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creed : tribulation



I'm not very good at hellos, I'm afraid.
But this is a fiction which, whilst it might start out humble and ambiguous, will hopefully grow into something epic and beautiful.

It's mostly what I suppose you'd call an adventure/mystery fiction, although there's plenty of action, sci-fi and I do love a good bit of comedy.

And that's all I really have to say. That, and thank you for reading, I hope you'll take the time to comment.

creed : tribulation

Table of Contents:

Volume I
1:0 - Begin The Begin
1:1 - Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head
1:2 - Mama Tried
1:3 - Something About Us
1:4 - I Saw What I Saw

1:0 - Begin The Begin

The stone hallway before Adam stretched for almost a mile. He hated coming down to this particular area of the tunnels. Light was provided only by ancient lanterns on the walls, and there was a musky smell which, combined with a lack of oxygen from being so far underground, made his head cloudy and extended visits nearly impossible. At his side, the blue canine Pokemon stared ahead vigilantly for any signs of life.

The pair’s shadows danced on the walls amongst unreadable texts from languages no longer in use and carvings of Pokemon eroded by age. Adam often studied these depictions as he travelled to the chamber, but not once had he seen anything even remotely recognisable: the majority of the figures were made from circles and lines, simple geometric representations from people who had long since left this place.

Manectric stopped and Adam’s daydream ended abruptly. Before them was a large stone door, embossed with a hexagonal symbol and a number that Adam had grown all-too-familiar of: 695. Pushing hard against it, it opened with a thunderous scraping of stone against stone as an even more horrible smell rushed into the hallway.

Walking through the door, he found himself in a large, hexagonal room with many stone pillars and even more strange carvings. He saw many indentations on the pillars which resembled Braille code, though on closer inspection there were far too many dots for it to be the language for the blind. The room was lit by an immensely bright fire in the centre of the room. There were also more lanterns, though different to the ones in the hallway: these were much larger, and Adam noticed that one of them had gone out. The only thing in the room that looked evenly remotely modern (and thus extremely out of place) was a large painting of a ship docked at an island, though nobody had taken the time to hang it up.

Adam staggered nervously through the silence, broken only by the crackling of the fire, wondering if his contact would appear – Adam had not made a request to meet him, but had assumed that he would know he was coming in light of recent events. Walking towards the fire, Adam noticed what appeared to be a few charred documents lying on floor. He looked around to see if anyone was watching, though he then felt silly for doing so. Picking up the papers, he blew the ash off them to investigate. Among the nonsensical items was a photograph of an aircraft which Adam recalled was used during wartime decades ago, and a sheet of paper containing only the words “THE RITCHYDREN INCIDENT: CONFIDENTIAL.”

The fire flickered, and a rush of wind blew the papers from Adam’s hand and into it as the door behind him slammed shut. It engulfed the items voraciously, and Adam had a strange feeling that he had somehow destroyed evidence. Both he and Manectric turned sharply in fear to see a tall, concealed figure standing before them. Adam could not see the man’s eyes, but could make out the rugged features and sharp jaw line that had intimidated him for many months now. There was a long pause before the figure broke the silence with a husky voice.

“It’s rude to go through the other the people’s things, you know.” Adam now remembered why he had come to the chamber in the first place, and rage suddenly flowed through his body. A resentful rage, rage that he had not felt in a very long time.

“You knew what was going to happen there, didn’t you?” he spat. “You knew that she would die, despite everything you’d told me before! You knew she would die, and you sent us there anyway!”

There was another pause. The man laughed under his cloak.

“If I’d told you, you would never have went. It’s just the way things have to be, Adam.”

“Just the way things have to be? These are people. You’re playing with people’s lives.”

“That may be true, Adam, but I know what I’m doing. And yet now it seems like you don’t trust me.”

“I don’t trust you.”

“Then why are you here?”

The rapid interchange came to a brief halt. Manetric stared on in awe, unable to fully comprehend what was happening.

“Because,” Adam continued, “I’ve been going along with your word on the basis you knew what you were talking about, because it’s a lot more difficult for me to get information. But people are dead. And there is no seventh Creed, so I don’t understand why those people died. If they died for nothing, it was on my watch, and I won’t do it anymore.” The man absorbed Adam’s words pensively.

“They did not die for nothing,” he stated abruptly. “And the man you found is important, you just can’t know why yet. You’re not ready.”

“I’m sick of not being ready!” cried Adam as his anger reverberated throughout the chamber and sent a shiver down Manectric’s spine. “And those... those things, how do I know they’re not going to pop up again and kill us all?”

“They can’t kill any of you,” the man laughed. “That would be cheating.”

There was a much longer pause this time. Adam took time to take in the fact that, having came for answers, he now had more questions than he’d started with.

“Who are you?” he asked. The figure could see the sincerity of the confusion and regret in his eyes.

