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Thread: ClicheStorm

  1. #76
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    Read it! Cool new chapter. You're very good with character development. Hilda already has a great personality, and I look forward to see what happens with Hilbert. Freaking old name.
    Hope his curse dissapears.

    Note: I hate FerrisWheel Shipping. Chessshpping to the win!


    DiZ out.
    I'm chilean. I'm dislexic. But I can write in English. 73% of teenagers would cry if they saw Justin Bieber standing on top of a skyscraper about to jump. If you are the 27% sitting there with popcorn and 3D glasses, screaming "DO A BACKFLIP!", copy and paste this in your signature.
    This is Turtwig, he was the most under appreciated starter in Diamond & Pearl. If you picked Turtwig as your starter, put this in your sig. Started by Dax-360


    I've claimed Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories! One of the best GBA games. Got it memorized?

    I've claimed Duosion. Fear the cell.

  2. #77
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    I do like Juliet's replacement Pokemon. Olette is definitely a good trade for her.

    The scene where the child told Hilda and Kyurem Unova's origin story was adorable, mostly because of how simpilified he made it.

    And I think I know who the other two 'starry aura-d people' are. But then again, if you played the games, it's a little obvious. >_<

    Looking forward to seeing Olette battle and maybe evolve later on.
    Tamer's Archives
    A Pokemon fic. Chapter 4 is up [1/25/11]

    Heroic Potential
    A Yugioh! fic. Chapter 20 is up [12/14/13]
    ~Back from the dead!~
    No knowledge of the game is required to enjoy this fic!

  3. #78
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    Coffee Break

    N and Kyurem sat across the table from each other, watching each other warily. "So?" N asked.

    Kyurem, in his human form, shrugged. "It's your chapter. I'm just here."

    After taking a sip of his tea, N said, "All right, but I'm not sure how to respond. The author wouldn't tell me which ship she's following here, and the next few chapters confuse the issue."

    "It's still early." Kyurem narrowed his eyes at him. "You hurt her, though, and I'll make sure you suffer double."

    "Are you sure you want to be saying that?" N asked. "And what's this about starry-aura people?"

    "That's what I want to know."

    He shook his head. "You know, I don't think this was very helpful."


    Chapter 11: Persuasion Fail



    morning, 12/3

    Nacrene Historical Research Museum and Pokémon League Gym
    Museum Hours: 7:30 AM – 11:30 PM, all days except Monday
    Gym Hours: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM, all days except Sunday and Monday
    Research Library hours: 7:30 AM – 11:00 PM, all days except Monday

    To challenge the Gym Leader, please call for a reservation. If you need the library during Gym hours, please be aware that there will be Pokémon battles going on in that facility. Fossil Pokémon revival is available; please speak to the archeology tech on duty for more information.


    On rechecking that information, N highlighted the Gym’s number on his phone and called it. It was a damp morning, with fog hanging around the trees and in the streets. Down near his feet, the Tympole hopped about in puddles. N had come up with the nickname Lucky for him, and the Tympole seemed happy with it.

    Lucky had recovered well; there was still that hole in his tail, but that would go away upon evolution. He was doing well enough that he was play-pretending. “Don’t taunt me, because I’m the mighty Kyogre!” he squealed. Then he wiggled in preparation. “And, tidal wave!” He leapt into another puddle and caused a large splash over the sidewalk and N’s shoes.

    “Isn’t Kyogre’s rival a Ground Pokémon?” N asked him. The phone was still ringing.

    Lucky flipped his tail in the water, disappointed. “Oh yeah, so she won’t like me much. But I’ll get strong and prove myself worthy. I’ll make it so that I can defeat Groudon!” He then set off pretending to do just that.

    At the same time, the phone call connected. N spoke with the receptionist and set up an appointment to challenge the Gym that afternoon. While he was on the phone, he noticed Val approaching him. She was dressed differently than usual, in a beret, pom-pom scarf, poncho, and pants that were in a multitude of colors. Normally, she was in t-shirts and blue jeans. Lucky hopped over closer to N when she came, uncertainty radiating in his posture.

    “Good morning, N,” she said cheerfully when he closed his cell phone. “How’re things going?”

    “On schedule,” he replied. “What are you doing dressed like that?”

    She picked one end of the scarf and twirled the pom-pom around. “I like blending into a place, and this city tends to attract artists. Could I hang out with you today?”

    He shrugged. “Why? I’ll just be training until it’s time to enter the Gym. I don’t need someone else around for that.”

    Giving him puppy-dog eyes, Val pouted. “Aw, but we never get to hang out with you. We’re supposed to be traveling with you, but you keep brushing us off.”

    He didn’t see why he might need or want them around, and they had traveled together for some times. But Ghetsis had trusted them enough to send, so it couldn’t hurt. “All right, but I don’t know how interesting the Gym will be for you.”

    She grinned. “Great, thanks! I actually saw some people a little ways from here you might want to talk to. It’s some Trainers who might benefit from your philosophy, but won’t listen to it from those obviously from Plasma.”

    Wouldn’t listen? N wasn’t sure why that would be, but it would be better to ask those Trainers directly. He followed Val to the southern part of Nacrene, where old railroad tracks lay covered in weeds and gravel. Lucky wasn’t fast in hopping over land, so N picked him up and carried him along the way. Away from some of the warehouses, a group of teenagers and Pokémon were gathered around talking. From the uniforms they wore, they seemed to be students waiting for the right time to head to class.

    Near one of the boys, a Whimsicott was crouched down with his tail fluffed up around him, a sign of annoyance. “I don’t want to do that,” he said.

    The boy frowned at the Pokémon. “Come on, you did the trick yesterday. Don’t be a lazy bum.”

    “I only did it to stop you from being mean, but you won’t do that now,” the Whimsicott said.

    “I told you that he’s a dumb Pokémon,” another boy said.

    “He might be, but he’s not as dumb as yours.”

    The other boy’s Whirlipede muttered, “Just ignore them,” and kept shuffling around some pebbles.

    N came into the group, feeling angered but working to keep calm. “Your Whimsicott doesn’t want to do as you ask, because you’re mean to him.”

    Clenching his first, the boy asked, “Oh yeah? And why would you know anything about my Pokémon? You’re not the one who has to deal with him all day.”

    “Eep,” Lucky said, trying to secure himself better in N’s arm. “He’s a mean one.”

    “I can understand what Pokémon say,” N told them.

    Some of the quieter members looked interested at this revelation, but the two arguing boys didn’t look impressed. “Oh please, you’re just some con artist like those Plasma junkies,” the second said.

    “More likely he’s some escaped schizo from the nuthouse,” the first said, smirking. “Pokémon are just like the dumb animals; they can’t think at all.”

    The Whimsicott came out of his annoyed posture to look over at N. “Hey, if you can understand me, then tell this idiot Gerald to shut the **** up.”

    N shook his head to the Pokémon. “I’m not using that kind of language,” he said. “Gerald, he just told you, in a rather crude manner, to shut up.”

    Both the Whimsicott and the Whirlipede started laughing at that, along with one of the girls. Gerald started to turn pink. “What? Oh, now you’re just lucky and rude.”

    “I’m Lucky, but I’m not rude,” the Tympole said, squirming. N put him down.

    “Can you guess my name?” one of the girls piped up.

    The Lilligant by her side waved her leaf arms. “Oo, oo, she’s Amy! And I’m Annie!”

    “Annie says that your name is Amy,” N said.

    Amy squealed. “Oh wow, that is so cool!”

    “You’re just easily impressed,” Gerald said, frowning. “And even if you really did understand Pokémon, it would be worthless.”

    “No, it helps him understand what Pokémon really feel about us,” Val said, leaning in closer to him but thankfully not touching.

    “It’s nice that somebody can understand us,” the Whimsicott said, at the same time. He checked over his tail fluff. “I’d tell him a nasty thing or two, if I could, or try to get out of this.”

    “If you could hear your Whimsicott, then you’d know that he doesn’t want to be with you,” N told Gerald. “He’d rather be released, and I would say that no Pokémon deserves to be held in captivity.”

    “All right!” The Whimsicott said, with a sign of agreement from the Whirlipede.

    But the Lilligant and others didn’t like that so much. “But, but I want to stay with her!” Annie said. “I love my girl.”

    “You’re just jealous of my Pokémon,” Gerald said. “Or you’ve been listening to those Plasma losers. Nobody’s hurting the Pokémon just keeping them; it’s nonsense.”

    “It only seems that way,” N said. “There’s a subtle element of brainwashing going on that keeps Pokémon contented to stay in Pokeballs, as well as propaganda to make you think you’re doing the right thing. But you’re not. You’re being cruel in being demanding, not considering your Pokémon’s feelings.”

    “Am I brainwashed?” Annie the Lilligant asked, with her Trainer quietly wondering the same thing.

    “Well if you feel that way, then why do you have Pokémon,” the other boy said sharply, his fist clenching up.

    “I don’t keep them for long,” N explained. “I’m out to get my ideas heard, by going along with the League and becoming known. And I’m seeing a lot of the problems first hand, in people like you.”

    “I bet guys like you are just trying to convince others to release their Pokémon so you can catch stronger ones yourself. Well you don’t fool me, jerk!” He then ran at N, to punch him.

    Val slipped in the way and grabbed the boy by the throat. With both of her hands on his neck, she managed to keep him still. “Nu-uh, let’s not get violent today,” Val said, in her usual sweet voice. “You’re trying to hide the fact that your Pokémon won’t help you out. You should really be a dear and let him go, m’kay? Now let’s play nice.” She then let go of him.

    Gasping, Gerald dropped to the ground. His Whimsicott laughed at him, but the other kids stepped back, not wanting to incur Val’s retribution. After an awkward moment of silence, a bell began ringing down the street. “Oh, that’s the school bell,” one of the girls said. “Uh, we gotta go… bye!”

    As the other kids left, recalling their Pokémon with them, Gerald got back up. “You two….” He looked at them, still angry but not wanting to get choked again. Then he recalled his Whimsicott and took off for the school building.

    “You might have killed him there and gotten us in deep trouble,” N said, irritated at Val.

    “No, I was half an inch or half a minute from that,” Val said, toying with her scarf again. Then she laughed. “It’s a joke, don’t worry. I know what I’m doing. But one of my priorities is your safety, my liege.”

    “I don’t think that would have been serious,” N said. Pokémon took hits a lot and recovered just fine, so while it would hurt, he’d be able to take a punch.

    She pouted. “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to come off as overprotective, but I really don’t want to see you get hurt, N. You’re so sweet and smart; he didn’t have a right to start arguing with you.”

    “I hope I at least gave them something to think about,” he said.

    Afternoon, 12/3

    With the defeat of the Watchog, the room went quiet. At this point, only the panting of Lucky the Tympole could be heard. He was no longer hopping in place like he had earlier. He was mostly still on the floor instead, taking deep breaths. “I, I did it,” Lucky said, amazed at himself.

    N knelt down and patted him. “Yes, you did a good job.” It had been a close call, though. Peter had defeated the Herdier, but then got knocked out by Retaliate. Scar had made a good first hit, but then the Watchog had been successful with Hypnosis. That left Lucky to finish the Watchog off, and the Tympole wasn’t conscious by much.

    “It looks like you and your Pokémon care very much for each other,” the Gym Leader Lenora said. “That gave you the push to win, so great job. In recognition of your efforts, here is your second badge.” Smiling, she handed over the small piece of metal when he stood up.

    And it was just a piece of metal, a symbol, one won through violence. N had tried to keep up with potions through the battle, but seeing them get beaten down like that, he could imagine the pain they were in. Especially with the Pidove; his nerves had flinched in sympathy when Peter hit that wall. These badges were supposed to give authority to the Trainer who had them. But was it worth the price?

    “Lenora, may I ask you something?” N said. When she nodded, he asked, “Why do you do this? You take care of lots of Pokémon, only to see them suffer in battle, and you’re supposed to reward the Trainer who has Pokémon that can knock them all out. It just doesn’t seem right.”

    Strangely, she gave him a warm smile and patted his shoulder (unknowingly making him flinch inside). “It’s not that harsh, young man. Pokémon are resilient creatures, and they’d fight anyways. It’s in their instincts. We just give them productive ways to use that energy and make sure they really don’t cause serious harm to each other. And when your friendship with Pokémon grows deep, they’ll forgive you for losses. I make sure all of mine stay healthy and happy, and they give me their loyalty and affection in return.”

    “Honey?” A short but neatly dressed man came into the room. “Sorry to interrupt, but Hilbert’s come by again. He wants to talk with us about one of the stones on display.”

    Lenora brightened at that. “Really? It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to speak with him. Oh N, here’s your other rewards for defeating this Gym. Feel free to stay around the museum to study and observe our artifacts.” Then she left with her husband, talking animatedly with him up the stairs.

    N took the items, shoved them in his bag, then pulled out a Super Potion for Lucky. Why would she assume that he didn’t know what Pokémon felt? Maybe the battle hadn’t been long enough for her to see that he could understand them. Even so, the ignorance of the four Gym Leaders he had met so far was infuriating. They were supposed to be the authorities on Pokémon, but the way they treated battles… N just couldn’t understand it. Fighting with all one’s skill in training Pokémon, but honoring those who defeated them? And she hadn’t even healed her Pokémon before leaving to meet with Hilbert! Did she really care?

    No, no she couldn’t care about them. But no one questioned her because she was an authority, someone with the power of a title. They all listened to her instead. Maybe he really needed power to be heard.

    Lucky shook himself when the potion took effect. “I did really great, right?” the Tympole asked. “I thought I was going to faint, but I made it so that I didn’t, and then I beat him.”

    N smiled and scratched the Pokémon’s chin. “Yes, you did great. I may never meet a Tympole as great as you are ever again.” He then picked Lucky up, making him squeal happily. Somehow just that little action made them both happy. But N was soon preoccupied with those thoughts again.

    Alone in Lenora’s office (as it seemed like), N took a look around before she came back. At the back of the room, there was a desk; a computer was on. Looking at the screen, she had been composing an email before he came in to challenge her. N’s eyes fell on the line, ‘They are causing a lot of trouble, but Plasma has no real authority to speak of. They don’t have a clear argument either, as Ghetsis uses scare tactics and pompous actions to bolster up the nonsense they’re spreading. Especially with having a King that understands Pokémon; it all sounds so mythic, doesn’t it? We need to find ways to undercut their popularity and keep them from getting the power to enforce their warped views.’

