, somehow. Leaving the train to run, he went over to grab a basketball. The room was tall enough for him to have a hoop in. While it really was mindless to just stand and throw the ball in the hoop, mindless suited him just fine today.

    Then his Xtranciver rang, startling him and causing him to drop the ball. Even though it was on his wrist, he forgot it was there sometimes. When he saw that it was Hilda calling him, he knew that he shouldn't answer. But he wanted to, and so after a check of listening for anyone else, he accepted the call. “What is it?” he asked, forgetting about the phone manners she'd been trying to get him to learn.

    She was somewhere inside; the sound of a subway train's horn was in the background. “Just checking to see how things are with my friends. What's up? You look miserable.”

    That's why he'd come here to be alone, he remembered. People kept asking him what was wrong and he didn't want to have to repeat that tragedy all the time. Plus, he didn't feel right in telling his followers about it because that would be admitting to keeping close ties with a Pokemon, too close. “It doesn't matter. Would you leave me alone? I have... things to do, think about.”

    “Well it seems to matter an awful lot to you,” Hilda said, being serious with her concern.

    She should have just listened when he asked to be left alone. But, he wasn't angry at that. It just made him feel that sadness even sharper, like a knife within his heart. Well, she loved her friends too, so maybe she would understand better. “Pricilla died, just yesterday. We think it was someone trying to attack me.”

    Her eyes widened in shock at that. “Aw, really? That's terrible; how could anyone do something like that? But I bet she was concerned about you and that's why she was following you. She was your starter, after all, and she seemed happy to be with you that time I saw her in Striaton Gym.”

    “How did you know about that?” N asked, but his anger was hollow. His sadness filled him instead, which is exactly what he wanted to avoid. Yet it felt nice to hear her words.

    “I guessed,” Hilda said. “Did you get to memorialize her at Celestial Tower? If I were there, I'd give you a hug, but since I'm not, just know that I'm sending you one.”

    Was she trying to confuse him again, like when she'd kissed him? “Why would you do that?” he asked. “I already told you that I don't like being touched.” Although... no, she was muddling with him. Hilbert had to be in on it since he had also mentioned that tower.

    “That's what you do when people are sad, to comfort them,” she said. “You shouldn't have to suffer through this sadness alone. I could come over and visit if you want.”

    “Quit messing with my mind!” he said, feeling like making sure that train got derailed. “I don't need your temptations, so leave me alone.” He shut off the call, then undid his wrist phone and threw it at the wall. His vision became a watery blur and before he could get control of himself, he was sitting on the floor again, crying hot tears for goodness knows how long and not knowing how he should be feeling.

    “N.”

    The voice made him go frigid in fright. Then he scrambled to get up and face Ghetsis. While he felt that he should say something, anything, his throat was choked up from crying.

    Narrowing his eyes, Ghetsis criticized him without a word.

    “S-sorry, I'm sorry,” N finally sputtered out. He should explain something, but just kept said, “I'm sorry, I'm sorry.”

    “Sshh. Remember what I said. Smile at me.” Although he managed to smile quickly this time, it didn't meet with approval. “It seems that your mistakes have led you to becoming too weak. A couple of the cleaning staff saw you like this. It'll be all over the castle in a few minutes, I'm sure. People are going to be uncertain, concerned about this turn of events. The outsiders are fighting back to keep their corrupted ways. We need to remain solid and certain in these trying times. We need you to be strong and certain.”

    N thought of a great many things he could say in his defense. But it all fell flat before it was even spoken. No matter what, Ghetsis knew what was best for him. He looked down at the floor, ashamed.

    “Do you know what you need to do?” he asked.

    He nodded. “I need to serve a penance so that I can address my weaknesses and banish them from my heart.”

    “And what should you do for a penance?”

    He had a month before he could get back to working through the League. “I should study alone in a stark room, with limited contact and a restricted diet to eliminate any possible distractions.”

    “That should do,” Ghetsis said, finally approving of one idea he had. “Do so for a month and we'll see if you've made adequate progress. But you need to get into the library to find study material. Look at me.” N did so, but was met with a shaking of the head. “Remember to smile while you're out there, and reassure any who speak to you that things are fine. Don't tell them of your penance yet, but let them know that you feel the need to be apart from the world to clarify your spirit. But first, you need to wash your face; your eyes are pink and the tears leave marks on your cheeks.”

    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. “Sorry, sorry, I didn't mean... it's all mixed up, sorry, I'd better get ready.” He left the toy room and went to the bathroom to clean his face.

    But it made him think of something else, something he hadn't thought of in a long time. Shortly before his Darmanitan mother had died, N had been getting frustrated in trying to learn human ways and he had told Ghetsis in a tantrum that he was going to live in the forest with the Pokemon and not come back. Then Darcy had died, and most of the forest Pokemon didn't seem to understand how upset he was. One of them had mentioned that it was a human-like trait, so he'd gone back to Ghetsis to talk with him about it.

