^Good point NACHOE, did Red know about Plasma and got David a Ralts on purpose O.o?
YAY! I get mentioned in the Author's Notes! Whee! It's like getting your own Wanted Poster, but without the "Preferred Dead" part.
So, anyway. As you said, Paula hiccuping was just flipping awesome. I think you missed a good move opportunity there, one good hiccup with a mouthful of water and Paula can imitate water gun!
(On Move counts, I personally wasn't paying any attention to how many moves each person was using, if you pay attention to the anime, or look it up on Bulbapedia, you'll notice they stick to a regular 4 moves or so as well, probably because it's easier for the story-telling, so you're thinking is fine.)
Typical baddie thing. "We are evil beings who do not need to explain ourselves to you. But we jsut explained it to you anyway."We are dark, trans-dimensional assassins; the evil actors of an ancient deity. We do not need to explain ourselves to you.”
Well done with the battle. Not too bad with Joltik, that battle scene felt short and flat comp[ared to others, but they don't leave you with a whole lot to write with, do they?
The swarm battle style was a fun take on the "randomly placed Grunts routine."
The music was for me, a bit off. One, I read too slwo and had to keep re-starting it, whereas the game loops it to a point where you don't notice, the other is that the story pacin g at soem point depends on the reader, and may or may not match up to the upbeat rythem of the music. Still, a preferred way to add sounds to the story, and I'd rather it this way in all audio uses.
(PS, I got around my video card issue by pulling up track titles on Google and playing the MP3 files.)
I'm back to liking where L/M are headed to, and I'm enjoying N.
Paula's evolution scene was very touching. I loved the meaning and the feelings, but it was another one of those "evolve to win the battle, not because of the battle" formulas, and we still need to break you of those for over-use. :P In all seriousless, the basis of that scene could have been done as a Kirlia, or as an evolution post-battle for variety. But that's the beuty of that scene, it's good whether Paula's a Kirlia, a Gardevoir, or something else entirely.
Let me see if I've got this right. Focus Blast is Paula's counter to Fake-Out? I think for imigery purposes, this bit is a bit backwards, or needs to be shoved into the middle of the Fake-Out description.“Liepard, Fake Out!” the Plasma agent commanded. Liepard set its paw back down on the ground and glared at Paula menacingly. It slowly rose and started walking away, but then suddenly lunged towards Paula in a flash. The sudden movement startled Paula, but she was expecting it and utilized Liepard’s temporarily lowered guard to strike.
“Hey Paula!” David started to say in a loud voice. “Remember when N beat us in Accumula Town because you didn’t know any moves that could damage his Purrloin?” he asked. Paula nodded and grinned as she realized his plan. “You know what I think about Purrloin and Liepard?” he asked.
“What is that, master?” she asked back sheepishly.
“I think that- FOCUS BLAST!” he shouted in reply. Paula summoned the bundle of energy and launched it towards the overly-confident cat. The Fighting-type attack dealt absolutely crushing damage to her Dark-type opponent, soundly defeating it. David raised his fist in excitement, motioning towards N in the back of the room.
And really, what's a Fake-Out worth when you can hear the other trainer say it?
And I do have to exho Dr.Chaos' comments here too. And confess I'm guilty of the same thing.
Last edited by Glover; 12th October 2011 at 11:26 PM.
Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:
Hey everyone, glad you all liked the last chapter so much. Just wanted to drop a quick update. First of all, the next chapter will hopefully be up around Sunday night, but I have a lot of work between now and Friday night, and I haven't started on the chapter except sketching an outline of events yet. If it isn't this weekend, then it probably won't be until next weekend unfortunately. I have linear algebra and C programming midterms next Thursday, and an assignment in my game class worth 15% of the grade, so next week will be busy. Hopefully everything will go well though and we'll get a chapter every weekend like normal; we'll just have to see how everything goes.
Second, as cool as it would have been if I had planned this, I did not choose to give David a Gardevoir because of Gardevoir's notorious devotion to their trainers. While that would work perfectly for the hero who opposes Team Plasma, that was completely an accident. I gave him a Ralts because Gardevoir are my favorite Pokemon. Let's just pretend I meant to do that though; makes me look smarter. On that note, <3 Nachoe.
Thanks for reading, guys.
Why must I be beaten!
I wanted to mention your constant usage of "crushing damage." *sobs*
Being compared to Breezy and xXSaberXx is pretty impressive, seeing as they are the two most popular writers on SPPf.
Anywho... You seem to like describing Bianca and Gardevoir's... assets.
From what I recall, Gardevoir has no 'breasts' for the horn thing to stick out of. And you really fell in love with the Kirlia/Gardevoir+'seductive' combo.
Anyways, I think I'm too excited about the way you're going to describe Skyla and her half masticated flight suit.
Yes, masticated. It means to chew.
Hope you can get the chapter up sonner rather than later, but don't pressure yourself too much.
Bianca is the main character's romantic interest; it would be strange if I didn't describe her as such. As for Paula, I mentioned the fact that she has breasts (as Gardevoir do, and always have), but I don't remember describing them in any kind of detail, unless... using the word "breast" is too descriptive, in which case... :\
PG-15 for a reason, kids...
Sqeeeeeeee! Minions! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHABANANAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
I'm pretty sure Gardevoir has a flat chest, with the exception of the red horn thing.
And do we need to remind you how overboard you went with the Psychedlic Mushroom-like coma David was in? Cause we can. We're evil. Mwahaha.
Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:
Sweet Jebus, avert'cher eyes, chillins!
Btw, the next chapter should be done this weekend with no problems.
That said, if your issue is with me identifying the fact that Paula has breasts, then let me clear something up.
Anatomy, Zoology . (in bipeds) the outer, front part of the thorax, or the front part of the body from the neck to the abdomen; chest.
As you can see, the horn lies on her "breast," specifically, in the middle. It was the proper word to describe where it is on her body. Now admittedly, looking at that picture again, they are more flat than I remember, but there clearly is still something there. Regardless of what that stock image depicts however, Paula the Gardevoir, being a female of the species, has something there; it was the proper way of describing it. My Pokemon, my story, my rules, to put it bluntly.
On a lighter note, I have something that I will be uploading with the next chapter as a special treat/surprise that will probably quell all these issues. Look for that along with Chapter 16 in the next few days.
Are we really having an arguement about what breasts look like and what is classified as breasts? Come on people, grow up. The fic is rated PG-15 for a reason. Really looking forward to reading the next chapter.
Huge thanks to Sweet May at the Lunar Subterrane Graphics
Thanks for reading everyone.
I think the resolution of this debate is straightforward and reasonable.
I was not complaining about sexuality. If I was, I would have mentioned David and Bianca's make-out session in front of Mistralton Cave. The second one.
I don't think most people realised that I was just trying to clear up CB's description of Paula, I was just confused. Or maybe not confused, rather...
What's a better word for confused that isn't as strong as confused?
Hope the chap is up by tomorrow night, that would be awesome.
What's a better word for confused that isn't as strong as confused?
Puzzled, confounded (might be too strong depending on useage, but who takes confounded seriously?), ah, alright, I'll shut up now from the Peanut Gallery...
Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:
Spoiler:- Author's Notes:
Chronicles of Unova
Chapter 16: Knocking on Heaven's Door
Part 1 of 2
Having passed N’s test in Chargestone Cave, David, Bianca, Cheren and Professor Juniper somberly left the northern entrance to the cave and headed into Mistralton City. Whereas the winding expanse of Route 6 separated Driftveil City from the southern entrance to the cave, Mistralton City was just outside the northern entrance. It was nestled in the valley formed by Chargestone Cave and Twist Mountain. The group hurried into town, ignoring any kind of initial sightseeing in lieu of getting to the Pokémon Center as quickly as possible; David couldn’t help but glance down at the three Pokéballs that hung from his hip every few seconds, worriedly wondering how his defeated team was holding up without medical treatment. Luckily, the town was relatively small and the Pokémon Center was near the edge of town closest to the cave. Between the lights, atmosphere and bombardment of entertainment Nimbasa City had to offer, and the sprawling, industrial port that was Driftveil City, the tiny mountain town of Mistralton seemed almost incomplete by comparison; it was hardly more than a few housing complexes and suburbs, with the sole exception of an airport which flanked its western side. The airport spanned nearly half of the town, and every small business they passed on their way to the Pokémon Center had something to do with travel. Putting these thoughts out of their minds for the moment however, the group reached the Pokémon Center and ran to the counter for assistance.
“Hello, and welcome to the Pokémon Center.” the receptionist said as they ran up. “We restore your tired Pokémon to full health. Would you like to rest your Pokémon?” she continued.
“Yes! Please, you’ve got to help me.” David stammered, nervously grasping all three of the Pokéballs from his holster. “We got jumped in Chargestone Cave by a gang of- …err… well, that’s not important right now. All three of my Pokémon are seriously hurt; I think something might be especially wrong with my Gardevoir. She just evolved about an hour ago, but she evolved under… extenuating circumstances. Can you help us out?” he continued. The nurse smiled soothingly to a calming effect and took the deflated Pokéballs from him.
