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Thread: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Broken Ideals

  1. #1
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    Default Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Broken Ideals

    Warnings: This story contains a fair amount of gore, violence, and most notably, disturbing imagery. If you do not think you can handle such things, do not read this story.

    A Note to All: For those of you who know me, you may have heard me talk about a story I was writing. You may have even heard others talk of my story. From how it was described, it was already monstrous in size and was continuously growing as the days went on. And yet, you could never find it on Serebii. You would check my forums, only to find that I had no forums in existence. Then, you would no doubt wonder just exactly what was going on.

    You see, allow me to explain myself. This story was something I created in the summer of 2012 and later posted onto Fanfiction.net on September 27, 2012. I have been tirelessly working on it ever since, keeping it exclusive to the website for the past two years. But no longer. Starting today, I will bring my story from the depths of Fanfiction.net and into the light of these forums. Though it will be the same story, I am going to re-write some of the earlier chapters since, quite simply, my earlier style was not the best.

    On a final note, you may notice the name "ScytheRider" pop up a few times throughout the story in the author's notes and wonder who exactly that is. Well, allow me to explain. Scythe is an author who is also on FF and has helped me throughout all this story as a beta reader, sometimes being a bit more than that. I mention his name a number of times to give him credit where his help has helped me prevail through tough times. Then also, because this story would literally not be what it is now without his help. You can find him here.

    Thank you, Scythe. Thank you for being there all these years. Your support has always been appreciated and I will forever cherish the many days you stuck with me and gave me the advice I needed.

    Now, onto the story you came here for. Enjoy, my fellow readers.

    Chapter List

    Prologue
    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3
    Chapter 4
    Last edited by SableVulpi; 13th August 2014 at 2:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    Prologue

    Storm of Plague




    Tromp, tromp, tromp, tromp, tromp…..

    A great mountain stood in the distance, overshadowing the vast land for miles and miles. In one section of the land near the mountain were multiple paths carved into the land by the endless amount of travelers that came through the area. Each one weaved through the flat lands and stretched in various directions. One of these particular paths winded along the cliffs overlooking a deep valley that just barely managed to escape the shadow of the mountain. This particular trail was one of the less traveled trails, but one wouldn't think that at the moment.

    Tromp, tromp, tromp, tromp, tromp, tromp, tromp…

    Many Pokémon, hundreds perhaps, were trekking along this very path with bags strapped to their bodies. There were a wide variety of Pokémon walking amongst one another. They ranged anywhere from the tiny Wooper who bounced along the road to the mighty bulk of an Onix, who had to take extra care in not crushing the smaller Pokémon crowded nearby its body.

    Yet, despite all the differences between the travelers, all managed to get along with one another. All eyes were fixed forward in the direction opposite of the mountain while they chatted among one another. Despite the weary looks upon many of the faces, none ceased walking. Everyone pressed on.

    That was, except for one. On the edge of the cliffs where the ground was stable, stood a small Pokémon; a little Zorua. She looked out toward that very mountain, Emerald Mountain as it was called by the locals, with a distant stare.

    At the peak was a swirling mesh of gray that extended far into the sky. In the middle of this hurricane-like cloud was a black spot. Though it appeared rather minuscule from where the Zorua stood, she knew that it was actually quite monstrous in size. The dark hole was continually pouring what appeared to be a black rain over the mountain, which would then flow down the mountainside at a slow, but steady pace.

    "Hey, you okay?" a voice asked from behind the Zorua.

    The Zorua cringed at the sudden voice, but she quickly recovered before turning her head back. She found a Torchic staring at her with a worried expression. The Zorua sighed in relief, knowing this Torchic to be a friend.

    "Yeah, I'm fine, Chi," the Zorua stated before looking back at the mountain.

    The Torchic named Chi went over to the Zorua before sitting down beside her. They both looked out toward the mountain as it slowly grew darker from the "rain".

    "What do you think it is?" Chi asked.

    "I don't know," the Zorua shrugged. "Never seen anything like it. And nobody will tell me anything either. It's annoying."

    "Maybe they don't know anything either."

    "No, they know something," the Zorua scoffed as she peered at the mountain. "They just don't want anyone else to know. You can bet that's what's going on."

    "Aw there you go again with having suspicions about everything and everyone, Zekra," Chi whined as she flapped her growing feathers. "What is with you dark-types and always having to be so paranoid about every little detail?"

    Zekra scoffed at the comment and then rested her head on the cold ground beneath her.

    "So, where do you think we're going now?" Zekra then asked.

    "I heard that we're going to Aurora Town actually," she replied. "It's the closest town to here that isn't by Emerald Mountain. I just hope that they can fit us all there."

    "Well I'm sure they'll manage," Zekra said carelessly. "Aurora Town is pretty big. Twice as big as our city from what I've heard. And a river near the place. Maybe we could play there together or something."

    "I can't do that!" Chi shrieked as she backed away. "I'm a fire Pokémon! I'll drown!"

    "You won't drown," the Zorua snickered. "That's just a stupid myth about your kind. No one actually dies if they're in contact with the water for like five seconds. If they did, that'd be really stupid."

    "How would you know?! You're not a fire-type!" the Torchic shouted. "You can pretend to be one, but it's not the same!"

    "Sure it isn't. Plus you've never actually gone in the water, so you wouldn't know whether or not you'd die, would you?"

    Fuming, Chi scratched at the ground with her sharp claws and kicked up sand into Zekra's face. The Zorua laughed as she tried to cover herself from the dust that was getting into her eyes.

    Just as she was about to lunge at the Torchic, Zekra suddenly noticed that she was no longer being pelted with sand. Then not only that, but there were no longer the sounds of Pokémon talking or their footsteps treading against the rocky ground. The Zorua looked back at her friend to find that she had her back to her and was facing toward the trail they had just come from.

    "What's the matter?" the Zorua asked as she looked over to the trail as well to find nothing there.

    Chi didn't answer. Zekra looked upon the other Pokémon that were also traveling to find that they too were staring in the direction as Chi. In each of their eyes there was a strange mix of horror and curiosity.

    Everything seemed to be completely silent. So silent, in fact, that one could hear a pin drop. Nobody moved for a long time as the wind seemed to stir up a bit.

    And then there was a sound. It was the sound of something whispering. Whispers that muttered things that no one could understand.

    It started growing louder. All of the Pokémon tensed. Zekra tugged at Chi's feathers. The noise grew even louder.

    "Come on Chi! We need to move!"

    *FWOOOSSHHHH!*

    Pokémon started to flee as the sounds of something burning filled the air. Yet, there was neither fire nor smoke to be seen. All of the Pokémon rushed up the trail, the only direction they could go to get away from the noise. No one knew what they were hearing, but the instinct of fleeing was heavily drowning out their other thoughts. No one could take the time to ponder in this situation.

    And then a new noise came.

    "SKKREEEEEEEEE!"

    Knowing there was no other choice, the Zorua bit down on the Torchic's back, instantly snapping the bird back into reality. Chi instantly turned around to face Zekra, her beak quivering.

    "RUN!" Zekra shouted as she shoved her friend into the crowd of terrorized and fleeing Pokémon.

    The Torchic managed to get running in time with the group despite the sudden push. The Zorua quickly leapt toward the stampede with raspy breaths. Something about whatever was coming toward them didn't feel natural.

    But before the Zorua could enter the group, a wispy, black creature swooped right in front of her. She jumped backwards from the sudden appearance of the strange being. Zekra watched in horror as she found even more creatures of similar appearance join in behind this new one and slowly swarm in toward the fleeing group.

    Each creature had a different coloring scheme to their bodies, as if each were a different kind of being rather than a large legion of one kind. Even as they swarmed together like a giant storm, it was easy to see the individual creatures. All of the strange demons, however, carried exactly one shared characteristic: their eyes. Where the eyes should have been on each creature, there was a light. There was a bright, flame-like light glowing in each and every creature's eyes. They shined so brilliantly as if a sun were burning deep within the creature and seemed to flow out of the their eye sockets.

    Just as Zekra noticed this, the dense haze that trailed out of each of the creatures filled the air. Various colors of haze slowly impaired the vision of the trapped Pokémon.

    The Zorua was cut off from the others by the thick haze as she heard the shrieking of the ghostly creatures. She watched from the other side of the fog as the phantoms kept the Pokémon in line by circling around them while a few others would dive into the crowd. There had to be hundreds of these creatures, all smiling evilly as the trapped Pokémon screamed in terror. The mist-like wall separating Zekra from the others continued to grow thicker, but she could still see what was happening to the Pokémon, if only vaguely.

    The trapped ones were trying to escape from the demonic creatures, but they couldn't see where they were going. Several Pokémon crashed into one another, knocking each other down and tripping over one another. It was pure chaos within the closed bounds of these demons. Everyone's screams mixed with the childish, eerie laughter that came from the horrific monsters. The haze grew darker as the creatures began closing in on their prey.

    Many Pokémon started to fight back. Vines whipped through the air from a terrified, little Bulbasaur. Fireballs streamed in all directions from the gaping mouths of a Charmander and Flareon. Water blasts shot from the mouths of several Wooper. Electricity jolted from the body of an Ampharos, who somehow kept a stoic expression upon its face even amongst the panic. Spheres of energy left the open palms of several psychic and fighting types. Powerful winds blew around the entire area from the frantically flapping wings of Pidove, who were unable to fly out of the trap despite their advantage over air.

    Ghostly shrieks filled the air as many of the phantom-like creatures were struck by the various attacks. Once hit, their entire beings dissipated into the wind. However, for every one that was eliminated, seemingly five more took its place. The numbers never seemed to decrease.

    The darkness soon became an impenetrable barrier that closed around everybody. Zekra could no longer see the other side, but she could hear the screams and the wails from the ones trapped inside. She could only imagine what was happening, but even then, it was probably much less gruesome than reality.

    She backed away from the thick wall of haze in front of her. She had to find a way out. However, there was none; the cliff was the only safe place. The entire trail had been devoured by the seemingly endless swarm of demons that were continuing to pile in from the end of the road.

    Zekra wanted to huddle and pretend that none of this was happening. She wanted to pretend she was still at her old home with her friends. She wanted to pretend that the terrified shrieks filling the air were just the wind. She didn't want to think this was real.

    She hoped deep down that everything she was seeing was nothing but a nightmare and that in just a moment, she would wake up to a more peaceful reality. She closed her eyes in an effort to awaken from this horrific dream. She started to count to three.

    Before she could even get to two, Zekra felt a sudden presence in front of her. Thinking it was someone who had managed to escape, she opened her eyes and expected to find a fellow acquaintance.

    Upon doing so, she wished she had kept her eyes shut. Floating about three inches away from Zekra was one of those ghostly creatures, staring at her intently with the hellish lights that were its eyes. The Zorua jumped backwards, nearly falling off the cliff. However, she managed to stay on the land and watched as the being continued to gaze at her.

    Despite having a smoky haze oozing off of its body, the creature did have a definite shape that seemed solid, which seemed odd since the smoke moved so fluidly, as if it were made of gas. It was a four legged creature just like the Zorua, though about half as small in size. It had two brown, pointy ears that matched the color the rest of the body and a bushy tail that slowly wagged from behind. Every other notable detail was lost into the ragged fur that no longer seemed to be organic, but rather, was now made of some kind of ghostly energy.

    However, there was one part of its features that was most notable. There was a white collar of fur around its neck that was so untamed that it seemed to stick up in several areas like tiny needles. And then, the Zorua saw what she didn't see earlier: the creature looked just like an Eevee. Granted, it was hard to tell that it was one with many of its features changed, but it was most definitely an Eevee. The ears, the tail, and the collar were all notable biology of an Eevee that no other Pokémon had. Zekra took a step backwards once she reached this epiphany.

    A couple more of these demons landed on both sides of the Eevee-like creature, these ones having the vague appearance of a Charmeleon and a Pikachu. Just like the Eevee, their forms were wispier and no part of their body seemed to be made of flesh anymore. Their unnatural eyes gazed at the Zorua as they seemed to glow brighter.

    "Stay away from me!" Zekra shrieked.

    She found herself frozen in place at the edge of the cliff, unable to go back further.

    "SKKREEE!"

    They all leapt at her at once with eyes gleaming maliciously. There was no soul behind those eyes; only bloodlust. The Zorua cringed and took a step backwards. The cliff beneath her feet suddenly crumbled, falling apart beneath her. Before Zekra knew it, she was tumbling downward into the valley.

    The three ghostly Pokémon watched the Zorua plummet into the darkness from the very edge of the cliffs. They didn't bother to go after her; they felt it was a waste of effort. They backed away from the cliff before joining again with their kind. They all stood quietly on the trail that was now vacant of regular Pokémon. Not a trace of anyone who had been crossing was found. It was as though they had been wiped clean off the face of the land by these phantoms.

    Then, all at once, the ghastly creatures rose into the air and took off into the skies. When all had gathered together as a massive cloud of meshing, eerie colors, they fled far into the distance.

    But unknown to the demons, a Pidove slowly emerged from deep within the valley. It slowly gained altitude as it flew to where the traveling Pokémon had originally wanted to go. It seemed to have trouble flying, most likely due to the tail not being made of feathers, but rather of tuffs of slate-gray fur.

    Yet the most noticeable aspect of the Pidove, of all things, were the tears streaming from its face. It silently flew toward Aurora Town, never looking back at the disappearing mass of horrific creatures.
    Last edited by SableVulpi; 25th July 2014 at 2:11 AM.

  3. #3
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    Well, that was quite the prologue. There's just so many questions to be asked. I'm very interested in seeing what you'll do past this, since you practically killed off every character you mentioned in this chapter (or whatever it is those demon Pokémon were doing to them). And I do like how sudden you made those creatures' entrance to be.

    I did see just a few things though.

    They both looked out toward the mountain as it slowly grew darker from the rain "rain" from what they could tell.
    One of those 'rain's needs to go.

    Just as she was about to lunge at the Torchic, Zekra suddenly noticed that there was no longer being pelted with sand.
    I think it'd be "*she* was no longer being pelted".

    Then not only that, but there were no longer thesounds of Pokémon...
    Just needs a space between "the sounds".

    But that's all I noticed in the way of errors. And wow, that caught my interest fast. I'm certainly looking forward to the next chapter!

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    Chapter 1

    Cubone Without a Skull




    The Pidove soared awkwardly through the air high above the lands and toward the disappearing sun. The tears filling the eyes of the weary Pokémon were clouded her vision but thankfully, there weren't any obstacles in the air.

    Just a little longer. Just a little longer... and then I'll get to Aurora Town...

    Though it brought her pain, the Pidove flapped harder as she passed over the edge of the cliffs to enter a large field with trees scattered about its vicinity. The bird couldn't tell if there were any Pokémon living among the fields, but she didn't bother trying to wonder. She was too busy focusing on trying to erase her mind of the horrors she had witnessed only moments ago.

    She could still hear the screaming of the innocent. She could still see the ghostly forms of the ghastly creatures. She could still see their eyes as they pierced deep into her soul...

    I can't take this. I can't. My wings...

    The bird abruptly swooped down towards the grassy land, only for her tired wings to give out on her. The Pidove suddenly began to tumble through the air as a bright, pink aura surrounded her body. Moments later, the light died ceased to reveal Zekra in her Zorua form. With her illusion dissipated, she could only watch herself plummet to the ground.

    *THUMP!*

    She landed on her face seconds later.

    While not as much of a rough landing as she expected, the Zorua still felt waves of pain shoot throughout her body. She fell over to the side and rubbed her nose and cursed at herself for not being able to keep up her illusion ability long enough.

    She had been trying to learn how to master that talent of hers for a very long time, the talent only known by her kind and their evolved forms. However, she was never able to get it quite right due to it sapping away all of her energy too quickly. Her kind were supposed to be masters of disguise. The ability to pretend to become any Pokémon they saw and play with the minds of other Pokémon was a talent all Zorua and Zoroark took pride in.

    Being a Zorua and not having full control over that technique brought a snarl to her face.

    However, Zekra was quick to push the thought aside, for that was not a major concern at the moment. Right now she needed to find a place to rest for the night. She knew would have to walk to town the next morning and she'd need all the rest she could get. She knew couldn't become a Pidove again; she could only change into another's form if she saw them before her and even then, she knew she'd only repeat today's efforts if she tried again.

    Struggling to her feet as water continued to leak out of her eyes, Zekra slowly wandered through the fields that separated the town and the valley she had fallen into. These were the Gray Lands, a flat land that stretched on for seemingly forever and was void of any towns. It was the only way to get to Aurora Town from where she was now.

    As the sun continued to set, Zekra's mind continued to replay the events she had witnessed on those cliffs with those Pokémon. The memories seemed to become more gruesome as the night swept over the land. She kept thinking she could hear the screams of someone in the distance, but whenever she'd look, no one was there. She tried to shut out the screams, but they continued to call out to her, as if beckoning her to be with them.

    Beckoning to have the only survivor with them.

    She saw the fear in the victim's eyes before they were taken away from her in a quick instant. She saw the entire horrific event replay in her mind over and over again. Her friend's face came to the front of her mind with the same terror stricken expression she had last seen on the Torchic.

    I'm sorry Chi... Zekra whimpered in her thoughts. I didn't know that I was going to get you killed… I-I just wanted to keep you safe!

    The face wouldn't go away. It was soon crowded by the faces of others who she had seen traveling, all with that same look in their eyes. Zekra shook her head and dried her eyes with her front paw.

    "No, I can't think about this anymore," Zekra muttered. "I have to get to Aurora Town. I have to."

    Through the physical and emotional fatigue, the Zorua slowly made her way over to the nearest tree in the area. The images still raged in her vision, but she did her best to ignore them. Instead, she looked over at the tree. It was a somewhat large tree, but there weren't any branches sturdy enough to hold her nor were there any hollows in the trunk.

    She'd have to sleep under the shelter of the leaves tonight.

    Zekra sighed as she approached the tree and prepared to curl up next to the base of the trunk. Before she could however, she saw something next to the tree in the faint lights of the disappearing sun.

    There, curled up and fast asleep, was a small brown creature. It had two, small pointy spikes protruding out of its back, a small tail, and a belly that was a lighter, tannish color compared to the rest of its body. The face looked similar to that of a baby Kangaskhan's, but it had the same brown shade as the majority of the creature's body. The eyes were also much more triangular than a Kangaskhan's', the muzzle a tiny bit longer, and having more horn-like ears.