    That couldn't be related, though. Nobody could be cruel enough to use murder as a means of control. But even as N told himself that it wasn't important, there was a little doubt that insisted that it was.

    -+-

    “Did you hear that Lord N was crying earlier?”

    Rood paused in browsing through the books in the castle library. A few of the knights had been talking in the next row, but they weren't quite loud enough for him to bother rebuking them about it. While he had heard that N was back in the castle, he hadn't seem him yet. N was quite emotional, but he usually kept good control over it. If he'd been crying, then something major had to have happened.

    “Maybe the outsiders have been harassing him. They're starting to guess correctly on who our King is, so they're attacking him directly.”

    “They shouldn't treat him badly. If they had really listened to him and seen what he can do, they'd respect him.”

    “Well it could be because they're trying to make things harder on him.”

    He heard a sigh from the row behind him. Rood glanced over and spotted a green ponytail on someone's back through the various books on the shelves. While he hadn't noticed N come in, there were hidden ways around the castle. He might have taken one of them. The Sage put one book up and took another, then walked over to the other aisle. It was N, leaning on the bookshelf and deep in thought. Close to him, there were some books that had been examined, but were forgotten about.

    Since touching him for attention was out of the question, Rood glanced at a nearby set of books and pulled one out. “N,” he said quietly. The young man jumped to attention, but relaxed on seeing who it was. “Is something the matter?”

    He smiled, which was at odds with the rest of his downcast expression. “It will be okay. Don't worry about me.”

    Rood took the book he was holding and placed it at a shelf at eye level; it would help muffle their conversation from others, something the other group could have benefited from. But he still spoke at a moderate whisper. “You say that when you look like this and I'm going to worry. What's going on? We're here to help you with your burden.”

    For a moment, N's smile nearly broke. But he seemed to force it to stay. “You're very kind, but, it's my problem. Nothing to do with Plasma. I... have more studying to do. And I need to get out of the influence of the outside world, away from everyone. It's vital.” He glanced at the Dark Stone, now floating beside him.

    Was it something that Zekrom had asked for? But it still didn't seem right. The way in which he'd been standing here earlier, and if he had been crying not that long ago... Rood wasn't willing to let it go at that. “Are you sure about it? It seems like something is troubling you.”

    “It's okay, I'm going to be strong about this,” N said, not in a convincing manner. “And it's my own problem, not the greater issue, so I really need some time to myself to deal with it, clarify my... spirit...” he had been stacking up the books to take, but then lost his focus, similar to when he'd seen things before in Rood's presence.

    “N?” he asked quietly, when he hadn't said anything.

    “The time is drawing near,” he said. N bit his lip, then turned to Rood. “You leave the castle sometimes, right? Would you...?” he hesitated, glancing around. Something about this had him worried of being discovered. But by who? Maybe he was growing suspicious of Ghetsis too. Rood hoped so. “Would you be able to find Hilda?”

    “I'm sure she wouldn't be hard to track down,” he said. She tended to draw attention to herself, and even if she didn't try, news of a girl was battling with Kyurem would get around fast.

    N took half a step closer. “Good, then, would you find her some time? And give her my apologies for how our last call ended. It... it's been a bad time and she got me at the wrong moment. But tell her to get out of Unova, soon. That's the best way of things, I think, the safest for everyone.”

    “I don't know how well I could convince her, but I'll pass along the message,” Rood said. He didn't think his chances of getting her to listen were good, but maybe getting her friend's Pokemon back counted for something.

    The assurance did relieve him of some worry, although not all. “Good, thank you. And, if she insists in continuing to travel in Unova in the winter, she should make sure to dress really warmly. Because if she's not careful she could freeze to death out there.”

    Anyone who had been traveling two months into Unova's winter would know that from experience (well not death, but how cold it could get), but as it seemed so important to him, “I'll make sure she knows that.”

    N nodded and took his stack of books. “There is some kindness out there, but the cruelty eclipses it all. I'd like to protect the kind people in Unova too, but they just won't listen to us.” Then he walked off, feeling that the conversation was done.

    Rood considered trying another tactic to get N to really speak his mind, but in the quiet of the library, that could create a scene, which would drive N further away from him. He'd have to find some way to speak to him privately.

    -+-

    Nuvema

    Back at Hilda's home, they were greeted by her mother, the Cottonee, the Sawk, a new Pokemon in an Axew, and Fedora. The Servine seemed a touch sluggish still, but he went right up to Hilda and hugged her when they came in. “I didn't mean to sleep that long,” he said, adjusting his hat back into place. “But it's weird that I woke up and the bottom half of the window is covered in snow!”

    Kyurem translated this for Hilda, so she smiled and rubbed under Fedora's chin. “It's all right; I know you couldn't help it. But we got some help in figuring out what to do about it.”