“Don’t worry, sir, I can perform a quick preliminary scan right now to see if anything is seriously wrong.” she explained. “I’ll just take your Pokémon for a few seconds…” she continued, placing them on the docking station of a machine next to her. An ultraviolet light shone down on them for a few seconds, and then a read-out popped up on a computer terminal behind her. She skimmed over the report and then smiled.
“Good news, sir; there’s nothing wrong with your Pokémon that a little rest and stock medicine won’t cure. We can restore your Pokémon to full health in just a matter of hours.” she continued. David sighed in relief and thanked her. He turned to face Bianca and Cheren as she left to do her work, but realized they were missing a member.
“Hey, where did Professor Juniper go?” he asked curiously. His friends turned in surprise as they realized that they didn’t know where she was either.
“She was behind us when we came in…” Cheren muttered, looking around. They didn’t have to look for very long though; a chorus of laughter came from the opposite side of the lobby, and they recognized one of the voices as belonging to the professor. She was standing near the seating area, partially obscured from their vision by a potted plant, and stood next to another woman with long red hair. The ladies stood before a cheerful, elderly man who was seated on one of the leather recliners. He wore a grin that stretched from ear to ear and sat in a very relaxed manner, one leg bent over the other and leaning back in his seat. The travelers ventured across the room to see who it was she was talking to.
“Haha, Cedric, you’re such a card!” the woman with red hair said through her subsiding laughter. Professor Juniper turned over her shoulder and noticed her protégés approaching them as she too calmed herself; she began to speak up, but the man rose from his seat and spoke over her.
“Aurea, this has been a long time coming! You have to introduce me to these ‘star students’ you always rave about!” he said in a booming voice. Professor Juniper flashed a thin, calm smile and nodded before turning to face her ex-students as they approached.
“Of course; I was just about to…” she muttered under her breath. “David, Bianca, Cheren, I’d like to introduce you to my father, Professor Juniper Senior.” she continued, stressing the last word with a wry smile. The man chuckled to himself heartily as he recognized her jab.
“‘Senior?!’” he parroted with good-natured surprise. “I’m not ‘senior!’ Why should I have to change my name just because you’re ‘Professor Juniper’ now too?! If anything, you should be ‘junior,’ young lady.” he continued, wagging his finger mockingly. Professor Juniper flashed an insincere smile at her father’s joke, but did not give him the satisfaction of further acknowledgement. She discreetly rolled her eyes at David as her father continued to speak. “The name’s Cedric.” he explained. “Nice to finally meet you three; my daughter has told me a lot of good things about you kids over the years.” he continued, extending his hand. David took it to shake, but was surprised at the man’s strength.
Cedric Juniper was elderly, but very spry and fit. He had a full head of nicely styled hair, the color of coffee with plenty of milk added or of the inside of an almond. He seemed to wear a perpetual, toothy grin that spread from ear to ear, causing his bottom eyelids to always be partially closed. He seemed to like to make lavish hand gestures, raising his hand into the air as he spoke and motioning to things as he made a point. He was humbly dressed in a nice, casual yellow dress shirt and brown slacks. David spoke up in response as he grasped his hand.
“Nice to meet you as well, sir.” David said cordially. “I’m David and this is Bianca and Cheren.” he continued, motioning over his shoulder with his free hand towards his friends. Cedric’s handshake seemed to go on just a tad too long, but he continued to beam to himself contently, blissfully unaware of the awkward fact. He eventually moved on to Bianca, finally resting on Cheren.
“So you’re the ‘Cheren’ I’ve heard so much about over the years.” Cedric said with a gleam in his eye. “You’re quite studious, rumor has it; good to see an old bookworm like yourself is finally getting out into the world to put theory into practice, bwahahaha!” he continued. Cheren frowned in confusion and slight resentment for an instant at his blunt remark, but otherwise ignored it. He began to speak up in response.
“Yeah, I think we’re doing pretty well for ourselves.” he replied “We’ve already got five badges a piece.” he replied, trying to invalidate Cedric’s biting comment by making note of their accomplishment. Cedric looked surprised by this news and began to laugh heartily again.
“Five badges!” he shouted. “Land’s End, Aurea, you didn’t tell me you were teaching Pokémon Masters back in Nuvema Town!” he continued. Professor Juniper smiled politely but rolled her eyes again. “Sounds like you’ve got some challengers lined up, Skyla!” Cedric continued, turning to the red haired woman. She had been silent for the previous exchange, but blushed and giggled as she heard her name. She almost seemed to snap out of a daydream upon hearing herself mentioned; she stepped forward to join the conversation.
The woman’s most noticeable physical feature was her shoulder-length, bright red hair. She wore it in a loose mop, but with a side-ponytail sticking almost straight up from the top. The barrette she used to hold it in place was shaped like a clover with four leaves, much like the propeller on a plane; it was a metallic blue in color, further making it look like a piece of a plane, and was mimicked in color throughout the rest of her clothes, or perhaps her lack thereof. She wore a form-fitting flight suit of various shades of blue, complete with thick leather gloves which completely encased her hands and forearms, but the ensemble curiously seemed to stop just above her midriff. She wore very short shorts and tall boots of a matching color scheme, but the entirety of her abdomen and legs were exposed. She had extraordinarily pink skin, contrasted against the blues of her outfit; she was a peculiar sight to behold, that was to be sure. She put a hand on Cedric’s shoulder as she continued to laugh.
“Ced-ric, you always forget to introduce people.” she said patronizingly. The elder professor instantly realized his mistake and shook his head, continuing to smile.
“Oh no, you’re right.” he said, chuckling under his breath. “I sure play the ‘absent minded professor’ role to a tee, don’t I? David, Bianca, Cheren, this lovely young woman’s name is Skyla. She is the Mistralton City Gym Leader.” he explained. Having been properly introduced, Skyla seemed to come to life instantly.
“Hiya!” she said excitedly. “I guess you three are Gym challengers then, huh? I’m looking forward to it!” she continued. She grasped David’s hand to shake, nearly as forcefully as Cedric had, but quickly moved on to Bianca and Cheren as well. She was nearly as bold and blunt as Cedric was; David couldn’t help but grin to himself at the strange kinds of people in Mistralton. He returned her sentiment, but Cedric cut him off before he could make any kind of further small talk.
“So Aurea, did you find us a Klink in Chargestone Cave?” he asked, turning to face his daughter with his hands on his hips. Professor Juniper raised her newly captured Pokémon’s ball and took in a breath of air with which to reply, but seeing her raise the ball was all the response Cedric needed.
“‘Atta girl, hahaha!” he bellowed. Professor Juniper exhaled noticeably at his interruption, drooping her shoulders again, but he continued to talk over her. “I bet you had help from good ol’e David here in catching that little guy, huh? Hahaha!” he continued, patting David on the back very harshly. His firm hand slamming against David’s back made his skin itch from his heavy jacket. Professor Juniper pinched the bridge of her nose and shot her father a tired, patronizing look.
“No, Dad, actually I caught it with Cinccino, thanks for asking…” she muttered, but Cedric appeared unaware of her subtle venom.
“I know you did, sweetie; great job. Now we can start our research on the species in earnest as father and daughter!” he replied jubilantly. Professor Juniper folded her arms and looked away.
“Well, it was my research project that you squeezed your way into, but whatever…” she muttered under her breath, but he didn’t hear her.
“Well, at any rate, nice as it was seeing Mistralton again after all these years, now that Aurea’s gotten our Klink, it’s time to head back home. When will we leave, Skyla?” Cedric asked. David, Bianca and Cheren appeared confused, but Professor Juniper leaned towards them and explained.
“She’s a professional pilot, and a Flying-type trainer.” she whispered. “Normally she just flies cargo, but she and my father go way back.” she continued. Skyla looked down and pursed her lips before responding.
“Well…” she started to say. “Gee, Cedric, I don’t know… I’ve got to take you two back home, and I’ve got three new Gym challenges, and I’ve got to make my flights… I’ve got a lot going on right now all of a sudden and I just can’t seem to get this thing off of my mind…” she continued. Cedric’s grin finally abated for once, replaced with a momentary look of concern.
“Oh, Skyla, what’s wrong?” he cooed. He gingerly put his arm around her shoulders as she continued to frown.
“Oh, it’s just… I dunno, probably nothing…” she replied, but Cedric was insistent.
“Come now, dear, you can tell your old pal Cedric, can’t’cha?” he asked. She looked up at him and flashed a small smile at his cheery face. Though she smiled thinly, she was still obviously troubled by something; she spoke up in response.
