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Thread: Chronicles of Unova (PG-15)

  1. #51
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    Holy crap that was epic! I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through!

  2. #52
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    BLAAARZH!

    That was EPIC.

    The grammar I don't think you checked enough (looking at the length of it), so it seems rougher than your other chaps.
    Since I'm not a grammar-police-guy-thing, though, I'm going to leave the little bits to Glover and NACHOE!.

    On the other hand, I do want to mention that saying 'Eastern Unova' instantly means the towns accessed after the Elite Four. (For me, at least)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Aerodactyl just killing something moments after joining Cheren is just another sign of his bada**ery. His team seems well rounded out (?). It seems dark or 'gothic' with Umbreon, Fossil-face, and a ghost-coffin. It seems to fit Cheren, if he's going to go pull a Red and mope in Victory Road.
    Or, maybe, that's just my non-exhistent OCD acting up again.

    Keep up the good work.


    P.S. When's chap 11 up? ;D

  3. #53
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    That, was epic.

    First off, I see none of the grammar mistakes that Gegoory did, but I've never been good at that thing, justgrabbing whatever sticks out. So, on to the important part of the story.

        Spoiler:- Author's Notes:


    But, but, I don't find him funny! And besides, Snorlax don't fit in baseball stadiums as easily. Munchy is much more enjoyable as "bite-sized" than he is a feast... [/pointlesswhiningromthepeanutgallery] (Don't feel bad, every good author does somethign the readers can't stand.

    Oh, and my spacebar seems to be acting up, so pardon anything that looks likethis. I'll try to keep an eye on it.

    1) reusing the ending of CH9 for an intro, good call.

    “See that tree?” Paula replied, motioning towards the tree with its leaves stripped from it. Cheren nodded and she continued. “That tree is different than all the others because Ms. Bianca’s Pachirisu tested out her Hidden Power on it, freezing off all the leaves, after Ms. Fennel gave her the TM for it. Therefore, this must be Ms. Fennel’s building.”
    Yay for continuity!

    Her name is Amanita; she’s a student at the college Aurea and I went to.” she continued.
    Nice way to include the game canon, and explain what the PC person is doing there.

    “Yes, I- Eek!” Paula said, startling herself and slapping her hands to her mouth. She had opened her mouth and actually spoken the words to him directly, as opposed to communicating telepathically. It was a new experience for the little Kirlia, and she was taken aback by the sound of her own voice in English. “I… I can speak!” she said excitedly.
    You know, and this is just a readership thing, but for the longest time, I thought Paula was speaking. Mostly, because the quotations were the same. It really didn't surprise me that she could, being so humanoid as it was.

    “Okay, well that’s one thing that’s different.” Cheren continued. “How are your motor skills?”
    Dude, you're a floating apparition possessing someone else's dreams. Essentially, a brainwave. And you find it weird a humanoid Pokemon is talking? Do me a favor, don't run into Team Rocket, their Meowth mightmake you hyperventilate.

        Spoiler:- anime:


    Paula floated through the air gracefully, able to fly with ease and navigate her new environment effortlessly. She flipped in the air and giggled to herself, remarking “Oh my, Mr. Cheren, this is fun!”
    David's litttle ballerina. And why is it I'm waiting for Paula to master telekinesis now,soley so she can fly like a birdie?

    Wow, it’s an Absol!” Cheren replied, looking in wonder at the rare Pokémon. Everyone in the room gasped as the realization of what the creature was dawned on them.
    That's not good.

    (Actually, that's quite good indeed. I'm a proponent of keeping Unova relatively isolated species wise, but you're fitting all the other PKMN legends in so nicely I can't even agree with my self)

    The dark, hellish smoke swirled around him, and he blacked out.
    Nice touch, I bet this is that seamless change part we have in dreams, and the dream mist can't process that, no?

    The Darkness threatens to overcome this kingdom tonight,
    Hmm. Darkrai or Giratina.

    “NO!!! Tonight I lose my kingdom and my son!”
    Life and duty, it sucks, don't it?

    partake in more age appropriate content.
    Tee hee. I had tosee what you linked to.

    “That…” he started to say. “That… that…” he stammered. “That’s Giratina!” he finally managed to say in shock. “That’s one of the most powerful Legendary Pokémon in the world!”
    Yep. And thank you for uisn the awesome version of Giratina. That multi-legged thingy is just hideous.

    By the grace of Arceus
    Foreshadow much? Or was that a prayer being answered toot-sweet?

    Shadow Triad
    Okay, that's unexpected. Me thinks Ghetsis is being toyed with.

    “No, my child, it does not belong to you. Your brother Dialga controls the ebb and flow of time in this dimension, and your sister Palkia controls the grandeur of its space. The two of them are the masters of this dimension, and operate it as a team. You have once again proven to me that you are not yet mature enough to aid them in this task.” the voice from the light replied. “You shall be sent back to your dominion and you shall not return from it.” it continued.
    Stupid older siblings getting the cool toys...


    “Paula, I don’t know if you can hear me somehow, but… if you can… I did it…” she heard her trainer say.
    This.

    It looks like an Apricorn Ball
    You've really got this cross-continuity thing down.

    “Gustavo, use Shadow Ball!” Cheren shouted commandingly. He knew he had to find a way to calm the beast before it caused a cave-in and killed them all. The Yamask charged up the energy to launch the dark blast, but he couldn’t bring himself to fire. It had been millennia since he had last seen his old friend, and he couldn’t bring himself to hurt it. He shut his eyes and trembled,
    Predicatble, but that's a good thing.

    His small black body began to glow. The light resonated from inside of him, emanating power and strength. The bright light engulfed him, turning his whole body a brilliant and blinding white. His feral howl grew louder as his form began to morph, growing much larger and much more solid. Several blue rings wrapped around his body, pulsating around his new form. His tiny body grew into a massive rectangular box, with four giant arms sprouting from the sides. The light began to pulsate, filling the room in a strobe effect. His shriek reached a fevered pitch and the bundle of light burst. An ornate sarcophagus floated in the air for a moment before falling to the ground. It landed with a “thud!” upon the stone floor, and then was still. His shriek had stopped and the transformation was complete; Gustavo had evolved into a Cofagrigus.
    Uhhh... Okay, how do we say this. This section, was good. It was true, it was fitting, it belongs. The evolution belongs.

    Butttttt.... We're still evolving in a mass-frenzy here. Next few chapters, you might want to take a break from evolving anyone.

    Also, I'm thinking it should have dawned on Paula, if not Cheren as well, that Gustavo wasn't going to attack his friend. So somebody help him! Don't just stand there calling attacks! Be the trainer the Pokemon needs!


    The pair separated and he handed it back to him. Gus looked at it stoically for a moment and then set it upon his forehead as the centerpiece of his regal crown. There was a slot specially designated for it and it fit into place perfectly.
    cheerily
    hate that word. Sounds painful when spoken

    “I was thinking you would die, stupid mortal.
    yay stupid answers to stupid questions.

    “In the words of Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe… nuts.”
    And for references to quotes being longer than the quotes! And where did Paula learn who Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe was? At least someone benefitted from David's history class memories.

    Paula didn’t have time to build up the energy and concentration for another big jump. She had to just get them somewhere far away and fast. She shut her eyes and focused intently on her trainer, trying to find him in the world. She concentrated as hard as she could on him and made the jump blind.

    “Guide me, master…” she said quietly in her mind.
    Love this, love Paula, love theentire scene.

    “Hey Cheren, how was your trip?” David asked nonchalantly, but Cheren cut him off. He was still in shock from his near-death experience and was tripping over his words.

    “Guys… guys… guys…” he rasped, but he couldn’t sound out the rest of his words. His clothes were disheveled, he had a wild look in his eyes, and he was covered in dirt and dust. He looked like he had been through hell and back; his appearance frightened Bianca.

    “Cheren, slow down. What’s wrong?” she asked. Cheren caught his breath, stood up straighter and looked them in the eyes. He cleared his throat and spoke in a commanding, ominous voice.
    See first comment.

    All in all though, this was awesome. I would, if not for being in a bathtub reading this from the table, also have been on the edge of my seat. Do keep up the awesome action chapters. You're best on yet.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  4. #54
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    Hey, sorry for the late reply. Really busy, and most of my free time has been spent on my podcast or training my team.

    But enough useless info. REVIEW! To continue with tradition, I will use points.

    1. You have just proven you are not the run-of-the-mill-adventure-fic-writer. There is obvious depth, and thought that runs deep in your writing. Kudos to you. I agree with some of the posters before me; this is your best chapter.

    2. I also felt that Gustavo evolved early. But I also realized that Yamask had been Yamask for a multiple millennium. So in actuality, it's evolution was just fine. I like that it actually had a reason to evolve too. It made sense.

    3. It's also really interesting how Gustavo isn't just some random Pokemon Cheren caught. He has such a strange backstory, and will be very important in the future. I don't know how you think of these things, but it's genius. Keep going with it! His name change was a bit random though. I think it would have been better to have had that happen in a separate, less dangerous scene.

    4. You're usually pretty good at this, but I also notice that sometimes you neglect this. Show, don't tell. You told us that Gustavo had been acting as if he wanted Cheren to figure out this problem; I never saw this. Honestly, until Cheren said that, it seemed as if Cheren was trying to rip the information from Gustavo without regard of his feelings towards the whole thing. Show some more interaction of Trainer and Pokemon, besides David's Pokemon. Just so the reader can see that partnership.

    5. I actually did the History of the Pokemon World in my recent podcast, pulling most of my info from bulbapedia. I have to admit, this was a very good way of using non-mainstream Pokemon plots to your advantage. Bad guy isn't Team ajhglaejg. It's Giratina. In Unova. That went along with canon. Very good. I must say though, the use of apricorns is actually misplaced. Apricorns were invented during Oak's time; prior to that, Pokemon roamed free. If you watched the Arceus movie, it would have been obvious, but I imagine you haven't (it's fine really). I just had to say. It's not major or anything though; just a tiny nitpick.

    6. I like how you included some mention of what was going on at the same time as David and Bianca. That's really it on that. hahah.

    7. You are the first writer to utilize the dream world. And it's used in a very intelligent way. I really like the use of the Dream World.

    8. I liked the links. ^__^

    And I think that's about it. Really well written chapter; if you improve anymore, I don't know how I'm going to be able to write an intelligent review that's more than "Good job! Can't wait to read more!" But please do. haha.

    So, in short, "Good job! Can't wait to read more!"

    Feel like you need a little more Pokemon in your life? Tune into our show!
    EPISODE 55 - SLOWPOKE HOLIDAY
    Looking for something Pokemon-related to listen to while playing through Pokemon XY? This episode is for you!!
    Released: 12/11/14


    Guess who claimed Luxray?!

  5. #55
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    Hi everyone, thanks for all the great reviews. Glad you liked the last chapter so much. The next one will hopefully be up this Saturday or Sunday and will be covering Cold Storage. Driftveil City will actually span three chapters, which are currently listed and titled as chapters 11, 12 and 13. I think 12 in particular will be something that will answer a lot of your suggestions for more interaction with the Pokemon themselves. Stay tuned.

    Just to reiterate, I'd like you all to give me advise on something. There is a special something I've been thinking of trying to post for you all lately, but I'm not sure if it would be possible or not as of right now. What would you all think about tying it to the PM list? If you approve, I will look into the possibility of this thing happening, and if it is possible, then when the PM list hits a certain number of people, I'll post it. Would that be something you are interested in? Let me know; thanks.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaosBlizzard View Post
    Hi everyone, thanks for all the great reviews. Glad you liked the last chapter so much. The next one will hopefully be up this Saturday or Sunday and will be covering Cold Storage. Driftveil City will actually span three chapters, which are currently listed and titled as chapters 11, 12 and 13. I think 12 in particular will be something that will answer a lot of your suggestions for more interaction with the Pokemon themselves. Stay tuned.

    Just to reiterate, I'd like you all to give me advise on something. There is a special something I've been thinking of trying to post for you all lately, but I'm not sure if it would be possible or not as of right now. What would you all think about tying it to the PM list? If you approve, I will look into the possibility of this thing happening, and if it is possible, then when the PM list hits a certain number of people, I'll post it. Would that be something you are interested in? Let me know; thanks.
    AWESOME!

    Also, I wouldn't tie the special thing to the PM list unless you have it at least half done at this point to give yourself some time.

  7. #57
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    Hey everyone, just another quick update. I did some writing on Sunday night, and a good deal more last night, and I was writing and writing, and before I knew it, I had accidentally a whole chapter! I even accidentally a couple of the verbs too! Chapter 11 was supposed to be covering the entirety of the player's meeting with N on the Ferris wheel and the events of Cold Storage, but the former ended up being long enough to be a standalone chapter by itself. Chapter 11 will be covering that and will hopefully be up tomorrow or Thursday. Chapter 12 will be the old Chapter 11 and will feature the events of Cold Storage. 13 will be the old 12, 14 will be the old 13, and so on. I will update the OP to reflect these changes as soon as I post this. The impending chapter is titled "Romulus and Remus." Hope you like it.

    Also, just as one final point of clarification, Audino, the thing I have in mind isn't a piece of writing or anything like that; it is something I could just post as is, but I don't have a copy of it right now and I'm not sure if a copy still exists. If you all support the idea, I'll check into seeing if a copy still exists and if it does, I'll post it. But it isn't something I would need to put any time into or anything, it would just be a little surprise. I think I will probably go through with it though, so keep checking back for more.

    Thanks for reading guys. New chapter in the next few days. Stay tuned!

  8. #58
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    I think it'd be a cool thing to do. But if people don't want to be on the PM list, and choose to either subscribe, bookmark the page, or just remember that you write a story they want to read, then the whole thing becomes pointless.

    But I think it'd be a cool thing to do, like I said. ^__^

    Feel like you need a little more Pokemon in your life? Tune into our show!
    EPISODE 55 - SLOWPOKE HOLIDAY
    Looking for something Pokemon-related to listen to while playing through Pokemon XY? This episode is for you!!
    Released: 12/11/14


    Guess who claimed Luxray?!

  9. #59
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    What NACHOEI said. I'm all for extras and gimmies, but I'm running my fic-reading off of Subscriptions.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  10. #60
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    Yeah, I think it might be hard to judge number of devoted fans with the PM list.
    How about just posting it ASAP so that we, your drooling fans, will have something to chew on while we stay up till 5 waiting for the next chapter.

    ...

    Maybe not.

    Just post the gift according to reviews/views/subscriptions. All I can say.

    Stupid Time zones! It's already 8 at night! I want chapters! RIIIIBBBBIIITTT!

  11. #61
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        Spoiler:- Author's Notes:


    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 11: Romulus and Remus

    It was a beautiful autumn day in Nimbasa City. The sun was shining and was warm without being hot, the handful of trees that lined the sidewalks were slowly changing into their fall colors, and young love seemed to drift through the crisp air as children returned to their schools and passed notes to their crushes in class. All things considered, it was a pretty fine day to be out for a stroll in the bustling town. But to the pair of hooded men who trudged through the streets, hands in their pockets and hearts in their shoes, it might as well have been pouring a typhoon. Lennon sighed.

    “You know, McCartney…” he started to say. “Sometimes I… ehh, never mind…” he trailed off.

    “I know the feeling…” McCartney replied.

    The pair bummed through the city aimlessly, plodding along like lost waifs. Their heads were hung, staring down in sadness at their feet. Their hands were stuffed lazily in their pockets, the seams straining against their slack arms. Their uniforms were recently cleaned, but still shabby and faded from extensive use. They walked along the lonely alley, stewing in their own self-pity and morbid reflection. They rounded the corner and came to a busier street.

    “Hi there, mister! Do you want to buy some lemonade from me?” a little girl asked. She was seated in front of a card table with a tablecloth hung delicately over it. A homemade sign hung from the front, advertising “Susie’s Lemonade – 25˘” She had little blonde pigtails and her front teeth were missing. She beamed up at the pair, bursting with excitement at the prospect of her first customers. Lennon scowled at her, trying to ignore the question.

    “Hey, wait! Mister, do you want some?” she asked as they tried to walk away. The cute little girl would have charmed the hearts of anyone who passed by, but the pair’s mood was more sour than even her drink. McCartney tried to keep walking but Lennon stopped.

    “No, we don’t. Leave us alone.” he said sternly without turning to face her.

    “But I made it myself, and it’s only 25˘! I’m trying to save up enough money to buy a Pokéball so I can catch my very own Pokémon!” she protested. This peaked his interest.

    “You want to catch a Pokémon?” Lennon asked in surprise. “Little girl, don’t you know how wrong that is? Imagine you were a wild Pokémon; would you want to be kidnapped from your families and forced into a whole new culture?”

    “I… but… n-n-n-no!” she started to protest.

    “Pokémon trainers aren’t people you should look up to, little girl. Imagine if someone tried to kidnap you from your parents and friends and force you to battle with other kidnapped children. You would be terrified, wouldn’t you?” Lennon continued. He was trying to demonstrate the logic of Team Plasma which he believed in so strongly, but without scaring her too much. His foul mood was making that second prospect exceedingly difficult however.

    “Oh… but I…! I don’t want to get kidnapped! I love my mommy and daddy!” she started to scream. Tiny tears were welling up in her eyes.

    “Oh, no no, don’t cry! Don’t worry about it, there’s nothing to fear. Team Plasma is out to try and stop all those horrible Pokémon trainers and set all the kidnapped Pokémon free!” Lennon said enthusiastically, backpedaling, but it was too late.

    “I didn’t know, mister! I just wanted a Minccino! I didn’t kno-o-o-ow!!!” she screamed. She was crying her little eyes out now and starting to make a scene. Lennon and McCartney looked around nervously as people began to cast worried and confused stares.

    “Hey, hey, don’t cry! It’s okay! Team Plasma’s here to help! Come on, buck up; how about I buy some lemonade from you? Will that make you feel better?” Lennon stammered nervously.

    The little girl sniffled and rubbed her nose. “Te-team Plasma?” she repeated.

    “That’s right, Team Plasma! The noble operatives of Ghetsis and Lor-” Lennon started to say proudly, but she cut him off.

    “Mommy told me about them. They’re a bunch of doody-heads, she says.” the little girl interrupted, wiping her eyes. Lennon stood stock still, a blank expression on his face.

    Lennon lowered his arms and head slowly, trying to calm himself. He wore a blank frown on his face, wrestling with his building anger. McCartney stifled a laugh, but stepped back as Lennon began to shake. In a flash, Lennon drew his sword and brought the blunt end down upon her stand with a “smash!” The legs of the table buckled and fell. The little girl shrieked and moved back in her seat, watching the strange man destroy her hard work. Lennon seethed with rage.

    “Screw you, you little brat! Go be a rotten Pokémon trainer, see if I care!” he shouted. The little girl leapt from her chair and went running down the road, screaming.

    “Yeah, that’s right! Run from Team Plasma! Run away like all the rest! You know why?” Lennon shouted after her. He reached down and picked up the first thing he could grab from her destroyed stand, inspecting the little yellow ball he had grabbed carefully. “Because I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m going to invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN! We’ll see who’s the ‘doody-head’ then!” he continued. He half-heartedly threw the lemon after her and turned away in disgust, continuing angrily down the road. McCartney hung his head and sighed, following after him.

    “You sure showed her, Lennon. That little pigtailed 6-year-old girl won’t be flipping you any shit any time soon.” McCartney said sarcastically. Lennon paid him no attention. The pair kept walking in silence as Lennon cooled off. He eventually slowed to a halt and began to speak in a pained voice.

    “I’m just sick of it, McCartney, I really am.” he said, disgust straining his already tired voice. “Team Plasma is doing good work. We are liberating living beings that have been kidnapped! Does anyone flip the police shit when they arrest murders and child molesters? No! But a couple of Team Plasma operatives, doing the same thing but for Pokémon, can’t walk down the street without getting back-sassed by a little girl. I know we’re doing this for the Pokémon, but I want at least a little goddamn respect and acknowledgement for what we do! I’m tired of the Plasma bureaucrats who have their heads so far up their asses that we can’t get any work done; they’re the ones giving the rest of us a bad rap. What we’re doing is honest and good, but ‘Team Plasma’ has become such a toxic moniker in the public eye that we’ll never be able to make any lasting change. I’m just tired of it all, McCartney; I want out…”

    McCartney looked down. He had nothing to say in response; he knew Lennon was right and just didn’t want to admit it. The two hung their arms and contemplated their state of affairs in silence, standing in the dark alleyway in miserable defeat. After several moments of silence, McCartney finally spoke up.

    “Remember the good old days, Lennon? Back when we were new to the organization and every job seemed to go right? What happened to that time?” he asked.

    “I can tell you what happened, McCartney, that bitch with the shiny Zubat happened. Ever since we tried to liberate those Pokémon from the day care on Route 3, every job has been a bust. That’s where it all started.” Lennon replied.