    Specifically, Cynthia had told her to find an electric light that mimic the sun's rays and use that on him for several hours a day to let him keep up his warmth and light needs. They were to train him indoors until he evolved again, and then he could be used in limited battles outdoors in the winter. It was things like this that impressed Kyurem about humans, using their technology and intelligence to get around natural limitations.

    “I've got plans for dinner if you want to stick around for tonight,” Leslie said. “I just need to double-check what all your Pokemon can and can't eat.”

    “I think I've got that all in my Pokedex, now that I've worked with them all a while,” Hilda said, going to her bag to dig the machine out. “Sure, that'd be great. We can take a day easy before we really get into training everyone.”

    Cooking for two humans and nine different Pokemon was something that Leslie handled well; she even gave Hilda a lot of tips and advice which got logged into the Pokedex as additional information. The meal for the humans was a chicken dish with a cheese sauce, peas and broccoli, and some herbs, served over rice and alongside a vinegar bean salad. Frank, Tarzan, and Lance were all humanoid Pokemon, so they could eat whatever the humans were. Kyurem and Leslie's Axew were both meat eaters, although the Axew needed to eat rocks similarly to Olette; they got some grilled chicken with lighter seasonings, which Kyurem tolerated. While Olette ate rocks, she was more of an herbivore with some bugs, like Mimi, so those two got some lightly cooked broccoli and peas. Finally, Fedora and the Cottonnee had just woken up out of hibernation thanks to the sun lamp, but they sparingly ate bugs and fruit in addition to photosynthesis. Leslie had some suet, nut, and berry blocks that she used for birds in the winter, but she broke one up for the two of them to share.

    The house was safe; he knew from when he'd been here at Christmas. While Hilda talked with her mother over the evening, Kyurem sat in one of the chairs in the living room and watched out the windows. He would like it if nothing dangerous happened tonight. Or any night. But there was the strong chance that something could.

    At one point, the two humans went upstairs to check on space and beds. Fedora followed them partway, but then came into the living room where some other of the Pokemon had gathered. “Hey Kyurem, you seem different now. You talk more.”

    “Things change,” he said. “She's shown that she's worthy of trust.”

    “That and he's half in love with her,” Frank said, looking over his hands. “Only reason I say 'half' is cause he won't admit it.”

    “What gave you that ridiculous idea?” Kyurem asked. At his side, Mimi twitched her ears and looked over at the Gothorita.

    Putting a hand on his chin, Frank smirked. “Well just watching you two interact. Your eyes are on her a lot, and you have a different way of talking to her. Kinda like you do with your daughter there, but kinda not. Oo, and you got so jealous when the other two boys got close to her. That was fun. It's a nice tactic, you know: find a female and say, 'Hey there, I'll protect you in this dangerous place, and you can thank me later, if you know what I mean'.”

    Kyurem glowered at him, but Frank seemed to expect that and was able to brush it off this time. “I wouldn't do something that shallow.”

    Fedora laughed. “Sounds like he's onto something, though.”

    For a moment, it felt out of place to be in this conversation. Kyurem had worked with other Pokemon over his life, but a lot of them were like the Riches' Haxorus, focused on battle and proving themselves the strongest (until Kyurem put them in their place). To be part of a group that didn't mind conversing normally with him, even teasing him, it didn't feel like him. But this was where he'd ended up this time. “Not entirely.”

    “But you are interested in her, am I right?” Frank stated.

    The two humans still weren't back downstairs, but he could hear them laughing. Mimi patted his leg, so he rubbed her head. “I should keep my distance, from all of you. My memory spans much of history, and may continue on just as far in the future, if not further. On that scale, all of you are here and gone in such little time. Harboring even a feeling of friendship is guaranteed to cause me grief someday.”

    “I'd think that the happiness of company would balance that out,” Olette said, shyly putting her claws over her face. “If you don't mind me saying.”

    “I'm always with you,” Mimi said, looking up at him and smiling in her adorable manner. “Always and forever!”

    It did cause a brief smile, but also a reminder that she wasn't exactly the Minccino she looked like. “You came from my dreams,” Kyurem said. “And, you'll probably return to my dreams someday.”

    “Okay, and you can bring Hilda there too, cause she's nice and fun,” Mimi said, putting her head on his lap and feeling satisfied that the issue was settled.

    Frank snapped his fingers. “She's got it figured out. At least it makes sense to me.”

    “Dude, you deserve a hat,” Fedora said, tipping his own.

    The Gothorita looked scandalized, touching a black curly pigtail. “What, and mess up my hair? Not a chance in the world, bub.”

    “But hats are for awesome people,” the Servine said, starting up an argument with him.

    Olette crept closer to the couch. “I think it's going to be more entertaining with both of them around,” she commented quietly.