    It appeared to be a Pokémon, but Zekra couldn't tell what kind it was supposed to be despite knowing many kinds. Seeing it made Zekra's inner turmoil cease, if only temporarily, and become replaced with wonder.

    What is that? Zekra wondered. That a wild Pokémon? And what kind? Looks kind of funny looking.

    Curiosity got the best of her as she approached the snoozing creature and nudged it with her paw.

    "Hey, wake up!" she said as she pushed the creature onto its back.

    The strange Pokémon eyes squinted shut even tighter from the sudden disturbance. But then, slowly, he started to awaken. Blue eyes opened then blinked a few times tiredly. The Pokémon sluggishly sat up, rubbing his head.

    "Where am I?" he asked Zekra.

    "You're in the Gray Lands," the Zorua explained as she sat down in front of him. "It's not exactly all that gray, though, as you can tell."

    She started to chuckle at the comment, but the Pokémon before her wasn't doing the same. Instead, his eyes grew wide before he suddenly started backing away frantically on his hands.

    "You… You're a talking Zorua!" he shouted. "How are you talking?! Pokémon can't talk!"

    "Well of course I can," Zekra said. "I don't know why you'd think that since you're a Pokémon too... whatever Pokémon you are."

    "Huh?"

    The Pokémon stopped moving. He brought his hands up to his face, staring at the paws that had a mitten-like shape to them. He pinched his two claws together. His eyes grew wide as he continued to open and close his hands.

    "Is everything okay?" Zekra asked as she made her way over to him. "You're acting really weird... like really weird. Are you insane by any chance?"

    "What? No! I'm not insane!" he retorted as he checked over the rest of his body.

    "Then why are you touching yourself like you've got imaginary Joltik crawling all over you? Pretty sure that's not a good sign."

    "I'm not insane, Zorua! I'm just freaking out right now because... I'm supposed to be a human! But now I'm a Pokémon! A Pokémon!"

    "Human?" Zekra repeated. "But there aren't any humans around here. They live overseas on different regions of the world... if the rumors are true as they say."

    "Well I was one!" he shouted. "And now I'm just this... this…"

    He never finished his sentence. He hyperventilated as he glanced down at his trembling paws.

    "Umm, right," Zekra replied awkwardly. "Well umm, what's your name?"

    The strange creature continued to keep his eyes glued to his hands, saying nothing. Zekra frowned as she poked him with a claw. He didn't move.

    "Hey, I'm asking a question. What's your name?"

    The creature slowly tore his gaze from his paws and looked at the Zorua. She could see his eyes shaking and felt a twinge of pain in her heart.

    "I... don't remember," he replied.

    "You don't remember?" Zekra asked, lowering her voice. "Is there anything you remember about yourself besides being human?"

    The former human turned away. He seemed to meditate in his thoughts for only a few seconds before his pupils dilated to the extremes.

    "No, I don't remember anything..." he finally replied. "I just know that I'm human. Or at least supposed to be. Now I'm what looks like a Cubone from what I can tell... I'm a Cubone without any memories... dear god, why?"

    "Ohhhhh so that's what you are!" Zekra said as the epiphany came to her. "I thought your form looked familiar! I just couldn't recognize what you were since you didn't have a skull helmet! Or any kind of bone weapon! That's how most Pokémon are able to recognize Cubone and Marowak!"

    The Cubone scowled at her, most likely annoyed with her reaction to his turmoil. He rose to his feet with some reluctance, wobbling in place until he managed to steady himself. Once he had done that, he let out a huff.

    "Well it doesn't really matter anyway," the Cubone said bitterly. "I'm not a Cubone. I'm a human. Anyway, see you around."

    The Cubone shot her a glare before he walked away. It took Zekra a moment to react at his unceremonious leave.

    "Hey, where are you going?" she asked.

    "Somewhere where somebody can help me," the Cubone replied. "Because quite frankly, I don't think you're going to help me. After all, you think I'm crazy, don't you? And why would you want to help a crazy Cubone who claims that he's human and has no memories?"

    Zekra became stumped by the remark. The Cubone let out a snort as he continued to wander away from her. Zekra grit her teeth and clenched her claws around the grass beneath her.

    "Who said I didn't believe you?"

    Zekra saw the Cubone stop before he slowly looked back at her. Zekra released a long sigh as she shook her head.

    "Alright look, I'll admit you sound kind of crazy right now," she said. "I mean, a human getting turned into a Cubone? That's pretty insane. But well, there's a lot of... crazy things I've seen that don't even compare to that. And you being a former human would explain a lot of things, like why you don't have a mask for one thing. Cubone and Marowak never take those things off, no matter what. They hate showing their faces for whatever reason I can't imagine. You being turned into a Cubone would explain why you haven't got one on you."

    The Cubone stared at her for a moment, his eyes glazing over.

    "You really believe me?" the Cubone asked.

    "Yeah! That's what I just said," Zekra replied. "Sorry if I made it look like I didn't believe you, but I do. I really do."

    The Cubone remained quiet, but nodded as he made his way back over to him. Zekra smiled at the sight and sat down on the cold ground.

    "Oh yeah, forgot to introduce myself," she said. "My name is Zekra."

    "Zekra? You're not just called Zorua?" the former human asked as he sat across from her.

    "No, no one really calls other Pokémon by their species' name. We all have nicknames. It helps when there are multiple of the same Pokémon in one area. That way no one gets mixed up with somebody else. Why do you ask?"

    "Just feels like I'm supposed to call Pokémon by their kind. Maybe it's an old habit of mine from my human days. But anyway, nice to meet you though, Zekra. I would tell you my name, but like I said, I can't remember it."

    "Hmmm guess we'll have to give you a new name then until you remember your old one. That okay?"

    "Sure, it's fine.

    "Alright, let's see here. Well, I do have one idea if you're okay with it."

    "What do you have in mind?"

    Zekra smiled despite her heart sinking at the mere thought of the name.

    "Terron," Zekra answered.

    "That's a really strange name," the Cubone stated. "Where'd you get that from?"

    "It's one of my friend's names. He was a Sandile that I grew up with. You just remind me of him is all. I mean, he didn't have amnesia and he wasn't a human at one point, but your personality is a lot like his. And well, you're both ground-types."

    "So you want to give me a name that belongs to someone else because I'm like them?" the Cubone asked reluctantly. "I don't know about that. It just feels like I'm stealing your friend's name and… it feels like I'm pretending to be them. It's like I'm stealing their place in life by having their name."

    "I don't think it's like that," Zekra replied. "Nobody can steal your own identity from you. Besides, I think my friend wouldn't mind having his name given to you. I think he'd like that actually..."

    "Well, if you say so," the Cubone said as he shrugged. "I suppose that can be my name until I figure out my real name."

    Zekra smiled at this. However, her happiness was short lived, as memories of her former friend soon flooded her mind. She cringed as she immediately imagined him being consumed by the demonic creatures and hastily shoved the thought out of her head.

    "Alright," the Zorua said before she curled up. "Glad to know each other's names. So what are you going to do now, Terron? If you're human and don't remember anything, do you have any idea on how you're going to get your memories and become human again?"

    "Well I don't really know," Terron said in a melancholy tone. "But, you said something about humans being in different areas of the world. What do you mean by that?"

    "Oh, that," Zekra said as she remembered briefly mentioning that. "Yeah, supposedly there are humans in this world, but they live across the sea in distant lands. However, no one has seen any actual humans for who knows how long. So now they're just legends according to us Pokémon since we thought they went extinct already. But I guess you prove that humans are still around."

    "Did Pokémon and humans ever live together in this region?"

    "Well according to the stories they did. They all got along really well and used to do everything together."

    She then paused for a moment as her pleasantness faded at the remembrance of the next part of the story.

    "And then they just left one day. All of them just disappeared. And they never came back. Legends say that they went to other regions of the world, but no one's ever seen them. It took a lot of adjusting to them all going away, but everyone managed somehow. Everyone learned how to cope, but it's just so weird how they vanished without a trace. Even though no one really thinks much about humans anymore, I still kind of wonder sometimes about how something so important to us Pokémon could leave for seemingly no reason."

    Terron remained silent. He seemed too marveled by the story he had just heard to give a proper response.

    "But why did they leave and the stories not say why?" Zekra rambled before she looked over to Terron. "What do you think?"

    Terron blinked, yet he didn't say anything. Zekra sighed again, realizing it was probably a strange question to ask.

    "I'm gonna get some rest," Zekra said. "It's dark already and I was going to head to Aurora Town since it's the nearest town. If you want to find out more about yourself, maybe you should come with me and we'll find someone who can help you."

    "You really think so?" Terron said in wonder.

    "Well, only one way to find out," Zekra said. "Besides, where will you go anyway if you don't go there? There's nothing else out here that you want to go to. Just a bunch of grass. Lots of grass that goes on forever unless you go far east. Far, far east…"

    Terron seemed to consider this for a moment before giving her a nod.

    "Alright, I'll come with you," Terron decided. "I could use a guide and you seem pretty knowledgeable about this place. Sorry about trying to ditch you earlier; I was just really not thinking because... well... turning into a Cubone and all that."

    "It's alright," Zekra said with a small smile. "We'll leave in the morning, though. So good night, Terron."

    And with that, the little Zorua fell asleep in the grass.




    Terron chose to stay awake and looked up at the sky high above. There wasn't a cloud to block the view of stars scattered throughout the sky like dust, each star having the brightness of the moon. Despite being millions of miles away, the stars seemed so close that Terron felt he could reach them if he had wings.

    He fell onto his back as he continued to stargaze. He wondered if perhaps one of those stars was where he came from. Perhaps where he came from was a place that was so close to him right now, yet so far away. He looked at the brightest star he could find before putting his hands in front of his face and pretended to cup his paws around the star as if to catch it.

    Where did I come from? Terron wondered. And why am I here now as a Cubone? Was I chosen to do something perhaps? Was all of this prearranged to happen?

    He looked over at Zekra, who was sleeping quietly a few feet away. She seemed at peace.

    Am I really going to stay with this Zorua after she takes me to Aurora Town? Terron continued. Sure I said I'd go with her since she knows how to get to civilization, but do I really need to be with her after that? I can take care of myself. I'm sure I can find the answers about who I am on my own. I'll just have to figure out how to tell Zekra that. It is pretty strange though how she immediately wanted to help me. Why would she want to help me? I'm nobody important to her. We barely met for five minutes and she already acts like we're friends…

    Before Terron could think much further, he felt something furry snuggling against his side. He turned his head to find that Zekra was asleep beside him now. It seemed that she had wandered over to him while he was meditating on his thoughts. Unlike how he last saw her though, she had pained expression fixed into her as if she was having a nightmare. Terron could feel her nuzzling into him as she tried to find comfort from whatever was giving her grief.

    Terron shook his head with an agitated sigh, but he didn't push Zekra away. He found he couldn't do it since he did feel pity for whatever was making Zekra suffer. He let the Zorua stay with him as he tried to relax.

    After staring up at the stars for a few minutes, Terron finally went to sleep.
    Last edited by SableVulpi; 26th July 2014 at 5:27 AM.

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  5. #5
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    Alright, before I get into the nitty gritty, I want to say that I've really enjoyed the story so far. You've established a good hook with your prologue and seem to be following up on it nicely with your first chapter. Right from the start, we have a clear and present antagonist, two interesting protagonists, and a clear short-term goal for them to pursue. In general, you've also done a good job with packing enough detail for the reader to understand what's going on (such as with your version of how the Illusion ability works) without bogging the story down with exposition dumping. Writing-wise, the dialogue is definitely the high point, with all three characters we've heard from so far feeling like they have their own, distinct voice and personality.

    That being said, while the content is good so far, your prose outside of dialogue unfortunately halts rather badly in places. I'm not quite sure why you're doing this, but you are using way too many paragraph splits in your narration. A lot of the time, a single line of thought (which should translate to a single paragraph) is split across three or even four paragraphs, which makes your story read really choppy. This is particularly bad when you're trying to build up tension, since the constant line skips kill your pacing and take the reader out of the moment. For instance, this,

    Quote Originally Posted by SableVulpi View Post
    It looked just like an Eevee. Granted, it was hard to tell that it was one with many of its features changed, but it was an Eevee.

    The ears, the tail, and the collar were all notable biology of an Eevee that no other Pokémon had.

    Zekra took a step backwards once she reached this epiphany.
    These are all part of the same chain of events (Zekra realizing that this thing is a messed up pokémon and her reaction to it), but rather than coming together as a whole, it's split into a bunch of little fragments without any connecting elements to tie them together, which makes her reaction read as if it was as slow or delayed somehow. This is a pretty constant problem throughout your writing, so I'd recommend going through it from start to finish and asking yourself how many of these line breaks are really necessary. Remember, if your sentence is essentially just expanding on a topic you started in the previous sentence (such as with Zekra realizing that the creature is an Eevee and then listing off the identifying traits) then those two sentences belong in the same paragraph. Merging your redundant paragraphs together would also help address some of the other issues in your writing, such as the way several of your paragraphs start with a word that's directly referring to what was going on in the previous paragraph, usually a 'but' or an undefined 'they'.

    In general, transition from paragraph to paragraph and, to a lesser extent, sentence to sentence is a bit hit and miss. In places, you are doing a pretty good job of it, such as this little segment early on

    Quote Originally Posted by SableVulpi View Post
    Many Pokémon, hundreds perhaps, were trekking along this very path with bags strapped to their bodies. There were a wide variety of Pokémon walking amongst one another. They ranged anywhere from the tiny Wooper who bounced along the road to the mighty bulk of an Onix, who had to take extra care in not crushing the smaller Pokémon crowded nearby its body.
    But then, in others, it feels like you've just charted out an outline for the paragraph but never actually brought those ideas together into a cohesive whole, such as:

    Quote Originally Posted by SableVulpi View Post
    She started to back away from the thick wall of haze in front of her.

    She had to find a way out. However, there was none; the cliff was the only safe place.

    The entire trail had been devoured by the seemingly endless swarm of demons that were continuing to pile in from the end of the trail.

    You've also got some strange word placements (and at times, missing words) throughout, but it's clear from the better parts of your writing that you do know how they are supposed to be used, so rather than going on about it, I'll go ahead and suggest that you proofread your work a bit more carefully. Like I said at the start, you are doing really solid content-wise and it's clear that you have an interesting story to tell here, but since the quality of your prose is a bit unsteady, that interesting story is currently littered by some pretty basic grammar and syntax problems. If you found yourself a proofreader with a good grasp of those fields, I think those problems would vanish pretty quickly, but failing that, I honestly think a lot of these issues would probably be eased just by giving your work an extra read through before posting.

    That said, I still enjoyed what I've seen so far and it definitely got me curious enough to want to see where this is going, so good luck with your writing.
    Last edited by Creepychu; 5th July 2014 at 2:21 AM.

  6. #6
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    Ah, Creepychu, thank you for reading my story. It truly does make me happy to see that you are enjoying it.

    In regards to your statements about prose and my syntax errors, I believe I have an explanation for that. You see, I've technically written this story already and I'm just transferring it to Serebii. In the process though, I've been revising it since I was not very proud of my old writing style, hence you can see the inconsistencies you note. It appears that my story is a mesh of my new writing style and old one due to this, and it appears that I have missed a few things as I was re-writing which should really not exist. So I thank you for pointing this out to me. I'll be sure that in the later chapters, I will look out for this.

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    Chapter 2

    The First Dungeon





    Sometime the next morning, when the shade of Terron's tree was no longer covering him, the warm rays of the sun shined down on his eyes. The sudden light behind his eyes was quick to stir him from his sleep. The moment he woke, he checked his body over. He found that he was still a Cubone and still was without a mask.

    Great. Just great. I was hoping me being a Cubone was all just a dream...

    Terron rubbed the tired out of his eyes as he looked around him, only to find that Zekra wasn't by his side anymore. In fact, she wasn't anywhere in sight. The only sign that she was ever with him was the slightly flattened grass beside him. A quick jolt of panic overcame Terron at the thought that he was alone.

    Calm down. Just calm down. She couldn't have gone anywhere too far.

    He sat up from where he lay and surveyed his surroundings.

    With the cover of darkness gone, Terron could see that the land he stood in stretched out seemingly forever in all directions, almost like a sea of grass. All directions, that is, except two of them. The direction in which Terron was facing only seemed to go on for a few miles, or so it appeared, before it turned into a much browner area. Just beyond that, there was a distant mountain looming in the background.

    The other direction, the one behind Terron, also seemed to go on forever just as the other directions did. However, after gazing into the distance for a moment, he was able to see that there was an actual ending to the eternal grassland. Very faintly, the Cubone could see the hazy outline of what appeared to be buildings and a few trees. It was so far away, though. It had to be at least a three-day journey to get there on foot.

    We'd better be going toward the mountain.

    He got to his feet and walked around the field in search of Zekra. The grass felt warm and pleasant against his feet as he treaded through silently. The grass got taller at various points so that would begin to rise to his stomach, but it wasn't particularly bothersome. After roaming a few minutes away from the tree, Terron eventually came across something other than endless green. He stopped and hid behind some tall grass close by before peeking out of it. A few feet away were a couple of Rattata munching on some flowers in an open space where no grass grew. They seemed mostly docile as they ate, not making much noise save for the chewing sounds.

    Guess there are Pokémon that live around here. Wonder if these ones talk like Zekra does…

    The Cubone was about to speak to the creatures, but it was then that he noticed something else. There was a pair of blue eyes hidden behind some tall plants near the Rattata. They seemed to be staring directly at the Rattata.

    In a quick instant, a blur shot out of the grass where the eyes were, and flew at both of the Rattata. Terron was quick to recognize the blur as Zekra. The Rattata screeched and scurried away, but it was too late. The Zorua snatched up both of the creatures in her jaw, and with a sickening crunch, sank her fangs deep into their flesh. One last squeak escaped their throats before they fell completely limp and silent.

    Zekra spit out the dead Pokémon as she wiped off the blood that was dripping down the side of her mouth.

    "You can quit hiding," Zekra said casually. "I got us breakfast."

    Terron was taken aback by her knowing he was there, but he made no attempt to hide anymore. He came out of his hiding spot and joined her with a grimace.

    "How'd you know I was there?" Terron asked.

    "I could just tell," she replied. "It's a predator thing. I just sort of know if there's any one nearby. Helps me figure out if there's any stalkers following me around."

    "So you eat other Pokémon, huh?"

