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Fleur Noir

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Ysavvryl, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Ysa? TYrantrum is Rock/Dragon, not Rock/Dark. Percival and Mortan should have basically no problems against it, barring Strong Jaw Crunch (And even then...)

    That was quite an inventive Gym match too. The varying challenges make it interesting, but I think this one stands out more than most of them.

    Also, take all the time you need if you get sick. You've been putting out weekly updates for... how long? If you need to take a break for a bit, I think we'll manage.
     
  2. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Chapter 30: The Heroes of Lumiose


    During the first meeting of Battle Club in my sixth year, I got elected club leader with no trouble at all. I had six proofs at the time, more than anyone else in the club aside from one girl who had three badges and three proofs. That was quite a role to handle, as I had to lead in planning and running club activities, keep club meetings on track, mediate disputes between club members, and give reports to our club advisor. Also, being the club leader got me acknowledged as the best trainer and dueler in battle. I don't think battles are the only method you can use to determine the best trainer, but I didn't mind the battles I often got challenged to. Although, there weren't many among the students who could give my team a challenge at that point.

    But dueling, I had to decline nearly every challenge I got for that, even if the other student complained.


    “Hey, don’t pity me because I’m only a second year student,” the boy said defiantly. He still looked much like a child, so he couldn't be older than thirteen, probably past ten. “I got in the academy because I won a lot of official tournaments, even outside the junior categories.”

    “It’s not that,” Calem said. “It’s a restriction the school put on me. I'm not allowed to participate in duels or any battle that involves the trainer unless one of the battle teachers approves of the conditions.”

    “That can't be real,” he said.

    He shrugged. “I can get the paperwork if you want. You'd have better luck challenging one of the other club members after the meeting. If you'll excuse me, I’ve got some things I need to get done before everyone is ready.” Then he went to a desk in the corner of their meeting room and handled some of the monthly club report.

    The boy fumed for a bit, but then one of the other club members called him over and whispered. Even with that, Calem could hear them talking. “Hey kid, he's telling the truth. And seriously, you don't want to challenge him. He's aiming to become the magic champion before he graduates and even before he got restricted, he was a major pain in the butt to duel.”

    “I remember that,” another student said, still trying to keep out of his hearing even though that was nearly impossible in this room. “You had to hope you could take him down in one shot, or else he'd get rain started and you couldn’t hit him even with a punch to the face.”

    “But why would the club leader not be allowed to duel?” the new boy asked, still sounding angry.

    “Hush,” the first student said. “Well the teachers won't say it, but there's been a lot of rumors about Calem. Like, you never see him in the boys dorm and if his homeroom goes on an overnight trip, he always comes back for the night. That's because he lives in the secret dorm for dangerous students, or so they say. And it seems right; he seems to even be staying there now when he could live off campus if he wanted.”

    “Oh, and did you notice his hands?” the second student asked. “He only has nine fingers. Apparently it's because his whole family is cursed to turn insane with powers beyond normal human ability, and he got caught in a battle for his life trying to keep out of the curse.”

    “That’s mostly rumor.”

    “But what about last year when it happened, huh? He was out of school for a couple of weeks. I heard that Alexa even wrote an article in the newspaper about that battle, but didn't use his name.”

    “Then he's dangerous?” the new boy asked.

    “Nah, he's a great guy.”

    “He certainly doesn't want to be dangerous, that's what I think.”

    Another student added, “I think he's so cool,” then giggled about it.

    At the desk, Calem smiled a little. It was funny hearing how these rumors morphed as time when on, a little bit true but more often than not mistaken. To tease them a bit, he let them keep talking while he finished the current entry, then used swiftstep to get behind the group before they noticed him gone from the desk. “What’re you all gossiping about?” he asked in a friendly manner.

    “Nothing!” one of the club members said, his face turning pale. There was a mix of laughter and embarrassment among them.

    “It has to be something,” he said, walking over to the front of the table. “At any rate, we should be starting the meeting soon.”