    Nodded, Kyurem replied, “Even more so if they drag Tarzan into it somehow.” But to his recall, the Scraggy was still chatting and sparring with the Sawk in another room.

    Were moments like this really worth the loss later?
    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.

  22. #272
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl View Post
    “But hats are for awesome people,” the Servine said, starting up an argument with him.
    He's right, they are. Why do you think all the main protagonists wear hats? I personally have a very long, floppy Link-hat.

    Oh, and Ghestis has odd ideas on penance. If he's trying to get N to stop thinking, leaving him alone with no distractions and limited food is the worst thing you could do, especially if he's like me and gets ...odd when hungry.

    Also, you and your previous chapter cliffhanger leads me to deduce you don't want us to talk about     Spoiler:- I had to:
    anymore.
    "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.

  23. #273
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    First you forgot my pm.
    When will Hilda and N find out about Hilbert's gijinkanyness.
    Poor Kyurem... his job will be harder in the future, the villagers of lacunso should have a giant pig farm next door, so when kyurem wakes up and it isn't clearnce( as in kyurem needs to create controlled destruction) he can eat a bunch of pigs.
    Also the cause of the destruction is 2 years in the future is Umber. How, he implied genesect(don't know how to make a spoiler) was only at legendary status for a few days. Maybe he revesered engineered Zek, and Reshi into mortals. Hilda's death caused the twins to fight fiercely because they wouldn't fight each other, so ghetsis frames hilbert. So the battle wouldn't destroy unova, he engineered reshi into a mortal. after N won umber turned zek into a mortal. and kills him.

    NOT REPLYING WILL CONFIRM THIS IN MY BRAIN!
    Also, have hilda sic kyurem on ghetsis.
    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

  24. #274
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    The penance thing is something I adopted from methods of brain-washing, in particular sensory deprivation. Though it has been proven to cause psychological problems, I don't think Ghetsis cares about that.


    Chapter 39: The Umber Experiments


    March 3

    Hilbert was exploring the tunnels again. Someone was getting in and out, at least to leave him packs of food and supplies while he was sleeping. When he had tried to stay up and see who was doing that, a Watchog was sent in to confuse him first. But since he'd been let out of the barrier, he hadn't heard from Dr. Umber or anyone else again. Sometimes he saw or heard Genesect, but he did his best to avoid her.

    In the meantime, he also tried to figure out what he could really do. He had figured out how to work Detect, although using it meant that he had to momentarily stop trying an attack. Attract was easy too, at least with the few wild Pokemon in the tunnels he had tried it with (he usually told them to go hide, as he couldn't understand them to ask how to get out). In those little battles, he had also figured out that he could use Haze, negating any advantage that another tried to get. But he hadn't figured out any attack moves and didn't want to risk fighting Genesect to find out.

    He picked up a feeling of worry; someone wanted to find him. Relieved, Hilbert followed that emotion and found something new: a ramp that led up to a fourth level. There was an enforced iron gate in the way, but it was easy for him to figure out how to move the latch that unlocked it. Clearly, it was there more to keep Genesect from going further. The lights weren't as numerous, dimming the air as he ascended. At the top, he saw a familiar violet light moving in the tunnels. “Madeline?” he called out. “Are the others with you?”

    “Liiiaaa!” She floated his way, followed by Loch and Regal. Also with them was the fiery Light Stone, carrying Ember as it went with them. The Larvesta kept reaching out into the air, not certain about how he'd gotten caught on a round stone with no ground around.

    “It's good to see you all too,” he said, patting them all in turn. When he got to Ember, he picked him up and held him to his chest, lessening his worry. “I wish I knew how you all got free. But later, maybe. How did you get in? I haven't been able to find a way out.”

    The Light Stone led the way back, bringing them to a small elevator. Glad that all of his Pokemon were still small, he rode up with them into a laboratory. Immediately, he recognized it from the vision of his mother, as Dr. Umber's lab. There were all those machines, a security station for the caves, an operating table, several computers, and locked cabinets. Some of those things were lightly coated in dust; others showed signs of recent use. More importantly, there was no one up here, his things were out in the open, and the door could be unlocked from inside.

    “I wonder if he meant for me to escape,” Hilbert thought aloud as he got his things and left, but soon turned his attention to what was outside.

    They were on an island, covered in snow like everywhere else in Unova this winter. Brown blades of grass showed through some areas of snow, and there were a few trees. While most of the edges were sharp drop-offs, there was a lower sandy beach leading out to an expanse of swift moving water spotted with rocks of various sizes. To the east, there was a much taller island over a hundred yards off. To the west, there was a forested coastline. A check of his Xtransciever confirmed that he was in southern Unova, near Nuvema.