“I’m the protagonist of your story,” he replied. “And you have work to do, Adam.”
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1:1 - Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head

1:1 – Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head

Nebiank City was one of the largest and most successful metropolitan areas in the Pokemon world, even contending against the likes of New York, Goldenrod and Tokyo, though also one of the newest. Whilst the history of the city dated back only 200 odd years, excavations in the surrounding areas suggested human presence in the area for up to 3000 years. The city itself was actually located on the eastern side of a massive island, roughly the size of London, and the only other settlement on the island was a village called Greenstraw inhabited by some one hundred people.

With a near-unrivalled economy, Pokemon gym and rather tropical climate, Nebiank’s population soared in the 20th century to several million, making it one of the most densely populated cities in history. However, it was also one of the most ordinary places on the planet: people went about their lives, Pokemon flew high in the sky – there was little to suggest any malice or secrets in the city at all. This is perhaps why when, as a crowd of passengers waited for the 8:25 train to arrive at one of the many stations in Nebiank’s Subway System, they were so startled to find that it was not a train that arrived out the end of the tunnel, but a man flying on top of a large Pokemon.

The blue and red creature swooped calmly onto the platform, causing passengers to move out of the way in fear and astonishment. The rider, who was wearing what could only be described as incredibly strange attire, dismounted the eagle and patted it on the back.

“Braviary, return,” he said, holding up a Great Ball to the Pokemon. A blue beam of light shot out rapidly from its centre as the Pokemon was recalled to its owner. Placing the ball on his belt alongside four others, Rory Young noticed how his unorthodox entrance still had the people in a bewildered trance.

“Clearly I still have to learn my way about this place,” he said nervously, his dark blue eyes glinting with mischief. “Err... goodbye.” Rory had never had much time for people, let alone complete strangers who he’d never see again, whether they were shocked and about to phone the police or not, and so with that, he left the station.


Rory’s car pulled into the driveway of his detached villa in Lilycove City. Although the house was worth several hundred thousand dollars, Rory had been born into money: always privileged and provided for. It was something that he actually resented – ever since childhood he had felt outcast by this inbred influence and power. He believed it was for this reason he rarely spoke to his mother. He felt that the further away from her he was, the further away from shining expectations of brilliance and wonder he was.

With his father, that had been much easier. His father had always been an incredibly mysterious man. Supposedly a world renowned Pokemon doctor and archaeologist, he disappeared during Rory’s teenage years, never to be seen again. At an unofficial funeral ceremony, Rory and his mother argued furiously over his composed manner. He claimed that he was simply sure that the man who had raised him was still alive somewhere; in truth, he simply could not mourn a man who had made his life a living hell for 13 years.

Opening the door, Rory was greeted by one of his Pokemon, a Buizel. He said a brief, unenthusiastic hello before heading into the kitchen. He’d been hungry all day, and it was finally time to have a meal. Switching on the nearby television, Rory brushed his hand along the black marble countertops and opened one of the fine oak cupboards. He pulled out a glass to pour himself some whiskey, but before making it across the room to the fridge, the story on the news pierced through his ears and into his very soul, sending a shudder throughout the innermost part of him. The glass smashed into hundred of pieces as it hit the tiled flooring.


Exiting the station into the blinding sunlight of central Nebiank, Rory felt considerably out of place as he realised he was drowning in a sea of suits, young trainers and coffee stalls. Wearing a pair of tattered brown jeans, a white trilby hat and a large blue overcoat adorned with numerous items that he had wished to travel with, Rory felt a strong urge to dive into one of the many shops lining the street and buy some normal clothes. Instead, however, he focused on a more pressing task: finding somewhere to stay. Following a map which a Chinese man had thrown on the ground with such serendipity, Rory made his way to Nebiank town square, a sprawling display of architecture like which Rory had never seen. The fountain, which supposedly marked the exact centre of the city, spewed clear blue streams of water blissfully into the air as children and Pokemon frolicked in the water and business people ate lunch in the nearby cafés. Noticing a red-haired woman sitting by the fountain, Rory approached her. She too seemed to find his attired strange, though she looked at him with more amusement in her deep brown eyes than disarray.

“Excuse me,” Rory asked as politely as he could, “could you tell me where the nearest hotel is?” The woman chuckled. A light chuckle with a hint of backlash in it. Attractive, he thought.

“Well, the nearest hotel would be The Shuppet Shack about five minutes from here,” she started, “but I would only suggest staying there if you’re looking to catch a virulent disease.”

“I see,” laughed Rory awkwardly, “any recommendations then?”

“The Violet Inn, near the harbour, it’s about a twenty-five minute walk but trust me you’ll appreciate it a lot more.”

“Thanks a lot,” Rory replied. They exchanged a brief smile before parting ways. He didn’t even feel the long stare that she gave him as he walked away.


Rory had abandoned making dinner. Now, a pot noodle and a beer would suffice. The news channel repeated the story over and over, and Rory’s Buizel, who had now been joined by a Medicham, were slightly concerned at their master’s erratic behaviour.

