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Thread: ClicheStorm 2 (PG-13)

  1. #151
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    I would have to say, this fic is not quite as crazy partly due to lack of Hilda. Nate's much more serious, and Rosa's not as inventive. And yeah, not having N (or Hilbert or Hilda) around as much makes it harder to use Pokemon characters. But it's still based on a string of cliches and I am eager to get to some of the crazy stuff later on.

    Although, this chapter was another I've been looking forward to, part of Triste and Colress' sideplot. And I'm glad it got out now. I won't be updating next week, or next month, due to NaNoWriMo coming up. It may not start back up until January; I feel like I need to reassess the path to the next big plot event (the tournament) and the eventual ending. It seems to be dragging on, at least from my end of things, and I don't want to force the story along. However, I do want to finish it.

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

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

  2. #152
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    Kind of a neat way of doing things with the Elgyem and Beheyem. And that's another section down with Colress and Triste. I have to ask though; Has this Colress gone to Kalos like the one in the games did? Seeing as there's a guy who mentions him having had a look around in... Geosenge, I think.

    Yeah, it's kind of taking quite a while to get anywhere at the moment. I think it's a combination of the sidequests, and Curtis. When you solved the mystery for us it took a lot of the speculation away, and we haven't had the same constant whackiness of Hilda to keep things interesting through the boring parts, largely because Rosa's a bit bogged down with her self-revelation about being Keldeo and Nate tends to pull down zaniness with his fairly consistent seriousness. But if you feel like you want to reasses the plot, take all the time you need. I know I'm not going anywhere in the meantime, and I strongly suspect the same is true of the other readers around here.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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

  3. #153
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    Something kinda funny i noticed while watching a friend play Pokemon X - In Parfum Palace there is a guy with purple hair admiring a statue who sings a song about an ancient war in Kalos. Reminded me of Curtis!
    I have:
    Platinum
    Heartgold
    White
    Black
    Rumble Blast
    White 2

    I used to liek mudkipz, then I took an arrow in the knee. However the arrow turned out to be a seaking. It yelled "F*** yeah" so I screamed "FUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!". The seaking's face became that of a troll while mine became forever alone. The situation was super effective.

  4. #154
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    Chapter 35: Weak Points

    June 27
    Nuvema Town

    As it turned out, Professor Juniper was busy, but she let them stay over at her lab for the night and got her father to come visit for a while. According to him, the Splicer was in Drayden's care. It seemed very unlikely that Drayden would let a powerful artifact get stolen easily, especially once Cedric Juniper agreed to pass on word that the new Plasma group was interested in it. So it didn't seem like something to worry about for the time being.

    The next day, Nate, Rosa, and Curtis decided to take a couple of weeks to walk back to Driftveil. They could battle Trainers along the way, check out what Pokemon were around this area of Unova, and see what people in this area might know about the various events going on. And the first interesting thing happened shortly after they arrived in Striaton when Rosa spotted a man with blue hair. “Hey, isn't that Cress?” she asked, pointing him out of the crowd. “He used to be the Water Gym Leader in Unova. Sort of.”

    “Sort of?” Nate asked.

    “Yeah, because the gym wasn't entirely water based,” Curtis said. “He worked with his two brothers to make a Water, Grass, and Fire type Gym in one building. They were said to be a really tough set no matter which one you got, a stumbling point to many League Trainers. But then they decided to focus on the restaurant end of their venture, with battles on the side.”

    Nate seemed thoughtful. “They were tough leaders, huh? Could be interesting to challenge them...”

    “I thought Cress was really cool as a Leader,” Rosa said. “Let's go say hi to him.” And since neither of the other two had objections to that, they went over and introduced themselves.

    Cress was happy to talk with them for a bit; he was watering an herb garden beside the restaurant. “Most restaurants don't mind buying herbs from reputable growers, but for the three of us, we simply couldn't work with some that we didn't grow ourselves. It's a matter of pride as cooks. Well you three certainly have quite a crowd of happy Pokemon with you. One of you trying to be a Water Trainer?”

    “I am, mostly,” Rosa said. “All but my Lucario are Water Pokemon, but River's been with me long enough that I'm not sure about putting her on a bench to focus on a monotype team.”

    Cress nodded. “No shame in doing that. You know, somehow I had the feeling that it was you. Can't say why, though.”

    “I could understand Psychic enthusiasts knowing each other right off,” Curtis said. “Water's different, though. There's all kinds of Water Pokemon, and Trainers who work with them.”

    “Yes, but I still had a feeling about it,” Cress said. “I've met the man who's running the current Water Gym and he's quite different from me. Not bad, although we have distinctly different training and work philosophies. Are you three with the League? We don't have an active Gym, but we're still willing to give League hopefuls a challenge.”

    “I'm not, but these two are,” Curtis said.

    “Yeah, I was hoping to get a battle with you three,” Nate said. “I don't know about Rosa.”

    She blushed a little. “Well, I don't know... I was trying to follow the League challenge, but I don't know how much further I can get. The next two gyms that we've been around would be Elesa's and Clay's. Clay might not be so bad, but I don't know if I could manage Elesa unless I got River a lot stronger.”

    “I wouldn't discount Clay so quickly,” Cress said. “He says he focuses on Ground Pokemon, but he also likes Steel Pokemon and he's been known to run some Grass Ground Pokemon, or Grass moves, in with his team.”

    “Yeah, that would make it harder,” Rosa said, sound dispirited.

    “Oh, I didn't mean to discourage you,” Cress said quickly. “In fact, I'm absolutely confident that a Water type Trainer could win the League challenge, even with a mono team.”

    “Even with Elesa running a Gym?” she asked.

    Cress nodded. “Yes, even with her around; I'd almost say that getting the wrong team on Clay would make that battle harder than taking on Elesa with Water Pokemon. You just have to know your types very well.”

    “But water types are weak to electric moves,” Rosa said.

    “I think he means to consider secondary types as a means to counter Electrics,” Nate said.

    She thought about it. “But having the weakness would only be canceled out if I found Pokemon whose secondary type was resistant to Electric moves. It could work, but still risky...”

    “Then you'd have to find something stronger than a mere resistance,” Cress said.

    When Rosa still looked puzzled, Nate put his hand on his forehead and said, “Remember when I fought her?”

    She nodded. “Yeah, because you totally shut her out by using Signet until her Pokemon didn't have any moves good against a Ghost type... no wait, that was because he's a Ground type too, so the Electric moves did nothing. Hey, then all I'd have to do is find a Water Ground Pokemon and then Electric moves wouldn't do anything to it! Why didn't I think of that sooner?” The others were laughing, but she smiled. A moment of embarrassment was okay if this did finally give her a way to get a badge from Elesa. “I’ll have to check my Pokedex to find one, then figure out where to get it.”

    Cress pointed to the southwest. “Actually, if you head out on the route that way, past the next town over, you'll find a marshy area. That's the closest area from here to find that kind of Pokemon. You still have to train it up because she's good at covering her type's weaknesses too, but that's the kind of Pokemon you'd want to get past her.”

    “All right, thanks you so much for the help, Cress,” Rosa said, beaming.

    “It's no trouble,” he said, smiling back. “Good luck.”

    -+-

    July 1
    outside Nacrene

    For a few days, they stayed in Nacrene. Nate spent much of his time in the town itself, taking on other Pokemon Trainers and deciding which of his Pokemon he wanted to focus on for the tournament next month. Meanwhile, Rosa and Curtis explored the marshy area outside of Pinwheel Forest, seeing what Pokemon were there. “Did you want to go look for Virizion?” Curtis asked her one afternoon. “He's supposed to be around the woods somewhere.”

    “Maybe,” Rosa said, sitting on a rock where she was watching some Pokemon in the shallow muddy waters nearby. “I don't think I’d be as nervous as I used to be around Grass Pokemon.” She frowned. “Of course, that's partly because Cathy keeps sneaking into my room at night and goes to sleep at the foot of the bed.”

    He put his hand over his mouth, trying not to laugh. “Oh yeah. You did scream pretty bad the first time.”

    “A Petlil in your face is not a nice way to wake up,” Rosa said, crossing her arms over her chest. “Even if she does smell nice.”

    “She really likes you, though.” He took off his hat and rubbed his hair.

    “That dye job looks really out of whack now,” she said. Over time, the purple had faded into a mucky brown, while bright yellow peeked through at his scalp.

    “Yeah, but I don't know if I want to treat the roots or try to wash it out entirely,” Curtis said.

    “There you are,” someone called. They looked over to see N and Zekrom walking at the side of the marshy patch of ground. “Did you get to talk with the Junipers?”

    “Hi N, Zekrom!” Rosa said, soon echoed by Curtis. “Yeah, we did. Drayden has the artifact and he knows about what's going on now. It should be fine for now.”

    “His family has been reliable,” Zekrom said, not as upset now but still not happy.

    “I only met him when I challenged him, but I think he's trustworthy,” N said. “Enough people and Pokemon do. Where's Nate?”

    Rosa shrugged. “Somewhere in town. Did you need to talk with him?”

    N shifted his hat. “Not necessarily. I just came to exchange news on our investigations. The four of us are focusing on the coastline and the river now.”

    “You know where Kyurem is?” Curtis asked.

    “Not sure, but we think he's on a ship,” Zekrom said.

    N nodded. “According to the weather records, there have been dips in temperature, especially since late May, about the time Zekrom, Reshiram, and you all felt the balance of power change in Unova. And it's mostly been around the coastline: Castelia's port, Driftveil, Undella, Humilau, all of these places had unusually cold days and the progression of that shift can be followed through most of the days. There are also reports of unusual levels of fog and mist along with the cold. Which is another sign that it could be Kyurem: his sharp concentration of low temperatures meeting with warm waters would cause condensation to form in the air around the ship he's being held on. So we need to look into shipping records, which isn't as easy as the weather.”

    “Castelia would be the place to do that, where the Coast Guard has their offices,” Curtis said.

    “Hilbert's been tying to contact them, among other research he's doing,” N said.

    Rosa thought of something, which she didn't like but felt should be said. “Hey, so... you're looking for a fairly large ship that could hold Kyurem then? One that would likely have mist forming around it?”

    “Yes, that's right,” N said.

    “I wonder if it has anything to do with that frigate I keep seeing around,” she said, flipping open her Xtransceiver. As she thought, a picture she had taken of it in Castelia's port was currently the background. She got off the rock to show it to N. “It looks old, but when you see it from higher ground, like the docking area of Castelia, it has a deck that looks more modern, like it's a replica. While a true old frigate might not be able to handle the cold and weight of Kyurem, a modern replica that was designed properly could, and this one is certainly big enough. Plus, every time I can remember seeing it, there was some kind of mist or fog around, and no matter what I try to say to the staff, they won't let me on board to look around.”

    “Hey yeah, we did see it in Undella's bay on that foggy day,” Curtis said. “Although, it tends to be foggy there many days of the year. Still, it might be.”

    “There was a mist like that in the sewers when we got back home and were looking for him there,” Zekrom said. “And that would have been close to the docks.”

    “I do recall seeing this ship on that day,” N said. “A modern shipping vessel could be more suitable to hiding someone, because it would blend in with the rest. But then, he does like being dramatic, so this replica would fit.”

    “At least it shouldn't be hard to pick out,” Rosa said.

    He nodded. “Right. Then what are you doing out here? I wanted to find you, but I also heard there might be one of the Plasma meeting locations around Nacrene's old warehouses.”

    “We were traveling, but then we stopped here so Rosa could find a particular Pokemon,” Curtis said.

    “Yeah!” she said, feeling excited again. “I'd like to get a Water Ground Pokemon, so I can better take on Elesa and any other battles against Electric Pokemon. I've been watching these Tympoles like Nate does when he wants a Pokemon to keep for training, although I'm not entirely sure what he looks for. It'll grow into a secondary Ground typing, which is perfect because I could train it in the desert near Route 4 until then.”

    “Right, that would help,” N said, although he seemed a bit down saying that. “A Tympole would be a good choice for you.”

    “Is something wrong with that?” Rosa said. “You don't sound too happy for some reason.”

    He shook his head and raised his hands. “No, it's not bad. It's just... I trained a Tympole for a short while too and that just reminded me of it.” N sighed. “Lucky wasn't too sure about humans when I found him. By the time I let him go, because that's what I was doing at the time, he was really upset to leave me. I did find him again, but... well, I hope you find a good friend in a Tympole too. If you want, I could show you an area around here where there should be higher level Pokemon to start with.”

    “That could help,” Rosa started to say. She felt a little bad since something about his old Pokemon friend seemed to upset N still, but he was suggesting it. And then they were interrupted again.

    “Ah-ha, I have found you!” someone called, running from a hill to the east towards them. The man was dressed like he should be a detective: brown trenchcoat, matching fedora, a metallic badge pinned to his coat. And it wasn't just any badge: it was for the Global Police Force, with a holographic panel that was to prove authenticity.

    N was startled, taking a step back. “Wait, you mean...?”

    “Hmm?” The apparent detective looked at N, as if just now noticing him. “Oh. Right. I apologize deeply, Mr... well, sir. But I was instructed by a certain young lady to ignore you not just as a suspect, but entirely, and I have found no evidence that I should be investigating you despite that. So I'll just be ignoring you, no fault of your own.” Then he turned to Curtis. “There you are, Christoph. No, don't try to deny it. My skills will prove your true identity.”

    Curtis brought his hat up to his chest. “What... who are you?”

    “Yeah, and what do you want with Curtis?” Rosa asked, not liking him.

    The man took off his hat and gave a bow. “I am Looker, detective extraordinaire of the Global Police. I was instructed to take on a search for the runaway star Christoph, and thus I have found you. You didn't make it easy, no, what with traveling around the region so much. But not even your rudimentary disguise techniques can hide you from my detecting experience.”

    Curtis rubbed his hair. “I really should've have gotten a professional hair dye, right? Fine, I am Christoph. But I’m not going back. I left for a reason and I won't return until I’m satisfied. So tell the studio that.”

    “It wasn't the studio or your manager who sent me,” Looker said, putting his hat back on.

    Puzzled, he asked, “My parents, then?”

    He shook his head. “No. I was sent by the Castelia police to find you before your parents did. Otherwise, they wouldn't have involved someone as highly ranking as myself in the search, even if you are globally famous. And, I really do need to take you in to the police. No, don't worry, you aren't being suspected of a crime. We're taking you in for your own protection.”

    “Why does he need to be protected?” Rosa asked, looking at Curtis. He seemed a little pale now; maybe he knew something.

    “I couldn't really say here and now, sorry,” Looker said.

    “N-no, it's okay to let them know,” Curtis said, looking down. “They're my friends and I’d rather them know.”

    “Hmm,” Looker looked at them (although not directly at N, since he was still ignoring him), then nodded. “If it's what you want. Christoph, one of the first things the Castelia police did once you were reported missing was check into your bank, where they found the papers you had left for them. That started an investigation into your parents and your studio manager, which quickly took a dark turn. They were taking income that rightfully should have stayed with you, and they were setting you up to be killed.”

    “I knew they were taking money from me,” Curtis said. “I wanted to be free of that, and their control. They did many suspicious things, but I didn't think they were seriously out to kill me.”

    “It is a terrible thing, but they were already working at it,” Looker said. “First they were going to stage an accident at a party, but once you took the unusual route of showing rebellion through not drinking, they settled on poisoning your meals. Really, you ran away in the nick of time. But now we've lost track of your parents and the manager, so I need to take you into protective custody until your birthday, at which point you'd still need to be careful, but that would take out their main motive against you.”

    “You'd better go then,” Rosa said, then hugged him. She'd heard him complain about how much of a control freak his manager was, dictating everything from his meals to who he could be friends with, but they hadn't suspected how much worse his parents would turn out to be. Hopefully she could still call him; although he needed the protection, she wanted to reassure him with some familiarity. “I’ll miss you, but it's better that you'll be safe.”

    “I'll miss you guys too,” Curtis said, patting her back. “I was hoping I could at least be around to see Nate in the tournament.”

    “Ark!” Next to them, River was looking up at them. She poked Curtis again.

    “I’ll miss you Pokemon too,” Curtis said.

    “She said that she wants to go with you,” N said.

    Rosa brightened, saying, “Oh yeah, if you had River with you, then you'd have a Pokemon that was definitely good for a battle. Hey, Looker, will he be able to keep his Pokemon?”

    The detective nodded. “Of course, we wouldn't dream of taking them away. And a person's Pokemon can be their best defense, so it's really nonsense if we're taking him under protection.”

    That made Curtis feel relieved. “Okay. I'll take good care of River, I promise.”

