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  1. #276
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    Is one of us psychic, every time you post a chapter I am thinking about this fic.
    Still want umber to be eaten. What's the deal with the shadow triad. When will N learn about gijinkas. What's the deal with Hilly's fire. MORE INFO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And I still love coffee breaks.
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    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

  2. #277
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    Ack, sorry for not responding for forever. Anyway, these past three chapters were exceptionally good. Sorry that I don't have time to do a full length review.
    I have discovered what a signature is.

    This is Bidoof. Many people loathe it with their lives. If you are of the few people who love this little beaver, put this in your sig. Started by Warrior Scolipede

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  3. #278
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    What Agonist said; The three kami are all male only.

    So if that's ten Gijinka, that's Cilan, Chili, Cress, Skyla, Elesa, Iris, N, and who else? I know that the "two sets of triplets" are quite obviously the Shadow Triad and the Striaton Gym trio, and they wouldn't have been conted. So that's one other Gijinka who escaped, and one natural one, judging by the "Ten living in Unova"
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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  4. #279
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    Quote Originally Posted by scizorstrike View Post
    What Agonist said; The three kami are all male only.

    So if that's ten Gijinka, that's Cilan, Chili, Cress, Skyla, Elesa, Iris, N, and who else? I know that the "two sets of triplets" are quite obviously the Shadow Triad and the Striaton Gym trio, and they wouldn't have been conted. So that's one other Gijinka who escaped, and one natural one, judging by the "Ten living in Unova"
    Yup, that's right about that gijinka count. lol, I had somebody who thought it was a math mistake elsewhere. if there is a 'once in a generation' gijinka birth, then it's reasonable that there is one natural one around.

    Everybody complains about the Landorus gender... I'm still deciding right now whether to go with it or keep my 'earth goddess' idea for her/him.
    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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  5. #280
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    Chapter 40: Walking Through Stone


    March 6

    “Wow, this place is so huge,” Bianca said, looking up at the grand and stately building that made up the Pokemon League Headquarters and gaping at it. There were stone pillars that reached twenty feet into the sky, holding up an immense roof decorated with relief sculptures of Pokemon. Underneath it, sunlight spilled into a circular room with a dirt floor and a magnificent statue in the center of it all. Four walkways led to doors in separate areas, leading to the individual challenge areas. At the entrance, two guards in blue uniforms stood watch, keeping an eye on who came and went.

    Mary Juniper chuckled. “Well it has to be,” she said. “It's like five Gyms combined in one whole, if you think about it. Not only that, but it has to symbolize all of the glory, challenge, and achievement that reaching this place holds. I think Unova's building is one of my favorites, of the ones that I've seen.” She walked up to the guards and brought out her ID card. “Good morning; I'm Professor Juniper and this is my assistant Bianca Waverly. We're here for the meeting.”

    One of the guards nodded and stepped aside. “Good morning, and go on ahead. They're gathering in the small meeting room.”

    Aside from the Elite 4 and Alder, there weren't many at the meeting. From what she understood, these were some of the financial supporters. She was mostly there to observe; at least, that had been the idea. But instead, Professor Juniper spoke with the others before the meeting began to explain what Hilbert had told them. “That's why we want to find Terrakion.”

    “We heard about that from Cress,” Grimsley said.

    “We were thinking Bianca could possibly find him due to her having Victini, but her team isn't up to handling Victory Road,” Juniper said. “Would one of you be able to go with her during the meeting?”

    “Sure, we could handle that,” Alder said. He considered the others.

    But Shauntal spoke up first. “Marshal, you should go with her. If you're dealing with one of the knights, it's best to get their favor as much as possible.”

    “That would help,” Marshal said, getting up from his chair. He was a tall man with large muscles, wearing attire that suited a martial arts fighter. Which only made sense; he was famed as one, as well as being the Elite member who specialized in Fight type Pokemon. As Bianca thought that, she figured that's why Shauntal recommended him. “I'll get you down there.”

    “Thank you,” Bianca said. Since she was just there to observe, she and Marshal went ahead and left the building.

    “Do you know how to get to where Terrakion is?” Marshal asked as they passed through the gate. Past there, they emerged on top of a steep slope. A number of steel and rock platforms were jutting out along the edges, leading to caves inside the cliff.

    “Te, cha ra siiah,” Victini said as he walked by Bianca's side. He gave a few hops every now and then and was alert with his ears, apparently in a good mood.

    “He can find the place,” Bianca said. “Um, do you know where Terrakion hides?”

    Marshall shook his head. “Haven't seen him, but we always hear of those who do. Usually not up close, but he might be in a distant tunnel or lurking in the wooded area. Some people only hear a mysterious bellow.” He paused, looking at the topmost cave entrance. “This place is inhabited and created by Durants. Over many centuries, they've dug out a series of tunnels and rooms in this plateau. Even though we're stationed here, we don't know how deep and far these tunnels go. The road is safe in the regularly traveled tunnels, but if we get off the path, stick close to me and watch where you step.”

    Dangerous? It made her a little nervous. But then, Hilda would think it was a better adventure if there was some danger involved. “Ah, all right,” she said, doing her best to muster her courage.

    While they walked through the tunnels, Victini led the way and a Conkeldur belonging to Marshall brought up the rear. The Conkeldur had been given a special tag that intimidated weaker Pokemon, so that fewer would bother them on the way. On observing the walls, Bianca noticed that they weren't entirely smooth. There were grooves and ridges from where the Durants had carved them out. But when she got a glimpse of a wild Durant, the steel-clad ant seemed so small. It was even a little smaller than Suzy had been when she was an Oshawott.

    They went down a level and Victini paused in the middle of one hallway, sniffing the air and twitching his ears. Then he went right up to one of the stone walls and passed right through it. For a moment, Bianca wasn't sure she was seeing things right. After all, he wasn't a Ghost type. Then Victini came back through the wall and waved them to come.

    “Now that's new,” Marshall said, going over and putting his hand on the wall. No, through it. It seemed to be nothing more than an illusion. “That would explain how no one's really found him.”

    “Yeah,” Bianca said, walking towards the not-wall. Only, it resisted her just like the stone it appeared to be. “Huh?” She tried again, closer to where Marshall was partway into the wall. But that was just as real. “That's weird. I wonder why it's like that.”

    “Kosha ne, tekio,” Victini said, putting a paw on his face and shaking his head.

    “I'm not the one to ask about this kind of thing,” Marshall said, taking her hand. And it was just the same; his hand could go through, but hers could not. “I've focused a lot on training up my power; never saw illusions as useful until recently, so I don't know much of them.”

    On seeing that, Victini perked his ears up and chattered about something. He put his paws together, then closed his eyes. Then he looked between the two of them, waving them to follow again.

    An idea of what that meant came into Bianca's mind. “Oh, we should... I mean, if you take my hand Marshall and I close my eyes, maybe it'll work? It could be linked to belief and if I didn't see the rock, I might be able to pass through the illusion.”

    He shrugged. “It's worth a shot, anyhow. Don't worry, I won't let harm come to you, on my honor.”

    She clasped his hand, which was nearly twice as large and three times as rough as hers. “All right, I believe you.” Bianca then closed her eyes and waited on Marshall to guide her ahead. She also tried not to think that there appeared to be solid rock ahead.

    After a foot, it was apparent that the illusion didn't affect her when she couldn't see it. “This goes on for some distance, I believe,” Marshall said, returning to a normal walking pace. “Keep your eyes closed.”

    It was like walking in a dream, Bianca thought. There was some force resisting their movement, but not enough to stop them entirely like the illusion rock. But after a couple of minutes, the feeling passed. She thought that she could open her eyes, but waited.

    “You're okay to open your eyes now,” Marshall said after Victini made a chattering noise. “Not that there's much light back here.”

    She did so and looked around. Some areas of light existed around large silver crystals, but much of the air was dim and gray. In the shadows, there were movements of Pokemon living here. She wondered what would be living here for a moment. But then, if they lived past an illusion, maybe they didn't want to be disturbed.

    She heard the thump of a hoof ahead and tried to look into the dark area there. There was the form of a large Pokemon there, bulky like Marshall was. After a moment, it stepped closer to the light of one of the crystals, showing the form of a quadrupedal Pokemon with the rough skin of a Rock type and two large yellow horns on its head. That was him. Feeling relieved that they didn't have to look far, Bianca stepped forward. “Master Terrakion, we wish to speak with you.”

    Terrakion snorted and stamped his hoof again. Then, without any further warning, he dashed towards her with his horns low. Bianca's mind and body froze, uncertain what to do now. However, Terrakion never got to her. Instead, Marshall ran ahead of her and grabbed Terrakion by the horns. He got pushed back a few feet, although it was clear from his tense muscles that he was pushing back at his utmost. Terrakion snorted, then twisted his head with a jerk to throw Marshall to the ground.

    “Tekio, lo thi ai!” Victini jumped up on Terrakion's head, lightly slapping him. Then he started explaining.

    Raising his head and listening, Terrakion took a few steps back. When Marshall got up, the bull legend gave him a glance, but made no more aggressive moves. Bianca went over to her guide. “Are you okay?” she asked quietly. “I didn't expect any of that.”

    He nodded. “I'm fine.” He looked at his hands, which had roughened up further in trying that. “As strong as I've made myself, I didn't expect to be any more successful than that.”

    Bianca looked back over to Terrakion to see that a glowing gray circle had appeared under him; it was like what happened with Victini on occasion when he did something special. Then the bull began to speak in perfectly clear words. “Let's hear this in your own words. Why are you here, gijinka and friend of Victini?”

    Gijinka? Hearing that, things made more sense to Bianca. Marshall must have been one of them, a Fight type which Terrakion would be more inclined to listen to. Also, the illusion rock wall was meant to keep out humans, but since he had genes from a Pokemon, Marshall was able to walk through it. He spoke up first. “She was the one who wished to speak with you. I came down to make sure she came to no harm. I'm sorry, but I gave my word.”

    “If it was based in honor, then I have no quarrel with you attempting an attack,” Terrakion said. Then he looked to her. “You now... you don't seem like a strong one.”

    “I know,” she said, giving a bow. “But Victini and I are helping out some friends, including the one who is seeking Reshiram.” She didn't think mentioning Hilda would be too smart here, but Hilbert should be okay. “And, they want to help you. We've come to believe that someone may have taken one of the legendary Pokemon of Unova for research into immortality, and may have done cruel things to it. We wanted to check on as many of you as we could, but Victini could not locate Keldeo or Meloetta. That's what I want to ask: have you been bothered by anyone, and do you have any idea where the two of them might be?”

    Victini knocked on Terrakion's head and gave some argument, at least it sounded like he was defending something. Maybe her? She wasn't all too sure why he was still with her, as she'd offered to let him go any time he wanted. But she did appreciate his company. Victini was a fun Pokemon to be around and had given her some interesting insights into other Pokemon by interacting with them.

    “That's your choice,” Terrakion replied to the Pokemon on his head. “But I understand. For myself, it has been much as usual. Some have considered capturing me, but never had a chance or gave up quickly. However, there are times when I hear the grief and toil of mortal Pokemon nearby, yet I am never able to locate them. I know it is not the ones that your League own. Yours speak of affection and care, while these hidden ones call out of cruelty. That deeply concerns me.”

    “Oh gosh, that would,” Bianca said, worried and clasping her hat while wondering what could be done. “How long have you heard them?”

    “About fifteen years ago, I believe, is when I first starting hearing them. They have been not as numerous the past five years, but the ones I do hear these days are more chilling.” Then he closed his eyes and stilled his tail, an expression that seemed saddened. “As for Keldeo, we have not heard from him in almost twenty-five years. And we know it is not because he went into a state of hibernation. I myself have only returned here recently from searching for him again.”

    Then it may be him. “What do you know about what happened?” Bianca asked.

    Terrakion came closer, but even Bianca could tell that he wasn't going to harm them now. “The four of us knights met in White Forest one summer day, for battle practice and discussion, but Keldeo was anxious when he arrived. He said that he had gotten a telepathic message from Meloetta which had no clear message, but indicated that she was in trouble. Because we had already agreed to meet up, he came but said he was leaving early to go find the muse. We have also not heard anything more from Meloetta.”

    Both of them? This was looking to be a real problem. “I see. Did Keldeo say where he was going?”

    “No, but I have suspicions that if they are still in the region, they are in a place with many humans.” He bowed his head. “We have been able to search the wilderness, but we do not like approaching your cities and towns. Plus, we have no easy way to conceal ourselves from notice, unlike Victini here who is small and can distract the minds of others. There is also the chance that they were taken out of Unova. We hope that is not so.”

    “Okay, thank you,” she said, bowing. “I'll let my friend know about this. Is there anything else he should know?”

    “Not that I'm aware of. If he does deserve to be chosen by Reshiram, then he should be able to accomplish this. As for you... perhaps strength of heart is enough. The heroes that everyone sees like the stars in the sky, often they are only as great as they are because of the friends they have. You need to be ready to help them when they falter. Now if you'll pardon my insistence, you should both leave this place now that our business is complete. I keep this area apart for the Pokemon who do not wish to be near humans. Go out in the same manner in which you came in.”

    On their way back up to the Pokemon League headquarters, Bianca gave a lot of thought to what Terrakion had said.

    -+-

    March 11

    “Yes, we've been fine,” Landorus said, rubbing one of his wrists. “This winter is giving me such aches, though, as the ice and snow continue to cover the land. Thundurus and Tornadus are pleased with it; they're hoping it is a prelude to a stormy spring when they can roam freely. While that's going to make them a hassle to deal with, I'll be glad when the melt-off begins.”

    Hilbert nodded. From the stories his uncle had told him, he knew he had nothing to fear from Landorus. He watched over farmers and miners, as well as anyone else who dealt with the land. The trouble had come from convincing him to appear; he normally kept out of sight of humans. So Hilbert had come and offered to work for the farmers that lived here. Being that it was late winter, there wasn't actually much farming to do. But, the winter had done damage to Landorus' shrine. Hilbert helped with repair work on that: replacing a few of the beams, taking out the hinges to one door to replace them, sanding the old paint and new wood off, then weatherproofing and painting it. With that done, and perhaps some prodding from Reshiram, he had gotten Landorus to appear a week after he had arrived.

    Landorus could intimidate, though. He had a heavy muscular body and a hefty hammer tail. But when looking in his eyes, he reminded Hilbert more of a kindly old man with the wisdom of many years in his words. “But I agree that something is amiss with Keldeo and Meloetta. They're both travelers, so you normally hear of sightings of them scattered across the land. But not in recent years. It's a shame. Sometimes Meloetta came here to sing or play instruments.”

    “Do you have any idea of where they might be?” Hilbert asked. “A friend of mine spoke with Terrakion and they've been looking for Keldeo all along. They suspect they're either out of the region or somewhere near many humans.”