Normally, Rory didn’t watch the news. It was depressing, and moreover, he didn’t really care. But this, this was different. Well, in reality, it was very boring. It was a story that few people would have been interested in. Perhaps a history major who thought that this could bring about a chance to prove his degree was not entirely useless or someone who read too many novels. But to Rory, it was very interesting.

Remains of a ship believed to belong to the S.S Wailord, which disappeared on its maiden voyage in 1977, have been found.

The story of the S.S Wailord was one which the child of any historian or archaeologist would inevitably here. A massive cruise liner, the S.S Wailord was set to sail northward from Nebiank towards New York in the 70s. However, about 8 hours into the journey, all communication with the ship was immediately lost. Search and rescue teams were dispatched, but no trace of the ship or 2,368 passengers were ever found. It remained one of the great mysteries of the Pokemon world and the largest loss of life at sea during peacetime. Decades of scouring the seafloor had also proved fruitless – until that night when Rory Young shot up from his chair, switched the television off and ran upstairs.


Having stumbled about the crowded streets of Nebiank for what was fast approaching three quarters of an hour, and having stared at the unique mixture of modern glass-and-steel buildings with original architecture that Nebiank was known for in the hopes of finding directions, Rory could finally see The Violet Inn in the distance. Further into the distance, he could see the ships coming to and from Nebiank Harbour and the crowds of Pelliper and Wingull in the sky. Sighing with relief, he cut through a seemingly empty street, populated only by litter and dustbins, to cut down his journey time.

It was at that exact point that Rory felt the searing pain of some sort of spike lashing across his back and he was thrown forward several feet. Hurtling against the concrete and his tumble echoing in the deserted street, Rory lay on the ground, disorientated and with an unbearably hot agony ripping through his body. He felt blood in his mouth – he’d burst his lip in the fall. After lying there for what seemed like hours, he got to his feet and turned around.

Three figures stood before him. The first was a prickly green Cacturne, clearly the culprit of his blow to the back. The second was a burly, tall man whom he’d never seen before: dressed in all black with a white undertop, bleach blond hair and menacingly light green eyes. The third, however, was familiar – the redhead from Nebiank Square. She was now dressed in all black as well, and she gave Rory the same childish yet sinister chuckle she had given him before.

“Directions? Seriously?” she asked. “I thought you were going to kill me. Thought I’d blown my cover. Obviously not.”

“C, please behave,” her comrade asked. “You there,” he demanded, pointing at Rory. “What’s your name?”

Startled, Rory worked up the courage to spit the blood from his mouth and ask, “What’s yours?” the man smirked.

“My name is Brendan Kerr,” he retorted, “and this is my partner, Cleo Ocean. We’d like to ask you a few questions.”

“Questions?” Rory inquired. “Questions about what?!” Brendan and Cleo exchanged blank looks before they began whispering to each other.

“I think Steven was right,” began Cleo, “I don’t think he knows about the Creeds.”

“Good,” replied Brendan, “that means it’ll be easy to convince him to come along with us.”

“But... didn’t we just kind of attack him?”

“Yes, I think you did,” Rory interrupted. The pair span around. “And you’re whispering is not very quiet. Now...” Rory raised two Premier Balls. “What the hell are the Creeds, and why did yo-“

He had no time to finish.


Rory did not pack for his journey. He had nothing to take other than clothes and money, and clothes could be washed and money could be withdrawn from banks. He picked up a few of the items which were more sentimental to him, such as his custom Pokeball-holder, his Sprayduck which now had a pungent odour of liquor, his favourite hat and a Pokedex which he rarely used but liked to carry around. Buizel and Medicham entered, and gave him a jointly confused glance.

“Road trip,” he stated.


Cacturne’s Needle Arm attack flew at Rory, and he barely had enough time to dodge out of the way before the glowing green spikes that had fired from Cacturne’s Arm knocked him out. Throwing the two Premier Balls into the air, Rory cried “Medicham, Magmar, come on out now!”

The balls erupted, and from them emerged the mysterious fire-type and the humanoid Medicham. However, Brendan was not about to let his partner fight one versus two.

“Go Scizor!” he shouted as he threw a Dusk Ball into the battlefield. The pincer Pokemon emerged and immediately dived at Magmar, knocking him into a wall.

“Use Fire Punch!” Oslo demanded. Magmar attempted to hit the bug-and-steel Pokemon with his fiery fist, but it was too quick and dodged the attack. It circled around Magmar, and Brendan ordered it to use Hyper Beam. Magmar instinctively reacted with a Light Screen attack as Scizor opened one of its pincers to fire a shining golden beam at the fire-type. Though the magical golden screen cause the damage to be halved, Magmar was clearly still injured by the ferocity of the attack, and the ground flew up as a large indent was left in the pavement from the attack.

