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ClicheStorm 2 (PG-13)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Ysavvryl, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    And now, based off the Black 2 and White 2 games... following up on my last cliche storm of a story... we take more cliches to ridiculous extremes!

    PM List
    Missingno. Master, gmoyes, Rotomknight, Agent Tectonic, Agonist, 3D992, Ga'Hooleone, charizarddude, Z-nogyroP, SonicSceptile, scizorstrike, mattman324, TheDarkKnightFalls

    ClicheStorm 2

    Chapter 1: The White Beginning

    Shrill sirens filled the air when he came out of the store. He looked around, but the sky was dark and half of the city lights weren't on. From another block nearby, there was a riot of violent clamor. It was an unfortunately common event lately; the main reason he'd gone out at this time was because it had seemed quiet. Not wanting to get caught in that, he ran away from the noise. He seemed to be out of sight of the chaos and he didn't hear anyone following him.

    When had things gotten this bad? He couldn't think of a certain point; law in this area had been eroding over several years, picking up speed as the chaos spread. Now there was broken glass scattered through the cracked streets while a great many buildings crumbled. There were fewer safe areas, if the security there wasn't an illusion. And to think, the changes that had led to this situation had been anticipated as a necessary revolution of thought.

    It had been that, right?

    He didn't let himself think on that too long. It was more important to get home, which should distant enough to still be safe. Feeling a little more secure with fresh supplies on hand, he kept his travel bag close and ran. It was close to the store, but with his nerves on edge, it didn't seem like that.

    And then he saw her, a brown-haired girl with a white and pink baseball cap looking at the sky. She didn't seem familiar, but what struck him as strange was how she seemed lost in thought out there in the open. Didn't she know it was dangerous, especially to a lone girl? He could just leave her standing there. Yet if he did, he'd certainly worry about what happened to her, being oblivious like that.


    “I'm home,” he said, glancing around. The windows were barred and nothing had been moved. Still safe.

    “Who do you live with?” she asked.

    “Nobody.” Once she was in, he shut the door and latched the three locks closed.

    “Then why do you say that?”

    He shrugged. “Habit.”

    “Hey, did you ever dream of going to another world?”

    He glanced up from his DS as she plopped down in the seat across the coffee table. “What for?”

    She shrugged and gestured out the window. “Well it's not like this place is that great. Sorry if it offends you.”

    “Not really,” he said, looking back to his game. “I am being escapist, but only with the games, and only because it's as you say.”

    “Then here, try this one.” She tossed a white DS cartridge onto the table between them. “If you start a new game on that, you'll end up in that world.”

    Picking up the game to look at it, he noticed it was a Pokemon game he had picked up some time ago. But the label was smudged and all he could tell of the version was a 'C'. “Is this...?”

    “Why me? You could use it to get back home.”

    “I read your journal and gave it some thought.”

    The apartment was quiet again, as he'd lived for quite some time. It had suited him fine and yet, now it wasn't. After having a lively guest like that girl around, the atmosphere seemed stifled and cold. There was the chaos outside, and the stillness in here, like a morgue. Nothing changed in here and the outside degraded.

    Actually, something had changed. He looked over the odd game she had given him. A way to another world, a way out of this mess. It didn't seem logical, and yet he found some hope in holding it. Given how he'd found her, maybe it only a claim of the insane. But if it did work...

    If it didn't work, then at least it'd be a new game to play, something he hadn't had in a long time. He picked up his white DS and popped out the Pokemon game he'd been playing previously in exchange for this Pokemon 'C'. He was pretty sure that it wasn't Crystal, since it was a DS cartridge, not GBC. With that in, he flipped the cover up and slid the power bar up.

    The console started up as usual. On the menu screen, he could finally see that this was 'Pokemon ClicheStorm 2', which was a version he'd never heard of. He stared at the title for a moment, partly stunned that they'd be daring enough to title it that and partly stunned that it managed to be a sequel. What was the purpose in choosing such a derogatory title? At any rate, he tapped on the title to get the game started. He let the opening movie play like he did with all of his games when he started them.

    This one was a particularly weird sequence of images flashing by.

    Lightning illuminated a rain-soaked scene where the legendary Keldeo backed up warily, facing off against a unidentifiable human figure.

    A broken mask that seemed made of ice lay on the ground while someone fell in the background.

    Dust flew through the air between two sides of a Pokemon battle, in a setting that seemed appropriate for a high noon face-off scene in a Western.

    Reshiram and Zekrom descended in a forest clearing, as two young men waited for them.

    A different guy sat in a library with a blond girl nearby, both looking through newspaper clippings and discussing something.

    A strange trio of ninjas observed a couple talking by a tree and garden of tulips, the couple unaware of their presence.

    A broken figure of a man in a large cloak standing at the edge of a ship with another nearby, looking over a frozen landscape.

    And other images, including one that seemed to be of himself, only smiling and laughing with a girl he didn't know yet while they ran along a wooded path.

    Maybe the offer was real? At any rate, the game Pokemon ClicheStorm 2 was now on its title screen, with an image of an unfamiliar Pokemon on the bottom screen. It seemed to be a Dragon type, and it resembled some others. But which ones... he was having trouble coming up with the names. 'Touch the screen to start' flashed on the bottom screen, so he did that.

    A blinding light erupted from his DS, swallowing him whole.

    He tried to close his eyes, but the brightness seemed to pass through his eyelids and turn his vision a dark pink. It was literally painful, making his head feel like it was going to burst and like it was detached from the rest of his body. After a few seconds, he heard the sound of someone with wet sneakers approaching him. He opened his eyes briefly and saw an outline of the person, but otherwise it was still entirely white.

    “Hi, welcome to the world of Pokemon!” a cheerful voice said. “Filled with loads of wonder and mysteries, you're sure to find the adventure of your life if you dare step out to find it. Gosh, I sound like a tour guide.” She laughed merrily.

    As she spoke, a good deal of the pain and brightness subsided. It was unmistakably that girl, an older teenager with her frizzy brown hair hanging out of the back of her pink and white baseball cap. A patch of a black and white dragon was on the front of that cap. Other than that incongruity, she was dressed mostly with that pink and white scheme, with a short skirt, a simple t-shirt, and matching sneakers. At her side, she even had a matching shoulder bag.

    “What?” He put his hand to his forehead, trying to shield his eyes some as the whiteness of their surroundings was too much. “What happened?”

    “You do remember what we talked about?” she asked, serious in concern.

    “Urgh.” He looked down, feeling another flash of pain as he tried to remember it. He noticed a pendant he was wearing, a black and white sphere on an old cord. While he felt it was important, he couldn't think of why that was either.

    The girl sighed. “You forgot. We were afraid that would happen. Still, no turning back now. Do you remember anything?”

    “I remember meeting you, I think,” he said. “And a little bit of our conversations, but it doesn't make much sense. Something about video games and... animals? I don't think I really forgot; it's too painful to think.”

    She put her hands on her hips. “If what you wrote about happens again, then you should remember when you find the right triggers. I hope that doesn't cause too much trouble.” Then she smirked. “Well then, I have a bit of a spiel to get through anyhow, so see if that helps. Ahem. As I was saying, this is a world with mysterious creatures we call Pokemon. My name is Hilda Medley; I'm a Pokemon Trainer, which means I work with a group of Pokemon to make them stronger and happier, so that we're all a tight-knit team that can accomplish anything we set our minds to. Mostly, we've been traveling the lands searching for fun, friendship, and mischief. And this,” she pulled out a ball similar what he was wearing around his neck, “is a Pokemon.” She pushed a button on the ball and a red light jumped out of it.

    In moments, the light turned into a cute creature beside her. It was a fluffy creature that stood up to the girl's waist, covered in thick gray and cream fur. Part of its left ear was bitten out, but it seemed to be an old scar. “Coooruuu!” she called in a happy-sounding voice.

    “Careful, she can launch giant meteors.” Hilda then laughed.

    “It's a game; isn't that kind of the point?” he asked.

    “To you, at this time,” she said. “But you're gonna have to stop thinking of it as a game, since you're going to be living in it. I think you'll be better off for it. Anyhow... as I said, Pokemon are mysterious creatures; we're constantly learning more about them. They work with us, play with us, sometimes even battle for us. Most of all, they can be some of the best friends you've ever met, as long as you show them love and respect. Now, tell me a little bit about yourself. Are you a boy or a girl?”

    This had to be done in person? “Can't you tell?”

    “Sor-ry!” she said, entirely too cheerful. “I'm blind in this space.”

    “By my voice?”

    “Deaf too.” She put her hands over her ears. “La la la, you gotta say it!”

    “Ko?” the Pokemon asked, looking up at her Trainer curiously.

    “But then how can you...?”

    “Don't bother wondering why,” Hilda interrupted, uncovering her ears to wave her hands in a negative sign. “Just answer the question: are you a boy or a girl?”

    After a stubborn pause, he replied, “I'm a boy.”

    “I thought so!” After he groaned, she added, “And what's your name?”

    His lips started to move, but the name didn't come immediately to mind. When he tried to think about it directly, it was still painful. Then he considered how he input names in games, with the keyboard on the DS touch screen. Something came to mind with that, maybe not his name but it was a name he used. “Nate.”

    Hilda tilted her head. “You really are not much of a talker.”

    He shrugged. “Well this is kind of weird. I'm not sure what to say.”

    “You'd better get used to the weird, even when I'm not around.” Hilda put a finger to her lips. “Listen, Nate... your adventure in this world is about to begin. You're going to have to rely on your wits, your dreams, and your words to get through this. You can do anything you want, but there will be repercussions on everything, good and bad. That's part of getting along in any world. I hope you can find yourself, and learn more about what you want to do with your life. But if you're up to it... I could use your help.”

    “You don't seem to be in trouble,” Nate said, glancing around. But all he could see was white, and Hilda. And now himself, he realized, looking down and seeing his usual blue shorts, checkered shirt, and black shoes.

    “Oh, I'm in trouble,” she said, less boisterous than before. “Loads of trouble. But I think it's important, and that I can do something about it.”

    That was important. “What do you need me to do?”

    She shook her head. “I can't entirely say, not without alerting others. But remember my name, and find out what happened to me. That should tell you what needs to be done. You can ask my friends Bianca and Cheren for more information.” Then she smiled again. “Oh, and tell Cheren that he totally needs to get a good bowler hat to go with his new look, as he looks way too preppy now. He would be so styling with the proper hat.”

    “Okay, I guess,” Nate said, scratching his head. He wasn't sure how that would help. Hopefully it'd make more sense when he got around to finding those people.

    “You guess right,” she said, all cheerful again. However, her image was fading into the whiteness. “Now more importantly, you should look to make a difference in your adventures. Make sure that people remember you and care about you, by doing awesome things. At the end of it all, you should get the reward of having a say in your ultimate fate. Have fun out there, and remember to always respect your Pokemon.” Then she and her Pokemon were completely gone.

    In their place, there was a gray distortion in all the white. It shifted like a curtain moving in a breeze. Nate wondered for a moment what she meant by his ultimate fate, but the more immediate issue was that he didn't want to stay in this obnoxiously white place any longer than he had to. With nowhere else to go, he walked through the distortion.

