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ClicheStorm

Discussion in 'Completed Fics' started by Ysavvryl, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Hmm, well Kyurem expressed a liking for bacon, so, is someone's Emboar missing now?
    And now Hilbert's fabulous eh? (Well we always knew it, but the way he lampshades it is hilarious) With magic psychic bishie sparkle powers. It keeps getting better and better!
     
  2. GalladeRocks

    GalladeRocks Son of a Beach

    Finally got around to reading the newest chapter! Wow, Hilda was fairly tame in this one. N and Hilbert's discussion was interesting. (Seriously, Hilbert must be a vampire. It's the only logical explanation.) And just what did Kyurem eat while he was out hunting?
     
  3. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Coffee Break

    "Nah, I'm not gonna drink something that looks like mud," Fedora said from where he was lounging on the windowsill. It was the sunniest spot in the room. "But if there's lemonade, that would ******* rock."

    "Coffee doesn't have anything to do with mud," Juliet said, mixing some caramel creamer into her's. "And it's really good; you're missing out. What about you, Kyurem?"

    Sitting in a chair as a human, he eyed the steaming drink warily. "It's too hot."

    "Can't you just drain the heat from it?" Fedora asked.

    He shook his head. "The heat would transfer into me; it might melt me. I'll just wait on it." He checked over the responses. "People want to know what I ate?"

    The two other Pokemon stilled at this. "Erm, not me," Juliet said. Fedora swore softly.

    "It wasn't anyone you knew," he said. "I think not, anyhow. Do either of you know why Hilda was tamer than usual that day?"

    "I dunno," Juliet said. "You should have heard the conversation about how she needed an accordion and a Zamboni, though."

    "Thank Arceus she got talked out of that one," Fedora muttered. "I think part of it was because she didn't have a large audience. She tends to show off more when there's people watching. So Mr. Bowling Ball, know when the readers are going to find out about Hilbert's sparkle idol power?"

    Juliet giggled. "You make him sound like some kind of magical girl."

    To the Snivy's disappointment, Kyurem didn't seem bothered as he replied, "The next clue doesn't drop until Chapter 10, so be patient."


    Chapter 8: Hilda's First Gym Battle


    afternoon, 11/27

    For the final exam of their Battles 3 class, the students met in the school’s gymnasium. It was a large but plain room, with wood paneling for a floor. The basketball hoops and other equipment had been put up for the test, although one set of bleachers was pulled out for another class and any visitors to watch. For the test, each student had to participate in two battles using at most two Pokémon. And Mr. Tailor had seen it fit to pit Hilda, Bianca, and Cheren against each other for their test.

    Hilda and Bianca came up first. The latter fiddled with her blond hair as she came up to her position. “Okay, um, we’re all going back to the Gym again tomorrow, huh? So, don’t hold back on me.”

    Hilda nodded. “All right, let’s do our best.”

    At the side, the teacher grabbed a whistle that hung around his neck. “Okay, competitors ready….” After looking to them both, he blew the whistle to begin the match.

    Throughout the class, Mr. Tailor had spoken about the need for prediction, knowing what Pokémon were capable of and preparing for the worst. It was difficult to keep track of all the possibilities for all Pokémon, especially when the Pokedex project was incomplete. But there was an advantage to this fight in that both girls knew exactly what Pokémon the other had. That made prediction simple; not having Kyurem available for this, Hilda called on Fedora.

    Bianca, on the other hand, did all right on written tests; in battle, she often let her nerves get to her. She called on Suzy, then quickly realized why that was a bad idea on seeing the Snivy. Guessing that she would swap over to her Lillipup, Hilda called out, “Get to that sunny spot and try Growth now.”

    Fedora had learned a couple of moves over the two week class, Growth being the newest one. He was still figuring it out, so it was marked in gray on the Poke-check app she’d installed on her Xtransceiver. While Bianca recalled the Oshawott, Fedora ran over to a spot of sunlight on the gym floor. The boosting skill would work out of light, but being there might make things easier. A green glow appeared around him, especially at his leafy tail. From the look of it, it seemed to be successful.

    Then the Lillipup was out, wagging her tail. “Lassie, tackle him,” Bianca ordered. The ‘pup barked in agreement and rushed over to the spot of light.

    “Weave and do the same,” Hilda said.

    Dropping down to all fours, the Snivy faced down Lassie, then dashed off in a curve. This forced the Lillipup out of her straight line rush, making it so that her tackle was not as strong as his. But Lillipups were surprisingly tough Pokémon and it took another tackle from Fedora to knock Lassie out. Bianca was then forced to send her Oshawott back out; Suzy fell quickly to the Growth boosted Vine Whip Fedora used.

    Mr. Tailor blew the whistle again. “This match goes to Hilda,” he announced. “Give me a minute to write down notes and Leon and Terry go next.” But first, he picked two Revive crystals from a bin and handed them to Bianca.

    Hilda used a Potion on Fedora, then walked over to the bleachers with Bianca. “Sorry about that,” she said.

    Shaking her head, Bianca said, “Oh, no, it’s fine. I did ask that you not hold back. Besides, it’s like Mr. Tailor says: having someone let you win is a meaningless victory. I just have to figure out how to help my Pokémon win. Or even if I like battles in the first place.” She frowned, considering that. “The Pokémon at least seem to enjoy it, but I don’t know about me.”

    “After this class, you can do what you want,” Hilda said. “There’s nothing that says you have to keep battling; you could work on the Pokedex for Juniper.”

    “Maybe.”

    A couple of battles later, Bianca went against Cheren, losing that battle too. “You need to calm down and focus before a battle,” he said when they were back in the bleachers. “You’d do well if you did that; you’ve got good Pokémon.”

    “I can try,” she said. To change the subject away from her, she then asked, “So you two are going last, huh? I heard one of the other girls say that it was only right to pair the best two students of the class together.”

    “I don’t know where they got that idea,” Hilda said jokingly. “I take to battles like a goofball.”

    Cheren nudged her. “A goofball that’s beat everybody in class, except for me.”

    “Yeah, whatever,” she said. Then she grinned. “Besides, I know what Pokémon you have, and I know that you know what Pokémon I have, so I know what you’d start with because you’d know what I’d start with.”

    “I know that you know that I know that,” Cheren replied. “But I also know that you don’t know something about my team, and I’m going to use that to pick the winning strategy.”

    “What if I know that something that you think that I don’t know?” she said, poking him in the arm. “And what if I know that you don’t know something about my team, and I’ll win because of that?”

    “I know that you’re probably bluffing to hide the fact that you don’t know,” he said, poking her back. “And I’m sure that you know that I know that you’re also doing it for a joke.”

    “Excuse me,” someone said from just behind them, “but I’m confused.”

    “Did you know that?” Hilda asked Cheren.

    “I knew that,” he said. “But did you know that?”

    Bianca turned partly and said, “Oh, it’s simple. See, I know that she knows that he knows what she knows and he knows that she knows what he knows, and they know that I know, so they know that they don’t have to explain anything.”

    “All right!” Hilda said, giving Bianca a hi-five. “You the boss.”

    She smiled. “Thanks!”

    “I think I get it,” another person behind them said.

    “Then you know too much,” both Hilda and Cheren said. They looked at each other, then burst into laughter.

    “Quiet down over there,” Mr. Tailor warned.

    Once all their classmates were through, Hilda and Cheren came into the battle area. Some of their classmates started talking with each other, debating on which one of the two would win this time. So of course Hilda wasn’t going to back down from a chance to do some grandstanding. She grabbed one of the two Pokeballs and held it in a fist towards her best friend. “All right, let’s get down to a real battle,” she said. “You, me, our Pokémon, right here and now, no interruptions, to decide who’s the best. For today.”

    Cheren smirked and returned the challenge by pointing at her. “You’re on! I have the plans and the power to take you down. You’ll get no quarter this round.”

    “And neither will you,” she said, but grinned at the end of it.

    Their teacher gave them both a warning look. “And if we’re done with the over-the-top drama…”

    “Are we ever?” Hilda asked cheerfully, getting some laughs from the audience.

    “I suppose that would be too much to ask,” Mr. Tailor said, with a light tone of disapproval. “Competitors ready…” he looked at them a half minute longer, then blew the whistle.

    Both opponents released their Pokémon at the same time, resulting in Juliet the Panpour facing off against Shadeclaw the Purrloin. Hilda tightened her grip on the Pokeball. Thinking quickly, she called out, “Juliet, Double Team.”

    Simultaneously, Cheren said, “Shadeclaw, Sand Attack.”

    The Purloin summoned up a curse of sand to make it harder for Juliet to aim, while she focused inward and produced three images that looked just like her, to confuse him. Hilda grinned while Cheren bit his lip. Because they were planning on challenging the Gym tomorrow, she knew that he would want to practice the Sand Attack strategy that had worked for N last week. And she had successfully kept him from knowing that Juliet knew an unusual move.

    “All right, go Water Gun,” Hilda ordered, getting an ‘okay’ sign from all four of the Panpour images in front of her. In the meantime, Cheren had his Purrloin use Assist; this got Shadeclaw to summon a fireball to counter the water ball being hurled at him. The fireball destroyed one of the images. Juliet jumped around with her two images, then used Water Gun again to knock Shadeclaw out.

    Cheren recalled the Purrloin to call out his Tepig. “Smoky, tackle that one,” he called, pointing out one of the Panpours.

    Without hesitation, Smoky dashed for and tackled that one, his tiny hooves clattering against the wooden floor. Cheren had managed to pick out Juliet’s real self rather than her images. But then the Tepig found himself hit immediately with a Water Gun. It seemed to wear him down a lot, but not knock him out. In fact, he had time to bite down on an Oran berry that had been tied around one of his forelegs. “Get him for that,” Hilda said.

    Encouraged by that, Juliet frowned and began a flurry of light punches. According to the teacher, this was Fury Swipes, a low powered attack that hit many times. This was enough to knock Smoky out despite his attempt to heal himself. But when Hilda checked the Panpour’s health on her Xtranceiver app, she was close to passing out herself.

    Mr. Tailor blew his whistle again. “And the winner is Hilda,” he said, amid cheers from the audience. “I’ll have your reviews in a few minutes.”

    After Cheren got his Pokémon revived and Hilda healed up Juliet, they went back over to where Bianca was sitting on the bleachers. “When did Juliet learn Double Team?” he asked.

    “Oh, she’s known it since I met her,” Hilda said teasingly. “I was just waiting for the right moment to use it. But I knew you’d try Sand Attack.”

    Bianca giggled. “Seems like she beat you out in the knowledge guessing game.”

    “For this round,” Cheren said, but then he smiled and winked.

    Then Mr. Tailor had his reviews for all of the students of Battles 3. “Well Hilda, beneath the frivolous surface you project, you seem to have great potential. But you’re not going to earn respect if people can’t take you seriously. You pass the class.”

    “Thanks, sour puss,” she said brightly, causing some laughs from the semester students.

    He gave her a look that said he was glad he wouldn’t have to deal with her any longer. Then he turned to Cheren with a slight smile. “Cheren, you also have great potential and you could easily go far within the Pokémon League. You have an excellent grasp on the theory and mechanics of battles, perhaps even more than some of the regular students.” He gave a glance up to a few who were higher up on the bleachers. “You pass the class, outstanding job.”

    He gave a nod of acknowledgment. “Thank you, sir.”

    On Bianca’s turn, Tailor was back to being serious. “Bianca, you show good knowledge and are earnest in things. But you need to be calmer and more collected in battle. Don’t get flustered and leave your Pokémon hanging. But you do pass the class.”

    She shrank back some. “Yes sir,” she said quietly.

    As he moved on to other students, Hilda slipped over and tugged at Bianca. “Hey, at least the battle class is over now. I’m sure you’ll do much better on the other final exams.”

    She smiled a little at that. “Sure, I know. But I still need to get better for my Pokémon.” She put her hand to her lips, concerned.

    Afternoon, 11/28

    Although it doubled as a restaurant, the Striaton Gym was like any other in that other Trainers would come to learn from the Leaders. And these Gym Trainers were available for challengers to fight, if they wanted. Since some of the Gym Trainers were also restaurant employees, this was best done in between meal times. Hilda spent much of Saturday battling the Gym Trainers.

    She even found and battled the waitress that they had met last week. “Wow, I think you’re ready for this Gym,” Tia said. “It shouldn’t be too hard for you.”

    “Not unless I make it harder,” Hilda said. “Oh, and the uniform is so cute!”

    “Isn’t it?” Tia patted the skirt of her orange dress. Over it was a white apron, with pockets for a notepad and Pokeballs. “It’s much better than some other work uniforms I’ve had.”

    Grinning, Hilda nodded. “Sure. Hey, may I borrow one of them to wear for tonight?”

    She looked puzzled. “Why? Aren’t you challenging the Gym?”

    “Yeah, but I always believe in dressing for the occasion. It’s more fun that way.”

    “It would be. But I don’t know…” Tia scratched her head. “I think we might have a dress your size, but they’re provided for workers.”

    Hilda was a bit disappointed, because she hadn’t had time to think of what to wear for the Gym battle. And she had to make it interesting, if only for her own entertainment. “Please? I can do some work if that’ll help.”

    Tia smiled. “Oh, that should be acceptable. Actually, one of the other waitresses is out tonight, so the extra help would be great. Do you have any nicer shoes and socks though? Black shoes would be better, and white socks.”

    “Yeah, I’ve got some other pairs,” Hilda said. “So may I wear the uniform?”

    “Sure,” Tia said. “Come on in back and we’ll find you one.”

    “Yay, thanks!” She gave the actual waitress a quick hug, then followed her into the work area

    After getting their Pokémon healed up from their battle, Tia brought her into the supply closet where the uniforms were kept. After finding one of the right size, Hilda changed out of her jeans and t-shirt into the aproned dress, then switched her sneakers and regular socks for some pretty black leather shoes and lacy socks. The rules for waiters and waitresses said that they couldn’t wear hats, so she had to put her Patch hat away in favor of a white hair band that would keep her brown hair away from her face. She also had to put her Xtranceiver away, so she turned it off and put it in her bag.

    Tia had spoken with a few other members of the staff, but not with the Leaders. Since Hilda was more or less volunteering and the staff had extensive guidelines to keep, there wasn’t much she could actually do. “You can help set the tables,” Tia said, passing her a small booklet. “It’s all been cleaned from the lunch period, so they need tablecloths, silverware and napkin bundles, placemats, and centerpieces. This will give you the guidelines and quantities for a Saturday dinner; start by making up the bundles and centerpieces. Just remember to keep the flower vase displays simple, all right?”

    “All right,” Hilda said. “Where’s the stuff kept?”

    Several minutes later, Kyurem walked into the Gym. He had asked to go out hunting again. “What are you doing?” he asked, stopping by the table.

    “Working,” she replied, picking out the right utensils and putting them into cloth napkins. “I wanted a uniform and they said I had to work to borrow it.”

    “Why?”

    “It's for fun, of course.” She hummed a bit, then added, “So you ready for tonight? And still willing?”

    He nodded. “It is acceptable. Then this uniform must be you working in every detail to impress the most people.”

    “Of course. I want to be memorable.”

    “Why?”