“Well… okay, you know the Celestial Tower out on Route 7?” she asked. “When I was making my runs this morning, I noticed something during our descent. I could just make out the top of the tower as we were coming in to land, but it looked like there was some sort of Pokémon there that was hurt. I couldn’t tell what kind it was or what was wrong, but the poor thing wasn’t moving and was laying kinda funny. I just can’t get it out of my head, but I don’t know how I can help. I feel like I need to go and check on it, but I don’t know what I can do…” she explained. “I don’t think I can focus enough to do any flying or accept any Gym challenges until I get some closure about it.” she continued. For once, Cedric had nothing to say in response, but after a few seconds of pondering, David took the initiative and spoke up quietly.
“Um… how hurt was it exactly, Skyla? Like… ‘took damage in a Pokémon battle’ hurt or more like ‘about to die’ hurt?” he asked. Skyla tilted her head at the peculiar question, but gave him a response after a moment of thought.
“Oh, well… I dunno… probably not dying, necessarily, but it gets awfully cold that high up; even if it was only hurt to the point that it couldn’t fly away, being out in the cold like that overnight could have some nasty effects. Why do you ask?” she replied.
“My Gardevoir knows Heal Pulse. Do you think that-” David started to suggest, but Skyla cut him off. She gasped loudly and took both of his hands in hers.
“Awwww!” she cooed. “How sweet! You want to help me, don’t you?” she exclaimed loudly. “A Pokémon that knows Heal Pulse would be perfect! We can leave right away!” she continued, rushing towards the exit. She tried to drag David with her, but he resisted in surprise.
“Wait, wait! I can’t go right now!” he said in shock. “My Pokémon need to be healed first, and honestly, we kind of need a rest ourselves after Chargestone Cave.” he continued. Skyla released his hand and giggled to herself.
“Okay then, we’ll go in a couple of hours. The Celestial Tower is just a little ways north of the city, you can’t miss it; what say we meet there around ten-ish?” she asked. David barely nodded in agreement before she began to speak up again.
“Great! It’s a date! Thanks a million for your help, David! See you later tonight!” she exclaimed. She flashed a quick two-fingered salute before rushing out of the Pokémon Center with a big grin. David couldn’t help but be a little startled by her brazen, unabashed response and personality. He smiled wryly in humorous shock as he turned back around to face the rest of the group. Cedric was laughing again under his breath.
“Haha, that Skyla… always so full of life.” he murmured. “I’m sure glad I’m not that blunt.” he continued. Professor Juniper whipped her head around to look at him in utter shock at his comment; he didn’t notice her however. David stifled a laugh at his mentor’s reaction.
“Well David, sounds like you’ve got a date with another woman…” Cheren commented sarcastically. “Two-timing Bianca? That’s not very nice…” he continued in jest. David and Bianca both shot him incredulous glares at the notion.
“Oh dear, whatever ought I wear?” David replied mockingly. Cheren snickered at his friend’s joke.
* * *
Darkness fell on the valley only a few hours later. A chilling autumn breeze blew though the town’s streets as trees continued to drop their leaves and businesses closed shop for the night. Wild Ghost-type Pokémon came out to play and make mischief in the surrounding forests and hills. Being the only city in the valley, no lights from other nearby towns shone in the night sky, making everything seem darker than it otherwise would have been. That sense of isolation gave Mistralton a quaint, separated feel during the day, but made things seem perhaps more eerie than they really were at night, especially this time of year. With Paula, Munchlax and Joltik fully healed from their trials earlier in the day, the trio of adventurers set out towards Route 7 in the north to meet Skyla at the Celestial Tower. As advertised, the tower was only a short walk into the forest outside of town. It stood in a small clearing in the woods, standing defiantly against the march of time; it lay before a portion of Twist Mountain and seemed to reach endlessly into the sky. They couldn’t even see the top of the tower, obscured both by cloud cover and by the tall trees. When they reached the base of the tower, nobody else was around; Skyla herself had not even made it there before them, despite the rush she had been in earlier to get there at once. To put their minds at ease, the group began to talk conversationally amongst themselves to try and ward off any errant Ghosts; Bianca spoke up first.
“So-ho… guys…” she started to say nervously, swinging her arms in unison as she spoke. “Pretty tall tower, huh?” she continued. Cheren mimicked the sentiment.
“Second tallest structure in Western Unova, and the tallest natural formation in the region.” he stated matter-of-factly. “The only taller structure on this side of Unova is Dragonspiral Tower on the other side of Twist Mountain. As far as natural formations go however, nothing is taller. Even Twist Mountain is shorter.” he continued. David seemed perplexed by his statement.
“You’re so full of shit, Cheren, this thing isn’t a natural formation. Look! There are laid bricks with mortar! How is this a natural formation?” he said with the slightest tone of contempt creeping into his voice. Cheren didn’t seem fazed however.
“Perhaps ‘natural’ was the wrong word.” he explained. “The tower is not man-made, so the opposite of that would be to call it ‘natural.’ No one knows who created the Celestial Tower. As you pointed out, the stonework would indicate it was a sentient species, but the oldest human records we have all say the tower was here when humans settled in this valley. It was not man-made.” he continued. Bianca shuttered at the last sentence.
“Who could have made it except for humans?” she asked timidly.
“Some say it was Arceus himself.” Cheren replied. “The tower is a burial site for deceased Pokémon, akin to the Pokémon Tower in Kanto, Mt. Pyre in Hoenn, and the Lost Tower in Sinnoh. Legend has it that the spirits have to pass through the nine floors of the tower before they can depart from this world.” he continued. Bianca shivered again, but David shot him an incredulous look.
“The spirits of dead Pokémon have to pass through the nine floors of the tower before they can ‘depart from this world?’ Are you fucking kidding me?” he said in disapproving shock as he stifled a laugh. “Honestly, Cheren, where do you get this crap?” he continued, but Cheren snubbed him and folded his arms.
“Whatever…” he said disinterestedly.
“Master, when I die, will you please not bury me here?” Paula asked sarcastically from inside her Pokéball. “This place is unnerving. Can I be surrounded in roses and buried at Westminster Abbey instead?” she continued. David smirked at her joke, but continued to protest.
“And another thing!” he shouted. “How can this tower be taller than Twist Mountain? Twist Mountain is a mountain! Surely this tower can’t be taller than that if Skyla thinks we’re going to climb to the top of it in one night.” he continued.
“Am I the only one who paid attention to Professor Juniper in school?” Cheren asked with superiority creeping into his voice. “Twist Mountain is a mountain, yes, but it is not a very tall mountain like Mt. Coronet in Sinnoh or Mt. Chimney in Hoenn. It is much wider than it is tall. The Celestial Tower is taller, David, just trust me on this one.” He continued to explain. David started to protest again, but was cut off by a shout from off in the woods before he could continue.
“Heya, guys!” Skyla shouted, running up to them from the tree line. She still wore her very revealing outfit, despite the chilling night air. She seemed unfazed however and still seemed just as bubbly and excited as she had been earlier that afternoon. David spoke up in acknowledgement.
“Hi Skyla. Damn, aren’t you cold?!” he asked in surprise. Skyla just chuckled at the thought however.
“Me? Naw, I’m a pilot! I’m use to the cold!” she exclaimed. David stared at the goosebumps forming on her skin, not exactly willing to believe her, but he didn’t question it further. She began jogging towards the tower, waving over her shoulder for them to follow. “Come on, guys! We’ve got to hurry if we want to get to that injured Pokémon in time!” she shouted. The group tagged behind her as they entered the tower.
“Welcome to the Celestial Tower, young people…” an extremely elderly woman greeted them as they entered the inside of the tower. She was quite frail with bleached white hair and many wrinkles. Skyla was just as warm and receptive to her as she was to everyone however, speaking up in response.
“Hi there! We’ve come to explore the tower!” she said excitedly. “We need to get to the top to help an injured Pokémon.” she continued. The woman gasped as she realized Skyla’s intent.
“You four are going to try and reach the top?! At night?! During this time of year?!” she exclaimed. “Oh no no no, that is absolutely not safe! As the custodian of the tower, I must strongly advise you kids against such a thing.” she continued. Skyla was undeterred however.
“But we have to get there before morning, ma’am. There’s an injured Pokémon at the top and we need to get David’s Gardevoir there so she can use Heal Pulse on it!” she explained. The woman shook her head though and began to pace back and forth.
“No, children, that really is unnecessary. Your empathy is admirable, but the tower is not safe at night, especially in the fall. Countless Litwick haunt the upper floors, each one more dangerous than the last!” she said in a worried voice. Skyla tilted her head in confusion, but Cheren stepped forward to explain.
“Litwick are a Ghost/Fire type Pokémon. They try to trick people by leading them through places like this, but legends say that they are really just trying to lead you into danger so they can harvest your soul for fuel to stay alight.” he said ominously. The elderly woman began to nod rapidly in agreement.
“Young lady, this boy speaks the truth. The tower is not safe; the Litwick will try and trick you. Is rescuing that Pokémon worth losing your soul?” she asked, but Skyla remained steadfast.
“No challenge is too perilous for The Great Skyla!” she said, raising her fist into the air. Before anyone could stop her, she began to bound towards the stairs and out of sight. Cheren and Bianca started running after her for fear of getting left behind, but David trailed behind as he started to ask the woman a question.