    “I'm sure,” Rosa said, taking the Lucario's Pokeball and setting it so she could gift it to Curtis. “Thanks, River; I’ll miss having you around too.”

    River gripped her hand and nodded, to which N translated, “She knows it's your wishes that he be well-protected, and that this should be best for both of you.”

    “Oh, right,” Looker said, putting a hand on his chin. “Well I'm still ignoring a certain someone so, young lady?”

    “Yes, what?” Rosa asked.

    “I need to tell you something rather serious,” he said. “Aside from what's going on with Christoph. I have other investigations I’m carrying out in Unova at this time, and for one of them, I got word that just this morning, Ghetsis was seen in the vicinity of Opelucid by the Gym Leader Drayden. Drayden was unable to apprehend him at the time, but the former Plasma sage is suspected to still be in that area. Due to certain reasons that you may or may not know, the Leader told me that he hopes that neither of the two Kings, nor the dragons with them, were around Opelucid today.”

    “Wait, there?” N asked, concerned. “They could be there, or Icirrus, they had things to do in both places.”

    “The police are keeping a watch over the town and surrounding countryside,” Looker said. “But if you have a way to get in contact with those two young men, you probably should warn them.”

    “All right, we'll do that,” Rosa said. Then Looker left with Curtis, heading back towards Nacrene. When she turned, N was already on his Xtransceiver. “Is Hilbert going to be all right?”

    “It depends on if Ghetsis is on his own or with the Triad,” N said. “And the latter's more likely. He's not picking up yet. Zekrom, what do you feel from Reshiram?”

    “They're in trouble,” she said, sounding fretful and looking down at the ground. “I should go help them, but...”

    “You're at risk of being captured too,” Rosa said. “Wait, I'll call Nate. He can fly there with Rune if Rune knows where to go.”

    “He should know where Opelucid is, and be able to help track them down,” N said. “Do that... please.”

    -+-

    Tubeline Bridge

    Hilbert and Reshiram were walking through the bridge, getting to where they could reach Iccirrus on foot. “I heard that rock slides have made Twist Mountain too dangerous to go through,” Hilbert said. “I guess that would make Icirrus quieter than usual.”

    “We didn't really spend much time here last we went to the tower,” Reshiram said.

    “Are you doing well?” he asked, looking at his companion. He was pushing himself a lot lately, insisting on training even when his Pokeball stats suggested that he should be getting tired. Even on days like this where they were mostly researching and trying to find people who might know helpful information, he didn't want to take a break to rest from walking or interviewing.

    “I'm fine,” Reshiram said.

    “That's a lie,” a woman said, appearing where she hadn't been seconds before, a few paces ahead of them. The fabric of her black uniform rippled as a train passed under them on the other portion of the bridge. “Isn't it?”

    “You...” Reshiram growled, tensing up and preparing for a fight.

    “What do you want with us?” Hilbert said, although he was already thinking of how to get out of here.

    Then a second member of the Triad, the other woman, appeared near her associate. “You haven't been honest with how recent events have been effecting you,” she said, in an inappropriate calmness. “We know. We've been watching.”

    Recalling how they had managed to render Kyurem ineffective, through words questioning his integrity towards what his power was, Hilbert decided to take Reshiram's arm and pull him back. “You're more than just a symbol,” he said.

    “Is it more important for you to be a person, or a symbol? You're a symbol to undergird the stability of power in the world; is it more important to pursue your individuality, or to keep that stability for the sake of the people?”

    “I've been able to do both before,” Reshiram said, getting angry. “Besides, you've undermined our stability and messed with our family. I won't let you get away with that.” Then he caused a burst of flames to erupt from underneath the two women. They weren't entirely human, though, so while it hurt them, it didn't stop the Triad.

    Hilbert then had a strong feeling that he knew where their third member was; behind them, ready to attack him, not Reshiram. Both he and the Triad were gijinkas, Hilbert being Dark, and he knew the male of the Shadow Triad was a Bug type, so this was probably more as a blow to Reshiram's stability than actually being against him. But Hilbert was the White King; he wasn't going to let them do what they wanted with his partner, at least not without doing everything he could against them. He caught the Triad's intent and turned his own power against him, turning at the right moment to grab him and flip him forward to where the other two were. It probably didn't do much more than stop the attack... but it did put him in sight of Reshiram.

    “The Ghost one didn't get her hair burnt in my attack,” Reshiram stated quietly to him, just before he became enveloped in a light that returned him to his dragon form.

    “Gotcha,” Hilbert said. He knew he wasn't as skilled as these three, so they'd have to take any advantage they could get. The Ghost member of the Triad had vanished, but he kept his detection sense alert in order to catch her when he could. And by his side, Reshiram roared as he sent off his next attack.

    Then Hilbert began to get a bad feeling. While looking around, he spotted a man in the distance, one with green hair and a gray cloak. Then another dragon's roar filled the air, the call of a mad Hydreigon that had taken out Reshiram once before. On stepping closer to Reshiram (to avoid being attacked from behind as easily), Hilbert began releasing his other Pokemon to join the fray. This was not going to be easy... but they weren't going to make it easy on them either.

    -+-

    Neo Plasma Headquarters

    “Sir?” The Plasma woman knocked on the door frame of the office.

    “I said, in a minute,” Colress said, his eyes on the screen in front of him. He was nearly done reading through this battle journal of one of the non-Plasma affiliates in the mineral drink boosts group. Whatever it was probably could wait.

    “You said that five minutes ago.”

    He read over the last line and then, in annoyance because he wanted to take notes and fill in the comparison chart, he turned to her. “What is it?”

    “Sorry, but we need you to check over the Shadow Triad,” she said. “The regular doctor on board is not sure what to do, but he says that you know more about them.”

    “Well their genetic makeup is unique... wait, the doctor sent you to me?” Colress got up. This could be interesting.

    She nodded. “Yes, sir. They got into a fight with the White King and Reshiram, and got injured pretty badly.”

    Okay, maybe he should have paid attention the first time. If they had already gotten Reshiram... “I see. What happened?” He glanced around, then realized that Triste was missing. Where was that Elgyem? He was usually hanging around Colress while he was at work; he knew Triste had been there at least an hour ago, when he had been chatty and trying to get him to play. But although it worried him, there was what could be going on and he had to slow it down. It was too soon for when he wanted to move, by at least a month. He walked out of the lab office and headed towards the room the Triad tended to stay in, near Ghetsis' office.

    The woman had to hurry to keep up with him. “Uh, well I didn't get the full story, but it seems they encountered each other and the Triad tried to get Reshiram as well, to increase the power and authority we hold. From what I heard, both sides got wrecked up badly and they didn't take the dragon. We might be able to sneak in and get Reshiram without the Triad at this point, though.”

    Good, it wasn't quite at the brink of trouble. He shook his head. “No. If the Triad went to the point of fighting the White King, then the public is going to find out that they're around and the League will do everything they can to keep Reshiram protected. Probably Zekrom too, which may reveal that they can't find Kyurem. They did have a chance, but it's passed us and we're going to have to be more cunning next time.”

    Both sides must be injured. He'd have to check into reports to see how Hilbert and Reshiram fared. And now the Shadow Triad would be injured, when they were one of Neo Plasma's vital assets. Getting them healed up could be troublesome. They were unusual gijinkas, almost of an entirely different category from all other beings. He'd have to advise some mixture of human and Pokemon medication and hope it worked. Even if he knew the most, he didn't know as much as their creator, who was dead and thus unable to say what methods worked and what didn't. Still, Colress was the best expert on hand to deal with them.

    He was going to move to the area the Triad would be, but then he finally spotted Triste: in with Kyurem somehow, hovering rather close to him. That derailed his current line of thought. “Shoot... I’ll be with them in a moment.”

    “Sir? We need you,”

    “I know, just,” he moved to the other transferal point, “if they're still bleeding, spray a Pokemon's Hyper Potion on the wound and bind it tightly; make sure it's Hyper, because they react differently to Max. If it's any status, Full Heal and not any single-condition remedies. I won't be long.” Then he moved into Kyurem's chamber. “Triste, I hope you're not causing trouble.”

    As usual, Kyurem didn't react. The dragon seemed to be asleep, although readings Colress had taken made him doubt it was a true sleep state (it was an inactivity on top of his already reactionary-thought-only state). Triste was hovering only inches from the back of Kyurem's neck, his glows softer than normal. And he didn't react either, not until Colress got hold of him.

    “What are you doing?” Colress asked, pulling Triste close to him. He could feel the coldness through his coat and shirt. “Your core temperature must have dropped; you'll freeze yourself like this. Come out of here.”

    “Nhhmm hmm,” Triste replied, shivering now. He reached up, touching his chin. “Co'ess.”

    While he walked back out of the chamber, he patted the Elgyem's hand away. “Don't worry me like that. I just got word that I need to tend to the Shadow Triad, who managed to get beat up for once, and now you're distracting me. We could get into a lot of trouble with Ghetsis for this.”

    Triste murmured again, but clung close to him and for some reason gave Colress the impression that he was happy. Pokemon were strange creatures that could do some ridiculous things, he thought. But, humans were the same way many times. For instance, he felt relieved that he'd found Triste before he'd actually touched Kyurem and got severe frostbite, when he should be mad at the Pokemon getting into trouble like that.

    However, he couldn't let emotions like that rule him. Once in the Shadow Triad's room, he got Triste under a blanket to rest and warm up before checking on the Triad to see what could be done for them. The male of the group was severely burned, to the point where the regular doctor had put an apparatus on him to help him breathe; that could stay, though he did need to be hit with a Full Heal or the burns wouldn't get any better. The Ghost female had come in conscious, but was now unconscious and suffering from a burn and an injury that must have come from a Dark attack. The latter was an interesting sign, as Colress had been told that Hilbert would have no attacking moves. If the attack had come from him, then he and his brother would be able to learn moves outside of the movesets that had been planned for them. The last of the Triad, the Poison female, was burned but not in too bad of a shape, the condition of her siblings considered. Still, even Triste in his near frozen condition was better off than her.

    Yet he kept finding himself glancing back at the Elgyem while helping the doctor get the Triad into better conditions. It shouldn't be so distracting. Maybe he was just affected by how much he'd been working lately. That made sense, so he kept in mind to take a day off to unwind sometime soon while he got the rest of the day's tasks completed.

    -+-

    When Nate arrived in Opelucid, he consulted Rune, who led him to Route 9. There were police cars parked on the other end of the short road, causing some grumbling by the gathering of bikers nearby. At a multistory shopping mall nearby, there were people peering at the scene, but not going over. “What's going on?” he asked the cop who was blocking the way to the bridge.

    “Sorry, we're conducting an investigation into a rather severe battle that took place here,” the officer said. “Also, are you on your own?”

    “I've got my Pokemon with me,” Nate said, glancing at Rune. The Sigilyph had flown a bit past the cop, checking things out.

    “That's good, but you probably should get back into town or in the mall over there around other people. We've been tracking a dangerous criminal in this area.”

    Shifting uneasily, Nate asked, “Is this about Ghetsis? I came looking for Hilbert.”

    “I’m sorry, I can't say anything at the moment. Please leave this area be for now.”

    “All right,” Nate said, waving for Rune to come back to him. “Well now what? Get a good idea of what's going on?”

    Rune cooed and a few images flashed through Nate's mind. The Shadow Triad attempting to demoralize Reshiram like they had Kyurem. Two helicopters leaving the scene. One of the cops handing over a Pokeball to a large muscular old man with an impressive white mustache. After asking Rune to show him the last one again, Nate decided to see if he could meet with Drayden at the Gym here. It would only take a few minutes to get there.

    While he had seen a couple of impressive Gyms on his journey, seeing the Dragon Gym in person left Nate in a bit of awe. There was a huge structure of a dragon four stories tall, seemingly hovering in the space of this tall gym. Not only that, but the statue was moving, apparently in response to a platform in front of it that was descending to ground level. There was a man sitting at a counter by the door. “Hey, good to see you, but I’m afraid that the Gym is temporarily closed,” he said. “Something came up and Drayden isn't available right now.”

    “Is he here, though?” Nate said. “Something important has come up and I'd like to speak with him.”

    The man shook his head. “I'm sorry, but he said no meetings today. It was an emergency.”

    “I think we're talking about the same emergency.”

    At that moment, a girl not much younger than him came running through the door. She just waved at the attendant, heading for the moving platform, but then stopped on seeing him. “Hey wait, are you Nate?” she asked. “It's been a long time since I saw you.”

    “It has?” he asked, puzzled.

    “I'm Iris,” she said, smiling, but looking at Rune for a moment. “I met you briefly months ago, when we were getting Cheren lined up to be a Gym Leader, but I've been hearing a lot about you lately. So you want to see Drayden, huh? Well, could I see your Sigilyph's Pokeball?”

    “Sure,” he said, taking it out of the slot to hand it to her. He had an idea what she was looking for; hopefully it helped convince them to let him in.

    “Oh, I thought so,” Iris said, then handed the ball back. “Is he lending Rune to you?”

    He shook his head. “No, I’m using Rune in my team at the moment. But I did come over here on his behalf.”

    “Who is this?” the man at the desk asked.

    Iris shook her head. “Don't worry about it.” Then she looked up at Nate. “I think you should come in back with me.” Then she went back to the platform, waiting for Nate to get on before giving it instructions to move around to the back of the dragon statue to the back area of the gym.

    “We weren't able to make contact with Hilbert, but through one thing or another, we figured that I'd better come up here instead of N,” Nate said as they arrived. “Do you know what happened?”

    “Oh yeah, grandpa called me in to get here in a hurry to help him out,” Iris said. “Hilbert's in the hospital. Apparently he and Reshiram got into a fight with the Shadow Triad, and then Ghetsis with his Pokemon showed up too.”

    “And the police gave Drayden Reshiram because he was injured?” Nate asked.

    “Wow, you're good,” Iris said, nodding. “Yeah, that's right. After we got word from the Junipers that Plasma might want to Splicer, grandpa must have insisted on taking in Reshiram, since his gym is a more secure place than a regular Pokecenter. They're up a level.”

    The back of the gym resembled a rocky mountainside more than a building, even the cave-like offices. There was a variety of Dragon Pokemon throughout this room, but several were hanging out near the third story platform, where Reshiram was curled up in a corner in his dragon form. His white fur was matted in places by blood and the fiery light around his tail wasn't as strong as Nate had seen before. And the man that Rune had picked up on was standing near him, trying to do some cleaning of the legendary dragon after patching up the worst of his wounds.

    “Grandpa, Nate here came by to check up on Reshiram for N and Zekrom,” Iris said, leading him over.

    “Where are they?” Drayden asked immediately, pausing in his work. Reshiram even partly opened his eyes, half-asleep but alert to the names.

    “I left them with my friend Rosa in Nacrene,” Nate said. “They'd been found by some detective named Looker, who told them Ghetsis had been seen up here. Then N tried to call Hilbert and didn't get a response. When I left, they were going back to the hotel we've been staying at.”

    “Nacrene's safe enough, although I'd rather they be elsewhere,” Drayden said. Reshiram grumbled softly, making Drayden put a hand on his side. “How is Zekrom dealing with it?”

    “She was quite distraught, since she knew they were in trouble,” Nate said. “N was doing his best to console her, although I know he's worried about his brother as well.”

    Drayden rubbed his chin. “Hmm. Let them know that they can come tomorrow morning, after sunrise. I'll have Iris wait by the Pokecenter, so they should fly directly there. Six o'clock should be suitable.”

    Nate nodded. “All right, I'll tell them.” With that assurance, Reshiram closed his eyes again.

    “Hilbert was taken out in bad shape, so I don't have any news on his condition, other than it's bad,” Drayden said. “Hopefully I can tell them something more in the morning. In a somewhat fortunate way, the only one who got out of that battle in any decent shape was Ghetsis. I don't like that he got away again, but we won't need to worry about the Shadow Triad interfering for a little while. That should cut down on the danger this new form of Plasma presents, although we still must be careful around them.”
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  5. #155
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    Well, I meant to focus on this this month, but then I had ideas for awesomeness in the middle of November and FINISHED THIS FIC! Well, almost, I have like one chapter that needs scenes written. But it will be regularly updated until the end. Which... really isn't far off. I decided to forget about mimicking the game and just get to the awesome parts. But that still required a little set up, and thus this chapter came about.

    Also, someone over on fanfiction net asked for clarification on the Pokemon teams. I understand that; there's a lot of Pokemon characters and much fewer translators, so we don't see as much of them. However, the jump between chapters 35 and 36 is about a month and a half, during which there are a lot of off-screen evolutions and the off-screen capture here of Rosa's new Tympole. So here is the primary cast Pokemon roster for the PWT arc:


    Extra: ??? (??? OT ???)