    “They don’t understand us, so they pretend they have the moral high ground,” N muttered, heading out of the room. After seeing that, he had no desire to contact Lenora ever again.

    “They don’t understand what?” Lucky asked.

    “Team Plasma’s ideals and truth,” he replied. “I’m going to send you back so I can heal the other two.”

    “Okay,” Lucky said, recalling himself instead.

    As he walked back through the library portion of the building, N used a Revive on Scar and Peter’s Pokeballs, then a Super Potion on each. The Pokemart counters wouldn’t sell him these things, but Val had managed to get some for him. On his way out, he spotted Lenora and her husband talking with Hilbert and a boy in a strange mask. N didn’t bother to listen in and left the building. Now he had to release his Pokémon again. Going down to the field southwest of town sounded best, as they were all three familiar with the area. If only there was a stream to release Lucky in to, as he would have the hardest time getting away from other Trainers.

    Next thing N knew, he was knocked down on his rear, his chest hurting some from someone running right smack into him. Right next to him was a girl with large brown hair, looking confused herself. But then she looked at him and smiled. “Oh, hi N! Sorry about that; I was playing football with my Pokémon and didn’t see you there.” She got up and offered him a hand up.

    Ignoring the hand, he got up himself. “I wasn’t paying much attention where I was going myself. But why are you playing a game, Hilda? Shouldn’t you be training for the League?”

    She shook her head. “Nah, we had a long day yesterday, so I’m letting everyone take a break. You got the ball, Olette?”

    A Drilbur tossed the foam football to Hilda. “You get so excited,” she said in a soft voice.

    “Miss, you haven’t seen anything yet,” the Snivy said, hopping over. He still had that silly-looking hat on, which he tipped up to N. “Hey there, it’s the ******* screwball again.”

    “Honestly, you should teach him better manners if you mean to keep him,” N said, frowning at Fedora.

    “Was that a bad thing to say?” a Minccino asked, coming over too. The Drilbur nodded. “My Daddy says don’t say bad things.”

    “I’ve been trying, but I can’t tell,” Hilda said. “So what’re you doing here? Challenged the Gym?”

    He nodded. “Yes, and I got the badge.”

    Strangely, she clapped. “Awesome! You’re going at this way faster than me. Keep at this rate and you’ll be Champion well before spring comes.”

    Why was she excited about that? It had nothing to do with her. “Thanks, but it’s a little early to be thinking that far ahead. I’ll just move on to the next Gym.”

    “Aw, just like that?” Before he could get away, she grabbed at his sleeve. “Come on, you ought to treat your Pokémon after that! I saw a cute little cafe at the edge of town; you ought to go there and buy treats for them.” When he slipped out of her grasp, she added, “I’ll come with you. Let’s go!”

    N thought about leaving, but then the Snivy snickered. “Aw, are you afraid of cute but crazy girls? Didn’t take you for such a rude loner.”

    “I would love a treat for a celebration,” the Minccino squealed.

    Maybe they would like it. Technically, he was thanking them by letting them go once he was ready to move on. “Are you sure you shouldn’t be working on training?” N asked, walking after Hilda who had already started off down the stony street.

    “Don’t want to overwork them or me,” she said, grinning. “And it sounds like you could use some relaxing time too. What do you do for fun?”

    “Fun?” He never got much free time, in between studying, guiding Team Plasma, and now Pokémon training. “I guess I go out in the wilderness and talk with the Pokémon there. I like puzzles too.”

    “What kind of puzzles?” Hilda asked, slowing a bit so they were walking side by side. “Like jigsaw or crossword, or Sudoku?”

    “Math and engineering puzzles,” N said. “Why are you asking all these questions, and going to a cafe with me?”

    She laughed. “Well why not? We’re Patch Hat buddies, right?” She tapped her hat, showing that she was wearing the Reshiram and Zekrom patch today. “We could be like friendly rivals too. Wouldn’t that be awesome?”

    He held his hands up, trying to figure that one out. “Wait, that doesn’t make sense. Friendly and rival don’t go together, as they stand for different ideas.”

    “Not really,” she said, shrugging. “A friendly rival is someone you compete with, so you strive to keep up with or ahead of them, but you still treat them nice and have fun. I’ve already got one with Cheren, but it’s always more fun to have more friends. So anything you want to ask me?”

    N was at a loss. He knew how to converse with others in Plasma, but general small talk with an outsider? Chit-chat was unimportant, or so he had thought. Now caught up in it, what should he say? “I don’t really know you…”

    “So,” she said, teasing. “Get to know me. What do you want to know?”

    Maybe this was something he needed, experience in dealing with these kinds of people. He asked her the first question that came to mind. “What kind of ideals do you follow?”

    Raising her eyebrows, she looked at him for a second, then scratched her head when she saw that he was serious. “I dunno. I don’t really think about that kind of thing. Why have your head in the clouds thinking about what could be when you can be in the moment, enjoying life? Maybe I favor spontaneity, like today.” She laughed.

    “It’s not really fulfilling to live day by day, is it?” N asked. “Don’t you have a goal, like defeating the League and becoming the next Champion?” It was the first thing he could think of; that was what League Trainers wanted.

    Hilda shrugged. “That’d be nice, but I wouldn’t be too heartbroken if I didn’t make it. I do want to see the world, so maybe that. If it happens, it does; if not, I’m sure it’ll be because something else interesting came up.”

    “Do you ever settle down on a definite answer?” She was speaking a lot of maybes and not picking one option. Indecision led to stagnation, possibly ruin.

    “Sometimes,” she said, then pointed to a brick patio. Various tables sat under decorative umbrellas. “There it is! The sign says Pokémon welcome, so they should have some kind of treat available.”

    They went inside to find a two level cafe; a large wall of windows on the west wall showed a magnificent view over Pinwheel Forest. There were a few people inside, with many open tables to sit at. Reading over the menu on the wall, it seemed that this place served mostly drinks, with a few items from a nearby bakery. N wasn’t sure what most of the menu meant, but the server was able to recommend some drinks based on the kind of Pokémon his team was made up of. When he didn’t order anything for himself, Hilda ordered something for him, herself, and her Pokémon, paying for that bill.

    “You didn’t have to buy me something,” N said as he went down the stairs. The tables down there seemed to offer the better view of the forest.

    “I did cause I wanted to,” she replied, following him with her three Pokémon. “And we’re here to celebrate your win, right? So you ought to have a treat too.”

    “It’s only the second badge, nothing special.” He found a round table and released Lucky again.

    “But that means that you’re a quarter of the way done,” Hilda said, sitting down there. “And in such a short time too. You’re doing awesome. Hi there cutie,” she said the last part to the Tympole and poked his forehead, making Lucky look at her curiously.

    Wasn’t it early to really know how he was doing? But just from the look on her face, it seemed to be genuine praise. Releasing his other two, he sat down at the table with the rest. “I guess so. Guys, I brought you out to thank you for helping me. We’ll get some treats in a few minutes.”

    Peter’s eyes went wide. “Really? Oh gosh, that’d be great! Thanks!”

    “We’re just here to hang out,” Fedora said, settling himself near the window to sun.

    “Well if it ain’t something I can get in the wild, I can live with it,” Scar said, sitting in one of the chairs but keeping his log close.

    “Where’s your Purrloin?” Hilda asked. “She was pretty cool at the Gym.”

    At that question, N felt that misplaced guilt again. How was Pricilla doing? No, he was doing the right thing. “I released her and that Pidove after we won. That was the agreement we had.”

    She looked surprised. “Really? That’s too bad. You’re not even keeping one around as a buddy?”

    “Oh yeah, same thing with us,” Peter said, then fluffed his wings in a show of nervousness.

    “Dude, what if you find out you like the weirdo in that time?” Fedora said, leaving his window for the tabletop. “Then you’re screwed.”

    “Well it seemed okay at the time,” Lucky said.

    Something wasn’t right, a quiet thought said in N’s mind. But he shut it and the Pokémons’ conversation out quickly. Outside forces were conspiring against him. “It’s better to keep them from being captive long. If I could, I wouldn’t even capture them. I’m making a point in the League, though, and for that, I can’t avoid catching them.” N shook his head. “But as it seems, that may not be enough. If things keep going the way that are, I may need to get the support of the legendary dragon Zekrom.”

    “Zekrom, huh?” For a moment, Hilda seemed serious.

    And then a server came up to them. “I’ve got your orders right here,” he said, passing out the drinks or snacks, including, “And a root beer float for the both of you,” he said, setting down tall glasses of dark creamy drink in front of them.

    “Thanks, man,” Hilda said, smiling at him and taking a straw.

    “Root beer float?” N asked, looking suspiciously at the beverage in front of him. The very bottom of it was black, while the top was capped with a brown foam. Globs of white floated in the middle, while moisture coated the outside.

    “Yeah,” she said, carefully taking one end of the paper sleeve off the straw. Then she blew the rest at N so that it hit his forehead.

    He wasn’t sure whether to be mad or not. “What was that for?”

    Hilda giggled. “Geez, lighten up. You ever do that?”

    “Well, no,” N said, taking the cover off his straw in a neat fashion. “But I didn’t think you were old enough to order beer.”

    Unexpectedly, this caused another fit of laughter from her. “It’s root beer, not beer. Totally different; no alcohol for one thing.”

    “And what’s the float part of it?” he asked, tapping the side of the glass here one of the globs was.

    “Vanilla ice cream,” she said, then looked at him. “What, you’ve seriously never had root beer or ice cream before?”

    “No,” he said, feeling self-conscious because she talked of them as normal things. “It’s a dessert thing, right? I always avoided that kind of thing, and sweets. It’s rather worthless in terms of food.”

    “Well no wonder you’re so serious,” she said, rolling her eyes. “That’s the point of a treat, right? To be an indulgence for something that just tastes good. At least give it a try.”

    She had bought it for him, so it would be a waste to not try it. It was cold, both stronger and sweeter than he had expected it to be. But creamy with a spice, or some kind of taste he wasn’t familiar with. While N liked it, he didn’t think he’d tell anyone else. It wasn’t acceptable… but it was just food, or a drink, wasn’t it? Then it wasn’t important in the grand scheme of things.
    They ended up talking about their Pokémon, as that was the easiest common point between them. Then someone familiar came down the stairs. N looked over at the strange masked boy and realized he’d been he one with Hilda the other day, and Hilbert earlier this morning.

    But from where she was, Hilda couldn’t see him. “Well I caught a Basculin once, but a fisherman wanted to buy it off me. And I helped a kid catch his first Pokémon, a Woobat. That was fun.”

    Wait… N looked back at Hilda. She had sold a Pokémon to someone? That struck N as terribly thoughtless and cruel. It was bad enough to capture Pokémon for use, but to sell them? This League was truly embracing Pokémon slavery.

    Before he could properly get mad, though, the Minccino at the table noticed the strange boy and squealed. “Daddy, you’re back!”

    That threw him right out of anger into confusion. “Daddy?”

    Hilda blinked. “Huh, your dad?” She looked back and smiled. “Oh, hey Kyurem.”

    He caught Mimi as she ran up to him. He was smiling in a strange toothy manner. “Hilda.”

    “Oooo, what have you been up to now?” she asked, in a mockingly mad voice.

    “Pardon?” He sat down in the chair Mimi had been using.

    She poked him. “You don’t smile like that unless you’re up to something. Who’d you eat this time?”

    The boy then leaned over and whispered something to her. Hilda briefly looked serious again, then whispered back. Something was going on, but he couldn’t hear what.

    “Kyurem?” N asked, hardly aware that he was doing so aloud. “That’s really Kyurem?”

    “Sure is,” Fedora said. “Make him mad and he’ll freeze you solid and eat you.”

    “He doesn’t eat everybody,” Mimi said defensively.

    The Snivy pulled his hat over his head. “Aw, don’t ruin my fun.”

    “Yeah, this is Kyurem,” Hilda said, leaning forward on the table. “He’s my starter Pokémon, not Fedora.”

    His eyes were like ice and that mask might have been directly attached to his head. Still, it didn’t make sense. “Really Kyurem, the legendary dragon? Why do you reduce yourself to look like a human?”

    By now, that smile had disappeared, replaced with an unreadable stony expression. “I need to be near her as much as I can,” he said. “Except in hunting and scouting out an area. It’s more convenient to be like this.”

    “Wow, he gave you a straight answer!” Hilda said, amused. “Yeah, with all the buildings sized for humans, he couldn’t manage to be around if he were in his true dragon form.”

    “But why her?” N asked. Hilda didn’t seem like someone who would attract a legendary Pokémon’s attention.

    “You don’t need to know,” the dragon boy answered. Then his eyes appeared sharper. “But I do need to know something from you. What do you want from all this?”

    “What do I want?” N echoed. “I want to know the truth about the ideals that Pokémon hold. I want to know how they feel about being held in captivity in Pokeballs. I don’t want them to be hurt, but no… not many others are speaking up on their behalf. I want to show that it doesn’t have to be this way, but it seems no one is going to listen unless I have the right authority.”

    By this point, he was speaking loud enough for the whole cafe to hear. Some of the other patrons looked to their group curiously, wondering what the fuss was all about. Others hunched over and grumbled about interruptions to the peace.

    “And I will get that authority, no matter what it takes to get it. I will find the right way, and teach everyone what they’re doing wrong. And I hope you aren’t around to ruin things.” N got up from his seat, picking up his Tympole from the table. “Don’t let yourself be fooled by the illusions, Hilda. You seem nice enough, but if you don’t think what you’re doing carefully, you’ll end up hurting the Pokémon you love.” Then he left the cafe, calling his Pokémon to come after him.

    Peter flew alongside him. “Whoa, are you… mad?” the Pidove asked.

    N took a deep breath as he opened the door for Peter and Scar. Back outside. “Probably,” he said. “I just don’t know what to think about her. Too much conflicting information, and yet where she’s wrong…” that really made mad. Selling Pokémon… but then why did the group with her seem affectionate and friendly? They should be afraid that she would get rid of them too, just for money. Yet she’d been playing with them, and bought a drink for him to celebrate his team’s win… and Kyurem choosing to be with her. Many people were simple and N could quickly judge them good or bad. Hilda… was both?