    “That place is cursed. I’d sure love to go back there and raise some hell…” McCartney spat in disgust.

    “Listen to us, McCartney; tearing down lemonade stands and ‘raising hell’ at preschools? Is this what we’ve become?” Lennon asked. “This is just sa-” he started to say, but McCartney cut him off.

    “Hey, hey, look over there! See that?” he asked, pointing across the street. “Maybe raiding a preschool is a little extreme, but how about the next best thing? What do you say, Lennon my boy? You feel like some revenge?”

    McCartney was pointing at an old man ambling down the street. He was elderly and frail, relying heavily on a walking cane to make it down the path. He was smiling though, enjoying the autumn air and colorful trees. He was unaware of the pair’s presence.

    “…no way…” Lennon said in disbelief. “There’s no way that’s him…”

    “I never forget a face.” McCartney said menacingly. “Come on, it’s payback time.”

    * * *

    “And then the next thing I know, we’re here with you guys. I guess that’s the whole story then; now you know everything.” Cheren said. The group sat comfortably in the lobby of the Pokémon Center, listening to Cheren recount his tale. David and Bianca were completely enthralled, listening with amazement at his story. As he finished, they sat back with shock and wonder on their faces. Bianca was the first to speak up.

    “…wow.” she murmured softly. “I’ll be…”

    “To think that your Yamask was the prince of an ancient civilization… And everything with Giratina and Arceus? Man, Cheren, when our journey is over, you’ve got to write a book or something. The world needs to know this stuff.” David continued.

    “Yeah, pretty amazing, right? I figured Gus would have some secrets, but I had no idea it would be anything on that large of a scale. It was a pretty epic story.” Cheren replied. “But as crazy as that is, I’m more surprised by you two getting together. I was gone for what, two days? And when I come back, you’re already slobbering all over each other. Was I repressing your disgusting little love that much?” he continued mockingly.

    “Shut up, Cheren! Don’t judge!” Bianca protested, but David laughed.

    “Yeah, Cheren, don’t get butthurt just because I got a super cute girlfriend before you. I’m sure there’s a girl out there for you too… even if she is a Mamoswine.” David quipped back, smirking. Cheren started to protest, but Bianca’s laughter cut him off. David continued. “Sure, she may not be as beautiful or as blonde as Bianca, but I’m sure she’ll be really nice.” He lay back in the chair, cupping his head in his hands. “I like to call it the three Bs.” he continued.

    Cheren’s face flushed red at the joke. Bianca roared with laughter, falling back in her chair as well. A content smile spread across David’s face as he watched her laugh.

    “Forget you guys, I’m going for my Gym battle.” Cheren responded angrily. “Aerodactyl should make things pretty easy; anything that can defy Giratina should be able to beat a Gym leader.” he continued. He stood to rise, but David called after him as he walked to the door.

    “Optimal word being ‘defy,’ Cheren, not ‘beat.’ Sure, he may have been in a battle with Giratina, but the way you described it, they got their butts kicked. I wouldn’t be so confident if I were you.” he quipped. Cheren flipped him the bird as he strode out, shutting the door silently behind him. David turned to Bianca and grinned.

    “Hey there, pretty lady.” he said quietly. They were both stretched out languorously on the reclining chairs, facing each other. David lay on his back, just turning his head, but Bianca was fully on her side, propping her head up with her left arm. She smiled a calm smile and batted her eyelashes at him.

    “Hey, you.” she responded back. “Want to go watch Cheren’s new Pokémon in action?” she continued.

    “That depends.” David started to respond. “Are you going to be there?”

    Bianca giggled and rose from the chair. David followed suit and the pair joined hands and walked out towards the Gym. Cheren was already out of sight, but they headed east towards the amusement park hoping to catch up to him before the battle began. The happy couple hadn’t a care in the world.

    * * *

    Lennon and McCartney stepped ominously from their dark alleyway towards the man. He turned to face them as they drew near. The pair towered over the senior, folding their arms and looking down at him with a superior smirk. A look of concern spread across his face as they came into his view.

    “Remember us, you old fart?” McCartney said mockingly. “Remember how your institution ruined us?” The old man tried to stammer out a response, but couldn’t form the words before Lennon cut him off.

    “No, I’m sure you don’t, huh? Haven’t taken your Alzheimer's medication yet today, have you? Or did you just not care? I mean, why bother remembering a couple of ne’er-do-‘ell crooks like us? What importance did we ever have on your life?” he spat cruelly. A mocking tone dripped from his voice, drenching every word in condescension. A look of terror spread across the old man’s face.

    “I… wha-what do you want from me?” he stammered. “Please, I don’t have any money on me. Honest.” he continued. He looked around anxiously to see if there was a policeman around who could help, but there was no one. Lennon snapped his fingers in front of his face to get his attention.

    “Hey! Pops! Pay attention! Don’t go senile on us just yet. I’m going to make this real clear for you; do you remember last summer when we came to your day care and tried to steal those two Pokémon from some of your students?” Lennon continued. The mocking tone in his voice was replaced now by venom; the situation was escalating.

    “Tha-that was you two?” the old man stammered in fear. “I thought those kids who were passing by ran you off!”

    Don’t. Remind. Us.” McCartney said sternly through gritted teeth. The pair drew their Pokéballs in anticipation. The old man tried to run, but they cut him off.

    “You aren’t going anywhere, you old geezer! It’s time for a little payback!” Lennon shouted. They released their Boldore and Trubbish, standing menacingly before the man. He looked around in terror for anyone who could help him, desperately trying to acknowledge the “flight” sensation that was overwhelming him. He spied two people walking down the road and ran towards them. He managed to slip past the Plasma grunts and make his escape.

    “Hey!” Lennon shouted. “Come back here!”

    “Please! Please! Help me! You’ve got to help me!” the man shouted as he drew near to the young couple. “These men are trying to kill me!” David and Bianca looked at each other in shock as they heard the words.

    Lennon and McCartney ran after him, standing defiantly before the group. They grew a little less confident when they realized who it was though.

    “You!” David shouted as he recognized them. “You’re the bastards who tried to steal Bianca’s Zubat!” he continued.

    “And the men who tried to rob the day-care!” Bianca exclaimed.

    “Yeah, and you’re that bitch who’s been getting in our way!” Lennon replied. David wasn’t about to stand for that though. Without thinking, he leapt towards Lennon, grabbing him by the collar.

    WHAT DID YOU JUST CALL HER?!” he shouted. He clenched his fist to strike, but a rock clipped him in the side of the head and he fell to the ground, releasing Lennon. Lennon’s Boldore strode across the street, ominously taking slow, crushing steps to defend his trainer. David stood up and drew a Pokéball along with Bianca to battle.

    “Golbat, go!” Bianca shouted, releasing her shiny bat. David silently drew Paula’s Pokéball and released her from it as well. “Let’s see what you learned with Cheren.” he thought quietly to himself. The day care man hid behind Bianca for fear of getting hit with any shrapnel from the coming fight. The young couple stood defiantly behind their Pokémon, facing down Lennon and McCartney’s Boldore and Trubbish respectively. The two sides sized each other up and began to issue their commands.

    “Golbat, Confuse Ray!” Bianca shouted. Golbat opened its gaping mouth and launched the disorienting light at McCartney’s Trubbish. The blast hit it directly, incapacitating it. It fell to the ground in confusion, trying to straighten itself out enough to attack.

    “Paula, Magical Leaf!” David commanded. The trees around them shook and dropped their leaves as Paula loosed the shot at Boldore. The storm of foliage struck the Rock type Pokémon powerfully, but it held on with its Sturdy body. It shook off the damage and glared angrily.

    “Boldore, Smack Down!” Lennon ordered. It took nearly all of the strength left in his tired body, but Boldore shot the pinpoint stone into the air towards Golbat. The stone hit it powerfully and clipped its wing, causing it to drop to the ground. Golbat struggled to regain altitude, but it couldn’t steady itself on just one wing. It fell to the ground in a heap, dazed but not out.

    “Finish this, Golbat; Leech Life!” Bianca shouted. Golbat shook off the disorientation from his fall and glided just off the surface of the ground at his attacker, biting down harshly. Boldore’s stone body resisted the weak bite, but he was so worn out from Paula’s Magical Leaf that he couldn’t withstand it. The nutrients from his broken body restored Golbat’s condition and sent the Ore Pokémon tumbling to the ground in defeat. Lennon reared back in shock as the responsibility now solely fell to McCartney’s confused Trubbish to win the fight. Trubbish shook off the disorientation just in time, but the odds were stacked harshly against him.

    “Trubbish, Sludge Bomb!” McCartney commanded. Trubbish opened his mouth wide and launched the dirty ball of grime at Paula, but she was too quick. She Teleported away and warped behind him, startling the Trash Bag Pokémon as she reappeared within striking distance. Instinctively, she launched a Confusion attack at him, sending him flying through the air. The Poison type Pokémon took the Psychic type attack harshly and fell to the ground in a slump, joining his fallen teammate in defeat. Paula and Golbat struck up fighting positions as Lennon and McCartney grit their teeth in anger and shock; David and Bianca were victorious.

    “Give it up, Plasma!” David shouted, grasping Bianca’s hand and raising their combined fist into the air. Bianca smiled proudly and shot him a look out of the corner of her bright blue eyes. Lennon and McCartney drew back instinctively.

    “Time for plan B, Lennon. Let’s bolt.” McCartney said under his breath.

    “We’ll lose ‘em in the amusement park. On my go, six o’clock, three taps.” Lennon whispered back. “Alright kids, you’ve got us. We’ll come quietly.” Lennon shouted across at them.

    Lennon had put his arm behind McCartney’s back and tapped slowly three times. On the third tap, the pair turned and bolted down the street. David shouted and started to run after them, but he was still holding Bianca’s hand and she held him back.

    “Come on, Bianca, we’ve got to go!” David shouted. He returned Paula to her Pokéball and motioned towards the escaping criminals expectantly.

    “You go on ahead, David. I’ll stay here and protect the old man. I can’t really run anyway, I’m too fat. I’ll just slow you down.” she replied, pinching the side of her stomach.

    David relaxed his stance and looked at her sarcastically. He quickly lurched forward and gave her a quick peck on the cheek.

    “You aren’t fat, sweetie. You’re perfect.” he whispered. He flashed a quick two-fingered salute and ran off after the criminals, shouting “I’ll be back soon!” as he ran out of sight. Bianca blushed and put a hand to her warm cheek. She returned Golbat to his Pokéball and smiled. She turned to face the old man and put her hands on her hips. He was still shaking from the ordeal, but she seemed to have a calming effect on him.

    “Come on, mister; let’s get you to the hospital.” she said quietly. She grasped his forearm gently and started leading him away. The street again returned to its pleasant, crisp, autumn day, and was again quiet and calm.

    * * *

    Lennon and McCartney ran as fast as they could. They were getting pretty good at it actually, thanks to how much they had been forced to resort to it as of late. They bolted into the amusement park just as noon struck. The crowd was thick with people trying to get lunch and they were hopeful that the mass of people would cover their escape as it had in Castelia. They ran in deeper, nearing the Ferris wheel in the back corner. A man stood in front of it, quietly looking up at the massive spinning contraption as it turned through its arc. His arms were folded and he stood stock still as the crowds swarmed around him, grinning contently to himself. The sight of him made Lennon and McCartney do a double-take.

    “Hey!” McCartney managed to rasp through his heavy breathing. “Is that-” he started to ask, but Lennon cut him off.

    “Holy crap, yeah, it is! What is he doing out in public like this?” Lennon asked in shock. The pair slowed their pace as they ran up to the man.

    “My Lord, what are you doing here?” Lennon asked as he caught his breath. The mysterious man turned to look at him in mild surprise as the pair jogged up. His smile grew as he noticed their uniforms.

    “Ahh, two of my valiant servants. Always nice to see those dedicated to the cause.” he started to say. “I was just watching the Ferris wheel spin; I find them interesting…” he mused, turning back to look at the spinning wheel as he trailed off.

    “My Lord, pardon my boldness, but it is not safe for you here.” Lennon continued. “We are being pursued by an evil Pokémon trainer who just bested us in battle.”

    A serious look spread across the man’s face. He shut his eyes and lowered his head.

    “What does your pursuer look like?” he asked calmly.

    “Male, late teens, shaggy brown hair, and he was using a poor young Kirlia to do his bidding.” Lennon replied. A surprised smile spread across the mystery man’s face.

    “Really?” he asked curiously. “Was there a young blonde girl with him? And a serious looking boy with black hair?” he continued.

    “The girl was, but not the other boy. Why do you ask, my Lord?” Lennon answered. The mystery man chuckled a small laugh and turned away from them.

    “What are your names, my loyal servants?” he asked. Lennon and McCartney shot each other a confused look, but Lennon replied a moment later.

    “Lennon and McCartney, my Lord.” he stammered. “Have we done something to offen-” he started to ask, but the man cut him off.

    “Lennon and McCartney, loyal agents of Team Plasma, know that your king shies away from no challenge if it is to protect his servants. Find somewhere to hunker down and wait for my signal; I will handle your pursuer.” he said ominously. Lennon and McCartney’s confusion intensified and Lennon started to protest, but the man raised his hand dismissively, motioning for them to follow his order.

    “As you wish, Lord N. May the grace of Arceus guide you.” Lennon stammered. McCartney mimicked the sentiment and they ran off deeper into the park. N smiled to himself and prepared for his impending battle.

    “David, my old friend, you never give up, do you?” he murmured quietly. “I think it is time for me to tip my hand to you…” he continued. The wind blew his long, green hair back as he stood in solemn reflection. After a moment, he turned towards the entrance to the park and began walking towards it.

    * * *

    David ran into the park, stopping for a moment to look around for the fleeing criminals. He hopped up on his heels to try and see over the crowd, but didn’t see them anywhere. He grit his teeth and sighed.

    “You two and your damn crowds.” he muttered under his breath. He started running off farther into the park in search of them, but was quickly stopped.

    “David? Is that you?” he heard a voice say from somewhere further in the crowd. The voice was familiar, although not particularly welcomed. He stopped to try and see where the sound had come from and sighed again when he found its source. The crowd in front of him thinned and he saw the striking figure of N standing before him. N smiled as he saw him and ran up to greet him.

    “Hey, it is you! How’re you and Paula doing?” N asked cheerily. David drooped his shoulders and sighed as the older boy walked up, trying to get through the unfortunate meeting as quickly as possible.

    “Hi N… we’re fine…” he said slowly and deliberately. He relaxed his stance as he said the words, trying to indicate he wasn’t interested in chatting.

    “Wonderful! Have you caught any new Pokémon since we last met in Nacrene? You only had Paula back then.” N continued. He was either unaware or uncaring of David’s distain and continued to talk cheerily.

    “Oh, uh, yeah, I caught a Munchlax in Pinwheel Forest. Sorry if that, uh… bothers you…” David responded, holding his elbow and looking down.

    “Haha, no, it doesn’t bother me.” N replied. “Pokémon trainers catch Pokémon, don’t they? If I got upset over every single one, I’d die an untimely death as an unhappy man. I enjoy seeing Pokémon happy, but if trainers can provide that happiness, like in the case of you and Paula, then that’s fine too. I feel like I’ve turned over a new leaf in that regard since we first met in Accumula actually; I’m not so rigid about it anymore. But anyway, what are you up to?” he continued excitedly.

    “Well, actually, much as I’d love to stay and chat, I’m kind of in the middle of something right now. Bianca and I just kept a couple of Plasma grunts from attacking an old man and they bolted before we could restrain them. I chased them into the park here, so if you’ll just let me-” David started to say, but N cut him off.

    “Ooh, that rotten Plasma bunch? Boy do they ruffle my feathers. Ever since your friend Cheren told me about what they’d been doing, I’ve been staying clear away from those crooks.” N replied. “Two heads are better than one; may I help you look for them?” he continued.

    David was taken aback by the request. He had no real reason to say “no,” but he didn’t exactly want to keep hanging around N. After a short pause, he managed to stammer “Uhh… s-sure, I guess…” A smile spread across N’s face as he heard the news.

    “Excellent! Come on, let’s get going. We should ride the Ferris wheel so we can get a bird’s eye view of the park to try and see them. I love Ferris wheels… The circular motion… The mechanics… They're like collections of elegant formulas…” N said in a mystified voice. Before David could protest, N grabbed his wrist and dragged him off towards the wheel. The pair headed off into the park in search of the criminals.

    * * *

    “Two please.” N said to the clerk as they approached the Ferris wheel. The man handed him the tickets and they proceeded to get on. A car swung around to the bottom of the circle and stopped for them. N ran on quickly, but David plodded in behind him. The Plasma grunts had surely gotten away by now, but he didn’t want to hurt the strange little man’s feelings. David entered the car behind him and stood in front of the window, feigning an attempt to look for them in the sprawling park. The car slowly began to rise and David remembered he and Bianca’s moment on the wheel from the previous night. David smiled to himself at the thought.

    “David, would you like to meet another one of my Pokémon friends?” N asked, turning to look at him. David would normally have been surprised by the question, but he had come to expect random comments and questions from N by this point. He shrugged his shoulders and N drew a Pokéball. N released the Pokémon inside and the Tympole he had used to battle with in Nacrene City popped out. The little Pokémon floundered on the floor of the car, smiling and humming to itself as it flopped around.

    “Um… I’ve already seen your Tympole before, N. That’s not a new Pokémon.” David commented. He had a tone of both confusion and indifference in his voice, and couldn’t decide which to use more strongly. He didn’t particularly care what N was doing, but at the same time, this was strange, even by N’s standards.

    “You only think this is my Tympole, but looks can be deceiving. Zorua, would you like to introduce yourself properly to my friend?” N replied. As he said this, the Tympole grinned a large grin and vanished in a small puff of smoke. Taking its place was a tiny black Zorua, grinning mischievously to itself. It hopped up on N’s shoulder and barked.

    “David, this is my Zorua. Zorua are masters of illusion and can shape-shift to look like anything they want. Their ability, Illusion, is a unique trait of the species that allows such a feat.” N explained, patting the little fox on the head. Zorua yipped again proudly as David looked on with the same look of confusion and indifference.

    “That’s nice, N. I’ve seen a Zorua before though; I know about Illusion…” David replied, turning back towards the window. He didn’t see Lennon or McCartney anywhere… not that he expected to be able to. They had a bird’s eye view of the park, but all the people looked the same, with facial features completely indistinguishable at that height. David sighed.

    “Do you now, David? You’ve seen things that are not as they appear? Can you spot the trickery before it reveals itself to you, or do you recognize it only after it has shown its true form?” N asked mysteriously. David knew he was just being weird though and paid him no attention. He slouched over and leaned his arms on the guard rail as he looked out at the city; he liked being in the tiny cart with a hot blonde girl a lot more than with N…

    “Oh, David, hold still for a minute. You’ve got some lint on the back of your jacket.” N said. He leaned forward to pinch it and David felt him pat his back. He felt a sharp prick though and jumped at the unexpected pain.

    Ow!” David yelped. “What was that?” he asked.

    “Oh, sorry, did I shock you? Must be these metal floors. I guess I built up a little electrical charge. Sorry about that.” N replied. He picked up Zorua off his shoulder and sat down on one of the seats, placing his Pokémon on his lap. He closed his eyes and sighed.

    “David, there is something I feel I should tell you. I fear you will not like it though.” N began to say calmly.

    “Whatever it is, N, I’m sure I can take it…” David muttered disinterestedly. “Whatever it is, I’m sure I don’t give a crap…” he thought to himself.

    N sighed again and hung his head, frowning a small frown. “David, I take no pleasure in the pain this will cause you, but it is only fair I tell you now. I am the King of Team Plasma.” he said matter-of-factly. He remained silent and waited for David’s response.

    David didn’t hear what he had said at first, letting the sound wash over him. Slowly, just what he had heard dawned on him and he turned to face the strange man seated behind him. He stood up straighter with a serious look on his face and asked him “What did you just say?”

    “I said… I am the King of Team Plasma.” N said again clearly. “All of the members of Team Plasma ultimately serve and report to me.” he continued. He continued to sit very straight and politely, his head still bowed and his eyes still closed. A tiny frown still lined his face, but he didn’t seem worried about David’s response.

    David stared at him in disbelief. After a moment of silence, he finally spoke up.

    “Yeah right…” David muttered, turning back towards the window. “That Ghetsis guy is the leader of Team Plasma.” he continued.

    Ghetsis is my father. He is the most high ranking of the Seven Sages, and is my trusted advisor, but he is second in command only to me. He runs the day-to-day affairs of the organization and puts policy into motion, but I have the supreme power at the end of the day. He too reports to me.” N replied.