Medicham was having considerably more success fighting Cacturne. Faster and stronger, Medicham was landing blow after blow of simple punches and kicks which were supped-up by its type advantage. Cleo was not impressed.

“Cacturne, Dark Pulse. Now.” Cacturne shook off Medicham and curled its head towards its chest, before throwing its arms out and sending a wave of purple energy out in all directions. Cleo laughed as dust, bits of metal and litter were thrown up into the air, but she had underestimated Rory as a battler.

“Gust, Medicham!” Medicham span around and around on the spot to whip up a small whirlwind that absorbed the dark wave and tossed it right back towards the cactus Pokemon. "Now, Close Combat!" Medicham dashed over towards Cacturne and pummeled it with a barrage of frenzied punches, kicks and jumps, before finally knocking it into the air. It gave out a cry of defeat as it landed at Cleo’s feet.

“Cacturne!” she screamed. “You son of a *****. Brendan, do it!”

The man called Brendan shouted at Rory, catching his attention, and he felt his heart drop. Rory had been in many dangerous situations in his life, many of which were during Pokemon battles, but never before had he been held at gunpoint by a stranger.

“Enough of these games,” shot Brendan. “Come with us right now.” Rory stared down the barrel of the handgun, considering all of his realistic options. He could tell Medicham to use Protect and Magmar to use Fire Blast, and then he could recall them and use Braviary to escape. Or he could go with them. But he didn’t fancy that option.

“Now!” Brendan demanded again. This is it, Rory decided. He held Braviary’s Great Ball in his hand, counted to five, hoped and hoped for the best, and-

Fire reigned down from the sky. Like the apocalypse. Gigantic, car-sized fireballs landed all around Cleo and Brendan. The gun flew from his hand when one of the fireballs hit dangerously close to him, and Oslo took the chance to recall Medicham and Magmar. Taking cover in a nearby doorway, he saw Cleo, Scizor and Brendan flee as a massive, moth-like Pokemon landed nearby with a thud. A woman, maybe a bit younger than him, dismounted it and sprinted over to him.

“Nice work Volcarona,” she shouted back at her Pokemon. Approaching Rory, she held out a hand. “Looks like you needed some help there. The name’s Izzie. Well, Isabelle Pressley but everyone calls me Izzie. And you are?”

Rory took her hand wearily. The situation was very strange. “I’m Rory, Rory Young.” A police siren wailed in the background somewhere.

“Rory Young?” she replied. “Of course you are.” She stared at him with an amazed expression.

“Excuse me?” Her gaze was broken by his words. Rory inspected the gigantic, fiery moth before him and took out his Pokedex, and listened to the robotic voice's wisdom.

Volcarona, the Sun Pokemon. The evolved form of Larvesta. An incredibly rare Pokemon, it is said that Volcarona can create a sea of fire, and their unrivalled powers are used as extremely efficient energy sources. He put the Pokedex away and looked at Izzie.

“Oh, nevermind that. Listen Rory, everything’s going to be alright now. Don’t you worry about a thing. I promise I’ll explain everything later, but right now I need to get you as far away from those two as possible. However, I’ll say this now in case I don’t get a chance later... I’m sorry.”

Rory blinked. “Sorry for what?”

Whatever this woman, this “Izzie” hit him with, the force was strong enough to knock Rory out cold. She grabbed his limp body, remounted her Volcarona, and flew off as the sundown painted a beautiful orange picture on the nearby harbour. Rory was not having a good day.


Locking up his house, Rory was about to recall his Medicham and Buizel when he realised that their confusion and now evolved into concern. He wasn’t sure how to explain what he was doing, largely because he didn’t understand it himself, and whilst he wasn’t one for choosing his gut over his thought processes, this was one time where it couldn’t be ignored. The appearance of this wreckage was nothing short of what some superstitious people might call fate, and while Rory didn’t believe in it, it was certainly one of the best coincidences he’d ever came across.

Kneeling down to speak to his worried Pokemon, they seemed comforted by the fact that Rory genuinely looked like he knew what he was about to do. He spoke to them briefly, telling them not to worry, before recalling them. Taking one last look at the luxurious villa that he had lived in for so many years, he felt somewhat saddened, as he had a feeling that he wouldn’t return for a very long time. He took one last look at the shrubbery and flowers that Buizel had watered with such dedication, and decided that before leaving town he would hire a maid to look after the place while he was gone.

Stepping outside the front gates, Rory looked to the stars in sky, flickering handsomely in the dark of night as the smell of the sea blew calmly over him. He was ready.