    He put his hand to his chin, thinking. The cloud of dust that hung below him whirled faster. “I doubt they're out of the region. The rhythm of the land tells me that Meloetta's power still touches it. Keldeo's tougher for me to sense... he loves the water so much. I can only say that they're across the bay.”

    “Across the bay, huh?” Hilbert hadn't been on the west side of the Alma River Bay.

    “You should ask Tornadus for more information,” Landorus said. “He could cause you a lot of trouble, but then again, it may take me as long to get the information out of him, or longer. If you defeat him in battle or take on a challenge from him, he should cooperate with answering questions. Don't take a racing challenge if that's what he offers; that's just not practical for most Pokemon to win.”

    “Why him and not Thundurus?” Hilbert asked.

    “Because Thundurus is much too noisy to notice Meloetta. That, and Tornadus has claimed to hear her music last summer. I tried to get more information out of him at the time, but...” he shook his head and sighed. “Those two just won't mature. They're immortal and they behave like such children. I could tolerate that kind of behavior from most ordinary Pokemon, but they should know better. Anyhow, I hope you can find the two lost ones. They're not in a cave, for I would know precisely where they were then. I would imagine that they're indoors. If their feet do not touch the ground, I will not feel them. If they are surrounded by certain types of walls, then Victini would not be able to sense them. And if they are in a place inhabited by humans, then the knights will not go near them. But if they were placed with all that in mind, then this Team Plasma and Dr. Umber worry me a great deal more than they did before.”

    “They might have thought all that through,” Hilbert said. “So how can I track down Tornadus? I've heard the stories, that they can travel to every town and important place in Unova in a day, or that they can fly over it all much faster.”

    “Well one way is to simply find the most active storm in the region, as you have a high chance of encountering one of the two of them there,” he said. “But you're in luck right now. Tornadus has gotten fascinated by something in Aspertia. If you go there in the next month or so, you're likely to be there at the same time he is, even if there is no storm. Just keep the Light Stone out with you at a place where the winds can be felt best and he's bound to come investigate.”

    He nodded. “Okay, I’ll go there then. Thank you for your help. I'll work to figure this out as quickly as possible.”

    He put a hand to his chest and bowed his head. “Then I'm sorry for making you wait to see me. You have yet to fully awaken Reshiram, so I was uncertain of how much you could be trusted. But if I had known this was about Keldeo and Meloetta, I would have come sooner.”

    “I understand.”

    -+-

    March 12

    For the past week, Cheren had been trying to have Pokemon other than his Emboar walk with him, trying to forge a stronger bond with them. They were hesitant at first, tense but sticking close by. But he was already seeing some improvement. His Liepard was walking alongside him with a proud posture, more fitting for his kind than his meekness earlier. Shadeclaw had yet to try stealing something, though. Although he thought about it a long while, Cheren wasn't sure if that was good or not. Anecdotal sources said that they would steal things and act pleased when the theft was discovered. Perhaps they thought it showed their cleverness. But while it was natural, it had to be quite inconvenient to Trainers. He could be sued if the victim were so inclined and the item important enough.

    And there were a lot of people out here in Castelia, at their usual business and pace. Sometimes one could find a Pokemon battle at the city square, but not here out on the busy streets. There were some talented Trainers around that could give his team a challenge, but most people here were too wrapped up in business and commerce. So why was he here?

    More importantly, why was he going ahead with this? He did need something to do during the League's downtime. Cheren had considered training with the Battle Subway, like Hilda was doing. But then last night, he had gotten a call from Bianca...

    It had seemed like any other call from her. But then she started talking about legendary Pokemon. “Hilbert called me a little while ago, saying that he'd made contact with Landorus. He's going to Aspertia to try speaking to Tornadus. But you know, he has regained a fair bit of his confidence, but I think he's still uncertain and would appreciate some help. Would you go with him?”

    “Why should I?” Cheren asked, puzzled at her request. “I don't know him that well and this doesn't have anything to do with me.”

    “Oh, but Cheren,” she said in a pleading tone. “This is really important. Something happened to Keldeo and Meloetta, and we strongly suspect that it may have something to do with Umber. And he doesn't care about people or Pokemon, or even those affected by his old experiments. Something terrible might have happened to them. Also, Team Plasma has been trying to build up hype around N being like the kings of old Unova and a hero. So, we should help Hilbert do the same, before they reveal N if possible. This is a great opportunity. But, even the hero kings of history didn't work alone.”

    “You and Hilda have been helping him out,” he pointed out.

    “Yes, but I'm busy helping the professor and she's working on making herself N's equal in terms of Pokemon battles, when he has an advantage in being able to communicate with them and having two more badges than her now.” Then she smiled warmly at him and spoke with a bit more concern. “Besides, you've been working alone almost all this time. You stay that anti-social and no one will notice your accomplishments. And I know you can do great things too. You're just, I don't know how to say it, working so hard to get out of your brother's shadow that you're not paying attention to anything else. It's not good for you; I end up worrying about you a lot. I think, this will help you as much as him, I hope so anyhow.”

    With that kind of argument, Cheren finally agreed to go with Hilbert, even calling him last night to offer to go along. He had made up the excuse that he wanted to see different scenery, but Hilbert had seemed grateful for it. Now he had to meet up with him at the docks to catch the ferry to Virbank.

    It took a moment to find him among the group of people waiting on the dock, but once Cheren spotted a white stone floating in the air, flickering with small flames, he knew Hilbert was there. “Hilbert, good morning,” he said as he came closer.

    “Hmm?” He turned, then smiled on recognizing him. “Ah, hello Cheren. I didn't know you had a Liepard.” He looked down at the purple feline and reached out a hand to him, oddly interested. The Pokemon twitched his ears and sniffed his fingers, but didn't seem certain what to do about the attention.

    “Um, yes, this is Shadeclaw,” Cheren said. “I've had him for a while.”

    “I had one too, but not for long,” Hilbert said, still observing Shadeclaw. “And that was years ago. Did you hear about the gijinkas? I was told that we had an affinity for Pokemon of our own type, but I don't have a Dark type right now.”

    It had been strange, hearing that someone was really using science like that. It was like something that should have been in a sci-fi film, not in real life. But, here was Hilbert and all the others. “I heard about that. I've decided to keep working with him, though. You can talk with him, I guess. Would you cooperate with him, Shadeclaw?”

    The Liepard glanced at Cheren, then sat down and started cleaning his face.

    “Still can't understand him,” Hilbert said, disappointed. “I thought it might be easier. Although I do get a sense of something... he wants to prove his independence by not obeying immediately.”

    Shadeclaw lowered his ears for a moment, then focused back on rubbing them clean with a licked paw.

    Cheren rubbed his nose. “Actually, I'm glad to hear that. Means he's acting normally. I had some trouble with stressing them out... trying to get away from that, though. Just keep an eye on anything loose you have; he kept stealing my glasses when he was a Purrloin.”

    Chuckling, Hilbert said, “Probably because it was fun. Huh?” He looked at the Liepard, who looked off elsewhere. “Did you...? Well if you don't want me to look at you.” He looked back to Cheren. “That was... odd.”

    “Did you hear what he said?” Cheren asked, curious. Understanding Pokemon like that would be a huge help in learning about them. But he wasn't sure most Pokemon would make for interesting conversation partners.

    He shrugged. “Not exactly. I mean, not like I'm hearing you. But, I kind of understood him like I understand you. Either that, or I think enough like a Dark typed Pokemon that I can make a really good guess.” He shifted uneasily, glancing at the Light Stone.

    “If that's natural for you, then it shouldn't be a problem,” he said. “You also think enough like a human that you know where to draw the line.”

    “True. So how much do you know about what's going on?”

    “Hilda and Bianca told me some things, but it'd help if you let me know what you know and what exactly we're looking for in trying to find them.” Cheren never liked doing things without knowing as much as he could. Obviously, there were some things going on here that even Hilbert couldn't explain. But that just meant that they needed to examine the clues they did have more carefully.
    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.

  6. #281
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    \so Marshall is the Fighting gijinka. Is he the natural, or the last escapee?

    And interesting way of hiding Terrakion. I take it that if somebody managed to gain Cobalion's approval they would be able to penetrate the illusion?
    "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.

  7. #282
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    I cant quote on my mobile but there was a sentence that made it sound like Proffessor Juniper was trying to get he team powerful enough to face N. It was easy to spot my mistake. I may be a bit silent but I do check this and read every chapter.
    I have:
    Platinum
    Heartgold
    White
    Black
    Rumble Blast
    White 2

    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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    Somebody on FFN asked for a list of gijinkas in this story, as well as their types. I think most of them are fairly obvious as to type... but sure, I'll let you guys peek at my notes. This site gets the list a couple days early.


    Appendix- List of gijinkas

    Natural- These people are Pokemon that have been reincarnated as a human. It is an unusual circumstance, said to be once a generation. Even though it was said that three in Unova at once is rare, this refers to older times when lifespans were shorter. There are currently three living in Unova, but only the oldest is known to the Pokemon League.

    These are listed from eldest to youngest.

    ???- should be revealed in the 40s, in terms of chapters.

    ???- this character only appears once in ClicheStorm, but if I do work on a B2/W2 version, this character will become significant.

    Keith- reincarnated from a Beheeyem. Don't remember him? He was the four-year-old psychic that Hilda helped catch a Woobat. He sees auras and has an excellent memory.


    Engineered Gijinkas- This is the group that Dr. Umber created; he had a few assistants, but much of the development and work he did himself. Most of these gijinkas are unaware of their natural parents, as Umber took advantage of needy and poor mothers, often single and young, to get the embryos he needed for the genetic work. Those that survived to two years of age were assigned a letter; the ones that died prior to that were written off as complete failures.

    A- died of a heart condition

    B- died during a test battle against a Pokemon

    C- died of a seizure

    D- Skyla. She was infused with genes from various Flying type Pokemon, so that is her predominant type. She can sense precise air conditions of thirty feet around her, further if she focuses on it. While she can't truly fly, she does have the capability to jump far better than a regular human and can slow her descent immensely. However, she has fragile bones.

    E- Elesa. Although she has survived, in Umber's notes she is recorded as a failure. She was given an Electric type and does have the capability to naturally produce electricity. She has few ways to discharge this energy, though, and no way to control its production. To prevent health issues from the buildup, she has to wear something that can release the energy continually. She also has a fast metabolism.

    F- Luke. He was a Steel type and managed to escape from Umber with the others. He had health problems which killed him a year after they escaped. After his death, it was discovered that tissue in several of his vital organs had started turning into steel.

    G- Chili. He was given a Fire type, and was also the first to successfully be given defenses against his own power. He can touch fire without harm and can manipulate it when he has physical contact of the flame or something that is on fire. He cannot create fire energy.

    H- Cress. He was given a Water type and so can manipulate water to some degree. This works better with small quantities; a gallon is usually his limit. His mood is affected by the moon, although he has trained himself to not show it outwardly under most circumstances.

    I- Cilan. As a Grass-type gijinka, he can communicate with plants. This does not take a form like any known language. Rather, he can gain a lot of knowledge about a particular plant by touching it for some time, as well as affect its growth and production by his will. He is limited by what the plant can do naturally, but this talent allows him to grow some amazing plants. His mood is affected by the sun; this is more severe than in Cress, so Cilan easily gets depressed during the winter.

    *Note: The parents of the Striaton triplets were confirmed shortly after the group escaped, but only because their brutal murder was big news in Unova. A man named Takumi was blamed for the crime; the husband was found decapitated in their home, while his wife was found dead a few months later on a beach. Takumi was only captured a couple years back.

    J- died shortly after she turned two because not all of her organic tissue was immune to the poisons she produced.

    K- Marshall. He was given a Fight type from several different humanoid Pokemon. Perhaps due to this, his abilities are not as pronounced as the others in the experiments. His skill in martial arts, while learned quickly, are not that different from other human masters. He does have an enhanced reaction time and a talent for reading body language.

    L- died, was an attempt at a Ghost type able to use Pokemon moves. While he had the ability to dematerialize, he was killed when he got startled while in a wall and materialized there.

    M- Hilbert. A Dark type, he is the older twin. He and N were worked on more extensively than the others, including a few operations done after they were born, due to the requirements Ghetsis put down.

    N- N. A Normal type. Statistically, he's the strongest of Umber's gijinkas.

    O- Iris. Umber's work on Iris got delayed when Ghetsis became involved, hence why she ended up being born shortly after he was finished with Hilbert and N. While she is a Dragon type, she cannot use Pokemon moves. She does have a lot of advantages over humans: enhanced intelligence, physical strength, endurance, and disease resistance. However, her development and growth are slowed in being a dragon. When she was an infant, Umber sent her to the orphanage the others had arrived at with an unsigned note that she was also a part of the project.

    P- Shadow Triad female. In particular, the one that was called Valerie. She is a Poison type and has the best socialization capacities of the three. But when she's not acting, she and the others do not show or feel emotions strongly.

    Q- Shadow Triad female. In particular, the one that was called Carol. She is a Ghost type, more controlled than her predecessor. These three have the strongest infusion of Pokemon genes, leading to them not acting like humans. But they also don't act like most Pokemon.

    R- Shadow Triad male. He is a Bug type. This greatly handicaps his ability to communicate through spoken language, but he can speak if he puts his mind to it. He is the most capable of the three in battle. Takumi is their father.
    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.

  9. #284
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    Coffee Break

    "Well there isn't much to respond to, I guess," Hilbert said, relaxing in his chair.

    "But we're here cause this chapter is awesome!" Hilda said, grinning. "Cause I'm in it."

    "I'm not too fond of it."

    "That's only cause of what happens to you." She laughed.

    He blushed. "Well, yeah. I wonder who that one guy is in the appendix. I mean he gets mentioned twice there, but hasn't shown up in the main story yet. I guess he'll appear sometime."

    "Maybe." She glanced out the window. "Getting awful dark for the afternoon. Shouldn't be on long; here we go!"


    Chapter 41: Trainer Hilda vs. Sage Rood


    March 18

    The train was quiet itself, but the battles could get to be quite a racket. Hilda put her hand to her ringing ear; their opponent had used something called Echoed Voice in this Triples match, a three part attack that got painfully loud. But during that, Frank and Mimi had managed to knock out a pair of their opponents before the final part of the attack put them out of the match. Tarzan was still holding on, but the Scraggy was clenching his loose skin in such a way that showed it was mostly willpower keeping him in the fight.

    But they'd already knocked out five Pokemon, so this had to be the last. And it had to be a Sigilyph, a Pokemon that Hilda was quickly learning was a royal pain to deal with. Since she was in the train, using Kyurem was out of the question. “Hang tight and crunch it,” she told Tarzan as she released Olette. “Olette, hit it with rocks.”

    Olette flexed her claws, looking over their foe from under a natural steel plate armor. Within a day of getting Fedora back, Olette had evolved into an Exadrill, turning her into a large and intimidating figure on a battlefield. Once Tarzan got out of the way from an attempt to snap the Sigilyph's right wing with a biting attack, she threw her arm out and caused a cascade of rocks to tumble onto the colorful bird. It caused the Sigilyph to collapse onto the floor of the train unconscious.