    Rosa's team: Dewott (Bard), Frillish (Medusa), Swanna (Grim, OT ???), Palpitoad (Elda), Lanturn (Chuchu)

    Nate's team: Emboar (Ruby), Eevee/??? (Patience, OT ???), Golurk (Signet, OT Colress), Sigilyph (Rune, OT N), Zoroark (Felix), Petlil (Cathy)

    Hugh's team: Serperior (Vino), Unfezant (Tam), Conkeldurr

    Curtis' team: Spiritomb (Spectra), Snorlax (Lorax), Lucario (River, OT Rosa)

    Hilbert's team: Chandelure (Madeline), Alomomola (Loch), Volcarona (Ember), Braivary (Regal), Reshiram

    N's team: Zekrom, Zoroark (Zane), Vanilluxe (Pierre, OT Hilda), Klinklang (Tock)

    Hilda's team: Serperior (Fedora), Gothitelle (Frank, OT N), Cinncino (Mimi), Scrafty (Tarzan), Exadrill (Olette)

    Colress' team: Beheeyem (Triste), Magneton (Argent, OT Nate), Metang (Cabal), Magnezone, Klank


    As for that extra one, there will be a special guest character appearing for the tournament, someone that in-game can show up at the PWT stadium. Patience also evolves during the arc. That's what you have to look forward to in the coming weeks!
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  6. #156
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    IIIIIIIIT'SS BAAAAAAAACK!

    *Reads*

    ...And it took a sudden turn for the dark, too. That's quite a lot of offscreen stuff, but if you say you want to skip through that's fine.

    Do you think that the party know that Virizion (I kept trying to write that as Vivilion...) is waiting for them ovr by Opelucid?

    Hmm... an Extra. This will be someone who's obvious in hindsight, but we'll never even get close to guessing. My guesses would be Red or Blue.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by scizorstrike View Post

    Hmm... an Extra. This will be someone who's obvious in hindsight, but we'll never even get close to guessing. My guesses would be Red or Blue.
    Good statement. There's hints.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  8. #158
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    Well that explains why Hilbert won't be there for the big finish. Typical Trollfreak for not including Hilda/Hilbert in the bw2. :I Anyways this is a cool chapter and yeah hilda is the main reason clichestorm1 was so awesome.

  9. #159
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    Chapter 36: Mandatory Tournament Rule

    August

    For the next few weeks, things were pretty quiet from Team Plasma again. Sightings of their black-clad members were getting scarce again. Somewhat worrisome, the replica frigate that was suspected of holding Kyurem was not seen at all during those weeks. The weather institute reported no unusual cold or foggy spots, and what ships the coast guard searched had no evidence of holding the dragon, or any stolen or missing Pokemon. The summer was cooler overall than average, but there were still hot days and nothing that indicated unusual activity from Kyurem.

    Reshiram recovered before long, but was kept in Drayden's Gym because Hilbert had fallen into a coma. The Opelucid hospital did what they could, but something the Triad had done to him in the fight kept him from fully recovering. In the meantime, N and Zekrom decided to hide out in the wilderness. With N's talent with befriending and understanding Pokemon, it was easy for him to build up a network of wild Pokemon willing to keep an eye out and send warning if trouble came around them.

    Although not much new came out from Curtis, the news about the trouble he was in broke out online. The police were still looking for his parents and manager, while the rest of the studio was busy trying to save their image and reputation from the scandal. Curtis released a couple of public statements to his fans as Christoph, mostly that he would be making less public appearances than before but that he was going to get back into recording music sometime in the future. And he was allowed to call Rosa again, albeit at certain times so that they could be sure of the security of the connection.

    They saw more of Hugh, as he was also training around Driftveil for the tournament. He had lost his leads into the new Plasma, and somewhat surprisingly, started talking civilly with the old members of Plasma. Once he learned of the weather evidence, he too started observing ships that passed through.

    Meanwhile, Rosa and Nate continued training their Pokemon. Rosa was working mostly on her new Palpitoad Elda along with her Lanturn Chuchu, to get them to a level where they could readily handle Elesa's fourth badge challenge. On the other hand, Nate had gotten his team to even levels, so he was still working on all of them, saying that he would decide when the tournament itself came.

    The days passed, and sooner than they thought, the day of the tournament was next.

    -+-

    August 17
    Driftveil

    Driftviel was packed with people that weekend. Even with the number of hotels there, every room had been filled and people were being sent to hotels over in Nimbasa, or even Castelia. Fortunately, Nate had been given two passes to free guaranteed rooms over the event, so he had been able to secure a place near the stadium for both himself and Rosa.

    Rosa was currently in his room, reading a leaflet on the events while siting on the couch. “They're saying a local celebrity will be acting as the event's host on stage. I wonder if it's going to be Curtis? He said he was going to be busy.”

    “Could be,” Nate said, while reviewing his Pokemon. He knew he wanted to take Ruby into the battles; she was now an Emboar and had been with him from the start, so it felt right to have her. And he also knew that he didn't want to take Patience. While she tried her hardest and was now much better behaved (she had even asked before taking a bracelet from Rosa's things to investigate), she had yet to evolve. An Eevee would not only be behind the rest of his team in power, but the unpredictable nature of their evolutions meant that she could also be a hindrance if the type she evolved into unbalanced his team of three. After all, this wasn't a game and there were more environmental effects that might influence her.

    “Oh, and there's supposed to be a special mystery guest during the tournament too!” Rosa said. “So many things they're keeping under wraps still.”

    “It's probably to boost excitement and anticipation,” Nate said. “What's their guest for?”

    “It says that it's going to be a Gym Leader from a foreign League, who's going to give a special exhibition match with one of the Unova Gym Leaders, among other exhibition matches the day after tomorrow's tournament. Plus, the visiting Leader might challenge the winner of the tournament, if that person decides to offer it. I wonder who they're gonna bring over. There hasn't been any talk in town about someone like that.”

    “They might be keeping a low profile until tomorrow.” Rune would be a good choice, since he was quite powerful with a variety of moves. Signet as a Golurk could be a help too, although then he'd want a Water-type counter so Cathy would go if Signet did. But Cathy was still a Petlil; he would want to find a Dawn Stone, and fast, if he wanted to make the best use of her tomorrow. Felix could be a good choice too, especially paired with Rune. Felix was a Zoroark now, so he was strong. Maybe not as much as Ruby or Signet, but he had the advantage of his ability to confuse their opponents and keep them on edge. Although, once it came out that he had a Zoroark on his team, his competitors would likely stay cautious in case he had Felix out.

    “Yeah, could be.” She set the leaflet aside and looked at them. “So are you guys nervous or excited? Most of you are quiet like normal, well except for Felix and Cathy, but that's normal.” She looked over at where the Zoroark and Petlil were talking back and forth, batting a ball between then across the floor. Patience was watching from the bed, but not jumping in.

    “I'm mostly tired of waiting for this to happen,” Nate said. “I'd like to get to tomorrow sooner, if possible.”

    Rosa grinned. “That's it?”

    He shrugged. “It's the inevitable tournament rule, which states that if you're playing a video game and a tournament is mentioned, more likely than not, you'll find yourself being roped into joining. So I’d like to get the mandatory event over with so we can get on with things.” That made Rosa laugh, so he laughed too.

    -+-

    August 18

    The Pokemon World Tournament Stadium opened up early in the morning with a festival-like atmosphere. The stadium building itself was kept closed until one in the afternoon, but the plaza surrounding it was buzzing with activity. Many colorful stalls were selling souvenirs, Pokemon goods, clothing, and food. Over on the east side of the stadium, a stage had been set up where various Pokemon Trainers that pursued ways other than battle showed off what their Pokemon could do.

    And ominously, there was a ship in the stadium docks that stood out from the rest. It was over three times the size of the next largest boat there and surrounded by a low hanging mist. It was the replica frigate, out in the open again after weeks of hiding.

    Nate and Rosa made their way through the crowd, to the docks where fewer people were coming and going. As expected, they found Hugh there, observing the ship from the dock it sat besides. The ship was completely closed up, without a sign of anyone on or from it. “They're just sitting there, doing nothing in order to taunt us,” Hugh said. “At least it feels that way. None of the dock workers remember when exactly that ship got in, or if the gangplank was down to let anyone off. They say they haven't heard a peep out of the crew. I tried flying over it, but it has a shield that kept Tam from wanting to land on the deck.”

    “I’m afraid that there isn't enough concrete evidence that we have to say that Kyurem is on board that ship,” Nate said. “Even if it is the main suspect. If we tried to get on board, we'd only be asking for trouble, especially if it turns out not to be affiliated with Plasma.”

    “Reshiram or Zekrom might be able to say if Kyurem is there, if they get up here next to it,” Rosa said. “But, right next to where Plasma is is not where we want them to be.”

    “Well what about you?” Hugh said, looking at her. “If not you, couldn't you call on one of the other swordmons?”

    “I don't know,” Rosa said, scratching her head. “And I'm not sure the others would want to come out here with all these people around.”

    Nate nodded. “Yes, while they should be able to sense his presence, the fact that there's so many humans around will keep them from coming here.”

    “Good grief,” Hugh muttered, shaking his head. “Well I'll keep an eye on it during the morning, but I'm in the tournament, so there's not much I can do about watching it past noon.”

    “Wouldn't it make more sense to keep an eye on the crowd, to see if they're out there?” Rosa asked.

    “I doubt they'd wear the all-black uniform on a day like this,” Nate said. “At least if they had some common sense.”

    -+-

    “Are you sure about this?” the man from Plasma asked, seeming nervous. “I mean, in this crowd, I would stick out like a sore thumb in all black like this.”

    That was the point. But he couldn't be told that. “You're not going to be in the crowd,” Colress said, smiling and speaking reassuringly. “You're going to be right here in this side hole of the Driftveil-Castelia tunnel, monitoring communications and looking for what the police are looking for. The black will help you blend into these shadows; that along with the rock curtain camouflage will keep people from noticing that you're here. I've been planning this day from in its entirety carefully.”

    “I see,” he said, relaxing. “Then how am I pulling out of here?”

    “If things go well, I'll let you know to take down the equipment and head to Castelia through the tunnel around sundown. We'll pick you up tomorrow unless I send further instructions.” He looked at his Xtransceiver. “On the other hand, if something doesn't go quite right, I may instruct you to head directly back to the ship. Don't worry about sticking out. Just get right back to the ship if I say so. Clear?”

    He nodded. “Clear, sir. Although I hope it doesn't come to that.”

    “Me either,” Colress said, then gave him the team's salute and headed out above ground.

    Triste floated a little ahead of him and traced glowing lights through the air with his fingers. As a Beheeyem now, he rarely made a sound. Still, Colress found that he could follow Triste's lights and guess with what he felt was a fair accuracy. At least Triste's expressions and relayed feelings said so.

    “I’m setting up the final pieces for the experiment's big test,” he explained. “Which does mean some misdirection is needed. The sequence of events I want is a little complex, shuffling people into their proper roles in this play. But the payoff should be worth it, giving me a great deal of valuable insight into the role of Trainers in Pokemon training.”

    Triste nodded, but his next message seemed to be tinted with lingering anxiety.

    “Of course you're an important part of these actions,” Colress said, smiling. “I’m counting on you to get me far in this tournament.”

    That didn't seem to be what he was looking for, but it did cheer Triste up.

    -+-

    Late in the morning, the electronic billboard outside of the stadium began displaying information about the competitors and the brackets for the opening tournament. “Oh hey, Cheren's going to be in the tournament too!” Rosa said, standing up on her toes to watch the screens go by.

    “He's the official Unova League representative for this,” Nate said. “I’m guessing it's because he's the newest member. Although, I’m sure he'll be using a much higher level team than what we faced in Aspertia.”

    “Yeah, they wouldn't want hm in with an easy team,” Rosa said, nodding. “And there you are! And... aw, you're facing Hugh right off. I was hoping for a more dramatic show down with you two.”

    Nate flipped open his Xtransceiver to send a message. “Hmm, I think I’ll tell him that we ought to put on a more dramatic battle even if it's going to be the opening round.”

    Rosa giggled. “Really? Hah, that'll be interesting to see, since you don't usually do it.”

    He shrugged. “Well why not? Got to entertain the crowd, especially with it being broadcast live worldwide.”

    “Then you ought to call him your most serious rival or something.”

    “We've hardly fought or met with each other all this time,” Nate pointed out. The next bracket came up, but it was a pair that he didn't recognize.

    “Maybe, but how many people are going to know that? And if he plays along, it'll be so great! I'm sure the audience will love it.”

    “We'll see...” the last bracket showed up and while one again was a stranger, the other he recognized. “Huh, so he is going to be involved.”

    “Who... oh, Colress too?” She crossed her arms over her chest. “How good is he?”

    “Pretty good. I mean, I got Signet from him. I'd be most worried if he has that Elgyem on his team. You now, the one we see him with all the time. Although he did have some other tough Pokemon with him, when I saw him last.”

    “Looks like this should be fun,” Rosa said, bouncing in place. “Why can't we speed time up a bit?”

    Nate chuckled. “Yeah, that would be nice. Well, want to get lunch? There's plenty around to choose from.”

    “Sure!”

    -+-

    Just before one, the lobby of the stadium got crowded as people were coming to fill in their seats. Nate met with Hugh at the entrance to the hall where the competitors went to their waiting rooms. “Anything happen with the ship? We didn't see anyone suspicious in the crowd.”

    Hugh shook his head. “No. Like the dock workers said, nothing was going on with it. I thought I heard some footsteps behind those walls, but it was hard to tell if I did or not.”

    “Well there's plenty of police around,” Nate said, pointing out a couple who were acting as security guards. “I think they'd have a hard time getting in to cause trouble.”

    “I hope you're right.” Then he turned and waved Nate to follow him into the hall. “So you want to do something crazy for the crowd?”

    “Not crazy, just enough to make the match seem like a really big deal.”

    “I would've gone along with crazy.” Then he grinned. “This could be fun. What do you say to...?”

    -+-

    After several minutes in line, Rosa recognized a woman waiting just before the ticket taker. She was one of those who lived at Plasma's camp up north. “Oh, hey there Concordia!” she said, giving her a smile and wave. “How's it going?”

    Concordia gave a shy smile. “Oh, hello Rosa. It's good, just noisy and crowded. So,” she helped up a donation jar, “want to buy a quick raffle ticket for our charity? We help discarded and abandoned Pokemon get into good care, with new loving Trainers. If you pull a lucky ticket, you could get a special prize, like a fee waiver for our adoption service, or even a free stadium seating upgrade with special benefits.”

    “Sure, that sounds great,” she said, opening a pocket on her bag to pull out the right amount of Poke for the ticket. After placing a bill in the donation jar, Concordia had her friend Athena hold the raffle ticket jar out for Rosa to pick a ticket out. It was a solid gray container with a felt lid, so there wasn't any way to see what was being drawn. Rosa pulled out a white ticket. “How's this one?”

    Concordia brightened. “Wow, that should be a lucky one! Let's see the number, and,” she checked a list on the back of her donation jar. “Yup, you get the top prize!”

    “All right!” Rosa said clapping her hands together. “What is it?”

    “It was just added this morning,” Athena said, in a quiet kind of excitement. “The special guest of today's tournament heard about what we were doing, and he arranged it so that one lucky person would get upgrade to sit in the VIP box seats with him.”

    “That was really generous and we were amazed when he offered it,” Concordia said. “So you get to watch the Tournament with Wallace from Hoenn.”

    “OMIGOSH, REALLY?!” Rosa squealed, startling a good number of people and Pokemon in the lobby. If she got the offer to spend some time with anyone else in the world over this afternoon with Wallace, one of the most elegant and famous Water Trainers in the world, she would not take it. “AAAAAA, thank you! This is great, no, awesome!”

    “Thanks for donating to our cause,” Concordia said with a smile as Athena brought out a pass to hand to Rosa. “Just give the ticket taker that pass, and you'll be taken up to the VIP box. Have fun!” Then they went to the people behind Rosa, to offer a draw at their raffle for the other prizes.

    This was almost unbelievable, but when she handed her ticket and the pass to the ticket taker, he nodded and told her to wait by one of the other doors for a moment until a valet came down to take her through the door and around the upper halls to reach the proper box seat area. The valet told her that it was fine for her Pokemon to be out in the box seats, unlike the regular seats where she'd only be able to keep one of the smaller ones out. Then she was brought in to a separate room above other seats to meet with one of her idols.