    Hilda looked up at him. “You know, you hardly give me any answers, so why should I give them to you?”

    “I will tell you if it becomes vital,” he said. “I need to assess you to know how to do my job, so it would be in your best interest to answer me.”

    “What is your job?” she tried.

    “To protect you.”

    “Why?”

    “It is not vital at this time to know why. Why do you want to be memorable?”

    She stuck her tongue out at him, then shook her head. “Why not? There’s lots of people in the Pokémon League, hoping to become famous. But they don’t do anything to make them stand out. They’re not interesting to watch. I want to be interesting, and to make this fun for everyone. Even if it means doing some little chore to set things up.”

    He nodded, then turned when another door opened. Cilan came through, looking bothered. Not long after, Cress came in too and talked quietly with his brother. Hilda could faintly hear some words, but decided it wasn’t polite to listen in at that moment. She kept working at the silverware and napkin bundles. While it seemed like a simple chore, there were a lot of them that needed making. And then there were the centerpieces.

    “Well you two are new faces around here,” Cress said, after he and Cilan had come over to the table Hilda was working at. “Are you a new worker or volunteer?”

    She looked up and smiled at them. “I’m a volunteer, just for tonight. Hi, I’m Hilda.”

    “Ah, well good to meet you, Hilda.” Cress shook her hand, then introduced himself and his brother. “We have some time, so we’ll handle the centerpieces.”

    “Well you’re the bosses,” Hilda said. “By the way, the quiet guy over here is the legendary dragon Kyurem. He doesn’t talk much.”

    “We heard that he was around,” Cilan said, curious. “Lots of people are wondering why.”

    “Don’t ask,” Kyurem replied.

    Hilda shrugged. “Like I said, he doesn’t talk much.”

    “So are you going challenge us tonight?” Cilan asked.

    “Yeah,” she said. “And I’m going to be really daring about it.”

    “Oh really?” Cress asked, amused. “And how’s that?”

    She told them.

    The two brothers looked to each other. “Well I suppose there’s nothing saying we can’t,” Cilan said.

    “I love that idea,” Cress said. “I always thought it would be a nice option for those who already had the badge. But that will make things much more difficult on your end, Hilda.”

    “That’s why I’m doing it,” she said. “I’m sure we can manage.”

    Cilan picked up a red poppy that was with the flowers, and said, “Hey let’s not tell Chili. I’d like to see how he reacts to that.”

    Cress grinned. “Sure thing.”

    Keeping at her work, Hilda said, “You seem a lot chattier here than you are during the battles, Cilan.”

    “Oh, well,” he blushed a bit, “I get stage fright. Some nights worse than others.”

    “Yet he seems to be a tougher fight when he’s nervous,” Cress said, setting up another poppy in a vase. “His Pokémon pick up on it and really get defensive.”

    “I’m working on it.”

    “You both have strange eyes,” Kyurem said, looking at the two Leaders.

    “Yeah, we know,” Cress said. Then he came over to Hilda’s table. “Excuse me; I’m going to take a couple of those napkins for displays.”

    “Sure,” she said, glancing up at him. It wasn’t easy to see, but he did have strange eyes: black with streaks of gold.

    “Some Pokémon have eyes like this, but we don’t know why we have them,” Cilan said.

    “I might be able to tell why if I had a taste of your blood,” Kyurem offered.

    “Kyurem, don’t freak people out,” Hilda said in warning.

    “I’ve already eaten,” he said. “I have suspicions, but I need to confirm them before I state them.”

    Cilan looked distinctly nervous, while Cress shook his head. “Er, no, that’s fine. It’s just a cosmetic thing, so it’s nothing to be concerned about.”

    Later that evening, Hilda was given the job of door greeter. She had to welcome people, give them menus, get them a table of the right size without overworking a particular waiter or waitress, and register challengers in the Gym’s computer. The last step turned out to be vital, as this determined which of the three brothers the challenger would face and what order the challengers went in. There were five slots open tonight and they filled up quickly.

    Fortunately, Cheren and Bianca got in early enough to secure spots. They came in with Professor Juniper and two other women. “What are you doing working here?” Bianca asked as she passed over her ID card. “Did you decide to be a Gym Trainer instead?”

    “No, but it’s all part of the plan,” Hilda said, putting a finger to her lips. “Doing my research on my opponents.”

    “Well that’s one way to do it,” Juniper said. “Oh, this is Hilda, my other field researcher. Hilda, these are two friends of mine from college, Fennel and Amanita. They work in Pokémon psychology and computer technology respectively.”

    “Hello, nice to meet you,” Fennel said, shaking her hand. She was a tall woman with long black hair and thin-framed glasses. “We’ve heard some interesting things about you.”

    “And I’m sure you haven’t heard most of it,” Hilda said, shaking Amanita’s hand before getting some menus. “Come on, I’ll take you to a table. If it’s all right, I’ll have Kyurem sit with you, but I’ll be working so I won’t be.”

    “That’s fine as long as he stays quiet,” Bianca said. “Sometimes he says, well, disturbing things.”

    “He isn’t human,” Hilda pointed out.

    Since she had taken a break before the doors opened, Hilda kept working until all tables were filled. Then she was set to dish washing for a few minutes until Tia came and told her that she needed to get ready for her match. Hilda dried off, then went over to her friends’ table to get Kyurem.

    Then the three brothers came out on stage, Chili giving pretty much the same speech as last time. “All right, then who’s our first challenger?” he asked Cress.

    He checked the tablet, then smiled a little as he said, “Miss Hilda Medley from Nuvema Town.”

    “All right, let’s go for it,” she said to Kyurem. He nodded.

    “This is gonna be exciting,” Bianca said, waving to them.

    Hilda went up the steps into the battle area. It was warmer in the center due to the lights that were focused on this spot. Waving her hand back to the dragon boy following her, she said, “He’s with me.” She spotted two x marks on the floor, indicting the positions. She stopped at one while Kyurem stayed just behind her.

    “Of course,” Cress said.

    Chili glanced at this brothers, giving them a ‘what do you know that I don’t’ look. When they just smiled, he turned back to Hilda and said, “All right. And your opponent for tonight will be…”

    “Hold on a moment,” Hilda said, stopping him with a gesture. “See, I know how you work things around here, and it’s a nice system. But the thing is, I have an unusual starter. I started my journey with Kyurem, the legendary dragon of the Great Crater.”

    Whispering started around the room. Kyurem’s white mask shone under the stage lights. Behind Chili, Cress gave a knowing wink. Chili himself looked interested in what she was saying.

    Hilda crossed her arms over her chest. “As it is, his level is in the teens, but he’s still more powerful than ordinary Pokémon. That means that the usual fight will be much too easy. I won’t like that, and you won’t like that, so here’s my challenge. I’m gonna take on all three of you, in a Triples battle. How’s that sound to you?”

    “Well that’s…” Chili thought for a second, “unusual.”

    “There’s nothing in the rules that says we can’t turn down a challenge like that,” Cilan said, stepping forward.

    Cress stepped forward too. “We’ve done this a lot. We may as well show our unity as brothers… although this might prove that you’ve overestimated your abilities, Hilda.”

    “So it seems that you will be getting what you asked for,” Chili said, grinning. Cheers came up from the audience. “Then you will face all three of us at once. Now, declare your Pokémon; we have six.”

    Hilda grinned back. This was going to be great. “Three, and you’re going down.” That got more cheers.

    “Then let’s get this show going,” Chili said, taking one of his Pokeballs in hand. “Ready… and battle!” He released his Lillipup, soon followed by two more from his brothers. Chili’s Pokémon took center point.

    “Kyurem, go!” Hilda called, grabbing her other two Pokeballs, releasing Fedora and Juliet at the same time.

    Nodding, Kyurem turned into a white glow and moved in front of her, taking the center point position. He reformed into his dragon form, roaring once he fully appeared. The Lillipups stiffened at this, but the Snivy and Panpour were expecting that.

    There were some quick unspoken signs between the brothers. “Power up,” Cilan said.

    “Help Louie,” Cress said right after, right as Cilan’s ‘pup started yapping and building that brown glow.

    “Get the dragon,” Chili then finished, as Cress’ ‘pup hopped closer Chili’s.

    “Get the right one,” Hilda told Kyurem. “And you two, get ready as planned.”

    Kyurem used Dragon Rage against Cilan’s Lillipup, knocking him out immediately with a blast of violet energy. The other two Lillipups rushed at him, but only Chili’s actually tackled the dragon; the other one seemed to be using Helping Hand to increase his partner’s damage. While the focus was on the large dragon in the center of the battle square, Fedora and Juliet moved back towards the corners. The former used Growth while the latter prepared Double Team, but kept the images barely overlapping herself.

    “Again,” both Chili and Cress said, getting their Lillipups to repeat the assisted tackle.

    Cilan recalled his fallen Pokémon and replaced him with a Pansage. “Spook the dragon,” he ordered.

    “Ice the monkey,” Hilda called.

    Withstanding the second tackle, Kyurem sent a glittering gust of Icy Wind at the Pansage. The green furred monkey had been preparing to do something, but the Ice attack was too much for it to handle. With the second knock out, Cilan was out of the battle. But it wasn’t about getting rid of the easier opponent; for what Hilda had planned, Cilan’s Pokémon would be the harder set if left to last.

    As Cilan bowed out of the fight, Chili and Cress glanced at each other. “Keep at it,” Chili said, ordering both Lillipups to follow the same Helping Hand to tackle tactic.

    Good. ”You okay, Kyurem?” She got a wing twitch and low hiss in response, something she’d figured out was an affirmative response. “Now the left one.”

    As stoic as usual, Kyurem lifted his head and blasted Cress’ Lillipup with Dragon Rage, knocking it out. The last Lillipup kept coming and tackled him. The dragon growled, but found himself out of energy and fell unconscious. Quickly, Hilda recalled him. He wouldn’t like being seen long like that.

    Amid calls from the audience, Chili said, “Now you’ve lost your power player.” Cress released his Panpour during that lull.

    “Exactly as planned,” Hilda said, confident. “Juliet, cover! Fedora, blitz the other Panpour!”

    While Kyurem had been taking up much of the attention, Hilda’s other two Pokémon had been quietly boosting themselves. Juliet unleashed nine images of herself, four of which quickly appeared at the Snivy’s side. With a bright green glow around him, Fedora zipped across the battle stage and lashed out at Cress’ Panpour with Vine Whip. The blow was powerful enough to knock the monkey back several feet to pass out at his Trainer’s feet.

    Cress recalled his Pokémon and backed out, leaving Chili alone as she would have faced him normally. The look on his face was serious; he knew not to mess around now, even with Kyurem out of the fight. Since it was technically a Triples match, he released his Pansear. “Louie, help out; incinerate the Snivy.”

    “Keep cover,” Hilda told Juliet. “Fedora, hit the ‘pup!”

    Juliet moved herself and her images around, keeping the situation confusing. Fedora launched himself into the last Lillipup hat first, also knocking it out in one blow. The Pansear attempted to breathe fire at him, but the attack struck two of the Panpour images and demolished them instead. Even though it was two to one now, there was still a chance that the Leaders could win.

    So she wasn’t going to risk it. “Okay, both of you, Water Gun and whip!”

    “Flame on the spot!” Chili called.

    In response, the Pansear used Incinerate again, but in a way that put a circle of flames around himself. Fedora saw this, then leapt over the flames and landed on the Pansear’s head. He flipped up in time for Juliet to blast the red monkey with Water Gun, then used his tail as a whip on the way down. Bouncing back off their opponent Pokémon’s head, he landed in a dramatic pose as the Pansear fainted.

    “Oh wow,” Cilan said, barely audible over the cheering of the audience. “Now there’s something we don’t see every day.”

    “Really spectacular, as we hoped for,” Cress added.

    After recalling his Pansear, Chili nodded and held his hand up, getting the audience to calm down some. “Yes, for a novice in the League to defeat all three of us… Hilda, you’ve earned our respect. Well done.” Then all three of them bowed at the same time.

    “It’s cause my Pokémon are awesome!” she said, clapping a few times.

    Cilan passed off the badge to Chili, who came over and handed it to her. “Yes, and for their fine efforts, and your own, we are proud to award you the Trio Badge. Show it off with pride.”

    Taking it, she saw that it had a gold rectangular frame around three equal gems of red, blue, and green. A simple design, but one that meant so much. “Of course,” she called out, then stepped back and held it up with a V sign. “To victory!”

    Cheering themselves, Fedora and Juliet mimicked the sign. The audience heartily approved of this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  4. *gigglesnort* when you mentioned Hilbert as a magical girl, I got an amazingly hilarious image of Hilbert in a Sailor Senshi outfit, AND LOVING IT!

    Anyway, great chapter as always.
     
  5. DarknessInZero

    DarknessInZero <- Es mío! MÍO!

    ^ lol to up.

    Great chapter. Yeah, Kyrem is great, but he still have a low level. And I don't know why, but I imagine Kyrem with N like clothes, but with a mask. Yeah.


    DiZ out.
     
  6. Wait, that would melt him? he's half Dragon typed...
    Yes, we do.
    ... Now that's just put some REALLY disturbing images in my head. Anyone know where the Brain Bleach is?
    ,
    *Waits impatiently*

    ...you know, for some reason I only ever respond to Coffee Breaks. Weird, huh?
     
  7. GalladeRocks

    GalladeRocks Son of a Beach

    I know that you know that I know that Hilda knows that Bianca knows that Kyurem knows that Fedora knows that scizorstrike knows that I know that this was a totally awesome chapter!

    By the way, with that weird eye thing with the triplets, there is only one logical explanation: they're vampires They're illegitimate Pokemon-human mutants. Or possibly the Shadow Triad.

    It's only a matter of time now before Kyurem devours somebody in view of the readers . . .
     
  8. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Coffee Break

    "Only a matter of time is right," Kyurem said, then grinned toothily.

    "You keep asking for people's blood and you'll be the next accused of vampirism," Hilda said. "Anyhow," she slammed her hands on the table, getting bits of coffee to jump out of the mugs, "Did you hear about that official announcement about N?"

    "Ysavvryl's version is weirder," Kyurem stated. "The stuff about his parent or parents possibly being Pokemon is said to be rumors, not confirmed or anything."

    "That name might just be weirder," she said, taking a drink of coffee. "But that's quite an accomplishment, you know?"

    "I don't?" Kyurem said, raising an eyebrow.

    She rolled her eyes. "Aw come on. It's easy to give a girl a ridiculous symbolic name and still have it sound feminine. Coming up with a boy's ridiculous symbolic name and have it sound masculine? That's something. Harmonia toes the line a bit, but Natural and Gropius sound like they'd belong to a guy whose parents had questionable tastes."

    Kyurem shrugged. "If you say so. She seems to have gotten the high intelligence and moody parts right, but she said she hadn't expected the soothsaying to be literal. We're going to see if that can be worked in."

    "There's probably a way." Then Hilda grinned. "So, if scizorstrike only responds to the Coffee Break this time, you'll eat that reviewer, right?"

    "Of course," Kyurem said, grinning back.