    Seeing that, Hilda winced. A hit like that had to hurt. “Ouch, sorry about that,” she said to the guy she was battling. “But it's like Kyurem says: the Pokemon would do this anyhow and the structure and healing we offer them makes things much safer.”

    The Exadrill put a paw to her face and bowed her head. Even if she looked (and was) more dangerous, she was still the same quiet and gentle Pokemon. Maybe she wouldn't bother other Pokemon if placed in the wild, but there were others that were definitely more eager to fight.

    “I guess so,” the guy said. Then he shook his head. “But man, you broke my longest win streak ever. I thought that if you didn't have your dragon available, you'd be an easy fight.”

    Hilda laughed as she started up the healing machine in the car to get her team back in shape. “Not by a long shot, we're not,” she said teasingly. “The rest of them have a lot to keep up with, but we keep going.”

    After he left, Fedora called himself out. He hissed and shifted his hat to look tougher. The Servine even made a punch at the air, making the Lucky Egg charm on his wrist shake.

    “Yes, I know you're a tough guy,” Hilda said, patting his shoulder. But his Grass type had a lot of weaknesses, which other Trainers took advantage of. She had known this back when she decided to take a Snivy. However, she always felt like she could handle it. “You need to get more levels to catch up to everyone still. Tell you what: at the next stop, we'll see about transferring over to the one on one matches for the rest of the day. You all right with that?”

    Fedora cheered that suggestion while Olette gave him an encouraging wave.

    Later that evening, she was out on Route 5 with Kyurem as the mysterious challenge. It was snowing lightly as they waited under the streetlights. Catching a snowflake on her gloves, Hilda said, “Man, it's still all snowy. Are you up to something, Rei?”

    “Not that I'm aware of,” he replied. But he looked up at the sky. “It is a lingering winter, especially when I'm not doing it intentionally. There might be a way to tone it down, although...”

    She waited for a moment before asking, “Although what?”

    “Let's see how the next few days go. Someone's coming.” He nodded towards Nimbasa, where a silhouette could be seen passing through the lights off the gate house. It appeared to be a man in a trenchcoat.

    As he came closer, it turned out to be someone she half-recognized. He had a cut out of one ear and hearing his voice reminded her of his identity. “You've proven extremely hard to track down, Hilda,” Rood said, stopping a few feet from her. The bottom half of his coat flapped in the wind, but he didn't seem bothered by the cold. “I've been trying to find you for almost three weeks now.”

    She smiled. “You've picked a bad time to be doing that. I've been all over the place this month.”

    “It would seem so.”

    “What do you want?” Kyurem asked, watching him suspiciously.

    Rood bowed his head to him, speaking respectfully. “It's not what I want. I've been asked to find her by our King. He wishes her no harm, although he is suspicious of you due to the freezing of the tower. But that's another matter.” He turned back to her. “I don't know if he's contacted you since, but he wishes to apologize for how one of your calls with him went, three weeks back. He seems to have had a rough time then. He wouldn't tell me why, claiming it was something personal.”

    That dampened her mood some. But it was good to hear that his lashing out wasn't entirely because of her. “Oh, I thought it might be that. He told me that Pricilla had died, possibly killed intentionally. You know, his starting Pokemon because she was the first Pokemon he caught, the Purrloin.”

    “That explains a lot,” Rood said, putting his hand to his chin thoughtfully. “But this is looking worse and worse. I haven't seen or spoke to him since the evening he asked me to find you. Hardly anyone has, although Ghetsis reassures us that he knows where N is.”

    Hilda frowned. “If he's the only one who knows, then that's something serious to worry about. N must've been crushed by it and Ghetsis might use that to squash out any independent thinking he'd been doing.”

    “That is serious, although I am more worried about N being alone in this state. He holds a lot of influence over many in our group; they would not question any idea he presented to them, even if it was born of grief and solitude. Ghetsis, though...” he paused, closing his eyes. “I really shouldn't be speaking of this with an outsider. But... when I look at what's going on, I’m reminded of chess. Do you play?”

    “Nah, never really had the patience,” Hilda admitted.

    “I could've taught you,” he said before he could stop himself. “What I mean is, the kings are the most important pieces on the board. If one is captured, that side loses. But the kings are not the most powerful pieces. They're as weak as the pawns, and more vulnerable because they are the target of the opposing side. The strongest pieces... well, the analogy isn't perfect, but the point still stands. I've given my loyalty to N, and I intend to stick by him to the end, hopefully guiding him better. You keep an eye on the boy you crowned; he won't have the power to make his point effectively, no matter what he thinks.”

    “Oh, did you know about that?”

    There was a pause. “Know about what?” Rood asked.

    She glanced at Kyurem, uncertain for a moment if she should say anything. Seeming to guess at what she meant, the dragon boy nodded slightly. So Hilda moved closer to her father. “N and Hilbert are gijinkas. Not only that, but they were made that way by Ghetsis and some crazy old scientist called Dr. Umber. N might not even know about that; Hilbert only found out recently.”

    Rood took a deep breath, looking up at the sky for a moment. Then he shook his head. “I wasn't aware of it. I suspected something was going on, but I wouldn't have guessed that. However, I don't know how much I can speak of it. I'll consider it in how I approach him.” He shifted his coat. “And there was another thing N wanted me to tell you. He asks that you leave the region.”

    “Really?” she asked. “It's been suggested to me and Mom, but we've decided not to.”

    Nodding, he said, “I felt that would be so, if Leslie hadn't left already. If you aren't leaving, then N asks that you at least dress safely for the winter weather and make sure you'll be warm. He sees things that could happen and it worries him greatly. He seems to believe that you're at risk of freezing to death.”

    Hilda chuckled. “Well I'm dressed warmer than you are right now. I'm watching for that. So if you don't mind being a messenger...”

    Rood shrugged. “I won't speak of it to any but N.”

    “Okay. Thank him for his concern, and tell him that he ought to go visit Celestial Tower sometime. I'm worried about him not getting the full picture, and that should help.”

    “I'll do so. One last thing, if you don't mind.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a Pokeball. “Want to know what I'm doing out here while trying to pass as an outsider? I'm training some Pokemon on behalf of the team.”

    She raised her eyebrows. “Really? I've heard why N does it, but doesn't that go against your message?”

    “People won't listen unless you behave in ways they expect. People of this world expect Pokemon battles, and they expect that the winners will have the louder voice... and that the losers will back down. This holds true even with the criminal elements. Some of the most aggressive criminal groups have even disbanded simply because they were defeated soundly in Pokemon battles. While we don't like the system, we must work in it to overthrow it.” Then Rood shrugged and tapped his pocket. Something chinked. “That is what we say. I myself am the only one within Plasma currently who owns a full set of eight League badges. Even if they are out-dated, all Pokemon will still heed my word in respect. Thus I was asked to prepare a select group of Pokemon to be highly skilled.”

    “Is this for N's mission?” Hilda asked, curious. Why was he telling her that he was loyal to N but then reveal this blatant action against their philosophy? Perhaps it did bother him.

    “I won't say that exactly,” Rood replied. “But you may wish to pay attention. Since I am training them, I'd like to challenge you. I'm aware that you're supposed to be running one on one matches for the Subway group, but this would be full team, singles, and you can call on him.”

    She looked around the route, but they seemed to be alone out here. The snow might be keeping others away, especially if they were getting word that it was one on one versus Kyurem. “Doesn't seem like I have any official challengers.” She grinned at him and stepped back. “All right, Dad. If that's what you're asking for, that's what you're going to get.”

    He laughed for a moment. “May the gods forgive me of this moment of selfish indulgence. But give me your best effort, and I will give you mine.”

    -+-

    It was late, but it actually wasn't that cold out on Route 19. Hilbert could look around and see green appearing under the patchy snow. When they crossed streams and passed by lakes, the ice was breaking up and the water starting to flow. It was a little late for these conditions that were a hint at spring. But from watching the news earlier, he knew that the majority of Unova across the river was still weeks behind in terms of weather. The weather anchor was saying that places like Lacunosa, Village Bridge, Undella, and Iccirus still looked like they were in mid-winter. Maybe it was just the active presence of Kyurem. Unfortunately, they might not know it was really a problem unless the wintery conditions continued for another couple of months.

    As the wind made his hair flutter, he glanced around. Shadeclaw was beside him, lying on the ground with his eyes half closed. A few feet away, Cheren was battling one of the local teens by using Ember. They had decided to swap these two Pokemon for a few days. Hilbert kept observing and talking to the Liepard, getting better at communicating with him. In the meantime, Cheren worked on training the Larvesta, who was growing much slower than Loch. No one was quite sure why, but Pokemon often leveled faster under a Trainer who wasn't the one who caught (or in this case hatched) them. This even worked with one like Ember, who wasn't as intelligent as other Pokemon. Although, he seemed to be able to identify the difference between the two of them by scent.

    The wind had been steady and constant around Aspertia, even Floccesy to some extent. Hilbert had asked around town and was told that it had been like this for the past month. But even though Hilbert had kept the Light Stone out this whole time, he hadn't seen Tornadus yet. Sometimes he thought he heard someone whispering or laughing at the edge of his hearing. “I wonder if Tornadus knows we're looking for him,” Hilbert said quietly. “So he's just teasing us.”

    Shadeclaw's ears flicked. “That's what I would do,” he said. It really wasn't like words that his ears heard. Instead, the meaning came into his mind like he interpreted human speech. The longer he spent talking with the Liepard, the clearer the meaning became.

    Loch whistled, then got distracted by something on the ground and swam down to check it out. The Alomomola was saying something too. However, Hilbert still didn't have a grasp on the meaning with him. He was starting to get a sense for Madeline's messages, but only in a general sense, like if she was talking about a particular person or Pokemon.

    Looking up at the starry sky, Hilbert continued thinking aloud. “He likes pranks... and it would be a good time to do something like that, since it's dark tonight.”

    “There's no moon,” Shadeclaw said, looking up at him with a feline grin. “On this kind of night, we can do anything. Especially if we steal Cheren's glasses, cause then he can't see anything right. Let's prank him to get Tornadus' attention.”

    Chuckling, he rubbed the Liepard's head. “I was thinking more of trying to get him to pull something on us, only keeping more alert than he thinks. But if nothing happens, we can always try that.”

    Cheren came over to them, having finished the battle. “Hey, I need to go back in town to the Pokecenter. It's starting to get late anyhow.”

    “It's not that late,” Hilbert said, getting up and brushing off his pants. “But sure, let's go. I want to check out the overlook again.”

    Aspertia was about the size of Opelucid and Nimbasa, but it was full of many older buildings where a lot more attention had been paid to attractive design. None of them looked exactly alike and there were some trees and small gardens around. While Cheren went off to the Pokecenter, Hilbert headed to a tall cliff that stood at the northwest corner of town. It was a bit of an odd feature, a natural landmark that stood taller than many trees, even the buildings around it. On coming to Aspertia, Hilbert was certain that was the place Landorus meant as where the wind would be felt best. He was spending a lot of time waiting up there.

    As he reached the top of the stairs to the little plaza on the overlook, a pair of younger teens ran by him towards the stairs. “Hey Hugh, careful on those stairs in the dark,” Hilbert said. There was a railing, but it was a little low to be running there.

    “Oh, hey Hilbert!” the boy said. The girl with him looked at Hilbert curiously. “Don't worry. Come on.” They headed down.

    Well, they should be okay, he thought. He'd run into Hugh his first day in Aspertia; the boy had helped him with figuring out what was where in this city. He'd seen him with that girl several times since, although he couldn't remember what her name was. They hadn't talked to him much since that first day.

    The wind was strong up here with nothing to block it. During the day, the view from here was amazing, showing forests all around, a pond a short ways north, and a grand snowy mountain far to the north. It might be nice by moonlight too, but with the electric lights reflecting off the shifting clouds, there wasn't much to see now save for darkness. Was it the night of the new moon? Hilbert wasn't sure; he usually wasn't interested in such things.

    Fifteen minutes later, he heard footsteps and hooves on the stairs. Cheren had decided to join him, accompanied by his Emboar. “Anything?”

    He shook his head. “Nope. But there might be.”

    When he got a few feet from Hilbert, Cheren shifted his glasses and looked back. “There's a couple of kids on the stairs trying to hide while watching you.”

    “They can't be that much younger than you,” Hilbert said teasingly. “If it's them still.” He shrugged. “Well when the wind shifts, they'll just have to join us in being soaked.”

    “What do you mean?” Cheren asked.

    Hilbert put his hand to his left ear. Off to the east, the sound of rustling leaves had increased drastically. Half a minute later, the overlook was blasted with intense wind and rain. He and Cheren had managed to brace themselves in time, but they did hear a yelp from one of the 'spies'. Hopefully this wasn't enough to knock the railing out and throw them off the stairs. Next to him, the rain hissed as it came into contact with Reshiram's hibernating form. The stone's flames increased, able to illuminate the plaza when the lampposts were all darkened.

    This would be the time to get him. “Tornadus, I need to speak with you!” he shouted into the wind. “I was sent here by Landorus!”

    In response, the rain lightened and the wind shifted. Loose leaves and debris began to circle around the overlook instead of blow right by. The water on the ground gathered up into a small twister, then formed into the shape of a burly near humanoid Pokemon with a long whip-like tail and a white cloud below his waist. “If you ask for me, so I shall come,” he said. “Maybe. Maybe not. What's on your mind?”

    Even though he had gotten Tornadus to appear, it was no guarantee that the wind kami would say anything useful. And Hilbert didn't want to lose any more time in this. So he prepared to use Attract to help the discussion along. Subtly at first, though. “I came to find you because Landorus told me that you might know some valuable information,” he said, taking a step closer to Tornadus. “I know that Reshiram and Zekrom have restricted the movements of you and Thundurus at times. I mean to call on the former at a later date, but if you cooperate with me now, I'd be willing to convince him to go easier on you this time around.”

    Tornadus raised his eyebrows. “Really? Those two are such mood killers; they have absolutely no sense of fun. Nobody else would tell you, but you are going to be so restricted if you do awaken that rock there. You're gonna have to watch everything you do and everything you say, as everyone will be watching, listening. A thoughtless line out of one of the Kings can become warped into the basis of tyranny. And you will have very little fun. But, were you to work with me, then we could have a lot of fun indeed. What do you say?”

    Hilbert was thrown a little off guard by the offer. It was something to think about, he realized, but from Tornadus? Still, he gave his charming smile as he shook his head. “I'm sorry. I realize it could be fun to work with you, but there's a major threat in Unova now. We need the truth to make sure things don't go wrong. And because of the position I'm in, I'm going to awaken Reshiram to cut through the political and philosophical haze in the air.”