    "Oh yeah," Zekra answered as she took one of the Rattata and tore off bits of its flesh with her teeth. "There isn't anything better than the sweet taste of blood and flesh. But don't worry; I only eat wild Pokémon. I don't eat anyone who talks. That'd be pretty wrong. And messed up."

    She took the other Rattata and slid it over to Terron.

    "Here, you can have this one," she insisted. "Tastes pretty good. The blood's still nice and warm."

    Terron stuck out his tongue as he kicked the corpse back over to Zekra.

    "Ugh, that's sick!" Terron spat. "I'm not eating another Pokémon! That's just wrong!"

    "How's it wrong?" Zekra asked earnestly. "I mean, it's normal to eat Pokémon. Meat is good stuff. What, you never heard of Pokémon eating each other on your world?"

    "I don't really remember... but I'm pretty sure that they didn't eat each other. If they existed, anyway. I can't really remember ever seeing Pokémon running around everywhere, but I feel like I know what they are at least. Somehow."

    "That's pretty weird if you ask me. For both no one eating each other and how you might not have Pokémon wherever you come from, but you know what they are."

    "Shut up," Terron grumbled. "Is there anything else to eat at least?"

    "No... not really. I mean, I'd get you some berries, but we kind of don't have any around us. So I guess you'll have to either eat the Rattata or miss breakfast."

    "I'm not eating that thing, Zekra."

    Zekra finished devouring the first Rattata. It was now nothing but a hollowed out corpse with a few bones sticking out of its body. She then took the second Rattata and slid it back over to her with a frown.

    "Fine, whatever you say," she said. "Not my fault if you starve. But, we've got a ways to travel. So I'll save this for you just in case you change your mind in the next few hours."

    "I'm not eating that, no matter what," Terron said sternly.

    "Well you never know."

    She grabbed the Rattata with her teeth before she stood up and looked out toward the direction that was opposite of where the mountain was.

    "Alright, that's the way to Aurora Town," Zekra said through the Rattata in her teeth. "And from what I remember, it'll take about the rest of today to get there. Judging that there aren't any weather problems."

    "A whole day?!" Terron cried. "You sure there isn't some faster way there? Or maybe a closer city to go to?"

    "There aren't any closer cities nearby, Terron," Zekra explained, a strange desperation seeping into her words. "So come on, let's get going. We can't stay here all day."

    She went forward a few feet into the grassland and then stopped before looking back at Terron, waiting for him. Despite being agitated with the long travel distance, the Cubone understood that he didn't have much of a choice if he wanted to find civilization. He followed after Zekra and once he had caught up with her, the two began to walk side-by-side.

    The journey was mostly easy and somewhat relaxing. There weren't any major inclines or declines in the area, nor were there any Pokémon that bothered to attack them. They had seen a few Pokémon running through the land on occasion, such as a wandering Sentret or a group of Hoppip drifting through the air, but none had attacked them. All they did was give a sideways glance to the duo before simply going about their day. Terron would glance at them at times to see if they'd try to communicate with him. However, despite what Terron wondered, he never saw any of them talk. They all made strange, primal noises that didn't even remotely resemble words.

    "Hey, Zekra," Terron said.

    "Yeah, what is it?"

    "How come none of the other Pokémon around here talk? I thought that in this world all Pokémon talk, but whenever I see any Pokémon around here, they never say anything I can understand."

    "Oh, well, that's simple to answer," Zekra said before taking the Rattata from her mouth and severing it with her teeth. "Just let me finish this first so you can hear me clearly. Unless you want it now."

    "No," the Cubone said sharply.

    "Fine, you had your chance. Don't complain if you get hungry and there's nothing to eat," Zekra said as she stopped to put the mouse on the ground and tore out the meat. "Tastes pretty good to me. Would have been better if they were skinned and gutted out, though. And maybe roasted just a bit."

    Terron almost wanted to vomit from her descriptions and the sounds of the chewing, but he forced himself to look away instead. As he waited for her to finish the meal, he watched a small flock of Pidgeotto and Pidgeot fly over his head. He wanted to call out to them and ask for a ride to the city they were heading to. It would make traveling much easier for him and Zekra. But, before he could ponder much in the idea, Zekra finished her meal and was started speaking to him.

    "So anyway, about your question with how come the Pokémon here aren't talking to us," she started to say. "Well, how do I put this in a way you'd understand... oh, I know. There are two kinds of Pokémon, I guess you can say. There are ones like me where we can talk and stuff. We communicate pretty well, we live together in civilizations, and we all know how to cooperate with each another to get things done. Then there's another kind of Pokémon we call the 'wild' Pokémon. You've seen them around here. They don't talk like us since they don't know how to talk. They prefer living outside of civilization and in places like this. I'm sure some of them work together like in packs since instinct tells everyone to do that, but otherwise, I don't know much about them. So yeah, that's your answer."

    "What happens if you try to talk to them then?" Terron asked curiously, that idea of flying to the city still fresh in his mind.

    "They ignore you unless they're protective of their land or whatever. But sometimes, there's these places where they're much more violent and if they see you, then they'll attack you."

    "And what places are these where they'll attack you? Seems a bit odd how a place can make somebody more hostile."

    "Um, I'll tell you when we run into one of those weird places. They're a bit difficult to describe."

    Terron gave a simple nod in reply as they continued to venture through the endless sea of grass. However, no matter how long they went on walking, Terron couldn't tell if they were getting any closer to their destination. The end of the field never seemed to come into clear sight. To make matters worse, his stomach was growling. He looked around to see if he could spot some kind of fruit tree or bush, but there weren't any. The only vegetation growing in the area were the blades of grass surrounding him and the occasional flower.

    "You sure there aren't any sort of stores around here that sell food?" Terron grumbled.

    "Yeah I'm sure," Zekra replied. "I mean, even if there were, we couldn't buy anything anyway. We don't have any money. But don't worry; we're almost to town. We've only got three more hours left or so."

    "I don't know if I can last that long."

    "You're a Pokémon now. Pokémon can last quite a while without food. Think of it as a survival mechanism."

    Terron was doubtful of her words, but he didn't bother expressing his thoughts. He almost wanted her words to be truthful anyway. It at least gave some good news to being a Pokémon.

    After walking for a couple more hours, Zekra and Terron finally came to the end of the Gray Lands before it dipped into a more vegetated area that had more than just grass growing. They looked below and expected to see the city before them, but to their surprise, they found something else. The town was in sight, bordering near what looked like a river, but there was something between the town and where they stood now.

    There was a forest.

    However, from where the two stood, this forest seemed to be more like a wall than a few trees scattered around. The sun was beginning to set over the horizon and it caused the shadows of the outer trees to stretch toward the two in a somewhat eerie fashion.

    "I don't remember anyone ever mentioning that there was a forest in front of Aurora Town," Zekra said in a puzzled tone. "Weird..."

    She descended toward the forest, seemingly without a second thought. Terron followed after her, though he took longer to get down the incline since he only had two feet to balance himself. Once he managed to join up with the Zorua, the two stood in front of the entrance and stared into it.

    Now that they were close to the forest, they could see how all the plants within seemed to be in a state between living and dying. All the trees' branches were drooping strangely, as if wilting even though many leaves sprouted from them. The bark were peeling off the trees in a sickly manner and the grass lining the floor seemed unnaturally taller and gnarled than normal. Terron could feel an ominous atmosphere leaking out of the forest, but he did his best to not let it bother him.

    "I think I know what this place is," Zekra said as she peered deeper into the forest. "It would explain why everything looks this way."

    "And what would that be?" Terron asked.

    "Sometimes a normal place gets corrupted by some weird presence. A disease if you want to call it that. When it takes over that place, it warps it into a place we call a Mystery Dungeon. They're also known as the places with the hostile wild ones I told you about, since I guess the dungeon does weird stuff to them. I've never been in one at all, but some of my friends have and they told me a little about them. I don't know what turns places into these Mystery Dungeons or why, but I do know that it changes a lot of things on the inside. But, maybe it's better to show you what I mean since we have to go through here anyway if we want to get to Aurora Town."

    "Are you sure that's such a good idea?"

    "Well, it won't take long," Zekra assured him. "And if we don't go through here now, we're not going to be able to get into the city unless somebody happens to go through here from the other side. That's not going to happen any time soon. So just trust me on this."

    The Cubone stared at his companion's smile and then back at the entry of the forest. The light was disappearing from the sky and he could tell that he needed to make the choice soon unless he wanted to spend another night sleeping outside.

    "Fine," he said. "Lead the way."

    Zekra nodded as she made her way into the Mystery Dungeon with Terron cautiously following behind her.




    Wayward Woods S1

    As soon as Terron and Zekra wandered into the forest, the Cubone immediately heard the sounds of branches snapping and leaves rustling. He quickly turned around just in time to see that the entrance of the dungeon was slowly being covered up by a thick web of branches. Terron rushed over to the area slowly being patched up and attempted to escape by pulling away the slithering branches, but he was blown backwards by a whipping branch. The blow left a stinging pain on his skin, but he ignored that as he watched the last bits of the outside world close before his eyes behind the living plants.

    "Terron! Are you okay?" Zekra asked as she came over to him.

    "I'm fine," he said dismissively as he continued to stare at the now sealed entrance. "But what was that? It almost seemed like the forest was alive for a second. Is it trying to trap us in here?"

    "Well, in a way it was. You see... once you enter a Mystery Dungeon, you can't go out the way you came in. You have to find the exit in order to get out."

    "And what happens if you don't find the exit?"

    "... I think it's best you don't know that. But trust me; we'll be fine. It's not that hard to get through these places. And this Mystery Dungeon looks pretty short."

    Terron glared at her, but he didn't bother arguing. He wanted to get out of the dungeon as soon as possible. He looked into the distance saw many grassy paths lying ahead. Each one seemed to stretch to different areas of the forest that were beyond his sight.

    "How do we know which way to go?" Terron asked as he pointed to the trails.

    "Oh, you just pick a way to go and follow it," Zekra answered. "And if you're lucky, it'll take you to the next area of the Mystery Dungeon. However, if not, we'll just end up right back where we started. Then we'll just take another path."

    She seemed to see the skepticism in the Cubone's eyes.

    "Honestly, I don't really know much about these places either," Zekra said with a shrug. "I mean, I just know that's how you get out. My friends didn't teach me everything about these places. I was just taught what dungeons basically were and how to leave in case I got stuck in one, but no one really told me anything else. So basically… just try keep taking paths until you get out. That's all I can think of. I mean, I learned a couple of other basic things about Mystery Dungeons, but… "

    "Just get us out of here," Terron grumbled.

    "Fine fine, whatever. Follow me."

    Zekra lead Terron to the place with the multiple paths and after a bit of debating, they chose the one on the far right side. As they trailed through it, Terron heard the sounds of hooting in the distance and felt a new presence watching him. He couldn't help but shudder.

    A moment later, the hooting grew louder and the sound of wings flapping filled the air. Terron and Zekra stopped, Zekra choosing to growl under her breath while Terron hastily looked around him.

    "Hey, remember how I said that there were violent Pokémon in Mystery Dungeons?" Zekra asked in a low voice. "Well, I think I hear one right now."

    Without warning, something flew toward them with a loud screeching sound. Zekra jumped away from Terron as the creature came near and its large, red eyes came into view. It was a Hoothoot, glaring maliciously at Terron as it prepared to strike him. Terron wanted to run away, but he found he couldn't move from the spot.

    "Get away from him!" Zekra shouted.

    Zekra leapt into the air and rammed herself into the Hoothoot's side. The two fell to the ground with loud thumps, but the Hoothoot was quick to counter with a sharp peck to her face. The Zorua winced back from the pain, but she didn't cease her assault.

    Small claws shot out of her paw before she swiped at the bird, leaving three lines across its face. She continuously scratched at the bird, expertly avoiding each of its pecks at her. She did this a few more times, and then raised her left paw and slammed it down on the Hoothoot's head.

    The Hoothoot's eyes immediately closed as it toppled to the ground. A couple of low, hooting sounds came out of its beak, and then the creature finally fell silent.

    Terron slowly approached Zekra. Once he came over to her, he looked down at the body of the Hoothoot. It was a bit difficult to see, as all of the daylight had disappeared and only moonlight was the only source of light he had left. Despite this though, he could still tell that it wasn't moving.

    "Did you kill it?" Terron asked.

    He nudged the body with his foot. The Hoothoot flinched for a brief second, but otherwise the bird remained still.

    "No, it's not dead," Zekra answered. "It's just unconscious. It takes a lot more effort to kill Pokémon, as you saw me do with those Rattata. But that's what you have to do here. They'll fight you no matter what, so you have to do the same to survive."

    "But I don't know how to fight," Terron said awkwardly.

    "It's easy!" the Zorua said as she retracted her claws. "Just listen to your instincts and they'll tell you what to do. But you'll need a bone club to use in order to do that. Hmmmmm..."

    Her eyes wandered to the Hoothoot and seemed to grow. Terron immediately understood what she was thinking about doing.

    "Are you really going to…" he tried to say.

    "Well we are in a Mystery Dungeon and you might need to defend yourself. Sooooooo..." Zekra said in a rather casual tone.

    Terron shut his eyes and covered his ears so that he wouldn't have to witness what Zekra did to the wild Pokémon. He heard muffled screeching before it was silenced seconds later, followed by the sounds of something being torn apart. Sometime later, he felt Zekra hand him something. He opened his eyes to find a bone that was licked clean in his paw.

    It didn't have the club-like shape a normal Cubone weapons had, but rather, one that had the appearance of a slightly warped stick with dull edges. It was a little smaller than he would have liked, but it fit well in his hands. He swung it around in slow motions for a couple of seconds.

    "What part of the Hoothoot did you get this from anyway?" Terron asked. "That thing was so round..."

    "It was in the leg," Zekra said as she stood in front of the corpse so Terron wouldn't have to see it. "How is it?"

    "Good, just a bit hollow is all. Think that could be a problem," he replied as he gently twirled around the weapon.

    "Well it's temporary, so don't worry about it," Zekra said with a shrug. "Now let's get going. Think we're at the end of this area."

    Terron followed after the Zorua as the two came to the ending of their chosen path and found that the next area of the forest was in sight. It had turned out that they had taken the correct path on their first try. The two exchanged a victorious smile before heading into the new section of the dungeon.




    Wayward Woods S2

    The Mystery Dungeon seemed darker now than compared to the area they had just left. Somehow, the moon seemed to shine less through the trees that only seemed thicker and a thin haze of fog had spread across the flooring of the forest like a blanket. Terron and Zekra stopped in front of the various paths and picked the first path that came to their sights. As they headed down it, Terron kept his mind occupied by twirling around his bone club.

    "You know, it's probably a good idea to pay attention to where you're going," Zekra warned. "You have to watch out for the Pokémon."

    "Yeah yeah, I know," Terron said carelessly. "But you seemed to be able to take care of the Pokémon here. So we shouldn't have much of a problem if we run into any others."

    "Wow, make me do all the work. Who do you think I am, your bodyguard?"

    Terron didn't respond. Zekra let out a scoff, but kept her eyes on the path ahead of them.

    A few minutes of peace passed by and the duo was disappointed to find that they had come back to the beginning of this particular section. They had taken the wrong path, but thankfully, they didn't have to start the entire dungeon over. Terron sighed.

    "Alright, pick a new path," Zekra said as she pointed to the three other paths that hadn't been traveled by them yet.

    "Why me?" the Cubone asked.

    "Because you picked the right path last time, so maybe you can do it again!"

    "I seriously doubt that I have good luck in picking the right way to get out of here," Terron said bitterly as he walked up to the middle road of the three choices. "But if you insist. This way."




    Wayward Woods S3

    Only a minute passed before the two came to the next area of the dungeon with Zekra smirking and Terron simply muttering to himself. As they walked forward, a new wonder came to their sights. A dim yet noticeable light was shining in the distance where all of the paths seemed to head into. It was like a star calling out to them from such a faraway distance.

    Yet, to Terron, the light seemed so welcoming despite how faint and weak it felt. Compared to the ominous atmosphere of the dungeon, this particular sight cast a warm, pleasant feeling inside of him. It was like being able to witness the dawn's rising sun after dwelling in the night for so long.

    "I think this is the last area of the Mystery Dungeon," Zekra then said. "That light must be the exit since there haven't been any other things like that before."

    "So all we have to do is just pick one more correct path and then we're out of here?" Terron said eagerly.

    "Well, that's what I think. Seems logical."

    "Good, because I'm starting to get really hungry. I've been trying to hold it off, but it's been getting even worse since we came here."

    "I've heard that Mystery Dungeons are like that. I think it's because you heal faster in these places, so you consume energy faster and then that would mean you'd have to eat more to make up for that energy lost. At least, that's what I think."

    "Yeah, whatever. Let's just keep going."

    He walked past Zekra and toward one of the paths. He didn't know how much longer he could afford to not eat, but he was determined to get out of the dungeon before he died of starvation. He wasn't going to die in a place like this. Thoughts of food lingered heavily in Terron's mind and continued to haunt him like horrific nightmares.

    Terron was in the middle of fighting off his thoughts, when he suddenly noticed something in front of the path. He came to a halt and tightened his grip around his weapon. A few feet in front of him was a large web that spread from one side of the trail to the other and clung to the trees that grew there. No Pokémon inhabited the web nor were there any sort of cocoons that might have been previous prey. Terron continued to stare at it from his distance with a curious expression. It was then that Zekra caught up with him and saw the web as well.

    "Hey, this is a Spinarak web," she said in realization. "I've seen these a couple of times. Surprised that no one is here though. They're usually always occupied by the one who makes them."

    "Maybe they abandoned this web for another one since they weren't catching anything," Terron suggested.

    "Well maybe, but let's try going back and pick a different path. I don't think we can knock down this web or get around it."

    The two turned around and headed back to the beginning of the section, but Terron couldn't help but feel that something was watching him from behind. He looked over his shoulder and expected a pair of eyes looking back at him, but there were none. All that was there were just the empty web and the vacant trees surrounding the sides of the path. Figuring he was being paranoid, Terron shrugged it off and continued his way back up the path in silence.

    Eventually, he came back to the beginning of the trail and overlooked the other ways. He tried to see if he could spot any other Spinarak webs blocking anymore paths from where he stood, but there weren't any in sight.

    Without further ado, the Cubone chose the path to the right of his previous path and made his way toward the light. Everything was easier to see now since he was closer to the light. There were no webs in his way this time, much to his relief, but just as he felt he was getting close to the end of road, a Venonat jumped out of one of the trees and landed in front of him. Its large compound eyes gleamed as it looked down upon Terron.