    Chapter 9: Night in the Dreamyard


    evening, 11/28

    It was dark and cool when Hilda left the Gym. She had changed back to her regular clothes and gave the waitress uniform back. Despite the long day, she was still excited after her win and awake enough to want to find something to do. But probably not battling, as Fedora and Juliet seemed tired. She recalled them both and walked out with just Kyurem.

    “Someone’s out there,” he said, putting his hand on her shoulder.

    “Yeah, it’s a town,” Hilda said. “Unless you’re sensing murderous intent, I don’t think it’s worrisome.”

    “Things are more serious than you realize,” Kyurem said, looking both into the shadows and up into the sky.

    “I might if you would tell me things.”

    “Not yet.” He let her go for the time being. “It seems to just be your friends.”

    “That’s what I would have guessed.” Walking along the side of the building, she came out of the alley and saw her friends with Juniper and her friends. Hilda hurried up to reach them. “Hey, sorry if I kept you waiting.”

    “It’s no trouble,” Juniper said. “You certainly won your badge with flair; congratulations.”

    She accepted a small hug from her. “Of course I would; I don’t work without flair. I heard Cheren won too. Good going!”

    “You were a tough act to follow,” he said. “But I did well enough.”

    “No, you did great,” Bianca said, smiling. “I didn’t do so well, though. Cilan beat me again.”

    “That was a close match,” Fennel said. “At the end there, it could have gone either way.”

    She shrugged. “Maybe. I might try getting another Pokémon; that would help, right?”

    “It should, at least in terms of numbers,” Hilda said.

    “That could be all you need,” Juniper said. “It’s been nice seeing you all again, but I’ve got to bike back to Nuvema before it gets too late. If you three have some time tonight, though, Fennel was saying she could use some help from some Trainers.”

    Cheren declined to help, saying that he’d been busy all day; he certainly looked tired. On the other hand, Bianca seemed just as alert as Hilda felt. After saying good night to Juniper, the two girls stayed with Fennel and Amanita. “So what do you need help with?” Bianca asked.

    “We want to find a Pokémon, but our own haven’t fought wild battles in so long,” Amanita said, shifting her glasses back. “Have you heard of a Munna or Musharna?”

    “I’ve heard that one of the Elite 4 has one,” Bianca said. “I don’t really remember it all that well.”

    “I’ve heard of it, but can’t think of it right off,” Hilda said. “Is it rare?”

    “Uncommon, but sneaky,” Kyurem stated. “Quite tasty too.”

    Fennel looked briefly horrified. “Oh, no, we’re not out to eat one! Although, the first part was right. Munna looks like a pink piglet, actually, with purple flower-spots. It’s a Psychic type and often gets around by hovering.”

    Bianca smiled. “Aw, that sounds cute. Are they around here?”

    Nodding, Fennel explained, “And they’re best found at night too. They’re an evolution line and people have reported seeing them at the Dreamyard. You could catch one if you want,” she glanced at Kyurem, “just don’t eat it. But we’re more interested in a material that they can make, the Dream Mist.”

    “Dream Mist allows them to form images of what they see in dreams,” Amanita said. “Or even in our thoughts, if it’s a strong enough individual. We’ve had a theory that it could be used to share dreams.”

    “And we have a few devices that are working!” Fennel said, beaming with excitement. “However, we’ve run out of the Dream Mist material that we used throughout our testing and we haven’t heard back from our original contributor. Would you go into the Dreamyard and look for some Dream Mist for us?”

    “Sure, that sounds fine,” Bianca said. “But how are we supposed to gather the Mist if it’s, well, mist?”

    While Amanita dug out a glass bottle with a cork, Fennel said, “The Pokémon can manipulate it. And they’re pretty smart, so you should be able to ask them for it. But the Pokémon that can be found easiest are those that want to battle Trainers; it’s not easy to ask while the Pokémon is looking to attack.”

    “Oh yes, that is trouble,” Bianca said. “Are you okay with that, Hilda?”

    “Sure,” she said, taking the bottle. “Let’s go find that Pokémon!”

    Ten minutes later, Hilda, Bianca, and Kyurem were walking along the ruined walls of the Dreamyard, the Lillipup Lassie trotting along at their side. There were several lights around, but the remaining rubble made strange shadows everywhere. Small noises filled the air, from Pokémon calling to each other to feet snapping twigs, crushing leaves, and shifting rocks. While the largest gap was overtaken with thick bushes, they managed to roll an oil drum aside to get into the grassier part of the ruin.

    “This place is spooky at night,” Bianca said quietly.

    “Well someone else is here,” Hilda pointed out, judging by the footsteps at the far end of the area. “It can’t be that dangerous.” Then she gripped Bianca’s shoulder. “But now that I’ve said that…”

    “We’re going to run into a guy wearing a hockey mask that’s going to start stalking us in our dreams until he eventually kills us in our sleep?” Bianca asked, shivering but smiling a bit. “Well as fun as scary movies are to watch, I’d rather be pulled into a romance. Like when the girl starts out on her journey, meets a sweet guy early on and travels with him, then there’s the rival who’s a handsome bad boy and the heroine has to chose between the two… that would be wonderful.”

    “Isn’t that the one where the girl starts off with her childhood best friend who’s a guy?” Hilda asked.

    “Sometimes, but,” she shrugged, “well it’s just, we’ve all known each other since we were really little. Cheren’s like our brother and it just doesn’t seem right to go out with him.”

    She nodded. “I think you’re right. I’m pretty sure he feels the same way.” Hilda put her hand to her chin, thinking. “Of course… there’s always the horror romance where the girl is stalked by a creepy guy who offers to help her become a Pokémon master, because he has an obsessive crush on her. So he makes sure that she always wins, no matter what he has to do.”

    Bianca shuddered. “No, I’d rather not be a part of that one. I know I’m having trouble, but if my team and I are going to win, I want it to be because we deserve it.”

    “Good point.”

    “Ooo, I was in the RPG online once where… aaahhh!” Out of the blue, a rock came flying at the girls and hit Bianca in the shoulder. This was soon followed by a pink blur in the air as a Pokémon came flying at them. The Munna (for it fit Fennel’s description) gave off a feeling of fear and bewilderment, but on seeing them, seemed to sense something about them. Because of this, it soon was between them, just behind Bianca.

    Charging after the Munna were a pair of Plasma members, out in their knightly suits despite the darkness. The first one stopped at seeing the Munna with the girls, but the second one collided noisily right into him. “Hey, watch it,” the first said.

    “You watch it,” the other said, then saw them. “And just what are you two doing with that Munna?”

    “We have no idea,” Hilda said. “What’re you two doing chasing it around and throwing rocks at it?”

    “That’s none of your business,” one said.

    But the other blurted out, “We’re going to catch it to become one of our allies.”

    The first one jabbed his partner with his elbow in the stomach. “You **** idiot, we’re not supposed to talk about team business with outsiders.”

    “Well she asked.”

    “Wait a minute,” Bianca said, rubbing her shoulder. “I thought you guys were out for Pokémon liberation.”

    “Of course we are,” the first one said. “We’re going to educate you poor fools about the sins you have committed against Pokémon by holding them captive.”

    “And you’re going to do that by capturing a wild Pokémon?” Hilda asked. “And catch it by terrorizing it?”

    “That Munna is going to be an ally,” he insisted. “That’s different. We will use its powers to show dreams to make people aware of what Pokémon really think about them.”

    “I wouldn’t pick up an ally by throwing rocks,” Bianca said. At her feet, Lassie stepped forward, growling.

    “And it might just show people how you treated it instead,” Hilda said.

    “No it won’t,” the Plasma grunt said. “Anyhow, it’s our ally and you aren’t going to steal it away from us. Patrat, attack!” He released two Patrats, while his partner fumbled around with his own Pokeball.

    “Kyurem, get ‘em!” Hilda called out in reply.

    In a flash of light, Kyurem transformed into his dragon form. As he roared, the other grunt managed to release a Purrloin. The three Plasma Pokémon stared at the legend, fur all puffed up in fright. Even if they couldn’t understand them, the Pokémon were clearly asking if the Plasma pair was kidding about attacking this dragon. Kyurem snorted, then darted forward and snatched up the closer of the two grunts by clamping his jaws over his head and picking him up off the ground.

    “That’s not what I meant,” Hilda said, indignantly putting her hands on her hips. “I wouldn’t mind if you ate a jerk like him, but I need to have plausible deniability in case someone tries to sue me. Put him down.”

    Kyurem shifted his head to look back at her, grumbling.

    “And don’t talk with your mouth full,” Hilda countered. “Go on; put him down or I’m not getting you bacon for breakfast.”

    He narrowed his eyes at her, but then spat the man out onto the ground. By the lights overhead, they could see that he was covered in spit and probably bleeding from where the dragon’s teeth had made contact. “You ******* *******!” the man said, sputtering. “How dare you deny the natural instincts of your Pokémon?”

    All three of the Plasma Pokémon went wide-eyed at this. They stepped back behind the two men, not wanting to become targets of a carnivorous Pokémon. On the other side, Kyurem gave a throaty chuckle.

    “Um, he was trying to eat you alive,” Bianca said, clasping the handle of her bag. “She just spared your life.”

    “Doesn’t matter; we’ll punish you for your cruelty. Patrats… where are you, Patrats?”

    The two Patrats looked at each other, not wanting to speak up.

    “How pathetic,” another man said. The two grunts paled as, inexplicably, Ghetsis stepped out of the darkness. The look in his eyes was like a steel blade, ready to cut straight to the problem. “Do you truly understand what we mean to achieve? Or are you just posers trying to make up for a natural ineptitude?”

    “Whaa, Ghetsis?” the second grunt asked. “Wha-what are you doing here?”

    Then Ghetsis vanished, only to appear closer to them. “Spot check.” Then he vanished and appeared on the other side. “I think you need a reminder of what you’re supposed to be doing. Get out of this place and speak with your supervisor. I will ask about this later.”

    “Y-yes sir! We don’t mean to disobey, sir!” The two grunts then rushed off back to Striaton, stumbling over the overgrown bush along the way.

    Hilda clenched her fist, but then the Munna came out in front of them, happy as can be. “Squeee!”

    Ghetsis nodded, then disintegrated into a mass of pink smoke. Something else then came out of the dark, a larger version of the Munna that was wrapped in that pink smoke. Having dealt with the Plasma grunts, the Musharna came up to the Munna and nudged it. "Wurra.”

    "Warru," it said, sounding sad. The older Pokémon looked at the two girls, then left with the Munna.

    But it left behind the pink puff of mist, hanging in the air as ethereal as a Ghost's aura.

    "Is that the Dream Mist?" Bianca asked, going up to it. "I don't know how we're supposed to bottle it."

    "I dunno either, but let's try," Hilda said. She took the cork out of the bottle and held it up to the pink mist. Perhaps the Pokémon was close enough to affect it; whatever reason there was, the mist got sucked into the bottle, filling it with bright pink. From there, it was simple to stick the cork back in, just in case. "I hope that's enough for them; let's go back."

    Looking uncertain, Bianca put her hand to her cheek. "Um, you go on ahead and give it to them. I'm going to look for that Pokémon. It might be too scared to come with me, but there might be another. I thought it was cute."

    Hilda nodded. "All right then. Good luck!"

    Back in Striaton, Hilda went to the address Amanita had given her. It was the second floor suite of an apartment near the Gym. Inside, the apartment was a mess. Kind of like Juniper's when she was busy, Hilda thought. There were papers strewn everywhere, with many different machines trying to stay out of the way against the wall. "Sorry about this mess," Fennel said. "But there's lots of things to do. Did you get the Dream Mist already?"

    "Yeah," Hilda said, passing over the bottle of pink mist.

    "Great!" Fennel looked over the bottle with a kid's glee. "And it looks great; must have come from a powerful individual. Hang on a sec and I'll get a battery." She went over to a drawer and began looking through it.

    Amanita looked up from the computer she was busy at. "Great work; you must be good with Pokémon. We thought it might take a couple of hours."

    "There was a bit of trouble, but nothing we couldn't handle," Hilda said. "What’re you working at?"

    "Maintenance on the Storage Block program," she said. "I'm the Unova administrator."

    "So you're taking care of the Pokémon?" She came over, curious.

    "More or less," she said, turning back to the computer. "The Pokémon that are stored digitally are kept in stasis, so not much needs to be done."

    "Like hibernation?" Kyurem asked.

    "Stronger than that, I think." An alert came up, which she frowned at. "Sorry, I need to get cracking at this. We've had someone try to break in."

    "Thieves trying to steal Pokémon?" That seemed troubling; it made her second guess storing Pokémon.

    "It doesn't come up often, but someone's trying. I won’t let them."

    "Got it!" Fennel said, coming back over without the bottle. Instead, she was putting an odd square battery (which was glowing pink) into a device, which looked like a bracelet. A second one was also in her hand. "Here, have this. It's our Dream Connector."

    "I thought you said it wasn't available yet," Hilda said.

    "Not to the general public," she said. "But Dream Mist is potent stuff and that bottle you got can power about thirty Connector pairs for five years. They’re mostly for researchers and Pokémon psychologists, but I'd like to know what a Trainer would do with it. It's valuable, but so is Mist from a wild Musharna. Just send me emails about how it's working and any issues that come up."

    "Great, thanks!" Hilda took the Dream Connectors. She wasn’t sure what to do with them yet, but they would help in understanding Pokémon.

    “And there’s one thing you should know,” Fennel said. “A few times during testing, we ended up bringing items out of dreams and into reality. Two berries and a White Herb, actually. We’re not sure how it works exactly, but we have theories about a Dream Realm.”

    “Like the Alternate Realm that Giratina was locked into?” Hilda asked. “I thought that was just sci-fi and mythic stuff.”

    “It may all be real,” she said. “We don’t always get items, but that may happen. They seem to be harmless, but I thought you should know.” They talked for a little longer before Hilda left to get an inn room for the night.

    Once she was set up in a room, Hilda took out the Connector. She had to wear one of the bracelets; it was adjustable enough that she could get it secured. Then she considered who she'd want to try it with. She wasn't going to keep Juliet much longer, but she didn't know what her owner would think.

    Fedora might be interesting.

    But then, there was Kyurem. "Want to be my test subject for the Dream Connecter?" she asked, handing the other bracelet to him.

    From his initial look, she couldn't tell what he thought of it. "Why me?"

    "You've invaded my dreams already," she reminded him. "It’s only fair."

    For a moment, he stared at her. Then he took it. "Fine."

    -+-

    It was cold, like ice brushing against her skin, but surprisingly it wasn't dark. The air was gray, like an overcast winter day. Despite the cloudy sky, there wasn’t any rain or snow fall. There was snow everywhere on the ground and on trees, a few inches deep. The scent of cedar trees was faint, as was any sound from the forest. Honestly, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it the dead of winter.

    It wasn't surprising for Kyurem's dream, Hilda felt. What was surprising was the first Pokémon she saw on becoming aware of the dream. Not Kyurem, but a Minccino. The gray furred Pokémon was digging around in the snow, brushing aside large swaths with her tail, then digging if something caught her eye. But she looked disappointed at digging up a reddish pebble. Tossing it aside, she kept looking.

    "Hey Minccino," Hilda said, getting her attention. "Lost something?"

    Her large ears pricked up, then she looked. On seeing a human, she seemed to forget her item and became curious. She came over and sniffed at her feet, then her hands when Hilda knelt down.