    In a graceful motion, Tornadus came within reach of him. “Spoken like a true White King, I suppose,” he said, tapping the King's Stone hanging from Hilbert's neck. “That's disappointing. But if you spoke with Landorus already... what do you need to know from me?”

    “It's about Keldeo and Meloetta,” Hilbert said. “They've been missing for twenty-five years now, right? Have you noticed them in your travels around Unova? If you've seen them, or even if you've just heard her songs.”

    “Those two?” Tornadus crossed his arms over his chest. “Lots of questions have come to me about them. I don't see why everyone's so concerned. They're immortals just like me, so if they get in trouble and die, they'll just come back in a few years, fine and fit like always.”

    “We're concerned that someone might try taking their immortality from them,” Cheren said.

    Hilbert glanced over and nodded. “Right. There's been someone that has been researching immortality, and has even created a new immortal. They might also be able to find a way to destroy one of you fully. Any of you. Which is why we need to find them and make sure they're okay.”

    Tornadus frowned. “Well that's not fair. And a new immortal? You're not immortal.”

    “I know that,” Hilbert started to say.

    But the kami continued, “You're a demi-mortal, maybe. Never thought I'd see that again.”

    Demi-mortal? That caused Hilbert's thoughts to freeze for a moment. What did he mean by that? But it could just be a distraction. “That's not important right now,” he said in a calm voice, using the full extent of Attract now. “I'm looking for Keldeo and Meloetta. What do you know about them?”

    At that, Tornadus' emotions shifted from wanting to toy with them to wanting to answer him. He even dropped his arms to his side. “Really... you really are serious about this. Well, I guess I should, just in case there's someone dangerous to even us out there. Okay, if you're going to find Meloetta, there's one surefire way the narrow down her location. Her aura inspires those around her, especially when it comes to music. So if she's been captive all this time, you should look to somewhere where the music scene has been unusually strong and productive.”

    “There's musicians living all over the place,” Hilbert pointed out. “And there's many places they gather...”

    “But there is one place that has attained a stronger music presence than before,” Tornadus said. “About thirty years ago, Virbank was entirely an industrial town. It's still surrounded by factories and warehouses. But if you go there today, there's a lot of new music clubs around. There was even talk of putting a second theater for the Pokemon Musicals there, so I heard on the wind. Also, when I hang around that really cool place to the south of there, I hear a flute where no one lives.”

    “Virbank then?” Hilbert said. At least it was nearby; they had passed through there in order to get to Aspertia. “Thank you; I'll go check out that area next.”

    “I really didn't think anybody like us could get in trouble,” Tornadus said. “I mean, me and Thundurus break out of the seals placed us all the time. Besides, as long as I heard the music, I figured nothing bad could be happening to Meloetta. I might help, but...” he grinned, “one of the houses here has a really awesome wind chime! It's got so many whirly things, and chimes, and it's so sparkly...”

    “I'm sure it must be wonderful,” Hilbert said, smiling. Seemed like such a simple thing, but it was probably best to keep him in a good mood. “If you want to help out, that would be kind of you. That's all I needed to know from you.” Maybe he'd even offer to explain what he'd been talking about earlier.

    Unexpectedly, Tornadus curled his tail in front of him and got shy. “Oh, but... could I have something from you first? I mean, before you go?”

    “What is it?” he asked. Maybe a promise to keep his word about letting him act freely.

    “Just a little thing,” he said, and then darted closer and kissed him on the lips.

    What the heck? Hilbert stiffened, not sure what to do, especially since Tornadus had a grip on his shoulders too. But then the kami pushed him away and began laughing hysterically. Nearby, Cheren was trying to muffle a snicker behind his hand. “What was that about?” Hilbert asked, rubbing the back of his hand over his lips.

    “That was soooo worth telling you that!” Tornadus said, now shaking with mirth. “That look on your face was just priceless. You almost had me there, but I decided to fake it and see what I could get away with. Have fun rescuing the muse and the knight, your majesty.” He made a low bow in jest, then took off into the sky howling with laughter again.

    “I guess that's what you get for trying to flirt with a troublemaker, huh?” Cheren said, a wide grin showing from behind his hand.

    “Get lost,” Hilbert said. But a moment later, he laughed himself. “I probably should have seen that coming, huh?”

    -+-

    Rood had used a Watchog, a Herdier, a Scraggy, a Tranquil, an Archen, and a Tirtouga. The last two Hilda only knew because he had called out their species name in ordering them. And, it wasn't that great of a team. But he did make good use of the Pokemon he had, lasting much longer than Subway teams of a similar mix and level range. “I did say that I was training them,” Rood said, using Revives on their Pokeballs. “I only have three that I've kept for very long lately, and I left them behind for this particular trip.”

    She rolled her eyes. “That's lame, after the way you worded your challenge. You should try again with your three.”

    “That might not happen. After all, I'm supposed to be denying any link to you. I know I can get away with it tonight, but it would be risky to try again.” He set the last of the balls back in his holder, then tapped his head. “I'm sorry about all this, but I’m only trying to do what I see as right. Keep in mind what I've said.” Then he turned and headed off.

    Hilda clenched a fist. This didn't seem right; she'd only encountered her father twice now, but both times he proved himself a decent man, at least better than she expected. While he seemed to be speaking honestly, it was hard to tell what he might be thinking, deciding to do things like this. He was an obstacle for being a leader in Team Plasma, but then she didn't want to be fine with just ignoring him. Was she supposed to keep disliking him for the way he left her Mom, or was there reason to respect him now? Or even admire him for what he was trying to do...

    “Hey!” she shouted after him, before he got into the gatehouse. “Don't go doing anything stupid and maybe we can talk more after this all blows over!”

    Rood paused, then gave her a nod and a wave.

    Having not been used for that battle, Kyurem came closer to her and put his hand on her shoulder. “Are you going to be all right?” he asked.

    “Should be,” she said, rubbing her eyes. “Dang, I was supposed to be having fun on this journey.”

    “Things do tend to get serious when we're around,” he said. “I'm sorry. Someone's coming.”

    Hilda dug out a tissue from her pocket and blew her nose, dabbing dry parts over her cheeks. That shouldn't look too suspicious. Looking back towards Nimbasa, she saw a young teen coming down the road towards her. She was wearing a wool hat, but the length and bulk of her hair hanging down her back still made her recognizable. “I'm supposed to meet somebody from the Subway out here!” Iris called.

    “Over here!” Hilda called back, coming into a better lit portion of the area. “Good evening.”

    “Good evening,” she said, smiling. “Hey, it is you! I heard some rumors about this, but I was gonna check it out anyhow due to down time.” When she got close, she handed over her Battle Subway ID.

    “You guys would have to keep your Pokemon in good practice,” Hilda said, taking the card and running it through an accessory on her Xtransceiver. The Subway group had given it to her to document battles. As she handed it back, she added, “You can still back out if you want. The challenge is a one on one match against Kyurem, so you only have one Pokemon you can send out. No switching, obviously, item use is fine, your side still has to meet normal restrictions on what Pokemon you use. Want to give it a try?”

    Iris grinned and nodded. “Sure! Oh, but can I ask you something first? It does have to do with Kyurem. Not this match, though.”

    “Yeah, what is it?” She pressed the confirm button on the phone's screen so that the match could be logged.

    She pulled something out of her bag and came closer. “I'm sure you've heard people say that this was one of Kyurem's winters, being so snowy all the time. But there's something odd going on around Giant Crater. It has this snow cyclone thing that shows up occasionally the past month, and a lot of the paths to it have become coated in thick ice, to the point where some are completely blocked off. Here, see?” She handed over a digital camera, set to show photos stored in its memory.

    Even in the still pictures, it wasn't hard to see that there was a spiraling effect in the snowfall around the crater. The ice seemed brick-solid, even when it was on the ground with no source of water around. And when she said that paths were blocked, she meant that there were huge blocks of ice standing on the footpaths through the forest. “Huh, looks like you could make a fortress out of this,” Hilda said.

    “I have done so before,” Kyurem said. “We'll go there and see what can be done.”

    “Don't you know why it's there?” Hilda asked.

    He crossed his arms over his chest. “Perhaps.”

    Well if he was getting into that mood, then he wasn't going to say anything. “Right. Don't worry, Iris, we'll go check it out.”

    “Great thanks. I know who I'm using.” She brought out a Great Ball. “When do we start the battle?”

    “Whenever we back off to make room,” Hilda said jokingly. “All right then, Miss Gym Leader, we accept your challenge!”
    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.

  10. #285
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    Uhhhh.....
    awkward moments with tornadus!
    I wonder what will happen to kyurem when/if team plasma has a downfall.
    I hope iris talks about gijinkas
    Also how do you pronounce that
    I say J-Jinka
    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

  11. #286
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    Well that's a change. A Gym Leader challenging the main character. Normally its the opposite.

    Obviously, there's something in particular about the Gijinka effect that Hilbert has. The fact that he's both Gijinka and White King? Gijinka DNA from Darkrai? Something else entirely unrelated? We'll just have to see.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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

  12. #287
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    not really a whole lot happening in terms of plot development, though there were some interesting scenes. Tornadus messing with Hilbert made me laugh aloud. Hilda versus Rood was interesting, and it makes me curious to find out what his three "stronger" Pokémon will be ( assuming they'll be revealed sooner or later). The next chapter should be interesting, it's not often you see a gym leader challenge a trainer (is Iris even a gym leader in ClicheStorm?) Anyway, it's nearly three am, and I'm starting to ramble...

    also I accidentally disabled my PMs, so I turned it back on so you can pm me again. :s

  13. #288
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    @agonist: Oh good, I was wondering what was going on

    Even though this is chapter 42, it's not quite as big a turning point as 37 was. It does get into a problem that some of you may have noticed already.

    On how to pronounce gijinka... I have no clue. I mentally say it how it's spelled. Out of all the words I've seen for a Pokemon-human blended being, that's the one I liked best.

    Also, N's also in the same situation of being a gijinka and the Black King. Is there significance behind that? Well... yeah. *laughs* Just keep watching... er, reading!


    Chapter 42: Kyurem's Winter



    March 19

    The fastest way for them to get to Giant Crater was to take a subway to Lacunosa and leave town. However, Kyurem still wasn't keen on going into that town. The previous night, they had traveled to Undella to stay at a hotel there. Hilda and Kyurem got up before the sun had risen to head out as soon as possible.

    Hilda turned on her Xtransceiver in order to get an update on the weather. While it was below freezing now in this area, the report said that it should get close to 40 degrees Fahrenheit with an overcast sky and no winds save for the crater which had that odd cyclone. It shouldn't be a bad day to travel on the main route. However, N was apparently worried about the cold and she was bringing Kyurem back to his home area. It would be best to prepare for freezing temperatures and changes in weather. She got out her heaviest coat, gloves, scarf, and hat, as well as her snow boots and a few layers of clothing just in case.

    They headed out as the sun was rising, following the beach east and north until they got on the higher ground that led to Lacunosa. At this time and in this cold, they didn't run into many people on the way. Not even a single Pokemon battle, which was good as Kyurem said the Pokemon around the crater tended to be very strong. “Descendants of my followers and warriors,” he specified.

    As the taller buildings of the walled city came into view, Kyurem led her down a smaller path that headed directly north, away from Lacunosa. It was mid-morning by then, with the air being a gray twilight due to the sunlight coming through the thick clouds. The snow crunched under their feet, with distant crunches indicating that wild Pokemon were still active and moving around. As they went along, the ice became more noticeable: building off rocks, hanging from trees, shining on fallen branches. When they came across the large ice blocks, most weren't much taller than they were and they could cut through the trees to get around them. But it helped that Kyurem knew this area well, making it quicker to find the path again if the blocks were at turns or forks.

    “You've been oddly quiet,” Kyurem noted at one point. “Is something about your father on your mind?”

    “A little bit,” she said. “I hope I do get to talk to him later, after all this.” They kept going for a couple of minutes. It was really quiet out here. “I guess I'm a little tired too. Shouldn't be, I mean, I've been walking all over, most every day. Not as much lately, but still.”

    “If you want to stop for a bit, just say so.” Then she sneezed, causing him to stop them both. “Are you sick?”

    “I felt all right this morning,” Hilda said, shifting her scarf. She might have to take it off is she sneezed harder. When she felt her face, it was warm. She had been feeling warm rather than cold, but this was through her thick gloves. “Maybe I'm getting sick.”

    Kyurem frowned, but in concern. “If you're sick, we shouldn't be around here for long.”

    “I'll be all right for a while, I think,” she said, continuing to walk along the path. “But you can tell what's going on when you see the place for yourself, right? We can head over to Village Bridge once we take a look, maybe go back when I'm better.”

    “If you think you can make it,” he said, taking a few quick steps to keep up with her. Then he put a hand to his chin, making that blue sign appear under him again. However, it fizzled out quite literally, the sign fading away. “This...”

    “What happened?” Hilda asked. His tone kept getting more worrying. But, he was the most dangerous thing around, right?

    Kyurem grumbled, rubbing his nose. “I think I see what's going on. We should go to the edge of the crater to see that cyclone; I’ll know for sure then. But then we're getting out of here. I forgot to account for something.”

    “And that would be?” she asked when he didn't continue at first.

    “Remember how I told you that I'm from the future?” He pointed ahead. “My past self is still here; I didn't even consider that when planning this. I've been passive about weather control this time, but the presence of both of us would be amplifying this winter. While I don't remember coming awake at this time, my presence might be awakening him. He doesn't know what I know, and so we'll be seen as trespassers.”

    “Then he could attack us.” That wasn't a pleasant thought, even if she were well.

    “Keep quiet and do what I tell you,” Kyurem said. “We don't have much further to go.”

    Ten minutes later, they were standing on the top of a rise that looked into Giant Crater itself. The edge was steep, nearly straight down for twenty-five feet. A nearby opening in the ground led to a tunnel, presumably a way to get to the base of the crater. While the trees around them were normal, some bare with branches and some green with needles, the trees in the crater were twisted and scraggly from a harsh life. At least those that she could see. The crater seemed maybe two hundred yards across, but the snow cyclone took up most of it. It was a blur of small white particles flying upwards in a slow steady funnel.

    Hilda shivered, feeling colder just looking at it. Since Kyurem seemed to be examining it intently, she found a nearby tree and leaned against it. She hadn't sneezed again, but her nose and throat tickled occasionally. Now that she had noticed, her weariness seemed to be growing. Village Bridge would be a few hours away, especially if they paused for her to rest from time to time. But she wasn't sure how the residents of Lacunosa would welcome her and Kyurem coming in to find a place for her to rest for a few days.

    After looking over the place, Kyurem turned and waved for her to follow him, heading down another path heading east, away from the crater. She nodded and pushed herself away from the tree in time to be greeted by a tremendous roar. Hilda hurried to get closer to the Kyurem she knew, briefly seeing a dragon's form in the cyclone.

    “He's half-asleep but more powerful than I currently am,” Kyurem whispered to her. “It's probably a warning.”