    “See, what'd we tell you?” one of the students whispered to the new boy.

    This first order of business was introducing the three new club members who had passed the test with the Miracle Eye. Since it went by years, the first one was Trevor. “Good to see you join us,” Calem said with a smile. “Why’d you decide to test yourself here?”

    Trevor smiled, not as shy as he’d been when he started school. “With how my magic has developed last year, I’ve decided that I want to try for an apprenticeship under Ramos. I think he’d understand, but I need to work on my skills in Pokemon battles so he’ll accept me.”

    “Sounds like a good plan; hope you make it.”

    The next new member was a girl in her third year named Crystal. “I really love my Carbinks,” she said when asked why she’d joined. “I have three of them and I want to spread their popularity. Maybe by aiming to become a gym leader, but then I’d have to decide if I want to be Rock type or Fairy type, and if I want to stay in Kalos because Valerie and Grant are well established here.”

    One of her Carbinks was with her; the floating Pokemon jabbered happily along with her. The bonds between the two were really tight, Calem noticed. “Yeah, I don’t know if you can build a gym based off one kind of Pokemon, but hopefully we can help you figure out which path to take. Your Pokemon seems happy just to be with you, so I’m sure you’ll do fine.”

    Crystal laughed. “Yeah, thanks!”

    Lastly, there was that second year boy, Orion de Kalos. He was certainly related to Lysandre and Serena by the name alone, although how far apart from either of them wasn’t mentioned. “I’m here because being a great battler and trainer is in my blood. My parents both came here and they both led this club at different points. Simple as that.”

    “But you got in on your own merit, which is good,” Calem said. That seemed to annoy Orion, which further set in the younger boy’s mind that he didn’t like him. Calem could sense that antagonism; he’d need to be careful not to provoke him too much.

    With the introductions taken care of, he turned the meeting’s discussion towards an upcoming event the club took part in every year with a school gym. It came complete with its own badge, although it was unofficial and thus not recognized outside the academy like a league badge. It was also tradition that the club leader wasn’t the event gym leader. Being recognized as the best of the battle club meant that he would be a bonus challenge to students outside the club for the event, for an extra prize if the challenger won against him. For now, they had to decide on how to decorate their gym for the event’s theme. He had to decide before long how to pick the event’s gym leader as well. It had to be someone who was good so not many won the academy gym badge, but not too good or there would be complaints that too few could win.

    “Could just do a small in-club tournament to decide the leader,” Calem said after the meeting to Yorick. They were over by the TM vending machine, as his team had gotten enough points in battles this week to get a better level of rewards. One in particular he’d seen before; was it back?

    Yorick made a fist and punched the air. “Gapow!”

    Calem smiled. “Go for a showy one? That would be fun. I’d tell them that they have to put on a good act and battle in order to be picked.” Scrolling to another page, Venoshock finally popped up. “All right, there it is. And we do have the points for it, great.” He pressed a button to select that one, then got the disk from the slot below.

    Attached to the vending machine, there was a TM activator which let him teach Yorick the new skill right there. The Gengar was cooperative, holding still while the activator sent the instructions telepathically to him. Once the activator said that he had learned it, Yorick grabbed Calem’s arm and pointed to the wall.

    “What is it?” he asked.

    Yorick responded by pulling him into the realm of spirits. “Somebody’s trying to reach you,” he said.

    “Oh, thanks,” a ghost nearby said.

    Calem stood up and soon recognized the green-haired man. “Hi Allan. How’s your work going?”

    “This is harder than I imagined it would be, working as a regular ghost,” he replied. “Not easy to keep focused; I probably would have had an easier time if I’d come to find you in the evening. And the technology, well, I’m not entirely sure what it’s about.”

    “I might be able to figure it out still,” Calem said. “But I’ve been doing what you and Zygarde suggested. We’ve got the apple trees blooming in fall again here in Lumiose, so I think Xerneas is being held in Lumiose. And there have been a lot of reports of hauntings all throughout Kalos, but not in Lumiose, so Yveltal must be here too.”