    “Strange finding a Pokémon like you here,” Hilda said. “I wouldn’t have expected Kyurem to be dreaming about a cute Pokémon around. Unless it’s a general place that we’re in.”

    “Kuuu,” the Minccino said. Then she hopped off and started searching again.

    After looking around and not seeing Kyurem immediately, Hilda went over to where the Minccino was searching. “What’d you lose?” she asked, not really expecting an answer she could understand.

    “Kruu chi cha,” the Pokémon replied. “Shaa shuru cha.”

    Hilda brushed some cold but dry snow aside. Underneath, there was a spot of yellow. She pulled it out, strangely enough finding a yellow daisy there. There was even a little comb attached to it, something that would stick in fur. “Wouldn’t expect to see this under the snow.”

    “Cosh sha!” the Minccino exclaimed, coming over and waving her paw and patting her head. She wanted it.

    “Oh, this is it?” Hilda put the daisy comb in the Minccino's fur.* As it was thick, it stayed easily. “Cute.”

    “Cha pa.” The Pokémon bowed, then held a paw up. “Mi cho?”

    “I’m looking for Kyurem,” Hilda said, taking the paw. “Do you know where he is?”

    “Ku re!” At hearing that, the Minccino hopped off along the tree line. She paused a moment, waiting.

    Hilda got up and followed. “Okay, I’m right after you.”

    It didn’t take long for the Minccino and Hilda to find Kyurem then. He was in his dragon form, but mostly within the trees so that it was difficult to see him. For a moment, she thought the smaller Pokémon would take off once they found him. Instead, the Minccino chirped happily and ran right up to Kyurem, hopping up and hugging his face. “Ke cha!”

    Kyurem replied with a surprisingly gentle and soft rumble. And then he spoke, “Hello to you, Mimi.”

    “Hi Kyurem,” Hilda said, coming over and finding a rock to sit on. “You know her?”

    “There’s a few Pokémon that have managed to earn my trust,” he said. “She’s one, from a long time ago.”

    “Ah. I found her over there, looking for her flower.” She leaned against a tree and found that it wasn’t a bad spot to sit. In front of them, there was a dip in the ground, a large crater. The snow all over the ground was pristine and fresh, with only her and Mimi’s footprints showing. And even those were rapidly vanishing, leaving a perfect white coating over everything. For an ice Pokémon, this would be a beautiful and homey place. “So are you going to explain what you’re doing with me?” Hilda asked. Mimi had dropped back to the ground and came back over to her, crawling into her lap.

    “What makes you think that I would?” he asked.

    “Well we’re in a dream, just the two of us and those in your memory.” She rubbed the Minccino's head. “There’s nobody to overhear us, unless either of us sleep talks or something.”

    “True.” He didn’t say anything for a minute. Since he did that quite a bit, Hilda started playing with Mimi, teasingly tapping her nose. “I suppose it would be safe.”

    “I can keep a secret,” Hilda insisted. “Even if I make a lot of noise normally, I know when to keep quiet.”

    “Hmm. Let me see if I can show you something.” He closed his eyes and lowered his head.
    For a little while, the snow covered crater remained. Then things grew fuzzy. The snowy crater returned, but it was very different. The forest that had been around them, including the tree she had been sitting against, was burned down to the ground. Most were black stumps, but a few had been split and ripped apart, like lightning had shattered them. Hilda had to sit up quickly before she fell over.

    Kyurem opened his eyes, then nodded towards the southeast. “Look over that way. What’s there?”

    After looking, she said, “Doesn’t look like anything. Everything’s been torched or wrecked.”

    “Lacunosa should be that way,” he explained. “And it should be obvious with all the trees gone. It’s got tall white walls and buildings that tower over that. But it wasn’t there when I woke up.”

    “I haven’t heard of anything happening to Laconusa,” Hilda said.

    “That’s because it hasn’t happened yet. At this time, while we are sleeping after a long day, I am here, in hibernation under the ground. But for my waking self, I am from about a year in advance.”

    “You’re from the future?”

    “That’s what I just said.”

    Hilda nodded. “I know, but it’s weird to think about. How did you do that?”

    “I had help from...” he paused, considering it. “A peer. I asked to be sent back to reverse this destruction. And for that, I need to protect you.”

    She raised an eyebrow. “And how does protecting me prevent this?” she gestured to the burnt down forest.

    “Part of the problem is that I do not know exactly why that is so,” Kyurem said. “When I woke up, I knew that something terrible had happened even before I came above ground. It took me some time to accept it, but Zekrom and Reshiram were dead.”

    “Dead? But they’re immortal spirits. You’re not supposed to die.”

    “Right, we’re not supposed to. But they did. The three of us... I knew because my soul felt the deaths. I was enraged, of course, but when I came looking for who was responsible, I found that the entire region of Unova was in shambles. Wiped out just like it is here. And the power of that destruction is much like theirs. And much of it is not.

    “I found some other immortal spirits and asked what they knew. But there wasn’t much; the humans didn’t understand it either. What we could find out is that heroes chosen and recognized by my siblings had come into power. They fought bitterly, unlike any before them. In that fighting, they caused the destruction of Unova, unintentionally. They were fairly certain of that, the other legends. But in figuring out what had caused them to clash so violently, we could only discover that your death had been a major trigger.”

    Hearing that caused a momentary queasiness in Hilda. “Then I’m supposed to die within the year?”

    “I’m going to make sure you survive,” Kyurem said emphatically. “But I must also figure out who the chosen heroes are and what we can do to defuse the situation before it explodes and leads to this.” He then reverted the crater woods to its undisturbed peaceful form.

    “Huh. Then we have to figure out who would call them and what kind of problems are about.”

    “Plasma worries me,” he said. “They take things out of context, and to extremes. That leads to trouble. But I’ve also seen strange signs around, which I don’t know how to interpret.” He twitched his wings, flicking some snow aside. “At least Zekrom and Reshiram are safe at this time. They are in hibernation, but because of that, they won’t know what the danger is. They tend to follow the lead of their human partner. With what they do, it’s good. But with what could happen, it has me concerned.”

    “Plasma could be trouble. But given the ones I’ve met so far, especially earlier tonight, I don’t think they would qualify as heroes.”

    “True.” He leaned over and nudged her shoulder. “You don’t seem too bothered by learning that you might die in the near future.”

    “Well all of us are going to die sometime,” Hilda said. “Maybe even you immortals. That’s why I believe in living life now and enjoying things while you can.”

    “Why do you believe that?”

    “That’s what Pop said, especially once he got cancer.”

    “It’s because your father died.”

    Hilda shrugged. “Well not my father, exactly. Pop was actually my uncle; he lived with me and Mom up until two years ago, when he passed away.”

    “Then who is your father?”

    “I dunno. But Mom says he’s a jerk, so I don’t mind much. Pop was around.”

    “Kuu cha shi,” the Minccino said, patting Hilda’s nose.

    She patted her back. “Yeah, he was cool.”

    Kyurem sniffed. “She actually said ‘just like me’.”

    While the rest of the conversation might have been interesting, the dream ended there.

    Morning, 11/29

    Even though it had been over two weeks now, he still wasn’t sure what exactly he needed to do. Kyurem knew that he was needed to protect his homeland, and he knew that Hilda was a key part of that. How or why she was so important was still unknown. She didn’t seem devoted to any particular cause and didn’t have any real plans or goals. She was just a mass of potential, energy, and weirdness that was making her way through Unova.

    Then again, that made him the best choice for being her guardian.

    Maybe not the perfect choice, he reflected as he started to wake up. He usually wasn’t picked out for this kind of role and he could only think of one other time when he’d guarded someone. And that had not ended well. He was nil, the empty circle. He was better suited for demolishing a stagnant state and returning it to zero, to be rebuilt by his siblings. However, the current state of Unova was far from stagnant. It was in the midst of a challenge and potential change.

    And that came from Team Plasma. Kyurem wasn’t about to back them in any manner. Once he had learned of their presence through Ghetsis in Accumula, he could readily see how they were a possible threat to Unova. But there were so many other things that were uncertain now which could be threats. He definitely wasn’t seeing the full picture yet. Hopefully he would in time.

    “Kyurem?” a girl’s voice called to him.

    It was morning. He supposed that Hilda would be moving on to the next town now. Not bothering to reply, he opened his eyes and sat up. Sleeping in a bed like a human had been odd at first, but he needed to be ready at all times.

    “Kyurem!” All of a sudden, a bundle of gray fur came leaping at him, grabbing hold of his chest… in a hug? Startled, he got hold of the Minccino nuzzling against him. “You look funny as a human! But I got to be here, yay!”

    She had a yellow daisy hair clip near her ear, even. “Mimi?” Kyurem asked, feeling shocked.

    “No way, is she really that Minccino from last night?” Hilda asked, coming out of the bathroom. “She was here when I woke up and has been trying to poke you awake.

    The Minccino glanced at her, but soon was looking up to him, a smile on her face. “Yeah, it’s me!” she said in her usual perky way. “I knew you were going on a big adventure with lots of danger, but I wished and wished really hard that I could come with you this time. Especially when she came to our home; she’s a nice human, I can tell already. And then, I met this really pretty bird lady Pokémon, and she said she would help me go to where you always went. And here I am now!” She hugged him again. “I’m so happy; I get to adventure with Daddy!”

    It had to be Mimi. No other Pokémon would talk to him that way. Hugging her back, he said, “It must have been Cresselia.”

    Over on the windowsill, Fedora tilted his hat back. “Really? ****, I wouldn’t have taken you to be the father to that cutie.”

    “Watch your language,” Kyurem said, making sure to speak in Pokémon language. “She might be adopted, but she is my daughter.”

    “Yeesh,” the Snivy said, hiding back under his hat.

    Mimi dropped back into Kyurem’s lap. “Oh, and, and, the bird lady had a message for you! She told me to tell you, um, that they’re all concerned about this, and others may support you too in your mission. Cause they don’t want the bad things to happen.”

    Most likely, they were concerned about the potential deaths of his siblings, afraid for themselves if the knowledge to kill an immortal got into mortal minds. But it brought Mimi back to him, so Kyurem didn’t even feel his usual indifference. He’d have to speak with Cresselia about this at some time. “I see.”

    Hilda came over with a black Pokeball in hand. “She even came with this; she’s already captured. Since she’s your friend,” Fedora snickered at this, “do you mind her being along on the team?”

    “I don’t mind,” Kyurem said, not even sparing a doubt for it. “It’s… good to see her like this.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  9. I'll do just that, I think. Kyurem is a vampire!
    No, what official abbouncement?
    ...I'm almost tempted to do just that, but aren't you forgetting? SCIZORstrike? the one that can and will maul a Kyurem with Bullet Punch?
    You're really in for the creative chapter names this time round.
    For some reason, this is downright hilarious.
    ... Munna go "squee"?
    A certain group of castle bound people making the first move, eh?

    So, what happened to her in the first place?
     
  10. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Go here for discussion on the announcement. Go down to the eighth post on the page for the translation.

    Yes, Munna go Squee. hehe. As for Mimi, read closer, or wait until later.

    Chapter names have a theme in this fic, of being single words. The one that's giving me the most puzzlement right now is the Ferris Wheel scene, since I want to refer to that but it would require two words.

    Man, I can't wait to write that scene...
     
  11. Monster Guy

    Monster Guy Fairy type Trainer

    Well finally Munna and Musharna appear! 8D

    Aaand Bianca has like half my team in White. (I had a Lillipup, Oshawott, and a Munna at this point. Also Pansear, but I let that go quicly. :/) Too bad she's not the main character. xD

    Good job.
     
  12. Son_of_Shadows

    Son_of_Shadows Well-Known Member

    Suddenly, Kyurem is a lot more interesting of a character, now that we know more of his motivations and history. Mimi is absolutely adorable, though I can't say I can imagine what it would be like for her to hug the big frozen chicken...

    I'm sure Fennel will have a lot to say about this in the next chapter...
     
  13. D'awww! Now, I really, really want to give Kyurem a hug! <3
     
  14. SerenadeSP

    SerenadeSP My Loyal Feraligatr

    So much cursing this chapter. Someone oughta wash those Plasma Grunts' mouths out with soap.

    ...Or Kyurem could just eat them. I'd like that too.

    Nice to see that the Dream World was actually used. Strange - I had just written a chapter where a dream foreshadowed a major plot point. The last time I remember this happening was when you had all the Hoenn references in Six Spirit when I was planning a Hoenn fic. I swear - we're on the same wavelength sometimes. o_O

    I do hope that you plan to explain how Ghetsis can teleport, since part kinda confused me in the games.
     
  15. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Coffee Break

    "Eek, the chapter titles are going to get redone!" Hilda squealed, twirling a powdered doughnut on one finger. "They're kind of open to suggestions right now, actually. I hope one has something to do with doughnuts."

    "I don't think doughnuts have even appeared outside the Coffee Break sections," Cheren said. "It wouldn't make sense."

    She shrugged. "Well who cares about making sense? I don't."

    "So you say," he replied, rolling his eyes. He ate part of his own doughnut. "I want to know how Ghetsis teleports there too."

    "That was the Musharna's doing, not Ghetsis'," Hilda pointed out.

    Cheren leaned on the table. "Well yeah, but the two grunts didn't even react to his image doing that. Did they expect him to be capable of teleportation?"

    "I thought all villains were capable of teleporting."

    "That's off-screen teleportation. He was right there in front of all four of you and the Munna."

    Hilda nodded. "True. Well in this story at least, they were probably drunk at the time. Does that explain it? The Plasma grunts might also believe Ghetsis is capable of anything, given their troll logic on theft."

    He gave in to that. "I guess so. Oh, and whoever out there wants to give Kyurem a hug... don't go losing your head."


    Chapter 10: Children with Pokemon


    morning, 11/29

    It was a cold morning that Sunday when Hilda left Striaton along Route 3. The overcast sky threatened rain later, along with an all day chill. Dressed in a pink and orange sweater and heavy jeans, she didn’t find it too bad. Kyurem found it perfectly comfortable, despite wearing only those thin black clothes, and Mimi had her thick fur already. Juliet and Fedora opted to stay in their Pokeballs, though.

    “Winter’s not that far off,” Hilda said. “I wonder if it’s going to snow. Sometimes it does early.”

    “Not cold enough for that,” Kyurem said. “But I can make it so.”

    She smiled. “That’d be neat, but no. Wait for a more dramatic time to change the weather. As for the plans for today, we’ll spend this morning training, but after lunch, I’ve got a job for us to do. Hopefully the rain holds off. We should still be able to make Nacrene by this evening to meet up with Laura. But we’ll see.”

    “Chi sha riii,” Mimi said, sounding like she couldn’t wait to show off what she could do.

    “Oh, look who’s up ahead,” Hilda said, spotting a black haired boy at a crossing in the route. “Hey boogerface!”

    “Whaddya want, clown?” Cheren called back, but grinned and waved. “Morning Hilda!”

    “Good morning!” She and her Pokémon came up to him. “How’s it going?”

    “Not bad. I already caught a new Pokémon this morning.” He looked down at the gray Minccino, puzzled. “Where did you pick up her?”