    He looked a little less perfect than he did in the glossy publicity photos, but the fact that he looked that good in person was impressive. Wallace was waring white pants and shoes, a white vest over a dark blue button-up shirt, and a white beret with blue trim. He had his hair styled with nice asymmetrical bangs and a bright smile on his face when they came in. “Welcome, please come sit down,” he said, with a strong but clear accent of someone who normally spoke another language. “And don't mind the Pokemon; they're being well behaved today.” A Lanturn nearby chirped and sparked, while a lovely Milotic looked over serenely, slowly fanning herself with her tail. One of the seats was taken up by a Ludicolo, who swayed back and forth as if he'd rather be dancing than sitting.

    “That's fine; I have my own too.” She shook his hand when offered, feeling absolutely giddy. “Eeek, sorry, I’m just so happy to get to meet you! I never thought I'd get a chance like this.”

    “Well I am happy to have the company of a pretty young lady, Rosa,” he said, nodding. “Especially for the sake of those lovely hard-working ladies with the Pokemon charity.”

    “Oh yes, they do great work,” she said, taking her Pokeball holder and releasing her Dewott first. “Bard, we get to have everybody out today!”

    “Wooowaa!” he cheered, twirling around and jumping into a seat by her.

    It made Wallace laugh, although he raised an eyebrow as she released the rest of her team. “Well this is a happy coincidence, having my pass offer get taken by a fellow Water Trainer.”

    “Yeah, I’ve always loved the type,” she said. She thought about mentioning that she was a Water Pokemon too, technically, but decided not to. That might seem weird. “I haven't met one that I didn't like.”

    “That's great. Are you in this region's league challengers?”

    She nodded. “Yup. But I'm not taking on the gym in this town yet, because I still need to go back over and beat Elesa before she moves up to her next ranked team. She runs the Electric Gym, but that's why I've got Elda over here; I think she's just about strong enough to take it on her own.” Elda croaked at the mention of her name, watching them.

    “Good luck with that,” Wallace said. “Though it looks like a sound plan. Decided to take a break to watch this?”

    “Kind of. I know three of the competitors in the tournament, and sort of know a fourth, so I came to watch them.”

    “Ah. Know which one you're cheering for?”

    She laughed. “Not really. Just whichever ones get ahead, or all of them.” There was still time before the tournament started, so she started asking him questions about his Pokemon and the gym he ran in Hoenn.

    At one o'clock, the lights around the stadium began to dim, quieting the audience as it went dark. In quick succession, the lights on the battle floor and around the shielding ring activated, flashing in an exciting flow of colors. The large screen taking up a large portion of the stadium changed from a scrolling display to a live camera feed. The audience cheered as a spotlight fell on the back central entrance to the arena, revealing Clay and Christoph walking out to the announcer's stand. Clay gave the strong impression of a rough wild west miner, or a cowboy not long off the trail. A Korokok walked just behind him, giving an impression like a sunglasses wearing bodyguard.

    On the other hand, Curtis was like the sparkling shining star that he was, no matter how much circumstances had tried to diminish him. The messed up purple hair dye was gone, leaving him with golden blond hair in bouncing waves that he didn't bother to hide under a hat. He wore a white, silver, and black outfit, with reflective black sunglasses sitting on top of his head. He had a big friendly smile on his face; even seeing him on the camera, it was hard to tell if that was his act today or if he really was feeling excited for this appearance. Near him, River was keeping a watchful eye; on the screen, Rosa noticed something on the Lucario's neck glittering. Curtis also had wisps of purple smoke trailing from his hair; it seemed Spectra was hanging close to him, possibly for some planned mischief between rounds.

    Taking a microphone in hand, Curtis waved to the audience. “Hello, all you bright and beautiful people! Welcome to the Grand Opening Tournament of the Pokemon World Tournament Stadium in the wonderful city of Driftveil, Unova!” The audience applauded loudly, cheering in excitement. “Thank you! I am your host for this weekend's magnificent activities, Christoph, and here with me is the man who made this all possible, and this weekend's official battle referee, the Gym Leader of Driftviel City, Clay! Have any words to say before we set the action in motion, Clay?”

    Clay gave a single nod, and spoke into the microphone in front of his seat. “Afternoon, all. I hope the challengers are listening when I say that I hope to see some exciting but fair competition out there. Let's keep this to clean skill as Trainers and Pokemon.”

    “Right, we all hope for that of our talented Trainers and Pokemon,” Curtis said. “All right, are we ready for the excitement? For our first match, we have a classic match up of organizations, of brawn versus brain. On the left side, we have the representative of the Fists of Friendship karate clan of Trainers who fight alongside their Pokemon, Hugh from Aspertia City!”

    This caused a spotlight to fall on the competitor's entrance to the left of where Rosa and Wallace were, on Hugh. He was dressed much as usual, although he wore a dark blue jacket for his group. As he walked up to the battle square, Curtis continued to introduce the other battler.

    “And on the right, we have the representative for the Unova Battle Subway Group, the group dedicated to efficient strategy and train lore, a mysterious Trainer known only by one name, Nate!”

    Nate came up to the battle square next. “I know both of them,” Rosa told Wallace. “Hugh's been my neighbor for a few years, and Nate travels around with me competing in the League. He's ahead of me, though; he's already got badges from Elesa and Clay, as well as the others I have.”

    “You'd think a good drama would have the friends meet their match in the end round,” Wallace said.

    She nodded. “I know, that's exactly what I thought! But this should still be good.”

    As the applause for the two quieted, Curtis said, “Do our competitors have anything to say to each other before the match?”

    “Yeah, I do!” Hugh said, then pointed to Nate. “It's about time you showed me what you're really capable of! I left her under your watch, so you'd better not disappoint me.”

    “If you'd been around, you'd know that she's perfectly capable on her own,” Nate replied calmly. “Although I am also looking forward to seeing if you can live up to your boasting, or if you've been avoiding me all along because you're too chicken to really test yourself against me.”

    “What?!” Hugh said, looking indignant among the cheers and heckles to this exchange.

    “Seems like we've got a pair of hot-blooded rivals to start off with,” Curtis said, taking what they offered and running with it. “All right, let's keep it in the rules, like Clay said. Anything else will have to wait until later.” As people laughed, Curtis raised his free hand. “Competitors ready? Pokemon ready? Begin the battle!” The screen flashed as they both called on their first Pokemon.

    “Aw, I thought they could come up with something better than that,” Rosa said.

    “No, that was pretty good,” Wallace said. “Certainly has the rest of the audience fired up.”

    Although he was representing a karate group, Hugh opened with his Unfezant Tam. Nate called out Ruby's name as he released, but with the first move he called for, it was apparent to Rosa that he was actually opening with Felix. Hugh didn't catch this as he asked for Fly, allowing Felix to prepare for and deflect the move entirely before striking again and knocking out Tam. He released a Conkeldurr, which did reveal Felix's true identity, right before knocking him out. Unfortunately for Hugh, Nate was then able to call on Rune to devastate the Conkeldurr, as well as his Serperior Vino.

    “The winner of the first round is Nate,” Clay said. “Good job, both of you.”

    “Tch, still tricky and clever like before,” Hugh said.

    Nae smiled. “You should hang around us some more and pick up some pointers. I'll see you around.”

    “Yea, later.” They came forward to shake each other's hands, then parted.

    “Well, couldn't ask for a better result than that,” Curtis said.

    -+-

    In a guarded room of Opelucid Hospital, N sat by Hilbert's bed, watching the tournament with him. Reshiram and Zekrom were both in their human forms, sitting on a couch and watching along at others. “That went by quick,” N said.

    “Is he using your Pokemon?” Hilbert asked. His voice was hard to hear, but he was awake and mostly alert today, much better than he'd been doing previously.

    “Yes and no,” N said. “Rune was one of mine. You remember? You were with me when I got him. But that's another Zoroark. Zane's helping to guard the door.”

    “That was the first time we spoke with Reshiram, right?”

    N nodded. “Yeah, that's right.”

    “Though it was the second time I made contact with Hilbert,” Reshiram said. “He just couldn't understand or even hear me the first time.”

    “Do you remember that?” N asked. He was supposed to be helping Hilbert by encouraging him to think and remember. Keeping his thoughts moving would help him get back to his normal state of being.

    While Hilbert was thinking, N got distracted briefly, hearing Christoph introducing Cheren as the representative of the Unova Pokemon League for the second match. But once Hilbert started speaking, he turned back to his brother. “That... was in Nacrene? I got the Light Stone from the museum because my innate state of permanent Attract mode got them to trust me. Then Kyurem and you submerged the Attract state so that everyone got to see me as I was, not as they wanted to see me.”

    “That's right,” Reshiram said.

    N looked down for a moment. “Nacrene, huh? That's where I had ice cream for the first time. A root beer float, actually.”

    “Were you in Nacrene before or did it just take you that long?” Hilbert asked slowly.

    He looked up at him. “It took me that long, to get a chance outside my controlled diet. It was Hilda's doing, actually. She caught me coming out of the Gym, then insisted on getting treats for my Pokemon and me because we had won. It bewildered me at the time. But then, she bewildered me a lot at first. I didn't want to admit that I liked it.”

    “That you liked ice cream or that she be.. confused you?”

    “Both, I think,” N said.

    “She'll come back,” Hilbert said, then closed his eyes.

    “I hope she does,” N said. After a moment, he touched Hilbert's arm. “Hey...? Oh, he's asleep again.”

    Figuring that he'd wake up in another few minutes like last time, N watched some more of the tournament playing on TV. Back then, such an event would have disgusted him. Now, he could admit that the Pokemon participating were having fun. It wasn't that bad. Only a few people made it bad.

    But then... he looked back at Hilbert. Some people could make good things, like Pokemon and humans working together, turn out very badly. People like their father. Because of him, the guardians of Unova had to be guarded themselves. N felt like he really should be doing something to fight against Ghetsis.

    But if he came face to face with him again... could he?

    -+-

    In the second round, Nate came up against Cheren. The Gym Leader from her hometown was using a team similar to what he used before, focusing on Normal Pokemon. However, they were much stronger, including a sturdy Stoutland and his own nimble Unfezant. It still wasn't much of a challenge for Nate, especially because he actually opened with Ruby rather than Felix that round.

    And so... “Here we are at the final round, where the first winner in this magnificent stadium will be decided,” Curtis said with great enthusiasm that was echoed by his Spiritomb Spectra, who was now sitting on the referee's table behind him. “How about we give a big round of applause for our two talented contenders? First, on the left, we have our cool-headed calculating tactician from the Battle Subway Group, Nate, who has won two cunning victories! And facing against him on the stage of champions, we have our sharp-eyed strategist from the Battle Research Institute, Colress, who has completely dominated his competition without losing a single Pokemon! Whose technique will reign supreme? Anything can happen at this stage, it seems.”

    The crowd was just as enthusiastic, eager to see these two compete. But as something of a difference, Patience was with Nate this time, riding happily on his left shoulder. Nate and Colress also met up in the center, to shake hands before the match. Rosa leaned forward with the Pokemon in the box, but it was only her Pokemon there. Wallace had said that he was going to go down to stadium level, for something after the battle.

    “I had a feeling that I might be facing you here,” Colress said warmly, smiling as if for a good friend rather than someone seen on rare occasion. “Got a change in line-up, is it?” He tapped the Eevee on the forehead, making her sniff his hand curiously.

    “No, she just wanted to be part of the excitement,” Nate said. “It'll be interesting to face you again.”

    “Exactly what I thought. Well let's not dally for now. Maybe we can talk afterwards.”

    Nate nodded in agreement, so they both backed off to their spots for the battle, with Patience hopping off Nate's shoulder and sitting just behind his feet. “Now that's the kind of respect and kinship among Trainers that we like to see,” Curtis said. “All right, the final battle of the Opening Tournament looms before us. Is everyone ready?! Trainers ready? Pokemon ready? Then, let the final battle begin!”

    The crowd roared as Nate and Colress released their first Pokemon. As he had previously, Colress started with his Beheeyem. He guessed that Nate would actually have his Zoroark, but in a bold move, he actually had Ruby out to use Flame Charge. The move that would have revealed Felix did not do much to Ruby. Colress then had Triste use Psychic while Nate ordered Ruby to keep up Flame Charge. Both Pokemon were hit hard; either of them could have been knocked out, but the glittering in Triste's lights and the powerful gleam in Ruby's eyes proved that both were giving their all to resist the pain to keep in the fight. For the next move, it would be whichever one could move first. That was Ruby, with the speed boost of Flame Charge behind her. Nate asked Ruby if she was holding up;the Emboar nodded, willing to use brinkmanship. Colress next called up a Metang he called Cabal, but Flame Charge knocked it clean out, along with Argent the Magneton who must have gotten only a glance at Nate before being out of the fight.

    “The winner of the match is Nate, his Sigilyph Rune, his Zoroark Felix, and his Emboar Ruby,” Clay announced amid loud cheers from the audience. In the meantime, Nate was using a potion on Ruby, more concerned about leaving her in her precarious condition rather than acknowledging the win.

    “And we have our champion for the PWT Opening Weekend Tournament!” Curtis said, gesturing to Nate.

    “Excellent work, Nate,” Colress said, seeming happy even though he had lost. In an interesting move, he then re-released Triste, also now healed up from the battle. “You've met and exceeded my expectations of you these past few months. And you've given me a great deal of valuable information through the training study.”

    “I use nothing more than common sense and some consideration of all factors,” Nate said.

    “That's a lot more than nothing, though,” Colress pointed out.

    “It certainly was,” Curtis said, still up on the announcer's stand. “But before we go presenting your reward, how about some words from a master?” He then turned back to the entrance where he and Clay had come in from. “Introducing, a special guest to our tournament come all the way from the region of Hoenn, a one time Regional League Champion, many time Master-Ranked Coordinator, and the Gym Leader of Sootopolis, Wallace!”

    There was another swell of cheers and excitement from the audience as Wallace strode in, passing by the announcer's stand and entering the battle square with Nate and Colress (the latter deciding this was an appropriate moment to slip to the shadows and out of the spotlights. “Hello, and congratulations Nate!” Wallace said, shaking his hand. “That was quite a performance from you and your Pokemon; never lost a moment of your cool.”

    “Thank you,” Nate said. “But it's more my Pokemons' doing than my own.”

    “You still lead them. Speaking of which, I've heard that you've managed to get five of this region's League badges ever since you started this spring. I can't resist a challenger like that; would you care for a battle against me? I'll even let you pull in the rest of your team like your charming Eevee there.”

    Patience tilted her head at the offer while Nate simply looked right at Wallace and asked, much to the amusement of the audience, “Are you sure about that?” Which turned out to be an appropriate question when he made an even stronger showing with his full team.

    After a ceremony where Clay presented Nate with a Pokeball-shaped trophy, Rosa waited for a bit, as she received a message from Hugh saying that they were going to wait for most of the people to leave before trying to head out of the stadium. While she was waiting on a message to head down from him and Nate, Wallace showed back up at the door to the box. “Did you forget something?” Rosa asked, although she hadn't noticed anything.

    “I don't believe so,” he said, coming in with his Milotic and another Pokemon following. The latter was swimming in the air like Chuchu and Medusa did, albeit at a lazy pace. “I just wanted to speak with you one more time before we parted ways for today. Firstly, your friend Nate... he's quite a Trainer, passing and winning this tournament as he did. I'd expect to hear of even greater things out of him.”

    Rosa nodded. “Yeah, he might not seem like it, but he's memorized an awful lot of information about Pokemon. And then he always treats his Pokemon well, so they work really hard for him.”

    “That much is obvious when seeing them in battle,” Wallace said. “As it's obvious, to me anyhow, that you must be an equally talented Trainer based on seeing your Pokemon interacting with you and each other. It might seem as though you're always behind your friends, trying to catch up. But then, you have a different kind of team from them, one that's more challenging to work with.”

    “Yeah, but I can't help it,” she said, smiling a little sheepishly. “I want to work with Pokemon I love.”

    “As you should. That's why, if you'll have him, I'd like to send you along with one of my Pokemon.” He smiled. “Don't worry; I get more Pokemon that I can possibly work with at times, and I like to see the children of my team go to good Trainers. This fellow here is a Feebas; I’ve been calling him Hikari, but you can call him what you like. I'd recommend something with beauty, though, as it'll be fitting later. They're not easy to train, but if you really are devoted to Water Pokemon, I'm sure you can figure him out.”

    And when she thought the day couldn't get any better, it did. “Wow, thank you Wallace!” she said, going over to the Feebas. Hikari looked at her and blinked. “I think he's cute.”

    That made Wallace laugh. “Well that puts you ahead of the game in working with him. Please do treat him well.”

    She nodded. “Of course, I promise I will.”
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  10. #160
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    I did find it odd when they pitted you against Hugh first in the Tournament. Then again, that lets Cheren get to the next stage and Colress to the finals, so I'm not that disappointed in it. It's a fun sequence, although I've never tried any of the tournaments beyond that.