    David sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Okay N, fine, you’re the ‘King of Team Plasma,’ whatever that’s supposed to mean. I’ll believe you simply on face. Why would you lock me in a sealed compartment, bring me up this high and block any form of escape you might have just to tell me that? If you’re really the leader of Team Plasma, what’s stopping me from apprehending you right here and now and bringing you to the police? You’d have nowhere to run, and you’re kidding yourself if you think you’re stronger than me.” he asked.

    David was still facing towards the window and leaning on the guard rail, but his head was turned to look at N. N still held his head low and had his eyes closed, speaking calmly. “Why don’t you come over here and try it, then?” he taunted.

    David stood up menacingly and turned to face N. He took a step forward, but the sudden movement left him feeling lightheaded. He put a hand to his head to try and shake off the disorientation, but it only grew stronger. The car started to shake and his vision began to split. His legs buckled under him and he fell to the ground in a slump. “Wha… what did you do to me?” he asked. N smiled.

    “I am sorry for having you trick you, my friend, but circumstances required me to take action to maintain my safety. You really did have a piece of lint on your back though, if that’s any consolation.” he said smugly. David struggled to raise his head enough to look up at him, but his strength had completely left him.

    “You… you poisoned me?” he asked in disbelief.

    “A necessary precaution, I assure you.” N explained. “It will wear off in short time and there will be no lasting damage, but the small dose I administered will give me enough time to say my peace and cover my escape. Those men you were chasing after will be able to get away too.” he continued, his smile growing bigger.

    “You sick weirdo. Why would you do this?” David struggled to say. He was completely paralyzed, able only to move his eyes and speak in a strained voice. He lay on the floor of the car, completely incapacitated.

    “Because I come with a message which I must impart unto you. I knew you would not hear anything else after I told you I was the King of Team Plasma, and this insured you would be a captive audience… literally, I suppose.” N replied. “Now let me say my peace and I will be on my way.” he continued. David remained silent.

    “Long ago in the distant past, two brothers lived in the Unova region. This land was filled with strife back then and the territory was divided into two warring factions. The brothers used the might of a single powerful dragon to end the bloodshed and unite the people, establishing the Unova region we know today. They ruled over the land for many years in an era of peace known to historians as the Prima Pax Unova, or ‘First Unovan Peace.’ The boys eventually grew into adulthood though and began to see the end of their peaceful co-reign.” N began to say. There was a soothing, albeit ominous tone to his voice. He continued with his story.

    “The elder brother sought to discover the truth about his life and his existence, foregoing everything else in his pursuit of knowledge. The younger brother sought to bring his ideals into the world and abandoned all sense of morality and reason to create the world he desired. The brothers became starkly opposed to each other and began to war amongst themselves. The stress and pressure of their debate eventually split the dragon they had used to halt the wars into two separate beasts, each one siding with one of the brothers. The elder brother gained the allegiance of the Vast White Dragon, Reshiram, and the younger brother gained the support of the Deep Black Dragon, Zekrom. The two dragons waged an epic battle that raged all across the land, destroying everything in their path. The struggle took a terrible toll on the land and eventually the brothers called off their part in the fight. Since they were born from the same dragon, neither Reshiram nor Zekrom could overcome one another. Knowing the battle would be fruitless, the brothers decided to end their quarrel to save their kingdom, but the dragons still harbored an inbred hostility towards each other that would never die. They accepted the truce, but begrudgingly. This marked the start of the Secunda Pax Unova, or ‘Second Unovan Peace.’ The brothers continued to rule the land in a joint effort until the day they died, bringing with them a second time of peace and prosperity; but the Dragons still had a hatred for each other burned deep into their souls, and would not stand for the peace for too long.” N continued.

    “The sons of the brothers eventually took up the torch of war and used the mighty dragons to continue the struggle. Reshiram and Zekrom were only too happy to oblige, fighting valiantly to put an end to one another. The elder brothers put a stop to the fighting in short order however and built Relic Castle in the Desert Resort to contain the terrible beasts. They each brought their dragons there and sealed them away in the dark catacombs of the castle for all eternity so that no one could use their legendary power to destroy the region ever again. But legends tell of two Heroes who will awaken the dragons again and reignite the age old struggle for control of the land. I hope to be one of those Heroes.” he concluded.

    The wheel was almost at the bottom of its arc now and it slowed to let them off. The doors opened and N picked David up by the shoulders. He dragged him out of the car and propped him up against the wall of the ticket booth. He knelt down and continued to speak.

    “I have ideals, David. I seek to create a world in which Pokémon may be free from the pain humans bring to them. Special cases such as you and Paula may still exist, but Pokémon should have the freedom to choose what they want for themselves. I need the power of Zekrom, the ideals dragon, to make that happen. I shall become one of the two modern day Heroes and shall do battle with the other Hero to make my dream a reality. I will reawaken Zekrom and battle in the Pokémon League to prove my superiority over all the trainers in this region. Soon, everyone in this land will look up to me and act upon my will; they ask “What shall we do, King N?” and I shall reply “Release your Pokémon, my people. Think not of yourselves, but of them!” The people of this land will release their Pokémon, and I shall begin the time of the Third Unovan Peace! The Tertia Pax Unova! But more than that, David, I believe that you will be the other Hero who stands to oppose me. You will be the trainer who wields Reshiram and battles for truth in our grand fight. Your search for truth and your mastery of Pokémon will lead you to this position. I know in my heart this is true; you and I will be Heroes… and friends.” N said magnificently. He stood up and looked down at David, still paralyzed and slumped against the building, smiling to himself ecstatically. He heard a noise from behind him and turned to look.

    “N! My Lord N! There you are; are you safe?” Lennon shouted as he ran up. He spied David slumped against the wall and smiled mockingly.

    “Well well, Pokémon Trainer… not such hot stuff now, are you? That’s what you get for messing with the mighty N!” McCartney shouted, taunting him. N shot him a stern look as he said this though and he backed down.

    “Come. I have said all I need to say to him. We will take our leave now…” N said authoritatively. The three of them started to walk away, leaving David incapacitated along the side of the wall.

    “Hey!” David shouted. They turned back to look at him, surprised he had managed to find the strength to speak.

    “Yes, David? You had something to say?” N asked curiously. A smile spread across his face as he realized what he was doing.

    David slowly began to move his arms, the poison beginning to wear off. A pained look spread across his face, but he slowly began to feel his legs function again too. He had to lift himself up by his pants legs, but he slowly rose, bracing himself against the side of the building for support. He was wobbly and shaky at first, but he managed to rise and draw a Pokéball from his belt. The pained look did not abate from his face, but a grin slowly joined it in front of his firmly grit teeth. He managed to stand up all the way, striking a fighting pose before the group. “Where…” he started to say. “Where… do you think… you’re going?” he stammered sarcastically. N smiled.

    He turned around to face David and began to clap slowly. “Bravo David, Bravo. There is no doubt in my mind anymore, you will be the other Hero. Lennon, McCartney, go quickly; let my battle cover your escape. Head for Driftveil City and don’t look back. Go.” he ordered. The pair of grunts looked at each other with confused looks on their faces but did not disobey. They ran back through the park, leaving the two would-be Heroes to their duel. N silently drew a Pokéball and prepared for battle.

    “Zorua, help me, my friend.” N said calmly as he threw its Pokéball. The little black fox sprang onto the field, growling confidently and smirking. David threw the Pokéball he had drawn earlier and Munchlax joined his opponent in the clearing. The two struck up fighting positions and prepared to fight.

    “Munchlax, use Fire Punch!” David shouted. Munchlax’s fists burst into flame and he prepared to strike, but N was too quick.

    “Zorua, Snarl.” he ordered calmly. The little Zorua began to growl and bark menacingly, breaking Munchlax’s concentration and doing a small amount of damage. The flames on Munchlax’s fists dwindled and slowly went out; Munchlax would have to find another means of attacking.

    “Now use Fury Swipes.” N continued to say calmly. Zorua leapt to attack, swiping at Munchlax with his tiny but razor sharp claws. Munchlax managed to step out of the way of most of the blows, but the final one caught him hard, raking his thick hide. He grimaced in pain, but didn’t lose his focus. Munchlax managed to grab Zorua’s tail as it regained its balance, preventing him from running away. Zorua yelped in pain and surprise as Munchlax yanked on his fluffy appendage, but couldn’t escape. A devilish grin spread across Munchlax’s face.

    “Munchlax, Body Slam!” David shouted. Munchlax held Zorua in place in front of him, falling flat on his belly and crushing the little fox. Zorua screeched in surprise and pain as Munchlax’s towering form fell on him. He squished his opponent beneath his prodigious girth, grinning devilishly to himself as he did so. He rose a moment later and found that Zorua lay in defeat before him; Munchlax and David were victorious.

    “Ahh… so it is.” N remarked calmly. He returned Zorua to its Pokéball and continued to speak. “Well done, David, you prove yet again that you are a more superior trainer than I. Perhaps I can’t beat you yet, but with the power of Zekrom, I know anything will be possible. Consider what I have told you today, my friend, for the truth Reshiram seeks is plain to see. We will meet again on the battlefield someday soon, and when we do, all of Unova will watch in awe; until we meet again, David…” he continued. He slowly turned and began to walk away, escaping into the crowd. David was still stiff from the poison and was unable to follow after him. He returned Munchlax to his Pokéball and sat down again, trying to overcome the paralysis.

    “David! Hey! There you are!” Cheren shouted. “Guess what? I won! Aerodactyl did it, so in your face!” he continued. David turned and saw his friends running up, concern spreading in their eyes as they saw his pained look. They ran up and helped him stand, holding him up by a shoulder each. Bianca began to speak.

    “Did you catch those Plasma goons, David? Are you okay?” she asked. David shook his head as a somber frown spread across his face. She drew silent and looked down, mimicking his expression.

    “I know where they’re going though. They headed off for Driftveil City. We’ll leave first thing in the morning. For right now though, I need to get back to the Pokémon Center to rest. I’ve got a lot to tell you guys; I’ll fill you in on the way.” David replied. Bianca and Cheren nodded and helped him walk slowly through the park back to the Pokémon Center; it had been an eventful day, and the poison was still working its way through his system. He didn’t know if they would actually catch up to the Plasma goons in Driftveil City or not, but that was the least of his concerns at the moment. They slowly made their way back through the city and ended their long day.

    * * *

    Lennon and McCartney were running with all their might… again… That cycle never seemed to escape them, and the constant exercise was beginning to wear them down. They were making good time though and had already reached the Driftveil Drawbridge. Luckily for them it was down and they started heading across it. The pair slowed to a walk and continued across the bridge comfortably. They caught their breath and began to talk amongst themselves casually.

    “Say what you want about Plasma bureaucrats, Lennon, but that N is one pip of a guy.” McCartney commented. “He should be the real face of the organization. There’s a guy who is sticking to the group’s principles instead of getting sucked up in the politics.” he continued.

    “You said it.” Lennon replied. “He’s a great guy. Risking his own skin to help out a couple of common grunts like us? What other leader in any organization would do that?” he continued.

    McCartney started to speak up in response, but he lost his footing and tripped. He regained his balance, but seemed to be having trouble walking.

    “You okay there, McCartney? Something wrong?” Lennon asked.

    “Yeah, I’m fine, it’s just… the ground seems to be all screwy in here, almost like it isn’t level.” McCartney replied. He had a perplexed look on his face and stared down at the bridge beneath his feet. Lennon looked down too, trying to figure out what might be the problem, but it quickly dawned on him. Blank, terrified looks slowly spread across their faces as they realized what was happening. They shot each other a horrified look and started to run. The ground beneath them slowly began to rise, forming a steep ramp on which they were running down.

    “They’re raising the bridge, Lennon, they’re raising the bridge!” McCartney shouted in panic.

    “I know, I know, just shut up and run!” Lennon shouted back. They had passed the halfway point of the bridge before it had started to go up, so they were running straight down at an increasingly steeper and steeper angle. The bridge was rising up into the sky at an ominously slow rate, making it harder and harder for them to keep their footing. The bridge eventually passed 45° and they built up too much momentum to maintain their traction. They felt the ground leave their feet and began to fall down the rest of the way. They bounced and skidded against the almost vertical ground and finally fell in a slump on the solid dirt on the other side. They landed harshly and skidded to a halt along the dirty ground. Their faces were scratched and their uniforms were covered in dirt and grass stains. They struggled to rise as they fought through the pain.

    “Well well, lookie what we have here…” a voice said from in front of them. The pair looked up slowly and saw an imposing shadow standing over them. The voice continued to speak in a slow, deliberate southern drawl. “Couple o’ no good Plasma varmints? Well this just must be m’ah lucky day…” the voice continued.

    Lennon and McCartney felt strong, massive hands grasp the collars of their clothes. They began to rise off the ground against their own will and slowly looked up at the man who had discovered them. Their terrified looks continued to line their faces as the imposing man before them began to grin.

    “Now tell me there, boys… what are you two Yankees doin’ runnin’ at a speed like that?” the man asked. “Why, if I didn’t know bett’ah, I’d say you two boys looked like you was tryin’ to get away from somebody. You fellers want to explain to me just what you was doin’?” he continued to ask.

    Lennon and McCartney shot each other another terrified look. Lennon started to stammer out a response, but the man just laughed over him and cut him off.

    “Oh don’cha go worryin’ ‘bout it there, son. You and me are gonna have some real good ol’e Texas fun. Yippie-ki-yay, you Yankee scum…” he said ominously. The man began to laugh loudly to himself in his southern drawl as he dragged the pair away by their collars into town. Lennon gulped as he was led away, unsure of what punishment the strange man had in store for them. The only thing he did know was that his troubles were not yet over.

    “Lord N?” he whispered to McCartney meekly. “Can we get a mulligan?” he continued. The man continued to laugh to himself as he dragged them away, smiling sadistically at the “fun” he had in store. The sun slowly began to set in the sky behind them, marking the end of their hectic day.

  12. #62
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    Another great chapter as usual. I must say, the lemon bit was hysterical.

  13. #63
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    Hey there! Shoot. Beaten to the first post.

    *I'm so bad at it now. T___T*

    But anyways, not a whole bunch to say. Definitely a solid chapter, but nothing much was established barring the N thing.

    And I must say, the N thing was executed quite well in this chapter. I agree with you on this one; N's Nimbasa scene in-game was a bit underdeveloped. It was just like, "Oh hey. This guy is the bane of my existence. Let's battle, and then you can walk away. Byyye!" They definitely could have done more with it, although poisoning him will only work in fan fiction. Meaning it worked really nicely for your fic.

    The lemon part was funny too. ^___^ Good thing you posted the author's note; otherwise, I would have just been confused and assumed that you were just over exaggerating their reaction. But it was quite humorous.

    Beyond that, nothing much to say. Clay's wit looks like we're going to have an interesting chapter 12 though. Solid chapter, and keep up the good work! I can't wait for the next chapter!

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  14. #64
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    I too, enjoyed the chapter and have little to say. Fun and enjoyable, and nice touch re-using the freeris wheel intro line from the game, but from what I understod of N, you've built up his not-anit-trainerness too quickly, there should be more conflict in his soul still.. Not that he doesn't fall that way in the end, and maybe I just didn't read enough into the "Special Cases" comment, but he should still be off to me, assuming a rough timeline of the game events.

    Regardless, what you have is definately solid and in no way wrong.
    Last edited by Glover; 24th September 2011 at 3:55 AM.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  15. #65
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    I am pleased to announce you have a new reader! I am on my 3ds at the moment but rest assured a full review is in your future.

    I just have two little nitpicks.

    1. I really wanted to see Cheren battle with his new terrifying team.

    2. I feel at times that the dialogue is too formal. Mainly during the sections where the characters are supposed to be carefree and yet talk like they are in their late 30's. Biggest example I found is when Bianca says thanks for the cotton candy and gets a your very welcome in response. It seems like a cold response to me. Not something that you would say to one of your best friend or object of adoration.

    Also I lied their are 3 things!

    3. The I'm too fat thing that Bianca uses really irks me. I get it they are a new couple so you need to be cutesy wutesy but those lines kill me. I think she should have said she needed to stay because she had to assist the old man and then have David think that that’s why he liked her, she has compassion for those in need.

    I lied yet again. I'm sorry but I love your Fiction and I just have these few tidbits that are bothering me.

    4. I swear this is the last one I will type out on my 3ds. The group has yet to have a birthday! You state that it was last summer when the group saved the preschoolers pokemon indicating it's been quite a while since. I mean we really haven’t seen any huge amount of time lapse yet you are referring to whole seasons as having gone by. I feel that the amount of time they have actually been journeying isn't ever set in stone.

    I just want to reiterate that your fiction rocks and you can tell that this is completely truthful because I just typed all of this out with a 3ds. If I didn't care why would I work so hard?


    Edit: So I am awake and I am at a computer so I can give you my official views on your fan fiction allot easier. Doing this chapter by chapter so get ready.


    Prologue and Chapter 1: I found the prologue to be incredibly intriguing. I don't see why Cheren couldn't use extrasensory to blast away the magma storm. I like the introduction to the characters and they way you show their Personalities.

    I loved the way you started them out with new pokemon and not the average ones. Pachirasu was Kind of a disappointment mainly just because it does not evolve at all. Also the intro to the feelings about Bianca was done quite nicely in my opinion.

    Chapter 2: The dream really revealed what David’s inner most wants are. It works incredibly well in the foreshadowing department as well. Also I enjoyed actually seeing a training sequence because most writers skip over them. The battle with N was really well written and I appreciated that you had David lose because it caused him to generate some humility. Also the Paula speaking scenes are really funny.


    Chapter 3: Alright so the thing that got me right from the get go is that I don't understand how David heard Cheren. I mean Cheren is all the way outside the pokécenter yet his voice can be heard from inside? Cheren would have to be incredibly loud for us to hear him.
    Alright the David vs. Bianca battle was a very good literary device. It showed Bianca’s battling skill while also displaying the way David feels about her. Also it gave us more epic Paula.
    The Dream yard sequence from this chapter was really well written. I get what your saying about preunova pokemon but I don't think it works particularly well. I mean this is a secluded Island so that is the reason its only got Unova pokemon.

    Chapter 4: AWESOME FRENCH PEOPLE ARE AWESOME!

    Totally did the accent when reading the French chicks part and it was epic hilariousness. The battles were well written and the Kirlia evolution however clichéd was really well described. Also the whole one down seven to go at the end was a really great line.

    Chapter 5: The Bianca catching a shiny zubat kind of put me off but I get why you do it because of the later chapters. Also the giving the kids differing pokemon the elemental monkeys allowed us to see a battle against new and different pokemon. The plasma stuff is exactly how I picture some of the characters in the fiction I have envisioned acting. I just got to get around to writing it .

    Chapter 6: Making Cheren show how smart he is was genius. It made me feel like he was an actual person and not some flat Naive character on the page. Also the Redvs.Blue thing was AWESOME. I was like haven't I heard this discussion before and then you said it was from redvs.blue and I was like OF COURSE IT IS! Munchlax capture was well done and made me excited because it means that David will be catching Either a Tynamo or a Joltik and I love both of those pokemon! Well at least I think it will be one of those two. Also dragonite skulls weigh like 15 pounds tops so it would be pretty easy to conceal.

    Okay now there is a few complaints I have with this chapter.

    1: The art conversation. Sure it characterizes the characters but I found it random and out of place. I feel it should have been used while in the art studio in Castelia.

    2. Why did you have to play into the mammy archetype for Lenora. I hate that she says Shugah and things like that. I also think you made her too old. She’s is like late 30's at most. Other then the whole mammy thing and the age I believe that the battle between her and David was fantastic!




    Chapter 7: TRUCKERS FOR THE WIN!!( sorry my father is a trucker so yeah) Now that that’s out of the way we can laugh at Cheren! HAHAHAHA Cheren is a whiney baby girl!

    The McCartney and Lennon parts in this chapter were really quite spectacular and the fact that the Zubat fought back but he still tried to keep doing what he thought was right made me feel for him. The whole Plasma section in this chapter was really good. Especially when they got pummeled by David.

    Good gym battle. I enjoyed it and loved the learning of the fire punch move. Burgh was also just as flamboyant as I was hoping he would be. The café seen was epic nuff’ said.\

    Chapter 8: Although I wasn’t scared except for the health of David this chapter probably would have scared the younger me. Eeveelution was pretty obvious but still I enjoyed seeing it. Yamasks kick butt so that was a major plus.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChaosBlizzard View Post
    But will David ever try to bone his Gardevoir? NO!
    This made my day!

    Chapter 9: The evolution of the relationship was really good and I enjoyed all the things that happened! But as I said before they seemed to talk way too formally! I don’t think the evolutions are happening way too fast. In the game I usually have about three evolutions grouped together then a lull for a while so it balances out. Thanks for including everything Nimbasa has to offer not just one place.

    The gym battle was the best yet so keep on going in that direction.

    Chapter 10: Um good chapter and great intertwining of the regions here. The Cofagrigus will be so awesome! So will Aerodactyl! The entering of dreams was interesting no doubt.