    “Mi cha!” she said cheerily, waving.

    “In my dreams,” Hilda said. “Her name’s Mimi.”

    Cheren raised an eyebrow at this. “No seriously, where did you find a Minccino around here? Juniper said that she had to go to another city to catch hers.”

    “Technically, it was my dream,” Kyurem said.

    Hilda nodded. “Remember when Fennel and Amanita wanted help last night? They made this device that lets people who wear these bracelets share dreams. Even a human and Pokémon can do this. Fennel did say that they’ve gotten items before, but I haven’t told them about her yet.”

    He scratched his head. “Really? Huh, who knew?”

    “Bet you’re regretting not helping last night,” she teased him. “Though I don’t know if Bianca got one too.”

    Cheren shrugged. “I would have fallen asleep if I’d stayed up much longer. Anyhow, I’m focusing on the next Gym now. They’re going to get progressively more difficult, so we’ve got to get things in gear. I heard there was a cave… whoa!” He grabbed Hilda and pulled her aside, just as a pair of Plasma knights went running by.

    “Hey, watch where you’re going, punks!” Hilda yelled after them. “Thanks, bro.”

    “That was close,” he said. “They nearly ran into you. I wonder what… Bianca?”

    Hilda stepped back from Cheren and turned to see her other friend running up with a younger girl running alongside her. “Oh, hi guys,” Bianca said, almost out of breath. “Wow they run fast. Did you see where those Plasma guys went?”

    “They went further east, but that’s a dead end,” Cheren said. “Why’re you running after them?”

    “Cause they had my Sewaddle, and, and…” the girl sniffed, rubbing tears from her eyes.

    “Oh, it was awful!” Bianca said. “Those bullies beat this girl in a Pokémon battle, and then they took her Pokémon right from her. I was going to get them, but we ran all the way from Striaton,” she took a deep breath.

    “Well don’t worry, we’ll get them,” Cheren said. “You stay with the girl; come on Hilda!”

    “Right after ya!” she said, running with him down the route. Mimi and Kyurem were able to keep up.

    After running a mile along a lake, they came to a rock face blocking the path. To the north, there was a cave entrance. There was a Plasma knight standing there, but they couldn’t tell if it was one of the pair they were looking for. They glanced at each other and silently agreed to check it out anyhow.

    “Halt!” the guard said to them as they approached. He even held his hand up and looked stern. “We are conducting private business here, so Wellspring Cavern is off-limits to the public.”

    “Never let that stop us before,” Hilda said.

    “We’re here because someone in your group stole a Pokémon from a little girl,” Cheren explained. “We’re going to take it back.”

    He shook his head. “We don’t steal. That is unthinkable. But we are liberating Pokémon from foolish Trainers. There is a difference.”

    “Yeah right,” Hilda said. “You took what isn’t yours, and that’s stealing.”

    “You are fools to think that you can own Pokémon,” the Plasma guard said. A second one came to the entrance, watching them. “Pokémon are their own creatures and don’t deserve to be held captive against their will. We keep Pokémon as our equals and allies. Everyone else doesn’t deserve to be with them.”

    “Most of them aren’t being held against their will,” Cheren said. “And we’re not going to leave without that girl’s friend. You guys made her really upset.”

    “But children are some of the worst offenders among so-called Trainers,” the other guard said, joining in on the conversation. “If they aren’t mature enough to take care of themselves, then they are not mature enough to take care of another living being. That’s the word that came down from our King last week and we’re enforcing it.”

    “That still doesn’t give you the right to steal the Pokémon,” Cheren said.

    “Then we’ll make you see our way,” the first guard said, taking a Pokeball and releasing a Lillipup. “If you lose, then we’re freeing your Pokémon too.”

    “Yeah right,” Hilda said. Before long, she was set up with Mimi against the first guard while Cheren took on the second. The Minccino was all pumped up and excited. Out of the corner of her eye, Hilda saw that Kyurem looked a bit concerned about Mimi. So she had to focus and reassure him that they’d be all right. “Okay girl, tickle it!”

    “Chi chi!” Mimi chirped, bounding over and grabbing the Lillipup out of its attempt to tackle her. There was a scuffle between them, but the Minccino got out of it unharmed. On the other hand, the Lillipup looked confused and uncertain about what was going on.

    “Come on, we have to win, for our King!” the knight said to the Lillipup. “Defeat that mangy furball.”

    “Si na,” she said indignantly. Kyurem just glowered at the man, making him shiver.

    “Now don’t be insulting Pokémon,” Hilda chided him. “Mimi, beat up the ‘pup.”

    The Lillipup shook his head, then barked and ran at Mimi again. She met with him and began repeatedly slapping the ‘pup in the face. Not once did she let him retaliate and he collapsed into unconsciousness at the end of the Doubleslap assault. Mimi twirled around and winked at the knight before running back to Hilda’s side.

    Although the guard made to release another Pokémon (he had four, Hilda noted by the holder he had), a female knight came out of the cave and interrupted them. “What’s going on out here? You’re making such a racket.”

    “These teens are accusing us of being thieves,” the first guard said. “We were going to stop them and free their Pokémon.”

    “You are a bunch of thieves,” Cheren said, with his Tepig snorting in agreement. “Stubborn ones too.”

    She shook her head. “Trainers like them will never see the right way of things. Defeat them and take their Pokémon.”

    “You will not do that,” Kyurem said, growling. He came forward and summoned his ice blade to make his point. The air even seemed to get a few degrees colder.

    “And what gives any of you the right to stop us?” the female knight asked.

    A yelp came from just behind her as another male knight came into the daylight. “Aaah, that, that…”

    “What is it?” she snapped.

    “That’s Kyurem!” he said, staggering back into the cave.

    “That’s right,” Hilda said when he just nodded. “Give us back that girl’s Sewaddle.”

    “Give back all of the Pokémon that you’ve taken,” Kyurem corrected.

    The female knight sputtered, while the three guys seemed uncertain. “But, but you… why are you with these two?”

    “I have chosen to go with her,” he said, indicating Hilda. “And she is worthy. You, on the other hand, are most likely not.”

    “Of course not,” the first guard said. “But our King is, you’ll see!”

    “We’re following our orders,” the female said, trying to save some face. “But if you insist, we can get that Sewaddle and then you can leave…”

    “Hey!” Another female knight came out. “The, ah… what’s going on out here?” She looked nervously at the ice sword.

    “What is it?” she demanded, barely keeping herself from adding that knight’s name in front of outsiders.

    “The, uh, Pokémon we were, um, examining for health reasons, they’re gone. The bag is gone.”

    Kyurem snorted. “You can’t even take care of the ones you have.”

    “I don’t know what happened,” the second female knight said, flustered.

    The apparent leader of the group seemed frustrated, but wary of Kyurem. She took something from her pocket and made it click. “In that case… let’s go!” A cloud of white smoke soon filled the air, irritating their lungs and making them cough. But when the smoke cleared, the Plasma members were gone.

    “Where’d those cowards go?” Cheren asked.

    Hilda looked around, but didn’t see any sign of them. “I dunno, but I’d rather have the ninja knights on my side. Anyhow, what about the stolen Pokémon?” She stepped into the cave, hoping that the Plasma knights hadn’t been lying about leaving them behind.

    The dirt floor of the cave was disturbed with many footprints. Whatever they had been doing here, Plasma hadn’t left behind any litter or clues about what it was. There were electric lights on the walls, dim blue ones so that there was enough for humans to see by, but not so much light that it disturbed the native Pokémon. Several large flat rocks made platforms and ledges, while the sound of slow-running water and droplets was beyond that.

    “You’d think that they were never here, except for the footprints,” Cheren said, shifting his glasses back.

    “And unless they were bluffing us, they don’t know what happened either.” Hilda put her hands on her hips and looked around. Then she shouted, “Hey, anybody in here seen some stolen Pokémon? We were gonna take them back home.”

    “Turrrriii,” a rattling call came from a platform. A dark Rock Pokémon with a single yellow ‘eye’ looked at them, but didn’t offer any help.

    There was a scuffling sound from the ground ahead. Then a whirl of dust kicked up, obscuring a movement of blue. In seconds, it died down, revealing a large burlap sack that hadn’t been there before. The dirt below it looked a bit messy, but no different than the rest.

    Hilda went over to the bag. “What was that about?” she wondered aloud, kneeling down to open the bag. Inside, there were around three dozen Pokeballs, mostly the red and white models, but a few others were mixed in. “These should be the Pokémon, though,” she added, picking one up. Its status screen was active, showing that a Vullaby was inside.

    “That was probably a Drilbur,” Cheren said, coming over. “I’ve read that they like to give people common gemstones while remaining unseen.” He bowed his head. “Thanks Drilbur, wherever you are.”

    “Yeah, thanks!” She picked up the heavy sack. “Let’s get this back to Striaton.”

    On the way back to town, they found Bianca and the girl still at the crossroads of Route 3. She said that her Pokémon was inside a Love Ball, so it was easy to pick out the pink with red hearts one from the rest. She was so delighted that she immediately called out her Pokémon. At first, it seemed like there was just a small bundles of leaves on the ground. “Chloe!” the girl called, picking up the shivering Pokémon.

    “Pi?” A little yellow face peeked out of the leaves, looking up to see who was picking her up. Then she peeped and nuzzled against her Trainer’s chin, happy to see her again.

    “Thanks, you guys,” the girl said, smiling and keeping her Pokémon close. “But I don’t have anything to pay you back with.”

    “Don’t worry about it,” Hilda said. “But if you could, would you show us where the police station is in Striaton so that we can get the rest of these Pokémon back?”

    “Sure,” she said. “It’s near my home, but I was in the gardens when they took her.”

    “Then let’s get you and the rest of these Pokémon back home,” Bianca said, patting the girl on the back. “Just remember to tell your friends not to accept challenges from those Plasma people, okay?”

    “That’s probably the safest course of action,” Cheren said.

    The three friends saw the little girl back home first, then walked south of her apartment building to reach the police station. Even though it was only mid-morning, the building seemed oddly quiet. There was a police car and a pair of bikes parked nearby, with slots indicating that at least four policemen were out on bike patrol. Inside, the first area seemed open and inviting, but there hardly seemed to be any work going on.

    There was a receptionist and the police chief there, along with the three Gym Leaders. Neither side seemed too happy with the other. Feeling that she didn’t want to tick off either the police or the League staff, Hilda tried to be polite. “Excuse me, but we have a bunch of stolen Pokémon here that need to get back to…”

    “So you’re the ones stealing the Pokémon?” the police chief interrupted. “Don’t think you can get off the hook with this feeble attempt to make things right.”

    “I don’t think these kids are the thieves,” Cress said firmly. “They’ve been around for the past two weeks, yes, but their behavior has been exemplary.”

    “We got them back from the thieves of Team Plasma,” Cheren added, frowning at the accusation. “And if it wasn’t for the assistance of some wild Pokémon, we wouldn’t have gotten them all back. We brought them here to get them returned to their proper owners.”

    “Yeah, so you ought to be looking to arrest the Plasma members,” Hilda said. “There were three men and two women that we saw, and they…”

    “Nonsense,” the chief said. “Plasma might be attracting extremists, but they’re not involved with illegal behaviors.”

    “That’s who we fought to get these Pokémon back,” she told him. Hilda glanced at the burlap sack, but it had no markings to prove that.

    “And that is who people are reporting stealing their Pokémon,” Chili said. “They are unmistakable.”

    The police chief shook his head. “Then they are imposters. Since you’ve gone out of your way to bring the lost Pokémon here, we’ll…”

    “We’ll handle returning them,” Cress said, holding a hand up to the chief.

    When the chief glared at them, Cilan added, “Well it is within our authority to handle crimes against Pokémon, according to global agreements and rules within the greater Pokémon League Council.”

    Chili nodded and waved to them. “Let’s head for the Pokécenter; they’ll have the best records for getting all the Pokémon back in the right hands.”

    “What was that about?” Bianca asked as they left the building.

    “Officially, we probably shouldn’t say anything,” Cilan said when his two brothers didn’t seem sure how to respond.

    “What about unofficially?” Hilda said, wondering if they would explain.

    “We’re not exactly sure what’s been going on,” Chili said. “We managed to recover a pair of stolen Pokémon earlier this week and we turned those in.”

    “But they never got returned to their Trainer,” Cress said, troubled by it. “We know that others in the police force have been working against Plasma in what ways they can, but that isn’t the only worrisome thing that the chief here has done.”

    “There’s no certain proof of things yet,” Chili finished. “We’ll do what we can to keep things going smoothly, including getting these Pokémon back.”

    The next two hours pretty crazy, what with checking all the stolen Pokeballs for ID info, calling up the Trainers, and meeting with the people who could come by the center that morning. It made for a lot of happy people and Pokémon, though. According to the center records, none of the Trainers were abusive or neglectful. Only Plasma seemed to think that way.

    Then Cress brought the three of them together and gave them envelopes. “I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of gratitude this morning, but thanks again for your efforts in getting these Pokémon back. I made a call over to a breeder in Nacrene who does work for the League and made arrangements for you three to get a free gift Pokémon from her. Be careful around Team Plasma in the future; we’re not sure what they’re capable of, but things don’t look good.”

    -+-

    At a quarter after one, Hilda and Kyurem back near the daycares on Route 3. But instead of passing by, they walked up to the two buildings. On the right, there was a Pokémon daycare where Pokémon were cared for if their Trainers had to be away. And on the left, there was a daycare for human children, to watch over them when their parents were working, usually in Castelia. They needed to be in the left one for the afternoon’s job.

    As it was Sunday, only a few children were here. Most were just coming outside then, out to run around the playground with Pokémon, either their own or ones that lived at the daycares. Hilda found one of the teachers and, after passing over the job notice, was taken to one four year old boy who was standing off to the side. “Hilda, this is Keith,” the teacher said. “He’s been tested for psychic powers and came up as a strong one. Keith, this is Hilda, the Trainer’s who’s going to help you catch your first Pokémon.”

    “Hi Keith,” Hilda said, smiling and offering to shake hands with him.

    He looked at her warily, but then shook her hand. “Um, hi. Why does your Pokémon have a hat?”

    “Sniii,” Fedora said, standing up proudly. It was warmer now, so he wanted to walk out with them.

    “Because he wants to wear one,” Hilda said.

    “Keith’s parents want him to have a Psychic Pokémon to help him learn his abilities,” the teacher said, after giving the Snivy a puzzled look. “They don’t have much time, but the best thing to do is go east to Wellspring Cave. There’s Woobats in there; it’s early for them to be up and about outside, but you might find some inside the first chamber.”

    She nodded. “All right, I was there just this morning. Do you need to get anything before we go, Keith?”

    “Um, I have some Pokeballs,” he said, then went inside to find them.

    Keith didn’t want to talk much at first. On the way, Hilda spoke instead, telling him a story of when she, Bianca, and Cheren had gone exploring some caves along the beaches near Nuvema. There were usually a few Woobats in there, but her hometown didn’t have a large population of them. “What do you think of Woobats?” she asked, trying to get him involved.

    “Um…” he shifted his large blue jacket, one that was marked with the daycare’s name on the back. “I hope I find a nice one.”

    “We’ll do our best to get one like that,” she said.