    “What are you doing here?” a hostile voice exactly like Kyurem's asked them, with such force that the icy trees near them shuddered. “And don't run!” he added when they tried to leave, sending a row of ice spikes across their intended path.

    “That's half-asleep?” Hilda asked quietly.

    Kyurem nodded. Then he called back into the crater, “We're working with the White King. This is not your time to emerge. We mean no disrespect, did not mean to disturb you. May we continue on our way?”

    A low growl came from the cyclone. “If you pass on a message to those in Lacunosa, you may. They have not yet kept their promise, and so their spring is delayed. If they don't...” then a pair of icy blue lights flashed within the flying snow. “Wait, who are you?!”

    After taking a deep breath, Kyurem quietly said to her, “Be ready to call out Mimi if we must.” Then he spoke up again, “I am you.”

    “You are an imposter!” the other Kyurem roared, sending a blast of frigid air at them.

    The chill of it pierced right through Hilda's protective clothing, gripping her insides with such painful coldness that she fell back against the tree before dropping down onto her knees. At the same time, her skin erupted with fever, far faster than any other illness she'd had. Remembering what her guardian had said, she managed to release the Minccino. She and Kyurem did something to fight back against the other Kyurem. Except, the one she knew was really the other one, because the one in Giant Crater was supposed to be here in this time.

    “Are you supposed to be here?” someone asked her. Hilda looked up and saw Hilbert standing next to the tree she was near. He was dressed in an outfit that seemed more fitting for a breezy autumn day, not a cold late-winter one.

    “What do you mean by that?” she asked, briefly wondering what he was doing here and why he didn't feel cold. Or hot.

    Ignoring her question, he asked others, “Are you really helping me, or are you helping yourself? You're not paying too much attention to us new friends... but you're not paying attention to your old ones either. Why?” He put one hand on the tree and held the other one in front of him. There seemed to be strings there. “Are we following the lead or are we breaking it?”

    “What's with the seriousness?” she asked, trying to smile behind her scarf. But she felt so tired.

    “Things aren't black and white, after all,” her father said, appearing from out of the snow cyclone before them. “People think differently, see differently, prioritize differently. I don't prioritize family, especially in pursuit of the ideal.”

    “And that's why you suck,” she told him, although she couldn't even feel really angry about that anymore.

    “What do you prioritize, Hilda?” Hilbert asked before they both turned into Pidoves and flew away. And then things began to really not make sense.

    -+-

    He was late. He'd gotten busy with something a superior had asked him to do, it took longer than he thought, and he completely missed the time he had to deliver dinner to the King. Trying to hit a balance between keeping the food on the tray and hurrying, he made his way up the stairs and down the hall.

    As usual, this area was dead quiet. There wasn't a purpose set for this particular hall yet, being so far up the castle and so distant from the teleport room. The maintenance group would even skip this one if they were falling behind schedule. However, the King was currently staying here, away from his usual area. The low level of activity suited his purpose and only one among the knights knew where N was.

    “Hi-choo!” Grimacing, he paused outside the room to catch his breath, placing the food tray on a side table. He didn't want to be sneezing around his King.

    But he was feeling tired and achy all over his body, not to mention a little too warm. Was he getting sick? He hoped not. He had been entrusted with this job; very few people were supposed to know where the King was so that he could do his work uninterrupted. They would all support and be loyal to their King, of course. That's why they were knights. But there was always the chance that there might be a spy in their numbers. The more people that knew, the bigger chance there was of N coming into danger.

    He knocked three times, not too hard but not too soft. Then he unlocked the room before knocking one last time. “Lord N,” he said, picking up the tray and coming in with it. It was the same way he had done this every time.

    This room was stark, to limit the amount of distractions. The paint on the wall was all white; there was a tan rug in the area N was always at, but the rest of the floor was bare stone tile. On one wall, there was a cot. In another corner, there were two low tables surrounding that one rug. One table held several books, some of which he was asked to go exchange with others in the castle library; it also held the tray from the last meal he had brought up, as well as a pen, a pad of paper, a matchbook, and a box of stick candles. The other table, at a perpendicular angle to the first table and against the wall, held three candles, the main source of light, as well as whatever book N might be studying. Over in the corner of the room, there was a small bathroom. And that was it. N was kneeling in front of the table, hands on his lap, eyes closed, and head lowered. The Dark Stone floated close to him, occasionally making soft crackles of electricity in the silence.

    Working as quietly and quickly as he could, the knight pulled the old tray closer and put the new one in its place. He noticed that not much of the food on the old one was gone: there was still rice in the bowl, a few apples slices (now brown), and the bag of nuts unopened. He moved that last item to the new tray, just in case.

    Then he paused. There was something else that needed to be done, but N seemed so deep in thought that he hardly noticed him. “Lord N?” he asked

    His head shifted at that. “That time already?” His voice seemed dull, like he was making himself say something.

    “I'm actually late, I'm sorry,” he said, then paused as he felt a tickle in his nose. It passed without a sneeze, but N hadn't said anything more. “Pardon my asking, but are you feeling well? You didn't eat much.”

    “I'm fine.” After a moment, he even smiled a little, so the knight brushed it off as imaging things. This room was dim (and a bit eerie; he couldn't stay in a place like this for meditation, adding another reason to admire the King).

    “Do you need anything else from me?” he asked.

    “I...” he hesitated, then turned and picked up the notebook, skimming over a couple of pages before finding what he wanted. “I want to send a message to the Sages, and all of you. The enforced release program should be put back into effect.”

    “I'll let them know,” he said.

    N turned back to face the candles, putting the notebook in his lap. “I was concerned about how the outsiders would view us. But I know now that it does not matter. History will vindicate us and it's been far too long that Pokemon have been allowed to suffer. The longer we wait, the more they will resist. The kind ones...” he lowered his head again and shuddered. “There's too few of them. It must be absolute to work. But, keep a few Pokemon within the Team for now to help with this, as well as plenty of healing supplies for Pokemon. Respect them fully, but use them to defeat the outsiders. Once you have won, take the Pokeballs for their team, heal up the Pokemon, then release them out into the wild. Preferably in a place far from human settlements. And try to control the distribution of new Pokeballs as best we can.”

    He felt glad to hear this. Quite a few of them were concerned about why the policy had been discontinued when releasing the Pokemon was necessary. With this, things would become right quickly. “Yes, we'll do this as best we can.”

    “I don't want to hurt anybody, but this can't be helped,” N said.

    “Is that all?”

    N looked over at him briefly. “Oh. Yes. That's all for now. Thank you.” He then turned back to the candles.

    For a moment, he thought he'd seem small wet streaks down N's cheeks. But why would he be upset to give an order like that? Unless he meant that he didn't want to hurt the few kind Trainers that he had met with it... no, it had probably been a trick of the candlelight. N was above all that. N was an angel.

    It hadn't been said officially and the Sages wouldn't confirm it. But they didn't deny it either. Amongst the knights of Team Plasma, it had been spoken and thought of so often, in hushed reverent discussions, that it was accepted as a mysterious truth. It was in how he didn't act like anyone else, how he had come to such wisdom as a child, how he understood Pokemon like no one else. And it was proven that one evening when N had been speaking to them and became surrounded by divine illumination. After seeing that, there could be no doubt in his heart about it.

    But in realizing that, many of them had also realized that N was in even greater danger than they realized. He was unfamiliar with the ways of the world and felt hurt simply by hearing about the cruelties and harshness out there. He was threatening the current world structure and if the outsiders also realized his angelic nature, they might go to terrible lengths to get rid of him before he destroyed their wealth, power, and way of life. But he had come to this world on a grave mission, to plead for mercy on behalf of the Pokemon.

    The knight didn't even regret leaving behind his name and identity for new ones. Like all the others, he was here to make N's vision of a world at peace and free of pain come true. Whatever it took; he'd sacrifice anything to help.

    Once he took the old meal tray back to the kitchen area, he headed out to find Ghetsis to report N's orders. He was utterly exhausted by the time he made it to the Sage's office, and Ghetsis told him to see the team's doctors and take a break because he looked so pale. The doctor who looked him over told him that he had the flu and so had to take it easy for several days. Reluctantly, he agreed and gave up his duties to serving N temporarily.

    After all, he'd do his King no good if his body wasn't strong enough to do as ordered.

    -+-

    When his past self (although technically the present self) blasted them with wind, Kyurem recognized that he was trying to lay a curse on them. It was something that he warned humans about for hundreds of centuries. If he caught trespassers in his territory, he would not hesitate to kill or curse them. How severely he attacked depended on his mood and how awake he was. His other self wasn't fully awake, as evident by how he failed to recognize himself. Kyurem blocked the curse attempt.

    At least, he thought he had. He had kept himself safe, but Hilda quickly collapsed from it. Of all the days she could have gotten sick... that made it easier for her to get cursed as well. For once, his blood seemed to boil. This wasn't the mixed anger and thrill of fighting a losing battle. This was an outright hatred of someone who had hurt someone who was his, even if the hatred was against his past self.

    Than a voice snapped him out of doing something rash. “Huh, Daddy?” Mimi said, hopping over to his side. “Why're there two of you? Why're you fighting?”

    “What, why is she...?” his past self said, confused enough that touches of his sleeping mind could be heard in his words.

    Kyurem bit his lip. Even if he shifted to his regular dragon self, he was going to be at a large disadvantage against his past self. Not to mention that if he managed to defeat him, there might be some bad time distortions as a result. “Mimi, it's because I'm from the future and he doesn't know everything,” he told the Minccino.

    Her ears pricked up. “Ooo, really?”

    The present Kyurem growled, making blue sparks appear in the snow cyclone. “You're an imposter and you stole her from my dreams? You are going to pay dearly for that.”

    “He sounds sleepy mad,” Mimi said, looking into the cyclone. Still unafraid, somehow.

    Picking her up, he readied his aura to intensify her power. “Right, he's waking up too soon. Help me put him back to sleep, will you?”

    She giggled, putting a paw to her nose. “Okay!” Then she used Sing against the present Kyurem.

    “Don't you dare hurt her,” he said as the snow cyclone started to slow down and fall apart. Then Giant Crater quieted and his image vanished.

    “Daddy wouldn't hurt me,” she said, nuzzling against his chin. “Neither of you would.”

    For a moment, he grimaced and felt like telling her that her grave wasn't far from here. But he caught that statement in time and put her down. “Yes, but we need to help Hilda now.”

    Mimi glanced over, then hopped over to the girl. “Ooh, what happened to her?” She put a paw on Hilda's cheek. “She's warm, but it's cold. What's she saying?”

    Although he could hear her mumbling, it didn't make sense. “She's probably delirious,” he said. He should get her somewhere safe as fast as he could. But some rational thoughts remained and insisted it had to be safely as well. Kyurem looked over the Pokeball holder before taking one off and double-checking it. Then he released Olette. “I need your help.” Then he checked Hilda's bag for a blanket.

    “What happened?” the Exadrill asked in concern, coming closer to Hilda.

    “She's sick and cursed,” he explained. “We'll need to carry her over to Lacunosa. I didn't want to go there, but with what's happened, it can't be avoided. I would take Tarzan if he was evolved, but he'd trip over his skin as it is.”

    “Can't you turn back into a dragon and carry her back real fast?” Mimi asked.

    He frowned, but found the blanket and got it to materialize. “I could, but that would make things worse. My regular body is cold enough to sap the warmth out of anything.” He spread the blanket out on top of the icy snow. It wasn't optimal, but it should work. “Let's get her on the blanket. I'll take one end and you carry the other Olette. Mimi, you scout out in front of us and look for problems with ice blocks and hidden things.”

    “Right!” the Minccino said, with Olette nodding.

    Their trip was slow, even if it was a short walk to town. Hilda wasn't still in her fevered state, so sometimes they had to stop her from trying to get off of the blanket. When they came across another ice block, Kyurem brought out Tarzan to break it as best he could; it would take him a few of his strongest kicks, but he got it and two others out of the way. Sometimes wild Pokemon would come out to try challenging them, but a threat from him usually got them to scatter. It didn't help that the clouds were turning darker and snowflakes were starting to fall.

    When they came to the open gate of Lacunosa, the three other Pokemon relaxed and were hopeful that Hilda could get help soon. But Kyurem was still wary. Reactions to his return had varied widely over his lifetime, from a proud welcome to a fearful barring of the gates. And if the rumors were true about them supporting Team Plasma, then this might not turn out well. Plus, there was no way he could enter quietly. This was his city and it recognized him.

    Once he stepped onto the white stone streets, a bell in the center of town began to toll without being touched. The outer walls glistened with ice, then burst into rows of sharp spikes all around. On the bridges in town, the ice came out in the form of a frieze of dragons. The people here should recognize the signs even though he had been gone a long time.

    Should. A group of children that had been playing in the streets paused on seeing a dragon made of ice on a stairwell nearby. “Wow, how'd that happen so fast?” one of the boys said, getting closer to it.

    “Don't touch it!” an old woman warned, grabbing him before he got close. “That is usually a sign of Kyurem's power.”

    “It's always a sign of my power,” he said sharply.

    “M-master Kyurem?” the old woman asked, trying to back off with the boy.

    “Oh, you're Kyurem going around as a person, right?” one of the girls asked, curiously looking over the group.

    He snarled, getting them to all be wary. “Yes, that's me. Listen closely so that you may tell the others: I am very angry. You, this whole town, is only a part of the problem, but I'm in a mood to snap at anybody who dares annoy me further. If what I hear is true, then I might even destroy all of you. But you can give yourselves some more time to address your wrongs if you show me where your hospital is. Right now.”

    “I, I'll do it,” another boy said. “It's down the street, not that far.” He led the way down the street, so they followed. The other children and the old woman scattered elsewhere, already spreading the news that he had returned.

    “Um, did you have to be mean about that?” Olette asked, firmly keeping a grasp on her end of the blanket.

    “In this case, it will help,” he said. Besides, it was partly what they would have expected, at least the older folks. This would get Hilda the help she needed quickly.

    In the hospital, an emergency doctor agreed to see her right away. The female doctor tried to get him to leave, but after a firm disagreement and a proof that he was the legendary dragon, she didn't object to his presence further. After checking to make sure Hilda didn't have frostbite, the doctor and a nurse took her winter clothes and changed her into a hospital gown. Then they did what they could to control her fever and figure out what was wrong. Kyurem stood against the wall and watched them the whole time. The other Pokemon had to be called away, but he stayed.

    After half an hour of this, the doctor turned to speak with him. From the way she kept shifting her shirt and gloves, it was obvious that speaking to him made her nervous. Some level of professionalism pushed her past that. “She has the influenza infection severely, unusually so for an apparently healthy girl. But, her body temperature seems to be dropping at her extremities, even in this heated environment. I can't say what that is yet.”

    “It's a Pokemon's curse,” he told her. “Can you do anything about that?”