“Time to go find daddy,” he said.
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1:2 - Mama Tried

1:2 – Mama Tried

Isabelle Jane Pressley was not the type of person who kidnapped strangers. She was certainly not the type of person who took orders without questions. However, as she sat in the tranquil air of one of southern Nebiank’s fields and as the smell of cut grass wafted around her, she stared at the silver ring on her finger and at the sapphire embedded in it, and was reminded of her purpose. Many nights she had started into the very soul of that ring, and every time the blue chasms and waterfalls continued to strike her with wonder and bewilderment. It was as if this ring – or, to any non-casual observer, her Creed – was staring back at her, analysing her long blonde hair and overly feminine features with a sceptical look: testing her strength and her ability to see a task through. It was a feeling, hollow and childish, but one that was persistent nonetheless.

“Izzie,” a voice came. She sat up promptly, and saw a tall, confident man with shaggy blond hair and stubble swagger towards her quickly.

“Adam,” she replied. “I take it you’ve met our guest? Thanks ever so much for picking me to do your dirty work.” The man looked displeased at the harshness of her tone.

“This is our dirty work Izzie, somebody needs to do it. And you might not like it, but that ring on your finger doesn’t give you a choice.” She looked down at her hand. Testing, she thought. The warm breeze rejuvenated the grassy smell, soothing the tense minds of the duo.

“Sorry,” she said glumly. Adam was not angry at her, however, and merely gave her a friendly smile. A smile that made his dark brown eyes glisten in the sunset which was now streaking the land with various cascades of purple, orange and blue.

“I take it you didn’t find anything on him?” he asked.

“No,” she replied, rather disheartened. “A Pokedex, a bunch of crap and a Sprayduck that stinks of gin. Four Pokemon, no Creed.”

“Hmm... maybe he hasn’t found it yet? Or rather, maybe it hasn’t found him?” he giggled at his own self-righteous ambiguity. It was one of the gifts of his role. “No matter. He’s just woken up, go and see if he’s got any Scooby of what’s going on. The Faculty were after him, so I’ve got no doubt that he’s important. If he’s one of us, he’ll find the Creed in no time.”

“Will do,” Izzie replied. They parted ways, and Izzie headed towards the small cave opening in a nearby rock formation that was well hidden by a cluster of trees. However, before she could make it to the entrance, she leaned against a tree, pointed her head downwards, and vomited profusely.


Waking up disorientated and with a mouth as dry as any desert, Izzie shot up and attempted to remove herself from her bed. She attempted to place two feet on the ground, though it was littered with clothes, books and empty bottles, and so instead she ungracefully and noisily stumbled towards her bedroom door.

Opening it, the glare of natural light flooded in from the windows in the living room. The radio was playing, some song by REM. She hated it. Hated it so much that it forced her to think, something she’d probably not done in about thirteen hours. And the more she thought, the more she realised she was still drunk.
“Morning sunshine,” a stern voice called. Wandering towards the kitchen, she saw an enthusiastic brown-haired lady with a perky exterior and a charming smile. “Late one again, was it?”

“Sorry Monica,” Izzie groaned. “I’ll try and be in earlier tonight.” Monica laughed.

“You won’t be going out tonight, I’m afraid!” she chirped as she prepared some cereal and orange juice for Izzie. Handing it to her, she could see that she looked like she might vomit in the bowl at any moment. “Maybe not... but yeah, you’re not going out.”

“Monica, stop with the ********, I’m 27, I can do whatever the hell I want. Maybe if you came out with me more than twice a week you’d be a little less uptight.” Izzie didn’t really like Monica when she was a vapid combination of hung over and intoxicated.

“That maybe true,” growled Monica, “but the company that manages all your finances called you this morning. Oh by the way it’s half past two in the afternoon and yes I did get off early from work, I know you didn’t mention but still. And yes, the two men who accompanied you into your room have left, although I’m pretty sure they were gay so I have no idea how you managed... but yeah, the company called, and said something about your accounts being frozen?”

Izzie scowled. Her hangover immediately dissipated. “What.”

“Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on, just said you can’t withdraw any money until the person who opened the account says so.”

“But...” stuttered Izzie. “The person who opened my account is my father!”

“Oh yeah,” chuckled Monica. “He phoned too, he’ll be here in an hour. Izzie? Did you hear me?” When she turned round, she saw a passed out Izzie and a pool of vomit on the floor. “You did hear me...”


Wiping the sick from her mouth and waiting until she felt more stable, Izzie entered the cave opening. It wasn’t actually a cave, as such, as it was a network of tunnels. It stretched far and wide under the entire island, though she’d rarely gone very far. She still managed to get lost from time to time, and she had no idea where they were keeping the man from Nebiank. They needed a map drawn up or something. The tunnels always had a silvery glow about them, and they were usually freezing. The strangest thing was though, that they were seemingly man made: flat floors and immaculately curved walls. Occasionally you’d even find something illegible written on them. Folding her arms to warm herself, she wandered around for a solid ten minutes before bumping into a friendly face.

“I thought God Complex had you guarding what’s his face?” she said in a slightly Spanish accent an unemotional tone.

“He does, and stop calling him God Complex before he hears you ha,” replied Izzie. “I just can’t find wherever it is you hid him.”