    Then he looked up at Kyurem, who had been quiet as usual. “You’re not human.”

    “No I’m not,” he replied.

    “That’s Kyurem,” Hilda said. “He’s a dragon Pokémon, but he’s pretending to be a human to fit in.”

    Keith brought his hand up and waved it in a circle, still looking at the dragon boy. “He has a big aura, with, um, stars. Lots of them. Most people, and Pokémon, and, um, animals and stuff, they don’t have stars.”

    “You may not see someone with an aura like mine ever again,” Kyurem said. “It’s rare.”

    “Um, but…” Keith looked down, “Um, I saw two others with stars in their auras. They weren’t human either, I think.”

    Kyurem frowned. “Other legends walking among the people? I haven’t heard about that.”

    “But you’d know them if you saw them?” Hilda asked.

    “I don’t see auras,” he said. “But I can recognize others by their scent if I’ve encountered them before.”

    Keith then looked back up at her. “I know a good story too. But I wasn’t in it.”

    “Do you want to tell it?” she asked. “I’d like to hear it if you don’t mind.”

    Smiling a bit finally, he said, “Okay. So, um, there were these two brothers, once upon a time, and they were really good and wanted to stop people from fighting and being mean to each other. Their father told them that they had to have power in order to get people to listen, and so they got the power of legend to help them. But, their father was evil and he wanted to be even more powerful by stealing what they had, so he made the two brothers mad at each other and they fought one time, only they were really really good and so they stopped fighting and went back to helping people, and they made the whole Unova region and people were happy because of it, and, um…” he paused, blushing. “Um, I’m not so good at telling stories.”

    “But that is a really good story,” Hilda said. The story of how Unova came about was well known, interesting to many people. Although, “I don’t think I had heard about the brothers’ father being involved before.”

    “A lot of details got lost over the passage of time,” Kyurem said.

    Keith then tugged at her hand. “But, um, I heard my Dad say that history repeats itself a lot cause people forget that it did happen before and make the same mistake. You should remember that story, cause, um, history is happening again, and, it might be important.”

    Hilda smiled at him. “Sure thing. I wouldn’t want to ignore the word of a psychic, even a young one.”

    “Um, thanks. I don’t really know what it all means, though. I just notice stuff that other people don’t, and I don’t know what it’s about. I hope my Woobat knows more.”

    “I hope so too.” She pointed off to the north. “The entrance is not that far now; we’ll go in and start looking.”

    Back inside Wellspring Cave, it seemed more active than it had been in the morning. The little Rock types, the Roggenrolas, were walking about the area, watching them but wary of both Fedora and Juliet (when the Panpour came out to help search too). A dust cloud from a Drilbur appeared once, but all that came of it was a pale green gem that Keith noted to have a weak Grass type aura to it. He didn’t want it, so Hilda kept the Grass Gem for later.

    A wide patch of dark water blocked off their access to deeper parts of the cave, especially since Hilda couldn’t tell how deep the pool was. But back past the raised platforms, they found a group of Woobats huddled on the ceiling. Occasionally, one or two fluttered away into the darkness.

    “Okay Keith, I think the best way to catch a Pokémon is to talk to it and ask if it wants to come,” Hilda said. “So you call over to them and tell them why you came here.”

    “But what if they want to fight?” Keith asked.

    “My Pokémon will help,” she said, getting nods from Juliet, Mimi, and Fedora. “Not Kyurem, though; he’d probably freeze this whole cavern over.”

    “That would take more energy then is worth for the task at hand,” he said. “But I could.”

    “That would help us cross the pool,” she said.

    “Um, that’s okay,” Keith said. “I’ll try asking. Um…” he let go of her hand and looked up at the group of fuzzy bats on the ceiling. “Um, Woobat? I’m looking for someone to help with my powers, so, um, if you could help…”

    All at once, the Woobat group came off the ceiling and flew all over the cavern. It was confusing, as the flutter of leathery wings was all around them. But as most of them settled off in distant corners, one Woobat was flying over the pool close to them. “Wooo ooo?”

    “Can you help Keith figure out what the things he sees means?” Hilda asked the Pokémon.

    “Chi chi chit.” It bobbed around in the air, but with its closed eyes and large heart snout, it was hard to tell what it meant.

    The young boy held his hand up to the Pokémon, first looking puzzled, then happy. “I think he wants to be my friend!”

    “That’s great,” she said. “But come out from over the water, Woobat, so I don’t have to send Juliet after the Pokeball.”

    A minute later, Keith had caught the male Woobat and nicknamed him Buddy. The job was worth 6000 Poke, which Hilda felt was a good exchange.

    -+-

    Route 3 was longer than it seemed, thanks to having to walk most of the way around a large lake, then crossing a low bridge before the water fed into the quick moving river. Between the morning rescue operation, the Pokémon catching with Keith, a lengthy call with her Mom about the Gym battle, and fighting other Trainers along the way, it was dusk by the time Hilda reached the bridge. The sun was setting in a brilliant orange and yellow glow over the treetops, while small portions of mist came off the glowing lake surface. There were some crickets chirping, hidden in the grass, but the cooling air contributed to a hushed atmosphere.

    Hilda and the three regular Pokémon with her were feeling worn down after the long day; the Pokémon were all in their Pokeballs, resting already. Kyurem was being unreadable, walking alongside her across the lake. Even with the sweater, she felt the cool moist air on her skin. A mug of hot cocoa would be nice now. Or hot apple cider. She wondered if it was the right time for that and if any cafes in Nacrene or Castelia would serve it. Things would probably get better once they got away from the lake, so she led the way in a quick walk.

    About halfway across, a third set of footsteps began across the wooden bridge. She and Kyurem looked ahead to see a guy at the Nacrene edge, waving over to them. “Hello there, Hilda, right? Funny that I should run into you tonight.”

    Him again. Hilda wondered how well he did with teasing. “Whaddya want with me, vamp?” she called back.

    Hilbert came over to meet them on the way, smiling. “Now that is uncalled for. I haven’t tried seducing you, so why call me a vamp?”

    “Because you’re a vampire, duh,” she replied. “I don’t have the means yet to prove that without killing you, but I will, mark my words.”

    “Now that’s just silly. See?” On getting a few feet from them, he slid back his upper lip and ran a finger across his top teeth. “Perfectly normal teeth here. What would make you think that?”

    “Because you’re interesting and infuriating at the same time.” Hilda kept walking, forcing the other two to follow along. “And you lure so many girls around you; that’s just not normal.”

    Hilbert chuckled. “Well I can’t argue against that, but I don’t think it proves your case. Anyhow, I wanted to talk with you again.”

    “No,” she said quickly.

    Puzzled, he asked, “No what?”

    “You’re not getting Fedora’s fedora back. He loves that thing and is too awesome to be without it.”

    This time, he waved a hand. “Oh, no, not that. I can get another one and there isn’t much point in fussing about it much longer. No, I wanted to talk to you about your battle in Striaton Gym yesterday. I saw it earlier today and I was impressed. You don’t often find a new League contender that can put on a show like that. You do have Kyurem here,” he waved towards the dragon boy, “but it was more than that. The fact that you were willing to sacrifice your ‘strong’ member to make a winning strategy work, few people can handle doing that, and do that with style.”

    “I made sure it was okay with him first.”

    Without warning, Kyurem brought out an ice blade and very nearly struck Hilbert in the chest with it. Both of the teens had to stop with that out. “Just what do you want with her?” he said, growling at the end of his question.

    “Whoa, chill that temper, Kyurem,” Hilda said. “What’s with the threat?”

    “I only had an offer…” Hilbert started to say.

    “He’s using Attract,” Kyurem stated. “Not only that, but he is getting around the usual gender rules. You are a dangerous man, Hilbert.”

    She looked at Hilbert. “You can use Attract?”

    That succeeded in ruffling him, getting him to back off and sputter. “But, I, that’s nonsense! I’ve tested positive for psychic abilities, true, but only on a human level. There’s no way I could use a Pokémon move like that.”

    “I know,” Kyurem said. “Yet you are doing just that.” He put the blade down at his side. “Speak your piece, but don’t try my patience.”

    “You have got one hell of a bodyguard, Hilda,” Hilbert stated, looking at Kyurem a moment longer. Then he turned to her and smiled, sparkling a bit. “Well I think you’ll be an interesting person to follow, but the Pokémon League has many surprises along the way. I thought…”

    “You’re still doing it,” Kyurem warned.

    “Well I don’t know how to stop it then,” he replied. “But Hilda, I thought I’d offer to come along with you and teach you some of the tricks of the trade. You know, to get you that extra edge. I think it would be worthwhile for both of us if we traveled together.”

    He was offering to travel with her, and teach her some of what he knew? It was a tempting offer. But then, knowing that he was somehow using Attract put Hilda on guard. She had noticed it before, she realized. Having a reason why he affected her feelings made it easier to resist the attempt. “That’s nice, but no thanks,” she said, heading back towards Nacrene.

    Sounding genuinely surprised, Hilbert tried to get ahead of her and asked, “Why not? You could get done with the League months quicker with my help.”

    Hilda pointed at him. “Well for one thing, you haven’t beaten the Unova League yet, or any League for that matter. You’ve just been going here and there, not finishing what you start. For another thing, I don’t want to have to deal with your rabid fan girls.”

    “Now wait a…”

    “HILBERT!” As they got to the end of the bridge, a girl with pink hair and an excessive amount of ribbons bounded over to him. “I’ve found you again! Now can we talk, huh, just us two?”

    “Exactly,” Hilda said, continuing on.

    ‘Uh, I was talking with her,” Hilbert tried to say, giving them a pleading look not to be left alone with that girl.

    “That’s the trouble with power you can’t control,” Kyurem said, hinting at an unseen smirk.

    “Are you his girlfriend?” the other girl demanded to know.

    Smiling cheerily, Hilda said, “Nope! I don’t want to spend the time to find something to impress him that much with, like a shiny Pokémon. I’m fine with being single.”

    She looked between them. “Really? That’s what it would take?”

    “Well what do you expect from a guy who can attract every girl who so much as sets eyes him?” she asked, enjoying teasing them both. “Most guys have to give the girl gifts to get attention, but it’s the other way around with Hilbert.”

    The pink haired girl backed up, looking uncertain. “Um, well then… uh, I’ll see you later!” She ran off back to Nacrene.

    Hilbert put his hands over his face, sighing in relief. “Oh thank the gods. She’s been a nuisance for days. I owe you one.”

    “Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind,” Hilda said as if it were a threat. “But I’m still declining the traveling offer. If you don’t mind, I’ve got business to attend to in Nacrene. See ya around!” Then she hurried off towards town.

    -+-

    In an old warehouse on the east edge of Nacrene, Hilda met with Juliet’s owner Laura. The place itself was quite lively, with almost a dozen Pokémon coming in to welcome the Panpour back home. It was a fairly clean place, with a fenced in yard and barn right next to it. But on close look, one noticed the new-looking locks and security cameras around. With this many Pokémon around, she wasn’t going to risk another theft.

    “Pokémon come and go around here, but Juliet is one who always stays,” Laura said, silently getting after a Pansear trying to creep onto a table. “She’s one of my darlings.”

    “She was a great help with class and the Gym,” Hilda said. Then she grinned. “So does she have a Romeo around?”

    Laura giggled. “I do have a Romeo here, but she actually likes Lear better. Go figure; Pokémon aren’t quite that literary. Oh, and I heard from Cress about you.”

    “Yeah, me and my friends busted another Plasma theft,” she said, finding the envelope easily in one of her bag’s pockets.

    “Yes, I’ve met the other two already. You’re all good people; I let them have a Pansear and Pansage that were particularly promising. But I have another one that I think will help you well. Olette! Come here, girl.”

    There was a click and a rustle before a gray-black Pokémon came out from under a table. Despite having long claws, she didn’t tear the tablecloth as she moved it aside. She then looked up at them, not shy but calm and curious.

    Laura scratched the Pokémon’s head. “This Drilbur was from someone who wanted to get a special move, but she ended up with something else and the Trainer took her brother and not her. Olette’s a quiet one, but I can tell that she has a lot of potential for battling. I’d normally ask a higher price on her, but given that you’ve returned Juliet to me and helped so many people in Striaton, I’m fine with giving her over to you.”

    “Thanks.” She held her hand out to the Drilbur. “Hey Olette! I’m a bit kooky and Kyurem here is much too serious. But if you can deal with that, we should have a great time together.”

    Olette sniffed the air and pricked her ears, waving a paw trying to find her hand. Apparently, a Drilbur's sight wasn’t the greatest. But she managed to clasp Hilda’s hand and smile in response.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  16. DarknessInZero

    DarknessInZero <- Es mío! MÍO!

    Read it! Cool new chapter. You're very good with character development. Hilda already has a great personality, and I look forward to see what happens with Hilbert. Freaking old name.
    Hope his curse dissapears.

    Note: I hate FerrisWheel Shipping. Chessshpping to the win!


    DiZ out.
     
  17. SerenadeSP

    SerenadeSP My Loyal Feraligatr

    I do like Juliet's replacement Pokemon. Olette is definitely a good trade for her.

    The scene where the child told Hilda and Kyurem Unova's origin story was adorable, mostly because of how simpilified he made it.

    And I think I know who the other two 'starry aura-d people' are. But then again, if you played the games, it's a little obvious. >_<

    Looking forward to seeing Olette battle and maybe evolve later on.
     
  18. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Coffee Break

    N and Kyurem sat across the table from each other, watching each other warily. "So?" N asked.

    Kyurem, in his human form, shrugged. "It's your chapter. I'm just here."

    After taking a sip of his tea, N said, "All right, but I'm not sure how to respond. The author wouldn't tell me which ship she's following here, and the next few chapters confuse the issue."

    "It's still early." Kyurem narrowed his eyes at him. "You hurt her, though, and I'll make sure you suffer double."

    "Are you sure you want to be saying that?" N asked. "And what's this about starry-aura people?"

    "That's what I want to know."

    He shook his head. "You know, I don't think this was very helpful."


    Chapter 11: Persuasion Fail



    morning, 12/3

    Nacrene Historical Research Museum and Pokémon League Gym
    Museum Hours: 7:30 AM – 11:30 PM, all days except Monday
    Gym Hours: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM, all days except Sunday and Monday
    Research Library hours: 7:30 AM – 11:00 PM, all days except Monday

    To challenge the Gym Leader, please call for a reservation. If you need the library during Gym hours, please be aware that there will be Pokémon battles going on in that facility. Fossil Pokémon revival is available; please speak to the archeology tech on duty for more information.


    On rechecking that information, N highlighted the Gym’s number on his phone and called it. It was a damp morning, with fog hanging around the trees and in the streets. Down near his feet, the Tympole hopped about in puddles. N had come up with the nickname Lucky for him, and the Tympole seemed happy with it.

    Lucky had recovered well; there was still that hole in his tail, but that would go away upon evolution. He was doing well enough that he was play-pretending. “Don’t taunt me, because I’m the mighty Kyogre!” he squealed. Then he wiggled in preparation. “And, tidal wave!” He leapt into another puddle and caused a large splash over the sidewalk and N’s shoes.