    She scratched her head. “A curse? I'm afraid not, as it doesn't seem to be a standard one that I recognize. And with the way it's going, we may not have a lot of time to save her We'd need to get a specialist in, and cross-reference with a Pokemon expert... what kind of Pokemon was it?”

    Kyurem lowered his head. Of course this wouldn't turn out well. “Is the equipment in this room capable of withstanding cold temperatures?”

    Although puzzled at the unexpected question, the doctor answered after only a second of thought, “No, we definitely couldn't put these machines outside.”

    He stood up straight and walked over to the bed where Hilda was. “Then get it out of here.”

    “But some are supporting her...” she protested.

    “I can get rid of that curse, but this room is going to turn freezing because of it,” he said, showing a bit of the anger that was still burning in his soul. “I'm giving you a chance to not have your machines wrecked. And make sure you have what you need to treat hypothermia ready, within a few minutes.”

    The doctor's eyes widened. “Oh, well... we shouldn't waste time if you can handle it. Actually, let's get her into an empty room.” She had the nurse help her disconnect Hilda from the machine, then they rolled the bed into a smaller closed off room. Once the door was shut, it was just the two of them.

    She wasn't mumbling anymore, or even struggling. Hilda's face was flushed pink with fever while her hands were turning pale from the curse's cold. As it was, it must be a struggle for her body to keep working. But he couldn't waste time now. “At least we're in a safe place for this,” he said. Then he placed his hands on her chest. “Hilda, I'm sorry for this. But it's a choice between possible death and certain death.”

    By the time he got done, the windows to the room were covered in heavy frost. There was a light dusting of snow on the floor as he had frozen the humidity right out of the air. As he opened the door to let the doctor and nurse come back in with the hypothermia treatment, he nearly slipped on the slick floor himself. A second nurse waited out in the hall. “Um, we can put you up in a room to rest, sir.”

    “I'll find my own place to rest,” he said, leaning on the wall. “Take good care of her, or else.”

    “You don't need to worry,” he said, although his eyes betrayed his fear.

    Kyurem staggered through the hall back into the emergency care lobby; countering a strong curse of his own make was more draining than he thought. The people in the lobby, both staff and visitors, watched him with a sense of unease, concern, and fear, stopping all of their conversations. So they recognized him, and perhaps even knew they had done something wrong. Ignoring them for now, he went outside, back into the new winter storm that was brewing thanks to him meeting himself.

    Out there, he walked for a short ways until he found an open street where he wouldn't block off access to the hospital. Then he changed back into his dragon form. A few people that had been walking on the street quickly got off it upon seeing the icy black Pokemon there. Not that they had much to worry about immediately; Kyurem collapsed onto the street in weariness. For a moment, he considered his reactions to what had gone on today. He had not been concerned about failing his self-appointed mission or causing the disaster he was trying to avoid. No.... he had been afraid of losing Hilda to death, with a power that was his own.

    He didn't get long to think on that as sleep overcame him.
    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.

  14. #289
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    Uh-oh, Kyurem is friends with Hilda,

    Ummm....
    That's all I can think of.
    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

  15. #290
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    Is it just me or is kyurem getting a little friendly with hilda here?

    Everyone's getting sick! That's terrible.

    The dark stone appears to be changing N...

    That's all the notes I've got for now. Great chapter!
    I have:
    Platinum
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    Black
    Rumble Blast
    White 2

    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.

  16. #291
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    Hmm, well... can't say much to that feedback. An illness like the flu was fun to play with here. In real life, you usually hear of a bunch of people you know getting sick around the same time. Here, I could use it for that moment of seriousness with Hilda. Well, seriousness mixed with being delirious. Kinda the flavor of this fic, yeah?


    Chapter 43: Breaking Immortal Souls


    March 19

    Hilbert and Cheren got into Virbank after dark Like Tornadus had said, this was an industrial city. The walkways and many of the buildings were made of concrete, grayed over the years. However, there were also many lights, from electric lampposts lighting both the sea and upper levels of town to the neon lights marking various places of business. There were still a number of people walking and talking in the streets, many of them in fashions Hilbert would expect to see in Nimbasa or some areas of Castelia. The streaked hair styles and so on usually indicated sub-cultures heavily tied to music too.

    “Do you get the feeling that we stick out like sore thumbs here?” Cheren asked him quietly.

    “Definitely,” Hilbert said. “But I think that's what we're looking for. He mentioned a cool place to the south, which I think is those warehouses over there. You feel up for looking around?”

    “Sure, it's not that late.” He looked around the crowds for a moment, then said, “I wonder what kind of music they're playing around here. I haven't been in a club before.”

    “You're a bit young for some of them,” Hilbert teased him. “But there might be a teen club around somewhere if there are a lot. You want to check one out later?”

    Cheren shrugged. “I dunno. I mean, I was told that in order to be respectable, you had to avoid that kind of thing.”

    “I guess, if you're following older values,” he said. “I was told it was more important to be yourself. But your family does sound like it's pretty strict.” It was something of a surprise to hear about his family life. Hilbert wasn't even sure how they got on talking about that today, but comparing stories showed just how permissive Giallo had been. Except about having Pokemon; he'd never had a home pet Pokemon when he was a kid and now he was thinking that was why he was having to learn communicating with Pokemon at this time. “I suppose moving past the limitations your parents put on you is what most everyone goes through.”

    “Yeah,” Cheren agreed. “Or maybe confronting them about it. Listen, this might not seem related, but it kinda is in my mind... I was checking out the curriculum of the Trainer's School back in Aspertia, and they have a series of classes about the Pokemon League. You know, about how they run things, what's required of its members, and its history. The school in Striaton didn't have anything like that.”

    Hilbert smiled. “That sounds cool. You thinking of taking those classes?”

    “Maybe.” He chuckled. “I mean, who knows? There might be some way to work around their rules to get an advantage in a challenge battle.”

    He laughed and playfully punched him. “Trying to find a legal way to cheat, are we?”

    “Not cheat! Work the system. But seriously, it would be great thing to know. The first class of the set doesn't have a new session until summer, though.” He tapped his fingers, mentally counting through something. “I think, by that time, I can take the entrance exams and meet the qualifications to be a full time student. I need to look into it some more, especially about talking to my parents about me moving to Aspertia for that. But I'm not sure.”

    “Well you've got a few months to decide, a little time, but not a lot. Do what you feel is right for you.” He looked over a Cheren, hoping that would help.

    It seemed to; he didn't seem quite as tense as he had when they had met up over in Castelia. “Right, thanks.” Cheren looked back at him an raised an eyebrow. “But when did you become decent listener? You were so egotistical when I first met you; I know some of what's changed you, but you've really changed.”

    “Well I did listen back then, but only when it helped me in the end,” he pointed out. “It's more interesting to help other people out these days. And, I guess part of it was when I learned what my birth name meant.”

    “What, Hilbert?” Cheren asked, confused.

    He shook his head. “No, I had a name before that... it's rather embarrassing, though.”

    “It can't be that bad.” He pointed down a street that went into the warehouse area, “I think we need to head that way.”

    “Yeah... it is bad.” He scratched his head. “But, I think you'd understand. Just don't tell Hilda; she'd tease me so bad.” He checked around them, but the part of town they were going into had much fewer people. So he quietly told his name to Cheren.

    He was quiet for a moment. “I can see what you mean,” he finally said. “But that is a bad one.”

    “I can understand trying to be significant and unique, but that's trying too hard. Anyhow, let's get looking for them. Maybe listening.” He brought out his Pokemon to help search, even letting Ember perch on his hat for the time being. Cheren brought out his Pokemon too, having Shadeclaw back.

    There was music coming from a few of the warehouses, but those turned out to simply be late-shift workers looking for a good start to their night. Hilbert and Cheren asked them if they had heard unusual music around, or just a flute or a great singer. While a few said they had heard a flute around from time to time, they didn't seem sure where it was coming from. And a few workers who had been here for years knew most everyone who owned a warehouse here: Team Plasma and Dr. Umber were not known.

    “There is one odd building you might want to check out, if you can get in it,” one of them said. He seemed to be in his fifties from his gray hair and rough skin, but he still seemed tough and strong from his muscles and large beard. “It's over in the refinery past the wall, right next to the entrance. It used to be their offices, but I know they meet up in Warehouse 12 now, along with their place in Castelia. I don't recall anybody using that place in the past couple of decades, but somebody keeps it maintained.”

    After thanking him for that information, they headed down to the refinery. The most obvious music here came from a group of teens that had met up in the southern part of the refinery, past all the storage buildings. Other than that, there were sounds of wild Pokemon scurrying around and squabbling in several weedy areas of tall grass around the buildings, and calls from flying Pokemon perched on the steel beam catwalks that hung several feet overhead. Everything here seemed clean and efficient, not particularly dangerous. But it was all a little mysterious, as Hilbert didn't know what the purpose of all these buildings and structures were.

    That including the small office building they had been directed to. Two stories tall, it blended into the area and didn't seem important. From a few holes in the wall, discolored areas, and a piece of metal in the ground, it seemed that any identifying signs had been taken away years ago. There were a few windows, but the ones on the first floor were blocked off by blinds. And there didn't seem to be any door; the entire outside was coated in plaster, save for those few small windows.

    Cheren soon pointed him to a crack in the wall. “It's fairly regular, about what a door would be if it was here,” he said, running his finger along a smaller vertical crack a few feet from the larger one. “And I can't think of any normal reason for plastering over a door.”

    “The trouble is going to be getting in,” Hilbert said. “I sent Madeline to go into the wall and look around. If we knew a good Fight Pokemon, we might be able to get this kicked in.” He touched the larger crack, but a bit of metal seemed to indicate that this was the hinged side. That meant somehow getting a hold on the smaller crack to get inside. “Maybe this place is abandoned, but then, why not just take it out?”

    After a moment, the Litwick passed through the wall. “Lisha pell saa ree,” she said, upset enough that her flame was quivering. Then she came closer to him and nudged his arm away from the door.

    There was a click on the other side of the door. “I think she wants us to back up,” Hilbert said, taking a few steps back.

    After another few clicks, the door was then opened outward. The one who met them seemed like a child with a pale face and dirty green hair. But her delicate hands were black and what seemed to be a dress had the quality of the false clothes that many Pokemon had, with no seams and slightly uneven edges. 'One of you is the White King?' she asked without moving her face.

    “That would be me,” Hilbert said, taking the door's edge. “We've been looking for you and Keldeo. Would you come out and help us?”

    She put her hand to her cheek. 'I can't leave, not really. But he's here, and if you can get him free, then we can both go. He's in chains.'

    “I should probably get the police to help out,” Cheren said. “If I tell them there's a Pokmeon in trouble here, I think they should be able to enter the house without trouble.”

    Hilbert nodded. “That would be good, go get them quickly.” While Cheren left, he opened the door further, finding three locks on the other side. He then rolled a rock to keep the door open. “I'm taking Ember with me,” he told his other Pokemon. “You three stay out here and guard the door until Cheren and the police come back.”

    Inside, the old office was dark and empty. It was oddly clean, with the smell of chemical cleaners a bit strong in the air. While most of the furniture must have been moved out, there was a small shelf with cleaning supplies and rags on it. Right in Meloetta's reach, he noticed. She led him up the stairs.

    “Why haven't you left if you can move around freely and unlock the door?” Hilbert asked.

    She looked back at him. 'The one who captured us, he said that he would kill Keldeo if I left. He doesn't come in a lot, most often to leave me new supplies every few months. But I can't judge how powerful he really is and what he can tell about what happens. I stayed just to be safe. Clean stuff to pass the time, and play music to keep Keldeo happy, that's what I do now.'

    “Was it Dr. Umber who captured you?” She seemed a little too intimidated by a mortal human, but concern for Keldeo might be enough to keep her in here.

    'Not really. I was captured by a different man, Takumi, and he sold me to Umber. Umber was the one who tricked Keldeo into captivity by using me, though. Then there's someone called Ghetsis who comes in even less often. They're all powerful, in their own ways.' She opened the door at the top of the stairs and brought him into where Keldeo was held captive.

    There were no dividing walls or anything on the second level. On the structural walls, there were a number of strange rune circles giving off a weak power. There were some metal structures on the floor and ceiling, but the device they were attached to was inactive. Inside those, there was a metal ring attached to the floor, holding onto a chain that latched onto a harness around Keldeo's chest. That was all that was holding onto him, but Keldeo didn't look to be in shape to do anything about it. He lacked a lot of the fur that he was usually depicted with, leaving him with bald patches among his short white fur. On seeing them, he got up from the floor shakily; his bone showed through his skin and he only made a few steps before Meloetta and Hilbert were able to get by him.

    “What happened to you?” Hilbert asked, dropping down to sit by Keldeo. “Meloetta seems like she could be fine after a bath and a few days fresh air, but you're really rough.”

    Keldeo waved his tail and nudged Hilbert's hand.

    'Umber may have destroyed his ability to return to life,' Meloetta said while Hilbert petted Keldeo. 'He seems much too normal, unable to use any of his higher powers. That's why I couldn't leave with that threat. The wards in his room make it hard for me to tell, but if he does die here, it may be a final death. He's certainly grown old over our captivity.'

    While Hilbert didn't think he could do much, he looked over the harness on Keldeo. It was made up of straps of metal around his neck, behind his forelegs, and a strap on the back to hold them together. While it was a little loose to let him breath freely, it wasn't enough for him to slip his legs through. It was attached to the chain with a padlock. “I don't think I can get him out of this,” Hilbert said. “Never saw a need to learn to pick a lock, and this harness might have to be cut off him. But the police ought to have tools to get him free.”

    Meloetta sat down and clasped her hands in her lap. 'Well I'm not leaving until he does.'

    “I'll stay with you,” Hilbert said, expecting to see Cheren back shortly.

    -+-

    March 21

    Hilda was sitting in the hospital lobby in Lacunosa, talking on her Xtranciever with Cheren (who was in Virbank) and Bianca (who was in Nuvema). “I'm still feeling worn out,” she said. “But we guess that I was only actually sick about five hours; Kyurem apparently froze out the virus when he removed the curse.”

    “I don't think I'd want that to happen, even if that flu was bad,” Bianca said. “You're lucky the cold didn't kill you.”

    Like what N had been worried about, Hilda thought, but she didn't say anything about that. “I know. They don't want me doing much activity myself for the next couple of weeks.”

    “But you can still participate in the Battle Subway, right?” Cheren asked.

    She nodded. “Yeah, that's fine, although I can't run around with my Pokemon like I normally do during regular practice. Actually, I'm waiting on someone to go take a walk with me outside for a while. Seems that Kyurem is being hostile and the people around here are freaking out in trying to figure out what he wants.”

    Cheren frowned at that. “How can you be so calm about him being hostile? A lot of people know that he's with you and if he does something violent...”

    “I know what's got him riled up,” she said, interrupting him. “Maybe not specifics, but I'm sure this can be solved. But we need to talk with him to make sure and he's apparently not going to talk until he knows I'm better. He's still protecting me, so I'll be okay.”