    The Cubone glared up at the large creature that towered over him. He felt a twinge of fear strike him at the size of the creature, but he forced himself to remain stoic. He slowly pointed his club at the Venonat.

    "Get out of the way," he ordered.

    "Ping?"

    "I don't have time to deal with you," Terron said again. "I need to get out of here. So move aside."

    Terron was expecting Zekra to attack the Venonat as she had with the last wild Pokémon he encountered, but surprisingly, she wasn't responding. In fact, she hadn't said anything since Terron had left the Spinarak web with her. Even still, Terron put those thoughts out of his mind. He figured that she was probably staying back to have Terron fight on his own.

    Fine. Guess I'll give this a shot. Just listen to your instincts. They'll tell you what to do. That's always what Zekra said. But what does that even mean? I'm a human and a Pokémon. Human instincts and Pokémon instincts aren't the same thing. How do I know whether my human instincts or so called Pokémon instincts are talking?

    "PIIIIING!"

    The wild Venonat shot forward at Terron as its shrill cry rang through the air.

    MOVE!

    Terron flinched at the sudden voice that screamed from within his mind. He was so startled by the shouting, in fact, that he leapt to the side out of reaction. Since he had moved just in time, Terron managed to avoid the oncoming assault, but he could still feel the Pokémon's fuzzy body brush against him. Particles of purple dust flew off the bug and were about to settle on Terron, but he was quick to get out of the way before they could come in contact with him.

    Just what was that?! Whose voice was that? What's it doing in my head?

    A multi-colored beam shot out of nowhere and struck Terron in the side in his moment of confusion. The Cubone tumbled backwards a few feet before he crashed into a tree. His side throbbed, but he couldn't focus on that. He could see the Venonat standing on its two feet with its eyes glowing from the attack it had just sent him. When it noticed that Terron was no longer flying out of control, the Venonat bounded toward him with its fangs ready to bite down upon him.

    GET UP! GET UP! FIGHT BACK!

    Terron flinched at the unexpected yelling within his mind, but he took no time to think about it.

    Terron clutched the bone tightly in his hand. With one swift motion, he rose to his feet and smacked the Venonat with the weapon just as the bug sprang at him. The Venonat's face visibly dented from the attack, and then was blown back into the distance. He could hear its shrieks as it flew through the air with its eyes flashing rapidly. Terron smirked victoriously as the Venonat smacked into the ground seconds later with a thud. His side still throbbed from the attack he had received, but he didn't let it bother him. He approached the flailing form of the wild Pokémon until he was standing over it. Its eyes were staring up at him with a blank expression, as if it was on the borderline between consciousness and slumber, unable to understand and interact with the world around it.

    FINISH IT.

    Terron raised his club above his head and brought it down upon the bug with all the strength he could. The Venonat let out a loud scream just as the bone beat down upon its body. The wild Pokémon filled the air with its dreadful noise until it was abruptly silenced. Its eyes dimmed until there was no longer light behind them, and then the body went completely limp. It would wake up eventually, but for now, it was out of its misery.

    Terron sighed as he fell into a sitting position. He needed a moment to recover from that attack he had received. He wondered about whose voice was speaking to him and ordering him throughout the fight, but he took his mind off that for now. He could worry about that later.

    "There, I defeated a wild Pokémon," the Cubone said to Zekra without looking at her. "Guess it's not so hard after all."

    There wasn't a reply. Terron scowled.

    "I did what you wanted, okay?" Terron said in a flustered tone. "Don't I get some kind of congratulations? You try fighting after you've been put into a new body without your consent."

    There was still nothing to be said. Annoyed with his companion at her insensitivity, he turned around to lash out at her about the way she was acting.

    But Zekra wasn't there. She was nowhere in sight.

    Terron's eyes grew as he bolted to his feet and started looking around in every direction he could. He could have sworn Zekra was with him. She was right behind him the whole time.

    "Zekra? Where are you?" Terron called out as he wandered to the sides of the path. "Zekra?! ZEKRA!"

    His heart thudded violently in his chest and his breath shortened drastically. Everything around him became disoriented as hysteria ensued within his mind. Yet, despite the massive chaos erupting through his mind, one truth manifested itself to him.

    Zekra had disappeared and he was alone.
    Last edited by SableVulpi; 25th July 2014 at 2:12 AM.

    Credit to Brutaka for the epic banner and Haychel for the image on such banner.

  8. #8
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    First things first, error, grammar, same word usage report. The fact I use a 3ds and scrap paper to do this proves I care, so let's begin.

    Prologue: A lot of same word usage here
    Vast land... of the land... into the land... the flat lands...
    I propose other words to describe "land" instead such as earth, scape, or terrain since you repeat these all in the same paragraph.
    Also, several uses of the word "creature"
    Black creature, strange creature, new creature, each creature (x2), kind of creature, individual creatures, all creatures, within the creature, of the creature, ghostly creature, of these creatures, demonic creatures.
    Since the focus was still on "creature" you could have used "them", "they", "their", form, figures, shadows, ethereal beasts or other variation of these creatures you were describing. There are thirteen instances of the same word over four paragraphs, and that can get repetitive and jarring.

    Chapter one: You describe tears as "water continued to leak". I honestly prefer "tears" here over "water".

    Another scene with the hunting of the rattata, you say "the rattata" three times, even though the focus did not shift, so saying they or them would still refer to the rattata's without being misconstrued.

    Chapter two: There's a spacing issue where you write "dungeonas" there should be a space between "dungeon" and "as"

    That error/suggestion log out of the way, I am enjoying Terron's and Zekra's interaction and adventure, and am looking forward to the outcome of Zekra's disappearance and more of the story. Keep up the good work.


    Credit to Brutaka for the amazing banner and user bar. Yeah, having 2 is redundant, but it shows you guys my favorite pokemon, what story I had planned and my position in the WoJ.

    Time, there's never enough of it but it's always there to waste.
    -Azurus

  9. #9
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    Chapter 3

    Tangled by the Webs




    Wayward Woods S3 (still)

    Terron felt his hands tremble as the epiphany dawned upon him: somehow, Zekra had gone missing.

    His mind raced, quickly coming up with several possibilities as to what could of happened. Had Zekra been captured during a battle, when he wasn't looking? Had she been knocked out and taken somewhere within the dark depths of the dungeon? Had she escaped the dungeon on her own and left him behind?

    Terron's breath caught the second he realized that he couldn't remember the last time he had actually seen her.

    He wasn't incredibly fond of Zekra, but he dreaded the thought of her being alone in the hostile environment. He was worried for his own well-being of course, but Zekra's seemed more important right now. She may have been somewhat experienced, but being alone in a world filled with dangerous creatures was a terrible situation to be in.

    "TERROOOON!" a familiar voice screamed in the distance.

    Terron's panicking immediately ceased as he looked up toward the source of the noise. It was coming from another path in the area. Zekra hadn't disappeared after all; she was still around and Terron could still get to her. Hope quickly sprouted in Terron's heart and gave him the energy to bolt back to the beginning of the sector where all of the trails lay.

    "Where are you?!" Terron shouted as loudly as his lungs allowed him.

    His yells echoed through the woods for a few seconds before the forest became eerily silent. Terron nervously played with his hands as he prayed Zekra would answer him. Seconds later, that prayer was answered.

    "By the Spinarak web you saw earlier!" her voice answered.

    Terron wasted no time in hurrying down the path. Any thoughts about the rumbling in his stomach or the throbbing pain from his battle were ignored. His mind could only focus on Zekra and nothing else. He didn't even feel the grass beneath his feet as he sprinted as fast as he could toward the web he had visited earlier.

    When he came to the web, Terron was met with a horrifying sight. He immediately skidded to a halt a few feet in front of the web and blinked a few times, just to make sure he wasn't hallucinating. Zekra was in the middle of the web and wrapped up in a tight cocoon that covered all of her body except her head. She was thrashing around and attempting to bite herself free from the prison, but it was to no avail. She was stuck in her silky prison.

    Surrounding her were three Spinarak, all clicking their pincers eagerly.

    "Terron!" Zekra cried in a strange mix of desperation and excitement.

    GET OUT OF THE WAY!

    What? Terron thought. It's the voice... what does it-

    "Look out, Terron!"

    A strand of silk struck the Cubone's free arm and wrapped itself around his limb, forming a small, cast-like prison around his forearm. Before it could spread further, Terron moved out of the line of fire and looked up toward its source. There, in a tree branch high above him, was a Spinarak with its eyes set on the Cubone.

    The bug-type snapped its pincers together a few times and then fired a swarm of purple darts at Terron. The Cubone hastily sprang out of the way, narrowly avoiding the projectiles. The Spinarak only continued to fire more darts, keeping its attacks trained on him. Terron ran around the trail, avoiding a good majority of the attacks. Whenever they did hit though, they always stung like little needles pricking his skin. Yet, Terron continued to keep running, never letting the pain wear him down.

    He glanced over at Zekra as he avoided the sprays of projectiles and saw that the other Spinarak were starting to gather toward her. A deep fear sunk into his heart. He couldn't let Zekra be eaten. And yet, he didn't know what to do.

    THROW YOUR WEAPON!

    Um, I don't think I have good aim. And what if I lose this? It's the only weapon I have.

    DON'T ARGUE WITH ME! I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING! DO IT!

    Terron saw that it was pointless to argue and allowed himself to submit to the commands of the voice. He clutched the bone in his hand and held it back. Then, he flung it forward. The bone soared through the air as it swung around in circles swiftly, making it a white blur. It flew toward the branch the Spinarak sat in and before the spider could react, the spinning weapon collided with its body. The creature fell to the ground from the sudden shock of the impact as the bone came swinging back to Terron.

    GRAB IT!

    Terron held out his hand without even thinking about it. Seconds later, the bone smacked into his paw as he simultaneously gripped his claws around it. He could feel the dull thudding in his palm from catching such a fast moving object, but he paid it no mind. He looked over at Zekra to see that one of the creatures was about to sink its fangs into the Zorua. She squirmed and thrashed violently, but to no avail.

    The Cubone tossed his bone forward without a second thought. It immediately collided with the spider, instantly rendering it unconscious as it thumped to the ground. The club rebounded off of its collapsed form before coming back in Terron's hand. He felt the weapon crack due to its hollow and fragile form, but this didn't bother him, for it was still usable.

    One of the Spinarak jumped off of the web and on the ground near Terron. The other one stayed with Zekra, looming near her with an almost protective stance. Terron tightened his grip on his club, further cracking the weapon.

    The Spinarak on the ground glared at Terron for a brief second before it spat out a swarm of the violet needles. Terron hastily jumped to the side just as the projectiles went past him before running toward the creature again. The Spinarak's eyes shifted as he closed in on the bug-type.

    You know what to do now. You don't need my commands anymore. My work here is done.

    Terron nodded silently and pushed his feet against the ground, leaping into the air. Just as he jumped, the Spinarak shot a thin line of silk, barely missing him by a hair. As he rose above the attack, Terron threw his bone forward, watching it sail before it smacked into the bug-type's back.

    The Spinarak gave off a shriek as its legs gave out and fell to the grassy floor with a dull thump. The bone returned to Terron's paw at once. However, to ensure that the bug-type would no longer fight, Terron landed on the face sprawled on his foe's back. There was a loud snap, and then the Spinarak's head hit the ground, eyes dull. The creature was still alive, as its pincers occasionally twitched, but the state it was currently in was satisfactory for Terron.

    Terron stepped off the comatose form of his former target before locking his sights onto the last Spinarak. It shot him a glare and hissed quietly. Terron scowled as he flung his weapon forward, watched it instantly smash into the creature, and then caught it as it came back to him. The spider was immediately knocked out, but it remained tangled in its own webbing. But despite this, there were no more Spinarak. Terron and Zekra were safe.

    For now.

    Terron made his way over to the entangled Zorua until he was in front of the web. The adrenaline left his system and and the weariness washed over him, but he fought it off to the best of his ability. He couldn't afford to let exhaustion win him over. He looked up at Zekra with a tired grin. Despite being saved from the bug-types, Zekra continued to squirm.

    "Are you okay?" Terron asked softly.

    "Y-Yeah," Zekra stuttered as she looked over at him. "I just really hate bug-types… I have a really hard time dealing with them and they've got those webs I can't get out of and… uggggh. Get me down from here… Get me down. Now. Please. Before more get here."

    "Alright. Here, grab this."

    He took his bone and held it out toward her until it was right in front of her face. She sank her fangs into the weapon, and with a nod, Terron pulled back with all of his might. There was some resistance, but she came flying off the web nonetheless, and tumbled along the ground, still covered in the silk bindings. She spat out a wad of dirt as Terron made his way over to her.

    "If you're going to try and rip this stuff off me, don't bother," Zekra warned. "It'll get all over you and then both of us will get stuck. And I really don't think you want to be stuck in this stuff. So you're going to have to think of a different way. You know, as quickly as possible. Because I really hate being in this stuff and kind of don't want some more of those Spinarak to come and suck out my insides. So you know, no rush... but think of something. Like right now."

    Terron rolled his eyes at the comment, but said nothing in return. Instead, he brought his gaze upon the bone in his hands. Though specifically, the ever growing cracks that were forming all throughout it. An idea formed in his mind, but he wasn't sure if he wanted to sacrifice the only weapon he had.

    His stomach growled painfully. It was then that he realized that he had been so busy panicking and fighting, that he had forgotten how hungry he had been. Having this new factor enter his mind, he realized that perhaps it was better to do what came to mind rather than to go search for something else to free Zekra. If it meant getting out of the dungeon faster, he'd do it.

    Without hesitation, Terron grabbed his weapon with his two hands on the opposite sides of the shaft and clutched them tightly. He then pushed his arms downward with as much strength as he could muster and soon heard the repeated sounds of cracking. He smiled as he watched the middle of the bone form a giant fracture until it gave way, snapping the bone into two pieces with jagged ends where they once connected. He dropped one of the pieces of the bone, and then took the other over to Zekra. He tore it straight down the middle of her cocoon with the sharp edge and watched as the strands came apart.

    Once he had cut the casing completely open, Terron pulled the bindings off of Zekra until she was free of her silk prison. She took in several deep breaths as she got to her feet and shook her paws, removing the residue from her fur. As she did this, Terron used his fractured weapon to cut through the silk cast wrapped around his arm and removed it from himself with ease.

    "Awesome, I'm free," Zekra said pleasantly. "Thanks a bunch! Now I don't have to get all of my insides sucked out. My intestines are safe now!"

    Another agonizing rumble came from Terron's stomach, causing him to wince.

    "Yeah, you're welcome," Terron said hurriedly as he looked toward the exit of the path he was on. "But can we save it for later? I really need to find some food. So we need to get out of here."

    "I think this way should get us out of here as long as we can get that Spinarak web out of the way," Zekra said as she pointed down the path. "Maybe."

    Without a moment to waste, Terron picked up the other piece of the bone he had split and put it into his other hand. He then took the makeshift knives and cut through a section of the web. Parts of the web stuck to his bones, but Terron didn't find himself concerned about that. All he wanted was to get out of the dungeon as fast as he could. Once he had made a passage through the blockade, he and Zekra then dashed toward the light at the end of the path.




    Aurora Town Outskirts

    Terron and Zekra ran out of the dungeon's exit and soon found themselves standing in a small grove filled with a wide variety of berry trees. Zekra brought herself to a halt as she caught her breath, but not the same could be same for Terron. The Cubone ran ahead of her and went to one of the trees and swiped off a pink, heart-shaped fruit from its branches. He hastily tore off a large chunk with his teeth, feeling an overwhelming sweetness slide down his throat. But he paid it no mind and swallowed it down before grabbing another berry. He too shoved it down his mouth, proceeding to do this with any other fruits he could find.

    Fifty of the berries later, Terron felt his eyes start to droop as the sickening sweet taste of the berry filled his mouth. He blinked sluggishly as he pressed his back against the tree's trunk and then slid down into a sitting position. As he rested his head against the bark, Zekra stopped before him.

    "Well looks like someone was hungry," Zekra grinned.

    "Yeah, yeah" Terron replied carelessly. "I was starving, alright? I'm just glad there was food right outside of that Mystery Dungeon. Because really, I don't think I would have lasted another second."

    He yawned as he looked up at the moon. He almost forgot it was still night time.

    "So what do we do now?" Terron asked. "Aurora Town is right there. Do you want to go there now?"

    "Well, I bet almost everyone's asleep right now," Zekra answered as she looked out toward the town. "I kinda wanted to get to town right now... but I'm just not really in the mood to do anymore walking. And plus, you look like you're going to pass out anyway. So yeah, let's just call it a night here. Shame we had to go all the way through that dungeon just to wait outside of it anyway... but oh well."

    Terron snorted and waved her off dismissively. She chuckled at the reaction as she plopped down beside him.

    "Hey Terron?" she said as she rested her head in her paws.

    "Yeah?"

    "Umm, thanks for coming here with me and not ditching me in the dungeon. I didn't want to walk around by myself, honestly. It's nice to have somebody with me after I escaped and everyone in town d-"

    Zekra suddenly stopped talking. Terron looked at her and much to his surprise, saw there was something wrong with her eyes. They were distant and hazy now, as if she were off in her own little world.

    "Hey, snap out of it."

    Terron reached over and poked her with a claw.

    However, rather than respond to the prodding, Zekra's head slumped to the ground, eyes closed. Whatever had been glimmering in her eyes for that moment was no longer present. Terron sighed as he leaned back against his tree.

    Alright, so we're in Aurora Town now. Well next to it anyway. I could leave Zekra tomorrow if I wanted to. I'm here in civilization and could easily get help from someone else. It wouldn't be that hard. But... do I want to?

    He glanced over at Zekra, who continued to slumber. He felt a sudden twinge of pain in his heart.

    I could go off on my own, but what about her? What's she going to do if I leave her? She seems so happy to have me around, even if she has a pretty weird way of showing it. Do I want to leave her when she seems to like me so much? And not only that, but she's pretty good at battling. If I go off on my own and get into trouble, I'll have nobody to protect me. I mean, I can fight, but having someone help out is always good.

    Terron kept his eyes on her for a moment longer before releasing a long sigh.

    Yeah. I guess I'll stay with her. She seems to like me and wants to help me and really, that's the best thing I've got right now, now that I'm a Cubone in this strange world...