    “Isn’t Kyogre’s rival a Ground Pokémon?” N asked him. The phone was still ringing.

    Lucky flipped his tail in the water, disappointed. “Oh yeah, so she won’t like me much. But I’ll get strong and prove myself worthy. I’ll make it so that I can defeat Groudon!” He then set off pretending to do just that.

    At the same time, the phone call connected. N spoke with the receptionist and set up an appointment to challenge the Gym that afternoon. While he was on the phone, he noticed Val approaching him. She was dressed differently than usual, in a beret, pom-pom scarf, poncho, and pants that were in a multitude of colors. Normally, she was in t-shirts and blue jeans. Lucky hopped over closer to N when she came, uncertainty radiating in his posture.

    “Good morning, N,” she said cheerfully when he closed his cell phone. “How’re things going?”

    “On schedule,” he replied. “What are you doing dressed like that?”

    She picked one end of the scarf and twirled the pom-pom around. “I like blending into a place, and this city tends to attract artists. Could I hang out with you today?”

    He shrugged. “Why? I’ll just be training until it’s time to enter the Gym. I don’t need someone else around for that.”

    Giving him puppy-dog eyes, Val pouted. “Aw, but we never get to hang out with you. We’re supposed to be traveling with you, but you keep brushing us off.”

    He didn’t see why he might need or want them around, and they had traveled together for some times. But Ghetsis had trusted them enough to send, so it couldn’t hurt. “All right, but I don’t know how interesting the Gym will be for you.”

    She grinned. “Great, thanks! I actually saw some people a little ways from here you might want to talk to. It’s some Trainers who might benefit from your philosophy, but won’t listen to it from those obviously from Plasma.”

    Wouldn’t listen? N wasn’t sure why that would be, but it would be better to ask those Trainers directly. He followed Val to the southern part of Nacrene, where old railroad tracks lay covered in weeds and gravel. Lucky wasn’t fast in hopping over land, so N picked him up and carried him along the way. Away from some of the warehouses, a group of teenagers and Pokémon were gathered around talking. From the uniforms they wore, they seemed to be students waiting for the right time to head to class.

    Near one of the boys, a Whimsicott was crouched down with his tail fluffed up around him, a sign of annoyance. “I don’t want to do that,” he said.

    The boy frowned at the Pokémon. “Come on, you did the trick yesterday. Don’t be a lazy bum.”

    “I only did it to stop you from being mean, but you won’t do that now,” the Whimsicott said.

    “I told you that he’s a dumb Pokémon,” another boy said.

    “He might be, but he’s not as dumb as yours.”

    The other boy’s Whirlipede muttered, “Just ignore them,” and kept shuffling around some pebbles.

    N came into the group, feeling angered but working to keep calm. “Your Whimsicott doesn’t want to do as you ask, because you’re mean to him.”

    Clenching his first, the boy asked, “Oh yeah? And why would you know anything about my Pokémon? You’re not the one who has to deal with him all day.”

    “Eep,” Lucky said, trying to secure himself better in N’s arm. “He’s a mean one.”

    “I can understand what Pokémon say,” N told them.

    Some of the quieter members looked interested at this revelation, but the two arguing boys didn’t look impressed. “Oh please, you’re just some con artist like those Plasma junkies,” the second said.

    “More likely he’s some escaped schizo from the nuthouse,” the first said, smirking. “Pokémon are just like the dumb animals; they can’t think at all.”

    The Whimsicott came out of his annoyed posture to look over at N. “Hey, if you can understand me, then tell this idiot Gerald to shut the **** up.”

    N shook his head to the Pokémon. “I’m not using that kind of language,” he said. “Gerald, he just told you, in a rather crude manner, to shut up.”

    Both the Whimsicott and the Whirlipede started laughing at that, along with one of the girls. Gerald started to turn pink. “What? Oh, now you’re just lucky and rude.”

    “I’m Lucky, but I’m not rude,” the Tympole said, squirming. N put him down.

    “Can you guess my name?” one of the girls piped up.

    The Lilligant by her side waved her leaf arms. “Oo, oo, she’s Amy! And I’m Annie!”

    “Annie says that your name is Amy,” N said.

    Amy squealed. “Oh wow, that is so cool!”

    “You’re just easily impressed,” Gerald said, frowning. “And even if you really did understand Pokémon, it would be worthless.”

    “No, it helps him understand what Pokémon really feel about us,” Val said, leaning in closer to him but thankfully not touching.

    “It’s nice that somebody can understand us,” the Whimsicott said, at the same time. He checked over his tail fluff. “I’d tell him a nasty thing or two, if I could, or try to get out of this.”

    “If you could hear your Whimsicott, then you’d know that he doesn’t want to be with you,” N told Gerald. “He’d rather be released, and I would say that no Pokémon deserves to be held in captivity.”

    “All right!” The Whimsicott said, with a sign of agreement from the Whirlipede.

    But the Lilligant and others didn’t like that so much. “But, but I want to stay with her!” Annie said. “I love my girl.”

    “You’re just jealous of my Pokémon,” Gerald said. “Or you’ve been listening to those Plasma losers. Nobody’s hurting the Pokémon just keeping them; it’s nonsense.”

    “It only seems that way,” N said. “There’s a subtle element of brainwashing going on that keeps Pokémon contented to stay in Pokeballs, as well as propaganda to make you think you’re doing the right thing. But you’re not. You’re being cruel in being demanding, not considering your Pokémon’s feelings.”

    “Am I brainwashed?” Annie the Lilligant asked, with her Trainer quietly wondering the same thing.

    “Well if you feel that way, then why do you have Pokémon,” the other boy said sharply, his fist clenching up.

    “I don’t keep them for long,” N explained. “I’m out to get my ideas heard, by going along with the League and becoming known. And I’m seeing a lot of the problems first hand, in people like you.”

    “I bet guys like you are just trying to convince others to release their Pokémon so you can catch stronger ones yourself. Well you don’t fool me, jerk!” He then ran at N, to punch him.

    Val slipped in the way and grabbed the boy by the throat. With both of her hands on his neck, she managed to keep him still. “Nu-uh, let’s not get violent today,” Val said, in her usual sweet voice. “You’re trying to hide the fact that your Pokémon won’t help you out. You should really be a dear and let him go, m’kay? Now let’s play nice.” She then let go of him.

    Gasping, Gerald dropped to the ground. His Whimsicott laughed at him, but the other kids stepped back, not wanting to incur Val’s retribution. After an awkward moment of silence, a bell began ringing down the street. “Oh, that’s the school bell,” one of the girls said. “Uh, we gotta go… bye!”

    As the other kids left, recalling their Pokémon with them, Gerald got back up. “You two….” He looked at them, still angry but not wanting to get choked again. Then he recalled his Whimsicott and took off for the school building.

    “You might have killed him there and gotten us in deep trouble,” N said, irritated at Val.

    “No, I was half an inch or half a minute from that,” Val said, toying with her scarf again. Then she laughed. “It’s a joke, don’t worry. I know what I’m doing. But one of my priorities is your safety, my liege.”

    “I don’t think that would have been serious,” N said. Pokémon took hits a lot and recovered just fine, so while it would hurt, he’d be able to take a punch.

    She pouted. “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to come off as overprotective, but I really don’t want to see you get hurt, N. You’re so sweet and smart; he didn’t have a right to start arguing with you.”

    “I hope I at least gave them something to think about,” he said.

    Afternoon, 12/3

    With the defeat of the Watchog, the room went quiet. At this point, only the panting of Lucky the Tympole could be heard. He was no longer hopping in place like he had earlier. He was mostly still on the floor instead, taking deep breaths. “I, I did it,” Lucky said, amazed at himself.

    N knelt down and patted him. “Yes, you did a good job.” It had been a close call, though. Peter had defeated the Herdier, but then got knocked out by Retaliate. Scar had made a good first hit, but then the Watchog had been successful with Hypnosis. That left Lucky to finish the Watchog off, and the Tympole wasn’t conscious by much.

    “It looks like you and your Pokémon care very much for each other,” the Gym Leader Lenora said. “That gave you the push to win, so great job. In recognition of your efforts, here is your second badge.” Smiling, she handed over the small piece of metal when he stood up.

    And it was just a piece of metal, a symbol, one won through violence. N had tried to keep up with potions through the battle, but seeing them get beaten down like that, he could imagine the pain they were in. Especially with the Pidove; his nerves had flinched in sympathy when Peter hit that wall. These badges were supposed to give authority to the Trainer who had them. But was it worth the price?

    “Lenora, may I ask you something?” N said. When she nodded, he asked, “Why do you do this? You take care of lots of Pokémon, only to see them suffer in battle, and you’re supposed to reward the Trainer who has Pokémon that can knock them all out. It just doesn’t seem right.”

    Strangely, she gave him a warm smile and patted his shoulder (unknowingly making him flinch inside). “It’s not that harsh, young man. Pokémon are resilient creatures, and they’d fight anyways. It’s in their instincts. We just give them productive ways to use that energy and make sure they really don’t cause serious harm to each other. And when your friendship with Pokémon grows deep, they’ll forgive you for losses. I make sure all of mine stay healthy and happy, and they give me their loyalty and affection in return.”

    “Honey?” A short but neatly dressed man came into the room. “Sorry to interrupt, but Hilbert’s come by again. He wants to talk with us about one of the stones on display.”

    Lenora brightened at that. “Really? It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to speak with him. Oh N, here’s your other rewards for defeating this Gym. Feel free to stay around the museum to study and observe our artifacts.” Then she left with her husband, talking animatedly with him up the stairs.

    N took the items, shoved them in his bag, then pulled out a Super Potion for Lucky. Why would she assume that he didn’t know what Pokémon felt? Maybe the battle hadn’t been long enough for her to see that he could understand them. Even so, the ignorance of the four Gym Leaders he had met so far was infuriating. They were supposed to be the authorities on Pokémon, but the way they treated battles… N just couldn’t understand it. Fighting with all one’s skill in training Pokémon, but honoring those who defeated them? And she hadn’t even healed her Pokémon before leaving to meet with Hilbert! Did she really care?

    No, no she couldn’t care about them. But no one questioned her because she was an authority, someone with the power of a title. They all listened to her instead. Maybe he really needed power to be heard.

    Lucky shook himself when the potion took effect. “I did really great, right?” the Tympole asked. “I thought I was going to faint, but I made it so that I didn’t, and then I beat him.”

    N smiled and scratched the Pokémon’s chin. “Yes, you did great. I may never meet a Tympole as great as you are ever again.” He then picked Lucky up, making him squeal happily. Somehow just that little action made them both happy. But N was soon preoccupied with those thoughts again.

    Alone in Lenora’s office (as it seemed like), N took a look around before she came back. At the back of the room, there was a desk; a computer was on. Looking at the screen, she had been composing an email before he came in to challenge her. N’s eyes fell on the line, ‘They are causing a lot of trouble, but Plasma has no real authority to speak of. They don’t have a clear argument either, as Ghetsis uses scare tactics and pompous actions to bolster up the nonsense they’re spreading. Especially with having a King that understands Pokémon; it all sounds so mythic, doesn’t it? We need to find ways to undercut their popularity and keep them from getting the power to enforce their warped views.’

    “They don’t understand us, so they pretend they have the moral high ground,” N muttered, heading out of the room. After seeing that, he had no desire to contact Lenora ever again.

    “They don’t understand what?” Lucky asked.

    “Team Plasma’s ideals and truth,” he replied. “I’m going to send you back so I can heal the other two.”

    “Okay,” Lucky said, recalling himself instead.

    As he walked back through the library portion of the building, N used a Revive on Scar and Peter’s Pokeballs, then a Super Potion on each. The Pokemart counters wouldn’t sell him these things, but Val had managed to get some for him. On his way out, he spotted Lenora and her husband talking with Hilbert and a boy in a strange mask. N didn’t bother to listen in and left the building. Now he had to release his Pokémon again. Going down to the field southwest of town sounded best, as they were all three familiar with the area. If only there was a stream to release Lucky in to, as he would have the hardest time getting away from other Trainers.

    Next thing N knew, he was knocked down on his rear, his chest hurting some from someone running right smack into him. Right next to him was a girl with large brown hair, looking confused herself. But then she looked at him and smiled. “Oh, hi N! Sorry about that; I was playing football with my Pokémon and didn’t see you there.” She got up and offered him a hand up.

    Ignoring the hand, he got up himself. “I wasn’t paying much attention where I was going myself. But why are you playing a game, Hilda? Shouldn’t you be training for the League?”

    She shook her head. “Nah, we had a long day yesterday, so I’m letting everyone take a break. You got the ball, Olette?”

    A Drilbur tossed the foam football to Hilda. “You get so excited,” she said in a soft voice.

    “Miss, you haven’t seen anything yet,” the Snivy said, hopping over. He still had that silly-looking hat on, which he tipped up to N. “Hey there, it’s the ******* screwball again.”

    “Honestly, you should teach him better manners if you mean to keep him,” N said, frowning at Fedora.

    “Was that a bad thing to say?” a Minccino asked, coming over too. The Drilbur nodded. “My Daddy says don’t say bad things.”

    “I’ve been trying, but I can’t tell,” Hilda said. “So what’re you doing here? Challenged the Gym?”

    He nodded. “Yes, and I got the badge.”

    Strangely, she clapped. “Awesome! You’re going at this way faster than me. Keep at this rate and you’ll be Champion well before spring comes.”

    Why was she excited about that? It had nothing to do with her. “Thanks, but it’s a little early to be thinking that far ahead. I’ll just move on to the next Gym.”

    “Aw, just like that?” Before he could get away, she grabbed at his sleeve. “Come on, you ought to treat your Pokémon after that! I saw a cute little cafe at the edge of town; you ought to go there and buy treats for them.” When he slipped out of her grasp, she added, “I’ll come with you. Let’s go!”

    N thought about leaving, but then the Snivy snickered. “Aw, are you afraid of cute but crazy girls? Didn’t take you for such a rude loner.”

    “I would love a treat for a celebration,” the Minccino squealed.

    Maybe they would like it. Technically, he was thanking them by letting them go once he was ready to move on. “Are you sure you shouldn’t be working on training?” N asked, walking after Hilda who had already started off down the stony street.

    “Don’t want to overwork them or me,” she said, grinning. “And it sounds like you could use some relaxing time too. What do you do for fun?”

    “Fun?” He never got much free time, in between studying, guiding Team Plasma, and now Pokémon training. “I guess I go out in the wilderness and talk with the Pokémon there. I like puzzles too.”

    “What kind of puzzles?” Hilda asked, slowing a bit so they were walking side by side. “Like jigsaw or crossword, or Sudoku?”

    “Math and engineering puzzles,” N said. “Why are you asking all these questions, and going to a cafe with me?”

    She laughed. “Well why not? We’re Patch Hat buddies, right?” She tapped her hat, showing that she was wearing the Reshiram and Zekrom patch today. “We could be like friendly rivals too. Wouldn’t that be awesome?”

    He held his hands up, trying to figure that one out. “Wait, that doesn’t make sense. Friendly and rival don’t go together, as they stand for different ideas.”

    “Not really,” she said, shrugging. “A friendly rival is someone you compete with, so you strive to keep up with or ahead of them, but you still treat them nice and have fun. I’ve already got one with Cheren, but it’s always more fun to have more friends. So anything you want to ask me?”