    “She seems nice,” Lucky said after he’d been quiet for a while. “She took you out on a date.”

    That caused N to stop in the middle of the road to Pinwheel Forest. “She what?” he asked, startled.

    “Oh yeah, she did,” Peter said cheerfully. “She took you somewhere and bought you something. We were all there, but you were the only two actual humans. That’s still a date, right? I used to watch couples go on walks in the forest. They seemed so happy.”

    “Don’t look at me,” Scar said, starting to toss his log up to catch. “I don’t know how your kind goes about courtship rituals.”

    N felt his stomach squirm. Was that a date? And what did it mean if it got out that he, Plasma’s King, had gone on a date with a person who might be their enemy? No, was their enemy, as she was a League challenger, Pokémon Trainer, and so on. “I don’t really know that either,” he admitted.

    “Oh N!”

    He cringed at the voice and looked down at Lucky. The Tympole looked concerned, but uncertain of what to do. And then Val and Carol came up on either side of him.

    “There you are,” Carol said. “We lost track of where you were. Don’t sneak off on us like that.”

    “What happened?” Val leaned over and tried to look him in the face. “Why’re you turning red, huh?”

    “Just leave me alone,” he snapped at her. “I, I’m not sure what happened.” When they still tried to follow him, he held his free hand out to them. “Go; I need to say goodbye to these Pokémon.”

    “What?” Peter asked. “But we were doing so well together.”

    Thankfully, the two girls went back to town. The Timburr nodded. “Yeah, that was the arrangement,” he reminded the others. “We do this one Gym and then we get let go.”

    “Right,” N said, glad to find firmer ground to talk about.

    “Bu-bu-but…” Lucky started sobbing, putting his face against N’s shirt.

    “But I feel braver around you,” the Pidove said, cooing sadly. “I’m getting better! I want to stay with you, and Lucky too.”

    N closed his eyes. He had avoided using the Pokecenter at all with these three, hoping to break them out of the brainwashing cycle. That should have made things easier than last time when Pricilla tried to talk him out of releasing her. But now, it was two of them who didn’t want to be let go.

    Down near the swampy area, he determined that Lucky was afraid of being hurt again, like the last time he had been released. That got Peter panicky, so N took out the release device and let go of Scar first. In good nature, the Timburr saluted him, then walked off into the woods. Despite that, the Tympole was still crying and Peter was flitting about anxiously.

    Was he hurting them by letting them go?

    No. He was preventing hurting them worse. If he kept them, he would be putting them through more battles. They’d win some, but they’d also lose some and the Pokémon would be knocked out. And that still made N feel horrible about doing this.

    And idea came to him. It was sneaky, maybe underhanded. But he had to keep his word. It was time to test Anthea’s words. “Peter, could you use Fly to get me back to my home?”

    Seeming relieved, the gray bird bobbed up and down. “Yeah, I can do that! Just keep the location in your mind, okay? I’ll have us there real quick.” Peter then began to glow light blue before he shot into the sky.

    N watched him as the small bird rose up, then looped back down towards him. Holding onto Lucky, he braced himself as Peter rushed for him. The blue light then surrounded N; a sense of vertigo and movement like a helicopter taking off washed through his mind. “What’s going on?” Lucky asked, his sobbing slowing down.

    After looking around him, N said, “We’re flying along with Peter. But, I don’t know how he shrunk us.”

    And that’s exactly what seemed to have occurred. N found himself standing on the Pidove’s back, just behind his head. The landscape around the blurred by, trees and grass rushing underneath. Despite the obvious speed, neither N nor Lucky felt any movement of air. Or Peter himself, as N found out when he knelt down and tried to touch the feathers he was standing on. It seemed to be a solid floor with definite but invisible edges.

    “You’re in a little pocket of air outside normal space,” Peter said, his words coming from all around them. “At least, that’s what the disc thing said to me. That’s how I can find a place that you know that I’ve never been there. You can see the area, right?”

    “Yes,” N said. Lucky was shaking, so he kept hold on him. “But it will be further north.”

    “I know. I hope you like the ride!”

    While it was a little unnerving, N knew that Peter wouldn’t hurt them. So he tried to calm Lucky down until the right forest came into view. After another disorienting moment, N appeared outside of the building that Anthea used to heal Pokémon. Peter appeared out of his Fly glow a moment later, looking proud of himself.

    He would release Lucky here, and leave him with Anthea. N trusted her to look after him and help him become part of the forest population. After that, he would have Peter return him to Nacrene and release him there, with the offer to fly back here for safety. That solved everything, it seemed. He would keep his word to respect and release them, but would know that they would be safe from recapture.

    Even so, the tears on his shirt hammered irrational guilt back into his heart.
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 25th April 2012 at 3:51 AM.
    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.

  4. #79
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    Wow, you're a great writer! I'm normally not that into fanfics, but yours is really entertaining. Love the personality you've given Hilda, and the Coffee Breaks were an interesting touch.

  5. #80
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    So THAT'S how Pidgey and its ilk can use Fly with a trainer... OF COURSE!

    N really needs to loosen up. That boy could use some Prozac. Or heavy drugs. Or group hugs! I'm sure Lucky and Peter would be happy to oblige.
    Originally Posted by scytherdude30
    no no no you need an empoleon as your powerhouse da listen to me man I AM THE BOMB
    Quote Originally Posted by Zincspider View Post
    Yes, someone is getting 'killed'... HOORAY FOR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!....
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  6. #81
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    ...I think you forgot to send me a PM. Least, I've never received one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl View Post
    Even so, the tears on his shirt hammered irrational guilt back into his heart.
    This is something that gets me even in the games. N dosen't train pokemon, they're his freinds. How would he feel if one of them decided that after making really good freinds with him, he would just up and leave? He's essentially abandoning his freinds. He never seems to realize this, in any fic, anywhere. It gets irritating after a time.

    ...sorry for the rant there.
    "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. #82
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    What'd I miss?

    Yeah, sorry for not posting here for so long. Time for my comments on the last three chapters:

    First: KYUREM'S A DADDY! YAY!!! Best part of the chapter was him trying to eat the Plasma grunt. So close . . . and yet so far.

    Second: Seriously, Hilda, just let Kyurem eat the grunts. It would make your life easier, and it would give us more entertainment. And I'm still not convinced Hilbert's not a vampire . . .

    Third: Go for the gold, Lucky! You WILL defeat Groudon, someday! I can't believe N would leave Lucky and Peter. Here's hoping they'll return with Priscilla someday! And haha for Hilda getting N to go on a date! I'm not really a supporter of any shipping involving N, but if I had to support a relationship with him in it, it would have to be with Hilda. I'm also a fan of CherenxBianca. *nudge nudge wink wink*

    BTW, I had some plans for a fic that acts like a sequel to Black and White, though it's pretty low on my list of priorities and will likely never see the light of day. Anyway, ask Kyurem what he thinks about the plot. Basically, it takes place a couple years after Black and White and some Team Plasma members have returned to their shenanigans. Eventually, it's revealed the Ghetsis had returned and stolen Reshiram from its trainer. However, it turns out that Ghetsis was actually being manipulated by his "partner" Giovanni of Team Rocket, who planned to use Kyurem to create a second Ice Age. Think Kyurem would be satisfied in that kind of role? I'm sure he'd get to eat lots of people.
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  8. #83
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    Coffee Break

    "And now for the most fabulous chapter of this story so far," Hilbert said, smiling brightly. "I know that because it starts the best character of all, me."

    Across the table, Kyurem snorted.

    "There's no way you can win that kind of argument with me," he said smugly. "I am going to sweep the readers off their feet like I do with everyone else and they will demand that I be made the primary main character, not the third main."

    "This isn't a popularity campaign," Kyurem said. "This is our reader response section, so respond to the readers."

    Hilbert rolled his eyes. "Sure change the issue. First responder, yes this is a wonderful fic, but you forgot that I am the best part about it. Second responder, I agree that N needs some help. Drugs sound like a good option for his severity. I mean, he got mad at me! We'll have to sneak some into his tea next break that he shows up for."

    "His Pokemon would probably rather have the group hug option."

    Hilbert raised an eyebrow. "You're suggesting hugs?"

    Kyurem shrugged. "As long as I'm not involved."

    "Okay, I'll give you that. Um," he glanced at the story thread on Serebii. "Some of the messages might have been missed. Technical issues. And the last responder to last chapter, I am not a vampire! I am awesome. And that's it."

    "That's it?"

    "Well it's all that concerns me, so that's all that matters. Anyhow, you're here. What do you think of that idea?"

    Kyurem leaned back in his chair and said, "I think I want to turn Giovanni into a popsicle. Food lasts longer that way."

    Hilbert gagged. "Ew. Let's get on with my magnificent chapter, okay?"


    Chapter 12: A Day in the Life of a Superstar



    afternoon, 12/3

    One reason that people said they liked about training Pokémon was that it made them feel special. Pokémon grew close to humans quickly and they watched good Trainers with adoring eyes, loving them. With that acknowledgment, anyone could feel on top of the world, like they were something special. The love of a Pokémon was pure and simple.

    On the other hand, he got that look of adoration every single day, everywhere he looked, from everyone. And why shouldn’t they adore and admire him? Hilbert was the brightest shining star that walked the lands, or so he felt.

    Well, nearly everyone adored him. While some had said that they both admired and hated him for defeating them, there was one, no, were two that resisted him somehow. At least among humans. At first it was that strange N guy who seemed like he’d been charmed, but then had gone into a fit of anger about that Pokémon. Then it was Hilda, who had managed to brush him off and refuse his generous offer. It was strange, after years of people eager to help him out and get his attention.

    Perhaps he was getting complacent. It had been some time since he’d dealt with a stubborn person. That meant that he had to hone his skills again. Fortunately, it wasn’t that hard to do.

    Browsing in a gift shop, he could sense the people around him. Hilbert had psychic abilities, but he couldn’t tell exactly where the people were. No, his powers told him what people wanted. An older woman wanted a toy for a grandchild. A young man was debating on whether he wanted to save money or buy a CD. And several people wanted to talk to him and get his acknowledgment.

    Hilbert smiled as he brushed away a strand of brown hair from his eyes. People wanted him. When they felt that way, he could get them to do nearly anything he asked. A lot of them wanted certain things, but he kept that for special occasions. A few years back, his psychic adviser had warned him that knowing such things could make him feel uncomfortable. Hilbert didn’t see it that way, though. He felt like the warm glow of their thoughts was constantly surrounding him with light.

    And Kyurem had said that it was due to some permanent Attract state on him. Hilbert still thought that was ridiculous. Over time, he had come to accept that he was simply that interesting to people. And so he paid attention to his admirers and made them happy. Nothing wrong with that.

    Ah, there was something useful. On the shelf at eye level, there was a display box with assorted bags. They were richly colored velvet, with silver or gold cords keeping them shut. According to the sign, these were Mystery Stone Grab Bags. Inside each, there were six rocks. At least two in each bag were guaranteed to be Pokémon enhancers, which could then be made into accessories. It could be an Everstone, or it could be an elemental gem. It might even be an evolution stone.

    That would be the ticket. Direct sales of evolutions stones were tightly controlled, thanks to an incident with an immature Pokémon being evolved straight into its strongest form and wreaking havoc in a small village. Several had wound up dead. But enterprising businesses found ways to get around the laws, including this chance item, which had the bonus of a gamble. They would only have to sell one bag with an evolution stone to be honest about their advertising.

    Hilbert reached into the box and began touching the bags. He wanted something to get himself in good favor with Hilda, and Kyurem through her. While he had hopes of entering Dragonspiral on his own, she was certain to get inside as Kyurem had chosen to go with her. Sending her in first would prove that the tower was accessible at this time. Plus, if things turned sour, he’d rather have the two of them on his side.

    Now, to figure out which bag contained an item that Hilda would want. He closed his eyes and focused on remembering her. She had been tough to read; lots of impulses ran through her mind and made enough noise to block out deeper desires. Even so, she was impish, cheerful, and playful. And she cared about her Pokémon, so she would want what would help them.

    He felt a tingle in his hand when he touched one bag. Grabbing it, he opened his eyes and found a velvet blue bag in his hand. Thanks to a plastic clamp on the drawstring, it couldn’t be opened in the store. But his instinct told him that this was the one, with the stones she would most want. It cost 2000 Poke.

    Checking his watch, he noted that it was almost three in the afternoon. Perfect. He went to the counter and put the bag there. “Good afternoon, miss,” he said, smiling his brightest.

    She had wanted something interesting to happen, but once she looked into his eyes, her wants quickly changed. “Oh, ar-are you Hilbert?” she asked, star struck.

    “Yes, indeed,” he said.

    A few witty exchanges later and he was paying a discounted price for the bag of rocks, even though the sale on such things wasn’t due to start for a few hours. That was one of the many awesome things about himself, that he could get special treatment anywhere. Hilbert tried not to abuse it, but when people gave it to you without even being asked, well, you couldn’t really say no, right?

    Now that he had the gift, he had to find Hilda and get into her good graces. And Kyurem too. If they were on his side, then getting to Reshiram would be easier.

    He went back into the museum and looked around. Ah, there was the man he’d been looking for: a pale-skinned kind of mousy little man who didn’t stand out in a crowd. Andrew was said to be a brilliant man, though, and when one did get him to talking, he was enthusiastic about the subjects he loved. Most of the museum’s visitors were surprised to learn that he was the museum director.

    Right now, he wanted something new for the museum, something to draw in crowds separate from regulars and Gym challengers. Excellent. Smiling to himself, Hilbert walked up to him. “Andrew! It’s been a while.”

    He perked up when he recognized him. “Oh, Hilbert! It has been a while.” They shook hands. “How can I help you today? Or are you just stopping in for a visit?”

    “I do have something to ask of you,” he said, smiling brightly. It was amazing what could be accomplished if you just smiled while asking. “Back when I was still traveling through Unova, I came across a fossil which seemed to be that of a Lillipup. But on getting it examined by a fossil expert, it seems it isn’t so. What I have is a fossilized ancestor to the Lillipup line.”

    “Really? That’s quite interesting. I’ve heard of a few samples; may I see it?”

    “Sure thing,” he said, bringing out his electronic storage device to bring it out. “Actually, I was thinking about offering it in a trade to the museum. While it is a fascinating thing to have, your museum has something that pertains to a line of research I am pursuing. It’s something I can’t get any other way.” He caused the fossil to appear on the floor; much of it was stuck in a large rock, but the skull poked out of the main rock.