    With that thought in mind, Terron rested his head against the tree before he closed his eyes and fell asleep.




    The next morning, Terron found himself sleeping on the ground, presumably from having fallen over the previous night. Though his muscles were sore, he felt mostly refreshed and was ready to start the new day. He stretched his arms as he slowly got to his feet and looked over to his side to see how Zekra was.

    She was nowhere in sight, just like yesterday morning. Terron figured she was getting breakfast for herself, so he didn't think much on it. He went around the trees in the grove and gathered some more berries for his breakfast, mostly round, blue ones he found after a bit of searching. They had a strange taste to them that seemed to change from one flavor to the next every time he chewed them. However, he didn't mind the taste, as the fruits also seemed to relieve his aching muscles through some means.

    Today's the day Zekra and I go to Aurora Town and try and find somebody who can help me out. Terron told himself. I wonder what towns are like in this world... and the Pokémon as well. Will any of them believe that I'm human? Will anybody even listen to me if I ask about humans? As a matter of fact, how are Zekra and I going to figure out where to find some answers about myself? It's not like I can just walk up to some random Pokémon and ask them if they know anything about humans turning into Pokémon. No, that's just a good way for somebody to believe I'm crazy.

    It was then that Terron noticed Zekra coming toward him with a couple of berries hanging from her mouth. He was incredibly grateful that it wasn't a Pokémon clenched in her fangs.

    "Hey, morning," Zekra said as she stopped in front of him and ate the fruit.

    "Hey," Terron said with a small wave. "How's it going?"

    "Fine, just got myself some breakfast is all. I'm not normally one for berries, but I think they're okay every once in a while. Figured I wouldn't go back into the Mystery Dungeon by myself and try to catch something to eat. Not with all of those Spinarak. Nooooooo."

    Terron struggled to keep the mental image of Zekra grinning evilly with corpses scattered about her, body coated with the blood of wild Pokémon out of his mind.

    "I was thinking about this earlier," Terron said with a reluctant grimace, "but how exactly are we going to find answers about why I'm a Cubone? I mean, we can't just walk up to some random townsfolk and ask about humans when they supposedly don't even exist in this world. It doesn't work like that."

    "Huh, I didn't really think about that actually," Zekra admitted as she awkwardly rubbed her head. "Well, how about we just go into town and explore to see if there's maybe somebody there that can figure out why you got amnesia? Like some expert psychic-type who can search your mind for your lost memories?"

    "There's Pokémon that can do that to my mind?"

    "Yeah. Not every psychic-type can do that, but some of them can. So how about we try that?"

    "Um, I'm not exactly comfortable with the idea of somebody just invading my brain and reading all of my thoughts."

    "Aw what? It won't be so bad! Besides, it might be the only way to get your lost memories anyway. I mean, how else can anybody figure out who you are? It's not like some random Pokémon is just going to show up and tell you that they know everything about you and then just give you all of that information."

    "Okay, fine," Terron said with a defeated sigh. "Just make sure they don't damage my brain somehow."

    "Oh, I'll make sure of that," Zekra said with an evil grin. "Now let's get going. We're gonna have to do a bit of searching and it could take a while."

    Though still feeling his innards twisting uncomfortably, Terron nodded and together, the two headed for the city.




    [B]Aurora Town[B]

    Terron and Zekra stood at the entrance of their destination, which was the border between the grassy paths they had been travelling on for miles and the tan, stone-paved paths that crept through the entire town. As Terron gazed into the town, he could see that all of the buildings were quite small and meant to resemble the heads of many Pokémon, or at least have the head somewhere on the building. It was a bit of strange sight since he could remember what human buildings looked like, which were always so tall and looked so alike to one another. Still, these had a nice charm to them.

    Trees occupied several areas of space within the city, such as growing between various shops or even having tree-houses built on them. Much of the town, in fact, seemed to be just a city built within a forest and worked with nature instead of demolishing everything. It was very unlike the Mystery Dungeon forest they had gone through. Many different kinds of Pokémon walked around Terron, all seeming pleasant and of good cheer whenever they spoke with one another, whether it be at shops or with one another.

    Terron looked over at Zekra and to his surprise, found that the faraway expression was in her eyes again.

    "Is something bothering you?" Terron asked.

    "Huh?"

    Zekra looked over at Terron and seemed to noticed him staring at her. She smiled faintly.

    "Oh, no it's fine. I was just thinking about something is all," she assured.

    Terron gave her a suspicious stare, but didn't bother to press the question. They had more important things to do. Plus, something inside of him didn't want to start any kind of emotionally charged conversations. He didn't know what or why, but it was keeping him away from the topic.

    "Well, we're here," Terron said as he watched pedestrians go by. "So where do you suppose we start?"

    "Let's try walking around a bit and see if we spot any kind of booths that have what we're looking," Zekra suggested. "Or at least any psychic Pokémon roaming around."

    The two entered into town and immediately searched for any sign of psychics. As they weaved through the crowds of Pokémon that filled the streets, Terron couldn't help but notice that they were all giving him odd glances, presumably since he lacked the trademark helmet of Cubone. They were very subtle, such as a quick look at their side or staring back at him after he had passed by, but Terron could still feel their eyes. It sent an uncomfortable shiver down his spine and he almost wanted to go back outside the city where no one could give him those stares. However, he reminded himself of his intended task and pressed on while trying to ignore everybody else.

    By the time Terron and Zekra got to the other side of the city, they still hadn't found anybody that seemed to be able to help. Instead, they found themselves sitting on the sidelines of the pathways nearby some shops that hardly anyone seemed to be visiting at the current moment. Terron played around with the two bone pieces he had held onto with a bored expression while Zekra stared off vacantly into the distance.

    Moments of silence passed between them before Zekra finally spoke up.

    "I know this is out of the way," Zekra said as she played with her paws, "but I did need to visit someplace around here. You can come with me if you want or just stay here, but I really need to go somewhere. I mean, we'll keep looking for somebody to help you when we're done with this little errand. It shouldn't take too long. That okay?"

    "I suppose it's better than sitting around here," Terron shrugged carelessly before getting to his feet. "I'll come with, I guess. But where are we going?"

    "You'll see when we get there."

    The Zorua got up and then started walking back into the heart of town. Terron followed after her from behind and tried to figure out where they were going based on what buildings they were passing. Zekra was leading him down the side of town that went north geographically as opposed to the western and eastern sides they had traveled on earlier. There were lesser amounts of Pokémon here as there had been in the other areas of town, but at least nobody stared at Terron this time. They all seemed too much in a hurry for something.

    Eventually, Terron and Zekra found themselves in front of a building that was much different from all the others they had seen. Unlike all the others, this one wasn't in the shape of a Pokémon head. It was more rectangular in shape and seemed to be made out of some kind of stone. It was still one story tall as all the other buildings in the area however, and it lacked a door so that Pokémon could freely walk in and out of the building without too much of a problem. A large sign was plastered on the top of the building and written in a strange writing that seemed to be made of footprints. Terron squinted at it, unable to read the strange language.

    "What is this place?" Terron asked.

    Zekra looked up at the sign for a moment and then brought her gaze back at Terron. Her eyes were dull and for just a second, Terron thought he wasn't looking at Zekra anymore.

    "This is the Aurora Town Police Station," she said.

    Without another word she walked into the building, leaving behind Terron. The Cubone found himself frozen on the spot, baffled by her words. Concepts of what the police were and what they did crept into Terron's thoughts.

    The police station? Why would she need to go in there? Is she going to turn me in or something? Does she secretly think I'm crazy because I say I'm human and she wants to get rid of me? No, that can't be right!

    Terron hurried his way into the building as well. Just as he was about to go through the doorway, he accidentally bumped into an Ariados that happened to be walking out of the building. The second he locked eyes with the creature, he felt an instant dread fill him. Its stature was astounding compared to him and standing right next to it made Terron feel very small and fragile. It did not help that the Ariados's pre-evolutions had attacked him the previous day.

    "Sorry about that," the Ariados said with a male, elderly voice.

    "It's fine," Terron said calmly despite the unease he felt. "Just let me through. I need to get inside."

    The Ariados stepped outside of the building, but then stopped and looked back at the Cubone.

    "Say, I don't think I've seen you around here," the Ariados noted. "Are you new around here?"

    "Yeah, I am," Terron said quickly.

    Then, before the Ariados could ask any further questions, Terron left the being's side and entered the building. He only had to wander for a few seconds before he spotted Zekra.

    She was standing in front of a counter and speaking to an Electabuzz that was on the other side. Behind the Electabuzz were at least a hundred file cabinets made of wood that took up most of the entire wall. Pokémon could be seen in the background taking things out of these cabinets and also putting new items in before going about their normal business. However, Terron paid no attention to them and instead focused on Zekra and the Electabuzz.

    "What brings you here?" the Electabuzz asked Zekra with a suspicious stare. "And who are you?"

    "My name is Zekra and I've come to report something," Zekra answered. "I come from a place east of here known as Blackoak Town. It's on the other side of the Grey Lands and nearby... Emerald Mountain. You've heard of that town haven't you?"

    "Yes, some of the merchants in this town like to travel to that town at times, particularly in the summer. Why?"

    Zekra stared at the police officer for a while as an eerie silence came between the two. Terron had no idea what was bothering Zekra, but he choose to stay where he was and remain quiet. She was trying to get something done and didn't need his help.

    At long last, Zekra finally spoke.

    "Blackoak Town's citizens were all killed when they were evacuating their homes," Zekra said in a monotone, yet her voice seemed to crack at the last few words. "Everyone's gone... except me. I was the only one who made it out."

    Terron's eyes grew as he watched Zekra hang her head. He honestly hadn't expected that Zekra to be a survivor from such an event based on her somewhat cheerful attitude. Yetm despite how surprised Terron was, the Electabuzz didn't quite seem so.

    "And how exactly did everybody die?" the officer asked.

    "Everyone was going to come here," Zekra explained quietly, keeping her face hidden. "We were told that something was happening at Emerald Mountain that was going to be a problem even though they never explained what. So everyone started leaving and we were going through the cliffs that lead to the Grey Lands. And then that's when it happened..."

    "That's when what happened?"

    Terron saw Zekra trying to form words, but nothing came out of her mouth. She shook as her eyes widened, as if she were seeing things that everyone else could not. Terron took no time to hesitate and immediately came to her side.

    "Zekra! Snap out of it!" Terron urged. "Finish your story! Tell them what happened!"

    "And who are you?" the Electabuzz asked indifferently.

    "I'm Terron," he answered, pausing for a moment to dwell in how odd it was to refer to himself by the replacement name. "I'm Zekra's friend."

    "But I thought that her entire town was destroyed by some unknown reason. There aren't any towns between here and Blackoak that she could have met you at."

    "I met her at-"

    "There were so many of them..." Zekra suddenly said.

    Terron and the officer looked over at her to find that she was still in the same state she had been in previously. But somehow, it seemed much worse now.

    "What?" Terron said slowly, not understanding what she was talking about.

    "I saw what took away everybody," Zekra explained as her breathing shortened. "They were these things... these things! I don't know what they were, but they took everybody! They came out of nowhere and trapped everyone so that nobody could escape! They were like Pokémon, but there are no Pokémon that should look like that! They were like ghosts of normal Pokémon, but it's much worse than that! Whenever they stare at you, their eyes, their eyes, they burn into you! They look right at your soul! And they took everyone I knew from town away from me! Everyone! I don't even know how I lived... but everyone else is dead! I just wanted to come here to tell somebody that so that maybe somebody can stop them... I just want somebody to listen... somebody... anybody..."

    Terron watched her breathe in heavily after saying all of that. He wanted to say something to get her to calm down, but he didn't know what. All he could do was watch and stare.

    "So you're saying that there's this gang of Pokémon that are killing others?" the Electabuzz clarified, apparently not fazed by all of the information. "Hmmmmmmm... well, we'll see if we've heard of any sightings of that. So why don't you two kids go relax and come back another day and I'll tell you I anything new came?"

    Terron scowled at the comment. He was about to give the Electabuzz a violent lashing, but stopped himself. He was in a police station; he couldn't make a scene without there being a giant fuss, nor was there much else he could do about the situation.

    He forced himself to take in a deep breath.

    "Yeah, fine," Terron said bitterly. "Guess we will. Come on Zekra, let's get going. Let's go find somewhere to stay for the night."

    The Zorua nodded slowly as the two went outside. Once they had exited the police station, the two headed back to the square in search of an inn to stay at. However, what neither of them noticed was that the Ariados Terron had run into earlier was still standing near the doorway and had been doing so the whole time they had been talking to the Electabuzz. He had heard everything.

    He watched the two disappear from his view.

    "So they know," the Ariados whispered.

    His eyes glanced around anxiously, and then he darted away into the farther reaches of the city.

    Hours had passed and Terron and Zekra were now resting in an inn that allowed them to stay for free since they had helped temporarily with some errands. They now lay in their hay beds in a mostly vacant room, both silent as could be. Terron was busy thinking about what had happened earlier and found himself still simmering at the thought of the police not helping them. Hadn't they seen that Zekra was being truthful? Couldn't they have done something better than say to come back in a few days?

    Terron looked over at Zekra to find that she was attempting to fall asleep in her bed, but was unable to relax.

    Knowing about what had happened to Zekra had completely changed how Terron looked at her now. She was no longer just somebody who was always smiling and helping Terron with his quest since she was a kind Pokémon. She was a lost soul, an orphan as Terron could very well assume, and was filled with pain that couldn't be mended instantly. It would take a long time to repair the damage brought upon her.

    However, he couldn't bring up the subject no matter how hard he tried. He wanted to talk to Zekra about herself and try to find some way to help out, but he couldn't do it.

    "Hey, Terron."

    Terron looked over at her Zekra hearing her voice to find that she was staring at him. There was a somewhat more peaceful expression in her eyes now, but melancholy feelings still seemed to linger.

    "I'm sorry we couldn't find anybody to help you today," Zekra sighed. "We can try looking tomorrow though if you want."

    "It's alright," Terron said. "I mean, today was a rough day. You don't have to worry about it."

    There was quiet for a few minutes. It was apparent that Zekra wasn't going to talk about what was going on in her mind either. Perhaps it was better that way between the two of them. Terron sighed before he closed his eyes.

    "Sorry to bother you two at this hour."

    Terron's eyes snapped open as he jolted up. He saw a figure standing at the window of the room that lead to the outside world. Through the pale moonlight that shined into the room, Terron was able to see that it was the same Ariados that he had met earlier at the police station. As soon as Zekra saw the Ariados, she jumped backwards a few feet.

    "Who are you?" Zekra asked, her voice shaking.

    "I'm not allowed to answer that yet," the Ariados replied. "But, what I can say is that I was sent here to find you two and that you're to come with me. There are some Pokémon who want to see you."

    "Like who?" Terron questioned.

    "Friends of mine," the Ariados said simply. "But I can't tell you anything other than that right now unless you agree to come. I can assure you though that you won't be harmed in any way. I don't like to harm others who haven't done anything wrong."

    "I don't exactly trust you, so there's no way I'm coming," Terron stated firmly.

    "I'm not going either!" Zekra added defensively. "You can't just sneak into somebody's sleeping place and expect them to do whatever you want! That's not a good way of convincing somebody!"

    The Ariados sighed in disappointment as he shook his head.

    "I didn't want to have to take you two by force," the Ariados said, "but I'm afraid that I'm not allowed to come back empty-handed."

    A white string of silk suddenly shot out of his mouth and zoomed toward Zekra and Terron. The two were about to run, but the single strand instantly split in several directions to form a giant web. The web swiftly fell over Terron and Zekra before it closed completely around them like a trap. Once they were sealed together in the webbing, the Ariados brought the two encased Pokémon to him by sucking the silk back into his mouth. When they were right in front of him, he then cut off the end of the string where the webbing once was. The two squirmed and shrieked as they attempted to get out, but the Ariados chose to ignore them. He put them on his back where they stuck thanks to the sticky substance of the silk.

    Then in an instant, he disappeared out the window with the two in tow.




    ? the Ariados belongs to ScytheRider

    Credit to Brutaka for the epic banner and Haychel for the image on such banner.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, the police aren't helping you on this one, Zekra, you need Mighty Allies for this quest of great importance...

    And snap, the Ariados appears to be a bad guy, but I predict it won't be as bad as we think.

    No errors of note or repetive words, so all in all, a much better chapter. Looking forward to the 4th instalment.


    Credit to Brutaka for the amazing banner and user bar. Yeah, having 2 is redundant, but it shows you guys my favorite pokemon, what story I had planned and my position in the WoJ.

    Time, there's never enough of it but it's always there to waste.
    -Azurus

  11. #11
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    Chapter 4

    Fellowship





    Terron and Zekra thrashed around in their web prison atop the Ariados' back in an attempt to break free, but it didn't matter, for the webbing held fast. The more the two struggled, the more the silk stuck to their bodies and held them still. By the time the Ariados had escaped out the window of the room, Terron and Zekra were practically immobile. All they could do was watch as the Ariados towed them off to an unknown location.

    "What do you want with us?!" Zekra shouted as she attempted to get her paw free.

    "It's not me who wants to see you," the Ariados explained dully. "And quit trying to escape; you'll only make matters worse for yourself."

    The two only continued to fight against the webbing, despite the Ariados's words. And just as they had been warned, their mouths soon became entangled with silk. The children cried out for help, but all that came out were muffled shrieks.

    "Can't say I didn't warn you," the Ariados shrugged.

    He took Terron and Zekra into the shadows, presumably hiding them from the eyes of residents that still lurked about the night. Once he had the cover of darkness, the Ariados continued on.

    Just then, an idea formed in Terron's head. He realized he could use his bone weapons as a type of spear to stab the Ariados so that perhaps he and Zekra could escape. After thinking through the plan for a brief moment, the Cubone decided it go with it. However, he was quick to realize that he had left his bones in his room. He didn't have time to grab them before he had been kidnapped.

    Terron growled irritably as he tried to figure out where he was being taken to. Even though it was dark outside, there were a few lit torches latched onto the sides of buildings. They didn't cover as much radius as electricity might have, but these ones were able make pathways visible at the very least. Terron was able to see that he and Zekra were passing by the town square at the moment and were being taken into the section of town that lead south.

    The Ariados stepped out of the shadows after scanning his surroundings and then made his way to the destination in more of a hurry. Now that he had more visibility, Terron could see the southern section of town more clearly and saw how different it was compared to the rest of town.