    Chapter 11: I have already told you my problems with this chapter at the beginning of this very long review.

    Thanks for writing this story and I can’t wait to read more. Can I be added to the pm list please!
    Last edited by The Oncoming Storm; 24th September 2011 at 10:00 PM.
    FEAR THE WRATH OF THE MIGHTY WALREIN WHO IS MINE!



    Quote Originally Posted by a person View Post
    Again, N believed he would thrash your ass with his dragon, thus winning the ultimate duel of death and crap between truth and ideals. He had no idea that you would pull your own dragon out of the ass he expected to thrash.

  16. #66
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    Hi everyone, just a little update to keep you all in the loop. I have just completed my first draft of Chapter 12, "The Cooling," and I will hopefully be able to post it some time during the coming week. I just have to proof and edit it now, but that may actually take longer than anticipated. I have a linear algebra test on Thursday and the work for my other classes is also starting to pick up. Basically, the chapter is nearing completion, but it'll kinda just be posted when it's posted. Check back for more soon.

    Nice to see you all liked the last chapter and I appreciate the reviews. It was kind of a slow chapter and not much happened, but it was a necessary amount of setup for things to come. Glad to see you liked it. Just to respond to one thing in particular, while N may have "built up his not-anit-trainerness too quickly," we have to remember that he was ultimately trying to trick David. Everything he said prior to entering the Ferris wheel was a ruse that was meant to lull David into a false sense of security. N is still very much anti-trainers, although I'm sure you all know how he ends up by the end of the game. Glad you all liked it.

    Now for an unfortunate bit of bad news. After mentioning my "special surprise" for you all over the last couple of posts, I'm afraid I have to report that it does not in fact still exist, like I was afraid of. It was a picture I was going to post for you all, but no one who has ever had a copy of the picture still has a copy so far as I can tell. Sorry to anyone whose hopes I built up, but it is not possible to recreate the picture and it doesn't still appear to exist anywhere. Sorry for any disappointment.

    That's all I had to say. Hopefully Chapter 12 will be posted in the next few days. It will be 2 parts, as far as I can tell, and will cover the remaining events of Cold Storage. Hope you like it. I'd also like to point out that today, September 25th, is the one-month anniversary of the creation of this thread! Happy Birthday, Chronicles, you're one month old! Thanks for turning this into the success it has become; I appreciate all your support and all the reviews. Thanks for reading.

    Stay tuned for partial excitement!

  17. #67
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        Spoiler:- Author's Notes:


    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 12: The Cooling
    Part 1 of 2

    High above the forest road, a lone figure stood atop the cliffs, looking down proudly and smiling. A light breeze blew back his flowing hair as the sun broke over the cliffs and illuminated the valley in morning light. The sunrise provided the perfect backdrop to his striking figure, silhouetted against the rocky terrain. He rested his foot atop a boulder and leaned on it as he surveyed the land. He watched his shadow from the sunlight behind him spread out into the valley and grow in length. He felt a bracing breeze blow from the north behind him and he grinned; it was about to be another beautiful day.

    The man continued to stand like a statue for several minutes, watching his shadow grow in length. He was content simply to be in nature and to look out at the dew-covered forest as its inhabitants arose from their slumber. He closed his eyes and continued to smile.

    “Good morning, Unova…” he said quietly to himself. “Your unfaltering beauty is always at its zenith at sunrise, isn’t it?” he continued.

    He looked to his left and saw the outskirts of Nimbasa City in the east poking up over the treetops. He felt his mind wander and imagined the city he knew so well; the Ferris wheel, the Pokémon Musical, all the various entertainment, and of course his old friend Elesa. “I wonder how she’s doing…” he murmured quietly. He continued to smile as he remembered the pride she instilled in him. Perhaps he would go and visit her later in the day, he thought quietly…

    He looked down at the road leading from the city and saw a group of people walking along it. They were heading to the west, approaching the Driftveil Drawbridge and talking amongst themselves; they appeared to be Pokémon trainers by their looks, but he couldn’t see clearly from that height. He decided to move in for a closer look and begin his day in earnest. He braced himself against the rock that had been supporting him and stretched. He stepped back a few feet, knelt down to brace against the ground, and took a flying leap off the cliff. He eclipsed the morning sun as he flew through the air, seeming to glide on the swells of the air like a bird in flight. His flowing hair blew wildly behind him, and his loose clothing dragged against the wind to slow his fall. He landed on his feet with a mighty “thud!” against the side of the cliff and slid down gracefully the rest of the way, eventually reaching the valley below. As he skidded to a halt at the tree line, he sighed and put his hands in his pockets. He cracked a smile and slowly began walking into the forest towards the road to meet the travelers, putting his remarkable show of strength and agility behind him as just another step in his journey. To him, what he had just done was old hat and passé.

    “I can only tell you what he told me, Cheren. He said Relic Castle was constructed to hold the dragons; I don’t know anything else.” David started to say. He walked alongside his friends as they drew near to the massive drawbridge that would lead them into the next town. It spanned across Central and Western Unova, connecting Route 5 with the massive port town of Driftveil City. They had gotten an early morning start in the hopes that they might still catch up to the Plasma goons who had escaped them the day before. Cheren sighed as David’s response hit his ears.

    “So Relic Castle was designed to hold both Zekrom and Reshiram, and as Giratina’s lair on Earth?” he quipped up in response. “Why didn’t we see them when we were there then? Seems like it would have been pretty hard to miss two giant dragons with enough power to destroy the whole region.” he continued.

    “I’ve told you fifty times now, Cheren, I don’t know. Maybe we did see them and didn’t realize it, maybe they were locked away in a different part of the castle, maybe they’ve been moved since then, I don’t KNOW! Gus was obviously guarding something when we got there though; maybe that’s what he was guarding.” David replied. “Didn’t you lure him into the crypt by grabbing that white rock? Maybe that has something to do with it.” he continued.

    “You still have that thing, don’t you, David?” Cheren asked. David slowed for a moment as he took off his backpack and rummaged around in it. The small white stone was still there, covered in the same mysterious markings that had lined the castle walls. David nodded and slung his pack back around his shoulders as they continued on their way.

    “Well, I for one think he’s just crazy.” Cheren continued. “We’ve got to watch out for him, but all that crap about the dragons and you two being the Heroes of legend is nothing more than the insane ramblings of a madman. So long as he doesn’t get violent, I say we pay him no mind.”

    “Who says David couldn’t be one of the Heroes?” Bianca spoke up, grasping David’s arm. “I bet he could control Reshiram, couldn’t you, David?” she asked. David blushed at the question and smiled; Cheren turned away in disgust.

    As they drew near to the drawbridge, they saw a rustling in the foliage along the side of the road. They slowed their pace to examine it and a man stepped out. He had olive skin that was darkly tanned from extensive time in the elements, and a veritable mane of dark red and orange hair. He had a chiseled chin and defined features, proudly displayed to the world by worn, loose fitting clothing. A poncho was draped over his shoulders like a superhero’s cape, and he had the grin and gleam in his eyes of one to boot. He strode out of the woods beside the road and approached them.

    “Hallo-ah kids!” he bellowed through his grin. “Where are you lot off to?” The group slowed to a halt as they drew near and looked to David to reply.

    “Uh, hi. We’re going to Driftveil City.” David replied after a moment of silence. “How about yourself?” he continued, trying to be cordial.

    “Well, I suppose I’m heading into Nimbasa City today to see my old friend Elesa, but as for tomorrow, who knows? I go wherever the breeze leads me; Suicune’s northern wind is my only guide. I’m on a journey to see every corner of this region.” he replied. “My name is Alder. I am the presiding Pokémon League Champion of the Unova region. I feel a duty to my position to know this region inside and out, so I’ve been exploring it exhaustively for the last several years.” he continued. He folded his arms and flashed his winning smile as he said this, shutting his eyes and lowering his head in reflection. The group was taken by surprise at this news.

    You’re the Pokémon League Champion?!” Cheren exclaimed in shock. He was almost too surprised for words. Alder saw his nervous stance and chuckled.

    “Haha, man I miss that response.” he said to himself. “Yes, I am the current League Champion. I try to not let it go to my head though; for as strong as I am, I simply have more experience than most trainers. I know that at any minute a powerful challenger could come and seek a battle with me and I could be usurped just like that.” he continued, snapping his fingers as he said the last word. Cheren continued to look up at the towering man in amazement and reverence.

    “Well, I’ve told you my current aspirations in life, how about you kids tell me yours.” Alder asked. He looked at David expectantly as he had been the first to speak up. David struggled to stammer out the words.

    “Well, um… the three of us are on our Pokémon journey together right now, Mr. Alder. Once we’ve had our fill in a couple of years, we’ll probably return to society just like most trainers do when they reach that age. If one of us is really lucky though, we’ll manage to make it to the Pokémon League and challenge the Elite Four for the right to battle you and become the Champion.” David explained. “That’s what most Pokémon trainers are after, ultimately.” he continued. Alder continued to smile but sighed as he heard David’s response.

    “What are your names, kids?” he asked quietly. The group looked at each other, still confused.

    “I’m David, and this is Cheren and Bianca. We’re childhood friends from Nuvema Town, although… uh… Bianca and I just recently… well…” David replied, looking at Bianca towards the end of his statement and blushing. Alder laughed and rested a hand on David’s shoulder.

    “Bwahaha, Nimbasa City has that effect on close friends sometimes. Always nice to see beautiful young love sprout from that city.” he bellowed. “But you three all wish to be the League Champion, do you? Tell me… to what end does that goal lead?” he continued. The group’s confusion was still growing stronger as they pondered the question.

    “To what end?” David stammered. “What do you mean?” he continued.

    “What is to be gained from becoming the League Champion? What do you three personally seek to gain from attaining that title? What does it mean to you?” Alder explained. A mischievous smile played across his lips. Cheren was the first of the group to speak up.

    “The Pokémon League Champion is the strongest trainer in the region.” he replied. “To become the League Champion, you first have to beat the old Champion, but to earn the right to that battle, you first have to beat each of the Elite Four. Before you can earn the right to challenge the Elite Four, you first have to win the Pokémon League Championships, and to simply enter the tournament you have to earn eight badges by defeating Gym Leaders. Being the League Champion proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’re the strongest trainer in the whole region.” he continued. “The League Champion has ultimate say on all matters concerning Pokémon for the whole region; if someone disagrees with the Champion about something, who are they to oppose him?” Alder laughed again as he listened to Cheren’s response.

    “So power and recognition is what you’re after, is it, Cheren? You want the rights and responsibilities that come with my position? Well, if the Champion has as much power as you claim he does, then as the current Pokémon League Champion, I say to Hell with the rules and the Championship tournament, and I challenge you to a 1-on-1 Pokémon battle, right here and now for the title of Unova Region Champion! What do you say? How about a match with the strongest trainer in the Unova region?” Alder bellowed. Cheren was absolutely in shock at the request.

    Wh-wh-what?!?” he stammered. “Right now? With me?!” he shouted. Before he could protest though, Alder had drawn a Pokéball and was preparing to battle.

    “Druddigon, go!” he shouted. A massive, blinding amount of energy shot out of the ball as it opened, revealing the ferocious form of the terrible dragon. It roared and swiped at the air as it appeared, shaking the very ground beneath their feet with its power. It stared Cheren down expectantly as it waited for its opponent to appear.

    Cheren drew Gus’ Pokéball and silently, albeit nervously, threw it into the clearing to do battle with Alder’s Druddigon. The fearsome ghost appeared before him, grinning its terrible Cheshire grin as it faced its opponent unafraid. The two squared off and prepared for battle.

    “You have the first move, Cheren!” Alder bellowed. Cheren calmed himself and prepared to issue his command.

    “Gus, use Shadow Ball!” Cheren shouted. Gus brought his four shadowy arms together before him and began building up the energy for the strike, but Druddigon was too fast and began to attack as well. Alder shouted for it to use Night Slash and the dragon drew in close to swipe at his foe with dark energy burning from his claws. Druddigon knew what he was up against and restrained himself, landing only a glancing blow against the Cofagrigus, but the Dark type attack hurt the Ghost terrifically and it lost control of the ghastly mass it was preparing to strike with. The shot went wild and nicked Druddigon, but it did little damage.

    “Gus, Astonish!” Cheren commanded. Gus reared back a distance and stared Druddigon down menacingly. He drew in a large breath of air and began to scream with all his might.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!

    The shriek broke Druddigon’s concentration and he had to grasp his clawed hands to his ears. Despite the significant level difference, Druddigon still fell to his knees as the sound reached him, crying out in pain at the loud noise. It was the first time Bianca had heard the distinctive cry since they were being attacked by it in Relic Castle and it frightened her. She buried her face in David’s shoulder and held him out of fear; despite knowing exactly what was going on, the attack still brought back terrible memories for her. Cheren began to plan his next attack.

    “Now’s your chance, Gus; use Nasty Plot!” he ordered. Gus silenced his scream and began to concentrate. The space around him began to distort and dark smoke billowed from inside his casket. After a moment of deep thought and concentration, he reopened his eyes and stared down his opponent. Fire burned in his deep, red, menacing eyes and his Cheshire grin grew more malevolent. He began building up the energy for a second Shadow Ball and prepared it in no time. The mass of dark energy was bigger than it had ever been and seemed to radiate with strength. He launched it towards the Druddigon just as it shook off the disorientation from the Astonish. Alder wasted no time in issuing a new command.

    “Druddigon, ascend!” he shouted sternly. Druddigon saw the blast coming at him and spread his massive wings. He flapped hard and tried to get off the ground, but his heavy stone body made flight a difficult operation. Just as he began to gain some altitude, the Shadow Ball hit him squarely and sent him reeling. The powerful attack had done a significant amount of damage to Alder’s Druddigon, but the level difference between the two was just so significant that Druddigon managed to shake it off and began to strike back. He flew up into the air and prepared to lash out with another Night Slash. Gus has expended all his spare energy in preparing the supercharged Shadow Ball and couldn’t evade the attack in time. Druddigon raked him with his powerful claws and sent the heavy sarcophagus flying. He fell to the ground in a daze, soundly defeated by the mighty dragon. Druddigon roared and flew back to his trainer, proudly landing before him and grinning. Alder smiled at his victory.

    “Excellent work, Druddigon.” he said proudly as he grinned. Druddigon nodded his head and smiled back, restraining himself before the reverence of his trainer. Alder patted him on the shoulder and then walked up to Cheren to congratulate him.

    “Gus, return…” Cheren said dejectedly as he returned him to his Pokéball. He looked up as Alder approached, a hand outstretched, and shook his hand. He had fought well, but still lost; Cheren was disappointed.

    “That was an excellent battle, young man; your Cofagrigus is extraordinarily powerful. That was quick thinking with your Nasty Plot, and you landed a solid hit against Druddigon. We are simply too strong and too experienced, but after a bit more training, you could give us a legitimate run for our money. You should feel proud of yourself.” Alder said in congratulations. Cheren muttered a small thanks, but turned his head away, still disappointed. Alder frowned.

    “Cheren, you said it yourself, the Pokémon League Champion is the strongest trainer in the region. Neither of us thought for an instant that I would lose, right? I didn’t challenge you because I thought you could win, I challenged you to make a point. Do you see it?” he asked. Cheren looked up in surprise and shook his head, waiting for Alder to continue to explain. Alder smiled and stepped back to rejoin his Druddigon.

    “Look at the smile on my Pokémon’s face. We both knew he wouldn’t lose, but Druddigon doesn’t care that he battled an opponent who isn’t on his skill level, he had a chance to spread his wings and have fun! That is what Pokémon battles are all about at the end of the day, Cheren: fun. Being the ‘strongest trainer’ in a region is neat and a fun thing to tout at parties, but it is a tenuous position that is constantly being challenged by young trainers like yourselves. Becoming the Pokémon League Champion is a worthy goal and something that many trainers aspire to, but if you find yourself never reaching that lofty plateau, don’t be too hard on yourself about it. If you find yourself having fun with your Pokémon at the end of the day, then that should be its own goal in and of itself. Your Cofagrigus looked like it was having fun too, so I think we both won. As someone in a position of power as great and highly respected as you say it is, that is my opinion on the nature of Pokémon battles; you don’t have to agree with me if you don’t want, but that’s what I think…” Alder said, trailing off. Cheren still wore a confused look on his face, but smiled and nodded as Alder finished. The group stood in solemn reflection for several seconds before Alder finally spoke up again.

    “So you’re off to Driftveil City, are you?” he asked. They all nodded and he folded his arms again, smiling. “Mind if I accompany you to the bridge?” he asked. They nodded again, mimicking his smile, and set off together. Alder returned his Druddigon to its ball and followed after them, strolling casually as a breeze blew through his hair. They walked in silence towards the bridge, thinking about everything he had said. Alder’s grin never abated.

    * * *

    After just a few minutes of walking, the group reached the Driftveil Drawbridge. The massive bridge was one of two spans linking Central and Western Unova, the other being Tubeline Bridge in the north which connected Routes 8 and 9. The drawbridge dumped into Driftveil City on its western entrance. Driftveil City was a massive port town which was constantly receiving cargo and other products via ships and ferries. Due to the high naval traffic around the city, the bridge had to be raised and lowered based on the needs of the ships. When they reached the bridge, they found it was raised and could not be crossed. Hanging from a post near the entrance to the bridge however was a small box with a speaker on it. Alder approached the simple radio and began addressing the group.

    “Well kids, I think this is where we part ways. I’ll help you get the bridge lowered and then I’ll be on my way. I’d like to pay Elesa a visit in Nimbasa City, so I’ll be heading back the way we came. Please remember what I told you all and continue to have fun as your journey unfolds. I look forward to seeing you all in the Pokémon League Championships soon; I have no reservations that you all will qualify.” he said. There was a booming, magnanimous timber to his voice and he seemed to radiate confidence and approval. The group looked up at him proudly and nodded in unison as smiles beamed from their faces. Alder seemed like the Infallible Man, and as much as they all wanted to ultimately battle in the Pokémon League Championship, they almost didn’t want to see Alder unseated from power. He grinned his winning smile and turned towards the box, pressing a button on the side and listening as static crackled from it. After a moment, they heard a voice speak from inside of the box.

    “Yeah?! Whaddya want? Who is this?” the voice snarled from the box. Static distorted his voice, but it had a gruff, harsh quality to it to begin with. He spoke in a slow, deliberate southern drawl, and his accent was very thick. Alder smiled as he heard the mean sounding voice and spoke into the box in reply.

    “Clay, you old Texas dog, how’ve you been?” he said in the same magnanimous voice from before. The voice on the other side was quick to reply and instantly had a much less harsh edge.

    “Alder?! Is that’chu?!” he asked in surprise. “Well I’ll be dipped in corn batter and fried on a stick! Ah haven’t heard your voice in years! What brings ya ‘round to these here parts?” he continued. Alder chuckled as he spoke into the box in reply.

    “I’m here with a group of Pokémon trainers who, I assume…” he said, turning to look at the group, “…have come to challenge your Gym. You up for the challenge?” he asked. The line stayed silent for a while though and the man on the other end didn’t respond. After a moment of silence, Alder spoke up again.

    “…Clay? …Clay, are you still there?” he asked. The line crackled with static after a second though and he spoke up in response.

    “Yeah, uh… I’m still here.” he said. “It’s jus’… I’m kinda in the middle uh somethun’ at the moment. Seems I’ve run into a couple o’ no good criminals and there t’ain’t no one here who c’un watch the jail ‘cept me. They’re locked up nice and tight, I reckon, but I’d have to leave ‘em unattended as it were to come an’ help you folks.” he continued. A small frown spread across Alder’s face.

    “Can you at least lower the bridge for us, Clay? We can talk about this in person that way.” he asked, but Clay continued to protest.

    “The terminal for the bridge controls is at the foot of the bridge itself, Alder; I’d have to leave the jail either way.” he explained. Alder sighed as he heard this news.

    “I understand we’re putting you out, Clay, but we’d really appreciate it. If you’ve got them locked up, then I don’t see how they could escape. Would you do it for an old friend?” he asked. The line was again silent for a moment, but crackled to life after a few seconds of thought.

    “Yeah… I s’pose…” Clay said begrudgingly. After a moment he continued “I’ll be there in about five minutes. You’ll be able to g’it across soon ‘nough. But if anything happens, will you folks help me round up these criminals ag’in?” Alder turned to look at David and he nodded, implying he would. Alder relayed the message and Clay spoke up again.

    “Alrighty, I’ll be ‘round right quick. Alder, you comin’ through too or just y’er buddies?” he asked.

    “No, Clay, I’m afraid I won’t be joining my young friends.” he answered. “I’ve made up my mind to go visit Elesa today, so I’ll be heading off to Nimbasa.” he continued. A high-pitched whistle came across the radio after a moment, crackling with static. It was loud and shrill, unable to pass across the bad connection properly. Clay spoke up after it finished.