    Also, our special guest is Wallace! Which I decided on from the beginning when I put a poster of him in the description of Rosa's bedroom. I don't care what others think; I've always liked Wallace. Though not to the fangirl extent that Rosa shows, lol.

    This was fun, but this day's not over for the next few chapters...
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  11. #161
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    Well, the whole World Tournament always felt to me like they couldn't decide whether to have the climatic battle be a rematch against the first Gym Leader, a confrontation with your rival, or an engagement with the mysterious person you've only met... Twice? (I think, anyway) Rather than choose, they decided to go with all of them.

    And Wallace is a fairly fun GL. He managed to be Champion in Emerald, even if it didn't really fit that well. (Two Water-themed bosses in fairly short succesion, after all. Not to mention Steven still going around doing the mystery Trainer thing) Although I will never forgive him for that damn ice-block puzzle. That kept 11-yr-old me trapped for about three weeks.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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

  12. #162
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    Chapter 37: Battle of the Frigate

    August 18
    Driftveil, PWT Stadium

    'Get to the ship now.' The message was waiting on Colress' Xtransceiver, but he wanted the right moment to send it off. Standing by one of the pillars, he watched through the door of the quickly emptying stadium lobby to see Rosa, Christoph, and Hugh just outside on the steps. They were waiting on Nate.

    Rosa was leaning over the Lucario who had been with Christoph during the event. “When did she get this pretty necklace? It gives me an odd feeling looking at it up close.”

    “Does it?” Christoph asked. “While I was working with the event organizers, they wanted her to wear some kind of fashion accessory, but she refused anything they tried to put on her until Clay offered that necklace. Given how attached River seems to feel about it, I think I’m going to try talking him into letting me buy it for her.”

    “What kind of stone is it?” Rosa asked.

    “Lucarioite?” Colress murmured. However, he was far enough away that they didn't even notice him eavesdropping. He tilted his head, glancing at Triste. “It would be interesting to see what happens, but...” them getting the stone to do anything would be unlikely, that is, unless Rosa could get it to react. It was a process that few knew about, and even fewer knew how it worked in any fashion. But if she was something special as he suspected, then it could very well be activated in her presence.

    “I’m not really sure,” Christoph said. “You'd have to ask Clay; he should know. The design and style of the necklace makes me think it's from Kalos.”

    “There you all are,” Cheren called, somewhere outside where he couldn't be seen. The three teens turned away from the stadium to talk with him.

    Then Colress saw Nate finally come out of the challenger's door, meaning it was time to send the signal message. Someone must have started talking to Nate back there, which meant that Colress might be brushed off. But then, he had moves left to use in this game. The Eevee with Nate barked and hurried off outside, where she greeted the Lucario. Colress stopped leaning on the pillar and said, “Ah, there you are, Nate. Do you have a few minutes?”

    “Not right now,” Nate said, not yet looking out the door. Good. “I was going to meet up with my friends. But if you want, we could arrange to meet sometime this evening.” He smiled. “I’d like to hear how your experiment is going.”

    “Yes, that is what I wanted to talk to you about,” Colress said. At that moment, the Ghost member of the Triad appeared behind Nate and brought her hand quickly in front of his face, snapping her fingers with such speed that it must have appeared as a blur. Nate's eyes immediately closed and his head drooped. “Thank you.”

    “You have him under for ten minutes at best,” she said. Meanwhile, there was shouting outside. Colress wasn't looking, but he knew what that was. The Plasma member he had planted in the tunnel would have run directly to the dock, grabbing the attention of Hugh who hated Plasma so much that he would have immediately gone in pursuit of the bait in full black uniform. Then Rosa and probably Cheren would go after him. Maybe even Christoph, if he was their friend too? It was hard to say.

    “That should be fine,” Colress said, pulling Nate back to the challenger's entrance hall.

    Triste paused before coming after them. He made his lights glow red-orange, pointing towards the entrance door.

    “Is it about the Eevee?” Colress asked. He noticed that the Pokemon hadn't returned back inside. “Don't mind it; I don't think it'll make a difference. The thing is, I know that the boss is going ahead on the plans the instant we pull out of dock here, since I’ve been telling him to delay until the tournament. The next time we meet up with this boy, he might already know about us. But I want to see this. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity... no, it would happen less often than that. Because how many times do we get visitors from another timeline? Much less one that we can identify as readily as him?” Colress brought Nate into the nearest room, where he had set up a temporary teleport pad. Pulling the hypnotized Nate onto the pad to operate it, he sent them all the way across Unova to a building right next to the northern gate house of Black City.

    This carried a huge risk, if his research into the myths of the world was right. But again, when would he ever get the opportunity to perform this kind of observation ever again? It was time to have Nate meet his other self.

    -+-

    It all moved so fast. One minute, they were standing outside the stadium, waiting on Nate to come out. Then a very obvious member of Team Plasma rushed by, hurrying to the docks. Hugh jumped on the chance and rushed after him; Rosa quickly followed, worried that her friend would get in trouble. Cheren muttered, “Them?” and hurried off after the group. River rushed after them too.

    “W-wait!” Patience called, running to the docks after everyone. What was going on? The Eevee wasn't sure, but she was with Curtis when they arrived at the docks.

    That mysterious ship that everyone seemed interested in was still there, but now it had a break in its hefty walls. Patience saw Rosa and Cheren get on board, but then the ramp started lifting. While River was easily able to get on, Curtis stopped where he was, not sure if he'd get there in time. But, what if everyone got in trouble? Patience hurried as best she could, leaping onto the rising ramp. As she landed, it began to rise quicker, causing her to slide onto the deck.

    “Oof.” Patience flicked her tail forward, trying to keep it from getting caught in the closing ramp. As it clanked shut, she took a look around. Rosa, Cheren, and Hugh were all there, with River just behind them. Opposing them were about two dozen members of Team Plasma in thick black clothing. Although it was summer, that made perfect sense; the deck of this ship was really cold, not feeling good on the Eevee's paws. Then there were all these mean people glaring at them... Patience drooped her ears. “O-oh dear...”

    “So this is where you've been hiding out,” Hugh said, clenching a fist.

    “What are you kids doing here?” one of the Plasma members asked.

    “It wasn't my fault,” one of other Plasma men said, from behind the others. “I got called back here, I swear! It's,” he fumbled with one of those wrist phone things, then stared at it, “Uh... it was here...”

    “Whatever the reason is,” the first one said, “we're going to have to punish you for trespassing. Give yourselves up and hand over your Pokemon.”

    “Are you serious?” Cheren asked. “You really think the lot of you can take on the three of us?”

    Hugh snorted. “Yeah, you've been nothing but weak punks. We can take you all on!”

    “Ooo, this is scary,” Patience said, crouching down. But that just made her belly cold too.

    “Patience?” River turned around and looked at her. “You got on too?”

    “Ye-yeah, I was running with Curtis, but he stopped and... where's Nate? Oh, I’m gonna be in trouble for running away.”

    “That's the least of your problems,” River said, turning back around but stepping towards her. “I'm sure he'll understand once this is over with. For now, we've got some bad guys to fight.”

    “Easy for you to say,” Patience said, sitting up. The humans were already commanding their Pokemon. “I’ll try.”

    “Seems you two are on your own,” one of the Plasma women said, releasing a Liepard at her side. “We'll just have to correct that.”

    “You so made the wrong choice, lady,” River said, then punched the Liepard clear across the deck of the ship.

    “I'll help,” Patience said, using Quick Attack as soon as the woman released another Pokemon, this time a Garbador. But again, River could handle it on her own, this time by lobbing earthy bones at it. The Eevee did what she could. On their own, without any humans, the two of them defeated three of the Plasma grunts and their Pokemon teams.

    By that time, the Plasma group was nearly all defeated by the trespassers. It hadn't been so bad, Patience thought, although Nate being here would've defeated them all much sooner. But it didn't make this situation any better because it was still cold. Because she had bare paws and no shoes, her toes and lower legs were feeling frigid, making her hop from foot to foot. River didn't seem to care, but she was tough and could tolerate such things better.

    So cold... a coldness like the blackness of space, a cold that implied the absence of everything. Patience closed her eyes and for a moment, she felt the presence of a non-presence. A being that meant nothing. But, somewhere in that frigid sense of nothingness, there was someone: a Pokemon carrying a great feeling of grief and shame, cut off from the world by his own power. For a moment, Patience felt like she was in contact with that Pokemon. Feeling his sadness caused an echo of pain in her heart.

    “Huh, mister?” Patience tilted her head, wondering what was going on. “Why're you so sad? Can I help you? I mean, I’m a troublesome Pokemon and I can't do much. But... can I help?”

    His eyes were like a fierce blizzard. After a moment of silence, he said, “I need to get out of here. I... need to find her. Or not, I shouldn't... just to know that she's safe. You... be the proof to break the facade.” Then he roared in a way that couldn't be heard. It made Patience feel the intense cold deep into her bones. Her body pushed to adapt quickly.

    And thus, she opened her eyes to find herself back on the deck of the cold ship. But the cold didn't bother her at all now because her own body was just as frigid. And blue, her fur was now short and a shimmering blue, while she stood taller off the ground. This wasn't how she expected to evolve; she thought that Nate would choose for her. But maybe it was important.

    It seemed to be, as Cheren was quick to notice. “So you do have Kyurem on board.”

    “S-say what?” one of the Plasma members asked. But they were intimidated now, defeated in spite of having the advantage of numbers.

    “What's going on up here?” a new voice said. The group of Plasma members parted for an old man in a full violet and blue robe. “Who let these intruders on board?”

    “You're Zinzolin, right?” Cheren asked. “I remember you from the Cold Storage Plant.”

    The old man Zinzolin put a hand to his chin. “Yes... you were that friend of Hilda's, right? I see you haven't changed, foolishly interfering with us.”

    “It's not foolish when good people like us keep trouncing you,” Hugh said.

    “I am Hilda's friend, now one of the Unova Gym Leaders,” Cheren said. “And I know you have Kyurem here! We're going to be taking him back, even if we have to fight every one of you.”

    “Why would you accuse us of having Kyurem?” Zinzolin asked.

    Cheren pointed to Patience, making everyone look at her. That made her feel fearful. But, this is what the sad Pokemon wanted, right? Proof so he could be freed; she tried to be brave and not quiver. “That girl was an Eevee when she came on board. I know because I saw her as the ramp shut. She's a Glaceon now, and the only way to get that Pokemon is to bring the Eevee into contact with a source of intense cold, well below the freezing point. I know people who tried in the old Cold Storage and failed, so you must have a source of cold generation that's stronger than technology here. And we have witnesses that say Kyurem was taken by the Shadow Triad. Thus, you have him here and we're going to take him back from you.”

    “That's a brave thing to say, but you won't be doing that,” Zinzolin said. “Shadows, take them away!”

    Then three strange humans appeared on deck, also dressed in black although in a more sinister fashion. It was those people, including the one who made Nate go bonkers shortly after Patience had met him. “We don't follow your command,” one of the females said.

    “I know, but you agree that they need to be off this ship?” he asked, trying not to get angry at their defiance.

    “Very well,” the other female said, causing a light to appear around the trespassers.

    “Wait, no!” Rosa called out. The light flashed; Hugh and Cheren were gone when the air was cleared. On the other hand, Rosa, River, Patience, and Bard were still there. Rosa called out her sword, warping the air around her. “We're getting Kyurem back!” she said fiercely.

    Most of the Plasma members seemed startled to see them still there. “What, you on your own, with just your Pokemon?” Zinzolin asked, trying to intimidate her.

    And utterly failing to do so (even if he was scaring Patience). “If we have to, we will,” Rosa said.

    The three Shadows reappeared. “How did you get out from our power?” one of the women asked. Close by Patience, the male Shadow put his hand to his chest, looking down and showing an expression of pain in his eyes.

    “Because nothing will stop justice!” Rosa said, swinging her sword down and warping the air even more. “Not even you three.”

    “What's going on with Rosa?” Patience asked River quietly.

    “Time seems to be loosening around her, somehow,” the Lucario replied, uncertain of the answer.

    Then there was a bright glow from Rosa's sword, leading to another big flash of light. When that cleared, Rosa was there as Keldeo, not as a human. All of Rosa's other Pokemon, Medusa, Grim, Chuchu, Elda, and some new brown fish, they appeared with them. “What in the world is going on?” Zinzolin asked, backing up with most of the other Plasma members.

    “Uh, yeah, what?” the brown fish asked, wide-eyed at the scene.

    If Rosa was confused, she did a good job of ignoring it. Stomping a foot down, she called out in the language of Pokemon, “Come on, let's go get Kyurem! Patience, can you find him?”

    “Uu-uu uh,” she stammered for a moment while the others went into action. But then she had a feeling in her chest. It was easy. “Yes, yes I can! Come on, he's down below.” She started to run to one of the stairs that led down into the ship.

    However, one of the female Shadows got in her way and attacked her with a ghostly glow. “You're not getting further in,” she hissed, speaking like Pokemon did.

    “Eeep!” Patience lowered her ears and backed off. This woman was scary. Not only that, but the male Shadow appeared close by her and started buzzing. This wasn't good...

    “Keep your hands off her!” River shouted, darting in and clobbering the male Shadow with one of her earthly bones. Only, something had happened to her. She somehow seemed bigger, and spikier. Around her neck, the stone on her necklace glittered brightly. Whatever was going on, it was enough to send that man flying further than she had thrown the Liepard before.

    “What happened to you?” Patience asked.

    “Don't know,” River said, kicking at the ghostly Shadow but missing when she warped away. “Don't care either; let's get to Kyurem and free him so we can get out of here.”

    “Yeah, we've got you covered!” Bard called, sending waves of water around him to scare off the Plasmas. The only one of them that wasn't out of Pokemon was Zinzolin, and he could only release three: two Cryogonals and a Bronzong. The other Pokemon and Rosa seemed to have them handled. Even the new brown fish, who managed to slip under Zinzolin's robes and make him yelp by splashing around.

    “Bard, get back here!” Rosa called, making her alicorn shine. “Grim, you go with Patience and River! We'll catch up!” The she released a flurry of energy slashes at one of the female Shadows.

    “Right-o,” Grim said. The Swanna flew over to them. “Where're we going?”

    “Down below,” Patience said, heading for the stairs now that they weren't blocked. Grim and River followed after her.

    A guard was at the bottom of the stairs; he released his Pokemon immediately, but Grim and River took them out in seconds. The guard ran off into one of the rooms nearby, but Patience knew they needed to get to the front of the ship. In the hallway, there were a group of glowing barriers. River promptly rendered them useless by smashing a piece of computer equipment nearby, and thus they reached the end of the hall where they saw Kyurem.

    He was in a cylindrical room with glass walls, one that seemed rather small to be holding the dragon. He probably couldn't turn around well. Immediately, Patience tried Swift to knock the glass out of the way. That only left a few scratches. “Um, River, you seem even stronger now, so...?”

    “I'm on it,” she said, studying the glass. River then jumped up on the railing, readied herself, then hopped over to punch the glass as hard as she could. It made the whole glass wall shake; even the metal floor under Patience's paws trembled. But it left little more than a few small cracks. “Hmph.” She landed back on the railing. “Not even this power will take it down?”

    “It is probably meant to hold in case he gets mad,” Grim pointed out, landing by Patience. Then a deep rumble could be heard all around them as the ship shook. “Err... I hope that's not a bad thing.”

    “Guys?” Rosa called out from down the hall.

    “Over here!” Patience barked, although the group with Rosa was already running their way. “We found him, but, um, not even River can break that glass.”

    “Darn, well,” Rosa looked around, making her tail twitch. Then she looked at a glowing panel on the floor. “Ah, I bet that's a teleporter! And... no, not that one, but...”

    “What about that one?” Bard asked, pointing to one across from the other.

    “Yes, that's the one,” Patience said. “I can feel his ice through it.”

    Rosa nodded. “Okay, let's go to him. Maybe he can break out if we convince him.” She trotted over there, stepping on the panel and vanishing. All of the rest of the Pokemon followed after her.

    Instead of teleporting them into Kyurem's chamber, they ended up back on the docks, next to the closed up ship. “Wait, how'd we get back out here?” Bard asked, amid the confusion from the humans that were on the dock.

    Patience lowered her head. “I'm sorry. I felt that was the right way...”

    “It's okay,” Rosa said. “I believe you. They probably changed where it led when we headed for it. Rats! We were so close.”

    “Um, what's going on now?” the brown fish asked. “You seem like that girl I was given to, but then you...”