    Allan nodded. “Yes, I’ve been able to find that too. They’re being kept securely so their powers can be studied, possibly copied. While I can keep unnoticed as a ghostly presence, the building they’re in seems very aware. Maybe not the building itself, but it feels like there’s sensitive eyes and ears in there. Even footsteps on the floor would be noticed.”

    “They probably have security cameras and other precautions,” Calem said. “Our powers mostly hide us from being sensed by magic, so if they can detect vibrations in the floor, it’s not going to be any easier for me to get in there unnoticed.”

    Allan nodded. “If you do go, you should assume that you’re noticed. But there was a reason I decided to come find you now. Part of their research has produced a shadow-like being. It’s like us Asari, but not quite the same. Not that long ago, it was sent out to cause trouble in the Lumiose streets. You should go find it, if only to get a clearer picture of what it is and what it’s capable of.”

    There was school work to do, but he had the club work finished for now and it shouldn’t be a problem if he took a few hours until dinner to try finding this shadow. “I go look. Anything in particular I can use to pick it out?”

    “Its aura won’t match what you see, that’s the best I can tell you,” Allan said apologetically. “But, it is like us: based on a human and I can find a light within the strange aura that must be its natural self.”

    “All right, thanks for the help.” Allan seemed pleased with that, so he headed back to the Flare base to keep an eye on them. Yorick brought Calem back into the normal realm.

    As he stepped away from the vending machine, he noticed that Orion was watching him. “What are you up to?” he asked. “You didn’t say anything.”

    “Oh, sorry about that,” Calem said. “I was speaking to a ghost. Excuse me, but there’s something I need to be doing.”

    “Okay,” the younger boy said, puzzled.

    Calem put his school things away in his room, then activated the cowl and headed out to warp through the Lumiose streets. Something that was a shadow that didn’t match what it looked like… there were a lot of people walking around today, at their normal everyday business. Finding one shadow in this city could take longer than he had this afternoon.

    Eventually, he came upon a suspicious scene. There was a pair of cops speaking with a group of three women, one of the women being taken care of by a paramedic. Not too far from them, there was a spooked Gogoat by a broken sign; one of the Gogoat handlers was trying to calm the Pokemon down. “It was a strangely dressed girl, I think,” one of the women said. “She had a weird black body suit on, like from those action shows my boys are into. While she didn’t look strong, she snapped that sign right off its post and beat on it loud enough to scare the Gogoat and knock her off. Then she ran off into that alley over there. I don’t know what she was up to; I’ve never seen anything like it.”

    That might be it. Calem headed down the alley, hoping that the incident hadn’t taken place all that long ago. If this shadow was like them, then it could be tough to find it in this maze of alleyways as he wouldn’t be able to rely on his magic-based senses. Or… maybe he could. He noticed footsteps from three people further ahead. He was only looking for one, but went after those three to check on them.

    It turned out to be Sina and Dexio in their heroic alter egos and a girl that matched the description from both the woman and Allan. She looked like a girl in a sleek black suit, her entire body covered save for a small portion near her nose to let her breathe. But her aura didn’t seem human at first, more like a fluid black shadow. He could sense her, which helped, but her intentions weren’t as easy to read as other people.

    “You can’t be causing property damage in our city, missy,” Sina said. “Who are you and what do you want?”

    “I am Essentia,” the girl said, her voice distorted by her suit so that it crackled like a failing radio. “I was…” the shadow shifted and Calem could sense her light for a moment before it was shaded with confusion again.

    “You were what?” Dexio asked. There was some nervousness in him, so he must have realized the situation could turn serious. “If it’s trouble, we’re honor bound to stop you.”

    “I will be the true hero against the darkness… lurking within the shadows. Train for when the time comes.” Even the distortion couldn’t hide her confusion here, but then she turned aggressive. “Your play will end today.” Essentia shifted her stance and gathered aura to one of her hands to cast.

    Calem warped into the middle of things. “Hold it. Essentia, that suit is trying to control you, isn’t it?”