    Andrew knelt down and looked at it, an internal argument between wanting this and not wanting to give up a part of the museum’s collection going on in his head. “Oh yes, I see, the structure’s aren’t quite that of a modern Lillipup. And if you chipped away at the rock, there might even be a full skeleton here. And it would be great for the Gym… what piece did you have in mind for trading?”

    Still smiling, Hilbert said, “The Light Stone that was found in Desert Resort. I know that you haven’t uncovered much about it, but I have a hunch that it has something to do with Reshiram. But if I’m going to prove anything, I need to have it.”

    “We haven’t found much out about the Light Stone,” Andrew said. He called over one of the guards and had him put the canine Pokémon fossil off to the side. Then they started walking over to the exhibit with that item. “Then again… let me ask my wife, okay? She deals with a lot of our fossils.”

    Hilbert nodded. He trusted that they wouldn’t go stealing the fossil from him. Only rarely had he encountered someone trying to outright steal from him, and he had easily caught on thanks to sensing their desires. “All right. I’m going to look at the stone again, so I’ll be over there.”

    The display itself was right near the stairs that led up to the Gym’s entrance. Andrew paused on the stairs when he saw a guy with long pale blue hair standing right by the Light Stone, past the velvet rope barrier. “Excuse me young fellow, but you aren’t supposed to be behind the lines.”

    “Are you going to make me back off?” he replied with almost a feral growl behind his words.

    Hilbert recognized that tone and voice. “Andrew, that’s Kyurem in human form. I wouldn’t provoke him.”

    The director gaped for a bit. “Really? I had heard there was a Trainer with Kyurem around, but we weren’t expecting to see her this early.”

    “You won’t,” Kyurem said, still looking as the white stone.

    “Well then… sorry. Please don’t damage anything.” Andrew then hurried up the stairs.

    Hilbert went over to the display, but stayed on the other side of the rope. The Light Stone was sitting on a violet cushion: it was a mottled white with bits of gray, looking like any ordinary stone. But there was a beauty to it, a shine that most rocks didn’t have. By the stand, Kyurem was poking at it.

    “Is that actually Reshiram?” Hilbert asked. He was another legendary dragon, so he had to know.

    “What makes you think that?” Kyurem asked without turning his gaze away.

    “Research. Reports say that when it was found, it was warm like it had been sitting in a fire, when it obviously hadn’t been. And really, a white stone with mysterious power that no one today can identify? Seems like the kind of thing you legends would do.”

    “Hmph.” He leaned closer to the rock and seemed to be focusing deep within it, sniffing the air, as if he could see something that others wouldn’t. Chances were, he could.

    “I mean to reawaken Reshiram,” Hilbert said, trying to find something to impress the dragon with. It was so hard to read him, almost as bad as trying to read the wants of a dark or steel type Pokémon. “I want to know the truth of many things, and I want everyone to realize just how important it is. When people are lying, it makes me feel annoyed.”

    Oddly, Kyurem stopped right as he mentioned wanting to awaken Reshiram. Then he straightened up and walked to where their faces were not even a foot apart. “Is that your intention?” he asked sternly, his eyes harsh like staring into a blizzard’s blur.

    For a moment, he was intimidated. But Hilbert quickly got his metal footing back (it helped to take a step back). “Yes, that’s it,” he said. “I want more people to value truth, and stop lying to me.”

    Kyurem stayed there quietly, then asked, “How far are you willing to take that?”

    “As far as I need to?” he answered. “What’re you asking that for? Do you test your sibling’s heroes?”

    “Sometimes.” His eyes went over to the stairs, then he stepped over the rope.

    “Hilbert, good to see you again!” Lenora said, coming down the stairs with her husband. “How have you been doing?”

    He turned to them and smiled. “Just great,” he said. “It’s wonderful to be back in my homeland again. Are you still giving Trainers a rough time?”

    “Of course. So I hear you’re interested in trading your fossil for this Light Stone.”

    He nodded. “Yes; I think it is connected to Reshiram, so I…”

    “It is Reshiram,” Kyurem said, interrupting without a thought.

    Andrew’s eyes seemed to pop out of his head; Lenora was more puzzled. “That’s actually the legendary dragon of truth?”

    “If he says so, I’d believe it,” Hilbert said. “This is the human form of Kyurem. He’s traveling with one of my fri…” a snarl from Kyurem stopped him, “well I would like to be friends. Acquaintances right now. No sure why he’s in here by himself.”

    The dragon boy didn’t bother to answer.

    “From the sounds of that growl and the looks in his eyes, I’m sure he is Kyurem,” Lenora said, more subdued now. She put her hand to her chin. “And if that is actually Reshiram in the stone there, we really don’t have the right to have it out on display.”

    Just then, Hilbert caught a glance of N coming down the stairs and walking off towards the exit quickly. He looked irritated, so Hilbert figured he’d better not bother him right now. Turning his attention back to Lenora and Andrew, he said, “I want to prove myself worthy of Reshiram. I know that I’m already a celebrity all over the world, but not all of it was by my own efforts. I want to really prove myself here.”

    “Is that so?” Then Lenora smiled. “I’m sure that if anyone in this day and age could awaken Reshiram, it would be you. Right dear?”

    Andrew nodded. “Of course. We’ll take your trade, then. Thanks so much for the new fossil; where is it?”

    After showing off the Pokémon fossil to Lenora and chatting with them a while, Hilbert went back and claimed the Light Stone. There was a feeling of warmth to it despite being here in the climate controlled museum. Yet it seemed oddly heavy and… not potent enough. Hilbert couldn’t feel much off it. He wondered about it as he carried it out of the museum.

    Then Kyurem startled him by saying, “He is deeply asleep.”

    Thankfully, he didn’t drop the stone. It was rather heavy, like a bowling ball. “Oh, I guess. Should I wait on trying to awaken him, then?”

    “Maybe.” Kyurem followed him down into the street. “Do you want to prove your devotion to the truth?”

    Stopping there, Hilbert turned to the dragon boy. “Do I what?”

    “Do you want to prove your devotion to the truth?” Kyurem repeated.

    “I have been proving it all along,” Hilbert said. “I traveled clear to Hoenn to get some answers to nagging questions. I admit, it was a beautiful place, but that wasn’t my main concern. And I…”

    “Answer the question, yes or no,” he said sternly.

    “Geez, I was,” Hilbert said. “Yes, I do. And I will.”

    Kyurem then reached over and put his hand on the Light Stone. “We shall see. He may be deep asleep, but I should be able to reach him.” He put his other hand on the stone and focused on it. A breeze stirred up around them, making their hair flutter.

    Then there was a flash of pale blue. Lines appeared beneath their feet, forming a circle with strange letters inside. In the large inner section of the rune circle, there was a constellation of stars. “What the heck is that?” he asked.

    “My sign,” Kyurem said; his mask gleamed, almost glowing. “Every legendary Pokémon has a unique one. They appear when we tap into our true divine powers.”

    Then the Light Stone grew noticeably warm, like a pan almost too hot to touch. A secondary rune circle appeared overlapping Kyurem’s, a fiery red one with a similar but different constellation. For a moment, Hilbert felt like he might burst into flames right there in the middle of Nacrene.

    But it faded rapidly, along with the two rune circles. Kyurem then took his hands off the stone, which was cooling back down. “There. It is done.”

    “Was that the flames of truth?” Hilbert asked. “The ones that will torch any lie? I’m not afraid of that.”

    “It wasn’t that,” Kyurem said, smiling. But he had an unnerving smile, showing inhuman teeth. “We will see if you can endure a true trial of truth.” Then he turned and headed off, showing no signs that he might say anything more.

    Although Hilbert was pretty sure he could complete any mystical trial that came with this, Kyurem’s smile made him worried.

    -+-

    Hilbert walked along the road to Pinwheel Forest, thinking. Reshiram’s stone was now in his bag, weighing him down but that didn’t matter. While he couldn’t put his finger on it, something wasn’t right with today.

    Glancing up, he saw a pair of teen girls walking his way. Oh right, he hadn’t gotten much time to talk to the fans today. Maybe that would cheer him up. “Good evening,” he said, smiling his brightest for them.

    They looked to him and he knew that they didn’t want to be disturbed. What? “Good evening,” one said with brisk politeness. The other girl whispered something to her and they laughed as they walked by.

    For a moment, he frowned. This wasn’t right. He put the frown off to try again, turned back to them. “That’s it, huh?”

    “Um, yeah,” the other girl said, wondering why he was bothering.

    He put his hand to his chest. It was dim, so maybe they didn’t see it. “But I’m Hilbert, world-famous Trainer. You don’t just run into people like me every day.”

    For a second, the two girls seemed interested. But they quickly lost it, strangely. “Nah, you can’t be him,” one said. “He has nice brown hair that…” she faltered as she noticed his was right, but then went on, “and he has this wonderful smile where his eyes shine.”

    He smiled for them.

    “And Hilbert has this sparkle to him,” the other said, quickly covering. “He makes anything amazing. But you’re not him. Bye!”

    “Loser,” the other girl said, and they headed into town, soon laughing again. Possibly about him.

    Loser? He wasn’t a loser. He was Hilbert! But how could they not recognize him? Because he had no sparkle? That didn’t make sense. Unless Kyurem had been right about the Attract thing. He still wasn’t sure how that would work, especially the part about crossing gender lines. Sure everybody had liked him before, but he wasn’t manipulating any of them to do so. They liked him because he was so likable and great.

    Maybe a lot of people were just having a bad day, he thought. A good number of them had seemed grumpy or annoyed. Normally, he could cheer them right up just by smiling, but it wasn’t working this evening. It must have been a really lousy day. Well, it was still overcast.

    “Hilbert!” There was a crash from the trees and a pink haired girl came out onto the path. “Great, it’s just you and me right now! You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for this meeting.” She had a dreamy look in her eyes and she wanted to claim him for her own.

    Of all the attention he’d gotten, the only desires that really bothered him were the ones from nutcases like this. They desired to possess him like some kind of doll; they had weird obsessive dreams that he sometimes got glimpses of. He got rid of most of them, but this girl was being stubborn.

    “It’s you, uh…” but as much as he felt freaked out about what she desired to do with him (oh gosh, the ribbons kind of scared him after he’d see that one image…), she was the only one giving him positive attention this evening.

    She laughed. “Oh, haven’t I told you my name yet? How silly of me. Well,” she stuck what she thought was an elegant lady-like pose, but with her cupcake lolita type outfit, it just looked goofy, “I’m Hope For Celestial Harmony Everlasting Virtuous, but my friends call me Banshee because despite my darling angelic appearance, I’m really a dark and moody artist deep inside.” Then she smiled all perky and not-so-bright.

    “Right, Banshee,” Hilbert said. “How… appropriate.”

    “Isn’t it?” She seemed happy. “I still haven’t got a gift Pokémon for you, but I’ll have a wonderful one sometime soon, the best Pokémon you’ve ever seen. My love will lead me on my way!”

    “If you say so,” Hilbert said. “But you kind of creep me out.”

    “It’s all a part of my charm,” she said, trying to lean closer to him. Then she frowned. “Hey, something’s different about you.”

    “I’ve been trying to figure that out myself,” he said, then thought to add, “but it’s none of your concern. I’ll…”

    “Oh my gosh, you’ve lost your bishie sparkle!” she declared, looking shocked. “Who would dare do that to you?”

    “I had a bishie sparkle?” he asked. How in the world did this girl think?

    She held her hands up and turned them to fists. “How terrible! It’s the most heinous crime I’ve ever heard of! Someone particularly devious is behind all this, mark my words. All we’ll get down to the bottom of it!” She then grabbed his hand and held it up with her’s. “And we will go on an epic romantic adventure to restore you to your former shining glory, and then we’ll be wed in the marriage of the century!”

    “Uh, we’re not dating,” he told her, getting his arm back. “Look, you...”

    “Oh yeah, I haven’t won your affections yet,” Banshee said. “Well don’t worry, object of my affection! I will get a magnificent gift for you and find out what happened to your bishie sparkle. Buh-bye! I’ll be dreaming of you.” She then ran off into Nacrene.

    “Geez, I pity whoever gets her attention in there,” Hilbert said, shuddering. He then continued his walk.

    Outside of Pinwheel Forest, there was a marshy area that was a good spot for training and catching Pokémon. Hilbert decided to go there, even though his Pokémon were rather stronger than the locals. Hilda was right; there was the fact that he hadn’t earned all of Unova’s badges yet. There was Clay and Skyla left for him to beat before he could challenge the Champion. They shouldn’t be too hard at this stage.

    Up ahead, he saw Kyurem again, looking up a tree. Hilbert followed his gaze and saw Hilda and a Minccino high up in that tree; the girl looking off to the east with a telescope. “Nope, they’re still there,” Hilda said, putting the scope away. “Darn; we really do need to train more. Oh, hi Hilbert!” She and the Pokémon began descending the branches.

    “Hello Hilda,” he said, waving up to her. “What are you up to up there?”

    “Spying on some really good Trainers.” The Minccino hopped down and went over to Kyurem’s side, but Hilda was still coming down. “We went up to see some Challenge Rock up there and they challenged up. Those guys were good; I lost against all three of them. We have our work cut out for us if we’re going to beat them.” She swung a bit too far trying to get her footing and nearly slipped.

    “Be careful doing that,” Kyurem said.

    She just laughed, though. “I haven’t fallen down yet.” She then hopped down the last six feet to the ground. Brushing off bits of tree from her clothes, she went on, “Course, they had full teams of six, which I don’t. Still, I should have been able to do better. But we’ll do it! Beat them and Lenora, with style!”

    “Ko cha!” the Minccino echoed, pumping a fisted paw into the air.

    “I’m sure you will,” Hilbert said, knowing that’s what she would want to hear. But it was still hard getting a read on her desires. She seemed to be good just having the attention, but most people wanted something more. “Oh, I found something at a store I think you’ll like. Maybe you’ll rethink going with me.” He brought out the blue velvet bag and tossed it over to her.

    Catching it easily, she looked over it. “Okay. We’ll I’ll take the bribe, but no guarantee that I’ll change my mind. How are you doing with your trial?”