    “It's me, Hikari,” Rosa said, looking at one of her hooves. “Uh, I can't explain it either. I haven't been this way in a whole lifetime.”

    There was a roar of engines from the ship beside them, causing everyone on the dock to step away. All around the water, there was a bunch of white ships gathered. While they weren't as big as the frigate, it wouldn't be easy for the large ship to navigate through them. It was trying, moving sideways away from the dock.

    “Wait, that's Rosa's Pokemon, but where's Rosa?” Hugh asked, looking around.

    “I'm here!” she called, in the human language. She walked over to them. “But like I was telling them, I can't explain what happened to me just now.”

    “Rosa's Keldeo?” Cheren asked, puzzled.

    Before the conversation could go on, there was a loud broadcast from one of the white ships. “Do not leave the docks. This is the Unova Coast Guard, ordering a board and search of the large frigate. I repeat, do not leave the docks.”

    They were answered by an equally loud but scarier voice from the frigate. “I'll never listen to you fools in a thousand years!” And then something amazing happened: the frigate sprouted wings, extending from the sides of the ship. The water beneath the ship churned up into a violent froth until the ship lifted itself right into the air. Once out of the waves, they could now see giant machines on the frigate's bottom that managed to repel the force of gravity. It got a hundred feet in the air when parts of the ship opened up. The back revealed some kind of jet engine, while the front brought out a cannon. “You think you can force your laws on us, Neo Plasma? Hah! We'll show you who holds the power in this land.” As the ship continued to rise, the cannon gathered a bright white glow, then fired a blast of energy into the air above Driftveil. It exploded into millions of tiny shards of ice, causing it to snow even though it was the middle of August. The voice from the frigate laughed as it shot off to the west, escaping through the air.

    “Did that really just happen?” Curtis asked, then looked down at Rosa. “Including you?”

    “Yeah, it did,” she said, walking towards land. She paused to look at them. “Well come on! Let's see what happened... hey, where's Nate?”

    “He didn't make it on, even though his Eevee was there,” Cheren said, walking after her.

    “He wasn't on the docks with me when I called in the Coast Guard,” Curtis said.

    “I’m sure he said he was coming out right after me, once he stopped talking to Clay,” Hugh said. “And Patience was with him at the time.”

    “I don't know what happened,” Patience said, feeling uneasy. “I was with him when we came into the lobby, and then I saw River and got excited, so he let me run over to her. He should've been right there with us.” They stepped off the docks and climbed the stairs up to the stadium plaza.

    Things had changed dramatically here. It was snowing still, bigger flakes that were falling fast. Although the snowfall had just started, the ground was covered in patches of ice. There were even icicles, hanging at strange angles and pointing towards the spot where the icy explosion had happened. With so many dressed for a hot summer's day, people were scrambling to get indoors, out of the sudden winter's cold. A look past the stadium showed that things might be even icier in Driftveil itself.

    “Huuu,” River said, stopping near Patience and nearly slipping on a patch of ice. There was a brief glow and she came back in her normal form, looking exhausted. The stone on her necklace wasn't shimmering any more.

    “You okay?” Patience asked, nudging her with her head.

    “That took a lot out of me,” the Lucario said, petting her. “I think I just need to rest.”

    “Curtis, you should call her back to her Pokeball,” Rosa said to the humans. “Come to think of it, I'm not sure where any of my gear went.”

    “And how are you going to turn back into a human?” Cheren asked as River was recalled.

    Rosa flicked her ears in annoyance. “I don't know yet! I was going to use my sword against the Triad, since it worked all right last time. But I don't have the sword now, so... I don't know.”

    Then Hugh's Xtransceiver went off. “It's Nate,” he said, flipping it open. On answering the call, he immediately asked, “Where are you?”

    “I... where are we again?” His voice came through as if he were tired too. “Oh right, the Abundant Shrine.”

    “He's where?” Rosa asked in disbelief.

    “What are you talking about?” Hugh asked. “You're all the way across Unova! We just had to fight off Team Plasma and some crazy stuff went down here in Driftveil... what are you doing over there?”

    “I'm still figuring it out,” Nate said. “Where's Rosa? I tried to call her first.”

    “I'm here!” she called.

    “Yeah, she's here, but not able to take calls at the moment,” Hugh said, calming down.

    “What is going on over there?” Nate asked, puzzled. “And, we'll definitely have to exchange information. I’ve got some news for you all.” At which point, Cheren's Xtransceiver went off, with something that shocked him greatly.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  13. #163
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    I just noticed that my userbar is now Eevee and Espeon, haha. But Patience became a Glaceon instead. As for all the other stuff that happened in this chapter? There's reasons just like the Glaceon evolution... though I'll freely admit that River going Mega Lucario was partly because I could. That kind of reasoning is part of the fun!

    The frigate battle is pretty cool, though I ended up a bit tired of the setting because plot makes you return to it twice more. And I do believe that the whole thing was set up by Colress for... well I'm not quite sure why at that point unless it was some kind of experiment he was running on you and the Neo Plasma grunts. He does seem like the chessmaster sort, even to the point of making his motives unclear. Part of the evidence for that is something that I ended up using less than I wanted: the energy/controlling device he used on the Crustle. He shows you what it does, then later appears out of nowhere exactly when you need it. Which leads you to eventually discover that he is the new figurehead leader of Neo Plasma. Maybe he just runs these plots for his own amusement, even the part where he reforms.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  14. #164
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    Uuuh, did you forget PMs? If you didn't, either the PM system is on the fritz again or cyberspace ate mine.

    *reads*

    Huh. Nate's being experimented on somehow, Rosa's dropped the shapeshift (But still hasn't got her memories/instincts back) Patience is a Glaceon (Heh... Ice is the most "patient" element save rock or metal in typical depictions) Hugh's still doing his Leeroy Jenkins thing, Mega Evolution out of left field, and Driftveil gets iced. I guess they needed the cold after the Cold Storage got removed.

    I always had the feeling that Colress was more in it for the SCIENCE! than the Plasma-ing, as evidenced by his postgame appearances. It's almost certain, given Ghetsis' condition, that he was doing stuff that Ghetsis didn't know about. Both of which are displayed very well in this fic.

    Also, random teleportation. Or not-random teleportation. Either way, the Abundant Shrine is miles away. Either there's a Psychic doing Teleports for Plasma, or there's something else going on with Nate. Given that the Time-Space orbs are still in the possesion of Plasma, it's probably neither. Still...
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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    Colress has a portable teleporter. Says so at the end of the first section, where it says they end up in Black City.

    My internet is being extra laggy today, so that's why I didn't get PMs out. I had trouble getting this up here earlier, even though the snowstorm hasn't even arrived yet.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

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    The mega evolution was really unexpected but it fits nicely in the story. I thought patience would evolve into espeon but glaceon is fine. Why do gamefreak keep making defensive ice types is beyond me though :I. Also, are you going to explain the madness that is black city/white forest? The entire thing is so crazy even for pokemon.

  17. #167
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    Whew, finally caught up. It's been months since I've read any of this- I kept meaning to get to it, but somehow never actually got to it. Anyway, I'm all caught up now, though I kinda wish I had a little more to say than the fact that I'm all caught up. Never been very good at reviewing, you see. Anyway, all I can say right now is that so far I like what I've been reading, and I look forward to the next chapter. OK, that and I liked seeing River's Mega Evolution thrown in like that.

    Just one or two little nitpicks, though- Petilil evolve via the Sun Stone, not the Dawn Stone. Also, Argent being a Magneton at level 25 wouldn't be possible for a Magnemite caught by the player- Magnemite don't evolve until level 30. But that one, IMO, is a really minor thing. Like I said, I like what I've been reading thus far.

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    Chapter 38: Time Warp

    August 18
    north of Black City

    Triste was concerned. After evolving, he found that he could understand what Colress was doing better. It turned out to be a whole lot worse than what he suspected as an Elgyem. Like this observation he wanted to do with Nate, which involved kidnapping him with hypnosis and transporting him to a whole different location. It could do some serious damage to the integrity of the world, but Colress was still insistent on doing it, for the rare opportunity it presented to see such damage.

    As it turned out, there was another history of the world where things had turned into a disaster because Team Plasma won their initial bid to rule Unova, and then the world. Many legendary Pokemon had fallen to the new power, but one way or another, Kyurem escaped destruction until he was able to move into the past, to change the way history had went in order to save his siblings from death. He had been successful, but the old history still existed, in a frail deteriorating manner. Then Nate crossed over to this timeline as well, going into the past from his perspective, but to a history that worked out much differently than his own. The Shadow Triad had detected the unusual presence around him. With a few hairs from Nate, Colress had been able to find his true identity, as the Sage Ryoko somehow regressed to his teenaged years due to the power that ravaged his world. Apparently Nate's foreignness to this history was minimal, so far. But once he came into contact with Ryoko of this history, the laws of the world would catch on to his presence It might end up deleting Nate entirely from this world, leaving wrinkles in current events that he had been involved in. It might rip a huge tear in the fabric of space-time and cause unimaginable things to occur.

    But when Colress was determined to do something, even something stupid out of scientific curiosity, Triste knew there wasn't much he could do to stop him. He kept trying to think of what could be done to reduce the damage, especially anything that might save Nate. There was no reason to erase him from the world, not even to see what would happen from this meeting. But while he was smarter as a Beeheeyem, he still wasn't as smart as Colress.

    Time and space began to warp around them as they entered the farm where the Abundant Shrine was located. This stirred Nate out of his hypnosis state. “What are we doing here?” he asked in a haze.

    “We came to meet with someone special,” Colress said, smiling in anticipation. “Come on, it's not long now.”

    “I have a bad feeling about this,” Nate said, looking around and trying to get a grasp of the situation.

    “You're not the only one,” Triste said, although because neither was looking at him, they didn't know he did.

    As they got closer to the shrine, they found a group of people and Pokemon discussing how the crops were faring. An elderly man was with the group, but he stepped away from them as Colress and Nate approached. “Pardon me, but we're a little busy to take visitors today... hmm?” He looked at Nate with the feeling that he should recognize him.

    “We shouldn't take up too much of your time,” Colress said, although the air was warping around them. “You're Ryoko, right? My name is Colress, and this young man here is Nate. We wanted to speak with you.” He offered a handshake.

    “If you think it's important,” Ryoko said, a little uneasy but he took the handshake. Then he took Nate's hand for the same.

    The air between them cracked open once they made contact, darkening the area. The farm where other people were seemed to slow down, but being right near it, things seemed to flow normally. Except, not normal as time tried to figure out how this meeting had occurred. Colress watched in interest, while Nate and Ryoko both seemed to be in a daze caught in each other's eyes.

    “Your name... is Ryoko?” Nate said. “That's familiar, that's... that's my name. My actual name.”

    “You do look like what I did in pictures of my youth,” Ryoko said. “Where did you come from?”

    “A... another world? Or this one? I, I can't quite think of it.” He cringed in pain and nearly fell over; Ryoko caught him, but that only increased the severity of the cracks.

    “Another history of this world,” Colress said with a fascinated awe. “But you have no buffers to being a foreign entity. It's intriguing that it didn't mess up your mind further.”

    “What is the meaning of this?” Ryoko asked, looking at Colress in new distrust.

    “Why do you know... what's going on?” Nate began fading.

    But then Triste felt a tug, from many directions. Nate had been in this history for some time, he felt. The boy had affected many people. Some felt positively towards him, some negatively, but most had strong feelings or memories about him. With the connections he had made influencing things, Nate stopped fading. However, the fabric of the world was still cracked, causing wrinkles in possibility.

    Wrinkles? They would be smoothed out, possibly even naturally. But, what if they straightened out to a different pattern? This was a weak point in time and space. It might be possible, here and now, to do something with that... but that could mess up things further. Triste didn't want to wreck the world, leading to a situation like Nate's original timeline being ruined. But if he could do something, he knew what he'd want to do.

    Triste heard a Pokemon's giggle, but when he looked around, he only saw some green sparkles flying around. “You want to change the past?” the unseen Pokemon whispered. “This would be your one opportunity to do that.”

    “I don't want to mess up the world,” Triste said.

    “You won't be, not to the extent of the other history. Just a little nudge, a few hours? Maybe make things a little better?” The sparkles came up right next to him. “You should. If you don't, Nate and Ryoko must resolve this problem when they weren't the ones who triggered this, not by intent. Colress was the one who triggered the crack by intention. And if I put you in a certain spot, he will have to resolve it. Make him take responsibility, as he should.”

    But would he? Colress had a way of shifting responsibility and blame around. Then again, it was like his Trainer had said earlier: this was an opportunity that was of astronomical probability. Triste wouldn't get another chance. Nodding, he said, “Okay, I know what to do.”

    “Good, thanks. Here you go!” The unseen Pokemon then shoved him, right into the crack. Triste heard Colress call out in alarm, but there wasn't a way to go back right now. He'd have to trust in the power that was sending him back into time.

    Triste then found himself in a human town, in a tree in front of a house. After shaking his head and making sure he was all together, he noticed that the garage door of the house was open. A preteen boy with blond hair was pulling a fully loaded wagon out of the garage. “Mom, I’m going!” he called back into the house.

    “Be careful crossing the road!” a woman called from inside.

    “I know. You're going to come over later, right?”

    “Of course, when I get your father out of his project. We'll be there at least, I promise. Good luck, Colress!”

    “Thanks! I'll see you then.” He then pulled the wagon towards the sidewalk and off to his goal.

    He has the same kind of clothes on as he had in that memory, Triste thought. Blue jeans and a red striped shirt. This was definitely the right time. Once Colress had gone down the sidewalk past his home, Triste left the shelter of the tree and hovered close behind the wagon. It had a large board that had wordy papers, pictures, and graphs on it. Underneath it, there were some items for display and extra supplies. This wasn't a time with virtual computer storage, he realized.

    It took them passing three houses for Colress to figure out something was different. The boy paused, then looked back to see him back there. “Whoa... oh, it's some Pokemon,” he said, setting the handle to lean against the wagon's side. “You're different.”

    Triste moved his fingers through the air to say, “I don't know where we are, so I don't know if my kin have been here.”

    “You seem alright,” Colress said, walking around the wagon. Even as a boy, he was too curious to pass up what could be a dangerous thing. “Certainly not afraid of me. What're you doing following me?”

    “I’m here to help you,” he said, then looked in the wagon. That was the first task: making sure Colress got the science project display to his school fair intact.

    “Oh yeah, I can't be late,” he said, going back to take the wagon and pull it along. “You can come, I guess. I don't have any Pokemon friends to bring to school like other kids. The last one I had wrecked a chemistry project I was trying out.”

    “I'll be careful,” Triste said, watching the area around him.

    At the end of the block, they turned to walk alongside another street. Triste could spot some other kids ahead, running behind a bush once they noticed Colress and his wagon. That would be it. In the meantime, Colress kept talking and didn't notice. “It's not that I don't like Pokemon, it's just that I have a hard time finding one that's calm enough to not want to run around constantly and knock over glass vials and such. I don't want to have to clean up a mess like that again. Still, I wonder what you are. I've really not seen another Pokemon like you before.”

    “Hey nerd!” one of the hidden boys called out, grabbing a fistful of muddy dirt and hurling it at the wagon. Triste immediately blocked it from hitting, then hurled the chunk of dirt back at the bully. Colress watched in a nervous manner, then surprise. “What was that for?” the bully asked, glaring.

    The other boys behind the bush began laughing at their friend. Colress put both of his hands on the wagon handle, pulling it closer to him. “You were the one who threw first,” he said.

    “Quit laughing,” the bully said, wiping the dirt off his face. “All right, nerd, you and your Pokemon are going to pay for that! Growlithe, burn that Pokemon and the nerd's dumb project!”

    Colress immediately bolted, dragging the wagon behind him. Triste used Psychic on the Growlithe, easily knocking it out. The bully then tried a Houndour, which could have been trouble had Colress in the present not prepared him to fight Dark Pokemon. He knocked it out as quickly, then left the bully to get mocked by his friends.

    Further down the block, Colress had stopped, breathing hard and shaking. However, it looked as though his things in the wagon were fine, untouched by the incident. Triste floated in front of Colress and touched his forehead. “It's okay. I took care of them.”

    “Did you stop them?” Colress asked, looking back. Seeing that he wasn't pursued, he sighed in relief, then hugged Triste. The boy's heart was still beating fast out of fear. “Thank you. Those guys like to pick on me. I can't win against them.”

    Triste allowed the hug for a little bit, then pushed himself away and pointed towards the school. “We still need to get you there.”

    “Oh yeah.” He rubbed his nose and caught his breath, then smiled. “I’ll be okay. Thanks for being my friend. I'll have to think of a name for you, and figure out what you are.”