    “Mmmm,” she replied, trembling. “I am the true hero. You are… the darkness.” Then she warped away down an alley to flee.

    “She was scared, so I don’t know if I should chase her,” Calem said.

    “Well whether she’s after trouble or in trouble, you’re the only one who can reach her,” Sina said. “Try to catch her!”

    “All right,” he said, giving a nod before warping after her. She was taking short warps and being careful around corners. Between that and her shadowy aura that stood out here, it wasn’t hard to close the distance. He caught up to Essentia outside of Magenta Plaza, appearing between her and the open plaza. “Hang on, miss.”

    “You are the darkness,” she repeated, but didn’t warp away. Her fear was keeping her on the spot, uncertain of what to do.

    “Darkness doesn’t need to be evil,” Calem said. “I’d like to help you if you need it. Why did you break the sign and scare the Gogoat earlier? That’s not what a hero does.”

    “Was told the darkness is growing,” she said, looking down. “It is, it is all around. But didn’t know what they really meant until you. You are the darkness I must defeat.”

    So he now had a confused unprepared hero who was intent on fighting him, one who wouldn’t be as easy to convince to his side like Sina and Dexio. This wasn’t going to be fun, he thought. “I see. As long as it’s what you want to do and not what people are making you do.”

    “Hey!” someone behind him shouted. Calem kept an eye on Essentia, but had a feeling that it was one of Flare’s members approaching. “Don’t be harassing our Lady Essentia!”

    Calem warped past her so he could look at both of them. And it was one of Flare’s people, a man in their red suit. “She’s your responsibility, huh? Then you’d better take responsibility for the sign she broke over on North Boulevard. Also scared a taxi Gogoat badly, so you should have kept a closer eye on her so she doesn’t get a reputation for causing trouble.”

    “I am the true hero,” Essentia said, still sounding unsure. She warped over to the man’s side.

    “Right, she’s going to help save the world with us,” the man said, taking her hand. “Leave her be.” They then walked off towards Lysandre’s café.

    She could warp like him and her aura was definitely reading like it shouldn’t. How sensitive were her senses? It might be something to test, to see if they could replicate his powers. But why would they? Thinking it would help, he went back to find Sina and Dexio, to tell them about this.

    -+-

    Essentia showed up a few more times in the following month, although Calem had to hear it from others or read it in the newspaper’s police reports. Sometimes she did help others, like guiding a few lost kids out of the underground tunnels and catacombs under the city. Sometimes she caused trouble, like drawing graffiti on the walls of the art museum. And sometimes, she managed to do both. Like yesterday, there was a report that she had stopped a purse-snatcher in a way that landed the thief in the hospital. If Team Flare meant her to be a hero on their side, they weren’t doing a good job teaching her.

    On the day when Calem was running the club tournament to see who would be the club gym leader, an unexpected visitor showed up. Crystal and Orion were both trying out despite being new members. “Remember, we need to see some spirit!” Calem called as he held his hand up to hold the fight from starting. That was when he saw an Espurr standing in the doorway; it didn’t seem familiar as he didn’t think any of the current members had one.

    “Right, me and my gemstone ladies are gonna rock you like you’ve never seen!” Crystal shouted, striking an eager posse. She certainly had the theatrics down, although Calem wasn’t sure about having the new members as the leader. He’d see how they did today.

    He was especially uncertain about having a second year student as the club gym leader. Orion was every bit as haughty as usual. “Uh-huh, nope, I don’t think you have the class to stand a chance against someone like me.”

    “What was that?!” Crystal said, angered and clenching her fists.

    “Keep it civil,” Calem warned them. Once they both nodded, he brought his hand down. “Battle begin!” He then used a swisftstep to get out of the battle.

    But he moved to the entrance in case they had a visitor with the Espurr. There wasn’t; the gray Pokemon was here on her own. “Mya?” She looked then walked right up to him.