“Oh no, cause Adam’s really scary isn’t he? The guy’s in the big room just down that corridor; you know the one that has the really high ceiling?”

“Ah yeah, I hate that one! Everything echoes and it’s even colder than the rest of the place. Is he alright?”

“He’s fine, I didn’t really speak to him because, well, I really don’t care about him but if he starts crying holler me, could be fun.”

Izzie laughed. “You really are dreadful.”

“I try. How’s the thing?”

“The thing?”

“The thing.”

“Oh, that thing? Yeah, not right now, I have people to interrogate. Sorry Med!” The tanned woman walked away, black curly hair flowing from side-to-side. She was a complex creature – that’s why Izzie thought that she and Medina got on so well, they both had common ground in uneasy pasts. Being simple wasn’t human or healthy.

Her mind turned back to the task at hand.


Izzie’s father was a brute of a man. Over 6 feet tall and with shoulders to rival an Emboar, his booming voice filled the flat. An unassuming Pidgey was perched on his shoulders at all time – he resembled a fierce pirate sometimes rather than an aging aristocrat. Monica had already evacuated: the Pressley family confrontations were best well avoided.

“One thousand dollars,” he cried. “One. Thousand. Dollars! How is it even possible to spend that much money on a night out, Bella?!” His grey moustache trembled at the thought of it.

“I didn’t realise I was spending that much! The clubs were expensive, and after that we hit the Game Corner until Sam kind of... she kind of...”

“Broke one of the roulette tables? I know, that’s an EXTRA thousand dollars! Bella, this won’t do. I gave that money for you to go make something of yourself, but the minute you win a few high profile Pokemon battles you go and bathe your liver in whatever you can get your hands on? It’s not acceptable and it is not the action of a Pressley.”

Not the action of a Pressley, God, she resented the burden of having a wealthy last name sometimes. “Fine,” she submitted. “I’ll lay off the booze and the parties. But I’m going to need money to survive, Dad, whether you like it or not. From now on I’ll keep my... personal expenses for my own money. Alright?” John Pressley looked at his daughter for at least a minute, analysing her and deciding what to do. After a long pause, he spoke.

“You better quit pissing me about Bella. One more word, one more whisper that you’re up to something and I’ll make you wish you’d never been born.”

“Alright,” ‘Bella’ replied. After saying unenthusiastic “I love yous” and seeing her father off, she replied to a phone call that she had ignored earlier to arrange her plans for the evening. Simple people were boring: hedonism was the way forward.


Rory Young sat across from Izzie and seemed strangely unaffected by the situation. He had previously been guarded by what he described as “a spiky haired **** with a big body and an inferiority complex and an overly attentive and incredibly annoying surrogate mother”, whom she recognised as Ryan and Penelope. But still, despite his previous attack and now apparent kidnapping, he seemed quite at home.

“I’m sorry we had to do this to you,” she continued after saying hello. “I know you probably don’t understand what’s going on, but I have a few questions for you.”

“Alright,” replied Rory, giving her an amused look. “Since I’m the guest though I have one for you: why have I been kidnapped?” Izzie laughed lightly through her nose.

“You’ve not been kidnapped,” she started. “You were handling those two fine on your own, but what I’m sure you didn’t realise was that two vans filled with ten more people each were on their way to subdue you, so I took steps.” There was silence.

“And... why do they want to subdue me?”

“Tell me, Rory? Is it? Yeah, tell me Rory,” Izzie continued, ignoring his questions, “do you have anything resembling a ring on your person?”

“Eh, no, I don’t typically wear jewellery. If you were looking to swap trinkets and play dress up then I’m sorry to disappoint.”

“Stop being an ***,” Izzie interjected quickly. She could feel nausea setting in again and she wanted this over with. Rory smiled, complying. “What are you doing in Nebiank?” At this, his smile faded.

“Passing by,” he said, though there was a distant look in his eyes. “I’m on my way to investigate that site where they found the remains of the S.S Wailord. Must’ve got lost, so I told my Braviary to head for the nearest land. This, apparently, was the nearest land to wherever I was.”

“And that’s... your only reason?”

“Yes,” Rory said standing up. “Now if you don’t mind, I’d like to leave...”

Izzie held a Pokeball up. “Don’t move a muscle... you said you didn’t have any rings.” Rory, confused, looked on the ground. Before him lay a silver ring, shiny and new, with a small red jewel embedded into it. It burned. Hot like fire, but with even more passion and sparkle. He picked it up.

Rory knew it wasn’t his. Yet he could overhear this woman, who was slightly less annoying than the last, demand to know why it had fallen from his pocket. But he didn’t care. Everything was foggy. The only things in the room, in the world, were this ring and he. This enticing ring played with him, and Rory was not a man to be played with. He placed it on his finger. Right hand, middle finger: it felt like he’d done it before. Was that woman still screaming? Yes, she was.