    He immediately stumbled and fell on his hands and knees onto a bed. There was an orange and yellow quilt under him; the bright colors seemed momentarily alien. Outside the windows, there was a steady patter of rain. Nate looked up and the first thing he saw was the surprised face of a girl his age. She had large brown eyes and weird looping ponytails.

    He didn't get much of a better look at her before she screamed and knocked him unconscious with a punch to the face.


    And so ends the story of the unfortunate Nate, killed before he could even begin his epic quest....


    Nate opened his eyes and winced, having gone from the bright white space, to black unconsciousness, to bright white space again. “What the... what just happened?”

    Hilda stood in front of him, hands on her hips and frowning. “That was the most awful ending I have ever seen. That's worse than the Pokestar Studios fails. If you're going to have the heroine kill the hero, it had better happen at the end end. Not the beginning end.”

    Touching his forehead and wincing, he said, “What could I do about it? She decked me before I could even get my bearings. And I’m not too happy about getting killed so quickly either.”

    “So that wasn't a suicide attempt to end the story?”

    He shook his head. “No. Why, could I have done that?”

    “Well... we don't want you dead just yet.” Hilda nodded. “All right then. Let's get back into things.”

    “Before she hit me, so that I can duck?” Nate asked hopefully.

    “No,” she said with an impish grin. “I have a better idea."
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
    SoulMuse and scizorstrike like this.
  2. ...You're right, this is taking more cliches to more ridiculous extremes. Really? OC falls into the world through their game console?

    ...On the other hand, this is supposed to be comedy. And it's working, so I'll shut up for now.

    (Also, since when did Hilda scend to being the Guardian of the Fourth Wall?)
  3. Missingno. Master

    Missingno. Master Poison-type Trainer

    Already this is shaping up to be even funnier than the first one. I like. And of course, I'd like to be put on the PM list.
  4. gmoyes

    gmoyes Nerd and Proud of it

    Yeah, you should feel ashamed MM, this fic's nuking of the 4th wall is outdoing your's XD.

    Anyways, this is already hilarious. The moment he steps into the world, he gets floored by a girl. I can't wait to see what Hilda's plans are. She had plenty of stuff recked with the power of Kyurem, who knows what she would do with the powers of the 4th wall? I can imagine Hilda pausing stuff in the middle of the action to put in a coffee break like in the first story.

    Anyways, so far so good and I'd like to be on the PM list.
  5. Rotomknight


    First of all! Coffee breaks!
    MM... Yours is still fourth wall breaking.
    Pm list please!
    Can't wait to see how N and Hilbert take this.
    Also, Why could I have done that... maybe it was supposed to be why would I have done that.
  6. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Ah Nate... how cliche you are. How many tropes did I hit just in his introduction? Sucked into a video game, amnesia, orphan's plot trinket, a fake death... You know, I'm thinking I'm forgetting something too...

    Oh right, the other Chapter 1! Enjoy.

    Chapter 1: The Black Beginning

    December 16
    Aspertia City

    She blocked his punch, moving so that she absorbed the power of his blow with that. When he tried to grab hold of her to flip her onto the practice mat, she turned the attack around to flip him instead, holding him down by pressing his right arm against his chest. A gong rang out once after a few seconds, so she stayed where she was and looked up.

    “Good reversal Rosa, but you've got yourself in a bad position to keep hold of him,” their instructor told her, coming onto the mat. “How would you get out of it, Hugh?”

    “At her level or mine, dad?” he asked.

    “Hugh,” he said, warningly. “We're in class.”

    “Right, right... sensei.” Hugh then used his left hand to get a grip on Rosa's arm, although not as quickly as he'd be moving if they were still in a match. “I could push you off balance the way you're crouching there, either to get out of your hold or end up pinning you instead. You were doing a good job blocking, since I was having a hard time getting through.”

    “Oh!” She blushed a little, embarrassed to think that when she thought she could win, she could have lost before she realized it. “You are stronger than me.”

    “That doesn't matter,” Hugh's father said to her, coming to her side. “You might be smaller than him or other opponents, but you're quick and that can make you as powerful as any. Even so, you have to be smart about it. Keep a more secure poise, as we've been going over.”

    “Okay, sensei,” she said, letting go of Hugh so they could start the sparring over again. At the moment, they were still teaching her defensive and basic techniques. Hugh was well ahead of her, but he was holding back for these lessons. Apparently that was a part of his training too. On the other side of the room, there were a pair of Throh that were locked into a shoving match. A Snivy watched both spars from the sideline, scampering around to get the best view as things changed.

    A few minutes later, Hugh's younger sister came into the dojo. “Rosa, your mom called!” she said, keeping a gift bag close. “She said they'll be ready in about half an hour.”

    “All right!” she said, cheering up immediately.

    “Then today's lesson is over,” their teacher said. “Go hit the showers and get changed so you're not late to your own party. Have fun, kids!”

    They did that, Rosa humming while she was alone in the woman’s locker room. Today was her fifteenth birthday, so her mother and a few of her friends were preparing a party at her house. Even though it was no surprise party (there was no chance of that happening), she had still been asked to go to karate lessons with Hugh and his father so that there would be some surprise. It was going to be a lot of fun, she was certain of that!

    While there were a few presents she was hoping to get, she'd be happy with anything as long as she got the one she wanted most: her own Pokemon. It couldn't be hard. As her mother worked in the Aspertia Pokecenter, she had connections into adoption agencies and could possibly get all but the most rare easily. A few of her friends had Pokemon already, so she might even get one from them.

    That was enough to make her happy. She dried herself off quickly, then changed into a blue party dress and tied her hair up in her favorite style. Since it was chilly outside, she had to put on a coat over that, but she wanted to look nice when she arrived. By the time she got out, Hugh and his sister Violet were already outside waiting on her. She called goodbye to her karate teacher, then ran out and nearly tripped down the stairs. Fortunately she was able to grab the railing and keep from ruining her dress within minutes.

    “Careful there,” Hugh said, getting a hold of her arm to help her get back on balance. The Snivy was perched on his shoulder now, clinging to his hair to stay on. “I thought we were giving you lessons so that you don't trip up as much.”

    “Well I don't,” she said, giving him a smile. “Just sometimes. Come on, let's go!”

    Violet laughed. “They can wait for us.”

    “Yeah, and it's not raining yet,” Hugh said, letting her go. “It's almost nice, if you don't mind a little chill. We can just take a good slow walk over to your home.”

    “Aw come on,” Rosa said, but couldn't keep herself from laughing at his tone.

    “Yeah, you know that she'd rather it be raining,” Violet added with exaggerated exasperation.

    “Because then we could walk with umbrellas and that's the best!” Rosa said, playing along by twirling around.

    “Siiirii,” the Snivy said, feeling like he should be adding to the conversation.

    Hugh smiled at him and patted his Pokemon's head. “I'm sure you'd rather take a walk on a sunny day, Vino.”

    Rosa brightened. “Oh yeah, I kept meaning to ask you today, but there was other stuff to talk about, but why'd you name your Pokemon for wine?”

    “That wasn't what I meant when I nicknamed him,” he said, turning a bit pink himself. “I thought it was a cool name but then Mom asked me the same question.”

    “And me, and Dad, and your teacher, and classmates, and now Rosa,” Violet said, teasingly poking him.

    “Well it is a cool word, and name I suppose,” Rosa said. “Hey, can I call him Vinny? Cause that's cute.”

    “Ssssih?” The Pokemon cocked his head at her.

    “He doesn't need a bunch of nicknames to confuse him,” Hugh said. “But Vinny is pretty close, I guess.”

    “It'd probably get fewer weird looks than Vino,” Violet said, then put her hands to her mouth. “Not that I think Vino's a bad name! But, you know, people might take it in the wrong way.”

    “Vinny's kinda cute, I mean, for a Grass Pokemon,” Rosa said. But it was more to be polite about Hugh's new Pokemon. The Grass type was her least favorite kind of Pokemon; she found most of them creepy.

    Vinny (or Vino) slipped over to Hugh's other shoulder, giving her a cautious look. Hugh took him off and tried to hold him closer to her. “Rosa's a good person,” he said reassuringly. “She's just scary with all her energy.”

    “When am I scary?” she asked, but then tried to smile for the Pokemon even though she felt tense with it closer. “H-hi. I hope you'll be a good friend to Hugh.”

    “Not the kind of Pokemon I was expecting from that egg, but I'm sure he can become a strong partner,” Hugh said, letting Vino clamber back onto his shoulder.

    Still, even the presence of a Grass Pokemon wasn't enough to dampen Rosa's mood for long. She and her friends talked happily on their way back to her home. It looked much the same as usual so far, with the spiral windchime chiming by the door. But there was a group of balloons tied to the mailbox, along with a number of bikes parked on the sidewalk. Inside, they were greeted by a group of their school friends, more balloons, streamer decorations, and some of her favorite music playing.

    There was even a person there that she hadn't expected to see. “Dad!” Rosa said, running over to hug him before she even took her coat off. “You really came!”

    “I had to come for your fifteenth,” he said, hugging her back. “I just couldn't get in until today.”

    “It's great,” she said, getting teary-eyed in her burst of emotions at seeing him again.

    There weren't any unexpected Pokemon around, just the ones belonging to her friends. But maybe one was waiting in a Pokeball among the presents. Her father had to excuse himself to get back to unpacking, so she and her friends started to play a game of Trivial Pursuit. However, they ended up chatting more than playing, even if they saw each other most days out of the week.

    Later, she got sang to as her mother brought out the birthday cake. It was rich chocolate with the scent of orange, decorated with lovely fluffy frosting. It tasted wonderful, nearly all of them agreed on that. Then they went to the living room so Rosa could open her presents. She decided to open the giftbag from Violet and Hugh first, getting a large white duffel bag out of it. “Oh, is this for traveling?” she asked, checking out the pockets on the ends.

    “Yeah, that's one of the best rated bags for traveling around,” Hugh said. “It'll put up with any environment and rough use, keeping your stuff safe all the while. It should be helpful.”

    “Well I can replace my old school bag at least, thanks,” she said, smiling at him.

    “My present's inside that,” Violet said, watching her expectantly.

    “I have to open the bag that was in the bag for a present?” Rosa asked as she unfolded the travel bag, getting laughs from her family and friends. Unzipping it revealed a small square present in a Marill print giftwrap. Inside, there was a CD case with the picture of a cute boy with long blond hair. Rosa squealed. “Eee, you got me Christoph's new CD, thank you! Isn't this the one with his duet with Nancy on it?” She looked on the back. And yes, it was that version.

    Violet nodded. “Yup. I saved up to buy two copies, but then I was so worried that you'd buy it yourself the day it came out.”

    “That was just last Tuesday,” one of the other girls said.

    “But I was really thinking about it,” Rosa said.

    The rest of her friends got her nice gifts, although not as exciting as the Christoph CD. There was a digital storage device for items, which was practical and good for traveling when combined with the bag. Otherwise, it seemed the rest didn't think that she would leave town, even though she'd been saying for at least a year now that she wanted to be a traveling Trainer and take on the Pokemon League. Still, she thanked them all and was glad there weren't any real duds or white elephants.