    “She-yoot, you’re goin’ to see that th’ar Elesa today? You tell that little honey to give ol’e Clay a ring’un sometime, you hear? Ah-hehehe!” he exclaimed. A smile spread across Alder’s face as he spoke up to reply.

    “Clay, she’s half your age.” he said mockingly. Clay laughed heartily and spoke up for a final time.

    “She-yoot, that doe’n matter none! Where I come from, she’s good ‘nough for gov’ment work, that’s what we always say!” he exclaimed. He and Alder laughed and bade each other a fond farewell. Alder disconnected the radio and turned back to face the group again.

    “Well kids, this is it. Give Clay my regards. As I’m sure you overheard, he’s the Gym Leader of Driftveil City, so you three will be challenging him in the coming days, I imagine. Good luck on your journey and I hope to see you all again soon.” he said fondly. The group thanked him for his kind words and waved him off as he headed back down the road towards Nimbasa City. After a few minutes of waiting, the drawbridge slowly started to descend. After it had extended fully, the group set off across the water to meet their next opponent.

    “You’ve got your work cut out for you with those three, Clay…” Alder mumbled to himself as he strode down the road. He looked up at the morning sun as it shone in the sky, turning his thoughts towards his old friend in Nimbasa and his impending visit. Alder smiled again.

    * * *

    “She-yoot, that doe’n matter none! Where I come from, she’s good ‘nough for gov’ment work, that’s what we always say!” Clay bellowed into the radio on his desk. He cackled to himself in his heavy southern drawl as the voice on the other end chuckled along with him. The two bade each other a kind, familiar farewell and he flipped the radio off. He kicked his feet off of the desk and sat forward in his chair, turning back around to look at the pair of Plasma grunts as they sat worriedly in the jail cell. He grinned to himself as he stood up.

    “I gots to go run a little errand down at the bridge.” he started to say. “You boys are gonna behave y’uhselves, right n’ah? T’ain’t gonna make any trouble while I’m away, will ya?” he asked menacingly. The two men looked up at their captor and shook their heads “no” in fright. The man chuckled to himself and continued to speak.

    “I know you boys won’t. ‘Cause you two is good ol’e boys, ain’t’cha?” he asked with a grin. The pair shook their heads again, this time “yes,” and he again cackled.

    “Alrighty then, I’ll be back in a little bit. You boys best still be here when I g’it back; not like you’ve got anywhere t’uh go, ah-hehehe.” he continued. He took his heavy jacket off of the coat rack and walked towards the door. He stepped through it and slammed it shut behind him. Lennon and McCartney relaxed a bit as he strode out of sight, but stayed seated on the hard, wooden bench and stared up at the cast-iron bars. The small, one room jail was split into two sections: one a bare, open space with a folding bench hanging from the wall, and the other a dusty, sparsely furnished office with a worn desk at one end. Separating the two was a row of heavy bars, keeping the jailor safely out and the inmates safely in; Lennon and McCartney found themselves on the wrong side of those bars and sat complacently on the hard bench. After a moment of silence, Lennon stood up and stretched, hanging his arms off of the bars and staring out at the door.

    “This is it, McCartney…” he said dejectedly. “This is where our adventure ends… After all our time with Team Plasma, after all the good we did for a small handful of Pokémon, after all our allegiance to this uniform and this organization, we’re going to rot in this jail cell and no one is even going to care…” he continued, trailing off. He hung his head and sighed as McCartney sat silently behind him. After a moment in silent reflection, he too rose and joined his partner at the bars.

    “Changes aren’t permanent, Lennon. Societies have deep rooted customs and cultural norms that sometimes never change. Maybe our movement isn’t meant to succeed in this day and age. Our culture isn’t ready for a world without Pokémon to hold its hand, and Team Plasma is inevitably going to fail. We may have gotten thrown under the bus, but the bus is coming to a halt.” he mused. After a pause, he looked tiredly at the door and commented “This is what we get for challenging the status quo…” As he said this, a quiet scratching noise came from the door and it slowly opened. Lennon and McCartney stood up straighter in expectation and fear that their jailor had returned, but something altogether different came through the arch. Lennon and McCartney’s hearts raced when the sight reached them.

    “Is this it?” they heard a man’s voice whisper from outside. A fancifully adorned man stepped cautiously into the room and spied the pair standing behind the bars. A smile crept along his face at the sight of them and Lennon and McCartney beamed in response.

    “Yes, my servant, it most certainly is…” he replied.

    The man was dressed in the ornate, flashy clothing of a Plasma Sage. He raised his hand and motioned for the rest of his entourage to join him in the room. Three other Plasma grunts strode in cautiously behind him, surveying the empty room as they entered. After they had determined it was safe, one of the grunts took off a heavy pack and began unloading tools and other equipment from it. The Sage continued to smile and approached the bars.

    “Does my reputation precede me?” he asked ominously. Lennon and McCartney both grinned and shook their heads in the affirmative. McCartney spoke up excitedly a moment later.

    “You’re Zinzolin of the Seven Sages! Have you come to rescue us?!” he asked.

    “Indeed we have, my loyal servant. These bars cannot hold the rampaging might of Team Plasma! We are a force that cannot be stopped, cannot be contained, and shall not be shackled! That fool enjoyed the last of his power trip the moment he walked out that door. Now come closer and help us ready the explosives; we’re going to give that buffoon an escape he’ll never forget.” Zinzolin replied. Lennon and McCartney looked at each other in excitement and went to work assisting their comrades.

    “Maybe Plasma’s not so bad after all…” Lennon thought to himself.

    * * *

    David, Bianca and Cheren made their way across the modest bridge. It was a bit of a hike, but it was nothing in comparison to Skyarrow for instance. The journey only took around 10 minutes and seemed to pass quickly thanks to the beautiful scenery around them. Many smaller boats that could fit below the bridge passed and sailed by, bringing cargo and commerce into the bustling port. As they reached the western shore, they could see the city spreading out before them. It was built straight out of the rocky coast, extending only a short distance inland but sprawling very far to both the north and south. The northern portion of the city was more metropolitan and residential, but vast expanses of storage units and warehouses made up the entirety of the southern end. In the distant west, far away from the city itself, Twist Mountain rose up out of the foothills and towered over the entire peninsula; they would have many more adventures before reaching the base of the mountain in all its splendor though. As they drew near to the edge of the bridge, they saw a heavy set man in flashy clothing waiting for them and they approached him.

    “Are you Clay?” Bianca asked as they drew near.

    “Yes ma’am, I am. Pleased to make y’er acquaintances.” he said as he tipped his hat. He struck an impressive form, standing solidly before them in a bowlegged stance. He was heavy set and squat, but seemed like a sturdily built wall more so than fat. He wore rough, tan work clothes and a large, jewel-encrusted cowboy hat. He had a stern, honest face and seemed to have been weathered by the elements and years of hard work. He raised his arm and looked down at his watch, asking them “What are your names?” without looking up.

    “I’m Bianca, and this is David and Cheren.” she replied, motioning to her friends. Clay looked up to see which of the boys was which, and then stuck his thumbs through his belt as he sized the three of them up. After a few seconds of examination, he grunted in satisfaction and turned towards the city, gazing out at it in contemplation.

    “So you three are Gym challengers, are ya?” he asked in a gruff voice. They indicated that they were and he continued. “Well, then let me be the first to acquaint’cha with Driftveil City. This here port has become my home, and just about everything you can look out’chere and see I own or have some stake in.” he said, motioning with a sweeping gesture at the city. “I’m an investor and a businessman, and I control most o’ the commerce what goes through this city. I started off small as a farmhand on a stable in Sinnoh, but I fought my way to the top, and I earned my place as the kingpin uh this city. Some folks like to make fun uh me for m’ah rough show and m’ah down-home means uh speakin’, but I never pay it no mind, ‘cause I just buy the dirt right out from under th’ur feet…” he continued stoically. Cheren stifled a laugh as his last remark, but David shot him a disapproving look. Clay turned to look at him also and scowled, but Cheren had stopped and he turned back away.

    Clay continued to look out at the city with a grim look on his face. He inspected his kingdom and nodded gently to himself as he watched the ships come into port. After a moment of silence, David spoke up and asked him a question.

    “We couldn’t help but overhear on the radio… you said you had captured a couple of criminals? Were they from Team Plasma by any chance?” he asked. Clay grunted and nodded in the affirmative.

    “Yes indeed, son. They’re back at the jailhouse right now if’n ya want to come sees ‘em.” he replied. A surprised smile spread across David’s face as he heard the news. Clay turned away from the city and looked at him sternly.

    “You got some business with them I should know ‘bout?” he asked. David explained what had happened the day before as Clay listened with interest. As he reached the end of his story, Clay lowered his head and sighed.

    “I ‘rrested them boys on the assumption they had done some’thun wrong, but thank’n’ya kindly for confirmin’ my fears. Y’er testimony will be all ah need to convict those lowlifes.” he started to say. “Come on back to the jail and we’ll g’it things straightened-” he continued, but a loud explosion cut him off. He turned back towards the city in surprise and looked out at where the sound had come from. There was a large cloud of smoke billowing from one of the buildings, isolating it from all the rest. “Wut in tarnation?!” he exclaimed in shock. A look of rage spread across his face and he began to shake in anger.

    “Gat-dangit, Alder, I tol’e ya this was gonna happen!” he started to say angrily. He spun around on his heels and faced the startled group. He had a stern look of rage in his eyes and was breathing heavily. He spoke up loudly, waving his finger at the group as he spoke.

    “Now you listen up an’ you listen good, you damn Yankees! Me’n Alder had a deal, remember? If anything were’n to happen to those varmints, you three was gonna help me round ‘em up, you hear? We’re goin’ to go down to that jailhouse, and if them bastards ain’t still there, then we’re gonna raise seven differ’nt types uh Hell lookin’ for ‘em, got it?” he bellowed. The group nodded nervously in the affirmative and he grunted in disgust, turning back away from them and starting off towards the city.

    “Come on, you yell’ahbellies! Let’s go find them varmints before they g’it away!” he yelled over her shoulder as he ran. The group looked at each other nervously and began to follow after him. The smoke from the explosion was still pouring into the sky, marking the point of the blast. Events in Driftveil City were already off to a rocky start; David hoped they wouldn’t extend into their Gym battles as well. They headed down towards the shore to inspect just what had happened.

    * * *

    [Continued Below]

  18. #68
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    Jun 2011
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    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 12: The Cooling
    Part 2 of 2

    “Alright men, are you ready!” Zinzolin shouted. His voice carried through a lone window along the far wall of the jail cell, much too small and too high to fit a person through. Lennon and McCartney were braced as close to the bars of the jail as they could get, terrified looks spread across their faces as they waited for his signal. Stuck to the wall opposite them was a tiny charge of plastic explosives, ready to blow the wall open and set them free. Lennon nervously yelled back that they were and he heard Zinzolin begin to count off.

    “…1” he shouted.

    “…2” Lennon yelled back in confirmation.

    “Hey Lennon, do you think this might be a little dangero-” McCartney asked nervously, but Zinzolin cut him off before he could finish.

    “…3!” he yelled. Lennon and McCartney shut their eyes and braced against the bars as the explosion detonated just a few feet behind them. An ear-shattering “BOOM!” filled the air as debris and bricks sprayed throughout the room. Lennon and McCartney took the brunt of the shrapnel to their backs, but were otherwise unharmed by the explosion. When the dust settled, they timidly turned around to inspect the newly formed hole in the wall, with Zinzolin and the other grunts standing on the other side nonchalantly. The pair nervously stepped out into the street to join their comrades in freedom.

    “Well… that was safe…” McCartney commented meekly. Zinzolin paid him no mind and began heading south into the town with the group of other grunts following in tow. Lennon and McCartney looked at each other in confusion and caught up to him.

    “Um… Zi-Zi-Zinzolin?” Lennon asked nervously. “Um… where, uh… where are we going now?” he stammered. Zinzolin did not stop walking or turn to face him, but began to speak up in response.

    “We must now wait for the cover of night before we make our final escape from the city. We will wait for the coast to clear, and then we shall head into the wilderness of Route 6 and meet up with our reinforcements. We will hide out in one of the warehouses to the south and wait there for nightfall.” he explained matter-of-factly. Lennon and McCartney shot each other confused and surprised looks as he said this, not understanding his plan at all.

    “Um… Zinzolin, my lord, perhaps that is not… um… the best plan.” Lennon stammered.

    “What do you mean?” Zinzolin asked. Lennon stopped walking and spread his arms out to indicate the street around them. Not a single person was around for several blocks and no one seemed to realize what had just happened. They were completely alone in that section of the city and had gotten away almost totally scot-free. An equally confused look spread across Zinzolin’s face as he stared at Lennon’s gesture.

    “The coast is already clear, sir. Let’s just make our escape now.” Lennon said in surprise, but Zinzolin simply shook his head and kept walking.

    “We will wait at the docks for the cover of night, and that is final.” he explained, walking farther down the street. A look of disbelief spread across Lennon’s face as the words struck his ears, turning to look at his partner in shock. McCartney shrugged his shoulders, an equally confused look covering his face as well. Timidly, curiously, the pair continued down the road after their saviors; they headed south into the city and left the smoldering wall behind them. Lennon leaned in near to McCartney and began to whisper something to him.

    “Remember all that talk about Plasma bureaucrats who don’t know their heads from their asses?” he murmured softly. McCartney whispered back in the affirmative and he continued. “Well, I think we’re following one into some deep shit right now.” he continued to say. McCartney swallowed nervously and the pair followed the group farther south towards the docks. They might be out of the frying pan, but they feared they were being led straight into the fire…

    * * *

    The door to the small, one-room jail slammed against the wall as Clay burst in, looking around in rage for the criminals. He spied the gaping hole in the wall, still smoking, and roared. He took his hat off and threw it on the ground in a fit. David, Bianca and Cheren ran in behind him and noticed the hole as well, moving back from the rampaging cowboy nervously.

    Gat-dangit!” he roared. He made a fist and brought it down fiercely on his desk, shaking the room with his strength. He put both hands on the desk and bent over as he caught his breath, seething with rage. The group behind him knew better than to interrupt him at a time like this and remained silent as they waited for him to address them. After he had composed himself, he opened a briefcase that was sitting on the desk and pulled out a cell phone. He punched a few buttons on the device and waited for the person on the other end to answer.

    “Come on, you varmint… answer y’uh damn phone…” he muttered angrily as it rang. They heard a man mumble something on the other end and Clay began to shout.

    “Hank! It’s Clay. Stop ALL traffic out of the city. We got a couple uh Plasma varmints what done escaped by blowin’ a Gat-dang hole in the side uh the jail! This is a matter uh personal pride; no ships are to leave port, you understand me, son?” he bellowed. They heard the man on the other end begin to protest, but Clay cut him off. “Ah KNOW how much that’ll cost us, so git the rest o’ the police force on task lookin’ for ‘em. I’ll be down to the station personally in a few minutes t’uh meet’cha. Now git goin’!” he continued. He snapped the phone shut as he said this and threw it back into the briefcase haphazardly. He turned to look at the group behind him, wearing a stern look on his face, and began to address them.

    “Now listen here, kids… I ain’t an unreasonable man, I jus’ know that fair is fair. We had a deal that if I left those Gat-dang Yankees unguarded to lower the bridge for’ya, that you’d help me round ‘em up if someth’un like this done happened. I’m goin’ to go meet m’ah ol’e business partner Hank down at the p’lice station and we’ll turn this city right over to find those bastards, but you kids are going to start the search without me. Head south into the storage yards and start lookin’. I’ll be ‘round to meet’cha right quick, understand?” he explained sternly. The group nodded slowly as they looked up at the rough man. He nodded back and tipped his hat to them. He grabbed the briefcase off of the desk and ran out of the door to the north. The group followed after him, turning instead to the south.

    “Be sure and check all uh the warehouses!” he shouted over his shoulder. The group waved him off as he ran out of sight. They continued heading south towards the docks in pursuit of the fleeing criminals. They didn’t know what they would find, but they knew that time was of the essence.

    * * *

    “In here.” Zinzolin said calmly, motioning to one of the warehouses. “We will hide out in here.” he continued. The small band of Plasma operatives had reached a secluded warehouse near the docks that appeared void of any crews loading or unloading cargo from it. It was tucked away in the back, surrounded by several other warehouses of comparable size. One of the grunts that had been with him when he arrived at the jail opened the door and held it for the rest of them. Lennon and McCartney stepped in and looked around nervously.

    “We’re going to wait until it gets dark in here?” McCartney asked. The warehouse Zinzolin had picked was temperature controlled to store frozen cargo like food, and everywhere they looked they saw ice and icicles. The floor was wet from water the shipping crews had tracked in, and the ground was covered in sheets of slick ice from where it had frozen over. It may have just been an optical illusion, but if he squinted, McCartney could have even sworn he saw snow falling from the air conditioning units hung around the warehouse. “We’ll freeze to death if we spend more than a few hours in here!” he continued worriedly.

    “Nonsense, we will be fine.” Zinzolin said matter-of-factly. “We will pick a secluded place to hunker down and we will all sit together to share heat. It’s the perfect plan…” he continued, walking forward into the giant warehouse. Lennon and McCartney shot each other a worried and confused look, but followed timidly after him and the three other Plasma grunts. After several minutes of walking, they reached the back corner of the room and came to a large shipping container that was open.

    “Here.” Zinzolin said stoically. “We will wait in here.” he continued. The conex was open and was recently emptied of its contents. A few blocks of ice lined the back, but it was otherwise empty. He and the three Plasma grunts walked in and sat down near the ice in the back. Lennon and McCartney followed after them, shutting the doors slightly so they couldn’t be seen. They sat down with the other Plasma grunts and looked around at the shadows that now filled the crate, worriedly thinking to themselves about what fate might befall them if they were discovered… or worse, if they weren’t. Lennon spoke up after a moment of thought and asked a question.

    “So, um… how will we know when it’s safe to leave?” he asked. Zinzolin sat with his legs folded and his arms stuffed under his robe, meditating calmly to himself.

    “I have an impeccable sense of time.” he answered. “I will know when it is nightfall.”

    “Well, um… no disrespect, sir, but… shouldn’t we maybe get a clock or something? Or post a guard outside?” Lennon continued, but Zinzolin did not stir.

    “You complain too much, operative. Would you rather be back in the jail listening to that buffoon droll on about life in Texas?” Zinzolin replied.

    “At least it wasn’t freezing in there…” McCartney muttered under his breath.

    “I heard that.” Zinzolin said with the slightest tone of condescension in his voice. “You make a good point though, operative, we should move closer together to keep warm.” he continued. The five Plasma grunts all huddled in together and formed a circle around Zinzolin to keep warm. Lennon couldn’t help but feel a tad bit uncomfortable pressed up so closely against the five other grown men, and he personally wasn’t really any warmer; Zinzolin, on the other hand, being in the center of the circle, sighed contently as the group huddled around him. The group remained silent for a few moments, but after a short time, Zinzolin decided to speak up again.

    “I grow weary of the darkness and the silence. Come, noble operatives, sing with me!” he bellowed. “Ooooooh! Ninety-nine Pokémon out in the field, ninety-nine Pokémon! Set one free, fill it with glee, ninety-eight Pokémon out in the field! Everybody!” he shouted. The three other grunts who sat around him began to sing in a loud voice along with the sage. “Ninety-eight Pokémon out in the field, ninety-eight Pokémon! Set one free, fill it with glee, ninety-seven Pokémon out in the field!” they bellowed in unison. A terrified look spread across Lennon and McCartney’s faces.

    “No! Shh! What are you doing?!” Lennon whispered nervously.

    “We’re supposed to be hiding in here! You’re going to blow our cover!” McCartney continued.

    “Nonsense! I am Zinzolin of the Seven Sages of Team Plasma and I order you to SING!” Zinzolin shouted with a laugh. “Ninety-seven Pokémon out in the field, ninety-seven Pokémon!” he started. Lennon and McCartney looked at each other nervously.

    “Set one free…” Lennon stammered.

    “Fill it with… um… glee?” McCartney continued.

    Ninety-six Pokémon out in the field!” the rest of them finished in a booming voice. Lennon and McCartney sighed as the song continued.

    “I always hoped I would go down swinging, McCartney, not singing.” Lennon muttered to his partner.

    “I can’t hear you!” Zinzolin bellowed. “Ninety-six Pokémon out in the field, ninety-six Pokémon! Set one free, fill it with glee, ninety-five Pokémon out in the field!”

    Lennon sighed.