    While the rest of Aurora Town had regular buildings, even if they were in odd shapes, this end of town didn't have a single building in sight. The entire area had colossal trees firmly planted into the ground with their giant roots. Several holes were apparent throughout all of the trees' trunks and had light flooding out of each of them. Some were high above where only flying types could possibly reach it, while others were close enough to the ground that anybody could crawl through.

    The branches of the trees stretched in many directions and were so thick that some served as bridges to connect some of the trees with the others at the openings from high up. Resting on the ground at the bases of the trees were many bowl-shaped cauldrons that were held up by stands with three legs. In each of the cauldrons was a bright fire that consumed large pieces of wood, making crackling sounds as they illuminated much of the area.

    Terron and Zekra gazed at the wondrous sight.

    "Alright, here we are," the Ariados announced. "Don't be alarmed by what I'm about to do."

    Terron asked what the Ariados meant, but as to be expected, no words left his mouth thanks to the silk muzzling him. The Ariados made his way toward one of the trees that seemed to be the tallest and began crawling up its trunk. Terron cringed as he watched the ground leave him, fearing he and Zekra would fall off the Ariados's back, something that only intensified as the ground grew farther and farther away with each second. It didn't help that he was facing toward the ground and couldn't look away. He felt a sickening feeling build in his stomach.

    Thankfully, the Ariados came to a hole not much later that served as a window for an apparent hollow space in the tree. Terron sighed in relief as the giant creature took him and Zekra inside the hole and brought them into a bright room that was lit with many scattered candles. The Ariados took them off his back and removed the webbing from their bodies before discarding it out the tree.

    Terron had only turned his head slightly to the side to find another Pokémon sitting in the background of the room.

    It was a Luxray. Yet, this Luxray had a slight difference when compared to other Luxray. This one seemed to have eyes fixed in blandness rather than the usual fierceness known to be in Luxray. It was a very subtle difference, but Terron nonetheless noticed it.

    "I've brought them here," the Ariados said humbly. "They might be a little shaken up, but they're unharmed as you wanted."

    "Excellent, Garter," the Luxray said in low, distinctively male voice. "You may go now."

    The Ariados named Garter gave a small bow of his head. He turned around and then crawled out the window, disappearing elsewhere. The Luxray looked back at Terron and Zekra and cast them a strange stare, seemingly studying them. Terron wanted to ask why he had been brought to the Luxray, but he found that words weren't coming out of his mouth. The eyes of the Luxray were paralyzing to him.

    It was at this moment that Terron saw more of his surroundings. He was in what appeared to be some kind of office. A few shelves lined the walls, filled with numerous books of all sizes. The Luxray sat behind a wooden desk of sorts near the back of the room, large enough to have many Pokémon gather around it. The Luxray was lightly tapping his claws against the surface of the desk.

    Then, Terron saw something else about the room. Standing next to the only door in the room was a Bisharp. It appeared to be guarding the exit, staring at Terron, seemingly never blinking. Terron immediately turned away.

    "So, Garter told me about you children," the Luxray stated. "He says that he heard you at the police station, talking about a little incident that happened at Blackoak Town."

    "Yeah, we were," Zekra admitted shyly, shifting around uncomfortably.

    "And he says you know about the existence of certain creatures," the Luxray added before staring directly at Zekra. "He said that you, little Zorua, were a survivor of their assault on Blackoak Town. You saw them first hand and somehow managed to live despite not a single other Pokémon managing to escape."

    Zekra didn't say anything, but her retreating eyes said everything that needed to be known. Terron wasn't pleased with seeing this.

    "Why are you asking us about that?" Terron asked lowly.

    The Luxray glanced over at Terron.

    "I need to know what your friend knows about those Pokémon-like creatures," the Luxray replied calmly. "It's a rather important piece of information I'd like to have."

    "So, you kidnapped us in order to do that?" Terron asked incredulously.

    "Perhaps doing that was a bit too extreme, now that you mention it," the Luxray admitted, surprising Terron at those words being spoken. "But I will give you a good reason for why your friend should tell me what she saw: it's because this very place that you stand in is a place created for the purpose of eliminating those creatures. And if I'm not mistaken, you have valuable information that can help with that."

    Terron saw Zekra's eyes widen as her mouth opened slightly ajar. He, too, felt a twinge of surprise inside him.

    "You can get rid of them? So this is like a resistance place?" Zekra asked breathlessly.

    "Well, somewhat," the Luxray explained. "My name is Len. I, along with the rest of my team, are the leaders of this particular association, as you may call it. There are actually four other associations exactly like this one, but we're scattered throughout the region. In this one, however, my team of ten Pokémon are all in charge and we have sixty-two other teams working here as well. Publicly, we are known as the Special Tasks Fellowship, known as the Fellowship for short, where we perform missions that otherwise couldn't be done by regular Pokémon such as a wide variety of rescue missions, acting as search parties, and sometimes bringing criminals to justice.

    "While we do those jobs in reality and we do want to help Pokémon, we have another separate goal that only those within this organization know about. We want to cleanse the world of those creatures you've seen, young Zorua. The Plagued Ones, as we call them. No one knows what they are, but we do know of their actions. They kill everyone they see on sight. Entire populations have been consumed by them. Families, children, the weak… none are spared. They are literally a disease that spreads through the lands, wiping out all life. They are death incarnated, which is why we want to eliminate them. Of course, this will take time and money to do so. So, this entire organization was made to build an army and fund research so that somehow we may find a way to eliminate the Plagued Ones... one day."

    "That's amazing," Zekra said in an awed tone. "You really think that you can get rid of the Plagued Ones?"

    "With a large amount of effort, maybe," Len replied. "And of course, by gathering information from those who have seen them. So, would you be so kind as to tell me what you saw? And be as descriptive as possible. I know it's painful to look back on those memories, but what you've seen could contribute to the end of those demons."

    Terron glanced over at Zekra and saw that she was heavily considering Len's words. She spent about a minute thinking, seemingly deciding if Len really would listen to her, unlike what the police had done.

    "Alright, I'll tell you," Zekra finally said.

    The Zorua then told Len the same information she had said to the police, but was slightly calmer about explaining it this time around. At Len's request, she added more detail into her story than, such as describing exactly what the Plagued Ones looked like and the abilities they had. She still drifted off at times in the story, especially during the tenser parts, but managed to continue eventually. Len would nod occasionally throughout the story, but otherwise said nothing. By the time she had said all that needed to be said, her eyes were dim, but she wasn't on the verge of tears.

    "Garter says he found you telling this story to the police," Len stated. "Did you tell anyone besides them?"

    "No, not really," Zekra answered sadly. "I only thought they needed to know since they'd know what to do."

    "Under normal circumstances, perhaps. But with this kind of information, you don't tell anyone else about it. We don't want the public knowing about the Plagued Ones since it will cause mass hysteria. The world isn't ready to know about them yet. Even though you told the police about your story, they most likely won't believe you for a variety of reasons. But, despite that, don't tell anyone else about what you saw."

    "But, what about all of Blackoak Town's citizens disappearing? You can't hide that. Pokémon are going to question that."

    "You let them wonder what happened," the Bisharp spoke, his sudden voice startling Terron and Zekra. "You don't tell them what happened. It's better to let their theories become their idea of the truth rather than have the actual truth haunt the rest of their days. Sometimes, a lie is more desirable than the truth. It keeps others at peace."

    "King's correct," Len added. "That's why we don't let anyone know about the Plagued Ones. It hurts to know that we have to hide the truth, and it may feel wrong, but it's necessary. Do you understand?"

    "Yeah, I guess," Zekra said with a sigh.

    Terron wanted to disagree with Len and King at first, but he saw that they were right. He was, after all, doing the same exact thing with his true identity, if for the safety of himself rather than others. If he told anyone besides Zekra that he was human, they would all see him in a completely different light and that could have several kinds of outcomes that Terron didn't want.

    "Alright, well now that's settled…" Len said in a satisfied tone. "You two may go. I appreciate the information you gave me. It gives us a better understanding of the creatures. We'll try to find a new home for you children since your old one was destroyed. Just give us a day to find one. In the meantime, just stay around town. We'll track you down somehow after we find a place."

    King opened the door for the two, but otherwise said nothing. Terron began to walk out the door so that he could go back to the inn he was staying at and hopefully get some sleep. He didn't know how late it was now, but he wanted to get as much rest as he could before the sun came up.

    "Actually, I have a favor to ask," Zekra said.

    Terron turned around to find that Zekra was still standing in the room, not appearing to leave at all. She no longer seemed depressed, but rather more hopeful. Terron stopped in the doorway and waited to see what she had to say.

    "Yes, what is it?" Len asked.

    "I was wondering if maybe you would let my friend and I join the Fellowship," Zekra said bashfully. "You know, let us join you in getting rid of the Plagued Ones."

    Len's eyes grew as he took a step back. He opened his mouth to gasp or say something, but silence was all that followed. It took a moment to recompose himself, but Len eventually seemed to find words to express what was on his mind.

    "You really want to join?" the Luxray managed to say. "But... why?"

    "Because the Plagued Ones ruined my life," Zekra answered boldly. "They took everything I know, and they'll do it with everybody else eventually. They can't get away with murdering everyone I know and I won't let them do the exact same thing to anyone else's life. I want to kill them. All of them."

    Terron was taken aback by Zekra's determination and the hate that burned in her eyes like tiny flames. He had never seen her like this and never thought she was capable of being this way. However, it was Len who seemed more surprised than Terron. The Luxray had a mix of disbelief and anxiousness in his eyes.

    "I see you're determined to fight as a way to avenge those you've lost as well as to protect others from your fate," Len said hesitantly. "I've never had children work for me in the Special Task Fellowship, as every team is composed of adults, but if you truly insist on joining, I could let you two become one of us. We've always accepted members who were willing to join our cause, even if they were never as young as you two are. But, there are no rules against letting you be here.

    "I must warn you though; if you choose to join our cause, you must be willing to work hard and never waiver in your commitments. Once you join us, your life is dedicated to our cause. Every day you will doing some kind work that will contribute to eliminating the Plagued Ones in one form or another. It will be difficult, you will battle for your life countless times, and you will no doubt exhaust yourself to the core by the end of each day. We usually have adults because they know how to handle the stress put on them and are capable of taking care of themselves. But... you still want to join?"

    "Yeah!" Zekra cried. "I wanna join! I don't care how hard you make it sound! Just let me join so I can kill all of those Plagued Ones!"

    "Very well then," Len said with a sigh before bringing his gaze over to Terron. "And what about you? Your friend seems to have made up her mind. What do you want to do?"

    Terron felt an uncomfortable shiver go up his spine as he looked over at Zekra. She was smiling giddily and nodded repeated toward him, as if to encourage him to join this organization as well. Zekra was in no way anxious like he was.

    She really wants me to join. Terron thought uneasily. She wants revenge and it's justified... but what about me? What about helping me in figuring out who I am? If we join this club, then how will I ever be able to remember anything about me?

    "If you join, Terron…" Zekra said in the middle of Terron pondering. "Maybe you can find out more about yourself. I mean, we don't know where to even start with figuring out who you are. So maybe if we stay here, it'll somehow lead us to what you're looking for. Plus, maybe being here will help you understand yourself better. What do you say?"

    Well, if I come, we can still be together. Terron reasoned. I'd like to stay with her and I'm sure she'd want the same with me. And maybe she's right about staying here. I don't have anywhere else to go... I don't know anyone else... and I don't know anything about this world. Maybe joining this Fellowship will help me understand this world better along with myself after all. And if I can learn enough, then maybe it'll be easier to get answers. Yeah. That sounds like a good enough reason.

    "Alright, I'll join with her as well," Terron finally answered.

    "You will?" Zekra asked joyfully. "Awesome! Yaaaaay!"

    Zekra started jumping up and down out of pure happiness. Terron heart felt lighter at seeing her so full of vim, but he expressed his feelings in a simple and quick smile rather than a full-blown explosion of energy. Len started to exit the room with King following behind him.

    "Alright, children," Len said as he stopped at the doorway. "Come along. You'll have to stay with us for tonight until we register you two as a team in the morning."

    Terron and Zekra nodded and followed after the two leaders outside. Once they had exited the room, the children were able to see exactly what the rest of the base looked like. The entire tree had been hollowed out from the inside and constructed masterfully. Multiple flights of wooden stairs ran throughout the place. The entire inside was lit by hundreds of small candles that were all sitting on top of small platforms. Many rooms were constructed inside of the wood that had been within the tree and were all at different heights. Some were at the very bottom where the entrance was while others were towards the very top. Terron and Zekra marveled at the sight, but found that no one was awake. Not a single Pokémon was roaming through the place.

    Everyone else was either sleeping at such a late hour or simply was not around.

    "Where's your room?" Zekra asked.

    "It's two flights of stairs upward," Len answered. "This way."

    Terron and Zekra followed close behind the Luxray while King took up the back as Len climbed the many steps of the staircase. The steps didn't creak, thankfully, so Terron wasn't too worried about them collapsing beneath his feet and sending him falling downwards. Even still, he chose not to look down.

    After climbing for a while, the four came to a walkway that led to a particular room. Somehow, the walkway and room were held in place by having one side attached to the walls of the tree and by having some aid of ropes for the other side that were also attached to the wall. The room also had a platform underneath it to add even more support. It looked secure, but it still made Terron feel uneasy about how it was constructed. He felt that it might all collapse if a powerful earthquake were to ravage through the place.

    "Don't worry about how it looks," Len assured, as if he could sense Terron's anxiety. "Everything is tested to make sure that nothing will fall apart. Took a lot of work to make the base like this, but it's possibly one of the safest places I can think of. It has shelter for everything, and everything built here is perfectly stable. The rooms, the stairs, these little paths, even the branches you walk along when going to other sections of this base are all stable. You never have to worry about falling to your death."

    "I guess that makes me feel better..." Terron muttered.

    "Well, come along then," Len said. "I'd like to get some sleep myself you know."

    The four went down the walkway and just like the stairs, it was stable and silent. There were no sounds to suggest that it would collapse. Eventually, they came to the door of Len and King's room, which was shut tight and marked with a strange paw print of sorts.

    "Alright here we are," Len said. "Try not to make too much noise. My team likes to get their sleep… especially if they've had a long and hard mission, like earlier today."

    "Wait, don't you have like ten members on your team?" Zekra asked. "I mean, how many Pokémon are in this room? I don't think you can fit that many Pokémon in there! It seems so small!"

    "As if," King scoffed. "We split up everyone so that we all don't have to be cramped in there. No, you can't fit all ten of us in there. This is just where Len, Éclair, and I sleep. The other seven members have other joint rooms in the other trees of the base. That way we can keep order throughout the entire system here."

    "Oh," Zekra said.

    Len gently opened the door and walked inside along with King. Terron and Zekra glanced at each other for a moment before stepping inside as well. The room was somewhat smaller than the room they had previously been in, but not by much. The floor was mostly a large blue rug with strange patterns. It was made of mostly wool-like material that Terron assumed came from the pelts of certain Pokémon. Along the walls hung a couple of lanterns to add minimal light to the room. Shelves stood about the room with various items and what appeared to be scarves and bandanas hung on small hooks embedded into the walls.

    However, what caught his attention most was the single Pokémon resting on the rug. It was a creature with golden-white fur and nine beautiful tails that curled in several directions on the ground.

    A Ninetales.

    No sooner had the four entered the room did the Ninetales open one of its eyes and looked at them sleepily.

    "Why are you two still awake?" it asked in an almost mystic feminine voice.

    "We had some business to take care of with these two," Len answered as he gestured to Terron and Zekra. "Sorry to bother you, Éclair. We didn't think you'd wake up."

    "I can always tell when someone enters my presence, even while I'm resting," Éclair smiled. "But it's fine. I will see you two in the morning along with you children. Then hopefully I can give a better introduction of myself than I could possibly now. I have had a long day is all and I am much too tired to speak..."

    Éclair's eyes closed once more before her head slumped back onto the carpet. She had fallen asleep once again.

    "Alright, sleep wherever you want," Len said to Terron and Zekra. "Tomorrow I'll get you two your own room right after your registration. For now though, get some rest."

    Terron and Zekra nodded in approval and wandered onto the rug. Then, once they found a comfortable spot to rest, they went to sleep.
    Last edited by SableVulpi; 17th August 2014 at 2:40 AM.

    Credit to Brutaka for the epic banner and Haychel for the image on such banner.

  12. #12
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    First off, a simple spelling mistake.

    Terron had only turned his head slight to find another Pokémon sitting in the background of the room.
    It should be slightly.

    I think there were a couple others, but I forgot what they were. In any case, it's just a case of missing the suffix or plural so nothing too special.

    Gotta say, this was a bland chapter, but the next one seems to hold more promise. And it seems I was right, the Ariados, "Garter" wasn't as bad as the story led me to believe.
    Looking forward to the next chapter.


    Credit to Brutaka for the amazing banner and user bar. Yeah, having 2 is redundant, but it shows you guys my favorite pokemon, what story I had planned and my position in the WoJ.

    Time, there's never enough of it but it's always there to waste.
    -Azurus

  13. #13
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    Chapter 5

    Valor and Vendetta




    As soon as the sunlight poured into the room through the makeshift window, the start of Terron's new life working for the Special Tasks Fellowship began– but not quite in a way he would have preferred.

    "Arise, children," a familiar voice called loudly. "You have had enough rest."

    Terron slowly awoke from his slumber to find that he was staring at the Ninetales he had seen last night by the doorway. Unlike that time, though, the Ninetales was very much awake with no signs of fatigue.

    "You're Éclair," Terron said her, suddenly remembering her name.

    "Yes, we met yesterday," the Ninetales spoke in a more powerful and noble than the one she had used the previous night. "Though, my introductions were insufficient and lackluster due to my fatigue. That is why I would like to try once again to introduce myself to you and your friend as soon as she awakens."

    Not long after Éclair spoke those words, Zekra stirred in her sleep. Her eyes opened slowly before she glanced over at the Ninetales.

    "Ah, you are awake young Zorua," Éclair said. "Did you rest well?"

    "Not really," Zekra answered wearily. "I don't really feel like I slept at all."

    Zekra's eyes then darted around the room for a brief second, hesitating, before she looked back at the Ninetales with a puzzled expression.

    "Hey where's Len? And King?" Zekra asked. "Weren't they here last night?"

    Terron noticed that she was right; the two who had brought him and Zekra into the room were no longer around. In fact, it appeared as though they had never been in this room at all. He found that to be rather odd since the room was was their bedroom after all.