    Lastly she opened her presents from her parents. The first one turned out to be a cooking kit for camping, including a small pot for use with a campfire. That would be fun, since it meant she could spend some nights out in the wilderness and look for Pokemon that stayed out late. Then, her father gave her a really nice book about oceanic Pokemon that had lots of photographs and articles about them. “I even signed the title page since they used one of my best photos for that spread,” he said. Then he laughed sheepishly. “I hope you don't mind that. They used a lot of my work in there and the publishers were the ones who sponsored my last trip.”

    “That's great!” Rosa said, flipping open to look at it. And indeed, he had signed in a spot where it wouldn't block the beautiful Mantine and Mantykes there: 'To my sweet daughter Rosa: good luck with the Pokemon League! -Nolan Wilburs.' “Nobody will have one like it!”

    Then her mom came back into the room, although Rosa hadn't noticed her leaving. She was bringing by something that was rather large to be wrapped or hidden. “And one more thing, but I'm sure it will be quite worth it.”

    “Oh my gosh, a new bike!” Rosa said, setting the book down quickly so she could get up and look at the bike closer. It had a sturdy metallic blue frame and a large basket on back to carry things. While she had liked her old bike for many years, it was getting small for her to ride now. This one should be fine for years to come. “This is all wonderful, thank you!”

    But no matter how great the things were, there was one thing that she hadn't gotten.

    By evening, it was raining and most of the guests had left, save for Hugh and Violet. “So you didn't get a Pokemon, huh?” Hugh said, holding onto Vinny carefully. The young Snivy had fallen asleep not that long ago. “Too bad about that; I know you were looking forward to one.”

    Rosa made herself smile. “Yeah, but I got a lot of other great things that'll be useful when we go out on a journey. I might even be able to convince my dad to help me get a Pokemon if he doesn't take off again soon.”

    “Yeah, I'm sure you'll get a Pokemon before long,” Violet said. She was holding onto the umbrella she was sharing with her brother, which meant she had to hold it a little high for her. “Maybe you can even make friends with one the old-fashioned way.”

    Hugh nodded. “You could. If it gets down to it, I can catch one for you too. But, not too soon.” He rubbed Vinny's head, making him stir but not wake up. “Honestly, it's a bad time for this fellow to hatch, since he won't have much time to build up energy before he gets pushed into hibernating. I won't be able to use him for a few months.”

    “That's sad,” Rosa said. Sure, she didn't like Grass Pokemon, but she knew Hugh had been looking forward to getting him. And, “You're gonna have to watch him carefully then, so that he doesn't get ill.”

    “Right, I was hoping to ask your mom about that,” he said. “But not now, I'm sure she's busy.”

    She spoke with them a while longer, then gave them hugs before saying good night to them. Then her dad came up with her bike. “Is the shed locked? We can put your bike in there for now, and then we'll head out to eat.”

    “It shouldn't be,” she said, but stepped back inside to grab the shed key from nearby. While she was out at the restaurant with her parents, she managed to stay cheerful and happy. After all, her dad was home and her birthday party had been pretty good.

    Later that evening when she was back in her room, she put on her new CD and sat on her bed to flip through the book from her dad. He had such a great job, since he got to be out in the wilderness with many Pokemon and all he had to do was photograph them. This past summer, she had gotten to stay with him for three weeks while he had been diving in a region far to the south from here. The only downside Rosa could see was all the waiting in one spot, but some of the Pokemon didn't like coming out around humans. Even so, she hadn't managed to catch a Pokemon there because they kept breaking the few Pokeballs that she had brought.

    “It's not fair,” she said quietly as she thought about it. Her dad was a wildlife photographer and her mom was a Pokecenter nurse... but they didn't have any Pokemon at home. There was a reason for that. She and her mom had let go of their Pokemon a couple years back, thinking they'd be happier that way. It had been a big deal back then, with a group called Team Plasma explaining that keeping Pokemon captive was cruelty. While they had believed it, they also worried about Janice being forced to get a new job.

    But then it turned out that Team Plasma was a cover for something more villainous and it had all been for nothing. Even so, her mom seemed hesitant to get another Pokemon. Maybe if they could get one of their old Pokemon back... but that might be hard, since they had released them in Nimbasa and moved to Aspertia shortly after.

    Rosa sighed and dropped back onto her bed, wondering how much longer she'd have to wait to get a Pokemon... maybe she should just buy more Pokeballs and try again. But her attention immediately went to the wall where a poster of Wallace was hanging. For some strange reason, the wall was rippling, like a curtain being blown in a light breeze. She sat back up and turned around, confirming that she wasn't just imagining things. What was going on?

    Was it a Pokemon causing mischief? They could do a lot of things that scientists still couldn't explain. A smile crept onto her face as she realized she might get a Pokemon for her birthday after all, if she could lure it out and make friends with it. Maybe it would like some cake? Rosa started to reach for the wall, but then the rippling intensified. She pulled her hand back as a strange boy suddenly fell out of the wall and landed on her bed.

    They stared at each other for a moment. He seemed pale like he didn't get out in the sun often, and his dark brown hair was ragged and in need of a good trim. At his side, he had a shoulder bag; around his neck, he wore a long necklace with a Pokeball-like pendant.

    Wait, what was he doing here, in her room?

    “AAAAAAAAHHHH!” she shrieked, punching the boy in the face and knocking him off the bed.

    “Rosa?!” her Mom shouted in concern, running to her room. “What's going on?” When she got to the doorway, she looked at her daughter, then down at the floor where she was looking. The boy wasn't moving.

    “Oh my gosh, I killed him,” Rosa said, eyes wide and hands trembling.


    “No, I’m serious about it,” Rosa insisted, her vision blurry as she was crying. Her parents were sitting with her while the police investigated her room. “The wall went weird and then he fell out of it, and I got scared so I hit him. But I didn't mean to kill anybody!”

    “Don't worry, he's not dead,” the police officer in the living room with them said. “But who is he?”

    “I don't know,” Rosa said, knowing she was repeating herself. But it was the truth. “I've never seen him before.”

    “I don't know who he is either,” her mom said. “But he does have a rather distinct necklace on him. Maybe that will tell us where he's from at least.”

    “Possibly. What about you?”

    Her father shrugged. “I'm not around most of the year so I don't know the local kids well. I don't know him either.”

    “Sir?” One of the other officers appeared from the hall that led to the bedrooms. “Could you come take a look at something? We're not sure what it means.”

    “All right.” He got up, then told them, “It would seem to be an accident, but we'll keep looking into it. Sorry for any inconvenience we might cause.” Then he went back down the hall to see what they had found.

    Rosa rubbed her eyes. “I hope he is okay.” The medics had left with him not that long ago.

    Her mom touched her arm. “Dear, were you trying to hide a boyfriend from us?”

    “Huh?” Then she blushed and shook her head. “No, not that! I've never seen him before, honest.”

    “All right. I'll trust you on that. I hope they don't make too much more of a mess.”

    “At least we know you can defend yourself against troublemakers,” her dad said, smiling and trying to lighten the mood.

    A few minutes later, the officers came back into the living room; an elegant black and white Pokemon was following after them. “From what we're seeing, it seems that her story is correct,” the lead officer said. “Our Gothitelle pointed out signs of spacial disturbance in her room. We need to bring in some better equipment to make sure it gets closed up properly. From that, the easiest guess is that it was a failed teleport. You'll need to find another place to stay for the night, maybe longer if it turns out to be unsafe.”

    Rosa's mom nodded. “I see. I'm sure we can find someone to take us in. Can we get a few things first?”

    “Yes, go ahead.”


    Nate found himself dressed in a pale green hospital gown with a bandage wrapped around his head and over one eye. Standing close to him with a clipboard in hand, the doctor looked over him. “Then what you're saying is, you came here by getting sucked into a video game, but then you don't remember anything else about where you came from?”

    “I don't remember much,” Nate said calmly. “The sky was dark, but there were bright colored lights all around. A riot had broken out while I was getting groceries earlier. The whole place was a real wreck, but I can only see images of it, not much I can really put into words. When I started that new game, it got all weird and then I was talking to some girl in a bright white room. Then I got dropped onto a bed, and it all goes black after a scream.” He touched his bandage. “That seems to be when she punched me. Not the girl from the white room, another one.”

    The doctor looked at his clipboard, giving a soft sigh. “Well... we'll get your amnesia checked out, and have you talk to a psychiatrist. But it seems like you were involved in some teleportation accident, likely when you were playing your games and that's what has your mind mixed up.”

    He shifted his head, looking at the doctor. “That would be a possibility to you. But this place is more sane than where I came from. You have a functioning hospital.”

    “That is good,” the doctor said, as if he wasn't sure what else to say to that. “Just relax for now. I'll get a psychiatrist assigned to you as soon as possible.”

    He nodded. So they thought he was crazy or confused after an accident with teleporting. It was reasonable, at least more reasonable than the fragments left in his mind. Still, he felt certain that he was now inside the world of the video game he had started. This didn't seem to be like any game that he could think of... remember. But then, maybe this was really another world.

    And the words of that girl Hilda stuck in his mind. He had to do something awesome to have some say in his ultimate fate. It was a pity that he couldn't remember much, because then he might remember if she told him something specific to do. As for what he had... he looked by his side and saw his old bag. Opening it up, he didn't find anything inside. Not even his DS, which was disappointing. But maybe not surprising, since he had entered a video game in it.

    There was the necklace he had been wearing; it was next to his bag. It looked like that item Hilda had used to call on her animal companion. Did he have one of them, the, uh? The word escaped him. With that unclear, he tried to think of what she did with it. There was a button on one part of his necklace pendant, right on the horizontal split between the black and the white. When he pressed it, the bottom half detached, revealing a PIN drive inside.

    Seeing that, he remembered Hilda mentioning something about his journal. There wasn't a computer in the room, so he pushed the nurse call button and sat on the hospital bed. His head still felt tender and burnt out, making it uncomfortable to be standing for long. In a couple of minutes, a male nurse came in. “What would you like, Nate?”

    “I think my necklace has my journal on it,” he said, showing the white half of it in his hand. “But I need something to read it.”

    He nodded, understanding quickly. “In that case, I can get a tablet for you. But you shouldn't be up for long.”

    “I'll try not to be,” he said, then had to wait while the nurse requested the tablet computer sent to his room.

    The nurse had insisted on staying in the room with him while he looked into it. Nate decided to tolerate his presence, since they were concerned for his health. Probably even curious as to who he was. Fortunately, the tablet was able to read the pin drive and access the files there.

    Unfortunately, all of them were password protected. Examining the necklace further showed no obvious hints about the password. “Huh, it's a surprise that there wasn't an unlocked file with a hint to the password,” the nurse said.

    “If I was paranoid enough to password lock everything, doing that would defeat the purpose,” Nate said. He tried a few times to put in some kind of password, but it only made his head hurt trying to recall it. He checked on one file titled 'Records' and an interesting window popped up. Where all of the others had only the password entry field, this one stated, 'A collection of observations and history to be read first after an amnesia event.' After he read it to the nurse, he added, “But even that one is locked behind a password I don't remember.”

    “You had a file to be read in case of amnesia?” the nurse asked, puzzled.

    “Not in case of,” he said. “It's worded as if that is a certainty. The only other things I had were my clothes and bag. I should have had some clue somewhere.”

    He nodded. “I'll call the laundry room and ask them to search your things thoroughly. Hopefully they haven't gone in for washing yet. But you'll probably think clearer if you rest well.”