Every emotion in his body welled up to the surface and screamed in a chaotic yet beautiful harmony. Memories from all moments in his life and moments that had yet to come swirled in the back of his mind. He felt like he was levitating. He probably could be, because he could feel power seeping into his veins by the second... but it wasn’t new power, it was like the reawakening of something long forgotten, something dangerous, something complex, and something very, very important.

There was a blast of magnificent red light. It poured from the ring in all directions, shaking the ground and nearby area. Adam and Medina, who had been standing outside, later recalled that even the sky had seemed to flash red for a moment. It was a combination of purity and darkness, a red that symbolised the blood of many who had been lost and yet which carried an electric victory like no other. It flooded the caves, and from the cluster of trees, a great beacon began to emanate as the energy made its way into the world.

The flash lasted for only 6 or 7 seconds, but it was one of the most magnificent moments of Rory’s life. Liberation, and yet condemnation. As the light receded towards Rory and the only light in the room was provided once again by the electric lamps that Medina had managed to install, Izzie stared ahead and saw him standing, upright and bold, with two Premier Balls in his hand.

Her phone rang. Adam. Before answering it, she noticed that the ring on her finger seemed to also glow with a renewed brilliance: the jewel seemed happy, somehow.

On the surface, Adam and Medina had been joined by Penelope and Ryan. After hanging up his phone call which lasted merely seconds, he ran over to the others.

“Did it happen? Is he still awake?” asked Penelope in a soft, buttery voice.

“He’s walking and talking,” Adam replied, his voice full of fear, “and he’s just started battling Izzie.”

The four ran, fast as Ninjask, towards the caves, but they were all knocked back with ferocious force by a strange energy, like heat but without the warmth. It rushed from the cave's mouth to repel them. They all landed feet away with tremendous thuds, and Adam looked up in horror as the others came to, startled and jittery.

“That’s definitely going to slow us down.”


Twenty-five days had passed since Izzie’s encounter with her father. Twenty-five days. These days included but were not limited to triumphs such as the voracious amount of alcohol she had consumed and the six different men she had slept with. But now, it was time to stop. In fact, time to stop had been two days ago when she first started puking all over her bedroom uncontrollably. Now, it was time to panic.

Her father burst into the flat and ordered Monica to leave without even allowing her to put on a pair of matching shoes. He walked over to Izzie, and gave her an almost sympathetic look rather than an outraged one. He stood there for a minute: a pillar of power and solidarity to his co-workers and the rest of the Pressley family, but to Izzie, just an overbearing coward who was afraid to let his daughter live.

“You’ll no doubt notice your accounts have been suspended once more...” he said in a low voice. “And yet, you’ve not contacted me?”

“I don’t care,” she mumbled. She couldn’t even bare to look at him. Not because she was ashamed about the money; for a much darker and newly born secret. A woe that would eclipse every other problem in her life, that would irrevocably change who she was and how she saw the world, but it was too late for help. He grunted.

“You are leaving L.A immediately, Bella. Well, I say immediately, you have 13 hours to pack, say your goodbyes and grab whatever money you might have left. This place is destroying you, and I’ve set you up a nice comfy job as a professional battler. Maybe it’ll salvage your reputation a little after two years of none stop partying.” Izzie said nothing. “Your flight is Pidgeot 825. It’ll take you to Nebiank where my money will no longer be used purely to help you poison yourself.” John paused briefly. Izzie still said nothing. He opened his mouth, as is to add something more encouraging, but instead, he stated: “your mother also passed along a message. She’s very disappointed in you, Isabelle.” Then, he stormed out of the room in the fashion which he had entered. She was alone.

Well, as alone as one could be in her situation.

This would be the last time Isabelle Pressley would ever speak to a member of her family again.


Chaos had erupted. Izzie stood before what had now erupted into a battlefield: Rory had sent out a Medicham and Floatzel, but the only Pokemon she had brought with her was her Volcarona. He Volcarona flapped its gigantic wings furiously as magnificent embers flew off him, but in this moment, Rory could not be intimidated by anything. He oozed power. There was a glow about him. Where were the others? This would be more difficult than anticipated. She went to call out for an attack, but Rory interjected.

“Floatzel, use Aqua Jet, Medicham, used Psycho Cut!” Floatzel was the first to strike, surrounding itself with water and diving at Volcarona with enormous speed. The giant moth was knocked to the side as the super-effective hit landed, and then to the other side as Medicham’s glowing pink arm made contact with the side of its head.