    "Len and King awoke an hour ago," Éclair stated. "They often awaken an hour or earlier before the dawn of each day to prepare for the rest of that day. Such is the way of all members of our team."

    "Oh, I see," Zekra said.

    "Yes. Now that you children are awake, I believe I should properly introduce myself," the Ninetales said. "My name is Éclair. I am the second member of the team organized by the Luxray you know as Len. What are your names, children? Who might you be?"

    "Uhhhh, Zekra," Zekra replied.

    "Terron," Terron answered simply.

    "Zekra, you say?" Éclair pondered out loud. "What a lovely name for a Zorua. And you Terron... pardon me for asking, but what are you? I don't believe I recognize your species."

    "Oh. I'm... a Cubone," Terron answered with some reluctance. "I just don't have a helmet. I... lost it."

    "Such a pity. I have heard that Cubone prize their skulls as their most valuable possessions. Losing one is the same as losing their family members to them."

    Terron didn't say anything to the remark.

    "Hopefully a new helmet will come to you, however," Éclair then said optimistically. "It assists with your species' style of combat quite efficiently and will be very valuable once you start completing missions for us. But enough chatter. I believe you two are supposed to be registered today. Is this correct?"

    "Yep!" Zekra said happily. "We're ready to join you guys and become a team!"

    "Wonderful," Éclair smiled. "Your enthusiasm is a sight to see. Come, children; Len awaits your presence."

    Terron and Zekra sluggishly got up from the warm and comfortable rug before making their way to Éclair. The three exited the room together and walked up the stairs to the much higher areas of the base. Despite dawn having come only a few moments ago, the inside of the base was quite bright and more than enough light filled the area. All of the candles that had been lit were blown out now, and rather recently at that, for wet wax dripped down the candles' sides.

    Yet despite the differences from how the base looked at night, one thing was still the same; nobody was awake.

    "Hey, when does everybody else get up?" Terron asked curiously as he noted all of the closed doors.

    "Mid-morning," Éclair answered. "Many of our teams carry out their work until late into the night. Also, the businesses in town are not open until mid-morning, thus it encourages our members to rest until they most necessarily must. Fatigue has much influence on them, but I do not hold that against them."

    Terron nodded silently. The trio continued to navigate through the tree until Éclair brought the children back to the room they had been in the previous night. The Ninetales gently tapped her paw against the wooden door a few times.

    "I have brought the new recruits," she spoke. "They are ready for you."

    "Thank you." Len's voice said humbly from the other side. "Bring them in if you may."

    The Ninetales pushed the door open and ushered Terron and Zekra inside the room. Once they entered, Terron saw that this room was an office. There were several cabinets throughout the entire room, all shut tightly and locked. Strange footprints marked each cabinet, though it was used more for a symbol rather than accidentally being there from someone stepping on it. At the other side of the room was Len, standing behind a counter. He smiled once he saw the three come in.

    "Well, if it isn't our new addition to the Fellowship," Len said in a pleased tone. "How were they for you, Éclair?"

    "They were enjoyable company," the Ninetales answered. "They will make fine members."

    "Ah, I see," Len said with a nod. "Well then, since you're here, let's get started on your registration. Come over here so we can start that."

    Terron and Zekra walked over to the other side of the room until they were at the desk. It was quite taller than them, so they had to stand a few feet away from the desk so that they could see Len. They anxiously waited to see what they were supposed to do. Len took out pieces of paper from cabinets behind him with a small amount of trouble since he didn't have any hands. Éclair chuckled at the sight of seeing him having trouble.

    "Gah, almost wish I didn't have to take Emdox's shift right now," Len complained as he finally managed to bring a sheet of paper to the table. "It really makes me see the value of hands."

    "Emdox?" Terron asked, catching those words despite them being in a mutter. "Who's that?"

    "He is another member of my team who has the task of keeping information for the Fellowship organized," Len stated. "He registers practically everything from here. New teams, new members, jobs you've completed, you name it, it's all here somewhere in paper. However, today he had to go run an important errand for us since the members of our team who usually take care of that are on a different errand. And they won't be back for another month or two. So, I'm running registration while King is taking care of my position."

    "You guys sure do a lot of work," Terron said flatly.

    "Yes, it's all part of the job. But I don't mind it," Len replied. "Anyway, back to your team registration. First thing's first. What do you want to call your team?"

    "A team name?" Zekra asked, tilting her head to the side.

    "Yes, we have to be able to identity your team somehow," Len answered. "While your 'team' is only at two members right now, it could grow to have more members. Thus, we need to be able to know who works for who in order to prevent confusion. Your team name can be anything... though don't do something ridiculous. Please."

    Zekra stared at Len for a moment of confusion before giving a slow nod and brought her thoughtful gaze to the ground.

    A team name? Terron thought, suddenly feeling uncomfortable and searching through his mind in desperation for an awesome-sounding name. Well, this is pretty sudden. Can I even come up with something cool so quickly? Hmm. Ah, I know what to do.

    "What's your team's name?" Terron then asked Len, figuring that would help spring up ideas. "I mean, even if you guys are the leaders, do you call yourselves by a certain name?"

    "Team Valor," Éclair answered before Len could say so.

    Terron turned toward the Ninetales. A puzzled expression creased across his face.

    "Valor?" he repeated.

    "Yes, Valor," Éclair said again. "Named after what gives each of us strength to fight against an unstoppable enemy. It is not a word that many Pokémon use. Most of the time, it is called Courage or Bravery. Even pluckiness. But the valor we named ourselves after, that is the courage of fighting for a noble cause. Our valor does not fight just for us, but for others as well. Now what will your name be? What word shall represent your team so that, when others look upon you, they shall think of you as the embodiment of that particular word?"

    Terron glanced over at Zekra and saw that an idea was slowly forming in her mind. He would have liked to create a name for the team himself, but since Zekra seemed to have a better idea, he'd let her have the honor of naming their team. After all, the name of Len's team didn't spark any ideas as he had hoped.

    "Team... ... ... Vendetta," Zekra said after the idea had fully formed in her mind.

    "... ... ... Vendetta," Len said in a plain voice.

    Terron looked over at Len to see that he was letting the name sink into his thoughts. Though Terron wasn't sure if he was imagining it or not, he thought he saw a quick spark of something flicker in the Luxray's eyes. Like what happens when one reaches an epiphany of a question they've longed to have answered. However, it had passed so quickly that the Cubone questioned if he had imagined it or not.

    "How does that sound, Terron?" Zekra asked him. "You think it's good?"

    Terron quickly brought his attention to his companion before nodding in reply. It had a powerful ring to it, and also represented them... well, Zekra anyway. But still, it was a name Terron liked and wanted to stick with.

    "Len," Éclair said in a bit louder of a voice than what might have been necessary.

    Len blinked.

    "Oh, yes, right," Len rambled, awkwardly writing on the paper by using his claws that were dipped in ink. "Maybe King should have taken this shift even if he hates paperwork... but okay, Team Vendetta. A fine name I must say. Now we have just two more things left. Who will be the leader of your team?"

    Terron was very sure that Zekra was going to proclaim herself as the leader, so he prepared to volunteer her as the leader as well.

    "He can be the leader," Zekra said as she pointed to Terron before the Cubone could speak his mind.

    "Really?" Terron asked in disbelief, turning his head to her. "You don't want to?"

    "Well, I think you'd make a good leader," Zekra explained with a nervous smile. "I don't think I'd do so well at it anyway. I'm not too good at all that leader stuff. So, you should be the one who gets the say in things since you're probably better at being a leader than I am."

    Terron stared at the Zorua and heard her give a quiet laugh of anxiety. He still didn't understand why she thought he would make a better leader, as he barely even knew anything in the world he was in now, but he didn't feel like questioning Zekra.

    "I suppose that's fine," Terron replied, getting over the shock of the decision.

    Once he had recorded their names and filled out the forms, he awkwardly fumbled with his paws to fold them up neatly. After some measure of success, he carefully bit down on the collection of papers and carried them to a nearby file cabinet, dropping them into the archives and locking them up.

    "Now that you've been registered to our association, we have one last item of business to take care of," Len said to Terron and Zekra. "We have to mark you to let others know that you're associated with us."

    "Mark us? What do you mean by that?" Zekra asked curiously.

    Rather than answer, Len approached them. For a moment, he ominously stared down upon Zekra's form, then lightly placed his front paw upon her forehead. The Zorua winced, holding her breath in confusion.

    "Normally, Emdox has a different technique with our marks and we'd wait for him to return, but because you are of the dark type, you have to be marked in a different way," Len said plainly. "Don't worry, though; you won't feel a thing."

    Before Zekra could ask what the Luxray was talking about, a surge of electricity throbbed from his paw and streamed into her forehead. For a few moments, the currents of yellow energy danced through Zekra's fur. Terron watched in horror as his companion thumped to the floor, her legs limp and useless. Her eyes remained open, if only partially though, showing she was still conscious.

    "Zekra!" Terron cried. "What did you do to her?!"

    "Paralyzed her," Len answered calmly. "Don't worry, though, she's perfectly fine. She just can't move or feel anything."

    Terron was about to say more and started making his way toward the Zorua, but Éclair stopped him with a paw and shook her head in disagreement. Terron, though unwilling, stayed where he was. He watched as the Luxray turned over one of Zekra's paws so that it was faced upward, standing on it and holding it in place. He lifted his other paw, and there was a soft yet startling sound as his sharpened claws slid into view. Terron squinted at them; they were red.

    Terron bit down upon his tongue in revulsion as the Luxray began digging his claws into the pads of the Zoura's paw. He clenched his fists, trying with all his might to trust the old warrior and resist the urge to rescue her from the assault.

    However, as his claws went into the pad of Zekra's paw, no blood was drawn. Terron watched in fascination; he imagined that Zekra would have some kind of reaction, but she could only lay limply upon the floor and witness whatever it was that Len was doing to her. She didn't seem to be in any sort of pain.

    A minute or so passed before Len finally released Zekra's paw.

    He returned to his desk for a moment, producing something from a drawer. It was a round, red berry, still hanging from a vine. Terron recognized this sort of fruit; he had eaten some before, when he had traveled through the groves. Gently, the Luxray opened Zekra's mouth and helped her to chew and swallow the fruit. Only a few seconds later, Zekra seemed to gasp for breath, regaining her mobility.

    Terron sighed in relief at seeing that his friend was okay and unharmed.

    "She bears the mark now," Len stated to Terron. "Now we just have to wait until Emdox gets back from his errand later tonight and then we can give you the mark. Once that's done, you two can start going on missions for us."

    "Where's the mark on you guys?" Terron asked curiously, not spotting any strange brands on Len and Éclair.

    Shrugging, Len and Éclair flipped over their right paws at the same time and showed them to Terron. Etched into the black pads on their paws was a marking that resembled that of a four-pointed star with three lines crossing through the star and intersecting in the middle. On the intersection point of the lines was a single circle. The symbol resembled that of branding marks, though it seemed far less painful. Each of their marks were of a different color however due to the coloring of their fur. Éclair's took the shade of brilliant gold while Len's took on a more electric yellow color that matched the shading of his own yellow fur.

    "These are Emdox's way of the marks. The one I most prefer," Len said as he set his paw down. "However, I don't think mine are too bad. They don't show through the fur as easily through those that don't have pads on their paws, but it's just as permanent. Though mine do take a few days for the wound to heal to make the mark look like this..."

    It was then that Terron noticed Zekra slowly making her way over to them. She was very sluggish in her walking as if she had just woken up from a long slumber, but nonetheless didn't seem to have a hard time moving. Once she came over to Terron, she smiled before allowing him to see her mark. It was in the same shape and style as Len and Éclair's mark, but it seemed to lack the marking of the circle where the lines intersected. Her marking still had the appearance of a scar, but if what Len said was true, then it would look more like their mark in a while.

    "Well, while you two wait for Emdox so he can do the mark for you Terron," Len started to say, "I suppose Éclair can show you your new rooms. Éclair, if you would."

    "I shall," the Ninetales replied before walking toward the door. "This way, children."

    Terron and Zekra waved goodbye to Len before leaving the room with the nine-tailed creature.

    "Your room is in another tree," Éclair stated. "Just as ours room is, your room resides high above others. Allow me to direct you to it."

    The three exited the current tree before going into the one next to it. Once they entered inside, Terron and Zekra saw that had a slightly different structure when compared to the other two they had been in. This particular tree was meant for holding bedrooms as was very apparent by the numerous rooms attached to the walls. In fact, the whole tree seemed to be dedicated entirely to housing Pokémon. Unlike the tree that held many of Team Valor's services, this one seemed to offer none. As Éclair explained to them along the way, the entire tree was meant to be a resting area.

    Eventually, after cimbing up numerous staircases, the three came to a room towards the very top. It may have been the highest room in the entire tree.

    "This is your new room. Team Vendetta's room," Éclair said with a smile before opening the door for the two.

    Terron and Zekra walked inside and saw exactly what their new bedroom was like. It had a similar design to that of Len's master bedroom, and it was approximately the same size, if only a tiny bit smaller. A few empty hooks hung on the walls and a single barren shelf lined the wall as well. There was even a large hole in the wall to serve as a window, just like the other room. However, unlike the other room, this one didn't have a rug to sleep on. There were instead two piles of hay neatly set on the floor. They were a bit larger than necessary, but that was probably because the room might have been expected for larger Pokémon. The two wandered inside as they looked around everywhere, taking in the feeling that this room really was theirs.

    "Do you like the room?" Éclair asked.

    "Yeah! It's great!" Zekra said happily. "It feels a little empty though without having any stuff like you guys did."

    "Your room will soon fill with all sorts of valuables," Éclair smiled. "As soon as you start performing missions, you will have many items to fill the space in your room."

    "Alright, thank you!" Zekra replied before sitting down in one of the hay beds.

    "It was a pleasure," the Ninetales said. "Emdox should return in six hours, so take this time to explore the rest of the base, or take the time to rest. We expect that once you have both been marked, you will do missions starting tomorrow."

    "Already?" Terron asked.

    "Yes, despite being children, we expect you to be able to perform your necessary jobs as soon as possible," Éclair stated. "You may find the errands you must do at the base of the main tree on the Bulletin Board. That is, the tree we left moments ago. Once you have completed your mission, you will report it to Emdox so that he may keep record of it. And you will do this every day of your time here unless otherwise instructed. However, only one mission is required per day. Some missions may require you to be gone for numerous days, but those are exceptions. You are free to accomplish more than one mission per day though should it work to your schedule."

    Terron and Zekra nodded slowly, memorizing everything the Ninetales had just said. Once she had seen their sign of acknowledgement, she turned toward away.

    "I must go now; there are several tasks I must complete," Éclair said. "I will see you two again in the future. Remember what I said, and if you ever require my attention, you know where to find me. I wish you children luck on the path you have chosen to take with us."

    And with that, the Ninetales left the two alone in their new room.




    Terron and Zekra began to wander the rest of the base a short while later, curious to know what the rest of the place looked like. The two at the moment found themselves walking along the odd bridges which allowed more passages into the other trees from high up. Despite the bridges being the branches of the very tree, the walkway held firm and showed no signs of breaking.

    However, that didn't prevent Terron from glancing downward as they walked along the branch. The two were so high up and slipping off the tree seemed ridiculously easily.

    "Why aren't there any kind of safety ropes on these branches?" Terron wondered. "The branches are thick… but I don't think that's going to stop anyone from falling off."

    "Why would anyone fall off, though?" Zekra then asked. "There's plenty of room and there isn't even a breeze out. You'd only fall off if you keep looking down."

    "But what if you lose your balance or trip?" Terron asked. "I mean, I feel like I'm going to trip and fall off the edge…"

    "A lot of Pokémon have great balance," Zekra stated. "We have to or else we'd get into a lot of trouble during battles. Plus, nobody trips… unless you're incredibly exhausted or practically dying."

    Despite the Zorua's words, Terron still felt uneasy about walking across the bridge. However, he kept his words to himself and tried to keep his focus off the ground.

    "Hey, when you got paralyzed, did it hurt?" Terron asked. "I mean, Len basically dug his claws into you foot…"

    "Well, I didn't get hurt physically by the claws," Zekra replied. "I thought I was going to hurt, but I didn't feel a thing. But that didn't matter too much anyway since I really wanted to get out of there, but I couldn't move. That was painful in its own special way."

    Zekra grimaced.

    "I kept trying to move, but my body wouldn't listen!" Zekra cried. "I couldn't even talk! It was horrible with being not being able to get away or even ask what you guys were doing! Ugh! I never want to get paralyzed again!"

    "Hopefully that doesn't happen to me," Terron said as he nervously played with his hands. "I'm supposed to get marked by a different Pokémon, but I don't know if it's in a different way as well. Hopefully it is since what you went through sounds like torture."

    "No, being trapped in your thoughts is a wonderful experience," Zekra muttered sarcastically.

    "Tch whatever," Terron scoffed. "I'll just get over it somehow. Not like I have a choice. But, why do we have to get marked? Isn't there a simpler way to tell we belong to the Fellowship?"

    "Maybe they do this so that they can tell right away if we're members," Zekra suggested. "I mean, we could have badges I suppose… but then we might lose them. Maybe they do this so that you never lose your Fellowship identity."

    "Suppose so," the Cubone shrugged. "Still seems like a pretty drastic way to make you a member. They could have at least made it seem less like an assault and more of a ceremony or whatever…"

    "Well the important thing is that we're members now," Zekra stated. "So, I guess we shouldn't dwell too much on the reasoning for these marks. I mean, it's kinda cool, so I'm not complaining. Except for how they put this thing on me!"

    As the two continued to make their way forward, it was then that a group of three Pokémon came out of the tree the two were headed for; a Vaporeon, Kirlia, and Pupitar.

    The trio seemed to be in a hurry and scurried down the bridge. They quickly passed by the children, but the Pupitar accidentally bumped into Terron as it went by. Thanks to the speed and mass of the Pokémon, the Cubone stumbled backwards. He tried to balance himself back out, but was quick to find that he no longer had a footing on the tree.

    "AHHHHHHH!"

    Terron saw the ground grow closer and closer to him. His eyes grew dry from the falling, but he didn't dare close them. He attempted to land on some branches, but he wasn't able to control his plummet. Even if he managed to steer himself toward one branch, it was too small and would fall apart the second the Cubone touched it.