    “Well I hope you can get the people of Lacunosa to trust you,” Bianca said. “And don't push yourself too much while you recover. Remember what happened back when you were thirteen and you were out with that cold twice?”

    “The second time wasn't that bad,” she said. “But yeah, I'm resting up after that. So how's it going with you, Cheren? I heard you were helping out Hilbert.”

    Bianca nodded. “Oh yeah, have you two been getting along?”

    “Better than I thought we would,” Cheren said. “We ended up talking a lot while traveling. We did find the two of them; Meloetta's okay, although she doesn't seem sure what to do with herself now that she's not in captivity. But Keldeo's in pretty bad shape. We think whatever power makes them immortal has been broken in him, and he's grown old and weak. I mean, he was kept in place with a steel chain and harness, which he could have broken out of at his normal power.”

    “That's awful,” Bianca said. “Is he okay now?”

    He shrugged. “More or less. They had to cut the harness off him, and he behaves more like a regular elderly Pokemon than a legendary one. But he seems to be in a good mood. Meloetta seems to think that Reshiram can tell better what's going on with Keldeo and what can be done about it.”

    “Then is Hilbert going to watch over Keldeo until he can summon Reshiram?” Hilda asked.

    “Maybe.” He glanced over somewhere off screen. “He's in a sour mood now because the police chief chewed him out about breaking into private property. I guess it is the law, but the two of them were in trouble. Actually, I'm considering offering to do take care of Keldeo myself.”

    “That would be good of you,” Bianca said with a smile.

    “Yeah, although you couldn't use him in battles,” Hilda added.

    “Obviously not,” Cheren said. “But you were right, Bianca; we didn't mean to, but we've gotten into something big here. Even if I can only do a little, I should help out. I'm just thinking... it would be nice for Hilbert to have Keldeo, as that could help his image with most people if he helps him. But then Plasma could use that against him. If someone else had Keldeo, then Hilbert could focus on keeping up with them I’ll probably talk with him and the doctor here about it later.”

    The doors to the hospital lobby opened up, letting in Iris and an older woman. “Oh hey, I've got to go,” Hilda said to her friends. “My visitors have shown up. You two take care of yourselves.”

    “You too Hilda,” Bianca said. “Talk to you later.”

    “And be careful,” Cheren said. Then the call ended.

    “Hi!” Iris said, coming over and leaning on a nearby chair. “How're you doing? I didn't think you'd have that much trouble with going into the Crater.”

    “Neither did we,” Hilda said, getting up and putting on her coat. “But hey, I’m still alive and I’m not sick anymore, so it's good now.”

    She smiled at that. “Good. Oh, this is Mrs. Robins of the Lacunosa city council; she's been trying to talk with Kyurem the past couple of days. And this is Hilda, Kyurem's friend.”

    Mrs Robins shook her hand. “I hope people here have been treating you well,” the councilwoman said.

    “They've been good to me,” Hilda said. “So where is Kyurem? I thought he'd be in here waiting for me, but he's apparently out in the city somewhere.”

    “Yes, he's been waiting on you. He's up on the wall right now, but it's not too far off.”

    Once Hilda was prepared, the three of them headed out of the hospital. There was snow falling lightly in the air, with a thick gray overcast in the sky. Every building was iced over, but in patterns and ice spikes instead of icicles and sheets. On their way up the stairs, Mrs. Robins explained that all the excess ice had appeared when she and Kyurem had entered the city. No one living in the city had seen this before, but it was remembered in tales from over a century ago, or more.

    In the northeastern corner of the city wall, Kyurem had set up a place where he was staying. It was within sight of the hospital, although he seemed to be trusting the people here a lot to make sure she was safe. The ice was thick here too, but not on the stone floor they walked on. Instead, he had formed the ice into a throne, with an dome ceiling held up by twisting columns surrounding it. He was in his human form, sitting on the throne and thinking.

    “Dude, you didn't tell me you ruled over this place!” Hilda called over to him as she walked into this throne room he had set up. “Just that it was your home city, more or less.”

    He looked up at them, then shrugged. “I can if I want. It's good to see you up and about again.”

    “I can't be doing much yet, but I feel much better now. So I've heard these people want to talk to you, but you haven't been cooperating.” She looked over at Mrs. Robins. “It took me a while to get him talking in specifics, so I'm not surprised.”

    Bracing herself, Mrs. Robins came closer and gave Kyurem a curtsey. “Yes... we've watched over her as you asked. But please, we want to know why you say you're angry with us. We'll do what we can, but you haven't said anything else.”

    Kyurem gave the councilwoman a cold gaze.

    “Well I do know something,” Hilda said, recalling the meeting with the Kyurem that was supposed to be in this time. “Lacunosa has had some arrangement with him for centuries where he promised to end his winters if you kept your end of the bargain, but you haven't kept it for some time.”

    “Arrangement?” Mrs. Robins asked.

    “Oh, I know that story!” Iris said. Hilda silently thanked her for that, as she didn't know anything more than what she'd said. “It was Isabelle the gijinka, a brave girl who was sent into Giant Crater as a sacrifice for Kyurem, but she came across him mourning the death of a Minccino. She helped bury the Pokemon and consoled Kyurem by singing a song in honor of the Pokemon's soul. So because of that, he promised that he would stop that winter, and any that came after it, if the people of Lacunosa would honor the memory of his friend by singing that song at the Minccino's grave site. And it helps if it's another gijinka doing that, to imitate the original story.”

    “That's exactly it,” Kyurem said. “No one has sung there for many decades. I've been asleep all that time, but I know this. So I'm not stopping this winter until this is done.”

    Unfortunately, Mrs. Robins seemed at a loss of what to do. “Erm, well... I remember my grandmother talking about that ceremony, but I've never heard of it being done. I think, there was one hard winter a long time ago, and it naturally faded away into spring, if a little late. I guess people thought it wasn't needed.” Then she winced when Kyurem glowered at her. “I, uh, I don't even know what song you mean. Maybe someone else would know.” She stepped back. “Um, if you'll excuse me, I can ask around about it.”

    “Sure, that'd be good,” Hilda said.

    “Then I’ll go do that.” She hurried off, heading back down to the main level of town.

    Iris pouted. “She could've asked me. I've seen that song in one of Drayden's books, and he can sing it. Me and him could do the ceremony for them, cause we're both gijinkas.”

    “Both of you?” Hilda asked, although she already knew Iris had been one.

    The brown-skinned girl smiled. “Yup! He's been watching over the rest of us, but since we're a lot alike, he adopted me. But don't be fooled by my size, cause I'm older than you.”

    “If they ask, then it's fine if you two do the ceremony,” Kyurem said, leaning back into his throne. “Since she's gone, we ought to tell you more of what's really going on.”

    Hilda nodded. “Right. You're asking for them to do the ceremony more for the other Kyurem, right?”

    “Yes,” he said. “The sleep we left him under isn't going to hold, but hearing that song should calm him down and keep him where he is until my job is done.”

    Iris looked at each of them in turn. “What, there's two Kyurems around? I thought there would only ever be one.”

    “Yeah, because technically the one with us isn't supposed to be here,” Hilda said. Then she explained about the situation.

    -+-

    March 22

    In the end, the people of Lacunosa had to ask Drayden and Iris to carry out the ceremony, then teach a number of young people there how to do so for the following years. Hilda was curious to see it, but she didn't feel up to walking all that way and Kyurem didn't want her to leave the city without him. And since bringing the two of them back into close proximity would possibly inhibit trying to put the other Kyurem back asleep, she just went back up to his throne room on the wall to visit him at that time.

    He was quiet most of the time, standing on the edge of the wall and watching the forest that was between Lacunosa and Giant Crater. Hilda looked over there too, able to see the movement of the snow cyclone. Once it disappeared, Kyurem dropped back down. “He's fully asleep again,” he said. “That should keep him from stirring until autumn. He'd better not wake up to what I did.”

    “We're making sure of that,” Hilda said.

    “I hope so,” he said, starting to pace around.

    “Well if you don't remember starting to wake up now, you've already changed things.” She turned around and leaned against the wall, watching him. He had his arms crossed over his chest and was tapping a finger there. “What's on your mind, Rei?” she asked.

    “A lot,” he replied. Then he looked back towards the crater. “I don't even need to be there, but I can hear them singing. It's one of the few things I can when I'm not there.”

    “Because it's about Mimi?” After wondering if she should, she asked, “What happened to her?”

    His arms dropped to his sides as he looked down. “Instinct killed her. Hers, but it was my fault. In the winter, Minccinos will spend nights with others, keeping close to them to keep warm. I had done my best to restrain my power, but cold leaks out from my dragon body all the time. All it took was one night when I was too tired to pay attention and she tried to get close to me to keep warm. And because she trusted me, she wouldn't leave my side even though my power was slowly killing her.”

    “That's really sad,” Hilda said. “But, it seems like you did what you could.”

    “It was inevitable that she'd go like that,” Kyurem said. “I knew I should have scared her off to another of her kind. But, it was surprising how quickly I became attached to her. Mimi was never scared of me and thought I was her parent. And she loved me for no other reason than that. There hasn't been another Pokemon who's affected me in that way. She doesn't have the power most of my followers do, just her affection. She didn't get long to live either; she's been around now longer than she was back then.”

    She went over to be closer to him. “Does it still make you upset?” It affected him enough that he still kept that promise to end winter. The sky was already starting to clear over Lacunosa.

    “Just thoughtful,” he said, looking up to meet her eyes. “You affect me differently too.”

    Hilda raised her eyebrows. “Do I?”

    “Hmph.” He turned around and snapped his fingers. The ice throne and structure shattered around them. “Do you remember the first time we made contact?”

    “Uh,” it took a moment of thinking, but then she nodded. “Yeah, that dream. I remember you asking me what was more important, truth or ideals.”

    He turned back to her. “Do you remember what you answered?”

    Hilda shrugged. “Not entirely. It's not easy to remember dreams.”

    “Then what would you answer now? Which is more important?”

    What was he thinking? Hilda wondered about that, but she also remembered a bit of what she'd seen under fever. She had always wanted to keep her options open, but was it that important to settle on something? One side or the other? “I don't know. They're both good things to have, but truth can be harsh and short-sighted, and constantly keeping after ideals can mean that you miss reality right in front of you. You put too much importance on one and things get out of whack. You'd need the other then. Like Hilbert getting in trouble for ignoring the law when he was trying to find the truth about Meloetta and Keldeo, and the fact that somebody needs to smack N with the truth so he gets some common sense.”

    A smile crept onto Kyurem's face. “'Neither' is an acceptable answer, you know. Thinking too much in a binary sense also causes trouble.” Then his expression turned more serious. “You're definitely not going to die this year, not if I have anything to do with it. How long are we staying here?”

    “We could leave in a couple of hours if you really don't want to stick around. I should talk with the doctor first, so unless she says otherwise, we can take the subway out of here.”

    He nodded then headed down the wall to get back down to the ground level. “Good. It's better if I stay away from my past self. And it's best if you stay away from Dragonspiral Tower.”

    “Because that's where I died?” she asked, following him.

    “Yes.”
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  17. #292
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    Ow!
    Poor instincts.
    If you send me a pm, you shall pay for clogging my inbox. ( for this chapter only)
    wonder what mimi would think about all this.

    You need to edit the gijinka list to include drauden, or repost it editted.
    Also edit to first post. for easy finding
    Last edited by Rotomknight; 22nd September 2012 at 2:14 AM.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

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

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

  18. #293
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    Automatic Death Field. That sounds like a simultaneously horrible and outright awesome ability.

    And Drayden is the other natural Gijinka? Makes sense, I suppose...
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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

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    Hilbert and Cheren got into Virbank after dark Like Tornadus had said, this was an industrial city.
    Missed a period there.

    Anyway, this has been making me think for a while now, but if Hilbert had been using Attract unknowingly, wouldn't the only ones affected be female?

  20. #295
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agonist View Post
    Anyway, this has been making me think for a while now, but if Hilbert had been using Attract unknowingly, wouldn't the only ones affected be female?
    It was stated by Kyurem that he was bypassing the normal gender restrictions, at the time he revealed that. Hilbert's charisma was just that powerful.
    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.

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    I was rereading this so far, when i realized something major!
    SPOILER( cant get em to work)
    Pierre parent is Ghetsis's vanilluxe, was severly abused when a child, and clean hides the foot steps= those who cover their tracks (ghetsis) have darker pasts
    Also for reader covience please put gijinka list in begining.
    Also Hilbert and N have some legendary qualities, mayhaps immortal.
    End spoilers


    Also if you don't respond, I shall repost this, until you do.

    No bad wishes, can even give half truths or something, but I just want a reply to this.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

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

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rotomknight View Post
    I was rereading this so far, when i realized something major!
    SPOILER( cant get em to work)
    Pierre parent is Ghetsis's vanilluxe, was severly abused when a child, and clean hides the foot steps= those who cover their tracks (ghetsis) have darker pasts
    Also for reader covience please put gijinka list in begining.
    Also Hilbert and N have some legendary qualities, mayhaps immortal.
    End spoilers


    Also if you don't respond, I shall repost this, until you do.

    No bad wishes, can even give half truths or something, but I just want a reply to this.
    Ghetsis has a Vanilluxe? Pierre's actually around the same age as N.

    Gijinka list will go at the end, as an appendix. When I reach the end. For now, it stays where it is. Besides, if someone happens upon this now, it will be less spoiler-y (although that's more likely to happen over on the other site).

    Hilbert and N... hmmm... not saying yet. Haven't revealed all my cards at this point. Tomorrow should be an interesting update, though.
    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.

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    Even if it's late! What do I want to say? Well, more fun with time travel going on here. And a whole bunch of people in this chapter, with all four mains, a couple of secondaries, and lots of Pokemon. A bit of a review, but I think it's necessary at this time.

    Kyurem's ADF (yay acronym!) is based of his Pokedex entries. He apparently leaks sub-freezing air all the time. Same reason he refused to fly Hilda to Lacunosa then.

    And now I need to get back to work on this fanfic...


    Chapter 44: Talking to Yourself


    March 23

    In the central part of Unova, there was a large section of wilderness that had no human settlements in it. White Forest was recognized as a nature preserve, so buildings in this area were limited to small structures approved by the park. There were many trails, including one that wound all the way between Undella and Driftveil. In this area, one couldn't even capture Pokemon without a permit. Battles were okay in some areas, but in much of it, it was advised that Trainers should avoid triggering one.

    It had actually been warm that day, so the ground was soggy and it was hard to find dry wood for a campfire. But they had agreed to meet up and rent a couple of cabins to exchange information and plan what to do next. Hilda was helping to prepare some vegetables for the foil packets they were going to cook their supper in, while Cheren worked on trying to brown the meat with a metal skillet. Hilbert had let his Larvesta sit on the burning log while he worked on getting the fire to stay. Inside the cabins, Bianca was making sure things there were in order. Kyurem and a few other of the Pokemon were keeping an eye out for trouble, although Keldeo was asleep on a bamboo mat near the firepit site. Fedora, having just evolved into a Serperior that afternoon, was on patrol too, although suspiciously in the sunniest areas.