    And then he could recall these passwords. The 'Records' at least had to have something simple if it was meant to help in a situation like this. “Very well. Thank you for your assistance.”

    Even if he set himself to resting, he couldn't help but wonder what was really going on. The passwords, Hilda, moving to another world through a video game, hints of reoccurring amnesia... why him?
  7. Missingno. Master

    Missingno. Master Poison-type Trainer

    Well, I wouldn't go that far, not until the characters start arguing over who's gonna be doing the narration.

    I like how this is unfolding so far. Can't wait to see how Nate starts adjusting to the Pokemon world.
  8. oh my god, the fourth wall... :c

    anyway, sign me up to the PM list?
  9. Rotomknight


    You forgot to pm me.
    Can't wait for coffee breaks and clichés turned amazing!
  10. 3D992

    3D992 The Living Hologram

    Yay! CS2! I love it so far. PM list please?
  11. Dormant

    Dormant I'M A TREE RAWR

    ClicheStorm 2!!


    I read the first one and I love it as well as the ending!!

    I hope there will be more chapters coming soon!!

    I wonder what has happened to Hilda?

    I want to see more!!

    So Dormant;429; signing off..
  12. Z-nogyroP

    Z-nogyroP whoa whats that

    Ok, I'll be honest here. I sort of lost my way in the original ClicheStorm when I went on vacation, so I didn't end up finishing it. However, this is shaping up to be even more hilarious than the original, so I'm definitely going to be following this. Also... In the beginning, epic reference to DRACO METEOR OF DEATH CINCCINO!

    This better not suck out your inspiration for Pokedex oneshots because it's been almost a month since you made a new one
  13. Ga'Hooleone

    Ga'Hooleone Who's laughing now?

    Well, nice to see this back. Add me to the PM list please!

    oh god the cliches I already see them they burrrrnnnnnn
    [spoiler='Accurate] 34368178.jpg [/spoiler]
  14. charizarddude

    charizarddude Pokémon Master

    Didn't see you made a sequel until now! I don't have time to read it right now, but please add me to the PM list anyway. :)
  15. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Chapter 2: The Mysterious Amnesiac Boy

    January 2
    Aspertia City


    'Access denied.'


    'Access denied.'


    'Access denied.'


    'Access denied.'

    Lowering his eyes from the screen for a moment, Nate felt at a loss. True, he was randomly throwing words at the password screen as he thought of ones that felt right. He had hoped one of them would work, or he'd stumble across a hint. But his PIN drive journal wasn't taking any of it. Maybe it was a string of numbers and letters instead of a word. He'd already tried putting some in at random, so it could be time to try that again.

    “Mr. Nate?” someone called. “I'm ready for you.”

    He looked up and saw the barber waiting on him. Nodding, he set the tablet he was borrowing on sleep mode to put in his bag. “All right.”

    After getting his hair washed, the barber asked, “How do you like yours cut?”

    Nate looked in the mirror and noticed how long his hair had gotten. He hadn't really noticed, but the bangs were down near his chin and the back was uneven past his shoulderblades. “I don't know,” he said. “It's been a while since I last had the chance to get a haircut, I think. What's common around here?”

    “Well, most boys your age would get it cut short and styled in a spiky manner, or held back in a short ponytail with bangs. Do you wear hats?”

    “I don't know,” he said, getting a puzzled look from the barber. “I guess I would end up getting one. The sun was really bright today.”

    After some talk, they agreed on the ponytail style for him, since it would work with or without a hat. The barber tried to chat with him, but he had to admit that his mind was scrambled up after an accident to explain why he couldn't answer some questions. At that, the man in the chair next to him asked, “Excuse me, but are you Nate? The boy who showed up in mid-December?”

    “That's me,” he said. “What about it?”

    “My house was the one you dropped into,” he said. “I'm Nolan Wilburs.”

    Nate glanced over, trying to see the man without turning his head and messing up the barber too much. “I see. I'm sorry about that, Mr. Wilburs; I had no idea where I was going to end up.”

    “If that's so, then it's no issue,” he said. “But I do hope that you weren't trying to make any moves on my daughter.”

    “That's certainly not it,” Nate said. “Besides, who'd try to go after a girl by teleporting into her room? That seems much too forward.”

    “Well,” Nolan said, getting a laugh from the barbers. “It does happen. Although when I did it, I knew more about Janice and it was just to surprise her with flowers.”

    “I've known a guy or two who's tried to peek in on a girl from a tree and accidentally got their Pokemon to teleport them in,” the barber working on Nate said. “Although how accidentally was accidentally is up for debate.”

    “That seems disrespectful,” Nate said.

    “Good to know that I really don't have to worry about you then,” Nolan said. “Rosa would like to apologize to you some time. Are you going to be attending school here?”

    “It's not certain at this point,” he said. “The hospital would release me, but without a place for me to stay, they're letting me stay in the guest rooms until it's decided. They do want me to go to the school building tomorrow for testing.”

    “That's right, school starts back up tomorrow,” the barber working on him said. “The public school here is really good, one of the best in the region.”

    “Do you know where it is?” Nolan said. “Rosa could walk you over there in the morning when she goes to school, if that's how things work out for you.”

    He considered it. Rosa must have been the girl he ended up next to when he arrived. While she had punched him, it might have spooked her to have him show up without warning. It'd be good to let her know there was nothing untoward meant about their meeting. “I think one of the nurses was going to accompany me, but that could work. Have her call the hospital about that; tell them it's for Nate and they should know it's me.”

    “Will do,” he said, waving a hand to acknowledge it.

    People were nice here, he thought. For a moment, he closed his eyes and listened to the sounds of the scissors working on his hair, with the chunks falling off onto his shoulders and lap. It was strange, but those small actions felt more real than his life previously. Wasn't this supposed to be the fictional world, though? Maybe it just felt more real because it was the present and his memories were difficult to grasp. Whatever was going on, he'd have to get to the truth of this eventually.


    January 3

    Rosa skipped along the road, holding her yellow umbrella high even though that let the wet flakes of snow fly into her ponytails. That didn't matter; she was in a great mood this morning. Even the start of her school's second semester couldn't disappoint her. If she was lucky, she might make a new friend today! That is, provided he didn't hate her.

    On checking in with the hospital, she found out that the boy who appeared mysteriously in her room was called Nate. He had gotten a bump on his head from hitting the floor and a black eye from her punch, but apparently none of it was serious. What was serious was that the teleport accident had inflicted amnesia on him and scrambled up his thoughts. It seemed like an awful thing to happen; she wondered where he had teleported from. The psychiatrist felt that he wasn't a violent or unstable person, so he was to attend school for a while to see if that would clear his mind. Since he wasn't from around Aspertia, someone had to show him the way, and the doctor had let her do so! Rosa had a feeling that this would be a significant and wonderful day.

    She shook her umbrella at the hospital entrance, then closed it up and walked inside. “Good morning!” she said to the receptionist, smiling brightly. “I'm here to take Nate to school.”

    “Good morning,” the receptionist said, smiling back. “All right, I'll send someone to bring him out. It'll be just a minute.”

    “Okay. Mind if I wait outside?” The snow was so lovely that she didn't want to miss a minute of it. At least, a minute that came before school started.

    “Go right ahead, I'll let him know.”

    Back outside, Rosa passed some moments lightly kicking the snow around and trying to catch the flakes on her gloved fingertips. She couldn't imagine why some people would complain about snow. Sure, it was cold and piled up unlike rain, but it was so pretty. While she was out there, she saw other students walking along the street towards school.

    Including a pair that she couldn't resist calling out to. “Hey, Hugh, Violet! Good morning!”

    “Good morning, Rosa!” the younger girl called back, smiling and waving her hand.

    The older boy gave a military kind of greeting, tapping his forehead. “Morning. Waiting on your boyfriend?”

    Rosa frowned and shook a fist at him. “He's not my boyfriend. But I am taking Nate to school today.”

    Not able to resist teasing her, Hugh came into the hospital drive and stopped. “Aw come on, Rosa. You never sneak me into your room.”

    “It was a teleport accident,” Rosa said. “I never saw him before that.”

    He rubbed his chin. “Then again, you never did punch me unconscious. Maybe it's good that I haven't dated you.”

    She shook her umbrella at him, making Violet giggle. So Rosa smiled again. “Whatever. But he's not my boyfriend.”

    “Are you going to make him your boyfriend?” Violet asked. “Is he cute?”

    “Well he might have been a little cute,” Rosa said. “But that doesn't mean anything. How's your Pokemon doing?” That was a good subject to change to; Hugh liked to talk about the Snivy he had gotten recently, hatched from an egg even.

    He still caught onto her trick. “Now you can't evade me forever. And Vino's still a healthy green, so he's been good. Still, I’ve got plans for when spring comes about. We're going to set out on our epic quest then.”

    “At least you know when you'll be starting,” she said. “Too bad about Vinny's hibernating, but my mom would say it's best to leave them be.”

    “Right,” Hugh said. “I've still got to do some research and preparation, so this winter's devoted to study.”

    “For once,” Violet said.

    “Ah come on, my grades are decent.” He tousled his sister's pompom hat, making her giggle.

    Then the hospital doors opened up. Nate came out alone, carrying an old travel bag under one arm and wearing the hood of his new navy blue coat up; he was wearing that odd Pokeball necklace too, colored black and white and unlike any Pokeball she had seen before. Looking down at first, he wore a very serious expression. But he did smile kindly when he looked up to them. “You must be Rosa. I'm Nate.”

    She smiled and waved him to come closer. “Yeah, good morning! Nice to meet you, Nate. Oh, and these are some friends of mine, Hugh and Violet. Come on, we should get to school a little early so you can look around.”

    “Hello,” he said to the other two, then walked quietly by them as they went down the street.

    “Have you been to Aspertia before?” Violet asked.

    “I don't think so,” Nate said, looking down again.

    “Where did you come from?” the younger girl asked.

    He shrugged. “Not sure.”

    “He's lost a lot of his memory,” Rosa explained. “That's why he's coming to school now, to see if he can remember things better.”

    “Sheesh, I didn't know you could hit a guy that hard,” Hugh said teasingly.

    “Hey!” Rosa shoved him aside, laughing. “You want me to get serious in our next match?”

    “I do know it's much nicer here,” Nate said.

    After getting his balance back, and shoving Rosa aside in exchange, Hugh said, “How can you know that if you don't remember? And you've been in the hospital since you got here.”

    “I know that much,” he said. “Where I came from was... a nightmare that I can't comprehend.” He shifted his bag. “Sorry, I hope I’m not too depressing. I knew it would be hard to adjust; I just wished I remembered more about what I was supposed to do here.”

    “I can try helping you remember,” Rosa said.

    Hugh rolled his eyes. “Rosa, Rosa, Rosa... half the time you forget what you're supposed to be doing.”

    “I'm not that bad!” she squealed, shifting her umbrella rapidly and sending melting snowflakes over them. “Just, sometimes. Oh, and sorry about hitting you. I didn't know what you were doing there and panicked.”

    “That's fine,” Nate said. “I'm sorry for surprising you like that. Then again, I didn't have control over where I ended up.”

    “It's all good,” Rosa said, smiling and offering a hand. “So we can be friends?”

    He looked at her for a moment, then smiled and shook hands with her. “Sure, friends.”