    * * *

    The group hurried towards the docks in search of the fleeing Plasma grunts. David in particular had a vested interest in stopping them; he wanted to repay Lennon personally for calling Bianca a “bitch.” They crossed a small bridge and came to a section of town that was nothing but massive warehouses, all lined side-by-side next to each other near the docks. Many derelict ships sat in port, unable to go out to sea thanks to Clay’s order. The area was almost totally void of any people since the workers had gone home after Clay halted their work. The group ran towards the center of the area and stopped to look around.

    “So how are we going to do this, David?” Cheren asked. “Should we split up to look for them or what?” he continued. David drew a Pokéball and released the Pokémon inside.

    “Paula, can you sense anyone else around here besides us?” David asked as she landed gracefully on the tips of her toes from the ball. The petite Kirlia looked up at him with a smile and closed her eyes.

    “Yes, master, there are several other minds nearby in close proximity to one another, but I cannot get a lock on their whereabouts. All of the metal walls around this place are hampering my ability to sense them distinctly.” she replied after a moment of thought.

    “What if we got you closer?” David asked. “Would that help you sense them?”

    “Yes, master, I would think that it would.” she replied. David nodded and looked back up at Cheren to explain the plan.

    “Paula says there’s definitely a big group of people here somewhere, so we’re on the right track. We’re going to go one building at a time and iterate through each one. We’ll bring Paula to the door of each building and she’ll be able to sense if there’s anyone inside. The only other alternative would be for us to split up and check them four at a time, but we’d have to search them manually. Staying together will be faster in the long-run because Paula can sweep a building instantly. Sound good?” he explained. Cheren and Bianca nodded and they set off for the northwestern-most warehouse. They brought Paula to the door and she began to focus.

    “No, master, this is not the right building.” she said after a moment of though. David nodded and they went off to the next one. They continued this iterative process until they had reached the final row of warehouses, having exhausted every other one. They came to the southwest-most building and set Paula up in the doorway.

    “Okay, Paula, last row. It has to be either this one, or one of those ones over there.” David commented, pointing to the remaining few buildings to the east. Paula closed her eyes and began to focus, smiling to herself a moment later.

    “Yes, master, this is it!” she exclaimed. “There are six people in here, somewhere near the back. They seem to be in some sort of distress, two of them more so than the other four.” she continued. David put a hand on her shoulder and smiled as she looked up.

    “Great job, Paula. Let’s go find those bastards.” he said with determination. The group ran into the building with Paula levitating behind them in tow. They shut the door to keep the convicts from escaping and set to work exploring the building.

    “Alright guys, she says they’re somewhere near the back. Let’s find a way through these shipping containers.” David explained. Bianca and Cheren nodded, and Bianca began running off into the warehouse.

    “Bianca, wait, you might not want to run so fa-” Cheren started to say as she ran off, but it was too late.

    “What did you say, Cher- Whooooooa!” she screamed in surprise. She had bolted off into the slippery, frozen room too quickly and slipped on some of the slick ice that lined the floors. She struggled to regain her balance but fell back on her butt and proceeded to slide out of sight feet-first at a rapid pace.

    “Bianca!” David shouted in concern.

    Help meeeeeeee!!!” she exclaimed as she slid out of sight. Cheren stifled a laugh at her clumsiness, but David grit his teeth and ran off after her, sliding on the thin ice as well. Cheren was taken aback at his friend’s reaction to her predicament and sighed, wandering off into the warehouse along his own path. He found an alternate route through the frozen building and muttered something to himself about “morons…”

    David managed to maintain his balance and slid along the ground at a lightning speed. He stood low to the ground like a snowboarder and followed the twists and contours of the rough path the ice formed around the building. It seemed to stretch on throughout the whole room, forming a cloverleaf if viewed from above. Bianca was still out of sight, but he could hear her screaming from just up ahead.

    “Need a hand?” he heard Paula say in his head. He turned around and saw her gliding along the ice behind him. She looked as content and carefree as she had ever looked, gliding effortlessly on the tip of one foot, the other stretched out behind her like the pose for a camel spin. She wore a giant grin on her face, contorting to different positions effortlessly. She hopped up and spun around in a Y-spin before landing again, gracefully curtsying in her short skirt on the ice.

    “Nice moves, Tiny Dancer. How do you plan on helping?” David asked with a smirk. Paula covered her mouth as she giggled at his remark and began to glow with a faint light. David felt himself leave the ground and the pair hovered over the ice, maintaining their speed. Paula lifted him up over the boxes that lined the building and he saw Bianca up ahead. The pair circumvented the rest of the path and landed at the edge of the ice. Bianca was coming in fast, unable to slow down or stop. David braced himself against one of the shipping containers and caught her as she slid in. Her force pushed him back against the steel conex with a “bang!” but he was unharmed. Bianca was dazed and dizzy, unable to focus and gingerly held her head. She looked up at David after a moment and shook off the disorientation from her trip.

    “Safe!” David shouted mockingly like a baseball umpire. Bianca sighed as he helped her stand. After they had righted themselves, they heard a voice call out from somewhere behind them.

    “Are you two done fooling around yet?” Cheren asked indignantly. He stood on top of the shipping container Bianca had crashed into. He looked at them sarcastically before hopping down and landing next to them. David and Bianca laughed as he sighed, having made it safely, more or less, across the building.

    “Four Pokémon out in the field, four Pokémon! Set one free, fill it with glee, three Pokémon out in the field!”

    The sound carried faintly through the room from a nearby container. The group turned to look at it in surprise, questioning if they were really hearing it or not.

    “Is that…” Cheren started to say. “Is that… singing?” he continued.

    “I suppose my psychic powers are unnecessary to advise you that that is where they are, master…” Paula mumbled. David chuckled as the group cautiously moved towards the conex to take the criminals by surprise.

    * * *

    “Four Pokémon out in the field, four Pokémon! Set one free, fill it with glee, three Pokémon out in the field!”

    The group continued to sing brightly as they neared the end of their song. The three grunts who had been with Zinzolin when they had arrived at the jail however were the only ones still singing. Lennon and McCartney had given up around fifty freed Pokémon ago and Zinzolin himself another ten before that. Zinzolin wore an angry, sour look on his face and had his arms crossed like a child. He sighed and began to speak up.

    “I’m cold…” he muttered angrily. Lennon and McCartney wearily looked up at him, unsure what to say in response. He scowled back at them and pouted.

    “You two! If you won’t sing to entertain your Sage, then give me your cloaks. I am too cold.” he said sternly. Lennon and McCartney looked at each other in shock.

    “Give you our cloaks?!” McCartney said in disgust. “Like Hell we will! This was your stupid plan to sit in here for the rest of the day anyway! I told you we’d freeze in here and you said that was ‘nonsense!’ Deal with the consequences like the rest of us.” he spat. A look of rage spread across Zinzolin’s face.

    “You are operatives of Team Plasma and I am your Sage! You were locked up in that horrid jail and we broke you out! Do as you are told and warm your Sage!” he shouted. He grabbed at McCartney’s cloak but the pair rose to get away. Zinzolin flushed red at their insolence.

    “To Hell with Team Plasma!” Lennon shouted. “Setting Pokémon free is a noble aspiration, and we are devoted to Lord N and Ghetsis, but you’re nothing more than a fat, stupid old man!” he continued. Zinzolin rose in anger to defy them.

    “Take heed, operative. What you say is heresy!” he shouted, but the commanding timber of his voice was gone. He sounded like a child throwing a tantrum for not getting his way. Lennon would have spat at his feet, but he figured it would just freeze before it hit the ground.

    “Three Pokémon out in the field, three Pokémon! Set one free, fill it with glee, two Pokémon out in the field!” the other three grunts sang, trying to diffuse the situation, but the quarreling group shouted over them.

    “Heresy to the cause would be to use your power for personal gain and no longer think about freeing the Pokémon!” McCartney yelled. “Gee Lennon, do we know anyone like that?” he continued, mockingly.

    “A fat old loser who doesn’t give a shit about the Pokémon anymore? Well gosh, I can’t think of anyone like- OH WAIT!” Lennon replied in mock sincerity. “There’s one standing right in front of us, McCartney!” he continued. Zinzolin practically shook with rage.

    “Two Pokémon out in the field, two Pokémon! Set one free, fill it with glee, one Pokémon out in the field!” the group continued to sing nervously. “Come on guys, just one more left!” one of them said, but Zinzolin turned to him in rage.

    Stop singing that blasted song!” he bellowed in the man’s face. “And you two! I will see to it personally that you both are court marshaled when we get out of here!” he shrieked at Lennon and McCartney.

    “And we’ll see to it that you are, you disloyal old fart!” Lennon shouted back. “You don’t care about the Pokémon anymore, you just have blindfolded faith for ‘Team Plasma’ because they gave you power!” he continued.

    “One Pokémon out in the field, one Pokémon! Set it free, fill it with glee, no Pokémon left in the field!” they continued to sing, finishing the song.

    STOP SINGING!” Lennon, McCartney and Zinzolin shouted in unison. “I don’t think that’ll be a problem…” a voice said menacingly from behind them. They all leapt back in shock to see where the voice had come from, seeing a group of people standing outside the conex proudly. Lennon and McCartney gasped when they realized who it was.

    David stood defiantly with his arms folded in front of him in front of the conex. Paula stood daintily behind him, ironically providing the “muscle” to back up his implied threat. Bianca and Cheren grabbed one side of the door each and opened it wide before flanking their friend on either side. The group struck an imposing sight and had the criminals trapped in the empty conex. David smiled fiendishly to himself at the look of horror on the Plasma grunts’ faces.

    “Paula, can you get a message out to Clay to tell him where we are?” David thought to himself as he stared down the shocked criminals. Paula nodded and closed her eyes to focus. It took a tremendous amount of energy to get the message the long distance, but she managed it slowly. David continued to speak to buy her some time.

    “You boys having a sing-a-long?” he asked, chuckling to himself. Lennon and McCartney blushed and shrunk back, but Zinzolin approached them in rage.

    “Just who the Hell do you think you are, brat?” he spat. David smirked to himself and tried his best to do an impersonation of Clay.

    “I’m the law ‘round here, varmint. You gonna come quietly or are we gonna have to shoot’cha?” he asked, chuckling to himself. Bianca laughed too, but Cheren just rolled his eyes.

    “Guards, defend your Sage!” Zinzolin shouted. The three grunts who had been singing rose and drew Pokéballs to defend themselves with. Zinzolin spun around and grabbed Lennon and McCartney by the scruff of their clothes as the grunts walked past him to begin the battle.

    “You two are going to defend me personally, got it?” he snapped. The pair nodded with annoyance and moved farther back into the container to get away from the impending fight. David, Bianca and Cheren prepared for battle.

    The three Plasma grunts each drew a single Pokémon. They would have to have a Triple Battle, a unique battling style that had originated in the Unova region. The one on the right released a Ducklett to battle Bianca, the one on the left drew a Vanillite to battle Cheren, and the middle grunt sent out a Darumaka to battle David. The trio of Pokémon stared their opponents down menacingly, preparing to defend their trainers.

    “Go, Pachirisu!” Bianca shouted. The ele-squirrel Pokémon leapt from the ball and sized up the Ducklett standing opposite it. “Aerodactyl, help us out.” Cheren continued, releasing the massive beast. He barely fit in the enclosed area, terrifyingly shrieking at the little Vanillite who stood to oppose him. Paula stepped forward from behind David to do battle with the Darumaka, calming herself to build up her psychic strength. She informed her trainer that Clay was on his way, and the battle began.

    “Pachirisu, use Charge Beam!” Bianca commanded. Pachirisu began to bristle with electricity as she prepared the blast. Ducklett was too fast however and moved in to strike. “Ducklett, Bubblebeam!” the right grunt shouted. The Water Bird Pokémon flew like an arrow towards Pachirisu, spraying her with the strong jet of water. The bubbles burst explosively as they hit her, breaking her concentration and doing a good deal of damage. She had built up the energy to launch the Charge Beam, but she couldn’t see to aim it.

    “Vanillite, Icicle Spear!” the left grunt commanded. Vanillite sucked up a large gust of air and began to blow, knocking some of the icicles that hung from the ceiling off towards Aerodactyl. Aerodactyl was much too fast however and dodged them with ease, twisting and turning through the air as he went. Vanillite poked its head outside of the conex to watch its opponent soar through the warehouse. After dodging the final one, Aerodactyl turned and flew like a jet towards his opponent.

    “Darumaka, Fire Punch!” the middle Plasma grunt called for. Darumaka leapt into the air towards Paula, fists enflamed, and grinned a devilish grin. It smashed towards her with the fearsome blows, but David was too quick.

    “Paula, Heal Pulse!” he commanded. Paula shrouded her wrists in small shields of psychic power, blocking each strike with them. Darumaka was unrelenting, smashing repetitively towards her. With each hit, the shield faded and she had to bring her other arm up to sponge the next one, but she managed to remake them as quickly as they faded, bracing herself like a knight in armor might sponge the blows from a sword. Darumaka was gaining incredible power from its Hustle ability, but at the cost of some control; after Paula deflected punch after punch, the little monkey got enraged and launched a wild blow towards her. Paula Teleported out of the way and Darumaka fell to the ground in a heap, dazed and confused from the inaccurate and overpowered blow. Paula reappeared behind it, seeing her chance to strike.

    Pachirisu was in a dire straight. It had plenty of power to launch the Charge Beam towards the enemy Ducklett, but the steady stream of exploding bubbles kept her from being able to see where to aim it. Ducklett was coming in hot, still launching the blast powerfully from its beak. Bianca was quick to react however, changing her earlier command from a Charge Beam to a Spark. Pachirisu maintained the built up electricity that coursed through her body and, as Ducklett drew near, threw herself at the speeding waterfowl. The Electric attack did absolutely crushing damage to the Water/Flying type Pokémon and it fell to the ground in defeat instantly. Pachirisu landed gracefully from the tailspin and winked cutely at Bianca. Bianca squealed in proud joy for her Pokémon as the battle raged on around them.

    Aerodactyl was coming in like a rocket towards Vanillite. The left Plasma grunt ordered it to use Icy Wind to try and slow his charge, but the attack did nothing to stop him. The freezing wind stung Aerodactyl, but he was simply too powerful for the Fresh Snow Pokémon. Aerodactyl flew down and slashed at Vanillite with his powerful wings, performing a mighty Fly attack. Vanillite slammed back into the conex and fell to the ground in defeat amongst the blocks of ice. Aerodactyl screeched jubilantly and continued to circle overhead.

    Paula saw her chance to strike as she reappeared over the fallen Darumaka. The Zen Charm Pokémon tried to stand to defend itself, but Paula was too quick. David called for her to launch a Confusion attack and Paula loosed the highly defined psychic blast at the little monkey, sending it flying. Darumaka took the attack squarely, hitting its back and sending it sailing towards its trainer. Darumaka landed in a heap next to Ducklett in defeat, marking the end of the battle. David, Bianca and Cheren had soundly defeated the Plasma grunts 3-0, securing victory and ensuring they would be taken back into custody.

    “Hey McCartney, why does Team Plasma always seem to lose?” Lennon asked. “Whenever any of us has to defend ourselves at the end of a job, we always seem to just get trounced by whatever random trainer seems to be passing by. You ever noticed that before?” he continued, speaking clearly and facing Zinzolin as he spoke. Zinzolin shook with anger.

    “Yeah, I have noticed that before, Lennon. Battling Pokémon may be wrong, but you’d think the execs would at least issue us some Pokémon we could actually defend ourselves with.” McCartney spoke up in reply. “You think we should give Boldore and Trubbish a shot?” he asked.

    “You two shall do no such thing!” Zinzolin shouted in rage. “You have been ordered to defend your Sage, and that is what you shall do! You are not to leave my side until this is over!” he continued. “Stop right th’ar, you pansy-ass Yankees!” a voice shouted from outside the conex. Zinzolin leapt up in surprise at the sound.

    David, Bianca and Cheren turned to look where the cry had come from and spotted Clay running through the warehouse towards them. Behind him were about 20 police officers, fully armed in SWAT gear and ready to take the criminals into custody. The group laughed at the impressive show of strength Clay had brought together and waved as he reached them.

    “They’re in here, officers!” David said proudly, pointing to the conex. “Five Plasma grunts and what looks like one of their Sages. Take ‘em away!” he continued, grinning happily to himself. The officers stormed into the storage crate as the grunts returned their Pokémon. Zinzolin shrieked in fury at his defeat, shaking the whole warehouse and causing a few loose icicles to crash. The police officers were quick to grab him, if only to shut him up.

    “Kinda overkill bringing so many officers, isn’t it, Clay?” Cheren asked nonchalantly. Clay snorted in disgust and surprise at the question, as if such a massive show of strength was routine business.

    “Like ah said on the phone, bringin’ these Yankees t’uh justice was a bit of a personal vendetta o’ mine.” he replied, trailing off. The police officers were beginning escort the Plasma goons out of the shipping crate and back out into the warehouse; Zinzolin was positively livid.

    You horrible people get your hands off of me!” he shrieked. “I am one of the Seven Sages of Team Plasma and you will respect my AUTHORITY!” he continued, kicking and screaming. Clay frowned sternly and walked over to him.

    “N’ah you listen here, Mist’uh ‘Sage…’” he started to say, tipping his hat. “You might think you got some kind’uh ‘authority’ in y’er prissy little cult called ‘Team Plas-muh,’ but out here in m’ah world, you ain’t worth the piss y’er spillin’ on m’ah floor.” he continued. “Arceus created men, and Samuel Colt made ‘em equal, but in Driftveil Gat-dang City, AH make the rules. N’ah BOOK ‘EM, Dano!” he shouted. Zinzolin screamed in wild anger as the police took him away, shouting unintelligible curses and promising to make Clay “rue the day.” Clay just tipped his hat and sighed as the men were taken away.

    “Hey, hold on, wait a second.” David said as Lennon and McCartney were dragged off by the police. The officers holding them stopped as David strode up, a stern frown spread across his face. David walked up to Lennon and gave him a disapproving stare.

    “We keep running into each other, don’t we?” he asked condescendingly. Lennon grit his teeth and nodded, spitting just as much venom as David was. “What are your names?” David asked, motion to both of them.

    “Lennon and McCartney.” Lennon muttered in disgust. David did not break his stern gaze and continued to speak.

    “Well Lennon, you said some pretty hurtful things about my girlfriend yesterday. You’re about to go to jail and we’ll hopefully never see each other again. You think maybe you owe her an apology?” he asked superiorly. Lennon flashed red and looked about ready to bust a gasket. David motioned for Bianca to join him and she walked up, looking rather embarrassed and put-out.

    “Let me guess, kid…” Lennon started to say, still looking angrily at David. “You’re all bent out of shape because I called your little High School sweetheart a ‘bitch,’ aren’t you?” he asked. David made a fist and had to restrain himself from throwing it, but he nodded at Lennon, still gritting his teeth.

    “Well, you know, I’d love to apologize for what I said and all, but there’s just one problem. What I said is true.” he whispered. “You better grow yourself a thicker skin, you little brat, because the way you kids act, lots of people are going to be calling her a- OOFH!” he shouted, but David delivered a strong uppercut to his chest before he could finish. The officer holding Lennon had to brace himself against the ground to keep the man upright. David wore a calm look on his face, showing no outward signs of rage except his unwavering glare.

    “Call us what you want, scumbag, but which one of us is going to jail and which one of us isn’t?” he murmured. “Alright officer, take ‘em away. I’m done…” he continued, turning his back and walking off. The officer nodded and continued to lead the Plasma grunts away. The group left the warehouse and stepped out into the pleasant evening sun.

    “Well, I gotta hand it to y’uh, you guys ain’t half bad.” Clay said, cracking a smile for the first time they had seen. David, Bianca and Cheren returned the gesture as they watched the police file out of the warehouse and back into town. “You kids come an’ challenge m’ah Gym whenever you’re ready. I’ll be waitin’…” he continued. Clay tipped his hat towards them and ambled off along with the police. He strode off into the sunset and eventually went out of sight.

    The group stared out at the sun as it set across the water, enjoying the cool ocean breeze and the sounds of the nighttime docks. After a while, they too headed back into town to recuperate for their impending battle. As the nightlife of the town came to life, blending elements of all the cultures who imported into the port, the group drifted off to sleep as their day came to a close.

  19. #69
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    “Look at the smile on my Pokémon’s face. We both knew he wouldn’t lose, but Druddigon doesn’t care that he battled an opponent who isn’t on his skill level, he had a chance to spread his wings and have fun! That is what Pokémon battles are all about at the end of the day, Cheren: fun. Being the ‘strongest trainer’ in a region is neat and a fun thing to tout at parties, but it is a tenuous position that is constantly being challenged by young trainers like yourselves.
    Best handling of PKMN champions. I gotta keep that in mind for one of my chapters later.

    Becoming the Pokémon League Champion is a worthy goal and something that many trainers aspire to, but if you find yourself never reaching that lofty plateau, don’t be too hard on yourself about it.
    On the other hand, that was a bit defeatist...