    Bianca came out of the cabin assigned to the guys. “Everything looks okay inside,” she said. “They've still got everything closed up for winter, so it should be warm.”

    “Hopefully not too warm,” Cheren said. “They were saying that the night's going to be above freezing in this area finally.”

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

    “Hardly,” he replied.

    “But he might become grumpier than usual,” Bianca said, smiling.

    There was more general chatter, but once they had dinner roasting and the campsite settled, they got down to business. “Well first of all, I had some suspicions about Kyurem's intent in being here,” Hilbert said, taking charge of things. “But since you helped with ending the enhanced winter and didn't hurt anyone in doing so, I'm sure that you're being honest with being here on a different purpose.”

    “I've hurt a few people,” Kyurem said. “If I thought they were threats to her.”

    “That's fairly normal, I think,” Hilbert said. He got up from where he'd been sitting on a log bench. “Let's review the basics first. First, we have Team Plasma calling for the abolition of Pokemon ownership to end cruelty to them. It's an extreme viewpoint, but their leader N believes in in deeply. And all four of us have been involved with the Pokemon League to some degree, in taking their challenge and sometimes assisting them. Plus, I know that all of you know how much Pokemon can affect us positively, and how we can make life better for each other.”

    “It became a lot more clear when we got our own Pokemon and began traveling with them,” Bianca said. Her starter Suzy, now a Samurott, touched her cheek with her horn. Bianca patted her in exchange.

    “We can also affect them negatively, so it's our responsibility to avoid that,” Cheren added.

    Hilbert nodded, glancing at Madeline and Keldeo. “Right. Now, Team Plasma might have been a peaceable movement, perhaps even less extreme. But they've been formed to be that extreme by someone else, which brings us to our second point. Ghetsis holds immense influence over Team Plasma and N, even though he claims to only be the King's adviser. I believe that Ghetsis isn't sincere in following Plasma's ideals. Instead, he is directing them into being a more aggressive movement, and guiding N into a position of great power and influence.”

    “I think he's trying to get the power to influence all of Unova through Zekrom,” Hilda said. “But since his purposes must not be pure enough for him to summon any of the dragons, he has to do it indirectly through N. If N gets Zekrom in a Pokeball, Ghetsis might be able to take Zekrom from him.”

    “Zekrom wouldn't obey him, but he may not have to actually use her to get people to respect him for it,” Kyurem said.

    “Do you think that he has no intention of stopping his use of Pokemon?” Cheren asked. “Because a lot of disputes these days can be settled through Pokemon battles, but if most people don't have Pokemon and are restricted from getting them, they couldn't do much against someone like him.”

    “I'm sure that could be a reason,” Hilda said, thinking over what her father had said the other night.

    “Given the level of control he has, I'm sure that's in his mind,” Hilbert said. “And that need to control things has led to a number of horrible actions already. He partnered with Dr. Umber in order to create both N and I into gijinkas that would fit the images of legends among humans precisely. He also partnered with an assassin named Takumi; I've only gotten wind of this lead in the past few days, when Meloetta told me about him, and how he had dealings with both Umber and Ghetsis. And as we've been saying, he's warped what could be a good ideal from N into this whole mess lately with Pokemon theft and trying to weaken the Pokemon League.”

    “They've started that up again,” Bianca said. “The professor's lab was nearly broken into the other night, and while I was able to confront the men who did so, they said that if I lost, they'd take my Pokemon from me, as well as others that were in the lab. There's been a lot of reports of crimes like that in the past week.”

    “They weren't doing that for a while,” Hilbert said.

    “Maybe it's the reopening of the Pokemon League?” Cheren suggested, shrugging. “They're going to have a big demonstration about that in Opelucid in three days. There's been rumors they might officially reveal N then.”

    “They're rumors, but poss...,” Hilbert stopped mid-word and mid-step. Then he put his hand to his head. “Something's not right. It just happened, but I don't know what it is.”

    “Maybe it's something with N?” Bianca said, putting her arms around her knees.

    “I've never felt anything like that before,” he said.

    Then Kyurem stood up, wary. “Someone teleported close to here. We could be in trouble.”

    -+-

    'I've seen a time when Pokemon enslavement became worse after I lost. It had spread to humans enslaving other humans, with the most powerful picking out their successors, leaving everyone else to suffer in powerlessness and hopelessness. Even the most human-like of Pokemon were thought of as nothing more than tools and animals to be used, not respected.'

    'I've seen a time when I was given authority over the whole world and my ideals had become reality. It was a world at peace and harmony, safe. But everything that I loved, from my friends to my homeland, was lost or destroyed in the process. As such, I could hardly enjoy that victory.'

    'I've seen a time when there were no Pokemon in the world, only humans. And when there were no humans, only Pokemon. And there was one beautiful time when humans and Pokemon lived together in peace and equality, everyone understanding each other and having respect for their fellow living beings. But I was not there; the people all prayed for my return, both human and Pokemon. I do not know why they would do that.'

    'I have also seen a time when a city was being consumed by fire and lightning and I was there with Hilbert, asking him what happened to Hilda. But there was no life in him and something about it drove me to such despair that I turned mad. I don't know why.'

    'But I'm also seeing colored spirits flying through that air, reeling around like fish in safe waters. I can't touch them and they don't respond to my words. Have I already gone mad?'

    N squinted; although he knew what he had written, it was a little hard to read. Part of it was the lighting, but he had enough candles lit that it hadn't been a problem so far. The letters seemed to waver, like they were made of a line of tiny ants crawling around in their shapes. Then there were the colored... things that occasionally flew in front of his face. Nothing much, just blobs of color that seemed to shift appearances in tune with his thoughts. A few even seemed to boil, like it was too hot.

    It was too hot. Putting his hand to his forehead, he could feel little beads of sweat there. And his head hurt; his whole body hurt and he wasn't sure why. He wanted to get back on the cot and go back to sleep, but he couldn't. He still had to finish this. Which was... what? He looked at the notebook and after a moment, could tell that he had been writing about the visions he had experienced. They were swarming him the past few hours... days? He wasn't sure, as there wasn't anything in here to keep time. How long was he supposed to be at this meditation? How much longer did he have left?

    Where were his Pokemon friends? He realized that he hadn't seen them in a long while. Were they worried about him, or did they think he had abandoned them? He didn't want for the latter to happen. But he didn't know about going to find them. Pierre certainly wouldn't like this room.

    So hot. N took off his shirt and socks, hoping that might be enough to tolerate it. Then he knelt back down by the table and looked at his notebook. What was he doing? His mind and body were so fuzzy, and achy.

    He felt a cool bump on his arm, accompanied by a little shock of static. The Dark Stone was there, quiet and probably observant as always. “What am I supposed to do to get a reaction from you?” he asked.

    Then, something large moved out of the corner of his eye. N looked over and saw that one of the walls appeared to be shaking, like the surface of a pond being struck by rain. Something wasn't right. Looking the other way, he saw the tray of untouched food. But he didn't feel the slightest bit hungry; the thought of eating any of what was there made his stomach complain. He took a drink of water, then stood up. And blacked out.

    When he next came aware, N faintly saw someone with him. “Be calm, and stay there,” an unfamiliar voice said.

    “What happened?” When he looked around, he saw dozens of those odd shapes flying around. Mostly blue thread-like things.

    “I think I scared you or something. I'm sorry. But I didn't expect to find myself. I probably should have expected it, although I don't remember this exactly. Maybe I ended up in the wrong time.”

    As his vision cleared, N looked up to see himself, kneeling at his side. His other self was fully dressed, though, wearing a black and white checkered jacket over a white shirt and black pants. Around his left wrist, there was a brass bracelet with three glass orbs hanging from it, one pale blue, one pale pink, and the last a pearled violet. He also had odd white and black tattoos on the backs of his hands going up his arms, but N didn't have a good view on the designs.

    The other N looked down at him and smiled. “Do you feel better? Remember to smile.”

    “Not really,” he said, trying to smile a little but feeling so worn out. “I don't think you scared me; I just blacked out.”

    “Good, I was worried about scaring you. You should appreciate your situation, you know.” He looked over at the hibernating Zekrom, who was still floating there. “Appreciate it very much.”

    “I don't remember what exactly I was doing.” He tried to sit up, but began to feel faint again.

    “Stay down for now. Here.” He got the glass of water and helped him to drink from it. “I know it's very tough where you are. There's so many that are depending on you to succeed, and you don't have many to depend on. You have yourself, and Ghetsis. Ghetsis knows best; he'll always pick the correct choice.” The other N nodded, seeming a bit hazy for a brief moment. Then he snapped his fingers. “Oh right! I can help you out, since I'm here now. I know something that will make this pressure easier for you to handle. Because, I only found this out a couple months ago, and if I had known it then, I mean, now when you are, it would have been better. I know the secret to being happy.”

    So he could not be conflicted and guilty over what he knew was right, and instead glad for it? “What is it?”

    He put the glass back, then sat up straight. “It's to forget about the bad things. Lots of things can make you feel bad or not sure if you did what was right, all because of the corruption in the world which keeps everyone from living in a proper manner. And it makes me feel horrible, like walls that keep me from my goals. But, if you forget about that kind of thing, then you have no reason to feel bad. Everything becomes so clear then, with nothing to confuse me.”

    “That's all it takes.” Because it did make sense. If he could put all the confusing stuff out of his mind, then he could be strong and happy doing what he knew was right. But how did he go about removing his own memories?

    The other N tapped his head. “I don't know... if you really have the capacity at this point to do this fully. But just put the bad memories out of mind as best you can. Sometimes it puzzles me, like when I wonder if someone has gone or where they are. Then I remember and it's really bad for a while. But then I can lock them away again and everything's good. Are you better now?”

    “I want to sleep, but I need to finish what I was doing.” He sat back up, not feeling as poorly this time. “Once I remind myself of what that was...” He glanced at the notebook and saw flashes of his past visions. “What are you doing here?”

    He tilted his head. “I'm looking for someone who escaped by traveling through time. It's very important that I find him. Kyurem's absence disrupts the time I live in, and the time in which he fled to.”

    “Him? Kyurem's with Hilda.” Wherever they were. Hopefully they had left Unova like he asked.

    On hearing that, the other N's smile faltered. “Hilda? Oh yes, she would be alive now. But what is she doing with him?”

    “I don't know.” But the other's words triggered some ideas. He shouldn't get involved with Hilda anymore, but he still didn't want her to die. Maybe if he knew what exactly to avoid, she would live. “How did Hilda die? I know she easily could, but I don't want her to.”

    “No, see, that's exactly the kind of thing I should forget,” he said, not smiling anymore. “It's not good to dwell on death; just forget about those who died and remember the good times when they were alive. You can be happy that way.”

    Forget about the dead, like Pricilla and Darcy? If he could get rid of those memories of seeing them dead, he would. “I realize that, but if I can stop someone from dying, then I should try. Right? But I don't know how she'll die. I've seen possibilities, but I don't know which one to focus on.”

    His other self looked down at the floor. “I was there. I didn't realize it until too late. But that doesn't mean I could do anything...” he shuddered.

    “Even if I could just tell her something to avoid,” N said. “She's working against me, I know, but even so, she's good to her Pokemon. I don't want a good person to get hurt. I'd rather no one get hurt.”

    Looking back at him, the other N was smiling again. “You don't want anyone to get hurt?”

    He nodded. “Of course. You do too, I'm sure.”

    “Yes. Do no harm, avoid violence unless there is nothing else. We should stop anyone from being hurt.” Then he leaned over and put his hands on N's shoulders. There was something intense about his gray eyes. “You don't want her to die?”

    “That's right,” he said, nodding.

    The other N grinned wider and took hold of his neck, choking him. “Then let's kill you. Don't worry, it won't take long. Then you'll never be hurt by anything again, and no one will be hurt because of you. The worst is yet to come, but now you'll be happy because you won't have to live through it.”

    For a moment, N didn't know what to do. His other self seemed much stronger. As his lungs struggled to get air, he panicked and tried to fight back. And then he fell out of the choking grasp and through the floor. Everything was black, save for himself and the blue sparks of Zekrom's hibernating form. N took hold of the Dark Stone, not sure what was happening anymore but thankful to be breathing again.

    He ended up in a muddy forest, where the snows were starting to melt off. Where was this? It didn't look like any part of Sarasota that he knew of. But it was still hot and when he tried to get up, he got light-headed and slipped back into the mud.

    “Hey, it's N!” someone called, then came running over to him. N quickly recognized him as Hilbert. “You look awful... and your skin is burning up.”

    “Is it?” he asked, looking over at the Light Stone following Hilbert. Then he rubbed his neck. “I don't know what's going on. I nearly got killed by myself, I think.”

    “Well it's not warm enough out here for you to be going around in just your pants,” Hilbert said, helping him up. “Come on, I'll take you over to our cabins. We'll see about getting you transferred to a hospital.”

    Was being sick what was wrong with him? N nodded and let Hilbert lead him. He didn't feel like thinking at the moment.

    -+-

    From what they could tell, N probably had that flu virus that had been going around, and a bad case of it as well. But it wasn't clear how it had struck him so hard, or why he looked so thin. The emergency crew that had responded decided that he wasn't strong enough to be teleported through their system, so they called on a helicopter to transport him. Thankfully, Hilbert had managed to convince them to let him come visit N, but to restrict who else did.

    “I hope he does talk to you,” Bianca told him. “He probably could get most of Plasma to stop if he changed his mind.”

    Hilbert nodded. “But if he does, he will need extra protection. Well I was going to see about speaking to Takumi, in case he might know anything about Plasma and Ghetsis. But I'll have to keep tabs on N and speak to him once he's started recovering.”

    “You already found that guy?” Hilda asked.

    “Yes, but he's on death row,” he said. He bit his lip. “Arranging a meeting through prison officials could take some time, and I have to get it all done before his execution date comes up. Still, I think it's a good lead to follow. I was also wondering if I should do something at Plasma's demonstration.”

    “Don't worry about it,” Hilda said. “I plan on doing something there.”

    “Violent?” Hilbert asked, concerned. She was still recovering from that illness herself, so she shouldn't be doing anything big.

    She shook her head. “Nah. Confrontational maybe, but it won't come to blows then. I've gotten a really good idea just now that should weaken their position, no matter what they do.”

    “You mind telling us so that we know that it won't be something stupid?” Cheren asked, furrowing his brows.

    “Sometimes stupid things work,” she said with a grin.
    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.

  24. #299
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    Oooh, very Mind Screwy. Was that an actual future version of N? was it just a hallucinatioN? That's going to be very interesting...
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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

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    Ghetsis used the orbs to make himself look like N and tme traveled for extra benefit.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

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

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

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