    Just when the ground was only seconds away, Terron felt something latch onto his back. Immediately, his falling ceased and he came to an immediate stop a few feet off the ground.

    Terron looked up to find that a silky strand had attached to his back and held him firm. His eyes followed the source of the silk to find a certain Ariados towards the peak of the tree; Garter. The silk that prevented Terron from dying was connected to the spider's mouth. Terron felt himself hoisted up by the one strand despite how impossible that seemed and lowered onto the branch he had originally fallen from. The Pupitar and the others were no longer on the branch, though Zekra was still there and smiling in relief.

    The Ariados then made his way down the tree to where Terron was. He removed the silk from Terron.

    "Seems that I managed to catch you in time," Garter said. "Do you have any broken bones or injuries of any sort?"

    "No, I'm fine," Terron said awkwardly. "Just trying to calm my heart down. But what are you doing here? You're Garter… right? Len was mentioning you, but he didn't say much about you."

    Terron took a step back.

    "You're not going to kidnap us again, are you?" he then asked wearily.

    "No, of course not," Garter assured. "I don't have any intentions of doing so. But, like you said before, I'm Garter. I'm a member of Len's team here at the Fellowship. I've been here for about a decade. I'm the one who makes sure no one suspicious enters here."

    "Then how come you kidnapped us?" Zekra then asked. "We weren't around here."

    "Because you two had information that we wanted," Garter explained. "We needed that information in a more descriptive form, but you two wouldn't come with me when I asked. So, I had no choice but to take you two by force."

    The Ariados let out a melancholy sigh.

    "However, I know that doing so wasn't right," Garter then said. "I apologize for my actions. I'll try to find a way to make up for it. I'll promise though that you won't be kidnapped by the Fellowship again. Since you are a team now from what Len told me, there wouldn't be a reason for us to do it."

    "Well, I think I can forgive you," Terron said. "And, you saved my life after all. I think that's a good enough reason to accept your apology."

    "Thanks," Garter said with a smile. "I wish you two luck on your future missions."

    The Ariados then climbed back up the tree to the spot he had originally been sitting in. With the conversation done, Zekra and Terron made their way to the other side of the bridge.

    They entered inside the new tree to find its inside structure was a mess hall. While it was mostly empty now save for a few early risers, it was very clear that every platform here was meant to serve as an eating area. A few tables were spread around the various heights of the tree as well as a few chairs and mats. Zekra and Terron peered downward to the very bottom and saw that there was a small line in front of what looked like a serving area. Behind the counter where all the Pokémon lined up to, there was a Wigglytuff giving out meals to whoever was next in line. Behind the Wigglytuff there was a door, where various Pokémon would go in and out of and sometimes give the meals to the Wigglytuff. It could be assumed that behind that door was the kitchen where everything was made.

    "Huh, looks like they're serving breakfast," Zekra stated. "You want to get something to eat?"

    "Yeah, I could use some food," Terron replied. "I wonder if we have to pay for it, though. I mean, we don't have anything to pay with."

    "Only one way to find out I suppose," Zekra shrugged.

    They walked down all the stairs that lead to the cafeteria and managed to arrive minutes later. The two got in line behind a sleepy-eyed Flaaffy and after waiting for a time, managed to acquire their meals. Thankfully for them, the meals served here were free, so their lack of money no longer concerned them. Terron carried both of their food items to a table where they then started to eat.

    Terron looked down at his meal, which was a strange mix of fruits he had never seen before.

    "What exactly is this?" Terron asked.

    "Berries, I think," Zekra answered. "Don't know what kind, though. Guess you'll have to eat them to find out."

    Terron cautiously picked up a pink, curved berry with a white tip before taking a bite out of it. It was sickeningly sweet and, while Terron liked the sensation it gave him, he was eager to try another berry out of the pile. Zekra appeared to be eating seasoned and cooked pieces of meat.

    Meat of some unknown Pokémon.

    Terron felt incredibly disgusted and was about to leave the table, but he was interrupted by two Pokémon. An Arcanine and Azumarill came toward the table, the Azumarill sitting on the top of the Arcanine's massive head. The large dog took a seat in front of the two children. It dropped a large slab of meat dangling from its mouth onto the table with a loud THUMP! and the Azumarill simply munched on an apple in its paws while staying in its spot on the Arcanine.

    They smiled pleasantly at Terron and Zekra.

    "Hey, you two wouldn't happen to be the new recruits for the Fellowship, would you?" the Arcanine asked. "We heard someone mention something about two children joining, and we were curious to know if that was true."

    "Yeah, we are," Zekra said brightly. "We just joined today. We're Team Vendetta."

    The Arcanine and Azumarill stopped chewing on their food and seemed frozen in place. Though there weren't any hints of emotion to show what the two were thinking, it was easy to feel the awkward tension. Terron stared at the two oddly, attempting to understand their reactions.

    "Sooo, where did you guys hear we joined the Fellowship?" Zekra then asked.

    The two strangers loosened up and started to eat again. They weren't as cheerful as they had been earlier, but at least the two no longer seemed to be giving off that strange vibe.

    "Oh, we heard from Len," the Azumarill answered. "We're his team mates, so the whole team knows the latest news about what's going on around here."

    "I see," Zekra said with a nod. "Yeah, we met a few of your other team members already. King, Éclair, and Garter were their names."

    "How lucky for you," the Azumarill cheered. "But, I suppose we'll introduce ourselves. I'm Rayne, and this is Bane."

    "And what are your names?" Bane then asked. "I don't believe Len told us what they were."

    "My name's Zekra," Zekra replied. "And this is Terron. He's the leader of our team."

    "Hmmm, fine names I say," Bane stated. "I can tell you two will make fine recruits. Under your name, I think one day you two might become quite notable in Fellowship history."

    "Thanks!" the Zorua said cheerily. "We'll try to live up to that idea, right Terron?"

    "Yeah, we will," Terron replied.

    "Wonderful," Rayne said with a smile. "With that kind of mindset, you can accomplish so much. As much as we'd like to keep chatting though, we have to get going since we have work to do. But, we'll see you two again sometime!"

    "Oh, okay," Zekra said. "Well, see you later!"

    Bane and Rayne finished up their meals and got to their feet. The two then left as Terron and Zekra watched them go. Once they were gone, the children finished up their meal in mostly silence before they too left to continue exploring.




    Several hours later, Terron and Zekra came back to their room after having explored more of the base. They tried to find any more notable places within the entire network of trees, and while they did discover a meeting hall for all of the members to assemble to for conferences, they hadn't found much else too worthy of importance. All of the other trees were simply bedroom holders. Yet exploring each and every tree had been time consuming for the two as well as very tiring. By the time they had found their own room after some confusion, they nearly collapsed in their beds from all the exhaustion. Despite how tired they were though from all the climbing and the late hour in the night, Zekra was still very excited about being able to join the Fellowship.

    "I can't believe we've managed to join," Zekra said happily as she looked over at Terron. "It's incredible! We get our own room, free food, and we get to go on adventures every day!"

    "I'll admit this place seems pretty nice," Terron admitted as he lay on his back in the hay. "But we haven't gone on any missions yet. We don't know if those will be any good. The way Éclair was describing it, it almost sounded like a chore."

    "I'm sure it'll be fun," Zekra said. "Don't ruin it! But what time do you want to wake up tomorrow for our mission?"

    "Hmmm, probably in the middle of the morning," Terron answered. "That'd give us some decent sleep time and most of the day will be available to do for the mission. How do we know when to wake up though? Do you guys have any sort of way of keeping time?"

    "Oh don't worry," Zekra said confidently. "I've got that covered. Leave getting up at the right time all to me."

    It was then that someone began knocking on their door. Moments later, a Xatu opened the door and came flying in rather than walking. It landed on the floor in front of the two and then tucked its wings in front of its body to form a vest of feathers. In its beak, held by a strap, was a large messenger bag of sorts that bore the sigil that was scarred into Zekra's paw.

    "Well, well, if it isn't our new team. Team Vendetta, if I remember correctly," the Xatu beamed before stopping in front of the two. "A Zorua and a Cubone. Zekra and Terron."

    "Ummmm who exactly are you?" Terron asked oddly. "And how do you know our names?"

    "Oh, that's right. You two haven't met me yet," the Xatu replied. "My name is Emdox. I'm the one who registers Pokémon here in this particular Fellowship. Or at least usually. Len registered you two since I was gone today. But, he left me with one last task to do for you; marking you, Terron. And giving you this bag. But that can wait. We'll focus on the mark first."

    "Yeah, that's right," Terron said in realization. "But, how do you plan on marking me?"

    "Well hold out your hand so I can see it," Emdox instructed rather than answering the question. "I presume that's where you want your mark as opposed to your feet."

    "Well that depends," Terron said cautiously. "How are you going to put this mark on me?"

    "In a completely painless and claw-less fashion," Emdox assured.

    Terron reluctantly held out his paw toward the Xatu. Suddenly, he felt some unknown presence connect with his mind and could feel it searching for something within there. Terron cringed and squirmed as the uncomfortable feeling of having something alien in his mind overcame him.

    "Don't worry. This will only take one second," Emdox assured.

    Terron grumbled a bit, but otherwise remained still. Terron watched as the Xatu squinted his eyes in concentration. Terron felt the mental presence connect with something in his mind not long after and take complete control of it. Terron was about to yell from the strange sort of mental panic it gave him, but it was then that he noticed something unusual was happening to his hand. In the middle of his palm the flesh slowly began to change to a white shade. It started out as a small dot that was barely noticeable, but then it started to grow. It grew into various lines that spread all over his hand as if an invisible marker were drawing on his palm. They ran in various directions, some crossing over others as a certain image began to form on Terron's palm.

    The Mark of the Aurora Town Fellowship. It, just like Zekra's, lacked the circle at the connection of lines, but it was still the symbol.

    Once the sign had fully formed onto Terron's hand, Emdox finally broke off the connection. The Cubone sighed in relief at knowing that his mind wasn't being invaded anymore.

    "There we go," Emdox said. "You've been marked."

    "How did you do that?" Terron asked in wonder as he touched the marking to find that it felt just like the rest of his skin.

    "Oh, well it's simple really... I just told your brain to change some of the melanin in your paw," Emdox answered. "I simply made your mind change the coloring into the shape of the mark and now that message has permanently been fused into your mind. So just like your friend's marking, but less of a scar and more of a naturally occurring sort of way."

    "You... took control of my brain? And you made it do things?" Terron asked uneasily.

    Terron wasn't quite sure how that was even possible, but something else was bothering him more than logic. A feeling about the idea was what bothered him most. Something about that seemed... unsettling.

    "Yes I did," Emdox nodded. "I am a psychic, and many of us psychics can do just that. But have no fear; I never take control of Pokémon's minds unless for good reason. And even then, I don't do anything drastic with it. And don't worry; not all psychics can do what I just did. Only truly talented psychics can take control of your mind. I know you're worried about that."

    "I'm not worried," Terron insisted.

    "Oh yes you are," Emdox chuckled. "We psychics can also read minds, so you can't ever lie to me without me knowing it. But relax; it's normal to feel worried about others getting into your head. Everyone's susceptible to it, so everyone fears it. Unless, of course, you're a dark type like your friend. I can't get into her mind or even read her thoughts since her kind projects a barrier that blocks off any psychic power."

    "So that's why you can't mark me and Len has to instead," Zekra said casually. "Cool… I'm special."

    Terron grumbled at the remark of that, not liking how his friend was immune to mind-reading and he wasn't. However, then he remembered that he and Zekra were looking for a psychic to help him. Terron's attitude became more positive and hopeful, but he decided he'd ask Emdox later for his assistance. They were in the middle of something right now anyway.

    Emdox then handed the bag he had with him to Terron. Terron opened it up to find that there were a few items inside, namely some kind of map, a small sack filled with a few berries, and a couple of scarves.

    "My last item of business to take care of with you two is giving you your supplies and informing you of some necessary things," Emdox said before pointing to the bag. "That there is your field pack, a bag you bring with you on missions so that you might have somewhere to store all of your items during your travels and while in the dungeons. Inside of the bag is the starter kit we give every team that joins us. First, the map. This map gives the location of every Mystery Dungeon and every city in the region of Shiron. Of course, if you want to know more about such places, then you'll need to look that up elsewhere. But nonetheless, this map is probably the most valuable and useful item you'll ever get from us. Please treat it with care."

    Terron slowly opened the map and spread it out on the floor for him and Zekra to see. It was quite detailed as Emdox had explained and seemed to give a good description of how the entire land appeared. Unfortunately, it had the strange footprints for where the descriptions for what each dot on the map were.

    "What are these footprints?" Terron asked.

    "These are footprint runes" Emdox explained in a surprised tone. "Surprised you haven't seen them before. They're our written language."

    "Terron wasn't really taught how to write." Zekra suddenly explained. "And he wasn't really exposed to footprint runes either sadly. Though I can read them for us. Right Terron?"

    Terron slowly nodded his head while mentally agreeing with Zekra as well so that Emdox would be convinced. Even if it was a lie as to why he couldn't read them, he had to agree with it for now.

    "Hmmm, I see," the Xatu mused. "That's a pity. But I suppose your friend will have to be the one to read for you then. Anyway, onto the rest of the items. The smaller bag holds one Pecha, one Rawst, one Cheri, and one Oran berry. It's a minimal amount than you truly need in when going on missions, but it'll suffice until you get more money to buy some. And the last two items, the two scarves in your bag. One is a Pecha Scarf, which protects you from poisoning at all times if you wear it. The other scarf, the Persim Band, prevents enemies from confusing you and making you attack your allies. Both are sufficient items that will greatly help you in your many quests. However, there are far more efficient items that can do greater feats, but you must acquire those on your own.

    "The last thing I must tell you of is a bit of a review, but it's useful to remember it. As Éclair has told you, you must do at least one mission per day unless the job takes multiple days where you'll be gone for quite a while. We don't care what mission it is, but as long as you do something posted on the Bulletin Board, you have accomplished your assignment for the day unless otherwise said. Your amount of payment depends on what kind of mission you do, though most of the time we'll pay you thirty percent of what the client offered. The other seventy percent will go to us for funds and such. And that is all. Any questions?"

    Terron and Zekra shook their heads.

    "Well alright then," Emdox said. "Then you're all set. May your first mission end in a success."

    Credit to Brutaka for the epic banner and Haychel for the image on such banner.

  14. #14
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    Let's go, Chapter 4. Save the day, Serebii, I can review the old-school way. I'll point things that stuck with me as I read.

    The children cried out for help, but all that came out were muffled shrieks.
    This Ariados got lucky with how the silk got into their mouths. Things would be different if that one detail didn't show up. No matter, this was a good dose of helplessness. As I said on Fanfiction . net though, I expected Zekra to have a more negative and vocal reaction about being taken by a bug for the second time this week.

    Some were high above where only flying types could possibly reach it, while others were close enough to the ground that anybody could crawl through.
    These trees are a beautiful addition to the scenery. Not the best time for Terron to notice, but that was all he could do while tied up.

    He felt a sickening feeling build in his stomach.
    One detail that may have helped this part of the story is to describe how the fire in the cauldrons grew smaller. At night, these would be the most visible. Nonetheless, I like the fear that you inspired in them by going up the tree.

    The scene with the luxray feels right to me. However, I do wonder if it should have more hints of fear and resentment, something you may have hinted at here:

    was a Bisharp. It appeared to be guarding the exit, staring at Terron, seemingly never blinking. Terron immediately turned away.
    The eyes of the luxray also hinted at some paralyzing fear, but it may not be enough of a shown detail. Perhaps he felt a strong sense of how overpowering the luxray is, but it's an all right scene still.


    He, too, felt a twinge of surprise inside him.
    I liked their reaction. It was fitting, and fulfilling to them against whatever those things were.

    The dialogue that Len the Luxray expresses later is quite good at explaining things. It's long, but it gets the job done and it's interesting to Zekra. In return, Zekra's description of the plagued ones was given, and this time it was given in a brief summary while describing how Len paid attention. Perhaps out of hope she didn't cry this time, but I liked how she grew more stotic about this. Maybe she has a plan now to deal with them.

    It hurts to know that we have to hide the truth, and it may feel wrong, but it's necessary.
    This is an interesting idea. I think the debate around this section of the story is foreshadowing the point in time when it's impossible to hide whatever these monsters are. The challenge will be dealing with them before then.

    "I was wondering if maybe you would let my friend and I join the Fellowship,"
    Ha. Excellent. Her desires are fully expressed and she seems glad about it.

    He had never seen her like this and never thought she was capable of being this way.
    Oh sure, all the prey she killed earlier didn't flash in your mind like when you thought of her like some blood thirsty fox? This thought that Terron has seems a little out of place. I expected him to be shocked, sure, but she was the zorua that bothered to kill to eat. Then again, maybe this is overthinking it, but I thought her hunting habits may pop up in Terron's mind when her determination shows up.

    She wants revenge and it's justified... but what about me? What about helping me in figuring out who I am? If we join this club, then how will I ever be able to remember anything about me?
    I think there were italics for thoughts on the Fanfiction . net version of this story. If you intended for them to show up here, they didn't.

    As for what Terron is thinking, I love his hesistation. That's understandable especially after the rigorous treatment that Len notes is in each day when on the task force.

    Yeah. That sounds like a good enough reason.
    Same thing with the italics for the paragraph containing this quote, but it's not needed at long as you're consistent on this site.

    The reason of "I don't have anywhere else to go" is actually pretty strong. In real life, it's the fear of the unknown, and the expectation that you'll be living on the street with little to eat. Perhaps more detail on this fear should be included in the story so that I can further understand where Terron is coming from and why being on his own is truly a bad idea. I do believe it's a bad idea to go alone, but I don't feel many concrete details to explain this fear in Terron. Oh, wait, maybe Terron should ask how likely it is that he'll die, but I thought of that just as I wrote this, so I'll wait for Terron to realize that.

    Terron and Zekra nodded in approval and wandered onto the rug. Then, once they found a comfortable spot to rest, they went to sleep.
    Azurus did have a point about the chapter being bland. I am not sure if it needs a cliffhanger or just a hint of some upcoming internal drama within this tree base (characters getting curious about why two kids are special enough to join). Whatever the reason, the chapter got everyone organized for the next step in the story by putting the two on a team. Great. Perhaps there should have been rumors inside the tree about clouds of plagued ones moving around, too, but what you do about that is up to you. Overall, it satisfied me while letting me wonder how it might have be told better.

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