    N was at a loss. He knew how to converse with others in Plasma, but general small talk with an outsider? Chit-chat was unimportant, or so he had thought. Now caught up in it, what should he say? “I don’t really know you…”

    “So,” she said, teasing. “Get to know me. What do you want to know?”

    Maybe this was something he needed, experience in dealing with these kinds of people. He asked her the first question that came to mind. “What kind of ideals do you follow?”

    Raising her eyebrows, she looked at him for a second, then scratched her head when she saw that he was serious. “I dunno. I don’t really think about that kind of thing. Why have your head in the clouds thinking about what could be when you can be in the moment, enjoying life? Maybe I favor spontaneity, like today.” She laughed.

    “It’s not really fulfilling to live day by day, is it?” N asked. “Don’t you have a goal, like defeating the League and becoming the next Champion?” It was the first thing he could think of; that was what League Trainers wanted.

    Hilda shrugged. “That’d be nice, but I wouldn’t be too heartbroken if I didn’t make it. I do want to see the world, so maybe that. If it happens, it does; if not, I’m sure it’ll be because something else interesting came up.”

    “Do you ever settle down on a definite answer?” She was speaking a lot of maybes and not picking one option. Indecision led to stagnation, possibly ruin.

    “Sometimes,” she said, then pointed to a brick patio. Various tables sat under decorative umbrellas. “There it is! The sign says Pokémon welcome, so they should have some kind of treat available.”

    They went inside to find a two level cafe; a large wall of windows on the west wall showed a magnificent view over Pinwheel Forest. There were a few people inside, with many open tables to sit at. Reading over the menu on the wall, it seemed that this place served mostly drinks, with a few items from a nearby bakery. N wasn’t sure what most of the menu meant, but the server was able to recommend some drinks based on the kind of Pokémon his team was made up of. When he didn’t order anything for himself, Hilda ordered something for him, herself, and her Pokémon, paying for that bill.

    “You didn’t have to buy me something,” N said as he went down the stairs. The tables down there seemed to offer the better view of the forest.

    “I did cause I wanted to,” she replied, following him with her three Pokémon. “And we’re here to celebrate your win, right? So you ought to have a treat too.”

    “It’s only the second badge, nothing special.” He found a round table and released Lucky again.

    “But that means that you’re a quarter of the way done,” Hilda said, sitting down there. “And in such a short time too. You’re doing awesome. Hi there cutie,” she said the last part to the Tympole and poked his forehead, making Lucky look at her curiously.

    Wasn’t it early to really know how he was doing? But just from the look on her face, it seemed to be genuine praise. Releasing his other two, he sat down at the table with the rest. “I guess so. Guys, I brought you out to thank you for helping me. We’ll get some treats in a few minutes.”

    Peter’s eyes went wide. “Really? Oh gosh, that’d be great! Thanks!”

    “We’re just here to hang out,” Fedora said, settling himself near the window to sun.

    “Well if it ain’t something I can get in the wild, I can live with it,” Scar said, sitting in one of the chairs but keeping his log close.

    “Where’s your Purrloin?” Hilda asked. “She was pretty cool at the Gym.”

    At that question, N felt that misplaced guilt again. How was Pricilla doing? No, he was doing the right thing. “I released her and that Pidove after we won. That was the agreement we had.”

    She looked surprised. “Really? That’s too bad. You’re not even keeping one around as a buddy?”

    “Oh yeah, same thing with us,” Peter said, then fluffed his wings in a show of nervousness.

    “Dude, what if you find out you like the weirdo in that time?” Fedora said, leaving his window for the tabletop. “Then you’re screwed.”

    “Well it seemed okay at the time,” Lucky said.

    Something wasn’t right, a quiet thought said in N’s mind. But he shut it and the Pokémons’ conversation out quickly. Outside forces were conspiring against him. “It’s better to keep them from being captive long. If I could, I wouldn’t even capture them. I’m making a point in the League, though, and for that, I can’t avoid catching them.” N shook his head. “But as it seems, that may not be enough. If things keep going the way that are, I may need to get the support of the legendary dragon Zekrom.”

    “Zekrom, huh?” For a moment, Hilda seemed serious.

    And then a server came up to them. “I’ve got your orders right here,” he said, passing out the drinks or snacks, including, “And a root beer float for the both of you,” he said, setting down tall glasses of dark creamy drink in front of them.

    “Thanks, man,” Hilda said, smiling at him and taking a straw.

    “Root beer float?” N asked, looking suspiciously at the beverage in front of him. The very bottom of it was black, while the top was capped with a brown foam. Globs of white floated in the middle, while moisture coated the outside.

    “Yeah,” she said, carefully taking one end of the paper sleeve off the straw. Then she blew the rest at N so that it hit his forehead.

    He wasn’t sure whether to be mad or not. “What was that for?”

    Hilda giggled. “Geez, lighten up. You ever do that?”

    “Well, no,” N said, taking the cover off his straw in a neat fashion. “But I didn’t think you were old enough to order beer.”

    Unexpectedly, this caused another fit of laughter from her. “It’s root beer, not beer. Totally different; no alcohol for one thing.”

    “And what’s the float part of it?” he asked, tapping the side of the glass here one of the globs was.

    “Vanilla ice cream,” she said, then looked at him. “What, you’ve seriously never had root beer or ice cream before?”

    “No,” he said, feeling self-conscious because she talked of them as normal things. “It’s a dessert thing, right? I always avoided that kind of thing, and sweets. It’s rather worthless in terms of food.”

    “Well no wonder you’re so serious,” she said, rolling her eyes. “That’s the point of a treat, right? To be an indulgence for something that just tastes good. At least give it a try.”

    She had bought it for him, so it would be a waste to not try it. It was cold, both stronger and sweeter than he had expected it to be. But creamy with a spice, or some kind of taste he wasn’t familiar with. While N liked it, he didn’t think he’d tell anyone else. It wasn’t acceptable… but it was just food, or a drink, wasn’t it? Then it wasn’t important in the grand scheme of things.
    They ended up talking about their Pokémon, as that was the easiest common point between them. Then someone familiar came down the stairs. N looked over at the strange masked boy and realized he’d been he one with Hilda the other day, and Hilbert earlier this morning.

    But from where she was, Hilda couldn’t see him. “Well I caught a Basculin once, but a fisherman wanted to buy it off me. And I helped a kid catch his first Pokémon, a Woobat. That was fun.”

    Wait… N looked back at Hilda. She had sold a Pokémon to someone? That struck N as terribly thoughtless and cruel. It was bad enough to capture Pokémon for use, but to sell them? This League was truly embracing Pokémon slavery.

    Before he could properly get mad, though, the Minccino at the table noticed the strange boy and squealed. “Daddy, you’re back!”

    That threw him right out of anger into confusion. “Daddy?”

    Hilda blinked. “Huh, your dad?” She looked back and smiled. “Oh, hey Kyurem.”

    He caught Mimi as she ran up to him. He was smiling in a strange toothy manner. “Hilda.”

    “Oooo, what have you been up to now?” she asked, in a mockingly mad voice.

    “Pardon?” He sat down in the chair Mimi had been using.

    She poked him. “You don’t smile like that unless you’re up to something. Who’d you eat this time?”

    The boy then leaned over and whispered something to her. Hilda briefly looked serious again, then whispered back. Something was going on, but he couldn’t hear what.

    “Kyurem?” N asked, hardly aware that he was doing so aloud. “That’s really Kyurem?”

    “Sure is,” Fedora said. “Make him mad and he’ll freeze you solid and eat you.”

    “He doesn’t eat everybody,” Mimi said defensively.

    The Snivy pulled his hat over his head. “Aw, don’t ruin my fun.”

    “Yeah, this is Kyurem,” Hilda said, leaning forward on the table. “He’s my starter Pokémon, not Fedora.”

    His eyes were like ice and that mask might have been directly attached to his head. Still, it didn’t make sense. “Really Kyurem, the legendary dragon? Why do you reduce yourself to look like a human?”

    By now, that smile had disappeared, replaced with an unreadable stony expression. “I need to be near her as much as I can,” he said. “Except in hunting and scouting out an area. It’s more convenient to be like this.”

    “Wow, he gave you a straight answer!” Hilda said, amused. “Yeah, with all the buildings sized for humans, he couldn’t manage to be around if he were in his true dragon form.”

    “But why her?” N asked. Hilda didn’t seem like someone who would attract a legendary Pokémon’s attention.

    “You don’t need to know,” the dragon boy answered. Then his eyes appeared sharper. “But I do need to know something from you. What do you want from all this?”

    “What do I want?” N echoed. “I want to know the truth about the ideals that Pokémon hold. I want to know how they feel about being held in captivity in Pokeballs. I don’t want them to be hurt, but no… not many others are speaking up on their behalf. I want to show that it doesn’t have to be this way, but it seems no one is going to listen unless I have the right authority.”

    By this point, he was speaking loud enough for the whole cafe to hear. Some of the other patrons looked to their group curiously, wondering what the fuss was all about. Others hunched over and grumbled about interruptions to the peace.

    “And I will get that authority, no matter what it takes to get it. I will find the right way, and teach everyone what they’re doing wrong. And I hope you aren’t around to ruin things.” N got up from his seat, picking up his Tympole from the table. “Don’t let yourself be fooled by the illusions, Hilda. You seem nice enough, but if you don’t think what you’re doing carefully, you’ll end up hurting the Pokémon you love.” Then he left the cafe, calling his Pokémon to come after him.

    Peter flew alongside him. “Whoa, are you… mad?” the Pidove asked.

    N took a deep breath as he opened the door for Peter and Scar. Back outside. “Probably,” he said. “I just don’t know what to think about her. Too much conflicting information, and yet where she’s wrong…” that really made mad. Selling Pokémon… but then why did the group with her seem affectionate and friendly? They should be afraid that she would get rid of them too, just for money. Yet she’d been playing with them, and bought a drink for him to celebrate his team’s win… and Kyurem choosing to be with her. Many people were simple and N could quickly judge them good or bad. Hilda… was both?

    “She seems nice,” Lucky said after he’d been quiet for a while. “She took you out on a date.”

    That caused N to stop in the middle of the road to Pinwheel Forest. “She what?” he asked, startled.

    “Oh yeah, she did,” Peter said cheerfully. “She took you somewhere and bought you something. We were all there, but you were the only two actual humans. That’s still a date, right? I used to watch couples go on walks in the forest. They seemed so happy.”

    “Don’t look at me,” Scar said, starting to toss his log up to catch. “I don’t know how your kind goes about courtship rituals.”

    N felt his stomach squirm. Was that a date? And what did it mean if it got out that he, Plasma’s King, had gone on a date with a person who might be their enemy? No, was their enemy, as she was a League challenger, Pokémon Trainer, and so on. “I don’t really know that either,” he admitted.

    “Oh N!”

    He cringed at the voice and looked down at Lucky. The Tympole looked concerned, but uncertain of what to do. And then Val and Carol came up on either side of him.

    “There you are,” Carol said. “We lost track of where you were. Don’t sneak off on us like that.”

    “What happened?” Val leaned over and tried to look him in the face. “Why’re you turning red, huh?”

    “Just leave me alone,” he snapped at her. “I, I’m not sure what happened.” When they still tried to follow him, he held his free hand out to them. “Go; I need to say goodbye to these Pokémon.”

    “What?” Peter asked. “But we were doing so well together.”

    Thankfully, the two girls went back to town. The Timburr nodded. “Yeah, that was the arrangement,” he reminded the others. “We do this one Gym and then we get let go.”

    “Right,” N said, glad to find firmer ground to talk about.

    “Bu-bu-but…” Lucky started sobbing, putting his face against N’s shirt.

    “But I feel braver around you,” the Pidove said, cooing sadly. “I’m getting better! I want to stay with you, and Lucky too.”

    N closed his eyes. He had avoided using the Pokecenter at all with these three, hoping to break them out of the brainwashing cycle. That should have made things easier than last time when Pricilla tried to talk him out of releasing her. But now, it was two of them who didn’t want to be let go.

    Down near the swampy area, he determined that Lucky was afraid of being hurt again, like the last time he had been released. That got Peter panicky, so N took out the release device and let go of Scar first. In good nature, the Timburr saluted him, then walked off into the woods. Despite that, the Tympole was still crying and Peter was flitting about anxiously.

    Was he hurting them by letting them go?

    No. He was preventing hurting them worse. If he kept them, he would be putting them through more battles. They’d win some, but they’d also lose some and the Pokémon would be knocked out. And that still made N feel horrible about doing this.

    And idea came to him. It was sneaky, maybe underhanded. But he had to keep his word. It was time to test Anthea’s words. “Peter, could you use Fly to get me back to my home?”

    Seeming relieved, the gray bird bobbed up and down. “Yeah, I can do that! Just keep the location in your mind, okay? I’ll have us there real quick.” Peter then began to glow light blue before he shot into the sky.

    N watched him as the small bird rose up, then looped back down towards him. Holding onto Lucky, he braced himself as Peter rushed for him. The blue light then surrounded N; a sense of vertigo and movement like a helicopter taking off washed through his mind. “What’s going on?” Lucky asked, his sobbing slowing down.

    After looking around him, N said, “We’re flying along with Peter. But, I don’t know how he shrunk us.”

    And that’s exactly what seemed to have occurred. N found himself standing on the Pidove’s back, just behind his head. The landscape around the blurred by, trees and grass rushing underneath. Despite the obvious speed, neither N nor Lucky felt any movement of air. Or Peter himself, as N found out when he knelt down and tried to touch the feathers he was standing on. It seemed to be a solid floor with definite but invisible edges.

    “You’re in a little pocket of air outside normal space,” Peter said, his words coming from all around them. “At least, that’s what the disc thing said to me. That’s how I can find a place that you know that I’ve never been there. You can see the area, right?”

    “Yes,” N said. Lucky was shaking, so he kept hold on him. “But it will be further north.”

    “I know. I hope you like the ride!”

    While it was a little unnerving, N knew that Peter wouldn’t hurt them. So he tried to calm Lucky down until the right forest came into view. After another disorienting moment, N appeared outside of the building that Anthea used to heal Pokémon. Peter appeared out of his Fly glow a moment later, looking proud of himself.

    He would release Lucky here, and leave him with Anthea. N trusted her to look after him and help him become part of the forest population. After that, he would have Peter return him to Nacrene and release him there, with the offer to fly back here for safety. That solved everything, it seemed. He would keep his word to respect and release them, but would know that they would be safe from recapture.

    Even so, the tears on his shirt hammered irrational guilt back into his heart.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  19. Invisiblade97

    Invisiblade97 Active Member

    Wow, you're a great writer! I'm normally not that into fanfics, but yours is really entertaining. Love the personality you've given Hilda, and the Coffee Breaks were an interesting touch.
     
  20. Son_of_Shadows

    Son_of_Shadows Well-Known Member

    So THAT'S how Pidgey and its ilk can use Fly with a trainer... OF COURSE!

    N really needs to loosen up. That boy could use some Prozac. Or heavy drugs. Or group hugs! I'm sure Lucky and Peter would be happy to oblige.
     

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