“Ma’am, if it is so dangerous here, then why are you here? You say that you’re the custodian, but what is there to guard?” he asked. He was trying to dance around the fact that someone as elderly as she was probably couldn’t really defend the tower from a legitimate threat, but she seemed to intuitively pick up on his subtlety. She lowered her head and closed her eyes, speaking in nothing more than a low murmur and appearing to almost slip into a dream.
“Young man…” she started to say, but she had to hold back tears at his question. She wiped her eyes and continued after a moment’s pause, seeming lost in deep thought and straining to find the words. “Young man, you are nothing more than a boy. You seem to have an aura about you of strength. The appearance of one destined for greatness is unmistakable. The Celestial Tower was made for people like you; designed to lead you astray and into the perils of the night. Do not let yourself be thrown asunder as I did in life; do not carry on the sins of the father. Do as I say, but not as I do.” she said mysteriously. As she spoke the final words, she slowly began to vanish. The soft, hazy sound of her ominous weeping filled the air, leaving David all alone on the first floor of the tower. She slowly faded away into nothing, leaving David in shock at both her words and her action. He stood silently, pondering what he had just seen, but Skyla’s voice broke his concentration.
“David! Are you coming?” she shouted down the staircase. Her piercing voice shook him from his daydream and he turned to reply.
“Uh… ye-yeah…” he stammered, questioning his own sanity at what he had just witnessed.
“We’ve got to hurry before that Pokémon freezes! Come on!” she shouted, running out of sight. David rubbed his eyes and shook off what he had just experienced, jogging up the stairs after her. He had a bad feeling about this place though. The night was young and they were only just heading up to the second floor out of nine; outside, somewhere off in the woods, the unnerving howl of a Mightyena broke the night air. The spirits were only just beginning to have their fun…
* * *
Putting the memory of the ghostly woman’s warning out of his mind as nothing more than an illusion, David ran up to the second floor of the tower to meet his friends. Cheren and Bianca were standing around idly, eyeing the stonework of the tower. Many tombstones lined the floor, but it seemed a mystery to David how something could be buried on the second floor of a building. Skyla once again snapped him out of his thoughts though, shouting fearlessly for them to go onward.
“Come on, guys! That Pokémon needs us!” she shouted, marching forward between the tombstones. The first floor was fairly small, and they could see the other staircase just across the room. They began to follow her towards it, seeing no immediate danger, but they were quickly stopped by something.
“Hello!” came the shrill cry of a child. The shout seemed to not come from any one point, but rang throughout the whole room from everywhere at once. The sudden noise startled them, unsure how to react.
“What was that?” Bianca asked in surprise. She quickly got her answer though. A lone Litwick cheerily floated from the ground behind one of the tombstones and landed on top of the stone epitaph. It looked up at them with an innocent smile spreading from cheek to cheek. It was as cute as a button, but David instinctively didn’t trust it. It began to speak up again.
“Hello! What are your names?” it asked in the same voice. David realized that what he was hearing was in his head, just like when Paula communicated with him. He had never seen another Pokémon besides Paula communicate like that however; this only furthered his unease. Still, he spoke up in response to answer it.
“I… um…” he stammered, turning to his friends for guidance. “Well, uh… I’m David, and this is Cheren, Bianca and Skyla.” he said, pointing to his friends as he said their names. “We’re just passing through, Litwick; we didn’t mean to disturb you.” he continued, trying to diffuse the situation. The Litwick was determined though and continued to speak.
“Wow! Really?!” it said excitedly. “We don’t get many visitors here! I could… show you around, if you want.” it offered innocently. That triggered David’s flight response instantly though. He began backing away and motioned to his friends to take his lead.
“No, no, that’s alright. Thank you though.” he tried to say politely. “Come on, guys, let’s just get go-” he continued, but the Litwick followed after him.
“Wait, wait! I can help you get though! Please let me help you!” it said sweetly. David was starting to get worried now though.
“Thank you, but we know what you’re trying to do. We just want to pass, please. We-” he tried to protest, but the Litwick cut him off.
“I know you want her.” it said both definitively and suddenly; its voice had dropped a considerable amount in pitch, no longer sounding like a child. David was taken aback by its comment.
“I… uh, wh-what?” he stammered, but the Litwick continued to stare at him, unblinking and unmoving. It repeated its statement.
“I said… I know you want her.” it said again, very clearly this time. David felt strange and wasn’t sure what it meant. He tried to slowly turn away and leave, but he realized that something about the world had changed. He had been inadvertently staring fixatedly at the Litwick’s tiny purple flame and hadn’t noticed that all of the color in the world had drained away. The whole room looked as if it were on a grayscale; the walls, the tombstones, the floor, his friends, all just shades of gray. The only things still in color were himself and the Litwick. Furthermore, his friends stood stock still, unmoving and seemingly unaware of his presence. He tried to wave his hand in front of Cheren’s face to get his attention, but Cheren stood like a statue. David could feel himself break out in a cold sweat.
“…what… what…” he stammered. “What did you do?!” he said nervously with panic creeping into his voice, but the Litwick refused to move. It continued to stare with its fixed, glowing eyes, smiling away at him contently from atop the tombstone.
“I just removed a few outside distractions, that’s all.” it stated matter-of-factly. “But that girl there, Bianca… you want her, am I right?” it asked. David was taken aback again by the question.
“Do I… ‘want her?’” he parroted back, trying to understand the question. The Litwick murmured in the affirmative.
“Yes, ‘want.’ You find her attractive; you frequently dream of her at night. You cannot hide your secrets from me, friend, I know and accept all.” it responded politely. “You try to fool yourself into believing you are in love with her, but you are only in love with her body. You want her for sex, am I right?” it asked leadingly. David could feel the blood drain from his face as he heard its statement.
“I… what?!” he shouted angrily. “That’s not true! Bianca and I are a couple! A team! Obviously I think she’s good looking, but we were friends way before I started thinking that!” he responded. The Litwick was unwavering; his flame flickered for a brief moment, but he continued to stand very still.
“You cannot lie to me, human, I know your secrets.” the Litwick responded. “Do not be mad at me though please, I am not here to judge. There is nothing wrong with your desires, they are a natural part of life.” he explained. “I am not even human, yet I can appreciate her figure. You have impeccable taste, if I might say. What say we… take a little peek under the hood, eh?” he continued. David swallowed nervously and blushed.
“Take a… do what?!” he stammered. The Litwick laughed.
“Look around you, human. Time has stopped. You and I are the only things conscious right now. That lovely girl is frozen like a statue, completely unaware of any of this. Who would try and stop you if you just… you know… went over and took a peek? Catch my drift?” it said. David was appalled.
“Hey now! Just what the Hell are you suggesting?!” he shouted angrily, but the Litwick still seemed unfazed.
“Let me spell it out for you, human. Walk over to that girl, remove whatever article of clothing strikes your fancy, and do as you please. Take mental photographs, explore her body, do whatever YOU feel like! That’s the beauty of this place; no one would stop you!” it explained. David was disgusted by the idea… but… couldn’t banish it from his mind.
“Why you little… I would never do something like-” he started to protest, but the Litwick cut him off.
“Oh hush, human, I can read you like a book; your body and your mind betray you. I know you’re considering it. Just go have a quick feel. Go on… live a little…” it said ominously. David tried with all his heart and mind to protest, but he strangely felt his body act on its own.
“I… but…” David stammered, but he could feel himself losing the fight. Despite the signals firing off from his brain to stop, he realized he was walking towards his frozen, color-void girlfriend slowly. He saw his arm outstretch and reach for her shirt. He tried to fight it but couldn’t resist.
“That’s it, human. Give in to your lust. Give in… give in… give… in…” the Litwick started to chant. David felt his hand reach out and he gently brushed his finger tips against the front of her shirt. Despite being frozen in time and unable to move, Bianca’s body still yielded surprisingly easily. His eyes fixated on the lumps in her chest, unable to think of anything more than the breasts which had plagued his mind since their first day as trainers. Though he tried to fight it, the Litwick’s power over him was growing stronger. He struggled to continue the fight, but was forced to admit defeat. Beyond his control, he felt himself begin to reach for the buttons on her vest to undo them. The Litwick continued to chant behind him.
“Give… in… give… in… give… in… give… in…” it sang ominously. David began to shutter as he lost control. His fingers worked with a mind of their own, undoing the top button, then the next, then the next. Just as hope began to leave him and he began to see skin, he heard a cry ring throughout his ears.
“Umbreon, Faint Attack!”
David felt himself grow lightheaded and he slowly felt strength return to his body. He began to grow faint as color flooded back into the world. The vision of Bianca before him faded away into nothing as he collapsed to the ground. He saw Cheren’s Umbreon chasing after the Litwick as the Ghost Pokémon ran out of sight towards the third floor. He was conscious of the events as they occurred, but they seemed to haze over him as if in a dream. Though he couldn’t feel her touch, Bianca ran up to him and rolled him over on his back.