    His trial? Oh, the one for Reshiram. “I’m not really sure what it’s doing yet, but I have noticed some changes. How did you know about it?”

    “Kyurem told me, duh.” She paused, turning to the southwest. “Hey, do you hear that?”

    “What…?” then Hilbert did hear something. A faint thump, rhythmic. Almost like a drum. Then another joined in. “Huh, that’s weird.”

    “I wanna see what it is,” Hilda said, then took off for the south. Her Pokémon followed after, along with Hilbert a little later. Maybe if he stuck around her, she would get to want him to do so.

    There were several of the drumming sounds when they finally came to the field of dark green grass. And there were drums, four rather large ones sitting on the ground being played by Timburrs. Nearby, there were a few more Timburrs, but more of Sawks and Throhs. The Pokémon had gathered apparently to show off to one another, as they posed and flexed in time to the drum beats.

    “Hey, it’s like some kind of dance session,” Hilda said quietly. “I wonder where they got the drums from? Do you think they saved up money for them, or just stole them from a passing drum line?”

    He shrugged. “Who knows? But actually, if you want an edge over Lenora, more than just having Kyurem with you, one of these Pokémon would work.”

    She rolled her eyes. “Well duh, that’s just basic strategy. Still…” she looked at them, then grabbed Hilbert’s hand and waved to the Pokémon. “Hey can we join you guys!”

    “What… me too?” he asked.

    She didn’t answer, but the Pokémon did. A couple looked skeptical, but the others seemed humored by the offer. A Throh came over and waved them into the group, so Hilda dragged Hilbert into it.

    Okay, Hilbert didn’t mind showing off, but usually he was the center of attention for such things. There was no center of attention here. All of the Pokémon were trying to show dominance over the others, while Hilda was just having fun trying to mimic their actions. And there was no way a regular human could compete with a show of muscles from a Fighting Pokémon.

    He played along until one of the Timburr clapped him on the back, knocking him over. This caused nearly all of them to laugh, which stung more than the actual hit did. Getting back onto his feet, Hilbert left the dance group. Hilda teased him, but it was getting dark anyhow. It’d be better to head back into town.

    But Kyurem spoke up as he walked by. “The truth will hurt.”

    “What does this have to do with the truth?” Hilbert asked, annoyed now.

    The dragon boy twisted his fingers, making a ball of ice appear. He then played with it idly. “How have things been for you since we met last?”

    He stopped there, crossing his arms over his chest. “Not that great; everybody seems to be having a bad day.”

    “Why would you say that?”

    “They just are. People aren’t paying much attention to me, except one crazy girl whom I’d rather not.”

    Nodding, Kyurem tossed the ice ball up a little. “They aren’t.” It was a simple statement of fact.

    “What did you do to me?” Hilbert asked, trying to be mad, but Kyurem didn’t seem to be taunting him.

    “We turned off your Attract state,” he replied, emphasizing the ‘we’. “People will see you as any other person, not as someone they are inexplicably attracted to. They will see you in truth.”

    Hilbert gave him a skeptical look. “I don’t see how that’s much of a trial.”

    A half-smile appeared on Kyurem’s face. “It will be.”

    Then there was a yelp of pain that got both of their attentions. Not too far away, Hilda was on the ground; a Sawk who looked darker colored than the rest was nearby, looking shocked and concerned. The others had stopped showing off too. Kyurem bolted over there and encased one of Hilda’s legs completely in ice. Then he gave a vicious snarl that sounded like it should not have been possible with a human’s vocal cords.

    “Ooo taicha chu tahga!” the particular Sawk said, frightened to death and dropping onto its knees. It held its hands up and its eyes were wide. From that, Hilbert felt fairly certain that Kyurem had threatened to kill in revenge. “Necha dena torsu, dehra ku e ku-re.”

    Kyurem glowered at the Sawk, then knelt down by Hilda. “He says it was an accident and apologizes for breaking your leg,” he said. “And that he would serve us in penance. Should we have mercy on him?”

    Hilbert could feel the hush there as all of the Pokémon no longer felt like playful competitions. The one Sawk did want to apologize, but that was nearly eclipsed by a bigger desire not to get eaten, now that he realized who the strange boy was. And from Kyurem, he felt a desire for punishment of the guilty party, merciless no matter if it were an accident or not. The feel of that made Hilbert shiver; it seemed clearer than ever before that this was the legendary Pokémon who would destroy the whole land to be rid of all corruption.

    Fortunately, Hilda wasn’t so vengeful even though she was the injured party. “Sure, that… that’s fine. Ugh, well now I can’t feel my leg, but I’m not going to be able to move.”

    Relieved to be forgiven, the Sawk gently picked Hilda up and said something in a comforting tone. He’d take her wherever she needed to go. Kyurem accepted this quietly, but there was still a smoldering desire for vengeance.

    “I can show you guys where the hospital is,” Hilbert said, and led them back to Nacrene.
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 25th April 2012 at 3:54 AM.
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  9. #84
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    Nice chapter, just noticed one error. The (Shiny?) Sawk, Kyurem refers to as a "she". Sawk is a male-only species.

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    Will my characters stop changing genders and species on me????!!!! Gah!

    Lol, silly mistake. Fixed now.
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    This is one of the best fics on all seribii. Altough I did notice that u have not changed your sig yet from chapter 11 to chapter 12 oh well. I have been following this fic for a while and I notice that the fic is getting a little more serious. As of now this fic is in my top 3. Please put me on the pm list.

    I do agree with the other reveiwers that hilbert is a vampire. Also I noticed that this chapter had absalutely no time with Cheren and Bianca.

    Then he gave a vicious snarl that sounded like it should not have been possible with a human’s vocal cords.
    Really? I mean I know that he is not human but does he like still have pokemon innerds?
    ANYWAY great fic keep up the good work Ysavvryl!
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    A Hilbert-centric chapter? Did he use those vampire powers of his to override you author powers in order to hijack the chapter?

    Do you think they saved up money for them, or just stole them from a passing drum line?”
    ... they have drum lines that wander through forests in Unova?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scizorstrike View Post
    ... they have drum lines that wander through forests in Unova?
    My thoughts exactly.

    OH NO! Hilbert lost his vampire-ness! The horror!

    Given the Giovanni comment, I bet Kyurem and Mewtwo get along just fine. still waiting for Deoxys and Mewtwo sequel

    In conclusion, Kyurem has rapidly become my favorite character. At first, he was just kind of meh, interesting but not too entertaining. But now that we're starting to see more of his personality and deadpan sense of humor, I've really come to like him.
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    Well, I'm a little late to the party here, it would seem. I did consider reading this a while back, as I enjoyed some of your Pokedex one-shots, but I never got around to it until last night. I must say, it's definitely been entertaining. I don't have time for a full-on review right now, especially considering the huge amount of material I've had to catch up on, but I'll pick out a few things that caught my eye.

    Your sense of humour manages to be laugh-out-loud without being blatant and silly. You have a good sense for when to be ridiculous and where to place the punchline. It's the little things that make me laugh, and you place them well. For example, the funniest line in the whole fic for me is still 'Kyurem wanted to know what all the buttons were for', which, while not side-splittingly hilarious in and of itself, had me cracking up laughing when I read it simply because of its placement in the chapter.

    I find Kyurem's character as a whole quite fascinating, to be honest. I like how he won't brook any nonsense, while still managing to be the butt of a few jokes. That's not easy to pull off. Hilbert is an interesting character, too, and especially so now that he's lost his bishie sparkle.

    The character that sold this fic for me, though, was N. I love him to bits to start with, and reading about him here is just fantastic because you stay so true to what is presented of him in the game. You go above and beyond that, though. I love how you've handled his personality, his idiosyncrasies and his ideals. He makes a perfect hero for Zekrom, and you've really capitalised on that. Well done.

    A couple of little things I noticed, though . . . 'Striaton City' was constantly and consistently spelled 'Straiton', and 'Minccino' likewise became 'Minnicio'. Were those intentional? Because they were kind of jarring for me.

    Overall, I like what you've done with the storyline of the games. The plot elements for a good story were all there, but Nintendo kind of failed to capitalise on them. I'm glad to see you pulling them all together, but on the other hand . . . it makes my own effort to do so seem slightly derivative and pointless. Oh well, c'est la vie.

    PM list, s'il vous plait, mademoiselle.

    EDIT: Now I have a little more time . . . one thing I don't particularly like about this fic is the battle scenes. You seem to take a lot of cues from the game mechanics, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, you seem to have Pokemon able to attack only once a turn; Pokemon with a higher Speed stat will attack first; and things like Leer, which don't tend to make much sense once you open the fridge, appear to have an effect somehow. You make reference to Pokemon's defenses being lowered, which would be fine if some kind of explanation was given. That aside, the battles seem kind of boring so far. For the most part, they've been tackle-fests. Straight-up exchanges of moves, so to speak. I like to see moves being used creatively, Pokemon moving around, using the environment. Rather than just 'Fedora used Vine Whip, knocking the foe out' (the likes of which I've seen too often in this fic), have Fedora use its whips to swing its opponent around and send it crashing into a wall or something like that. I'm finding your battle scenes all seem very same-y, and I confess I started skimming over them after a while. The ones like N's battle against Lenora, which we came into as it was ending, seem to be the only ones that kind of work. On the whole, I'd say that's the biggest weakness of this fic.
    Last edited by M-Dub; 13th December 2011 at 2:58 AM.

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    I liked how you have Hilbert the ability to sense others' desires. That would be a useful power to have - I'm surprised that skill isn't played with more often. Too bad he lost it.

    Hilbert managed to get the Light Stone, but I'm amazed at how quickly he came to the conclusion that it was Rashiram. Impressive detective work.

    ...Now that I think about it - Hilbert would make a great detective! Vampire Detective Hilbert at your service! And here comes Looker with a woodstake!


    I agree with GalladeRocks about Kyurem, but there's something that I noticed about him too. People just seem to accept the fact that there's a legendary Pokemon walking around in human form with very little surprise or interest. I mean, there is that initial "whoa, you're Kyurem?!" and that's about it.

    The constellation sign interested me the most this chapter. Has someone been playing Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs? (Which is easily one of my favorite Spin-off games in existence)
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    I hate writing battle scenes. I will happily skip them if you like! Haha, that actually would help for where I'm writing currently (Pinwheel Forest). And get to the more awesome non-battle stuff! I'm far more interested in the psychology and sociology of the B&W plot than battles. You'll just have to take my word for it that certain characters are awesome in battles; okay with that or not?

    Thanks for the reviews (specially Dragon user). The misspellings are accidents cause by the insane spellings in Unova (seriously, I still trip over Minnicino, but Mimi's too important to drop!). Usually if I start spelling it one way, I'll keep spelling it that way. *has to fix sometime*

    Never played Guardian Signs. I got that from the Greek mythos.

    Of course drum lines wander around in the wilderness. I thought everybody knew that. (okay, now I'm just being silly)
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    Ooooh, readed. Well. On with the crowd. I also support the idea of changing the battles.

    Example: Solosis uses Confusion! Geodude uses Rollout and misses Solosis! ------> Solosis glew pink for a few seconds. Geodude also glew pink, and was knocked back. Then, Geodude charged at Solosis rolling at high speed, but Solosis simply floated over.

    That is an idea.

    Whoa, I'm tired. Okay, that was just an idea. Hope that it is helpful.



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    I don't think that would help.

    About the battles being tackle fests, part of the problem is I'm using low level Pokemon with low level moves. So tackle is the best option. Although looking at the gathered list for the Nacrene Gym battle, there's a lot more options, especially when you consider Olette is from a breeder. Still, anyone who's used a Snivy knows how limiting its moveset can be, and Kyurem learns moves slowly.
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    Kyurem does start with Dragon Rage, however, which kills basically everything at this point in the game. Of course, you could just forget the order of level-up moves and give Kyurem Glaciate, Draco Meteor, and Giga Impact. Of course, that would most certainly break the universe, but I'm sure it'd turn out alright.
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    Of course, being able to one-shot everything in the early part of the game leads to problems. You wouldn't get to see any of the other Pokemon.

    Boy, I'm chatty this week, huh?

    Oh, and there's going to be a Christmas chapter! *sings merrily*

    N: How do you explain a Christan holiday being in the Pokemon world? Especially when you call the legendary Pokemon immortal gods?

    Oh hush. It'll be fun and that's the only excuse I need!
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  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ysavvryl
    I hate writing battle scenes. I will happily skip them if you like! Haha, that actually would help for where I'm writing currently (Pinwheel Forest). And get to the more awesome non-battle stuff! I'm far more interested in the psychology and sociology of the B&W plot than battles. You'll just have to take my word for it that certain characters are awesome in battles; okay with that or not?
    That seems like it'd work. Battles are tricky SOBs at the best of times, so I understand where you're coming from. And yeah, I can see that there doesn't need to be much emphasis on them. That's totally fine by me. The humour and drama in this fic carry it just fine without the need for Pokemon battles, which is something that can't be said for many fics.

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    This fic is pretty amazing. *speechless*

    PM list please!

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    Coffee Break

    N seemed nervous. “I hope you don’t mind it,” he said, “but I seem to be taking up more time in the story than you are.”

    Hilda shrugged. “Well you know, the readers already know what’s going to happen with me, except the parts they don’t know about because they’re different. Like all the stuff I did in Nacrene, they already know it because they can do to that themselves. Mostly.” She smiled. “So it’s more interesting to follow you at the time.”

    “I hope so,” he said. He glanced over the replies. “Well she already addressed a lot of responses. So then, what do we do now?”

    Pumping her fist in the air, she said, “We can talk about Christmas!”

    “It is Christmas Eve, but,” N started to say.

    But Hilda managed to interrupt him. “The Christmas chapter is going to be really really awesome! There’s a party, and presents, and mistletoe, and unexpected revelations, and interesting character development, and a drum line!”

    N started to say one thing, then stopped. “Out of all that happens, you had to mention the minor thing about a drum line?”

    “I like drum lines.”

    He shook his head. “But having character developments causes problems. Since that makes the Christmas chapter plot-relevant and canon to the story, it can’t appear around Christmas in real time. It has to wait until the story reaches the right time, and this chapter is in late autumn.”

    “Early December,” Hilda agreed. “But that chapter’s still going to be cool. Hey, maybe tomorrow she can post that cut bit about…”

    “Please no,” N said, covering his face with his hands. “Can we start the chapter already?”