    He tried to think of what to do. Going to find Hilda and Kyurem would help; they ought to know about this. But something Umber had said had stuck in Hilbert's mind. There might be someone who could help him better (or would help him without giving vague near-threatening advice). He spoke with Regal and had the Rufflet fly him over to Striaton.

    On arriving at the southern entrance, he avoided the afternoon pedestrians (mostly children getting out of school) and went straight for the Gym. Inside, there were a few restaurant workers setting up for the coming meal rush. “Good afternoon,” one of them said. “The Gym's not active, but we're still serving.”

    “I'd like to speak with the Leaders, if I can,” Hilbert said. “I'm Hilbert Godfrey, and it's about a man called Dr. Umber.”

    “I don't know, but I can ask.” He went to get a phone at the reception desk. A couple minutes later, he put the phone away, looking puzzled. “I'm to take you back to the main office. Whatever this is about has gotten Chili serious.”

    He felt relieved. “Then I've probably got the right people. Thanks.”

    They went through a hall into an adjacent building where the Pokemon were housed. Cress came up to the office door at the same time Hilbert and the waiter did. Several months back when Hilbert had challenged them, the blue-haired brother seemed the calmest of the group. Now he was flustered, fumbling with keys to get them out of his pocket. “I'm terribly sorry, but give me a minute,” he said, then unlocked the office door and went inside. “Cilan?” The door shut.

    After scratching his head, the waiter looked at Hilbert. “What is it about this doctor?”

    “He's insane and has no qualms about flaunting it,” he said.

    “And we thought he was dead,” Chili said, coming in from the restaurant area. “Is he alive?”

    Hilbert nodded. “I just saw him a few days ago. He mentioned you, not directly, but I'm pretty sure it was the three of you.”

    The door opened partially, with Cress peering out. “All right, Hilbert, come on in. You too Chili. We could be a while, so tell Rachel she's in charge for the afternoon. Maybe the evening too, we'll see.”

    Once all four of them were in the office, Cress closed the door again. It was a large room for an office, but then it did have to accommodate the three Leaders. There was one oversized black desk with a gray sidetable that served as the main work area. In other parts of the room, there was a smaller desk, several rolling chairs, a white markerboard with meal schedules and Pokemon data on it currently, two cabinets, and a couch with a standing lamp nearby. Cilan was sitting on the couch, rubbing his eyes while his green hair was messy; his shirt wasn't on straight either, so it seemed he'd been taking a nap before Hilbert had arrived. And all three of them were nervous.

    “What's Dr. Umber up to now?” Chili asked.

    “I'm not entirely sure,” Hilbert said. “But, he told me that he had created me to be a Dark type gijinka. N's one too, only a Normal type. And he mentioned that he had worked on two sets of triplets. I thought of you three, in the way he said it.”

    They glanced at each other. “You guessed right,” Cress finally said. “We were part of a group that escaped from his control about nineteen years ago.”

    “We were all just kids, but we made a plan to get out of the cave system he had us trapped in,” Chili said. “But then that bastard showed up when we hit a snag and said that he'd let us go, because we'd served our purpose and were now useless to him.” He scowled. “Had to humiliate us one last time, though.”

    “Calm down,” Cress said, although he had a flicker of anger remaining at that as well. “That was then. When we got to Castelia, we told the police about what had happened. It took a little convincing, but they sent officers down to Route 16 to check things out. The next day, they told us that he'd been found dead, badly mauled with a feral Pokemon loose in the lab. I'm not sure how he would have faked that or where he got the Pokemon, but... what happened with you?”

    Since they had openly spoken about that, Hilbert told them of how he'd been kidnapped at Dragonspiral Tower and then shut into a cave system with a fossil Pokemon modified to be an immortal like the legends. He didn't mention all of what Dr. Umber had said, just that he had repeatedly provoked him until he got angry enough to unleash red flames. “Would he be the sort to lie just to anger someone?” Hilbert asked.

    Cress nodded. “Certainly, unless the truth would work better to that end. And especially if he was drunk. Maybe you can use Fury.”

    “Fury doesn't look like red flames, though,” Cilan said, finally speaking. “Revenge might fit too, but doesn't quite match that description.”

    “Well it might be different when perceived by the user,” Cress said, tapping a glass of water that was on the desk. “We already know that I see my water manipulation differently than others watching me, and you perceive plants differently. Plus there's Skyla's air sense that she invented her own lingo to describe because she just knows the flow and condition of the currents.”

    “Skyla's one too?” Hilbert asked. Although now that he thought about it, that might explain her unexpected appearance on the Celestial Tower roof. That is, if she could fly. But he could see the emotions and desires of others as color and light, so Skyla being able to fly didn't seem that farfetched.

    “There's seven of us who escaped back then,” Cress said. “If we add you and N to the numbers, then there's ten known gijinkas living in Unova. We all ended up working within the Pokemon League, actually.”

    “We know our own types so well that it seemed like the natural thing to do,” Chili said.