    For the first part of the school day, the school officials had taken Nate aside and tested him on general knowledge. But at noon, he had been allowed to join Rosa's class for lunch and homeroom time. He spent the first part of that free time looking over one of the classroom books, a travel guide to the Unova region.

    One of the other girls nudged Rosa, who was working on an assignment. “Hey, is that your new boyfriend?” she asked, pointing to him.

    “He's not my boyfriend,” she whispered.

    “Yeah, aren't you going out with Hugh?” another asked.

    She shook her head. “I'm not dating anybody, sheesh. He's the guy nobody knows where he came from; Nate doesn't even know that.”

    “Well you spend a lot of time with Hugh.”

    “Violet too,” Rosa corrected. She'd started out as friends with Violet when she first moved to Aspertia, but Hugh turned out to be a cool guy who didn't mind his little sister and her friend hanging out with him. They were all friends before long.

    Nate then put the book away and came back over to her desk. “The books say that you should travel with a Pokemon,” he said.

    “Well of course,” she said. “They're good company and protection.”

    His brow furrowed. “But what exactly are Pokemon? I didn't think they were real.”

    “Whoa, where did you come from if you thought Pokemon weren't real?” one of the other girls asked in disbelief.

    “Well they're...” Rosa thought about it, but it was strange to her too. Pokemon were numerous and lots of people kept them, so she never thought about how they'd be to someone that didn't see them every day.

    “You've got to be joking,” the other girl said.

    “I have nothing to joke about,” Nate said, sounding and looking as serious as he'd been when they met up this morning.

    It seemed like he really didn't know. In that case, maybe they ought to ask someone smarter? Maybe a teacher, but her homeroom teacher looked busy grading papers. “Oh, I know someone who can explain better,” Rosa said, getting up. “And I think I know where to find him. Come on.” She went up to the teacher's desk to ask for a hall pass for the two of them.

    Once they were out in the halls, Nate asked, “Who are we seeing?”

    “Cheren, he's one of the guys who's taking the university level courses here,” she explained. “This is also a Trainer's School and while most of us just take basic courses to get our licenses, he has studied a lot about Pokemon and related things. He's really smart, and was even considered a contender for becoming the Pokemon League Champion. Of course, he was going against some of the best Champions ever, so even he had trouble. He's nice once you get to know him, and he's pretty cute too,” she brushed some stray hairs aside, although more to hide her smile.

    “Do you like him?” Nate asked.

    “Well, um...” did she really want to say something to Nate? She hadn't known him all that long. But looking at him, she had a feeling that she could trust him. “I guess I’ve had a crush on him for a while,” she said quietly. “But, um! Don't tell him, I don't think he'd really be interested in a girl like me. But that's not the point. I'm sure he could help you.”

    “I'll give anything a try, at this point. Cheren...” he thought quietly for a moment as they climbed up the stairs. “His name sounds familiar.”

    “Oh? Maybe he'll recognize you.” She started peering into potential places, although she figured the study hall here was the most likely place.

    As she'd thought, he was there. Cheren had straight black hair that he kept short, in a neat trim at all times. Recently he'd switched to contact lenses instead of glasses, which Rosa thought was a better look for him. And even though the Aspertia school was informal, he always attended his classes looking like he had a school uniform on, with a dark blue jacket, a neat white buttoned-up shirt with an even collar, dark blue slacks, a tie, and clean black shoes. At the moment, he had his pencil near his lips as he read a large book, his notebook open to the side for copying important facts. She wasn't sure what it was about him, but she thought he pulled off that serious preppy look to be really attractive.

    Not that she could bring herself to tell him that. Taking a deep breath and trying not to look giddy, Rosa went to the door of the study room. It was just him and a Liepard, so she knocked on the door. “Cheren? May we get some help from you?”

    At first, he just turned up his eyes to see who it was. Then he set his pencil aside and smiled at them, straightening his posture. “Of course, Rosa. What is it?”

    She could have melted at that look, but no, she had to keep cool. She came in, followed by her new friend. “This is Nate; did you hear about him? He got into an accidental teleport and ended up here with amnesia. He was asking me what Pokemon were because he doesn't seem to know, but I thought you could help more.”

    “Really?” he asked, curious. It must not have occurred to him either that someone might not know about Pokemon.

    Thankfully, Nate didn't seem too embarrassed about it. “I know I need to go see some places around Unova,” he said. “And the books I've looked in say you should have a Pokemon to travel. It's complicated, though. I kind of know about it, but my mind goes fuzzy when I try to think on them. They're animals, right?”

    “Well,” he looked at the Liepard, who twitched his ears up at the look. “They are, and they're not. Here, this is Shadeclaw, one of my Pokemon. He's a Liepard. Pokemon are like advanced animals.”

    “Then they're more like humans?” Nate asked, looking at the Liepard, apparently not sure what to do about him. Shadeclaw decided to come up closer and check Nate out, sniffing his hand.

    Cheren rubbed his nose. “Yes, and no. It depends, really. Some of them appear to have minds as developed as humans, others not nearly as much, but they often have self-awareness, awareness of others, and emotions of varying complexity. One of the things separates Pokemon from animals, and Pokemon from humans, is the ability to manipulate a special form of energy that most of us humans can't even sense. But some can, and... well, that's getting into more complicated things. Pokemon have a great variety of powers and abilities which can't be mimicked by humans in their natural state. Humans tend to have more flexible minds, able to think about ethics, the future, history, and other higher forms of knowledge.”

    “What kind of energy do they use?” Nate asked.

    After taking a deep breath, he said, “This could take a while to explain, I see. Are you attending school here for now?”

    He shrugged. “I guess. They've been testing me and I need to get back to that at one-thirty.”

    “I've got free time to then,” Cheren said, putting a book mark in the large book and setting it aside. “Rosa, why don't you go back to your homeroom and make sure whoever's working with him knows he's up here? I can take him back to the testing area at one-thirty.”

    She felt disappointed to leave so soon, but it made sense and with Cheren explaining things, there wasn't a lot she could contribute. “Okay, I’ll do that. See you later, Nate.”


    Nate watched Rosa leave, then sat down at the table with Cheren. “I don't mean to trouble you.” Shadeclaw nudged his hand, so he tried petting the Liepard's head. He could think of these creatures as being the basis of many games, but there they weren't anything more than digital data. Here in the presence of one, he couldn't deny that this was a real flesh and blood creature in front of him. The Liepard's breath was warm against his skin as Shadeclaw curiously checked him over.

    The older boy shook his head. “It's no trouble. Actually, it's interesting, a problem I wouldn't have thought of. You mean to travel in Unova?”

    “Yes,” he said. “There's something I must do and some places I want to see. I hope I’m not being rude, but do you know me?”

    “I'm afraid not,” he said. Then he nudged the Liepard. “Oh, be careful if you have anything loose on you. Shadeclaw is a pickpocket, but that's normal for his kind.”

    He nodded, glancing down. He didn't think he had anything interesting to steal aside from his necklace, but who knew what this creature would think interesting. “It's fine. Actually, I recognize your name from somewhere. It was that girl, Hilda. She talked about you as her friend.”

    At that, Cheren's mood completely changed. Concern showed in his eyes; this was no longer about an interesting puzzle. Mentioning Hilda made it personal. “Hilda? What did she say?”

    “It was...” he searched his memories. Thankfully, that one was one of the clearer ones. “She said that your new look is nice, but you really need to get a hat, preferably a bowler.”

    At first, he just slapped his forehead. But then a reminiscing smile appeared on his face. “Yeah, that sounds like her. When did you meet her? And how do you know her, if you can’t remember anything?”

    “It's not that I don't remember anything,” Nate said. “It's that my thoughts are disjointed and what I do remember isn't easy to understand. I know it, but I can't put it into words easily without being confusing. Hilda was the one who sent me here, I’m pretty sure. She wanted me to help her but,” he looked up, trying to think, “I don't really know what I’m supposed to help her with. She said that she might be in trouble, but she seemed so energetic. The only thing that's really clear was that she said I needed to do something great to get people to like me.”

    Cheren sighed, now troubled. “If she says she thinks she's in trouble, then she most likely is. She's reluctant to admit that.”

    “What happened to her?” he asked, now rubbing under the Liepard's chin. Shadeclaw seemed happy with the attention and rumbled in a purr.

    He picked up his pencil again and started tapping it. “She disappeared last year, some time in late spring or early summer. We don't know why, or how, or even where. After Iris took her position as League Champion, she was wandering around Unova aimlessly. We never knew where she'd be and we didn't realize she was gone until a number of us noticed that we hadn't heard from her. Nothing was really found, although it's very likely that we missed something. What do you know of her?”

    “I saw some things that if I found those places, I think I can settle them in my mind better.” Because when he tried to recall those images now, he got them along with dozens of others and he couldn't be sure which ones were were relevant. There were buildings he couldn't identify, wooded areas that could be anywhere, people that he couldn't name. The connections weren't there, but he hoped that seeing them in person...

    “Hey, Nate,” Cheren said, waving a hand in the air.

    He blinked. “Hmm? Sorry, did you say something?” He rubbed his forehead. “I was thinking.”

    “I thought so. I appreciate any help in trying to find her; she's one of my oldest friends.” Cheren pointed his pencil to him. “But the books are right. If you're going to be looking around for someone, or even just exploring the region, you need to know about Pokemon. I'll do what I can to help.”


    The sun was setting and most young people would be heading out with friends or going on dates. Instead of that, Cheren was in his usual place, in his small apartment in Aspertia in front of his computer working on a project. But it wasn't a class assignment this time. He was putting together his thoughts on how to instruct Nate. He started with the title and a short intro.

    'Speaking to an Alien about Pokemon'

    'This essay is part hypothesis: if someone or some being completely alien to our world comes down to ask about things, what would one say about Pokemon to appropriately portray them, including what role they play in society and what they are. It is also part case study, in assisting a young man who has a brain injury that has messed up his memory and his knowledge. In general tests, he has shown a good intelligence, but seems to recall very little about Pokemon.'

    He paused. The tests hadn't yet been graded, but the school official had said that he seemed to be above average for his age group when he didn't have to hesitate to answer. A few questions to the psychiatrist had gotten a similar assessment, but Cheren added a note to interview the two of them in more depth at a later date, when they had a better view on how Nate ranked compared to his peers.

    Now for the tough part: how to make this simple enough for a patient possibly in a worse state than Nate to understand, but still cover enough of the basics to give a well-rounded picture.

    'Pokemon are mysterious creatures that share the world with us. They live with us, work with us, play with us, sometimes even battle with us. They come in many forms, varieties, personalities, and intelligences, each one a unique individual that is one of a larger species, of which there are many types and kinds. Most of all, they are our friends and partners. In many ways, Pokemon and humans work hand in hand to achieve great things together.'

    Reading over it, Cheren felt he needed to break it down further. Each of those sentences could use more explanation, as well as examples. Not only that, but events in recent years might call out the last two sentences as an example of personal bias. It was something he wanted to impress on Nate, so that he got along with Pokemon easier when he started traveling with them. For an essay, he would need to be careful with it. Keep them, probably, but state the obvious that they were opinions.

    If he actually made an essay about it. He'd only started off the intro with 'this essay' due to some recent lectures and reading assignments. But it was an interesting question. Maybe a better writer would pick up on it and re-imagine it. Even if not, it could be useful for his portfolio of work later on.