    Chapter 13: Deep in the Forest



    morning, 12/4

    The Throh tried to stomp on him, but Fedora skipped aside and sent a leaf tornado after him. “Why don’t you just stick to the weakling Tympoles?” the Throh taunted. “You can’t hope to best me!”

    “I’m doing well enough that I don’t need to hope for it,” he taunted right back.

    “Don’t give up!” Hilda called from the outside of the grassy patch. She was keeping further away from battles than usual and he was trying to keep it that way. If things got rowdy, she wouldn’t be able to get away as fast with those crutches.

    The Throh managed to kick him finally, but Fedora would keep tough. He tackled the fighter, then struck with his leaves right where he had hit previously. While it was a little effective, this guy was taking hits like a sponge. The Throh laughed.

    “Hilda!” Cheren called out, but Fedora didn’t let himself get distracted. As he dodged another hit, he heard the boy say, “What happened to you?”

    “Morning Cheren!” Hilda said back. “I tried to dance with some Pokémon and ended up with my leg broken. They’ve got tough competition out here… Fedora, give Growth another shot!”

    That probably was the smart thing, the Snivy thought as he still just long enough to activate another boost of Growth. If he wasn’t doing enough damage, he needed to increase his potential damage output. While it did leave him open for another hit, he could soak up some damage too. But not much more.

    “Are you sure you should be out here with a broken leg?” the boy asked, concerned. “It can’t be easy with those crutches in this marshy area.”

    “A little thing like that isn’t gonna stop me,” she said. “It’s tough, but I’m tougher.”

    Fedora smiled a bit before he went in for another tackle. It was like that with him too. While this match was tough, he’d be tougher. It was cold, so he kept moving to keep moving. But he needed to get even better. When the whole team failed yesterday against those guys by the Challenge Rock, Fedora resolve that he wasn’t going to fail like that again. There had been one time when he’d been knocked out in one blow, just one! So he was going to fight these tougher Pokémon so that he could be even better.

    “Healing them like this is tricky,” Hilda said, then whistled. “Fedora, over here, quick.”

    Fedora stuck his tongue out at the Throh before rushing back over to his Trainer. The Throh snorted and took the time to increase his attack power. Once over there, Kyurem gave him the Super Potion spray instead of Hilda. Then Fedora rushed back over to tackle his opponent.

    “You couldn’t beat me without that,” the Throh said, bunching his fist up to punch.

    “No, it just would have been closer,” the Snivy replied, sending a Leaf Tornado at the spot he’d tackled. That dropped the Throh to the ground. He was able to get back up, but scowled as he retreated. “If you try me again, I’ll thrash you twice as much!”

    And he was pretty certain of that. Fedora felt full of life and energy today, like he could get stronger any minute now. Like all he had to do was wish for it…

    Fedora considered it. At one time, he would have been Hilda’s starting Pokémon. But he hadn’t been sure of it. Not wanting to get stuck with a dumb kid, he’d taken Kyurem’s offer immediately. But now that he knew that Hilda was a kindred spirit to him, he had some regret for doing so. He couldn’t be Hilda’s starter now. But if he worked for it, he could prove himself valuable enough to keep in the party. He could prove that he was awesome too!

    It was his choice in the end, his wish. Fedora wanted to be a permanent part of Hilda’s team, helping her to win. So he closed his eyes and made that wish. “I wish for the power to help my friend.”

    Despite him being in a marsh, a scent like wild grasslands came to him. ‘For your loyalty and effort, your wish is granted.’

    And so he was allowed to evolve into a Servine.

    Afternoon, 12/5

    There were Pokémon in Pinwheel Forest. N could hear their distant calls. Most often, it was territory declarations, but sometimes bits of news came by. Signs of frost were around for the nights ahead. It was time for last minute checks to burrows and homes before hunkering down for the winter.

    But although he heard them, he wasn’t seeing any. That was troublesome. Down the path, there was a bridge that led into the largest city in Unova, Castelia. While he was interested in seeing the bridge for himself, N wasn’t looking forward to being in the city. The descriptions he read of the crowds, the noise, the air pollution, the trash, and the violence let him know that he would not like that place. But one of the Gyms was in Castelia, so he had to prepare in Pinwheel Forest if he wanted to quickly get in and out of the city.

    N was wondering if he should come back another day when he heard hooves fighting to get through the undergrowth. A moment later, a Zebstrika hurdled over a fence and onto the road. The short mane on its head had all kinds of bramble in it, indicating that the Pokémon had been running through the forest for quite some time. It stopped on seeing him, then snorted. “I hate you.”

    N wasn’t used to a Pokémon treating him in that way. “It’s okay. I don’t mean to hurt you.”

    “You lie! You all lie! I’ll destroy you all!” Then it charged up energy and sent a bolt of electricity flying at him.

    It barely missed N as he stepped away. He put his hands up, open. “Calm down. I might be able to help. There’s no reason to destroy all...” he felt a tingle, so got out of the way of another bolt attack, “people.”

    But even as he talked to it, there was a growing feeling inside that something wasn’t right here. The Zebstrika wasn’t normal. But how? It looked like any other Zebstrika, but its actions definitely weren’t right. And it was dangerous. Disliking the action but seeing no other choice, N grabbed an Ultra Ball out of his bag, activated it, and threw it at the strange Zebstrika. There was an odd flash and a loud snap as it absorbed the Pokémon.

    The Pokeball went still. But before he could go and get it, a purple flash emerged from the bushes. A Purrloin was there, next to the Ultra Ball. She had an old scar along her side, one made by a knife. After looking at him, she snatched the ball in her teeth and ran off down a path with it.

    “Pricilla?” N said, then began running after her. “Pricilla! Come back here with that.”

    But she kept running, just ahead of him. She sped up whenever he did, making sure that he couldn’t catch her. N rushed through the tall grass, hoping that she didn’t go off somewhere that he couldn’t follow.

    Thankfully, she didn’t. “This isn’t a game!” N called out. “I know it’s you. Can’t we talk about this?”

    Then she turned left and went through a large log. It was hollow, fallen from a tree so large that he could run through comfortably despite how tall he was. Something odd happened then. For a moment, N felt as though he was running in a dream. It was all so clear and yet unreal. Like some kind of power was trying to clamp down on him. Everything slowed and he wondered what was going on.

    They emerged from the tunnel, still running. Things went back to normal, although a feeling of power remained. They came out to an open meadow; a large tree trunk sat in the middle of the meadow, looking like it could have made the tunnel when it fell. But where was the rest of that tree? The space between the tunnel and the stump was perfectly clear, save for low grass and wildflowers.

    Pricilla stopped there, dropping the ball but putting a paw on it. “I’m not talking to you,” she said haughtily.

    “What’s going on?” N asked, kneeling down to be closer to her level. “Is something bothering you?”

    She turned her head away.

    Before he could keep talking to her, a bellowing call filled the air. The power he had felt intensified. When they both looked to the source, there was a strange Pokémon there. It looked somewhat like the Sawsbucks, but with horns tilted back and grass green fur. It held itself with royal pride, for good reason. Although it took a second, N recognized who the Pokémon was.

    “Virizion?” he said, somewhat in awe. “It’s an honor…”

    “Silence, human, unless I let you speak,” Virizion ordered, in the kind of tone that demanded obedience. She walked over to them. “Your kind is not to be here. You should not have been able to enter. How did you manage to do this?”

    “I don’t know,” N said. So this must be a sacred space. “I followed her.”

    “I’m not from around here,” Pricilla said. “How was I supposed to know it was forbidden?”
    Virizion stopped and looked down at them. “It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you are here now, where you’re not supposed to be. State your true name and the reason you are wearing the Black King’s stone.”

    The Black King’s stone? N put his hand on the black rock on his cord necklace. She recognized it? So it was real. With that in mind, he said, “I am King Natural Harmonia Gropius, leader of Team Plasma and seeker of Zekrom, normally called N. I sought the black King’s stone in the royal palace under the waters of Undella Bay and claimed it honorably.”

    Virizion stared into N’s eyes. He was still on his knees, as he probably should be. Then, the legendary Pokémon straightened up. “Well then. I am Virizion, guardian of Pinwheel Forest and loyal knight to the Pokémon royalty of Unova, Zekrom and Reshiram. I keep this space secret so that the humans cannot find it, so that Pokémon can choose to live apart from them safely.”

    N felt a surge of curiosity and validation. “Truly? I am working towards separating all Pokémon and humans. I believe that things will work out better that way for both sides.”

    Virizion looked at him a bit longer, then said, “You would be the one to do so, as you can speak to and understand both sides. Tell me more of what you mean to do and why you still use their Pokeballs.”

    Pricilla had taken her paw off the Pokeball, so N took it (and received a paw bat for it). Then he got up and followed Virizion over to the stump. As he told her of his plans, Pokémon began to emerge from the forest into the clearing. Knowing that he could understand them, they lost their shyness and came up to them. Pricilla came to sit near N, but stayed with her back to him, letting him know that she was still mad for some reason.

    After telling much of his plans, N thought of something to ask. “On my quest through Unova, I have encountered Kyurem in a human’s form. He seems to have chosen a girl to follow, but I don’t recall him choosing heroes in legends.”

    “That’s because he doesn’t,” Virizion said. “Kyurem is a force of destruction and annihilation. When he is awake, terrible times accompany him. The winters are long and harsh and the summers are not as hot as they should be. He doesn’t discriminate because he will ruin everything. It clears the land of corruption, but even us knights believe that he goes much too far in doing so. If he appears with anyone, it is with a person that could bring great destruction to both humans and Pokémon. If he is out and around at this time, I will have to tell my Pokémon here to dig their burrows deeper and be ready for hard times ahead. He is the reason why the land around the western palace is harsh desert, and why the eastern palace you went to is under many waves.”

    “The western palace?” N asked. “We had only found evidence of the palace in Undella.”

    Currently lying on the stump with her feet under her body, Virizion said, “There were two palaces for the two heroes. But when the civilizations that made those palaces fell to Kyurem’s brutality, many things about them were forgotten. The western palace lies in the desert that is past the city across the river. It may do you good to search for it and spend some time there, even if you found the King’s rock of the eastern palace.”

    “It could. Thank you.” He was sitting against the stump like he used to back home, with various Pokémon gathered around him and Virizion. There were a great many there: Petlils and Cottonees, a few Minccinos, an Unfezent, some of the pan-monkey Pokémon, a couple of Audino, and even some strangers like a Tynamo, an Axew, a Beheeym and a Solosis. While some were still wary, others had come right up near him in curiosity.

    And one other. Virizion turned her attention to Pricilla. “And what are you doing here, Purrloin, in drawing a human into our sacred space?”

    She looked up to the legend, but kept her back to N. “I told you, I didn’t know what this place was. I just saw that it was a quiet space separate from the main path. I was trying to get him to be alone with me.”

    “But you said you didn’t want to talk with me,” N reminded her.

    “Do you know how felines work?” the Beheeym asked, slightly amused. “They are contrary like that.”

    “I was the first Pokémon he had on his journey,” she told Virizion. “His starter, which is something special in case you recluses didn’t know. But in line with his philosophy, he let me go after I helped defeat the first Gym. I’ve been following him, though, because I want to make sure that he’s okay.”

    “I’ve heard enough to know that the starter is considered special,” Virizion said. “What did you want to tell him?”

    “I’m not telling him,” she said, flicking her tail.

    N nearly said something, but then the Beheeym said, “You can tell Virizion instead.”

    “I guess I could,” Pricilla said, looking over her claws on one paw. “It’s about the fact that he has run into almost no wild Pokémon this whole time he’s been traveling. He’s run into a few, but so few that he’s caught them all and still had very small teams. It’s because of those two stinky girls that follow him around.”

    “What, Val and Carol?” N asked.

    Pricilla flicked her ears, but that was the only sign that she gave of listening to him. “You spend long enough around them and you don’t notice the stink, but when new Pokémon come across him, they smell it and keep far far away from those girls. And at least one of them has always been nearby him. The stinky ones also keep knives on them too. I hate knives. And they’re scary enough that if they do run into any Pokémon, the ‘mons don’t dare tell him about it even though they don’t understand us. I was the same way, but I don’t care about them now. They can threaten me all they want, but I’ll keep just out of reach.”

    “Why would they want to drive Pokémon away from someone who is trying to help Pokémon, who is their king?” Virizion asked.

    “Beats me,” Pricilla said. “But they are. Just today, they made sure that nobody but that Zebstrika dared approach him. That is, until I slipped by the stinky ones and got his attention. I had to get him away immediately, though, so that they didn’t try to stop us. But with all they’re doing, it’s obvious that they intend to control which Pokémon that he meets.”

    Virizion nodded. “That is bizarre. Thanks for telling me. But what he does with this information is up to him.”

    “I know. I’ll stay to the shadows and watch, but I’m mad at him right now. I’m not going to tell you why that is, though.” She then turned her attention to cleaning, signaling that she was through talking.

    ‘Things may not be as you see them, N,” Virizion said. “Observe the path before you carefully and make sure to choose the right way. But it is up to you.”

    He was mystified by all that was being said; Virizion’s words reminded him of his Zoroark friend’s words before he left. But he would make sure to talk to Carol and Val, at least about their perfume and about the knives. “I have spent much study and thought on the path I’m on. I’m sure it’s the right one. There’s things trying to distract me from it, though.”

    Like with Hilda and Kyurem, N thought. Knowing that Kyurem was definitely a force of destruction made it easier to decide what Hilda was. She would be a person with a potential for great destruction and an opponent to the ideals of Team Plasma. He would have to deal with her at some time. And as a proven King and potential hero to Zekrom, he would have to do everything he could to avert the catastrophe that Kyurem was most likely planning for. There was corruption in the world, but if they did things the dragon’s way, then it would be the innocent Pokémon who would most suffer.

    “Virizion, can N stay for a little while longer with us?” one of the Audino asked.

    “We can tolerate his presence for some more time,” the legend said, staying where she was. “Is there something you had in mind?”

    “Um, I was just curious about him.” The Audino came over to him, her pink curls bouncing. “How did you get to understand us like one of us?”

    N smiled gently to her and reached over to her. “I was raised by Pokémon when I was very young. There was even a Darmanitan that I called Mother, for she adopted me and watched after me the most. Learning to speak like a human was my second language.”