“David!” she screamed. “David, are you alright? Can you hear me?!” she continued worriedly. David slowly moved his hand to his head and tried to sit up; his disorientation was too great though and he reeled back.
“Oh… Goddamn, my head…” he stammered. “What… what happened to me?” he asked. Bianca embraced him tenderly as he spoke his first words.
“You went into a trance!” she said fearfully. “You were muttering something about ‘lust’ and to ‘give in.’ We didn’t know what was wrong! Cheren had to use Umbreon to fend off the Litwick, and then you snapped out of it.” she continued. Cheren and his Pokémon walked up and knelt beside him to continue her statement.
“What exactly did you see? What just happened from your perspective?” he asked scientifically. David shuttered as he recalled his moment of weakness.
“I, uh… the Litwick tried to tempt me with something… I guess you were right about those little bastards…” he said, still holding his head.
“What did he try and tempt you with?” Cheren asked. David blushed as he recalled how close to the proverbial “second base” he had come without Bianca’s permission or knowledge.
“Uh… nothing…” he muttered. Cheren walked away indifferently, but Bianca continued to hold him.
“This place really is dangerous, Skyla. We need to hurry and try to get through the rest of it as quickly as possible.” Cheren said sternly. Skyla nodded and began heading towards the staircase after the Litwick and towards the third floor. Bianca helped David stand and they followed after them.
“Paula, please tell me you didn’t see any of that…” David thought to himself.
“I am sorry, master, but I am pretty much always inside your mind to some degree.” she responded from inside her Pokéball. “Do not worry though, your secret is safe with me.” she continued. David sighed.
* * *
Skyla and Cheren cautiously peeked over the spiral staircase leading to the third floor for any sign of danger. Satisfied it was safe, they moved up and motioned for David and Bianca to follow suit. The young couple came behind them timidly, slowly working their way up the stairs together. Bianca still had to help support David after his fall, but he was quickly regaining strength. This floor was almost no different than the previous one in terms of layout, and was exactly the same size; Skyla spoke up authoritatively.
“Come on, just across this foyer here…” she said, motioning for them to follow her. The group trailed behind the older girl faithfully, but noticed a strange phenomenon as they proceeded. With each step they took, the room became shrouded in a mysterious fog. It twisted and morphed before them, obscuring the path. They couldn’t determine the source of the haze, but only recognized that it was growing thicker; it seemed to radiate from the very stones themselves, seeping from the walls and floor. After several minutes of walking through what had appeared to be a fairly small room, they started to grow concerned.
“Skyla? How much farther is it?” Bianca asked timidly. “It seems like we’ve been walking for ages.” she continued.
“I… err…” Skyla responded. “It should just be right around this corner, I think…” she muttered. The group came to a bend in the path and turned around a wall, but was disappointed and confused by the sight in front of them. Dug into the stone floor was the staircase leading back down to the second floor; they had gone in a big circle.
“Wait, what?!” Skyla shouted incredulously. “How can that be? It was just a straight shot across the room!” she continued.
“The Litwick must be twisting the dimensions with this haze.” Cheren mused. “My guess would be a unified and intensified Trick Room attack. We need a guide that can see past it.” he continued. “No offense…” he muttered to Skyla.
“Cheren, Umbreon is a Dark type; that’s why he worked so well against that Litwick earlier. Wouldn’t he be immune to the Psychic-type Trick Room?” David asked. Umbreon had been following them outside of his Pokéball just as a precaution in case more Litwick showed up and he had to defend his trainer’s group from them, but he calmly walked forward upon hearing his name. He looked up at Cheren through his knowing red eyes and began to purr. A sly smile spread across Cheren’s lips as he considered the plan.
“That’s not a bad idea, actually…” he murmured, scratching his chin. “What do you say, Umbreon? Can you do it?” he continued. Umbreon grinned slightly and closed his eyes. The golden rings covering his body began to glow after a moment’s concentration like beacons, drawing their eyes towards them almost magnetically. Umbreon’s rings shone with a faint golden light that could pierce the thick purple fog; he calmly began walking through the room, and the group of explorers followed behind devotedly. He moved quickly and eventually his body became obscured by the smoke, but his rings continued to pierce through the haze like torches. Umbreon led them safely through the floor, reaching the staircase on the other side; Cheren knelt down and rubbed his starter Pokémon’s sleek black fur for a job well done.
“Great job, Umbreon. I-” he started to say, but he was cut off.
“Why won’t you stay and play with us, new friends? Why do you seek to escape?” came a voice, ringing throughout the room. It was the voice of another Litwick again, speaking to them in their minds. The voice seemed to reverberate and echo around the room, but they knew it was just an illusion. “We won’t hurt you, we only want to play.” it said again. David scoffed.
“Yeah right… ‘play.’” he said angrily. Before he could say more though, the Litwick interrupted again.
“We humble Litwick are here to show you the way to easy salvation; isn’t that what you want?! Why do you try to defy us?” it said, starting to grow frantic. “Just give in; we could have spent lots of time just playing around in the haze on this floor alone.” it continued. Skyla had heard enough.
“We know what you’re trying to pull, Litwick! We won’t let you win though; we’ve got Umbreon to guide us and determination on our side. Now come on, gang!” she shouted, raising her fist into the air. She began to dramatically march forward again, heading up the stairs to the fourth floor. Silence again filled the tower as the rest of them followed after her. The Litwick were beginning to grow impatient, it occurred to them; they wondered how long these mind games would keep up before they decided to attack…
* * *
Chronicles of Unova
Chapter 16: Knocking on Heaven's Door
Part 2 of 2
Upon reaching the fourth floor, the group found that the haze covered that room as well. Umbreon skirted ahead of Skyla as they reached the top of the stairs and began running through the room, indicating for them to follow. He seemed impatient, as if he wanted them to follow quickly and not get sidetracked. David’s strength had returned to him by now, so they were able to move much more quickly than they had on the previous floor. They took off after him, but struggled to keep up.
“Hey wait, Umbreon, slow down!” Cheren shouted, trying to keep pace with his Pokémon. Umbreon looked like a speeding little black dart, quickly running out of sight. The group was able to follow him only by the light of his glowing rings, but soon, they too became obscured by the fog. The group stopped and tried to not get separated from one another.
“Umbreon, come back! Where did you go?” Cheren shouted. He didn’t see his Pokémon anywhere through the haze though.
“Okay guys, let’s just wait here. I’m sure Umbreon can find us a lot more easily than we can find him.” David said. “We just need to try and not get separated from one another. They’ll try to pick us off one by-” he continued, but Skyla cut him off.
“Hey, hey!” she shouted. “Look over there! I think I see light!” she continued. She pointed across the room and, low and behold, an archway of solid, bright light shone through the haze. It looked like a doorway leading to the outside air; she began running off towards it despite David’s warning.
“Skyla, wait!” David shouted. The rest of them ran off behind her, trying to hold her back. She ran through the archway and out onto a ledge of the tower. The moonlight was piercing, illuminating the small landing clearly. A Pokémon was lying face down on the stones and didn’t appear to be moving. Unafraid of any danger, Skyla bent down to help it.
“Guys, this must be the Pokémon I saw earlier!” she said as they ran up behind her. “He must have fallen from the rooftop; it’s a long way down, he could be really badly hurt.” she continued. She turned towards David for Paula’s assistance, but David was skeptical.
“Is it even still alive? How could it have survived such a long fall?” David asked. Skyla frowned and turned back towards it.
“Yeah, it sure seems to still be alive. It’s really warm actually, feverish almost.” she responded. She took off one of her gloves and laid her bare hand against it. “Actually, now that you mention it… it’s really hot; searing even. I… I… uh… uhhhh-OOOOW!” she screamed, holding her hand in agony. She stood up in surprise at the sudden pain, shutting her eyes and taking a step back towards the inside of the tower. The Pokémon began to stir.
“Not all greed is selfish, but all greed is blinding.” the Pokémon said through a smile. As it rose, the group realized it was yet another Litwick. The Ghost-type had burned her hand with its Flame Body ability. The Pokémon sprang towards Skyla who was still reeling in pain and clutching her hand; she shrieked in terror as she realized the impending attack. Just before it reached her, a black dart leapt at it from somewhere off in the smoke.
“Bre-ON!” Umbreon shouted, colliding with the wild Pokémon. His Faint Attack hurt the Ghost-type Pokémon terrifically, and it fell to the ground in shock and surprise. Skyla was breathing heavily at her scare, but appeared unhurt beyond the small burn on her palm. The Litwick rose shakily and began to hiss.
“Ssssssss! Ssssssso that’sssssss how you want it? Sssssss!” it spat. It tried to say more, but Umbreon began to growl and bristle for another attack. The Litwick hissed again in terror and fled into the smoky room. Umbreon let it go and turned back towards the group.