    “I have a name,” Triste said, then paused at a thought. Keeping his finger lights white, he traced letters to the human language in the air.

    Colress watched and tried to catch it. “Rist... no... Tris.. te. Triste? Is that your name?”

    “Right,” he said, nodding.

    “That sounds cool. Oh, but if you have a name, you must belong to someone else, huh?”

    Triste put a hand to his mouth, then signed, “Well... sort of yes, sort of no. Not yet, that's the best way to say it.” Then he pointed back to the school.

    “But you're going to come with me anyhow?” After getting a nod, Colress nodded back. “Okay then. I'll have to get you back to your owner later. And thank them for having such an awesome Pokemon.” He smiled again, then carried on taking the wagon to his school. Triste followed along, watching out for more trouble.

    When they got to the road, there wasn't much traffic on it. Still, it did look dangerous. It was three lanes, with little more than warning signs that there was a school around. They looked both ways carefully before deciding when to take the wagon across. Other children were being brought to the school science fair by car, but Colress lived not that far from here.

    A couple of hours later, the school science fair was open to the public. Colress had his display up in the middle of the gymnasium with the rest of the students. Since it was there, he was speaking with the teachers and visiting scientists about it. It included the troublemaker Umber, whom Triste watched in suspicion. However, Colress didn't notice that. He was excited by the science fair, having gone around to look at his classmates' projects and talk with some friends. This was genuine happiness, not a neutral curiosity and amicability. Triste felt thrilled to be seeing it in his partner, even if this was years ago.

    After answering all the panel's questions and seeing them move on to the next display, Colress jumped around to look at Triste. “Did I do all right? I was worried because sometimes when I’m nervous or excited, people say I talk too quiet. And they asked me so many questions, some I didn't even think about. It would be really cool if I redid the experiment, but took into account the other factors. Maybe,” he quieted down, his thoughts racing.

    “I think that was good,” Triste said. But then he had a feeling that there was more that he could do. To do it, he had to go somewhere else, and soon. “Sorry, but, I have to go.” He pointed outside.

    And he looked disappointed. “Oh, do you have to go back? I'm sorry for keeping you so long.” Then he smiled again. “But thanks so much! I hope I get to see you again, with your Trainer, because I have all sorts of questions about you. Like how you seem to communicate with light; that should be translatable.”

    “Bye,” Triste said, then waved.

    “Oh, bye Triste,” Colress said, then went to look for one of his school friends to share his excitement with.

    Triste left the school building and flew high over the road. It was busier now, and some of the cars were moving faster. It really wasn't a thing one would want near a school; he wondered how it had gotten approved to be built there. Maybe it would change, or maybe it had from his perspective from the present.

    Not far from the road, he spotted a pair that he knew were Colress' parents. He hadn't seen them, even in that memory while in his mind. But it was a certainty, as they stood out to him as being important in this time, for being his friend's parents. Triste came down near them and waved. “Hello there.”

    “Oh hey, look at this Pokemon,” Colress' mother said, smiling. “What are you doing in the middle of town?”

    “Probably belongs to someone nearby,” Colress' father said.

    “Yeah, I do,” Triste said, floating with them to the road. But once they got within a few feet, he came in front of them and held his hands up. “Okay, stop right there.”

    They did, thankfully. “What's your...?” the man said.

    And then a red car came barreling down the road, close enough to the sidewalk that Triste could feel the air moving off it. The woman yelped and held onto her husband. Before long, the car swerved and struck a lightpost. Once they got over the close call, Triste waved when it was safe for them to cross the road. The woman sat down on a bench outside the school, rather shaken by it; her husband was too, but he was trying to tough it out. A few minutes later, emergency vehicles came up. The police questioned them about the accident, but then they were free to go, having avoided the accident that should have killed them. Triste then followed them back inside to find Colress.

    A few hours later, Colress was walking back home with his wagon, empty now except for Triste who was riding in it. And Colress' parents were there too, alive, happy, and proud of their son. He had won the top ribbon for the science fair, with quite a lot of praise coming from the two scientists on the judging panel. It was amazing; this should have been a devastating day for Colress, but he'd turned it into a happy one instead. Colress had even put the blue ribbon around Triste's neck, as an acknowledgment that the day could have gone far worse without his interventions.

    But what did this mean for his time? Or what would come between, when Colress was meant to be raised and taught by Dr. Umber? What would Triste return to?

    Then the wagon stopped. Triste floated out of the wagon and saw Dr. Umber there, along with a young man that somehow resembled the Shadow Triad while being entirely human. “Excuse me,” Dr. Umber said, smiling a fake smile at them. “I meant to speak with you all earlier; I’d like to offer Colress here a special education to work with his keen intellect and talents.”

    “No, you shouldn't have him,” Triste said, floating between the groups. The humans wouldn't be able to understand his lights, but they should understand his posture and expression.

    “I don't know,” Colress' father said. It felt like he might have gone along with it, but such a response out of a friendly Pokemon made him doubt Umber.

    Umber tried to convince them; they fully refused him, saying they'd consider the boy's education options later on. Not accepting that answer, Umber simply grabbed Colress by the arm and yanked him away from his parents. Triste wanted to fight back to free him, but then the quiet man in black threw a dagger into the Beeheeyem's jaw, knocking him onto the ground. Colress called for him, but then a feeling of blackness overcame Triste. He'd fallen back into the crack in time.

    Well, he changed things a little bit. Right? Now he just had to get back home. He went to pull the dagger out, but found that it was gone already. He was still bleeding, his head in a lot of pain from the injury. Triste tried to move, heading in the direction he thought his Colress was in. Images flitted in and out of his mind, like those memories from Colress. However, they seemed to be changing.

    And he was weakening. No, he'd get back... no matter what, he'd get back. “Help?” He sent his lights out into the darkness, hoping to reach the Pokemon who had sent him back.

    “Hey!” But that was the voice of a human girl. “You know the way home?”

    “Th-that way,” Triste said, pointing in the way he felt. She grabbed him, carrying him the rest of the way back. But, who was she? His consciousness seemed to be fading.

    After a moment, he felt the familiar presence of Colress. Triste looked at him; he looked afraid and frantic because Triste was bleeding so badly. But he was back home with his friend. There was no question now that Colress cared about him.

    Hoping that those feelings would lead Colress to chose the right way, Triste decided to trust him and rest.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  19. #169
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    Awwww.. This chapter with lil' Colress is adorable. So we finally know who Nate really is and Hilda is back! Can't wait for the next few chapters.

  20. #170
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    I really don't know how to feel about this revelation. This feels slightly forced to me, especially as this seems to have come out of literally nowhere. You've probably had this in mind for a while, but...

    Also, Hilda is back. This is a good thing.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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

  21. #171
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    Chapter 39: Yet Another World

    Giant Chasm mystery dungeon

    Thinking that this area would be like the Giant Chasm, Hilda and her Pokemon decided to go into the icy cave. They could meet up with the Kyurem of this world, who should recall things from N here based on what they had seen. If he couldn't help them back, he would at least know what Pokemon would be able to help. However, this cave was much larger than Giant Chasm. It was made up of large floors of sprawling hallways that connected small rooms that often had odd traps in them. Her Gothitelle Frank noted that the space here seemed odd, chaotic in nature even if it had a somewhat orderly appearance. It was quite cold, something that affected Hilda and Fedora greatly. But they tolerated it.

    And the Pokemon were odd too. Few of them spoke, and what ones did spoke in a limited primitive fashion. Not even her own Pokemon could fully understand them. Animal-like in nature, they claimed certain areas as territory and acted defensively when they got near. The group tried to avoid fighting them too much as a result, although since stairways seemed to be the only real way to advance deeper into the cave, there were some fights that had to be picked.

    On about the sixth level they had entered, they heard voices down a hallway. “Brr, it's getting even colder. We must be getting close, although I fear I’ll freeze my tail feathers off before we reach it.”

    “You'll be fine. It's not that bad.”

    “Easy for you to say.”

    “Oo, is that gonna be some smart ones?” Mimi asked. “I hope they're nice.”

    “Only one way to find out,” Hilda said, then cupped her hands around her mouth. “Hey buddy! Where's the stairs?”

    “Haven't found them yet!” a sing-song voice replied. “Meet you halfway?”

    “We'll see about that!”

    “Who else would be down here?” the second unknown Pokemon said, just barely audible.

    They walked down a short hallway into a decent sized room, one which held the stairs further down near one of the walls. There were a few trap squares that Hilda spotted in the room, including one shortly in front of the room entrance where the other pair came in: a Jigglypuff and a Chatot. The Jigglypuff perked up on seeing them. “Oh, hello there! Many friends exploring together, huh? Lots of fun.” He came directly towards them.

    “Yeah, something like that,” Fedora said.

    “Hey, watch your step there,” Hilda said, pointing the floor in front of the Jigglypuff; he did stop before triggering it. “There's a trap right in front of you.”

    “Oh?” He looked at it, then kicked some snow to reveal some spikes that shot up. “Wow, scary. Didn't see that one coming. Thank you!” But he sounded more excited than worried about the trap.

    “You've got quite a crew together,” the Chatot said. “What're you doing in Giant Chasm?”

    “We're looking for a big grumpy dragon, cause we gotta talk to him,” Hilda said.

    That made the Jigglypuff laugh. “Hey, I think we're looking for the same dragon! Want to join up forces? I'm Bartleby, and this is my partner Charlie.”

    “Yay, we'll have more friends!” Mimi said, smiling.

    “Yeah, that'll be good,” Hilda said, already thinking through how to explain further what they were doing for, if asked for that information. “Well I'm Hilda, and my crew here is Fedora, Mimi, Frank, Tarzan, and Olette.”

    Bartleby waved his hands happily. “Great, nice to meet you, new friends! Hey, are you a human Hilda?”

    “That's nonsense,” Charlie said. “Just because there's pictures of humans in some ruins doesn't mean that they exist. You don't have to put on such a silly act all the time.”

    “Well then how do you explain her?” Tarzan said. “She is a human.”

    “You can't be serious,” Charlie said. “She's, um...” He put a wing on his chin in thought. “A Medicham?”

    “Sorry bub, but I am a human,” Hilda said. “It's no big deal. I'll be friends with anybody who wants to be friends. Come on, let's go before we get too cold.”

    “Yeah, I need to keep moving or I’ll want to fall asleep,” Fedora said, slithering down the stairs after her.

    “Yoom-tah, let's go!” Bartleby hurried up too, followed by the rest of their group.

    On the next level, they finally came to a large open cavern of ice so strong and pure that it scattered their reflections all around the room. In the middle of it, Kyurem seemed to be resting. But he opened his eyes as they approached. “What do you want?” he grumbled sleepily.

    “Hello, hello!” Bartleby said, as cheerily as he had greeted them. “We've got some questions for you.”

    “And what makes you think I'll answer any?” Kyurem said. “Are you going to challenge me?”

    “If we have to,” Tarzan said, shaking a fist at him.

    But Hilda held a hand up to the Scrafty. “Yeah, but I believe you owe me some help.”

    “Hmm?” He stretched his head out, then shook himself before sitting up. “Oh, it's you Hilda. I knew you'd show up sooner or later.”

    She nodded. “Yeah. So you should know that we need to get home, and I don't know how to use this thing.” She tapped the bracelet with the orbs.

    “Wait, wait,” Charlie said, looking up at her with some suspicion. “You already knew him?”

    “Don't just to conclusions, bird,” Kyurem growled. “The six here with you are heroes from another world. They ended up in this world through accident, a very long time ago when an insane legendary was on the brink of destroying our world. Hilda managed to make him stop his destructive madness with nothing more than words. But as a result of him giving up his power, she and her friends ended up shunted to this time. Thus, I do owe it to her to get them home.”

    “Wow, that's amazing!” Bartleby said, while Charlie had his beak dropped open at hearing that.

    “It wasn't quite that grand, but yeah,” Hilda said. “That happened.”

    “Unfortunately, I'm not best suited to activating those orbs,” Kyurem said. A sparkling light appeared in front of Hilda, forming into a stone ring. “What I can do is give you a key to the Dimensional Corridor where Giratina dwells. I'll let him know that he should help you, but it's up to you to get to him. Sorry, but there's rules which can't be broken.”

    She shrugged, then took the ring key. “It's all right. We were curious to see what the world turned out like anyhow. So how's this work?”

    “Twist it into the right position, then it will form a portal to the corridor dungeon when tossed on the ground,” Kyurem said. “Once you leave, the ring's power will be used up. Giratina's dungeon is deeper than mine, though, so prepare yourself well before entering.”

    “All right, we'll do that,” she said, putting the ring key in her bag. “And these two had something to talk with you about too.”

    “Oh yes,” the Jigglypuff said. “The Pokemon of the town nearby would like you to stop making ice appear in their streets. It's supposed to be spring, but it's still winter there.”

    “Yeah, why are you keeping everyone freezing?” Charlie asked.

    Kyurem snorted. “That's not my doing. Someone took a Nevermeltice from my chamber not that long ago, without asking me for it. The ice that is near me has special qualities that make some crystals multiply when exposed to the moon. That's why I don't let them go freely.”

    “Then how do we fix it?” Bartleby asked, accepting that explanation.

    “Find the one that came from my dungeon; it will have a glow that the regular Nevermeltice does not have. Throw it back in here, then have a number of Pokemon use Sunny Day to eliminate the unformed ice crystals. Anything that doesn't melt in an hour will be a normal non-multiplying Nevermeltice. Do whatever you want with those.”

    “Okay, thank you friend Kyurem!” Bartleby then turned to her. “Hey Hilda? Can we go to the Dimensional Corridor with you, after we fix the ice? That sounds like a fun place!”

    “It sounds dangerous,” Charlie said.

    “Sure, sounds good,” Hilda said with a smile.

    -+-

    As it turned out, Bartleby and Charlie were experienced explorers of the strange dungeons in this world, like Giant Chasm had been. They would be a good help in the Dimensional Corridor as well due to that. But they couldn't get supplies until the town's problem was fixed, so the six of them helped out with clearing the Nevermeltice problem they had. The ice was indeed thick and treacherous, like a strong winter's storm had recently passed through. But once the glowing crystal of ice was found and sent back into Giant Chasm, the problem was quickly corrected and the Pokemon could work on their spring tasks again.

    The Pokemon town was definitely interesting to observe. More so than humans, each Pokemon had things they were very good at and things that they could not do at all. Alone, they would have a tough time making a living; it might be why there were so many thoughtless wild Pokemon in the dungeons. But as a community, the Pokemon could distribute tasks to those who could do them best and cooperate so that all would thrive. Everyone did their part because if not, they would fall out of the community's favor and have to live on their own. A Pokemon who tried to intimidate others with strength would be seen as a bully and not helped with tasks that might need intelligence. It all seemed very fair, with equality and respect given great importance. While it wasn't perfect, as evident from the wanted lists of criminals who took advantage of the system, the Pokemon seemed quite happy to live like this.

    As pleasant as it was, they were needed back home. Hilda still had a good amount of spray medicines, berries, and other items that could be used to heal and strengthen the others; she couldn't fight like they could, but she was fine with playing a healing, support, and encouragement role in the group. Charlie helped her pick out and buy some other supplies that would help them get through a long dungeon like the Dimensional Corridor. After a day of rest and chatting with the town Pokemon, she led the group outside of town, twisted the ring around itself until it clicked, then opened up their way into the dungeon.

    The Dimensional Corridor seemed, well, oddly ordinary. It had the same warped sense of space as the Giant Chasm dungeon, but appeared to be a perfectly normal human building. Each room and hall was normal looking, although the way they were arranged and the way different styles clashed was abnormal. A dull concrete hall with steel doors would lead into a richly decorated room of marble and gold. A school hallway, complete with many lockers, led into a messy garage. There were even some rooms and halls that reminded Hilda of N's castle, or her own home.

    “This is one of the strangest dungeons I’ve ever seen,” Bartleby said, looking over the red carpet in one hallway. “Soft and hard, cold and warm, and such strange furnishings!”

    “A lot of it looks like human buildings,” Frank said, glancing at a grandfather clock. “But most of them wouldn't have a fraction of this variety.”

    “Even so, humans must have a strange sense of interior design,” Charlie said. “I mean, covering a whole floor in fabric? It's soft, sure, but it would be such a pain to keep clean.”

    After twelve levels of this, they came to a room like a palace, with many black marble pillars stretching up to the ceiling far overhead. It seemed empty at first, but then Giratina phased into the center of the palace. Made up of many body segments and legs, Giratina coiled around in the air until his head was close to the ground; his eye was as tall as Hilda was. “A human, in this world? Then, you must be the ones that Kyurem sent.”