    The Audino seemed to trust him, and let him scratch her head. “Wow. You’re nicer than other humans I’ve met. Your heart beats so pretty. Hey, if you lived with Pokémon before, can you sing like us?” Many of the other Pokémon in the meadow perked up at that. “We all like singing.”

    Nodding, he said, “Of course I can. At least, I can sound like you. Did you want to sing something?”

    “Oh, yes!” the Audino said, getting some chuckles from Virizion and others chimed in too. “Can we sing the Lunar Lullaby?”

    “Yeah, that’s a good one,” he said, thinking about it fondly. “You start.”

    Looking quite pleased and clasping her hands together, the Audino began singing. Once he heard the notes she used, N started singing along, as well as several other Pokémon in the group. There weren’t really words to the Pokémon songs, at least not words that could be written down easily. But this was his first language and he knew exactly how they were supposed to sound.

    Singing that song reminded him of his Darmanitan ‘mother’. It was the first song he had known, as she sang it for him when he was supposed to be sleeping. In those days, he didn’t really know that he was any different from the Pokémon of Sarasota Forest. He hadn’t met another human until he was close to five years old and his mother insisted that he know how to talk to his own kind. In some ways, he wished he could go back to that kind of life.

    He stopped singing after a while, partly because the memories of that transition time were jarring against the soothing harmony of the Lunar Lullaby. He glanced around and noticed that many of the Pokémon in the meadow were asleep now, including Pricilla. Despite her claim to be mad at him, she was lying with her front half on his lap, quiet and content there.

    Seeing that, N smiled and felt grateful for her, as well as a bit guilty still. The constant argument that the guilt was misplaced was soon dropped, though, as the notes of the remaining singers continued on. While this was a lovely tune, it was also the tune used in sleep inducing moves like Sing and Grass Whistle. Even if there wasn’t any power behind it, if the Lunar Lullaby went on long enough, most Pokémon would fall asleep.

    And he had always been the same way. N closed his eyes, considering that he might want to leave soon. But once he closed them, sleep was so easy to fall into. His head drooped and then he was gone away into dreams like the rest of them.

    Years ago…

    Darcy was quite the unique Pokémon in that she could actually read the human language. She was often seen as the smartest Pokémon in the forest because of that. Although, she was uncomfortable in being acknowledged like that as she had learned thanks to a thoughtless owner that had suppressed her fire powers and left her shut in an apartment for most hours of the day. Reading the magazines, newspapers, and books that were around were often the only things that kept her from being bored out of her mind.

    Although the Darmanitan wouldn’t tell him about those things at that time. He was four years old and to him, the important things about Darcy’s ability were that she had read his name off a bracelet on his wrist when she had found him as a baby and that she knew about human things. “Why do I have to wear clothes?” N asked, trying to figure out how the pants worked.

    “Because you don’t have fur or scales, or other things Pokémon have,” she told him. “It’s what humans do and we’re going to take you into town today.”

    That made him excited, so he agreed to put the clothes on.



    There was a fair going on in Opulucid that day, which was a frightening thing to a four year old used to the woods. The streets were all hard, with grassy plots much more orderly and sanitary than what grew wild in the forest, and there were all those buildings around. Worse than that, the streets were crowded with people, many of them much taller and bigger than him. He was supposed to be learning how to talk like humans, but there was so much talk around him that it was bewildering.

    And then he’d lost track of Darcy. N tried calling out for her, but his voice was lost in the chaos. Another child came rushing through the crowd and barreled into him, knocking him to the ground. He burst into tears, not knowing what else to do.

    A man picked him up to put him back on his feet, but that only scared him more. Even more so when a woman picked him up and tried to reassure him with a hug. They were speaking in gentle tones, but the sudden capture and the woman’s overly powerful perfume was just more chaos that N wasn’t used to.

    After a moment, they brought him over to a tent out of the way of much of the fair-goers. They even gave him a hot dog and a bottle of apple juice. But since he didn’t know how to talk like them and his name bracelet had long since grown too small, he didn’t have any way of helping them. But Darcy did manage to pick up his scent and find him there.

    “I want to go home,” he told her, starting to cry again.

    “Okay, we can go back,” the Darmanitan said. “I’m sorry; I didn’t expect there to be so many people today.”



    It was definitely him, the man from the fair. N watched him as he met with people, talking with them. Although he had different clothes, the man had long light green hair that was much like his own. And he had the same kind of voice. He’d been here for several days now, by the human-made gate, opening and closing it. N wondered why he did that.

    But, he needed to learn to speak to humans. Darcy had said so. N waited for the man to take a break for lunch, and then came up to him. “Hi,” he said. He’d been practicing a few words that he knew meanings for, and that’s what humans said to greet each other.

    The man looked to him curiously, then smiled. “Hi. Aren’t you the lost kid from the fair? Where do you live?”

    “The forest,” he said, pointing there. But he only knew how to say it like Darcy did, so it came out like, “Ah huu tcha.”

    And that was how he first met Ghetsis.


    They had pricked his finger to take some blood and then stuck a needle in his arm to put something in his body. Ghetsis had said that the inoculations were necessary, but it was scary. What was it going to do? He tried to squirm out of the nurse’s grasp.

    “Don’t cry now,” Ghetsis said. “You’re a good boy, so you don’t need to fuss.”

    “Sorry,” he said, trying to force back his fright and let the nurse put a bandage on the spot where he’d been inoculated.

    The man who’d taken his blood came back into the room. “Ghetsis, something’s come up on the blood tests.”

    “Is it something wrong?” he asked. Hearing that, N felt nervous. Was he sick? This was supposed to be a place for sick people to stay, and with all the needles, pokes, and questions so far, he did not want to be here for much longer.

    He shook his head. “Not necessarily, but it will affect your request for legal guardianship over the child. You’re N’s father.”

    “I wasn’t aware that I had any children,” he said. “But that’s good news.”

    “Darcy says I don’t have parents,” N said.

    “You have one now,” the doctor said.

    A little later when they left the hospital, Ghetsis told him, “It is unexpected news, but… I don’t feel like I’m worthy to be called a father. Just keep calling me Ghetsis, N.”

    “Okay,” the child said.

    -+-

    Over the many years that N had known Ghetsis, he saw no problem with not calling him father or Dad, or any of that. But he’d seen several children now calling their parents Mom or Dad, staying or clinging close to them and smiling. And the parents smiled back. It made N wonder if his relationship with Ghetsis was too formal, or cold. Thinking on it made him feel cold.

    No, wait, it wasn’t the thoughts. He was cold. And damp, with the smell of dirt and frost close by. N opened his eyes and found himself looking across many blades of grass with tiny white ice crystals on them. It was the first frost and here he was lying on the ground not fully dressed for this weather. He had a coat on, but his ears, hands, and feet were starting to hurt with the cold.

    He forced himself to at least sit up. Groggy and still tired, he dug through his bag and found gloves, a scarf, and a hat, all dark green with a white trim to match his winter coat. He also noticed that Pricilla was by him, curled up with her tail tip in front of her nose. But there were no other Pokémon.

    He wasn’t even in the sacred meadow of Virizion anymore. He was lying by the side of the road that went through Pinwheel Forest. Shivering, he wondered where the nearest warm place would be. Nacrene was down a winding road and would take some time to reach.

    Also shivering, Pricilla started to wake up at his movement. “Uuuh, I was warm by you…”

    “Sorry,” he said, checking his phone for the time. Not even midnight. “I…” he looked back down at her and really couldn’t stomach the thought of leaving her out here in the cold, “We need to get somewhere else to sleep. This is going to end up being a hard frost.”

    N slipped his bag’s handles over one shoulder, then picked the Purrloin up, causing her to grumble some more. He went north along the road, away from Nacrene. At the end of the path, he found what he was hoping for: a gatehouse that was closed against the cold, but not locked up.

    Inside, it was quiet. The electronic bulletin and the touch screen computer guide below it were both still on, along with the lights. But there were no other travelers here, or even an attendant. It was warm, though, so he put Pricilla on one of the cushioned seats, then went to lay on one of the couches himself.

    It wasn’t long before Pricilla had left the chair in favor of his couch, but N didn’t care and was soon fast asleep again.
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 25th April 2012 at 3:58 AM.
    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. #99
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    Four days later and I'm still the first to reply? Weird.

    Hooray for Fedora! I wonder if Bacon and Suzy have evolved yet as well. Maybe now he'll have grown into his hat better.

    Very interesting on N's part, and awesome to see Pricilla back. Virizion's appearance was unexpected, but makes sense. I'm curious to see how N handles the hustle and bustle of Castelia City.

    Also, I think I see what Val and Carol are doing. I believe that:

        Spoiler:- Spoilers if I'm correct:
    Dimensions of Darkness - on hiatus l Sgt. Froakie - ongoing l Envoy - upcoming

    harmoNy - one-shot l The Piplup and Chimchar Variety Hour - on hiatus
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    Latest Chapter (Sgt. Froakie): Chapter 2 - Beware the Cute Ones
    Credit to Astral Shadow for the awesome sig!

  25. #100
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    Coffee Break

    "Yes, it is odd that there weren't many replies, compared to what we get normally," Hilbert said. After taking a sip of his coffee, he added, "Holidays, maybe, or..."

    "OH MY GOSH, A PLATYPUS!" Hilda shouted, then rushed out of her seat, nearly knocking over the table.

    She did get Hilbert to splatter his drink over his shirt. "AAAH, Hilda! Don't do that!"

    But she wasn't paying attention.

    Sighing, Hilbert grabbed a napkin and tried to blot the coffee up. "Transition chapter; I have a rotten part. But it leads to cool things, so she says. Read on."


    Chapter 14: EV Training



    morning, 12/6

    The ground was white with frost that morning, with the sky being an uninspiring pale gray. In the past, Hilda would have preferred to make this kind of day a movie day. It would be cold all day, but there wouldn’t be snow to play in. But she was a Trainer now, so she was up while the frost was still visible and heading out towards Pinwheel Forest.

    “Well one thing this frost is good for is making it easier to get around here with my crutches,” she told Kyurem. “But are you sure you want to keep walking around like that?”

    “It’s still a little warm for my tastes,” he said, still wearing his ragged looking black shirt and pants.

    “Because it’s above freezing?”

    “Precisely.”

    “But you know that people are going to stare because it’s almost freezing and you’re around here with exposed skin.” Hilda herself was dressed up in a long red coat with white trim, heavy pants that were red with white snowflakes below the ankles, a good white boot on her one good foot, white gloves, and a candy-cane striped hat with a red and white pompom on top.

    “It doesn’t seem to be stopping them,” Kyurem stated, pointing ahead.

    In the lower part of the marshes, Hilda spotted the three Trainers who had beaten her team the other day. They were, oddly enough, dressed in martial arts gis and no shoes, running around with a good number of their Pokémon. When they lapped close, they paused near her.

    “Hey there, miss!” one of the two guys said. “What happened to your leg?”

    She grinned. “I tried to dance with some Pokémon and had an epic fail at it. What are you up to being barefoot during a frost?”

    “We’re out training ourselves and our Pokémon,” he said.

    “We’re part of the bare feet movement too,” the girl said. “We never wear shoes; it’s more natural that way. People get too soft relying on small things, so we’re out to be tough doing things the old fashioned way.”

    “Well not entirely too old-fashioned.”

    Hilda nodded. “I suppose if I were out running around too, I wouldn’t mind it for a little while. But can’t right now. Say, if you don’t mind me prying, how do you train your Pokémon up? You all beat me the other day, but I’m not gonna give up. I’ll switch my tactics if I have to, though.”

    “Well we are probably more advanced than you. You’ll get here in time.”

    “Hey, we should tell her anyhow,” the girl said.

    “Why? It’s our secret teachings.”

    She laughed at him. “Yah, it’s not that big of a secret. Besides, I think she’s hardcore enough, coming out here to train her team when she can’t get around easy.”

    “Well if you want to, go for it.” The two guys then took off with their Pokémon, leaving the girl, a Timburr, and a Sawk.

    “Yeah, well you’re just a special breed of lazy!” she called after them. Then she turned to her and smiled. “Hi, I’m Jackie, proud to call myself a battle girl.”

    Hilda shifted her grip so she could shake hands with Jackie. “Hi, I’m Hilda, a crazy twit.”

    Jackie laughed. “Well, everyone’s a bit crazy, some of us just more than others. Who’s your friend?”

    “He’s my bodyguard, Kyurem the legendary dragon.”

    “You don’t seem too suspicious,” he said, refusing to shake hands.

    Hilda winked at Jackie. “Hey, I think he likes you.”

    “Aw, that’s sweet,” she said, smiling like she didn’t really believe that was Kyurem. “Anyhow, about how we train our Pokémon, we use the EV method. It’s not usually taught in the public school courses because it’s a theory that’s only been around for the past two decades. But the proof of it is starting to show in those of us who have been using it for some time.”

    “It’s not some kind of method based on performance enhancers, is it?” Hilda asked, concerned. “Because it takes a lot of money to get the reliable stuff.”

    She shook her head. “No, although some people do use the vitamin pills. Me and the guys, we prefer more natural ways of it. Like making sure they have less processed foods. But the basics of it are, well, really basic. Most people figure they can raise their Pokémon just by battling them a lot. And that will make them stronger. The trouble is, it won’t always make them more effective. You know about stats, right?”

    “Yeah, I recently got out of a battles 3 class, which was getting into that,” Hilda said.

    “Well the EV, or Effort Value method, is about training Pokémon in specific stats.” She pointed over to where her friends were off running. “It’s the old basics of exercises, but viewed in a scientific way. You can have them train up movement speed by running, then physical strength by lifting and throwing rocks. That’s what we train our Pokémon with, since most of them are Fighters. But I also like to train mine in dodging, like playing dodge ball or shooting a foam ball from a toy gun at them.”

    “That is pretty basic, but a good idea,” Hilda said. And it might be easier and more reliable then hunting down battles all the time.

    Jackie nodded. “Yeah, but it builds a good base for further training. And if you want to really tweak the system, you can apply the EV theory to the battles you face too. Pokémon and people become stronger by facing resistance, you know. With that in mind, you choose that battle that would give the most resistance to the stat you want to train. Like if you want to train a Pokémon to be tougher with physical defense, then find a Sawk around here. They hit hard. If you want to train physical attack, fight the Throh, because they’re naturally tough.”