    “You want to talk with me?” Calem asked. The Pokemon nodded. “Okay, but it’ll have to wait a bit. See the Phantump and Mawile over there? They’re mine, so talk to them first. Don’t worry, they’re nice.”

    The Espurr bowed to him, then went over to Heinrich and Starlet. That left Calem free to watch over the match between Crystal and Orion. While the latter had good strategy, the former started off with several accuracy reducing moves until most of his side’s attacks missed. Crystal also kept swapping between her three Carbinks, so it was tough to figure out how far along she was from losing any. This got her the win even though she had four Pokemon compared to Orion’s six. “All right, we are in the class known as kick ***,” Crystal said while the Carbink with her cheered.

    “Accuracy reducing moves are not a valid strategy,” Orion said, peeved at the loss. “It just turns the match into luck.”

    “It won the match,” Calem said. “That and her strong bonds with her Pokemon. Nice job, Crystal.”

    “Thanks!” She grinned, then went to heal her Carbinks.

    “Bonds are just an excuse,” Orion said, shaking his head.

    “No, I think it’s a key part of getting ahead,” Calem said. But it was like talking to a brick wall, which was uncomfortably familiar. Something had to get through to him, but what?

    “Calem?” Heinrich appeared by him, speaking quietly. “You really should hear what the Espurr has to say.”

    “All right.” He checked on the time; it was a few minutes before when club normally let out, although it was common to have battles continue after the official end. “Hey guys, I’ve got something I need to do, sorry. So Laura, Jeremy, Crystal, and…” he considered which of the other three to keep, “Mike, can you four meet back here after six for the last battles?” They agreed, so he asked the club secretary to handle closing club up.

    His Pokemon were over with the Espurr, trying to cheer it up apparently. Heinrich came over as he approached. “It seems that you’ve met this Pokemon a year ago, when it was stuck up a tree.”

    “Did I?” Calem asked, then recalled that day with Sina and Dexio. “Oh right, the one Yorick helped me rescue.” He went over and crouched down with the group of Pokemon. “Hello Espurr. What do you need?”

    She came over and offered a paw to him. When he took it, he briefly saw that memory from her point of view in the tree. It soon shifted to focus on her friend Emma. The girl seemed to be in trouble as the Espurr was worried about her. But when Calem saw what worried her, he saw Essentia. The mysterious girl hero was in one of her confused states, breaking a metal frame bed with a spell. Neither her nor the Espurr understood what kind of magic she was using, since it formed on its own without much guidance from Emma. Essentia was pretty much a stranger to the Espurr, keeping her friend hostage.

    “So that’s what’s going on,” Calem said. “I thought… Essentia seems like she should be older than Emma is. Taller, at least.” The Espurr nodded. “Does Emma have much control over it?”

    “Mya,” she shook her head.

    “She says that her friend seems to be around less and less the longer she wears the Essentia suit,” Heinrich said. “She wasn’t sure what to do, but then she recognized a picture of you from when Essentia was talking about a person she had to defeat. That’s why she came to find you.”

    “I see,” Calem said, coming up with an idea. “Oh, but I said I’d be back at six… not a lot of time, but maybe we can do something today. If not, it will start things so we can help Emma soon. Would you go with me, Espurr?” He explained his plan quickly, and the Espurr agreed.

    A few minutes later, he headed off the academy grounds while carrying the Espurr. The feline Pokemon clung tight to him while he warped along the streets towards Magenta Plaza. There was no telling if Essentia was out on the Lumiose streets now, but that seemed to be the best place to find her. Or if not her, then the best place to grab the attention of Flare members who might send her after him.

    It took some time of hanging around the area, watching the Flare members pace around the sidewalks. But then Essentia warped onto the plaza to face him. “You are the darkness I must…” she started to say, then stiffened as she recognized the Espurr in his arms.

    “Mya!” the Espurr said, waving a paw to her.

    Calem brought back the Espurr’s paw and held her close. “Yes, I’ve heard that it’s your mission,” he said. “Are you prepared to face such a foe?”