    ‘Cause you two is good ol’e boys, ain’t’cha?
    Hazzard reference there?

    he yelled over her shoulder as he ran.
    Ahem, unless Clay is a trans-gnedered bi=polar maniac, that should be his shoulder...

    I like Clay, but I imediately defaulted to Yosemite Sam. Do I get poitns for that?

    “Nice moves, Tiny Dancer. How do you plan on helping?”
    YAY FOR ELTON JOHN REFRENCES!! You, have a nice taste in music.

    “Two Pokémon out in the field, two Pokémon! Set one free, fill it with glee, one Pokémon out in the field!” the group continued to sing nervously. “Come on guys, just one more left!” one of them said, but Zinzolin turned to him in rage.
    Love, love, love this portrayal of Plasma. best crime synidicate I've ever read.

    One Pokémon out in the field, one Pokémon! Set it free, fill it with glee, no Pokémon left in the field!” they continued to sing, finishing the song.

    “STOP SINGING!” Lennon, McCartney and Zinzolin shouted in unison. “I don’t think that’ll be a problem…” a voice said menacingly from behind them. They all leapt back in shock to see where the voice had come from, seeing a group of people standing outside the conex proudly. Lennon and McCartney gasped when they realized who it was.
    I always wondered what happens if you finished that song. Apperently, people yell at you to finish something that's finished.

    But hey, at least they are agreeing on something...

    Aerodactyl was coming in like a rocket towards Vanillite. The left Plasma grunt ordered it to use Icy Wind to try and slow his charge, but the attack did nothing to stop him. The freezing wind stung Aerodactyl, but he was simply too powerful for the Fresh Snow Pokémon. Aerodactyl flew down and slashed at Vanillite with his powerful wings, performing a mighty Fly attack. Vanillite slammed back into the conex and fell to the ground in defeat amongst the blocks of ice. Aerodactyl screeched jubilantly and continued to circle overhead.
    Yes, yes, I am well aware that you can battle them in the game with anything from a Skitty to a muthuh-freaking Wailord, but how does ONE Aerodactyl WALK, let alone FLY in a container-- oh, I see, You left a part out about him going outsside of it, though you do refer to him flying around outside the container. Even still, that's aweful close-quarters battling for an Aerodactyl. It's like dogfighting with a B52 in a city
    ...

    McCartney spoke up in reply. “You think we should give Boldore and Trubbish a shot?” he asked.

    “You two shall do no such thing!” Zinzolin shouted in rage. “You have been ordered to defend your Sage, and that is what you shall do! You are not to leave my side until this is over!”
    Something's lost in translation. As I understand it, "give it a shot" reads as going into battle, which Zinzolin orders them to NOT do, then orders them to defend him. Does he means they have to face Paula with their fists?

    “Well, you know, I’d love to apologize for what I said and all, but there’s just one problem. What I said is true.” he whispered. “You better grow yourself a thicker skin, you little brat, because the way you kids act, lots of people are going to be calling her a- OOFH!” he shouted, but David delivered a strong uppercut to his chest before he could finish. The officer holding Lennon had to brace himself against the ground to keep the man upright. David wore a calm look on his face, showing no outward signs of rage except his unwavering glare.
    Umm... Okay, I used to like those two. Now they deserve to curb-stomped by a Boufalant. And YOW! An uppercut huh, and to the chest,. that's an-under-the-sternum-through-the-diaghram shot right there...
    Last edited by Glover; 28th September 2011 at 12:51 AM.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

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    Man your chapters never fail to get a laugh out of me....when they aren't being serious. Anyways, great use for Heal Pulse. I'd never think of something like that, and I have freaking Asperger's Syndrome. My only compliant is that it's hard to read Clay, but accents are hard to write.

    you will respect my AUTHORITY!
    South Park reference?

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    Hi everyone, just a quick update. The next chapter is written and now just needs to be edited; this one will require a pretty massive amount of editing however, both for quality and for bulk reduction. It should be up by the end of the weekend, so check back around Sunday evening for more if you aren't already subscribed. In writing it, I decided that the name needs to be modified slightly, so I will be updating the OP as soon as I post this. If you remember what the old name was, then you'll notice the difference, and if you didn't remember, then you won't even notice. Just wanted to mention this in case anyone asks.

    Glad to see you guys liked the last chapter. Didn't get a huge response, but that's alright. Good to see someone picked up on the subtle South Park reference there; the next chapter is pretty jam-packed with references to many things, including South Park, so hopefully that one will deliver there too. Just wanted to comment on one thing however: Lennon and McCartney are not truly bad people, as Lennon's spat with David would indicate, they were simply at the end of their rope. They have noble aspirations and are simply surrounded by idiots, with N being the only exception they see at this point. David's confrontation was just the straw that broke the camel's back, and it made Lennon snap, but don't give up on them just yet. They might surprise you if you give them a chance.

    Anyway, next chapter by the end of the weekend hopefully. Slight name change, yay for people picking up on references, and L&M aren't terrible. Check back soon for more, and as always, thanks for reading.

  22. #72
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    Can i be on the pm list?
    † I am a Christian, and proud of it! Copy and paste this if you are too.†
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    I watch you while you're sleeping.....
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    0__0

  23. #73
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    Hey! Sorry, really busy with our podcast and work. T__T

    I just wanted to send some support from me your way. haha. It was a decent chapter, not my favorite, but definitely worked. I do have to say that your characters have short tempers. @__@

    But other than that, this was quite a humorous chapter. I can't wait to see more!

    (Yeah, really short review this time. I'm kind of pressed for time, like I said, just wanted to show some support. October's going to be a real killer on my free time, mainly because of the podcast (ideas ideas ideas. I'm too full of them). But I still read when it comes out. ^___^ Can't forsake this story; it's too good).

    Feel like you need a little more Pokemon in your life? Tune into our show!
    EPISODE 55 - SLOWPOKE HOLIDAY
    Looking for something Pokemon-related to listen to while playing through Pokemon XY? This episode is for you!!
    Released: 12/11/14


    Guess who claimed Luxray?!

  24. #74
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    hey, you know what I said about running by the subscriptions? Scratch that, 'm starting to lose track of stories now, so I think I'm going to jump onto the PM lists for the things I'm reading.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

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        Spoiler:- Author's Notes:


    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 13: Pooh's Paula's Grande Adventure!
    Part 1 of 2

    Paula awoke to the morning sun gently hitting her eyes. The peaceful sensation of sleep left her slowly as she returned to consciousness. Her mind began to race as her psychic powers reactivated. She smiled peacefully and rose with a stretch, yawning softly to herself. As the logic of dreams faded from memory and she became conscious of her reasoning abilities again, she looked around curiously and noticed she wasn’t in the safe confines of her Pokéball. It was, in fact, sitting on the dresser next to her along with Munchlax’s, which also appeared to be empty. There was no sign of the fellow Pokémon anywhere in the room however, nor of her trainer. She was resting delicately on top of the sheets of the bed, but it was carefully made and there was no sign of anyone else around. A confused look spread across her face as she realized these facts, curious to find answers for them.

    “Master?” she thought into the ether, trying to reach out to him. “Where are you?” she asked simply.

    “Oh, hey Paula.” a response came after a moment. “Sleep well?” he asked. There was a nonchalant tone to his voice, which seemed unfitting to the young Kirlia given the strange circumstances. She replied cordially, but maintained her confused tone.

    “Yes, master, very; but where are you? Why am I out of my ball?” she asked again.

    “Oh, right; I probably should have left a note about that.” he replied. “I let you and Munchlax out when I got up; I wanted to let you two sleep in, without having to be tied to me. We’re down in the dining room with Bianca and Cheren; come down and join us when you’re ready.” he continued. Paula confirmed his sentiment and rose to start her day.

    A simple smile spread across her face as she rose from the thin sheets. She lifted herself into the air with her psychic powers to avoid exerting the effort to move naturally, landing on the ground below silently. She moved gracefully into the adjoining bathroom to cleanse herself of the relics of sleep. Levitating up to the mirror above, she looked at her round, white face in the reflection and smiled. She turned on the tap and splashed some water across her face and hair, wiping the sleep from her eyes as she did so. Her trainer had left a comb out for her, which she used to gingerly straighten her short, green hair. Once it was straightened, she floated back down to the ground and unruffled her natural skirt. Satisfied she had awoken and refreshed herself fully, she stretched limberly and headed towards the door to meet her trainer downstairs.

    Walking calmly down the stairs and into the large room, she saw many other trainers with their Pokémon. Kirlia and Gardevoir were a graceful, elegant species, and she felt a little naked without her escort; she looked around the room for him or his traveling companions, but didn’t see them. What she couldn’t see with her eyes however, she could feel with her mind. Resorting to her more natural sixth sense, she felt her trainer walking up behind her. Playing along, she sent a message in feign worry into the ether.

    “Master? Wherever could you be?” she asked in mock distress. As she said this, she felt a hand gently grasp her shoulder and she turned.

    “Right here, Paula.” David said through a smirk. She whipped around with a look of surprise on her face as she felt the touch, looking up at him and smiling.

    “Oh master! You startled me!” she said jokingly. Her sarcasm was as thin as a knife, and he instantly saw through the ruse. David laughed and smiled back.

    “Sorry. I forgot to take off my tinfoil hat.” he said. “Come on, I’ve got something to show you.” he continued. She smiled at his first remark and took his hand as he went away.

    The pair stepped into a room adjacent to the large dining hall that was coated in dark black paint. Neon lights ran around every corner of the room, illuminating it in flashy, highly saturated colors. There were lots of toys and games designed for children littering the floor; a giant ball pit was dug into the center of the room, filled with many small, plastic balls of every color. Everything about the room screamed “day-care” and seemed designed for children; it was exactly the kind of place the elegant, sophisticated, mature ballerina did not want to be.

    On the opposite wall from where they had entered was a doorway, blocked off by a crimson colored velvet curtain. Paula gently slipped loose from her trainer’s hand and moved towards it curiously. Pushing aside the veil, she saw a sight that made her go numb with excitement; the room that lay behind the curtain was a lavishly decorated ballroom, complete with a polished mahogany dance floor and plush velvet seating. The crimson color pallet extended throughout the whole room, designed in a very classical motif. A pianist was softly playing ballroom jazz in the corner, filling the room with a sweet, simple melody. Mulling around among the seating, she spied Cheren and Bianca’s Pokémon, all talking and relaxing quietly. The only Pokémon she didn’t see among them was Munchlax; she quickly realized where he was though as this thought occurred to her.

    She heard a rumbling noise behind her and turned away from her paradise to look at the ball pit. The balls in the middle began to rumble and shake before stopping abruptly. After a moment’s hesitation, the chipper form of Munchlax burst from the pit, spraying balls all around the room. Paula had to shield herself with her arms as they gently struck her face, perturbed at the tike’s excitement. A grim frown spread across her face as she relaxed her stance, already weary of his immature spirit.

    “Pretty cool, huh, Paula?” David said excitedly, looking around. “I haven’t seen anything like this at any of the other Pokémon Centers. Driftveil’s got this play room for Pokémon that’s totally decked out! Isn’t that neat?” he asked. Paula sighed as she looked around the room, thinking longingly of the ballroom behind her.

    “I suppose.” she replied. “But why are you showing me this, master?” she continued.

    “Driftveil City is a port, right?” he asked. “They’ve got this great outdoor marketplace where vendors go to sell stuff from all around the world. Bianca wanted to go check it out, and Cheren suggested we might find some really valuable items there. I thought you guys might have fun spending the day here while we go shopping; what do you say?” he continued. An excited look spread across her face as the prospect of spending the entire day in the fancy, adult ballroom crossed her mind. She clasped her hands tightly in front of her chest and smiled.

    “That sounds wonderful, master!” she exclaimed. “A whole day getting to dance and spin to the music? How simply exquisite!” she continued. As Paula began to twirl about the room elegantly, a small frown spread across David’s face.

    “Um… well… yeah.” he started to say. “There is one little catch…” he continued. Paula froze mid-spin, a worried look plastered on her face.

    “What kind of ‘catch?’” she asked in concern.

    Munchlax was trying to wriggle his fat little body out of the sunken pool. He squirmed and kicked his little legs, spraying balls all over the pit. After a considerable amount of effort, he managed to flop over the lip of the pool and out onto the ground. He stood himself up and walked over to David with a grin. David put a hand on top of his head and smiled. As Paula put two and two together, a horrified look spread across her face.

    “No way…” she said flatly. “Do I really have to-” she started to ask, but David cut her off.

    “I’d really appreciate it, Paula. He’ll be all by himself in here.” David said pleadingly. A forced smile spread across his face, but Paula continued to frown.

    “Master, I am a Kirlia; someday soon I will evolve into a Gardevoir. There is a lavishly furnished ballroom five feet away complete with a mahogany dance floor and classically trained pianist, and I have to sit here in La-La Land all day babysitting Munchlax?!?” she asked in shock and disgust. Munchlax giggled to himself as he overheard her, but Paula instantly shot him a slicing glare.

    “Come on, Paula, he’ll be all by his lonesome in here. You’re like his big sister; don’t you want to stay with your baby brother?” David asked soothingly, but Paula shot him an angry look.

    “No!” she said incredulously. “I would like to go be an adult in the ballroom! Can’t he be by himself or come in with the rest of us?” she asked, but David shook his head.

    “This room is just as tailor-made for him as that other one is for you, Paula.” he replied. “Now I’m not asking you to spend all day in here watching him, you can go in there with Cheren and Bianca’s Pokémon and be a little socialite; I’m just asking you to poke your head in here every now and again to check up on him. Can you do that for me, Paula? Please?” he asked. Paula sighed and folded her arms, pouting, but nodded begrudgingly in the affirmative a moment later. David grinned and gently gave Munchlax a push to go join his “sister” across the room.

    “Thanks, Paula, you’re a pal!” David said excitedly. Munchlax strode over to Paula and rested an arm around her, grinning simply and stupidly at her. His breath smelled atrocious and she jumped back in disgust. Munchlax was oblivious to the gesture and turned his attention back to the ball pit. Paula continued to pout as David left the room.

    We’ll be back at 5 o’clock sharp.” he told her, heading towards the door. “If you guys are good, we’ll bring you back something, okay?” he continued. Paula angrily raised an arm to wave him off as he left, still pouting sorely to herself.

    “Yeah okay, you have a nice time, master…” she muttered under her mental “breath.” David left the room and she disconnected her mind from his in spite. Paula huffed and sat down in the corner, watching as the little green monster dove back into the ball pit. Paula looked longingly into the next room and began muttering to herself out loud in the Pokémon language.

    “Yeah, you and your girlfriend go have fun buying shoes and brassieres…” she muttered angrily. “Don’t bother to bring me along for that; Ms. Bianca is the only feminine one around here after all.” she continued sarcastically. Munchlax leaned forward to inspect one of the balls and fell in head first, clumsily spraying more balls around the room. Paula sighed to herself at her little brother’s stupidity.

    “Hey Paula, look at this!” he shouted in the Pokémon language. He began to attempt a backstroke through the pond of balls, in reality doing nothing more than just flailing. Paula stared blankly at him as he put on this display, thinking to herself about just how much more of it she would have to endure.

    “This is going to be a long day…” she muttered tiredly.

    * * *

    The music was soft, gently repeating the same note over and over with building tension. Paula bounced on the tips of her toes frantically with each beat, spreading her arms above her head dramatically in time. As the pulsating rhythm started to built, she began to move her torso faster, growing more and more energized as the tempo sped. The music reached a fevered pitch and grew into a thrashing, harmonic melody. Paula danced and sprang around the room, bringing a newfound physical life to the piece, her delicate body mimicking the heart and soul of the tune. She moved with grace and elegance unmatched by any human dancer, wearing a calm smile on her lips and a knowing look in her eyes. Her small chest heaved quickly as she tried to catch her breath, her heart racing as the excitement of the piece came to a head. The song neared its conclusion, building and building to reach the zenith. Paula’s movements became more and more elaborate and descriptive, throwing herself about the room and completely removing herself from reality. In Paula’s mind, nothing existed except the music and her body, combining the two in a brilliant fusion of song and dance. The pianist struck the keys to play the final set of chords, bringing the song to a finale; Paula gracefully fell to the ground in a split, throwing her arms into the air and gasping like an actor. As the final dissonant notes struck, she lowered her head and arms dramatically, bowing out and leaving her newly defined world behind. After a few seconds of hesitation, the sound of applause struck her and she sprang into the air to take a bow. All five other Pokémon in the room were floored by her performance and heaped praise upon her, whistling and clapping for her stunning display. She joined the pianist in a bow at the adoration and congratulations of her fellow Pokémon. Paula blushed and rejoined her friends among the velvet chairs; it was the most fun she had had in a long time.

    “Wow, Paula, that was so cool!” Pachirisu exclaimed. She bristled with unintentionally built up electricity as she fawned over Paula’s display; the young Kirlia thanked her as she caught her breath, smiling cordially and curtsying again.

    “She’s right, Paula, you’re really good, even for a Kirlia.” Umbreon continued. “I can’t wait to see what you can do as a Gardevoir.” Paula blushed at the compliment, waving him down and giggling.

    “Oh hush, you guys, stop it; you all are making me blush.” she replied as she laughed. Pachirisu giggled loudly along with her, chattering with nervous energy and hanging a paw off her shoulder.

    “Not to be a killjoy, but shouldn’t you go check on Munchlax?” Gus asked calmly from the corner. Paula frowned as the thought crossed her mind.

    “Oh yeah, I suppose I should…” she muttered. “I’ll be back in a minute…” she continued, waving to her friends as she excused herself. She stepped out of the lavish ballroom and back into the busily furnished playroom, looking around for the energetic little tike. She didn’t see him anywhere though and began calling out for him.

    “Munchlax?” she called softly. “Where are you?” she sang. She noticed a rustle in the ball pit and moved in to investigate it.

    “Munchlax, are you in there?” she asked, but the pit remained still. “Perhaps I should rephrase my question; I can sense you are down there, so what are you doing?” she continued, but still no answer came. Now she was getting annoyed.

    “Okay, Munchlax, come out now, please.” she said with a growing sternness in her voice. She put her hands on her hips and leaned over the pool to look for him, but it continued to not move. “I will give you until the count of three…” she threatened insincerely.

    “One…” she began, but the pit was still.

    “Two…” she continued, but still no movement. “Come on, Munchlax, don’t make me say ‘three.’”

    The balls continued to sit calmly on top of one another, giving no further indication that he was even down there. “Two and a half…” she continued. She started to say “Thre-” but was cut off before she could finish.

    Three!!!” Munchlax shouted, leaping from the pit. The sudden movement startled Paula and she fell back in surprise and terror. Munchlax sprayed balls all around the room, falling back down into the pool and spraying even more that had survived the first barrage. Paula fell harshly on her butt, quite the opposite of the grace she had shown before. She looked up angrily at him as a shit-eating grin spread across his face. Paula rose in anger.

    “Munchlax, don’t do that!” she shouted. Munchlax just laughed to himself, ignoring her and swimming around in the balls.

    “You mad, bro?” he asked, chortling to himself. Paula flushed red and rose in a huff, putting her hands on her hips and glaring at him angrily.

    “Munchlax, I am tired of you spraying those balls all over the room. Pick them up and stop causing trouble!” she commanded. Munchlax continued to ignore her though, still swimming contently through the few balls that remained.

    “Yes mom.” he joked defiantly. Paula shook her arms together in flustered anger at the comment and stamped her foot.

    “Now listen here, you ruffian! Master David put me in charge when he left, so you have to do what I say! Call me ‘mom,’ call me ‘sister,’ call me Paula, call me whatever you want, but you are going to pick up all these balls, are we clear?” she commanded shrilly. Munchlax rolled himself out of the pool but started walking off towards the door.

    “Just where are you going?!” she asked furiously. Munchlax did not stop walking though and simply waved her off.

    Paula had had enough. She snapped her eyes shut and Teleported in front of him. She took him by surprise and held his arms at his sides, glaring at him angrily and forcing him to acknowledge her. Munchlax had weight on his side though and managed to push through her. Paula had to resort to telekinesis to hold him down; Munchlax sighed indignantly, but explained his intentions.

    “Remember those warehouses we were in yesterday?” he asked. Paula nodded and he continued. “There was a whole bunch of food in there. I bet I could get at it and have it all to myself. You can go wear your conceited big girl panties with the other Pokémon, but I, for one, am going to get some food.” he continued. In a flash, Munchlax lunged forward, temporarily overpowering Paula’s ability to restrain him, and took a quick jab at her face. The light jolt startled her and she fell to the ground in a daze. Munchlax continued to waddle off, leaving the room and heading out towards the lobby.

    Paula picked herself back up and saw that he was escaping. She tried to call after him but it was no use. She started to panic and ran back into the ballroom to alert the other Pokémon.