“Nice timing, Umbreon.” Cheren mused. Umbreon stared at him through his calm eyes, waiting for them to follow after him towards the exit. After Skyla had regained her senses, they departed.
“How’s your hand, Skyla?” Bianca asked. Skyla held it up for them to see; it was red and chafed, but didn’t appear to be too badly injured.
“I’ll be fine. I’m a pilot, so I’m tough.” she responded. She fumbled with her glove and put it on over the wound emphatically. Umbreon led them to the next spiral staircase and they began to ascend.
* * *
The fifth floor was the same size that all the previous ones had been, but was void of any support structures or tombstones. The barren room was completely empty, and also clear of the mysterious, hazy smoke. The only thing in the room was a lone Litwick, standing defiantly in the exact center. It still wore its wry smile, but seemed to glare menacingly. The small flame on top of its head burned brighter than most, drawing their eyes towards it.
“No more tricks, humans. You want a fair fight? You’ve got one.” it said carefully as they left the stairs. Before they could defend themselves, the Litwick began to attack suddenly. The flame atop its head began to glow even brighter than it already was; several more flames materialized around it in a halo-like ring. The flames danced and spun around its head and then flew out towards Umbreon. Before he could even recognize what was going on, the searing Will-o-Wisp attack struck and burned him. Umbreon cried out in pain, but the rings on his body again began to glow instinctively. The Litwick’s smile faded and it screamed too; Umbreon’s Synchronize ability had caused Litwick to be burned as well.
“You’ll pay for that!” it shrieked angrily. The Litwick rose off of the ground slightly and began to chant in its native language. Dark smoke poured off of it from its flame and began to swarm around Umbreon. Umbreon ran forward into the room away from Cheren and the other trainers to try and attack Litwick back, but the smoke caught up to him too quickly. Being a Dark-type, he resisted the Ghost-type Hex attack, but it was doubled in strength due to Umbreon’s Burn. Umbreon cried out in pain again and fell to the ground in a slump. The Litwick smiled and began to move towards it.
“Here, kitty kitty. Come out and plaaaaaay…” the Litwick murmured ominously as it moved in to inspect its victim. Umbreon was unmoving and seemingly defeated, his rings pulsating very faintly. The Litwick drew near and began trying to suck away his life energy to fuel its flame; Cheren knew what Umbreon was trying to do though and waited for his chance.
“Not yet… not yet…” he whispered. “Umbreon, now! Faint Attack!” he shouted. Umbreon opened his eyes in a flash and startled the Litwick. He sprang up and slammed into his rash opponent. The Litwick couldn’t weather the powerful Dark-type attack and fell to the ground in defeat; Umbreon had landed a critical hit and defeated it instantly. Though his Burn was hurting him, he was mostly unfazed. Bianca and Skyla cheered for his cunning display, and David and Cheren grinned.
“Great job, Umbreon!” Skyla squealed.
“‘Atta boy, buddy!” Cheren mimicked her sentiment. “These Litwick are no match for… um… uh…” he continued to say, but he trailed off. “…oh shit.” he muttered.
Dozens upon dozens of Litwick began to flood into the room from the floors above. They all burned with malevolence and appeared raring to fight. Umbreon’s eyes opened wide as he saw all of them and he took a timid step backwards towards his trainer. The steady stream of ghostly flames seemed endless; they all growled and hissed in anger.
“Cheren, don’t get me wrong, Umbreon is a badass, but I think we’re going to need a bigger gun…” David whispered nervously. Cheren swallowed audibly and recalled his Pokémon.
“Any ideas?” Cheren whispered back. Surprisingly, Bianca stepped forward to accept the challenge.
“Step aside, boys. Let me give it a try!” she shouted commandingly. She drew a Pokéball and prepared to do battle against the small ghostly army. David was taken aback by her bravado, but wasn’t about to stop her if she could defend them from the spirits. She threw her Pokéball into the middle of the room and called for a command.
“Go, Axew! Earthquake attack!” she shouted. Her recently captured Dragon sprang from its ball for his first battle under his new trainer. His first action upon reaching the ground was to stomp down powerfully and release the tremor. The whole tower shook from the might of the attack and swayed in the cold night air. Being weak to Ground-type attacks, many of the Litwick were defeated before they could even attempt to attack back. The ones who survived the blow were seriously hurt and decidedly less eager to fight than they had been a moment ago. Axew was raring to go, just waiting for another command from Bianca. The strength and confidence of her Dragon seemed to imbue Bianca with a similar conviction; she was normally very timid and often looked to David for guidance in situations like these, but with Axew to battle with, she seemed to grow uncharacteristically brave.
“Quick, use Dragon Dance while we have the chance!” she shouted. Axew whipped itself up into a fervor and began to crackle with power and strength. It waddled back and forth on its stubby legs, glowing with an ancient red energy. As the Litwick realized what he was trying to do, they started to all attack at once before it was too late.
Four Litwick moved in at once to strike. Axew was just finishing up his Dragon Dance and was ready to strike back with multiplied power. Bianca called for him to use Dual Chop; his tusks glowed white and he lashed out at them wildly. Before they could reach him, he swatted two of them away on one pass, and the other two on the second. None of them toughed out the attack and they were flung around the room in defeat. Axew was proving to definitively be Bianca’s strongest Pokémon; he flung himself headfirst into the dwindling group of remaining Litwick for more Dual Chops. He tore a path through the crowd, swinging his tusks wildly. Just as the crowd began to dry up, the room started to grow dim in shadows. Axew stopped his rampage and saw something altogether different floating down the stairs opposite them: a Lampent.
“Looks like you woke up the big boss, Bianca…” Cheren whispered, staring nervously at the imposing and rapidly descending Pokémon. “That’s a Lampent; the evolved form of Litwick.” he continued. Bianca took a step back and swallowed audibly, but Axew seemed unafraid.
The room filled with shadows, illuminated only by the soft, otherworldly glow of the Lampent’s flame. The Litwick who were still conscious moved quickly to collect their fallen comrades and surrounded the Lampent timidly. They seemed to revere the elder Pokémon and almost seemed afraid of it themselves. The Lampent stared Bianca and Axew down menacingly and silently. Bianca began to speak.
“Axew, just… uh… use another Dual Chop…” she murmured. Axew was undeterred by the foreboding Pokémon and leapt at it for another strike, but the Lampent moved swiftly out of the way. Axew spun around on his heels as he reached the ground behind it and moved in for the second strike, but the Lampent dodged it as well; as Axew flew past, the Lampent spun around and smacked Axew’s back with one of his long arms. Axew lost his balance and skidded to the ground. He tried to rise, but the Lampent moved in for his own attack. Summoning a maelstrom of fire, the Lampent trapped Axew within a weak Fire Spin attack. Axew looked around in terror for a way out, but the bars of flame trapped him within the unnatural prison. Lampent floated down low to the ground and began to stare at Axew.
“Lampent… Lampent… Lampent…” it murmured rhythmically. Axew tried to look away, but the flame burning inside of the rival Pokémon was intoxicating. He tried to shut his eyes in a last-ditch effort, but it was too much; Axew was drawn towards the light and began to stare as if in a trance. The Lampent continued to chant.
“Lampent… Lampent… Re-Lam-Pent… Re-Lam-Pent… Repent… Repent…” it said ominously. Bianca was growing worried.
“Axew, use Earthquake! Dual Chop! Something!” she shouted. Axew appeared unable to hear her though, lost in the trance of Lampent’s flickering flame. The Ghost began to steal life away from his foe to further bolster the flame. Axew started to shake as he grew faint.
“Lampent… Repent… Lampent… Repent…” the wild Pokémon continued to chant. Axew teetered rhythmically with his cry, falling prey to the Lampent’s trap. Seeing no other option, Bianca decided to take things into her own hands.
“Lampent… Repent… Lampent… Repent… Lam- CRACK!”
Bianca ran up without fear and kicked at the Lampent with all her might. The Lampent flew across the room in shock, having had his concentration broken and accidentally freed Axew from the Fire Spin. Axew shook off the disorientation and tried to get his bearings. Bianca hopped on her left leg, grasping her other foot in pain from the deceptively strong kick. Axew didn’t need a command from his trainer to know what to do; full of anger and spite at being duped, Axew took his opportunity to launch another Earthquake attack. Before the Lampent could regain its senses, the Ground-type attack struck it and dealt a crushing blow. Seeing their leader defeated, the remaining Litwick collected their fallen warriors and ran back up to the next floor in terror; Axew shouted after them triumphantly.
“Ow! Ow! Owwie! Ouch!” Bianca moaned, still grasping her foot and hopping on one leg. Her friends ran up behind her in congratulations and all tried to speak at once.
“Ho-oh-ly CRAP, Bianca! That was AWESOME!” David shouted, embracing his girlfriend enthusiastically. “You just ran up and kicked that son-of-a-bitch right in the Goddamn face!” he continued. Bianca blushed but twitched as she gingerly tried to put her aching foot down.