“Use Windstorm!” Izzie cried. Volcarona summoned a massive amount of energy and glowed a beautiful white colour before rapidly flapping its wings. Beams of white light emanated from it and charged towards its foes as a cold wind filled the room. Izzie couldn’t hear Rory’s retaliation commands over the gale-force winds, but Floatzel appeared to use a Protect attack whilst Medicham ran around with lightning-fast speed to avoid the majority of the attacks impact, even running of the walls to avoid the massive, shining jets of air that were circling the room. Following that, Medicham jumped and span off the wall, high into the air, and performed a technique Izzie had never seen: he charged what appear to be a Thunder Punch in mid-air, though instead of using it to make contact, the electricity fired from his fist with a bang, even sending him flying backwards slightly, and charged straight towards Volcarona. It barely dodged the attack. Her phone rang. Adam again.

“We’ve only just managed to get into the caves, something was keeping us out,” he shouted down the line over the static and poor reception. “Whatever you’re doing down there is making this place go crazy after that flash. Shut it down now! We’ll be there in 10!” Great, she still had to deal with this on her own.

Medicham was still repeatedly trying to hit with Psycho Cut. Izzie commanded Volcarona to use Gust, and the whirlwind of air that it whipped up sent Medicham flying high into the air before crashing to the ground. Hopefully that would start to calm everything down – not only was the area unstable, but so was her stomach and head, and soon, she felt like she might faint.

Unfortunately, the injured Medicham began to stand up. Floatzel dived in front of him, arms spread wide to protect its friend.

"Razor Wind!" called Rory. The otter-like Pokemon undulated its body several times before a sharp and unavoidable slash of air raced towards Volcarona, who wailed in pain at the super-effective hit. Rory could feel his victory nearing in his fiery new blood.

Izzie, however, was not finished. Illness may have been slowly seeping the energy from her and consequently her Pokemon, but she was one of the best, and she wasn't about to lose without a fight.

“Volcarona, Fire Dance, do it now!”

The large Pokemon shook erratically before swaying gently from side to side, sending out wave after wave of intense heat with each sway. The room slowly filled with near unavoidable fire. The battle was as good as won for Izzie. However, through the flames, the familiar sight of Floatzel’s Aqua Jet emerged and landed a direct hit on Volcarona. Though not enough to defeat it, it was sent flying backwards, causing the waves of fire to become uncontrolled and to spiral around the room fiercly. Shards of rock from the walls and roof of the cave flew everywhere, removing large chunks from the ground and mixing the firestorm with sand. The entire room seemed to shake with energy as the fire lashed out in every direction possible.

Rory had taken cover, but through the oblivion, he could see a massive stream of white hot flame heading directly for the woman, who was now on all fours, clutching her stomach with a look of fear that Rory would never forget. Ice hot fear reflected in a pale white face and tightly shut eyes.

“Medicham, Psychic, quickly! Then Hydro Pump, Floatzel!”

It was at that exact moment that, Pokemon raring to go, the other members of Izzie’s ‘team’ arrived. What they witnessed was nothing short of extraordinary. Fire filled the room from top to bottom, whirling around like a hungry animal, but a faint pinkish glow could be seen in the centre of the room. They felt the fire and the heat slow down, and it actually began to feel as if time itself was beginning to stop. The fire retracted to become a gigantic, swirling tornado in the centre of the room as stray flames narrowly avoided them and as the stream which had headed for Izzie was drawn towards Medicham. The tornado, ferocious and wild, was then extinguished by Floatzel who ran around it, spraying huge volumes of water with Hydro Pump, slowly revealing a tired and burnt Medicham at its centre, hands swaying in the air in a circular motion to control the fire. Rory ran to the Pokemon to make sure it was alright once the tornado had disappeared, whilst the group ran to Izzie who was still holding onto her stomach, shaken: she had been saved by Rory and his Pokemon.

For several minutes, they all sat there, unsure of what to do. It was Rory who broke the silence.

“I think you should all start at the beginning, and then we’ll take it from there.”


Izzie sat in LA X, waiting to be called to board her flight. She made a quick trip to the bathroom, though she didn’t really need to.

She considered her father’s words. Whether her life really had been a mess for the past two years. How she'd disappointed her mother: a woman who'd spent years raising her to be the best of the best, and who had always said she could never be disappointed in her child. The woman who she remembered going to the park with, crying for her to push her higher; the woman who had gifted her with her first ever Pokemon; the woman who had helped shape her career and, most importantly, the woman who had promised to love her unconditionally until the end of time. And then she considered something else: karma. She’d never really believed in anything of the sort, but now, if there was someone to blame for this misery, it was herself.

Monica had tried to call her repeatedly, since Izzie had not said goodbye to the woman she'd lived with for almost two years, but she rejected every call, not wanting to make the situation even more distressful. However, she did open the text that Monica sent her, since it was much easier to read a text than to answer a call and talk.

"It'll B alright. I'll C U when U get back. M xx"

She felt a small smile curve at the side of her mouth, the first in several days, before deleting the text.

Exiting the bathroom, she threw her pregnancy test in the bin, the fifth she'd taken recently just to be sure. The blue light indicating “positive” was just barely visible over discarded toilet roll and food wrappers.
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