    “Huh, and you’d fight a fast Pokémon with a Pokémon you want to be fast?”

    “Right. Don’t always go for the easy fights; the ones that force your team to be challenged will teach them more than the ones they can win easily.” Then Jackie winked. “But we’re still ahead of you. You can try having your Pokémon exercise around here today. I’ll let the guys know not to bother you for a fight.”

    “Sure, thanks.” When Jackie went off to keep running, Hilda turned to Kyurem. “We should give that a try. But they all have mono-type teams and similar Pokémon, so it’s easier on them. You guys are all mixed up.”

    “As you wish,” Kyurem said.

    She raised an eyebrow at him. “And you’re not going to help with any suggestions?”

    “Perhaps.”

    “Hoo boy, and here I thought you might be getting out of that. Well fine then. I’ll figure this out.” Hilda then considered the Pokémon she had before calling them out to give them exercises to try out.

    Afternoon, 12/8

    The Gigalith glowered at him. A few minutes ago, it had been giving off a desire to help him in any way it could. At some point during this battle, that desire had faded, only to be replaced with a desire not to do as asked.

    Hilbert tried to ignore it, but the dislike was coming off so strongly that he knew this Pokémon too no longer liked him. “What is it?” he asked, feeling mad. “We’ve fought against odds like this before, and worse. We can do it.:”

    But that didn’t help. The Jellicent that his opponent was fighting with was focused on winning. The jellyfish wanted greatly to win and please his Trainer. While the Gigalith was being strangely uncooperative, the Jellicent was able to blast him with water and knock him out. Sturdy didn’t even help as the Jellicent had already done some damage.

    “Hah, I won!” the younger boy said, jumping up and pumping his fist in the air. “You’re nowhere near as tough as you talk.”

    “I’m having a bad day, all right?” Hilbert snapped. As he adjusted his hat, he heard his watch beep. Some of his money had been transferred over to the winning Trainer’s account. “What is wrong with everybody?” he said to himself.

    The boy blew a raspberry at him. “Sore loser! I’m going to be more famous than you someday.” Then he ran off.

    Resisting the urge to chase after him and beat him up personally, Hilbert revived and fully healed up his Pokémon. Then he released the six of them: the Gigalith, plus a Bouffalant, a Haxorus, a Scolipede, a Bisharp, and a Sawsbuck. “Okay, what the heck was that all about?” he demanded of them. “That was the first match I ever lost and that’s because all of you suddenly decided to be idiots! Why weren’t you listening to me? That should have been an easy win.”

    He knew he wouldn’t get a response he could understand, but he hoped that would get them to stop fooling around and act like the trained Pokémon they were. But the responses he got were still unsettling. The Bisharp ran one of its blades over another, making a sharp tone of warning. The Haxorus and Scolipede both hissed, while the Bouffalant snorted angrily. The Sawsbuck reared up and looked for a moment like he might smash his horns into Hilbert. And the Gigalith just glowered, making the red crystals on its back shimmer.

    And Hilbert realized that he could sense something other then desires; he could sense hatred. It was not very strong from any of them, so he wasn’t in danger. But it was there all the same, an ember that suddenly flared up when exposed to fresh air. Something had caused all six of these Pokémon to hate him.

    It was a smothering darkness when he was used to being surrounded by the light of admiration. Hilbert could feel the color draining out of his face. “Ah, um… okay, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.”

    The Bisharp ran his blades together again. If he did the wrong thing, the restraint that keeping them from attacking him go away entirely.

    On feeling that, Hilbert recalled the Bisharp in a burst of fright. He then recalled the rest of them, getting them away from him. But he could still sense those flickers of hate within the Pokeballs. His breath appeared in the chilly air rapidly. This, this wasn’t right.

    He looked around, but no lights of admiration appeared to his senses. There were some strong desires around, but none were directed towards him, not even a little. Instead of that, he was getting ignored and looked over, like he was any other person.

    Had Kyurem and Reshiram really done something serious to him?

    Wanting to believe that this was all a fluke, Hilbert headed for a cafe nearby. He needed something to be normal. As it was mid-morning, there weren’t many people around. There was a young woman working at the counter, whistling a happy tune. That was better. Maybe things would be normal in talking to her.

    “Hi, welcome!” she said cheerily. “What would you like this morning?”

    No recognition. “Um,” he glanced at the menu, “a hot mocha latte, that’ll do. Small.”

    “Okay, then, it’ll be 285, please. Is something the matter?” And even though she asked, there was a clear desire from her not to have her own good day ruined by having some guy come in and throw his troubles on her.

    That hit him like a slap to the face and for a moment, Hilbert wasn’t sure what to say. He got out the money to cover for it, but right then, he was tempted to tell her no. But if this was a trial to get the approval of Reshiram, he couldn’t do that. “It’s been a bad day already,” he eventually said as he passed over the Poke. “I won’t bother you with it, though.”

    “Oh, well I hope things get better for you.” Once she took the money and registered the sale, she went about to fixing up his drink. And she was back to whistling before long.

    Once he had his drink, he went over to a small table and sat there. This did not seem real; he didn’t want it to be real. People had admired him his whole life like it was the most natural thing in the world. Now his own Pokémon hated him and the barista didn’t want to be bothered by him. Had all that admiration been a lie?

    And what about his Pokémon? They weren’t going to cooperate, he could tell that already. Maybe it was time he let those six go, either be releasing them into the wild or seeing if anyone wanted to adopt them. Hilbert had plenty of other Pokémon in his Storage Boxes, so surely there would be some to like him still.

    Yes, that was the thing to do. He sipped at his mocha and checked his computer to see about building another team. If he got clear of the ones who hated him, he’d feel a lot better and things could turn right around.

    Evening, 12/8

    N was having difficulty preparing for the Castelia Gym. The Zebstrika was powerful, he could tell that. But no matter what he tried, he was the worst behaved Pokémon N had ever dealt with. Many had acted out because they had been treated badly in the past. Back then, he occasionally got nipped at, sometimes drawing blood. The Zebstrika had nearly hit N in the head with his hoof.

    “Zebstrika!” N said sharply. “Not me. Don’t kick me.”

    He snorted, but stayed on all fours this time. “I hate you.”

    He took a deep breath, then said, “I’m aware of that. We’ve been working together for nearly two weeks now and I’ve heard not much more out of you than that. But I want to help you.”

    The Zebstrika lowered his head, cautious but finally showing some interest. “You understand that?”

    “Yes, I do. I understand what you Pokémon are saying.” Since he seemed to be calming down finally, N asked, “What’s happened to you? I haven’t met such a spiteful Pokémon before.”

    “I’m not going to be a victim anymore,” the Zebstrika said. “I’m not going to suffer. I’m going to fight back against all of the evil in the world. And everybody is evil. I’m evil. That’s why I suffered. But I won’t. I won’t take it anymore!”

    That was odd. N tried to reach out to him, but that only made the Zebstrika tense. “What made you think that way?”

    “I don’t know. The hate made me forget. But I will find the source of all hate someday and kill it.”

    “That’s a…” N wasn’t sure he should be saying it, but tried anyway, “an admirable quest. I’ll let you get back to it. But first, would you help me defeat the Gym in Castelia City?”

    The Zebstrika stomped a hoof down. “Fine. But you mess up and I will kill you.”

    afternoon, 12/17

    Castelia City made N nervous. The buildings towered overhead, clustered together in tight groups. Although he’d been here for half an hour heading for the Gym, he still hadn’t seen any plants aside from small flowers in boxes. The ground was entirely covered in concrete. There was exhaust from machines hanging in the air as well as the harsh tang of heavy chemical cleaners. And there were so many people, on bikes, on trolleys, on foot, talking, walking, running, calling, laughing, shouting…

    There was just the one Gym here, he told himself. He could get in there, beat the Leader, then leave this place and never come back. If he could have gotten away with coming when fewer people were around, he would have done it. But this Gym had erratic and unreliable hours. N knew it would be open this afternoon, so he had to come now.

    Finally, he arrived at the Gym. It was crammed in between buildings well over twice its height, making the traditional facade look out of place with the glass faced walls around it. And this was supposed to be the Bug Gym, he thought as he entered. If it were the Steel Gym, then he could understand its placement. A Bug Gym ought to be in a more natural place.

    He was met at the door by a guy dressed as an orange and purple jester. “Good afternoon; welcome to Castelia Gym,” he said cheerily. “Are you here for a challenge?”

    “Yes,” N said, passing over his ID and the Zebstrika’s Pokeball. Even though he’d run into two other Pokémon that would have been great for this Gym, the presence of the spiteful Pokémon had scared them off.

    “Alrighty, we’ll go check on this one.” The clown whirled off to a desk where he placed the Pokeball in a machine to check on it.

    Why did he act like that? N wondered about it. It seemed unprofessional. Then again, he wasn’t sure why the worker would be dressed as a clown. He had heard that this Leader was considered an eccentric artist. For instance, the wall just ahead of them seemed to be coated in oozing honey.

    “Hmm?” the clown looked surprised. “Did you really catch this Pokémon in Pinwheel?”

    He nodded. “Is that odd to find there?”

    “Wee-ell, that’s not quite it. Sure, I haven’t seen a Zebstrika in the forest, but this Pokémon is flagged as a Shadow.”

    N went over and looked at the display screen. “What’s that mean?”

    “It’s cursed with a kind of battle madness. There was a large outbreak of them in another region several years ago, but a few have shown up in the past year. And, I’m afraid that you can’t compete in the Gyms with a Shadow. One of the known ways of creating them involves terrible abuse, so they’re not psychologically stable enough to battle with safely.”

    The information that he couldn’t participate today was just a blip compared to the concern the rest of that statement caused. How had this cursed Zebstrika ended up in Pinwheel Forest? And who had cursed it? It was a horrible thing to do, something that must have been more evil that N knew of. But he couldn’t be mad at the clown. “I see. What should I do with him? He has been difficult to work with, but I didn’t know what was wrong.”

    The clown handed the card and Pokeball back over. “Best thing to do is get in contact with the Orre Pokémon Research Lab. They have the most experience with the Shadows and will be able to tell you how to handle it. They should also be able to take it from you if that’s too much, though. Purifying a Shadow takes a dedicated effort.”

    Given what he knew, he should be able to pass it along to Anthea and tell her about how to handle it. This set him two weeks back, but he did want to see the Zebstrika healed of its curse. “Okay, thanks.”

    As he left the Gym he encountered Carol on the sidewalk. She was in her usual attire, this day a black frilled dress with lots of lace, white kid gloves, and black mary-jane shoes. “Good afternoon,” she said. “I was going to watch you in the Gym today. Is something the matter?”

    “I can’t compete with the Pokémon I have,” he said, heading down the sidewalk. She walked alongside him. And with her dress’ wide skirt, people were stepping aside to give them room; that was good. “It’s a Shadow Pokémon.”

    “That’s curious. I wonder what it’s doing here.”

    N took a deep breath and, just past the horrible city smells, he could tell that she was wearing that perfume again. “And why are you and Val keeping wild Pokémon away from me?”

    “Pardon?” She sounded like she had no clue what he was talking about.

    “I heard about it from one of them,” he said, not wanting to give Pricilla herself away. “You two are still wearing that Veiled Mystic or whatever that Pokémon don’t like, and then you are apparently hanging around me constantly even though I don’t see you. That’s keeping me from finding wild Pokémon and it’s not helping me at all.” Someone gave him an odd look, making N self-conscious. “Anyhow, let’s get to the bridge and then talk about this.”

    Skyarrow Bridge was a marvel. It had a clean white beauty to it, with an airy atmosphere, yet it was engineered to distribute the weight of it not just safely, but deceptively. From looking at specs for it, N knew it was immensely heavy. It only looked gracefully weightless. Sometimes he thought that if he hadn’t come into this destiny, he would have wanted to study engineering to create works of art like this, without imposing on the environment.

    As they walked up the stairs to the main walkway, N pulled out the Ultra Ball and handed it over. “Here, this is the Shadow cursed Zebstrika. Get him to Anthea and tell her to get it to someone who can pay attention to it for purification.”

    “As you wish,” she said, taking it and placing it in her purse.

    “I would like to see him free someday,” N admitted, “but as he is now, he’s reckless, a danger to himself and others. Now, why are you two keeping Pokémon from me?”

    She made an apologetic bow. “I’m sorry, my lord. We weren’t aware that our fashions and behaviors were blocking your progress. We will work to correct that issue.”

    “Good. Well with you here with me, I won’t be finding many Pokémon back in Pin…wheel…” he stopped and looked up, seeing a movement of red and brown jumping from cable to cable on the suspension bridge.

    “What kind of Pokémon is that?” Carol asked calmly, watching the jumping creature as well.

    “I don’t know…” he saw the figure cling to one of the cables nearby, then slide down it. “Wait back here; I’ll go speak with it.”

    “Very well.” She even took a step back to watch from there.

    N met with it as it leapt off the cable and onto the walkway. It was about three foot tall, although much of its height was taken up in tall triangular ears. With a thick winter coat and human-like hands, it would have been perfectly fine in its romp on the bridge. “Righteous timing dude,” the tan Pokémon said. “I thought it’d be the time to meet up with ya.”

    “You were looking for me?” N asked, puzzled. “I’m not quite sure who or what you are.”

    He scampered over and hopped onto the ledge by him. “Not surprised at that, N. I am the one and only Victini, the lucky Pokémon of victory!” He made a pair of V signs with his hands, grinning. “I got sent to you.”

    The Pokémon of victory? Sure, N knew of this legend, but he didn’t expect to just run into him. “Victini? But, why? And who sent you? You’re not the kind of Pokémon that’s just out there waiting to be found. You only appear to those who quest for you or who are… worthy…” was that possible? Did Virizion arrange for this, to show support of his mission without leaving her forest?

    “Dude, does it matter?” Victini asked, tilting his head. “I’m here.”

    “Yes, you are.” Then N smiled. This had to be a good omen. “Since you are here, would you help me to defeat the Gym in this city? It’s for the sake of my mission.”

    “Groovy.” Then Victini whipped out a pair of sunglasses from thin air and put them on. “Let’s rock that Gym!”
    Last edited by Ysavvryl; 25th April 2012 at 3:59 AM.
    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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