    She nodded. “That's right. And you can help us back home?”

    The immense Poekmon blinked. “That's right. But first, those that are native to this world must leave this space. We don't want any more unfortunate accidents. Unless you two had another reason to come.” His eye shifted to look more directly at the Jigglypuff and Chatot.

    “Um, did we have a reason for coming out here too?” Charlie asked.

    “Nope!” Bartleby said with a smile. “Just wanted to see what we could see. Bye friends! Thanks for the adventure!”

    Hilda nodded. “Yeah, that was fun. I can't wait to tell my friends about this, like making pebbles explode or anything we did.” She chuckled. “Bye Bartleby! Have fun adventuring!”

    “Always!” After an exchange of goodbyes, Bartleby and Charlie headed off to a teleport tile to leave the Dimensional Corridor.

    “I think Kyurem could have sent you home with his own power,” Giratina said, once they were gone. “But I know why he would have sent you to me anyways. I am Giratina, master of dimensions. I have many forms in many worlds, but I only have one self, existing in all at once. Therefore, it is simply a matter of bringing myself and you all to another dimensional place where I am.”

    “Right, and then I could give these back to you so they cause less trouble,” Hilda said. “All right, we're ready to go back home!”

    “Yeah, and find daddy!” Mimi said (she was still in the habit of calling Kyurem 'daddy', even as a Cinccino).

    “We are there,” Giratina said.

    “This doesn't look any different,” Fedora said.

    “No, it changed,” Frank said. “Like turning the page of a book, when the pages are invisible.”

    “Correct.” Giratina blinked again. “And the orbs?”

    Hilda took the bracelet off and held it out to his eyeball. “Yeah, you can take them. Though I'm not sure where to put them.”

    The orb bracelet lifted off her hand, then was flung into the air by an invisible force. “I've got them. Thanks for getting them back.” One of his antennae bent down, then pointed between a pair of pillars. “Also, I've received a message from a friend. Celebi says that's your way back home to Unova. The path is dark, but once you step between those pillars, don't stop. Along the way, you'll find a Pokemon that can find the path's exit. Make sure to bring him along.”

    “Okay, we'll be sure to keep moving,” Hilda said. “Thanks for the help back here, Giratina. Okay, ready guys?”

    “Ready!” Fedora said, getting agreement and nods from the rest.

    “Well then let's go home!” She started running through the pillars, not too fast as Olette was still out with them, but it didn't feel right to just walk.

    Before long, darkness surrounded them. The only lights came from the floor, when their feet, paws, or belly (in Fedora's case) made contact. They had a feeling like time wasn't quite right here; they weren't back in the normal world just yet. And the only thing to do was keep moving.

    Eventually, they spotted the Pokemon: a Beheeyem who was struggling to hover down the path as well. He had a pretty nasty wound on his face, near where his jawline should be, still bleeding and looking very painful. Some of the blood had even gotten on the blue ribbon around his neck. “Hey!” Hilda shouted. “Do you know the way home?” She grabbed hold of him as she got into reach.

    “Th-that way,” the Beheeyem said, pointing a little out of their current direction. Hilda nodded, shifting over there and continuing to run until they found what seemed to be a crack in the air itself.

    They emerged in the middle of a farm. Abundant Shrine, from the looks of it. For a moment, time continued to be strange as she turned around, seeing that all of her Pokemon had made it too. Close by, there was Nate, looking in bad shape while an older man, Sage Ryoko, was trying to support him from fainting. A third man was close by, rather distinctive with some kind of computer device as a visor over one of his eyes. The third man looked pale and upset over something.

    There was a silent snap and time reverted to normalcy. The crack that had been in the air vanished, perhaps repaired, perhaps shifted somewhere harmless. Giratina would know what exactly. As a result of the fix, Nate managed to get back on his feet, a little disoriented but not badly off this time. He looked over on noticing them and smiled. “Oh, Hilda, you got here too.”

    “Triste!” The blond man came over to Hilda, his attention on the Beheeyem she was holding. “Oh gods, I'm sorry, what happened to you?”

    “He was in the dimensional corridor that I took back here,” Hilda said, handing the Pokemon over. “Hey, is there a Pokecenter near here now?”

    “For that injury?” Ryoko asked. “The best thing would be to go into Black City or Undella to the Pokecenters there. We don't have much here other than basic care and healing.”

    “I'd lend you a flying Pokemon if I had one,” Hilda said. It was important to get this Beheeyem into a doctor's care fast.

    Although squinting from the daylight, Nate took a Pokeball and released a Sigilyph. “Rune, would you take Colress and Triste to Black City's Pokecenter? Stay with them if they need more help.”

    “If that's what you want for them,” Rune said, flying over to their side.

    That made the man look guilty for a bit, but his concern over his Pokemon was greater than that. “You'd still help us? Thank you.” Colress nodded to the Sigilyph, who soon vanished with them in Fly to get them to good care quickly.

    “Okay, I really want to know the story behind that one,” Hilda said, looking at Nate and Ryoko. Then she smiled. “Hey Nate! Good to see you again.”

    “I’d like to know this story too,” Ryoko said. “Normally we don't allow many visitors here, but I'll make an exception for you. If you have time, please come into the lodge for a bit.”

    “I should really call some people first, let them know that I’m back,” Hilda said. “How long's it been? A couple of months?”

    “Fourteen months, I believe,” Nate said, rubbing his head. “Also... where are we? I was in Driftveil coming out of the Tournament, and then I’m not entirely sure how Colress got me here.”

    “Sounds like both of you should make some calls first,” Ryoko said. “But come along; I can get you something to drink and eat in the meantime.”

    -+-

    Nothing else mattered at the moment. Colress strode into the Pokecenter the moment he appeared outside it, brushing past a couple to get to the desk. There were a few people waiting in line for the nurse, but that wasn't enough. “This Pokemon needs emergency care,” he said to the nurse on duty.

    “Yes, right away,” the nurse on duty said, pausing in her normal work to allow him through the door in back. “The doctor should be with you shortly. Follow the nurse Pokemon's guide.”

    He was met in back by an Audino, who pricked its ears up then waved him into the closest room. The Audino pointed out one of the beds, then began doing some tasks at a low console nearby. For a brief moment, the thought flitted through his mind that it must take an extraordinary amount of training to get these caretaker Pokemon to handle technology. While it would have gotten his curiosity any other time, it barely distracted him as he put Triste in the bed.

    A wound that looked like it was inflicted by a thrown blade... and a blue ribbon around his neck. Not the blue ribbon one would expect as an accessory on a Pokemon. This one glinted gold in spots and was given an elaborate but mass-produced bow, as one would expect of a prize at a small-scale competition. It stirred up memories in Colress' mind, but they didn't feel right. He didn't feel right at the moment. Maybe this was being sick with worry.

    But then why did it also feel like he was being displaced? It was like seeing double, but through feeling. Colress put a hand on his head, then saw the ribbon and wound go out of existence briefly. But then they returned. It was like... a crack in space-time, leading to divergent timelines. But it wasn't the future that diverged, but the past.

    His reason deemed that ridiculous. Time was hard to crack. But then, there were several Pokemon said to be capable of warping or even cracking time. Beheeyem? No, he hadn't read of that ability in them before, just memory manipulation such as when they removed his memories of being in that underground spaceship. Memory manipulation... some memories came into his mind and didn't seem right. Had Triste done that instead? But why?

    Or had he? Because that ribbon was there, or not there, and Colress still felt displaced. Standing in two timelines at once.

    The doctor came in and things continued being out of sync. Triste would need stitches for the dagger wound. Or the immediate theory was that he had been hit by some powerful Pokemon attack that distorted the fabric of time and space and he'd need some strong therapy to come out of it. In that, he couldn't deny that something was out of whack with time. He was indeed participating in two conversations with the same man at once. The doctor in one of those conversations took off the ribbon and handed it to Colress, telling him to wait in the waiting room in back here so that others didn't disturb him. And both versions sent him that way so work could begin.

    Colress went to the other room and sat down in the chair, relieved that no one else was in here (in either version). He looked over the ribbon or not-ribbon in his hand. Once a bit of blood was cleared away, he saw that it was for first place at a science fair. At his school, which he had won years ago. Or had not and never got this ribbon. What was Triste doing with it? No, that wasn't the right question. What was the difference in memories here?

    And that difference was Triste. Either he had been on his own, gotten his project display wrecked by some bullies, and heard of his parents getting killed before Umber took him in... or Triste had appeared, protecting him from the bullies, helping his parents get across the road safely, and even trying to stop Umber from kidnapping him. But the strange ninja that often worked for Umber had knocked Triste out of the air with a dagger. In that case, perhaps the uncertainty in space and time when Nate and his other self Ryoko met sent Triste back to the afternoon of that science fair, and then sent him back to the present after a few hours in the past and a few seconds in the present.

    That seemed so unlikely. The chances of Triste getting to exactly the right moment and directly back must be hilariously slim. Unless there was an intelligence behind the move. But, why? Why go back in time and modify that afternoon? Umber would get a hold of him either way; it didn't make a difference.

    Or did it?

    Colress watched the ribbon phase in and out of existence until it started making him feel sick. He closed his eyes for a moment. How did he get out of this? It would be difficult to continue on like this. Maybe even impossible. One of these timelines was true and the other had to be false. But which? How did he decide? This wasn't something he had studied before.

    “Why did I name him Triste?” he asked himself quietly. Two memories of the same moment came into his mind. One said that he named the Elgyem simply because he liked the sound of the name despite what it meant. That was what he thought was right, what he knew he thought all along. But there was another one that seemed just as real, saying he named Triste Triste because when he saw the Elgyem, the name came into his mind as something that fit, as if he'd already been named Triste. Which would mean that the Beheeyem had managed to get into the past and help him out back then.

    Going somewhat on guesstimates, he logged onto the Plasma information network and searched for information on the human memory. A little down the list, he found a copy of a paper from Dr. Umber, on manipulating and altering memories in humans. Colress brought it up and skimmed it for vital data, which brought him to a line in the conclusion section. 'While this study has proven that it is possible to manufacture false memories in precise directions, it only stuck in one subject and I theorize that a strong enough reminder could lead the subject to unwind the falsehood. It may be possible to enhance the methodology used, but it was costly in time, resources, and energy. That cost will only rise to give the falsehoods more staying power. Thus, further research into this subject by myself and my team will be dropped.'

    One subject. He checked the article again, but was unable to determine who that subject was. Or if it was even possible for himself to be that one subject. He had a feeling that at this moment, his memory having been tampered with was true and false at the same time. Until he could settle on which that was, he'd continue feeling displaced and stuck in two timelines at once.

    It was nothing more than a feeling. That tempted Colress to dismiss the whole issue and tackle this in another way. Or, was it intuition? He normally didn't follow intuition blindly. It wasn't scientific, linking facts that weren't yet proven to be linked but seemed like they could be. But hadn't it been intuition that led him on this memory course in the first place? And possibly intuition that told him that he didn't have a lot of time to decide. If he didn't decide, it would fall out of his control and he'd have to take what he got.

    What if staying indecisive affected if Triste would recover or not? If it did, he couldn't afford to be indecisive. Never mind that he didn't yet have proof. He had to find the true present by finding something that proved to him, without a doubt, which one it was.

    And there was this physical proof: the blue ribbon from the science fair. That was another moment that was in a flux. To solve it, Colress did something he thought he'd never do: research his old school and see what happened when he attended it. While he found the school easily enough, its online records back that many years were not great. But he did find a contact in the school librarian, sending that individual a query about checking the old records to see that particular year. It might take some time; would the division settle itself by the time he heard back on it?

    There was something else he thought of while looking at a picture of the school. His parents. Either they had been run over by a speeding car on that day, or they lived past that moment. Thinking on that made his stomach feel queasy. He could remember the horrible fear on hearing that they were in the hospital, and then dead. But, he could also remember a different kind of fear, being blindfolded and driven off somewhere far from them, not knowing if the ninja had attacked them too. Both felt real, but only one could be.

    Colress tapped the keyboard of his Xtransceiver nervously, not yet typing something in. His parents... finding their fate made him nervous. He couldn't even explain it to himself. He was neutral in all things, keeping a role as observer and scientist. However, that flew out of his mind when it came to them. He normally just didn't think about them, accepting that there was no way back to them. But was that because they were dead, or because Umber made him think they were dead?

    Before he could get himself to make a search on his parents' names, he got a reply back from the school librarian. Trying to put the surprise aside, he checked into the information found. Class rosters no (but there he was), club photos no (although he was in the science club photo), events... there was the science fair, and... his name, in first place, with a photo of the unblemished display on the table and himself grinning in excitement. And his parents, proud of him. And... Triste, hanging in the background, uninjured and watching him, pleased with how things turned out.

    “It was him,” he said quietly, feeling the displacement dissolve into nothing. The blue ribbon stayed there at his side. And he was sure that when the doctor came back in, he'd be talking about Triste having stitches.

    What else did that change? Colress reviewed his memories, finding the planted ones easy to pick out now. The planted memories affected his personal development, so some later events were based off of falseness within himself. But the truth... he found that he had not been as cooperative with Umber as he had been in the timeline when Triste had not been at the science fair. Umber has still drilled a stance of neutrality and scientific observation into him, but only after the memory modification experiments. Before then, there were times when Colress was slow in the projects he was assigned to work on. He would even sneak time and resources to his own interests, such as deciphering the light language of the Beheeyem. And now that he remembered that, he could think of some of that research. The color and intensity of the light mattered, as did the way the Beheeyem moved its fingers while signing the words. With some more work, he might even be able to talk with Triste as freely as he did with other humans.

    Since the timelines were decided on, Colress finally put the names of his parents into an internet search. And it didn't take long to find them. His father still did homebrew inventing, with a fair number of small devices to his name. And his mother was currently working for an organization that spread information on missing children, encouraged assistance on such cases, and supported the families who were searching for them. She was even one of its leaders now, and he knew why she was there before he even brought up her profile page with the group: she joined them because they could never find him, but the group had gone above and beyond the call of duty in trying to help. Now she did the same for other parents, sometimes unsuccessful, but it seemed it worked more often than not.

    He wondered if he should send her an email, letting her know that he was alive. He wanted to. But no. Colress knew that an email out of the blue might be suspected. Some further searching of the organization's site gave him a DNA matching tool. He could submit his own; if he was still in the system, it should give an alert to his parents that it had come across a positive match. Then he could see them again.

    Before he could look into what he needed to do, he got a message from Ghetsis, wanting to know where he was. He sent back a message, saying that he was busy. He didn't want to leave the center until he knew Triste was going to be okay. But he should have guessed that Ghetsis wouldn't accept that. The man sent back a message that Colress needed to respond to him in person, immediately. And that they were going to make another attempt to get Reshiram and the Splicer artifact.

    Looking at that took his mind off the current problem he had. Ghetsis was determined to put that plan into motion, a plan that Colress had gone along with because he wanted to know if a specialized artifact could really fuse two enormously powerful legendary Pokemon together, and what the results would be. From the evidence he had pulled out of history and myth, the resulting dragon would be capable of destroying all of Unova in minutes, or even less. And that power could be getting into the hands of someone that he knew was unhinged with a megalomaniac inclination. The world could be changing at the drop of a hat.

    “What was I thinking?” Colress said to himself, shutting off what he was doing and trying to recall his plans. He had to get control of this situation and mitigate the damage, and fast. But how to do that without ticking off Ghetsis, who already had control over Kyurem (because of his work) and the Shadow Triad (alive because he could help them)?
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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  22. #172
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    You sneaky author you, explaining extra backstory of long-completed fics inside others. Hilda went to the Loopholes world? That's... not exactly a surprise, what with the cameo earlier.

    Oh, and Colress can apparantly perceive timelines. Does this mean he's part Time Lord, and that his teleportation device is secretly a TARDIS?
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  23. #173
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    did you actually just throw mystery dungeon in there what in hell
    It's interesting that Colress is able to distinguish between the new and old timelines, but I suppose that works better than simply having a hard reboot of his memories in an instant.

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  24. #174
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    Less Time Lord and more Schrodinger's Cat, with both being true and untrue until Colress looked into finding evidence. And Mystery Dungeon... why not? Alternate N said he wanted a world for Pokemon alone, and that's what he got. Which means it's not exactly the same world as Loopholes, but given that story involves messing with time-space to the point of corruption, it might actually be...
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

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

  25. #175
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    It would explain some things in Loopholes if Hilda taught Bartleby some things offscreen... Like reading human writing, and hence the sign language, or even recognizing what-was-her-name as a human. I forget, I haven't read it in a fairly long time.
    "Nothing is impossible- The word itself says, 'I'm possible!'"- Audrey Hepburn

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