    “Can you understand Pokemon, like they're speaking our language?” Hilbert asked. “I know N can.”

    Cilan shook his head. “None of us can do that. We do have an empathy towards Pokemon of our own type, so we can understand them to a greater degree than most people.”

    “That would make sense,” Hilbert said, although he couldn't think of if he had gotten along with his Dark type Pokemon better than others. It didn't help that he had no Dark types now. “But, I've never heard that there were gijinkas living in Unova today,” he said as the thought occurred to him. “The people here have respected gijinkas for a long time as especially blessed people, so why are you hiding this?”

    “Well Unova has historically been accepting of people like us,” Cress said. “But with movements between regions being easier in modern days, there's a good number of people here who hold beliefs from regions where gijinkas are seen as a curse upon a community, or as certain evil. There's also the fact that there's an unusually high number of us here.”

    “Right, normally there would be a single individual in all of Unova being a gijinka,” Chili said. “Possibly two. Three like us would be a rare occurrence. But with so many of us, especially being artificially created, the people who we first talked to felt that it cause us harassment or other problems if it were known openly.”

    “I guess that would be a problem,” Hilbert said.

    Over on the couch, Cilan yawned. “Uh, sorry,” he said, rubbing his head. “The sky's been overcast here for weeks, it seems like.”

    “You have been sleeping an awful lot this winter,” Cress said, worried about him.

    “Do you hibernate?” Hilbert asked, curious.

    “He did one year,” Chili said, smiling some. “Scared the heck out of us at first, but even that's better than the winters he get depressed.”

    Shrugging, he said, “I can't help it; sometimes even the sun lamp's not enough. Now if my skin was greener, I might cope better.” He smiled when the others chuckled, then looked over at Hilbert. “I heard you mention something... did Umber really say that he knew the difference between mortal and immortal?”

    He nodded. “Yes, but if he's not reliable, who knows?”

    “Still worries me,” Cilan said. “We can remember some of the tests he put us all through; boring sometimes, but sometimes it was the stuff of nightmares. He has no sense of ethics or restraint, and will do anything to pursue his goals. If he wanted to know about immortals, and if he knows enough to make one, he might have captured one for study.”

    The atmosphere in the room got sharp and grim at that. “And he'd have no respect for it,” Chili said. “What do we know of the legendary Pokemon in Unova, I mean, where they would be now?”

    “We know where the three dragons are,” Cress said.

    “One of Hilda's friends has Victini,” Hilbert said.

    “Then there's the kami trio,” Cress said, counting off on his fingers. “And the four knights, and Meloetta. We can send out a message to the rest of the League; hopefully someone's seen or heard of something of those eight in recent years.”

    What if Umber did have one of those eight captive? Hilbert knew that he would not hesitate to do anything if it furthered his research and goals, not after how he'd risked both Hilbert and Genesect in bringing them into conflict. “I might be able to talk with that girl... Bianca, about Victini and seeing if he can help.”

    The three Leaders nodded. “Yes, we ought to let Victini and Kyurem know of this possible problem,” Cress said. “Would you go speak with them, since you know Hilda and Bianca?”

    While he didn't know the latter as well, it shouldn't be an issue if he talked to the former first. So Hilbert nodded. “Sure, I can do that.”

    “Have you figured out what you can do with your Pokemon genes?” Chili asked. “It's been a little different in each of us, but there might be some things we can help you with.”

    “Sort of.” They spoke for the next couple of hours about that. It didn't answer every question he had, but Hilbert felt reassured that he wasn't alone in this.

    -+-

    Hilda stepped out of the subway trained and tried to look through the crowd for Hilbert. He had called not that long ago, asking to speak with her and Bianca in person. As it turned out, he was in Striaton. “Hey, come on!” she said, waving a hand high once she spotted him with his Alomomola and the Light Stone. He came over once the people leaving the train had cleared the area, passing a ticket to the attendant. Hilda showed off her new card, so was allowed back on to ride to the Accumula station.

    “Hey, good to see you,” Hilbert said with a smile. “But when did you get a Battle Subway pass?”

    “Just a few days ago,” she said, sitting back on the bench where she had left Kyurem with her bag. “I need somewhere to seriously train my Pokemon while indoors, and with the Subway group I can get them matched up decently.”

    Hilbert nodded in acknowledgment of Kyurem before sitting down on Hilda's other side. “Sounds good, but I thought they didn't allow legendary Pokemon as competitors.”

    “We convinced them to make an exception,” Kyurem stated.

    Feeling a surge of excitement again, she grinned. “Yeah, it's awesome! I can train the other five in normal matches, but in the evening, Kyurem and I get marked as a 'Mysterious Challenge' that's worth three times as many BP if our opponents win. We go out to fairly open places which aren't in town, but are close, like the Dreamyard, and battle out there. We haven't lost yet, but it hasn't been long and I'm sure once word gets around what the Mysterious Challenge is, they'll start hatching strategies.”