    “Friends! Munchlax is leaving! You must come help me! Come on!” she shouted as she burst into the room. The other Pokémon looked at her in surprise and shock for a moment, not quite realizing what she had said. After a moment of silence, Paula motioned expectantly and indignantly at the door and rushed out. The realization then hit the other Pokémon and they ran out to meet her, leaving the fancy ballroom behind. The six of them ran out into the lobby to try and catch up to Munchlax, but he was already rounding the corner out in the street.

    “Munchlax, come back!” Paula shouted. They ran after him, trying to catch up to their fleeing friend; Paula looked back at the Pokémon Center as they left, swallowing nervously to herself before running off with the other Pokémon. Their adventures in Driftveil City were only just beginning…

    * * *

    Munchlax ambled through the crowds, looking around at the tall buildings and enjoying the salty ocean air. He was just another pedestrian out for a stroll as far as he was concerned, although the people he passed gave him confused looks and worried stares. He simply smiled back or ignored them, determinedly focusing on his objective of reaching the docks. In his mind, he was no different than anyone else using the sidewalk, just a lot shorter and a tad more bluish-green. He continued along his little quest undisturbed, simply giving the confused people he passed something to talk about around the water-cooler; the same however could not be said of his pursuers.

    The other Pokémon ran after him about a block behind, startling the people they passed and causing a big commotion. Paula, Pachirisu and Umbreon managed to pass more or less stealthily, but the massive, terrifying sight of Gus and Aerodactyl charging down the street terrified and shocked the people that they passed. Golbat brought up the rear, inciting even more commotion; the large silhouette of the shiny Pokémon was difficult to miss and made even more heads turn. Munchlax was too focused on the prospect of food and was just slightly too far ahead to notice however.

    Munchlax turned down an alley and noticed something shiny that caught his eye. He decided to climb up on top of it to inspect what he had found. He sat down on top of the large steel box and felt it rumble beneath him.

    “That doesn’t sound good…” he muttered under his breath.

    Paula and the other Pokémon ran up to an intersection and looked around in panic for their fleeing prey. None of them saw him anywhere though, having lost sight of him through the crowds. Paula began to speak up in a rush.

    “Where is he? Where is he?!” she stammered. “We must not lose him, friends. He has… to be… around… here…” she started to say, but she trailed off as a sight struck her eyes. She hung her arms with a look of confusion spreading across her face, whispering “Munchlax?!

    Whaaaaaaa-heeeeeey!!!” Munchlax shouted. He sat on top of a large metal semi-truck with the biggest grin on his face and his arms held up over his head in joy. The truck was speeding through the intersection, whizzing by and giving Munchlax’s cry a Doppler effect. The Pokémon stared in disbelief as he zipped past, wondering how he had managed to get himself up there. Paula stood in disbelief and shook in rage.

    Munchlax, you get BACK HERE!” she screamed. She snapped her eyes shut and Teleported on top of the speeding truck, leaving her friends behind. The other five Pokémon realized what she had done and took off running after her.

    Paula’s light, dainty form fell onto the steel hull of the truck with an uncharacteristically loud “bang!” Munchlax turned confusedly to see where the noise had come from and saw her standing behind him, seething with rage and gritting her teeth. Munchlax’s smile spread across his face again and he waved.

    “Hi Paula!” he shouted. “You came for a ride on the magic box too?” he asked. Paula’s eyes burned with anger and she lunged at him.

    “This is a truck, not a magic box! Now come here, you little-” she shouted, but before she could reach him, he felt something hard smack his back and he fell from his perch. The truck was passing below a traffic light and the metal pole had hit Munchlax squarely. He fell from the truck onto the sidewalk, sloughing off the blow easily with his bulk; Paula saw the pole coming at her and shrieked, falling flat roughly and feeling it pass just overhead. As she stood herself back up, she saw Munchlax pick himself up off of the sidewalk and she screamed.

    Ahhh! Munchlax, come back here!” she shouted. The truck was speeding away though and he was getting smaller in her vision. Munchlax turned down an alley and strode out of sight.

    The truck rounded a corner and Paula noticed the other Pokémon running down the adjacent street towards her. She Teleported herself off of the metal hull and down to them, watching as it sped away on its route. Paula quickly motioned to the side-street Munchlax had headed down and they started off after him. He was just leaving the other side as they reached it, watching him escape again. They started running off in pursuit, but were quickly stopped by a newfound threat.

    A scrappy pair of Houndour stepped out from behind a set of trash cans on either side of the alley, grinning devilishly to themselves and growling. The pair blocked off their pathway to Munchlax and began to speak.

    “Well well… looks like we got a couple of intruders steppin’ in on our turf…” the one on the left cooed. The pair laughed and continued to block the path.

    “We are only passing through, sirs! Just let us pass, please; we are trying to catch up-” Paula started to say, but the other Houndour cut her off.

    “Slow ya roll there, sweet cheeks.” he said with a mixture of sweetness and threat. “You folks came into the wrong part of town to be ‘just passin’ through.’ There’s a toll to get through our neck of these woods, ain’t there, pally?” he continued, motioning to his partner.

    “Damn straight there is.” he said in the same tone. “This is our street; you want to pass, you gotta cough up something good…” he continued.

    Paula was annoyed at their request and demeaning manor, but she knew she didn’t have time to argue with them. “What do you want?” she shot back angrily.

    The pair of Houndour looked at each other, grinning big smirks and laughing loudly. They looked back towards the group and glared at them menacingly. The one on the left took a step forward and began to speak.

    “Well ain’t you a little firebrand?” he replied. “You’ve got some spunk, don’t’cha, sugar? How ‘bout a little kiss before ya go?” he continued, smirking wildly. His partner snickered behind him, taking a menacing step forward to join him. Paula blushed at the request and seethed with anger.

    “Now listen here, you rapscallions! I will have you know that I am a lady! I shall do no such thing, you vile beasts!” she shouted back in a shrill voice. The pair of Houndour laughed again as she said this, continuing to walk slowly towards her menacingly.

    “I don’t think you understand, dollface.” the one on the left started to say. “You ain’t got a choice.” his partner on the right continued. The pair lurched forward to attack, but Paula was too quick. A stream of leaves shot out from the adjacent street behind her, striking the pair and pushing them back. They fell to the ground in a slump, but the Fire type Pokémon rose relatively unscathed from the Grass type attack and growled.

    “So that’s how it is, huh?” the left Houndour said angrily.

    “You’ve got some kick, don’t’cha, girly?” his partner continued.

    “You brutes have no manners before a lady!” Paula shrieked back. “Didn’t your mothers teach you how to behave?” she continued. The pair laughed and began to move back towards her.

    “You’ve got a lot of nerve, bitch.” the left Houndour growled. “Just not… a lot… of sense!” he barked, charging towards her as he shouted the last word. Her friends behind her decided they had had enough and intervened.

    Aerodactyl flew forward towards the mutt, grabbing him in mid-air and launching him back down the alley. He crashed into his partner and the pair flew in a heap into the trash cans. They whimpered as they attempted to stand, but Aerodactyl screamed menacingly at them.

    “Alright! Alright!” they shouted. “You lot can pass!” they continued. Aerodactyl wasn’t done yet though.

    You boys want to fight?” he shrieked wildly. “Let’s tango!” he continued. He landed on the ground with a “crash!” and sent a powerful Earthquake towards them. The tremor moved through the ground like a gunshot, doing tremendous damage to the wild dogs. The pair collapsed under the weight of the trash cans around them and gave up the fight.

    The other five Pokémon began running down the alley after Munchlax, but Paula took a moment to strut over to the defeated pair. She took long, deliberate strides, shaking her hips seductively as she took each step. She walked up to the rogue Houndour who had been so brash towards her and leaned over them, putting her hands on her hips.

    “Well well, you ne’er-do-‘ells, who is the ‘big man’ now?” she said mockingly. The Houndour growled angrily, but were too tired and battered to speak back, simply turning their heads away in disgust. Paula smirked and turned to Aerodactyl to speak.

    “Thank you, Aerodactyl.” she shouted out to him, waving. Aerodactyl turned to look and shouted back “Any time, Paula; nothing like laying the hurt on a pair of tough guys who don’t know how to fight!” He screeched into the air, spreading his wings, and began following after the other Pokémon. Paula turned back towards the defeated Houndour and pursed her lips as she began to speak.

    “You know… I am a lady, and it is very unbecoming of a lady to curse, but you, sirs, warrant it; this ‘bitch’ does not play that game, shitheads.” she whispered venomously. She blew the mutts a kiss before kicking some of the spilled trash in their faces. The Houndour yelped in pain as it stung their eyes, watching Paula as she ran off after her friends in pursuit of Munchlax.

    The group rounded the street corner, looking around for their fleeing friend. He was nearing the edge of the water now, heading off towards the docks. The group spotted him and started running; they went as quickly as they could, finally catching up to him as he neared his objective. Munchlax had been unaware of their pursuit and was still ambling slowly. Paula was the first to reach him, grabbing his shoulder in fury and spinning him around.

    MUNCHLAX!” she shrieked angrily in his face. Munchlax’s blank expression turned to a grin as he saw her behind him and embraced his sister lovingly.

    “Hi Paula!” he bellowed back cheerily. “You came to look for food with me too?” he continued. A dumbstruck look spread across Paula’s face as she felt the embrace, turning to rage a moment later. She shoved him off and stared at him angrily.

    “Munchlax, you little animal, what were you thinking?!” she shouted. “Master David entrusted me with your safety and you managed to drag us all over town after you! We are going back to the Pokémon Center right now, and you are going to start behaving yourself! Do I make myself clear?” she continued, shrieking venomously at the tike. Munchlax rose and brushed himself off, continuing to ignore her and waving her down.

    “Paula is right, Munchlax.” Gus started to say calmly. “It is dangerous for us out here. We need to go back.” he continued, but Munchlax wouldn’t hear it.

    “You guys are a bunch of killjoys…” Munchlax started to say, but Golbat cut him off.

    “Munchlax, your determination and focus is both admirable and mind-boggling. It’s time to go back now.” he said, continuing the group’s sentiment. Paula grabbed at Munchlax’s wrist, but he struggled to resist her.

    “Come on, Munchlax, we are going home right now.” she muttered. Munchlax stayed rooted firmly in place though, no matter how hard she pulled. Munchlax giggled to himself at her vain effort to out-muscle him, inciting further anger from his sister.

    “Haha, can’t get me!” he shouted through his laughter. “Stupid girl! Why don’t you go back to the kitchen and make me a sandwich?” he continued mockingly. Pachirisu gasped at his sexist comment, but Paula spun around in rage at the remark and slapped his face harshly.

    MUNCHLAX! I HAVE HAD IT!” she shrieked. She lunged towards him with fire in her eyes as she said this, throwing herself on him and continuing to beat him unmercifully. Munchlax screamed in surprise as he tried to defend himself from her onslaught, but she had almost no physical strength and served only to shock him. Munchlax managed to stand through her assault and block her blows, cackling annoyingly.

    “You! Will! Learn! Some! Respect!” Paula shouted with each strike, but Munchlax blocked them all, chortling loudly to himself.

    “Can’t touch me, can’t touch me!” he sang, making her strike harder. Paula screamed wildly and launched a blast of Confusion, knocking him backwards and into a nearby object. The little metal box he stumbled into appeared to be some sort of control panel, and he accidentally pushed many of the buttons lining it. The group of Pokémon looked up in worried surprise as a crane that hung overhead slowly began to move. They watched, dumbstruck, as it turned towards them, claw outstretched and looking for something to grab. The crane gently picked up Munchlax and began lifting him away. Munchlax raised his arms and shouted jubilantly as he began ascending into the air, thumbing his nose at his confused sister. The crane turned towards the water and dropped him onto a boat that was docked farther down the pier. The boat was jet black and had a big red ‘R’ painted on the side; Munchlax fell from the crane, landing on the deck of the boat and out of sight. Paula slacked her stance as he escaped again, hanging her arms and sighing.

    “Well…” Gus muttered. “That was… yeah…” he continued. Umbreon began to chuckle, but stifled it as Golbat shot him a look. Paula sighed and began to speak up.

    “Come on… let’s go get him…” she muttered dejectedly. She rested a gentle hand on Pachirisu and Umbreon, Teleporting the three of them onto the boat. Aerodactyl, Golbat and Gus took to the skies in flight to catch up to them, heading for the mysterious ship as well. Despite their best efforts, Munchlax had somehow managed to make it to the docks like he had wanted; he was proving to be even more trouble than expected however…

    * * *

    Paula felt her feet touch something solid again as she rematerialized on the ship. Pachirisu and Umbreon landed with her, looking around to get their bearings. They were somewhere on the weather deck, specifically the stern if the sun’s position in the sky was any indication. The sun was behind them, casting their landing spot in dark shadows. They heard people talking from somewhere behind them, walking towards them as their shadows grew closer; Paula was quick to react, dragging her friends behind cover.

    “Quick! Hide!” she whispered. The trio ducked behind some pipes and concealed themselves in the darker shadows as the crewmen walked past. They were dressed in dark black uniforms and had a sinister air to them; large red ‘R’s were splashed across their uniforms like the one marking the boat. They passed without noticing them and went on their way. Pachirisu was the first to speak up.

    “Did those men look scary to you too, Paula?” she asked timidly. Paula nodded silently as Umbreon spoke up to comment.

    “I don’t know who they are…” he started to say, “…but I dig those uniforms.” he continued, grinning. “They’re like warriors of the night. Snazzy outfits, gotta give them that…”

    The trio stepped out from their cover, approaching the guard rail at the edge of the boat, and saw Gus, Aerodactyl and Golbat flying towards them. They were flying close to the water’s surface as so to not be spotted. Paula waved them down and they flew up high for a brief moment before landing to join their friends in the shadows.

    “Did you guys see those guards?” Golbat asked. The smaller Pokémon nodded and he continued. “We took a quick pass before landing and this place is crawling with them! There must be fifteen of them patrolling the other side of the ship, easy.” Pachirisu shivered as she recognized the number.

    “T-t-t-that’s a b-b-b-big number…” she stammered. She subconsciously shuffled closer to Paula, holding her paws up close to her mouth timidly.

    “There’s probably even more below the decks.” Gus mused. “There’s something unsettling about this place. We should find Munchlax before he gets himself in any more trouble.” he continued. Paula, Pachirisu, Golbat and Gus nodded and started heading off towards the rest of the ship, but Umbreon and Aerodactyl trailed behind.

    “Hey Aerodactyl…” Umbreon whispered as they trailed along.

    “Yeah?” he replied.

    “What do you think of those jet black uniforms? Pretty cool, right?” Umbreon continued, grinning. Aerodactyl smirked back at Umbreon’s quip approvingly.

    “They look powerful, I’ll give them that.” Aerodactyl mused. Umbreon chuckled as they ran to catch up with the other Pokémon.

    The sprawling ship was extremely long. There was a large command tower taking up much of the ship’s central footprint, with long hallways flanking it on either side which ran to the bow and stern. Doors into the structure dotted the parallel hallways, leading to staircases which went into the tower and below deck. The group checked to make sure no one was coming and then ducked into one of them in search of Munchlax. They figured he would be going below deck to look for the ship’s store of food, so they followed the staircase down in search of him.

    The hold was a dimly lit collection of metal hallways, leading to larger rooms that split off from them. Aerodactyl was hard pressed to fit down there and had to fold his wings in as he walked. There was an eerie silence below the decks as the Pokémon made their way through them, neither seeing nor hearing any of the crew. The boat seemed to be made almost entirely of metal, which crippled Paula’s ability to sense Munchlax’s mind. Their only other option was to call out quietly for him and hope for a response.

    “Muuunchlax?” Paula whispered, trying to not get spotted. “Where aaaaare yoooou?” she sang timidly. They ventured on in search of him, but no reply came.

    “P-P-P-Paula?” Pachirisu asked nervously. “W-w-w-what do you think will happen if those men f-f-f-find us?” she continued. She was walking right on Paula’s heels timidly, looking up to the only other girl among the group for direction. Paula laid a reassuring arm around her friend and smiled.

    “That will not be happening, love.” she replied sympathetically.

    “Unless it does, in which case…” Umbreon muttered, but Paula shot him a look.

    “Umbreon is right, Paula.” Gus commented. “Munchlax’s antics have long stopped being cute. We could be in real trouble here. We need to find him fast.” he continued. Pachirisu shivered, but Paula still held on to her friend reassuringly. They continued through the dim hold in search of their fat friend, growing more and more unsettled as time dragged on.

    After rounding another corner, they spied a room at the end of a long hall. This hall was different than all the others however; there were no adjacent hallways or rooms splitting off from it except for the one at the very end. Natural sunlight was streaming in through windows in the mysterious room and it was covered in rich wood paneling. The group stared at it for a moment, but then saw something that made them jump. Munchlax wandered dimly past the door, inspecting knick-knacks that lined the walls. He didn’t spot them, continuing on his way and passing by the arch. The group raced down the hall and stormed into the room to confront him.

    “Munchlax!” Paula shouted angrily as they entered. He turned around to look and smiled as he saw her.

    Hi Paula!” he bellowed back cheerily. “You came to look for food with me too– wait.” he continued, frowning as a thought crossed his tiny mind. “That’s not why you showed up last time I asked that…” he mused, remembering events that had happened only a few minutes prior. Paula growled at the stupidity of his response.

    “You horrible little child, are you quite happy with yourself?” she asked furiously. “If you wanted more food for that insatiable appetite of yours, then we could have gotten you some at the Pokémon Center; now you have dragged the six of us all over town and into the recesses of this ship in your foolish quest. We are trespassing on private property right now, Munchlax! Do you even realize what that means?!” she continued, raising her arms dramatically to emphasize her point. Munchlax continued to stare vacantly at her, grinning his stupid grin. Paula sighed as the realization that he hadn’t understood a word she had said dawned on her.

    “Um… yeah. See, here’s the thing…” Munchlax started to reply. “…I kinda don’t care about your whining and nagging, and I don’t know what ‘trespassing’ means, but lookie what I found!” he continued, excitedly waddling over to the ornate desk in the opposite corner of the room. Munchlax took some kind of rectangular cube off of it and set it down on the floor in front of them. He dramatically pulled off the sheet that was covering it, revealing a tiny, cramped cage with two frightened looking little Pokémon in it. The pair blinked timidly as their eyes adjusted to the light, looking at their fellow Pokémon with a mixture of fear and shock. The pair huddled together timidly as they inspected their surroundings.

    Oh dear!” Paula shouted, falling to her knees to try and open the cage.

    “Pretty cool, right?” Munchlax said, giggling to himself. “What a bunch of idiots; they got themselves trapped in a box. Ha!” he continued. Paula shot him a dirty look and fumbled with the lock on their prison. She opened it and motioned for them to step out, but they just looked at each other in fright, unwilling to leave the safety of their cage.

    The two Pokémon were both Nidoran, one male and one female. They were huddled together closely, timidly looking around at their surroundings in fear. The female was shrunk behind the male for protection, but try as he might, the male was scared too.

    “It is alright! You can come out!” Paula said sweetly. “What are your names? Can you speak?” she continued.

    The pair looked at each other worriedly, but the male spoke up in reply. “My… my…” he stammered, but he was too nervous for words. The other Pokémon behind Paula encouraged him though and he began to speak.

    “M-m-m-my name is Christian.” he stammered. “Theese is my, uh… how do you say… ‘girlfriend,’ Gloria.” he continued. Despite the Pokémon language being universal, he seemed to have some sort of thick accent or speech impediment. “We were ah keed-napped, you see, froam our home in Kanto.” he continued. As he said these words, Gloria softly began to weep.

    “Do-ah not cry, my love.” Christian whispered, consoling her. “Do-ah not geeve up the fight.” Gloria sniffled softly, nuzzling her face against his. The Nidoran were in terrible shock and fright, still unwilling to leave the cage. Paula could feel her eyes water as she saw their predicament.

    “Oh, you poor things…” she cooed. “You are so very far from home. Will you tell us your story?” she asked, looking to the other Pokémon for approval. They all spoke up in agreement, expressing an interest in their state of affairs as well; all except for Munchlax, who yawned loudly and obnoxiously.

    “Munchlax, do you really not care about these poor Pokémons’ plight?” Gus asked in displeased surprise. Munchlax simply wiped his eyes and slid down the wall to the floor sleepily.

    “Boooooo-ring…” he muttered, to which they all shot him an angry look.

    You are at the end of your rope, young man.” Paula said dismissively. “You are going back to the Pokémon Center at the end of all of this anyway, but in the meantime, please, Christian, will you tell us your story?” she continued. Christian sighed and nodded, stepping timidly out of his cage with Gloria in tow. They found a comfortable place in the spacious room to settle down, and began to tell their tale.

    “It-ah all started many months ago…” he began.

    * * *

    [Continued Below]

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