    He kept typing things up, just putting down ideas and leaving organizing them for later, until his Emboar Smoky nudged him on the shoulder to ask about taking a walk outside.
  16. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Well I know people liked the Coffee Breaks, but they actually took up a fair amount of time to write. So I'm gonna switch over to what I was doing on FFN, which is basically rambling about canon, gameplay, and story plot. Maybe not as entertaining, but quicker and easier on me.

    This story takes a lot longer to get into actual gameplay than CS, but given what I want to do, I think it's needed. Here we have lots of characters mistaking Nate and Rosa for a couple; poor guys, that's gonna plague you for a long while. We also have Cheren showing up early. Why he does comes into play in the next couple of chapters.

    Another thing... well Hugh's sister isn't given a name, at least not one I've found yet. I went with Violet to go along with the color themed names that are all over fifth gen. Rosa's father gets the name Nolan because, well, he has 'no part' in the canon story.

    @Dormant: Well the mystery of what happened to Hilda is a big part of this story, as Cheren tells it. I did wonder about that myself. The characters in B2/W2 will reference the hero of the past game (I love Memory Link!), but s/he never shows up. I would've liked to see a repeat of Red on Mount Silver...

    @Z-nogyroP: She even keeps the scar she got from the final battle! So she's an official badass cutie.

    @Ga'Hooleone: hehe, nice pic.
  17. Z-nogyroP

    Z-nogyroP whoa whats that

    This is actually really interesting. Explaining what a Pokemon is... I probably could, if I had a few weeks, a KFC near my house, and a working laptop, but that's actually an interesting topic. And I'm still hoping you'll make another Pokedex Oneshots soon, because it's almost Valentine's Day, and at this rate you won't finish the (current) dex before October.

    Oh yeah. PM list, pweez!
  18. SonicSceptile

    SonicSceptile Elite Strategist

    Seems great so far. Can I be on the PM list please?
  19. Oh wow. Go away for a bit, and miss two chapters? I need to stop relying on PM lists so much. Mind adding me again?

    And Hilda apparantly made Champion. And vanished. Kyurem's in the script, so either he wasn't there or this is all Ghestis's fault. Hilbert will be around somewhere as well. But seeing how will be interesting...
  20. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Chapter 3: Times are Changing

    January 30
    Aspertia City, Route 19

    Over the next month, Nate attended school and the hospital monitored his progress. His physical injuries had healed up and he showed no signs of being troublesome. However, his memory issues were persisting, improving inconsistently. He took the math tests and had some trouble with algebra and fractions. After sitting in on some math classes and listening to a tutor, he could grasp it again and aced the test he'd failed a week prior. “It won't make sense, and then it all clicks into place,” he had explained once. “A little painfully, but that passes.”

    In hopes that Pokemon knowledge clicked back into place for him, Cheren kept meeting with him during his free periods, discussing about general and specific topics. On this particular day, Hugh and Rosa tagged along as he brought Nate out to Route 19 to talk about wild Pokemon.

    He sipped at the coffee in his travel mug, then pointed out the tall grass. “See that area? Wild Pokemon like to hide in tall grasses. The ones that are in places like this will be ones who are most likely looking for a friend among humans. Pokemon that would rather not be with us will steer clear of well-traveled routes like these, keeping to deeper areas of wilderness. For that reason, there's a number of laws to keep a certain percentage of wilderness intact for their use.”

    “That seems reasonable,” Nate said. “What about the pond?”

    Cheren nodded. “There will be Pokemon in the pond too, mostly Water types but there are a few others that will live in or around water. They can be fished out or encountered while swimming.”

    “Does fishing for them work well?” Hugh asked, keeping his hands tucked into his pocket to avoid the chill.

    He shrugged. “It works for others, but I've never fished myself. There's some Trainers that will only use Pokemon they fished for. But for discussion purposes, the tall grass is enough. Now...” he paused on seeing the scene in front of him. “Rosa, what are you doing?”

    In simple terms, she was crouched down a couple of feet from the tall grass. At the very edge of that patch, a Patrat seemed to be standing guard, its puffy tail straight in the air and its paw above its brow as it stood in place and watched all around for trouble. Rosa had her hand over her brow and was looking around too in a mimicry of its actions. Probably a better question was why.

    “I'm getting to know the Pokemon,” she said. “Seems like if you want to understand Pokemon, it would help if you could see the world like they do. So I'm seeing what he must be seeing, figuring out what he might be thinking.”

    “It might help,” Cheren said, then took a sip of his coffee. “But it can take years to understand a particular kind of Pokemon, and there are hundreds of known varieties recorded in the Pokedex project. Estimates say there might be closer to a million different species out there.”

    “Wow, I wonder if they've all been seen.” She got up and left the Patrat to continue its sentry duty. “And how much coffee have you had this morning? That cup seems to be attached to your hand.”

    “I'm a college student; I need my caffeine,” he joked in a mock grouchy voice. Then he spoke normally again. “And finals are coming up. I was up late last night working on projects. But one of those projects does require a freshly caught Pokemon, and I thought this would be a good thing for any of you to know about. Have either of you caught a Pokemon yourself?”

    “No,” Rosa said, sounding unusually dispirited about it. From what Cheren knew about her, her family had been like many others, caught in the hype from Team Plasma two or three years back. Some people were still uncertain about keeping Pokemon around and Pokeball sales in Unova were notably lower than in other regions.

    “I've tried, but it's hard when you don't already have a Pokemon,” Hugh said. “And mine's been unavailable.”

    He nodded, then set his travel mug on the ground. “As I thought. Now, all kids are warned to keep out of tall grass if you don't have Pokemon or an adult with you. As I said, Pokemon in this kind of area are looking for potential companionship and they often test you out with battles. I know it may seem counter-intuitive, but for most Pokemon, they will assess a potential Trainer in a battle and accept a capture if impressed.”

    Rosa looked to Nate and added, “And you don't have to worry if they get hurt. Most battles are not serious and don't lead to serious injuries. Plus, the Pokecenters will heal any Pokemon you bring in for free.”

    Nate nodded, looking into the grassy area. “I see. It makes sense to me. Rosa punched the daylights out of me when we met, and we're friends now.”

    “I didn't mean to!” she said in an embarrassed squeal. “But thanks... I think.”

    Cheren chuckled. “Something like that? Now I have some Pokemon with me. My main team is rather more powerful than needed to capture new Pokemon, but I do have one with levels more in line with this area, better for capturing new ones with. This place is fairly easy to access, and so the Pokemon tend to be low leveled. That's a general rule of thumb; the further away from a town a location is, the stronger Pokemon tend to be. But that's not always so, and some Pokemon like to be of a certain strength before finding a human partner. What you do is walk through the grass for a little while until one comes to you. This one is already here.” He stepped closer to the Patrat, which twitched its tail. “Patrat, I'm looking for a Pokemon to work with over the next month. Would you like to help?”

    “Chi,” the Patrat said, then bolted into the grass.

    Behind him, Hugh chuckled. Cheren shrugged. “It happens. Probably didn't like the temporary part of it. You don't have to ask the Pokemon, but I find it to be more polite to state your intentions.”

    “That's an odd opinion,” Hugh said as Cheren walked a few steps into the grass.

    “I think it's a good one,” Nate said.

    “It was something I learned...” a purple head popped out of the grass as a Purrloin stood on its hind legs to look at him. Cheren waved it away. “I'm sorry, Purrloin, but my research is specific. I still appreciate the offer.” Once it ducked down and went away, he added, “I got the idea from one of my friends. She did it with all of her Pokemon and while she didn't have many, she was really close with them all.” Then another Patrat tail came running towards him, followed by it breaking out of the edge of the grass. “Will you help me out for a month, Patrat?”

    The Patrat puffed his furry cheeks out, then ran at him. It dashed back before it collided with him, but he still backed up. Then, the Patrat braced itself.

    “And that's why you don't walk in tall grass without your own Pokemon,” Cheren said, taking one of his Pokeballs out of the holder. “Some of them would not have stopped. Charles, you're up.” He released a Lillipup, who yapped and hopped in place. “First thing to do is weaken it. Charles, use Tackle on him.”

    The brown canine bounded away and collided with the Patrat, then darted back to a position a few feet in front of Cheren. The Patrat's eyes glinted as it used Leer. At the same time, it was observing Cheren and the Lillipup Charles. Cheren looked down at his Pokemon, wondering once again what kind of exchange was going on between the two in a situation like this. But understanding Pokemon like that wasn't something he could do.

    “I think we'll go with that,” he said, pulling an empty Pokeball from his bag. “Now to activate the new Pokeball and toss it at the target.” He pressed the button and threw it at the Patrat. A red light emerged from the device, absorbing the Pokemon into it. For a few seconds, the Pokeball quivered and rolled along the ground. Then there was an audible click as the Pokeball locked onto its new inhabitant. “And that's basically it. A Pokemon can choose to break free; some are mischievous and will break a lot of Pokeballs before consenting to a capture. Then once you touch the ball, the Pokemon is automatically registered to you.” He went over and picked up the Pokeball with his new Patrat.

    “And you can keep six of them like that?” Nate asked. “Why six?”

    “Basic answer to that is it's in the rules of nearly every Pokemon organization in existence,” Cheren explained, setting the new Pokeball in an empty slot of the holder. “All of the equipment made, like this holder, assumes a standard maximum team size of six. There's some interesting history behind how that became the common ruling, but that's worthy of a lengthy discussion by itself. You can catch more than six, but it becomes unwieldy to handle and you end up using virtual storage or large enclosed lots to keep your extras.”

    “And how does someone go about getting a Pokemon if they have none?” he next asked.

    “There's a lot of ways, but most often it's a gift from a family member or an older friend,” Hugh said. “You can also adopt Pokemon, or take care of their eggs.”

    Cheren nodded. “And it is possible to talk a Pokemon into joining you without a battle, or to surprise them by just throwing a Pokeball. Some are that friendly. I got my first Pokemon as a gift from a professor who researches Pokemon, as thanks for helping her out on her work. It really depends on what works out best.”

    Hugh then nudged Nate. “Hey, I wouldn't worry about it. I know you mean to travel around Unova, but so do I. We could travel together if you like, and I could even help you catch one with mine. But, he's not going to be ready to go until spring anyhow.”

    “I'm going too!” Rosa said, clasping her hands together and giving him a sad eyed look.

    “Of course,” Hugh said, nodding. “We can all set out together.”

    Nate nodded. “Sounds good. I hardly know anybody, but it'd be better to leave with a few that I do know.”

    Watching that reminded Cheren of when he had been planning to leave with his two best friends. While it did bring up a knot in his throat as he had no clue where one of them was, it still made him smile. “That sounds like a great plan,” he told them. “I think you three could do well together.”


    Cheren slumped back in his chair, looking at the screen of the Xtransciever. There were three screens active: one for himself, one for Bianca, and one for Aurea Juniper, the professor he had worked with when he started out. “I know this semester isn't nearly as intense as the last one, but I feel like I’ve hardly gotten a winter vacation this year. Give me a break.”

    “Maybe you need to give yourself a break,” Bianca said kindly. “I was glad to hear that you didn't take as many course hours this semester; maybe I could actually come out and visit with you some time.”