“Thanks.” she murmured. “I knew I had to help Axew somehow, so I just… ran up…” she continued, giggling to herself. Cheren and Skyla were also very impressed, congratulating her emphatically. Cheren released Umbreon from his Pokéball again to guide them through the remaining four floors, but he was looking tired. He moved gingerly due to his burn, but continued to lead them on. The high from their decisive victory was to be short lived however; there were still several more floors to go…
* * *
The next three floors passed relatively uneventfully. Umbreon continued to lead them through the increasingly thick haze without fail, though he was beginning to falter from his Burn. They were ambushed by small bands of Litwick a few times, but the group was able to fend them off. Strangely, there were no further signs of more Lampent; it appeared that the one they had encountered before was the leader of the tower, but it seemed odd to them that it would have come to challenge them personally on such a low floor. As they took the stairs to the ninth and final floor, they were greeted by a pleasant surprise; the floor was void of any further Litwick, and appeared to be just a straight-shot to the outside air. Light was streaming in from the staircase to the top of the tower, and a cool breeze of fresh air blew through the room. It was a relieving sight to the weary and tired travelers; even Skyla was starting to lose her chipper demeanor after the long night. The group left the stairs and entered the room.
“No more Litwick?” David mused. “Something doesn’t smell right about that…” he continued. “I can’t imagine we already got past them all.”
“I’m not complaining.” Cheren replied. “This better be one Goddamn special Pokémon we’re going to help up here, Skyla…” he muttered. Skyla giggled, but there was a weariness in her voice as well.
“Don’t worry, Cheren, it’ll be worth it.” she responded. The group made their way towards the center of the room, but they were quickly stopped by something. One of the panels in the center of the floor was just a slightly darker shade of gray-beige than the others; without realizing where he was walking, David accidentally stepped on it. It gave way under the pressure from his foot and sunk into the ground a bit. David almost tripped and was startled by the moving panel. The group all looked down to see what had happened, but quickly found their answer.
Silently, the calm, serene form of a wild Pokémon floated in on the breeze from the top of the tower. It had a large, bulbous form with four dark appendages hanging off from it. Flickering flames like those of Litwick burned on the tip of each arm, and a central fire burned on top of its head. The Pokémon’s mouth appeared to be sewn shut like a doll, but it stared at them from behind unassuming yellow eyes. The Pokémon silently drifted down the staircase upon David’s accidental summons and just stared at them without a word; it was a Chandelure: the true leader of the tower. The group froze as it watched them.
“Guess this is the final one…” Cheren whispered. “It’s a Chandelure, the final evolution of Litwick.” he continued. David stepped forward and drew a Pokéball to do battle with the beast.
“Alright, Chandelure, are you going to let us pass or are we going to have to battle you?” David asked commandingly as he strode forward. The Chandelure continued to hang in place in the air though, silently flexing its arms and swaying side to side. It said nothing, did nothing, and didn’t move; David wasn’t sure what to think of it.
“Maybe it doesn’t care.” Bianca suggested. “Let’s just try going around it.” she continued. David nervously inched forward with a skeptical look on his face, but as he moved around the Chandelure and drew closer, it continued to follow him with its eyes. The Chandelure was blocking off the stairway to the outside of the tower and traced David wherever he moved; it wasn’t going to let them pass unopposed, but by the same token, it didn’t appear to want to fight. David slowly returned the drawn Pokéball to his holster, unsure how to proceed.
“What is it you want, Chandelure?” he asked it untrustingly. The Chandelure continued to stare at him expectantly without moving from its spot or saying a word. David stared back, hoping to glean any kind of information he could from it, but in doing so, he fell right into Chandelure’s trap. His eyes inadvertently became attracted to the flames that danced on its arms. The Chandelure was swaying side to side like a chandelier in the breeze, rhythmically swaying in time. Litwick and Lampent were able to hypnotize those who stared at their flames intently enough, but it seemed to come effortlessly to the fully evolved Pokémon. David was entranced by the Chandelure’s flickering light instantly, much to the dismay of his friends.
“Wait, David, no! Don’t look at it!” Cheren shouted, but it was too late; David was under its spell. He turned around to face his friends, his pupils completely dilated and with a dopey grin on his face.
“Come into the light, my friends… the light of Chandelure loves all…” he murmured. The Chandelure continued to float unassumingly, almost as if it were unaware of his hypnotic control over David. Cheren, Bianca and Skyla gasped at the ease with which David had fallen prey to the wicked Pokémon; Cheren spoke up again in reply.
“David, listen to yourself! Don’t let this thing control you, wake up!” he said. David wouldn’t hear it though.
“Cheren is right, David, snap out of it, please!” Skyla mimicked with fear creeping into her voice. She was careful to not look at the Chandelure herself, but she could feel her willpower slipping. David chuckled to himself before replying.
“Friends, you do not understand. The light of Chandelure is not an evil one, it is one of warmth and love. Chandelure is a poor, misunderstood Pokémon; he does not want to harm us, he only needs fuel for his fire. Let us become one with him and-” he tried to reply, but Bianca shouted over him.
“David, stop it! You sound like some kind of cultist! Please stop, you’re scaring me!” she cried. David frowned at her words and slowly began to approach her. He shuffled forward in time with the rhythmic swaying of the Chandelure, taking small, wobbling steps like a zombie.
“Bianca… dear, sweet, innocent Bianca…” he murmured. “Surely you understand the warmth of the light, my love; won’t you join us?” he asked. He tried to approach her with his arms outstretched, but she took a timid step back. David drew near and tried to embrace her, but she screamed and pushed him away.
“No! Stay back!” she shrieked. Small tears welled up in her eyes out of fright; David kept coming relentlessly however. With no other alternative in sight, she stretched out her arm and slapped him across the face. The blow sent David spinning end-over-end to the ground in his weakened state; he rose gingerly a moment later and looked at her with confused longing in his eyes.
“You… you hit me?” he asked timidly. He put a hand to his stinging face and felt something wet. He looked at the tips of his fingers and saw small droplets of blood staining them from where her fingernails had accidentally scratched him. He looked up at her with a look of confused pain in his eyes. She ran towards him and started to cry.
“Oh David, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to! I was just… and you were… I-” she stammered to explain, but David rose and fell back towards the Chandelure in shock and anger. His look of confusion was quickly turning into one of rage.
“You… I… how could you do this, Bianca? I thought we were a team?!” he said angrily, still under the hypnotic control of the Chandelure. “How can you of all people not want to embrace the light of Chandelure?” he continued. “You, who are nothing but light?!” he screamed. Bianca was crying very audibly now.
“David! No, please! You have to fight this thing’s mind control! You have to fight it!” she sobbed, but David wouldn’t hear it.
“No! I see what you people are now! You are nothing more than treacherous traitors!” he cried. “You aren’t my friends; you people are the enemy!” he growled in an almost demonic voice. Without thinking, he reached for a Pokéball and threw it to do battle with whoever would stand to oppose him. The Chandelure behind him continued to float in place silently, simply watching as these terrible events took place. Paula was released from her Pokéball, but somehow seemed to already intuitively understand just what was happening.
“Paula, get ‘em! You’re my only friend now! You and master Chandelure!” he cried in a frenzy. Paula turned over her shoulder to look at her trainer, but wore a calm, wry smile on her lips. She turned fully around to face him and stared piercingly into his eyes. She spread her arms to her sides elegantly as her dress blew in the small breeze and spoke to him in his twisted and warped mind.
“Did you just say ‘master Chandelure,’ master?” she asked. “Does not that make him my master as well by association?” she continued. David wore a slurred and tired look in his eyes as he tried to follow her logic in his compromised state; she subtly began breaking down the Chandelure’s grasp on his mind with her psychic powers while she had him distracted.
“Well… yeah!” he shouted. “I guess it does! You’re a smart girl, don’t you want to embrace his light?” he continued. Paula giggled to herself and began to approach her trainer.
“Master, you know this is not right. This Pokémon is strong, but we all know I am the greater psychic. I can still sense you in there, fighting to break out. Come back to us, master; come back.” she whispered sweetly. David tried to step away from her advance, but he was growing dizzy and faint.
“Paula? But I… the Chandelure… and… the… the light… I…” he stammered, but Paula cut him off.
“That is right, master. Fight this creature’s hold on you. I am here to help; I am breaking through the outer walls, but you have to fight. Come back to us, master; come back.” she said again. David put a hand to his head and shut his eyes, flailing about in pain. Paula reached out to him and placed a hand on his cheek. Her touch against his skin seemed both to hurt and to soothe him all at once. David struggled to resist both her and the Chandelure.
“I… the light of the… but… Paula? …Paula, is that you?” he asked. Paula smiled as she heard him breaking out.
“Yes, master, I am here. You are doing fantastic; I can feel you breaking free. Just a bit more now. Come back to us, master; come back.” she said determinedly. She wrapped both arms around him and tried to hold him down from his spasms. He fought to break free of her grip, but that side of his mind was losing. He could feel himself coming back to his own mind as the Chandelure’s grip broke away. He forced himself to raise his own arms and embrace her in return.