    “Uh, Espurr,” she said, her natural voice showing a little stronger through the distortion. But then the shadow of the suit wrapped tightly around her. “You are a villain.”

    “Can you catch me?” he asked, warping away into the alleyways.

    Through his senses, he felt Emma panicking and Essentia struggling to find him. So her senses weren’t as strong as his. First he tried moving a warp target around near her, to see how well she could detect the aura of it. She warped into the side street, but not near his target. Taking a moment to think of a spell he hadn’t cast in a while, Calem called up on Ember and threw it down the alley to catch her attention.

    Essentia did notice that, so warped into the alley with him. She sent an Aura Sphere attack after him. Watching that, he found that the suit was drawing on her aura to cast as directed by an AI linked to her mind. Did they mean for the AI to have this much power over Emma? Calem warped out of the attack, then said, “Careful, you might hit the Espurr too.”

    “Uunngg, no,” Emma said, struggling against the AI. Essentia fought back, warping her over to Calem to attack closer. He warped further along the alley and caused her to chase him all the way out of the city, over to the old playground by the Nature Trail up to Laverre.

    Getting out of another Aura Sphere, Calem ended up by the slide. “Are you sure this is what you want to do?” he asked.

    “I will,” her suit crackled, stressed by the conflict on interests. “Defeat you and be… the one true hero of Lumiose.”

    “What about your friend here?” he asked. He had no intention of hurting the Espurr and was trying to protect her from Essentia’s attacks. But Emma was struggling for control harder now, trying to save her Pokemon friend too.

    “Nnnggh,” she shuddered. “Defeat… you….”

    Taking a chance, Calem warped closer to her and put the Espurr down. As the Pokemon ran over to Essentia and Emma, Calem warped behind the girl. He couldn’t find a power line like he had with Aliana’s visor, but he had seen a hidden zipper around her neck. Calem got the hood of the suit off her, hoping to get a clearer picture of how to stop the Essentia suit with it split up.

    Emma gasped. There was a breathing tube around her mouth and nose, with the electronics distorting her voice attached to her neck. However, Essentia’s main components seemed to be in the torso pieces. The suit did put itself to sleep now that the hood was off, taking away the shadowy aura that had disguised Emma’s. “Espurr…” she said wearily.

    “Myaaaa,” the Pokemon cried, stopping just before Emma fell over. Then she hugged her friend at the shoulder.

    “Are you okay Emma?” Calem asked, dismissing the cowl so that he was there in his academy uniform.

    “Huh?” There were rings around her eyes and confusion in her voice. “Is Espurr okay? Did you rescue Espurr again?”

    “Espurr’s fine,” he said. “And you?”

    “I dunno,” she said. “I had a bad dream Espurr was in trouble. But, um, Nana…” she started sobbing, so Calem decided to call on the paramedics and stay with her while waiting on them.

    The police wouldn’t share the information they got from Emma with me, but her Espurr managed to sneak out to tell me instead. Emma didn’t remember clearly what happened when she had been in the Essentia suit, just some strange dreams where she didn’t connect the force of darkness she kept chasing to me. It had all started four months prior when Emma’s grandmother had passed away. Emma’s parents were gone as well. Before she could be taken to a foster home, she remembered a man named Xerosic speaking to her about being chosen to be a hero. She’d been too scared to speak up at the time, so she ended up put into the Essentia suit and couldn’t tell us why.

    Soon after Emma was taken into protective custody to keep her from Xerosic, several of the devices that drove Pokemon crazy were activated at once all across Kalos. They got taken out, but many people never heard that it was the machines causing it. Instead, they heard Team Flare’s abundant messages that these episodes were evidence from nature that Zygarde was coming to make a dangerous correction to the world. Of course, they claimed that they could appease him and people started to believe them as Flare members were seen as calming the wild Pokemon.

    If they had meant for Emma to do that, I’m glad we got her out early. It would have been even more of a nightmare for her to have encountered the crazed Pokemon. I just wish she hadn’t been involved at all.
     

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