    “One of the classes is becoming a tough one,” he said.

    “I'm sure you'll make it through,” Juniper said. “You've been doing so well that I don't think one tough class is going to make you falter.”

    “Thanks,” he said. The support was nice, although he still felt tired. Maybe an early night?

    The professor brightened. “Oh, and I read that essay you published, the one about how to talk about Pokemon to someone who has never heard of them. That was an interesting angle to tackle things from. It's all basic information, but it was actually kind of refreshing to read something like that.”

    Bianca nodded. “Yeah, it gave me some things to think about. That was great; you should get an A for that.”

    “If it had been for a class,” Cheren said, smiling. “But thanks. I wasn't sure if the journal would want to publish it, but they seemed to like it too.”

    “They know it's got potential to be talked about,” Juniper said. That was one nice thing about her, her optimism for nearly anything.

    But on the subject of that paper... he made himself sit up so he wasn't slouching to ask about it. “Oh, and about that essay? I wasn't kidding when I stated that it was done to help someone.”

    “Really, you met an alien?” Bianca asked, intrigued. Sometimes it was hard to tell if she was kidding or serious, even if he had known her for much of his life.

    He chuckled. “No, about the guy who was a partial amnesiac. He's real. There's a fifteen year old boy here in Aspertia named Nate who got here in a teleport accident. We don't know if it's his real name or what's actually going on with him, because it messed up his brain and he can't think straight. He didn't seem to know much about Pokemon, so I've been tutoring him to bring him up to speed.”

    “That sounds pretty bad,” Bianca said. “Is he getting better?”

    He nodded. “Yeah. If you go over information enough with him, it seems to settle parts of his mind and he can recall that knowledge. Nate's just about gotten information about Pokemon down, so we're to the point of making sure he retains that knowledge.”

    “So you would have to completely rethink the basics, to help out someone like him,” Juniper said. “That's impressive that you were able to help him.”

    “Thanks, but... I want to ask you for a favor, on his behalf. See, he seems to know something about what happened to Hilda.”

    “Does he?” Bianca asked, sounding hopeful. “But what does he know?”

    Cheren shrugged. “Well that's the thing. While his thoughts can't be arranged, he can't focus on what he knows about her. From what he has told me, I’m sure that he met her somehow. He wants to travel around Unova and see if he can find places to figure out clues. I was wondering if you'd be willing to give him one of the Pokemon from your studies to help him do that. Maybe even a Pokedex? He could help with the second review period and having one would work with repeating the information and getting it set for him.”

    “I see,” she said, looking thoughtful.

    “He's a good guy,” he said. “Due to his condition, sometimes he says or asks odd things, but he thinks through things carefully and is intelligent. And he's done well around Pokemon; might even be his outsider's view, so to speak, as he observes them more closely to learn about them. He got most of my team to like him within a few minutes of interaction.”

    “So we could help him while he helps us, with his different point of view,” Bianca asked.

    He nodded. “And if you wanted another participant, there's a girl here in Aspertia who I believe has good potential too. Rosa Wilburs, she can be a little ditzy and disorganized, but she has a big heart and enthusiasm, and even some cleverness that can surprise people. They're planning on traveling together come this spring.”

    “Rosa Wilburs?” Juniper asked, raising an eyebrow. “Wait, do you mean the daughter of Janice Wilburs?”

    He thought about it. “Yeah, that's her mother's name.”

    She gave a merry laugh. “Oh, I know her. It's been years since I've spoken with Janice, though. We exchange birthday and Christmas cards, but that's it usually. Well if Rosa is anything like her mother, I’m sure she'll be a delight to have as a helper and field researcher. I haven't made any decisions on new Trainers to bring into the Pokedex project, but I'll certainly put those two on the list and look into them. They're leaving in spring? Well that should be more than enough time. Might even try sending a few starters over early and telling them to spend that time bonding until they were ready to go. Actually, that sounds like a good plan.”

    Bianca laughed. “Wait, don't tell me... are you going to be sending them over this week?”

    “Possibly,” the professor said, making them all laugh. “I do need to check into them, but if Cheren recommends those two, that's just about good enough for me.”


    February 4

    They were meeting after school today, but that was because what Cheren wanted him to do was easier with the other kids having free time. The ground was slick with melted snow; as it was early February, most of the trees were still barren. Due to the gusty chill, they all wore their coats and jackets closed. In the playground behind the school building, a number of students had come to have Pokemon battles in the marked areas. Most hadn't started, partly due to the presence of Cheren. It seemed that despite being a serious student, he was popular here. Maybe that was because of his excellent record as a Pokemon Trainer.

    That did seem to be the way to get a lot of respect in this world, Nate reflected. Pokemon battles settled a lot of issues and it seemed that many people judged a person based on how they conducted such a battle. He'd been studying about it, but this was the first time he'd be participating in one himself. At least, to his recollection (and that was pretty shoddy, so who could really know).

    Cheren handed him a Pokeball. “Here, this is a Lillipup you can borrow. It should behave well for you. Now,” he looked aside, then waved one of the younger boys over. “Taylor! Would you mind being Nate's first opponent for a one to one?”

    “Sure!” A nine-year-old wearing baggy clothes and a baseball cap facing backwards came up, while other students backed out of the white boundaries on the ground. “I've been battling with lots of Pokemon for two years now, and I'm going to take the League by storm when I get old enough.”

    “You keep working on that,” Cheren said. “Remember, stating things like 'one to one' or 'three to three' puts extra limits on how many Pokemon you can use, but if nothing's said, the standard is up to six each and Singles style. But we'll not get into alternate styles for now. Let's have a fair fight.”

    Nate checked the status window on the Lillipup's Pokeball, checking on its nickname, ability, and moves. As it was low-leveled, there wasn't a lot that could be done. But there might be enough options to form a simple tactic. “All right.” He smiled at the boy facing him. “I'll give this a try.”

    “You've got a tough opponent for your first battle, and it's my Lillipup!” Taylor said proudly.

    On looking to check with Cheren about when to start, Nate noticed that a couple of strangers had come into the schoolyard. It was a woman and a teenaged girl, both dark skinned and the latter with huge ponytails; he didn't recall seeing either around the school or town before. But, Aspertia was a large place. Since they weren't important now, he turned his attention back to the battle.

    Cheren brought his hand up. “Ready... and go!”

    There were some polite cheers, but since this was just one Lillipup against another, Nate figured it couldn't be that exciting for the audience. But for him, he did feel eager to give this a try. Which was odd, since it seemed to be a long time since he had gotten enthusiastic for anything. He released the borrowed Lillipup, noting how the two Pokemon wagged tails on seeing each other, barking playfully.

    He'd only seen the names of the attacks in the Pokeball, but once he was in the battle, something in his mind clicked. All this stuff he'd been learning about Pokemon, or rather relearning, it had a lot more depth than he'd been thinking. Even with a simple battle like this. “Charles, use Leer,” Nate said, while his opponent called for Tackle.

    Winning by strength alone was possible; Nate’s mind started racing as he considered this. But full-out offense wasn't the only way to win. There were statuses that could be inflicted to put further obstacles on the opponent. There were defensive strategies to soak up damage, or even to wall it out almost entirely until an opponent wore themselves out. And then, there were weakening and strengthening tactics like he had just used. Taylor's Lillipup would have taken two Tackles to take out his. But with Leer weakening defense of the opponent, Charles the Lillipup could knock out the other in just one Tackle.

    “This match goes to Nate,” Cheren said. A few of the girls were cheering for him, surprising Nate. “Be sure to get your Pokemon healed up soon, Taylor.”

    “Yeah, I will,” the boy said, shrugging. “You win some and lose some, I know. See ya later.”

    Cheren came over to meet Nate on the battle square. “That was a pretty good tactic, actually, although we hadn't got into that.”

    He nodded, handing the Pokeball back. “Once it started, a lot of things came back to me. There's definitely something different, but I've done something like this before.” In the video games he had played back in his old world, Nate assumed. But he'd given up on convincing people of that. If he kept trying, they'd keep assuming that he was crazy and he'd lose the freedom he had now to go around town freely.

    “That's great,” Cheren said, smiling. “Has anything else become clear to you, or just about battling?”

    “I think it's just about Pokemon,” Nate said, rubbing his head as it hurt some. “Sorry.”

    “Don't be; this will go a long way towards helping you.” He glanced aside, finally noticing the woman and girl who had come in. “Oh, Lenora, Iris! This is a pleasant surprise, hello.”

    “Hi Cheren!” the girl said. “You seem to be taking charge around here.”

    “Well this is kind of incidental. I've been tutoring my friend; this is Nate.” Cheren pointed to the other two as he introduced them. “This is Lenora; she runs the Gym in Nacrene City. And this is Iris, the current League Champion. So what brings you around here?”

    “Hello there,” Lenora said to Nate, smiling warmly. But then she turned to Cheren. “I have a big thing to ask you about, Cheren, but I feel that you're most capable of it. I'd like you to take charge of being the Gym Leader holding the Basic Badge.”

    He stared at her for a moment before asking, “You want me to take over as Gym Leader in your place? But, I haven't even applied for a position like that, or with the League for anything.”

    Iris grinned at him. “I think you proved yourself capable just right now, when you were officiating that battle.”

    “Yes, that was nicely handled,” Lenora agreed. “And I've seen your proposal for a Gym, which looks to be quite effective for a simple set-up.”

    He looked confused for a moment, then realized what they meant. “That was my final project for a class last semester, not anything official. But there's a lot more that goes into it than that.”

    Lenora nodded. “True. But then there's that essay you published recently, which while also basic proves that you understand Pokemon well enough to get such ideas across clearly. While you've been in school, you've kept up as an outstanding active Trainer. On top of that, you have another school project that shows you understand the type associated with the badge well, and my initial survey around town shows that the people here in Aspertia like you. So yes, you haven't applied, but I’ve seen enough to know that you're the best candidate to replace me. That is, if you want to.”

    “I'll do it,” Cheren said, smiling although he still seemed stunned at the offer. “This is great, thanks! I might need to reconsider my school schedule... but what are you giving up the position for?”

    Putting a hand to her cheek, she laughed. “Maternity leave. I still have a couple of months on duty, but we're going to need that time to get you prepared to make a smooth turn-over. I can pass over some of my Gym Pokemon to you, but it'd be best for you to start getting a roster of Pokemon prepared.”

    “Oh, congratulations to you too,” Cheren said.

    Without warning, Rosa popped up nearby. “Eee, this is great, Cheren! I know you'll do great.”

    “He certainly will,” Iris said cheerfully. Then she rolled her eyes. “But now we need to get you started on some paperwork and the boring stuff to make this official. Is there some room in the school we can borrow?”

    “I think so, but we'd better ask in the office,” Cheren said. Then he looked at Nate. “Sorry to leave so suddenly, but we'd better take care of this. I'll see you around.”

    Nate smiled and shook his hand. “Sure, thanks for helping me. I'm sure you'll do well.”

    After giving an appreciative smile, Cheren went back into the school building. Rosa came up to him. “How's it going, Nate? You handled that battle really well.”

    “I remember what I’d forgotten about Pokemon,” he told her. “A large portion of it, anyhow. So I shouldn't hold you guys back when we leave this spring.”