“The light… the light…” he muttered. “Must… accept… Chandelure’s… light… aaaaargh!” he continued. Paula shut her eyes and focused her psychic energy as she broke down the final barriers.
“Come back to us, master. Come back now please.” she said commandingly. David buried his head in her chest and muffled a bloodcurdling scream. She embraced him tightly and continued to focus. His body went limp and he collapsed to the ground. Paula struggled with his weight but helped him down gently. She knelt over her trainer and placed a hand over his face. He was temporarily knocked unconscious from the impromptu exorcism, but she brought him back with a quick, soothing jolt of Heal Pulse. He fluttered his eyes open and reawakened. Paula smiled.
“Welcome back, master…” she murmured. David smiled back at her before shutting his eyes to rest. Paula rose and straightened her dress. She turned to look at the Chandelure with a confident smile on her lips and stared at him smugly.
“I win.” she whispered.
The Chandelure nodded its head in affirmation and slowly began to move for the first time since it had entered the room. It floated towards Cheren, Bianca and Skyla, pushing its way past them calmly and down the stairs to the lower levels. The Chandelure left to attend to its own business, leaving the pathway to the top of the tower free and clear. Paula turned back over her shoulder to look at David as he gingerly rose. She helped him to stand as the disorientation left him. His friends were still wary, but Bianca was the first to break the silence. She ran up and embraced her boyfriend tightly, starting to cry again. David held her back and ran his fingers through her hair.
“Oh-ho-ho-ho David…” she sobbed. “I’m so sorry…” she continued. David smiled and squeezed her a little tighter.
“Shhh, Bianca, it’s alright…” he whispered. She broke his grasp and kissed the scar where she had accidentally cut him, healed over now thanks to Paula’s Heal Pulse. The loving couple stood in silence for several minutes before finally separating. With the final trial of the Celestial Tower behind them, David, Cheren, Bianca, Skyla and Paula slowly set off for the top of the tower. They crested the stairway and went outside.
* * *
The morning sun was just cresting over the horizon as the group stepped outside. The tower pierced through the clouds, obscuring their ability to see the ground. The sunrise cast the tower in radiant shades of red and gold. The cold morning air blew against their faces and cleared away the rotting, claustrophobic stench of the tower that clung to their clothes. The bracing breeze and brilliant beams of light playing against the clouds was a beautiful one. The top of the tower was mostly flat and without edges, allowing them to look out unobstructed in full view. A small portion of the landing was raised and a magnificent bell hung from a pedestal atop it. A small, unconscious Pokémon lay in a crumpled mess before the bell, shivering with the freezing cold. Skyla ran up to inspect it as her traveling companions looked out in amazement at the majesty of the view.
“Wow…” Bianca stammered. “This is beautiful…” she continued. The cresting sunlight seemed to stream in every color of the warm spectrum of the rainbow.
“We’re even higher than the clouds.” Cheren mused, looking cautiously over the edge. “It’s like we’re knocking on Heaven’s door…” he muttered. David shot him a smirk.
“Shut up, Cheren, you just stole that line from Bob Dylan.” he said incredulously. Cheren rubbed his eye in David’s direction studiously with his middle finger, but otherwise ignored his friend’s comment. Skyla called out to them from the raised portion in front of the bell to inspect the Pokémon with her.
“How is it, Skyla? Can we still save it?” David asked as they walked up. Skyla was knelt over, inspecting the small Flying-type Pokémon; it was a baby Rufflet. She spoke up in response.
“It’s very badly hurt, but we should be able to. It must have gotten separated from its family because it can’t fly very well yet. Quick, David, have your Gardevoir use Heal Pulse.” she responded. David turned over his shoulder towards Paula and motioned for her to go to work. Paula stepped forward and knelt down next to the injured Pokémon. She set to work using Heal Pulse as Skyla stood back up.
“Thank you for all your help, guys. Without it, I would have never made it up here safely, and even if I had, I wouldn’t have been able to save this Rufflet myself. Thank you.” she said, looking them each over as the sunrise illuminated their silhouettes. The three friends smiled at her gesture and nodded in affirmation. Skyla stepped forward and took David’s hands rather forcefully again like she had at the Pokémon Center the day before. David was just as taken aback now as he had been then; Skyla smiled and looked him in the eyes.
“Especially you, David; I’m so glad you came.” she murmured. Cheren yelped suddenly and had to bite his fist to keep from laughing. David shot him a curious glare, but then understood why he was laughing.
“What? What did I say?” Skyla asked in a puzzled voice, but Cheren waved her down. David continued to glare.
“God, Cheren, you’re the smartest 12-year-old I’ve ever met. What’s it been like not maturing or aging for the last 6 years?” he asked disgustedly. Cheren had to stifle another laugh at his comment.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, that was just… pffff-HAAA-HAHAHAHA!” Cheren replied, busting a gut as he recalled her statement. David rolled his eyes and released Skyla’s hands. Cheren composed himself after a few seconds but had to wipe tears from his eyes from his laughter. Bianca pursed her lips and spoke up.
“…I don’t get the joke either.” she murmured innocently. “‘I’m glad you came?’” she asked. Cheren held his sides and stifled another laugh at her confusion as she repeated the joke. David tried to explain but Cheren beat him to the punch.
“Stay with David long enough and I’m sure you’ll find out, Bianca, bwahahahaha!” he shouted. David walked up and slugged Cheren in the shoulder. Cheren winced but continued to smile. Paula interrupted the scene and began to speak through a grin.
“I am finished. Would anyone like to see the patient?” she asked cheerfully, cradling the baby Pokémon in her arms against her breast. The Rufflet looked very eager, happy and healthy, looking around expectantly for someone to care for it. Skyla squealed at the sight of the cute bird and took it from Paula’s grasp. She held the little Pokémon up in the air and spun around with it.
“Eeeeeeeek! What a little cutie!!!” she screamed. She embraced the tiny Pokémon lovingly as it started to coo. David shot Paula a smile as the group looked on at Skyla’s affection. After a moment, Skyla drew a Pokéball and released the Pokémon inside.
“Thanks again for all your help, guys. I’m going to take this little guy back to the Gym and raise him myself; I’ve always wanted a Braviary.” she said. A stern looking, plainly adorned female Unfezant flew out from the Pokéball and circled overhead several times. Skyla bade her new friends farewell before taking a few steps back. She took a running leap off of the tower, still clutching Rufflet tightly under her arm, and landed on the strong shoulders of her Unfezant as she started to fall. The pair soared away into the sunrise, holding on tightly to her majestic Pokémon’s back. David and his friends watched as they flew out of sight, still enjoying the pastoral scenery around them. They had made it through all nine floors of the tower and hadn’t slept at all that night; they weren’t about to leave without reaping their hard-earned rewards.
“What’s this big bell here, Cheren?” David asked after a moment, breaking the silence. He turned over his shoulder and motioned to the bell which hung behind them. It was very simply adorned with gold trim and was a dark shade of teal. A golden inlay in the shape of the bell itself was etched onto the front; it seemed out of place atop the tower, as it seemed like no one but the person ringing it would be able to hear it from such heights. Cheren adjusted his glasses before responding.
“It’s just a bell” he replied. “It is said to calm the spirits of the deceased Pokémon buried here though; why don’t you ring it?” he asked. David tilted his head as he considered the proposition, but turned to approach it. A pulley system was set up on either side of the mount with which to operate it. It was worn and old, but very humbly designed. It required two people to operate however, with one control on either side. David motioned to Paula to take up the other side.
“Want to help me ring it, Paula?” he asked. The Gardevoir smiled and took up the opposite controls. The two partners worked together to move the bell, letting it ring throughout the valley below. The deafening tone filled the whole valley between Chargestone Cave and Twist Mountain, signaling the start of the new day; Paula felt a grin break out along her lips as she heard the tone, unable to restrain her goofy smile. David smiled as well upon seeing her happy.
“Mr. Cheren is right, master. It is soothing to Pokémon.” she mused. David chuckled under his breath at her comment as the bell slowly swung to a stop. The group of friends took one last look out at the sunrise and the tops of the clouds before gathering around Paula to go back to Mistralton; Paula Teleported them away, leaving behind their night in the Celestial Tower. After a few days of rest, they would challenge Skyla for the Jet Badge at the Mistralton City Gym. In the meantime however, exploration of the city beckoned.
Somehow I knew the title would be a song reference... Though pretty much every chapter in this fic has some sort of song reference, lol.
I'm totally with you with the underrated Skyla arc in the game. Team Plasma could've attacked there, we couldn't even see what Pokemon she healed, plus ringing a bell to show our personality is rather redundant.
Prof. Juniper does sort of dissapear once Cedric takes over, nice to see them both in one scene- they are rarely ever in the game.
Bianca's Falcon Kick was awesome! Best Bianca moment as of now. Though with that dress there, I don't really know how'd she'd be able to lift her feet off even a foot off the ground.