    “That will only make things more interesting,” Kyurem said, show a bit of anticipation for that.

    “Oh, am I keeping you from that?” he asked.

    She shook her head. “Nah, we just scheduled the opening of it for a few hours later. So what's the deal with you? I tried to call you the other day.”

    He winced at that, then glanced at the train car. There were a few other passengers. “I'm sorry, but that was... unavoidable,” he said. “Let's just wait until we meet with Bianca, there's a lot we need to talk about.”

    At the Accumula station, they and a great many other people got off the subway train. It was when a lot of people would have gotten off work in Castelia, but they were able to stick together. In fact, it seemed like people were purposely ignoring them, or looking down on them. Hilda wasn't quite sure why, until they got back outside and saw that the abandoned Pokecenter had not yet been repurposed. Not only that, but there were some of the Plasma grunts walking around town. This place had clearly allied themselves with Plasma.

    One of the grunts approached them on their way to the south entrance of town. “Hey, what are you doing here?”

    “Being here,” Hilda retorted. “You have a problem with that?”

    “We're just passing through,” Hilbert said.

    “But you're the White King, and this town is following the Black King,” the grunt said.

    Hilbert looked puzzled. “But why would I avoid this place then? I had to come through here to get to where I'm going.”

    As the grunt looked ready to cause trouble, Hilda did some quick thinking. She knew Hilbert was not as eager to initiate a Pokemon battle lately. “Well if you recognize him as the White King, why're you trying to pick a fight with him?” she asked. “The two Kings are equal in power in the legends right?”

    The grunt paled a little at that. “Well...” Hilbert said.

    Before he could undercut his own image, Hilda interrupted with, “If you think you can take on the White King in a Pokemon battle, does that mean you think you can take on your own King in a Pokemon battle? Do you disrespect him that much?”

    “N-n-no, no, not at all!” the grunt said, backing up. “I, I wasn't thinking that he would be equal to our holy King. Are you...?” Then he shook his head and backed off again. “N-never mind. I'll just pretend I didn't notice that you were here.” The grunt then walked off elsewhere to find something else to do.

    “I guess that is one way to use their fanaticism against them,” Hilbert said. “Thanks.”

    “No problem,” Hilda said, heading off towards Nuvema. “Let's get going.”

    Down Route 1 closer to Nuvema, they met with Bianca. She was out with her Pokemon, watching three of them dig tunnels in the snow and play games. By her side, there was a Simisage that was dressed in a child's coat and a wool hat, to keep warm. It wasn't snowing now, although the sky was still overcast and gray. Although she still couldn't let Fedora out in the snow, Hilda let her other Pokemon do what they wished as she, Hilbert, Bianca, and Kyurem gathered to talk. Hilbert let his Pokemon do the same, although they preferred staying close to him (his Larvesta seemed perfectly happy to perch on his shoulder while they talked). After being asked for, Victini burst out of a snowbank and joined them.

    “I'm working as Professor Juniper's assistant again, but she said I could have this time off,” Bianca said. “So what's going on?”

    “I have a lot to tell you four,” Hilbert said, indicating the two girls and the two legendary Pokemon. “First of all, I've discovered that I'm a gijinka.”

    “Oh wow, really?” Bianca said, putting her hands to her lips in surprise.

    “Can you prove it?” Hilda asked.

    Hilbert turned pink at that. “Aah, you don't want me proving it,” he said sheepishly, holding his hands up. “I mean... you remember when I had that permanent Attract aura? It's something I can do consciously now. And Hilda, remember when Banshee attacked me? She meant to hurt you, but I can also use Detect really well, enough to get you out of danger without thinking about it.”

    “I'll consider that proof enough,” she said, smiling. “But does that mean N is one too?”

    He nodded. “Yes, he is.”

    “And so are the three Gym Leaders in Striaton,” Kyurem said. “And Elesa, and that girl Iris.”

    “Ko?” Victini asked, tilting his head.

    “Uh, yeah, they are, but how did you know?” Hilbert asked.

    He rubbed at the bottom of his mask. “I could smell it, but I couldn't identify what smelled differently about you and N. I noticed it on those others. But why are there so many of you at once? It's a once in a generation occurrence.”

    “It's because we were created this way by a man named Dr. Umber,” he said.

    “Him?” Hilda asked, at the exact moment Bianca did. She glanced at her friend and stuck her tongue out at her, causing her to giggle.

    Hilbert looked confused. “You two know him?”

    “Yeah, he tried to buy Victini off me for, what, a million Poke?”

    “Something like that,” Hilda agreed. “And he hit on her.”

    Bianca made a face. “Yeah! That was disgusting.”