    “That's great!” she said, clapping her hands together. “But you know, if Cheren's going to become a Gym Leader here in Aspertia, we might not want to leave right at the start of spring. When you start earning Gym badges, you not only get more respect with every badge earned, you also get more items available to buy at Pokemarts. So it'd be cool to be able to leave with one badge earned already.”

    He nodded. “Sounds good. But we need to get Pokemon first.”

    “There's plenty of time to figure that out,” Rosa said, swaying and making her long ponytails swing. Then she turned to him and tapped his nose. “Also, you've been more cheerful and not so serious lately. Something happen?”

    Nate chuckled at that. “Not really. Where I came from... it was dreary, dismal, and depressing, and you never knew what terrible thing was waiting ahead. But being around here, I don't need to worry anymore. I feel like I’m almost free to do anything, and it seems like once I can travel around, that'll come true. So yeah, I’ve been really happy lately.”

    “That's wonderful! But while we're not doing anything now, want to go to the coffeehouse to get some hot cocoa and work on schoolwork?” She was bouncing on her toes, somehow enthusiastic about the idea of doing homework if it meant hanging out with him and getting cocoa.

    “Weren't we trying to convince the others that we weren't dating?” Nate teased her.

    She made a face. “If we're not doing something like holding hands or cuddling, I think we're safe. Come on, I've got some allowance we can use.”

    “I'll pay for my own. Okay, let's go.” He went over to the building to pick up his bag.

    Life was being wonderful to him; he hoped that wasn't going to change.


    February 4

    “Times are changing,” a strong voice stated through the darkened meeting area. Glowing LED lights illuminated the stage in a greenish-blue hue. “We have been pursing great changes in the world, but our first attempt was pulled out from under us by a series of unexpected turns and twists. But not this time; am I right?”

    Cheers burst out through the room. This confidence on the speaker's part was reassuring to the audience. Yes, things had changed, but they all hoped it was for the better. There was the man on the stage before them, for one reason. He was now their leader, although no one outside the group would even realize it until much too late. As usual, he wore a long white coat that flared out at the bottom, always clean and immaculate no matter what he seemed to be doing. Over his eyes, he wore an unusual pair of eyeglasses that was attached by red wires to a small computer hidden somewhere under his clothes. A tablet screen sat on the podium, wirelessly connected to the computer he wore. A number of them liked to joke that he was that much attached to his work.

    And he would reply, in total seriousness, that that was true. He gestured to them. “We are smaller in numbers, but that does not worry me one moment. Almost two years ago, there was a crisis of faith and many fell out.” The room quieted, but he was still confident. “This is not something that should deter us. What has happened is that we lost much of the chaff that weighed us down. The weak ones have all left, leaving only the strong, the capable, and the ones who truly want to succeed. And what do we really want to succeed at? Nothing less than taking the whole world by storm and introducing a change that will raise all of humanity and all of Pokemon kind to their greatest potential! We will rule the world!”

    The small audience roared with their approval, even coming to their feet. This wasn't skipping about the big issues with emotional and philosophical appeals. This was a blunt call for dominance and transformation. Two years ago, there would have been many of their numbers who would have balked at this. Even their old leader, as revered as he had been. But as their new leader said, the ones who were weak with caution were gone now. Only the ones who could get their dreams realized remained.

    The speaker closed his hand, getting them to quiet again. “We face many challenges, some old, some new. People know our name and are still wary, so we will not go unrecognized even with the many changes we've made. They expect us to challenge their ingrained ways and cause them problems. We must work with caution ourselves, getting our work done out of sight and changing our strategies. For the next few months, we will need to continue setting the stage in the background. But don't forget; we have great power backing us and we will make it greater still.

    “I have at hand the strategies for the next phase of our grand dream,” he said, picking up the tablet briefly. “Today, either I or one of the Sages will meet with you all to instruct you on where you will be stationed and what you will need to accomplish. Do not worry about what you will be doing or what importance it has. Alone, it may seem like a small thing, not enough to cause a great change. But together, each of your assignments is a piece in the grand puzzle, the picture of which will appear as you accomplish your goals. All of you are important. Remember this and we will bring Team Plasma the glory that we all deserve! You are dismissed.”

    Every single one of them was filled with enthusiasm, eager to accomplish what could not be done before.


    Colress entered the hallway and was met with an Elgyem. The gray Pokemon raised a three-fingered hand to him, making his multi-colored markings flash. “Eehsa.”

    “Hello to you too,” he said, nodding and moving on down the hall, with the Elgyem floated after him. Colress raised his tablet and noted that no one else seemed to be in the hall yet. “You were listening, weren't you Triste? I wasn't even a part of them two years ago when things fell apart. But they still ate that right up. The need for someone to follow leads to some irrational thinking, such as lack of research.”

    Because if any of them actually cared to look into it and think, they'd realize that he'd simply been in the right place at the right time. Colress had known the true leader of Plasma, the puppet master Ghetsis, from years ago through his mentor Umber. Ghetsis and Umber were both powerful men working closely together. But their power was too similar, and the clash of their powerful wills and vicious personalities was barely kept in check through a balance in who knew what secrets.

    Looking to eliminate a rival, Ghetsis had called on Colress to betray Umber. It didn't bother him all that much. Umber claimed to be a man of science, but his alcoholism and sadism got in the way of any useful research he could have produced. And if there was one thing Colress could not stand, it was someone who would tarnish the pure beauty that was science. He got the key to Umber's secrets by stealing his network password, and Ghetsis had Umber killed.

    Colress didn't commit to Plasma or Ghetsis then, though. Getting a free pass to look into the secret organization, he stayed around to see what they had accomplished and how they had done so. He'd found a lot of regrettable weaknesses, including a lot of dependance on faith and the puppet leader who held Plasma together. That young man, good grief... Colress hadn't gotten to speak with N directly, but he knew Ghetsis had squandered his ward's talents. N had a mind that could grasp mathematics, physics, and language magnificently, but did not have the right education to take full advantage of that. He wasn't even fit to be a leader, being overly emotional (although that did give him a lot of sympathy points and personal appeal) and severely deficient socially. And that was in the opinion of someone who felt dating was a clumsy social construction to satisfy biological needs that he had no desire to fulfill. That was just sad.

    But while Colress had been peering into them curiously, Team Plasma collapsed because of a single Pokemon battle. Technically two, but the first was all that was needed for the young leader to call it quits and abandon the cause he had so passionately pursued. Many Plasma members, including several of the other leaders, had been captured by the Pokemon League and the government. Ghetsis had gotten away and Colress willingly gave the authorities some information to get away without suspicion. The two men met up and a deal was struck to revive Team Plasma with Colress in charge.

    On the surface, anyhow. As he entered the room he was working from and looked out the windows at the wide ocean around them, he knew and accepted the fact that Ghetsis was the real authority. The position was risky. But, it gave him resources that were well beyond that of an independent scientist. The most valuable ones, amusingly enough, were the members of Plasma themselves, already trained and socially programmed to obey their leaders with pride.

    One of them came in shortly after he did. “Colress, sir, I was told to come here for briefing.”

    He nodded. “Yes, of course. Let me see your ID.” He checked the member number, searching for it on his files with the tablet. “Yes... you are to go to the Virbank area. Do you have Pokemon working with you?”

    He shook his head. “No sir, I turned them all over with the reassignment.”

    “Good.” He went to one of the boxes he had set up and brought out an item storage mini-computer. Two Pokeballs were attached to it. “This contains all of the equipment you need, just let me upload the specifics of your assignment... there.”

    “Thank you, sir,” he said, accepting the package.

    Colress couldn't help but smile. Much better than working with lab assistants. “Of course. I have some further explanation of instructions for you, and that is about your Pokemon.” He tapped the box. “We have changed philosophies, but part of our goal is still to bring out the best in Pokemon. I have given you an allotment of power drinks for you to give to your Pokemon. Your instructions include which drinks you should give which Pokemon to maximize the potential for both. But this cannot be done all at once. It is a prescribed process, and I will send you more at a set date. You should not have to battle much to make your team the best they can be, but I still want a detailed battle log from you to ascertain that you are treating your Pokemon properly.”

    The grunt bowed. “Yes sir. I'll do that.”

    Colress gave a salute. “Then that should do it. Do well.” Once he was gone, Colress made some notes on his tablet. “That would be the group of raw numbers and biochemical enhancements. I had to give them some inhibitors to bring down their experience value, but only to natural levels.”

    “Ee sa cha?” Triste the Elgyem said, seeming to set up a query.

    “I have my own plans for you,” Colress said, looking to the Pokemon. “What I said to him is based on anecdotal data that has bias from the manufacturer of the power drinks, so their experimentation and reports must be considered suspect.”

    There was a knock at the door as another male grunt came in. “Sir, on the briefing?”

    Colress turned to him and nodded. “Yes, but it may be brief. May I see your ID?” Once checking on the grouping this grunt was in, Colress went to another box to get another mini-comp package. “You are assigned to the Castelia area; I've just added the specifics to the journal in here. You have two Pokemon to use. They're a part of the tools you'll need for the job, so give them the basic care and maintenance as I've written in your instructions. You should battle with them some so they don't get rusty, but be strict with them and keep a detailed battle log. That should be all you need to make the best use for them.”

    “Yes sir,” the grunt said.

    Once he was gone, Triste pointed to the door. “Bee ay da de?”

    “Your intelligence scores suggest that you do grasp the situation,” Colress told him. “It's perfectly fine. You see...” He got interrupted by the next briefing, for which Colress gave no instructions on what to do with the Pokemon other than to keep a battle and mission log.

    The briefing after that got a puzzled response from the grunt. “You want me to talk with the Pokemon? And keep one out with me constantly, switching between the two equally?”

    Colress nodded. “Exactly. I know it may seem daft, but it comes from intriguing research into the success of many of those who have held the Champion's position, not just in Unova but around the world. Keep them at your side and talk with them, even if it's simple prattle, and they will put forth more of their power in battle. You need to keep a detailed log of your battles, missions, and dealings with your Pokemon so that I may review your progress. And if I find that you have failed to follow my instructions on the handling of your Pokemon, your pay will be severely docked. Understand?”

    The grunt bowed. “Yes sir. I'll give it a try.”

    Once he was gone, Colress got an extra minute to pay attention to Triste again. “This is why I agreed to join Team Plasma,” he told the Eleygm. “I need a lot of Trainers to act as subjects for a study into what Pokemon training methods are most effective and reliable. There are a myriad of factors to consider, but I have assigned every one of them specific Pokemon and methods to focus on. Being a part of this group, encourage to think, dress, and be alike in the name of unity, helps to eliminate many of those extraneous factors. With this, I will be able to state with almost certainty what works and what does not when it comes to training Pokemon and bringing out their latent powers. For now, I can merely hypothesize.”

    Triste blinked slowly. Then he put his hands together and made a low bow. “Haa saa.”

    Pleased that this Pokemon could grasp his idea, Colress gave a smaller bow in return. “Yes... this is the chance that I've wanted for so many years, the ability to set my grand experiment in motion. You aren't exempt from this either. But, we've already begun.”

    And let Ghetsis pursue whatever half-baked failure of a dream he had, Colress thought but kept to himself. He was going to do whatever it took to get to the scientific truth of Pokemon. The knowledge would be all the reward and power he desired.

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