    “You might see that as even worse when you hear what he's really like,” Hilbert said. Then he explained what he'd gone through in the past few days: seeing Dragonspiral Tower frozen solid (to which Kyurem just shrugged), getting kidnapped by Umber, meeting with an apparently new legendary Pokemon in Genesect, learning about his true identity, and then escaping and speaking to the Striaton Leaders about all this. In particular, the concern that Dr. Umber might have captured one of the other legends. “So we wanted to ask you two,” he looked to Kyurem and Victini, “where the other legendary Pokemon of Unova are and which ones we ought to check on.”

    “I've felt the presence of Virizion in Pinwheel Forest last December,” Kyurem said. “And I've sensed Tornadus' power in the winds on a few occasions.”

    “Thu ra cha si rassa nari calril,” Victini said, pointing up at the sky.

    “He says that he's seen Thundurus this past fall,” Kyurem translated. “I would not recommend speaking to those two in person, though. You would do better to speak to Landorus at his shrine near Undella to check on the status of all three of the kami.”

    “I can't understand Pokemon, though,” Hilbert said.

    “Landorus can speak the human language even in his Pokemon forms.” Kyurem lowered his head, thinking. “I would not be certain of the rest.”

    Bianca knelt down by Victini. “Can you locate them? Because you're Psychic?”

    He put a claw to his lips, then laughed. “Feh sai lessa chi e dai ku re. Te.”

    “I'll translate,” Kyurem told him. Victini nodded, then skipped off a few paces. After burning a circle out of the snow, he clutched his front paws to his chest and made a golden-red circle filled with stars and runes appear on the ground. “He needs some time to locate them.”

    “Could you girls help me talk to the others?” Hilbert asked. “Because even if we know where they are, we ought to still check in on them.”

    “I might be able to convince the Professor to come out with me to look for a few,” Bianca said. “But she does have some important things on her schedule and as her lab assistant, I'll probably have to go with her.”

    Hilda shrugged. “I don't know. I mean, I was planning on using this month break from the League to focus on training my Pokemon team. N wants the recognition of being the Pokemon Champion and I think I may need to have my team on equal terms in order to talk with him. So we really need this month to catch up, and I can't train Fedora, my Servine, outdoors yet.”

    “I see,” Hilbert said. “I mean, I can see how that would be helpful, in case N does get through the League and become Champion. If it came down to it, you could challenge his position as such. Maybe I should do that, but then,” he scratched his head. “I didn't really earn my current Gym Badges. My Attract aura distracted my opponent's Pokemon and encouraged my own. I'd have to start from scratch and you're already doing a good job at getting attention off of N in the League.”

    She smiled. “Well if we get to the point where Fedora can travel outside, maybe later in the month, we'd be willing to help find any that haven't been spoken to.”

    “Good, then I'll focus on finding the legends.”

    Victini came back to the group, his ears held back. When he spoke to Kyurem, he seemed worried. “Landorus is at his shrine, with Thundurus and Tornadus wandering the lands,” he translated. “It would still be good to speak with Landorus. Virizion is still in Pinwheel Forest, with Cobalion at a cave near Chargestone Cavern and Terrakion near Victory Road. However, he cannot locate Keldeo or Meloetta. Keldeo is one of the knights, so you may be able to get further clues by speaking to the others. He can also confirm that Genesect does have a power akin to our own, because he sensed her in the bay close by here.”

    “Oh dear, so two could be in trouble,” Bianca said. Then she brightened. “But you know, Juniper and I are supposed to travel to Pokemon League Headquarters in a couple of days. I don't know if my team can go through Victory Road, but I can ask if someone there would accompany me to find Terrakion.”

    “The four knights usually don't take kindly to humans,” Hilbert pointed out. “They were involved in a war against us long ago.”

    Kyurem shook his head. “As long as she has Victini with her, the knights will not hesitate to approach and speak with her,” he said. “On the other hand, they would steer clear of me and Hilda, or else attack us outright. They are incredibly stubborn and hold long grudges. They would be wary of you until you have summoned Reshiram.”

    “Okay, so then I should focus on meeting with Landorus first,” Hilbert said, nodding.

    “That sounds like a good plan,” Hilda said. “Now if you'll excuse me, me and Kyurem need to get back to the subway for tonight's training. Sorry, but I do have a lot of ground to cover.”

    Bianca laughed. “You really need a bike, Hilda. Oh, and here,” she pulled a small charm out of her bag, one that looked like a painted egg, and passed it over to Hilda. “Professor Juniper asked me to give this Lucky Egg to you. It's a bit mysterious, but apparently it will help you train your Pokemon. Good luck, and don't get hurt, any of you.”

    “Good luck to you too in finding Terrakion and Landorus,” she said, waving goodbye.
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 31st August 2012 at 10:52 PM.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  25. #275
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    don't have time to write up a proper review, but Landorus is male only (as are the other genies). :p

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